Cuban taxi driver arrested for fleeing black passenger
Translated and edited for CubaNews by Walter Lippmann.
JULY 10, 2017 1:22 PM
The driver of a private taxi has been detained in Havana for an alleged act of racial discrimination which was denounced by a black passenger, in a case that is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office, reports the official weekly Trabajadores.
Yanay Aguirre Calderín, a law student at the University of Havana, denounced the “ill-mannerd” and “very violent” behavior of the “almendrón” driver –old American passenger cars– in a letter published a week ago in the “Open Mailbox” section of that medium.
According to Aguirre’s story, she took the vehicle in the Havana neighborhood of Marianao and in the middle of the route decided to get off a few stops earlier than originally planned, a change of plans that angered the taxi driver.
Aguirre said in her letter that the driver began to scream and said that “every time a black man entered his car was the same and that is why he could not stand them,” according to his account.
The carrier ordered her to leave the car without reaching the destination requested and told her that “he did not want blacks in his car “, although she was able to photograph the car with her cell phone and write down the of the license plate number.
The official Trabajadores newspaper prints statements by the head of the Directorate of Citizenship of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), Rafael Soler López, who said that he “can not anticipate what will be the end of the process” against the driver whose Identity has not been revealed.
However, the prosecutor said that this case is being investigated in order to prove “criminal wrongdoing” in court, while the accused remains in custody.
He said that in Cuba both the Constitution and the Penal Code have articles related to the proscription of discrimination on the basis of race, sex and gender, and endorsing the right of every citizen to equality.
The publication that tracks the incident indicated that police authorities in Havana proceeded immediately to locate the owner of the vehicle and details that the driver, who admitted his involvement in the events, was identified by the complainant at a police station.
Regarding the repercussions of Aguirre’s complaint, the Attorney General’s Office indicates that he has received dozens of comments on his website and social networks, as well as telephone calls, which repudiate an “unforgivable attitude and behavior”.