Egypt 2.0


Darkness and light in Tahrir Square, a red phosphorescence glow interrupted by the camera flashes and the glowing screens of mobile phones. I wasn’t there, and yet I know how each one of the Egyptians felt, gathered last night in downtown Cairo. I, who have never been able to shout and cry in public, overwhelmed by happiness that the cycle of authoritarianism under which I was born has ended, I know I would do the same until I had no voice left, I would hug everyone, I would feel light as if a huge burden had fallen from my shoulders. I have not experienced a revolution, much less a citizen revolution, but this week, despite the caution of the official news, I have the sense that the Suez Canal and the Caribbean Sea are not so far apart, not so different.

While young Egyptians were organizing on Facebook, we were watching with consternation the leaked chat of a cybercop, for whom social networks are “the enemy.” This censor of kilobytes and his bosses have every right to fear these virtual sites, where as individuals we can meet outside the controls of the State, the Party and the ideologues. Reading the words of the young Egyptian Wael Ghonim, “If you want to liberate a country, give it Internet!”, I understand more clearly the secrecy our authorities display regarding whether or not they will allow us to connect to the Web. They have become accustomed to having an information monopoly, of regulating what comes to us and reinterpreting for us what happens both within and beyond our national frontiers. They now know, because Egypt has taught them, that every step they let us take into cyberspace brings us a step closer to Tahir Square, leads us quickly to a plaza that trembled and a dictator who resigned.

Advertisements

89 thoughts on “Egypt 2.0

  1. @#88 good try, I know tato’s boys & girls will do anything to either misinform or stage a provocation by deception …

  2. por favor, se podria confirmar algo que esta saliendo en algunos “blogs” y siendo reportado por la radio AM local por periodistas independientes dentro de Cuba; manifestaciones en el oriente de la isla en estos mismos momentos?…si es asi, debemos nosotros salir a nuestras calles en Miami y Hialeah para apoyar dichas manifestaciones…por favor, confirmen…gracias…

  3. PACHECHO! MUCHACHO! LEARN ENGLISH! ESTA PARTE DEL BLOG ES DE PARLA INGLES CHACHO! Y NO TE HAGAS EL COMEMIER*A! SABEMOS QUE ESTAS AQUI PARA DEFAMAR A ESTE BLOG Y A YOANI!

  4. @ Albert (qui ose gagnes) – do you really think it is that easy? Who will fear freedom will burn – who welcomes it will live in glory?

  5. I Yolanda am a new Generation Y reader. I am proud to associate with Generation Y and feel educated by the story Egypt 2.0 Egypt 2.0 made me see that all is possible and it made me dream of a new tomorrow for Cuba. Peacefully the Egyptians showed that they just wanted more freedom. More freedom is good. I dream of a Cuba that soon is more free. !Yolanda loves Generation Y!

  6. It seems in the middle east people is showing that they are tired of the status quo.
    Tired of been told how to lead their lives, tired of being told what religious beliefs to embrace, tired of political beliefs imposed by the powerful, tired of poverty & lack of future, tired of no hope for their lives.
    When the people is tired there is no stopping for politcal or religious rallies, is time for change.
    People wants freedom to choose their freedom of will w/a democratic form of goverment
    That’s what the people of Cuba wants, it is time to look around, unite for that purpose, freely w/one goal: Cuba Libre !!!

  7. Greetings,

    I’m a libertarian (pro-freedom) activist living in San Francisco, California. I have been delighted to see the recent uprisings in the Middle East, and am also delighted to learn of this site (which I found through FreedomsPhoenix.com), and that people in Cuba are watching and gaining hope.

    Down with Hosni Mubarak, Colonel Gaddafi, Fidel Castro and all tyrants! Cuba is overdue for a revolution, and it is the Castros and their cronies who are the new counter-revolutionaries! Long live freedom!

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    Partido Libertario, San Francisco

  8. “FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY” This book by Gene Sharp may be useful when thinking about non violent liberation from totalitarian rule.

