Monday, October 28, 2013

An Assault on Freedom of Expression in Cuba

An Assault on Freedom of Expression in Cuba
October 26, 2013
Luis Miguel del Bahia

HAVANA TIMES — Two weeks ago, I saw something I'd never seen before:
around eight men in Havana's Parque Central, yelling "freedom" and "down
with the dictatorship" while holding up cardboard signs bearing their

A large crowd of Cubans and foreigners (some holding cameras) silently
followed the "show", while a man in civilian clothing tried to snatch
the signs from them and yelled "Long live Fidel! Long live the revolution!"

One of the protesters yelled something I didn't like (though it is clear
to me that he should have the right to yell whatever he pleases): "Long
live the president of the United States!"

In addition to being a bit unintelligent (as it plays into the hands of
Cuba's State Security agents), Obama is no standard-bearer of democracy
and civic freedoms (we're all well aware of the Snowden and Assange
cases, the tapped telephone lines, and other such fiascos).

He couldn't exactly be called unpatriotic, either, for, then, we would
have to do the same thing with one fellow in the "audience", who was
yelling "Long live Chavez!" I don't know why Obama and Chavez have to be
thrown into the mix. I get the impression that we're always looking for
help from a "big brother."

A short time later, the police arrived and put an end to the commotion.
Cuffed, with the authorities behind them, the protesters could do
nothing save something intelligent: to not resist arrest, and deny the
powerful a reason to make use of force.

It's easier to see the mistakes of others than one's own. Neither the
news nor the official newspapers reported on this incident, which is the
opposite of what took place with the repression of the 15M movement in
Madrid, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and others. This shameful moment
was, however, captured by the eyes and lenses that witnessed it that day.

Source: An Assault on Freedom of Expression in Cuba - Havana -

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