sif2013Someone sitting at the table behind spoke in French, while in chairs at the side two Brazilians exchanged ideas. Two steps further on some activists from Belarus were talking with some Spaniards who had also come to the Stockholm Internet Forum. An event that began on May 21 in the Swedish capital bringing together people interested in digital tools, social networks and cyberspace. A real Tower of Babel where we communicate in the lengua franca of technology. The global and virtual village is now contained in an old factory on the edge of the sea. And in the midst of this back and forth of analysis and anecdotes, are six Cubans, also willing to contribute their labor as cyber activists.

This is without a doubt the most enjoyable stage of my long journey and not because other places haven’t been filled with beautiful impressions and lots of hugs, but because here I have met up with several colleagues from the Island. Some of the people who, in our country have grabbed hold of new technologies to narrate and to try to change our reality, today are gathered here. The young attorney Laritza Diversent, the director of Estado de SATS, Antonio Rodiles, the keen blogger Miriam Celaya, the information engineer Eliecer Avila, and joining us for one day as well, the independent reporter Roberto Guerra. Here in Stockholm it has felt rather like Cuba, though certainly not because of the weather.

The Internet Forum has allowed us to feel like citizens of the world, to share experiences with those who live in different situations but, in essence, surprisingly similar ones. It’s enough to chat with another attendee for a little while, or to listen to a talk, to realize that in every word spoken here is the eternal human quest for knowledge, information… freedom. Expressed on this occasion through circuits, screens and kilobytes. This meeting has left us with the sensation that we are universal and that technologies have made us into people capable of transcending our geography and our time.

like_webb23 May 2013

Note: This post was posted late because Generation Y was down due to attacks on the site.


38 thoughts on “Universal


    CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Internet access to expand in Cuba – at a price – Cuba said that as of today, users can get on the Internet – including e-mail and international websites – at 118 providers across the island. But the per-hour cost may be too high a hurdle for many. – by Ezra Fieser
    Frustrated with your Internet access? Try logging on in Cuba.
    Since it started offering limited access in 1996, the communist country has tightly restricted access to everything but the bare Web essentials. Unless you were looking for government news or something directly related to your job, you were out of luck. But now news comes that the government is inching toward wider access. In the Official Gazette, the government said it would provide access to the Internet – including e-mail and international websites – at 118 providers across the Caribbean island starting today. Will a handful of Internet cafes in each major city across the island of 11 million make much of a difference in a country where connecting to the Internet is notoriously slow and difficult?

    It won’t be cheap. Providers will ask users to fork over the equivalent of $4.50 per hour for access.

    While those prices might compete with the service offered at 30,000 feet by US airlines, for most Cubans the fees make logging on out of reach.

    Independent Cuban journalist Iván García Quintero makes this point in a column published by Infobae. Mr. García quotes a woman named Sandra who earns 375 pesos (roughly US$14) a month.

    “I don’t see how I could surf the Internet or open an account on Facebook with a salary of 375 pesos. One hour on the Internet would cost me 112 pesos, nearly a third of my salary,” she says. “I guess that some people could. But the majority is not going to stop eating just to connect to the Internet.”

    It’s not just the cost. Once you log on, the connection promises to be slow, too. Think dial-up.

    A couple years back, The Economist said Cuba’s Internet speed was second-slowest behind the island of Mayotte, a French territory of around 200,000 people that sits northwest of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

    And it’s not clear how heavily the Cuban government will restrict access to sites. The US-headquartered NGO Freedom House, which ranks countries based on levels of political freedom and civil liberties, gives Cuba one of the lowest rankings for Latin American countries in its Internet freedom category.

    “Cuba remains one of the world’s most repressive environments for the Internet and other information and communication technologies,” the organization wrote in its 2012 report entitled “Freedom on the Net.”



  2. Help #36,

    Obviously accessing the internet is not a crime in UK.
    In fact you might like to recall that the internet is a British invention!!!!!

    Gross knew what he was doing, knew the risks and knew how much $ he was going to get on payday.

    The fact of the matter is that he was breaking the law.
    Cuba has laws regarding what you can and cannot take undeclared into the country.

