Rosa Díez’s iPhone

A few days ago, the Internet once again gave me a couple of pleasant surprises. I was in the middle of the process to try to travel out of Cuba when my phone rang and a voice with a Madrid accent asked if we could plan to meet. I didn’t know who the man was because the noise of a passing truck kept me from hearing him when he introduced himself. But I confirmed that at 4:30 there would be coffee waiting for him and his friends on the 14th floor of this mass of concrete. Half an hour later I received a text message from a commentator on Generation Y, telling me that the digital forums had already published news of Rosa Díez’s visit to my house. So I was able to complete the puzzle of who had just made that unintelligible call and pointed out to Reinaldo, with amusement, “Our real life is running a few hours late with respect to our virtual existence.”

Finally, the prediction that appeared on the web came true, and the spokeswoman for the Spanish political party, the Progressive and Democratic Union, knocked on my door. We talked like old acquaintances, like people who have retraced their steps and met at a bend in the road to share stories of the stones, the hollows, the sunsets. We exchanged energy because, believe me, this slight woman exudes an enthusiasm I’ve only seen in the very young. The principle subject was Cuba, this Island where there is physical space for everyone, but which they would like to convert into an exclusive space for those who embrace an ideology. I told her about my apprehensions, but there was also time to detail my hopes and to enumerate the positive forecasts. She, for her part, listened to us without proselytizing.

Before leaving, Rosa took her iPhone and in the browser wrote the URL for the Progressive and Democratic Union. On the brilliant screen appeared a modern site, highlighted in magenta, that is updated almost daily. Between the walls of this house, that had heard dozens of Cubans talk of the Internet as if it were a mythical and difficult to reach place, this little technological gadget gave us a piece of cyberspace. We, who throughout the Blogger Academy, work on a local server that simulates the web, were suddenly able to feel the kilobytes run across the palms of our hands. I had the desperate desire to grab Rosa Díez’s iPhone and run off with it to hide in my room and surf all the sites blocked on the national networks. For a second, I wanted to keep it so I could enter my own blog, which is still censored in the hotels and cybercafés. But I returned it, a bit disconsolate I confess.

For a while on that Monday, the little flag on the door of my apartment asking for “Internet for Everyone” did not seem so unrealistic. A tireless little weaver-spider called Rosa had shown us the most slender strand of the great World Wide Web.


84 thoughts on “Rosa Díez’s iPhone

  1. Crimes against humanity … funny you mentioned that …
    How about the summary executions in the Sierra Maestra … I don’t remember anyone having the power to elect or nominate a judge & jury for the enforcement/execution of the law … unless the point of a gun is the face of justice?
    How about La Cabana w/che at the behest of fidel?
    How about all the summary executions, without due process?
    How about all the incarcerations, how about all the “desaparecidos” of the last 50 odd years?
    How about the thousands incarecerated w/the justification of self serving laws protecting the regime’s stay in power?
    Perhaps you should read this:

    -“Socialist ideology like so many others has to main dangers. One stems from the confused and incomplete readings of foreign texts and the other from THE ARROGANCE AND HIDDEN RAGE OF THOSE WHO, IN ORDER TO CLIMB UP ON THE WORLD, PRETEND TO BE FRANTIC DEFENDERS OF THE HELPLESS SO AS TO HAVE SHOULDERS ON WHICH TO STAND”-
    by: Jose Marti.

  2. Sigmund – the rats are those who fled Cuba to avoid justice for crimes against humanity, and now want people in Cuba to starve, turn on each other in desperation, so that they can demand that the US bomb Cuba and send US soldiers die there; so that they could return get power.
    !!!Se van a quedar con las ganas!!!
    The rats are also those mercenaries exploiting real problems for personal financial gain.

  3. Castrofascists rats are making crisis in this blog…….. no arguments, no proves, nothing to back their hard to understand support to Cuba’s criminal regime….. only stupidity, offenses and recurrent personal confrontation….. meanwhile the whole world is signing condemns letters against castrofascism crimes and asking for democracy and freedom for Cubans…….. lets leave the cyber thugs swimming in their incapacity and retrograde thinking, we have better things to write then engage in theirs stupid personal confrontation…….. lets write things like the following that can be useful for readers to understand the criminal nature of castrofascism:

    The following is my answer to a castrofascism supporter that used to comment in other blog. This person is Mr. MacAuliff, president of an organization of yankee businessmen that are very interested in “commercing” with castrofascism….. after I posted this comment Mr. McAuliff decided not to participate no longer in debates with me and the justification was: “It is hard to debate with ideologers”….!!!!!!!

