Is the Table Set?

Although journalism has managed to absorb me much more than philology, for its dynamism, its direct connection to reality, and its immediacy, it involves bitter pills I would have preferred to spare myself. One of them is having to watch all the official news, to be aware of every government statement, and to listen to whatever discourse comes from the halls of power. Sometimes I remember my former life with nostalgia, turning off the TV, lowering the volume, and paying no attention to specific anniversaries. But that time is over for me. Although I continue to run into people who don’t know if it’s Monday or Friday, nor even if the National Assembly has already met this year or has yet to meet. People who float in apathy, lacking any interest in what’s happening; and their apathy becomes the best breeding ground for government control.

So yesterday, Thursday, very early, I made the effort to listen to the address by the first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers. Weeks earlier the streets simmered with rumors that on the 26th of July the long-awaited travel and immigration reform would be announced. But I only had to confirm that the speaker of the day would be José Ramón Ventura to know that there would be no news, much less news of substantial changes. Instead, the orthodox politician asserted that “the enemies of the Revolution, both those inside as well as those outside – under the umbrella of criticizing the supposed slowness or lack of boldness in the adopted measures – hide their true intentions of restoring the dishonorable regime that existed in Cuba until 1959.” In short it seems that, to this gentleman, those who criticize the lack of depth and speed of changes under Raúl’s regime,  are really surreptitious Batista supporters. Of which it appears there are many, because I don’t hear anyone going along with the pace of the transformations taking place. I estimate that the internal “enemies” – according to this extremist definition – could be around 11 million people, in other words the entire population of the Island.

But when I got to the point of talking back to the screen, was when I heard Raúl Castro say that “the table is set” for a dialog with the United States. A phrase of appeasement, of indulgence toward the foreigner… which is an insult toward those of us who seek a truly sovereign Cuba. How is it possible that a government is disposed to talk with a foreign administration but plugs its ears against the critics in its own backyard? How can system of bitter “anti-imperialism” prefer to sit at the table with its neighbor to the north, before listening and debating with its own people? The extremes always end up touching and in this fifty-year contest against the American administrations, the Castro regime has been more concerned with – and dependent on – the White House than with Cuban voices.

Anyway, sometimes I would like to return to living in the years when I didn’t turn on the TV, listen to the speeches, investigate official statements. Times in which I didn’t know if it was July 26 or August 15, nor hear local politicians talk about our nation as if it were a tablecloth, a plate, a spoon.

42 thoughts on “Is the Table Set?

  1. Must be PAINFUL and REALLY PAINFUL, oh and let us also mention that it just MUST BE REALLY PAINFUL to accept the fact that

    the SPANISH GOVERNMENT (that’s the country where the copy and paste “genius” comes from, yet still pretending to be a “Cuban”, even after her, sorry “his”, own admission to be a SPANIARD)

    HAS CONFIRMED that the CAR ACCIDENT IS INDEED JUST THAT: AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY POOR DRIVING SKILLS OF A

    SPANISH CITIZEN

    HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    No, no, it was a “truck”….!!!!! Says so the traitors and the terrorists the team “yoani” and their little delusional pioneers!!! So, it must be the only truth on the earth then. no?

    No.

    First there was a qualification from a group of foreign ambassadors, led by spanish and polish representatives, who had issued a statement confirming that there was no foul play and that the death was caused by the driver. Then the driver himself had admitted driving way too far for his skills and for the road. Then there was the witness, a man who was driving the bicycle and almost got run over by the inept spaniard just before he hit the tree, and then there was this latest admission from the top of the spanish government, and from the PP (that’s the acronim for currently governing spanish wrong wing party. Look it up. A hint: popular party)

    And let us NOT forget another dissident, Sanchez, who too had confirmed that the unfortunate death was just a result of an accident.

    The wrong wing (the world of conserves and delusional losers) world is disintegrated and in a free fall. It is hurting bad, so give them some slack for bullshifting nonsense about

    EVERYTHING

    They are too brain-deprived to know any better. Just look the last 199 posts by the team “yoani”. One st****er than the other.

    They beat themselves into the pulp by their own id**cies.

    Funnily enough not one is funny.

    Just plain brainwashed delusions.

    No wonder they have become accustomed to dirt. They ARE the DIRT!!!!!!!

  2. So, the “friendly” translator, where’s my comment after the copy and paste genius’es bullshift here?

    Deleting the truth, censoring the thinking are you?

    No wonder you are still not removing the fake “Damir” posts (probably because they are your own).

    Beautiful.

    Keep doing it. I am collecting screendumps of oall my posts because you “democrats” have been doing this for a few years now.

    Or should I call you de MOCK crats. It sounds much more to the point, doesn’t it. (this is not a question, hence no question mark at the end)

  3. SOME INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE OFFICIAL OSWALDO PAYA “ACCIDENT” VIDEO RELEASED BY THE CASTROFASCISTS ! THEY ARE THE FOLLOWING AND YOU CAN LOOK AT THEM YOURSELVES!!

    THE FAMOUS EVER CHANGING TREE
    1. In the video @ 2:15 & 2:37 minutes there is a photo of a tree with damage on its trunk with bushes around it but then at 5:00 the tree shown has no damage at all, no tall bushes, thicker trunk and different looking overall and finally it appears again in its smaller version with damage to its trunk! There is also another picture on the BBC article with this title, you can copy and paste the title to reach it!

    BBC NEWS Cuba: Oswaldo Paya’s accident caused by ‘driver error’

    THE DIFORMED BUMPER THAT DISSAPEARED!
    2. At the beginning of the video the car is shown with the front bumper all mangled and twisted out on both sides but at 5:00 minutes the front twisted bumper has disappeared. It is obvious that the car has been tampered with due to the fact that it lost its bumper! Was it moved there and the bumper was torn off due to the hauling?

    WHY NO PHOTOS OF Oswaldo Pay & Harold Cepero
    3. Interesting that at the beginning of the video the four passengers are identified with their location but while showing pictures of Angel Carromero & Jens Aron Morig there are no pictures to identify Oswaldo Pay & Harold Cepero!! Fear of the Cuban people and others to identify with them as victims and to keep their faces out of the eyes of the Cuban people!

    YOUTUBE: CUBADEBATE: Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas: Testimonios sobre el accidente- Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas: Testimonies about the accident.

