There is news dictatorship in Cuba, independent journalist says

MIAMI, Florida (September 20, 2002) — Cuban independent journalist Iván
García says in one of his articles published on the Inter American Press
Association’s special Web site that a ban on news is preventing his compatriots
from being fully informed.

The Web site, www.sipiapa.com/cuba, set up by the IAPA in March 2002, underscores
the organization’s commitment to and support of the struggle for freedom
of the press in Cuba by providing an outlet for the country’s independent
journalists.

Following are excerpts of the article written by García, a reporter
with the independent news agency Cuba Press.

“Castro has a monopoly over news in Cuba. There is no diversity in sources
of information and the average Cuban has no access to the foreign press. In
this way, of course, it is easier for Castro to govern.
“In Cuba you cannot buy the U.S. magazine Newsweek nor the British daily
newspaper The Guardian. Nor will you find the French newspapers Le Monde and
the Communist L’Humanité. Spain’s El País and Brazil’s
Folha de S. Paulo are censored. There is no CNN or Italian television network
RAI.
“To learn about what is happening around the world and in Cuba is a right
granted by the Havana regime. To comment upon, analyze or disseminate any news
item has to be authorized by the Communist Party – the only political
party there is in Cuba. The Roman Catholic Church has a number of publications
– Palabra Nueva, Espacios, Vitral – that sometimes contain divergent
views, but they are of small and limited circulation.
“The independent press is not allowed to publish in Cuba. For the average
Cuban the Internet continues to be something fantastic and unreachable. He has
no other choice than to believe what the Castro media tell him or to read, almost
in a clandestine way, the foreign press that with obvious delay gets into the
hands of just a few people.
“To control the flow of information is paramount. Without differing news
it is much easier to govern. Like formula for a baby, it is all what Daddy State
feeds you – this is green, that is black and that over there is yellow.
“A person is considered abnormal, delinquent and counter-revolutionary
is he does not trust the Wise Men and wants to find other angles to a story.
It is easy to understand, therefore, that many people take part in the parades
organized by Castro or that 8 million vote out of pure political innocence and
total ignorance for an amendment to the Constitution that condemns to live forever
under scientific socialism.
“The media in Cuba have sought to program a Cuban who is ‘politically
correct’ and to their liking. But the majority of people flee like the
Devil before the cross from the canned political discourse. And they have no
option than to buy the official newspaper Granma or switch on the television
and see Castro – because he appears on all three TV channels and all the
radio stations are at his beck and call.
“Even worse than the U.S. trade embargo, the ongoing economic crisis and
the deterioration in morale is the news dictatorship. One reads, hears and discusses
what Castro authorizes.”

For more news written by independent journalists, visit the Web site www.sipiapa.com/cuba

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