Spicy, Spicy

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Mexico does not allow for half measures, does not admit that we remain unscathed. It’s like spice on the tongue, tequila in the throat and the sun in our eyes. Five days in the land of the feathered serpent and it was hard for me to board the plane because intense desires spoke to me about staying to explore a captivating and complex reality. I’ve seen modern buildings a few yards from the ruins of the Great Temple; incredible traffic jams on the streets, while on the sidewalks people walk with the calm of those who are in no hurry to arrive. I have also seen the smiling La Calavera Catrina, alternating seamlessly with the the vibrantly colorful of the people in La Ciudadela shopping center. With her sarcastic laugh, feathered hat and exposed ribcage she challenges me. Someone gave me a taste of a dessert, it was intensely sweet, sprinkled with sugar; but then I bit into a tamale and the kick of chili on my tongue made me cry. Mexico doesn’t allow for lukewarm feelings, you love it or you love it.

So my Aztec journey began surrounded by contrasts. From Puebla to Mexico City, meeting friends and visiting several newspaper offices, radio stations and, above all, speaking with many many journalist colleagues. I wanted to know first hand the rewards and risks of practicing the reporter’s profession in this society and I have met a great number of concerned, but working, professionals. People who risk their lives, especially in the north, to report; people who think like I do about the need for a free press, responsible, and tied to reality. I have learned from them. I have also gotten lost in the network of tiny shops and kiosks in the city center, and have felt the pulse of life there. A life I had perceived from the air before we landed, when at dawn on Saturday I saw the great anthill that is Mexico City, the many cities it contains, burning with life, despite the early hour.

For a moment, I had the impression of living in a fragment of the novel Los detectives Salvajes by Roberto Bolaño. But I wasn’t seeking, like the protagonists in this book, a cult poetess, lost in oblivion. In reality I was trying to look at and find my own country through the eyes of the Mexicans. And I found it. An Island reinterpreted and multiple, but close; one that raises passions in everyone and leaves no one unscathed. A friend asked me before I left, “What does Mexico make you feel?” I didn’t think too long: “Spicy,” I replied, like a spice that provokes an electric shock, and brings tears of pleasure and torment. “And Cuba,” he insisted, “What does it make you feel?”… Cuba, Cuba is bittersweet…

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348 thoughts on “Spicy, Spicy

  1. Team YOANI must be happy to see all the attention Yoani Sanchez has generated. The truth about what happens in Cuba is being exposed. Soon the abusive CASTRO REGIME will crumble and Cuba will have to create a new system to better care for its people. Thank You Yoani and all those who contribute to this WORLD CLASS BLOG exposing the abuses of DICTATORSHIPS that still exist in this modern world. HASTA CUANDO ????

  2. And calling Fernando Ravsberg a servile toady to Castro is not my idea.

    It’s one of the nicest things that is said about him in Cuba.

    All I know about him is he lies profusely.

    translatingcuba.com/response-to-fernando-ravsberg-rosa-maria-paya-acevedo/

    That is what Paya says about him, you’ll note she repeatedly calls him a liar and that he offends the memory of her father:

  3. Nick,

    Actually you have said the evidence is overwhelming, obvious from your original comments even if you didn’t use the “overwhelming” word.

    You came out guns blazing as soon as the murder of Paya and Cepero was discussed.

    You said it was shameful and disgusting that anyone should discuss those things here.

    Most bizarrely, you said it shouldn’t be discussed out of respect to the bereaved, ignoring that it is the bereaved that is going around the world demanding the case be discussed and investigated.

  4. @Marabu:

    What schmo would want to earn money “as an employee” when he/she could earn it for themselves, by their own wits, not working for someone else?

    That’s a no-brainer.

  5. @Pam

    You are right. This is not a solidarity offer. I want a new ATS Cadilac.

    BTW, Yoani has not earned a penny in her whole lifetime the way I do: as en employee.

  6. “Marabu
    Marzo 30th, 2013 at 08:06
    SERVER ERRORS AGAIN! OFFER FOR YOANI
    Yoani, I offer you a much better hosting environment for your blog in the USA (where most of your traffic comes from anyway) in exchange for just 1% (one per cent) of your wealth on the last day of your trip.”

    So, the armchair socialist is just about the money? Just a bunch of bullsh*tters any way you look at it. EARN your own money, just like Yoani does.

  7. Humberto #333

    The Radio Netherlands interview was excellent. Thanks for posting it!

  8. SERVER ERRORS AGAIN! OFFER FOR YOANI

    Yoani, I offer you a much better hosting environment for your blog in the USA (where most of your traffic comes from anyway) in exchange for just 1% (one per cent) of your wealth on the last day of your trip.

  9. Hank:
    I repeat that I think you are fully entitled to your opinion.
    I have mine.

    Help is wrong yet again. Nowhere have I stated that any evidence is ‘overwhelming’.
    Please note that I refrain from calling Help a liar.
    It would be a surprise if he were to suddenly show a similar level of respect.