  9. @#79 & 80
    I can see that toto’s statement was correctz: the rebolution has blogeros & they will wage war against the dissidents & we’ll see who wins …
    Your problem is simple:
    1) lies about your speech been limited and/or controlled in any language is something the rebolution does by using you the protecors & defenders keep in mind that there is a record of it … in the web.
    2) the only extermists here are you some of your prtectors & defenders of the reboution have expressed their hate for jews, blacks and indians including gay, inmigrnts & Cubans in exile, need proof? do read the comments contributed here by your Damir in the last eight months, it even includes insults, name calling Y bad words.
    3) Take a close look at your conduct & the type of language you, all protectors & defenders of the rebolution choose to use in a conversation/dialogue (if that is what you call it) w/dissident, you attack, use abusive language, name calling, you twist facts w/lies & innuendo, you “shout” in an effort to silence the oposition.
    4) You should keep in mind, the web is the reason you have a job, is the web being used to spread truth, in the web are the true facts, all w/context & your masters can’t control that.
    5) This is no heresay, this is based on the record, accumulated for years, like the UN meetings & resolutions, like the misile crisis, like the amount of donated food & medicines from the US, like tle billons invested in your cuba (not my Cuba) by remitances.
    You have a problem pal … the time is short & you should be looking w/your concience (if you still have it) for an answer to this question: when the time comes & you are asked “what have you done for my Cuba” you best have a good answer because your time of accountabuility is comming & your “love” for Cuba is not the same as mine, yours comes from your belly … while mine comes fromy heart.
    You are pointing at the twigg in my eye yet neglect to sea the beam in yours.

  10. Este glob, es estremista y racista , los que defendemos a la Cuba de ahora, estamos prohibidos, de hacer comentarios , en el glob, de español.

  11. @#75
    I can see by reading your comments that your replacement needs a little help communicating his/herself.
    The reality still much brighter than the isolated cases of abuse & violence.
    Even in the quest for freedom there are rotten people lurking in the fringes.
    By the way: is this what tato meant when he said something tot the effect of “we have blogeros to wage war against the dissident blogs & we’ll see who comes on top”?
    Like is happening in the Middle East change is comming your way … we weary, your time to answer might be just around the corner.
    People is tired of empty promises, of repression & paranoia, of food shortages, of media control & lies.
    By the rebolution’s own statements it has not worked & finally it is realizing that the inevitable is about to happen & there is nothing to stop it.
    For one thing this rebolution is always worried about what the rest of the world thinks about the paradise it has created.
    What are they going to do to stop change that they have not done already?
    On the other hand, the web being many things can be very effective for the cause of freedo & that the rebolution cannot stop.
    There is no next time because the time clock has is ticking & either the rebolution changes their tune or it will be done away with. time to answer for all the suffering it has brought to Cuba & her people is comming.
    Be afraid, very afraid life changes … the rebolution’s

  12. “What is the most telling part is that his own people think he is an old fart and a loser.”

    Dear Damir not very different from the oppionion that most Cubans have about Castro.

  13. Here is a wonderful true life story about what happens to those “corageous” and “righteous” dissidents who destroy their own countryies.

    Remember Vaclav Havel, the guy who played the same tune to his white gods masters and destroyed his own country Czechoslovakia into two separated countries?

    It goes without saying that his is now a life of a rediculous old man who has lost the contact with reality. He went from a “democracy fighter”, just like this rediculous team “yoani”, to a born again socialist suggesting to Kohl some time ago that the two should work together to unite all parties of European Community into one single party, European Party.

    Vaclav, it is too late now to realise the magnitude of your “counter-revolutionary” stupidity.

    Your “successess” are now in your own eyes horrible defeats.

    You should have though about that BEFORE you screwed your own country, just so you could lick your white gods’ backsides for some of that dissidents’ favourite food that can be found there.

    Now, the next stop is the cemetery because you have already reached oblivion.

    And I can only imagine the emotional rollecoaster he is going through by being reminded 24/7 that he is the responsible for everything that happened to his country and millions of people, just because he wanted capitalism.

    What is the most telling part is that his own people think he is an old fart and a loser.

    Must be the way people say thank you for the “freedom” which, as Czech now know only too well did not bring anything good in their lives.

    They rarely speak there about how now everything is wonderful and beautiful, since the foreigners own everything and they are still working for peanuts, just as they did in socialism.

    The only difference is that the prices today are ten times higher. The salaries are much the same…

    Yeah, Vaclav, what’s up with that? Where’s the promised land and capitalist paradise? Been 25 years now and no better tomorrow is in sight.

  14. Post 41, trudeau, I did respond to your question but the “democrats” who kep this page in the naem of some “yoani”, removed it in a jiffy.

