Calm is a state that does not exist in the life of Luisa María Milanés Valdés since last July 11. Her son, Alexander Fábregas Milanés, was arrested at her home at seven that night. His crime: transmitting on social networks a fire called to take to the streets of Sancti Spíritus and accompany the protests that took place in other Cuban provinces.
Just nine days after his arrest, on July 20, Fabregas, 32, was sentenced to nine months in prison for the crime of “incitement to commit a crime.” He was also initially being prosecuted for “propagation of epidemics,” a charge that was not ultimately included in the sentence handed down by the city’s Municipal Court.
“He could only have a defense attorney one day before the trial and these are the hours when they have not given us a paper of anything, we do not have a prosecutor’s request or even the sentence,” laments the 58-year-old woman in conversation with 14ymedio. “The lawyer fought hard but could do little and although he did not go out on the street he was sentenced.”
“He could only have a defense attorney one day before the trial and these are the hours in which they have not given us a piece of paper for anything, we do not have a prosecutor’s request or even the sentence”
The trial was summary, according to the group Justice 11J, which collects information on imprisoned protesters across the country.
Fábregas was, at the time of his arrest, “an opponent on his own”, his mother clarifies, because, although some time before he had been a member of the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum (Fantu), shortly after he decided to continue his dissidence independently. The broadcasts through Facebook became the main tool for denouncing him.
He had previously been arrested in December 2020, for posting a photo on social networks where he was seen with a sign that said “No More Misery.” On that occasion, the police searched his house at dawn and kept him under arrest for three days. “He has been doing a lot of activism for over two years,” says his mother.
Fábregas “worked in a private business selling accessories for birthday parties but when the pandemic hit they had to close,” he explains. Now, he is serving his sentence in the Batalla de Ideas prison, although he was initially detained in the Sancti Spiritus Penal Instruction Center, known as El Vivac, and later spent a day in the Nieves Morejón prison.
State Security “shows up at the prison to harass him, just as they harass my mother who is threatened with expulsion from her job”
“On April 6, he should be released from prison, but we don’t know if that date will be fulfilled,” the woman details, “because he had also previously had parole since November 30, he had it approved, and They soon said that they had to wait for a confirmation that came from Havana and they did not give it to them”.
Fábregas’ brother, Néstor Estévez, who runs the Facebook group from Miami citizens of Sancti Spíritus, denounces that the prisoner is “under constant psychological pressure” and that State Security “shows up at the prison to harass him, just as they harass my mother who is threatened with expulsion from her job.”
Luisa María Milanés Valdés works in a hospital for children with mental disabilities. “They have threatened me, but that is my son and I have to defend him. State Security told me that I could not continue writing on social networks and they also summoned me on November 15 so that I would not join the Civic March that day. “.
“He is destroyed, that has me very worried,” laments the mother. “He has lost a lot of weight and also feels very stressed. He says that he has to tell us so many things that have happened to him in prison that he will need to speak for several days in a row to tell us everything that has been done to him in prison.”
This Thursday, Fabregas had an altercation with a prison guard when he denied the nearest prisoner his breakfast bread. “The prison conditions are terrible and the food is very bad, he complains a lot that the food is not in good condition.”
“I dress in white, I go out to the streets to protest, I go to churches to ask for freedom for my son and for all the other Cubans who are on trial for 11J”
“Here I have very little support, because people in this city are very afraid,” he clarifies. However, the woman has not stood idly by: “I dress in white, I go out to the streets to protest, I go to churches to ask for freedom for my son and for all the other Cubans who are on trial for 11J.”
The prisoner’s brother adds that the arrest occurred after “an act of repudiation that they organized with the participation of some neighbors.” For 72 hours there was no news of his whereabouts and, finally, Fábregas was the first convicted for the cause of 11J in that territory in the center of the Island.
The prisoner’s mother also mentions the case of Leodan Perez Colonwho was sentenced to five years in prison and Luis Mario Niedas, with a three-year sentence, for demonstrating also in Sancti Spíritus. “Here in this province there has not been a movement of relatives who come together to claim the freedom of those detained for this reason,” he complains.
It is not the case of the family of Alexander Fábregas. “With him that they do not count to repent of what he did. He remains firm in his ideas,” emphasizes his mother. “I am convinced that they do not remove him from that position with threats or fear.” Milanés does not walk with half measures: “When you have a child like that you have to support him and I fully support him.”
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