HAVANA TIMES — All around the world people are writing stories and articles on the internet telling about their lives and those of others, as well as discussing what’s happening in their neighborhoods, provinces and countries.
Cubans are one of the few peoples on the planet who can’t do this freely, at least not the way we’d like.
Firstly, the vast majority of Cubans have the misfortune of not having internet access. Secondly, when we write about our island, it seems we’re obligated to be either for or against the government, no other position is accepted.
This means that if you harshly criticize the socialist regime that has ruled here for more than 50 years, you’ll find immediate support from the anti-Castro folks abroad, regardless of what you say is being half true, half false or simply fabricated.
Likewise, those people who for some reason — political or not — write posts criticizing capitalism and praising the achievements of the Cuban Revolution are often doomed to hearing insults and curses.
For some time, Havana Times and it writers (some of them) have been branded “hirelings of the empire.”
I won’t stop to explain to our readers that we’re a self-funded site, (one that doesn’t receive funding from the US or Cuban governments), as the editor has explained previously in interviews.
What I do believe is worth recalling is those people who write logs for this site are only interested in telling their stories, which may be the same ones as thousands upon thousands of other Cubans, or they may be shared by only a few. The point is that these stories and articles express the reality of Cuba – something that’s not found in the official Cuban media or in the “independent” sites of right-wing extremists.
Obviously some of our contributors have pro-capitalist ideas, though we also have some who advocate socialism – people like me.
I support socialism now and I’ll always support it …I’m not ashamed of that. Though I’ve never lived under capitalism, I know that it isn’t the solution to the human misery around us.
Clearly I’m not so blind or naive to believe that our model is the one that will solve all the problems of our society — assuming there’s a system that can do that — but I am confident that the updating of the model can accomplish that.
And if this doesn’t occur, I’m even more confident that the Cuban people will be able to find their own way, with the help of all of us – those on the right and on the left, those who trust in Raul and those who don’t, those who trust only in themselves and those who don’t trust anyone.
As a Cuban, I want to be able to talk about not only the positive aspects of my country, but also its shortcomings when I deem this necessary.
I want to give my opinion about how to achieve a more equitable society that’s more developed economically, as well as to criticize the weaknesses of the revolution, if by doing so I can help I strengthen the system.
This is something that I want to do and that needs to be done, but without those who believe themselves to be “revolutionaries” calling me a traitor – because I’m not.