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Twitter blocks Raúl Castro and Cuban state media accounts

The American social network Twitter Inc blocked the accounts of the head of the Communist Party of Cuba Raúl Castro and his daughter Mariela, as well as state institutions and media, a measure described by the Cuban journalists' union as "massive censorship," said on Thursday the local press.

Raul Castro

Raul Castro / Via REUTERS

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Leer en español: Twitter bloquea cuentas de Raúl Castro y medios estatales de Cuba

Dozens of Twitter accounts of Cuban journalists of state media and the Ministry of Communications were also blocked in a measure taken Wednesday night shortly before a speech by President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

The Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC) said the platform had suspended some individual accounts in the past, although they had been recovered. The Committee for the Protection of Journalists, based in New York, said that Cuba appears on the list of 10 most censored countries in the world.

"What's new here is the massive nature of this act of cyber warfare, obviously planned, which seeks to limit the freedom of expression of Cuban institutions and citizens, and silence the leaders of the Revolution," UPEC said in a statement.

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The suspension came just as President Díaz-Canel addressed the nation live on television, warning of an energy crisis suffered by the island due to sanctions imposed by the US administration of Donald Trump.

Independent journalism is tolerated, but not legally accredited, while alternative sites are blocked on the island.

Cuba, which has been one of the least connected countries in the past, has been rapidly expanding access to the web, introducing mobile internet last December. Díaz-Canel opened a Twitter account in 2018 and said it was an important channel with the international community.

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