HAVANA TIMES — My friend Alfredo spoke recently about the closing down of Polemica digital, the blog published by young university professor Elaine Diaz, whose web log was one of the most widely read in Cuba (for those who have Internet access) and outside as well.
Alfredo’s suspicion is that the professor was pressured by certain “authorities” to close her blog. She said goodbye to her readers concisely and carefully, claiming that she wanted to devote more time to teaching. I for one am drawing my own conclusions by simply connecting the dots.
Elaine entered the arena of cyberspace with her blog, where from time to time she would raise some fairly strong criticisms about what ails our society. She was never censored though, since her blog still bore an officialist halo.
She publicly denied being confined to one side or the other, and I think that was her first slip up. We should remember that the level of commitment one shows to the officialdom is directly proportional to the visibility you’re allowed.
Elaine wanted navigate alone on her journalistic journey, in a terrain where some of us try to base ourselves on the truth at all costs, while others try to discredit us and question our legitimacy.
At the meeting a couple months ago of Blogueros en Revolucion (Bloggers in Revolution), organized by the basically pro-government website Joven Cuba out of Matanzas, I remember Elaine criticizing the event for its being exclusive. And she was one of the notable absentees – by choice. That’s what must have been her second misstep.
I wonder who it was that finally told Elaine that in the eyes of the regime she had reached her limit by championing those who are ignored while chastising her revolutionary blogging peers from Matanzas.
Since the third time is always the charm, what ended up being the last post by this journalist was an assault on the entire representative system of People’s Power and its grand scale “populocracy” in the National Assembly.
“Que no llegue a la Asamblea” (What Doesn’t Reach the Assembly), the last article on her blog (dated July 24), could have easily been written by any one of us and published on any website, from Havana Times to the Diario de Cuba.
No one could have accused her site or its author of having received funding from the US Interests Section, the CIA, or any of the European embassies here. But…what was she supposed to do? A powerful jerk to the ear left her no other option but to close up shop.
Like a good athlete, she made her move at the right moment, leaving an excellent post…one that was like an East Havana version of the great Spanish play Fuenteovejuna. It was there, generating controversy for anyone who could access it – which was the essence of her blog.
But in the end Elaine overdid it. She forgot something (and even if she was aware of it, she ran the risk): Within official journalism everything, outside of official journalism nothing.