“Alive,” says Cuban protest leader Yunior García of Spain
A young Cuban playwright who has caught the world’s attention for his recent activism and calls to protest on the island posted on Facebook Wednesday that he and his wife had arrived in Spain “alive” and with their “ideas intact. “.
He thanked the friends who had worried about them.
In recent weeks, Garcia had become the leading figure in calls for protests demanding greater freedoms from the Communist-ruled island. The protests scheduled to take place on Monday were largely suppressed by the government.
García, tried to walk alone on Sunday but was prevented from leaving his apartment after police and government supporters surrounded his apartment building. When he attempted to communicate with reporters and others by holding a white rose through his window and displaying a sign saying “My house is blocked,” people standing on the roof dropped a large Cuban flag to cover his window.
Members of the Archipelago group said on social media that they had not heard from Garcia since Tuesday morning, a day after the rallies scheduled for November 15.
It had been reported earlier that García and his wife had landed at Madrid Barajas Airport, but it was the first time he had made public statements since Sunday.
“We have to appreciate the many people who made this trip possible,” García wrote on Facebook.
He also said he went without communication for several days and needed to update himself with the other members of Archipelago, a group he founded. Garcia said he would report on his “odyssey” soon.
The Cuban government has repeatedly accused Garcia of being funded by the United States and viewed the protests as an attempt by the U.S. government to destabilize the country.
Garcia and other members of Archipelago were trying to build on the momentum of protests that took place across the island in July, where thousands took to the streets. It was the biggest protests in decades in which people protested over food and medicine shortages, limits on freedom and dealing with the pandemic.
A crackdown on protesters has led to mass arrests. More than 600 Cubans remain in jail, including some of Cuba’s best-known dissidents.