The Generals’ Smokescreen / Angel Santiesteban

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 13 May 2015 — Again Raul Castro lies to the world when he says on television that “independent journalists” are graduates from a course at the United States Interest Section (USIS) in Havana, and that they also receive a “stipend” from that agency. Graduates from that course: I have met lawyers, doctors, economists, among many professionals. I remember at some point I was interested in that course, but I never completed my registration. It was not a bad idea. Knowledge is always welcome.

General Raúl Castro, if he decided to mention us, he did it with disdain as usual, by asking his Minister of Foreign affairs about the term “independent” because he thinks that’s the way to denigrate such a worthy condition. He showed the same attitude when he spoke about the autobiography of President Barak Obama, “I’ve read a few passages”, making it clear it did not deserve the space or the necessary importance from his “precious time.”

However, when the dictator on duty mentioned the independent journalists, he let slip the characteristic cynicism that shows on his face the “bird of prey” that he is. The tyrant is unable to recognize that it is not exactly a “stipend” we are entitled to, but a “beating” his henchmen launch against those who have decided to think differently, those step off the track and exercise journalism and free thinking, which is not taught nor learned at any foreign Embassy or US Interests Section. It is what lies within ourselves and comes out when we need to be honest to ourselves and we are pleased with the mere fact that the price for that sacrifice it is “whatever it takes”. And that does not make us brave or heroes, it just give us a faint smile and great joy in our souls.

Hopefully their “official journalists” at least feel useful instead of just “informative echoes” of the ideological office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

Yes, INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST and very proud; and although you don’t want to recognize that we keep you awake, we know what our duty is and what words and whose would offend us. Coming from you, your contempt is not considered an offense, we take it as a recognition instead, for the job of being the voice of the oppressed, of those who suffer under your Stalinist boot, and it encourages us to do it better and maintain the resounding conviction, “You cannot cover the sun with your finger’” nor even with jail nor with blood.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

13 May 2015

Border Patrol Prison

Havana, Cuba

Translated by: Rafael