Trial of ‘Young Man Asking for Freedom” Concludes in Havana

It took place under a large police presence

Robles was arrested on December 4, 2020 for protesting on Boulevard San Rafael, in Havana. He was demanding Freedom for Cubans, No more repression, and the release from prison of rapper Denis Solis. (Screen capture)

Por 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – The trial of Luis Robles Elizastigui, the “young man with the placard,” lasted almost two hours this Thursday, taking place in the Municipal Court of Marianao, in Havana, under a strong security operation.

“The place is full of police, and not only will Luis’ trial be held, there will also be others,” the activist’s brother, Landy Fernández Elizastigui, told 14ymedio just before ten in the morning, minutes after Robles’ mother, Yindra Elizastigui Jardines, was called to enter the court.

In principle, a relative would be able to attend, no matter who it was, but Fernández was not allowed to enter.

At the conclusion of the hearing, still without a sentence, Robles’ mother came out “very affected” and did not want to give a statement, but according to Fernández, she felt satisfied “with the work of the defense attorney.”

The young man has served a year in jail as of December 4, accused of “resistance” and “enemy propaganda” for walking along the Boulevard de San Rafael in Centro Habana with a placard calling for an end to the repression and the freedom of rapper Denis Solís, a member of the San Isidro Movement who has gone into exile since the initial event.

Luis’s brother narrates that the prosecution, which is requesting a joint sanction of six years of deprivation of liberty, anticipated that he was not going to present witnesses and that to convict him they would only rely on the audiovisual materials available from Luis’s protest. That is, the video broadcast on social networks on December 4 of last year, which includes the moment of his solo demonstration.

In those same images, it can also be seen that Robles did not offer resistance to his arrest at any time and that many of those present denounced the police abuse and supported the young man.

The trial, initially scheduled for July 16 last in the Municipal People’s Court of Diez de Octubre and suspended after the 11 July (11J) demonstrations, had a change in venue announced 24 hours in advance: it would no longer be in the Provincial Court of Havana, next to the Capitol, but in Marianao.

Cuban priest Kenny Fernández Delgado, who on November 15 managed to demonstrate, walking with a flower in his hand through Madruga, the city where he officiates in Mayabeque, accompanied the Robles family outside the court. In his social networks he sent “greetings and blessings for all,” especially “for Luis Robles and his family.”

During the time he has been incarcerated, in the maximum security prison of the Combinado del Este in the capital, Robles has denounced torture and ill-treatment. Four times they have denied him the modification of the pre-trial incarceration measure, which has prevented him from being free while  waiting for a final conviction.

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that both Robles’ arrest and imprisonment qualify as arbitrary detention.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.



12 thoughts on “Trial of ‘Young Man Asking for Freedom” Concludes in Havana

  • Oswaldo Paya was a decent guy. He stood for what he believed in.
    He tried to bring about change in Cuba via peaceful means. He was no mercenary. He didn’t need any 30 pieces of silver from the USA.
    In fact he was totally against U.S. policies toward Cuba which are supported by Olga but voted against on an annual basis by the rest of the world’s representatives.
    Four guys in a car going way too fast on a typically poor Cuban road whilst most certainly being followed by state personnel.
    The vehicle left a section of the road which was being repaired and hit a tree. The two right wing European Christian fundamentalists were wearing safety belts as is customary in Europe. You get fined if you don’t wear them in Europe. The two Cubans were not wearing safety belts. Less customary in Cuba – certainly less customary then. You were less likely to get fined for not wearing them in Cuba at that time. It’s changed now.
    Oswaldo and Harold coulda still been alive today if they were wearing safety belts.
    Looking at the available facts, this seems like the likeliest cause of death.
    This was the testimony of witnesses and survivors at the time (unsurprisingly, the driver who served jail time in both Cuba and then by agreement in Spain, has since changed his version).
    Olga likes to suggest otherwise due to her highly orthodox one sided political opinions, but contrary to what she says, in Cuba it’s pretty much accepted that this is what happened.
    It’s a great shame. Oswaldo was a decent guy.

