14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2019 — One of Cuban government’s most used repressive strategies in recent times is to prevent activists, independent journalists and opponents from traveling abroad, and letting them know just before they boarded a plane, that they are regulated. This policy is proving very effective in blocking all participation in international events and workshops of those who who are not in sync with the Government. When the injured party comes to complain, sometimes the “regulated” status can be removed simply by admitting one is ’mistaken’, but the plane has already left and the trip is lost. On other occasions the status is maintained indefinitely.
Some of those affected try to confront these situations judicially, others do so through their activism. This year was marked by the 55 day hunger strike of religious activist Guillermo del Sol in protest against all those affected, such as his own son, who was prevented from leaving Cuba in August.
Independent reporters make up a large portion of the regulated. Two of this newspaper’s journalists are victims of the measure: Luz Escobar and Ricardo Fernández. So are Abraham Jiménez Enoa, from El Estornudo, and Boris González Arenas, Maykel González Vivero and Jorge Amado.
Among the regulated activists and opponents are Katherine Mojena, Abdel Legrá Pacheco, Fernando Palacio, María Elena Mir Marrero and Enix Barrio Sardá, among others.
The number of people affected by these rules is around 200. The figure was reached with the prohibition on traveling applied to the independent journalist Camila Acosta at the beginning of last November, although the data oscillates frequently, since the measure is activated or withdrawn in a discretionary manner. The Patmos Institute maintains a list of those affected; sending information via email or social networks helps to keep the list current.
See also: 14ymedio’s 14 Faces of 2019
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