Dangerous Liaisons


He had repaired all types of books, from Bibles to incunabula with pages on the point of turning to dust. He was very good at returning to their places torn-out pages, repairing covers, and spraying them with a chemical solution that made the ink stand out. Through his hands had passed nineteenth century manuscripts, first editions of the works of José Martí and even a couple of copies of the Constitution of 1940. To all of them he returned the elegance they had once had, and on salvaging them he read them, like the doctor who wants a peek into the soul of a patient whose viscera he already knows well.

He had never seen a book, however, like that brought to him that afternoon in the late eighties. By its size and thickness it seemed to be the pharmacological recipe book of a dispensary, but it didn’t contain chemical formulas nor the names of medicines, but instead it was full of accusations. It was the detailed inventory of all the reports that the employees of a company had made against their colleagues. Without realizing her indiscretion, the director’s secretary sent it to be repaired – this register of complaints – with its worn cover and several torn out pages. Thus, it came into the hands of the persistent librarian, that invaluable testimony, on paper, of the betrayals.

As in the plot of Dangerous Liaisons, in one part it could be read that Alberto, the chief of personnel, had been accused of taking raw material for his house. A few pages later it was the denounced himself who was relaying the “counterrevolutionary” expressions used by the cleaning assistant in the dining room. The murmurs overlapped, weaving a real and abominable box where everyone spied on everyone. Maricusa, the accountant – as witnessed by her office mate – was selling cigars at retail from her desk, but when she wasn’t involved in this illegal work she turned her attention to reporting that the administrator left some hours before closing. The mechanic appeared several times, mentioned for having extramarital relations with a woman in the union, while several reports against the cook were signed in his own hand.

On concluding the reading, one could only sense an enormous pain for these “characters” forced to act out a sinister and disloyal plot. So the restorer returned the book to the fray, after having done the worst job his hands had ever executed. Even today, he can’t stop thinking about the names, reports and accusations that those pages have continued to accumulate all these years.

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36 thoughts on “Dangerous Liaisons

  1. If you visit Cuba .. & freedom rings … why didn’t you stay?

  2. 31Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 11th, 2010 at 11:06
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    I doubt you believe in God but if you do then you get to know you can go to Hell for supporting criminals and crimes!!!!

  3. I have been to Cuba, and it is a dump. Buildings are falling apart because of poor maintenance. Drinking water is a problem. Transportation is a problem.Housing is a problem. Education is available only to those who support the TYRANTS DICTATORSHIP. Few is any public library or book stores. What Cuba did have was plenty of cigarettes and rum. GO FIGURE.. I was treated like a king cause I had money in my pocket and a US PASSPORT. The Cubans that are not dreesed in gREEN and part of the MININT live like shit. We in the USA treat our pets better that Fidel treats his people. Soon Fidel will “bite the bullet” and things will change.

  4. 28Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 8th, 2010 at 18:57
    Freedom Rings – visit Cuba and see for yourself.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You are so easy!!!!!…….. foolish brigade…… I have a information to you all….. most commenters in this site are Cubans that have lived a lot of time in the island……… we are experts in castrofascism!!!!!

  5. Sig Fr. your the man and well spoken, these regime apologist use every dirty trick in the books to be deceptive and manipulative. Lo que se va formar cuando muera el viejo descarado. Political prisoners serving 20 year jail sentances. A south florida tv station ch #41 americateve has a special on there web site to ID people who opress others with the help of photos and video, please look for it and support. Thanks YOANI, and everyone who reads this most excellent blog.

  6. 25Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 6th, 2010 at 23:57
    Freud,
    I respect your right to your delusions
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    No….. what you respect is facts and facts is what we give you to keep your mouth closed….. jajajajajajaja……. closed by superiors orders……. jajajajajaja….

  7. 21Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 4th, 2010 at 23:13
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    You are accusing us of your very faults……. we always back of statements with documents, videos, testimonies, etc…… castrothugs only comes with empty rhetoric in hands because have no other things…….. history you say I change is written in international organizations records or by the actors or by declassify documents …… history you want to believe is written by propaganda thugs, apologists, criminals and its accomplices……. the real history is easy to show and back it with proves…….. facts and proves is what needs to convince the reader…….. your lack of both ingredients is huge but we, we have plenty of both.

  8. I have been on cuba many times and I have met many people there from all social classes, (even if in cuba it is supossed classes do not exists any more, they do) but i have never hear of nothing as orwellian as this, trust me i have being there and not on typical package cuba holidays or tropicollage as carlos varela named it.

  9. Siggy:
    we are moving up in the world … a more sophisticated form of “opinions” is been put forth by the defenders of the rebolution.
    While using a more subtle delivery their statements still uses misdirection & twiting of phrases taken out of context.
    In spite of this what remais is: they are still missing what the Yoanni blogg is about!
    While unconsiously (or purposedly) enjoing the freedom of expression afforded in a public forum.
    I think if nothing else our little comments are making the defenders of the rebolution a sharper bunch but … they should be careful list something “sticks” in their minds & the seed of doubt takes hold; on the other hand … it would take an open mind for that to happen since most of the defenders of the rebolution cuban or otherwise OWN THE TRUTH & their statemens are fiat of what they defend.

  10. #20 – for us (”merchants” of this site) to bring up all graphical and documental evidence we have to demonstrate? Surely you jest. I have yet to read anything hinting of “graphical and documental evidence”, just a lot of denial about well known historical facts. Instead of Freud you should be called the “eraser” since you like to erase and rewrite past history, so as not to offend your sponsors.

  11. 19Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 4th, 2010 at 17:07
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    When you agents start to put in other mouth words never said it is time to ask you to show where it was written….. so…. please…… show to the readers where I wrote that castrofascism is fighting corruption….. castrofascism can fight corruption because it is the main corruption generator in Cuba.
    You and me do not disagree in nothing…. you simply era lying and I simply am bringing facts that demonstrate you lies…… and I am not crying for expression freedom in Cuba…. it is world media who shows this disgusting reality that affects our people….. you simply have no argument strong enough to defend the criminal regime in Cuba that’s why you are now looking for non existing things in order to write something and not appear in front your superiors as a fallen thug….. but don’t’ worry dear, you are not the first one that bites the dust here…. you only are a pretext for us (“merchants” of this site) to bring up all graphical and documental evidence we have to demonstrate castrofascism crimes….. for us you are an instrument that justifies our propaganda…. this propaganda that so much is feared by your regime……. thanks.

  12. So, you will accuse your government of corruption while simultaneously condemning it for taking a stand against it; the same contradictory way in which you accuse me of being an agent of the Cuban government for disagreeing with your view point, while you cry about the lack of “freedom of expression” in Cuba.

  13. 17Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 4th, 2010 at 09:52
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    “To jockey for positions that they did not earn and deserve” is part of the double moral game created and recreated by castrofascism in order to keep the population docile and working for surviving instead of finding solutions to the country’s many and huge problems that unfailing leads the righteous and the honorable to state the expulsion of the actual regimen out the power…. no other solution is possible when the regime self is interested in maintaining a poverty level “adequate” to keep the people focused in surviving and depending of the “System of Merits and Punishment” in order to get raised over the general misery…. the other solution?????….. to rush in the interest section as our dirty agent complain…. for “her” is easy such complain…. it seems she belong to the bloody elite that is “over” the common people suffering and which only work consist in to repress, yell slogans and make propaganda about all false achievements of castrofascism.

  14. “Characters” forced to act out a sinister and disloyal plot?
    Place the blame where it belongs, squarely on the shoulders of opportunists who were all to eager on their own impetus to jockey for positions they did not earn or deserve; like many today who instead of spending time and energy in looking for viable solutions for themselves and their fellowman, run to the US Interest Section with absolute disregard for the consequences that would befall everyone IF their wishes and desires came to fruition.

  15. Wow! This is deeply creepy. I hope that someone holds on to these archives of betrayal — they’ll be an important record someday, just like the Stasi files.

