José Danial Ferrer Tried for Common Crime in Cuba

As reported in a prior post, on February 24, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo demanded that Cuba release José Daniel Ferrer, a political dissident.

Instead, on February 26, he was put on trial in Santiago de Cuba for the alleged crimes of injury, deprivation of liberty to third parties and attack. “However, according to the European External Action Service (EEAS), he was tried for the peaceful expression of his opinions.” The court did not allow that Service or an independent Cuban newspaper (Diario de Cuba) to attend.

Afterwords the information available on his case suggests that Mr. Ferrer had been tried for the peaceful expression of his views,” the EEAS said. 

According to the the Cuban Prisoners Defenders (CPD), the court did not permit any of the witnesses at this trial to utter the words “opponents, dissidents, political police, State Security, headquarters, UNPACU, regime, dictatorship, dictators and illegal.” Ever since the arrest, the court and the regime have tried to present Ferrer as a “common criminal”, who was accused of alleged crimes of injury, deprivation of liberty to third parties and attack.

CPDPD noted other irregularities in the process, including the omission of evidence relevant to the defense, the short period of time the defendant had to prepare his defense and the role of the judge favoring the prosecutor.

The trial lasted It lasted more than 12 hours with the prosecutors asking for a nine-year prison sentence with the court to issue its decision on March 12.


The European Union tried to access Ferrer’s trial, but the Cuban government opposed, Diario de Cuba (Feb. 27, 2020); The words prohibited in the trial against José Daniel Ferrer, Diario de Cuba (Feb. 27, 2020); The trial against Ferrer unmasks that the case has a ‘only political background,’  Diario de Cuba (Feb. 27, 2020); A reporter from DIARIO DE CUBA, intercepted and prevented from attending the trial of José Daniel Ferrer, Diario de Cuba (Feb. 26, 2020); Cuba: Statement by the Spokesperson on the case of José Daniel Ferrer, European Union External Action (Feb. 27, 2020); Reuters, Cuba to Deliver Verdict in Closely Eyed Dissident Case Next Month, N.Y. Times (Feb. 27, 2020). 

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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