Dictated Hashtags

The sign reads: Alternative media and social networks. New scenarios of political communication in the digital environment.

Architecture that was once daring, a carefully tended lawn, and well-guarded doors to ward off the curious. The Palace of Conventions has been the site of so very many events organized by the government that it is difficult to separate its name from the word “official.” It has also served as the parliamentary hall for a National Assembly that doesn’t have its own space and refuses to use the gorgeous chamber of Havana’s Capitol. This, in the inner sanctum of the state and government, has been the site of this week’s Forum on Alternative Media and Social Networks, called by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ragged grass of any park would have been a better site, but there the participants would have been exposed to passersby and the uninvited… and this, of course, they could not allow.

In a country where the alternative blogosphere and twittersphere are both expanding, they held a meeting on Web 2.0 without inviting a single non-institutional voice. To ignore the existence of “the other” is at the very least childish; to hold exclusive events to talk about social networks displays a strong fear of differences. Perhaps among the attendees — from five continents — none was warned about the ideological bias of the Forum. They probably truly believed they would find the wide range of opinions so strongly on display in the blogs and Cuban-themed sites created on and off the Island. But what they discovered was a structured script, where the Internet is analyzed as a weapon, a trench, a shield. The already exhausted methods of political confrontation and extremism, now painted over with a thin mantle of kilobytes.

It’s enough to read the 14 points that came out of the meeting, which lasted two days, to conclude that the participants weren’t there to be heard but rather to receive instructions. I found one of the accords especially surprising for the authoritarianism it reveals: the one where daily hashtags are established for use on Twitter. As if they don’t realize that putting this mandate in writing exposes the lack of spontaneity of their Web campaigns. To the organizers of this Forum, believe me: defined sets of labels, mandated articles, imposed postures, have nothing to do with social media or alternative media. The seams of the vertically ordered are obvious. Readers prefer the spontaneity of the individual who interacts horizontally with others, versus agreements reached in the office of some palace official, in the most official zone of this city.

The Declaration that came out of the event is translated below from the text in Cafe Fuerte.

Final Declaration of the International Workshop “Alternative media and social networks, new scenarios of political communication in the digital realm.” Havana, November 29-30, 2011.

Delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, USA, France, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Palestine, Venezuela, participants in the International Workshop “Alternative media and social networks, new scenarios of political communication in the digital realm,” Havana, November 29-30, 2011, present the following:

  1. Create a directory of contacts with participants of the event to allow us to connect in real time and face attacks against our countries, alert us to different topics and place our messages. This directory will be sent via email. (Ventanapolitica@yahoo.es)
  2. Articulate a collaborative network, starting with the participants in this international workshop, that allow us to socialize content, information, contacts and experiences to work on Internet platforms and tools, on the basis of a defined political strategy. Its expression on the Web will be the http://www.ventanapolitica.wordpress.com blog.
  3. Work together synergistically on the overall campaign.
  4. Generate actions to enhance the continuous updating and training in the effective use of new technologies in the context of hypermedia, support the creation of multidisciplinary teams and the use of online tools and services such as videoconferencing, online courses, and others.
  5. Create a multidisciplinary group, including technical experts, that allow us to assess able all the proposals we articulate emanating from the network.
  6. Support the reissue of events like the World Bloggers Meeting or this Workshop on Alternative Media and Social Networking.
  7. Promote the creation of quality content, that allow us to overcome our shortcomings in technological development.
  8. Support the incorporation into the network of younger generations and transform them into active progressive forces in these new platforms.
  9. Work together to design communication projects in social networks and other media that include the variety of themes, media and channels, as well as different audiences.
  10. Intensify work and research, in order to design and create our own alternatives (such as platforms, support, and even information security services) that allow us technological independence from the empires of capitalist production.
  11. Express our solidarity and support with the newspaper La Jornada, a publication that has been maligned by the magazine Letras Libres which has accused this prestigious Mexican publication, without arguments or evidence, of being complicit in terrorism.
  12. The theme of the five Cubans unjustly sentenced in the United States must be an axis of permanent struggle. And it will be efficient if we always keep in our minds that each one of us could be in their place. Every Cuban could be one of the 5. Demand the return of the 5 Cuban heroes to their homeland. Send a daily Twitter message in favor of their release. Create and utilize the following hashtags: #FreetheFive #Liberenlos5ya, #LosCinco, #TheFive.
  13. Convert the interventions of Aylin, Rosa Aurora and Olguita into a group of tweets that are socialized at once.
  14. Explore with our respective responsible government bodies responsible the appropriateness of the mechanisms of integration that exist or are now being born in Latin America and the Caribbean to give priority to the issue of Communication and especially to the alternative media and social networks for the dissemination of the new reality to our geographical area.

