Blogging, a Necessity

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Blogging is a challenge and pleasure to me, just as much professionally as personally. It gives me the opportunity to say what I think, as well as feel, without prohibitions.  The possibility to escape the control.

Writing online is not easy for Cubans.  A challenge.   And we have to be brave to face it.   Because every citizen is strictly supervised by social and mass organizations:  at home by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), in school by the Union of Young Communists (UJC), at work by the Workers Central Union of Cuba (CTC), as well as other “revolutionary” organizations.

Some people outside of Cuba may perceive this as a structured social system, broad and plural, but it’s really a meticulous and excessive control machine.

Each person has a file where every incident from their student, work and social history is recorded. These controls are aware of each and every one of the residents on the island.

Thus the fear, the silent panic that accompanies every Cuban since they can remember.  Be careful about expressing yourself and commenting on the system.  If it’s reported you are in opposition, your existence can change overnight.  You can loose the career path you’ve yearned so long for, your job position, or receive other “punishments.”  The saddest thing is that family pays the consequences in most cases.   A subtle and insidious way to suppress, but in the end it’s still repression.

When your name first appears on an internet site, specialists from the Cuban Department of State Security immediately make a report. And they start to dissect and investigate you like a lab-rat.

At first you are paranoid.  But you get used to 24 hours a day of this hellish surveillance mechanism.  Now I don’t pay too much attention to the control apparatus that used to scare me so much.   They follow me, listen to and record my conversations, take pictures and videos…It’s all the same…I overcame that fear when I decided to start blogging.

However I can’t rest on my laurels. I am aware of those who have power and how far they will go to keep it.   But I decided to take those risks.  Frustration and the feeling of helplessness is stronger than my fear.  Because those feelings do more damage than all the terror and control that could be exercised over you.

Since I started blogging, my view of society and life has changed.  I act freely now within the limits my conscience, common sense and judgement make. Without crossing the line.  I don’t have the makings of a heroine.   Nor do I wish to stand out or be famous.

I have acquired an individual freedom.  I no longer have to justify myself for not going to the May 1 parade or one on another date.  I don’t help out at those pathetic meetings for the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, just to guarantee myself a job with financial opportunities or professional promotions.  I behave and project myself as I am. Without hypocrisy, without a mask, without any double standards.

That’s why blogging has become so important to me.  It’s the way I found to say what I feel without reproach or censorship. To share how we live without  embellishments or nuances.  To make an opinion, inform, express myself.  To feel free despite the fear.

Photo: Laritza looking at one of the blogs in a Havana hotel.

  1. December 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Laritza
    Let us hope all Cubans will come to the same realization you have.
    Liberty and freedom are not abstract concepts.
    They can be put to practice and there is nothing that can stop each of us from practicing it.

    My admiration for the wonderful work you and all the other bloggers are doing.

    Julio de la Yncera

  2. Anonymous
    December 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2vRotzto3o HAHA LETS SEE IF CUBA BUILDS MORE PRISON FOR US LIBERTY OR DEATH !!!!!

  3. Tony Cruz
    December 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Laritza.
    Mis felicitaciones por tu coraje y tu disposicion en dar de ti y de tu talento al servicio de la patria. Solo recuerda que no solo es criticar sino enseñar.
    Y ten presente que nuestra constitucion incluye el precepto martiano “Yo quiero que la ley primera de nuestra República sea el culto de los cubanos a la dignidad plena del hombre” Y la dignidad no se obtiene mostrando nuestra miseria al mundo.Tu blog es atractivo, solo me gustaria que no caigas en la repeticion de nuestros males.
    Firma.
    Ex-profesor de derecho, abogado y emigrante.
    T

  4. Hannah
    December 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    You’re a very brave person, and although I do not know you, will ever know you, meet you, know your hobbies or see you in person, I admire you with a strength equal to my closest friends.
    As a capitalist I cannot begin to understand your restrictions, but I hope that one day you find a way to be permanantly free of them – you have only one life, live it as you like and have a happy one. :)

  5. desdecubaenglish@gmail.com
    December 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    To Tony Cruz — in case you check back here. We are looking for a CUBAN attorney to help us with the translations of Laritza’s blog. In some entries she uses the names of various positions in the court system and we are having trouble figuring out good english-language equivalents (or even job descriptions).

    If you would be interested in helping with that, please send an email to:

    desdecubaenglish@gmail.com

    Thanks so much.

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