Three Activists Arrested At Santiago Cathedral Receive Their First Prison Visit

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 August 2017 — The Aguadores prison authorities authorized on Monday the first family visit to the three activists arrested during the protest at the cathedral of Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 14ymedio was told by Reina Silvia González, wife of Alberto Antonio Ramírez Odio, one of the detainees.

During the meeting, which lasted half an hour, Gonzalez was also able to see her brother-in-law Leonardo Ramirez Odio, and the father of both young people, Alberto de la Caridad Ramírez Baró. The three men were transferred to the prison last week on a provisional basis while the investigation process is underway, in advance of filing charges against them.

Gonzalez, who went to the prison along with the brothers’ grandmother, told this newspaper that “they are in good health.” Since they arrived at the prison “everyone is eating” and “they are all together,” although the authorities “have threatened to separate them” and send each to a different prison.

“They did not tell me the date of the trial yet, but I was able to learn that, from now on, the visits will be every two weeks,” Gonzalez said. She also reported that the prison guards spoke to her in “very bad form.”

The woman said that the prison is far from the city of Santiago de Cuba, in a location that complicates the travel of relatives to the visits.

The activists belong to the Committee of Citizen Defenders of Human Rights (CCDH) and had demonstrated along with the opponent José Carlos Girón Reyes. They held up posters that read “58 years of deceit, hunger and misery,” and “The people demand freedom, Justice, democracy” and “Viva the right of expression, opinion and of the press.”

The protest occurred a few yards from the headquarters of the People’s Power of Santiago and was recorded in a video produced by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU). Opponents also shouted “Down with the dictatorship, Down with Fidel, Down with Raul, Down with Congress.”

The action was a challenge precisely on the day that commemorated the 64th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada barracks. A few minutes after the protest began, the National Police and State Security intervened and detained the activists.