Cuban Prosecutor’s Office Asks for Sentences of 6 to 12 Years for the San Antonio Protestors

The family of Jonathon Torres Farrat, one of the minors detained after the peaceful protests of July 11th. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 October 2021 — A total of 17 people are being tried this week for their participation in the peaceful demonstration on July 11 in San Antonio de los Baños, Artemisa, which lit the fuse for the rest of the protests in the country that Sunday.

The Prosecutor’s Office is asking for between 6 and 12 years in prison for them, for crimes such as “contempt”, “attack”, “instigation to commit a crime” and “public disorder”. Yoan de la Cruz, the young man who broadcast the march live, could be sentenced to 8 years in prison, just like Adrián Rodríguez Morera.

De la Cruz, Yunier Claro la Guardia and Julián Manuel Mazola Beltrán are named as those who encouraged the crowds to denigrate Miguel Díaz-Canel, Raúl Castro and the Police as an institution, as well as the economic and social order of the country,” with the intention of creating chaos in the territory,” says the official document.

For Mazola Beltrán they ask for 10 years, the same as for Carlos Manuel Pupo Rodríguez. The highest sanctions, 12 years, are for Rolando Yusef Pérez Morera and Joel Díaz Hernández.

The rest of the accused are Carlos Manuel Pupo Rodríguez, Miguel Díaz Zaldívar, Osdany Antonio Ricardo Aguilar, Rolando López Rodríguez, Yordan Esteban Brook Amador, Miguel Díaz Sosa, Ariel Pérez Montesino, Omar Hernández Calzadilla, Denis Hernández Ramírez, Cristian Reyes Pérez, Adrián Rodríguez Morera and Jany Millo Espinosa.

The penalties requested by the Prosecutor’s Office seem to be becoming the norm for those cases that are still pending trial. Dozens of protesters who were summarily prosecuted over the summer received minor fines and penalties.

In their provisional conclusions, the accusers explain that although many of the 500 citizens who gathered on June 11 in the park of the San Antonio de los Balo church called for an end to the power cuts and protested the shortage of medicines, others persued “subverting the constitutional order,” among which are the 17 defendants.

On the other hand, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Havana has denied for the third time a change of detention measures for the teenager Jonathan Torres Farrat, in custody for having participated in the 11J.

The young man, who turned 17 that same Sunday in July, and who is asthmatic in addition to suffering from heart disease, was not arrested immediately, but a month later, on August 13, when he was identified in two videos seized by the police.

In the videos, his mother, Bárbara Farrat, told Radio and Television Martí, her son is observed with a stick and in the other, he picks up a stone and throws it. For this reason, they accuse the young man of “attack”, “public disorder” and “propagation of an epidemic”, but so far, they have not delivered the prosecutor’s request to the young man or his family.

“They alerted me that the trial is near, therefore, they are going to prosecute him,” Farrat ventured to the same medium.

In Cuba, criminal responsibility is enforceable from 16 years of age. For people over 16 and under 18, the minimum and maximum limits of penalties can be reduced by up to half, and with respect to those aged 18 to 20, up to a third.

A dozen minors were arrested after July 11, despite the fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, assured that there were no prisoners of those ages in Cuban prisons.

In social networks, another minor, the daughter of the detainee Nadir Martín Perdomo, who was arrested along with her brother, Jorge Martín Perdomo, in San José de las Lajas, went viral in recent days, by publishing a video in which she asks for the freedom of her father and of her uncle.

“My father and my uncle walked peacefully through the streets, in the same way that hundreds of Cubans did,” says the 11-year-old girl in the broadcast, who breaks into tears when she says she misses her father. “I ask that there be justice, but true justice, not lies,” she claims. “Do not charge them any more with things that they did not do,” she explains cheekily. “Everything was peaceful, gentlemen, everything, because they are good men, men with principles, educated, honest, good men.”


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.