16 December 2006

Kickoff to Kicking the Bucket

The game is afoot.
Here's the Kickoff:

El Nuevo Herald

Cuba toughens rules for journalists

With Fidel Castro's health in question, Cuba updated -- and hardened -- its restrictions on foreign correspondents working in the country.

An avalanche of foreign journalists are expected to try to enter Cuba after Castro dies, but Cuba has strict requirements on journalists' visas and their work on the island.

From all indications, once the annoucement is made the Island will be shut off from the outside world and the International press will be "guided" They are already being intimidated:

''It is obvious that the government is preparing for an imminent event that will involve a massive influx of international journalists, and it wants to make it very clear what are the ground rules and limitations,'' said a European correspondent in Havana who requested anonymity. ``This is something that can be seen in all sectors of the country.''

There's no surprise here. Once the annoucement is made, the independent journalists will not be able to get stories out because communications and power will be cut. Foriegn journalists will report what they are told and shown and that will be all.

If any celebrations or protests spring up, they will be brutally put down and nobody will know for a while until anecdotal evidence starts to slip out.

Interestingly, the government is "promoting" spontenus celebrations at the end of the year to coincide with the revolution's 48th birthday. These celebrations will be at the same time as Christmas Eve Celebrations, Noche Buena.

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