    My opinion as to the PROBABILITY of what happened re the sad deaths of Snr Paya and Snr Cepero is based on the following:
    I have driven miles and miles and miles on Cuban roads. They are not the best.
    Car accidents are common. So are related fatalities.
    I could list musicians, sports stars and my own personal friends who have sadly met their deaths in Cuban traffic accidents.
    Just a couple of weeks ago the excellent Cuban pitcher, Yadier Pedroso (RIP) lost his life in a car crash. He was very well regarded both as a pelotero and a nice guy.
    http://www.ibaf.org/en/news/2013/03/18/tragic-death-of-yadier-pedroso-cuba-loses-one-of-i/f9a749ae-b882-45bd-a616-475f990bba50

    The Spanish Consul to Cuba, who represents the same ruling right wing political party that Carromero is an activist of, says it was a fair trial.
    The Spanish Consul said that the Cuban Lawyer who defended Carromero was fine.
    His defence was advised by a Spanish lawyer and Spanish diplomats who were present.
    His defence concentrated on the poor signage and their statement that he was not going so fast. They did not mention another car or a collision with another car or being rammed.

    BBC MUNDO correspondent says trial was fair (although Help does helpfully suggest that this correspondent is a ‘servile toady’.):
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/mundo/cartas_desde_cuba/2012/10/un_juicio_publico_en_una_ciuda.html

    The Swedish passenger slept throughout. Unlikely if, as suggested, the car was being rammed.
    Does no-one think he would’ve perhaps woken up or maybe even woken up and suggested that the Cuban passengers put on their safety belts which would have possibly saved their lives?
    Back in Sweden he has not changed this story:

    He has met with Mr Paya’s bereaved daughter and is still totally against the Cuban Government but has not changed his story.

    Eye witnesses are named and appear on Cubadebate website.
    http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs3498.html
    Snr Duque de Estrada Pérez appears in the Cuban News report posted by our fellow contribotor #309..
    This man’s description of what he saw looks pretty genuine. He does not look like an actor, a liar or a secret agent to me.

    The one and only person who was present who now says the car was rammed is the Driver.
    Surprise surprise: Back in Spain he’s changed his story.
    Why??
    Perhaps he now wants to shift the blame for 2 deaths away from his own dangerous driving?.
    Perhaps he wants to get his sentence reduced further by appealing to a Spanish court process?
    Perhaps he wants to revive his budding political career which has been damaged by these events?
    Perhaps he wants to damage the Cuban Government which was, after all, his reason for being in Cuba in the first place?
    Perhaps he just likes the spotlight on him?
    Perhaps he’s thinking about the future book sales? The film rights?
    Or perhaps he’s telling the truth?

    I know what I think.
    I am 100% ready to change my mind if anyone comes up with any further evidence but, for the time being, I know what I think.

  10. Hank,

    You’re welcome and thanks for asking those questions.

    Keep asking them, the inability to respond to them speaks very loudly.

    Have a great Easter.

  11. Thank You Humerto!

    I was wondering about hacking attacks on this site, and Yoani has confirmed it. Her site has been attacked 15000 times in one month!

    As with many of the fake posters here, we know where they come from.

    I was also wondering about her missing tooth and she confirmed police officers knocked it out.

    I wish everyone a Good Easter weekend, see you next week God willing.

    Let us walk the pass of peace and not of hatred as our enemies would wish.

  12. Help #299

    Thanks for the video link. Show trials are pretty sickening. Amazing how people still buy into them.

    I understand how people can have different points of view and agree to disagree about things. But it never ceases to surprise me when people refuse to admit when they are wrong.

    Your prediction was right. Not even so much as a half-hearted attempt to answer the questions. Just silence.

  13. PUBLIC RADIO WLRN SOUTH FLORIDA: AUDIO & PRINT REPORT – Miami Awaits Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez – By Daniel Hicks

    Inspiring millions of virtual fans with heartfelt dispatches and persistent calls for greater political freedom, blogger Yoani Sanchez is the most visible symbol of both sweeping change inside Cuba and the modern power of social media to crack some of the world’s most closed societies.

    Internationally recognized for years of frank and piercing criticism of the Castro government, Sanchez is on her first trip out of the country in more than 10 years and is expected to arrive in Miami on Monday as part of her 80-day tour of Europe and the Americas that began in Brazil last February.

    Her trip became a reality in January when Havana eased restrictions on Cubans wanting to travel. Her stopover in Miami is likely to stir up the same passions in South Florida as the name Castro.

    Maximo L. Cruz Gonzalez, president of Assault Brigade 2506, a Miami-based group of veterans from the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, told the Miami Herald:

    “We have fought in an arena different from Yoani’s to restore democratic principles in our country. As such, we support all manifestation as a way of expression against oppressive and undemocratic regime that rules Cuba.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTRIRE AUDIO AND TEXT!

    wlrn.org/post/miami-awaits-cuban-blogger-yoani-sanchez?utm_referrer=

  14. HERE IS OUR FLACA’S AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH THE TRANSCRIPT IN SPANISH! PLEASE FEEL TO USE THIS WHEN PEOPLE ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS OVER AND OVER IN THIS OR OTHER ONLINE COMMENT SECTIONS!

    RADIO NEDERLAND AUDIO ENTREVISTA: Sánchez respondió a decenas de preguntas formuladas por nuestra audiencia mundial.

