On Hunger Strike, Chess Player Arian Gonzalez, Imprisoned After Cuban Protests

González was transferred to the prison at La Pendiente station, in Villa Clara, from the Camajuaní police station. (Facebook)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2021 — The Spanish-Cuban Grandmaster Arián González, who is also a lawyer, has been on a hunger strike for three days and will continue “as long as his health allows it,” after being imprisoned for participating in the massive anti- government protests on July 11 in Cuba.

“He is strong in his decision,” the chess player’s 32-year-old girlfriend, also a lawyer, confirmed to Efe. González has been under arrest for a week for the crimes of “public disorder” and “incitement to the masses,” which Cuban legislation punishes with penalties of three months to one year in prison.

González is currently in La Pendiente prison, in the province of Villa Clara, awaiting trial. He was transferred there from the Camajuaní Police Station, where he was held for several days.

His partner expressed concern for the Grandmaster’s health, although so far she has not seen him “very physically worn out.” The lawyer resides in the Spanish town of Orense and traveled to Cuba in early July to care for his diabetic mother.

“We are a very close family that will never leave you alone, whatever happens,” said the girlfriend, named Massiel, who thanked the other chess figures for their support.

Regarding the next step, he commented that González’s lawyer “will do everything possible to get a visit approved as soon as possible.”

This same Tuesday, the Grandmaster Leinier Domínguez came out in defense of González, describing his colleague as a “good and decent man.” In his publication, Domínguez attacked the Government of Cuba, which he calls “macabre.”

At the moment, different groups and entities have expressed their concern about the situation of the chess player, while in the embassy and the consulate general of Spain in Havana they affirm that they are limited as they are a person who has dual nationality.

Cuban law does not recognize dual nationality for those born on the island, who for all intents and purposes are considered Cubans only within the national territory.

In the absence of official data, activists have documented more than 500 detainees since the July 11 protests in Cuba, including several minors, while religious organizations assist relatives of those arrested and bring to light harsh testimonies of people freed in past days.


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