Watering the Dominoes*


An elderly woman walks along Paseo del Prado with a sign around her neck. Made by hand in blue ink, it offers “A 2-bedroom apartment in Cerro,” in exchange for something similar in Playa. People start coming to this site at seven in the morning, with proposals to exchange one house for another in a country where it is prohibited to buy and sell them. They also work through middlemen, known as “exchangers,” who proliferate where one cannot deal in real estate, where public advertising and the illegal housing market have been demonized.

One of the toughest questions my Spanish students ask me, while I teach them this dilapidated city where I was born, is, “What kind of person lives in certain houses or in certain neighborhoods?” I try to explain that you can find a woman who makes her living scrubbing floors living in a mansion in Miramar, and a surgeon living in a shack without running water. Probably the woman living in the enormous house with her roof falling in and her garden a chaos of weeds and rust, because her wages are not enough to maintain so many square feet. The sawbones, meanwhile, has accumulated capital from his illicit breast implant business, but cannot — legally — obtain a house consistent with his means. So the humble cleaner and the doctor come to an agreement, disregard the law, and decide to exchange their homes. To accomplish this they bribe three or four officials at the Housing Institute. A year later he is enjoying his lawn dotted with bougainvillea, and she, her thousands of convertible pesos received for “trading down.”

Thousands of Cubans have been planning to do something similar, and have breathes a sign of relief on reading Point 278 of the Guidelines for the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. As stated there, “flexible formulas for the exchange, purchase, sale and rental of housing” will be applied. Many have interpreted this as raising the flag of a housing market, with permission to buy and sell a house. I confess I have my reservations. I don’t think our authorities are prepared to accept the immediate redistribution that would occur in this city, and across the whole country, if they accept that people can decide what to do with their properties. Within a few months of the adoption of such measures, social differences — today hidden behind an unpainted mansion or a shack full of appliances — would break out into the open. The growing inequalities that official hypocrisy tries to hide would flourish.

*Note: In the language of Cuban dominoes, “to water” means to shuffle the tiles to continue playing.

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23 thoughts on “Watering the Dominoes*

  1. @#22
    I guess you speak from experience about corruption.
    While you “teach” to the studens in your charge don’t forget to mention: corruption is not exclusive & it does not have political affiliations but moral meassures.
    Corruption is more prevalent in totalitarian regimes in which the redistribution of “wealth” is enforced by the few.
    Cuba is no exception …

  2. The fact is, despite the cretens coming here to create perception of “masses” by barking madly at the moon, that the team “yoani” is finally out of the closet with this post.

    It is clear that your primary objective is NOT democracy but simply capitalism where you would manipulate and cheat those very same poor people you pretend here you are speaking for and fighting for.

    Excellent self-confession:

    One of the toughest questions my Spanish students ask me, while I teach them this dilapidated city where I was born, is, “What kind of person lives in certain houses or in certain neighborhoods?” I try to explain that you can find a woman who makes her living scrubbing floors living in a mansion in Miramar, and a surgeon living in a shack without running water. Probably the woman living in the enormous house with her roof falling in and her garden a chaos of weeds and rust, because her wages are not enough to maintain so many square feet. The sawbones, meanwhile, has accumulated capital from his illicit breast implant business, but cannot — legally — obtain a house consistent with his means. So the humble cleaner and the doctor come to an agreement, disregard the law, and decide to exchange their homes. To accomplish this they bribe three or four officials at the Housing Institute. A year later he is enjoying his lawn dotted with bougainvillea, and she, her thousands of convertible pesos received for “trading down.”

    It is okay to get rich through illicit business and strip the poor of their “mansions” because they cannot maintain them anyway, so screw them and send them to shanty towns where they belong!!!

    Keep coming out of the closet and you will not need people like I to point out at your true intentions any longer.

    Find the courage and put up your flag for all to see. No one believes in your crybaby fake “emotional” stories about the poor people anyway.

    And after this post, only an idiot and profiteering sharks can stand up and defend your hypocrisy and fake image.

  3. @#21
    It seems tha all that knowledge you claim to posses comes from your attempting to do what you claim is not possible.
    Perhaps you split your time between hacking & creating bugs after & attempting to leave your place legally has failed at every turn …
    By the way how much did your bond cost you? did your parents post it for you?

  4. Team dumbir (does not appear to be the same person) is trying pull a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde routine with his newly “civilized” act. He must have taken his meds… or maybe got off of them. Despite his toned down act and pseudo-intellectual attempt at sounding reasonable there is still no substance. We continue to see the same castro inspired hackneyed platitudes about capitalism and ex-patriot Cubans. We aren’t falling for your supposed condemnation of the castros, nice ploy. Face it team moron you and your misguided left-wing comrades are running out of stalinist/marxist heroes to cheer for. Soon Cuba and yes even North Korea will be liberated. You will be left with nothing but the representatives of “21st century socialism”, the buffoon Chavez and his populist demagogue buddies to shill for.

