As independent media blossoms in Cuba, journalists face a crackdown

"Begrudgingly tolerated a few years ago, Cuban reporters are now regularly detained, can have their phones and laptops seized, and their internet cut. Independent journalism in Cuba – usually supported by foreign funding – has blossomed since 2018, the year in which the state punctured its monopoly on information by unleashing relatively uncensored mobile internet.


Talented young journalists have migrated to new private outlets, which overwhelmingly take an anti-government line, where they can work with more freedom. They’ve blazed a trail: covering the effects of lead poisoning in children in Havana, independently monitoring election results and reporting on the exile of prominent activists – all taboos for state media.


In December [2022] a new criminal code came into effect, under which reporters receiving foreign financing face up to 10 years in prison. Amnesty International described it as 'a chilling prospect for independent journalists.' The new law comes as repression is on the rise: 670 Cubans remain imprisoned after last year’s mass protests, according to Justicia 11J, a local human rights group."

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