The Federation of Cuban Women Can’t Reinvent Itself


You turned six and were already waiting for your neck scarf, the slogan “Pioneers for communism, we will be like Che.” Later, you started high school and, automatically, without anyone asking you, joined the Federation of High School Students (FEEM). As you continued to grow up, you ironed your skirt and under your uniform blouse a pair of breast buds began to be noticeable. When you reached puberty you were already a member of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, and then you became a part of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC). Tedious meetings, ladies watching if you got home late, tongues ready to betray any irreverent phrase that escaped your lips.

They taught you a dozen courses about the role of women in the Revolution, but no one came to stay the hand of your husband who beat you at home. You were just a number on the membership list and — more than once — you diverted money from your FMC dues to make it to the end of the month. It was hard for you to learn to separate the language of the communications you read in an animated voice, from the domestic phrases in which you showed your disgust. You developed several techniques to stifle your yawns in these assemblies where they demanded “more sacrifice, more commitment.” And suddenly, everything began to seem so useless, so detached from reality, so distant from the ridiculous allowance the father of your children gave you, from your boss who demanded “favors” if you wanted to keep your job. You realized that the real discourse of your days was what came out of the half-empty pot — like an open mouth — in the middle of your kitchen.

For the last five years you haven’t been a member of the FMC. What’s the use of an organization like this, you say now, after coming to understand that demands for the rights of women can’t be met through such a masculine officialdom. Last night you heard on TV that the FMC wants to “put a new spin” on their role in society, and afterwards you felt your womb, rubbed your arms, looked at the unpainted walls of your house and your life in national currency. And despite the difference between your bare face and the perfect makeup of those interviewed on prime time news, you feel more free. Because that report had a whiff of mothballs and you don’t, you are alive for the first time your forty years, “belonging” to no one.

23 thoughts on “The Federation of Cuban Women Can’t Reinvent Itself

  1. It would be all nice and dandy if the team “yoani” ere a memebrr of the governing structure, involved in the management on a local municipal or any other level of the country. As an active and willing participant one has every right to stand up and say what they think is wrong.

    Like that young and courageous student whose confrontation with the rep of the government is nowadays famous.

    On a side note, I must say this, he turned out to be actually on the side of the country and people, and not necessarily against the establishment, which must be hurting the dissidence who hailed them initially as their hero.

    But, when you are born in a family with the history of being on the side of white “gods” (see the picture below for more info on those horrible beings), and are sitting on the fence or are complaining because it is a family tradition to be against the Castros and “commies” (because you simply cannot forgive them for lashing and belting your butt as they did), then you exclude yourself from the debate from the start.

    Automatic negativity and unwillingness to participate in a constructive debate, leads to refusal and exclusion.

    And when that happens, not only Castros are to blame. As much as they are to blame, yourself should be your first target.

    Unless you are a hypocrite, of course.

    You know, demanding a debate, but when there are people open to it, you retreat and ignore them just the way you are being ignored by others.

    Rather childish and unproductive.

    But your country’s enemies will pay you well for your efforts… Until they are done with your country.

  2. Just for fun’s sake, I write these words next to my name: ignorant White God a**shole. Get it?

  3. Let us stay on the subject for another enlightening moment. The recent developments make this subject interesting.

    Thousands of women have been protesting of late in Egypt. Let us remind ourselves of the record: people rose in Egypt against the dictator. The team “yoani” supported the rise enthusiastically, calling for a similar upraise in Cuba, and asking “when will Cubans wake up?”

    The new government is now dragging its’ feet, writing the new constitution based on shariah law (the draconian muslim law that will see everyone even more terrorised and subdued than they have ever been under Mubarak), which will affect women in particular.

    The army responded again by raping and beating of the women. So, htey came out, in thousands again, last night to protest again.

    By comparison, the number of protestants in Cuba is minuscule, and despite their relentless daily activities, the number is not growing in any significant numbers to even remotely resemble the protests of women in Egypt.

    Could it be because the women in Cuba are NOT maltreated as bad as the women of Egypt are?

    Could it be because the women of Cuba are much more integrated and free in Cuba?

    Could it be that the things in Cuba, as bad as they are, are not entirely the product of “bloody communism”?

    If only because Cuba is NOT a communist country to start with?

