Violence Against Women

Julieta Venegas’s voice echoes in the large room of the National Theater. She scales the heights, she dives into the soul. I am in a seat, in the dark, when the first notes sound. My eyes fixed on the stage. I have traversed the La Timba neighborhood from my house to get here, with dogs barking at me from the corners, and women in raggedy clothes watching out the windows. I have come to this place with my doubts, by progesterone, my fingernails so short they would be those on the hands of a teenager, dressed in my lack of femininity, my hair that resists the comb, my motherhood, my fierceness. I am I, with these ovaries that mark my biological clock and a son who any day now will make me a grandmother… I’d better prepare myself for the speed of life.

So I try to capture the rhythm of Venegas’ songs, repeating a refrain and snapping my fingers to mark the beat. The fight against domestic violence that she has taken up touches me closely, although I’ve never experienced family or matrimonial abuse first hand. But I know well the sullen, bruised, crestfallen faces that I see at every turn. In the elevator, in line for the bus, in this city where, despite its size, you bump into the same people again and again. I look at her eyes, which no longer meet mine out of shame and fear that her abuser will discover her call for help. But every inch of her skin, every scrap of her clothes say “Save me! Get me out of this situation!” I see the young girl in a tight dress, whose pimp follows her every step. A big woman with breasts grown larger from multiple births whose husband throws the plate from the table at her while shouting, “And is this all there is to eat?!” The secretary who makes up her face in front of the mirror thinking that if she pleases her boss at the end of the month she will get a bag with two pounds of chicken and some soap. The ballerina who converts a grimace into a gesture of pleasure after a kiss from some decrepit high mucketymuck, who promises her a better life.

And I look, between the end of one song by Julieta Venegas and the beginning of another, at the president of the University Students Federation (FEU) from the Economics Faculty. The same person who, last Saturday, in the Manuel Sanguily amphitheater at the University of Havana welcomed potential new students. To convince them to enroll in his specialty this boy said, “We have a lot of activities, Caribbean sports games, parties at the FEU beach club, and of course… the activities against the Ladies in White.” And I have been there in that auditorium, feeling an incredible sadness for this young man for whom going to insult women, preventing them from leaving their homes, screaming every kind of insult at them, is almost an entertainment. Two days later I found myself in the overstuffed seat at the National Theater confirming how the official discourse itself can incite and condone barbarism, inviting a talented artist to denounce domestic violence and – at the same time – crushing the song of freedom of so many women.

71 thoughts on “Violence Against Women


    MIAMI HERALD: Cuba stays silent about deadly cholera outbreak – It’s the disease that the government doesn’t acknowledge, because it might deter tourists from coming to the island. – By Juan O. Tamayo

    Cuba, especially the eastern third of the island, is suffering through an alarming outbreak of cholera — as well as the mosquito-borne dengue fever — brewed in its decrepit water and sewer systems and fueled by Hurricane Sandy’s floods, according to residents.
    More than a dozen deaths have been reliably reported. Hospitals and prisons have been quarantined at times. Schools have been shut down, and so have restaurants and street kiosks selling juices and other products made with water.

    Government buildings have established hand and shoe disinfection stands at their entrances. Some public health officials have gone door to door asking if anyone is suffering from diarrhea, vomiting or fevers, and others distributed water purification tablets.

    Cuba’s government has said nothing publicly about cholera since Aug. 28, when it announced that an outbreak in the eastern city of Manzanillo — the first in a century — had ended after three deaths and 417 confirmed cases.

    Spread by bacteria that cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, the disease killed millions in the Middle Ages.

    Police in uniform and plainclothes stationed at hospitals are telling visitors to keep quiet about cholera and other diseases, Clavel told El Nuevo Herald — apparently to avoid upsetting the Caribbean island’s $2.5 billion-a-year tourism industry.

    “We have to question whether the Cuban government today prioritizes their need for tourism … more than local public health demands,” wrote Sherri Porcelain, a public health expert at the University of Miami and researcher at its Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

    Worst hit by the cholera has been eastern Cuba, where Sandy came ashore last month halfway between Manzanillo and Santiago, the island’s second-largest city and capital of a province with the same name.

    It damaged water, electricity and sewer systems, flooded latrines and left behind puddles where dengue-carrying mosquitoes easily bred.

    “There is tremendous worry in Santiago,” said Clavel, one of a dozen Cubans contacted for this story. Many were dissidents, unafraid to talk about the epidemics. Their versions coincided in many ways, but could not be individually confirmed.

    In the only independent report, a Nov. 2 announcement by the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, a branch of the U.N.’s World Health Organization, noted that “suspected cholera cases detected in several areas of the country continue to be investigated.”

    Havana dissident Dania Virgen García, who stays in contact with political prisoners throughout the island, said cholera is spreading prison to prison because of their notoriously bad hygiene. García added that she had received several reports that some prisoners died from cholera but were counted among Sandy’s 11 Cuban fatalities.

    Santiago dissident Pedro Montané said he spoke last week with several people who confirmed to him in private that their relatives were being treated for cholera at the 28th of September Clinic, but did not want to give their names.

    The government jailed the doctor who first reported a dengue epidemic in 2000 for more than a year, and is now holding Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, the independent journalist who first reported the cholera outbreak in Manzanillo.



    BBC NEWS: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez announces new cancer operation
    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he will return to Cuba on Sunday for more cancer surgery.

    The Venezuelan leader only returned on Friday from his last course of treatment there.

    In a TV address Mr Chavez said it was “absolutely essential” that he received further treatment, adding that more malignant cells had been found.

    The 58-year-old has had three cancer operations in Cuba since mid-2011, but few details have been released.

    Speaking from the Miraflores presidential palace, Mr Chavez said that if his health failed and a new election had to be held, his supporters should vote for Vice-President Nicolas Maduro.

    Correspondents say it is the first time the president has named a successor.

    “Unfortunately, during these exhaustive exams they found some malignant cells in the same area. It is absolutely necessary, absolutely essential, that I have to undergo a new surgical intervention,” he said.

    “With God’s will, like on the previous occasions, we will come out of this victorious.”

    During his latest visit to Cuba, Mr Chavez was said to be receiving “hyperbaric oxygenation” therapy, which can ease ailments caused by radiation treatment.

    President Chavez has spent many months receiving surgery and treatment in Cuba since his diagnosis in July 2011.

    In May, he declared himself free of cancer.

    However, he has never given much detail about the type of cancer he suffered from, and chose to be treated in Cuba rather than Venezuela, which has led the opposition to call for greater transparency.

    Mr Chavez’s recent visit to Cuba follows his re-election in October for a third term in office.

  3. “friendly” translator coming out of the closet:

    Diciembre 6th, 2012 at 15:30

    LOL, I am a woman, you dumbf*ck!

    Both as who she is, and as a rude and uncivilised lowlife…

    Which is how you get the job with the team “yoani”. An hones person cannot possibly be willing to peddle the lies and delusional propaganda written by cia aparatchiks as if she is the author, and about a country she has never seen in her life for her “democratic” “freedom-fighting” nazist gulag usa PROHIBITS>,/b> its citizens fromvisiting Cuba.

    And, by the way, the prohibition is in palce to prevent usanian slaves (ciizens) from seeing what is their nazist dictatorship causing to an independent nation, and that Cuba is quite different in reality to what they are being told.

    Hypocrites all over.

  4. Yoani’s post leaves me wanting more information. What – if anything – do the Cuban authorities do to when faced with incidents of spousal violence? Are there shelters where abused women can seek refuge? Or is the reality of domestic violence kept hidden from public view. I can’t ever recall the issue being addressed in any Cuban state media.


    N.Y. TIMES: Cuba’s Free-Market Farm Experiment Yields a Meager Crop – By DAMIEN CAVE

    HAVANA — Cuba’s liveliest experiment with capitalism unfolds every night in a dirt lot on the edge of the capital, where Truman-era trucks lugging fresh produce meet up with hundreds of buyers on creaking bicycle carts clutching wads of cash.

    “This place, it feeds all of Havana,” said Misael Toledo, 37, who owns three small food stores in the city. “Before, you could only buy or sell in the markets of Fidel.”

    The agriculture exchange, which sprang up last year after the Cuban government legalized a broader range of small businesses, is a vivid sign of both how much the country has changed, and of all the political and practical limitations that continue to hold it back.

    No other industry has seen as much liberalization, with a steady rollout of incentives for farmers. And Mr. Castro has been explicit about his reasoning: increasing efficiency and food production to replace imports that cost Cuba hundreds of millions of dollars a year is a matter “of national security.”

    Yet at this point, by most measures, the project has failed. Because of waste, poor management, policy constraints, transportation limits, theft and other problems, overall efficiency has dropped: many Cubans are actually seeing less food at private markets. That is the case despite an increase in the number of farmers and production gains for certain items. A recent study from the University of Havana showed that market prices jumped by nearly 20 percent in 2011 alone. And food imports increased to an estimated $1.7 billion last year, up from $1.4 billion in 2006.

    “It’s the first instance of Cuba’s leader not being able to get done what he said he would,” said Jorge I. Domínguez, vice provost for international affairs at Harvard, who left Cuba as a boy. “The published statistical results are really very discouraging.”

    A major cause: poor transportation, as trucks are in short supply, and the aging ones that exist often break down.

    In 2009, hundreds of tons of tomatoes, part of a bumper crop that year, rotted because of a lack of transportation by the government agency charged with bringing food to processing centers.

    “It’s worse when it rains,” said Javier González, 27, a farmer in Artemisa Province who described often seeing crops wilt and rot because they were not picked up.

    Behind him were the 33 fertile, rent-free acres he had been granted as part of a program Mr. Castro introduced in 2008 to encourage rural residents to work the land. After clearing it himself and planting a variety of crops, Mr. Gonzalez said, he was doing relatively well and earned more last year than his father, who is a doctor, did.

    But Cuba’s inefficiencies gnawed at him. Smart, strong, and ambitious, he had expansion plans in mind, even as in his hand he held a wrench. He was repairing a tractor part meant to be grading land. It was broken. Again.

    The 1980s Soviet model tractor he bought from another farmer was as about good as it gets in Cuba. The Cuban government maintains a monopoly on selling anything new, and there simply is not enough of anything — fertilizer, or sometimes even machetes — to go around.

    Government economists are aware of the problem. “If you give people land and no resources, it doesn’t matter what happens on the land,” said Joaquin Infante of the Havana-based Cuban National Association of Economists.

    But Mr. Castro has refused to allow what many farmers and experts see as an obvious solution to the shortages of transportation and equipment: Let people import supplies on their own. “It’s about control,” said Philip Peters, a Cuba analyst with the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based research group.

    Other analysts agree, noting that though the agricultural reforms have gone farther than other changes — like those that allow for self-employment — they remain constrained by politics.

    “The government is not ready to let go,” said Ted Henken, a Latin American studies professor at Baruch College. “They are sending the message that they want to let go, or are trying to let go, but what they have is still a mechanism of control.”



    1 British Pound Sterling equals $1.60 US Dollar


    ITV.COM: Nottinghamshire man detained in Cuba

    A father from Nottinghamshire is currently being held in Cuba following his detention by border control, after visiting his mother whose house had been destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

    Yoandry Depass moved to the UK 20 years ago and holds a British passport. However, due to Cuba not recognising dual nationality, Mr Depress requires a Cuban passport under Cuban law, and is unable to leave without one.

    Mr Depress has paid £320 for a passport but doesn’t know when he’ll get his hands on it.

    His partner, Leah Hall, is worried about his safety, and she’s anxious that he won’t be back in the UK in time for Christmas.

    Leah also says that their 15 month-old baby girl is starting to wonder where her Daddy is.

    Yoandry is currently being assisted by the British Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

  8. Reports are that Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad is sending out feelers for possible asylum — should the need arise. After all, the inconvenience of being captured alive isn’t really an option for him, neither is the prospect of an ugly war crimes trial in Le Hague. Who needs that on top of everything else! The wardrobe ramifications are enough to give one pause.

    It’s interesting to note the countries most frequently mentioned on Assad’s short list to evade those horrors: Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, and I’ve also seen hints of Iran. That short list seems like a series bad choices. But what’s a dictator to do once his time is up? Not sure what I’d do if I were him. Sure, Cuba has a great climate and they love the dictatorial class, but what happens when the money runs out? Same with Venezuela. And if Chavez really does have bone cancer, that gig is about up. Which leaves Ecuador and Iran. Maybe Assad should consider North Korea?

  9. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CUBA: Annual Report 2012 – The state of the world’s human rights

    The Cuban authorities continued to stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly, in spite of the much publicized releases of prominent dissidents. Hundreds of pro-democracy activists and dissidents suffered harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest.

    In April, the Cuban Communist Party held its first congress since 1997 and adopted a package of more than 300 economic reforms that were due to be introduced gradually. However, no resolutions were adopted granting Cubans greater enjoyment of civil and political rights or proposing legislative reforms to allow greater political freedom on the island. During the year, the Cuban government introduced minor economic reforms authorizing the sale of cars and houses, and permitting some income-generating activities outside its direct control.

    Alan Gross, a US citizen arrested in December 2009 for distributing telecommunications material in Cuba, was sentenced by a Cuban tribunal to 15 years in prison for crimes against the security of the state. US officials and personalities attempted to secure his release on humanitarian grounds but were unsuccessful.


    The authorities continued to severely restrict the freedom of expression, assembly, and association of political dissidents, journalists and human rights activists. They were subjected to arbitrary house arrest and other restrictions on their movements by the authorities and government supporters which prevented them from carrying out legitimate and peaceful activities. All media remained under the control of the Cuban government.



    BBC NEWS: Could a troublesome weed power Cuba? – By Sarah Rainsford

    Drive anywhere in the Cuban countryside and you will spot the marabu lining the road: a dense, woody weed that grows as tall as trees and has invaded vast swathes of agricultural land.

    The land-grab began in the 1990s when Cuba was in economic crisis following the collapse of its great benefactor, the Soviet Union. The mighty sugar industry slumped too, and cane fields were overrun by marabu.

    But to one British firm, the aggressive weed is less a problem than a valuable resource.

    Havana Energy has just signed a $50m (£31m) investment deal to build a renewable-energy power plant in central Cuba, supplying one of the country’s biggest sugar mills as well as the national grid.

    During the harvest it will be fuelled by sugar-cane residue, known as bagasse. The rest of the year it will be fed with marabu.

    “Marabu has a very high calorific level and low moisture so as biomass it’s very attractive,” explains the firm’s CEO, Andrew Macdonald.

    Benefits for all
    Harvesting marabu will also address a pressing issue on the island.

    “Seventy per cent of the food Cubans consume is imported, which is a national tragedy with their climate and soil,” says technical director Keith Dawson.

    “Every Cuban hates marabu so we’re doing a service: not just removing it but also returning the land to farming.”

    The deal is a joint-venture with Cuba’s state sugar monopoly and is part of a move by the Communist government to diversify its energy supply away from dependence on subsidised, imported oil from its socialist ally, Venezuela.

    “Cuba relies on diesel-powered power stations, which are even less green than coal, very expensive and give-off horrible emissions,” Mr Macdonald explains, saying his firm’s green energy will also be cheaper.

    Now the papers have finally been signed, the British team face their first major test.

    Early next year they will import a combination of forestry and construction equipment that they hope can harvest the marabu economically. No-one has managed that yet.

    “You can’t underestimate marabu. We’ve brought foresters to look at it and they’ve been confused, and agricultural kit is not strong enough,” says agricultural adviser Julian Bell.

    ‘Terrible state’

    The plant’s woody roots vary in size and are as dense as teak with fierce thorns.

    “Usually you just wouldn’t bother. But I don’t know anywhere else with 1.5 million hectares covered in such a good energy source,” he says.



    McCLATCHY PAPERS: Cuba blocks calls to phone system used by dissidents – Juan O. Tamayo

    MIAMI — The Cuban government is blocking calls to U.S. and Spanish telephone numbers once described as a 911 service for dissidents – a system they could use to swiftly report abuses to supporters abroad.

    Hablalo Sin Miedo (Say It Without Fear) allowed Cubans to record voice messages of up to three minutes that were later posted on the system’s blog and automatically emailed to those who signed up, mostly other activists and journalists.

    Launched last spring by a Cuba-born Florida International University graduate, the system borrowed a page from a Google and Twitter facility established after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shut down Internet access during the Tahrir Square riots.

    It was receiving hundreds of calls a month with reports that the official media in the Communist-ruled island would never publish, such as accounts of the arrests of the dissident Ladies in White and damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

    But starting Oct. 29, its lines were blocked by Cuba’s government-owned telecommunications monopoly, ETECSA. Its U.S. number was blocked first, and when the system was switched to a number in Spain, that was blocked also.

    ETECSA even blocked calls from Cuba to his personal phone, said the FIU graduate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wants to keep his activism separate from his job.

    “We are exploring alternatives to re-establishing the service. We will soon announce new ways in which it can be used again,” the graduate wrote Thursday in an email.

    “The fact that they have blocked Hablalo sin Miedo confirms its usefulness for Cuban activists and average Cubans who trusted us to tell the stories that the Cuban government wants to silence,” he wrote.

    Dissidents can still send fast messages via the Twitter facility, but the outlook for finding another way to send voice messages abroad is unclear because all phone calls in Cuba must go through ETECSA.

    The Hablalo facility was being used most heavily recently by members of the Cuban Patriotic Union, a dissident group in eastern Cuba.

    Also using the system have been members of the Cuban Network of Community Communicators, a group headed by dissident Martha Beatriz Roque that focuses on reports of neighborhood-level issues.

    Roque said Cubans trying to call Hablalo Sin Miedo get a message saying the number is “temporarily disconnected.” That message is often heard when Cuba’s State Security agents block dissidents’ cellphone calls.

    Google and Twitter established the Speak2Tweet system after Mubarak shut down Internet service during the Arab Spring revolt there last year. The system received hundreds of thousands of calls, which were then posted on the Web and retransmitted as tweets.

    Calls to Hablalo Sin Miedo were fewer because phone calls from Cuba to the U.S. cost about $1 per minute, a high fee in Cuba.

    But foreign supporters of dissidents could prepay money into the accounts of Cuban cellphones so they could be used to call the facility, and it was at least theoretically available in case of emergencies.


    NPR: In Farmers Market, A Free Market Rises In Cuba – by Nick Miroff

    Cuba has no shortage of fertile farmland, but the country spends $1.5 billion a year importing about 70 percent of its food.

    The communist government’s chronic struggle to get farmers to produce more is forcing authorities to grudgingly accept a greater role for market principles and the profit motive.

    Now authorities seem willing to go another step further, tolerating the rise of what might be described as Cuba’s “free-est” market.

    This market, on the edge of Havana, only exists at night, appearing after sundown every day in a muddy vacant lot. Scores of battered, sputtering Chevy farm trucks and ancient Ford tractors arrive loaded with onions, squash, papayas and cabbage. It must be the largest gathering of 50-year-old American farm equipment anywhere on the planet.

    The market doesn’t have any signs, or even bathrooms, adding to the impression that Cuban authorities haven’t quite accepted its permanence. Sales are done in cash under the faint glow of cellphone screens and lanterns. Even the police, who are ubiquitous elsewhere in Cuba, seem absent here.

    Wholesale produce markets like this one exist all over Latin America, of course, where farmers can drive to the city and freely sell their crops. But in Cuba, there hasn’t been anything like this in a half-century.


  13. Man CA,

    Just one of your many errors:

    “5. …he revolution had it’s achievents in literacy, infant moratlity, medical care that the UN recognises.

    The reports on the Cuban medical system that bear the UN stamp were written by the Cuban government. To date, there have been no independently performed studies of the Cuban medical system. That is because the Castro Regime does not allow doctors or medical workers to speak privately with researchers. All medical related information is considered “state secrets” which must be approved for release.

    In 1995, Dr. Oscar Biscet published a report telling the truth about the Cuban medical system, the much higher infant mortality rates, the forced abortions of all pregnancies declared high risk, the practice of leaving new born babies to die if they were discovered to have a birth defect. For this act of treason Dr. Biscet was arrested and sentenced to 3 years in prison. He was banned from the Cuban medical association and forbidden to practice medicine. HE was arrested again in 2003 and given a 25 year prison sentence. Under international pressure, the Cuban authorities reluctantly released Biscet in 2011. Biscet claims he was beaten, starved, tortured and burned while in prison.

