Cuba Blocks Chilean Student from Entry for Award Ceremony Honoring Dissident

Cuba Blocks Chilean Student
Pictured: Juan Carlos Vargas, former student leader from the Central University of Chile and member of the executive board of the Latin American Youth and Democracy Network. (@JuanVargasv)

EspañolCuba removed a Chilean student leader from Cuba hoping to attend an award ceremony dedicated to Cuban political activist Oswaldo Payá.

Juan Carlos Vargas, a former student at the Central University of Chile and member of the executive board of the Latin American Youth and Democracy Network that was hosting the ceremony, was removed from the island not long after the daughter of former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin, Matiana Aylwin, was also prevented from flying there this week for the same event.

Vargas was reportedly arrested in Cuba once he arrived on the island. Authorities held him with no access to a phone call or other communication.

A similar incident took place to former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who Cuban authorities did not allow to enter the island. He had planned to attend the award ceremony organized by the Latin American Youth and Democracy Network.

Local media reported that Vargas was received by the Cuban Police as well as a group of cameramen who appeared to be part of state-approved press.

Authorities took away his passport and boarded him on a plane to Panama, where he expects to return to Chile soon. However, he reportedly has not yet recovered his identification.


Vargas was supposed to place the Oswaldo Payá award in Matiana Aylwin’s hands, but now the ceremony will have to be rescheduled and relocated.

Source: El Demócrata

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