Feature: Cuba accuses Google of blocking state media accounts

Source: Xinhua| 2020-08-26 16:55:29|Editor: huaxia

by Yosley Carrero

HAVANA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. tech giant Google blocked Cuban state media accounts amid the tightening of the U.S. embargo against the island nation, said a senior Cuban journalist.

"U.S. tech giants are very dependent on the U.S. administration decisions, implementing U.S. embargo policy toward the island," Randy Alonso, director-general at popular Cuban website cubadebate.cu and Cuban television program Mesa Redonda, told Xinhua recently.

"It has nothing to do with technological issues or violation of social media regulations. What is really behind the U.S. administration stance is its geopolitical and geostrategic ambition to keep global telecommunications under its control," he added.

Alonso made the remarks after U.S. tech giant Google blocked the accounts of the Cuban daily newspaper Granma, Cuban international broadcaster Cubavision Internacional, and Mesa Redonda, barring them from accessing Youtube channels.

Although the accounts were recently reopened by Google, "the Donald Trump administration tries to silence the voice of Cuban public media, which are also banned from accessing a number of softwares developed in the United States," Alonso added.

The accounts of the Cuban Young Communist League, Prensa Latina news agency and Cuban daily newspaper Juventud Rebelde have also been censored by U.S. tech giants over the last few years.

"How far will U.S. hostility against Cuba go? How long will it last? " Yailin Orta, director at Granma, asked on social media, adding that the newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba will continue to be part of the counter-hegemonic struggle.

In 2019, the Caribbean nation condemned the mass blocking of nearly 500 accounts in the island nation by social media giant Twitter, ahead of a televised address by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, warning of an energy crisis due to U.S. sanctions against the island.

The U.S. social media company has also blocked the accounts of Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, and his daughter Mariela Castro, director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education.

Among the country's media professionals suspended by Twitter was Belkys Perez Cruz, a Cuban legislator and senior reporter at Telepinar TV channel, a regional broadcaster in the westernmost province of Pinar del Rio.

"My account was canceled earlier in May. I sent more than 20 messages to the company but there was no response," she told Xinhua. "Anyway, I will continue to tell the truth of my country online."

Meanwhile, Iroel Sanchez, a Cuban political commentator and blogger, told Xinhua that the U.S. administration is waging a "four-generation war against the island" and placing internet at the very heart of the battle ground.

"U.S. tech giants like Google have a strong connection with the U.S. State Department. They feel empowered to decide whether or not someone can be listened to," he said.

"During a war, the truth is the first victim, and those who lie try to silence the voice of their contenders," said Sanchez. Enditem