El Gato de Cuba, Yoandi Montiel Hernández, Cuba

Two years in prison for “El Gato de Cuba”, the influencer who made fun of Díaz-Canel

MIAMI, United States. — The Cuban influencer Yoandi Montiel Hernández, better known as “El Gato de Cuba”, was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime of contempt in a trial held on April 7.

Oppositionist Osmay Pérez reported that the oral hearing, originally planned for April 5 and later rescheduled for April 8, ended up taking place last Thursday without anyone being notified.

“The trial of the ‘Gato’, which was scheduled for the 5th, was postponed for Friday, for tomorrow. But, as is logical, that dictatorship, without notifying anyone or doing anything, put the ‘Gato’ on trial today,” said the activist in a video posted on the influencer’s YouTube channel.

Although Montiel Hernández faced a prosecutor’s request for five years of deprivation of liberty, the sanction was finally reduced to two.

“The Prosecutor’s Office asked Yoandi Montiel, the ‘Gato de Cuba’, for five years of deprivation of liberty, and the lawyers and the Prosecutor’s Office reached an agreement and gave him two years of deprivation of liberty,” explained Osmay Pérez.

“El Gato de Cuba” was arrested in April 2021 and taken to Villa Marista, the State Security headquarters on the island. He was later transferred to the Valle Grande prison, where he is still being held.

Originally, the judicial authorities asked for one to three years in prison. However, in December 2021, Montiel Hernández’s mother revealed that the prosecutor’s request had increased due to verbal offenses against Miguel Díaz-Canel and other leaders of the Cuban regime.

Osmay Pérez indicated that “El Gato” could be released in a period of three to five months because he has already been in prison for almost a year, although he made it clear that there are no guarantees that this will happen.

“Bearing in mind that ‘El Gato’ has already been in prison for more than eleven months, and taking into account the tome of law that Cuba has, which is not law, but is what governs that dictatorship, ‘El Gato’ has possibilities to be released in approximately three to five months. But, you know, there is no guarantee, with that dictatorship nothing is known”, said the opponent.

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