Freedom of expression

Por: Rolando López del Amo

The freedom of expression is the possibility a human being has to express what he thinks about any aspect of what exists and of what he imagines. He can exercise that possibility during a dialogue with another person or in a group of relatives, friends, schoolmates or co-workers, in social organizations meetings, in the mass media.  With the new information technologies new forms of communication have emerged like the email, web pages, through which it is possible to interact, the blogs. These technologies greatly democratize the possibilities of users to the point, at this moment, of the smart cell phones. 

Of course, together with the freedom to say what you think, there exists the responsibility for what is being said. 

The contemporary world is still very unequal and holds divided in multiple forms: States, nations, languages, social classes, poor and riches, religious believes, etc.


There are differences in the social development among countries and inside them. There are still people living in primitive communities in jungles and woods, in feudal regimes, with remains of the slavery. Levels of instruction, of access to values of use and services greatly vary.


Within this great amalgam, human beings group according to their interests and needs and try to promote those inside society, at local and international levels. They make use for these purposes those media that help them to spread their ideas and to get them followers or fans. In this sense, with the emergence of the press a new possibility was obtained: the printed book and the periodical publications. Photography and cinema emerged in the visual arts field.     Regarding long distance communication were create the telegraph, the telephone, the radio and the television, all based on antennas and communication satellites and on the computers to reach the present time, with the small cell phone that integrates everything.


Never before has a human being had greater possibilities than those existing at present to exercise his freedom of expression.    


Today exist what is called the social networks, to which it is easy to access, to expand and spread what you express.


In general, in the contemporary world, printed press, radio and television are commercial companies or propaganda means of institutions or social groups.


Television and radio program in the United States are financed through commercial ads that try to convince listeners or viewers about the goodness of the product they are announcing, although it is not true. Some other times, the interests of the mastering groups give shape and content to what is being trsmitted through the agencies and companies created for those purposes. I always remember those years I live in New York for working reasons; the three television channels broadcasting to the whole country from coast to coast, as they said, offered the same news with the same images. Essentially, the points of view were similar.    


Shortwave radio is systematically used in the Vatican to offer their vision of the world; just like protestant churches in the United States have their programs with the same purposes. Governments also finance radio stations to broadcast their opinions. The Voice of the Americas (La Voz de las Américas) is a service of the government of the United States. That same government finances a radio station and a television cannel specially directed to Cuba to promote dissatisfaction and subversion.  It is funny, to not say the word they deserve, to listen in those stations the defense of the freedom of expression, when they are really saying what who is paying for their existence wants: the government of the United States.     


When talking about freedom of expression, it is necessary to know who says so, why is saying so, what is being said and who is benefitting from what is said and from this analysis, then to compare it to reality.


Today, in the United States, President Trump, a man who built his public image through television programs, keeps a struggle against the information media of his country to which he accuses of being manipulators and liars. He should know because he has moved among those media for many years.  


Freedom of expression is a right and a duty. What it is really important is that what is said helps to our development and improvement as human beings and serves to the common wellbeing.