We Don’t Believe the Television

Laura Pollán, leader of the Ladies in White. Photo: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

I often complain about this self-sufficient little fatty  in every Cuban home — the television — and its excessive influence on our lives. This week, for example, the nightly programming has been saturated with political messages that we later hear repeated in schools, workplaces, offices… in the infinite spiral of ideological propaganda. But in the midst of this slogan overdose from the loudspeakers, we can also find people who have not watched the National News for months and who can’t remember the last time they flipped through the newspaper Granma. They are people who lead a parallel life to that broadcast on the official screen, those have voluntarily vaccinated themselves against the excesses of hegemonic discourse.

But the growing suspicion with which so many of my compatriots receive the news and opinions broadcast through legal channels eases my mind. Not only do they apply it to the exaggerated figures for agricultural production, but this lack of confidence extends to the reports on foreign relations, the physical state of some public figure, and even a simple sports commentary. Cubans increasingly doubt what they are told, begin to read between the lines, and interpret, in reverse, information in the national media. The disbelief has gotten to the point where insult is deciphered as praise and vice versa. Those demonized by partisan publications are thus transformed into admired beings — albeit in a whisper — and even those fired from the government apparatus acquire a certain aura of appeal.

Knowing this peculiar phenomenon of reinterpretation, the number of people who have called me to ask about the health of Laura Pollan does not surprise me. The great number of friends and onlookers who have gathered outside the Calixto Garcia Hospital emergency room where she was admitted for acute respiratory distress is comforting. Considering all the insults, curses, and lies that have been launched against this woman on the official television, the reactions of so many Cubans in solidarity with her is a revelation. The dozens of text messages transmitting medical reports about the leader of the Ladies in White, the prayers at shrines throughout Cuba, and the encouragement from so many other peaceful activists, are the major silencers of this shrill character who — in our living rooms — launches into a tirade we no longer believe in.

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31 thoughts on “We Don’t Believe the Television

  1. Just ask the Winklevoss twins how Marxist and egalitarian Mark Zuckerberg, the 20-something billionaire (that would make him the top 1%, not the 99%) owner of Facebook is. He definitely buys his share of political influence. LOL

    I guess free food is the opiate of the masses.

  2. The best companies (financial responsibility, market success, workers treatment, workers wages etc.) in the usa are the companies that have adopted Jugoslav self-management style.

    Self-management is the pinnacle of modern and democratic socialist economy that had pulled Jugoslavija in mere 20 years since the WWII from a completely desroyed economy into a modern developed country.

    The self-management became so popular in the usa since the 1980’s that there are hundreds of companies based on those principles.

    Some of those companies are Besser blocks and West system (epoxy resins for all you ignorants here). I challenge you to search your capitalist invention called the internet and find more big and/or well known companies and discover for yourselves how many companies have quietly adopted Jugoslav socialist self-management system, and FLOURISHED ever since.

    Then compare it with all those purely capitalist companies that have either already collapsed or were about to but got saved by the government.

    And bear in mind that government itervention in the market is a NO-NO in capitalism, which is supposedly self-regulating and perfec society…

    Bullshift, as we know.

    Just look how long and how large is the wall st. blockade.

    Some paradise that “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”!!!!!!!!!

    The workers are on the streets around the world. protesting against the 1% of rich scumbags who are solely and squarely to blame for demise of the capitalism and its society as a whole.

    And there are still delusional dumbos telling ME that I sound rediculous…

    Yeah geniuses. Go look through your windows and watch tens of thousands marching and asking for this lunacy, alled “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” to stop.

    And then tell me AGAIN how I am the rediculous one.

    The ONLY companies working profitably in capitalism are those companies that have embraced MARXISM.

    And that’s a fact.

    And to finish you silly delusional little pioneers off, here’s ANOTHER company that has embraced pure MARXISM and THRIVES in capitalism. It offers FREE BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER to its workers. it treats them with respect and it has introduced tried and tested socialist, MARXIST, principles of less is more when it comes to work hours.

    And no, it’s not only google, which does much the same.

    It’s facebook.

    So eat your own sewerage material little pioneers you. Socialism IS SUPERIOR. usanian OWN companies prove it every day.

    Self-management, inclusion of workers from a cleaner to the top management in decision process, free food, less working hours, more play and holidays, in fact EVERYTHING that capitalists are telling you is “ugly communism” that will destroy your lives, is making those usanian companies performing BETTER than those that follow capitalist ideology.

    So there.

