Manuel Guerra Perez is a Cuban independent journalist worth reading because the Castro dictatorship tells me so.
Theirs wasn't exactly an endorsement of Guerra's work, but the regime did boost his stature and his credibility this week when it arrested the journalist and tried to browbeat him into abandoning his work.
In typical catch-threaten-and-release fashion, Cuban security agents on Thursday morning arrested Guerra outside his home in Havana, took him to a local police station, threatened him with prosecution under the notorious Law 88 (which carries a prison term of up to 20 years) if he continued his work as a journalist and then released him. They tried to force him to sign a document official acknowledging the warning, but he refused.
Guerra said his interrogators seemed particularly peeved about two recent articles he had written for the CubaNet website. One, about an attack at a popular Cuban campground that left one person dead and three injured. The other, about yet another outbreak of cholera in Havana. (You can read the stories on Guerra's blog, here and here.)
Neither story was particularly "political," but Guerra's offense was that he exposed some of the ugly reality of Cuban society. As if Cubans need a journalist to tell them about that!
This type of low-grade repression is a typical tactic used against independent journalists. Most do like Guerra and dismiss the threat.
But they are always worth noting, in order hopefully to offer some future protection to the journalists and to demonstrate how the Castro dictatorship is afraid of them.