MADRID, 5 Feb. –
The prominent opponent Guillermo Fariñas was arrested on Tuesday in Havana when he went to the Embassy of Spain to receive a visa with which he hoped to travel to Spain and Brussels after being invited by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH), as reported this Wednesday the opposition platform.
“He was approached by agents of the Department of State Security (DSE) when he was going to the Spanish Embassy in Havana,” where “he had an appointment to receive a visa to travel to Spain and Brussels, invited by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights, “the OCDH said in a statement.
According to the OCDH, Fariñas was going to meet with MEPs from different parties and with Javier Niño, representative of the European External Action Service. He also planned to participate in a session of the EU Human Rights Subcommittee.
The OCDH has denounced that Fariñas, “one of the main leaders of the Cuban dissent,” was not only detained “arbitrarily”, but that there is no information on where he is being held.
“The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights demands the immediate release of Guillermo Fariñas,” he said, while requesting the European Parliament and the Commission to condemn “this outrage committed against a Sakharov Prize.”
The OCDH has demanded that the Government of Miguel Díaz-Canel cease “its repressive actions” and stop “using international institutions as a theater of operations for its interventionist policies.”
“The democracies of the world cannot remain indifferent to the constant aggressions against the Cuban peaceful opposition,” he said, recalling that “right now the two main Cuban opposition leaders are imprisoned,” pointing to Fariñas and José Daniel Ferrer, arrested last month of October.
Fariñas, a freelance journalist, is one of the best known faces of the Cuban opposition. He has starred in more than twenty hunger strikes, the longest of 135 days in 2010 for the death of his partner Orlando Zapata. That same year he was awarded by the Eurocamara with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience.