Cuba: Lady in White Martha Sanchez faces 5 years in prison

Martha Sánchez

Oh, the wonders of the “new” Cuba…

So much change, so many improvements!

It’s difficult to keep up with the breakneck pace of this colossal transformation!

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias:

The municipal court of Artemisa requested 5 years in prison for the Lady in White Martha Sánchez, who on March 11 tried to reach the San Marcos Church in that town. They impute the crimes of contempt, perjury and disobedience.

The trial against the Lady in White Martha Sanchez was ‘concluded for sentence’ on Tuesday in the municipal court of Artemisa, in a legal process that has been postponed since March of this year.

In an interview with the husband, Yuniet Blanco Fernández, he explained to Marti News that the prosecutor decided to request “for the crime of contempt 3 years of deprivation of liberty, perjury 1 year and disobedience another year”.

Sánchez, 55, was arrested on March 11, 2018, when she was about to attend mass at the San Marcos Evangelista church in Artemisa, and when she was interrupted by the repressive forces, she verbally protested the measure.

Martha Sánchez was arrested on the same day that Cuba held elections. For that reason during the arrest she shouted “Down with the electoral farce! Down with the Castros! Freedom for the political prisoners!”

The husband explained that the decision to leave the trial ‘concluded for sentencing’ until September 5, was due to a request of the defense lawyer who defended her because she “did not agree” with irregularities in the process.

Yuniet Blanco described the trial environment as “a shame,” due to incongruities on the part of the prosecution. And he also pointed out the disproportionate deployment of the military forces, formed by the National Revolutionary Police, agents of State Security and Special Troops.

His defense considers as ‘defamation’ the fact that the court appointed an alleged theft by Martha Sanchez, when in reality the sentence of 6 months in prison in 2016 was for the alleged crimes of contempt and disobedience, to participate in the same opposition activities of the initiative Todos Marchamos .

The dissident, who has four children of 16, 36, 38 and 40 years, has served 5 months and a half in the Prison of Women of the West, known as “El Guatao”.

At the time of her arrest in March, Sánchez owed more than 3,000 pesos in fines , imposed for allegedly “violating the security device,” a measure frequently applied to punish the Ladies in White and other opponents.

Blanco added that he is in a similar situation and that his fines amount to almost 2 thousand pesos for the same reason, but neither of them will pay.

“We are at risk of going to prison since we opened our eyes in the morning. We do not pay an arbitrary cent, rather they steal all the money from the Ladies in White every time they are arrested on the street, they take away the few savings they have in their wallets, with that money they steal, pay the fines ” , said Blanco.