A Youth Too Old

valla_piernas-eng

The biggest meeting of the Union of Young Communists (UJC) ended in Havana, but its older relative, the Party, still hasn’t announced the date it will hold its Sixth Congress. Raúl Castro affirmed, in early 2009, that he would call, very soon, a national conference of the Communist Party of Cuba but at this point no one can find it on the calendar. So the UJC has gone ahead and met in the Palace of Conventions and discussed topics that might have led to fruitful debates if they had occurred within a framework of true respect.

Under the motto “All for the Revolution,” hundreds of young faces observed the presidential table full of officials who have already lived more than six decades. The older generation was not there to tell them the latest news, “The country is yours, it is up to you, now, to decide its directions,” but rather to exhort them to sacrifice, admonish them for their lack of fighting spirit, and to extract from them promises of continuity and eternal fidelity. It is the type of behavior that a political party uses to attract its quarry, but in the case of Cuba the UJC is the only youth organization permitted under the law. It is noteworthy that at the age in which we try on various personas and defend the most incredible causes, our youth is only admitted to membership under the red card. Many of them, in freer circumstances, would swell the ranks of a conservation group, sign on with some union activists, or join together to demand to end compulsory military service.

Those who today form the UJC were born at the beginning of the Special Period, when toys were not seen in the ration shops and they could only drink milk, legally, until they were seven. They grew up thanks to the black market and wore shoes because their parents diverted State resources or asked an exiled relative for help in buying them. This is a generation that came of age in the midst of the tourist apartheid that blocked Cubans from entering hotels or accessing certain services; children nursed on empty slogans in the schools and the language of monotony at home. Despite their promises of loyalty, I suspect they nurture thoughts of revenge, of that moment when they will break all the promises they made to their elders.

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87 thoughts on “A Youth Too Old

  1. Rick Viera, interesting comments but not erxactly an answer to the question Pineira made. And the fact is that cuban immigrants a priory hate “communism” when it is convenient, but do ignore the evils of capitalism and make no complaints when capitalism behaves in the same, or worse, way as the communism.

    In fact, while some “communists” tried everything to match apitalism in barbarity, even those tyrants are still behind the achievements of capitalist tyrants. I blame that disparity on the age difference. “communist” criminals started 100 years later.

    It is always the people, not the system. There are many good things in capitalism, there’s no doubt about that. The bad things were all human-made, not the system-inbuilt faults.

    So what Cubans need to do is to get rid of the two incompetent generals and establish a civil government. The system itself is in my opinion better than what the cuban immigrants would put in place if they had their way. But would now only bring another 50 years of disastrous waiting for the freedom. Only an idiot could advocate the change of the system. Even a peaceful one. Just a quick glance through the countries which managed to change into capitalism peacefully, are now in hands of criminals, and are economically actually worse off.

    Change must be evolutionary and only fix the frong parts. Drastic changes bring disaster. Nothing else.

  2. … and as Monty Phython used to say …-” and now for something completly diffeent …”-

  3. answer to #83
    From present cuban constitution:
    Capitulo 1 Articulo #12
    … g)califica de delito internacional de agresion y de conquista, reconoce la legitimidad de las luchas por la liberacion nacional, asi como la resistencia armada a la agresion y considera su deber internacionalista solidarizarse con el agredido y con los pueblos que combaten por la liberacion y autodeterminacion; …’-

    Of course one must “read between the lines” for what is implied in the “duty of internationalist solidarity”.
    So if that is how the rebolution justifies its right of intervention in the guise of solidarity … why question what other countries do in the name of the same sentiments of “internationalist solidarity …?

  4. Damir #82
    “if people here agree with the AI, does that mean that they accept the AI’s criticism on the Cuban Five?”

    Unlike the single minded blind adherence to the opinions of their masters demanded by regimes and ideologies like in Cuba independent democratic individuals are able to agree or disagree with the opinions stated by others based on their merits and the facts of the matter as well as the values that they observe, this means that while I respect their right to speak what they will I choose for myself whether to agree or not with their opinions on a case by case basis. As for your other allegations about leftists defending themselves in my recollections it has been the Castro regime sending out revolutionaries to places like South & Central America as well as Africa not to defend but to spread their causes through violent actions.

  5. Here’s another uncomfortable question which wil not be answered: why is it always okay for the right-wingers to use the violence for their “righteous” causes, and it is a crime when the leftists take up the arms to defend themselves?

  6. I notice that not one “democrat” here responded on Pineira’s question: if people here agree with the AI, does that mean that they accept the AI’s criticism on the Cuban Five?

