We the People

I’m post-modern and disbelieving: speeches put me to sleep and a leader standing at a podium is, for me, the height of tedium.  I associate microphones with calls to intransigence, and the praised oratory of some has always seemed to me like nothing but screams to deafen the “enemy.”  At public events I usually manage to slip away and I prefer the buzzing of a fly over listening to the promises of a politician.  I have had to hear so many harangues—many of them seemingly endless—that I’m not the best person to endure a new lecture.

For me, the voice that emerges from the podium brings more intolerance than concord, a greater helping of exasperation than of calls to harmony.  From the podiums I have seen predictions of invasions that never came, economic plans that were never met, and even expressions as discriminatory as, “Let the scum that leaves, leave!”  Which is why I was so confused with the serene statement  delivered today by Barack Obama, with his manner of carefully constructed arguments and invocations to harmony.

It seemed to me when reading it—I don’t have an illegal satellite dish to watch it on TV—that he condemned all the rhetoric to be left in the twentieth century.  We have started to say goodbye to that convulsed eloquence which no longer moves us.  I only hope that it will be, “We, the People” who will write the speeches from now on.

Advertisements

46 thoughts on “We the People

  1. Le sympathisant (Cuba, Haití) Été libre Associé des USA donne un commentaire :
    La discrimination qui existe entre ce qui est cubain ou le haitien qui est des citoyens des USA et le haitien ou cubain qui n’est pas des citoyens des USA est énorme. Quelques ils ont de la mobilité, d’autres n’ont pas de la mobilité.
    J’estime que Martin Luther King n’ait jamais voulu ce type nouveau de discrimination.
    La mise à jour pour les haitiens est indispensable et ce qui est cubains à la citoyenneté des USA, tant que celui-là « up grade » on n’obtiendra pas l’injustice, le paiement avec monnaie dévaluée, la manipulation, nous continuerons à voir des haitiens et cubains en mourant quand ils essayeront d’arriver illégalement aux USA par meilleure vie.
    En Dieu nous confions.
    solitariorodriguez@univision.com

    Supporter Cuba and Haiti Been Free State Associate of the USA give a commentary:
    The discrimination that exists between the Cuban or Haitian citizen of the USA and the Haitians or Cubans who are not citizen of the USA is tremendous. They have mobility, others do not have mobility.
    I consider that Martin Luther King never had wanted that ruler new type of discrimination.
    Is essential The update for the Haitians and Cuban to the citizenship of the USA, while that is not obtained the injustice, the payment with devaluated currency, the manipulation, we will continue seeing Haitian and Cuban dying when they try to arrive illegally at the USA by better life.
    God we trusted.

    Simpatizante Cuba y Haití Estado Libre Asociado de USA da un comentario:
    La discriminación que existe entre el cubano o el haitiano que es ciudadano de USA y el haitiano o cubano que no es ciudadano de USA es tremenda. Unos tienen movilidad, otros no tienen movilidad.
    Yo estimo que Martin Luther King nunca hubiera querido este tipo nuevo de discriminación.
    Es imprescindible la actualización para los Haitianos y los cubanos a la ciudadanía de USA, mientras ese up grade no se logre la injusticia, la paga con moneda devaluada, la manipulación, seguiremos viendo Haitianos y Cubanos muriendo cuando tratan de llegar ilegalmente a USA por mejor vida.
    En Dios confiamos.
    solitariorodriguez@univision.com

  2. Let me remind you all that in the first few months of the Castro goverment the first thing he mention in one of the first speeches was

    “Armas para que?”

    “What do you need guns for?”

    And then his government took away all the guns in Cuba out of sight.

    Why do you think he did that?

    So people could not turn against him and he will have absolute control!

    Think now how wise were the founding fathers of the United States in allowing people to have guns.

  3. Actually, I picked up a leaflet from Castro’s tourist people which assured me that I could import whatever ordnance I like and blaze away at the local wildlife to my heart’s content. TeeHee! It wasn’t like THAT at the Bay of Pigs :-))

  4. Patricio

    Read again what I wrote please, before you start schooting.

