Juan Carlos Recio Martínez

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Authorities detained Recio Martínez, correspondent for the independent news agency CubaPress in the province of Villa Clara, and interrogated him for six days. The inquiry stemmed from an incident in the fall of 1997, when Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez, a member of the dissident Democratic Solidarity Party (PSD), asked Recio Martínez to type a leaflet calling on Cubans to abstain from voting in the local October elections. Recio Martínez refused Monteagudo’s request, but did not report the incident to authorities.
Recio Martínez was questioned again on November 3, 1997. He was charged with “acts against state security,” but was released pending his trial, which was set for November 25, 1997. That court date was postponed. He was tried and convicted by the People’s Provincial Tribunal of Villa Clara on February 6, 1998, and sentenced to a year of correctional labor. Recio Martínez began serving his sentence on June 15, 1998, in the Abel Santamaría agricultural cooperative in Villa Clara Province. On June 18, CPJ sent a letter to President Fidel Castro saying that even though Recio Martínez is permitted to leave the cooperative after his work is completed each day, CPJ views mandatory forced labor as a form of confinement and therefore considers Recio Martínez to be a prisoner.