The “Young Man with the Placard” Receives His First Pass After More Than Three Years in a Cuban Prison

Luis Robles Elizástigui (2nd from left) being received by his family members this Friday (Photo: Courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 23 February 2024 — Luis Robles, the “young man with the placard,” received, on Friday, his first pass since he was sentenced to five years in prison in December 2020 for requesting the release of rapper Denis Solís.

His mother, Yindra Elizastigui, published a photograph of Robles, shaved and dressed in civilian clothes, during the reunion with his family in Havana.

“My black man at home on his first pass,” Elizastigui wrote on Facebook, the platform on which she has constantly denounced the regime’s abuses against her son. “Today is one of those days like when I was a child and they gave me a new toy,” the woman celebrated, also surrounded by several family members.

At the end of January, Robles obtained relief from his prison conditions and was transferred on February 7 from the Combinado del Este maximum security prison, in Havana, to a less severe regime in the area known as “El 18,” from Prison 1580, according to Landy Fernández Elizastigui, Robles’ brother,  speaking to Cubanet.

Fernández also explained that the family hoped that the passes would continue and that “Luis’s complete release will soon be, since he has been unjustly in prison during these three years, two months and some days.”

The former nurse and former political prisoner Pedro Ariel García, resident in Havana, also commented on Robles’ brief pass from prison in a direct broadcast. “I wish you a good three days,” he said. “I hope that you achieve the main objective, which is freedom, yours and that of all the political prisoners in Cuba. Thank you for standing firm. Only you and I are witnesses of the things we went through there, in the Combinado del Este.”

“I hope that you achieve the main objective, which is freedom, yours and that of all the political prisoners in Cuba”

At the end of January, when the family hoped for better conditions for the young man, his mother said: “I hope they approve his transfer, because Luis is in there for them, who purposely imprisoned him. What he [Robles] did is his right, which is in the Constitution. His imprisonment is unjust,” she said.

Elizastigui also hoped that her son’s process would progress at a good pace until he was granted conditional release. “We must take into account his health (…), which has worsened due to the injustices that have been committed,” she said then.

“He has had good behavior,” she added, “and this has been reported to me by the prison authorities themselves and by Gerardo, the Security agent who is seeing to his case. So let’s hope that [the measure] is complied with.”

Luis Robles, 30, has suffered several health problems since entering prison, which have been reported by his mother, in addition to abuse, and ophthalmological and gastric complications. He has also been denied appropriate medical assistance.

Luis Robles Elizastigui was arrested on December 4, 2020 for protesting with a cardboard sign on San Rafael Boulevard in Havana.(Screen Capture)


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