Cuban Court Ratifies Three-Year Sentence Against Karina Gálvez

Cuban Court Ratifies Three-Year Sentence Against Karina Gálvez

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 10 November 2017 — The Provincial Court of Pinar del Río ratified the sentence of three years of deprivation of liberty against Karina Galvez issued last September. The economist was informed on Wednesday of the sentence on appeal and must spend the time of imprisonment under “limitation of freedom” at the home of her mother.

The Court also confirmed the confiscation of Gálvez’s home, which also functioned as a space for the activities of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC) in Pinar del Río. The activist described this decision as “unfair” but she assured 14ymedio that she expected it.

This Thursday Gálvez received a summons to appear before the judge on November 21, in order to “be instructed about the obligations and restrictions that have been established.”

On that occasion the judge will inform the activist about the conditions under which she will serve her sentence. For the time being, the Court ruled that the three years in prison are “replaced by limitation of freedom,” so she will not have to enter a penitentiary.

Official citation to Karina Gálvez. (CEC)

“In the citation it says that I must self-manage employment but I still do not know if it can work for myself,” explains the economist.

The case against Gálvez began on January 11 when she was detained for a week in the Criminal Investigation Technical Directorate of the province and her house was sealed by the police. The economist was prosecuted for the crime of “tax evasion” during the purchase of a home.

After the trial, the property was made available to the Municipal Housing Authority, subordinated to the Administration Council of the Municipality of Pinar del Río.

With the ratification of the sentence, Gálvez also is prevented from “the issuance of a passport and leaving the national territory until the sanctions imposed have been completed,” so she cannot travel abroad.

The economist denounced in recent months an escalation of pressures on the part of the authorities, which included numerous interrogations in the Department of Immigration and Immigration of the province, where they inquired about the motivations of her trips out of the island.

Other members of the CEC have been summoned by the police and have received warnings, among them the director of the publication, Dagoberto Valdés, who in October an official said that from that moment his life would be “very difficult.”

The CEC organizes training courses for citizenship and civil society and in a recent public statement its members assured that they will not leave Cuba or the Catholic Church and that they will continue to “work for the country.”