Sunday, August 14, 2016

Granma's international editor on the press

Sergio Alejandro Gomez is the international editor of Granma. He's just 29 years old. Like Karina Marron, the paper's deputy editor, he's part of a new generation of Cuban journalists moving into senior positions and shouldering heavy responsibilities. He's a familiar face on Cuba's premiere TV current affairs programme, the Mesa Redonda (Round Table), which calls him in for expert commentary on international affairs from time to time.

His personal blog is his outlet for his own unsolicited commentaries, which are always incisive and on occasion sharply polemical. His more polemical ones would be regarded as unfit to print under the prevailing Cuban press model that is now in crisis. 

A case in point is Sergio's commentary on the Chanel fashion parade and the filming of the latest Fast and Furious Hollywood blockbuster earlier this year. For Fast and Furious, Havana's iconic promenade, the Malecon, was turned into a giant film set; for the Chanel catwalk, a few blocks of Old Havana were sealed off for an invites-only, 'VIP' event. Two worlds collided with potent symbolism: elitist high fashion and the humble lives of the city's poorer residents, to the annoyance of the latter. To add insult to injury, the Cuban media barely mentioned either event. As Sergio pointed out, nobody explained why Chanel and Hollywood had been welcomed, how many millions of dollars they'd paid for the Cuban backdrop and how the Cuban in the street would benefit.

In the commentary below, Sergio takes up the relationship between politics and journalism in Cuba from the vantage point of his youth. It serves to contextualise some of Karina Marron's comments at the UPEC plenum (see my previous post).

A first draft of this translation was undertaken by a collaborator who, for reasons of modesty, does not wish to be credited. So I thank them without naming them. I'd always hoped this blog could be a collaborative project. Now it is.

*  *  *

The troubled relationship between journalism and politics in Cuba

By Sergio Alejandro Gomez

June 7, 2016

Translation: Cuba's Socialist Renewal


Sergio Alejandro Gomez
I’m used to writing from the safety of the third person, but it would be hypocritical for me to take up the debate over journalism and politics in Cuba without making clear from the outset that the writer has a vested interest.

For some years now I’ve been getting up every day wanting to practice journalism. Yet not infrequently I go to bed wondering if it wouldn’t have been better for me to have studied engineering. Kapuscinski banished the cynics from this profession, but said nothing about the masochists.[1]

During a 1961 function in honour of the newspaper Revolucion, Fidel [Castro] issued an appeal to prepare for the imminent confrontation with imperialism.

“We must always keep in mind that the interests of the Revolution come before those of the newspaper. First the Revolution, then the paper.” He then clarified that he was not asking for “the variety, style, or characteristics of the newspapers” to be sacrificed.

I first read these words in the Granma [newspaper] library, on the back cover of a book from the 1980s about the profession. Later I looked for the place and the context in which they’d been said, only a few days before the Bay of Pigs invasion.

It seems to me that defending the collective project of sovereignty and justice begun [in the Revolution of] 1959, and at the same time addressing society’s problems honestly and as comprehensively as possible, are still the key objectives of a revolutionary press.

The conflict arises when [these twin objectives] appear to contradict each other. The way in which the debate has been resolved during recent decades is perhaps the main cause of the many problems that weigh heavily on the Cuban press—which is criticised just as much in the street as it is in the Council of State.

What we might call the ‘dogmatic’ conception [of the press] views the relationship between the political and journalistic domains as one of direct subordination [of the latter to the former], with no scope for dialectics or intelligent negotiation. Hence, political interests (or worse still, the interests of the politicians) would always stand above the honourable practice of the profession, and even above logic. From this flows the silences, the half-truths and the questions that everyone asks but which are never reflected in the media.

With few exceptions this is, I think, the dominant viewpoint at the present conjuncture—not only that of the press, but that of communication in Cuba.[2]

Some excuse these silences and omissions on the basis that they are precisely the reason why the Revolution has got this far, beset by a history of adversities too numerous to mention. Nevertheless, with every passing day I’m more and more persuaded of the opposite: that the Revolution has got this far ‘in spite of’ those mistakes; because it has other strengths, above all the genius of Fidel Castro.

