Nobody is listening

We’ve gone from one extreme to the other.  Three years ago we had a president who spoke for long hours in front of the microphones and now we rely on another who doesn’t send a single word our way.  I confess I prefer the restrained style, but there are a lot of explanations outstanding which, in the face of so much discontent, are urgent.  Someone has to stand up and explain why the wage reform failed, the reason for delaying the handover of the so critical supply of land, and the reasons that prevented them from reducing the gap between the Cuban peso and the convertible currency.

A face must show itself to give us an account of what stopped the elimination of the need for permission to travel outside Cuba, what happened with the repeated slogan of reducing imports, or what path was taken by the so-called business improvement program.  The same voice that in 2007 declared that hopefully there would be “a glass of milk within reach of everyone” needs to reveal to us now why it has become so difficult to put the precious liquid into the mouths of our children.  This man who reignited the illusions of many of my compatriots, must now express himself and confess his failure or at least tell us of his limitations.

I am waiting for a clarification about why he hasn’t accepted Obama’s proposal for U.S. telecommunications companies to provide Internet to the Cuban people.  I demand, like many around me, a convincing argument for why we are not going to join the OAS, or the reasons for not implementing, still, the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The list of unanswered questions is long and to hide from so many questions is not going to solve the problems.  Please, let somebody—with answers—show his face soon.


25 thoughts on “Nobody is listening

  1. Pingback: Nobody is listening | Cuba News

  2. Carlos,
    thank you,but i feel i’m not dedicated at all,in the sense that i’m not doing anything,but more so learning;i enjoy learning from you all,your opinion’s and debate’s open my mind in a way that make’s me happy and realise thing’s i never would’ve realised.

  3. Mushba
    I’m stroke for your dedication to our cause ,may be, so far from your’s,and besides our’s contoversies, your oppinions are very wellcome.

  4. Speaking of setting your own rithm, and this is not a problem that applies to Cuba, where the politicians actually prevent people from prospering. In the case of certain third world nations, it seems to me that it’s very easy and convenient to blame somebody else, other countries, even politicians for problems, they population and prevailing culture themselves create. All one has to do is look in your own backyard, streets, or neighborhoods, and see the number of children without any supervision, toys and/or schools to go to.

    I see an overpopulation problem, but no discussion on how to overcome it. As prosperous as the U.S. is, if I were to have ten or twelve kids, I’d be poor myself, even here. The same would go for all middle class families. Unless there is balance between the producing sector of a population (working age) and the dependent side (children and elderly), they will chase their tails for an eternity looking for prosperity, and they’ll never find it.

    Is it so hard for people to understand that a country, its land and resources have limitations and that if we continue to grow the population, we’re all destined to end up in misery, not to mention destroy the planet?

  5. Señor De La Yncera,
    I did get what you meant,and that is what i meant.Each nation has to find their own rythm instead of following someone else’s,that is perfectly natural and understandable.
    Candido,ofcourse your right.Pakistan and Cuba are bound to be different;but the similarity i see between us is the struggle that both people of these two nation’s go through;the disappointment we share in our government’s,and the need to progress and just be able to live a normal life.That is what i think is similar between Pakistan and Cuba,and other countrie’s in similar situation’s of struggle.

  6. All the money and power cannot erase what the Castro’s brothers have done. All those henchmen of this regime know what is in store for them if they give up power. They will, while alive fear for every minute what is to happen to them.

  7. I am listening. what do you have to say. I tell you no body is going to do anything for you and your people. If you do nothing that is what you get, nothing. It is sad, very sad. You see what is happening in latin america people like Chavez in Venezuela, Ortega in NIcaragua, Selalla in Honduras, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, people like that kind of rulers. In latin america, we are waiting for someone to solve our lives. We do’not solve our own lives.

  8. I was reminded of two of Yoani’s recent posts when the plodding, Soviet-inspired propaganda piece “I am Cuba” (Soy Cuba) was shown on British TV yesterday. Made in the early 60s, the film is set in the closing days of the Batista regime, with young Stalinists as heroes. I bet they daren’t show it in Havana today!
    Early in the film, for example, the action moves to a stylized shanty town which has plentiful electricity and looks positively inviting alongside Caletone.
    But what would really break the heart of anyone who watched the Calle San Lazaro post was the sight of Havana as it was when Castro took it over. Beautiful old buildings and stylish, if anonymous, new ones, all in excellent condition. At one point, people crowd onto the balconies to watch a funeral procession – there’d be a few extra corpses if they tried that today! The well-maintained streets bustle with traffic and a stylishly-dressed “hero” jumps onto one of the plentiful buses and buys a newspaper – in order to read the news!! A street vendor with a cart piled high with fruit is considered unremarkable.
    Elsewhere, we see fertile sugar plantations – I won’t go on, as I guess the point has been made. Pre-revolutionary Cuba was hardly a paradise – but seems so when compared to what its people have today.
    As befits the film’s Stalinist origins, the only humour is unintentional – like a “Spartacus” rip-off where a number of terrorists all claim to be Castro. Reminds me of the story of a very young Michael Douglas insisting he should be seated in a restaurant at once because, “I’m Kirk Douglas’s son.” Soon all the diners were chiming in with, “No, I’M Kirk Douglas’s son!” :-))

  9. The President who spoke for hours is back in charge. Big brother obviously doesn’t trust little brother, and hence little brother’s silence.

