14ymedio, Havana, 22 February 2023 — Several independent activists and journalists in Cuba suffered a cut in communications this Wednesday. Both 14ymedio’s director, Yoani Sánchez, and its chief editor, Reinaldo Escobar, cannot use their telephone lines. Miriam Celaya and Boris González report the same.
In a phone call, the state telecommunications monopoly Etecsa responded to this newspaper that “there is interruption in the networks and work is being done to restore the service.” In the face of a client’s protests through Twitter, the company replied: “Send us privately your service number to check. We have similar reports and our specialists are reviewing. Do you only notice problems placing the call or in some other service?”
Hours later, the company issued a brief statement via its social networks in which it said it had received complaints from customers “about difficulties in establishing voice calls through the cellular network.” The diagnosis that Etecsa made blamed “the failure of a card that caused instability in the operation of a computer that intervenes in the processing of this service, which caused effects to be perceived randomly in making or receiving calls.” In addition, they said that SMS services and mobile data were in operation.
“If the difficulty in accessing this service persists, we would appreciate it if you could contact us through our official channels,” the text concludes.
The company did not at any time allude to possible problems with the energy supply. In just over a week, there have been three serious power outages on the Island, which the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE) has attributed to “breakdowns” caused by fires or “human error.”
On the other hand, Cubanet collaborator Vladimir Turró was detained by State Security for almost three hours, in which his whereabouts were not known. Another independent journalist, Julio Aleaga, was also arrested when he left his house in El Vedado this morning and released in the afternoon.
“I was arrested today at 8:30; they had me in the car for two hours and took me to the Zanja station,” the analyst explained to several colleagues on the Island. “I was questioned by two officers separately: ‘Alfredo’, about my participation on social networks, and ‘Osvaldo’, about my activity with the APLP [Association for Freedom of the Press].” Aleaga added that “they want to send me into exile.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.