El Chupi Chupi and the Dilemma of Limits


I disagree with what you say,
I totally disagree with it,
but I would defend with my life your right to say it.
Voltaire

I press the headset until it almost touches my eardrums, but still the music in the collective taxi is pounding in my head. It’s the third time today I’m forced to hear the same song, a lascivious reggaeton capable of making those of us riding in that 1950s Ford blush. The most popular song has won the fanaticism of some, the repulsion of others and even a strong critique by the minister of culture, Abel Prieto, on national television. It would seem that no one can remain unmoved, tranquil, while listening to that “Dame un chupi chupi, que yo lo disfruti, abre la bocuti, trágatelo tuti.” Either you wiggle your hips or you cover your ears, there’s no middle ground.

The El Chupi Chupi video has been nominated for a Lucas Prize, but a few days ago it was categorized as “horrible” by the president of the Cuban Music Institute himself. The many fans of the composer Osmani Garcia and his controversial lyrics don’t know if he will remain in the competition and the media has almost stopped airing the song. Hundreds of people have already sent in their votes — via text messages — in favor of giving the popularity award to this reggaeton artist. They hope to dance to his creation during the gala this coming Sunday at the Karl Marx theater. But a television presenter declared — half joking half serious — that “there will be no ‘honey nor caramels’ at the event this weekend… because they’re bad for your teeth,” in a clear reference to the likelihood of presenting the controversial rhythm with its direct sexual allusions.

If all of the television, newspapers and radio in Cuba were not the private property of the one political party, there would also be space for these kinds of productions, even though many don’t like them. The current problem is that if national television broadcast it, it would be as if it had the endorsement of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) itself, as if the entire political discourse would have to recognize that its “New Man” is more interested in amusing and lewd tunes than in the anthems of the working man and songs about utopia. I am confident that some day there will be stations devoid of ideology, that in adult programming they will present topics far beyond melodic preferences or the blushing point that everyone accepts. Controversy will arise, of course, and generate debate, but no public official will be able to erase it with the stroke of a pen, because musical tastes don’t change through censorship. If they doubt it, let them climb into a collective taxi in Havana right now.

35 thoughts on “El Chupi Chupi and the Dilemma of Limits

  1. In response to Humberto Capiro:

    Thank you for that insight, I see what you are saying, the reality of the situation is unfortunately devastating. I was never defending the Cuban system, I’m on your side. I honestly think that a democratic communication system is one of THE fundamental factors of a healthy society, it’s definitely something worth fighting for. All the praise to you!

    Best,
    T.

  2. Tanja! YOU KNOW WHO HAS HEAVILY CENSORED ME IS CIRCLES ROBINSON FROM HAVANA TIMES! HE DOES NOT LIKE ME TO PUT SECTIONS OF ARTICLES WITH LINKS OR EVEN ACADEMIC RESEARCH PAPERS WHICH GO AGAINST THE LEFTIST ARTICLES HE PUBLISHES! I HAVE E-MAILS TO PROVE IT! IM PUTTING IT HERE BECAUSE I WILL BE SENDING THE BBC AN E-MAIL SAYING THIS EXACT THING! HE PUBLISHED A LOT FROM FERNANDO RAVSBERG IN SPANISH AND TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH! I HOPE HE IS READING THIS!

    REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS: Hablemos Press journalist to be expelled from Havana yet again in new crackdown – October, 6 2011.

    Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a reporter for the independent news centre Hablemos Press arrested on 30 September and held at the Alternative Penal Centre prison in Havana, is awaiting deportation from the capital for the ninth time in less than two years to his home town of Camagüey.

    The move is the latest in a new crackdown on civic groups and dissident organisations in recent months that Reporters Without Borders condemned today as a attempt by the regime to roll back growing social demands the organisation warned would continue to grow in the wake of the release earlier this year of all the country’s remaining imprisoned journalists.

    “We had hopes after the last journalists were freed, including those held since the 2003 “Black Spring” wave of arrests, and after the lifting of censorship of several websites and blogs,” the organisation said.

    “These gestures of opening-up by the authorities have naturally spurred demands for more civil liberties, including the right to keep people informed and to move around freely. The case of Martínez symbolises the absurdity of the new repression. To deport him yet again from Havana, where he will return to after a while, makes no sense,” it said.

