They Won’t Be Back Again…

Image taken from http://www.verletras.com/

Joaquin Sabina. Image taken from http://www.verletras.com/

Festivals of Varadero, Girasoles Opina, Bossa Nova  in Havana… a parade of progressive and talented artists toured the country in the sixties, seventies and eighties. I followed their catchiest tunes and imitated their hairstyles and clothes. Humming “Who told you I was always laughing, never crying…” “What is it, what is it, that goes sighing through the bedrooms,” “Pedro Navaja, his hands always inside his coat.” I remember my sister laughing at me and saying that I had “Brazilian hair” because my profile reminded her of a table lamp, like the profile of María Betania and many other divas of that time. I adored that comparison! It was also a time when we frequently saw Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel on the national scene. Even “La Negra,” Mercedes Sosa, sang “Thanks to life,” in front of the national microphones.

However, these usual artists also stopped visiting us. Some died, others were disillusioned by the abuses and excesses of the Revolution and, most of them, simply stopped considering Cuba among the essential places in their itineraries. From the promotional posters that used to read, “Paris, Berlin, New York, Buenos Aires… Havana,” the largest of the Antilles disappeared. We went from being an obligatory stop to becoming a place where only the ideologically convinced appeared. Politics colored everything, determined arpeggios, tunes, choruses. The music was divided between artists committed to “the cause” and “traitors” who didn’t deserve to appear before a Cuban audience. The last time I heard Joaquin Sabina in a Havana theater, a girlfriend climbed up on the stage and planted a kiss on his cheek. “The caress of farewell” we later called that gesture, because after that we never saw hide nor hair of the Andalusian again. The character (or alter ego) of one of his sung stories said, about his visit to Cuba, “I’ll never return, I don’t enjoy it.”

The regular visitors of those decades were added to the list of other musicians we would never see live. So, we missed the impudent mouth of Mick Jagger and Shakira’s swagger, Lady Gaga’s eccentricity and the soft swaying of Willy Chirino. We grew up without direct experience of the Celia Cruz’s sandunga, the stage lights falling on Ricardo Arjona, or the din of the theater during a concert by Freddie Mercury. Madonna has not come to Havana, Michael Jackson died without stepping foot on Cuban soil, and at the rate we’re going generations of artists will conclude their careers without ever singing in front of us. At least we had Juanes here, with Olga Tañón and Miguel Bosé at that unforgettable concert in 2009.

To be a citizen of the 21st century includes not only connecting to the Internet, having the right of free association and free expression, but also cultural and musical contact in keeping with the times. But our international program shows that we’re stuck in the last century, stranded in that time when Milton Nascimento and Fito Páez sang a few yards from us.

97 thoughts on “They Won’t Be Back Again…

  1. This is from El Pais today, in Spanish only. To summarize, Yoani was arrested and charged with the crime of “irrespeto a los héroes y mártires de la Revolución y las instituciones.” Disrespect for the heroes and martyrs of the Revolution and its institutions. At one point during her ordeal, she was told that she would be allowed one phone call, under the condition that she not exaggerate what had happened to her. She replied that she does not negotiate with repressors. They tried to remove all of her clothing and in the ensuing struggle, she fell and lost a tooth. What an incredibly brave person.

    Yoani Sanchez, released after being detained for 30 hours.

    Yoani Sánchez, puesta en libertad tras estar retenida durante 30 horas.

    Dicen que íbamos a boicotear e intentar echar a perder el juicio [al español Ángel Carromero]. Es mentira. Fue anunciado como un juicio abierto al público”, cuenta por teléfono desde La Habana la colaboradora de EL PAÍS Yoani Sánchez, que ha sido liberada a última hora de la tarde del viernes (madrugada en España) tras 30 horas de detención.

    Las autoridades de la isla han esperado a que terminase la sesión contra el dirigente de Nuevas Generaciones del PP, juzgado por el accidente de tráfico del pasado mes de julio en el que murieron los disidentes Oswaldo Payá y Harold Ceper, para poner en libertad a la periodista y bloguera cubana, retenida junto a su marido, el también periodista Reinaldo Escobar, y el bloguero Agustín López, cuando se dirigían a cubrir la noticia en la localidad de Bayamo.

    Yoani Sánchez y su esposo han sido trasladados de Bayamo, en la provincia de Granma, a unos 750 kilómetros al este de La Habana, hasta la capital de la isla en una caravana formada por el microbús en el que viajaba la pareja, patrullas policiales, jeeps del Ejército y agentes motorizados, según ha explicado la periodista a EL PAÍS. Agustín López se dirigía durante la noche del viernes a La Habana en otra caravana con el coche en el que viajaban los tres cuando fueron retenidos, a la entrada de la localidad de Bayamo.

    Un oficial paró el auto. ‘Usted ha venido para boicotear y echar a perder el juicio’, me dijo
    “Un oficial paró el auto. Me llamó por mi nombre y apellidos. ‘Usted ha venido para boicotear y echar a perder el juicio’, me dijo”. Ella lo negó y argumentó que el juicio era público. Varios agentes le quitaron el teléfono móvil y tres mujeres la metieron en una patrulla policial y la llevaron a un apartamento que funcionaba como comisaría, recuerda. Allí Sánchez asegura que las agentes la intentaron desnudar, pero que se negó. En el forcejeo se golpeó la cabeza contra el suelo, lo que le provocó algunos hematomas y la pérdida de un diente. “A partir de ahí empecé a dar una perorata sobre lo injusto de mi detención, preguntando cómo era posible que una ciudadana fuera arrestada sin cargos ni una orden de detención. Durante 3 horas y 20 minutos repetí la misma frase, hasta que perdí la voz: ‘Exijo que se me deje hacer una llamada telefónica, es mi derecho”. Lo consiguió horas después, pasada la una de la madrugada. “Un instructor me anunció que me iban a dejar hacer una llamada con la condición de no exagerar lo que había pasado. Le dije que yo no negociaba con represores”, apunta.

