Thursday, October 17, 2013

Más es el mismo

Change. You can hope to believe in, but totalitarians are as totalitarians do;
On Cuban television, the newscasts continue to praise the Revolution but also spare some airtime for viewers’ complaints on what isn’t working well on the Caribbean island.
This is a slight shift on the government’s part toward a new policy of openness, which is taking place while the arrests of independent journalists who denounce the Communist regime continue.
.... In the past four days, there have been new arrests of independent journalists – five in all – who publish their work on the web. Mario Echevarría Diggs, who runs the news portal Misceláneas de Cuba, was arrested when he held a protest in front of the National Palace legislative building.
Driggs, along with David Águila Montero and William Cacer Díaz, who were also arrested last week, was freed on Monday.
Two correspondents for the Hablemos Press news center, Denis Noa Martínezand Pablo Morales Marchán, were also arrested on Sunday, but were freed at the same time.
....Two other journalists remain in prison. Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, an author who wrote for the blog Los hijos que nadie quiso (or, The children that no one wanted), was jailed on February 28 and sentenced to five years in prison on supposed trumped up charges of domestic violence.
He was put in solitary confinement at the San Miguel de Padrón prison in Havana where he went on a hunger strike in April. Last September, he received the prestigious Franz Kafka Novels from the Drawer International Prize for his book about Cuban “balseros” trying to escape the country on rafts, El verano en que Dios dormía (or, The summer when God slept).
In July 2011, a Granma correspondent in eastern Cuba, José Antonio Torres, was also sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was convicted of “espionage.” Specifically, Torres was charged with leaving information in the drop-box at the US Interests Section in Havana after filing a report on irregularities in the construction of an aqueduct in his province.

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