The “reforms” of dictator Raul Castro keep moving right along in Cuba and racking up the victims as another independent journalist is imprisoned for the crime of speaking truth to power.
Cuban independent journalist Hector Cedeño Negrin arrested for doing his job
Every day with their work, Cuban independent journalists like Hector Cedeño Negrin put into action the long-standing axiom of their trade: Speak truth to power.
In Cuba, those who think they have the power can’t handle the truth, which is why independent journalists are frequently targeted for arrest, or worse, by the Castro police.
Cedeño, a reporter for the Hablemos Press news agency, was arrested about 1 p.m. Tuesday while photographing several police inspectors who appeared to be harassing some private taxi drivers at El Parque de la Fraternida (Brotherhood Park) in Havana.
In an interview from jail, Cedeño told his CIHPRESS colleague Roberto Guerra that he began photographing the inspectors because they were not wearing proper uniforms.
“The arrest was for that, for taking photographs of inspectors who didn’t have their jackets on and I told them, ‘Hey, that is against the law, because you have to be uniformed,'” Cedeño said.
Not up for hearing any of that, the officers attacked Cedeño, grabbing him, ripping his shirt and punching him in the face, he said.
Which is, of course, why Cedeño, and not the officers, faces a supposed charge of “assault,” according to Guerra’s report.
Cedeño, who has been arrested numerous times, said he had started a hunger strike, “until freedom or until death.”
According to Guerra, police officials on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning were reporting that there was no record of Cedeño being held at the police station where he was being held during his interview with Guerra.
That’s in line, Guerra wrote, with police not releasing information when dissidents are arrested in order to avoid drawing protests from their family, friends and compatriots.
The journalists at Hablemos Press, of which Guerra is the director, are used to such poor treatment by the Castro authorities.
Amnesty International last week designated Calixto Ramon Martinez, a reporter with the agency, as a prisoner of conscience, determining he has been imprisoned since Sept. 16 only because of his ideas. Martinez, who last summer broke the story about an outbreak of cholera, was arrested near the Havana airport while investigating why a shipment of donated medical supplies had been allowed to spoil.