Cuban Opposition Leader Released from Prison, Denounces Psychological Torture
Latin American Herald Tribune
August 15, 2018
MIAMI – Cuban opposition leader Jose Daniel Ferrer denounced the “psychological torture” he was subjected to during his time in prison upon his release Wednesday morning, although “attempted murder” charges still hang over his head.
The Cuban Patriotic Union (UnPaCu) leader – who was released at around 10:30 am from the Versalles Operations Unit in Santiago de Cuba – spoke to reporters over the phone at a press conference organized by the Cuban-American National Foundation in Miami.
The 48-year-old Ferrer said that he feared getting arrested again, as he is still being accused of trying to kill a member of Cuba’s Political Police, adding to a string of charges related to his social “struggle of recent years.”
“They would have continued to torture me,” Ferrer said. “They mistreat and humiliate us in a myriad ways, like common criminals without drinking water and submitting us to constant questioning. It was psychological torture.”
Ferrer was arrested on Aug. 3 following an incident in which he allegedly rammed his car against Dainier Suarez, an agent of the country’s Political Police in the eastern town of Palmarito de Cauto, which resulted in a “severe injury” to his arm.
The opposition leader – who was traveling with Ebert Hidalgo, his driver and collaborator, released 72 hours earlier – told police that the cop “jumped in front of the car just when he stepped on the gas,” barely giving him time to maneuver.
During the press conference, Luis Enrique Ferrer – the defendant’s brother – called the arrest a “clumsy show staged to take a man who cares about Cuba off the street.”
“They first said it was an attack against authority, then they said it was attempted murder,” Ferrer told EFE, adding that it was all an excuse to put him in a “dark, mosquito-ridden cave” under an intense heat to coerce him into confessing to crimes he did not commit.
The UnPaCu leader spoke to representatives of an assortment of opposition organizations, such as Cuba Decide’s Rosa Maria Paya, who called out a “repressive wave against Cuban opposition members.”
“Indeed, there are more than 100 political prisoners in Cuba, who are being kept in (facilities similar to) concentration camps,” Ferrer said, adding that they are getting the worst part.