14ymedio, Havana, June 23, 2020 — Daniel Llorente, known as “the man with the flag” after interrupting the May Day parade in 2017 by unfurling a United States flag to protest against the Government, had to move away from the door of the Cuban Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, where he was demonstrating.
The motive of his protest, according to what the activist told Radio Television Martí, is that the diplomatic seat is “promoting the dictatorship” and doesn’t care about its citizens in Guyana.
Cuban officials notified the police that they asked Llorente to leave because “he couldn’t protest” owing to the “power” of his words. The dissident explained to the Miami chain that an employee of the Embassy suggested that he go protest in front of the American Embassy, but he refused. “You’re stupid,” replied Llorente after the Cuban official closed the door, putting an end to the brief exchange.
In May of 2019, Daniel Llorente reported that he had been forcibly exiled to Guyana, where he’s been for more than a year. His feat during the Workers’ Day march, protesting in front of Raúl Castro and the upper elite of the Communist Party, in addition to the accredited international press, made him internationally known, but it also involved his being sent to a psychiatric center for a year.
When he left the center last year, Llorente was pressured by State Security. In one of the interrogations to which he was submitted, they warned him that if he persisted in his attitude, he would have to choose between leaving the country or prison.
Days later, two agents came to his home and took him to buy a ticket to Guyana. “Before getting into the car they told me, ’Daniel, we’re advising you not to come back. Since you say the Americans are your friends, go tell them to help you. Don’t return. If they don’t help you, continue living there, because you’ll regret it if you come back,’ ” he told 14ymedio at that time.
Llorente’s intention always has been to travel to the U.S., and he has repeatedly requested asylum, but up to now he hasn’t received a response.
The activist has legalized his immigration status as a political refugee in Georgetown, but his economic situation has been very precarious, and he’s been sleeping on the street, according to what he told Cubanet last year.
Although his recognition as a political refugee by the United Nations allows him to receive aid, the amount remains limited for facing expenses like rent and daily living.
Guyana doesn’t request a visa for Cubans to enter its territory. For this reason, many travel to this country with the hope of continuing their route to the United States.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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