89 thoughts on “Dictated Hashtags

  1. No they didn’t. I am still not seeing any supporting evidence.

    In the meantime the real dictatorship is introducing the laws that will control the internet in the “greatest democracy” of all (in the sewage of miami only, and even that is debatable, given that the Mexican mafia are in control in Florida).

    Read all about the real dictated hash tags here:


    But for the team “yoani”, the right of Cuban people to protect themselves from the nazists up north is “dictatorship”…???

    Yeah right. As if a failure who calls herself an “internet programmer”, with no idea what programing actually is (and being able to open a WordPress template is not programming), would know anything about the reality around him/her-self.

  2. Yes, they did, nani nani, boo boo. You’re so predictable.

    You think you’re so intelligent. Here’s my surefire indication of a royal dumbas*:

    Someone who spends as much time as you do leaving rants on the website of someone that they claim to abhor, saying the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame thing over and over, knowing full well that they provide the laughs to the other posters, and self-proclaiming themselves to be the only intelligent life form on the forum. If Yoani, oh, excuse me, “Team Yoani,” is such a liar, then why do you spend so much time here?

    I spend my valuable reading the work of authors whom I admire and respect.

  3. No, the didn’t. If they did, there would have been something to show as a proof.

    And they know why I call them “they”. As the rest of the world (intelligent people, excluding self-proclamed “cubans” and other nazist elements from cia and nazist usanian government)already know.

    Those who say they don’t know that belong in exclusion group. Probably groping each other in the darkness of the sewage of miami… Much in line with the false “sympathy” from that post about the pornographic material that should be free in Cuba.

    Which is another blunt admission of hypocrisy by the team “yoani”, by the way.

  4. I’m well aware of whom you were referring to. Just so we’re clear, I was speaking of Yoani Sanchez, the author of the very blog that you so love to criticize.

    You can spin it as team “yoani” all you want, for whatever dumb reason.

    And, yes, she did.

  5. Someone is hitting the hash pipe early this morning. Yoani has, in the past, invited the “government” to sit down and dialogue. Very directly. Of course, cowards that they are, that request was ignored.

  6. The ideas that the team “yoani” are spreading here are definitely about “socialism” versus “capitalism”. The pin-up granny is on the record wanting for Cuba “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”.

    Everything the team “yoani” write here is about that desire. In my view, the desire is a pathological condition of fhtred against the parents. Cuba is seen as a mother and Fidel as a father. Both are criticised vehemently and relentlessly through seemingly “neutral” and “generic” commentaries.

    There’s a deeper reason for this perceived “neutrality” and intentionally avoiding to mention the critical words, like government, communism, anti-democracy etc.: fear.

    Fear of the same government. Cowardly pretension to be publicly against the system and the government, yet never actually directly addressing the subjects and objects of the hatred.

    Another desired benefit of this tactics is creation of another perception: apparent “democratic” and “peaceful” efforts in “starting” a dialog about changing of the system in Cuba.

    Yet, from the activities undertaken, it is cristal clear what are the real intentions and desires of the team “yoani”. The change at any cost, including and preferably through violent “popular” uprising, as it can be seen from the posts during the disturbing and violent changes in arab countries recently.

    There’s nothing “democratic” and “peacefu” about the team “yoani”. Just like the majority of wannabe cuban “diaspora” in the usa, however, the words are loud, but the actions are those of a coward.

    They all lie in a hope that usa will invade Cuba and do the dirty job for them, allowing them to waltz in and take over from their idols Castros.


    On the Threshold- The report includes eight additional countries whose ratings fall just short of the bottom of Freedom House’s ratings scale: Belarus, Chad, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Laos, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Two territories, South Ossetia and Western Sahara, also fall into this group. All 10—which received ratings of 7 for political rights and 6 for civil liberties—offer very limited scope for private discussion, while severely suppressing opposition political activity, impeding independent organizing, and censoring or punishing criticism of the state.

    Political Rights: Cuba is not an electoral democracy. Longtime president Fidel Castro and his brother, current president Raúl Castro, dominate the one-party political system. The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) controls all government entities from the national to the local level. All political organization outside the PCC is illegal. Political dissent, whether spoken or written, is a punishable offense, and dissidents frequently receive years of imprisonment for seemingly minor infractions. The absolute number of political prisoners in Cuba decreased from 201 in 2009 to 163 in 2010. While the government agreed in July to release the remaining 52 people arrested in the March 2003 crackdown, it missed a November 7 deadline for all 52 to be released, as a final group of 13 prisoners refused to agree to leave Cuba. Official corruption remains a serious problem.

    Civil Liberties: Freedom of the press is sharply curtailed, and the media are controlled by the state and the PCC. The government considers the independent press to be illegal. Independent journalists are subjected to ongoing repression, including terms of hard labor and assaults by state security agents. Access to the internet remains tightly restricted, and it is difficult for most Cubans to connect in their homes. While the Roman Catholic Church inaugurated its first seminary in the country since the 1959 revolution in 2010, official obstacles to religious freedom remain substantial. Churches are not allowed to conduct educational activities, and church-based publications are subject to censorship by the Office of Religious Affairs. The government restricts academic freedom. Teaching materials for subjects including mathematics and literature must contain ideological content. Limited rights of assembly and association are permitted under the constitution. However, as with other constitutional rights, they may not be “exercised against the existence and objectives of the Socialist State.” The unauthorized assembly of more than three people is punishable with up to three months in prison and a fine. This rule is selectively enforced and is often used to imprison human rights advocates. The Council of State, headed by Raúl Castro, controls both the courts and the judicial process as a whole. Freedom of movement and the right to choose one’s residence and place of employment are severely restricted. Attempting to leave the island without permission is a punishable offense. Cuba has performed well on gender equality issues; about 40 percent of all women work, and they are well represented in most professions.


  8. Extraordinary photos from Cuba of the fireworks. According to Yoani’s tweets, people are being rounded up and arrested.

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,



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

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




    Keeping the Momentum-One Year in the Life of the UN Human Rights Council- September 22, 2011-The 69-page report examines the Council’s work from July 2010 through June 2011, and describes some notable progress by the Council in its fifth year.

    CUBA has been one of the most outspoken delegations at the Council. It is also the member state of the Council that tables the most resolutions. In the first 14 sessions of the Council, up to 2010, Cuba had tabled 28 resolutions, more than the next three states combined. Cuba was followed by France, Brazil, and Mexico, which tabled 10, 9, and 8 resolutions, respectively.
    In comparison Cuba has a weak record with respect to thematic resolutions on civil and political rights. Cuba was one of the delegations that dissociated itself from the consensus resolution that created the new special rapporteur mandate on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.[127] Although Cuba did not cosponsor the South African resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity, it voted in favor of this resolution with the rest of the GRULAC.[128]

    Cuba actively obstructs the adoption of country-specific resolutions at the Council, unless the concerned state agrees with the initiative, or, as in the case of Libya, there is an overwhelming consensus that action is needed, which marginalizes its position.

    Cuba voted against the resolutions on Sudan, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Belarus and denounced them as politically motivated and selective.[129] Despite overwhelming evidence of human rights abuses in these countries and the Council’s explicit mandate to respond to violations, Cuba argued that action on such states was confrontational and not in line with the cooperative spirit that should regulate the relationship between states in a multilateral body.[130]

    More broadly, Cuba has pursued an ideological approach to the Council that emphasizes the power relations between states, rather than human rights violations against individuals as set out under international law. In Cuba’s approach to the Council, the victims are the weak, underdeveloped states that Western or “imperialist” nations target,[131] not the inhabitants of a country where violations occur. Accordingly, Cuba rejects resolutions opposed by the concerned state, regardless of the human rights situation on the ground. With respect to the North Korea resolution, for example, Cuba contended that it undermined the right to self-determination of the North Korean people.[132]

    Cuba rejects resolutions that are opposed by the concerned state because they are “an imposition,” and focus on “condemnation” rather than cooperation. Cuba’s denounces what it considers to be double standards of the Council, but rather than promoting a more expansive engagement by the Council (say, on situations such as Bahrain or Afghanistan) and non-selectivity, Cuba uses the double standards argument as a justification for rejecting all country-specific resolutions.


  12. Damir said: “It gives me a chuckle to see the copy and paste geniuses relentlessly doing the only intellectual thing they can: stealing other people’s articles and posting them here so fast, one would be forgiven for thinking that the team “yoani” are just another of those losers.”




  14. I feeel like I am floating, like a turd in a toilet bowl somewhere, the only sign of intelligence in this entire bowl of shift.

  15. I feeel like I am floating, like a turd in a toilet bowl somewhere, the only sign of intelligence in this entire bowl of shift.

  16. It gives me a chuckle to see the copy and paste geniuses relentlessly doing the only intellectual thing they can: stealing other people’s articles and posting them here so fast, one would be forgiven for thinking that the team “yoani” are just another of those losers.

    Not that I don’t think so…

    But, usurpation of the site by the overzealous jobless sewage residents of miami shows clearly what do these blank minds actually think about their own team “yoani”:

    Very little.

    See, posting the nazist propaganda so fast that the supposed owners of this page cannot follow simply shows that the losers are using this site to post THEIR OWN bullshift.

    Why else would they avoid to make comments, any comments mind you since intelligent comments are clearly never going to happen, on the blobs by the team “yoani”?

    I mean, apart from the obvious: self-loving delusion of some righteousness and monopoly on the truth only they are able to perceive as real…

    (absence of any intelligence)

    (makes you feeel like you are floating in the universe somewhere… you are the only sign of life for millions of kilometres around…)


    ASSOCIATED PRESS: Cuban exiles put on fireworks show, irking Havana- By PETER ORSI

    When an Associated Press crew tried to interview the few who were there, a pro-government crowd of more than 20 people ran across the wide boulevard yelling “American press!” and demanding that a video camera be turned over. Some were holding bottles of alcohol and appeared to have been drinking.
    The journalists identified themselves as accredited members of the press with the right to work in Cuba. One cameraman was punched in the face, another’s thumb was sprained and a video camera was broken in the melee before the crew managed to leave the scene.
    More than two dozen members of the Ladies in White dissident group, meanwhile, held a literary tea and discussion of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the house of former leader Laura Pollan, who died last month.
    A boisterous crowd clogged the street outside shouting epithets like “worms” at the Ladies and proclaiming support for Fidel and Raul Castro in what is known in Cuba as an “act of repudiation.”
    The government insists such counter-demonstrations are spontaneous outpourings of revolutionary sentiment, despite thinly veiled coordination with state security agents. The street outside the house had been closed to traffic since Thursday.




    REUTERS: Cuba government supporters block march by dissident women – By Jack Kimball – Fri Dec 9, 2011

    Dozens of slogan-chanting Cuban government supporters faced off with dissident women on Friday and prevented them from marching in the street on the eve of international Human Rights Day.

    About 200 backers of Cuba’s communist government crowded a street in central Havana where 20 women of the Ladies in White dissident group had assembled in a house .

    They carried signs of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and yelled pro-government and anti-U.S. slogans.

    “They’re mercenaries,” government supporter Elvira Gonzalez said of the dissident women, who had planned a march to demand the release of political prisoners.

    Cuba’s government routinely calls the island’s dissidents “mercenaries” and claims they are on the payroll of its long-time ideological foe, the United States.

    The Ladies in White group was formed by the wives and mothers of 75 dissidents jailed in a 2003 crackdown on Castro’s opponents. The women dressed in white to march silently along Havana streets seeking the release of the prisoners.

    The women were expected to try to march again on Saturday, the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    All 75 Cubans jailed in Havana’s so-called Black Spring of 2003 have been freed, most of them following a deal between the Catholic Church and President Raul Castro in 2010.

    Dissident protests are regularly confronted by hostile mobs backing the government, which says the free education and health services it provides show its respect for human rights.

    “There are no human rights here. They don’t respect them,” said Ladies in White leader Berta Soler. “We can’t go out to walk on the streets of Havana because the government has these mobs and they won’t let us pass,” she said.

    (Reporting by Jack Kimball; editing by Anthony Boadle)





  20. MIAMI HERALD: Exile flotilla sails toward Cuba for fireworks, show of support- By Juan Carlos Chavez

    KEY WEST — — A Cuban exile flotilla sailed for a spot off Havana’s coast Friday, ploughing through 7-foot waves on its way to launch fireworks as a show of support for dissidents pushing for democracy on the island.

    Dissidents reported a strong wave of arrests Friday, including those of prize-winning independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas and rock musician Ciro Diaz, in an apparent attempt to avert opposition protests linked to the flotilla.

    About 60 exiles abroad at least four vessels prayed and sang the Cuban national anthem before setting off from Key West for a planned launching point 12.5 miles from Havana — and only a half-mile from Cuba’s territorial waters.

    Cuba’s Foreign Ministry on Friday for the first time officially condemned the flotilla as a “provocation” and confirmed that the Cuban government had expressed its concerns to Washington.

    The U.S. government “is perfectly informed of the Cuban government’s concern with this type of provocation,” René Mujica, a top analyst in the ministry’s North American affairs section, told reporters in Havana.

    The Communist Party’s Granma newspaper also reported Friday that five persons drowned when their boat sank off the coast of Santa Cruz del Norte, about 30 miles east of Havana, as they tried to escape the island.

    Another 18 would-be refugees were rescued by the military and oil workers in late November, Granma added. Cuba’s government-controlled news media seldom reports on such incidents.

    Three vessels in the “Lights of Liberty” flotilla, organized by the Miami-based Democracy Movement, sailed from Key West and a fourth sailed from Marathon Key, carrying a total of about 60 supporters and 30 journalists.

    Movement director Ramon Saul Sanchez said the flotilla was led spiritually by Laura Pollán and other dissidents who have died. Pollán, founder of the Ladies in White, died of a heart attack in October.

    The fireworks planned for after sundown Friday will be visible in Havana, he added, and will signal to dissidents on the island that exiles support their struggle for democracy and human rights.

    Several dissident groups in Cuba have called for a pots-and-pans protest in coordination with the fireworks, and Havana blogger Yoani Sánchez reported that rapper X Alfonso coincidentally had scheduled a concert for 10 p.m. not far from Havana’s famed Malecón seashore boulevard.

    Sánchez also reported on the arrests of several dissidents, apparently to avert any protests Friday tied to the fireworks or Saturday, which is International Human Rights Day.

    Fariñas last year received the prestigious Sakharov Prize, awarded by the European Parliament. Díaz is a member of Porno Para Ricardo, a punk rock group whose songs include harsh and direct attacks on Cuba communist system and its aged rulers.

    Also reported arrested was former political prisoner Librado Linares, who was freed this spring after more than seven years in prison. He was one of the 75 peaceful government opponents sentenced to long prison terms in a 2003 crackdown on dissidents known as Cuba’s Black Spring.



    + Detained Darsi Ferrer and his wife, to prevent them from demonstrating tomorrow for Human Rights day #DDHH

    + Is there some international human rights body observing what is happenin to us? The #CELAC? #UNASUR? #UN? not showing up? :-(

    + Jesus Aristides Hdez Perez and Guillermo Farinas, Sakharov prize winner, arrested when leaving the house this #DDHH- 27 minutes ago

    + @ maritovoz is reporting minute by minute from the street, on this eve of the day #DDHH – 35 minutes ago

    + Homes surrounded, house arrests, arbitrary detention … This tense weekend has started early – 40 minutes ago

    +Arrested Ciro Diaz, punk rock musician. The day is turning darker, #HHRR more absent – 1 hour ago

    +During today and tomorrow Dec10, I will be twitting with the hash tag #HHRR #DDHH along with the hash tag #Cuba Thanks for the solidarity!

    +Winter day in Havana, grey sky and the respect for the #HHRR more grey even :-(

    +Arrested in Camajuani ex political prisoner Librado Linares. Where are our #HHRR ? – 3 hours ago

    +Authorities in #Cuba are acting very nervously when getting closer to the #HHRR day; this 2011 is not an exception

    +A day before commemorating #HHRR were arrested in Holguin Marcos Antonio Lima and Adisnidia Cruz Segreo parents of Lima brothers – 6 hrs ago

    + @chirusa32 Confirmed that Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia “was taken to prison Aguadores, in Santiago de Cuba. Let’s demand his freedom” – 6 hrs ago

    ONT TWITTER @yoanifromcuba (translated to english) or @YoaniSanchez


    ASSOCIATED PRESS: Cuban exiles to set off for Cuba’s coast – By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ,

    MIAMI (AP) — A coalition of Cuban exile groups began traveling Friday morning across much of the Florida Straits despite rough seas for a protest off the coast of Cuba that was to include a massive fireworks show.

    The group leaving from Key West planned to anchor its flotilla of half a dozen boats a little more than 12 miles off the coast of Havana to raise awareness about the island’s human rights abuses.

    Saturday is the United Nation’s International Human Rights Day.

    Organizer Ramon Saul Sanchez of the small nonprofit the Democracy Movement said about 50 protesters were going in six boats, including an 85-foot vessel and a small security craft. About a dozen members of the media were also following the group.

    “Everything is going well despite the rough seas, but our departure will be a little behind,” he told The Associated Press on Friday shortly before departure. The activists left around 9:30 a.m., according his group.

    Cuba has called the demonstration a provocation. The exile groups say they are merely exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

    State Department Spokesman William Ostick says federal authorities have met with the organizers to ensure they comply with U.S. and international laws. He says the organizers have provided assurances they will not violate Cuban territorial waters or airspace. Cuban waters stretch about 12 miles off the island.

