Interrogated and Threatened for Delivering Flowers to the Ukrainian Embassy in Cuba

Iryna Bilyk, third secretary of the Ukrainian consulate in Havana, along with activist Pablo Enrique (Twitter/@Dicotomia7)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 February 2022 — Cuban Pablo Enrique was detained on Saturday by State Security for leaving flowers at the Ukrainian Embassy in Havana, in solidarity with the country facing a Russian invasion.

As confirmed to this daily, he was taken to the Seventh Police Unit of the National Revolutionary Police, where he was met by three agents. There, he received, “many threats” and a second warning letter. “They are sick with hate,” declared Enrique, who introduces himself as a Christian and a human rights activist.

“Upon my arrival, the Sepsa Guards [Specialized Protection Services, S.A.] who provide security to diplomatic headquarters did not allow me to move,” recounted Enrique himself on his Twitter account as he neared the Ukrainian diplomatic headquarters, located on Fifth Avenue, in the Miramar neighborhood of Havana.

There, he stated that diplomat Iryna Bilyk, third secretary of the Ukrainian Consulate, had to come out and escort him, “as they did not allow me to hang (neither on the fence nor to place on the floor, nor even on a tree in front of the headquarters) a small bouquet of roses I took as a show of solidarity.” The flowers, he concluded with an image, “reached their final destination, and are now within the diplomatic headquarters.”

While the Cuban Government has aligned itself with Russia and has blamed the war on the United States and NATO, civic organizations and everyday Cubans have shown their support for Ukraine.

On Thursday, a group of activists issued a public declaration in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, which can be signed by anyone who desires, to date has received 300 signatures.

Promoted by Giselle González, Claudio Gaitán, Fernando Almeyda, Leo Fernández, Saily González and Magdiel Jorge Castro, the text breaks from the regime, condemning “an imperialist war that seeks to further destabilize a country which has the right to self-determination.”

Family members of July 11th prisoners also came out in favor of Ukraine recently. Pedro López, whose daughter-in-law’s brother, Andy García Lorenzo, was sentenced to seven years in prison in Santa Clara, declared on his social media that he’d just called the Ukrainian embassy in Cuba “to show our family’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine and to make clear that the cowardly position of the Cuban Government does not represent the sentiment of our beautiful, peace-loving people.”

In his post, he also published the phone numbers of the diplomatic headquarters and asked for freedom for García Lorenzo and the rest of the political prisoners.

In charge of Ukrainian business in Cuba, Oleksandr Kalinchuk on Friday had requested that Cubans take to the street to show their support for Ukraine. “We can change the position of the Cuban Government, we can change the joint situation,” he declared on AmericaTV.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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