Cuban Police Thwarted Andy Garcia’s Release from Prison and His Exit from the Country, His Family Denounces

Family members of Andy García Lorezno, one of those arrested for July 11th (11J), in front of his home in Santa Clara. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 August 19, 2022–Andy García Lorenzo, one of the men prosecuted for  last year’s ’11J’ (11 July) protests in Santa Clara, was punished once again for his activism. The young man was transferred to a maximum security prison known as El Pre, his sister Roxana denounced on Thursday after the order for him toserve his sentence in a labor camp was revoked.

“That is what they told us, but we’re not sure of it,” said the young woman, who reminded us that it is not the first time State Security has lied to the family.

García Lorenzo’s transfer occurred just two days after his family denounced that the 24-year-old was “in poor health.”

“As of yesterday, my brother had not eaten for two days,” stated Roxana García during a live stream on Facebook, during which she said that Andy was in prison “in terrible conditions, without food. Most likely he hasn’t eaten anything. We don’t really know what is happening with him, what the justification was for his transfer, under what conditions, and in what manner.”

In the video, the young woman addresses State Security and revealed that the family “was preparing itself” because Andy would be out “soon” and the family would leave the country with him. “You have shown us that you will do everything possible to try to break up the family,” she said, but “Andy’s family will be around him for quite a while.”

Since García Lorenzo was arrested on the afternoon of July 11, 2021, Roxana as well as her husband, Jonatan López, and both of their fathers, Nedel García and Pedro López have been very actively defending 11J political prisoners and on several occasions have denounced the harassment of the political police.

The young man was sentenced to four years in prison for public disorder, contempt, and assault during a trial held on January 10, along with 15 other protesters. He was supposed to have served that time interned in a correctional labor camp known as El Yabú.

Before going to that center, García Lorenzo was able to spend close to two weeks at home while awaiting the paperwork to enter the penal system, but the joy was short-lived; after spending two days with his family, he was arrested on the street, while riding a motorcycle with his father, and transferred to the camp.

According to reports by the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH), Andy García Lorenzo’s case is another one among many opponents who endure terrible medical care in prison. On Friday, the Madrid-based organization demanded the International Red Cross and the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions be allowed to visit Cuban prisons.

The Observatory allegedly received “information of health conditions that have occurred or have been aggravated among political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. In several cases, the allegations include indifference on the part of prison authorities or the lack of appropriate treatment for their illnesses.”

In addition to García Lorenzo, the Observatory has registered the cases of Angélica Garrido Rodríguez, “with facial paralysis following threats and intimidation by prison authorities”; Maikel Puig Bergolla, who suffers from diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and a skin infection; Félix Navarro, also diabetic and who has been infected with COVID-19 twice, experiencing drastic weight loss and infections.

The organization adds to that list prisoners Yuri Valle Roca, Mario Josué Prieto Ricardo, Dayron Marín Rodríguez and Walnier Aguilar Rivera. “From past experience,” it concludes, “we know the experience in the regime’s prisons has been nefarious for the physical and mental health of many Cubans.”

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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