    En huelga de hambre desde que fue detenida, Sánchez se puso a continuación en “huelga de palabra”. Durmió en una sala que le recuerda a la que aparecía en las imágenes de la detención del joven político del Partido Popular. “Tengo la corazonada, por los muebles que vi, de que estuve en el mismo sitio en el que estuvo Ángel Carromero. He estado atenta a los detalles y, sin ellos saberlo, me han regalado la otra parte de la historia”, ha explicado en conversación telefónica. Una vez en La Habana, más tranquila, matiza: “A mi esposo le dijeron que nos iban a procesar por delito de irrespeto a los héroes y mártires de la Revolución y las instituciones”.

    “No quieren que me mueva de La Habana (…) no me voy a recluir en La Habana, ni en mi casa”, ha avisado Sánchez. “Estamos a un paso de desapariciones, de torturas, de perder amigos. El gobierno de Raúl Castro no comprende que la gente quiere pluralidad”, se lamenta.

    Otra media docena de activistas de derechos humanos fueron detenidos el viernes en la zona de Bayamo, según Elizardo Sánchez, presidente de la ilegal Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional. Sánchez cree que al menos uno, el bloguero Henry Constantin, permanece detenido.

    más información
    El juicio a Ángel Carromero queda visto para sentenciaEl viaje iniciático de uno de los cachorros del PPMás noticias sobre Ángel CarromeroBlogueros oficialistas aseguraron en distintos medios digitales que las retenciones pretendían evitar un “show mediático” alrededor del juicio a Carromero. El proceso comenzó el viernes por la mañana y quedó visto para sentencia tras 11 horas de comparecencias, poco antes de la liberación de Sánchez y sus acompañantes. El juicio estuvo rodeado de importantes medidas de seguridad y controles policiales. Algunos periodistas pudieron presenciar el juicio, aunque desde una sala contigua y sin material de grabación.

    “Acabamos de ser liberados!! 30 horas de arresto y muchas anecdotas que contar :-( ” anunciaba la periodista a última hora de la tarde a través de la red social Twitter, y agregaba: “gracias a todos los que levantaron su voz y sus tweets para que lograramos regresar a casa”.

    http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2012/10/05/actualidad/1349427520_704121.html

  2. YOANI PICKS UP OVER 7,000 TWITTER FOLLOWERS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS! GOOD JOB CASTROFASCISTS AND THEIR AGENTS!

    308,317 Followers (+4,543 yesterday, +2,756 on average)

  3. Hi, i’m French and i’ve heard about you arrest. Congratulations!! i think you can be pleased for your actions against this state of Cuba.

    France is with you.

    myself

  4. Quote from “John Two
    Octubre 5th, 2012 at 21:38

    Donato, you’re full of it.

    I’ve been an Amnesty member for over 30 years. Amnesty defends everyone who uses peaceful means to advocate for the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a genuinely international organization that operates legally in 150 countries. Cuba is one of a handful of countries that does not allow Amnesty to have a legal presence within its borders. Yet Amnesty can be counted on to stand up for human rights in Cuba regardless as evidenced by today’s statement on Yoani’s detention.

    __________

    John you have been a member of Amnesty but your eyes are shut ! We always used peaceful and legal means to discover that former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia has a false background . As you say over 150 countries have signed the Universal declaration of Human Rights but those countries do not Obey it . Amnesty International is a FRAUD used for propaganda purposes against the enemies of the Zionist Mafia that runs the USA , EU , Australia and others . Amnesty is only interested in the Human Rights Abuse in Cuba , North Korea , Syria , Iran .ignoring the Human Right abuse in EU countries such as Italy . Have a look at the TSA abuses in the USA . Where is Amnesty when they need it ?

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/ex-tsa-officer-pleads-guilty-to-conspiring-and-attempting-to-smuggle-drugs-through-hartsfield-jackson.html

    Have a look at the US interference in other countries : Is that how a democracy should behave ?

    http://www.infowars.com/us-prepares-for-overthrow-of-venezuela/

    Have a look at this , the constitution has been suspended in the US . Human Right Abuses ? where are you A. I. ?

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/federal-court-dissolves-constitution.html

    If you thinks that there is freedom of expression in Italy you are right to a point . You can talk to your neighbor but regarding having your letter of protest printed by the Newspapers you can forget it . In this so called democracy in Italy the newspapers receive money from the corrupt criminals in Government and therefore do not rock the boat too much . It is just like at the time of the USSR , very little foreign news on the Italian Newspapers , and whatever news show a pro American bias .
    That;s why I had to post my story on a foreign website . I would not go to Amnesty because I don’t trust the bastards after the Sydney experience and they will never see my money . Wake up !

  5. YOANI’S TWITTER FOLLOWERS SHOT UP LIKE A ROCKET SINCE YESTERDAY! GREAT JOB CASTROFASCISTS AND THEIR AGENTS!! JE JE JE!

    301,204 Followers (+8,388 yesterday, +1,600 on average)
    twittercounter.com/YOANISANCHEZ

    POOR MUMMY FIDEL! NOT A GREAT SHOW!
    261,024 Followers (+207 yesterday, +281 on average)

  6. Some recent tweets from Yoani:

    My only intention was to be a reporter. To attend the trial of Angel Carromero and report from Bayamo via my twitter account. 8 minutes ago.

    More evidence that the newspaper Granma lies is that they said that Angel Carromero’s trial would be public. But it wasn’t. 10 minutes ago.

    Henry Constantin remains detained in Rio Cauto. He was arrested at the entrance of the tribunal in Bayamo. 37 minutes ago.

  7. YOANI’S FIRST TWEET TODAY WAS RE-TWEETED ALMOST 3000 TIMES IN LESS THAN ONE HOUR, THE NEXT ONE OVER 2600, ETC. LOOKS LIKE FIRE TO ME Cuba Libre, DONT YOU THINK SO?? JE JE JE!

  8. HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Spaniard tried in Cuba dissident death; no verdict – FERNANDO GONZALEZ

    BAYAMO, Cuba (AP) — A Spanish political activist was tried Friday on charges of negligently causing the car crash that killed a prominent Cuban dissident. Several government opponents including noted blogger Yoani Sanchez were detained around this eastern city where the proceedings were taking place.

    Carromero’s attorney argued Friday that it was impossible to determine the exact velocity of the vehicle, showed photographs of allegedly poor road signs warning of the upcoming roadwork that have since been replaced and asked for him to be acquitted. Carromero did not testify.
    A panel of judges will now consider the evidence and issue a ruling at an unspecified future date.

