Isbel Díaz Torres
HAVANA TIMES – While in the Dominican Republic on Sunday thousands of workers, students, anti-capitalist fighters, anarchists and women took to the streets to denounce the corruption of their government and the Brazilian company Odebrecht; an official Cuban delegation drank coffee and took photos.
The Cuban officials are attending another summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), from January 21 to 25, along with a handful of young people from what they call civil society on the island. I know that’s a bit of a laugh, but they said it on the TV news.
This peculiar “civil society” will participate in the so-called “Meeting of social forces for the unity, peace and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean”, in the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.
I can already imagine the Cuban leaders of the University Student Federation, or the Union of Young Communists, excited to attend such a serious and important event. Meanwhile on the streets of the Dominican Republic, true anti-capitalist youth shout their truths to power, that Brazilian government bribed Dominican officials between 2001 and 2014 to obtain public works contracts.
But Cuba will not fall into such social indiscipline. Instead, it was planned that troubadour Raul Torres was to sing his timely song “Riding with Fidel” on Monday at the “Artists for Unity” concert, at the close of the Encounter of Social Movements and Progressive Political Forces of the Patria Grande, in support to the Summit, and in homage to Fidel and Chavez.
The CELAC sessions, which Raul Castro will apparently be attending, will be well protected from the crowd’s shouting, of course, since they will be held in the tourist resort of Bavaro, in the municipal district of Veron Punta Cana.
This reality has nothing contradictory; rather it is consistent with the pragmatism with which the Raul Castro government has assumed its international relations.
Similarly, while on January 20, racist and homophobic tycoon Donald Trump officially assumed his post as US president, those same young Cuban pro-government anti-capitalists had nothing to say at home on the island.
Hundreds of spontaneous manifestations took place in various parts of the world, but none of them were Cuban. Perhaps the boys and girls of the UJC were trying on the ties and heels they would wear at the Dominican summit.
The same has happened with our national TV, which has covered the CELAC summit on the sister island of the Caribbean, but ignored the thousands of indignant people in its streets, demanding an end to impunity and corruption, and the expulsion of the Brazilian company from Dominican territory.
What’s been seen in Cuba is our typical official journalism, so faithful to the libretto that they put in front of them.