    La bloguera cubana Yoani Sánchez responde a las preguntas enviadas por nuestros seguidores a través de redes sociales y página web. “ Heroína no me siento. Soy una persona a la que le tiemblan las rodillas y que desde la cobardía está tratando de hacer algo. Es el tiempo también de los cobardes”, dice. Después de un lustro de reiteradas negativas por parte del gobierno cubano, Yoani Sánchez recibió finalmente el visado que le ha permitido viajar fuera de su país, en virtud de la reforma migratoria. Desde entonces ha iniciado una gira que incluirá diez países durante 80 días . Uno de ellos ha sido Holanda, escala facilitada por Amnistía Internacional y el festival holandés ´Películas que importan`.

    Julio Cesar Díaz, desde Santiago de Chile: ¿Quién financia tus viajes y lujos?

    Me encantan este tipo de preguntas porque me ayudan a arrojar luz sobre muchas mentiras . Vivo en un país donde nada de eso se le puede preguntar a quienes nos gobiernan, donde nadie le puede preguntar al presidente de dónde saca el dinero para sus lujos. En mi caso personal he emprendido un viaje donde se pone de manifiesto la solidaridad. Me fui a Brasil con un boleto pagado, recogido el dinero en internet de manera transparente y pública por varios ´bloggers´ brasileños. A partir de ese momento he estado invitada por instituciones de corte académico o humanitario, como Amnistía Internacional y varias universidades en Estados Unidos. No me ha faltado un plato de comida, abrazos, lugares donde dormir y techos donde estar. Y me voy a la Florida en breve con un boleto que mi hermana lleva dos años ahorrando para pagar. Así que eso es básicamente, solidaridad , solidaridad y solidaridad.

    Marsus Khievick, desde El Salvador: ¿Cuánto te paga la CIA para promocionar un proyecto parcial, financiado por los mayores infractores de los derechos humanos a nivel mundial?

    No hay un solo centavo de la CIA, me parece risible esa acusación. El día que me entere de que la CIA está planeando hacer algo dañino y nefasto en Cuba, voy a ser la primera persona en denunciarlo.

    PULSE EN EL ENLACE PARA ESCUCHAR ENTREVISTA ENTERA!

    http://www.rnw.nl/espanol/article/y-s%C3%A1nchez-seguir%C3%A9-siendo-inc%C3%B3moda-en-la-cuba-del-futuro

  15. HOPE THESE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS BY OUR FLACA WILL PUT TO REST MANY OF THE DEFAMATION ATTEMPTS BY THE CASTROFASCISTS AND THEIR BOOTLICKERS! WISHFUL THINKING ON MY PART! THE INTERVIEW WAS IN SPANISH AND IT HAS BEEN TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH!

    RADIO NETHERLANDS: Controversial Cuban blogger answers tough questions – by Alejandro Pintamalli

    For over a decade, the Cuban government refused to allow one of the world’s best known bloggers, Yoani Sánchez, to travel abroad. When Havana finally loosened travel restrictions for Cuban citizens, Sánchez was one of the first to take advantage of the change , embarking on an 80-day 10-nation tour. One of the countries she visited was the Netherlands, a stopover arranged by Amnesty International and the Dutch film festival “Movies that Matter”

    Yoani Sánchez also visited RNW’s Latin America department at our new premises in Hilversum. She answered questions t readers had posted on our Spanish-language Facebook page web site. “I don’t feel like a hero”, she said. “My knees tremble. I’m a coward who is trying to do something. These are times for cowards.”

    Sánchez responded to dozens of questions posed by our worldwide audience.

    Julio César Díaz from Santiago in Chile: who finances your trips and luxury products?
    I love this type of question because it helps me refute a lot of lies. I live in a country where you can’t ask those in power a question like this. No one can ask the president where he gets the money to buy luxury products. In my particular case, I’m able to travel because of solidarity. I flew to Brazil thanks to the money I collected from Brazilian bloggers. I was then invited by academic institutions and humanitarian groups , such as Amnesty International and various universities in the United States. Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve been fed, hugged and given a place to sleep. I’m going to Florida soon using a ticket which my sister has been saving up for for the past two years. So, that’s it basically: solidarity, solidarity and more solidarity.

    Maruss Khievick from El Salvador: How much does the CIA pay you to promote your biased project, financed by the worst human rights violators in the world?
    I haven’t received a penny from the CIA. I think this accusation is ludicrous. The day I find out that the CIA is planning to do something evil in Cuba, I will be the first person to condemn them.

    Harold Tupaz in Colombia: Is there so much hunger in Cuba that you sell your fatherland for a McDonald’s hamburger?
    I don’t like McDonald’s. I like pineapples and Cuban bananas. I think this question just adds to the confusion which I am trying to clear up. The confusion is that Cuba is about a single party, man, government or ideology. Criticising the government is not the same as criticising Cuba. Cuba is much more than that: it’s huge, plural and diverse.

    Ana Brus in Holland: I went to Cuba in 2000. Has the country changed since then, and in what way?
    I think it has. Cuba is changing, and the thing that gives me a lot of hope is that people are changing on the inside. More and more people dare to speak out and do things. Technology has helped a lot to bring about this change from silence to criticism. People are expressing themselves on Twitter, in blogs and through videos. These small changes in recent years are also creating a space for private initiative. People now think: ‘OK, I’m going to stay here and see if I can make a living through my own sweat’. So, yes, things are changing, not because of the politicians, but because of civic pressure.

    Luis Chaura in Florida: Would you like to be the president of Cuba?
    No way. I want to devote myself to journalism, to the media. I’d like to set up a newspaper. Besides, in the Cuba of my dreams, presidents won’t be important. Power will be transferred to the people.

