Proposal for Introduction of Decree Law 35 / Jeovany Jimenez Vega

Jeovany Jimenez Vega, 18 August 2021 [Correct date, translation delayed]  — Well, what was always a very high possibility is now a crude certainty: the Gag Law for the Internet in Cuba has just come into force!  Decree-Law 35, which has recently been published in the Official Gazette, has as its declared aim the silencing of the Cuban people on social networks, and making any criticism of Castroism on the Internet, a crime, because the Cuban regime knows that it was there that the spark went off that set the streets of Cuba ablaze on 11 July 2021 (’11J’)

Freedom of thought and opinion is a luxury forbidden to my people under old-school tropical Stalinism. On this absolute principle, this ominous dictatorship has built an overwhelming information monopoly that takes up absolutely all the available national space through which it systematically spreads lies left and right, defames opponents and arranges as many media lynchings as it wants, without ever granting the right of reply. But today, that is not enough; it also wants to break into your house uninvited.

It turns out that these gentlemen, who are used to their infamous monologue, now come to us with this vulgarity – which is inadmissable in the terms of the current Constitution, which they promulgated in a fit of demagogy – and with their now customary cynicism they included in the objectives of their nonsense “… to protect the interests of citizens… to ensure access to telecommunications services… and the rights to equality, privacy and secrecy in communications…”, as if millions of Cubans, massive victims of the digital blackout perpetrated on 11 July, were not already long accustomed to the systematic censorship by ETECSA’s servants, and had not witnessed the innumerable pressures in the weeks following ’11J’ – threats of dismissal from work or study centres for repeating information about the protests or showing support in any way for the victims of the repression – throughout the entire country.

But even if I am not willing to abide by it, to begin with I propose that this decree be applied to the President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez himself – and this time I omit his second forename to avoid confusion – since we can all remember how this gentleman made an irresponsible call to violence through his social media account last July 11; a call that the Cuban people will never forget, inciting his communist hordes to repress my people -something he did not do from a park bench, but on national television and social networks, from his position as President of the nation!

We all clearly heard this scoundrel shout “…the combat order is given…!” after which, together with the usual repressive hordes of the MININT, the army’s elite pack – whose only mission, presumably, should be to defend the people from external aggressions and never to turn against them – was unleashed to crush the cry in the only way it knows how: with beatings, imprisonment and summary trials without any right to defense.

No one would dispute the direct responsibility that Díaz-Canel had in that massacre, as well as the media clowns who have incited hatred from those same social networks that today they want to constrain for years, and who also comprehensively defamed the defenseless opposition, and threatened them in a thousand ways – read the Humberticos  and the Serranos, the Randy and the Froilanes, followed by a shameful etc.

That is why I also propose to apply Decree-Law 35 to them, because all of them, with a greater or lesser degree of responsibility, have thousands of times, with millions of Cubans as witnesses, carried out acts clearly catalogued in the three subcategories of this Royal Decree as crimes of a high level of danger: repeating false news in the media – every time that they deliberately lied to our people; blocking millions of accounts in social networks – when this miserable wimp perpetrated the cowardly digital blackout of July 11; and spreading harmful information with total bad faith – lies intended to delegitimize the opposition by presenting them as mercenaries at the service of a foreign power.

Of course, after July 11, you could hardly leave out from the decree the pearl that represents the call to insubordination – section (category 3, subcategory 3) – as a “…disturbance of public order…” and a “…promotion of social indiscipline…” catalogued with a very high level of danger, and for which the regime will of course have reserved its most refined resolutions of condemnation.

But as self-defense is the most basic of rights, millions of false profiles will be opened from where my people will go into that kind of digital hiding that many will opt for. That is why from the exact minute this post is published, I wish to make public that Jeovany Jimenez Vega – el Chino, to my friends – will never hide behind a false profile: I never did it and am very proud to say I certainly will not do it after 11 July.

Anyone who does not want to know what I think is perfectly entitled not to visit my wall and to ignore my tweets, but I will always show and defend my love for my homeland, in accordance with principles written in stone, that I did not learn in any party manual, but are influenced by the sacred thoughts of José Julián Martí – which will never be questioned.

My freedom of thought and opinion is an inalienable right that I will never entrust to the mercies of any despot! If from now on my words are not more incisive or aggressive against those who subjugate my people, it will only be because of my lack of talent, or because I cannot find the exact words to portray all their crudeness and the deepest contempt they arouse among my people.

The cowards who still oppress my beloved Cuba are warned: do not expect any indulgence from me, and I will not expect any from you! If you do not want to be called dictators and murderers, you will have to stop acting like them;  this is a war to the death between my people who fight for freedom and the tyrants who destroy it, and I am willing to leave my soul, my skin and my life outside or inside Cuba in that war.

I say this to make things clear.

Translated by GH