  14. He’s also a “I’m a leftist so I have the moral high ground and everyone who doesn’t think like me is a far right-winger” cliche.

    Oh Mousy boy, you are the chief “American media regurgitator.”

    Dear, you’ve been told before, but I suppose since you’re a little thick I’ll tell you again: This is not the place to debate with Cubans. They don’t generally have access to this particular blog. You can thank your hero Castro for that.

    Don’t look now, dear, but your raison d’etre for being here is to get into pissing matches with the other posters here. I’m just giving you a taste of your own medicine. You can dish it, but you sure can’t take it.

    Let me explain what free and open debate is. It allows everyone, no matter their opinion, to express that opinion, just like you are able to post your garbage here. That system is a beautiful thing. That there are more people here with a certain opinion, that is not like yours, really gets your goat. Also a beautiful thing. CUBAN CITIZENS AREN’T SO LUCKY.

    Absolutely no one robs you of your opinion here, some just don’t agree with it.

    I’ll quickly refute what is, perhaps, your dumbest assertion:

    “2. you never speak in realistic terms of the USA and US economy in the rut – but you constantly attack the Cuban economy as if this is the main point in one’s life;”

    If you were actually to speak to a Cuban, you would quickly realize that the Cuban “economy” DOES rule their lives. Where their next measly meal is coming from, how they will pay their bills, whether they can obtain basic supplies that we all take for granted, etc., all loom VERY large in their lives, on a daily basis. All this because a power-thirsty dictator, who is a failure by the way, rules every aspect of their lives with an iron fist. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a blog about Cuba, and the state of the American economy is not relevant here, though you try your darndest to make it an issue. No one here is biting on that, and it pisses you off.

    Again, your brain does not seem to be able to make a distinction between an individual, and the dirty deeds of that individual’s government. With every ounce of your being, you would like to assign collective blame as if we are a monolithic unit. That’s the beautiful thing about having the freedom to express one’s own opinion. We are free to tow the official party line, or to be as renegade as we see fit. Collectivism and socialism are dangerous things when they are forced upon people. They can be beneficial, in some circumstances, when they are VOLUNTARILY engaged in.

    And speaking of a waste of time, as you did, the UN is the epitome of one. Don’t fall for those bogus statistics on infant mortality and “health care” in Cuba.

    When Castro seized power, almost 50 years ago, Cuba was one of the most advanced countries in Latin America. Its infant-mortality rate was the 13th-lowest in all the world, ahead of even France, Belgium, and West Germany. Statistics in Castro’s Cuba are hard to come by, because honest statistics in any totalitarian society are hard to come by. Some kind of accounting is possible, however: Cuba has slipped in infant mortality, as it has in every other area (except repression). But its infant-mortality rate remains respectable.

    Castro will see you now.
    Roman Genn

    You might suspect a story behind this respectability — and you are right. The regime is very keen on keeping infant mortality down, knowing that the world looks to this statistic as an indicator of the general health of a country. Cuban doctors are instructed to pay particular attention to prenatal and infant care. A woman’s pregnancy is closely monitored. (The regime manages to make the necessary equipment available.) And if there is any sign of abnormality, any reason for concern — the pregnancy is “interrupted.” That is the going euphemism for abortion. The abortion rate in Cuba is sky-high, perversely keeping the infant-mortality rate down.

    Many doctors, of course, recoil at this state of affairs. And there is much doctor dissidence on the island. Some physicians have opened their own clinics, caring for the poor and desperate according to medical standards, not according to ideology or governmental dictates. The authorities have warned that, in the words of one report, “new dissidences in the public-health sector will not be tolerated.” Anyone trying to work outside of approved channels is labeled a counterrevolutionary or enemy agent. ”

    The article cited above also states that leftists have a deep psychological need to believe that the Cuban health care system is a good one. You guys really need to give up the ghost on that one, the Cuban “health care” system has been exposed, thanks to Cubans posting pictures and descriptions of Cuban hospitals, as well as accounts of the bribery that must take place in order to get decent service in a hospital.

    Mousy also said:

    “4. you don’t propose debate, reconcilliation, charity and equality by any means – probably cos that would be too much work and a cerebral effort you are not used to – but none the less you propose capitalism as solution to everything;”

    My middle name is “cerebral” baby, and I will debate you any time, any day. But, like you said, it’s a total waste of time. You are only on this blog to rage against capitalism, and the United States in particular. I certainly don’t propose capitalism as a solution to everything, you are making that up. Americans, including myself, are some of the most charitable people on the face of the earth, giving freely of both their time and their money. I know, you don’t like that, it doesn’t jive with your “the US is the evil empire” schtick. Too bad.

    I believe in equality for all people, but I haven’t found a societal or political system yet where that is a reality.

    Have a beautiful day in grand delusion land!

  15. and then _man comes around_ writes this winner about us bad ole anti-Castrists:

    “you don’t propose debate, reconcilliation, charity and equality by any means”

    which describes the Castro clique and their groupies to a T.

    It’s Yoani, the Ladies in White, and most of us who constantly propose debate, reconciliation, charity and equality while getting whacked on the head by Castro.

    So this is what I propose:

    _man comes around_ is a Hollywood cliche.

  16. _man comes around_ writes:

    “you regurgitate a lot of the American media take on Cuba…”

    and then he regurgitates the American media take on Cuba, like this winner:

    “the revolution had it’s achievents in literacy, infant moratlity, medical care that the UN recognises”

    one of the American media’s oldest cliches on Cuba, probably something he lifted from the NY Times or Miami Herald.

    Even FOX News uses that cliche, so maybe the _man_ secretly watches it.

  17. Anonimo, I know when I am wasting my time… and you are a waste of time… not even a beautiful one..

    I came here to meet with Cubans not with American plastic cups who cannot even recycle their conscience into something new – more in tone with the times we live in. As seen on a daily basis here Castro is the one you hate and blame him for everything while the other half of your conscience is as proven and at best, a blank anonimous dark hole ready to stop anyone that doesn’t subscribe to the offical rethoric!… You have no respect for what ‘anonimous’ is or is used for on the Internet but that is the least.. you say nothing about yourselves yet you scanvange what others may say and use personal attacks on that.

    Stick to what you do best then whatever that may be, and if you characted doesn’t feel taken down thank you clique or pack or wolves that scavange over here hoping others are sheep and would relent and say this is OK or leave. I am neither!

    To recap what we know about you plastic cup conscience and American wolf pack:

    1. you regurgitate a lot of the American media take on Cuba…even other Western media seldom makes the cut;

    2. you never speak in realistic terms of the USA and US economy in the rut – but you constantly attack the Cuban economy as if this is the main point in one’s life;

    3. you want change in Cuba but the change you feel is right and needed as if you are entitled to change things there. In this light you never discuss not repudiate the Cuban Act a piece of US legistaltion that actually enslaves in debt Cubans and future generations of Cubans;

    4. you don’t propose debate, reconcilliation, charity and equality by any means – probably cos that would be too much work and a cerebral effort you are not used to – but none the less you propose capitalism as solution to everything;

    5. you think Castro is a criminal and Che (though dead) even a bigger one – though no objective history puts them in that context and the revolution had it’s achievents in literacy, infant moratlity, medical care that the UN recognises;

    6. you stopped a number of times other people from puting other context in place, here, by flooding them as a wolf pack with ‘your vast plastic cup half conscience’ about Cuba. Indeed you constantly are paranoid about people adding any other background to this blog comments than the background of American Cubans that parade their 50’s Cold War righteousness. You are even prepared to lie for it to pretend history didn’t happen the way it has been recorded.

    and one last bit which sums any pack plastic cup conscience best:
    7. you are not prepared to put your money where apparently your mouth is, which proves your mouth is not where actually your money is!

    I would tell you to mind your own business from now on and not keep tabs on people who don’t display the same avid inclination to become part of a clique that robs others of their opinion by means we saw you escalate yesterday, in the name of your group think – but as seen even that would be a waste of time!…

    So good luck with being a user that is dumping down the beautiful anonimous prerogative (some people really need on the Internet) and you are doing it in the vein of an American half-wit femme done and taken down!


    Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate now proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 609, which was submitted earlier today.
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
    The legislative clerk read as follows:
    A resolution (S. Res. 609) calling for the immediate and unconditional release of United States citizen Alan Phillip Gross from detention in Cuba and urging the Government of Cuba to address his medical issues.
    There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.
    Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, 2 days ago–December 3, 2012–marked the third anniversary of Alan Gross’ arrest by the Cuban Government. Over the past 3 years, Alan’s case has been of deep personal concern to me and many in my State. Alan, an American citizen and Marylander, was in Cuba to help the small Jewish community there establish improved access to the Internet, which would allow the community to go online without fear of censorship or monitoring. After being held for 14 months without charge and then a cursory 2-day trial, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. In August 2012, a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was filed on his behalf.
    Last week, officials with the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Affairs claimed that Alan Gross is in good health. But the Cuban Government has not allowed Mr. Gross to receive an independent medical evaluation. To date, Alan has lost 105 pounds, suffers from degenerative arthritis, and has a mass behind his shoulder. Alan also suffers from severe mental anguish because of the separation from his family.
    To say that the Gross family has been on a rollercoaster would be an understatement. His mother and daughter are both battling cancer. His wife Judy is struggling to make ends meet. Judy Gross has fought for Alan’s release every day for the last 3 years. Judy has called, e-mailed, and met with everyone imaginable. She has been on news programs and written letters. Judy has never given up hope; she has remained strong for her family and for Alan. As many of our colleagues will attest, she will stop at nothing to see Alan return home. Due in no small part to Judy’s perseverance, the U.S. Senate has been actively involved in this matter.
    Over the past 3 years, U.S. officials have traveled to Cuba, we have written to numerous Cuban dignitaries, and we have employed other creative means to encourage Mr. Gross’ release. In September, my colleague Senator Moran and I, along with a bipartisan group of 44 Senators, sent a letter to Raul Castro urging the Cuban Government in the strongest possible terms to release Alan Gross immediately and unconditionally. But these attempts have been futile. Alan Gross remains in prison, caught in the middle of a conflict between two nations with a complex, often frustrating relationship.
    Tonight, the Senate is adopting a resolution unanimously, a resolution Senator Moran and I have submitted with a long list of bipartisan sponsors. The resolution calls for Mr. Gross’ immediate and unconditional release and urges the Cuban Government to address his medical issues, including allowing an independent medical examination to be completed. Alan’s personal freedoms are being violated every day that he continues to be incarcerated, and we can no longer tolerate his being denied an independent medical evaluation. Alan Gross should no longer be forced to suffer the consequences of political gamesmanship. Enough is enough.
    Today the Senate has spoken once again. Alan Gross is a husband, a father, a son, and an American. We call on the Cuban Government to release Alan Gross immediately.
    Mr. President, I know of no further debate on this measure.
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate?
    If not, the question is on agreeing to the resolution.
    The resolution (S. Res. 609) was agreed to.
    Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, and any statements relating to the matter be printed in the Record.
    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
    The preamble was agreed to.
    The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:
    S. Res. 609
    Whereas, Alan Phillip Gross, a citizen of the United States, was born in New York on May 2, 1949, and is a resident of the State of Maryland;
    Whereas Mr. Gross has devoted his professional life to helping others through his work in international development and has served in more than 50 countries and territories worldwide;
    Whereas, in 2001, Mr. Gross founded JBDC, LLC to support Internet connectivity in locations with little or no access;
    Whereas, on February 10, 2009, JBDC, LLC received a subcontract with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID);
    Whereas, working as a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, Mr. Gross sought to establish wireless networks and improve Internet and Intranet access and connectivity for a small, peaceful, non-dissident, Cuban Jewish community;
    Whereas Mr. Gross made 5 trips to Cuba in furtherance of the United States Agency for International Development project he was subcontracted to support;
    Whereas the last time Mr. Gross was in the United States was on November 24, 2009;
    Whereas Mr. Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, in Havana, Cuba;
    Whereas Mr. Gross was detained without charge for 14 months;
    Whereas Mr. Gross was charged in February 2011 with “actions against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state”;
    Whereas Mr. Gross’s trial lasted only 2 days, after which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison;
    Whereas Mr. Gross and his wife Judy have 2 daughters, one of which was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010;
    Whereas Mr. Gross’s 90-year old mother was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in February 2011;
    Whereas, in 2011, Mr. Gross’s wife Judy underwent surgery, causing her to miss considerable time from work and putting further financial strain on their family;
    Whereas Mr. Gross is 63 years old and has lost more than 105 pounds since being detained in Cuba;
    Whereas Mr. Gross has developed degenerative arthritis in his leg and a mass behind his shoulder;
    Whereas the Government of Cuba has denied requests by Mr. Gross for an independent medical examination;
    Whereas Mr. Gross’s legal representative filed an appeal to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations in August 2012; and
    Whereas, since Mr. Gross was detained by the Government of Cuba on December 3, 2009, his health has severely deteriorated and his family members have suffered health and financial problems: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the Senate–
    (1) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of United States citizen Alan Phillip Gross; and
    (2) urges the Government of Cuba in the meantime to provide all appropriate diagnostic and medical treatment to address the full range of medical issues facing Mr. Gross and to allow him to choose a doctor to provide him with an independent medical assessment.

  19. YOANI SANCHEZ FOTO/PHOTO! Carton y pegamento: sello #FreeInternet – Cardboard and glue: seals #FreeInternet



    REUTERS: Venezuela’s Chavez to skip summit due to health – By Esteban Israel and Andrew Cawthorne

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will not attend a regional trade summit in Brazil on Friday, sources said, an absence sure to heighten speculation over the leftist leader’s health.