But the accumulated distortions generate monsters here and there that can end up repeating the myth of Saturn, who devoured his own children.[3]

There are more and more journalists who don’t know how to ask questions and politicians who don’t know how to answer them, yet those are the basic skills required of each of them respectively. Such is the state of affairs that comic relief is called for, as in the already legendary tale of a president who got off the plane and approached a group of Cuban journalists, ready to be interviewed, but none of them had a question to ask him.[4]

On the other hand, the attempt to abolish the vices of cheap politicking [in the Cuban press] has aided the rise of the shadowy technocrat who is inept when it comes to accountability and has no real interest in being held accountable. All they care about are their superiors. They don’t know how to communicate with ordinary people, and when they try to do so they use the same jargon that is spoken in a meeting of specialists. 

The recent lowering of the prices of some [basic food] products ended up creating confusion because the government ministries involved were unable to explain how people were going to benefit from the measure.

If the atrophy is such that it’s hard to come up with good news, one can perhaps better understand why no Cuban leader has stepped forward to publicly justify the astronomical cost of cars in the open market.[5] And the worst thing is when roles are mixed up. The media are asked to do the work that the politicians don’t do while the politicians devote themselves to doing the work of journalists.

The disconnect between the political agenda, what the media says and how the average citizen lives and what they say, is taking a heavy toll on the Cuban press and therefore on the Revolution. Though this is a recurrent theme of private conversations, time and again it gets minimized in the public debate. There’s a contradiction: while the press is the platform for the discussion of many social problems—not always successfully and insightfully—it’s almost impossible to find a critical analysis [in the press] of the role of the press itself.

The minutes of the congresses of the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC) testify to our profound dissatisfaction with the way that [journalistic] work is being done, but when the congress is over, we return to the editorial offices to read the news or put together tomorrow’s edition of the paper in the same way we did it yesterday [i.e. nothing changes].

I really don’t think this can be explained by fear of the repercussions of the debate. Rather, it’s the loyalty of a profession that has always been convinced that the solution will come ‘from above’, when someone finally heeds our solid and irrefutable arguments.

How does it go against the Revolution to expose a corrupt official? How is it counterproductive to know what sentence was imposed on someone who has been found guilty? Why do we not have the right to know what our foreign debt is and how much we’re spending each year on debt repayment? How can a citizen evaluate a minister’s financial management if their annual budget is not made public in a transparent way? Who established the regulation that prohibits taking pictures inside a store, a decision that in the final analysis could help those engaged in criminal activities? The list is painfully long.

Far from improving, the situation deteriorates every day. Just as in ‘Words to the Intellectuals’, after what Fidel said something is left hanging in the air: who decides the limits of what is revolutionary—what is within [the Revolution] and what lies outside—or how is it decided?[6]

The answer cannot be anything but a participatory, democratic approach, because the Revolution is all of us, including the journalists.

The ‘antidogmatic’ vision needs to be empowered. That vision rests on the assumption that there is an indissoluble relationship between politics and journalism that is, however, always subject to negotiation and a striving for consensus. It views information as a civil right and not a mere tool to achieve certain objectives, however altruistic they may be. It’s the vision that arises from internalising the revolution that has occurred in recent years in the ways in which audiences consume information.

The TV can be turned off and the newspaper can end up in the rubbish. The idea that controlling the media ensures an audience hasn’t been true for a long time. Furthermore, people can always choose not to believe. And there’s nothing more dangerous to a system than to lose its credibility. Nor can we be naïve. Journalism is an inherently political activity. Nobody speaks just for the sake of speaking. But trying to do politics—for political ends—through the media ends up undermining the essence of our profession.

Journalism must first of all be journalism. Only then can it orient itself towards its goals, with much wisdom and intelligence, always adhering closely to principles.

And this reflection is all the more urgent in light of the evident emergence of private media that use journalism—in the majority of cases quality journalism—to further their political interests.

I don’t wish to be ambiguous about this. I support the right of every Cuban to put forward a vision for the country that is different to the present one, as long as they act ethically and not in the service of foreign powers.

What I’m concerned about is the right to defend my own.

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Translator’s notes:

[1] Ryszard Kapuściński (1932–2007) was a Polish writer and journalist.

[2] ‘Communication’ here appears to refer to the media in general and to the communicative style of political leaders and public institutions.

[3] Jacques Mallet du Pan was a French journalist who took up the Royalist cause during the French Revolution and coined the phrase “the Revolution devours its children”. It was later applied to Soviet Stalinism.

