Twitter to block the accounts of Raul Castro and the Cuban state-run media

HAVANA (Reuters) – the US social media firm Twitter Inc. has blocked the accounts of the Cuban Communist y’s Leader, Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela Castro, Cuba’s top state-run media in a move by the Cuban union of Journalists denounced it as “terrible ” censorship”.

FILE PHOTO: Cuba’s First Secretary of the Communist y, former President Raul Castro (L) speaks with Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, during an event with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) at the u.s. Capitol building, in Havana, Cuba, on July 24, 2019. (REUTERS photo/Fernando Medina/File Photo

Dozens of accounts of the journalists, the Cuban state-run media, as well as the official account of the Communications from the Ministry have also been locked-in, the suppression of late on the Wednesday evening.

Twitter does not explain or warn them of the action taken, the state-run media wrote on their website. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The Cuban Union of Journalists, said the platform was suspended, to the individual accounts in the past, it had been repaired.

The move came as President Miguel Diaz-Canel has been addressing the nation on state-run TV with a warning of an energy crisis, due to U.S. sanctions.

“What is new here is the sheer scope of the law on cybernetic warfare, well-planned, which aim to limit the freedom of speech, of the local institutions and the citizens, and that silence on the part of the leaders of the revolution,” he said in a statement.

Some independent Cuban journalists, ironically commenting on the fact that the officials of a government that has a monopoly on the public spaces and the media are in a state that is a party to complain of that censorship.

Independent journalism in Cuba is to be tolerated, but not legal, and the web sites of the different types of alternative retail outlets that are critical of the government, are being blocked on the island. The local population also make use of virtual private networks to gain access to it.

“The official Cuban press has discovered the” freedom of speech ” because of Twitter,” said 14ymedio, the all-digital news outlet run by prominent dissident Yoani Sanchez.

Cuba was on the list of the 10 most censored countries in the world, released this week by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), headquartered in New York city.

One of the world’s least-connected countries, the cost of a fast-growing, web-access, in the past few years, with the introduction of mobile internet, in December of last year.

Cuban officials have piled on to Twitter last year after Diaz-Canel, an account has been opened and called on them to be more in touch with the people. Some respond to citizens ‘ comments, but critics complain the most, simply retweet the government’s instructions.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by David Gregorio

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