Did I Die as I Lived?


Photo taken from eldia.es

It was hard for me to convince my friends at pre-university to let me listen to some songs by Silvio Rodríguez on their Russian tape players. I was born in a neighborhood that vibrated to the rhythm of salsa, rumba and guaguancó, where the poetic images of that singer were not very well received. I could only manage to hear a bit of Ojalá before one of them would change the cassette and play something from Los Van Van or NG La Banda. The official media, however, was constantly playing “The Blue Unicorn” and we speculated whether behind the metaphor we would find a woman, or a pair of jeans stolen from the clothesline.

Just when I was beginning to get excited about the compositions of this singer-songwriter, everything collapsed around me. The crisis* came, the beatings in response to the Maleconazo* and I could see the rafters setting out on the slice of the sea visible through my shutters. I was shocked that so many wanted to clear off, meanwhile Silvio continued singing: “I live in a free county, which can only be free on this earth at this moment.” Still, the minstrel of San Antonio touched me, especially the themes that plucked on the heartstrings, because those of a social and political nature seemed passé. Then came university and, in his voice, the song “The Fool” appeared, and with that I finally identified him with the system, the government, the status quo, “the thing,” in short, the group in power.

Just today I have been able to read the full statement made by the author of “For Whomever Deserves Love.” The official press avoids it, but it ricocheted around the foreign media until finally reaching us. His words seem to deny that chorus of “I died as I lived,” where he announced his refusal to accept the changes we Cubans have been crying out for for decades. But now,  disenchantment lending him a critical ear, he listens, but with the stealth of someone who has too much to lose if he shares all his opinions about the national disaster. He knows that in our eyes he is “their man,” sadly typecast as a troubadour who, from the beginning, played the strings of intransigence.

During the launch of his latest album, Silvio ventured a linguistic play on words to overcome “the R in revolution” and in its place give priority to “evolution.” As if, in place of excluding a new dissident, it is better to accept him into the group of those of us crying for openings; I am going to follow his lead and eliminate the inconvenient letter at the beginning of “repression.” With a certain slight metamorphosis — removing an R and slipping in an X — that word and all that hangs on it would mutate to free “expression,” which we so badly need. Meanwhile, speaking of R’s, the R in the name of the one who governs us needs to take its owner, leave the stage, and give way as soon as possible to the other consonants of our plural alphabet.

Translator’s notes:
The crisis = After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of its financial support for Cuba.
Maleconazo = A social uprising, that is a riot, that erupted along the Malecon in August 1994.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Did I Die as I Lived?

  1. Yoani Sánchez,tenho lido muito a seu respeito e creio que algum dia voce sera realizada nos seus sonhos de liberdade.Sou brasileiro e me criei no regime militar pois meu pai foi um dos primeiros presos da revolucão mentirosa de 1 de abril de 1964 e que fez com que muita gente pagase por algo que não deviam mas,valeu a pena pois,na epoca tinha eu 11 anos de idade e cresci com um gosto de revolta.Hoje,vendo o que acontece em sua Cuba,vejo que fomos felizes pois,isso a quem alguns chamam de socialismo não passa de uma tirania e os irmãos Castro não passam de ditadores e mentirosos assim como o presidente do Brasil.Se esse aqui pudesse,seria um ditador igual ao de voces ou pior já que se acha acima de tudo e todos e vive de populismo barato ás custas do cidadão que paga seus impostos mas não sabe o que é feito com todo o dinheiro quer muitas vezes são desviados para contas particulares ou bolso de politicos que fazem a base populista do desgoverno.Que vc.continue com sua luta e nós estaremos torcendo para que sejas feliz.Abracos aos seus e liberdade a todos.

  2. No havera no mondo algoasin estranio como el ditador e su irmanõ Fidel Castro.Qui si fazer justicia e los tiranos sejan despidos de sus puderes para que el povo sejan tratados como gente e que se posa expressar de todas las formas sen que seiam castigados por sua livre expresson.Nossos irmanao cubanos precisan seren tratados como gente e non como animas.Que el ditador seja levado as barras da justicia e punido pelas atrocidades praticadas contra sus conterranios.

  3. Sigmund writes:
    He claims that there is freedom of expresion in Cuba and he pretend to back its delirium saying thet Yoaniis free to write in an internet site published in …… Germany!!!!!!!

