The testimony of Camila Acosta, the journalist who was imprisoned in the cells of the Cuban dictatorship: “God put me there to tell what happens”

Camila Acosta, the ABC journalist who was imprisoned in Cuba

The Cuban journalist Camila Acosta, correspondent for the Spanish newspaper ABC In Havana, he was released from prison this Friday after spending four days in a cell. However, went to house arrest regime.

Acosta had been arrested last Monday by Cuban agents when she was leaving her home, from which work equipment, such as his computer, was taken for alleged crimes against State security, an accusation that is often used in Cuba against dissidents.

The communicator, who was unable to receive visits or make calls, shared a cell with other detainees in a space occupied by six bunk beds and a latrine. As she herself told the newspaper where she works, the place was infested “mosquitoes and it was very hot”. He also narrated that nobody used masks despite the strong rebound in COVID-19 infections on the island. He also stressed: “God put me there to tell what happens”.

In dialogue with ABC, he narrated that the most terrible thing about those days in prison was “learn about the experiences of the inmates. There was a mother with her two daughters, who were arrested on the day of the demonstration and who they were severely beaten. Some of the bruises could still be seen. Among the detainees were other women who had approached the site of the protests out of curiosity and had been arrested, and their families did not know where they were. A pregnant woman was also there, who asked for medical attention but was denied it. They gave it to him the moment they put it in my cell ”, he commented.

Asked if the regime forces were aware that the journalist was going to tell what was happening in prison, Acosta said: “I told him this when they applied the sanction of house arrest, with the intention that he would not speak. I told them to return me to the cell because I was going to go back to the street, and if there was another demonstration I was going to report back ”.

People shout slogans against the regime during a protest in Havana (REUTERS / Alexandre Meneghini)
People shout slogans against the regime during a protest in Havana (REUTERS / Alexandre Meneghini)

Regarding the interrogations to whom she was subjected, she said that as of Wednesday they were “about two a day, over an hour”In which they asked him about his profession, his family and the demonstration he attended. “I recognized that I went and that I recorded, and I did a live show for CubaNet. They tried to underestimate me, saying that I was not important, that I was not a journalist, that I was practicing the profession illegally, that I had no contract with ABC Y CubaNet, and that even these media had denied that I worked with them. What ABC he had said that he had no correspondent in Havana. But I knew it wasn’t true, because I’m not new to interrogation.. I know I have to interpret the opposite of everything they say. They also pressured me to agree and sign committing to pay the fine, which I did not do, and for that reason they applied house arrest to me. Something that I also refused to sign. The only thing I signed was the act of my release, ”he stressed.

Then he highlighted that he was not afraid but what she did get restless when new inmates were brought in because I doubted them. “I know from interviews with other people that prisoners are sometimes sent to beat up. I took great care of that”, He declared.

Finally, she stated that she will continue to practice her profession and that this experience will not discourage her from moving forward. “I am not going to stop reporting. We must continue to report because many people are still detained, and their families do not know where they are. I wanted to be imprisoned, because it was a unique opportunity to know what was going on inside, all the stories. But I knew, when they tried to make a deal with me, that the pressure outside was very strong ”.

A special forces vehicle passes a vintage car in central Havana, Cuba (REUTERS / Alexandre Meneghini)
A special forces vehicle passes a vintage car in central Havana, Cuba (REUTERS / Alexandre Meneghini)

The authorities accused the journalist of “disrespect” Y “public disturbances”. The newspaper ABC maintains that Camila Acosta is his correspondent in Havana, while the Cuban regime denies it, since she does not have the official accreditation of a foreign press worker.

Acosta is a well-known independent Cuban journalist with critical positions towards the Miguel Díaz-Canel regime. He has also worked for the portal CubaNet, one of the main opposition media, and has been arrested on previous occasions.

His arrest had a strong impact on Spain, where the Federation of Associations of Journalists of Spain (FAPE) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, José Manuel Albares, demanded his “immediate release.”

During Sunday’s protests, clashes broke out and hundreds of people were arrested, including activists, opponents and independent journalists, according to international organizations. Some of those arrested have been released, while others remain in police stations and prisons in the country, while the regime has not offered details about the arrests.

Cuban independent journalists have denounced an increase in harassment by the authorities in the last year, from house arrests to police citations, confiscation of tools or Internet access restrictions.


The Cuban correspondent of the Spanish newspaper ABC was released: she was arrested for covering the protests against the dictatorship
The tool that allowed 1.4 million Cubans to access the Internet amid the blackout of the regime

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