An Island Without The Sea

From the wall of the Malecón there is not much to look at. A blue dish that gets annoyed now and again and launches its foamy waves over its bordering avenue. There are no sailboats, just a couple of patched vessels authorized by the captain of the port. In summer, teenagers throw themselves into the warm waters, but in winter they fearfully shy away from the salt spray and cold wind. A boat plies the route from east to west each night; a shadow on the horizon preventing potential rafters from escaping across the Straits of Florida.

Just now we are in the months of the year when the coastal avenue comes to its greatest turbulence. But everything happens between the reef and the street; this vitality doesn’t even dream of extending to the wide and salty expanse on the other side. When did we start to live with our backs to the sea? At what moment did this part of the country, which is also ours, cease to belong to us? Eating fish, sailing on a yacht, looking back at the buildings from the cadence of a wave, enjoying the contrast of blues along the beginning of the first ridge. Chimeric actions in a coastal city, sharp delusions on an Island that appears to float in nothingness and not in the Caribbean.

I have the illusion that one day, in order to rent even a rowboat, it won’t be necessary to show a foreign passport. The sails will return to take over this bay, reminding us that we live in a maritime Havana, born between the cries of the corsairs and the clamor of the port. The red snapper will displace the catfish and carp on our plates and from the wall of the Malecón — our legs dangling over the limestone reef — we will greet a flotilla of boats coming and going from El Morro.

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34 thoughts on “An Island Without The Sea

  1. me meto aqui a ver los comentarios despues de leer la bella prosa de Yoani y lo primero que leo es: ‘la cosa esta de pinga’. rapido como un rayo me regresan los recuerdos de la isla del infierno y una expresion de asco me viene involuntariamente a la cara: la vulgaridad, el mal gusto, la chabacaneria, la mediocridad, todo lo cual desafortunadamente muchos confunden con la cubania. dicen que cada pueblo tiene el gobernante que se merece. cuba debe ser el patron de prueba. lamento Yoani que vivas en esa tierra.

  2. LA COSA ESTA DE PINGA , Are the recent University of Havana Students ARRESTED considered POLITICAL PRISONERS ?? Will they have to serve a SEVEN YEAR JAIL sentence in a NASTY CELL. LATER,, Spain and the VATACAN doing all the talking ONCE AGAIN? HASTA CUANDO ? It’s also sad , this new news produced in Venezuela about the numbers of violent crimes and Murders of Males “HEAD of Household”. The obvious intention to create orphans and poverty. Chavez has always said Fidel is his teacher…. Its about time the Cuban Government start to respect peoples BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS and stop speading HATE and ODIO. The US government is smart not to trust The CUBAN GOVERNMENT. Any Tourist travelling to Havana for any reason, and if Obama does an Obama, Go visit the University and Support the Youth. Take all your old memory cards, wireless USB , cameras, SHARPIES. Thank you all who read, post, translate, donate, to make Yoani’s blog possible. SHE WILL be a BIG DEAL in CUBAN’s HISTORY. She deserves that we use her as a model and build her up as if the “Colossus of Rhodes” and place her between el Moro and la Punta. THATS BIG

  3. CNN: Cuban-American politicians against loosening travel, aid rules-August 21, 2010

    Washington (CNN) — Five Cuban-American members of Congress expressed concern Friday over reports that the Obama administration is planning to announce rules loosening restrictions on travel and economic aid to Cuba. They asked the president to reconsider.

    “We are deeply troubled that such changes would result in economic benefits to the Cuban regime and would significantly undermine U.S. foreign policy and security objectives,” said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey; and U.S. Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Florida; Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida; and Albio Sires, D-New Jersey; in a letter to President Barack Obama.

    “We believe the laws pertaining to U.S.-Cuba policy are clear, providing a concise road map of both permissible and prohibited transactions aimed at protecting and advancing U.S. interests,” they said. “Meanwhile, changes such as those being reported in the media would undermine those priorities, could run contrary to U.S. statute, and would play directly into the hands of the Cuban tyranny.

