A private taxi driver has been arrested in Havana for an act of racial discrimination denounced by a black passenger. The case is being investigated by the island’s District Attorney’s Office, the weekly Trabajadores reported yesterday.
“Based on the charges against him, the report was formulated for Crime Against the Right to Equality established in article 295 of the Penal Code, to take the corresponding legal-penal measures. The vehicle is currently under technical review,” the Police said to the newspaper.
University of Havana Law student Yanay Aguirre Calderín reported the “almendrón” driver’s “altered and very violent form” in a letter published a week ago in the “From Our Mailbag” section of that newspaper.
According to what Aguirre wrote, she took the vehicle in the Havana barrio of Marianao and at half way of the route she decided to get off before what was initially previewed, a change of plans that angered the taxi driver.
The student affirms in her letter that the driver started yelling and said that “every time a black person gets on his car it was the same and that’s why he couldn’t stand them.”
The driver ordered her to get out of the car without getting to the requested destination and told her that “he didn’t want blacks in his car.” She was able to take a photo of the car with her cell phone and write down the license plate number.
Trabajadores is collecting the statements of the head of the department of Attention to Citizens’ Reports of the District Attorney’s Office, Rafael Soler López, who said that “one cannot get ahead of what the final process will be” against the driver whose identity has not been revealed.
However, the district attorney affirmed that this case is being investigated to be able to prove the “penal illicit” before the courts, while the accused remains under arrest.
He specified that in Cuba the Constitution as well as the Penal Code have articles related to the proscription of discrimination because of race, sex and gender, and endorse the right of all citizens to equality.
The publication, which is following up the event, indicated that the police authorities in Havana proceeded immediately to locate the owner of the vehicle and specified that the driver, who admitted his participation in the events, was identified at a police station by the woman who reported him.
Regarding the repercussion of Aguirre’s report, the District Attorney’s Office indicated that it has received dozens of comments on its website and social media, as well as telephone calls, repudiating an “unforgivable attitude and behavior.”
OnCuba / EFE