Protesters in Cuba Face Sentences After Summer Demonstrations

A new round of trials are underway in Cuba for some of the people arrested after the unprecedented summer protests. 

The Miami-based Assembly of Cuban Resistance estimates more than 1,000 people have been imprisoned by the communist regime since the summer. 

“These are humble, hardworking people who went onto the streets peacefully to demand change and they are being charged with conspiring to overthrow the government,” said Dr. Orlando Gutierrez with the Assembly of Cuban Resistance. 

The U.S. Embassy in Cuba is now putting pressure on the Cuban government to release the protesters. According to the embassy, at least five minors from Holguin are facing 18 years in prison for protesting on July 11, 2021.

“According to our account, the regime has carried out about 100 trials in different cities. They are swift and defense attorneys have very little chance to defend their client properly and the goal is to incarcerate and intimidate,” Gutierrez said. 

Some of the largest demonstrations took place in the eastern city of Holguin. Several dozen people from this area were arrested, including Yosvani Garcia. His wife is asking for help from the international community and says her husband plans to begin a hunger strike in jail. 

“Holguin is a hotbed of resistance against any dictatorship Cuba has suffered and the communist regime is no exception. They are a proud people and they are very proud of their democratic traditions and they want change,” Gutierrez said.