A father and a cuban basic right to come back to my own country

I do not know my child, now with more than 3 years, because the Cuban Government do not allow me to come back to my own country. My child, Juan Paolo López Fiallo, was born on April 4, 1999 in Havana, Cuba.
My case, like the one of so many other Cubans, it is very simple. I got bachelor and master degrees in Physics in the University of Havana, in Cuba. After lecturing Physics for 3 years for life science students as a teaching assistance, I got a scholarship to participate of a specialization course in the “International Centre for Theoretical Physics” in Trieste, Italy.

The Cuban government, contrary to the majority of the countries in the world, controls every leave from Cuba of his citizens. That it is why I was forced to
request an authorization to the Cuban government to be able to study in Italy. This authorization was given for a year. At the same time, I was NOT allowed to make a Ph.D. in “Northeastern University” in Boston, US.

Once my specialization course was over, I requested in the Cuban consulate in Milan, Italy, an authorization to make Ph.D. studies out of Cuba, but this was
neglected by the consul straightaway. He offered a well known Cuban alternative “Patriotism or Death”: I had to choose between coming back, renouncing to a already approved Ph.D. scholarship, or adding up to a social Cuban class called “quedados”.

This class of Cubans do NOT has the right to return to Cuba before five (5) years after the change in category, and even when accepted, only for a transitory visit of twenty one (21) days, and NOT permanently.

Your are right if you guess that I chose “Death” to be able to continue my studies. I finished last year my Ph.D. in the Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar) and now I am making a post-doctor in the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Both of
them are situated in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

I requested, and paid without reimbursement right, authorization to visit Cuba on day 10/01/2002. My first request to enter Cuba was made in July 2000. I also tried a request between these two ones, on September 2001, but one of the Cuban officials in the São Paulo consulate personally advised me not to do it because several other Cubans of the same class (quedados) had been completed unsuccessful. In the two
cases that I formally requested, and paid, for an entrance visa, these were rejected without justification and orally only, nothing written.

At this point, I wonder myself why I can not see, hold and play with my little boy. Why I can not visit my mother or walk in the streets of My country. Are these what are called respect to individual liberties and human rights? What are the reasons that let the Cuban government to obstruct,
difficult and even completed forbid family meetings? Would it be that persons do not have the right to
choose where and when study and work, or it is that we are not persons at all?

The Cuban jurist Dr. Claudio Benedí Beruff, one of the founders of the Interamerican Human Rights Commission,
presented in june before said entity in Washington, a denouncement about my human drama (Fax 1-703- 578 1587)

Thank you in advance, sincerely yours,
Ph.D. Juan López Linares
Cuban Passport: C181817
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