14ymedio, Havana, 6 July 2016 – In the early morning hours of Wednesday the Ecuadorian police intervened to evict Cubans from an encampment in Arbolito Park in Quito, and about one hundred migrants without proper documents were loaded into four buses to take them to trial.
Lazaro Ramos, one of the spokesmen for the Cuban National Alliance in Ecuador, told 14ymedio that the Cubans were arrested for being undocumented, although all of them were released later on Wednesday morning, with the exception of Efrain Sanchez Mateos, accused of assaulting a police officer.
Ramos added that lawyers from Quito and Pichincha in solidarity with the Cuban cause will represent the migrants during a hearing to be held this Wednesday.
According to the testimonies of Cubans and their relatives, police violently broke up the encampment, destroying the tents and belongings of some of those staying there, amid shouts and protests from the foreigners.
After a week of camping in front of the Mexican Embassy in Quito to demand humanitarian visas that would allow them to travel to the United States, the migrants were evacuated in late June by the Ecuadorian security forces. The Cubans argue that they then obtained a permit from the Municipality of Quito to install their encampment in Arbolito Park.
On Monday, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Cuban embassy in Quito to “repudiate” President Raul Castro and the recent statements issued by the embassy in which they were accused of “seeking points” to reach the United States.