#TwittHab: A convocation from ‘Digital Cuba’

Orlando Luis Pardo has en excellent and entertaining article in DIARO DE CUBA (Spanish) on the infamous #TwittHab Twitter encounter, which turned out to be just another scheme by the Castro dictatorship in their “cyber-war.”

Here is my translation of an excerpt:

#TWITTHAB: A Convocation from Digital Cuba

http://www.diariodecuba.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/content/image/twitt280611.jpgAfter the televised stoning in the series Cuba’s Reasons, with secret agents as props and hidden cameras manipulated to cause panic among the masses, in addition to a propaganda tour by the protagonists and the Ministry of the Interior’s copyright on their little diplomas; after a not very virtual bombardment of Havana, invoked not by a critical citizenry, but by an editorial in Granma; after bestowing upon an official blogger an internet account and computers dedicated to the “counterattack” action plan against non-institutional bloggers; after years of working with puppet fascists who are unable to defend the Revolution using their own names (including conferences behind closed doors with members of the military elite); after so much derision and so much sterility before the imminent fiber optic cable that supposedly would open the island to the world and the world to the island, and now with miniaturized technology at hand in the form of B-GAN type “gadgets,” iPhones, or a simple cell phone Made in China; after the paranoid policies of this same list, at last the hour has come to prophylactically  rehearse in the streets the power of convocation of this digital Cuba.

And that experiment, be it spontaneous or contrived as it appears to be, is adorably, almost adolescently called: #TwittHab.

It brought about a group on Facebook, a blog, a “Twicororo” flag and, of course, a hash mark on Twitter that aspired to become the leader of Cuba trending topics. It was like a tsunami, and as such, its natural beauty only lasted a few hours. After the collision with the despotic reality of an insular internet, the phenomenon carried out by the same old schemers and interrogators, a tabula rasa effect has manifested itself, which has not left a puppet  with a head in the Cuban social networks. The result produced on the network was like a metastasis by resolution, a caste system that penalizes any discursive dissent in Cuba. And we discovered then that the www was, also, only for revolutionaries: the world wide left.

Summary: It was supposed to be that next Friday, July 1st, at 4 in the afternoon, in the centrally located Havana pizzeria Cincecitta (corner of 23 and 12, where in 1961 Fidel Castro declared his Revolution to be of a socialist and democratic nature), for the first time in the country it would be possible to “step out from behind the @” and for Cubans to look at each other face to face, without the embarrassment that they could not at that moment enjoy a cheap lasagna or purchase a beer with CUCs, in a jovial atmosphere without confrontation, which did not imply acceptance or even understanding, but did assure an initial truce towards future spaces where the polemic between citizens, beyond charges and credos, will help the current deafness between enemies that threatens to dissolve our national idea. It was supposed to be that…

But in the last few days, the most radical Twitterers have unleashed an avalanche of ridicule and warnings, which they do not deny, and in the worst of cases are endorsed by some of the lesser known organizers of #TwittHab (the majority being young people with no intellectual weight).

In 140 characters a mimesis of zoological language that the leaders in Cuba have historically used to mock the opposition was condensed, and by doing so they demonstrated their ecological ignorance on the biosphere level. To keep things without variation, a gang from the university, none of which are Twitterers at all, was stirred up, reminiscent of another Friday, November 20, 2009, when an act of repudiation was carried out against journalist Reinaldo Escobar and his colleagues on the not so far away corner of 23rd and G.

Today on #TwittHab, they talk less about Twitter than they do about the U.S. Interests Section. Less about the valid right to participate that unites us than about the interventionist dollars that supposedly threaten us. Less about civil liberty than uniform discipline, in such archaic terms as “voluntary work” (before the totalitarian state’s spokespersons, all jokes should be taken literally). Less about @m@r for your neighbor than about $ervility to your spouse.