14ymedio, Havana, 1 February 2017 — The Union of Young Communists (UJC) has joined the national blogosphere, the newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) reported on Wednesday. The Young Cuban arrives ten years behind the world of blogs, that the opposition, independent journalism and civic activism have successfully developed over the last decade.
The managers of the new digital site seek to turn it into “another alternative” so that young Cuban internauts can participate in a “scenario of debates and displays of opinions,” according to the official media. It is hosted on the free WordPress platform and is defined as “a blog of the vanguard Cuban youth.”
Asael Alonso Tirado, an official of the UJC National Committee, clarified that the space is committed to “a fresh language that is consistent with the codes of youth,” and “stipped of all formalism.” However, he said that in the debates there should be first “respect for and defense of the best values of the Revolution.”
The official is optimistic and says that the space has 31,500 followers and in “less than five days has achieved almost 1,000 visit, mainly from Cuba, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Namibia and Angola.”
Nevertheless, the UJC’s blog lands in a tangled jungle of digital spaces that gain presence on the Island in spite of the low rate of connectivity to the internet. Most young people consume content that they acquire through informal distribution networks.
The Cuban Youth blog joins the most important official services and social networks. Prominent among them is Ecured, which attempts to rival the volunteer led Wikipedia; Reflections, similar to blog hosting services like Blogger; The Washing Line, which tries to compete with Facebook; and Backpack, a substitute for the informal but ubiquitous weekly packet.
None of these copies has achieved the popularity of the originals, so we will have to wait to see if the new UJC blog is able to overcome the indifference of users to official initiatives and mass organizations.