    I’ll try again, in several small messages, maybe some remain.

    But, I am happy to see the “democrats” showing their real face and the face of the things to really come for Cuba, should CUbans be stupid enough to try and change their system for a”democracy”.

    Please keep deleting or blocking my posts, every time you do that, you prove me right.

    The truth is dangerous to demagogues of any colour.

  15. NOw that 200 protesters have raped and beaten a CNN reporter, just because she was a white, blond woman from the usa, keep rooting for the “revolution” in Egypt.

    And while you are at that, do not forget that El Baradei is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are also financing him while pretending they have no interest in political power.

    They actually don’t. Not in a “western” style “democracy” anyway. They are only interested in their shariah law. So, naturally, they have no interest in continuing with the “western” “democracy” in Egypt.

    Enters the scene El Baradei.

    Another “darling” of western powers who has also a Nobel price for, of all things, peace to his name to convince the western supporters (idiots like usa, england, germany, france etc.) that he is “their” guy.

    Until he grabs the power and then simply sails away into another muslim “republic”.

    Just like Iran, courtesy of western “democracy”.

    One needs to be a creten to see anything positive in what just happened in Egypt.

    Tunis on the other hand is entirely different story. But who even remembers any more that it was Tunis that started it all, not Egypt, as those toothless primitives, who raped the usanian reporter, keep repeating in their delusion that something had actually changed.

    Generals are now officially in charge in Egypt.

    How is that a revolution?

    The only amazing thing is stupidity of people who can see things that do not exist in events that have nothing to do with them.

  16. Amazing thing freedom …
    It starts as a question in ones minde, a possibiity, a jump of the imagination.
    Once discovered it grows, runs nlike wild fire perhpas temporarily put out yet always returning, feared by conquerors yet sweet to the the simple people.
    The fire of freedom is comming closer & closer, who fears it will burn, who wants it will walk w/it to the other side cleansed & free.

  17. IM VERY PROUD OF MY FELLOW CUBANS FROM LAS VILLAS! I WAS BORN IN CABAIGUAN TO THE EAST! SHORT VIDEO FROM A MARCH ON FEB. 11!!

    VIDEO: Marcha en Placetas: Video

    http://marthabeatrizinfo.blogspot.com/2011/02/marcha-en-placetas-video.html

    Placetas is a city in the Villa Clara Province in the center of Cuba; before the change in the country’s government in 1959 the province was called Las Villas. Close towns include Zulueta (to the north), San Juan de los Remedios (to the northeast), Cabaiguán and Fomento (to the east), and Santa Clara and Camajuani (to the west). The town is also known as La Villa de los Laureles because of its wild laurel trees. Placetas is also a municipio, one of 13 subdivisions of the Villa Clara Province. Cuba’s geographical center, Guaracabuya, is located in this municipality.

  18. Cold
    about this

    “To me, sitting in what someone who recently came from Cuba describes as “another planet” it seems inconceivable that someone who appears otherwise intelligent, can lend such unconditional support to the ancient dynasty. He who has access to the real internet and therefore to the actual world beyond. I think it was Miriam Celaya who called this phenomenum “the clones” because of how mindlessly they follow the atrophied minds of the elderly dictators.”

    I am not sure how long you lived in Cuba but I can tell you that there is a majority of simulators that apparently support the regime but as soon as they see the system wiggle a bit they will push it down to make it fall really quickly.

    The constant purging that Fidel and Raul have done is probably just about that because they can not trust anyone. Power just like money have no friends.

    Now that the cat is out of the bag or as Albert put it the toothpaste out of the tube is really hard for them to put it back.

  19. It seems that the toothpaste is out of the tube … & the respective regimes are using all the tools available to the to stop the tide.
    It is interesting after all this years to see that repression has not changed much.
    Sure, the technology has w/better communication tools, better projectiles & gases, better water cannos & who knows what else.
    Yet, the resistence has changed little, armed w/the truth in most cases, uses the tool of today to communicate & spread information, the tool the rebolutionaries of this world would like to control yet its to big for them to do so.
    Such a simple thing & they can’t control, twist or spin, no matter how much brain storming or mastery … they can’t control the web … simple.
    It is said: -“one can smell fear”- & I believe it is so … I smell fear because not matter the outcome in the long term, the rebolutionaries are in borrowed time.

