14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, Havana, 18 April 2022 — She entered and took a seat on one of the wooden benches of the Municipal Court of Playa where, that August 2008, the musician Gorki Águila was being tried. The large hall was packed. There were bloggers, dissidents and activists; but also agents of the political police and official journalists. Shortly after, Maray Suárez delivered a report on Cuban television, speaking out against the rocker and his friends. She now lives in Miami.
Since that time in Cuba, the reporter began to gain space on the small screen and in August 2013, with the launching of the program Cuba Dice (Cuba Says), she became one of the faces of Raulista journalism along with Talía González, Gisela García and Boris Fuentes. Every Tuesday, they were seen blaming citizens and officials, but without ever questioning the political model or the men in power. Suárez was one of the most combative.
That space acted as a judge of those who immersed themselves in the black market to buy a bag of cement, as a whip for those who tried to survive by selling imported products, for the self-employed workers who pushed the iron limits imposed by their license, and for any entrepreneur who dared to accumulate some wealth. It was the scourge of the common people and the spearhead of a policy of “falling in line” with society, promoted by a general for whom no one had voted for the position of president.
Almost a decade after that news reporting experiment saw the light of day, the journalist has been professionally recycled and now works as an emotional ‘coach’ in that country to which she dedicated so many attacks. She now wears fancy clothes, smiles for the camera, and warns her followers not to “let anyone steal” their light. She has replaced her slogans with mantras of personal growth, and her ideological attacks with phrases interspersed with words like “success,” “emotions” and “overcoming.”
Many of the people who were denigrated and demonized in Maray Suárez’s reports are still in Cuba. Having been mentioned by her on prime time national television brought them problems in their communities, rejection by their more dogmatic neighbors, the harassment of their children in schools, and even other mental health problems due to so many pressures and abuses of power.
“You can create a new life for yourself regardless of the moment or how old you are,” the new happiness coach now announces on her social networks. However, some of the victims of her barricade journalism will never have that option. They were overwhelmed and their names sullied without the right to reply. In her current job, Maray Suárez must know that any process of personal change must also include review and self-criticism. We are waiting for her to do hers.
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