For years, many Cubans have commented that the Department of Revolutionary Orientation was the ’educator and corrector’ womb that gave birth to the communications broadcast in the Cuban media, and of the rumors convenient to the State, which spread like wildfire in the voice of the people.
I don’t know if they will re-name the entity in time, but the procedure for disclosing certain information to the population of the archipelago continues the same. In my country, the newspaper Granma, official organ of the Cuban Communist Party, is the official bulletin of the “leaked news”and invisible and opportune annotations, which govern the rest of the newspapers and printed news, radio or television.
That is, other publications within Cuba repeat, like media mirrors, that which is reported by the newspaper from the single-party official censor. The prime time news on Cuban television, at the usual hour of 8:00 pm, reads what appeared in the newspaper that day, the reflections of the “Comandante en Jefe” — when there are any, regardless of their length — along with the remaining “news” reports of the six TV channels, with some new and irrelevant communications and reports of minor interest.
They criticize, as a rule, the problems facing capitalist societies — they never speak of their achievements — and with triumphalist manipulation ignore the basic problems we face. Are they talking about the same country? Why should there be such incongruity?
The state tutelage on the uninformative — and disinformative — Cuban television leave us with the sense that despite the many problems that confront us, “we are winning.” It’s certain that although corruption abounds and inability and indolence is enthroned in society, almost nothing — other than the army — works as it should and that we have a country in ruins, those who won are the clan in power, who appropriated the country and have remained in power for over half a century.
However, Cuba has lost and for a long time now its balance sheet is in the red. It’s no good trying to entertain us with epic stories of guerrillas and unmet promises, because for a long time ordinary Cubans feel ourselves “surrounded and out of bullets” in the face of the injustice and helplessness.
Like one of Aesop’s fables, we are numb waiting for the “enemy fox” who never comes, the New Man, perfect democracy and the model society that never was and never will be.
Get back, caguairán*!
*Translator’s note: Caguairán is a nickname for Fidel; it is a Cuban tree with extremely hard wood.
May 18 2012