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Opposition March Gains Popular Support
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

Homage Given to Opposition leader Miguel Valdes Tamayo in Havana

Human rights activists: Jorge Luis García Pérez

Human rights activists: Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez", Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello, Idania Yanes Contreras, and Féliz Bonne hand out flyers with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Central Park and at Paseo del Prado on December 21, 2007. (photgraph courtesy of Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello)

Havana. January 11, 2008. Cuban Democratic Directorate. A couple dozen people held a civic march in Havana yesterday from the house of the Secretary General of the Cuban Pro Human Rights Party, affiliated with the Andrei Sajarov Foundation, and human rights activist René Montes de Oca Martijas, located on 214th Street, Number 27127, between 271 and 273, in the Mazorra Complex, in the municipality of Boyeros. The activity was held to pay homage to the opposition leaders Mario Chanes de Armas and Miguel Valdés Tamayo


The several activists marched with a cloth banner that read: “Freedom! Eternal Glory to Miguel Valdés Tamayo and to Mario Chanes de Armas!” The activists would yell out “Freedom! May Human Rights live! Freedom for Cuba! Freedom for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience!” and also sang the national anthem. The march ended with a chant of “Freedom, Freedom, Freedom, Freedom!”


The activists started the activity with a fast at the house of Rodolfo Ramírez Cardozo, located on  212th Street, Number 40937, between 409 and 413, La Catalina Complex, Santiago de las Vegas, in the municipality of Boyeros, Havana. After the fast, the participants walked together to the Mazorra Complex, where the aforementioned march began.


According to declarations made by René Montes de Oca Martijas to the Cuban Democratic Directorate, during their walk between 231st and 206th streets, the neighbors came out in a massive form from their homes to watch the activity. The neighbors told those participating to continue in the struggle, and that soon they too will join in these activities in order to fight together.


Among those participants were, activists Osmany Rojas Díaz, Yaidel González Rodríguez,  Ricardo Rubén Barreto Fuentes, Luis Álvarez López,  Julián Guerra Derié, Luismel Chávez Morales, Guillermo Llerena, José Muñoz Suárez, Francisco Rubio Paneque, Rogelio Hernández Mill, Rodolfo Ramírez Cardozo, Ángel Enrique Fernández Rivero, Miguel López Santos and René Montes de Oca Martijas.


In another location, in El Vedado Complex in Havana, activists Blas Fortún Martínez, Alejandro Gabriel Martínez Martínez, Carlos Cordero Páez and Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” were arrested at noon on January 10, 2008, after the autorities broke into the home of the activist Carlos Cordero Páez, located on 15th Street, Number 1012, between 10 and 12, in the neighborhood of El Vedado. The Aactivists were trying to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Valdés Tamayo by walking and distributing copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and flyers calling the Cuban people to not cooperate with the dictatorship.


Those that were arrested were taken to the Zapata Unit in the city of Havana, where they were detained until this morning. They took hundred of copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from activist Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez”, as well as hundreds of copies of the Non-Cooperation flyers. The officials threatened the human rights activists with prison time if they kept holding pro-democracy activities on the streets.


The Ladies in White attended a mass in the Carmen Catholic Church, located in the Calzada de Infanta and Neptunre in the municipality of Central Havana, in memory of the former political prisoner and activist Miguel Valdés Tamayo. The participants in the mass included Ladies in White such as, Laura Pollán Toledo, Berta Soler Fernández, Julia Núñez Pacheco, Dolia Leal Francisco, Soledad  Rivas Verdecía,  y Yolanda Triana Estupiñán. Also in attendance were former political prisoners Rene Gómez  Manzano, Carmelo Díaz  Fernández, and Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina.


Miguel Valdés Tamayo died in Havana on January 10, 2007 after being victimized by innumerable acts of repression and unjust imprisonment. Valdés Tamayo was arrested during the Black Spring of 2003 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.


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