Cuban Man targeted by the Government for his Political Opinions

Jonny* is from Cuba and is seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing Cuba where he was threatened and tortured for his political activity. Jonny was a farmer in Cuba, where he spoke out against the government’s human rights abuses and restriction on free speech.  After attending protests, Jonny was arrested, beaten, and his land was taken away. He needs pro bono help to seek asylum in front of an immigration judge.


All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney. Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings. 



Jonny is 32-year old and until 2016 he was a tobacco farmer in Cuba. In 2016 he took part in protests against the Cuban government for their treatment of farmers and laborers. After several protests, three police officers came to Jonny’s house, handcuffed him, and took him to jail. There, the police officers removed his clothes, put him in a cold cell, and threw cold water on him. The officers threatened to “disappear” him.  He was again arrested a month later, when the police force him to sign documents giving up his land.  A third time, the police beat him severely.

In 2017, Jonny fled Cuba and arrived in Mexico. He worked construction for a few months and did not apply for any type of status in Mexico because he did not feel safe in Mexico and was very afraid to be there. In 2018, he came to the United States and asked for asylum. He speaks Spanish and is worried that calls to his mother in Cuba are being recorded, as if often the case in Cuba.

Jonny is eligible for asylum, withholding of removal, a protection under the convention against torture. His claims will be adjudicated in front of an immigration judge during a half-day trial.

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Director Attorney Michael Lukens at 202-870-5962 or


*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy. 



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