Our friend Jay Nordlinger talks to Abraham Jimenez Enoa, a Cuban journalist who was forced into exile by the communist Castro dictatorship for reporting the truth about Cuba.
The Courage of a Cuban Writer
Meet Abraham Jiménez Enoa, who was born to a ‘revolutionary’ family and rebelled
In late 2021, the Cuban dictatorship gave Abraham Jiménez Enoa a choice: go to prison or go into exile. Jiménez Enoa chose the latter. But, holding a Cuban passport, where can you go? Your options are limited — to Nicaragua, Russia, and a few other such lands. Jiménez Enoa’s girlfriend looked for a job in Spain, and found one, and Jiménez Enoa was able to join her there. A happy landing, just about the best-case scenario.
Jiménez Enoa deserves it, with all he’s been through.
He and I are sitting down, not in Spain, but in Norway — at the Oslo Freedom Forum. Jiménez Enoa is a journalist and writer, the author of La isla oculta (“The Hidden Island”). He is an unlikely dissident — an unlikely rebel against the Castro dictatorship.
Abraham Jiménez Enoa was born in 1988 to a revolutionary family. His grandfather was a bodyguard to both Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. His father was a colonel in the interior ministry. This was a strongly pro-regime family, a faithful family, if you will. Guevara was the padrino of Abraham’s grandparents’ wedding. A padrino is a kind of patron, or sponsor.
When did Abraham start to have doubts? Doubts about the regime and its legitimacy and its goodwill? When he was a university student, really. His parents were alarmed, as you can imagine. And when Abraham went into dissidence, they were scared — scared because very bad things happen to dissidents in Cuba. (Bad things happen to their families, too.)
At the University of Havana, Jiménez Enoa studied journalism. He became especially fond of the “new journalism,” as exemplified by Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and Tom Wolfe. He had grown up as a baseball player, and would have liked to make his living in that sport. But he did not quite have the natural gifts. He turned to sportswriting.
I say to him, “Sportswriting must be relatively safe in Cuba — just about the safest kind of journalism you can practice.” Not necessarily, says Jiménez Enoa. Athletes in Cuba work for the government. Sometimes they try to escape, by boat; sometimes they try to defect, when abroad. “If you’re going to be a serious journalist,” says Jiménez Enoa, “you have to tell those stories.”
He makes a general point, which may be obvious, but not obvious to all: In Cuba, “the media don’t do journalism but rather propaganda.”
Continue reading HERE.