John 8:32 (KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
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Dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez spoke to newspaper publishers from the Western Hemisphere about freedom of the press. Yesterday in Puebla, Mexico speaking of freedom of the press in Castro’s Cuba she said, “the situation of press freedom in my country is calamitous.”
Because of the ubiquitous USB flash drives underground blogs, e-zines and other new technologies. Information is placed on a USB flash drive, or similar media, and passed around from person to person. Cheap and inexpensive. Not exactly mass media information, but, the information works its way around. The only person at risk is the person holding the disk.
It is because of the electronic age that we live in that the iron walls of tyranny began to rust and fall away. The old Soviet Empire held absolute control over dissemination of information. The evil empire was in a time of typesetting, typewriters and handwritten letters. The typewriter was the first chink in the armor of the empire. Someone realized that it could be used to disseminate information of hope, freedom and change.
Thus the “sasmizdat” was born. It was a simple system. Someone’s message would be typed on a typewriter. There would also be five to ten carbon copies produced. The number that could be legibly produced depended on many variables with each individual typewriter. When you received a “samizdat,” if you had access to a typewriter you were expected to type and distribute your copies. You can see how quickly information could be disseminated.
The “samizdats” were quite the thorn in the side of the communists. They zealously pursued the writers and those who passed on the information. Because each typewriter always had some identifiable characteristic it did not take the KGB long to eventually make someone pay. Ideally you used your secret typewriter that no one knew of to pass on information.
The age of electronics was the end of communist tyranny. The communists had been for too long like the little boy using a finger to plug a hole in the dike. Now with computers, printers and copy machines it was like thousands, if not tens of thousands of holes started appearing and the communists simply did not have enough boys. What were the communists to do they needed the new technology to continue to repress the masses, but the masses were turning the new technologies back at the communists. The new technologies were difficult trace and almost impossible to suppress.
I suspect that the full effect of new technologies have been very slow to arrive in Cuba. They will eventually become as menacing to communist Cuba as they were to communist Russia and remain menacing to the newest tyrannical Russian Czar Vladimir Putin.
We are certainly the beneficiaries of the new technology to disseminate information. I and thousands of others have our blogs. What if we had to depend on the American lame stream media to keep us informed? As long as we have our computers, printers, internet and all the other trappings of the Electronic Era there will never be a dark ages of information.