Commemorating the death of Cuban student leader Pedro Luis Boitel, who died in a Castro prison

May 25, 2023 marked the 51st anniversary of the death of Pedro Luis Boitel, a Cuban student leader who died while on a hunger strike after he was imprisoned and tortured by the communist Castro dictatorship.

Via the Center for a FREE Cuba:

Cuban student leader Pedro Luis Boitel martyred 51 years ago today

A vigil was held in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C one year ago today, Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 5:00pm to mark 50 years since student leader Pedro Luis Boitel Abraham died on hunger strike at the El Príncipe Prison in Havana where he was tortured. His oppressors remain in power in Cuba.

Activists gathered in front of the Cuban Embassy to remember Pedro Luis Boitel who died during a hunger strike on May 25, 1972. He had suffered years of torture at the hands of prison officials, and having completed his prison term, he was not freed, leading to his final hunger strike. This crime remains unpunished like the others of the Castro dictatorship. Demonstrators paid homage to Pedro Luis and other Cuban martyrs, and asked for an end to impunity.

During the vigil demonstrators gathered signatures for a petition calling for the freedom of all Cuban political prisoners. Petition is also online and calls for the end of repression on the island and the freedom of all those imprisoned for exercising their fundamental human rights. The petition has been signed by more than 600 parliamentarians, prominent diplomats and international political figures and is still open at this link:

Pedro Luis Boitel was forced to go thirsty during a hunger strike in prison, because “Castro gave the order that they cut off his water until he died,” according to what his cellmate, the human rights activist and former Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission Armando Valladares, told EFE on May 25, 2022.

The 51st anniversary of Pedro Luis Boitel’s death coincides with the arrival of the European Union’s High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell in Cuba. Over two days May 25-27 he will represent the EU “at the third Joint Council, co-chaired on the Cuban side by Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez. The Joint Council, established by the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA),” has been meeting regularly since 2018.

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