Diario de Cuba, Havana, 9 February 2016 — A blog on sexual diversity, Proyecto Arcoiris (Rainbow Project), housed in the government-run blogging platform Reflections, has been censored by the regime after addressing UMAP and publishing a text attributing the responsibility for it to Raul Castro, according to the Global Voices international network of bloggers.
Those responsible for censorship alleged that the blog broke the rules for participation on the site and that the text “defamed the Revolution,” explained blog author Yasmine Silvia Portales Machado to Global Voices .
The censored paragraph from the Rainbow Project blog that refers to the Military Units to Aid to the Population (UMAP) is hosted here; but currently readers get a message that says “This site has been archived or suspended.”
The fragment is part of the text “Cuba’s Mariela Castro and Historical Reparations,” published in December in Havana Times by activist and member of the Rainbow Arc Jimmy Roque Martinez.
Roque called on the General Raul Castro to apologize and accept responsibility for the internment of homosexuals in the UMAP camps.
From his point of view, not accepting responsibility and not apologizing for such acts “are proof of the homophobia” of the current leaders of the island and a sign that they are not repentant.
In the article, the activist says the General and others who are “still alive” as “those maximally” responsible for the camps where dissidents, religious and gay people were defined.
“It’s been 50 years since the creation of UMAP said Roque and not a single official has apologized to the people.”
He also said that “the minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) from that time is now the country’s president,” referring to Raul Castro.
“It is now time for them to apologize for that act of penalization, exclusion and punishment to which they subjected thousands of homosexuals and Cubans with ‘improper conduct’,” said the activist.
Roque demanded that “those responsible, every single one of them, must recognize their error, and ask for a real apology directly to the victims and their families, as the only way of historical reparation.”
The state platform Reflections groups blogs written from the island and is the only one from the island that provides this service. It is managed by the Youth Computer and Electronics Clubs (JCCE), under the Ministry of Communications.
Reflections is accessible from abroad, although it is not possible to create a blog from outside the island, nor to manage it from abroad even if it was created in Cuba. Operating a blog on Reflections requires that the blogger access the blog from a JCCE site.