    I am very happy at you have decided to debate my comment….. The most castro defenders never dare to debate because ……. Well because this:
    You posted a link that guide us to…..” a reasonable place to examine the nature of rural society in Cuba pre 1959”…… well despite this link only illustrate the nature of the rural society in Cuba pre 1959 and we all know that Cuba pre 1959 was a non rural society but a semi industrial one with the most of the population living in cities, I will gladly use your link because in it we can find proves of what I said in my last comment….. Here is your link.
    And here is what I found in your link.
    “Cuban purchases from U.S. firms amounted to $4.319 million in 2001, $138.635 million in 2002, and $256.9 million in 2003. Cuba became the 35th most important food and agricultural export market for the United States in 2003, up from last (226th) in 2000. Actual purchases and pending contracts in the first-half of 2004 are at a pace to move Cuba into the top 20 most important markets of U.S. food and agricultural exports. Furthermore, because current U.S. legislation requires that all Cuban purchases from the United States must be conducted on a cash basis, the lack of credit risk associated with these sales makes Cuba one of the most attractive export markets for U.S. firms.”

    After that I hope you will never mention the fictitious “blockade” the leftist media always is talking about. After that we can agree the embargo does not exist!!!!

    Sorry, I will need to use another post to continue debating yours.

    I found in your link the following:
    “The 1946 Cuban agricultural census showed great disparities in family income distribution by farm size. There were 62,500 families with land holdings from 1 to 10 hectares and a monthly income of 37.54 pesos. The 147,189 families with holdings from 10 to 100 hectares averaged 69.86 pesos per month in income. The group with farm holdings above 1,000 hectares contained only 894 families with an average monthly income of 3,313.69 pesos (Valdés Paz, p. 32). It is obvious that the status of agricultural workers was not any better. As a matter of fact, according to the ACU study, the average monthly income of agricultural workers in 1956-1957 was 45.72 pesos (Gastón et al., 1957, p. 60).”

    This paragraph shows the huge difference between salaries before castro and after castro. Before castro the rate exchange between pesos and dollar was 1 to 1…. Today is 1 to 28 !!!!!!!!
    Assuming salaries have no changed since this time until today we can easily calculate that the family with a monthly income of 37.54 before castro got at this time 37.54 dollars but get today 1.34 dollar, the family that got 69.86 get today 2.45…… and stop, because today we can’t find farmers in Cuba with more than 20 hectares!!!!!……. But even this disparity is not real because the average monthly salary in Cuba today is 22.33 dollars. So, those farmers in Cuba before 1959 that this study analyzes had a very good life compared with today farmers. First because they earned much more money then today and second because the inflation rate was much lower then ….. 1.8% then…. 28% today!!!!!
    So, we can definitively asume that 1957 farmers were rich compared with todays farmers….. according to your own statistics!!!!!

  4. Post 79 and 80, you still do not understand…Explaining things to you is like trying to tear a brick wall down with a toothbrush.

    I need to learn not to expect quality from someone who writes re B olution and insults those who do not share his silly and petty opinion…

    Must be hard being an immigrant, eh? Your new country hates you, your old doesn’t want you back. A lot of anger must be brewing inside in vain because there’s no force to convert it into something fruitful.

  5. =#77
    The proof that the “end justifies the means”, the power of negotiation & blindness of the law all in one coment.

  6. I am glad it amuses you … rather than “idle hands … devil’s workshop”.
    It “seems” what I say does the same to you … & that amuses me.
    thank you.

  7. A good example of what I was saying earlier. It’s all about the law. ABN violated the law. Iy may be a draconian law, or it may be a good law, but whichever it is, it is still a law. And one has to respect the laws. If a law is a bad one, then people have to change it.

    Sometimes it is hard to make changes when you have idiots in the executive, but where is a will, there is a way.

    And in case of Cuba the decision to keep or change laws of their country is only theirs. One good thing Yoani is doing, is that she is a peaceful protester (for now). She is also a confused person, whose real intentions are completely obscured, which tells me a lot about her beyond that confusion, but I only judge her statements here. And those are quite confused at times.

    (And post 76, albert, you make JohnTheOne like real Sigmund Freud. Her reads through you and makes you run in circles. Whatever you keep writing, you are just proving him right more and more. Your double standards are long well known. Now you are just shooting straight into your feet. And it is quite amusing.)

  8. Associated Press:
    Bank agrees to forfeit $500 million to US
    By PETE YOST (AP) – 3 days ago

    WASHINGTON — A bank formerly known as ABN Amro Bank N.V. agreed on Monday to pay the government $500 million for facilitating the movement of illegal funds through the U.S. financial system, the Justice Department announced.

    The bank, now named the Royal Bank of Scotland N.V., helped the countries of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Cuba and banks in those nations evade U.S. laws, according to papers filed in the case. All four foreign countries were under U.S. economic sanctions for supporting international terror.

    Court papers say some of ABN Amro’s offices systematically circumvented economic sanctions by advising banks in the sanctioned countries how to evade filters at financial institutions in the United States.

    ABN Amro was charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and one count of failing to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program. The conspiracy count alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act.

    The Justice Department says ABN Amro will be under a deferred prosecution agreement. The U.S. government will recommend dismissal of the charges against the bank in one year if the financial institution cooperates with U.S. investigators.

