For some time I’d kept an image from Google.com.cu (which opens from Cuba), without gmail; and Google.es (which I struggle to open when I connect, literally sailing against the current) with gmail and many other things (especially in the search engines). For weeks we still don’t have MSN, and a friend warned me that I might have to leave Facebook, because in the new declaration of rights and responsibilities for Facebook it says that:
4.3 You cannot use Facebook if you’re in a country under the embargo of the United States that forms part of the SDN (Specially Designated Nationals) list of the Treasury Department of the United States.
10. One World Facebook service must pass national and geographic barriers and be available to the whole world.
It’s unfortunate that it facilitates in this way the work of the Cuban government, and unfortunately not only the Cuban government but other governments in the world which, like Cuba’s, maintain their power at the cost of censorship and lack of freedoms for their citizens, that flaunt certain social achievements like flags to hide the true repressive and corrupt character of their regimes.
I maintain communication with a friend who lives in China; in recent weeks their emails are flooded with phrases such as: “I cannot enter because it’s blocked,” “Do you have a proxy to send me?” and even a surprising, “the connection often drops me.” I decided to do an interview to better understand how censorship works, which is the same in these two worlds so far apart and in a sense so similar. The interview will be anonymous to protect the safety of my friend, and will be published in the next entry.
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.