State Security Reverses and Cancels the Summons of a Cuban Teacher for an Interrogation

Professor Alina Bárbara López encourages study of the Criminal Process Law in order to claim arbitrariness. (La joven Cuba)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 October 2022 — Professor Alina Bárbara López Hernández, who on Wednesday presented to the Mantanzas Provincial Prosecutor’s Office a “formal complaint and nullity action against the official summons” that State Security had given her, has won this battle. The Police have suspended the summons, and she was informed of this hours later by the head of the station where she was called in for an interrogation required by counterintelligence.

“I imagine that the Prosecutor’s Office intervened in favor of the nullity action I requested. We can defend ourselves against the illegality of the procedures by studying the Criminal Process Law (LPP). Thank you all,” the teacher celebrated on Facebook, where she communicated the news.

López is the mentor of the group of young intellectuals and artists called “The Worst Generation,” censored and persecuted in recent days by State Security. On Tuesday, a person identified as a counterintelligence colonel asked her to speak at the Cuban Association of Artists and Artisans, in Matanzas.

The teacher publicly denounced the facts and warned that she did not intend to settle. “In Cuba, a perverse logic has been enthroned that establishes pressure on people whom there is no reason to prosecute and who are threatened and coerced for political reasons. I will not lend myself to it,” she said.

After carefully reading the LPP and being legally advised, López concluded that there were no “mandatory legal formalities” in her summons and went to the Prosecutor’s office to present a letter. The prosecutor who examined the documentation told her that she was right and that he would inform “the State Security bodies.”

No citizen can be summoned under the invocation of said law [the LPP] if there is no open criminal process in which he is being summoned as a witness or indicted in an accusation,” the professor explained. Nor is Counterintelligence an actor recognised by the LPP to interact with a citizen. If that legal process were opened, its functions would be different. Likewise, there is no such thing in the LPP as an ’interview’,” she added.

The victory has been very carefully celebrated by the jurist Eloy Viera Cañive, who resigned from his career as a lawyer in Cuba so as not to be an accomplice to the regime; he currently collaborates from Canada with El Toque [an independent online platform]. The lawyer has published an extensive comment on Facebook, shared by the teacher, in which he expresses his respect for López and praises her coherence and reasoned way of dissenting.

“The most important thing is not the result of the nullity action filed by Alina — guided by me — against illegal subpoenas sent to her by State Security. The most remarkable thing for me has been Alina’s sense of civic responsibility and courage to say No to totalitarianism, even knowing the consequences,” he writes.

However, he regrets that her victory is not a paradigm and warns Cubans not to take it for granted that they will be very successful within the law. “The fact that Alina has been lucky (others call it “privilege”) doesn’t mean that others before her enjoyed the same good luck in Cuba. Nor does it mean that the fortune that smiles upon Alina today will be the same that will accompany her in the future. Much less that it will be the same that will accompany those like her who decide to say No, even using their own legal arguments,” he says.

The jurist continues: “I don’t think we can talk about legal victories in Cuba. At least not definitive legal victories in politically motivated processes like Alina’s. In Cuba, the law is not a limit or a guarantee of anything.”

Although, he says, he is a firm supporter of legal activism and considers that López’s case encourages others to follow her example and rebel “in the face of barbarism and arbitrariness,” he also asks that those who assume it “cannot do so with hopes of achieving legal triumphs or the results that the law provides.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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