  16. I wish to point Gen Y readers to an amazing interview of Yoani and Reinaldo published on the Octavo Cerco blog.

    Done by 25 year old independent journalist it provides a tremendous amount of insight into what makes Yoani and Reinaldo tick. It’s lengthy but well worth reading whatever your political point of view. Here’s a few excerpts (in this case Reinaldo speaking) and a link:
    “I spend my life saying that if one day I had the opportunity to be in front of the Cuban television cameras for five seconds, I know very well what I would say. Think about it, you have to prepare what you would say if those five seconds ever came. I even have my speech reduced to three seconds. My three-second speech would be simply: “Decriminalize political dissent.” That’s all.

    When you decriminalize political dissent you have an opening to where the political police can disappear, as happened here once with the staff assigned to pursue and arrest those who had dollars when these were banned in Cuba. Even I had the curiosity to keep the Law that decriminalized having dollars, which was published on August 13, by the way, and among the reasons given in the preamble to justify this decriminalization, it says something like, “to relieve the workload of the police and courts dealing with this crime.” That is, it does not suppose that people have the right to have any kind of money, but rather that is better to save the effort of those who track down these illegalities….

    In my fantasies, when the legalization of political dissent is decreed, the first thing that would happen is that we are going to learn exactly where is the opposition. Why? Because to be an opponent in Cuba today you have to have a certain does of irresponsibility. Even to do what we do you have to be a bit irresponsible, because you know you are endangering the stability of your family, right off the bat.

    If you did not have the risk the stability of your family to undertake some kind of political activity contrary to the Government, that would channel people of a different nature into political work. And this would give oxygen to the opposition, which would not be solely composed of kamikaze types, extreme risk takers, but also of ordinary individuals.

    And when I talk of allowing political dissent I go to the extreme that I would like to see in the chambers of Cuba, in the communication media, a person defending the position that Cuba should be annexed to the United States, an idea I have nothing in common with and think would be an atrocity. But when I see a guy with an American flag defending this position, then I am going to say, “now dissent has been legalized.” And then the gentleman who is the Professor of Economics at the University, who has an elaborate document he spent ten years preparing, will host a social-democratic program, and say, “Fine, if the annexationist was allowed to speak without going to prison or losing his job, now I can say my piece without running these risks,” and we would learn about true alternative programs.

    So it is so important to be able to disagree without paying any price. Because in addition to the right of a human being to express themselves freely, we will begin to see solutions to almost all the problems emerge.”
    http://octavocercoen.blogspot.com/

  17. Since 12:15 a.m. this morning, the Castro regime’s state media, Granma, posted a picture of its mass (compulsory) rally for “International Worker’s Day.”

    The problem is that it was scheduled to begin 9 hours later.

    Either the Castro’s have a direct line to Delphi, or they blew some dust off the archives.

    Joking aside, it’s a just another example of the totalitarian (and increasingly desperate) manipulation of this regime.

    Joel Garcia’s Photos – Varios & Capitol Hills Cuban text
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1127402&id=1054979883

  18. Madcheteamor & John Two!

    I dont think is possible for Fidel Castro, alias “THE MUMMY” to use TWITTER! There are two problems! First of all Fidel cannot even FART in 140 characters or less! Second, I dont think that TWITTER has the hyroglyphic alphabet yet!

  19. THERE A LOT (84) OF ARTICLES (so far today 4/30) ON RECETNLY ARRESTED/JAILED AND SENTENCED JOURNALIST Dania García IN SPANISH ON A GOOGLE SEARCH! THAT IS A GOOD THING! NOT FOR “LA CHINA” & “THE MUMMY” THOUGH!

    El Nuevo Herald
    Periodista disidente condenada a 20 meses de cárcel en Cuba
    LaRepública.pe – ‎have 11 horas‎
    Precisó que “la acusación preliminar dice que ella maltrató a su hija, Susy de 23 años, simpatizante del gobierno cubano, pero nos parece algo muy …
    Condenada una disidente cubana por pegar a su hija La Vanguardia
    Cárcel en Cuba para una periodista «por una disputa familiar» ABC.es
    La periodista opositora Dania García, condenada a 20 meses de … AFP
    AnsaLatina.com – EFE
    los 84 artículos informativos »
    Enviar noticia

  20. macheteamor #3. Thanks for the link.

