Cuba Prevents Activists From Traveling to Lima Summit

Adonis Milan (left) and Gorki Aguila (right)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 4 April 2018 — Two more activists were victims of restrictive measures that prevented them from leaving Cuba on Wednesday. They are the playwright Adonis Milan and the musician Gorki Águila, both of whom have been invited to attend the Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors that will be held in Lima, Peru, on the 10th and 11th of this month, an event parallel to the 8th Summit of the Americas also being held in Peru.

Milan, a member of Cuba Decides, was not allowed to not board the plane that would have taken him to Argentina. The immigration authorities cancelled his boarding pass and acknowledged that he was “regulated” by Cuban State Security Counterintelligence, he told 14ymedio.

The playwright, who has recently been expelled from the Hermanos Saíz Association and who suffers the permanent harassment from the political police, was intending to travel to Buenos Aires as a guest of the “cultural exchange of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL).”

At the conclusion of that meeting, the activist had planned to travel from Argentina to Peru, without going through Havana, to attend this month’s events parallel to the 8th Summit of the Americas, as a guest of CADAL and the Center for Journalism and Technology Networks of Peru.

This morning, musician Gorki Águila, a member and leader of the punk rock band Porno para Ricardo, was also prevented from traveling, in his case to Miami. Once in the American city he also intended to travel to Peru to attend the Summit.

Theindependent civil society activists suspect that it is a strategy of the Government to prevent the arrival of the opponents in Lima.

“The government wants to avoid the meeting up of forces that occurred in Panama [in 2015] and therefore will not let any of the guests traveling to the Lima Summit leave the country,” the musician said, referring to the attacks against independent activists by of members of the official delegation that occurred that year.

In recent days, the vice president of the National Union of Jurists of Cuba, Yamila González Ferrer, said she would not share any space “with mercenary elements and organizations,” in reference to dissidents who have been accused of responding to the interests of “the empire.”

In the last year, State Security has increased the pressure against activists and dissidents, preventing them from traveling abroad. In most cases the refusal of the right to travel is not permanent, but arbitrary and circumstantial, which makes it difficult to report to international organizations. This strategy is in addition to the arrests, confiscations of personal belongings, the raids of homes and the imposition of legal charges.

In January 2013, Migration and Travel Reforms came into effect that eliminated the “exit permit” previously required for travel abroad. In the first ten months after the approval of the new measures, Cubans made more than 250,000 trips abroad, a record number compared with previous years.


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