Czech Republic dissatisfied with Cuba’s explanation of Houdova’s arrest
Posted: 07 February 2006 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Czech News Agency

01.02.2006

PRAGUE- The Czech Foreign Ministry considers the explanation of the arrest of Czech supermodel Helena Houdova and psychologist Mariana Kroftova, which Cuba’s Chargé d’Affaires Aymee Hernandez presented today, incomplete and unsatisfactory, Richard Krpac from the ministry said.

“The Foreign Ministry expects to receive additional information from the Cuban diplomats as soon as possible,” Krpac said.

Cuban police detained both Czech women when they were taking photographs of a slum in Havana.
Hernandez said they were arrested because they deliberately waged a campaign against Cuba in cooperation with Cuban dissidents.

Krpac said that Hernandez was not able to say why Houdova and Kroftova had not been allowed to contact the Czech Embassy in Havana. He added that Hernandez said she will require the information from the authorities in Havana.

According to the ministry, Cuban police “clearly violated international law.”

“The ministry also strongly disagreed that Czech citizens were arrested because they took pictures of Havana,” Krpac said.

Houdova, Czech Miss in 1999, has lived for a second year mainly in New York and Los Angeles doing modelling. At the same time she tries to raise money to help children with social and health handicaps in nine countries the world over.

Houdova said that she had left for Cuba to find out how she could help children in this communist country.
However, on Monday Houdova and Kroftova were detained by the Cuban secret police. Both Czech women spent 11 hours in police custody without being able to contact the Czech embassy.

They were released after they pledged in writing that they would not join any “counter-revolutionary activities” in the country, Houdova said.

Czech-Cuban political relations have been frozen since the fall of communism in then Czechoslovakia in 1989. The reason is the Czech criticism of the ruling political regime in Cuba.

The Czech Republic has tried several times to push through the U.N. resolutions criticising the state of human rights in Cuba.

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