    Gabril Delpino in Cuba: what would you do if they barred you from returning to Cuba?
    If they did, I would get on the first raft to the island. No one is going to prevent me from going back to the country where I was born and where I want my grandchildren to be born. The island doesn’t belong to the government.

    Lázaro Díaz in Miami: After such a long journey and having complained so often, aren’t you afraid that the Cuban government might take reprisals?
    Of course, I’m afraid of reprisals, but I’ve seen the monster’s face. I’m prepared.

    Francisco Javier in Spain: Why is your blog’s server blocked at times and why isn’t it possible to speak about American policies in your blog?
    It gets blocked because we’re the victims of a lot of attacks by hackers. This hasn’t been confirmed, but we believe that the attacks come from the University of Computer Sciences on the outskirts of Havana. In November 2012, my site was attacked 15,000 times in a single month. Regarding US policy, it was on the eve of the last elections, people were leaving comments on my blog expressing their support for one candidate or the other. So we said, ‘this is a blog to speak about Cuba’.

    Raúl Cerverio in Spain: how much money would you need to make a newspaper in Cuba? Millions would have to be sent to Cuba, thereby partly breaking the economic embargo.
    For a virtual newspaper , the only thing you need is talent and stories to tell. We have an abundance of both. I don’t know how that would translate in euros and cents, but it would need millions in terms of talent. We’re a team of people who want to tell our reality using the technologies at hand. It wouldn’t be a print newspaper, so it wouldn’t be very expensive. It wouldn’t be sold, so we wouldn’t get rich doing this. That’s the initial idea. As far as the embargo is concerned, everyone knows that I’m extremely critical of it. I’m not critical to help the Cuban government, but to help my country.

    Martín Guevara Duarte: Freedom of expression, to read and associate, have to go hand in hand with the freedom to establish companies and trade. In China, people are free to make money, but the country continues to strictly control freedom of expression and the right to get involved in politics. In Cuba, Raúl Castro appears to be moving in the same direction. What do you think?
    Yes, exactly. It seems that the government wants to create a model with a form of economic and political liberalisation. But for a number of reasons I don’t think it’s going to work. It’s taken them too long. They started going down this path very late. Cuban society doesn’t only want prosperity. It wants freedom of expression. The other reason is an unshakeable truth, a truth that’s like a stone, a mountain: the leaders who came to power during the revolution are dying off. I don’t think they have enough time left to introduce the Chinese model in Cuba.

    Gabriel Delpino in Cuba: How did you lose your tooth? Is it true that that happened when you were in prison? A friend of mine doubts that version of events. She says you’re a drama queen.
    I think we Cubans are quite melodramatic. Our national history is a mixture of that. Don’t forget that soap operas originated in Cuba. Fidel Castro used many dramatic touches to hypnotise the nation. Personally, I try not to talk much about my painful journey. It has been long and full of incidents. I prefer the path of joya.. all the wonderful events I’ve experienced. I lost a tooth when three female police officers were trying to forcibly undress me in a room. I don’t try to show off the fact that I lost that tooth. A smile is never incomplete. It’s a smile.

    http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/controversial-cuban-blogger-answers-tough-questions

  16. FREEDOM HOUSE: Freedom in the World 2013

    Worst of the Worst: An additional 5 countries and 1 territory received scores that were slightly above those of the worst-ranked countries, with ratings of 6,7 or 7,6 for political rights and civil liberties: Belarus, Chad, China, Cuba, Laos, and South Ossetia.

    CUBA OVERVIEW: The Cuban government oversaw a systematic increase in short-term “preventative” detentions of dissidents in 2012, in addition to harassment, beatings, acts of repudiation, and restrictions on foreign and domestic travel. Such repressive actions intensified surrounding politically sensitive dates throughout the year. A Communist Party conference in January imposed the regime’s first-ever term limits for top party and government officials. The government continued with its program of limited economic reforms, and the number of legally self-employed Cubans reached 400,000. A new migration law published in October promised to eliminate the exit-visa requirement for the first time in 50 years beginning in January 2013.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    networkedblogs.com/JKPbc

  17. Miguel Angel

    I agree completely.

    People who worship Castro can’t understand that we can support free speech while disagreeing with the speaker.

    They can’t understand tolerance and democracy.

    I may never vote for her, but I’ll always support the right of this courageous, honest, promoter of peace and tolerance to run for any office.

    The armchair socialists can’t even understand that Yoani can change her mind. Because they hate her, it is viewed as a sign of weakness, rather than a sign of open-mindedness.

    As if Castro never changed his mind about anything, like every other week.

    The most remarkable think about the armchair socialists who post here is they can never admit they are wrong about anything.

    They belong to a master race who never make mistakes and the Cubans should obey their wise commands.

  18. LEARNING FROM INDONESIA?

    You may say that with likely output of 60 000 tonns in 2013 and stable prices Cuba is doing well in nickel trade. At the moment – maybe.

    But look what Cuban big competitor – Indonesia – is doing. The have passed bill prohibiting exports of unprocessed raw materials from 2014. This might even benfit Cuba in the short term, starting 2014.

    But in the long term the Indonesian approach seems more ambitious. Both Cuba and Indonesia are Third World countries. The First World looks at them the the suppliers of raw materials. To their disadvantage.

