Havana Cuba. – This Monday, the authorities of the Cuban regime prohibited José Ramón Viñas Alonso, leader of one of the two high Masonic bodies on the Island, from leaving the country when he was about to take a flight to Florida to participate in a Masonic event.
Viñas Alonso is Sovereign Grand Commander (SGC) of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Republic of Cuba.
At the José Martí International Airport in Havana, “when I present the documents, they tell me that I am not allowed to leave the country. When asking and demanding from the authorities, they tell me that they are only executing an order and that they cannot give me an explanation. I immediately called Mrs. Eloísa Valdés, who attends Fraternal and Religious Institutions for the government, and she informs me that she knows nothing about it. As a human being, citizen and leader of the Masonic Institution, I make my person and Freemasonry aware of this blatant violation, ”she stated in a publication on your facebook profile.
Viñas Alonso would travel with the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, Francisco Javier Alfonso Vidal, who was allowed to leave the country.
“I let it be known that I do not have any economic debt with the State, not even a traffic ticket and my criminal record is clean (taken from a few days ago). I ask: are there no rights in this country? At least one possible explanation. I don’t feel sad, I just feel sorry for the Masonic brothers who were waiting for my company, I assume this as the GADU wants my birthday to happen with my wife, children and granddaughter together, that’s how simple I assume is cruel injustice “, he sentenced.
After the protests of July 11 (J11) last year, in letter sent to the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, the Sovereign rejected the repression unleashed during and after the social outbreak.
In said letter, Viñas Alonso came to compare the current government with the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado and expressed his rejection of Díaz-Canel and “his position and direction at the head of the country for calling, inciting and ordering a confrontation with violence against the Cuban people,” as well as the violence against peaceful demonstrators and citizens who do not conform to the prevailing political system on the island.
Shortly after making this letter public, Viñas Alonso was summoned and interrogated by State Security agents at the Zapata y C police station in Havana.
A month later, Ernesto Zamora Fernández, then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, “for the sake of preserving Masonic unity,” even refused to meet with Díaz-Canel. In this way, and for the first time in more than 50 years, strong tensions were generated between the regime and Cuban Freemasonry, which have lasted until today.
At the end of December, the Sovereign Grand Commander returned to demonstrate publicly, wishing that the “sun of freedom” would shine again in Cuba.
“We have lived a complicated year, difficult social situations, economic hardship, deaths, lack of medicine and food, a pandemic that affected us all in one way or another, the health of many hit, unwise government decisions, arrests, arbitrary laws , total hardship and little hope for the future, far exceed the efforts of science and vaccines that still fail to bring us rest in the face of discouragement without improvement and where politics is used to justify shortcomings and mistakes “, express in a message greeting for the end of the year addressed to the Cuban Masonic community.
According to the Patmos Institute, since 2018 -and before 11J- more than 200 people in Cuba have been prevented from traveling abroad for alleged reasons of “public interest”. They include human rights activists, independent journalists, religious leaders and artists.
The objective of the measure is both to prevent them from participating in training events or international denunciations, and to punish them for their activism or critical positions with power. This would be the first time that a high-ranking official of Cuban Freemasonry is “regulated,” the euphemism used by the regime to refer to prohibitions on leaving the country.
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