Once in a while I glance at GRANMA, the mouthpiece for the Communist Party in Cuba. Together with a handful of other papers of equal revolutionary fervor it rules the space of acceptable public opinion. (Juventud Rebelde, “Rebel Youth” is aimed at the young adepts, making sure to repudiate those who actually rebel against the regime) Here, you can find all the articles about Fidel and Raul, poems about Fidel, homages to the soldiers who fell 5o years ago, articles by Fidel etc that your heart desires.
A rule of thumb; if it’s not in any of these papers, it’s probably untrue, illegal enemy propaganda or unimportant.
Granma sports an online version (one of the few permitted areas for Cuba’s few cybernauts, surrounded by digital barbed wire) with accompanying versions in English, French Russian and other languages for the benefit of sofa revolutionaries in the free world.
This article caught my eye today. It’s about a public show trial of a black marketeer, a dangerous criminal. Dealing in the black market is the only way to avoid starving, as rations has long since stopped pretending to provide proper nourishment. With practically everything being illegal for Cubans, they are all forced into living criminal lives in one way or another.
It’s a sad spectacle, a humiliating puppet show with Stalinist language of re-education and medieval shaming.
Would you like to read about it in the English language version? Go ahead, click on the link in the top right corner. No luck? You see, the English version talks more about the imminent fall of capitalism and the evils of The American Empire than about the treatment Cuban citizens are getting from its heavy handed state. They obviously don’t want to bum out the solidary brothers and sisters abroad.
I’m providing a bare bones translation below, I ran it through a computer translator, and then went in and fixed the things that computers inevitably mess up. While some of the language is machine-like, I assure you that it’s not so much from the poor computer translator as from the stultifying “revolutionary” style, with its familiar over-wrought phrases and insulting vocabulary.
This young man will be put in hard labor for three years at least, reinforcing the fact he and the spectators at the “trial” already knew, that the Cuban State owns you, body and soul, his slave condition made evident by a pick axe and the meager rations he’ll be served.
JUSTICE AND A LESSON, CONGRATULATIONS.
LAS TUNAS.— Attracted by the event, called to elevate the legal culture and the conscience of the population, numerous people congregated in the park Vicente Garcia González, where, in an exceptional process, the municipal court develops an act of public court appearance around the dangerous state of anti-social conduct of a citizen prone to the practice of the illegal traffic of currencies and selling merchandise illegally.
According to the technical requests for those processes, the defendant has the possibility to speak, to accept or to deny the charges that are attributed him, the district attorney’s office exposes reasons and arguments, the defense intervenes, the judges deliberate and they dictate sentence…
In spite of being carried out in an open area, each step elapses in the middle of a deep silence. The faces do not lie. Nobody (not even the specialists called to do justice) is pleased with the session. Gustavo, the defendant, knows it. Perhaps therefore, part of the time remains with his face down, perhaps fleeing the looks of the surrounding people, a mix of repudiation of his improper attitudes and the worry that are cause when youth are the “sad protagonists” of such deformations.
Hopefully the discomfort that reflected in his face is shame, repentance, gratitude before the able defense on the part of the lawyer, assumption of the uprightness with which was expressed the president of the court, recognition of the nobility on the part of hid neighbors, authorities of the interior order, members of the common working party by whom several times he was notified and called on to change his devious activities.
Logical it would be that, after various years without working, neither to contribute to society in correspondence with everything that he receives, his recent link with the labor activity have left a lesson for those who practice the illicit sale of currencies, the swindle of ingenuous people, the hoarding of rationed products resold at lucrative prices and other misdeeds of which the Municipal Court in Las Tunas is proposed to help cure Gustavo, by means of a period of re-education (a three year security measure) in one of the specialized work establishments at the disposal of the Interior Ministry.
Let’s hope the repercussion of this and of other cases evaluated by its “index of danger”, serve to have all, (“twisted” and straight, family and community, institutions and company) make the conclusions that help us be more preventive and intolerant with bad behavior and to better know the responsibilities that correspond to each of us..