14ymedio, Havana, 12 January 2023 — The Cuban singer-songwriter Fernando Bécquer has been confined in a penitentiary center, according to a statement published this Thursday by the People’s Provincial Court of Havana. The singer-songwriter was serving a penalty of “3 years and 4 months of limitation of freedom” (household) for sexual abuse.
According to the statement, Bécquer “recently committed serious acts that flagrantly and notoriously fail to comply with the requirements of good conduct and respect for the rules of social coexistence” to which he was obliged and “had been previously warned.” For this reason, the Popular Municipal Court of Centro Habana, on January 10, issued a new resolution in which it established that the troubadour “will comply with the sanction imposed in an internal regime in a penitentiary establishment.”
The change in sentence was also reported this Thursday by the official affiliate Qva en Directo, which, with the testimony of “neighbors” of the building where the troubadour lives, confirmed that the sanction had been “reconsidered” and Bécquer was transferred to a “prison center.”
A day earlier, the activist Marta María Ramírez demanded transparency in the case by posting on Twitter that “several sources point” to the “imprisonment” of Bécquer on January 10 “after violating feminists in networks, in breach of the sentence.”
The Bécquer case began last December 2021, when the independent magazine El Estornudo published a report with testimonies from five young people who accused the musician, in a very detailed way, of different episodes of abuse between 10 and 20 years ago.
The singer-songwriter, known for his affinity with the regime and for his multiple connections with the artists closest to power, denied the accusations at that time and described them as “slander.” “I don’t believe in anything, I believe in the Revolution,” he insisted at the end of a concert in Havana. Months later, some thirty women joined the complaints with their testimonies.
Last Tuesday, the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) denounced the singer-songwriter for the misogyny of the lyrics of two songs that he published on his networks. The official organization then considered that the lyrics of the songs are “disrespectful, highly violent against Cuban women” and pointed out that these types of actions “are intolerable and must be denounced and punished for constituting hate messages.”
The FMC, by expressly naming the troubadour, considered that the songs are not only evidence of the machismo that persists in society, but that they constitute a “mockery of justice” coming from a man who has been found “guilty of sexual violence.” However, at the moment when the complaints of the abuses began to come to light, the mass organization issued a message of support to those affected without citing the musician and said that “guiding and accompanying the women in each process has been a priority.”
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