Something in Common

What has cost others in the political world millions and years of publicity, has been accomplished by Cuban State Security with an arbitrary arrest. Antonio Rodiles has become a household name.

Antonio Rodiles has also turned into a dangerous citizen. If the tactic of three weeks was to humiliate him with bland interrogations, the other reading is that the interrogators lacked arguments (or intelligence, or both), and these same interrogators-interrogations have confirmed for citizen Rodiles the need to maintain Estado de Sats (State of Sats) and to push forward with the Campaign for Another Cuba (Por otra Cuba) for the ratification of the UN Human Rights covenants.

If Rodiles’ case wasn’t enough for the near-sightedness of many with regards to the status of our rights and freedoms as citizens, I go to the other extreme, the case of the blog La Joven Cuba (Cuban Youth), created by young professors from the University of Matanzas.

Very quickly, thanks to the absence of censorship in the comments section and the occasional approach to controversial issues of our national reality, the blog enjoyed a notable growth and visibility within the Cuban blogosphere.

It was a surprise that on the crest of the wave, La Joven Cuba issued a warning that many of us, with good reason, interpreted as a farewell, and that many of us, with good reason, interpreted as the effect of pressure to close a space that “had moved on.”

Recently, not only were my suspicions confirmed that the pressures were great and from different sides, but that it got to point where some hothead accused them of “going too far,” but of “going over to the enemy.” Nor did the constant profession of faith that they made when they dared to address some thorny issue, free them from suspicions which they are now trying to clarify.

Unlike the opinions of others, the fate of the blog La Joven Cuba and its creators gives me no pleasure, consistent with something I’ve made clear here and as a commentator on the LJC blog: in the country I imagine, diverse and antagonistic ideological currents will coexist, rather than be enemies, and I will have family and friends who vote for different candidates than mine without it leading to a rupture in our relations.

Both cases: Rodiles and La Joven Cuba, confirm for me the lack of freedom that sickens Cuban society. You know I don’t usually engage in profound analysis, so the rest of the ruminations I leave to you.

November 28 2012