14ymedio, Havana, 19 November 2022 — The family of political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), was able to visit him in the Mar Verde prison in Santiago de Cuba, after six months of waiting. His wife, Nelva Ismarays Ortega-Tamayo, and their children, Daniel José and Fátima Victoria, spent two hours with the inmate and reported on his state of health.
They found him very thin but at least with better color on his skin,” his sister, Ana Belkis Ferrer García, who was not present at the visit and resides in the United States, explained in a statement on Facebook. His body remains damaged by “the bites of aggressive mosquitoes” and sores caused by bacteria and fungi, the activist said.
She added that, since this Monday, Ferrer has had access to the medicines he needs and they have allowed him to be in the sun. “He can now turn off the bulb that remained on 24 hours a day, unscrew it during the night,” she said, although she pointed out that most of the week the prison lacks electricity.
Through his family, the opponent asked that his gratitude reach “all the people in solidarity” who have been aware of his situation in the penal establishment.
The family report shocked several activists from both the Island and the exile. Political analyst Andrés Albuquerque indicated, from Miami, that one could not “stay impassive” in the face of the abuses committed against Ferrer, whom he pointed out as the only one of the “traditional opponents” who is imprisoned, and that while “everyone should be talking about him,” there has been a strange “silence” about him in the opposition.
He called for an “examination of conscience” for anyone who is not giving that family “the solidarity it deserves,” in his Citizen Approach program.
In September, the inmate’s sister reported that the family had not received any information about his condition for several months. Ferrer is one of the almost 1,000 political prisoners that the regime has detained since the mass protests of July 11, 2021, or after the demonstrations in recent months.
Since June 4 of this year, the leader of UNPACU is prohibited from making phone calls from prison. At that time, Ana Belkis Ferrer García explained that the officers kept her brother “semi-naked, only in underpants, full of mosquito bites, getting food from the bag he’s allowed to receive every 45 days and without the right to family and conjugal visits.”
According to his sister’s calculation, Ferrer has now spent “a year, two months and 12 days buried in life and slowly dying.”
Several organizations, such as the Directorio Democrático Cubano [Cuban Democratic Directory], demanded from the Cuban Government proof of life of the inmate, in the face of the regime’s refusal to grant him the family visit that he was supposed to have on August 26.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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