MIAMI, United States. — The Cuban journalist and LGBTI activist Nelson Julio Álvarez denounced the harassment of the island’s State Security due to his work with CubaNet.
Álvarez reported on social networks that during the last week he had been summoned a couple of times by the political police, who warned him about the consequences he could face if he continued to collaborate with the independent press.
“In recent interrogations I have been threatened with the new Criminal Code that will come into force 90 days after it appears in the Official Gazette. ´If you keep working for CubaNet We are not going to leave you alone,´ First Lieutenant Roberto tells me. While, in the last interrogation, last Monday, the threat was focused on the property of my house. Which is completely legal and up-to-date, but even so, he informed me that they will do the pertinent inquiries and they can take it away from me, ”revealed the young man in his Facebook profile.
The reporter was also threatened that he would not be able to leave the country in the future if he continued his work with CubaNet, a medium for which he has interviewed numerous activists, opponents, and members of Cuban civil society, as well as covered numerous news events.
“Regarding family threats, they emphasized the departure from the country of my mother and sister who have been waiting for family reunification since 2016 for the United States. I have not been able to leave the country since December 2019. However, in most interrogations they ask me: “When will you leave Cuba?” And they remind me that I can only do it if they decide to.”
Citations and permanent harassment
Álvarez also recalled that the last two “are not the only citations I have received so far this year.”
“The day after covering the Cuban protests in front of the Panamanian embassy, First Lieutenant Roberto and his partner Rubén showed up at my house to find out about my coverage of the protests. The brief interrogation in the corridor of the building where I live was not enough, as I was summoned for the next day in front of the La Puntilla market. I was also summoned days before May 1 to warn me that I could not leave my house while the workers’ march was taking place”, he added.
The LGBTI activist pointed out that these events “are added to the extensive list” that he has accumulated “for more than three years”, when he began to collaborate with different independent publications.
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