  20. I agree with Julio, the regime and its thugs are probably trying to save face by making it look intentional. I believe the subject (Tato) probably doesn’t know what hit him and is trying to keep a low profile, focusing on his computer hacking activities and such.

    To me, sitting in what someone who recently came from Cuba describes as “another planet” it seems inconceivable that someone who appears otherwise intelligent, can lend such unconditional support to the ancient dynasty. He who has access to the real internet and therefore to the actual world beyond. I think it was Miriam Celaya who called this phenomenum “the clones” because of how mindlessly they follow the atrophied minds of the elderly dictators.

    Well this time a clone got caught in the act, and like the other brother clones, they can’t think independently, don’t know what to do with the unexpected, so the Tato clone is doing what clones do: they go into a type of virtual suspended animation or sabatical to recharge and re-read the same old doctrines. Hiding behind the grey beards of the waste bag holding dictator and his very small brother.

    Let’s challenge Tato to come out and start a debate, use his own brain and face this new challenge on his own, before he becomes the laughing stock of the free world. Right now there are half a million Cubans taking notice this side of the drink who are gonna flame your rear, if you don’t stand up.

  21. CUBAN Human Rights activist Sara Martha Fonseca was beat up by plain clothes State police in Cuba yesterday. She’s back home now nursing some wounds but has recorded a statement now making its way out of that hell hole. The same plain clothes REGIME BULLIES beat up another man named RENE RAMON GONZALEZ and broke his only glasses. I pray for a better existance for this Island Nation.
    Marco Rubio has it right not trusting CUBA, any country who on purpose DOES NOT stamp a passport is a county not to be trusted.
    YOANI is the best thing Cuba has HAPPENING, LIBERTY and JUSTICE will follow.

  22. That is an interesting post Humberto!

    There is a few questions in that post that are interesting

    Was the posting of the video intentionally made by the Cuban government?
    It is convenient for the Cuban regime to appear as the video was leaked intentionally because otherwise it will be very apparent to everyone that the regime is loosing control. Their own people will leaked information for free! So that shows a high level of dissatisfaction of these people and that they are more than willing to put the final bullet to the Castro regime. They must surely be worry about appearing so weak. So a better strategy is to look like they release the video on purpose!

    Was the author of (Bad handwriting) la Mala letra involved in the leak?
    I personally do not think so. Anything is really posible and I do not know Regina personally but it does not make sense at least to me.

    Was it coincidental they have open up Yoani’s blog access for Cubans in Cuba after she published the leak?
    Maybe or maybe not. It is a little hard to tell here what is the real motivation for them to open Cuban’s access to Yoani’s blog.
    The all powerful totalitarian having a small gesture like this now that they are about to open up the internet and have more Cuban connected? Hard to swallow. Since they have always been about controlling access to information.

    Could the leak have anything to do with what in some circles is called a circuit rider or eRider that the Cuban regime claimed to have capture?
    Again Maybe or maybe not? Any ideas?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_rider_(technology)

    This is becoming an interesting mystery saga!

    Let’s see what is the new spin it will get and from what side.

  23. GLOBAL VOICES: Cuba: Cyberwar? Video Sparks Debate, Anger, Skepticism -16 February

    A video posted February 1st on Vimeo features a 52-minute presentation on new information technologies and a “ciberguerra” allegedly being waged on Cuba by the United States government and US-based NGOs. The man delivering the presentation has since been identified as Eduardo Fontes Suárez, a cyber security official at Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior (MININT). Initial reports called this a classified government video that had been leaked, but some bloggers (on and off the island) are questioning this assertion.
    La ciber policía en Cuba

    Posted by Coral Negro, a Vimeo account holder who offers no profile information of any kind, and has posted no other material, the video has ignited an international debate about its origin and its content. An original transcript of the video can be found at Café Fuerte [es], and an English translation can be found at Translating Cuba. The presentation provides a detailed description of US government efforts to establish unauthorized Wi-Fi connection spots on the island, with the help of dissidents and representatives from US-based NGOs, mainly the International Republican Institute. Fontes indicates that Alan Gross, the jailed USAID worker who was arrested in December of 2009 for illegally distributing IT equipment to Cubans, was involved with Washington’s project to establish these hot spots.

