Independent Journalist Arrested For Investigating The Case Of Karla Pérez González

Maykel González Vivero was also arrested while working to cover the damages caused by Hurricane Matthew in Baracoa. (El Estornudo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 25 Havana, 25 April 2017 — The independent magazine El Estornudo (The Sneeze) has denounced Monday’s detention of its collaborator Maykel González Vivero. The young journalist was detained at Marta Abreu de las Villas Central University, while reporting on the expulsion of journalism student Karla Pérez González.

The digital site asserts that the reporter “did not at any time hide” that he was investigating on the case. “He managed to interview Karla’s classmates who voted in favor of her definitive exclusion from Higher Education, including as Miguel Ángel Castiñeira and Ney Cruz,” the article said.

However, in the course of the investigation “a number of teachers tried to confiscate Maykel’s belongings and his tools of the trade.” He was subsequently “held in a university department until police took him to the State Security Santa Clara Operations Unit.”

At the Unit, the reporter was subjected to five hours of interrogation and his equipment was confiscated: a laptop, tape recorder and cell phone. El Estornudo clarified that the reporter “is not facing any legal charges, but his devices will be returned to have after the police penetrate (sic) them and check their contents.”

In October of last year, González Vivero was jailed for three days in Baracoa, Guantánamo, “for covering as an independent journalist the passage of Hurricane Matthew through the East of the country,” the article notes.

The reporter “is not facing any legal charges, but his devices will be returned to have after the police penetrate (sic) them and check their contents.”

El Estornudo said that the expulsion of the journalism student was arbitrary, as was the arrest of Maykel Gonzalez Vivero: “two unjustifiable abuses that the Cuban government commits, in a manner as shameful as it is ironic, through one of its centers of higher education.”

On Monday, Karla María Pérez González received the official ratification of her expulsion from the University and has ten working days to appeal the decision. The young woman was accused of belonging to the Somos+ (We Are More) Movement and “having a strategy from the beginning of the course to subvert the young.”

The case has aroused a wave of outrage and in her favor official voices have weighed in, such as the singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez, who wrote in his blog, “What brutes we are, for fuck’s sake, it’s been decades and we don’t learn.

“It is so clumsy and obtuse what has been done to this girl that inevitably this will draw attention to the group to which she belongs and the ideas it defends. I know that they will come out with lists of links of some of these groups calling them terrorists, etc. But the damage is already done, because such injustice can only arouse solidarity,” he said.