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Outpouring of Citizen Support for Opposition Procession in Santa Clara
By Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez"

Intimidated Security Agents Withdraw

Santa Clara, 6 November 2007  In a strong protest against political repression in Cuba, opposition activists in Santa Clara, Cuba held a procession to the Church of the Good Voyage drawing applause and support from bystanders and residents. The demonstration was closely monitored by a large political police detachment which dispersed upon witnessing the vocal expressions of support from Santa Clarans for the activists.


Twenty one opposition activists from various municipalities in Villa Clara set out from opposition leader Idania Yanes Contreras’s house in the Virginia neighborhood early that afternoon toward the Church of the Good Voyage, a Catholic church located on Union and Buen Viaje streets. The political police mounted a high profile operation that followed the activists as they emerged from the house in an attempt to intimidate them.


At the church, the activists offered a moving prayer for the sake of Cuba’s political prisoners and then knelt at the parish entrance as the names of 20 prisoners were called. The activists shouted “Presente,” a response indicating the prisoners’ presence in spirit.


After the prisoners’ names were read, the demonstrators were amazed at the loud applause and congratulations from teachers and students from nearby Capitán Roberto Rodríguez secondary school in Baquerito who were at the Church, as well as a large mosquito control brigade who stopped their work in the area to witness the demonstration.


These demonstrations of support and approval from local residents and bystanders surprised the political police who were closely monitoring the activity and had unsuccessfully attempted to prod the actitvists to halt their action in solidarity with the prisoners. Rather than the activisits being intimidated, the political police decided to disperse in apparent apprehension due to the bravery and perseverance of the opposition activists and their supporters.


The actuvists then left the church arm in arm singing the Cuban National Anthem and walked two by two back to Idania Yanes Contreras’s house.


Those who took part in the demonstration were: Idania Yanes Contreras, Yesyelena Mena Furbano, Alicia Arelys Martínez Guevara, Blas Fortún Martínez, Jorge Artiles Montiel, Alejandro Gabriel Martínez Martínez, Yuniesky García López, Vladimir Díaz Rojo, Yoel Mariano Bercomo Martínez, Léster Fernández Zamora, Alfidez Rivera Rodríguez, Celestino Hernández Gutiérrez, Aleysis Onz Pérez, Mabel Hernández, Carlos Michael, Idalberto González, Ignacio Estrada, Noelia Pedraza Jiménez, Ada Abecerra, Regina Contreras y Olga Lidia González. This action for th e sake of Cuba’s political prisoners was called for and carried out by peaceful opposition activists Idania Yanes Contreras, Blas Fortún Martínez, Guillermo Pérez Yera and Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez”.

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