[New-imc] the beginning of the cuba.indymedia project...need help
imc_nessuno at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 20 18:05:22 PST 2008
I tried to use the new imc form but it did not work. here's hoping someone
here can respond with help for me and the fledgling cuba.indymedia.org....I
have posted as much technical detail about media licenses because this is
going to be an issue for us in indymedia but i know it can be resolved.
This site is going to need alot of help to open up to the world and
particularly South America. Cuba has had no internet until recently.
My friends in Cuba want a small team of experienced indymedia people to fly
into Havana soon to help teach them how to use their new indymedia. please
contact me for details of this trip.
meanwhile, can new imc process begin the process of giving them an indymedia
site and a URL? I think cuban connection problems and media licenses can be
here is me and my friends from Havana waiting for your response
Mark Covell 'Sky' Indymedia London
Here it goes. First, answering your questions:
Media licences theoretically, internet publishing is not regulated by the
Cuban law; but they reserve the right of limiting access from Cuba to
conflictive sites. Theoretically (as well), serial publishing spaces
(including web, etc.) can get a licence (actually, inscription in 2
registers) from competent Cuban authorities (Registro nacional de las
publicaciones seriadas, and Cuban ISSN agency); this turns them into
official publications. But to get such licences you must be supported or
managed by an official Cuban institution. Theoretically (again!) a Cuban
indymedia could receive a licence if it becomes associated with a Cuban
institution (like Asociacion Hermanos Saíz an official organization of
young intellectuals) but this would critically affect the actual
independence of the collective. In fact, many blogs and web projects
(including serial ones) operate without any registrations. This would be, in
our collective´s opinion, the correct option for us.
Reporting, filming and surveying licences foreign reporters have Cuban
government-issued accreditation cards; if they are not accredited, they can
be deported. Cuban reporters, journalists and other press personnel have
analogous cards, issued by official media institutions; also, they usually
hold the membership card of the Cuban Union of Journalists (UPEC). But,
again, most of the bloggers and amateur reporters do not have either. The
point is about maintaining discretion. To make sociological surveys (polls)
a letter of authorization emitted by the Ideological Department of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba is needed. Many students do
this kind of research actions without such a letter, but they may have
problems with the police. The discretion point applies again. Letters from
Cuban scientific or cultural institutions may also be of great help (we can
arrange them for ourselves). Filming may be conflictive, especially in
Havana; a municipal executive decision applies, which provides for the need
of a special permit from Havana authorities or the Cuban Institutes of
Cinema (ICAIC) or of Radio and Television (ICRT). Interviewing may also
result suspicious, in specific surroundings. However, we have in favour the
fact that nowadays many Cubans are studying Social sciences at University
levels (this is a massive phenomenon, due to the spread of community
colleges), and they are required to do such surveys, interviews and
sometimes even filming. The point about the usefulness of Cultural
institutions´ letters applies as well.
Radio broadcasting licences available only to official media and to the
members of the official Cuban Federation of Radio-amateurs. Currently, we do
not have access to it, and should investigate how it goes. But obviously
government controlled, and sometimes even used by the Army e.g. during
natural disasters. They can detect any illegal station.
Functioning as a collective in Cuba and dealing with the Govt We prefer
acting anonymously, using pseudonyms. We would like to maintain clear goals
and a mission statement (see infra), but strongly prefer maximum
confidentiality. In our situation, it is the only warranty of independence.
In case of negotiation, we will flag our anti-imperialist left-wing
commitment, and seek support of the organizations of which we are members.
The negotiation is possible, but not recommendable at the initial phase of
the growth of Cuban indymedia. We will rely on alternative spaces and
collective, and we strongly prefer to begin acting with an underground
status. I wish you & friends will understand us well.
Regarding the contact names, etc. I wish you´ll understand that we prefer
remaining anonymous. Nonetheless, if a real name is needed, you can use
mine. The pseudonym to be used if real name not needed will be Israel
You could learn that internet connection in Cuba is fluctuant. We will try
to solve it with a little help from our friends here. But hiring a
10-hour-per-month connection is a luxury allowed just to foreigners, and it
currently costs about $17 USD (per month). We could find the foreigner who
could help us with the connection, but definitely we cannot afford it ($10
USD is approximately equivalent to my monthly salary as a University
professor). We will be grateful for any help regarding this; otherwise, we
will stay wired using the available institutional networks, but sometimes
they are not secure.
One last thing: we will be grateful if you could help us with some
encryption software. I was told that gpg could be good. We will have the
need of using such resources to send the information over the indy network.
We already have a counter-part in Europe who could be in charge of uploading
Proposed IMC Name (required): habanas <http://cuba.indymedia.org/>
Proposed Indymedia URL (required): habanas <http://cuba.indymedia.org/>
Current URL (if any): none
State/Province: Ciudad de La Habana (City of Havana) and La Habana (Havana)
Contact name (required): Israel Ascazo (if a real name is needed, then
email (required): iascazo at gmail.com; Israel.ascazo at gmail.com
Webmaster-contact name (if different from above) same
Regionally focused? yes
Issue focused? no
Events focus? yes
are you working with any support groups? no
Please write an introductory statement about why you want to participate in
the Indymedia Network.
