April 12, 2024

Press Freedom


Cuba June 29, 2006

H.E. Fidel Castro Ruz
Office of the President
Consejo de Estado
Plaza de la Revolución
Ciudad de la Habana
Republic of Cuba
Fax: (011.537) 81-22-71

Your Excellency:

We are waiting with impatience for news of Armando Betancourt, an independent journalist who was reporting legitimately for Nueva Prensa Cubana on a public event in Camagüey when he was arrested May 23rd.

The event was the eviction of squatters from a central part of the city, something perhaps that your government did not want publicized. Betancourt’s arrest suggests that the authorities were ashamed of what they were doing, and since the press in Cuba is meant to be controlled by the government a bothersome reporter was made to disappear.

We know Betancourt was subsequently held in solitary confinement and charged with disturbing the peace. The police also reportedly struck and bruised him, which is perhaps why his family was not allowed to see him.

Armando Betancourt was doing his job in Camagüey, Your Excellency, performing a function that would not be blocked by the police of any other country in this hemisphere.

Will Betancourt now join the other brave Cuban journalists who have been held for years under such cruel conditions that their health is being destroyed? When will Cuba finally recognize the outrage these arrests are causing around the world?

Respectfully yours,
Jeremy Main
Kevin McDermott
Freedom of the Press Committee



Ambassador Bruno Rodríguez

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba

to the United Nations

315 Lexington Avenue

New York , NY 10016

Fax: (212) 689-9073


Mr. Dagoberto Rodriguez Barrera

Cuban Interests Section

Embassy of Switzerland

2630 Sixteenth Street, NW

Washington , DC 20009

Fax: (202) 986-7283


Mr. James C. Cason

U.S. Interests Section

Embassy of Switzerland

Calzada between L and M Streets

Vedado Seccion



Fax: (011.537) 33-37-00

Hon. Louise Arbour

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

8-14 Avenue de la Paix

1211 Geneva 10


Fax: (011.41.22) 917-9022