  • Olga, where is your proof that the Cuban government killed Osvaldo Paya? That’s what you and others would like to believe. Why would they go after Osvaldo, who was much less vocal than other dissidents? If the Cuban government really killed Paya, then everyone would have died in that accident. There wouldn’t have been 2 survivors. His daughter has made a big name for herself, capitalizing on her father’s death. Curt

  • Nick says: “You want me to tell you why the Cuban Government is at fault?” Yes, what are they at fault for?
    You further said: “Havana Times is full of articles which illustrate the faults of the Cuban Government.” Yes many Cubans express that but the question was to YOU not those Cubans who you often criticize for their views.
    Then you state: “My viewpoint is that two wrongs don’t make a right.” Well, what are the wrongs of the Cuban government from YOUR perspective? I can read what many Cubans and others who write on Havana Times think.
    You also add: “My viewpoint is that no matter how many faults the Cuban Government has, the country still has a right to it’s sovereignty.” Here the question I have for you is: Does Cuban sovereignty mean never-ending support for the 62-year Communist Party controlled government? Trump (as president), Bolsonaro, Putin and others like them would agree with you… if you support sovereignty and are patriotic, you must support them because they are in power, otherwise you favor a foreign power.
    Nick, don’t get flustered into not caring, try to formulate a coherent answer to these questions so we readers can truly understand your views.

  • Anti Imperialist,
    You want me to tell you why the Cuban Government is at fault?
    Now you are making me laugh. Where would you like me to start?
    Havana Times is full of articles which illustrate the faults of the Cuban Government.
    My viewpoint is that two wrongs don’t make a right. My viewpoint is that no matter how many faults the Cuban Government has, the country still has a right to it’s sovereignty. Most definitely.
    And I will never in a million years agree with those who support the failed and disgraceful policy of the USA which tries to make life even more difficult for Cubans than it already is for cheap political gain.
    If, in your own mind, you think that I’m supportive of this, that or the other government be it the Cuban one or any other, I honestly and unequivocally could not give a single monkey’s f**k.

  • Nick as you pretend to be sitting on the fence and totally objective you say: “There are two orthodoxies involved here, both of which are at fault. You support one of them Olga.” I would say you support the other, but let’s hear what are the things that the Cuban Party/government orthodoxy does that makes them at fault? According to them they are near perfect and all the fault lies with the USA. Let’s hear from Nick how they are at fault to better understand why not all Cubans support them.

  • Sorry Olga. You haven’t got me. You probably never will.
    Because you do not seem to understand objectivity.
    As Curt points out, you seem to prefer intolerance.
    All you will ever do is support one of the orthodoxies which stop anything going forward. You are on the side of an orthodoxy which has the objective of trying to make a bad situation even worse for people in Cuba.
    And you do this from the relative comfort of your home in the USA.
    There are two orthodoxies involved here, both of which are at fault. You support one of them Olga. Therefore you will always be part of the problem and never part of the solution.
    I support neither orthodoxy.
    I doubt if you will ever understand this point of view.
    And because you don’t understand it, you will, just like Brad, use your keyboard to dish out meaningless slogans and lame abuse.

  • Curt I’m not practicing intolerance but you support to an unelected regime that practice repression incarceration even death to its opposition and that is inadmissible I would like to know why you think Cubans do not deserve the same rights you enjoy in your hated capitalist society you guys are like vegans that wears Fur and look the other way of animal abuse. Osvaldo Paya everyone in Cuña knows what happened to him and Harold.

  • Nick, I got you. Embargo as many times you can mention it, the economic disaster is not the dictatorship’s fault, screw all the political prisoners, screw this young man. Very you. The dictatorship is perfect and anyone who dare to demand freedom is a CIA agent’s or paid. Just like I said before, there are people that love to keep the Cuban dictatorship in power for personal benefits, and psychological comfort.

  • Nick, Olga is just one of many Cubans who came to the US claiming to be seeking freedom, but practice intolerance to those who disagree with them.

  • Nick and Dan support tyranny, repression and unelected governments it’s a shame such thoughts exist in today’s world.
    Some things never change i guess.

  • It’s incredible that Olga justifies the pernicious U.S. policies which are specifically designed to make things worse for Cuban people.
    From her comfortable life in the Land of The Free she praises policies which are designed to make life as difficult as possible for people who are less well off than she is.
    Not only does she praise U.S. policies which are aimed at making people suffer for cheap political purposes, but then she then uses her keyboard to attack those who point out the hypocrisy.
    It’s a shame.

  • It’s incredible that Nick, Dan, Curt, and others dated leftist support and justify a cruel dictatorship that nobody elected. This young man has been already a year in jail a year stolen from his youth.

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