Cuban dissident who refused to publish for 15 years arrives in Spain

Spaniard, known as the ‘Silent One’ for refusing to publish for 15 years, to receive two-year suspended sentence

A Cuban dissident who is considered a Nobel laureate for refusing to publish for more than a decade has arrived in Spain, where he will be officially recognised as a prisoner of conscience.

Yunior Garcia Aguilera is an author and children’s writer who made headlines when he was jailed in May 2004.

He is reported to have said at his arrival: “Although I know that justice is delayed, it is never denied.”

Spain confirmed on Thursday that Garcia Aguilera was entering the country on a passport forged using a new identity, having been deported from his native country in August, three years after being sentenced to 22 years in prison.

His wife, Sigrid Suarez, confirmed in Spanish that he had arrived.

The charges against him included conspiracy to overthrow the Cuban regime, inciting citizens to commit subversive acts and participation in activities prejudicial to state security.

His nationality was not clear from the documents presented at his trial, and with his participation in outlawed groups such as the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación (FAL) and the Maracaibo Revolutionary Movement, it was decided he would be denied Brazilian nationality.

Yunior Garcia is the 11th prisoner to be recognised in Spain in a ceremony in Madrid known as “the Silent Ones”. The ceremony was initiated in 2008 by the former socialist prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and has taken place annually since.

Spain’s royal family has become an ally of Cuba’s communist government, collaborating with its cultural institutions and promoting understanding in the world through royal visits to Havana.

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