By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – It was 2018. I was looking for something about Cuba, so I turned to Saint Google and found Havana Times. The name struck me, it was like a kind of tropical alter ego of U.S. newspaper The New York Times.
The article was written by Osmel Ramirez. The way he addressed the subject caught my attention and I went looking for other articles he’d written, and I learned that he was an independent journalist and that he was also working for Diario de Cuba.
I liked him from the start. We are contemporaries and we come from a boring generation that hasn’t left a mark, for better or worse on life in our country. The generation that didn’t succumb to their indoctrination and hid away in the struggle to survive with double standards and migration.
Osmel had farming roots, is the father of a family, a cultured and intelligent man, with principles, and strong democratic ideas. Later, I looked for him on social media and a beautiful virtual relationship began which we’ve kept up until now.
In the meantime, I never missed an article on Havana Times and really wanted to form part of this media platform. I didn’t know how until one afternoon Osmel suggested I write for the newspaper. My soul lit up.
Through him, I was able to contact the paper’s director Circles Robinson, a kind of Don Quixote for freedom of the press who loves our country and other countries in Latin America.
After being accepted, I saw myself become another writer for Havana Times in June 2019. Without any previous studies in journalism, I tried my best to show the harsh reality in Cuba just as I see it through my own eyes, with chronicles and articles.
Even though I thought from the very beginning that it would be a matter of weeks before I was identified and would face reprisals, I decided not to hide my name or face.
Luckily, I’ve not been harassed up until now and I’m able to celebrate four years of my collaboration with this inclusive, pluralist digital media platform, which serves as a spokesperson – via its domestic collaborators -, for Cubans who are surviving on this island in ruins under a totalitarian regime.