Fish Eyes

They are there to watch and record us. Dozens, hundreds of cameras scattered throughout the city, as if it were not enough that there are vans filled with police, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) on every block, and the security forces in their checked shirts. They have been installed with an efficiency rarely seen in the execution of any project of public benefit. Their sophisticated structure is the same on streets where half the houses are on the verge of falling down, as in the modern tourist enclaves and on the sumptuous Fifth Avenue. They capture those who traffic in beef, sell drugs, or steal a gold chain; but they also monitor those who don’t keep guns under their beds, but rather opinions in their heads.

When these “fish eyes” began to be installed everywhere, they generated a sense of paralysis among Havanans. I remember looking for blind spots where the crystal globes couldn’t see me. Then I relaxed a little and learned to live with them, though I still felt the itch on the back of my neck of a person who knows they are being observed. Among the speculations about these filming devices is one that they have face-detection programs – including a data base – that read anthropometric measurements. But comments of this kind may well belong to the fantasy catalog generated by everything new.

These public cameras – the embodiment of the Orwellian “telescreen” – have ushered in a new cinematography. Although they basically operate automatically, some hands have leaked their contents to the alternative information networks. Dozens of images are emerging from the police archives and circulating right now, by flash memory. Videos where we see ourselves committing crimes, surviving, stealing and rebelling. Minutes of police beatings, car crashes and images of prostitution between young boys and tourists twice their age. One is a complete and shocking snuff movie, which for weeks jumped from one screen to another, from cell phones to DVD players.

Without intending it, the police have given us the crudest testimony they could about our present reality. A succession of scenes that, no doubt, will be stored in the visual memory of this country.


70 thoughts on “Fish Eyes

  1. And be it noted that he actually said ACCOUNT…

    My fricken goodnes…and you want to be a voice of some imaginary “freedom-fighting” “revolutionary” Cuba libre crap?

    Companero, you can only be a voice of crap.

    That’s ALL you can be.

    Guess why…

  2. Post 67, it ALwWAYS amazes me how much nonsense can this poster come up with, given how little brain he has.

    “Americans doesn’t count…”

    I’ll skip the grammar, what to expect from an illiterate immigrant with a grudge from the last century?


    But this poster goes further in showing of his absolute and overarching ignorance in the same statement!!!

    America is NOT a country where you live, you dumbo!!

    America is a continent. Cubans are Americans too. So are Mexicans, Colombians, Argentinians, etc.

    So, contrary to your stupid statement, Americans actually DO COUNT.

    As if you would actually be able to understand that…

  3. 66Barbara Curbelo

    Junio 30th, 2010 at 22:16
    #65 – FREUD

    Castrofascism has spents billions of dollars in the last 5-6 elections in Florida trying to get rid the Diaz-Balart brothers and Ileana Ross, same amount in New Jersey to take out Mel martinez, Albio Sires and the other cuban american in senate and congress……… the team that keeps the restriction in place…… it is very funny the way the opposers loses……… many time with 40-50% of diference………

  4. 66Barbara Curbelo

    Junio 30th, 2010 at 22:16
    #65 – FREUD

    “We don’t want!!!!!….. that’s it…..”

    In a 2009 surbey, 59% of Cuban Americans favored lifting the travel ban.

    70% of AMERICANS surveyed want the travel ban lifted.

    Americans doesn’t account in this fight…… the problem is not between castrofascism and Americans but between castrofascism and Cuban people….. so…….. the only numbers you can bring here are about Cuban Americans……. and you are right….. surveys showed such ciphers……. but everyone knows that surveys companies in this city works for special interests that make business with castrofascism……… so surveys can’t be accounts neither……. because…… surveys are tricky and this trickery is shown in a very funny way when it is time for Cuban Americans to elect congressman and senators……… always, always Cuban American votes by an overwhelming major the same group of politicians that works hard to keep restrictions in place…….. in democracy, the real survey is the voting, the elections……….. you can make a survey in Coral Ridge or Homestead and you will get as result 70% against the embargo….. because there lives Americans or Latin-Americans……… you can make a survey in Coral Gables or Hialeah and you will get 90% for embargo……. because there lives just Cubans……….. surveys can be manipulated in such way……. elections can not!!!!

  5. #65 – FREUD

    “We don’t want!!!!!….. that’s it…..”

    In a 2009 surbey, 59% of Cuban Americans favored lifting the travel ban.

    70% of AMERICANS surveyed want the travel ban lifted.

    But the majority doesn’t count when they don’t spouse your narrow-minded views
    In the name of truth, justice, and the American way; you’d rather be the self-appointed voice for ALL Americans.

  6. 64Barbara Curbelo

    Junio 30th, 2010 at 11:36
    #63 – Let Americans see for themselves. If Cuban-Americans go to Cuba daily, why can’t they?

    We don’t want!!!!!….. that’s it…..

  7. #63 – Let Americans see for themselves. If Cuban-Americans go to Cuba daily, why can’t they?