    Not a single word on that.

    Speaking of “democracy”…

    Not a single one “anti-castrist” here is really even familiar with the actual concept of democracy. But how could they? That requires studying, intellectual capacity and ability to be honest.

    No such “democrat” here.Only naive immigrants and far right religious fanatics, no better than Taliban.

  7. Pineiro

    I am wondering if it is worth debating with you.I brought up the the question of Amnesty and prisoners of conscience in Cuba. You, in the usual counter-punching and “tu quoque” style of Granma, raised the question of the Miami Five. I happen to agree with Amnesty on the question of denying visas to two of the prisoner’s wives. I also believe the trial should never have taken place in the Miami, and that the sentences were unduly harsh, although some have been reduced on appeal. However, the fact is that these five “heroes” were members of the Intelligence Directorate, and that, among other things hand,they penetrated US military installations. The prisoners of conscience, on the other hand, were guilty of nothing more than advocating a civil society in Cuba, a term that Raul, I note, now uses with disdain. The official line is that they are common criminals, but if you would care to check the files of Amnesty, it becomes clear that their concern is for fundamental human rights, which do not exist in Cuba, where every few years the ministers who climb too close to the Castro brothers are purged in a way that reminds me of Stalin. If you are a betting man, I will wager that Cuba will soon become Dynasty, the Sequel, where the choice of successor will be between Raul son and his son-in-law. Perhaps All in the Family is a more apt reference.

  8. losada #79

    Not only do you not reply to my comments on your association with Minrex and your including their propaganda releases verbatim without attribution but you do not mention anything about the condemnation of the summary trials of the four men who were executed three days after their trial that also only lasted three days that is less than one week from start of trial to execution and without any opportunity for appeal.

    How ludicrous of you to claim that the judicial process of the Castro regime is fair and quoting you “All have the right, … to appeal their sentences in a court higher than the one, which handed down their sentences” your own words prove you a liar and nothing but as I stated earlier an apparatchik for the regime.

  9. Rick:

    Regardless of what you think, once again the Fanatics Brigade failed to follow up on the Amnesty International discussion. It was fine to cite AI selectively when it suited the purposes of the fanatics but when AI disagreed with your position, suddenly the topic is dropped — even after I asked direct questions about it.

    Haha.

  10. also:
    the present constitution states that communism is the “only” for of inspiration & goverment in present day cuba.
    Any movement or gathering for the purpose of voicing oposition to the present regime is as per the present constitution illegal & any one is considered a traitor which qualifies him/her for “legally prescribed punishment”.
    This is without forgeting about the public humilliation, abuse and harrasment by the “brigades” supporting the regime.
    It is a costly affair in more ways than one to be a dissident.
    Keep in mind that the control from the regime is so pervasive that from school, your records will follow you thru your life documenting your loyalty and dedication.
    In its wisdom lays the fortunes of your future, is not how qualified you are after you finish your education but how loyal you are to the rebolution.
    I gives pause for thought …

  11. Yes, rightly so there is a number of “undeclared” people against the rebolution as there is a number of people that supports it.
    Tha’s is a fact however: the more important point is the inability of the people who does not support the rebolution to voice their opinion without the fear of reprisals.
    The rebolution has made sure of that by making it a crime to voice a dissenting opinion.
    The present constitution is sufficiently vage as to support the repression of thought, it makes it legal to harrass & incarcerate dissidents while violating the most basic of human rights … the freedom of expresion & freedom of assembly to name a few.

  12. 70M. piñeiro losada

    Abril 8th, 2010 at 21:37
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, AI is good enough for taking its statements up when it is good for castrofascism but is bad when makes the opposite????…… this kind of double moral is what make castrofascism’s speech and its thugs’ “speeches” discredited for all viewers……. you are like Chacumbele that killed himself!!!!!
    I think everyone agrees about your intents to help castrofascism are so inefficient and bolds that instead seems an attack on the criminal regimen….. but at least your “comment” serves us to illustrate the readers about castrofascism crimes…. that’s the only you are good to….. thanks!!!

  13. …But you cannot deny that there are many people who support Fidel, I know what I am talking about, I was born there, and I live there for 35 years of my life, there are people who can die for Fidel and his communism, that is a fact, so don’t pretend saying that everybody in Cuba despises the revolution…and communism is there because most people support the regimen, that’s another fact, if not, why don’t they go out and rebel against the situation?…people get the government they deserve…

  14. Aberto #72

    Thank you for providing the information on the results of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights report on the fate of the men executed by the Castro regime. The trials took place from 5 to April 8, 2003, on the morning of April 11, 2003, after the decision issued by the State Council, the sentences were imposed and the alleged victims were executed.