    It doesn’t matter where the SERVER is… what does that have to do with anything? Yoani is in CUBA, she gets on the internet from CUBA and freely expresses herself IN CUBA and the only “totalitarian state’ actions has been that some other people have used THEIR freedom of speech to point out inconsistencies and lack of logic in what she’s saying. Oooooh!!! IT’S LIKE THE GESTAPO ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!

    For people who HAVE lived in REAL dictatorships, like Pinochet’s Chile, where their entire family was either disappeared, tortured or massacred only for writing songs about peace (like Victor Jara), Yoani comes off sounding a little spoiled.

  4. 12M. piñeiro losada

    Marzo 31st, 2010 at 18:43
    Hahaha, more contradictions from “Humberto” … on one side of his mouth, he claims that there is no free expression in Cuba ………..
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It seems our ideological-mental handicapade castro agent do not understand gramatic……..
    He claims that there is freedom of expresion in Cuba and he pretend to back its delirium saying thet Yoaniis free to write in an internet site published in …… Germany!!!!!!!

  5. Hank,

    The silence is deafening from “THE REVOLUTIONARY RATS”! They must be “changing the guard”! Lets see what we get on “THE NEXT SHIFT”!

  6. Cuba should be on the list of Countries who sponsor terrorism, yes, STATE SPONSORED. The Cuban government is who organises bus loads of people known as Brigadas rapida to form “ACTOS DE REPUDIA”, where violence and obsenities are geared toward those who do not share the ideas of the repressive governement. Thousands in Cuba have been given jail sentences in excess of 20 years for opposing the Dicatatorship that rules with the heavy hand. Cuba’s government officials purposely do not “STAMP” international passports, so that a traveller’s passport do not reflect the countries traveled to or from. The truth about what happens in Cuba is starting to surface and getting the worlds attention. Thanks everyone who have helped to expose the cruel goverenment and the mechanics that made it tick. The end of the robolution has come and a fresh start in Cuba will be very welcome. Viva Silvito el libre son of the above payaso vocero who has lived off the sufferring and misery of the average Cuba for too many years.

  7. Mi amiga Yoani,

    Yo soy brasileño y soy también un lector de su blog y quiero que sepas que tienes todo mi apoyo y también el apoyo de mi familia. Por favor, no se moleste con los críticos profesionales, ellos no son nada más que amigos de la tiranía corrupta. Mantenga el buen trabajo mi amiga! Juntos podemos construir una Cuba libre para todos los cubanos!

    My friend Yoani,

    I am Brazilian and I am also a reader of your blog and I want you to know that you have all my support and the support of my family. Please do not bother with the professional critics, they are nothing but friends of the corrupt tyranny. Keep up the good work my friend! Together we can build a free Cuba for all Cubans!

  8. Humberto,

    Yes, it is ironic. The excellent article you posted from the Globe and Mail makes even more sense to me now that you point out the season. This is all so sad and tragic.

  9. Hank,

    I pray that you are right and not I! How ironic in this holiday season to talk about martyrs for humanity!

  10. Humberto,

    I hope not!

    I don’t want to see anyone else die via hunger strike. The only people I want to see die via the biological solution is the dictatorship.

  11. Hank said,

    “Maybe reason will prevail during this tragic moment of suicide by hunger strike in Cuba.”

    MAN, YOU ARE ASKING TOO MUCH FROM THOSE “NAZIS/CASTROFASCISTS” KNOWN AS “LA CHINA” & “THE MUMMY”!

  12. It would be so easy for Raul Castro to release the 26 ailing political prisoners. One phone call and it would be done. One simple phone call.

    If Raul were astute, he could have diffused this situation a long time ago. Instead, the world has witnessed brutal attacks on peaceful flower-bearing women silently walking through the streets of Havana and then beaten and dragged into waiting “air conditioned busses” to be taken away. The scenes are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

    If Raul knew how to respond to the popular and now international uprising he is faced with, he would release all of the political prisoners tomorrow on purely humanitarian grounds. What a simple and just solution that would be. It would also be an easy way out for him. He wouldn’t have to admit that they were political prisoners — all he would have to do is release them and allow them medical attention and the freedom they deserve.

    Maybe reason will prevail during this tragic moment of suicide by hunger strike in Cuba. Maybe the men and women who rule Cuba, and those who stand on the sidelines waiting for a moment to act, will come to the aid of their countrymen – the people for whom they once fought.

  13. Regarding #13
    M. piñeiro losada wrote;

    “…the vast majority of Cuban people don’t want to live like the people in Haiti do, and they know that this is what Cuba would look like if the Cuban Revolution was overthrown.”

    That has to be the most ludicrously asinine statement I have ever heard. It is wrong in so many ways that it is not worth discussing, only someone so wrapped up in the fallacy of his ideological fantasies could come up with this and believe it, to say nothing of the pompous state of mind it takes to publish it for the whole world to see.

  14. THIS UGY

    UNIVISION: Canciller cubano: Fariñas es “manipulado” por enemigos de la isla
    -31 de Marzo de 2010
    THIS GUY Bruno Rodríguez SOUNDS LIKE OUR “REVOLUTIONARY RAT” M. piñeiro losada! O0PS! FORGOT THEY COME FROM THE SAME “RAT MOTHERS”, “LA CHINA” & “THE MUMMY”!!
    NUEVA YORK (AP) – Tanto el disidente cubano Orlando Zapata que murió en febrero, como Guillermo Fariñas, quien se mantiene en huelga de hambre, “son lamentablemente piezas que se manipulan en función de objetivos políticos contra Cuba”, denunció el miércoles el canciller cubano Bruno Rodríguez.

    Rodríguez indicó durante una entrevista con The Associated Press en la sede de Naciones Unidas que las críticas de la comunidad internacional hacia la isla respecto al trato de ambos forman parte de una “campaña contra Cuba, concertada”.

    “El recluso fallecido fue una víctima precisamente de estas políticas subversivas de Estados Unidos y de un grupo de países europeos contra Cuba. Manipulan a estas personas”, dijo el canciller.

    Cuba ha sido el blanco reciente de una polémica internacional tras la muerte del preso Zapata, quien mantenía una huelga de hambre y por la decisión de otro disidente, Guillermo Fariñas, de adoptar la misma medida. Fariñas, sin embargo, se encuentra internado en terapia intensiva con alimentación artificial.

    El parlamento europeo aprobó recientemente documento en el que condenaba la “cruel y evitable” muerte del preso, refiriéndose a Zapata.

    “Esta persona, por ejemplo, cumplía sanción por un delito común previsto y sancionado en la legislación de cualquier país del mundo, y sin embargo, rápidamente, se monta toda una manipulación para presentarlo como un supuesto disidente, un preso de conciencia”, indicó el canciller cubano.

    Rodríguez se encontraba en Nueva York para participar en una conferencia de países donantes en la reconstrucción de Haití tras un devastador terremoto en enero.

    El ministro cubano describió a Fariñas “una persona que no tiene ninguna restricción a su libertad”.

    “Es desafortunado que esta manipulación y que los que instruyen, los que financian, los que organizan la subversión contra Cuba incurren en una grave responsabilidad moral cuando utilizan a personas, las colocan en posiciones de esta naturaleza”, señaló. “Obviamente Cuba no puede aceptar presiones, no puede aceptar chantajes de ninguna naturaleza, como cualquier estado soberano”.

    Rodríguez criticó a la Unión Europea diciendo que no tiene una posición común sobre nada prácticamente, incluida la guerra de Irak.

    “Es realmente una farsa su posición común sobre Cuba, que es obsoleta”, indicó. “No funciona ni para los supuestos objetivos que se plantean los gobiernos europeos. Es un obstáculo para la normalización de relaciones entre Cuba y la Unión Europea, que hemos dicho no vamos a normalizar plenamente mientras exista esa posición”.

    La Unión Europea y Cuba tenían previsto reunirse la semana que viene en Madrid pero el martes el Ministerio de Exteriores español informó de que el encuentro sería aplazado.

    http://www.univision.com/contentroot/wirefeeds/50noticias/8178601.shtml

  15. Andy,

    Thanks for this! The sound system was really bad and you could not hear much on sunday! Now I have posted it on my facebook and sent it to my list! I even post it on “Cubans in LA” which as of today did not have that video!

    Gracias Amigo Gusano!

  16. Paquito d Rivera playing the Cuban National Athem to support “The Ladies in White” and the cuban dissidents/blogger in front of the statue of Cuban martyr JOSE MARTI in Central Park, New York (yes there is a full statue of him in USA).March 28,2010.

    Paquito d Rivera tocando el himno en la marcha de apoyo a las damas de blanco y los opocitores cubanos frente a la estatua de Jose Marti en el parque central de Nueva York ayer dias 28 de marzo 2010

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=155455347790#!/video/video.php?v=110325608987416&ref=nf

    ZELDE de Malevitz

  17. And the losada absurdities continue. If I were a professor of philosophy, I would feel truly indebted to this character for providing so much material for my Logic 101 class.

    Honest to Pete, I have not seen so many fallacies spouted by one person in a very, very long time.

    Logical fallacies are fun to identify, Wiki has a good discussion of the subject.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacies

  18. Freedom for Cuba – A tribute from Los Angeles (thanks to “Sunriseinhavana”) BEAUTIFUL!

  19. M. piñeiro losada said (#12)

    “YES, Cubans access the internet via their cell phones, via the government-built telecentros, via computer labs in community buildings, at university, etc.’

    YEAH RIGHT! MR. “REVOLUTIONARY RAT”!! IF YOU SAY SO! BUT REPORTER WITHOUT BORDERS THINKS OTHERWISE! OH YES! I RECALL! YOU CALL THEM “LIARS”!!

    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

  20. I LOVE IT WHEN I’M THE CENTER OF ATTENTION! MEANS I MUST BE HITTING A SORE SPOT!

  21. M. piñeiro losada,

    “…the vast majority of Cuban people don’t want to live like the people in Haiti do, and they know that this is what Cuba would look like if the Cuban Revolution was overthrown.”

    LET THE CUBAN PEOPLE DECIDE WITH FREE AND FAIR, MULTI PARTY ELECTIONS SUPERVISED BY THE U.N.! STOP MAKING GENERALITIES THAT ARE AND INSULT TO THE WORD “DEMOCRACY”!

  22. Hahaha, more contradictions from “Humberto” … on one side of his mouth, he claims that there is no free expression in Cuba and out of the other side of his mouth and says: While these are relatively minor updates, I think it’s awesome to have nearly instant access to what’s REALLY going on in Cuba in the palm of my hand.

    YES, Cubans access the internet via their cell phones, via the government-built telecentros, via computer labs in community buildings, at university, etc.

  23. Twitter is full of news from Cuba
    By Monica “La Benjamina”, on March 31, 2010, at 5:09 pm
    Cubans are pouncing all over Twitter. The beauty of it is that you can send posts via text message, thereby eliminating the need for rare and expensive computer/Internet access. Just today I learned the following on Twitter:

    – In Havana, the Museum of Universal Art was surrounded by police and firefighters. Rumors were that there was a serious gas leak.

    – In Pinar del Rio, classes were suspended today at the Aguedo Morales Secondary School, but students were left with no water or snacks.

    While these are relatively minor updates, I think it’s awesome to have nearly instant access to what’s REALLY going on in Cuba in the palm of my hand. I think Twitter, moreso than Cuban blogs, is going to be instrumental in letting the average Cuban share their daily experiences with the world.

    Furthermore, as search engines continue to incorporate real-time Twitter posts into search results, the average non-Cuban person will see these posts when they perform a simple search for Cuba. This is going to be huge for our efforts to spread the truth.

    Jump on the Twitter bandwagon if you haven’t already. Follow @yoanisanchez and @conviviencacuba as a start (and follow @babalubloggers if you can’t get enough Babalu in your life). I’ll post more accounts as I find them – please add any you know of in the comments as well!

    http://babalublog.com/

  24. CELL PHONES FOR CUBA!
    What
    Roots of Hope, a nonprofit focused on empowering youth in Cuba, has launched Cell Phones for Cuba (C4C), a program designed to boost the connectivity of young people on the island and promote greater communication throughout Cuba. The apolitical campaign will draw on our wide network of students and young professionals throughout the United States to bring about measurable improvements in the lives of Cuban youth.

    Why
    As of 2008, fewer than 3% of the Cuban population have access to cell phones. In other developing countries, cell phones have been used as a means of expression and empowerment. Youth in these countries often use low-cost SMS texting services to stay in contact with each other on a regular basis and reserve phone calls for special circumstances and emergencies. C4C will focus on boosting the connectivity of young people on the island and facilitating greater means for communication.

    Cell phones give people the ability to:

    Inform
    Provide mobile news and information.
    Advise
    Help others make sense of the information.
    Act
    Enable coordination to act upon the information.
    How
    Roots of Hope has begun collecting used and new cell phones across the country. These phones are then organized in our inventory system based on whether they’ll work in Cuba. All new, Cuba-ready phones are shipped to Roots of Hope’s offices in Miami, Florida. All other phones are shipped directly to our purchaser, who then pays us for each phone received. We then use these funds to purchase new, Cuba-ready phones to be delivered to youth on the island.

    http://www.cells4cuba.org./

    CELL PHONES FOR CUBA FACEBOOK
    http://www.cells4cuba.org./

  25. GREAT ESSAY! ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE READ ON CUBA IN A LONG TIME!
    THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Are Cuba’s true martyrs a portent of a new 1989?

    In a godforsaken corner of the Western Hemisphere, a group of people have decided to die for a cause and harm no one else in the process

    Alvaro Vargas Llosa-Washington — From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail Tuesday, Mar. 30, 2010

    Nowadays, most of those who die for a cause either perish for the wrong cause or bring death to innocent people. Islamist and nationalist terrorists have turned the noble concept of martyrdom into the opposite of what we were taught it meant. We have gone from Socrates drinking hemlock in the name of philosophical inquiry to the female bombers who massacred dozens of Russians at two Moscow subway stations.
    But in a godforsaken corner of the Western Hemisphere, as if taking it on themselves to restore the old tradition of martyrdom, a group of people have decided to die for a cause and harm no one else in the process. For weeks, the world has followed the drama of the Cuban prisoners of conscience, many of them black, who have started a chain of hunger strikes demanding the liberation of their fellow prisoners. Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a mason who was one of the 75 activists and journalists incarcerated in what is known as the Black Spring of 2003, died in February after a hunger strike that lasted more than 80 days. He was succeeded by psychologist Guillermo Farinas, who has now refused to eat for more than a month. Engineer Felix Bonne Carcasses has said that, if Mr. Farinas dies, he will replace him.

    While these men give up their existence for a principle, a group of women symbolically dressed in white are also putting their lives on the line by taking to the streets against the Castro brothers. The Ladies in White – mothers, wives and sisters of the Cuban political prisoners jailed in the 2003 crackdown – have been kicked, punched, dragged through the streets and arrested by government thugs. And they have not flinched.

    The international commotion is such that political, civic and artistic leaders who, until recently, turned the other way in the face of half a century of political persecutions in Cuba have felt compelled to express – cough, cough – their discomfort. Even Spain, which was instrumental in blocking efforts by the European Union to defend human rights in Cuba, has belatedly criticized the repression. In Havana, folk singer Silvio Rodriguez, a revolutionary emblem of the nueva trova musical movement, has begun to talk about taking the “r” out of “revolution” and replacing it with “evolution.” In Miami, New York and Los Angeles, thousands of people have marched in protest.

    Cuban martyrdom is not new – whether we speak of those Don Quixotes who took up arms against the revolution early on, the many would-be Mandelas who rotted in prison or the families who perished on boats fleeing the island, giving a moral meaning to the Spanish word “balsa” (raft).

    But this feels different. In his Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, Robert Wuthnow says “a crescive society, one that is weak but on the rise, produces martyrs like those of early Christianity.” Their willingness to die “affirms the priority of culture over nature, law and civilization over biological self-interest.”

    The gradual rise of a civil society built on the foundations of law and civilization amidst the Communist tyranny is precisely what these men and women are announcing to the world – and to their fellow Cubans, mostly barred from knowing what’s happening by a news blockade. What a defining moment for Cuba, comparable to the rise of the civil society that made possible 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    I remember my teacher explaining that the Greek origin of the word “martyr” was not directly related to the concept of death. It meant, simply, “witness.” Later, the Christian tradition of martyrdom gave it its new meaning; every other religion has its own version. When least expected, it has fallen on a group of valiant Cubans to not only restore the noble tradition sullied in our day by genocidal terrorists but also the original meaning of the word martyr. As witnesses, they are testifying the truth – indeed, a deadly truth.

    Alvaro Vargas Llosa is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/are-cubas-true-martyrs-a-portent-of-a-new-1989/article1517696/

  26. REUTERS: U.S.-Cuba relations under Obama fall to lowest point

    (Reuters) – U.S.-Cuban relations have fallen to their lowest point since Barack Obama became U.S. president and are in danger of getting worse unless the two countries take serious steps toward ending five decades of hostility, according to Cuba experts.
    Cuba

    After a brief warming last year, both countries appear to be falling back into old, antagonistic ways, obscuring whatever progress that has been made and hindering further advances, the experts said this week.

    “The past year has proven that when it comes to U.S.-Cuba relations, old habits die hard,” said Dan Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington.

    Obama, who took office in January 2009 and has said he wanted to recast U.S.-Cuban relations, lifted restrictions on travel by Cuban Americans to the communist-ruled island and initiated talks on migration issues and direct postal service.

    Since then, Cuban Americans have flooded the island and the two longtime ideological foes have held their first high-level discussions in years. But recent developments have been mostly negative.