    In 2005, ABN Amro paid penalties in the case to various regulatory bodies and to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ABN Amro’s alleged misconduct involved “stripping information from transactions and turning a blind eye to its compliance obligations,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who oversees the Justice Department’s criminal division.

    U.S. Attorney Ron Macahen said that over the course of a decade, ABN Amro assisted banks in the sanctioned countries in carrying out hundreds of millions of transactions that evaded U.S. laws.

  9. As bully, is the best you can do to represent the lofty ideals you posses … laddy.
    Your behaviour serves to prove the intransigency & disregard you have for the people you wish to convince & accept your points of view …
    Good show … laddy!!!

  10. What? I am simply using your tone, slightly more civilised, and you do not like it? Neither of the two alter-egos of the same person?


    If you can;t stand the truth, go fishing in that pond in your neighbour’s garden. See what happens then…

    (will the cubancitos get the anglosaxon joke? Nah, too much of arse lickers to be that smart)

    Oh, I’m hurting hte reBolutionary ignorant’s feelings again!

    Get the speller running, sensitive immigrant.

  11. The people of who reads this blogg … can read your abusing & insulting comments & can seee them as the reflexion of the system you choose to represent & defend.
    Your attitude of anger & hate comes thru loud & clear; perfect show of what to expect if the world was ruled by the likes of you …
    Good show !!! yes … you are #1
    Thanks for the good show laddy!

  12. 71JohnTheOne

    Mayo 13th, 2010 at 17:37

    Dude, you need a hot chili solid enema immediately in order to get your only neuron activated……… I have some super-extra-large enemas that will fit your orifices perfectly……. Wow …. you are in need thug…. you are in need!!!!

  13. Post 51: you are a self-confessed coward. Your vulgar language confirms that. Do me a favour and keep hiding. Do not post, unless you can behave as a civilised person, which, we now know you cannot. No right-whinner can.

    Post 54: No talent detected. But I am not surprised. Not once any of you enemies of your own country, nazists without hope and future, have addressed any of my arguments. And how could you? You all know that my arguments, unlike yours, are not products of any hatred, like yours. Instead, they are factual.

    And no one can deny the facts. Like this one: you are all cowards who are hiding behind the comfortable internet anonimity. You all lack the balls to actually do anything about the difficulties in Cuba, because there ARE difficulties in Cuba. But what is the most telling is the fact that you are only interested in blame-shifting, which is a main characteristic of a coward.

    Therefore, you are all just a bunch of two or three clowns with no life, no courage, no intellect, no nothing.

    And the only thing you can do in return for these facts is to write about reBolution, to further display your intellectual shortfalls. Like alberto, the crybaby.

    Pathetic to the end.

  14. 69Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 11th, 2010 at 10:43

    So called “Cuban 5” are part of a gang of 14 agents that worked for castrofascism spying the Cuban nation in exile and infiltrating some organizations that worked for Cuba’s freedom and specially a organization called “Brother to the Rescue” that worked hard to rescue Cuban, Haitian and Dominican rafters in Florida’s strait waters. Brother to the Rescue was very hated by castrofascism because it humanitarian labor rescuing Cubans that escaped regimen in a time where castrofascism preferred all deserters death and worked hardly for reaching it goal killing all rafters that was found trying to escape and sinking all rafts, boats or yachts that could….. Brothers to the Rescue frustrated many of this assassination in international waters by alerting the international media and US coast guard about what was happening…. in such way castrofascism thugs were caught infraganti by international media cameras and US coast guard that made them retreat and saved in such way many lives……. castrofascism hate on Cubans and specially on Brothers to the Rescue reached its climax when the infiltrated agent “Roque”, one of the members of the castro gang, reported to castrofascism intelligence organs the day, hour and place where the small aircraft of Brothers to the Rescue will be flying in August 1995 so castrofascism could assassinate the men of this humanitarian organization. War airplanes of casto air force found the small planes at the place informed for the infiltrated agent and proceeded to shoot down. As result of this complot 4 American citizens died….. another criminal activity in the agenda of those Cuban spies was to infiltrate other organizations to try influence the members to commit violent actions with the objective of produce a justification for castrofascism propaganda that always accused Cubans in exile of perform violent attacks on Cuba…… all this I am relating can be found in the records of the trial to the 14 agents of this gang…. those record are public so it is no hard to find them…….. 9 of those agents which criminal actions were not too severe collaborated with US authorities and helped to bring up all truth about this case….. the 5 that remain in prison were found guilty of very serious crimes and condemned to long sentences….. castrofascism raised a propaganda campaign about this 5 criminal with the superficial intention of bringing them to “freedom” in Cuba but with the real intention of getting them under castrofascism control and probably punish them for revealing sensible information under the trial that compromises castrofascism with many crimes against Cuban nation in exile and other crimes of espionage on USA.
    I repeat….. all this information can be found in the record of the trial held on this gang including the 5 in prison….. it is public record ……..


    WASHINGTON POST:Silvio Rodriguez wonders if Cuba should ‘evolve’- By ANNE-MARIE GARCIA and WILL WEISSERTThe Associated Press -Monday, May 10, 2010; 3:45 PM

    HAVANA — Three decades after he last played New York, Cuban legend Silvio Rodriguez is headed to Carnegie Hall, at a moment when he and other celebrated island folk singers are raising unusually open questions about their country’s communist system.
    Rodriguez, now 63, has been a sort of folk-song poet laureate of Fidel Castro’s revolution in recent years, performing at important official events and even serving in Cuba’s parliament for a time, though many admire him most for his pogniant lyrics and haunting melodies.

    Yet the June 4 concert in New York – which still hinges on U.S. government approval of his visa – may show Americans a more complex Cuba than many expect.

    Rodriguez is still firmly on the side of the socialist system Castro built, but his latest album suggests there need to be adjustments if it is going to survive.

    “Against disenchantment, offer hope,” he sings on the album “Segunda Cita,” or “Second Date,” which was released in March. “Overcome the ‘r’ in revolution,” the song goes – alluding to the uprising that swept Castro to power on New Year’s Day 1959, and to almost everything in Cuba that has happened since.

    “If we don’t change, they are going to change us,” Rodriguez wrote in response to written questions from The Associated Press, “and that’s not what I want to happen to my country.”

    He added that, “I hope evolution takes us, as the angel in the song says, right up to the crossroads where we made the wrong decision and we rectify that.”

    It’s light criticism by any measure – and Rodriguez has been coy when asked to shed light on what he meant.

    He also read a statement defending the Cuban government – but did not sing – during a recent “Concert for the Homeland” in Havana. And he plunged into an unusual, public debate with one of the Castro government’s fiercest critics, Carlos Alberto Montaner – that nonetheless raised eyebrows in Cuba and abroad for the mere fact that Rodriguez would reply to the dissident. Cuba’s official media describes Montaner as a CIA agent.

    Rodriguez has sometimes broached thorny subjects uncomfortable for the government, but songs like “Playa Giron,” a denunciation of the U.S. Bay of Pigs invasion, have become anthems of the revolution and even his small jabs at its single-party communist system come as a surprise.

    Stronger dissent has come from other leading members of Cuba’s Nueva Trova movement in recent months – at least during tours abroad.

    Folk singer Carlos Varela told a Miami television station last week that he admired the Damas de Blanco, a support group for the wives and mothers of Cuban political prisoners which the government dismisses as paid stooges of Washington.

    Varela said he thought it was “fantastic” that members of the group whose name translates to “Ladies in White,” have been nominated for a Noble Peace Prize. He also bluntly denounced the “acts of repudiation” by government supporters who surrounded the Damas and shouted insults at them for hours several times in recent weeks.

    In March, another top Cuban folk singer, Pablo Milanes, defended a Cuban dissident hunger striker who is demanding the release of political prisoners and told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that Cuba’s aging leaders “are stuck in time.”

    “History should advance with new ideas and new men,” said Milanes, who also was once a member of the communist government’s parliament.

    Rodriguez and Milanes are barely on speaking terms. But they and Varela are allowed to travel overseas freely, unlike most ordinary Cubans – for whom permission to travel abroad is costly and hard to get.

    Citing an example of erroneous policies in his comments to the AP, Rodriguez mentioned the “revolutionary offensive” of 1968, when the government nationalized all businesses, taking over everything from elegant department stores to mom-and-pop soda shops.

    Rodriguez characterized the move as “the Cuban state deciding to dabble in national commercialism up to the craziest of limits, including bureaucratizing French-fry stands.”

    “We are still paying for that,” he said.

    U.S. officials have yet to approve Rodriguez’s visa and they did not respond in time last year, when he wanted to travel to New York for a tribute to another folk legend, Pete Seeger.

    Rodriguez, however, said he doesn’t expect problems.

    “I trust that now they will give me a visa,” he said.

    Though political relations have not significantly improved between the United States and Cuba under President Barack Obama, cultural exchanges involving musicians from both countries are becoming more common.

    Scores of Cuban artists have played American cities of late and the island’s 89-year-old prima ballerina, Alicia Alonso, will return next month to New York and the American Ballet Theater, one of the places where she got her start in dance. U.S. funk pioneers Kool & the Gang also won permission for a recent show in Havana.

    Rodriguez is considered by many to be Latin America’s Bob Dylan, and he and Milanes are founding members of the “Nueva Trova,” which combined music and revolutionary politics.

    Rodriguez also plans shows in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. He recalled last playing New York in 1978, singing at a theater on Broadway.

    “At 5 o’clock in the afternoon it was full,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

    Rodriguez called playing Carnegie Hall “fantastic,” but is careful not to get too hung up on playing famous venues for the first time: “I’m a bit too old for that.”


