Andrés Carrión Álvarez, the Santiago de Cuba native who publicly protested against the Cuban dictatorship during the papal mass on March 26th, was released during the night hours of Friday, April 13th but under certain conditions, according to Alfonso Chaviano, an activist from the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).
Chaviano explained that Carrion was “forced to sign a document which prohibits him from leaving his municipality and/or province, Santiago de Cuba“.
In regards to the conditions of the young Cuban, Chaviano said that “he is physically well but is very nervous, dazed” considering that he was subjected to countless interrogations and was confined to a hermitically sealed off cell in inhumane conditions.
Andres Carrion was jailed for the simple act of shouting “Down with Communism” and “Freedom for Cuba” as the first Mass by Pope Benedict XVI was about to go under way in Santiago de Cuba. In addition, he was beaten and repudiated by State Security agents dressed in civilian clothing who were stationed at the Mass in order to keep surveillance over Cuban citizens. The news of his violent arrest was reported all around the world due to the arbitrary nature of the detention and because one of the repressors who beat Carrion was dressed in a Red Cross uniform. Fortunately, the cameras of the international press caught the images. What followed was an international campaign, launched by internal Cuban dissidents, exiles, and human rights organizations which demanded the immediate release of Carrion.
Recently, Carrion’s mother- Mirta Alvarez Bestard- was interviewed by “Diario de Cuba”. (This interview was translated into English by exiled Cuban activist Laida Carro of the Coalition of Cuban-American Women and can be read here). In the conversation, Bestard expressed serious worry for the fate of her son in Cuba.
Carrion lives with his wife in the small town of Boniato, in Santiago de Cuba. The international community should remain attentive over what may still occur to this brave Cuban, considering that the forces of the communist Cuban regime will, without a doubt, keep surveillance over him and will impede him from moving freely throughout his own country. All for expressing what he felt.
Here is the video of his arrest: