To the outside world

The Summit of the Americas ended yesterday and it doesn’t appear that an urgent meeting of parliament, or a special plenary session of the Party Central Committee, is being convened to discuss the proposals made by Obama. “A fresh start with Cuba,” the American president said in Trinidad and Tobago, but today Fidel Castro’s Reflections referred only to Daniel Ortega’s long speech. The journalists from the National News haven’t taken to the streets to collect people’s impressions and my neighbor has been enlisted in Operation Caguairan, in case of a possible invasion from the North.

Given the importance of what’s happening, the “accountability meeting” being held in my building today should be devoted to the new relations between Cuba and the United States. But the delegate prefers to talk about the unruly neighbors who throw their trash outside the bins, rather than ask what we think about the end of the dispute. In my son’s school some teacher repeats that “Obama is like Bush, but painted black,” and the billboards in the street still call for continuing the struggle against imperialism.

I don’t know what to think, given the difference between what is said to the outside world and the tiresome sermon we get every day. Even Raul Castro himself seems ready to talk to Obama about things he’s never wanted to discuss with us. I can’t help asking myself, then, if all this “olive branch” and the willingness to touch on broad themes, is not just words said to the outside world, phrases pronounced far from our ears.


13 thoughts on “To the outside world

  1. To Amanda:
    Cuban doors should and must fly open, and as soon as possible. Please show a little more respect for Cubans and their judgement. They do not need us Canadians to teach them what is best for them. Especially when we go visit their big prison-country with a passport in our pockets to make sure we are able to come back to our world of “greed and competition”.
    Cubans have three big problems Amanda: breakfast, lunch, and supper. What would you do if this “socialist experiment” was tried on Canadians? I encourage you to stay in Cuba (without your passport and your return ticket), put yourself in Cuban shoes, and then teach…

  2. As a Canadian who has visited Cuba many times (usually as a turista, but I am participating in an arts conference in Pinar del Rio in a few days), I must say that I have a lot of faith in Barack Obama – at least I have faith in his intentions and his integrity. Who knows what he will be able to actually accomplish. I do hope that he is able to open a dialogue with Cuba, but I also fear what will become of Cuba if the doors fly open too quickly. I know the socialist system is flawed and that there is poverty and corruption, but in a world of capitalism and greed and competition, there are many people who look to Cuba as an example that another way is at least possible, if not perfect. I am fascinated by Cuba and the changes that will surely take place in the next few years…

    Fidel Castro did say, in one of his first speeches, that there might come a day when he would become the enemy of the revolution. I would love to ask him if he thinks that day has come.

    Thank you for your honesty and courage, Yoani — it’s so wonderful to read your thoughts and hopes and fears. It’s so good to hear a voice form the inside explain what is really happening. I hope to meet you some day!

    – Amanda (Montreal, Canada)

  3. President Obama is not like George W. Bush at all. We see the difference in style and substance, every day here in America.

  4. vsalor y valentia de esta cubana,luchadora incansable maestra en la nueva tecnica del pone a la altura de nuestros proceres que fundaron la patria.asi comienza su liderazgo que es lo que le falta al cubano un lider aqui lo tenemos.yoani seras nuestro punto cero para comenzar y llegar al punto mil.ya ves raul ni habla en un discurso que debia hacer el primero de mayo,no tiene nada de leader tiene miedo que fidel lo mande a callar.dios te protega y le metas un cacerolazo a raul y gracias un cubano exilado.

  5. I don’t begin to understand all the problems between US & Cuba but I do feel more hope now with Obama as our President. No matter what color he is – let’s just take the high road and hope some progress is made for everyone’s sake! I would love someday to visit your amazing country. Peace.

  6. Obama, is my favorite “Negrito” maybe even “Mulatico”. He makes a great American as he is from an imigrant family and obtained his education in the States as did Marti. He has taken bold initiatives to change US -CUBAN POLICIES and realizes that Cuba also has to change. Fidel, the backbone of the “CUBAN REVOLUTION” is still in charge as we see in todays REFLECTIONS, but that also will change. I do hope that the Cuban people who have for years been told how bad North Americans treat the “BLACKS”, realize who is in charge now in the USA and how few its own Cuban Revolution Government has promoted to top Govenment positions. The youth in Cuba should voice its opinions as they will be tomorrows leaders.

  7. I also read Fidel’s reflections. He went on and on about how Ortega had to wait in his plane. I have a question, if you would be so kind as to answer. If Raul is now the official leader of Cuba, why aren’t we reading his “reflections”?

  8. Yoani …… congratulations for getting your site up and running. I do not know how you do it.

    RE: The Castro brothers recent flip flop ……. they know exactly what they are doing. They have all these years of practice.


