Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

17 de Agosto del 2000

COMMUNIST CENSORSHIP By Onelio Pérez Rodríguez, Cuban Democratic Workers Confederation Vice President

Havana -- In 1959, Cuba started censuring all kinds of ideological, political, cultural and economic protest. Castro’s government raised an impenetrable barrier so the people would have no knowledge of the advances, developments, prosperity and successes of the western nations. The population carried on in total ignorance of many events of great relevance. On the other hand, the government revealed everything that occurred in communist-block nations, exaggerating their success and hiding their failures. It was evident that this had a clear propaganda purpose to show that only under socialism is a county capable of developing itself to reach a consistent standard of living. In time, they made the opposite recommendation when the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union disintegrated and all of the eastern European communist dictatorships disappeared. To silence all of the voices that didn’t agree with its ideas and purposes, the Cuban government ordered various measures to accomplish its malevolent ends. The first measure was the total seizure of all mass media such as the press, radio and television, converting these important media into government property for the exclusive use of the government and the communist party. Complementing this confiscation was the conversion of media workers into a single conglomeration of docile individuals, indoctrinated and domesticated. For that, they expelled all those that did not totally fall in with the political dispositions that gushed from communist sources, failing to value the talent and experience of those workers.

Censorship and self-censorship began to function in all journalistic, artistic, cultural and educational activities. To those must be added another measure -- the major reduction of the number of mass media -- which without a doubt made rigid control easier for the communists in power and restricted the public’s options. They were obligated to read, see and hear only what interested the government, who also had the power to make tiresome repetition of the themes they wanted to inculcate in the great masses. However it is good to note that in this effort, the communists have not had favorable results, as is shown by the unceasing flight of its citizens toward whatever country. As a consequence, the forced subordination to the regime’s ideas and established patterns has made everything boring. miserable and tedious. One loses interest in the message that was intended to move the people’s conscience.

One of the most popular means of communication in the world is television, whose fundamental objective of entertainment -- of recreation -- increases people’s cultural riches. But in Cuba, this objective doesn’t seem to interest the rulers who have now practically left the country deprived of this medium. We have stagnated for forty years to have only two television channels, which on occasion give the impression of being only one. Worse yet, now they only transmit their repetitious doctrines with the purpose of conditioning citizens’ minds toward communism, trying to make them believe that the only road toward development and prosperity is that which they reiterate again and again, without taking into account that the system they proclaim, in place of growing, is well on the road to total disappearance. In spite of 41 years of absolute power, the county is now in a deplorable social situation and is economically bankrupt. Not even the great number of hours of television, nor the arbitrary selection of broadcast themes designed to transform and manipulate the popular conscience has secured the communists’ hoped-for results. The people ask, “How is it possible that Cuba, being a bigger country, and one with much more resources and natural riches, than many of the countries in the world, only have two television channels. And besides, how is it they only produce and transmit programs that don’t wake up the interest of the great majority? The reason for this disinterest is that they have totally missed the functions for which television was created, transforming a publicity medium for an aging dictatorship.

Onelio Pérez Rodríguez, for Cuba Free Press

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