Yoan de la Cruz, the Young Man Who Broadcast the July 11th (11J) Protests in San Antonio de los Banos, Released From Prison

Yoan de la Cruz broadcast the July 11 protests live. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 May 2022 — Yoan de la Cruz was released this Friday after almost 10 months in prison, family sources and friends confirmed to 14ymedio. After the appeal, the young man’s sentence of 6 years in prison was changed to 5 years in prison without internment.

The young man, who on July 11 made the live broadcast of the first protests in San Antonio de los Baños that spread throughout the country, had received a sentence of 6 years behind bars last March after three months of the trials of the protesters in San Antonio de los Baños.

Until the day of his trial, Yoan remained almost incommunicado in Melena del Sur prison, Mayabeque, where it had been said that he would serve the rest of his sentence. “As a mother I feel like dying, it’s very sad and hard what you feel for so much injustice, but God is great and one day so much injustice will be paid for,” his mother Maribel Cruz wrote on March 22.

The case of Yoan de la Cruz caused a wide mobilization in the social networks of organizations, family and friends since he was arrested on July 23. The main argument for his defense was the strictly peaceful presence of the young man at the demonstration.

“He didn’t do anything for them to ask for that many years. The only thing he did was film,” his mother said in a message broadcast on social networks in different groups. “He is a very good boy. The whole town loves him.”

At the end of last month, six young people convicted of the 11J anti-government protests in Holguín also had their prison sentences commuted to house arrest, according to the organization Prisoners Defenders (PD).

The association, based in Spain, broke the news through a brief tweet in which it indicated that the beneficiaries are Keyla Roxana Mulet Calderón, 16 years old at the time of her arrest, Samuel Torres Durán, Yeral Michel Palacios Román, Ernesto Abelardo Martínez Pérez and Ayan Idalberto Jover Cardosa, all under 18 years of age on 11J.


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