DHL or How to Help the Censor


A couple of years ago I went to the DHL office in Miramar to send some family videos to friends in Spain. The clerk looked at me as if I were trying to send a molecule of oxygen to another galaxy. Without even touching the Mini DV cassette, she told me that the Havana branch only accepted VHS. I thought it was a question of size, but the explanation she gave was even more surprising, “It’s just that our machines to view the content only read the large cassettes.” When I tried to insist, the woman suspected that instead of the smiling face of my son, I wanted to send “enemy propaganda” abroad.

Frustrated, I returned home – where I have never received a piece of regular mail – and some time passed before I again had need of the services of this German company. Faced with the impossibility of traveling to Chile to present my book, Cuba Libre, a few days ago the publisher sent me ten copies, in a single package marked “express.” Neither my numerous telephone calls to the office at the corner of 1st and Calle 26, nor my physical presence there, managed to make them deliver what is mine. “Your package has been confiscated,” they told me this morning, even though in reality they should have been more honest and confessed, “Your package has been stolen.” Although these are the same texts that, without descending into verbal violence, have been published on the web for three years, the customs censors have handled it as if it were a manual about how to make Molotov cocktails.

Now, when headlines around the world are announcing the end of the Google’s collusion with Chinese censorship, foreign companies located in Cuba continue to obey ideological filters imposed by the government. With its airs of efficiency, its tradition of immediacy, and its phrases such as, “We keep an eye on your package,” DHL has agreed to apply a political filter to its customers. To refuse to do so would earn them expulsion from the country with the consequent economic losses, and so they ignore the sanctity of the mail and look the other way when someone demands what belongs to them. The red and yellow colors of their corporate identity never seemed to strident to me. Looking at them today I feel that instead of speed and efficiency they represent a warning: “Not even with us is your correspondence safe!”

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175 thoughts on “DHL or How to Help the Censor

  1. 174juan

    Abril 4th, 2010 at 01:15
    Again I ask Fraud what should DHL do – forcibly invade the Aduana office and seize the parcel??!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    They can easily demand to the “aduana” (Toll) do not confiscate books written by the own customer….. easy to see for the rest of the world…. very hard to see for you!!!!

  2. Again I ask Fraud what should DHL do – forcibly invade the Aduana office and seize the parcel??!!

    “…a foreign company acts as accomplice of a repressive regime”
    What exactly did DHL do in complicity with the Cuban governmnet OTHER than not invading the Aduana office???

  3. Dear readers, as you see those 2 castrofascism agents finds it very normal that a foreign company acts as accomplice of a repressive regime that reads citizens private mail and confiscate it in spite this mail is a book written by the customer…… please, forgive those agents….. they are risen under a tyranny that tries to indoctrinate all citizen and succeeded only with those weak minds or moral handicapped souls like our 2 commenter juan and losada…… they can’t understand DHL and castrofascism actions are condemned by you all (readers) people risen and living in free countries where such actions are crimes condemned by law and ethic……. please, understand their situation and forgive them.
    Thanks

  4. This quite understandable outline of the facts makes nonsense of the criticisms in the the Sanchez blog and so many of the hysterical comments that followed.

    Juan: You should know by now that the Miami fanatics here are allergic to facts and logic. They won’t respond to comments which contain facts & logic. Considering that facts and logic usually contradict their inane ravings, one would have to presume that this is why they are so allergic to them.

  5. DHL,

    Can you provide a link to your statement? Funny that there is none? Funny!

  6. “DHL Express operations in Cuba are conducted through a local contact-operator who is subject to and required to comply with all applicable laws where they operate, including customs laws and import-export regulations.”

    And why shouldn’t they be?
    This quite understandable outline of the facts makes nonsense of the criticisms in the the Sanchez blog and so many of the hysterical comments that followed.
    So Fraud what should DHL do – forcibly invade the Aduana office and seize the parcel??!!

    Unlike the Miami mafia and their ilk here I support most of Sanchez’s views but this attack on DHL was as I suggested at the time absurd.

    Again I ask what should/could DHL do change this situation?

    Again I ask what could/should DHL do that would have changed this situation?

  7. DHL can do as Google does in China and implement a policy that helps Cuban people to fight castrofascism arbitrary procedures or proceed according regime’s policy and guaranty in such way a finite economic activity in Cuba under castrofascism or an infinite absence of economic activity in Cuba after castrofascism…… that’s it!!!!