    But demanding answers to important questions is always worthwhile even when they’re met with silence. Yoani, keep your stick on the ice.

  10. Yoani’s post is very well written and offers much food for thought as always. The only thing that regime cares about is remaining in absolute power at the expense of the rights of the Cuban people. Nothing more and nothing less. Demanding answers isn’t going to work.

  11. Mushba

    My problem and that of many cubans is that we want to
    set our own rithm and not follow someones else Conga
    line. I am talking about a dictator like Castro tellling everyone else what
    the solution is. I like to be able to provide my own solutions
    to the problems and that could never happen in Cuba.
    Because the top ruling class makes all decisions for you.
    Like your father does for you now.
    As you grow you will find. that you may want to do certain things
    diferent than your father. It is the same for us.
    We are independent spirits all of us because we are
    born with something special called free will. Some have it in a hight degree
    some in a lower degree. But we all have it!
    I am not a shadow I have my own light that guides me thru
    darkness that light is my intellect I will repeat with Descartes
    cogito ergo sum I think therefore I am
    if you can understant that very simple and yet deep statement then
    you will understant why I can’t follow messianic leaders like Castro
    I coul keep going on this but I think you get the idea.

  12. I understand why, and the context in which Yoani is asking questions, while knowing that the geriatric ward in charge won’t listen. It’s the same reason people prey without necessarily getting an answer or their wish fulfilled. The old Greeks knew that the gods could be capricious. Nevertheless it helps us keep focused and busy, while helping our sanity.

    As Yoani has explained before, even though the island is a physical prison, everyone should think as though they are free and act accordingly. The alternative is to robotically follow the tyrants every wish, tantrums and ridiculous tirades against logic, or simply withdraw into oblivion.

    Let’s face it, if the now intellectually challenged brothers were forced to answer each and every question posed by Yoani, what would they say? Here are some suggested and plausible answers they might give:

    – Can’t provide the extra glass of milk as we forgot we only have about half as many cows as we did in 1959 and can’t squeeze more milk out of them.

    – Yes we can’t do math, please don’t remind us. Did not figure that the proposed exchange rate from pesos to convertible money would empty out the tourist stores of all goods, and we would not have enough hard currency to replenish, since we don’t produce much to begin with, we don’t have much to export to earn currency.

    – My limitations are primarily due to my warped mind, having spent too much time killing opposition “counter-revolutionaries” and not learning math and science which I found challenging due my short attention span. You can’t blame me; it would be “counter-revolutionary” as I was born that way.

    – How can I join the OAS at this late date, with all the “caca” I and my brother have spoken over the years, we just couldn’t look ourselves, or each other, in the mirror.

    – Social, Cultural rights, etc. do not register in my brain. These are privileges demanded by the bourgeoisie in order to confuse people like me who did not pass secondary school and were expelled. All these are dangerous, seditious questions.

  13. Please forgive me for not replying in Spanish. My heart goes out to everyone on your island and my hope is that you will one day be free of the oppressive and inept government that has burdened you with poverty. I know many who share my views and hopes for your people. It is frustrating to stand by in the face of such misery and be unable to help.
    The Castro regime has much to answer for, and ignoring the problem will not make it disappear. You are right in your demand for answers, and I hope fervently, that you will get them. I cannot possibly understand your situation or the best solution to your problems. However, I have faith that true improvement and resolution of the problems in Cuba will come from people like you, not from your government.
    I await the day when you are a free nation and I can see the beauty of Cuba first hand. Until then, good luck in your battle.

  14. Mushba:

    I have some doubts that may be you can clarify.

    In Pakistan:

    1-Can you talk by phone to any member of your family or your friends which are living outside of Pakistan, and you can express opinions such as : I’m hungry, or I need shoes, or I want to be with you there,,,,without -for sure- being interrupted?

    2-Is there any organization created to spy, denounce, and keep information about each person, each family , street by street, block by block? .This organization knows where is your school, who are your friends, how many boy or girls friends you have, your religion, the way you dress, the music you love!!!! and always is ready to report anything about it to the police or whoever wants to know ?

    3-Starting at five years old, when the kids are going to school for their first time until you are 15, Do they have to salute and repeat – mandatorily – everyday that they want to be exactly like one of your martyrs? In Cuba’s case the slogan is referring to the murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara!!!!

    4-If you want to go out of Pakistan, being a normal person, without anything pending with the law, Do you have to ask for permission to do it?, the same situation could be applied if you want to return?

    5-If you decide to go out of Pakistan, Are you required to give everything you got, your house, your car, your clothing, your furniture,,,,everything!!!! to the Government? knowing that by Law you never will receive back those belongings?

    6-If your father or your mother are living outside of Pakistan, and you go to another country to work as Pakistan Representative, and your father is a normal and decent person which never came back to Pakistan, but never did anything against Pakistan too, It is prohibited to you to see him?,,,It is prohibited to you talk with him?,,,knowing that if you do that, your career will end as soon as the Government knew about it?

    7-Is there any rationing food book in Pakistan that has been used for more than 47 years for 99 % of the population?, because in Cuba the only exception is Castro’s family or any member of his gang, which they don’t have the rationing!!!!

    8-Is there any prohibition in Pakistan to celebrate Christmas, or any other religious activity?, because, in Cuba the last Christmas was celebrated by the end of the 60’s , then, when the Pope was there, the Government allowed the celebration just that year and that’s it.

    9-Is there any law for whish you can be arrested and prosecuted because you have “one American dollar in your hands?.Just a few years ago Castro’s Government canceled that law, but during more than 40 years, thousand of peoples were arrested and sentenced because the police was able to find “One American Dollar” in your pocket!!!.

    10-In Pakistan, the Government decides if a young man should go to war or don’t?, or that is just responsibility of the military?, because in Cuba, thousand of young man were sent it to Africa by the Government to fight and 90 % of those young man were civil guys,,,but they did not have any other choice but they would be expelled from theirs jobs, the school, etc,

    I can present to you thousand of simple facts that could mark a big difference between Cuba and Pakistan,,,and I want to emphasize “simple things”, such as liberty of expression, liberty of movement, liberty or reunion, liberty of decide by yourself what to do with your own life.


  15. Señor De La Yncera,
    Ofcourse that is true,and as usual your right.Mind you,there are some site’s that the government does block.No country can be the same;you ca’nt even say that India and Pakistan are the same,even though we understand eachother, share the same culture and area,when you look at some factor’s,we’re different.So obviously a country like Cuba,so far away from Pakistan is going to be much different.The similaritie’s i see,can be shared by countrie’s that are still struggling to find their…rhythm;a good ca’nt just get you through,everything else like,the people understand the leader’s vision and having tolerance,and so on and so forth is important as well;it’s like a rhythm you need to get into;very hard to find,and easy to get knocked out of.

  16. Yoanis: We’re waiting for answers with you. Your blog entries are much more clear-headed and nuanced (though still pointed) than some of your respondents’ below! Fuerza y abrazo.

  17. Mushba
    yet with all the similarity you find between Pakistan and Cuba allow me to point
    some interesting diferences

    you can obviusly post in this site because your goververment does
    not block the site from view.
    You have access to the Internet
    you can voice your opinion without cocern about safety and future!

    Now all of the above is not true for a Cuban girl nor any other citizen.

  18. Yoanis,
    I agree with some of the comments below, why do you and the cuban people want an idiot giving you explanation of what is happening in the country. They will be lying to your face. Do you rather listen to their lies and go home with an absurd explanation. Isn’t that what we have heard for the last 50 years?

  19. Mike:

    Those bastards (Castros and their decrepit old gang) should be listened by Lucifer!!!!, to be called as soon as he knew how bad they are here in heart, because, he knows that they will be ok in hell!!!!

    We should pray to listen that call just right now!!!!!!!


  20. Not talk or talk too much, at the end, is the same thing!!!!.

    Not talk, mean, that whoever has to express, or transmit something has not intention at all to do so, and, I’m emphasizing with regard a Government who supposedly has to face all the facts to transmit, communicate and report, anything to his people,,,,the good things (which in Cuba never happen!!!) and the bad things (which in Cuba is our daily bread!!!!).

    Talk too much is the same type of attitude , because , that person does not allows the others to express themselves, then, the majority should keep his mouth shot, and, in top of that, if the majority knows that the talking mean go to jail or be executed,,,then, the people become mute!!!!!

    Both cases, Fidel or Raul, are the same type of criminals, is something that it is in their “genes” and they both were able to transmit that to their maffiosa gang of decrepit old guys, which have been enforcing the criminal Castro’s policy during the last 50 years in Cuba.

    At the end, this new Yoanis’s comment is good to remember an old saying:

    ” Even if you have a monkey dressed in silk, he will stays as monkey forever”.