    Lucha tu yuca Taino-Raymundo Fernandez Moya

    El Matarife en Cuba-Raymundo Fernandez Moya

  17. Varadero Beach

    Mayo 9th, 2010 at 16:51
    thx Humberto… Ive been lurkin this site since I came back from Varadero back in october… It was my 1st visit and I fell in love with Cuba… Ever since then I try to stay on top of the news and Im havin a blast everytime I see your name because I know im gonna have good stuff 2 read :-)
    thx again mi amigo
    Do you know that Cubans trying to visit Varadero from havana are stopped at the Bridge before entering the tourist village and asked to return to Havana, unless they proof to live or have relatives in Varadero, which then they need to show a “permit” to visit?. Do you know that Cubans were not allowed in Varadero in 1980’s and 1990’s?, I personally was a victim of Castro’s tourist apartheid!

    Do you have any idea how many Cubans do not know Varadero?, not because they do not want to go, but because it was banned from us!

  18. Wow! I’ve got lost for few days of work and the commies are back!

    Any Castro suporter out there with real arguments to debate?

    As today, none of Castro’s tyranny supporters have being able to articulate a solid and substantiated argument to rebuke the thousands of “mistakes” attached to this brutal regimen. “Mistakes” as the implementation of a tourist apartheid that banned Cubans from tourist areas and balnearies. An apartheid today disguised through the imposition of a double monetary policy, that clearly is a tool of discrimination and segregation against Cubans. “Mistakes” as the implementation of a brutal and violent policy of intolerance towards those who publicly critizes the dictatorship of Castro brothers, which it is organized by the communist party and executed by Castro’s paramilitary units known as “Brigada de Respuesta Rapidas”( fast response brigades), just recently we were able to witness how they operate in front of the camaras, while they were repressing the “damas de blanco”, imagine how they act while camaras are off!

  19. Abuse, mental, physical or both at times & w/time creates a codependency … years of deception, of forced control over food supplies, housing, of broken promises & failed schemes & the depravation of the some of their identity & the constant repetition of the ever present threats fueling a “state of siege” mentality have to have an influence in their way of life, their thought process, in their minds …
    Doen’t any of these people who choose to be LIBERALS” or any other applicable label
    realize that while ideologies are perfect in their theory the ideologues who “translate” them into practice do not exercise love, care & kindness rather they apply their idology without respect, w/cruel intolerance & forceful authority?
    The benefit of the people is their “justification”, the future their “excuse” repression their hold to power … which corrupted them, changed them & now like an addict they are “hooked” to it …
    When the time or reconing comes … they are the ones who’ll ask for mercy & forgiveness … & I belive it will be up to us to give it … but rest assured … forgiveness does not mean forgeting …

  20. how funny (sad) it is … I see statements made by the defenders of the rebolution telling everything that is wrong w/democracy & in the US … yet don’t see one thing written by these representatives about the generosity of the US people, by the help brought to every corner of this earth when needed without being asked or using the gesture as a propaganda stand.
    Doesn’t that say something about the self appointed representatives of the rebolution & by reflexion of the rebolution itself?
    Close minded, evil & cruel … not concerned for the good of the people but for the proof and/or validity of these people’s ideology … “to the people, onto the people”

  21. The representatives/mirror of the rebolution are hell bent in destruction … hoping all fall … I gues the think themselvs as a brid … phoenix? or buzzard ?
    Their intransigence shows their disregard for the human pight, their cruelty towards all who they think as their enemy …
    Good job! representing the rebolution is easy … you are making the case for them plain & clear … christal clear THANK YOU!

  22. There is a bunch of brainless comrades that post their venom in this blog and anyone who disagrees with them is being labeled “Miami Mafia”.
    Contributors of this blog are from around the world, granted there are many Cubans in Miami who enter this blog but there are also thousands of Cubans (and non-Cubans) who don’t reside in Miami.
    What happens is that if you are a hacker or a “defender of the robolution” the comrades in Cuba immediately believe you live in Miami.

  23. Humberto:
    I guess you are the point man … the insults & abuse are right at you, notice … there are no arguments, just abuse.
    The self appointed representatives for the goverment of the future, w/rebolutionary love & care.
    The people of the world reads this comments … they can judge by what the “representatives” write; the people of the world can research freely & verify what is true or not.
    Never fear … what they represent & how they do it … speaks louder than all the words they can print …
    I tell you … Humberto … God love them …

  24. 40Barbara Curbelo

    Mayo 8th, 2010 at 23:18

    jajajajaja……. dumbest dumb…… jajajajaja…… the cyber thug without arguments only have a “escape”, to try confuse the reader hoping that we will not agree with the new “arguments”……. but……. you are wrong incapable thug….. we too are against crimes in USA….. we also condemn the execution of criminals in USA and the execution or abuse of war criminals in US jails in Iraq….. you get to learn we are human been very different to you…. you that do not say a word to condemn the killing of children by castrofascism…. children that are not juvenile criminals but infants, babies, many of them younger than 5 years old…… it is very different ….. we condemn what you condemn but also what you don’t’ condemn……. now, tell us……. why are you silent about castrofascism infanticide????

