Tempering Dad

Marino Murillo. Reuters file photo.

Marino Murillo. Reuters file photo.

For Marino Murillo, Cuban Vice President and father
who, a few days ago, saw a daughter leave into exile.

“Daddy, you’re not getting involved in this stuff,” his daughter advised from the other end of the line. The same daughter who a few weeks ago sent him some money and a package with medicine and clothes. She who emigrated a decade ago and who, from Berlin, is the principal support of her family back in Havana. Her father swallows hard every time his firstborn tells him — by phone — not to involve himself in the work of the Communist Party, nor that of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, much less to allow himself to be used in any repudiation rallies against opponents. “Listen, that’s about to collapse and you’re the one who is going to get muddy,” repeats the insistent young woman. Such that the obedient retiree has significantly reduced his ideological intolerance, moderated the rage he harbored for those who were against “his Comandante” and even hidden his Communist Party membership card at the bottom of a drawer.

He looks a changed man. When someone talks about politics he changes the subject to the weather or baseball. To his dissident neighbors, whom he used to refuse to greet, he now offers a wink of complicity. Old soldier’s association meetings now seem so boring, the newspapers so empty, the slogans so false… he doesn’t even turn on the television any more to watch the official speeches. What happened? A mix of frustration, annoyance at his very low pension, the corruption and the indefinite postponement of dreams. But in his case his children have been the main catalyst for discontent, the most emphatic denial his ideology could receive. Most of them live in Europe and the youngest crossed the Straits of Florida on a raft. None wanted to stay and wait for the fruits of the system “Daddy fought so hard for.”

After the departure of his “babies,” he’s discovered a more moderate man in himself, capable of accepting that other people’s children also leave without having to throwing eggs or insults. He doesn’t allow anyone to call his offspring “traitors” and has learned that the English spoken by his granddaughter born in Arkansas is absolutely not the language of the devil.  In addition, the vitamins they send are so good, the gel for his back pain of such good quality, the dollars via Western Union so opportune… In short, he is a different man. This October he will fly to the United States to visit his family and he has no plans to return. He will go quietly, without saying goodbye, without even resigning from the only party he belongs to. He will leave without publicly recanting anything, without apologizing to any of the dissidents he insulted, spat on, denigrated, for decades. He will leave.

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100 thoughts on “Tempering Dad

  1. Cuba Libre !!! THE ONLY TOOL YOU CASTRO AGENTS/APOLOGISTS HAVE AGAINST YOANI SANCHEZ IS THE MONEY$$$$$$$$$$ DEFAMATION AND CALUMNY ARGUMENT! HATE TO TELL YOU DUDE, BUT PEOPLE IN CUBA ACTUALLY WORK FOR A LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE CASTROFASCIST MONOPOLY ON JOBS! IF YOU HAVE SOME PROOF OF THIS TAINTED MONEY, PLEASE PUT A LINK! AT LEAST WITH THAT YOU WOULD COME ACROSS AS SOMEWHAT INTELLIGENT AND NOT JUST A CHISMOSO, ENVIDIOSO!

  2. No, that’s BS. If I want to donate money to a person or a cause, for whatever reason, I donate it and let it go. I don’t become anyone’s “handler.”

    You also chose to gloss over Yoani’s book royalties and blogging prize money, which she earned, in favor of the handler angle. Very intellectually dishonest of you.

    But, seriously, what should I expect?

  3. Ok Pam, you call it “donations” I call it sponsored by handlers, different words same meaning.

  4. But, of course, Yoani’s ability to earn a substantial amount of money from Cuba, in spite of the dictatorship, does not fit in with your socialist utopia ideals, so she really ruffles your feathers. I love it!!!

  5. So, in other words, YOU HAVE NO PROOF WHATSOEVER OF THESE SUPPOSED HANDLERS, OR PROOF THAT HER MONEY IS “DIRTY.”

  6. Um, let’s see, if I can use just half my brain to figure this one out.

    Perhaps from royalties on the books that she has written.
    Perhaps from donations from people who believe in what she is doing and want her to continue.
    Perhaps from the many cash prizes that she has been awarded because of her blogging efforts.

    In other words, SHE EARNED IT!!!