    Maybe Hugo and Fidel can start tweeting with Yoani. Highly unlikely, but that really would demonstrate the value of Twitter as a social networking tool.

  21. NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO:In Raul Castro’s Cuba, A Limit On New Freedoms-by Nick Miroff -April 30, 2010

    Since President Raul Castro took over the country’s leadership, there has been a greater openness to public criticism — within limits — in the one-party system. But for those who go too far or organize against the government, the response is swift and sometimes ugly.

    Last Sunday, six older women dressed in white walked out of their Havana church after Mass and attempted to march, carrying pink flowers. They’re part of a larger group that has been doing this every week since 2003, when their loved ones were jailed in a political crackdown.

    In Cuba, it is the closest thing to a public protest against the government. But this month, things changed.

    A plainclothes government agent ordered the women to stop their march, and when they argued, he walked away. Then a crowd of government supporters charged in.

    The group of women, known as the Ladies in White, shouted “libertad” — “freedom” — as dozens of pro-Castro counter-demonstrators surrounded them. The counter-demonstrators shoved the women, ripped up their flowers and screamed in their faces, calling them mercenaries, traitors and worms.

    The crowd pushed the women into a nearby park and circled them to prevent their escape, chanting “Fidel, Fidel.” Plainclothes government agents with earpieces and aviator sunglasses stood nearby, directing the crowd and intervening when things got too rough.

    A few passing Cubans stopped to watch, but they neither joined in nor interfered.

    Greater Freedom Of Expression

    Cuba has done more under Raul Castro to let its citizens vent frustrations. Raul took over Cuba’s leadership in 2006 because of the illness of his brother, Fidel Castro, and officially took over as president in 2008.

    Letters to the editor and essays in the state media now openly denounce corruption or call for market-style reforms. Prominent artists and scholars are publicly urging changes. Last weekend, a popular hip-hop group with harshly critical lyrics was granted unusual permission to perform at an official venue.

    But some Cubans say the signs of openness are misleading.

    Cosmetic Changes

    “There’s no space for people who really think differently,” said a Cuban bystander in a city park who said his name is Eduardo. “The changes are merely cosmetic,” he said. “They’re for people who already think the same.”

    There no longer appears to be a place for the Ladies in White, who are the wives and mothers of jailed government opponents. Last month, they staged a week of daily marches, drawing international support for their cause.

    But for the past three Sundays in a row, the government has blocked them, sending a stern message with counter-demonstrators, like Aracely Keeling, who carry out what are called acts of repudiation against the women.

    “I’m here because I’m a Cuban citizen, and these women are trying to incite the rest of the country,” Keeling said. “They’re paid by the United States to form part of a media campaign against the Cuban people.”

    The Cuban government has released documents that it says show the Ladies in White have received financial help and support from U.S. officials and anti-Castro militants in Florida.

    Countering The Demonstrators

    The Ladies in White get no sympathy from Maria Elena Martinez, who was red-faced and hoarse from shouting at them.

    “These people are criminals; they’re the scum of this country,” Martinez said. “They’re only here because they know they can get the attention of the foreign media. They’re just using you to create this whole circus.”

    On that Sunday, the counter-demonstrators chanted “Cuba Si, Yanqui No!” as the harassment against the Ladies in White went on for seven hours.

    The women didn’t go to the bathroom, and they did not sit down. They just stood, staring straight ahead. And while their numbers have been dwindling each week, they say they are going to try to march again Sunday.

    CLICK “LISTEN TO STORY” TO HEAR ENTIRE THING!

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126415318

  22. HAVANA TIMES: Los Aldeanos (I) -April 30, 2010

    I learned just one week prior that the group Los Aldeanos would give their first concert authorized by Cuban state institutions. This meant that I would have a chance to attend and to see their performance, the public’s reaction and how those institutions and authorities would respond to all this.
    This —the first concert by the rap duo in one of the city’s theaters— was to be organized by the Raspadura production group and was sponsored by the Asociacion Hermanos Saiz (an organization of young “cultural creators”).

