Publisher of ‘Coexistence’ is Incommunicado in State Security Headquarters / 14ymedio, Mario Penton

Karina Gálvez, editor of the magazine Coexistence in Pinar del Río. (Alongthemalecon)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 21 January 2017 — The editor of the magazine Convivencia (Coexistence), the economist Karina Galvez, is still being held incommunicado 24 hours after a spectacular police raid on her home in Pinar del Río.

Gálvez is accused of tax evasion, something that the editorial team of the Coexistence Study Center precluded in a press release.

“Karina has no business, nor is she self-employed in her work, nor does she work for the Cuban state,” says the letter signed by the team of the first think tank in the western part of the island. continue reading

The members of Convivencia explain that the accusation refers to the sale of Galvez’s home: “All the transactions carried out in 2014 are in order and all corresponding tax payments have been made.”

According to the note, the detainee is being advised by the team of lawyers of the International Legal Consultancy in Pinar del Río.

Karins Gálvez’s house is sealed and friends and relatives are prohibited from entering. According to the official who identified herself as Major Odalys, the house is “occupied” and Galvez will be held incommunicado for seven days, after which she may receive a visit to give her personal cleanliness supplies.

“They have not taken anything from the house, what they have done is pasted on the doors and the garage papers handwritten in ink,” Yoandy Izquierdo, a member of the editorial team ‘Coexistence’, told 14ymedio.

According to Izquierdo, after a week, police and state security officials will determine whether they will impose “a precautionary measure, bail or imprisonment.”

The break-in of Galvez’s house came within a few hours of the inauguration of the new interior minister, Julio César Gandarilla, who exercises command of the National Revolutionary Police and State Security forces.

Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, director of the Coexistence Study Center, has highlighted the increase in repressive actions against the center, which has no political affiliation.

“This is part of the harassment that the Study Center has been suffering intensely for months. I was warned that life would be more difficult for us and we are not in a time of maintaining alternative positions,” Valdes said in a telephone conversation with 14ymedio.

“What they have done to Karina Gálvez is a clear violation of human rights and it seems to concern the production of thought for the future of the country, when precisely what we Cubans need sit down around the table and discuss how we can solve the serious problems our nation is experiencing,” he added.

On Christmas Eve, Galvez had been summoned to the Department of Immigration and Immigration (DIE) where she was questioned about her travels outside Cuba.

Valdés himself underwent an intense interrogation last October when she was told that her academic activity represented a danger.

On November 25, State Security banned a meeting of the Center that was intended to address the issue of culture and education in the future of Cuba.

“The repressive wave grows and spreads like we have never seen. We are very worried and we want to make a warning call,” said Valdés.

A Gift from Pinar del Rio on Padre Felix Varela’s 225th Birthday / Intramuros, Yoandy Izquierdo Toledo

I remember every November 20th for a special reason (besides being the birthday of a dear aunt, and of a friend): on this day the Cuban nation gave birth to one of the preeminent pillars of our founding history, Father Felix Varela.

“The complete patriot,” as Martí called him, knew how to merge science and conscience in order to carry out the difficult art of showing the way toward freedom and social justice.

Pinar del Rio has the only full-body statue of Varela on the island, located on the grounds of the Cathedral. The work, done in marble from San Juan y Martinez by the sculptor José M. Pérez Veliz, shows us Varela in a walking position, looking into the distance, like someone watching over the fate of the city and the nation. In his left hand he holds his greatest work, Letters to Elpidio. About Impiety, Superstition and Fanaticism. He seems to be telling us from its pages: “Dear ones, never be arrogant with the weak or weak with the powerful.”

Twenty years after the founding of the now-defunct Center for Civic and Religious Training (CFCR) in Pinar del Rio, and seven years after the unveiling of this sculpture, we members of the Coexistence team, the successor to the work of the Center and its magazine Stained Glass, made a pilgrimage to the foot of this wonderful work in order to offer of our project of ethical and civic education – an edited volume of Coexistence Issues, containing courses taught by CFCR from 1993 to 2007.

Inspired by the Varelian maxim that “There can be no homeland without virtue,” we offer this book as a continuation and application of the legacy of the first one who taught us to think. It is a gift from Pinar del Rio to the Father of our culture.

Yoandy Izquierdo Toledo (Pinar del Río, 1987).

Diplomate in Microbioology, Manager of Coexistence Issues, Resides and works in Havana.

21 November 2013