Reply to SPD Bulletin / Miriam Celaya

A couple of weeks ago a friend told me he was surprised to find “my collaboration” in the digital newsletter Socialismo Participativo y Democrático (SPD) (Participatory and Democratic Socialism). Since he likes to play tricks, I thought it was another one of his pranks, but he swore over and over that he was telling the truth. In addition, he said that there was even a note specifying that I had authorized its publication. Since this was a strange lie, I decided to investigate the matter when I had sufficient internet connection time for it, which became possible a week ago.

Indeed, my friend was right: in this SPD newsletter number 100, dated June 1st, 2012, an article “And Yet, What Would Be” appears, claiming I was its author, that I wrote it for Diario de Cuba in May, the site where it had been published. Shortly after that, I reproduced the article in my blog (Sin EVAsión), where apparently it was taken from by the publishers of the SPD Bulletin, who did not bother to cite the source, though I was careful to specify in my blog that the work had been published originally in Diario de Cuba, where I often collaborate.

Now I must pause. I am not opposed at all to any site that deems it appropriate to quote from any article published in the web or other media, and this includes the SPD Bulletin, but it would make elementary ethical sense to cite the original source where it’s been taken from. In fact, I feel honored when someone cites my work. However, since this time it’s about a website whose ideology I don’t agree with, and since I’m not ready to keep silent in the presence of lies concerning me, I feel it’s my duty to clarify this issue. I’ve never been a contributor to the SPD Bulletin, its directors never asked me to publish my work, and I am not moved by the Bolshevik militancy of the site, where one often finds criticism of private ownership, capital and prosperity, elements which, on the other hand, I advocate.

I consider the final note particularly disrespectful. It states “This article appears in the SPD, with the consent of the author”. Both the comma and the untrue note are unnecessary: No one asked my authorization, nor did I consent, directly or indirectly. Therefore, the managers of the SPD Bulletin are lying, unless there is a strange misunderstanding among them, since this writer was not consulted about this matter. Even worse, as a consequence of this “oversight”, in occasional informal conversations the fallacy is being circulated that “Miriam Celaya is collaborating with the SPD web”. I sternly deny it. Is it a socialist trait to arbitrarily make use of that which does not belong to them? In any case, at this point, lying should not be an option for a group composed primarily of highly experienced former government officials, with old curricula and a long history. It is not prudent, and it does not serve their cause.

Lastly, if I feel compelled to challenge the statement in the SPD Bulletin, it’s not because of hostility, but because of a strict observance of the truth. I refuse to lie and to encourage, through my silence, the lies of others; on the other hand, would be disloyal to the administrators of another very serious and responsible site, Diario de Cuba, who honor me by the publication of original articles I send them from time to time, or when they are courteous enough to cite the source when they reproduce some part of my blog. I suppose the subtle difference between the two must be apparent. Finally, I would be grateful to the militants of the SPD Bulletin if they would retract the final note that smeared with a lie not only my humble article –which, to tell the truth, is not a journalistic gem- but their own bulletin. By the way, they might clarify that it was originally published in Diario de Cuba. If this request seems wrong to them, there is always the option of retracting the old web article, which, when all is said and done, adds nothing to the socialism which its theoretical publishers (and not this disloyal and irreverent blogger) are trying to recycle. And everyone in peace.

Translated by: Norma Whiting

July 16 2012