A CLICK From Afar

The cups reflect the smiles on our faces

The CLICK Festival cups reproduce our smiles

As I write this brief text the clothesline seems to be protesting under the weight of the laundry, the dog scratches at the door begging for his food, and my son asks me if there will be lunch today. After several days of neglecting the house the domestic routine calls me, pulling me away from the dream of kilobytes and returning me to everyday life. But it was worth it. Since last Thursday I have lived a preview of the future, a piece of tomorrow in the midst of this Havana trapped in the past. The CLICK Festival was just a foretaste of the topics that Cubans will discuss in the year 2020, and my restless grandkids in 2050. Three days to “think about technology, plan for it, and make it ours…” developing an inclusive and plural atmosphere. The issues addressed ranged from discussions about artistic production in the digital age to the outline of a possible bill of rights for Internet users.

It proved to be very difficult to organize this event through alternative channels, in a society where each action is surrounded by obstacles and impediments, much more so if it is undertaken independently. So, several times, someone invited to be on a panel was not able to arrive in time due to transportation problems, the rustic audio equipment deafened us with its feedback, and the frugal snack was delayed longer than our stomachs could bear. But that was just the stage, the improvised physical context where the transcendental took place. With material simplicity, the CLICK Festival managed to exceed our expectations. The frank and open debate, uncensored, the great participation by the audience, and the success in pulling off a technological and futuristic event, were some of the major achievements.  More than 200 people passed through the doors during the three days of the meeting, and on Thursday, in the afternoon, 102 of us, interested in social networks and Web 2.0, gathered. All the planned workshops took place and even the heavy rains falling over the city didn’t manage to dim the enthusiasm, although several people came down with colds thanks to wet shoes and the damp.

We could not, however, achieve as diverse as representation of Internauts as we desired. And not because we imposed an ideological or group filter, but because many of those invited preferred not to come. Fear of exchanging opinions, fear of the embrace, continues to dominate the Island — including the virtual scene. An editorial in Cubadebate — threatening and extremist — must have scared off some who would have liked to join us. Thanks to us the Cuban government hastily organized a “Knowledge Festival” for the same days, to teach people how to create blogs and Twitter accounts. Which to me is one of the best outcomes of our little CLICK Festival. If pushing the wall forces them to move it a few inches… then… then we have achieved part of what we want.

Next year the CLICK Festival will have to improve the level of its panels, create a WiFi network for the participants to download event materials, shed a certain level of seriousness in favor of making it more interactive, and manage to attract those journalists, bloggers and Twitterers who, this time, preferred not to join us. We need to reach younger people for whom the cellphone, keyboard and mouse are like extensions of their own bodies. Although — and it makes me happy to say so — several of them gatecrashed this edition. As a brief tweet on the #festivalCLIC said, “We are not only an event. Today a community is born.” So we see again, with the collaboration of Spain Blogs Event (EBE), the clumsiness of the official editorials and the playful and rebellious spirit of our internauts.

Girls playing with an iPad for the first time at the CLICK Festival

Girls playing with an iPad for the first time at the CLICK Festival

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34 thoughts on “A CLICK From Afar

  1. eddie,

    Yoani is very real and one person.

    Yoani can’t read this blog from Cuba or your comments unless someone sends them to her.

    Yoani’s style is always the same, her blog is translated from Spanish by volunteers.

    Some of Yoani’s critics aren’t real people but work for Castro. The others are brain-damaged Marxists and other assorted fascists who hate Cubans for some reason.

  2. Is Yoani a real person or a group of people who write under the same name ? I have noticed that Yoani never responds to the blogs or the twitter . Why is that ? I have also noticed that there is often very different writing styles on the blog .

  3. MIAMI HERALD: Gay activists in Cuba demand that parliament respect their rights – Just days before Cuba’s second annual Gay Pride march on Sunday, gay rights activists demanded respect from Cuban lawmakers. – By Juan O. Tamayo

    Fifty people — mostly gay rights activists but also a handful of dissidents such as Guillermo Fariñas and Martha Beatriz Roque — signed a petition calling for civil rights and handed it to the National Assembly of People’s Power, said Ignacio Estrada, a gay activist and dissident.

    “Our document calls on the Cuban government to fully comply with international agreements it has signed on human rights, especially those that apply to LGBT rights,” Estrada said after delivering the petition.

    The petition also calls on lawmakers to launch an investigation of the Military Units to Aid Production, or UMAPs — hard-labor camps created by Fidel Castro during the 1960s to detain homosexuals and government critics — and requests trials for government officials responsible for the camps.

    Activists are also demanding that authorities stop applying the vaguely worded crime of “pre-criminal dangerousness” to gays and instead investigate complaints of those who are beaten or fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation, Estrada said.

    Before last year’s parade, Cuba didn’t allow the march, which marks the Stonewall riots against police raids in New York in 1969, saying that the demonstration wasn’t necessary on the island. Police detained a number of gay activists last year to keep them away from the march, but about 20 managed to join.

    The march this Sunday will start at the Capitol Building, once home of the Cuban government, move down Paseo del Prado boulevard and end at the seaside Malecón, Estrada told El Nuevo Herald by phone from Havana.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/28/2873429/gay-activists-in-cuba-demand-that.html

  4. Jack Spitz said: “Yoani, please, you are making a fortune off Pay Pal–enough is enough: stop the dribble! Get a job and go to work like the U.S. taxpayers that are funding your diatribes have to do.”

    DEAR Jack Spitz!! IS IT WRONG TO MAKE MONEY? IM SURE YOU MUST MAKE SOME!! AND PLEASE, IF YOU HAVE ANY PROOF THAT WE U.S. TAXPAYERS ARE DIRECTLY PAYING FOR YOANI’S LAVISH LIFESTYLE! PLEASE PROVIDE A LINK, OTHER WISE YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW AND YOU MIGHT BE GUILTY OF DEFAMATION OR INNUENDO! JE JE JE! READ ON BROTHA!

    DEFAMATION: also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. It is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).[1]

    INNUENDO: is a baseless invention of thoughts or ideas. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also called insinuation), that works obliquely by allusion. In the latter sense, the intention is often to insult or accuse someone in such a way that one’s words, taken literally, are innocent.According to the Advanced Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, an innuendo is “an indirect remark about somebody or something, usually suggesting something bad, mean or rude; the use of remarks like this: innuendoes about her private life or The song is full of sexual innuendo.” The word is often used to express disapproval.[1]

  5. ayna !!!!!!! YOU JUST SHOWED YOUR TRUE COLORS MY DEAR! THE INSULTS ARE THE FIRST SIGNS! JE JE JE! BIG GUSANO HUGS AND KISSES! MUAAAAAAAAAAA!!! DONT HATE ME BECAUSE IM A GOOD EDITOR!! JE JE JE!

    THE LATES CHAPTER OF “LA CHINA’S & THE MUMMY’S HOPE” ! GUESS THE CHAVEZFASCISTAS ARE FORGING A LAST DESPERATE ATTEMPT AT KEEPING “LA CHINA” & “THE MUMMY” IN POWER!

    WASHIGNTON POST: Venezuela to join in oil exploration off Cuba, plans to invest $40 million, official says

    CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s national oil company will join in exploratory drilling for crude in deep waters off Cuba, the company’s president said Thursday.

    State-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, is next in line to drill after Malaysia’s Petronas completes its work, said Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela’s oil minister and president of the company. He said Venezuela has budgeted an estimated $40 million for the project.

    Spanish oil company Repsol said last month that it would stop searching for oil off Cuba after hitting a dry well drilled at a cost of more than $100 million.

    “Repsol unfortunately didn’t have success in its well,” Ramirez said, “but that same platform is being used among all the companies that are participating there.”

    He said Repsol had encountered some problems with the drill but that seismic data has shown “good prospects” in the area off Cuba.

    CLICK LINK FOR ARTICLE!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuela-to-join-in-oil-exploration-off-cuba-project-to-cost-40-million-official-says/2012/06/28/gJQAunR79V_story.html

  6. Oh my god! are we going to get this clown Yoani on social networking? Enough of this U.S. agent on the internet; one cannot use the net without running into this screaming idiot and the boring junk she–or her handlers–dispense. Yoani, please, you are making a fortune off Pay Pal–enough is enough: stop the dribble! Get a job and go to work like the U.S. taxpayers that are funding your diatribes have to do.

  7. HUFFINGTON POST: An Embrace Between Equals: Alexander Lukashenko and Raúl Castro – by YOANI SANCHEZ

    To commemorate 20 years of diplomatic relations between Havana and Minsk, Raúl Castro received the man who is considered “the last dictator in Europe” at the Palace of the Revolution. The laying of a wreath at the statue of our national hero, the exchange of hugs between host and guest, a triumphant photo at the foot of the stairs. In short, the protocol of official sympathy upheld in all its glory.

    With this meeting an alliance was consolidated between two governments who have become especially close in the last five years. Both leaders are trying to survive increased social unrest within their borders, as well as increased international pressure challenging the legitimacy of their mandates. Hence, they consider their mutual relationship “strategic,” especially at a time when they are suffering growing diplomatic isolation. Both are examples of the solitude that surrounds autocrats.