    “We have urged the Democracy Movement and the Cuban government to exercise caution and restraint during the Democracy Movement’s December 9 fireworks shows in international waters off Havana,” he said in a statement.

    “We have also made it clear to Cuban authorities as well as participants in this event that the U.S. government would punish any violation of U.S. laws,” he continued, adding, “The United States government does not promote or encourage this activity.”

    The Coast Guard has said it will patrol the area to ensure the protesters are well behind the 12-mile mark.



    TIMES UNION: From Cuba to Ravena, two cousins thriving- Students with musical, writing talents finding a niche in new home- By DAYELIN ROMAN, Staff writer

    RAVENA — As fall began to feel like winter, Yulie and Javier Carrazana squeezed into a small apartment kitchen with their families and couldn’t stop talking about the tropical island they left behind.
    More than 2½ years after the cousins joined their fathers in the U.S. and began life anew, their teachers said they are excelling.

    Javier is collecting accolades for playing the trumpet and was one of about 900 students chosen from a pool of 7,000 throughout the state to perform in the New York State School Music Association’s all-state symphonic band this month.

    Yulie dreams of becoming an oncologist and has been recognized as a leader at school.

    The cousins’ journey to Ravena began in 1994 when Yulie’s father, Reynaldo Carrazana, and a brother constructed a raft out of aluminum tubes and set sail with the brother’s wife and son.
    They spent 23 hours at sea until the U.S. Coast Guard spotted them and sent them back to Guantanamo. Nine months later, the family was resettled in Albany.
    Reynaldo found a job at a commercial aviation company in Coxsackie where he helps make parts for helicopters. His brother lives in Miami.
    Reynaldo eventually became a U.S. citizen and began the process of bringing his children to the country.
    In 2000, Ricardo Carrazana, Javier’s father and Reynaldo’s brother, left Cuba on a boat in hopes of reaching Miami.
    “I didn’t want him to leave,” his wife, Maritza Paz Carrazana said. “He would say, ‘My kids are growing and my salary is not enough to have our own house, to buy them the things they need,’ so he would say, ‘Before I die, I have to find another way to live.'”


  24. lots of glich on this site but its not a big deal some thing works in cuba is a big deal to be afraid is not living fear is the past

  25. lots of glich on this site but its not a big deal some thing works in cuba is a big deal to be afraid is not living fear is the past

  26. 291 RCR said: “Lets acknowledge it Damir speaks the truth. After following this blog for a number of years I am more than convinced team Yoani is a CIA group of subversive writers.”


  27. I forgot to ask, 291 RCR: Why have you spent years following a CIA group of subversive writers? I thought you’d prefer reading Granma or one of the other billion pro-Castro sites. What attracts you to team Yoani?

  28. Freud, comments get hung up by all of us. I’ve had to remove some words from my posts so the filter doesn’t catch them and wait for the moderator. I notice a lot of words I thought were pretty mild always got caught, one of them was m-r-n

  29. 291 RCR, thanks for your and Damir’s great contributions to the world of truth.

    Everybody knows Cuba doesn’t exist, it’s just a CIA plot to distract us. I’ve been saying Cuba doesn’t exist for years now, but Fox News won’t interview me, bloody usanian dictatorship.

  30. Lets acknowledge it Damir speaks the truth. After following this blog for a number of years I am more than convinced team Yoani is a CIA group of subversive writers.

  31. 46John Two

    Diciembre 8th, 2011 at 20:39
    Freud, for better or worse, I don’t think there is any moderation of comments on Yoani’s blog.

    I think it is for the better…….. the way they moderate this site is real democracy….. you can post anything you want, then if your comment does not match with the site rules moderators make their work…….. but anyone can see if the action of the moderators is a censure act or an act of moderation since they let everyone to read your original comment prior proceeding to moderate…….. sometimes they moderate only the offensive sentence of your comment and leaves the rest untouched.
    Huffington Post and most sites in the web does not publicize your comment until moderators decides if it is “OK” or not……. that’s not fear I think.

  32. Freud, for better or worse, I don’t think there is any moderation of comments on Yoani’s blog.

    I tried submitting a comment several times on Sunday and the site was not accepting any new comments all day. Not sure why but I suspect it was a technical glitch, certainly not censorship.

  33. Humberto, didn’t you know that Fidel invented the Yellow Pages? This is another victory of socialism over capitalism.

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