14ymedio, Madrid, 13 December 2021 — The Cuban playwright Yunior García Aguilera and the Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López were victims of an act of repudiation this Monday at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the Complutense University of Madrid. With posters and shouts, a group of radical leftists tried to blow up the event, in which they did end up hearing the testimonies of both about the lack of freedom in Cuba and Venezuela.
“Out with the Miami mafia, coup plotters!” and “López assassin,” read the posters displayed by a group of just over twelve young people. Faced with the shouts, López demanded “tolerance” to begin with the presentations and, finally, the extremists fell silent and the dissidents were able to tell about their experiences under repression.
In his speech, García Aguilera detailed what he experienced during his last weeks in Cuba, including the harassment against his family and the surveillance around his home. “I dream of the day when our scientists find a vaccine against intolerance,” began the playwright, while a young woman kept shouting slogans against him from the back of the room.
“My country is going to celebrate 70 years without democracy,” continued the playwright. “I know people who have spent eight years in jail for writing a poem. That has nothing to do with the left,” said García, one of the most visible faces on the Archipíelago platform.
“Long live universities, thought laboratories, and long live freedom. May these laboratories find a vaccine for demagoguery,” added Leopoldo López.
Last April the dean of this same faculty, had canceled a planned event with Leopoldo López, organized by the Libertad Sin Ira [Freedom Without Anger] association, the same one that has now organized this event.
The leader of the Popular Party, Pablo Casado, has already expressed his rejection. “My resounding condemnation of this new attack by the intolerant and sectarian left against freedom,” wrote the politician on his Twitter account, where he also conveyed all his support for López and García “in their fight against dictatorships.”
The president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, also expressed her rejection of the attack on her Twitter account. “Madrid is everyone’s home, it is freedom. We strongly condemn this attack against freedom of expression in a public university in Madrid and we will support all the rectors so that they can always guarantee it,” she wrote on Twitter.
Cuban dissidents visiting Spain have been frequent targets of this type of act of repudiation, especially in the Complutense Faculty of Politics, from whose radical groups the Podemos party emerged, led at the time by Pablo Iglesias, Juan Carlos Monedero and Íñigo Errejón. Similar repudiations have also happened at book presentations, public conferences or at the exit of official meetings.
In some cases, the island’s opponents have denounced the presence at these rallies of people of Cuban nationality who act as the main detonators of the screams or are an active part in the “intimidating choreography,” says journalist Yoani Sánchez who suffered one of these “escraches” while presenting “A Blog to Speak to the World” in 2013, at the Fnac Callao bookstore in the Spanish capital.
“On that occasion, the person who acted as the main organizer was a former colleague with whom I had shared a photography course in Havana. I thought he was there to greet me and remember the past times, but he turned out to be the main leader of the act of repudiation. Along with a dozen other people. Later I learned that he had been living in Madrid for several years.”
“They shouted a lot, chanted the word ’terrorist’ and displayed posters with my face deformed and also a Cuban flag. Obviously they wanted to interrupt the presentation and also intimidate the audience, but no one moved from their chair. Until they got tired and left.”
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