Friday, April 27, 2012

Humiliating, Brutal and Cruel Treatment / Laritza Diversent

Humiliating, Brutal and Cruel Treatment / Laritza Diversent
Laritza Diversent, Translator: AnonyGY

Laura Álvarez Rojas, a Cuban woman resident in South Africa, in less
than nine months lost two of her loved ones. Her brother, Alberto
Álvarez Rojas, a resident in the island, died last March 13th, in a car
accident in that country.

"When I had not yet recovered from the pain of losing my mother, I found
myself unprotected and enormously depressed at the death of my brother",
wrote Alvarez Rojas in a letter to some of her friends. She decided to
take the remains to her motherland and share such a painful loss with
her relatives in Cuba.

She went through all the bureaucratic requirements demanded by the
Immigration and Foreign Department to go to the island. She had her
passport extended, also had legalized her brother's death certificate
and paid all the consular tariffs. Last March 23rd, she left the African
continent with the flight KL 0592 and landed in Cuba the ext day at 6.00 pm.

She was surprised when an immigration officer told her at the window,
that she was not allowed into the country and did not know the reasons.
In a separate office she asked them to check her name. In the year 2011
she visited Cuba twice without any trouble. She did not come to have
holidays. Her mother was suffering from a terminal liver cancer. "You
can not come in and that is all, your embassy in South Africa is the one
responsible to explain the reasons", answered the officer.

The officer tried to find out why the entry was denied. "Did you pay
your tariffs at the immigration office in Cuba?", she asked. "Yes, I
did", answered Laura. "Did you fight with anyone?", she asked again.
"Never, neither before nor later", she rejected. "Did you visit some
places?", she continued asking. "My visits were to the hospital to
transfuse my mother, to immigration and to the airport", she refuted.

In a bag she had Alberto's remains. "To the persons whose entrance to
Cuba is denied, the luggage is not allowed", added the immigration
officer. "Ask the embassy to send the remains of your brother using
diplomatic mail, she woman advised.

Desperate, she phoned her husband, a doctor who deserted and who had
been working for approximately 10 years in South Africa, her sister who
was waiting for her outside and the consul of her embassy. "Turn off the
phone, you can not communicate with anyone else", the officer advised to
her. The woman "became furious and took my phone", added Alvarez Rojas.

Laura insisted in bringing in her brother's remains. "They saw me like a
crazy one talking to all officers, I was locked in an office and some
body took me by the neck, breaking my rosary", she stated.

In spite of the mistreatment and physical aggressions, she insisted on
her purpose. "I kneeled and begged to give the remains of my brother to
my sister who was waiting outside, I could be returned, I did not care",
she insisted to another officer who was watching her in the office.

Laura did not make it. She was seated in the flight KL 02724 the same
day, in the same airplane she had arrived. The pilot was told she was an
illegal person for being delinquent in Cuba. The man was furious when
the young lady showed her papers in order, the ashes of her brother's
and the death certificate of the embassy.

The pilot complained. It was not the first time it happened. "I was
returned without a pre-ticket so that once in Holland I had to pay my
ticket to South Africa again", argued Alvarez Rojas. He refused to board
her without the ticket and warned he would report Cuba through his
airline, for the frequent abuse to its citizens.

The crew tried hard to assist her. "They made me feel like a person
since the treatment received in my country was that of an animal", she
continues. "I was not carrying a dead dog, I was carrying a part of my
Heart", said Laura in a desperate attempt to find comprehension and
solidarity for what had happened to her.

"They did not let me cry my pain for my loved ones, neither did they
give me the right to hold my sister who was crying desperately on the
other side and I was forced to come back here with the remains of my
brother, unprotected heart, broken hope, and the biggest disappointment
in my life", she ended.

Laura insists on an explanation at the Cuban embassy in South Africa,
although she knows there is no reason for what has no explanation.
However, she is wrong when she says no one can understand what she
feels. Cuban authorities treat many of its citizens like this. No doubt
it is a cruel treatment, brutal and humiliating.

Translated by AnonyGY

April 25 2012

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