    You lose YET AGAIN.

    Wow, that MUST hurt BADLY…

    Hey, you can always copy and paste articles trashing Cuba from the miami herald, or the huffington post to make you feel better…

    After all. that is ALL you can do well, you little pioneers you!!!!

  3. Un HUN! WE ARE IN THE NEWS! SORT OF!

    GLOBAL VOICES : Cuba: Outpouring of Support for Las Damas’ Leader
    - byJanine Mendes-Franco

    Over the weekend, the leader of Cuba’s Las Damas de Blanco (The Ladies in White), Laura Pollan, fell ill. News of her hospitalization has come on the heels of successive weekends of the opposition group – along with other human rights activists – being targeted, allegedly on account of their anti-government protests. Bloggers, both on island and throughout the diaspora, reached out online to offer their support and wishes for Pollan’s recovery.

    Uncommon Sense spoke of Pollan’s influence and courage in the fight for the rights of political prisoners in Cuba:

    Pollan is one of the more fearless figures in the Cuban opposition, bravely leading the Damas on peaceful marches in Havana and other cities on behalf of their imprisoned loved ones and other political prisoners in Cuba. She has carried forth the group’s campaign even after her husband, Hector Maseda, was released earlier this year after 8 years in prison.

    Last month, Pollan and other Damas were attacked by a Castroite mob sent to block them from marching in Havana to commemorate a religious feast day. News coverage included a photograph of Pollan and another marcher being pushed against a wall by a mob.

    Please keep this courageous woman and her family in your prayers.

    Along the Malecon posted two updates yesterday: the first, a link of an interview with Pollan (before she fell ill) talking about the experiences Las Damas have endured in their fight. The post ends by saying:

    Fellow members of Las Damas de Blanco marched on Sunday along Quinta Avenida in Havana and prayed for the dissident leader…they said Pollán was in intensive care with respiratory problems caused by an as-yet-unknown virus.

    The blog’s second update contains an interview with Pollan’s husband, which Yoani Sanchez posted via twitpic. The blogger, Tracey Eaton, summed it up this way:

    He said his overall impression after visiting Pollán was ‘very positive.’ Maseda is a former political prisoner whose imprisonment inspired Pollán to help start Las Damas de Blanco, dedicated to freeing all political prisoners.
    In the face of limited information about Pollan’s condition, words seemed inadequate; some bloggers simply posted photo tributes to the Las Damas leader.

    Generation Y, though, thought it important to talk about the messages sent about activists like Laura Pollan through the state media and the seemingly increasing number of Cubans who choose not to believe them:

    Cubans increasingly doubt what they are told, begin to read between the lines, and interpret, in reverse, information in the national media. The disbelief has gotten to the point where insult is deciphered as praise and vice versa. Those demonized by partisan publications are thus transformed into admired beings — albeit in a whisper — and even those fired from the government apparatus acquire a certain aura of appeal.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/10/10/cuba-outpouring-of-support-for-las-damas-leader/

  4. YOUTUBE : RADIO PROGRAMA “En casa de Herrero” Entrevista a Melba Santana, una de las Damas de Blanco – 10/10/11 (Spain Radio Program “En Casa de Herrero” interviews Melba Santana who is a Lady in White. Spanish only.

  5. You callous ignoramuses failed to acknowledge the anniversary of Che’s death. I guess I’ll have to just post a link to a commemoration myself:

    babalublog.com/2011/10/anniv-of-che-guevaras-death/

  6. Mr. Un, I listened to lots of Dylan songs in my life, he is neither a Marxist or even a half-Marxist, although in his youth wrote a few fashionable songs in order to break through in the business. Nothing wrong with them, some of my favorites. Both he and I know that nobody goes hungry here, neither now nor back in 1960. My family comes from the bottom of the economic ladder and some went hungry during the depression, but none starved. And the part of my family that was in America at the time didn’t even go very hungry, the soup kitchens and hobo jungles served gourmet fare compared to what some Cubans eat. Like I said, the problem these days is obesity, even in less rich countries like Mexico and Brazil.

    You keep calling everyone who disagrees with you a right-winger. Are you a football or hockey player?

  7. 22UnSoricel

    Octubre 10th, 2011 at 10:48
    @Help … by the same token soon we’re going to find out that the revolution in Cuba was done by an American ..
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The name of this american was Robert Murphy, Secretary of State from 1956-1960…… here a fragment of a secret hearing in US senate August 1960 where proves that Dept of State worked for castro power taking and fighted Batista:

    Mr. GARDNER. Well, during the time that I was there, the last year, Castro had landed, and was hiding in the hills. And there had been an endless number of shipments of arms and other things to Castro, which could only come from the United States. Every once in a while we were able to catch such a shipment, and stop it. But we were not very active about it. And one factor which I think was one of the most serious was that the former President, named Prio, was living in Miami. I don’t know whether you know this or not, but he was arrested, convicted, and paid a fine of $5,000 for gunrunning. And he was also indicted a second time. And yet no action was ever taken on it. My personal reason for thinking t was serious was that man many times Batista would send for me and ask me why this was. I don’t know whether I have gotten off the track there, but that is my answer. The 2 years were 2 years of gradually making Batista feel we were pulling the rug out from under him.
    Senator DODD. Is it fair to say, Mr. Gardner, that the way that you were treated on the occasion of your visit to the State Department made you feel that you were being ignored and overlooked and circumvented?

    Mr. GARDNER. Yes, that is right.

    Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, are you able to tell us who particularly you talked with in the State Department at this particular time?

    Mr. GARDNER. Well, I went to see Secretary Murphy, who has now resigned.

    Senator DODD. Robert Murphy?

    Mr. GARDNER. Yes.

    Senator DODD. Anyone else?

    Mr. GARDNER. I had one conversation with Christian Herter, in which I recommended that in order to help him, and help the Cuban picture, and also help the Latin American desk, as they call it, that he should get somebody with the practical know-how, somebody with experience. I mentioned three or four men. One of them was the vice president of the American Foreign Power. He spent his whole life in countries in Latin America. I mean, I mentioned the names of people. And he said, “Well, that sounds very interesting.” But he never called me in to do anything about it.

    Senator DODD. Besides Robert Murphy, and Christian Herter-

    Mr. GARDNER. Well, I talked to Loy Henderson.

    Senator DODD. Mr. Rubottom?

    Mr. GARDNER. Yes, I talked to Rubottom. But he was not at all interested.

    Senator DODD. You mean by that he was not interested in your views in the situation?

    Mr. GARDNER. Yes. He is a nice chap, and means well, and I have nothing but high regard for him personally, but I think he was entirely off on the wrong track, and it has been proved. Without putting it down, let me just explain what I mean.

    (Discussion off the record.)

    Senator DODD. Did you discuss this situation-by this situation mean the Castro-Batista situation, with Robert Murphy?

    Mr. GARDNER. Yes.

    Senator DODD. And what did you find his reaction to be?

    Mr. GARDNER. I found he was so badly advised. We had a pleasant talk, but got nowhere. He had an idea that Batista was a gorilla.

    Senator DODD. Did he think favorably of Castro?

    Mr. GARDNER. No. But he felt so strongly against Batista, that anybody would have been better, I imagine, is the way he would put it.

    The whole hearing can be read here:

    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/us-cuba/gardner-smith.htm

  8. @Help … by the same token soon we’re going to find out that the revolution in Cuba was done by an American .. they almost imply that in the propose your brigade propose…. Our dictator used to say that you put an intellectual in prison, and one you give a top job and the rest would keep quiet cos they hope not to go to prison and that they will get the top job if they play nice … which type were you? cos obviously you lost the plot ..when you say ppl do not starve in the US .. maybe you should listen to a BobDylan song…

  9. All good points Joanna, but some posts are so crazy I can’t help biting the bait. I’m just waiting for one of them to claim that Cuba put the first man on the moon.

    You’re right, nobody has ever come up with a credible defense of Castro, although some try by parroting his propaganda and non-existent accomplishments, all safely from their capitalist armchairs.

  10. Castro’s supporters can never answer criticisms of their own position, they just try to divert attention onto other imperfect systems. Don’t get dragged in to arguments over whether there are starving children in the USA. Nobody is saying anywhere else in the world is perfect.

    If anyone actually has a valid, credible defence of the Castro regime I will listen, as will all of us, because we are reasonable people. But I don’t think such a thing is possible…..

  11. This CNN video show the mob attack against the Ladies in White.

    This other video from the Spanish TV show the violent attack by the regime mobs.

    These photo form EFE shows the physical violence against the Ladies in White when they were trying to live the house.

    The AFP journalist reported that “An Interior Ministry bus then showed up to clear the area” What is this telling us? After the harassment of more than three hours, preventing the Ladies in White to go to church, the bus show up and took the mob of the Union of Communist Youth away. The regime brought them to do its dirty work, an after several hours came back to carry them away.

