It stands to reason that to beat the information monopoly prevailing in Cuba, it is imperative to overthrow the monopolists, which does not seem easy, and in fact it is not, but above all we must believe strongly that it is possible to overturn the giant with feet of clay.
Only in the recently concluded first decade of the century has the struggle against the dictatorship advanced further than in the previous four decades of. There are now new ways to deal with dictators and all stem from the benefits of the Web and the new cellular technology. The lack of communication that worked years ago as the strongest shield of the system, and the disinformation or manipulation of the media imposed especially by totalitarian and undemocratic societies like Cuba, are threatened by an alternative and increasingly intertwined world that progresses at a fast pace of connectivity. Hence the sick terror of the monopolists of the World Wide Web, but — oh paradox of destiny — the country’s owners cannot live with the Internet, but they can’t live without it.
On the other hand the state of technology, cell phones, and coupled with it, the unlimited creativity of Cubans like the pioneer Yoani Sanchez said: if we can invent chopped meat without meat, we can have the Internet without the Internet.
This technology offers the oppressors the great dilemma: cell phones or no cell phones, because on one hand it guarantees large profits and on the other weakens the armor of disinformation and isolation that they have created for years. The speed and relevance of social networks like twitter, converted into instruments of constant complaint and transmitting the true social, political and cultural Cuban events, but mainly as an instrument of free expression independent of the ruling party, are another toothache for the large crumbling monopoly.
So the recipe for killing monopolies like our own, must have as its main ingredient, an alternative. Besides taking advantage of all gaps that can provide web and mobile phones it is important to create separate spaces and here, too, there has been progress in the passing of the first years of this century: several alternative publications such as Voices, Coexistence, Nacán and many others that will arise along the way. Television programs such as Estado de Sats and the growing number of independent bloggers and twitterers make us believe that the day of positive free expression and press freedom is already arriving.
Finally in the task of overthrowing the giant monopoly that is the Cuban government, we must engage islanders of goodwill who love the nation that brought us to the world, be they inside or outside the country. So I encourage everyone to join the blogosphere and Twittersphere for the good of Cuba and Cubans; I encourage stations like the legendary Radio Marti to continue bombarding the interior of the island, because those are the only bombs that shake the muddy feet of the giant.
Economic cooperation is elementary because any alternative project can only be possible if it can count on funds because otherwise it would only be a utopia.
The fact remains that the most important barrier we must break is the internal disinformation, most of the inhabitants of the island never access the Internet and get their information from the official media provided, but in this respect, the regime has begun to commit suicide slowly, its television is increasingly boring and mono-thematic, newscasts and news formats and not attractive or truthful, with obvious manipulation; radio languishes responding only to orders; and better not to mention the newspapers after the gruesome mask of Granma and Juventud Rebelde, names which by the way are left too far behind in history. All this has made thousands of Cubans turn off the TV and turn on their DVD’s to watch the news from Univision or any other channel not belonging to the Castros.
Then there is no doubt that we will gradually move forward with the help of the unstoppable advance of technology, which incredibly, has smiled broadly on the freedom of Cuba.
July 13 2012