Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This photo shows a political opponent (opositor) in Cuba arrested in the province of Santa Clara by Cuba's Revolutionary National Police (PNR). Image from STR/AFP/Getty via El Nuevo Herald who published this picture on October 26, 2011 in a post titled "Denuncian Acoso de Opositores en Cuba."

As the saying goes: Where there is power, there is resistance. This is the case in today’s Cuba where political opposition has expanded throughout the island. In the past, the core of political opposition lived mostly in the capital city Havana but in the past years the political spectrum in Cuba has changed considerably, particularly after the creation of the Coalición Central Opositora or Oppossition’s Central Coalition. This group operates in the province of Villa Clara and throughout different towns in the central region of the island. The Cuban government finds this group particularly threatening for diverse reasons. Their members are mostly young with a heavy representation of Afro Cubans and women and their resistance is open and public through street demonstrations in rural areas that in the past did not know or saw open signs of political dissidence. The 'coalición' is integrated by ordinary Cubans or cubanos de a pie across race, gender, class and generations. They call for “the end of impunity, the end of police aggression against opponents and the end of dictatorship in Cuba” They demand a thorough investigation on the death of one of their members Juan Wilfredo Soto who died of pancreatitis days after he was the target of a brutal police beating in a public park in his native city of Santa Clara. As with most things related to politics in Cuba, the Coalición takes inspiration from previous history and martyrs such as Pedro Luis Boitel, a university student leader sentenced to 10 years in prison for opposing the revolution’s disregards for personal liberties and its communist adoption. He was tortured, beaten and died in a hunger strike while incarcerated.
For more information on Juan Wilfredo Soto and the Central Opposition Coalition, refer to these websites:

Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter: "Is this the Start of a Bleak Cuban Autumn?"

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