The directors of the digital platform The touch They denounced this Friday new pressure from State Security against their team on the Island. The public resignation of Wimar Verdecia and Iran Hernández, director and illustrator, respectively, of the graphic humor supplement Xel2, caused the cessation of this publication, issued since 2019 and that it already had 190 issues.
With the resignation of both artists, there are now 16 members of The touch whom State Security has forced since the beginning of September, through an “interrogation and blackmail booklet”, to quit your job. This was confirmed by the directors of the media in a note where they lament the “sick insistence” of the Cuban political police to obtain video “confessions” from journalists.
The public statements of those involved, filmed in “protocol houses of the Ministry of the Interior”, have been a characteristic of this raid against independent journalism, which José Jasán Nieves, director of The touchhas defined as “harassment and psychological torture”.
In these recordings, State Security tells the journalists that they must “‘confirm’ the central ideas of a fallacy”, that is, that the publication is financed by opposition organizations and that, “as a mercenary entity”, the destabilization of the Cuban government.
According to Nieves, such videos will be part of a “propaganda attack” plan, which will serve to discredit not only the reporters, but also the general project of ‘El Toque’
According to Nieves, such videos will form part of a “propagandistic attack” plan, which will serve to discredit not only the reporters, but the general project of The touch.
“It is very evident that they are preparing to use manipulated videos, taken out of context and statements obtained under pressure, to ‘construct’ one of those ‘complaints’ presented as ‘reasons’ for a country to ‘defend itself,'” the team of coordinators, alluding to television programs such as We make Cuba, edged Y cuban reasonswho have carried out constant attacks against this newspaper as well.
The directors lamented the “closing of one of the most challenging creative experiences we have experienced”, and recalled that Xel2 he took care, during his activity, to explore the vicissitudes of Cuban citizenship and its counterpoint with the Government. They also promised the management of a new graphic humor project that “continues the commitment to political satire.”
The campaign against independent journalism, which has always been a priority for State Security, has spread with more force since the July 11 protests
The campaign against independent journalism, which has always been a priority for State Security, has spread with more force since the protests of July 11 last year and especially after the wave of popular demonstrations against the blackouts that the Island.
Arbitrary internet shutdowns, regulations to prevent travel and constant harassment of journalists and their families have been on the rise in recent months.
This Friday, the activist Raul Soublett Lopez, founder of Alianza Afro-Cubana, was forced to close his project “in defense of the rights of AfroLGBTIQ+ people”, active since 2017, to focus on taking care of their “physical and mental health.” The same thing happened with the journalist Jaclyn Morenoforced to cancel his project give me your hand and to declare that he had not been working “actively” for any independent media for more than a year.
For their part, some human rights organizations have spoken out against the hunt for independent reporters. In a article published this fridayCubalex affirms that “the public declarations of resignations are not spontaneous”, and that therefore they violate the Cuban Penal Code.
According to this legislative body, “the Cuban authorities incur in the crimes of abuse of authority and regulated torture”, since they “cause mental suffering, intimidate and coerce journalists in order to obtain a confession.”
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