One step forward, two steps back

I have gone a couple of days without connecting to the Internet, because a new complication has appeared in the road of alternative bloggers.  Several hotels in the country demand, in order to connect to the web, that you prove a life in a place outside the Cuban archipelago.  The desk clerks tell me—even though they are just as native as I am—that that blue card will not allow me to dive into the vast World Wide Web.  “It’s a decision that comes from above,” a woman says to me, as if a decision of this type could be taken at a level other than the offices of the government.

I see it will be hard to change myself into a foreigner overnight.  So the only thing left is to protest against such a ban and to make public the existence of a new apartheid.  I will have to go back in the guise of a tourist, although this time I will have to learn a language as complicated as Hungarian to fool those who sell the access cards.  Maybe I can prowl around the hotels, ready to ask the foreigners to buy—for me—this forbidden entrance key, this safe conduct I need “to not be Cuban.”

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27 thoughts on “One step forward, two steps back

  1. Pingback: Generation Y One step forward two steps back | Wood TV Stand

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  3. God bless you for having the courage to stand up to this tyrant. Myself being Cuban American know very well what these characters are capable of doing. When will this administration learn that one cannot deal with this governmennt in good faith. All they conspire to do is to mistreat their own people

  4. Yoani,

    God bless you for having the courage to stand up to this tyrant. Myself being Cuban American know very well what these characters are capable of doing. When will this administration learn that one cannot deal with this governmennt in good faith. All they conspire to do is to mistreat their own people. This evident by the vast number of political prisoners and thousands of poor Cubans that have been killed by firing squads.

    Now something as simple as being able to express one self on the Internet is not allowed to its citizens. If communism is such a great thing and if they treat their citizens so well, then what are they worried about?

    Todo leeg a un punto final, un dia pagaran por todo el mar que le an echo a el pueblo Cubano. Viva Cuba liber!

  5. Once again, the Castro dictatorship shows its true, repressive nature.

    Thank you, Yoani, for having the courage to reveal this to the world. We must all join her to break the dictatorship’s blockade on information.

  6. The undertones of this are more sinister than meets the eye. We´ve covered this on thecubablog. It would appear that the more the light shines the more the Cuban government feels vindicated. There´s lost of talk about “US Overtures” and possible opening but as Yoani comments its one step forward and two steps back. Its obvious that the more light that is shone on Cuba and its officials the more they entrench themselves using the limelight to transmit messages to the world via all types of media but them “forgetting” to inform the world that they´ve ordered the prohibition of internet access AGAIN. The twist on this story that nobody is mentioning, possibly because staying at hotels is impossible because they don´t have 12 months salary to pay for one night in Havana´s cheapest hotel, is that Cuban´s can technically stay at Hotels, eat at the breakfast buffet, drink in the lobby bar, swim in the pool but cannot join their co guests at the Internet Café…
    It just goes to show that basically it’s all about money in this bankrupt country. Morally and financially bankrupt that is. They´ll do/say anything to get the money from anyone including the US to prop up the regime and provide the lavish lifestyles of its cronies. They´ll also use the money to further suppress civil liberties to the point where Cuba will be a tourist destination run by slaves who cannot tell visitors what they think because they´ll get fired, cannot tell the world what they think because they have no media outlets or internet. The bottom line is that the world should be ashamed of itself. Visitors to the island should tell they´re friends that they had a great vacation similar to those of kings who enslaved aborigines in the new world for their own pleasure.
    Fred and Jone Blogs, Toronto Canada: (Had a great vacation in Cuba at a government owned hotel. The receptionist told us that all the hotels are government owned and there are no Cuban entrepreneurs. All of the natives were very agreeable, they served us like kings and we were told they are paid just 15 USD per month. They always seem to smile but I wondered whether their slave masters may fire them if they did not. The cleaning ladies kept leaving out towels in the shape of swans so we left them 45 dollars as a tip for our two weeks stay. My husband said I was crazy “why would you leave these indigenous people three months salary, you know what they get paid”. I reminded him that this is what he makes an hour in Toronto and quickly shut him up!”. We rented a car from a small office in Varadero, I asked the native at the desk if it was his company and he just laughed “no lady, we can´t own anything even our houses”. As we left Varadero airport the plane flew back over the hotel zone and we saw several ships sailing into Varadero harbor with American flags, wonder if these sailors were also discovering the new world)

  7. “Why doesn’t the USA take heed of the rest of the world……….” Maybe because most of the rest of the world does not see the USA as having much moral worth.

  8. 13
    Juan
    Mayo 9th, 2009 at 03:59

    Why doesn’t the USA take heed of the rest of the world……….
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Why doesn’t the rest of the world take the side of the Cuban people and together with USA make the embargo work in same way it worked against Sudafrica apartheid?????

  9. Hola Joani, now i see that comments are moderated, is the government approves/disapproves them? if so then they SUCK big, and they know it and I know and they know who I am as they have been following my life since a child, imagine the kind of persecution this is and I am from another country, from the cuba’s now satellite Venezuela, where the dictator HUGUITICO, (I like this as they say this in Cuba’s Jaime Lopez Town) is, hahaha, how I know this little town not in Cuba’s map??, well they [the castros] think they know where I am all the time by having sent a dumb seguridad agent to follow me thru the mexican border and they think I do not know since they think seguridad is the most secretive, jajajaja, just LIES so the west fears them, but I infiltrate cuba also with no fear whatsover, hahahaha, [heart attack for uncle fidel]and he knows I am the most secretive and intelligent person in the world (he thought) but no it is in the UNIVERSE, and no, I am not any agent (he knows) of any agency whatsoever, but I am here to announce like they do customary in Jaime Lopez, his camaradas, DANIELITICO, INACITICO (lula), EVITICO, CORREITA, ARMANDITICO (No es el loko de Cumana, venezuela, hehe), and the newest one MAURICITICO, and that is all for now, do not worry Joani about getting internet security that one time I went to cuba with an air card and customs not even noticed (never knew), hahahaha, and a laptop, I am INVENTING another gadget where you can get FREE T1 Connection Bandwith, they probably will reasearch it, hehe, the fastest, now they know I am an expert, and you wont need it in your pc, you can carry it in you hair, hahahaha, as I know they dislike Desarrollo (Development) and technoloy NOBODY NOBODY can’t stop it, Hear Uncle??, and I am announcing as I am the chief, the DIGITAL MAPHIA where we do not know each other but with CODES, like RAULITICO, and we are not polititians but common super intelligent people that WILL save this World and Mundo from perverse leaders that do not care for their people and we announced it already but 1st time online our Digital War, where nobody knows what it is but ourselves, we do not need guns not tanks or missile but the most potent one our brains :), I am trying to come up with a TROJAN to send FART NOISE into FIDEL’s PC as he write there a lot and send NASTY PICTURES so he exhibits his customary hate look, and as I do not know you, I hope to see you some day…
    Signed,
    Digital 007
    Bloque Digital

  10. Reinaldo Escobar makes the point in a Sun-Sentinel news story that the regime is closing off paying for legal internet access at hotels in the hopes that independent bloggers will be forced to use free internet access at foreign embassies, including the US Interests Section. Then the regime will be able to accuse them of receiving money from a hostile foreign power, a criminal offense in Cuba.

    Good for Reinaldo for recognizing this trap being laid by the regime. Hopefully, none of the independent bloggers will fall into it. While this punitive new law will make blogging in Cuba even more difficult, maybe a few more eyes will be opened in democratic countries about the repressive nature of the Castro dictatorship.

  11. Just read the story in the Miami Herald and came over here. I knew you would be working around it. The government sucks. Good luck to you. You have many loyal readers and we certainly don’t want to lose you. Suerte!

  12. The Embargo is not the reason Yoani can’t be treated as a human being.The Cuban People need a new revolution, rights for the people.

  13. Why doesn’t the USA take heed of the rest of the world which abhors the US embargo on Cuba? The UN every years almost unanimously opposes it. Even countries that are ‘traditional’ friends oppose it! The Miami mafio has a lot to answer for.

  14. The re-imposition of internet apartheid at tourist hotels lends support to those who argued the Castro regime would try to sabotage the recent overtures from the Obama administration on travel and remittances.

    What I don’t get are the arguments on this blog in favour of maintaining the embargo and travel restrictions on non-Cuban Americans. Isn’t that exactly what the Castro regime wants – continued bad relations? Doesn’t this play right into their hands?

  15. As long as Yoani has an email account to send out her entries, she will continue to post her blog.

    And if they take that away, as long as Yoani has a telephone to send out her entries, she will continue to post her blog.

    And if they take that away, as long as Yoani has a voice to shout with, she will continue to post her blog.

    And if they take that away, as long as Yoani has mouth to silently form the words for someone else to lipread, she will post her blog.

    And if they take that away, as long as Yoani has eyelids to blink in code, she will post her blog.

    And if they lock her in a dark room in the deepest dungeon and let no one in to see her, she will still have a mind to think and the power of her thoughts will crack through the walls and rise to the heavens and float back down through the fingers of her friends abroad, and she will post her blog.

    In other words… she’s a special kind of person and more powerful than all those macho dictators combined.

  16. ***
    Good job on getting the GeneracionY website up and working well again. I don’t see how you do it in a communist country.
    ***
    Buen trabajo en regresando el sitio web GenerationY trabajando bien otra vez. No entiendo como puedan hacerlo en un pais communista.
    ***
    I don’t understand how brave Yoani Sanchez keeps finding a way to post on the web. She is a very tricky lady!
    ***
    No entiendo como la valiente Yoani Sanchez siga encuentrando el modo de “post” en el web. Ella es una mujer muy chapucera!
    ***
    The bad government that was going to provide the same good life for all citizens has failed.
    ***
    El gobierno malo que iba provener la misma vida buena por todos los ciduanos ha fallado.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  17. seria bueno que el Cardenal Bercone y el Papa condenaran tambien el “bloqueo” de
    expresion de la dictadura,pero de seguro nunca lo haran.

  18. Time to bang on the pots again.

    We are banging the pots for you up here in Massachusetts.

    Good luck.

    I doubt the HavanaTimes.org has any trouble getting internet access.

  19. What a pile of malarkey you have to contend with there, sister. For crying out loud, why should people have to jump though flaming hoops to get on the web. It is a testament to your resilience that the incorrigible cretins upstairs cant stop your blogging.

  20. Statue, you are right!!!! totally right!!!!, lifting the “Embargo”, will not solve anything in Cuba.

    The main and the only Embargo that Cuba has, is exactly from Castro’s dynasty and his “Maffiosa Gang”, the point is, that Castro has been using it, as excuse for everything he has done.

    The total disaster, the chaos , the poverty, that Fidel, Raul and the rest of the ” Rats Pack”, had created in more the 50 years , is the real Embargo.

    Lifting the Embargo, as you had said, will be only more suffering for the Cuban people, and more money for Castro’s pockets ,,,,,and of course,,,,, a big debts for those naive who gave the money!!!!!!.

    Candido

  21. Hey, Hungarian is not that difficult! :-)

    You just have to learn something like “Seretnek adj internet cardjat, fail oraara” (I’d like an internet card for half an hour), or you can just make up some strange syllables, no one will understand any case…

    Keep up & Minden jot!
    Andras
    Hungary

  22. When you read a comment like this, you have to ask yourself: Will the lifting of the embargo solve this problem? No.
    It will make it worse, because the regular Cuban will not benefit from the lifting and the Apartheid regime will continue to implement their sadistic rules.
    At the end, it will be business as usual, you loan me the money and I will never repay it.
    .

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