  25. Damas de Blanco esperan excarcelaciones tras visita vaticana a Cuba

    Foto: AP Foto/Javier Galeano
    Las Damas de Blanco, familiares de presos políticos en Cuba, dijeron este domingo que esperan algunas excarcelaciones de sus parientes y presos comunes durante la visita que el canciller del Vaticano, Dominique Mamberti, a mediados de junio.

    “El representante del Vaticano sí puede influir sobre la liberación de muchos hombres, no sólo presos políticos, sino también comunes, como pasó (…) durante la visita del Papa Juan Pablo II” en 1998, señaló a la prensa Berta Soler, una de las líderes de las Damas.

    Monseñor Mamberti inaugurará el 15 de junio, en la Universidad de La Habana, la X Semana Social Católica, un debate sobre la realidad cubana patrocinado por el Arzobispado de La Habana, en el que intervendrán representantes católicos e intelectuales no católicos.

    Tras marchar este domingo con seis decenas de Damas por la 5ta Avenida, en el oeste de la Habana, Soler indicó que “tenemos esperanza que aunque no salgan todos los 53 hombres (que restan en las cárceles de los 75 condenados en 2003), por lo menos salgan los que están enfermos”.

    Soler ponderó el “papel importante” que está jugando la Iglesia católica, en referencia a la mediación realizada hace dos semanas por el cardenal Jaime Ortega, que levantó la prohibición oficial a las Damas de marchar si antes no solicitaban un permiso oficial.

    Vía AFP
    barbara cuberlo………….la facista


    MLB NETWORK: Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras making up for lost time with mom-Former Cuban star reunites with mother after eight years-By Zach Schonbrun /

    PHILADELPHIA — It’s been a long time since Jose Contreras has felt this way — a lot of years, a lot of hardship and a lot of innings pitched. There is a newfound youthfulness in the bounce in the 38-year-old’s step.

    Contreras said he feels like a kid again, thanks to the latest addition to his household. He’s had a renewal of faith, in no small part due to the arrival of his mother, who is now living with him for the first time since they were together in Cuba eight years ago.

    And on Sunday, Contreras shared an emotional Mother’s Day with the woman he had been deprived of seeing since he came to the United States in 2002.

    Contreras’ mother, 75-year-old Modesta Camejo, arrived here two weeks ago, after being granted the right to come to the United States from Cuba. She has visited Citizens Bank Park every day since.

    On Sunday, in a special presentation before the game against Atlanta, Contreras brought his mother onto the field to be introduced to the home crowd. He handed her a dozen roses, hugged and smiled for pictures with her. The tears welled up in Modesta’s eyes.

    Contreras was anticipating the moment a day earlier.

    “It’s going to be a really special moment,” Contreras said Saturday, with his teammate, Danys Baez, as a translator.

    Modesta attended her first game last Friday, and it was the first time she had ever been to a game played by her son — a former Cuban pitching sensation. Because the family’s home was so far from where Contreras’s Cuban baseball team played, and transportation so difficult to find, she had been unable to see her star son pitch.

    Contreras defected to the United States in 2002, signing with the Yankees as a prized prospect a year later. The subsequent years and successes — his Major League debut, a World Series win in 2005, an All-Star nomination in 2006 — were relayed to his family back in Cuba over the phone.

    Though his wife and two children came to the U.S. in 2004, Contreras’ mother, father and siblings remained in Cuba. Before last Thursday, when Contreras met Modesta at the airport, he had seen her only once in seven years. They met up for a brief vacation in the Dominican Republic last year.

    His father, Florentino, passed away in October 2004, and Contreras was unable to attend the funeral. He listened to it over the speakerphone.

    When Contreras came through the bullpen doors onto the outfield grass in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over St. Louis, his mother, sitting in the stands, burst into tears. It was a bittersweet reminder of Florentino, who would’ve loved to see his son, now a bulky right-hander, in action.

    “She said she feels bad for my dad because he’s the one that should be here, because he’s the guy that really loves baseball,” Contreras said. “He’s the guy that should be watching you run across the big league baseball field.”

    But it’s mom that got to walk across the field, too, on Mother’s Day. Contreras and his mom joined Chad Durbin and his mother in a special presentation before Sunday’s game. Durbin said he didn’t mind sharing the day for a story so compelling.

    “I told my mom it was an honor to be out there with them,” Durbin said.

    “It’s going to be special,” Contreras said Saturday. “I’m going to have a chance to spend time with her on the field and see her most of the day. I’m going to try to spend as much time as I can with her.”

