14ymedio, Havana, November 11, 2019 — The revolution of the aquatics, by Abraham Jiménez Enoa, was one of the winning reports at Cubacron, although its author was unable to collect his prize because he is one of those on the list of persons “regulated” by the Cuban government.
The reporter from the magazine El Estornudo has a prohibition on traveling (which is referred to as “regulated”) from 2016 until 2021. Those five years are what the state considers he “owes” for having been part of the “inserted cadets” program, as he was able to study journalism via an agreement by which he would afterwards complete five years of social service.
In addition to that article, two other reports from the independent press won the award: The roosters have no name, by Darío Alejandro Alemán (also of El Estornudo), and UMAP: Nothing, nobody, never, by Yoe Suárez for Hypermedia Magazine. [UMAP=Military Units to Aid Production]
Cubacron was held by the the Press and Society Institute (Ipys) to award the best reporters on the island and raised a big controversy by nominating the text For God’s sake, when will nitrazepam come, by the Escambray journalist Dayamis Sotolongo Rojas, who also ended up winning despite the fact that the author rejected the candidacy.
Ipys’s decision to put forward articles from the official and independent presses without distinction did not sit well with the Communist Party and the government, which accused the institution of carrying out a “new campaign against the Cuban public system” which “is printed with a counterrevolutionary political seal.”
At that time, the Journalists’ Union of Cuba (UPEC) issued a statement saying that Ipys is “linked to political campaigns against governments and progressive organizations in Latin America, particularly obsessed with lines of attack on the Bolivarian Revolution” [i.e. the Chavista government in Venezuela].
Cuban authorities considered the awards an insult that attempted to demonstrate, in their opinion, a feigned impartiality by putting forward the state press along with the independent press and rejected accepting any ties with an “antisocialist” organization.
Ipys entered the controversy explaining that the award nominations were made by a selection committee choosing among reporters who presented their candidacy and those who had not done so.
The author, despite that, said she didn’t understand why she had been nominated. “I’m not selling my soul to the devil; they can go to…” said the reporter in the media outlet at which she works. Now, it turns out that she has won against her will.
The awards were made known in Mexico City during the closing ceremony of the Latin American Conference of Investigative Journalism (COLPIN) 2019, a meeting of investigative journalists that features, among other things, the best works published in the previous year.
During the conference, Ipys awarded the Latin American Prize of Investigative Journalism to publicly recognize the best journalistic investigations and discuss more efficient strategies to reveal and confront corruption.
Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera
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