On Thursday morning of March 7, Marisol Peña was at her home in
Camagüey when she received a phone call from a State Security (political police) agent threatening her and another activist woman over a recent photo of them that went viral.
On the day of Cuba’s national constitutional referendum, Marisol Pena of the Cuban Libertarian Party and Rebeca Gonzalez of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) posed together holding a cardboard sign in public that said “Yo me cago en tu Revolución. Yo voto NO“, meaning (“I shit on your Revolution. I vote NO”).
The photo was originally published on the Facebook page of the Mises-Mambí Institute, but went viral almost immediately, and various Cuban online newspapers republished (i.e. ripped off) the photo. It even appeared on an Instagram account under the name of Cuban president Miguel Diaz Canel, with thousands of engagements on the post.
Hence, a week later, State Security called Marisol to threaten her that, because of that photo, they would be watching her and Rebeca very closely over the next few weeks.
This is a cause for concern because Marisol has been arrested and imprisoned before for her political activities, and the regime has blacklisted her as a known dissident. This means that the publicly funded social services available to most other Cuban aren’t available to her or her family.
Furthermore, the regime took a political hostage in the form of Marisol’s neice, Lianet Guerra. Just to clarify, Lianet is not an activist and has no history of political affiliation. Nonetheless, she was imprisoned on false charges of prostitution for the crime of traveling to Italy with her Italian fiance to meet her future family.
This came shortly after the Secretary of the Cuban Libertarian Party, Yanet Padron Naya, was imprisoned on false charges of prostitution for posing with a US flag on the 4th of July 2017. There is currently at least one Cuban Libertarian still in prison: Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez, who has languished in the Melena del Sur labor prison since Febrary 2017. He was given 7 years while fellow Libertarian Manuel Velazquez was sentenced to 1 year and released after 11 months.
Therefore, the regime has a history of targeting Libertarians for harassment and imprisonment. The regime has a track record of weaponizing sex work to imprison dissidents on false charges. And, of course, Marisol has been blacklisted by the communists, so her entire family can’t be trusted. That’s why we at the Mises-Mambí Institute believe Lianet Guerra is a hostage, and why we’re concerned over these recent threats against her and Rebeca.