Friday’s Granma, Saturday’s Cuba

Who would have thought, just a few years ago, that the austere newspaper Granma would open a section that would become its most read and commented on feature. Under the title, “Letters to the Editor,” every Friday letters sent by readers come to light, addressing the economic and organizational aspects of our society. At first, word spread that the official organ of the Cuban Communist party would sound out a test-tube Glasnost which would later be extended to the rest of the press, but the result has been a limited debate, considering it occurs in a media with a strong reactionary tendency, resistant to change.

The temperature of the criticism has been rising, and in this same newspaper which has never printed a color photo, they appear today to focus on different nuances of old problems. There has even been talk of “privatization” and “the end of subsidies,” all this accompanied by phrases such as “our stagnant mentality” along with exhortations in the style of “we must be realists.” So far, it would seen that the controversy has embedded itself in a publication that has contributed so much, over the decades, to cutting off debate; but let’s not let the excitement run away with us. Now in the heading of the “Letters…” they clarify that it includes “opinions with which one may or may not agree.” All in a show of tolerance that some of us who are discriminated against for our opinions know very well does not reflect anything in real life.

Setting aside the delight, and separating the words that appear from the facts, one can see the true extent and seriousness of this space for discussion. It jumps out at you that there is clearly a limit in terms of topics, because never in all this time have they touched on hot button issues such as the travel restrictions, the lack of freedom of expression, the penalization of those who think differently, the political prisoners, the demand for direct election of the president, or the need for a press less intertwined with the apparatus of governance. Interestingly, the letters appear only to refer to the diversion of resources, production methods, bureaucratic inefficiency, and the requests of many to implement stronger controls. This could be because the opinions are filtered, or because the readers themselves refrain from writing about certain issues that they know will never see the light of day.

On the other hand, Friday’s Granma has created the false impression that criticism is admissible and one can speak with “no holds barred.” But it’s enough to read it at length to confirm that there is a compulsory reverence required to be admitted into the select group of those who can opine. A phrase must be dropped in relative to “keeping our current system,” or a note of exoneration extended to “the historical leaders of the process,” and a sentence added that lays the blame for our national disaster outside our territory. Never – don’t even dream about it – could one read in these pages of ancient design the doubts my compatriots have about the management of Raul Castro and the dysfunction of the state capitalism – or the family clan – under which we live.

The Cuba of Saturday, Tuesday, Sunday – that which overflows with dissatisfaction and anguish – hardly shows in the “Letters to the Editor.” The organ of the only party permitted would never disseminate that to those they don’t consider – even remotely – the vanguard of the nation. To do so would be as if Saturn, having devoured his children, started in on his own heart.


67 thoughts on “Friday’s Granma, Saturday’s Cuba

  1. And your tirade about others being “hating animals” illustrate my point to perfection. As do all your posts.

    Crap filled with impotent hatred of anything and anyone that does not support you in your self-destructive adrenaline fuelled ire.

  2. Post 65, if you had an education, you would have known that great minds think and act alike. On the other side of the spectrum are the no minds (dumbo cretens like your good self) who may even think alike, but due to difficulties in composing their simple thoughts (the only great thing about you morons – great difficulties), they sound different even when talking about the same thing.

    That is how masses come to be. And we know that human masses have very low IQ. Given how low that IQ is in you individual members of the Mass, we can anticipate a violent, stupid and pointless mass on the move.

    Luckily, the numbers in that “group” are quite small.

  3. 64JohnTheOne

    Junio 26th, 2010 at 07:15

    Here we have another emmigrant hater like damir the retarded….. they both sounds so similars that you will get confused about who is who…..but don’t worry dear readers……. the question is that they both are similar retarded or same “person”…… sorry I ment: same hating animal.

  4. albertico, get some perspective. You yourself are one who shoots from the hip when it comes insulting people. That is all you really do here. Nothing else.

    I am yet to see a meaningful post, debating issues and facts, from you.

    This wannabe “civlized” comment you offer here is poor patronising. You insulted me for perfectly legitimate comments directed at no one, especially not you, yet you called me (inerestingly the same as those fake psychoanalist and other “visitors” use) names for expressing my opinion.

    And you are demanding “civlized” behavior from others…?

    Clean up your act first before patronising others whose IQ level is by far higher than your own. You are an immigrant in US of A and yet, Damir’s english is by far better than yours.

    Whose is greater intellect here?

    You lose.

  5. @#62
    Where is YOUR sense of civility?
    Your writen record proves (by your own hand) what an insulting, arrogant bully you are …
    Don’t you read what you write?
    I think you lead a lonely miserable life …

  6. Post 61 is from a mentally deranged iot with no sense of civility. Jusgt a lot of insulting with no substance. Endless stream of hose two same words teh immigrant has managed to identify in his dictionary (monkey, there are FREE translatin pages on the internet) and is relentlessly throwing them at anyone who doesn’t think Yoani is the brod No.1.

    Well, retard, you are both mentally challenged. And have no hope in recovery. Your stupidity is already legendary. Everyone knows that you are the same one person behind almost all of the “supporters” nicks.

