Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Freedom of Expression versus the Official Press

Photo of the Cuban Consulate in Barcelona, taken from Penúltimos Dias

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.

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