News and Facts about Cuba

They are afraid of us

“They are afraid of us” / 14ymedio Reinaldo Escobar

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 13 July 2016 — Before leaving Cuba,
Armando Avila was an auto mechanic specializing in brake systems in
Ciego de Avila. In December 2015, he took a flight to Ecuador with the
intention of reaching the border between Mexico and the United States to
invoke the Cuban Adjustment Act. On July 9 he was returned to Havana by
force, in a group of 29 Cubans by Rafael Correa’s government.

Avila, 45, spoke with 14ymedio by telephone on Monday and said he did
not feel like a deportee or a returnee, “but someone kidnapped.” The
migrant, who wanted to keep his current whereabouts unknown, recalled
that “the laws of Ecuador consider that no one is and they can
only deport those who have committed a crime.”

One day after the deportation of Avila, a new group of 46 Cubans, also
repatriated from Ecuador, arrived on the island. Island authorities
claimed in a note that the deportations were carried out “in strict
compliance with the provisions of the legislation of both countries and
existing international standards for this type of situation.”

However, Avila maintains that he had presented his case “before a legal
hearing and less than one day before learning of the outcome” he was
. “At 2:40 in the morning they took all our belongings, I was
handcuffed and put into a military plane that took us from Quito to the
province of Esmeralda and from there to Cuba,” he explains.

A few hours after arriving in Havana he learned that he was acquitted at
the hearing, which means that there were no “grounds for deportation,”
he insists. Thus, he considers himself to have been a victim of revenge
or a “policy violation,” motivated by his having exposed, in Ecuador,
“the reality we experience in Cuba.”

Avila returned to Havana, despite the official press note saying that
“all” of the people were taken to their “home provinces.” However, his
wife, Yurisleisy Pérez Calzada, was not deported and remains in Ecuador.

Avila says he fears for his life. “Upon arrival at Jose Marti
International in Havana, waiting for us was a squad of riot
, several officers and a large number of senior officers of
the Interior Ministry.”

He said that the group was treated as if its members were “terrorists.”
“They divided us by provinces and we were told to wait, that later we
would be contacted to determine our situation,” he says.

On Monday, the defense lawyers for the Cuban migrants in Ecuador
denounced the violation of a habeas corpus petition that had been
submitted to avoid repatriation. The lawyers have questioned the
constitutionality of the measure, because since 2008 Ecuador’s
Constitution has recognized “free human mobility.”

A complaint about possible violations of the law join the accusations
against the Ecuadorian police for acting violently against Cubans
being held in the Carrion detention center and the Flagrancia Unit.

Avila intends, this Monday, to begin procedures at the United States
Embassy to “ask for political asylum,” feeling that he has “no other
option” and fearful of reprisals. “I’m afraid, because I realize that
they are afraid of us.”

Source: “They are afraid of us” / 14ymedio Reinaldo Escobar –
Translating Cuba –

2 Responses to They are afraid of us

  • He should work for the betterment of himself and his family in his country. He is a skilled worker, and car ownership on the island can only increased.

    • The dissidents are working for the betterment of the Cuban people. they defend the human, social and political rights of the Cuban people. The work and suffer for a better Cuba.
      You support a repressive dictatorship. You should “better” yourself and start supporting the Cuban people instead of a cruel dictatorship.

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