Cuban independent journalist Calixto Martinez faces up to three years in prison on a charge of "disrespecting the figures of Fidel and Raul Castro" -- yes, in Cuba that is an actual crime -- after he was arrested Sunday night at Jose Marti International Airport.Martinez, a correspondent with the CIHPRESS news agency, had gone to the airport to investigate the condition of several tons of medications and medical equipment donated by the World Health Organizationn that somehow had ruined.
Martinez, who has been detained numerous times before, earlier this summer broke the story about an outbreak of cholera and dengue on the island.
Under the Cuban penal code, a charge of "disrespect" carries a punishment of up to 3 years in prison. The dictatorship frequently uses the charge to target its political opponents.
"He is the most active journalist in our agency, and they want to silence him in this way," said Roberto Guerra, head of CIHPRESS.
Shortly after Guerra took to Twitter to report on his colleague's arrest, he and Veizant Bolo, an attorney, were arrested. As of late Wednesday, they remained in jail, according to Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.