Inter-American Press Association Demands the Immediate Release of Cuban Journalist Henry Constantin

The director of the digital magazine La Hora de Cuba, Henry Constantín, in an archive photograph. (EFE/Ricardo Maldonado Rozo)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Miami,18 September 2023 — The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) demanded on Monday the immediate release of Cuban journalist Henry Constantín, victim of arbitrary detention by the Island’s authorities since last Friday.

The director of the independent magazine La Hora de Cuba, from Camagüey, was arrested that day by State Security agents in Havana, during the inauguration of the G-77 Summit plus China, according to a statement from the IAPA.

It is the second time this month that the journalist has been arrested. Constantín is also regional vice president of the Commission on Freedom of Press and Information of the IAPA, a hemispheric organization based in Miami (USA).

On this occasion, Constantín was arrested “for being illegally in Havana,” and told that he will be returned to Camagüey “within fifteen days, if transport appears,” as the detainee himself said through a phone call, the IAPA reported.

The journalist had already been arrested on September 4 in Camaguey along with his colleague José Luis Tan, a collaborator of Diario de Cuba, while they were trying to cover the trial against the activist Ienelis Delgado Cué.

The repression against journalists and independent media continues to be carried out by both the Communist Party and the Ministry of the Interior

For her part, journalist Neife Rigau, a collaborator of La Hora de Cuba, said that “the regime monitors me, persecutes me and cuts my Internet connection constantly,” according to the IAPA, adding that she received a summons from State Security for an “interview” on September 17.

“We strongly condemn Henry’s arrest and demand his immediate release,” the president of the IAPA and global director of Licensing and Printing Innovation of The New York Times, Michael Greenspon, and the head of the Press and Information Freedom Commission and journalistic director of the Argentinian newspaper La Voz del Interior, Carlos Jornet, jointly said in the statement.

Both complained that “the regime continues to arrest, harass and monitor independent journalists.”

In the report on Cuba presented at the semi-annual meeting of the IAPA last April, the organization pointed out that in that country, “repression against journalists and independent media continues to be carried out both by the Communist Party and the Ministry of the Interior.”

“The number of attacks was reduced, not because of a change of official strategy but because dozens of reporters left the country. The gag against the freedoms of the press and expression is rooted in the Criminal Code, the Law of Associations, Law 88, the Constitution, as well as in specific decrees,” the report added.

The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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