ALA and IFLAAccess to Information and Intellectual Freedom in Cuba

ALA and its 66,000 members remain committed to intellectual freedom, as it has throughout its more than 125 year history. It is a fundamental value that is near and dear to the hearts of all librarians, library workers, and library supporters.

ALA is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions ( IFLA), which represents the international community. IFLA adopted a resolution in 2001 encouraging both the Cuban government and the U.S. government to eliminate barriers to access to information in Cuba, and IFLA last spring issued statements through its Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) again calling for both countries to respect rights to freedom of speech and access to information.

The ALA Council, which is ALA’s 182 member governing body, adopted the conclusions of the ‘International Relations Committee and Intellectual Freedom Committee Report on Cuba’ on January 14, 2004 regarding to matters of access to information in Cuba.

ALA has joined IFLA in its deep concern over the 75 political dissidents who were arrested and given long prison terms in spring 2003.

ALA supports IFLA in its call for the elimination of the U.S. embargo that restricts access to information in Cuba and for lifting travel restrictions that limit professional exchanges.

ALA supports IFLA in urging the Cuban Government to eliminate obstacles to access to information imposed by its policies and support for an investigative visit by a special rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights with special attention given to freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, especially in the cases of those individuals recently imprisoned and the reasons for and conditions of their detention be fully investigated. 

The full ‘International Relations Committee, Intellectual Freedom Committee and Report on Cuba’ is linked below, along with other reports and statements from ALA and IFLA on issues of access to information and freedom of expression in Cuba.