MISINFORMATION IN CASTRO’S CUBA [FERNANDO J. MILANES, MD]

The effectiveness of the plans is determined by how well they contribute to shaping an alternative reality among intellectuals in the United States through academic exchanges and media manipulation, with the goal of converting their targets into allies, or at least neutralizing them. Furthermore, these plans are an attempt to agitate the general population of the United States with divisive propaganda, usually through “front organizations,” to foment mass demonstrations and political upheaval, while also working to influence international opinion against the United States and in favor of Cuba through both traditional and public diplomacy. This method of ideological penetration creates a fertile environment for the Interior Ministry (MININT) to recruit “agents of influence,” whether they become “useful idiots,” “sympathizers,” or “true believers” in the legitimacy of the Cuban revolution and its Communist ideology.   Over time, these “penetration plans” are intended to weaken the United States from within by undermining U.S. academic, political and governmental institutions. Thus, active measures help the Cuban government accomplish its two main objectives: to weaken American influence in the world.

Cuba, 1960

There is no question that Castro’s plan, enacted first in Cuba, and then as an action against the US were real and an important beginning maneuver to control the population and establish his family’s tyranny.    Let us start from the basic definition of free speech.    Our First amendment‘s words about speech are as short as they are clear.    To wit;

 prohibits any law limiting freedom with respect to religion, expression, peaceful assembly,.

So it leaves open the interpretation of what can be defined as freedom.    The Courts have made this clear-cut!    Also, it is common sense that freedom is absolute, any exceptions to freedom by themselves denies this precious human right.    Why?    Because any break in the absolute immediately becomes subject to interpretation and thus subjective.    The only barrier to freedom is affecting the same rights of others.    So we can use insulting words, but also tolerate when others use it.    

Obviously, injuries and damages to others are not protected.    If I utter a word that might be objected by the majority, I am still protected.    Why?    Because then actions become subjected to the many or the few that claim representing them.    Freedom of speech is thus limited by censorship!    This is the case of “political correctness” that might be correct but is against free speech.    In simple terms, majority opinion, correct, appropriate words, thoughts, writings, etc. do NOT need protection.    Freedom is basically aimed to allow unpopular, obnoxious, cruel, inappropriate speech, and similar.    

So basically freedom of speech when limited, even with reason, stops being free to become subjective and dangerous.    I am an example of the dangers of censorship.    When Castro took over Cuba, I was a medical student at University of Habana.    I have never been a fan of guns.    With the exception of my Bay of Pigs involvement, I have never used one.    It is a personal choice not to be read as an indictment to the many that have them.    What, to this day, I have used as weapons are my words.    Other than writing and distributing opinions about Cuba, I spoke openly against some of Castro’s policies and the repression against his opponents.    

I was told to stop by many and when I said that freedom of speech was what Castro promised, the retort was “you can speak freely, but if against Castro, you are against all the population and a traitor to Cuba”.    A lady friend one night told me that I was in a list to be subjected to interrogation and or imprisonment.   I left Cuba, and indeed few weeks after my home was entered and my room searched.    

Charges were made of position of treacherous planning and writings.    Fortunately, all my family was in the US but planning to return.    A great friend of my cousins called and told them what had happened and to not come back.    Important to note this was in the mid- 1960’s when Castro was idolized by the World, including this country!    Little did I know that I am now reliving the same nightmare.     I was censored because I was expressing “misinformation” about Cuba.    Make no mistake, misinformation is being used as censorship, and even if true and/or even overt lying, insults, they are free speech.    As such, it is true from opposite viewpoints, but the right to do it should be praised, not criticized.

Fernando J. Milanes, MD     

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