Cuba Forbids Opposition Observers from Traveling to Columbia Because President Raul Castro “Is Visiting There”
14ymedio, Havana, 28 September 2016 – The reason put forth by the Cuban
authorities to block travel to Colombia by opposition members called to
be observers in the plebiscite on the that country’s agreement with the
FARC, is “national security,” because “the president is already there on
This is what a security agent, who identified himself as Ronald, told
the activist Agustin Lopez, brother of Ada Lopez. The opponent described
his arrest to 14ymedio, after he was detained at three in the afternoon
on Monday when asking the police surrounding his house why they were
there. He was released at 6:40 PM on Tuesday.
His sister, the activist Ada Lopez, had denounced a police operation
around her house in Havana from the early hours of Tuesday, to keep her
from going to the airport. She was due to travel to Colombia that
afternoon to also participate as an observer in the plebiscite for peace
that is to be held on Sunday, 2 October, but she was arrested when she
left for the airport.
Ada Lopez, who is also a member of the independent library movement,
received an invitation to visit Colombia as a part of the Otro18 project
(Another 2018) an initiative focused on promoting new laws regarding
elections, free association and political parties in Cuba.
“I was leaving my house with a suitcase to try to get to the airport,”
explained Lopez, adding that the independent journalist Arturo Rojas
Rodriguez, who was scheduled to travel with her, “was arrested
yesterday, taken to a police station in the Capri neighborhood and
subsequently transferred to a station in Cotorro, to prevent him from
Hours later, Ada Lopez’s husband, Osmany Díaz Cristo, reported that she
had been arrested the moment she left her house headed to the José Martí
Airport’s Terminal Three in Havana. “The suitcase she was traveling with
was thrown to the ground and she was dragged to the police car. Right
now she is at the police station in Regla,” across the bay from Old
Havana, he added.
Both activists were invited to participate in the plebiscite by the
Election Observation Mission of Colombia (MOE), as confirmed by 14ymedio
through the opponent Manuel Cuesta Morua, one of the main promoters of
Last Sunday, Cuban President Raul Castro traveled to the city of
Cartagena de Indias for the signing ceremony of the peace agreement
between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP.
Source: Cuba Forbids Opposition Observers from Traveling to Columbia
Because President Raul Castro “Is Visiting There” / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba –