The Power of Solidarity

07_11poster-21_solidarity-handshake

It is known throughout history that solidarity is what really brings men back to life. When the idea of creating my own blog emerged and Ivan offered to help, I thought it would be something with a fictional flavor. I knew very little about what a blog was and even less about the Internet due to the ferocious restrictions imposed on us by those who think they own thought and seek at all costs to fetter the thinking of Cubans.

Of course totalitarian systems will always have men like Boris Pasternak, who once declined the Nobel Prize for Literature in order to continue suffering the poverty of his Russian people.

Recently, Cuban blogger Claudia Cadelo informed me that my blog is now being translated into English and Portuguese, and it is being set up to be translated into French.

The curious part of this story is that I went to the capital to know Ivan in person, and I couldn’t meet him. This was March 14, 2003, four days after I was arrested during the repressive wave of that year known to the world as the Black Spring.

I have known Claudia only a short while and only by speaking to her on the telephone. Incredibly, I feel like I have known both Ivan and Claudia our whole lives. I will always feel gratitude, as it seems my mother taught me well when I was a young boy.

From the first moment I offered my blog to my compatriots who were arrested with me on that fateful day, through their relatives, of course the ones I know and communicate with. In my opinion, the blogger movement in Cuba has become an excellent alternative for the free communication that is so badly needed by those living in despair here on the island, fulfilling for a moment the role of the foreign press with regard to news from the internal opposition and the dissident movement.

Now it seems to me that everyone with a blog is also a dissident, with the option of not being part of the independent press and dissident movement, and, of course, without trying to compete with the foreign press agencies.

In conclusion, let’s all work to report the news, even with different viewpoints, as happens everywhere in the world. For the time being I consider myself to be the voice in this dismal prison of those who don’t have a blog. I think I can also say without fear of being wrong that the voice that has been the most tightly muzzled among the 11 million Cubans is that of the prisoners.

Because of this it is our duty to help them, since Cuba needs them, and let’s convert ourselves by cape and sword into the voice of those with a blog or without, since this is the true face of the power of solidarity.

Pablo Pacheco

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