News and Facts about Cuba

Hablemos Press journalist awaits 10th deportation to home town

Hablemos Press awaits 10th deportation to home town

Published on Tuesday 15 May 2012.

Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a reporter for the independent news agency

Hablemos Press, was on 10 May and is being held in a

detention centre in Havana awaiting deportation in three days' time to

his home town of Camagüey for the 10th time in two years.

His sister-in-law, Niurka Caridad Ortega, visited the journalist

yesterday and told Hablemos Press she had "seen him and taken him some

clean laundry, although he said he had stopped eating since Thursday and

was spitting blood. It appears that the stomach ulcer from which he

suffers has worsened."

Reporters Without Borders said: "Calixto Ramón Martínez lives and works

in Havana, where he also has relatives. On this basis, his expulsion to

Camagüey contravenes the relaxation, passed at the end of last year, of

the law on internal migration, which restricted the movement of people

to the capital.

"The free movement of individuals is a basic right which the Cuban

government must acknowledge, particularly if it decides to ratify the

two United Nations pacts on civil and political rights that it signed in


"Why do the authorities insist in uprooting this man from his everyday

surroundings? Is it because he recently reported, via Hablemos Press,

that Havana was experiencing problems with its water supply? The subject

deserves more than senseless reprisals against the journalist who raised it.

"This deportation – his 10th — would be laughable were it not for the

fact that it exposes the refusal of the government, which claims to be

aware of the need to change the way it governs, to establish an open and

sustained dialogue with civil society."

The press organization also called for the journalist to be

given all appropriate care.

Hablemos Press has recorded just over 1,900 detentions or hostile acts

by the authorities towards dissidents since the start of the year,

including 340 during April. The agency has itself been affected by the

crackdown. Besides Martinez, two more of its journalists, Gerardo Younel

Avila and Magali Norvis Otero, were each detained briefly, on 6 and 9

May respectively.,42626.html

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