    “In light of the concerns and critical issues we have raised, we respectfully ask that you reconsider making any determinations changing current U.S.-policy toward the Cuban regime until the requirements in U.S. law are met.”

    On Wednesday, a senior U.S. official and congressional sources told CNN that the Obama administration would “soon” announce new rules on the embargo.

    The central component of the proposed policy change involves “people-to-people” exchanges under which academics, corporations, humanitarian groups, and athletic teams could travel to Cuba. The administration would not lift tourist travel limits or the strict trade restrictions currently in place, but would promote cultural exchanges, programs with universities, or allow U.S. farms to send assistance to Cuban farmers as part of the new rules, the sources said.

    An aide who supports the changes said the goal would be for people to be able to travel to the island to help Cubans build their own economy and culture. The policy is “to go down there give a message of hope, to help the Cuban people forge their own future as they want, not necessarily as the way another government wants,” the aide said.

    In addition, the administration is planning to expand the policy it announced last year under which Cuban-Americans can send money to relatives in Cuba. The new regulations would allow any U.S. citizen, including universities, churches and businesses, to send money or sponsor a partner in Cuba. There would be a cap on the amount of money that could be sent.

    The State Department would also shift its current policy, which denies visas for Cubans to travel to the United States, to one that would give a “presumption of approval” unless a review were to discover a problem with the request, the sources said.

    While the administration cannot change current travel restrictions without congressional approval, it does have the authority to loosen visa rules, the sources said.

    Critics note that the government has not been brought down in the half century since the embargo was imposed and say it helps the Cuban government explain the economic hardships on the island.

    According to his website, Lincoln Diaz-Balart helped draft the legislation that strengthened the embargo against the Cuban dictatorship in 1996, “making the lifting of sanctions contingent upon the liberation of all political prisoners and the scheduling of multiparty elections in Cuba.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/08/20/us.cuba.travel/#fbid=rqvjkwj_pWU&wom=false

  4. A FRIEND TAUGHT ME A NEW “NICKNAME” FOR OLD FIDEL!! EL COMA-ANDANTE!! HOW CLEVER IS THAT! EXPLANATION “COMANDANTE=COMANDER” BUT HIS VERSION IS “COMA=COMA” PLUS “ANDANTE=WALKING” THUS “WALKING COMA”! PRICELESS!IS NOT JUST IN MIAMI THAT THE WORD IS OUT “WALKING COMA” OR “WALKING COMEMIERDA” (my contribution)!

    Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky):Independent blogger launches Voces, first digital magazine in Cuba:
    Independent blogger launches Voces, first digital magazine in Cuba

    http://www.kentucky.com/2010/08/20/1400325/independent-blogger-launches-voces.html

  5. Here’s an interesting article from a US boating website:

    “Unlike the Bahamas, however, cruisers can’t go ashore in most ports in Cuba. When we cruised the south coast, we could wander wherever we liked among the uninhabited cays, but came under close scrutiny whenever we approached a settlement. Ironically, land based visitors can go just about anywhere they like in the country, whether its by bus, train, plane, rental car or even bicycle and horse buggy. The difference, of course, is that it’s unlikely that a tourist arriving in Cuba by air will leave with a Cuban hidden in his or her baggage.

    In five days in Puerto de Vita, we’ve met five other boats from Canada and one each from France, the Netherlands, Norway, Britain, and the States — not a large number considering this is the only port of entry for the entire eastern half of the north coast. Ironically, the Cuban government would like more foreign cruisers to visit, bringing with them much needed hard currency, but it severely restricts where we can go and spend that money.”

    http://www.boatus.com/cruising/littlegidding/200404-15.asp

    Another reason to end the counter-productive restrictions on US citizens visiting Cuba. It will make it more difficult for the regime to prevent Cubans from leaving the island on private boats.

  6. THE CANADIAN PRESS: Cuba Church says it was right to broker prisoner release, in answer to dissidents’ complaints-By Will Weissert

    HAVANA — Roman Catholic officials said Friday they had a humanitarian obligation to broker a landmark deal in which Cuba promised to free 52 political prisoners — answering island opposition activists who complained of being left out of negotiations.

