Yesterday, Thursday, I had a party to celebrate 20 years of being a free man. It was 10:00 in the morning on December 18, 1988 when I attended a meeting where I was informed that I could no longer act as an official journalist in Cuba. At the firing squad, where I was executed as an information professional, they shot José R. Vidal (Cheito), director of the newspaper Juventud Rebelde, Lázaro Barredo from the national leadership of UPEC (Union of Cuban Journalists), Juan Contino, who was then the second secretary of the National Bureau of the UJC (Young Communist League), and other colleagues from the newspaper who were only taking bullets from the volley.
They accused me of denying the work of the Revolutionary program, exalting in the contradictions between the younger generation and those who held leadership positions in the country, and using ambiguous terminology that gave my articles a double meaning; they added some details like my having instigated a group of students from the journalism school to engage in a provocation during a meeting with the Commander in Chief and, in addition, that I met with young people at my house and inculcated them with ideas contrary to the Revolution.
Against all this I defended myself like a tomcat, in a long and meticulous appeal sent to Carlos Aldana who at this time led the Party’s ideological apparatus. Months later (I think it was August of 1999) I was received at the headquarters of the Central Committee by a functionary with the name Castellanos, who was second in command to Aldana and Jacinto Granda, who was already preparing to assume the leadership of the newspaper Granma. I was anxious to see how they could rebut the arguments that with so much gratification I had sharpened during exhausting days of reflection. To my surprise, Castellanos told me not to get distracted in defending myself against the accusations, that I could no longer continue as a journalist simply because my thinking deviated from the party line, and that was all.
That was the form in which I met the true face of Fantomas. I left that place angry and frustrated because I still didn’t understand that the lightness that overwhelmed me was not due to my having been transformed into an insignificant person, but rather they had converted me into a free man.
Last night I offered an toast to those who freed me forever from the painful burden of playacting. I swear that I do not bear any grudges and I publicly thank them for the immense favor they did me.