They Want to Silence “Letters from Cuba”

Fernando Ravsberg

HAVANA TIMES — Dear readers of Letters from Cuba: during the last week we were subjected to constant attacks that managed to shut us out of cyberspace. Our team has worked hard to successfully reestablish the site but the attacks continue; we have received 20 in less than 24 hours.

It seems to be a fairly well organized warfare; the attackers have a battery of different “IPs” and the goal was to create the feeling that entering Letters from Cuba could be dangerous for the surfer.

Eventually they managed to get some web servers to mark us as high risk and we received hundreds of letters advising us. We thank all those who warned us and showed concern about the situation, especially OnCuba and Havana Times. Thanks to these and other sites, the post from last week was published in English and Spanish despite Letters from Cuba being temporarily blocked.

We still don’t know who is behind these attacks but we do know that they seek to silence Letters from Cuba. We clearly have powerful enemies with considerable resources devoted to preventing our voice from being heard, my voice and that of all the journalists, bloggers and intellectuals whose views appear on our site.

They had already tried to silence us when we were part of the BBC and it was necessary to change many procedures to prevent attacks. They renew the attack now when they think we are weaker technologically. However, once again they are mistaken, as we are confident that honest journalism is more powerful than an army of hackers.


17 thoughts on “They Want to Silence “Letters from Cuba”

  • September 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm
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    A NEW ODOR!
    Labiofam a Cuban State Company managed by a nephew of the Castro’s has announced two new “PERFUMES”.
    ERNESTO and HUGO!
    No doubt the late Ernresto Guevara who was notorious for minimizing his use of showers or washing keeping others at a distance – but said by defenders to be because he was concerned about his asthma, would have scorned those who would have his historic image less malodorous.
    But Oh Sweet Hugo why was your scent not named ‘Belligerent”
    All those ‘Che’ T shirt wearing adherents of socialism will now be able to douse themselves with ERNESTO! They too may smell sweeter.
    BIG sales of HUGO will undoubtedly be made to Nicholas Maduro who having tried so hard for so long to adopt the aura of his predecessor will at least be able to smell like him.
    The Castro family regime will no doubt benefit through the nephew and a good sprinkling of ERNESTO may minimise any odour from nappies.

  • September 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm
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    What a cheap and lazy shot. Most Cuban-Americans do not have favourable opinion of Posada Carriles. In your sleazy comment you attempt to equate democracy with terrorism.

  • September 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm
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    I would like to draw attention to a previous piece in Havana Times http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=60584

    ‘Reporting on a Death from Cuba, No Easy Task’ published on 26 January 2012 and comments posted by a certain Richard Cheeseman ‘Mr Ravsberg didn’t refrain from manipulation hostile to Cuba even in this piece purporting to oppose media manipulation.’ And so he goes on and on.
    The fact that readers wonder whether Mr Ravsberg works for either the Cuban or the US government or whom he criticises the most goes to show to me that he is simply doing his job as a journalist – whether or not I personally agree with him or not.

  • September 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm
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    The last thing that those in favour of the rights of the individual and freedom wish to do is to silence the voices of the people of Cuba. It is the declared purpose of the socialist Castro family regime to restrict information. They fear Cubans having access to knowledge about the free democratic world. Those graphic padlocks demonstrate the regimes policy.
    But it is nice that you have ceased displaying your deep knowledge of prostitution – thanks!

  • September 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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    I cannot speak of the US media as I never see US newspapers and find the US news programs on TV less informative than the BBC News World on the US and its politics. As you may know, the BBC is not funded by corporations
    . I realise that relatively few Americans stretch their imaginations beyond the US boundaries and I understand that only about 15% have ever had a passport. But the US does play the leading role in world politics and it also is important in practically every area of research.
    Research plays a critical role in the improvement of the lives of people around the world irrespective of their political believes. The development of antibiotics – starting with the work of Alexander Fleming a Scot, has saved tens of millions of lives – irrespective of their political viewpoints. Humans have much in common, but one of the yawning gaps is in political thinking where for socialists ever increasing levels of control and dictation by the State ignore the rights of thought and action by the individual and deny humanity its right of self expression.

