Speaking freely in an unfree society

Establishing and working with an independent media organization in Cuba involves a lot of challenges. But this is exactly what Jessica Dominguez Delgado has done. She is part of our “Global Voices of Freedom” series.

This content was published on June 30, 2021 - 10:38

Cuba is notoriously underperforming (bottom 10% of all countries in the world) when it comes to basic freedoms and human rights. The communist one-party state continues to deny a free press and the freedom of speech, while there is an ongoing suppression of citizens and professional journalists in covering public affairs and proposing political change. However, in spite of the limitations, many Cubans are doing their best to contribute to improvements in society as much as they can.

Jessica Dominguez Delgado, a 30-year-old journalist born and based in the Cuban capital of Havana, is part of a journalistic project established seven years ago with the support of SWI’s Dutch partner RNW, called elTOQUEExternal link. Jessica leads the fact-checking unit of the online magazine DeFactoExternal link. In our “Global Voices of Freedom” series she shares her experiences and insights of being part of a new generation of Cuban journalists who have been able to use the internet in a way which allows the Caribbean island to connect with the world in a more open way than before.

There are discrepancies in how Cuba operates its undemocratic and autocratic government system. While the new constitution of 2019 formally bans independent media organizations, elTOQUE is an example that it is still possible in practice. Similar approaches have been adapted in the Cuban economy: Jessica describes an ongoing struggle between the anachronistic ambitions of communist party leaders and the societal and economic realities on the ground.

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