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On 24 April 2019 the BBC published an article which was clearly intended to attack the Cuban revolution, while it lacked any seriousness or credibility: "Cuba's government mocked by stampede of ostrich memes". The article tries to mock the Cuban revolution with very questionable foundations. A member of the recent Rock Around The Blockade 2019 Brigade has written the following reply:

To Pascal Fletcher and the BBC:

I feel like the BBC needs to do a little bit of research before publishing articles. You have been very quick to amplify the voices of social media users - whether Cuban or not - who are critical of the government. However, you haven't offered facts or the views of "the other side". Any credible news source should show some balance and use evidence in their reporting. In fact, how about you start reporting on Brexit using memes and comments on online forums as your only source?

I have just been on a solidarity brigade to Cuba with Rock Around The Blockade, which has given me the chance to see the situation in Cuba for myself and talk to many experts. I therefore feel compelled to present you with some important facts.

You say that there are food shortages in Cuba. It is true that the illegal US blockade is costing $12 million every single day, and preventing certain types of food from arriving to the country. Nevertheless, the average daily Calorie intake in Cuba is 3258, and 86 gr of protein! These figures come from the independent National Association of Economists and Accountants of Cuba (ANEC). Maybe you want to hear what they have to say, from a position of expertise. If Cuba is looking for new sources of nutrition, it should come as no surprise since the Trump administration just announced the full implementation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. This means a tightening of the US blockade, which illegal under international law. This act could lead to a new Special Period. It would do no harm to give your audience some context.

What kind of Cuban meme stampede comes from a few Facebook accounts based in Florida and one Twitter user from Uruguay? You only need to click on the profiles of the posts you show on your article to see where they live. Social media platforms, including Facebook, are accessible from Cuba - could it be that you are deliberately giving a distorted image of public opinion in Cuba? And could you say some more about Cubadebate (which is NOT government-owned)? Could it be that there is freedom of expression on open platforms in Cuba?

Rock Around The Blockade