The Government Condemns Cubans to Silence

The press can only be the State press or, failing that, the one that the State can control. (14ymedio)
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The Social Communication law tries to silence the citizenry to prevent their cries from leaving power deaf

By Reinaldo Escobar (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – The entry into force of the Social Communication Law and its corresponding regulations will have consequences from which there is no way to defend oneself.

If the deadlines of 120 days for the Law to enter into force are met and the subsequent 120 days for the Council of Ministers to approve the corresponding regulatory provisions, it can be predicted that in January 2024 no one who lives or transits through the national territory, whether Cuban or foreign, will be able to freely generate content that could be considered capable of subverting the constitutional order and destabilizing the socialist State.

It is already known how susceptible those who rule in Cuba are when it comes to processing criticisms when they are not made “in the right place and at the right time.” The main red lines will continue to be the legitimacy of the rulers, the viability of the system and the action of the repressive apparatus, and not only that. Protesting the inefficiency of the Etecsa monopoly, civilly calling for the repeal of a law or the dismissal of a minister will continue to be seen as part of “the communicational aggression that is taking place against the country.”

It would be naive to appeal to some deceptive paragraph of the law where social communication is defined as a sociocultural process that “contributes to social interaction, the production of meaning, the configuration of individual and collective identity, dialogue, debate, popular participation and consensus.”

Those propositions only make up censorship or, to put it in popular language, they are dribble, babble and nonsense, which are combined with ambiguous terminology that requires a translation to understand their meaning.

For example, Article 29.4 in the chapter referring to social communication in the media field, where it says: “The creation of these means (the non-fundamental ones) is excluded when their management is proposed as the constitutive activity of the social object or work project of a non-state economic actor.” This translates as: “A non-state actor is prohibited from having an independent medium as his main social object.”

We journalists who collaborate with the independent media will have three alternatives: face the consequences and continue publishing from Cuba with name and surname, go underground with the subterfuge of modifying our style and using a pseudonym, or withdraw from the profession. The first is reckless, the second is dangerous, the third is unworthy.

If the Cuban regime manages to get rid of the rebellious presence in the media, if it manages to eliminate video transmissions and uncomfortable comments on social networks, if in its delirious totalitarian ambitions it conquers that redoubt of minimal resistance that is to interact by giving a “like”; if this law reaches its purposes, the people would be mute, and although the dictatorship has never wanted to listen, now it would not even be able to hear. It would end up deaf.

Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba

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