IAPA Condemns Cuban State Security’s Threats Against ’14ymedio’ Journalist

Gustavo Mohme, president of the Inter-American Press Association. (Congress of the Republic of Peru / Flickr)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 January 2018 – Cuban State Security’s threats against Luz Escobar, a journalist with 14ymedio, were condemned on Tuesday in a statement by the Inter-American Press Association (SIP); the organizations said that the threats “show that restrictions and challenges continue to confront the exercise of freedom of the press” on the island, as they have since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

“We are concerned that this new harassment of an independent journalist only reflects the government’s intolerance and lack of will,” the president of the IAPA, Gustavo Mohme, said in the note.

Last Monday, 14ymedio published an article in which it made known that Luz Escobar, who has been working for this medium since its founding in 2014, had been summoned in Havana by agents of the political police, who invited her to collaborate with the Government and thus “influence the editorial line” of this newspaper. continue reading

During the hour and twenty minute meeting, and before the professional had received and rejected the offer, the agents threatened to prevent her from leaving the country, said they would pressure her family members, and would accuse her in front of her neighbors of being a “counterrevolutionary.”

In a recent article framed as a letter to the journalist, the director of 14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, openly stated her support for Luz Escobar. “They, without planning to, have given you the best argument to continue your career in journalism, because they have shown you that ‘up there’ nothing remains of respect for the citizen, for ethics, morality, sincerity, integrity… and much less for COURAGE. Of which you possess oceans,” she told the journalist.

The president of the IAPA has reiterated that what is happening in Cuba “continues to be a priority issue” for the organization he presides over. The statement also mentions another incident that occurred on January 11 in which the authorities detained journalists Sol García Basulto, Inalkis Rodríguez and Henry Constantín Ferreiro, members of the magazine La Hora de Cuba  in Camagüey.

IAPA continues to emphasize that this action by Cuban State Security against the journalists of La Hora de Cuba was due to the presence of President Raúl Castro in Camagüey, since he was visiting the city. ” Constantín Ferreiro and Garcia continue to be prohibited from leaving Camagüey, where they reside,” the statement reads, noting that they had been accused of the crime of “usurpation of legal capacity” because, according to the government, they have not been “duly authorized” to practice as journalists.

In its latest report on Cuba, the IAPA denounced that the lack of press freedom on the island worsened in 2017. The non-profit organization said that this was due to an increase in “the aggressions against independent journalists and even their relatives, and against users of social networks by police bodies” with the collaboration of the Ministry of Justice.

In the Human Rights Watch’s 2017 Annual Report published on Thursday, the organization notes that the Government of Cuba “detains, harasses and threatens independent reporters” among other serious violations of people’s rights and freedoms.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.

Environmental Activist Detained And Interrogated In Najasa, Camagüey / 14ymedio

Environmental activist Inalkis Rodríguez (Courtesy)
Environmental activist Inalkis Rodríguez (Courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 5 June 2016 — Environmental activist Inalkis Rodriguez was detained and interrogated on Friday after posting on her Facebook account criticisms of the delay in the construction of a polyclinic in Najasa, Camagüey. Rodriguez, a 14ymedio collaborator, reported that the police erased all the photos from her digital camera and threatened her to not to continue with her work.

Rodriguez posted on social networks a text accompanied by several photographs in which she reported that after 15 years of beginning the project, the local polyclinic still was not open and working. Following the publication of her criticism, the president of the government in Najasa, Kenia Marrero, said that the project would be inaugurated within a short period of time, a promise that has not yet been fulfilled. continue reading

At the time of arrest, Rodriguez was taking new pictures on the unfinished work and was intercepted by the official Miguel Fal, who took her to the Najasa police station. Once she was detained, the officers erased all the photos on her camera’s memory.

Before releasing her, the police insisted that Rodriguez sign warning notice that the activist refused to initial. They also questioned her about doing the work of a journalist without having a degree in journalism, an observation Rodriguez responded to by saying that her profession was “veterinarian” but reaffirming her right to criticize because she considers herself a “free” person.

Rodriguez has reported in recent years on the environmental damage suffered in the Camagüey area, particularly deforestation in the Sierra de Cubitas. Many of her texts, published on the Origins blog of this newspaper, denounce the involvement of forest wardens and government officials in the plunder of forest resources and wildlife in the region.

Everyone Deserves Freedom / 14ymedio

Inalkis Rodriguez Lora, Havana | 23 May 2014

The lives of birds are wonderful, especially when they are free.

But in Cuba, being free is hard, thanks to the human predators. For example, the Cuban grassquit, an endemic bird, is now captured at such a high rate that we fear its future extinction.

Another bird injured in this subject of prisons is the mockingbird, which is not endemic but lives permanently in our country. They say that if someone catches a mockingbird chick, takes it home and, of course, locks it in a cage, the parents of the captured chick, if they find it, bring it poisoned food so that it will die immediately because they would rather see it dead than a prisoner for life. In this country story, true or not, there’s a love for freedom. continue reading

Humans also go after parakeets, parrots and bullfinches, doomed to be amusements for human beings, as if their vocal qualities or plumage were a terrible crime. And it doesn’t give people any pangs of conscience. On the street in Camagüey it’s common to see, in broad daylight, the cages hanging with their prisoners for life.

It seems that certain people like to run roughshod over nature. I remember my grandfather, to whom I owe all my love for the natural world, was a passionate and jealous caretaker of flora and fauna, to the point that no one on our farms and its surroundings dared to hurt even the least plant or animal. If some little boy thought to pull out a slingshot in front of him, he immediately grabbed it and threw it in the kitchen fire, while giving the boy a good talking to about why he should care for nature.

And today, are there no people or laws in Cuba to stop the unjustified abuses against nature and freedom, like my grandfather did on his farm?