Doors that open, bars that close

None of the presidents who yesterday approved the readmission of our Island to the Organization of American States held public office in 1962 when the Cuban government was expelled from that organization. However, the repeal of that resolution has found the same people who governed the fate of my parents and grandparents in power here. The Cuban people have changed greatly in the meantime: some died, others emigrated, and my generation—with its exotic “Y”—has started to see its first grey hairs. But on the podium the same name has clung to the microphones through all this time.

To our elders in the presidency, the OAS decision confronts them with a dilemma that is almost always poorly resolved. Ordered to choose between belligerency and harmony, the latter burns them like salt on the skin and drowns them like too much water in the lungs. Forged in the logic of confrontation, a possible seat in the OAS appears to them more dangerous than the barricades before which they feel so comfortable. They know that taking the seat would place them in a regional community that would support them, but that would also demand openings to the interior of the country.

Hence, Wednesday’s announcement seems to me like another hand offered, a new door opened, only to face the Cuban government’s unwillingness to accept it. John Paul II’s desire, “Let Cuba open up to the world, and the world will open up to Cuba,” would be accomplished if it weren’t that the first part of the phrase leaves no way forward. It seems that those at the helm of my country prefer the catchy slogan shouted so much during the sixties, “With the OAS or without the OAS, we will win the fight.” But now no one sees the fight as being for any side, the enemy fades, and the victory… ay, the victory… has come down to staying in power all this time.


26 thoughts on “Doors that open, bars that close

  1. They caught Fidel (if he still alive) and Raul “CON LAS MANOS EN LA MASA” for all those who do not know or understand spanish “THEIR HANDS IN THE COOKIE JAR” when it come to COLD WAR SPIES!! You know a movie is coming!

    “Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Saturday called charges that a former U.S. State Department official and his wife spied for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years “ridiculous” and described the case as an “espionage comic strip.”

    REUTERS: Fidel Castro calls U.S. spy case ridiculous

    I think that The Houston Chronicle has some of the best coverage on Cuba in the US!!
    HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Bitterness on U.S. drove Cuba spy suspect

  2. I got a chuckle out of the last sentence of Yoani’s posting above. As if managing to stay in power for 50 years (without letting Cubans pass judgment through genuinely free and fair multiparty elections) should be considered an accomplishment, or some sort of validation of the “revolution.”

  3. Anónimo
    Junio 6th, 2009 at 12:25

    viva cuba viva fidel viva la rebolucion………….yankees we don t need your toilet paper ………….
    Yes you do. Cuban people is one of the most affected for rectal cancer because it has not access to toilet paper and everybody uses newspaper instead. The high toxicity of the ink used for cuban newspapers is the cause.

  4. Ok all y’all — if you’re not already reading “OCTAVO CERCO” (see the sidebar)… go there now! (It’s in English translation for those who don’t speak spanish.) You are going to LOVE it. The cops stop a bus full of Cubans coming home from their nice little weekend trip to Varadero on a nice Cuban peso bus… try to arrest the driver and haul him off for speeding… but the passengers are having NONE OF IT! They jump off the bus… pull the driver out of the police car… and scare off the cops!!!! Then they all sign something with their full names and ID numbers for the driver… as witnesses to the police harassment!!!!!

    I tell you… things are changing… things are already changing. The cops ran away!

  5. Dont know how to edit some of my mistakes on the comments. Can someone help me? In my last post I forgot the “l” in Fidel but I’m sure everyone know who I am refeering to.


    I went to visit my family in Cuban 4 times over the past 12 years and ONE of THE HIGHLIGHTS of my trip was the ability, because of necesity to wipe my A** when I went to the bathroom with copies of Granma and Juventud Rebelde and of course always looking for pictures of Fidel and Raul. How I missed those toilet trips.
    Cubans might not have toilet paper but I’m sure I was not only one enjoying this WONDERFUL TRADITION!!Maybe yelling “Come cono” at the same time as you wipe Fide’s face on your A**.

  7. I’m sorry, but my comment (# 15) went out as “anonimo” , however at the end you can see my name, I don’t know the reasons, but, I just want to emphasize that the article # 15 is mine!!!!



    [I added your name for you — Your Friendly English Translator]

  8. Andy:

    Yes!!!!,,you are right , it is our hope, that those monsters (Castro and his brother) will be dead soon,,,,just “by natural reasons, because there is not other”!!!,,,then, may be, everything can change “suddenly” and Cuba could start the game to be free, forever and ever!!!!!!!!!!.

    As soon as they passed away, then, may be, we will see a lot of “Panfilos” (the dronken guy, on the Youtube Video asking for food, in a very Cuban style saying in spanish- “Jama!!!, jama!!!, comida!!!, tenemos hambre!!!”-, in english -“Food!!!, food!!!, we are hungry!!!!, then, may be nobody, not the police, not the army can’t stop that avalanche,,,, thirsty of freedom!!!!,,will see it!!!!


  9. A few observations about the Cuban spy caper.

    According to the NY Times article that Humberto posted, the Myers had been under investigation for three years. This is well before Obama became President. Perhaps Kendall Myers retirement from the State Department in October 2007 led him (or his wife) to let down their guard.

