Royalty and Servitude

Photo: Silvia Corbelle

My grandmother made a living washing and ironing for others. When she died, in her mid-eighties, she only knew how to write the three letters of her name: Ana. For her whole life, she worked as a maid for a family, even after 1959 when official propaganda boasted of having emancipated all servants. Instead, many women like her continued to work in domestic service but without any legal security. For my sister and me, Ana spent part of her days in “the house on Ayestarán Street,” and we never said out loud that she was paid to clean the floors, wash the dishes and prepare the food there. I never saw her complain, nor did I hear of her being mistreated.

A couple of days ago I heard a conversation that contrasted with the story of my grandmother. A plump lady dressed in expensive clothes was telling her friend — between glasses of white wine — how she behaved with her young domestic. I transcribe here — without adding even a word — a dialog that left me feeling a mixture of revulsion and sadness:

– From what you tell me, you’re lucky.
– Yes, I really can’t complain. Suzy started with us when she was 17 and she just turned 21.
– Now we’ll see if she gets pregnant and you have to throw her out.
– No, she’s very clear on that. I told her that if she gets pregnant she’ll lose her job.
– Yes, but you know, “the fox always returns to its den.” So maybe she’ll run after some man from the village where she was born.
– No way! She won’t even go to that “den” on vacation. Imagine you didn’t have any electricity, the floor of her parents’ house is dirt, and the latrine is shared by four families. – – It’s like the heavens opened up for her since she’s been with us. All she has to do is what I tell her, that’s all I ask.
– That’s how they start, but later they start thinking things and ask for more.
– So far we’re doing fine. She has Sunday afternoons off to do what she wants, but she has to come home by midnight. Most of the time she doesn’t even go out because she doesn’t know anyone in Havana. It’s better that way, because I don’t like the bad influences.
– Yes, it’s really bad out there. These country girls do better not to even go out because if they do they learn a few things.
– They learn more than a few things. Because of that I even monitor her phone calls. I don’t want her to learn what she doesn’t need to know.
– And that boyfriend you told me she had?
– No, that didn’t continue. We made it clear that we didn’t want men visiting our house. And she, really, has no time to be falling in love, my children take a lot of time. Taking them to the park, their homework after school, they like to paint before going to bed, she has to read them a story, they don’t like to watch movies alone. Poor thing, when it’s time to fall into bed she must be dead on her feet.
– Woooow… you’re sitting in the catbird seat. I haven’t had any luck. Every time I hire one, they don’t last even a month.
– If you like I can introduce you to Susy’s younger sister, she seems very serious.
– How old is she?
– Fifteen, so you can train her like you want.
– Yes, give her my phone number and have her call me. Oh, and make it clear, I’ll buy everything: clothes, shoes. But if she leaves one day, she’s not taking even a pin from my house. Make that clear! Because they get a big head and it’s hard as hell to deflate it!

The two women continue talking as the wine bottle passes the half-way mark. I overhear a rant about her husband’s more than 60 pairs of shoes. They laugh and I feel my stomach knotting up in a familiar way, with the accumulated anger abusers provoke in me. I go outside for a little air and see the “matron’s” car. It has green Army-issue license plates that stands out against the shiny metallic gray body. It’s the new aristocracy class, the olive-green royalty, lacking scruples and modesty. I spit on the windshield, for Susy, for Ana, for me.

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81 thoughts on “Royalty and Servitude

  1. Pingback: From elsewhere: For the Castro loving idiots out there. | Fahrenheit211

  2. Like the Dengue epidemic of 1997 in Santiago de Cuba, the regime has been falsifying the cause of death in the death certificates, in order to conceal the spread of the epidemic from the tourists visiting the main tourist areas.

  3. YOU GO SISTER SOULJAH! FROM THE BAHAMAS! HI Marabu! HI Nick! BIG GUSANO LOVE TO ALL OF YOU!

    TRIBUNE 242 BAHAMAS: According To Me: The Cuban Fiasco’s Biggest Abuser – by Sharon Turner

    THE Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas spoke this week on the current Cuban detainees controversy, telling the country he leads that he is both “worried” and “concerned” about our nation’s reputation – a reputation that has once again become tarnished in large part by the actions of one of his Ministers – Ministers he ought to keep in check as head of the Cabinet.
    The current Cuban detainee controversy in our country stems from allegations of that abuse. The government says those allegations are under investigation – fine.

    And right now there is another kind of abuse happening in all this. The victims are the Bahamian people and the abuser is the government, who through its lack of transparency and the reckless Napoleon-complex crusade of a lone Minister is causing Bahamians to misunderstand all the factors at play here, and causing many of you not to see how the government’s handling of this is playing fast and loose with your livelihood that predominantly depends on our nation’s relationship with the United States.

    If you’ve ever been in or seen an abusive or manipulative relationship before, you’ll recognise the following four signs: 1 – a person telling you that what they are doing is for your own good even though it’s actually hurting you; 2 – a person playing on your trigger points and areas they know make you very upset; 3 – a person only telling you half the story while demanding you trust everything they say and 4 – a person making you feel you are weak and a victim and that without them, you would be worse off.

    What we are seeing now is almost an instant replay of the last Christie government – same Minister, different Cuban detainees. Remember 2005? That was the year when the same Foreign Minister we have now, decided to go into a personal war with the United States over two Cuban dentists who wound up stalled in Bahamian waters en-route to America.

    They had won the US visa lottery and thus had entry visas for the US, but because Cuban leader Fidel Castro refused to allow them to leave Cuba, they chose to flee Cuba via the open seas to attempt to be re-united with their families who had already been accepted by the United States.

    What could have been a simple process of sending those detainees onto the United States dragged on for ten months of the two doctors being detained here. Why? Because our Foreign Affairs Minister decided to get into an unnecessary personal battle with American legislators which led to threats of economic sanctions against The Bahamas at that time.

    Now ask yourself this question – since the United States is so critical to our economic existence, why is it that our Foreign Affairs Minister keeps seeing a few Cuban detainees as being worth damaging our relations with the United States?

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/aug/23/according-me-cuban-fiascos-biggest-abuser/

  4. THERE IS NOTHING MORE “CORROSIVE” THAN 54+ YEARS OF THE CASTROFASCISTS! BUT OF COURSE THE CASTROFASCIST CONTROLLED MEDIA NEVER PUTS ANY NEWS ON THOSE PLAYERS WHO DEFECT AND THEIR GREAT SUCCESS! THAT INCLUDES OUR DODGER Yasiel Puig! OH MAN Marabu! I JUST USED CASTROFASCITS TWO TIMES! DAMN, CORRECTION THREE TIMES! JE JE JE!

    BBC NEWS: Cuban baseball greats vs US-based defectors – by Sarah Rainsford

    Some of Cuba’s greatest baseball stars are about to begin an unprecedented sporting event. The veterans play a series in the US with former team-mates who left the communist island, many playing in the Major League on huge salaries.

    Cuban baseball was a prime source of players for US Major League teams until Fidel Castro’s revolution. Castro banned professional sport having deemed the money “corrosive”.

    Industriales pitcher Rene Arocha, who will join the veterans for the reunion match, began the main flood of defections in 1991. He slipped away during a stopover at Miami airport.

    Dozens more have followed, often lured by professional scouts.

    Two young players fled just last month and it now appears that Cuba’s brightest talent, Jose Dariel Abreu of Cienfuegos, has also gone.

    The fate of his former Cienfuegos team-mate must be a big draw: Yasiel Puig skipped Cuba last year and signed for the LA Dodgers for $42m (£27m).

    Until recently, those who abandoned Cuba were considered traitors and blocked from returning.

    The government relaxed the migration laws earlier this year, and a handful of former baseball stars have since visited.

    This year, three players were contracted out to a Mexican club on deals worth some $10,000 a month, according to Cuba’s state-run Sports Institute.

    The institute said the players kept “the vast majority” of the money.

    In Cuba, a player earns around $20 a month.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23781212

  5. Marabu!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONCERN ABOUT MY HEALTH! AS FAR AS THE CASTROFASCISTS, I WANTED TO GIVE THINGS A LITTLE VARIATION SO WHEN THE CASTROFASCISTS’ NEWS COMES IT WILL EVEN MORE SALIENT! OH MAN, I JUST USED CASTROFASCISTS TWO TIMES! DAMN, MAKE THAT THREE TIMES! JE JE JE!

    CANADIAN BROADCAST COOPORATION: Cuban baseball player may have defected in Prince George – Player disappeared at World Baseball Challenge
    Border officials and RCMP are searching for a Cuban baseball player who disappeared just before the final gold medal game at an international tournament in Prince George, B.C.

    Officials fear the player may have defected, while the team was participating in the World Baseball Challenge.

    Jim Swanson, the tournament organizer, said members of the Ciego De Avila Tigres noticed their teammate was not at their hotel and that tournament officials are working with the Cuban Baseball Federation and its delegation.

    “We’re working with the authorities and with the Cuban delegation to understand where that player might be, what might have happened,” he said.

    But Swanson expects the Cuban team will still put up a tough fight against Japan tonight.

    “They’re definitely in a good position to win their second straight world baseball challenge title,” he said.

    Cuba participated in the tournament in 2011, but this is the first time a player has gone missing.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/08/22/bc-cuban-baseball-player.html

  6. Good Morning Humberto,

    What happend to you this night? It is very seldom you write a post without the CASTOFASCIST word. Are you allright?

  7. Marabu !! I CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON YOUR GITMO SONG IN THE MORNING! LIKE AN ANNOYING BIRD CALL THAT WAKES YOU UP!

    N.Y. TIMES: Havana Fantasies, Biology and Geography – In ‘Una Noche,’ Teenagers Flee Cuba – by Stephen Holden

    Contemporary Havana, as depicted in the film, is an impoverished, crumbling fleshpot, whose residents eke out a living the best they can, often by prostituting themselves to tourists. It’s also a barter culture; Elio exchanges his bike for the motor. You can have anything you want if you know whom to go to, observes a character. The authorities are constantly on the alert for trouble. We overhear a security guard warning a supervisor, “There’s a citizen talking to a blonde.”
    The movie’s first two-thirds are a portrait of the city as experienced by these teenagers, as they frantically (and surreptitiously) prepare to leave. A narrator (Aris Mejias), assuming Lila’s point of view, muses out loud about a city where, in the words of Raúl, the only things to do are sweat and have sex.

    Once they finally push off into the water, they discover that the motor doesn’t work, and they must paddle the entire 100-mile distance. They brave a thunderstorm, and a shark appears. That’s just the beginning of their troubles. But “Una Noche” doesn’t turn into a clichéd survival drama. For all its flaws, the movie, filmed with nonprofessional actors, is steadily gripping.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REVIEW!

    Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

    http://movies.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/movies/in-una-noche-teenagers-flee-cuba.html?_r=0

  8. @Trevor

    I am not refering to the colateral damage in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, with thousands of innocent casulties.
    I am not refering to the colateral damage of the Cuban Revolution either (this belongs to the history of the past century)

    I am talking about innocent inmates held in Gunantanamo today.

  9. Of course it does. I don’t remember hearing of any Guantanamo prisoners being executed on the spot, like Fidel and Che did to innocent people during the “revolution.”

    I’m sure that you are not naive enough to believe that prisoners, the world over, are coddled like guests at a 5-star hotel.

  10. Good point made by trevor: “the arrested are presumed innocent until PROVEN otherwise.”

    This applies to the Guantanamo inmates, of course.

  11. Here is (one of several) places where I read of the team mates accusations, so, no, I have no imagined “prejudices.” But keep it classy, Nick, by trying to disparage someone for no reason, based on flimsy or non-existent evidence. What was your point of stating that “unlike Yasiel, he was never kicked off the Cuban national team for shoplifting”?

    During the summer of 2011, at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands, the baseball world got a jolt when Yasiel and a pitcher, Gerardo Concepcion, had attempted to defect. Concepcion made it to the U.S. safety and ultimately signed with the Chicago Cubs. Yasiel was not as fortunate. He was caught and then punished by being kicked off the national team and suspended from Serie Nacional play. At least, that was the cover story—some of Yasiel’s teammates claimed that he had tried to shoplift some sneakers from a store in Rotterdam and was actually being disciplined by the club for that.

    Whatever the real story, being banned from the game he loved convinced Yasiel at this point to do whatever was necessary to make it to America. In the ensuing months, he boarded refugee boats from Cuba a number of times, including three from the same village. Each time, Cubanauthorities detected the attempt and turned him back. A local policeman begged him to leave from some other place—he was getting in trouble.

    http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Y_Puig/Y_Puig_bio.html

  12. I don’t believe that I stated that you said “convicted.” I’m merely pointing out the obvious, that the arrested are presumed innocent until PROVEN otherwise. You don’t disagree with that, do you?

  13. @Trevor,

    Did I say convicted anywhere?
    Don’t think so.
    The story goes that the Dutch Authorities were a bit embarrassed by the incident, returned Yasiel to the Cuban Team hotel and did not take the case to court.
    After this incident he was banned from the Cuban team.

    So your instinctive reaction of saying that this story was made up by Yasiel’s Cuban teammates comes from where?
    From some long held prejudice perhaps?

  14. So sorry, Nick. I was under the assumption that “arrested” and “convicted” were not the same thing. Silly me.

  15. @Trevor

    I wish Yasiel all the very best. I hope his success continues.
    In Cienfuegos and in Cuba as a whole people are proud of his achievements.
    I also hope he calms down a bit for his own sake (speeding/brawling etc)
    It has always been well known within Cuban baseball circles that he has a bit of a wild streak.
    Anyone with any knowledge of Cuban baseball would be aware of this.
    It is also pretty well established that he was arrested in Holland for shoplifting a pair of sneakers whilst over there on duty for The Cuban national team in a fairly minor tournament.
    He was given a ban for this.

    So Trevor you have a different version?

    What is it then?

    Perhaps it is you who has the gullibility trait….

  16. I would believe the accusations of shoplifting against Puig, made by some of his former team mates, about as much as I would believe that Cuba has good health care for everyone.

    Don’t be so gullible, Nick. Puig was not kicked off of the Cuban team for this.

  17. Continuing the baseball theme:
    It seems the 1st baseman and top hitter Jose Abreu has quit Cuban baseball and presumably will show up in US Leagues.
    As always the detrimental effect this has on Cuban baseball is a shame.
    However this potential great will be showing off his massive talent and slugging power on a bigger stage so who would blame him for that??

    If anyone thinks that Yasiel is good then wait till Abreu gets going.
    He’s of a different class altogether.

    And unlike Yasiel, he was never kicked off the Cuban National Team for shoplifting.

  18. An historic baseball series is to take place in Florida.
    As a confirmed ‘Industrialista’ for many years and visitor to ‘El Latino’ stadium many, many times, these goodwill games are of great interest.
    It’s a shame, but not untypical, that some boneheads would prefer them to be cancelled.

    Any step forward in Cuba/U.S. relations should be welcomed.
    Any recognition from The Cuban Government that in the real world, many top sportsman will prefer to go for the huge amount of dollar on offer (a fact they aint gonna change) is also a welcome step.

    I am sure there are all types of opinions within the Cuban/American community in Florida and the rest of the world.
    Regarding the historic game to take place I would, for arguments sake divide opinions into two categories:
    Those who will welcome this baseball match-up and see it as a positive step (The majority of those interested in the great game of baseball, I would assume).
    Those saddoes with their heads in the sand and their asses in the past who would seek to demonstrate against its taking place. (my assumption: only a small minority)

    One correction to this report/article:
    The Cuban national team which lost out to a U.S. college team this summer was not Cuba’s first team, it was a mixture of established players, second string players and up and coming players.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23781212

  19. The regime insists that the tourists are fine because they all can have bottle water. But, what about the Cuban people? The city of Havana, with a population that more than double the one in 1958, still depends of water and sewer systems are over 75 years old.

    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.

  20. AWW Marabu!! TRAITOR DEAR?? THE TRAITORS AND LIARS ARE THE CASTROFASCITS AND THEIR HENCHMEN! THEY BETRAYED THE REVOLUTION 54 YEARS AGO AND MADE CUBA THEIR OWN PLANTATION WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE BEING THEIR SLAVES! AND THAT GITMO, BAD USA TACTIC TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT!! LAME!!

    BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF ADS IN CUBA! ALL FOR THE CASTROFASCISTS, CHE AND THE CUBAN 5 SPIES! TOP 3 PRODUCTS! AND DID I FORGET TO MENTION THAT THE COMMUNIST PARTY CONTROLS ALL MEDIA?

    FORBES: Fantasize About A World Without Advertising? Try Cuba – by Eric Goldman

    When I say Cuba doesn’t have advertising, I’m obviously exaggerating a bit. I just didn’t see much advertising. No billboards. No television ads (as far as I could tell—though cable channels originating outside Cuba did have ads). No Internet ads (few Cubans can even afford Internet access). No leafleting. About the only “advertising” I encountered was store signage and oral pitches.

    Further, because of the lack of competition, the low sales volume and the costs of importing the goods (none were manufactured in Cuba), prices were high–at least as high as prices in California, and far out of reach for all but the wealthiest Cubans.

    This ad-free environment may sound utopian, but consider the principal reason why advertising is so scarce: because there aren’t a lot of things to buy, and not many people can afford to buy them. In effect, the lack of advertising is correlated with the Cuban economy’s consumer activity. With only a thin layer of consumer activity, advertising isn’t needed and rarely could be profitable.

    Cuba also doesn’t have much advertising because there’s little competition in Cuba. The government effectively runs all of the retail stores (other than mom-and-pop knick-knack stands), so there’s no inter-retailer competition and no need for retailers to advertise against each other. The most visible private sector are the tourist services like privately-run restaurants and transportation. Even then, most of these services aren’t high-margin or differentiated enough to support advertising.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericgoldman/2013/08/22/fantasize-about-a-world-without-advertising-try-cuba/

  21. I wonder when will this copypaster nicknamed Humberto learn, that Guantamo and the Guantananamo topics are as cuban as Havana?

    To the disgraced cuban traitors Guantanamo is part of the United States, but can can hardy find an American who would share their view.

  22. A new cholera outbreak started after the hurricane Sandy hit the eastern region of the island in October 25, 2012. People became ill after the contamination of water leakage and the flow of raw sewage in the streets due to the breakdown of water and sewer systems caused by their state of neglect.

  23. Humby thinks that torture, murder and force feeding going on at a concentration camp on an occupied part of Cuba is not a Cuban issue???
    Its a Cuban issue, its a U.S. issue, its a human rights issue and its a hypocrisy issue.

    Humby thinks his (which shade if blue) Cuban blood gives him a right to say what is an issue for this blog and what isn’t.

    Humby, just keep up the copying pasting quota as long as the moderator lets you carry on with it.
    But don’t hit those keys too hard now, you might chip a nail……

  24. Miguel Angel,

    There are many people in the world that would like to put in place policies that would take Cuba back to being a de facto U.S. territory. I don’t think that such people are all ‘bad’, in fact many of them are perfectly decent people. They are just plain wrong.
    Cuba has a whole host of problems at the present time, but this could get much worse if these ‘decent’ people have their way. But do they care what happens to Cuban sovereignty as long as they can get themselves into a position where they can make themselves a nice slice of dollar??

    Juan Almeida (Snr) rose from being a bricklayer to studying law, hooking up with Fidel Castro and being one of the key Commanders in the successful revolutionary war. A war which took Cuba away from the Batista/Lansky/de facto U.S. territory era.

    He was also a renowned writer, poet and musician.
    He passed on a few years ago. Many were saddened by his passing including a great many in Cuba who are most definitely not communists or particularly pro the revolution.

    I always find it to be a shame when a son falls out with his own father.
    But it happens.

  25. There are still a few good people around the world who believe in the so called Cuban Revolution. I am sending a link to an article written by a Cuban Exile: Juan Juan Almeida. To those who do not know his father, Juan Almeida, I would like to share with you the fact that he was the only black “Comandante” who fought with Castro against the Batista dictatorship. His son, in spite of the fact that he lived a life of privilege in Cuba, decided to join the 3 million Cuban Exiles all over the world and condemn the regime that has destroyed Cuba.

    I was an 11 year old boy in Havana when I first heard stories that blood was extracted from those who were going to be executed. Juan Juan Almeida reminds us of the sad fate of thousands of my compatriots who were murdered without any due process by Castro’s tyranny, while many around the world chanted: Cuba Sí, Yankees NO

    Here is an excerpt:

    “Fidel Castro publicly acknowledged these actions when, in a long-winded speech on February 6, 1961, he said — and I quote — “Don’t think that just because counter-revolutionaries die in disgrace before a firing squad they are not of use to the Cuban revolution. The blood of these traitors is extracted before execution in order to save the lives of the many militiamen ready to die for the Fatherland.””

    Here is a link to the rest of the article by Juan Juan Almeida:

    http://translatingcuba.com/blood-for-export-juan-juan-almeida/

  26. Nick said: “…beatings and brutal murders committed by the USA on religious grounds on the island of Cuba.”

    AWW Nick! DONT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CASTROFASCIST RECORD ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION DEAR? DONT MESS WITH THE “OLD COPY AND PASTE QUEEN FROM CALIFORNIA” DEAR! I GOT A LOT OF AMUNITION, FAKE NAILS AND GREAT AT MULTI TASKING WHEN THEY ARE DRYING OFF! JE JE JE!

    CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY WORLDWIDE: Religious persecution in Cuba
    One pastor in Cuba told CSW that church leaders are facing the highest levels of intimidation in twenty years. In some ways conditions appear to have improved over the past year – for example CSW has received fewer reports of demolitions of churches. However, church leaders representing a cross section of denominations in the country regard these new developments skeptically and urge caution to the outside world.

    Cuba’s communist system means that Christians of all denominations are systematically marginalised, and shifting government tactics during 2010 have created a subtler but more effective persecution, putting pressure directly on church leaders to conform. Religious activity and institutions are regulated by the Religious Affairs Office, a wing of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party which has maintained an antagonistic relationship with religious leaders since the Revolution.

    What does Christian persecution look like in Cuba?
    Government agents infiltrate congregations and religious organisations for covert surveillance.
    Churches are run down and overcrowded due to difficulties in obtaining permission to make church building repairs – permission is rarely given to build new churches.
    House churches exist in a state of legal limbo – tolerated but not officially legal – and can be shut down at any time – there is no freedom of assembly or association in Cuba.
    Church leaders who speak out on issues of religious freedom are severely harassed and the worst cases have been arrested or forced to leave the country.
    Church leaders regularly receive visits from intelligence agents in an attempt to intimidate them and remind them that the government is watching all they are doing.
    Religious freedom in Cuba: Five top facts:
    1. In 2008 Cuba signed the International Covenant on Civil and
    Political Rights, which includes provisions on religious
    freedom, but has yet to ratify or implement it.
    2. With very few exceptions, the authorities have not granted
    permission to build new churches since the 1959 revolution.
    The government often ignores or responds negatively to
    requests to make structural repairs to the churches built
    before 1959, meaning some have been condemned as health
    hazard, preventing the congregations from meeting there.
    3. If a non-Cuban participates in a house church worship
    service a £650 fine can be imposed on the church leader
    and on the foreign participant; Cubans earn around £13 per
    month.
    4. Church leaders estimate that 10-15,000 house churches of
    varying size, mostly unregistered, meet across Cuba. One
    of the fastest growing church networks is the Apostolic
    Movement, which meets in about 100 unregistered churches
    across the country.
    5. Prisoners of conscience are regularly “punished” by having
    their Bibles and other religious reading materials confiscated
    and are not allowed to participate in worship services held
    inside the prisons.

    http://www.csw.org.uk/cuba

  27. Nick DEAR! GO AND POST THE GITMO STUFF IN A RELEVANT BLOG!! THIS BLOG IS ABOUT CUBA AND CUBAN ISSUES! IT IS YOUR RIGHT DEAR TO POST, BUT YOU CHANGING THE SUBJECT IS VERY OBVIOUS! AND YES, IM OF CUBAN BLOOD AND BIRTH, DONT FORGET THAT ONE!

    HAVANA TIMES: Cuba’s Communist Party: A New Form of Discrimination – by Vicente Morin Aguado
    I still remember the question put to me when I applied to become a history teacher, right after finishing the twelfth grade: “Do you maintain any type of contact with relatives living abroad?” – See more at: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=98188#sthash.yVGC4pk0.dpufI still remember the question put to me when I applied to become a history teacher, right after finishing the twelfth grade: “Do you maintain any type of contact with relatives living abroad?” – See more at: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=98188#sthash.yVGC4pk0.dpuf
    I still remember the question put to me when I applied to become a history teacher, right after finishing the twelfth grade: “Do you maintain any type of contact with relatives living abroad?”

