The actor Luis Silva, who plays the popular character Pánfilo in the comedy program Vivir del Cuento, used his Facebook Profile to complain about the widespread censorship in Cuba, exercised through fear and by barring people from taking photos or videos all over the Island.
In a post in which he reacted to the attack suffered by the Cuban journalist Sonia Sánchez in a line at a state agricultural market in El Vedado by its manager, Silva asked for clarification of what may or may not be filmed or photographed, and cited other similar incidents related to this situation.
"I don't know whether it's in the Constitution, or in La Gaceta (gazette), or in the Guidelines. But I would like to know where, if they exist, one can find the directives, laws or regulations prohibiting one from taking photos or videos in our country. I have the right to know that, to know what I can and cannot do," he wrote.
The actor explained that his wife once went to take a picture of a small table in a store, to see if he liked it, "and the ruckus they raised (including the manager) was outrageous."
"We went to shoot Vivir del Cuento, about five years ago, in the Coppelia gardens, and the supervisor at that time allowed it, but asked that the ice cream scoops not appear. We had to laugh. You can already imagine what the scoops were like," he added.
Silva warned that "taking pictures in hospitals... don't even think about it! No way! Because they'll lock you up. No matter what the hospital is like, record it in your mind, but never in a photo."
According to the actor, "in a bank, you cannot use your phone, or take pictures. That's understandable. Or in a military unit." But he wants to know "where else" it is prohibited.
"I would like some journalist from Granma, or from Trabajadores, or whatever newspaper, to investigate and publish something on this. Today everybody has a camera on their phone, and I think that every Cuban has the right to know what the country’s policy is with respect to this, so that there is no abuse of power by anyone," he added.
"The Internet is coming to our mobile phones (well, that's what they say), and it is going to be a mess. Everyone will be like a journalist, uploading videos and photos. And, when a boss like the one mentioned in this post that I am sharing (the manager of the market), when he gets upset, it will already be too late. Because it will be BROADCAST LIVE," he concluded.
For several followers of Silva who commented on his post, the situation is clear.
"Make no mistake: it's called censorship, totalitarianism, etc. That is the road taken almost 60 years ago, with or without cell phones, Internet, Wi-Fi or whatever you want to put, stated in clear Spanish, a lack of freedom," answered R. Canal.
For M. Morales, Cuba is "the country where everything is 'prohibited' and where one must ask for permission for everything."
"Illegalities, mistreatment, obligations and prohibitions are daily realities in our country. Threats, veiled or not, and criminalization generate insecurity, fears, apprehension. When there is no fear of free expression and opinion, we Cubans will be happy in our land," said R. Planas.