The Bad Guys / Claudia Cadelo

Like kids when they see themselves on TV, I jumped for joy seeing my photo in the surrealistic PowerPoint in the video of the conference on “Enemy Campaigns and The Politics of Confrontation with Counterrevolutionary Groups.” I say like kids because it looks pretty bad that I have to point my finger to clarify “this is me.” Although my friends couldn’t recognize me in the blurred image and so didn’t share my joy, I feel like the star of the “media cyberwar” and that — there’s no denying it — is a lot of fun. We have seen the video like four times and each time it makes me laugh. The comrade speaker from State Security has revolutionized Cuban jokes in less than 72 hours; we must recognize merit.

I’ve tried, but failed, to address the topic in a serious way, although the professor of new technologies does make my skin crawl. I’ve heard comments of all sorts. One friend asked me, baffled, “But who’s the enemy? Facebook?” Others asked me to summarize the story but I declare myself incapable of it: any description is infinitely inferior to the reality. I recalled, while watching the program, an article by Enrique Ubieta in la Calle del Medio that left me with the same impression. It was called “Be Stupid” and according to the author’s concept of blogger, there was nothing sexier. Strange that negative publicity raises the self-esteem of the victims!

However — and I’m trying to make myself be serious in the midst of such a ridiculous situation — I see that for him I am the enemy on the web, the soldier in a war that seems narrated by George Berkeley, and I wonder why he lies so blatantly to a group of soldiers. What surprises me isn’t that it’s about defaming the figure of Yoani Sanchez, nor considering the social network of the Lenin school counterrevolutionary, nor even the fascist expression “they are among our children,” just as Hitler once said of the Jews. What leaves me stunned and cynical is the shamelessness and lack of respect with which this man lies about the use of the internet and alternative forms of access. I don’t know where the satellite networks he mentions are, built from — miracle of miracles! — a video camera, five Blackberrys and a wi-fi device. I plan to take my laptop on a tour of my neighborhood, El Vedado, to see if I can find one… I could use it.

It takes a very high degree of immorality to take advantage of the ignorance of a group of people and to lie to them so brazenly. It even gives me grief for the public, you want to explain to these people that things aren’t remotely like that. And then I wonder, who is the real enemy of the cyber police? What is the hidden agenda behind all this deception? Why does State Security need to make the military believe that there is an alternative network of satellite internet access in Cuba?

The strategy of control this time, it seems to me, is not about the alternative blogosphere, nor about the kids who applied for scholarships to study in the United States, it’s not about the social networks of Facebook or Twitter, nor the cultural exchanges between Cubans and Cuban-Americans. The strategy of control — incredible as it seems — is for his own side: The Interior Ministry and the People’s Revolutionary Police. What danger do these ministries represent to State Security that it has prepared, for them, tele-classes full of lies?