The Ballot Box, The Stretcher

boleta-anuladaTiles on the walls, a screen covered in green fabric and a metal table where they usually place syringes and cotton. This was the cubicle where I voted this morning to elect a delegate to the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power. Located inside a doctor’s office that was turned into a polling place this Sunday for the residents of the area. “Prescient” I thought of nothing but being alone with my ballot next to the large sink where they wash hospital implements. “Prescient” because my country is in a “coma” of indifference and apathy, and is going to need a profound revival – almost a defibrillation – for citizens to have real decision making power. Thirty-six years since its creation the current electoral system has not convinced us, not even once, that it represents the people against the power, rather we have become accustomed to the exact opposite.

So between the smell of formaldehyde and the hint of a stretcher, I annulled my ballot. After years of abstaining I decided to participate this time in an election that will change absolutely nothing. None of the delegates ratified at the polls could influence even the most pressing issues of our reality. Nor do we know how they think about our huge everyday problems, because the election law only allows them to submit their biography and their photo. So today in my neighborhood we were invited to choose between two faces, between two names, between two resumes… For this reason several neighbors and friends – knowing the futility of filling out a ballot – chose to abstain. But I wanted to satisfy my curiosity, to re-experience the senselessness of a paper that decides nothing, nothing changes, nothing moves forward.

First I wrote the letter “D.” Enormous, like a voiceless scream, I sketched that initial of a long-sought concept: “democracy.” And I did it in the midst of a clinical setting that fit metaphorically with my gesture of annulment, with the urgent intervention that the ranks of the People’s Power demand in this country. A deep surgery, an extensive extirpation of the meekness of the National Assembly, an electroshock of freedom to stop the parliamentarians from unanimously approving and applauding all the time. We will need to resurrect, to be reborn as a society, and to begin to behave like one

boleta-voto

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146 thoughts on “The Ballot Box, The Stretcher

  1. And the truth is that these “students” are the copy and paste “genius” at work. In his/her lack of brain, s/he is posting yet again under the false nicks to try and create a perception of “widespreadness”, of this lonely little webpage.

    It is not working. The times of such primitive deception are over. Your lies are easily discovered and refuted. No matter what you do, this site is sliding fast down the rankings and for a good reason:

    never-ending stream of lies and cold-war style propaganda that is irrelevant to people today on way too many levels for them to start caring about your silly quest of overthrewing a Cuban, sovereign, government.

    Haven’t you already learned that much from the past four years of futile attempts and bullshift talk that produced nothing?

    Oh, but the taste of money is good, isn’t it, traitors and terrorists???!!!

  2. And the truth is that these “students” are the copy and paste “genius” at work. In his/her lack of brain, s/he is posting yet again under the false nicks to try and create a perception of “widespreadness”, of this lonely little webpage.

    It is not working. The times of such primitive deception are over. Your lies are easilly discovered and refuted. No matter what you do, this siteis sliding fast down the rankings and for a good reason:

    never-ending stream of lies and cold-war style propaganda that is irrelevant to people today on way too many levels for them to start caring about your silly quest of overthrewing a Cuban, sovereign, government.

    HAven’t you already learned that much from the past four years of futile attempts and bullshift talk that produced nothing?

    Oh, but the taste of money is good, isn’t it, traitors and terrorists???!!!

  3. Hello, we are two students from California, studying at California Polytechnic State University. We have been studying your most recent book alongside our own choices in our current election – making this post incredibly relevant. Learning more about the situation in Cuba definitely influences our decision in the upcoming vote, and makes us value the fact that we have a choice when so many don’t. Thank you for being a Cuban voice that is internationally accessible, as many people in the United States don’t know what is really going on inside Cuba and are uninformed. We continue to look forward to hearing a growing variety of Cuban voices.

    Best,
    -Shayne and Bryn :)

  4. We’re both students living in the United States, and we’ve been sitting here trying to imagine what it would be like living in a place where citizens feel so powerless and that they have no control over their reality. In America, voting is such an integral part of our identity, but to live in a place where the people know that no candidate can bring about any change or benefit to the country is inconceivable and so terrible! Our hearts go out to the citizens of Cuba who are in such despair and are trapped in a dead end situation, we wish for reform and democracy to reach you soon.

  5. I do not see “most people” here.

    I do see 1 and a half tosser posting under a number of nicks trying to create an impression of here being “many” people.

    But when we analyse the insults these 1 and a half losers use, we realise quickly that the language is one and the same, made by one and the same person.

    The half belongs to that chihuahua barking behind the lonely “friendly” non-native non-Spanish speaker…

  6. Every insult confirms my victory over hypocrsy and lies. Keep them going tosser(s).

    No, it doesn’t. Each insult calls you out for the sorry fool that you are.

  7. “Friendly” translator hard at work! Congratulations. Feeling lonely and under the siege, are we?

    How are the classes of Spanish going, by the way?

    Not good? So who is then the real translator of these posts of the team “yoani”?

    The authors themselves I’d imagine!! The cia nazist SS organ.

    Every insult confirms my victory over hypocrsy and lies. Keep them going tosser(s).

    Only the truth HURTS!!!!!

