‘The Young Man With the Placard’ is Denied Pre-Trial Release for the Fourth Time

Robles was arrested on December 4 of last year for protesting on Boulevard San Rafael, in Havana. (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 October 2021 — It is the fourth time that the defense of Luis Robles Elizastigui, known as “the young man with the placard,” has been denied a change in his confinement. In a document provided to 14ymedio by his brother, Landy Fernández Elizastigui, the Provincial Court of Havana considers that “the reasons for this measure have not changed,” and therefore, they will not release Robles before his trial.

Scheduled for July 16, the oral hearing was suspended as a result of the massive protests that occurred throughout the country five days earlier, and, according to Fernández, a set date has not yet been communicated to the family.

Last July, a Facebook page was created with the activist’s name to demand his freedom, a video in which Robles talks about the reasons that led him to be a protestor. “Freedom is the greatest thing that one can have in life and these shameless communists, since they arrived they have cut us off from all kinds of freedoms,” says the young man in the recording. “They have taken away even our freedom to think, they want to rule even what we think.”

Robles, who was arrested on December 4 after holding up with his arms raised, on the Boulevard of San Rafael Street in Havana, a placard calling for freedom, the end of the repression and the liberation of the rebellious rapper Denis Solís, who is accused of “enemy propaganda” and “disobedience”, as confirmed in the legal text of the Provincial Court.

The document also includes the allegations of both the young man’s lawyer and his mother, Yindra Elizastigui Martínez. The first argues that “there are more and more opinions that support the innocence of the accused” and the second, that his son simply spoke out peacefully, “a right that all Cubans have.”

None of this was addressed by the Court. Luis Robles will continue, ten months later, in prison.


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