Cuban Opposition Figure Felix Navarro is Isolated and has Covid in Aguica Prison in Matanzas

Félix Navarro still has after-effects from a covid infection last year, which is added to the diabetes and migraines he suffers. (Facebook/Juan Antonio Madrazo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 8 August 2022 — Since last August 4, the Cuban government opponent Félix Navarro has been isolated in the infirmary of the Agüica prison, in Matanzas, due to a new infection by covid-19. The activist Rosa María Payá denounced through Facebook that “for almost three weeks he has not been allowed to communicate with his family.”

Navarro, was sentenced to 9 years in prison for the crimes of “attack” and “public disorder” just for going out to demonstrate on July 11, 2021. According to Payá, he was taken from his cell and the inmates have not heard from him since. Sonia Álvarez, wife of the former Black Spring prisoner, had expressed concern about his deteriorating state of health, which is aggravated by diabetes and a lung injury that he suffers.

Last June, the activist Ania Zamora confirmed to Radio Televisión Martí that Navarro was receiving antibiotics, in addition to the fact that he still has sequelae from last year’s covid infection and “had infected pimples due to bedbug bites” in prison.

Zamora detailed that Navarro’s family had been informed that “the visits he could receive in the Agüica prison would be every forty-five days” and the last one would have been on June 7.

On July 28, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures in favor of Félix Navarro, noting that he is in a “serious and urgent situation of risk of irreparable damage to his rights in Cuba.”

Family members and a lawyer told the IACHR of the difficulties they have faced in maintaining contact and visits, as well as obtaining information about Navarro’s detention and health conditions. They also indicated that the opponent suffers from diabetes and migraine.

After analyzing the allegations of fact and law, the IACHR considered that the information presented shows prima facie that Navarro is in a serious and urgent situation, for which it requested the Government of Cuba “to adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to the life” of the opponent. The situation that has not been addressed.

The lockdown that the regime has placed on Navarro’s case so that his family is kept incommunicado about his situation seems to be a constant on the island. No one takes responsibility for the health of the 68-year-old opponent, who was one of the political prisoners of the Black Spring 2003, when 75 opponents and independent journalists received heavy prison sentences.

Just as they have tried to keep the case of Navarro in check, users have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the poor internet service, curiously since the explosion of the fire that devoured the Matanzas Supertanker Base on August 5.

This Monday, the Twitter user called El Demócrata denounced: “I have no landline service and very little internet for data.” Another user targeted the state telecommunications company Etecsa to point out that “always when the power goes out at the same time as the internet, it gets very bad. Like now in Nuevo Vedado.”

“Cuba’s dictators are inhumane without empathy, they even cut off internet communications and people in Matanzas can neither inform nor communicate with their relatives,” said a user identified as Yuli Libertad on Twitter. “This is a crime to want to hide what is really happening.”

One day before Yuli Libertad’s comment, Etecsa, through which all Cubans inside and outside the island process their phone recharges and buy their data packages for internet use and other services, insisted it was providing service, including hours later guaranteeing coverage in “facilities where fire containment, evacuation zones and health areas are managed.”

Failures in the service are notorious to the users of social networks. Using the pseudonym El Makina, Frank tweeted that due to his poor connection it was not until August 6 that he was able to connect and find out details of the “disaster” in Matanzas and of the wounded and missing. “Cuba hurts a lot and those most affected are always those forced to resist.”


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