A Cuban student who appeared in a video last week grilling a top Cuban official is denying reports that he was arrested afterward, and maintains that his questions were aimed only at bettering socialism.
In the video CNN obtained and aired last week, Eliecer Avila was seen grilling Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban National Assembly, about low wages and why Cubans are banned from tourist hotels and from traveling abroad.
The student’s questions came during a meeting between Alarcon and students at the University of Computer Science in Havana. Students who gave CNN the tape said they wished to remain anonymous.
In a new video, the Cuban government says it is responding to “manipulation” by the overseas press and “media terrorism.”
In the new tape, Avila says his questions were meant to improve socialism. When asked by an interviewer about reports that he was arrested over the weekend, Avila acknowledges that while his absence from the university might have seemed mysterious to some, “At no point was it an arrest. My family is completely calm. There is no problem.”
Frank Kafka would be proud. Or mortified.