    I
    <^I^^

  8. Damir is a REGIME APOLOGIST. Claims to write “ARTICLES”,hahaha, que DESCARO. Always fun to see her get bashed. What a clown Damir has always been and will be. The Castro Regime is a failure and Cuba today looks like HELL thanks to the failed regime who oppresses the local population.
    Cuba is about to break and the people will take to the streets demanding their CIVIL RIGHTS.
    Keep up the great work Yoani and the translators who help her words get global exposure.

  9. DAMIR – let’s be clear. You don’t write articles. You scribble worthless incoherent nonsense. And you are not a winner. You never win.

  10. Everyone who comments on my articles, instead of the nonsense by the team “yoani”, cares!!!!

    And that is all of you!!!

    So, I win YET AGAIN!!!

    Not that that was any sort of a challenge…

  11. Let us talk luna.tics:

    Post by

    Worley Parsons
    Octubre 26th, 2012 at 19:09

    “Two separate people with the name Dr. Damir Matulovic railing against capitalism and the USA? It’s the same person.”

    For as long as I can remember, all my posts were signed always as

    DAMIR

    not

    Dr. DAMIR MATULOVIC

    Now, if we were to believe the der.anged and mental.ly damaged tos.sers around here, we would have to come to a conclusion that there’s

    ONLY ONE

    DAMIR

    in the world…

    Damir is a very frequently used name in Jugoslavia, and leftover banana “republics”.

    How do you make a brain-deprived wrong-whiner form a conserve absorb that simple

    FACT????

    You don’t

    You let the loonies rant and make fo.ols of themselves.
    Just as they are already doing with the rest of their nonsensical and delusional comments left here to soil the internet until someone pulls that plug and deprives them of funds for ex-creting the nonsense…

    And let me just mention that i had to separate the word lun.atic with the fullstop as for me the filter obviously works fine, but for the “friendly” translator, hiding under YET ANOTHER FAKE nick, the word lun.atic does not need any separators… She can turn it on and off, just as she does when she writes as “anonimo”, “bluey”, etc.

    Long live unanimous – as in single vote decides – “democracy” a la’ the team “yoani”!!!!!!!!

  12. Two separate people with the name Dr. Damir Matulovic railing against capitalism and the USA? It’s the same person.

  13. PEOPLE!!! LETS GET BACK TO THE CUBA AND CUBAN ISSUES! THE DAMIR CAUSE IS A LOST ONE! AND WHO CARES!!

  14. pOST 128: Are you sure they are the same person? One sounds like a reasonable person, the other like a lunatic.

  15. Look how much more civil Damir is when posting on other websites, quite a difference:

    Dr. Damir Matulovic
    Finally, the global economic crisis was not caused by the budget deficit, but because of the irresponsibility of the financial sector that is out of control. Establishing (or recovery) of control over it therefore must be the first step in solving a system of colossal economic crisis.

    It’s not fair because the economic crisis began in the United States precisely because banks and other private financial institutions out of money. And that happens when you give loans to the millions of unemployed, as happened in the United States. It is because of this deficit is the money Iceland went bankrupt, and they left him for Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain. It is also little known that V. Britain facing bankruptcy and save the privremoeno, just like the U.S., the frenetic money printing. Do you need to be reminded what the “capitalist” democracy talked about Zimbabwe a few years ago when the local government started to print money without coverage?

    And how that worked in Zimbabaveu? 20,000% inflation War. U.S. and European countries will manipulate your situation demagoguery and empty philosophy, but they will not succeed in stopping inflation completely. And when inflation once it starts, is like an unstoppable avalanche. U.S. has a 54 trillion dollar debt and internal debt that continues to grow. It’s too big for the amount of money printing. Keynesian economic theory is probably the only way out, but this theory causes excessive negative social effects. The most likely scenario, according to many economists, the U.S. Revolution. It sounds sensational, but when the estimate comes from people like Gerard Celente example. whose summary is filled with predictions that came true as he predicted when he predicted then that the predictions are not just cheap sensationalism than a warning that should be taken very seriously.

    Personally, I wait for this day with joy.

    http://www.nkatic.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/da-li-je-stiglic-u-pravu/

  16. OH MY BEAUTIFUL SANTIAGO DE CUBA! THE CRADLE OF CUBAN CULTURE AND MUSIC! SO SAD!
    CLICK LINK FOR VIDEO FROM THE CASTROFASCIST TELEVISION NEWS! EVEN THEY HAD TO ADMIT TO THE DEVASTATION AND HAD TO SHOW IMAGES SO THEY DID NOT LOOK LIKE THEY WERE HIDING SOMETHING! THANK YOU INTERNET, FACEBOOK, TWITTER INSTANT MESSAGING AND ALL THE EVERYDAY CUBAN PEOPLE WHO HELPED TO PUSH THE REALITY OF THIS HURRICANE TO THE WORLD!
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151105298911984

  17. Wile the sad and lonely copy and paste “genius” is still looking for cra p to post and try to draw attention to her new skirt, trying to outdo the team “yoani’s” ugly duckling nail biter, let us talk a little about the hypocrisy the team “yoani” are continuously displaying in equally sad and failed attempts to draw some attention to themselves (having friends in usanian nazist press is not really helping. Hypocrisy once written and published, remains forever to be seen.).

    The team “yoani” are supposedly claim to be “fighting” for “democracy”, “free elections”an bla, bla, bla…

    Here’s the thing:

    Cuba just this year had organised

    ELECTIONS FOR LOCAL COUNCILS.

    Citizens were

    INVITED TO NOMINATE THEMSELVES OR ANYONE THEY KNOW TO BE INCLUDED AS POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FR THE ELECTIONS.

    What did the team “yoani” do?

    N O T H I N G.

    They have been given a chance to get organised and present their candidates through the framework of the current system and they chose to

    DO NOTHING.

    The ONLY thing some of those delusional figures of deception chose to do was to

    ANULL THEIR BALLOT PAPERS.

    Is THAT how you engage in politics of the country democratically? Is THAT how you try to change the currents and bring the change on?

    Is THAT how the “democrats” fight for a better tomorrow?

    Is calling on the youth of Cuba to take the arms and march on government the “democratic” way of making things

    B E T T E R?

    No.

    THAT is just a plain and simple

    H Y P O C R I S Y.

    Supported by the “left-leaning” usanian nazist press and cia, and usanian nazist government, led by a confused nig.ger immigrant with no birth certificate and a lot of explosive at hand.

  18. What “democracy” we are talking in capitalism? The democracy that beat the shift and hell out of protesters and demonstrants in usa during the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations all over the usa?

    The heavy handed beating by police in Melbourne an Sydney during the G7 and APEC meetings? The murder of a Brazilian student in Sydney by tasering him 7 times although he NEVER tried to resist and fight 6 policemen on top of him?

    Murder of osama bin laden for crimes he never committed? What happened to “innocent until PROVEN guilty? osama never had his day in the court to try and prove his accusers right or wrong.

    Or, how about the sale of young usanians in the “justice” system of the usa which is no more than big business for private contractors so the government helps by throwing young people into the harsh prisons built by private big business but were empty for too long because young people did not want to comply and be criminals?

    If it is not the government, who is then incarcerating the people in the usa, the world’s WORST JAILER:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

    “democracy”, then. “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”. BUt they are the instruments of control over the population by the nazist dictators of the nazist gulag usa. Look at this:

    “Through the juvenile courts and the adult criminal justice system, the United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world, a reflection of the larger trends in incarceration practices in the United States. This has been a source of controversy for a number of reasons, including the overcrowding and violence in youth detention facilities, the prosecution of youths as adults and the long term consequences of incarceration on the individual’s chances for success in adulthood.”

    Some “democracy”!!!

    It

    I S

    all government. It

    IS all capitalist conspiracy designed to create profit for private business. it

    IS NOT democracy and freedom.

    THIS IS HOW usanian “democracy” TREATS CHILDREN:

    “A fifth-grader was brought to a concrete cell in a juvenile-detention center in Washoe County, Nev., asked to remove his shoes and belt, and stayed from 10 a.m to 6:30 p.m. waiting for his mother, an undocumented immigrant, to pick him up.

    He was there for scuffling with another kid at school…”

    thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/21/in-juvenile-in-justice-children-caught-in-america-s-prison-system.html

    Out of ten worst prisons in the world

    A HALF ARE usanian PRISONS!!!!!

    Who opens the prisons?

    THE GOVERNMENT.

    Nazist usanian gulag. Dictatorship without precedent in history of humanity.

    I should say INHUMANITY.

    And that is the template the team “yoani” want to use in Cuba.

    Criminals, terrorists and traitors.

    One good thing Cuban government could do would be to eliminate such criminals, using the nazist usanian laws as a legal framework, since these terrorists are so deeply in love with their white “gods” and all the shift that comes from that hell on earth.

    Basta ya?

    Haven’t even started yet.

  19. What “democracy” we are talking in capitalism? The democracy that beat the shift and hell out of protesters and demonstrants in usa during the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations all over the usa?

    The heavy handed beating by police in Melbourne an Sydney during the G7 and APEC meetings? The murder of a Brazilian student in Sydney by tasering him 7 times although he NEVER tried to resist and fight 6 policemen on top of him?

    Murder of osama bin laden for crimes he never committed? What happened to “innocent until PROVEN guilty? osama never had his day in the court to try and prove his accusers right or wrong.

    Or, how about the sale of young usanians in the “justice” system of the usa which is no more than big business for private contractors so the government helps by throwing young people into the harsh prisons built by private big business but were empty for too long because young people did not want to comply and be criminals?

    If it is NOT the government, who is then incarcerating the people in the usa, the world’s WORST JAILER:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

    “democracy”, then. “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”. Look at this:

    “Through the juvenile courts and the adult criminal justice system, the United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world, a reflection of the larger trends in incarceration practices in the United States. This has been a source of controversy for a number of reasons, including the overcrowding and violence in youth detention facilities, the prosecution of youths as adults and the long term consequences of incarceration on the individual’s chances for success in adulthood.”

    Some “democracy”!!!

    It

    I S

    all government. It

    IS all capitalist conspiracy designed to create profit for private business. it

    IS NOT democracy and freedom.

