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Ignacio González Vidal accused of "illicit economic activity"

Ignacio González Vidal accused of "illicit economic activity"

Ignacio González Vidal, Director of En Caliente Prensa Libre press agency, was arrested on Sunday, October 9th at 9:00 pm in Centro Habana, while found performing an interview to journalist Serafín Moran.

A police patrol with 5 policemen and 2 motorcycles with two officers of section 21 of State Security arrived at the site. Both Ignacio and Serafín were initially taken to a unit in the Cerro municipality, but Ignacio was later transferred to another unit at the 10 de Octubre municipality.

Gonzalez reports that he was interrogated several times during his detention by an officer of DSE, who calls himself "Camilo" who has repeatedly accused Ignacio of being a counter-revolutionary. He was also denied a call to his family.

For 48 hours, no one knew what had happened to him. He was released on Tuesday, October 11th at 6:00pm. Judicial authorities opened a procedural act against him with an accusation of carrying illicit economic activities, not having a journalism license and not being registered at the ONAT, the National Office of Tax Administration.

Gonzalez alleges that there is no freedom of the press in Cuba and that he's tried to obtain a license to practice journalism independently in the past but it is impossible. He believes that with this type of operation against different news agencies and independent reporters, the government seeks to move away from political accusations and instead turn it into a legal problem.