    Cuba jailed U.S. contractor Alan Gross in December on suspicion of spying and continues to hold him without charges.

    Cuba’s government has been condemned internationally for its treatment of opponents, including imprisoned dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died in February from a hunger strike, and the “Ladies in White,” wives and mothers of imprisoned dissidents, were shouted down by government supporters during protest marches this month.

    Obama rebuked the Cuban government in a strongly worded statement on March 24, saying Cuba continues “to respond to the aspirations of the Cuban people with a clenched fist.”

    U.S. officials think they have done enough to elicit a more positive response from Cuba, while Cuba complains that Obama has done too little.

    ‘GENUINE GOODWILL’

    Miami attorney Timothy Ashby, a former U.S. Commerce Department official in charge of trade with Cuba, said neither has done what is necessary to overcome 50 years of bitterness.

    “Neither government is willing to take a significant step that would serve as a demonstration of genuine goodwill,” he said.

    Both nations have taken actions that have not helped the fragile improvement begun by Obama.

    Obama angered the Cuban government in November when he responded to questions via email from dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who Cuban leaders view as at least complicit with their enemies in Europe and the United States.

    In February, Assistant Secretary of State Craig Kelly provoked a bitter Cuban reaction when he met with dissidents following migration talks with Cuban officials in Havana.

    Cuba, in turn, has soured the political climate by harshly criticizing Obama for his lack of action while taking little of its own.

    Its detention of Gross, which U.S. officials say Cuba has refused to discuss, has called into question its desire for change even among those who want better relations.

    In a letter last week to Cuba’s top diplomat in Washington, 41 members of the U.S. House of Representatives said the detention of Gross “has caused many to doubt your government’s expressed desire to improve relations with the United States.”

    “We cannot assist in that regard while Mr. Gross is detained in a Cuban prison,” said the legislators, who included sponsors of pending legislation to end a U.S. ban on travel to Cuba.

    The United States has said Gross was in Cuba to expand Internet services for Jewish groups, but conceded he entered the island on a tourist visa that would not permit such work.

    His work was funded under U.S. programs aimed at promoting democracy in Cuba, which Cuban leaders view as part of a long U.S. campaign to topple their government.

    U.S. officials are saying behind the scenes that there will be no more initiatives with Cuba until Gross is released.

    Domestic political concerns are among the reasons cited for the lack of U.S.-Cuban progress, with Obama mindful of possible criticism from conservatives for moving too quickly and Cuban President Raul Castro dealing with anti-U.S. hardliners while he tries to fix Cuba’s weak economy.

    “Sadly, there are reactionary forces on either side of the Florida Straits,” Ashby said.

    The United States could move rapprochement along by removing Cuba from its list of nations considered state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that has long angered Cuba, Ashby said.

    At the same time, Cuba must release Gross either outright or, if necessary, on something like parole if it insists on putting him on trial, according to John McAuliff of the New York-based Fund for Reconciliation and Development, which promotes better relations between the two countries.

    Western diplomats in Havana also said Cuba must treat its dissidents better, saying another death would be a serious blow to relations with both the United States and Europe.

    (Editing by Tom Brown and Will Dunham)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62U34W20100331?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

  27. Here are some interesting quotes from the “leader”
    -“I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement”-
    -“I am a marxist lennininst and I will be one till the last day of my life”-
    -“The revenues of cuban state-run companies are used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong”-
    -“The universities are available only to those who share my revolutionary beliefs”-

    The best one for last:

    -“I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened”-

  28. -“Petty concern with mere evidence is an antiquated and bourgeois feature of the capitalist legal system. We are revolutionatires. Wew convict from a revolutionary passion.”-
    For all concerned for human rights & the rule of law …

  29. Dear and Friendly Moderator, it seems the fatal spam fot “jailed” a comment of mine in the article about DHL….. I have tried to post it 3 times and nothing…… thanks for your help.

  30. Every day is becoming more self evident that the Castro brothers are on their way out. Kicking and screaming! Nevertheless they will be out soon forever from Cuba’s reality.

    They are so many Cubans wanting for freedom that Cuba is just ripe for it.
    Freedom will be the future of Cuba. No more dictators and dictatorship.
    No more political prisoners. No more injustice.

  31. No doubt Raul needs to step down as dictator..But the Castro brothers will never relinquish power till thier grave…Only then will there be an uprising for freedom all over Cuba…Another Berlin wall falling down..Not to Miami but for all cubans to be free….Viva Evolution!!!!

Comments are closed.