    The Commission concluded that the State of Cuba violated Articles I, XVIII and XXVI of the American Declaration, to the detriment of Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo, Barbaro Leodán Sevilla García and Jorge Luis Martínez Isaac by trying and convicting them without due process and then executing them.

    La Comisión concluyó que el Estado de Cuba violó los artículos I, XVIII y XXVI de la Declaración Americana, en perjuicio de Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo, Bárbaro Leodán Sevilla García y Jorge Luis Martínez Isaac por juzgarlos y condenarlos sin las debidas garantías procesales y posteriormente ejecutarlos. The Commission concluded that the State of Cuba violated Articles I, XVIII and XXVI of the American Declaration, to the detriment of Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo, Barbaro Leodán Sevilla García and Jorge Luis Martínez Isaac by trying and convicting them without due process and then execute .

  15. in reference to the administration of justice by te present regime in cuba ….
    INFORME #68/06
    CASO 12.477
    FONDO
    LORENZO ENRIQUE COPELLO Y OTROS
    CUBA 21 DE OCTUBRE 2006

    Please reard & research from:
    COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS.

  16. Losada #63

    I find it of interest that your reply to my earlier comments on the 75 dissidents and the charges brought against them reads as if it were directly from the propaganda machine of the Castro regime so it was no surprise when I found the page defending the abuses perpetrated against the dissidents published by the Minrex apologists themselves with your comments verbatim, for all to see the link is below.

    Does this repetition of party dogma and the appearance that you spend countless hours researching and documenting the BS put out by the regime that you are in fact an apparatchik working at Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba.

    http://www.cubaminrex.cu/English/libro%20blanco/paginas%20ingles/parte%202_cap%206%20ingl%E9s.htm

    CHAPTER VI: THE CUBAN PEOPLE, IN LEGITIMATE SELF-DEFENCE, ACTS WITH RESOLUTION AND IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE RULE OF LAW: JUSTICE VERSUS MERCENARISM

    . No secret trials were held. The oral hearings for all of the trials were public and adversarial. Nearly 100 people, on average, participated in them, that is to say, nearly 3 000 people in total, chiefly made up of relatives, witnesses, experts and other Cuban citizens.

    . The relevant courts, by virtue of their prerogatives, decided to deny access to the press, due to the information relating to national security that would be handled during the trials and to prevent publicity from interfering with the impartiality and objectivity of the court’s functioning.

  17. Ok, you want to talk about Amnesty International? Let’s see if people here will actually engage in a discussion or just respond with “REVOLUTIONARY RAT!!!” and avoid having to justify their positions.

    For all the good work that AI does, numerous scholars have pointed out the double-standards that AI uses. In fact, the issue of Cuba/US, Israel/Palestine and Darfur are where most writers point out AI’s double standards.

    First, AI has criticized the US on the human rights violations pertaining to the Cuban Five case. Should we take this to mean that those of you citing AI agree with their position about the Cuban Five? (Let’s see if this question gets answered.)

    Second, AI agrees that the US blockade is a significant obstacle to human rights in Cuba: The US embargo and related measures continued to have a negative effect on the exercise of human rights. (2009 Cuba AI Report) Do you all agree with this position of AI?

    AI specifically ignores the illegal actions of the United States in supporting the overthrow of the Cuban Government and its basis for claims of “restrictive free speech” openly acknowledge this: In July, the authorities prevented scores of dissidents from participating in several events in Havana, including the civil society meeting “Agenda for Transition” and an event organized by the United States Interests Section to celebrate US Independence Day.

    Amnesty International has been criticized the world over for maintaining a unilateral vision on what it means to be a democracy — and their vision of a democracy more closely resembles an oligarchy. Cuba is a legitimate nation recognized by every country in the world except for the United States. That doesn’t make it a dictatorship.

    However, I can give you some good examples of dictatorships: Saudi Arabia, the current Afghanistan regime, the Pinochet regime, Brazil under Vargas, Haiti under Papa Doc, Iran under the Shah — in other words, all governments that the United States recognized as legitimate democracies. So, we can deduce that the US Government is not a very good authority at determining what is and is not a dictatorship.

    Again, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot say on the one hand that you are willing to break the both Cuban and international law to overthrow their government and simultaneously complain that it is unfair for that government to arrest people attempting to overthrow it. Especially when the means used to overthrow it include the bombing of innocent civilians, strafing the Malecon with machine gun fire, hijacking airplanes at gunpoint, hijacking boats at gunpoint and building organizations designed to subvert that government.

    No cause is so just that it rationalizes the murder of innocent people. If you do think that, you do belong in jail.

    Trudeau: it is false to say that it is illegal to TALK to Amnesty International. What is illegal is to receive material support to engage in plans with foreign organizations who are working to overthrow the government. And that is illegal in every single country in the world.

    Sorry, you guys don’t have an answer to this. You try to get out of it with exaggerations and by ignoring the point I’m making but that doesn’t make you right.

  18. http://www.page2live.com/2010/04/06/whatever-happened-to-elian-gonzalez/print/
    Aqui va el link a un articulo del periodico Palm Beach Post, donde aparece el reportaje acerca de la Union de Juventud Comunistas. Lamento mucho que Elian Gonzalez, el nino que encontraron flotando solo en el mar abierto de los estrechos de la Florida, se haiga unido a esta cumbre, en lugar de luchar por su derecho de seguir los deseos de su madre, quien perdio su vida en tratar de darle a Elian una vida mejor, libre y soberana.

  19. ASSOCIATED PRESS: Cuba May Day march to counter human rights critics
    By WILL WEISSERT (AP)
    HAVANA — Cuba will use its annual May Day march as a huge show of popular support for the Castro government, its latest attempt to defend itself from criticism over human rights on the island.

    An editorial in the Communist Party newspaper Granma titled “We defend the truth with our morals and principles” blasted the U.S. government Thursday, saying “the empire and its allies have launched a new crusade to demonize Cuba.”

    The editorial was similar to several opinion pieces in state-controlled newspapers recently that have blamed the foreign press, Washington and governments in Europe for glorifying dissidents Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Guillermo Farinas.

    Zapata Tamayo died in February after a lengthy prison hunger strike, and Farinas has been refusing food and water for six weeks.

    “On May 1, you will receive from our people and workers a resounding and unequivocal answer in support of the revolution,” proclaimed the editorial, which took up the entire front page.

    The revolution refers to the uprising that forced dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee and swept Fidel Castro to power on New Year’s Day 1959.

    Cuba traditionally marks International Workers’ Day with hundreds of thousands marching through Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution — though Fidel Castro no longer speaks since undergoing emergency surgery and disappearing from public view in 2006.

    The demonstration is always a pro-government celebration, with many islanders waving pictures of Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul skyward. But Granma formally declaring it as such is unusual and reflects mounting tensions.

    Zapata Tamayo became the first Cuban opposition figure to die after a hunger strike in nearly 40 years, and his case drew condemnation from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the European Union. Farinas is not in prison but says he will keep refusing food and water until he dies — though he has received nutrients intravenously at a hospital near his home in the central city of Santa Clara.

    The editorial said the U.S. and its allies “have set in motion a colossal operation of deception, with the objective of discrediting the revolutionary process, destabilizing the country and provoking conditions for the destruction of our social system.”

    Also Thursday, associates of Farinas in Havana announced he would be willing to halt his hunger strike if the government holds a referendum asking Cubans whether island political prisoners should be freed.

    Cuban human rights leaders put the number of “prisoners of conscience” at about 200, while the government says it holds none. Authorities did not respond to the proposal, however, and those putting it forward said they were not optimistic it will lead to anything.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gSBS_3SHRkpifiw-TbkLDeyLq-gQD9EV1K481

  20. 64M. piñeiro losada

    Abril 8th, 2010 at 12:47
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Argument over????…. what argument silly thug????…. that all nations has the right to fight out tyrants????…..of course dummy…… all the world is with us in this……. no one can deny this right to us!!!!….. that’s why more than 40.000 world personalities has signed the condemn to castrofascism in the web site created for this meaning….. that’s why former supporters steps today aside and make a distance from castrofascism in repulse of the repression on Ladies in White and all other freedom fighters in Cuba…. no one is discussing that…. what we are discussing is just our right to fight and we will do it with the world support or without it.

  21. Pineiro,

    Your attempt to justify these prosecutions bears no resemblance to what actually happened. The trials were, as Amnesty International pointed out, collective, hasty and manifestly unfair. They used Law 88, a draconian response to Helms-Burton (two wrongs do no make a right). No diplomats or foreign press was allowed, and contrary to your assertions, the defendants were not allowed access to the charges ahead of time. The notion that you have to go journalism school to be an independent journalist is, of course, ludicrous. (I am a former journalist with a major publication, and I studied history, non journalism.) None of the accused had any position that could have jeopardized the security of Cuba. To you they are common criminals, but one can become a common criminal in Cuba by talking to Amnesty International. I don’t know where you stand on Amnesty, which is a manifestly independent organization. I don’t know where you stand on the Red Cross, either; the government of Cuba is the only one in the Americas that does not allow the Red Cross to visit its prisons.