  8. 61Barbara Curbelo

    Junio 27th, 2010 at 02:48

    Yes, I know that about all issues I wrote the only one that interest you is the lifting of travel ban to americans…….. for you is not longer important is the tyrant is a fake antimperialist, for you is n longer important if castrofascim has delivered Cuba bit by bit to the empire this scrap simulated fight, for you is no longer important if castro is a hiden allied of the empire, etc, etc…… it is not important for you because anyway all these things are undeniable facts nowadays and you can’t do nothing to change it……… so now you recieve new orders:
    – Agent culero, forget to talk now on about imperialism and commandant’s fight on empire…… now on you will be repetitive about lifting travel ban on americans……. don’t get our dear elite wrong….. we are not interested in trave ban lifting or embargo lifting but we have to give the impresion that we want it. Don’t worry about the possibility that americans get confused and lifts the embargo and ban for real, we always will take proper mesurements to avoid such a disgrace to accur; we will kill some children for example or get in jail 2 or 3 hundreds of oppositors or get in jail some americans or shut down unarmed civil plans. So, it never will happen, our beloved elite can’t afford to lose such a convenient friendly enemy. End of transmission.

  9. BARABA CULERADEFIDEL, you must be on drugs. American will be upset about how the Cuban Government has failed its own people. The falling buildings, pot hole line streets, Oxe carts on Public highways, flat bed trucks used to transport people as if cattle. Barbara you are a REGIME Apologist. The Cuban Government sponsors terrorism and the reason they don’t stamp passports. Why whould anyone support a nation that promotes Terrorism? The Cuban people are Nice, its the government that are manipulative PIGS.. Cuba is the HELL HOLE that it is cause of FIDEL.

  10. #60 – You are the one deathly afraid of the real facts, in the hopes that the anti-castro industry will continue to receive US tax dollars from politicians in the pockets of extremists in Miami.
    When Americans get to travel to Cuba they will understand how their government squandered their tax dollars on stupidity, and denied them for 5 decades their constitutional right to travel there. They’ll see how sweet Cubans generally are, and what a nice deal they’ve got going for themselves, and with little stress to show for it.

  11. How can an impoverished country to fight “imperialism????……. Castro neither the Empire and neither the little castros in South America are unaware this paradox. They know they lie when declares themselves anti-imperialists, revolutionaries and a lot else false medals they hang on their necks with the applaud and complicity of scammers and useful fools. Castrofascism knows very well that to control the Cuban people has to maintain it at the border of the misery, regimen knows very well that maintaining a country in misery is not possible to fight any Empire. Their objective is not then to fight imperialism but control the own people in order to keep the power and get rich living of the anti-imperialism story while behind the scene get fixed secrets deals with Imperial executives or, better yet, with people that pays those Imperial executives. The Empire guess the game and decides play same game these ‘revolutionaries” scrap plays just because these scrap makes very easy for the Empire the task of controlling a whole continent with no need of firing a shoot or spent a cent by transforming castrofascism in a political fashion stream among all candidates to multimillionaire tyrant south of Bravo river. In this way this horde of traitors promises to the Empire a Continent at the border of absolute misery for the next 50 years with the control over Latin America’s destinies and richness this implies for the Empire that these scammers simulates to fight.

    Anti castrofascism fighter wants, like the apostle J. Marti, “ to avoid, with Cuba’s independence and richness, that USA expands over our Latin American countries with that huge force…….”
    Castrofascism followers wants dictatorships that impoverishes our countries in same way Cuba has been impoverished by castro so in such way can serve better to Empires interests. You know very well it is not possible to fight the Empire with poverty. That’s why you sing slogans and proclaims fidelity to a regimen that only can (maybe) give you a tip…. Empire looks at you and smile because it knows there are no better allies than you. However, to us, the Empire put us in jail, it watch us, repress us and get allied with the tyrant because Empire knows our dreams and goals are very inconvenient to its hemispheric hegemony.
    That’s why we have all rights to call castrofascism and its followers, Empire’s lackeys!!!!!

  12. 55Barbara Curbelo

    Junio 24th, 2010 at 00:23

    Not for repeating your lies time after time you will get readers to believe it….. you can repeat thousand times your fabules about mafia, brothels and sugar barons in Cuba precastrofacism but it will never hide facts about mass destruction, mass prostitution, mass monopolization, mass industrial enagenation, mass elite apropiation of Cuba’s richness, mass delivering of Cuba’s richness to international capital and capitalist caused by castrofascism.

