14ymedio, Havana, 17 August 2022 — Andy García Lorenzo, one of the protesters imprisoned on July 11, 2021 in Santa Clara, “is in poor health and hasn’t received the medical care he needs,” his sister Roxana García Lorenzo reported on social networks. The young man is isolated in the infirmary of El Yabú, the labor camp where he is serving his sentence, on the outskirts of the municipal seat of Villa Clara.
“We don’t know if it’s something he ingested,” García Lorenzo clarified in a live broadcast. On August 13, Andy had “more than six consecutive episodes of vomiting and diarrhea in less than half an hour,” according to the family, after receiving a call from Andy on Wednesday.
After presenting these symptoms, the other inmates “began to yell at the guards to help him and they were ignored” for a half hour. The young man at that time was inside one of the dormitories, and only after two hours was he taken to a hospital.
“He said that his mouth twisted, his tongue went backwards, he was short of breath, and he didn’t have the strength to get up,” said García Lorenzo. “All this was not reported to the family; we just heard about it now, and it happened a few days ago.”
The political prisoner “hasn’t eaten for two days,” he told his family, “not because he is plantado*” on a hunger strike, but because “the diet he was given isn’t enough” to prevent him from getting sick again. “And we family members aren’t even allowed to bring the medicines or the food” he needs.
García Lorenzo also reported that his brother no longer has rehydration salts and has not been given medication in prison. “He was in the infirmary, and no one even asked him how he was doing. He was put in the ambulance by the inmates themselves,” since no prison worker helped him.
“Andy told me that it was the closest moment he has been to death, that it felt like he was really going to die, and even we didn’t know anything,” the young woman said.
García Lorenzo said that his brother “is innocent and shouldn’t be in prison. His life is in danger.” He also said that the young man “has a family that will stand up for him.”
What happens to Andy is going to have “a political cost,” he warned, “because we aren’t going to shut up.” He added that his family is tired of “so much misery, so much repression and so much mistreatment.”
Andy García Lorenzo, 24, was sentenced to four years in prison on January 10, along with 15 other protesters who took to the streets on July 11, 2021. The prosecutor proposed an initial sentence of seven years in prison for public disorder, contempt and assault.
After an appeal made at the end of May, Andy was “temporarily released,” pending “continuing to serve his sentence in a labor camp. Despite the joy of the moment, the García Lorenzo family understood that their struggle for Andy’s freedom was far from over. A few days later he was arrested in the street, while traveling with his father on a motorcycle, and transferred to El Yabú.
Since he was arrested, his family has been one of the most active in the defense of the July 11 political prisoners and has repeatedly denounced the harassment they have suffered from State Security.
*Translator’s note: Plantados [literally ’planted’] are the “immovable” political prisoners who refuse to participate in rehabilitation programs of political education and manual labor. They are usually given the harshest punishments.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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