    Martínez has been arrested three times before this year – on 23 April, 25 May and 2 June. Hablemos Press has recorded more than 2,500 arrests during the new crackdown for political reasons, along with brief detentions and forced internal exile, including 486 last month alone (the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation puts this figure at 563). The foreign media has also been censored, including withdrawal of accreditation from Mauricio Vicent, Cuba correspondent of the Spanish daily paper El País.

    http://en.rsf.org/cuba-hablemos-press-journalist-to-be-06-10-2011,41140.html

  3. TANJA! CUBA HAS ONE OF THE WORST RECORD FOR VIOLENCE AND CENSORSHIP AGAINST JOURNALISTS, SPECIALLY THE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS AND BLOGGERS! AND IS NOT JUST ME SAYING THAT! HERE IS PROOF!

    COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: Cuba pulls veteran correspondent’s credentials

    New York, September 7, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Cuban government’s decision to not renew press credentials held by a 20-year veteran correspondent for the Spanish daily El País and radio network Cadena SER. Mauricio Vicent, whose access to official events had been restricted by the government for the past year, is now prohibited from reporting stories from Cuba, according to El País.

    “Withdrawing Mauricio Vicent’s press card is an act of censorship by a government that still can’t stomach independent reporting,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “The authorities must lift all restrictions on Vicent and renew his press credentials immediately.”

    Press credentials are required in order to work legally as a foreign journalist in Cuba. The official International Press Center, which is part of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, accused Vicent of violating government’s ethics and objectivity regulations, according to El País. In published comments, the newspaper’s editors said they “energetically reject the Cuban government’s accusations” and consider Vicent’s work to be an “example of professionalism, impartiality, and balance.”

    Vicent’s plans and those of El País were not immediately clear.

    The Cuban government has a record of pulling the press credentials of international correspondents who report critically about the island nation. In 2007, the authorities refused to renew the press credentials of correspondents from the Chicago Tribune, the BBC, and the Mexican daily El Universal in reprisal for their critical coverage, CPJ research shows.

    More recently, the government has retaliated in other ways against international media. In January, the state television provider stopped offering CNN en Español on the service available in hotels and international business offices, according to the international press. In the months before the decision, state media criticized the network’s coverage of the Cuban exile movement. In April, a state television program accused a Reuters reporter of arranging a meeting between an undercover Cuban agent and a U.S. diplomat whom it claimed was a CIA operative, The Associated Press reported. Reuters categorically denied the accusations.

    The International Press Center’s website states that 24 foreign correspondents now work in Cuba. As Cuba implements economic reforms and prepares to introduce high-speed Internet, freedom of expression continues to be met with a policy of repression that stifles the free flow of information, a 2011 CPJ special report found.

    http://www.cpj.org/2011/09/cuba-pulls-veteran-correspondents-credentials.php

  4. Tanja, I respect and understand your point of view. But you offer a dangerous solution, putting all the power into one set of hands. It always looks good on paper, but has it ever worked? Just look at Cuba, which has a “public communication system” that on paper is supposed to work for the public good. In reality, Fox News is more open and offers a much wider variety of viewpoints than all the channels combined on Cuban TV.

    I hardly watch TV anyways, just saying that a pluralistic society is much better. Here I can voice my dissent and change things, in Cuba I would be completely silenced if not dead. Most important here I can give my money to responsible and humane business. We vote every day with our dollar, in Cuba every vote is for Fidel and his corporate cronies.

    I’m afraid that Cuba has already been swallowed by what you call “American Cultural Imperialism” and it has nothing to do with us, it is all thanks to Castro. Almost every Cuban I’ve met, including many communist party members, would rather watch Die Hard or Captain America or Rambo than go see a Cuban movie or watch Cuban TV. To understand how Cubans really think, I encourage you to go back as a tourist and don’t talk about your politics, just listen to what people say.

  5. In response to “Help”,

    Ok, you are right to a certain extent. YES the “paternal” communication system in Cuba sucks (it only offers one point of view), YES the North American “commercial” communication system is better, but it is NOT the answer because it is NOT a “democratic communication system” and so it cannot fulfill its democratic duties – the right and freedom of citizens to transmit and receive information” – because it is too busy fulfilling its commercial duties: to deliver content that people want to see so people will glue the eyeballs to their screens so advertisers (who by the way provide up to 80% of all profit media corporations make so don’t think they are not important players in the game)will get the audience they paid BIG BUCKS for.

    BUT once again, I am proposing an extreme scenario. Of coarse there are documentaries and shows that propose alternative viewpoints. And that’s wonderful, BUT they are a minority in a sea of TLC’s, Disney channels, Fox New’s and the like. What I am arguing for is a public communication system, one that is committed FIRST to the public and secondly to Mr. Dollar. But I’m perhaps stupid for even proposing that because it would mean the restructuring of the very values that shape how the world is run today.

    And when it come to the Internet and Cuba there is one very important question you are perhaps not asking: Who has access to the Internet in Cuba? Let me tell you, its not a very big number of people. And the Internet is not necessarily democratic either lets not be technologically deterministic here. You are not exposed to alternative viewpoints very easily on the internet because the Internet works in such a way as to give you exactly what you are looking for. In the end what ends up happening is fragmentation and polarization, not open mindedness.

    ANYWAYS, my main point is: YES North America IS an ideal for a Cuban looking towards democracy (well I almost take that back… most Cuban I have spoken to – in Cuba – see absolutely no value in North America whatsoever, BUT I wont generalize) but it SHOULD NOT be the ideal because there are MUCH better systems out there that are MORE democratic – think Northern Europe – though not perfect of coarse. Having said that, don’t label me communist or socialist or whatever because I do not support communists nor capitalists – they are both the same shit (excuse the language) packaged in a different wrapping if you know what I mean.

    I only speak out of love for Cuba and out of a desire to help, honestly. I wouldn’t want to see the island swallowed by the monster that is American Cultural Imperialism – not that you can blame the States, they are only doing what they have to… literally, but lets not open that can of worms.

  6. Tanja:

    So you are saying all the communist, socialist, anarchist, etc, journals and newspapers in North America are controlled and corrupted by advertisers? How about when PBS shows pro-Fidel Castro documentaries, which advertisers control that? How about all the American dissident and anti-business films I’ve seen, who controls them? And those “media control” textbooks you read in college, which advertiser controls them?

    You’re right, money plays a big part in controlling the news, but we do have lots of competition and choice about what to watch and read. And many journalist refuse to go along with advertiser pressure. With the internet, we have even more choice.

    North America IS an ideal for any Cuban looking towards democracy. Not because things are great here, just because things are so much less-democratic in Cuba. If you ever lived in Cuba and experienced the lack of democracy first-hand, you’d appreciate how much of it we have here.

  7. Hi Yoani,

    I have been reading your blog for a while, you have painted a picture of Cuba for me that I was not aware of before. I believe what you are doing is of great importance and I praise you 100%. Having read this post I would like to point something out regarding the mass media and control. I understand why you critique the circumstances of Cuban media that are, from my understanding, completely controlled by the state. However, I would like to point of that although I agree with you I also see value in the Cuban system. The reason for this is simply due to the fact that your media system and the North American media system have one very important difference: advertising. In Cuba what is seen and said in the media is controlled by the government BUT in North America what is seen and said in the media is controlled (almost 100%) by advertisers, who are the primary concern of the media business NOT the public. So you see, democracy is nowhere to be found.

    Please do not look towards the private media sector with praise, at least not to the North American version, because this media system is very much corrupt, perhaps even more than the one in your country. Here, in North America, we have 1000+ channels on our televisions, owned by various media corporations BUT we have very little, if none (to be brutally critical and honest) diversity. Pretty much all the content we are exposed to is either American and/or Canadian. And the worst part is, since the private sector’s main goal is money, the important information that is usually dull and boring is not shown because it cannot “deliver any eyeballs to the advertisers who are the primary customers of the media corporations” as my professor would say.

    I am saying this because it would be a shame if Cuba, a country with so many opportunities ahead of it, should ever adopt the North American media system that is falsely labelled as “democratic”. You are right to be critical and please continue to be critical but don’t be idealistic. I am still young, but if I’ve learned anything during my years in university is that there is not such as democracy. I could write you a novel explaining why and many people have. I guess what I am trying to say is that Cubans are not alone in their fight for freedom and “democracy”, we are all fighting for those same things, not matter where we live. Trust me, don’t let the American Dream deceive you (I totally agree with Castro there). There is no such thing. I speak both from academic intuition and personal experience.

    You are doing the most important thing one can do, and that is to be critical. ANYWAYS, I guess that was my rant.

    All the best,
    T.

  8. Yes, post 18, do you really still consider yourself a “croatian”…?

    The post 26, as you can see Damir IS intellectually superior to the rest of you.

    And Damir doesn’t give a rats’ arse (ass is an animal, but you wouldn’t know that would you?) what anyone who display their mental power by spitting their anger on Damir, says.

    Damir is not here to change anyone’s mind.

    There’s no mind worth the effort.

    As you can see from your own post…

  9. Post 18:

    Do you still consider yourself Croatian, although you may live somewhere else now?
    Humberto was born in Cuba, lived in Cuba, still has family in Cuba, but lives in the United States now. That makes him CUBAN, as well as American. Why do you have such a problem with that?

    Whoever is putting up the “White God” posts, complete with your picture, is just making fun of you. It’s called satire. Here’s a good definition: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices.

    I think that point about Croatia, whether the numbers are exact or not, is that many countries have horrible skeletons in their closets, including yours, the United States in not unique in this regard by any means. But it sure got your little ball rolling, didn’t it?