    There is speculation that this has been a visit characterized more by ideology than by economics. Raúl Castro’s government has been supporting Lukashenko and has aligned itself with him on repeated occasions before the Human Rights Council at the United Nations. In 2010, elections in Belarus sparked heavy criticism among the opposition sector, victimized by strong electoral irregularities. The Cuba partisan press, however, reported the issue entirely from the point of view of its counterpart.

    The well-worn argument that “Raúl Castro wants to implement more changes but the bureaucrats won’t let him,” is less convincing to Cubans every day. Also lacking is any gesture to demonstrate that there are changes afoot in the political and diplomatic order. In this context, the open-arm welcome of Lukashenko seems to signal a direction completely contrary to that which people are hoping to see.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoani-sanchez/an-embrace-between-equals_b_1635406.html

  8. anya !! IF THIS IS SOO BORING, WHY ARE YOU HERE? PUT SOMETHING WORTHWHILE AND STOP WHINING!

  9. 18 Damir, so every country (succesful) is because of socialism, including Canada, I suppose. Yet, the 3 great countries, USA, China, japan are not socialists and the European contries that are struging, Spian, Greece, Italy are socialists. Explain please how that fit into your theory.

  10. DAMIR your theory is very flawed EUA did not risk nuclear confrontation, it was the Soviets and Castro who put missiles in Cuba aiming towards NYC, my misinformed writer. Or maybe your comprehension of History is clouded by idiological tastes.

  11. The brazilians left the building….and the spaniards and everybody who wanted business as usual but withRaul crack down it s done. The only who can collect is the
    Godfather himself, Raul doesn t share the bounty

  12. THE LATEST ON THE CUBAN OIL SAGA! THERE HAS BEEN TWO DRY WELLS, THE BRAZILIANS HAVE LEFT THE SCENE AND THE CUBANS OVER ESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF OIL NEAR ITS SHORES! KEEP TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE OF “LA CHINA’S & THE MUMMY’S HOPE”!

    REUTERS: Repsol’s likely departure a blow to Cuba’s oil hopes – By Jeff Franks

    Another dry hole “could be game over for the Cubans. They’ve already got one strike against them,” said Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, a Cuba expert at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

    “Companies leave or stay away from Cuba not because there’s not oil, but because it’s just not big enough (in terms of oil potential),” he said.

    While Cuba says it has 20 billion barrels of oil offshore, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates just 5 billion barrels.

    GLOBAL POST: Russian for Cuba’s oil – Soviet-built ‘Songa Mercur’ platform boosts Cuba’s hopes of oil riches. And its operators don’t seem to care about US trade sanctions.- Nick Miroff

    Oil industry journals reported this week that a Soviet-built, Norwegian-owned drilling platform is headed for Cuban waters this summer, under contract with Moscow-based state company Zarubezhneft.

    The company has hired the rig, called the Songa Mercur, at a cost of $88 million for nearly a year, with plans to begin drilling in November. That should be enough time to poke plenty of holes in search of Cuba’s elusive undersea oil fields, which are thought to hold billions of barrels of crude but have yet to yield a decent strike.

    The rig’s arrival couldn’t come at a better time for the Castro government and its state oil company, CubaPetroleo. The state firm has signed multiple contracts in recent years with foreign producers looking to drill in Cuban waters.

    Another drilling platform, the Scarabeo 9, has been working off the island’s north coast this year, but has come up dry, dealing a blow to Havana’s hopes for weaning the island off imported crude.

    Unlike the Scarabeo 9, the Songa Mercur is loaded with US technology, including five Caterpillar generators, General Electric mud pump motors, and cementing equipment made by Halliburton. That will likely leave Russian operator Zarubezhneft in violation of the US’ Cuba sanctions, Piñon said.

    Not that there’s much the US government can do about it.

    “This is a Russian state oil company, and they do not have US assets or interests to safeguard,” said Piñon, a former British Petroleum executive.

    “Do you think that Zarubezhneft is going to invite the US Coast Guard and the Interior Department to board (the Songa Mercur)?” he said. “How then is [the US] going to validate whether the Songa Mercur meets the embargo regulations?”

    The area where the platform will be drilling is off the coast of Cuba’s Ciego de Avila and Villa Clara provinces, and adjacent to an area that the Bahamas Petroleum Corporation is also looking to develop, Piñon added.

    That location should present less of a threat to US beaches in the event of a spill, according to Lee Hunt, former president of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors.

