Andres Carrion Alvarez: That is the name of the previous unidentified Cuban protester who was able to circumvent several rings of security around a papal Mass in Santiago de Cuba and shout “down with communism” directly in front of the pope and hundreds of cameras. His identity was discovered by Cuban independent journalist and former prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia.
Cuba dissident identifies papal Mass protester
HAVANA (AP) — A leading Cuban dissident has identified the mystery man who yelled anti-government slogans just before a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI this week before being hustled away by security agents.
Jose Daniel Ferrer told The Associated Press that the protester’s name is Andres Carrion Alvarez, and identified him as a 38-year-old resident of the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba. Ferrer said the man was still in custody Friday.
The protester shouted “Down with the Revolution! Down with the dictatorship!” near journalists at the Mass at Santiago’s crowded Revolution Plaza on Monday. Video of the incident showed him being hit by an apparent first-aid worker wearing a white T-shirt with a large red cross, before they were separated. Security agents quickly took him away.
Ferrer is the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba opposition group in Santiago. He says Carrion approached another member of the group in recent weeks and expressed interest in their activism.
“We were able to identify him this morning,” Ferrer said, adding that two of his colleagues were trying to contact Carrion’s family. Ferrer said Carrion was being held at the Versalles police station in the city. It was not clear if he had been charged with any crime.
The government has had no comment, but a spokesperson for Benedict said the pontiff was aware of the incident and concerned about the man’s welfare.