CBS reporter Portia Siegelbaum chats with UCF Study Abroad Cuba students about her experience as a journalist in Cuba.

Traveling to Cuba for study abroad, a few UCF students were able to meet with a CBS affiliate living in Cuba. The study abroad program was for students and faculty to learn, experience, film/interview Cuban artists and dancers about Cuba's culture. 

Portia Siegelbaum is a CBS news chief producer. Siegelbaum reports, writes, and sets up interviews.

Siegelbaum has been in Cuba, full-time, since 2004. She covers breaking news and feeds it back to CBS in New York.

When asked what led her to Cuba, Siegelbaum said, “sex and romance."

She met her husband in Cuba and they’ve been married for 40 years.

“The hardest part is getting official interviews and hard to get officials to get on record,” said Siegelbaum.

However, she said communication is getting easier and that she never felt limited.  She said she doesn’t need permission nor does she need to show her content to Cuban officials.

“Edit and feed,” said Siegelbaum. 

She said CBS doesn’t want an article about the obvious negative and it’s not the job of the press to find solutions.

Moving forward, Siegelbaum said there’s a new generation of Cuban journalists transforming journalism in Cuba.

“New cuban journalists, open, raising issues, talking about the problems, and using Youtube,” said Siegelbaum.

Prior to meeting the University of Cienfuegos students, she talked about the Cuban people.

“Cubans are outspoken. Say what they think. Much like Americans, it’s a question of the economy. Cubans are highly educated compare themselves to Miami, Spain, and New York, ” said Siegelbaum.

She said Cubans aspirations are larger than what they have. 

“Cuba is fascinating, the country is different, trying to reduce inequalities, maintain culture,” said Siegelbaum.

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