Panama Airport Officials Detain Rosa María Payá, Threaten Deportation


EspañolOn Sunday, March 5, Panamanian security officials detained Rosa María Payá — daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá — for over three hours at the Tocumen International Airport. Scheduled to attend the Organization of American States Summit of the Americas on April 10 and 11, Payá arrived at the airport only to be told she would be deported to Cuba.

“You are going to be deported to Cuba if you cause any disturbance, [or] carry any banner [in protest].… Go cause trouble in your own country,” the guards reportedly told Payá. She says the guards also told her they knew exactly who she was and had read “everything” she’s written and “everything written about” her.

“Panama National Security detained me at the door of the airplane.”

The agents, she claims, seized her personal agenda, where she keeps all her notes. “They checked everything I had in my purse, even my underwear,” she said.

Payá arrived in Panama to present two proposals developed by Cuban dissidents to promote democracy on the island. Authorities eventually released Payá after three hours and allowed her entry into the country. The Foreign Ministry later apologized in a press release stating her detainment was due to “bureaucratic error.”

The day before the incident with Payá, Panamanian authorities reportedly detained a Cuban delegation and threatened Argentina-based Cuban activist Micaela Hierro Dori, also attending the summit.

“Thanks to everyone for their solidarity, I’m still ok. I have finally officially entered Panama under threat from the Panamanian-Cuban state security.”

Rosa María Payá’s father Oswaldo Payá died in 2012 in an automobile accident, the cause of which has not yet been determined. The Payá family believes the Cuban government was involved in Oswaldo’s death.

Sources: El Mundo, Hora CeroInfobae

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