Saily González

HAVANA, Cuba.- Cuban activist Saily González Velázquez has been unaccounted for since this afternoon, her mother, Esperanza Velázquez, reported to CubaNet by telephone.

Former member of the Archipelago group, Saily González was on her way to the Provincial Court of Villa Clara -known as La Audiencia- to deliver the Habeas Corpus resources for the family of Andy García Lorenzo, one of the protesters on July 11 (11J) 2021 who is being tried in that same court since Monday.

Roxana García Lorenzo, Andy’s sister, her partner, Jonatan López Alonso, and her in-laws, Pedro López and Yania Alonso, were arrested in the morning when they were on their way to court to attend the trial against García Lorenzo. “They don’t want to let us get to the trial,” they said through a live broadcast on Facebook showing how a man dressed in civilian clothes and on a motorcycle stopped the transport in which they were traveling and, at the end, a police patrol is seen heading towards them.

Shortly before the arrest, through another live broadcast, the family denounced harassment by the Cuban repressive organs, who were trying to confiscate a barbershop, their private business.

“We are not going to shut up. They’re going to have to put us all in jail. We are going to continue fighting every day, not only because Andy is free, but also because this homeland of ours is free, and because worthy Cubans like us can have a space, because Cuba belongs to everyone,” said Pedro López.

Shortly before heading to hand over the habeas corpus resources, Saily González Velázquez warned: “Any attempt to restrict” the right to travel freely, “(as they have done with Andy’s family) is a violation of my constitutional and human rights. I ask everyone to stay tuned.”

Saily González

Since the trial of García Lorenzo and 15 other 11J protesters began this Monday, the young man’s family denounced that the Court was surrounded by officers of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR), State Security and the Special Brigade (Black Berets); there was even a security camera set up to monitor family members waiting outside the building. Despite the fact that the law establishes that the trials are public, only one family member has been allowed to enter for each defendant.

This Wednesday, Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas was also arrested in Santa Clara. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought of the European Parliament (2010) and leader of the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum (FANTU) was since Monday accompanying and supporting relatives outside La Audiencia.

For two days, the rapper and activist from Santa Clara, Omar Mena, has denounced a daily monitoring of cars with private plates, evidently belonging to State Security. According to Mena, it is about harassment and persecution “against people who are close” to Andy García Lorenzo’s family.

The trial of the 16 protesters in Santa Clara must end this Friday, and it is time to wait for the sentence to be handed down. This week trials against 11J protesters are also taking place in Holguín, Havana and Mayabeque.

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