My Reasons for the Bridge


With regards to the new amendment presented in the U.S. Congress to restrict travel and remittances to Cuba.

We lived in a dark time in 1992 and this daughter of a train engineer with no train had decided to drop out of high school. I got up early and told my mother. Hands on my head, screaming through the house, the dog barking in shock. “I’m not going any more Mom, I’m not going,” I concluded categorically and went back to bed. My only shoes, inherited from a friend when they already had huge holes in the soles, had fallen apart. I had learned to walk with them touching the floor in a way so that the rips didn’t show, but I could do little to hide them when we had Military Training class. There I had to lie face down, crawling along the terrain, imagining that I was under enemy fire. Then the shells were falling all around me, not those of imperialism but rather of jokes, the cruel chants of those who had better shoes.

For several days my parents gave me all sorts of arguments. How can you throw away your high grades, the sacrifice of studying, all for this “little detail”! they repeated… but at 16 I was ready to forgo a diploma rather than suffer the ridicule. The decision was made. My mother ran to the house of a neighbor. She spent the night dialing the number of some of my father’s aunts who lived on the other shore, demonized in the official press. Some weeks later the package arrived. Along with soup cubes and some ointment to treat the pains of rheumatism, was a pair of brand new white sneakers. I returned to my 11th grade classroom the next day.

It’s true that financial help coming from outside has led many Cubans to construct an apathetic and apolitical bubble, but it has also enabled them to survive and grow. Without that help, once sent to me from Florida, my life would have been totally different. I would not have finished high school, probably I would have sailed — on a wooden door — during the rafter crisis, or I would have sunk into conformity with no horizons. But I managed, with this support, to go on. To end up at the university still wearing those shoes of salvation.

Right now, thousands of teenagers, the self-employed, seniors, students and babies depend on the uninterrupted growth in the flow between the families in exile and those on the island. In many Cuban homes the personal ability of thousands of individuals to overcome depends on maintaining this bridge, and their future as citizens rests in the arms of solidarity extended from outside.

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168 thoughts on “My Reasons for the Bridge

  1. I hope this link works better:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views

    I can understand why atheists (and scientists) would want to disassociate themselves from atheistic (and “scientific”) regimes, such as the ones led by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc, but this type of thinking is silly. There are a lot of good atheists too, and most scientists wouldn’t consider those regimes “scientific”.

  2. There have been a lot of myths generated by people wishing to denigrate others by an association with Hitler (such as the myth that Hitler was a Christian, Hitler was a Vegetarian, etc). In fact he was a fanatical anti-Christian (and also a hunter). He believed in one God (himself) and shared this insanely egoistic belief with Stalin, Mao, Fidel, Jim Jones, etc.

    What atheists seize upon are a few snippets from a few of his speeches. The church in Germany was critical of Hitler and he made a few references to God, Christianity, etc, to placate the hostility until the influence of the church could be diminished and the destroyed. Stalin did the same thing during WWII when he needed the Russian church’s backing.

    The last paragraph in wiki sums up his views:

    In the political relations dealing with religion Hitler readily adopted a strategy “that suited his immediate political purposes”. Nonetheless, Hitler had a general plan, even before the rise of the Nazis to power, to destroy Christianity within the Reich. The leader of the Hitler Youth stated “the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement” from the start, but “considerations of expedience made it impossible” publicly to express this extreme position. His intention was to wait until the war was over to destroy the influence of Christianity. The plan was conceived by Hitler and an inner circle, including the propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, before the Nazis even came to power.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_views

    Not that this discussion means anything. There are good and bad atheists, and hatred is the enemy of democracy, not a particular religious view.

  3. @#160
    about Hitler’s atheism:

    In a speech Hitler delivered in Berlin in October 24, 1933:

    “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

  4. @#160
    When u copy verbatim from a source don’t claim it as ur own… in this case Wikipedia … pal

  5. Magnus, Damir! I just discovered your lair! Late Lair! Why did you not invite me? The Copy and Paste Postmaster, GUSANO General will check ALL POSTS FROM NOW ON! BEWARE!

  6. Magnus, my stats show you to be a liar. And your comments show you to be a compulsive liar at that. I provided evidence that you lie, anyone can read the comments under this very article and see for themselves.

    In your fundamentalist mindset, the very diverse dissident community is “monolithic”. While the loyal critics of the regime, a la Havana Times, are “balanced”. I guess any site that allows exactly one point of view (against trade sanctions) is “balanced” if you agree with its views. Don’t you get bored reading through dozens of writers all saying the exact same thing? Or is that what fundamentalists need to keep their delusions strong?

  7. #159 “You claimed that nobody here supported Yoani’s article”
    … actually I said “And yet virtually no one has supported or even commented on her view.” Which your own stats show that to be the case.

    What’s with your fixation with Havana Times? Perhaps unlike you I regularly read a variety of “Cuban” blogs in spanish and english irespective of their particular political slant. However to say that
    “every writer will endlessly repeat the slogans of “empire” and “embargo” is nonsensical.
    I can go to that site any day and find articles extremely critical of the Cuban government that could just as easily have been written by Sanchez. Indeed one of the downsides of the success of Gen Y is to overshadow the few other dissenting voices.
    The links that this blog gives to a myriad others of varying political tendencies is also good
    http://elyuma.blogspot.com/

    And interesting that #139 hasn’t come back after realising that the Sanchez article is both real, recent and faithfully quoted from.

  8. Damir: “Hitler WAS a religious fanatic. He had acquired his step-father hatred for Jews, although he was an illegitimate son of a rich Jewish merchant, some say Rotschild others say Leopold Frankenberger, who his mother was working for when she fell pregnant. Hence his black hair, big nose, darkish skin and black eyes.”

    I heard from the same source that Elvis Presley was the illegitimate son of Mao Zedong. This explains the dark hair, forehead, and eyes.

  9. A that other supporter of the team “yoani” would say, please provide links and documents that verify what you say.

    Hitler WAS a religious fanatic. He had acquired his step-father hatred for Jews, although he was an illegitimate son of a rich Jewish merchant, some say Rotschild others say Leopold Frankenberger, who his mother was working for when she fell pregnant. Hence his black hair, big nose, darkish skin and black eyes.

    Hitler attended a Catholic school in an 11th-century Benedictine cloister, the walls of which bore engravings and crests that contained the symbol of the swastika. Does THAT sound any bells, doctor of history? He took his first communion by his own choosing when he was 15 years old. Since his father was already dead and his mother was poor, his sponsor was a close friend of his father.

    Is that what you call an ATHEIST…???

    But wait, htere’s more to demolish your version of history.

    In his bokk, Mein Kampf, Hitler In Mein Kampf, hitler refers to Martin Luther as a great warrior, a true statesman, and a great reformer. For your information and knowledge holes rectification, ML was a protestant priest. No self-respecting atheist would draw inspiration from a priest for his or her own ideoloigcal development. That is simply inconceivable. Like a fish wanting to fly because it saw a bird.

    hitler regarded socialists as a jewish organisation. Back in the WWI hitler believed in the “Stab-in-the-back”, which claimed that the army, “undefeated in the field,” had been “stabbed in the back” by politicians and Marxists.

    Please take up on your own advice and learn some history. The proper one. It is all wel documented in Europe. Just go to closest museum in Berlin or Vienna. It’s all there to teach you a lesson in history.

    In 1919, Hitler was appointed as an intelligence agent of the Reichswehr, both to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate the German Workers’ Party (DAP). There he became impressed with founder Anton Drexler’s antisemitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist and anti-Marxist ideas. Drexler was himself a rather neurotic and mentally troubled person who hated Marxists yet advocated socialism. But that “socialism” had nothing to do with Marxistscientifc and dialectic analysis of society. It is one of those unfortunate consequences of misunderstanding of the SPIRIT of the LANGUAGE. Back then socialism was used more flexibly as the word’s value was closer to the latin meaning “society” as a whole.

    Drexler had no socialist inclination whatsoever, in the sense you and similar people think about socialism (as a part of Marxist theory). But the final mentor to hitler was certain Dietrich Eckart, one of the founders and member of the occult Thule Society. THAT is what had shaped hitler into the animal that he had become. Eckard and his Thule Society did understand the appeal of socialism (the Marxist one, the real deal) to the poor and oppressed millions of Germans, and workers throughout the world. Hitler was already deeply infiltrated in the german Workers’ Party, remember that he was a government’s spy working on just that. The government was deeply disturbed with the growing workers’ movement and wanted to keep them in check. Hitler was one of the operatives doing the dirty job. But that “workers” party was ANTI-MARXIST. And as such it actually had dwindling number of members.

    Never forget that.

    So, little by little hitler started enjoying his new job and his mentors within the party played on his anti-jewish views and groomed him for bigger things. They changed the name to National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

    The party reamined on a collision course with Marxists and socialists, so your “academic” statement that “socialists” supported him is but a delusion.

    Here’s the list of LEFTIST, true socialists and communist parties in Weimar’s Germany:

    Communist Party of Germany (KPD)
    Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD)
    Communist Party Opposition (KPO)

    Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
    Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD)
    Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany (SAPD)

    None of those EVER supported hitler. Get that delusion out of your head and learn some history.

    You definitely need it. You usanians are so ignorant when it comes to European, and world’s history, little wonder you have provoked more wars and killed more people than the WWI and WWII together.

    Nazist gulag that keeps its’ people undereducated and in constant fear of non-existent “enemies”.

    You only fuel and feed the rich fat criminals and mass murderers. Depleted uranium bombs are killing thousands of children in Iraq since 1990 every year, but do any of you care about that? no. Instead you all bull; shift about “human rights” in Cuba.

    Millions are dying of hunger in Eastern Africa, but do any of you usanians, pretending to have Cuban origins, care about that? Not either. It is easier to spend billions on a anyway lost war against this small island, instead of showing true humanity and solving the problems of children in Africa with that money.

    Or in Other Latin American countries. Like Guatemala, where 300 000 people were killed by usa just because they voted in DEMOCRATICALLY the socialists and communists.

    Can’t have that, can we.

    Hypocrites and liars. And now you are exercising this futile and failed delusion on Cuba which had done NOTHING to the usa to deserve this.

    Fortunately, usa shifted itself bad and now the only way out is to croll to COMMUNIST China for heklp with the debt, or hasta la vista “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”!!!

    It’s about time. And it is not hatred as you may wrongly perceive it. It is happiness that the end of terrorism and horror is nearing the end, never to return.

    You will have to forgive me and billions of people around you who can’t wait to see the true perpetrators of horror, murders and destruction on the world scale GO never to return.

    My popcorn is ready. Either usanians will sing the Internationale, courtesy of being owned by China, or will disappear in their own internal civil war.

    Whichever option takes place, the last laugh is ours.

  10. Magnus, nothing you have written is accurate. Quite the opposite. You claimed that nobody here supported Yoani’s article, and I showed you the comments to prove the opposite. In fact there is more strong support of her article on the “embargo” here than strong opposition, which you can find out if you read the comments. So either you made a claim about the readers without reading their comments, or you consciously make things up. Which is it?

    As in my post to Damir, I just mentioned a site with a monolithic mindset. I enjoy reading articles at Havana times also, but they all toe the party line on many issues, especially the big slogans of “empire” and “embargo”. Which explains why the government doesn’t bother them.

    Magnus: “However to say that
    “every writer will endlessly repeat the slogans of “empire” and “embargo” is nonsensical.”