    Cuba’s Catholic Church said it knew beforehand that its discussions with the government of Raul Castro “could provoke diverse reactions, from insults and defamation to acceptance and gratitude.”

    But “remaining inactive was not a valid option,” it said in a statement.

    Those sentiments came in response to a letter to Pope Benedict XVI from 165 top Cuban political activists, community organizers and dissidents that has circulated in Spain but not on the island. The letter said that while the dissident community supports the result of the July 7 deal between the Church and Cuba, both sides ignored the needs of the country’s political opposition in reaching it.

    The government has already freed 26 prisoners and sent them with their relatives to Spain to live in exile. The rest are expected to be released in the coming weeks, emptying Cuban jails of the last of the political prisoners imprisoned after a sweeping crackdown on organized dissent in 2003.

    It is not clear whether those still waiting to be freed will be allowed to stay in Cuba or go into exile.

    In their letter to the pope, the dissidents wrote, “a correct mediation on this topic should have included hearing the complaints of both sides and reconciling them.”

    “We do not agree with the position taken by the Cuban religious hierarchy on behalf of political prisoners,” it added. “It is lamentable and even embarrassing.”

    It also denounced a new wave of arrests of dissidents, most of whom have been held for a few hours and then released.

    The letter said pressure on those who publicly oppose Cuba’s communist system has intensified this month after Castro said in a televised address that, despite his government’s agreement with the Church, “there will not be impunity for the enemies of the homeland.”

    “Repression, hostility and arbitrary detentions have increased in recent days, after the threats of President Raul Castro on Aug. 1,” the letter said. “It raises the question: ‘Are they emptying the prisons just to fill them again?'”

    Some such incidents have involved Reina Luisa Tamayo, whose son Orlando died Feb. 23 after staging a monthslong hunger strike behind bars. Tamayo and a small group of relatives have taken to the streets in his memory in her hometown of Banes every Sunday since, but pro-government mobs have broken up their march each of the last two weeks — sparking outcry from Amnesty International and other international groups.

    Tamayo was not among the dissidents to sign the letter to the pope, but two of her sons did.

    In its statement Friday, the Church said it “will not divert its attention from that which motivated it to become part of this process: the humanitarian complaints of the families who have suffered from the incarceration of one or more of their members.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gm91GmVDc96yaHGiTaiBHbi_9oSw

  7. LOVE THIS QUOTE: “We want a more rational Cuba, without any type of -isms,”

    MIAMI HERALD: Cuban blogger starts digital magazine-Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo said `Voces’ is `a vehicle for the rainbow of opinions in this critical moment that Cuba is going through.’-By JUAN O. TAMAYO- 08.20.10

    An independent Cuban blogger has launched the island’s first digital magazine, with a variety of contributions from well-known authors in and out of the country but free of “any type of -isms.”

    “It’s a vehicle for the rainbow of opinions in this critical moment that Cuba is going through,” said Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, editor of Voces, or Voices.

    “We want a more rational Cuba, without any type of -isms,” the 38-year-old Pardo said by phone from his home in Havana.

    The magazine’s debut Monday marked yet another expansion of the island’s blogosphere, where Cubans are increasingly writing about everything from their frustrations with daily life to dissident activities and praise for the government.

    About 200 Cubans, usually journalists working for official media, write blogs that have government approval and about 100 others identify themselves as “independent” bloggers, expressing a range of criticisms of the country’s communist system.

    Voces’ first issue carried 22 articles by authors such as popular Havana bloggers Yoani Sánchez and Claudia Cadelo, Miami essayist Emilio Ichikawa, Havana writers Ena Lucia Portela and Wendy Guerra and Ivan de la Nuez, Antonio Jose Ponte and Juan Abreu, who all live in Spain.

    “The group of writers they have are among the best young Cuban voices anywhere,” said Ted Henken, a Baruch College professor who follows the island’s bloggers and writes his own, El Yuma.

    Sánchez’s article in Voces, commenting on Fidel Castro’s recent public appearances, noted that “the man who was known as No. 1, the maximum leader, The Horse, or by the simple personal pronoun `He,’ now appears shorn of his former charisma to confirm that THAT Fidel Castro — fortunately — will not return.”

