Cuban mother of five sentenced to 14 years in prison for joining July 11 protests

Lizandra Góngora Espinosa

From our Bureau of Socialist Compassion and Social Justice

Slightly over a year ago, tens of thousands of Cubans took to the streets to call for an end to the island’s 63-year-old dictatorship.

So many protesters flooded the streets that Castro, Inc. couldn’t arrest them all. But those relatively few who were caught are now paying a heavy price for daring to join the protest.

Here’s the case of one such unlucky Cuban. She was only one of about 3,000 who protested in her small town. But she was singled out and is now being deprived of seeing her five children grow into adulthood. She had appealed her sentence, but the military court handling the appeal rejected it.

Castro, Inc.’s prisons make life as intolerable as possible for jailed dissidents. Reports of abuse surface every day, such as THIS ONE from Quivicán, which tells of severe beatings, forced labor, and torture, and THIS ONE which involves the mother of a young prisoner who has been threatened with arrest for publicly denouncing the abuse her son is enduring behind bars.

Lizandra and a letter she wrote from prison

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias

The Military Chamber of the People’s Supreme Court declared without merit the appeal filed in favor of the activist Lizandra Góngora Espinosa and ratified the sentence of 14 years of deprivation of liberty that the western territorial instance had imposed on her for her participation in the protests on July 11 in Güira de Melena, Artemisa.

Góngora Espinosa, born in 1985, is the mother of five minors. She is confined in the Western Women’s Prison, located in El Guatao, Havana.

The cassation hearing had been held on June 15 and until last Tuesday the defendants did not have access to her final sentence.

“She is crazy because she is many years old, that sentence is for a murderer. She thought she was going to cut him down a bit. Even I thought that because she neither threw stones nor broke windows,” Angel Delgado, Góngora Espinosa’s husband and, like her, a member of the Republican Party of Cuba, told Radio Televisión Martí.

In a video that she was able to film days before her arrest, Góngora Espinosa explains that more than three thousand people came out of her town and went to the MLC store to claim the donated food that they were selling to the population. She there she was injured in the leg and ran away.

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

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