    “We will see how it all comes out. We are optimistic,” said Spanish consul Tomas Rodriguez, who was observing the trial.

    Bloggers in Bayamo reported that Sanchez, whose candid writing about daily life in Cuba earned her both international acclaim and the enmity of authorities, was detained by local officials shortly before reaching the city.

    Calls to Sanchez’s cellphone went unanswered, but human rights monitor Elizardo Sanchez in Havana also reported the detentions Thursday night of Sanchez; her husband, Reinaldo Escobar; and a third man in the vehicle. He said at least a half-dozen other dissidents also were detained in and around Bayamo.

    The government did not confirm the detentions and rarely does in such cases.

    In the afternoon, the same pro-government blogger said authorities were taking Sanchez and her husband back to Havana.

    Police patrolled the surrounding blocks and nearby streets were closed to traffic.

    Relatives of Paya traveled to Bayamo but complained that they were denied access to the courthouse. Rosa Maria Paya, his daughter, reiterated the family’s doubts about whether her father’s death was truly an accident.

    “We are asking for an alternative investigation, and that is the only thing that will give us the truth,” she said.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Spaniard-tried-in-Cuba-dissident-death-no-verdict-3922010.php

  9. Donato, you’re full of it.

    I’ve been an Amnesty member for over 30 years. Amnesty defends everyone who uses peaceful means to advocate for the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a genuinely international organization that operates legally in 150 countries. Cuba is one of a handful of countries that does not allow Amnesty to have a legal presence within its borders. Yet Amnesty can be counted on to stand up for human rights in Cuba regardless as evidenced by today’s statement on Yoani’s detention.

  10. ALMOST 200 ARTICLES AND BLOG POSTINGS ABOUT YOANI’S ARREST JUST IN ENGLISH! THE CASTROFASCISTS BETTER NOT MESS WITH OUR FLACA WITH THE WORLD WATCHING WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HER! ITS LIKE PLAYING WITH FIRE! RIGHT Cuba Libre?? THE LATEST IS THAT SHE AND HER HUSBAND REINALDO WERE DRIVEN BACK AND LEFT AT THEIR HOME! SHE JUST TWEETED 15 MINUTES AGO!

    YOANI SANCHEZ TWITTER – ‏@yoanisanchez

    + We have just been released! 30 hours of arrest and many stories to tell :-( 15 minutes ago

    + Since we were released! Thanks to all who raised their voices and their tweets so that we could go home :-) 9 minutes ago

    + During detention I refused to eat and to take any liquid. My 1st glass of water I took whe I got home felt like fire in my esophagus 7 minutes ago
    +Acabamos de ser liberados!! 30 horas de arresto y muchas anecdotas que contar :-( 15 minutes ago

    +Ya fuimos liberados! Gracias a todos los que levantaron su voz y sus tweets para que lograramos regresar a casa :-) 9 minutes ago

    + Durante detencion me negue a comer y a tomar cualquier liquido. 1er vaso de agua que me tome al llegar a casa como fuego en el esofago 7 minutes ago

    twitter.com/yoanisanchez

  11. People ,

    Amnesty International is run by the CIA criminals . I had experience about them some years ago in Australia.
    My wife an I visited their office in Sydney when we discovered to be objects of interests of the Australian Secret Services .
    The office informed us that our case was not their jurisdiction . So the moral of the story is that A.I. is only interested in cases of Human rights abuses when the abusers are enemies of the idiots bankers and Washington .
    Let’s make it clearer . the USA , the EU and Australia are Terrorist states that pretend to be democracy and for Freedom , but in reality they treat their citizens as potential Terrorist . My wife and I are treated as terrorist because during a family search ( all legal ) we found some dirty secrets of state in Australia . Despite that fact that we fled Australia we are still monitored by the Italian Secret Services in Trieste ( Italy ) . So don’t believe the western propaganda Mythology please . there no such a thing as freedom of expression in the EU and the western world in general . Disagreement with the approved dogma , may result in the label of terrorist be attached to you . What happens very often to people is that the secret services will try to isolate the victims so that they have no support , no friend , no relatives . It is the crime of Gang stalking sponsored by the government .
    Best regards to Yoany Sanchez and best wishes .

    http://mistsofavalon.heavenforum.org/t114-escape-from-australia-a-gangstalking-primer

  12. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Cuba arrests prominent opposition blogger ahead of controversial trial – October 5, 2012

    The Cuban opposition blogger Yoani Sánchez was arrested along with her husband Reinaldo Escobar and a third person who was with them in the south-eastern Cuban town of Bayamo on Thursday evening.

    Sánchez was due to cover this morning’s opening of the trial of Spanish politician Ángel Francisco Carromero Barrios for Spanish newspaper El País.

    Amnesty International also received information on the arrest of a small group of local activists from Bayamo in an apparent attempt to prevent any dissident activity during the trial.

    Javier Zúñiga, Special Adviser to Amnesty International, said: “These apparently arbitrary arrests ahead of Ángel Carromero’s trial mark the latest in a string of harassment that Yoani Sánchez and other dissidents have suffered at the hands of Cuban authorities.

    “The authorities must immediately reveal the full details of everyone detained in Bayamo and either charge them with internationally recognizable criminal offences or set them free.

    “Cuba’s senseless restrictions on freedom of expression and independent media must come to an end.”

    Spanish politician Ángel Carromero is facing trial in Cuba after being charged with involuntary manslaughter for a car accident in July that resulted in the death of two Cuban opposition activists – Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/cuba-arrests-prominent-opposition-blogger-ahead-controversial-trial-2012-10

  13. “The pro-government blog, Yohandry.com, said she was arrested with her husband because they planned a “provocation” and “media show” that could endanger the credibility of the trial.”

    What credibility would that be?

  14. COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: CPJ calls for the immediate release of Cuban bloggers

    New York, October 5, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest of three independent Cuban bloggers and calls for their immediate release. Yoani Sánchez, one of Cuba’s most prominent bloggers, was detained yesterday along with her husband, journalist Reinaldo Escobar, and blogger Agustín Díaz in the city of Bayamo, according to news reports.

