FEBRUARY 15, 2005
Posted: March 7, 2005

Iván García Quintero, freelance

State security officials summoned García to a Havana police station, where they threatened to imprison him for his journalism.

García told CPJ that a state security officer served him notice on February 14, ordering him to appear the following day for a 4 p.m. interview with a state security agent identified as “Moisés.” The notice said that failure to attend would be grounds for unspecified criminal charges.

During the two-hour interview, García said, the agent gave him a two-month deadline to stop writing. He told García that if he continued to work as an independent journalist, he could be prosecuted under Law 88 for the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy and could spend many years in jail. Law 88 imposes lengthy prison sentences for committing acts “aimed at subverting the internal order of the nation and destroying its political, economic, and social system.”

García writes for the Madrid, Spain-based online daily Encuentro en la Red, which is run by an association of Cuban exiles, and for the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) Web site. García said the agent told him that his stories “were giving the Revolution a bad image” and that the Web sites were financed by the U.S. government.

The agent suggested that Cuban authorities might deny him an exit permit to visit his mother, the former independent journalist Tania Quintero, in Switzerland. Instead, “Moisés” encouraged García to leave the country permanently and settle abroad, the journalist told CPJ.

García told CPJ he has no plans to leave Cuba and intends to continue working as an independent journalist.