Cuban Dissident Eliecer Avila in Sweden

HAVANA TIMES — Eliecer Avila — who as a student questioned Cuban parliamentary president Ricardo Alarcon several years ago concerning the right of Cubans to travel abroad — has been in Sweden since Saturday, reported the Café Fuerte website.

“This is something I was planning for months, and I’ve handled it with discretion to prevent screwing it up,” said Avila in a telephone interview. “It’s a trip made possible by friends, but it’s only temporary because I plan to return to my country.”

According to the note, the trip was organized by La Cubanada, a Sweden-based social network that focuses on Cuba.

When leaving from Havana’s Jose Marti Airport, 27-year-old Avila was accompanied by opposition blogger Yoani Sanchez, who posted photos of his departure on Twitter.

The young man became a familiar figure when he was a student at the University of Information Sciences. It was then that Avila posed questions to Alarcon in which the Cuban politician responded by saying, “If everyone could go wherever they wanted, the number of airplane collisions around the world would be huge.”

One thought on “Cuban Dissident Eliecer Avila in Sweden

  • As Cuban dissidents are able to freely travel abroad and tell their story more directly to world media, it will be interesting to monitor how the Castros adjust to this new threat to their totalitarian regime. In the past, opposition voices who had been exiled were criticized as being bitter because they were unable to return to their homeland and therefore their comments tainted. Now, dissidents like Eliecer will give their press interviews, criticize the Castros, and then return to Cuba. What will they face upon arrival? Will there be repercussions against their family members? No one can know for sure. However, history encourages us that as perestroika was implemented in the Soviet Union and dissident voices began to tell their stories around the world, totalitarian Soviet rule suffered fatal blows from which they never recovered. The Castros should take note.

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