14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 6 July 2016 — Hundreds of people went to the Cuban embassy in Quito in Monday with the purpose of “repudiating” President Raul Castro and recent statements issued by the embassy in which they were accused of “seeking points” to reach the United States.
“This is not about seeking points, but defending the truth. We fled a dictatorship, the longest this continent has ever had, so we condemn the Castros and we do so at in their own embassy. We have lost the fear,” Enrique Santana, one of the protesters, told 14ymedio.
“We stopped the traffic. The police guarded our way to the embassy. We wanted to deliver a statement of repudiation. There were about 500 people,” said another of the Cubans.
According to witnesses, the diplomatic representatives of the island accepted the document with the words of migrants who are spending the night at El Arbolito Park in Quito, after they were evicted by the police from a demonstration in front of the Mexican Embassy when they asked for humanitarian visas to enable them to reach the United States.
“They did it through a crack, but they accepted our demand,” said Jorge Sanchez, another of the protesters, who also says that “it was the first time” something happened.
“Yes, we are counterrevolutionaries. At the embassy it doesn’t matter that they mistreat us and even beat our children, so now we respond that we are not afraid,” said Efrain Sanchez Mateo, coordinator of the group. According to what Sanchez Mateo explained to this newspaper, his family on the island has been threatened by State Security because of his demonstrations in Ecuador. “They told me they’re going to deport me to Cuba. They are afraid of me,” he said.
In the document delivered to the embassy, Cubans say they have had to leave their country “because of the police corruption” there. They also reject the Cuban interference in Ecuador, manifested in the refusal of Ecuador to welcome more professionals from the island.
“The press release from the Cuban embassy in Ecuador demonstrated once again their intent to continue hiding the truth of a people who have been deceived for more than 50 years,” the document added. It also says that the Cuban people “starve while corrupt leaders engage in politics” and reminds that there is no democracy in Cuba, but rather a regime in that imposes orders that are not discussed.
Last week, hundreds of Cubans who were in La Carolina Park in Quito received permission from the municipality to move to El Arbolito Park, which since then is known as “the mambí encampment” or “the freedom encampment.”
Members of the X Cuba Movement participated in the demonstration Monday in solidarity with migrants and others in the Cuban community in Ecuador.
In 2008 when Ecuador ended the visa requirement for Cubans, the country became the largest springboard to cross the United States and hosted one of the largest communities of Cuban nationals abroad Island. The economic crisis facing the country, together with measures to discourage emigration, has led thousands of Cubans to remain undocumented in the country, so that they can go to the United States in order to benefit from the Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy that allows them to legally enter the country and facilitates their obtaining the residence.
In previous initiatives, more than 5,000 Cubans have delivered lists with their names to the embassies of Mexico and Canada to allow them to travel to their countries in order to follow the US border, but so far both countries have denied this request.