Six places from Sullivan

In the list of the 25 Best Blogs of 2009, drawn up by Time Magazine and CNN, there are several elements that fill me with pride. Generación Y is the only blog on the list in Spanish, the same language that some believe incapable of adapting to the pace of technology and modernity.  I am, among the other twenty-four bloggers, the one with the fewest hours of access to the internet—of this I have no doubt.  To make matters worse, I work under the peculiar condition of creating a blog I cannot see, the fault of the wicked filters imposed by censorship.

Andrew Sullivan, who has become a guru for those of us on the Blogger Journey, is in fifth place with his blog, The Daily Dish.  He doesn’t imagine that every week a group of Cubans  evoke his article, Why I Blog, taking his work as a compass.  After nearly two months of these weekly meetings we know, at least, that the route to begin to comment does not travel backwards, that the wall of control can be knocked down in one go, or undermined byte by byte, post by post.


64 thoughts on “Six places from Sullivan

  1. For those in the know, of which I inquire, Why does Chavez spend so much time in Cuba. Do I question myself as to what it looks like from so far away, as if I covet my neighbors yard which is a picture of nature’s greatest gift. Best Wishes to all.

  2. US Newspaper Kanas City Star writer Mary Sanchez has a commentary today on lifting embargo, kinda a make fun article on US and very poorly written, but hey, a discussion never the less, which can never be bad. More than 60 post here as I type, Best Wishes to all.

  3. Iain

    “not even Chavez – can be stupid enough to imagine that “wise grandfather” Fidel’s policies are the way to improve the quality of life for the masses.”

    I believe you have nailed it!

    That is exactly what Chavez is looking for, to have Castro’s absolute power.
    He keeps eroding little by little to the freedoms that Venezuelan’s still enjoy there will be a point when they will be just like Cuba. With no other choice. The opposition in Venezuela needs to united in the coming elections. If they do not defeat him we will have another Castro in America.

  4. Carbo

    “Send a mass of tourist to Cuba and you will see the tyranny rising laws forbidding all independent economical activity.”

    I think you could have a good point there. As we know the tyranny is not interested in the well being of Cubans but on its own survival.

  5. Concerning the hopes expressed above, I can see no one among Castro’s sidekicks who promises any improvement – can anyone else?
    Speaking of his groupies, however, his self-appointed grandson Chavez is charging down the well trodden revolutionary road to perdition at breakneck speed. As might be expected, from the Cuban model, agriculture is collapsing and his response, of course, is to send in the military to expropriate the food factories. Will they be able to manufacture nourishment from nothing? One is tempted to quote Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás: “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,” except I wonder if that can be the problem. Nobody – not even Chavez – can be stupid enough to imagine that “wise grandfather” Fidel’s policies are the way to improve the quality of life for the masses. No, I suspect that it is Castro’s absolute power, albeit over a disaster, that motivates him.

  6. Nelson Mandela and economic sanctions

    “We emphasize the importance of maintaining sanctions. Sanctions were imposed to help us end the apartheid system. It is only logical that we must continue to apply this form of pressure against the South African government.” That’s Nelson Mandela addressing (and thanking) the Canadian Parliament in June 1990 for imposing, and championing in every international forum, economic sanctions against South Africa.

    “Sanctions which punish Cuba are anathema to the international order to which we aspire!” That’s Nelson Mandela in Sept ‘98 while decorating Fidel Castro with “The Order of Good Hope,” South Africa’s highest civilian award. Yet probably no world figure is more associated with economic sanctions than Nelson Mandela. [1]

    [1] Humberto Fontova, “Canada’s Hypocrisy on Cuba”, February 28, 2009

  7. Regardless of whether you support or not support the US trade embargo on the Castro regime, newly-released figures confirm what many of us have known for some time, it’s not much of an embargo.

    Report: US farm sales to Cuba surge

    AFX News Limited
    02.15.08, 4:33 PM ET

    HAVANA (AP) – Sales of American farm goods to Cuba surged in 2007 to their highest annual total in the seven years since the communist-run nation began buying the products in 2001, a U.S. trade group said Friday.

    Cuba bought $437.5 million in U.S. food and other agricultural goods in 2007, making the island America’s 37th largest trading partner last year, the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council said in a regular report.

    Direct sales of U.S. farm goods to Cuba lagged over the two previous years, to $340.4 million in 2006 and $350.2 million in 2005, said the council, which tracks trade between the two countries.

    The Cuban government reported last month it bought $600 million in goods from U.S. companies in 2007, including costs for transportation, banking and other related charges. The U.S. council counts only the price of the goods.

    Washington’s nearly 50-year-old embargo prohibits almost all U.S. trade with the island. But a U.S. law passed in 2000 allows American companies to sell food and agricultural products directly to Cuba on a cash basis.

    Cuban authorities initially refused to buy any American goods under the law, complaining about the cash-only restriction. But they changed course after a hurricane struck the island in late 2001 and bought goods to replace depleted food reserves.

  8. #45
    JOhn — I’m actually optimistic –maybe foolishly so — that once fidel dies (and raul just sort of rots away, alive or dead)…that better people will emerge from the current power structure and the country will peacefully transition to freedom and democracy. of course the economy will have to be rebuilt from scratch… but cuba’s know how to ‘resolve’ things like no one on earth…they’ll figure it out.

  9. SilentVoice dice: 1 Marzo 2009 a las 02:17

    If you read my comments completely you will understand that it is possible for Yoani (and many other people) today develop such a independent economical activity because the regime has no a constant source of financing but it will change at the same moment the regime gets this source….. they will do the same they did when the Soviets sent thousand of millions…….. finish all independent economical activity.
    Yoani self is the better example of what the dictatorship doesn’t want…. A person that trough her intelligence and work earns the daily bread without the system intervention, that means, an independent person, a person that thanks its independence can afford a lot of time and effort to fight the regime. Right now there is many persons inside Cuba with same freedom and possibilities thanks in great proportion to the money the exile sends. The day the mass gringo tourism arrives to Cuba the regime will stop all these “liberalizations” by decree. It is not a new thing!!!….you will see the exile cubans isolated from its relatives in Cuba, you will see a translator pay the same punishment that pays who kill a cow!!!!

  10. As for the credit. With the current economical situation will be virtually impossible for them to get credit. To that you add Cuba’s credit record and they will not be able to get it even if the money was there. So I think you are unnecessarily worry about those two things.

  11. Carbo
    I disagree with “Tourist money do not reaches the Cuban people,”
    Yoani herself has explain that she used to teach and teaches Spanish to foreigners in Cuba specially Germans. So she is one example. I am sure they are many others.

  12. John Two dice: 28 Febrero 2009 a las 17:56

    And there’s also a large and growing illegal tourism sector where Cubans keep 100% of the money they receive from western tourists, and the Castro government gets nothing. For example, while I know the tourism guides discourage it, I have friends who’ve stayed in illegal casa particulaires, and had very positive experiences. So if you’re somewhat adventurous and want to thumb your nose at the regime, go for it. As a tourist, you’ll have no shortage of offers on places to stay.

    Send a mass of tourist to Cuba and you will see the tyranny rising laws forbidding all independent economical activity.
    John, I have seen it several times. It is not the first time the dictatorship goes trough hard times, each time they see the misery goes too far from the acceptable parameters they improve strategies and lets the development of certain independent economical activities but when they find the way of getting money or any kind of financial help they revert immediately all done changes.

  13. John Two dice: 28 Febrero 2009 a las 17:56

    I’m rather indifferent on whether the USA continues its credit embargo of Cuba. As you and others have pointed out, Cuba doesn’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to repaying its loans.

    Dear John, the indifference you shows in your first sentence found a punishment in your second sentence…… who will pay the unpaid credits USA is on the way to give to Castro II with the help of Delahunt and the Gang and the indifference of many?????……… Yours, my, ours children and grandchildren!!!!
    What going to do the dictator with this money?????…….. put it on his personal account!!!!
    The restrictions on travel are a different matter entirely. Not only do they borderline violate the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, they’re hugely counter-productive because they make it harder for Cubans to become economically independent of their government. Cubans flock to work in the tourism sector because it’s almost the only route they have to earn convertible pesos which gives them real purchasing power.

    If you are talking about the restriction on travel for cubans, I agree….. Our money make more free the cubans inside Cuba because we give it directly to them.
    But if you are talking about the money of the tourist, the american tourist, then I strongly disagree……. Tourist money do not reaches the cuban people, only a minimal % of the population can work at the tourism industry. Decades of open tourism arriving Cuba from Canada and Europe have not produced any improvement in peoples live condition. Mr. Reich is right, no tourist have cause freedom in any enslaved country. American tourist will do in Cuba exactly what the european or canadian does…. have sex, get drunk and get the nose burned.
    Contrary your hopes the arrival of mass tourism from USA will cause the people live condition get worse because the tyranny will not need any longer the money of the exile cubans and will isolate us from our relatives inside the island. Remember, the tyranny needs to keep the people in poverty in order of easily dominate it, the tyranny needs to maintain the people in the border of starvation so the people have no time for thinking politic.

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