Access to Information and Intellectual Freedom

in Cuba

ALA and its 64,000 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

ALA International Relations Committee and Intellectual Freedom Committee's Report on Cuba (Adopted by ALA Council on January 13, 2004)

IFLA’s Statement on Restriction of Internet Access in Cuba, January 16, 2004
IFLA Calls on U.S. to Allow Visits and Information to and from Cuba, June 12,2003
Intellectual Freedom in Cuba, May 8, 2003 
IFLA Resolution on U.S. and CUBA in Boston, August 24, 2001
ALA Resolution on Access to Information in Cuba's Libraries, June 20, 2001
IFLA/FAIFE Report on Free Access to Information in Cuba, July 2001
Report of visit to ACURIL XXXI and its host country, Cuba, May 23 - May 30, 2001
Protocol of Cooperation Between ALA and ASCUBI 
Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee Report on Cuban Issue, January 15, 2001


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