    Now Help, you might not agree with these laws but I’m afraid that is irrelevant.

    To show you what I mean I’ll give an example:

    I disagree with all this 2nd amendment business regarding the law giving the right to bear arms (it causes untold slaughter), however if I jumped on a jet-plane to the USA and went round trying to confiscate firearms then I would pretty soon be arrested and thrown in jail.

    It would obviously be pretty stupid of me to go about doing this. Now if someone was paying me handsomely to carry out such a stupid mission then I guess I would then have to weigh up the amount I was being paid against the risks of being caught.

    This is what Gross did. But he weighed it up wrong.

    I think he’s now probably learnt a valuable life lesson:

    …get caught acting as a pawn in such an inept chess player’s game and you might not get tortured like poor Bradley Manning, but you will do a spell in jail.

    However I think The Cuban Government should let him out soon on humanitarian grounds.

    I don’t have a problem with agreeing with you here Help.

  3. Thanks Nick for agreeing once again.

    Alan Gross tried to connect a few non-dissident Cubans to the internet.

    And this is bad because…?

    Is internet access a crime in England, I don’t think you answered?

    Please put your thinking cap on for awhile, I’ll be back tomorrow to read your response.

    And give some more of my anecdotal ramblings.

  4. From Wikipedia:

    Gross was working with Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a contractor working with USAID who had won a US$6 million U.S. government contract for the program in which Gross was involved, a controversial “democracy-promotion program” that ballooned under the Bush administration, to provide communications equipment to break the Cuban government’s ‘information blockade’.[9] Gross received more than US$500,000, despite the fact that he spoke little Spanish and had not worked in Cuba before.[10]

    USAID’s US$20 million Cuba program, authorized by a law calling for regime change in Cuba, has been criticized repeatedly in congressional reports as being wasteful and ineffective, and putting people in danger.


    The above are established facts.

    Despite his law breaking and despite some alleged previous dodgy work for U.S. Government, I still say Mr Gross is just a foolish pawn in a game.

    The Jewish Community in Havana (despite Help’s bizarre anecdotal ramblings), were never likely to be a hotbed of dissidence. In fact this community was very quick to distance itself from Mr Gross.

    Mr Gross’s pointless ‘mission’ was commissioned by DAI to go some way towards justifying the huge taxpayer funds it was being paid.

    The whole thing is a scam.

    Gross was well paid but was ultimately the fall guy.

    I hope this fool is released soon.

  5. Nick, thanks for agreeing that “knowing what you’re getting into” isn’t a crime.

    So you agree that Alan Gross should be released from prison and be free to continue his work of providing internet access to a handful of Cubans.

    I assume internet access in England isn’t a crime, is it? Or are Cubans a sub-race that don’t merit internet access?

    Please explain.

  6. Help,

    #30 is a bit confusing.
    Please allow me to clarify a couple of points:

    I don’t think Mr Gross is a terrorist and I did not state this.
    I think he is pawn in a losing game being played out by an inept chess player.
    In my opinion he should be released on humanitarian grounds in the near future.
    I most certainly have no feelings of ‘hate’ towards this individual.

    The majority of those on hunger strike at Guantanamo concentration are not terrorists either. In this instance I have faith in the U.S. Justice Department which has shown them not to be guilty of crimes, terrorist or otherwise, and therefore free to be released.

    Instead of being released they are being forcibly fed:


  7. Nick,

    You display your great knowledge of Cuba once again. We’ve tried to see every religious congregation in Cuba, Catholics, Protestants and Jewish.

    What we discovered is hungry Jews begging for money every time they receive a visitor. The scene in Old Havana was pathetic. The only reason they haven’t all starved is because they get free meals at the synagogue paid for by US Jewish charities.

    We went to a richer congregation too, but they all depend on US charity as well.

    The greedy profiteering Castro reduced religious persecution in the 90s because he wanted all the religious money he could get.

    But all the Jews we met lived in fear. Just like every other Cuban.

  8. Nick,

    I assume your Mister Manning knew he what he was getting into also. How about 30 years in prison? That would be fair.

    But I’m sure in the not too distant future, the US government will release this sad and greedy little character.