    Before he went to Cuba last week for more cancer-related treatment, Chavez had spoken enthusiastically about attending the Mercosur bloc’s meeting in Brasilia to celebrate Venezuela’s entry.

    He has not been seen in public since November 15.

    “Chavez is not coming. They’ve even cancelled the hotel reservation,” a Brazilian foreign ministry source said on Thursday. Another Brazilian official said Chavez’s logistics and security advance staff were leaving Brasilia.

    In Caracas, a source at the Miraflores presidential palace also said the 58-year-old Chavez was not going to travel.

    The recently re-elected president went to Cuba nine days ago for “hyperbaric oxygenation” treatment – normally used to treat bone decay caused by radiation therapy.

    Chavez has had three cancer surgeries in Cuba since mid-2011. So even though officials were portraying the latest treatment as normal follow-up after radiation, rumours are rampant that it could be more serious.

    “If Chavez does not show up at the first meeting where Venezuela is a full member of Mercosur, it will create a lot of distrust over his health,” said Marcelo Coutinho, professor of international relations at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University.

    Officials have given no detailed information on Chavez’s condition.


  21. I’ve been taken down by the likes of you? LOL. You’re a legend in your own mind.

    Like I’ve said before, until you post your actual name and picture here, you are just as “anonymous” as I am.

    A derogatory speech when I am challenged you say? You are the poster boy for that type of behavior. Let’s see, you hate Jews, gypsies, Americans, and smart women. Have I left any object of your bigotry out?

    Aren’t you the one who can’t even figure out how to scrape enough money together to have a child, which you claim you would like to? And the one who complains about democracy, while living in, and enjoying the benefits of one?

    You’re such a hypocrite you don’t know which end is up.

    Muist de soareci

  22. Cos, like, drum roll, funny voice, silly accent, cos like more stage directions to make your innane incoherent diatribes just don’t cut it baby, cos like I said you must be constantly pissed in an English pub and unable to put an articulate sentence together cos like whatever!

  23. Yeah mammy baby got you there…thought you would fall for being called man!! ..etc… .. Proved you’re one…half-wit femme. I couldnt even call you racist or an anti-semite…that would be too good cos you are more and soo unrealistic… So better call you anonimous the half-wit femme…. that makes it about what you should stay and what you are… Like the garbage that lives in the subconscious you should surface just anonimously…as you have did and done!

    Ah yeah andyou get my permission to quote me on what I’d said about MsY .when you see her!!. Hope you took it down cos at your age I see it is actually hard to rembmer and you have no inclination for the truth…. ..Seems MsY took notice too in her last entry …. And tried to convince us her nails are so short that no dirt can be under them…

    So in the end the only ignorance I see myself guilty of is to think for a moment that dialogue with your clique was possible … we re-enacted practically what Castro said all the time…you see the world through your own half-wit greatness and half-baked generosity which could be worse that any communist every achieved in brain washing his nation… Ms Y proves how much Castro created successful individuals that can think even though Castro doesnt like them …

    Now cry your half wit to sleep you’ve been had and taken down by a BEGGAR in your own words…. Luckily you have your anonimous cover to spend tomorrow as someone you are not! Perfectly likable if you are a hypocrite pretending you care about Cuba and freedom….when the most creative thing you can do time and again is a derogatory speech when you are challenged!

    And yeah this ‘beggar’ is a chooser and has chosen to walk all over your clique becaue you’ve stopped too many other voices from being heard here as if you have a monopoly or more likely are someones dogs, so go lick his ballls cos you have been exposed for what you are…. fake as a plastic cup and as anonimous but vicious when it comes to recycle your half-wit conscience… Cos the other half is a huge lack of it!

  24. Seriously, what would one expect from someone spawned by two people who were too dumb to clear the title to a house, that they thought was theirs, before they moved in? Dumb and dumber. Everyone wants something for nothing. Beggars.

  25. Anonimo.. You cannot stop mammy you just got going…continue !!.. If you don’t know a woman is defined in part by her hands you probably are married to a witch.. Good luck


    THE GUARDIAN: Cuba cracks down on ‘vulgar’ reggaeton music – Country to outlaw musical styles that ‘threaten’ its traditional musical culture and project women as ‘grotesque sexual objects’ – Giles Tremlett

    A crackdown on reggaeton and other unnamed musical styles that are threatening the revolutionary country’s traditional musical culture will punish artists and fine those who programme it, according to Cuban Music Institute boss Orlando Vistel Columbié.

    “We are not just talking about reggaeton. There is vulgarity, banality and mediocrity in other forms of music too,” Vistel told the official Granma newspaper. “But it is also true that reggaeton is the most notorious.

    “On the one hand there are aggressive, sexually obscene lyrics that deform the innate sensuality of the Cuban woman, projecting them as grotesque sexual objects. And all that is backed by the poorest quality music.”

    On an island where music and dance are an essential part of everyday culture – and where the country’s youth increasingly sets aside the more traditional son or salsa to listen to reggaeton, the move looked likely to provoke anger.

    Musicians who play reggaeton are threatened with being struck off official lists, making it harder for them to work, and recordings are already being purged from official catalogues. Radio and television stations are also under pressure to drop reggaeton – though Cubans can still turn their dials to radio stations in nearby Miami or elsewhere.

    “Measures that have been adopted range from professional disqualification of those who violate ethics in their work to the levying of severe sanctions against those who from official institutions encourage or permit these practices,” said Vistel. “We are in the process of purging music catalogues with the aim of eradicating practises that, in their content, stray from the legitimacy of Cuban popular culture.”

    A new law should soon spell out what kind of music can be played in public places on the island, he added.


  27. MIAMI HERALD: Cuba’s partners in human exploitation – BY MARIA C. WERLAU

    Just weeks after the disaster, Cuba was promoting a gigantic endeavor to build a new healthcare infrastructure for Haiti at an annual cost of $170 million, to be paid for by international donors. Cubans and Cuban-trained medical staff would run it at “half the international prices.”

    Countless millions are now pouring into Cuba from the Pan American and World Health Organizations, dozens of NGOs, foundations, companies, and individuals from the United States, Canada, Spain, Belgium and others. Many governments have also donated — Venezuela $20 million to start, Brazil $80 million, Norway $2.5 million. The list of donations is undisclosed, but France, Australia, Japan, and other countries have apparently chipped in. The cost to Haiti is just a $300 monthly stipend to each Cuban health worker plus transportation and housing.

    Haiti is just one very profitable subsidiary in Cuba’s global multi-billion dollar ¨humanitarian¨ enterprise. Most of its profits come off the backs of Cubans indentured as “collaborators.” Angola, for example, reportedly pays Cuba $60,000 annually per doctor; the doctor receives $2,940 (4.9 percent), at most. These service exports bring more than three times the earnings from tourism and far more than any other industry — $7.5 billion in 2010, the last year reported. Business is so good that in 2010 the Cuban government reduced an already decimated local health staff by 14 percent to send more abroad.

    This unique brand of health diplomacy is only possible in a totalitarian state guaranteeing a steady pool of “exportable commodities.” Leaving Cuba without government authorization is punishable with years of prison; health professionals face the strictest travel restrictions. If they defect while abroad, their family, which must stay behind, cannot joint them for five years; issuing them academic or other records is forbidden.

    The average monthly pay of a doctor in Cuba is around $25, barely guaranteeing survival. Abroad, they live off a bare-bones stipend from the host government. But, they receive from Cuba their usual peso salary and a bonus of $180-220 per month, plus are allowed to send home shipments of consumer goods. This paltry compensation package is enough for Cuban doctors to “volunteer” to be exploited abroad rather than at home.


  28. What’s this “mammy” crap? You sound like the ignorant, bigoted redneck that you are.


  30. You should know, dumb dumb, because you are so adept at judging a woman’s breeding by the state of her hands, which you were stupid enough to say on this comment section, LOL.

  31. Oh wow.. what about the woman in all of us… when that gets a beating what are we supposed to do??


    Or… some Anonimous brain from the clique5 here was calling me a woman and did his research on who apparently I could be..and more… he committed lots of violent words ie. threats towards a woman that he didn’t know or met or actually a woman who knew you were even talking about her here and posting her details!… nice one clique5.. .I suppose some women are more women than the others and the woman in question was not woman enough in your blue elephant skin book!!

  32. Anonimo and Help yeah mammy that’s all I know, you got it right (wing) the first time… I’ve left all the moral high ground for you… and it stinks like the swamp you swim in, that even in Cuba across the straight they can smell you…

    The Bay of Pigs as name was such poetic name for your moral mores… (with Jewish accent) I suppose your Jewish dentist also didn’t tell you that too much bad breath got to do with taking high morals BS all day. So you may need a stronger mouth wash to go with your morals that you do NOT upheld but for the few in your little clique… the rest should vanish or put up with it I suppose!!

    drum roll…

    But and apparently Alan was more tuned into the Internet revolution than I ever am so maybe you should ask him how to write iPhone.. Probably the Jewish guys needed satellite phones to rent them to the ‘other’ Cubans… that’s what they did in my former country after the revolution… rent technology to ‘locals’ tech they got as ‘help’ from the other mutherland – computers mobiles audio equipment…

    drum roll please… laughter is the only way to take American branded politically correct bs down… luckly this blog is set-up in Spain.. cos I would have been told this is an American blog and should keep away by the lovely 1 and 1/2 guys!

  33. Anonimo, all he knows about is his high speed internet and Iphone. He probably thinks Iceland is in Israel and all Cuban women are Jewish.

    That must be why they’re always beaten up by their brave husbands.

  34. Some of you leftists are ignorant beyond belief, falling prey to ignorant stereotypes about people. I really pity you, and those like you. Full of fear and hatred.

  35. Anonimo… yeah right kosher boy… that coming from a hyena with no teeth that would sell his mom for milk money profit!

  36. Mouse, your dumb parents raised quite the rabid anti-semite. It all seems to boil down to money for you too.

  37. @10 … yeah dear parrot that’s exactly what they are showing … now try to ‘examine’ some of the innocent guys at Guantanamo for health reasons… oh yeah we know how far that would get you… then again Alan should get different treatment since he comes from your great nation and apparently he is Jewish too… which of course as we all know are the chosen people!… so that demands some extra TLC!…

    I love it that he sued your gov.. so Jewish!… all boils down to money!


    AUDIO PROGRAM: Radio y Televisión Martí presentan “Avanza Cuba: las redes sociales y su futuro en Cuba”, un análisis en los cambios, logros y retos que enfrentan las redes sociales en la isla; así como el uso de estas tecnologías por miembros de la sociedad civil independiente para informar dentro y fuera de Cuba a pesar de los esfuerzos del gobierno de silenciar sus voces. Con la conducción de Karen Caballero y la participación en el estudio del bloguero Luis Felipe Rojas, recién llegado de Cuba y otros participantes como el profesor Ted Henken de la Universidad de Nueva York y desde Cuba los blogueros, Yoani Sánchez, Miriam Celaya, Reinaldo Escobar, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Rebeca Monzó, el periodista e ingeniero Dagoberto Valdés, y el director de Estado de SATS, Antonio G. Rodiles. Durante el programa Ildolidia Darias monitorea y reporta sobre las conversaciones en Twitter acerca del programa.


    BBC: Alan Gross case: Cuba accuses US of lying about health

    Cuba has accused Washington of lying about the health of a US man serving a 15-year jail term in Havana for smuggling illegal internet equipment.

    The US State Department this week marked the the third anniversary of Alan Gross’s sentencing by calling his imprisonment unjustified.

    It said Mr Gross had lost more than 40kg (100 lb) and called for him to be seen by a doctor of his own choosing.

    The Cuban foreign ministry denied Mr Gross’s health was deteriorating.

    Spokeswoman Josefina Vidal said a biopsy showed he did not have cancer, adding that there was no need for an independent doctor’s report, says the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Havana.

    “He receives systematic attention from an excellent world class medical team; the best specialists of our country have been put at his disposal, when required,” said Ms Vidal.

    Straining relations
    Mr Gross was detained in December 2009 while he was delivering computers and communications equipment to the Jewish community in Cuba.

    The 62-year-old had been working for a company, Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), under contract with the US Agency for International Development.

    He was sentenced in March 2011 for “crimes against the state”.

    He is currently suing DAI and the US government for $60m (£38m), saying he was not adequately trained or told about the risks he was incurring when he went to Cuba to do development work.

    Repeated requests by US government officials to free Mr Gross, such as that by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, have been rebuffed by the Cuban government.

    The case is seen as a major obstacle to attempts to improve US-Cuban relations.

    In September, Cuba said it was prepared to negotiate with Washington to find a solution to his detention.

    But Ms Vidal said the US government kept refusing to sit down with Cuban officials to resolve the issue.

    “The US government has been lying about the causes that led to the detention of Mr Gross with the sole purpose of avoiding its direct responsibility for the situation that Mr Goss and his family are going through,” she added.

    “There is sufficient evidence… that prove he was a contract worker for USAID… working to implement a programme with subversive aims, to create instability in Cuba… in a clandestine fashion.

    “The Cuban government invites the US government to talk seriously about the issue to achieve a humanitarian solution acceptable to both countries.”


    WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: U.S. shouldn’t hand Cuba an Alan Gross-for-spies deal

    The Castro government says it wants to repair relations with the United States, win the lifting of what remains of the U.S. trade embargo and attract investment from American companies. So why keep Mr. Gross in prison? The answer, unfortunately, is relatively simple. Cuba wants to swap its prisoner for five Cuban spies who were arrested in Florida in 1998. The network infiltrated a U.S. Navy base and anti-Castro groups and provided information that facilitated Cuba’s 1996 shoot-down in international airspace of two planes carrying members of one of the groups. Four U.S. citizens died. The head of the network was sentenced to life in prison after a 2001 trial, while others were given lesser terms. One is now out on probation.

