New president, same Cuba
By Silvio Canto, Jr.
We hear that Cuba is reforming, but please don't tell that to the brave journalists on the island. It's the "same old communist one-party state running a state newspaper Cuba" that we've known for years.
This is a report about the challenges facing independent journalists in Cuba:
The accounts are similar: members of the Political Police and the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) search a journalist's house for a few hours. The journalist is taken away and detained for a couple hours, a day or two, and then released.
A journalist arrives at the airport for a trip abroad, only to be told by immigration officials that they [sic] can't leave the country.
Since Miguel Díaz-Canel became President of Cuba in April 2018, "repression against journalists is greater," José Antonio Fornaris, president of Cuba's Pro Press Freedom Association (APLP, for its initials in Spanish), told the Knight Center.
I have heard the same things from journalists in Cuba. I've heard similar stories from Latin American journalists who have visited the island.
Why is the communist regime continuing to act like this?
The first answer is that this is what communists do. They do not tolerate dissent or criticism.
The second answer is that we are watching the consequences of President Obama's "one-way" opening of relations with Cuba. Unfortunately, the Obama administration demanded nothing from Cuba in exchange for putting a U.S. embassy in Havana. We got nothing because we asked for nothing.
The biggest loser of the Obama Cuba policy is the Cuban people. Just ask the independent journalists on the island!