WASHINGTON, USA – The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) expresses its serious concern about the condition of underage political prisoners of the Cuban regime. The OAS General Secretariat continues to monitor the political and social situation in Cuba.
The OAS General Secretariat strongly condemns the persecution of youth and their leaders and expresses its deep concern over the cases of underage political prisoners. As of the date of this release, the arrest of at least 56 minors for participating in the demonstrations on July 11, 2021, has been documented by the Cuban organizations Justicia 11J and Cubalex.
To date, 26 minors have been sentenced to prison or house arrest and face sentences of up to 19 years. Thirteen of them have been convicted of sedition. At least 14 minors are in prison and six are still awaiting trial. Among the 14, it is worth highlighting the cases of some who have been convicted of sedition, including Kendry Miranda Cárdenas, sentenced to 19 years; Rowland Jesús Castillo Castro, sentenced to 18 years; Lázaro Noel Urgelles Fajardo, sentenced to 14 years; Brandon David Becerra Curbelo, sentenced to 13 years; Emiyoslan Román Rodríguez, sentenced to 7 years; and Jonathan Torres Farrat, who is still awaiting trial for an 8-year sentence. Meanwhile, the Cuban regime has threatened the mothers of underage political prisoners so that they do not report, even with possible charges of sedition.
In this context, the OAS General Secretariat underlines that the health situation of Cuban political prisoners continues to be quite precarious, without access to crucial medicines and specialized assistance, and highlights the cases of Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who has suffered paralysis in a part of his body; of Maykel Castillo Pérez, who still does not have a trial date; and Aymara Nieto, a member of the Damas de Blanco, who has been imprisoned since 2018. Political prisoners, including minors, have been denied medical assistance.
Several of them have contracted scabies, dengue, hepatitis and Covid-19. Two minors with chronic illnesses have been denied necessary treatment. The denial of medical assistance to political prisoners seriously violates the most basic human rights. The OAS General Secretariat demands that the Cuban government urgently provide medication and treatment to political prisoners.
The General Secretariat of the OAS denounces the generalized repression of the Cuban regime and the continuation of human rights violations. Specifically, with respect to the denial of documentation to Cuban men and women who have been forced to leave their country, this violates their freedom of movement. The deprivation of legal documentation to those who are considered to be in opposition to the regime indicates a violation of the right to recognition of their legal personality.
For this reason, the OAS General Secretariat demands once again the immediate release of all political prisoners who are arbitrarily incarcerated, while stressing that it is essential to remain vigilant to the evolution of their health and physical integrity conditions.