Sen. Rick Scott demands proof of life after rumors a Cuban prisoner of conscience has been executed

Rumors have spread across Cuba that Cuban opposition leader and prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer has been executed by the communist Castro dictatorship. The disturbing suggestion has led Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) to demand proof of life for Ferrer, who has been kept incommunicado from his family. Ferrer is a native of Santiago de Cuba, the city where massive protests erupted this Sunday and spread to other cities.

Via Periodico Cubano (my translation):

Sen. Rick Scott demands proof of life for Jose Daniel Ferrer after rumors of his death

U.S. Senator Rick Scott has raised an alarm over the silence surrounding the situation of Cuban dissident José Daniel Ferrer.

The former Governor of Florida demanded immediate proof of life from Cuba’s communist regime, amidst growing rumors about Ferrer’s possible death and his family’s complete lack of communication.

Scott stated: “We are hearing rumors that the Castro regime assassinated Jose Daniel Ferrer. His family hasn’t been able to speak with anyone in Cuba today. I demand proof of life for Jose from the illegitimate communist regime in Cuba NOW and POTUS must do the same.”

The senator emphasized the urgency of the situation and the importance of obtaining answers about Ferrer’s whereabouts and condition, and he did not hesitate to call out President Joe Biden himself about the need to press on the matter.

Where is José Daniel Ferrer?

Ferrer is being held in Mar Verde prison, located in the town of the same name, on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba. The site is known for housing over 1,000 prisoners in the worst hygienic and sanitary conditions.

The latest news obtained by the family was that he has been in total and inhumane isolation for a year, without family visits or phone calls, as Scott denounces.


Ferrer is recognized as the visible head of the dissident movement within the island, since the death of Oswaldo Payá. He was part of the group of 75 prisoners of conscience from the Black Spring of Cuba, for which he was imprisoned from 2003 to 2011. During his trial, the prosecution sought the death penalty for Ferrer García, then State security officials offered him the possibility of avoiding execution if he agreed to leave Cuba.

On August 3, 2018, Ferrer García was arrested again and held incommunicado for an extended period. Likewise, on October 1, 2019, Cuban authorities detained him and kept him incommunicado without charges or allowing him access to his family, lawyers of his choice, or medical attention from October 4 to November 7.

Subsequently, there were allegations of torture, leading to a resolution of condemnation by an absolute majority in the European Parliament on November 28, 2019.

The 54-year-old opposition figure was arrested, along with his son Daniel Ferrer Cantillo, in July 2021, as he attempted to join the protests that shook the country during the summer. Since then, he not only remains in prison, but has frequently been cut off from communication and confined for long periods to punishment cells, under a regime known as “white torture,” which denies access to fundamental rights in prison.

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