In Cuba You’re an Agent or a Criminal / Angel Santiesteban

For fifty years the Cuban government, scripted by Fidel Castro, has decided to convert Cubans into heroes or traitors, according to its own convenience.

All those who left during the Mariel Boatlift were “scum and worms,” notwithstanding that they had committed no crimes or were doctors or engineers.

When General Del Pino took a small plane to flee to the north, in his television interview Fidel Castro, to discredit the high official, going at him from his machismo, exposed that the General’s son, also a soldier, was a homosexual.

I remember that through the national press they constructed a problematic past as an abuser for Guillermo Fariñas with the intent to create a criminal persona for him. With regards to the writer Raúl Rivero, when they wanted to commit abuses against him, they discredited him by manipulating his personal life.

The same thing happened with Orlando Zapata, with the regime’s version being that he was a criminal with no ideology manipulated by the opposition.

And with the Ladies in White something similar happened: they are catalogues by the Cuban government as scoundrels and mercenaries running after money from the United States Interest Section.

Apparently this is the oldest and the recourse most used by the system in these fifty years of social injustice. If is the technique of discrediting, through a media show, and voice that is exalted beyond the permissible limits of the game. The Government does not pardon the opposition and attacks, with all the means at its disposal, to stifle any attempt at freedom.

Recently we’ve seen they have killed Juan Wilfredo Soto, a born fighter since his teens. His family, terrified, has declared there were no signs of a beating on his body. A niece said the opposite. Some witnesses asserted that they saw the brutal beating. Others just claimed that Juan Wilfredo was led across the red carpet laid out by the cops, into a police car where they gave him a cup of coffee and a full body massage.

A neighbor of Juan Wilfredo Soto’s family telephoned me to say they the sister of the deceased was justified, saying that “If they tell the truth they won’t come back alive.” The niece and her husband came to the conclusion that, “He died as he’d always wanted, fighting in opposition; it makes no sense for them to commit suicide by telling the truth if they are young and want to live. They are aware of what could happen to them if they contradict the official version.”

On listening to the news from the neighbor I just smiled. I don’t need a telephone call to confirm what I already knew. There are so many repetitions, a script written in the first years that they came to power which they know by heart.

When freedom comes, each one will have his place.

May 17 2011