    There is no equivalence between Mr. Gross and the five prisoners, as Havana itself acknowledges. It agrees the Florida prisoners were its spies, but it has never charged Mr. Gross with espionage. But Mr. Castro sees Mr. Gross as the leverage to spring his agents, whom the state propaganda apparatus portrays as heroes. More significantly, by arranging an exchange, the regime believes it can reshape U.S.-Cuban relations on its own terms, without having to make concessions on human rights.

    The Gross family has appealed to Mr. Obama to send a high-level envoy to Cuba and to do what is necessary to obtain his release. That’s understandable, but the administration ought to stick to its refusal to countenance such a bargain. On the contrary, Mr. Obama should consider new steps to punish the Castro regime for the continued imprisonment of Mr. Gross, and the administration should do more to raise his case in international forums.

    Better relations between Cuba and the United States must be conditioned on real steps toward democratization by Havana. But until Mr. Gross is released, they ought to get worse.


  41. YOUTUBE: DAMAS DE BLANCO CUBA – Policías cubanos apalean y encierran a más de 30 Damas de Blanco. LADIES IN WHITE CUBA – Cuban police they beat and arrest over 30 Ladies in White.

  42. YOUTUBE : Ladies In White (English/español) by Human Rights Foundation (HRF) – The Ladies in White, or “Las Damas de Blanco,” is a civil society group inside Cuba that organizes peaceful Sunday marches for freedom and human rights. The world-renowned group is formed by the wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and supporters of political prisoners who were arrested during the “Black Spring” government crackdown on Cuban dissidents. During the four-day period that occurred in March 2003, 75 independent journalists, librarians, and democracy and human rights advocates were arrested and ultimately convicted with sentences ranging from 6 to 28 years.

  43. YOUTUBE: Agents prevent Cuba’s Ladies in White from leaving headquarter – Agents of the State Security prevented the Ladies in White members to walk into the streets. By Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez / Hablemos press. Havana, September 26, 2012 – Agents of the Department of State Security kept blocked the entrance to the home and headquarters of the Ladies in White and prevented them to walk streets to celebrate the day of Our Lady of Mercy, patron saint of prisoners, September 24 at 5:00 pm. The images captured by the camera of one of the Ladies in White member were donated to Hablemos Press to accompany this article, shows the violence used by the agents. According to Berta Soler, spokeswoman Ladies in White Movement, they had planned to “walk from the venue to the La Merced church to attend Mass and pray there for political prisoners as we do every year.” This video shows officers punching and scratching Soler at the entrance of the house which is their headquarters on several occasions where they attacked the late Laura Pollan the leader of the group who died shortly after a violent action like this one.


    EL UNIVERSAL ENGLISH: Al Assad weighs asylum in Cuba, Ecuador or Venezuela – Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has expressed outspoken support to his Syrian counterpart, the newspaper remembered

    Syrian President Bashar al Assad is pondering on asylum for him, his relatives and close friends and followers in Cuba, Ecuador or Venezuela, in the event of ultimately leaving Damascus, Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

    Last week, Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal al Miqdad held meetings in all of the three Latin American countries and brought classified letters from Al Assad to each of the presidents.

    The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed daily newspaper El Universal that Al Miqdad handed over a letter for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, received by him before heading for Cuba last Wednesday for his cancer treatment.

    A Venezuelan government spokesman told Haaretz that Al Assad’s notice referred to the “personal relationship between the two presidents” and that the visit of the Vice-Minister showed the close bilateral ties.

    Syrian Ambassador to Venezuela Ghassan Abbas also confirmed the Israel newspaper that
    Al Miqdad contacted Venezuelan officials in Caracas. However, he claimed to have no knowledge of the content of the letter signed by Al Assad.

    Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has expressed his outspoken support to his Syrian counterpart. In addition, Venezuela has sent oil and fuel to Syria quite a few times, the newspaper remembered.

    According to Haaretz, which does not quote any sources, the Foreign Vice-Minister held similar meetings last week in Havana and Quito.

  45. re: # 3 by Damir.

    No, that’s not what anybody here is saying. Not Yoani nor the comments below. Guess again.
    Hint: try reading the words and thinking about what they mean. Try to block out the voices in your head.

    Here’s an example of violence against women all too common in Cuba:

    Cuba Teen is Brutally Attacked for Defending Human Rights Group

  46. More of hypocrisy by the team “yoani”, who in their “femeninity” are forgetting that they are doing exactly the same against the men on this very page.

    Is it okay to equalise all men based on a highly subjective self-inflicted image of a few taxi drivers? Is it okay to equalise all men just because the team “yoani” hate Castro brothers? Is it okay to equalise all men and condemn them for violence against women just because they have seen a pimp on the street following some girl, allegedly one of his girls?

    And what about the women and their violence against the men?

    Or, are we to believe that women (Cuban women?) are all angels? If so, who are the prostitutes on the steets of Cuba then?

    More of pointless and senseless comments with no substance and a hollow intent to blame the government for everything.

    Next you’ll tell me that christian fanatics and criminals killing women in Guatemanla are Cuban agents spreading communism.

    Or, how about devoted religious Spaniards, killing their women every year like it is some kind of sport there? How about those crazy muslim fanatics marrying 5-6 years old children, raping them and then beating them to death for “refusing to fulfill” their marital duties to their “husbands”?

    Yeah, bloody Castros have really stuffed the world.

    EVERYTHING is their fault.

    Naturally, women NEVER do anything wrong.

    Well, this site is attributed to a woman who wants to destroy her own country. She also calls Cuban youth to raise to an armed revolution against the government. She accuses ALL men of being evil just because some deprived taxi driver looked under her skirt in his retrovisor (although that is physically impossible because the front seats act as a barrier to a visual contact).

    She lies, she calls children to rebel and kill, she is a traitor and a terrorist in waiting, and yet, it is all



    Hypocrites. Get a job. Get a life.

  47. ***
    Mexican Julieta Venegas is a talented singer. Interesting videos. But I don’t see what she does for abused women on her Wikipedia information. Any person–or government–that abuses people is worthless. Any man who abuses a woman is worthless–very little man.
    As far as women pleasing rich men–a bitter Freud said that there are only 2 eternal values in people. Beauty in women, and riches in men! The video seems to say that it’s “lets make a deal” time!
    Mexicana Julieta Venegas es una cantante con mucho talento. Videos interesantes. Pero no veo que hace por mujeres abusadas en la informacion en su sitio Wikipedia. Cualquier persona–o gobierno–que abusa la gente no vale nada. Cualquier hombre quien abusa una mujer no tiene valor–muy poco hombre.
    Y cuando habla de mujeres agradando hombres ricos–un Freud amargo dijo que hay no mas que 2 valores eternales en la gente. Belleza en mujeres, y riquesa en hombres! El video parece decir que es tiempo “de hacer un arreglo”!
    John Bibb


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