Without nuance, all media financed from the United States against Cuba are lambasting the Cuban collaborative encyclopedia EcuRed. It is very welcome —and it comes as no surprise— that limits are vanishing between those working from the far-right demanding the tightening of the US blockade and more violence; namely, Diario de Cuba (1) and CiberCuba (2), the US government-funded news network Radio Televisión Martí (3) and Miami’s magazine OnCuba (4), aimed at cleaning up the reputation —and the past— of the remnants of the failed “centerward shift” (5) that under the name of Cuba Posible, tried unsuccessfully to cement the “moderate and centrist alternative” (6) of multi-millionaire Carlos Saladrigas.
Leandro Estupiñán, from OnCuba, is the most recent in the long list of bored columnists who talk us about censorship and Stalinism in EcuRed, but not they do not even bother to think about themselves for a minute. Mr. Estupiñán resorts to the Dictionary of the Linguistic and Literature Institute published 40 years ago to lecture on omissions and censorship. However, he decided to omit his readers that his concerns were solved by the same Dictionary in its latest editions released almost 20 years ago. He is the man who wrote, in the same magazine, about Hubert Matos (7) and omitted his notorious terrorist activities serving the CIA in a column whose much-anticipated part two we are all still waiting for: was it censored?
But, why are they obsessed? Recently, the public collaborative encyclopedia celebrated its tenth anniversary. It is a thriving project of collective knowledge fed by the contributions of more than 60,000 people, which has been under attack relentlessly by the machinery of media war against Cuba. First, they doubted its feasibility, and once its prominence was undisputable —ranks 106th among publications for science diffusion on the Internet worldwide, despite being released only in Spanish language— then they decided to attack the content quality with dirty maneuvers such as adding fake information and wrong data in the encyclopedia to later turn them into news.
Much remain to be done from our institutions to develop EcuRed in both, quality and quantity. EcuRed treasures today nearly 225,000 articles from different subjects, but it is real that the content on Cuba exceeds in quality and depth other spaces existing on the Internet, being pretty much consulted from other Spanish-speaking nations. As much as it may hurt some, EcuRed without paying Google a dime, has been and is predominant in Cuba-related issues and it bothers Diario de Cuba, CiberCuba, Radio Televisión Martí, and OnCuba, which do pay to position themselves in Internet.
Despite black legends against it and multiple accusations of Stalinism, the encyclopedia is open and can be modified by any Internet user, which is something that those accusing EcuRed of censorship omit to their readers in every note, to pave the way to those who want to be seen as victims and present themselves as individuals threatened by the tropical Stalinism, often referred to without evidence by the anti-Cuban propaganda.
Collaborative encyclopedias, due to their open nature, are usually exposed to data errors. That is why they have curators and moderators, but it does not usually work with immediacy and some take advantage of this situation in their crusade against Cuba. Last year, Raúl Capote and Granma newspaper (8) were targeted with the insertion, deliberatively, of misinformation in an article in Wikipedia about WWII. However, silence was the answer of all media, the very same media now targeting EcuRed.
There are also some discrepancies among people who honestly collaborate and this is normal. When there is disagreement among editors or articles vandalized in collaborative encyclopedias, pages are protected and only moderators can make changes. But what is a normal behavior in Wikipedia, is used to finger-pointing of privatization and violation of the Constitution if it happens in EcuRed.
The quiet and anonymous work of creating has lesser impact than staging shows, especially when, as it occurred with the “cookers” of Bay of Pigs, any data exposing the ties with projects that, as in the case of the failed Cuba Posible, promised a “multi-party Cuba” and a “transitional change” (9) using foreign currency, but failed in their purpose.
In a practice that is by no means Stalin-like, Cuba Posible, whose remnants and allies talk always about transparency and pay closer look to EcuRed’s articles, erased all of its content from Internet, but additionally, they now want to erase it from its past so no one can talk about the jobs they owned “for free”, the events they all attended in the US and the pictures where they are posing with the logo of George Soros’ Open Society behind.
It is understandable. Kennedy, who had its own profile in EcuRed, like Cuba Posible, explained in details to the “cookers” of Bay of Pigs when he met them in Florida, after he traded them for compotes: “Victory has many fathers, but defeat is orphan.”
1.Jurist Julio César Guanche denounced manipulation of his biography in EcuRed, the Cuban’s government encyclopedia https://diariodecuba.com/derechos-humanos/1612882358_28696.html
2.Julio César Guanche criticizes the rephrasing of profiles in EcuRed: “It is a goal to privatize the nation” https://www.cibercuba.com/noticias/2021-02-09-u1-e199894-s27061-julio-ce
3.Cuban Professor and Researcher denounced smear campaign from EcuRed https://www.radiotelevisionmarti.com/a/profesor-e-investigador-cubano-de
4.An old obsession, which only results in embarrassment https://oncubanews.com/cuba/una-vieja-obsesion-que-solo-consigue-el-ridi
5.”Cuba Posible:” a new platform to facilitate debate https://es.globalvoices.org/2014/07/07/cuba-posible-una-nueva-plataforma-para-facilitar-el-debate/
6.Interview: CARLOS SALADRIGAS | One of the leaders of Cuban exile in Miami | Change in Cuba “Cuba’s isolation only serves the purpose of perpetuating the regime agony” https://elpais.com/diario/2008/02/21/internacional/1203548405_850215.html
7.Huber Matos: from the black hole of the official history https://oncubanews.com/opinion/columnas/entre-dos-aguas/hubert-matos-desde-el-agujero-negro-de-la-historia-oficial-i/
8. The boat of fools and the full dignity of the human being: Raul Capote’s video conference https://www.cubainformacion.tv/contra-cuba/20200602/86469/86469-la-barca
9. Pioneering editor sees open Internet in Cuba's future https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-church-idUSKBN0F91RW20140704
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/ CubaSí Translation Staff