HAVANA, Feb. 18th Cuban activist Anamely Ramos, who has been in the United States for several months, denounced Wednesday that she was prevented from returning to Cuba.
American Airlines did not allow her to board the flight to Havana. “Cuba sent them a message that I am not allowed in the country. American says that when that happens, they abide by what Cuba says,” she posted on Facebook.
From the Miami International Airport, Ramos who lives in Cuba, made a direct broadcast in which she assures that she will not leave the airport until she is allowed to fly to her country. However, the airport director, Ralph Cutie, told her personally that she cannot stay at the facility. Cutie confirmed that “the Cuban government is refusing entry to her country.”
According to a summary of events published by Anamely herself, the police asked her to move away from the American Airlines boarding area.
Anamely Ramos does not have legal status to remain in the United States or in any other country, which places her in a situation of statelessness and de facto exile. Her US type B1 visa, for a single entry, expires in April. “My house is in Cuba, my legal situation is in order in Cuba,” she insisted.
Airlines are allowed to operate in a country under bilateral agreements. In this case, American Airlines is released from liability since it believes that it complies with Cuban regulations. These contemplate the possibility of declaring inadmissible in Cuban territory any person, including Cuban citizens.
The political use of these entry regulations contradicts article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all people have the right to return to their country.
Miami media called by the activist have reported the events. Ramos cited them because she foresaw the possibility of this course of events after previous experiences such as that of journalist Karla Pérez, and the fact that the Cuban government has pushed numerous activists and dissident voices into exile.
Who is Anamely Ramos?
Ramos is an art curator. She left Cuba in January 2021 to pursue a doctorate in Anthropology at the Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO) in Mexico City.
She then travelled to the United States to attend the opening of a contemporary art exhibition on Cuba and Venezuela at the Museum of the Organization of American States, organized by the Victims of Communism Foundation.
During her stay there, Ramos organized and participated in events to demand the release of political prisoners after the July 11 protests in Cuba, as well as that of rapper Maykel Castillo and artist Luis Manuel Otero. She also met in Washington with Republican legislators Mario Díaz-Balart and Carlos Giménez.
For twelve years Ramos was a professor at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA), from where she was expelled in 2020 for her continuous criticism of the Government and her support of independent artists.
“They already kicked me out of ISA, and my son left the country, they already harass my loved ones and separate us. What remains for them to do is not enough to keep me for doing for what I think is fair and necessary,” she posted on Facebook in September 2020, when she was expelled from the apartment she shared with a friend in Havana.
In November of that year, Anamely joined the group of artists, journalists, and members of civil society who carried out a protest from the house of Luis Manuel Otero, headquarters of the San Isidro Movement, to demand the release of imprisoned rapper Denis Solís.
Several of the San Isidro Movement members and supporters were on hunger strike, while others were there in a support capacity. The group was forcibly removed from the artist’s home in a midnight raid in the early hours of November 26, 2020, triggering a series of events that began with an unprecedented sit-in in front of the Ministry of Culture.