    TOO MANY INCONSISTENCIES ABOUT THIS VIDEO EVIDENCE DONT YOU THINK SO? WORTH A LOOK BY AN INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF EXPERTS!

  4. FOX NEWS LATINO: Former political prisoner detained in Cuba – July 31, 2012

    The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Tuesday denounced another “arbitrary arrest” of dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer, a former political prisoner.

    A communique from the commission’s spokesman, Elizardo Sanchez, said that Ferrer was arrested Monday night by the political police in the province of Holguin, some 750 kilometers (465 miles) east of Havana, and “his whereabouts are unknown.”

    Ferrer, the 41-year-old leader of the banned opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba group has been temporarily arrested on other occasions in recent months.

    In April, he was held by police for 27 days in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, where he lives, and was released pending trial on a charge of “public disorder.”

    The rights commission on Tuesday emphasized that the organization Ferrer heads “is continuing with noteworthy anti-establishment activity in the Cuban interior and, most especially, in the eastern region of the island.”

    In addition, it said that the opposition figure has been the target “of … manhunts and even the looting of his home, with the aim of trying to crush him or make him desist from his firm pro-democratic militancy.”

    As a member of the so-called “Group of 75” opposition members sent to prison in the spring of 2003, Ferrer was released on parole in March 2011.

    The Cuban government characterizes dissidents and opposition members as counterrevolutionaries and mercenaries in the service of the United States. EFE

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/07/31/former-political-prisoner-detained-in-cuba/

  5. EL CASTRISMO HA PERDIDO TODO EL CREDITO

    La dictadura ha presentado las declaraciones de los dos implicados en las muertes de Payá y Cedpero Escalante en las cuales al unísono desmienten que algún vehículo hubiera obligado al conducido por el español Carromero. Ambas declaraciones suenan mucho a lavados de cerebro estilo soviético durante su confinamiento sin posibilidad de hablar con nadie, ni parientes ni diplomáticos. ¿Por qué no les dejaron comunicarse? La razón es complicada para quien vive en un país libre y democrático, ya que en los sistemas de Estado de Derecho está ausente la coacción y manipulación sicológica que en Cuba es tan común. En Cuba la seguridad del castrofascismo cuenta con los mejores cerebros de la profesión médica, con doctorados en la Ciencia de la manipulación de presos y de masas humanas. Esto ha resultado evidente para este autor leyendo las declaraciones de ex presos políticos, viendo videos de actos de barbarismo en las viviendas de los opositores y en las personas de ellos. Además constatando como las turbas lumpelproletarias del castrismo son usadas como aquellas masas nazistas, para tratar de demostrar aquí al mundo, que en el mundo perfecto socialista cubano, “las masas” están con la dictadura. La posibilidad que de día y de noche Carromero y el sueco Modig fueran indoctrinados de cómo explicar el atentado al coche de Payá y los visitantes, no me cabe ninguna duda. Tengo experiencia personal de esas manipulaciones de la opinión pública con fines deleznables de convencimiento usando de los medios de comunicación.
    A fines de 1979 los criminales comunistas chilenos, ayudados por la seguridad cubana de la embajada castrista en Estocolmo decidieron que quien escribe esto era el más perfecto cabeza de turco. Iniciaron todo el proceso sicológico bien estudiado acusándome públicamente de ser agente de la CIA. Resultaba inexplicable tal acusación, toda vez que como exiliado del Gobierno de Allende estaba semanalmente escribiendo en las páginas de cultura de los principales diarios suecos, realizando programas de radio para la RTS y dictando conferencias y cursos en diversas organizaciones de Derechos Humanos y en la Universidad de Lund. ¿Cómo podía, alguien que usaba todo su tiempo para propagar en contra de Pinochet ser al mismo tiempo asalariado de Estados Unidos? Todo el trabajo de descrédito, que llegó más tarde hasta las redacciones de los diarios españoles Diario 16, El Mundo y El país, y que fue ampliamente publicitado por el diario comunista de Suecia NY DAG tenía un solo fin: obligarme a declarar ante mis colegas que era en efecto un agente de la CIA. El programa era por lo demás genialmente comunista. Así me instruyeron con la promesa que no seguirían con su campaña de descrédito. “Llamamos a conferencia de prensa anunciando que hemos descubierto un agente de la CIA entre los exiliados. Tú te pones de pié y ante las CAMARAS DE TV te acusas a ti mismo y dices que estas muy arrepentido, que pides el perdón DEL PUEBLO CHILENO. Nosotros, allí presentes declararemos que comprendemos tu arrepentimiento y que te perdonamos, porque no somos criminales, SOMOS HUMANISTAS y muchos de nosotros somos CRISTIANOS. Luego NOS ABRAZAMOS ANTE LAS CAMARAS LLORANDO UN POCO, PORQUE ESO IMPRESIONA MUCHO A LOS SUECOS”. La idea era sacar más dinero de los suecos idiotas que entregaban millones para las arcas del criminal Partido Comunista de Chile, el cual controlaba la totalidad de la llamada Unidad Popular (más la llamada Concertación) y que más tarde los suecos transformaron en un programa oficial de ayudas del Estado de Suecia a través de su Dirección general de Ayuda Exterior, SIDA controlada por los partidos Socialista y Comunista. Los mismos que entregaron durante 25 años más de 20 mil millones de USD para los movimientos de terrorismo de izquierda de todo el mundo, especialmente África y América Latina, a condición que fuera antiamericanos y prosoviéticos.
    Por supuesto que me negué de plano mentir ante las cámaras de TV, y desde entonces se sucedieron los CUATRO intentos de asesinato que realizaron en Suecia contra mí con la venia de la Policía sueca, pero no contaban que el Ejército de Suecia les conocía muy bien. Me sugirieron que solicitara ser miembro voluntario y me entregaron una pistola de 9 mm y una carabina semiautomática “para que te defiendas y defiendas a tu familia”, me dijeron los militares suecos. Dos veces estuve a punto de acribillar a los terroristas comunistas, pero huyeron como ratas al ver las armas. Igual huirán esas ratas de la seguridad castrista cuando el pueblo cubano se arme y se defienda.
    ¿Cuál es la lección? NUNCA CREAS UNA PALABRA A LOS COMUNISTAS, ni siquiera cuando lloran lágrimas de cocodrilo, como Raúl Castro pidiendo un diálogo con el Presidente Obama. ¿Es bueno para el pueblo cubano que haya diálogo con Estados Unidos? Creo que sí. Que toda componenda tendrá que conducir a mayor libertad, a la vigencia de los Derechos Humanos, al Estado de Derecho y otras libertades. La libertad conducirá a elecciones libres, de eso estoy seguro, porque ni siquiera las marionetas del PCC pueden seguir con el cerebro vacío de ideas, de proyectos y de futuro.

    Carlos Medina de Rebolledo
    Ex comunista. Ahora hombre libre

    Declaro bajo palabra de honor, que todo lo expresado anteriormente ES VERDAD, DE VERDAD ABSOLUTA.

  6. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Outbreak Notice – Cholera in Cuba – July 30, 2012

    What Is the Current Situation?

    The Cuban Ministry of Health has confirmed the first cholera outbreak in Cuba in more than a century. One hundred thirty-seven confirmed cases and 3 deaths have been reported in Granma province in the cities of Manzanillo, Bayamo, Yara, and Campechuela Niquero. Currently, cases are limited to Granma Province, mostly in Manzanillo. According to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, control measures have been implemented including ensuring that water is safe for drinking, implementation of environmental sanitation measures and public awareness campaigns. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) (PDF) is also closely monitoring this situation. Most travelers are not at high risk of getting cholera. However, travelers to an area with a known outbreak should take steps to avoid getting sick. (See below.) The vaccine to prevent cholera is not available in the United States.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/outbreak-notice/cholera-cuba.htm

  7. So the magic tree, which itself suffered only the slightest damage to a bit if bark in its slender trunk, crushed the rear half of a steel car.

    You believe that don’t you?

  8. Confessions of a Hostage

    It is difficult to quantify the extraordinary courage of Cuban pro-democracy activists, who are subject to constant threats, harassment and torture.

    But maybe today, the international community can at least have a better perspective.

    A few hours ago, foreign correspondents in Havana were summoned for a highly unusual press conference by the Castro regime (specifically, by its Ministry of the Interior).

    During the press conference, Angel Carromero and Aron Modig, the Spanish and Swedish survivors of the car crash that claimed the lives of Cuban pro-democracy leaders Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero, fully “confessed” responsibility for the incident.

    But they didn’t stop there. Both Carromero and Modig, who have been detained by the Castro regime since the crash and have been denied diplomatic visitations since Monday of last week, also apologized for supporting Paya’s Cristian Liberation Movement (MCL).

    In their own words:

    “I ask the international community to please focus on getting me out of here and not use a traffic accident, which could have happened to anyone, for political purposes.”

    — Angel Carromero

    “I understand that these activities are not legal in Cuba and I would like to apologize for having come to this country to realize illicit activities.”

    — Aron Modig

    This is not a criticism of either Carromero or Modig, who justifiably want to escape from this nightmare and be reunited with their loved ones — in the same manner as American hostage Alan Gross, who has been held hostage since 2009.

    But it definitely offers perspective of what those who have no escape constantly endure.

  9. THE EXTORTION, BLACKMAIL AND COERCION UNDER DURESS GOT THE SPANISH DRIVER Angel Carromero TO DO A “MEA CULPA” AND HIS SWEDISH PASSENGER Jens Aron Modig TO DO AN “I WAS ASLEEP SO I DONT REMEMBER” ! BOTH WERE SEQUESTERED AND INCOMMUNICADO FOR OVER A WEEK WITHOUT ACCESS TO A LAWYER NOR THEIR OWN CONSULS! WHAT DO YOU THINK THE OUTCOME WAS GOING TO BE!! AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT FAMOUS TREE PICTURE? MAYBE THE TREE WILL HOLD ITS OWN PRES CONFERENCE AFTER HE GETS OUT OF THE CUSTODY OF THE CUBAN OFFICE OF THE INTERIOR!!

    AFP: Cuba dissident Paya’s death accidental: witnesses

    HAVANA — The car crash that claimed the life of leading Cuban opposition figure Oswaldo Paya was accidental, two Europeans who were in the vehicle at the time told a press conference Monday.

    Cuba’s dissident community suspected another vehicle might have forced the one carrying Paya off the road, but the two surviving occupants told reporters that no other cars were involved.

    “There was no other vehicle that struck us from behind,” said Spaniard Angel Carromero, who was at the wheel at the time of the accident, which killed a fourth occupant in the car, in addition to Paya.

    “I was driving in an area (where the road was) in bad condition,” which caused him to lose control, he said, despite “taking all the precautions that a driver should take under such circumstances.”

    The other crash survivor, Swedish political activist Jens Aron Modig, backed up that story in a live interview before reporters.

    “I don’t recall there being a second vehicle involved in the accident,” he said.

    The rental car crashed in Bayamo, in eastern Cuba, on July 22, slamming into a tree.

    Paya, 60, a leading opponent of the one-party rule of the Cuban Communist Party, was the 2002 recipient of the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov prize, which is awarded for defending human rights and freedom of thought.

    His widow, Ofelia Acevedo last week rejected a government report that blamed the car crash on the driver. She also criticized officials for not allowing her to talk to Carromero and Modig, who had been kept in custody.

    Paya’s relatives had said they believed the rental car had been forced off the road by another vehicle.

    Carromero faces charges of traffic violations resulting in death, which can carry up to 10 years in prison under Cuba’s penal code.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gEFB8gnat_p6NasnqlzQacDbqI2w?docId=CNG.03686fe7883916bfab393a769e7a3a97.1d1

  10. Update on Castro’s European Hostages

    Here’s the latest on Angel Carromero and Aron Modig, the Spanish and Swedish survivors of the car crash that claimed the life of Cuban pro-democracy leader Oswaldo Paya:

    – Carromero has been transferred to the Department of Technical Investigation of the nefarious Ministry of the Interior in Havana, where he remains detained.

    – Spanish diplomats have been prohibited from seeing Carromero since Monday of last week — the day after the accident.

    – The Swedish government has officially stated that Modig’s continued detention in Havana is unjustified.

    Meanwhile, Paya’s widow has rejected the Castro regime’s “official” report, which blamed the accident on driver error and stated:

    “Until I’m able to speak with Angel and Aron, the last two people who saw my husband alive, have access to the expert reports and have the advice of people independent of the Cuban government, I can’t have an idea of what really happened that day.”

  11. Griffin !! HE MESSED UP YESTERDAY AND WAS SLOW TO HELP WIN THE GOLD IN THE 100 TEAM RELAY BUT THEY GOT THE SILVER. SO FAR CUBAN-AMERICANS VIA Ryan Lochte: 1-GOLD 1-SILVER = 2 MEDALS . THE CUBAN TEAM HAS SO FAR ONE SILVER IN WOMENS JUDO!

    OFFICIAL MEDAL COUNT FOR 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS!
    http://www.london2012.com/medals/

  12. Nice video of Dani Leyva performing. His step-father sure looked thrilled, jumping up and down in excitement.

  13. THESE ARE THE TYPES OF FIREWORKS YOU WILL GET FROM DANELL LEYVA! MY GUESS IS THAT THE THREE CUBAN-AMERICANS (the other two are: Ryan Lochte -swimming & Manuel Huerta -Triathlon) IN THE U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM WILL WIN MORE MEDALS THAN THE ENTIRE CUBA TEAM.

    YOUTUBE: Danell Leyva 2012 USA Gymnastics Trials

  14. Hey Humberto, what do you think of your Cuban-American swimmer, Ryan Lochte? Nice gold medal he’s got there!

  15. OUR CUBANITO DANELL LEYVA AND HIS PUERTO RICAN VIA THE BRONX TEAMMATE JOHN OROZCO ARE THE ONES TO WATCH IN GYMNASTICS!!

    N.Y. TIMES: For a Cuban-American Gymnastics Family, a Longtime Vision Is in Reach – By JULIET MACUR

    LONDON — In the aisle behind the lower bowl of the gymnastics venue, running around like an overcaffeinated madman shouting, “Vamos!” and “That’s my boy!” is a man who helped Danell Leyva become one of the medal favorites.

    While Leyva competed in qualifying Saturday, even when hiding under his lucky green towel to shut himself off from the world, he could hear that man cry out, “You’re the best, baby!”

    And those words, as usual, made Leyva believe it.

    “Everybody thinks it’s an embarrassment because he acts so crazy, but it’s actually a big help,” Leyva said of his stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez, who is known for his antics at meets. “I love hearing him. I love his energy and passion. I feed off of it. It definitely makes me better.”

    Leyva, 20, who came to the United States from Cuba when he was a toddler, led qualifying in the all-around event and also helped pull the United States men’s team to the top of the standings.

    None of those scores carry over to Monday’s final. But to Leyva, that does not matter. He still has extra confidence going into the biggest week of his life, a week that he and Alvarez have been envisioning for years.

    Alvarez said he first dreamed of opening a gym and coaching an Olympian when he was a boy in Cuba, a country he knew would never let him reach that goal.

    “I was a dreaming person, and people that dream, there’s no room for them in Cuba, so you feel dead and more dead because you know things aren’t going to get better,” Alvarez said. “That’s something me and Dani have similar. Even though he’s not my real biological kid, we dream the same.”

    The seeds of their Olympic hopes were planted when Alvarez and Leyva’s mother, Maria Gonzalez, attended a Cuban sports school together, leaving their families as children so they could train for Castro’s national team.

    Alvarez already had boundless energy and was a troublemaker, once spraying an entire classroom with fire extinguisher foam. Gonzalez was a prim goody-goody who rolled her eyes at Alvarez’s pranks.

    When their gymnastics careers ended, their lives diverged. Alvarez joined a gymnastics troupe that traveled internationally. Gonzalez coached in Cuba and had two children.

    Alvarez could not shake those pesky Olympic dreams from his head. So on a trip to Mexico, on Jan. 15, 1992, at about 4:30 a.m., he stole out of his hotel and headed for the Rio Grande. He stuffed his clothes in a plastic bag and braved the freezing water to swim to the United States — toward a place where he knew no one and to a life filled with scary unknowns and thrilling possibilities.

    “I always wanted to have my own gym,” Alvarez said. “So that was pushing me to swim faster and faster.”

    Back home, Gonzalez was facing the struggles of an average Cuban. In the sports school, she was given everything: food, shelter, medical care. Outside of it, she discovered that she had long had it easy.

    The recurring power outages were not the worst part; Danell’s asthma was. She often could not obtain medicine for him because the hospitals were out of it.

    “I was so sad and frightened because Dani got sick so many, many times I thought he would die,” she said. “I knew I had to leave Cuba.”

    Her father had fled to Miami two years earlier and had told her to send him a telegram saying, “Everything is perfect,” if she wanted to leave Cuba because the government often monitored correspondence. So she took the leap.

    Because Gonzalez was a respected gymnastics coach, she was able to take Danell and his sister Dayanis to Peru to coach there. She soon sneaked away to Venezuela, then Ecuador, then Nicaragua until she secured a way to the United States.

    When Danell was barely 2, she boarded a plane for Miami, though she did not have official papers to do so. Upon arrival, she avoided penalty because Danell had been so ill.

    When she and Alvarez finally reconnected, he had already saved money by washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms and selling cemetery plots to buy gymnastics equipment. He took her to a storage facility where he kept the gear.

    “I got so excited and said, ‘Oh my God, you have everything,’ ” Gonzalez said. “I said, ‘Wow, he’s actually not crazy.’ He was responsible, so picky and organized, and I liked that.”

    Gonzalez never married Leyva’s biological father, Johann Leyva, who remained in Cuba, so Alvarez stepped in for him. He visited Danell often, once giving him gymnastics videos.

    Leyva hardly sat still back then, but he was mesmerized by the high-flying moves.

    “I said I want to do that,” Leyva said. “I don’t know what it is, but I want to be that.”

    His mother scoffed at the idea, saying he was too chubby, that his arms were too long, his feet were too flat and his backside was too big. His asthma also was not a good fit for the gym, where chalk dust floats like pollen in springtime.

    “She actually took me to a class and coach was like, I can’t deal with this kid; please don’t bring him back,” Leyva said, laughing. “That was exactly the time Yin opened his gym. Since then, I’ve been with him and he’s put up with me.”

    Leyva might not have had the body type, but he had the heart to train, said Alvarez, who had opened Universal Gymnastics in Homestead, south of Miami. That training led Leyva to a national title in the all-around and a world title on parallel bars. All along, Alvarez, who married Gonzalez in 2001, has been at his side.

    When Leyva performs, Alvarez shadows his routines on the sideline. He sways as if using an invisible hula hoop and flails his arms as if shooing a fly. It is just part of his routine during Leyva’s routine.

    Alvarez blesses himself and blows the good wishes to Leyva, then to the heavens. Then he claps several times when Leyva is finishing a routine — his clap, clap then clap, clap, clap has become so well known that fans now join in.

    Whether Leyva has performed spectacularly or spectacularly badly, Alvarez always leaps for joy and spins around, then sprints backward while pumping his fist. On Saturday, he yelled, “That’s it!” in Spanish from the stands, and it echoed throughout the arena. (At the Olympics, only the team coaches for each competing nation are allowed on the floor.)

    “I think Cuban people get more excited than everybody else because we’re very emotional,” Alvarez said. “In Cuba, you can’t say things like: ‘I want Castro out! We’re hungry! There’s no freedom!’ But you can say anything else. And we do!”

    Leyva said he has heard his father say it all, joking that Alvarez might just be the loudest Cuban ever. He insisted, though, that he is just as much of a showman and would like to work in entertainment someday.

    “I want to do musicals, acting, Broadway, everything,” Leyva said. He noted that only a few people have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. “My goal is to join that group.”

    For now, though, he and Alvarez share the same goal: an Olympic gold medal. Leyva said winning one would be his way of repaying his family for the sacrifices they made for him.

    While Leyva remained stoic on the competition floor Saturday, Alvarez showed emotion for both of them. After Leyva nailed a daring high bar routine, Alvarez stormed down the stairs of the stands, shouting, “I love you, baby!” Some fans laughed at his exuberance. Leyva flashed a meek smile.

    “We’re both huge goofballs, but when it comes down to work, we switch on that focus,” Leyva said. “I inherited my fight from him. Nothing can break us.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/sports/olympics/with-stepfathers-coaching-danell-leyva-reaches-for-an-olympic-gold.html?pagewanted=all

  16. ONLINE PETITION: Oppose the Capture of African Wildlife for Cuban Zoo – by Alicia Graef
    Plans to capture wild animals in Namibia and sending them to live in a zoo in Cuba as part of a deal reached with President Raul Castro in 2009 are underway and have sparked outcry from wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists.

    The plan – Operation Noah’s Ark – involves capturing 148 animals, including elephants, black and white rhinos and lions from Namibia’s Waterberg National Park, quarantining them and flying them to Cuba’s 845 acre National Zoological Park, which is already home to 850 animals.

    “It is saddening to note that these animals will be taken out of their natural habitats and sent to a strange land where they will be deprived of freedom and be totally dependent on humans for their daily needs,” said a spokesman for South Africa’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    Concerns have also been raised about the trauma that will be caused by separating family groups, how the animals will fair during long travel and how they will adapt to a change to a tropical climate and to captivity.

    “No matter the country, elephants do not fare well in zoos, where they endure captivity-caused diseases, including painful foot infections and crippling arthritis, that result in early deaths. The most recent science has found that elephants in zoos die decades sooner than those in the wild,” according to In Defense of Animals, who is also campaigning against the deal.

    Some of the other animals to face similar fates include hyenas, vultures, jackals, ostriches and honey badgers, among others.

    Conservationists also argue that the capture and transport is only being done for commercial reasons, with the animals having an estimated value of $1 million.

    This deal may also be the beginning of more to come. Namibian Tourism and Environment Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah called the quarantine facilities that were built an investment in the future and hopes to move more animals to other parks.

    TAKE ACTION!

    Please sign the petition asking Namibia’s Tourism and Environmental Minister to stop this plan and instead protect wildlife in their natural habitat.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/oppose-the-capture-of-african-wildlife-for-cuban-zoo.html

  17. DO THE CASTROFASCISTS DESERVE MORE INNOCENT ANIMALS SO THEY CAN BE TREATED IN THIS MANNER? YOU ANIMAL LOVERS SHOULD SEND THIS INFORMATION AND VIDEO TO THE RIGHT ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS!

    YOUTUBE: Leones desnutridos en zoologico de Camaguey, Cuba. – Malnourished lions in the zoo in the city of Camaguey, Cuba. See the poor & filthy condition of their cage, their emaciated state and the fish heads that that they feed them only.

  18. Yoani wrote:

    “But when I got to the point of talking back to the screen, was when I heard Raúl Castro say that “the table is set” for a dialog with the United States. A phrase of appeasement, of indulgence toward the foreigner… which is an insult toward those of us who seek a truly sovereign Cuba. How is it possible that a government is disposed to talk with a foreign administration but plugs its ears against the critics in its own backyard?”

    It strikes me as odd to characterize dialog between nations as appeasement, indulgence and a surrender of sovereignty. I do not believe Raul was in any way sincere in his offer to hold talks with the US anyway. It was yet another rhetorical tactic to strut and posture as the brothers have done for 53 years.

    The US response to Raul’s meaningless invitation is as always, US Tells Cuba to End Authoritarianism, Then We’ll Talk

    http://www.latino.foxnews.com/2012/07/27/us-conditions-talks-with-cuba-on-end-to-authoritarianism/#ixzz227869nK2

    Raul will never end authoritarianism because his dictatorial regime cannot survive without brute force. Therefore, when the Castro dictatorship is gone, then the US will be happy to talk with the true democratic representatives of a free Cuba.

  19. “the enemies of the Revolution, both those inside as well as those outside – under the umbrella of criticizing the supposed slowness or lack of boldness in the adopted measures – hide their true intentions of restoring the dishonorable regime that existed in Cuba until 1959.” “those who criticize the lack of depth and speed of changes under Raúl’s regime, are really surreptitious Batista supporters.”

    The infomercial “La Electricidad al Servicio de Cuba” (Electricity at the Service of Cuba), filmed in 1956 in Cuba in English (Carlos Franqui who became director of Radio Rebelde in the Sierra Maestra, and later editor of the newspaper Revolución, was the director of this infomercial), was uploaded in four parts into YouTube. This film is evidence of the prosperity of Cuba during the 1950’s, precisely during the Batista government. You can see the past wealth of the country, and compare it with today ruins. On each of the videos the author Humberto (Bert) Corzo make comments about many of the subjects include on them, providing statistics and establishing comparison before and after the Castroit regime, demonstrating that it has been a failure of great proportion.

    The last article of the video of this four part series “A Look Back at Pre-Castro Cuba – Part 4 of 4”, and the three others, has been published in babalublog.com. I am providing the link to babalublog.com for you to take a look at it, and comment about these series of articles.

    Link:
    http://babalublog.com/2012/07/a-look-back-at-pre-castro-cuba-part-4-of-4/#more-98484

    At the top of article, after the author, if you click on (Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3), it give you access to part 1 through 3.

  20. AFP: Cuba dissident’s widow rejects death report – By Rigoberto Diaz

    HAVANA — The widow of leading Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya has rejected a government report that blamed the car crash that killed her husband on the driver, saying she had been denied access to information.

    Ofelia Acevedo criticized officials for not allowing her to talk to the survivors, Spanish driver Angel Carromero and Swedish political activist Jens Aron Modig, who have been kept in custody since the July 22 incident.

    “I reject this report because it is the official report of the government of Cuba and because I have not had access to this information that they say they have,” she told AFP. “I have no reason at all to believe this version of events.”

    Acevedo said she had not yet been able to talk to Carromero or Modig, both of whom have been kept in custody since they were discharged from hospital after being treated for injuries sustained during the crash.

    “They were the last people who saw my husband alive and they have to know a lot more than I do so far,” she told AFP.

    Acevedo said she did not believe the government’s account of what Carromero said about the accident.

    “He has not had access to the communications media, outside the presence of state security, which has had him sequestered since he came out of the hospital,” she told AFP.

    Paya’s widow said she had asked the ambassadors of Spain and Sweden to arrange for her to speak to Carromero and Modig, but “not even they have been able to speak with them without the presence of state security.”

    Carromero, who is being held by police in a southeastern town close to where the crash occurred, faces charges of traffic violations resulting in death, which can carry up to 10 years in prison under Cuba’s penal code.

    In Madrid, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo confirmed that Carromero was still being held in Cuba and said he could possibly be charged on Monday or Tuesday once the investigation was over.

    “If he were to be charged, we would like him to be staying in our embassy,” the minister said, adding that the most important thing was to bring the 27-year-old Spanish national home.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j3rlgJQ_pNQB4tLOYJn_DvCdCIng?docId=CNG.f7f9e5091a1f2260c7f31ea5a881adc0.601

  21. I think it’s the fairy godmothers, Raulita and Fidelita, who take care of absolutely everything for you.

  22. According to Cuba Libre, one must just laze around all afternoon, drinking mojitos, visiting with friends, dancing, etc., and all of your needs will be met. No hard work or capitalism for the people of Shangri La!!!

  23. @Simba:

    Simba, Don’t you know that they don’t need toilet paper in Cuba? You see, under socialism, you don’t even have to wipe your a** since it’s done for you. You don’t have to lift a finger to do anything for yourself, all of your needs are taken care of, compliments of the dictatorship.

  24. THAT LITTLE TRIP THAT “LA CHINA” RAUL TOOK TO RUSSIA WAS NOT SO MUCH FOR “TRADE” BUT TO BRING BACK THEIR OLD FRIEND AS A BARGAINING CHIP AGAINST THE USA AND ITS SUPPORT OF DEMOCRACY IN THE ISLAND PRISON OF CUBA!

    TRIB TOTAL MEDIA: Russia seeks bases in Cuba

    MOSCOW — Russia is in talks to set up naval bases in nations that were Cold War allies as President Vladimir Putin undertakes the country’s biggest military overhaul since the Soviet era.

    “We are working on establishing navy bases outside Russia,” Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the navy’s commander-in- chief since May, said in an interview with the state-run RIA Novosti news service. “We aim to set up resupply bases in Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam.”

    Russia’s intentions for overseas military expansion threaten to further strain relations with the United States when the former superpower rivals are at loggerheads over American missile-shield plans and how to respond to the mounting violence in Syria. Putin’s government plans to spend $712 billion this decade on defense spending. That would be an increase of 19 percent next year alone.

    “There’s a lot of tension between Washington and Moscow right now as Syria is creating a lot of bad feeling between them,” said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent defense analyst in Moscow. “This will be seen by some in the U.S. as the Russian bear growling in its lair.”

    Pentagon spokesman George Little said Russia had “a right to enter into military agreements and relationships” with other nations. He didn’t raise concern about Russia seeking military access to Cuba, which is 90 miles south of the Florida Keys.

    “I’m aware of the reports, but I don’t know that an agreement has been reached between the Russians and Cubans on a base,” Little told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday.

    Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz in 2008 warned Russia not to cross a “red line” by stationing bombers in Cuba, where the deployment of Soviet missiles brought Moscow and Washington to a nuclear standoff in 1962.

    Under the deal that ended that crisis, the Soviet Union withdrew its missiles and pledged not to station offensive weapons on the Communist island. Russian military cooperation with Cuba ended in 2002 when Russia closed its radar base at Lourdes, Russia’s only intelligence-gathering center in the Western hemisphere, which had been intercepting telephone calls, faxes and computer communications since the 1960s.

    Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang said in an interview broadcast by Voice of Russia radio that his country is ready to let Russia set up a ship maintenance facility in Cam Ranh Bay, an American military hub during the Vietnam War that the Soviet Union was granted access to four years after communist forces captured the area in 1975. Russia held on to the port until 2002.

    The United States is also interested in re-establishing a presence in the strategic port, 220 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City, to counter the rise of China as a competitor for influence in Asia.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in June visited Cam Ranh Bay seeking greater naval access. But Sang held talks with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Thursday and met Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday. Cuban leader Raul Castro held talks with Putin in Moscow this month.

    In a communique after the talks, Sang backed Russia’s criticism of U.S. plans to expand missile-defense sites.

    http://triblive.com/usworld/world/2289470-73/russia-moscow-military-cuba-bases-defense-putin-soviet-talks-access

  25. Simba Sez: Now that Damir has declared Cuba to be self-sufficient I wonder who can be blamed for their problems. It certainly can’t be an embargo by any other nation causing any type of shortage, so it must be an internal problem that they have no toilet paper, and all the time I thought it was some diabolical plot by foreigners.

  26. And here is Damir’s grandest delusion of all: “Cuba is self-sufficient.”

  27. Many intelligent people in the usa nazist gulag are realising what a joke and a death trap the “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” is:

    Just don’t expect the mo**ns here get the picture any time soon.

    They’ve got some Cuba somewhere in Atlantic to destroy.

    It’s a baaaad country with a baaad attitude towards “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”, apparently…

  28. Just a bunch of mo**ns like the courageou anonimo who is still looking for her/his balls to write her/his true name here, useful id**ts as they are called in the usa, can try to make DAMIR look bad – ANF FAIL.

    Here’s a very well known usanian-own economist and book writer Jerry Robinson, whose pages and books sell hundreds of millions of times better than copy and paste stolen WordPress “manuals” by some ignorant self-declared “computer afficionado” and a “journalist” whoe only electronic experience is reduced to switching the TV on and off, and “journalism” reduced to giving her name to this cai-fuelled propaganda.

    Enjoy learning the TRUTH about you “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” and its’ TRUE FACE you stu**d tools of your white “gods” whose own nazist perversion called “democratic” capitalism has already fallen apart and is now dragging us all into an abyss of anihilation.

    My popcorn is ready and I’ll laugh hard for the usa nazist gulag is the first to implode and disappear.

    Cub, on the other hand, will go on for much longer. And it’s not even because socialism is superior. There’s no such thing in Cuba. It’s simply because they did manage to stay out of the nazist and imperialist vicious circle and by necessity is self-sufficient now.

  29. Poor poor sorry Damir. Some psychiatric medicine could help with those delusions.

  30. I am still laughing at the copy and paste geniuses who are unable to see their own stu***y …

    Is that indeed the tree that is hiding the forest behind it liars and terrorists!!!!!???

    You can’t even see the tree because your own delusions and lies are blocking the view!!!!

    Laughable useles id**ts…

    Lemme sho you the tree. In a number of posts the team “yoani” claim that Cubans CANNOT TRAVEL AROUND CUBA WITHOUT THE PERMIT.

    The killed in accident and his cronnies were TRAVELLING 800 KMS, and in less than 8 hours, by the way.

    if the guy was really a DISSIDENT SORT OF GUY, AGAIN ACCORDING TO TEH POSTS PUT UP BY THE VERY ST***D AND INEPT TEAM “yoani”, and their pin-up granny, THE GUY WOULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED TEH PERMIT!!!!

    The guy not only D I D HAVE THE PERMIT, HE WAS ALSO IN COMPANY OF HIS SPANISH CONTACT, WHO WAS APPARENTLY THE DRIVER TOO.

    REMEMBER HOW YOU ALL WROTE SOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY TIMES HOW CUBANS ARE PROHIBITED FROM CONTACTING FOREIGNERS!!!!!??????

    BUNCH OF LIARS AND TERRORISTS.

    THE DRIVER HIMSELF HAD ADMITTED DRIVNIG FAST. NO CUBAN POLICE OR SECRET SERVICES GUIDED HIS HAND AND FOOT.

    BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO BULLSHIFT ABOUT A N Y T I H N G AS LONG AS IT SERVES YOUR PURPOSE: CRIMINAL ACTS AGAINST A FOREIGN COUNTRY THAT YOU DO NOT BELONG TO AND HAVE GOT F**K ALL TO DO WITH, RIGHT!!!!??????

  31. As I was saying, and the post 6 now quietly promoting the fact that everyone knew, the team “yoani” WANT TO BE CASTROS AFTER CASTROS!!!!

    ONE PARASITE REPLACING ANOTHER

    Let us see what are the new parasites going to bring to Cuba, should they win over:

    A “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” ponzi scheme. A quick and easy way for criminals to get rich fast, make the naive and stupid even poorer.

    This usanian guy explains the TRUE NATURE of the “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” quite well. He understood the need to fight the beast off and destroy it. Sadly that is not the case with most of the Cubans, who do not understand “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” true nature simply because they have never had to live in it.

    The vanity, which the team “yoani” have described here in the recent post about the plastic surgeires, and earlier talking about the hair extensions and fashion a number of times, is unfortunately a very strong trait Cubans have. They will, just like the rest of the naive world’s population fall for the glitz and glamour based on nothing more than a colurful packaging.

    Fake food, fake drinks, fake clothes, fake lives, THAT IS what the so-called “democracy” and “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” the criminals and terrorists team “yoani” are promoting to Cubans.

    Playing with Cubans’ ignorance and oblivion to the true nature and the true extent of the horror that is coming, if Cubans turn the corner and choose the wrong path.

  32. I find it interesting that Yoani says she needs to keep up with Cuban political affairs because she is more of a journalist today than a philologist. There are many including me who see Yoani as a future political leader in a post-Castro Cuba. Yoani may be a journalist today, but Vaclav Havel was once a playwright and Lech Walesa an electrician.

    In the meantime, Yoani has my sympathy for having to endure Raul Castro’s speeches.

  33. IS THIS THE “FAMOUS TREE” WHERE THE CAR CARRYING OSWALDO PAYA AS A PASSENGER CRASHED AGAINST AND KILLED HIM (see photo in article)?? SEEMS LIKE A VERY SKINNY TREE WITH NO MAJOR DAMAGE GIVEN SUCH A HORRIFIC CRASH! AND WHY HAS THIS PICTURE OR ANY OTHER PICTURE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVIDENCE NOT BEEN POSTED ON THE CASTROFASCIST MEDIA?? MAYBE THIS TREE DOES NOT EXIST!! A SQUARE SHAPED TREE, LIKE THE SQUARE SHAPED DENT IN THE CAR IS HARD TO FIND!

    BBC NEWS: Cuba: Oswaldo Paya’s accident caused by ‘driver error’ – Sarah Rainsford
    The authorities in Cuba say driver error was to blame for the car accident in which prominent activist Oswaldo Paya died on Sunday.

    A statement by the Interior Ministry said the driver, Spanish politician Angel Carromero, was speeding when the car hit an unpaved stretch of road and spun out of control.

    It said the vehicle hit a tree, killing Mr Paya and another Cuban activist.

    Mr Paya’s son has said that the car may have been forced off the road.

    The statement said police investigations showed Mr Paya and the young opposition activist Harold Cepero were seated in the back of the car and were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

    Angel Carromero and Swedish citizen Jens Aron Modig, who were sitting in the front of the car, were treated for minor injuries.

    ‘Excessive speed’

    The interior ministry said the section of road where the accident happened was undergoing repairs and was full of loose gravel and very slippery.

    It also quoted the two survivors of the crash and eyewitnesses.

    Mr Carromero reportedly told the police that he did not recall seeing the sign alerting drivers to the condition of the road.

    He said he “could not be precise as to the speed” at which he hit the section under repairs.

    The statement quotes Mr Carromero as saying that he “tried to lower his speed by braking sharply and the car began to slide sideways until it hit the tree”.