    THIS IS HOW usanian “democracy” TREATS CHILDREN:

    “A fifth-grader was brought to a concrete cell in a juvenile-detention center in Washoe County, Nev., asked to remove his shoes and belt, and stayed from 10 a.m to 6:30 p.m. waiting for his mother, an undocumented immigrant, to pick him up.

    He was there for scuffling with another kid at school…”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/21/in-juvenile-in-justice-children-caught-in-america-s-prison-system.html

    Out of ten worst prisons in the world

    A HALF ARE usanian PRISONS!!!!!

    Who opens the prisons?

    THE GOVERNMENT.

    Nazist usanian gulag. Dictatorship without precedent in history of humanity.

    I should say INHUMANITY.

    And that is the template the team “yoani” want to use in Cuba.

    Criminals, terrorists and traitors.

    One good thing Cuban government could do would be to eliminate such criminals, using the nazist usanian laws as a legal framework, since these terrorists are so deeply in love with their white “gods” and all the shift that comes from that hell on earth.

    Basta ya?

    Haven’t even started yet.

  20. Damir !! DON TREAD ON MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION! THIS IS NOT CUBA DEAR!

  21. I’M AFRAID THAT POSTING THIS ARTICLE WILL GET ME A DEDUCTION OF AT LEAST 250 POINTS ACCORDING TO Simba!! BUT WHAT THE HECK, IM A GAMBLER! JE JE JE JE! BUT IT’S REALLY A FASCINATING ARTICLE!

    NY TIMES: How Castro Held the World Hostage – By JAMES G. BLIGHT and JANET M. LANG

    ON Oct. 26-27, 1962, human civilization came close to being destroyed. Schoolchildren were ordered into shelters; supermarket shelves were emptied of soup cans and bottled water. It was the most perilous moment of the Cuban missile crisis, and of the cold war. But the danger of Armageddon did not begin, as legend has it, when the United States learned that Soviet missiles had reached Cuba’s shores earlier that month.

    Rather, it was driven by Fidel Castro’s fears and insecurities after the botched Bay of Pigs invasion and by the failures of President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev to take him seriously.
    Twenty years ago, we spent four days in Havana discussing the missile crisis with Mr. Castro, former Soviet officials and American decision makers from the Kennedy administration, including the former defense secretary Robert S. McNamara.

    Mr. Castro’s interest had been piqued by the declassification and release of Soviet and American documents in 1991 and 1992, which both surprised and angered him. These included long-suppressed passages from memoirs, released 20 years after Khrushchev’s death, in which he wrote that Mr. Castro had become irrational and possibly suicidal and that the crisis had to end before Cuba ignited a nuclear war.

    In addition, declassified letters between Khrushchev and Kennedy revealed the extent to which Washington and Moscow cut Cuba out of negotiations, refused to consider Cuban demands and eventually resolved the crisis in spite of Mr. Castro’s objections. So to truly understand how the world came close to Armageddon, one must look not to Washington and Moscow but to Havana.

    For the next 18 months, Mr. Castro prepared for nuclear Armageddon, while Kennedy and Khrushchev sleepwalked toward the abyss. Focused on their global competition, the United States and the Soviet Union were clueless about the mind-set of the smaller, weaker, poorer party. Kennedy wanted Cuba off his agenda and he resolved never again to cave in to his hawkish advisers and critics, who had continued clamoring for an invasion of the island, even after the Bay of Pigs disaster.

    Khrushchev, for his part, was worried about “losing Cuba” and decided in early 1962 to offer nuclear missiles to Mr. Castro to deter the invasion they both believed was being planned but that Kennedy was privately resolved to avoid. But as Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs, the Soviet Union never intended to actually use the missiles; they were merely pawns in a game of superpower competition.

    However, Mr. Castro believed the fundamental purpose of Soviet nuclear weapons was to destroy the United States in the event of an invasion. After centuries of humiliation and irrelevance, he concluded, Cuba would matter fundamentally to the fate of humanity. Cuba couldn’t prevent the onslaught, nor could it expect to survive it. He insisted that the Cubans and Russians on the island would resist “to the last day and the last man, woman or child capable of holding a weapon.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/opinion/how-castro-held-the-world-hostage.html?_r=1

  22. Copy and paste “genius” still trying to draw attention to herself. It may be opportune to repeat her own words to Damir on several occasions:

    OPEN YOUR OWN BLOG!

    WHEN EVEN YOUR SIDE IS GETTING TIRED OF YOUR POINTLESS AND UNRELATED RANTS, IT IS TIME TO SIT DOWN AND TAKE NOTICE.

    ESPECIALLY WHEN MOST OF THE POSTS STOLEN FROM OTHER SITES ARE NOT EXACTLY AGAINST CUBA.

    AND OFTEN ARE PRO CUBA, EVEN IF SUBTLY FORMULATED TO APPEAR “NEUTRAL”. SO THE QUESTION COULD BE ASKED WHAT IS THIS

    SPANIARD

    REALLY IMPLYING WITH ALL THOSE STOLEN ARTICLES AND TEXTS???

