Cuban Political Police Interrogate Dagoberto Valdés About an Alleged ‘Operation’ Against the Regime

The academic was detained by two patrol cars on the Pinar del Río highway when he returned from Havana

The intellectual denied being involved in violent acts to sabotage May Day / Facebook / Dagoberto Valdés

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, May 1, 2024 — Cuban academic Dagoberto Valdés was detained this Tuesday night by State Security agents during a trip from Havana to Pinar del Río, where he lives. Valdés, the director of the Center for Coexistence Studies and one of the center’s members, Yoandy Izquierdo, were taken along with the driver of the vehicle in which they were traveling to a police station in Pinar del Río, according to what Valdés and Izquierdo denounced in a joint note published on social networks.

Both were returning from a church meeting in the capital and around 9:30 at night, on the highway to Pinar del Río, near the Calero bridge detour, they were “intercepted” by two Police vehicles. “In addition to the two police patrols, there were State Security officers, Major Ernesto and Lieutenant Colonel Manuel,” the publication clarifies.

According to the activists, the agents took away the passengers’ identification documents and the driver’s driving license, and everyone’s cell phones. “When we were taken out of the car, they explained that we were going to be taken to the PNR (National Revolutionary Police) station in Pinar del Río for a document review. They put a PNR officer in the car in which we were traveling and we received the instruction to follow patrol 142, while patrol 112 followed us.”

When they arrived at the station, another counterintelligence officer who identified himself as Alejandro “interrogated the driver”

When they arrived at the station, another counterintelligence officer who identified himself as Alejandro “interrogated the driver” about his ties to Valdés and Izquierdo, the route they had taken, and the reason for the trip to the capital. “The driver related the reality of the events: he had dropped us off at one church and picked us up at another,” the publication says.

Valdés, for his part, was interrogated by the two agents who detained him on the highway who alleged that the arrest had occurred as a result of “information” received about a possible “operation” by the detainees to sabotage state events for May Day.

“The lieutenant colonel asked if I knew Ibrahim Bosch, president of the Republican Party of Cuba, based in Miami. According to the officer, Bosch is a notorious terrorist who has called for violent acts within Cuba during the May Day celebrations and who had said that they could count on Dagoberto in Pinar del Río,” said the intellectual, who explained that he denied any link with Bosch and with any violent action.

The agents linked Valdés and Izquierdo’s trip to Havana with Bosch’s call and a column written by the director of Convivencia about Workers’ Day. These “coincidences” led them to “proceed that way,” since “their job is to doubt.”

The officers assured that there was no problem with the detainees continuing to go wherever they wanted and, after keeping them separated from each other at the station, they returned their documents and cell phones and let them go. They also reminded Valdés that the arrest does not exempt him from attending the Pinar del Río Immigration Office this Wednesday, where he was summoned by “Major Ernesto” himself a day before.

The development of May Day has kept the authorities on edge

The development of May Day, a day that the regime takes advantage of to display the “support” of the island’s workers for its management, has kept the authorities on edge. In addition to the arrest of Valdés and Izquierdo, other figures on the Island have suffered surveillance by the political police. This is the case of the journalists of this newspaper, Yoani Sánchez and Reinaldo Escobar, who have remained without an internet connection since Tuesday.

This Wednesday morning the Police prevented the opponent Guillermo Fariñas, leader of the United Antitotalitarian Forum, from leaving his home in the city of Santa Clara, as dissident Martha Beatriz Roque confirmed to this newspaper. Roque, a former prisoner of the Black Spring of 2003, also woke up with her internet access service cut off.

Another recent case of State Security repression of intellectuals and journalists is the arrest of Camagüey-based reporter José Luis Tan Estrada, who was transferred to Villa Marista, the political police headquarters in the capital, last Friday, when he was traveling from Camagüey to Havana.

Since his arrest, Tan Estrada has only been able to communicate once with activist Yamilka Laffita (Lara Crofs), who reported his situation. Several activists and international organizations have called for his release.


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