José Agramonte Leyva
So who are the better independent journalists in Cuba?
They are all deserving of respect, if only because of their courage. Doing real journalism in the real Cuba can be a dangerous affair.
But to determine who the stars are, it might be helpful to consider how the dictatorship responds to their work. If the goon squad makes a point of threatening a journalist and warning him or her that if they continue with their work, they risk a long prison sentence — like those now being served by some two dozen journalists locked up in the Castro gulag — chances are that's a journalist worth reading.
The latest to fall into that category is José Agramonte Leyva, an activist/independent librarian who heads the Camagüey Free Press Agency.
A State Security official on Sunday delivered a subpoena to Agramonte and a warning that if he continues working as a journalist, he might be prosecuted under the notorious Law 88, used by the dictatorship to sentence many of its opponents to long prison terms.
Agramonte, a former political prisoner, was unimpressed.
His colleague with the press agency, Carlos Enríquez Lastre, wrote that his boss said that if he goes to prison for telling the truth, it would be a "great honor ... to be one of the many who are unjustly found in Cuban jails."