Ernesto Pérez Castillo
Ernesto Hernández Bushto is a rascal, but a willing one. For mysterious and unexplained reasons he closed his blog –www.penultimosdias.com – some days ago and in the meantime has gone about teasing El País, promising them lemonade while delivering water, in the form of a new article (The Limits of Cyber-Dissidence) which is nothing more than a self-referential link to his own speech some months back in the auditorium of the Bush Institute.
Something happened there in faraway Texas, considering that since his return, Bushto promised to tell what had happened in black and white; in a chronicle that he said would be “conceived in three parts, which I hope to conclude next week, where I’d love to talk about many of the things that happened there.” After several weeks have gone by, it’s evident that for some strange reason, he never ended up finishing the series.
He wrote and published the first installment, in which he spoke of nothing. He wrote and published the second, in which he said even less than before. Whoever read the pieces – something you can’t now do, since he voluntarily closed his blog – would see that he barely limited himself to commenting about how many beers he drank, and with whom, during his sweet Texan days.
And he wasn’t the only one keeping a discreet silence about that event, since the mainstream media, El País included, didn’t waste so much as half an inch of paper summarizing the event, much less divulge even one of the blunders that took place there.
Now, after leaving his followers thirsty for so long, he lines up an opportunity for himself on the op-ed pages of El País; not to say anything new, but to repeat more of the same, the exact same thing that emerged in English beforehand (without being picked up anywhere) and this is important, because it comes in his own handwriting: Cyber-Dissidence has lost the battle on the Net.
In any case, Bushto is a man of faith; what’s happening is that his is a counter-current kind of faith. While he shouts to the four winds, alerting the world that the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and generally speaking, all social networks are totally useless, in his words: “No regime has been overturned by (these technologies),” USAID has managed nevertheless, to release a Himalaya of millions meant exactly (and in contradiction to Bushto’s suggestion) to oxygenate and maintain their cyber-mercenaries in Cuba.
Hernández Bushto’s task remains clear regardless. According to him: “There must be a return to the old methods of traditional dissidence: strikes, taking to the streets.” But HEY, he’s very very very far from our streets, in the tranquility of Barcelona, and it’s from that peaceful place – like a good little Spiderman – that Bushto orders others to go out to the avenue to risk their skin.
No-one should be under the illusion that Ernestico is going to jump on a plane and disembark in Havana, ready to take the Cuban government down by force. Hell no…he’s a player who never risks anything in his bets, and he’s also got a solution for that. Don’t forget that on August 30, 2008, in his blog, Bushto published one of his blunders, titled “Victory?” – where he ventured with unparalleled enthusiasm: “My most closely held opinion about the Cuban situation is that a U.S. military invasion would be the fastest and most productive way of doing away with the Castro regime.” Note that again in this proposition, Bushto risks nothing, except his embarrassment, as green (like the dollars that support him) as the goat he ate some time ago.
In the meantime, the one thing that remains clear is that in all this, Bushto is still a little bit consistent, remaining faithful to his courageous call to strike – now that strikes are all the rage – and that’s why he’s begun his own little strike, closing his blog.
* Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the author, source, and translator are cited.