Brutality against Cuban women by the dictatorship dates back from 1959 up until the present day. All they have to be are free thinkers who are "willing to get into hassles to defend what they think."
Yesterday, Yris Perez Aguilera was arrested in the early afternoon while on her way to State Security headquarters to find out the status of her husband. She was beaten up and arrested by government agents. Both Antúnez and Yris have been badly beaten up, and in Yris's case she was not only beaten up but also subjected to sexual threats and harassment by regime officials. When she got home in the evening Yris made the following statement:
"I was arrested with violence. I was beaten, I have my mouth busted. They put a rag bathed in gasoline, with grease in my mouth. They squeezed it into my face. The officer wearing the badge 115025 touched my face, breasts, would get on top of me. They had me handcuffed with my arms behind my back. [...] They were beating on me from near the badly named Ernesto Che Guevara Square all the way to Police Instruction. There I continued demanding my rights. I have cramped hands, I have a lot of pain in the lower abdomen, swollen hands and face because they hit me a lot."
Tomorrow Maria Elena Cruz Varela, an award winning writer, will be in Miami presenting a self-titled book about her life at 7 p.m., in Café Demetrio (300 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables.
She has been exiled from Cuba for 20 years.
On November 19, 1991 the Cuban poet Mariela Elena Cruz Varela, who peacefully dissented asking for nonviolent change, was assaulted by a mob organized by the dictatorship who tried to force feed the poet her own words. Afterwards she was jailed for two years in prison for making pamphlets calling for political reform. She wrote about the 1991 assault in her book, Dios en las cárceles cubanas (God in the Cuban jails):
They broke my mouth trying to make me swallow the leaflets that members of my group had distributed throughout Havana. Afterwards I spent three days brutally besieged, imprisoned in my own home with my two children, with no water, no electricity, no food, no cigarettes. We heard what the huge speakers never stopped amplifying, allegorical songs to the country, the necessary punishment of traitors, and anyone who wanted to could shout at me, organized, of course, the slogans they pleased: Comrade worm, we are going to execute you by firing squad!Decades pass but the aging dictatorship and its practices remain the same. However, the response of the international community goes through all sorts of contortions. Ban Ki-moon's public celebration of how the dictatorship in Cuba treats women is a particularly twisted and lamentable example.