Free the Cuban press

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The mysterious dissident Cuban journalist goes to a secret computer in Havana every few days where it's safe from Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's surveillance goons and sends me his hand—gathered Cuban news by email. Quite apart from the state—controlled press, this independent Cuban journalist puts these reports together himself, telling me what the mood is like in the country, what people are saying on the streets, what important issues are rising, and he offers a little bit of analysis about all this, too.

He then disappears as furtively as he appears, presumably off to get more news or do something else, until he returns to the computer and becomes a journalist again. I am quite amazed that I can get email with such quality information in it from, of all places, Castro's communist Cuba. Sometimes I am so breathstruck I announce it to my colleagues at my newspaper at work.

At times, he drops by every day, and at other times he's gone for days. It's why I keep an eye on him, making inquiries of other bloggers he might be in touch with to check on his well being. I know who he is and what he thinks — he's one of the few free men in Cuba, risking his life to share his life and the life of his colleagues, with me. He's an honest, faithful correspondent, and struggles to tell me, a foreigner, the truth, for the truth is never going to reach people like me, let alone people inside Castro's island carcel, unless he brings it.

I have used his material in my published writings calling for freedom and democracy in Cuba, and I have sent him the Internet links where these stories they appear. He immediately writes me back, expressing his thrill at the magnified impact of his one lonely solitary voice full of the real story from Cuba, to a much bigger world at large. We do well talking to each other. But he takes far greater risks than I.

That's why today, bloggers and editorialists all over the world are speaking out today on behalf of Cuba's imprisoned journalists. There are 25 of them, rounded up by Castro's brutal secret—police goons, and housed in some of the most brutal prisons on earth. Their names are:

Ricardo González Alfonso; Víctor Rolando Arroyo; Normando Hernández González, Julio César Gálvez; Adolfo Fernández Sainz; Omar Rodríguez Saludes; Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez; Mijaíl Barzaga Lugo; Pedro Arguelles Morán; Pablo Pacheco Avila; Alejandro González Raga; Alfredo Pulido López; Fabio Prieto Llorente; Iván Hernández Carrillo; José Luis García Paneque; Juan Carlos Herrera; Miguel Galván Gutiérrez; José Ubaldo Izquierdo; Omar Ruiz Hernández; José Gabriel Ramón Castillo; Léster Luis González Pentó Alfredo Felipe Fuentes; José Manuel Caraballo Bravo; and Oscar Mario González.

On this day today, let's remember them. We must keep up the pressure on authorities and lawmakers to continuously stand up for press freedom in Cuba. IAPA's call for editorials and essays on this critical issue can be found here  and here.

A.M. Mora y Leon  8 17 06

The mysterious dissident Cuban journalist goes to a secret computer in Havana every few days where it's safe from Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's surveillance goons and sends me his hand—gathered Cuban news by email. Quite apart from the state—controlled press, this independent Cuban journalist puts these reports together himself, telling me what the mood is like in the country, what people are saying on the streets, what important issues are rising, and he offers a little bit of analysis about all this, too.

He then disappears as furtively as he appears, presumably off to get more news or do something else, until he returns to the computer and becomes a journalist again. I am quite amazed that I can get email with such quality information in it from, of all places, Castro's communist Cuba. Sometimes I am so breathstruck I announce it to my colleagues at my newspaper at work.

At times, he drops by every day, and at other times he's gone for days. It's why I keep an eye on him, making inquiries of other bloggers he might be in touch with to check on his well being. I know who he is and what he thinks — he's one of the few free men in Cuba, risking his life to share his life and the life of his colleagues, with me. He's an honest, faithful correspondent, and struggles to tell me, a foreigner, the truth, for the truth is never going to reach people like me, let alone people inside Castro's island carcel, unless he brings it.

I have used his material in my published writings calling for freedom and democracy in Cuba, and I have sent him the Internet links where these stories they appear. He immediately writes me back, expressing his thrill at the magnified impact of his one lonely solitary voice full of the real story from Cuba, to a much bigger world at large. We do well talking to each other. But he takes far greater risks than I.

That's why today, bloggers and editorialists all over the world are speaking out today on behalf of Cuba's imprisoned journalists. There are 25 of them, rounded up by Castro's brutal secret—police goons, and housed in some of the most brutal prisons on earth. Their names are:

Ricardo González Alfonso; Víctor Rolando Arroyo; Normando Hernández González, Julio César Gálvez; Adolfo Fernández Sainz; Omar Rodríguez Saludes; Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez; Mijaíl Barzaga Lugo; Pedro Arguelles Morán; Pablo Pacheco Avila; Alejandro González Raga; Alfredo Pulido López; Fabio Prieto Llorente; Iván Hernández Carrillo; José Luis García Paneque; Juan Carlos Herrera; Miguel Galván Gutiérrez; José Ubaldo Izquierdo; Omar Ruiz Hernández; José Gabriel Ramón Castillo; Léster Luis González Pentó Alfredo Felipe Fuentes; José Manuel Caraballo Bravo; and Oscar Mario González.

On this day today, let's remember them. We must keep up the pressure on authorities and lawmakers to continuously stand up for press freedom in Cuba. IAPA's call for editorials and essays on this critical issue can be found here  and here.

A.M. Mora y Leon  8 17 06