Ladies in White

Felipe Kast: “There Was No Dialogue, Only Force” / 14ymedio
Posted on September 8, 2015

14ymedio, Havana, 7 September 2015 – The congressman from Chile’s
Evopoli party, Felipe Kast, who denounced this Sunday that he had been
held for almost three hours for participating in a peaceful
demonstration of the Ladies in White in Havana, spoke with 14ymedio
about his experience from Santiago de Chile.

The Chilean party deputy Evópoli, Felipe Kast, who reported on Monday
that had been held for almost three hours for participating in a
peaceful demonstration of the Ladies in White in Havana, talks about his
experience with 14ymedio from Santiago.

14ymedio. Why did you decide to go with the Ladies in White and other
activists?

Felipe Kast. The Ladies in White have long suffered violent arrests
simply for walking peacefully to demand respect for human rights in
Cuba. On my visit to Cuba for family reasons, the least I could do was
accompany them in their Sunday march.

14ymedio. How did you make plans to join the march?

Kast. First I greeted Father Pepe Felix, pastor of Santa Rita Church,
whom I met when I studied in Cuba in 2000, and then I joined in the walk
of the Ladies in White.

14ymedio. What was the march like?

Kast. It was a very peaceful walk with 49 Ladies and about ten
sympathizers. Everything was going great and quiet until the official
shock group showed up

The walk was attacked by an ambush of several vehicles, buses and
approximately 100 people, who intervened violently against those of us
who were walking. There was no dialogue, only force.

14ymedio. What was the arrest like?

Kast. It was a violent arrest. About six or seven people beat me to the
ground. After immobilizing and handcuffing me, I was put in an official
vehicle and was taken to a police station in Vedado.

During the interrogation, they tried to link me with groups in the US,
but found nothing. They asked me questions like, “How many times have
you traveled to United States? More than five? More than ten? Then they
asked me about the people who had hosted me, but I explained to them
that, for fear that later they would bother them or take away their
license, I preferred to remain silent. They were increasingly annoyed
until in one minute there was another change in attitude. I imagine it
was because the Foreign Ministry had called.

14ymedio. Was your departure from José Martí airport already planned for
Monday or were you forced to leave?

Kast. From the police station they sent me straight to the airport.
Coincidently my return flight was that same afternoon.

14ymedio. Did you talk about human rights with the Cuban authorities?

Kast. I talked to those who beat me, handcuffed me and then held
incommunicado. I do not know whether the delegation of officials and
businessmen from Chile visiting Cuba addressed the issue.

Source: Felipe Kast: “There Was No Dialogue, Only Force” / 14ymedio |
Translating Cuba –
http://translatingcuba.com/felipe-kast-there-was-no-dialogue-only-force-14ymedio/

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