I watch little television because I prefer books, newspapers or the computer to acquire information and learn something. Over the years I have learned to distrust what comes over the screen, and even more so when it comes to the news. On those days when I have a lot of patience, I use the eight o’clock show as an exercise to detect what is hidden behind the triumphalist phrases. But, I repeat, I only do this when I’m feeling sufficiently stoic.
Still, I feel uneasy if I’m in a hotel and see the tourists watching television stations such as CNN that we Cubans cannot have in our homes. I recently started a discussion with a Peruvian who assured me—passionately—that in every Havana house we could tune into the Latin American station Telesur. He didn’t know, in his absentmindedness, that we are only permitted access to a studied collection of what is transmitted on this channel every day. Barely a few hours in the evening, under the name “Selections from Telesur,” pass through the narrow filter of what can be shown on our televised media.
Curiously, and in spite of the cuts, the Telesur news is miles away from that of National TV. Occasionally something even escapes which negates or calls into question what they’d assured us, a few minutes before, on the officially transmitted Cubavision news. Then I understand why even Telesur can’t be shown without cuts to our eyes eager for news. We should rent a hotel room, paid for in convertible currency, to view without restrictions this channel and all the others they have forbidden to us.