Hearing the words of Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, in response to Bush’s speech, left me somewhat confused. I learned from him that in our country today, “There are 602 Youth Clubs with more than 7000 computers that provide free Internet access to over two million Cubans per year.” How stupid have I been! Wearing myself out trying to publish each post when it turns out the internet is free and accessible at the corner by my house! However, the shock and excitement didn’t last long. I went to the nearest Youth Club (Estancia and Santa Ana, in the Municipal Plaza), to check the Foreign Minister’s veracity, and received the answer I already knew: “Here what we have is an intranet, we have never had a connection to the internet.”
Another detail that struck me was the public denial of “The University is for Revolutionaries.” Perez Roque asserted that, “Nobody is denied admission (referring to the children of opponents), not even people who do not share the ideas of the Revolution.” The schools do not seem to be aware of this new line of tolerance as when I went to register my son for middle school I was asked about the political affiliation and any membership in mass organizations of his parents. Why is it necessary for the leadership of a school to know if the family of a child has one or another political ideology? It seems to me that it’s not exactly to promote pluralism and acceptance.
A speech with no surprises. More of the same: the perennial difference between what politicians say and reality.
Newspaper headline: The word in Cuba is: Courage!