  23. A BIT MORE DETAIL ON THE RECENT “FORGIVING” ATTITUDE BY “LA CHINA” RAUL AND HIS “ALLOWING” THE RETURN TO CUBA OF THOSE WHO LEFT “ILLEGALLY”!! GUESS I WILL BE LOOSING SOME POINTS FOR POSTING THIS BUT HECK, WILL TAKE MY CHANCES Simba!! JE JE JE JE!

    McCLATCHY NEWS: Cuba to welcome back many who left – Juan O. Tamayo

    MIAMI — Cuba said Thursday it will welcome back tens of thousands of its citizens who left illegally – including rafters, doctors and baseball players – in the second round of a migration reform it claims will help normalize relations with Cubans abroad.

    Havana has barred the return of rafters since its 1994 migration accord with the U.S. government in order to deter risky escapes across the Florida Straits. But the ban is not part of the accord and is not expected to affect the agreement or U.S. policy.

    “We will normalize the temporary entry to the island of those who emigrated illegally after the 1994 migration accords,” Homero Acosta, secretary of the ruling Council of State, announced in a television appearance late Wednesday.

    Also allowed to return will be medical personnel and top athletes who left illegally or defected while abroad after 1990 and who have been out for more than eight years, as well as Cubans who left when they were 16 or younger and those who want to return for humanitarian reasons, such as caring for ailing relatives.

    The change is expected to allow the return of many Cubans now banned from the island, estimated any anywhere from 70,000 – mostly rafters – to 300,000, including important Cubans branded by Havana as defectors and even traitors.

    Still banned are those who escaped through the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo in southeastern Cuba, Acosta added, “for reasons of defense and national security.” Havana also can ban the return of those who “organize, encourage or participate in hostile actions against the political, economic and social basis of the state,” and anyone at all “when reasons of defense and national security require it.”

    Cuban ruler Raul Castro announced last year that he wanted to reform the country’s migration regulations “as a contribution to the growth in the links between the nation and the communities of its emigrants.”

    But most analysts outside the island believe Castro wants to squeeze more money out of migration so that he can finance the dramatic economic reforms that he has been pushing since 2007.

    “It is time to do justice to the poorest of the migrants, the rafters, even if this will generate tens of millions of dollars for the government by way of passport and other fees,” said Pedro Gonzalez Munne, a Miami businessman who monitors travel to Cuba.

    The fee for Cuban passports rose from $60 to about $110 in the first round of migration reforms announced last week, which lifted the hated requirement of exit permits for Cubans who want to travel abroad. Havana retained the right to block any travel.

    “I have to submit a humanitarian request so that someone can decide whether to allow me to return to where I was born? … Big deal!” said Juan Antonio Blanco, a former analyst with the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee now living in Miami.

    Although the number of Cubans living abroad is critically important for its economy – cash remittances were estimated at more than $2 billion in 2011 alone – the exact details of the migration flows are almost impossible to obtain.

    Nearly 2 million Cubans are estimated to have emigrated since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, and about 85 percent now live in the United States.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/25/172637/cuba-to-welcome-back-many-who.html

  24. BBC NEWS: Eloy Gutierrez-Menoyo, ex-revolutionary and dissident, dies in Cuba

    Eloy Gutierrez-Menoyo, a former Cuban revolutionary who later became a dissident, has died aged 77, friends and family have said.

    His wife, Flor Ester Torres Sanabria, told AP news agency that her husband died in a Havana hospital after suffering a heart attack.

    Mr Gutierrez-Menoyo was a commander during the 1959 Cuban revolution.

    However, he later led an armed uprising against former comrade Fidel Castro and spent 22 years in prison.

    A close friend in Cuba, radio commentator Max Lesnik, said the opposition activist had died on Friday morning, the Miami Herald reported

    Born in Madrid, Mr Gutierrez-Menoyo was the son and brother of men who fought in the Spanish civil war against Gen Francisco Franco.

    The family moved to Cuba in 1945 and Mr Gutierrez-Menoyo later joined rebels opposing dictator Fulgencio Batista.

    However, after the revolution he lost faith in the communist leadership and by 1961 was in exile in Miami helping to form Alpha 66, an armed commando group.

    Mr Gutierrez-Menoyo and his fighters returned to Cuba in December 1964 hoping to launch an uprising, but they were captured after a month.

    He then spent 22 years in Cuban prisons until being freed through a petition of the Spanish government in 1986.

    He later moved back to Miami where he founded Cambio Cubano – a centrist group that promoted dialogue and reconciliation among Cubans of all political backgrounds.

    Mr Gutierrez-Menoyo returned to Cuba in 2003. The authorities allowed him to stay despite his frequent criticisms of the government.

    In 2008 he expressed his disappointment that Cuba’s communist system had remained unchanged.

    “Cuba cannot continue to corner itself, trying to convince the world that there is democracy here when a one-party system will never be a democracy,” he said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20102772

  25. Simba!! SIMBA!I AM SO MANY POINTS AHEAD THAT YOU TAKING 120 WONT MAKE A DENT! JE JE JE!

  26. Simba Sez: What a wondeful job of paying absolutely no attention to what Yoani has to say on her blog. It’s okay if you give yourself 20 points because I’m taking 120 points away from you.

  27. Humberto,

    The story in the link you posted below in #113 rings true. I’d like to know if there is an organization that is devoted to tracking down and bringing to justice people who’ve committed crimes against humanity, or lesser evils, during the last 53 years in Cuba and who now seek refuge in other parts of the world. Simon Wiesenthal and the nazi hunters after World War II come to mind. I would be surprised if databases have not been established on this issue with respect to Cuba. I’m all for reconciliation, but not if it excludes holding people accountable for what they’ve done. I think any reconciliation must include that.

  28. BELLINGHAM HERALD: Former Cuban prisons chief accused of abuse is now living in Florida – By JUAN O. TAMAYO

    MIAMI — A former chief of prisons in Cuba’s Villa Clara province is reported to be living in South Florida despite allegations that he denied medical treatment to one inmate and ripped out the intravenous feeding tubes of another on a hunger strike. Marino Rivera, about 80 years old, and his wife, a former migration official in the provincial capital, Santa Clara, also are reported to have made more than one trip back to the island, although government defectors are usually blocked from returning.

    Miami immigration lawyers Santiago Alpizar and Wilfredo Allen said they have contacted U.S. prosecutors to find out how Rivera could have been allowed into the United States with his background.

    Rivera and his wife were both senior officials in the Interior Ministry, in charge of internal security, prisons and firefighters and members of the Communist Party. They could not be located to comment for this story.

    Santa Clara dissident Guillermo Farinas, winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize in 2010, said Rivera yanked two intravenous needles from his arms in a fit of anger during one of his many hunger strikes in 1998.

    Farinas said he was serving a three-year sentence for incitement to crime when he started the hunger strike and after 35 days wound up at the Celestino Hernandez Hospital in Santa Clara, with intravenous feeding tubes on each arm.

    “I was in a bed in the penal wing and he came in, as the head of jails and prisons, to talk to me in a good way about stopping the hunger strike,” Farinas told The Miami Herlad by phone from his home Thursday.

    “But then we argued and he exploded, he went into a rage. He tore out the two needles with one yank of the tubes. He just yanked them out,” Farinas said. “He yelled that opposition people did not need intravenous tubes. That they needed to be killed.”

    Aides to Rivera pulled him away, Farinas added, “but that showed the criminal essence of this repressor.”

    Benito Ortega, a dissident who said he spent 22 years in Castro’s prisons and now lives in Virginia, said that Rivera was provincial prison chief in 1994 when he requested medical treatment for a badly infected anal fistula.

    “He told me that dissidents wanted to be jailed so they could receive better medical treatment, and that he wasn’t going to approve that,” Ortega told the Herald. The fistula eventually cleared up by itself.

    And Rafael Perez, a dissident now living in Houston, said he was harassed by Rivera and his wife many times when he lived across the street from the couple in Santa Clara. The wife was a lieutenant colonel in the Interior Ministry, he added.

    Rivera burst into his home several times and told him that he would be arrested if he stepped outside his house, Perez added. The couple also participated in several “acts of repudiation” against him and other dissidents in Santa Clara, he said.

    Rivera retired as an Interior Ministry colonel about seven years ago, said Farinas and Rivera. The couple made about three trips to a U.S. daughter in South Florida after the retirement, and decided to stay on their fourth visit.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/10/25/2742925/former-cuban-prisons-chief-accused.html

  29. AFTER 53+ YEARS OF HURRICANES FIDEL & RAUL, MY FAVORITE CITY IN CUBA IS SUFFERING ANOTHER BLOW BY HURRICANE “SANDY”!!

    REUTERS: Hurricane Sandy leaves trail of destruction in Cuba – By Jeff Franks

    Hurricane Sandy hit Cuba with a surprising jolt on Thursday, slamming the island with winds that reached 110 miles per hour and leaving a trail of destruction, especially in the historic city of Santiago de Cuba. Cuban television showed fallen trees, damaged buildings and debris-choked streets in the country’s second largest city, which took a direct hit when the storm came ashore in the early morning hours. “Everything is destroyed in Santiago. People are going to have to work very hard to recover,” Alexis Manduley, a resident of the city, told Reuters by telephone. After striking Jamaica, Sandy strengthened as it crossed warm Caribbean waters and roared ashore just west of Santiago de Cuba, raking the 498-year-old city with heavy rains and wind gusts that exceeded 150 mph in higher elevations. Santiago de Cuba, 470 miles southeast of Havana, is a popular tourist destination because of its large role in Cuban history, its music and its Caribbean ambience. Its first mayor was Hernan Cortes, who went on to conquer Mexico for Spain, key battles were fought there during the Spanish-American War and Fidel Castro spent part of his childhood in the city.

    On Thursday, it was a city of half a million people with no power, no water service and little public transportation.

    Cuban television showed people walking down the middle of main avenues empty of vehicles, but strewn with broken palm fronds and branches.

    Restaurant workers chopped fallen trees with machetes to clear an outside eating area where sun shades were ripped apart and strewn about. Sidewalks were blocked by bricks from fallen walls.

    CRUMBLING BUILDINGS

    A local television reporter told Cuban state television by phone that many of the city’s 300,000 homes were in bad shape before the storm and therefore vulnerable to its powerful winds and rain.

    Crumbling buildings are common on the communist island, where money and materials for maintenance have been in short supply for the half century following the 1959 Cuban revolution.