[4] Cuban journalists notably refrained from questioning Barack Obama during his state visit to Cuba. They were presumably directed not to do so by the Communist Party’s Ideological Department. Meanwhile, US journalists put Raul Castro on the spot during the presidents’ press conference.

[5] Refers to the prices of vehicles sold to the general public by state-owned dealerships.

[6] ‘Words to the Intellectuals’ refers to Fidel Castro’s landmark speech of June 30, 1961 in which he explained the state’s policy on freedom of expression to a gathering of writers, artists and other representatives of the cultural sphere. One line from that speech has been immortalised and variously interpreted ever since: ‘Within the Revolution, everything; against the Revolution, nothing”.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Karina Marron's UPEC intervention

As promised, here is my translation of Granma deputy editor Karina Marron's intervention at the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC) plenum on June 28. The global corporate media have seized on her comments, in the paragraph beginning "A perfect storm is brewing", to speculate that social unrest might be about to break out in Cuba as it weathers a difficult economic conjuncture. See footnote 5 below for further contextualisation of these comments. What shines through Marron's intervention is the sincerity of her revolutionary convictions.

Karina Marron's UPEC intervention

June 28, 2016

Translation: Marce Cameron


In a meeting we had at the Journalism Institute with young people from all over the country, if there was one thing that pleased us it was identifying other young people from the press sector who also wanted to try to transform, to change [the press], who had the desire to work together to transform the reality. And it was said in this meeting that there's a concerted effort to bring about a rift between the [Cuban Communist] Party and the press; and we can't ignore this. But as long as we, the Party and the press, continue to look elsewhere rather than where our real problems lie, while we continue viewing things in isolation rather than as a whole, we'll never resolve the problems we've been discussing for years.

And will Karina [a reference to herself in the third person] perhaps be the Rosa Miriam[1] of that era [i.e. of the new blood of Cuban journalism], and other people such as Sergio[2], saying the things that Raul Garces[3] has been saying for so many years, and others who are older than me; then they'll be the ones who'll do the talking, and we'll continue repeating the cycle. If we're fortunate enough to repeat the cycle, [because] what's happening, señores, is that we don't have time to repeat the cycle. [APPLAUSE]

I sincerely believe that what we have to see when the young journalists quit on us, is simply that we have, in the youth, the expression of the society we have today, and it's just as Iramis said. We can't view this as purely an economic problem, at the heart of it there's a problem with the profession, because those youth who chose a career in journalism didn't choose to create propaganda, publicity, they didn't opt to just keep quiet and on the sidelines, because if so then they'd have chosen another profession. But we also have many young people studying who, when they graduate, are so disillusioned that they get a job in the media—I don't even know why, really, because sometimes one gives them the chance to do things, to make changes, to work, and it doesn't interest them, it doesn't matter to them one bit. Why? Because he or she belongs to that same generation of disengaged youth that we just didn't get to earlier on in their lives, and we can't pretend that now they're not interested in clothing, high heels, [brand-name] shoes, how to get online or have 50 or 70 convertible pesos, not to cover basic expenses, as we do know that there are some who work for our [Cuban government-supported] media who contribute [i.e. moonlight for better-paying, 'independent' Cuban or foreign media organisations] in order to pay the rent.

They're young people who do it [i.e. moonlight] to keep up a certain standard of living, and deep down you can see this isn't bad, but this is where what Dario Machado said comes into the picture, and it's that consumer ethos which we've established in our society, which is also part of all these material deficits we've accumulated over years.

So I think we can't just view this thing as solely and exclusively a matter of UPEC having to make an effort so that young people feel drawn to the organisation, because at the end of the day, if UPEC has no decision-making power, if UPEC has no impetus, if it wears itself out talking about the same problems congress after congress, then why would I want to belong to this organisation, why would it interest me, why does it matter to me? What am I changing, what am I transforming?

In the end the only thing that one has in life is one's time, what one gives to the struggle is one's life, one's years, one's dedication and sacrifice. And this is done for an ideal, it's done for love, but there are those who simply decide that they're not willing to do it because they don't have faith in that future; because they don't they see that possibilities exist for changing it. What's sad is that among those who are today writing for foreign publications, there are youth who opt for this for different reasons, because they believe that that's where they'll accomplish their professional development, and it pains us that they don't see [that possibility] on our side or they don't try to change things on our side; or they do it out of the economic motivations we talked about, but it's never a sole motive, and that's what we cannot lose sight of. And I insist: if we keep looking away we're never going to see the blow that's going to land at precisely the spot where they're going to kill us. I don't have the answers.