    With 66 pages in PDF format to allow faster downloads, the magazine uses eye-catching graphics and high-resolution photos, all in black and white except for a color cover photo of the vastness of the ocean off Havana.

    By Wednesday, Voces had received more than 700 visitors in just one of the several blogs that posted it, and Pardo said copies were circulating in Cuba on CDs, flash drives and the domestic network known as the “intranet.”

    Though the Cuban government blocks access to dissidents’ blogs, people on the island can access the magazine on proxy servers, using the country’s many computer clubs and computers at government offices. Pardo said a friend with a printer also had run off five hard copies of the magazine, with the hope they would be photocopied and passed on to other readers.

    A 38-year-old graduate in biochemistry from the University of Havana, Pardo said he left the field 10 years ago and has been working as an independent photographer, writer and blogger.

    He also produces the blog, Boring Home Utopics, which describes itself as “the Collective Memories from a Unique Man in the Brave New Zoociety” and Pardo as a “postographer” who “resides and resists in Habanaught.”

    Pardo said Voces, which he hopes to issue monthly, has no editorial policy and welcomes writers with all kinds of opinions.

    Asked about the possibility that Cuban authorities will try to block him from publishing a second edition, he told El Nuevo Herald that he was optimistic. “This is a magazine that is nowhere and everywhere,” Pardo said. “Now we’ll see if this yeast ferments and we can make a delicious bread.”

    Voces can be viewed at http://vocescubanas.com/boringhomeutopics/

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/20/1784224/cuban-blogger-starts-digital-magazine.html

  8. Concubino, my point about the remittances not withstanding I hold nothing against Cubans who send money to their relatives nor do I find fault with those who travel to the island to see their families. I was merely illustrating how the insolvent, bankrupt and incompetently run non-economy can only sutain itself by being subsidized. Left to sink or swim on it owns it would never be able to sustain itself, as is self-evident at this point.

  9. Yubano, John Bib
    I’m with you in principle. I’m pro-Emabargo. But like many Cubans I sent money to my family in Cuba without my help they are not not going to make ends meet.

  10. “THE MUMMY” & “LA CHINA” BETTER WATCH OUT! THE EYES OF THE WORLD ARE GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER EACH DAY! SMILE! YOURE ON CANDID TWITTER, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE!

    AFP: Havana harassing hunger striker’s mother – dissidents

    MADRID — Two more political prisoners from Cuba arrived in Spain on Thursday, where they accused the island’s communist government of harassing the mother of a dissident who died in a hunger strike.

    The two — Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, 44, and Fabio Prieto Llorente, 47, both journalists — arrived on separate flights accompanied by a total of 16 relatives, an AFP photographer at the airport said.

    Twenty Cuban dissidents arrived in Spain last month and three more on Tuesday following their release by Havana.

    One more, 61-year-old journalist Juan Adolfo Fernandez, is expected on Friday.

    In a deal struck between the Roman Catholic Church and the government of President Raul Castro that was brokered by Spain, Cuba agreed to free 52 of 75 dissidents sentenced in 2003 to prison terms of up to 28 years.

    The releases came after dissident hunger striker Guillermo Farinas nearly starved to death in Cuba.

    Another political prisoner, Orlando Zapata, died in detention on February 23 after 85 days on hunger strike.

    Herrera and Acosta charged Castro’s regime had been harassing Zapata’s mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo, since his death.

    “They won’t allow her to walk to church … to pray for her son,” Herrera said.

    “That’s why we call on the world, the European Union, and the community of democratic nations to speak out against this outrage, this barbarism.”

    Tamayo told Spain’s Europa Press news agency she had only been able to visit her son’s grave four times as security services had prevented her “by force” from leaving her home.

    Both the journalists also accused Havana of using the release of dissidents to hide the repression of its opponents.

    “No one should hope that the Castros are going to make changes,” said Herrera.

    “The regime will remain the same, corrupt and military,” added Prieto.

    He said the release of dissidents was merely aimed “easing international pressure” on the regime.

