Cuban Faces 2017: Karla Perez Gonzalez, Student

Karla Pérez González

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2017 — When it was confirmed that Karla Pérez González (b. 1998, Cienfuegos) had earned the right to be trained as a journalist at Marta Abreu de Las Villas Central University, she had the illusion that she could remove the foundations of stagnant Cuban journalism. The young woman promised herself that she would not be intimidated and would do what was expected of an honest communicator: to tell the truth at any price.

However, Pérez González was not even able to complete the first year of her course. One star-crossed Wednesday they called her on the phone to notify her that she had been expelled from the university because they had discovered that she was publishing on sites critical of the Cuban government, and had contacts with the Somos+ (We Are More) Movement.

Then, a stream of public accusations rained down upon the young woman, including epithets such as “enemy,” and a collective intimidation of her classmates was unleashed. Instead of appealing the sentence of her expulsion, she decided to write a letter to the Minister of Higher Education but never got a response.

They accused her of manipulating her classmates and of having a strategy from the beginning of the course to subvert other young people. Overnight, and at the mere age of 18, she was turned into a monster, an enemy of the homeland, someone who had to be destroyed.

Now she is studying journalism at the Latin University of Costa Rica and working on the newspaper El Mundo in that Central American country. She insists that she will return to Cuba and put her knowledge at the service of the press within the Island.


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