  5. House deficit is estimated in 1.6 million units. 75% of the units in existence are over 40 years old, and 60% of the total is in bad or average condition according to the Cuban National Housing Institute.

    Official estimates indicate that 457,800 homes were damage by five hurricanes in recent years, of which 76,854 were destroyed and 91,472 seriously damaged. The lack of adequate housing is the regime gravest social problem. Without sufficient capital investment to provide adequate housing this has become a nearly insuperable obstacle for the regime.

  6. Post 15, Simba, I’ll respond to your question, because it was written in a civilised tone (change from some of your previous posts, and a welcome one).

    This is a public forum, not a cuban forum for Cubans, despite the stated “intentions”. Cubans do not need translations to english, russian, czech orgreek, to read the posts by the Cubans.

    The fact that it is translated to other languages confirms that it is meant to spread the message to a much wider audience. It is an invitation to people from other countries to visit and read.

    And comment.

    And that is exactly what I am doing. I am accepting the invitation from the blog creators, I am reading it and I am making my own comments on what I read. Unlike the majority of posters. When did you or anyone else actually comment on the content of the posts by the team “yoani”?

    I am not saying that that is a wrong thing, just that most of your posts do not relate to the actual subject they offer to visitors to read. Many other posters haven’t discussed the stories at all. Only posted their own thoughts, usually rather rude and violent, towards posters who do not find much in terms of real value in the posts made by the team “yoani”.

    Now, for the other questions you ask. I’ll address them collectively.

    In my experience with Cubans, I have noticed that the conscience is growing towards the need to dispose of the two incompetent cretens currently telling them what to do and think.

    And I hope that Cubans in Cuba will not listen to, essentially just as antiquated crap from this and similar blogs whose authors still live in their angry little corners and just hope for a revenge.

    Because when you read this blog, you see that there is no real idea nor suggestion for a way forward for Cubans, except “some kind of pragmatic capitalism, in a Cuban way”. That is too vague and simplistic. It leaves the doors open to anything. Let us get the power first. We’ll see what we’ll do later.

    Later will be when the country falls into the abyss where only hyenas and sharks reign, as the history teaches us.

    But, we never learn. We all do stupid things and hope that shit will not happen.

    The first Murphy’s law: If there is anything that can go wrong, it will.

    If you are walking on the edge of the volcano, billion things can, and will go wrong. You stand no chance.

    Why, then, doing the same stupid thing many have done before you, and suffer the same fate? Only a lack of intelligence can justify such a move.

  7. Dumbir the disingenuous and foulmouthed degenerate is now attempting to sound civilized and contrite by presuming to modify history. He claims that he was an innocent voice who was simply expounding an opposing point of view. This of course is revisionist hogwash and everyone knows it. Dumbir whether he is paid or not by Habana essentially serves the purposes of those in Cuba who would discredit and disqualify all those in opposition. Dumbir’s methods, words and catch-phrases come straight out of the castro propaganda primer. He does not participate in the blog to present an opposing view but to insult, divide, discredit and misinform. His posts as juan attempted to maintain some civility but once he changed his clothes to his true self, dumbir, the gloves have been off since day one, despite his lame attempts to say otherwise. You are a useless and despicable tool. Regardless of your motivations and as long as you are present in the blog spreading your deceitful and scurrilous crap you will be responded to in a corresponding manner. You know nothing of Cuba, Cubans, wherever they may reside and even less of the dire situation in Cuba. You have nothing constructive to offer accept continuing to represent to all the uninformed what a miserable and unprincipled human being you are in your attempts to disqualify and misrepresent everyone. In your lame and incompetent attempts at discrediting you serve the purposes of those on the side of freedom and democracy. As
    Simba rightly points out, you offer nothing and stand for nothing.

  8. I think Dumbir is a secret agent from Venezuala and he has a secret plan to help Chavez overthrow the Castro brothers :)).

  9. Simba Sez: Damir, I read this blog several times a day to see what the latest comments shall bring forth. About once a week I comment. I notice your name here frequently, and have concluded that you do not approve of the Castro government, you do not believe what Yoani writes although she is in general a non-approver of the Castro government also, you do not approve of the usaians (whoever they are), you do not approve of European governments, you do not approve of anyone living in Miami, etc. Is it proper to ask, just what is it that you do approve of? Because this is a blog for Cubans about Cuba, what is it about Cuba that you do approve of? What would you do to improve life for Cubans, or do you believe that they have a wonderful life as is, and would change nothing? I’m curious.

  10. Oh… A response…? And a highly politically charged too. Suggesting I do THIS for a living.

    In a few of my older posts I have stated that I am an computer expert. THAT is what I was refering to. Not posting on this blog for living. But a nice (and not unexpected) try.

    And the “friendly” translator/moderator would have known for how LONG was I avoiding to get involved in verbal duels with the retards here.

    Very long. And you all allowed these trolls to insult, although many people complained about them, and despite your supposed policies you have done NOTHING to stop these rude and uncivilised monkeys from insulting anyone who dared to disagree with the current ideological line of these idiots.

    What is the point pretending now? Too late. Just look at the comment following yours by the resident insultor below.

    And then offering an opinion on the “second” point that no one raised…

    Also, I post once in a blue moon here, whereas your capiros, yubanos and other offenders here, are posting daily the stuff without the permission from the sources, that have zero to do with the posts published by The Huffington Post.

    Sorry, by Yoani… of course… despite all the difficulties and obstacles she has in Cuba.

  11. The communist coward dumbir has has let his ego get the best him and he has revealed himself for what he truly is, a paid provocateur and mouthpiece for the castro brothers. He admittedly makes a living ( a wretchedly meager one I’m sure)spreading his manure in this blog and probably others in service of his masters in Habana. As the moderator/translator points out, how ironic that this lackey, dumbir, juan, whatever his name is spends a considerable amount of time incoherently accusing everyone in here of being on the US payroll when in fact he admits to “do this for a living”. If it were possible to discredit yourself, you have done so very effectively with your stupid and short-sighted admission. But of course you had no credibility to begin with, you have only confirmed what we suspected in the first place. I always suspected you were one of the many incompetent trained parrots of the castro government. How cheaply do you sell yourself for you stalin-loving whore? What do they pay you, 150-200 CUCs a month? If you are an example of the people they are using to discredit, misinform and shill, the castro government is not long for Cuba. You should be allowed to continue posting, you make our case with everyone of your moronic and embarrassingly childish posts.

  12. Moderators! PLEASE do not block Damierda and his posts, we need a laugh in our daily routine! Besides this is not CASTROFACIST CUBA!!

  13. By the way, “friendly” administrators/translators. No point in blocking me form posting more than once. I can bypass your “protections” any time any day.

    You are just not all that good in what you do. Just look at the content of this sour blog…

    So, please be nice and do not try to block me again. It is not working anyway. I do this for living, unlike you.

  14. Now that the have been brushed off (they will come for more, but I have no time to debate with loser immigrants working as lacqueys in slums of Miami. The life is too short to waste it on irrelevant humanoids.) let us revisit the points the team “yoani” offers as a “undeniable truth, emulating their mentors and idosl, the inept losers brothers Castros:

    One thing the team “yoani” “protests” about, in their enormous ignorance is the prices of everything.

    Everything is “expensive” in “communism” (when they too know well that there is NO communism in Cuba. Socialism is what they have in Cuba.)

    Well, the news for the ignorants: everything is expensive in capitalism too. And even more so. The difference is that in Cuba, thanks to the usanian dictatorship, they have little to buy, since Cuba was never, thanks to previous capitalism too, not only to the inept losers brothers Castro, an industrialised country. Not one governator had ever bothered to develop a comprehensive industry to develop a country in the name of people.

    But brothels and casinos, that was built left and right.

    Now, here’s what I have just received in my email. I have significant investmets in energy sector in Italy and around the globe and receive regular update from the peer support unit:

    Oil & Energy Investor
    Oil & Energy Investor with Dr. Kent Moors
    December 20, 2010

    Wall Street Is for Children… Houston Is for Grown-Ups

    Energy. It’s been the biggest and most profitable game in town for over a century. And that will be the case for the next 100 years, too. The only difference will be how the money will be made. So I’m inviting you to play “rich,” the way they do in Texas. And I’m making it easy…

    Electricity Prices Are Moving Higher
    Across the Globe
    by Dr. Kent Moors

    Dear Oil & Energy Investor,

    Something is happening internationally that has gone almost unnoticed in the American market – electricity prices in certain regions are increasing… and fast.

    The spikes have been particularly noticeable in Australia and the U.K.

    Much of Australia has seen rises in power costs of 20% (or more) in less than two years. Prices there are accelerating more than twice as fast as a rising inflation rate and will continue to soar, due to an under-funded electricity infrastructure.

    The U.K., along with the rest of Europe, finds itself in the grips of an unusually early and prolonged snow assault carrying frigid temperatures. British consumers are now facing 22-month-high electricity prices, and thousands of homes in northern England and Scotland are facing the serious challenge of losing heat.

    On Friday (December 17), the British government announced that it was considering something rarely seen this side of World War II – fuel rationing.

    Click here for Kent’s take on the situation, plus the advantage he sees for investors…

    http://clicks.oilandenergyinvestor.com//t/AQ/AAONkA/AAOX1w/AAMGnw/AQ/Axt5DA/XIO5

    The point of the article and the whole capitalist concept is that it (the “pragmatic” capitalism as the team “yoani” call it in their absolute and horrendous ignorance) is interested only in ONE SINGLE thing. And that is PROFIT GROWTH.

    The”democracy” concept is only there to fool the foreign countries in allowing foreign investment in their countries. Once they do that, hasta la vista “democracy”. The big business takes over and dictates the actual human “rights”.

    The one rule is that it is okay to have “human rights” as long as they do not interfere with the PROFIT GROWTH. If they do, the PROFIT GROWTH takes precedence.

    End of story.

    And that is what “yoani”, the biggest loser in Cuba, wants for her own people.

    Democracy my foot.

    Just look at the “Patriotic” Act in the usa to see how much of freedom really they have there.

    Less than in Cuba. The act even openly invites and encourages people to SPY on each other.

    The team “yoani” ios a team of professional terrorists and liars. They need to come out clean and tell teh truth.

    They won’t. Not until they achieve their objectives (to screw up their own land to the end, and let the 50 years pass by.) Only then, just before they die, will they come out just as McNamara, the animal greater than even Hitler himself, came out clean last year, admitting in a self-made documentary that he and everyone in the governments he was serving in are the WAR CRIMINALS.

    He cries like a baby, under the weight of his conscience. It took him the whole life to realise what monstruos crimes he had comitted.

    Too late now for all those (he admitted only 2 500 000 of people murdered, but the real number is around 4 millions, and probably as twice as high if all the wars of his governments are counted in.) he had murdered in his tenure as a WAR CRIMINAL and a HUMAN RIGHTS violator.

    The team “yoani” follows the same path. The scene is different, the times and the players are different, but the screenplay is the same old bullshit McNamara, ad all other crimsons around him, used in his time.

    THAT is what the team “yoani” are about.

    Not democracy. They give rat’s arse about democracy. If they did, they would be talking about things tho do and things that can be done to improve.

    All they are talking about is despair, tragedies, drama, doom and gloom.

    Not a SINGLE word about the future, about improvements, about peaceful and constructive engagement with the two stupid brothers.

    ANd of course there’s a reason for that. HAve you ever seen a critique directed at either of them?

    Which disciple has ever criticised their gurus and idols?

  15. SO THIS SALVADORAN GUY GETS A SPEEDY TRIAL (was nabbed in Venezuela July 1) AND ALAN GROSS HAS BEEN IN CUBAN JAIL FOR OVER A YEAR AND NO CHARGES OR THE SO CALLED ILLEGAL PHONES ETC HAVE NEVER BEEN SHOWN TO THE MEDIA? THAT’S CASTROFACIST JUSTICE FOR YOU!

    The Associated Press -Monday, December 20, 2010; 1:29 PM

    HAVANA — Cuba has announced the start of a trial for a Salvadoran man facing terrorism charges in a 1990s bombing spree that targeted the island’s tourist hotels.

    Havana has blamed Cuban-American exile groups for the attacks and claims that Francisco Chavez Abarca confessed to being hired to plant the bombs by a U.S.-based opponent of former President Fidel Castro.

    The state-run website Cubadebate said that Chavez Abarca’s trial began Monday in Havana’s state security crimes court.

    Chavez Abarca was detained in Venezuela on July 1 as he tried to enter the country with a false passport and swiftly extradited to Cuba.

    It is not known how long the trial will last.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/20/AR2010122002814.html

  16. ***
    Cubans need better food, medicine, better living conditions, real jobs that produce something of value. And Cuba is a beautiful island with smart educated people. Good tourism income, good agriculture in the past, and future oil income from Gulf oil wells.
    ***
    The communist government is the problem. Cubans will fix these problems when Cuba is free again.
    ***
    Cubanos necessitan mejor comida, medicina, mejor condiciones a vivir, trabajos verdaderos que hacen algo de valor. Y Cuba es una isla hermosa con educada gente lista. Buen ingresos de turismo, buen agricultura en el pasado, y ingresos futuros de pozos de petroleo en el Golfo de Mexico.
    ***
    El gobierno communista es el problemo. Cubanos van arreglar estos problemos cuando Cuba es libre otra vez.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  17. Panic, anger as Cuba plans to lay off 1 of every 10 workers-By Juan O. Tamayo Dec 19, 2010

    MIAMI — Cuba’s draconian plan to lay off 10 percent of its workforce is running into a slew of problems — not the least of which are the growing fights over who will wind up on the street.

    Cuban and foreign economists say it’s too much, too fast.

    Radical leftists are branding Raúl Castro as a capitalist exploiter of workers and – in an odd alignment with Cuban dissidents – are urging workers to fight the job cuts.

    One well-known historian and Communist Party member has warned of social chaos, maybe even a mass exodus, and cautioned that the layoffs may be unconstitutional.

    Workers desperately trying to keep their jobs are accusing others of corruption. And some blacks and women are warning that those sectors may be hardest hit by the job cuts.

    Almost no one doubts the job cuts are necessary in a country where the government pays the salaries of 85 percent of the workers – many of them in little more than make-work jobs. Castro has admitted the state payrolls are padded with more than one million surplus workers.

    In his most significant reforms since he succeeded brother Fidel in 2008, Castro is laying off 500,000 workers by April and is expected to cut another 500,000 to 800,000 in three years.