    Really? Who is the writer there supporting the trade embargo? Can you show me even one “swallow” there? I’ll be waiting for some evidence that you can write the truth.

    If I understand your use of English (of which Orwell had a few things to say), a site with so much diversity and hugely varying viewpoints, such as desdecuba and its readers, is “monolithic”, while a site that allows only one point of view, like Havana Times, is “balanced”.

  11. Damir, you are quite right, both Hitler and Mussolini were religious fanatics. But their religion was Atheism. Another of their religions was Science, a label you keep using. On both counts, they were exactly like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Che, and Fidel. One of the most used phrases in Nazi Germany was “there is no God”

    The only reason Hitler and Mussolini didn’t destroy the churches completely, although Hitler seriously thought about it, is that their advisers warned them about completely alienating their huge populations of Catholic and Protestant faithful. So they tried to get the support of the churches and even recruited some church leaders. Thousands of priests who didn’t support them were sent to their deaths and thousands of others threatened with death if they didn’t stop speaking out against Hitler.

    I hope one day you study history so you can find out the world isn’t what you think it is.

    As far as the other site I mentioned to Magnus, I just wanted to give an example of a Monolithic mindset, as opposed to the variety of opinions about US-Cuban relations one will find in the dissident community.

  12. #153 The following is still absolutely accurate despite your overwhelming statistics.
    One or even a few swallows don’t make a summer (or balanced views).
    “And yet virtually no one has supported or even commented on her view. You all definately went quiet. And there are people like the one in #139 who want to absurdily and quite pathetically argue that she didn’t say the words from the additional article she recently issued.”

    What’s with your fixation with Havana Times? Perhaps unlike you I regularly read a variety of “Cuban” blogs in spanish and english irespective of their particular political slant. However to say that
    “every writer will endlessly repeat the slogans of “empire” and “embargo” is nonsensical.
    I can go to that site any day and find articles extremely critical of the Cuban government that could just as easily have been written by Sanchez. Indeed one of the downsides of the success of Gen Y is to overshadow the few other dissenting voices.
    The links that this blog gives to a myriad others of varying political tendencies is also good
    http://elyuma.blogspot.com/

    And interesting that #139 hasn’t come back after realising that the Sanchez article is both real, recent and faithfully quoted from.

  13. Another example of inability to understand beyond the brainwash dogma imprinted into their brains by the conservative nazists and dictators are the posts 150 and 151. What Magnus was correctly saying is that no matter what the team “yoani” post, the supporter brigade creeps out and start posting things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the posts from the team “yoani”.

    They copy and paste articles, in contravention to the copyrights of the original writers by the way, articles from their radical far wrong print. The print that has nothing else to do but to repeat the problems and failures of Cuba in order to hide the real hard facts of their own “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” currently free falling down the sewage into the self-made anihilation.

    But, that simple and rather screaming fact brought by Magnus seems to elude the shrt and out of focus attention by the support brigade. They do not even choose to overlook the fact that they manage a word or two related to what the team “yoani” post once in a red moon, if that. And that teh rest of the time, 99% of it, they spend blobbing and dribbling about some inexistent “issues” only they can see. Like “not a single minor was ever sentenced to death in our fine and wonderful, beautiful really, democracy”, or “only capitalism works, caommunism never did” (while capitalism is drowning under its’ own load and beggs COMMUNIST China to save them from the inevitable demise), or how boys “must have a haircut” for school and children “must” wear school uniforms to school, while the taxi drivers perv on female passengers.

    Now THAT is some serous staf that Castros did to Cubans, according to the team “yoani” and support brigade…

    Convenient, no?

    Wow…

  14. Post 146, so how is that a “moral” comment? If the events were exclusively socialist-made, one could argue position the poster is making.

    But the history is working against hollow assumptions like that of the post 146 and 131. We all know how merciless are the conservatives to their own, and they have been around far longer than the socialists.

    No matter what kind of argument one can come up with to try and paint the left as black, the conservatives have already done that and their numbers are by far larger.

