José Raúl Gallego Ramos

* 1986

  • “That was the answer… denying everything. And they can't do anything else. In fact, they tried to give some communicational stimulation. For example, that first message from Díaz-Canel of the combat order was very strong on a symbolic level, even among the government's own supporters there were people who criticized that because it was a call for a civil war, which is nothing new, meaning that already Fidel used to do this. There is nothing new, Díaz-Canel responded in the same way that Fidel Castro would have responded, as Raúl Castro himself responded. In fact, that answer is not from Díaz-Canel. But it was very strong on a symbolic level, both inside the country and outside the country. Around the third day, when the situation had more or less calmed down, they began to give a discursive change, to talk about love and reconciliation. But only at the discursive level. In practice, the black berets, the special troops continued to raid the neighborhoods and take people out of their homes and carry out summary trials.”

  • “Since I was not willing to serve a sanction that was clearly unfair, nor was I willing to stop writing anywhere because I write where I see it convenient, as I consider myself a free person… I asked to quit my contract at the University and I left on February 28, coincidentally my mother's birthday. That was the birthday present that I gave her because to my mother, this whole process was very difficult, as it came along with a campaign of disrepute and smear throughout the province, you know, that I am a mercenary, that I am a traitor. State Security was chasing me, summoning me for interrogations. All these things affected my mother a lot and she asked me to quit at the University and so she could also leave the country.”

  • “In December 2017 they tried to expel a student from my Faculty, a Journalism student, for some very epidermal criticism he had made in a personal blog that he had. As a professor, I openly opposed it since I did not agree with that and from that moment on, the University Directorate focused on me, believing that I was responsible for the criteria of the students. Actually, it wasn't like that, I hadn't even been able to teach that generation of students... only in the first year because I was out of the country. And so… when we returned from vacation at the end of the year, in January, they gave me a sanction in which my remuneration was reduced, meaning that, the sanction was to be a librarian for a year, for the fact that I collaborated with the Cuba Posible and I was told that I set a bad example for the students and young faculty in the Department. I was forced to serve this sanction, I appealed the sanction, but to be able to appeal it I had to start serving the sanction. That was a month, the time I was there, of a lot of persecution, a lot of harassment, a lot of harassment by State Security, the authorities at the University…”

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    Mexico, 07.09.2021

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I believe that what happened in Cuba can happen anywhere else

Gallego Ramos José Raúl, 2021
Gallego Ramos José Raúl, 2021
photo: Post Bellum

José Raúl Gallegos was born in 1986 in Camagüey, the third most populous city in Cuba, located in the central part of the island. He grew up amid the regime’s propaganda and soon became a young pioneer. At the same time, he never lacked a critical eye. He was beginning to realize some weak points of the ruling political system and its impact on society already during his teenage years. However, it should be noted that at that time he never felt like an opponent. He believed in the Revolution and was convinced that everything can be arranged within the established margins. When it came to deciding on the character of his university studies, he opted for journalism. At first, he wanted to dedicate himself to sports journalism. However, during the internship he was able to verify what the modus operandi was like in the official media and having this experience he preferred to stay at the university and become a professor of Communication Theory. In the meantime. he made several programs on television in which he debated within the margins of what was allowed. He did his Master’s degree in Mexico, where he came to participate in the activities of the Laboratory of Ideas – Cuba Possible [Laboratorio de Ideas – Cuba Posible] project, a free group of independent intellectuals who debated the present and future of Cuba. When he returned to Cuba, he was accused of being a bad example to his students and colleagues due to his support of a student who was critical of some aspects of the Cuban system on his personal blog. José Raúl was sanctioned, they forced him to leave his teaching position for about six months and go to work as a librarian. At the same time, he became the target of a strong discrediting campaign and a series of harassment and abuses by the authorities and State Security. That also affected his mother a lot. He decided to return to Mexico, where he dedicates to research on independent media.