Act of Repudiation
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    Thugs Beat Pregnant Pro-Democracy Dissident ‘in the Belly,’ Put Father in the Hospital

    Cuba: Thugs Beat Pregnant Pro-Democracy Dissident ‘in the Belly,’ Put
    Father in the Hospital
    by FRANCES MARTEL29 Mar 2017110

    An unidentified mob attacked two members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba
    (UNPACU) – a pregnant teen and her activist father – on Sunday night,
    hurling bottles at them and reportedly punching the woman in the belly.
    The activists in question are 52-year-old Ángel López Figueroa and his
    18-year-old daughter Ariadna López Sotolongo, who is six months
    pregnant. According to Sotolongo’s father-in-law, who spoke to the
    Miami-based Martí Noticias, a mob formed outside the family home in
    Havana on Sunday night and began attempting to break into the house.

    “They began throwing bottles at the house, that is when they hurt the
    father. They tried to open the front door, managed to pry it open and
    attack Ángel,” according to Roberto Pérez Rodríguez. Sotolongo,
    meanwhile, “received blows to the belly” and injured her hand trying to
    fight off the mob. Her 13-year-old sister also received unspecified
    injuries, according to Pérez.

    Images UNPACU has circulated on social media of Figueroa after the
    attack indicate that he sustained grave injuries to the head and may be
    suffering a concussion.

    Journalist Liu Santiesteban writes on Facebook that Figueroa was “left
    for almost dead” following the incident and Sotolongo “barely showed
    vital signs” upon arriving at the hospital and “almost lost the fetus.”

    Pérez told Martí that his family struggled to convince their local
    clinic to take in the dissidents. “The doctor said things were not that
    way, that he had to [receive care] at the hospital… that the ultrasound
    had problems,” he explained. “Yesterday we had problems, today they told
    me the woman who had to work here didn’t come in today. That is how
    things are with us dissidents.”

    The Cuban government often recruits civilian members of the Communist
    Party – not police – to commit “actos de repudio,” or “acts of
    repudiation,” against dissident headquarters. These acts typically
    involve mob attacks on unarmed dissidents in which they are pelted with
    garbage, physically attacked, tarred, and insulted with vulgar epithets.

    Given its size and its presence throughout the island, UNPACU is one of
    the primary targets of the Cuban government’s repression efforts against
    the pro-democracy opposition, along with the Ladies in White and the
    Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) dissident groups. UNPACU is believed
    to have more prisoners of conscience among their members than any other
    dissident group.

    UNPACU suffered a violent attack on its headquarters in Santiago, on the
    eastern end of the island, in early March, in which UNPACU leader José
    Daniel Ferrer was arrested and “disappeared” to an undisclosed location.
    This attack, unlike typical actos de repudio, was executed by Cuban
    National Revolutionary Police (PNR). When Ferrer resurfaced, he
    described the holding cell police placed him in as akin to a “horror
    movie for how much blood there was on the walls, of prisoners who were
    beaten and the mosquitos killed by prisoners.”

    During that raid, police confiscated over one thousand pounds of food
    goods – including rice, sugar, vegetables, and meat, all difficult to
    procure for the average Cuban.

    Ferrer nonetheless told local media that “the majority of our activists
    are in high spirits, this type of attack does not discourage them.”

    This month, UNPACU lost prisoner of conscience Hamell Santiago Maz
    Hernández while imprisoned without due process; Maz was facing charges
    of “disrespect,” a catch-all crime the Cuban police use to imprison
    anti-communist dissidents. UNPACU members told media they did not
    believe the official story of his demise, “cardiac arrest,” and would
    continue investigating the incident.

    Violence against anti-communist dissidents has skyrocketed since
    President Barack Obama visited Cuba a year ago, attending a baseball
    game with Raúl Castro and standing silently beside him as he denied the
    existence of political prisoners on the island. In addition to
    emboldening the Castro regime by promoting business ties with the
    dictatorship, President Obama repealed the longstanding refugee policy
    known as “wet foot/dry foot,” eliminating the little hope Cubans had of
    escaping the island, albeit through the dangerous Florida strait. The
    last-minute policy change has stranded hundreds of known Cuban nationals
    throughout Mexico, Central, and South America.

    “We Cubans gave him our heart and he betrayed us,” Luis Pedroso, a Cuban
    stranded in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, told the Cuban independent outlet 14 y
    Medio. “I lost my life.”

    Source: Cuba: Thugs Beat Pregnant Pro-Democracy Dissident ‘in the
    Belly,’ Put Father in the Hospital – Breitbart –

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