Computer without papers

They knocked on the door with a search warrant that Aldo’s mother could barely see. They went directly to the room to take the computer where the lyrics of those songs that circulate throughout the country are stored. There was no way to make the police see that this man with long hair and tattoos all over his body is not a delinquent. Those in uniforms do not like hip hop and a hairy “tatted up” man is what, to them, most resembles a criminal. They didn’t take into account that this one had been evoked by Juanes just a week ago in the Plaza of the Revolution when he mentioned the group Los Aldeanos. The news of the detention spread until the singer Silvio Rodriguez himself interceded for them to return the computer and to let him go home.

Aldo and Bian already have been isolated from almost everything, save this gift for music that the censorship has not managed to take from them. Some friends distributed printed sheets to denounce the exclusion of the popular duo and proposed that “these men be accepted as vital organs of the nation, it’s a question of honor.” But ours is a society admitted into intensive care with transplanted parts and a dialysis machine connected to the area where citizenship should be working. We live on an Island where they excise and amputate because a few diagnose that a member has gangrene when in reality it is, simply, different.

On having taken the musician and his computer—which lacks ownership papers as the vast majority do in Cuba—perhaps they were administering an injection of dread, the medication known to increase fear. But already it doesn’t work like before. Now, the apprehension is transformed in songs, in blogs, on discs that circulate hand to hand, while the confiscations and arrests only make it go further.


14 thoughts on “Computer without papers

  1. As an oppositionist to this US government, as a Communist, as a Trotskyist, let me say this to Yoani and the others who may visit here.

    Those who attended a meeting with the US interests section were not, consciously or otherwise, friends of Cuba.

    Those who in opposing the Stalinist Castro regime (Oh a much more gentle Stalinism then that of its originator Joseph Stalin) think that the US government will benefit them and the people of Cuba, ought to think again. If you have access to the internet, and it appears from this blog you do, a short read of the NY Times on line will show that the path of Obama is as bad or worse then that of the mad dog Bush.

    Obama, despite his words, may close Guantanamo’s prison where the US holds opponents of US imperialism, but he continues to violate the constitutional rights they have in being held by the US military on soil under US control.

    Obama and company intend to continue their horrendous war against the Iraqi, Afghani, and now Packistani peoples.

    Despite their talk about health care they are not even going to bring health care here to that the Cuban people enjoy, save you have the many dollars to pay private hospitals.

    Just one example.

    I am a resident of the City of Atlanta, in the US State of Georgia. For over a hundred years there has been here a hospital, Grady Hospital, that was intended to care for poor workers who otherwise would not get care. At its inception it was a segregated hospital, that is, one hospital for whites and one for Blacks. With the advent of the civil rights movement that has gone.

    Now there is another type of segregation, i.e., economic.

    There are a group of immigrants to the US, most Hispanic, some documented, some undocumented, who have the misfortune of failed kidneys. None of them could pay for their care. Some have been patients, dialysis patients, at Grady for a number of years.

    Because the government does not provide adequate funding for Grady, Grady’s managment, in the face of protests, decided to close the dialysis clinic and pretending to find alternative care for them. That alternative turned out to be a ticket back to the country of their origin, to another US state where ostensibly they would find free care, or local commercial clinics where despite having a signed contract with those clinics Grady only intends to pay for ninety days.

    After ninety days they are on their own.

    Essentially what Grady has done, and I am a Grady patient, is write a death sentence for these patients whose worst crime has been to seek work where work might be found.

    In the days of your past in Cuba, in the days of the Batista government, the US puppet government that Fidel overturned, poor people were treated the same or worse.

    With the revolution and the advent of the Castro government and the aid of the Soviet Stalinist state of the USSR, things in your country changed drastically. People in the main illiterate learned to read. People who had no health care have now a health care system which if limited, as are many things there in Cuba, is limited because of the US embargo.

    Obama puts forward a smiling face but it is the same face that seeks to impose imperialism on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pachistan, and yes, on Cuba.

    Anybody that supports US imperialism by attending their interests section meetings, or in thinking, as the Castro government continues to do, that it is possible to come to an accommodation with the US government, serves the interests of US imperialism, not the Cuban people.

    I would suggest that the best way to support your Cuban brothers and sisters is to build a workers organization, a workers socialist party, with the aim of replacing the one party Castro regime with a regime that allows other working class socialist parties to run in elections. If a revolution is needed for that purpose then it must be a political revolution, the general forms of nationalized property and industry are mostly already in place and may need to be expanded but not overturned.

    The Castro government might not be happy with that but it will serve the interests of the Cuban working class noy of imperialism. The difference that such a socialist regime will represent will be that it seeks to use the socialist base in Cuba to aid the spread of socialist revolution throughout the Americas.

    Let me offer a web site adhering to such an outlook. It is the web site of the Workers Revolutionary Party in Britain. They publish a daily newspaper oriented to the British working class called the News Line. The web site daily carries the days principle articles, one or two news articles, a feature article, sometimes about the arts or sciences but more often an in depth look at one or another issue of interest to the working class.

    The paper is a good guide to those who seek to live as socialists in a socialist state. The web site is…

    Jack Jersawitz

  2. Obama is not me I am as you are an individual with a path toward being human. Smiles to you and the world for I do belong. We are all humans.

  3. De La Aldea

    September 28, 2009

    Statement from La Aldea regarding the arrest of AL2 (Los Aldeanos)

    At this time, La Aldea is confirming that AL2 was arrested this morning in his home, as many web news reports and emails have circulated. Aldo was momentarily taken into custody and had personal affects, such as his home computer, confiscated. He was released later this afternoon. Any misunderstandings arising from this arrest in regards to his property are being formally addressed.

    On behalf of AL2 and La Aldea, we are thankful for the international support and appreciate your immediate concerns. We insist that all news feeds, media outlets, blogs, emails, interest sites, etc be RESPONSIBLE in the communication of such events, and DESIST from any sensationalism taking into consideration the fragility of the situation.

    We do not condone any reports outside of this avenue. La Aldea is the primary source regarding any news concerning Los Aldeanos.

    We will follow up with further information as appropriate.

    Thank you,
    Emetrece // La Aldea


    28 de septiembre, 2009

    Declaración oficial de La Aldea con respeto a la detención de AL2 (Los Aldeanos)

    En estos momentos La Aldea confirma la detención de AL2 esta mañana en su casa, sobre lo cual han circulado varios noticieros por internet y correo electrónico. AL2 fue detenido por la policía y le decomisaron su computadora entre otros afectos personales. A partir de esta tarde AL2 fue liberado y cualquier malentendido sobre su propiedad se ha atendido formalmente.

    De parte de AL2 y La Aldea agradecemos el apoyo internacional y la atención inmediata sobre el asunto. Insistimos que todo noticiero, programación de medios, blogs, paginas de internet, correos electrónicos, etc. sean RESPONSABLES en la comunicación de los eventos, DESISTIENDO de cualquier sensacionalismo, tomando en consideración la fragilidad de la situación.

    No autorizamos ninguna información fuera de esta avenida que no se origine en nosotros. La Aldea es la fuente primaria para cualquier correspondencia sobre Los Aldeanos.

    Les daremos seguimiento con mas información como y cuando sea apropiado.

    Emetrece // La Aldea

  4. Iain, apparently 15 dissidents had been invited to a meeting at the US Interest Section a week earlier.

    The Cuban Triangle blog had an interesting take on the meetings:”The dissidents aren’t being given the cold shoulder; just a week earlier, 15 dissidents were invited to the Interests Section to talk with a visiting State Department official. Human rights monitor Elizardo Sanchez attended and later compared the Obama Administration’s approach favorably with that of the European Union: “No one else, no European does that.”

    Regardless, the real news seems to me to be that the artists attended at all, and that they felt they had a green light from the Cuban government to attend. As one told El Pais, “Before they would call you from the Ministry of Culture to advise you that dissidents were going to go, and you thought about it; now there were no messages.” [end quote].

  5. The real test of whether this so-called thaw constitutes an opening or just another dead end depends on whether the Castro regime is prepared to make any concessions on improving the civil liberties of the Cuban people. For instance, abolishing exit permits and allowing Cubans to travel freely outside the island.

    As Yoani points out, a growing number of Cubans do appear to be losing their fear of the regime and claiming for themselves the right to express themselves freely. The fact that Silvio Rodriquez would personally intervene on behalf of fellow musicians who the state deems dissidents is a small but encouraging development.

  6. The first sentence in the third paragraph of this post is just a nice euphemism used by our Yoani.
    If it was up to me I would say… That is nothing but State Terrorism.
    That is why she is a writter and I’m not..

  7. Yoani:

    This post was long over due.Once again thank you.For those who understand, Spanish,specially Cuban slang, search Los Aldeanos and El B in youtube.My favorites are La Naranja se pico, Carta de presentacion, Mangos Bajitos,Ninito Cubano.

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