Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dissemination of false information

On Sept 18th, Louis Proyect (see his blog here) wrote on Marxmail:
The fact is that despite Castro's errors 
on one thing or another, he is still the most ethical and humane world 
leader. Just look at his latest article on the Roma:
My reply to Marxmail, which Louis moderates :
Yes, Fidel is one of the most ethical leaders in history, isn't he ?

Sending 30 000 people to re-education camps, internationally opposing a
world-wide moratorium on the death penalty, decreeing that "the total
fusion of State and society" must be achieved through the MNIR (Police),
placing CDR spies at every level of society, that's ethical, that's

In Cuba, opposition to Fidel is simply outlawed by the constitution.

According to article 144 of the Penal Code (desacato), you can be sent
to prison for 3 months for "disrepect" if you verbally slander or insult
the dignity of an official of the Communist Party.

According to article 208 (asociation ilicita), you can get sent to
prison for up to a year for participating in a meeting that has not been

According to article 103 ("propaganda enemiga"), you can get sent to
prison for 8 years for verbally disseminating "ennemy propaganda", the
exact definition of which is voluntarily not provided (so that it can be
used as a "catch all" repressive law). 

According to article 115 (crime of difusión de falsas informaciones
contra la paz internacional, or "dissemination of false information
against international peace."), anyone who spreads "false news with the
aim of putting in danger the prestige of the Cuban State" can be
imprisoned for up to four years.

Articles 72-90, which define the crime of peligrosidad, or
"dangerousness." These articles come under the heading, "The Dangerous
Status and Security Measures," a section of the Penal Code under which
someone can be sentenced for up to four years in prison on the grounds
that the authorities believe the individual has a "special proclivity"
to commit crimes, even though he or she might not have actually
committed a crime. These articles broadly define "dangerous" people as
those who act in a manner that contradicts "morality", "are lazy" or
"engage in anti-social behavior." 

Fidel's Cuba is the most ethical place imaginable. Despite those nasty
reports by former political prisoners that describe the daily beatings,
starvation rations and despair in the re-education camps. Why, people
who disseminate such lies should be imprisoned for "dissemination of
false information with the aim of putting in danger the prestige of
Yes, Cuba is an example of workers' emancipation. Reports that the
corrupt nomenklatura control workers through fear and violence are again
ill-informed. We all know, and it is the common perception on this list,
that the Cuban revolution should be defended for it is a place where
Socialism is strong and vibrant. 

I don't want to be unsubbed from this list (although it's better than a
stint in prison), so I will go-along with the general sentiment
regarding Cuba, and post no more "enemy propaganda" and "false
information with the aim of putting in danger the prestige of Cuba". 
Presidio Prison, where up to 8 000 Cuban dissidents were imprisoned in the 60s. It was a "model prison" built on a panoptical design under Batista.

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