    Shallow water does not eliminate the risk, Hunt said, but ocean currents in that area would likely keep floating crude away from US shores.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/120627/russia-oil-rig-drill-cuban-oil-zarubezhneft-songa-mercur

  13. A great geopolitical analysis of usanian hegemony and paranoid quest for “security”

    http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/geopolitics-united-states-part-1-inevitable-empire

    It explains very eloquently why Cuba was ALWAYS a thorn in their eye, not only butts, and what did the usanian nazist gulag do to ensure Cuba ALWAYS remains dependent on, if not subdued by, the usa.

    “The Atlantic proved far more problematic. There are not many patches of land in the Pacific, and most of them are in the extreme western reaches of the ocean, so securing a buffer there was relatively easy. On the Atlantic side, many European empires were firmly entrenched very close to American shores. All were problematic to the growing United States, but it was Cuba that was the most vexing issue. Just as the city of New Orleans is critical because it is the lynchpin of the entire Mississippi watershed, Cuba, too, is critical because it oversees New Orleans’ access to the wider world from its perch on the Yucatan Channel and Florida Straits. No native Cuban power is strong enough to threaten the United States directly, but like Canada, Cuba could serve as a launching point for an extra-hemispheric power…”

    “Many European powers retained bases in the Western Hemisphere that could threaten the U.S. mainland, but with Cuba firmly in American hands, they could not easily assault New Orleans, the only spot that could truly threaten America’s position. Cuba remained a de facto American territory until the Cuban Revolution of 1959. At that point, Cuba again became a launching point for an extra-hemispheric power, this time the Soviet Union. That the United States risked nuclear war over Cuba is a testament to how seriously Washington views Cuba.”

  14. Damir !! FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT THIS BLOG IS ABOUT CUBA, CUBANS AND CUBA RELATED ISSUES! NOT ABOUT GERMANY, THE BAD OLD USA AND STUFF LIKE THAT! HAVE A NICE DAY!

  15. Apropos, “friendly” traitor… translator, we know that you are the one posting under “anonimo” (and “bluey”, and a few other nicks…).

    You are most likely the one posting as “Damir”, with the link under the name.

    Care to come clean?

    My Marx and Lenin…!!! A conservative to tell the truth…!!!

    What am I thinking…???

  16. Iy is very funny, and telling too for thos edie-hard losers on the conservative end of politic spectrum, to listen to Angela Merkel and agree with her vision for salvation of “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” European way.

    See, the main reason Germany is one of the richest countries in the world, with the strongest economy in the world is in a little known fact that their “capitalism” is built on SOCIALIST principles!!!

    Here’s a quick recap: German wages did NOT grow significantly in the last 30 years! German home rents did NOT grow significantly in the last 30 years either! Both elements of the story are the crucial elements of inflationary trends in other capitalist countries (let us forget about Scandinavian countries for a moment. Their economic fundamentals are basically the same as those of Germany, but they are openly leaning towards democratic and multiparty socialism, which is the torn in the usa’s a**e, but there’s nothing they could do about it. Scandinavian countries are the model of democracy too!). These two unchanged elements have allowed Germany to accumulate financial surplus both in form of governmental budget and people’s savings.

    Something, again let us forget Scandinavians, no other “capitalist” country in the world had managed to do. Even Australia, darling of ortodox capitalists right now, is in a significant deficit, despite its’ thriving economy.

    But, that thriving economy is alive only and exclusively thanks to the communist China up north, which is buying minerals from Australia like there’s no tomorrow.

    So it comes as an irony, mixed with a lot of sarcasm, to listen to A. Merkel preaching the opposite to keynesian “capitalist doctrine” – spend, spend, spend. A. Merkel is saying _save, save, dsve. Tighten the belt, live within your means, do NOT spend the money except for the basic survival.

    Kind of socialism in a Cuban way.

    In both cases, Cuban and EU case, it is the “democratic” and “some kinf of pragmatic capitalism” to blame for economic disaster.

    But, try to explain that to the traitors and pioneers of anti-revolution… Self-righteous and self-centered bunch if ignorants who dribble the same old and useless brainwashing propaganda written by Goebels and Hitler.

  17. THE CUBAN-AMERICAN WHO WILL MAKE ALL US AMERICANS PROUD IN THE OLYMPICS!

    ESPN: Danell Leyva more than just gymnast – By Bonnie D. Ford

    MIAMI — Danell Leyva dreams of flying, and when he releases the high bar and swings into space during his routine, he comes close. Suspended in midtwist or midflip, he’s a skydiver savoring the split second before he pulls the rip cord.

    Leyva knows exactly where he is in the air from instinct and from thousands of makes and misses, but the crowd tells him, too. There’s a collective intake of breath the first time he lets go, an almost harsh yelp of relief when he catches the bar. Another inhale for his next trick and then a louder, happier cheer when he grabs hold again. When he sticks his double-twisting, double-flipping dismount, planting his feet on the mat in a cloud of chalk dust and spreading his arms wide for balance, hearing the chorus in the stands voice its appreciation “is the best feeling ever,” Leyva says, his tone lowering reverently.

    He listens for it. Always. He may be judged on decimal points, but Leyva competes for the love of an audience. Could he nail a near-flawless high bar routine — like the one that helped him win the American Cup at Madison Square Garden in March — in an empty hall? “Oh yeah,” he says confidently. “It would have probably actually been better. Which is no fun at all. At the end of the day, regardless of how serious this is and how important it is, we’re really just entertaining people.”

    With a typical gymnast’s perfectionism, Leyva sees flaws every time he looks in the mirror. “My arms are too long, my butt is too big, my feet are too flat,” he says. The length of his arms in proportion to his lower body puts him at a disadvantage for the pure strength required on the still rings, he says. Ever in motion, easily distractible, Leyva is also sure he has attention deficit disorder, although it’s never been formally diagnosed.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/gymnastics/story/_/id/8099894/2012-summer-olympics-danell-leyva-gymnast-artist-entertainer

  18. INTER AMERICAN PRESS ASSOCIATION (IAPA) : IAPA ANGERED AT HARRASMENT OF CUBAN JOURNALISTS

    Miami (June 27, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned a new wave of detentions and threats against Cuban independent journalists, as well as the lack of press freedom and freedom of assembly persisting in the country.
    The independent news agency Centro de Información Hablemos Press complained on Monday through a video posted on its Web site, of an increase in repression of its journalists. In the 12-minute video, also available on YouTube, news photographer Gerardo Younel Avila reported that he was arrested last month and again on June 23; editor Ernesto Aquino was summoned on June 11; reporter Calixto R. Martínez was also detained in May, and correspondent Magaly Norvis Otero Suárez was detained on June 16 and on June 25, having been warned that if she continued with her journalistic activities and “enemy propaganda” she would be jailed.

    The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, protested “the lack of press freedom and freedom of assembly that the Cuban colleagues continue to suffer.”

    Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, praised the commitment of the “determined journalists” who despite the harassment and arbitrary detentions are continuing to exercise their right to express themselves.

    Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, director of Hablemos Press, created in 2009, explained that since they began two months ago the weekly publication and distribution of a news bulletin “the repression has become even more intense.”

    Reporter Martínez confirmed that they will continue working “so as to break down the wall of silence that the government has put in place in order to keep the Cuban people censored.”

    International organizations have also denounced an increase in repression and harassment of those opposed to the government, especially against members of the Ladies in White association and other groups of independent journalists and bloggers. The Cuban government does not allow people belonging to these associations to express themselves without reprisals, to travel abroad or to freely move around the country.

    In January and February, according to human rights defense organizations, some 600 arrests were reported. In 2011 a total of 4,115 people were detained and 1,765 in 2010.

    The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.

    http://www.sipiapa.org/v4/comunicados_de_prensa.php?seccion=detalles&id=4734&idioma=us

  19. MIAMI HERALD: IKEA asks for help in Cuban prison labor probe – The Swedish furniture giant has set up a hotline and asked anyone with information on a 1987 contract to make furniture in Cuban prisons for IKEA to call – By Juan O. Tamayo

    Furniture giant IKEA has asked for help from anyone with information regarding a 1987 agreement between government enterprises in Cuba and the former East Germany to manufacture furniture in Cuban prison workshops for the Swedish firm.

    A telephone hotline has been established in Germany for people “who want to contribute to clarifying the production conditions among our suppliers” in the former communist-ruled German Democratic Republic, said an IKEA announcement Monday.

    IKEA hired the firm of Ernst & Young to investigate complaints that one of its Berlin subsidiaries agreed in 1987 to buy furniture manufactured in prisons in Cuba and the GDR. It is not clear whether the Cuba part of the agreement was carried out.

    Those with information can contact the hotline Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 0800 0007303 (free of charge from Germany) or 011+49 (6196) 996 14023 (from abroad, subject to charges), or by fax at 011+49 (6196) 996 19854.

    IKEA executives met early this month with Cuban-American members of the U.S. Congress and assured them that the firm has no current business with Cuba and will report back to them on the results of its investigation.

    The Monday statement said IKEA’s code of conduct for suppliers around the world “includes a zero tolerance of any form of forced or bonded labor,” and that the company carries out more than 1,000 audits per year to ensure compliance.