    Your use of the third person to talk about your perceived intellectual superiority is hilarious. Seriously, do you really not realize that you aren’t changing anyone’s minds here, but that you are providing the comic entertainment on this site?

    I’ll tell you what’s really laughable, your constant accusation of “cut and paste” and “quick internet research,” when it seems you scan every popular news site to get your superficial information about the United States, e.g. “Thanksgiving day pepper spray incident.”

    You’re certainly no expert on Cuba just because you vacation there, and you’re obviously no expert on the United States just because you can scan news stories and cherry pick the worst ones.

    If you honestly think that any American on this forum gives a rat’s as* about what you think about our holidays, us, our country etc., then you need to go back to kindergarten. Thanks for the laughs though.

  10. Just to correct the numbers in the post 22, the actual number of Serbs killed by Hrvat nazists was closer to 740 000. The archives of the Red Cross in Geneve and comparisons of numbers of people from censuses before and after the war confirm the total to be around this cifre.

    Total of people killed by the Hrvat nazists is close to 960 000. The criminals have destroyed their records when the war was lost and they had to run with the Germans.

    Your white “gods” then also did the abominable and hypocritical step when they tried to protect these criminals, which resulted in rage of all the people who had lost their families in this horrendous genocide (Hrvatska at the time had merely 3 000 000 people, so 1/3 was exterminated by the domestic nazists, better known as the fifth column and traitors of their own people.

    Much like these apologists here, pushing the delusional brainwash mad in the usa by their white “gods” of today.

    But “I am confident that some day there will be people devoid of ideology, that in adult programming they will present topics far beyond short-sighted preferences or the blushing point that everyone accepts. Controversy will arise, of course, and generate debate, but no foreign government will be able to erase it with the stroke of a pen, because poitical tastes don’t change through censorship. If they doubt it, let them climb into a collective taxi in Havana right now.”

  11. Post 18, agree. Way too dumb. I was referring to those support brigade pioneers who wrote here “happy thanksgiving”. The same ones who claim to be Cubans.

    By wishing thanksgiving (happy or not, decide you, after all the shootings, pepper spraying of each other and violence in general) they have subconsciously stuffed themselves and admitted that Damir was, as ALWAYS, right and that they are nothing but a bunch of impostors from the usa, pretending to be Cubans.

    As for the post 22, more of ignorance, hastened web search and typical display of inability to READ and UNDERSTAND what is written before you.

    The nazist Hrvatska (better known as Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska – Independent State of Hrvatska because CROATIA was a ROMAN province inhabited by ILIRIANS way BEFORE Hrvati came down to Adriatic.) was NOT given any such thing as “aryan” status.

    On the contrary, it was clearly defined as a puppet state and as such under absolute German control. Nazist Hrvati were merely servants to their German owners.

    Much like those (you included, by the sound of your posts) pioneers supporting delusional writing and treacherous attitude of the team “yoani”.

    But you know that already, judging by your ignorance and wrong conclusions you offer as your contribution to this futile “discussion”.

    I’d prefer that you (all of you) show some brains and comment on what the team “yoani” write.

    It seems that that is way too much to ask… Way above your intellectual level.

    We all knew that anyway.

  12. IT LOOKS LIKE THAT NOT ALL THE TURKEYS WERE EATEN YESTERDAY! WE GOT SOME LIVE ONES LEFT AND EVEN ONE WITH ALL WHITE MEAT! HERE GOBBLE, GOBBLE! HERE GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

  13. My home country of Croatia has a perfectly clean record. Oh wait:

    In 1941 Croat Fascists declared an independent Croatia. Italy and Hungary (also a fascist state) joined forces with Hitler for a share of Yugoslavia. Hitler had issued his plan for a partitioned Yugoslavia, granting “Aryan” status to an independent Croatia under the Catholic Ante Pavelic. This resulted in a campaign of terror and extermination conducted by the Ustashe of Croatia against two million Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and Communists between 1941 and 1945 (Note that the Croats were Roman Catholics, the Serbs were Orthodox Christians). According to Cornwell, “Pavelic’s onslaught against the Orthodox Serbs remains one of the most appalling civilian massacres known to history.”

    From the outset, Pope Pius XII and the Vatican knew of the racist and anti-Semitic statements made by the Croats even as the Pope met with Pavelic and bestowed his papal blessing. Not only did the Croatian Catholic clergy know the details of the massacre of the Serbs and the virtual elimination of the Jews and Gypsies but many of the priests took a leading role! Monks and priests worked as executioners in hastily set up concentration camps where they massacred Serbs. These killings had gotten so brutal that even the Nazis protested against them. By the most reliable reckoning, the Catholic fascists massacred 487,000 Orthodox Serbs and 27,000 Gypsies between 1941 and 1945 in the independent State of Croatia. In addition, approximately 30,000 of the 45,000 Jews died in the slaughter.

