The ABC correspondent, Camila Acosta, was arrested this Monday as confirmed to the independent media ‘Cubanet’ by the writer Angel Santiesteban. The journalist was intercepted when she left her house to carry out a personal procedure. Hours before, he had covered for this newspaper the protests in Cuba, and in particular those that took place in Havana. Late on Sunday (time in Spain) the journalist suffered a WhatsApp and internet blockade, like many Cubans and informants. A strategy of the Cuban regime so that it does not transcend what is happening on the island, especially abroad. The communications blockade was maintained this Monday, which justified, at first, that Acosta did not respond to calls and messages from this newspaper.
According to the independent media ‘Cubanet’, the non-governmental organization NetBlocks confirmed on Monday the blocking of the internet and social networks by the Cuban regime. «Data from the NetBlocks network confirms the partial disruption of social media and messaging platforms in Cuba as of July 12, 2021. Specific restrictions are likely to limit the flow of information from Cuba following widespread protests while thousands demonstrated against the socialist government and the growing protests on Sunday.
It is not the first time that Camila Acosta has been detained by the Cuban regime for her critical information with the Government. She has also suffered social rejection, which has forced her to change her address several times when her rental contracts were revoked by her landlords, victims of pressure from the Cuban authorities, as she herself told this newspaper last February. The journalist cannot leave the island either as it is ‘regulated’, a form of punishment against those who make uncomfortable statements abroad about the Cuban government.
In addition to Acosta, other journalists such as Iris Mariño, from Camagüey, and Orelvis Cabrera, from Matanzas, were detained.
Díaz-Canel, predator of press freedom
In its 2021 edition, Reporter Without Borders included in its
gallery of predators of press freedom to President Miguel Díaz-Canel. According to the report, independent journalists are watched by agents who try to limit their freedom of movement, arrest them and erase the information they possess. “On the internet, whose access is still largely controlled by the State, bloggers and citizen journalists find a space of freedom, although bearing in mind the consequences: the intolerance of the authorities often leads them to jail or forced into exile” . In addition, the government also controls media coverage of foreign journalists, selectively granting credentials and expelling those it considers “too negative” against the regime.
In the latest RSF index on press freedom, the agency highlighted a general deterioration of the situation in Latin America. With a few rare exceptions, the work environment for journalists, which was already hostile and difficult before the coronavirus crisis, has deteriorated further. In the ranking, Cuba is ranked 171 out of a total of 180 countries.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism