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Editorial: Leaders Must Be Made to Speak Out

We must manage for the leaders of the island to have no choice but to come forward and reveal all the regime's lies.

Ana Elsa Velázquez, Minister of Education.
Ana Elsa Velázquez, Minister of Education. PL

First it was the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, who stated that anyone who does not identify as an "activist for revolutionary policies", and share this ideology, morality and political convictions, "should resign as a university professor".

Then it was her superior, the Minister of Education, in a tweet: "Those who do not live in Cuba have no right to criticize us. We will accept criticism by those who are alongside us, and are willing to share our hardships, and to seek solutions to them."

Between the two statements by these officials a public letter was released in which professors and students rebutted the deputy minister's assertion. The minister's tweet responded to that public letter – though without mentioning it, of course, in the typical style of the regime's press.

They are a minister and deputy minister of a regime, not a nation. This is why they exclude non-revolutionaries and exiles. As officials of the regime, they do what it has always done: cross the line, and seek to quash any criticism.

It is evident that the minister was dismayed by the public letter, as she felt compelled to come to the defence of her subordinate and the policies of her ministry. Then, after the letter, she had to suffer all the replies to her tweet. This is the new aspect of the matter,  due to the regime’s communication policy, which encourages its leaders to tweet, starting with Díaz-Canel.

Meanwhile, an investigation published in The New York Times two weeks ago accused Cuba of irregularities in the Zika case figures it reported. Fudged statistics, whether in association with international organizations, or not, is intrinsic to the very nature of the Cuban regime. And the island's press had to respond to the New York newspaper.

Public letters like that released by the students and professors, responses like those by many tweeters to the Minister of Education, and investigations like those published by The New York Times, help to foster a set of opinions antagonistic to the Cuban regime’s propaganda, which now struggles to uphold "the advances of Health and Education".

We must continue to insist on this. We must manage for the leaders of the island to have no choice but to speak out and, upon doing so, reveal all the regime's lies.

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