Judge Who Sentenced Young Cubans for “Attack” Seeks Asylum at Tampa Airport – Cuba Headlines

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U.S. authorities denied entry to Melody González Pedraza, a judge from Villa Clara involved in the sentencing of four young Cubans for an “attack,” upon her arrival at Tampa International Airport, Florida, with a Humanitarian Parole. According to Martí Noticias, González Pedraza was denied entry due to her judicial history in Cuba, leading her to request political asylum and currently being detained.

The news outlet reported that González Pedraza signed prison sentences against four young men under 30 who, on November 18, 2022, threw molotov cocktails at the homes of police chiefs and regime officials in the Encrucijada municipality. The trial was allegedly manipulated by State Security and based on statements from their agents, without guarantees for due process.

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Ultimately, the judge imposed four-year prison sentences on Andy Gabriel González Fuentes, Eddy Daniel Rodríguez Pérez, and Luis Ernesto Medina Pedraza, while a fourth accused, Adain Barreiro Pérez, received a three-year sentence. All were convicted of assault.

The mothers of the prisoners, from Cuba, expressed their discontent over her being granted parole, highlighting the injustices committed by the judge. One mother stated that her son lost the chance to move to the United States due to González Pedraza’s sentencing, lamenting that the judge received the same benefit denied to her son.

Now, González Pedraza must undergo a legal process involving a credible fear interview and possibly face an immigration judge to prove her persecution in Cuba. Her sponsor, Roberto Castellón, defends her case, arguing that she was merely performing her duties.

“Today, I spoke with immigration four times. An irreparable harm has been done by including her in the database of Cuban repressors. She is a Christian woman who was just doing her job,” Castellón told Martí Noticias.

Public Outcry and Legal Implications

The outraged mothers of the convicted youths argue that political asylum should not be granted to her because she used her position to commit “the most significant and atrocious injustices in the world.” They cite the case of the four young men, accusing her of abusing her position and power, now seeking to live freely without facing any repercussions for her actions.

While some regime accomplices, such as the nieces of Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, have benefited from humanitarian parole, constant denunciations from the Cuban exile community have prevented others from exploiting this immigration benefit to settle in the United States. Recently, Washington denied the program to Marrero Cruz’s son and the former first secretary of the PCC in the Isle of Youth, Liván Fuentes Álvarez.

Asylum Request and Legal Proceedings: Key Questions Answered

Given the controversial nature of Melody González Pedraza’s asylum request, several key questions arise regarding her legal proceedings and the broader implications for similar cases.

Why was Melody González Pedraza denied entry to the United States?

She was denied entry due to her involvement in sentencing young Cubans for an “attack” against regime officials, which raised concerns about her judicial history and actions in Cuba.

What are the legal steps González Pedraza must now follow?

González Pedraza must undergo a credible fear interview and possibly face an immigration judge to prove her persecution in Cuba and justify her request for political asylum.

What arguments are being made in her defense?

Her sponsor, Roberto Castellón, argues that González Pedraza was simply fulfilling her duties as a judge and should not be punished for her role in the judicial system.

What is the stance of the prisoners’ families?

The families of the convicted youths argue that she should not be granted asylum due to her role in imposing unjust sentences and abusing her power in Cuba.

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