Friday, November 16, 2007

Brave New World

Lately I’ve been noticing strains of anger directed at the enablers of the regime coming from the island. Paya condemns the summit for ignoring the plight of the Cuban people. He mentions the failure of Spanish officials to meet with dissidents when visiting Havana. A dissident group “disses” the UN Rapporteur (C’mon, you gotta love that title: Ziegler in Wonderland). Only a few articles, but a new note. What is amazing is that it took so long.

But then, did it? Were it not for the internet, would we have heard about it, or of the arrests, or the persecution? Think a minute, would a single media outlet have run the story about the “Cambio” bracelets, if it had not made the rounds of the blogs first? Doubtful. And before the internet, where were these stories, what outlet did the truth have? Had one of the networks received a copy by snail mail, would they have run with it?

It should be no surprise that in the past decade we have lost PR ground. There was no way to get the message out- out of Cuba, out of Cuban/Cuban American circles. Once the college- indoctrinated seized the leadership of the media, we were lost. But then, the magic of the modern era. Suddenly, there was a platform which had never hitherto existed. It is a platform that can be used to circulate news reports smuggled out of the island, a platform to demand the truth be told, to reframe the discussion, to use as a twenty first century soapbox.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the worm (pun intended) is turning. Michael Moore was called on his lies and half truths over the airwaves, courtesy of bloggers, particularly The Real Cuba which disseminated the videos filmed and smuggled out of Cuba at significant personal hazard by very brave people. The next irresponsible filmmaker will have to look over his shoulder before spouting the government line. So while blogging is a poor substitute for storming the beaches, it insists a terrible thing has happened to Cuba, and attention must be paid.

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