    Longtime Santiago de Cuba resident Eduardo Gonzalez said he had walked through much of the city and saw many damaged homes, some almost to the point of complete destruction.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/25/us-storm-sandy-cuba-idUKBRE89O1K320121025

  30. FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO HELP THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE “SANDY” IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA OR ANY OTHER PART OF THE ISLAND, THE BEST I KNOW IS THRU THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THEIR “CARITAS” BRANCH! YOU CAN FIND PHONES AND E-MAILS IN THE LINK!

    Caritas Cuba works through the 11 dioceses in Cuba as one of the few independent non-governmental organisations active there. Its programmes include numerous soup kitchens and health-related projects. Caritas Cuba also focuses on two of Cuba’s most vulnerable groups: the elderly and children with learning difficulties.
    http://www.caritas.org/worldmap/latin_america/cuba.html

  31. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S EXPLORER’S JOURNAL: “Cuba’s New Now” and Images of the Ocean: Part I
    Posted by Clare Fieseler

    While diving in Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, I saw few Nassau Grouper. I assume, from their catch, the men fishing from shore did too. They had speared a giant spotter eagle ray, something not uncommon for Mexicans but less traditional for Cubans. Not for sale, the ray was for la parilla – the grill. “There’s a lot of meat in the wings,” the eldest explained. This relative of the shark is protected in Florida; I watched it hacked in front of me feeling, surprisingly, little condemnation. My time in a discordant, enigmatic Cuba had fatigued the conservationist inside me. All morning I had watched the youngest of the men appear at 50-foot depths. Unlike me, he was unaided by dive gear, only a spear in hand. The spear’s velocity echoed underwater. Pheeeww. Thud! The fish impaled that day were small and infrequent. They giant ray was a lucky pull, pedaled home to backyard grills on bicycles. Revisiting the images I snapped that day, I believe one conveys the same Cuban story of food insecurity captured in this month’s National Geographic. In print, a 1950s Chevy roars past the echoing Havana butcher shop. In mine, a hand-rolled cigarette dangles against the turquoise seascape that provides a meal untethered by ration cards.

    CLICK LINK OR COPY AND PASTE TO BROWSER FOR ENTIRE BLOG POST AND PICTURE!

    newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/25/cuba-cover-and-the-ocean/

  32. THIS IS NOT A BENEVOLENT MOVE, IS AN INCOME GENERATING MOVE BY THE CASTROFASCISTS IN ORDER TO PUMP MONEY INTO THEIR COFFERS!

    FOX NEWS LATINO: Cuba opens door to visits from “illegal” emigrants

    The Cuban government will ease restrictions on visits to the island by people who emigrated without authorization, including doctors and athletes who defected while on excursions abroad, a senior official said.

    The measures are intended to “deepen and intensify” relations with Cubans living outside the country, Cabinet secretary Homero Acosta said on state television.

    Under the new regulations, people who emigrated without authorization after Cuba and the United States signed a migration pact in 1994 will be allowed to return for visits once eight years have elapsed since their “illegal” departure.

    Health professionals and athletes who defected during missions abroad after 1990 can likewise visit Cuba, again subject to the eight-year requirement, Acosta said.

    The liberalization will not apply to people who left Cuba via the “illegal” U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo due to national security concerns, he said.

    Cuba’s Communist government also plans to facilitate the return of people who emigrated before the age of 16 and of expats who wish to come home to take care of ailing or disabled relatives.

    The provisions announced by Acosta are part of a broad migration reform set to take effect on Jan. 14.

    The package includes the elimination of the hated exit permits and a doubling – to 24 months – of the length of time Cubans can spend abroad at a single stretch.

    More than 99 percent of Cubans who applied for exit permits in the last 12 years received them, the Cabinet secretary said, adding that only 120,700 of the more than 940,000 people who traveled abroad during that period failed to return.

    Exiles living in the United States accounted for the most of the 400,000 expats who visited Cuba last year, Acosta said. EFE

    latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/10/25/cuba-opens-door-to-visits-from-illegal-emigrants/

  33. EXCELLENT ARTICLE ABOUT THE CUBA REALITY! WORTH THE READ! AND YES!! IS AN ARTICLE/POST ACTUALLY ABOUT CUBA! I GIVE MYSELF 20 POINTS FOR THAT!

    NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Cuba’s New Now – After half a century under Fidel, Cubans feel a wary sense of possibility. But this time, don’t expect a revolution. – By Cynthia Gorney – Photograph by Paolo Pellegrin

    I invoked the many reports I was reading, with names like “Change in Post-Fidel Cuba” and “Cuba’s New Resolve.” Eduardo would gaze heavenward in exasperation. I invoked the much vaunted new rules opening up the controlled economy of socialist Cuba—the laws allowing people to buy and sell houses and cars openly, obtain bank loans, and work legally for themselves in a variety of small businesses rather than being obliged to work for the state. But no. More eye rolling. “All that is for the benefit of these guys,” Eduardo said to me once, and tapped his own shoulder, the discreet Cuban signal for a person with military hardware and inner-circle political pull. “Viva Cuba Libre,” Eduardo muttered, mimicking a revolutionary exhortation we’d seen emblazoned high on an outdoor wall. Long live free Cuba. “Free from both of them,” he said. “That’s when there might be real change.”

