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March 26, 2011
Erasmo Calzadilla

This post is concerning a TV program whose theme was the media war
against . In it, Yoani Sanchez and other bloggers were presented as
mercenaries on the payroll of the empire.

If you want to know if a government is dictatorial, ask its
representatives if there are or are not dissidents. If you get a
negative answer, the more absolute it is the more it's a symptom that
things are pretty ugly.

How is it possible then, at this stage of the game, that these types of
functionaries continue repeating the same thing? Have they no shame?
Don't they realize that by doing this they're putting nails in their own

The most normal thing in the world is to have dissidents. It's logical.
It's what should happen so that things function. It's characteristic
wherever one wants there to exist a healthy diversity of opinions and
points of views.

Where there are no dissidents it's because they're murdered or gagged
them whenever they open their mouths, because even bees and ants should
have dissidents.

What's more, we should all be dissidents, each having a varying position
on one or another measure that reigns in society. And we all should be
struggling for the recognition of our differing point of view.

For some time, government spokespeople and others who agree with their
positions came out accusing Yoani of being a mercenary of the empire,
paid through the many international awards she receives, even the highly
recognized Ortega and Gaset prize.

I don't know if the recognitions were fair or not, but to accuse someone
in front of the TV cameras like that requires that they should at least
present some proof.

Listen! If you don't want them to call you a dictator then don't do
those types of things. It appears that either they've gone completely
crazy or they believe that the people of Cuba are just plain stupid.

I know very little about what Yoani, Pardo and the rest of the bloggers
do, but I think that any government in the world would be proud to have
dissidents as peaceful and respectful as them – so different from what
terrorists represent.

But there's another aspect: When they mention Yoani on the one hand, and
the bloggers who support the government on the other, they reduce the
whole sphere to this dichotomy, but there's actually a rich and
diverse world thanks to bloggers.

I could cite, for example, leftwing bloggers like some of the ones who
write for this web page. The left bloggers remain essentially invisible
because to the authorities it's “not convenient” that the world know how
much socialism itself has been betrayed. What's more, the social
activism these bloggers invite could end up stripping the ruling elite
of the privileges they enjoy.

Erasmo Calzadilla: My parents named me Erasmo 34 year ago, when I was
planted in a neighborhood of retired military personnel situated toward
the southern city limits of Havana. I don't know why, but I'm
impassioned with thought, philosophy, art, science, friendship and
music; in short, everything good that has stirred the passions of
humans, nature, and God – or whoever was the creator. Actually I
graduated in pharmacy, but I work as a professor at institutions that
believe in me and are welcoming. It is important to highlight that I
also hold a well-defined political position: I am a bitter opponent of
those who are bossy, abusive, and imposing, those who believe they hold
the truth, etc., independent of their attire. To them, I occasionally
dedicate a few angry words.


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