    But I must continue to preach to foreigners and to point out what is wrong with the United States. I must. I must.

  14. You say you want to Chupi Chupi with me and lick the leftover turkey from my backside?

    How disgusting!

  15. And if you try to stop me, I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your website down.

  16. I’m sorry, I’m too dumb to realize that no one actually said the Cubans celebrate Thanksgiving. Now I see that your good wishes were for the “usanians” that post here. So Sorry.

    I am the only one who has the moral right to preach to foreigners how they should live.

    Gobble gobble.

  17. The fact that the team “yoani” are showing their true face in this post, by arguing in favour of deranged pornographic expression of opinion, is obviously lost on every single pioneer. It also matters little that pornography is outlawed in many a “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” and “democratic” country – the exact same system the team “yoani” want for Cuba.

    Way too busy licking turkey leftovers from white “gods” backsides.

  18. When there’s nothing to say, which means always in the case of self-confessed usanian support brigade who I see as a bunch of ideologically brainwashed revolutionary pioneers, the true face of those little pioneers pretending to be “Cubans” comes out loud and clear:

    “OUR FAVORITE TURKEY DAMIR! GOBBLE GOBBLE!”

    And they will complain about Damir “insulting them…!!! ANY TIME someone calls Damir’s name in such a primitive (their maximum intellectual level of communication) and simpleton’s way, Damir will retailate.

    The problem is, Damir is intelligent and so are his responses. The impostors and the trolls aren’t, so the beauty of Damir’s esponses will be lost on these amebas.

    Cubans DO NOT celebrate “thanksgiving” because it is a religious celebration of colonisation of the North America by white christian fanatics from 19th century, who started this putrid and sombre “celebration” to thank to so-called “god” for letting them kill native Americans and grab their lands. With time, when native Americans disappeared, the thanksgiving was extended to harvests, and at the beginning of the 20th century, when “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” imploded, to sell the christmas turkeys during recession, they extended the “tradition” onto the “thanksgiving” in order to increase sales of the meat.

    The support brigade, busy licking the leftovers of those turkeys, of the white “gods” backsides, as it was expected of course, extends this “thanksgiving tradition” to thanking these white “gods” for all the turkey they have received.

    Keep in perspective the true nature and history of the day and understand what a turkey leftovers cleaners you are.

    Spineless, brainwashed, ignorant and still convinced that you have the “moral” right to preach to foreigners how should they live their lives.

    How disgusting.

  19. Happy Thanksgiving to All, including the guys at Fidel Corporation in Havana who read this blog. We know you are only “following orders” as they used to say at Nuremberg. I hope one day you won’t have to follow such bad orders.

  20. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! INCLUDING OUR FAVORITE TURKEY DAMIR! GOBBLE GOBBLE!

    I KNEW THERE WAS CATCH TO THIS NEWS! ACTUALLY COUPLE OF CATCHES! IF YOU WANT TO BUY ANYTHING WORTHWHILE IN CUBA IS HAS TO BE IN CUC’s AND TO CHANGE PESOS TO CUC’s THERE IS A FEE IN THE BANKS OR EVEN IN THE BLACK MARKET.

    Financial institutions authorized by Cuba’s Central Bank will offer the loans in Cuban pesos, valued at 24 to the U.S. dollar, rather than the stronger convertible currency, which is one to the dollar. (WHY NOT IN CUC THE CUBAN “DOLLAR”?)

    The Central Bank will also set minimum and maximum interest rates. (WHAT WILL THOSE BE?)

    BOSTON GLOBE: Cuba unveils credits for farmers, entrepreneurs- By Peter Orsi

    HAVANA—Cuba announced a new credit system Thursday that will offer loans to small-business owners, private farmers and other citizens beginning next month, and established rules for paying independent contractors who do business with the state.

    Credit will also be available to people looking to purchase building materials, pay for labor associated with home construction, “acquire goods for their personal property or satisfy other needs,” according to the government’s Official Gazette.

    The lack of a system of lending has been one of the chief complaints of the expanding class of entrepreneurs who are running independent businesses as part of President Raul Castro’s economic overhaul, which aims to right Cuba’s foundering economy.

    Economists have also said credit is a necessary element if the private businesses are to grow beyond subsistence levels.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/11/24/cuba_unveils_credits_for_farmers_entrepreneurs/

  21. Ah, Damir, the crazy gift that keeps on giving. A fresh batch of Thanksgiving insults.

    Happy Thanksgiving all you “Usanian support brigade.”

