The Cuban Authorities are Cruel to Luis Robles, the ‘Young Man with the Placard’

The political prisoner’s mother hoped that her son’s process would progress at a good pace until he was granted conditional release. (Facebook/Yindra Elizastigui)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 October 2023 — Luis Robles Elizastigui, known as “the young man with the placard,” has been imprisoned since December 2020 in the Combinado del Este prison, in Havana, and has not yet received the change to a minimum security regime in the La Lima camp, in Guanabacoa, as the authorities promised at the end of August.

In a publication on social networks, Robles’ mother, Yindra Elizastigui, said that in conversations with the young man he regretted the delay. “He tells me that he is happy when he sees or finds out that they have taken someone to the camp, but that he still cannot explain why they have delayed his transfer,” she says.

The woman also denounced the injustice committed against Robles as part of “psychological torture” towards her family. “I have also suffered and continue to suffer from the unjust imprisonment to which my son Luis is subjected,” said Elizastigui who, after suffering memory loss as a result of a temporary ischemia, fears that by the time her son is released she will no longer be able to recognize him.

In addition, the young man has a son, she explained, whose mother is also imprisoned, although not for political reasons. “His son needs him now more than ever (…) and it is something that should be taken into account.”

Last August, when Elizastigui told this newspaper about the change of regime for Robles, she warned that the measure had only been approved then by the authorities of the Combinado del Este and confirmation from other entities such as State Security was still required.

“I, as a mother, hope that they approve his transfer, because Luis is in there because of them, whose conscience imprisoned him. What he [Robles] did is his right, which is in the Constitution. His imprisonment is unjust,” said Elizastigui.

The political prisoner’s mother, who hoped that her son’s process would progress at a good pace until he was granted parole, also mentioned that the young man was suffering from health problems. “We must take into account his health (…), which has worsened due to the injustices that have been committed.”

“He has had good behavior, and this has been reported to me by the prison authorities themselves and by Gerardo, the Security agent assigned to him. So let’s hope that [the measure] is complied with,” the woman then insisted. She had pinned her hopes on her son’s good behavior to earn him a quick exit from the prison to La Lima.


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