If It’s Green and Thorny, It Must be a Cactus / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana 29 August 2016 – The dismissal of the
journalist Jose Ramon Ramirez Pantoja from Radio Holguin for having
published in his blog a statement by Karina Marron, deputy director of
the newspaper Granma, has sparked an interesting controversy which, by
virtue of the secrecy that reigns in the Cuban press has not appeared on
the social networks or in digital spaces.
I am not trying to put myself in the skin of Ramirez Pantoja. It has
been 28 years since the same thing happened to me when I was fired from
the newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth), accused of writing texts
with a double meaning, trying to confront the new generations with the
historic leadership of the Revolution. But, despite my justified
reputation for conceit, I didn’t come here to talk about me, but about
what one feels in a similar situation.
The audacity of those who dare to criticize or share a criticism is
usually grounded in the infinite confidence that the sentiments
expressed are going to contribute to improving the situation. To warn at
the time that “this is not the way” is a serious responsibility, one
that is only assumed when we suppose that the guide who is leading us is
listening to us, because he believes in our good faith. To say
publically a necessary truth, disobeying the order of those who impose
silence, is not only a gesture of courage, but above all of honesty.
When the response to the criticism is punishment, when the high-minded
guide is disposed to expel the troops who question his decisions, when
the exposed truth forces an unmasking because its nudity offends those
who feel harmed, then the daring critic has only two choices: make a
retraction or slam the door.
Someone once said that the lost sheep that escapes can return to the
sheepfold, but can never return to the flock. The obedient flock can
only see in its rebellion bad intentions or sinister aims of betrayal.
With that grim admiration that underlies envy they will remain attentive
to the final decision of the pastor.
If the insubordinate sheep is sacrificed, they squeal with happiness
while applauding the verdict, if forgiveness comes, or even better the
recognition Jose Ramon was right, he did the right thing, they will
approach submissively patting him on the shoulder, while behind his back
they will comment that everything was preplanned, it was all a dark
operation of the upper echelons of power.
Really, who wouldn’t want to be in the skin of this Holguin journalist.
Source: If It’s Green and Thorny, It Must be a Cactus / 14ymedio,
Reinaldo Escobar – Translating Cuba –