Recently I had the occasion to be a guest at a party where there was a group of young journalists, recent graduates. There I engaged in an animated discussion with Frida Kahlo (it was a costume party), who maintained that the principal problem of the Cuban press is not censorship, precisely, but self-censorship.
Frida assured me that in the media, where she’d been working for about two years, she didn’t know of any journalist whose work had been returned to them because it was considered un-publishable, that no one was censored, and that the problem was that people did not dare to go too far.
As for me, I was wearing on my head the remnants of a vine that was meant to disguise me as the ceiba tree in Fraternity Park, and was tempted to relate my personal story to convince her that self-censorship is nothing more than a conditioned reflex caused by the ongoing exercise of censorship (remember Pavlov’s dogs?). But, not wanting to err on the side of vanity, I confined myself to this question:
“Then the solution would be to have the journalists who are experiencing this inexplicable pathology undergo therapy?”
Frida preferred not to respond to my question and went over to say hello to Trotsky who had just arrived, accompanied by John Lennon.