My first encounter with Jose Alejandro was on second page of the Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde (JR). It was when a section of letters from the readers called “Acuse de Recibo” (Acknowledgement of Receipt) first began. His section captured my full attention because it pointed out people’s problems and sought solutions – something not very common in the Cuban press.
Later I read two articles that he published on the first of May in both 2008 and 2009. These articles described what happened on those days and highlighted two signs that appeared in those marches of workers: They read “Down with Bureaucracy, Up with the Workers! More Socialism!” and “Workers, Let Us Decide and Direct Our Socialism!”
At that moment I knew that Jose Alejandro was sincerely committed to the socialist future of Cuban society.
The reason I’m writing about this journalist today is an article of his that appeared on the JR website at the end of last month, and which was soon on the lips of a wide section of the public.
The article was titled, “Against the Demons of Kidnapped Information.”
In it, Pepe Alejandro made several observations about information in Cuba; how, for example, news is excessively centralized and how special informational privileges are enjoyed by “Granma” (the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party) and “The Roundtable” television news/commentary program.
He also criticized the fact how someone can decide that certain measures are put into practice without these being properly reported to those who will have to carry them out.
Likewise, Pepe Alejandro commented on the considerable number of officials who believe they have the right to decide what should be reported.
This journalist knows -as is apparent in his article- that information can be a double-edged sword. He made us fix our attention on another point, one which I agree with totally: Real news can never be substituted for that which is opportune, authorized or convenient. This is simply because it’s public property.
With that article, he brought to light much of the suffering of news networks in our country – plagued with weary, disenchanted and conformist professionals.
Pepe Alejandro belongs to the group of fearless journalists, those who battle, those who understand that the maker of the Cuban Revolution is the people themselves, and that only with the participation of this historical force can the foundation of socialism be laid.
With no fear of erring, I can say that this journalist is one of the most revolutionary in the Cuban press today.