Cuban man who supported the protests needs minimal means of living while waiting for a decision from Lithuania's Migration Department

  • Story

My name is Roberto Casanueva Valdes. I am Cuban. 30 years ago I came to Belarus, learned the language, got a residence permit and got a job as a graphic designer.

Back in Cuba, I married a Belarusian girl. In November 1989 we had a daughter Claudia. And here in Belarus I had two sons: Christian in 1994 and Albertico in 2010. 

Before the events of 2020, I looked at what was happening in the country with surprise. I understood what it would lead to, because I had seen it all back in Cuba — the situation itself and the tools that are used to hold on to power and control people through fear. Therefore, when the protests started, I actively participated in them.

On November 8th I was detained in the area of Freedom Square in Minsk and thrown in a temporary detention center for 13 months. Then they decided to deport me to Cuba, but thanks to the BYSOL team I managed to avoid it. The thing is that I was in danger in Cuba. Firstly, I would have returned home as a deportee who stood on the side of the Belarusan 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 a close friend of Lukashenko's government.

Therefore, having found myself in the Moscow airport, instead of Cuba, I flew to Lithuania, where I filed for defense. At first, the Lithuanian authorities refused me, but BYSOL helped me hire a lawyer, and we appealed that decision.

Now I am waiting for a new decision of the Lithuanian Migration Department. I cannot get officially employed or open a bank account because of my limited status and lack of necessary documents.

I continue to work in Lithuania as a volunteer designer (i.e. without compensation), helping Belarusian initiatives. But now I need to pay my current expenses and I hope that soon the Migration Department will make a decision and I will be able to get the necessary documents.

How much is needed?


1000€ — accommodation for two months
500€ — living expenses

The collection is over. Сollected:
€ 2 000
The collection is over. Сollected: € 2 000