    The truth is that opinions concerning Aldo and El B, Los Aldeanos and their music are distinctly controversial.

    On one hand, many youth and adults alike follow them, listen to their songs and hum their tunes at home or in whatever public place. On the other hand, there are people who work in the fields of music, theater, cinema or painting, as well as intellectuals in general, who sometimes reject them; they think the group either makes facile critiques using only vulgar language riddled with “bad words” or that they’re subversive and radicals. Then to, there are still those people who haven’t found out that the Aldeanos even exist.

    Certainly the short film that has just come out on them (which people are passing around from hand in hand on USB memories) has tipped the balance in their favor given the direct, sincere and assertive way with which they gave their interview.

    The great majority of those who have heard them in Cuba feel that the lyrics of their songs say what these listeners themselves dare not say openly concerning Cuban society and the political system. The musicians push their polemical aggressiveness to the limit of what the public arena allows.

    The Aldeanos are part of the first generation of Cubans who as children suffered the changes resulting from the island’s economic crisis of the 1990s. They were witnesses of this society’s worst parts, which previously had not been evidenced. They are not like those who were born after the crisis, with an absence of certain hopes and having never thought of doing anything to affect change – other than emigrating.

    Having continued to perform rap as a vehicle for expressing their beliefs and defending their principles became a sharp struggle against institutional rejection. That had been sustained for seven years and was complicated by the unfavorable atmosphere created by the appearance of reggaeton, which established a base of resistance for them and other rappers in the country.

    For years I’ve gotten news of clandestine concerts by these rappers, the first ones in outlying neighborhoods of the capital and later in the contiguous Havana Province. Then, finally, I was able to attend one in the nearby town of Santa Cruz. Performing there were Los Aldeanos, Papa Humbertico, Soldados de la Calle, Articulo 53 and others. This was a sign that rap was not dead, despite the lackluster performance of the state-allowed Rap Agency, with its few members and its uninspired promotion of the genre in Cuba.

    Instead of such vehicles, Los Aldeanos had had to form a front of resistance, a cimarronaje [escaped slave resistance], at all costs. Without ceasing to compose and without stopping to introduce new songs to the public, this battle would have to be fought underground, without institutional support and at their own risk.

    The surprising unveiling of the short film on the group provided them the opportune moment for the above-ground concert. Notwithstanding, it’s necessary to wonder: How much of this is behind-the-scene maneuvering by state institutions in allowing this newfound visibility, and to what degree are they letting Los Aldeanos serve as another safety value for ordinary citizens, who need one so urgently?

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=23514

  23. AFP: Cuba’s underground rappers test free speech

    HAVANA — Cuba’s underground hip hop duo “Los Aldeanos” are boldly grooving where no Cuban has gone in five decades: criticizing the communist government loud and proud for the first time to a sell-out crowd.
    “They tell the truth, say the things we feel, the things that a lot of Cubans cannot say. The freedom that we do not have,” explained Yoelvis Fonseca, a 27-year-old construction worker, as he sweated and swayed to the beat of the rhyming twosome that recently packed the Acapulco movie theatre with more than 2,000 rabid fans.

    True, this event was not advertised in state-controlled media.

    And even the sign in lights outside the Acapulco disjointedly read “Today, Sherlock Holmes.”

    But the word was on the street, and the under-30s were in the house for the first major show by the dissident duo who have been around — stealthy and not wealthy — for seven years.

    They called the show “Seven years with the village,” and maybe because the venue was huge, they held off singing their underground hits most critical of life in Cuba.

    Los Aldeanos — which means villagers, but is a riff on one member’s name — have come a long way, baby.

    In the only communist country in the Americas, where confronting the government can be a ticket to prison, they have hit it big taking on the government, corruption and giving voice to Cubans’ everyday frustrations.

    Their rhymes — they sing in Spanish — are direct and pull no punches, with lines like: “I can’t stand one more lie,” and “All of this/one day will change/for the good of the people.”

