I’ve read the post, “Ideas and the media” published by Karel Pérez Alejo in Bloggers Cuba, and I venture to give my humble and slightly radical (if I can put an adverb with an adjective) opinion on a taboo (?!) subject: Censorship.
I don’t like to give solutions because I believe that’s for the politicians, sociologists and specialists, but those within the national territory don’t seem to be well informed, as is well argued in the post; so I will put here what I believe will be solutions, which good, bad or in between, are not censored.
I see and note that journalists and the official organs of the press shit and piss themselves daily in the news, as Porno Para Ricardo says in its song The Journalists. I believe that the creation of an independent press is urgent, independent of the State and one whose journalists would have the free right of assembly and association, i.e., they may have their independent union, meet and organize at will and, of course, can print their newspapers and magazines to meet national demand. In this way, the journalists would not be forced to embellish their news and would be protected by a union that would defend their rights. Incidentally, we could also have an independent television channel that operates outside the ICAIC and the ICRT. In 1979, a Nobel-prize winning Polish poet had just published a clandestine editorial: Nova. And in the year 1981 the newspaper Solidarity was already circulating freely in Poland while Serbia had independent television.
If the artists no longer feel represented by the institutions (UNEAC, ICAIC, ICRT, National Council of Plastic Arts, or whatever), then they could also meet on their own and have their own organizations. If we are all so tired of being censored over and over again by the same organs of power, wouldn’t it be smarter to dispense with them and create our own? If the Cuba Gazette does not publish news that is important to artists and writers, rather than arguing with them about this omission, we could publish the news in another magazine, of equal literary quality, independent of the Gazette and from the Institute of the Book and of any other government link, because artists should feel completely free in their work and the dissemination of it.
Because these rights have to apply equally to the whole Cuban people, people who dissent from the current political party would have the right to freely organize and they would recognize different political parties. These politicians would, of course, have their campaigns and propose their ideas. The press could, at the same time, cover their activities but also denounce the abuses, illegalities and lies that they discovered at the different levels of society, including the governmental, or course.
In my little world, surrounded by water, socialism lives without freedom of the press or of expression, there is no respect for citizens’ elemental human rights, the corruption of the government and its institutions is through the roof, there are no elections, there is no right to dissent or criticize, there is a great deal of poverty, many social ills and much demoralization. For this reason and others: I don’t like socialism.
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.