Alfredo Fernandez Rodriguez
The position taken by my friends regarding my decision to write for Havana Times has gone through several phases.
The first one was the unavoidable stage of warning me that anything could happen to someone in Cuba who collaborates with the non-official press. “Be careful, please, be careful. That could wind up being disastrous for you!” they cautioned.
Then, in a second phase, they asked me about my writings (since there are isolated instances in Cuba where people have Internet access).
Soon after that, in a third stage, they began suggesting possible articles. They might recommend, “Hey, Alfredo, why you don’t write about the infra-human conditions at this hospital, or about this building full of families that’s about to collapse at any moment, or about how public transportation has again started to get worse, or better yet, write about that 20-floor building that hasn’t had an elevator for years.”
These are expressions of people’s concerns that go un-reflected in the news of the official Cuban press. State journalism has ended up having a difficult relationship with reality – when it has one, because generally the official press turns its back on real life here.
The result is that the Cuban media depicts a country that is nonexistent to almost everyone.
A true picture of Cuba has gradually begun to be born from the keyboards of bloggers: youth with more of a love for Cuba than a knowledge of journalism. We are not willing to continue being accomplices to the deterioration, bureaucracy and mediocrity reining on the island today.
Our writings are usually short and include a glimpse of the issue being addressed. We use virtual space (the Internet) to reveal a true Cuba, at the same time not failing to speak of a Cuba we dream of in the immediate future.