Posted in CubaNet on February 18, 1999
We are not annexationists, and no one pays us.
Havana, February 18, 1998 (Cooperative of Independent Journalists and the Decorum Work Group) - Due to the recent passage of the Law for the Protection of the National Sovereignty and the Economy of Cuba, as well as accusations made against the dissident independent journalists for allegedly maintaining close ties with the U.S. Interest Section in Havana to receive monthly remuneration in exchange of annexationist subservience and other stupidities, the Cooperative of Independent Journalists and the Decorum Work Group wish to make clear to the national and international public opinion that such documents are in keeping with government propaganda to provide misinformation regarding our activities and objectives.
We have never received any salary from the Government of the United States of America or from any other government in this planet, or from any governmental entities from any country. Thanks to the disinterested support provided by non-governmental organizations dedicated to defend the principles of journalism, and for payments received for articles and commentaries sent to the media abroad, we and our families have survived the loss of our jobs due to our ideologies which differ from those of the current Cuban regime, and are subjected to constant ostracism and repression.
The U.S. Interest Section and other diplomatic offices accredited in Havana have provided us with moral support and shown their understanding. A book, a brochure, a newspaper, a magazine, or a cordial invitation to watch a television program regarding a topic of professional interest, events to which at one time or another the Cuban state press has also been invited, do not imply any kind of payment. Even considering our economic needs and difficulties, such payments would not be accepted because we would then cease to be independent. We wish no annexation with the U.S. Cuba is our country, the one we deeply love, the same country to which we owe it all and for which we want all kinds of good things. We want respect for the individual and global rights of our citizens, without any foreign interference in its sovereignty or regulations other than the ones emanating from the vote of its citizens.
Our press bureaus are not opposing political parties or human rights committees. We are dedicated to inform the reality as it exists in our country, opine about irregularities and violations, as well as inform about any successes achieved for the benefit of the Cuban people.
We owe ourselves to Cuba, and we give it all to freedom of expression and fair democracy because these are the inalienable rights of humanity -- just like our government itself has countersigned numerous documents in as many numerous international forums regarding such rights. Therefore, we ask for the solidarity of everybody throughout the world who follow worthy principles consistent with democratic freedoms, and we forewarn them as to the possibility of further future repression by the Cuban authorities against the normal discharge of our duties as journalists, which are to be in the service of the news.
We, the dissident independent Cuban journalists, are the real target of this new law. The Castro regime will continue to lash out at us using its customary weapons of subjugation - - jail terms, beatings, vociferous and despicable acts of repudiation, and charging us with performing acts of treason against our country. It will be us who will suffer the tightening of Castro's new Decalogue. However, despite the ever-present threat lurking above our heads, we will continue to forge ahead. We will continue to inform about everything that goes on in Cuba, providing the world with the truth necessary to unmask the brutality of the Cuban regime. Without proper sustenance and lack of safety, we will continue to denounce human rights violations, knowing full well that we will be doubly punished by the regime. We represent the ethics and dignity of Cuban journalism, the ethics and dignity of the Cuban people, the ethics and dignity emanating from that noble concept which is human dignity.
Translated for CubaNet by Elena Treto