Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jorgito, The New Revolutionary Icon

Jorgito, The New Revolutionary Icon / 14ymedio, Ignacio de la Paz

14ymedio, Ignacio de la Paz, Camagüey, 19 August 2016 — The Revolution
needs to constantly reinvent new ideological struggles, constructing new
heroes that meet the demands of the so-called ideological work with the
masses. Thus, after the stage of the founding epic there was the release
in 1988 of Orlando Cardoso Villavicencio, who had been held for nearly
12 years by Eritrean rebels, later there was the ideological battle for
the return of Elian Gonzalez and finally, the struggle began for the
return of the Five Heroes imprisoned by the "empire." The saga of
revolutionary heroes could not be finalized once and for all, and now a
new one is being constructed, Jorge Enrique Jerez Belisario, otherwise
known as Jorgito the Disabled.

At his birth in the Provincial Maternity Hospital of Camagüey on March
8, 1993, in the toughest year of the Special Period, Jorgito suffered
physiological jaundice complicated by symptoms of a generalized
infection by the bacterium Klebsiella and was finally diagnosed with
Infantile Cerebral Palsy. This information is public, taken from Ecured,
Cuba's official on-line encyclopedia. However, we Camagüeyanos who knew
the Ana Betancourt Maternal Hospital in those years knew that it was a
time of every man for himself, and suspect there could have been poor
medical practices caused by the lack of hospital resources.

Jorgito's parents, professor of Marxism Maria Julia Belisario and then
prosecutor Jorge Jerez, moved heaven and earth to raise their son,
receiving every possible support. The mother stopped working, receiving
full pay, to care for the child at home, and Julio Diaz Hospital in
Havana took care of his rehabilitation for four years. When Jorgito
needed a computer to write because of fine motor skills problems, he was
assigned one. He was prescribed botulinum toxin, dispensed free of
charge although the cost for the medication according to Jorgito himself
is $400. In addition he received specialized classes targeted to his
disability with teachers to see to his needs.

Jorgito displayed a strong will and perseverance, partially
rehabilitating himself, and soon expressed his revolutionary political
vocation. In 2006, Jorgito debuted in his public life on the occasion of
the Fourth Pioneers Congress, where he attended as a delegate and made
an emotional speech of thanks, drawing the attention of Raul Castro who
presided over the event due to Fidel's illness. Thereafter, began the
ascendance of the rising star of the new Cuban ideological hero. Later
on he joined the campaign for the return of the five "prisoners of the
empire," developing personal friendships with them and their
families. This produced an umbrella effect, with Jorgito being
associated from that moment with "The Five."

The young man studied journalist and discussed his thesis on the case of
the Five Heroes in the presence of Gerardo Hernandez, one of the
released prisoners, and his wife. His blog, JorgitoXCuba, achieved
national popularity with the premiere of a documentary based on his life
on the Roundtable TV program, entitled The Power of the Weak, by German
director Tobias Kriele. Thus, Jorgito became a roving ambassador of the
Cuban Revolution, traveling through many countries in the Americas and

He was at the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in Ecuador, at
the Summit of the Americas in Panama, at the 2nd Day Against the
Blockade in the United States, and toured 13 German cities and now
Switzerland and other European countries on the old continent.

Jorgito is enjoying his honeymoon with the Cuban government. He has free
Internet in his lovely apartment, receives special work permits and
constantly travels abroad with his family, receiving gifts. He does not
suffer the miseries of ordinary Cubans, much less those of many disabled
who do not have the same luck and do not receive any attention or help.

Source: Jorgito, The New Revolutionary Icon / 14ymedio, Ignacio de la
Paz – Translating Cuba -

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