  12. Hector Maseda sobre la salud de Laura Pollán 09_10_11 (parte #3)- Laura Pollan’s husband Hector Maseda talks about his wife’s condition and the situation with her hospitalization! Spanish only!
    by Yoani Sanchez
    http://www.vimeo.com/30291182

  13. Hector Maseda sobre la salud de Laura Pollán 09_10_11 (parte #2)- Laura Pollan’s husband Hector Maseda talks about his wife’s condition and the situation with her hospitalization! Spanish only!
    by Yoani Sanchez
    http://www.vimeo.com/30291004

  14. Hector Maseda sobre la salud de Laura Pollán 09_10_11 (parte #1)- Laura Pollan’s husband Hector Maseda talks about his wife’s condition and the situation with her hospitalization! Spanish only!
    by Yoani Sanchez

    COPY AND PASTE LINK IF NOT ACTIVE TO YOUR BROWSER! YOU TOO Un HUN!
    http://www.vimeo.com/30290873

  15. And also as Freud said, the poverty level in the USA is set so high that most of our poor would be considered upper class in Cuba.

  16. As Freud said, there are no hungry children in the USA, except for the occasional ones being abused by their parents of course. Children of the poorest people in the USA suffer from an epidemic of obesity and the same problem exists in less-developed countries from Mexico to Brazil. News that children starve to death in Marxist regimes seems to upset nutjobs like 291RCR and exacerbate their delusions.

  17. CURRENT STATE OF CUBAN ARCHITECTURE AND INFRASTRUCTURE – IMAGES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS!

    VIMEO VIDEO : Paraiso (The Cuban/Castro Paradise)- by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

    PLEASE COPY AND PASTE LINK IF NOT ACTIVE! GREAT WORK BY ORLANDO!

    vimeo.com/28024540

  18. PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: FIDEL CASTRO- Pre-Castro Cuba

    On the eve of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, Cuba was neither the paradise that would later be conjured by the nostalgic imaginations of Cuba’s many exiles, nor the hellhole painted by many supporters of the revolution, who recall Cuba as “the brothel of the Western hemisphere” — an island inhabited by a people degraded and hungry, whose main occupation was to cater to American tourists at Havana’s luxurious hotels, beaches and casinos. Rather, Cuba was one of the most advanced and successful countries in Latin America.

    Success by the Numbers
    Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a glittering and dynamic city. In the early part of the century the country’s economy, fueled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown dynamically. Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT, VIDEOS ETC.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peopleevents/e_precastro.html

  19. 291 RCR – Octubre 9th, 2011 at 18:28 – “Help: don’t forget to mention the 12 million plus children that are under nourished and live below the poverty line in the Empire (land of the free). That number represents more than the entire Cuban population. Any thoughts?”

    MR./MS./MRS./MARTIAN 291 RCR! IF CUBA WAS A DUMP AND FULL OF POVERTY PRIOR TO THE REVOLUTION, YOU MIGHT HAVE SOME GROUND TO STAND ON, BUT SINCE THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE, IS LIKE “THE POT (the CastroFascist) CALLING THE KETTLE (the USA) BLACK”, CAPISH?
    WOW! ANOTHER OF THE SAME! CHANGE THE SUBJECT, BLAME THE BAD U.S.A.! GREAT FOR ANOTHER BLOG FOR SURE THOUGH! CANT SAVE THE WORLD HERE, BUT WE CAN TRY TO SAVE THE CUBAN PEOPLE! AND THE ARCHITECTURE PLEASE!

    YOUTUBE : CUBAN Documentary – “Wishes on a Falling Star”

  20. 10291 RCR

    Octubre 9th, 2011 at 18:28
    Help: don’t forget to mention the 12 million plus children that are under nourished and live below the poverty line in the Empire (land of the free). That number represents more than the entire Cuban population. Any thoughts?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Of course that numbers are lies…… there are not under nourished children in USA…… and…… the limit of poverty in USA is equivalent to the standard of life of any general or minister in Cuba…….. you sound extremely ridicule to any US resident…… documented or non documented…… you are simply a stupidity repeater.

  21. Help: don’t forget to mention the 12 million plus children that are under nourished and live below the poverty line in the Empire (land of the free). That number represents more than the entire Cuban population. Any thoughts?

