Cuba Libre Imprisoned in Havana


Just yesterday, on the eve of the presentation in Chile of a compilation of my blog posts under the title Cuba Libre, I received a report from the Customs Department of the Republic. It confirmed the confiscation of ten copies of my book sent via DHL. In the rancid and brief words of the bureaucracy, it explained:

Physical inspection of the package found documents whose content goes against the general interests of the nation, and for this reason they have been seized consistent with the established legislation.

I try to recreate the scene of “the specialists” clarifying if they would or would not permit the book to cross the borders of this Island and come into my hands. Would they look in its pages for some obscene images that could offend morality? Certainly they didn’t find any among the photos of inflammatory billboards with political slogans, the dilapidated bowels of an abandoned car and the Cuban flags on display in a market that does not accept national currency. The latter may seem obscene but it’s not my fault.

Would those who groped the phrases of Cuba Libre be zealous doctors of grammar, looking for an error, perhaps, or misuse of a verb tense? Were they military analysts, searching between the paragraphs of my chronicles for hidden codes, revelations about the economy, or secret State Security documents? They found none of that, not even the recipe for how to make guarapo, the nearly extinct national drink made by crushing sugar cane.

I make do with fantasizing that those who prevented the Spanish version of my posts reaching hundreds of friends, among whom they would have circulated, were some soldiers with more discipline than literacy. They were probably already warned by the listeners who constantly monitor my telephone; they might even have been warned not to read the contents. If three years of publishing in cyberspace would serve to bring my voice only to these grim censors, I would have sufficient reason to be satisfied. Something of me would remain inside them, just as their repressive presence has marked my chronicles, my book has pushed them to leap toward freedom.

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68 thoughts on “Cuba Libre Imprisoned in Havana

  1. Pingback: Iniskogen » Blog Archive » Böcker och strunt

  2. Alberto, you keep ranting on and on your few english words like there’s no tomorrow. If you have nothing to say, don’t. With the few things you are able to scrap out of your dictionary, you are only shooting yourelf in the foot.

    Like this, for example:”Keep in mind the one that shouts the loudest, accuses the most & insults the best DOES NOT PROVE HE/SHE IS RIGHT by behaving that way ”

    I mean, “Do you “hear yourself talk”?”

    Give it a rest until you improve your language skills amigo. No one listens anyhow.

  3. Do you “hear yourself talk”?
    The intransigent tone, the baseless accusations, the insults … have you proved your point?
    Perhaps what you proved is your lack of abulity to control your temper …
    The ease with which you get frustrated by your lack of resonable arguments …
    The facility you have to adjudicate statements not made …
    As I always say dear fellow: -”me things thou protests to much”- and loudly.
    Keep in mind the one that shouts the loudest, accuses the most & insults the best DOES NOT PROVE HE/SHE IS RIGHT by behaving that way …

  4. Damir, you are quite right there. Did you see my link below? What’s with the dislexia, though…?

    : )

    I read those few cuban blogs around the net, and all, those readicated in the US of A, are full of big hateful and angry protesters. Ire will take them nowhere. And capitalism will beat them into the ground. I cannot wait to see how will capitalists “save” Cuba.

    You do raise a good point there too, which I quite likeL it is not the communism that is the problem, it is just FIdel and Raul. Their absolute stupidity when it comes to economy is an epidemic manifestation among the communist countries. That is the main reason why they all failed in my opinion. I also like your explanation of Jugoslav demise. I think it is why it happened. I went to read a little and I was surprised with the speed Jugoslavia was developing up to 1990. Such a meteoric economic growth MUST have hurt the “democratic capitalists” badly. A free and prosperous socialist country is just a no-no. I wonder how come Sweden is still in one piece…

  5. ALberto, just because i couldn’t resist: you complain about the “achievenments” of the revolution. Look at the usa and notie that they are only now trying to reform the health system, which is for a country that pretends to be the “first” in everything (yet it isn’t. In nothing.) they are quite the fourth world when it comes to public health. What people like you are foretting is that the right to some essential services are your natural born right. We all pay taxes. If the “state” is to disappear, then why the frick taxes? When you privatise all the esential and all the strategic services, what are the taxes for? And wha are the politicians for? Following their conservative capitalist logic, the politicians should work for free, to cut the costs. And to live up to their own ideology.

