I recently translated for my own use an interview the French newspaper Le Temps did with Michael Parmly. I was interested, most of all, in making available the opinion of the man who had signed almost all the cables sent from the United States Interest Section in Havana that have been leaked to Wikileaks. We are all running after those cables. Even the Roundtable TV show aired a documentary about Julian Assange and the “Wikileaks” phenomenon. The controversy is huge and I confess, to my regret, that my view on the subject is still percolating. Thus, I haven’t written about it, but seeing that time is passing and I’m not on the verge of offering a specific opinion, I will throw myself, as we say here, on the moving bus and write a post full of doubts -- and hopes as well, of course.
I understand well Michael Parmly’s apprehensions, the concerns of the former section head that his sources will be identified. I’m also quite anxious about it. When I read the cables on the internal dissidence and can identify, despite the X's, the names alluded to, I know that Cuban State Security also recognizes them. Unfortunately these are not the names of Cuban government officials, but of simple Cuban citizens who dare to challenge a system that accepts no criticism or opposition. Undoubtedly the cables where representatives of civil society can be recognized pose a threat to the freedom and work of these people. For my part, I refuse to classify this risk as “minor damage” as some friends call it. I think that Wikileaks has a duty to perfect its editing work to guarantee sources the protection they deserve.
However, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. When other friends tell me that Julian Assange and his team are not journalists, it demonstrates that the concept of “journalism” is becoming obsolete faced with new technologies. Wikileaks came to prove to us that the right to information is not merely Utopian, and undoubtedly establishes a basis both for diplomacy and for the traditional information media. It seems to me that it makes little sense to deny the reality: Wikileaks exists. We have to live with it and learn from it. It is, in fact, the citizen power I aspire to: I have the right to know what the politicians over my head are planning to do with my future.
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.