June 3, 2009 at 23:30 in SinEvasion Classifieds
Some friends ran over excitedly to have me to sign a document circulating the Internet. They say that it’s about a call summoning “the Cuban bloggers” that asks three specific demands of the government: freedom for political prisoners, freedom of expression and information and freedom to come and go to and from the Island. Almost all “who know” go beyond that, wrongly attributing the authorship of the call to Yoani Sánchez, perhaps because she is the best known and, without a doubt, the most active of all of the bloggers.
I confess that the fact that someone (or some others), without prior consultation, would feel able to act on behalf of the bloggers has surprised me, and there will be no shortage of those who think that, in Cuba’s peculiar conditions, and by virtue of the ideas subscribed, maybe this could be considered only a small technical detail of minor importance. I do not think it’s so: regardless of the intentions and of any just claim to freedom –which I have never hesitated to demand and put into practice in my blog- personally, as a blogger, I disallow anyone to speak on my behalf, without the assumption that this represents a spirit of “dividing” something that, ultimately, has never been a monolithic, uniformed, or –much less- unified structure. In any case, to speak in a disorderly manner is almost as harmful as to keep silent. It is possible that the excessive enthusiasm and the good intentions have prevented the promoters of the idea to perceive a subtle difference: an announcement that says “A group of Cuban bloggers invite the Island’s colleagues to subscribe to these demands” is not the same as to assume that “on behalf of Cuban bloggers” we are all making these specific claims. That is, at best, carnival parade philosophy.
For my part, I believe that freedom of expression in itself contains the release of political prisoners who are locked up precisely for formulating ideas contrary to the official ones. I might add other demands, or would simply limit myself to demand that the government honor the de facto Human Rights Covenants signed on February 2008, which would mean the beginnings of all the changes that must be carried out in Cuba and the respect for all freedoms. I do not disagree with my colleagues as far as what they are demanding: Each has the autonomy to consider his or her own priorities, but the end does not justify the means, and we have spent too much time burdened with pernicious habit of “deciding” or “talking” for the rest, without taking other opinions into account. The Cuban blogger movement is a spontaneous alternative phenomenon born out of the need to be free and to represent ourselves, that is one of its prime fundamentals. I, due to principles, will not to sign any document about which I have not previously been consulted, even if it were the most just demand, because that would waive the most important achievement of my life: personal freedom. Please, friends, bloggers, let’s not start to seek prominence or leadership: here, we are sick and tired of warlords.