Almost since I started blogging, I have lamented that there aren't more English-language blogs and websites dedicated to commenting on the human rights situation in Cuba. That is one sure way, I am convinced, to draw mass attention in the United States -- the freest nation in the world -- to the tragedy occurring only 90 miles away, and generate support for Cubans struggling for freedom.
Blogs like Babalu, Pedazos de la Isla and Capitol Hill Cubans are published in English and have done much to raise consciousness about what is happening in Cuba. Hopefully, this blog has done the same.
But we are in America, writing from America with an American persepective. Valuable, yes, but it's not the same as reports from the island's fronlines detailing the horrors of Castroism and the difficulties it has meant for Cubans for more than 52 years. It is those stories deserving of the mass circulation that is possible in America only if they are distributed in English.
In recent months, some of that gap has been closed by efforts to translate the works of bloggers like Yoani Sanchez, Claudia Cadelo, Luis Felipe Rojas, Ivan Garcia and others. Translating their work has made it possible to reach an audience that heretofore, whether out of ignorance or indifference or incapable of reading Spanish, has been unaware of what is happening in Cuba today.
The cause of Cuban freedom is indebted to the volunteer translators who are making it happen.
(An easy way for you to support their efforts is to read their work. You'll find links on the left sidebar, under "Blogs from Cuba.")
Joing the list of those blogs is a new site, Cuban Youth Forum, or "Foro Juvenil Cubano," written by members of one the more active opposition groups on the island, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy.
In a recent post, CYMD president Eriberto Liranza Romero -- someone I am proud to call a friend -- dismantles one of the most pestering myths of the communist system on the island:
The minds of Cubans have been drilled with the false idea that education is “free” in Cuba. This lie has been repeated so many times that many people around the world believe it to be true. In Cuba, education is not free. It is exclusively for the revolutionaries, which translates into paying with obedience and submission. In Cuba, education is paid for with a life of misery, the eternal mortgage of a miserable salary which is not sufficient to pay for the bed one sleeps in and much less the house one lives in.
Education in Cuba is a utopia. It is constant indoctrination from the cradle to the grave. I would not be surprised if, shortly, professors will teach that the tocororo* is actually olive green and that Columbus discovered the island when he came down from the Sierra Maestra Mountains in 1959. The years of study will never be returned with the most important thing in a persona’s life- freedom.
Nearly all will go up the steps which will allow them to go on to the next grade. It works in the regime’s favor that there are no flunks, because it would not be good for the image of the revolution. Either way, in the near future those young Cubans will leave for any other part of the world whether it be through a raft constructed by an engineer, an old big-bellied man claiming a university prostitute, or the inheritance of an Iberian last name, which will provide the opportunity of setting off to another port where they will not have to do voluntary work in order to obtain a cooking pot or say “long live the revolution” in order to be paid their monthly salary.
Read the whole thing here.