Home > Miguel Iturria Savón > The Uncertainty of Julia

The Uncertainty of Julia

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Julia Estrella Aramburu Taboas. neighbor of Aguila 836, Old Havana, will not spend this end of year with her son, Harold Alcala, nor with her nephew, Maikel Delgado.  Both are prisoners in the Combinado del Este prison, sentenced to life since the Spring of 2003.

Harold was 23 and Maikel 29 when they boarded the ferry Baragua that crosses the Havana Bay to the town of Regla.  They didn’t want to cross, but rather to flee the country for Florida, with eight other young men with broken dreams.  Harold and Maikel were not carrying knives, pistols, nor did they use violence or intimidation against the passengers taken hostage, although that does not excuse them from responsibility.

They never reached their destination, only the port of Mariel, where they delivered the passengers to the commando of the Ministry of the Interior who promised to resupply them with fuel in exchange.  The officers didn’t fulfill the agreement.  The jail and a summary trial sealed the fate of these young kidnappers.  They did not kill or injure anyone, but three of them were executed, four condemned to life in prison, one to thirty years in prison (Wilmer Ledea Perez), and three to smaller penalties.

Since then, Julie Estrella Aramburu Taboas works for the modification of such drastic sentences. Barely sleeping, consulting lawyers, preparing and sending documents to the highest level sin the country.  She knows that her descendants committed a crime that placed the lives of innocent people in danger.

“I don’t ask for their release but for a review of the case.  Neither Harold nor Maikal had criminal records.  The attorneys tell me that the sanction is excessive and doesn’t bear a relation to their personal conduct, the participation and actions stemming from the intent to leave the country illegally in a state craft.  In the narrative of the sentencing no action beyond that of a co-participant is described.”

Julia filed two applications on the case.  The first to the Department of Criminal Revision of Havana, answered on October 24, 2007.  The other to the Supreme Court of the Republic, on July 14, 2009.  A month later she asked for a dispatch to President of the Council of State and Ministers, who could not attend to because of overwork.

“The first time they notified me that there had been no change in the social policy context in which these events occurred, that the case remained filed.  The Supreme Court said that they were not in a position to respond to the review process.  Could there be an immutable order with respect to this?”

Between the frustration and uncertainty Julia Estrella sends our the documents she possesses of that summary trial of April 2003.  “Since they are behind bars.  The visits are every three months, chained at the waist.  Harold suffers tension migraines and pain in the joints.  Maikel’s hair is falling out, he has a herniated disk and vision problems.  This December, again, we will not be together.”

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