Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why Estado de Sats Must Not Die

Why Estado de Sats Must Not Die / Jeovany Jimenez Vega
Jeovany J. Vega, Translator: Unstated

Where art and thinking come together. State of Sats.

About two weeks Antonio Rodiles was arrested by State Security. First he
was charged with resisting arrest, then they concocted a charge of
undermining the authority when nearly a dozen witnesses deny the police
accusation. It is not anything unusual, because in Cuba long arbitrary
detentions are part of the repressive praxis. This time it's someone
with undeniable charisma and whose authenticity is demonstrated with
concrete events: In a short time Rodiles has converted Estado de Sats —
against all flags and with modest resources — into an important space
when it comes to probing the Cuban reality.

Several factors contribute to our atmosphere today of alternative
aromas. In this regard, the extensive possibilities of the Internet,
which open a digital breach to the world for the restless gaze of the
island's bloggers and twitterers, to which are added the lack of ethics
in the official press to denounce the shamelessness of the corrupt, the
ineptitude of the leaders and the constant violation of our civil
rights. In this context we have inserted alternatives like and Estado de Sats.

Bit this latter space is not only a virtual peculiarity: in Rodiles'
home, during the presentation of the programs, there is a frequent
assiduous and physical convergence of around a hundred irreverents, and
we know what that means to the powers-that-be in Cuba.

This modest but clear capacity to call people together, ended up
worrying the general staff, and so Rodiles presented himself in front of
State Security's Section 21 on the afternoon of November 7, and the
leadership saw the awaited opportunity to book him and decapitate his
project. But those who reason this way underestimate a civil society
that is not disposed to cede an inch of space conquered at great risk.

We are a people saturated with promises that sound like mockery, words
belied by the demagoguery of a bourgeois elite that demands austerity
from us, while their table overflows; we are a people forced to face
unjustifiable hardship and shortages that generate a deep social
immorality, which have turned theft, simulation and lies into "trifles,"
and what is worse, sincerity and civility into a crime.

We are looking at a youth that is definitely different, and wants to
open itself to a world it suspects is out there, a youth that knows it
is imprisoned, but that now knows the name and the password of its
jailer and is increasingly less afraid. And the jailer knows this and
represses every birth, tries to mutilate each new shoot, stuffing the
cracks so that the cell never receives the dangerous rays of the sun.

Rodiles is accused of assault, and yet, in Estado de Sats, Rodiles'
home, I never saw anywhere a club or the tip of a trigger, never heard
plotting of attacks of sabotage, never heard a threat or a call to
violence. I heard nothing more there than ideas and arguments,
reasonable or not, but launched from the perspective of tolerance,
respect for the opinions of others.

As far as I know, no Cuban opponent ever stopped a delegate of the
National Assembly of Popular Power in the entrance of Parliament, or any
member of the Communist party to prevent him from participating in the
last Congress of the Party, nor conducted any "operation" to boycott
their last National Conference.

However, from the other side, it's a different matter: the raids and
arbitrary detentions perpetrated by state security against any dissident
when, how and where they want, without due process and even without
charges — including many who went to Estado de Sats — is their daily
practice, reported thousands of times by bloggers, twitterers and by the
same project now want to shut down.

If despite the deafness strongly imprinted during the last decades by
the dissidence against the all-embracing State power, this has been no
more than a few turns of the screw, one can only imagine the scene of
these gentlemen didn't know they were installed by the select share of
Cubans who dare to speak while the rest remain silent.

Alternative spaces like the monthly Voices Magazine and projects like
Omni Zona Franca, and Estado de Sats itself, are at this time so
necessary for this people like the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and
must not disappear simply because some gorillas consider this country
remains the same jungle as in the '60s and '70s.

But they had to take Rodilies because every brave person is one less
slave, because each front raised is an act of vindication, because every
mask that falls away is a triumph of human dignity, one of those
miracles that are the work only of able-bodied men.

For all this, by reality and necessity, spaces like Estado de Sats must
be preserved. The barbarians must understand once and for all, that it
is useless to incarcerate a many when his dreams fly free.

Rodiles conceived this project, now ours, and dedicated his efforts,
assumed all the risks and put into it the same hope and the same faith
that is put into a child. For this we must care for Estado de Sats — we
owe it to him and to ourselves — because whatever problems appear on the
horizon we will never abandon the child of a friend!

November 19 2012

Why Estado de Sats Must Not Die / Jeovany Jimenez Vega -

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