    The company “takes the allegations that political prisoners were used to manufacture IKEA products … in the former GDR (and) in Cuba very seriously,” it added. “Should this have occurred, it is totally unacceptable and deeply regrettable.”

    Complaints against IKEA’s production in Cuba have not specifically mentioned political prisoners. Several Cuban former political prisoners have said they were not required to work.

    The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine reported in April that an IKEA subsidiary in Berlin agreed in 1987 to a furniture manufacturing deal with two trading companies owned by the GDR government, KuA and Delta GmbH. The firms in turn contracted some of the work to EMIAT, a firm run by the Cuban Interior Ministry that sells products made in the island’s prisons.

    Documents founds in the archives of the Stasi, the GDR’s much feared state security ministry, showed there were quality problems with the first batch of Cuban furniture delivered, apparently sofas and tables, and it was not clear whether the deal continued.

    The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, communism followed and the GDR disappeared in 1990, reunified with the Federal Republic of Germany, which was sometimes called West Germany.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/26/2869425/ikea-asks-for-help-in-cuban-prison.html#disqus_thread

  20. Damir, Have you completely lost it ? You are not supposed to link to to Amnesty or Human Rights Watch, only the brilliantly objective Iranian Newas Service

  21. CONTROL OF INTERNET ACCESS
    In Cuba, access to the internet remains under state control. It is regulated by the Law of Security of Information, which prohibits access to internet services from private homes. Therefore, the internet in Cuba has a social vocation and remains accessible at education centres, work-places and other public institutions. Internet can also be accessed in hotels but at a high cost. In October 2009, the government adopted a new law allowing the Cuban Postal Services to establish cyber-cafés in its premises and offer internet access to the public. However, home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans and only those favoured by the government are able to access the internet from their own homes.
    However, many blogs are not accessible from within Cuba because the Cuban authorities have put in place filters restricting access. The blogs affected are mainly those that openly criticize the Cuban government and its restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement. For example, Generation Y is one of the dozens of blogs that are filtered or intermittently blocked by the government and are not accessible inside Cuba.

    STATE MONOPOLY OF THE MEDIA
    The media is a key arena in which the right to freedom of expression is exercised. It plays a
    critical role in any society, for example raising awareness of human rights and exposing
    human rights violations. The media has the potential to help shape public opinion and to
    monitor and assess the performance of those holding public office at all levels; it is an
    important tool for scrutinizing government practices in all societies no matter their political
    ideology. The absence of an independent media is a serious obstacle to the enjoyment of
    freedom of expression and the adequate review of corrupt and abusive official practices.
    Restrictions on the Cuban media are stringent and pervasive and clearly stop those in the
    country from enjoying their right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to
    seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
    frontiers.8 The state maintains a total monopoly on television, radio, the press, internet
    service providers, and other electronic means of communication.9 According to official
    figures, there are currently 723 publications (406 print and 317 digital), 88 radio stations,
    four national TV channels (two devoted to educational programming), 16 regional TV stations
    and an international TV channel. All are financed and controlled by the government.10 Three
    newspapers provide national coverage: Granma, which is the organ of the Cuban Communist
    Party, Juventud Rebelde and Trabajadores.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/libr…..2010en.pdf

  22. HOW ABOUT WE TRADE OBAMA FOR ALAN GROSS. We can even throw in EDMUNDO GARCIA to sweeten the deal.

    The CUBAN 5 are also known as RED AVISPAS trained Cuban intelligence agents working for the regime. They are spies and should complete their sentence in jails. The US government gave the opportunity for Cuba to defend the spies with some high power lawyers and spent plenty of court hours to ultimately find the 5 GUILTY. The 5 should rot in US jails, something ALAN GROSS is currently experiencing. CUBA does not play fair and be careful to deal with the one way FIDELISTAS.

  23. COULD THIS BE THE ALAN GROSS DEAL FINALLY HAPPENING?? I THINK THIS TRADE COULD SOLVE THAT PROBLEM VERY EASILY!

    MIAMI HERALD: Freed Cuban spy wants to serve probation in Cuba

    MIAMI — A convicted Cuban spy who finished his U.S. prison time is again asking a federal judge to allow him to return to Cuba to serve probation.

    The attorney for Rene Gonzalez says in recent court papers that he has complied with all probation requirements since his October release from prison. Gonzalez served about 13 years for his role in a ring that prosecutors say spied on Cuban exiles and tried to infiltrate military bases and political bases.

    Gonzalez and four others still imprisoned are known as the “Cuban Five” and celebrated as heroes in Cuba.

    Gonzalez has served about eight months of his three years’ probation. His attorney says he wants to return to resume a normal life and be close to his wife and daughters.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/26/2868224/freed-cuban-spy-wants-to-serve.html

  24. And where would we all be without Damir’s “contributions?”

    We would all have a few less laughs in our day.

