Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cuba: Reason Stands Up to Slander

Cuba: Reason Stands Up to Slander
June 26, 2012
Pedro Campos

HAVANA TIMES — An editorial in the official Cubadebate website linked
the recently concluded "Festival Clic" with the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) and the anti-Cuban schemes of US imperialism.

Similarly, the publication is seeking to implicate Havana Times in that
festival and its alleged imperialist plans. It was outright slander for
Cubadebate to write: "It is not by chance that websites such as Havana
Times — which joined in enthusiastically in the call — are being
encouraged by the United States (government)."

They lied twice: Havana Times is not encouraged by the US government and
it did not join in enthusiastically in the call.

Reason Stands Up to Slander

The truth is that Havana Times is a website featuring various positions
that predominate among the diverse Cuban anti-capitalist left. It is
aided and encouraged not by the US, but by a group of young Cuban
rebels, modern cimarrones (maroons), tired of the neo-Stalinist model
imposed on the people of Cuba in the name of socialism and anti-imperialism.

These are people who sincerely want to "change everything that needs to
be changed."

The other fact is that one of its columnists did indeed comment on the
event, but to then generalize that the website "enthusiastically joined
in the call" is a big leap, crude manipulation.

The use of the method of "accusations without proof," more than being
threadbare, lacking transparency and being self-discrediting, it ends up
being irresponsible. This is especially so when Cuban society requires
actions and positions, which — instead of sharpening conflict and
generating violence — encourage contact and dialogue, the "national
unity" that President Raul Castro talks about.

A web site like Cubadebate should, presumably, contribute to the aim of
healthy debate between different positions, to help get all of us out of
this present situation and to peacefully achieve a Cuba "with all and
for the good of all" – which in my opinion can only be socialist,
participatory, democratic and of course inclusive, horizontal and

The writers of that editorial should know that, with all its
shortcomings, there are laws in Cuba and that defamation is an offense
that is liable for prosecution; it is punishable. Ignorance of the law
does not excuse its being violated. Impunity might be allowed, but such
abuse is not legitimate.

Those who engage in journalism have a commitment to professional ethics,
objectivity and responsible language. Their website can lose its
credibility with that kind of publishing.

Manipulation of Information

Is the editorial saying that, in Cuba, there are only "their" positions
and those of the right-wing? And note, I'm referring to the editorial
and not to the Cubadebate website.

The officialist side — opposed to dialogue, used to imposing their
positions and accusing anyone who doesn't share their views as serving
imperialism or proposing something they deem to be going against their
interests, and who confuse their notions with revolution — is apparently
attempting to hang the "pro-Yankee" placard both on Havana Times and on
the proactive-critical left, whose ideas they despise. In the absence of
arguments, they spew diatribes.

They know they are demonstrating their Berio-Goebbelian approach to the
manipulation of information. Subjectivity, illegitimacy, Manichaeism and
resistance to change do nothing to help a healthy discussion – unless
they intend a "debate" only between those of the same point of view. A
true debate would open itself up to differences instead of trying to
discredit, isolate or ignore them.

The editorial in Cubadebate joins (and I say "joins" rather than
"differs from") the counter-revolutionary plan that is attempting to
eliminate the socialist alternative represented by the various positions
on the left.

The ideas of democratic self-management that characterize the pages of
Havana Times are not antagonistic to the Cuban Revolution or the process
of the socialization and democratization of the country's economy and
politics – rather, these are trying to advance them.

Reality, my friends of Cubadebate, is much richer, and it serves nothing
to try and cover it up. Not all of the Cuban left thinks like you, and
not all of the all opposition works for imperialism.

I suggest that you get good advice and be careful in dealing with the
issues of security intelligence and counterintelligence; otherwise you
can put your foot in it. Making false accusations is a spurious method,
and many "CIA" operatives have turned out to be "useful idiots" of Cuban
State Security and vice versa.

It's simple: If Yoani Sanchez and other members of the opposition work
for the CIA, as this editorial suggests, ask yourself why State Security
hasn't arrested them and why aren't they being sanctioned.

Either these accusations are false (mud-slinging propaganda), and they
are until they're proven, or it must suit those in power to allow or
encourage these "counterrevolutionary fetishes" – either isolating them
or turning them into political "magnets."

For my part, while the famous blogger lives freely in Cuba, I consider
her an ordinary citizen with full rights – though I don't concur with
her "sui generis capitalism," as I don't concur with any other form of

It seems there are selective "anti-capitalists", ones who see "the
capitalism of imperialism as bad, while mine is good."

Who in Cuba does more to benefit capitalism: the CIA, the opposition, or
those who "enthusiastically" alienate and exploit wage workers in the
name of "socialism"?

To answer this one needs to first consider the relationship between
capitalism and wage labor, which is described and analyzed in The
Manifesto, Capital; Wages, Price and Profit; The Civil War in France and
several other works by Marx.

Yes to the Information Highway

Finally, but no less important, to equate imperialist objectives with
the promotion of information technology in Cuba can only serve the
enemies of the socialization of information, those who seek to
perpetuate the lack of Internet access by the Cuban people so as to
continue violating our right to free information, those who use
imperialism to justify their anti-democratic policies. Enough with the lies.

What hurts and hinders socialism in Cuba is not the Internet, but its
absence. Technology doesn't have surnames. It is neither capitalist nor
socialist. In any case it is the work of intellectual and manual
workers, and it serves those who use it best to serve their interests.

If the Cuban Revolution collapses, it will not be because of the
Internet or the actions of imperialism.

Fidel said it best: It will be because of the inability of
revolutionaries themselves to fight corruption and bureaucracy, to
defend ourselves from our own mistakes. Internet would be a strategic
weapon, an unequalled one in that struggle. The fact that people have no
access to it favors only those who are corrupt and the bureaucrats.

Obviously much of this struggle urged by Fidel appears in Havana Times,
but little in Cubadebate.

I ask Cubadebate, and the other websites that published the "editorial,"
to also publish this article.

To contact Pedro Campos, write: perucho1949@yahoo.es


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