Home > Miguel Iturria Savón > A Story of Spring

A Story of Spring

Although Raul Castro’s government seems to move the domino through the Catholic Church, the Cuban authorities’ crackdown against alleged international media campaign looks more like a spring story to attract tourists than an ideological campaign against lurking enemies. As the architects of the onslaught take as a starting point the internal vertical structure, they would like us to believe that the world works in a way similar to the island press, accustomed to sweetening the pill of socialism by implementing the directives received from a central power.

Following this logic, any information about Cuba that is not apologetic, is classified as interference in internal affairs. So the news agencies, governments, parliaments, political parties and civic entities that criticize the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo and the repression against the Ladies in White, did not happen by their own free will but through the orders of and in response to payments from a mysterious office of the United States government.

It is not for reasons of State, but rather a pretext of the old men who rule the island, who forget that the world is interconnected and that new technologies democratize information. Repression has its political costs and impunity its limits. To monopolize the press the Cuban regime ignores or manipulates the internal events, but it can not prevent external repercussions.

The stories told by our media not only ignore the unemployment figures and the problems faced by schools and hospitals in the country, but let slip by political police agents’ dogged pursuit of human rights defenders, whom they sometimes mention in a disparaging tone.

Among the omitted news stories, for example, are the causes of widespread corruption, the arbitrary detention of peaceful opponents, beatings and suicides in prisons, the massive foreign debt owed by the government, the exodus of 2,000 physicians who moved from Venezuela to the United States, and the scheming of Cubans who travel to Ecuador, where thousands contract marriages so they won’t have to return to the island.

The government press reported no complaints filed by relatives of inmates with the Attorney General, the Supreme Court or the Ministry of Interior. Nor do they report on the health of hunger striker Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, who, since February 24, has been demanding the release of 26 political prisoners who are ill. Employees of our media did not interview any of the people who abstained from attending the People’s Power local elections.

But the list of exclusions is partially offset by foreign correspondents in Havana, mostly by alternative bloggers and independent journalists. As they write without permission they touch on prohibited subjects and break the information web woven through the press, radio and television, by the censors of the Communist Party’s Ideological Department.

More than a conspiracy to “discredit the Revolution and socialism,” there is a great deal of smoke, tantrums, and little summer stories through the tedious counteroffensive against the supposed international media campaign.

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