Emboldened by protests, Cuban opposition websites pique government

July 19 (Reuters) – Years before becoming president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel pushed for greater public access to the internet at a time when it was only available to a tiny minority. He would eventually succeed in getting much of his country online.

Now, just across the Florida Straits, his opponents in Miami’s Cuban exile community are taking full advantage of Cuba’s expanded internet access.

The Cuban government has accused independent media outlets largely based in the Miami area of provoking the unprecedented, spontaneous protests that spread across Cuba a week ago.

One of the sites it singled out, ADN Cuba, slants its coverage against the government in Havana at every turn. It recently published a photograph of Diaz-Canel that was altered to look like a police mugshot. “Genocide,” it said underneath.

Its coverage of the protests has concentrated heavily on the people hurt or detained. For days, the site led with a story that the nephew of a senior Communist Party leader called on his family and the government to “lay down your weapons” and “listen to the people.” Another headline reported protesters in eastern Cuba shouted “murderer” at Deputy Prime Minister Ramiro Valdes.

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Source: Reuters, Daniel Trotta