Nairovis Morales Rodríguez
The United States and its diplomats in Havana deserve congratulations for regularly opening up the Interest Section to Cuban citizens who want to participate in journalism training courses offered via teleconference from Florida. A key component of a civil society is a free and vibrant press, and it is gratifying that the United States is helping lay that foundation.
That is why it is so infuriating that when the Castro secret police threatens, arrests or otherwise harasses one of the journalism students for taking advantage of the American hospitality - and for daring to join the struggle for Cuban liberty as a journalist - there is nothing but silence from the Interest Section and their supervisors in Washington.
The Cuban journalists - like Nairovis Morales Rodríguez who recently answered a knock on his door from the secret police - deserve better from the United States; and the American people deserve better representation in Havana.
Two secret policemen, including one nick-named "Baby," let Morales know they knew about his studies at the Interest Section, and that if he was so interested in being a journalist, he should enroll in courses offered by the University of Havana.
They also warned Morales he could be jailed if he continued his political work with the Cuban Republican Party.
This is standard operating procedure for Cuban State Security, especially since "baby brother" Raul Castro was elevated to the top of the dictatorship in 2008. Catch, threaten, release, if you will.
As the episode shows, sometimes the biggest catch for the police - and the biggest threat for their masters in the dictatorship - are those Cubans who want to learn how to be journalists so they can report about what really is going on in their country.
The United States needs to do more to help tell those stories.