Despite censorship and poor internet, Cuban podcasts are booming

No subject is forbidden. El Enjambre provided detailed coverage of the remarkable July 11 anti-government protests in Cuba and harsh cr...


No subject is forbidden.

El Enjambre provided detailed coverage of the remarkable July 11 anti-government protests in Cuba and harsh criticism of the ruthless crackdown that followed.

The hosts also dissected the dismal state of the health system As Covid-19 cases increased on the island, mocked government spray initiatives to allow certain private sector activities, such as garage sales, and attempted to read the tea leaves on the future of Washington’s relations with Havana.

Each episode includes a short, humorous and scripted drama, a segment titled Story Without Hysteria, and a lengthy conversation that tends to focus on the issues Cubans have debated on social media over the past few days.

“The goal was to create a conversation like you would have on any street corner in Cuba,” Mr. Condis said. “But we only provide verified facts, because it is very important to us that we never provide false information.”

Mr Condis said he refrained from using what he saw as unnecessarily polarizing language, refraining, for example, from calling the Cuban government a dictatorship. The hosts do not take for granted the relative freedom they have enjoyed so far to criticize the government. After all, Cuba does not have press freedom laws, and critical journalists often face harassment and house arrest.

“At any time, they could wage war on us and take us off the airwaves,” Condis said.

If anyone has pushed the boundaries, it’s Ms. Sánchez, a fiery critic of the government who first became known as an early adopter of technology in 2007, when she started writing a raw, lyrical blog about life on the island.

In December 2018, when Cuban telecommunications company Etecsa started offering data plans for smartphones, Ms. Sánchez saw an opportunity to expand the reach of her journalism, which was previously distributed as an email newsletter and PDF file.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Despite censorship and poor internet, Cuban podcasts are booming
Despite censorship and poor internet, Cuban podcasts are booming
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