Much More Frightened Than Me


This Friday was complicated from the start, I won’t deny it. In the morning, we were missing Claudio, a photography professor at the Blogger Academy, because an agent – who barely deigned to show him a card with the initials DES (Department of State Security) – arrested him. We had a little party at our house after the classes to celebrate the first anniversary of Voces Cubanas, which in its brief life now has 26 sites. I remember that in the middle of the hugs and smiles, someone told me to be careful. “In the system as it is today, there is no way to protect yourself from attacks from the State,” I told him, with the intent to scare away my own fear.

Around six in the evening we were on our way to a family gathering. My sister was celebrating her 36th birthday; my father heard her first cry early in the morning on the day set aside to celebrate railroad workers. Even Teo, with his adolescent reluctance to participate in “old people’s” activities, agreed to come with us. We were expecting the usual birthday party, with photos, candles to blow out, and “Happy birthday to you, Yunia, may you enjoy many more.” But, the many eyes that were lurking had another plan for us. On Boyeros Avenue, a few yards from the Ministry of the Interior and Raul Castro’s office, three cars stopped the miserable Russian Lada we had taken at a corner.

“Don’t even think about going to 23rd Street Yoani, because the Union of Young Communists is having an event,” shouted some men who got out of the Chinese-made Geely, which reminded me of a sharp pain in my lumbar zone. I lived through something similar already last November and today I would not allow them to put me head first into another car, with my son. A huge man got out of the vehicle and started to repeat his threats, “What is your name?” was Reinaldo’s question which the man never bothered to respond to. From Teo’s lanky body rose the ironic phrase, “He doesn’t say his name because he is a coward.” Worse still, Teo, worse still, he doesn’t say his name because he is not recognized as an individual, but rather simply as a voice for others much higher up. A professional camera was filming our every move, waiting for an aggressive pose, a vulgar phrase, an excess of anger. The injection of terror was brief, the birthday found us bitter.

How can we emerge unscathed from all this? How can a citizen protect himself from a State that has the police, the courts, the rapid response brigades, the mass media, the capacity to defame and lie, the power to socially lynch him and turn him into someone defeated and apologetic? What were they thinking would happen on 23rd Street today that would make them arrest several bloggers?

I feel a terror that almost doesn’t let me type, but I want to tell those who today threatened me and my family, that when one reaches a certain level of panic, higher doses don’t make any difference. I will not stop writing, or Twittering; I have no plans to close my blog, nor abandon the practice of thinking with my own mind and – above all – I am not going to stop believing that they are much more frightened than I am.

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45 thoughts on “Much More Frightened Than Me

  1. I am thirteen years old, and I am Cuban American. Despite my red hair and freckles, I consider myself Cuban. My grandparents emigrated from Cuba, and we remain proudly cuban in both our language and our culture. I and my family members have been inspired by your blog and your bravery. Our prayers are with you, and we thank you for allowing us a glimpse into the lives of our loved ones whom we can no longer see.

    You make us proud, and fill us with humility.

  2. Yoani, my heart breaks for you and Cuba. I am praying fervently that God will give you, your family and the other bloggers more courage each day. This is my first visit to your site. I will tell everyone I know about your blog and for them to read it and pray as well. I wish there was more that I could do.

    Que Dios te bendiga,

    Don D.
    Fort Worth, Texas

  3. Permission granted… now and always… as long as you cite the author/blog source. This is a great way to spread the words of the Cuban bloggers and they welcome your reprints.

  4. This article is excellent: very well written and poignant.

    I would love to reprint it on my web site if you will give me permission. I have been to Cuba twice, years ago, and have never lost my love for the country or my empathy for its people.