    Being an admirer of the Cuban revolution – no matter how misguided this may seem to us – is not a crime even for someone working for the State Department. Obviously a grand jury felt their was sufficient evidence of passing state secrets to Cuba to lay an indictment, but only time will tell if these charges will hold up in court. In the meantime, like any US citizens, the Myers’ are entitled to the presumption of innocence.

  10. viva cuba viva fidel viva la rebolucion………….yankees we don t need your toilet paper ………….

  11. The dictators will always need an ennemy to blame for his own failures and to be used as a justification of his own barbaric repression…something like that wrote Sthendall in times of Napoleon.The escence have’t change at all.
    Dictators like Fidel Castro and company have no ideology (only whatever justify their access and keeping of the power).They have no dignity,because they deny others dignity.They,like monstrous gansters have destroyed our country but even worse they have undermined the bases of our nationality,culture and moral bases of cuban society.

  12. OAS or not, we all would like to see a more DEMOCRATIC CUBA, freedom to choose leadership, freedom of press, freedom to express and release of political prisoners. The Cuban people need to speak up, the world will support you.

  13. Cuba does not need the OAS.

    As long as Venezuela’s Chavez, Nicaragua’s Ortega and others alike use the organizations pulpit to blame the USA for their ineptitud and the destruction of the civil societies in their respective countries; the Cuban lidership(read Fidel Castro) looses nothing by snobing the OAS.

    The present reconciliatory attitude of the USA needs to be reinforced by a serious commitment to respect and not to intervene in other Goverments business. Let the flow of cultural and business activities between Latinoamerica and the USA be really free and fair, dominated only by institutional and market forces and not by the threath of military intervencion.

    In one respect I agree with Fidel’s observation about the OAS obsolence.
    The OAS. with or without Cuba’s presence is just a club of nations, shaping the human rights conditions of their repective citizens, based on their latest interpretaion.

    Let us Cubans of every peruasion, continue clamoring for those Universal Rights, and prepare for the days when they become a reality in our fractured island.

  14. NY TIMES ARTICLE: Couple Indicted on Charges of Spying for Cuba

    Officials said the couple, Walter Kendall Myers, 72, and Gwendolyn S. Myers, 71, received little in the way of compensation from the Cubans except for the short-wave radio and some travel expenses. Rather, the officials said, the couple appears to have been driven by their strong affinity for Cuba and their bitterness toward “American imperialism.” (FIDEL AND RAUL ARE CHEAP AS WE KNOW!!)

    “We think they did it because they love Cuba,” said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.


  15. yes, it would seem that the headlines about Cuba are going to be changing a bit. I cant help but wonder about the timing of this. With Cuba so much in the news right now this will take the edge off some of the talk that has been going around. will the news of this filter back to the folks on the island ? How will they see it ? I guess fidel’s spies are getting older and it is hard for them to keep up as well as they used to. They ought to realize that the time for cashing out is very soon going to be over. The value of whatever they have to buy their freedom with is going down fast and will suddenly expire at some point in the very near future. In earlier posts we were talking about when the wall fell in Berlin and solidarity triumphed in Poland. I remember those events as a little trickle broke free and suddenly became a flood. A raging torrent that could not be withstood. If those who enforce control of the street ever refuse to carry out the bidding of those at the top the system will collapse.

    Does the OAS actually mean anything, or is it just a bunch of folks talking. The despot did lots and lots of talking but except for the poor people who were forced to listen it never meant anything.

  16. Candido,
    Of course you are right because you know exactly how the psychopath thinks, having observed him your whole life. There’s only one glitch. He’s not long for this world. The question is can any of the baby-fidels coming up in other countries replace him. I don’t think so. But time will tell.

  17. Yes … but “King” of what? There is a fault-line between the sane countries of Ibero-America, such as Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru, and the crazed, lead by the crazed “grandfather.” The latter are doomed to a Zimbabwe-style disintegration.

  18. Castro’s answer, rejecting Cuba’s comeback to OAS is not an arrogant position,,,no,,,no,,,,do not misinterpret Castro’s answer rejecting Cuba’s come back to OAS,,,no,,,no,,,no,,this is a strategic and very well calculated movement!!.

    Castro, totally agree with Chavez, Evo Morales, Ortega and all those communists , wants to be permanently out of the OAS, and he is using his “victim” face as a excuse, to create another new organization that do not allow the entry of USA and Canada!!!!

    Once the rest of the Latin America countries will be reunited in just one Organization where USA and Canada are not members of it, then, Castro will be the “King”!!!!,,,the “Prima Donna”!!!!,,,he will be instructing everyone of those countries, to follow his policy, supporting his leadership under the hatred against USA!!!!

    Besides, if Cuba is inside of the current OAS, in one way or another, will be receiving the constant criticism of USA against Castro’s permanent human right violations, and all his cruel repression,,,and he wants to avoid that at all!!!!.


  19. Spot on, as usual. Though I wonder how much the OAS will actually “demand” from Cuba. So many look on the government of this island prison with so much admiration…The mind boggles.

Comments are closed.