Will They Survive?

la_rosa_negraBetween the ugly concrete buildings and the mansions with gardens, timid spaces for entertainment are emerging. A neighborhood that for decades was condemned to nocturnal boredom, a slice of the bedroom city, now sees glowing signs and bars offering drinks springing up here and there. Comfortable cafes, bars, gyms, and hairdressers flourish with the rebirth of self-employment. Among today’s entrepreneurs, few were a part of the wave of tiny private businesses that appeared in the mid-nineties. So they have no memory of the trauma of being shut down, of governmental will strangling them with high taxes, absurd restrictions, and excessive inspections.

Along with the timbiriches — the tiny businesses with few resources — places are also opening that compete in beauty and efficiency with the best hotel on the Island. Works of art on the walls, carved wood furniture, lamps made to order by local artisans, are some of the details this new class of impresarios use to decorate their premises. Word spreads quickly: “They’re opening a Mexican restaurant on that corner”… “A Swedish chef has come to give classes to cooks planning to open sites in Central Havana”… “On that balcony they serve the most exquisite paella in the country.” It would seem that such an influx of creativity is unstoppable and that they will not be able — as they did in the past — to cut off a sector whose quality exceeds the State establishments.

The neighborhood has become a destination for people after they leave 23rd Street or the Malecon in search of recreation. But a certain uneasiness still keeps us from enjoying the impeccable tablecloths and the waiters in ties; some questions wash over us with every spoonful we taste: Will they survive? Will they let them exist, or will they return to eliminate them?

46 thoughts on “Will They Survive?

  1. Damir! YOU SEEM TO HAVE A LOT OF TIME TO PUT YOUR RANTS TOGETHER BUT NOT ENOUGH TO PUT LINKS TO SUPPORT YOUR THEORIES? NOW DONT BE LAZY, GET US SOME LINKS TO YOUR POINTS AND WE WOULD LOVE TO COMMENT ON THEM!

    THE CUBAN 5 WERE TRIED AND THEIR CASE WENT TO THE SUPREME COURT AND WAS DENIED!

    At their trial, evidence was presented that the Five infiltrated the Miami-based Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue, obtained employment at the Key West Naval Air Station in order to send the Cuban government reports about the base, and had attempted to penetrate the Miami facility of US Southern Command.[2] On February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft were shot down by Cuban military jets in international airspace while flying away from Cuban airspace, killing the four US citizens aboard.[2] One of the Five, Gerardo Hernández, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for supplying information to the Cuban government which according to the prosecution led to the shootdown. The Court of Appeals has, however, reversed the conviction on the conspiracy to commit murder, since there is no evidence that Hernández knew the shootdown would occur in international airspace.[2]

    For their part, Cuba acknowledges that the five men were intelligence agents, but says they were spying on Miami’s Cuban exile community, not the U.S. government.[3] Cuba contends that the men were sent to South Florida in the wake of several terrorist bombings in Havana allegedly masterminded by anti-communist militant Luis Posada Carriles, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative.[3][4]

    The Five appealed their convictions and the alleged lack of fairness in their trial has received substantial international criticism.[5] A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned the spies’ convictions in 2005, citing the “prejudices” of Miami’s anti-Castro Cubans, but the full court later reversed the five’s bid for a new trial and reinstated the original convictions.[3] In June 2009 the US Supreme Court declined to review the case.[6] In Cuba, the Five are viewed as national heroes and portrayed as having sacrificed their liberty in the defense of their country.[

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Five

  2. The allegations of some surreal “involvement” of five Cubans, serving sentences for alleged espionage i the usa have actually been proven false and construed. When that did not work, the government simply ordered they be detained and installed a judge who was keen to serve the government instead of justice.

    Whatever his reason could have been. Probably had some dirt on his head, and the govt. blackmailed him into submission and government-preferred judgement.

    I do not like copy and paste so feel free to search the net for the full story of the process. European Community concluded that the process in the usa was highly political in its’ nature and that it represented flagrant violation of everything a truly democratic society should stand for.

    But then, we all know how “much” is the nazist gulag called usa really democratic.

    Just look at the list of the countries bombed into democracy, by the usa. Hell, look at the usa itself! Disintegrated, financially destroyed beyond any hope of help, printing the money just to remain afloat, for a little while more = is any more evidence really even needed?

    Except for the delusional and blind faithful aparatchiks.

  3. Dear Damir! HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HERE IS MY GIFT YOU! SOME LIGHT READING!

    THE CUBAN 5 “WASP NETWORK” A SUMMARY OF HISTORY AND TRIAL!

    In 1995, after obtaining FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court approval, the FBI obtained warrants to surreptitiously search apartments and monitor telephone communications by a group of Cubans who were Cuban intelligence operatives. The group, through its principal agents or illegal officers, communicated directly with the Cuban Government about its activities and received specific missions and taskings from the Cuban Government. The instructions were subsequently relayed to the other members of the spy ring as appropriate.

    During the searches, the FBI uncovered and read the contents of the communications from and to the Cuban Government. This information was concealed in hidden files on computer floppy diskettes kept in the residences of three of the principal agents.

    At Cuban Government direction, the Cuban spy ring collected and reported information on domestic, political, and humanitarian activity of anti-Castro organizations in the Miami-Dade county area; the operation of US military installations; and other US Government functions, including law enforcement activity. The spy ring also carried out tasks in the United States as directed by the Cuban Government, which included attempted penetration of US military installations, duplicitous participation in and manipulation of anti-Castro organizations, and attempted manipulation of US political institutions and government entities through disinformation and pretended cooperation. The spy ring received financial support from the Cuban Government to carry out its tasks.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE DOCUMENT!
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=94546591

  4. The whole world knows that Alan Gross is a spy whose job was to work on building a violent opposition to current government in Cuba.

    That is called state terrorism, as Gross is cia’s employe.

    The Cuban five did NOT work on overthrowing any usanian government and did not even attempt to connect with any group, and there are many as the whole world knows, interested in armed revolt in the usa.

    Comparison between the two cases, in an attempt to make them appear equal, or, worse yet, to justify terrorist activities of A. Gross against a sovereign nation, are pure nazist propaganda and justification of state terrorism, which is a crime according to the international law.

  5. OF COURSE, MR. KINNAMON HAS NO PREJUDICES REGARDING ALAN GROSS AND HIS RELEASE! WHY DOESN’T THE MEDIA MENTION HIS TIES WITH THE FREE THE CUBAN 5 MOVEMENT?

    THE CUBAN 5 (web site) US Reverend Demands Justice for the Cuban Five

    MATANZAS, Cuba, June 22 (acn) Reverend Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCC) in the United States, advocated more solidarity and demanded justice for the five Cuban antiterrorists incarcerated in the US.

    During his conversation with the press, Dr. Kinnamon spoke about his concern for the recent decision of his country’s Supreme Court of not accepting to review the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, unjustly put in prison for more than ten years now.

    During the opening of a meeting on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Spanish-American Evangelical Congress in Havana, the clergyman said that in this case the position of his government is a clear expression of how politics influences US justice.

    The religious leader pointed out that the US Council of Churches and other ecclesiastical personalities are requesting a meeting with President Barack Obama, in order to tackle the issue of the Cuban Five -among other themes- and demand their release.

    Kinnamon expressed his disagreement with the denial of entry visas for the wives of Gerardo and Rene, and added that over the last few months letters were sent to migratory authorities so Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva could visit their husbands in prison.

    The work of Protestants in the world is to try to achieve, as much as possible, the unity of all forces, in order to try to influence the decision-making of governments with regard to peace, solidarity, justice, and the struggle against poverty, among other matters, explained the Reverend.

    The meeting, which will take place until Friday at the Evangelical Seminar of Theology in central Matanzas province, gathers over 60 religious leaders from 14 nations.

    http://www.thecuban5.org/Rev..html

  6. I WISH THE CASTROFASCISTS WOULD PUT THEIR CARDS ON THE TABLE ONCE AND FOR ALL! LET THE WORLD SEE THAT THEY WANT TO TRADE GROSS FOR THE CUBAN 5! ENOUGH OF THIS BAD TELENOVELA!

    REUTERS: U.S. church leader meets jailed American, Castro- By Nelson Acosta

    Cuban television said Kinnamon met later with Castro and they discussed the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba and the status of five Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States, but there was no mention of Gross.

    Kinnamon said on Wednesday that he was worried about the U.S. contractor’s health. Gross has lost nearly 100 pounds (45 kg) since being picked up as he prepared to leave Havana on December 3, 2009, and suffers from a number of chronic ailments.

    The Cuban government has insisted Gross violated the law, but has signaled its willingness to discuss the case with the Obama administration.

    Kinnamon, whose organization enjoys good relations with the Cuban government, said upon his arrival earlier this week at the head of a 15-member delegation that they were interested in helping improve U.S.-Cuba relations and that the Gross case was just one of many outstanding issues.

    The group also met on Wednesday with relatives of five Cuban agents sentenced to long prison terms by a Miami court more than a decade ago for leading a spy ring in Florida that watched U.S. bases and anti-Castro groups, some of which were plotting to overthrow the Cuban government by violent means.

    Gross reportedly has suggested he be exchanged for the five Cuban agents, though both the Cuban and U.S. governments have said they view the two cases as separate.

    “The case of the five Cubans is a bigger subject, it’s another situation and we are very much involved in that as well. Many U.S. organizations believe that the sentences were very severe and we’re not in agreement,” Kinnamon said on Monday.

    COPY AND PASTE TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE TO SEE ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/01/us-cuba-usa-gross-idUSTRE7B007520111201

  7. I SMELL A TRADE! SOON!

    BOSTON GLOBE: US cleric: American jailed in Cuba in good spirits-By Andrea Rodriguez

    The Rev. Michael Kinnamon, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches who is leading a 15-person delegation to the island, gave few details of his interview with Alan Gross.
    Kinnamon also met Wednesday with relatives of the “Cuban Five,” intelligence agents serving sentences in the United States whose return is a top priority for Havana. He expressed concern over their case.
    “Two of us went to see him today. … We had a good conversation, and we’re grateful for the government for enabling us to have that visit,” Kinnamon told reporters.
    Kinnamon echoed reports from previous visitors who said Gross, 62, had dropped more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and suffered from other ailments.
    “We have concerns for his health, but he’s in good spirits,” Kinnamon said. He said he hoped Gross may be freed on humanitarian grounds, but had no knowledge of when or whether that may happen.
    Kinnamon said he would meet on Thursday with Interests Section diplomats to report on his group’s trip. He said he would also note the National Council of Churches’ view that U.S.-Cuban relations should be normalized and lobby for change in U.S. policy toward Cuba.
    “It’s very clear there are issues we have to discuss between our countries,” Kinnamon said. “But the way to address those issues is in the context of mutual respect between nations, and 50 years of animosity and embargo simply must stop.”

    CLICK LINK FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2011/11/30/us_cleric_american_jailed_in_cuba_in_good_spirits/

  8. Humberto, Gross was chosen as a hostage because he worked with USAID, which all the conspiracy nutjobs, mainly Fidel himself, like to believe has some sort of connection to the CIA. In reality, it’s a humanitarian relief agency that does absolutely everything out in the open. It does good and bad, just like most UN relief orgs and NGOs out there. The tiny bit it was doing in Cuba was all good.

    Every single Cuban “intellectual” and official who is invited to come up here and speak at our colleges and to our press is guilty of more “regime change” activity up here than Gross ever did down there. Plus, many of them are real spies.

    How about let’s arrest a few hundred of them and trade them for Gross and all the dissidents still in Castro’s prisons.

  9. YOUTUBE: Analistas debaten la situación actual de la libertad de prensa en Cuba (1) – Diferentes organismos defensores de la libertad de expresión han denunciado en los últimos días un agresivo aumento de la represión del régimen cubano contra los periodistas independientes y extranjeros que informan desde la isla.

  10. @Help

    Yes, he knows very well how to endlessly repeat the same old sh*t. The same tired and boring “Damirisms.”

    But he has his nose so far up Marx’s as*, and is so blinded by his diabolical hatred of the United States, that he thinks that the puke he spews here actually means something.

  11. AT LEAST TWO ARTICLES BY INDEPENDENT AND DIFFERENT LANGUAGE PAPERS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES REPORT THE SAME THING! THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT KNEW THE EQUIPMENT GROSS WAS BRINGING IN, GAVE HIM A RECEIPT, HE PAYED THE TAX! THEY LET HIM THRU BECAUSE HE WAS NOT BRINGING IN SATELLITE PHONES!!!! HE IS A HOSTAGE TO TRADE FOR THE CUBAN 5 SPIES! THE EVIDENCE IS ALL OVER THE NEWS!

    ABC SPAIN NEWS INTERNATIONAL: La mujer de Alan Gross pide a Obama que interceda para que Cuba lo libere ( The wife of Alan Gross asks Obama to interced so that Cuban can free him)

    «No le dio a nadie teléfonos satélite como se ha informado incorrectamente. En al menos una ocasión, las autoridades cubanas le registraron las bolsas y, tras el pago de un impuesto, se le permitió entrar libremente al país con el equipo que cargaba», afirma el JCRC.

