HAVANA TIMES — I write you this 17th of May not to send you my greetings on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, which we enthusiastically celebrate today next to Mariela Castro, nor because Cuba celebrates Farmers’ Day today. I write you because today is also World Internet Day.
My dear Comandante, allow me to steal a few minutes of the precious time you are devoting to Cuba’s reforms, reforms which, according to you, will be implemented “surely but not hastily” (though, to be frank, I’ve seen more of the second half than of anything else), to tell you a few things about the history of a celebration of which, apparently, you know next to nothing.
In 2005, cybernauts* from countries like Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Spain, Colombia, Uruguay and other places around the world, as well as the Internet Users Association and the Internet Society, decided to begin celebrating this day. Notice anything about that list, Comandante? All of the countries which supported this idea, with the exception of Spain, are in Latin America.
The chief aim of celebrating this day, I should tell you, is to “divulge information about the possibilities for improving the standard of living of countries and their citizens afforded by new technologies.”
Can you imagine videos of the parade in front of the La Rampa theatre and the festivities held at the farming cooperatives on YouTube, uploaded by Cuba’s gay and peasant communities? Why, even I would find it hard to believe!
Dear Raul, my mom recently had two moles surgically removed. Don’t worry, it was a simple enough procedure.
The point is that I would have liked to have seen her face after she’d gotten rid of those unpleasant protuberances. Believe me, it would have been very easy: an Internet connection, a laptop computer and a webcam would have sufficed.
Raul, you will likely say to me that the fact I am unable to see my mother’s mole-free face is trivial, or, to call things by their name, that it is really quite stupid to complain about such things, when the country can boast of a 2 % infant mortality rate thanks to you and your lot.
But, allow me to disagree with you, and say that these stupid little things are what make life worth living, particularly for Cubans who live far from their loved ones.
Comandante, please forgive the impertinence of asking you to provide all Cubans with free access to the Internet, this is truly disrespectful, particularly now, when you are so busy tracing new “guidelines” for the country. But, please, stop for a moment and Google the phrase “technological illiteracy”.
Believe me, at the pace we’re moving, soon Cuba will need another literacy campaign. This time, though, to raise the shameless banner which proclaims the island as “the last country in Latin America without technological illiteracy.”
Alfredo Fernández Rodríguez