Yeris Curbelo Aguilera

* 1985

  • “Currently, the habitants of Caimanera percept in more passive manner and with more positive mind the opposition of the communist regime. Cuban people are already defending opponents when they see that they are being repressed. I have experienced this luck too. The people run on my defence when the State Security wanted to detain me by force, they run to defend me. As a thanks, I made some publications on internet, as a thanks to all the Cubans that came out to defend me from the repression. People in Caimanera no longer participate on the ‘acts of repudiation’ [Actos de Repudio] because they do not wish to realize any repudiation against opponents in Cuba. How the regime reacted? The Government officers visit homes of the workers of educational institutions ‘Lenin’, homes of all educational workers, homes of those who are engaged with the ‘Young Communist Union’ [Unión Jóvenes Comunistas], those who are engaged with the ‘Communist Party of Cuba’ [Partido Comunista de Cuba] and they obligate them to participate in these acts of repudiation. But the common civic population, those who are not committed to the regime as such, they no longer see these activities with a positive approach, they no longer attack us, on the contrary, they defend us.”

  • “The first time I entered to the Guantanamo Naval Base, which happened in 2001, I spent seven days there. Afterwards, I was returned to the Cuban territory. I went back there in 2003 and I could stay ten days. Finally, I came back to the Naval Base in 2005, this time I was there within 12 days. The attention was always the same, very adequate. Medical attention, clothing, food, they immediately offered me something to eat. They provide you staff for your daily personal hygiene; they wash your clothes, sheets, and towels on daily basis. The attention was always greatly beneficial.”

  • “At the end of 2019 Miguel Díaz Canel [President of the Republic of Cuban since April 2018] visited Caimanera. Because of that, Caimanera became militarized five or ten times more than usual. During this period, once when I was in front of my house, three agents of the State Security appeared - Kevin and two others whose names I did not know well. One of them brutally assaulted me without saying anything, injuring my upper lip. At this point I would like to thank to all people, who came to the street on my defence, so the agents could not beat me more and could not detain me as they wanted to. The people supported me, because they knew I had not committed any crime, any infraction.”

  • “The Cuban regime military units feel a great hatred to me. Why? Because I have shown that during all these years I have been fighting against the communist system, that all these years I have been promoting the political ideology to liberate Cuba. I have shown them that I am determined to continue my fight. I have shown them that, despite of being imprisoned several occasions, despite of being punished with wounds many times, despite of being detained on multiple occasions and despite of the death threats they have made to me, I will not stop. I have shown them that I will not give up, I have proclaimed this directly to their faces. I have demonstrated my firm stance in the fight for freedom in Cuba. They might feel surprised, hey could ask themselves: ‘How is it possible that this young man, who we have imprisoned several times, who we have beaten, who has been threatened with a death, maintains this firm position?’ I am also this young man from the town of Caimanera, where most of the residents, a large percentage of them, young and old, feels a great esteem for me. Many of them support me in my fight.”

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    Cuba, 17.07.2020

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“Although the communist regime has always threatened me with death, I have demonstrated that I will not give up!”

Yeris Curbelo Aguilera, a human rights defender and an opponent of the communist regime in Cuba, was born in Guantanamo in March 1985. However, all his life, he has lived in Caimanera, a city bordering the US Guantanamo Naval Base, where a strong militarization of the area restricts citizen’s movements. Yeris has always been drawn to democratic and libertarian ideas, even when they become the cause of his continuous imprisonments and detentions by the State Security. Yeris spent five years in the “Combined prison” in Guantanamo [Combinado de Guantánamo], from which he was released in 2017. Nowadays, Yeris is a member of the opposition organization “Eastern Democratic Alliance” [Alianza Democrática Oriental] and cooperates as a journalist with the audio-visual agency “Palenque Vision” [Visión Palenque] based in eastern Cuba. In March 2020, he was summoned to the Operations Department of the State Security and threatened with imprisonment and death for publishing an article on his Facebook page about Raúl Castro and Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel. Because he has been prohibited from working by Cuban authorities, he fishes illegally. He lives in Caimanera with his wife and son.