Former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer was released after being held in a police station for 36 hours in Cuba's eastern province of Holguin, he told Efe on Wednesday, suggesting the detention was aimed at disrupting his planned visit to Havana.

Ferrer said by telephone from his home in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba that during his arrest "nobody ever told me a reason. The authorities told me that they were following orders without asking why."

"Since February they have made it clear to me that they don't want me in the capital and that they were going to prevent me from doing that," the dissident said.

The opposition figure said that he had intended to travel to Havana "because we were trying to coordinate a campaign for the citizen's 'Por otra Cuba' (For another Cuba) initiative."

He said that the initiative intends to "gather all artistic expressions and all sorts of peaceful and moral means to allow us to mobilize our fellow citizens."

"But in any case the campaign is going forward, and the next step is to make it and its presentation public," he added.

Ferrer, the 42-year-old leader of the banned opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba group noted that "this is the third time they have prevented my presence in Havana."

He also said that so far this year he has been temporarily arrested on four separate occasions.

In April, he was held by police for 27 days in Santiago de Cuba and was released - he said - pending trial on a charge of "public disorder."

As a member of the so-called "Group of 75" opposition members sent to prison in the spring of 2003, Ferrer was released on parole in March 2011.

The Cuban government characterizes dissidents and opposition members as counterrevolutionaries and mercenaries in the service of the United States. EFE