    Cuban dissidents say that even after the release of the 52, another 115 political prisoners will still be languishing behind bars in Cuba.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i9tqEh7TcCfz5dMoDXwRssmbEGCw

  11. I’m with you John Bibb, now is not the time to give the castros more breathing room. For those that say the embargo never worked there is a case to be made for the opposite arguement. The cuban economy under the castros has never been self-sustaining. It has only remained afloat because of the massive subsidies of the soviets, the chavistas, and yes the enormous amounts of money pumped into the economy by Cubans abroad sending remittances to their relatives. Eliminate all of these sources of capital and how long would it take before the whole thing sinks under the weight of it’s own inertia. During the soviet subsidy era there was no talk of the embargo because it was irrelavent. Now the pain of the embargo is felt by the usurpers because their sugar daddies did not themselves survive. They are no longer around to throw more money into the blackhole of the the castro non-economy.
    I realize that those of us who expouse a total economic embargo of the island are in the minority and that there is no political will nor stomach to go down that path. Nevertheless, the thought of any engagement with the castro government is morally repugnant and offers no historical precedent to predict a positive outcome. Engaging the regime will amount to nothing more than throwing a lifeline to a dying patient, prolonging the misery of the cuban people and further delaying what all rational Cubans hope for, the downfall of the castros.

  12. ***
    The U.S.A. should have normal relations with Cuba when it is free of the Castros Communist Government. Why help El Jefe Maximo with tourist money? Why make Cuba a heaven for men looking for cheap attractive hookers? Cuba needs a free economy for the Cuban People.
    ***
    Los Estados Unidos debia tener relaciones normales con Cuba cuando es libre del Gobierno Communista de los Castros. Porque quieren ayudar El Jefe Maximo con dinero de touristas? Porque quieren hacer Cuba un pariso por hombres buscando baratas jineteras bonitas? Cuba necesita una economia libre por la gente Cubana.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  13. NPR: Cuba Libre? Hold Off Booking That Ticket For Now-by Corey Flintoff-August 19, 2010

    The Obama administration is considering easing travel restrictions to Cuba, raising the prospect of what lifting the half-century-old U.S. trade embargo against the Communist regime might mean for both countries.

    Imagine American tourists bronzing on Cuban beaches and Cuban tomatoes glowing in the produce sections of U.S. supermarkets. Or Cuban baseball teams playing in American ballparks, while U.S. ballerinas twirl on a Havana stage.

    Could it mean young Cuban-Americans returning to the island to invest or revisit the culture from which their families were exiled?

    Critics of the embargo see great possibilities.

    Cuba watcher Bruce M. Bagley says there could be many advantages for both countries. “There could be closer cooperation on [interdicting] drugs. More academic contacts would be great. American agriculture wants to sell more to Cuba, and the Cubans need it,” says Bagley, chairman of department of international studies at the University of Miami.

    He says sanctions haven’t worked and that it is time to try something else.

    Opposition To Sweeping Changes

    The administration apparently isn’t considering sweeping changes. Any substantive lifting of the trade embargo would require congressional action in any case, especially the repeal of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which extended and strengthened the sanctions.

    But the changes the administration are reportedly considering now would make it possible for more Americans to travel to Cuba, including sports, cultural and educational groups, and it could expand direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba.

    President Obama loosened some of the restrictions last year, when he made it easier for Cuban-Americans to visit the island and send money to their relatives there.

    The administration reportedly plans to announce the next round as early as next week. The proposed changes were first reported in a story by The Miami Herald earlier this month. The White House and the State Department have declined to comment on the details.

    If the administration goes ahead with the reported easing, it would basically restore contacts that were allowed under the Clinton administration, but prohibited under President George W. Bush.

    But Ninoska Perez-Castellon, a director of the Miami-based Cuban Liberty Council, says now is “the worst time to lift any type of sanctions against Cuba’s regime,” because the Castro government has shown no real inclination to change.

    Perez-Castellon says there is an economic incentive to ease some sanctions against the regime coming from foreign investors who put money into Cuba’s tourist industry and were left holding the bag when the island’s tourist business stagnated.

