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Posted September 27, 2011 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

Yesterday I read that Cuba wants normal relations with Cuba but I felt compelled to write that this is just more Cuban propaganda and really just a disguised effort to push for the release of the Cuban Five.

Today I read that Cuba is ready for dialog with the US:

“Cuba reaffirms its traditional position of holding a respectful dialogue with the United States government to resolve pending problems,” Josefina Vidal, director of the ministry’s North
America department, told The Havana Reporter, a new official English-language weekly.”

Okay, fine. For whatever reason, the Cuban government wants to get this message out. How do they do it? By the Associated Press, Reuters or even maybe Granma? No. They do it by making this statement this through a new Cuban government controlled newspaper called The Havana Reporter. So, from the very first issue, you know this is Cuban government controlled propaganda.

Prensa Latina posted this news story below to get the word out out this new desire for dialogue AND to promote the launch of The Havana Reporter:

Cuban government officials reaffirmed Havana’s willingness to engage in political dialogue with the United States with no White House conditioning on holding civilized relations, stated Josefina Vidal, director of the Foreign Ministry´s North America department. Vidal reaffirmed her government´s willingness to begin a political dialogue with the United States on the basis of reciprocal respect.

The Cuban position was presented during an interview by the official with The Havana Reporter, a Prensa Latina periodical designed for English-speaking readers, whose first edition is circulating as of Monday in Cuba. Cuba reaffirms its traditional position of holding a respectful dialogue with the United States government to resolve pending problems… our only requirements are that the meeting take place on the basis of equality, reciprocity and equality,” Josefina Vidal, director of the Foreign Ministry’s North America department, the diplomat told The Havana Reporter.

From the Editor of The Havana Reporter

With this first edition of The Havana Reporter, the Prensa Latina news agency begins distributing a periodical especially designed for English-language readers as part of our expansive
publishing portfolio. Our purpose is to make it easier for visitors and people in other parts of the world to get closer to Cuba and to stay up to date on life on the island, and also to provide them with our view on current events in Latin America and the rest of the world.

One of the attractions readers will find is an extensive calendar listing of places to visit in Cuba, from theaters to nightclubs, as well as cultural and sports events. The Havana Reporter hopes to become an important resource for English speakers who want to learn more about our country, life here today, and our history, customs and traditions, and also to be a space to find out about the many different options available for visitors.

The Editor - Your friend in Cuba

Issue #1 of The Havana Reporter

The newspaper features news and information about politics, events, sports, culture and of course tourist related articles. Issue #1 of The Havana Reporter features articles with these titles:

US-Cuba: Obama has Historic Opportunity to Change Relations
Tourism in Cuba: Virtues and Hopes
Cuba Trains U.S. Doctors
Latin America and the Caribbean: Integration for Facing Common Challenges
Middle East: Challenges of the Arab Uprisings
Progress in Eastern Caribbean Integration
Bank of the South: a New Financial Institution
Crucial Moment in Chile
“Obama can free the Cuban Five”
Vidatox, Cuba´s New Cancer Drug
Entertainment and Things to Do sections
Lennon Lives in Havana
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Cuba
Havana at Dusk
Cuba Willing to Dialogue with USA
The Canadian Mambí
Indigenous Descendants in Eastern Cuba
New Regulations Ease Self-Employment in Cuba
Cuban Literacy Program Reaches Tierra del Fuego
Another US-Cuba “Friendshipment” Arrives in Havana
Conrado Marrero, a Baseball Legend
Cuba’s Oldest Settlement Turns 500

So, you can see the newspaper covers a lot of Cuba news and offers a lot of great information. The premier issue is dated September 23, 2011 with ISSN number 2224-5707 and a price of $1 per issue.

Issue #0

I located the beta test issue issue #0 of The Havana Reporter and have listed the articles featured in this issue below.

Oil: Cuba Looks to the Future
Cuba Awaits Rig to Start Gulf Oil Exploration
A Push For Renewable Energy
How to Do Business with Cuban Companies
2011 Havana Trade Fair Set for October
Clamor for the Five
Labiofam Natural products to Improve Life
Some Glimpses of Havana
Entertainment section
Jimmy Page Strolls Havana Streets
Cuba tourism articles
Golf Rush in Cuba
Cuba sports news

Cuba Plus association

Issue #0 is a pdf located at the CubaPlus.ca website. Since they are hosting Issue #0 and since Cuba Plus has a half page at the bottom of each issue, it appears as though this Canadian company assisted with the initial design and perhaps is involved with design or other publishing matters.

The Havana Reporter Staff

Havana Reporter President Luis Enrique González and Editorial Vice President Maitte Marrero Canda hold the same positions at the publication Negocios en Cuba. Both offices are in Vedado but at different locations.

The Havana Reporter lists the names and positions of a full staff like a professional newspaper. Since all media in Cuba is controlled by the Cuban government, there is little obligation to accurately inform readers as to the names of the publisher, editor and other staff.

The newspapers has a Chief Editor, two news editors, graphic designers and other staff. It is printed in Cuba by GeoCuba with the location being Vedado La Habana. It is published by Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana, Prensa Latina, S.A. and you can .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you like.

Purity of content

I must say I am impressed with the quality of the content and the design of the newspaper. Of course all articles are reviewed by the Cuban government or at least subject to editing so this is definitely more of a tourist newspaper not to be confused with some independent publication.

The Havana Reporter has the same feel as the Cuban government propaganda website Havana Times. The articles at The Havana Reporter and the Havana Times are interesting and well written but done so under the watchful eye of the Cuban government so one always has to wonder about the truth of the facts, the biased writing of the authors and the motivation for publishing each article.

I will end by saying that few Cuba news sites are as good as the Cuba news and information generated by our friends at Cuba News and Cuba Standard.

—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-

I registered HavanaReporter.com and TheHavanaReporter.com today and are pointing those two domains to this article at the Havana Journal.

I intend to update this page in the future with comments about the purity of the content of The Havana Reporter and it’s association with the Cuban government.

Unlike in Cuba, we in America have the right to free speech and I am exercising that right here by using those domain names to critique and perhaps even parody this new Communist propaganda publication.

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