14ymedio, Havana, 13 October 2016 — Journalist Jose Ramirez Pantoja appeared for a second time before the Municipal Court of Holguin on Wednesday. The reporter, expelled from his job in the provincial radio station, reported on his blog that “everything transpired normally in accordance with the law” and that the trial had “upheld the sentence.”
Both parties attended the hearing: the administration of Radio Holguin and the attorney Rafael Jorge Noya Lafite, representing Ramirex Pantoja. During the hearing “new evidence” was presented and the journalist had the chance to state before the court “issues raised at the first hearing,” according to his brief blog post.
Pantoja was fired from his job on July 11 and sentenced to five years of suspension from his job and his profession for posting on his personal blog some controversial words of the assistant director of the newspaper Granma, Karina Brown, about the current economic crisis in Cuba.
Last September the President of the National Ethics Commission of the Cuban Journalists Union, Luis Sexto Sanchez, traveled to Holguin and met with Pantoja. A few days later, the Commission upheld the sentence against the reporter at both the provincial and national level.
Before the incident with Brown, Ramirez Pantoja was recognized with the Félix Elmuza Distinction, the Journalists Union highest award.