    He’s also cutting back other public spending and subsidies, and allowing an expansion of the private business sector in hopes that at least 250,000 of the newly laid off workers will be able to support themselves.

    Some Cubans say they are not overly concerned by the job cuts because Castro has promised that no worker “will be left unprotected.’’ The island will eventually muddle through the crisis, they say.

    Others say the country is awash in fear, especially among the bureaucrats, administrators, elderly, academics and recent university graduates seen as most likely to be left jobless.

    “The entire country is afraid. Fear of who’ll be out of work.

    Fear of how you’re going to buy food or something for the kids,’’ said Evelina, a Havana mother of two teenagers. “That’s what people are talking about, every minute, in every place.’’

    But the problems with the job cuts extend far beyond the fear. Dissident Havana economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe said he does not doubt the layoffs are needed, but argued that Castro is doing it the wrong way.

    “He’s doing in a very abrupt, very brutal way, without first creating the proper conditions’’ by waiting until the private sector had begun expanding, Espinosa said by telephone from Havana.

    “They got it ‘bass-ackwards’. They are laying off first and hoping and praying that the small private sector is going to expand enough to absorb them,’’ said Archibald Ritter, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa who specializes in the Cuban economy.

    Former Cuban Deputy Labor Minister Lázaro González Rodríguez wrote in a recent Internet column that while the job cuts are needed, ‘‘what I can’t agree with are the methods, ways and time frame.’’

    The organization of labor at most state agencies and enterprises have not been studied for years, González argued, so the decisions on how many employees will be laid off at each workplace “are not the result of a technical study.”

    JOB IS A RIGHT

    Article 45 of the Cuban constitution also says that a job “in socialist society is a right, a duty and an honor,’’ he added. A group of Afro-Cubans, the Cofradía de la Negritud, in a Sept. 22 declaration urged blacks who believe they are to be dismissed for racial reasons to “not accept this passively and be ready to defend their labor rights.’’

    Cuban women also have warned against discriminating against them in the layoffs, with one writer noting that women hold 80 percent of the administrative jobs – a sector singled out for deep cutbacks.

    And a group of dissident lawyers, the Corriente Agramontista, issued a set of guidelines this month explaining the rights of workers to appeal their layoffs and if denied, challenge them in court.

    Even the leftist International League of Workers, active mostly in Latin America, blasted the layoffs as “a classic capitalist plan’’ and added: “The true defense of socialism in Cuba today means supporting the workers against this plan and …demanding the right to strike.’’

    Castro has promised that the process of selecting those who will keep their jobs will be done not on the basis of seniority but “with strict observance of the principle of suitability.’’

    But his government has taken a somewhat hands-off approach to the process, apparently to distance itself from some of the pain of the cutbacks.

    The layoffs were first announced by the communist-run Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC), the island’s lone labor union. And the initial recommendations on who goes are made in each workplace by a Committee of Experts made up of one administrator, one CTC official and either three or five workers chosen by fellow employees.

    Final decisions are made by higher-level supervisors. The government has not revealed how many workers have been laid off so far, though the cutbacks were to have started Oct. 4.

    But the committees already have sparked intense tensions, especially in government agencies and enterprises with access to goods that can be filched and sold on the black market.

    Miriam Celaya, a Havana woman who writes the blog Sin Evasion (Without Evasion), reported on Oct. 23 on a friend who works for a food-related state enterprise in Havana and now sits on its Committee of Experts.

    KICKBACK ECONOMY

    Workers at the enterprise used to happily kick back their meager salaries to supervisors in exchange for the chance to earn much more by stealing supplies and cheating customers, Celaya wrote, comparing the arrangement to a “Sicilian mafia.’’

    The scheme is not uncommon in tourist restaurants, where administrators claim that the state keeps all the profits so they need the workers’ salaries to maintain and upgrade the facilities, two Havana residents said.

    But now her friend “must decide, along with the other commissioners, which ones of these thieving associates [who, along with her, and just like her, cheat customers and bribe the bosses] … remain as part of the gang’’ Celaya wrote.

    In another post, Celaya reported “pitched battles’’ between workers as the commissions consider who should keep their jobs.

    “These days anyone can be another’s executioner,’’ she added. “Why are they going to fire me and not that woman, who is corrupt … And why me and not that guy, who’s always late? …

    And of course they don’t fire that woman because she’s having an affair with the boss.’’

    Independent journalist Adolfo Pablo Borrazá wrote that at the Book Institute in Havana employees are denouncing co-workers “just to keep their jobs.’’ He added, “Even if it’s a good worker, it would be enough for someone to denounce a criticism of the government.’’

    Mutual accusations of corruption during committee sessions at a Havana hotel and José Martí International Airport already have sparked inquiries by prosecutors, according to reports circulating in Havana. The planned layoffs also have sparked warnings of unrest, even among government supporters like Pedro Campos, a historian, Communist Party member and former diplomat.