    It would certainly be better to export processed products – with nickel content – then nickel ore. The big questions is – will the investors be found. Will Chinese or Russians open plants in Cuba?

    Current dependancy on the Sherritt venture is not stable in the long term. Please note that in these days Sherritt opens a new plant in Madagascar with the output comparable to Cuban.

    This is one of real issues facing the new cuban leadership. A car accident turned into conspiracy is just a distractor made by some immigrants.

  19. 326Humberto Capiro (El Ciberguesz@)

    Marzo 28th, 2013 at 20:38

    I did not know Elly. Remember there were over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children that came to the US through the Pedro Pan program. The first Pedro Pans came in December 1960 and the last ones just before the Missile Crisis in October 1962. After the crisis, flights from Cuba stopped. The sad part is that the parents of over 60,000 children had applied, but only 14,000 made it. Many of them left years later with their parents in the Vuelos de la Libertad, but I know one who never made it and still lives in Cuba. Her life has been hell.

  20. Nick, put your thinking cap on for a second.

    Thousands of unanswered questions surround the deaths of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. I posted a small fraction of those questions here last night and so have other people.

    You don’t have the answers to those questions and neither do I. The only people who do have the answers are the agents of the Cuban government who were there.

    What has the Cuban government done in response to Payá’s daughter’s requests that there be an independent investigation to get to bottom of this? They try to shut her down and silence her.

    I’d like to know the answers to those questions, Nick. Payá and Cepero’s families would like to know the answers to those questions; and so do a lot of other people.

    Do you want to know the answers to those questions, Nick?

    Do you find it in the least bit troubling that Ángel Carromero, the driver of the car in which Payá and Cepero were both traveling on July 22, 2012, says that the car was rammed from behind by a vehicle bearing Cuban government plates and that is what really caused the fatal crash?

    Does it bother you at all that Carromero says he was drugged, he was interrogated and his life was threatened by Cuban authorities who wanted him to lie about what happened? Does it bother you that as a result of those threats, he appeared in a video under duress that was filmed by his Cuban captors?

    Do you find it in any way alarming that Carromero says he was repeating words written in a notebook by a Cuban officer for him to read and that he was forced to sign a confession that bore no resemblance to what happened?

    Here’s a link to the piece in the Washington Post describing these events and the interview with Carromero. It was published on March 5, 2013:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-eyewitness-to-oswaldo-payas-death-speaks-out/2013/03/05/b4e0676a-8598-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html

  21. Miguel Angel!! I KNOW MANY PEDRO PANS! I WAS INVOLVED WITH THEM ON A COUPLE OF PLAYS BY A CUBAN PLAYWRIGHT Melinda Lopez WHO WROTE “SONIA FLEW” ABOUT A PEDRO PAN! ON HER SECOND PLAY “ALEXANROS” AT THE LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE, IN CALIFORNIA I PRODUCED THE RECEPTION WHICH WAS COMMISSIONED BY THE COMPANY! A VERY CUBAN-AMERICAN PLAY! HERE IS THE LINK! DID YOU KNOW ELLY CHOVEL WHO FOUNDED A PEDRO PAN ORGANIZATION? ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE I HAVE MET IN MY LIFE!MISS HER A LOT! LINK OF THE EVENT BELOW!

    http://www.vidasalsera.com/alexandros.htm

  22. 323Marabu

    Marzo 28th, 2013 at 19:47
    @Miguel Angel

    Spanish had a lot more posts.
    The server is overloaded and the Cuban government does not yet want to pay for server upgrade. (#256)
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    Excellent comment. The Cuban government could prove that we only say lies, that there is freedom of speech in Cuba. However, my recommendation to you in Spanish is: Espéralo sentado.

  23. 320Humberto Capiro (El Ciberguesz@)

    Marzo 28th, 2013 at 18:01
    xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Hope so. I miss sending comments on Generación Y and reading what others have to say. I came to the US as part of the Pedro Pan operation in January of 1962 at age 13. I studied HS, College and received a post graduate degree in the US. However, I prefer to communicate in Spanish, when it comes to Cuba. Spanish will always be my native language. However, I support those, like my children, who were born in the US and prefer to communicate in English. At the same time, they care deeply about Cuba’s future and want to help the people of Cuba who want to bring liberty and democracy to our unfortunate homeland.

    The Castro regime must be doing everything in its power to destroy Yoani and Generation Y. There is so much hatred and fear at the top of the regime and within State Security. The sad part is there are some Cuban Exiles who fail to understand the great job that Yoani is doing. Thank God they are not in the majority.

    I don’t always agree with Yoani, but I always respect her opinions, her dedication, her transparency and her honesty. I suspect that, in a free Cuba, I would not vote the way Yoani would vote, but it really does not matter. Those of us who believe in democracy recogniza that there are many valid points of view and, depending on timing and other factors, one may be more valid than another at a point in time.

  24. @Miguel Angel

    Spanish had a lot more posts.
    The server is overloaded and the Cuban government does not yet want to pay for server upgrade. (#256)

  25. ROOTS OF HOPE: Join Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez in a historic TweetUp!Come and experience the power of technology and innovation in driving social change with Yoani Sanchez at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami on April 3, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST. The event will be moderated by Univision’s Pamela Silvia Conde of Primer Impacto.
    Can’t make it to the Arsht Center? The event will stream LIVE on AskYoani.com

    Join the conversation and engage with Yoani by tweeting your own questions to #AskYoani or #YoaniResponde

    How YOU can participate in this historic tweetup:

    1) Register now to attend the event at the Arsht Center in Miami, and bring used cell phones and USB drives with you.