    I am not suggesting to control people or to control you, I meant to CONTROL CRIMINALITY !

    ….”bullshit attemp”…”.I would die fighting people like you”…”Even the most educated, socially well-trained people will act like animals in a cage if you push them to that point” To push people to what point?
    Never mind man, shoot. Keep on fighting, make sure you kill enough people so you feel free, that you kill the “bad “ones,
    make sure that your children get that gun and make the same thing, but be carefull that you do not kill each other!

  5. By the way, people don’t like to be controled. So you when you try to control them, they end up feeling like animals in a cage. That’s when the shit hits the fan. You will never control me. I would die fighting people like you long before I ever submitted to your bullshit attempt to control others. No offense, of course. :)

  6. Well, I disagree with you. Even the most educated, socially well-trained people will act like animals in a cage if you push them to that point. Even if you were right, which you aren’t, you are talking in the theoretical and we could never achieve that point. There is always something that can upset the balance of the universe and when that happens, the shit inevitably hits the fan. I’d rather be free to protect myself and family than to count on someone I don’t know to do the right thing. Something as simple as mental illness can lead to violence by he who is ill. What are you going to do, lock him up? Y’all don’t want to lock these people up. You want to medicate them. It seems to me that folks like you have a need to feel that you are either in control or can control things – things that are truly beyond your control. So, I control what I can. If you come to my house and I don’t know you, you can expect trouble. So, please control yourself.

    cheers!

  7. Patricio

    I see you are right about the prevention means. You see it somehow as a respond, a defense against criminality.
    But this is another theme related to social issues. Criminality doesn´t exist just like that.
    Criminals are persons just like you and me.
    They lack something obviously “good” people have, and that is EDUCATION, parent´s attention, social engagement, love… étc.

    I would say the reason why these people acted like that in Katrina were: lack of good education and lack of social assistance,
    not only at the moment the hurricane happened, a long time before I guess.
    If people would have been well educated, if people would have received social attention, people wouldn´t have came to the idea to use guns.
    And I repeat, if guns were not allowed and the subjetc would be seriously under police´s control in every country, even if anyone would come to the idea, couldn´t become them just like that, because it wouldn´t be possible to acquire them.

    Actually, this world needs two things :

    Free education for everybody, and that guns disappear… but first that people understand this.

  8. Really. So you think Jamaicans are buying their guns in the USA? I don’t think so. It’s not like you can bring them back on a plane or a cruise liner. The USA is but one major supplier of guns and you should know this. I will agree that a lot of guns are illegally imported into Mexico from the US, but all you have done is brought us back into the age-old question of what kills, the gun or the person. It’s obvious that people kill. They just find ways to do it. It’s obvious to me that most of you simply don’t understand what it is like to go through a major disaster on the scale of Katrina or haven’t been the victims of brutal crime. If guns didn’t exist or were unavailable, the brutes in Katrina would kill you with knives, crowbars, baseball bats, or whatever they could get their hands on. They would continue to pick on those they perceive as weaker than them. The specific problem we have in New Orleans is not a lack of freedom, but a lack of witnesses willing to testify against criminals (typically in black on black crimes). As a result, these animals remain on the streets, but if they get convicted, they end up at Angola prison where bad stuff happens to them. I don’t sleep in fear and I have since relinquished my weapon. All I know is that when the shit went down, we ended up being prepared, and one never knows when the shit will go down, be it a natural disaster or a man-made one of the type in Cuba and other parts of the world.

  9. Anonimo

    I understand your point but “bad people” as you say, have it easier if guns are allowed.
    Good people on the other hand, could stopped them.
    A high control would eliminate the posibility that bad people would get that chance, or at least, would not increase and facilitate their crazy attempts.

