LJC in the porn industry

By Dolores Ibárruri

While I was writing my thesis many years ago –I won’t say how many so you can’t figure out my age– I learned that the widely known Weekly Package is circulated by five major package distributors, who put it together with whatever content they decide, and a network which spreads it all over Cuba.

That the Package is put together at the UCI (the University of Computer Sciences) and then given to the distributors; that content is downloaded from ‘the channels’ received with large antennae provided by ‘the enemy’; that that same ‘enemy’ pays for the Internet of those who put the Package together; that they use the connection given to workers in government offices –among other myths which I’d rather leave to popular imagination–, surfaced as possible ways for its distribution during a long research that went on for nearly a year.

But that’s not what stuck with me. When I interviewed one of those major distributors and asked him what his guidelines were to structure and sanitize the contents he included –at least in his specific case– he answered:

‘Look, dear, except pornography and counterrevolutionary stuff, I include everything. I don’t want any trouble. Don’t you realize if I add any of that they’ll shut down my business? I don’t want any problems with anyone. I just quietly do my thing.’

Since 2017, the magazine La Joven Cuba (LJC) was distributed through the Package, for not everyone had access to the Internet, and its creators thought this was another way to reach the reading public interested in Cuban social and political topics analyzed and told by the country’s youth.

Last year, they stopped publishing because they couldn’t gather enough resources and contributors to generate that much content. LJC was then left with only its webpage.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend, and he told me they needed to get back in the Package, now that they have a larger group of contributors and the means to maintain it.

I am what you might call an ‘apolitical’ person. I don’t like one bit going into those issues, for I believe it is wonderful to keep one’s friends. I have as a principle not discussing religion or politics with friends so I will not endanger our friendship. My thing is literature. However, I thought helping him with his (re)inclusion in the Package was a good idea.

Before setting out to garner a place for the magazine, I read a few of its articles, just to know what I was defending on my friend’s behalf.

When I talked to the same major distributor I had interviewed for my thesis, he said to me:

‘Look, don’t even mention those people. I have instructions not to include anything from that magazine.’

‘But why? What’s the problem?’

‘I have no idea. But my answer is no. Some officials came to warn me about that and they told me not to do it.’

‘But, didn’t you tell me that the only thing you did not include in the Package was porn or counterrevolution?’

I left with the unanswered question of why the magazine wasn’t fit to be in the Package anymore. I went back to the articles. I read and reread everything I could on the web and no matter how hard I tried, it eluded me. I still can’t see any counterrevolution anywhere.

I wish the people behind LJC much success in the X-rated film industry.

(Translated from the original)

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