In Granma [newspaper] there's a group of young people, we're doing what we can to keep rowing, we don't know if we'll really arrive at a safe port at some point, but there are youth who want to continue piloting the yacht[4] and I am convinced, because I know many of them, that there are many [such youth] in several places around the country who are also doing the same.

So I invite all of you to join forces for this, but above all those who decide to avoid doublespeak, those who decide, when faced with this situation of people who know what happens every day on the editorial boards, in radio, in TV, in the most insignificant place in this country where there's a journalist trying to defend this society that is all of us, these people that maybe don't have that lofty culture to understand all the scenarios of phenomena, but where there's a journalist who simply knows that defending that institutionality of which Garces spoke means defending this Revolution, a journalist who may be able to change someone's mindset.

That's something we have to care for, we have to defend it and we cannot disrespect the Cuban people, telling them things which one knows don't happen that way and promising them things that won't be fulfilled. So I think this is a debate that we cannot continue having among ourselves and looking at each other and telling ourselves the same thing and fooling ourselves, because there's no time.

A perfect storm is brewing. We discussed it yesterday on the [Granma] editorial board, this phenomenon of the reduction of fuel, of the reduction of energy, señores this country won't tolerate another 1993, another 1994, if we don't want to see street protests, and there isn't a Fidel to go down to the Malecon[5]. Or at least so far there hasn't been a figure in this country that faces the people to explain things to them as they're happening today with this situation, and it's going to be very difficult to confront. And with the press, the situation we have today is going to get us nowhere.

[Fernando] Ravsberg[6] was talking yesterday about these fuel reductions, as often happens to us there's someone who just does projects and things, accepts money and they sometimes do it wanting to look the other way.

I draw attention to this because we're in a situation in which 2018 is imminent and all hopes are being pinned on this date[7], and everything is being done so that that storm lands here in the worst circumstances for this country, so this is not a time for doubt, not a time for vacillation, not a time to lend our strength, our ideas to something that doesn't work—and that's why our youth often leave, and that's why our youth are often absent from the editorial boards, even when there are people that still have faith and keep trying to do everyday journalism. (APPLAUSE)

* * *

Translator's notes:

[1] Rosa Miriam Elizalde is a respected Cuban journalist and editor of the pro-Revolution Cubadebate website.

[2] Sergio Alejandro Gomez is the young Cuban journalist responsible for Granma's international coverage.

[3] Raul Garces heads Havana University's journalism faculty and is a member of the UPEC executive.

[4] This figurative reference to revolutionaries voyaging in a yacht might be an allusion to the legendary Granma yacht in which Fidel Castro's band of revolutionaries crossed the Gulf of Mexico. The newspaper is named after the yacht.

[5] The year 1993 was the nadir of Cuba's post-Soviet 'Special Period'. In August 1994 frustrations with economic privations boiled over into the streets along Havana's seaside boulevard, the Malecon. Having forbid the use of force, Fidel Castro arrived on the scene and reasoned with the restive crowd, after which it dispersed. In July this year Raul Castro told the National Assembly that cuts to the supply of Venezuelan oil and other adverse factors necessitated some belt-tightening—but stressed that fears of a Special Period 2.0 were baseless.

[6] Fernando Ravsberg is a Uruguayan-born former BBC journalist who has lived in Cuba for more than two decades.

[7] Raul Castro has announced that he'll not seek another term as president when his current term expires in early 2018. Here, Marron refers to the Revolution's enemies seeking to take advantage of that juncture.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Esteban Morales on press censorship

Ever the canary in the coalmine, outspoken Cuban intellectual Esteban Morales (introduced here) alerts readers of his personal blog to a recent flashpoint in the largely subterranean struggle over the role and character of the press in Cuba. 

Incandescent with indignation, Morales declares his solidarity here with young Cuban journalists, members of Cuba's Union of Communist Youth, who are in revolt against the strictures imposed on journalists by the Cuban Communist Party's Ideological Department, which oversees—i.e. censors and micromanages—the Cuban press, radio and TV. That oversight role, and how it is exercised by Department chief Colonel Rolando Alfonso Borges, is the biggest obstacle to the urgent and long overdue revitalisation of Cuba's pro-Revolution press.

