An Official Journalist Calls For Justice / 14ymedio, Havana
14ymedio, Havana, 6 August 2016 – the radio Holguin journalist, Jose
Ramon Ramirez Pantoja, will find out this Friday if a labor tribunal
will punish him with the permanent loss of his job for having published
in his blog some controversial words from a deputy directory of the
newspaper Granma about the current economic crisis in Cuba.
Ramirez Pantoja explained in a phone conversation with 14ymedio that,
given his disagreement with the disciplinary measure, he filed an appeal
"within the seven days required by the labor law." The reporter says he
feels confident that "justice will be done," although he declined to
allow his statements to this newspaper to be recorded.
The cause of his firing, according to the digital newspaper Cubanet, was
the publication in his blog Verdadecuba (Truth of Cuba) of the words of
Karin Marrón, deputy director of the official organ of the Cuban
Communist Party. Marrón's statements were made during a meeting of the
Cuban Journalists Union (UPC) in July.
In her comments, the official journalist expressed her fear that there
would be "protests in the street" if there is a crisis similar to that
suffered by the Cuban people in the 1990s. Marrón said that "a perfect
storm" is brewing, and she fears a repeat of episodes like that of the
The transcript of the journalist's speech, divulged by Ramirez Pantoja,
circulated among various media and on the social networks, but so far
the official press has not published Marrón's words.
Secrecy has been denounced from the government itself as one of the
problems most affecting the work of the Cuban media. The highest
government officials, such as Raul Castro and Miguel Diaz-Canel, have
spoken on several occasions about the need to eliminate this evil, and
the warnings from Granma's deputy director were widely discussed in the
plenary session of the UPC.
The demand for the enactment of a Media Law that would limit censorship
is shared among professionals of the press, with particular enthusiasm
from the young people who are studying in the universities to be future
communicators. Recently, in a letter signed by the base committee of the
Young Communists Union of the periodical Vanguardia in Villa Clara
province, they denounced instances of persecution by State Security
against the most critical journalists.
The decision of the labor tribunal in the case of Ramon Ramirez is
expected to be a sign of where the shots are being fired in this battle.
Source: An Official Journalist Calls For Justice / 14ymedio, Havana –
Translating Cuba -