Cuba: Castro State Security arrests opposition leaders Ferrer and Biscet days before CELAC summit

With dozens of foreign dignitaries already on the island or set to arrive for the CELAC summit in Havana, the apartheid Castro dictatorship has set its machine of repression into overdrive. Yesterday, Jose Daniel Ferrer and Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, two prominent human rights activists and leaders of the opposition movement in Cuba, were arrested by Cuban State Security. They are victims of yet another wave of repression sweeping over the island and concentrated in Havana to ensure no dissidents or activists are seen or heard during the CELAC summit.

UNPACU has the report on Jose Daniel Ferrer:

  • Authorities keep him and the whereabouts of José Daniel remain unknown
  • An activist of UNPACU led him in his vehicle to various embassies visited. First he went to the Dutch Embassy, where he interviewed with Dutch Ambassador. Then to the Spanish. At the Embassy of Spain he would have met with Ambassador Mr. Juan Francisco Montalbán.
  • Arriving at the Embassy of Sweden, after the Spanish Embassy, told the driver of the vehicle that he was already walking out to of Elizardo Sánchez’s home, which is located 3 blocks from the Embassy.
  • He was expected to be at Elizardo Sánchez’s, President of the CCDHRN, before 15:00.
  • After 6 hours being disappeared, at 21:00 today, not receiving calls from his cell from the approximate time of departure of the Embassy of Sweden, we assumed the detention of José Daniel Ferrer and his wife, Yusmila Reyna Ferrera, who accompanied him.
  • All this happens on the previous days of the CELAC Forum, and the simultaneous meeting CADAL had organized between leaders of dissency in Havana, which José Daniel was meant to attend. The Government had already warned it would not allow the dissents meeting coinciding with the meeting of the CELAC in Havana.
  • We fear, therefore, that José Daniel is expelled from Havana and led to Santiago de Cuba, where he lives, in order to take him away from CADAL’s meeting.

Havana, January 24, 2014 21:00. UNPACU.

José Daniel Ferrer, Secretario Ejecutivo de la UNPACU y Damas de Blanco

José Daniel Ferrer, Secretario Ejecutivo de la UNPACU y Damas de Blanco

José Daniel Ferrer was in Havana on the occasion of a great gathering of Cuban dissidents in the capital organized with the collaboration of CADAL (Center for the opening and the development of Latin America, registered at the OAS), on the same days in which the CELAC Summit would take place, in the coming days.

The Government had already warned that it would not allow a parallel meeting of the dissidents in Havana. This arrest would be an act of repression, arbitrary and unjustified by the Cuban authorities to suppress freedom of Association.

José Daniel Ferrer, who resides in Santiago de Cuba, would be arrested and is expected to be driven to Santiago de Cuba to prevent him from attending the meeting of the dissent backed by CADAL.

UNPACU has been in contact with the Embassy of Spain in Havana. The Embassy has called the authorities, who have denied knowledge of the whereabouts of José Daniel Ferrer. However, the Ambassador in person would be informed and hopefully take action on the subject.

For details on the subject, we encourage to contact Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz-Pacheco, President of the Cuban Commission for human rights and national reconciliation (CCDHRN) on phones (+53) 52 45 8060 and (+53) 7 203 8584

Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez tweeted the arrest and detainment of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet:

Oscar Biscet Under House Arrest