Criticism Can Be a Crime (I)

Juan, one of the commentators of this site, is worried. He wants to know what would happen to him if they discovered that it was he who sent a “Down with Fidel” email to Granma, knowing that it is a crime in Cuba. He also asked about the risks involved in having a blog that criticizes the current prevailing system in the country.

We part on one point: I do not incite destruction of the “socialist state.” I do not do propagandize for war nor incite violence. I limit myself to opinions about the reality I live. I am aware that they can enforce the law against me and of the risks of going to jail. I assume my responsibility for this.

If a commentator outside of Cuba is afraid, what fate remains for me? My location and identification is very easy for the authorities. I give my name, address, telephone number, and I show my face. The only thing I haven’t given is my identity number. Here it is: 80060403759.

I’m not trying to be a martyr, I don’t want to be a hero. I want a future, to make plans, to have opportunities. I love peace and I have never taken up arms. I want to decide for myself what is good or bad for me. I simply exercise the rights that are recognized worldwide for all human beings.

Rights that the State has the obligation to respect and protect. No political group has the power to restrict or violate them, except in extreme situations, yet we have borne these conditions for over 50 years.

Yes I’m afraid; for this reason I say what I feel and think publicly. We have kept silent for too long out of fear of repression, prolonging its effects. But the result is the same whether you stay silent, whisper, or speak: they still control you, suffocate you, deceive you. It is time that we all lose the fear and speak the truth head-on.

Translated by: Tomás A.