Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cuba sí?

The title of this article makes reference to a cuban web page that contains news, comments, reflections, music and even multimedia files. Until now, all seems to be as current as any other web page, except for one thing: this cuban page is the reflect of life in Cuba: tendentious, filetered, censored, controlled, audited, and muzzled. All is directed for the government.

While I write this lines, I stop for a while and think about things that any of my compatriots and people around the world haven’t done before. I have gotten up, eaten breakfast, and then, gone to the desk to turn on the PC and read the newspapers, my e-mail account and run Skype to see if any of my friends are online to chat a bit. All what I have described right now, I do already mechanically everyday and seemed so routine and simple that I did not realize what fortunated am I.

Because I got a computer and I could buy it in any store and not only in the government’s stores, because I did it without giving any justification before the authorities with a “valid reason”, because I can pay for a telephone line and ask for an Internet connection; because I can read any colored and flavored news and in any language, because I can talk to my friends and my relatives in the distance, download, upload music to share, write poems, narrative, chronicles and even insults those who deserve them.
Because I can read about an artist I like, a country I want to visit, a dish I want to try, a tattoo I want to make, a job I’d like to apply. I can learn German, French, Mandarin Chinese, buy CDs and DVDs, create and manage blogs, watch videos and uploads the mines.
I can see live the Academy Awards ceremony, the artist who paints with his penis, Deep Purple arriving to the Jorge Chavez airport (Lima), the little pig who has a hearted spot in its body, the kosovars celebrating their independence…

Because I don’t have to pay 3.5 euros in the cybercafe for 3 hours of internet connection, because I don’t have to ask permission to have internet at home, because I don’t have to lie to get access to internet in a hotel, because I have not a obligatory e-mail account given for the State, because I won’t fill any form in the cybercafe and won’t have to say why I have to surf the web, because I don’t have to go to the black market to get a modem, an antenna, a crack, a password.

Because I won’t see only filtered and chosen – for – others pages for me to read them, because the service won’t be slow and inefficient, and because if it is, I will be able to complain and sue my provider.

And finally, I am fortunated because I am free and can think like I want, say my opinion, discuss and generate the ideas I like, because I can sit down in my desk, turn on my PC and scream it outside, without expect that the uniforms come to my door to send me to jail, saying me “comemierda” (shit eater), or “counterrevolutionary”, or “worm”.

Because I am what I want to say, what I want to choose, what I want to think, and in my poor 3rd world country, it is –thanks to God- a right. And we are fortunated for this. Our Cuban brothers have not this luck and live inside that forced isolation, in a vertigo of backwarded and repressive laws that have 50 years. It have been changes of government, promises of changes with them. Cuba sí (Cuba yes)? Now yes? That is the question we ask with a sort of optimism… but nobody there seems to preserve it. Although the last thing we have to lose is hope, we pray for this new government to do something really revolutionary in the story of this beautiful and sad isle.

Related Links
Generation Y (blog written from Cuba)
Cuba sí (spanish and english version)

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