Silencing a Blogger

Some years ago I read a study by the UN International Labor Organization in which they reported the profession of journalist as the second riskiest in the entire world, only exceeded by test pilots. I don’t know if the investigation included crocodile hunters or bodyguards, but the study was done in the nineties, when there were, as yet, no bloggers.

Being a journalist in Cuba doesn’t entail the risks run by press professionals in other countries. Here they don’t shoot news editors, or kidnap them, instead they poison the profession. Why physically eliminate an individual who writes uncomfortable truths if you can annul them with the red pen of the censor? Why kill them if you have all the tools to tame them? Professional death does not affect the statistics in the case of the frustration of those who—like me—one day tied their destiny to information. He who chooses to dedicate himself to the news on this Island knows that all the media is in the hands of power, call it what you will: the State, the One Party or the Maximum Leader. He knows he will have to say what is convenient and necessary, and that it won’t be sufficient to applaud if it is not done with devotion, with great enthusiasm. In these cases the risk is huge for the conscience.

For more than twenty years there has been a new type of reporter on our Island. The adjective “independent” differentiates them from those who are official. They face other risks, enjoy other opportunities. As you can imagine, many did not take university courses, but learned to relate what the Party press hides, became specialists in denunciation, cultivated the dark side of history. In the spring of 2003 everything that seemed dangerous and risky turned into punishment. Many of them went in prison to serve sentences of ten, fifteen, twenty years. The majority are still behind bars.

We bloggers came later, among other reasons because the technology came to us slowly. I dare say that the authorities did not imagine that citizens would appeal to a global resource to express themselves. The government controls the television studio cameras, the radio station microphones, the pages of the magazines and periodicals located on Island territory, but up there, far from their reach, a satellite network—demonized but essential—offers to those who aim for it, the opportunity to “hang” their opinions in practically unlimited form.

It took them time to understand it, but they are starting to. As you know, to silence a blogger you can’t use the same methods that work to silence so many journalists. No one can fire these impertinents of the web from the editorial board of a daily paper, nor promise them a week in Varadero or a Lada car as compensation, much less entice them with a trip to Eastern Europe. To stop a blogger you must eliminate or intimidate them and this equation has begun to be understood by the State, the Party… the General.


49 thoughts on “Silencing a Blogger

  1. Well I’ve seen some stunts pulled in my time, yours Yoani being the biggest con trick for a long time, it is quite obvious that you are being backed by the Miami Mafia and CIA, you constantly criticise the government that has given you your education, your health care, a government that has provided and continues to provide health care and education to other countries that the Capitalist world which you support provides none.

    In your senseless rants you fail to mention that Terrorists like Posada Corrilas walk free in the country you point to as being an example of freedom and democracy, after they have by their own admission committed Terrorist acts, like for example blowing a Cuban Airlines plane out of the sky killing all on board.

    I am sure that with the backing of the US Inerests Office in Havana you would be able to return to Switzerland and live there, remember you tried that before, but prefered the life in Cuba which you now hate so much.

    If you can’t manage living in Switzerland, maybe you should try helping your fellow country women and men instead of carrying on with your futile attempts to denegrate them.

  2. Hola,Cubanos
    Yo medio cubano y mi pais es cuba. mi famila vives en estados unidos pero mi sangre y mi corazon es cuba. Viva cuba Viva cambio pero un poco y poco

  3. First off, I’d like to thank Yoani for her courage in continuing this site. The power of words combined with technology can be immense. I’m about the same age and understand that technology is one of the few things the castro tyrants and their army cannot stop.
    They can stop the spread of free press, travel, assembly, expression of opinions, and even food for the average Cuban. Given, they have taken steps in stifling access, such as state run internet filters, they will never be successful in preventing technology from advancing. Just the advent of the tiny flash drive can be the biggest threat that this dictatorship has seen in a long time. I know it sounds simple, but seemingly complex things often are. The spread of honest & uncensored information is what is needed to bring change, not the lies the average cuban have been told their entire lives.

  4. In the news programming the grip of the Communist party officials responsible for ideological orientation is as firm as ever. But independent journalists in Cuba report on the reality of life and misery in the island. They cut through the propaganda of the state-run media to tell the world the truth about Cuba.

  5. I received this message from Blogos Phere Cuba requesting our support in this initiative.

    Support Yoani and Blogosphere: Send a letter to Senator Bob Menendez asking Yoani be officially nominated for the Nobel Peace … if you want you can copy and paste the text or you can write one by yourself.

    The website to submit your proposal is as follows:

    Dear Senator:

    We need your support for a good cause: To propose Yoani Sanchez for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. In order to be considered, the proposition has to be done through a politic or educational organization or by a former Nobel Prize.
    Yoani’s nomination will help protect the life and integrity of all those Cubans on the island who have been expressing peacefully their ideas and consequently have been suffering prosecution by the Cuban Dictatorship. They are permanently exposed to repression, incarceration, harassment, and physical and psychological aggressions. Every single day they are at risk of being silently murdered.
    Your support will represent an acknowledgement of the cause on behalf of all Cuban People, no matter where they are or whether they are conscious of the hatred, suffering and division that the Castro Brothers have created inside the hearts, minds and souls of all Cubans.

  6. do you see brother on the 90 was brothers to the rescue on the 2000 was Bush and on then on 2010 the blame is on this old Social worker . The Castros do no want the embargo liffted.

  7. You know I have been reflecting about the issue of the American Contractor.

    They were looking for a excuse to break up the trend for normalizing relations from the Obama administration.

    The contractor has become the tool of the Castro’s so that they can say now.
    You see America even with Obama is against us. So is their way of manipulating a situation where they were expose for what they really are.

    They are not looking for a friendly neighbor to the north. They do not want a friendly neighbor to the north. The more belligerent the US is towards them the easier time they have blaming the US for all the problems they have. That’s their policy of last 50 years. Why change? It has keep them in power. That’s what is important to them.

    They do not want contact with America even a friendly America because they know they stand to loose their grip on information if that was to happen.

    How does a person helping a group of religious people gets to be brand a spy is beyond anything we could imagined.

    What will be next?
    Taking radios or telephones? will qualify a person as spy?

  8. WASHINGTON POST: Detainee was helping Cuban Jewish groups involved in U.S. democracy project

    By Mary Beth Sheridan and William Booth
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    “An American who has been jailed in Cuba and denounced as a spy is a 60-year-old international development expert from Potomac who was working on a U.S. government project to help the island’s Jewish community access the Internet, according to former colleagues and other sources.
    The arrest of Alan P. Gross was the clearest sign yet of a chill between Washington and Havana, after an initial warming under the Obama administration. The Cuban government has not charged Gross. But it has kept him in prison since his Dec. 4 arrest and has portrayed his activities as part of a long-running U.S. campaign for regime change in the island nation.”

    “”It was probably pure naiveness, innocence — not seeing anything wrong with what he was doing,” said Bob Rourke, a development consultant who has known Gross for 20 years. “He’s definitely not a shrewd, calculating person. He’s someone who genuinely gets into situations because he thinks he can help.”

    The U.S. government and Gross’s employer, Bethesda-based Development Alternatives Inc., had declined to identify him until now, apparently hoping that the case would be resolved quietly. But last week, the Cuban National Assembly president, Ricardo Alarcón, accused Gross of being “contracted to work for American intelligence services.””

  9. NY TIMES: Contractor Jailed in Cuba Was Aiding Religious Groups, U.S. Says
    Published: January 12, 2010

    WASHINGTON — “The United States contractor detained in Cuba last month and accused of being a spy is a 60-year-old social worker from the Washington suburbs who had gone to Cuba to provide communications equipment to Jewish nonprofit organizations, according to American officials.

    In postings on the Internet, the contractor, Alan P. Gross — whose identify had not previously been made public — said he had more than 20 years’ experience in development work around the world. One of his Internet networking sites said he had been a volunteer field organizer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

    American officials say that Mr. Gross had gone to Cuba as part of a United States government program and was providing encouragement and financial assistance to religious nonprofit groups. The officials acknowledge that Mr. Gross entered Cuba without the proper visa, though they contend that he was not involved in any activities that posed a violent threat to the Cuban government. And they flatly dispute any allegations that he is a spy.”

    “Mr. Gross has visited Cuba several times, delivering computer and satellite equipment to three Jewish community groups, according to people with knowledge of his work.”

  10. Pingback: Tweets that mention Generation Y » Silencing a Blogger --

  11. Hello Yone, I´m reading your book and loving it. I´m thinking about going to Cuba this year but for me it´s really though to visit a country and have fun, eat and drink while I know that the cubans have to struggle for their main necessities. Is there anything that I can bring you if I go?. All the best. Isaura

  12. If you are going to comment on my writings, Julio, then the place to do it is on my site and not here. That would take us way off-topic.

  13. ***
    The Internet gives me better news than the socialist newspapers and TV do. And conservative radio and Fox News TV give real news.
    El “Internet” me da mejor noticias que los periodicos y television socialistas me dan. Y radio conservativo y Noticias FOX TV dan noticias verdaderos.
    John Bibb

  14. Here is a translation of the article written by Roberto Álvarez Quiñones describing the similarities between Castro, Hitler and Mussolini. Some of the themes that connect this trio of savages are racism, mass murder and utter contempt for their fellow human beings. I like Roberto’s observation at the end that these creeps share the common trait of constructing fantasy worlds for themselves, which they cling to until the bitter end.

    Castro, Hitler and Mussolini

    Roberto Álvarez Quiñones

    NEW YORK, NY, December, – Even though the world wide media does not want to talk about it, on the first of January Fidel Castro will complete 51 years in power and will improve his world record as the only mortal who has been a dictator for half a century.

    He is a dictator, because even though the old commandante is no longer the president of Cuba, he is the First Secretary of the Communist Party, which according to the socialist Constitution is the maximum position of power on the Island. Of course, the “president” Raul Castro is subordinate to Castro I.

    Studying the most important tyrannies of the last 100 years, I discovered which ones were the worst. Not only for the pain inflicted upon their people, but also for the international impact they had. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro.

    Emulators of Caligula as well as Pol Pot, who exterminated 2 million of his countrymen in Cambodia, or Idi Amin Dada, Suharto, Mobuto Sese Seko, Francisco Franco, Kim Il Sun, Rafeael Leónidas Trujillo, Augusto Pinochet, Juan Vicente Gómez, Porfirio Díaz, or the taliban leader Mohammad Omar. They were genocidal but did not affect the international community.

    Castro, in addition to taking his formerly prosperous country back into the Middle Ages, almost provoked a nuclear war in October of 1962 and he caused the deaths of thousands of people by exporting guerilla warfare and terrorism to Latin America, and with his interventions in Angola, Ethiopia, Namibia, Algeria, the Western Sahara, Nicaragua, Argentina, Bolivia, Granada and Venezuela.

    Who was the most deadly? All measures indicate it was Hitler. He started the bloodiest and most destructive war that has ever happened, 60 million dead. He set fire to almost all of Europe and part of North Africa and Asia.

    Nevertheless, according to the Black Book of Communism, a study completed by left-wing European professors and published in 1997, Mao Tse Tung went even further: 65 million Chinese died during his leadership (1949 -1976), some from hunger caused by the collectivization of land, and others who were executed, many of them during the “Cultural Revolution.” Maoism spread around the planet and even today it influences guerillas and political parties.

    Mussolini, one of the Fuhrer’s ideological mentors, created the “Fascist Italian Combatants” in 1919 — armed groups that later became the National Italian Fascist Party in 1920.

    Stalin caused the death of 20 million people between 1932 and 1941, half of whom died because of the collectivization of land and the other half died as the result of firing squads, according to a report by Olga Shatunovskaya, for the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1960, which was presided over by Nikita Kruschev. He was the leader of a world communist movement for three decades. Saddam Hussein Invaded Iran and caused more than one million deaths. He later invaded Kuwait and started the Persian Gulf War.


    There are surprising similarities between Hitler, Mussolini and Castro. The three of them were first affiliated with the left wing. Hitler defined himself as a socialist, the flag of his party was red and he decreed that May 1st was a holiday. He hated the bourgeoisie and he considered fascism and communism to be the same thing. The Nazi Party, founded in 1919, was called the German Worker’s Party (DAP). The word “Nazi” means socialism, it is the abbreviation of “National Socialism.”

    Mussolini, who was named Benito by his socialist father in honor of Benito Juarez, started as a Marxist leader and mobilized workers against the bourgeois order. He directed the weekly entitled “The Class Lottery” and in 1913 he started the magazine “Utopia.”

    They were exceptional speakers — the three of them had the gift of being able to electrify the “masses” and the ability to convince people that black was white, with unlimited narcissism. Hitler was applauded by multitudes who cried, some women were overcome and fainted when they heard him speak. That is why he got 13 million votes during the elections of 1932.

    In the short films produced by Leni Riefenstahl, who documented Hitler, it is amazing to see the resemblance of Castro with the Nazi leader, he speaks with the same tone, grandiosely and aggressively, with the same histrionics as Mussolini, as you can see in the documentary “Current Fascism” (1964) which was produced by the Russian Mijail Romm from archived materials.

    In July of 1953, Fidel Castro led an attack on a military base to capture weapons and depose the dictator, Fulgencio Batista. The terribly organized attack failed and its leader was arrested. In the trial to which he was subjected, Castro ended it with a quaint phrase, “Condemn me, it does not matter, history will absolve me.” And that became the title he gave to the political and social program he wrote in the comfortable and brief prison term he had to serve.

    Similarly, Hitler assaulted the Ministry of War in Munich (November of 1923). The attack failed and in the trial which followed he said: “Even while the judges of this country might condemn our action, history, the God of truth and law, will laugh when he annuls the verdict of this tribunal and declares me free of culpability.” Later, in prison for nine months in Landsberg Fort, Hitler wrote his political and ideological program in “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle).

    Is this pure coincidence? Maybe not. The Jesuit priest Armando Llorente, professor, mentor and friend of Fidel’s in the Belen School, who when he was 94 years old gave an interview in Miami in 2007 – an interview that is available at – tells the story of Fidel borrowing Mein Kampf from the school library.

    “He studied and read a lot, with a special predeliction for books having to do with the Spanish conquistadors and the writings of the Nazi and Fascist leaders, like Hitler and Mussolini and José Antonio Primo de Rivera,” explained the Spanish prelate, and he added: “[Fidel] sang with me ‘Cara al sol’ twenty thousand times with his arm lifted up.” The song ‘Cara al sol’ was the hymn of the Spanish Phalanx, the fascist party.

    Hiter and Fidel’s ‘worms’

    The Fuhrer called the Jews worms and thought that they could be wiped from the face of the earth or subjugated. Fidel baptized as worms anyone who did not agree with him, and who he could get fired from their jobs, or who’s property he could take, or send to prison or execute.

    El Duce, Mussolini, invented the Black Shirts, hundreds of thousands of fanatics with whom he entered Rome and took power on October 30, 1922. Hitler organized the Brown Shirts, who were later converted into horrendous assault troops, and Castro organized the Blue Shirts of the armed militias in 1960, which were later disarmed and renamed the Territorial Militia Troops (MTT) and most recently the Rapid Response Brigades who do not wear uniforms so that they look like civilians, and which the government sends to brutally suppress any sign of peaceful protest. But Castro went even further with the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, a repressive organization that operates at the block level so that half of the population watches the other half and together both of them report to the police what each citizen does.

    Another connection the three of them share is inventing for themselves a fantasy world and clinging to fixed ideas disconnected from reality. With Berlin on fire and the Soviet army virtually at the gates of his bunker, Hitler continued to think about his plans for the future Berlin of the Third Reich which the architects Hermann Geisler and Albert Speer had created. Today, with the country falling apart as a result of an unviable social system that only generates poverty and slavery, Castro insists in his reflections that “the future belongs to socialism.”

  15. On the main evening news in Cuba’s state-owned TV, and editorials in the press controlled by the regime, the official line comes out loud and clear. The evening news is almost a parody of the worst kind of Soviet-era official speak. News from the rest of the world rarely is broadcast, and when it does, it is invariably filtered out.

  16. This is another fragment of that post by Fernando that many people should
    read and learn from it.

    “Por muy desagradable que nos resulte hablar con el “enemigo ideológico”, es un acto enriquecedor en un doble sentido. Nos da la posibilidad única de influirlo con nuestros criterios y nos permite a la vez ser influidos por nuevos puntos de vista.

    La mejor forma de demostrar que somos defensores de la libertad de expresión es cultivándola entre nosotros mismos. Es sencillo, sólo se trata de hablar con respeto, oír al otro, rebatir sus argumentos sin agredirlo y, sobre todo, no excluir a nadie.”

    Even if it is very unpleasant to talk to the “ideological enemy”, is a rewarding act in two ways. It gives us the unique opportunity to influence them with our criteria and we can be influenced by new insights.

    The best way to show we are defenders of freedom of expression is growing it amongst ourselves. It’s simple, just try talking with respect, listen to the other, counter their arguments without assaulting him and, above all, not excluding anyone.

    That’s really a very wise advice that I agree with.

    I have been preaching about it for a while to all those other freedom lovers willing to listen.

  17. Night Falls In the Gulf of Mexico

    I’ve seen myself these supposed photos of our beloved (by some of us) blogger wandering the streets of Havana (the envelopes of cash are so fat she can hardly carry them… in fact she’s throwing zlotys all over the street right and left to ease the burden on her skinny little back). Nice photos. Well lit photos. Downright the-sun-is-shining-brightly photos.

    Well I know…. this is the Caribbean… the sun doesn’t set until about 11 at night in the summer, so yeah, I would call 10:30 say LATE NIGHT… sneaking around… can’t be photographed…

    I mean come on. You make these ABSURD accusations… at least don’t try to hand ridiculous ornaments all over them that just don’t wash.

  18. Humberto #13

    RAINBOW SPRINKLES?!?!?! You can’t be serious! Not even evil-personified-fidel would imagine the world could get by without rainbow sprinkles… not to mention all the tourist hotels would shut down immediately. Or demand a return to tourist apartheid with rainbow sprinkles IN the hotels but not outSIDE the hotels.

    …. thanks for a great laugh… we needed that!!!!! (the 56% dead part is pretty good too)

  19. Reading my brother’s post reminded me of this wonderful post by Fernando

    “En ella recomendaban no debatir con estos isleños porque “la lógica implica razonamiento y mesura, y los cubanos son hiperbólicos y desmesurados. Cuando discuten, no dicen ‘no estoy de acuerdo con usted’, dicen ‘usted está completa y totalmente equivocado'”.

    .. “logic implies reasoning and restrain, and Cubans are exaggerated and unrestrained. When they argue, they do not say ‘I am not in agreement with you’ they will say “you are totally wrong'”.

    I was reminded by his “You know , you are totally wrong”


    Bro you should read it. :-)

  20. Sigmund Freud
    You know , you are totally wrong , my younger brother is Julio and that is his real name my name is E. de la Yncera . We leave Cuba 20 years ago, together.I post in this blog only went i m off my Jobs.

  21. 23
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 20:38

    Jejeje……. weakness, doubt, disorientation, it is all you show when you can take up arguments……. gusanos, worms, crap, those are your only speech….. or, like your similar in the Spanish site, hide the lack of ideas and arguments behind a ridiculous perfectionism of the language.
    Watching your weakness comes memories to me. “El Fanguito”, the “hood” where I was raised was a tough place. I remember a boy, a bully one, that found his match in my older brother. In spite my brother was not as taller and heavy as this boy was, he always found the way of place a lot of jabs and uppercuts in the boys face each time they picked up a fight. The boy always preferred to finish the fight by using stones as weapons. Then my brother used to make mockery of the boy yelling to him while avoiding from a secure distance the shoots of the boy and shooting him self some stones back: “You see, you weak, you no man, you always have to use stones on me because you weak, I am stronger and better fighter than you. Look at your nose, I put it like a chicken ass. Look at your kinds, I put it as tomatoes.” The stone war used to finish when some old people came out yelling on us and menacing to call the police.

  22. Exile
    I was just reading one of your post it sounds pretty racist to me the statements you wrote there

    “Now it emerges that Allegra has married a Pakistani man 22 years her junior and has claimed that she would not object if he took another wife to have children by.

    I have no idea what is going on. Allegra was the great beauty of her day at Oxford, she is from a fabulously wealthy family and had the world at her feet. It is incomprehensible to me that she is throwing it all away to live with some inbred who will probably dump her eventually when he ships over a cousin from Pakistan to marry.”

    Are you trying to emulate your brothers in Ideology the Castro brothers?

    So because the guy is Pakistani you infer that he is inbred and that he will probably dump her?

    Wow man that is just typical racism!

    So you think of yourself as a superior being?
    Better and smarter than everyone else specially those of 3 world countries?

  23. O-Kay, so the point is taken, is it, that bloggers are just like everyone else? Very good… This being so then what Sanchez wrote is by definition a load of old tosh. Which is what I have been saying from the start.

    You gusano types really need to get with the English language programmes on offer. I doubt if any of you will be going back to Cuba any time soon.

  24. Millions of people suffered a lot under communists in the past. Millions are still suffering.
    And the western democratic countries are not without guilt.

  25. EXILE,

    I would like for you to see this YOUTUBE VIDEO and make a comment on Hugo Chavez’ comments at the beginning of the video! I you are AFRAID or have NO explaination, mos of us will “UNDERSTAND”. If you need a TRANSLATION, anyone here could help you!!

    YOU TUBE VIDEO-CUBAN HIPHOP: Realidad en cuba “No es mi problema” Escuadrón patriota
    musica contestataria en cuba Raudel escuadrón disco mi testimonio tirandola dura al oido del gobierno.

    About Escuadron Patriota
    Raudel ‘Escuadron Patriota’, como muchos lo conocen. Este MC cubano tiene unas de las mejores letras , sin contar su forma de rimar que es muy buena; es sin duda uno de los mejores MC’s que tiene Cuba. Su ultima Produccion llamada ”Mi Testimonio” [2008] cuenta con 14 temas muy buenos, aqui Raudel se desahoga con respecto a su pensar de muchas situaciones que le pasan a el y al pueblo cubano. Esperen pronto el proximo projecto de Eskuadron Patriota titulado ‘El Legado’ [2009]. UNDERGROUND!!!

  26. Julio de la Yncera (Silent Voice)
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 17:19


    Oh yes…. now I see…….. Julio uses avatar…… E. do not use it.

  27. 11
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 18:21

    Hay exile……. instead of writing fairy tales about Yoani why don’t you help us to develop the math of your bloody tyranny failure????

    Here you have a little piece of the confession of your dear assassin that can help you with figures to start:

    “But Castro was brutally honest when it came to Cuba’s most critical domestic problem — a moribund agricultural sector. Half the arable land is fallow, and the state sector controls 75 percent of the land yet accounts for only 40 percent of production.”

    Despite this confession this gangster still blames US embargo for the hunger in Cuba!!!!!

  28. Julio de la Yncera (Silent Voice)
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 17:19


    E de la Yncera is my brother

    Wow!!!…….. do you use the same avatar or are you twins???

  29. 11
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 18:21

    Your “arguments” are so weak that you always have to use verbal offenses and informative gibberish in yours answers …… no a single normal person in the world will believe that the rabid dogs of castro’s intelligence agents that took photos of Yoani leaving an embassy in Havana with a bunch of money would stay impassible and not go directly to bite the skinny girl and show “to the world” the “true” about Yoani.
    Supporters of castrofascism are so silly!!!!!

  30. Thanks Humberto. I know its off-topic but it’s hard not to think of the long suffering Haitian people at this time. Let’s hope the quake is not as bad as some of the initial reports are making it out to be.

  31. BBC NEWS: Haiti rocked by powerful 7.3 earthquake
    A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Haiti, rocking the capital and sparking a tsunami alert for neighbouring states.

    The quake was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude.

    The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect “coasts located usually no more than a 100km [60 miles] from the earthquake epicentre”.

    A tsunami watch was in effect for Haiti, the neighbouring Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas.

  32. WORLD POLITICS REVIEW: Spain’s EU Presidency Greeted with Skepticism
    Soeren Kern / 12 Jan 2010

    “Moratinos also hopes to modify the EU’s 1996 common position on Cuba, which calls for conditioning normal relations with the EU on respect for human rights and progress towards democracy. But previous efforts by the Zapatero government to de-link political dialogue with Cuba from the issue of human rights on the island have failed, due to resistance from other EU members — notably former communist countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, which insist that the EU should not fully normalize its ties with Cuba until civil and political freedoms are granted to all citizens. For his part, EU President Herman Van Rompuy says he has had “little time to think about Cuba” since taking office on Jan. 4.”

