Cuba detains US citizen: State Department

Last Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 09:54

Havana: An American citizen has been arrested in Cuba and the US Interests Section in Havana is awaiting permission from Cuban authorities to visit him, a spokeswoman for the US office said.
The official was not at liberty to provide further details of the arrest a week ago, at the individual`s request. But The New York Times late Friday said he was a US government contract worker, without identifying him.

The newspaper said the man worked for a company based in the suburbs of the US capital, Washington, and at the time of his arrest was distributing cell phones, laptops and other communications equipment in Cuba on behalf of the US government.

"We confirm that a US citizen was arrested by the Cuban government. I was informed it happened on December 5," the US Interests Section spokeswoman said.

"We have contacted Cuban authorities to request consular access" to the detainee, she said, adding that they were still waiting for an answer.

The detention and the mysterious circumstances surrounding it threaten to reignite tensions between the countries at a time when both had promised to open new channels of engagement, The Times noted.

PTI




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