Hablalo Sin Miedo is Back On-Line

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Cuban State Phone Company Blocks Hotline for Activists

“Hablalo Sin Miedo” is a Platform to Report Human Rights and Other Abuses on the Island

Cuban state-owned telecommunications company Etecsa has blocked access to the “Hablalo Sin Miedo” (translation: “Speak Without Fear") blog, which allows Cubans to dial a U.S. phone number and record three-minute messages about everything from deteriorating living conditions on the communist island to human rights abuses and other developments censored by authorities. Messages are then posted on a web site that can be accessed globally, for which the government’s action since October 29 indicates the service’s growing impact.

The blog has become an important communications channel for activists and other citizens on the island with the outside world. Despite the Cuban government’s sophisticated repressive methods to control access to such information, “Hablalo Sin Miedo” has circumvented state-imposed mechanisms by operating from the U.S. and Europe. However, by blocking access to the blog’s phone number, the government hopes to eliminate the blog. The site, launched in 2011, has received hundreds of calls from Cuba each month.

According to Cuban dissident Martha Beatriz Roque, callers to the phone line get a message from Etecsa indicating that the line has been temporarily disconnected. Cuban award-winning blogger Yoani Sanchez says she has received calls from activists inquiring as to when the service will be reinstated, particularly since the blog had become an important channel for Cubans to provide information on the government’s poor management of humanitarian assistance to eastern communities hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Hablalo Sin Miedo” bloggers who run the service are countering the government tactic by launching a new phone number (+34674279544) that can be accessed immediately. They also plan to announce new changes to the blog that will further improve its quality and function, for which they expect the number of calls from Cuba to continue to increase steadily, despite the Cuban government’s ongoing attempts to block the service.

For more information:

Blog: Háblalo Sin Miedo
Phone number: +34674279544
Email: hablalosinmiedo@gmail.com
Website: hablalosinmiedo.com
Facebook: facebook.com/hablalosinmiedo
Twitter: twitter.com/hablalosinmiedo