    He describes bloggers such as Yoani Sánchez as counterrevolutionaries who, with the support of the Spanish and US governments, are attempting to use new technologies in order to spark a popular uprising against the Castro government. He also discusses the Cuban government’s latest plans for ICT use on the island, and the benefits of certain technologies, remarking on Hugo Chávez’s use of Twitter as a political tool.

    Penúltimos Días [es], a Cuba-focused blog based in Spain, reposted the video, and soon thereafter a former (and now exiled) high school classmate of Fontes’ identified him and posted photographs of Fontes as a teenager in the late 1980s. On Cuban exile community blogs such as Babalú [es], readers seemed to delight in ridiculing Fontes, calling him a “cíberesbirro” or “cyberthug.” Fontes’ Facebook page has been deactivated since he was identified on Penúltimos Días. His Twitter account remains active, but he has not tweeted since December of 2010.

    It is clear that Fontes is a real official of Cuban intelligence. What remains unclear is whether his presentation and the leak were “real” as well.

    Regina Coyula, a former employee of the counterintelligence unit at MININT who is now the author of La Mala Letra [es] believes the video is authentic, and has denied another blogger’s accusation that she herself leaked the video. She reasons that the video contains far too much information about the power of ICTs to be a fake. She writes:

    THIS IS A LONG ARTICLE SO CLICK LINKT TO READ ALL OF IT!

    http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/02/16/cuba-cyberwar-video-sparks-debate-anger-skepticism/

  24. Will Cuba be the next Egypt? It is possible if most of the 500,000 Cuban workers that would be laid off from their jobs cannot find a suitable employment to support themselves, the conditions will be ripe for a protest demanding an end to the regime.

  25. Nothing wrong with Yoani I get her messages thru Google Buzz in Gmail and she is sending constantly :-)

    She is unstoppable!

  26. Anyone noticed that Yoani’s tweets on the right are three days old. Also she hasn’t posted in five days. Wonder what’s going on, if the dynasty and its thugs are up to something.

    Anyone knows what might be going on? Maybe a reader of this list from Cuba.

  27. Sandokan, thanks for the link about the student protest. These are the kinds of events that we should point out as soon as they occur wherever possible. People must know that they are not alone when they voice their grievances against the criminal and illegitimate dynasty.

    Let us all hope that come February 21, people will all come out and reclaim their streets, and show their displeasure with Castro-fascism. And most certainly, let the young generation from Y through Z claim their rightful place in government and society, and most importantly their human rights.

  28. 30 to 1000 odds AGAINST the Cuban bloggers (with no real access to internet and/or paying thru the nose) critical of the CASTROFACISTS! I usually root for the UNDERDOG! CUBAN, UNDERDOG, ANTI-FACISTS, those are my KEYWORDS when I GOOGLE!

    “The authorities are worried about people like Claudia Cadelo, a frail-looking 27-year teacher of French who created Octavo Cerco one of about 30 blogs critical of the government written inside Cuba.”

    “After initially blocking public access to some critical websites, the Cuban government has switched strategy and unleashed an anti-dissident counter-attack by a legion of some 1,000 pro-government “revolutionary” bloggers.”

  29. A STEP TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF ALAN GROSS? IM OK WITH THAT! STEP BY STEP! NO UNILATERAL SUSPENSION OF THE “EMBARGO”! NO QUICKIES HERE! SLOW AND THOUGHFUL STEPS TOWARDS SECURING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA!

    AFP: US should end Cuba’s terror sponsor label: Richardson-By Jordi Zamora
    WASHINGTON — Cuba should be taken off the US list of state sponsors of terror, US diplomatic troubleshooter and former UN ambassador Bill Richardson said Tuesday.

    The United States and Cuba, the Americas’ only communist-ruled, one-party state, do not have full diplomatic relations. A full US economic embargo has been clamped on Havana since 1962.

    While President Barack Obama’s administration has made some adjustments to US policy, no dramatic strides have been made in the recent years.

    “My view is that this terrorism list is not very consistent. It’s an emotional issue,” said Richardson, who speaks Spanish and has been to Cuba on private missions.

    “I think the removal of Cuba of the terrorist list is one of those five, six steps the administration could make” to help yield change, he added.

    Four countries are currently listed under that heading: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria — and thus subjected to certain trade sanctions. The United States took North Korea off in 2008. The State Department must renew the list each year.

