Stefania of Free Thoughts shares with us this link to a letter from the Library Association of Latvia to advocates of Cuban communists:

Reply to advocates of Cuban communists

To us, Eastern Europeans, who have experienced communism, your letter is a typical example of forced compliance with the state ideology. It is not easy to stand against the ruling ideology, as it may jeopardise not only one’s freedom but also one’s life.

For example, the Criminal Code of the former Soviet Union prescribed severe sanctions for distribution of the information discrediting the Soviet power. Sanctions were applied even if the information was true. As a result, millions of innocent people suffered. The young generation, in its turn, grew cowardly, passive, with little initiative and enterprise.

Like you in your letter, our people blamed democracy, though in fact obediently supported the existing one-party dictatorship, which tried to keep the nation deaf and blind by blocking the “dangerous” information from outside and not permitting other countries to learn the truth about us.

The suppressed initiative, social unification and, consequently, ineffective economy left the USSR far behind in its development. People were fighting the dictatorship and censorship quietly, and information did travel mouth to mouth. Because of the quiet resistance the USSR collapsed in such an unbelievably high speed.

It is impossible for Eastern Europeans who have experienced communism to believe that your letter expresses true views of your own and Cuban librarians.

I hope that the time will come for Cuba to become a real isle of freedom where free song will flow over free valleys, where no librarian or any other person will be arrested for disseminating information.