The Sister of the Former Cuban Minister of Economy Denies That He Is Detained: ‘He Is Incommunicado’

Caption – Vicky Gil, during her interview with Canary Island television, in Spain (TVC/Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yaiza Santos, Madrid, 20 March 2024 — María Victoria Gil Fernández spoke publicly again about her brother, the former Minister of Economy. In a statement this Monday to Canary Islands television in Spain, where she resides, she said that Alejandro Gil has not been arrested: “My brother is incommunicado.” She also blamed Raúl Castro for the so-called Ordering Task,* which plunged the country “into absolute misery.”

In conversation with 14ymedio, this Tuesday, the former presenter of Televisión Cubana, who was in Havana between March 3 and 10, just when the “investigation” that the regime undertook against her brother was announced, corroborates everything she said about the former deputy and right-hand man of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

María Victoria Gil Fernández: “He is not detained as such; he is incommunicado somewhere, maybe in Villa Marista, if it is a detention house of the Ministry of the Interior. From the legal point of view, detention means he is in prison, and he has not been charged with a crime. I couldn’t talk to him, I couldn’t contact him, because he is totally incommunicado.”

14ymedio: But he isn’t at home, neither he nor his wife?

A: No, no, no. Neither of them. Laura María Gil González is in the house, with her husband, Álvaro Iglesias, and my grandniece, who I wanted to meet, who is a year and a half old. But I understand that my niece is working [in the Caudal group, which is charged with the  custody and transfer of securities and belongs to the Ministry of Finance]. She goes to work and everything, but she doesn’t have a cell phone.

Until the Prosecutor’s Office charges him with a crime, one cannot say that he is corrupt. That’s why I said that I will file a complaint against the Con Filo television program, because the presumption of innocence is mandatory

Q: He is not detained, but if he is somewhere similar to Villa Marista, we know what that means.

A: I imagine that given my brother’s former position, he would not be in Villa Marista. In Cuba there are some special state security houses, very nice houses, in Miramar and in Nuevo Vedado, where high-level, “high-ranking” people are taken,  who are being investigated. It was the case of Carlos Lage and many others. They have all the luxuries and comfort; they are not given bad treatment either, far from it. He must be in one of those houses; I don’t know where.

Q: Who told you that he was incomunicado?

A: My nephew, who is not involved, Alejandro Arnaldo Gil González. He has always been apart from the whole family. He is a very quiet person, very reserved. He is a computer engineer, a professor, and he lives at his wife’s house in Playa. I communicate with my nephew every day. He tells me: “Auntie, this is going to happen, I’m sure.” He must really be suffering, because you can imagine a boy with his personality, his father being accused, as they say, of corruption, which is a term that has been used even by the Cuban press, but the prosecutor’s office has not charged him with any crime.

Q: Didn’t the public statement say “serious errors in the performance of his duties”?

A: “Serious mistakes in the performance of his duties,” and then there is a tagline, which has always been added since I was a little girl, born and raised with the Revolution: “The Government will never tolerate corruption, insensitivity or simulation (fraud).” That doesn’t mean that he is being accused of corruption. Until the Prosecutor’s Office charges him with a crime, one cannot say that he is corrupt. That’s why I said that I will sue the Con Filo television program, because the presumption of innocence is mandatory. It is described in the laws of criminal procedure, which are the same in Spain as in Cuba, Uruguay and Argentina, because they all come from the same root, which is Roman Law. If you are talking about charging a crime without respecting the presumption of innocence, you are committing the crime of slander.

Q: Con Filo is not an independent news program. It is actually the way the Government talks about your brother.

A. Exactly.

Q: In the interview with Canary Islands television, you blame Raúl Castro for the situation that Cuba is experiencing, and you also point out that Díaz-Canel congratulated your brother on his birthday on February 2, the same day that he was dismissed as minister.

A: The biggest contradiction that exists is that the president of the Republic of Cuba dismisses my brother on February 2 and congratulates him for his achievements, and my brother replies: “Thank you, Díaz-Canel, we continue with you,” and then on March 7 they announce that they are investigating him. How can the president of Cuba not know what is happening?

Q: Hence the question: To what extent did Díaz-Canel know what was happening on February 2? Your brother was his right-hand man.

A: They were “nail and flesh” (really close), as we say in Cuba.

“If Díaz-Canel had something to do with that decision and made it without knowing about the crimes, in quotation marks, which are supposedly imputed to my brother, how can he congratulate him on his good work?”

Q: Does Díaz-Canel have something to do with this decision?

A: Of course he has something to do with this decision. But if he does and he made it without knowing the crimes, in quotation marks, which are supposedly imputed to my brother, how can he congratulate him on his good work? It’s contradictory.

Q: How can you legally file a lawsuit against the Cuban Government, as you said yesterday?

A: I’m a lawyer by profession; I graduated in Cuba in 1982 wth high honors. I have four specializations, in forensic medicine, for example. I was advanced in judicial science. I will attend the proceedings. My son [Daniel Trujillo Gil] says that he is going to tie me to a tree, that he is going to tear up my Cuban and Spanish passports, but I’m going to do it.

If there is a trial, as was done with Ochoa, when the State cleared itself of all its crimes with one person, I was enraged knowing that behind Ochoa there was really State corruption. I will attend personally and make a private accusation. And if they show that my brother really was corrupt, then the others were also corrupt, and all the criminals involved will fall along with him. Even if my son wants to tie me to a tree. Now that I’m back, he hid my passport. He didn’t want me going to Cuba because he said that I was going to be detained, since I had made some very strong statements against the Government, and that they have arrested political prisoners in Cuba for less. But I went to Cuba, and no one bothered me.

Q: How do you interpret that arbitrariness?

A: I don’t know. My son sat with me two days ago and said, “Mamá, I’m going to be honest with you, and I have to tell you the truth. Today I am sure that you are a member of the Cuban State Security, because only and exclusively does it explain how after the statements you have made, the posts on Facebook and the interviews you have given, you have been able to enter Cuba without any problems.”

Q: And how did you respond?

A: What am I going to tell him? If he believes it, what can I do? If it had happened to him, I would believe it too. Because it is a miracle that I have really entered and left Cuba without anyone bothering me. There have been people who have done one-fifth of what I did, and they wouldn’t even let them get off the plane. It’s very strange and has no explanation, but that’s the way it is, and I am not a member of State Security.

*Translator’s note: The Ordering Task was a collection of measures that included eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso (CUP) as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency, which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and a broad range of other measures targeted to different elements of the Cuban economy.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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