Twitter: That Wild Beast

Last night I was visited by a friend who lives in Las Villas who, to reach the capital, must overcome the transportation problems as well as the circle of vigilance that surrounds him. He told me that a few weeks ago he was detained and they confiscated his mobile phone for a couple of hours, until an officer appeared, annoyed, with the small Nokia in his hands. “Now you’re in trouble,” said the State Security officer holding him at the station, over and over. The reason for such alarm was that his phone’s address book included an entry for Twitter, accompanied by a number in the UK.*

“No one can save you from fifteen years,” threatened the officer, while asserting that sending an SMS to someone with such a strange name who lived so far away was a crime of enormous proportions. He didn’t know that our tweets travel to cyberspace through the rough sending of text-only messages by way of cellphones. Nor could he imagine that instead of ending up in the hands of a member of the British intelligence services, our brief texts go to this blue bird that makes them fly through cyberspace. It is true that we broadcast blindly and that we cannot read our readers’ replies or references, but at least we are reporting on the Island in 140 character fragments.

Always thinking in terms of conspiracies, agents and plots, they haven’t noticed that the technologies have turned every citizen into his or her own mass media. It is no longer foreign correspondents who validate a given story in the eyes of the world, but rather, increasingly, it is our own forays on Twitter that are turned into informative references. My friend recounted it in his own way, “Yoani, when we were coming to Havana we had a big operation behind us. I drafted a text message in advance to alert people if they stopped us.” Maybe it was the brightness of the Nokia display or the conviction that something new would intervene between pursued and pursuer that stopped them from putting him in a patrol car. If they had intercepted him, a brief click of a key would have sent his shout across the Web, telling what the international press would have taken hours to find out.

As I saw him off at the door he had his cellphone in his hand, like a dimly lit lantern. In the folder marked “drafts” an already prepared text would protect him from the shadows that awaited him below.

* Among the services offered by Twitter, is the ability to post via SMS for those who do not have Internet access. Everything is done through a service number for sending messages that will appear immediately on the user’s account.

79 thoughts on “Twitter: That Wild Beast

  1. Post 78, as always, when losing an argument, hit them from the party line…

    So you always return to being insulted and a victim, and a self-righteous, “morally” clean sufferer of some invisible torture.

    In the meantime, you keep losing the arguments.

    And you are right, your comments are of no value. I talk about the OBVIOUS contradiction in your one party/one system philosophy, you talk about your innocence.

    I talk about the DESIGNER jeans and glasses, you talk about being insulted.

    The truth hurts. Nothing to do with me or my “ideology”. You are simply on the wrong side and you are not even the person to debate that point of view. Your own views are clouded with your religious fervour for your own ideology which excludes even a possibility of any co-existence with other competing ideas. You simply throw an argument and demand it be accepted as the only truth. How do you want to debate on arguments only, then…?

    By doing so, you are doing my job simple: I do not even have to try and prove anything. You do that all on your own by avoiding the arguments I present, by labeling anyone not accepting your “ideology” with your monotonous insults, and crying like a baby when nothing works for you.

    You make so many mistakes in your own posts, it is funny. I simply highlight them.

    The same goes for Yoani. There are so many inconsistent claims, her “blogging” she herself is turning into a cheap posturing and fake “fight for democracy”. People who fall for that are useless to anyone who would want to see Castros gone. And I am among the first to wish that for the Cubans.

    One thing is to want the usurpers gone, another entirely to want to change the whole system to suit your own failed ideas about what is good for Cuban people.

    THAT is what you Miami “thugs” (common mafia and a bunch of losers in my eyes) do not seem to understand.

    I guess, paranoia and schizofrenia are rampant among the conservatives who want a “democracy” where anything is ok, as long as it is approved by them. Anyone who dares to differ is a “commie”.

    How are you locos different from Castros really? I am failing to see any difference.

  2. I thought my coments are of no value & of no consequence … that as a nobody, no one listens to me …
    Why then contradict yourself (in all your incarnations) & waste your “superiour” valuable time?
    Humor aside … prove my political hate, I challange you.
    That will keep you entretained for a while, attemting to twist, quote out of context or down right put words as mine.
    If you have the time … read your own coment: who is “picking” ” spending time in personal cyberbulling type of attacks while ignoring or attempting to deflect attention to the real subject …
    Which brings me to the next statement:

    The world reads these coments, do you think you’ll convince the world to embrace your ideology & support the regime you represent when the world sees your behaviour, your arrogant & intolerant attitude as well as your facility for rage & abuse?
    Do you really think the world would accept an arrogant & abusive one like you?
    Let alone a group of people like you to be their leader & guide?
    Do you think yourself the epitome of the “new man”? product of the rebolution?
    Reflect … control your anger … grow up.

  3. Albertus, post 63…no one is talking about the “aviator” glasses. We are talking about the DESIGNER glasses. Treu, any fool can have aviator glasses. Imitations are made in the millions in CHina, but DESIGNER glasses are EXPENSIVE. So are DESIGNER jeans!

