Michael Carey Abadin, 19, is a Canadian political prisoner who was detained during protests in Cuba. This Wednesday it was denounced that he has been sent to a “work brigade” for forced labor despite serious health problems. This was stated by his family.
Abadin was living in Old Havana with his Cuban mother when protests broke out on the island on July 11. He was planning to leave and study in Canada. As such, he had a plane ticket, but his flights were repeatedly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The information was given by his mother in a conversation with CBC News: “He was arrested the day after protests broke out in at least 40 cities across the island and accused of throwing a rock at a patrol car. Prosecutors have charged him with damage to public property and are seeking a five- to six-year prison sentence,” the media outlet reported.
The boy’s health
It was also learned that the young man first contracted COVID-19, in custody, and then hepatitis and HSV-1 (non-genital herpes). In the end, his condition became so serious that he was transferred to the infirmary of the Jóvenes de Occidente prison on the outskirts of Havana.
“My son is in even worse condition than before. Now he has lesions on his legs that are suppurating,” the mother said.
CBC News indicated that Abadin has been prohibited from receiving consular visits because although Cuban law does not prohibit dual citizenship, it does not recognize the foreign nationality of any Cuban citizen in its territory. For that reason, Cuba has not allowed Canadian consular officials to visit Abadin in prison, as required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs, to which both Cuba and Canada are signatories.
Although consular representatives have said they are making efforts to resolve the situation, Abadin’s mother maintains that these efforts have not been sufficient. She is calling for more action to be taken.