Advertising reaches the regime’s radio and television

Advertising reaches the regime’s radio and television
Advertising reaches the regime’s radio and television

The regime officially presented the Social Communication Law in Cubaafter more than a year of having been approved in the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP).

The new norm was published this Wednesday, in the ordinary edition of the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba, number 48. The document has generated a wave of criticism from the international community and independent media.

This regulation allows for the first time the use of commercial advertising on national radio and televisionsomething prohibited since 1959.

The Social Communication Law once again ignores and censors the independent press. With this legal instrument, the regime’s control over information and the media in the country is reinforced and to achieve this it will be accompanied by two regulatory decrees.

Despite its supposed intention to modernize the communication framework on the island, this law is perceived as an attempt by the government to maintain its monopoly over the media, strengthening its control from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

In addition, it introduces regulations on digital phenomena, identifies people with communicative influence and imposes responsibilities on citizens for the content they generate, select, modify, interact with and publish in cyberspace.

The presentation of the Law was before the official press

Onelio Castillovice president of the Institute of Information and Social Communication (IICS), celebrated the publication of the law, in what he considered a momentous day that culminates 40 years of debate.

“It is not a union law, it is not a law that is built for the organs and entities of the State. It is a law that will be implemented for the entire society, so that the people can communicate better, so that the public administration communicates better with the people, for more dialogue and more popular participation,” said the official.

The Law of Social Communication It was approved in May 2023 after numerous drafts and a six-month delay due to lack of internal consensus. It will come into force within 120 days. Castillo pointed out that no substantive changes have been made in the last year, they only made style and writing corrections.

The Social Communication Law is an instrument of censorship

This legal norm has been designed to silence dissident voices and control the public narrative in Cuba.

One of its fundamental principles or axes is aimed at prohibiting the dissemination in traditional media and in cyberspace of information that could destabilize the “socialist State.”

Only the media linked to the government, the Communist Party of Cuba and mass organizations, have legality in the country. This strict control of information contravenes the principles of freedom of the press and expression, essential in a democratic society.

The Constitution in Cuba declares that the media are socialist property and cannot be of any other type. This provision, together with the new law, ensures that any independent media that attempts to operate in the country will automatically be illegal.

Activists and independent journalists, who have been the target of programs such as “We Make Cuba” and “Con Filo”, see this law as another tool for the government to silence any form of criticism of the State.

The law also specifies that the content cannot be used to subvert the constitutional order or to support communication attacks against the government. The provisions are vague enough to justify censoring any content the regime deems inappropriate.

Allowing commercial advertising and sponsorship in the media appears to be an opening, but it is conditional on state approval, ensuring that revenue does not come from sources the government considers subversive.

The Cuban Social Communication Law, although presented as a modernization of the regulatory framework, is in reality another tool of the regime to maintain its absolute control over information and repress any dissident voice with greater force and speed.

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