    DO you UNDERSTAND the difference?

    What a silly question…Of course you do not. Let me help you with that: for DESIGNER glasses and jeans, one needs MONEY. You claim they are poor. And we have a contradiction. Poor people in DESIGNER jeans and glasses.

    You can spit and spew at Cuba all you want, you do not have the case. In fact you have no idea how is in Cuba really. And your own political hatred is blinding you to the realities of the island. Yo only nitpick what “confirms” your point of view. Just as Yoani, the most confused person in Cuba.

    Simple as that.

  4. Censored you ??
    I guess that’s an entitlement you’ll defend … only if & when it happens to you.
    Since it happens to others … its their problem right?

  5. 73Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 8th, 2010 at 23:25

    Still I am right …. you have nothing to say….

  6. 70Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 7th, 2010 at 15:47

    It is evident you are complete defeated….. you have nothing to write but scrap!!!!

  7. 68Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 7th, 2010 at 00:03

    Oh yes, it is easy to understand those that worship richness because is needed to create it in order to create welfare….. what is hard to understand why do you worships the blood spiller and poverty creator castrofascism???

  8. But Yoani is praised if she censors my opinion. Well, many have to be grateful for the blog that allows them to pretend to be suffering in Cuba, from Miami!

  9. Preferences are an individual choice.
    That’s part of freedom of thought & choice.
    The way you come accross … to qualify other person’s beliefs in such a way is a subtle but nevertheless disrespectful put down of another person’s opinion …

  10. Freud,
    I respect your right to worship the dollar sign as her writings do, and make it the end-all of life, as her novels do.

  11. 66Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 6th, 2010 at 10:17
    Depends, would you prefer a planet filled with people who think like Ayn Rand or one devoid of such concepts?

    I prefer Any Rand thousands times before castro…… she has not killed no one…… castro has killed tens of thousands, among them more than 100 children.

  12. Depends, would you prefer a planet filled with people who think like Ayn Rand or one devoid of such concepts?

  13. I confess … I am at loss to think of it as a cumpliment or not … like Galt or Willers … or a combo of both?

  14. Tragically even the trash pickers of Yedda have mobiles, aviator glasses & boom boxes … having those do not hide or deny their poverty.
    The same can be said of Cuba & her buzos …
    Having designer jeans & aviator glasses means they were available to be purchased, that’s all.
    It does not comment on how, with what & where they were purchased …
    The most commun mistake of people who is ignorant about poverty judges it by appearances … like clothing.
    Even the kind hearted relief worker takes years to understand poverty …

  15. so …go ahead & answer:
    is #57 your vision of the future or a threat to the US?

    Damir, your incessant posting does nothing to change the facts …
    See, your pointless hatred is just not hitting the nail. I can only imagine how much that must hurt, yet you keep on hitting …

    Thenks for thew cumpliment !

  16. Alberto, your incessant posting does nothing to change teh facts. Here’s what capitalist media, who love nothing else but to trash Cuba, says about the :hard: situation: youth in DESIGNER jeans and sunglasses… everyone has a mobile…
    See, your pointless hatred is just not hitting the nail. I can only imagine how much that must hurt, yet you keep hitting…


  17. By the way … what is that about -“There will be a lot of trouble in the US soon enough …”- ?
    Is that a “vision into the future, a warning or a threat to the US?

  18. … spin, twist & misdirect … add verbal abuse & you get? intransigent & arrogance.
    Way to go advocates & representatives in your efforts to “win the hearts & minds” of the people.
    Your statements are permanent … perhaps you should reconsider been a contributor to a site that “rants” I don’t wish you to be unconfortable on any way …

  19. How did we get from the wild beast to prostitution?
    I can see that once again quickness in judgement clouds it …
    Prostitution in this case the sale of sexual favors is as indicated here not just for the money but for the sport … w/a profit regardless.
    Just about every country has the “prostitution problem” becasue of many reasons (i find it har to believe the one about enjoyment).
    More than most are economic regardless who gets benefited but I think the point gets missed, prostitution in Cuba as mentioned in the blogg is not construded as the consecuence of cuban policy but as necesity, justified or not.
    The idea of the blogg is the interconnection of issues, not isolated but a part of the reality of Cuba.
    Of course … taken individualy some will stand on their own some will like “prostitution” lends itself to misinterpretation (to ge kind) & spin.
    Like all perceptions what constitutes winning o some is information to others …
    Again. quickness of judgement obscures it … special when “minds are already predisposed to negative judgement”

  20. Humberto, post 49, four times and you had spent $30 000 taking the family around…? On what did you spend all THAT money? According to you there’s NOTHING in Cuba. No nice hotels, no noce restaurants, no nice shops, no nice transport. no nice nada. So, how did you manage to splash all that money travelling around the isla on cheap autobuses? Do yo see how silly you conservative whinners are? You just talk stuff even you do not understand and expect the people to just jump on and ride with this nonsense!!!

