Rivero, a prominent independent journalist, writer, and director of the independent news agency Cuba Press, is one of 29 independent Cuban journalists who were detained in March in a massive government crackdown on the independent media and political opposition.
His one-day summary trial was held in early April behind closed doors. He was tried under Article 91 of the Penal Code, which imposes lengthy prison sentences or death for those who act against “the independence or the territorial integrity of the State.” On April 7, the Havana Provincial Tribunal announced he had been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The journalist remained imprisoned in the Havana headquarters of the State Security Department until April 24, when he was sent to Canaleta Prison in central Ciego de Ávila Province, hundreds of miles from his home. In June, the People’s Supreme Tribunal, Cuba’s highest court, dismissed his appeal for annulment (recurso de casación) and upheld his conviction.