    “He gave no satellite phones as it has been reported incorrectly. In at least one occasion, the Cuban authorities searched his bags and, after payment of a tax, he was allowed to freely enter the country carrying the equipment, “says the JCR – Jewish Community Relations Council

    http://www.abc.es/20111128/internacional/abci-mujer-alan-gross-pide-201111282037.html

  12. Damir!SOME READING FOR YOU BABY! BE CAREFUL, I KNOW MORE FACTS ABOUT THE GROSS CASE THAN YOU DO!

    SAN DIEGO CHANNEL 10 : With American In Cuban Prison, Wife Hopes For Clemency- Alan Gross Convicted Of Trying To Subvert Cuban Gov’t – From Jill Dougherty,CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

    “The equipment is illegal in Cuba without government permission, but a source close to the case told CNN that “at trial, the defense presented a receipt from Cuban Customs to demonstrate the Cubans were both aware of and approved what Alan brought in.””

    http://www.10news.com/news/29066339/detail.html

  13. Damir ! SILLY BOY! WE CUBANS ARE NOT SCREAMING ! WE ARE TALKING! THAT’S A CULTURAL THING! OK!!

  14. OUR LITTLE SISTER IS DOING REAL GOOD! AND REAL BAD FOR THE CASTROFASCISTS!

    MIAMI HERALD: Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez ranked among top ‘Global Thinkers’- After being honored by Foreign Police magazine, Yoani Sánchez tweeted that she’s just “thinking of how to make the race last until the end of the month.”- By Juan O. Tamayo
    Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez has been named by the Washington-based Foreign Policy magazine as one of its “Top 100 Global Thinkers” for her posts on life on the island, “from Raúl Castro’s latest pronouncements to the taste of mangoes.”

    With her usual sharp wit, Sánchez sent a tweet Tuesday saying, “Beautiful paradoxes of life. My name on FP list of 100 thinkers, and now I am ‘thinking’ of how to make the rice last until the end of the month.”

    In another tweet moments later, she noted that a government-sponsored seminar on “Alternative Media and Social Networks” had just started in Havana. “No alternative blogger has been invited. :-) .”

    Sánchez ranked No. 81 on the list, described as “a unique portrait of 2011’s global marketplace of ideas and the thinkers who make them,” published in the December issue of Foreign Policy, part of the Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, LLC, in Washington.

    Also on the list were 14 figures of the “Arab Spring,” President Barack Obama, Chinese artist Ai WeiWei and Bill and Melinda Gates. The only other Latin Americans on the list were Brazil President Dilma Rousseff and Venezuelan newspaper editor Teodoro Petkoff.

    The 36-year-old philologist has won a string of mayor international prizes since she launched her blog, Generación Y, in 2007.

    “Sánchez’s rise owes at least as much to her literary gifts as to the power of Web 2.0.,” Foreign Policy noted. “Approaching her country’s ills with both hopefulness and a gimlet eye, where most Cuba commentators are didactic and ideologically entrenched, her posts — on everything from Raúl Castro’s latest pronouncements to the taste of mangoes — have over the years painted an unusually vivid portrait of a society in limbo.”

    Her blog “stands as a rebuke to a government that still sharply limits its citizens’ access to the Internet,” the report noted, adding a quote from one of her posts in February: “We have taken back what belongs to us … These virtual places are ours, and they will have to learn to live with what they can no longer deny.”

    The Foreign Policy report gave its top 14 spots to pro-democracy activists in the Arab world, from Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who helped launch the revolt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, to Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.

    Foreign Policy also named Sánchez as one of the “10 Most Influential Latin American Intellectuals” of 2008, the same year that Time magazine put her on its list of “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/29/2523451/cuban-blogger-yoani-sanchez-ranked.html

  15. Damir: ” lesson No.1 by Goering”

    That would be Goebbels, and he would be very proud of you and the other hate-filled Marxists who post here. Do you know anything about anything, besides the price of hookers in Cienfuegos and Che t-shirts on the French Riviera?

  16. The simple and unassuming evidence of sheer panic and lack of anything to say:

    “some questions wash over us with every spoonful we taste: Will they survive? Will they let them exist, or will they return to eliminate them?”

    So, scream, scream on top of your lungs.Scream foul on everything, especially if it is good.

    It is important to make the perception of despair. Repeat it ad nauseam and people (the stupid ones, like the support brigade of pioneers, all 1 and a half of them) will start believing it.

    The lesson No.1 by Goering, distributed on the island by “Gross who was arrested nearly two years ago while working on a democracy-building project financed by the U.S. government.” – CBSNews.com

    Hm… since when the nazist gulag usa has the right to send its’ spies to foreign countries to “spread” and “build” “democracy”…?

    And don’t let the facts stop you from spreading lies!

  17. SOMETHING IS COOKING WITH THE ALAN GROSS CASE! THERE HAS BEEN AN UPSERGE OF ARTICLES ABOUT HIS WIFE’S TRIP AND PLEA TO OBAMA ON THE NEWS THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, OVER 300 ARTICLE AND OR RE-PRINT OF THE AP MAIN STORY (not this one)! ALSO THE CUBAN 5 STORIES AND ACTIVITIES AROUND THE WORLD AND IN CUBA ARE UP SIGNIFICANTLY! WILL THERE BE A TRADE? I SMELL ONE!

    (AP) HAVANA — The head of a U.S. religious group has asked Cuban authorities for access to an American man sentenced to 15 years in prison for bringing restricted communications equipment to the island.

    Michael Kinnamon is general secretary of the National Council of Churches.

    Kinnamon says he is waiting to hear whether permission will be granted to visit Maryland man Alan Gross.

    Gross was arrested nearly two years ago while working on a democracy-building project financed by the U.S. government.

    Kinnamon spoke Tuesday in Havana. He is heading up a 15-member delegation of clerics who are in Cuba through Friday.

    The New-York based National Council of Churches is an umbrella group of U.S. Protestant and Orthodox Christian denominations.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501715_162-57333112/cleric-hopes-to-meet-with-jailed-us-man-in-cuba/

  18. THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT TOOK MR. GROSS HOSTAGE SO HE WOULD BE TRADED FOR THE CUBAN 5 SPIES BOTTOM LINE! I FEEL SO BAD FOR THE GROSS FAMILY, THIS GAME THAT THE CASTROFASCITS ARE PLAYING IS VERY TRANSPARENT AND EVIL TO THOSE WHO CAN THINK AND THOSE WHO CAN TAKE OFF THEIR CASTRO ROSE COLORED GLASSES!

    NPR: Wife: Man Imprisoned In Cuba Concerned Before Trip-by The Associated Press

    Saturday will mark two years since Alan Gross, 62, was arrested in Cuba. Since then, the former Maryland resident has been sentenced to spend 15 years in a Cuban prison, and his case has become a sticking point in talks between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations. Judy Gross said that in the past year she twice thought her husband might be able to return to the United States. Both times she was disappointed.

    “The Cubans will say one thing one day and change their minds the next,” said Gross, who had to sell the couple’s home and now lives in Washington.
    Gross has rarely talked about her husband’s situation, giving interviews only infrequently and waiting for her husband’s case to work its way through the Cuban legal process. She hired a prominent Washington litigator who advised her against saying much because of the sensitivity of the case and also because it was working through the Cuban courts. But she acknowledged Monday that staying silent “didn’t work.”
    Gross said both she and her husband are now less hopeful about his release anytime soon. And she said she is worried that if President Barack Obama isn’t re-elected, a Republican president may be less willing to work with Cuba to secure his release. She urged Obama to make a statement about the case, which arose just as the Obama administration was making tentative movements to ease decades of U.S. tensions with Cuba.

