Nicaragua Bans Cuban Activist Bárbaro de Céspedes From Entering the Country

Cuban activist Bárbaro de Céspedes / Facebook

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, June 17, 2024 — Daniel Ortega’s regime denied Cuban activist Bárbaro de Céspedes – known as “El Patriota”- entry into Nicaragua. “While on the bus to the [Havana] airport, they sent me a message saying that the Government of Nicaragua denied my entry into that country,” he denounced on social media in a live video.
The activist explained from Camagüey, where he resides, that he had managed to buy an expensive plane ticket with several stops for June 13th with the intention of emigrating.

“State Security has tried to make life impossible for me and my family in Cuba,” said De Céspedes, who spent two years in prison for demonstrating peacefully on 11 July 2021. “I made the hardest decision of my life, to emigrate from this country that I love and defend. It is not for fear of death – I no longer have a life – but for fear of being a nuisance to my family,” he added in a broken voice.

The Camagüey native denounced that his daughter, some time ago, was also denied entry into Nicaragua and that, on this occasion, the airline ticket manager sent him a similar message to the one she got: “We inform you that we have been notified by the Nicaraguan immigration authorities that they have not authorized your entry into the country, so you will not be able to board your flight,” says the document that De Céspedes showed and where the logo of the Colombian airline Avianca can be seen.

“These people have punished me to life imprisonment on this island prison”

“The crying is not because of the refusal, the crying is because of the decision I have had to make. Everyone who knows me knows that my homeland is above everything, above my feelings. And these people [the Cuban regime] have punished me to live in prison for life on this island prison,” he said.

In April 2021, he was detained for several days after making a pilgrimage to the Nuestra Señora de la Merced church in Camagüey. De Céspedes was released with a precautionary measure of house arrest and a fine of 2,000 pesos for not wearing a mask.

The Camagüey activist arrived at the church on Good Friday carrying a huge cross that said 62 years of dictatorship, with his torso shirtless and painted with a Cuban flag. He was detained by uniformed officers when leaving the temple.

A few months earlier, the police also arrested him in the middle of a crowd when he was handing out leaflets in the historic center of the city of Camagüey printed with texts by José Martí. On that occasion, he managed to hand out dozens of flyers to passersby and sang the national anthem. He also shouted several times: “Viva Cuba libre”(Long live free Cuba).

This is not the first time Managua has denied Cuban activists entry. Before De Céspedes, journalists Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho and Esteban Rodriguez, members of the San Isidro Movement, and doctor Alexander Figueredo, for example, were prevented from entering.

Translated by LAR


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