    Your empty skull is not capable of delivering to you any information, let alone to make sense of it.

    So your next post will be just another barrage of insults indiscriminately spread over the page wth no regards to the fact that people will always have a different opinion and that it is their right to disagree with you.

    And there’s NOTHING you can do about that.

    Just like Fidel, you want only to have people think what you think. Anyone thinking for themselves and not accepting your stupidity should be eliminated.

    To come to think of it, you are Fidel, aren’t you? After all, that is what HE would do, acording to you too.

    Hola Fidel, hijo de mierda.

  7. 60Rudy

    Junio 23rd, 2010 at 05:07

    ….. Hopefully with dialogue with the U.S. and without intervention from dissidents and others who want to get their hands in the cookie jar……….

    That’s all concern of the castrofascist elite…… to keep exploiting Cuba’s natural and human resources without competence, in a monopolistic way……. that’s way the spend so much money and man-hours to make propaganda and lure the people of Cuba and americans too if possible……… but they have a handicap…….. they can’t hide they real intentions….. elite member rudy is the best example of this handicap……… sorry rudy…… but the days of your fascist feast are accounted…… cuban people is close to sweep you all and take back what belong to them.

  8. Yoani’s ideas are just as rigid as the ideas of the government she detests and criticizes so often in her blog. I would hate to see her, or anybody like her running Cuba. I hope it is a new, younger crowd of forward thinking Cubans who eventually lead Cuba to a better future. It’s time to stop the “blame game” and move forward with new ideas and new energy to lead the country in a new direction. Hopefully with dialogue with the U.S. and without intervention from dissidents and others who want to get their hands in the cookie jar. Cuba is for Cubans, for those who love the island and its people. Not for those who want to run things and forget about the people just like the current regime has.

  9. That is of course merely your fantasy at work. Your intentions are not to deal with the facts but with propaganda. Your irrationality is measured with decibels of your writting, not with the IQ of your arguments (because there is none).

    Again you post nonsense without LINKS, but you are uncivilised enough to insult and demand links from others whenthey post infromation that makes you shine in all your primitive nazist hysteria.

    And that is one very ugly sight…

  10. But guevara was not only a child killer but a disgusting racist that had a very rascist way to see black people and american natives…… like our racist damir uses to feel about non white people che guevara felt thus:

    Whiting for a boat to travel to Pascuas Islands guevara wrote in his dairy book “Travel Notes”: ”Isla de Pascuas… allí tener un novio blanco es un honor para ellas.”……… “Pascuas Islands….. for women there to have a white man is like an honor.”

    che’s rascism is extremely evident in this “Travel Book” where he wrote: “Los negros, esos magníficos ejemplares de la raza africana que han mantenido su pureza racial gracias al poco apego que le tienen al baño, han visto invadidos sus reales por un nuevo ejemplar de esclavo: el portugués.”……. “Black people, wanderful samples of african race, they could keep their race so pure thanks their weak love for the bathroom. They have now a new competitor as slaves: portuguese people.”……. of course this uncomfortable paragraph was omited of the film “Motorcycle dairies”

  11. 56Damir

    Junio 18th, 2010 at 18:55

    This episode of the assasin guevara life was written by one of the survivors of the day…. same episode has been related by ex fire squad members in Fort La Cabaña and also related by several eyewittness…… in same way has been related other episodes where che killed children …… because this was not the only child he killed…….. to prove a crime in any justice court is needed photos….. to prove the killing of more than 20 children in tugboat “Mars 13” sinking is not needed a photo but the testimonies of survivors, including parents of those children that survived the massacre, tens of survivors that has related the crime to international authorities putting in such way the tiranny in a sitiation that denial of the crime is not posible and it only “defense” is to lie trying to justify the act as an act performed by workers of the very tugboat…….. well, relators asked to tiranny, “If it was the workers why no of them is in jail???”…….. they have no answers because it simply was not the workers but regime’s agents who wassacred those children……… same impossibility to justify guevaras children killing is observed by international investigators that listened for survivors testimonies…….. it is a proven crime, this one and another more.

  12. A dumbfuck claiming to be a “democrat” writes like this?

    “Barbara C please send us your picture so we can “PARTY” with you.”

    The true face of the ailing vanishing terrorist squad whose last station before the death is this primitive page.

    The same poster claims Che shot a 14 years old boy in he head. As if he was there and saw it.

    Show us the photo and three witnesses of the incident.

    No evidence, no witnesses? No photos?

    Then you ARE a LIAR.

    Mentiroso, as they say in Cuba…

    (they do say mentiroso in every spanish speaking country too, you know, you ignorant terrorist?)

  13. Post 51, another avalanche of shit from a well known nazist. Huffington Post, by the way is well known in the local area as a gossip board. SO to call upon it as a source of serious information is as good as the Miami Herald, or Womans Day, or Sun, while we are at that.

    Seriously deranged post by a seriously deranged poster.

    It’s like defending mussolini and hitler citing their own press statements.