    Remember that socialism was born out of reaction to violence and terror committed by the conservatives.

    Every person has the right to self-defense, so if conservatives kept themselves busy killing everyone left and right, then the socialists DO have the right to protect themselves and respond in kind.

    That safely sinks, yet again, any arguments about the violence supposedly perpetrated by socialists.

    But, drowning conservatives will keep trying to confuse the arguments citing hitler and mussolini to no end, despite the fact that both were religious fanatics (hitler was NOT an atheist. only a wrong-whinner could say something like that and think s/he is still intelligent. he himself had coined the phrase “gorr is t mitt uns, that the ss butcherers were carrying on their belt buckles, along with the scull and bones on their hats).

    An they will call other paranoid schizofrenics (stalin, ceausecu, hodza, mao) “socialists”.

    It is convenient, no?

    But it merely shows how big is their ignorance and intent to lie, manipulate and deceive. Anyone with some real knowledge, free from party dogmas, knows the difference between the socialism and what stalin and hitler were about.

    The really interesting argument, way above their intellectual capacity is where in all this fit Castros, for example. But good luck with expecting a serious and scientifically argumented analysis.

    Deprived of their party colours.

    Copy and paste is all they are capable of, and even that took them 60 years to master…

  15. Ok, I did the math for you Magnus. In the first 20 comments, there are 5 supporting the end of all restrictions, 3 by Julio and 2 by other posters. I really think you need to look in a mirror and question your own monolithic mindset.

  16. Look at the bottom of the comments Magnus, click on Todos los comentarios or go to page 1, and there are several posts by Julio de la Yncera. If you read all the comments, you will see that your assertion that “no one has supported or even commented on her view” is absurd. I have so far made several comments and so have several other posters. If you have followed this blog you will see the issue has come up before and that several other supporters of Yoani have argued for full friendly relations between the USA and Cuba.

    How much proof do you need that what you write isn’t true?

    And you still don’t get it. Yoani is not my Fidel Castro or someone I agree with all the time. I don’t have to raise my hand in support every time she says something, like I would have to do at a Fidel speech. She is a courageous and honest human being whose right to free speech I support. I want Cubans to have the same basic freedom I do. That’s what practically all of them want, including the Cuban communists I know who have long stopped believing in their system.

    Now if you want to find a monolithic mindset to match your cynicism, I recommend you read Havana Times where every writer will endlessly repeat the slogans of “empire” and “embargo”.

  17. Please tell me which post to look at?
    And even if ONE person on this particular blog has posted ONE entry then that actually supports my cynicism. This blog entry by Sanchez was about opposing the recent votes/intentions of House Appropriations Committee or House Foreign Affairs Committee.
    And yet virtually no one has supported or even commented on her view. You all definately went quiet. And there are people like the one in #139 who want to absurdily and quite pathetically argue that she didn’t say the words from the additional article she recently issued.

  18. Magnus, you don’t have to go far, under this article check out the comments by Julio de la Yncera, who qualifies the trade sanctions as criminal.

    This is not the first time this topic has come up. Over the years many other Yoani supporters have expressed similar views to Julio on this blog. Others, like me, are undecided or don’t care because the “embargo” is mainly a piece of Castro propaganda. And a minority are strongly pro-sanction or want real sanctions put in place. Also inside Cuba, there are dissidents and many Cubans who want America to put more pressure on the Cuban government, but we all have our different opinions. If you read the different dissident blogs you’ll discover that.

    This is called a diversity of views. And I believe everyone has the right to express their opinions. I think the Cuban people should have the same right, don’t you?

    Now go to a site like Havana Times which advertises itself as “open-minded writing from Cuba”. And find one writer who supports American trade sanctions against Cuba. Every writer seems to be somewhere on the “left”. That’s what you call a monolithic set of views, and an extremely distorted representation of a country where the majority think highly of the USA and hate Marxism.

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