Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Havana, July 1, 1998, Cuba Free Press. >p> IT SEEMS WE MAY HAVE A CASE OF RED TRANSVESTITISM By Ana Luisa López Baeza, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - The Cuban government, champion of champions in the approbation of myths, gets its hands on a new one: "Every reverse may be converted into a victory!" (a famous saying of the Commandant).

The independent journalists of the island discredited this myth outside our corner of the world. And we also offered proofs that those responsible for the calumnies and harassment which victimize all us dissidents are the island's governors. Consequently we now note we are being put in the sights of another attack in an attempt to gain an advantage over us by focusing on the "unusual error" of a certain out-of-the-ordinary colleague.

In other words, it is appropriate to let everybody know that before we study the contents of the "Introduction to the Reunion of the Representatives and Secretaries of the Mass Base of the Havana Community Party," we should become aware that a new kind of offensive against us dissident journalists is gestating.

In my particular case, a recent incident indicated that I am correct. The only remaining friend of my daughter in our neighborhood told her sadly, "I like you very much, Lubia, but the work your mother does seems to me to be against the government. And this damages our friendship."

It was not necessary for her to say more. My daughter expressed her "understanding" about the matter and told her friend goodbye like someone who is leaving on a trip and doesn't know whether she ever will return.

Another bad omen was an article published in the weekly called "Rebel Youth," under a headline identical to a book that apparently is used to justify certain government hacks' commentaries: Dissidents or mercenaries?

This writer was identified as among those inside the "counterrevolutionary" groups, supposedly created or manipulated by the political directors in Washington, DC, "in their direct warfare against our country, so as to realize their dreams of annexing Cuba."

Truthfully, since the first of the year and the visit of Pope John Paul II we have been awaiting an aggressive strike against us.

We may now have proof about how the Cuban authorities are changing their tactics in relation to the entire opposition or dissident movement in which we are included. However, the authorities remain under the imperative of feigning a minimum amount of receptivity to their proclaimed role of being tolerant and respectful of human rights:

We remain persuaded that the Cuban government finds it impossible to permit even a sliver of liberty for the media, since its remaining in power nearly 40 years has been possible, largely, because of the impunity with which it could confuse public opinion nationally and internationally. This confusion is based on the control the authorities still exercise over all means of social communication in this country.

A new element may be found in that fact that on the eve of the arrival to the island of the sovereign pontiff, a report appeared that one "Jesus Diaz Loyola" was forming a group of independent journalists. But the way he went about it surprised us and put us on guard, for we knew that Diaz was still on the payroll of the National Information Agency and that he collaborated with Havana Press.

A few weeks later, the news also appeared that Diaz Loyola had indeed broken away from the official state media and was joining the independent press.

To those of us who had worked for Communist Party house organs before we moved into the independent press ranks, the "Loyola case" was somehow suspicious. Using our foresight, we shared our suspicions with friends, warning them to use the utmost discretion in gathering facts about the subject. Otherwise we could be without concrete proofs if we wished to make accusations in a matter so delicate.

Then it happened that this journalist, Diaz Loyola, was able to publish an "interview" (in the Spanish daily, "ABC") with Cardinal Jaime Ortega. But the cardinal actually had not granted the interview. This fraud led us to suspect that Diaz Loyola, consciously or unconsciously, had provided a great service for the Office of State Security.

Through the media agency known as "Granma Internacional," using the byline of one of its spokesmen, the Communist Party took advantage of the "Loyola Case" to launch an attack in an attempted retaliation against all of us who try to report the facts about reality in our country. This attack is an ideological maneuver to discredit and further isolate Cuba's independent journalists. The intended result is to foster more hostility against us and that all such anger have the appearance of its emanating from a public that opposes us.

The "mistake" of this individual, Diaz Loyola, is of such magnitude that it could not even be attributed to someone who only recently began working as an independent press reporter. And it hardly would be the work of someone who studied the field of journalism, worked in the profession for years, and then only three months after ostensibly leaving state control, became an ABC correspondent in Havana.

Let no one believe it is easy or pleasant for me to approach this subject. It is a nauseating matter, especially after the Spanish daily communicated its decision to dispense with the services of Diaz Loyola, exposing the reasons for such action.

But it is not appropriate that we fall into the trap that would be imposed by our society of keeping our silence so as not to air our dirty linen in public. Especially this is so when the fraud of this journalist is being used as the basis of accusing all of us independent journalists as being "shameless liars, capable of inventing any kind of statement so as to obtain money..."

And if the fraud of Jesus Diaz Loyola is not, after all, a chapter of a fresh kind of transvestitism carried out by the Cuban political police, then he will have to understand our reaction, accept it and serve out his time--minute by minute--so as to overcome the doubts about him that his actions have generated.

Ana Luisa López Baeza, Cuba Free Press.

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