Cuban Faces 2017: Karina Gálvez, Economist

Karina Gálvez, editor of the magazine ‘Convivencia’ in Pinar del Río. (Courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2017 — For a whole decade the economist Karina Gálvez Chiu (b. 1966, Pinar del Río) has contributed to the development of the Convivencia (Coexistence) Project in a constant and effective manner. Editor, lecturer and a keen analyst of the Cuban reality, this woman from Pinar del Río born in the complicated decade of the ‘60s is one of the most visible faces of the initiative directed by Dagoberto Valdés.

Gálvez’s work as editor of an independent publication and member of the management of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC), has led to her frequent arrests, interrogations and threats from State Security.

In January of this year she was detained for a week in the Criminal Investigation Technical Directorate of Pinar del Río and later sentenced to three years of deprivation of liberty and the confiscation of her home, which had become a meeting place for members of the Convivencia team. In 2009, the patio of her parents’ house, where her colleagues met, had also been confiscated and closed off.

The most recent and disproportionate sanction is based on a charge of alleged tax evasion derived from the act of sale of the property. In addition, Galvez has been prohibited from exercising the right to vote or standing as a candidate in electoral processes, and has lost “the right to occupy management positions in the organs corresponding to the political-administrative activity of the State.” She is also forbidden to be “issued a passport and leave the national territory until the sanctions imposed have been terminated.”

The economist has not been imprisoned. The sentence contemplates that the term of deprivation of liberty can be served by three years of house arrest with correctional work, which she is currently fulfilling by cleaning floors in a school in the city.


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