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Cuba refuses free speech to citizens

The Cuban government has decided to dismiss recommendations from the United Nations in regard to the rights of free expression for the country's citizens.

Cuba is currently the America's only communist country and as such, the government has control of all news media outlets. While some minor economic reforms have occurred in the country, human and social rights have gone relatively unacknowledged. Free expression is the key to a properly functioning democracy, but unfortunately these measures have not been acknowledged throughout the country.

Cuban musician comes under fire
One of the most recent incidents comes following a recent comment from Cuban jazz musician Roberto Carcasses during a live televised concert, according to the Global Post. During his performance, the musician changed on the lyrics in his songs to comment on the need for citizens to be able to voted directly in presidential elections, which at the moment is not how the country's political system works.

The impromptu statement went relatively unnoticed at the concert, however, it generated a lot of traction on social media after the fact. Following the statement, the Cuban government banned Carcasses indefinitely from all institutions that were ruled by the country's Culture Ministry.

Rejecting U.N. proposals
This news comes as the government recently refused to follow through with recommendations from the U.N. regarding the extension of free expression rights to its citizens, according to the Journalism in the Americas, which is affiliated with the University of Texas.

The news source explains that the U.N.'s Universal Periodic Review is an evaluation of the state of human rights in various countries throughout the world. Among the recommendations that were rejected include making sure that independent journalists could freely publish without being victim to intimidation or detention and allowing the greater public to access information made available by the internet.

Ranking poorly in internet freedom
This news comes as a recent report by Freedom House on the state of internet freedom indicates that Cuba is "not free" when it comes to citizen's access to the web, according to the Miami Herald.

The country received a ranking of 86 out of 100 with 0 being the best score that one could receive. This puts country on par with China, Vietnam, Syria, Ethiopia and Belarus when it comes to Internet access.

The source attributes this rating to the high cost of internet in the country, slow connectivity and strict regulation by the government resulting in limited access to many applications.

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