    I agree with the fact that the brothers are the disaster for the economy. No dispute about that. But to rant like you and this “Yoani” franchise, and think that you can get away with it, that is plain deranged.

    That is why there are many of us here who are telling you that Cuba and its’ people are better off without people like you. Why?

    Because you are just as inept and probably much worse, than the two brothers there. And they did stuff up the socialism completely. It could have been paradise even with the embargo. In fact it was an opportunity to flourish, but they didn’t see it. But you Florida rattlers are even worse. I suggest you people stay there, foreget about Cuba and live your own destinies where you are. There will be a lot of trouble in the usa soon enough for you to be relevant any more anyway. Read this. Hopefully it will happen even if not this or the next year. Soon is good enough:

  21. The silence on what JohnTheOne said in post 24 is telling. I go often to read it. No amount of this anti-castro propaganda and angry crying can hide the fact that “Yoani” team have stuffed it up and big time. Just as the post today about the prostitution. What does prostitution prove? Only one thing: that the freedom is a lot greater than what the team wants you to believe. I live in Australia and the prostitution here is the third greatest industry after the mining and gambling. It is bigger than the real estate. And if you know anything about this country, you will have heard that Australia did not have the usanian crisis. Here the RE goes hard and strong. Yet, the prostitution is bigger. By far bigger. So, what is you point really? If anything, these people are doing something illegal. Prostitution is illegal in Cuba. Just as it is illegal in many other countries in the world.

    Those who are involved in it are either forced b someone into it or are doing it for their own pleasure. In Cuba there are few, if any, who are forced by someone else into prostitution. So the rest is basically doing it for their own pleasure, and a few side benefits.

    “Yoani” team has now lost any credibility they may have created among the misinformed or conservatives. Complaining about prostitution as a consequence of the government is, always has and always will be, a stupid argument. The prostitution is even in Australia “outlawed”, but quietly encouraged by the governments, both local and federal. In that they are no better than the two inept presidents that the brothers are. ANd many foreign tourists come just for that. Sydney has 30% of male population on the gay side, and there the prostitution is rampant, particularly in February when they parade through the city, ending up the parade with the Sleaze Ball, essentially drugs and alcohol-fuelled gay orgies on the huge stadium.

    Really, what is your point here “Yoani”? Is it just the anger that you had missed on the “pioneer of the month” award on so many occasions that you are now vengeful and bitter? Or, that failure in the university that you still blame the professors who are “connected” with the CPC commisaire? Or the fact that you have no other talents but to constantly complain about everything and anything?

    JohnTheOne unmasked this sharade of the site very well. And demonstrated naivety and sometimes plain stupidity of those who are trying to pump up some wind into the sails of this pathetic little whinners balsa somewhere in the slums of Miami who were just as losers in Havana or Cienfuegos as they are now in the usa.

  22. Two years ago Raul Castro approved the ownership of cell phones by the Cuban people, offering access by the state run company ETECSA. The number of cell phones in Cuba is still very low. At the end of March, 2010, less than 7% of the population had access to cell phones.

    A year ago President Obama approved the operation of US telecom companies in Cuba, allowing the establishment of fiber-optic and satellite links between the United States and Cuba, and also allow cell phones, computers and satellite receivers to be sent to Cuba.

    The most basic cell phone cost $50 in Cuba. Cell phones activation charge is $60; outgoing and incoming local calls cost an average of $0.40 per minute, and $2.70 a minute for calls made to the US. To send text messages cost each $0.20 within Cuba and $1.00 to send abroad. Texting is more popular because is cheaper. This is very expensive for Cubans which an average monthly salary of $20.

    Cubans with relatives abroad get old cell phones from them; other by used ones in the black market. There is a nonprofit organization, Roots of Hope, which collect used and new cell phones and send them to the youth in Cuba free of charge, to facilitate contact with each other through text messages, reserving phone calls for special cases or emergencies.

  23. 52juan

    Abril 25th, 2010 at 20:52
    “detirriorating”…. an architect that can’t write in english? How irritating for you.

    It has become typical for cyberthugs in Spanish and English site to use the ridiculous orthography thing when they run out of arguments…… How inept of you…… you know it can cost your monthly reward???…… you will be no the first that is taken out of the “position” by your superiors of the cyber brigade….

  24. 50juan

    Abril 25th, 2010 at 04:38

    Certainly those Cubans that you hate so much can afford to buy those gold super chains but can afford too to maintain around 3 millions Cubans in the island!!!!

  25. “detirriorating”…. an architect that can’t write in english? How irritating for you.

  26. Juan, Juan, Juan!

    My father died in 1962 in Cuba from stomach cancer, I know who he was! Just like a TYPICAL “REVOLUTIONARY RAT”, insulting people and their family when they are up against a corner without a good response! And by the way, I love Cuba but cannot stand to see it BROKEN MORALY, SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY! Im an architect and those detirriorating buildings partly due to the neglect of the “LA CHINA” & “THE MUMMY” make me ill!

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