    Do enlighten me with the garbage you can write about Cuba. It’s just that I am not buying it because I visit Cuba regularly, unlike the majority of all 1 and a half pioneers of the support brigade, who sit deep in the sewage of miami, cleaning behind their “white gods” and complaining about the country they know nothing about and have never even seen.

  4. Just for the fun’s sake, I wrote the word used in the post 17, next to my name.

    Naturally, the post was blocked immediately.

    So, here’s my conclusion: either the “friendly” translator is helping increase the traffic (rapidly falling by the way) on the site, especially the english language side, or the “friendly” translator is sympathetic to those who have the task of insulting, attacking in every way possible, outvoicing the voice of dissent…

    The lesson well learned from their idols Castros.

    What “democracy” perversity are you and the team “yoani” “fighting” for again…???

    I’m curious to learn more.

  5. Three days of mourning for the king of North Korea, looks like Raul is as insane as his older brother.

  6. Can anyone tell me where this moron Damir lives?? Why let him on this site? He just spews garbage.

  7. PLEASE, LETS HAVE THREE DAYS OF MOURNING FOR A MURDERER, FASCIST LUNATIC WHO HAS MURDERED MILLIONS OF HIS COUNTRYMEN! YOU ARE THE COMPANY YOU KEEP!

    HAVANA — The Cuban government has decreed three days of mourning for the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

    An official statement read Monday on Cuban state television also said the Communist government had ordered Cuban flags to be flown at half staff at public buildings and military installations.
    The mourning period begins Tuesday and runs through Dec. 22.
    The leftist governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua have also expressed condolences for the death Saturday of the North Korean leader.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/cuba-decrees-3-days-1265180.html

    The North Korean famine (also known as the Arduous March or the March of Tribulation) was a famine in North Korea which began in the early 1990s.[5] Estimates state that, from a population of approximately 22 million, between 900,000 and 3.5 million people died from starvation or hunger-related illnesses, with the deaths peaking in 1997.[6]

  8. TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE! THE CASTROFASCITS ARE TRYING TO PUT A FINGER IN THE ECONOMIC DYKE THAT IS FALLING DOWN! BASIC POLITICAL CHANGES ARE THE REAL KEY TO THE ECONOMY NOT JUST THESE LIMITED STEPS!

    REUTERS CANADA: Exclusive: Cuba sweetens pot for new private farmers – Dec 19, 201

    HAVANA Dec 19 – Cuba, trying to lure people back to the land and lift food production, has modified a land lease program so that private farmers can rent more land and keep it in their family as if they owned it, farmers said over the weekend.
    The measures, adopted at a recent Council of Ministers meeting and not yet announced, are the latest loosening of the doctrinaire communism that has ruled Cuban agriculture policy for decades and were hailed by farmers as a step forward.
    Farmers said in telephone interviews they were told in local meetings they will be able to lease up to 165 acres from the state beginning in January, compared with the current maximum of 33 acres mandated in a program begun in 2008.
    They said the leases will extend for up to 25 years, compared with the current 10 years, and can be renewed and passed on to family members and in some cases laborers.
    Farmers also will be allowed for the first time to build homes on the leased land and make other improvements under a regulation that guarantees the state will reimburse them if they lose their lease.
    They had complained that the small size of the plots, short leases and other restrictions hampered production.
    “These measures deal with many of the problems we face and give us security in terms of our work,” Anselmo Hernandez, one of 150,000 people who have leased 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of land, said from eastern Cuba.
    “Twenty-five years is a life-time of work and faced with whatever problem the family will be the benefactor of what we have done,” he added.

    President Raul Castro has made agriculture the centerpiece of his efforts to reform the stagnating, Soviet-style economy in favor of more local and private initiative, but food production has increased only slightly since he replaced his brother, Fidel Castro, in 2008 and remains below 2005 levels.
    The country imports a budget-busting 60 percent to 70 percent of the food it consumes and the average age of farmers and laborers is now 50 years old.

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

    ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE7BI1S920111219

  9. Trudeau, you missed the point. According to the team “yoani”, everything bad that happened to a “generation” of Cuban women is exclusive fault and responsibility of Castros. As bad as it may seem to us who live in a different world, the Cubans women do have a degree of freedom they have never had before.

    And I am not saying that the things are rosy.

