Looking for Liberty: Center for a Free Cuba I

Blog post 17. (5/21/2020) - La búsqueda por libertad



I am pleased to announce that I am now interning with the wonderful, Washington-based non-profit ‘Center for a Free Cuba’. First thing, here's a link to their website: https://www.cubacenter.org/#basic-right. This is a marvelous opportunity in many different ways, the crux being that the job is all about journalism and social media outreach. These are precisely the fields I want to get experience in and contribute to. In particular, Cuban news is severely under-reported and the isle is often shrouded in a haze of mystery and Castroist-sponsored misinformation.


In the words of the Center’s Executive Director John Suarez, “CFC is [primarily] a human rights organization”. The Center seeks to secure increased political and economic freedoms for Cubans, with the basic aim of ensuring access to those fundamental human rights in Cuba. I myself didn’t realize how bad the situation was, and as I continue to do my research I am discovering that the situation is far more repressive than I previously believed. The Castroist regime is one of the most authoritarian in the western hemisphere, if not indeed, the world. Thousands of activists are arrested annually, imprisoned and mistreated and the country has one of the lowest rankings on the global Press Freedom Index. In addition to all this, the Cuban government continues to act as a state sponsor of terrorism and violent revolution, even as international condemnation grows fainter with every passing year. If you want news from Cuba that isn't the polished product of a government-sponsored network, chances the Center was involved. They work to fill the information gap around Cuba with responsible reporting. Furthermore, they work to support activists in Cuba (see my shared facebook post about Jose Daniel Garcia Ferrer), provide aid and the country and lobby for a brighter future in Cuba.


Photo via Istock

When Obama gave his 2009 inaugural address, he said to Cuba that he would extend his hand when they unclenched their fist. The hand was extended but the grip of the regime is as tight as ever. The Castros may no longer be in direct power, but their oppressive legacy continues. Whatever the bad circumstances, be it sanctions or repression, the Cuban people have always borne the worst of it. They still do struggle under tyranny and we shouldn't fall under the impression that Cuba has simply moved on to better days now that the old sanctions have been lifted. But what is really happening on that island? That is just one of the questions the Center works to answer.


In order to further my work with the Center for a Free Cuba, I will be making several changes to my online presence. I have already revamped my existing social media (https://www.facebook.com/wiliamsouthworthfp), created new social media (https://twitter.com/William30695839/followers) and will make further changes to the article and blog portions of global athenaeum. As part of my internship, I will be broadcasting the Center’s work through my website and uploading my Center related articles to the articles section of this website. Future posts about my travelling adventures like the ongoing “Old World” series will be placed in a new travel blog section. The blog will otherwise be dedicated to weekly blogs with Center for a Free Cuba’s content.


I know that this blog currently has only a handful of followers but I am here to give you all interesting and thought-provoking content. I’m excited to make regular work out of my journalism in a more professional capacity, and especially exuberant to make a contribution to a worthy cause in the Center for A Free Cuba. Journalism and blogging are not my final objective, but I believe that existing, mainstream media is underreporting many important stories (like the situation in Cuba) while overemphasizing other news in pursuit of profit. I want to contribute positively to the international journalism scene by shedding light in the right places and this is a good step towards that goal. #VivaCubaLibre


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