Independent Journalists in Cuba.


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Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, independent journalists sows up his mouth in protest

March 2006:

Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, independent journalists sows up his mouth in protest

December 2006 Juan Carlos Herrera repeats his protest

More news about Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta


These independent journalists are in jail:


Pablo Pacheco ÁvilaOmar Ruiz HernándezNormando Hernández GonzálezHéctor Maseda GutiérrezAlfredo Felipe FuentesLéster Luis González Pentón


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Cuba has no freedom of speech. For years the Cuban regime has imposed an "information embargo" on the Cuban people. News from abroad is blocked as much as possible (like Radio and TV Marti) while within the country all media are controlled by the government with the exception of some heavily (self) censored publications of the churches of which the Catholic church is the main exponent. Cuban TV, radio and newspapers are totally under the direct control of the Cuban regime. News about Cuba in the international media has been censored for years. It is only since some opening and opportunities arose for international communication that news from non-government controlled sources started to trickle out.

All international journalists traveling to Cuba need special permits. Their work is often seized at the border when the Cuban state suspects they have material that could damage the image the Cuban regime wants to create. Local correspondents need accreditation that is revoked when the reports of the international correspondent displease the regime. For years the main source of independent information about Cuba came from diplomats.


Today Cuba has a small but active group of independent journalists. They live outside of Cuban society as all elements of life (housing, food, education, work, ...) are controlled by the Cuban system. These people face repression in all it's form from imprisonment to harassment (like the "actos de repudio"). These attacks are not only aimed that them, but also at their families.


Independent journalists are a real problem for the Cuban regime as their reports escape official control and inform those outside - with more and more people taking notice - about reality in Cuba. Raul Rivero, a prominent Cuban independent journalist and poet that was forced in to exile in 2005, said in April 2006 after a mob (made up of non-students) stopped him from speaking out at the University of Seville: "The Cuban government is based on lies and cheap propaganda. That's why it is afraid of words and the truth.".(see press report)

That fear of "uncontrolled speech" has led the Cuban regime to repress all aspects of Freedom of speech in Cuba. Independent journalists are incarcerated, prosecuted an harassed. The "information embargo" of the Cuban government is enforced against both Cuban and foreign journalists in Cuba today as it always has been. The Cuban government and its supporters do not stop there and - as I can confirm from personal experience - attacks and threatens even those that exercise their freedom of expression in democratic countries. In order to "shut up" those that expose the lies the Cuban regime and it's apologists will stop at nothing. In France complaints have been filed against Castro supporters for crimes ranging from defamation to threats to kill people. Stalking, abuse of websites, personal threats are rife.

Reports from international organizations defending journalists:

IAPA (Inter American Press Association) on Cuba :

IPI (International Press Institute) on Cuba:

Reporters Without Frontiers on Cuba:

Committee to protect Journalists on Cuba:

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