Chilean politician Andrea Ojeda, one of the vice-presidents of the conservative National Renovation party, serves as godmother to Cuban political prisoner Arianna López Roque, in a gesture of support for the community of women prisoners after the protests on July 11, 2021 ( 11J) on the Island.
The announcement was made this Wednesday in Miami, by the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, affiliated with the Union of Latin American Parties (Upla), and which supports an initiative for 137 women with a public impact in Latin America to make the cause visible and the faces of the inmates in Cuban prisons.
Before being arrested for participating in the 9/11 protests, Arianna López was the president of the Julio Machado Academy, in Placetas, Villa Clara. Incarcerated in the high security prison of that province, in Guamajal, López has denounced repeated threats and torture by prison officials.
On May 16, during the presentation of the sponsorship project, the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance denounced that López –who deserved last October the Pedro Luis Boitel Freedom Award 2021 together with her husband, Mitsael Díaz Paseiro– suffered “a beating inflicted by the jailers.”
The initiative to sponsor Cuban political prisoners was presented in Miami by the president of Upla, Julián Obligio, and by the Argentine lawyer Jimena de la Torre, counselor of the Magistracy of the Argentine Nation.
It was precisely De la Torre who inaugurated the project, assuming the sponsorship of the inmate Donaida Pérez Paseiro, sentenced to eight years of imprisonment also in Villa Clara after 11J
It was precisely De la Torre who inaugurated the project, assuming the sponsorship of the inmate Donaida Pérez Paseiro, sentenced to eight years in prison also in Villa Clara after 11J, and president of the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba.
At the headquarters of the Cuban Historical Prison, in Miami, the lawyer foresaw that the initiative would have a “huge impact on the regime.”
The Women’s Network, an association promoted by Upla, has provided, as Obligio explained, an “impressive response” to reach the figure of 137 Cuban prisoners represented, including the most media cases, such as those of Aimara Nieto, Lizandra Góngora Espinosa, and María Cristina and Angélica Garrido Rodríguez.
Salvadoran Martha Evelyn Batres, director of the Network, works as Góngora’s godmother, who was accused of “sabotage” and “public disorder.” “I uphold their fight for freedom,” Batres said on Twitter this Wednesday.
Each one of them – the first to be covered by the project – was assigned the protection of “women with a voice, as media and with access to public communication,” said Obligio. They are going to be senators, deputies, mayors, governors and others in elective or other positions, who “have a lot of access to the media, who have a lot of visibility.”
“Let it be seen that they are still imprisoned, that their human rights are violated, that they are mistreated, things that one believes do not happen anymore, but continue to happen on the Island,” he denounced, adding that Upla continued working for “the defense of the democracy and freedom in Cuba”.
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