Trapped on an island

Published: Oct 23, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
Trapped on an island
© Foto: Eye On Cuba

The state of Cuba today is the result of the government. An authoritarian government that has brought nothing but hopelessness and poverty to its citizens over six decades.  

Many Cubans for years have found themselves forcibly stuck on the island permanently, with no other alternatives for themselves or their families who also suffer from this repression.

Such is the case of journalist Carlos Alberto Torres Fleites, who is constantly threatened with jail by the Political Police; not just for writing anything, but for expressing his opinions with his neighbors and friends.

On June 9th, from the province of Villa Clara, in the center of Cuba, where he has signal, Carlos sent me a text, which I will re-state here:

“Yesterday evening I was stopped in public by two officials from the Political Police and the National Revolutionary Police (PNR), car #255. The agents handcuffed me and drove me to 5th station of the PNR, located in the neighborhood of Condado.

I was held for several hours in a small cell almost without ventilation with a single light that made the room even hotter. I was finally brought to a room where the two PP officials questioned and threatened me.

They told me that they would put me in jail and that my family would starve to death if I didn’t stop speaking against the revolution in my neighborhood. They demanded that I stop asking for freedom for political prisoners and commenting on social media posts. They let me go last night at 9:00pm”.

On the 26th of February in 2022, Carlos, together with his family tried to leave the island through the established channels for doing so. After completing all the procedures and waiting for the flight, he was stopped by the Political Police again. Because he was a journalist, they asked him who was helping him make this trip and what he was planning to do after he had gotten out of Cuba.

Carlos also said that the Political Police also threatened his son, a 16- year old student, who had been drafted into the national military service a few months back. “Anything can happen to your son in the service.” Argued the repressors.

Before he was a journalist, Carlos graduated with a degree in International Relations and worked in the Foreign Relations department of the Medical Sciences Institute as a Foreign Student Services Specialist. But in the end, according to Carlos; “I was removed from my post because of my ideological problems”.

His publications in the news agency Cubanet, the institute People in Need, and the Association of Press Freedom only incurred the wrath of the government to make his life harder.

To alleviate his daily crisis of livelihood, he found a job doing agricultural work among other jobs. However the government always threatens his employers to fire him.

Recently, Carlos commented on the situation of the country; “we are facing challenges every day in every possible way, the desperation that they take advantage of to impose this terror, makes the government act like this”.

Today, Carlos Torres Fleites finds himself, as do many others, trapped on an island with laws that ferociously attack him for following his own convictions. Because in Cuba, there are many laws, but no justice. 

Autor: Amarilis C. Rey

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