Court in Santa Clara Sentences Five Cubans to Prison for Protesting on July 11
The trial took place in November but the judges allowed a month to pass before announcing the sentences of five detainees in Caibarién, Villa Clara, for their participation in the July 11 demonstrations. Magdiel Rodríguez García, 28, received the highest sentence, four and a half years, for the crime of “attack.”
Accused of the same crime, Ysel Fumero Tuero received two years and six months of deprivation of liberty. Both were “acquitted” of the crimes of “public disorder” and “contempt,” for which the Prosecutor requested up to two more years in prison.
Two with higher sentences, José Rodríguez Herrada and Javier Delgado Torna, were sentenced to three and a half years for “public disorder,” the same accusation against Carlos Michael Morales Rodríguez, who received two years and ten months in prison.
The sentence, signed in Santa Clara on December 27 by judges Yisel Egües González, Gilberto Andrade Quintana and Edelberto Agustín Rodríguez Fernández, makes it clear that Magdiel Rodríguez was not “part of the group that led the march” and had only gone out “for the purpose of recording information on a USB memory.”
At the same time, the defendant “observed how Agent Yorvys Vargas González of the Special Brigades of the Ministry of the Interior was depriving of liberty a person who was part of the group that violated the citizen’s tranquility, directed his steps towards the agent, stood behind the uniformed man and hit him on his back, while he said ’let him go singao [motherfucker], abuser’. At this, Yorvys immediately released the alleged detainee and turned to face the accused.”
Agent Yorvys came to the aid of another officer, Vidermsi Matos Rodríguez, whom Magdiel Rodríguez also confronted. “As a result of the struggle between the agent and the defendant,” says the document, “his uniform’s epaulette and part of its seams were damaged, without any economic effects of this particular.”
The sentence also says that Javier Delgado, alias El Manco, 53 years old, was “transgressing the measures established and mandatory” in the province due to the high contagions of covid-19 at that time, when he “decided to go outside his home” in order to “organize a march through the geography of the municipality of Caibarién.” However, there is no further allusion later to a possible crime of “propagation of epidemics,” one of the accusations received by a large share of those accused for activities the 11J.
Both Delgado and José Rodríguez (50 years old) and Carlos Michael Morales (46 years old), the document says, “stood in front of the rest of the marchers [about 50 people, they detail] and exhorted them to shout slogans,” such as “freedom,” “down with the Revolution,” “we want changes in the Government” and “Patria y Vida” (written in capital letters).
Ysel Fumero (47 years old), on the other hand, only went to the ATM to get money, and when he returned home, “he was in the midst of the people who, motivated by their patriotic sentiments, defended the interests of the Revolution.” There, the text continues, he witnessed “a fight between two women, which led to the intervention of the law enforcement officers who were there.”
Faced with the action of the police, Fumero told them “not to beat the women, that this was abuse and repression… phrases that were heard by Yandier Moreno Urbay, a politician from the Ministry of the Interior in the municipality of Caibarién,” who he ordered him arrested.
More sentences remain to be heard after other trials that have concluded or are about to be held in various cities on the island. The relatives of the prisoners have denounced the lack of due process, as well as the fact that only one relative was allowed to enter for each accused.
According to the platforms Justicia 11J and Cubalex, there were 1,314 detainees on 11J of which at least 696 remain in prisons, while 570 have already been released and others are awaiting trial under a precautionary measure of home detention or freedom on bail.