Cuba still blocks blogger Yoani Sanchez’s digital newspaper

A digital newspaper launched by Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez remained blocked on the island Friday but continues to publish fresh stories and gained more than 5,100 Twitter followers in its first three days.

People on the island who try to visit the Web site are redirected to, which reflects the Cuban government’s attacks on the blogger as part of a U.S. campaign to undermine the communist government.

Internet technicians who have tested the connections say the redirection is being done by ETECSA, the Cuban government’s telecommunications monopoly. Web surfers abroad can access the correct address without a problem.

Cuba’s government controls all newspapers and radio and television stations on the island and regularly blocks access to Web pages that it considers to be hostile.

The Miami-based Inter American Press Association blamed the government for the hack, saying that “sadly, this censorship shows that the Cuban government still believes that freedom of expression is a concession … not a human right.”

Roberta Jacobson, assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, did not specifically blame Cuban authorities but said in a Twitter post, “we condemn the blockade of 14ymedio and support independent journalism in Cuba.”

The Reuters news agency bureau in Havana reported that a Cuban government spokesman had said he did not know who was blocking Sanchez' site. The spokesman also declined to make available an ETECSA representative, the report added.

Newspaper staffers nevertheless have been updating the publication at least twice a day since its launch Wednesday. On Friday, it reported that Berta Soler, head of the dissident Ladies in White, had claimed that about 30 members had been detained to block a Thursday gathering of the women’s group in Havana. They were released hours later.

Sanchez has said that 14ymedia can be accessed from inside Cuba through an “anonymous server” – referring to a sometimes complex way of getting around censors – but declined to make public many other details about its operations.

Reinaldo Escobar, editor in chief of the publication and Sanchez’ husband, said Friday that staffers have not been harassed by authorities since Wednesday, although some were warned by State Security officials before the launch.

Escobar told el Nuevo Herald by phone that he did not know the total of visits to 14ymedio since its birth but noted that its Twitter account already had more than 5,100 followers as of Friday afternoon.

Asked about the publication’s finances, Escobar said he did not understand why no one ever asks about the finances of Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba. The Cuban government, not the party, pays for the newspaper, he added.

“I can assure you not one cent from any Cuban was spent” on 14ymedio, he added.

Read more Cuba stories from the Miami Herald

Sixteen migrants are found crammed in this tiny boat around Alligator Lighthouse, which is about four miles offshore of Islamorada in the FLorida Keys.


    More than a dozen Cuban migrants rescued at sea in Keys; several taken to hospital

    A small blue homemade boat with a blue-and-white sail was discovered floating near Alligator Reef Lighthouse, about four miles offshore of Islamorada, on Wednesday. Crammed inside the motorless vessel were 16 Cuban migrants lying down, suffering from dehydration, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Elsa Lopez looks at her clothes and shoes she wore when she left Cuba with her parents at the age of two at the time. Her items are among several donated by Exiles on display at the VIP opening and presentation of the The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom, at the Freedom Tower. The exhibit is a pictorial account of the struggles that the Cuban exile community has endured since Fidel Castro's rise to power, and the successes they have achieved in the United States, organized and curated by the Miami Dade College and The Miami Herald, on Wednesday September 10, 2014.


    Exhibition chronicles Cuban exiles story

    More than 1,000 people crammed into the Freedom Tower Wednesday night for a peek at an exhibition that honors one of the city’s oldest buildings – and captures the tales of hundreds of thousands of Cubans who fled the island and made Miami their new home.

This is the raft on which 16 Cubans sailed from Cuba to Alligator Reef Light off Upper Matecumbe Key this week.


    Cuban migrants found suffering from dehydration off the Keys

    Sixteen Cuban migrants were intercepted off the Upper Keys on Wednesday afternoon, and seven of them needed medical attention after suffering from extreme dehydration.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category