A Cuban man who has lived in Belarus for 30 years and supported the protests needs help to hire a lawyer

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My name is Roberto Casanueva. I am a Cuban. I came to Belarus in the early 90's, learned the language, got a residence permit and got a job as a graphic designer.

I married a Belarusian girl back in Cuba. In November 1989, our daughter Claudia was born. And here in Belarus I have two sons: Christian in 1994 and Albertico in 2010.

Before the events of 2020 I was surprised at what was happening in the country. I understood what it was leading to, because I had seen it all back in Cuba — the situation itself and the tools used to keep power and control people by means of fear. So when the protests started, I actively participated in them.

That same year, 2020, I had to renew my residency permit. I had all the documents ready — in so many years it happens automatically. This time, however, everything did not go according to plan. An employee of the migration department surreptitiously began to stick me with a piece of paper, which was covered with articles of law. I realized that this piece of paper has nothing to do with the renewal of my residency permit, and I asked what it was. The employee of the migration department started to sneakily hand me a piece of paper, which was covered with articles of law. I understood that this paper has nothing to do with the renewal of the residence permit and asked what it was. The officer replied that I had no right to go to demonstrations, and that otherwise I would be deported. I said that I did not agree with this — I have freedom of speech, and I am not going to give up my rights. I also said that I would keep on demonstrating and writing whatever I thought was necessary to make the current illegitimate president step down. Then she phoned and some colonel showed up and just escorted me out of the building.

On November 8 I was detained near Liberty Square. I was walking on the sidewalk, there were no crowds around, no one with flags, there was public transportation — everything was as usual. Nevertheless, a convoy of OMON vehicles stopped not far from me, and the OMON police came out and started shoving everyone into them. When I asked why, they said “to find out my identity. 

They slapped us several times on the back and legs — that's their way of saying hello. We were taken to Partisanski District Police Department, and there, instead of finding out our identity, we were registered as protesters. I was treated in the same way as the Belarusans who were detained that day. Only one officer said: “Oh, so you're a foreigner! We'll deport you later from above. I said that they could do as they wanted. 

I spent 13 months in the TDF on Okrestina. At first I was sentenced to 15 days, then they cancelled my temporary residence permit and decided to "send me into exile to my homeland. I waited more than a year for deportation, the last one and a half months without any parcels or hygiene products.

With the help of BYSOL, I managed to "evacuate" to Vilnius. Here I applied for political asylum because it was dangerous for me to return to Cuba. Why? First of all, I would return to Cuba as a deportee who was on the side of the Belarusian people. Secondly, when the President of Cuba had the nerve to congratulate Lukashenko on his "victory" in the elections, I wrote about it in social networks. Thirdly, Cuba is close friends with Lukashenko's government.

However, the Lithuanian authorities turned it down. I hired a lawyer, and we appealed the decision.





Radio Svaboda:







Radio Marti:





Diaro de Cuba (ddc)








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Malanka Media


Fee amount


This is the amount requested by the lawyer who will help with the appeal and manage my case.

The collection is over. Сollected:
€ 2 363
The collection is over. Сollected: € 2 363