    “This could lead to unnecessary chaos, a social collapse, a massive and uncontrollable exodus,’’ declared a column signed by Campos “and other companeros’’ and published Sept. 27 on the Internet.

    But Cubans are more likely to accept the layoffs without complaints, wrote Havana blogger Elha Kovacs on her Internet page, Arma de Tinta – Ink Weapon. “In the long run people will use their personal resources and strategies for survival – and continue thinking about anything except changing the circumstances and conditions at the root of the dramatic scenario,’’ Kovacs added.

    Espinosa Chepe said the Castro government may even decide to lay off less than the targeted 500,000, or extend the March 31 deadline, once it realizes the magnitude of the problems ahead.

    “I have my doubts that this will go ahead as planned because there are no – none at all – conditions for it to succeed,’’ he said.

    http://www.kentucky.com/2010/12/19/1573267/panic-anger-as-cuba-plans-to-lay.html#more

  18. There is a moron somewhere that can explain to us what other economical system exist out of capitalism?????
    I will pay with a couple of lollipops to the one that can show us this other economical system ….. come on, don’t’ be shy …….. the only that can happen is that you be taken by a moron…… and this is not so hard….. anyway you are now too taken by moron!!!!!…… jjajajajaja…….. what a funny dumb people !!!

  19. ***
    HI DAMIR–#2. All persons have a right to own their home. The Cuban government stole the homes from the owners–and gave them to their friends. In Mexico people have the right to own their homes–in Cuba Castro owns everything–like a king. Don’t talk to me about “rights”–all I see in Cuba is wrongs.
    ***
    HI DAMIR–#2. Toda la gente tiene el derecho ser duenos de su casa. El gobierno Cubano robo las casas de sus duenos–y les regalaban a sus amigos. En Mexico la gente tienen el derecho de ser duenos de sus casas–en Cuba Castro es dueno de todas las cosas–como un rey. No me habla de “derechos”–veo no mas acciones malos en Cuba.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  20. DAMIERDA! IS SOO GOOD TO COME INTO A NEW POSTING BY YOANI AND FIND THAT YOUR LITTLE BRAIN AND PECKER HAVE BEEN HERE! SO GLAD WE HAVE YOU BACK WHERE YOU BELONG! IN OUR BULL’S-EYE!

    MIAMI HERALD: New book preserves stories of Cuban exodus-Famous Miami hitmaker Emilio Estefan turns his focus on preserving the history of the local Cuban exile community with his latest project: a book telling the story of Miami’s Cuban exiles. By OLGA CONNOR
    Miami music mogul Emilio Estefan has always carried his love of Cuba on his sleeve. From the conga beat he made famous with his wife Gloria to his restaurant fare, there’s no doubt he’s a proud product of his homeland.
    Like nearly two million others, he was forced from his homeland by Fidel Castro’s rise to power and eventually came to live among Miami’s Cuban exile community, where, as we know, he found fame and fortune.

    Now, he wants to ensure the history of other Cubans like him is captured for posterity — the beginnings of an Ellis Island-style chronicle.

    Going on sale today is Estefan’s personal pet project, a massive, bilingual coffee table book. Through stories, photographs and lists of names, the book documents the different generations of Cubans who escaped through three famed exoduses — Operation Pedro Pan, the Freedom Flights and Mariel.

    The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom fittingly debuts at Christmas — a melancholy time for older exiles who recall Castro took power 51 years ago this month. The book can be purchased at six CVS stores in Miami-Dade or ordered at www. MiamiHerald.com/exile.

    The book is the brainchild of Estefan, who contributed to its creation through his Crescent Moon Publications and Emilio Estefan Enterprises. Guiding the project was HCP/Aboard Publishing, an affiliate of the Miami Herald Media Co.

    It’s Estefan’s second book this year. His The Rhythm of Success: How an Immigrant Produced His Own American Dream is still in stores.

    “For a long time, five years more or less, I’ve been thinking, `What can I do for the world to understand what happened to Cubans?’ ” said Estefan, who wrote the foreword and took part in deciding which authors would contribute.

    “There are many people who are not Cuban and they ask, `What is your pain and why did you leave Cuba?’ You can never tell the entire truth of what happened in one sitting — the separation, the dead, the lack of freedom for so many years, the prisoners, the Mariel boatlift, the Freedom Tower, so many things that have transpired in 50 years.”

    He hopes this book will help the world understand.

    The book tells the story of the various waves of exiles who arrived on these shores. It is a collaboration of well-known Cuban writers: Carlos Eire, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Mirta Ojito and poet Carlos Pintado. But Estefan also sought personal testimonials of successful people from different generations of exiles, like the Mas Canosa family, television personality Cristina Saralegui, medical entrepenuer Benjamin Leon Jr., and Perry Ellis International chairman and CEO George Feldenkreis.

