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Underground Reporting in Cuba

Carlos Rios Otero is trying to write a note, but his black pen has run out of ink. He shakes it furiously, tries to scribble on a piece of thin white paper, and then tosses it on the table. He shoots the pen a nasty glare, grabs it again, and flings it high into the air. Carlos is frustrated. The pen is just one more thing that doesn’t work in Cuba.

He is trying to change that, one word at a time. He is the rarest of rare on the island — an independent journalist.

But this writer doesn’t work for a state-run communist-mouthpiece rag like Granma or Juventud Rebelde. His articles are penned sometimes by candlelight, always in longhand, on the unused side of printed sheets of paper. When he’s finished, Carlos whispers his words across crackling phone lines to Miami, where Cuban exiles make sense of them and put them into magazines read by other exiles around the world. Read Story

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