Committee To Protect Journalists Criticizes Cuba’s Censorship of the Press

On April 21st the Committee To Protect Journalists ranked Cuba as having the 10th most censored press in the world. [1] The following is its statement about Cuba:

  • “Despite significant improvements in the past few years-such as the elimination of exit visas that had prohibited most foreign travel for decades-Cuba continues to have the most restricted climate for press freedom in the Americas. The print and broadcast media are wholly controlled by the one-party Communist state, which has been in power for more than half a century and, by law, must be “in accordance with the goals of the socialist society.” Although the Internet has opened up some space for critical reporting, service providers are ordered to block objectionable content. Independent journalists and bloggers who work online use websites that are hosted overseas and must go to foreign embassies or hotels to upload content and get an unfiltered connection to the Internet. These critical blogs and online news platforms are largely inaccessible to the average Cuban, who still has not benefited from a high-speed Internet connection financed by Venezuela. Most Cubans do not have Internet at home. The government continues to target critical journalists through harassment, surveillance, and short-term detentions. Juliet Michelena Díaz, a contributor to a network of local citizen journalists, was imprisoned for seven months on anti-state charges after photographing an incident between residents and police in Havana. She was later declared innocent and freed. Visas for international journalists are granted selectively by officials.”
  • “Though the government has for the most part done away with long-term detentions of journalists, author-turned-critical blogger Ángel Santiesteban Prats has been imprisoned since February 2013 on allegations of domestic violence. The writer and other local independent journalists maintain that he was targeted in retaliation for writing critically about the government on his blog, Los Hijos que Nadie Quiso (The Children Nobody Wanted).”

The Committee’s List is based upon its “research, as well as the expertise of the organization’s staff, . . . [with respect to] the absence of privately owned or independent media, blocking of websites, restrictions on electronic recording and dissemination, license requirements to conduct journalism, restrictions on journalists’ movements, monitoring of journalists by authorities, jamming of foreign broadcasts, and blocking of foreign correspondents.”

These issues about freedom of the press in Cuba should be part of the U.S.-Cuba discussions about Cuban human rights that were covered in an earlier post about the U.S. Department of State’s report about Cuba’s human rights record for 2013 and that will be covered in the soon-to-be-released Department’s report for 2014.[2]

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[1] This List is part of CPJ’s Annual report, “Attacks on the Press,” to be released on April 27th. This post is based upon Comm. To Protect Journalists, 10 Most Censored Countries (April 21, 2015); Assoc. Press, Eritrea, North Korea Called World’s Most Censored States, N.Y. Times (April 21, 2015); Gladstone, Eritrea and North Korea Are World’s Most Censored Countries, Advocacy Group Says, N.Y. Times (April 21, 2015).

[2] Other posts discussed the Cuban Foreign Minister’s recent speech about its human rights, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Cuba, the U.S. and Cuba’s having the same concept of human rights and the initial U.S.-Cuba discussions about U.S. and Cuban human rights.

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

4 thoughts on “Committee To Protect Journalists Criticizes Cuba’s Censorship of the Press”

  1. Funding

    According to the organization’s 2011 Annual Report,[full citation needed] financial supporters include individuals, corporations, and foundations. The report does not include details on the largest financial supporters. Corporate media donors include the Associated Press, CNBC, CNN and Fox News.
    Source of above info is Wikipedia.

    1. Comment: Background on Committee to Protect Journalists

      For the last 30 years, the Committee as an independent, nonprofit organization, “promotes press freedom worldwide . . . and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ ensures the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed.”

      CPJ has a full-time staff of 27, including area specialists for each major world region and an Internet advocacy coordinator, who are focused on press freedom online around the world. CPJ also has an expanding network of representatives in all regions. A 35-member board of prominent journalists from all over the world directs CPJ’s activities.

      CPJ is funded solely by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. CPJ does not accept government funding. A full list of its major donors is contained in its latest annual report. These donors include media organizations like Associated Press, Reuters, CNBC, CNN and Fox News that have journalists around the world who are often threatened while doing their jobs.

      Understanding the background of any source of information is important in evaluating its reliability, and I thank Mr. Klave for adding at least some of this information about CPJ. Neither he nor anyone else to my knowledge has ever suggested that CPJ is not a reliable source of information on this important subject to the citizens of the world.
      =====================================================

      Comm. To Protect Journalists Website, https://www.cpj.org/; CPJ Annual Report (2011) https://www.cpj.org/about/CPJ.2011.Annual.Report.pdf.

  2. Committee To Protect Journalists Releases Alarming Annual Report

    On April 27 the Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual report, “Attacks on the Press.” It asserted that “the ascendance of militant extremists and criminal gangs who abduct and kill reporters, combined with rising government repression in the cause of counterterrorism, has created the biggest threat to journalism in recent times.”

    Comm. To Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press (2015), https://www.cpj.org/2015/04/attacks-on-the-press.php;
    Gladstone, Journalists Facing Biggest Threats in Recent Times, Advocacy Group Says, (N.Y. Times April 28, 2015), http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/world/middleeast/journalists-facing-biggest-threats-in-recent-times-advoacy-group-says.html?ref=world

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