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A fierce police raid accompanied the arrest of Karina Gálvez in Pinar del Río. (Coexistence)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 16 May 2017 — In the midst of a wave of pressure from the authorities, members of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC) have issued a declaration of commitment to their work on the island. “We are not leaving Cuba, we are not leaving the Church and we will continue working for the country,” says the text signed by Dagoberto Valdés, director of the CEC.

The message expresses gratitude for “solidarity in moments of tough repression” and assures that the team “continues to think, propose, dream and build a free and prosperous future for all Cubans.”

The statement was issued a few hours after police stopped the vehicle in which Yoandy Izquierdo, a member of the CEC, was traveling from Pinar del Rio to Havana to board a flight. The activist was invited to participate in the Stockolm Internet Forum (SIF) in Sweden but misses his plane this Sunday because of the arrest.

Izquierdo was detained at the police unit in Los Palacios and officers asserted that they need to conduct a search to determine if the driver of the car was “charging for the shuttle service to the airport.”

CEC “continues to think, propose, dream and build a free and prosperous future for all Cubans”

The activist was not released until after his flight took off, but this Monday he managed to reach José Martí International Airport and board a plane to his destination.

The detention of Izquierdo was added to an escalation in repression against the members of the CEC that has increased in the last months; several of the organization’s managers have been object of pressures, warnings and interrogations.

Last January the economist Karina Gálvez suffered a raid on her home and has been accused of an alleged tax evasion offense. The police are keeping her house sealed waiting for the trial to take place.

The Coexistence Studies Center organizes training courses for the citizenry and civil society in Cuba. The entity functions independently of the State, the Church and any political grouping. The magazine of the same name emerged in 2008 and is published bimonthly.


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