EFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 12 May 2022 — Cuban opponent, Guillermo Coco Fariñas, explained on Wednesday that he has been freed after being interrogated for several hours by security forces upon his return to Havana from a trip to Europe and the U.S.
The 2010 recipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought stated on Facebook that it involved a “cohersive interrogation” and that the “punishment” for his political tour will be that he will be unable to leave his city, Santa Clara.
“For those of us who struggle for democracy and freedom in Cuba, it is a right to conduct politics in this way,” said Fariñas, despite his sanction.
The opponent confirmed that State Security agents accused him of influencing U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision not to invite Cuba to the Summit of the Americas.
They also criticized his contribution to the recent declaration of the European Union on Cuba. “For them, that was intolerable,” he added.
Finally, according to Fariñas, they believed that the opponent was behind the coordination of various generations of Cuban exiles and the involvement of business owners in pro-democratic activities on the Island.
Fariñas was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, as he was leaving Havana’s José Martí International airport, where he had just landed after his international trip.
The opponent was returning to Cuba following a two-month trip — “successful” in his judgement — which took him to the U.S. and Europe, where he met with various political representatives and activists to talk about the situation in his country.
During his trip, the leader of the United Antitotalitarian Front (Fantu) denounced the repression in Cuba, especially as a result of the antigovernment protests of July 11th.
The Sakharov Prize winner stated that the social situation in the country is “a pressure cooker without an escape valve” and that new protests are possible. Fariñas had planned the trip for mid-January, but was unable to travel because he received the Cuban-made vaccines, which are not recognized in the U.S. A month later, he was able to fly.
In recent months, Fariñas had denounced several detentions, sometimes held in a hospital in Santa Clara, where he lives, for unsolicited medical treatment.
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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