For anyone who has observed the development on the Internet of the media war that the United States finances against Cuba, with the use of an increasingly articulated system of digital means of communication, several developments are evident.
The first is the technological expansion of what a few years ago was nothing more than a group of blogs, until it became what is now a digital press multimedia circuit with templates of hired journalists, collaborators with article fees, embedded advertising, positioning by payment on Facebook and Twitter, production of podcasts, live streams on YouTube and subscriptions to Telegram channels.
The second evolution is not technological, but strategic: During the Barack Obama government, with a more subtle policy against Cuba, the largest amount of resources was destined to create media to influence key sectors of Cuban society: Journalists, economists , artists, intellectuals, professors and university students. Events, “idea laboratories” and digital magazines were financed with an editorial line geared towards social democracy. A web work aimed at an audience with sympathies towards progressive or “left-wing” ideas, not reluctant to a discourse that speaks of socialism or Marxism, but in order to promote aversion to communism, fidelism and the institutions of the Cuban state.
The main strategy was not communication to large sectors of society, but to act on the mindset of professional sectors, public figures and opinion leaders who operate within the institutional framework, participate in academic training, or produce content for the more diverse rest of society. It is not an open strategy against the Revolution, but to influence from within it.
With Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House, that strategy does not disappear, but it becomes secondary, and more resources are directed towards expanding digital media for a lower-level, but more massive intellectual-level audience. In which there are many web pages with little elaboration in their content, quick and simple to read, fake news and morbid sensationalism. It is the most recalcitrant strategy against the Revolution, akin to the tradition of hate and extremism prevailing in Miami.
These media calls for the closing trips and remittances, they are dedicated to the persecution and lynching of Cuban artists who live in Cuba and perform in the United States, demand the cancellation of concerts, use the disclosure of intimate gossip that seeks to intimidate – with the lowest resources of media terrorism — everyone who participates in Cuban public life and at the same time expresses some ideological empathy with the Revolution or speaks out against the blockade. They use some reggaeton musicians, or they lay their hands on actors and actresses who were popular in Cuba for their talent, but who now put their histrionics at the service of content that would shame their former cinema, television and theater audiences. It is the exacerbation of the worst Miami,which is logically repulsive to the Cuban population with a higher educational level.
It is the media representation of the U.S. government’s escalation of aggression against Cuba, the increase in the blockade creating greater daily difficulties in our country, of an environment that constantly endangers diplomatic relations and that led to the shooting of the Cuban embassy in Washington.
In this time of pandemic, the digital media of the Trump Strategy has focused on the queues and food shortages in Cuba that the blockade itself seeks to provoke, or to emit content that undermines confidence in measures against COVID 19, keeping its machinery of mockery and terror in the most vulgar and openly counter-revolutionary way.
Meanwhile, the media of the Obama Strategy have maintained a communication ideologically from the right but disguised in the media as the left, betting on a narrative to create sympathy for “independent journalism”; to suggest urgent neoliberal recipes in the face of the crisis caused by the pandemic and to create the idea that the Cuban Government does not want to boost the economy (not to mention that it governs a blocked country and each time with fewer dollars to finance this dynamism); to build empathy with just social causes such as egalitarian marriage and animal protection but using them as a resource against institutions and supporting manifestations of public disorder to achieve them; to ponder the democracy of the pre-revolutionary Republic, to historically manipulate phenomena such as the Mariel, the UMAP or Grey Quinquenium; positioning a discourse that uses a Marxist language to promote anti-communism, which speaks of socialism, but only to present the “Cuban model” as absolutely unsuccessful. Working to cultivate an audience – which grows with new young readers each year – to make it increasingly manipulable.
Those who finance both strategies are the same, so it would seem that the true objective of promoting that most repulsive media counterrevolution is to cloud our vision, to achieve precisely that we accept as a lesser evil – and even preferable – this other apparently more intellectual counterrevolution , less aggressive and capable of becoming more sympathetic.
It will be necessary to have great clarity in this media war, in which a communication defense that reveals all intentions is essential. Because in political subversion, the dog that can bite the most is not the one that barks, but the one that wags its tail.