May 30, 2023

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Cuba: The ‘shocking’ night of the arrest of a youth arrested during the July 11 protests

Rolando was arrested 26 days after Remedios was arrested When July 11 protest, His photo was famous, the first morning in the two prisons he passed was very “shocking”.

Nearly a month later, after his release on Friday, Remedios recalled how he had been arrested in front of the Capitol in Downtown the afternoon after the explosion. Havana, There people spontaneously gathered to protest.

The 25-year-old says he had seen his picture, which was photographed by the AFP at the time of his arrest and released to the media around the world. The first release of San Antonio de los Banos, Then another province, before the images of hundreds of people fall on Maligan D Havana.

“So I decided to go to Malegaon and take part in the struggle,” he recalled. However, it did not come. “I was arrested when I tried to help Opponent He was on the ground and he was beaten by oppressors, “Remedios told AFP by telephone, describing his experience when about 40 cities on the island erupted simultaneously.

Demonstrations on July 11 and 12. “Down with dictatorship “, “We are hungry” and “Freedom” turned into clashes between uniformed and state security agents, plainclothes protesters. One died, dozens were injured, and hundreds were arrested.

The Government of Cuba, Without denying social discontent, condemned the eruption Viralized by powerful media from abroad Through manipulations on social networks. Supreme Court Cuba On Thursday, 62 people were questioned and 53 of them were said to be “for general disorder”. Authorities have not yet announced the total number of detainees involved in the protests.

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Remedios, an online medical science student at People’s University, claims to have saved himself from the citizen’s cry. “I thought it might mark the end of the system. I knew it would not end on the same day, but it would be a blow.” Miguel Diaz-Colonel.

At a time when the virus was on the rise on the island, he decided to leave because of Kovit ’19’s “terrible administration of the government over the health crisis”. He points to political prisoners who represent shortages of drugs and food, and to those who die trying to “escape this dream.”

The sound of pipes and bats

That afternoon Remedios was transferred to a police station on October 10, the most populous municipality in the capital where his parents live. Investigations began at dawn. “I refused to give a statement,” he says. At 4:00 a.m., they took him, along with about 50 other prisoners, to the El Cotoro prison in the south. Havana.

“The reception that came from that was terrible,” he paused. “They take us directly to the interior. We don’t know where it was. There were dogs. The idea was to scare us. So, they force us to stand against the walls and stand behind our hands.” He says some people thought badly. “They won many,” he continues.

He was taken to a sentencing room for refusing to testify. But it was obvious because it was “a moment” [los custodios] They get a call to “put him in a public room, he adds.” That abuse did not hurt so much “during his transfer, his back was bent and the handcuffs or” cookie “behind his hands [golpe] They gave it to him. Hearing what was going on outside really affected me.

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“It was a traumatic night, a terrible morning, because the masculinity was high and the screams and the noise of the pipes and batons, the beating of bodies one after the other, was painful.”

He was then isolated, without going outside the courtyard and without the assistance of a lawyer, he never asked because “he knew they would not allow it.” Although he did not know which prison he was transferred to, his father was informed that he had been arrested on the first day.

“One back and forth”

After 14 days, they took him to another prison, and inside Jóvenes de Occidente Havana. His head was shaved and he had to ask his relatives for a bucket to bathe because there was no running water.

They also brought with them one of his favorite books, “Jose Marti, Saint of America” ​​by Luis Rodriguez Ambe. “I like to read and learn new things. As Marty said: Reading can only be free,” he says.

Last Friday afternoon, he was released without notice, and his family was waiting outside the jail for him. “They didn’t tell me it was probation. Neither I nor my lawyer knew what kind of action had been taken,” he said, still resting from his home, but still nervous.

Despite the fear that his situation will change by giving testimony, he believes that what happened in his country may refer to what is “historical”, “necessary” and “back and forth”. (AFP)

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