Cuba denies visa for opposition leader wanting to study in Chile
The Cuban government denied the request Tuesday of opposition movement leader Rosa María Payá to leave the country to study in Chile.
Payá, who became the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement in July following the death of her father and previous leader Oswaldo Payá, was granted a visa and scholarship to study political theory and public management at Universidad Miguel de Cervantes in Santiago and was due to begin in January.
Mijail Bonito Lovio, a Cuban expat and the secretary of international relations for the Chilean chapter of the Independent and Democratic Cuba Party (CID), decried the Cuban government’s decision.
“It is the second time this year that the Cuban government denied the travel permit to Rosa María Payá,” Bonito Lovio told The Santiago Times. “The reason is very simple: Cuban dissidents on the island suffer repression and their statements abroad could cause the Cuban government to lose the image of sanctity it still has in many parts of the world.”
“(Her trip) threatened to show the world that Cuban dissidents are articulate young idealists and not the criminals that the Cuban government wants us to think,” he said.