The Cuban Libertarian Party - José Martí and Mises Institute Cuba published the following statement this afternoon about the incarcerated Libertarians, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velazquez Visea:
"We just received a phone call from the families of Ubaldo and Manuel, the libertarian political prisoners, that the prosecutor is asking Ubaldo be sentenced to 7 years and Manuel, 1 year and a half. Their crime: distributing freedom, also illegal in Cuba."
Ubaldo Herrera and Manuel Velazquez were arrested in a joint raid by State Security (the secret police) and the National Revolutionary Police on February 2, 2017. They were arrested at night and on the falsified charge of attempted assault and are currently incarcerated in the labor prison at Melena del Sur.
“Hernandez and Velazquez are political prisoners whose actions have harmed no one and damaged no property,” said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, in March. “We stand in solidarity with our fellow freedom fighters in Cuba.”
The Libertarian National Committee passed a resolution asserting that the activists’ arrest and detention “illustrate the threats to freedom we all face around the world” and further stated that “The Libertarian Party calls on the Cuban government to immediately release details of the above-mentioned arrests and detentions, including the specific charges being levied against the individuals in question. In the absence of such information, we call for the release of these prisoners."
Similar denunciations of the arrests and incarceration were published by the Libertarian Party of Spain, the Libertarian Party of Russia, and multiple Libertarian state parties in the weeks before the LNC made their justified denunciation.
The Cuban Libertarian Party launched in Havana on July 7, and the Havana activist crew didn't waste any time. During their first week, they canvassed Havana in the dead of night with posters demanding the release of Ubaldo and Manuel. Last week, party spokesman Nelson Rodriguez Chartrand was robbed of cash and Murray Rothbard books, beaten unconscious, kidnapped, and left stranded outside of town. This incident was covered by Reason and InfoWars.
Three days ago, Nelson and another party member began a hunger strike in protest of the prisoners' continued incarceration. They're being monitored by party members trained paramedics. Two days ago, a Libertarian Party county affiliate chairman visited with the team in Havana and commented that the experience was unforgettable.
The Cuban Libertarian Party expects to have further updates tomorrow evening.