One Day More, One Day Less

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The tree of rights, hard to grow, easy to cut down #DDHHCuba

“Repetition is the mother of learning,” an old professor of Military Preparation in my high school used to say. He wasn’t, however, referring to the repetition of a phrase in order to learn it, or of a particular mathematical operation to memorize it. In fact, he was referring to punishment, the correction which, according to him, should be insistent to generate respect. So he overwhelmed us with shouts, unnecessary reports and even insults of “slackers” when we didn’t know how to handle a rifle or crawl through the grass. But instead of cementing in us the knowledge he imparted, we all feared and detested him.

This same logic of applying repression over and over again is used by the State Security apparatus every December 10th. On World Human Rights Day we live through 24-hours of clubs and threats. Every year it’s the same thing and a little more, because like all correctives it seeks to paralyze its victims. Arrests, besieged homes and threats delivered ahead of time to the members of the different civic movements are all part of this “ritual of terror.” They’ve also added cutting off cellphone service — with the complicity of the Cubacel company — and sending apocryphal messages to sow confusion among activists.

But the repeated penance isn’t working. The numbers of those who engage in some demonstration for Human Rights are increasing, not declining. The old pedagogy of beatings no longer serves as an example, but rather fans the reasons to speak out. On the other hand, there are people who don’t belong to any critical organization or to any dissident group who are witnessing and taking note of these repressive waves. Witnesses of the moment when some Ladies in White are forced into cars or when an independent journalist’s camera is taken from her. After seeing something like this, you can no longer say you didn’t know, you will no longer be the same.

The repetition of repression only stirs up nonconformity, it doesn’t dampen it. Insistent beatings don’t teach us… because the lesson of meekness is not one we want to learn.

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76 thoughts on “One Day More, One Day Less

  1. HEY Nick! IS THIS YOUR NEW VERSION OF “BAD OLD USA”?? KIND OF OLD ISNT IT?? YOU KNOW LIKE OVER 60 YEARS! DUH!

    Celia Cruz refused artist’s visa in 1950s
    MIAMI (AP) — Salsa legend Celia Cruz, a Cuban exile who later became an anti-communist icon of the Cuban-American exile community, was refused an artist’s visa to visit America at least twice in the 1950s, according to recently declassified documents.
    None of the records provide proof of the claims, including one that Cruz met secretly at age 27 with Cuban Socialist Party leader, and had used an October 1953 concert as cover to meet covertly with communists in Venezuela.
    Cruz would eventually get permission to visit the United States in 1957. She traveled to New York again in 1960, to perform, and was granted asylum in 1961.

    But Cruz was aware of her record and sought to clear her name, according to a confidential Oct. 11, 1961, telegram from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/people/2004-07-26-cruz-visa_x.htm

  2. Neutral Observer @ 7:47 pm

    I haven’t thought about that before. You’re right. It must be extraordinarily expensive to sustain the machine – the brutal apparatus – of constant state-sponsored repression that exists everywhere in Cuba.

    What a tremendous drain on the resources of that island—all for the purpose of controlling the population (and anyone who ventures to go there) in order to maintain the status quo of keeping a dictator on his dictatorial throne.

    If the people who live in Cuba had the ability to decide how to spend that money for themselves, I doubt they would choose to dedicate those resources to repressing themselves. That’s ludicrous.

    I return again to the words of Abraham Lincoln. The government he envisioned as the only legitimate government was “of the people, by the people, for the people.” I agree with Lincoln.

    This is clearly not what exists in Cuba.

    What then is the legitimacy of the Cuban dictatorship? What gives the Castro clan the right to rule by decree an island of 12 million people?

  3. So HUMBY!!
    Was Celia the first of a long line of Cuban Singers/Musicians to be denied a visa to enter the USA for political reasons??
    Were there others before her??
    Are you interested in the historical facts???
    Would you prefer to exist within your own little polarised bubble????

  4. Thanks for a good video, Humberto

    I liked the demolition of that illegal structure. Shows the commitment to leadership and law and order.

    The churches must be looked upon with suspicion. Where do they get the money from? And why?

    I remeber a traveller report who complained about poor lights on the street after dark. The only place in the town he visited well lit and nicely painted was the church. Certainly not financed by the poor cuban income of $400 a month.