One flashpoint in the struggle against Cuba's Stalinesque media overlords, and for a radical overhaul of the conception and practice of journalism and the media in socialist-oriented Cuba, was the 6th Plenum of the Cuban Journalists Union on June 28, which Morales refers to below. According to an unauthorised recording and transcript of her intervention—presumably genuine rather than concocted, since she has not challenged the attribution nor repudiated her alleged remarks—Karina Marron, the 37 year old deputy editor of Granma, told truth to power. 

In an ironic twist, the Cuban media that answers to Alfonso Borges airbrushed her comments out of their coverage of the event, while the interventions of numerous other speakers were cited. Only the UPEC website's summary of the event includes a paragraph on Marron's comments, which lends legitimacy to the authenticity of the transcript. Initially published on a Cuban journalist's personal blog, the transcript was taken down hours later. But by then the genie was out of the bottle, and it is now widely available online. 

I hope to translate Marron's intervention, or extracts from it, for readers of my blog. I'll also translate some material on other recent flashpoints in this important struggle—and more of the backstory—for future posts. Stay tuned.         

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The present debate

By Esteban Morales

July 24, 2016

Translation: Marce Cameron


Something must be said about the present debate which has flared up, which I think is a good thing. At last, what so many have tried to do during these years is starting to bear fruit, and rather high up too. Finally, it seems the critique of our 'bad press' is getting through.

From a Cuba in which critical or conflicting voices are barely heard, we've now entered another in which nearly everything is being subjected to criticism. Only it seems the ideological apparatus of the Cuban Communist Party [PCC] is nowhere to be seen. As has been said before, where is the Party's ideological apparatus when things happen such as that which just occurred at the recent plenum of the Cuban Journalists Union [UPEC]? Have they been there, and did they listen to the torrent of truths that were told? I think they must have been, but they haven't done anything yet. Will they do something now?

Undoubtedly, one of the consequences of the 7th Party Congress has been the subtle dismantling of the Party's ideological apparatus. We don't see the kind of ideological work that is needed given the situation facing the country. Fortunately, the comrade First Secretary [of the PCC, Raul Castro] made a timely rectification at the 7th Congress itself, which [had he not done so it] would have been the biggest mistake that could have been made, when the Congress documents were put to the Congress for debate and approval without the party membership as a whole knowing what was in them, nor participating in the discussion of them. Such was the criticism received in this regard that the First Secretary announced a different approach in his speech.

Now the Congress documents are even being debated by those outside the Party's ranks. That's encouraging, in that it wasn't a 'bottled' Congress or one solely for Party functionaries. Because I still think a mistake such as the one which was about to be made would have destroyed our Party's democracy.

What just took place in the recent UPEC plenum with the Communist Youth (UJC) members of the Granma newspaper staff, is symptomatic of the fact that the people are tired of censorship and no longer accept it, wherever it may come from and whatever the consequences of putting an end to this state of affairs.

This is called revolutionary courage. There's no other word for it.

Granma deputy editor Karina Marron
Anyone might think that Granma has been the cathedral. It was, but no doubt it's becoming less of one. Its youngest staff members, through their UJC base committee, have rebelled. The communist youth took the initiative, and when this happens the future is guaranteed.

In other times we've lived through, what the Granma deputy editor [Karina Marron], a member of the UJC base committee, has done would have left the newspaper without communist cadres. Those of the UJC because they 'opened fire', and the Party members for merely having heard the broadside even though they didn't express support for it. Which would have meant the newspaper being left without Party members too, because nobody with a sense of honour would have accepted such cowardice.

Warm congratulations to the UJC members at Granma, especially the deputy editor. Now we really can be confident that it's not only the numerous criticisms of our press, those of [Raul] Garces[1] in the UPEC Congresses and those of others, who have been saying for all these years that the press we have is a toothless tiger.

It's that now the monster isn't confronting us, but inside our 'stomachs', and we must digest it. As part of a cultural war that has already begun, and which threatens to take us back to the era of the Joint Resolution and the Platt Amendment.[2]

They got tired of suffering from what has been almost a sickness of our press. An epidemic which has been talked about several times, because it afflicts all of the provinces. It's that we adopted a 'Stalinist' press model, coming from the USSR in particular; I say this because I lived there, and more than 40 years later, we keep this up. How long are we going to wage war on the truth and transparency in our press? How long are we going to restrain the revolutionary initiatives of our journalists which would allow them to feel truly responsible and committed to what they do?