  7. Pam it is so obvious that Miss Sanchez is being paid to do what she does. Like I stated before how can she pay for the high rise apartment in Havana, and buy herself all the luxuries that she has with her $20 a month salary? How does she pay for her internet connections when she keeps on claiming how expensive internet is in Cuba? How can she continuosly keep posting on her twitter account by cel phone when everyone knows how expensive cel phone connections are in Cuba? How does she do all this with only her $20 dollar a month and without outside aid? All these are things I see and are facts that no one can deny, unless they are either blind, plain stupid, or both.

  8. CL, you seem to take great pride in the fact that you only form opinions about things that you see with your own eyes. Where have you seen, with your own eyes, that Yoani has “handlers” and accepts “dirty money”?

    Can’t wait for the answer to that one!

  9. The crucial difference is that, if one so chooses, one can lift oneself out of such things in Canada, or the United States. Only the very resourceful (Yoani being a prime example), can do so under the dictatorship in Cuba.

  10. Pam I have been to downtown Toronto where I have seen decrepitude, begging, and prostitution. I have been to downtown Montreal where I have seen decrepitude, begging, and prostitution. So much for capitalism, lol.

  11. For once I tend to agree with you Pam. Miss Sanchez has definitely found a way of bettering her lifestyle. She is paid by her handlers and providers to continuously post false attrocities about life in Cuba. She could have opened her blog in Switzerland or anywhere else in the world for that matter, but she decided to go back and be mistreated as she pretends. Now either she is a sado-masochist or she is a plain lier and profiter. Maybe even both.

  12. To answer your question, yes, I have been to Cuba, where I saw a lot of decrepitude, begging, and prostitution. So much for the revolution.

  13. Yoani refers to the $20.00 per month (PATHETIC, BY THE WAY) as being the normal salary paid to most Cubans. She, being the go-getter that she is, has figured out a way to earn much more than that. And why shouldn’t she? BRAVO to her.

  14. No offense to Yoani here, but from the pictures I’ve seen on this blog, her apartment looks like those I’ve seen in housing projects where I live. They too have refrigerators, tvs, laptops, air-conditioning, etc. That doesn’t mean they aren’t the working poor.

  15. No I will not insult you as you keep doing Pam. Like I said, I base my points of view on things I have seen , experienced, or have done research on. I don`t blindly swallow all the lies that are spread in here, but I do take the time to read them all, and take the time to answer the ones that have a point.
    May I ask if you have ever been to Cuba?? And if so, what were your impressions there? Did you see anywhere skinny starving children?? I didn`t, on the contrary, I saw healthy happy children. Did you see any sick malnourished Cubans?? I didn`t, every Cuban I saw old or young seemed perfectly healthy to me. Did you see any sad and oppressed Cuban?? I didn`t, I saw happy people with a joy of living that I have seldom seen elsewhere. That`s why I say I base my point of view on things I have seen and lived, not the lies that are spread daily in here.

  16. May I also ask how Miss Sanchez manages to afford living in her high rise apartment in Havana facing the Revolution Square?? I thought this part of town was only for the elite class of Cubans. She is always whining about how hard it is to get by with her $20 a month salary paid by the state. And have you looked at some videos of her cozy apartment, man is life miserable for her. She has all modern appliances a fridge, a stove, air conditioning, a colour t.v., sound system, a few computers, and the list goes on. I am sure her $20 a month salary pays for all this. And I bet she doesn`t eat only rice and beans at dinner also.

  17. You didn’t actually address the issue that I brought up, typical.

    And I have no idea where you got this from:

    “And this is the person you base yourself on to defend human rights issues and Cuban issues??”

    I said no such thing. I didn’t bring her up in the first place, I was merely correcting wild, innacurate conjecture on your part.

    Perhaps your parents should have placed you in a better environment, for they managed to raise an ignorant, small-minded little bigot.

  18. Let`s discuss Patti Smith a little more since you know so much about her Pam. Did you also know she was and probably still is a crack head. Did you kno she has done, and is probably still doing, just about all the drugs that are available (crack, cocaine, L.S.D., heroine, weed, haschich, mescaline, and the list goes on)?? Her mind is so confused she doesn`t know where she is coming from or going to, her art gallery proves this well. And this is the person you base yourself on to defend human rights issues and Cuban issues??
    Amy Winehouse had more credibility when it comes to human rights, when she was sober that is.

