FACT CHECK: Did Raul Castro Flee To Venezuela?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims to show former Cuban President Raul Castro disembarking from a plane after fleeing from Cuba to Venezuela.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Castro has fled Cuba. The image featured in the post was taken in 2015 and shows Castro landing in Costa Rica to attend a summit.

Fact Check:

Thousands of Cubans angered by food and medicine shortages participated in anti-government protests on July 11, with many calling for freedom and for Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel to resign, CNN reported. Now, an image on Facebook shows Castro exiting a plane and claims he fled to Venezuela during the protests.

“BREAKING – Cuba: Former President Raúl Castro flees to Venezuela,” reads the image’s caption. “He arrived in Caracas around 11:37 pm, Sunday, July 11, 2021 as massive anti-government protests erupted in the socialist regime.”

There is no evidence, however, that Castro fled to Venezuela on July 11. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the photo in a January 2015 article published by La Nación, explaining it shows him arriving in Costa Rica to attend that year’s Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit.

“Raúl Castro arrived at the Juan Santamaría airport to attend the Celac Summit that starts tomorrow in the country,” reads a translation of the image’s caption on La Nación. “He is the first president to arrive on Costa Rican soil and was received by Vice President Ana Helena Chacón.”

The photo was also included in articles published by Cuba Debate and teleSUR. Both outlets also reported the image showed Castro arriving in Costa Rica for the CELAC summit. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Recent Anti-Government Protest In Cuba?)

Had Castro actually fled Cuba during the July 11 protests, media outlets likely would have reported on it, yet none have.”Raúl Castro is very well and in Cuba,” said Noraimis Ramos Ruiz, a spokesperson for the Cuban government, in an email to Check Your Fact.

Castro appeared at a pro-government rally in Havana, Cuba on July 17, according to the Associated Press.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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