14ymedio, Havana, 14 December 2016 – Yesterday, Tuesday afternoon,
Carlos Amel Oliva checked in well in advance with his ticket to take Air
Europe Flight 052 that was leaving for Madrid just after 10:00 PM,
intending to connect from the Spanish capital to travel on to Poland.
However, the activist was not able to board because an immigration
official told him he was prohibited from leaving.
Oliva was invited to participate in the third edition of Warsaw
Democratic Dialogue as a representative of the Patriotic Union of Cuba
Upon reaching the immigration controls he was separated from the line.
“They took me to an office where there was an official who was
apparently the shift manager, who explained that I appeared in their
computer system as a person prohibited from leaving,” he explained to
Carlos Amel asked for an explanation, which he felt he deserved, but the
control officials responded that they “didn’t work on that part.”
The dissident told this newspaper what had happened a few yards from the
check-in desk for his flight. “[The official] suggested that I direct
myself to the appropriate entities, such as the prosecutor, so that I
could find out the reasons and I replied that I already knew, because
surely the only possible reason was my status as a dissident, a peaceful
“I do not have any unpaid fines, nor am I in the midst of a judicial or
police investigative process,” Amel Oliva stated, rejecting that he was
subject to these established reasons for being denied the right to travel.
On December 10, International Human Rights Day, his father, also named
Carlos, was also unable to take his plane at Terminal 2 at José Martí
International Airport, heading to a meeting sponsored by Freedom House
and the Venezuelan Institute of Parliamentary Studies that was being
held in the United States. The UNPACU youth leader’s father also did not
receive any satisfactory explanation.
“Obviously,” Carlos Amel Oliva commented before leaving the terminal to
return to Santiago de Cuba, “this measure I have been the victim of is
not consistent with the signing of agreements between Cuba and the
European Union, which has set aside its so-called Common Position. The
European Union has done something that could be called a goodwill
gesture, having ceased to condition its relations with the Cuban
government on issues of human rights, but this is how the government
repays the gesture: preventing a peaceful dissident from attending an
event organized by civil society in a European country,” he lamented.
The current Cuban immigration law, in force since January 2013,
established different reasons for denying a Cuban citizen the ability to
leave the country. Among them are motives of public interest or national
security, or being subject to a pending court case, as with the former
prisoners of the Black Spring of 2003 who refused to leave the country
as a condition of their release, and so remain in Cuba on parole. They,
however, were each granted the right to make one trip abroad earlier
A common method to prevent a civil society activist or regime opponent
from traveling abroad, is to detain them at a police station on the day
they are planning to travel and to release them after their flight has
Source: Cuban Authorities Block Travel Of Dissident Amel Carlos Oliva /
14ymedio – Translating Cuba –