    “What I propose is that (bilateral) migration talks begin to include humanitarian issues,” Richardson, a former New Mexico governor and Democratic lawmaker, said in a speech on US-Cuban relations at the Brookings Institution.

    Cuba and the United States resumed bilateral migration talks in 2008.

    Richardson urged the communist island to release US subcontractor Alan Gross, held by Havana for trial on charges of distributing communications material to local Cuban civilian groups.

    Richardson, who has been a diplomatic troubleshooter for the United States for two decades with missions to countries such as North Korea and Cuba, said he had traveled to the Caribbean nation of 11 million three times in the past 18 months, most recently in August seeking Gross’s freedom.

    Gross was arrested in Cuba in December 2009 while on a State Department-funded mission to promote democracy. Richardson said these programs should be reviewed and in some cases eliminated.

    He also urged Havana to drop obstacles that can keep many Cubans who left the island from returning home for family reasons: passports can cost hundreds of dollars, the government charges hundreds more to allow “final departure,” and it blocks bank accounts of those who emigrate without permission.

    It was not immediately clear how Raul Castro might respond to Richardson’s proposals. The 79-year-old replaced his ailing brother Fidel Castro at Cuba’s helm after the revolutionary icon served more than four decades as president.

    Fidel, out of his health crisis at 84 and still head of the Cuban Communist Party, made a public appearance at the International Book Fair in Havana earlier, for the first time in a month and a half, state television reported in the Cuban capital.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i0GXlklXRFD4wA3P_ubBYdQBSAsg?docId=CNG.68fd3cfd2282503c7edd2edbea786e20.9e1

  30. On October 22, 2009, Cuban university students from the Superior Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana, Cuba, protest again the regime for lack of food and water at the Institute. The protest quickly transcends those grievances to claim free space for creation and opinion. This is another example of things to come.

    Video links:

  31. IM IN THIS FIGHT TILL THE END!YOUR “POSTMASTER-CUT-N-PASTE GENERAL”

    REUTERS AFRICA: ANALYSIS-Cuba fights latest U.S. ‘invasion’ on the Internet- Tue Feb 15-By Esteban Israel
    * Government declares digital war on “cyberdissidents”
    * Authorities fear destabilization via Internet, Twitter
    * Online social networks helped spark Middle East revolts
    HAVANA, Feb 15 (Reuters) – It is 50 years since the last U.S.-backed invasion of Cuba but the island’s communist leaders believe another one has begun — not on the shores of the Bay of Pigs as in 1961, but in the virtual world of the Internet.

    Cuba fears “cyberdissidents” could use Twitter, Facebook and other online social networks to undermine the government. Its concern has taken on added significance since the same communication tools were used by protesters in Egypt to help topple long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak last week.

    A leaked video recently posted on the web (vimeo.com/19402730) shows a Cuban intelligence Internet expert telling interior ministry officials that the new cyber opposition is a more serious threat than the island’s traditional dissidents.

    The authorities are worried about people like Claudia Cadelo, a frail-looking 27-year teacher of French who created Octavo Cerco one of about 30 blogs critical of the government written inside Cuba.

    “Social networks have become a new weapon for civil society,” she told Reuters in an interview. “They don’t want the social networks to spread because they are aware of the danger that poses to a totalitarian government which hides the truth from its people.”.

    Given Cuba’s low rate of Internet connectivity, the tweets Cadelo types into her mobile phone don’t reach many Cubans. But that could change as Cuba gains access to broadband Internet and mulls the pros and cons of granting wider access.

    After initially blocking public access to some critical websites, the Cuban government has switched strategy and unleashed an anti-dissident counter-attack by a legion of some 1,000 pro-government “revolutionary” bloggers.

    From his office in the headquarters of Cuba’s state telephone company ETECSA, journalist and blogger Manuel Henriquez is on the front lines of that official offensive.

    “There is evidently an intention to attack Cuba through the Internet. And of course Cuba has the right to defend itself,” said the 47-year-old author of the blog Cambios en Cuba.
    “It is an old war and this is its latest expression. What these (opposition) bloggers are looking for is to demonize the country, create an image of a repression that doesn’t exist and later on allows justifying laws and blockades.”

    Bloggers like Henriquez take aim at Cuba’s cyberdissidents, led by prominent critic Yoani Sanchez and her Generacion Y blog (www.desdecuba.com/generaciony/). They accuse the critics of being financed by the U.S. government, Cuba’s ideological foe, and often post damaging rumors about their personal lives.

