Cuban Journalist Luz Escobar Repeatedly Barred from Leaving her Home

Journalist Luz Escobar has been repeatedly barred from leaving her home in Havana by security agents standing in her doorway. (Photo via Luz Escobar)

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban authorities should stop barring journalist Luz Escobar from leaving her home, and cease harassing independent journalists in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Beginning on November 16, authorities have repeatedly barred Escobar, a reporter for the independent Cuban news website 14yMedio, from leaving her home in Havana, according to news reports and tweets by Escobar.

On November 16, Escobar tweeted that a security agent was standing at her doorway and would not allow her to leave unless he accompanied her. She posted similar tweets on November 23, November 25, and December 10.

Escobar told CPJ in a phone interview that authorities often prevent independent journalists from working on “significant dates” either by detaining them or stopping them from exiting their homes. She called the practice “random house arrest, without any process,” and said that she has not been made aware of any charges filed against her.

“Physically barring a journalist from leaving her home is a blunt and ugly form of censorship,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick in New York. “Cuban authorities must allow Luz Escobar to move as she wishes if they want to even pretend that they care about opening up free expression in the country.”

On November 17, independent Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez also tweeted that she had recently been barred from leaving her home, and on December 10, Abraham Jiménez Enoa, editor of the digital news magazine El Estornudo, tweeted the same.

November 16 was the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, according to news reports. November 25 was the third anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death, and December 10 was international Human Rights Day, Escobar and Enoa noted in their tweets. In her November 23 tweet, Escobar asked “is anyone aware of what is happening today?”

In her November 25 tweet, which included a video, Escobar said that the agent at her door said he was following orders and threatened to detain her if she went out.

Authorities previously barred Escobar from leaving her home on July 28, 2019, she tweeted at the time. In May, police briefly detained her while she was reporting in Havana, saying she did not have a proper journalist’s credential, Escobar told CPJ.

On May 22, August 19, and September 21, immigrations officers prevented Escobar from leaving Cuba, she told CPJ. She said the officers would not tell her why she was barred from leaving the country, and said she had not been notified of any investigation or case against her that would include such a restriction.

CPJ emailed the Cuban Ministry of Interior for comment at the email address listed on its website, but did not receive any response.

Cuba ranked 10th on CPJ’s 2019 10 Most Censored survey, the only country in the Americas to be included in the list.

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5 thoughts on “Cuban Journalist Luz Escobar Repeatedly Barred from Leaving her Home

  • I’m not anti west or pro dictatorship but for certain democracy died a long time ago in the U.S. and the “regime” there is far more dangerous as far as killing and incacerating innocent people than anything you will find in Cuba. Just look at Iraq as one example. As far as corruption goes, the corruption of a country and politicians, that allows it’s citizens to be brainwashed with lies, so as they can go to an illegal war and kill tens of thousands and leave an entire country in ruins is far greater and more dangerous. Further the wealth and high living standards are dependent on bringing home the pillage of war and having there wealthy lifestyles supported by cheap labour in other countries and “illegal” migrant workers. Just remember when you go to the US and live the “good life” what you are sharing in the booty of. In believable I read somewhere recently where some (probably white supremicist) was talking about how hard the US had worked historically, you know building the railways and all, forgot to mention the chain gangs and hacking off prisoners arms and being built on the backs of slaves

  • The more times I visit the island, the more time I spend there and the more research I do (both there and in my home country) which I’ve been doing for the last couple of decades, the more difficult I find it to find THE truth of the regime you comment on.

    I find there are many versions of truth out there depending on who you speak to. Contradictory truths, claims and counterclaims from its own citizens abound.

    I question the very bold and confident commentators here that believe they know THE truth whether they are any wiser on THE truth than the next man (or just genuinely deluded that they are)

    For information purposes I have no particular love of dictatorships nor am I a ‘commie’ or anti west. I am British by the way.

    Propaganda and misinformation works for more sides than just the one I cant help but feel at times. The world east and west is full of it and that I do know.

    And I do know Cuba has a lot of problems, unfortunately for the good people of the island.

    And yes please feel free to ‘laugh’ if that fills your needs.

  • Sycophants of the Castro dictatorship please respond. I need a laugh.

  • The excuses are endless for the commie tyranny.
    Many people love dictatorships if they are anti-west in nature.

  • I would love to hear from those people that usually come to the pages of the site to defend the Cuban dictatorship. What excuse they would give the regime. Just curious

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