Manuel Vázquez Portal

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Blog   |   Cuba

A not so dark Cuban Black Spring anniversary

From left: Carlos Lauría, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Raúl Rivero, and Fernando González Urbaneja at CPJ's Madrid presentation of its report on the Black Spring, in March 2008.

March 18 is not a day we usually look forward to at CPJ. On this day in 2003, the Cuban government launched a massive crackdown on the independent press resulting in the jailing of 29 reporters. But this year we have reason to feel encouraged. On March 4, with the release of Pedro Argüelles Morán, the last of the Black Spring journalists was released. 

Blog   |   Cuba

In Cuban releases, victory came from failure

While the Cuban government remains silent over Antonio Villarreal, Léster González Pentón, Luis Milán, José Luis García Paneque, and Pablo Pacheco Ávila—the five imprisoned Cuban journalists and dissidents to be released soon—the media are filled with headlines declaring victory for many.

Blog   |   Argentina

Tomás Eloy Martínez, passionate press freedom advocate

Martínez (Reuters)

Argentine writer and journalist Tomás Eloy Martínez, who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer, was ranked among Latin America’s most prominent intellectuals. Best known for his novels about former President Juan Domingo Perón and his wife Eva, Martínez cared deeply about press freedom and was a passionate advocate who helped scores of Argentine reporters, and was actively involved in CPJ’s efforts to campaign on behalf on Cuban imprisoned journalists.

Martínez understood the difficulties journalists face while working on dangerous assignments or under repressive regimes. In 1975, he was forced to flee Argentina after serious threats from a right-wing paramilitary group. He lived in exile during the dictatorship era, and returned briefly to the country after democracy was restored in 1983.

Reports   |   Cuba

Special Report: Chronicling Cuba, bloggers offer fresh hope

A vibrant, independent blogging culture is emerging in Cuba, of all places. Numerous journalistic blogs are exploring important social and economic issues. Will the regime crack down, or is a new era dawning? By Carlos Lauría and María Salazar Ferro

September 10, 2009 12:00 AM ET

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Dangerous Assignments   |   Cuba

Cuba's Long Black Spring

Five years after the Castro government cracked down on the independent press, more than 20 journalists remain behind bars for the crime of free expression.

Dangerous Assignments   |   Cuba

Spring Nightmare

CPJ asked Manuel Vázquez Portal, a Cuban writer, poet, and journalist swept up in the 2003 crackdown, to describe the year he spent in prison before being freed in 2004. He chose to describe his imprisonment in nightmare imagery. Vázquez Portal now lives and works in Miami.
March 1, 2008 8:16 PM ET

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Imprisoned

2005 prison census: 125 journalists jailed


AFGHANISTAN: 1

Ali Mohaqqiq Nasab, Haqooq-i-Zan (Women's Rights)
Imprisoned: October 1, 2005

The attorney general ordered editor Nasab's arrest on blasphemy charges after the religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, Mohaiuddin Baluch, filed a complaint about his magazine. "I took the two magazines and spoke to the Supreme Court chief, who wrote to the attorney general to investigate," Baluch told The Associated Press.

Attacks on the Press   |   Burma, China, Cuba, Iraq, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe

Attacks on the Press in 2005: Preface

By Paul E. Steiger

For 24 years, the Committee to Protect Journalists has remained steadfast in its mission to defend the press around the world. But in 2005, that mission meant paying unusual attention to what was happening at home.

February 16, 2006 12:00 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2005: Countries That Have Jailed Journalists (Follow Links for More Details)


AFGHANISTAN: 1

Ali Mohaqqiq Nasab, Haqooq-i-Zan (Women's Rights)
Imprisoned: October 1, 2005

The attorney general ordered editor Nasab's arrest on blasphemy charges after the religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, Mohaiuddin Baluch, filed a complaint about his magazine. "I took the two magazines and spoke to the Supreme Court chief, who wrote to the attorney general to investigate," Baluch told The Associated Press.

Attacks on the Press   |   Cuba

Attacks on the Press 2005: Cuba

CUBA

Cuba remained one of the world's leading jailers of journalists,
second only to China. Two journalists were imprisoned during the year, joining 22 others who have been jailed since a massive crackdown on the independent press in March 2003. On the second anniversary of that notorious sweep, more than 100 prominent Latin American writers—including Tomás Eloy Martínez, Sergio Ramírez, Carlos Fuentes, Elena Poniatowska, Daniel Santoro, and Antonio Caballero—joined CPJ in signing a letter to President Fidel Castro Ruz calling for the immediate, unconditional release of the imprisoned journalists.

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