The government controls virtually all media outlets in Cuba and restricts access to outside information. Cuba has the “most restricted climate for the press in the Americas” according to a 2019 Committee to Protect Journalists report.
A small number of independent journalists and bloggers manage to publish articles, videos, and news on websites and social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. The government routinely blocks access within Cuba to many news websites and blogs. In 2019, before a flawed referendum that endorsed a new constitution, it blocked several news sites seen as critical of the government, including 14ymedio, Tremenda Nota, Cibercuba, Diario de Cuba, and Cubanet. Since then, it has continued to block various news websites.
The high cost of—and limited access to—the internet prevents all but a small fraction of Cubans from reading independent websites and blogs. In 2017, Cuba announced it would gradually extend home internet services. In 2019, the government issued new regulations allowing importation of routers and other equipment and the creation of private wired and Wi-Fi internet networks in homes and businesses.
Independent journalists, bloggers, social media influencers, artists, and academics who publish information considered critical of the government are routinely subject to harassment, violence, smear campaigns, travel restrictions, internet cuts, online harassment, raids on their homes and offices, confiscation of working materials, and arbitrary arrests. They are regularly held incommunicado.
In July 2019, Decree-Law 370/2018, on the “informatization of society” took effect, prohibiting dissemination of information “contrary to the social interest, morals, good manners and integrity of people.” Authorities have used the law to interrogate and fine journalists and critics and confiscate their working materials. In March, journalist Camila Acosta was fined in connection with three Facebook posts, including a meme of Fidel Castro.
Between February and September, Cuban authorities harassed Youtuber Ruhama Fernández, who has published videos critical of the government. Authorities repeatedly summoned her for police interrogation and denied her a passport. In April, after summoning Fernández to a police station, officials told her the harassment would cease if she stopped criticizing the government. In September, she received an anonymous phone call threatening to “finish” her off.
Between September 2019 and March 2020, the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantará was detained at least 10 times, often without charge, for performance art pieces in which he wore the Cuban flag while going about daily activities.
In March 2020, Law 128/2019, the National Symbols Law took effect, restricting use of the Cuban flag, seal, and national anthem.
Source : World Report 2021
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