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Ethics Commission Rejects Appeal by Expelled from Radio
Holguin / 14ymedio, Mario Penton

Mario J. Penton, 14ymedio, Miami, 30 September 2016 — The National
Ethics Commission of the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC) this Thursday
ratified the expulsion of journalist Jose Ramirez Pantoja from Radio
Holguin. The ousted professional now will be able to appeal to the UPEC
Congress, which could encourage the debate currently taking place about
the role of censorship and the protection of the Communist Party over
the press.

The move comes after a long series of appeals since Ramirez Pantoja was
expelled from his job last July 11. The journalist was penalized with
removal from office for five years at the end of which he could return
to work, provided he “has an attitude that comports with UPEC’s ethics

14ymedio spoke by phone to Ramirez Pantoja who declined comment but did
not deny the ruling.

“He is being pressured a lot by the authorities. They have told him that
when he spoke with the independent press he complicated his case and in
this trial they did the opposite of what they had announced: they
treated him like dirt and affirmed an unjust sentence,” says a Holguin
source close to the journalist.

“It was no use for Arnaldo Marabal [official journalist for the daily
Giron in Matanzas] to try to ‘clean him up’ writing an interview in
which he assures that Joseito is and always will be a revolutionary.
They wanted him to pay the price in order to scare the others and so
that no one dares to speak without permission,” adds the same source.

The Holguin journalist was dismissed from his job after publishing on
his personal some controversial comments by the vice-president of
the newspaper Granma, Karina Marron, about the current economic crisis
in Cuba.

At the beginning of September, the recently elected president of the
National Ethics Commission for UPEC, Luis Sexto Sanchez, visited Holguin
in order to interview Ramirez Pantoja. After the interview and even
though different people assured him that the situation would calm down
and he would be able to return to his job, he received the ratification
of the decision at both a provincial and national level.

Before the incident with Marron, Ramirez Pantoja even had been
recognized with the highest distinction that UPEC awards, the Felix
Elmusa. On that occasion, the same authorities who today condemn him to
ostracism awarded him for fighting “from an ethical premise,” in order
to make “the truth about Cuba” known to the world and “for educating,
informing and revealing that Cuba is now free.”

Translated by Mary Lou Keel

Source: Ethics Commission Rejects Appeal by Journalist Expelled from
Radio Holguin / 14ymedio, Mario Penton – Translating Cuba –

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