Independent journalist Carlos Michel Morales, ’11J’ Political Prisoner in Cuba, Is Released

Activist Guillermo del Sol and independent journalist Carlos Michel Morales outside the El Pre prison in Villa Clara

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 March 2024 — Independent journalist Carlos Michel Morales Rodríguez was released from prison this Wednesday after serving the sentence of two years and ten months of deprivation of liberty that he received for demonstrating in Caibarién, Villa Clara, during the popular protests of 11 July 2021 (commonly referred to as ’11J’), according to confirmed activist Guillermo del Sol.

“I am here outside El Pre prison, I arrived at six in the morning waiting for Carlos Michel to be released,” Del Sol explained in an audio that he sent via WhatsApp to other activists and independent journalists. “They are delaying and delaying the release but they have to release him today,” added the dissident.

Hours later, the photo of both men together confirmed the reporter’s release. In the image, Morales Rodríguez, extremely thin, makes the victory sign with his fingers. According to reports from close friends, the activist of the Cuba Decide platform has serious health problems derived from malnutrition and the hunger strikes that he carried out while he was behind bars.

The mistreatment received in prison has also taken its toll on the body of the independent journalist, contributor to spaces such as Cubanet and Cubita Now, especially a beating he received at the hands of prison guards in mid-2022 for demanding respect for the rights of the prisoners.

“I’m here on the outskirts of El Pre prison, I arrived at six in the morning waiting for Carlos Michel to be released”

“The family of another prisoner who is in the same prison informed me that Carlos Michael was beaten by the guards for demanding the right of all prisoners to watch television, that happened in his detachment, and there many prisoners intervened so that he would not be hit more,” Javier Delgado Torna, also convicted of 11J, reported to Martí Noticias at the time.

Among the health problems suffered by Morales Rodríguez is ulcerative gastritis that has brought him multiple relapses, he was even admitted to the maximum rigor prison hospital in Guamajal due to his health condition and the strong cramps derived from his pathology.

Morales Rodríguez was also imprisoned in the Alambradas de Manacas prison in Villa Clara and during the trial against him he was accused of leading a group of people who shouted anti-government slogans during the 11J protests and of inciting other neighbors to join the protest.

In January, political prisoner Yusmely Moreno González was also released, having been sentenced to three years in prison for also participating in the 11J demonstrations, in her case in the town of Surgidero de Batabanó, in the province of Mayabeque.

“Freedom through compliance,” read the brief document that Moreno González received upon leaving the Villa Delicia work camp in Havana, where she was recently transferred after spending most of her sentence in the Mujeres de Occidente prison. also known as El Guatao.

Cuba closed the year with six more political prisoners than in 2022 , as the list grew from 1,057 to 1,063. Throughout the 12 months, 1,251 people arrested or imprisoned for political issues have passed through its list and 188 have fully served their sentences during the year, according to a report by the organization Prisoners Defenders (PD), based in Madrid.


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