  22. SEE, I TOLD YOU! ALARCON, “THE MUMMY” AND “LA CHINA” DONT KNOW HOW TO PLEASE THEIR FRIENDS AND PARTNERS!

    AFP: Don’t have penis enlargement: Cuban sexpert

    HAVANA — A leading Cuban sexologist Saturday urged young men who are worried about the size of their penis not to take advantage of the communist nation’s free health care to have surgery to enlarge their manhood.

    “It is not necessary that the penis be so long to encourage a woman… because she has many areas of erotic stimulation,” said Ramiro Fragas, a sex expert at the Ministry of Public Health.

    He made his recommendation in a full-page interview in Juventud Rebelde, the newspaper of Cuban youth, after becoming alarmed at “significant” demand from young men for penis enlargement operations.

    Although such surgeries are free they require approval from a team of doctors and health experts.

    He also stated that the average Cuban man’s penis, 11 to 15 centimeters (four to six inches), according to medical data, was in line with international averages.

    And Fragas cautioned that the benefits of such treatment is usually less than desired.

    “At most, one or two centimeters,” he said, warning of negative after-effects relating to the aesthetics of the male member.

    After assessing “dozens” of surgery requests, Fragas said Cuban surgeons had conducted penis enlargement surgery on 20 male patients on account of birth defects or other medical problems.

    “Self esteem and knowledge” is the best way of combating the anxiety about having a small penis, Fragas concluded

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jQuzLaIriV-qX1YrNcO7_ahTIWRQ?docId=CNG.2dcb68d1c001f58225bc79b145422ed5.241

  23. WITH “FRIENDS” LIKE THIS, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES! UNLESS THEY WERE NEVER REALLY FRIENDS! I HOPE BILL RICHARDSON GIVES THEM A GOOD COMEBACK AND OBAMA CLOSES ALL FLIGHTS AND REMITTANCES UNTIL GROSS IS FREED! THOSE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND SOUTH AMERICA WHO ARE “FRIENDS” OF THE CASTROFASCISTS TAKE NOTE! EL “ALACRAN” (scorpion) ALARCON IS PULLING OUT HIS STINGER! BUT I HEAR THAT HE HAD THAT PENIS LENGTHENING OPERATION THAT SOME CUBANS ARE HAVING IN THE ISLAND!

    “Alarcon said Richardson went to Cuba on a private trip and not as part of a U.S. mission. Richardson’s trip “was like doing amateur diplomacy, and that doesn’t exist, that’s Bill’s invention,” Alarcon said.”

    “”Richardson has entangled everything because I can’t believe someone would seriously think that there could be a negotiation between Rene Gonzalez … a man who was about to complete his sentence … and a man who is just about to start serving his,” Alarcon said.”

    ASSOCIATED PRESS: Interview: Cuba won’t unilaterally free Gross

    MEXICO CITY — The United States should not expect Cuba to make a unilateral humanitarian gesture to release an imprisoned American government contractor, a senior Cuban official said Sunday.

    Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon told The Associated Press in an interview that to expect such a gesture on behalf of Alan Gross “would not be reasonable.”

    Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison in March for crimes against the Cuban state. He was arrested in December 2009 after getting caught illegally bringing communications equipment onto the island while on a USAID-funded democracy building program.

    Cuba’s Supreme Court upheld Gross’ sentence in August, and U.S. efforts turned to winning his release on humanitarian grounds. Both his elderly mother and adult daughter are battling cancer and his family has suffered financial hardship since his arrest, says his wife, Judy Gross.

    During a visit to Mexico, Alarcon said the U.S. government “should get a good armchair and sit down to wait” if it is hoping for a humanitarian release.

    “To expect a unilateral gesture wouldn’t be reasonable,” Alarcon said.

    He also had harsh words for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who visited Cuba in early September to negotiate Gross’ release. Cuban officials rebuffed his efforts, and Richardson went home without seeing Gross.

    Alarcon said Richardson went to Cuba on a private trip and not as part of a U.S. mission. Richardson’s trip “was like doing amateur diplomacy, and that doesn’t exist, that’s Bill’s invention,” Alarcon said.

    Richardson has said he was invited to the island by Cuban officials to negotiate Gross’ release.

    Alarcon said Richardson suggested the U.S. and Cuba conduct a swap between Gross and Rene Gonzalez, one of five Cuban nationals convicted in 2001 as part of the “Wasp Network” that sought to spy on U.S. military installations in South Florida. Gonzalez has dual U.S.-Cuban citizenship.

