State Security Prevents Yoandy Izquierdo From Boarding A Flight For Sweden
14ymedio, Havana, 14 May 2017 – This Sunday Cuban State Security
prevented Yoandy Izquierdo, a member of the Center for Coexistence
Studies (CEC), from boarding a flight to Sweden to participate in the
Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF). The car in which the activist was
traveling to José Martí International Airport was intercepted by the
police, according to Dagoberto Valdés, director of the CEC, speaking
The police released him after the plane began its take-off procedures.
Izquierdo told this newspaper that State Security justified his brief
detention on the grounds that they suspected that “the driver [taking
him to the airport] was operating the trip without having the license to
Izquierdo was detained in the police unit in Los Palacios, a
municipality of Pinar del Rio. The vehicle was stopped while driving
from the city of Pinar del Rio to the Cuban capital. The driver who
drove the car in which Izquierdo traveled was forced to follow a police
patrol car until arriving at the station.
Minutes after the detention, Izquierdo was able to make some phone calls
to alert others about what was happening and to let them know that his
phone might be taken from him at any moment. After talking with several
colleagues, they found they could not call his cellphone because it was
“off or outside the coverage area.”
Arrests to prevent dissidents from leaving the country are a common
practice on the part of State Security. Recently the car carrying the
activist Lia Villares was intercepted when she was going to the José
Martí International Airport to travel to the United States. An officer
forced her to get into a National Revolutionary Police (PNR) patrol and
drove her away from the air terminal until her plane took off.
Villares described the “kidnapping” and “forced disappearance”
but managed to travel to the United States a day later.
Previously, other government opponents such as Claudio Fuentes and Ada
López have also suffered similar repressive procedures.
The most recent report of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and
National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) has denounced this situation. The
independent entity reports that Raúl Castro’s government is using
“preventive repression in the form of police threats and other
systematic intimidating actions” more and more frequently.
“The prohibitions on travel within Cuba or abroad, home searches,
arbitrary confiscations of possessions, means of work and money” are
among the most frequent practices in the work of State Security against
The arrest of Izquierdo is added to the escalating repression against
members of the CEC that has intensified in recent months. Several of its
promoters have been subject to pressures, warnings and interrogations.
Last January the house of the economist Karina Gálvez was raided by
numerous police officers and their personal belongings were retained for
weeks. The publisher is being accused of an alleged crime of tax evasion
and the police are keeping her house sealed, leaving the family unable
to access it.
The Coexistence Studies Center organizes training courses for
citizenship and civil society in Cuba. The entity functions
independently from the State, the Church and any political group. The
magazine of the same name emerged in 2008 and is published bimonthly.
Source: State Security Prevents Yoandy Izquierdo From Boarding A Flight
For Sweden – Translating Cuba –