  22. Hahahaha, Frank! Sigmund Fraud has snatched the rug right out from under you:

    He writes: Not only in Miami are NGOs trying to bring freedom and justice to Cuba…… in Spain also, in Sweden, in France, in Germany, in Czechoslovakia, Poland and many other countries….. the Cuban nation and the world is demanding and working for the end of the criminal regime of castro brothers….. to overthrow by any mean a criminal regime is a right of every nation in the world has.

    So, Frank, as you can see, it is openly admitted that the STATED GOALS OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS IS, AS SIGMUND FRAUD PUTS IT, “TO OVERTHROW BY ANY MEANS [THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT].”

    There you have it.

    Thus, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot openly admit that your goals are to illegally attempt to overthrow a government, and THEN complain when that government puts you in jail for it!

    HAHAHAHA.

    ARGUMENT OVER.

  23. Frank:

    I think you are just dense. You need something explained to you over and over again:

    Since when is a crime to receive money? Is this equal to be opposed to a government? How convenient that the Miami exile group was “un-named”!!. How you can accuse somebody in front of any respectable person or court just saying: “He or she is receiving money from an un-named group from Miami opposed to the government”.

    It is a crime to receive money from foreign agents whose stated purpose is to overthrow your government in EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

    There is no country on earth which does not punish that crime.

    Furthermore, to be more specific, it is a crime in Cuba AND Canada to collaborate with the Helms-Burton Act. It is a penal regulation in many other countries, such as Mexico.

    Do you get it yet?

  24. Rick:

    Since there is no due process and no system for appeals the summary judgments passed down by these party functionaries are noted as farces by Human Rights groups around the world.

    This is another flat-out lie. Regarding the arrests in 2003:

    On average, about 100 people per trial attended the hearings. Almost 3,000 people attended all of the hearings, mostly family members, witnesses and expert witnesses —hundreds of witnesses and expert witnesses— and on average about 100 people almost 3,000 at the 29 trials.

    The defence lawyers called 28 witnesses who had not been previously called by the prosecution, of whom 22, the overwhelming majority were authorized on the spot by the courts to act as witnesses.

    All of the defence lawyers had prior access to the list of charges. What happened to the defence lawyers of the five Cubans unjustly sentenced in Miami did not happen here, that still today, all this time after the trial, they have not been given access to 80% of the documents submitted by the prosecution because the U.S. government has declared them to be secret. That did not happen here.

    What happened to the five Cubans in Miami who were not able to read the charges against them in order to prepare their defence did not happen here. That did not happen nor did the defence lawyers have to argue their cases without having seen 80% of the prosecution’s charges. That was not the case here.

    Neither have any of those defendants in Cuba been put into solitary confinement to prevent them from preparing for the trial.

    All have the right, and they were notified of this during the trial, to appeal their sentences in a court higher than the one, which handed down their sentences, in this case to the Supreme Court. This is a right they have which the Cuban law respects scrupulously. Ed. Note: The US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of the Cuban Five.

    Of the 37 defendants who have claimed for years to be “independent journalists”, while doing their work as agents of the United States government in Cuba, only four actually studied journalism and were journalists at some time in their lives. Is that clear? Four out of 37.

    They have applied Article 91 of the Cuban Penal Code, Law 62 of 1987, which came, in turn, from the Spanish Penal Code. This article has been a part of the Cuban penal law since Cuba was a colony of Spain, and it is almost exactly repeated in the U.S. Penal Code. It provides that: “Actions against the independence or territorial integrity of the State. He who executes an action in the interest of a foreign state with the purpose of harming the independence of the Cuban state or the integrity of its territory shall incur a sentence of 10 to 20 years of deprivation of liberty or death.”

    It was taken from the Cuban Social Defense Code of 1936, which in turn came from the Spanish legislation.

    Cuba was not the only state that proclaimed that it was a crime in its territory to collaborate with the Helms-Burton Act, or to obey it. Canada made it a law. In Canada it is a crime to collaborate or comply with the Helms-Burton Act. The European Union adopted a regulation, and in other countries, in Mexico, in Argentina, laws were passed that make collaboration or compliance with the Helms-Burton Act a punishable crime. It is a crime in these countries to comply with the Helms-Burton Act, as a result of these antidote laws, which are measures of legitimate defense from the extraterritorial nature of the Act. How could we possibly not have a law to protect ourselves from it? And this law has been invoked.

    I have here the articles of Law No. 88 on the Protection of National Independence and the Economy:

    Article 5.1. “He who seeks out information to be used in the application of the Helms-Burton Act, the blockade and the economic war against our people, aimed at disrupting internal order, destabilizing the country and liquidating the socialist state and the independence of Cuba, shall incur a sanction of deprivation of liberty.

    Article 6.1. “He who gathers, reproduces, disseminates subversive material from the government of the United States of America, its agencies, representative bodies, officials or any foreign entity to support the objectives of the Helms-Burton Act, the blockade and the war, shall incur…”

    http://www.granma.cu/documento/ingles03/012.html

  25. MIAMI HERALD: Castro & Co. deaf to Cubans’ frustration
    BY MARIFELI PEREZ-STABLE

    Things aren’t going well for Havana, and the regime simply doesn’t get it.
    On Sunday, Raúl Castro said: “Today, more than ever before, the economic battle is the main task.” Yes, the economy is a battle but only because the regime stubbornly refuses to take the market by its horns. Yes, state enterprises need to shed up to a million people from their payrolls, but the regime balks at legalizing the small-business sector. Yes, the state is paternalistic and agriculture woefully unproductive, but who’s to blame if not those in power for far too long?

    Since early March, Havana has been swirling with rumors about a corruption scandal. A top general with a long revolutionary pedigree and a veteran Chilean businessman with close ties to Fidel Castro are involved. Authorities in Cubana Airlines, the airport, customs, the Transportation Ministry and travel agencies were using the airline’s planes to move passengers off the books. Could a stealth privatization be in progress among old revolutionaries?

    But it’s in the international arena that the regime is facing its direst straits. Cuban hunger strikers — Orlando Zapata, first and foremost — have put Havana in check. Cuban leaders see only a vast conspiracy in the worldwide outcry after Zapata’s death. Now Guillermo Fariñas, Darsi Ferrer and Franklin Pelegrino are on hunger strikes, asking that two dozen political prisoners in ill health be released.

    On Sunday, Castro also said: “We will never yield to blackmail from any country or group of countries, no matter how powerful they might be, and regardless of the consequences.” He’s painting himself into a corner when all he has to do is look at the regime’s own past to find a solution.

    In 1968, Comandante Fidel fired the interior minister and hired another trusted revolutionary. The new minister improved prison conditions, opened talks with political prisoners and established a plan to release them. Cuba’s attorney general has recently been replaced and, thus, the regime could avail itself of the opportunity to defuse the current crisis.

    Why is the release of two dozen political prisoners for humanitarian reasons such an affront to the regime’s “principles” when 3,600 were freed in the late 1970s? The leadership then felt secure and thought the Cold War would last forever. Washington and Havana were on the mend which gave the regime cover for the prisoner release.

    The regime today is confronting a restless society, especially among the young who have known only hardship and leaders who live in the past. In 2005, the elder Castro warned that the revolution could only be defeated from within (I agree). Only his recommendations — uphold correct ideas, banish markets, never make concessions — are a recipe for disaster. Maybe Raúl and others of his generation know it but can’t bring themselves to defy the Comandante.

    In any case, the still-unfolding corruption scandal confirms that some elite sectors are also restless. Second- and third-tier government officials are likely pulling their hair at such intransigence when it would be so easy to end the international outcry. Just release the prisoners!

    Interviewed by the Argentine newspaper Página 12, singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez said: “We have to overcome the logic of the Cold War. I wouldn’t care if they said we freed them under pressure. We have to change the old logic: We can’t be prisoners of our own past forever.” But, overcoming the Cold War mindset means opening the economy, listening to new ideas and reaching compromises. There’s no squaring the circle.

    Perhaps the main difference between the late 1970s and today is that the demand now is coming from within Cuba. It’s not just that the hunger strikers are calling for the prisoner release but that many in the government are asking why such a big deal over releasing them. Wouldn’t their release help Spain make the argument against the Common Position in the European Union?

    That’s a slippery slope, I can hear Fidel, Raúl and the other gerontocrats say. What’s next, allowing the Red Cross to visit Cuban prisons? Signing an EU cooperation agreement with a democracy clause? Engaging the United States? Legalizing the small-business sector? Publishing Silvio’s interview in Juventud Rebelde?

    Why yes!