    For now, Alan Gross is generally allowed to call his wife once a week, on Fridays. Judy Gross said she last spoke to him days ago and he sounded “more hopeless and more depressed” than before. He has lost more than 100 pounds while in Havana’s maximum-security Villa Marista prison but is now gaining weight, she said, adding arthritis now makes it difficult for him to walk.

    She was allowed to visit him in Cuba earlier this month, her third visit since his arrest. She said she brought chocolate chip cookies, pictures of his family, and issues of his favorite magazine, The Economist.

    On Monday, Judy Gross joined about a dozen others in a demonstration calling for her husband’s release in front of the Cuban Interests Section in northwest Washington, the presence Cuba maintains instead of an embassy. The weekly vigils began in September. Demonstrators promised to be there until Alan Gross returns.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=142877019#commentBlock

  19. THESE LOANS WILL BE DONE IN PESOS NOT CUC’s (Cuban “dollar”) WHICH IS THE CURRENCY THAT MOST OF THE CUBAN ECONOMY RUNS ON AND WILL BE THE CURRENCY BY WHICH THESE ENTREPRENEURS WILL BUY THEIR SUPPLIES AT ONLY GOVERNMENT STORES WHICH WILL SELL AT HIGH PRICES AND WILL TAX PRODUCTS! IN ADDITION AN EXCHANGE FEE WILL BE APPLIED WHEN CHANGING PESOS TO CUC’S! GET THE MAFIA PICTURE?

    REUTERS: Cuban government to contract with private sector-By Marc Frank

    The Cuban government will begin contracting out some services to the private sector next year in a break from the state-dominated past aimed at helping small business develop, government insiders said on Monday.

    They said food and cleaning, construction and some transportation services, all of which are currently done by government workers, were among those that would be contracted out in the future as Cuban leaders push ahead with more than 300 reforms to modernize the island’s Soviet-style economy.

    President Raul Castro is encouraging private sector growth to create jobs for the one million employees he hopes to slash from bloated government payrolls over the next few years. His goal is to strengthen Cuban communism to assure its future.

    More than 350,000 people are now self-employed, more than double the number of two years ago, although most are small operations based in homes.

    Their ability to grow has been hindered partly by a lack of capital and access to government business, which is significant because the state controls most of the economy.

    But new credit and banking regulations that take effect December 20 will allow small businesses for the first time to obtain loans and, along with private farmers, to open commercial accounts, a prerequisite for doing business with the state.

    The measures also lift a 100 peso- (roughly $4-) cap on business between state enterprises and private individuals.

    “It is very positive for the development of the non-state sector that it now has at its disposal new financial instruments that before were available only to state companies and joint ventures with foreign companies,” said a local economist, requesting anonymity due to a ban on talking with foreign journalists.

    “It paves the way for business between the new non-state sector and the state.”

    Cuba expert Phil Peters at the Lexington Institute think tank in Arlington, Virginia, said the measures, in addition to helping the private sector, should make the government more efficient and were indicative of a larger change.

    “It is another sign that the socialist state is shedding longstanding prejudice against private enterprise,” he said.

    (Editing by Jeff Franks and Paul Simao)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/28/us-cuba-reform-private-idUSTRE7AR26420111128

  20. THE CASTROFASCITS ARE GETTING AN EARLY “CHRISTMAS” PRESENT! EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ATHEISTS!

    YOANI SANCHEZ : Foreign Policy magazine’s “10 Most Influential Latin American Intellectuals” of the year 2010 AND NOW!! DRUM ROLE PLEASE!

    YOANI SANCHEZ: One of Foreign Policy Magazine Top global thinkers of 2011- Foreign Policy magazine published its annual list of “top 100 global thinkers,” which includes novelists, activists and heads of state from around the world.

    When Yoani Sánchez launched her blog, Generation Y, in 2007, the Havana-born computer programmer turned journalist was a virtual unknown. Four years later, she’s a dissident voice of such prominence that the Cuban government has ordered her detained and beaten. A blurb from Barack Obama even graces her recently published book, Havana Real.
    Sánchez’s rise owes at least as much to her literary gifts as to the power of Web 2.0. Approaching her country’s ills with both hopefulness and a gimlet eye, where most Cuba commentators are didactic and ideologically entrenched, her posts — on everything from Raúl Castro’s latest pronouncements to the taste of mangoes — have over the years painted an unusually vivid portrait of a society in limbo. The very fact of their existence stands as a rebuke to a government that still sharply limits its citizens’ access to the Internet. “We have taken back what belongs to us,” Sánchez wrote in February. “These virtual places are ours, and they will have to learn to live with what they can no longer deny.”

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/28/the_fp_top_100_global_thinkers?page=0,47#thinker81

  21. A comment on the actual subject of Yoani’s column. Every time I go to Cuba I am struck by the huge gap between the dismal food and service in the state restaurants and the best of the palladares. But the latter have always been the target of selective government harassment. La Guarida, in Centro, was for years the best place to eat in Havana. It was clearly breaking all the rules (far too big, for one thing) but clearly there was some kind of arrangement that eventually broke down. Now it is back again, thank God. The only good governmnent restaurant was Erasmo, in deepest Miramar, and is not even in most guides — but the reason that it is good is that Erasmo is basically Fidel’s private cook. The place is expensive, too. The last time I was there the only other diners were Chinese investors. I will be back in the New Year, and look forward to seeing what kind of culinary advances there have been in the socialist paradise.

  22. @Fresita: I don’t know what objective means, so I try to read all sides and travel and speak to a lot of people and make up my own mind. I don’t believe all the anti-Castro stuff I’ve read, but most of the pro-Castro stuff I’ve read is pure fiction.

    I prefer reading personal histories, so here’s a good start: “Child of the Revolution: Growing up in Castro’s Cuba” by Luis M. Garcia.

    A good graphic novel is: Cuba: My Revolution by Inverna Lockpez http://weeklycomicbookreview.com/2010/09/22/cuba-my-revolution-graphic-novel-review/

    Or you can read those closer to the beast:
    Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba by Alina Fernández Revuelta

    All the stories are the same. They came from middle or upper class families that supported Fidel, and then he took over and Cuba went down the drain and everybody got sick of him so Fidel/Raul/Che had them shot or sent to labor camps or they managed to escape.

    The story of the poor is worse, no connections and no money to bribe officials and no way to leave Cuba and no reporters to listen to their stories, they have been forgotten by the world for over 50 years.

  23. Fresita,

    I would start with this wikipedia page and maybe other related pages for a general view! Some book suggestions below too! Not a book reader here, this is what caught my eye online recently!

