Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Militant Prays

The day before Vigilia Mambisa went out to protest Paulito FG at South Beach last week, they held a press conference at the Ayesteran Restaurant in Little Havana. Vigilia Mambisa usually holds these conferences at Ayesteran before their local demonstrations, but rarely does the public have an inside look at how these meetings go.

In the video above you can see that local Spanish-language news stations Univision23 and America TeVe (Olance Noguera) covered the event. But, they are not there to quote the hostile language of Vigilia Mambisa. They are there to listen and then later clean up the message for public broadcast.

The following day, Olance Noguera reports on the protest by Vigilia Mambisa and describes the event as having "great patriotic fervor" where "despite the use of some insults, at least it has been reliable in its manner, its attitude. The commitment from one part of the Cuban community, the hard-line, the intransigent line, to defend a little its patriotic values."

Noguera is correct in his description, but he'll never report that militants regularly use insults (like the ones written on their pickets), threats and personal attacks (like the ones that Hugo Cancio has recently recieved) in order to "defend a little its patriotic values."

In the video above (at 3:18), Miguel Saavedra, leader of Vigilia Mambisa (a person who is not afraid to physically attack others who freely express themselves), says a prayer before speaking to reporters:

"Lord, thank you. Thank you for gathering us all here today. And thank you for this belief we all share in being very concerned about our homeland. Thank you for the pleas we make that reach you up in heaven and gives us strength, and gives us a path to find out how to destroy the diabolical tyranny that has been murdering our people for the last 50 years."

In his speech to reporters, Saavedra alleges that Cuban artists, like Paulito FG, are at the service of the Cuban government, and are perhaps secret government agents. One wonders if Saavedra prays for their "destruction."

[The video above was shot by Alicia Bencomo, for her website AmorJuventudCuba.com.]