    Promoting Tourism In Cuba

    “There are a lot of economic interests that would like to promote the tourism industry in Cuba, which has basically failed,” Perez-Castellon says. Among them, she says, are Spanish companies that put a lot of money into hotels in Cuba, but got little return from their investments.

    Tourism has been a major source of revenue for Cuba, a popular destination for visitors from Canada and Europe.

    Charles Suddaby, vice president for hospitality consulting at the global real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, says Cuba attracted more than 2.4 million visitors last year and seems on track to do slightly better this year.

    Suddaby says a lifting of travel restrictions for U.S. tourists could generate a huge wave of interest, but he says it would probably be better to have that process take place gradually.

    “There’s a lot of hotel capacity down there,” he says, “But it’s not all of a quality that U.S. tourists might expect.”

    Suddaby says much of Cuba’s tourist market came from cheap, all-inclusive packages, but that the government is now looking at a broader market, including sports tourism and luxury resorts.Food For Cash

    Agriculture is another sector where Cuba and the U.S. could cooperate if sanctions were lifted. Cuba already buys food and agricultural products from the U.S., more than $690 million worth in 2008.

    The sales were authorized by the Clinton administration in 2000, under a measure that specifies that trade can only be one-way, with Cuba buying from the U.S., and only in cash.

    William Messina, an agricultural economist at the University of Florida, says Cuba’s food purchases from the U.S. have dipped in the past two years, in part because countries such as China, Vietnam and Thailand have offered the Cuban government better credit terms.

    But Messina says further easing of restrictions could potentially stir a lot of agricultural trade between the two countries. For instance, Cuba could become a supplier of winter vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, which are currently grown mainly in Florida.

    Other potential crops could be citrus and sugar for ethanol fuel.

    Messina says Cuba could be a stronger market for American agriculture products, including fertilizers, pesticides and farm equipment.

    All of this would be far in the future, even if the Obama administration were to make far more sweeping changes than it is currently planning. The administration has repeatedly said that it will not lift the embargo unless and until there are political and economic reforms on the island.

    But Bagley says the proposed easing of sanctions is the best way “to ease the political transition in Cuba, which is inevitable, given the ages of the Castros.” Bagley says that by engaging with Cuba, the U.S. could influence that transition in a positive way, rather than leaving the island with another generation of anti-American rulers.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129277717

  14. CHECK OUT THE FIRST PART OF FIVE ON THE REAL LIFE OF THE CASTRO FAMILY! UNCUT!

    La vida secreta de Los Castros (1 de 5)

  15. Just as sad is the why there is no fishing boats, not the rebolution’s version … the people’s version.
    To make matters worse … have you asked yourselves why would people risk life & limb w/makeshift floating devises of any kind to get out of Cuba?
    What are these Cubans running away from, what would make them brave the Caribbean waters, the sharks, the dangers?
    Why would they risk been caught by the esbirros of the rebolution, the consecuences their families will suffer, the unknown in a new land … any land.
    What will make them choose to leave everything behind, patria, family … if you think is greed THINK AGAIN.
    if you think is cowardice, THINK AGAIN
    If you think is for love of Cuba YOU ARE RIGHT
    If you think is for the hope of freedom YOU ARE RIGHT.
    If you think is for the hope of freedom for Cuba YOU ARE RIGHT.
    While in Cuba there is little you can do against the rebolution without suffering the consecuences of your love for freedom yet … to go to freedom is worth the risking any loss … even of life.
    VIVA CUBA LIBRE!

  16. You know. I’ve been to Havana 5 times and I never noticed it. You look out over the Malecon and you never see a fishing or pleasure boat. I was in Kingston (Canada) 2 weekends ago and you couldn’t count the number of sailboats on the lake. The ocean has become a moat… keeping the Cubans in.

    The only fishing I have ever seen is from the wall of the Malecon with makeshift fishing rods.

    Freedom is coming. The Internet is already making it happen. Cuba must become a democracy once again.

  17. So tragic – I had never even noticed the lack of fishing or pleasure boats – this blog is constantly flagging up things the rest of us just take for granted.

