Cuba Detains US Contractor Distributing Laptops
It's unclear what he's been charged with
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2009 3:53 PM CST
Cuba President Raul Castro in a 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

(Newser) – Cuba has arrested a US government contract worker who was distributing laptops and cell phones in the country. The man works for a company in Bethesda, Md., that does work for various development agencies. It's not clear what he's been charged with—cell phones and laptops are legal, if rare, in Cuba—though it doesn't take much to fall under the Cuban crime of "dangerousness," notes the Washington Post.

US officials are awaiting permission to see the man, who was picked up last week, reports the New York Times. The arrest comes amid signs of a thaw between Havana and the Obama administration. "The arrest and detention are clearly wrong," said a spokesman for Human Rights Watch. "An activity that in any other open society would be legal—giving away free cellphones—is in Cuba a crime."