News / Americas

Dissident Blogger Launches Cuba's First Independent Online Newspaper

FILE - In this April 1, 2013 file photo, Cuba’s best-known blogger Yoani Sanchez speaks at the Freedom Tower of Miami Dade College, in Miami, Florida. Sanchez said she will start publishing a general-interest newspaper online Wednesday, May 21, 2014
FILE - In this April 1, 2013 file photo, Cuba’s best-known blogger Yoani Sanchez speaks at the Freedom Tower of Miami Dade College, in Miami, Florida. Sanchez said she will start publishing a general-interest newspaper online Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Reuters
Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez launched Cuba's first independent online newspaper on Wednesday with reports questioning the quality of Cuba's healthcare system but access to its maiden edition was soon redirected to another site mocking the journalist.
 
The new site 14ymedio.com seeks to draw attention away from the communist-ruled country's state-controlled media and challenge the government's heavy media restrictions. Cuba has been tolerating a greater criticism in recent years but not yet from such a professional-looking website produced on the island.
 
Within its first 90 minutes on line, links to 14ymedio.com instead led to a site called yoani$landia.com, a reference the official Cuban critique that she is motivated by greed. The lead headline on the site was about her former Italian translator who split with Sanchez, saying she was rude and only wanted to become rich and famous.
 
The website called the interference a redirection, not a hack, and it seemed to mostly affect users with Cuban servers.
 
From her Twitter account, Sanchez called it a “bad strategy by the Cuban government to redirect our web 14ymedio.com from Cuba. Nothing more attractive than what is forbidden.”
 
As launched, the site had stories of a type rarely seen in official Cuban media, for example doubting the quality of Cuba's free healthcare system, officially seen as a triumph of the 1959 revolution.
 
A headline asks “Does our health suffer from international missions?,” questioning Cuba's program of exporting doctors in exchange for Venezuelan oil and to Brazil, which has helped make professional services the country's top export.
 
One color piece paints a picture of some lackadaisical staff during an overnight shift at a major hospital's waiting room, with a number of nurses asleep.
 
It says police brought in a handcuffed suspect with cuts on his arm and that similar cases of the wounded came in all night because “there is a war in the streets.” Official media shy away from stories on violent crime.
 
A third cover story further tweaks authorities by reporting that soccer is gaining on baseball in popularity, suggesting they see the rise of football as a threat “as if sports preferences were a matter of national security.”
 
Sanchez's blog on daily life and politics in Cuba, Generation Y, has rattled the Cuban establishment, and she has won prestigious media awards in the United States and Europe.
 
Some 28 renowned journalists and intellectuals, including Peruvian author and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, signed a manifesto in support of 14ymedio for its debut.
 
The Cuban government in turn has tried to discredit her as well-paid propagandist doing the bidding of the U.S. government, and six of the site's nine reporters have been called in for questioning by state security officials, Sanchez said.
 
Most Cubans will not be able to read the new publication. Only 2.6 million out of a population of 11.2 million have access to the Internet, and most of those who do have only been able to explore a limited, state-controlled basket of approved websites.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Dehydration Is Top Killer of Southern Arizona's Migrants

US Border Patrol's search and rescue unit launches 'blue blinking light of life program' - a series of poles strategically placed throughout desert that emit high-intensity blue light
More

United States Steps up Pressure on Guatemala over Labor Rights

Trade representative says Obama administration would push ahead with legal action under free trade agreement to make Guatemala meet international standards
More

Video US Attempts Crackdown on Trafficking Along Southern Border

Nogales, Arizona, notoriously known as 'tunnel city,' used by traffickers to smuggle humans, narcotics into US and Border Patrol responds with new technologies
More

Video Arizona Non-Profit Helps Keep Dehydrated Migrants Alive

The Sonoran Desert, a common crossing point for illegal immigrants, is one of North America's hottest places
More

Colombian National Pleads Guilty to Killing of US Drug Agent

Andres Garcia entered plea of guilty at district court in southeastern state of Virginia; will be sentenced in December
More

Attack on Colombian Police Kills 7

Defense ministry vows to 'maintain and intensify' operations against armed groups, drug traffickers following the attack
More