Socialist Activist Pedro Campos Denounces Intimidation Campaign by Government

By Pedro Campos

Pedro Campos

HAVANA TIMES — Friends from the neighborhood have informed me that individuals who identified themselves as State Security agents visited the building where I live, asked about me and said I belonged to a “human rights organization.”

Taking note of this incident, comrades from the democratic Left asked me to make a public statement about it, owing to the complicated moment the country is going through and the actions the Left is undertaking to become united and confront the deformation of Cuba’s revolutionary process.

Since the 80s, whenever State Security wants to create problems for people, they have been using the figure of the “human rights activist.” The government has managed to make this “accusation” synonymous with being “scum”, “counterrevolutionary” and an “enemy agent” in the popular imaginary, something which paves the way for other individual or collective actions against those thus “identified.”

This tactic is aimed at discrediting me and creating the conditions for new hostile actions against me, in the hopes of isolating me from my family and neighborhood, where I enjoy the respect and affection of many neighbors, including some Party members. It was also conceived so I would be informed about it, with the evident aim of intimidating me.

This is far from new. I have been subjected to systematic harassment for many years. In the comments to the articles I’ve been publishing since 2006 in the website Kaosenlared, one can find a whole slew of remarks that seek to discredit me and personal threats of every sort, evidently leveled by the counterintelligence apparatus of Cuba’s State Security network (as they use personal information that very few people have access to).

When the so-called “Email Wars” broke out, then Minister of Culture Abel Prieto expressly forbade my participation in the debates surrounding the inaptly-called “Gray Five Years,” which involved the participation of hundreds of Cuban intellectuals at Havana’s Casa de las Americas and, before everyone present, made statements aimed at discrediting me.

Vice-Minister for Culture Fernando Rojas tried to keep me from participating in a panel debate at a gathering sponsored by the Hermanos Saiz Association in 2008, telling the organizers I should not speak there because my political stances were addictive, like cocaine.

A little over two years ago, State Security agents told friends at the Observatorio Critico (OC) collective that I was a member of the “opposition”, with whom they should have no contact. Of course, that smear campaign didn’t achieve its aims, as the comrades at OC are aware of the tactics used by State Security and know perfectly well who I am and what my political positions are.

On two occasions, in 2008 and 2009, State Security agents knocked at my door in the early morning of May 1st to ask me not to rally with signs we had put together with anarchists and social democrats.

On different occasions, I have also received “friendly” visits from State Security officials, who have urged me not to publish my articles on alternative networks. I have replied that, as long as they do not publish my articles in Cuba’s official press, I will allow them to be published in any international, alternative media. Only the journal Temas published a summary of an essay about socialism I wrote, last year, while I was abroad.

During the last “cordial” home visit by State Security, in December of last year, I was warned that, were I to continue publishing my articles in these media, specifically 14ymedio, I would be treated as a “counterrevolutionary.”

I want to point out that I began publishing my articles on the Internet after Fidel Castro himself said, in 2005, that the revolution could only be destroyed by revolutionaries, calling on citizens to combat corruption and bureaucratic mindsets. That is when I approached the Party’s Central Committee, to see if they were interested in publishing my writings regarding this in Cuba’s official press – and my offer was turned down.

It is clear now, judging from the form and content of this recent action, that they have stepped up the smear campaign, which had been interrupted owing to the fact I was in Ecuador for more than a year. Perhaps they thought I wouldn’t be coming back.

It’s clear that my presence in Cuba, my writings and my political activities are not to the liking of the leadership, annoyed that these are enjoying growing prestige in Cuba and abroad.

Since they cannot accuse me of treason, of working for the “enemy” or carrying out “illegal business operations” or anything of the sort, they are now looking for another way to try and neutralize me, to silence my political and economic analyses of Cuban reality, to put me out of circulation somehow – preferably through the actions of some unwitting citizen, the kind that take part in fanatical public reprisals, like the one who, to the shame of all revolutionaries around the world, yelled “down with human rights!” in front of the cameras.

