Oscar Mario González

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

González, a journalist with the independent news agency Grupo de Trabajo Decoro, was arrested about a block from his home in Havana, according to colleague Ana Leonor Díaz.

Authorities did not immediately say why González was detained or file any charges against him publicly. Díaz said González might have been detained in connection with a police crackdown that began July 22, when opposition activists planned to hold an antigovernment protest outside the French Embassy in Havana.

Several leaders of the protest group, the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba (APSC), were detained before they could join other protesters. In all, at least 29 people were detained; most were released without charge.

In May, González covered the APSC congress for Grupo de Trabajo Decoro. The unprecedented two-day congress brought together 200 activists and guests to discuss ways to create a democratic society in Cuba. At the time, Cuban authorities detained and expelled at least five foreign journalists who had traveled to Cuba to cover the meeting.

A police investigator told the journalist’s relatives that he would be prosecuted under Law 88 for the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy, Diaz reported. The law sets penalties of up to 20 years in prison for anyone who commits “acts that in agreement with imperialist interests are aimed at subverting the internal order of the nation and destroy its political, economic, and social system.”

As of December 1, Cuban authorities had yet to formally charge González. He was being held by police in Havana.