It's very good that the explosion didn't come from outside, the 'puncture' came from within; I think our press has 'imploded'. I am in solidarity with everyone who has defended those ideas which I just read. And if the inept functionaries were to respond in an aggressive manner, they'd simply confirm Fidel's words at Havana University, in 2005, when our Maximum Leader said: “We ourselves could destroy the Revolution”.

I think that in all honesty, what has happened to our press to date is not the fault of the journalists, nor even the newspapers, but of the superstructural apparatus that runs them and which has to be just 'smashed to smithereens'. Because we can't just keep doing the same thing for more than forty years, with the same people, and imagine that the problems are going to fix themselves. The distortions in our press can only be rectified by removing those who distorted it.

The evident incapacity to run our press is proven beyond doubt. The top Party leadership just needs to restructure this apparatus and appoint new people, trained, capable, who should be journalists themselves—of which there are many—who want to work and feel free to defend the country. Because it wouldn't occur to anyone that an engineer could perform a kidney transplant, or that anyone who has never been a journalist, nor written an article for almost their entire life, could run the press, in some cases at the highest level. For years, all they've been seen to do is reprimand, censor, approve or disapprove, criticise, even have people expelled from the Party, for an article or a presentation they didn't like, but never to actually run a newspaper.

Several journalists congresses have been held, dozens of meetings, but no such invigorating phenomenon as that which took place recently in that last UPEC plenum has ever happened. I'd say it hasn't only been a journalist's plenum, but an example, a methodological guide to how one must act in order to sweep away everything that threatens the survival of the Cuban Revolution.

Nevertheless, it must be said that while this debate has barely begun at the level of profundity it has now reached, there are others which already do so continuously, systematically, [and have done so] for a long time, such as those of the journal Temas[3], Espacio Laical[4], Dialogar-Dialogar[5], and others, which have referred to the problem of the press, without the latter having taken its cue, which places it at an evident disadvantage. Our press cannot be aloof from what is being debated—especially when the press itself is the subject of debate—in other spaces.

The press has to debate, respond to the criticisms, confront, etc. That is, be part of a debate which, in taking place within Cuban civil society, affects the content and context of its informational and cultural work. The press cannot inform with objectivity, and to a high standard, unless it keeps abreast of the above debate, takes part in it and reflects it in its day-to-day work. Otherwise, a part of society, which is not involved in those debates, no longer informs itself about things that, in the end, do interest and affect it. In order to do its job, the press needs to have allies. It can get them from that same contact with the centres of debate, the academic and cultural sphere in general. This allows it to improve the quality of its informational work, taking advantage of the existing potentialities within the intelligentsia, academia, science and culture.

The revolutionary intelligentsia and the press should forge a strategic alliance capable of providing an intelligent, informed and specialised response, including to issues that concern political-ideological work. A press that does not interact with the intelligentsia, while being intellectual work itself; that does not participate in its activities and does not interact continually with the intelligentsia, is unable to hold up a mirror to the nation. Nor can it get feedback and nourishment from what transpires.

Intellectuals themselves must have more column inches in the press, providing content that allows it to better reflect the life of a country that is ever more cultivated, qualified and demanding. In this respect, the press must never lag behind.

The press has to be the centrifuge, always switched on, in which all of the national and international events are loaded, aimed and launched. Nobody is more compelled to be a good researcher than she who wishes to be a better journalist.

*  *  *
Translator's notes:

[1] Raul Garces is a member of the UPEC executive and dean of Havana University's journalism faculty. 

[2] The US government's 1901 Platt Amendment and associated Joint Resolution formalised Cuba's status as a US neocolony.     

[3] Temas is a prestigious Cuban journal, published under the auspices of Cuba's culture ministry, that hosts lively monthly debates on varied topics. 

[4] Espacio Laical is a Cuban journal published by the Cuban Catholic Church's Felix Varela Centre in Havana.

[5] Dialogar-Dialogar is a Cuban website dedicated to furthering the political activism of the late Alfredo Guevara, a towering figure in Cuba's post-revolutionary cultural field and an outspoken intellectual of libertarian Marxist leanings. He was a member of the PCC and had the ear of Fidel Castro.