Thursday, October 27, 2016

Nominated for Reporters Without Borders Prize

Nominated for Reporters Without Borders Prize / Iván García, Tania Quintera

Tania Quintero and Iván García, Lucerne and Havana, 25 October 2016 — To
all our friends:

Thank you for the congratulatory emails to Ivan and me (Tania Quintera)
for having been nominated by Reporters Without Borders for their Press
Freedom Prize in the category of Citizen Journalists.

Thanks also for the notices published in Diario de Cuba, Diario Las
Américas and Martí Noticias.

Let me dwell on the photo from Martí Noticias, the only one where Raul
Rivero, Ivan and I all appear together. In the caption they say they we
are in the press room of the Cuba Press agency, but as Raul Rivero used
to say, Cuba Press was an "abstraction": it never had a headquarters or
a press room.

Most of the time, the thirty some journalists of Cuba Press, climbed the
three flights of stairs to the apartment of Raul and his wife Blanca
Reyes, at 466 Penalver between Oquenda and Francos streets in Central
Havana, and from its phone, a black apparatus with the number 79-5578,
located on the hall table, we dictated our articles to people in Miami
or Madrid and they posted them on the internet. We're talking about the
years 1995-1998.

We had no internet and few Havana homes had cordless phones, which now
are common. Then, we didn't even dream of cellphones, texting, Twitter,
Whatsapp, Facebook… If I remember rightly, it was in 199 when 2 or 3 of
us from Cuba Press, among them Ivan and I, got some money and went to
the Carlos III Mall and bought fax machines, and through them sent our
work, a "luxury" in the midst of so much insecurity.

The photo from Marti Noticias, posted here, was taken in the summer of
2000 for a report on Cuban independent journalism, prepared by the Swiss
journalists Ruedi Leuthold and Beat Bieri.

Raul in his only denim shirt, Ivan with his Sunday t-shirt, and me with
my "coming and going" dress (in 2000 the island of the Castro's was
still living in "a special period in a time of peace"), we were ar
Ricardo Gonzales Alfonso's house, in 88th Street between 9th and 7th, in

Three years later, on April 4, 2003, Ricardo and Raul would be tried
together in the People's Court of Diez de Octubre, and sentenced to 20
years in prison. For health reasons, Raul was released in late 2004 and
April 1, 2005 came to Madrid as a political refugee.

Ricardo remained in prison until July 2010, when the negotiations
between the Catholic Church, the Ladies in White, the Spanish government
and Raul Castro, the political prisoners of the Group of 75 were freed
and he was exiled to Spain. Ricardo continues to live in Spain, and in
Cuba, it is worth remembering, was a correspondent for Reporters Without

Along with the two of us, Reporters Without Borders is also recognizing
the hundreds of journalists, independent, alternative and unofficial
today who in Cuba do or try to do journalism by and for Cubans.

But honestly, to be fair, that award should be given to those who are
faring worse than we are: our colleagues Lu Li Yuyu Tingyu arrested in
China; Ali Al-Mearay, arrested in Bahrain; Negad Roya Saberi, an
Iranian-Britin sentenced to five years in prison in
Tehran; the Brazilian of Japanese origin Leonardo Sakamoto; or the site
SOS Média, of Burundi.

Source: Nominated for Reporters Without Borders Prize / Iván García,
Tania Quintera – Translating Cuba -

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