Our wall has not fallen … but it is not eternal

The fall of the Berlin Wall or the birth of a new era (Archive Photo)

The fall of the Berlin Wall or the birth of a new era (Archive Photo)

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 9 November 2014 – My life up to then had always been lived between walls. The wall of the Malecon that separated me from a world of which I’d only heard the horror. The wall of the school where I studied when Germany was reunified. The long wall behind which the illegal sellers of sweets and treats hid themselves. Almost six feet of some overlapping bricks that some classmates jumped over to get out of classes, as indoctrinating as they were boring. To this was added the wall of silence and fear. At home, my parents put their fingers to their lips, speaking in whispers… something happened, but they didn’t tell me what.

In November of 1989 the Berlin Will fell. In reality, it was knocked down with a sledgehammer and a chisel. Those who threw themselves against it were the same people who, weeks earlier, appeared to obey the Communist Party and believe in the paradise of the proletariat. The news came to us slowly and fragmented. Cuba’s ruling party tried to distract attention and minimize the matter; but the details leaked out little by little. That year my adolescence ended. I was only fourteen and everything that came afterwards left me no space for naivety.

Berliners awoke to the noise of the hammers and we Cubans discovered that the promised future was a complete lie

The masks fell on by one. Berliners awoke to the noise of hammers and we Cubans discovered that the promised future was a complete lie. While Eastern Europe shrugged off the long embrace of the Kremlin, Fidel Castro screamed from the dais, promising in the name of everybody that we would never give up. Few had the insight to realize that that political delusion would condemn us to the most difficult years to confront several generations of Cubans. The wall fell far away, while another parapet was raised around us, that of ideological blindness, irresponsibility and voluntarism.

A quarter century has passed. Today Germans and the whole world are celebrating the end of an absurdity. They are taking stock of the achievements since that November and enjoying the freedom to complain about what hasn’t gone well. We, in Cuba, have missed out on twenty-five years of climbing aboard history’s bandwagon. For our country, the wall is still standing, although right now few are propping up a bulwark erected more at the whim of one man than by the decision of a people.

Our wall hasn’t fallen… but it is not eternal.

85 thoughts on “Our wall has not fallen … but it is not eternal

  1. Please just let me comment on the revelations about the life of Fidel Castro by his body guard before moving on to the next blog entry: There are deluded Lalaland dwellers like maybe the OMario broz, but “leaders” like FC are not among them. Their rhetoric about a future workers’ paradise is only a smokescreen, trying to hide their desire for total power. Their opulent lifestyle shows exactly how great their hypocrisy is.
    One of the greatest lies ever told in World History was when Adolf Hitler promised that there would be peace just before he started WWll. This is the MO of the Castros, the Kims of the DPRK and El Maburro of Vzla etc, who tell this type of lies any day of the week…

  2. Just think for a second about what Cuba culd have been today! Then the Castros, revolucion y muerte and dirty geopolitics happened. I believe that Cuba – with its proximity to the USA – like any repressed nation on the face of the earth will grow in great leaps and bounds when given the chance. In the case of Cubazuela I think that time is coming very soon.
    Today I have some bonus info for y’all: The Castro broz’ parents were Spanish, and the two boys weren’t born in Cuba. Also, El Maburro isn’t Venezuelan enough to be Prez in that country. More wonderful aspects of a certain type of Carribean Reality, ruled by bastards…

  3. Then it’s the eternal question: Would the Cuban people benefit from more telecoms access? Yes, if prices aren’t too high.Then how will the Castristas keep total control? That’s a bigger conundrum…

  4. HERE YOU GO Omar Fundora DEAR! YOU SEE, I PROVIDE A LINK TO ALL MY DATA! WHY CANT YOU DEAR?

    INTER AMERICAN SECURITY WATCH: Traders Are ‘Scared As Hell’ Of What’s Happening In Venezuela – by Linette Lopez

    Venezuelan investors are abandoning ship en masse after the government indicated that it would not take immediate measures to stop the country from sinking deeper into chaos.

    “I am scared as hell,” one Latin American bond trader said. “Default [is] likely within 12 months; the oil price collapse [is] just adding to a completely dysfunctional political and financial situation.”

