BBC News – Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez to launch online newspaper

Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez, 15 May 14Yoani Sanchez was one of the activists allowed to travel abroad after the government eased restrictions in 2013

Cuba’s best-known dissident blogger, Yoani Sanchez, says she is launching an online newspaper with daily news about the communist-run country.

Ms Sanchez said the website would not be a platform against the government; its aim is to provide essential information to Cubans.

The paper will be produced in Cuba and will not have a print version.

Cuban media, including the country’s three national newspapers, are under strict state control.

But President Raul Castro has eased restrictions on dissidents in recent years, allowing opponents of the government – including Ms Sanchez – to travel abroad.

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We want to produce a newspaper that doesn’t aim to be anti-Castro”

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Reinaldo Escobar
Editor-in-chief, 14ymedio

In her Twitter account, Ms Sanchez described the new publication as “a space to tell Cuba’s story from inside Cuba”.

The paper will be called Catorce y Medio, which means Fourteen-and-a-Half. The title makes reference to the year of its publication, 2014, and the word medio, which is Spanish for media.

“No loaded words”

The editor-in-chief will be Ms Sanchez’s husband, fellow activist Reinaldo Escobar in the capital, Havana.

Mr Escobar told the Associated Press news agency that the paper will try to avoid any trouble with the authorities by remaining as an online-only publication.

But he said that it will apply for accreditation for official events.

Man reads the Granma newspaper in HavanaMost people in Cuba still rely on official media, such as Granma newspaper, as their main source of information

“We want to produce a newspaper that doesn’t aim to be anti-Castro, a newspaper that’s committed to the truth, to Cubans’ everyday reality,” he told AP.

Mr Escobar said the paper will avoid using loaded words such as “dictatorship” and “regime” and will refer to Mr Castro simply as “the head of state” or “President Gen Raul Castro”.

About 10 staff have been working for weeks in Havana in preparations for the launch of the first issue, later on Wednesday.

Critics say the website will reach very few Cubans inside the country, where there is limited Internet access.

Ms Sanchez achieved international recognition with her prize-winning blog, Generation Y, in which she criticised the restrictions on freedom of speech and movement imposed on the island since the 1959 revolution.

20 May 2014 | 10:38 pm – Source: bbc.co.uk
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