14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 24 August 2021 – On Monday, Cuban State Security threatened the mother of the director of Cubalex, Laritza Diversent, who denounced the incident on her social networks and on the web presence of the non-governmental organization of which she is the founder.
“An agent of State Security went to the home of the family of the director of Cubalex, Laritza Diversent, and threatened her mother because of the work that the organization has been developing,” detailed the official Facebook page of the legal information center which, since the protests of 11th July, and with the help of a group of volunteers, compiles data on the detained and disappeared in a list that exceeds 800 names.
The on-line posting explains that Maricelis Cámbara, 63, “was warned that she herself could be tried for her daughter’s work” in defense of human rights and they threatened to “intercept Laritza Diversent in the United States or another country” to “take her to Cuba” and try her. Cámbara was also asked where Diversent lives in the United States.
“I have been reflecting on this threat and the first thing it shows is that the work that Cubalex is doing annoys them and worries them to the point of going to my mother’s house and threatening her to be able talk to me. Direct threats to put her in jail by insinuating that I send her money and she receives it, for example,” Diversent told 14ymedio .
The lawyer said that they also offered her mother “things that they were going to give her” if she collaborated. “My mother is quite calm but I can’t stop worrying about her and she is worried about what may happen to me here in the United States,” she said.
“I think they are trying to send a message of fear so that one is frightened and leaves the work they are doing. I think that those of us who live outside of Cuba are also exposed, although not at the same level of risk as those who are on the island who receive repression directly,” she added.
Diversent is clear and categorical when she affirms that she is not going to abandon the work she does with her team: “We are not going to leave what we are doing, much less now, we are not going to leave the people imprisoned in Cuba alone, I am going to continue supporting them.”
Cubalex has spent years providing free legal advice to Cuban citizens and activists, journalists and opponents who are victims of repression on the island and whose human rights are constantly violated.
A part of the legal team went into exile in May 2017 after State Security carried out a raid on the headquarters of Cubalex where its members, including Diversent, received attacks and threats.
On her networks, Diversent spoke directly to the agent who went to her mother’s house: “You can come find me and take me to a prison in Cuba. I’m waiting for you (…) whatever you are going to do, do it, but starting now.” She also pointed out that she is responsible for her actions and her work and that “bothering” her mother for what she does “is irresponsible and cowardly.”
Laritza Diversent graduated in Law from the University of Havana and later did a Master’s degree in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at the American University Washington College of Law. On the island, the lawyer directed the work of Cubalex for more than six years and now continues to do so from exile.
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