Cuban V.P. says controlling the news is an illusion

Havana, May 6 (EFE).- Cuba's vice president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, says that any attempt to silence the vast flow of news over today's technologies is an "impossible illusion" and instead urged discussion and debate, state television said Monday.

"The news today comes from all sides, good and bad, manipulated and truthful, it circulates over the (online) networks, it gets to everyone, people know all about it. So what is the worst possible choice? Silence," he said at the closure of a professional educators' seminar.

With the development of information technology, or IT, "censoring something is an almost impossible illusion. It makes no sense," Diaz-Canel said.

Faced with such a diversity of sources, the vice president called for dialogue, discussion and debate to separate truth from lies and to distinguish what "is favorable for the Cuban Revolution from what is unfavorable."

At the meeting of professional educators, Diaz-Canel asked everyone to forget about dialogue in form only and get down to a real debate, principally in the classroom.

The 52-year-old, who was named principal vice president in February, had spoken previously about the state of the press in Cuba - totally controlled by the state - when he admitted that the sector had its "limitations" and that work was needed to perfect the media.

In recent times, President Raul Castro has asked for "the suppression of excessive secrecy," that Cuban media scuttle their triumphalist habits, and has urged them to play a decisive role in the "objective, constant and critical" dissemination of facts about his government's plan of economic adjustments for the nation.