  25. Here a great young Cuban laughs at “intellectual capacities” the pin-up granny fabulously shows she lacks severely:

    http://cubajournal.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/jm-alvarez-yoani-sanchez-nos-obsequia.html

    I personally loved the seriously demented answer by the pin-up granny on question about privatisation:

    “Privatizar, no me gusta el término porque tiene una connotación peyorativa, pero poner en manos privadas, sí”

    And what exactly IS privatisation if not putting property into PRIVATE HANDS!!!???

    Hillarious.

    Pure “genius”. No wonder pin-up granny is a conservative wrong whinner…!!!

    Among other “pearls” of such a “genius”, this young Cuban also picked another all time favourite:

    “Cuba es una isla sui generis. Podemos crear un capitalismo sui géneris”.

    And a mental institution for too intelligent…

    (that’s my contribution to this “creativity” outpour by the ridiculous pin-up granny).

  26. And ain’t that funny, my article below was based on huffington post’s OWN article published in 2010 !!!!!

    The same huffington post that supports terrorism and murder by supporting the team “yoani” !!!!

    A bunch of warmongering traitors and criminals.

    My click from afar for today.

  27. Don’t you love cowards who hide under “anonimo” nick?

    Well, I don’t.

    And here’s why: they are all cowardly agents of terrorism. They are all hypocrites. Like their nazist gulag white “gods” who control them. They control what they do, what they think, what they write, what dey do NOT do, think or write: in fact these white “gods” from the nazsit gulag usa, control every single aspect of their lives.

    Hypocrites supporting hypocrites.

    It is a fact, well documented by the nazist gulag dictatorship that their goal in Cuba is to overthrow Cuban government, destroy the country and install a puppet government, which would be only too happy to lick their whites after the No. 2.

    And to do that, the nazist dictatorship has made it

    L E G A L

    to finance and support traitors of Cuba WITHIN Cuba inevery way possible.

    What is the hypocrisy here then, I hear you ask!!!

    See, the same nazsit gulaghas also made it

    I L L E G A L in their own subdued country to rebel against the government and to collude with foreigners in ANY way, especially to receive the money from foreigners in order to bring the nazist dictatorship down, it is an

    ACT OF TREASON punishable by

    D E A T H !!!!!!

    Who remembers the Rosenthals???!!!

    The husband and the wife who were leftist and did visit USSR, but their “conspiracy to start a revolution” in the usa and spying for USSR have never been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

    So, in conclusion, in the “paradise on earth”, the nazist gulag usa, you get death sentence for receiving money from an “unfriendly” country/government, but if you want to take your own down, it is fine to ask uncle sam for some pocket money!!!

    Hypocrisy.

    But then, that’s from the nazists and dictators from the usa gulag.

    Nothing unexpected here…

  28. I was going to ask an obvious question: “So, what’s with the chronic hypocrisy?” without even reading the post from the team “yoani”, pretending that the post was actually written by the pin-up granny, when I glanced over it, while scrolling down to click on the “Comments”.

    Lo and behold!

    I KNEW, I just KNEW the cia will NOT disappoint!!! Look at the THIRD para:

    “Fear of exchanging opinions, fear of the embrace, continues to dominate the Island — including the virtual scene.”

    Yeah, self-righteous hypocrites!!! So where are the exchanges with DAMIR?

    Where are your answers to Damir’s questions?

    What happened to this “openess” you bullshift about so much but HYSTERICALLY AVOID when people ask simple questions from

    Y O U!!!!!

    Oh, and while I am kicking you already almost dead on the floor, here’s more mortal blows to your nazist enterprise “some kind of pragmatic capitalism for Cuba”:

    Remember how you, the “friendly” translator wrote in posts 14 and 15, two posts back, how you

    K N O W

    who are the impostors, how you will

    B A N

    them and

    D E L E T E

    their posts?

    Well, you were lying, as I correctly pointed out. Today, the impostor (I suspect you, the “friendly” translator to be the author of these posts)) these posts are still

    O N !!!

    Liars and hypocrites.

    Violent nazists.

    Just remember that we trashed you in the WWII.

    And that we’ll do it all over again when the time comes.

  29. I occasionally post on the Havana Times under a different handle. The reason it’s different is because like Humberto I was blocked a few times before I came up with a handle that wasn’t blocked.

    Since he was kicked out of Cuba, I don’t think Circles deletes comments and blocks email addresses anymore. I agree that Havana Times has some excellent writers, as of course do the DesdeCuba blogs.

