BY ISABEL ESPRONCEDA | El Nuevo Herald
Exile groups are opening a hot line Friday to help Cubans on the island report political persecution as well as acts of defiance and civil disobedience against the communist government.
The initiative, proposed by the Cuban Democratic Directorate, or Directorio Democrático Cubano, and various other groups of exiles who arrived in the 1960s, seeks to document any detentions or repercussions against any Cuban who refuses to cooperate with the Castro regime.
The international line, 877-303-YONO (a play on ‘‘Not I’’ in Spanish) will be available 24 hours a day and will be manned by former political prisoners in Miami.
‘‘This is a new phase within the `Yo no coopero con la dictadura’ [I will not cooperate with the dictatorship] campaign just as civil society protests are increasing,’’ said Angel de Fana, a former political prisoner and director of the group Plantados. ``These are political actions in a society where politics governs every aspect of the population.’‘
Cuban authorities have noted that in 2007 there have been 184 acts of vandalism against public buses the Cuban government acquired from China.
Last month, about 60 young people were detained in Havana and taken to a police station for wearing the white bracelets with the word ‘‘cambio’’ stamped on them. According to dissidents, the detentions have continued in the past few days, though those detained have not been formally charged.
De Fana argues that those who would tamper with buses the Cuban government recently acquired from China to young adults arrested by police for wearing a bracelet proclaiming change deserve the same attention and help that political prisoners should get.
The ‘‘I won’t cooperate’’ campaign was launched in July 2006 to promote civil disobedience in Cuba and has the backing of 40 organizations in Cuba and outside the nation.