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The wife of José Daniel Ferrer demands proof of the life of the opponent from the Cuban dictatorship: “I will not rest until I have news”

“They don’t let me see him, they didn’t even put him on the phone,” denounces Nelva Ismaray Ortega Tamayo, the wife of Cuban opponent José Daniel Ferrer, imprisoned by the Cuban dictatorship. “We continue in the same, we only know what the repressors tell us,” she says desperately after more than 20 days without news of her husband.

Ortega Tamayo fears for the physical and psychological integrity of the dissident whom she has not heard from since June 4 and does not rule out that he is on a hunger strike.

“We don’t know anything about my husband. We don’t know if he is beaten, if he is on a hunger strike. What is happening only the Castro regime, Raúl Castro, Díaz-Canel, and all their prison hitmen are the ones who know, ”she said.

The Cuban opponent, who recorded her testimony in the midst of one of the usual blackouts that affects the island’s population, also denounced that Ferrer could not even congratulate her son on her birthday, who turned three years old Recently.

“I am holding the Castro regime and Díaz-Canel responsible from here for the physical and mental integrity of my husband José Daniel Ferrer García,” Ortega Tamayo added before ending the video.

Ferrer, leader of the opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), is in a small cell, isolated and without natural light. Just before he was held incommunicado, he had announced that he would fast during the days of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, in protest against the position of presidents such as the Mexican and Argentine regarding the exclusion of official representatives of Havana in the event.

The dissident has been in prison since July 11 of last year. He was preventively detained before he managed to join the historic demonstrations on the island. At first they kept him in house arrest but later Castro’s Justice confined him in the Mar Verde prison, in Santiago de Cuba.

“They want to end his life,” Amelia García Vega, mother of the opponent, denounced in a conversation with ABC, from Florida. “He is killing him with hunger, with torture… They are doing him a lot of harm because he is harming them.”

The dissident leads a life of struggle against the Castro dictatorship: he was imprisoned as part of the Group of 75, during the Black Spring of 2003 and spent 8 years in the dungeons of the regime.

After the international efforts that allowed the release of these prisoners of conscience, he decided to remain on the island but was arrested on October 1, 2019 and in February 2020 sentenced to prison after a trial behind closed doors for an alleged crime of injury to another man. , a charge that his relatives and collaborators deny.

After six months locked up, and amid strong international pressure, in April 2020 his sentence was commuted to a sentence of four and a half years of house arrest, but last July the dictatorship feared that he would take a leading role in the spontaneous day of July 11 and put him back in jail: from then on the last chapter of the nightmare of Ferrer and his family began.

For years, the regime has tried to get Ferrer to leave the island, as it has done with many other dissidents, but those who resist end up behind Castro’s bars, like the artists Luis Manuel Otero and Maykel Castillo ‘el Osorbo’, recently sentenced to 5 and 9 jail years.

“I will continue to show up at the prison day after day until they give us news,” promised Nelva Ismaray Ortega Tamayo.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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