SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, 12 October 2014, Yusmila Reyna Ferrer — The Island’s government has denied the right of Carlos Amel Oliva Torres, youth leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), based in Santiago de Cuba, to travel to the Czech Republic, as invited by organizations based in that European country, on Saturday 11 October.
According to reports from the young activist, when the customs authorities at Havana International Airport checked his documents, after separating from him the rest of the check-in line, and on looking at his passport, informed him that he could not travel, without giving a specific reason.
Carlos Amel says that such a violation demonstrates the intention of Cuban State Security wanted to silence UNPACU’s activist and to censor international exposure to the arguments of the organization in their fight for a pluralistic society within the island.
It is not the first time that the Cuban authorities have violated Amel Carlos Oliva’s basic right to travel. According to the activist, last September 30 he was also intercepted while preparing to go to a similar event in Chile.
With the repeal of the famous “exit permit” in January 2013, Cuban society appeared to take a step forward in achieving new freedoms. However, these facts show that what is enshrined in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still subject to consideration by the authorities of the island, who continue to arbitrarily decide who can leave the country and who can not.