Veronica Vega

HAVANA TIMES — A few weeks ago, just by chance, I saw a report on “the real United States” by Tele Sur (the Venezuelan Television network) broadcast here on Cuban TV.

Among other things, the material showed the tragedy of the homeless, whose ranks now include many veterans of the war in Iraq. It showed how they suffer traumas that have turned them into social misfits, psychologically maladjusted for life.

These are aspects of US society that of course aren’t shown in most movies. They’re not among the glamorous and hypnotizing images from the empire that are shown to us, the poor of the Third World.

Those troubling scenes are like ulcers, throbbing beneath the makeup, requiring attention but most of all cures. I’m therefore grateful for having been made aware of them.

But at the same time, as I watched the interview I couldn’t help questioning how many of the ulcers of Venezuelan society could have also been shown by those same journalists. Likewise, I had to ask how many of our own sores and lesions could have been revealed to us by Cuban national television.

It seems that this approach fully reflects the axiomatic phrase: “We see the speck of straw in our neighbor’s eye, but we don’t see the plank in our own.”

If humans were less impressionable or manipulatable, I think the world population would have long ago become disgusted with deceptive announcers and guileful commentators. They would have become like “the Murderer” in Ray Bradbury’s short story, eager to destroy televisions, “machines that yak-yak-yak,” magnifying glasses that scrutinize other people’s problems and spokespeople of foreign scandals and gossip.

Nevertheless the seduction of the media is very effective, and one finds themself trapped in the news. It doesn’t matter if they’re seeing the faces of these homeless people in the US, whose personal dramas frighten us, what they’re doing on TV here is omitting our own homelessness, which of course I’ve never seen on Cuban television.

Or is it that they’re making us forget about those who — so very close to us — are suffering repression for disagreeing publicly or for trying to talk about those hidden elements that our state censors have determined unfit for publishing.




Veronica Vega

Veronica Vega: I believe that truth has power and the word can and should be an extension of the truth. I think that is also the role of Art and the media. I consider myself an artist, but above all, a seeker and defender of the Truth as an essential element of what sustains human existence and consciousness. I believe that Cuba can and must change and that websites like Havana Times contribute to that necessary change.

6 thoughts on “Calling the Kettle Black

  • “44 Damas De Blanco arrested in Havana while leaving Sunday Mass”

    On the eve of international Human Rights Day, on Sunday police unleashed a wave of repression against members of one of the nation’s most effective opposition groups, the Damas De Blanco, or “Ladies In White.”

    In Havana, police forced into buses 44 Damas who had just attended Mass.

    “Dozens of Ladies in White and other activists beaten and arrested leaving Santa Rita Church today”

    The Cuban government finds a wonderful way to observe International Human Rights Day, by arresting peaceful citizens.

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