AGUSTIN BLAZQUEZ’S REMARKS AT THE MIAMI INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR NOVEMBER 14, 2001
by Agustín Blázquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton
After my arrival to the U.S. in 1967, I noticed what the written press and television were saying about Cuba, and consequently, I realized the reigning misunderstanding about our reality.
I soon realized that Cuban Americans were facing two formidable enemies: Fidel Castro and the U.S. media.
In 1968 I began writing letters to American reporters trying to clarify their errors and guide them to sources of information where they could find the factual Cuban reality.
After several years of receiving silence as the only reply, I decided to write articles. I always saw that my target was the American audience, because Cubans know very well by our own experience the reality of living inside Cuba.
Counting on the invaluable collaboration and dedication of an American, Jaums Sutton – who has been the editor of all my work in English – my articles were born and are being published by some 32 WebPages on the Internet, and are read all over the world.
I have learned that among my readers are the Cuban secret state police, the Capitol in Havana and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C. – which is a nest of security agents, spies, bullys and Castro’s henchmen. This was demonstrated on April 14, 2000 when "diplomats" attacked (as the Cuban Rapid Response Brigades do) a group of U.S. citizens who were peacefully demonstrating in favor of Elian Gonzalez.
Some of my articles have also been published in U.S. newspapers like the Houston Chronicle, The Washington Times and Washington Inquirer, but the doors still are generally shut for the ones who write about the reality of Cuba in English.
Carlos Wotzkow read one of my articles in Switzerland and commented on it with writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante in England – I have known Guillermo since 1966 and he was acquainted with my articles – and he suggested that we publish a book together. That is how our collaboration was born. The result is COVERING AND DISCOVERING/CUBRIENDO Y DESCUBRIENDO, which is a bilingual book. Carlos’s articles are in Spanish and mine are in English.
Another result of the dismissal of the Cuban Americans and the near total blockade by the U.S. media, is my labor as a documentalist – also counting on the collaboration of Jaums Sutton, who, in addition to donating his time has contributed economically to this enterprise. In these documentaries I attempt to disseminate our reality to the American public, reflecting the majority feelings of our community and giving the Cuban Americans the opportunity to express themselves without being subjected to misrepresentation and ridicule.
Tonight is the first time that one of my documentaries is shown here, the capital of the Cuban exiles.
The U.S. media presents our community in a negative and insensitive way, revealing their apparent resentment against us simply because we try to expose that the romantic aura around Castro and his revolution is nothing more than a tragic fallacy.
During the Elian Gonzalez affair, this resentment by the U.S. media was clearly demonstrated by the derogatory way we were presented to the public opinion of the nation.
What was published about us in the U.S. media in this country was insulting to a superlative degree, using an attitude that, of course, they wouldn’t dare use about the other ethnic groups that make up this nation.
It is my intention that through my articles and documentaries the American people receive our message, which in reality it is a very American message in accordance with the founders of this great nation. We, the Cuban Americans definitely do appreciate, love and defend the real liberty. Thank you very much.
© 2001 ABIP
Author with Carlos Wotzkow of the book COVERING AND DISCOVERING/CUBRIENDO Y DESCUBRIENDO Producer/Director of the documentaries COVERING CUBA, COVERING CUBA 2: The New Generation and the upcoming COVERING CUBA 3: ElianABIP@olg.com
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