The arrest of Jorge Enrique Rodríguez Camejo and the threat to prosecute him on July 8th constitute the most serious step in the regime's escalation of attacks on DIARIO DE CUBA journalists on the island.
"Unfortunately, you could see this coming. The government of Miguel Díaz-Canel has continued to harass Cuban independent journalists, both from this and other media sources. Journalist Roberto Quiñones has been serving an unjust sentence for more than ten months now," explained DIARIO DE CUBA director Pablo Díaz Espí.
With Rodríguez, six journalists from this media source have now suffered summons, threats, and even harassment of their families since March. The difference in this case is that, according to his family, Rodríguez is being held at the criminal processing center known as the Vivac, and has a trial date.
His family, however, is unaware of the accusations against the journalist, who was arrested last Sunday.
"There are several versions, in one they told me that it was 'contempt of authority'; in another that he was supporting the protests following the death of the young Hansel Ernesto Hernández at the hands of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR); and, according to another he was shooting a video," said his brother, Leonel Rodríguez.
Jorge Enrique Rodríguez has been working with the DIARIO DE CUBA for nearly six years. "Two of his main tools as a journalist are his sensitivity and his personal history. He grew up in a rough Havana neighborhood, of the type the official press ignores, surrounded by deprivation and violence, and he has never denied it," says Mirta Fernández Laffitte, editor-in-chief of this publication.
"His interest in the social issues on which he writes regularly stems from his knowledge of the despair and resistance of the people who live in that reality, and who are sources of his," he adds.
"Trying to silence a journalist like Jorge Enrique Rodríguez means also trying to silence the part of the population that is most pressured by the regime, is aware of this, and has steeled itself, to speak out." "Jorgito - as we all called him - also does so with great professionalism."
The arrest and threat to try one of our journalists "only strengthens our commitment to bringing freedom of information and expression to Cuba," says Pablo Díaz Espí.
"On the island, information is flowing a little freer every day, and, with acts like this, the government is revealed for what it is: an oppressive regime without any plan for development and peaceful coexistence between Cubans; an obsolete and abject regime whose objective is to stay in power at any price."
The other DIARIO DE CUBA journalists who have suffered repression in recent months are Waldo Fernández Cuenca, Yoe Suárez, Manuel Alejandro León, Jorge Amado and Boris González Arenas.