    It caps a whirlwind week for Contreras, who has emerged as Philadelphia’s finest reliever in his first season with the team. He pitched another scoreless inning on Saturday, lowering his ERA to 0.93 with a 97-mph fastball that hasn’t lost a step since his younger days in Cuba.

    Off the field, with Modesta now staying at his home with his wife and children, the 38-year-old Contreras feels like a kid again, too.

    “In the beginning, it was like, ‘Oh, she’s here,'” Contreras said. “But you don’t realize that she’s going to be here forever. I was trying to do too many things, trying to recover that time that we lost.

    “But I’m getting used to seeing her every day, seeing her in the house during the day and getting up and seeing her the next day, the routine every day, like it used to be — the way it was when I was a kid,” he said. “Now I’m coming back to a normal life with a family. It’s the way it should be.”

    Sunday’s presentation revealed that kinship as the crowd cheered the reunited Contreras family.

    It’s been a long time coming. And Modesta is quickly making up for all the moments she missed.

    “She’s been to every game,” Contreras said, grinning. “She loves it.”

  27. thx Humberto… Ive been lurkin this site since I came back from Varadero back in october… It was my 1st visit and I fell in love with Cuba… Ever since then I try to stay on top of the news and Im havin a blast everytime I see your name because I know im gonna have good stuff 2 read :-)
    thx again mi amigo

  28. Varadero Beach, This is more of a definative article on the subject!AND OF COURSE I WROTE IT ALL BY MYSELF AND DID MY OWN RESEARCH,PRINTING AND STAMP LICKING!

    Population : 11 451 652
    Internet-users : non-available data
    Average charge for one hour’s connection at a cybercafé : 1,63 US$ for the national network – 5,4 to 6,8 US$ for the international.
    Average monthly salary : around 20,48 US$
    Number of imprisoned netizens : 0
    Despite a few improvements, Internet access actually remains beyond the reach of most of the population because of its high cost and low connection speeds. The regime, which maintains two parallel network, is now taking aim at a small blogger community that is becoming increasingly active.

    Modest improvements

    In January 2010, the government announced that Cuba had increased its Internet connection capacity by 10% in the previous month, thanks to an improved satellite link. Although it claims that there will be a qualitative improvement in the island’s telecommunications services, it has no intention of expanding them. The government’s strategy is to “promote collective access,” but in reality, access is still reserved for a privileged few.

    Raul Castro raised hopes for broader access in 2008, when he announced that he would lift the ban prohibiting Cubans from owning a personal computer and from visiting tourist hotels in order to access the Internet. However, these new rules did not translate into a more widespread Internet access. The government’s priority is still total control of information. Boris Moreno, the Vice Minister of Information Technology and Communications, stated in 2008 that “the use of the Internet [must serve] to defend the Revolution and the principles in which [Cuba] has believed for years.”

    The Cuban Intranet and its abuses

    Two parallel networks co-exist on the island: the international network and a tightly controlled Cuban Intranet consisting solely of an encyclopedia, a few email addresses ending in “.cu” and some government news websites such as Granma. Outside of the hotels, only a few privileged people have special clearance to connect to the international network. The latter is also subject to censorship, which primarily targets dissident publications on foreign websites.

    The regime lacks the means to set up a Chinese-style automatic filtering system. But they are counting on several factors to limit Internet access: the exorbitant connection cost – about USD 1.50 dollars per hour from point-of-access to the state-controlled Intranet, and USD 7 per hour in a hotel to access the international network, even though the average monthly salary is USD 20 – and infrastructural problems, notably slow connections. Such obstacles restrict the number of Internet users capable of surfing, as well as the time spent online. Most Internet users are content to read their emails and answer them – they don’t have time to browse and “linger” online.

    A genuine black market has emerged willing to buy or “rent” passwords and codes of the few individuals and companies that have clearance from the incumbent party to access the Internet. Navigating the Net costs USD 50 per month and receiving/sending one email message USD 1. Illegal users take the precaution of connecting only at night.

    USB flash drives: the local “samizdat”

    Of the 150+ existing Cuban blogs, some twenty focus on news and commentary about local life. Even the Catholic Church has joined the Web by creating a blog. The majority of bloggers are apolitical and sign their postings using their real name. They avoid discussing the government and dissident movements on the island or abroad. Instead, they focus on Cuban people’s daily concerns, thereby filling a void in the regime-muffled state media, which limit themselves to singing the praises of the “Consulante.” Bloggers avoid foreign embassies and their Internet access points so as not to be accused of being foreign agents. All of these reasons partially explain why the regime initially left them alone.

    These bloggers do not have direct access to their websites, which are not hosted on the island. They have to publish their writings and posts via friends in foreign countries. They do that by following a well-tested procedure: they prepare their content in advance, copy it onto a USB flash drive, and send it via email from a hotel. The USB flash drives, which are being passed from one blogger to another, have become the new vectors of freedom of expression in Cuba – the local “samizdat.”

