14ymedio, Havana, 4 November 2016 – The reporter Sol García Basulto was arrested by Cuban State Security Thursday night when she was traveling to Havana. The correspondent for 14ymedio in Camagüey was intercepted on the way to the capital by officers who handcuffed her and confiscated her belongings. About two in the morning she was released, with a warning that she cannot leave the province for 60 days.
The arrest occurred on the outskirts of the city, when the bus was stopped at a checkpoint. Several police officers entered the bus, handcuffed her and put her in a patrol car, taking her to a State Security unit in the Montecarlo neighborhood.
“They never gave me an explanation of why I was being arrested,” she said, in a telephone call to the 14ymedio newsroom in Havana. “At the unit I resisted giving them my belongings because they wanted to take my cellphone and my documents.”
“Six people seized me violently, five men and a woman, and took away everything I had, except for my passport.”
“I have to go every Wednesday to the State Security unit because I am charged with disobedience,” she detailed. If she does not appear, “a retentive measure will be applied,” she reported.
Basulto Garcia was heading to Havana to visit the newsroom of this newspaper and to begin the paperwork to travel abroad. The reporter would have gone to the Panama consulate on Friday to request a visa to participate in a course on investigative journalism, at the invitation of the Latin American Press Association.
A contributor to the magazine Hora de Cuba (Cuba’s Hour), and a reporter focused on cultural issues, García Basulto has been harassed in recent months for her work as a freelance journalist. In February of this year she was interrogated and threatened by the political police and told not to continue her work.
“They don’t like my work,” the reporter wrote in an email previously after suffering various pressures. “They warn me that I am constantly watched and that I am in their hands,” she said at that time.