    According to you Nick, the terrorists in Guantanamo should be tortured because they knew what they were getting into. Or not?

    You see Nick, you hold one standard for people you love, like terrorists, and another standard for people you hate, like a guy on a USAID contract trying to connect a few Cubans to the internet.

    Don’t you believe all humans should be treated equally?

  9. What Alan Gross probably didn’t know was that the policy of supplying this equipment to Havana’s small Jewish community was always going to be an ineffectual element of the USA’s taxpayer funded destabilisation programme.

    The Jewish community in Cuba is small, relatively wealthy, not subject to any religious persecution; each member has an open invitation to emigrate to Israel at any time and therefore this community is a highly unlikely hotbed of dissidence.

    Gross is nothing but a (profiteering) little pawn….

    …a pawn controlled by a very poor chess player.

  10. Alan Gross knew exactly what he was doing.
    He knew exactly which laws he was breaking.
    He knew exactly what the risks were.
    He knew exactly what he was being paid.
    And he knew exactly who was paying him.

    Despite this and despite his repeated denials and lies, I think the Cuban Government should, at some point in the not too distant future, release this sad and greedy little character on humanitarian grounds.

  11. Thanks Nick.

    So you agree that all information should made public?

    I’d like to know more about Castro’s support of terrorism around the world, including the bombing of New York’s Fraunces tavern and hundreds of other bombings by the FALN.

    I’d like to know more about how Cuban troops locked up lepers, their families and aid workers in huts and then set them on fire in Angola, machine-gunning anybody who tried to escape.

    For all you Cuban spies out there, please know that if you send Castro’s classified files to the CIA, you will have the full support of Nick and all other leftists.

    In the meantime, they all think Alan Gross should be in jail for trying to connect a few Cubans to the internet.

    I am confused.

  12. Bradley Manning:
    “I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are. Because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

    USA constantly accuses Cuba of spreading mis-information, of covering up the truth, of locking up those who try to expose the truth etc….

    But wikileaks have shown that without doubt, the USA is itself committed to this covering up of the truth. And then they locked up the whistleblower.

    Bradley Manning has been brave enough to expose the reality, to expose U.S. atrocities and to expose U.S. corrupt foreign policies (including towards Cuba).

    And for this he goes on trial.

    Such a level of hypocrisy!!

  13. Bradley Manning stated in his pre-trial hearing that he had wanted to “spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general”

    For this he was tortured. Now he goes on trial. Now the truth goes on trial.

    In April, 2010, WikiLeaks made major news around the world when it published its “Collateral Murder” video, showing US soldiers in Baghdad gleefully celebrating as they gunned down civilians, including two Reuters journalists, and then showered their rescuers with bullets.

    Of course there were many wikileaks documents relevant to USA’s continuous policy of using tax payers money to fund pointless ‘dissident’ groups in Cuba in a bid to take the country back to the era of U.S. puppet regimes.

    (Reuters) – Despite years of U.S. political and financial support for Cuban dissidents, the top U.S. diplomat in Havana said opposition leaders are largely unknown, badly divided and unlikely to ever run the country, according to a secret diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks.

    Far from aiding Cuba’s democratic opposition, the US government systematically subverts and betrays it. Through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, the US government funds dissident Cuban groups and “NGOs” with a single goal in mind: the overthrow of the Cuban government, and the installation of a US-friendly regime. Thus the dissident movement is easily marginalized in Cuban society.

    Havana, Cuba (CNN) — A Cuban government-run website has begun translating into Spanish and posting online leaked U.S. government cables that discuss the island nation.
    “Las Razones de Cuba” or “Cuba’s Reasons” has as of Friday published seven cables originally released by WikiLeaks, the group whose leaks of confidential documents has been deeply embarrassing for U.S. officials.
    The translated cables detail meetings between independent Cuban bloggers with officials from the United States Interests Section, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Cuba.
    According to the “Cuba’s Reasons” website, the cables show an attempt by U.S. officials to “organize youth networks to subvert the Cuban Revolution.”

    What price do we put on the truth??

    Bradley Manning: An American Hero.



    THE JEWISH DAILY FORWARD: Grave-Robbers Target Cuba’s Jewish Cemeteries in Search of Bones for Rituals – Letter From Guanabacoa – by Ilan Stevans

    Guanabacoa, a colonial town southeast of Havana where the first African guild was created to alleviate the plight of slaves in Cuba, is a somewhat improbable home for not one, but two Jewish cemeteries, both of them more than a century old. They are not the only places where Jews are buried on the island, but their strategic location, half an hour by car from the capital, makes them the most prominent.

    As I stopped there in April, during a trip that took me to different corners of Latin America, I was horrified by what I saw: A number of the tombs are in ruin, but not from natural decay. They have been desecrated.

    The cemeteries sit next to each other. The largest, Centro Macabeo of Cuba, is used mostly for Ashkenazim. It was founded in 1906 and erected in 1910. Its frontispiece also reads “United Hebrew Congregation,” which points to the American funds with which it was built. The other graveyard is the Cementerio Sefardí, once serving the Sephardic community of Havana.

    At its height, Cuba had some 10,000 Jews. The island was a popular destination for American Jews. Meyer Lansky helped build a hotel on the Malecón, Havana’s gorgeous coastline. Castro’s revolution of 1958 to 1959 put a damper on Jewish life. People left in hordes, with a large constituency ultimately settling in Miami. America’s embargo has since kept numbers down. Depending on whom you ask, there are between 750 and 1,500 Cuban Jews in the nation today. A great many of them are converts or products of mixed marriages who identify as Jews.

    In some ways, the sorry state of the two cemeteries could be viewed as a reflection of the abandonment and reduced circumstances that Havana’s remaining Jews have experienced during decades under Castro’s communist rule — at least until the 1990s, when the government lifted many of its restrictions on religious communities and allowed Cuba’s Jews to travel freely to Israel and permitted American Jews to visit them.

    Yet this doesn’t begin to express the rage I felt at the desecration.

    Even Ruth Behar, a Cuban-born anthropologist at the University of Michigan who visits Cuba regularly and who accompanied me on this trip, was stunned at the sight of these two graveyards. The tombs have been vandalized; the marble stones are broken to pieces, their fragments put back in place. Inside, bones have been stolen.




    ALONG THE MALECON BLOG: The family of Alan Gross has settled its lawsuit against DAI, the federal contractor that hired Gross to carry out a democracy project in Cuba. Plaintiffs Alan and Judith Gross (“Plaintiffs”) and Defendant Development Alternatives, Inc. (“DAI”) respectfully submit this Notice of Settlement and inform the Court as follows: – Thursday, May 16, 2013




    American smuggler, Alan Gross, won’t get any more federal money, period.

    He now servs his term in a cuban jail and had an idea to sue the US government for $60 000 000. That’s right, sixty million bucks.

    Why? It occured to him, that US governent did not warn him, that smuggling to Cuba is punishable by law. This madness did not go through.

    There is a relief for all taxpayers though: the federal judge has thrown out his case. Read more:


    Mr Gross, I have a hint for you: forget the “get rich quick” schemes and try honest work.


    MIAMI HERALD: Mariel port expansion may be economic boost and ecological bust – by Juan Tamayo

    A $900 million project to expand the Cuban port of Mariel into a strategic hub for shipping in the Atlantic has been painted in Havana as the country’s best opportunity in decades to set a new course for its stagnant economy. It might also be an ecological calamity, the latest in a series of schemes by Cuba’s all-powerful communist government to boost its economic development at the expense of its nature, according to experts on the island’s environment. Havana has not revealed any details on the environmental impact of the Mariel project. And the Brazilian government, which is financing $640 million of the $900 million price tag, said last month its agreement with Cuba requires the details be kept secret. The environmental impact statement for the port of Miami dredging is two inches thick and publicly available. A dozen federal and state agencies, as well as non-government environmental activists, are monitoring the project. The Mariel project has killed nearly 10 acres of mangroves in the bay and silted the waters of the bay and one of the rivers that feeds into it, said Eudel Cepero, a Cuba-born environmental consultant and activist in Miami. Working from satellite photos of Mariel available on Google Earth, Cepero said he also measured 20 acres of coves within the bay filled in to expand the port’s container and other land operations, and 25 acres of surrounding land quarried for fill.

    Cepero acknowledged that without a first-hand study of Mariel — the starting point of the 1980 boatlift that brought more than 125,000 Cubans to U.S. shores — he cannot definitively establish the environmental damage.

    “But if you kill 10 acres of mangrove in the Florida Keys, there’s a revolution,” said Cepero, a lecturer at the University of Miami and Miami-Dade College. “That would be like destroying an entire eco-system.”

    “What’s going on (in Mariel) certainly seems alarming,” said Sergio Diaz-Briquets, a Washington-based consultant who co-authored a book on the island’s environmental record, “Conquering Nature.”

    Cuba usually gets high marks from the international environmental community for its regulatory framework and the pristine condition of many of its national preserves, especially along its southern coastline.

    Cuba also has no known independent environmental activists who can monitor the project. Cepero started the Around Cuba Environmental Agency in 1996 to report on such issues but fled the island four years later. It was never recognized by the government.

    “In Cuba it’s the same government that’s doing the construction and the monitoring, so there’s no independent review,” said Cepero. “Where’s the independent check? Well it’s in these satellite photos that anyone can see on Google Earth.”



  18. I, for one, cares about what happens in Cuba. That’s why I read this blog. About Cuba.


    VENEZUELA AWARENESS .COM: U.S. Filmaker Helmer Jailed in Venezuela Moved to Notorious Prison Anna Marie de la Fuente

    U.S. documentary filmmaker Tim Tracy, arrested in Venezuela for alleged espionage last April, was transferred May 29 to the notorious El Rodeo II prison outside Caracas.
    Tracy and 20 others were transferred from their cells within the government intelligence service building because of a severe bacterial outbreak. Tracy is slated to attend a hearing on June 11, which will determine whether his case will proceed to trial or he will be released.
    Human rights director Patricia Andrade of Miami-based Venezuela Awareness Foundation said the El Rodeo II prison is virtually a death sentence for him.
    “He’s a political prisoner and I don’t understand why the Venezuelan government is committing the horror, not error, of sending him there,” said Andrade. “ El Rodeo is for convicted prisoners and Tracy hasn’t even been tried yet, and he can’t even speak Spanish well.”
    El Rodeo II was the site of a riot in 2011 where 25 people, including visitors, were killed during a shootout between two gangs within the prison complex.
    “El Rodeo is an overcrowded jungle where hundreds of inmates have been killed over the years in riots, violence and attacks,” said Russell Dallen, managing partner of Caracas Capital Markets and publisher of Latin American Herald Tribune. “Sending him to this fifth circle of hell — and away from the headquarters of the (government’s) intelligence service — clearly is an acknowledgment that he was not a spy. Where are Sean Penn and Oliver Stone now?”
    Tracy was arrested April 24 for allegedly funneling funds to student groups opposing the new government of President-elect Nicolas Maduro, who won the post-Chavez elections April 14 by a tiny margin. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles led accusations of electoral fraud as thousands took to the streets in protest, with seven reported killed amid the civil unrest. Tracy was picked up soon after, along with the videos he had been filming for a documentary he was making about the political situation in Venezuela.



    YOUTUBE: Critico del Arte Ft La Doncella- Denuncia realidad en Bayamo, – Palenque Visió, proyecto de la Alianza Democrática Oriental presenta al Crítico de Arte, Rapero de Bayamo, Cuba, con este rap crítico de la realida en esa zona oriental de Cuba.


    YOUTUBE: Mas sobre Yunier – More about Yunier –

  22. Brilliant.

    Now we have akak telling us Yoani is a citizen of the world and should focus her attentions anywhere but Cuba. Nice try, akak.

