Cuba: No more persecution and harassment of activists who are critical of the regime

By Correspondent

On the morning of Monday, May 20, State Security agents arbitrarily detained Leonardo Romero, a young activist of various social and solidarity causes. After several hours under arrest at the Dragones police station in Old Havana, and after the mobilization of friends and family, Leonardo was released with a fine for the alleged crime of disturbing the peace. However, at first the authorities had informed that there was an ongoing case against him, alleging that he had supposedly resisted arrest.

Romero Negrín’s arrest was not an isolated incident. It is part of the police operations deployed by the Cuban government in the context of May 20, the 122nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Cuba. The operation included telephone tapping and surveillance around the homes of activists and independent journalists.

This is a new demonstration of the increasingly repressive nature of the Cuban regime. We absolutely condemn this and all the arrests, persecutions and harassment suffered by the critical youth of the island.

Leonardo Romero is a young activist who has mobilized on previous occasions with slogans such as “Socialism yes, repression no” and “Right to have rights”. This is not the first time he has suffered detentions and harassment by the regime. Both in April and November 2021 he was arrested and tried (within the framework of the mobilizations that shook the island during those months). He was later released and acquitted, harshly criticizing the conditions of the trial and pointing out the violence he suffered during the whole process by the authorities, filing complaints to the prosecution and giving statements on the media outlet “La Joven Cuba”.

At the time of his most recent arrest, Leonardo, who also participates actively in community and solidarity activities, was, like many in Cuba, struggling to overcome the economic crisis without active participation in political activities.

From the International Socialist League, we strongly demand the halt of harassment and violence against Leonardo and all critical activists. Nothing that the Cuban regime does has anything to do with communism or socialism. We call on all social, political and human rights organizations to join us in condemning this arrest.