Yosi McIntire, Peace Secretary
I was introduced to Ivette Garcia several years ago. She taught History at the University of Havana and lectured at the Cuban Institute of International Relations (ISRI). She also worked as a guest lecturer at various universities across Latin America, primarily in Argentina and Nicaragua. For several years she served as First Secretary for the Cuban Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. She had authored several important books on the history of colonial Cuba.
When we met, she was at the historic Smathers Library – part of the University of Florida devoted to Latin American and Caribbean collections, doing research for a new book concerning the historic connections between Saint Augustine and Cuba. When she came to St. Augustine to work with the local Historical Society, she would stay with us.
More recently, Ivette openly criticized the Cuban government’s reaction to the July 2021 protests by the San Isidro Movement. As a result, she was fired from her teaching posts in Havana and later also in Nicaragua.
Fearing she would be arrested if she were to return to Cuba, or be extradited from Nicaragua to Cuba, she made her way through Honduras and Mexico to the U.S. border. Like so many asylum seekers, she doesn’t know where to turn. She is currently in Hobbs, New Mexico, awaiting her first trial date for January 5, 2023.
Ivette seeks a pro-bono immigration attorney and a live-in situation, preferably in New Mexico, until her appearance in court, after which she would be willing to travel anywhere in the United States. She could be a companion, a personal assistant, tutor Spanish, care for an elderly person or some other live-in situation without official pay.
Any offers, ideas, or suggestions would be most welcome.
(If you are involved with some Peace and Justice initiative in your community that you would like to share with the broader Servas community, please let me know! )
National Peace Secretary.
Servas Community Outreach