Miami, FL — History was made today at the Cuba Internet Freedom (CIF) forum when José Daniel Ferrer, the leader of the largest opposition group in Cuba — Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) — joined a panel on Dissidence and Activism in the Digital Era live from Santiago de Cuba via the mobile app imo.
The audience attending the panel broke out in applause when the connection with Mr. Ferrer was made.
“Never before has a Cuban citizen been able to join, live, an event such as this that promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the internet, while in Cuba,” said Malule González, President of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which is hosting the event. “This is truly an historic day for Cubans.”
Imo is a mobile video and messaging tool, not blocked on the island, that many Cubans are using to connect with the outside world. Today the tool was used to bring the UNPACU leader live into the CIF conference.
The Cuba Internet Freedom forum is part of Social Media Week Miami and is hosted by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. The first of its kind, the event has brought together independent journalists, bloggers and activists around the challenge of connecting Cubans to the internet.
The event closed with a ground-breaking Q&A session when all the panelists from Cuba took the stage to share personal insights from the island and respond all questions from the audience.
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting oversees Radio and Television Martí, its news website Martínoticias.com, and associated social media platforms. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, the Martís are a multimedia hub of unbiased and objective news, information, and analysis that provide the people of Cuba with interactive programs seven days a week through satellite television, shortwave and AM radio, and digital platforms.
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