    Patricio

    That law, when Thomas Jefferson created it, made have had some sense.
    But since then, the story says it doesn´t work, because criminality had increased.
    There have been killed enough inocent people, students took away guns from their parents to solve their problems,
    criminals becamed more powerful (such as the ones you name in Katrina), a lot of accidents ocurred, and above all, terrorists and contrabandists have bought guns in USA and afterwards use them against that country or others! Mexican, and other people buy guns in USA, it´s the only place where you can get them easily!
    But if your decision is to sleep with the gun at home, because you are affraid,…then feel “free” to be affraid and live with the risk.
    No thanks, if that´s freedom, I ´would rather be in prison, but safe.
    I believe people have freedom if these have nothing to be affraid.
    But that´s again my personal opinion.

  10. BTW, Mexico bans guns and has serious penalties if you have one, but the gun violence in that country is astounding. People who want them will get them. Another, regional example would be Jamaica. Get caught with a gun and you could end up with life imprisonment. Does that stop the gun violence in Kingston? Hardly.

  11. 31, This is not “other countries,” sorry. Obviously, you don’t know much about the history of the US and the need for self-sufficiency. As explained above, you couldn’t totally ban guns in a free and open society if you wanted to. As a result, those who want them (the bad guys) will have them. Those who are law-abiding will not. I just want to thank you for looking out for me and allowing the chance for some thug to kill my family in the after-math of Katrina. Thanks.

    Chris Herz, no credible alternative to the Cuban system? Are you serious? Worst case scenario: I’d rather be poor and free rather than poor and enslaved to a government or ideology. Long live a free Cuba!

  12. Yoarky dice: 23 Enero 2009 a las 20:07

    23 Patricio

    If guns would´nt have been allowed, you wouldn´t have probably need it during Katrinas.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dear Yoarky, bad people allways find the way to get guns. But good guys has not the same ability.
    If you take from good people the possibility of getting guns you only will put them in a disadvantage situation.

  13. Obama is fond of socialism, I’m surprised so many Cubans support a weaker version of communism…

  14. If Bush wanted to keep the U.S. safe from the hijackers why didn’t he invade Saudi Arabia where almost all of them came from? Not a single one came from Iraq.

  15. 23 Patricio

    If guns would´nt have been allowed, you wouldn´t have probably need it during Katrinas.

    If people are not allowed to have guns, then it´s less the probability that they get one, that means you don´t have to “defend”.

    So, that´s the schicken and the egg story what you are telling.

    In other countries where people have no rights to have guns, the security in every sense is higher. It´s a fact!

  16. Andy dice: 23 Enero 2009 a las 07:57
    Why was Fidel never seen with his wife and children. Now that his kids are grown up you hear about them… but I’ve never seen a photo of him with his wife. Was it for her safety? Or because she was really just his little baby factory and he wasn’t interested in her, or what?
    __________________________
    I guess that security reasons made castro hide his family, think about the fact that when he made unhappy one of his enemies, the family of the “offender” took a big portion of harassment too. In Cuba between 1960 and 1990 people applying for any jobs had to feel a form that the people dept as “Tell me your Life”, in this form you had to answer questions as weird as “Did your parents vote in 1948 elections?” or “Do you relatives living outside the country?”. Of course they wanted to know also if you have relatives that did not “love the revolution”. Answering yes to any of these questions put you automatically out of the wanted job, your only alternative were to work hunting crocodiles.
    ____________________________
    Dear Chris, you said: Just what tolerable alternative is there to the present Cuban state? I sincerely would like to know……………… Democracy!!!!

  17. In my humble opinion, I don’t think for a moment that Bush intentions in attacking Irak were related to profit his friends. If you happen to live in this EE.UU., you have to admit that on 9/11 we were attacked by Islamic militants and if you remember correctly we were attacked in more that one front; the twin towers, the Pentagon and for the grace of God the plane that crashed in Philadelphia did not crash in the White House due to the intervention of some passengers. In these attacks innocent people of ALL NATIONALITIES died unnecessarily, we did no ask, nor did we provoke such attack. What happened after 9/11 is unprecedented; we have a President who took all necessary measures to protect the United States against future attacks, unlike his predecessor who did nothing when the same Islamic militants attacked us in Nigeria, the World Trade and the USS Cole. Envy and hate exists abound in the world toward the United States, a country that is always the first to help others when there is a catastrophe, no matter where.

