14ymedio, Havana, 1 February 2018 — Spain’s People’s Party (PP) demanded the “immediate release” of Eduardo Cardet, leader of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), claiming in a statement that the Cuban dissident was imprisoned in November 2016, “arbitrarily and under terrible conditions.”
The request of the political party, currently at the head of Spain’s government, came after a meeting held between the PP’s Executive Secretary of International Relations, José Ramón García-Hernández, and representatives from the Cuban dissidence.
The PP argues that Cardet was imprisoned by the authorities of the island arbitrarily “for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.” The opposition leader was sentenced on March 20 to three years in prison for the crime of assault on authority.
The activist, who spent four months in prison before the trial, was violently arrested at the entrance to his home in the town of Velasco, in Holguin, and in front of his children. On three occasions he was denied his right to bail.
“The opponent is suffering a respiratory infection due to his imprisonment, caused by his condition as a chronic asthmatic, and is not receiving appropriate medication,” says the PP statement. In addition, on 19 December Cardet was assaulted by three other inmates while guards at Holguín Prison, where he is serving his sentence, remained passive.
“A democracy must be based on respect for the political opposition and not on arbitrarily exercising power against its representatives,” García-Hernández said in his defense after his meeting with the Cuban exiles.
The PP has openly joined in the petitions for the release of Cardet, abeing made by groups that defend human rights, such as Amnesty International (AI).
A few weeks ago, Amnesty International called for “urgent action” for the “immediate release” of the opponent and released a manifesto signed by international personalities to ask the Government of Cuba for the freedom of other prisoners of conscience as well.
AI noted in its document that it has been a long process “controlled at all times by State Security” and originated “for political reasons.”
The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.