14ymedio, Madrid, 21 November 2022 — Journalist Carlos Manuel Álvarez tried to return to Cuba this Sunday from Miami, but American Airlines employees informed him that he could not board the flight due to Havana’s refusal to authorize his entry into the country.
” ’You have been denied from Havana’, they told me,” the writer and independent reporter wrote on his Facebook profile, who said he felt united in fate to Anamely Ramos and Omara Ruiz Urquiola. These two activists have also not been able to travel to the Island from the United States due to measures of the Cuban regime.
“I’m calm, the pain is now permanent. In a while I will explain the matter in more detail,” added Álvarez, who has not yet given more information about it.
The journalist, who collaborates with several international media such as El País, New York Times, BBC and The Washington Post, is one of the founders of the Cuban independent media El Estornudo and won in 2021 the King of Spain journalism prize for his report Three Cuban Girls, in which he recounted the collapse of a balcony on a street in Old Havana, which ended the lives of three minors returning from school.
“I want to believe that I have reached the limit in my confrontation with the direct injustice that has subjugated my country for decades, and that there is a secret prize in the punishment of the tyrant, because your “respectability” has revealed its true nature, something that the tyrant always wants to hide,” he stated.
The author warned that he is willing to return “by any other way” and to organize with Cubans who also want to do so. “The return of a community in full is perhaps the only way we have left. On the other hand, from Heredia to Arenas, I also belong to the exile,” he concluded.
Álvarez already mentioned on a previous occasion the option of boarding “a peaceful flotilla” to return to Cuba. “I think the moment will come when we’ll have to consider it as something imminent and inescapable. It’s a practical, feasible operation that citizens can do,” he argued.
The writer, who has been residing in the United States for several years, returned to Havana in 2020 to accompany the protests of the San Isidro Movement (MSI) and was arrested by State Security, which held him for several hours before forcibly moving him to Cárdenas, in Matanzas, where he is originally from and where his parents live. Despite this, shortly after, he was able to fullfil his intention to reach the capital.
The author described his arrest as kidnapping, since unidentified people dressed in civilian clothes put him, against his will, in a vehicle without telling him where he was going. “It’s an absolute civil death; this cannot be seen either as an arrest, or as low-intensity pressure, but as the absolute formalization of prison throughout the national territory,” he denounced.
The siege against the reporter intensified because of his support for the hunger strike that several activists of the San Isidro Movement, led by Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara began, to demand the release of Denis Solís, then in prison for contempt and currently in Germany after leaving the Island through Serbia in a forced exile agreement.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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