Vicente Morin Aguado
HAVANA TIMES — Hours after the Boeing 737-200 exploded in the surroundings of the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, at least a dozen short recordings taken from the place of the event were going viral and being passed between the millions of mobile phones functioning in today’s Cuba.
Even though sharp observers can identify a fake video, the rest were clearly bearing witness from that fatal crash. The state’s media system has taken on the job of emotionally charging this very unfortunate event with repeated praise about the Cuban people’s human sensitivity. There are more than enough images of such human behavior circulating, mixed with other images of a different tone.
The avalanche of people moving about the place disaster struck escaped the authorities’ redline, usually under control in other less tragic contexts. When surviving passengers emerged, so many people tried to help that instead of doing this they disturbed medical personnel on site, who were enough to do their job properly.
Add to that the large presence of amateur video makers/photographers, who in their eagerness to capture the most striking pictures (most of which were really raw) had to be pushed away from the narrow passageways in the middle of brushwood riddled with corpses spread out and different size airplane pieces, some of which were still on fire while smoke from the explosion prevailed.
You could see some people void of any emotion in the way they were acting in the face of such moving events. They were only thinking about their cellphones or God knows what while others were pouring out their hearts and souls over the hundred inevitable casualties.
Facebook has filled empty heads with a large percentage of self-made reports online, who live their lives absent from the country’s authentic reality. With no real image available, somebody copied the shocking explosion of a four-engine plane which exploded when it crashed into an unidentified runway. Confirming that there were 4 motors on the plane was enough to rule out it being a Boeing 737.
There were more than enough isolated but shameful scenes of people without any human values, taking advantage of the confusion to try and grab any scattered spoils they could find in the brushwood. This shameful attitude was worthy of a brief mention on national news, confirmed by images impossible “to capture” with our scarce means. This time, we applauded the police’s timely response against such thieves.
Because this situation was so shocking, it went beyond the authorities’ ability to appropriately deal with it. The irony is that such democratic license, which goes with the unstoppable digitalization of our society, has allowed me to write this article.
Vicente Morin Aguado [email protected]