The desire for freedom is the wealth of man, and the struggle for its conquest has taken place since the dawn of civilization. Respect for free opinion, creation, displacement and non-interference in very personal issues has been the arduous and winding journey that the Law has had to go through to translate its recognition, late or early in its normative bodies.
The consecration of the values of respect and sexual equality, of opportunities or of access to education are just a few rights that today seem common to us. Rights that for their consecration have had to circumvent the refusals of intolerant, authoritarian governments or interest groups to change the status quo.
Freedom as an acquired asset, which encompasses all the aforementioned rights, does not yet exist in some countries. The government of Cuba is showing it. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall the messages that circulated between one and another Germany had collapsed it hundreds of times before its physical disappearance. The Internet and its impossibility of control is repeating history on the Caribbean island.
Governments still have a hard time understanding that the rules dictated for a physical world are difficult, if not impossible, to apply in virtual environments. Dictatorships seem to understand it even less.
The Cuban government has been able to control the traditional media for decades; Instead, a protest in a city just 30 kilometers from the capital got out of hand. This is demonstrated by the messages transmitted over the Internet that circumvent attempts to censor those who tell, relate or transmit news in that country.
The rebels, to use the same term as those who took power more than 50 years ago, seem to use the tools of communication to bypass censorship.
Faced with the attempt to cut the Internet by the Cuban government, alternative means, applications and free Wi-Fi connection have emerged that have allowed it. Software programs that outside the download stores make it possible to bypass the state communications company and send videos, photos or comments to the entire world. The messages jump the wall and the physical distance to make themselves known. History repeats itself.
In his book The Game, Alessandro Baricco raises the concept of digital insurrection where he explains that from technology the power that was in the hands of the elites is snatched away. That power has been beaten since the 20th century, failing to destroy it or make it disappear, nor does it simplify or trivialize it, it simply leaves it exposed on the surface of the world.
What is happening in Cuba shows that the dictatorial governments uselessly try to change the nature of the people, which constitutes one without reason, and we are witnessing the clear demonstration that it is the instruments of the people, cell phones, cameras and social networks that are changing those who want to modify or control them.
The battle where the values of freedom, determination and choice are at stake, the weapons they have taken are servers, social networks, satellites or smartphones. In the Soviet Union, books that circulated clandestinely were known as samizdat, today we could call them the Internet.
Raúl Martínez Fazzalari is Professor of New Technologies Law. UCES