Saturday, October 29, 2016

From Today Your Life Will Be “Very Difficult,” State Security Tells Dagoberto Valdes

From Today Your Life Will Be "Very Difficult," State Security Tells
Dagoberto Valdes / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 28 October 2016 — The director of the Center for
Coexistence Studies (CEC), Dagoberto Valdes, summoned to a meeting with
State Security on Thursday, received "an official warning" which
anticipates "the possibility of committing crimes against State Security
as defined in the Penal Code."

Valdes, who remained at the police headquarters on the San Juan road for
two hours and fifteen minutes, explained to 14ymedio that the officials
threatened him that "as of today" his life "would be very difficult" if
one day "he was to incur one of these crimes." The police mentioned as
possible violations of the law the receipt of money from the United
States for his activities, or the lack of a contribution to the
treasury. The director of Coexistence affirmed that he had "received not
even one cent from the United States government."

Despite these warnings, Valdes affirmed that everything happened "in a
serious and respectful climate" and that "there was no physical abuse"
at any time.

"I came to this place [the headquarters of the State Security] on time
and within minutes of the hour I was received by Lieutenant Colonel
Osvaldo Labrador, head of the unit, and Major Joaquin" said Valdes in a
statement received by this newspaper.

According to the director of Coexistence, on entering the unit he was
led to "an interrogation room where the entire conversation was
filmed." In it, he said Lt. Col. Labrador told him that for "all these
years" he had remained "at the razor's edge between being a layman of
the Church and being a counterrevolutionary."

Accordingly, Valdes added by telephone, they advanced that if he
"engages in counterrevolution" he would be "treated" accordingly, but
not if he continues with "his profile as a Catholic layman and cares for
the social objective of Coexistence" and he mentioned "2003, when the 75."

At the end of the declaration, Valdes was taken to the "technical" room
where they took his "finger and palm prints, an odor print of his pelvis
and photos from the front and side," and later took him to the
infirmary. Despite telling Major Joaquin that he felt "in very good
health," they insisted on taking his blood pressure, which was stable.

Dagoberto Valdes is thankful "with all his heart, for the immense
solidarity received from friends and brothers of many countries and
institutions, as well as for the prayers of pastors and brothers of
different faiths."

The Coexistence Studies Center focuses on training for citizenship and
civil society in Cuba. Among its activities is the publication of the
magazine Convivencia (Coexistence), the discussion of proposals for the
future of the island and the exchange ideas about our current situation.

Last September the members of Coexistence denounced that at least nine
of them had been subjected to police interrogation. The activists were
forced to suspend the My Neighborhood One Community program due to
pressure from State Security, which included operations around several
of their homes, arrests and the cutting of the cell phone service of
event organizers.

Based in the province of Pinar del Rio, the independent entity is
conceived as a think tank to "think about the national home we desire,
to contribute to the reconstruction of the human person and the fabric
of civil society."

Source: From Today Your Life Will Be "Very Difficult," State Security
Tells Dagoberto Valdes / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -

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