Being an independent journalist in communist Cuba without dying in the process

While American journalists are clutching pearls over the latest mean tweet directed at them, Cuban independent journalists are trying not to get murdered by State Security agents.

Via CubaNet (my translation):

How to be an independent journalist in Cuba and not die doing it

In the midst of a defamation campaign carried out by the Cuban regime against journalists and activists, reporter Camila Acosta tells how she jumped from state-run media to free journalism.

“Take off your clothes,” two State Security agents ordered after bringing me into a remote room of the Infanta and Manglar police station. I had just been arrested without a warrant just moments before in Havana’s Central Park. With my back firmly up against a wall, I just stared back at them: I wanted to say no, but they were clearly in an offensive position. If I refused, it would only make matters worse: they would tear off my clothes between punches and shoving. I began to undress until I was just in my underwear. After they made me squat and minutely examined my clothes, I was able to put my clothes back on.

Those five minutes of the almost 10 hours I spent detained that day were humiliating. I felt outraged, violated, completely defenseless and abandoned. On July 31, 2020, nobody knew where I was or what they would do to me that time.

The report on the National Television News program (NTV) this Monday, December 28, made me remember that day because up until now, it has been the worse I’ve been subjected to since I began working as an independent journalist for CubaNet. It brought back to mind what it means to work this profession in Cuba for a little more than a year now.

I’m not going to offer a rebuttal to Humberto Lopez in this article. He’s a nobody, just an opportunist taking advantage of the moment. Tomorrow they could put anyone else as the face of the media lynching campaign of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) and Lopez will be forgotten with much sorrow and no glory.

I wasn’t surprised to find myself among those targeted in the attack by NTV. For more than month, above all after November 27, they have been shooting in all directions. I would be ashamed if my work would not have been included. I was sorry for my family, who shouldn’t have to be exposed that way. But I also appreciate it because they know me, they know I’m not a mercenary. And if they still had any doubts about my credibility and the importance of my work, the reports such as the on on NTV gets them closer to the truth.

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.