PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Salome Garcia, a Cuban artist based in Spain, has been following the way the Cuban judicial system punished the many young people who dared to protest against the communist regime.
Garcia is a coordinator for Justicia 11J, a non-governmental organization that has been tracking the new wave of cases of political prisoners that Cuban prosecutors view as criminals.
“Over 90 people who were detained, from over 1,500, were not part of any opposition group,” Garcia said adding they were not activists or independent journalists.
The organization published a report describing the “repressive patterns” the Cuban government implemented across the country after the historic show of dissent on July 11, 2021.
Federal officials report there has been an ongoing surge of Cuban migrants who are risking their lives in makeshift votes to cross the Florida Straits.
“People are fleeing because they want to be free. They want to be able to express freely,” Garcia said adding, “A great part of people who have been released, over 40 people ... they have left the country.”
Access to social media played a role in the rare show of frustration after Cuban artists started to protest government censorship.
In response, judges issued sentences as high as 25 years in prison. Prosecutors used laws related to disturbing the peace, vandalism, and sedition.
This Week In South Florida’s July 10 episode
Local 10 News’ Sarah Ramdin contributed to this report.