Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

28 de Marzo del 2000

GOVERNMENT THREATENS YOUNG ADVENTIST WOMAN, TRYING TO TAKE HER HOME. By Juan Carlos González Leyva, activist of the Avileña Foundation for Human Rights, and Onel Ramón González, for Cuba Free Press.

Ciego de Avila.- The Municipal Housing Authority has ordered a young member of the Seventh Day Adventists church, Olga García Cascajal, to abandon her home on "D" St., No. 117, between Maceo and Simón Reyes, an area of Los Angeles in Ciego de Avila.

An officer of the housing agency accompanied by an inspector gave the young woman the ultimatum on a paper notice March 25.

Olga had resided in her home six years. She began to encounter problems after March 1 when her sister and her brother-in-law left Cuba for the Unied States. The officials then told Olga she had a right to the residence but would have to pay "rent" to the government owners just as had her sister as former head of the family.

However, on the same day her sister moved, some local authorities decided to force Olga from her home. They ostensibly sealed it shut.

But then for three nights - March 1, 2 and 3 - male "inspectors" from the Housing Authority broke the seals and spent the night in Olga's home in the company of women (as couples). Neighbors, indignant at such actions, called the police who persuaded the interlopers to leave.

On March 19, Olga, having heard about the "inspectors'" invasion, returned to her home and was able to enter her home without a key, which officials had taken away from her. Then she locked herself inside the house. She has refused to leave, even to carry out the most necessary daily duties.

Through a window, Olga's brother provides her a few food items essential to live. She won't open the door to anyone, not even to her own family. For more than eight days as of day of writing she has endured psychological torture in the form of insults and threats from the authorities.

Jorge, the housing officer, has threatened her with a jail sentence ranging between three to eight years for the alleged crime of "violation of a residence." Besides, the area chief of the Revolutionary National Police (PNR) was heard to say he would break the windows and the doors and drag her away in handcuffs.

Notices distributed by the director of the Housing Authority warned Olga that she had 72 hours before the government would dislodge her if she did not abandon her home. Olga constantly prays and hopes for help from her neighbors, except for the block's president of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), and has no right to keep her home, the government owning it.

By Juan Carlos González Leyva and Onel Ramón González, for Cuba Free Press.

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