They wanted a voice. Cuba’s Communist regime will give them jail

EMILIO ROMÁN, a resident of La Güinera, a poor neighbourhood in Havana, is the father of three children (pictured), all of whom are currently behind bars. His two sons and daughter, aged 18, 23 and 25, were detained on July 14th last year, after taking part in protests which brought thousands of Cubans out onto the streets. There they demonstrated peacefully against rampant inflation, power outages, and shortages of food and medicine. They also denounced the Communist regime.

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That regime has responded with trumped-up charges which will no doubt lead to harsh punishments. As The Economist went to press, the state was holding a series of closed trials. Some 60 protesters are charged with such crimes as public disorder, resisting arrest, robbery, sabotage and sedition. Mr Román’s youngest son has been told that he may face up to 15 years behind bars, though because of his youth his sentence could be reduced to seven. His older son is looking at 25 years.

Miguel Díaz-Canel, the president, has…

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