  22. We agree on one thing: there’s no middle ground.

    Definitely not when the team “yoani” continue with nebulous stupidities nd remarks that come out straight from the handbook of the other utopia, the “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”!!!

    How else to receive, among many – let it be clearly said, this remark:

    “I am confident that some day there will be stations devoid of ideology…”

    I’d blame Cuba and Castros for this naive and on surface misinformed “statement”. After all it’s a gulag the island (so why did you come back then?), but it is well known that the team “yoani” have confessed watching usanian TV stations, and receiving “truthful” and “honest” information from abroad…

    Hence, being well informed according to their own admission, the team “yoani” MUST know, and they DO know, that there is NO such thing. They know only too well that 99% of the stations in the nazist gulag usa, deliberately keep the population MISINFORMED, and UNINFORMED.

    Confused ignorants are easier to manipulate and keep under control After all, the masons have been doing this for the past 600 years, and are still doing it today.

    Mostly through such faithful ignorants like the team “yoani”. Low level soldiers fighting the battles for their white “gods” without even understanding the ideology that drives them.

    Ignorance is the blessing in disguise. The blessing for the ruling white “gods” and in disguise for the faithful but intellectually fatally damaged foot soldiers, just like the team “yoani” and their even more deranged pioneers from the support brigade.

  23. YOUTUBE : CUBA – Video Imagenes del arresto de Yris Perez esta manana – Video images of the violent arrest of Yris Perz this morning- via Yoani Sanchez

    Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez, born 10 October 1964, Placetas, Cuba) is a human right and democracy activist in Cuba.[2][3]

    Antúnez was jailed for 17 years from 1990 to 2007. Other dissidents have referred to Antúnez as Cuba’s Nelson Mandela.[4]

    During a demonstration in March 1990 State Security heard him saying that communism is an error and a dystopia. Saying that was a crime and he was sentenced to five years in prison. In prison, he refused to wear the uniform and participate in “communist re-education”, which meant a violent beating, nine months in solitary confinement and more years in prison.[5] He escaped from prison to see his sick mother, but could not find her and was free only for a day. His mother died a month later. He was found guilty of “attempted sabotage”.[5] One of the charges was failure to respect the Cuban leader Fidel Castro.[3]

    Antúnez continued nonviolent resistance in prison, where he gave birth to a political prisoner group named after Pedro Luis Boitel, an imprisoned dissident who died in a hunger strike in 1972.[4] His courage received worldwide attention. Pope John Paul II, when visiting Cuba in 1998, asked the regime to release him.[3]

    Antúnez was released in 2007, ahead of talks on European Union sanctions, after being imprisoned for 17 years and 34 days.[3]

    Antúnez, his wife Iris, and Diosiris Santana Pérez launched a hunger strike in 2009. Several leaders from Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Argentina declared their support for Antúnez.[6][7] Police threatened Antúnez with eviction from his house and “disobedience” charges for hosting three other dissident thinkers (Osiris Santana Pérez, Ernesto Mederos Arrozarena and Carlos Michael Morales Rodríguez) in his home in April 2009.[8]

    Antúnez’s wife founded the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights.

  24. CUBAN MUSIC HAS ALWAYS HAD DOUBLE ENTENDRES AS ONE OF THEIR MAIN ELEMENTS, SO WHAT IS THIS HOLIER THAN THOU ATTITUDE BY THE CASTROFASCISTS? THEY ARE AFRAID OF THE FREEDOM THAT THESE LYRICS AND RHYTHMS PROVIDE FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE ISLAND! ATTEMPT AT CENSORSHIP? YOU BET!

    AFP: Cuba lashes out against ‘vulgarity’ in popular music

    HAVANA — Cuba on Wednesday took aim at “vulgarity” in popular music, decrying the sexually graphic lyrics that are increasingly common in music played by young people on the communist island.

    “We note with great concern that in the past few years there has been a… type of artistic expression, including in popular Cuban music, that leaves much to be desired,” read the opinion piece appearing in the daily Granma newspaper.

    Cuba sees itself as the birthplace of salsa, which is seen as a national musical treasure.

    But like Cuba’s communist officials, some on the island take exception to reggaeton, a hybrid of Puerto Rican, Jamaican and Latin American urban music that is sweeping the island.

    Reggaeton often is also combined with rapping or singing in Spanish, and its objectionable, even explicit, lyrics are the main cause of controversy.

    Granma railed against the “inexplicable” popularity of music like “reggaeton,” which is wildly popular in the United States as well as Cuba for it driving, upbeat rhythms.

