Tags: Cuba | Cuba | national news | bloggers

National News in Cuba: 6 Bloggers Who Cover Nation

By    |   Sunday, 13 December 2015 01:11 AM

Cuba’s state-run media has been one source for national news in Cuba, but a community of bloggers is providing a new and powerful alternative. Their blogs share the realities of life in Cuba and advocate for change by denouncing certain government policies and requesting the government address citizens’ concerns.

Access to the Internet is limited and expensive in Cuba. According to the White House Press Secretary’s 2014 “Charting a New Course on Cuba” fact sheet, “Cuba has an Internet penetration of about five percent – one of the lowest rates in the world.” The ability to get on the Internet is most common in state-run workplaces like universities and research centers, but the new relationship the United States will have with Cuba includes improved Internet access on the island. The U.S. is committed to expanding telecommunication services and significant technology throughout Cuba. As a result, the prominence of Cuba’s network of bloggers will likely increase.

Here are six Cuban bloggers who cover the national news in Cuba.

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1. Sandra Álvarez
Psychologist and journalist Sandra Álvarez authors the “Negra Cubana Tenía que Ser.” It offers an insightful analysis about gender studies, sexual diversity, and racial discrimination. She has collaborated with the National Center for Sexual Education and the Center for the Prevention of STDs, HIV, and AIDS to inform and educate her audience. She described her blog as a way to discuss issues that don’t appear in the press, the Havana Times reported.

2. Claudia Cadelo
Claudia Cadelo mixes her analysis of the national news in Cuba with her feelings about her daily life in the country in her blog, Octavo Cerco. She writes about the lack of access to mass media and the low Internet connectivity. Cadelo’s activism arose after seeing Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila imprisoned, tried, and fined, she told All Things D in an online article. Aguila was part of a rock group that promoted an anti-establishment message.

3. Elaine Díaz
Journalist and professor Elaine Díaz posts on Global Voices and La Polémecia Digital have not only addressed social problems but also problems with online expression in Cuba, Midcoast Forum reported. She has written for Cuban and international outlets and teaches courses at the University of Havana on digital journalism, communication, technology and society, and alternative journalism. She’s received a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

4. Reinaldo Escobar
Reinaldo Escobar writes Desde Aquí, and he addresses topics that he said on his site “fill his head every day, but that cannot find a space in the official Cuban media.” Escobar is the editor-in-chief of 14ymedio.com and the leader of the opposition group Somos Más. He has worked as an independent journalist since 1989 and received his journalism degree from the University of Havana. He is married to Yoani Sanchez, another activist and blogger detailed below.

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5. Carlos Alberto Pérez
Carlos Alberto Pérez maintains the blog La Chiringa de Cuba. His job with the Ministry of Communication has allowed him access to the Internet at work and in his home in Havana, according to The New York Times. Pérez is known for his controversial post about the fraud and cheating that occurred with the country’s college entrance exams, Nieman Reports said.

6. Yoani Sánchez
When Yoani Sánchez’s blog Generación Y emerged, its popularity disturbed government officials for its criticism of the country’s leaders and dissident views. Sánchez has become Cuba’s best-known blogger. In March 2013, DipNote, the U.S. Department of State’s official blog, reported that Generacíon Y received 12 million hits a month. The blog has since been translated into nearly two dozen languages. Yoani Sánchez and her blog have received many accolades. In 2009, her blog was named among the best in the world, according to Time magazine. In 2013, Sánchez received the Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage Award. Sánchez, along with a group of journalists, is continuing her efforts to promote change by starting a general-interest online news site called 14YMedio.com that’s based in Cuba.

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Cuba's state-run media has been one source for national news in Cuba, but a community of bloggers is providing a new and powerful alternative. Their blogs share the realities of life in Cuba and advocate for change.
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Sunday, 13 December 2015 01:11 AM
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