Rescued by the US the Cuban rafter who fled a prison sentence for 11J

Rescued by the US the Cuban rafter who fled a prison sentence for 11J

The 27-year-old Cuban Yariel Alfonso Puerta, who threw himself into the sea on Friday to avoid trial for his participation in the July 11 demonstrations in Matanzas, is in the custody of the Coast Guard, in Florida waters, along with his friend with whom he left the Island, Alioski Quintero González.

The mother of the rafter, Yamilé Puerta, confirmed this Monday to 14ymedio the news that the journalist advanced Mario J. Penton with source in the US Coast Guard. According to Pentón, the coast guard found two individuals in a raft with the characteristics that he himself provided of the boat.

Alfonso Puerta set sail from the Island with his friend in a homemade raft with a sail and four oars. That same day, they went to look for him to take him to court for having demonstrated on 11J. According to the Cubalex legal organization, the young man faces a six-year prison sentence for the crimes of public disorder, disobedience and resistance.

His desperate mother now hopes that the US authorities will not return him to Cuba. “If my son is returned, his life will be miserable,” says Yamilé Puerta, who has lived in the Valencian town of Villarreal, Spain, for more than six years with her husband, Yoenis Martín, breaking into tears. Gonzalez.

“I am a political prisoner, I am going to the United States of America by rowing, because I do not want to continue in the dictatorship. If something happens to me, it is because they sunk me here”

Yariel lived with her until just under a year ago. The young man, who has a three-year-old boy in Spain, decided to return to Cuba, says his mother, “because here the issue of papers and other things was difficult for us.”

Very shortly after, it exploded on July 11, which he did not hesitate to join in his city, Matanzas. “He calls me and tells me: ‘look, mom, we finally woke up, the people went out into the streets,’ and I said: yes, yes, yes, do it, go ahead! and I supported him,” says Yamilé between sobs. “I don’t know if I made a mistake, but at that time, the emotion of seeing that your people have finally woken up… Do you understand? Now I’m regretting it.”

The woman was in contact with her son until Saturday at nine in the morning, when the young people were already in international waters. Until that moment, she was in contact with him at all times.

He even broadcast a video call with the young man at the precise moment that the Cuban coastguard had intercepted them, the day before. “They have them in the water that don’t let them move,” denounced her mother in some images released by Mario Pentón.

In the same communication, the boy explains that the coastguards grappled with themtrying to get them on the boat to take them back, and in that trance, they lost two oars and the sail of their precarious boat.

“It’s just us,” Yariel said, pointing to his friend Alioski. “The only thing we ask is that they let us continue calmly. If we drown, it’s our problem.”

Minutes later, the Cuban coastguard is heard indicating to the young people which is the safest way to continue the trip. “They heard that I told them that I was going to report them and that I was going to upload it to social networks, it seems that’s why they helped them,” Yamilé explains to this newspaper.

In that video call, Yariel declares: “I am a political prisoner, I am going to the United States of America by rowing, because I do not want to continue in the dictatorship. If something happens to me, it is because they sank me here.”

Now, he is waiting for his maternal uncle to meet with Democratic Congresswoman Federica Wilson and expose the boy’s case so that he is not deported. Various exile activists, both in the United States and in Europe, says Yamilé, are mobilizing to collect signatures in favor of his case.

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