    In the lengthy article entitled “Vulgarity in Our Music: A Choice for the Cuban People?,” the government inveighed against the “macho” tone of many of the lyrics, which “reduce sexual relations to something on the level of a transaction between a prostitute” and her client, the official Communist Party newspaper wrote.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gMHE373FEgvsgtDN4okqeHnnsBSg?docId=CNG.91146763155a4a6e176c124b43f78c32.a71

  25. MENAFN – EFE News Services – Cuba still holding political prisoners, dissidents say- Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Brussels, Nov 23, 2011 (EFE via COMTEX) — Cuba’s Communist government continues to keep around 80 people behind bars for political reasons, a representative of the dissident group Ladies in White told members of the European Parliament here Wednesday.Blanca Reyes represented the Ladies at an event honoring the Cuban group and other past recipients of the Euro Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for human rights activism.”It’s calculated that about 80 Cubans are in the country’s prisons for political reasons,” Reyes said, emphasizing “the harsh conditions faced by” the jailed activists and independent journalists.The cofounder of the Ladies in White said she came to Brussels amid “the still-recent mourning for comrade Laura Pollan,” who died on Oct. 14 of respiratory failure.Reyes said she was pleased because “the symbol of the (Ladies in White) and their message of rebellion has spread to other areas of the country with causes such as the right to freely enter and leave the country and to elect representatives in democratic elections.””We’ve been the banner of change in Cuba, and that without ideological paralysis,” she said.The 2010 Sakharov Prize was awarded to Cuban opposition figure Guillermo Fari�as, whom the Havana regime did not allow to travel to Strasbourg, France, to receive it.The Ladies in White was founded by wives and other relatives of the “Group of 75” dissidents rounded up and jailed by the Cuban government in during the repressive “Black Spring” of 2003.The last prisoners from among the Group of 75 were freed in March, concluding a process that began in July 2010 in the context of a Spanish-supported dialogue between President Raul Castro and Cuba’s Catholic hierarchy.Fifty-two of the Group of 75 remained behind bars at the time of the agreement. One died in prison in February 2010 after a prolonged hunger strike and the rest had been previously paroled on medical grounds.Cuba has released all of the detainees designated by Amnesty International as prisoners of conscience.

    http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story.asp?storyid={bc0694ac-f0cf-4d8d-a6af-c13c69e92c2d}

  26. Humberto, Imagine how Americans would feel if they needed to get government approval each time they wanted to visit New York or California or any other state. I get the feeling all the American Castro fans down in Cuba don’t have trouble visiting Havana or any of its hotels.

  27. ASKING PERMISSION TO VISIT THE CAPITAL OF YOUR OWN COUNTRY? AND STILL THERE ARE THOSE WHO STILL BELIEVE IN THE CASTROFASCISTS? I HOPE THEY CAN EXPLAIN THIS!

    ASSOCIATED PRESS: Cuba relaxes rules on family migration to capital
    HAVANA (AP) — Cuba on Tuesday relaxed a rule that limits islanders’ internal movement, reducing bureaucratic hurdles associated with migration to Havana for people with immediate family members there.

    Spouses, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings of Cubans with legal residence in the capital will no longer have to ask for prior permission to come to Havana, according to a decree that appeared in the Official Gazette, a government publication that disseminates new laws.

    The decree does not affect restrictions on overseas travel.

    The measure signed by President Raul Castro partially modifies a controversial regulation under which people found in Havana who cannot prove legal residence or an official reason for being there can be sent back home and fined.

    Presumably that policy still applies to people who are not close relatives of Havana residents, and it was not immediately clear how people would obtain documentation demonstrating that they have immediate family members in the capital.

    The rules on internal movement were adopted in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, the island’s main benefactor and trade partner, created a severe economic crisis. The goal was to avoid a massive economic migration to the capital, where much of Cuba’s industry and tourist centers are located.

    “Although the causes and conditions that at that time motivated the adoption of the aforementioned decree still exist,” read the new measure, dated Oct. 29, “it is advisable to exempt from the bureaucratic procedure … certain people from other provinces of the country who seek to move permanently to Havana.”

    Cuba is implementing economic reforms under which small private businesses have mushroomed and the government has permitted the free sale of homes and cars.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hucsqC__E3dKp_VWgTQW4sY_GOxw?docId=3f92a6604585452bbf3fdc87c913703e

  28. EXCELLENT ANALASIS BY ONE OF THE IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS!

    UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA WHARTON SCHOOL REPORT :Can Raul Castro’s Reforms Create a New Cuba? -November 22, 2011

    At first glance, say experts, Raul Castro seems to modeling his country’s future after China and Vietnam, whose one-party, nominally communist governments have managed to maintain power for decades while also emerging as globally competitive exporters of industrial and agricultural goods. Look deeper, however, and it is apparent that Raul’s approach won’t turn Cuba into a miniature of those two much larger Asian communist countries, experts say. The key problem for Cuba is that Raul’s reforms are not nearly as deep or thorough as those enacted by communist governments in China and Vietnam. In Cuba, “they are going in the right direction, but the issue is whether the reforms are profound enough or fast enough to meet the difficult crisis,” says Carmelo Mesa Lago, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh, whose new book on the Cuban economy is scheduled to be published in Spain and the U.S. in 2012.

