14ymedio, Havana, 1 December 2016 — The journalist Reinaldo Escobar,
editor in chief of 14ymedio, was detained for more than four hours on
Thursday, in the midst of the control measures that the Government
deployed after the death of Fidel Castro. The reporter gave an interview
to Spanish Television (TVE) on the Malecon in Havana where he was
intercepted by police and taken to the Zapata and C police station in
Vedado, according to witnesses who confirmed the arrest.
A man in civilian clothes approached the place where Escobar was being
interviewed by Vicenç San Clemente of TVE. “He said we could not be here
because it was an avenue where many presidents were passing by,” the
Spanish correspondent told this newspaper. The man remained nearby
listening to Escobar’s answers.
“They were questions about the future of Cuba, about the possible legal
reforms that might be made,” explained San Clemente. However, the man
ended up calling a patrol car, with license plate 099, which took the
two journalists to the police station.
The Spanish Embassy in Havana began negotiations for the release of both
reporters as soon as they heard the news, a diplomatic source informed
14ymedio. San Clemente was held at the entrance to the police station,
but Escobar was lost to sight when he was led into the interior of the
Four hours after the arrest, the Cuban journalist was released and when
he inquired at the station about the infraction or crime which had been
entered into the log book, the uniformed officer responded with the
brief word: prophylaxis.
Escobar graduated from the University of Havana in journalism in 1972,
and has served as editor-in-chief of this independent newspaper since
its founding, in May of 2014; the newspaper is blocked on servers on the
island by the government. Previously, Escobar worked for various press
media, among them the magazine Consensus, which was founded in December
of 2014, and on his personal blog, From Here.
In December of 1988, Escobar was fired from the newspaper Juventud
Rebelde (Rebel Youth), the second most important newspaper in the
country. The dismissal was due to several critical articles he published
after being motivated by the new air of glastnost in the Soviet press.
Since then the government has not permitted him to exercise his
profession in any of the state-controlled media, which exercise a
monopoly over the press.
Source: Police Free ‘14ymedio’ Journalist Reinaldo Escobar / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba –