The Return

yoani suitcaseindexMy suitcase is parked in a corner, the tiny gifts that traveled inside it already in the hands of friends and relatives. The anecdotes — for their part — will need more time, because there are so many I could spend the rest of my life parsing their details. I’m back now. Beginning to feel the peculiarities of a Cuba that in my three months absence has barely changed. The number of uniforms was the first thing that jumped out at me: soldiers, customs, police… why do you see so many uniforms simply on landing at José Martí Airport? Why is there this feeling of so few civilians and so many soldiers? After the dimmed lights of the halls, the none too friendly question of a supposed doctor interested to know if I had been in Africa. Where are you coming from, honey? She jerked her head around noticing my blue passport with the shield of the republic on its cover.

Outside, a group of colleagues and family waited for me. The embrace of my son, the most cherished. Then having again entered my own space and the unique pace at which life transpires here. Catching up with the stories, events in the neighborhood, the city and the country. I’m back. With an energy that the daily stumbling blocks try to cut short, but with enough left over to undertake new projects. One stage of my life is ending and another is emerging. I have seen the solidarity, I have felt it and now I also have the duty to tell my compatriots on the Island that we are not alone.

I have brought so many good memories: the sea in Lima, the Templo Mayor in Mexico City, the Freedom Tower in Miami, the beauty of Rio de Janeiro, the affection of so many friends in Italy, Madrid with its Museo del Prado and its Cibeles Plaza, Amsterdam and the canals running through it, Stockholm and the cyber-activists from the whole world I met there, Berlin and the graffiti that covers what was once a wall dividing Germany, Oslo surrounded by green, New York that never sleeps, Geneva with its diplomats and the United Nations headquarters, Gdansk laden with recent history, and Prague, beautiful, unique. All these places, with their lights and shadows, their grave problems and their moments for leisure and laughter, I have brought with me to Havana.

I am back and I am not the same person. Something of each place where I was stayed with me, and the hugs and words of encouragement I received are here today, with me.

45 thoughts on “The Return

  1. On December 2009, Vice President Ramiro Valdes in an address to the National Assembly said: “Some 58 percent of the water pumped by Cuba’s aqueducts is lost due to the distribution network’s poor condition.”

    Among many other problems affecting the population is the state of neglect of aqueducts that cause those large amounts of water losses. Estimates by the Cuban National Institute of Water Resources (INRH) is that “4,000 km of aqueduct distributions lines, equivalent to 37% of the network, are in great need of repair. Because of this near to two million people, mostly in Havana, are afflicted with water shortage.”

    The Castro brothers and his “expert” didn’t have to reinvent the wheel to expand the distribution system and repair the leakage of the existing infrastructure. Not only are they incapable of producing and creating, but neither can they successfully copy or learn from designs and longstanding technologies and operating experiences.

  2. Nick,

    We all fib sometimes. Or in your words, write “complete nonsense”

    It’s the same thing however you put it. I didn’t say you fib deliberately, I said you probably believe your fibs.

    When I write nonsense, it’s an honest mistake too, I admit it and move on.

    So let’s do a wrap-up, because what you wrote so far is complete nonsense.

    Here’s a bit of reality.

    1) Most citizens of Havana get sporadic water service, a large number get no running water at all.

    2) On average, citizens of Havana use a lot less water than the average American citizen,

    3) In the driest of years, Havana gets more rain than most US cities, which consume far more running water than Havana.

    4) There is no place in Cuba that has gone years without significant rainfall, like you so confidently stated. But water service is terrible everywhere in Cuba.

    Not hard to connect the dots.

    Conclusion: The wastage of water in Cuba is huge, far exceeding the most crumbling water systems in the USA.

    The infrastructure is crumbling into dust. The rich, the corrupt, hotels and big foreign corporations get most of Castro’s water.

    Water is essential to life. Nothing is more important for physical survival.

    If you were a poor Cuban, you would hate Castro too.

  3. Precipitation map of Cuba

    http://www.bestcountryreports.com/Precipitation_Map_Cuba.php

    As you can see, all the island receives plenty of rainfall. The drier locations receive most of their rain during the rainy season (April to September), and less rain during the dry season, October to March. But the dry season is never totally dry. The problem is the lack of wetlands, reservoirs and irrigation systems. Castro had much of the wetlands drained to plant sugar cane for the Million Tonne Harvest. Insufficient investment in and maintenance of the reservoirs and irrigations systems have handicapped agriculture.

  4. Help

    #37 just doesn’t really make a lot of sense at all.
    I think perhaps you are getting a bit confused.

    And if by fibs you mean lies then I just feel a little sorry for you.
    If someone is on the losing end of an disagreement then its a little bit cheap just to resort to accusing those who disagree of lying.

    I do not ever accuse you or anyone else here of lying.

    I just accept that people have their different viewpoints.

  5. You’ll make it your last post because I caught another of your fibs.

    Not that you don’t believe your fibs, but the meteorologists don’t.

    I know there are dry seasons in Cuba, and wells run dry. The reservoir in Havana runs dry too even when they get more rain than most cities in the USA.

    Every time the pre-historic water system breaks down in Havana, Granma and the BBC report about a major drought.

    Waiting for another of your jokes, I’ll be back tomorrow.

  6. Hank #30,

    Yes I did enjoy my tea, thanks for asking.

    Hank, I congratulate you on your right to freedom of expression.

    And I do most firmly believe in your absolute right to have your little rant.

    I hope and believe that a right to greater freedom of expression will occur in Cuba over the coming years.

    I hope and believe that those who wish to steamroller Cuba into being, once again, a U.S. puppet state will remain perpetually disappointed.

  7. Help

    You are obviously taking this water business very seriously.
    Little did Humby realise that he was starting such a level of watery debate when he posted his original water-based excerpt from that Miami based propaganda rag (#4).

    I’m going to make this my last post on the subject of water because……….
    …….well, because lifes too short.

    I have been in rural parts of Ciego de Avila where they draw their water from wells.
    I was there a few years ago and people have told it hadn’t rained (significantly) for over a year.
    They showed me failed crops.
    Some wells were very, very low indeed. A lot of them of them were dry.

    Maybe they were all lying to me. Maybe they were all Cuban Agents disguised as farm workers trying to brainwash me in case the subject were to pop up on the comments page of Yoani Sanchez’s blog several years down the line.

    Maybe they dried up the wells just to fool me.

    The provincial authorities sent round drinking water in trucks.
    Perhaps this was done just to kid me along.

    In this area they have a ‘Provincial Council for Drought’
    Perhaps you think this was set up as part of some sort of Marxist Plot.

    http://www.invasor.cu/index.php/en/science/9395-ciego-de-avila-little-rain-in-may-to-counteract-drought-

  8. Hank,

    Good questions, like always. Your questions cannot be answered honestly.

    Their psychology is the same as the Marxists who believed in Mao and Stalin and Jim Jones.

    Sometimes they wake up, but not always.

    I have a feeling that most of the Castro admirers will never wake up.

    Everything that is bad in Cuba will be blamed on the restoration of capitalism, not on the misery brought on by Castro.

  9. Nick,

    You are educating the world and me too.

    You said:

    “For anyone reading this who may be remotely interested in the Cuban Climate:

    There are parts of Cuba which can go months and even years without any significant rainfall.”

    Did you read that on wiki, Granma, the BBC?

    Can you tell me the place in Cuba, known only to Marxist meteorologists, that can go years without any significant rainfall?

    Please provide rainfall statistics.

    You see, the driest place in Cuba, as far as non-Marxist meteorologists go, is Guantanamo, which gets about 25 inches a year.

    Which is just about the average rainfall of US cities. That is significant rainfall.

    I never heard of Guantanamo going years without significant rainfall, there is always a wet season everywhere in Cuba.

    Perhaps there is another place in Cuba that has gone years without significant rainfall?

    If you provide some figures to back up the Cuban Communist Party’s meteorological discovery, I will have discovered something new.

    Please note that some US cities get 3 inches of rain a year and provide uninterrupted water to 100% of their residents.

    US governments have installed pipes to run water from wet to dry places.

    The Chinese and many other countries make pipes, water pumps, build reservoirs and have good engineers. So can’t blame the embargo.

    Maybe the mess in Cuba is Castro’s fault, not the weather’s?

  10. Sandokan,

    And of those 74% who have a water connection, only a fraction of those actually see water coming out of the pipes on a regular basis.

    In Havana it can vary between no water ever, to a few hours a week, to almost full service. It depends on how rich or connected you are and where you live.

    In many areas of Havana, if you want water, you need to install a water thief, which will get you the water before it gets to the neighbors.

    Naturally the communists and capitalists with hard currency are the first to get water thieves installed, which they forget to tell their foreign comrades when they come to Cuba for a conference.

    Some pockets of Havana, like around a military school, get good water. Half a mile away it can be very dry and few people will get regular service.

    Of course, the hotels and casa particulars steal a lot of water, which they don’t advertise to tourists either.

  11. Cuba being located in the subtropical zone receives a great supply of rainfall. The country’s aquifers are replenished every year by the rainfall. But the problem is the island deteriorating water distribution system. Around 80% of the distribution system have been in place for over 60 years exceeding their useful live span, and is falling apart resulting in enormous waste of water.

    For the last 54 years, under the Castroit dictatorship, the sanitation and water systems in Cuba has suffered an enormous deterioration, and no significant investments have been made to reverse it.

    The existing water distribution system has reached the limits of its structural integrity and useful life. Consequently the quantity of water is limited and the quality of the drinking water is unsafe.

    The Cuban population with access to household potable water connection is only74%, based on estimates by the Pan American Health Organization in 2000. A similar estimate for the Dominican Republic is 80% access; Chile and Costa Rica above 90%.

    Cuba deplorable situation is due to the irresponsibility of the Castro brothers. Why not dismiss them?

  12. Nick #27

    Hope you enjoyed your self-satisfied cup of tea after your exercise of free expression on this forum. Bravo.

    The majority of Cubans don’t have the opportunity or the means to do what you do here. They get arrested and sent to jail for saying or expressing what they think. Pause for a moment, Nick, and contemplate what that means.

    It is nice not to have to worry about that sort of thing happening to you, right Nick? You’re safe in England. Do you like posting your thoughts here in real time, instantaneously, without fear of being arrested by the police? What makes you better than the people living in Cuba such that they can’t do what you do?

    Case in point is Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga.

  13. WALL STREET JOURNAL: Cuba Admits Gross is a Pawn – Is Washington negotiating with Havana to free imprisoned U.S. contractor Alan Gross? – By Mary Anastasia O’Grady

    Is Washington engaged in a negotiation with Havana to try to free U.S. Agency for International Development contractor Alan Gross from a Cuban jail? If so, what’s on the table?

    Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Albio Sires (D., N.J.), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R., Fla.) didn’t ask exactly these questions when they wrote to the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of Western Hemispheric Affairs Roberta Jackson Monday, requesting a meeting, but there can be little doubt about their concerns.

    The letter was prompted by the issuance of a visa last month to Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Cuba’s director of North American affairs for the Cuban foreign ministry, so that she could meet with Ms. Jackson. It is the second time Ms. Vidal was granted a U.S. visa in just over 12 months. This has raised some congressional eyebrows, and not only because Ms. Vidal’s husband is a former diplomat to Washington who was “declared persona non grata and expelled for his ‘activities hostile to the national security,’” according to the letter.

    A larger problem is that Ms. Vidal is a high-ranking member of Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As such, the congressmen pointed out in their letter, “her sole mission is to promote the Cuban regime’s propaganda, undermine U.S. interests, and justify” Cuba’s repression of its own people. “In addition, she has been at the forefront defending the Cuban regime’s unjust holding of a U.S. citizen and harboring U.S. fugitives.”

    The implication is that the Obama administration is playing footsie with the Castros. If so, it would seem to be exactly what Ms. Vidal was asking for when she appeared in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on May 10. The CNN host asked, “What would be good for Cuba that could potentially open the door to freeing Mr. Gross?” Ms. Vidal answered: “For Cuba it would be a right to have a response on the part of the U.S. government about its willingness to respond to our proposal to sit down and initiate a negotiation on [the Gross case] and many other matters concerning our bilateral relationship.”

    In other words, Mr. Gross is a negotiating chip. Ms. Vidal would not say what Cuba wants in exchange for letting him go, but the release of several Cuban intelligence officers convicted in 2001 of spying on the U.S. is likely on the list.

    Not surprisingly, the three Cuban-American congressmen object to negotiating with the dictatorship and are asking, “What was the purpose and intent” of Ms. Vidal’s trip and “what issues were discussed during her meeting with Ms. Jackson?” In addition, they have asked for an “update” on Mr. Gross’s case, which began in December 2009 when he was arrested by Cuban authorities for having brought satellite telecommunications equipment into the country. The 64 year-old is now serving a 15-year sentence in Havana for his “crime.”

    For the record, Ms. Vidal also told CNN viewers that Cuba has free elections, political competition and free speech.

    stream.wsj.com/story/campaign-2012-continuous-coverage/SS-2-9156/SS-2-245711/
    ,

  14. Nick on #10!! IT’S ANTI-CASTRO DEAR! THAT “ANTI-CUBA” “ANTI-CUBAN” LABEL IS USED BY THE CASTRO AGENTS/APOLOGISTS TO VILIFY ANYONE WHO CRITICIZES THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA! AND THANKS FOR SHIFTING FOCUS AWAY THE CUBA & CUBAN TOPIC BY BRINGING THE BAD OLD U.S.A. CARD! HOW IS THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL LOOKING THESE DAYS??

    THE CASTROFASCISTS MOVING TOWARDS THE 20th CENTURY!

    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.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2013/0604/Internet-access-to-expand-in-Cuba-at-a-price

  15. Marabu #26,

    I think you make a good point here. A very good point.

    Besides, all this talk of water is making me thirsty.

    I think I shall go and have a nice cup of tea.

  16. @Nick, about water.

    I thing you are wasting your time a bit, trying to convince the armchair counter-revolutionaries.

    Their message is clear: bring capitalism to Cuba ( = give us the hotels, the banks and the rum factories) and you’ll have drinkable water in every house 24/7

    Thier goal, however is doomed to fail.

    Why?

    Because average working Cuban knows the Trird World reality quite well. The won’t buy this crap.

    Cubans know the Third Worls, because they travel to Africa and Latin America more then any other Latino country. Not as tourists, of course, but as techniciand and health care workers, sent by the government. The have seen countries which are constructing capitalism for more then 100 years and have no fresh water, or have excellent water system for the wealthy only.

    All we can say to the armchair counter-revolutionaries: keep dreaming.

  17. Marabu #23,

    The first time I flew into USA and then took internal flights between US cities I was very surprised at the lack of notable security checks etc

    This was pre 9/11.

    Nowadays I believe that thankfully there are much better security checks and a higher visible security presence at U.S airports.

    Hopefully this will ensure there is never any similar air-craft related terrorist attack on USA.

    Any government’s first job is to provide security.

  18. For anyone reading this who may be remotely interested in the Cuban Climate:

    In parts of Cuba (Pinar del Rio for example) there is very heavy rainfall. These specific atmospheric conditions combine with a particularly rich grade of soil to make P del R the finest tobacco growing region in the world.

    Other parts of Cuba are affected by severe droughts.
    There are parts of Cuba which can go months and even years without any significant rainfall.

    Help would like to make out that these are all big bad lies coming from his favourite bad guy because this would fit in with his political viewpoint, but they are actually facts.

    However it seems that Help is not a man who likes to let facts get in the way of a good story.

    According to Wikipedia it is also a fact that NYC has higher annual rainfall than Havana. In the unlikely even of anyone being even slightly interested in this wiki-fact and the meterological sources then they can google this to verify.

    Having been to both capital cities I can say (without risking Help’s disagreement) that NYC has the better water supply system. Obviously.

    But I must point out to Help that Humby’s copied in article (#4) and my #9 were not about this; they were concerned with the topic of water-loss.

    Water leakage. Water wastage.
    The amount of water that is wasted in the delivery of the water supply.

    Do you understand this difference Help?
    It really ain’t so complicated.

  19. YOANI ASKS – A READER RESPONDS:

    “… why do you see so many uniforms simply on landing at José Martí Airport? Why is there this feeling of so few civilians and so many soldiers?”

    You don’t know?
    I can answer this question without even going to Cuba.

    This is because the government’s job is to provide security. Have you ever asked youself why in Cuba nobody walks into a school and executes 20 children? Or why being a journalist is so much safer in Cuba then in Mexico (over 100 dead)?

    Think about it and say THANK YOU to this guys in the green uniforms.

    And if you don’t like it try Baghdad, where the United States restored “democracy” a few ywars ago.

  20. Nick,

    You’re back to your stand-up routine, so I’ll leave you for the day.

    Maybe you really think Cubans have better running water than we do in the USA. Like I’ve said, I don’t think you ever hung around ordinary Cubans or ever will.

    Maybe you really think Castro is popular.

    The only fact we know is Castro never held an election and that all his supporters are against elections.

    I wonder why?

    Please reply with another joke, I’ll be back tomorrow to read it.

  21. No point in trying to sell Help an umbrella.
    It never rains when he’s around.
    Except when he goes to Cuba.
    Then it never stops.

    Help: Don’t forget yer umbrella next time you go to Cuba(via Mexico).

  22. Help,

    Don’t know where you get your rainfall stats from.
    Maybe when you’re in NYC during a downpour it just stops raining every time you walk outside.

    Maybe its a fact that you’re blessed from on high.

    Lucky Man.

    By the way Old Fidel had huge support within Cuba.
    Not 100% support but generally very high popularity.
    Certainly high popularity compared to your average U.S. president (or UK PM).
    Without it he would not have survived in power for so long.
    He retains a remarkable level of popularity even in his retirement.

    These particular facts just don’t fit in with your political point of view.

    But that’s your problem.

  23. Humberto,

    If you need statistics about water, go here:

    data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.PRCP.MM

    Annual precipitation 2008-2012:

    Cuba: 1335 mm
    UK: 1220 mm
    France: 867 mm
    USA: 715 mm
    Canada: 537 mm

    Next time Granma blames a “drought” for Havana running out of water, look up the figures for that year and you’ll see what lies they tell.

  24. Nick,

    Again you left out a few facts.

    Here’s just one of them:

    Cuba supported the right-wing fascist dictatorship in Argentina while the US was against the Argentinian generals.

    Castro has a long history of supporting right-wing fascist dictatorships. In fact, he supported every right-wing fascist dictatorship that would support him, and he still does. You know, like Iran.

    In fact, it is US influence that helped get rid of the Latin right-wing dictatorships.

    As US influence in Latin America is disappearing we’re seeing the rise of fascism again, although the same guys call themselves “left-wing” fascists now, inspired by Cuba.

    I agree Castro is an inspiration to many people who don’t know anything about Cuba.

    He’s just not an inspiration to the average Cuban.

  25. Re#8

    Hello Marcin
    Welcome.

    I am pleased that some things have improved in Poland, but I understand your point that changing from one flawed system to another does not produce a paradise.

    Thankfully the bloodshed that occurred in Russia and the worse bloodshed that Yugoslavia suffered did not occur in Poland.

    I agree with your point about it being bad news if Cuba were to return to the Mafia era.
    What was even more of a problem for the region in the cold war era was USA’s policy of ruling Latin America with an iron fist much in the same way that USSR ruled in eastern bloc countries such as Poland.

    USSR did not allow democracy in Poland or other eastern bloc countries during the cold war era. Everyone had to take orders from The Kremlin.

    USA did allow democracy in Latin America in this era, but only if this democracy produced a leader who would take orders from Washington.
    If not then USA would embark on destabilisation programmes which would include covert or overt military action, terrorism, coups etc etc until the elected leader was overthrown.
    In other Latin American countries the USA supported any old non-democratic, fascist dictator as long as these leaders were subservient to US command.

    Cuba stood up against this imperialism.

    For all Cuba’s bad points (including very old water pumping engines in many older buildings), the fact that it stood up to the region’s bullyboy serves as an inspiration in Latin America and ensures Cuba commands a certain level of respect throughout the world.

    It is also respected by a great many decent people in the USA who are embarrassed by their own government’s disgracefully hypocritical policies towards Cuba.

  26. Nick, here are some real figures:

    Havana, Cuba: 48.9 in

    Houston: 47.84 in

    New York (La Guardia): 44.36 in

    New York (JFK): 42.46 in

    Chicago: 36.27 in

    Dallas: 34.73 in

    LA: 13.15 in

    Phoenix: 8.29 in

    Las Vegas: 4.49 in

    Some of our cities in the south-east get more rain than Havana, but I said “almost all” not “all” US cities. The USA is a much drier country than Cuba.

    The point is that US cities, wet or dry, have 100% water service.

    Castro, 50 years after the revolution, can’t provide reliable water to most Cubans. In a wetter country.

    And why does Santiago de Chile have much better water service than Havana? It’s a drier city and used to be a poorer city.

    Isn’t Castro’s funny economics and system of government partly to blame?

    Or is it Cubans’ fault water doesn’t come out of their pipes?

  27. Help……such bitterness.

    I understand you have a fairly hard-nosed political point of view and that your perspective is strongly against the Cuban System/Government, but now it appears that you actually want to propagandise on the subject of water loss and rainfall.

    Remarkable.

    You also like to give the impression that your propagandising is based on facts (probably best to stick to your anecdotes).

    You state that Havana has higher rainfall than almost any U.S. city.
    Let’s just take the largest U.S. city.

    NYC

    (Apparently NYC , in common with much of the east coast, has a particularly bad problem of water-loss/leakage due to its relatively old water storage and delivery infrastructure.)

    NYC annual rainfall: 1,268 mm
    Havana annual rainfall: 1,189.2 mm

    It’s great the way these facts always crop up on this comments page .
    It’s always very informative and educational.

    All thanks to Yoani.
    Gracias Mi Hija.
    Y no olvides el paragua alla en La Habana por si acaso llueve.

  28. Hallo @Marcin

    Great to meet you here. I have a Polish girlfiend and she was in Cuba. She says, the most exotic thing she had seen were the tiny Polish Fiat cars under the palms. According to her even more exotic then 1950’s Cadillacs.

    A citizen of Poland can travel to Cuba without the fear of persecution by the US authority called OFAC.

  29. APOLOGY

    I apologise for my typing errors. I type on the subway and the train shakes.

  30. THE RETURN – FROM WHERE?

    Yoani has landed safely in Havana so the followers of her blog may now briefly sum-up the trip.

    It is impressive to see the list of the countries she had visited.

    Not impressive, but more important, is the list of countries she had NOT visited:

    1. She did NOT visit any Caribbeea island, any natural neighbor of the region. What can the Caribbean nationes learn from each other? How does the Dominican Republic solves the drug problem? How does Jamaica tackle the street violence? How does Haiti recover from the terrible earthquake?

    2. She did NOT go to any of the important, strategic business partners of Cuba. She skiped Russia, China, Venezuela.

    The analysis of where Yoani did NOT go speaks of her true intentions. If you have brins, you clearly know what she is up to.

  31. I should add that water service is better in other drier Latin American cities, like Santiago de Chile, than in Havana

    I wonder why?

    I’m sure it’s the fault of the CIA.

  32. Nick,

    I’m back with my “bizarre anecdotes”, or as they say in the real world, “the facts”

    Havana gets more rainfall per year than any almost every American city.

    100% of Americans get regular water service, with rationing only during severe droughts.

    That usually means you can’t water your lawn all the time, but you can still shower, drink and cook.

    Most people in Havana don’t have a constant water supply, a large number have no water at all.

    All the communists and CDR mafioso install water thieves. These are devices that steal water into your home before the neighbors get any.

    In a friend’s building only two people get water. The head of the CDR and a woman who got money from her son in the USA to buy one.

    Sorry for this intrusion of reality.

    Now back to your statistics and quotes from the web.

  33. Re #4

    It is probably tempting for some people to skim read what Humby posts.
    His posts rarely contain anything original. Mostly they provide links to anti Cuba propaganda sites and the right wing press.

    However as a true English Gentleman, I don’t like to come across as impolite and so I do try to make the effort to read this stuff, despite its predictability.

    This politeness leads me to onto the subject of water loss/leakage.

    Humby claims that if the Cuban Government states that water loss is at 22%, then the reality must be 50%.
    This is obviously based on his political viewpoints rather than anything factual.
    A person’s political viewpoint is surely a good, sound and reliable indicator of water loss in our fave Caribbean island.

    But wait. Let’s just look into this for a just a short while.

    http://www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/Water_Loss_Control_Introduction.aspx

    According to this site it appears that in the USA, water loss can be as much as 50% before it even gets to many U.S. homes. Billions of gallons of good clean water lost every day.
    Surely one would assume that the in USA, the largest economy in the world, there should be preferable water loss figures than in little ole Cuba.

    Viva Cuba!!!

    ………..not only does Cuba beat or match USA on trained doctors as a % of population, life expectancy, child mortality, literacy, baseball expertise etc etc but now Dear Humby’s drawn our attention to very plausible evidence that Cuba may well beat the USA on water-loss stats.

    Viva Humby!!!

    ….he’s pointed out yet another achievement of The Revolution!
    (He could tidy up his Spanish a bit and get a job at ‘Granma’)

  34. Best greetings from Poland ! I’ve seen nice interview with you in the polish TV. We had communism for 45 years and I clearly reemember my life in those system.I want you to know that SOME elements of that system are good,for example 0% of homeless.In the last 20 years of transformation there was many changes,but my country is still poor comparing to West Europe countries.I hope that Cuba shortly will transform to normal country,but will not be part of the american mafia empire like years before 1959.

  35. good work around the world for yoani…but still cuba is a nice place to be now that system is changing and the world is looking more like cuba today….and of course the bilderbergers are working hard to change the world system to cuban style

  36. good work around the world for yoani…but still cuba is a nice place to be now that system is changing and the world is looking more like cuba today….and of course the bilderbergers are working hard to change the world system to cuban style

  37. YOUTUBE: Bucket and pitcher – a Cuban Water Story!

  38. YOU KNOW THAT IF THE CASTROFASCISTS’ SAY IT’S “22% WATER LOSS” IS CLOSER TO 50%! THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA HAVE MADE LYING PART OF THEIR “ROBOLUTION”!!

    MIAMI HERALD: Cuba: 22 percent of water received at home is wasted – by Juan Tamayo

    The Cuban government’s past agricultural policies blocked the needed growth in production, and 22 percent of the water that reaches the country’s homes is wasted because of leaks, according to an official report released Monday.

    The 2,700-word report in the newspaper Granma, summing up information disseminated during a meeting of the ruling Council of Ministers on Friday, indicated the myriad problems that Cuba faces in exports and imports, labor, prices and other sectors.

    On agriculture, Vice President Marino Murillo, in charge of the economic reforms ordered by ruler Raúl Castro, told the Council that the country needs to “rectify the distortions that have impacted the economic results.”

    “The measures that have been put in use for managing the land for decades have not led to the necessary increase in production,” Murillo declared. “It is necessary to put all producers on the same level, unleash the productive forces and boost their efficiency.”

    He added that all agricultural producers will soon be allowed to sell their goods to anyone — after they have met their obligations for deliveries to state enterprises — but gave no further details on the coming changes.

    The Cuban government owns 80 percent of the country’s agricultural lands, and has been importing around $1.5 billion per year in food products to cover shortfalls in domestic production.

    Castro has ordered reforms in the agricultural sector to increase production, such as leasing fallow state lands to private farmers. Yet, the production of some food items has been dropping and prices have been rising.

    On the water leaks, Inés María Chapman, head of the National Institute for Hydraulic Resources, acknowledged that the plumbing in Cuba homes is so deteriorated that 22 percent of the water that reaches them is wasted.

    The main sources of the waste, Chapman said, are leaks in the homes’ pipes and rooftop water tanks — which most families have installed to capture water when it is available and save it for the many other times when the supply is cut off.

    Chapman said the government has budgeted money to update the only island enterprise that manufactures plumbing supplies, 30 years old and producing only 40 percent of the country’s needs because of its “high level of deterioration and obsolescence.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/04/3431320/cuba-22-percent-of-water-received.html

  39. IN SPANISH ONLY, BUT A VERY GOOD POINT ON THIS ARTICLE! SINCE NOW IN CUBA THEY HAVE “EXPANDED” INTERNET ACCESS, WHY IS ALAN GROSS STILL IN PRISON? HE IS NOT A SPY, EVEN THE CASTROFASCISTS DID NOT CHARGE HIM WITH THAT BUT OF BRINGING “ILLEGAL” COMPUTERS AND INTERNET ACCESS EQUIPMENT! SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!

    CUBANET: Conexiones controladas a la red – por René Gómez Manzano

    A partir del martes de esta semana los ciudadanos cubanos habrán alcanzado el acceso a internet, según anunciaron a bombo y platillo los medios de propaganda del régimen castrista. En realidad, lo modesto de la oferta no ameritaba tanta algarabía: serán apenas 118 salas en las que operarán en total 334 computadoras.

    Hay, en todo este contexto, otro asunto legal que llama mi atención: el caso del contratista norteamericano Alan Gross, preso en Cuba desde have unos cuatro años. Como se sabe, el crimen terrible que él perpetró fue facilitar equipos de comunicación satelital a sus correligionarios judíos de la Isla, quienes entrarían así en la red mundial.

    Se partía —pues— de una base: los cubanos no teníamos derecho a acceder a internet; por esa razón, estaba “atentando contra la soberanía del país” quien —como Gross— les viabilizara tal acceso. Pero si este último es ahora un derecho que, aunque pagándolo bien caro, podemos disfrutar, ¿entonces qué fundamento queda para los quince años de prisión impuestos al contratista estadounidense! ¡Mantener vigente esa arbitraria pena equivaldría a algo así como seguir castigando al poseedor de un par de dólares después que el gobierno despenalizó la tenencia de divisas!

    El precio cobrado por el codicioso estado es lo que sí no tendrá nada de modesto: 4.50 pesos convertibles (equivalentes a 4.90 dólares estadounidenses) por una hora. La cifra, aunque algo menor a la que hasta ahora había que abonar en los hoteles, sigue representando un tercio del salario mensual promedio de los cubanos.

    PULSE EN EL ENLACE PARA ARTICULO ENTERO!

    http://www.cubanet.org/articulos/conexiones-controladas-a-la-red/

  40. Pingback: Cuba: Yoani Returns | OccuWorld

  41. Pingback: Cuba: Yoani Returns · Global Voices

  42. You give me hope that I will some day see the places my family is from…that This cuban-american girl will see Bejucal and Santiago, that I will walks the roads of my ancestors in Cuba and know the places my grandparents knew as children.

  43. Yoani is back in Cuba. It would seem that there are others who would like to get there too.

    I don’t think anyone could possibly make this one up.
    Not even Old Fidel’s propaganda ‘A-team’ working double shifts could make this one up:

    Cuban ‘dissidents’ bankrolled by the U S taxpayer; sent to jail in Cuba; big international campaign for their release; finally get released; given visa to go live in Spain……

    But then guess what???

    No-one told them that Spain is one of the European countries most ravaged by the disastrous effects of the extreme neo-liberalist economic system currently afflicting planet earth…..

    …..and now it seems they want to go back to bad ole Cuba.

    C’mon guys…. surely you’d think that USAID could club together with some of those wrinkly old ex-terrorist losers from Miami and fund a decent capitalist lifestyle for these poor misguided puppets ……….

    …or perhaps they’ve just been used as a propaganda tool, been chewed up and then spat out again like so many others before them.

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=93318

    For those who might be interested in the unfortunate reality of the plight of these people: At the end of the Havana Times article click on ‘Out on the street’ for a further report on former detainees in Cuba now being detained in Spain.

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