Nicaragua Once Again Prevents the Entry of Another Cuban Activist

Ramón Fuentes Lemes was taken off the plane at the Bogotá airport, where he made a stopover, and returned to the Island

Immigration control at Terminal 3 of José Martí International Airport / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 June 2024 — Daniel Ortega’s regime added another Cuban this Sunday to its blacklist of people who cannot travel to Nicaragua: the opponent Ramón Fuentes Lemes. The activist, a member of the Pinero Autonomous Party, on the Isla de la Juventud, had traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, where the airport authorities prevented him from boarding the flight due to Managua’s refusal to let him enter the country.

Fuentes Lemes told CubaNet that his trip to Nicaragua, from where he planned to continue to the United States, included several stopovers. First he would travel to Colombia with Avianca, then to El Salvador and, finally, to Nicaragua. However, at the Bogotá airport, an official made him get off the plane and informed him of Managua’s decision not to let him in.

The opponent tried to ask for asylum at the airport but was denied, CubaNet says, and he was deported to the Island. “I know that it is the Cuban dictatorship that is behind all this, because the authorities of Nicaragua do not have to know me, or know who I am enough to deny me entry to the country as if I were a terrorist,” Fuentes Lemes told the media on Monday from Havana.

The opponent tried to ask for asylum at the airport but was denied, says CubaNet, and he was deported to the Island

“When I arrived in Havana I called the Nicaraguan Embassy but they told me that they had nothing to do with it,” said the opponent, who added that he has no savings left after selling his house to pay for tickets and other expenses to emigrate.

According to Fuentes Lemes, this is not the first time he has had problems leaving the country. On two other occasions, he says, they prevented him for being “counter-revolutionary.” “Now they let me out but then did this to me. I’m afraid of what might happen now in Cuba. My life is in danger; these henchmen are capable of doing anything,” he added.

“I stand firm, no one is going to change my way of thinking, nor am I going to collaborate with them [the political police]. I will always demonstrate against the dictatorship in Cuba and in favor of freedom for the Cuban people,” he concluded.

Days before, Nicaragua had also banned the entry of another Cuban dissident. Bárbaro de Céspedes, known as El Patriota, learned of the measure “while on the bus heading to the airport [of Havana]. They sent me a message saying that the Government of Nicaragua denied my entry into that country,” he reported on social networks.

The activist explained from Camagüey, where he resides, that he had managed an expensive passage with several stopovers for June 13 with the intention of emigrating. “State Security has tried to make life impossible in Cuba, for my family and me,” said De Céspedes, who spent two years in prison for demonstrating peacefully on 11 July 2021.

The activist explained from Camagüey, where he resides, that he had managed an expensive passage with several stops for June 13

These are not the only cases of Cubans who have not been able to enter Nicaragua due to regulations of the Ortega Government. Journalists Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho and Esteban Rodríguez, members of the San Isidro Movement, and doctor Alexander Figueredo, were also stopped by Managua.

Another case was that of Yailén Insúa Alarcón, former director of the Cuban Television News and the morning program Buenos Días, to whom Managua denied entry when the woman and her husband were at the Bogotá airport, ready to continue the journey to Nicaragua and then to the United States, as she recounted in an interview with 14ymedio.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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