14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 18 January 2017 — When she got home, she kissed her mother and took a long, intense shower, like the one she dreamed during the six days she was detained. Karina Galvez let the water run to take away her weariness and the hopelessness that the imprisonment had caused her. Outside her home, neighbors welcomed her with hugs on Tuesday, after she was released on a 2,000 Cuban peso bond, still facing charges of alleged tax evasion, linked to the purchase of a home.
During his first hours out of the cell, Galvez knew that the Cuba he had left a week before had changed. She learned, only then, of the end of the United States’ Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy and she knew that the international solidarity around him had been much greater than she could have imagined. Surrounded by her friends and trying to recover every missing minute, the economist answered some questions for 14ymedio via telephone.
Yoani Sanchez: What is your current legal situation? Is there a date for a hearing?
Karina Gálvez: They haven’t told me a date for the trial. The only thing I have is the document known as the “auto” that describes the case, so I can name a lawyer.
Yoani Sanchez: What were the main emotional supports you had in your days of confinement?
Karina Gálvez: I confess I had moments when I felt emotionally broken. I had never slept in a cell before. The anguish of being unaware of what was happening outside, of being cut off, was quite strong.
At one point I asked God to give me a sign that he was there with me and a few minutes later Major Odalys came in and brought me a bible that my sister had brought me. I was very shocked by that moment.
It has been one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced, although I felt sure of solidarity
It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced, although I felt sure of solidarity. I knew a lot of people were watching over me and that my family was not alone.
Yoani Sanchez: And on leaving did you confirm that impression?
Karina Gálvez: I fell a little short in my calculations… last night when I left I found out that the solidarity had been immense. Support has gone beyond friends. I have to thank all those who supported me and tell them that all the energy of knowing that people were with me helped me a lot in there.
Yoani Sanchez: What were the conditions of the place where you were detained?
Karina Gálvez: I can not complain about my treatment, because it was – within the injustice that I was there – respectful and without offense. But the material conditions were difficult. Especially the bathrooms, water and food, which are difficult anywhere in Cuba. On the other hand, in an situation of anguish I found it difficult to eat. Although I was willing to so as not to get sick and to preserve my health.
Yoani Sanchez: The arrest took place a few days before the second part of a meeting of the Coexistence Studies Center, this time in Miami. Will you be able to participate?
Karina Gálvez: No, because I have a pending case I cannot leave the country.
Yoani Sanchez: Have you been unable to access your home from where you were arrested?
Karina Gálvez: The house is still “occupied,” with a seal placed on the door and almost all things that are inside are also “occupied.”