Gimme Cable!


Some of the boredom of the year 1983 was broken by the visit of Oscar D’Leon and his performance at the Varadero amphitheater. Amid the tedium, he came to the Island of the Salsa Devil, to interpret with his voice our own son classics. Along with the shout of “siguaraya!”* which he launched in honor of the banned Celia Cruz, the most memorable part of his visit was the request, “Gimme cable,” which he repeated over and over during his concerts. He tugged on the microphone while demanding that the technician “Gimme cable, gimme cable” as he plunged into the dancing crowds, overcome by his music. On his departure he left us that phrase which became a metaphor for demanding freedom. “Gimme cable,” the kids would say when the parents demanded they cut their manes or get rid of the tight paints. “Gimme cable,” demanded the illegal vendor when the police confiscated his merchandise. “Gimme cable,” asked the husband, when the wife went through his pockets, consumed by jealousy.

The expression slept in some corner of my mind and has reemerged with the “appearance on the scene” of the fiber optic cable between Venezuela and Cuba. Promised since 2008, it only made it to our coast this last February, and then lapsed into a silence quite suspicious for an effort that already cost more than seventy million dollars. At first it was announced it would multiply the data transmission speed by 3,000 times, but now, absurdly, they declare that it won’t provide broad Internet access to nationals. After accumulating several corruption scandals, the investigation of two deputy ministers, and official guidance to journalists not to talk about the details, the controversial cable has now become an urban legend. Some assure us that they’ve seen it, touched it, and say it’s already providing service to a few people. Others assert that it’s just a smokescreen to placate the discontent of the disconnected Cuban Internauts.

The truth is that not a single kilobyte flowing through its modern fibers has yet reached our computers. The prices for surfing the web from the hotels continue to be prohibitive and the connections there suffer from a slowness that borders on fraud. Not only that, the assault on the social networks — such as Facebook and Google — has intensified in State workplaces. In a desperate act to make us believe that this phantom umbilical cord between Santiago de Cuba and La Güaira, Venezuela really exists, Deputy Minister Boris Moreno swore a few days ago that it would be working in the coming months. But many of us feel like that Venezuelan singer trying to reach his Cuban public despite the controls of the “sound technician.” Gimme cable! we ask and demand. Gimme cable! we think… as in that old metaphor for freedom.

Translator’s note:
The siguaraya is a Cuban bush — considered an
orisha in the Santeria religion — which figures in the the title of a famous song, Mata Siguaraya, sung by Celia Cruz and others. The expression “this is the country of the siguaraya” means “anything is possible here.” Starting about 3:00 minutes in this video you can see Oscar D’Leon in Varadero trying to get a longer cable, and, at 3:30 you can hear him singing “dame cable” (give me cable) over and over, and watch with the efforts of several sound technicians to meet his demand.

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225 thoughts on “Gimme Cable!

  1. Self-engranding loser from post 165 reckons he proved me “wrong” by my own words!!!

    What a creten!!!

    Here’s how the stupid sewerage floater “proved me wrong:

    My post 42:

    1. united states of america is NOT a country, it is a CORPORATION (some kind of pragmatic capitalism”) – see united states code Title 28, Definitions 3002 (15) under (A), (B) (C).

    A. federal corporation

    B. an agency, department, commission, board or other entity of united states, or

    C. an instrumentality of united states

    CRETEN’S RESPONSE 71, CORRECTING ME:

    @#42 Ups! here u r again … see what happens when u quote out of context … pal?
    3002. — Definitions.

    From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

    (15) “United States” means–
    (A) a Federal corporation;
    (B) an agency, department, commission, board, or other
    entity of the United States; or
    (C) an instrumentality of the United States.

    Creten once, creten forever. Ignorance and stupidity need no further comment. Black on white tells it all.

  2. Desperate as ever to find anything intelligent to say but, as always,failing miserably.

    You cowards swimming among your brethren in the sewerages of Miami make me laugh.

    While those pathetic traitors in Cuba make me sad.

    Both cannot have enough of excrement falling out of your “white gods” straight in your mouths!!!

    No wonder even Castros managed to win over such sub-human dump and throw them out, having merely 25 people at hand to fight against this garbage.

  3. @#220
    “… Bunch of losers whose only goal in life is to cry over the net and hide under the woman’s skirt…” U should know by ur experiences.

    “… Cowards once, cowards forever…” Where is ur valor in insulting anonimously?.

    “… There’s just no way to make a pidgeon to even resemble a condor. Let alone to bE one …” Ur knowledge of birds has no boundaries lol
    Still the same pitiful fool of always, I had hopes for u yet, once a sorete … always a sorete.

  4. @#219
    I’ll be honored as I will be to give u a “Gusano Hug” & a big THANK U for all u do!

  5. Damir did say the following:

    “Hypocrites and liars patronising me for the exact thing THEY are doing.”

    “CASTROS!!!!, managed to beat the shift out of them and throw them into the sewerage of Miami.”

    “Bunch of losers whose only goal in life is to cry over the net and hide under the woman’s skirt.”

    “Cowards once, cowards forever.”

    And, you know what, the two posts follof=wing Damir’s post proved him right.

    As always.

    But then, that, with the pioneers of the support brigade, is not even breaking a sweat.

    It’s much harder to prove those pioneers of failed counter-anti-revolution to be smart.

    There’s just no way to make a pidgeon to even resemble a condor. Let alone to bE one…

  6. Albert! OF COURSE YOU TOO! DONT YOU REMEMBER, YOURE BRINGING THE HAVANA CLUB! NOT THE COMMUNIST ONE, THE ONE BACARDI CAN NOW SELL UNDER THAT NAME BECAUSE THEY WON THE LAWSUIT!

  7. Damir said the following:

    “Hypocrites and liars patronising me for the exact thing THEY are doing.”

    “CASTROS!!!!, managed to beat the shift out of them and throw them into the sewerage of Miami.”

    “Bunch of losers whose only goal in life is to cry over the net and hide under the woman’s skirt.”
    “Cowards once, cowards forever.”

    OH Damir! THANK YOU FOR ALL THOSE PIROPOS! I KNOW YOU LIKE US DEEP DOWN! WHEN WE KICK CASTRO OUT SOON, WILL HAVE YOU OVER FOR RUM AND LECHON AZADO! MIND YOU, KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN IF YOU CONTINUE WITH YOUR ANTI-GUSANO RANTS THEN BECAUSE WE WILL BE THE MAJORITY!

    BIG GUSANO KISSES AND HUGS!

  8. @#215
    “…anti-counter-revolutionaries…” eh? what?
    “…(nothing if we judge by the past)…” I guess al of u 100% pitiful fools right?
    Go to bed fool u make no sense.

  9. Aparently I was criticised by the support brigade of 1 and a half pioneer of the anti-counter-revolutionaries for “changing” the subject.

    Hypocrites and liars patronising me for the exact thing THEY are doing.

    No wonder Castros, hey! CASTROS!!!!, managed to beat the shift out of them and throw them into the sewerage of Miami.

    Bunch of losers whose only goal in life is to cry over the net and hide under the woman’s skirt.

    Cowards once, cowards forever.

    So shift-scared that their ONLY hope is that they may find a courage to do something, anything (nothing if we judge by the past), only when the Castros die!!

    Laughable stock of pioneers of counter-anti-revolution.

  10. Front Line is the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders : Cuba – Ongoing brutal crackdown on human rights defenders during peaceful demonstrations- 2011/09/07

    Since 17 July 2011, as many as seventy human rights defenders have been subjected to physical attacks, harassment, arrests and detentions while exercising their legitimate right to hold peaceful demonstrations calling for the release of political prisoners in Cuba. It is believed that these attacks form part of a brutal crackdown orchestrated by Cuban Government forces working under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior. Front Line expresses deep concern that similar attacks may be perpetrated against human rights defenders during similar demonstrations. Front Line previously issued an urgent appeal on 10 August 2011 following assaults on members of Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) by pro-Government groups and police officers on 7 August 2011 in Santiago de Cuba and Palmarito de Cauto, in the eastern province of Cuba. Damas de Blanco is a human rights organisation which advocates for the release of political prisoners in Cuba.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/15863

  11. …sorry, last post I meant “of those who can read without moving their lips”. Obviously, I’ve spent too much time talking to communists and I’m getting old.

  12. …even the most fanatic Fidel fan I ever met (of those who can read and move their lips at the same time), an American who spends much of his time in Cuba, has always said that Fidel went too far with his brand of socialism. Fidel’s last few years somewhat reminds me of the last few years of Mao, the minute he died his supposed supporters stampeded out the door to embrace capitalism.

  13. Good article Pamela, but I can’t believe it will be the same old this time. Marxism in Cuba was Fidel’s and Che’s idea, is there anyone else that still believes? Does Raul believe? Or is this just the tiny first save-facing step towards full-blown capitalism, and if it’s not him, then whoever comes after.

    I can tell you I’ve talked to as many hard-core supporters of Fidel as I could find and all of them want capitalism. Remember what happened after Mao died. The only question is if Fidel’s cronies manage to keep Cuba in the fascist anti-USA camp politically.

  14. Damir does NOT change the subject! BECAUSE CHANGING THE SUBJECT IS ALL HE DOES, SO THERE IS NO CHANGE!

  15. 205Damir

    Septiembre 7th, 2011 at 06:49
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    38 comments!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don’t worry poor patient, China is taking USA’s place as capitalism sanctuary, capitalism is forever, you see, now it has invented another way to jump from country to country seeking the best possible condition for its development: Globalization……… something that terrifies commies and other dumb capitalism haters.

  16. CONGRATULATIONS FRIENDS!!!!!!………. 204 COMMENTS!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations to all commenter in this English page of Generation Y for breaking the mark of 200 comments for first time (?) in this blog history. I want to congratulate everyone, including castrofascism agents, castrofascism followers and supporters, Cuban’S haters and all other patients of mine. I want to especially thanks to my poor patient damirsito who posted 37 of the comments in this entry (SO LONG) which means he is responsible for 18.5% of all comments posted BEFORE COMMENT #200. Without damirsito involuntary cooperation this record would never be possible……… of course he needed a little help from us, our spicy comment about his disease pushed him to help us to break the record.

  17. Is Cuba Going Capitalist?
    Its economic reforms are mostly an attempt to tax black market transactions.
    Who says dictators don’t have a sense of humor? Cuba’s Castros have an undeniably comic side, as evidenced by the regime’s announcement earlier this month that it plans to provide agricultural advice to 14 Venezuelan states. It sounds like a bad joke. Would you take technical assistance from a government that has turned the chicken into an endangered species in its own country?

    http://elultimocongreso.lavozdelcid.com/2011/08/is-cuba-going-capitalist-mary-anastasia-ogrady-the-wall-st-journal/

  18. MIAMI HERALD : Journalists: Raúl Castro tightens screws in Cuba -Cuba rejected admission for a French agency’s correspondent, and a reporter for Spain’s El País newspaper was denied a license renewal to work there. – By Juan O. Tamayo

    The Cuban government has denied entry to a French news agency correspondent who had been assigned to Havana, part of what other journalists on the island describe as a severe tightening of controls on their work under Raúl Castro’s rule.
    Juan Castro Olivera, an Argentine correspondent last assigned to the Miami bureau of the Agence France Press, was denied the Cuban journalist’s visa required for his new assignment to the AFP bureau in Havana.

    “Cuban authorities never explained the reasons for the refusal to grant the visa,” said Francis Kohn, AFP’s regional director for Latin America. “We have been in contact with the Cuban authorities . . . and we defended our choice of Juan Castro Olivera.”

    Several Cuban and foreign journalists in Havana who work for international news media have long complained of increased government attempts to control their work since Castro succeeded his ailing brother Fidel in 2006.

    Spain’s El País newspaper reported over the weekend that its correspondent in Havana for the past 20 years, Mauricio Vicent, had been denied a renewal of his press accreditation by the Foreign Ministry’s International Press Center (CPI).

    Vicent’s credentials in fact expired nearly two years ago, but the CPI did not deny his renewal until now as a way of trying to pressure him and his newspaper to moderate their reporting on the island, according to fellow El País writers.

