The family of a popular Cuban journalist and human rights campaigner, Guillermo Farinas on Friday said he was arrested, three days before the opposition planned protest that has been banned by the government.
According to his mother, Alicia Hernandez “They arrested him around 2:10pm local time.”
She said her son is on antibiotics because of a urinary tract infection.
“An ambulance and two police patrols came and took him to the Arnaldo Milian Castro Hospital,” Hernandez said.
“They told me that tomorrow a prosecutor will visit him to charge him, but we don’t know what for.”
Farinas, 59, is a psychologist by training and has worked as an independent journalist and human rights activist.
He won the European Parliament’s 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
Over the last 20 years or so, Farinas has undertaken 23 hunger strikes to protest the Cuban government, considerably damaging his health.
He is a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the most active political opposition group in the country.
TOS NEWS gathered that the planned opposition-led demonstration set for Monday was to demand the release of political prisoners in Cuba.
The gathering has been banned by the island’s communist government, but organisers plan to go ahead with it anyway.
Government authorities alleged the protest is backed by Washington and are seeking to provoke a change in government.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel said his supporters were “ready to defend the revolution” in the face of “an imperial strategy (of the United States) to try to destroy the revolution.”
“We are calm, sure of ourselves, but attentive and alert, and we are also prepared to defend the revolution, to face any interventionist action against our country,” Diaz-Canel said in a television appearance on Friday.
“We are a revolution open to dialogue, to debate,” he added, “but we are a society closed to pressure, closed to blackmail and closed to foreign interference.”