Variations on Freedom

Variations on Freedom
Fecha de publicación: 
14 May 2024

Sometimes we fall into the trap. We confuse the goals. They violate sp many principles that we end up defending them. Bourgeois democracy is rotten, it does not fulfill its main task: to sustain and reproduce bourgeois power. Governments abandon it, sometimes subtly, other times blatantly. But the discourse keeps it valid, and the contradictions it spawns are claimed as if the objective of our struggle were the timely fulfillment of its promises. There’s another democracy, another freedom to conquer, that of a new world under construction.

Capitalism has become impudent. Take a look at the “free” press for yourself. In Florida, they have approved a law that forces schoolchildren to study and pass a peculiar subject: anti-communism. Yes, forget about freedom of thought. All books that do not present the “official history” and exalt the supposedly free system—which bans other ways of understanding freedom—all those that openly address, for example, the issues of human sexuality, are prohibited in the school libraries in several states of the Union. Incendiary pyres of satanic books exist, although it’s not the books that burn: it’s children's brains. Didn't they say that communists “brainwashed” their children? Wasn't that the excuse for Operation Peter Pan in the 60’s of the last century, which took thousands of children out of the country and separated them from their naive or perverse parents?

Ah, but there’s freedom of expression. Imperialism dictates a message, reproduces it through its social networks, in its transnational information networks, over and over again. The Western press becomes unanimous, the headlines are almost identical in Washington, Santiago de Chile, Berlin, Sydney or Tokyo. But if an alternative argument appears strongly, in the voice of the accused, or the oppressed or the excluded, which for any fair trial must be heard, it’s immediately prohibited; why are the voices of TeleSur, Al Mayadeen, and Russia Today silenced in “free” societies? There’s no freedom of expression, it’s tolerated only marginally. The Embassy of Germany – a “free” country – in Cuba, a few days ago spread a message on its Facebook profile on the occasion of Freedom of Expression Day, in which it attempted to mock the Cuban press, reproducing the Granma cover photo… and surprise! The word Palestine appears crossed out in black, making it illegible.

Yes, North American university campuses have been peacefully taken over by students who reject their government's involvement in the indiscriminate Israeli attacks on the civilian population of Gaza (more than 40,000 Palestinians killed, most of them women and children). The police brutally repress them, although supposedly they “have the right to free expression.” El Nuevo Herald proudly reports: 2,500 students have been detained. Foreign students are threatened with expulsion from the country.

It doesn't happen in Cuba, but the country that imprisons them for thinking differently says that ours violates human rights. In Europe, the same thing happens: it’s forbidden to defend Palestine, to present your reasons. If you go out with a Palestinian flag, you can go to prison. Is being anti-imperialist being anti-American? Is being anti-Zionist being anti-Semitic?

Ahhh, the elections, the popular will, the change of presidents... I don't want to expand on an issue that has been discussed extensively between us, but the variants to defeat or overthrow, which have been the same at the polls or outside of them, are different and nothing democratic (in the bourgeois sense). They no longer hide. There are all the variants of coups d'état or judicial, remote-controlled “soft uprisings”, etc. Even the libertarian Milei is “freely” elected. How does a clown with an absurd speech and the promise of enslaving his people manage to become president in a country with a great cultural tradition? I will talk about this in another article.

Don't trust me, dear reader. Fidel said: I ask that you read, not that you believe. When Milei speaks, which is as if he unsheathed Goebbels' gun, I hold up a book.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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