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Three Cubans face up to 30 years in jail for anti-government propaganda, violence

Published 12/11/2023, 12:52 PM
Updated 12/11/2023, 12:56 PM

HAVANA (Reuters) - Three Cubans are facing up to 30 years in jail for anti-government propaganda and violence, state-run media said, in attacks authorities allege were funded from outside Cuba and aimed to destabilize the island's government.

Prosecutors were seeking between 20 and 30 years of prison time for a man and two women who allegedly threw petrol bombs at a building that houses case files for a central Havana courthouse, the newscast reported late on Sunday.

The report said the trio had also attacked the Havana provincial headquarters for neighborhood block committees, or CDRs, which are tasked with mobilizing support for the government.

The three alleged perpetrators received cell phone plan top-ups and around 10,000 pesos (about $37 at the black market exchange rate) from groups outside the country in exchange for conducting the attacks and disseminating "enemy propaganda," authorities said.

The report on the trial, whose date was not given in the newscast, comes just one day after Cuba said it had thwarted a related terrorist scheme hatched in the United States by an armed man who traveled to the island by jetski to commit acts of violence.

The government tied the jetski plot to several Cubans residing in the United States and at least two groups, Nueva Nacion Cubana and La Nueva Nacion Cubana en Armas, which Cuba last week included on its newly released list of terrorist entities.

Authorities in Sunday's report said Cubans with ties to at least one these groups and others outside the country were also behind the courthouse and CDR attacks, calling them "terrorists who want to destabilize citizen tranquility and order in the country."

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"Cuba is, and will continue to be, a socialist state with social justice, that will not change," said Yusedi Perez, president of Central Havana's Municipal Tribunal.

"We will not permit that these situations proliferate in our country."

Terrorism-related crimes face stiff penalties in Cuba ranging from 30 years in jail to life in prison or the death penalty, Cuban authorities said on the newscast.

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