    The signal to head for the exits was so subtle that you would have missed it if you were not paying close attention.

    This week the Venezuelan government reiterated that it would not devalue its currency, giving it more bolivars for every dollar. It does not want to do that because the country already has the highest inflation rate in the world, at 64%.

    The official exchange rate is 6.3 bolivars per dollar, but the black-market rate sits at 113.62 bolivars to the dollar.

    http://interamericansecuritywatch.com/category/venezuela/

  5. DEAR Omar Fundora!! CUBA WAS NOT A HELL HOLE BEFORE CASTRO! MOST OF LATIN AMERICA HAD SIMILAR POLITICAL PROBLEMS! AND BESIDES, BATISTA WAS ONLY IN POWER ON AND OFF FOR ABOUT 14 YEARS WHICH IS CERTAINLY NOT 56+ YEARS AND COUNTING AS WITH THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA DEAR!

    PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: FIDEL CASTRO- Pre-Castro Cuba

    On the eve of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, Cuba was neither the paradise that would later be conjured by the nostalgic imaginations of Cuba’s many exiles, nor the hellhole painted by many supporters of the revolution, who recall Cuba as “the brothel of the Western hemisphere” — an island inhabited by a people degraded and hungry, whose main occupation was to cater to American tourists at Havana’s luxurious hotels, beaches and casinos. Rather, Cuba was one of the most advanced and successful countries in Latin America.

    Success by the Numbers
    Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a glittering and dynamic city. In the early part of the century the country’s economy, fueled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown dynamically. Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT, VIDEOS ETC.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peopleevents/e_precastro.html

  6. Wrong again, Omar.

    The press in the United States is a free press.

    Here’s the text of the first amendment, in case you forgot—or maybe you just never read it:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    The fact is, the press in the United States is a free press. This has been litigated over and over again for the last 200 plus years of our democracy.

    Cuba, on the other hand, does not have a free press. It has no freedom at all.

    Why?

    Because a couple of idiot thugs named castro decided they wanted to rule the place half a century ago. They got away with it by killing or imprisoning their opponents.

    Keep telling your lies. We all see them for what they are.

  7. DEAR Omar Fundora (@TheTrue2), DONT YOU THINK THAT THE CUBAN PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE FREE OR ALMOST FREE INTERNET ACCESS SO THEY CAN SURF ALL AVAILABLE NEWS SOURCES AND MAKE UP THEIR MIND DEAR? NO ONE IN THE WORLD HAS TO READ THE BAD OLD USA NEWS DEAR SO THAT QUOTE OF YOURS “The Press in the U.S. is not a free press.” EVEN IF IT WAS TRUES DOES NOT PRESENT AN OBSTACLE FOR THOSE WITH ONLINE ACCESS!

    WASHINGTON POST: U.S. Telecoms Eager to Build a Business Presence in Cuba – By Cecilia Kang -April 15, 2009
    U.S. telecommunication firms could open up investment in Cuba now that the Obama administration will allow companies to operate there, a final global frontier for the Internet age.
    But before cellphone and Internet providers rush in, they will closely study potential pitfalls in setting up shop in the Communist nation with one of the poorest populations in the region, analysts said.
    The Cuban government has not been helpful in allowing its citizens access to communications technology, said David Gross, who was U.S. ambassador and coordinator for International Information and Communications Policy during the Bush administration. Now that the United States has opened the door, he said, “the question is whether the Cuban government will allow people to come inside.”
    Cuba has the lowest percentage of telephone, Internet and cellphone subscribers in Latin America, according to Manuel Cereijo, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Miami. About 11 percent of residents subscribe to land-line telephone service, and 2 percent have cellphone service.
    Under President Obama’s plan, U.S. telecom companies would be able to build undersea cable networks that connect the two nations. Cellphone carriers would be able to contract with Cuba’s government-run wireless operator to provide service to its residents and offer roaming services to Americans visiting the island.
    U.S. satellite operators such as Sirius XM Radio and Dish Network could beam Martha Stewart and MTV programs to the nation. Cubans could also receive cellphones and computers donated from overseas.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14/AR2009041403144.html

  8. KEEP THE ECONOMIC MONARCHS FROM THE U.S. OUT OF CUBA …DON’T BRING THE PAST BACK TO THE ISLAND….
    http://cubaninsider.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.html
    She may look more like a reticent Miss Congeniality than a fierce lioness but Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s Minister of North American Affairs, is a key reason the island of Cuba is surviving as a sovereign nation, against implacable odds, this deep into the 21st Century. At the conclusion of a news conference in Havana, almost as an aside, she was asked by a candid French journalist, “Really, Ms. Vidal, how much longer can the revolution last? I mean, Fidel is now 88-years-old. When he’s gone…” She cut off the Frenchman in mid-sentence, curtly replying, “When he’s gone we’ll have his legacy. In his life-time he beat the thieving Batistianos who were backed by the strongest nation in the world, the United States, and by the strongest criminal organization in the world, the Mafia. And in his legacy we will still have him as a ballast. Tell your readers in Paris that this is not a normal revolution. Keeping the Mafia off the island will keep inspiring us. If we have surprised you for over sixty years, you will be equally surprised in the next six or ten decades.”

  9. Neutral Observer: The Press in the U.S. is not a free press. The Benefit to the Press in the U.S. is that there are so many different companies and people engage in reporting the news, that the truth can be found if you are willing to take the time to search the many publications that exist. If you are willing to do the same job that some employees on the payroll of the CIA do, in other words, you can get to the bottom of the truth…

  10. Humberto: if this is true…why would Cuba would want to allow a Muslim house of prayer in Cuba??…specially when the guy pushing for it claims that they were first in the island prior to Christopher Columbus…I think not allowing this mosque to build in the island is a no brainer…

    Cuba’s prevailing religion is Roman Catholicism, although in some instances it is profoundly modified and influenced through syncretism. A common syncretic religion is Santería, which combined the Yoruban religion of the African slaves with Catholicism and some Native American strands; it shows similarities to Brazilian Umbanda and has been receiving a degree of official support. The Roman Catholic Church estimates that 65 percent of the population is Catholic,[2] but only 5% of that 60% attends mass regularly,[3] while independent sources estimate that as few 1.5% of the population does so.[4]

    Membership in Protestant churches is estimated to be 5 percent and includes Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and Lutherans. Other groups include the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Baha’is, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

    Entrance to the Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana (Cathedral of Saint Christopher of Havana)
    Cuba is home to a variety of syncretic religions of largely African cultural origin. According to a US State Department report,[2] some sources estimate that as much as 80 percent of the population consults with practitioners of religions with West African roots, such as Santeria or Yoruba. Santería developed out of the traditions of the Yoruba, one of the African peoples who were imported to Cuba during the 16th through 19th centuries to work on the sugar plantations. Santería blends elements of Christianity and West African beliefs and as such made it possible for the slaves to retain their traditional beliefs while appearing to practice Catholicism. La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (Our Lady Of Charity) is the Catholic patroness of Cuba, and is greatly revered by the Cuban people and seen as a symbol of Cuba. In Santería, she has been syncretized with the goddess Ochún. The important religious festival “La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre” is celebrated by Cubans annually on 8 September. Other religions practised are Palo Monte, and Abakuá, which have large parts of their liturgy in African languages.

  11. yskjs: The economic situation in Venezuela is bad, but, not enough for the country to implode. The country is going through economic re-structuring. The situation will stabilize soon and Cuba’s near future looks promising. It really depends on the World economy and FDI interest in the island more than the lack of mobility in the political organization or lack of legal multiple political parties in the island nation.

  12. A lack of chrisma is the last thing El Maburro and the Chavistas have to worry about. I can’t see any way that Vzla can avoid a total collapse, Cuba going down in the same vortex…

  13. THERE GOES THE CLAIM OF “RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE” BY THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA! INTERESTING THAT IN THE “BAD OLD USA” THIS WEEK, MUSLIMS HELD PRAYED AT THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL!

    “In a corner of Washington National Cathedral, several hundred Muslim worshipers and other invited guests gathered Friday afternoon for a first-ever recitation of weekly Muslim prayers at the iconic Christian sanctuary and to hear leaders of both faiths call for religious unity in the face of extremist violence and hate.” – Washington Post

    ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: Cuba Rejects Erdogan’s Offer to Build Country’s First Mosque – Communist government says no thanks to Turkish leader’s offer during speech in which he claimed ‘Muslims discovered American.’ – By Ari Soffer

    Cuba has reportedly rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer to build the country’s first mosque.

    Erdogan’s offer came during a speech in Istanbul to Muslim leaders from Latin America, in which he made the bizarre claim that Muslims discovered America nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus.

    “Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178,” Erdogan said at the televised address.

    “Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast,” he added, and said that Ankara was even prepared to build a mosque at the site mentioned by the Genoese explorer.

    “I would like to talk about it to my Cuban brothers. A mosque would go perfectly on the hill today.”

    But according to the Turkish World Bulletin website, the head of Havana’s tiny Muslim community, Pedro Lazo Torres, said that his joint efforts with Turkey’s Religious Affairs Foundation (TDV) to open a mosque in the Cuban capital was rejected by the country’s communist government.

    He expressed his disappointment at the decision, contrasting it to the decision to allow Russia to build at Russian Orthodox church in the country. Cuba’s 4,000 Muslims are currently restricted to praying in private homes.

    The TDV’s initiative is reportedly part of a wider drive to build mosques throughout the Caribbean.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187526

  14. Humberto, what is frightening about this situation in Mexico is that the people will percieve exactly that which you – with the help of Omar – are describing. Anything can happen, from the people voting more leftist to the toppling of the Nieto govt!
    The facts don’t add up as to why do this, and who can benefit from kidnapping all those students. Just plain logic tells me that some exteme Socialist forces have orchestrated this…

  15. Reforms, reforms, such an interesting subject! Whether it’s in Cuba, Mexico or anywhere else, they have to adress the most important and urgent problems first…

  16. SO THIS BASEBALL PLAYER Yoan Moncada, GOT THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA’S CONSENT TO LEAVE CUBA AND BECOME A FREE AGENT FOR LOTS OF MONEY AT THE MLB! I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THE CASTROFASCISTS ARE GETTING A PRETTY GOOD CUT OF HIS CONTRACT AND OTHER EARNINGS! THAT’S HOW A MAFIA WORKS DUH!

    ESPN: Cuba’s Yoan Moncada cleared – by Keith Law

    Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, who left the country with the government’s permission earlier this year, has been cleared by Major League Baseball to sign as a free agent, a source confirmed Saturday.

    Moncada still must be cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control before he will be eligible to sign and begin his professional career.

    MLB earlier reported Moncada’s clearance.

    Moncada, 19, is considered by major league scouts to be one of the best prospects to come out of Cuba. Under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ union, however, he will be treated as an amateur free agent rather than a professional, as Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu were.

    Any major league team that signs Moncada must do so out of its July 2 budget for international free agents, and will pay a penalty of 100 percent on any amount paid to Moncada over that team’s fixed budget amount. With the bonus paid to Moncada expected to exceed $30 million, the team that signs him would thus pay nearly $60 million in salary and penalties and would be proscribed from signing any July 2 (international) amateur free agent for the next two years for over $300,000.

    The Cubs and Rangers are currently prohibited from signing any player over that number due to exceeding their bonus pool limits in previous years, and thus will be unable to sign Moncada unless OFAC delays his ultimate free agency.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://m.espn.go.com/mlb/story?storyId=11880509&src=desktop

  17. I guess Omar and Mario and the others are all part of that wall.

    Just lie, lie and lie some more. Then lie some more. 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

    The only successful product that Castro produced is propaganda.

    It really is a smashing success.

    The US has nothing like it. It can’t have anything like it, because the press is free in the USA.

  18. “acts of assasinations because of political ideology in Mexico are carried out by the Right Wing hit squads of the Mexican government supported by the sociopath assasins of the C.I.A…no investigation needs to be conducted…the World knows this…” – Omar Fundora -Cuba expert with Phd in Mexican Studies and a GREAT Singer of that great Leftist song “Bad Old USA” !!

