Yoandry Peña Pintada, "Patria y Vida", Cuba

Cuban is sentenced to five years in prison for writing “Patria y Vida”

HAVANA, Cuba.- In the Valle Grande prison, west of the capital, Cuban Yoandry Peña de la Torre denounced that he is being held captive as punishment for writing the phrase “Homeland and Life” on the street during the popular protests of the July 11, 2021.

As he told CubaNet, that day he wrote “Homeland and Life” on the sidewalk of the Minimax in the Embil neighborhood, in front of his house. Yoandry Peña assured that a guard saw him while he was writing. He fled, but about five minutes later a patrol car showed up to arrest him.

Peña de la Torre explained that he was initially imprisoned in a PNR sector. The next day he was transferred to the Boyeros police unit, where he was kept for seven days. Later, they held him captive for another week in the Fifth Police Unit, in the municipality of Playa, and finally they transferred him to the Valle Grande prison.

Yoandry Peña was tried on December 8, 2021. The prosecutor’s request was for five years in prison for the alleged crimes of contempt and disobedience, a sentence that was ratified. The protester assures that the trial was riddled with lies. “The Sector Chief appeared and declared that he knew me because I had committed a violent robbery, something that the lawyer denied based on the fact that he had the file and that did not appear, I had never been in prison,” he said.

Peña de la Torre reported that when he had been imprisoned for about three months, two experts showed up and ordered him to write the word “canelo”, but when he wrote it with a C, the officers ordered him to write it with a K. The protester assumes that they possibly intended to link him with other previously appeared subversive posters.

He also stated that he spent five days on a hunger strike demanding a fair trial and protesting the numerous lies told in court. During that time, two lieutenant colonels from the MININT and a prosecutor who identified himself as Víctor appeared to convince him to abandon his fast. He also stressed that all the commitments they made to him were a farce and that they did not fulfill any of them.

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