14ymedio, Havana, 6 June 2022 — Nislay Molina, the political commissar who directed the Ideological sphere of the National Committee of the Union of Young Communists, UJC, has been relieved of her duties a month after the former director of the Alma Mater magazine, Armando Franco Senén, blamed her in part for his dismissal. The journalist directly accused her of telling him: “We should have kicked you out long ago, there is nothing more to say, we are doing you the favor of liberating you. You may do as you wish, it is our decision.”
The official newspaper Juventud Rebelde reported this weekend on the “liberation” of the official, as a dismissal is called in the regime’s newspeak, and said that she will have “other assigned tasks,” without offering more details of her new functions. She will be succeeded in the position by Meyvis Estévez Echeverría, a 31-year-old Law graduate who previously headed the educational area.
In turn, this sphere will be occupied by Yaliel Cobo Calvo, previously the first secretary of the Provincial Committee of the UJC in Cienfuegos and a graduate in Social Communication. According to the note, “these movements of cadres in the National Bureau seek to strengthen the work of the organization with young people who have been linked to working life and accumulate experience in youth management.”
The truth is that Molina’s departure from office to unspecified functions sounds more like a penalty for the recent scandal. At the end of April, Armando Franco Senén was fired as head of the magazine, news that was then reduced to a few simple lines on the publication’s social networks that indicated that “by decision of the National Bureau of the Union of Young Communists, Armando Franco Senén was liberated from his duties as director.”
The controversy grew for weeks amid rumors that the situation was far from friendly, as the Editora Abril, the UJC and even the Communist Party itself defended, calling Rogelio Polanco, head of the Central Committee’s Ideological Department, to calm the storm. The cultural ruling party gave its support to Franco, who had led the magazine to tackle more diverse topics and with success, but the journalist kept silent.
After 15 days of rumors, Franco decided to tell his version in detail in a Facebook post and explained that on April 26 he was summoned to a meeting in the office of the director of Editora Abril, Asael Alonso Tirado, in which Molina was also present. Both explained to him that he had to leave due to “continuous errors in the editorial work of the magazine” and, when he tried to defend his work, the official blurted out the controversial phrase that may now have cost her her job.
The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FDHC) included the official in its list of “white collar” repressors on May 12, when Franco told the story of her dismissal.
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