14ymedio, 30 December 2016 — The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) has named independent journalist Henry Constantín Ferreiro as regional vice president for Cuba. Director of the magazine La Hora de Cuba and a resident of the city of Camagüey, the reporter told 14ymedio that he intends to defend and spread “the reality of journalism” on the island from his new responsibility.
A few hours after the announcement, Constantín told this newspaper via phone that he received the news with a mixture of “surprise and pride” and said he was grateful to be part of an organization that “has engaged in numerous battles over the freedom of the press in the region.”
Born in 1984, Constantín is a contributor to several independent media, including the magazine Coexistence. He studied journalism for several semester as an undergraduate and also the specialty of film direction at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA).
The reporter feels that the journalism in Cuba is going through “a special moment” marked by “an increasing plurality, although still restrained by the government.” On the island there are “media that cover almost the entire political spectrum,” says the new vice president of the IAPA.
“In this new year we will have to defend the national press because although the context is new, the threats are the same and some of them are even growing,” Constantín points out.
Upon his appointment, the reporter will be responsible for reporting the violations of press freedom that occur in the country and for drafting the report that is published each semester by IAPA.
Previously, the vice president for Cuba was occupied by journalist and director of 14ymedio Yoani Sanchez, who assumed the responsibility in 2012.
Last November, Henry Constantín was detained at Customs at the Ignacio Agramonte International Airport in Camaguey, on his arrival from Miami. The dissident was taken to a police station where his mobile phone and his laptop were confiscated.