By Juan O. Tamayo, JTamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com
Cuban police and State Security agents detained former political prisoner Angel Moya and at least five other dissidents during a search Sunday of a dissident’s home that allegedly sparked a confrontation in that neighbors threw rocks at the agents. Some of the activists detained in the Matanzas province town of Pedro Betancourt were freed Monday afternoon but there was no word on the whereabouts of Moya, said his wife, Berta Soler, who is the leader of the dissident Ladies in White.
Pedro Betancourt residents Edilia Moreno and Gulliver Sigler Gonzalez said the incident Sunday began when agents of the National Revolutionary Police and State Security searched the home of Felix Sierra. Moya and five to eight other dissidents who were in a house nearby went to the Sierra home to witness the raid, they told El Nuevo Herald by telephone, but were quickly arrested by police “with a lot of violence” and driven off in patrol cars. About 500 neighbors had gathered to watch the incident “and when they saw those abuses some of those people started throwing rocks and sticks at security agents” who were forced to run away from the crowd, Sigler said.
Sigler said police were about to detain him as well when some of the onlookers “took me away from the hands of the police” and protected him until the security forces left the home of Sierra, a member of Moya’s Democratic Freedom for Cuba Movement. Moreno generally backed up Sigler’s version, but there was no way to independently confirm it. Havana human rights activist Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz said he had received reports that the crowd totaled about 40 people, and that some had thrown rocks.