Local Version of the Revolts

Internet Photo

Since the Arab world’s popular uprisings began, the average Cuban citizen walks about very confused by the disparity of the accounts of the press and the ones from people who claim they “saw it all through the antenna” or from people who were told of it by someone who saw it all through the antenna, which is why with the internet in mini-doses I will devote some of this volatile time to the search for the other side of the war omitted by the zealous journalists of my Cubita the Beautiful.

Our government’s affinities to the Gadhafi and Al Assad regimes span decades, which explains their support to both of them. But it is one thing is to support a government, regardless of how questionable it is (as is the case) and a very different one to hide the fact that those same governments have attacked their own people with landmines, with ammunition of raw uranium, with a mercenary army —the term CAN be used there— and other, equally reproachable methods.

I have to endure Gadhafi’s boy, so macho and threatening; I need to endure Hafez’s boy when he declares that the revolts have been provoked by infiltrated foreigners—even Syrians don’t buy that—but we Cubans take that with a grain of salt, and I can almost hear my neighbor Tomás protesting the horror those people are going through, those people who will not be overwhelmed by the national outcry enough to resign.

Every time I see images from Libya, those unmistakably green banners appear, pointing toward where the camera of the Telesur correspondent needs to aim. Incensed with such partiality, my husband, with sarcasm, brings me back to reality: “It’s the version meant for us. Don’t watch Walter Martínez. Don’t watch the newscast. Or don’t watch the war on the internet anymore.”

Translated by T

May 4 2011

More of the Same

Each one of us out there will draw their own conclusions on the video posted on the net by Coral Negro. It is my personal opinion that the video is authentic and that it was not leaked by MININT — the Ministry of the Interior — like some choose to imagine. Let alone that it was I who leaked it, like someone with excess imagination has suggested. The man who speaks on the video is an operative official of cyberconfrontation, that new modality so in tune with our times. Those who are listening to him in the conference seem to be hearing about this topic for the first time.

Where does this information—revealed by the speaker, through which he establishes the psychology of the enemy—stem from? From a public site on the Internet. After that, the conference turns into something quite didactic. Through it I have learned of high-speed Wi-Fi satellite units as part of a module that includes blackberries and notebooks intended for bloggers (the mercenaries, as he calls them) and traditional counterrevolutionaries.

I learn that, through that service, any person could suddenly get the “You are connected” message on their PC; he recognizes the dangers of people’s freedom of Internet access, and admits that nobody who benefits from this will either complain or inquire about where the connection came from.

So much technology overwhelmed me, but I still feel envious when it comes to those “chosen ones.” Cuba is the atypical case where a Blackberry can make a suspect out of you; it is the country where you cannot have access to paid satellite-based TV from abroad. Both examples point out to precisely what the speaker at the conference is so worried about: this kind of access escapes their control.

On a last note, the statement made that the subsidies for subversion now come in the form of awards, caught my attention. Anytime now, they will come up with proof that Her Majesty Beatrice of Holland laundered the check—endorsed by USAID—for the Prince Claus Award, granted to Yoani Sánchez this year and to Desiderio Navarro last year.

The coda is the blank facial expression of those in the audience, and the badly-disguised yawn from a lieutenant.

Translated by T

February 9 2011