  18. @ Anonimo — Now that you mention it I read somewhere once that Fidel never slept in the same place twice and didn’t seem to sleep much at night at all… I guess he felt safer in the daytime or slept in his office or something.

    Here’s another thing I’ve always been curious about and maybe it’s related… Why was Fidel never seen with his wife and children. Now that his kids are grown up you hear about them… but I’ve never seen a photo of him with his wife. Was it for her safety? Or because she was really just his little baby factory and he wasn’t interested in her, or what?

  19. Well, so long as these politicians and the interests who back them can command police and soldiers perhaps you had bloody well better give them more attention.

    Here’s a thought: In pre Castro Cuba the elites could live pretty well. But today the USA are bankrupt; the empire is no longer able to pay off their subsidiaries in Latin America or elsewhere. Just what tolerable alternative is there to the present Cuban state? I sincerely would like to know.

  20. Andy dice: 21 Enero 2009 a las 23:57
    Another question — why does Obama need about a billion cops and 5 inches of bullet proof glass to protect him and all Fidel needs is a couple guys with pistols and a food taster?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hi Andy, I think Obama needs a lot of care and custody because there is a lot of crazy people that hate USA around the world and inside the States. This country has ferocious enemies that are ready to sacrifice thousands of lives of innocent people in order of kill the president.
    Andy, I don’t know where you got the information about castro’s security but what you can be sure is that castro needs more protection than Obama, he has killed thousands of people, he has incarcerated hundred of thousands of people
    castro has maybe as many enemies as Obama has. The only difference is that the most Obama’s enemies are foreign people, and castro’s enemies are all Cubans. I have seen castro walking like Frankenstein because the special bulletproof underwear he used to wear in public. His cars was specially fabricated by the Russian military industry, this cars seems more Russians tanks then cars. His personal bodyguards are hundreds plus thousands of additional bodyguards that move in advance around his daily itineraries. He never sleeps in the same place and never at same hours (not now, I guess, because his illness), and all this because the Cubans want him dead.

  21. I find it interesting to read that every other politician is full of BS, but Obama isn’t. Truly independent-thinking people don’t swoon for politicians with no real record or experience, or any politician for that matter. But maybe that’s just me.

  22. I can tell you this: I grew there, studied there, worked there from 1959 to 1984. I was part of that and when finally I was able to realize the way that system works I felt sick!. Every thing is a fake, and that situation lead you to act the same way. I am so happy my kids didn’t experience that nightmare!

  23. Yoani, I am glad you appreciated what you read regarding our inauguration. The points above at the peaceful transfer of power are right on. We are proud of that. Hopefully this trend will continue, but in some cities we are starting to see some political violence in the streets, particularly on the west coast. The country is deeply divided. I think we all get tired of seeing the same leader after just 8 years, and a change always feels necessary. This was true even for Ronald Reagan. I loved the guy, but by the time 8 years ended, I knew it was time for a new face. Hopefully, the Obama supporters agree. I am not one of his supporters, but I am not a hater like so many anti-Bush people were.

    As for the comments regarding guns, I believe in our legal right to own them. Before Katrina hit us, I didn’t have one. After Katrina hit, you had to have one, otherwise, you faced possible bodily harm (including death), and/or significant loss of property or property damage. My uncle let me borrow his .44. I ended up having to pull it twice in the immediate aftermath of the storm. American socialists and communists don’t want us to have guns, but yet they can’t adequately protecting us. Allowing the citizens to arm themselves goes a long way in preventing the rise of a totalitarian political system here. The socialists and communists can have my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hand.

  24. @Adrian, is that what they do with speeches given by the brothers Castro? Weird.

