As if freedom of expression was not stifled enough in communist Cuba, the Castro dictatorship’s rubber-stamp National Assembly has just passed a new law that restricts free speech even further. This is socialism in action.
Cuba’s National Assembly passes Social Communication law
The National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP) approved the Social Communication Law on Thursday, a legal norm that, according to independent civil society organizations and activists, could further affect fundamental human rights in Cuba, such as freedom of expression and access to public information.
According to the official website Cubadebate, Esteban Lazo, President of the ANPP, explained the law is “the result of an extensive and rigorous process of collective construction, in which professionals and experts from different disciplines, organizations, and institutions have participated, leading to the 34th version of the document.”
When presenting the project to members of the National Assembly, the President of the Institute of Communication and Social Information, Alfonso Noya Martínez, stated that it “recognizes the contribution of social communication to strengthen the unity of the people, consolidate the ideology of our socialist society, and defend the independence, sovereignty, and security of the homeland.”
He also described it as “a more significant contribution within the sphere of political, ideological, economic, communication, and cultural warfare faced by the Cuban Revolution.”
According to the official, the project presented to the members of the ANPP has 69 changes in content and form, representing a 59.48% transformation compared to the original text of version 33, which was subjected to a second consultation with the members of the assembly.
This Law on Social Communication, a demand by state-run media journalists and the ideological apparatus of the island, aims to “regulate the system of social communication for the strategic and integrated management of communication processes in organizational, media, and community areas, for political, public good, organizational, and commercial purposes, both in physical and digital public spaces,” according to its promoters.
However, the collective +Voces, from the Regional Alliance for Freedom of Expression and Information, pointed out that with this legal instrument, the Cuban regime intends to use communication “as a mechanism to promote government policies.”
According to the collective’s analysis of the new legislation, this law prevents other voices from being present in mass media, except for those expressing the “revolutionary thinking of the people” and “their transformative action as a social subject to strengthen the Cuban political system and advance the construction of a socialist society, in accordance with the principles endorsed in the Constitution,” citing Article 55.1 of the draft law.
+Voces also warned the text considers the “public information to which citizens are entitled” to be that which is transmitted through state-run media. It also noted that it limits “the organs and bodies of the Central State Administration,” by dictating that they are only obliged to answer questions from “journalists and legally recognized media.”
Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.