Cuba: Confusion Over Andy Garcia’s Return to Prison Following his Release

Andy García Lorenzo on Monday in a video where he criticized the trial of Otero Alcántara and “Osorbo”, shortly before his re-arrest. (SailydeAmarillo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 31 May 2022 — Andy García Lorenzo, one of the July 11 (11J) prisoners released in Santa Clara last Wednesday, was newly arrested on Monday and his situation is confusing, although, according to the latest information, his transfer to an “open regimen”* was revoked and he must return to prison.

His sister, Roxana García Lorenzo, explained yesterday on Facebook via an unstable connection, that in the morning a summons which arrived at the house stated that Andy García must appear at the tribunal to be notified of the date on which he must appear at the camp to serve the rest of his sentence. The same message also reached the others released on the same conditions.

Andy García went to the designated location where they communicated that on Tuesday at 2 pm he must report to El Jabú, the labor camp where he was to continue his sentence. Shortly after, the young man went to the Guamajal prison accompanied by his father, Nedel García Pacheco to pick up some belongings which were still there. On his way back home, on motorcycle, both were detained “to talk” and they took them to the 5th unit in Santa Clara, according to activist Saily González Velázquez.

Roxana García, who went to the detention center seeking an explanation, denounced that she was treated “like a dog.” “After this, my brother came out barefoot, handcuffed with several police officers. Barefoot, that was incredible: all of them, quiet. My brother was the one who began to tell me ‘they revoked me, they revoked me.’ It is the only thing Andy was saying to me, with tremendous anger,” she said.

“I’m okay because soon your time will come. Your family will go through all of this because of you. What happened for Andy to be in the infirmary? Before all of this, Andy had to get some tests done due to kidney-related health problems. He is urinating blood. They didn’t even allow him to get the tests done,” she confirmed.

Pedro López, Roxana García’s father-in-law said, “this is Patria y Vida [homeland and life] until it’s over. The trial was a circus, they had to reduce his sentence because they realized they didn’t have any evidence against Andy and look what they do now: they arrest him arbitrarily and they take him. Then they don’t want us to say that this is a dictatorship. It is a dictatorship, it has no other name. We live in a dictatorship.”

Twenty-four-year-old Andy García Lorenzo had been sentenced to four years in prison on January 10th along with 15 other protesters who went out to the streets on July 11th.

Following an appeal, he was “released momentarily” on Wednesday, while awaiting “the completion of his sentence in an open prison,” announced his family who at that moment had warned that although they were happy he was by their side, they knew the struggle was not over.

In an interview shared by Cubanet, García Lorenzo had denounced that the few days he’d been on the street he was being subjected to constant surveillance, “Tracking! A caravan. They follow me everywhere. It’s incredible how they waste resources,” but he seemed proud of his participation in the 11J protests.

“How could I regret the act I’m most proud of in my life, that of all Cubans, the happiest day in history, the day in which the people rose up against the oppressor,” he said.

Hours before his arrest, on a video shared on social media, the young man also spoke of the trial of Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo Osorbo, which began on Monday and is expected to conclude today, Tuesday. “That trial is more than done. Injustice reigns in this country. Those of us that have been through those trials, that is a mockery. They will try to intimidate the people with that type of trial.”

“The San Isidro Movement has been an inspiration that, in the future, things can happen, future movements to finally create a party that will truly take on the communist Castro regime until there is multi-party system in this country. Freedom for my brothers and hopefully justice will truly be done and they will be released,” he added.

*Translator’s note: An “open regime” is similar to a labor camp, versus incarceration in a “regular” prison.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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