  19. I read from time to time this pathetic discussion but I have to react now. What gives you right to misuse the work and personality of Patti Smith, the great artist here? First of all using People Have the Power for your ideas reminds me of Reagan using Born In The USA. You totally misunderstood the words and idea behind that song. And where and when did Patti Smith said anything about Cuba, Cubans, Castro, US poolicy in Cuba and so on ???!!! And Cuba Libre don’t talk bullshit – whar does the (is it true at all?) fact about adoption has anything to do with the matters here? Poor Patti (not Patty – that is not the same person, and for fuck sake she is not rich and never was – where did you get that????) and all honour and salutations to her and her work!!

  20. Now there’s a fabulous, rock-solid social value, hire a nanny to take care of your kid full-time. That’s so much better than making the mature decision to place her in a stable and loving environment, no? LOL

  21. Listen fool, why don’t you do some research yourself, because you’re making yourself look dumber and dumber with every inaccurate post. Patti Smith gave birth to her first daughter in 1967. Her first album debuted in 1975. She didn’t come from money, so probably had none when she gave birth in 1967. Duh.

  22. If Patti Smith had any conscience whatsoever, being the filthy rich person she was when she had her first baby, she could have easily afforded to hire a nanny full time to take care of her baby instead of just giving it away like you give away a cat or a dog. But then again this issue gives us a good example of her social values. Now she wants to save the world.
    Who are you trying to fool my hermano Humbertito, Jesse Smith is her third offspring. She also has a son. She has never heard from her first born daughter again after giving her away for adoption.
    And I suggest you too Humberto do some research on Yoani Sanchez. You too may find out that all that glitters is not necessarilly gold. I am still trying to figure he out. She was banned from Cuba. She had to fight hard to be able to come back, and now complains about how hard it is for her to leave. Makes sense huh.

  23. C.L.! WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT PATTI SMITH DOES TODAY WITH HER DAUGHTER! IF THE CASTROFASCISTS WOULD EMBRACE ALL THE CUBANS IN ALL OF THEIR POLITICAL DIVERSITY THEIR “LEGACY” WOULD HAVE SOME SAVING GRACE! MAYBE!

    For Mother’s Day at New York’s City Winery, Patti and daughter Jesse Smith shared the stage with mother-daughter singer/songwriters, Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche. A highlight of the all-acoustic set was Patti’s debut of “This Is The Girl,” written in memory of Amy Winehouse….a tender meditation from Patti’s eagerly awaited new album, Banga.

  24. That sanctimonius butthole Cuba Libre claims that the singer Patti Smyth has no credibility regarding social values, due to the fact that she gave a baby up for adoption, while declaring on a public forum that he intends to use a Cuban couple to circumvent Cuba’s laws regarding the purchase of real estate.

    H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E

  25. Cuba Liar,

    What are the closing costs for buying a house in Cuba? Are you using a real estate agent? Have you hired a real estate attorney to make sure the title is clear? Did you do a title search? Is that even possible in Cuba? Are there any liens on the property? What’s to prevent your new neighbors from claiming that they own the place and always have? Have you heard of expropriations? What will be your monthly mortgage payment? What makes you think you’ll actually own the place? What is your concept of ownership? What’s your interest rate? So many questions. Here’s your chance, Cuba Liar, educate us.

  26. Cuba Libre !! DO YOU THINK ALL OF YOUR DESPERATE ATTEMPTS AT DEFAMATION, INNUENDO AND CALUMNY OF YOANI SANCHEZ IS HITTING ANYONE AS TRUE?? YOU BEEN TRYING THIS FOR HOW MANY YEARS NOW? OR IS IT A NEW “INCARNATION” OF THE C.L.??

    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, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In Common Law 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 an insinuation or intimation about a person or thing, especially of a disparaging or a derogatory nature. 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.

  27. What I DO find strange is that Yoani was ever banned from Cuba in the first place. For exercising her right to free speech? That’s very telling about the dictatorship, not Yoani.

    Destroyed her passport? LOL. The Cuban “government” could have just issued her a new one if they wanted to kick her out.

