Monday, April 2, 2012

Un Cubano Más - Eliecer Avila kicks off his new YouTube show

If you understand Cuban Spanish, just sit back and listen as Eliecer Avila holds forth with his incisive critiques about the Cuban press. However, as an aide to those who have trouble with those signature missing "esses," I have taken the liberty to transcribe, translate, and subtitle a small portion of this clip in English. This is a 1 minute, 40 second section that starts at 16:58, ending at 18:38.

If you're a Cuba watcher, you will remember that Eliecer first came to public attention when he took the mic in a public Q&A at Havana's UCI (University of Technology) with the President of the Cuban National Assembly Ricardo Alarcón and asked him a number of pointed and inconvenient questions about voting, travel, and Internet access.

In late November, 2011, he appeared on Twitter @Eliecer_Cuba and Estado de SATS did an extended interview with him here and here.  He even met up with Yoani Sánchez at her home on December 4 for coffee and conversation.  This is the impression he was left with as he stated on Twitter at the time:

"Today I visited the home of Yoani. I was impressed. You can just breathe the creativity, intelligence, love, respect, education, and faith."

Today, I discovered that he has just launched a new YouTube channel/program entitled "Un cubano más" (Just Another Cuban), where he takes digital media into his own hands and creates some hard-hitting citizen journalism. The topic of this first show is... you guessed it:

The Cuban Press.


Here's the portion of the video subtitled above:

"Not long ago, Cuba carried out... the government calls it "restructuring" of the labor force, where in the first phase - as I understand it - half-a-million workers were laid off.  And what really happened? No one protested?  Everyone was perfectly fine with the decision that they should lose their job?  Remember, we're not questioning whether or not it was necessary or not, or legitimate or not that Cuba restructure these posts, no, no, no...

We are talking about the fact that I have spoken personally with a mountain of people who feel very manipulated... who have been working for any number of years in support of what is called the "revolution," and now they are simply left out of work and, even worse, are not at all in agreement with what is going on.  And they have families to support.  They have wives, elderly relatives at home, children to support.

And all this has caused a problem for a good part of the people.  And where are these people marching?  Simply put, what has happened is that the culture of protest in Cuba is totally extinguished.

It's like the arms of the people have been taken from them.  The arms of popular struggle that the people can never lose.  Any other arms can be under control of the army.  But the right to protest, the right to express one's opinion in masse is an arm that the people can never relinquish because afterward, getting back that right is a problem."

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