HAVANA - Czech supermodel Helena Houdova took a break from the catwalk to visit communist Cuba and was arrested for taking photographs in a slum, she said. The former Miss Czech Republic 1999 runs a foundation in New York that supports disadvantaged children in nine countries, and she wanted to see what she
could do to help in Cuba. But on Monday last week, Cuban security police detained Houdova and her travel companion, Czech psychologist Mariana Kroftova, while they were taking photographs in the poor Havana neighborhood of Arroyo Naranjo. The two women were held overnight in police custody and not allowed to call the Czech Embassy. They were released 11 hours later after signing a letter vowing not to engage in "counter-revolutionary" activities, the model said.
Police confiscated photographic film, but
Houdova said she managed to hide the memory card from her digital camera in her bra. "They screamed at us. We were afraid," Houdova said. "We grew up under communism and know what it is like." "Something needs to change here,"
said Kroftova. The two women were told not to leave Havana until their departure from Cuba last Sunday. Reuters