Appreciation and Cyber-invitation / Miriam Celaya

Last January 10th on the Havana Times website ( was published an interview that journalist Yusimí Rodriguez conducted at my house a few days before. I wish to acknowledge my thanks publicly to Yusimí, who not only honored me with her attention, but gave me the opportunity to appear in alternative spaces, beyond the usual platforms Desde Cuba and Voces Cubanas, the cyber-homes I dwell in with other independent bloggers the past four and three years respectively.

I would also like to attest to the veracity of everything Yusimí published in said interview. Although, for reasons of space and requirements of the website she works for, it was necessary to edit and maul the extensive recording – which she gave me a copy of, a welcome show of ethics which I admire — I must say that the interviewer adhered to the spirit of my words and nothing that was published was either untrue or a misrepresentation to any degree. It is true that, as some friends who know me have noticed, certain issues seem incomplete, hence the odd commentator at Havana Times — perhaps not very well-intentioned — accusing me of “being superficial” in my analysis, but we know that it is impossible to summarize in a short space everything concerning the complex issues of the Cuban reality, which were answered more fully in the original interview. Yusimí herself had anticipated that the final version would be a brief excerpt of what was recorded. However, the essential ideas of the answers to her questions are reflected honestly in the Havana Times published version.

I can only hope that we continue to draw closer in the future, like in this instance, citizen forums of Cuban civil society, against the grain of anyone’s ideas, tendencies or political sympathies. Who knows if other faces will begin to appear in the Razones Ciudadanas and greater diversity of authors in the digital magazines Convivencia and Voices, for example! In fact, in this sense, there are already new faces in the latter. May there be further consolidation of those contacts from the Estado de SATS meetings, and that this spirit might spread and become generalized throughout the Island to banish, once and for all, the hatred fueled by the authorities to keep alive the isolation and suspicion.

Yusimí has proven to be a brave person, and, better yet, she has decided to make her own inquiries among the “demons” of the opposition. I am pleased that in her interview, in addition to focusing on what a controversial and dissenting blogger I am, she has revealed my human side. I’m sure that, thanks to her work and the work others, ordinary Cubans will continue traveling the bridges of communication, sharing venues and weaving common interests. To my readers who have not read the interview, I invite you to enter and participate in the dialogue.

Final Note: While writing this post, on the afternoon of Sunday January 15th, 2012, I found out, through a message from my friend Dagoberto Valdés that the Ladies in White in the Pinar del Río province were subject to violence from the “repudiating” hordes, and even a two year old child was hurt, the victim of this criminal event. It is time we raise all our voices to condemn such practices and to end the government’s impunity and its repressive forces. We want no more fascism in Cuba. No to violence, to discrimination, and to exclusions of any kind.

A hug,

Translated by Norma Whiting

January 16 2012