Radio and Television Martí’s popular series Avanza Cuba (Cuba Forward) returned on October 2 with a special program focusing on Cuba’s 118 state-run cyber cafes. The live episode, titled Avanza Cuba: Cuba’s Cyber Cafes, examined the cost of running the cafes, their effectiveness in bringing Internet access to Cubans, and the issue of government censorship.
The show featured information technology specialists, independent journalists, bloggers and Cuban communicators with specific knowledge on these cyber cafes. Cuba’s government-run media representatives were invited but declined to take part.
Participants included Cuban writer/photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo; from New York, Baruch College Professor Ted Henken, an expert on Cuba’s social media; from Barcelona, Spain, Gema Galdón Clavell, an expert of security and technology; and on the phone from Cuba, well known Cuban bloggers Ivan Garcia and Eric Alvarez. In addition, a web master who provides access to the Internet in Cuba by circumventing the Cuban government censorship participated anonymously – for his protection – in the panel from the Martís’ Miami studios.
Host Karen Caballero moderated the live, interactive program that encouraged audience participation through social media via Facebook and Twitter and was aired via radio, television and online at martinoticias.com.
Avanza Cuba is produced by Radio and TV Martí, to serve as an open forum offering Cubans around the world the opportunity to communicate, learn and share experiences in a united effort to move “Cuba Forward.” Previous show topics have included the future of education, social media, the law, religion, sports, economic development, small businesses, marketing, artistic freedom, and internet in the business world.
The Martís, based in Miami are operated by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, part of the independent U.S. government agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).