  5. YOUTUBE: CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY WORLDWIDE CUBA-Footage and testimony of destruction of church in Santiago de Cuba . On November 20th, 2007 the Church of the Apostles in the Abel Santamaria neighborhood of Santiago de Cuba was razed to the ground by Cuban authorities. Officials used heavy equipment including bulldozers and heavy duty metalcutters, as helicopters circled overhead. Music and audio equipment and other church property were confiscated by the government. Pastor Alain Toledano, who leads the 700 member church and other church leaders were not given advance notice of the demolition. Their telephone lines were cut during the operation preventing them from communicating with one another.

  6. YOUTUBE: Cuban Government Persecution of Apostolic Movement – CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY WORLDWIDE-USA: CUBA – Communist Party official admits persecution of protestant group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has released a video in which a Cuban Communist Party official openly confirms a government strategy to target churches affiliated with the fast growing Apostolic Movement, a protestant network. The short film, recorded clandestinely early in 2010 and smuggled out of the country, shows Caridad Diego Bello, the head of the Religious Affairs Office of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, explaining the government’s strategy to crackdown on the Apostolic Movement.

  7. MORE OF THE CASTROFASCIST CONTROL!! AND IN THIS CASE TRAMPLING ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION! NO SURPRISE HERE!!

    THE CHRISTIAN POST: Cuban Pastor Not Allowed to Leave Country for Religious Conference
    A Cuban pastor was barred by government officials from leaving the country last month despite having a valid passport and visa. According to a news release from human rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Rev. Bernardo de Quesada Salomón attempted to travel on Nov. 27 to attend a religious conference in the Dominican Republic. It was then he was informed by Cuban immigration officials at Havana airport that he had been categorized as “limited,” and would not be allowed to board the plane. The Cuban government eliminated the need for Cubans to obtain an exit visa in order to travel abroad at the beginning of 2013, but for national security reserved the right to prevent some Cubans from traveling. CSW said de Quesada Salomón, who traveled to the United States and to Brazil to attend religious events earlier this year, was not given any explanation for the change in his status. He was told to contact the National Office for Attention to the Population (NOAP) for more details. When he did so, the NOAP suggested that he submit a written request for information to the National Director for Immigration. He has not received a response.

    De Quesada Salomón is a national leader of the Apostolic Movement, a large but unregistered network of protestant churches in Cuba. Despite repeated attempts to register the group, the government has refused to allow it to do so, and has aggressively targeted churches associated with the network with fines and threats of confiscation of property.

    Another Apostolic Movement leader, Rev. Mario Travieso Medina, was also denied the right to travel in January of this year. CSW said he was also told that he was in the “limited” category, and given no other explanation.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://crossmap.christianpost.com/news/cuban-pastor-not-allowed-to-leave-country-for-religious-conference-7523

  8. MORE OF THE CASTROFASCIST MOB VIOLENCE AGAINST ESTADO DE SATS! THIS DOCUMENTATION IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED! NO TRANSLATION IS REALLY NEEDED! JUST WATCH!

    YOUTUBE: Represion a Estado de SATS – Repression against Estado De SATS

  9. Hundreds of Cuban pacifists were beaten or arrested over the past few days for the crime of celebrating human rights.

    As with Nazi Germany and Communist China, the outside world remains largely silent or actively supports the fascist government, with a few exceptions, namely the USA.

    I commend the comments made by Obama and some other high-level US government officials in support of the Cuban people.

    As with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Un, the most cowardly and selfish blame the USA for the crimes of Castro.

    It is safe to criticize and invent conspiracy theories about the USA (and Canada and Israel and the Falkland Islands, etc), so that is what the self-centered cowards of the world do.

    Only the brave dare to criticize Castro (and China and Iran and Palestine, etc)

  10. What a career, Nick. From a Young Socialist to a Guantanamo entertainer.

    A a loyal US citizen she never had a sond titled “Give Guananamo back to Cuba, ye, ye, ye”. She must by very popular with prison guards, the SEALS and the Blackwater killers

  11. A-ha…
    HUMBY’s and his beloved ‘Reina de la Salsa’.
    I would agree with you Humby that Celia was most definitely a great artiste.
    One of the curious details of her life was the fact that she was refused a visa to perform in the USA back in the early fifties on political grounds.
    This was due to the fact that she was a member of Cuba’s Young Socialist Movement and had performed live on a very popular pre-revolutionary ‘communist’ radio station.
    She eventually moved on from this, went to NYC and became a superstar.
    Widely regarded as an anti-Castro icon would you say Humby??
    Would this be why her songs have gone officially un-aired in Cuba??
    Although she was a big star and icon for the Anti-Castro lobby, would I be right in saying that she, as an individual, didn’t like to mix music and politics??