  33. NEW TIMES: Sex machine Fidel Castro is now only 56 percent dead, experts fear
    By Gus Garcia-Roberts Published on January 12, 2010 at 10:08am

    The new headlines mean it’s time for the media to play our favorite regularly scheduled, quad-annual parlor game: Just How Dead Is Fidel Castro Anyway?

    How dead is he?: 56 percent.
    How dead is that?: Well, he’s deader than Tupac Shakur but less dead than Ted Williams. Two out of three funeral directors would have no professional qualms about embalming Fidel in his current state, but top Cuban officials tell us he is still faster than Usain Bolt, remains hotter than Colin Farrell, and has been way deader, like, tons of times.

    How fearful should the American oligarchy be?: Extremely. We’re hearing word that, in order to show his revived strength, Fidel might just ban something from the island for the hell of it — like rainbow sprinkles. Because he already axed strawberry topping in ’94, ice cream in Cuba could be less delicious than ever.

  34. Reading comprehension seems to be its usual crap self around here I see. That, Sigmund, was the whole point. Government, corporations, etc use la mordida as a way to mute criticism. Hell, Mexico used to give ambassadorships to its critics to get them out of the country.

    However, the post states that this cannot be done to bloggers, hence my point which you misunderstood. Of course we bloggers are as venal as anyone else. Probably that is why Sanchez was photographed leaving the Polish embassy late one evening in Havana. She had her envelope stuffed with cash…

  35. El mejor comunista es el comunista muerto.

    The best communist is the dead communist.

  36. Dr. Your Math is impeccable.

    But maybe too hard to understand for the regime’s leadership.

    They do have bigger issues to deal with than just the privatization of the land.
    They need to solve the transportation issue. It will matter little if these farmers can produce the goods and are not able to deliver it to market. That has been usually one of their failure points. They should privatize it too.
    And so on but then we will be talking of full blown capitalism!!!

    Whatever happen to communism? :-)

    So have they finally realized that the communist economy is a total failure?

    Never mind their failure at the social level.
    Where they have to repress people and stopping them from migrating in masses from Cuba!

    To think all this problems could be solve with only one thing.

    Freedom for Cuba

  37. 1 E de la Yncera
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 08:22

    This one good from themiamiherald…..05416.html

    But Castro was brutally honest when it came to Cuba’s most critical domestic problem — a moribund agricultural sector. Half the arable land is fallow, and the state sector controls 75 percent of the land yet accounts for only 40 percent of production.

    Pure math Julio…….. 75% of the land in tyranny’s hands accounts only 40% of production (I am sure the figures are inflated, as usual) what means 25% of land in private hands accounts for 60% of production!!!!!!!!
    It is a must to have a concrete face for blaming US embargo for the disaster of food production in Cuba.
    With 100% of the land in private hands Cuba could produce food enough for the cubans and to export. Pure math……. 100% land in private hands = 240% of production!!!!!

  38. Exile
    Enero 12th, 2010 at 10:39

    The final paragraph makes no sense. Why can’t a government pay off a blogger with a car or holiday? This is a statement of belief, not one of fact.

    Don’t be silly dude…… every single person in East Europe, Southeast Asia, China and Cuba knows that one of the most common bribes totalitarian regimens uses for get obedience and support from the people is the promise of a vehicle. It could sound total ridiculous to a free person but knowing that the totalitarian regimen is incapable of solving the transport problems in the country and knowing the daily movement in a Cuba is a sample of hell then it is easy to understand what only a promise of receiving a vehicle as compensation can make a person defend castro’s criminal and discredited regimen as blindly as you do.
    Remember that:

    1959 cubans had 1 urban bus for 300 persons. Today there is 1 urban bus for 25.000 persons.
    1959 cubans had 1 interurban bus for 2000 persons. Today there is 1 interurban bus for 35.000 persons.

    It makes some people willing to kill in order to solve the personal transportation problems.

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  40. Yoanis, reim enlo who dies and support you, the Cubans know how much truth there is in everything you write, saudos continue informing the world of the truths in our country.

    Amauris samartino

  41. Exile — I am sure many Cuban “bloggers” are paid off with cars and holidays… if they do a good enough job. Parroting the slogans of a failed regime.

  42. The final paragraph makes no sense. Why can’t a government pay off a blogger with a car or holiday? This is a statement of belief, not one of fact.

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