  18. Friends & family … perhaps canadiense made a mistake, perhaps his perception is colored by the life he enjoys w/guaranteed freedom to express himself, without travel restrictions & much more …
    Perhaps while we call him “ignorant” we forget how effective the rebolution’s propaganda can be.
    All the while … the beautiful & plentifull waters are there to be enjoyed … by the priviledged rebolutionaries & the tourists.
    The rebolution has made all equal, no basic freedoms, nor rights, only broken promises, poverty & repression; but “el caballo” can talk about other countries & their mistakes.
    raul can talk about the failures of Cubans to do more for the rebolution while his family enjoys the fruit of the Cubans labor.
    Yes … the time is growing near, from illusion & dream to reality & retribution … all who has harmed Cuba will NOT PREVAIL.
    VIVA CUBA LIBRE !!!

  19. canadiense….
    Agosto 18th, 2010 at 19:16
    MICKI…WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM….MIAMI I GUESS LET ME TEL YOU THAT CUBAN ARE ALLOWED TO FISH I GO TO GUANABO 4 TIMES A YEAR AND I GO FISHING EVERY DAY WITH MY CUBAN FRIENDS….SO PLEASE GO HAVE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF AND STOP TELLING BULLSHIT
    ************************************************************************************
    Really?

    Who are those Cuban friends of you?, members of the MININT?, ’cause as far as I know, most Cubans who are fishing in Cuba, must do it from a freaking inner-tube!

    Do you really think that you can vcome over here and BS everyone without a replay?

    Proof that Cubans can rent a boat or buy a boat and go and fish! When have you seen a Cuban fishing boat in Marina Heminway?, the few people in Cuba allowed to own a boat are either members of the MININT, or members of the FAR, no civilian is allowed to own a boat. Those in “Cojimar” or “Guanabo” with fishing boats, usually are working for the “seguridad de el estado” or “apparatus” as are known Castro’s political police. You can’t cover-up with your rhetoric and your belligerent speech what is really happening in our country!

    We Cubans are segregated not only from tourist zones, but also from fishing trips that are offered to tourist in hotels and brochures. We Cubans are the victims of Castro’s regimen discriminatory practices, which are evident in the double monetary policy used to disguised the tourist apartheid imposed by Castro to our people. Perhaps for an foreigner like you who goes to Cuba to enjoy the “mulattoes” and feel like a king in a town full of poor is OK to go fishing with your buddies who are oppressing the Cuban people. Are you that Canadian son of the big Ho who owns hotels in Cuba?, the one in a documentary by Discovery Channel, in which he is talking about how he is investing in Cuba, while taking advantage of Castro’s discrimination policy of “investments”, allowing only foreign investors to run private business in Cuba, while forbidden Cubans to enjoy the same opportunities of economic growth?

  20. Horror Report

    And here is the report on human rights (derechos humanos) presented by the Eastern Democratic Alliance. Within a six month period in this Cuban region there have been reported 128 arbitrary detentions, 32 police citations without proper official warrants by the political police, 4 evictions, 49 beatings, 6 fines levied on human rights defenders, 23 cases of hunger strike and almost twenty cases of suicide attempts in jails.

    The partial Report is available for reading where the names of t the victims and of the victimizers are recorded, and also private addresses and even phone numbers for verification. It’s a shame — and I never get tired of repeating it — that the great and lustrous international press agencies located in Havana never hop over to the East, the heart of the horror in Cuba.

    The death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the beating of about 15 women in Camaguey on February 3, and later the abuses against Idalmis Nunez, Caridad Caballero and Mari Blanca Avila are signs of some horrible events. Before or during when his Lordship Cardinal Ortega, Raul Castro and Moratinos shook hands for the future Cuba that is being dreamed of only for a few.

    There is physical torture and cruel and degrading treatment in Santiago de Cuba, Banes, San German and the Guantanamo of the olive-green government. The attachments to the document corroborate it for you.