    “The arrest of these journalists clearly indicates that the Cuban government continues its practice of punishing independent reporting,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s Americas senior program coordinator. “Cuban authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Sánchez, Escobar and Díaz and allow all Cuban reporters to report without fear of intimidation.”

    The detained bloggers were reportedly en route to cover a trial, but the official reason for their arrest was not immediately known. A vibrant independent blogging community has emerged in Cuba in recent years, in defiance of severe legal, economic, and technological limitations, according to CPJ research. Sánchez has repeatedly been denied permission to travel abroad, and has suffered official harassment for her work. Despite fewer long-term detentions of journalists in recent years, Cuba continues to be the most repressive country for the press in the hemisphere and is one of the world’s most censored countries.

    https://www.cpj.org/2012/10/cpj-calls-for-the-immediate-release-of-cuban-blogg.php

  15. THE CASTROFASCISTS HAVE ARRESTED YOANI SANCHEZ, ONLY ALLOWED FOREIGN JOURNALISTS IN A SEPARATE ROOM FROM THE ANGEL CARROMERO TRIAL WITHOUT A COMPUTER OR ANY RECORDING DEVICE AND PREVENTED THE OSWALDO PAYA FAMILY TO BE PRESENT AT THE TRIAL AS WELL! THE “FASCISM” IN CATROFASCISM IN FULL DISPLAY!

    BBC NEWS: Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez arrested – October 5, 2012

    Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez has been arrested in Cuba’s eastern city of Bayamo, a pro-government website said. Ms Sanchez is known for highlighting issues affecting young Cubans on the communist-run island. She was detained on her way to the trial of Spaniard Angel Carromer Mr Carromero faces manslaughter charges over the July death of high-profile oppositionist Oswaldo Paya.

    Ms Sanchez’s Twitter account has not been updated since Thursday and the BBC’s correspondent in Havana, Sarah Rainsford, said her mobile phone was unreachable and appeared to have been cut-off.

    Her final Tweets were sent while she was on her car journey to Mr Carromero’s trial, which started on Friday at about 14:00 GMT.

    The pro-government blog, Yohandry.com, said she was arrested with her husband because they planned a “provocation” and “media show” that could endanger the credibility of the trial.

    Sensitive trial
    Mr Carromero has been in police custody since 22 July when a car he was driving hit a tree and crashed, killing two passengers – Mr Paya and another Cuban activist, Harold Cepero.

    Yohandry.com also accused Ms Sanchez of trying to manipulate the truth of the car crash.

    Prosecutors are seeking a seven year jail sentence for 27-year-old Mr Carromero, who is being tried for involuntary manslaughter.

    Mr Paya’s family dispute the circumstances around the 60-year-old’s death and have alleged the vehicle was deliberately forced off the road.

    In February Ms Sanchez, who writes the prize-winning blog Generacion Y, was denied a request for an exit visa to travel abroad, for the 19th time.

    Last week she filed a complaint against Cuba with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission for being denied permission to leave the country, her lawyer said, according to the AFP news agency.

    Oswaldo Paya was best known as the founder of the Varela project, a campaign begun in 1998 to gather signatures in support of a referendum on laws guaranteeing civil rights.

    The Cuban government described him as an agent of the US who was working to undermine the country’s revolution.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19846317

  16. Yoani Sanchez has been arrested

    Prominent Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez has been arrested by the Castro regime, along along with her husband Reinaldo Escobar and other pro-democracy activists.

    Yoani was arrested today in the city of Bayamo, where she traveled to attend the sham “trial” of Spanish politician Angel Caromero, who the Castro regime has accused of vehicular manslaughter in the crash that killed Cuban pro-democracy leader Oswaldo Paya.

  17. Hank, you are absolutely right. Another of Castro’s Stalinist show trials, either plead guilty or else!

    Sadly, no reporter in Cuba would dare investigate the death of Oswaldo Paya. The big outfits like BBC know better than to do any real reporting from Cuba.

    No honest reporter has ever been safe under Castro. Like those 4 Italian journalists recently arrested in Cuba, two of whom were investigating a murder. Or that Spanish journalist imprisoned for investigating child prostitution. The list is long.

  18. The whole Angel Carromero episode is just another example of the bush-league kangaroo court system that exists in Cuba. What I take away from this is: do not go to Cuba. In other words, stay away from that place or you may find yourself in a similar situation, facing years behind bars for a crime you did not commit and for which the dictatorship framed you.

    The Angel Carromero prosecution is a façade that masks a regime corrupt to its core. They paraded that poor guy before an international press conference. He had no legal representation and they subjected him to questions from the press without the assistance of counsel while he was in the custody and control of the dictatorship. Absolutely amazing. This is so completely outside all the norms of just society and the presumption of innocence that it goes without saying that Cuba does not have a functional judicial system. All of this was done at the whim of the castro dictatorship because they are used to getting away with this crap. Any verdict aside from innocent on all counts will have no legal standing anywhere else in the world.

  19. THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Cuba detains 22 dissidents before meeting – Thursday, Oct. 04 2012, 5:53 PM EDT

    Cuban authorities detained leading dissident Guillermo Farinas and 21 other activists Thursday in the city of Santa Clara, according to members of his family and the opposition.

    The winner of the Sakharov prize – the European parliament’s top human rights award – was arrested in the morning along with the others as he was heading to a meeting, Farinas’ mother Alicia Hernandez told AFP by telephone.

    The activists were preparing to discuss a document titled, “Citizen demand for another Cuba,” added opposition activist Ramon Jimenez.

    “In total, 22 opponents, including Farinas, were driven to different Santa Clara police stations,” he said.

    Farinas, a 50-year-old psychologist known for having staged numerous hunger strikes, had already been detained in Santa Clara from August 23 to 25 for an altercation with police.

    Prior to that, he was arrested July 24 along with about 50 others at the funeral of fellow activist Oswaldo Paya, who was killed in a car accident.

    According to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, an organization that is banned but tolerated, 533 arbitrary detentions “for political motives” were registered in September, marking an upward trend.

    Farinas won the Sakharov prize in 2010 after his 135-day hunger strike to press for the release of political prisoners.

    A former soldier and supporter of Fidel Castro’s revolution, Farinas distanced himself from the regime in 1989 when he opposed the execution of general Arnaldo Ochoa, who was accused of drug trafficking.

    All opposition is illegal in Cuba and the communist government considers dissidents to be “mercenaries” in the pay of its top foe, the United States.

    Cuba has been led by Raul Castro since 2006, when he assumed power from his ailing brother Fidel.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/cuba-detains-22-dissidents-before-meeting/article4590148/

  20. ACTUALLY, IF YOU PAUSE THE VIDEO @ 0.22 SECONDS AND COMPARE THE RIGHT REAR BUMPER WITH THE IMAGE @ 5:03 YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE!

  21. SOME INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE OFFICIAL OSWALDO PAYA “ACCIDENT” VIDEO (link below) RELEASED BY THE CASTROFASCISTS ! THEY ARE THE FOLLOWING AND YOU CAN LOOK AT THEM YOURSELVES!!

    THE DEFORMED FRONT BUMPER THAT DISAPPEARED & THE REAR BUMPER WITH DENT!
    1. At the beginning of the video the car is shown with the front bumper all mangled and twisted out on both sides but at 5:00 minutes the front twisted bumper has disappeared. It is obvious that the car has been tampered with due to the fact that it lost its bumper! Was it moved there and the bumper was torn off due to the hauling? Also, if you stop the video @ 5:03 there is a shot of the rear bumper showing a dent in the right hand side. How could this have happened if the car crashed against the tree on the opposite side? Looks like another car hit it from the rear! The “official” photos of that bumper taken from the rear has an obvious photoshop attempt at smoothing the dent. Will post a link to that photo on my next post and you can decide!

    WHY NO PHOTOS OF Oswaldo Pay & Harold Cepero
    2. Interesting that at the beginning of the video the four passengers are identified with their location but while showing pictures of Angel Carromero & Jens Aron Morig there are no pictures to identify Oswaldo Pay & Harold Cepero!! Fear of the Cuban people and others to identify with them as victims and to keep their faces out of the eyes of the Cuban people!

    THE OBVIOUS COACHING OF THE SPANISH AND SWEDISH WITNESSES
    3. If you pay attention to the eye movement of both the Spanish Angel Carromero and the Swede Jens Aron Modig you can see how off screen they are reading something to help them in their statements. They are very poor actors and it is very obvious they are being coached. In addition both of their body languages tell how uncomfortable they are doing this.

    YOUTUBE: CUBADEBATE: Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas: Testimonios sobre el accidente- Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas: Testimonies about the accident.

    TOO MANY INCONSISTENCIES ABOUT THIS VIDEO EVIDENCE DONT YOU THINK SO? WORTH A LOOK BY AN INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF EXPERTS!

  22. Unless one was under the influence of a substance, since when is it a crime to have been the driver in a tragic accident?

  23. TOMORROW STARTS THE KANGAROO TRIAL OF SPANIARD ANGEL CARROMERO! WILL THE INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT PRESS IN CUBA BE ALLOWED IN? THEY HAVE BEEN FIXING THE AREA OF BAYAMO WHERE IT WILL TAKE PLACE SO IT MIGHT MEAN SOME PRESS COVERAGE OTHER THAT THE USUAL CASTROFASCIST CONTROLLED MEDIA!

    REUTERS: Spaniard to face trial for car wreck death of Cuba’s Paya – By Jeff Franks

    HAVANA, Oct 4 – A Spanish political activist involved in a car crash that killed prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya goes on trial on Friday in a politically charged case that has strained Cuba’s relations with Spain.

    According to Spanish newspapers, prosecutors are seeking seven years imprisonment for Angel Carromero, the leader of the youth wing of Spain’s ruling People’s Party, who faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter for the July 22 accident.

    Paya, 60, and dissident colleague Harold Cepero, 31, died when Carromero lost control of the small rental car he was driving and smashed into a tree near the city of Bayamo 415 miles (668 km) southeast of Havana.

    They and Jens Aron Modig, a young conservative activist from Sweden, were on their way to meet supporters of Paya’s Christian Liberation Movement.

    Paya was awarded the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for human rights in 2002 for leading the Varela Project, a campaign to reform Cuba’s one-party political system.

    The case touched off charges from Paya’s family and other dissidents that government agents ran the car off the road, but Carromero and Modig have said no other vehicle was involved.

    The Spanish government has been scrambling behind the scenes to try to get Carromero, 27, off the hook and has said little publicly about the case.

    Since the conservative People’s Party ousted the Socialists in an election last year, Cuba-Spanish relations have cooled and could worsen, depending on the outcome of Carromero’s trial, western diplomats in Havana say.

    One diplomat said Cuba is insisting that Spain publicly declare it agrees the Cuban government had no hand in the car wreck, but so far that has not happened.

    Cuba has been equally tight-lipped, but staged a July 30 press conference with Modig to show that foreign involvement with Cuban opposition is not limited to its usual foil, the United States, and that dissidents get money for their activities, a charge the government uses to discredit them with the Cuban people.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/04/cuba-spain-dissident-idUSL1E8L4CH820121004?type=marketsNews

  24. AND THEY HAVE NOMINATED “THE MUMMY” FIDEL FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!!

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Book shows how close U.S. was to nuclear war – By Georgie Anne Geyer

    In the recent book Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine, veteran CIA Cuba-watcher Brian Latell writes of Fidel’s “Armageddon letter” to Khrushchev.

    “Incredibly,” writes Latell, once the missiles were installed and Castro feared a U.S. retaliatory invasion, “he advocated a massive pre-emptive nuclear attack on the United States, a nuclear holocaust, if Cuba were invaded.” And, “It was not just the missiles on the island that Fidel thought should be launched but also the strategic arsenal based on Soviet soil.”

    “There is nothing like the Armageddon letter in the entire history of the nuclear age since Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” he goes on, noting that the letter has been confirmed by Khrushchev’s son, Sergei, who defected to America, and even by Khrushchev himself in secret tape recordings of his life story made at his dacha before he died.

    Much more is confirmed by the congeries of sources available now that were nonexistent then. During those days of breathless conflict, at one point an American U-2 plane was shot down over Cuba. Castro has been quoted by highly respected sources as saying that he personally grabbed the Russian guns and shot down the American plane himself, pushing the Soviets, who ostensibly were in control, aside. Indeed, the Russians were strategically elbowed to such an extent that, Latell writes:

    “Command and control were breaking down within the Soviet expeditionary forces in Cuba; Khrushchev’s commanders were taking orders from Fidel. The combination of that concern, the Armageddon letter, the destruction of the U-2 and the Cuban antiaircraft barrages against American aircraft were too much for the Soviet leader.”

    Carlos Franqui, arguably the greatest journalist of the Cuban Revolution, wrote that Castro shot down the U-2 in order to bring the world to the edge of destruction, because he felt he had been removed from the power centers of a world crisis he himself had created.

    The father of one of Cuba’s highest ranking defectors, Florentino Aspillaga, now in the U.S. since the 1980s, was part of Castro’s inner circle and was with Castro as much of this drama was acted out. The father emphasized that during it all, Fidel was not out of control, not mad, not having any of those “bursts of magical realism” so common to Latin intellectuals. No, he was calm, cold and rational, although he also had an apocalyptic side.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2012/10/04/book-shows-how-close-u-s–was-to-nuclear-war.html

  25. Man comes around, I hold no monopoly on anything, just an American pleb.

    The only monopoly on opinion is held by Castristas in Cuba and their followers in the USA, who try to silence everyone who disagrees with them.

    Visit our universities one day and you’ll understand. Visit the New York Times and try to write an honest picture about Cuba, you won’t stand a chance of getting it published. All our big papers are full of articles praising Cuba.

    I believe I should be free to address my opinions on this blog, let’s keep free speech going in this little corner of the world, for those who still value it.

  26. Help … I will address you once, this time for reasons which you should know etc.

    —> knowing what monopoly you hold on democracy, it’s meaning propiety and US value etc… please let me (and others like myself) speak, and do mind your own opinions!! The Cubans and people who read here should meet with other opinions too.

    I hope this is doable and simple enough for you considering you are living and sleeping in the ‘fattest’ democracy in the world!

  27. Thanks Help. The whole point of Yoani’s post is that there should be a free exchange of musicians and their audiences.

    This seems to invite those who feel a need to spew their rants about American pop culture.

  28. Hey, man comes around, if you want to make a musician popular, do what Fidel does and forbid listening to him. Have you heard of forbidden fruit?

    You miss the point that we can listen to anything and watch anything we want, not just Granma TV. I don’t even know who Lady Gaga is or any other pop star.

    I have the right to listen to who I want to in this country, even the speeches of Fidel and Che. I can go hear communists talk any day of the week in my town and watch presentations by invited Cuban speakers at the local colleges. In the USA, many communists are millionaires, strange but true.

    When is a Cuban college going to invite me to give a talk showing how great the USA is?

    If you ever lived in Cuba, you’d know that health care is freer and better in the USA, especially for the poor. Go live as a Cuban pleb and try getting treatment in a decent hospital without bribing your way in with more money than you would make in ten years. And that will only get you in the door!!!

    Either that, or belong to a CDR and go to repudiation rallies, and sell your soul to the devil.

    Love us or hate us with all our problems, it is a paradise compared to Cuba. Cubans, even if they settle for a life as a dishwasher in Miami, never take their rafts back to Castro’s hellhole.

  29. For all the detractors of the Cuban achievements, who constantly claim that only penury, corruption, crime, homelessness and suffering plague the streets of Havana, to the level that confirms dictatorship is a terrible reality – it seems that according to Ms Y the ‘unbearable’ lies in the isolation from Western pop culture and its me-me-icons.

    If you can’t give them food you should (at least) give them circus… seem that Fidel didn’t learn this one either from the empire (take you pick US or Rome). However the Y generation in Cuba is not prepared to accept it, and good for them.

    After all in the West there is a human right to see Lady Gaga more than the right to protest or share files on the Internet… but even so, what is not a human right is to have a job or even to work –> you have to ‘deserve’ these, meaning these rights are discretionary!! For migrants or ‘escapees’ to the US heaven (cos haven it ain’t) apparently event the right to work is problematic and not a human right (maybe escapees are not human).

    In line with middle-class values and especially hypocrisy that rules them all, neither Ms Y nor Cuba’s detractors ever wonder what is the ‘average’ wage of a Cuban migrant to the USA or the ‘human rights’ he/she enjoys FREELY or the medical ‘insurance’ a migrant would afford, or even if they get the ‘right to work’ as a human right?

    More close to Ms Y’s towerblock, how many years on average a Cuban migrant to the US should spend before he would afford ‘easily’ a ticket to see any of the Western pop icons the Ys in Cuba are in desperate need of to have on Cuban soil now!!

    Viva la GaGa culture hypocrisy… On with Fidel’s dictatorship in Ms Y’s towerblock…

    Un Soricel (Has anyone told Michael to stop telling me he loved me? – I didn’t wanna be loved by Michael, I was born in communism!)

  30. I think Fidel is absolutely responsible for Michael Jackson not visiting Cuba and Che for Lady Gaga

  31. Wow, Cuba Liar. So let me see if I have this straight. You do not dispute that at least 8000 Cubans flee the island every year. What you disagree with is whether the number is 8000 or 11000, a difference of 3000 people a year. As Pam rightly points out, you miss the point entirely. The fact is, people are leaving Cuba in droves and they have been doing so for years. Why would people do that, Cuba Liar? Don’t they like the free housing and free health care provided to them by the dictatorship? What’s wrong with all of the folks who choose to leave the castro paradise? Are they all simply irrational? But why are there so many of them? Do they just want to leave and make room for Canadians like you who can come in and illegally buy their houses? I don’t think so.

  32. Cuba Libre !! KEEP PULLING AT THOSE STRAWS BABY!! THE CASTROFASCISTS HAVE BEEN THE KINGS OF “DISCREPANCIES” OR SHOULD I CALL A SPADE A SPADE AND SAY LIES!!!!!!!!!!

    MIAMI HERALD: After 50 years, Cuba has little to show – By ANDRES OPPENHEIMER

    When it comes to personal income or standard of living statistics, the U.N. Human Development Report — the Cuban government’s favorite statistical source — lists the island’s per capita income at $6,000 a year, although the figure is accompanied by an asterisk indicating that it’s a Cuban government estimate, and that “efforts to produce a more accurate estimate are ongoing.”

