Skip to main content

Human Rights

Minors continue to be imprisoned by Cuban regime

Although adulthood legally begins at 18 in Cuba, the regime has made the age of criminal responsibility 16 years. This has meant that individuals who would be considered minors according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child have been tried as adults by the regime

En Cuba hay menores detenidos y enfermos a 5 meses de las protestas
En Cuba hay menores detenidos y enfermos a 5 meses de las protestas | ADN Cuba

December 23, 2021 10:16am

Updated: December 23, 2021 2:52pm

Fourteen minors who were detained for demonstrating against the Cuban regime last July remain in custody. Several are reportedly sick and have not yet received medical attention, while others were taken to the hospital in handcuffs.

Although adulthood legally begins at 18 in Cuba, the regime has made the age of criminal responsibility 16 years. This has meant that individuals who would be considered minors according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child have been tried as adults by the regime.

One of the minors tried by the regime is Jonathan Torres Farrat, 17, of Havana. In recent days, he was taken to the hospital due to heart problems and other related conditions.

“He called me and told me that they took him to the pediatric hospital in Habana to see the cardiologist, but it stresses me out that they took him in handcuffs,” Farrat’s mother, Bárbara Farrat Guillén, said on Facebook. According to Farrat Guillén, the officials at Manto Negro prison “don’t care that he is a minor.”

Her son, who was arrested on Aug. 13, is currently unaware of the charges filed against him. Authorities have also refused to inform him when he will stand trial.

Brandon David Becerra Curbelo is another minor that was arrested during the protests. According to his family, he has been bedridden for more than a week, yet prison authorities “have not agreed to take him to the hospital.”

Because of the symptoms he is currently suffering, Camila Rodriguez from the Havana based human rights group Justicia 11J suspects he could have hepatitis or leptospirosis.

"State Security has threatened to take Becerra Curbelo to ‘120” -- an isolation cell where food, bathroom facilities and visitation rights are severely limited – if he tells his mother about his illness,” Rodriguez explained.

The Attorney General’s Office asked that Becerra Curbelo remain in prison for the alleged crime of “sedition.” Currently, another 140 individuals are accused of the same crime by State Security.

Rowland Jesús Castillo Castro, who turned 18 while in prison, “has a varicocele,” Salomé Garcia Bacallao told ADN America.

“He has swelling that has not yet been examined. He also contracted scabies and after being transferred to the Western Youth Prison in Guatao - located on the outskirts of Havana - he became infected with dengue,” said the human rights activist.

Prosecutor Liliam Fernández Berro signed a request asking that Castillo Castro be sentenced to 23 years in prison for “sedition,” the highest sentence among the detained minors to date.

Castillo Castro would be released from prison at the age of 51 and his son would be 24, said activist Anamely Ramos, a member of the San Isidro Movement. "I emphasize these numbers because they help show the horror that the regime wants to continue imposing on us.”

Kevin Damian Frómeta was also arrested for demonstrating and recently turned 20 in prison. The adolescent “suffers from duodenitis, duodenal reflux and pangastritis. He has been vomiting and with a fever,” warned Garcia Bacallao.

Caridad Castro Ruiz, Frómeta’s mother reported that she has not been able to speak with her son for 7 days. She allegedly took the youth’s medicine to the prison but was not allowed to see him. Frómeta was allegedly taken to the hospital in handcuffs.

Castro Ruiz has said that authorities prohibit communication between her and her son as “punishment” for the daily complaints she makes on social media about “his unjust detention.”