    WIKIPEDIA PAGE: Cuba
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba

    Tom Gjelten’s new book, “Bacardi and the Long Fight For Cuba: The Biography of a Cause” threads the history of the family-owned Bacardi Rum Co. together with that of the nation in which it was founded. The Bacardi family business began in 1862, when Facundo Bacardi, an immigrant from Spain, opened a small distillery in Santiago, Cuba, and set forth to change the image of rum.

    “The Autobiography of Fidel Castro” by Norberto Fuentes, translated by Anna Kushner-Prize-winning author and journalist Norberto Fuentes was once a revolutionary: a writer with privileged access to Fidel Castro’s inner circle during some the most challenging years of the revolution. But in the late 1990s, as the regime began sending its oldest comrades to the firing squad, he became A Man Who Knew Too Much. Escaping a death sentence and now living in exile, Fuentes has written a brilliant, satirical, and utterly captivating “autobiography” of the Cuban leader—in Fidel’s own arrogant and seductive language—discussing everything from Castro’s early sexual experiences in Birán to his true feelings about Che Guevara and his philosophy on murder, legacy, and state secrets. Critics have long admired Fuentes’s writing; one U.S. article called him “Norman Mailer’s Cuban pen pal.” Akin to Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, or Edmund Morris’s Dutch, this wickedly entertaining, true-to-life masterpiece is as imaginative and outsized as Castro himself.

  24. Hello everyone,

    I am catching up on these posts and others, and it is difficult on the internet at times. Can anyone recommend if any (as much as possible) objective historical overview of cuba that has been published? Perhaps maybe in brief as I need it in easy English. I feel a bit lost in the debate, and lacking in up to date knowledge and perspective. I learn of Batista and Marti when I went to cuba, but I cannot remember much it was years ago. The view of Che to most students in Europe is of some kind of hero, with all these kids wearing his image on him ect and I would not know where to go for good writing. Other than internet recommend? Thanks

  25. I POSTED THIS REPORT ON A PREVIOUS YOANI POST BUT IT FITS EXACTLY WITH THIS TOPIC!

    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.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

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

  26. A VERY TOUCHING ESSAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS! CUBAN STYLE!

    NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Old Pictures: A Cuban Exile Story – Mario Loyola

    One thing that keeps the Cuban-exile community close is the intimate knowledge of how depraved Castro really was. Our families felt lucky to find so many Americans opposed to Communism in principle, but most of those Americans had little notion of Fidel’s taste for cruelty. Ask Huber Matos, formerly Fidel’s comandante for Camagüey province, who early on in the revolution dared to write a letter urging Fidel to hold elections as promised. He was summarily convicted of treason and sedition and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The best part was Fidel’s personal touch: He specifically ordered Matos’s best friend to arrest him.

    Virtually all our families supported Castro at first. They wanted an end to the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and a return to democracy. They believed Castro’s rhetoric of democracy and liberty and had little reason to believe he intended anything else.

    Today, Cuba continues its lonely journey through the infinite calamities of Castro’s dictatorship.In recent years, the state has announced such blockbuster democratic reforms as letting people buy toasters and letting barbers keep part of what they charge. More significant market reforms are withdrawn as unexpectedly as they are announced. Dissidents are still routinely detained and beaten. Disgustingly, the victims of these beatings include young women, such as the blogger Yoani Sánchez, and elderly women, such as Laura Pollán, former leader of the group Ladies in White, who recently died in a state hospital after years of intimidation and physical abuse by government-organized mobs. In the last year, many political prisoners have been released from prison, in shockingly poor health, and immediately exiled to Spain. So much for the hope that Raúl Castro would liberalize anything.

    Meanwhile, if Cubans turned out to be terrible Communists, they have made great Americans. The young kid who swept the floor of the local Burger King in the 1960s rose to become VP of operations. The one who started at Kellogg’s as a sales rep rose to become CEO and U.S. secretary of commerce. The Cuban-American community now has a median income slightly higher than that of America as a whole.

    We grew up being told that everything is possible in America. Now it’s our turn to prove that it’s true, and to make sure it stays true. That’s why so many of us feel called to public service. America has given us – and our families – as much to be grateful for as anyone in America.

    The greatness of this country needs defending in every generation. Now it’s our turn.

    — Mario Loyola is director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ESSAY!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/284058/old-pictures-cuban-exile-story-mario-loyola

  27. Getting back to Yoani’s post. The smarter people in the Cuban dictatorship want to combine Chinese or Vietnamese capitalism with continued political totalitarianism and one party rule. But with the octogenerian old guard still firmly in control,who knows?

    Even if the smarter people do end up carrying the day (if for no other reason than the old guard is dying off), are Cubans as likely as the Chinese or Vietnamese to tolerate political dictatorship as an acceptable trade-off for greater economic freedom? It also begs the question of how much longer the Chinese or Vietnamese are prepared to tolerate this trade-off.

  28. THIS IS THE CUBAN VERSION OF WIKILEAK! OR WIKIMEAO IN CUBAN SPANISH! THE CASTROFASCISTS LOVED IT WHEN IT WAS THE U.S.A. IN THE HOT SEAT! LETS SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT WHEN IS THEIR C*LO INSTEAD! JE JE JE! DAMIR, BETTER CHANGE YOUR PHONE AND LOCATION, LIKE NOW!

    MIAMI HERALD: Cyber commandos spill phone numbers of top Cuban officials- Critics of the Castro regime have adopted a new, Internet-savvy tactic: publishing the addresses and phone numbers of top Cuban officials.- By Juan O. Tamayo

    Want to know the home address of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro’s daughter? How about the home phone number for his No. 2, José Ramon Machado Ventura? Or the cell number for Minister of Communications Ramiro Valdés?
    A Miami-based outfit is publishing those and myriad other details on the private lives of top Cuban officials, saying it wants to warn “the darlings of the dictatorship” that they will face a dark future if the government collapses.

    Also obtained from inside Cuba are digital lists of the cell phone numbers for tens of thousands of security and intelligence officers, and the street addresses of virtually every single military base on the island, contributors to the page say.

    The leaking of such personal details online, out of a communist-ruled country where secrecy has long been paramount, reflects the Castro government’s growing inability to control the flow of information in the age of the Internet.

    “Technology is going to destroy them,” said one post on the page CubaalDescubierto — Cuba Uncovered — where the details are being posted by FUEGO, or “fire,” a group that claims to be made up of Cubans in and out of the island.

    The site already has published what it reports as the home addresses, phone numbers and other personal information of more than 20 top Cubans since it started posting those kinds of details about six weeks ago.

    They include Machado Ventura, Castro’s No. 2 in the ruling Council of State and the Communist Party; former Defense Minister Julio Casas, who died Sept. 3; and Valdés, a former Interior Minister, widely viewed as one of Cuba’s most powerful officials.

