Ariel Ruiz Urquiola

Cuban environmentalist, biologist, and LGBTQ+ rights activist

Ariel Ruiz Urquiola is a Cuban biologist and former professor and researcher at the University of Havana. After denouncing the unsustainable fishing practices of sea turtles and starting a hunger and thirst strike to obtain cancer treatment for his sister, he was fired from his job, arrested in 2018, and sentenced to 12 months in prison. At a public hospital, he was deliberately infected with HIV and later released from prison following another hunger strike. Today, he continues to be an environmentalist and activist condemning Cuba’s repression.

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