Miami — Antonio Rodiles, the Cuba-based independent producer of the Emmy-nominated TV Martí program Estado de SATS, remains in custody a week after he was arrested while seeking information about two other jailed Cuban dissidents.
Rodiles was one of 27 dissidents who were arrested by Cuban authorities last week. Among them: blogger Yoani Sánchez; Guillermo Farinas, recipient of the European Union Sajarov Award; and at least five members of the group known as the 75, who were arrested in 2003 during Cuba’s Black Spring.
By Sunday, all were released with the exception of Rodiles. Rodiles was arrested on Nov. 7 when he and six others went to the Ministry of the Interior in Havana to ask about the status of two independent attorneys, Yaremis Flores and Veizant Boloy, who had been arrested earlier in the day.
“Antonio Rodiles’ only crime seems to be his tenacity in imagining a future for Cuba where there is respect for human rights and rule of law,” said Carlos García-Pérez, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees Radio and TV Martí. “We ask for the fair treatment and release of Antonio Rodiles.”
Although information has not been forthcoming from Cuban authorities, Rodiles’ family emerged from a brief visit with him to say he appeared to have been beaten.
“He was clearly punched and beaten, they can’t try and spin it and say he fell,” his wife, Ailer Gonzalez, said during an interview on Radio Martí. Gonzalez also said Rodiles is thankful for the international support he has received.
Members of the Estado de SATS Project vowed to continue to produce the show despite Rodiles’ absence.
Estado de SATS is a weekly program made in Cuba, with wrap-around segments produced in Miami, that tackles the realities and challenges faced by Cubans. The show was nominated for an Emmy this fall by the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.