  8. DHL empathizes with Ms. Sanchez’s frustration. In response, please be assured that DHL has been in regular communication with the official shipper on record for package #7372171612. Upon entry into Havana on March 21, the package was held in customs. On March 26th DHL initiated a communication process with the shipper to investigate the cause of the shipment delay. On March 29th, DHL advised the shipper that the package was stopped by Customs authorities in Cuba and completed the investigation. The shipper now is pending a position from the Cuban authorities.

    Our business is based on open markets and we support the free flow of goods, information and ideas. We are committed to providing services wherever you need us. However, DHL operations are subject to the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Packages sent through DHL are subject to the same local customs regulations and inspection requirements as packages sent via any other means. Such local laws and inspection requirements are the exclusive domain of local authorities in Cuba and elsewhere, and are outside DHL’s control. DHL Express operations in Cuba are conducted through a local contact-operator who is subject to and required to comply with all applicable laws where they operate, including customs laws and import-export regulations.

  9. losada #163

    Cuban people don’t want to live like the people in Haiti do, and they know that this is what Cuba would look like if the Cuban Revolution was overthrown…/i>

    That has to be the most ludicrously asinine statement I have ever heard. It is wrong in so many ways that it is not worth discussing, only someone so wrapped up in the fallacy of his ideological fantasies could come up with this and believe it, to say nothing of the pompous state of mind it takes to publish it for the whole world to see.

  10. 165M. piñeiro losada

    Marzo 31st, 2010 at 20:32
    Sigmund Fraud:

    Your insane conspiracy theory doesn’t even maintain its own internal logic
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Theory????…… it is backed by documents you saw here, by history of relations between castrofascism and USA, by USA’s inaction along these 50 years and by the stream of richness traveling fron Cuba to USA with castrofascism help……. there are many cuban fighter in USA’s jail for trying to fight castro……. it is a fact silly agent ….. your beloved tyrant is just a piece of imperialism domination in America.

  11. Sigmund Fraud:

    Your insane conspiracy theory doesn’t even maintain its own internal logic. There is not a shred of evidence to support your claims.

    Your assertion that the meager (in terms of the USSR’s overall GDP) resources sent to Cuba from the Soviet Union is what bankrupted them is absurd. Historians are nearly unanimous that the war in Chechnya is what exhausted the USSR’s budget .. the tiny amount they sent to Cuba was barely on the radar.

    As usual, you ignore the mountains of evidence that the CIA helped support a war of terrorism against Cuba for the past 50 years. Luis Posada Carriles roams free in Miami. Terrorists like Orlando Bosch, Oliver North and dozens of other known participants in the war against Cuba are treated like mini-heroes in the USA.

    There are countless documentaries, testimonies and declassified documents from the US and USSR that destroy your senseless conspiracy theory.

    Time to put on your tinfoil hat crown.

  12. 163M. piñeiro losada

    Marzo 31st, 2010 at 18:31
    Sigmund:

