Cuban Government Extends Censorship To The Digital Site Somos+
14ymedio, Havana, 16 May 2017 — The digital site of the Somos+ (We Are
More) Movement has now joined the list of pages censored on the servers
of the Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) which supply public
WiFi. The leader of the organization, Eliecer Avila, links this measure
to “the growing influence” of the site among the younger generation.
The government is “very aware of the statistics of who reads our blog
and from where they are reading it,” says the opponent. “They have
simply detected that the site is a threat to the system’s monolithic
discourse,” he told 14ymedio on Tuesday.
“The blocking is the clearest sign our site is effective,” he adds. “We
are trying to make a video tutorial of how it can be accessed despite
censorship” and for months “we have had a weekly newsletter that is sent
The independent movement has been subjected in the last months to strong
repression that includes the arrests of its members, police operations
around the homes where they meet and a raid on Avila’s house, who is
being prosecuted for an alleged crime of “illicit economic activity.”
Officialdom maintains censorship over several dozen critical pages, as
well as blogs and opinion sites that shed light on Cuba’s most serious
social problems. Among the sites shuttered in this way are 14ymedio and
the news portals CubaNet, Diario de Cuba and Martí Noticias, among others.
Until the middle of last year the popular classified ad site
Revolico.com also was blocked on the national servers, but in August
access to that page was restored.
Cuban authorities have copied the Chinese model of filtering digital
sites by their content. A situation that Internet users are struggling
to overcome through the use of anonymous proxies, the so-called “virtual
private networks” (VPNs), and other tools such as the Android operating
system app Psiphon and the Tor browser.
Freedom House recently produced a report in which it identified 66
countries in which it believes that the free right to information is not
exercised. Cuba ranked among the top ten, in a list headed by North
Korea and Turkmenistan.
In September 2016, 14ymedio published an investigation into censorship
of words and phrases in text messaging in the cell phone network. The
state monopoly of telecommunications maintains at least fifty blocked
terms, among which the name of the organization Somos+ stands out.
Source: Cuban Government Extends Censorship To The Digital Site Somos+ –
Translating Cuba –