    2) Host a watch party and listen LIVE on Univision.com or ABC.com

    3) Ask Yoani your own questions via Twitter. Click here to tweet using #AskYoani

    4) Mobilize the power of social media! Organize a cellphone or USB collection drive

    http://www.rootsofhope.org/askyoani/

  26. MIAMI HERALD (see photos) : Blogger Yoani Sánchez arrives in Miami – Yoani Sánchez arrived in Miami Thursday for a reunion with her family and a public agenda that begins Monday – By MIMI WHITEFIELD

    Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez touched down at Miami International Airport Thursday afternoon and reacted emotionally to reuniting with her family as well as arriving in the heartland of Cuban exiles.

    Via her Twitter account, Sánchez said she would be spending the next few days with her sister Yunia, brother-in-law and niece before beginning a public agenda Monday.

    One of her first stops Thursday was at La Ermita de la Caridad, the shrine for Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint. She met with Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski and the Rev. Juan Rumin, the pastor of the bayside shrine in Coconut Grove.

    Sánchez, who was denied permission to leave Cuba for a dozen years despite many invitations to travel abroad, finally received her passport and began an international tour in February that has already taken her to Latin America, Europe, New York and Washington.

    Her outspoken style about daily life in Cuba and the plight of dissidents in her Generación Y blog has earned her well over 15 million hits a month and she has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter.

    She wasted no time in sending out a stream of Tweets after her arrival in Miami. Among them:

    • “After two years of separation, I’ve finally been able to reunite with my sister and give her a hug.’’

    • “Since I arrived at the airport, I’ve encountered Cubans everywhere. What emotion.’’

    • “My sister and I, two years, 90 miles of separation. The drama of so many Cuban families.”

    Sánchez begins the day Monday with a meeting with The Miami Herald editorial board. From there she’ll head to Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower where she’ll receive the MDC Presidential Medal for championing human rights and take part in a public conversation with Miami Herald Editorial Page Editor Myriam Marquez. The conversation will be live-streamed on the college website. All 800 tickets to the event have already been distributed.

    From there she’ll head to Florida International University for an evening reception and public event.

    She also plans some private meetings and will appear at a Tweet Up at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday. She’ll be discussing technology, innovation and social change at the event organized by the Knight Foundation and Roots of Hope. The public will be able to send her questions by tweeting them to #askyoani. Free tickets are available at askyoani (at) com.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/28/3312117/yoani-sanchez-arrives-in-miami.html

  27. Miguel Angel !! ITS THE C.I.A. DEAR! JE JE JE! FYI! THIS SITE HAS BEEN UP AND DOWN FOR OVER A WEEK! YOANI’S SITE IS THE SUBJECT OF CYBER ATTACKS EVERYDAY, JUST LIKE THE REPUDIATION ACTS IN CUBA BUT IN CYBER SPACE! THINGS ARE GETTING BACK TO NORMAL!

  28. YOANI SANCHEZ HAS HIT THE BAD OLD U.S.A. SOIL!!!!!!!!!!! WE LOVE YOU FLACA!!!!!!!!!!!

    YOANI SANCHEZ TWEETS ‏@yoanisanchez
    +Después de dos años de separación, al fin he podido reencontrarme con mi hermana y darle un abrazo :-)
    +Esta tarde llegué a #Miami Estaré un par de días sumergida de lleno en mi familia y después comenzaré un programa público
    +Desde que llegué al aeropuerto de #Miami me he encontrado cubanos por todos lados. Qué emoción!!!
    +Mi sobrina preciosa, mi hermana atenta, mi cuñado solícito. Qué suerte de #familia pero que suerte…
    +Mi hermana y yo, dos años y 90 millas de separación. El drama de tantas familias cubanas :-(
    https://twitter.com/yoanisanchez

  29. Any idea why we can comment on the English version of Generación Y, but not the Spanish version?

  30. SPEAKING OF THE Oswaldo Paya & Harold Cepero MURDER INVESTIGATION INTERNATIONAL REQUEST! THE HEAT IS ON! BIG GUSANOS HUGS AND KISSES FOR Marabu & Nick! HOPE THAT MAKES YOU BOTH FEEL BETTER AND WELCOMED HERE!

    THE HILL: Obama administration joins congressional call for probe into deaths of Cuban activists – by Julian Pecquet

    The Obama administration supports the growing calls for an international probe into the deaths of two Cuban democracy activists last year, the State Department said Thursday.

    The declaration follows growing pressure from Congress for an investigation into the death of Oswaldo Payá, who was killed along with fellow activist Harold Cepero in a July 22 car wreck. The driver, Spaniard Ángel Carromero, was charged with vehicular manslaughter before being released to Spain; he has since declared that he was forced off the road by a car with government license plates.

    “The United States supports the calls for an international investigation with independent international observers into the circumstances leading to the deaths of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero in Cuba,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday. “The people of Cuba and the families of these two activists deserve a clear, credible accounting of the events that resulted in their tragic deaths. The United States will continue to advocate for the rights of all Cubans to speak out of defense of human rights and democracy.”