    PS: In the pictures Isael Poveda Silva, former political prisoner in Guantanamo Prison Complex staged for bloggers and the independent press showing how they apply the techniques of torture known as “The Bat” and “The Rocker.”

    http://cruzarlasalambradaseng.wordpress.com/

  21. Impunity, an Order from the General

    Before General Raul Castro had even finished giving his discourse before Cuban legislators on August 1st, his armies had already rushed on more than twenty human rights activists in the Eastern region of the country. The indiscriminate hunt had arrived. The purpose was so that these activists would not reach Holguin, get close to Banes to the house of Reina Tamayo, and to prevent them from leaving their homes.

    The phone did not stop ringing with people calling us to inform us about the detentions. Some even thought of it as a Black Summer.

    There were some house arrests. Anni Sarrion, Aurelio Morales Ayala, Martha Diaz Rondon, and Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez were all beaten when they tried to get to the house of the independent journalist Caridad Caballero Batista in Holguin. Caridad, her husband, and her son were all dragged on the floor and the officials tried snatching their photo camera.

    Omar Wilson, from Moa, was trying to get to the house of a friend in Holguin when he came under attack from the military operation. He felt it so intensely that he experienced tremors from a disease he suffers from. He went from the street to detainment in a hospital and he spent more than 48 hours there in a very delicate state of health. Francisco Luis Manzanet and Carlos Manuel Hernandez, both of whom were trying to help, ended up spending two nights in the cold jails cells of the G2 (Secret Police) of Holguin.

    In some of these cases, the arrests lasted until the afternoon of August 5th. And, on that same day, 5 activists were detained in Santiago de Cuba after they commemorated the tragic events of the Maleconazo in 1994.

    The Cuban president has incited a tainted war among Cubans. He has returned to the rhetoric of not allowing impunity. The ones who act unjustly are the political police and their civilian helpers, those dressed in olive-green, or that very police unit which claims to call itself National and Revolutionary. It is to the point that all streets are just being watched. They are just waiting for a protest or any display of nonconformity, waiting for the whistle that will go off in the headquarters of the G2.

    Translated by Raul G.

    http://cruzarlasalambradaseng.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/impunity-an-order-from-the-general/#respond

  22. Canadiense

    Our friend Micki may have been a bit overzealous in making a blanket statement about who can or can’t fish in Cuba but you speak volumes when you attempt to denegrate him by using the castro-inspired “Miami” reference. Why don’t you enlighten us further with your canadian-frog version of the facts on Cuba. That’s all we need another cheap, penny-pinching asshole from quebec telling us the “truth” about Cuba. Tell me, do your notoriously tightwad countrymen tip as well (not) in Cuba as they do in Miami and the rest of South Florida when you infest our shores during the winter months?

  23. CUBANS need fishing poles, line , hooks and bait. Not available to Cubans. So please take those items to Cuba, and teach a CUBAN TO FISH.. The students of the UNIVERSITY OF HABANA are demonstrating with signs for CIVIL RIGHTS, some now even thrown in jail.

  24. MICKI…WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM….MIAMI I GUESS LET ME TEL YOU THAT CUBAN ARE ALLOWED TO FISH I GO TO GUANABO 4 TIMES A YEAR AND I GO FISHING EVERY DAY WITH MY CUBAN FRIENDS….SO PLEASE GO HAVE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF AND STOP TELLING BULLSHIT

  25. What a beautiful mind. I so admire her.

    (John, the answer is No, the government does not permit it as far as I know, only the evil Castros can enjoy gourmet seafood on their dinner plates).

  26. ***
    Does the Casto government permit the people to fish for food?
    ***
    Permita el gobierno Cubano que la gente pesca por comida?
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  27. Yoani expresses the feelings of many of us, as a seaman and sailor I am constantly amazed at the congruence of seeing current photos of Bahia de La Habana and the total absence of any maritime activity aside from the commercial shipping and a scattering of small boats often simple rowing craft and this in a nation famed for its great sea lore as depicted in “The Old Man and the Sea”.

    How is it that this tyranny has destroyed even the simple pleasures of life on an island such as the ability to freely launch your boat and sail it to wherever your heart and dreams desire.

  28. Pingback: Tweets that mention An Island Without The Sea #fb -- Topsy.com

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