Russia Prevents 71 Cubans from Entering and Returns Them to the Island

The Cubans held in Russia denounced on social networks that they had to sleep in the toilets. (Facebook / Marisleisis Díaz)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 5 December 2021 — A first group of 44 Cubans out of 71 who were detained at the Vnukovo airport, in Russia, returned to the island this Saturday. “The citizens do not meet the requirements established by the Russian immigration authorities to enter their territory as tourists,” according to a post by the Cuban Consulate in Moscow.

The Foreign Ministry acknowledged that there is “a free visa agreement between the two countries,” although it argued that it must “verify the current requirements for entry into Russian territory.”

Last Friday the diplomatic headquarters listed on its social networks that among the requirements are to “present financial solvency to guarantee your stay, valid medical insurance in Russia with coverage of covid-19 and a PCR with a valid negative result.” To these requirements are added the accreditation of the purpose of the trip, presenting a valid passport, having a return ticket and having a lodging reservation for the time of stay.

The information was published a day after a group of Cubans denounced that they were detained “for no reason” at the Vnukovo airport. Dailey Ponce Carmenates shared a video on the Facebook group ’Russia for Cubans’ , where one of the travelers is heard saying, “So that the world can see what they are doing with us. Díaz-Canel puts the dogs on us and here too.”

Ponce specified that they met the entry requirements. “We all have return tickets, money for lodging and the required documents.” This complaint was followed by that of Marisleisis Díaz, who arrived on December 3 at the same Russian airport from Varadero on flight ZF556, of the AZUR Airline company. “They detained us in migration having everything in order.”

Díaz mentioned that the saddest thing about the retention is that they had “more than 24 hours with only one meal, without blankets,, having to “sleep in the bathrooms to be able to cushion the cold.” The complainant assured that they offered  no answer to her situation and that “there were children” in the group.

After being detained for several days, the Foreign Ministry reported that the consul contacted them and “specified details for their safe return to Cuba as soon as possible.” And it was indicated that the return of the remainder of the travelers is already being coordinated jointly with the Russian authorities and the airline.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.