Yoani’s Publication Un-Blocked in Cuba
HAVANA TIMES — The immediate nationwide censorship of opposition blogger Yoani Sanchez’s new website 14ymedio was rescinded over the weekend and can now be visited by the small percentage of Cubans with access to the Internet.
Nonetheless, many Cuban workplaces keep track of the web pages visited by employees and make understood to them that visiting certain sites can bring consequences. Likewise, they often block them in the local server.
The censorship of 14ymedio shortly after it went on line on May 21 led to extraordinary publicity for Sanchez topping the news on Cuba for days on the Google search engines.
5 thoughts on “Yoani’s Publication Un-Blocked in Cuba”
AC, the quality of the writing is not the most important issue here. Besides, it is good enough to be worth publishing. The important issue is that Sra. Sanchez represents an alternate news source for Cubans independent of Castro-control. You likely take for granted the freedom of the press that you enjoy every day. You can access CNN and the Bloomberg and even that crazy site ZNet promoted by what’s-his-name to get a different take on the same news story. Cubans, until now, couldn’t do that. Have you ever seen Granma, Trabajadores, and Juventud Rebelde on any given day? Same stories, same writers, only the color of the ink is different.
Yoani Sanchez got some much press that the Castros had to back out of their censorship! With the EU going to the right, possibly Colombia too and the recent wins by the opposition in Venezuela the Castro clan cannot afford any negative press!
The relative quality of writing on 14ymedio is irrelevant. What is significant is that an independent media source exists in Cuba for the first time in decades. Over time, the quality of writing will improve. Havana Times is not based in Cuba, although most of the writers are. Can Cubans even access HT in Cuba?
Of course the regime can take down the site if they want to. They could also arrest Yoani & everybody else involved in the project. The fact they haven’t is because either they have decided it’s not worth the negative diplomatic reaction from abroad, or they prefer to watch dissidents and make mischief among them.
In the current issue, there is an interesting interview with Manuel Cuesta Morúa, manager of Constitutional Consensus.
I doubt it, if they want they can take it down completely at no time at all. And I’m not talking about rerouting traffic (thats trivial) or controlling access via ISP (also trivial), they most likely already have the administrative credentials for the site and at least the same access level than Sanchez has.
Also, USBs and CDRoms? You are assuming the content is worth distributing and so far it is not. And if your assessment about the nefarious state security is correct and accessing the site is enough to make their black list, what do you thing will happen to them if they are caught DISTRIBUTING said material? FYI, there is no practical difference between possession and distribution of illegal material once you are caught with it, not only in Cuba, but across the world (check copyright laws in US, for instance).
And yes, this is not technically illegal (not yet, at least), but do you think the crappy articles in the site are worth that potential risk? In particular when physical copies can be traced back (and the Cuban security services are more than capable of doing so if they feel inclined)
My take is that spanish is not your strong point (nothing wrong with that) and google translate always mess things up, so you can’t make an objective assessment of the quality of the articles, but believe me, is crappy beyond words, with bad editing, lot of gossiping, heavy bias and zero sources. Even without the real or imaginary threat of reprisals from the security services, is not worth it. Comparatively, Havanatimes is a MUCH better source of news about Cuba.
I understand the new website 14medio.com is also being distributed on USB thumbdrives and cdroms. It will be much more difficult for the state security agents to block that traffic or to follow who is reading it.
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