IAPA denounces physical deterioration of journalist jailed in Cuba


Miami (February 28, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) decried the decay and health complications of Cuban independent journalist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca, imprisoned since July of last year. The organization held the regime responsible for whatever may happen to him and demanded his immediate release.

Valle Roca, director of the digital blog and YouTube channel Delibera, was arrested on June 15, 2021, for filming and publishing a video of anti-Castro pamphlets thrown in the street. He was charged with "enemy propaganda" and "contempt" of authority. He was recently transferred from the Combinado del Este prison to the National Hospital in Havana. He is under provisional imprisonment and is the only journalist imprisoned in Cuba.

IAPA President Jorge Canahuati said, "With total impunity for its actions, Cuba continues to violate international precepts on the human rights of those imprisoned to receive medical attention, to be treated with dignity, and to enjoy a fair legal process."

"We strongly condemn this attitude of indifference to life and injustice and demand the immediate release of the journalist," emphasized Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa, Honduras.

The president of the Commission for Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, added, "The regime not only detains, harasses and monitors independent journalists, but also their families." Jornet, journalistic director of the newspaper La Voz del Interior of Argentina, added, "Cuba is one of the few countries that still maintain the crime of contempt or disrespect for the authorities, which should be condemned internationally."

Since last year, Valle Roca's wife, Eralidis Frómeta, accused the regime of denying her husband medication to control his blood pressure and forbidding him to leave his cell to sunbathe with the other prisoners, after he refused to shout revolutionary slogans. In addition, the journalist suspended a hunger strike due to kidney problems.

Cuba ranks 21st out of 22 countries in the Americas for the past two years on the Chapultepec Index. This IAPA barometer provides an approximation of the institutional performance in terms of freedom of expression and press.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.