Fernando Damaso, 20July 2018 — At the close of the Tenth Congress of the Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC), the new President of the Councils of State and of Ministers said, “Cuban journalists deserve the indisputable credit for having sustained the voice of the nation during the most adverse circumstances and periods, with admirable loyalty, strong sense of responsibility, talent, intelligence, and contagious enthusiasm that always generates interesting proposals.”
A clarification is in order: In reality, the only voice that they have sustained has been that of the sole party and of the government, not that of the nation.
At another point in his speech, he asserted, “I understand the anger of those who are not invited to the table because they are not part of UPEC, nor of the Cuban society that won, with sacrifice and effort, the exclusive right to discuss how to design the future.”
Another clarification is in order: Who decided that to make current journalism one must be part of the officialist UPEC? Who decided that to discuss how to design the future, one must be part of the exclusive governmental civil society?
A requirement so permeated by dogmatism and intolerance, of a restrictive and sectarian character–so foreign to José Martí’s thinking of “one Republic for all and for the good of all”–is shocking in our day when information no longer is institutional and, in the case of Cuba and similar countries, governmental, before it is civic: Twitter, the iPhone, Instagram, blogs, tablets, laptops, and all the new technology, has placed in citizens’ hands the means to democratize information. The era of official and sealed information, and of one opinion, has passed, and nobody cares about it anymore.
Too bad that the supposed “new discourse” is so like the old one, which seems taken from a moth-eaten archive.
Translated By: Alicia Barraqué Ellison