    It still pains me to have written a “NO” in the questionnaire. What hurts most is that it was actually true: I didn’t keep in touch with my uncle and godfather, quite simply because I was forbidden to do so by my father, may he rest in peace, who had also told my mother not to do so.

    This is one example, among many, of a new type of ostracism created by the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), whose objectives and statutes proclaim that it is resolutely against any form of discrimination.

    One’s loyalty to the PCC (real or supposed), determined directly by those officials entrusted with giving one the “green light”, demonstrated in practice, will be an essential requirement to be able to qualify as an “internationalist brigade worker.” One’s professional qualifications are secondary. The revolution as such continues to be our main export. – See more at: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=98188#sthash.yVGC4pk0.dpufOne’s loyalty to the PCC (real or supposed), determined directly by those officials entrusted with giving one the “green light”, demonstrated in practice, will be an essential requirement to be able to qualify as an “internationalist brigade worker.” One’s professional qualifications are secondary. The revolution as such continues to be our main export.

    Something similar happens in Cuba in connection with one’s career, in professions such as law, teaching and journalism, to name only a few. It is important to point out that, in my country, on the basis of a State (i.e. partisan) decision, the government is the only existing employer in these fields. In brief, it is a closed and, I dare say, vicious, circle.

    Is this not, ultimately, a form of discrimination?

    Up to this point, I have chiefly addressed the political side to this, decided in each of the PCC’s secret meetings and by this and that influential figure within the State bureaucracy, who decide what is to be discussed or not.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=98188

  28. So Humby wants to clog up this forum with his irrelevant copy and pasting show whilst at the same time dismissing the disgusting and murderous abuses committed by his fellow compatriots at Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp.

    Humby’s dismissal of these human rights abuses is the equivalent of gloating over the torture, beatings and brutal murders committed by the USA on religious grounds on the island of Cuba.

    And Humby is so extreme in his views that he thinks its cool to justify this gloating just because he is of Cuban blood.

    Twisted.

  29. Marabu !! IM BOTH AMERICAN AND CUBAN DEAR! HOW IS THAT BOTTOM OF THE BARREL WORKING OUT FOR YOU??

    MIAMI HERALD: Biographer Shoer Roth nn ‘The Spiritual Father’ of Miami’s Cuban exiles – by Tim Padgett

    A month before he died last year at the age of 83, Augustín Román was honored by the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews for his interfaith work as a Roman Catholic bishop. So the fact that a Jewish author will pen Román’s authorized biography isn’t just fitting — it is itself a reassuringly Miami narrative.

    It is undoubtedly one of South Florida’s most iconic, a drama that included Román’s expulsion from communist Cuba in the 1960s and his rise to become what Shoer Roth calls “the spiritual father” of Miami’s Cuban exiles.
    Román was one of some 3,500 priests and nuns whom Cuban dictator Fidel Castro booted off the island in the early 1960s. But his career was “unique,” says Shoer Roth, who likens the impact of Román’s life and death on Cuban Americans to that of Cuban singing legend Celia Cruz. “You’re not going to find someone with his virtues, attributes and the effect that he had on this community.”

    Aside from distinguishing himself as the first Cuban bishop in the U.S. Catholic church, Román was also famous for quelling massive and potentially deadly riots among frustrated Cuban detainees who had taken hostages at federal prisons in Oakdale, La., and Atlanta, Ga., in 1987. Román recounted to Shoer Roth that he told the inmates he couldn’t pray the Our Father with them as long as they were holding weapons.

    “That was a historic moment,” says Shoer Roth, “when everybody then dropped their arms.”

    But as a pastor to Cuban exiles, Román was also a strong advocate for South Florida’s myriad other immigrant groups, including Haitians. And while he never returned to Cuba, his work in the U.S. encouraged dissidents on the island and eventually helped revive the Catholic church there — which is now the country’s leading non-communist institution.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/21/3576763/biographer-shoer-roth-on-the-spiritual.html

  30. @Humberto
    I am not defining who is a US citizen and who is Cuban.
    Title 8 of Code of Federal Regulations does (oath of allegiance).

    If you feel you are more Cuban then American you should think of renouncing the US citizenship, like that cuban agent who retuned his US passport and went to live in Cuba.

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