One Less Thread in the Social Tapestry

Yoani Sánchez, Havana, 12 June 2014 — In a country where there are so few spaces for debate, the loss of any one of them is a tragedy. The departure of Roberto Veiga and Lenier Gonzalez from the magazine Lay Space leaves us with even fewer opportunities for debate. Their work was characterized by its willingness to address controversial and difficult topics in the pages of a publication which, in recent years, became an obligatory reference. With a respectful spirit, a true concern for the nation, and the ability to present arguments, these editors opened a reflective space that we, their readers, fear will be missed from now on.

Differences in ideas should not lead us to personal confrontation. A lesson that should be learned by more than one person who takes ideological contradictions as a pretext to channel their lowest passions. So, despite my points of difference with many of the ideas of Veiga and Gonzalez, and especially with their category of “loyal opposition,” I have always respected their work and considered it to be of great value. The public existence of their voices improved the quality of discussions within the Island, encouraging different points of view – which is always a good thing – and brought together political tendencies that seem to run along contrary paths. I regret that they never accepted invitations to also participate in non-official debates within the country. I hope, now they have been “liberated” from their jobs, that we will be able to exchange ideas outside the protection of the Cátedra Félix Varela.

Cuba loses and I can’t imagine who wins with this dismissal. The next archbishop of Havana? Is the church so fickle? One day they snatched the magazine Vitral from us, to turn it into a shadow of the multicolored light it once was. Now, it seems, the same will happen with Lay Space. I am not convinced by the declarations of its current director who assures us that the work of the journal will continue. I believe deeply in the stamp each human being imprints on a work, and in the case of this publication it’s clear that Veiga and Gonzalez were its principal sources of inspiration.

The ragged tapestry of our civil society just suffered the tearing of another thread.


24 thoughts on “One Less Thread in the Social Tapestry

  1. Pingback: Kritische redacteuren verlaten kerkblad | CUBA

  2. REUTERS: Cuba’s Catholic Church may restrict rare forum for open debate – by Marc Frank

    The resignation of two editors of an outspoken Roman Catholic Church magazine in Cuba threatens to stall what had been a thriving political dialogue inside Cuba and a rare forum to challenge the ruling Communist Party publicly.

    The former editors of Espacio Laical magazine, Roberto Veiga and Lenier Gonzalez, used the Internet to promote debate on political issues such as the need for a multiparty system, internet expansion, reintegration with the diaspora and the strengths and weaknesses of reforms under President Raul Castro.

    They quit last week after 10 years on the job, saying in their resignation letter it was because of pressure from inside the Church hierarchy, not the government, from people who did not want the Church to get involved in politics.

    Church insiders said the former editors and recently appointed director were often at odds due to the latter’s efforts to tone down the magazine.

    The director, former editors and the Havana archdiocese had no further comment.

    Veiga and Gonzalez said their work had provoked the ire of those “who think that the Church should not get involved in politics and those who believe that it should not provide space to all actors in Cuban civil society.”



    DAILY MAIL:Honeymoon HELL: Bridegroom flies home alone from Cuba after being ordered to pay £4000 to replace a broken television – by Emily Payne

    Wesley and Heather Dyson, from Lancashire, were ordered off their airport transfer coach on the last day of their honeymoon in Cuba
    Mr Dyson, 36, was told he would have to pay 10 times the cost value of the TV or the police would not give him his passport back
    Couple now hope their travel insurance will cover the replacement payment

    The couple, from Farnworth Lancashire, were told a damaged TV had been found in their hotel room.

    Mr Dyson, 36, was told he would have to pay 10 times the cost value of the TV – 6,600 Cuban pesos or about £4,000 – or the police would not give him his passport back.

    He had to wave his 31-year-old wife off in a taxi before spending an extra night in a separate Cuban hotel, making arrangements for the cash to be put in place.

    Neither of the couple remember damaging the 32-inch television that had been in their room and hotel staff would not allow them back into the room to inspect it.


  4. socialistworker: dissidents in Cuba don’t realize how good they have it compared with others in Latin America and other parts of the World. The Cuban government has shown great restraint and compliance with international law (a lot of the complaints are correlated to ignorance on the part of the cadres enforcing the law. In the case of bad prison conditions is money related and not because of punishment.)

  5. “Four dead in Ohio”. 1970 Crosby Stills and Nash song. Two were young women and a third was a ROTC cadet. It refers to Kent State University in Ohio. National Guard troops shoot into a crowd of college students and passerbyers. Did the state or federal government do a serious investigation? Any one arrested? Anybody held accountable? Then a few days later New Mexico National Guard bayonetted 11 people at the University of New Mexico. Two more students were killed at Jackson State University in Mississippi. A grand jury returned an indictment which a judge than dismissed. A civil trial jury verdict was overturned on appeal. After ten years in court Alyson Krause father settled for 15,000 and a statement of regret. President Nixon referred to the protestors as bums. Nixon and his Vice President Agnew were forced from office.

  6. Humberto: I don’t doubt that Prensa Latina is bias to the formation of a Socialist Democratic Republic in Cuba. But, this is good because at least you know where they stand and whatever you read at Prensa Latina, you can search elsewhere to find a different analysis from another angle. I find that it is a challenge to look for information that is factual and un-bias politically, social or from the business point of view….it is a new skill we all need to have to get to the truth of the issues. I believe that some schools are teaching kids how to do this. Adults have to learn by trial and error…but, it is fun!!….


    THE TIMES OF INDIA: Raul Castro urges defence of ally President Maduro in Venezuela – Jun 15, 2014

    SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA: Cuban President Raul Castro warned allies on Saturday that Havana’s closest ally Venezuela needed support amid fallout from deadly anti-government protests.

    “Venezuela today needs our staunchest support,” Castro, 83, said in a rare international speech at a Group of 77 and China meeting in Bolivia.

    “The oligarchs who could not get rid of President Hugo Chavez think the time has come to topple the Bolivarian revolution and President (Nicolas) Maduro,” Castro argued, calling the elected socialist government in Caracas “the front line of independence, freedom and dignity”.

    Venezuelan economic support is critical to keeping the Cuban government and economy afloat.

    Cash-strapped Havana still has a centrally planned economy and cannot get access to international loans, and Venezuela supplies it with cut-rate oil.

    But inflation near 60 percent, widespread shortages of basic goods and soaring crime have plunged Venezuela — an oil-rich OPEC member — into political and economic crisis.

    Anti-government protests have rattled Venezuela since February, leaving at least 41 people dead and more than 600 injured, with opposing sides trading blame for the violence.

    G-77 host Bolivian President Evo Morales, also an elected socialist, said that if the United States meddles militarily in Venezuela, it will have a new Vietnam on its hands.

    “If Mr. (Barack) Obama keeps assailing the people of Venezuela, I am convinced that, faced with provocation and aggression, Venezuela and Latin America will be a second Vietnam for the United States,” Morales told the crowd.

    “Let us defend democracy, natural resources, our sovereignty and our dignity,” he added.


  8. PRENSA LATINA, legal name Agencia de Noticias Latinoamericana S.A. (Latin American News Agency), is the official state news agency of Cuba, founded in March 1959 shortly after the Cuban Revolution.

    In a speech by Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba in 1959, Castro denounced the United States media and instead favoured a Latin American service “written in our own language”. The creation of the agency was similar to that of Agencia Latina founded by Juan Perón, to disseminate propaganda for the government.[1]
    Prensa Latina was founded at the initiative of Ernesto Che Guevara. The founder and first manager was Argentinian journalist Jorge Ricardo Masetti.[2] On Masetti’s instructions, the first journalists were recruited by March 1959, when the service went into operation.[1] Among the initial group of journalists were Gabriel García Márquez, Rodolfo Walsh, Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Rogelio García Lupo, Leonardo Acosta and Carlos María Gutiérrez. Prensa Latina had its license revoked in the United States in 1969, after the Cuban government closed down Associated Press and United Press International offices in Havana. These offices have since reopened and function intermittently.[3] Officials working at the agency are usually affiliated with the Dirección de Inteligencia (DI).[4][5] The history of the agency is also intertwined with Cuba’s foreign relations. On occasion, several bureau chiefs abroad have been deported on charges of espionage, including agency staff from Peru, Canada and Jamaica.[4]


    REUTERS: Venezuela’s soaring inflation ups pressure for economic reforms – by Brian Ellsworth

    Venezuela’s inflation soaring above 60 percent has boosted pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to speed up a transition toward a market-driven economy as the OPEC nation’s model of state-controlled socialism heads toward stagflation.

    Sky-rocketing consumer prices and shortages of nearly a third of basic goods have helped push Maduro’s approval rating to 37 percent and weakened his standing as the heir to the wildly popular late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

    He has launched reform measures over the last year that were applauded by Wall St., such as easing Chavez’s rigid currency controls, but they have not stopped growth from slowing or prevented inflation from rising to the highest level since current records began in 2008.

    The central bank blamed May’s 5.7 percent inflation reading on three months of opposition protests, but economists say the true culprit is a doubling of the money supply since the start of last year and a 17 percent increase this year.

    “It’s easier to blame the protests than to cut spending and maintain fiscal discipline, which has a high political cost,” said Asdrubal Oliveros of Caracas-based Ecoanalitica. “If you don’t reduce monetary distortions, you won’t control inflation.”

    Annualized inflation hit 60.9 percent in May, a headache for foreign companies such as Colgate-Palmolive (CL.N) that are struggling under rising costs as well as the hefty devaluation caused by recent currency measures.

    Any long-term stabilization of prices will require cutting state spending, which the government is loathe to do because it would like exacerbate the sharp GDP slowdown of 2013. First-quarter GDP figures were due out last month.

    Soaring prices have cut into the social development gains achieved by the late Chavez, who won repeated elections by lavishing oil revenue on the country’s poor through free health clinics, subsidized food and stipends for single mothers.


  10. Havana, Jun 13 (Presa Latina) The Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC) today acknowledged the work of Prensa Latina in spreading the truth and reality of the peoples of the South facing the view of the hegemonic powers of information.
    •Leading Figures Worldwide Praise Prensa Latina’s Role
    •Prensa Latina Is Voice of the People, Says Diplomat in UN
    In a congratulatory message to the news agency for its 55th anniversary, the UPEC said that since its founding on June 16, 1959, Prensa Latina has gone far in its goal of reporting the truth and reality of Cuba and Latin American countries.

    All this, as opposed to the monopolistic and hegemonic vision of the capitalist mass media press, said the text to highlight the work of Prensa Latina as an alternative voice.

    In addition, the UPEC said Prensa Latina recognized is a school of journalism and communication professionals, who have the respect and trust of their users around the world due to their professional ethics and truthfulness in reporting any topic ‘.

    UPEC urged Prensa Latina to continue to reflect the country’s transformations and development, and the role of Cuba in the social, economic and political universe.

    Prensa Latina has currently 30 periodicals, in addition to providing radio, television and multimedia services.

    It also has offices and correspondents in over 30 countries in America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Middle East which published daily over 400 reports in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and French.


    Paolo Mancini believes that media fragmentation openly threatens the very basic tenets of journalism, namely neutrality and objectivity. According to Mancini, for a society increasingly fragmented in its choice, the morning newspaper thud on doorsteps increasingly provides news that the reader likes to read at the cost of objective reporting. Divided in their dinner table conversations, people are reading or watching what rhymes with their politics. This choice and the biased reporting that caters to it, Mancini says, create fragmentation.

    He raised some critical questions: Is the Internet reshaping and helping create more fragmentation? As a logical extension of the “more fragments” argument asks, is objective journalism possible in a world of more internet journalism? Mancini mentioned a 1992 paper written by Daniel Hallin. In The Passing of the ‘High Modernism’ of American Journalism, Hallin writes, “The prosperity of these organisations was closely connected with their universality: their audience knew no bounds of class, politics or any other social distinction.” Not any more, if Mancini is to be believed.

    Objective journalism has less and less room in a crowded market place, Mancini argued. An audience targeted on the basis of ideological, cultural, and political variables is leading to a partisan, advocacy-oriented journalism that in turn leads to polarisation. The internet, Paolo Mancini says, is the driving force in this divide. Mancini maintains that the internet is not just a crucial medium for spreading the idea of democracy but also a cause of the fragmentation of the audience.

    Mancini looked at the situation in 2011. The basic trend is that traditional media consumption has gone down and new media consumption has gone up. That is leading to mass media fragmentation and, in turn, audience fragmentation. Mancini showed figures for the Total Average Circulation of Paid-For Dailies. His charts pointed out that in most Western liberal democracies (like the United States) circulation of traditional press is decreasing (although in countries like India it is increasing and stable in Brazil). But the global number of internet users has gone up hugely between 2000 and 2010. And as for social media, Mancini quoted a Time Magazine survey that projects a possible one billion Facebook users by August 2012.

    Mancini argued that such fragmentation of the audience implies inevitably a sort of committed journalism that adopts a partisan selection of news. “Where does the success of Fox News come from?” he asked. According to Mancini, the anti-Islamic feeling that Fox News generates makes it more popular among a certain audience. Mancini sounded the warning bell when he reminded us that society is at the risk of being divided into many different niches, and that media fragmentation can lead to social polarisation and not a common space for meeting and discussion.


    – In today’s age which gives importance to the symbolic?

    “We are in a historical period characterized by a huge amount of information, especially in countries with technological development not only the United States and Europe but also in Latin America.

    As there are so many sources now, I would say the reality is more fragmented. That is because the media reflect an apparent symbolic reality, which from my perspective living in another dimension and having other laws and rules.

    Now is also produced another phenomenon that is overexposure to the coverage. You do not just as a professional journalist and media institutions we are saying that all citizens can invade cyberspace with thousands of photos, with tweets with blogs. This tendency sometimes affects electoral politics and the time it takes the low level of political commitment to participation.

    Nowadays, every citizen can actually create their own personalized and slightly abstracted or isolated from society. A young man imbued with social networks Facebook, Twitter, blogs or pages that have to do with music and art she likes can become a more isolated than other beings. This phenomenon affects what is called atomized societies that it binds more information, persuasion is more difficult. For researchers and producers of media, from my point of view, that’s the big challenge. ”

    Translated by Daysi Olano

  13. Havana, Cuba (acn) – Cuba’s Biopharmaceutical Laboratory Business Group (LABIOFAM) is working on the design, construction, assembly and launch of biotechnology plants in countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania, after doing so in Venezuela, China, Vietnam and Argentina, among other countries.

    These efforts will be shown during the LABIOFAM 2014 International Congress, scheduled for September 22-25 at Havana’s Convention Center, announced on Thursday during a press conference Jose Antonio Fraga, director of the entity.

    Attending the meeting will be entrepreneurs and health and agriculture ministers of several countries, representatives of international organizations and delegates of Spain, China, Russia, Rumania, Peru, Mexico, the United States, Bolivia and Chile, among other nations.

    LABIOFAM develops a wide gamut of bio-pesticides, bio-stimulants and bio-fertilizer products for human, plant and animal use, with the purpose of preventing the harmful damage caused by chemicals.


    In the wake of the United States (US) insisting that Cuba be barred from attending the Summit of the Americas unless it commits to democracy, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar has shrugged off concerns about the absence of a multiparty system on that communist-ruled island.

    Guyana is among Latin American and Caribbean nations that last week demanded that Cuba attend the summit of hemispheric leaders slated for next year in Panama.

    Questioned about the obvious contradiction by Guyana and other Caribbean countries placing a high premium on multiparty democracy but not seeing the need for rapid political change in one-party Cuba, the President reflected that it was a majority that came to power.

    “You got to remember also that Cuba had a popular revolution. It wasn’t a one-man show. It wasn’t a few people. It was a mass uprising that changed the government in Cuba,” he said. After Former President, Fidel Castro Ruz led a band of revolutionaries that toppled the pro-US administration of Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959, he established a socialist state and since then only the Communist Party of Cuba is permitted to rule the country.

    Ramotar, instead, praised Cuba for developing human capital around the world and he pointed to the training of 300 Guyanese doctors free of cost as one example. “Those are very, very important things that we have to look at and Cuba’s contribution has always been very important in helping human development and social and economic development on societies,” he said.

    The President did not say whether Cuba’s assistance was the reason for Guyana turning a blind eye to the absence of Western-style democracy in that Spanish-speaking country. He, however noted that said Cuba is unlike military dictatorships in Brazil and Chile in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Speaking at the meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group on June 5 during the OAS Assembly in Paraguay, Guyana’s Foreign Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said Cuba must be invited to participate in the next Summit of the Americas “without any preconditions.”

    The Foreign Ministry stated that Rodrigues-Birkett made known her country’s position after a suggestion by one Member State that certain conditions must be attached. “Madame Chair, I am finding it a bit difficult to understand why we are discussing this issue of Cuba’s presence at the Summit. For Guyana this is a non-issue and was already settled in Cartagena at the last Summit. Cuba must be invited and there must be no conditionalities” the Minister said. This position was adumbrated by her Colleagues in the Latin American and Caribbean region


    Arrest warrant issued for Venezuelan opposition leaders

    Venezuela’s attorney general has issued arrest warrants against three prominent opposition leaders. They are Diego Arria, a former presidential candidate and United Nations ambassador; Pedro Burelli, former external director of the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela; and Ricardo Koesling, a lawyer who has been a strong critic of the government. They are wanted for questioning in an alleged plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro. “Groups outside the law have violent political plans,” said Attorney General Luisa Ortega. She said she would ask Interpol to issue international arrest warrants, as they may have left the country. The attorney general’s office said the three were not officially charged with participating in the alleged assassination plan, but they had failed to testify in an investigation of the plot. Another opposition leader, former legislator Maria Corina Machado, has been accused of being the primary organizer of the alleged plot. She has been called in to testify on 16 June. Via Twitter, Mrs. Machado scoffed at the accusations, calling them “infamy.” Ambassador Arria called plot charges a “fantastic contrivance” and says the regime is in its “terminal phase”. He adds that the Venezuelan government has harassed him ever since he denounced the late President Arria in The Hague court. (BBC News,; Fox News,; El Universal,; Veneconomy,; and more in Spanish: Infolatam).

    Government repression increased 485% in February and March, compared to 2013, the highest figure in the last 25 years, according to PROVEA’s report “Venezuela 2014: Protests and Human Rights”. The NGO revealed 3,127 people have been detained for protesting so far, 2,463 of whom have been arraigned in courts and 119 have been remanded. It also showed there have been 157 documented cases of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment. (Veneconomy,

  16. If Ms. Sanchez is so concerned with internet access why doesn’t she lobby AT&T for equipment and training. She’s the one claiming to have left behind ‘high culture’ and Philology behind. I’d like to see her climb an unsupported pole 18 feet high. Then circle that pole and descend to the ground. Her idea of internet service consists of operating a large number of retail wireless modems in bridge mode. That will never work on a large scale because of the bandwidth limitations of retail wireless networking routers.

  17. the resignation of the two editors appears to me it has to do with the misalignment between the position of the church in Cuba which is that the church will not get involved in the political arena in Cuba. These two editors were responsible for authorizing articles to be published that were too sensitive and misaligned with the wishes of the Church in Cuba. Now that they don’t have a job, maybe they can free lance writing articles for 14ymedio or Temas ….their interest in stories they published is more in line with the social political issues of change in Cuba.

    According to the AP, the journalists said that they had submitted their resignation to Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino on May 2, through the magazine’s director, Gustavo Andújar Robles.

    “It was the third time in the past two years that we asked to be released,” the e-mail said. “Yesterday, we were informed that it had finally been accepted by the Archbishop of Havana [Ortega]. Our two previous petitions had not been approved by the Cardinal.”

    “The principal motive that led us to request our dismissal as editors was related to the controversy generated in specific sectors of the ecclesiastical community by the socio-political profile of the publication.”

    “That problem has been the cause of the tension that has projected on the figure of the Cardinal-Archbishop and on ourselves. In that sense, we believed opportune — and still think so — that it was not morally proper to continue to lead a publication that provoked division within the ecclesiastical community itself.”

    In the past, Espacio Laical has published articles that could be interpreted as critical of the Church, the government and society at large. Those articles, the e-mail implied, may have irked “those who think that the Church should not meddle in politics and those who believe that it should not open its spaces to all the actors in Cuba’s civilian society.”

    “In that sense […] we understood the impossibility of maintaining the editorial course of the magazine Espacio Laical the way it has been maintained until now,” the journalists wrote.

    Referring to a statement by director Andújar, to the effect that “nobody forced them to resign” and that “nobody is indispensable,” Veiga and González lamented its “aggressive and disproportionate tone.” (For the Spanish text of Andújar’s statement, click here.)

    On the other hand, they thanked Cardinal Ortega “for supporting our management as far as he could.”

  18. Cuba is not a society dominated by consumerism. In a consumer society the question is always, “I have the money. Why can’t I buy it?” Its never about how can we distribute a new product fairly and evenly. It also faces an adversary 90 miles away that has been hostile to its development for over 50 years now. To make internet access available in homes requires expensive capital updated telephone equipment that the US blockade attempts to prevent Cuba from obtaining. Verizon’s FIOS project almost resulted in bankrupting the company because it brought Fiber To The Premise (FTTP). AT&T’s Uverse and DSL products are intended to serve copper lines no more than about 3 miles away as a maximum. The US government also prevents and controls bandwidth between Florida and Cuba to what was available before 1959. Using satellites is and will always be problematic because the distance traveled up and down makes for a high latency problem. While I don’t know for certain it is unlikely that Cuba has cable TV service with the possible exception for those living in rural areas. Internet broadband DSL service requires reduction of central office cable lengths that were acceptable for telephone service. It also requires the elimination of crosstalk, party and bridged lines. The acceptable line lengths (loop length) for telephone service must now be shortened and lengths of cable split up for high speed access. Not to mention addition new fiber needed to feed the DSLAMS.

  19. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE: Detentions of Activists in Cuba – Marie Harf Deputy – Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC – June 12, 2014
    We have seen reports of the latest arbitrary detentions by Cuban authorities of dozens of civil society members and activists, including prominent pro-democracy activist Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, also known as “Antunez,” his wife, Yris Perez Aguilera, Ladies in White spokesperson Berta Soler, and her husband, Angel Moya. We have also seen reports that independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra was violently assaulted and reportedly suffered a broken nose and torn ligaments. We strongly condemn the Cuban government’s systematic use of physical violence and arbitrary detention to silence its critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and even, in the case of the detentions of Ms. Soler and Mr. Moya, prevent attendance at a court hearing unrelated to broader issues of governance. We urge the Government of Cuba to end these practices and respect the universal human rights of Cuban citizens.


    WND NEWS: ‘Wasp Network’ stung in Miami Cuban spies ‘wage war against the people of the U.S.’ – by Toby Westerman – Published: 01/09/2001

    Five members of a 14-member espionage team called “La Red Avispa” — the Wasp Network — are on trial in a Miami federal courtroom following an exhaustive FBI investigation
    After breaking up the network’s operations in September 1998, the FBI amassed some 10,000 pages of information on the Cuban espionage cell. Federal agents discovered that, among other projects, the members of the spy network counted planes outside a military base, attempted to send a letter-bomb to an anti-Castro activist, and placed one of their number — employed as a custodian — at the Boca Chica base of the Southern Command to observe military activity there. Of the original 14, four fled and are believed to be in Cuba, five pleaded guilty and five have declared their innocence. Those pleading innocent said they were only keeping an eye on the anti-communist Cuban exiles. Although the ring was engaged in classic acts of espionage, those who pleaded guilty, as well as the defendants standing trial, are not facing charges of spying, but rather are being charged as “unregistered foreign agents.

  21. ABC NEWS: Cuba Church Magazine Editors Quit Over ‘Divisions’ – by Peter Orsi

    The former editors of an influential Roman Catholic magazine in Cuba resigned because its critical coverage caused controversy and tensions among the faithful, they said in a letter that circulated Thursday. Roberto Veiga and Lenier Gonzalez, who for about a decade led editorial coverage of Espacio Laical, said the magazine’s “socio-political profile” led to tensions that affected both them and Cardinal Jaime Ortega. “For that reason … it was not morally right to continue leading a publication that provoked divisions within the ecclesiastical community itself, where there are the positions of those who believe the Church should not meddle ‘in politics,'” Veiga and Gonzalez wrote in the letter, which Gonzalez emailed to The Associated Press. It also appeared on several websites.
    “We came to understand the impossibility of maintaining the editorial line of the magazine Espacio Laical as it has been,” they said.
    Word of the editors’ resignation emerged this week when an email they sent to colleagues appeared online.
    In the missive they said they had been “freed” from their positions — using a Spanish word that in Cuba is often a euphemism for “dismissed.”
    On Wednesday the director of Espacio Laical, Gustavo Andujar, issued a sharply worded statement saying they not been fired but rather submitted their resignation May 2.
    Veiga and Gonzalez acknowledged that they had in fact resigned, and regretted that their ambiguous language was misinterpreted.
    “It moves us that a private communication for friends … should become a matter of concern for so many men and women inside and outside of Cuba,” the letter said. “We also regret the aggressive and disproportionate tone of the message from Gustavo Andujar.”


    STATE MONOPOLY OF THE MEDIA: The media is a key arena in which the right to freedom of expression is exercised. It plays a critical role in any society, for example raising awareness of human rights and exposing human rights violations. The media has the potential to help shape public opinion and to monitor and assess the performance of those holding public office at all levels; it is an important tool for scrutinizing government practices in all societies no matter their political ideology. The absence of an independent media is a serious obstacle to the enjoyment of freedom of expression and the adequate review of corrupt and abusive official practices. Restrictions on the Cuban media are stringent and pervasive and clearly stop those in the country from enjoying their right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.8 The state maintains a total monopoly on television, radio, the press, internet service providers, and other electronic means of communication.9 According to official figures, there are currently 723 publications (406 print and 317 digital), 88 radio stations, four national TV channels (two devoted to educational programming), 16 regional TV stations and an international TV channel. All are financed and controlled by the government.10 Three newspapers provide national coverage: Granma, which is the organ of the Cuban Communist Party, Juventud Rebelde and Trabajadores.

    In Cuba, access to the internet remains under state control. It is regulated by the Law of Security of Information, which prohibits access to internet services from private homes. Therefore, the internet in Cuba has a social vocation and remains accessible at education centres, work-places and other public institutions. Internet can also be accessed in hotels but at a high cost. In October 2009, the government adopted a new law allowing the Cuban Postal Services to establish cyber-cafés in its premises and offer internet access to the public. However, home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans and only those favoured by the government are able to access the internet from their own homes.
    However, many blogs are not accessible from within Cuba because the Cuban authorities have put in place filters restricting access. The blogs affected are mainly those that openly criticize the Cuban government and its restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement. For example, Generation Y is one of the dozens of blogs that are filtered or intermittently blocked by the government and are not accessible inside Cuba.

  23. According to the poster who always begins his writing by YELLING CASTROFACISTS. The two admitted that they had not been ‘liberated’ but instead had resigned their positions on May 2. Only recently did the Church based publication publicly accept their resignations. One of the two has promised to write a letter explaining their reasons for resigning. We are awaiting that letter.

    I am one hundred percent sure that had I been a editor of a US based Catholic magazine and wanted to debate ideas that contradict church doctrine like abortion within the magazine I would be prevented from doing so. The fact that the two originally said they were ‘liberated’ from their jobs knowingly implying they were wrongly terminated makes anything they say afterword suspect.

    The Catholic Church is a well know opponent of communism going so far as to excommunicated those who join a communist party. So if this was some kind of action instigated by Raul Castro or the Communist Party of Cuba why is the Pope holding his tongue?

    The owner of a publication always get to control its editorial content. That is part of free speech. If a church decides to fire an editor that is clearly within the rights of the owners free speech. If the same owner decides to fire the workers in the press room that’s a matter of workers rights and a union. If the press room workers decide not to publish the lies of the owners that is with in the rights of the workers to do so.

    The US government as far back as the triumph of the revolution in 1959 has taken a stance that Fidel was a communist that needed to be over thrown or assassinated. The 638 times that has been attempted is the subject of a TV documentary of the same name or should I say number originally aired in the UK. In fact there is no reason to believe that has changed despite Obamas left supporters and his silent refusal to free the Cuban 5.

Comments are closed.