    Cuba regularly uses the CPI accreditation as a pressure point to keep journalists in line. Without one, Vicent, who is married to a Cuban, can still live in Cuba but would be breaking the law if he publishes any stories.

    ‘Negative image’

    CPI officials in Havana complained that Vicent’s reports painted “a partial and negative image” of Cuba, and likely rejected Castro Olivera because of his previous assignment in Miami, other Cuban and foreign journalists based in Cuba said.

    They noted that since 2008 they have received an increasing number of complaints about some of their stories on dissidents, and warnings to stay away from others.

    Authorities have been especially sensitive about stories on Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a political prisoner who died in 2009 after a hunger strike, and Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia, a dissident who died after an alleged police beating in May, said the journalists.

    Foreign journalists in Havana have reported virtually nothing on the recent spate of complaints by dissidents in eastern Cuba of violent crackdowns by pro-government mobs and security agents against opposition activists.

    CPI officials also have tightened some of the regulations on correspondents, such as those governing the purchases of cars and equipment such as air conditioners, according to the journalists, who all requested anonymity to avoid government retaliations.

    Just one year after Raúl Castro took power, his government withdrew the accreditations of three foreign correspondents, including the Chicago Tribune’s Gary Marx and Cesar Gonzalez-Calero of the El Universal newspaper in Mexico. They left Cuba.

    The third was a correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corp. who stayed in the country and managed to renew his accreditation later.

    ‘Balancing act’

    Some foreign journalists in Havana acknowledge in private that they must watch what they write in order to avoid the wrath of the CPI, but argue that the compromise is needed to continue providing at least some coverage from the island.

    “We recognize it’s a tough balancing act for many of these foreign journalists,” anti-Castro activist Mauricio Claver-Carone wrote in his blog, Capitol Hill Cubans. “But people who do not follow Cuba on a daily basis are unaware of these nuances [and of the nature of the Castro dictatorship] — thus, it sadly leads to disinformation.”

    El País, in an editorial Tuesday, noted that Cuba had rejected Vicent at almost the same time that Iran expelled the newspaper’s correspondent there, Angeles Espinosa.

    “When those regimes have turned into nothing more than a bad dream, as they will sooner rather than later, the fact that they were ordered to shut up will be a motive for pride for those who, like the two El País correspondents, wrote the truth,” the newspaper said.

    “Because when a regime perceives the truth as a threat, it is because the lie that supports it has only a limited amount of time left,” it added.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/06/2393639/journalists-raul-castro-tightens.html

  19. PLEASE SHARE IN YOUR FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MAILING LISTS ETC. THINGS ARE GETTING HOT IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA, THE CRADLE OF ALL THE REVOLUTIONS IN CUBA! GRACIAS TO ALL!

    YOUTUBE : CUBA – OPOSITORES EN PALMA SORIANO SE ENFRENTAN EN LAS CALLES A LA POLICÍA REPRESIVA.(In Palma Soriano, dissidents confront the repressive police presence in the street) -Sep 6, 2011

    EN EL ORIENTE DE CUBA SE DERROCHA VALENTÍA . ESTOS CORAJUDOS CUBANOS NECESITAN DE TU SOLIDARIDAD. NO LOS DEJES SOLOS EN SU LUCHA POR LA LIBERTAD DEL PUEBLO CUBANO. ¡UNIDAD FRENTE AL TERROR DE LOS CASTROASESINOS! TU TAMBIÉN PUEDES SER UNPACU. ¡ADELANTE!

    IN THE PROVINCE OF ORIENTE IN CUBA, COURAGE IS SHOWN. THESE BRAVE CUBAN NEED YOUR SOLIDARITY. DONT LEAVE THEM ALONE IN THEIR STRUGGLE FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE. WE ARE ALL UNITED AGAINST THE TERRORISM OF THE MURDEROUS CASTROS. YOU TOO CAN HELP. FORWARD IN OUR QUEST.

  20. @#197
    poor pitiful fool, u got caught again in ur #182 twisting other people’s statements & 1/2 lies so what do u do? change the subject & insults… u r so predictable LOL

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