    Marifeli Pérez-Stable is a professor at Florida International University and senior non-resident fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/08/1568510/castro-co-deaf-to-cubans-frustration.html

  26. another one of those slips named after Siggy…

    year 2004

    from “father himself”

    -” … educating is to transfrom a little animal into a person.
    If we do not come to be human beings in the profoundest sense of the word, our species cannot survive.
    Your task, and I think of you as you and us, is devoted to attaining those objectives with all our forces.
    That proposition defines the meaning of our battle of Ideas and explains our tremendous efforts to creat a general integral culture in our people, as something that no human community can do without …”-
    So …
    I guess there are a lot of people whom are not “human beings” in this world …
    I guess this battle will save us from being animals …
    Also … erhaps there are no communities … unless they … “have” ?

  27. 58Armando J. Suarez

    Abril 8th, 2010 at 09:40
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thanks for the actualization…… one crime more or less do not affect the “wonderful” criminal and terrorist record of castro brothers.
    Regards

  28. Mr Freud. Let me start saying that I am in complete agreement on must of what you said in your commentaries, but I want to correct you in something, Fidel Castro was not involved in the kidnapping of Juan Manuel Fangio. A group of members of the July 26 group were responsible for that deed and many of them died later on or abandoned the movement. Let’s continue our work of denouncing the Cstro regimen.

  29. 52Albert (another silent voice)

    Abril 8th, 2010 at 03:59
    In the picture:
    I have been wondering why the person w/the red short pants stopped walking?
    Everyone else is moving, in front is the “army” followed by the “police” then is …
    I wonder if that is the dissident?
    Siggy:
    perhaps this is one of those slips they put your name to it?
    Regardless … in one hand the youth of cuba is asked to “work harder & sacrifice more”
    At the same time … they grew up depending on the black market & learning how to “work the system or get around it”
    In this fashion, the rebolution has “created” the perfect new man, one that knows how to cheat while observing the contradictions of his society.
    One that learned how to lie in order to survive while observing the contradictions beteen his life & the ones of visitors or people from other countries.
    One that learned that the end justifies the means in order to avoid repression while realizing the existence of the free flow of thought & speech he/she does not enjoy …
    Yes, che’s (”el chancho”) dream is alive & well … educate, indoctrinate, perpetuate the dream … but at the end, no matter what, freedom will prevail …
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Good observation Albert….. I think the standing person with red short pants represents the youth (short pants)…… castrofascism in the first times could rise a great enthusiasm among the Cubans. After the initial enthusiasm passed regime had to use repression, poverty and terror in order to maintain the status. Since then Cuban people has been immobile…. I like to say that Cuban people is crouched, awaiting the arrival of optimums conditions for release all its potency and smash the regime in a big and sudden charge. This picture is very interesting… you can see that after the youth the people start walking again but now with other colors…. the army and the police are no more…. I like it!!!!
    I have a great confidence in Cubans, I do not share the appreciation of certain people about the “fatal” education Cubans had under castrofascism caused the demoralization of the Cubans…. I am convinced that under adequate social and economical conditions the Cuban people will start to work as they does outside Cuba and they will create a rich and justice full country in very short time….. I have seen it every time regime tested to relax the economical limitations that ties Cubans hands to produce richness. Each time it happened the reaction was fabulous and the people started to produce richness at impressive rhythm. So big was the people reaction and so quickly the richness creation that regime got full of panic seeing the situation run out of control and they losing power at tremendous track. I have seen also this transformation when Cubans get out the island and becomes exceptional richness producers.

  30. 38M. piñeiro losada

    Abril 7th, 2010 at 20:17
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The old and sick tyrant today is dying started it criminal life working as racketeer for corrupts politicians in Havana 1945. In 1954 assaulted a police quarter by surprise and without previus war declaration killing many innocents young guards and risking the live of the participants in this action that were recruited by castro among the youngsters and inexpert sons of a country town long away of the crime site, most of those “assaulters” was less than 17 years old and had no idea about what they would do….. castro, unexplainable, got lost in the city he was risen (!!) and never arrived to the assault. How can we catalogue this episode: a crime??…. terrorism???…. infantile abuse???…. all together???
    castro kidnapped using extremely force the Argentinean car racer Fangio, castro implemented a terror bombing of all public sites of Cuba’s principal cities as part of his “fight”…. in this plan includes the so called “Night of the thousand bombs” where all cinemas, cabarets and other publics sites of Cuba where attacked with bombs in order of create terror among the people…… terrorism???? …. of course.
    castro implemented a terror wave along the countryside his guerrilla acted, killing all farmers and peasants that not collaborated with him. 2 years after started his guerrilla the only casualties of this “war” were around a hundred of assassinated peasants and farmers…. terrorism????/….. crime????….. both!!!!
    Shall I continue???

