His powerful writing apparently shakes the system
HAVANA TIMES – On Tuesday when we published a commentary by the farmer and journalist Osmel Ramirez Alvarez on the subject of reforms to the Cuban Constitution, we did not imagine that he had been arrested a short time earlier in his house for writing in publications like ours, which are not controlled by the government.
Last November Osmel, who lives in Mayari, Holguin, was arrested and singled out for writing in the alternative press, something the Cuban government considers a threat to “the Revolution.” At that time they confiscated computer equipment and other possessions.
Now, a State Security agent and two policemen arrived at his home at 2:30 PM on Tuesday to handcuff him and take him away without informing his wife, Idalia Torres, where he was being taken, something common with arrests in Cuba. Idalia already experienced this psychological torture the last time Osmel was arrested and held incommunicado for three days.
The agent told the wife that, for now, Osmel’s detention will be for 72 hours for each article he writes and “if he keeps writing, they will open a legal process against him and he will be imprisoned for a long time,” Idalia said.
It seems that Osmel’s words shake the foundations of the system and the Castro-Diaz Canel government has a long track record of repressing and imprisoning independent journalists.
Torres informed that the State Security agent did not want to let Osmel take a change of clothes with him, but the police and a girl who accompanied them allowed him to take some clothes and toiletries. They said he would be freed on Friday afternoon.
Osmel is a tobacco grower, member of a credit and services cooperative, and also writes news and opinion columns for other media such as Diario de Cuba and the SPD Bulletin.