Mother of ‘The Boy With the Placard’ is Given Guarantees from Cuban Prisons Director and Suspends Her Hunger Strike

“I can’t say that I am well, but I will get better”, said Yindra Elizastigui. (Captura/Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 29 November 2023 – Yindra Elizastigui, mother of Luis Robles, “The Boy With the Placard” has decided to abandon the hunger strike she started in demand for the release of her son — a prisoner since December 2020 in the Combinado del Este maximum security prison in Havana — and for the release of all political prisoners. She took the decision on Monday, she explained on social media, after a meeting with the “director general” of prisons. “He told me that the procedings against Luis were well advanced and that soon he’d be able to give the final verdict, which I hope will be positive”, Elizastigui said.

At the same time she admitted: “I can’t say that I am well, but I will get better. I thought I was ok but I was fooling myself. I will try and look after myself so that I can be there for my son when he needs me”.

Elizastigui had decided to go on hunger strike last Friday, after a meeting between EU special advisor for human rights Eamon Gilmore and herself, along with three other families of political prisoners: the parents and brothers  of Jorge y Nadir Martín Perdomo and the wife of Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca.

Elizastigui explained that although Gilmore seemed “concerned for what might be done” … she said she still felt “disgusted” at the authorities

“From today I have decided to begin a hunger strike”, Robles’ mother had announced on Facebook Live last Saturday. “I’m doing this to achieve liberty for my son, for all political prisoners in Cuba who find themselves unjustly incarcerated, who have suffered ill-treatment of every kind”.

On a live Twitter/X feed for Cubanet on Monday, Elizastigui explained that although Gilmore seemed “concerned for what might be done” and made assurances that in all the governmental level meetings that he’d had, “he always brought up as a priority the release of political prisoners”, she said she still felt “disgusted” by the authorities usual denying platitudes about there being “no political prisoners in Cuba”.

She said as much on her live post on Saturday: that there are many people who support political prisoners and their families, but that in their dealings with international organisations the Cuban regime always just denies all these imprisonments and repressions through “their lies” – “lies in which they insist that our sons are not imprisoned for political reasons, that they get all the medical treatment they need, that our sons and families have never been ill-treated by any official or authority… when in fact everyone knows it’s lies, it’s all of it just pure lies”.

Translated by Ricardo Recluso


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