    LOW CONNECTIVITY

    Experts say the Internet is offering Cuban dissidents unprecedented room for political debate, but that the transforming potential of Twitter and other social networks depends heavily on connectivity levels.

    In Tunisia, the cradle of recent protests that have rocked the Arab world, 19 percent of the population was on Facebook, but Internet access in Cuba is restricted by the government.

    “It’s worth asking what percent of Cubans have regular Internet access. Access to mobile phones. If those numbers are low, it’s unlikely these are the most effective organizing channels,” said Ethan Zuckerman, senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

    Wilfredo Cancio, a Cuban exile journalist who publishes a Cuban affairs web site Cafe Fuerte in Miami sees a “Cold War” mentality in the Cuban government’s declared digital offensive against cyber opponents.

    “I think the government is betting on winning this battle, above all from the control perspective,” he said.

    Cuba, the Caribbean’s biggest island, has a population of 11 million, and last reported 1.6 million people online, but they mostly only have access to a government-sanctioned intranet that does not permit links to Twitter or Facebook.

    Mobile telephony has grown dramatically since it was legalized three years ago, but costs are high for ordinary Cubans. Cadelo says she pays the equivalent of $1 every time she tweets by sending a text message to a number in Britain.

    A fiber-optic submarine cable hooking Cuba to its socialist ally Venezuela could soon increase the island’s data transfer speed by 3,000 times.

    Cuba’s government says the long-standing U.S. embargo has been the main obstacle to Internet penetration and that there are no “political obstacles” to opening up the Internet to the broader public. But they say for the time being they cannot afford to install the needed wider infrastructure.

    Ted Henken, a Cuba analyst at City University of New York, thinks Cuban authorities may try to emulate the Chinese model of opening up the Internet while controlling information flow.

    “Using these technologies to spark anti-government protests is impossible now given the low penetration, access and use … But this is likely to change in the future as the government tries to benefit economically from broadband,” he said.

    On the leaked government video, the Cuban Internet expert said the United States was smuggling satellite phones into Cuba to provide dissidents with unrestricted access to the web.

    Alan Gross, a U.S. government subcontractor held in Havana and accused of introducing such devices into Cuba, is awaiting trial and faces up to 20 years in jail on charges of “crimes against the security of the state.”

    In the video, the Cuban official called Gross a “mercenary”, comparing him to the CIA-backed Cuban exiles who invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961.

    Henriquez, the pro-government blogger, says the United States is trying to export a cyber rebellion model promoted in places like Iran. “But it isn’t going to work whether there is Internet or not. A Twitter message isn’t itself a reason to mobilize,” he said.

    Cadelo, however, says it is just a matter of time. “The Internet is going to get to the people. They can’t avoid that. A war against the Internet is a lost war,” she said. (Reporting by Esteban Israel; Editing by Jeff Franks, Pascal Fletcher and Kieran Murray)

    http://af.reuters.com/article/tunisiaNews/idAFN1519887620110215

  32. AOL NEWS: Amid Clashes, Iranian Lawmakers Want Opposition Put to Death

    TEHRAN, Iran –” Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left two people dead and dozens injured.”

    “In Washington, President Barack Obama criticized the Iranian government for its harsh treatment of protesters and noted the irony of its support for Egypt’s uprisings while repressing demonstrators at home.”

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/15/amid-clashes-iranian-lawmakers-want-opposition-put-on-trial/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C201500

    “We support the people of Egypt and their brave fight for political rights and social justice,” -THE MUMMY

    WONDER WHAT THE MUMMY (Fidel) WILL SAY ABOUT HIS BUDDIES IN IRAN!!

  33. Glad to hear that either Osvaldo Paya or Oscar Biscet may win the Nobel Peace price. It was about time people around the world hear courageous voices of those who are in Cuba and who dare defy the criminal dynasty no matter what the consequences.

    Notwithstanding the well trained pack of rabid dogs that litter the streets and pray on peaceful political opponents, these outstanding citizens
    will be acknowledged in the civilized world, for surviving and standing up to the most criminal gang of self serving thieves left over from the garbage heap of communist history.

    It is time for the young people in Cuba (those under sixty) to be given a chance to experience what it is like to rule themselves.