    It also quotes Jose Antonio Duque de Estrada, who was on his bike when “the car passed me at high speed, I’m sure it was travelling at more than 100km/h”.

    “To my understanding, the most obvious reason for the accident that I see is the excessive speed,” Mr Duque de Estrada is reported as telling the police.

    Cuban investigators calculated that the car had travelled a distance of about 800km in less than eight hours.

    The investigative team said that based on their analysis of the scene and taking into account the statements given by witnesses and the survivors, they calculated that the car must have been travelling at more than 120km/h.

    The team said that “lack of attention controlling the vehicle, excessive speed, and the incorrect decision to apply the brakes abruptly on a slippery surface caused this tragic accident which cost the lives of two human beings”.

    Lingering doubts

    Prior to the release of the report, Mr Paya’s son had told the BBC told that his father had received many death threats and that his car may have been forced off the road.

    The late Mr Paya, 60, is best-known as the founder of the Varela project, a campaign begun in 1998 to gather signatures in support of a referendum on laws guaranteeing civil rights.

    In May 2002, he presented Cuba’s National Assembly with a petition of more than 10,000 signatures calling for an end to four decades of one-party rule.

    The Cuban government described Mr Paya as an agent of the US who was working to undermine the country’s revolution.

    But the anti-Castro opposition in the US criticised him for being too moderate.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19022749

  34. THE CASTROFASCIST EXTORTION AND LIE SPINNING MACHINE HAS STARTED! OF COURSE, ITS EVERYONE’S FAULT EXCEPT THEIRS! I HOPE THE WORLD COMMUNITY PUSHES FOR AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY AT LEAST!

    ABC NEWS: Cuba: Driver Error to Blame for Dissident’s Death – by Peter Orsi

    Cuban authorities on Friday blamed driver error for the car crash that killed a prominent island dissident, saying the Spanish man behind the wheel was speeding and braked too quickly upon entering an unpaved construction zone, causing the vehicle to careen out of control.

    An Interior Ministry statement aired on the afternoon news also said government opponent Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero, another, lesser-known dissident who died in the July 22 crash, were not wearing seatbelts and were in the vehicle’s rear, which suffered the brunt of the impact when the car hit a tree at high velocity.

    Still photographs broadcast with the report and posted on government-run websites showed a blue subcompact Hyundai Accent with rental car plates, its rear half crumpled. Driver Angel Carromero and Swedish citizen Jens Aron Modig, who were riding up front, suffered only minor injuries.

    Authorities are continuing their investigation and evaluating whether a criminal case may be warranted, the statement concluded. Cuban law allows prosecution of people found to have caused a deadly crash.

    Island media seldom report on either the dissidents or traffic accidents, and the 1,200-word notice read verbatim on state TV and simultaneously emailed to foreign journalists appeared aimed at countering speculation about possible foul play, such as unconfirmed reports that a second vehicle might have been pursuing the car or even forced it off the road.

    Cuba said from the outset that it was a single-car accident, but dissidents and family members nonetheless demanded a transparent investigation.

    Oria Acevedo, Paya’s sister-in-law, told The Associated Press that she had seen the televised report and the family “reserves the right to doubt.”

    “She is not accusing anybody,” Acevedo said, adding that she could not speak on behalf of her sister and Paya’s wife, Ofelia. “But one has a right to certain things like interviewing the witnesses, which has not been granted.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cuba-driver-error-blame-dissidents-death-16871416#.UBM5daPFWSo

  35. WBEZ91.5 PUBLIC RADIO CHICAGO: What happened to Cuba’s Oswaldo Payá? – By: Achy Obejas

    In most other countries perhaps, this tragedy would be treated as a simple automobile fatality. But in Cuba, which has seen dissidents dropping like flies in the last few years, and where authorities operate in secret, defensively, and without explanation, every move stirs suspicion and doubt.

    I confess that when I came upon the news, my guts twisted. Without reading much more than a headline, I immediately wondered about the circumstances of Payá’s death. (The late Laura Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White, had also worried about being run off the road by unidentified government agents.)

    It’s not that Cuba puts its dissidents up against the wall and shoots them (although 40 years ago, it did just that). And under Raúl Castro, the long prison sentences that were the staple of Fidel Castro’s rule have become rarer.

    But this is not because Raúl is more tolerant. His tactics regarding dissidents are simply different: Rather than virtually disappearing them into the black hole of prison, Raúl bullies and harasses them in plain sight, often violently, giving street toughs carte blanche to do as they will.

    So what happened to Payá? Cuban authorities have so far not allowed either survivor of the fatal crash — both Europeans — to comment publicly but Spanish newspapers say Ángel Carromero, the Spaniard at the wheel, claims in the police report that he failed to see a traffic sign to reduce speed and lost control. (Different reports have noted that the foreigners, in the front seat, wore seat belts, and the Cubans, in the back, did not — which strikes me as probable.)

    Ofelia Acevedo, Payá’s wife, says she knows of text messages sent by Carromero and another passenger, a Swede who, like Carromero, had come to Cuba on a tourist visa but was doing political work, in which they said they were being repeatedly hit by another car. (Both foreigners, who remain in Cuba, are also affiliated with conservative political parties in their home countries.)

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-07/what-happened-cubas-oswaldo-pay%C3%A1-101228

  36. Simba Sez: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

  37. THE CUBADEBATE PAGE HAS RELEASE AN “ANALYSIS” AND STATEMENT OF THE OSWALDO PAYA “ACCIDENT” BUT SO FAR ONLY IN SPANISH! OF COURSE THEY ARE BLAMING THE SPANISH DRIVER Ángel Carromero !! THE LINK IS BELOW! I HOPE THE CASTROFASCISTS ARE READY FOR THE WORLD TO SEE THEIR VERSION OF EVENTS AND THE PHOTOS OF THE “ACCIDENT” SO IT CAN BE ANALYZED AND DISCUSSED BY EVERYONE!WILL TRY TO FIND THE LINKS TO THE PHOTO FOR THEY “FAILED” TO PUT THEM ON THE WEB SITE! AND WHERE IS THE PHOTO OF THAT DAMN TREE?? THE CASTROFASCISTS DONT LIKE NATURE SHOTS I GUESS!!

    CUBADEBATE CUBAN DISSIDENT OSWALDO PAYA FATAL ACCIDENT ANALYSIS PAGE (Spanish only)
    http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2012/07/27/nota-oficial-del-ministerio-del-interior/

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