    Eight senators from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to the Organization of American States last week urging such a probe.

    “Oswaldo Payá was a brave man trying to peacefully advocate for greater political freedom for his fellow Cuban brothers and sisters,” the senators wrote in a letter to Emilio Álvarez Icaza, the executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. “It increasingly looks like he paid for that effort with his life. His memory and his family deserve an honest and independent accounting of what happened.

    “We urge you for your consideration and stand ready to work with you on this important matter.”

    Separately, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging an investigation two weeks ago after meeting with activist Yoani Sánchez on Capitol Hill.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/americas/290817-obama-administration-joins-congressional-call-for-probe-into-cuban-activists-death-

  31. I take it Nick, that you have no answer for any of the questions that have been asked.

    Overwhelming evidence you say, but you can’t come up with one piece of evidence to post here.

    An unrecorded closed trial with invisible witnesses, a trial which not even the family of the victim was allowed to attend, to you is overwhelming evidence.

    Let’s get this straight, every witness that we know exists gave the exact same story of events: Paya and Cepero were run off the road.

    We also have text messages saying the same thing from the scene of the crime.

    And you have: nothing, except “Fernando says so”.

    I just ask questions which you can’t answer.

    You respond with insults every time.

    And you support fascism according to the definitions you provided. That’s not an insult, it’s what you do.

  32. @Nick #314

    They will always be like this, and even worse. Don’t expect change here.

    With the reforms of the recent years, death penalty almost non existent, political prisoners kicked out to Spain, good relations with church and soft hand on dissidents they are running out of any rational arguments.

    Whom they can still target? You.

  33. So helpy calls me a fascist and now a liar.

    …oh and the BBC correspondant is a servile toady.

    Is that all this guy can come up with?

    Is his only angle to insult those that disagree with him??

  34. SCRAPING THE BOTTOM OF THE CASTROFASCIST PROPAGANDA BARREL!

    WASHINGTON POST: Cuba video game lets you fight for ‘Che’ and Fidel in revolutionary shoot ‘em up

    HAVANA — Fight your way through mangrove swamps shoulder-to-shoulder with bearded guerrillas clad in the olive green of Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Your mission: Topple 1950s Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

    Out to foil you are helmeted Batista soldiers and police in mustard-yellow uniforms who pop out from behind trees and fire from trucks and farmhouses. You pick them off with a vintage Colt .45 or Springfield rifle in classic first-person-shooter style. If you’re hit three times, it’s revolution over.

    Island programmers have unveiled a brand new 3-D shoot-’em-up video game that puts a distinctly Cuban twist on gaming, letting players recreate decisive clashes from the 1959 revolution and giving youngsters a taste of the uprising in which many of their grandparents fought.

    “The player identifies with the history of Cuba,” said Haylin Corujo, head of video game studies for Cuba’s Youth Computing Club and the leader of the team of a dozen developers who created “Gesta Final” — which translates roughly as “Final Heroic Deed.” ‘’You can be a participant in the battles that were fought in the war from ‘56 to ‘59.”

    The game starts with the user joining the 82 rebels who in 1956 sailed to Cuba from Mexico aboard the Granma, the creaky and now-iconic yacht that has become synonymous with the revolution.

    After a brief description of the historic landing — a spectacular disaster that very nearly derailed the rebellion when some three-quarters of the Granma’s passengers were killed — you find yourself wading through the wetlands of southeastern Cuba surrounded by fellow guerrillas, identifiable by the black-and-red armbands of Fidel and Raul Castro’s revolutionary movement.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/cuba-video-game-lets-you-fight-for-che-and-fidel-in-revolutionary-shoot-em-up/2013/03/28/b086c672-97cd-11e2-b5b4-b63027b499de_story.html

  35. RADIO NETHERLANDS ENTREVISTA/INTERVIEW: Entrevista a Yoani Sánchez – La bloguera y disidente cubana, Yoani Sánchez, hizo un alto en su gira por el mundo para responderle a los seguidores de las redes sociales y lectores de la página de Internet.
    Interview with Yoani Sanchez – The dissident Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez, made ​​a stop on his tour of the world to respond to social media followers and readers of the website
    http://world-outline.com/2013/03/changing-face-cuba-communism-capitalism/

  36. Nick & Marabu! YES, SOME TRIAL! LETS SEE, THE FAMILY OF OSWALDO PAYA WAS NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COURTROOM, THE JOURNALISTS WERE KEPT AT BAY IN AN ADJACENT ROOM WITH NO RECORDING DEVICES, ANGEL CARROMERO AND HIS LAWYERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO VIEW THE EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM!! HMMMM! SOUNDS LIKE A TRANSPARENT TRIAL TO ME!

    WALL STREET JOURNAL: Cuba’s Stake in the Chávez Presidency – By MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY

    On Thursday, state security detained journalist Yoani Sánchez as she traveled to the city of Bayamo. Ms. Sánchez was assigned to cover the trial of Spanish democracy advocate Angel Carromero there for the Spanish daily El Pais.

    Mr. Carromero—who was at the wheel when Cuban human-rights defenders Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero were killed in a car wreck in July on the eastern end of the island—stands accused of vehicular manslaughter. Payá was a popular and charismatic leader of Cuba’s growing dissident movement, and after the crash rumors were flying that the Spaniard’s rental car had been forced off the road. If found to be true, it would badly damage the Castro brothers’ attempts to gain legitimacy on the international stage.

