HAVANA — Cuba’s first major independent general-interest news outlet in five decades was hacked Wednesday shortly after being launched by the country’s best-known dissident blogger.
A little more than an hour after its launch, the site www.14ymedio.com was directing readers inside Cuba to a page dedicated to scathing criticism of blogger Yoani Sanchez by well-known pro-government writers. Access outside Cuba appeared to be unimpeded.
Sanchez accused the Cuban government of using its control of the country’s Internet to divert readers to the critical site.
‘‘Bad strategy by the Cuban government to redirect our site from Cuba,’’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘‘There’s nothing more attractive than the forbidden.’’
The government has made no official comment on Sanchez’s site, though it considers all dissidents to be mercenaries paid by Washington to stir up trouble.
M.H. Lagarde, a Cuban blogger who has frequently written critically of Sanchez and in favor of government policy, said the critical site, www.yoanislandia.com, had existed for some time but he didn’t know who ran it. He said an article of his on the site was used without asking his permission. Other writers whose articles appeared on the site did not immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Before being hacked, www.14ymedio.com offered feature and news reporting, opinion, sports, and even hair and beauty tips that Yoani Sanchez hoped would challenge the monopoly on information by the government. The site was seen as testing both government tolerance for dissent and Sanchez’s ability to parlay her international blogging success into a wider domestic audience.
It went live just after 8 a.m. Havana time with offerings including reporting with a critical slant toward the government.