  31. 46M. piñeiro losada
    Abril 7th, 2010 at 23:18

    There are NGOs in Miami with the stated aim of overthrowing the Cuban government, there are terrorist groups with the stated aim of overthrowing the Cuban government
    and the US government itself has openly declared its intention of violating international law by materially supporting “regime change” in Cuba.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Not only in Miami are NGOs trying to bring freedom and justice to Cuba…… in Spain also, in Sweden, in France, in Germany, in Czechoslovakia, Poland and many other countries….. the Cuban nation and the world is demanding and working for the end of the criminal regime of castro brothers….. to overthrow by any mean a criminal regime is a right of every nation in the world has.
    Not only the US gov. has declared its support to change the criminal regime but the whole world…. even the hereditary dictator (raul) has recognized this phenomenon when he said “it was a complot of USA, EU and other countries”….. every country and it gov. has the right to fight tyrannical and criminals regimes that kills and repress in order of maintain the people as slaves of international capital and a reduced elite.

  32. 46M. piñeiro losada

    Abril 7th, 2010 at 23:18
    Hahahaha… “giving away toys”… why don’t we keep reading down the page, no? Amnesty International believes Victor Arroyo’s conviction was motivated by his work for the independent press agency Unión de Periodistas y Escritores Cubanos Independientes (UPECI), Union of Cuban Independent Journalists and Writers, and his links with Miami exile groups opposed to the government.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The ridiculous efforts of castrofascism to separate the Cuban nation in 2 groups : the emigration and the incarcerated inside the island and present both groups as different nation are seen by international observers as very suspicious and everyone understand this efforts are aimed to show the fight on castrofascism of the Cuban people in and out Cuba as the attack of a foreign nation. Of course, when the world see castrofascism to kill a hunger striker see the crime in same way that when it see the regime to kill 4 rafters rescuers…. it see those crimes as murders of Cubans by the fascist regime.

  33. From one of Yoani’s tweets
    “Llego carta de la Aduana explicando por que confiscaron mi libro Cuba Libre: “contenido que atenta contra intereses generales de la Nacion”

    Customs letter arrived explaining why they confiscate the book “Cuba Libre:
    “Content attends against the general interest of the Nation”

    Here again we can see the confusion between Castro’s power and nation!

    Castro is not Cuba is not the nation unless
    as one of the French kings used to say
    He is the nation and he is Cuba.
    le etat cest moi

    Absolutism!

    The right response should have been

    Content attends against the absolute rule of the Cuban Nation by Castro.

    and that statement is not even true.
    How does reading a book will attempt against them?

    Why this monopoly on information?

    can reading a book like Yoani’s will move the Cuban people to do something?

    It shows the fear they have of the truth about their regime.

  34. In the picture:
    I have been wondering why the person w/the red short pants stopped walking?
    Everyone else is moving, in front is the “army” followed by the “police” then is …
    I wonder if that is the dissident?
    Siggy:
    perhaps this is one of those slips they put your name to it?
    Regardless … in one hand the youth of cuba is asked to “work harder & sacrifice more”
    At the same time … they grew up depending on the black market & learning how to “work the system or get around it”
    In this fashion, the rebolution has “created” the perfect new man, one that knows how to cheat while observing the contradictions of his society.
    One that learned how to lie in order to survive while observing the contradictions beteen his life & the ones of visitors or people from other countries.
    One that learned that the end justifies the means in order to avoid repression while realizing the existence of the free flow of thought & speech he/she does not enjoy …
    Yes, che’s (“el chancho”) dream is alive & well … educate, indoctrinate, perpetuate the dream … but at the end, no matter what, freedom will prevail …

  35. My tea party friend:(#46)

    Sorry,just another notation. I think will be good and smart to explain the direct connections between Las Damas de Blanco y HAMAS, or between Yoani’s blog and HAMAS as well. I think this will be the next task for your comments. Again, are you naive or just evil??

  36. “Oops! What was that last part? He was receiving funds from un-named Miami exile groups “opposed to the government.”(#46)

    My dear Tea party friend:

    Since when is a crime to receive money? Is this equal to be opposed to a government? How convenient that the Miami exile group was “un-named”!!. How you can accuse somebody in front of any respectable person or court just saying: “He or she is receiving money from an un-named group from Miami opposed to the government”. Think, my friend (really hard),If you donate money to your “tea party” group that “opposed the government” of the USA, what we should do? Sent you to jail just because….My friend, you don’t make sense. Again, are you naive or just evil?

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