    Ciao,

    Bruce P.
    Philadelphia, USA

  5. I just read in the news that raul is “giving” two months to guns owners for reporting their weapons.
    If they pass the tests & phsicological evaluations they will be allowed to keep these weapons … according to the news.
    Every little possibility, every little threat is been looked up.
    If one can “read” the mentality of this turds of humanity …
    Their expectations are based on their guilty knowledge; it fuels their fears of the retribution for all they have done to the people.
    Their cruelty is recognized by them, they feel their time short …
    Not all of this turds will be able to disapear in the woodwork of a free Cuba.
    When the time comes, the few that will survive the change are the ones with the money to protect their deeds … the others … will have to account and the longer it takes, the worst their fear will be … the anticipation is the worst … not knowing when is comming, how and from where …
    Fear is a two way street turds, so is pain & abuse …!

  6. Sorry Umberto, and any others I confused.

    My point, as a U.S. American, who has spent time in Cuba, is that the statement “Cuba is no less free than the United States” is completely contrary to my experience in both countries.

    In Cuba, I have run into limitations on freedoms that are so basic, so intrinsic to my experience of “how things should be,” that never before had I recognized them _as_ freedoms.

    In the U.S. I can hop in my car and drive anywhere I want, any time I want. In Cuba, there is a military post at each border crossing, from province to province. Often you are waved through, sometimes they stop you. They inspect your papers. They can detain, interrogate, etc. What is your business? Where are you going?

    You cannot speak your mind freely. Certainly not in public, and perhaps not even in your own home, because people can and do listen and report. (Obviously the creators / contributors to Desde Cuba _are_ speaking / writing their minds freely. At great risk, and I applaud them.)

    In the U.S., if you are a cattle rancher, the cattle are yours. You decide when and to whom to sell, at what price. If you want to butcher and eat one, bon apetite. Not so in Cuba.

    Etc.

    I travel to Cuba on a humanitarian aid visa, with a group. Weeks before we travel, before we are allowed entry by the Cuban gov’t, they are sent a list of our names, passport numbers, etc. It’s a remote, but quite real, possibility that if I post information on the web that is unfavorable to the Cuban gov’t under my real name, they could spot it and deny me entry. I have a blog. I’d love to write about my feelings and experiences about Cuba. Instead I use Facebook, where I approve any “friends” who may read my posts.

    If anything remains unclear, let me know what, and I’ll explain. Perhaps my choice of words, that I “echoed” your post was misleading, since my post didn’t actually reiterate your points. I simply meant that I appreciated the info you forwarded, and also the observations offered by rutaveintyseis[[laguagua]].com.

    I don’t mean to get in a flame war w/ Free, but I don’t know what “the bar” is, or what is meant by “cross-examination.” I’m not sure whether he/she is espousing education & cross-examination, or calling-out the “powerful” who gain that power and wield it through channels (education and “cross-examination”) that may not be available to everyone.

    I do agree with “The only way to get past fear is to move through it. The easiest way is with force.” That’s well said. Force / anger / revenge is the easiest and most tempting response. However, I believe it is ultimately destructive to all parties, without providing any long-term gain.

    ~Saludos

  7. WALL STREET JOURNAL:Chávez Drops the Democracy Mask

    “Hugo Chávez likes to say that Venezuela is a democracy and that a majority of the electorate supports him and his “21st Century Socialism.” Or at least he used to make that claim. Last week the strongman gave up trying to maintain a democratic image.
    Referring to nationwide civil protests—led by university students—he warned the country Thursday that if they “intensify” he is ready to take “radical measures.” ”

    “The Venezuelan economy is in a free fall and Mr. Chávez is in damage-control mode. One thing he can’t afford is to let Venezuelans complain without consequences. Successful dictators, like Fidel Castro, make dissent a dangerous proposition, and if Mr. Chávez is to survive he knows he must do the same. His plan starts with carrots and ends with sticks.

    To use carrots Mr. Chávez needs money, and that’s why he announced a mega-devaluation of the bolivar on Jan. 8, taking it to an official rate of 4.3 bolivars to the dollar, from the previous 2.15. Importers of basic necessities (some foods and medicines) will still be able to buy dollars at 2.60, but for all other imported goods a dollar will now cost twice the prior rate. The net effect is that prices of “nonessential” imports doubled overnight.”

    “Because of its oil, natural gas, hydro and thermal resources, Venezuela ought not have a day of worry about its power supply. But after 11 years of Mr. Chávez’s “revolution” there is now rationing. Only Caracas has escaped rolling blackouts instituted last month, and that may not be for long.

    Experts say that the main causes of the problem are poor planning for low water levels and poor maintenance at the Guri Dam, which generates the lion’s share of the country’s electricity. On the health-care front, the president himself declared last year that hospitals are in a state of emergency and that many of the small health clinics that he built and staffed with Cuban doctors have been abandoned.

    Mr. Chávez’s base is disillusioned, and now he is going to try to make it up to them with more devalued bolivars. But with the black-market rate stubbornly stuck above six to the dollar, it’s clear that the government is not able to supply the market at 4.3.

    In other words, the currency is even weaker than the new official rate reflects. This means that last year’s official inflation rate of 25% is not about to be tamed. ”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748703389004575033490107374932.html

  8. back from vacation …
    Read some of the comments … & I thought: how do I know what freedom is?
    Without going into a long intellectual disertation, I know what freedom is because I had it & lost it once …
    Because myself and my fellow citizens “gave it” away while believing a lie.
    The freedom I know is the one allowing me to talk, to think and to exchange ideas within the parameters of respect & understanding.
    The freedom I know is the one allowing me to have choices.
    The freedom I know is the one that gives me the same oportunities as others.
    The freedom I know is the one allows me to move freely thru my country & the world …
    Without freedom I lost all my family & most of my friends
    Living with regrets: from surviving, from not having done enough, from feeling the anger of the powerless…
    The fears of yeaterday still here today since conviction does not negate self doublt & self recrimination.
    Yoani:
    I learned little, only that fears is ok, it happens even to the strongest & most convicted of individuals.
    Your strength must come from the knowledege that your voice & the other voices is heard around the world.
    Who knows what will happen; personally … if you & the others fall at the hands of the dogs … I belive there will be others & more.
    While it may sound cold, it is a possibility; I personally admire your courage & respect your commitment …
    Anything I could say would (to me) sound like a over used slogan.
    Keep on keeping on, know that while my eyes fill with tears of sorrow for the world you choose to invite yourself into, my heart is feels the joy of hope thru you.
    Th fear is OK, to be paralized by it … is ok.
    You & the others are free already, you act, you do you are free …

  9. They are more frightened than you and they should be. What you and the rest of the Cuban bloggers have unleashed is an unstoppable wave. What the folks at the DES are exhibiting is the last frantic gasps of a dying organism. I only hope that they don’t take any of you down with them in their inevitable fall.

  10. You are in our thoughts and prayers here in Canada. Your voice of courage resonates with so many and inspires us to keep believing in truth and freedom. Keep writing. These examples of intimidation and bullying are being noticed by Canadians who will stop bringing their tourist dollars to a country lead by old, rigid men. Stay safe my brave friend.
    Shelagh

  11. This is to “FREE.” The only part of your post that made sense to me is the first sentence. I echo Umberto’s post.

    Your opinion makes it clear that you’ve not spent any time in Cuba. Where the authorities can – and do – stop you at each provincial (like county) border and check your papers. Where neighbors report neighbors for “suspicious” activities. Where you can butcher and eat the pigs and chickens you raise, but not the beef, because the cows belong to the state and you only butcher with permission – filling out forms, of course – and then the meat isn’t yours, no matter how hungry your family is because you’ve used up your rice and bean vouchers for the month… etc.

    As an U.S. American, I’m consistently running up against restrictions on freedoms I’ve taken so for granted that I haven’t even counted them among my liberties.

    I can’t use my full name, or when I go through entry pre-approval with my visa this summer, they might deny me entry.

    Saludos a todos

  12. Humberto I am sorry I did not see your prior post about it.

    Very good read that goes to the kernel of the Cuban problem.
    Also it is applicable to Venezuela where their citizens are currently been seduce by those in power to relinquish their rights.

  13. From The Cato Institute article:

    “As it happens, last week we posted a beautifully written paper by Sanchez (in Spanish) on Cato’s Spanish-language web page, http://www.elcato.org. (The paper just won a prize in an essay contest in Mexico organized by TV Azteca at which my Cato colleague Juan Carlos Hidalgo was a judge.) Her essay, “Liberty as a Form of Payment,” describes the fraudulent deal that Castro promised when he came to power. In exchange for liberty, Cubans would be better off culturally, economically, and in other ways. Sanchez describes the reality of social control under communist Cuba in which the real exchanges occur as a consequence of the power relationship. Access to housing, jobs, new goods, and the possibility of minor improvements in life, all depend on a well documented support of the revolution through attendance of mass meetings and membership in the communist party, for example.

    Or through personal relationships with those in power. Sanchez describes how young women long ago began prostituting themselves to high ministry or military officials in exchange for non-monetary goods or privileges. Such “courtesans of socialism” later turned to traditional prostitution with the arrival of currency convertibility in Cuba. Sanchez also optimistically describes the role that technology, especially the internet, is playing in creating spaces of liberty. In a country where people increasingly feel the regime’s days are numbered, such exercises of personal freedom can be powerful.”

  14. Julio! Posted that essay a long time ago from The Cato Institute but here it is again.

    About Cato
    The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane. It is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institute is named for Cato’s Letters, a series of libertarian pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.

    Cato’s 30th Anniversary

    Cato’s Mission
    The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.

    Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez Keeps Speaking Truth to Power

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2009/11/16/cuban-blogger-yoani-sanchez-keeps-speaking-truth-to-power/

  15. Free! Can you also comment on why all theser Human Rights organization put Cuba at THE BOTTOM OF THEIR LIST?

    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.”

    http://www.hrw.org/en/node/86549/section/2

    Reporters Without Borders: Going online in Cuba – Internet under surveillance
    http://www.rsf.org/Going-online-in-Cuba-Internet.html

    Reporters Without Borders:Authorities block websites, detain 26th journalist
    http://www.rsf.org/Authorities-block-websites-detain.html

  16. For those that can read spanish
    here is a pdf from Yoani

    http://www.caminosdelalibertad.com/documents/caminos4/caminos4_lugar3.pdf

    is an essay title “Liberty as a payment form” submitted by Yoani to “Roads to liberty” she got 3 prize in the competition.

    What Yoani describes there is the mechanism by which those in power force individual in the Cuban society to relinquish their freedom in exchange for the state paternalism. That in the case of Cuba translates into having some food on the table, having cloth or education or health service.

    Now it is becoming increasingly clear the regime will not be able to provide most of the incentive it once was able to propitiate due to their economic insolvency.
    So the conclusion that Yoani arrives is that the only remaining mechanism available to the regime will be none other than imposing their will on people.

    She is also very clear at the end. This sort of “social contract” where individuals have given up their liberty in exchange for some level of security could be rescinded at any time by any Cuban that wishes to do so with the understanding that by doing so he or she will be joining the increasing sector of the Cuban society not willing to trade their liberty in exchange for the few perks the regime is still able to afford. Like for example allowing traveling outside of Cuba or the right to enter your own country.

  17. Free! THIS IS DEDICATED TO YOUR STATEMENT! And what the heck is “the bar”?

    “Cuba is no less free than is the United States. The only difference is that the bar has successfully used words to deceive the people into actually believing they are free.

    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.”

    http://www.hrw.org/en/world-re…..ws-release

    CUBA REPORT:

    “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.””

    http://www.hrw.org/en/node/87516

  18. Free…. your comment that Cuba is not less free than the United States tells mi 2 things about you, you have not been a desident in Cuba, you have not been a working person in Cuba like my brothers and sister, that is number one, number 2 you do not apreciate the freedon than the founders fathers created for this the United States of America. I know of both, and there are plenty of data abaluable if you like to stop been ignorant about the subjet, otherwise you will continuo to be a person who waste his life to hate and sorro, with no use of the good things that this country have offered you in your miserable life. your welcom. Ranulfo Ramirez.

  19. Keepin the bloggers in Cuba out of preason is going to take a enormous task by those who care about them, truth is that abtyCastro figthers in the past 51 years had it very rough.
    It is well known that even our friends the American goverment wich have done so much for us when we get hear, have put us in permanent watch to avoid a formation of antyCastros ward from their soil, the rest of Latinamerica and Europ goverment dont realy care for freedon fighters ither, they realy deal with the dictators.
    Is up to Us, the Cubans abroad to help the Democratics in Cuba by espreding their
    wards to the rest of the wolr population, Cuba need its freedon, Cubans need democracy ! naw !, before it is destroy by the Castros criminal regime. Ranulfo Ramirez.

  20. Cuba is no less free than is the United States. The only difference is that the bar has successfully used words to deceive the people into actually believing they are free.

    The only way to get past fear is to move through it. The easiest way is with force. The most powerful and successful way, however, is through education and cross-examination…

    Fuck ’em…

  21. Yoani, I hope God is with you and all those who wish for a free Cuba. We, the free people of the world who care, must assist all those who long and ache for the simple freedons as put forth by President Roosevelt:

    The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

    The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

    The third is freedom from want — which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

    The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor– anywhere in the world.
    ************************************************************************

    I also offer some other thoughts that I know you and people who think like you practice to the best of your ability:

    Question with Boldness.
    Hold to the Truth.
    Speak without fear.

    These things will make you morally right and mentally strong.

    I look forward to a Free Cuba!!!! Viva en Libertad!!!

  22. Yoani Sánchez i hope someday you and all the Cuban people have the same freedom i enjoy here in Canada…Stay strong and keep blogging…I have been to Cuba many times since 1990 and have seen how the Cuban people live…

  23. The Truth will make us free.

    CUBA Torture, cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; extrajudicial executions
    Presentation at OAS Inter-American Comission on Human Rights hearing in its
    137th Session.
    Cuban Democratic Directorate. November 6, 2009.
    http://www.directorio.org/pdfd…..202009.pdf

    …”We have brought forward, in the first place, the issue of torture in Cuba because it is one of the systematic means the Havana regime, led by the Castro brothers, has implemented in order to subjugate the Cuban people during the past 50 years. The Cuban Democratic Directorate, with the help of experts on the subject of human rights, prepared an analytical report which we would like to bring before the IACHR on the systematic nature of the use of torture in Cuba.
    The indifference of some States in the Inter-American community is inexplicable, indifference which has contributed to this human rights violating regime remaining in power. It is questionable that these Governments –which represent the aforementioned States, which came to power through free and secret popular votes—maintain diplomatic relations and meet at summits and international forums with the only remaining dictatorship in the hemisphere, a dictatorship whose government has violated and continues to violate the fundamental rights of the Cuban people flagrantly and with impunity. As long as a dictatorship that violates fundamental rights in Cuba survives under the indifferent gaze of the States that signed the Inter-American Democratic Charter in Lima, Perú on September 11, 2001, that document will lack all legal and historical value.”

  24. Some many long posts ago, I mentioned I had started “The Autobiography of Fidel Castro” by Norberto Fuentes and just could not get into it. Well, after renewing it twice at the library…. it finally grabbed me and I can’t put it down. Highly recommended.

  25. I KNOW THIS IS IN SPANIS BUT WORTH IT!

    EL MUNDO: ENTREVISTA | Yoani Sánchez opina
    Pocas esperanzas de un nuevo acuerdo migratorio entre Cuba y EEUU

    En una entrevista exclusiva para ELMUNDO.es, Yoani Sánchez confiesa que para el pueblo cubano “las generalidades evitan que la gente se haga ilusiones”.

    “Lo más importante para el pueblo cubano en Cuba es que se eliminen las restricciones para poder entrar y salir de su país, que den mas visas, que se reestablezca una lotería de visas y que se reduzcan los costos de los tramites como los de pasaportes”, alega Sánchez.

    “Al pueblo cubano no le molesta esta ley de ‘pies secos pies mojados’ todo lo contrarió es algo que los ayuda, es al gobierno cubano al que no le conviene”, dice Sánchez.
    Por ahora, la bloguera explica que aun no se comenta mucho en la calle por la misma falta de detalles específicos de cómo ellos serán afectados. Pero Yoani Sánchez dice que una cosa si es segura, el pueblo cubano “no esta a la expectativa de nada, puede ser que alguna esperanza va poder venir pero lo que quiere el pueblo cubano es muy distinto a lo que le conviene al gobierno”.

    http://www.elmundo.es/america/2010/01/30/cuba/1264874624.html

  26. the best way to help is sending to others this and many other of her writings. Propagate the truth that has been silenced so many decades!

  27. be strong; be brave
    it is easy to say from thousands of miles away, but know i am with you, yoani, and thousands of others, too

  28. The best way to respond to the regime’s lies about Yoani is with the truth and by acting transparently. I highly recommend that the Yoani doubters read a January 19 article by Yoani on the El Yuma blog responding to some of the accusations of her detractors.

    On the volunteer effort involved with translating Yoani’s blog into numerous languages, Yoani responds:
    “We also found people who offered to assist with the administration of the other blogs at Desdecuba.com by Reinaldo and Miriam, as well as El Guajiro Azul and the blog by Dimas Castellanos. A web of citizen solidarity was stitched around us. Then came proposals to translate the blog, with people I had never met from all over the world freely offering their help as volunteers to transform my words into Portuguese, English, Chinese, or Dutch. This is something that those who can only conceive of conspiracy theories always use as evidence of the “dark” origins of Generación Y. They have no trust —or understanding— of the sympathy that can develop among people without some government, political party, work program, or financial mission getting in the middle. For these people who like to construct elaborate conspiracies, the way in which everyday citizens spontaneously organize themselves is either unworthy or suspicious. But for me, this is the fundamental axis upon which my on-line project rests. Put simply, without such support the entire project would have remained an impossible dream.”

    Yoani is transparent about the modest income she receives from foreign newspapers and magazines for which she writes and defends it as follows:
    “Material autonomy is the base upon which citizen autonomy is built. This precept is one of the maxims of my life and I will neither be ashamed nor made to feel guilty for having freed myself from paternalism, state dependence, and ridiculous subsidies. I aspire to a Cuba where anyone who wishes can have a web domain, pay for it with their work, not be forced to pay any ideological quota to obtain it, and above all neither be accused of being a “mercenary” nor of being constructed by a foreign power for the mere act of refusing to conform to material indigence and technological disability.”

    In the rest of the article, Yoani addresses other false accusations made against her. Give it a read:
    http://www.elyuma.blogspot.com/

  29. Not much happened to the state police members etc when the Eastern Europe regimes collapsed. Using the contacts they had before, they usually just switched the colors and started with bussiness. That’s the problem when nine of ten people try to avoid getting into trouble, you can’t build the “new state” from nothing.

    Surely it’s nice that they recognize you as important enough and they’re unsure or worried about what was going to happen on 23rd street. It reminds me of people being “preventively arrested” here for a day or two just not to be able to get somewhere. But I do not think that they’ve even started to threat you so far…

  30. Yoani, I pray for you often. May God grant you strength and peace in the midst of a totalitarian regime. Besides prayer, the one thing I seem to be able to do is spread the news that is on your blog. I sometimes post the link to it on my Facebook to remind my friends and family how hideous it is to live in an oppressive state like Cuba.

    Very likely Cuban police will read this. I know that as Yoani has said, we know that the police and goverment are more afraid than the bloggers. The police would do well to study what happened to the oppressors in Eastern Europe once their regimes collapsed.

  31. Why is it that a government that touts the revolution as much as the Cuban regime is now so afraid of revolution? They know the next revolution will see them out of power? I hope for the best for you Yoani, your family and friends. I’ll keep reading and letting others around me know of Cuba.

  32. A way to cripple the way the gather intelligence is by misinforming their intelligence on purpose. So that way they will not know when is true and when is false!

    They for example may learn that a manifestation will take place at such and such place thru you guys and then do not do it. Is kind of like boxing when you make a move but is not really going to be an actual hit but just to let the opponent concentrate on that direction. That way they may not know when the hit is coming for real.

  33. Igor Funny you mentioned that. I was also watching the downfall of Ceausescu and by every second they loose to introduce reform they are approaching more and more to and end style Ceausescu. One they they may have in the revolution plaza all these people and instead of chanting for them they will be chanting against them. They have failed to understand that the days where they could easily high information in and out of Cuba are over. There is a new reality for the world with the Internet. With an interconnected world is difficult if not impossible to do the brainwashing they do.

    Just think this. Yoani Sanchez and individual have more audience than any of the media coming out of Cuba by the regime!! :-)

    They got to be afraid! very afraid. They know they are not in power anymore is a matter of time. how much time can they buy to steal the few millions for retirement in some cushy island? If they can scape justice.

    It is my understanding they have place cameras in strategic places in Havana. Those cameras exist so they can watch people in case of a manifestation or an event like it happen before and that could be repeated again. Before a manifestation it will be nice to disable this cameras so that they do not have access to information. They will be easy to disable with spray paint or something that will blur the vision of the big brother state watching over.

    Crippling the way the state is able to gather intelligence is important. To that effect is important to learn the mechanisms they have to gather information.
    We know the usual ones like using moles and spies but those are not the only ones.

  34. Julio , you are so right. See the link with the Romanian dictator. He gather the masses to preach his usual non sense. The uprising in the Capital started with the masses being gathered by him. The next day he was captured, 4 days later trial and sentenced to death. For years he did not wanted to abolish death penalty so he could eliminate freedom fighters. He was the last one executed in the country

  35. Yoani
    I do not think their objective was to make you afraid. They by now know they will not be able to stop you or force you in anyway.

    They were either trying to stop you from going to 23 or maybe they were just trying to document with their film cameras for them to learn or to later show. In reality I think the camera touch must be a safety measure for them and you so that whatever happen in one of this arbitrary arrests is documented.

    They are afraid Yoani. They know the written word is more powerful than all the weapons they have to control you. They know your word travels fasts and wide thru the whole world. They know! and they are afraid.

    It seem almost as if they have all the power but we know they do not because they do not have the approval of the people. That’s what they lack. They are even afraid that one of this manifestations they prepared people could turn against them. One day this will happen. Nobody knows. One day those that the push to support them as rulers may joint the others protesting. The day that happen they will be doom.

    We need to get those that support or supported the regime to joint us. We need forgiveness.

  36. Yoani from now is pretty obvious that the regime’s state security took Claudio off the streets so he could not take pictures to document. And that is the same reason why the pick some bloggers so they could not see or joint the manifestation that was going to take place in 23 street.

    Interesting is that by doing so from now forward the state security will become a messenger of bad news for the regime. So seen Claudio or any of you temporarily arrested means that something will be happening that the regime does not want you to participate or see. It will be important to transmit this information.

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