The Cuban Regime Calls on Recent Journalism Graduates To Move to Havana

A group of journalism students with the flag of the Faculty of Communication of the University of Havana. (Facebook/Faculty of Communication, UH)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Lucía Oliveira, Havana, January 24, 2024 — They call it the Ñico López delegation – since its members will stay there, at the Communist Party School – and it touches down this January 26 in Havana. That day the regime will gather in the capital all the new journalism graduates from the universities of Oriente, Holguín, Camagüey and Las Villas to assign them a position in the official press, where it is more noticeable every day that there is no one to fill the positions.

“It was decided that recent graduates who wished could join that contingent for Havana. It was a decision of the Cuban universities, based on a proposal from the Central Committee of the Party, appealing to proposals formulated in the XI Congress of the Union of Journalists of Cuba (Upec),” says a professor at the Central University of Las Villas, on condition of anonymity.

How voluntary the situation is, however, is not so clear. There is an order, he says, that all students graduating in 2023 reinforce the meager roster of journalists in the regime’s media in Havana.

The official press has published different calls in at least the last year that, judging by the frequency with which they are re-disseminated, are not being well received. Demotivation due to the lousy salaries in the state sector – 5,060* pesos plus “monthly stimulation payment,” Cubadebate promises – and the lack of enthusiasm for rigid media in which there is barely an inch for dissent have not helped, and the graduates themselves who will arrive in Havana on Friday make their intentions clear.

 In Havana they will give us accommodation and we will have access to more hours of electricity and a more active social life

“This opportunity is very good for me, I am from a municipality and in my area there is not much cultural life. In Havana they will give us accommodation and we will have access to more hours of electricity and a more active social life. I would like to try and see if it is possible for me to settle in better and get a part-time job or perhaps opt for the private sector once established,” says one of the graduates.

Initially, those summoned had been assigned to the local press where they live, while rumors about the transfer to Havana spread like wildfire. It was only last week when the rumors were confirmed.

“We were all a little lost. A lot was said, but nothing official. Then a list with our names and work locations in Havana was leaked; I was assigned to the Granma newspaper. I was calling the provincial PCC board and contacted by the person responsible for the process in the province, Neisi. On January 19, they officially confirmed to us that the rumors were true,” says a graduate from Holguin.

A professor in charge at the University of Oriente and consulted by 14ymedio affirms that the delay in communicating this decision does not have the slightest importance, since the majority were happy about traveling to the capital. However, she asks the big question that worries the Party and

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