Yanelys Nunez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES – A new troll has come to light on social media. However, before talking about him, let’s remember what the word “troll” means according to the offline platform, Wikipedia:
“In Internet slang, a troll (/tro?l, tr?l/) is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.”
In order to place this figure within Cuban reality, it’s worth saying that trolls on the island are just Ministry of Interior employees (because I don’t believe that anyone in their right mind would spend their time and money harassing others out of amusement when Internet is so expensive here in Cuba), and therefore their work takes on a completely political nature.
Going back to the troll who is up against us.
This man or woman who goes by the name Jose Fernandez on Facebook and lives in Nashville, has been doing overtime over the past few weeks.
One of the things that he did was try to discredit artist Amaury Pacheco, by sending private messages to Cuban rappers who are close to those of us who signed the San Isidro Manifesto, in a campaign to repeal Decree 349 [which criminalizes all independent art] and for government authorities to release musician Maykel Castillo, who has been arrested since September 25th for speaking out against the aforementioned decree at a concert.
The other thing this troll has been doing is really quite childish, urging me to go and settle in the US, claiming that they can help me, that he was a friend of mine at my preuniversity course and other nonsense, that nobody in their right mind would believe.
However, my intention wasn’t to give this troll any more time or attention. I wanted to denounce State Security’s other ploys, which are perhaps a little more dangerous.
Recently, in Havana’s San Isidro barrio, neighbors who defended us on August 11th against the Cuban police’s violent attacks, have received the following text message en masse:
“Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, a disgrace to San Isidro who is giving the neighborhood a bad name, has the place swarming with police, he’s going to make us go overboard.”
Whoever knows this part of Old Havana knows that there are a lot of conflicts here. Not because it has the mark of one of the country’s most remembered pimps, Yarini; not because it has illegal businesses, like any other neighborhood in the capital, but because it is a slum area that has its own survival code.
So, what is the Cuban government after? More violence? That these people turn their backs when MININT tries to arrest one of the artists that regularly visit Luis’ home on Damas and San Isidro streets?
I have tried not to think the worst of State Security, throughout this entire time that I have been learning about how they work. I have tried to distance myself from hate but it doesn’t lead anywhere. I have even believed that they can’t be killers, like a friend once told me they were.
But now what, how are we supposed to take this provocation?