HAVANA -

Cuba's first major independent general-interest news outlet in five decades has been hacked by pro-government bloggers shortly after going live.

A little more than an hour after its launch, the site 14ymedio.com was hijacked, and readers inside Cuba were directed to a page dedicated to scathing criticism of well-known Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez by well-known pro-government writers. Sanchez founded the website and her husband is the editor-in-chief.

Neither Sanchez nor Iroel Sanchez, the writer featured heavily on the critical site, immediately responded to calls or email. The Cuban government has declined comment.

Before being hacked, 14ymedio.com offered feature and news reporting, opinion, sports and even hair and beauty tips that Sanchez hoped would challenge the government monopoly on information.

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.