    In fact, Cuba refuses to calculate its per capita income according to international standards. The same thing happens with its poverty rates. Cuba agrees to use world-accepted statistical methods in those areas where it does well, such as heath and education, but refuses to do so in those areas where it may not do that well. The U.N. report’s world poverty rates table leaves Cuba’s line blank.

    ”Neither the United Nations nor any other international institution have the foggiest idea what Cuba’s per capita income or poverty rates really are because Fidel ordered that the country use its own methodology,” said Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a retired University of Pittsburgh economics professor who has long been one of the most serious analysts of the Cuban economy.

    ”The Cuban government’s figures are not credible, which forces everybody else to use them with an asterisk or not to use them at all,” he added.

    What is known is that Cubans’ average wage is nearly $20 a month, as recognized by the official media, which would translate to an average income of $240 a year.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2008/12/12/810847/after-50-years-cuba-has-little.html

  33. Cuba Libre
    Octubre 2nd, 2012 at 21:26
    straight from twitter,
    yoanifromcuba #Cuba
    More than 8,000 Cubans entered the #USA via the #Mexico border in 2012
    Of all the lies told in here, this must be the most propostrous and outrageous. Why would any sane Cuban, cross the Caribbean sea to get to Mexico, then have to travel several hundreds of miles to the US border, with a slim chance of crossing the US border, when they can simply cross the Florida straight which is a mere 80 miles off?? Come on Miss Sanchez, who are you trying to fool, besides yourself that is.

    Let’s see, I believe that simple arithmetic would reveal that 11,000 would indeed encompass “more than 8,000.” Duh.

    Whatever the figure is, the point is that many thousands of Cubans risk their lives to escape the island prison each year, fracturing lives and families.

  34. Wow there seems to be a slight discrepency in the statistics supplied by the anti-castrists in here. Two of them state over 11,000 Cubans try to enter the U.S. via Mexico, while Miss Sanchez states it is 8,000. Imagine that, discordance
    amongst yourselves and your false statistics. Either way, at this rate, Cuba would lose over one tenth of its population. In ten years. If you are going to lie about facts, at least make sure they concord with each other if you want to be credible in the least way possible.

  35. YOUTUBE: Hidden Camera: the true face of government leaders in Cuba – La Alianza Democrática Oriental (Eastern Democratic Alliance) (ADO), a coalition of organizations of resistance in eastern Cuba, released the report “The Hidden Camera”, directed and edited entirely in Cuba as part of the Vision Palenque. This video report gives you an idea of who is governing Cuba. These faces of boredom, indifference and sleep show how little interest is given to the problems of the people, and alleged voting process in Cuba, while they claim that they are working on reforms, that nobody sees, these are the people who take on the challenge of these famous reforms by the dictator Raul Castro.

    Cámara Oculta: el verdadero rostro de los dirigentes gubernamentales en Cuba – La Alianza Democrática Oriental (ADO), coalición de organizaciones de la resistencia en el oriente de Cuba, dio a conocer el reportaje “La cámara oculta”, realizado y editado en su totalidad dentro de Cuba como parte del proyecto Palenque Visión. Este reportaje es una idea de quiénes son los que gobiernan Cuba. Estos rostros de aburrimiento,indiferencia y sueño demuestran el poco interés que se le dan a los problemas del pueblo, y a las supuestas votaciones en Cuba, mientras dicen que están haciendo reformas, que nadie ve, y estas son las personas que asumen el reto de estas famosas reformas del dictador Raúl Castro.

  36. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS: Call for release of independent journalist accused of insulting president – Published on Monday 24 September 2012. Updated on Wednesday 3 October 2012.

    Harassment of dissidents has never really stopped since Raúl Castro became president in 2006 but, if they are detained, it is usually for short spells. The arrest of Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a reporter for the independent Hablemos Press agency, could prove to be the exception and could hark back to an era when dissidents were detained for longer periods.

    Martínez was arrested on 16 September and has been held ever since on a charge of insulting the president, which could lead to a three-year prison sentence.

    Initially held at the National Police detention and deportation centre in Havana, he was transferred on 27 September to Valle Grande prison in La Lisa, in Havana province.

    “It is hard to see how the investigation into a spoiled consignment of medicines that Martínez was carrying out at the time of his arrest, or his earlier revelations about cholera and dengue, which the authorities confirmed, could result in a charge of insulting the president,” Reporters Without Borders said.

    “This charge is totally absurd, just as any attempt to make an example out of this case will be futile. Information of public interest should be disseminated, discussed and debated. Such a debate is clearly lacking in the official media, one of whose journalists is still detained while others have chosen exile. We call for Martínez’s immediate release.”

    Reporters Without Borders added: “The Cuban government must accept civil society’s right to ask questions and report information in accordance with the conventions on civil and political rights it signed in 2008, but has not yet ratified. Will the other members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) remind it of the need to respect this principle?”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://en.rsf.org/cuba-call-for-release-of-independent-24-09-2012,43441.html

  37. Mexico to deport Cubans heading illegally to U.S.
    Posted 10/20/2008 8:10 PM | Comments 4 | Recommend 1 E-mail | Print |

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico agreed Monday to deport Cubans who sneak illegally through Mexican territory to reach the U.S., a step toward cutting off an increasingly violent and heavily used human trafficking route.
    The agreement, signed by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa, takes effect in one month. It also criticizes U.S. policy that generally allows Cubans who reach U.S. territory to stay, while turning back most caught at sea.

    Cuban migrants in recent years have increasingly headed for Mexico — often to the coast near Cancun — then overland to Texas because it has become so hard to dodge the U.S. Coast Guard and reach Florida to qualify for U.S. residency.

    The Department of Homeland Security said 11,126 used the Mexico route last year, compared to just 1,055 who landed in the Miami area.

    Before Monday, Mexico rarely sent back Cubans caught entering the country illegally. Many were held for a time, then were given 10 to 30-day exit orders which allowed them to continue on to Texas, where Cubans present only identity documents and undergo medical and background checks before being welcomed to America.

    Under the new agreement, Mexico agreed to deport Cubans found illegally in Mexico, both those who arrive from their native island by boat and those who come up through Central America.