    I am saying that the imputations made by the team “yoani” are no different to the imputations their idols Castros are doing, just on the opposite side of the equation. They are waging an ideological war with no future in sight. It is a war of words for the sake of the war.

    Which makes them equal to the Castros.

    And that is by default not good for the people. We have seen this primitive scenario repeated over and over, and every single time it ended in the exact same way.

    Nothing had ever changed.

    Let us take a shining example of “transition to democracy” from India. The biggest democracy in the world, if you want to buy into the brainwash. And for seven decades now.

    Yet, the position of women in India is just as abysmal as it was during the british rule. There are LESS women in Indian parliament than in Afghanistan!!! Both proportionally and in real numbers.

    As a curiosity, and a bit of trivia, there are more women scientists in Cuba than in India too. More women have a doctorate in any academic category in Cuba than in India.

    And how many times over is India bigger than Cuba????

    So, for the team “yoani” to post such a subjective and clearly ill-intended post is absolute shame. Outright admission that they are the fifth column and an extended hand of true authors of this worn out and outdated propaganda, written probably before you and I were born.

    The copy and paste genius, on the other hand, with his white hair was probably carrying the toilet paper around the corridors of power when the nonsense was really written.

  10. OH YEAHH!!!! Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il IS EL “DEADO”!! ANOTHER COMMUNIST FASCIST “BITES THE DUST”!! WHY DO ALL THESE LEFTIST LATIN AMERICANS STILL BELIEVE IN THE “CASTRO” “CHAVEZ” AND OTHER FASCISTS “MESSIAHS”?

    Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim (According to Soviet records)[2][3][4][5] (16 February 1941 (Soviet records) or 16 February 1942 (North Korean records) – 17 December 2011[6]), was the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). He was the Chairman of the National Defence Commission, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the ruling party since 1948, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, the fourth largest standing army in the world. In April 2009, North Korea’s constitution was amended and now implicitly refers to him as the “Supreme Leader”.[7] He was also referred to as the “Dear Leader”, “our Father”, “the General” and “Generalissimo”.[8] His son Kim Jong-un was promoted to a senior position in the ruling Workers’ Party and is heir apparent.[9] In 2010 he was ranked 31st in Forbes Magazine’s List of The World’s Most Powerful People.[10] The North Korean government announced his death on 19 December 2011.[6]

    YOUTUBE: Queen – ‘Another One Bites the Dust’

  11. It will be interesting to find out when the “Dear Leader” actually died and when that information was disclosed to the general public. You can be sure that Raul and company are watching this scenario unfold. How does one announce the death of dictator? These things must be done delicatly.

    One less dictator in the world. Today is good day!

  12. REST IN PEACE Mr. Václav Havel !! YOU WERE A FRIEND TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE AND THE IDEA OF DEMOCRACY! YOUR LEGACY WILL ALWAYS SHINE, WHILE THE CASTROFASCISTS’ LEGACY IS A FALLING STAR!

    YOUTUBE : Václav Havel speaks about Cuba

    Václav Havel (Czech pronunciation: [?va?t?slaf ??av?l] ( listen)) (5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011) was a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia (1989–92) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He wrote over 20 plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally. Havel received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the freedom medal of the Four Freedoms Award, and the Ambassador of Conscience Award and several other distinctions. He was also voted 4th in Prospect magazine’s 2005 global poll of the world’s top 100 intellectuals.[1] He was a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism.[2] At the time of his death he was Chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation.

    Beginning in the 1960s, his work turned to focus on the politics of Czechoslovakia. After the Prague Spring, he became increasingly active. In 1977, his involvement with the human rights manifesto Charter 77 brought him international fame as the leader of the opposition in Czechoslovakia; it also led to his imprisonment. The 1989 Velvet Revolution launched Havel into the presidency. In this role, he led Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic to multi-party democracy. His thirteen years in office saw radical change in his nation, including its split with Slovakia, which Havel opposed, its accession into NATO and start of the negotiations for membership in the European Union, which was attained in 2004.

  13. Damir,

    No one is saying that violence against women isn’t a world problem. But you don’t seem to want to believe that it is also a Cuban problem. She isn’t saying it doesn’t exist elsewhere, although because she can’t get out of her own country, she is not going to have first-hand knowledge of anything but her island paradise.

  14. Huff Post refuses to publicize any comment of mine. the place is totally partialized with castrofascism and does not accept any critizism on their censure policy…… I quite……. I never comment in open castrofascist places because the censure and Huff has become a open castrofascist place.

  15. Damir

    Diciembre 17th, 2011 at 18:54
    A tacit admission? Damir was right, as always? Second para:

    “They taught you a dozen courses about the role of women in the Revolution, but no one came to stay the hand of your husband who beat you at home.”

    Let me guess the point behind this “eye-opening” post: the violence against women is a communist invention…

    The fact that in, for example Spain, 340 women on average are killed by their male partners every year, hundreds more disappear and thousands end up severely hurt, means nothing.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Violence on women is a totalitarian invention…… commies are in the group of humanity’s totalitarians……. in the ancient world democratic Greece were a very different place for women health and rights than the rest of the world ruled in a totalitarian way. Greek women had rights and social status that Persian women only could dream on.
    You choose Spain to “demonstrate” I don’t know what, well, you could not choose a better country to demonstrate that totalitarians are the worst enemies of women. Spain were under dominion of Arabs for 400 years, that’s why this country have a huge influence of Arabs cultural catastrophe…. the worst of Arab culture is seen in Spain: Racism, radicalism-fanatism, machism, etc…… Furthermore the country was and is divided in two of the worst extreme philosophies of the history: Fascism and Communism…… in such way, Spaniards have a cultural baggage that makes them to feel and to thing very close to the most women-unfriendly cultural and philosophical stream the mankind has known…… that’s why Spaniards has a record high rate of violence on women.

  16. White God was right as always.

    You nazist usanian pigs.

    My wife’s pornography is seeing me in nothing but my Che t shirt.

    Eat your hearts out pigs.

  17. Simba Sez: Damir I wonder if you shouldn’t have your compass checked. You always seem to be about two degrees off from the point of Yoani’s writings. Nowhere does she indicate that the named events don’t happen elsewhere. Nowhere does she mention that only communists suffer these maladies. Do they happen in other countries? Of course they do, but she has a limited knowledge of what other countries suffer, and has little interest in reporting them at any rate. She is reporting what she knows. The part about repeating like a parrot seems to be taken from your goofy view of the Cuban situation, not Yoani’s. Anyway please keep giving your slanted opinion as it makes a lot of the rest of us write, and that brings more attention to the blog. You help even as you attempt to hinder.

  18. ALAMAR TONIGHT: POSEIA SIN FIN

    Si dos se miran y se reconocen.

    !!!! EL MUNDO CAMBIA !!!!!

    What happens in CUBA is SHAMEFUL. Lets not divert attention elsewhere.

  19. A tacit admission? Damir was right, as always? Second para:

    “They taught you a dozen courses about the role of women in the Revolution, but no one came to stay the hand of your husband who beat you at home.”

    Let me guess the point behind this “eye-opening” post: the violence against women is a communist invention…

    The fact that in, for example Spain, 340 women on average are killed by their male partners every year, hundreds more disappear and thousands end up severely hurt, means nothing.

    Similar picture comes from Italy, Australia, usa, not to mention arab countries where they kill them like there’s no tomorrow. Rape children in “arranged” marriage between 30, 40 or even 70 years old males and 5 or 6 years old children…???

    Africa, where they mutilate women to ensure only a male has all the fun, and women just shut up and do what they are told or else…???

    England where hundreds of women every year end up killed too?

    Or Peru, where women started organising and fighting back against the “macho” culture by getting together and mob-beating violent males if these monsters hurt one of the women?

    No. These are all just legends and horror stories.

    Only in Cuba things like that happen, and they are all a product of bloody communism.

    If you were to believe the certified liars…

    But I liked the last paragraph the best. It was senseless even in Spanish, but the translation took the award for delusional brainwash.

    You know, the point where you repeat like a parrot things that you don’t even understand, so the words have no connection and make no sense, yet you repeat them in a feverish trance, convinced in the truth you are spreading.

    An example:

    “Last night you heard on TV that the FMC wants to “put a new spin” on their role in society, and afterwards you felt your womb, rubbed your arms, looked at the unpainted walls of your house and your life in national currency.”

    Priceless…

Comments are closed.