Television and cinema lag behind other Cuba reforms

cine-trHavana  April 19 (AFP)  Cuban television and cinema are lagging behind other industries that have seen recent reform on the communist island, a writers’ and artists’ group wrote in a report published on Friday. The study released by Cuba’s Commission on Culture and Media urged the Havana government to create television and film programming not under government control, among other proposed reforms. “Cuba’s television system is urged to make structural and productive changes, in keeping with the current reality in the rest of the country,” said the report, published after a recent gathering of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists, known by its Spanish acronym UNEAC. The film and television industries currently are plagued by problems that have gotten worse over time, including “a shortage of funding, poor leadership, disorganization and a lack of discipline.” There currently are five national television channels available in Cuba, many fewer than most other countries. The paucity of choice is “a far cry from the cultural, information and entertainment offerings needed for our people,” the report said. Recent Cuban economic reforms have opened up many businesses to private enterprise on the island, although the Havana government still controls 90 percent of the economy.