From Capitol Hill Cubans:
Juan Almeida Garcia, son of General Juan Almeida Bosque — one of the original Commanders of the Cuban Revolution and currently the third-ranking member of Cuba’s dictatorship — was arrested and charged by Cuban authorities for attempting to “illegally exit” the island, according to El Nuevo Herald.
Almeida Garcia is the youngest of General Almeida Bosque’s four children. Ironically, two of his four children already live outside of Cuba.
In a letter written by Almeida Garcia to his Cuban captors, and obtained by El Nuevo Herald, he states, “I had no other choice but to attempt an illegal exit. You can imprison me, place another hood over my head and make me disappear amongst secret locations, but I’m only asking for the ability to visit a doctor and be reunited with my family.”
This news comes soon after the announcement of renewed migration talks between the U.S. and Cuba. These talks were precisely suspended in 2004 due to the Cuban regime’s violations of the original 1994 Migration Accords, which require the Cuban authorities to grant exit permits to Cuban nationals that have been granted U.S. visas and to allow U.S. diplomats on the island to verify the well-being of repatriated Cubans, as arrests for “illegal exit” are widespread.
If this is the case of the son of Cuba’s third-highest ranking official, just imagine the repressive reality of an ordinary, anonymous Cuban.
This is just an unfortunate misunderstanding. More talk and engagement is needed (and the embargo has to be lifted)…