    Seems like a better use for Raul Castro’s speeches would be to help treat people with sleep disorders.

  25. Well, what about this people in Washington were there because they want to be. Their employers didn’t push them to be there. The schools didn’t closed and sent the students there without choice. Obama’s speach is not going to be next day on a mandatory “analysis and study” by the students and workers all around USA.

  26. @Yoarky —

    I like Obama too. But, like you, one man ALONE cannot change the world. I do not think I expect too much from him. But I hope I don’t expect too little from him.

    And talking to my friends and people I meet, really, it seems, people accept that he is just one man, they don’t seem to expect too much.

    Everyone seems to say the same thing, though in different ways. The intention of the American people in electing him is to make HUGE changes in their country. These include:

    – Becoming a partner with the nations and people of the world — not a bully trying to impose their will on the world.
    – Keeping capitalism (of course) but making changes in how it works, introducing the right amount of control in the systems of banking and finance and the regulatory framework, so that a few greedy people and institutions at the top cannot bring down the entire economy of the world.
    – Protect the environment and reverse the harm we have all done with the amount and type of energy we use.
    – And provide more protections for Americans so that they are guaranteed simple things that other rich countries take for granted, such as access to health care for everyone.
    – And in general, focusing on making things better for all the people of the world, looking at the environment, poverty, disease, education and so on.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks he can do all these things in 4 years or 8 years… but most people I know think that the country will start moving in the right direction instead of the wrong direction, and that things will change.

    As you said, his election itself is a HUGE CHANGE.

    For one thing, it showed every single child in America — there is nothing holding you back that you cannot overcome… you can be whatever you want to be… including president! (And so now, pull up your pants and get to work! As he said on Monday when he was painting walls at a youth shelter for Martin Luther King Day — It doesn’t matter if you are sweeping the floor — tell yourself you are going to be the best floor sweeper there ever was… and things will start from there.

  27. I like Obama. He seems to be smart, reasonable, and good hearted as well.
    I hope he keeps that balance, that is extremely important.
    He will bring surelly many changes in America, but a man cannot change the world! I think people expect too much of him.
    So far, the fact that he, as a black man was elected, that people disagreed with Bush politics and reflected about the social problems and saw that need of a change, is already a big change !

  28. Yoani,

    Perhaps reading the speech in the absence of all that surrounded it – the enthusiasm, the hope of millions, and the culmination of a long, long evolution; perhaps a cold reading in silence might give you the wrong impression. Obama’s speech was a dramatic departure from the “BS” we have all come to accept from politicians. He is a new breed of well educated, smart, and inclusive political leader. The fact that over 2 million people freely attended the inauguration in freezing temperatures is a small indication of this country’s hopes. (Obama’s speech was 15 minutes long; a sharp contrast to Fidel who would start at noon and would still be talking at 8 PM.)

    Yoani, I am only sorry my cousins in Cuba can not read your blog. I wasn’t aware you are blocked in our homeland. Keep it up, you are a fine and witty writer. Your photography (is it yours?) also hit the spot.

  29. @ Anonimo — by the way I agree with you … Bush did not go to Iraq to rain democracy peacefully on the world… he went to Iraq because he thought he would be able to control all the oil and make money for his friends and have power over the world. He’s an evil man.

    And if you’re the same “anonimo” I also agree with you that Obama is sincere and fidel is a liar (and a psychopath). There is no one who rises to a job like president who does not have a big ego and a desire for power. Clearly Obama thinks enough of himself to think he should be president of the most powerful country on earth (for now…. watch out… here come China and India…). But, that said, I think he is fundamentally a good man who wants to use his power for good, not to make himself and his friends rich.

    Did you notice in his speech when he talked about Afghanistan he called for “a hard-earned peace”… he didn’t say “And we’re going to beat the crap out of those guys and if they don’t like it we’ll kill them….” He did say American would “lead”… but he spoke of other nations and other people as equals.