  23. I think that yoani is changing and is not only a cuban as before but a world citizen…so it can look that the world as a whole is a hell as cuba or worse…yes yoani is growing up,open her eyes and thinking finally right.So who cares wat happen in cuba when the world is a hell and cuba is inside the hell…as a small part. yoani should spend more time with the world and analise it same as she does with cuba..tell the truth…not hide or be afraid or be with the world hell,pro it

  24. I thinkthat yoani is changing and is not only cuban as before but a world citizen…so it can look that the world as a whole is a hell as cuba or worse…yes yoani is growing up,open her eyes and thinking finally right.So who cares wat happen in cuba when the world is a hell and cuba is inside the hell…as a small part. yoani should spend more time with the world and analise it same as she does with cuba..tell the truth…not hide or be afraid or be with the world hell,pro it

  25. I thinkthat yoani is changing and is not only cuban as before but a world citizen…so it can look that the world as a whole is a hell as cuba or worse…yes yoani is growing up,open her eyes and thinking finally right.So who cares wat happen in cuba when the world is a hell and cuba is inside the hell…as a small part. yoani should spend more time with the world and analise it same as she does with cuba..tell the truth…not hide or be afraid or be with the world hell,pro it

  26. Help,

    Thank you.

    That brave man’s name is Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga. Based on what I’ve read, he is now imprisoned in a placed called Las Mangas in Bayamo. My friends and I watched the video today in absolute horror, pain and outrage. Outrage at what the dictatorship in Cuba does to its own people.

    Angel said some important things in the video. Some of which I paraphrase below:

    We are seeing the impotence of the regime in its last phase.

    The police know what happened to my house.

    Cubans are against the dictatorship.

    There are millions of dissidents.

    They sell us our own misery and they divide us.

    The price of freedom is expensive. I am willing to do anything for the freedom of my people.

    Your freedom has been taken away!

    I hope Angel is released unharmed from prison soon. What he said about the regime selling the Cuban people their own misery was particularly striking. I had to think about what that means. To be honest, I am still not sure what it means.

    Maybe it means that the people in Cuba have nothing else to consume but what the dictatorship decides to sell them. And that is their own misery. Or maybe it means, the people in Cuba have bought into the absurdity of the dictatorship and pay for it every day because they do not change it. I don’t know.

    Do you think there is an investigation ongoing to determine who vandalized Angel’s house with tar? Will anyone be held accountable for that? I doubt it.

    Angel also says that the price of freedom is expensive. He is right. He’s sitting in a dungeon right now paying that price. I hope he is released soon!

    I didn’t see one tourist on a moped in that video either. I thought Canadians were flitting around the island getting free cups of coffee from happy natives.

  27. Hank,

    That brave man sounds like most Cubans I know, but they’re afraid to scream like that in public.

    What he filmed is accurate, at most 1 or 2 Cubans in a hundred are truly robolutionary. And that woman is typical of them, the big neighborhood thief and con artist.

    Thank God we have the technology to film all this. I think flash drives and cameras are keeping the dogs from doing their worst. Plus the fact that many of them know the dissidents are right.

    I wish him well and hope he survives to see freedom.

  28. There’s nothing to like here. A lot of rubish, a few octogenarians clapping their impotent ld habds, a domestic traitor working for her foreign owneers.

    Same old story. ne look at the socialist bock and we all know how “well” did they get it. 90% would gladly go back to socialism for it was still better than what they have today. With all the £freedom and “democracy”, and hunger, and despair, socialism suddenly looks like a dream.

  29. Anónimo #4,

    Thank you for posting the link to that raw video of what life is really like in Cuba. It looks absolutely miserable. Hellish.

  30. MIAMI HERALD: Fabiola Santiago: Dissidents’ return to Cuba an act of courage – by Fabiola Santiago

    In short lines sent from her cellphone — one could say guerrilla-style, for the way a word, a smiley face, a phrase began in one tweet and ended in another — the celebrated blogger Yoani Sánchez reported on her return to Havana. “Back to blindly tweeting via SMS,” she wrote Thursday night to her 504,534 Twitter followers as soon she landed. Sánchez remarked on her 30-minute path through customs, her reunion with loved ones, and on Friday, posted similarly truncated snippets on Facebook. They began bittersweet with the rain — “like it’s the end of the world, but the sun will shine” — and by day’s end were critical of the limited digital TV the government says it will allow, of the outrageously priced Internet cafés that block most information China-style, and for the lack of accessibility to the average Cuban. “My grandchildren will have Internet wi-fi sometime in 2032,” she wrote.