  13. DAMIR
    Sadly, the entire existence of some of my countrymen has been based upon lies. That is what they have done best, because they have no shame about anything; and because it has been lucrative. What can one say about people that live in denial about their own history, except that to them their history is scat? All they worry about is #1 – themselves; how much money or prestige, or revenge they can get.
    Of-course they are angry!
    How can they understand that some of the mansions in Havana are today educational centers, for instance? How can they understand that instead of many luxuries for a few, there are today clinics and universities in Cuba’s countryside?
    How can they understand that there are 89 schools throughout the nation with just one student each, or that there are 200 schools with just 2 students each? How can they understand that mothers of the one child schools receive training, resources (including a computer), and a salary so that they can train their child in the remotest hills of the countryside.
    When Batista ran off with more than $700 million from Cuba‘s National Bank, the poor in rural areas lived infested with tapeworms, without electricity or running water, without clinics or schools, and enduring great hardships. Poor people in cities, could never get from underneath the boot of some egotistical self-serving powerful businessman who expected them to go out and get votes on election day; and only then might they get a little work here or there to put food on the table.
    Sometimes I actually think that some of them really believe that that Cuba never existed. I prefer to think that, than to think that they are so cynical and have learned so little in 5 decades.

  14. Hi John, good to see you around.

    Barbara, post 55 how strange that a relentless poster of other people’s articles with no corelation to team Yoani’s posts whatsoever is asking you to comment on their messages…!!!!

    And they have got absolutely nothing to say about team Yoani’s posts anyway. If they did, they would not need to steal articles from the internet to appear to be saying something smart.

    But, when someone has to steal other people’s intellectual work, he or she is telling us a lot about themselves, don’t they?

    : )

  15. Post 52, that was one rather stupid comment. Congratulations. Now you are officially in the company of other idiots around here.

    Was it worth it…?

  16. #54
    – FREUD –

    “not a single argument to oppose the message delivered by Yoani…..“

    Are you serious? What message of Yoani’s,
    That somehow the best prospect for the future lies in an abstract treasure hunt through the ignominious past of brothels, mafia run casinos, sugar barons, foreign bankers, industry, and silly “novelas“? Not to mention her inept attempt to shock the conscience of some of the most monitored people on planet earth, albeit poor translations; with footage that makes our police forces look like Kashmir paramilitaries in comparison; or her conspicuous lack of decorum in a disgraceful attempt to dissuade us about Marti’s eminence of character, and indispensable contribution in defining what is and what is not Cuban independence.

  17. 53Barbara Curbelo

    Junio 23rd, 2010 at 16:12

    “…you believe the world atittude on Sudafrica regime was wrong???”

    Do you believe in the US attitude toward First Nations people?

    No I don’t….. castrofascism is a result of this US attitude……. I am talking about the world not USA…….. you have a fixation with USA that is insane……. it is maybe the result of being a “culero” of fidel!!!!!

  18. #50

    “…you believe the world atittude on Sudafrica regime was wrong???”

    Do you believe in the US attitude toward First Nations people?

  19. To #51
    If what you are saying is true about the data base, etc.. then you should worry about your anti- american comments all the time, easy, if you don’t like this country, get the f—k out. And I don’t mean freak.

  20. Post 47, yes there is. It is called the Patriot Act. You better read it because your ignorance is clearly enormous.

    Pay particular attention to neighbour watch and “be alert” sections, where citizens are encouraged to spy on each other and report ANYTHING suspicious to the police.

    That is your anti social danger law there.

    And there are many US of A states which have their own versions of the Act that are even more intrusive. In fact all your internet traffic is recorded and analysed in FBI, CIA, NSA and Defense. So if you are using your own, home inernet connection to post here, you are in all above agencies’ databases, your name, address, full personal and financial details, your myspace and/or facebook pages, all your freinds are analysed and connected, everything to know about you is recorded and scrutinised 6 to 12 times a day.

    There are certain algorithms which are looking for “key” words that you my use, even if the context is completely benign. Like terrorist, muslim, bomb, etc. i any of the language you claim or are registered to be able to understand to any level.

    Every time you use these words, and i have only mentioned a few examples, the whole converation is recorded, and every participant monitored for connections and communications in their own circles of family and friends.

    There are some supercomputers and servers that are working 24/7 on conecting the dots in determining whether you are a socially dangerous or not.

    To stand here, or anywhere, and say that in the US of A there is no such thing is absolute and complete stupidity. Take that as you will, but you are hearing that from an ex policeman of 20 years of experience in crime fighting in the US of A. While yours is probably experience in evading people like me.

    That is why I come here and shake my head when I read bullshit supporters of this blog muster up. You poor wretched souls are full of naive and ignorance fuelled enthusiasm which is so misplaced and is so 19th century, you all just look pathetic.

    Your is a lost battle, despite the fact that Castro team has nothing to work with. The are imploding and it is just a matter of time before they are gone, but so are you few hatred fuelled Don Quijotes.

    And my bet is that you will burn out much earlier than them because you do not what to do about your own political ideology.

    How could you? The only thing you display here is ignorance and hatred. Cubans only need to get rid of the brothers and continue the socialism. And they will flourish like no one on earth. They are not party to any economic “free trading acts”, do not own money to anyone, and a re capable of surviving on what they have.

    That is a winning combination whichever way you look at it.

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