Supported by His Friends, Cuban Activist Leonardo Romero Negrín Is Released

Opponents and independent journalists, with police operations and communications cut off due to Independence Day

Several friends stood outside the police unit demanding the release of the young man who was fined for an alleged crime of public disorder / Facebook / Alina Bárbara López Hernández

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 May 2024 — Activist Leonardo Romero Negrín was released this Monday afternoon after spending several hours under arrest at the Dragones police station, in Old Havana. A group of friends stood outside the unit demanding the release of the young man who was fined for an alleged crime of public disorder.

“Leo is not alone. In this era, no one is any longer when confronted with violence and arbitrariness. Thank you to everyone who reported, shared and was waiting in front of the police station,” academic Alina Bárbara López Hernández wrote on her Facebook account.

The arrest on Monday morning of Romero Negrín was part of the police operations that the Cuban regime deployed this May 20, as part of the repressive actions for the 122nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Cuba in 1902 and that also included telephone cuts and surveillance around the homes of activists and independent journalists.

Romero Negrín was a physics student at the University of Havana when he was arrested on April 30, 2021, on Obispo Street for walking with a sign that said “Socialism yes, repression no.” During the mass demonstrations of 11 July 2021, he was apprehended once more and was also beaten. Accused of “public disorder,” he was released after six days, but since then he has never ceased to be harassed by the political police. Carolina Barrero, also an activist, who denounced the arbitrary detention on Monday recalls from Spain, “Leo is one of those young people who, against all odds, stayed in Cuba and tries to make his little piece of land a better country.”

“Family and friends have little news of him but we know that his detention is political”

He is not, however, the only one who suffers harassment nowadays. 14ymedio’s editorial staff in Havana remains, since this Sunday, with connection problems, and early this Monday a police operation was underway on the ground floor of the building where it is located.

According to various organizations, independent journalist Boris González Arenas and opponents Fernando Palacio and Eroisis Gonzales are also held incommunicado. Dissident Manuel Cuesta Morúa and activists María Elena Mir Marrero and Marthadela Tamayo are in the same situation. Yamilka Lafita, known as Lara Crofs, denounced having a police operation on her doorstep, in the capital.

The repressive deployment by the authorities began yesterday. Activist Agustín López Canino denounced the heavy police operation around his home in the neighborhood of El Globo, in Calabazar, Havana.

The regime has made itself felt with repressive acts days before the 122nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Cuba back in 1902. Wilber Aguilar Bravo, father of political prisoner and protester, Walnier Luis Aguilar Rivera, denounced on Saturday the regime’s harassment against him and his family and claimed on his social media platforms: “They say that no one is repressed for thinking differently.”

Similarly, writer and journalist Jorge Fernández Era was harassed by two police officers who took him to a patrol car when he left his house to throw away the garbage, and asked for his ID card to identify him.

“Leo is charged with disobedience after being arbitrarily detained by State Security.”

“I start arguing. They are so dishonest that they do not accept that the target of such a deployment is me. They are just, as they put it with absolute cynicism, ‘doing their job’,” he explained. After the exchange of words, the officers threatened to charge him with contempt and to arrest him with the use of force.

This act of repression is their fear, Fernández Era wrote, “of me calling the president a liar, a president who makes fun of us on TV and calls us ‘vandals’. They are afraid that I will denounce what they are doing to Alina [Bárbara López Hernández], the cowardly and inhuman punishment that my son and my family pay for my actions, that I will demand that they stop the repression against those who oppose so much shit that it does not fit in a garbage container. ”

Translated by LAR


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