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Cuba replaces top editor at Communist Party newspaper


Cuba has replaced the editor of the Communist Party newspaper Granma, it said Wednesday, signaling possible changes in the island's hidebound state media.

Granma said Lazaro Barredo, 65, who was considered a rigid proponent of communist orthodoxy during his eight years as editor, was replaced by Pelayo Terry, 47, the editor of Juventud Rebelde, the mouthpiece of the Communist Youth.

The brief front page announcement gave no reason for the change at the top of the influential newspaper.

But it comes two months after Cuba's new number two, Miguel Diaz-Canel, called for a new press model in keeping with "the current demands of our development" and "of our society."

The Cuban press has been criticized by no less a figure than President Raul Castro as "triumphalist" and "apologetic."

Pro-regime intellectuals and artists, like singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, also have called for a renewal of the Cuban media.

Granma said Terry is a former war correspondent in Ethiopia who "has occupied different leadership positions" in the state-run media.

He was replaced at Juventud Rebelde by his deputy, Marina Menendez.

The state media includes two newspapers and a weekly that circulate nationally, a dozen provincial newspapers, a handful of magazines, five television networks and 60 radio stations -- all under the supervision of the Communist Party's Ideology Department.

Granma tends to devote a good part of its eight pages to touting the country's successes in various fields, including long accounts of the revolutionary struggle in the 1950s and official communiques.

Many Cubans criticize not only Granma but also state television and radio broadcasts as carrying little news of interests.

And international human rights and media organizations routinely decry the lack of free expression in Cuba, a one-party state where all opposition to the government is illegal.