Cuban Activist Yasmany Gonzalez is Kept in a Punishment Cell

Cuban activist Yasmany González Valdés. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, November 4, 2023 — Activist Yasmany González Valdés is in a punishment cell in the Combinado del Este prison, in Havana, as confirmed to 14ymedio by his wife, Ilsa Ramos. The 31-year-old political prisoner is being accused of the alleged crime of “propaganda against government bodies” but the trial against him has not yet been scheduled.

González’s transfer to the punishment cell was due to a fight with another inmate who accused him of creating an opposition movement “within the prison,” explains Ramos, who this Friday attended the statutory visit, but the prison authorities didn’t let her see her husband.

The activist, also known as Libre Libre, was arrested on April 20 after a “violent search” of his home in Central Havana in which some 15 political police agents participated, and during which they confiscated a mechanic’s overalls, a paintbrush and his mobile phone, as part of the investigation into the graffiti that appeared in various central points of the capital against the Cuban regime.

After his arrest, González spent more than a month in Villa Marista, the headquarters of State Security in Havana, and in May of this year he was transferred to the Combinado del Este, the largest prison in Cuba.

A few days before his arrest, the activist had been summoned by the Police at the Zanja station, in Havana, where they linked him to the group that calls itself El Nuevo Directorio

A few days before his arrest , the activist had been summoned by the Police at the Zanja station, in Havana, where they linked him to the group that calls itself El Nuevo Directorio (END) [The New Directorate]. According to González’s testimony, on that occasion they performed handwriting tests on him and also tried to detain him for non-payment of fines that had already been paid.

The first graffiti signed by END with the motto “No to the PCC” [Cuban Communist Party] appeared on the walls of the Faculty of Physics of the University of Havana. The second appeared in the nearby Aguirre park, and a third was placed at the entrance of the university stadium, on Ronda street. But it was the fourth graffiti that bothered State Security the most, when it appeared on the morning of April 20 at number 7 Humboldt Street, in Central Havana.

The location of this last sign coincided with the place where four young people belonging to the Revolutionary Directorate were murdered in 1957, during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The poster, made on the same day as the anniversary of that repressive action, generated a strong police operation to cover the letters with paint, in addition to an “act of reparation.”

Previously, Yasmany González had denounced the harassment he suffered from State Security. In 2022, after four days detained in Villa Marista, the activist, who worked as a self-employed bricklayer, said that he would stop publishing on social networks. He had previously been fined for denouncing human rights violations and demanding the release of those detained in the protests of 11 July 2021 (’11J’). At the moment, according to the organization Justicia 11J, 787 political prisoners remain in Cuban prisons, of the 1,878 who have been arrested since the demonstrations.


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