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.