We are eager to create an information network with an anti-authoritarian,
anti-capitalist focus, to share the local news and viewpoints about the
Cuban events from our bases in Ciudad de La Habana and La Habana (although
this does not mean that we will refrain from providing information about
events occurring in the other Cuban territories; however, we would like to
stress that our perspective is mediated by the fact that we live in the
Cuban capital and its hinterland: so we emphatically abstain from claiming
any exclusive rights of representing all the Cuban archipelago over the
indymedia network thats why habanas.indymedia.org instead of
cuba.indimedia.org-; once acknowledged this initial bias, we would strongly
support the cooperation with activists from and the creation of new IMCs in
other Cuban locations).
We want to end the informative vacuum about many of the important issues and
events taking place in our country, generated by the fact that the
mainstream media infrastructures are dominated by state and market forces.
Our autonomous effort will provide the possibility of sharing with the
worldwide publics a huge set of news and opinions that otherwise would be
de-contextualized, misunderstood, excluded or censored.
We would like to promote an honest image of our country, clarifying the
complexities and the contradictions of the current Cuban society. Such an
image, in our opinion, would de-idolize the international solidarity with
the Cuban people, giving a global participatory platform for the Cubans
themselves to deal with their issues and express their thoughts, feelings
What kind of resources can you contribute, in terms of
server/bandwidth/technical and organizing skills?
What kind of outreach have you done to bring together a diverse group of
The team of habanas.indymedia.org will be initially constituted by 6 persons
(3 females, 3 males, in their 30-40ies). We share a set of basic political
and living experiences, including those of the cataclysmic changes occurred
during the ´90s, and the emergence of new cultural practices. Since that
time, we have got involved in various social projects and proposals. We
belong to different ethnic, cultural, racial, territorial and professional
backgrounds; although all of us share proletarian origins and have
university degrees (in law, economics, natural and social sciences), our
everyday environments are different as well: 4 are state employees (a common
case in Cuba), 1 self-employed, 1 part-time worker; we all live in different
zones of the Cuban capital and its surroundings (both urban and rural
We share a basic political consensus, i.e. opposition to all the imperialist
and/or totalitarian politics, libertarian scepticism towards state and
corporate institutions, respect of the dignity of the human person, of human
diversity, of the rights to the satisfaction of the basic needs, to the
freedoms of belief, thought, opinion, expression and self-organization. We
love culture and spirituality, both for their intrinsic values and for their
significance in the creation / expression / humanisation of the
socio-political meanings and mutual support networks.
We believe in social autonomy and in democratic, non-hierarchical
decision-making after a transparent discussion of all the relevant issues.
Our core-group shares 12 years of enthusiastic, committed alternative
left-wing political efforts. We have been friends for a long time, and enjoy
practicing solidarity towards each other and to the rest of the world.
How does the makeup of your collective reflect the diversity of the local
community (e.g. in realtion to gender-, sexual-, spiritual-, and/or
The collective is diverse in relation to: gender-/sexual-identity (3
females, 3 males); racial-/ethnic-identity (2 negras, 1 mulata, 1 mulato,
2 asiáticos (i.e. 1 Chinese-Cuban, 1 Slavic-Cuban): we use the Cuban folk
terms for race and ethnicity; all these groups are underrepresented in
mainstream society); spiritual-/cultural-identity (1 believer in universal
energy; 1 cosmist; 1 atheist; 1 Orthodox Christian; 1
non-homosexual-non-bisexual agnostic; 1 Afro-Cuban believer). Mostly
brain-proletariat, artisans, informal sector (door-to-door selling) and
underemployed workers, all with quite diverse work-experiences.
If your group currently does not represent the diversity of the local
community, particularly in relation to groups who are underrepresented in
mainstream society and denied access to vehicles of expression, what steps
will be taken to address this on an ongoing basis?
-We will create spaces of network visibility (by means of event reports,
opinions, surveys, coordinative networking) for the groups not having access
to mainstream media, thus countering both the internal colonialism in Cuba
and the global media asymmetry
-We will promote the political debate and intellectual growth among those
groups (by means of news comments, event promotions, involvement with
existing non-mainstream spaces)
-Thus, underrepresented Cuban groups will feel attracted towards
-We will then promote both the inclusion of new committed activists in our
collective, and eventually the development of new IMCs (in other regions of
the country, as well as issue-focused e.g. for ethnic-, cultural- or
gender-issue-based groups, event-focused teams, etc.)
What steps will be taken to involve individuals in workfields new to them?
What measures will be taken to overcome a gendered work division?
Nowadays we have a 50%-50% gender proportion. We will work towards keeping
the gender bias minimized in the future. An increase of the number of
volunteers could result from the monitoring of the existing and emerging
non-mainstream social spaces, with particular emphasis on committed persons
having some useful skills (like previous experiences as journalists,
reporters, writers, researchers, promoters, artists, involvement in cultural
actions, overall creativity and fresh views on the Cuban and international
political fields) and emancipatory political militancy. In any case, we will
contact the people on strictly confidential, voluntary and equalitarian
basis. Additionally, we will study the contemporary radical gender theories,
in order to critically implement a coherent policy.
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