    It also published the address and home phone of Castro’s daughter Deborah and her husband Luis Alberto Rodriguez López Callejas, an army colonel who runs military-owned businesses that account for an estimated 60 percent of the island’s economy.

    The addresses and phone numbers for Angela and Agustina Castro Ruz, sisters to Raúl and Fidel Castro, and for Sonia and Jose Alejandro Espin, sister and brother of Raúl Castro’s late wife, Vilma Espin, also appeared on the page.

    COPY AND PASTE TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE TO SEE ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/26/2519901/cyber-commandos-spill-phone-numbers.html

  29. Hello everyone again,

    Damir, just as you are writing currently, please could you respond to my questions on “dark festival” and “apartheid” – as all this white god / usainiana / fifth column thing does not mean very much to me and I cannot understand your argument or stand point. And maybe your views on how things are for you, why you think how you do, your learning, your experience?

    If you are sure that these things are not as yoani says, can you show proof for the non cuban, non visitors who rely on the internet to know of cuba? a tv documentary alerted me to yoani, now i see all these articles from humberto (are all those journalist wrong?) all the other blog people here as well, personal experiences – all their stories stand together?

    My other point is about your comments about twitter and phone bills etc – is that you can donate to the cause for yoani and her colleagues. When I was in Cuba telephoning was very expensive – may be it is reduced now and has mobile services. If she has a mobile and has support from outside of her home – is it unreasonable to think her phone bill is paid for by support?

  30. Damir said: “Post 5 deserves no response for obvious inability to READ and UNDERSTAND.”

    Damri said: “Post 4, if the author weren’t so busy pretending to be a “Cuban” and with all the copy-’n-paste futility, she would have read my earlier posts, where I had said just that.”

    SOMEONE HAS A CRUSH ON ME!!! HOW FLATTERING!

  31. Hi Julio Gonzalez Jr:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

    And to everyone of every religion: happy holidays and peace on earth for all.

  32. Damir…..”Those in power, in Cuba, have long ago screwed the concept of socialism and turned it into a sad joke.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Of course, the poor retarded patient learned about this precisely in this pages……. this is a strong prove about our skills to display historical and factual truth and our effectiveness to make political-ideological ignorant individuals to get illustrated…….. I remember the time when Damir arrived to this site defending a supposedly communism in Cuba and developing the classical attacks castrofascist teaches to their cyber-thugs, same proven ineffective attacks that only works among a crowd of fanatical followers……… well, damir is today a patient cured of such ignorance…… of course, as usual in ideological-retarded patients, his disease found shelter in other holes of his twisted mind….. but if he continue to come to our therapy sessions, I am sure we will cure him completely.
    Congratulations dummy, we are happy about your progresses!!!!

  33. I liitle prove about a sick person’s confusion:

    Damir said in comment # 1.
    …..”The need to criticise EVERYTHING and ANYTHING is merely the sign of tired and aimless opposer”…..

    And later said in comment # 8
    …..”Those in power, in Cuba, have long ago screwed the concept of socialism and turned it into a sad joke.”

    So, the confused poor patient does the same critics on castrofascism than Yoani does….. but …….. of course, he think he does better…….. and Yoani has no right to do what he does just because, because, because……..??????……… well, only in patient’s sick mind must be an answer for his evidently stupid attitude……. let’s wait for his answer.

  34. Post 5 deserves no response for obvious inability to READ and UNDERSTAND.

    For hatred I suggest read the team “yoani’s” messages as these are pure hatred hidden under the cloth of quasi-intellectualism and cheap sucking up to their white “gods” by repeating ad nauseam their favourite slogans and brainwash.

  35. Post 4, if the author weren’t so busy pretending to be a “Cuban” and with all the copy-‘n-paste futility, she would have read my earlier posts, where I had said just that.

    The Cuba is, unfortunately, a private property of just as delusional and confused idiots, as delusional and confused are the pioneers of the support brigade.

    Those in power, in Cuba, have long ago screwed the concept of socialism and turned it into a sad joke.

    However, there are still many good things that these ignorants (what’s with that among the Cubans…? it’s pandemic…) had managed to preserve and keep intact.

    How many times had Damir said that getting rid of Castros would be a good thing, but changing the SYSTEM completely would NOT?

    It would save you all from writing nonsense if you actually ead and try to understand what Damir writes before spreading your stupidity and ignorance over the internet like a cheap, and poisonous by the way, peanut butter.

    Typical products of “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”.

    Ignorance, stupidity and peanut butter.

  36. YOUTUBE: MY HERO!! SARA MARTA FONSECA!!! (she is the one in black clothing an white backpack) Protesta “Laura Pollan” – Protest “Laura Pollan” 11/24/2011- This video was taken by me (not Humberto Capiro, I wish!!) on November 24, 2011 around 10:30 am. It was on the corner of 23 and L in La Habana. Protesters were trying to express their ideas and support the “Damas de Blanco” and Laura Pollan. Everyone was supportive except for one lady who decided to rip the sign apart. The police also saw the protesters and left them alone.

    Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo is one of the leading figures of the Cuban resistance movement. Born on September 4th, 1970 to a humble family in the former province of Las Villas, Quevedo moved to the province of Havana at the age of 17, where she currently resides along with her husband and two sons. Sara Marta describes her family and herself as a family that has always opposed the Castro dictatorship, suffering threats and blackmail in school and the work force because of this. However, it was not until 2004 when Sara Marta publicly joined the opposition movement within the island, carrying out countless public non-violent street protests. Her dedication and involvement within the struggle for freedom on the island led her to co-found and become executive secretary of a pro-democracy group known as the Cuban Pro-Human Rights Party affiliated to the Sakharov Foundation. In addition, Fonseca is a leading member of the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights, which during this year alone has carried out a number of significant demonstrations in Cuba, including a protest on the historic Capitol Building in Havana, which resulted in a brutal beating at the hands of Political Police agents and various days of detention. She is also a member of the Cuban Transition Agenda and spokesperson for the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front, a national dissident umbrella group.

    Quevedo is also part of the ‘Ladies of Support’, a group of women who have joined the Ladies in White in solidarity as they march through the streets of Cuba demanding freedom for unjustly jailed relatives, and all political prisoners. Because of her role in this female group, she has also been dragged, pushed, beaten, and jailed along with the rest of the Ladies in White. Sara’s husband, Julio Leon Perez is also an active and well-known Cuban dissident. Together, they have provided their home in Rio Verde, Havana for dissidents to meet, debate, and carry out demonstrations. The Castro government has responded by regularly raiding their house, painting offensive slogans on their walls or simply ordering mobs of civilian-clothes government officials to shout insults at them or even beat them. Sara and Julio’s children, Ignacio (youngest) and Julito (eldest) have also suffered violence because of theirs parent’s non-violent activism. Together, the family has assured that they will continue their struggle for freedom on the island, despite the consequences.

    After having suffered a very brutal beating and arrest this past September 24th 2011, Sara Marta was imprisoned along with her husband. Her son, Julito, called on the international community to join his family and the Cuban resistance in solidarity to demand the Cuban dictatorship that they release his mother. Hours after, Julito was detained as well. Cuban activists both in and out of Cuba are demanding that Fonseca Quevedo, her relatives, and the rest of the unjustly imprisoned dissidents be released immediately. At this point in time, any solidarity on behalf of the international community and international human rights organizations is crucial.

    THIS IS FROM NET FOR CUBA WEB SITE! GRACIAS!

  37. Hello to Yoani Sanchez and everybody else, including, Claudia Caudelo and everybody else like Ciro Diaz, etc.I’ve read progress and is uplifting for us in exile.I saw Gorki on TV and he looked OK.

    I don’t want to say much.The bloggers are there, right there; the regime doesn’t know exactly what to do that is not repression to the cuban population.There are many young people wanting to become a blogger inside Cuba.

    With all due respect for Laura Pollán,I think of her maybe once or twice during the day.She was such a leader of the “Damas de Blanco”.But after you filter your members, things will developed in a better way.There are more of them who can create leadership, many of them.

    I read about the tiny economic reforms that Raul Castro talked about in a threatening tone.

    Something like “…or do what I say or you go to jail in “Villa Marista..”

    They want money .Dollars, just like that and for the cuban people repression.Some international thiefs are doing a good job for themselves in the dollar cuban economy.

    Things will improve for those who fight daily for their Humans Rights and Democracy.You deserve it.

    Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Love you all,

    Julio Gonzalez Jr.

  38. Damir, since Cuba is already better than all us democratic countries, why don’t you move there? Is it because you can’t access your beloved American internet from there? Or would you miss our capitalistic plumbing and running water?

    A rich capitalist Marxist like you couldn’t survive a month on a Cuban salary.

    And since you can’t read, Yoani’s post was very positive about changes going on in Cuba thanks to capitalism. If you want negativity and hate, re-read your own post.

  39. Damir said GOBBLE GOBBLE! and this : “Now, after all these complaints about how the only rich people on the island are the cronies of Fidel and the communist party, the tune that had changed a couple of times when it was convenient to point out that plastic chirurgs are filthy rich too and not necessarily friends with the above, we hear another self-spitting confession:”

    DAMIR, CUBA IS NOT A COMMUNIST NATION! IS AN ALIGARCHY! GET OVER IT!

    OLIGARCHY is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy.

    SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE : A sweet life if you belong to Cuba’s upper crust- Jonathan Curiel, Special to The Chronicle

    Everyone knows that Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest countries. Its economic indices lag in nearly every category, including gross domestic product and household income. Yet the stereotype of Cuba as a strict post-Communist backwater – a kind of Shangri-la of egalitarianism – has taken a beating in the past year.

    First, there was an article in the Economist that quoted Ada Fuentes, a woman who returned to Havana after living in New Jersey for five decades. “If you have money,” Fuentes said, “life’s good here.”

    Now there is Michael Dweck’s photo project that shows Cuba’s privileged side – a side of beautiful models, late-night partiers, daytime surfers, hard-working guitar players and other people who make up Cuba’s “creative class,” as Dweck calls them. Two of Fidel Castro’s sons (Alex and Alejandro) are on the periphery of this strata. So is the son of Che Guevara, Camilo Guevara, who’s a photographer.

    The revolution that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara brought to the island nation five decades ago has evolved into something unexpected: Guilty pleasure. As Dweck notes in his new book, ” Michael Dweck: Habana Libre,” some of the people he photographed are “embarrassed” about their relatively elite standing; others, he says, “are afraid to draw attention to it for fear the socialist government will punish them for having a good life.” An exhibit of photos from “Habana Libre” continues at San Francisco’s Modernism gallery through Oct. 29.

    “Artists, writers, filmmakers, dancers – they live this secretive life under the radar in Cuba that is really cool and lends itself well to a narrative,” says Dweck. “I’m playing on the theme of privilege in a classless society.”

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

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/28/DDGA1L84PN.DTL

  40. MIAMI HERALD: Police detain dissidents headed for Havana forum on racism-By Juan O. Tamayo
    Cuban police detained more a dozen dissidents to force the cancellation of Friday’s session of a forum on racial discrimination on the island, according to forum organizers.

    Dissidents also reported several dozen detentions earlier this week to avert street protests on Thursday, declared a nationwide “Day of Resistance.” Most of them had been freed by Thursday night.

    Antonio Madrazo, national coordinator of the Citizens’ Committee for Racial Integration, said about 40 people attended Thursday’s opening session of the 2nd annual Forum on Race and Cubanness at his Havana apartment.

    But police told him at 7 a.m. Friday that they would not allow any further sessions. Stationed outside his apartment, they began turning away people as they arrived, and arresting those who resisted, Madrazo added.

    “Right now Rafael Campos is trying to get in. He’s at the door,” he told El Nuevo Herald by phone. Minutes later, he added, “Rafael Campos has been arrested. Police are taking him away.”

    Madrazo said that among those detained were dissidents Manuel Cuesta Morua, Darsi Ferrer and Yusnaimi Jorge Soca, as well as Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto, a graffiti artist whose work often include political messages.

    The only person allowed through the police lines Friday was Juan de Dios Mosquera, a black activist visiting from Colombia, Madrazo added.

    The Citizens’ Committee was created in 2008 amid growing complaints that although the Cuban government has outlawed discrimination against its citizens of African descent, it has done little to eliminate actual racism.

    The forum was first held last year “as a platform for communications to highlight the debate on the race issue, and also the culture of human rights,” Madrazo declared.

    Dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez, “Antunez,” meanwhile, said that police had detained so many dissidents to block the street protests planned for Thursday that he “had not been able to get a complete tally.”

    Most of the dissidents, some detained as early as Monday, had been released by Thursday night, added Antunez, head of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front for Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience.

    The Front has declared the 24th of each month as a “Day of Resistance,” when dissidents across the island should try to stage whatever type of protest they can organize.

    Protests were reported Thursday in the cities of Havana, Palma Soriano, Pinar del Río, Santa Clara, Sagua la Grande, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Velasco and Cienfuegos, according to the Miami-based Cuban Democratic Directorate.

    In the capital, well-known government opponent Sara Martha Fonseca and three other dissidents were arrested after they staged an anti-government march that left from a city park named after Martin Luther King, the Directorate reported.

    García Pérez told El Nuevo Herald that police detained five men, and punched one of them, as they tried Thursday to reach his house in the central Cuba town of Placetas. They were later freed in a remote farm area.

    Fifteen protesters marched down the streets of Pinar del Rio, the Directorate added, and dissidents in Santa Clara read from a statement demanding civil and human rights and chanted “down with the dictatorship.”

