March 7, 2016

hISTORY eNDS EVERYWHERE:

Pushing the Boundaries of Free Speech in Cuba (ERNESTO LONDOÑO, MARCH 7, 2016, NY Times)

For years, those who criticized the government paid a high price and were branded as traitors, but today Cubans from a broader cross-section of society are speaking out with less fear.

A youth group led by bloggers recently began a round of town hall meetings at universities around the country to debate the political future of an island that has been ruled by two autocratic brothers since 1959 and the continuing exodus of young people. Harold Cárdenas, one of the leaders of the group, known as Young Cuba, recently lamented the lack of political enthusiasm among his contemporaries. "Has Cuban youth become apolitical?" he wrote in a post. "Or is it that the current alternatives are unappealing?


That is a veiled but sharp criticism of Cuba's graying and increasingly unseen leaders by Mr. Cárdenas, who has close ties to the progressive wing of the government. Taking that sort of euphemistic shot at the state in Cuba is not so unusual, but some Cubans have gone even further.

Last October, the state-run newspaper Tribuna published an article that mockingly made allusions to the extravagant trips Antonio Castro, the son of former President Fidel Castro, took to Turkey and the United States. Last year, gay rights advocates demanded in an article published in a blog on Cuba's state-run blog platform that the current president apologize for the abusive treatment of gay men during the early years of the Cuban revolution.

The government's only response was to censor the blog post, which nonetheless was shared widely.

Posted by at March 7, 2016 1:11 PM

  

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