    Epilogue: Nothing will change in Cuba, while both Castro and their maffiosa gang are in power!!!!!,,no hope, no future, no dreams, a lot of nightmares, and sacrifice,,,,,has been the law of the funnel, the wider part just for Castro and his decrepit old guys!!!!!!!

    We , the Cubans are the responsible one for that, has been our total and complete bitter pill, that after 50 years still we swallowed daily!!!!! until? who knows ?

    Note: I hope, that Lucifer could be good enough to call both Castros at the same time!!!!! it will be asking a lot?


  21. Honestly,with each post that Yoani post’s,i feel that what the Cuban’s are going through can be easily related to by us Pakistani’s.Unanswered question’s are the most common from our ruler’s and politician’s,esepcially in Pakistan,and Cuba.Why these question’s are not answered,or promise’s not fulfilled,is something i fail to understand;are they so incompetent that they ca’nt even come up with an exuse,not even an exuse to why these promise’s and question’s are unanswered and broken.You would’nt believe how many totally incompetent people are Parlimentarian’s;they do’nt even know anything about their own party;their father’s were just in the party, and they’re landlord’s,so they automatically get a seat when they’re party is in power.

  22. Yoani’s first sentence “We’ve gone from one extreme to the other” contrasts the verbosity of one of the two beasts against the deafening silence from the other. The Castro-siblings are beasts from the same pit of hell and in common they carry the same surname, but one of them (Fidel) became well-known for his 6-hour speeches, while the other (Raul) is taciturn and the appointed trigger-man for the Castro killing machine. Since 1959, Fidel’s speeches were strategically delivered either before demanding greater productivity from Cuban citizens (e.g., prior to a sugarcane harvest season) or before imposing greater squalor or as some sickening prelude to an increase in the communist party’s repression. The initial euphoria of his enchained listeners, who gathered like cattle and eventually forced into cattle trucks on a pilgrimage to La Plaza de la Revolucion (Revolution Square or more aptly named “Disillusion Square”) faded over the ensuing 50-years. While Fidel blasted empty slogans in his attempt to motivate generations of sheep on their way to be slaughtered, Raul the younger brother, who is publicly timid and taciturn, stood silently by in preference for direct oversight of death squads and exporting communism and terror to the world.
    With all due respect to Yoani, a woman who is undoubtedly extremely courageous by pondering on the rationale behind extremes behaviors from the two psychopaths, there is a built-in fallacy in her introductory sentence. It presupposes that someone in Cuba’s ruling regime would even care to listen to those subjugated by the regime. Presupposing that any tangible difference, let alone extreme, may emanate from either of the Criminal Castro-brothers can only come from someone who is in one of three mental conditions: 1) he is naïve; or 2) he is experiencing an unabashed surrender to his captor or kidnapper; or 3) he is intentionally not expressing what he really wants to say because of concern for further repression or repercussion against loved ones. Yoani, or least the ghost-writer character that she now represents to those of us in exile, is likely to fall in the latter category. Anyone who has studied Castro’s regime for any length of time without wearing the symbolic Che Guevarra shirt (another murderer, but fortunately not a paisano) knows that Fidel Castro has never listen to any demand or advice from common people, as he considers his destiny to be intrinsically tied to all under his dominion. Since he believes himself to be the original “Enlighten One”, he deems that others cannot contribute to his vision or predetermined destination in history and, hence, his a-la-Hitler statement of “History shall absolve me”. How narcissistic can this beast be? So far, Fidel is the Hitler-like character that has made it into 21st century and only Cubans have had to live under such kind of a beast for this long. Neither Castro has advisors, they have snitches (e.g., the so called presidents of CDRs [Committees for the Defense of the Revolution] posted on every city block) who spy on Cuban citizens to reveal a range of so-called subversive activities extending from carrying black-market contraband (i.e., milk to feed their children) to speaking or acting in opposition to the oppressive regime. No! The Castro brothers have not listened to anyone and why would they start now with their imminent death and evil-mission collapse in their horizon? Raul’s reluctant move into the top- criminal’s position three years ago carried no real hope for anyone. Al least, he could not deceived any of us who know about him into believing he might ever produce an “extreme” condition or result of any kind. It was all simply a trade of charismatic murderer (Fidel) for a cold-blooded one (Raul): the result is still murder. Raul’s assignment is to carry-on with his brother’s oppressive policies and to continue to subjugate and demoralize Cuban citizens by starvation and total humiliation. After 50 years, there are no extremes to be discussed, as the only extreme is that a once proud and prosperous people prior to January 1, 1959, are now simply listening to the silence rather than empty promises that continue to signify nothing, but the preparation for their additional pain.

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