    Without missing a beat, the 37-year-old dissident who traveled for 103 days through Europe and the Americas giving testimony about life in Cuba and denouncing human rights violations was back to describing what it’s like to endure a country where the most mundane possessions, including peace of mind, are inaccessible or forbidden, or both.

    Whether Sánchez will face reprisals is yet to be seen. But a pro-government blogger attacked her arrival, calling her “ la vacacionista,” the vacationer, and saying she had received “90 days of training to topple the island’s government.”

    It takes guts and commitment to take on a dictatorship from inside, and by returning to continue their fight for democratic change, Cuba’s brave traveling dissidents have proven their worth.

    While in exile, in Miami or elsewhere, they would be one more among us.

    Their credibility lies in the strength of their voice from inside Cuba.

    Their return home closes a historic chapter — but also opens a new, and more important one perhaps, for the island’s future.




    THE STAR: British businessmen await Cuba’s verdict as graft trial ends – by Marc Frank

    HAVANA (Reuters) – The two-day trial of two top executives of a British investment fund ended in Havana on Friday with a five judge panel expected to deliver its verdict within 10 days. The sentences of two other foreigners tried a week ago have yet to be announced, as the government presses forward with an unprecedented crackdown on corruption. In this week’s trial on the communist-run island, Amado Fakhre, a Lebanese-born British citizen and chief executive officer of Coral Capital Group Ltd, faced various bribery charges related mainly to the fund’s import business. Chief Operating Officer Stephen Purvis, who headed various investment projects, faced lesser charges, such as operating outside the bounds of the fund’s license, sources close to the case said on condition of anonymity. The defendants’ lawyers and British consular officials had no comment upon leaving the court, an old mansion, surrounded by an iron fence, in an outlying Havana neighbourhood.

    The trial was closed to the media.
    Dozens of Cuban officials and businessmen have reportedly been arrested, tried and sentenced in the anti-corruption sweep.

    Cuba’s state-run media has not yet reported the trials, nor mentioned the arrests and crackdown on foreign trade.



  32. Yoani, your stamina is something to behold. After a 90 day trip to 18 countries and a chock-full schedule, President of Cuba should be a piece of cake.

  33. YOUTUBE: CUBA – Porque Angel Yunier Remon esta en prisión / Why Angel Yunier Remon is in prison – his neighbors to lose the fear and join the movement for freedom on the island. English subtitles included.
    Video tomado por la UNPACU muestra las razones por la cual el rapero contestatario y miembro de dicha organización opositora Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” esta en prisión. Se puede ver las maniobras de la policía política, la vigilancia de la Seguridad del Estado, los ataques contra su vivienda, etc. Tambien se puede ver la respuesta valiente de Remon, pintando carteles antigubernamentales en la calle y hablándole al pueblo para que pierdan el miedo y se sumen al movimiento por la libertad.

    Video taken by UNPACU shows the reasons why dissident rapper and member of the mentioned opposition organization, Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico”, is in prison. It shows the maneuvers by the political pólice, the vigilance of State Security, the attacks against his home, etc. We can also see the brave response by Remon, painting pro-freedom messages out on the Street and calling on

  34. Great news that you are safe, Yoani!!! Thank you for letting us know! Congratulations on an amazing, history-making trip. Extraordinarily well done. As an ABC, American Born Cuban, I could not be more proud of you!

  35. Muchas felicidades a ti Yoani a los demas cubanos que participaron en internet forum y desearles a todos mucha suerte en todos sus esfuerzos por la libertad cibernetica y libertades en general. Yoani,es una lastima que tu blog no permita postear tus muy interesantes temas asi como lo puedo hacer por ejemplo con Babalu,etc,de esa forma ayudo en alguna medida de tener info en ingles a muchos canadiences que viven en total obscuridad de los asuntos de Cuba. De esa forma ponemos nuestro granito de arena utilizando mi facebook para apoyar a muchos luchadores por la libertad dentro y fuera de Cuba.
    Un saludo a toda tu familia y esperamos tu respuesta si es posible a mi email address que ya conoces, un abrazo, Jaime Bravo de Winnipeg.

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