Watch: Independent Media in Cuba

Two years ago, in July 2021, Cubans demonstrated across the country for better living conditions and civil liberties—the largest nationwide demonstrations against the government in decades. The Cuban government responded violently and continues to crack down on independent media and criticism of the state today.

Normando Hernández González, an independent journalist jailed by the Cuban state from 2003-2010 and director general of the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and the Press (ICLEP), speaks about the need to continue to amplify Cubans’ voices and stand up for their rights and freedoms.

“Freedom of expression and democracy are two inseparable realities,” said Hernández. “When one is affected, the other is hurt too. And I think that the more voices we give to Cubans, the more knowledge we give Cubans, the more space we win inside Cuba and outside Cuba.”

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT Human Rights in Cuba, Check out These NED PUBLICATIONS and Events:


In a time of rising authoritarianism and democratic backsliding in many countries, NED’s partners around the world are facing many challenges. Some of the challenges are new, such as the rise of digital repression and the use of new technologies to silence and monitor critics. At the same time, other urgent issues and crises such as human rights violations, declining press freedom, and transnational corruption can get lost in the shuffle. To call attention to these new and resurgent threats, NED launched a video series—Democracy in the World—to highlight the most pressing challenges to democratic development, human rights, and governance today. Watch the full series here.