Instead of an article or news report, today I would like to speak from personal experience about the Caribbean island of Cuba. Some see it as part of Central America, emphasizing its nature and position in the Caribbean basin or greater Caribbean.
Certainly, no Central American is indifferent to what does or does not happen on the island of Cuba. I have twice had the opportunity to be in Cuba – Havana and its beautiful neighborhoods, the house of the great poet Dulce María Loináz. And the famous film and television school in San Antonio de los Baños, one of the places where the uprising/revolt of last July had more force, and where apparently everything began.
Professor Cristina Venegas, professor of television and New Media at UCLA, published a study when we were just entering this new era of the Internet revolution, wondering if New Media could be the end of Fidel Castro. It was a question that we were pondering as well — both because we were involved in the study of New Media, and because we wondered what might happen in Cuba. But Fidel Castro died, and everything still seemed to indicate that not even the Internet with its communication revolution was going to make a dent in the Cuban system and its government. However, little by little, ordinary Cubans have begun not only to connect with the rest of the world, but also to realize that the world is a little bigger than their wonderful island.
The situation there has become unsustainable. There is an absence of food and the very basics there, and you do not have to make a lot of effort to live poorly. Opportunities are scarce, and that is missed by the new generations. They are educated and well-prepared, not only to communicate with the world but also to undertake their lives and their ways of living on their own initiative and will. Their three main demands demonstrate it, namely food, medicine and free access to the Internet. They say they do not want or deserve to continue to be isolated from the rest of the world. It is a noble cause.
The Cuban government’s arguments are weak. But with the forces of repression, they control and then silence their critics. The last I heard was about the death of three generals, and that no one knows the cause. All of them had humanistic professional profiles. Nobody knows what happened. But the fact is that they died, one after another, in a period of just three weeks.
Finally, I would like to quote and emphasize statements that were made by two of the most outstanding Cuban singer-songwriters recognized throughout the Latin American region as originators of the new Latin American song. Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés have come out with statements requesting the island’s government to listen to those who protest — that they listen to the people’s demands and requests. This is something that was previously unpublished.