    ANd, by the way, do you understand that that is one of many things capitalism nad communism have in common, by the way? The disappearance of the “state”?

    Maybe if you cut down your reight-wing bolshoi propaganda tirades and think about the things you complain about, you will start seeing many common points in the two systems.

    And realise that “democracy” means averyone has the right to hold their political opinion, not just capitalists.

    If you really want hte changes, go to Cuba and join Yoani in trying to change the situation from inside. Peacefully. Democratically. Not by displaying your passionate hatred here. Grow some balls and do some real action.

  6. I’m glad you like it, Alberto. I’d only disagree with the “rebolutionary”…

    : )

    I hate firearms.

  7. … insults, abuse, arrogance … as a representative & defender of the cuban present regime … you do it honor.
    Think … your verbal abuse, your insults & your arrogance that’s what the epople of the world sees & reads of you …
    The rebolutionary humility and love for mankind, your constructive critizism … its all words & slogans.
    Your hateful spirit & your comportment … that’s what shows what & who you are …

  8. Yes alberto, (ref. 57), you perfectly fit the mould of a “debater” whose “comments” are all coming from one and the same place. The factoryof hatred and violence in Miami. What a pitiful and little bunch of bitter losers. All talk, no balls, no? You are yet to suggest something worthy of a civilised and educated person. Spewing venom here is just a cowardly way of releasing your own frustrations.

    Pity, because it would be interesting to find out for once only, what right conservatives would suggest how to move your own country in the right directionin a civilised manner. Without violence and bloodshed which seems to be the only option among the Miami’s cuban criminals.

  9. … and history has had over 50 years to “absolve” this regime … or better yet to expose the great “benefits & acomplishments of the new society & its new man”
    The all around prosperity generated by the rebolution is evident … in the collapse of even the black market …
    Great eductation … with indoctrination.
    Great health system … for all if they wait.
    Great blame/justification address … the embargo.
    Over 50 years to figure out how to get the rebolution to work …
    Still waiting … while the regime tells puts the blame on others … perhaps it must come out & blame its citizens, they must be lazy, ignorant in spite of their education … ?

  10. It seems all this “debaters” are cut from the same mold …
    Their problem is that their attitude & methods show not a willingness to discuss w/respect & openess w/others but to forcefully IMPOSE their point of view.
    Their “style’ is colored by their “technics” of debate, they don’t argue, they TELL.
    They don’t attempt to reason,they REPEAT phrases thought to them in school.
    Theirs is an attempt to justify the status quo.
    Justifing is admiting the wrongness of the position they defend.
    To defend the wrong position is the admision of its failure.
    Their expression DICTATES; their expression lacks passion & conviction.
    Their expression is comes from VIOLENCE not from love.
    If their position is right … it does not need defense or justification.
    It needs openess … if right … “let history prove it so”

  11. Damir,

    I was indeed offering one anecdote for another. To make my position clear, I have no time for the extremists of Miami. (Although I think that the attitude of many younger Cuban Americans is evolving.) My problem with Cuba is that it is essentially a police state, with a huge apparatus of control, and an atmosphere of fear and repression. It is absolutely dismal only to have Granma to read every day or watch the timid intellectuals of Mesa Rotonda”debate.” Having said that, I have to stress that Cuba is no North Korea, and in many ways a less terrifying country than Mexico. I acknowledge its many achievements, especially in education and health, although Costa Rica has managed to do as well without putting its critics in jail. What gets to me is the bullying, and the caudillo-like nature of the rule of the Castro’s. Mark my words, there is another one on the horizon. But I cannot believe this current structure is sustainable. This may be why the regime is so terrified of any discrepant voices.

  12. The issue is not the comparison of cubans to other cultures, to make comparisons implies a difference whears it exists or not.
    The embargo is not the “world” there are other countries ot there.
    If the risk of any investment is greater than it’s potential for success … there is no investment made.
    Investors pulling out are easly researched & proven, if the statement is correct … what are the reasons for the “exodous”?
    Dialoge can exist only if there are no threats for dissenting; at this point, the constitution of present day cuba does not allow (in its general terms) a free political disagreement since it would be considered an offence to the established party or threat to the establishment (of course finacend by the US) or an insult punishable w/incarceration by the laws sufficiently vague as to be “interprested” & enforced by the state.

