European Union Is ‘Concerned’ About the Disproportionate Sentences of the Nuevitas Protesters in Cuba

A spokesperson for EU “High Representative” Josep Borrell insists that “within the framework of its policy of constructive but critical dialogue, the EU continues to urge the authorities to ensure respect for human rights”

Demonstration in Nuevitas, Camagüey, on 18 August 2022 / Screen capture

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Brussels, 3 May 2024 — The European Union (EU) expressed its concern this Thursday about the “harsh and disproportionate” sentences imposed by Cuban courts against those who protested against the Government in Nuevitas in 2022.

“The EU expresses its concern about the harsh and disproportionate sentences this week in relation to the 2022 protests in Nuevitas,” posted Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Affairs, on the X platform.

Stano indicated that, “within the framework of its policy of constructive but critical dialogue, the EU continues to urge the authorities to ensure respect for human rights.”

The message joins that of the United States, sent by the Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, Brian A. Nichols this Monday. The diplomat described the sentence on his X account as ’indignant’, and denounced the “inconceivable” and “continued repression of the Cuban government” against those who “demand their rights and basic needs.”

The Municipal Court of Camagüey this week condemned 13 people who participated in the anti-government protests in the town of Nuevitas in August 2022 to sentences of up to 15 years in prison for crimes such as sedition and enemy propaganda. The population was, at that time, exhausted by the long blackouts in the heat, which were combined with chronic shortages, and went out into the streets to express its exhaustion.

In addition to sedition and continuous enemy propaganda, the Court considered proven the crimes of sabotage, cover-up, acts against State security, attack and resistance. In total, the sentences amount to 138 years in prison.

NGOs and activists have denounced these trials in general terms which, in addition to serious irregularities in due process, have resulted in sentences intended to send an example and act as a deterrent.

Most of those charged received 10 years in prison, although there are two protesters who were sentenced to 13 and 14 years respectively. Mayelín Rodríguez, the young woman who broadcast the protests on Facebook , received the highest sentence, 15 years in prison.


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