Censorship in Cuba – Censura en Cuba
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Cuban Independent Press Grows Despite Censorship / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 13 October 2016 – The Cuban independent press has been
marked by two opposing phenomena: censorship and growth, according
to the report on Cuba published by the Inter American Press
Association (IAPA) on Thursday.

The document prepared for the association made up of representatives
from more than 1,300 publications of the Americas by Yoani Sanchez in
her role as regional vice president for Cuba for IAPA’s Committee on
Freedom of the Press and Information, concludes that “despite the
material and legal obstacles that limit it, Cuba’s independent press is
experiencing a good moment with regards to creativity, diversification
and the issues and formal proposals it addresses.” In addition, it notes
that the official press has not escaped a certain new wave and has
realized, in recent times, an effort to address issues and perspectives
closer to the citizenry,” although it has not managed to “free itself
from the iron partisan limitations.”

Among the novelties in the independent field El Estornudo (The
Sneeze), Periodismo de Barrio (Neighborhood Journalism), the magazine
OnCuba and the platform El Toque (The Knock) stand out. In the
blogosphere there is an expanded variety of topics related to the
citizenry, the rights of the LGBT community, sports, fashion and
technology. In addition, new technologies allow more and more for
non-official media to cross borders and to be reflected in the foreign
press, amplifying their message.

However, the enemies to beat remain the same: primarily the lack of
connectivity, increasing censorship, and self-censorship, which arises
as a consequence of the fear caused by arrests, interrogations or
seizures of material. The report details the cases of several detentions
of journalists and reporters for independent media, among them the
recent arrests of staff members of Periodismo de Barrio when they
prepared to report from Guantanamo on the situation of the victims of
Hurricane Matthew.

But this year has been mainly characterized by public complaints from
journalists who work for official media and who have spoken out against
government policies in that media. Among the examples is the letter
signed by young journalists published by Vanguardia in which they demand
their right to collaborate with other media. “We can not and will not be
able to improve Cuban journalist as long as political information is not
finally freed of its ties to institutions and official sources,” they

In this context, also cited is the case of José Ramón Ramírez Pantoja, a
reporter for Radio Holguin ruling means removed from office for posting
on his blog the words of a deputy director of the official Party
newspaper Granma on the complex economic situation in Cuba.

In the technological arena, the report addresses the importance of the
Weekly Packet as the germ of a future private television channel in
Cuba, and the creation of the app offline which helps to fill the gaps
in internet connectivity given that, despite the implementation of
numerous wifi points across the island, access to the network continues
to be very limited and the provision of individual connections in
people’s homes continues to be a chimera.

Source: Cuban Independent Press Grows Despite Censorship / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba –

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