Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is sponsoring a resolution demanding the Cuban government release Silverio Portal Contreras from prison.
His imprisonment has garnered international attention, with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recognizing Portal Contreras has been mistreated by the Cuban government. Amnesty International has designated Portal Contreras as a “prisoner of conscience.”
Portal Contreras was prosecuted in 2018 for protesting and sentenced to four years in prison. The 56-year-old has reportedly seen his health decline since.
Mucarsel-Powell’s resolution explains that Portal Contreras “was prosecuted by authorities for ‘contempt’, a charge that is frequently used to criminalize criticism of public officials in Cuba, and for ‘public disorder.’”
According to the resolution, Portal Contreras suffered a seizure while in custody and was denied medical attention for hours. His health has “severely deteriorated” as he continues to petition the Cuban government for his release.
His wife says she has not been able to contact Portal Contreras since June.
The resolution ends by calling for his “immediate and unconditional release.” It further “condemns the politically motivated imprisonment of dissidents in Cuba and calls for the release of all those who have been arbitrarily detained due to their advocacy for