|No light at the end of the tunnel, at least for now|
Vicent, who writes for Spain's El Pais newspaper, has been a correspondent in Cuba for 20 years. I was surprised he lost his accreditation after so many years.
Botín said journalists in Cuba are under constant threat of losing their permission to work in the country. He said foreign journalists have the Sword of Damocles hanging over them at all time, and don't always know stories what will anger Cuban officials and lead to trouble. Botín is the author of several books, including, "Raul Castro, La pulga que cabalgo al tigre" and "Los funerales de Castro."
I said that Cuba's independent journalists and bloggers face many more difficulties than the foreign press. They have fewer resources than their foreign counterparts and work under much more difficult circumstances.
Botín agreed, saying that while foreign journalists who upset the socialist government may lose their accreditation, independent Cuban journalists can go to jail.
It was an interesting discussion, though I'm sure we didn't do the topic justice during the short 20-minute program. (See February 2011 post: A correspondent's life: What the heck was I complaining about?).
The radio show reminded me that I haven't been posting stories or photos lately on this blog or on the Cuba Money Project. There is a reason for that, and it's certainly not a lack of interest. Since late July when I returned from Cuba, I've been tending to some pressing family matters - a serious illness in the family - and I had to put my Cuba work aside. But I will get back to it when I can, even if it's poco a poco and when my family circumstances allow.