Cuba Government and Media
Government Type: One-Party Socialist Republic
President / Head of State and first secretary of the Communist Party: President Miguel Díaz-Canel
Prime Minister: Manuel Marrero Cruz (3rd Highest office)
Political Party: Cuban Communist Party (PCC)
Political Position: Marxist-Leninist ideology (Left)
World Press Freedom Rank: Cuba 171/180
In 2021 Reporters Without Borders ranked Cuba 171/180 in their Press Freedom Index, where they state “Miguel Díaz-Canel’s election as president after Authoritarian socialist leaders Fidel and Raul Castro brothers made no difference (to press freedom).” They also report “The regime maintains an almost total monopoly of news and information and uses every means possible to obstruct independent media.”
Government Influence on Media: Cuba is a one-party socialist republic, and the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) is the ruling political party. The brothers Fidel and Raul Castro ruled Cuba from 1959 until 2018. In 2018, Miguel Díaz-Canel was elected Cuba’s president. In 2019, Reuters reported that “Miguel Díaz-Canel passed a law to restructure governance including creating the role of prime minister and provincial governors while retaining the one-party system.”
The government directly controls Cuban Media as the press and the broadcasting sector are state-owned through the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT). Cuba has five national television channels run by the state. For example, Cubavision International broadcasts news and culture programs internationally and is owned by the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT). Radio Reloj is a radio station that broadcasts news and is owned by the state through ICRT. The official ruling Communist Party newspaper is Granma. Another example is Juventud Rebelde — published by the Union of Young Communists. Cuba also has a state-run news agency called the Cuban News Agency (ACN).
The USA also broadcasts into Cuba through the American state-run radio and television international broadcaster Radio-TV Marti which is based in Miami. However, it is controlled by the U.S. Government through The United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and promotes U.S. national interests.
When it comes to the internet, Freedom House says in Cuba, “internet access is extremely expensive, and connections are poor. According to Reuters dated 2018, the “U.S. trade embargo has cost Cuba $130 billion, U.N. says.” Cuban telecommunications company ETECSA is owned by the Cuban government and offers internet services. However, they cite the U.S. economic embargo for its financial problems due to equipment licensed by U.S. companies.
In summary, Cuban media is controlled by the state through The Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, ICRT, which owns Radio and TV stations. Further, the Internet is also controlled by Government-owned telecommunications company ETECSA which has a monopoly, and its services are expensive due to technology owned by the USA. In general, a free press does not exist in Cuba, and its citizens are consistently exposed to propaganda from both the Cuban and US Government media.