Antennas and the Ears of the Gods / Rosa Maria Rodriguez

It is not my invention, it was on Cuban TV where they announce the creation of national social network called “The Clothesline,” for domestic users. Do you think they’re finally respecting our rights to have Internet? Hopefully! But in any event it wouldn’t be a “half respect” nor even a half measure of respect, but the total lack of it, for them to limit or prohibit our access to sites like Twitter and Facebook to constrain our social, virtual and mental frontiers.

To force us to interact entirely within the country is a violation of a fundamental human right and also, ironically, almost like inviting us to a prison to take part in a conference about the freedom that will be offered to someone condemned to 55 years in jail.

A friend — the very best of friends — and reader called me on the phone to tell me about Cuban social mesh. She noted the coincidence with a writing of mine that she couldn’t remember the title of, but she did remember the metaphor.  I remembered it too, but I had no idea of the approximate date nor the context in which I used it.  Later I hunted for more information and was able to recall it.  I put the noun “clothesline” in the XML code I keep the blog in and it appeared in the post SOS: The Weapon of the Word, which I published on 16 August 2011.

In the third paragraph of the text I stated: “But here we are and will be as long as God allows it.  I will continue using the clothesline — in the original text it’s not in bold — of WordPress to hang my opinions without letting myself be intimidated by those who come along with their shears, cutting freedoms to feed despotism.”

Coincidence or inspiration?  Don’t know if an official “liked it” and borrowed the term, like Aida says.  If that is what happened, I think it’s a real shame that they don’t have the same ’ears’ when it comes to paying attention to the multiple political and economic proposals that we, the opposition, have been working on throughout the years; proposals whose implementation would help untie the knots of many of the problems which, as a country and as a nation, we suffer.

However, I invite them to continue visiting the websites of the political organizations — illegal according to the dictatorships — and the blogosphere of the emerging alternative civil society, and which there are many talented people who have spent decades offering antidotes and paths in an endless stream, preventive and therapeutic solutions and ideas.

Let’s drink from our own source in a respectful, participative and diverse dialog, including the range of cultural identities.  No matter what the discriminating historic leaders say, we still have more, “much more to give!

27 October 2013