(CNN) — The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs asked Cuba on Tuesday to immediately release a Cuban journalist who writes for the Madrid daily ABC.
In a tweet, Minister José Manuel Albares wrote: “Spain defends the right to demonstrate freely and peacefully and asks the Cuban authorities to respect it. We defend human rights without conditions. We require the immediate release of @CamilaAcostaCu ”.
The ABC newspaper, in its digital edition (www.abc.es), said that his detention in Cuba and “that of many fellow journalists is completely unacceptable.” The newspaper called for the “immediate release of Acosta and the return of all the professional material that was taken from his home and the withdrawal of the charges against him” for alleged crimes against the security of the Cuban state.
The newspaper also reported that the journalist was arrested on Monday morning in Havana as he was leaving his home. Later, Cuban security agents searched his home and took his computer away. Hours earlier, he had reported on the anti-government demonstrations in the Cuban capital on Sunday.
It is not the first time that Acosta has had a run-in with Cuban authorities for doing her job as a reporter, ABC said.
An ABC editor confirmed to CNN that Acosta is a Cuban national and had been working at the newspaper for about six months.
Protests in Cuba
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday to protest the lack of food and medicine as the country undergoes a serious economic crisis exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic and US sanctions.
Spain’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday on the protests, saying that “Spain, as an Ibero-American country, is closely following the unfolding situation in Cuba with great interest.”
“Cuba is suffering a crisis that involves several aspects, including the economic crisis and the fall in tourism due to covid-19. To cope with this situation, it is necessary to accelerate the pace of reforms. “
“We express our concern about the serious shortage facing the Cuban people. We are equally aware of the worsening situation of the pandemic on the island and we will study ways to provide assistance to alleviate the situation as we have done with other countries in the region, “the statement added.