  34. NPR: Cuba Plans To Put U.S. Government Worker On Trial-by Nick Miroff

    An American jailed in Cuba is accused of acting on a U.S. plot to destabilize the Caribbean nation by spreading access to the Internet. U.S. officials insist the 61-year-old Maryland resident’s activities were a harmless attempt to improve Internet access for the island’s small Jewish community.

    CLICK LINK AND THEN SPEAKER ICON TO HEAR STORY.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/02/15/133769017/Cuba-Case

  35. MIAMI HERALD: Students’ strike in Cuba draws never-before-seen anti-riot squad-A strike by Pakistani students in Cuba drew a show of force from an anti-riot squad not seen before on the streets of the island.-BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
    A Cuban anti-riot squad, previously unseen but surprisingly well-equipped and with fixed bayonets, quelled a Pakistani student protest in Matanzas, a video of the event shows.
    “Our hand will not tremble in the face of violence,” one Cuban official warns the medical school protesters in the video, broadcast on the Maria Elvira Live program on MegaTV.

    The official adds that it’s the second protest by the Pakistanis but gives no dates for either, and says 15 leaders of the latest manifestation were to be flown home immediately.

    A statement by the Cuban Embassy in Pakistan on Thursday, after parts of the video were posted on the Internet, confirmed the protests but did not mention the students’ complaints of inadequate education and living conditions.

    “Unfortunately, since the first months of 2007 and until now, grave violations of discipline have repeatedly been committed by a small group of students,” the statement said.

    “Such violations of discipline have included, among others, disrespect for their professors, disregard to the Cuban authorities, failing to attend class, misbehavior, physical aggressions . . . along with acts of violence,” said the statement, published by the online Pakistan Observer.

    The video shows scores of members of the anti-riot squad dressed in black and equipped well for a country where riots are extremely rare — with tear gas guns, riot batons, dogs, face shields and U.S.-styled helmets. Several had bayonets fixed on their AK assault rifles.

    About five squad members are seen briefly pushing back a group of a few dozen students, some wearing skull caps. But the video did not show any signs of violence.

    WELL PREPARED

    It’s not clear if the unit, previously unseen in public, belonged to the police or military, but its deployment signaled that the government is well prepared for street disturbances.

    “This is a super well-equipped unit, which we have never seen before but which showed that it was ready for something serious,” said Camilo Loret de Mola, who appeared on the Maria Elvira Salazar program that broadcast the video.

    Loret de Mola said the video was received from a Cuban he declined to identify. The program broadcast segments on Wednesday and Thursday.

    The protest took place at the Maximo Santiago Haza Medical School in Jagüey Grande, in Matanzas province, where nearly 1,000 Pakistanis have been studying on scholarships arranged after a devastating earthquake hit Pakistan in 2005.

    Pakistani media reports indicate that it occurred sometime before March, and that at least five of the students were sent home.

    The video, apparently taken on cellphones, shows the riot squad virtually surrounding the campus and posted on rooftops as the students are warned by Rolando Gómez, a foreign ministry official who helped set up the scholarship program.

    FUTURE AT STAKE

    “Think well about what’s at play here,” Gómez cautions them, because “today is the day that you decide if you want to be doctors or you want to go home.”

    El Nuevo Herald phone calls to a number listed for the embassy went unanswered.

    Under the scholarship program, about 400 Pakistani students arrived in Cuba in 2007 and another 600 arrived a year later. They were sent to the Matanzas school rather than the better known Latin American School for Medicine near Havana, which has about 30,000 students from 126 countries.

    A letter purporting to speak for the 1,000 Pakistani students in Cuba, posted Sept. 17, 2009 on the website Overseas Pakistani Friends, detailed a slew of complaints against Cuban and Pakistani authorities.

    “We are very much frustrated and feel our future on stake, as we do not even know whether our degree is valid or not” once they return to Pakistan, the letter notes.

    While the scholarship program touted Cuba’s medical education as “world leading,” the letter added, the Matanzas school “by no definitions of the word can be called a world leading university.”

    The converted Spanish-language school lacks facilities such as a “library, proper laboratory, no specimens (The dead bodies etc) are available for the dissection, and even the nearest hospital is far away from our school.

    “How can one think of a medical school without any hospital attached?” the letter asked.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/10/1816918/students-strike-in-cuba-draws.html

Comments are closed.