  • September 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. On a weekly basis, the Castros’ thugs harass, beat and arrest dissidents. There is no moral high ground for either side. Given the extremists in Miami are simply the other side of the same coin as the Castro thugs, the only way to distinguish between the two is by determining what are the goals of either side. Castros’ thugs work to silence independent voices and debase those who disagree with Castro propaganda. Extremists in Miami, tactics notwithstanding, are engaged in a struggle to make Cuba democratic. Hence the name, without moral distinction, Pro-Democracy.

  • September 24, 2014 at 9:09 am
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    There are no “pro democracy folks in Miami” you mean those who protect terrorist Posada Carriles?

  • September 24, 2014 at 9:08 am
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    Obsession is an illness especially when confronted with the facts…this is a socialist criticizing from within….”honest journalism” in the US is only practiced by the left from the Nation, Mother Jones, In these times every corporate media is a mouthpiece of corporations.

  • September 24, 2014 at 9:06 am
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    How predictable that was done by US hackers who don’t want left perspectives on Cuba, only extreme right wing criticism….

  • September 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm
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    The first two comments were cheeky, but as the columns in question were so over-the-top in the bootlicking department, the insinuation was well deserved.

    The 3rd is a fair comment on his working career as a journalist, given how Fernando has made reference to his termination in his columns.

    Given the fact that Al Jazeera has openly supported Al Qaeda, hacking their website was rather mild treatment.

  • September 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm
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    Well here is a selection of things you have said

    “It’s a shame that Fernando’s job at the BBC was terminated recently. But did he have to start working for the Cuban MININT?”

    “(Good work, Fernando, be sure to drop by the MININT office to pick up your cheque.)”

    “Fernando was fired by the BBC for “editorial” reasons. Yet he is still permitted by the Cuban authorities to live in Cuba and write his columns. One can draw the appropriate conclusions.”

    And BTW the US is quite capable of attacking independent media outlets. They were more than likely behind attacks on Al Jazeera during the 2nd gulf war.

  • September 23, 2014 at 11:22 am
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    I note the words written by Fernando:
    “we are confident that honest journalism is more powerful than an army of hackers.”. That is a Conservative view.
    We all know that honest journalism is forbidden in Cuba, reflecting socialisms need to control.
    Who would want to stop information flowing from Cuba? Certainly not those of us who believe in freedom of speech!

  • September 23, 2014 at 8:58 am
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    Not a Minint agent, but a journalist who often parrots the Castro party line. To be fair, he has written columns which could anger either side. However, this comment by Fernando suggests the attack came from the regime:

    “the goal was to create the feeling that entering Letters from Cuba could be dangerous for the surfer.”

    That suits the regime’s policy of stifling open internet access.

    On the other hand, maybe an anti-Castro organization wanted to make it look like that, you might counter.

    That conspiracy theory is undermined by the fact that anti-Castro groups have been hard at work trying open up internet communications, not shut it down. The Castro regime is well known to be very suspicious of an open internet.

  • September 23, 2014 at 7:59 am
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    Except Fernando (as far as I’m aware) considers himself a Socialist. You really need to check your parachute before jumping out of that plane.

  • September 23, 2014 at 4:11 am
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    Well according to Griffin’s conspiracy theory, Fernando is a minint agent. Therefore it follows the attack must come from the “pro-democracy folks in Miami”.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm
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    Socialists want to stifle the distribution of information.
    Socialists want to stifle debate.
    Socialists don’t want the people choosing – they might not choose Socialism.
    Socialists don’t like freedom- because it gives people the opportunity to breathe.
    Socialists don’t like private enterprise.
    Socialists are even selective about revolution – they deplored the revolution that freed the peoples of Eastern Europe from Socialist dictatorship.
    Socialism although preening itself as possessing financial rectitude is an economic disaster.
    The fact is that with time Socialism inevitably fails!
    So take hope Fernando! Time and history are on your side!

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm
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    OK. So who does Fernando think is behind the attacks? Pro-democracy folks in Miami or pro-Castro gnomes in Havana?

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