    ….and a big happy festive season to you Humby.

  12. Marabu! DO I HAVE TO DO YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH! AND YOU MATH TOO!! LIKE 11 YEARS BEFORE 9/11!! TRY ANOTHER RESPONSE FROM THAT BARREL DEAR!

    Thousands of Mourners Attend Tribute to the Queen of Salsa – By MIRTA OJITO,
    Puerto Ricans in New York immediately embraced her, and she became “the queen of salsa.” She took salsa, a modern version of traditional Cuban rhythms, all over the world — everywhere except the one place where she wanted to sing most: Cuba. The Cuban government did not allow her to return in 1962 for the burial of her mother. She never again tried to go back. In a visit to the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay in 1990, she kissed the ground when she descended and later grabbed a handful of Cuban soil to take with her.

    http://www.salsacubana.no/celiacruz.htm

  13. @Humberto asks:
    Marabu!! SO LET ME ASK YOU! IN ALL YOUR “WISDOM”!! WHEN DO YOU THINK THAT THE MUSIC OF THE LATE Celia Cruz WILL BE ABLE TO BE PLAYED IN THE RADIO STATIONS IN CUBA DEAR?

    Celia Cruz has made her choice already. She chose to entertain torturers in Guantanamo. Cuban people don’t like them and their entertainers.

    You can’t have a cake and eat it.

  14. I cannot imagine how much money Castro spends on repression.

    Think about it.

    He has to keep watch over every Cuban, have police and paid snitches write reports on every Cuban, have the police constantly read these reports, constantly follow thousands of Cubans who have criticized him, and write reports and follow any tourist who visits the wrong hospital or ask the wrong questions.

    Then he has to pay the repudiation squads and make sure they are constantly on stand-by to attack anybody who threatens signs of public dissent. And pay for their transportation around Cuba.

    Then there is the money he spends on thousands of arrests a year. And the imprisonment of honest citizens.

    If all that money were spent on stopping crime, Cuba really would be a very safe country. And I would be happy to report one good thing about Castro’s government.

    But muggers, murderers, rapists, child molesters are of little concern to Castro, as long as they leave the tourists alone.

    For Castro, the worst criminal in Cuba is the honest reporter.

  15. Hank,

    Yes, asking questions is a serious crime in Cuba.

    It will get you jailed or killed. Or if you’re lucky and a foreigner, just kicked out of the country for good.

    Another serious crime is talking to Cubans, the 90 to 99% that Castro’s groupies always avoid.

    Same punishment.

  16. Nick SINCE WE ARE IN THE SUBJECT OF MUSIC AND CUBAN ARTIST!! SO LET ME ASK YOU! IN ALL YOUR “WISDOM”!! WHEN DO YOU THINK THAT THE MUSIC OF THE LATE Celia Cruz WILL BE ABLE TO BE PLAYED IN THE RADIO STATIONS IN CUBA DEAR? WAITING FOR YOU “ENLIGHTENED” RESPONSE! AN I JUST KNEW YOU WERE A FAN! BIG GUSANO HUGS AND KISSES AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

    YOUTUBE: Rock and repression in Cuba – Cuban rock musicians, bloggers and activists demand a change to the country’s repressive laws. Cuba’s repressive legal system has created a climate of fear among journalists, dissidents and activists, putting them at risk of arbitrary arrest and harassment by the authorities.The Amnesty International report Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Cuba highlights provisions in the legal system and government practices that restrict information provided to the media and which have been used to detain and prosecute hundreds of critics of the government.

  17. HUMBY!
    Your posts are hilarious.
    You actually think that all of the richness and great diversity of music in Cuba is divided into that which is either pro or anti The Brothers Castro?
    Are you for real?
    Is your sense of irony entirely intuitive?
    Either way Humby old dear…
    keep the posts coming.
    I would miss them if you stopped.

  18. SINCE WE ARE IN THE SUBJECT OF MUSIC AND CUBAN ARTIST Marabu!! SO LET ME ASK YOU! IN ALL YOUR “WISDOM”!! WHEN DO YOU THINK THAT THE MUSIC OF THE LATE Celia Cruz WILL BE ABLE TO BE PLAYED IN THE RADIO STATIONS IN CUBA DEAR? WAITING FOR YOU “ENLIGHTENED” RESPONSE!

