CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Spain

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

Cuban deadline passes for dissident releases: What next?

A woman in Havana holds a sign that reads: "My support will be eternal for freedom and justice" at a weekly march by members of the Cuban dissident group Ladies in White. (AP)

Sunday marked the end of the four-month deadline Cuban President Raúl Castro had agreed to with representatives of the Cuban Catholic Church and the Spanish government to free 52 prisoners of conscience who remained in jail since the March 2003 crackdown against dissidents, known as the "Black Spring." The Spanish foreign minister at the time, Miguel Angel Moratinos, said in Havana on July 8 that the move to release the prisoners "opens a new era in Cuba." But have things changed in the EU regarding Cuba? Not really. Has anything changed on the island? Not really. On Monday, at midnight, 13 of the 52 prisoners remained in jailed. 

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

In Cuban releases, difficult choices, moral dilemmas

Newly freed Cuban journalists and their families on a bus taking them from Madrid Barajas Airport. (AP/Victor R. Caivano) The Havana government has not explicitly demanded that political prisoners go into exile as a condition of release, but it’s clear that’s what Cuban authorities want. The first journalists and dissidents to be freed from jail were immediately whisked away to Spain, which, along with the Catholic Church, had negotiated for their freedom. That leaves political prisoners with a terrible dilemma: fly to Spain or stay in jail, at least for a while. Thus emerges a moral dimension when assessing news of up to 52 Cuban prisoners, including numerous journalists, being released in the coming weeks. Can a human being live happily in a land he or she never chose? Will they find in Spain, or in some other foreign country, the paradise of freedom they deserve?

July 14, 2010 1:35 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

Photos of freedom: Cubans arrive in Spain

Our colleagues at ABC in Madrid covered the arrival in Spain of the newly freed Cuban journalists and dissidents. Photos in this slideshow are by ABC’s Jaime Garcia.

  |  


Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

Video: Formerly jailed Cuban journalists off to Spain

Reuters put together this video showing supporters waiting in the Cuban airport for the departure of six Cuban journalists for Spain today after their release from prison. Journalists were apparently kept at a distance, so there are no shots of the six here. But, interestingly, the Reuters reporter considers why Raul Castro may have chosen this moment to release 52 political prisoners, including the journalists.

July 13, 2010 10:45 AM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

Wife greets news of possible release in Cuba with shock

(Yamilé Llanes Labrada)José Luis García Paneque is one of five Cuban dissidents who will be released and sent to Spain, international news reports said today. A disillusioned plastic surgeon-turned-headstrong editor of an independent news agency, García Paneque, at left, has been jailed since March 2003. At 45, he leaves prison with a dismal array of illnesses.

July 8, 2010 6:05 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Morocco, Spain

European Human Rights Court takes on press freedom

José Luis Gutiérrrez

The European Court of Human Rights issued a historic sentence on June 1, when it ruled that Spain’s sentencing in a case between the now-deceased Moroccan king Hassan II and me, formerly the editor of the Madrid-based newspaper Diario 16, violated the rights of freedom of expression and of the press.

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

Spain must help free Cuban dissidents

Mark Twain once said, “In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.” In the witty genius’ land, the United States, such irony suggests that people should not to waste the opportunities that democracy offers. But in Cuba’s case any humorous comment is meaningless, since neither freedom of expression nor freedom of conscience exist … like almost all other freedoms. Any “imprudent” or brave attempt to act as if these freedoms were available is suppressed with direct brutality. Journalists and political dissidents who are jailed, tortured, and harassed serve as an example. 

March 18, 2010 9:54 AM ET

Tags:

2011 »