This is how the Cuban regime forges an assassination of reputation: the case of the tweeter Magdiel Jorge Castro

The Cuban regime knows that it has lost control of social networks. For this reason, it resorts to old practices to try to recover ground: it fines, harasses and persecutes critical tweeters who reside on the Island and mounts smear campaigns against those who do so from abroad.

That is the case of Magdiel Jorge Castroa young Cuban tweeter residing in Bolivia against whom an intense campaign of attacks has been deployed that began weeks ago in publications in Argentina and Bolivia and has spread to the official media on the island.

DIARIO DE CUBA spoke with him to try to understand the reasons for this attack, in which He is accused of being an agent of the Bolivian right paid and controlled by the US Embassy in that country. to attack the island regime.

According to Castro, the wave of attacks against him followed a curious sequence: “On the eve of July 11 of this year, the Argentine newspaper Page 12 publishes an article signed by Gustavo Veiga that supposedly unmasks my links with the opposition to President Luis Arce here in Bolivia and with civic groups in Santa Cruz de la Sierra,” he says.

“It even talks about my flight from Cuba after July 11, 2021, says that I work in the Department of Health of the Government in a ghost job where what they would do is give me time to attack the Cuban regime. The article is full of falsehoods “, it states.

The tweeter took on the task of examining the identity of the author of the text against him: “This man is a member of CAPAC, or the Argentine Club of Friends of Cuba Journalists, a kind of branch of the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC). ) in that country”.

“As a result of this article, an interesting sequence of events has occurred: the first newspaper that reproduces the text in Bolivia is a weekly called The timewhich is led by a former minister of the Government of Evo Morales with deep ties to Havana and who has written for official media such as Cubadebate. There is very little chance here,” she says.

Castro indicates that “from there it spreads through several alternative sites of the left in the continent” and finds an echo in sites such as YouTube of the political police of the Island, Guerrero Cubano. Days after the publication of the article in Argentina, Cubadebate reproduced it, and did the same soon after with the one from The time. After them, the network of alleged influencers at the service of Havana on networks was activated. All with the same arguments, without presenting evidence for their accusations.

“The reasons are clear, the regime has been doing it for a long time. It is about the assassination of the credibility of someone who exposes the reality through their networks. They are doing it with me, but they have done it with activists, independent journalists, opponents. It is the tactic of attacking the messenger so as not to respond to the message,” says Castro.

“They seek to discredit me to the point that my accusations lose credibility, under the reasoning that a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth, or at least creates doubt that it is. I only use social networks, Twitter, and that they have been cruel in that way makes me suppose that what I am doing is being read and it is a stone in their shoe.

But why does the attack originate in Argentina? What interest could a media outlet from such a distant geography have in attacking the Cuban tweeter?

“You have to keep in mind that Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where I live, is the department where President Arce, Evo Morales and the Movement for Socialism (MAS), the leftist party that governs the country, have the strongest opposition. It was a key department in Morales’s departure from power in 2019. The governor, Luis Fernando Camacho, with whom they want to link me, was the leader of the protests and led the civic strike,” warns the Cuban tweeter.

“And there is a confrontation between the Latin American left and the department of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It does not surprise me that they appealed to that feeling to discredit me from newspapers of the same left in neighboring countries, as is the case in Argentina,” he stresses.

Apart from the media campaign, Castro has also received private messages, something that he describes as “the dangers faced by those who are on the networks.” But the attacks could go further: “I have also received attempts to find out my location, threats from anonymous numbers with the intention of knowing where I live.”

“It is no secret to anyone that the Cuban State Security has ties throughout the continent, not only with organizations from these countries, but through their embassies, which have enormous influence in these places. I know they can do whatever they want. They have the power, I only have my freedom of expression. I’m not afraid,” she notes.

Finally, Magdiel wanted to share with DIARIO DE CUBA who he is and what he does in his destination country as just another migrant from the Island.

“I am a 27-year-old Cuban who decides to emigrate in 2019. I graduated with a degree in Microbiology from the University of Havana, and did my social service at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB). I left Cuba due to the loss of hope in a better future, the impatience to wait for changes that never came”, he refers.

Castro recalls his first approach to the conflict between independent civil society and the Government on the Island: his attendance at the LGBTIQ independent march of May 2019 in Havana, which was repressed by the Police and State Security in full view of the international and independent media.

“That was a total break in my life. It was the first moment in which I felt free and saw the repression in the first person. From there, political awareness was fostered,” he says.

“After arriving in Bolivia I have worked on many things, like all emigrants. What I have never been able to do is work in my area, although the article in Page 12 says that I work in the Departmental Health Service (SEDES)which has been the health department of the Government. So that’s an easy lie to verify.because you call there and see that I have nothing to do with them”.

“Here I have not had any contact with local political groups, nor with the governor, nor contacts with the US Embassy, ​​​​nor with the Bolivian press. They have never contacted me, which is very easy to find on the internet.”

“Why am I the target of harassment? When they have to resort to such crude lies to discredit the political opponent, when they have to lie so shamelessly and amplify a fake news it is because they do not have much to say about the message and attack the messenger. But it is difficult for them. Cuban youth opened their eyes, they think for themselves, they have a broader spectrum to form an opinion and the people who know me know perfectly well who I am,” he concludes.

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