Cuba / 2010

CPJ Blog

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Unexpected departure: From jail to exile

December 28, 2010 10:00 AM ET

It was about 4 in the afternoon on July 8 when the official assigned to me at Toledo Prison, where I'd been locked up for nearly five years, came running to get me. He was in such a hurry that that he tripped and almost fell to the ground....

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Being a Cuban journalist: Harassed, repressed, and jailed

December 14, 2010 9:50 AM ET

The president of the tribunal looked to his right and said, "The prosecutor has the floor." With a serious voice he pronounced the sentence: "The prosecutor ratifies the request for perpetual imprisonment for the accused, Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona, for acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the...

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With 145 journalists behind bars, what's in a number?

December 8, 2010 12:00 AM ET

Today we released our annual census of imprisoned journalists around the world, citing 145 reporters, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on December 1, an increase of nine from 2009 figures. The tally begs the question, What's in a number?...

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Trying to forget: Torture haunts freed Cuban journalist

November 30, 2010 9:42 AM ET

I long to forget, but cannot. To erase from my memory the murmurs of suffering, the plaintive screams of torture, the screeching bars, the unmistakable music of padlocks, the garrulous sentinels......

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Finding freedom in a Cuban cell

November 16, 2010 9:30 AM ET

There exists a sensual, amorous liaison, almost felt and seen, that binds poetry, journalism, and freedom together. Examples of such affairs abound, their protagonists transcending short-lived fame and bursting into history and onto the pages of encyclopedias. They are the greats, the masters, those worthy of veneration. But intellectual...

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Cuban deadline passes for dissident releases: What next?

November 11, 2010 1:20 PM ET

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...

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In Cuban releases, difficult choices, moral dilemmas

July 14, 2010 1:35 PM ET

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...

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Photos of freedom: Cubans arrive in Spain

July 13, 2010 5:12 PM ET

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. $(function() { $(".anyClass").jCarouselLite({ btnNext: ".next", btnPrev: ".prev" }); }); « Previous Image   |   Next Image »...

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Video: Formerly jailed Cuban journalists off to Spain

July 13, 2010 10:45 AM ET

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...

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In Cuban releases, victory came from failure

July 9, 2010 3:50 PM ET

While the Cuban government remains silent over Antonio Villarreal, Léster González Pentón, Luis Milán, José Luis García Paneque, and Pablo Pacheco Ávila—the five imprisoned Cuban journalists and dissidents to be released soon—the media are filled with headlines declaring victory for many....

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Wife greets news of possible release in Cuba with shock

July 8, 2010 6:05 PM ET

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...

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Chronicles of deprivation: NYRB covers blogging in Cuba

July 8, 2010 11:26 AM ET

Take a look at this story in The New York Review of Books—it gets inside the challenges bloggers face as they are considered a “threat to the Cuban government’s international image,” and cites CPJ’s findings about imprisonment (Cuba has 22 journalists in jail, more than anywhere in the world except...

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CPJ testimony: Press freedom in the Americas

June 16, 2010 4:34 PM ET

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, saying that while democracies are prevalent in Latin America, the press continues to operate with few institutional protections. This statement was submitted into the record on Monday....

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The malware lockdown in Havana and Hanoi

June 8, 2010 6:07 PM ET

General purpose computers give journalists an incredible amount of power to create, research, and publish their work away from those who may wish to interfere. But such independence requires that the computer itself remain free and uncompromised by software that works against the journalist's own interests. ...

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Freed Cuban journalist tells of his ‘dreadful experience’

April 14, 2010 5:16 PM ET

When I asked Cuban journalist Oscar Sánchez Madan to describe in one sentence his three years in jail, he told me: “I don’t wish on anybody the dreadful experience I had in prison.” A municipal court in Unión de Reyes, province of Matanzas, freed him on Sunday after he completed a...

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Spain must help free Cuban dissidents

March 18, 2010 9:54 AM ET

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...

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For bloggers, Cuba remains a dark corner

March 18, 2010 9:53 AM ET

Another year has passed and we are now remembering the seventh anniversary of the Black Spring. After seven years, have there been any changes? Yes and no. Law 88, a provision calling for the protection of Cuba’s national independence, is still in force. Known as the gag law, it is...

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Jailed Cuban journalists need global support

March 18, 2010 9:52 AM ET

There are those who say that time will ease the pain. But such a claim cannot withstand the human drama emerging from the prisons where 22 Cuban journalists remain jailed....

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