    “It has been an exile (community) that has fought a lot,” said Estefan, who fled Cuba as a teen with his father. “They have had to work hard, to defend themselves against everything, to separate from their families, their properties, even their own personalities, because they have had to start all over again in a totally new country.”

    The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom is published in three separate editions — each tailor-made for those who arrived through Operation Pedro Pan, the Freedom Flights and the Mariel boatlift. Each edition features the names of every Cuban who arrived in one of the three exoduses, more than 400,000 names between the three editions.

    Garry Duell, publisher of HCP/Aboard, guided the project with Estefan and the book’s sponsors. He says the names in the back of each edition give Journey to Freedom an emotional impact.

    “If you came in the Freedom Flights, as a member of the Pedro Pan group or during the Mariel boat lift, you can find yourself in one of the three volumes.” The books serve as proof and verification of your arrival into exile, he said.

    For months, Duell’s staff worked to weave together the work of Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald reporters and photographers and other writers. It took weeks to figure out how to fit the exile names in the book from existing Miami Herald exile databases.

    The first chapter was written by Montaner, whose life is as dramatic as that of any exiled Cuban. He was a political prisoner at the age of 17, but escaped from prison and took refuge at a foreign embassy in Havana. He arrived in Miami in September 1961 with hundreds of other Cubans.

    In his chapter, “The Cuban Revolution: Why and How,” Montaner presents the historic background that produced this dramatic change in the island. “My assignment was to explain why hundreds of thousands of Cubans ended up in Florida,” Montaner said. “Until 1959, Cuba was at the receiving end of immigrants, there were more Americans living in Cuba than Cubans in the U.S.” Then Castro came to power.

    The assignment to explain the exodus of 14,000 children during Operation Pedro Pan fell upon Carlos Eire, who was one of the children who came in that program sponsored by the Catholic Church and the U.S. government.

    Several successful people, such as Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, musician Willy Chirino, Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón, and former senator Mel Martínez were Pedro Pan children, whose exemplary lives are captured.’

    The following exodus was the Freedom Flights, where 260,000 Cubans arrived on two daily flights from Varadero to Miami from 1965 to 1973. The chapter is written by Miami Herald reporter Luisa Yanez, who as a child was among those exiles.

    Based on her own experience and journalistic research, Mirta Ojito summarizes the Mariel experience in the chapter “Mariel, An Epic Exodus.” She explains one of South Florida’s most famous and impactful immigrant waves and how her family came to join its 125,000 participants.

    Poet Carlos Pintado, was living in Havana during the 1994 balsero crisis — the last major exodus from Cuba to Miami — uses poetic language to narrate the chapter “Rafters: Lost Between Two Destinations.”

    Born in 1974, Pintado considered leaving Cuba on a raft, but changed his mind after realizing that the people crafting those small boats were neither sailors nor boat builders. “I had doubts and thought the ocean was the only way out. But one of the things that frightened me was that the boat builders were dancers, actors, writers.” He had already written books he would later publish in Miami, where he arrived in 1997 with his father, who came as a political refugee.

    The current editions of The Exile Experience do not list the names of rafters, or those who came in the early days of the revolution, or via third countries. Some of those will be chronicled in later editions.

    Still, the book is a rich trove of historic photographs from The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald and private collections.

    There is also a tribute to the Freedom Tower, or El Refugio as Cubans called their processing center, this community’s Ellis Island. Today, the iconic 1925 building is owned by Miami Dade College, where the book was launched last Tuesday with a party for dignitaries and contributors.

    “The Freedom Tower means a lot to me,” Estefan said. “I stood in line there to get food with my aunt. … my father lived in Puerto Rico and my mother remained in Cuba with my brother. Once they gave me a voucher to have surgery at Variety Children’s Hospital, and when the operation was over my parents were not by my side. There are many things we have lived in our own flesh.”

    When the gala for the college’s 50th anniversary was held in the Freedom Tower earlier this month, Estefan sat at the presidential table.

    “That’s what my career and this book are all about. We have to explain it to the world. I went there for food and now I was sitting at the presidential table,” he said.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/18/1980017/new-book-preserves-stories-of.html

  21. Well done team “yoani”, well done. Get out of that closet. Be brave, shpw us your colours.

    Show the world that your primary objective is NOT democracy but simply capitalism where you would manipulate and cheat those very same poor people you pretend here you are speaking for and fighting for.

    Excellent self-confession:

    One of the toughest questions my Spanish students ask me, while I teach them this dilapidated city where I was born, is, “What kind of person lives in certain houses or in certain neighborhoods?” I try to explain that you can find a woman who makes her living scrubbing floors living in a mansion in Miramar, and a surgeon living in a shack without running water. Probably the woman living in the enormous house with her roof falling in and her garden a chaos of weeds and rust, because her wages are not enough to maintain so many square feet. The sawbones, meanwhile, has accumulated capital from his illicit breast implant business, but cannot — legally — obtain a house consistent with his means. So the humble cleaner and the doctor come to an agreement, disregard the law, and decide to exchange their homes. To accomplish this they bribe three or four officials at the Housing Institute. A year later he is enjoying his lawn dotted with bougainvillea, and she, her thousands of convertible pesos received for “trading down.”

