The Nation and The Nation

It has been a long time since our identity has been contained on one Island. Being born and raised on this elongated territory is no longer the main criteria to carry its nationality. We are a people scattered across five continents, as if we had been sprayed over the canvas of the world map by the erratic hand of economic necessity and lack of freedom.

I know how it feels. I know how hard it is to go to the Cuban consulate in any country and be asked to sign your name in support of freedom for the Interior Ministry’s five agents – prisoners in the United States – while they do not even ask you if there’s anything they can do to help you. I have listened to a young man cry at an embassy in Europe while a bureaucrat repeats that he cannot return to his own country because he exceeded the eleven months he is allowed to be away. I have also witnessed it from the other side, the denial received by many here who apply for the White Card needed to board a plane and leave this Island. The travel restrictions have become routine and some have come to believe it should be this way, because to know other places is a perk that they give us, a prerogative that they award us.

Those few who decide who may enter and leave this archipelago have chosen the participants of the Nation and Emigration conference that starts today in the Palace of Conventions. I have read the debating points for the two day conference and I do not believe they represent the concerns and demands of the majority of Cuban emigrants. It jumps out at me that the topics do not include a requirement to put an end to the property confiscations for those who relocate to another country, nor do they mention the necessity to return the right to vote to expatriates. I don’t even find, in the discussion agenda, an announcement of the end of the limitations so many of the conference participants face to return and resettle in their own country.

Nor is the share of Cubans living on this Island, in all our plurality and hues, represented at the conference, rather it bears the official seal and rigidity of its organizers. Both groups – those inside and those outside – are circumscribed and screened to avoid “The Nation and Emigration” turning into a recitation of the migratory atrocities we all suffer. More than complaints and criticism, what the authorities who organized the meeting want to hear in that enormous room – where Parliament usually meets – is the tumultuous sound of applause.


38 thoughts on “The Nation and The Nation

  1. Thoughts …
    If (according to the ruling turds) God does not exists, creation is not possible.
    How then will the ruling turds create or have created the “new man” of the revolution?
    If there is a “human condition” (human nature for the ones beliving in God) how do you change it into the “new man”?
    Keep in mind the change has to be within the declared parameters of freedom & equality postulated by the regime’s ideological turds.
    If forced … is the change a free change?
    If by discipline is the change valid?
    Does the change protects & keeps individuality?

  2. Jose,

    Kudos to the cuban doctors and nurses in Haiti!As for the Cuban Goverment, they better get their own house in order when it comes to cuban hospitals.

    Cuba, Hospitales ( Hijas de Galicia, Luyanó)

  3. Jose I think you have not read my answer carefully. I do think relations between the US government and Cuba should improve but I have explained is not the US fault now since we have tended the hand but the regime does not want to since they refused to do negotiation.
    This is the exact position they like to be in. With the US as enemy that will allow them to blame the US for anything wrong they do.

  4. It was simple question to both Yncera and Capiro as to whether they agreed with this. By their silence it is clear they agree! So much for their definition of morality and democracy.

    “Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC in Washington, has said that he opposes U.S. medical cooperation with Cuba to help the Haitian people. According to him, it’s “absolutely unconscionable to try to use tragic disasters – such as Haiti’s earthquake – as a springboard for bilateral relations.”

  5. Jose not sure if you will read this but I have explained before that it is important to open the dialog with the Cuban regime. the Obama administration has open the doors but the Cuban regime does not. Initially Raul said he was willing to discuss everything and place everything on the table but as we know later his older brother said we misunderstood what Raul said.
    It was very clear then who is still in control in Cuba. The person in Control does not want something like that to happen.

  6. I will like to know what the group meeting in havana is doing at this moment, I am sure they are by now well in the way to a big headache and perhaps a sigar pay by the cuban worker wo dont have a chance to smoke one.
    Several of then with ladies of the street who the goverment will not arrest for prostitucion, they are part of the show, embasadors for Raul and his boys.
    Al of the good shows will always have drinking, love, morder, and music, all dictadors know that, what I am no sure of is, do the ones goin to Cuba to this meeting know it to.
    I fill that they do, they are also part of the show, the peaple of Cuba, the working class..will be the mordered.. Ranulfo Ramirez.

  7. Another twit

    “Cuando no hay resultados economicos que mostrar solo queda cargar la mano en la represion. Este 2010 ha comenzado mostrando los instrumentos”

    “When there is no economical results to show for there is only repression. This 2010 have began showing the tools”

    Our prediction as for 2010 be the end for the regime may become true pretty soon if the regime decides to repress using force. If the situation turns violent. The time in power for the regime will be counted in hours.

  8. This is another twit

    “Parece que en la calle 23 unos jovenes habian organizado una marcha, nosotros no sabiamos nada pero el gobierno organizo una contramarcha.”

    “looks like some young people organized a march on 23 street, We did not know anything but the government was organizing a counter march”

    It is increasingly becoming evident that the Castros are loosing control and support little by little. People are becoming aware of their right to protest and to show dissent for the things they do not believe in and that they oppose.

  9. It seems from one of Yoani’s latest twits that the regime is getting nervous about the situation in Cuba. People are starting to show dissatisfaction and protesting.

    “Las autoridades cubanas tienen mucho miedo. A que le temen? Con tantas armas, hombres y tanques porque los descoloca la palabra.”

    “The cuban authorities have a lot of fear. What do they fear? With so many weapons, men and tanks because a word misplace them.”

    It looks like some youth tried to protest or organized a protest in 26 street.

    The tyranny knows the days of absolute power are number. End is near.

  10. The All Voices interview of Yoani posted by ‘new interview’ in #22 is well worth a read.

    In the interview, Yoani again states her reasons for opposing both the US travel and commercial embargo as being counter-productive to achieving freedom for the Cuban people.

    Yoani is also upbeat about Cuba’s prospects post-Castro.

  11. Jose,

    Why dont you put the link to “This newspaper report comment really sums up the position of the 2 or 3 people who muti-post here every day. All you can do is hate . Never anything positive.” so we can all read it’s entire content.

  12. Why don’t (either of you serial posters) you reply to what was written. Or debate the sourced article viz: “But Clever-Carone doesn’t find it “unconscionable” to let Haitians die in order to preserve the old hatreds and failed policies that have characterized U.S.-Cuba relations for half a century. Amazing!”

    By continuing to remaining silent except to repeat what you say many times every day I can only conclude you agree with the USA-Cuba Democracy PAC position. So much for your definition of democracy.

  13. Yoani Sanchez Twitter
    En estos momentos Claudio esta en la estacion de policia de 21 y C en el Vedado. No sabemos motivos ni si va a permanecer alli largo tiempo about 1 hour ago from txt
    Claudio Fuentes Madan, profesor de fotografia de la Academia Blogger, ha sido detenido por la seguridad del estado en su propia casa. about 1 hour ago from txt

    Blogger de llamada por la policia politica por el contenido de su espacio virtual La ciber-represion continua about 2 hours ago from txt

    Los autoritarios no pueden comprender las filiaciones espontaneas que se establecen entre los ciudadanos en redes sociales como Twitter. about 3 hours ago from txt

    No nos olviden, porque no podemos estar online. Seguimos sedientos de noticias, pero no podemos interactuar en twitter. Info al +5352708611 about 4 hours ago from txt

    Estamos en la academia blogger, necesitamos informacion de que esta ocurriendo afuera, especialmente en Venezuela. Seguimos sin Internet. about 4 hours ago from txt

    Un nuevo twittero cubano ensaya la formula de escribir a traves del sms, aqui les dejo su cuenta @jalbertoalvarez apoyemos su esfuerzo about 4 hours ago from txt

  14. Jose,


    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT (November 18, 2009)-New Castro, Same Cuba

    “Dissidents are a small and significantly isolated segment of the population. However, their marginalization is evidence not of the lack of dissent in Cuba, but rather of the state’s ruthless efficiency in suppressing it. Fear permeates all aspects of dissidents’ lives. Some stop voicing their opinions and abandon their activities altogether; others continue to exercise their rights, but live in constant dread of being punished. Many more never express dissent to avoid reprisals. As human rights defender Rodolfo Bartelemí Coba told Human Rights Watch in March 2009, “We live 24 hours a day ready to be detained.” Ten days after making that statement, Bartelemí was arrested and taken to prison without trial, where he remains today.”

    “The Cuban government has for years refused to recognize the legitimacy of independent human rights monitoring and has adamantly refused to allow international monitors, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and international nongovernmental organizations like Human Rights Watch, to visit the island and investigate human rights conditions. In researching this report, Human Rights Watch made repeated written requests to the Raúl Castro government for meetings with authorities and formal authorization to conduct a fact-finding mission to the island. As in the past, the Cuban government did not respond to any of our requests.”

    Reporters Without Borders: Going online in Cuba – Internet under surveillance

  15. Jose,


    HUMAN RIGHTS WORLD REPORT:World Report: Abusers Target Human Rights Messengers -Rights-Respecting Governments Should Speak Up to Protect Defenders
    January 20, 2010

    “In Cuba, Human Rights Watch documented how Raúl Castro’s government, instead of dismantling the repressive machinery of the Fidel Castro years, has kept it firmly in place, keeping scores of political prisoners in detention and arresting dozens more dissidents.”


    “Raul Castro has kept firmly in place and fully active Cuba’s repressive legal and institutional structures. While Cuban law includes broad statements affirming fundamental rights, it also grants officials extraordinary authority to penalize individuals who attempt to exercise them. Article 62 of the constitution explicitly prohibits Cubans from exercising their basic rights contrary to the “ends of the socialist state.””

    Human Rights Defenders
    “Refusing to recognize human rights monitoring as a legitimate activity, the Cuban government denies legal status to local human rights groups. The government also employs harassment, beatings, and imprisonment to punish human rights defenders who attempt to document abuses. In May 2009, after authorities warned him several times that he would be imprisoned if he did not abandon his work, human rights activist Juan Luís Rodríguez Desdín was sentenced in a closed, summary trial to two years for “public disorder.””

  16. Jose while I could easily write something like

    -you communist rat!

    to make my statements emulate your (“Miami mafiosa”) I know that to do so is to place myself at your same level of personal attacks and insults that have nothing to do with what we are debating and to satisfy your own demand of a violent conversation replacing one that will be driven by arguments and reason where you stand to loose ground quickly.

    Doing so, I will not really be advancing our point of view so it is best for me to remain rational and not reply to your statements.

    So you said that “You and propaganda are the same things”

    What you wrote reminds me of a more mundane phrase

    “The pot calling the kettle black”

    just a few of your statements

    “All you can do is hate . Never anything positive.”
    “Don’t you love the Miami mafia types”

    None of those apply to me. I have mentioned before I did get a good education in Cuba. Was my education free? Well that is something I do not agree with and I have explained extensively why.

    When you like to seriously argue a position with me then act and be a reasonable person that can listen to arguments. Without attacks to the person. Until then your statements are just the very thing you complaint about and I suggest we do not reply to your messages.

    On the other hand it have been easy to proof that the behavior of the Cuban regime is like the Mafia as we were easily lead on the last post or as we have explained in many other multiples post on prior posts.

    If you like you can start refuting what we have reasoned there.
    Do you denied for example that the Cuban regime has no knowledge of the corruption at all levels rampant in Cuba?

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  18. You and propaganda are the same things. Thanks for clarifyng your position on USA/Cuban aid to Haiti.

  19. Jose!

    I usually like to choose relevant stories to post and hardly ever write anything of my own so don understand “You and Capiro are obsessed with your own ‘voices’”. If voices you mean relevant news and NOT propaganda then I plead GUILTY! I just think you don want people to question the Castro Regime.

  20. Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy. Jose Marti

    thank you

  21. Miami mafiosa – why don’t you reply to what was written. Or debate the sourced article? By remaining silent except to repeat what you say many times every day I can only conclude you agree with the USA-Cuba Democracy PAC position. So much for your definition of democracy.

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  23. Jose sorry to disappoint you I was silent for too long in Cuba. :-)

    I guess if you can write I can write too. Is call freedom.
    So the same way you defend the corrupt and anti-progress regime of Castro we also have that right again that right is something I never enjoy in Cuba because of Castro who thinks that he is the only one that have the good ideas or whose ideas he thinks are better than nobody else’s.

    Wrong in all counts.

    And one only have to take a quick look to Cuba to see a regime that has miss manage the whole country and is not able to provide even the basic food items!

    In due time this situation will be rectified. It will fix itself just like it happen in Russia and the other countries. Why? Because their system is unnatural and you can not go against nature. Human nature.

    Freedom can not coexist with a totalitarian regime. They are opposites.
    I do not know a human that does not like freedom. I know many that have been brain washed and think that some ideology could possibly solve the problems of humanity while at the same time creating a horrendous system that represses individuals.

    Not sure what hate are you talking about. I do not feel hate. What I feel is sorrow for those in Cuba that can not enjoy what I enjoy.

  24. William, if your questions are sincere I suggest doing a bit more research to find the answers. First of all, Yoani does not have internet access. Her posts are usually emailed from computers located in tourist hotels to friends and supporters in other countries. In terms of translation this is all done by volunteers outside of Cuba including by some readers of this blog. Finally, Yoani has written on a number of occasions about why she chose to return to Cuba, a decision many of us admire. She loves her country and its people if not its government.

  25. This newspaper report comment really sums up the position of the 2 or 3 people who muti-post here every day. All you can do is hate . Never anything positive.
    Don’t you love the Miami mafia types : “Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC in Washington, has said that he opposes U.S. medical cooperation with Cuba to help the Haitian people. According to him, it’s “absolutely unconscionable to try to use tragic disasters – such as Haiti’s earthquake – as a springboard for bilateral relations.”

    But Clever-Carone doesn’t find it “unconscionable” to let Haitians die in order to preserve the old hatreds and failed policies that have characterized U.S.-Cuba relations for half a century. Amazing!”

    PS Yncera who don’t you become a silent voice even for one day?! You and Capiro are obsessed with your own ‘voices’ . Maybe if you two just took a rest for say a WHOLE week others might feel comfortable – even some who actually support your antiquated positions.

  26. I wonder how you have access to internet if everybody know how terrible the Cuban regime is against the entire population of Cuba. You have so many skills, all together seems to me amazing!!!. You produce a lot of posts in a regime so terrible with not internet access. You wrote that you are constantly persecuted by the Cuban intelligence. But even with that, you manage to produce all your posts in so many languages that no blogger that I know can finance such works by him her own, and all of them can walk freely on the street, but you have to hide to do all this post, you most be like the bond’s girl. I notice that you return to Cuba after your post grade. Why did you do that? If Cuba is such a barbaric country and any other place in the world is like a paradise compared with Cuba, as per your descriptions, why did you return?

  27. Y_que I just saw your reply to my question about why does anyone think that the Castro regime did not take the help when the hurricanes?

    “I remember well- G.W.Bush offered $100,000 in aid(an insulting and Paltry amount)” and insisted that US observers be given entry to Cuba to supervise its distribution. This was a callous and calculated offer by the Bush administration- they knew full well there was No way Cuba would accept these conditions. Bush’s face was still red from his stupefying failure in New Orleans after Katrina, and the inconvenient offer by Cuba to send emergency Medical teams to the US to help out. It could possibly be different today if a similar set of disasters struck Cuba. But maybe Not, given the way the Castros have maligned and denigrated Obama and his relaxing of the remittance limits and visits to Cuba by american based Cubans. They say it is “insufficient”! The collosal nerve of these egotistical brothers has absolutely no limit.”

    I think the help was originally what you mentioned but it was raise later to about 5 millions if my recollection is correct and without any preconditions. I do agree this was a very small gesture but considering that it was coming from Bush who consider Fidel’s regime one of the axis of evil it was progress and the regime would have had the opportunity to easy tensions.

    But as we can see with the Obama administration that is as friendly as they will ever get. They can not go for it. They do not know how to live with a friendly america. For them America has to be enemy number one! The evil empire!

    Yes it is true Bush also did not accept help from Cuba and that was another opportunity we missed! So both sides are guilty.

    When it comes to US politics the regime needs to understand that Bush is not in power anymore. As Carlos was explaining in the video posted by Hank the US administration has done changes that benefit Cuba greatly. On the other hand we have not seen Cuba doing any equivalent steps to close the gap in the relation.

    It takes two to tango and Cuba does not want to tango.

    I think diplomacy should be the way to solve issues between countries. Contact and clearing up misunderstandings. Should we give them more? to shew on? like allowing Americans to travel to Cuba? (Will the Castro regime respond in kind and allow Cubans to travel to US and other countries without the dreaded white Card?)

    The real reason for the white card (Permission to exit Cuba) is I believe have to do with the regime controlling the migration out of Cuba that otherwise will be uncontrollable. If everyone in Cuba was allowed to migrate without asking for permission or at least to travel abroad I could potentially see the skies literally inundated by Cubans just like Alarcon was concerned :-) but we have to remember that people will only be able to travel given two other conditions.
    One is that they have the money that will allowed them to do so and the other that they have a visa for the country they intend to visit or migrate to. Neither of this two conditions will be easy for many Cubans. Only those with access to hard currency will satisfy condition 1 and of those maybe a 50 percent or less will be able to secure a visiting visa.

    Due to current US law. Cubans staying more than a year in the US are eligible to obtain the green card. This does create a problem for the Cuban regime. Since many of the professionals they have will surely be more attracted to stay in the US with not only offer better standard of living from the economical and material point of view but also from the political point of view where they will be able to obtain Freedom.

    Now as far as I know there is nothing like the wet feet dry feet policy of the US in Europe yet people who travel out of Cuba must always ask for permission (white card). We know of many who will like to travel and are sure to return since their objective is not to migrate from Cuba but to advance their ideas like is the case of Yoani and still the regime does not allow her to travel. This is probably the best known example of the mafia like behavior of the regime. If you are a good girl then you are allow to travel but if you do behave and talk bad about the regime you will be punished.

    That’s the paternalism we complain about. The one role the Cuban regime likes to get into. To force silence into citizens. The only way to fight this is not to be silent. All of us.

    To think that one voice can not do much may be a true statement but not true when that voice is part of a chorus of voices.

  28. Reuniones de titeres es lo que tienen, individuos del govierno alrrededor del mundo que van a tomar ron y a visitar jineteras menores de edad, no a resolver los problemas que nos destruyen.
    Las reuniones que se necesitan son las que fijan un dia para elecciones libres y multipartidarias que llevarian a Cuba hacia un futuro democratico.
    A los que van, que Dios los perdone, que el pueblo jamas perdonara su continuo sapoyo a la dictadura castrista. Ranulfo Ramirez.

  29. Thank’s for the answer Y Que. So it means that if a Cuban has a car he can buy gas ONLY if he has access to CUC ( from relatives abroad, working in tourism or selling products or services for CUC).

    At .85 CUC I don’t think it is subsidized. This is how much we pay in Canada,(.97) $ but keep in mind that in Canada the Government is taxing gas at 32% see link. So the Cuban Gov is actually making money on selling gas.

  30. ***
    What does the right to vote mean in communist Cuba? Cubans vote with their feet when they flee from Castro’s paradise. Free Cuba–to the wall with these murderers!
    Que importa el derecho votar en Cuba Communista? Cubanos votan con sus pies cuando huiran del paradiso de Castro. Cuba Libre–al pared con esos matadores!
    John Bibb

  31. REUTERS: Detained contractor still under investigation in Cuba

    HAVANA (Reuters) – “A U.S. contractor accused by Cuba of distributing illegal communications equipment remains under investigation, and his alleged actions would be considered a “serious crime” anywhere in the world, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Thursday.

    Whether Rodriguez signaled that Cuba will deal harshly with the man identified in media reports as 60-year-old Alan Gross was not clear, but the case has endangered modest efforts by President Barack Obama to improve long-hostile U.S.-Cuba relations.
    “In any place in the world, what has been attributed to what you call the American contractor would be a serious crime,” Rodriguez told reporters after a ceremonial event in Havana.

    He said Gross has not been officially charged, but continues to be “under investigation.” Cuba has previously accused Gross of working for U.S. “secret services.””

    “U.S. officials in Havana have said little about the case, but were permitted to visit Gross at least once.

    It is not known if there are behind-the-scenes negotiations taking place, but Rodriguez repeated what President Raul Castro has said before — that Cuba is open to exchanging prisoners to gain the release of five Cuban agents jailed in the United States for their roles in the 1996 shootdown of two U.S. private planes piloted by anti-Castro Cuban exiles.

    Rodriguez said on Wednesday that Cuba and U.S. officials will meet in February for a second round of talks on migration issues. On Thursday, he said the talks will take place February 19 in Havana.”

  32. Igor- the last time I was there regular was .85 CUC/liter and Premium was.95/liter. All rental cars are supposed to be sold Premium, even if it is bad for low compression engines. Some say both grades are the same. Also they sell “motor” which is supposed to be for two cycle motorcycle engines. This was .70CUC/liter. I used it every other time I filled up and noticed no difference whatsoever. It is of course subsidized- by Venezuela! They ship 98,000 Barrels of petroleum products Daily to Cuba. Chavez allows Cuba to resell about 20% of this to gain much needed cash for the bankrupt country. They would go under, and Fast, without this gift. I wonder what the Venezuelan people think of this squandering of their country’s wealth? Now on point- this conference is a waste of time- nothing productive will come of it except its inclusion in the propaganda of the Socialist Masters. Look! The exiles Love us! Tell that to a Cuban abroad who has to petition Cuba( and Pay to do it) for permission to return to the Land of their birth. It is hard to Fathom the Repression that attends every single aspect of a Cuban’s life in, or out of, the Socialist Paradise.

  33. The 20th century had many dictators like Castro. All of them ended up in the garbage bin of their nation history.

    Question: How much are Cubans pay for Gas. Is gas rationalized as it was in Eastern Europe ( 20 or 40 Liters per month ) ? Are Cubans paying in CUC for it ?

  34. I am reminded of these words by John Donne

    “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

    Castro just because he lives in an Island has tried to represent the whole of the island as one thought one way one action and always ignoring those that do not agree with him or his solutions. But this is not so. Cubans are no different than any people around the world where we see the diversity of thought when freedom exists. This unnatural behavior will be rectified when we eventually find the proper course and like a river of water freedom will flow again in Cuba.

    Because having freedom is essential for humans to progress and to advance. Repressing freedom equates to destroying creativity, inventions and progress. Freedom can never be eliminated can only be repress.

    Fortunately there is one human condition to which no one escapes “Mortality”. So one day the bells will also toll for him and his ideas.

  35. It doesn’t have any importance whatsoever. The Cuban emigres are just those 450 authorized to return to Cuba and who are supporters of the Cuban regime.

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