Prague Daily Monitor
HAVANA, Jan 26 (CTK)
Czech supermodel Helena Houdova and psychologist Mariana Kroftova were detained in Cuba on Monday when Houdova was taking photographs of a slum in the capital of Havana, Reuters news agency reported today.
The two women spent 11 hours in police custody.
Houdova, Czech Miss 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.
One of its projects is the Sunflower foundation fund.
Houdova said that she went to Cuba to find out how she could help children in the communist country.
She said that during their detention neither she nor Kroftova were allowed to contact the Czech embassy.
They were released after they pledged in writing that they will not join any “counter-revolutionary activities” in the country, Houdova said.
They were also ordered not to leave Havana until Sunday when they are to end their stay in the country.
Cuban police also confiscated Houdova’s film, but she said she had succeeded in hiding the memory card from her digital camera in her bra.
“They screamed at us. We were afraid,” Houdova said, adding “we grew up under communism and know what it is like.”
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.
Cuban authorities detained among others Jan Bubenik and deputy Ivan Pilip who met local dissidents during their private stay in Cuba in 2001.