    Regime reprisals

    In the last few months, the authorities have begun to unfavorably view this dissemination of news that has been outside of their control and to be offended by the increasing popularity of some of these bloggers, such as Yoani Sanchez and her blog, Generacion Y. Voted by Time magazine in 2008 as one of the year’s 100 most influential people, she has been hounded by a genuine defamation campaign on the island. Accused of being a mercenary serving a foreign power, her name has been dragged through the mud by the state media. On November 6 of last year, state security policemen assaulted Yoani Sanchez and blogger Orlando Luis Pardo on the eve of a demonstration. A third blogger, Luis Felipe Rojas, was arrested twice in December 2009 and is being kept under house arrest.

    A student named Darío Alejandro Paulino Escobar was expelled from the University of Havana in January 2010 for having created a “polemic” group on the social network Facebook. The group in question contained the minutes of a meeting held by the Union of Young Communists (UYC) ( The authorities are now determined to occupy an area that they had previously overlooked: an official association of Cuban bloggers has been created. And possible links between the Cuban government and hackers who are attacking Cuban websites and blogs hosted abroad are under heavy scrutiny.

    The judicial arsenal against online criticism remains particularly repressive. Cuban Internet users face up to 20 years in prison if they post what is deemed to be a “counter-revolutionary” article on a foreign-hosted Internet website, and 5 years if they connect illegally to the international network.

    The Cuban regime has been blaming the American embargo for depriving the country of a good Web connection by preventing it from accessing international networks. This problem should be partially resolved in 2011, when the underwater optical fiber cable linking Cuba to Venezuela should come into service, thereby increasing the island’s capacity to connect to the rest of the globe. The Cuban government will then need to come up with new excuses to continue justifying censorship, unless it should decide – for economic development reasons – to rethink its Internet strategy. Apparently Yoani Sanchez’s predictions that “the real island is starting to convert into a virtual island” will take a little longer than expected to be realized.,36678.html


    REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS: Forty predators of press freedom-Published on 3 May 2010

    There are 40 names on this year’s list of Predators of Press Freedom – 40 politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias and criminal organisations that cannot stand the press, treat it as an enemy and directly attack journalists. They are powerful, dangerous, violent and above the law.

    Many of them were already on last year’s list. In Latin America, there is no change in the four major sources of threats and violence against journalists: drug traffickers, the Cuban dictatorship, FARC and paramilitary groups. Africa has also seen few changes. But power relationships have been evolving in the Middle East and Asia.

    LIST BY MAP LINK,37208.html

    Raúl Castro – Cuba
    President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers

    Fidel Castro passed the reins of power to his younger brother Raúl, the defence minister, five days after falling ill on 26 July 2006 and undergoing a major operation. Formally confirmed as President of the Council of State on 24 February 2008, Raúl has behaved little better than his brother as regards human rights, despite a few cautious hints of a possible opening. The so-called transition period saw continued harassment of independent journalists including police brutality, summonses and searches by State Security (the political police) and detention for short periods. Nineteen of the journalists arrested during the March 2003 “Black Spring” continue to serve jail terms ranging from 14 to 27 years in appalling conditions. A 20th journalist has been held without trial since 2005. Five others have been imprisoned since Raúl took over. With a total of 25 journalists detained, Cuba is one of the world’s biggest prisons for the media, just behind China and Iran.,37206.html

  30. This is an excerp from Ryan Bagueros @ gave me an interesting look on the internet situation in Cuba…

    for years, Cuba has been excluded from the global online community by the embargo restrictions imposed by the United States, as pointed out in this article. Since Cuba has been forced to exclusively use expensive satellite uplinks for their internet, they’ve been put at a major disadvantage. After accounting for the bandwidth that is absolutely necessary (government, universities, the computer clubs, medical facilities, tourist hotels), there is very little left over for Cuban citizens.

    This unfortunate internet rationing will come to an end once Venezuela finishes building its fiber optics cable this year. Cuba will not only be independent from US internet uplinks but they will have an extraordinarily fast pipe with Venezuela. Every online facility in Cuba will be drastically improved by this enormous upgrade in Cuba’s internet infrastructure. In addition, Cuba will no longer be put in a position where they are suspected of censoring the internet, when much of the problem is the bandwidth rationing forced on the island by US law.

  31. WOW!I FEEL SOOO IMPORTANT! I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE CREDIT FOR AN ARTICLE FROM -Rory Carroll in Havana -The Observer, Sunday 9 May 2010!! (SEE POST #34)!

  32. To JohnTheShittest (44)


    I would gladdly give you a one way ticket to Cuba, and once there I would deprive you, as any cuban, of the right to travel abroad unless by permission at the discretion of the goverment, then I would give a 15-dollars-a-month job to provide for you and your family, and as a trophy for your brownnose commentary, I would not allow you to express your discenting ideas by punnishing you with 20 years in a Cuban Hell, sorry, prison. Then I’d like to know your comments about your beloved Cuban Regime. You are only a disoriented as.s_whole.

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