14ymedio, Havana, 25 November 2016 — The meeting of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC) scheduled for Saturday in Pinar del Rio has been prohibited by State Security, as reported two officers to the organization’s director, Dagoberto Valdes. The men visited the house of the Catholic layman and they assured him that “high command” would not allow holding the event, the intellectual told 14ymedio.
The meeting, the third of its kind, had as its theme Culture and Education in the Future of Cuba: vision and proposal. The organizers expected the participation of about 20 people, most of them from other provinces.
One of the officials said he was Major Joaquin, who was also present at the last interrogation to which Valdes was summoned. Among the arguments presented for the prohibition of the meeting was that it had been scheduled to take place 72 hours before the anniversary of the landing of the yacht Granma, which brought Fidel and Raul Castro and other revolutionaries from Mexico.
The major also said that those invited to the meeting were “prominent counterrevolutionary ringleaders,” but without giving details. Valdes, who is also director of the magazine Convivencia (Coexistence), questioned the reasons why the Government to considers dangerous a meeting to talk about education.
Last September the CEC had to cancel a meeting on community issues, when two participants from Cienfuegos were intercepted and forced to return to their province.
The Coexistence Studies Center organizes training courses for the citizenry and civil society in Cuba. The organization operates independently of the State, the Church and any political group.