    And it gets hotter in this country with a one-party regime and a leadership dominated by officials well over 70: “I’m from a chilling society/that listens with piety/to the same people who have gagged it/with a bag of fake freedom,” one Los Aldeanos line goes.

    Another classic for fans: “So many are dead/or in jail/people would rather die for the American dream/than live through this Cuban nightmare.”

    Tattooed friends Bian Rodriguez (El B) and Aldo Rodriguez (El Aldeano) first got their act together back in 2003, playing mainly in Havana’s dingy underground rap halls as well as parks and the odd cultural event.

    But the Acapulco theatre gig was a landmark, as the group and its fans pushed the envelope. For now, the government did not push back.

    “This concert is breaking the silence,” the duo’s representative Melisa Riviere told AFP.

    For the Aldeanos, however, the crux of the group’s political viewpoint is that they need to speak out, to say something, but they are not interested in leaving Cuba.

    “Talking about what is happening here is the way that we take part in the Revolution,” El B says. “Criticizing in Miami makes no sense; this is where the (expletive) is hitting the fan.”

    Riviere went out on a limb insisting that “Miami and Washington have tried to manipulate what Los Aldeanos are. We have spent a long time explaining that they are not counter-revolutionaries.”

    Aldo himself insists in one line, “I am not a communist; nor am I a socialist; nor am I a Leninist; I am a Revolutionary.” It is a masterful spin on the everyday wordplay of the government which constantly implores everyone to be just that — “revolutionary”.

    The duo are rhyming as if to see if there is any reaction to their not being communists, as long as they are with the Revolution — the regime that has been in place since 1959 and was led by Fidel Castro for more than 40 years.

    And their 18 CDs — such as “Censored” and “Viva Cuba Libre” — are sold widely on the black market in Cuba.

    Though some clubs refused to let them play, Los Aldeanos also have played with the likes of mainstream artist Pablo Milanes, and won some national prizes.

    Occasionally a radio station will play one of their less critical numbers.

    “I am a fan because they sing about what the people are going through,” said Yamel Gonzalez, who at 26 is getting ready to start at university. “People’s words cannot be a crime.”

    Among the 200 people unable to get into the concert was a young man in a black T-shirt, jeans and earrings who asked not to be named.

    “They are really ballsy,” he said, referring to the rappers, “because they talk about the way things really are: that there is a dictatorship.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j7SAvC9qgWdZor48AyQPrj6Nm5bg

  24. ASSOCIATED PRESS: Activist: Cuban backer of Ladies in White jailed

    HAVANA — An independent Cuban journalist with ties to the Ladies in White dissident group has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for allegedly mistreating her adult daughter, a veteran island human rights leader said Thursday.
    Dania Virgen Garcia was arrested on April 20 and sentenced three days later after her daughter — apparently angry at her mother’s criticism of the communist government — filed a complaint, Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, said, citing information from friends of the detained journalist.

    In a telephone interview, Sanchez said that he did not know the exact charges against her or the nature of the alleged mistreatment.

    Sanchez said he suspects — but cannot prove — Garcia was targeted since she is a supporter of the Damas de Blanco, or Ladies in White, whose regular Sunday march has been blocked by Cuban government supporters for the past three weeks in a row. He said he would need several days to obtain the necessary documents clarifying her arrest.

    Garcia, who filed Internet dispatches in defiance of government controls on all Cuban media, is being held at a high-security women’s prison in Havana and is unreachable, Sanchez said.

    There was no answer Thursday at the home of Laura Pollan, a founding member of the Ladies in White. Cuba’s government had no immediate comment.

    Sanchez said Garcia is a supporter but not a member of the group, comprising wives and mothers of 75 community organizers, independent journalists and political opposition activists who were arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms in March 2003. Fifty-three remain behind bars.

    The government claims that those imprisoned have conspired with Washington to topple the island’s communist system, charges that both they and U.S. officials deny.

    Nearly every Sunday for seven years, the Damas have dressed in white and marched down a sidewalk along swank Fifth Avenue in Havana, usually without incident. But in March, the group held a week of demonstrations in other parts of the city, which provoked protests by government supporters and drew the attention of international news media.

