MIAMI — As the people of Cuba prepare to take to the streets on November 15, for another peaceful demonstration demanding change in Cuba, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and it’s Marti platforms stand in solidarity with journalists across the Island and urge that they be allowed to report truthfully and objectively on any and all events as they occur.
“The real stories of that day will come from the independent journalists and the citizen journalists reporting from the streets,” said Office of Cuba Broadcasting Director Sylvia Rosabal. “Whether they are filing for us, or for another media outlet, these brave men and women are making tremendous sacrifices to make sure the facts get out.”
Since the July 11 demonstrations that broke out in Havana, hundreds of journalists and activists have been beaten, jailed, harassed, or intimidated. As the scheduled nationwide demonstrations near, the Cuban government has indicated it will not tolerate the assemblies, and reports of harassment have increased.
Many independent journalists have been harassed, detained, interrogated, threatened or prevented from leaving their homes. These include Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho, Esteban Rodríguez, Mary Karla Ares, Camila Acosta, Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca, José Antonio López, Yirisley Rodríguez, Jeobanis Sepúlveda, Luz Escobar, Iliana Hernández among others.
Renowned journalist and blogger Yoani Sanchez posted that she has been told by Cuban State Security to leave the island in advance of the marches. Last week, Vladimir Turró, a reporter for the independent digital news service CubaNet, was beaten and threatened on his way home in the outskirts of Havana. He told Radio Martí the assailants warned him the attack was a “preview” of what could happen on November 15 if he went out that day to do his “filthy journalism.”
The Martís (Radio/Television Marti and martinoticias.com) plan to provide extensive coverage leading up to Monday’s demonstrations, to provide Cubans with uncensored and fact-based reporting on the day’s events and the government’s response in Cuba and corresponding diaspora events in Miami, Washington, D.C., New York, as well as in Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain, and elsewhere.
OCB is also working with the Open Technology Fund to prepare its journalists, and its audiences, for potential government-induced internet outages.
“We are ready for any eventuality on Monday,” said Rosabal. “The world will be watching how the Cuban government treats the journalists, and we call for respect for freedom of the press and an end to harassment and threats to journalists.”
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting oversees Radio and Television Martí at its headquarters in Miami, Florida. The Martís are a multimedia hub of news, information and analysis that provide the people of Cuba with interactive programs seven days a week through satellite television and shortwave and AM radio, as well as through flash drives, emails, DVDs, and SMS text. Combined with the online platform, martinoticias.com, the Martís are a one-of-a-kind service that brings unbiased, objective information to all Cubans.
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