Juventud Rebelde a paper for the youth

«... a paper devoted mainly to youth, with things of interest to young people, but that must try to be a quality newspaper whose content could be interesting to all kinds of readers.»

October 21, 1965

Fidel en una tribuna dando un discurso
On October 21, 1965, Fidel announces the establishment of Juventud Rebelde

On October 21, 1965 —at the conclusion of activities celebrating the fifth anniversary of the merging of organizations which constituted the Cuban youth movement, and at the opening of the First National Sports Games— President Fidel Castro announced the birth of a new paper whose historical antecedents were Mella magazine and the Diario de la Tarde, This newly born publication had to assimilate and continue the staunch and exemplary traditions of the Cuban young people’s press.

On that memorable day at the Pedro Marrero stadium, Fidel spoke to UJC (Young Communist League) militants from the western provinces and the name Juventud Rebelde (JR) became a symbiosis of the names proposed. It was democratically and unanimously approved. Since then, its pages have featured the most significant events in Cuba and abroad.

Portada del primer número de JR
Front page of the first issue of JR, dated October 22, 1965

The first issue appeared on October 22, 1965. With 16 tabloid-sized pages, it was printed in three colors (red, blue and black). It retained that format for three months, until January 14, 1966, when the 65,000 copies of the first issue were reduced to 45,000. One month later, the issue took on a bigger format, and increased to 80,000 copies. At the time, JR circulated as an evening paper in the capital and a morning paper throughout the rest of the island.

During that time, JR had a large number of editors, designers, and artists who worked along with the team from Pionero, a publication located in the same building. This made possible the edition of supplements as El Sable (a humoristic and critical art publication which first came out on November 15, 1965) and El Caimán Barbudo (a cultural publication which debuted in January 1966). The latter became an independent publication. The humoristic supplement La Chicharra replaced El Sable for a short time, and on February 25, 1966, Dedeté began to be edited by a group of humorists trained by JR.

During the first month of 1968, intense presswork finally started on the two issues: one for Havana (in the evening) and the other which was circulated across the country (in the morning).

In addition, Juventud Rebelde published several special issues, such as the one for the seventh anniversary of the merger of the Cuban youth movement’s organizations (with that edition using four colors starting October 1967); the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games; the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students (with 48 pages in four colors); etc

On June 1st, 1969, JR stopped being published on Saturdays so as to circulate on Sundays as a morning paper for the entire country, thus the Sunday edition of Juventud Rebelde was created.

In 1969, JR established the National Correspondents School, which began with 18 students (four of them from Havana and the rest from other provinces).

JR also continued the circulation of the Boletín Telex, which contained useful information for young correspondents throughout the Island.

Our weekly issue staff designed and produced the first copies of Hasta la Victoria Siempre newspaper, from the Isle of Youth.

On March 1st, 1972, JR began publishing three issues daily: one for Havana, another for the provinces called Camaguey and Oriente at that time, and the third for the rest of the country. During that same year, on December 1, a fourth issue was created. It circulated from Tuesday to Saturday and was devoted to students from Havana and those in the ESBECs (a type of rural school) on the Isle of Youth.

On January 11, 1987, Juventud Rebelde began being produced using off-set printing at the Granma Printing Complex. After an interlude of 22 years, it once again came out as a tabloid, this time using an A-3 format.

Between 1987 and 1990, JR periodically issued supplements, such as Teleguía (TV section), LPV (sports), Permiso (culture) and CT-21 (science and technology).


In September 1990, because of the constraints resulting during the “Special Period” (the economic crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and other of the nation’s trading partners) JR became a weekly publication. It was the only paper circulating on Sundays in the entire country. On its last page, it added a humor section, called DDT. Two years later, in 1992, JR was obtained the capacity for using electronic mail, enabling it to reach the entire world.

On December 22, 1996, the first copy of Juventud Rebelde appeared with complete digital images and was printed by laser. This made it possible to instantaneously transmit work to the printing complexes in other provinces (Villa Clara’s at first and later Holguin).

On January 30, 1994, JR’s publishing house began publishing Opciones – a financial, commercial and tourist weekly that became the first Cuban publication devoted particularly to businesspeople interested in investment opportunities in the country, to national entrepreneurs, and to the accredited diplomatic sector.

From the economic point of view, the weekly Opciones publication generates hard currency which covers some of the expenses of its parent company, JR.

In March 1993, JR created Rebelde en Rebelde, a radio program that airs every Sunday from 9 am to 12 noon on Radio Rebelde, a major Cuban broadcasting station. This radio program coincides with the circulation of the two weeklies. For three hours, the program’s hosts and JR journalists who wrote the most important works of the week analyze and discuss them with special guests, adding many anecdotes about theses stories’ origins and meaning.

Juventud Rebelde also forms a part of the network of newspapers that monthly reproduce the work by Iberian-American authors so as to expand access to masses of people. This is a project that was supported by UNESCO and the Fund for Mexican Culture.

Since July 4, 1997, Juventud Rebelde began to circulate on the Internet in its digital edition, as did Opciones somewhat later. Our mission is to produce a daily digital edition of Juventud Rebelde that can demonstrate to the world the truth about Cuba that many media outlets try to silence.

Currently, the editor manages a staff of some 160 workers that includes top-ranking professional journalists, photographers, humorists, and sketch artists. For reviewing and analyzing information, there are works teams that make up the International, Sports, Culture and National News departments. There is also a documentation department (that includes archives, translation and research) plus photography, sketch art, humor, copy-editing and composition sections. JR is supplied with foreign affairs information from 10 international agencies and one national association. We also have correspondents in all 14 Cuban provinces.

Our publishing house, which occasionally coordinates its editorial work with other prestigious institutions outside the country, is located at:

Calle Territorial y General Suárez,
Plaza de la Revolución,
Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.
Zona Postal: La Habana 6
Zip Code: 10698
Phones: (537)882-0155; 882-0346; 882-0789
Fax: (537) 33-8959
E-mail: cida@jrebelde.cip.cu

Internet: http://www.juventudrebelde.co.cu

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