    You are embarrassing yourself. To suggest that Nixon, Reagan, George HW Bush, Dubya, etc have all been working with Castro to support the communist regime is just
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Don’t be silly dyslexic agent, you and your beloved and bloody tyrant are the ones very embarrassed, the first in front the history and you in front the mirror. Since long time ago many people suspected something strange happened between castrofascism and USA because in fact both regimes behaved and behaves as allies. USA never attacked castro and castro collaborated with USA each time a serious international event happened. USA pursued and incarcerated all Cubans fighters that dared wage war on castro from USA’s territory and even from others countries territories.
    USA’s democracy has a very particular way of release history facts and this particular way calls Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)….. by this act USA’s Stately and intelligence institutions (CIA, FBI, Dept. of State, etc) has the mandatory duty of make public all documents about national and international works, relationships and business once the time has make the sensitive information in this documents inoffensive for the country safety. FOIA does that so historians can write the real history and not the fake history that temporary writes usually. By those recently released documents and other released by Russia after USSR destruction we know now that USA never had the intention to attack or change castroregimen and the reason are 2:
    1- Cuba became a vacuum cleaner that sucked huge amount of financial and natural resources of the country that believed Castro was it allay, this country was the USSR. In a master move Castro/USA convinced the USSR that the tyrant was the soviets best friend. The naive and truthful Russians bet the hook and emptied almost theirs whole national treasure in “sustaining” Castro. The Soviets sent to Cuba during 2 decades more than 5000 billion dollars yearly plus millions of oil tons, millions of wood tons, cement, iron, paper, glass, chemicals, weapons, machinery, steel, etc. The big amount of resources Cuba disappeared made the dictator Leonid Brezhnev say that “the Cubans are capable of vanishing in just a week a whole wood that took millions of years to grow up in Siberia”. In this way the USSR got exhausted and disappeared as nation and world power.
    2- The so called revolution was just a dictators SUBSTITUTION planed and performed by US Department of State.
    After that Castro developed a series of “economical”, “political” and “diplomatic” strategies that favored US’s hegemonic position in America as well as US economically and military position. Take a look:
    – Castro started to develop a series of disastrous economical policies that made disappear some of the most important industries in Cuba and made appear those industries in……….USA!!!!!!!
    This is the case of Cuba’s Sugar industry. The first producer of sugar in the word and owner of the biggest industry of this type, Cuba lost this industry because the well planed destruction project Castro put in practice since the very beginning of his tyranny. Today Cuba is no more a sugar exporter, Cuba’s former huge sugar industry exist no more. Where is this industry today???…… yes you guessed right ….. in Florida, USA. Some of Cuba’s former sugar magnates had only to move to USA and start over there conquering the market Castro left free. Today Cuba is a sugar importer, where imports Cuba sugar from???………… yes, you guess right again……… from USA!!!
    – The same happened with Cuba’s tourism industry. Castro implemented political strategies that led to the destruction of Cuba’s big tourism industry, castrofascism closed the country to foreigners for the first 20 years of regimen. The poorer and isolated the cuban people grew the smaller and obsolete the tourism industry became. One more time Florida State grew richer and bigger thanks Cuba’s disgrace. Cities like Miami, Tampa and Key West left behind the old quiet and sleepy style and transformed in huge tourism emporiums thanks the conversion of cities like Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Varadero in small and poor places full of ruins.
    – Other Cubans industries like Citric, Coffee, Fishing, Light industry, Media, Shipping, etc, suffered the same destiny and today thrives in US territory.
    – Where ended all resources the USSR sent to Cuba? A lot of money went to engross the dictator’s accounts and containers full of money spread and hidden over the world for “just a case of need”. The most of these resources went to be used to “spread the revolution over the world”. “To spread the revolution” is the pompous name the tyrant gave to other master move he made for his truly allay and sustainer, USA. What Castro spread was poverty over the already poor countries of Latin-America and Africa, poverty spread in form of guerrilla war and political instability that hinder the fight of these countries to get out poverty. In this way the countries of Latin-America and Africa were pushed deeper into its already deep dependence of the world richest countries. With a poor Latin-America in the backyard maintained by Castro entertained in fights and revolts USA had free hands for taking care of the Soviets and China, in addition the Latin-American countries would finish this period so exhausted that the only worries USA will have of them is to avoid a mass emigration. The last example of this well planed strategy was the raise of Chavez in Venezuela and the conversion of this rich country in another “friendly enemy”.

  13. Sigmund:

    You are embarrassing yourself. To suggest that Nixon, Reagan, George HW Bush, Dubya, etc have all been working with Castro to support the communist regime is just … incompetent. It demonstrates a complete failure to understand anything that has happened in the Americas over the past 50 years.

    The great big “secret” you are revealing from the FOIA documents is actually no secret at all and exists in high school text books: “Americans accepted the demand to forego invasion of Cuba and to restrain other from such attacks”

    Yes, as part of the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US Government agreed to not invade — either directly or through a third party — the Cuban Revolution, as they had done in the Bay of Pigs operation.

    However, that did not stop the CIA from engaging in and supporting terrorism against Cuba in the years afterward.

    In case this is news to you, an unprovoked attack by one nation against another was made illegal under international law after World War 2, and the League of Nations attempted to outlaw it after World War 1. Regardless, the Bay of Pigs invasion was an embarrassment for the US not only because it was an utter failure but also because it demonstrated in front of the world that the US is a crazed aggressor that doesn’t honor its international commitments. In other words, even if the US had NOT agreed to not invade Cuba as part of the resolution of the missile crisis, it still wouldn’t be allowed to do so under the terms of international law (although, as we’ve seen, this hasn’t stopped the US from engaged in unprovoked wars but that’s another story altogether…)

    The bottom line is that countless evidence exists that the CIA supported groups like Alpha 66 and terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles (who walks free in Miami even though he openly admitted to bombing hotels in Havana during the late 90s) and Orlando Bosch and the psychotic policies of people like Otto Reich under Republican and Democratic administrations.

    Your great “proof” about the details of the Cuban Missile Crisis resolution isn’t a secret and its a pretty big stretch to say that this is proof of some secret collaboration between the US & Cuba.

    Maybe in the wingnut conspiracy theory world of the Miami Cuban exiles, this is your justification for why the Miami exiles have failed to impose a capitalist dictatorship in Cuba but the truth is that the vast majority of Cuban people don’t want to live like the people in Haiti do, and they know that this is what Cuba would look like if the Cuban Revolution was overthrown.

