A young mother, 25, and her husband arrived at my house very late at night. They brought their two small children, one 3 and the other 4. At the moment I wasn’t home so my wife, Yris, tended to them. Their appearance caused quite an impression on my wife, and one of the children told her:
“Ma’am, please let me sit, for sleepiness and hunger are taking their toll on me…”
The next night, they repeated the visit.
They were a humble and young couple called Yirisleidis Hernandez Perez and Yasmany Castillo Gomez. Their little ones were named Enmanuel and Yandier.
“Tomorrow will be the deadline. They are going to throw us out into the streets and they are going to tear down our home. We don’t know what to do, and this is why we have come to ask you all — the Human Rights people — for help.”
That night, they left knowing that they would not be alone, for the “Human Rights people” would be there supporting them.
Although I did not have enough time to inform all those I would have liked to (and surely they would have gone), activists started arriving to the scene at around 4 in the morning. The first was Juan Ariel Rivero Diaz, followed by others from Placetas. Adriano Castaneda from Sancti Spiritus was arrested upon arriving to the location and was later tossed out onto a side-road of the highway. Soon therafter, a group of brothers from Santa Clara arrived. At noon, we were already a group of 11.
From the very beginning, we were very impressed by the firm posture assumed by the young woman, which was completely the opposite of her husband who, as we say in good Cuban slang, “cracked when the time came.” He was terrorized by the threats of the political police which took control over his home and surrounding areas.
“As long as the Human Rights people are here, they won’t even dare come.”
“They said they were coming at 4 pm.”
“They are going to postpone the eviction until Saturday.”
The number of neighbors and sympathizers who arrived on the scene to support this family was overwhelming.
Between the conversations, sips of coffee, declarations made on the radio by activists and neighbors, it finally was 4 pm. The area continue to be watched. The whole scene looked like the prelude of an invasion.
When we were informed that nothing was going to happen after all, and that the group from Santa Clara had to leave to go back home soon, we decided to provisionally leave the place. We left Juan Ariel and Diosiris Santana behind, and their role was to inform us if anything happened.
The peaceful march back home was violently interupted by an enormous State Security operation, along with the Ministry of the Interior (MININT), right in the entrance of the city. The majority of the malice was carried out on Damaris Moya and myself. Beaten and dragged, we were then taking to the police unit of Placetas, along with the remaining activists of the group. We were kept the entire night in the unit in their filthy dungeons.
However, the eviction never took place. Thanks to the Human Rights people, according to what all the neighbors of the town have said. But we must add that it was also thanks to the bravery and decisions of the young people to not give in to so much intimidation and threats from those who wanted to leave this young mother out on the street with her two children, without a roof or bed.
Another important victory of the internal resistance.
Translated by Raul G.
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