  28. I’m not talking about her husband and son. I’m talking about her parents and her sister. And no, I don’t find it strange that she did whatever she had to do to stay with her family, I find it smart.

  29. Cuba Liar,

    Since you are all about honesty, what are the names of your partners who will help you to illegally buy a house in Cuba? How are you getting the cash in to Cuba to complete this transaction?

  30. Pam I suggest you do some research on Yoani Sanchez. She lived in Switzerland with her husband and son. She was actually banned from Cuba. She was allowed to visit Cuba with a promise she would leave again and was forced to buy a two-way ticket to be allowed to visit. Once in Cuba she destroyed her passport to be able to remain in Cuba or else she would have been kicked out. Don`t you think it is strange she fought so hard to be allowed back into Cuba, a country that supposedly opresses her so much?? And now she spreads lies about not being able to leave the country?? Come on let`s get serious.

  31. #25 Cuba Liar,

    You are a hypocrite. In fact, you’re worse than that. You are an opportunistic exploiter. Your post in #25 of this thread betrays exactly what and who you are. Just because you have some Canadian cash saved up, you think it is alright to set up a fake buyer for a house in Cuba for yourself and your wife because “it is forbidden for [you] to buy a house in Cuba.” Are you kidding? Good luck with that. There’s a nice cold cell waiting for you on the outskirts of Havana.

  32. The kids in Cuba may seem happy to you because they are too young to know any better, that they are living on an island prison, that is. Anyway, kids are happy, compared to adults, in general.

    The adults, on the other hand, are petrified to speak out against the dictatorship. That’s probably why you rarely hear anything negative while you are there. Because people are singing, dancing, and enjoying themselves is certainly no indication that they either like, or agree with, being prisoners of the dictatorship on the island.

    Slaves in the deep south sang and danced as well.

  33. Damir has his point of view, I have mine, and you have yours Pam. I base my point of view from the things I have seen and experienced personally in Cuba. Not once while I was there did anyone tell me about his will to leave Cuba. Yes on a few occasions one or two of them complained about their government, but name me one place on earth where the ruling party has no opposition. Cuba has a lifestyle singular to itself. Everywhere I visited on my travels to Cuba you could see the happiness and joy of living the people share there.
    But I will ask you one question Pam, and I wish you will answer honestly. If you were in Miss Sanchez`s situation, living happily in Switzerland, would you really have gone back to Cuba if it is all that you say it is??

  34. FREE CUBA HOSTAGE ALAN GROSS: WHAT YOU CAN DO
    Attend a Monday vigil outside the Cuban Interests Section in DC or start a vigil in your own community calling for Alan Gross’s release.
    Write a letter to Alan and encourage others to do so. Contact the JCRC office for instructions on how to send your letter to Alan.
    Send a letter to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington (Mr. Jorge Bolanos, Chief of Mission, Cuban Interests Section, Embassy of Switzerland, 2639 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20009) urging the Cuban government to release Alan Gross immediately on humanitarian grounds.
    Contact the White House at 202-456-1414 and reach out to your members of Congress and senators and ask to speak to their foreign policy legislative staff and urge them to work to free Alan immediately on humanitarian grounds.
    Send an email to the U.S. State Department letting them know Alan is a high priority at (click link). Using the information found here, write a letter about Alan’s plight to the editor of your local media outlet.
    Encourage others to share this widget (counting Alan’s days in captivity) on websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
    Provide us your email to receive updates and make a donation to The JCRC to help us maintain our efforts to free Alan.
    http://www.jcouncil.org/site/PageNavigator/free_alan_what_you_can_do.html

  35. FREE CUBA HOSTAGE ALAN GROSS: WHAT YOU CAN DO
    Attend a Monday vigil outside the Cuban Interests Section in DC or start a vigil in your own community calling for Alan Gross’s release.
    Write a letter to Alan and encourage others to do so. Contact the JCRC office for instructions on how to send your letter to Alan.
    Send a letter to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington (Mr. Jorge Bolanos, Chief of Mission, Cuban Interests Section, Embassy of Switzerland, 2639 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20009) urging the Cuban government to release Alan Gross immediately on humanitarian grounds.
    Contact the White House at 202-456-1414 and reach out to your members of Congress and senators and ask to speak to their foreign policy legislative staff and urge them to work to free Alan immediately on humanitarian grounds.
    Send an email to the U.S. State Department letting them know Alan is a high priority ??at FreeAlanGross@state.gov. ?Using the information found here, write a letter about Alan’s plight to the editor of your local media outlet.
    Encourage others to share this widget (counting Alan’s days in captivity) on websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
    Provide us your email to receive updates and make a donation to The JCRC to help us maintain our efforts to free Alan.
    http://www.jcouncil.org/site/PageNavigator/free_alan_what_you_can_do.html

  36. Cuba Libre wrote

    ” I don`t have to rely on either the revolutionary government or any other government, for that matter, to see to my needs.”

