Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

February 24, 1999.


HAVANA - How will things be after all this uproar? Who will have survived? Those who have gone crazy or those convinced of their mission, their rights? Those who do not back up because they otherwise would asphyxiate themselves out of impotence, of rebelliousness or of shedding tears over their being only shadows persecuted by the phantoms of renunciation?

Better to get yourself asphyxiated by them. It will be their crime. If you do it to yourself it is a suicide and that is something generally qualifying only as an act of cowardice.

It is not because of wanting to deserve the glory of a hero, like those who become martyrs. But the alternative journalism exercised by several dozen colleagues in different independent agencies inside of Cuba does deserve something during our time. It deserves something because of the circumstances in which it has arisen and develops and also because of the reason behind it.

This media, made up of normal men and women with the usual range of emotions that includes fear, astonishment, joy, anguish and anxiety performs in a climate of material needs and lack of rights, always persecuted. Cuba's independent journalists are defenseless. They can only count on their internal strength. Their permanence and growth makes it evident that such fortitude is superior to the strength of gunfire.

In the lifestyle of the free journalists of Cuba the words of José Martí live: "One is fighting when telling the truth" ("Se pelea cuando se dice la verdad"). And the Cuban government has no way of confronting the truth, incapacitated as it is to open a frontline in the same field.

The writings of the collaborating "newsgatherers" in the official government publications call us "sons of bitches" ("hijos de puta"), "agents paid by the CIA," "corsairs" (corsarios), "bastard children of Torricelli, Helms and Burton."

To them and their bosses I repeat the phrase of the Cuban apostle (José Martí): "He better serves the motherland who tells the truth and educates her taste than he who exaggerates the merits of her famous men" ("Mejor sirve a la patria quien dice la verdad y le educa el gusto que el que exagera el mérito de sus hombres famosos").

By government mandate we do not have a place in the information media of Cuba. This is the trap for promulgating Law No. 80 or the "Gap Law" and its recently approved "legal instrument" for the "Protection of the National Independence and the Economy of Cuba."

The only alternatives we have today are the radio broadcasting stations and other foreign media. Contrary to our desires and to logic we make use of this alternative so that the people of the island, especially, know what occurs inside the national territory. It is a tribute to the motherland and to the profession, which should be alien to all ideology other than the right to free expression and information for all.

The ax blade shines as it oscillates right above our heads. And even though we already are prisoners, the executioner listens to our every word and watches every gesture. It seems that "power by power" ("el poder por el poder") is afraid of its own victims even when their breathing depends on its merely making one gesture.

We are aware of our own frailty in front of a government obsessed with absolute power, but how could we abandon the path? We will go to prison if they insist on that. But we resist being shadows again, now that we have lived in the light.

By Marvin Hernández Monzón.

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Copyright © 1999 - Cuba Free Press, Inc.