After the Odyssey required to connect to the Internet, you have four or five proxies to avoid the censorship imposed by the government, having given up on Skype some months ago and navigating literally against the current (50kb a second maximum); then you find yourself looking at screens like that posted here which is quite disappointing.
That is why the lifting of some of the sanctions imposed on Cuba, Iran and Sudan to ease citizens’ access to the Web – as announced by the U.S. Department of State – turns out to be, in my opinion, essential. The voice of the people, not that of governments, is struggling to open up the Web: the Internet is the place for those with scarce freedoms of expression or of the press.
There is also the issue of the justifications: in Cuban there is no Internet because of the blockade. Why give the State this alibi? I am convinced that every sanction imposed on Cuba is a weapon used to justify the lack of freedoms for the people. Access to information is a danger to the Cuban government; restricting it simplifies their work and lessens the small sources of freedom for the Cubans.
On this island there is no Internet because the government fears it, as proven by the multiple sites they block, the difficulties of access and the information police. Any gesture that helps to cover up this sad reality, I believe, makes no sense. In any event, time will tell if my skepticism is valid, as we will have the cable from Venezuela, in which I can’t help but find a certain mythological analogy to Ariadne’s thread, which saved her from the claws of the Minotaur.
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.