    Gonzalez was released Friday after 13 years in prison but a judge has ordered him to serve three years probation in the U.S. before returning to Cuba.

    Cuban officials say the five attempted to prevent terrorist attacks on the island by monitoring Cuban exiles and tried to place operatives inside the campaigns of anti-Castro politicians. They were convicted of espionage and of trying to infiltrate U.S. military bases.

    “Richardson has entangled everything because I can’t believe someone would seriously think that there could be a negotiation between Rene Gonzalez … a man who was about to complete his sentence … and a man who is just about to start serving his,” Alarcon said.

    He said Gonzalez’s life is at risk if he remains in South Florida, especially after U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, said Gonzalez “has American blood on his hands.”

    “Not only is his life at risk … but someone could be interested in provoking an incident with him to have the judge send him back to prison,” Alarcon said.

    Alarcon said sending Gonzalez back to Cuba would be in the best interests of both the United States and Cuba, and he also urged the Obama administration free the four other members of the ring still in prison.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jNXfT_u2Dh8XM7YTDjv1sqB41sbQ?docId=c9776b0462a0457093b98203eddfe625

  24. Have any of these ladies been nominated for the Nobel peace prize? I think many of them deserve it. Our thoughts are with Pollan and her loved ones.

  25. YOUTUBE : Ladies of White Berta Soler updates Laura Pollan’s condition – Spanish only!

  26. GET TO KNOW LAURA POLLAN! A GREAT LADY, MOTHER, WIFE AND PATRIOT!

    Human Rights Foundation (HRF)

    The Ladies in White, or “Las Damas de Blanco,” is a civil society group inside Cuba that organizes peaceful Sunday marches for freedom and human rights. The world-renowned group is formed by the wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and supporters of political prisoners who were arrested during the “Black Spring” government crackdown on Cuban dissidents. During the four-day period that occurred in March 2003, 75 independent journalists, librarians, and democracy and human rights advocates were arrested and ultimately convicted with sentences ranging from 6 to 28 years.

    In July 2010, the Catholic Archdiocese of Cuba announced that the Cuban government would release the 52 Black Spring prisoners still imprisoned over the course of the following months. The Ladies in White have declared that they will continue protesting every Sunday until all of the Black Spring prisoners have been released.

    YOUTUBE : Ladies In White (English/español) by Human Rights Foundation (HRF)

  27. “… 11 of 12 children in the clinic were critically malnourished. They looked to be no more than three or four years old, but orphanage staff insisted they were eight, citing severe stunting due to malnutrition.”

    I guess some revolutionaries vacationing on the French Riviera in their Che t-shirts would accuse these children of being obsessed with materialism, brainwashed by an American right-wing attitude that ignores the great accomplishments of their government, such as building nuclear weapons.

  28. I’m sure there must be a bunch of big “vamos bien” posters in Pyongyang

    ………..
    In March, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that 6 million North Koreans needed food aid and a third of children were chronically malnourished or stunted. By contrast, the United Nations says 4 million people face a food crisis in Somalia.

    The WFP’s appeal inevitably raised the specter of the mid-1990s, when years of mismanaged farm policy and natural disasters resulted in famine that some estimates said killed as many as a million people. Nobody is saying this year is anything like that — and South Korea has said it suspects Pyongyang of exaggerating the crisis.

  29. Quick, what’s the other remaining paradise on earth, after Cuba? Another anti-capitalist and anti-American success story (as Damir says “life is good there”)


    In one orphanage in Haeju, 28 children huddled together on the floor of a small clinic, singing “We have nothing to envy” — an anthem to North Korea’s longstanding policy of juche, or complete self-reliance, that has made this one of the most closed societies on earth.

    Measurements taken of each child’s mid-upper arm with color-coded plastic bracelets — a standard test for malnutrition — showed 12 were in the orange or red danger zones, meaning some could die without proper treatment.


    At an orphanage in Hwangju town, across the provincial border in North Hwanghae province, 11 of 12 children in the clinic were critically malnourished. They looked to be no more than three or four years old, but orphanage staff insisted they were eight, citing severe stunting due to malnutrition.

    “I’ve never seen stunting like this before, not ever — not even in Ethiopia,” said Delphine Chedorge, deputy program manager of emergencies for MSF France.


    Read more about the success of Marxism at

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-korea-north-food-idUSTRE7956DU20111007

  30. Best wishes to Laura Pollan, I hope that she recovers soon.

    Now, if we could just get rid of certain shrill characters who launch into tirades that only they believe in!

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