Cuban activist freed by Havana arrives in Spain

A prominent Cuban activist has arrived in Spain after being freed by Havana. Yunior Garcia Aguilera had been detained for months on charges of “propaganda against the state.” The charges stem from Garcia’s work with the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, an independent rights organization in Cuba.

Garcia returned to Spain Sunday night. His journey had taken him from the U.S. to Mexico, from Mexico to Cuba, then to Spain.

Garcia arrived in France, and then joined the first group of 14 Cuban prisoners to leave Cuba, on Thursday. He received a standing ovation at the Miami airport upon his arrival.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has managed to secure visas for 84 Cuban political prisoners on the country’s return to international travel. The group of prisoners were also allowed to join the group that arrived in Europe, Garcia included.

Garcia, now 64, is one of the country’s best-known rights activists. He has been leading human rights protests against the Cuban government for two decades. He has also been the subject of attacks from Cuban security officials, who claim to be able to pinpoint him by his distinctive mustache. Garcia has also founded a number of LGBT groups, alongside pro-democracy groups.

Most recently, Garcia organized a gay-rights tour that visited 20 countries including Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Zimbabwe. His actions have been denounced by the Cuban government, which labelled the trip a “pro-apartheid tour.” Castro’s successor, Raúl Castro, has repeatedly denied all allegations of human rights violations, and it is difficult to ascertain how true or accurate the Cuban government’s claims of Garcia’s activities really are.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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