Longtime editors out at Cuban Catholic magazine

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HAVANA (AP) — The top two editors of the Cuban Roman Catholic Church's influential magazine Espacio Laical are no longer working for what is one of the few independent media outlets on the island, the publication and one of the editors said Wednesday.

Espacio Laical is a rare local source of news and commentary that is not controlled by the government or the Communist Party, and in recent years it has published a number of articles with tough analyses of President Raul Castro's economic and social reforms.

A statement from the magazine said editor Roberto Veiga and co-editor Lenier Gonzalez submitted their resignation May 2, but it was only recently accepted.

"Espacio Laical will continue forward with a new team," said the statement, signed by magazine director Gustavo Andujar. "It will have its defenders and detractors, just like now, though criticisms and praise will not necessarily have the same content or come from the same groups as now."

Gonzalez confirmed to The Associated Press that the two had resigned. He did not offer details, but said they intended to issue a letter with more information.

Word of their departure appeared previously on Cuban exile websites that suggested the two had been dismissed.

Veiga and Gonzalez had been at the editorial helm of Espacio Laical for about a decade and began to take on more influence in recent years as Castro began the reforms.

The publication, which has both a print and a digital edition, is unusual in Cuba for publishing articles both by academics sympathetic to the government and by others who criticize it. Authors include respected voices from both inside and outside the country.

Espacio Laical also organized debates of current affairs and conferences that brought together government supporters and dissidents.

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Andrea Rodriguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP

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