    On August 8, 2012 BBC News reported that Cuba’s ban on anti-Castro musicians had been quietly lifted and on August 10 the BBC correspondent in Cuba, Sarah Rainsford, tweeted that she had been given names of forbidden artists by the central committee and the internet was a buzz that the ban on anti-Castro musicians had been quietly lifted. Others soon followed reporting on the news. The stories specifically mentioned Celia Cruz as one of the artists whose music would return to Cuban radio.

    Their is only one problem. It is not true. Diario de Cuba reported on August 21, 2012 that Tony Pinelli, a well known musician and radio producer, distributed an e-mail in which Rolando Álvarez, the national director of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión (ICRT) confirmed that the music of the late Celia Cruz would continue to be banned. The e-mail clearly stated: “All those who had allied with the enemy, who acted against our families, like Celia Cruz, who went to sing at the Guantanamo Base, the ICRT arrogated to itself the right, quite properly, not to disseminate them on Cuban radio ”
    http://cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com/2012/08/celia-cruz-still-banned-in-cuba-but.html

  19. KEYWORD FOR THE COMMUNISTS FASCISTS: “COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY”! IS LIKE A GENERAL TERM FOR: I DONT LIKE YOU, YOURE IN MY WAY, I WANT TO BE IN POWER OVER YOU, I DONT AGREE WITH YOU! ETC ETC!

    L.A. TIMES: North Korea reportedly executes uncle of leader Kim Jong Un. The execution of Jang Sung Taek, 67, came only four days after he was accused of “anti-state, counter-revolutionary activities,” stripped of all his posts and arrested at a politburo meeting of the ruling party. – By Jung-Yoon Choi

    http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-north-korea-executes-uncle-kim-20131212,0,2330497.story

  20. ONE TO THIRTY

    Mario Diaz-Balart wants to ban cuban musicians to perform in the United States?

    Fine!

    The US has about 30 times more people then Cuba. For each rejected Cuban thirty US “cultural exchange” participants should be sent back home.

    That’s the only language the Diaz-Balarts will understand.

  21. Wow!
    What a great music expert this Mario Diaz-Balart is!

    Pro-Castro: bad musicians, no entry.
    Anti-Castro: good musicians, welcome to the paradise.

  22. RIGHT ON Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart!! NO MONEY$$$$$$$$$$ FOR ARNALDITO!
    PRESS RELEASE: Diaz-Balart Calls on Administration to Prevent Human Rights Abusers from Entering the U.S. – Dec 12, 2013
    WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that the pro-Castro band “Arnaldo y su Talismán” would be participating in a “cultural exchange” in the United States. “According to recent press reports, members of the pro-Castro band ‘Arnaldo y su Talismán’ participated in acts of repression against pro-democracy activists in Cuba on December 10, 2013, International Human Rights Day. Reports also indicate that these human rights abusers claim they will travel to the United States as part of a ‘cultural exchange.’ “The Obama Administration must not allow these abettors of the murderous Castro dictatorship to enter the United States. President Obama’s own Presidential Proclamation ‘Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Participate in Serious Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations and Other Abuses’ of August 4, 2011 prohibits aliens who have committed or assisted in human rights abuses from entering the United States. I call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to adhere to their stated principles and refuse to reward regime thugs with the special privilege of U.S. entry.”
    http://mariodiazbalart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/diaz-balart-calls-on-administration-to-prevent-human-rights-abusers-from

  23. re Marabu @ 10.26
    Yes.
    Your suggestion is a good one.
    or Maybe Raul Castro said to President Obama:

    “When you listen to the speech that I will give, pay particular attention to paragraphs 4 and 5,
    coz they apply to you Buddy and to anyone else from your country who has a forward looking mindset…”

    “Mandela is an unsurpassable example for Latin America and the Caribbean, which are advancing toward unity and integration to the benefit of their peoples, respectful of their diversity, with the conviction that dialogue and cooperation are the way forward for the solution of differences and civilized cohabitation among those who think differently.

    Humanity cannot respond to the colossal challenges which are threatening its very existence, if it does not do so through a new coordination of efforts among all nations, such as the life of Mandela extols.”

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