    Mesa Lago notes that in China and Vietnam, local farmers have been allowed to lease from the government the land that they work on for an indefinite time period; Chinese and Vietnamese farmers have been encouraged to care for that land as if it were their own. In Cuba, contracts to lease plots of land are valid for only ten years. “After ten years, that contract may or may not be renewed by the government, and the land may be seized by the Cuban state for social needs,” Mesa Lago notes. That’s particularly troubling because “a lot of land in Cuba has been taken over by the notorious marabou plant,” says Adrian E. Tschoegl, a management lecturer and senior fellow at Wharton. It often takes two years just to clear marabou-infested land, Tschoegl adds, so a ten-year lease is effectively cut by one-fifth, right off the bat.

    How much worse can things get for ordinary Cubans? Del Valle believes that surging unemployment could lead thousands of Cubans to seek refuge in southern Florida, generating a new, massive wave of Cuban immigration. “If you add two million to 2.5 million people to the ranks of Cuba’s unemployed, many of them will see immigration as their best hope for a better life.” He estimates that as many as one million Cubans could flock to the U.S. (80% of them to Florida) over the next decade — a pace of 100,000 a year. “It is impossible for the Cuban government to create so many jobs; this [new wave of immigration] is an economic relief valve,” according to Del Valle.

    According to Suchlicki, the recent relaxation in U.S. immigration policy, which allows more Cubans to travel to the U.S. and send money back to their relatives at home, will help only the minority of relatively affluent, mostly white Cubans. “More than 60% of Cubans [in Cuba] are blacks [or mulattos], and they have no relatives in Florida; they are getting nothing” from the changes in U.S. policy. Overall, the bleak reality is that, rather than follow in the same path pursued by China and Vietnam — which managed to raise their living standards while preserving an authoritarian style of government — “a gradual deterioration” of the country’s economy “seems the more likely scenario in Cuba,” says Suchlicki.

    COPY AND PASTE LINK TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/arabic/article.cfm?articleid=2744&language_id=1

  29. Fidel Castro’s vastly over-rated healthcare system may finally have achieved something noteworthy: killing Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez. According to an investigative report authored by Leonardo Coutinho and Duda Teixeira that appeared in Brazil’s premier newsmagazine Veja on Saturday (November 19), Cuban doctors at that country’s premier medical facility bungled the initial treatment of Chávez’s prostate cancer and may have rushed him to an early grave.

    INTER AMERICAN SECURITY WATCH: CHAVEZ’ SECRET FIGHT AGAINST CANCER!
    Chavez’s bloated image of recent days, with the chin sunk on his chest, can be interpreted as a sign that the prostate tumor would already have reached the rectum (the end of the intestine) compressing the urinary tract, or as the effect of steroids used in chemotherapy. Urologist Fernando Almeida, of the Federal University of São Paulo, and oncologists Sergio Azevedo, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul ,and Samuel Aguiar Jr, of the AC Camargo Hospital of Sao Paulo, made a critical analysis of the reports obtained by Veja. According to experts, some of the above procedures do not apply to regular cases of prostate cancer. Tumors arising in this gland, for example, do not require chemotherapy, and Chavez already faced four sessions. According to the Venezuelan sources, the use of chemotherapy is due to a colon cancer, which pierced the intestine wall, causing an infection. The tumor in the colon also explains the second surgery. The possibility of two tumors arising simultaneously is rare but not impossible. Because the symptoms were postponed by more than one year, prostate cancer cells spread to the bone, which was detected in a cytological analysis. In August, the doctors concluded that the two-front treatment, with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, had failed. The transfer of Chavez to a cancer center in Europe was considered. He refused. In September, he received a series of sessions held in a clinic set up in the island of La Orchila, where the presidential beach house is located.

    COPY AND PASTE LINK TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    interamericansecuritywatch.com/chavez%E2%80%99s-secret-fight-against-cancer/

  30. A LONGER VERSION THAT IN THE LINK!I LOVE IT!!

    YOUTUBE: “EL CHUPI CHUPI” (OSMANI GARCIA FT VARIOS ARTISTAS)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMDIdbvheW0

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