Production Line for Cuban Robots / Angel Santiesteban

Cuban Television puts forth, in its horrible primetime schedule, another program of manipulated news coming from Telesur, with a Venezuelan ideologue-manipulator-agent-“journalist,” Walter Martinez, who has forgotten ethics and the first rule for a reporter: to report news without adding his personal opinion, which in all cases is linked to an ideology that he represents and that pays him, and therefore has a particular interest (like a pirate without a hook he appears every night on Cuban screens sniffing the rear ends of Chávez and Castro).

I would have to ask how much is the monetary gain in this matter, and the advertising benefit received by the president of his country, to lend his face and impudence to defend a socialism that, be it either from the 20th or the 21st century, is the same scam. Like a virus, it ruins the economy of our nations, and if Venezuelans want to be sure, go for a ride around the island, but not by those hospital-hotels that make it easier for their treatments, which I have nothing against, let alone healing a human being from any country, but the mass-media function for which they later are used. Let them go out on the streets, visit homes, hospitals almost in ruins, without doctors, medicine or surgical tools, etc.

To make matters worse for the Cuban people, in trying to educate us across generations like automatons, remember that there are dozens of programs that daily accommodate the official news chosen for political censorship, with the exact narration for all media information, and which are repeated as a torture for the rest of our existence. With two hours a day, deploying the best technology and the highest production costs, the inadvertent Roundtable show, which goes about building a militarized anti-logic, attacking everything that smacks of capitalism, its star attraction being the United States, then the right-wing presidents. Before it was Aznar, now Sarkozy and Berlusconi, among so many, while defending the Latin American Presidents who have allied themselves with Chávez.

To this we must add the three newscasts, the kings of media disinformation, who also go about justifying the international disasters of their ideological peers. The ineptitude and excesses of the abysmal administration of the Castro brothers of the weak national economy for half a century. The constant radio news. The famous Radio Reloj, which from minute to minute puts out the most incredible and unjustifiably manipulated news. The written press: read six pages of one and you’ve read all the rest. The daily Rebel Youth, which is no more than the journal of the oldies in rebellion who are in power. The publication of Workers, which is nothing other than the voice of betrayal of the Cuban working class in the service of the tyrannical masters.

Throw in the printed organ of the Communist Party of Cuba (the only party), the mother of all news, which picks and chooses what the people of Cuba should know. The magazine Bohemia, that not in the worst moments of past dictatorships was submissive or official. The provincial papers governed and monitored by the regional Communist parties. The digital news bulletins, also like parrots, copying what is accepted at the request of political superiors.

It’s as if they put speakers in our ears and shouted at us again and again what we should think, memorize and perform, and, as an exercise in boredom, start counting from 1 to 53, the years of dictatorship, to corroborate the emptiness that lights up that space. And last but not least, this Mr. Official Walter Martínez appears, and with each image, chosen also for its censorship, he gives us pre-processed news, underestimating the intelligence of viewers, and all this does is guarantee that we have the worst news program, not even the “Democratic” Republic of North Korea’s are worse.

There is a reporter who is not silent for a minute, with a know-it-all air of God Almighty, who will hang posters, use nicknames, with the constant irony of always rowing toward the benefit of Chavez’ and Castro’s shore. In the past he would come to Cuba to record an interview with Fidel Castro, which was nothing more than an ode to the old Comandante, a chorus of criticism of his political enemies, a suck-up to the great leader. The only thing this man has achieved, is that in Cuba we have silent movies again. The viewers, with the volume at the minimum, guarantee the elimination of the interruption of his submissive voice so they can enjoy the images that the Cuban government censors of the national news. What he doesn’t know, or perhaps does and doesn’t mind, is that his program is also reviewed and edited before being aired, so that after censorship, there is another more refined Cuba where he at times appears to be too much of a “journalist “and becomes a spokesperson at the service of the enemy. Not even he, an official voice for both countries, has emerged unscathed from the arrogant and extremist ideology of Fidel.

And as usual, the mouthpiece Walter Martinez, when he comes to the end of his journalistic farce, says “You may turn off the camera, Mr. Director,” and he removes himself. The camera, before going dark, takes in his image, and with the gallantry of the frustrated official he wished he had been, he walks down the aisle to get closer to the screen as a symbol of the nightmare and the danger it represents, and then with greater impudence and cynicism makes a military salute to the camera that reaffirms what we already know, which is that he is at the service of the military in Venezuela and Cuba.

One day, I’m sure very soon, Mr. Walter, you will lose the benefits with which you have been bought and hopefully won’t find yourself on the roster that hands out paychecks for spies.

Translated by Regina Anavy

November 23 2011