During the first two weeks of January, the Cuban press omitted news of interest to the island population. They forgot, for example, the declaration of the spy Gerardo Hernández, imprisoned in the United States since 2001, who, in a desperate appeal denied our government the affirmation that the small planes shot down by Castro’s orders fell in international waters.
To the intent to save this spy, an exodus got together towards the United States of Pedro Álvarez, ex-president of the Alimport enterprise and of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, who was, besides, Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade and was in charge of all the food and medicine purchases in the United States in 2001, arrangements that even the island populace doesn´t know thanks to the omission of the press, so partisan and governmental that it leaves us in limbo.
In January 2011 the old news policy continues of legitimizing the regime measuring the manipulation of successes, the praises of the health care system, the passion for convenient figures, and masking figures of the past as if they stopped the vanities of time.
The news game of January includes another chapter against Luís Posada Carriles, the violence in Southern Sudan and other international disgraces, almost all of which occurred in “enemy territory”, including the European Economic Community, which just denied them visa-less transit to the Union to citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey, which worried Cuban censors, to whom it seemed find that our government maintains the Exit Visa and insists upon an Invitation Card to pariahs of the island.
The official press released the latest dismissals and naming of ministers ordered by General Castro; praised the anti-democratic opinions of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and his counterpart in Nicaragua, Cuba’s playmates. They also reported on the British cruise ships that will stop in Havana in 2011, which promotes tourism and hard currency income. Forgotten, however, was the award ceremony for the Prince Claus Prize given to Yoani Sanchez, held on Friday the 7th at the residence of the Ambassador from Holland in our capital, because the military government refused an exit permit for the famous blogger for the eighth time.
Offsetting the omissions several articles praised past figures who came down from their statues and applauded the leaders who rebuild socialism. Julio Antonio Mella, died in Mexico in January 1929, and Jose Marti Perez, born on January 28, 1853 and died in combat in May 1895, are the gladiators of the past who should guide us to victory.
In the tribute to Mella, the inert god of the steps, they praised his work as founder of the Federation of University Students and the Communist Party of Cuba, from which was ousted for opposing the policy guidelines of the Soviet Union, so he went to Mexico, where he was accepted into the political body of the Marxists, where he shared the bed of the Italian model Tina Modotti, a lover of other communists. These things are said by contemporaries of the hero, not by Granma and Juventud Rebelde, who claim that Mella was not shot by Modotti’s husband, but by hired assassins of President Gerardo Machado, our first tyrant.
Although Jose Marti is the most trumpeted ethical and spiritual national icon, the scribes of our press take down his bronze busts and put him out to pasture in the meetings of bureaucrats and generals who rule the island as a military camp. Maybe that’s why, among so many omissions and tributes, ordinary people perceive Marti, Mella and other oversized figures as symbols of the past.