Yoani Sánchez

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Reports   |   Cuba

Connecting Cuba

Foreword: Contemplating a free press in Cuba

By Ernesto Londoño

A free press, at its best, is the conscience of a nation, an indispensable arbiter of truth and righteousness. When it is doing its job well, a free press unearths unpleasant truths, holds people in power accountable and champions marginalized communities.

Reports   |   Cuba

Connecting Cuba

Cuba’s evolving news agenda

At the Argos Theatre in Havana, Yenys Laura Prieto Velazco purchased a ticket for Diez Millones, a popular play about a Cuban family torn apart by the ideological fanaticism of the Cuban revolution and by the father’s departure to the U.S. during the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Blog   |   Cuba

As US-Cuba relations thaw, what's next for the island's independent press?

A Cuban watches Barack Obama give a speech about resuming diplomatic ties with Cuba. The U.S. President is due to visit the island-nation in March. (AFP/Yamil Lage)

"Our hope is that President Obama will meet journalists working for the alternative media, not just to cover his visit, but to start a dialogue," said Elaine Díaz Rodríguez, director of Periodismo de Barrio (Neighborhood Journalism) a website focusing on climate change and the impact of natural disasters on local communities. Díaz, who last year became the first Cuban journalist to receive a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, said such an encounter with Obama would validate journalism in the island nation. "It won't resolve our problems, but it will boost our legitimacy and reduce our vulnerabilities," she told CPJ on the phone from Havana.

Blog   |   Cuba

In Cuba, case for harassing press has collapsed

Cubans gather around a television in Havana as Raúl Castro announces the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. (AFP/Yamil Lage)

Throughout the years, the Cuban government has justified the imprisonment of independent journalists on charges that they were acting against the State's sovereignty at the behest of the United States. During the so-called Black Spring in March 2003, when the government then led by President Fidel Castro launched a massive crackdown against dissidents while the world's attention was focused on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a total of 29 independent journalists were sentenced to prison terms of up to 27 years. During court proceedings, it became an established fact that those journalists were charged with destabilizing the nation because of their work for foreign media outlets. They were punished for being "mercenaries" at the service of a foreign power (namely, the United States).

Blog   |   Cuba

Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez launches independent news site

Blogger Yoani Sanchez visits CPJ's New York offices in 2013. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

Late last October, as I accompanied Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez in a cab ride from LaGuardia Airport to her hotel in Manhattan, we talked nonstop about what had changed in Cuba during 2013 and about her plans for 2014. Two things she told me then were particularly striking. 

Blog   |   Cuba

Haunted by cancer after Cuba's Black Spring

As the world welcomes celebrated Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez on her first international tour in a decade, we must also remember journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, who continues to be confined not only to the island nation, but to a prison cell in Havana Province.

April 2, 2013 3:31 PM ET

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Blog   |   Cuba

Sánchez, Cuba's blogging pioneer, eyes a new trail to blaze

Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

Having broken through one long-standing barrier, Yoani Sánchez, the pioneering figure in Cuba's independent blogosphere, is looking to smash another. "It seemed like an impossible dream, but here I am," Sánchez told a gathering today at CPJ's New York offices. After being denied travel authorization at least 20 times in the past, Sánchez is in the midst of her first trip abroad in a decade. And now, Sánchez said, she plans to launch a new publication upon her return to the island nation. Though the project is still in conception, she hopes the result will be modern and innovative in look and content, carrying everything from comprehensive sports coverage to critical opinion columns.

Blog   |   Cuba, Venezuela

Eating a cable: Internet access still elusive in Cuba

Cuban citizens waiting to use the Web stand outside an Internet café in Havana. (AFP)

There is a popular expression in Cuba that is synonymous with difficulty and crisis. When you want to indicate that someone is doing badly economically, it is sufficient to say that he is "eating a cable." Street humor has identified the act of chewing and swallowing a bundle of wires with scarcity and material want. The parable has gained strength these days in reference to the fiber-optic cable installed between Cuba and Venezuela, which has yet to provide service to Cuban clients despite reports that it is finally functioning.

Alerts   |   Cuba

Cuban reporter Flores arrested on anti-state charges

New York, November 9, 2012--Cuban authorities charged journalist Yaremis Flores with anti-state crimes on Wednesday in connection with news articles critical of the government, an arrest that sparked two waves of protests and detentions outside a Havana police station. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities to drop the charges against Flores immediately.

Statements   |   Cuba

CPJ calls for the immediate release of Cuban bloggers

New York, October 5, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest of three independent Cuban bloggers and calls for their immediate release. Yoani Sánchez, one of Cuba's most prominent bloggers, was detained yesterday along with her husband, journalist Reinaldo Escobar, and blogger Agustín Díaz in the city of Bayamo, according to news reports

October 5, 2012 11:29 AM ET

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