  30. CIRCLES ROBINSON CENSORS ME IN HAVANA TIMES, SO I DONT REALLY COMMENT THERE ANY MORE BUT HE DOES HAVE GREAT CUBAN WRITERS WHO ARE PUBLISHED THERE!

    HAVANA TIMES: Cuba’s ‘Festival CLIC’ and the Vast Minority – Haroldo Dilla Alfonso

    The official reaction was swiftly forthcoming. The first to begin the saber rattling were the poorly paid Cuban government bloggers who infect cyberspace and are always ready and willing to commit slander – even if writing about Pericles’ funeral oration.

    I don’t think they can do anything else in what remains of their professional lives. There is no way of curing them — not even lobotomies — given the ills of envy, frustration and resentment they suffer. There’s not much to comment on regarding these cyber-charlatans.

    What I did find very disturbing was an editorial that appeared in Cubadebate.

    Cubadebate is an organ of political/ideological information control. Although it’s a product for export that hopes to look more sophisticated, it actually aspires to the same objective as Granma, which is why everything that it publishes directly serves the worst aims of the Cuban government under the direction of the party’s Ideological Department.

    The article in Cubadebate about the Festival CLIC is an example of what they are thinking and what the Cuban political elite could do. This was a direct and very awkward attack, a crude hodgepodge of incomplete ideas, poorly written allegories, and vile attacks against people and institutions, all at the same rudimentary level of what a carpenter would do if working out of a police station at night.

    However Cubadebate also contained tremendously dangerous accusations in a country where there’s no such thing as public opinion, an autonomous press or a judiciary subsystem that is even moderately independent.

    According to Cubadebate, the festival was to be convened at “a meeting place for members of the counterrevolution who are conspicuous by their mediocrity and do not conceal their intentions of turning this scenario into a spearhead for their much yearned for building a Cuban ‘civil society’ in the service of Washington.”

    But here was its main point:

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=73080

  31. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CUBA- Amnesty International Publications 2010

    CONTROL OF INTERNET ACCESS
    In Cuba, access to the internet remains under state control. It is regulated by the Law of Security of Information, which prohibits access to internet services from private homes. Therefore, the internet in Cuba has a social vocation and remains accessible at education centres, work-places and other public institutions. Internet can also be accessed in hotels but at a high cost. In October 2009, the government adopted a new law allowing the Cuban Postal Services to establish cyber-cafés in its premises and offer internet access to the public. However, home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans and only those favoured by the government are able to access the internet from their own homes.
    However, many blogs are not accessible from within Cuba because the Cuban authorities have put in place filters restricting access. The blogs affected are mainly those that openly criticize the Cuban government and its restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement. For example, Generation Y is one of the dozens of blogs that are filtered or intermittently blocked by the government and are not accessible inside Cuba.

    STATE MONOPOLY OF THE MEDIA
    The media is a key arena in which the right to freedom of expression is exercised. It plays a
    critical role in any society, for example raising awareness of human rights and exposing
    human rights violations. The media has the potential to help shape public opinion and to
    monitor and assess the performance of those holding public office at all levels; it is an
    important tool for scrutinizing government practices in all societies no matter their political
    ideology. The absence of an independent media is a serious obstacle to the enjoyment of
    freedom of expression and the adequate review of corrupt and abusive official practices.
    Restrictions on the Cuban media are stringent and pervasive and clearly stop those in the
    country from enjoying their right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to
    seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
    frontiers.8 The state maintains a total monopoly on television, radio, the press, internet
    service providers, and other electronic means of communication.9 According to official
    figures, there are currently 723 publications (406 print and 317 digital), 88 radio stations,
    four national TV channels (two devoted to educational programming), 16 regional TV stations
    and an international TV channel. All are financed and controlled by the government.10 Three
    newspapers provide national coverage: Granma, which is the organ of the Cuban Communist
    Party, Juventud Rebelde and Trabajadores.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/005/2010/en/62b9caf8-8407-4a08-90bb-b5e8339634fe/amr250052010en.pdf

  32. you got it all wrong again. Only 200 people assisted over a period of 3 days, wow what a success. The reason why nobody showed up is because nobody is interested in you slanderous views of a government which has proved itself on many occasions.
    And don`t give me the b___shit that your son wants to know if he will have lunch today because everyone in Cuba eats to their full. But then again maybe you decided to give your son`s food to the dog instead.

  33. This is greatly encouraging. It never ceases to amaze me that it is an old Moncadista, Ramiro Valdez,who is the Minister of Communications, a man with a deep distrust of the new technologies, which he once described at a conference as “a colt than can and must be controlled.” Bravo, Yoani.

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