LAS VEGAS (Oct 24, 2018) — Caridad Ramirez Utria, leader of the Cuban Libertarian Party, based in Havana, is recovering from injuries sustained in a brutal assault by undercover Cuban police. (Versión en español aquí)
For several days last week, Caridad had received multiple phone calls and threatening text messages from anonymous phone numbers. The calls and messages threatened to beat her, rape her, and make her disappear. The only phone company allowed in Cuba is the state-owned company, ETECSA, so there’s little mystery as to how these strangers were able to access her phone number.
On Saturday, October 20, a young man attacked her while she rode the bus to the Mónaco commercial district. She had noticed a young male following her throughout the bus ride and eyeing her intently. After a while, the young man accosted her, grabbed her, and slammed the bus door shut over her hand. She also suffered from fractures and was rushed to the nearest doctor by onlookers.
The Mises-Mambi Institute agrees with the assertion of the Cuban Libertarian Party that this was an attempt by members of Cuba’s State Security service to silence any and all dissent against the regime. Cuba’s libertarians have had ongoing problems with State Security, and the creation of the Cuban Libertarian Party itself was a response to State Security persecution of an earlier libertarian book club.
This episode may be in connection to the recent defection of four Cuban doctors in Africa from the regime, one of whom declared himself a Libertarian. If this episode of violence is unrelated to the four doctors, then it may simply be a continuation of the regime’s violence against Caridad, who has been a dissident activist for over a decade. In addition to being the national leader of the Cuban Libertarian Party, Caridad is a member of Ladies in White and openly associates with members of other dissident groups. She is also an ex-political prisoner.
“I want to publish the constant abuse, harassment, death threats and imprisonment,” were the final words of the president of the Cuban Libertarian Party-José Martí, Havana headquarters.