    The Payá family has called for an independent investigation. The government has ignored their request. Foreign journalists were allowed to sit in an adjacent room at the courthouse and watch the Friday “trial” on closed-circuit television. But secret police kept the Payá family away from the premises. No verdict has been handed down. Ms. Sánchez and her husband were released late Friday.

    Silencing critics, making examples of meddling foreigners and running closed, summary trials are nothing new. But Cuba watchers say that as the dissidents have grown in number and have increasingly learned how to organize, the regime has been ratcheting up the repression.

    The same day Ms. Sánchez was detained the regime also arrested 22 “pro-democracy activists who sought to attend a peaceful gathering in the town of Santa Clara to discuss a petition titled, ‘Citizens’ Demand for Another Cuba,’ ” according to the website Capitol Hill Cubans. The arrests are part of a wider assault on government critics, among them the Ladies in White, who won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2005.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443768804578038402405764888.html

  37. SOME INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE OFFICIAL OSWALDO PAYA “ACCIDENT” VIDEO (link below) RELEASED BY THE CASTRO “GOVERNMENT” ! 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! You can see manipulated photo of the rear bumper showing a very shiny and inconsistent texture on the right side @ 0.22 seconds into the video unlike that @ 5:03 minutes.

    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!

  38. Nick,

    Now getting back to all the evidence you have seen, why won’t you post just one teeny part of all that evidence on this blog?

    For example, there are 3 eyewitnesses who said they saw the Spaniard speeding.

    Do you have their names? Occupations? Their addresses? How can I go about interviewing them?

    Since you say the trial was open and your favorite BBC reporter was at the trial, you can surely supply us with this little bit of information.

    Right?

  39. Nick,

    Can you stop lying please.

    Feel free to keep lying about your own life and about Cuba, but at least stop lying about what I write.

    It puts you on the same level as Fernando Ravsberg and Salim Lamrani.

    I know your favorite BBC reporter was present at the trial, I said no independent reporter was present at the trial, which is true.

    Your favorite BBC reporter is a lifelong admirer of Castro and works as a servile toadie to the regime.

    That is how dictatorships work.

  40. #304

    Much as I confidently predicted in #300, Helpy is off on his flights of fancy alleging that the BBC was not present at events at which it was present or that the BBC publishes pro Cuban government propaganda or that there are no independent reporters in Cuba.

    This really is the most absurdly biased point of view; complete and total nonsense.

    Helpy just keeps on surpassing himself on the comedy richter scale.

    As regards Hank’s questions:

    Go on the internet, read the reports regarding what the coroner said, read what the witnesses said, look at potential motives as to why Carromero would change his story now he’s back in Spain… etc etc etc..

    This is what I have done and I’ve reached a conclusion as to what, on balance, I think probably occurred.

    I’m always going to give more credence to those who were at the trial rather than those who were not and who simply base their opinions of the case on their own political points of view.

    I’m always going to give more credence to commentators such as Harold Dilla Alfonso (#270, #278) who have a knowledgeable and balanced point of view, rather than those who simply bang out their usual anti-cuban government stance on all matters.

  41. Nick,

    Are you aware that USAID is funding Sean Penn’s work in Haiti, building shelter for the homeless?

    Is Sean Penn a right-winger? Is helping the homeless part of an evil regime-change conspiracy by the US government?

    It’s about as evil as helping a few Cubans get connected to the internet.

  42. Nick,

    As I predicted, you could not answer one of Hank’s many pertinent questions.

    The reason is, contrary to what you imply, no independent reporter was allowed at the trial.

    In fact, no independent reporter is allowed to work in Cuba, period.

    If your favorite BBC reporter started asking tough questions, he’d be kicked out of Cuba in less than a week, probably a day, as happens to all foreign reporters who cross that line.

    The US ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph E. Davies, a former attorney who would know these things, was at Stalin’s show trials and said they were clean, open and flawless.

    They even made a movie about it called Mission to Moscow. Walter Huston plays Davies.

    The “impartial” international press you like to cite all the time said the same thing, Stalin’s trials were flawless and fair.

  43. Anyone who still clings to the idea that the USA and USAID ride around the world
    like some international batman and robin, benevolent righters of wrongs and restorers of democracy despite the almost infinite amount of examples to the contrary…

    ….is just as absurd as those who suggest Fidal Castro is some kind of saint or that Cuba is a perfect socialist paradise.

  44. @Nick

    In addition to the words of the Spanish Consul to Cuba and the BBC also the Cuban press (English versions) didn’t report anything unusual about the trial.

    Does the survivor say he was tortured?

  45. From Freedom House website:

    “We advocate for U.S. leadership and collaboration with like-minded governments to vigorously oppose dictators and oppression……”

    Freedom House started in 1941.

    Since 1941 how many examples are there of US leadership backing and collaborating with non-democratic right wing extremist regimes in the Americas??

    Shall I list them? It would be quicker to list the Latin American countries where the US has not backed right ring extremist dictatorships.

    Has Freedom House ever criticized Guantanamo Bay concentration camp (referred to by Amnesty International as ‘the gulag of our times’) ???

    Freedom House masquerades as an NGO.

    However it is funded largely by guess who??….

    ….USAID.

    Nuff said.

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