    Ever since he was a teenager in high school, Eduardo told me, it had been evident to him that adulthood in revolutionary Cuba offered exactly nothing by way of personal advancement and material comfort to anybody except the peces gordos. The big fish. (Well, literally translated, the fat fish—the tap-on-the-shoulder parties.) Nothing works here, Eduardo would cry, pounding the steering wheel of whatever car he’d hustled on loan for the day: The economic model is broken, state employees survive on their tiny salaries only by stealing from the jobsite, the national news outlets are an embarrassment of self-censored boosterism, the government makes people crazy by circulating two national currencies at once.

    “I love my country,” Eduardo kept saying. “But there is no future for me here.”

    Over nine weeks of traveling around Cuba this year and last, I heard this particular sequence of complaints so often, and from so many different kinds of people, that it began to form a kind of collective national lamentation: I love my country and it doesn’t work. There were loyal optimists among the complainers, to be sure, and after a while, whenever I encountered one, I found myself marshaling ammunition to bring Eduardo. I wanted to hear how he’d respond, but when I was being honest with myself, I realized that I also wanted to talk him out of the boat. (Sharks swim in those Cuba-to-Florida waters. The currents are dangerous. There are drownings, people never heard from again.)

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/11/new-cuba/gorney-text

  34. Humberto,

    Good interview with Joe Garcia. It was especially interesting what he said about the growth of civil society in Cuba and how best to help this process, and more importantly, how to avoid harming this process.

  35. The Man!! DEDUCTING YOU ANOTHER 10 POINTS FOR NON-CUBA, NON-CUBAN RANTS!

  36. “In Communism and in Capitalism, they kick you in the ass. But the difference is, under Communism, you have to smile and say, ‘Thank you! , whereas under Capitalism, at least you can scream.”

  37. @The man comes around. Governments of any kind can perpetrate violent actions against their citizens, it happened and it happens. The big difference is that you can drag people responsible of violence into a court of law and win (if they have break laws). You can throw this people out of the government with elections, you gather millions of people in the street and protest against minister, premiers, presidents. And you know what, this is LEGAL and it is done all the time. So citizens counts and have ways to count legally and without violence. Nothing is perfect of course. But the idea that one man can have all the answers for everybody and regulate their lives is the lowest level of perfection and never worked for long.

  38. It’s one of my favourite songs by the country music legend, so I thought I would share the lyrics here, considering the fact some tool is using the title as his nic.

    “When The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash

    And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder:
    One of the four beasts saying: “Come and see.” And I saw.
    And behold, a white horse.

    There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names.
    An’ he decides who to free and who to blame.
    Everybody won’t be treated all the same.
    There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down.
    When the man comes around.

    The hairs on your arm will stand up.
    At the terror in each sip and in each sup.
    For you partake of that last offered cup,
    Or disappear into the potter’s ground.
    When the man comes around.

    Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers.
    One hundred million angels singin’.
    Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum.
    Voices callin’, voices cryin’.
    Some are born an’ some are dyin’.
    It’s Alpha’s and Omega’s Kingdom come.

    And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
    The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
    The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
    It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    Till Armageddon, no Shalam, no Shalom.
    Then the father hen will call his chickens home.
    The wise men will bow down before the throne.
    And at his feet they’ll cast their golden crown.
    When the man comes around.

    Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still.
    Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still.
    Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.
    Listen to the words long written down, When the man comes around.

    Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers.
    One hundred million angels singin’.
    Multitudes are marchin’ to the big kettle drum.
    Voices callin’, voices cryin’.
    Some are born an’ some are dyin’.
    It’s Alpha’s and Omega’s Kingdom come.

    And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
    The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
    The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
    It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    In measured hundredweight and penny pound.
    When the man comes around.

    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts,
    And I looked and behold: a pale horse.
    And his name, that sat on him, was Death.
    And Hell followed with him.

  39. @The Man Comes Around #98… , I still going back and forth and I lived in Italy long enough, I have just moved 6-7 years ago. I was in Italy at that time. But those were actions of terrorists and criminality, not a government that is shutting down the opposition. That was the point, obviously.

  40. MsY influential?… wow Cuban middle-class angst and cravings (if not middle-aged), probably are now the rage and influential in the land of the half-free media where Papa Murdoch (about the same age as Castro) presides over in absolutist monarchy fashion and style…

    Women used to be known for their needlework (I mean middle class virtuous women NOT the ‘other’ women) now they are known for their blog. And another big victory it is for the feminist framing and the Gwyneth Paltrows of this world!

    I suppose if one is to look closer it is the same skill as needlework… you do a beautiful word on a canvass that says something nice most would agree with, and if the word fits the politics too then the Man himself gives you a call and pats you on the head… good girl Y. Now sell more books on Amazon your needlework, sorry, blog, is kosher for us over there!

    I look forward to MsY doing a blog on Cuban cooking… at least I can upset my wife that women cook in Cuba still (as if)!… I guess I’ll have to wait for the capitalist restauration to happen for MsY to rebrand herself!

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