Cuban Faces 2017: Daniel Llorente, The ‘Man With the Flag’

Llorente was tackled during the May Day march when he broke into the parade with the American flag. (Screen Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 December 2017 — Known as the “man with the flag,” Daniel Llorente (b. 1963, Havana) is a “freelance” opponent who has stood out for his activism after the diplomatic thaw between Cuba and the United States.

His image made the rounds of the social networks and the covers of many international newspapers when he hoisted the American flag at the beginning of the last May Day parade in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution.

A few yards from the platform and in front of the accredited press on the island covering the event, Llorente shouted for freedom for Cuba. His spontaneous action broke the uniformity of a rehearsed choreography but lasted only a few seconds, because Llorente’s path was interrupted by seven security agents who rushed in and tackled him by force.

With a degree in engineering from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), this Habanero ended up making a living working as a bricklayer, electrician, plumber and private taxi driver.

Daniel Llorente. (Martí News)

Prior to that May Day action Llorente could be seen waving the US flag upon the arrival of President Barack Obama in Cuba in March 2016, as well as welcoming the Adonia cruise ship in the Bay of Havana.

Since then, Llorente has been deprived of his freedom. He spent the first weeks of his imprisonment in the 100 y Aldabó prison but at the end of that same month of May he was transferred to the Commander Dr. Bernabé Ordaz Ducungé Psychiatric Hospital, popularly known as Mazorra.

From there he started a hunger strike and sent several letters asking for his release. He has also given interviews to various independent media to denounce a confinement that he describes as “unfair.” As of 1 January of the coming year, he will have been detained for eight months.


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