    Mexico can still grant asylum on a case-by-case basis to migrants, but the accord contained no specific guarantees that those returned to Cuba would not face reprisals. Both countries can reserve the right to deny entry to anyone it sees as a security risk.

    Perez Roque said the agreement would lead to “the immense majority of Cubans being repatriated.” Approximately 2,000 Cubans are currently being held in Mexican immigration detention centers.

    “I am sure that this memorandum of understanding is going to significantly reduce attempts to use Mexico as a route to getting to the United States,” he said.

    Lazaro Mendez, a Miami-based radio personality whose fishing boat was stolen by migrant smugglers plying the Cuban trade, doubted that Monday’s accord would stem the problem, in which Florida vessels are increasingly being snatched to run Cubans to Mexico.

    “Is it gonna stop? No, until communist Cuba becomes a free nation,” Mendez said.

    Andy Gomez, a senior fellow and assistant provost at University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies, said stopping the wave of migrants coming through Mexico will be difficult because smugglers often pay off Mexican authorities.

    Even if the smuggling route through Mexico is successfully cut off, Gomez predicted that Cuban migrants will land in the Florida Panhandle, northeastern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

    “Currently, the resources of the U.S. Coast Guard are quite limited and the square miles (kilometers) they cover are quite limited,” said Gomez. “These smugglers are very good. In most cases, they’re going around the authorities. It’s a very lucrative job.”

    Mexico has grown increasingly frustrated with the Cuban migration, which often involves ruthless human trafficking gangs.

    In June, gunmen snatched 33 Cubans off a government bus headed to an immigration station in southern Mexico, possibly to extort money from them or their smugglers. Many of those migrants later turned up in the U.S.

    All detained Cuban migrants now have armed police escorts.

    Several Cuban-Americans believed to be involved in smuggling have been killed in recent years in or around Cancun.

    Henry Louis Gomez, managing editor of the Miami-based babalublog.com, the leading blog on Cuban American affairs, called the smuggling problems a “byproduct” of the U.S.’s so-called “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy.

    “But in the absence of wet-foot dry-foot, what do you do?” he asks. “There would be no need for the policy if people weren’t dying, literally, to get out of Cuba.”

    Perez Roque said his visit to Mexico was a sign of improved relations between the two countries.

    Ties between the communist island and Mexico soured under the 2000-2006 presidency of Vicente Fox, when Mexico voted at the U.N. in favor of monitoring human rights in Cuba. Relations reached a low in 2004, when both countries called home their ambassadors.

    http://www.usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-10-20-mexico-cuba_N.htm

  38. From the Latin American Herald Tribune:

    Three Cubans Escape from Migrant Detention Camp in Mexico

    MEXICO CITY – Three Cuban nationals escaped from a National Migration Institute, or INM, facility in central Mexico, officials said.

    Yoel Francisco Escalante Machado, Roxana Alfonso Roche and Jose Miguel Falla Yera got out of the facility, the INM said.

    The Cubans were being held at the INM detention center in Queretaro, a city located northwest of Mexico City.

    An international alert has been declared “to achieve the quick recovery of the Cuban citizens,” the INM said, adding that the escape was “an isolated incident.”

    The immigration service said it would “not tolerate corruption inside the institution.”

    This was not the first escape by Cubans this year from an INM facility.

    Eight Cubans got out of the INM detention center in the southern city of Chetumal in August, but six of them were later recaptured.

    A group of suspected people traffickers intercepted a bus carrying 33 Cubans under INM custody in 2008.

    Some of the Cubans turned up several weeks later in Texas.

    Cubans enter Mexico illegally in an effort to make their way to the United States.

    Mexico and Cuba signed an immigration agreement in October 2008 aimed at guaranteeing a legal, orderly and safe migration flow.

    The pact calls for Havana to take back all illegal Cuban immigrants detained by Mexican authorities.

    Previously, the island’s government took back illegal emigrants detained on the high seas, but it refused to accept Cubans detained on Mexican soil while en route to the United States.

    Under Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are permitted to remain and become legal residents, while the vast majority of those intercepted at sea are sent back to the island.

    Havana says the U.S. policy encourages Cubans to undertake risky voyages to Florida and, in recent years, to Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?CategoryId=14091&ArticleId=349480

  39. More Cubans entering U.S. through Mexico
    More than 11,000 Cubans coming into United States over Mexican border

    BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Along the Mexican border, at the busy U.S. Port of Entry here, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers geared up recently for another long day of processing Cuban immigrants.
    Waiting in the lobby were 11 exhausted Cuban men and women who had arrived overnight asking for political asylum in the United States. Included were two middle-aged Cuban doctors who are husband and wife.
    More Cubans entering U.S. through Mexico
    More than 11,000 Cubans coming into United States over Mexican border

    Each of them would be questioned, photographed and fingerprinted before being paroled into the country under a Cold War-era provision that grants Cubans special immigration privileges and relatively easy entry into the U.S. The screening process typically takes less than an hour.
    Authorities say in the last two years they have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Cubans entering the U.S. through the Southwest border, particularly between Laredo and Brownsville, Texas.
    In fiscal year 2007, CBP officials said, more than 11,000 Cubans immigrants were cleared into the U.S. through Texas alone, much more than in any other state, including Florida.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21087459/ns/nbcnightlynews/t/more-cubans-entering-us-through-mexico/#.UGueHE3A_YU

  40. Cuba Libre, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I am Cuban.

    I have not given up my culture, way of life, or language here. I recently moved to teh continental US, it wa smy choice. Choice, something most Cubans dont have. After moving here, I have become the ultra cuban. Most of my coworkers now refer to me as the cuban, and im their go to guy for questions on cigar, music, and rum. I am not the leat bit “northamerican”.

    That is not to say I want the annexation of cuba, thats not for me to decide, thats for people living in Cuba to decide. But just because puertoricans were anexed (yes, conquered is a correct term, but we are better off than under spain) does not mean we grow blond hair, loose our style and sense of humor. No one, NO ONE can take the caribbean out of us. If anything, we take it anywhere we go.

  41. Cuba Liar,

    Yoani Sanchez does not promote, or advocate for, the annexation of Cuba. So get that out of your silly head right now. Back that accusation up, pal. In other words, put up or shut up.

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