News and Facts about Cuba

Shameful Distortions

Shameful Distortions / Rebeca Monzo
Posted on December 22, 2014

The big news for all Cubans, without a doubt, has been the
reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States, which
has been a dream for three generations on our captive island, although
there are opponents among some fellow countrymen both here and abroad.
The other story — the one about the release of the three spies from the
Wasp Network who, for refusing to the collaborate with American
authorities, became by the grace of the Cuban government “anti-terrorist
heroes” even though they had acknowledged their role as spies in courts
of law — raises a secondary issue, which is the high economic cost for
our country in the form of lawyers, propaganda and family visits.

Of course, the vast majority of Cubans without access to the or
any other means of information other than Cuban television or
’s TeleSur (more of the same) has dutifully accepted as true
what government propaganda has them led to believe, since the priorities
of this long-suffering people are and day-to-day survival. Others
who rely on official media accept it out of fear of being challenged

If (like me) you wander the streets of Havana, you will hear various
expressions of playful joy that reveal the average person’s true
feelings. Comments, especially those of young people (who do not have an
official microphone under their noses), reflect dreams of a better
future: We will soon have the internet, ferry service will return,
McDonald’s will be everywhere, we will now be able to go to the “yuma”*
without endangering our lives and those of others.

However, some old, recalcitrant members of the Committees for the
Defense of the Revolutions () only talk about the release of the
three spies, portraying it as a Cuban triumph over the United States,
unaware that it was merely an exchange of three spies for fifty-three
political prisoners of interest to the US. Of these details they are

This reflects the focus by government-run television (the only kind)
which, apparently on orders from above, focused on the return of
Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, who incidentally appeared healthy, well-fed
and in superb physical condition, quite at odds with the terrible
stories about mistreatment, sweatshops and other falsehoods officially
promulgated during their internment.

It also stands in contrast to Alan , who upon his release was
anemic, having suffered loss of vision and some teeth. It was a picture
worth a thousand words. By continually lying to the Cuban people and
unscrupulously manipulating information, the mass media makes it clear
that our country does not enjoy of the press.

Now as never before, civil society and the various opposition groups
must prioritize this important event, setting aside our personal
differences to jointly maintain pressure on the regime so that everyone
might find a place in this new, emerging era and that our voices may
finally be heard. It is worth remembering that whenever negotiations of
any kind take place, one should carry two suitcases: one to give and one
to receive.
*Translator’s note: Slang term for the United States.

22 December 2014

Source: Shameful Distortions / Rebeca Monzo | Translating Cuba –

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