‘Let Them Lock Me Up if That Will Make Them Happy,’ Writes One of the Editors of ‘La Joven Cuba’

On Monday, Jorge Fernández Era did not show up for the summons after claiming its nullity. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 31 January 2023 — Jorge Fernández Era, a writer and collaborator of the digital magazine La Joven Cuba summoned to an “interview” with State Security on Monday in Havana, presented a claim that it was null for violating the Criminal Procedures Law and did not attend the meeting.

The editor took the same route as professor Alina Bárbara López Hernández, a coordinator at the same publication with whom the Prosecutor in Matanzas sided in a similar situation last October.

Yesterday Fernández Era shared on his Facebook profile the verbal clash he had last Friday with First Lieutenant Manuel Fernández García, who from the street called him down to the ground floor of the building where he lives in Santos Suárez (Havana) when he had just finished the humor column he publishes in La Joven Cuba on Sundays. The First Lieutenant informed him that he was now the one who “attends” to the publication.

“He handed me a little paper, so sloppy one number was written over the other with a certain air of, ’just use that one, there are no models to follow’,” said the journalist about the moment the official handed him the summons for Monday. Fernández confirmed that the date as well as the time are clear, but disagreed about place for the meeting, as it is a different municipality from where he lives (Plaza de la Revolución).

“That has nothing to do with anything,” responded the agent. “You say so, and as a citizen I have the right to doubt,” replied Fernández who noted how his observation made the lieutenant uncomfortable.

The collaborator explained that the official reminded him that he should not be inspired by the case of Alina Bárbara López Hernández, warning him that “Matanzas is not Havana” and assured him that in that case, laws were broken. “And how many have been prosecuted for that?” replied Fernández, according to his own account, highlighting the lack of sense of humor with which the lieutenant took his comments.

On Monday, the writer went to the Prosecutor in Havana to present a claim requesting the nullity of the summons and announced that he would not go of his own accord to the office on Zapata and C to be interrogated. “The transportation is already pretty bad,” he joked.

Fernández asked himself why, if the Revolution is backed by most elite intellectuals, can’t they sit and have a civilized discussion with the “confused” and “wayward” in a place more suitable than a police station. “How could they refer to it as a battle ’of ideas’ if they do not include everyone who possesses them, but only those who say ‘yes because yes’, ‘yes but no’ and ‘yes because if I say no. . .’?” he bemoaned.

The writer also reproached that there is a presumed press worthy of calling itself revolutionary if it never questions the politics of the government “that decides the destiny, dreams, and personal and collective accomplishments.” Fernández also requested that they acuse La Joven Cuba’s collaborators of whatever they want, but at least, “have the decency and the courage to publish without deletions any one of our articles.”

Lastly, in his allegations of Monday morning, the collaborator stated ironically that his style of writing is sarcasm. “What fault is it of mine that I was born in a such a fun country, and with such sympathetic leaders? Let them summon me, arrest me, handcuff me, interrogate me, let them lock me up if that will make them happy. The difficult part will be to mutilate my freedom to laugh at the joke that I will keep silent.”

Hours later, the writer returned to social media to calm the many people who worried about his situation and shared that no one had bothered him since he posted the claim, although he is now awaiting the decision of the Prosecutor, who has 60 days to decide.

Fernández who thanked those who have supported him during these tense days, hopes to enjoy the same luck as the professor and joked about the alternatives in case he is unsuccessful in his claim. There’s always the option to move to the Athens of Cuba, where, judging by his declaration, laws are blatantly broken and summons are not what they once were. Who knows? The peanut vendors might have even declared independence from the rest of the national territory.”

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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