    Then why do you wish this upon the Cuban people?

  37. #25 Cuba Liar,

    What’s the gift tax rate in Cuba? I’m sure your wouldn’t dream of depriving the castro brothers of their cut of your little scheme. If what you say is true, I imagine you’ll transfer the cash to a bank in Cuba in the name of your partners. How will they explain the deposit? Or is this a pure cash transaction? Are you going down there with a suitcase full of euros or dollars? Keep us apprised of your plans to buy property in Cuba.

  38. Cuba Libre!! ALWAYS ATTACKING AND ATTEMPTING AT DEFAMING AND/OR DEGRADING THE MESSENGER! TYPICAL CASTROFASCIST AGENT TACTIC! CHANGE YOUR SCRIPT DUDE, ITS GETTING ALMOST AS OLD AS “THE MUMMY” FIDEL!

  39. Interesting that you don’t admonish your cyberbuddy, Damir, in the same way that you admonish me. I’ve witnessed you giving him cyber “high-fives” for his inane rants. If anyone is a name-caller, it’s him, and you know it. So you can stop the self-righteous BS.

    You may have “earned your living well,” however, you glorify the idea of people being taken care of , cradle to grave, by the dictatorship (which we all know is only a grand theory and does not work in practice). There’s a heavy price to pay for this ideal, NO FREEDOM. That may be OK with you, but many Cubans would disagree with you.

    Yoani Sanchez started a blog to tell the world what it is like, FROM HER PERSPECTIVE, to live under a dictatorship, where one is watched by “block captains”, has no freedom of speech, whose children are indoctrinated with the regime BS from a very young age, who can’t get enough of basic survival items that we all take for granted, who must bring gifts, as bribes, to hospitals in order to get better service, who do not have freedom of assemble, who did not have property rights ,(the very property rights that you are trying to circumvent), until recently. CUBANS COULDN’T EVEN BUY A FREAKING MICROWAVE OVEN UNTIL A FEW YEARS AGO, and then, they had to buy it from the government at a very high price. Ridiculous that anyone should have to live this way.

    Those of you who want to disparage Yoani’s accomplishments by claiming she has “handlers” have no proof and no credibility.

  40. What`s with the name calling and insults Pam?? Why can`t anyone express their opinion on an open blog without being insulted?? You have your opinions, I have mine. You have you social values I have mine.
    And as far as living off the government, I have worked all my life and earned my living well. I don`t have to rely on either the revolutionary government or any other government, for that matter, to see to my needs.
    Yoani Sanchez is a real go-getter already. She knows very well how to please her suppliers by bad mouthing the Cuban government to keep the dirty money she is being paid coming in.

  41. So Patti Smith gave up her first daughter for adoption, so what? This, in your eyes, makes her immoral? I’d say it shows strong character, for she probably thoght that she was giving her child a better life. How sanctimonius you are!!

  42. Patti Smith a sad example you chose Humberto to promote your point of view my hermano. Patti Smith (the godmother of punk as she is knowned) of all women. How can a woman who gave up her first born daughter for adoption have any credibility as far as what regards to social values ?? I won`t take away her talent as a singer or artist though.

  43. And yes, I can totally understand why Yoani went back to Cuba to be with her family. Certainly, even you don’t believe that the tyrants would have let her family join her, do you? Are you really that naive?

    I think that Yoani could thrive and earn a good living anywhere that she landed. She’s a real go-getter.

  44. CL, it’s quite clear now what so intrigues you about Cuba. You’re a lazy SOB who wants the “government” to take care of him. Being responsible for yourself doesn’t appeal to you. Fidel and Raul would love you.

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