Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

March 15, 1999

'GAG LAW' TAKES EFFECT; INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS REACT, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - Today the government's Official Gazette published the Law for the Protection of the National Sovereignty and the Economy of Cuba, aimed in a special manner at the independent journalists.

Starting from now, by virtue of this judicial juggling, any journalists, intellectuals and Cuban citizens can be fined, deprived of possessions and sent to jail for expressing themselves freely.

All this under the cunningly made up charge of their alleged complicity with the American law known as Helms-Burton, promulgated several months after their work started.

In consequence, also starting from now and in view of the unlimited broadness of its reach, we, the undersigned independent journalists will surely be forced to keep silent or face dire consequences.

But before that, although this might be the last free-expression gesture, we want to reclaim once more what is ours: The right to say what we think and to write about the Cuban reality. We want the world to know that those who conceived the law commit a serious crime: To strip the citizens of the choice to be informed and to think and express themselves freely.

Behind the unconstrained aggressiveness of its articles is a fear of truth. That fear reveals itself on the one hand by the feebleness of its arguments and on the other by the turbidity of its purposes, wrapped in political rhetoric.

Thus the injustice of the law: Now the government will have to carry the burden of this judicial miscarriage, which shows its true face. It will also have to carry the burden of our eventual forced silence, which will be an accusation against it.

Communication is a live component of human nature. With this note we make public our decision to continue our professional work, convinced as we are that to inform and to receive information is a right of human beings that supersedes any imposition by others.

In Havana, Cuba, signed by: Orlando Bordón Gálvez, Odalys Curbelo Sánchez, Abel Germán Díaz Castro (Germán Castro), Marvin Hernández Monzón, Iván García Quintero, Ricardo González Alfonso, Irán González González, Jesús Labrador Arias, Efrén Martínez Pulgarón, Raúl Rivero Castañeda, Ariel Tapia and Héctor Trujillo Pis.


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