    Footage of the protesters being roughly bundled onto a bus at one of the events led to sympathy demonstrations in Miami and Los Angeles.

    On April 11, the women were blocked from staging their traditional Fifth Avenue demonstration as well: State security agents told them they were not allowed to protest because they never obtained permission to do so, while a mob shouting pro-government slogans helped stop them.

    During the past two Sundays, the women refrained from marching but stood near their usual route, withstanding hours of shouted insults and obscenities from counter-demonstrators who had been carefully organized and dispatched in shifts by the government.

    Their weekly march had been one of the few regular expressions of dissent the government tolerated. Cuban leaders do not recognize Sanchez’s human rights commission, but largely allow it to operate.

    The commission says Cuba holds about 200 political prisoners, not counting Garcia.

    The government says it holds none and protects human rights better than most countries by providing its citizens with free health care and education as well as subsidized housing, utilities, transportation and basic food.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gm3wnbDHNVYitD5zNqeaQZgOsbuAD9FCTBBG1

  25. FREEDOM HOUSE PRESS RELEASE: Restrictions on Press Freedom Intensifying

    “Global press freedom declined in 2009, with setbacks registered in almost every region of the world, according to a Freedom House study released today. The study, Freedom of the Press 2010: A Global Survey of Media Independence, reported that press freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year, producing a global landscape in which only one in six people live in countries with a Free press. Among the report’s key findings:”

    “Worst of the Worst
    The world’s 10 worst-rated countries are Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In these states, independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the regime, citizens’ access to unbiased information is severely limited, and dissent is crushed through imprisonment, torture, and other forms of repression.

    Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE.

    http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=70&release=1177

  26. “EL MALECONAZO DE 1994″ a outburst of Cubans in the streets of Malecon Avenue in 1994 was repressed by the police with brutality. All of these kids just wanted to be free!

    After this happened, Fidel Castro opened the “Balseros Crisis” to aliviate the growing demostration of rejection by the people of Cuba. That was a genuine manifestation of rejection to many years of ineptitud, corruptio and abuse of powers. Cubans do not want Fidel Castro or his brother to rule.

    So far, the Cuban people has never been shown these images. There was not graphic report of this event in the media.

  27. AFP:Cuba must compensate US before embargo is lifted: lawmaker

    WASHINGTON — Cuba must pay the United States six billion dollars in compensation for expropriated businesses and property before Washington lifts a decades-old trade embargo, a US lawmaker said Thursday.
    “We must resolve the over six billion dollars in expropriation claims… before developing a more robust economic relationship with a post-Castro democratic government in Cuba,” said Kevin Brady, a Republican US representative from the state of Texas, speaking at a congressional hearing on US trade with Cuba.

    Brady’s remarks come after a top Cuban official last week challenged the United States to lift its punishing economic embargo against Havana.

    Cuba’s National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcon pressed Washington to “lift it, even for a year, to see whether it is in our interest or theirs.”

    After coming to power in 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalized numerous US enterprises in the name of the communist revolution.

    In 1972, the value of Cuba’s expropriated US property was estimated to be worth about 1.8 billion dollars, according to a US government panel that examined the issue.

    That sum has grown more than three-fold over the years because of compounding interest, set at an annual rate of six percent.

    The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States (FCSC), the independent, quasi-judicial federal agency under the aegis of the US Department of Justice, is tasked with determining the monetary value of claims by US nationals for loss of overseas property as a result of nationalization or military operations.

    At Thursday’s hearing, the US Chamber of Commerce and non-governmental organizations including the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) argued in favor of relaxing trade restrictions against Havana.

    Brady said he was “open to loosening some restrictions on Cuba,” but only after the US government and private American interests divested of their property after the revolution were compensated.

    President Barack Obama came into office seeking better relations with Cuba, but after an initial thaw, tensions have set in again, most recently over Cuba’s treatment of dissidents.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i4xHNR1Zae4phTYTtL5cP3QiXAuQ

  28. Please include in the book …
    Name:
    Carlos Luis Bernal Rubio
    ocupation:
    security agent for the rebolution.
    Acused of:
    beating of minors & women.

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