Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    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 internet or
    any other means of information other than Cuban television or
    Venezuela’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 food 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 (CDR) 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 Gross, 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 freedom 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 –