    But of course, just as team Yoani complains about having problems with expressing themselves against tyrants who wouldn’t let them, the poster of 51 is just the same. Anyone can post, as long as it is along MY party lines. Anyone else is NOT ALLOWED and must be insulted heavilly.

    Some “democrats”.

    Pretenders. Nazists jealous for not being in power. Violent criminals waiting for their turn. Hypocrites bullshitting about “democracy” which doesn’t exist anywhere.

    Nothing else here.

  14. @#52
    you stir memories burned in the soul, pictures in the mind, smells & sounds, fears
    untold & unable to share even today …
    It was supposed to be a better future, a better life for all but how quickly it changed into a nightmare, how quickly learning how to lie convincingly, how to hide thoughts and how fast slogans were learned all in the name of survival …
    After the dust settled, life did not go as before, concerns became worries; a parent’s choice for their children’s future became a game of hide & seek.
    Oh for the past that is & the future that we don’t know … hope for an end to the nightmare fear for what might the future bring …

  15. Cuba is on the USA terrorist list for various reasons,, ie Cuban embassy in Somalia selling visas so that terrorist can travel to the USA through Cuba and the help of Cuban officials. Children in Cuba today are all told Che was a “GOOD GUY” and that they should be like him. CHE was cold blooded killer and a pig. Cuba should have better role models to follow. The recent news from Cuba (not Granma) real news that is , is all very promising and Cubas new future looks bright. Pa la Calle.

  16. Che. The Assassin.

    December 1959; in a dark and cold cell 16 political prisoners tried to sleep on the floor, 16 more remain standing to make place so the others could sleep. This exercise of solidarity was in vain anyway because no one could sleep; our only concern at this time was to survive, to survive a day, an hour, a minute.
    Suddenly the cell door was open and another person was pushed violently in the cell. Our new cellmate was a child, 12 or 14 years old, no more. After the initial surprise all the men in the cell surrounded the kid and asked him almost in a choir “Why are you here?”…… “What have you done?”
    Bleeding profusely out the mouth and head and with black rings around his eyes and ears the boy told us: “I tried to protect my father, I tried to avoid them to kill him but I couldn’t – say the boy while crying – those son-of-a-bitches murdered him.”
    We remained in silence looking at each other trying to find words to console the boy but some kind of words doesn’t exist. Our own problems were too hard. Three days has passed without summary executions, with each passed day enhances the hope of this entire nightmare comes to an end. Executions are terrible, it take your life when more you need it for you self and your family; it not takes in account your protests and desires to live.
    Our hope lasted not too long. The door was open again and 10 of us were called out, among them the boy.
    How was it possible to take the life of a child in such way? Were we wrong maybe and they would put us free?
    We climbed up to the window to see if they took the prisoners to the execution squad or not. Near the fire squad walking slowly with the hands on his heaps was the abominable Che Guevara. He gave the order to bring the boy to him. It seemed he found no one with the guts to kill the child and the horrible task would be done by him self. Guevara commanded the child to get on his knees while we and other prisoners in other cells yelled on him not to commit such a crime. Much of the prisoners offered Guevara to take them to the fire squad instead of the boy.
    The boy remained standing and said to Guevara: “You want to kill me? Then kill me but I will not get on my knees, I am not a coward”. The infamous Che walked around the boy and once at his back said: “So you are a valiant kid” and taking out his pistol shoot the boy in the neck. The shoot separated the head of the boy of his body and a pond of blood flooded the soil for a moment before the dry terrain sucked it thirty.
    All prisoners were furiously yelling: “You assassin, you coward, you miserable and many other offenses I can repeat here. Guevara turned on the windows where we were and discharged the whole magazine of his pistol on us. I don’t know how many people he killed or hurt this day but I met several of us in the Hospital Calixto Garcia where we were sent after the barbaric deed.

  17. Barbara Culero said,
    Junio 15th, 2010 at 01:00

    “The most intelligent thing Yoani has done thus far. Of-course Americans should have their constitutional rights returned to them after 50 years of ridiculous foreign policies on the part of their government!”


    THE HUFFINGTON POST:World’s Worst Human Rights Violators: Freedom House Report (PHOTOS) – 06- 4-10

    A new report by the Washington-based watchdog Freedom House has identified nine countries and one territory as being the world’s worst human rights abusers. According to the 36-page report released Thursday, the citizens in these places live in “extremely oppressive environments, with minimal basic rights and persistent human rights violation.”
    Freedom House’s report — entitled “Worst of the Worst 2010: The World’s Most Repressive Societies” — ranks each country and territory on a scale of 1 (most free) to 7 (least free), according to an assessment of its political rights and civil liberties. The 10 worst abusers scored sevens in both categories.

    Ranking just below these countries were three of the members of the UN Human Rights Council: Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia. These countries received a 7 for political rights, but a 6 for civil liberties.

    “By highlighting these countries, we hope to give advocates a tool they can use to shine a light on these abuses at the world’s only global human rights body,” Paula Schriefer, Freedom House’s director of advocacy, said in a statement.

    See the 10 worst abusers, and a few other notable human rights violators, below.

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