Arelis Rodríguez lives in the small town of Alquízar, an hour south of Havana. On Sunday, she said she went out to the street and called on her fellow Cubans to protest.
“Llegue al pueblo y le dije de que ya era hora, dije: ‘Ya es hora Cubanos de salir a las calles. Estamos sin alimentos, estamos sin medicamentos,” Rodríguez said in her native language that the time is now to take to the streets because the population on the island has no food and medications.
Rodríguez is among the reportedly thousands of protestors who have been detained for raising their anger with the Cuban government.
That same day Rodríguez was detained, Hector Luis Valdés, a journalist with the digital newspapers ADN Cuba, was also detained for about 22 hours for reporting what was happening in Havana.
“Estoy recluido en mi casa o sea no me permiten salir de mi vivienda; tengo un cerco policial en las afuera de mi casa,” Luis said in his native Spanish that he’s under house arrest and is not allowed outside, and has police surveillance outside his house.
When asked if he had been mistreated during his detention, he said he was beaten by supporters of the political system who were among the protestors. He said it’s unclear if it was police officers dressed in civilian clothes.
Rodríguez said after being questioned on Sunday for several hours, she was released, but the following day a dozen Cuban officials came to her home without a warrant and arrested her.
“Me agarran brutalmente, me meten pa’ dentro de un carro, me llevan para la policía,” she said they brutally grabbed her, put her inside a car and took her to a police station where she was told they were placing her in a jail cell.
“No dure porque me resistí y les dije Patria y Vida! Abajo la dictadura! Y esto va a seguir y no voy a parar y voy a seguir con mi activismo,” Arelis said she didn’t last long there because she resisted, screaming at police: ‘Homeland and life! Down with dictatorship!’ This is going to continue. I’m not going to stop and will continue my activism.”