  13. The issue is not the comparison of cubans to other cultures, to make comparisons implies a difference whears it exists or not.
    The embargo is not the “world” there are other countries ot there.
    If the risk of any investment is greater than it’s potential for success … there is no investment made.
    Investors pulling out are easly researched & proven, if the statement is correct … what are the reasons for the “exodous”?
    Dialoge can exist only if there are no threats for dissenting; at this point, theconstitution of present day cuba does not allow (in its general terms) a free political disagreement since it would be considered an offence to the established party or threat to the establishment (of course finacend by the US) or an insult punishable w/incarceration by the laws sufficiently vague as to be “interprested” & enforced by the state.

  14. Trudeau, what do you mean by anecdotal? Does that mean that your Milano friend is also anecdotal evidence?

    I think that the people behind this blog are doing the same old mistake both left and right keep committing: raising the passions to the point where aconflict turns ugly and fire arms get involved.

    Both communism and capitalism tend to overpower the enemy by the force of the bullets. No one is thinking about the millions of innocent people who do not want to kill. From that perspective, I have no respect for anyone. Capitalists fervently defend democracy and “state of law” yet, incinerate armed conflicts everywhere.

    This page does much the same. I read many posts fuelled with pure hatred. Those people are no better than Castro. Even worse because he at least did what he believed in.

    But the time for armed revolutions is gone. If one bullet is fired in Cuba, the culprits will be just a bunch of criminals.

    The legal fight, within the law, is the only good fight. From there laws are changed slowly, or quickly, to improve the life.

    But with the embargo in place, by the criminals in the usa, I do not expect the situation to improve any times] soon.

    Hopefully, internal dialog can be established and the people on the island find a way to sway the government back into the hands of the people. Peacefully and as civilised persons. After all, Cubans are highly educated people and civilised to the point where they are equal to the Europeans, and well above the yanks.

  15. Damir,

    Your evidence is anecdotal. I have an Italian friend who in the 90′s set up a business in Havana (which included teaching them how to cook, which didn’t seem to work). His original motivation was partly ideological –he is a Eurocommunista from a rich Milanese family — but eventually he just walked away. “They drive you crazy,” was his verdict. Not necessarily Communist oppression, but massive inefficiency, inertia, unclear rules, zero transparency, and not a little corruption and theft (though not, admittedly, as bad as Naples or the MezzoGiorno). The end of the embargo would really show how viable the system is or is not. I have no problem with a certain amount of protectionism and regulation of foreign investment. You say the Yoani should not broadcast her message abroad. Fine, but if she doesn’t do that, she has no voice, because the blog is blocked in Cuba. It’s all about control……

  16. Here’s who is the real source of all bullshit in the world since the WWII. Including Cuba. It is not Castro the problem, it is the US of A state of terror. And their psychopatic New World Order, where they control the world for their own benefit. Not the world’s benefit. Their own personal benefit.

    And if any of you little wermin imigrants from Cuba think otherwise, you are all retarded.

    But that is already well known.

    http://www.bing.com/videos/?FORM=MFEVID&publ=6EBFE0D4-7F76-4B33-8CA4-AF2739BBB135&crea=STND_MFEVID_core_HuffPoQ4_CustomVidLink_1x1&q=Henry+Kissinger&docid=1780026376832

    And read about Haig and that other jewsih import into our own sad politics, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Another mentally deranged idiot bent on enslaving the world into a one big factory working for US of A rich.

    You little irrelevant “democrats”. The game is too big for you to even comprehend that you are being used as a cannon fodder.

    Retards. But just wait, whe the US of A “frees” you. You’ll get eveerything and then some. Slavery is a good description of what these criminals have in store for you. Just listen what the jewish pig says about theuse of food as the “weapon”, just what is going on in Cuba. Or forcd sterilisation of “conquered” third world countries…

    How stupid can you get, you latinos?

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