Cuba: 15 Years in Prison for a Gesture

Brusnelvis Adrián Cabrera Gutiérrez was arrested in La Güinera. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Maite Rico, Madrid, 25 April 2022 — The People’s Provincial Court of Havana has found that “Brusnelvis Adrián Cabrera Gutiérrez, 21, appeared at the scene of the crowd riding a red moped, with which he joined those present, and made gestures with his hands and movements with his body inciting people who were watching to join the disorder.” It was July 11, 2021, when Cuba vibrated with the largest demonstrations against the dictatorship in six decades. For these gestures, Cabrera is sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The young man was arrested in La Güinera, a very poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Havana, along with 127 other residents. In total, their sentences add up to almost 2,000 years in prison. Yes, 2,000 years.

The repression for the protests has been fierce; 894 protesters, including several minors, were jailed. Of these, 652 have already been sentenced in farce-trials behind closed doors, with 40% of them sentenced to more than ten years. And some of them, to 30 years.

For Lázara González, a girl from Cárdenas, the prosecution asked for eight years for shouting “Díaz-Canel singao [ motherfucker]“, “Patria y Vida” and “Libertad.” After a year in pretrial detention, they have lowered the sentence to three years of “correctional work.”

Wilmer Moreno, a musician and arranger, has been converted into an “agent of the foreign opposition” because he received 200 euros a month for his work for the Miami Odyssey Studio. He received 26 years in prison.

Add to this the police harassment of families, the raids, the beatings, the atrocious conditions in the overcrowded prisons: the Island has, the largest prison population on the planet* (100,000 inmates out of 11 million inhabitants) and it is the country with the most political prisoners in America.

And while the world is scandalized, there is someone satisfied: a certain Manuel Pineda, who thanks to United Left has managed to sit his enormous buttocks on a seat in the European Parliament. Yes, the same one who confronted the mayor of Melitopol (Ukraine) with the argument of Russian propaganda and was scalded. This same Pineda spat out in December (before an empty European Parliament, it is true) that “Cuba is a participatory democracy” and “an example of respect for human rights.” That there are no arbitrary arrests, that those who are in jail “are criminals” and that “homeland or death, we will win.”

A month earlier, Pineda had gone to Havana to pay homage to Cuban president Díaz-Canel. He looks like a caricature, but he is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Spain. And a co-religionist of several government ministers, by the way. It is convenient not to forget where everyone is and to have located the miserable ones.

*Translator’s note: This assertion may be debatable.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and is reproduced with the permission of its author.


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