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A commitment of Cuban journalists in grave situation after the hurricanes
“Everyone should do their part in their duty and nothing will ever defeat us.” –José Martí

To fulfill the call of comrade Fidel that our duty is to continue fighting and winning, without being discouraged, in this difficult and adverse time for our Homeland, is part of a decision that cannot be waved of the Cuban journalists.

Our compromise is even greater, after Fidel qualified the work of the Cuban reporters as excellent in his letter to the director of the Mesa Redonda (Round Table). The reporters defied the wind and the rain and without resting, they have kept our country and the world well informed on the passing of the destructive hurricane Ike.

The UPEC is proud of the work undertaken in recent days by our radio, television, digital, printed and agency press professionals during the coverage of the hurricanes that have practically damaged the whole country.

That thought by José Martí that “everyone should do their part in their duty; and nothing will ever defeat us,” has been very much present these days in the conscience and behavior of Cuban journalists.

Despite very difficult conditions, because of the damage to the electrical and communication system, as well as in some cases their own houses and work places, journalists and press workers have managed to give to the people the preventive message and to capture the moving images of the damages caused to houses, installations and farming, the penetration of the sea, overflowed rivers because of the strong rains, together with shocking stories of human solidarity and the constant efforts of the authorities to preserve human lives and economic resources and to start recovery.

Full of pride, we may say that there has been made a true informational feat, an emergency journalism in order to serve the dearest interests of our homeland and our people.

And while this tragedy is hitting Cuba and the country is undergoing works of recovery and sincere expressions of international support and solidarity are being received, the great transnational media does not stop in their war of misinformation and lies. The cynic proposal of humanitarian help from the United States government that is conditioned to the sending of a mission evaluating the damages in Cuba, has been the central element to many media for a new campaign against the Cuban people.

The decent Cuban response, which essentially asked the United States for their authorization to acquire building materials and credits for the buying of food in that country, has been hidden by those media. There are quite some headlines that only talk about the fact that Cuba has rejected the humanitarian help from Bush’s government, ignoring the blockade and the hostile plans of that administration.

The adversities that have brought us nature do not make us forget that on this September 12 becomes a decade the unfair and illegal imprisonment in the United States of five Cuban patriots for fighting against terrorism. They have also been the target of the media war against Cuba, even though for our people, they constitute a true example of dignity and attachment to revolutionary principles. They are five starts that light every day our destiny, no matter how hard circumstances might be.

In the same way as journalists will keep fighting to recover from the damages caused by hurricanes Ike and Gustav, we will keep fighting so that truth might win in the end, so that justice might be made and Gerardo, Ramón, René, Antonio and Fernando might be free. That is also part of our duty that cannot be waived.

UPEC Presidency, September 11, 2008


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