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Concerns Over To Testify From Cuba
As of Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

A MIAMI-based exile group fears that the victims at the heart of an
alleged abuse trial involving five Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers
would not be allowed to testify freely if they continue to live in Cuba.

Leader of the Democracy Movement Ramon Sanchez said yesterday that it
was important for the two men – Alexander Vazcuez and Yordan Cantero –
to return to the Bahamas to escape intimidation tactics and political
pressures.

The official line from the Bahamas government is that Cuba had yet to
respond to requests for the men to return to the Bahamas.

However, Cuban Ambassador to the Bahamas Ernesto Soberon Guzman told The
Tribune yesterday that the Cuban government was still working on hashing
out all of the possibilities. He added that “one way or the other” the
alleged victims’ testimonies would be included in the proceedings.

Mr Sanchez said: “We are happy that our work, speaking out against the
injustice that happened to them and protesting helped to get to this
point. But the witnesses must be present in the Bahamas and not under
someone’s lead or tactics of intimidation. The Cuban government has a
vested interest in keeping them there.

“My concern in this is that one way or the other could mean at the end
that they will be interviewed in Cuba and won’t feel free to express
themselves.

“The Cuban government dislikes us and they might try to influence the
detainees because they will have to be there every day and won’t be able
to get out.”

While the group awaits word, Mr Sanchez said his group remains on
standby in taking any action as it has done in the past.

“There are many other things that needs to take place. We know that the
Bahamas has a very serious migration problem and we just remain on
standby monitoring what takes place.”

The RBDF officers are accused of beating the Cuban detainees after
several of them tried to escape the Carmichael Road Detention Centre
last year.

A report into the allegations was later leaked to The Tribune. It
contained testimony from the men, which was gathered during internal
RBDF investigations. It was also said in the testimony that other RBDF
officers witnessed the men being beaten with pipes and then sprayed with
pepper spray.

The Democracy Movement branded the incident as an abuse of power.

Source: Concerns over freedom to testify from Cuba | The Tribune –
http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/mar/12/concerns-over-freedom-testify-cuba/

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