Barbara Farrat, Mother of 17-Year-Old Imprisoned for July Protests in Cuba, is Arrested and Released

Bárbara Farrat Guillén with her grandson, son of the young Jonathan Torres Farrat, who was arrested on August 13. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 24 December 2021 — Bárbara Farrat, the mother of 17-year-old Jonathan Torres Farrat who was imprisoned after the July 11 (11J) protests, was released after being under arrest for several hours, after she was detained when she tried to leave her home this Friday morning. “She went down to the corner to look for cigarettes and the patrol car that was turning the corner took her away,” Torres Farrat’s girlfriend, Daimy Morales Moré, reported to 14ymedio .

Morales explained that Farrat’s husband, Orlando Ramírez, came out to find out what was going on but the officers did not give him reasons for the arrest. “Orlandito ran down to ask questions and they told him that they were taking her to the Aguilera police unit. He then went there to ask about her but they did not want to give him any information,” he added.

Bárbara Farrat lives with her family on Calzada de Diez de Octubre and since her son was arrested on August 13, she has been tireless in the fight to achieve his freedom and also that of the others imprisoned because of the 11J protests.

On Friday morning, her home was surrounded by a police operation, the family said. On several occasions, State Security agents have threatened Farrat with prosecution for sedition if she continues to post on social media about her son’s situation.

Minutes after leaving the police station, Orlando Ramírez told this newspaper that “in the same entrance” of the Aguilera station he could see the moment when a patrol was taking Farrat to another place. “She tried to tell me something but the windows were up, and the patrol car was escorted by a State Security captain who was riding his motorcycle. At the station they told me that she was never there,” he said.

Ramírez also says that a State Security official was on his motorcycle from early on, watching the corner of the house. “Many mothers in some WhatsApp groups were saying that they would go to meet this afternoon in the churches to pray for their children and for this Christmas that they will be spending away from them.”

He specified that “this is not a crime,” although he denounced that “what happens is that in those same groups there are mothers who are passing information to State Security, and that gathering was between them and it did not have to go public. But it came out. Maybe they thought that by giving information they are going to save their children without knowing that they are sinking them further and making more families suffer.”

“This country has given me so much, so very much pain, that this is not just because of my son or the minors in prison, this is because of all the injustices that are being done in this country, that I promised that I would denounce them” Farrat said recently in a live broadcast on her Facebook profile. On that occasion, she was accompanied by other members of three families who, likewise, have a close relative imprisoned for demonstrating on July 11.

“For every cruelty that they do to my son I will continue to denounce them. I will not shut up. Even if I manage to free my son, for every person who is imprisoned for 11J I will continue to denounce it,” said Farrat at the time. “I beg you to unite us as mothers. Now comes the 24th and 31st [of December], and no mother needs to spend these dates away from her family members.”

One of those who also on that occasion demanded the freedom of her son was María Celia Aguilera, mother of the detainee Luis Armando Cruz Aguilera, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for a sentence of 18 years of deprivation of liberty.

“I want justice and I will continue to ask for justice,” said Maria Luisa Fleitas Bravo, a resident of Arroyo Naranjo and mother of 11J detainee Rolando Vazquez Fleitas, currently in the Valle Grande prison. “They are asking for 20 years for my son, I did not send this video at first because I was waiting but they are already asking for 20 years as if he were a murderer, as if he were a rapist,” Fleitas denounced in a recording that  circulates in social media

Bárbara Farrat has also denounced other threats that she has received from State Security after delivering the letter addressed to the Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel, in which she and a hundred family members ask for the immediate release of those detained for the protests of 11 July and all the political prisoners. They collected more than 150 signatures and Farrat and her husband delivered it this week to the Offices of Attention to the Population of the State Council


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