RNW Media

Connecting Cuba

Millions of tourists flock to the island to get a taste of tropical socialism ‘before it’s too late’. Ever since Cuba opened up its economy and restored its diplomatic relations with the USA, the whole world has been guessing at its future. Cuba is in transition, but changing to what? And now, with Donald Trump elected as president and the recent passing of Fidel Castro, Cuba’s future is more insecure than ever.
On 16 and 17 December Cuban and non-Cuban journalists, academics, civil rights activists and artists will discuss Cuba’s future, voice their concerns and explore constructive alternatives during ‘Connecting Cuba’. 
 
It’s tough to see Castro objectively, because the debate around his legacy is so polarized. Our passion blinds us, but it’s certainly true that Castro is one of the most important figures of the twentieth century. Fidel touched so many Cubans of my generation - Harold Cárdenas Lema
 
Connecting Cuba is an interdisciplinary event organised by Club Interbellum and RNW Media. The event entails two public programs, a film screening, two exhibitions and a theater ‘dinner piece’ that reflect on the changes that Cuba is currently experiencing and is anticipating on a still uncertain future.
 
Amongst these prominent speakers will also be two bloggers of our Cuban platform ElToque: José Jasán Nieves and Harold Cárdenas Lema, both passionate bloggers for ElToque since 2013. José studied journalism and worked for different Cuban digital magazines, radio and television. He is now coordinator for the ElToque team, consisting of more than 30 young contributors. Harold teaches philosophy and is a PhD candidate. He’s one of the most well-known bloggers on Cuba and founder of the blog La Jovén Cuba. José and Harold will participate in a debate on the challenges new media bring: ‘Connecting Cuba to the new media revolution’.
 
Connecting Cuba to the new media revolution
With only 5% of the Cubans on the internet, Cuba might be one of the last offline countries in the world. On the other hand, the little available internet is rapidly transforming Cuban society, giving rise to a lively new blogosphere, enhanced civic participation and digital independent journalism. In a country where a state-run press held a monopoly on information for over 50 years, these changes are causing nothing less than a small media revolution.
 
How will this exposure to the world’s information glut change the minds and hearts of the Cubans? How can journalism be done in a country without existing media laws or protection mechanisms? How does Cuba’s ‘utopian’ need of (new) media relate to worldwide ‘dystopian’ debates on privacy, big data and censorship?
 
Next to José and Harold, several other speakers will dive into these questions and explore answers and explanations. This debate will be held on 17 December, 14:00h – 16:00h as part of the interdisciplinary event Connecting Cuba at De Balie. For more information visit the website