Cuba’s Isla de la Juventud Prosecutor’s Office Insists on Convicting the Acquitted Protesters

Ramón Salazar Infante, president of the Partido Autónomo Pinero, acquitted in the trial against the 11J protesters on the Isla de la Juventud. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 February 2022 — The Prosecutor’s Office has filed an appeal against the decision of the Isla de la Juventud Municipal Court to acquit three 11J protesters and reduce the sentence of five of them from three years to a quarter.

Dayanis Salazar Pérez, daughter of one of the defendants, Ramón Salazar Infante, president of the Pinero Autonomous Party, reported it on her social networks. The activist was acquitted in the trial held on December 29 along with Martha de los Ángeles Pérez Acosta, head of the human rights department of the same party, and Francisco Alfaro Diéguez, leader of the 13th of March Movement.

According to the sentencing document, provided to 14ymedio at the time, the facts that involved them “do not classify the crime of public disorder provided for and sanctioned” in the Penal Code.

The fourth protester charged in the municipality, Juan Luis Sánchez González, was sentenced for the crime of “attack” to three years in prison, compared to the five requested by the Prosecutor’s Office. The activist was in preventive detention in El Guayabo.

The sentence was issued on January 10, although it was not made public until the 22nd. The Prosecutor’s Office, like the defendants, had 10 days to appeal the sentence, but the letter from the prosecutor’s office received by the defendants is dated on 9 February.

The account of the events stated that Sánchez González was passing through the area of the demonstration at the time that Loisel Castro Herrera (arrested and released a month later with a fine) was running pursued by two officers, José Rafael García Salazar and Reulis Piñón Pileta, and there, “the defendant Juan Luis stands between the agents and the aforementioned citizen and without saying a word, he hit officer Reulis on the chin, causing a bruise, an injury that did not require medical treatment.”

The sentence detailed that Sánchez González denied having dealt the blow to the agent, but that this was confirmed by the testimony of the agent and of at least two witnesses. Both the relatives who have attended the trials and various civil organizations have warned that the witnesses provided by the Prosecutor’s Office lie, exaggerate or distort the facts.

In addition, neither the prosecutor’s petition nor the Court’s ruling refers to the beating that Juan Luis Sánchez González received by the agents after they arrested him.

As for the three acquitted, the document emphasized that they acknowledged their participation in the demonstration, but that “there was no crowd of any person in the park where the defendants went,” that “no disturbance was generated by the few minutes of these acts” and that the three defendants “stopped their behavior as soon as officer Iraimis Durán took them out of the group of people and peacefully walked to where they were told they were being arrested at that moment.”


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