Teacher Alina Bárbara López Arrested On Her Way to Havana and Charged With ‘Attack’ According to Her Daughter

The teacher was arrested along with her colleague Jenny Pantoja when they were on their way to Havana for a peaceful protest.

Jenny Pantoja Torres and Alina Bárbara López Hernández, in an image shared by the latter’s daughter / Facebook/Cecilia Borroto López

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 18 June 2024 — Historian and activist Alina Bárbara López Hernández “is being informed of charges of an attempted crime,” her daughter Cecilia Borroto López reported Tuesday on her social networks. The historian and a colleague, Jenny Pantoja Torres, have been in the hands of State Security for several hours, since they were detained this morning before reaching the Bacunayagua bridge, in Matanzas, when both were traveling to Havana, where they planned to demonstrate peacefully this Tuesday, as the Matanzas teacher does on the 18th of every month.

“We hope that both Alina’s and Jenny’s integrity will be respected, as every citizen deserves. We hope that this time they do not decide to beat them, since they have decided to violate once again the right of mobility,” Borroto had expressed.

Jenny Pantoja had reported on her social networks this Monday that she had received threats on her cell phone from the number +53 5 505 1333. “Since you arrived in Matanzas very well, I warn you this is the last time you will arrive in Matanzas,”,said the message, so full of spelling mistakes that it made the activist say: “The person who wrote should go back to the twelfth grade”.

Pantoja explained in her post that she was going to accompany López because she could not leave her alone “on a trip to Havana in which she could once again suffer police mistreatment.” She also warned: “I hold State Security, the Cuban government and its police forces responsible for anything that happens to me from now on. I have not committed any crime, nor do I have any legal case against me. Only the spirit and the willingness to do the best for my suffering country.” According to what she also said, her house was under surveillance by the Political Police.

Alina Bárbara López had announced on Monday her intention to move her usual protest on the 18th of every month to the Cuban capital – since March 2023, which was the centenary of ‘The Protest of 13’ carried out by intellectuals against the then government of Alfredo Zayas. Her intention is “to be in the Park where the statue of Martí stands.” Her demands, the professor detailed in a long Facebook post, were the same as always: the democratic election of a National Assembly to draft a new Constitution, freedom for political prisoners “without sending them to compulsory exile,” cessation of harassment of citizens exercising freedom of expression and “that the State stops ignoring the critical situation of the elderly, retirees, pensioners and families living in extreme poverty.”

“I warn those who decide everything in this country: if you are going to arrest me, do it with an official arrest warrant”

“I warn those who decide everything in this country: if you are going to arrest me, do it with an official arrest warrant (which must be based on a complaint or well-founded suspicion of a crime, as you well know),” said López Hernández, who also blamed in advance “Counterintelligence” and the Government, “if anything should happen to me in those 100 kilometers that separate Matanzas from Havana: an accident, an assault, whatever.”

The teacher endured a similar detention on April 18, also on her way to Havana and also on the Bacunayagua bridge. López Hernández denounced before the Prosecutor’s Office the attack, which could constitute crimes of “injuries, illegal deprivation of freedom and the disclosure of private communications.”

Meanwhile, in Havana, Professor Jorge Fernandez Era, who regularly shows solidarity with his colleague from Matanzas, reported that his home was also under siege by a police operation on Tuesday. After learning of the arrest of his friend Alina Barbara and Jenny Pantoja, he went up to the rooftop and found that “since early in the morning, the usual fierce fighters, those who squander resources we don’t have in order to watch over a few citizens who think for themselves, have been on my doorstep.”

Art historian Miryorli García also denounced the harassment by State Security for her solidarity with the teacher from Matanzas. In a video broadcast on her social networks, an agent is seen not allowing her to leave her house. “I suppose you have a legal document to present to me to defend this measure of detention in my home, of prohibition to my right to enter and leave my house. If you don’t have it, stop making a fool of yourselves,” she said.

Translated by Hombre de Paz


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