For Iroel, defending the Cuban revolution and its truth has always been an act of love and unshakable principles. Author: Calixto N. Llanes
Nervous and with an almost two-page pamphlet full of rude questions, as if it were some kind of hard and cold scenario, I went to meet him, paying, perhaps, for the hazing of obedient and newly released students in the journalistic bustle.
In my short career, one of the biggest challenges was that first interview. Imberbe, in terms of the union (and also, why not, in life) I wanted to risk dialogue, using nothing but admiration for his work, with Iroel Sanchez. His penetrating, half-profile gaze betrayed a slow but straight face, imposing with greeting, harsh word by word.
We are sitting in the lobby of the Ministry of Communications, without any formality. In the same place where he worked and promoted since 2009 programs such as the computerization of society and the promotion of anti-hegemonic cultural thought.
Right there, we spoke about the challenges that Cuba faces in developing its social system and the role that the media play today in these challenges, especially at a time when the world lives in conditions of a severe monopolization of information resources and when the digital war against our country is developed and promoted from the United States.
Responses from the former president of the Cuban Book Institute and director of the Abril publishing house, political analyst and TV program director startled studentstill have, like his works, their full value in deciphering the keys to the present and future of the nation.
— Iroel, Cuba is going through difficult times. How would you define the moment the country is going through?
– Cuba has always experienced hard times and endured all sorts of wars from the United States. The panorama is difficult for us defending an alternative to capitalism, but at the same time, the need to find an alternative to this ferocious capitalism is clear, for it has already shown itself that this is not the way.
“These are defining times in the life of the country. It’s another (another) year they’ve tried everything against Cuba, and yet the Revolution is on its feet and the people, despite everything they say, continue to be united. And this is thanks to what the Revolution demonstrates every day.
– You spoke about wars from the USA, today this expression is used in the ideological field through digital media. What to do to counteract this situation?
“First, we all need to know how to create content using mobile phones and create visibility in response to any attack. There must be changes in the education system that will allow us to remain invulnerable against our enemy, now with a digital transformation strategy.
“The Cuban people have a minimum school education in the ninth grade, so it’s about our schools and media insisting on a socialist culture to liberalize the use of these technologies.”
-His program startled student This is the standard for our television. Do you see it as a space that always seeks to defend the truth?
— I think that more than that, we are trying to make the images more complex. We believe in the intelligence and analytical skills of Cubans. There are truths that, by repeating them, are also reflected in the ears or in the eyes of our people, which is why we try to argue these truths so that they can mobilize ideas, feelings and revolutionary meaning.
– Don’t you think that there are more programs like Student?
-How Student No, but others do. Look, our program is the result of a big disagreement with the TV that we had. If we as a country consider another political alternative to capitalism, then this message should also be reflected on television.
“I still have a lot of dissatisfaction with this issue, because the space that we leave empty will be used by the enemy. There are gaps that we should never open or at least, if they already exist, fix them as soon as possible.
– It was you who wrote in your book Cuba in front of a good neighbor… that: “a lot needs to change in our press to become an instrument of popular control, citizen participation and spiritual growth.” What are the changes that, in your opinion, the current Cuban press should undergo?
“Our press must be a carrier of other elements, far from cultural banality. It cannot be a reproduction of what is being done elsewhere, and it must meet the standards of the men and women of this society.
“We have a big conflict today. And what is important or reasonable is boring, and what is interesting turns out to be superficial. As a press, we should strive to make at least transcendental things attractive, and get a little bit out of the pamphlet and tea. This is undoubtedly a big challenge in the mid-century of hegemonic globalization.”
— Our media are sometimes not so effective in terms of news speed, and we give exclusive to the so-called independent media. What do you think about it?
– I would always call them dependent media, because someone pays them! If you hesitate to say something, someone else will say it and use it against you. If you are late, you run the risk of a different version of events taking root in people’s minds, and then you will simply remain on the defensive.
“This is a very serious issue that should be given the most attention, especially since journalism does not forgive laziness. Let us remember that in the revolutionary and fidelist understanding of the truth, this must go forward and always immediately, as a genuine stamp of popular publicity.
— So, how do you rate our communication system?
“We have a communications system that is on the rise, but deep transformation is needed to achieve effective change. In fact, there is a new communication policy and I hope it does not delay its implementation, because the way we have to function in a different society, such as the current one, cannot be with the same policies and tools as years ago.
– With all our successes and failures, how do we move in a world where the media is becoming more and more monopolized?
“Listen, I am a person who deeply believes in the revolutionary ideal, so I believe that our salvation is always in popular culture. With mass culture on these issues, on these technologies, on their use. But we have to create our own culture to determine if this is true or not.
“We must achieve the ability for every revolutionary to be able to discern the vague for himself, to be able to answer questions, and for this there must be a transformation of the communication model.
“In the complex world in which we must move today, this is inevitable, but we cannot allow this confusing appearance to negatively affect our ideals. This is where our greatest efforts should be directed.”
Source: Juventud Rebelde