Faced with this campaign of harassment in my neighborhood, where I was also recently informed that the rumor I had been murdered had been spread, I publicly condemn these incidents and hold the pertinent authorities responsible of “any new slanderous statement, smear campaign, accident, sudden illness or act of public aggression” that could affect my life, political activities or physical or intellectual faculties, with a view to try and neutralize me and hinder my work for a participative and democratic form of socialism.

If the Cuban government acts against me in an irresponsible fashion owing to my socialist convictions, and if it continues to violate my civil rights and personal integrity, I hold it responsible before all revolutionaries, socialists and democrats around the world and accuse it of persecuting the people who have defended this revolution with their very lives.

If they’ve gone this far with those of us who have been true to our revolutionary oaths and professional ethics (those of us who merely disagree with the methods and actions of the government-Party-State), what can we expect them to do with others? Do the people who order and execute these actions not realize that they are giving credence to all of the accusations leveled against them and contributing to the division of the Left?

Don’t expect me to take a single step back. My work for a democratic and socialist society will not be stopped in any way. Stop the repression and the use of violence against dissenting thought. Accept peaceful exchange, not only with the United States, and respect all of the rights of all Cubans – or do not expect to be absolved by history.

13 thoughts on “Socialist Activist Pedro Campos Denounces Intimidation Campaign by Government

  • Why does this individual believe that his brand of socialism is more perfect than the socialism the majority of the other inhabitants of the country believe in? Why does he believe that his views should supersede those of the majority,isn’t Democracy- the same Democracy he speaks about, supposed to be by the support of the majority? If the majority supports the Socialist philosophy expounded by the Party, and I have had occasions to witness the mass participation of the vast majority of the Cuban people through their various organization in the affairs of the country, what is this individual yapping about? I have never heard him discredit the tactics used by the US Interest Section in recruiting the remnants of the oligarchs in Cuba to effect regime change in the country. When people like him tries to impose his will upon the majority, when he publishes his writings abroad in his selfish efforts to degrade,to tarnish, to belittle the humongous efforts of the Revolution, he presents himself as an agent of all those who want to destroy the gains made by the Revolution. If he is so much of a Socialist as he claims to be, why does he not attend the many mass organizations which exist in the country and make his voice be heard? NO! that is too much democracy for him. His views supersede those of the majority and his views are correct. The majority do not know what is going on; only he knows what is taking place. He definitely is in the employ of a foreign agent which is using him to destroy the Revolution. Under Socialism our own personal ambition is submerged in the interest of the majority of the masses. If I have a view, I express my view at a mass meeting where it is trashed out; If the majority think that it has merit and use it, it is done in the interest of the masses. If my view is rejected,it is done so by the majority which did not accept it, who did not believe that it was workable. When the new economic pathway was being introduced, there were mass participation in the discussions. It was not done unilaterally. All persons participated, so what is my good friend alluding to? He is a traitor to the Revolution. Any one who comes out to destroy the Revolution by expounding his own personal views and ambition is not a Socialist. A true Socialist destroys his I- man-ism in support of We-ism.Under capitalism, the I-man-ism is the philosophy. I eat, I live, I enjoy the fruits of the land, I suppress the majority so that my friends and I live in luxury while the majority live in squalour.

  • John actually said “record” which has been admitted since the Snowden revelations. But I guess you are joking yeah – every country has secret policemen.

  • Über and AirBnB are introducing new models of commercial activity in the transportation and hospitality sectors that put individuals in charge. However we are a long way from the prevailing norm that offers the bargain of ephemeral security or false fairness in exchange for control of our lives. Freedom is such a danger to those that live to control others like Hillary Clinton. God save America if she is elected.

  • Well a john, if you know how many they are, they can’t very we’ll be secret then can they ?

  • Nobody is listening to my calls nor reading my emails. Don’t be silly. You are confusing the US with Cuba.

  • There are over 17 security agencies within the US government.
    They record all your phone calls and internet transactions .
    You don’t know jack about much, do you ?

  • N.J. Marti,
    Thank you for the thoughts.
    Our totalitarian foes both in the ranks of the Cuban government and the bulk of the U.S. population that prefers life under totalitarian systems have absolutely no love for democracy .
    I feel that Cubans -certainly you- have a clearer picture of what democracy is and isn’t while most Americans believe that being told what to do by authority figures is the way to live.
    This belief on my part is supported by the U.S’s 80% belief in an authoritarian-always watching you God, a totally dictatorial economic system where your boss decides everything to do with your work and the profits from your work, the double-winged ( Democratic/Republican) Capitalist Party farce that Americans believe deeply and erroneously is a democratic system and not the oligarchy that it is and finally the historically male-dominated nuclear family structure which once, a tool of capitalism is now being destroyed by capitalism .
    Our authority-loving enemies, these people who really do not like democracy talk the talk but are unable to walk the walk .
    I don’t know why they cannot be honest about what they really want to do to Cuba.
    I’m in solid agreement with you.
    Write on.

  • And how exactly does your comment pertain to this mans story? Are you saying it’s ok to have this man muzzled? You do of course realize that its not Marxism you find in Cuba, instead you have an authoritarian “Castroism” cleptocracy.

  • The work is valuable in furthering the understanding of the failure of state socialist models. Difussing the means of production thus centering economic power with individuals is a challenge to the prevailing norms of accumulating capital in private or state hands, a distinction at times with little meaning. The early forms of socialism argued for workers owning the means of production. It was only latter that concentrating power in the hands of a single party with an authorian leader for life came to pass as socialism. Failure has now shown the foolishness of such systems.

    Democratic socialism and self managed forms of production threaten the power of the bureaucracy built around statism. I am struck by the changes in the direction of change in the economic model along proposals by Campos. Self governance is a different matter as entrenched leadership has little interest in sharing power. Unleashing the economic model from central control should be the priority as a people that can manage their affairs will be better prepared for particepotary governance.

  • Pedro, keep it going! I’m a card carrying capitalist but endorse your right to get your point across and hopefully you will be on the forefront when the change really happens. Great piece of writing and another example how Cuba is still backward and out of touch with the rest of the world.

  • What secret police do we have in the US? Oh wait, I guess that’s the secret.

  • I believe secret policemen are alike throughout the world. Here in the USA, the FBI accumulates files and sends spies into socialist organizations. I’m a marxist, so I believe the Cuban government has a right to defend itself against US imperialism. But there cannot genuine socialism without democracy– not democracy for FBI and CIA agents. It is too easy to fall into paranoia about agents everywhere, but that’s exactly what US imperialism wants: to create an atmosphere of paranoia, which discredits the Cuban revolution. Socialists have to beware the bribes (scholarships, grants, free trips which US imperialism offers.

  • Pedro,
    As an anarchist I am in complete sympathy with your understanding of the present Cuban government as oppressive and high-handed.
    All anarchists understand that any government, long enough in power becomes self-preserving , corrupt and totalitarian and this is exactly what has occurred in Cuba BUT with a great deal of responsibility for that twisting of revolutionary principles having to be laid at the doorstep of Washington D.C. .
    Under attack for 55 years as Cuba has been from the U.S. , I do not know how they could not become self-preserving and feel the need to fight back against all attacks from without and from within .
    Any country would do this to survive an existential attack.
    As a principled democrat holding thoughts and ideas that can be construed as opposition to the revolution -AS DEFINED BY THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT -and this situation will automatically bring you into conflict with the Cuban government.
    I feel that if and once all relations with the USA are normalized we will see if the leadership still remembers what the revolution was all about and if they will then install the democratic systems needed for a future democratic Cuba.
    At present the Cuban leadership must do all it can not to sacrifice the gains the revolution has made in order to reach a rapprochement with the USA and to ensure that once it is possible , Cuba will move toward a democratic society .
    People like you are needed to point the way to that future.
    Wishing you the best .

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