  30. Well it seems everyone agrees with me. 2 million people turned out to see Obama become president because they wanted to and, I think, because Americans are (were! YES!) sick to death of Mr. Cowboy-Who-Talks-Directly-To-God-Every-Morning Bush and his policies and actions.

    But… there’s another huge difference of course. 2 million people came to see a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, after ‘only’ 8 years (those were pretty long years!)… and as they watched, as we all watched, we knew this man would have to face the people again in 4 years, and even if they approve of what he is doing and decide to give him another 4 years, that’s it. In 8 years at the most, he will be gone. And power will transfer, again, peacefully, to the next president.

    As for the 10 billion cops and all the protection — well it’s sad because it keeps the president away from the people and also keeps him (and his family) from being able to have a normal life (for example walking out of the white house and walking down the street for a cup of coffee or a milkshake!) — but yes, the American people are armed and dangerous (I’m one of those who thinks a few less guns would be a good thing… it’s one thing to have a gun out in the woods but you don’t need a gun on the streets of a city)… and the most amazing thing about that that hasn’t been mentioned yet, is that while the president and celebrities like John Lennon are at risk from the crazies out there… all those Americans with guns pose no risk to the government. They are not planning to revolt, stage a coup, form a guerrilla army… why should they… they can change their government at the ballot box.

  31. Andy,
    Bush obsession was Iraq(I think money,not patriotic ideas was behind this).Castro obsession is Socialism (I’m sure is political absolute power and money the reason why,and not sincere interest in bettering the society.For more information keep reading Yoani’s entries and people comments)

  32. Andy:
    There’s also differences in the content of the speech.Obama intention is sincere and he is all about unifying and bettering the country for real.Castro’s are deceiving and they have not (at all) passed the test of time to put it quite mildly.Moreover,like Yoani states here you see them often leading internal wars,dividing cubans among them in a neverending clash and sending one perpetual message to the audience:1)Everything that comes or is associated with USA is an evil thing.2)All people who criticize me are agents sent from somewhere in the USA,THE ENEMY.Don’t you know this?

  33. Alright Andy… I’ll answer just because I’m really curious to hear what you have to say ;)

    What is different between the photo above and the photos of Cubans at the Plaza de la Revolucion listening to Fidel or Raul?
    -The main difference between the PHOTOS is the location (sorry couldn’t help myself). But if you mean the difference between the gathering of people? Well… in the early days people flocked to Fidel because they believed. Now they listen to Raul because they have no choice. There’s no one else to listen to. And not showing up looks bad.
    -The other difference is, people in Washington paid top dollar just to be there, they are there because they want to be. No one “invited them” or “forced them” to come.

    Why does Obama need about a billion cops and 5 inches of bullet proof glass to protect him and all Fidel needs is a couple guys with pistols and a food taster?
    -People in the US have guns.
    -People in Cuba are too busy trying to feed their families to waste their meager resources on guns to kill Fidel.

    As silly and simplistic as it all may sound, these are my actual serious answers.

  34. Political speeches are exactly that, political. The well written speech comes from a speech writer, not from Obama. I am skeptical because of his many shady friends he associated with in the past and some of his appointees. Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary is Timothy Geithner, a guy who failed to pay $34,000.00 in taxes over several years and according to him it was “an honest mistake”, if someone else makes the same mistake it will end up in jail.
    Hillary Clinton, confirmed as Secretary of State, once said that in 1996 when she visited Bosnia, she arrived “under sniper fire”, TV footage of her arrival in Bosnia confirmed the opposite, some people call that distorting the truth while others call her a liar. Question is, is this the right person for such an importante cabinet position?
    Then, he has made an “excellent choice” for Attorney General, Eric Holder. Eric Holder was the deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton and notably instrumental in facilitating Marc Rich’s pardon, a known felon a fugitive commodities financier. This Eric Holder along with Jante Reno, was also involved in the infamous seizure (Gestapo Type) of Elian Gonzalez and his return to Castro’s Cuba.
    When I have the time I will dig more on the rest of his appointees, right now this is enough ammunition.
    Based on Obama’s past associations, one must question if Obama possesses the neccesary judgment to run an effective and scandal-free administration.