    Former political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer García reported that several signs saying “Down with Raúl” and “Down with Hunger” had appeared Thursday morning in the eastern town of Palma Soriano.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/25/2518692/police-detain-dissidents-headed.html

  41. Damir said GOBBLE GOBBLE! and this : “Now, after all these complaints about how the only rich people on the island are the cronies of Fidel and the communist party, the tune that had changed a couple of times when it was convenient to point out that plastic chirurgs are filthy rich too and not necessarily friends with the above, we hear another self-spitting confession:”

    DAMIERDA, CUBA IS NOT A COMMUNIST NATION! IS AN ALOGARCHY! GET OVER IT!

    OLIGARCHY is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy.

    SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE : A sweet life if you belong to Cuba’s upper crust- Jonathan Curiel, Special to The Chronicle

    Everyone knows that Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest countries. Its economic indices lag in nearly every category, including gross domestic product and household income. Yet the stereotype of Cuba as a strict post-Communist backwater – a kind of Shangri-la of egalitarianism – has taken a beating in the past year.

    First, there was an article in the Economist that quoted Ada Fuentes, a woman who returned to Havana after living in New Jersey for five decades. “If you have money,” Fuentes said, “life’s good here.”

    Now there is Michael Dweck’s photo project that shows Cuba’s privileged side – a side of beautiful models, late-night partiers, daytime surfers, hard-working guitar players and other people who make up Cuba’s “creative class,” as Dweck calls them. Two of Fidel Castro’s sons (Alex and Alejandro) are on the periphery of this strata. So is the son of Che Guevara, Camilo Guevara, who’s a photographer.

    The revolution that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara brought to the island nation five decades ago has evolved into something unexpected: Guilty pleasure. As Dweck notes in his new book, ” Michael Dweck: Habana Libre,” some of the people he photographed are “embarrassed” about their relatively elite standing; others, he says, “are afraid to draw attention to it for fear the socialist government will punish them for having a good life.” An exhibit of photos from “Habana Libre” continues at San Francisco’s Modernism gallery through Oct. 29.

    “Artists, writers, filmmakers, dancers – they live this secretive life under the radar in Cuba that is really cool and lends itself well to a narrative,” says Dweck. “I’m playing on the theme of privilege in a classless society.”

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

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/28/DDGA1L84PN.DTL

  42. From Dumbir:

    “Once you realise that you may dedicate the rest of you lives to living it without the hatred and desire to destroy something that is not even yours. And the supposed “yoani” might reconcile with her bitterness and redirect her energy into making her country better, not trying to destroy it.”

    HaaaaaHaaaaaHaaaHaHa! Priceless! THE hater who has his nose up the as* of the United States, which he claims to despise and wants to nuke off of the face of the earth. He dedicates all his posts to his hatred and the desire to destroy, yet he wants to give a peaceful dissident who would like freedom for all Cubans this advice. Major LOL.

  43. More of the same. The need to criticise EVERYTHING and ANYTHING is merely the sign of tired and aimless opposer. One that is being run down with the time and events, which prove the opposer to be wrong.

    For these few years since this nebulous and evidently aimless site was put up by the huffington post, in order to increase the traffic on their own sites not because they are even remotely interested in what goes – or not – in Cuba, we had to listen such rediculous statements like “boys are forced to have a neat haircut and wear uniforms in school”, “the taxists look under the women skirts in their rear vision mirrors” (who knew Cuban taxists are THAT powerful and can see through the seats…?), “porn is good”, etc.

    Now, after all these complaints about how the only rich people on the island are the cronies of Fidel and the communist party, the tune that had changed a couple of times when it was convenient to point out that plastic chirurgs are filthy rich too and not necessarily friends with the above, we hear another self-spitting confession:

    “Along with the timbiriches — the tiny businesses with few resources — places are also opening that compete in beauty and efficiency with the best hotel on the Island. Works of art on the walls, carved wood furniture, lamps made to order by local artisans, are some of the details this new class of impresarios use to decorate their premises. Word spreads quickly: “They’re opening a Mexican restaurant on that corner”… “A Swedish chef has come to give classes to cooks planning to open sites in Central Havana”… “On that balcony they serve the most exquisite paella in the country.” ”

    Those bloody Castros now have friends overseas, and they are coming en masse?

    There is a point in everybody’s life where they have to stop, look back at what they are saying and think hard:

    What is it that they really want from life?

    Because this futile and empty revenge crusade is just NOT working for the team “yoani”. If anything, the plain stupidity of so many “facts” about the life in Cuba has been rebuked by the very same team “yoani” in so many contradicting posts.

    It is not even funny any more reading self-defeating and self-disqualifying statements they can come up with.

    Le the debacle of your “books” about the WordPress and other “themes” be a quiet hint on your writings in general:

    You just can’t write anything of value. You are so confused that your own thoughts are defeating your intentions.

    Police is monitoring and restricting your movements, yet you travel around the island freely, when a permit is required for every Cuban to travel. And you visit dissidents and foreigners in prisons, when you are, self-declared of course, enemy of the state who “regularly” gets harassed and beaten (which you then on your own inadvertently confirm to be a lie.

    You have several latest mobiles, yet you “long” to have ONE!!! Computers are unreachable dream for many Cubans, yet you sport around the latest LAPTOP and the mini mouse I couldn’t find in “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” here…

    You call and tweet, you post 24/7, which is humanly IMPOSSIBLE, your phone bill must be astronomical, yet, telephone service is out of reach to MOST Cubans.

    Who are you really?

    Because you do all these things only Castros and their friends “can”, according to you!!!!!

    The only time the supposed “yoani” was beaten and harassed by police is the ONLY time she was treated like that, when she herself came out and confronted police in unregistered demonstrations organised to appear “spontaneous” in 2008 or 2009.

    How did that work for you really?

    Taught you the lesson and since you never came out again.And consequently no further “police harassment” happened.

    You really need to get your mind out of that hate gutter and start thinking with your heads, not with your backsides.

    Some failed self-appointed “royalty” of the country that doesn’t even exist any more gave you a “prize” for “human rights”!!!!

    Why does that “royalty” then closing the eyes to the fact in his OWN country that has fallen apart and why doesn’t he END the hell there by abdicating, dissolving the “monarchy”, which is incompatible with supposed “democracy” you supposedly fight for, and let the French go to France and Dutch to Holland?

    Double standards and lies.

    One day you will understand what a futile and empty fight you are engaging yourselves into and why you were destined from the start to make yourselves look like bunch of delusional fools, and loose that “fight” you created yourselves.

    I sincerely hope that day is VERY close.

    Once you realise that you may dedicate the rest of you lives to living it without the hatred and desire to destroy something that is not even yours. And the supposed “yoani” might reconcile with her bitterness and redirect her energy into making her country better, not trying to destroy it.

    Because, as strange as it may seem, Cuba is already better than just about every”democratic” country that have “patriotic acts”, which make Cuban “dictatorship” look like a paradise.

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