Claudia and the recurring theme of courage


The Octavo Cerco blogger celebrates her 26th birthday.

The second time I met Claudia Cadelo we were holding up—each of us by one corner—a piece of sheet with the name “Gorki”.  It was at the concert at the Anti-Imperialist Bandstand, where we chanted for the liberation of the singer from the band Porno Para Ricardo.  Our shouts were heard briefly and then cut short thanks to the beatings they gave us and the enormous loudspeakers broadcasting the imperturbable voice of Pablo Milanés.  A short time later, that girl by my side would open an honest and uninhibited blog that now has many followers inside and outside of Cuba.

What I like most about Claudia is that she admits to being afraid, confesses that she jumps when she hears noises and that she fears the long arm of State Security.  Who doesn’t?  In a country where so many have called themselves heroes, to declare in advance that you are frightened is something too sincere to be accepted.  There is a mistaken idea that courage takes epaulettes, years of incarceration, or scars; not the languid face of a calm woman who displays not rancor but questions.  This fragile blogger, from her fear, disproves these stereotypes every day.

Today we are going to celebrate Claudia’s birthday at our home.  With the Blogger Journey, discussions, a documentary and even a little rum.  I will drink to this girl who writes her opinions, these truths that many mature and stout males only dare to whisper into the ears of their wives.


17 thoughts on “Claudia and the recurring theme of courage

  1. Dear Yoani,

    I read of your plight and of your friends and family in the Readers Diogest.Iam sure many people have written to you since the article was printed.
    I have always wanted to go to Cuba. My perants have been there many years ago and always said how beautiful it was.
    Iam divorced with one son, Billy. The love of my life. He and his wife recently had a daughter. She is so beautiful. I love her very much.
    My mother passed away and I now have my father living with me. He has been very ill the last 5 months and the doctors do not know why. He is sicker by the day.
    I could have gone to Cuba a few months ago as friends of mine go over very often. They go in by boat or just pay not to have their passport stamped. My one friend has bought many beautiful paintings. I do not remember the artist. Very Colorful.They always want me to go but with my luck I would get detained there and not be able to get back to take care of my dad.My son may go in September.
    One of the reasons Iam writing to you is to ask you if you need anypersonal items I might purchase for you and can I then get them thru the mail to you??
    Please let me know and keep up the good work. You are all very brave.

  2. Hola,Yoani. Perdona que te trate con tanta familiaridad, pero me recuerdas mis anos de juventud en los que pensaba que podia cambiar e impactar el mundo en el que vivia y estaba dispuesto hasta morir por lo que pensaba que era correcto.
    Tu valor al igual que el de Claudia y de otros que en le mundo entero luchan como pueden, para tratar de influenciar la balanza del lado que ellos creen que es correcto es impresionante y digno de admiracion.
    Yo tengo 50 anos y desgraciadamente cuanto mas vives mas tiempo tienes de conocer la naturaleza humana, todos los goviernos tiene la misma agenda,”PODER Y RIQUESA”
    lo que cambia es la forma en que lo consiguen y lo proyectan.
    Tu seguridad y la de tu familia deben ser tu primera prioridad, mira la historia y dime si algunas de las muertes causadas por la politica han cambiado el producto total?
    En Cuba desde que se fundo la Republica todos los goviernos han sido corructos y favoritarios, los muertos solo han alargado, o hecho mas dificil el camino a los corructos, pero al final es el mismo resultado.
    Este sucede en el mundo entero, somos los seres humanos los que creamos estas situaciones porque estamos programados para ser egoistas y avariciosos.
    Yo vivo en USA y aqui la corruction es mas sofisticada y mucho mas cara, la situacion en la que nos encontramos ahora a sido creada por la avaricia de las grandes corporaciones que son las que dominan en este pais, aqui el presidente es un titere y por supuesto Bush ha sido el peor de ellos, porque a su vez el era parte de esas corporaciones.
    Lo que te quiero decir es que te cuides, con los anos vas a entender mejor lo que te digo, nadie agradece lo que haces y solo los vivos cuentan, muchas cosa buenas para ti y para tu familia.

  3. To English Translator:

    Thanks for you curiosity about my temperature. My low thermal count describes more a state of mind than a physical measure. Don’t forget that Lake Michigan’s water temperature rarely goes above 68 Fahrenheit. A few minutes swim can quickly take care of any physical discomfort caused by the heat.

    As for Claudia, thanks for forwarding my good wishes. She is a good Cuban patriot and deserving of our support.

  4. Hey! It’s over 80 there today. Why are you cold?

    Oh no wait. I meant to say… I emailed your birthday wishes to Claudia and I’m sure she appreciates them!

    Your Friendly English Translator

  5. English:

    Happy birthday Claudia. I visit your web site often, and find your posts very deep and human. For some reason I have been unable to leave comments.

    Anyway, hang in there, I think there is hope for the future, and you are so young you’ll get to enjoy much of it. Think how delightful it will be to see Cuba transform itself into a democratic prosperous island once the winds of change and time erode the current leadership into non-existence. There are many people around the world who wish us well, and we won’t disappoint. You and Yoani will be there to witness and enjoy it all.


    Feliz cumpleannos Claudia. Yo he visitado tu blog y encuentro tus articulos muy profundos y humano. Por alguna razon tecnica que desconosco no he podido dejar comentarios en tu blog.

    De cualquier forma, se paciente y persiste. Creo que hay muchas esperanzas para el futuro, tu eres joven y disfrutaras mucho de lo que aguarda. Pienza en lo fascinante que va a ser ver a Cuba transformarce en en una isla democratica y prospera una vez que la brisa y el tiempo desgasten el liderazgo presente hasta la inexistencia.

    Hay muchos alrededor del mundo que nos desean bien. Tu y Yoani van a estar presente para contemplar y disfrutar estos cambios.

  6. Juilio, Thanks for setting me straight in your blog at #8. I actually suspected that I was not spelling Raul’s name right, but I was too lazy to look the correct spelling up. I agree with everyting I’ve read in these blogs from you. You too, are a very courageous, insightful and fearless person who is unafraid to express his views in direct opposition to your government’s! I’ll continue to pray for you as well as for these two brave women and anyone else who stands up to be counted. I’ll also pray for the Castro brothers, that the Lord God Almighty wlll give them a view of that ‘HELL’ that surely awaits them if they continue in their error.

  7. Bruce you got me there with Reuel
    I think you mean to say Raul as in Fidel Castro’s brother and
    current head of state.
    Yeap if they were smart they will try to engaged them but they are
    too old to see that Yoani and Claudia and others want the best for
    Cuba even if our solutions do not match what they have. Is because
    we see problems while the expend every dime in hiding them or
    ignoring us.
    We need leader in Cuba that live like cubans and that care about
    cubans and not some obsolete ideology.

  8. ***
    The Cuban bloggers are really brave people. May God protect you from the evil communist government. Long live the Cuban People–FREE CUBA!
    Los “bloggers” Cubanos son gente muy valiente. Que Dios les protejen del mal gobierno communista. Larga vida por la gente Cubano–CUBA LIBRE!
    John Bibb

  9. To Fidel and Reuel and other government officials:
    These brave women that you’ve got within your borders are quickly becomming the ‘Voice’ of Cuba! Instead of wasting your time trying to figure out ways to stop them, you should actuslly ’embrace’ them! What I mean by that is; instead of harassing them, or taking illegal measures to silence them because of the *simple truths* they are revealing to fellow Cubans and the outside world, you should actually take to *heart*, what they have to say, and then take ‘positive’ measures to alleviate these problems!! In other words, give them something ‘good’ to write about!! As a U.S. citizen, I am mostly ignorant of your 50 year struggle for communism, but it’s quite obvious to most everyone that the communist ‘ideal’ is a failure and does not work!! That doesn’t mean that every aspect of your government is a total failure and that blood must be shed in order to right things. Reuel and Fidel should start immediately to eliminate the ‘dross’ in your particular version of communism and look for the gold in your society!! The voice of these women is exactly what is needed to identify the dross. We in America have almost too much freedom!! We are abliged to put up with gambling, prostitution, pornographers
    “outing’ homosexuals, incessant Erectile Dysfunction advertisement on TV, gangs and ‘hate’ groups, and the list goes on and on. You actually have a chance to create your ‘utopian’ society if you listen to these women!!!
    P.S. Sorry for the length of this blog again. Bruce@USA

  10. Really, really I don’t remember who said the following expression, but certainly, it is real:

    “Behind every successful man, behind every great action, there has always been a WOMAN!!!!”

    Women are: tenderness, kindness, receptive,,,,they are also who create life, giving it her protection, shape, but also, they are braves, determined and heroics !!!!!

    For both of you, Yoanis and Claudia I take my hat off!!!!! Congratulations for your excellent job and I’m sure that, than more than me or anybody else, our homeland, Cuba, is the one who is most grateful!!!!



    “After the Supreme Court of Honduras and the Congress of Honduras decided to step in an end the unconstitutional and illegal power grab of Presidente wanna be for Life Zelaya, no one has whined as much as our own golpista, President Chavez.

    Huguito apparently and conveniently has forgotten that he led a coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela in 1992. The only difference is that Hugo failed and so far the coup in Honduras is hanging on with apparently the support of the majority of the people.”

    FREAT ARTICLE:Hugo Chavez: Libertarian
    Dimes con quien andas y te dire quien eres…Spanish Proverb

  12. Claudia & Yoani!

    Thanks Yoani for this wonderful blog about the courage of not just the young bloggers in Cuba but specially THE WOMEN!! I was raised by women (my father died in Cuba when I was 3 years old), including my mother and two of her 4 sisters! They are my inspiration and my strength just like those women bloggers in Cuba!

    Gracias a todas esas mujeres valientes en CUBA!!

    Humberto Capiro

  13. Happy birthday,Claudia.Enjoy your celebration.All our best wishes for you the best women from Cuba,including the Ladies in White is a foremust and to all our’s Marianas and the others that are suffering but without a voice yet.You are making the miracle of create admiration for the practice of virtude.

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