27N calls for wearing a black ribbon on the arm for the 150 Cuban political prisoners

The authorities of Villa Marista denied the group of activists information about the artist Hamlet Lavastida, who could join the list of Cuban political prisoners after his arrest on Saturday.

Miembros del 27N portando la cinta negra © 27N
Members of the 27N wearing the black ribbon Photo © 27N

This article is from 2 years ago

Civic platform activists27N They called on Cuban citizens to place a black band on their arm as a symbolic gesture of mourning for the more than 150 political prisoners currently imprisoned for common crimes in Cuba.

The call arose from an initiative of the curators and activists Carolina Barrero, Solveig Font and Yamilka Lafita, among others, whenThey went to the Villa Marista prison to find out about the condition of the artist Hamlet Lavastida, imprisoned and held incommunicado for almost 48 hours.

What happened in Villa Marista?

Once in the penitentiary center, notorious for being the Cuban equivalent of the Moscow Lubyanka, the five activists who arrived at its doors requesting information about Lavastida were received by a military operation, four patrols and a number of officers from the National Revolutionary Police ( PNR) and the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) which outnumbered the curators.

“I think we were very united. They wanted to take Carolina and we said that if they took her they should take us all,” said Yamilka Lafita, curator and activist. “We were 5 people: 4 women and a man. 4 or 5 patrols were waiting for us, a complete operation.”

However, the activists managed to maintain a dialogue with the authorities. Lafita mentioned that PNR officers intended to arrest them all, but that after the dialogue, the MININT officers did not allow it.

“When you tone it down, they have to listen to you,” he added.

For her part, art historian Carolina Barrero pointed out that the officers asked them for each person's identity documents, as well as their telephone numbers. The activists present refused to hand over their cell phones, but they did offer their identification documents.

What is known about Hamlet Lavastida?

According to authorities, information about Hamlet will only be available to his immediate family, in this case his mother.

“Hamlet's mother will go tomorrow to find out about her son's condition,” said Carolina Barrero. “The criminal instructor, Arelys, will attend to her tomorrow.”

However, Barrero herself warned Cuban civil society of the need to be “closely aware that, indeed, tomorrow, Monday, the artist's mother receives appropriate information.”

“They cannot have a person detained for no reason. Tell us under what charges he is there. We demand to know the last name of the criminal instructor Arelys. Let us remember that criminal instructors are public officials and it is their duty to introduce themselves with their first and last name,” added the young art historian.

Barrero insisted on demanding from the authorities “the number of the complaint against Lavastida, the charges he has, the date of the complaint, the facts explained.” Likewise, the young woman demands “guarantees regarding this process” from State officials.

“How long will it take for Lavastida's legal situation to be resolved? We know that provisional prisons sometimes have times that they extend at convenience, because even the criminal procedure law says that there are 10 days for the preparation process, and after 30 days that can be processed up to 60, then there is a legal limbo in which they "They can delay it for a long time," he said.

As an example, Barrero cited the case of Luis Robles, “who has been in provisional prison for more than 120 days and has not been put on trial, they have no conviction.” In a similar situation are thepeaceful protesters on Obispo Street, detained for 60 days without trial or trial.

The black band on the arm as a gesture of protest

According to Barrero, the group wants to sensitize citizens to the systematic abuses of a repressive system that operates not only through the PNR and the MININT, but also through a flawed judicial system.

“What we want to achieve is a culture of law, citizen respect. We want to be informed, that the law of criminal procedure is clear,” said the young woman.

“If it is necessary to come again, we will come. “We will wear this black ribbon as a sign of protest for the release of all political prisoners and for a fair and transparent criminal procedure law where the rights of citizens are respected,” he said.

Likewise, the curator insisted on the possibility that her group could reach Villa Marista, in order to call more people to stand up for the defense of freedoms and human rights.

“The message I want to leave is that we can arrive, we can demand our rights at the door of Villa Marista. We have done it today for Hamlet Lavastida and for all the political prisoners,” he stressed.

At this time, the activist and visual artist Tania Bruguera, the journalist Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho, the illustrator Camila Lobón and the writer Katherine Bisquet are missing after having beenarrested this Sunday morning when they violated the illegal police cordon imposed by the authorities.

What do you think?


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Lianet Fleites

Cuban journalist. He collaborates with the magazine El Estornudo and Periodismo de Barrio.

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