One month after the inauguration of Raúl Castro as president of the Councils of State and Government, we all remember that day, in his inaugural address, still as the second secretary of the party, when he announced that “in the coming weeks” they would start phasing out some prohibitions, and in particular those that had been put into practice with the objective of minimizing the social differences that had surfaced in the 1990s…
Though not wanting to assume the role of a prosecutor, I see myself obliged to acknowledge that he has not exactly delivered on his promise. In its place a new prohibition has emerged, one that touches me personally: Readers who connect to the internet from Cuba are forbidden to access independent blogs created in Cuba.
Guided by my better instincts, I would like to believe that what they tell me isn’t true; that what really happened was that there was a technical glitch in the government server, ETESCA, which is the information service provider for the international press accredited in the country, and for the many users who are foreign residents. If I thought that this glitch was a deliberate decision to deny readers who live on island access to independent people’s opinions, unrelated to the government, then I would have the right to feel seriously offended in my dual position as reader and writer of blogs.
What strikes me is that whoever imposes a measure of this nature lacks the personal courage to take public responsibility for it. To think that someone feels so powerful, so drunk on authority, that they could do something like this without explanation. From the shadows, like someone who commits a crime. The treachery is greater when the prohibition is imposed exactly at those moments when people, believing the official pronouncements, are expecting changes in the direction of permitting, not prohibiting. Could it be that someone on an intermediate step wants to sabotage the people’s trust in their leaders?
I would be more likely to believe this latter possibility if, in the course of the previous weeks (which were once the weeks to come), they had sold some banned article, or had given permission to buy cars, to leave the country freely, to buy a mobile phone contract, to have a license to be a clown, or any of these trivialities that we are waiting for with so much optimism.