    It is okay to get rich through illicit business and strip the poor of their “mansions” because they cannot maintain them anyway, so screw them and send them to shanty towns where they belong!!!

    Well done team “yoani” well done.

    Keep coming out of the closet and you will bnot need people like I to point out at your true intentions any longer.

    Find the courage and put up your flag for all to see. No one believes in your crybaby fake “emotional” stories about the poor people anyway.

    And after this post, only an idiot and profiteering sharks can stand up and defend your hypocrisy and fake image.

  22. Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Prisoner of Conscience

    THE LAWTON FOUNDATION MISSION is “to defend the inalienable rights of the human race, we understand the need to put limits on government to prevent the undermining of those rights. It is because of this that we have become activists in this organization – to establish in our country the rule of law, so that each man and woman may be fulfilled as complete human beings.”

    “I am of the opinion that as long as a Castro-communist dictatorship exists in Cuba, we, Cubans, will not be able to live in freedom and democracy and that the violations of human rights will continue. I ask the democratic governments of the world and the individuals who love justice and freedom to support the Cuban people and not the government of the island which usurped power, betrayed the people, by sullying them. The conquest of liberty for Cuba is the present priority and will require a struggle that is detailed in its organization and persevering. My steps are headed towards the conquest of that priority. Hear, oh God, my cry, listen to my prayer fulfilling my vows day by day. Free me and free the Cuban people.”

    THE LAWTON FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS was founded in 1997 in Havana, Cuba, as a non-governmental humanitarian and peaceful organization based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Lawton Foundation for Human Rights promotes the study, defense, and denunciation of human rights violations inside Cuba and wherever the rights and liberties of human beings are disregarded. Its’ members main objective is to establish in Cuba a state based on the rule of the law.

    The Lawton Foundation for Human Rigths
    Purpose and Objectives
    The foundation was founded in 1997 in Havana, Cuba, as a non-governmental humanitarian and peaceful organization based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Lawton Foundation for Human Rights promotes the study, defense, and denunciation of human rights violations inside Cuba and wherever the rights and liberties of human beings are disregarded. Its members’ main objective is to establish a Cuban state based on the rule of law. The groundwork for their defense of all human rights is based upon the first human right: the right to life, without which all other liberties would be invalidated. Despite the risk to their personal safety, members are fully and actively committed to spreading their ideals inside Cuba. They are censured, mistreated physically and psychologically, and blackmailed. In addition, they are arbitrarily incarcerated by Cuban authorities for defending their principles in the same prison as common criminals.

    Read more…
    Ultimas reflexiones del Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Desde la Cárcel Combinado del Este Edificio 1, 2 Sur, Celda 1232. La Habana, junio 12, 2010, 08:31pm
    La disidencia cubana: una luz de esperanza en una isla esclavizada

    Las actitudes honorables de muchas mujeres en la búsqueda de la dignidad humana para sus conciudadanos en la historia universal ha calado hondo en mi mente. Ellas hubieron de cambiar las bases estructurales de sus países. Estos son bellos ejemplos a imitar:
    Ÿ Lucrecia, su acción en el campo ético moral provocó la caída de la monarquía y la formación de la República de Roma.
    Ÿ Juana de Arco, capitaneo un pequeño ejercito que estimuló en sus con patriotas el deseo de independencia de su patria.
    ŸRosa Parks, luchó por la igualdad racial y su posición heroica hizo levantar un fuerte movimiento por los derechos civiles en America que llevó a grandes cambios en la nación.
    ŸMujeres en el liderazgo de sus naciones: Margaret Thacher, Corazón Aquino, Violeta Chamorro y Ángela Merkel, estas son ejemplos talentosos a seguir, tengo esperanza que suceda lo mismo en mi país.

    Read more…
    Latest News and Reflections by Elsa Morejon, wife of Dr. Biscet
    Written by Elsa
    Mensaje a los Activistas de Derechos Humanos.
    Licenciada Elsa Morejon Hernández,
    Esposa del Dr. Osar Elías Biscet y González

    Al conmemorarse el 10 de Diciembre el 62 Aniversario de La Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos me honra felicitarlos en el nombre de mi esposo el Dr. Biscet, Presidente de la Fundación Lawton de Derechos Humanos, y en el de muchos prisioneros Políticos y de Conciencia que aún permanecen en las cárceles de Cuba.

    http://www.lawtonfoundation.com/

  23. RE: health care in Cuba – Are you sure you are not describing Canada? Maybe my last doctor’s visit was in Cuba without my knowledge, but I swear I never left Canada.

    Socialism is for a bunch of mediocre but powerful anti-society morons to rule over the rest of us sheeples. In bad capitalist Canada the poorest poor, including the unemployable homeless, are better off than most employable and hard working Cubans.

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