Wife and brother of detained Czechs travel to Cuba
PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- (AP) -- The wife of a Czech legislator
Cuba left for Havana Saturday with the brother of another detainee in a quest for
Ivan Pilip, a former finance minister and currently deputy in
Parliament's lower house, and Jan Bubenik, a student leader in the 1989
movement that toppled the communist government in Prague, were arrested Jan.
12 in a central Cuban province after meeting Cuban pro-democracy dissidents.
The two are expected to be put on trial for unspecified subversive
activities and for
``being American agents,'' according to the Cuban Communist party daily
Lucie Pilipova, wife of the jailed lawmaker, told Czech radio
before her departure
that she would ``try to contact Cuban officials and seek access to the prison.''
Jan Bubenich's brother, Martin, added: ``We have only one goal,
and that is to
give them strength.''
The Czech Foreign Ministry said Cuba is not providing any official
the condition of the two prisoners or the charges they face.
The detention triggered a worldwide campaign to win their release.
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan appealed the European Union for
Minister Milos Zeman wrote a personal letter to Cuban leader Fidel Castro and
President Vaclav Havel is reportedly asking the Pope to mediate.
Havel, himself a longtime anti-Communist dissident, called the
and condemned the act as politically motivated.
In Germany, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Saturday called
on Cuba to free
The ministry said the Cuban ambassador to Germany, Marcelino Medina,
be summoned to deliver the appeal, while the German ambassador to Cuba was
expected to do the same in Havana later in the day.