By Esteban Morales
HAVANA TIMES — Like we say here in Cuba, I’ve had just about enough of the case with this journalist for quite some time now, who has been living in Cuba for over 20 years. He has children, a wife, a family; in short, he’s a national citizen in practice.
Let whoever has anything serious against Fernando Ravsberg step forward and tell me because I’m a revolutionary and I don’t want to harm the Revolution.
I don’t owe Ravsberg any favors, but I must say, that when they took away my Communist Party affiliation because of an article that wasn’t like by higher ups, they kicked me off of the Mesa Redonda (roundtable) program and they took me off of the morning TV news, the only journalist who was brave enough to write about my case was this man, who I had never personally met.
If at the end of the day I discover that Ravsberg is working for the enemy, maybe I’ll criticize myself, because I was treated in the same way and nobody criticized themselves when they discovered that it had all been a mistake.
Furthermore, I must have ideological problems because I have never read, up until now, a single article written by this journalist that I haven’t liked, at least published here in Cuba. I even love his “spicy” articles, because in this country there are more than enough people who need to have “garlic” put in front of them, so that they get up from their desks and fulfill their role. Ravsberg’s articles are a contribution to that end.
However, what’s been done with Ravsberg doesn’t have a name. Not too long ago, the Vice-President at UPEC (Cuban Journalists Association) took the luxury of making insinuations against him [calling for his deportation] and now, more recently, a journalist has even threatened him physically in her blog. This seems like Central America to me, the only difference being that here they don’t murder us out on the street.
Meanwhile, UPEC has said that since Ravsberg is a foreigner, they couldn’t accept the journalist’s complaint. This is something which, I have to be honest, seems a little bit like the xenophobia which we criticize here of others. So since Ravsberg is a foreigner he doesn’t have the right to be defended by UPEC? Does that also mean that they could even kill him and not a word?
For a lot less than the threat against Ravsberg UPEC has removed membership of members. I believe that our colleagues at UPEC need to sit down and talk to a constitutional lawyer.
Of course, when Ravsberg writes, he does so with courage, which many of our journalists could use. He tells us the truth, whether it’s good or bad, and he criticizes everything he believes needs to be criticized. Undoubtedly, this clashes with the epidemic that we have always suffered, where the virus, or better yet, bacteria of half-truths, absence of information and the metastasis of flattery, combines with excuses and is eating away at us.
Our information deficiencies are so great, that we even defend corrupt people. We barely report about these cases and the faces of the corrupt don’t appear anywhere.
I say, with all sincerity, that we should leave him alone, that he is just doing his job. He can make mistakes like anybody else, if only everyone who made a mistake did so because of excess and not by default, which the vast majority end up doing.
Ravsberg belongs to this press, where the vast majority of intellectuals write because we never find a space in the so-called “official media”, because they don’t like what we write; because we’re more interested in being on top of the news than behind it; because we are moved by real life events, and we are driven to tell the truth, so that we can influence society; because we criticize so as to improve the country; because we have a computer and email address and some of us even have internet access, which nobody can take away from us.
Furthermore, I would like to advise those who don’t happen to like one of Ravsberg’s articles, to write a better one, instead of threatening him.