MADRID (AP) — Yunior García, a leading activist against Cuba’s government, has unexpectedly left the country and flown to Spain with his wife, a Spanish government spokesman said Wednesday.
García and his wife Dayana Prieto arrived in Madrid at 13:00 GMT on tourist visas, a Spanish government spokesman told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to be identified by name in media reports, in line with government rules.
Garcia was one of the organizers of a protest on Monday in Cuba that was suppressed by government supporters. Organizers complained that their homes were surrounded so they couldn’t go out, while others said they were warned by Cuban police that they would be arrested if they took to the streets.
García had also wanted to make a solo protest walk on Sunday, but he was prevented from leaving his apartment building by government supporters.
García, a playwright, heads the group Archipelago, an online discussion forum with 35,000 members. Archipelago had said on social media platforms on Tuesday that both García and Prieto were missing.
Javier Larrondo, president of Prisoners Defenders, a Spanish NGO promoting freedom in Cuba, said that his group had no knowledge that the couple was leaving Cuba.
“We had no idea what was happening,” Larrondo told the AP. “We thought he was being looked for as a missing person in Cuba.(…) We don’t know if it is a forced expatriation or not. The government has forced hundreds to leave in the past.”
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