When they got off the plane at the airport in Panama Saturday, immigration officials confiscated the passports of six young Latin Americans, including three Cubans who arrived from Costa Rica, where they had been participated in activities organized by the Liberation Movement Party and the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy.
The three Cubans are part of the first group of independent civil society arriving in Panama to participate in forums parallel to the Summit of the Americas. They are Eliezer Ávila (Somos+ / We Are More), Kirenia Yalit (Roundtable of Cuban Youth, MDJC) and Yasser Rojas (Cubalex).
“It was very clear that officials had a completely erroneous information about the purposes of our trip,” Eliezer Avila told 14ymedio. “Someone had communicated to them that we were coming to ‘sabotage the activities of the Summit,’ they explained to us during a two-hour interrogation in a closed room.”
After checking the data of the six young people and crosschecking them with the list of those invited to the forum, they concluded that everything was in order. “They apologized to us for the inconvenience and pointed out that all they want is to ensure that there no problems during the summit,” added the leader of Somos+.
According to Ávila, “This experience should serve those who come after us, because this incident indicates that the long arm of the Plaza of the Revolution came to Panama to undermine the terrain at every step of the way for those with a voice that is not governed the script of the Communist Party.”