  14. Freud

    We are on the same side of the anti-castro arguement in wishing for Cuba to join the civilized, democratic world. Where we part company is in your convoluted interpretation of the US/Cuba relationship. This Machiavelian scheme you spin of how the US government is in collusion with the castros is simply nonsense. Because US government interests don’t coincide with our focused and impassioned desires for Cuba doesn’t make the US a direct or indirect supporter of the castros. The Cuba issue is simply not as important to US national interests as we would like it to be. A little perspective is in order my friend.

  15. The revolutionary rat is vanished!!!!!…….. must be receiving ideological training in order of not to fall in “the enemy” circle of truth!!!!!

  16. Sigmund Freud! You got my total attention! Give it to “THE REVOLUTIONARY RAT”!

  17. Page 4, paragraph 9, sentence b……. “Americans accepted the demand to forego invasion of Cuba and to restrain other from such attacks”….. Americans of course would not attack castro at this time: Why to kill the golden cow????!!!!…… but here states a very important legal issue that helped USA to justify then on “to restrain other from such attacks”….. USA gladly continued to do what was doing since the beginning: to restrain Cuban people in its fight on castrofascism.
    Page 7, paragraph d, sentence 4…… “we must seek to retain a communist gov. in Cuba, but without costly commitments on the part of the USSR”……. So, USA knew from the very beginning USSR will not risk nothing for helping castrofascism….. why then they did not attacked Cuba as castrofascism propaganda yells all the time….. simply silly thug, again because USA will never kill the golden cow dummy !!!!
    Here you have the source:

    http://foia.state.gov/documents/foiadocs/2a31.PDF

  18. -” we must above all keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm … hate is a factor of struggle, intransigent hate to the enemy, hate that can push a human being beyond his natural limits and make him a cold, violent, selective and effective killing machine …”-

    ernesto che guevara …
    hero of the rebolution, humanitarian, the “perfect man” … the socialist …

  19. you must be one of colonel viktor simenov’s students …

  20. well, it seems the spam coutch my 2 last comment …… it is surely because the links ….. will see if tomorow the Friendly Translator get them free.

  21. Following is a USSR declasified document talking about Missiles Crisis aftermath.

    Page 4, paragraph 9, sentence b……. “Americans accepted the demand to forego invasion of Cuba and to restrain other from such attacks”….. Americans of course would not attack castro at this time: Why to kill the golden cow????!!!!…… but here states a very important legal issue that helped USA to justify then on “to restrain other from such attacks”….. USA gladly continued to do what was doing since the beginning: to restrain Cuban people in its fight on castrofascism.
    Page 7, paragraph d, sentence 4…… “we must seek to retain a communist gov. in Cuba, but without costly commitments on the part of the USSR”……. So, USA knew from the very beginning USSR will not risk nothing for helping castrofascism….. why then they did not attacked Cuba as castrofascism propaganda yells all the time….. simply silly thug, again because USA will never kill the golden cow dummy !!!!
    Here you have the source:

    http://foia.state.gov/documents/foiadocs/2a31.PDF

  22. Read paragraph 9 sentence B…… it states USA compromised not only to not invade Cuba what anywy USA would never does because: Why to kill the golden cow???!!!…… but compromised too to prevent “others” of doing so……..
    Chapter 7, paragraph b, sentence 4….. by this document USA learned USSR wanted a communist system in Cuba but was not in disposition of afford “costly commintment to presev it”…. why then if USA wanted to “destabilize castrofascism didnot acted even knowing USSR would not move a finger in defence on castro?????…… this document destroys the fantasy of USA wanting castro out.

    http://foia.state.gov/documents/foiadocs/2a31.PDF

  23. M. piñeiro losada said,

    “The Cuban exiles could care less about the Cuban people … what they want is to go like pigs to the trough and claim a bunch of land that their “family owns” and, as for the people of Cuba, they would be destined to a life similar to Haiti or any other capitalist regime in Latin America.”

    DONT SPEAK FOR ME “REVOLUTIONARY RAT”! MOST OF THE CUBANS I KNOW ONLY WANT FREEDOM FOR CUBA AND NOT INTERESTED IN GETTING THEIR LAND OR HOMES BACK (if they ever had them).THE RECENT MARCHS AS WELL AS THE ALMOST 1 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR THAT CUBANS OUTSIDE OF CUBA SEND THEIR FAMILIES MEANS THEY CARE A LOT!

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