  35. Hi

    And welcome to you and your blog. I agree with much of your approach to political speeches and empty rhetoric. However although Obama is a fine deliverer of speeches, as was Fidel, if you deeply analyse much of what was there it was largely empty though fine sounding phrases. Not to say that the spirit of the election of a a black, liberal minded American is not potentially a world changing event. Hopefully the subtext about how he would approach Cuba – if you give something (maybe releasing dissidents, relaxing controls, ending anti US rhetoric etc.) we might give something ( releasing the Miami 5, relaxing the embargo, ending fostering regime change, closing Guatanamo) could lead to a new detente.

  36. There’s no question that Barack Obama is a skilful orator and communicator.

    Raul Castro on the other hand:
    “Raul is awkward in the give-and-take of press conferences and interviews, and, knowing his limitations, in the past granted on average only about one every two years. He has never been able to deliver a stem-winder, to inspire or excite an audience. He is lacking not just in charismatic qualities but in the most elementary forensic and performance skills. He is lethargic, and often obviously stressed, when carrying out public duties. But most problematic is Raul’s propensity to stumble in public appearances, to say or do embarrassing things that sometimes leave his audiences squirming in embarrassment.

    These deficiencies have probably never been so apparent as they were in December during his first foreign excursion as Cuba’s president. In Caracas, interacting with Venezuelan president Chavez, and later in Salvador, Brazil where he attended a summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders, Raul frequently bungled in public. He was alternately diffident, clumsy, and outrageous, and may have been inebriated during an event in Brazil where he interacted in public with Chavez in the presence of other regional leaders. His mishaps, some of which were covered by the Cuban media, can only have diminished him in the eyes of all those who automatically tend to compare him to his brother.”
    http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/the-reluctant-and-uninspiring-president-raul-castro/

  37. I’m cuban, I live in the US, specifically in Chicago. I have been to political meetings in both countries. The difference between the people at the inauguration and the people at the Plaza de la Revolucion, is that those that went at the inauguration of Obama, really, really wanted to be there.
    Cubans that are “invited” to go the acts of cuban government are told what to say, what to scream, what to wear and they risk being marked or black listed if they do not attend.

  38. Because in the United States its legal for wingnuts of any stripe and fashion to carry weapons and they have been known to use them in the past to assassinate Presidents….just one theory.

  39. Something to think about: What is different between the photo above and the photos of Cubans at the Plaza de la Revolucion listening to Fidel or Raul? (OK, yes, there are 2 million people above… but hey… the U.S. has bout 30 times more people than Cuba.)

    I think there are differences, but I am curious to know what other people think before I put in my two cents worth on this one.

    Another question — why does Obama need about a billion cops and 5 inches of bullet proof glass to protect him and all Fidel needs is a couple guys with pistols and a food taster?

    Again — I have a few ideas, but I’m curious what others think about it.

  40. I agree with John, and do feel that this new President will address Cuba in new ways. What they will be will probably
    surprise us and much as they do you. Here’s to a new beginning of understanding and sharing.

  41. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Caribbean: Obama’s Day

  42. @Nakr, I’d like to think that you’re going to judge him on more than just how he addresses Cuba. For one thing, there are problems HERE that need to be taken care of. I’d like to see how he’s going to handle that first. While I feel strongly about what goes on in Cuba and I’d like to see that issue resolved, even I know when priorities need to be set and what’s a fair basis for judgment. A good president takes care of his own FIRST.

  43. I did watch the speech and as you I am generally from the glass half empty group. I will judge my new President by how he addresses the issue of Cuba.

    I do have hope.

  44. I too am a post-modernist, disbelieving, and all the rest…

    I am moved by your eloquence, your rhetoric.

    You are writing speeches and moving the people.

    No worries, Yoani, while your competition is only ‘old Latino men’ I must say; you’re good.

Comments are closed.