    Keep writing , always take the high road. We love you and need you !
    Salud, Donn

  9. My Dear Friends:

    Supposedly, there is a “controversy” between Raul Castro’s words and his brother Fidel Castro’s reflection (the last one), where the oldest brother (Fidel) said that “Obama misunderstood Raul Castro’s words.

    Don’t be naive!!!!,,that is a very good strategy very well planned between both brothers, which is pretending to show some “pluralism” when Raul Castro mentioned very clear issues about “human rights, politics prisoners, etc”, without any sign of doubt about his words.

    However, the real intention of those expressions was just to “read the mind of the America’s leaders, but basically, Obama’s mind”.

    Obama did not “bite the bate”, and right away, the master mind behind Cuba’s destiny, Fidel Castro, had ready and published his reflection “saying that stupidity about the misunderstanding”.

    Only the slave Cuban population “must accept, publicly, that message”, but the Cuban people, knows in his soul the real intention of his diabolic plan.

    His plan is, just go on over and over, and over,,,,, with his excuse about that USA is the cause of the poverty, and the biggest disaster that ever happened in Cuba in her more than 500 years of history.

    Castro, has been and will be, hiding the real reason for which Cuba has been under this cruel and inept system, just to keep his power and his hard hand to satisfy his enormous and personal “ego”, and this will be like that, until his dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    People of the world !!!!,,,don’t be naive, Castro always will be able to find anything just to keep on, his power, even, if that means to keep his people under that poverty or even more, if he has to order to the army to shoot directly to his people, he would not hesitate to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    Castro has assassinated the hope for every Cuban, that is exactly his biggest goal, he has been able to keep behind the scene all his cruelty wearing a nice mask and the right disguised clothing for years and years, but, that is enough, now is the time, the world must know the real face of his “diabolic mind”!!!!!!

    Cuba must be free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. Happy to be the first to comment in the revamped site.

    Regrettably, I think Yoani’s pessimism is justified. The lastest indicator is Fidel Castro’s statement in his most recent reflection that Obama had misinterpreted Raul Castro’s words. Seems like the old dictator just wants to put up new road blocks every time it appears there may be an opening.

    [note… I, English Translator, moved this comment from the duplicate entry… not sure how that happened!]

    Check out The Wall Street Journal Opinion APRIL 22, 2009, 8:00 P.M. ET
    Big Brother Weighs In
    Raúl may be Cuba’s President, but Fidel remains ‘Líder Máximo.’

    What’s the land-speed record for a diplomatic “breakthrough” crashing into a concrete wall? We don’t know for sure, but Fidel Castro’s veto of brother Raúl’s earlier pledge to put “everything” on the table in negotiations with the U.S. is surely a contender.

    Recall that last Thursday President Castro (that would be Raúl) gave a speech in Venezuela in which he said “we have sent word to the U.S. government in private and public that we are willing to discuss everything — human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners, everything.” To which a clearly pleased President Obama replied, “that’s a sign of progress.”

    But when it comes to Communist regimes, there is always a Big Brother. Writing in yesterday’s edition of the newspaper Granma, Fidel said that “without a doubt, [President Obama] misinterpreted Raúl’s statement.” The release of political prisoners, he insisted, was contingent on the U.S. release of “five Cuban antiterrorist heroes.” Those “heroes” are currently serving jail time in the U.S. after their convictions in 2001 for espionage.

    Nor would Fidel — who, as the Communist Party’s First Secretary, remains the country’s real “Líder Máximo” — contemplate any change to the tax his regime imposes on remittances sent to Cubans by their family members living abroad. Mr. Obama had cited that as an example of the way the Cuban government could prove its bona fides. Instead, Fidel accused Mr. Obama of being “superficial,” adding for good measure that he occupied an “inglorious office.”

    We’ve long argued that lifting the trade embargo on Cuba is in everyone’s interest. But Fidel’s outburst is as good a reminder as any of the real cause of Cuba’s misery.


  12. My heart goes out to all of you in Cuba. This site is the only one I have found that is translated to English. I am trying to learn Spanish, but it is slow, so for now I will have to read in translation. I live in the state of Arizona in the United States. I hope to one-day visit Cuba. Is there anything I can do to help? The poverty I see in Cuba brings tears to my eyes. I have written to the President asking him to ease the trade embargo, but I am just one women…
    I hope to make friends from Cuba and hope one day I can make a difference.



  13. How sad to read this report. But this is what I expected would happen. When will this sad reality break its way thru all the mainstream media’s giddy reporting on the imminent end to the embargo ? Will President Obama give in and give the despots all that they want with nothing in return, or will he hold firm and demand the real changes that we all are hoping for ?

    To all of you whose labor behind the scenes brings this site to us you have more gratitude from me than I can ever express

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