March 10 2009

Independent union organized detained

HAVANA, Cuba, March 10 (Víctor Manuel Domínguez, Sindical Press / – State Security agents picked up Minaldo Ramos, an organizer for the Confederation of Independent Workers, at his home and put him on a bus to an unknown destination after questioning him at the police station, according to dissidient Carmelo Díaz Fernández.

Díaz said Ramos’s detention probably was related to his independent union activities and the fact that anti-government posters were found last Sunday on walls near his home.

The agents seized Ramos at his home at Rafael No. 406 in Central Havana.

Authorities refuse to comment on his detention.

Police arrest self-employed vendors

HAVANA, Cuba, March 10 (Álvaro Yero / - At least eight self-employed vendors were arrested in a roundup carried out by 30 policemen, according to Armando Carbonell, one of those picked up.

“It was so quick that the people were frightened,” Carbonell said of the raid that took place in La Palma in an area set aside by the state for vendors. “They threw me to the ground as if I was a delinquent.”

Some of the vendors fled but others were arrested and put in a truck for the ride to the police station. If they did not have current licenses to operate, they were fined between 500 and 2,000 pesos, the equivalent of one to four average monthly salaries in Cuba.

It was the third such raid in the area in less than a month.

Dissident arrested trying to flee Cuba by sea

HAVANA, Cuba, March 10 (Álvaro Yero / – Dissident Rogelio Hernández has been placed under house arrest pending trial after being intercepted by frontier guards as he tried to leave Cuba by sea.

Hernández said he was held for 72 hours by State Security and questioned before being sent home to await trial.

He said State Security agents threatened him with prison and a fine of 10,000 pesos.