Being a Dissident / Luis Felipe Rojas

Policemen and dissidents in the pilgrimage for the Virgin of Charity, Central Havana, September 8, 2011

Let’s suppose that there exists a country where the people could affiliate themselves to the political party which reflects their own ideals, where the government — of an opposing party — does not dedicate itself to attacking all those who think differently.

Let’s suppose that on Earth there is another country in which the act of delinquency is not punished beyond the sentence decreed by tribunals, and that the reincorporation of these individuals is not utilized as a pennant to be used each time the rulers wish to play the image of excellent social actors.

But… to be left without employment and without receiving an explanation as to why, being excluded from every social assistance plan, being singled out by the accusing fingers of neighbors, etc. These are only three of the hellish paths which Cuban dissidents are condemned to walk as soon as they step out of the line to speak the truth against those who govern.

The manipulation of ideological stubbornness can enjoy the luxury of carrying out propaganda with the social rehabilitation of citizens, only if these individuals do not challenge their political interests. The pages of national newspapers fill up with reports of young ex-convicts turned into social workers, paramedics, or repairmen. With this, they try to shine light on the kindness of the tropical socialist system, but it would be ideal if we could, in those same mediums, hear about the attacks against people who have been penalized and, in their time behind bars, have decided to support political prisoners, to join the condemnations of human rights violations and, once extinguishing the penal sentence, join the ranks of the non-violent opposition.

There are more than enough examples of those who, in jail cells, have collaborated with a dissident so that their journalistic work arrives in good hands, that a family letter or a denouncement of a beating against a prisoner of conscience goes beyond the prison walls. Sure, there have been those who have lent themselves to beat or harass a dissident in prison, but there have also been those who have defended one of those who have been sent to the dungeons just for defending universally recognized rights.

According to the communist Cuban propaganda, the internal dissidence is full of treacherous thieves. But the real corruption, the violators of so many rights, and those who embezzle the exchequer stem from the Communist Party, the revolutionary elite, and the “organizations of the masses”, but it does not matter when it comes time for the the public taunts, the assignations, and the expositions.

It is a two-faced methodology, the defining trait of a system which abhors informative transparency.

Translated by Raul G.

This article was written by Luis Felipe Rojas and published in Diario de Cuba on October 14th, 2011.