MADRID (Reuters) – Cuban protest leader Yunior Garcia and his wife landed at Madrid’s Barajas airport on Wednesday afternoon, a source from the Spanish government said, putting an end to several days of uncertainty over his whereabouts.
Garcia, who left the country days after a planned major protest that was blocked by the government, flew on a commercial flight and entered Spain on a tourist visa, the source said.
A Cuban government spokesman confirmed Yunior Garcia was in Spain, while Garcia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dissident leaders in Cuba said on social media that they had not heard from Garcia, a playwright and the protest movement’s leader, since early on Tuesday, a day after the planned rallies that largely fizzled out on Nov. 15.
Garcia was a central figure in a wave of protests that rocked Cuba in July and drew thousands to the streets to demonstrate against shortages of basic goods, curbs on civil liberties and the handling of the pandemic.
The protests, Cuba’s largest in decades, provoked a harsh backlash from the government, which arrested hundreds of demonstrators.
Ahead of last week’s banned march, the Cuban government revoked press credentials from five journalists from the Spanish news agency EFE but later reinstated two of them.
(Reporting by Belén Carreño in Madrid and Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank in Havana, Writing by Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip)