Activists say that the Cuban government unleashed a concerted campaign of intimidation against independent journalists in the run-up to U.S. President Barack Obama’s March 20-22 visit.
The Association for Freedom of the Press (APLP), a body tolerated by the Cuban government although it has no legal status, reported that since March 16 numerous journalists had been harassed, threatened and detained.
Two journalists from Hablemos Press Information Centre — Lewis Miguel Guerra Tamayo and photojournalist Yaser Fernando Rodríguez — were arrested by plain-clothed policemen near the Ernest Hemingway Museum.
On March 19, other journalists from the same news agency were detained at the José Martí International Airport when returning to Cuba. Officials tried to take away their recording equipment.
Local reporters for Cubanet News, a website based in Miami, were not allowed to leave their homes to cover the president’s visit.