Sunday, July 8, 2012

LJC, the Orwellian "memory hole," & Google cache

In my previous post, I reported on the unfortunate closure of the pro-revolution blog La Joven Cuba.

In the two days since they posted their surprising "taking a rest" message on Friday morning, the Cuban blogosphere has lit up with speculation about what went down in Matanzas.

As is her habit, Cuban blogger Yasmin Portales Machado has a witty and incisive post up at Havana Times giving her "take" on the "take down."  (Spanish version here).  Her comments of solidarity with LJC are especially important given that both she and her husband Rogelio have had at least one public spat with the boys at LJC in the past.

It was my own speculation that LJC's "rest" is the fallout from their increasingly critical tone in some of their posts.  Likely the last straw for ever-vigilant big brother was a particularly harsh post on May 28, 2012, by Roberto G. Peralo.  In it he zeroed in on the government's delay in granting open access to broadband on the island.

However, if you go to the LJC blog now, you WILL NOT find the offending post.  Instead you will get this message.  Entering the Orwellian world of the "memory hole," the message reads:

"Lo sentimos, pero no podemos encontrar lo que estás buscando. 
Quizás la búsqueda te ayudará
(We're sorry, but we cannot find what you're looking for.  
Perhaps the search will help you).

This graphic has been borrowed from the blog Acerca de Cuba by Josep Calvet.

Even the self-described "progressive" US-based news site Progreso Weekly / Progreso Semanal - which had just begun to syndicate and translate Peralo's posts from LJC - seems to have removed the original article from its site.  Wow!  It seems that the PCC has some real PULL!  

Luckily for us, the blog "La Chiringa de Cuba" has kept its reproduction of Peralo's original post up at its site.

At the same time, it seems that neither Orwell, nor the PCC, nor Progreso Semanal ever thought of Google cache - where old or "disappeared" webpages don't die or even fade away, but are stored forever for easy recovery!  Going there we can still read the offending post (which generated an amazing 261 comments by June 3).  It is entitled: 

(What has not been complied with from the agreements 
of the Conference of the Cuban Communist Party).

This is the graphic, appropriately and quite prophetically entitled, 
"Prensa Muda" (mute press) that accompanied Peralo's original post.

What follows are a series of screen shots of the cached file.  But first, let me translate a few key passages from Roberto's prescient post:

"The concerns of a young Cuban about agreements from the PCC Conference that have not been complied with...

It's been four months since that meeting and the facts demonstrate to me that all that effort and example of participation and democracy have been pure formalism...

"It's been more than a year since we got the news that the fiber optic cable had been installed, at a cost to the Cuban people of $70M, promising to increase our transmission capacity 3,000 percent.  But today we only have more restrictions [on Internet access], more limitations to connect, and no information about what happened [to the cable]." 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, It is not easy for the Ministry of Truth to re-write the history in the Digital Age.
    I hope Peralo, Harold and Tatu are OK.