Socialism in action: Cuban mother and Lady in White sentenced to 4 years in prison for political activism

Aymara Nieto Muñoz: Political prisoner and mom of three girls.

This is what socialism looks like in practice.

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Aymara Nieto Muñoz: Courageous Cuban Woman and Mother of Three Faces Four Years in Prison for her Political Activism

Mother of three sentenced to four years in prison for her nonviolent political activism

The Municipal Court of Boyeros, in Havana, Cuba on April 25, 2019 confirmed a sentence of four years in prison for Aymara Nieto Muñoz. This mother of three young daughters is a member of the Ladies in White, a human rights movement that seeks freedom for all political prisoners in Cuba.

The first time I heard of Aymara Nieto was on September 20, 2015 when she along with three other activists risked everything to reach Pope Francis and receive his blessing. Scores of activists had been rounded up by the secret police to prevent them attending mass, but Aymara and three other activists managed to evade capture and one of them was able to reach His Holiness.

In April 2016 she was interviewed in the Sun Herald and spoke of what she was thinking on September 20, 2015 when she joined three others shouting freedom and sought the Pope’s blessing. “In my heart, I was hurting,” Nieto said in an interview last week. “I was hurting watching my neighbors who didn’t have food for their children to eat. There is too much pain to see.”

She was arbitrarily detained on July 12, 2016 and would not see her family in freedom again until July 12, 2017. She had been the victim of a political prosecution that punished her for speaking critically of the socialist system and passing out information.

The next time Aymara was taken by the secret police she was beaten and tortured. Her crime: trying to be a poll watcher during a regime run vote on March 11, 2018. The effort to stop the poll watchers, although poll watching is permitted under current electoral law in Cuba, is an outrage.

Ladies in White leader Berta Soler tweeted that Cuban State Security “tortured Lady in White Aymara Nieto [placing her] under the sun, handcuffed inside a patrol car.”  Targeting independent poll watchers was also  repeated by the secret police in 2019 during the so-called constitutional referendum. 

On May 6, 2018 the secret police raided Aymara’s home, beat her up and  took her. Aymara by that time had joined the Cuba Decide Campaign initiative, was active in both UNPACU and the Ladies in White. She would remain in prison and be subjected to a political show trial and a sentence of four years imposed on this courageous woman.

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