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    Eleven News Stories Not Reported in Cuba in 2011 / Ernesto Morales Licea

    Eleven News Stories Not Reported in Cuba in 2011 / Ernesto Morales Licea
    Ernesto Morales Licea, Translator: Unstated

    1. The Arab spring

    Only when the events in Egypt exceeded the predictions, did the Cuban
    press note (with tweezers) some isolated incidents. Nor had it published
    anything earlier about the riots in Tunisia and Yemen, nor did it later
    dig into the deposition of Hosni Mubarak. On Libya and and the fall of
    Muammar Gadaffi, it limited itself to denigrating the role of NATO,
    without mentioning the popular movement against the dictator. On Syria,
    Cuban press coverage remains minimal.

    2. Latin Grammy Awards

    As no Cuban artist in residence in the island won a Latin Grammy in
    2011, the Cuban press accolades applauded only the Puerto Rican duo
    Calle 13, and omitted all exiled Cuban artists who were winners: Amaury
    Gutiérrez, Lena Burke, Paquito D 'Rivera and the late Israel López "Cachao".

    3. UN special report on Iran's nuclear program

    On November 8 the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United
    Nations presented a detailed report which showed not only Tehran's
    efforts to achieve the atomic bomb, but to do so in record time, based
    on special designs of enriching uranium by catalysts process methods.
    Not one word of this report was revealed in Cuba, an ally of the regime
    of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    4. Convictions for child prostitution

    Five were implicated in the death of a 12-year-old child prostitute in
    the eastern city of Bayamo and four subsequently arrested for ties to a
    child prostitution ring were sentenced in September of this year to
    prison terms of between 10 and 30 years. Three of those convicted are
    Italian. Despite the national and international turmoil after the death
    of the girl, in 2010, the Cuban press did not reflect on the case.

    5. Sports defections

    In addition to promising young players such as the pitcher Gerardo
    Concepción and footballer Yosniel Mesa, two major athletes fled Cuba in
    2011 through risky and illegal ways. The great Yoenis Cespedes, member
    of the Cuban baseball team and current national home run record holder,
    left the island on a boat bound for the Dominican Republic in the
    summer, and expects to contract with the major leagues. Paralympic
    swimming champion at the 2011 Pan American, Rafael Castillo, crossed the
    border and sought political asylum in the United States. Nothing was
    said officially in Cuba about either of them.

    6. The "cubañoles"

    In 2011 Cuba set a record for requests for Spanish citizenship.
    According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the Spanish consulate in
    Havana has already nationalized some 66,000 Cubans, and it is estimated
    that at the end of the process about 190,000 residents of the island
    will be citizens of Spain due to the Law of Historical Memory
    (qualifying requires having a Spanish grandparent). In Cuba, not only
    has this event been silenced, but Internet pages with information about
    how to apply are blocked.

    7. Hugo Chavez's Cancer

    With the exception of an official note on the surgery in June of
    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, news coverage on successive
    chemotherapy treatments in Havana, relapse, revenues emergency in
    Caracas and in general the Venezuelan president's illness has been
    practically nil.

    8. Bill Richardson's visit to Havana

    Only after former New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson declared
    his frustration with the unsuccessful trip he made to Havana in
    September, did the official Cuban press counter with the reasons why the
    government had not allowed Richardson will meet with Alan P. Gross, let
    alone bring him back to the United States. During his stay in Cuba, Bill
    Richardson was ignored by the Cuban media.

    9. Pablo Milanes Controversy

    Nor was a a visit to Miami by one of the two most important singers of
    the Cuban Nueva Trova movement, Pablo Milanes, mentioned, nor was a word
    published about his accusatory statements against the repression of the
    Ladies in White and the stifling centralization of power. Only by
    alternative means did Cubans learn of the controversial Pablo Milanes
    concert at American Airlines Arena in Miami, and his public break with
    the regime of the island

    10. Cuba's first gay wedding

    An event covered by the international press found no place in Cuban
    journalism: the wedding of Wendy Iriepa, a transsexual, and the
    homosexual dissident Ignacio Estrada in August. Not even because this
    one-of-a-kind wedding occurred on the "symbolic" date of August 13th
    (the birthday of Fidel Castro) did the Cuban media report it.

    11. Record for corruption

    Scholars of Cuban issues classify 2011 as the "year of corruption in
    Cuba." Scandals in the fields of nickel (Sherritt International and
    Cubaníquel), telecommunications (Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba,
    known as ETECSA), the Cuban Volleyball Federation, the Tobacco Industry
    (Habanos SA), among others, led to dismissal of ministers such as Yadira
    Garcia (Basic Industry ) and legal actions against sports officials such
    as the glory of Cuban volleyball, Raul Diago. On all these scandals, the
    Cuban media issued terse notes, or in some cases ignored them entirely.

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