  19. yskjs: acts of assasinations because of political ideology in Mexico are carried out by the Right Wing hit squads of the Mexican government supported by the sociopath assasins of the C.I.A…no investigation needs to be conducted…the World knows this…..for your own enlightenment ….there are Socialists all over the World…Cuba is not behind acts by revolutionaries in Latin America. It is the People of Latin America that are fat up with Right Wing death squads, oppression, inequality and exploitation by the privilege crowd in Latin America….

  20. Yesterday I heard some good and some bad news, both with a Cuba connection:
    The bad news was that the normalista teachers’ college in Guerrero, Mexico where the 43 disappeared students were studying is a left-leaning institution that educated young people from poor families.
    As we know, poverty means fertile ground for spreading Socialism, and there is no greater proponent for that in Latin America than Cuba. I have absolutely no idea if Cuba is directly involved in this or not. However, change needs to happen in Cuba not only for the sake of its people, but also because of the negative ideological influence it has in too many countries.
    There are some good journalists that are working on this story, but they haven’t been able to dig deeper into the real reasons behind this yet.
    The good news came from Brazil, where people said that they didn’t want their country to become like Cuba. That needs no comment,
    Mexico and Brazil, the two most important countries in Latin America, can’t become like the disasters that Cuba and Vzla are. You in the USA, use whatever influence you may have!

  21. WOW! WHAT A STORY AND WHAT A GREAT DOCUMENTARY!
    YOUTUBE: “Brothers in Exile. Hermanos en el exilio” – Full documentary – Documental completo – Major League Baseball has been transformed by the influx of Cuban players such as Aroldis Chapman, Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu. But a special debt of gratitude is owed to two half-brothers, whose courage two decades ago paved the way for their stardom. “Brothers in Exile” tells the incredible story of Livan and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who risked their lives to get off the island. Livan left first, banking on his status as the hottest young prospect in Cuba he defected via Mexico and signed with the Florida Marlins, for whom he became one of the youngest World Series MVPs in history in 1997. Staying behind was Orlando, who was banned from professional baseball in Cuba for life because he was suspected of having helped Livan escape. Then, on Christmas 1997, an increasingly frustrated and harassed Orlando left Cuba in a small boat. He was stranded on a deserted island for days before being picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard. Less than a year later, “El Duque” was helping pitch the New York Yankees to a world championship, completing a most unlikely journey for two half-brothers who rode their arms to freedom and triumph.

  22. Fabulous!

    Does this also mean members of the public will be able to attend trials and sentencing hearings of Cuban political prisoners?

    Does this mean the dictatorship will allow an independent investigation into how Oswaldo Paya died?

    Does this mean there will be free and plural elections in Cuba?

    I doubt it. Same sh$t, different day.

  23. THAT AWFUL CUBAN EMBARGO AGAIN!

    HAVANA TIMES: Eat in Cuba, Let Relatives Pay in Miami – by Cafe Fuerte

    A new Cuban initiative to obtain dollars mainly from Miami is up and running: Dining in Havana with dollars from family or friends from abroad.

    Starting this month, state officials authorized restaurant reservations for Cubans living on the island made from abroad; people can now make invitations for lunch or dinner for their relatives or friends with all expenses paid.

    The new service began on November 1 and allows purchasers to select a table and menu, only via the internet, to 43 restaurants and cafes in four provinces: Havana (13), Villa Clara (6), Camaguey (13) and Holguin (11).

    The website allows those interested to choose dishes ranging in price from $13.83 dollars at the Gato Tuerto to the menu 4 at the Bodeguita del Medio for $ 28.08. Payments with Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

    Contribution from Cubans Living Abroad

    The service is similar to that established by the State monopoly phone company ETECSA for online payments from outside the country for telephone bills of residents on the island, in force since January.

    The objective of the ETECSA and restaurant pay from abroad system seems one and the same: tap the potential of the Cuban diaspora as a source of capital for the island’s economy.

    The assistance not only comes from outside in the form of shipments of food, clothing, medicine and electronics and more than $ 2.600 billion in annual family remittances, but now begins to branch out into other expenses of daily life. These include payment of phone bills, cash to finance buying houses and cars, supplies for private restaurants and even moments of relaxation and enjoyment, such as footing the bill for stays at resorts and now dinners at restaurants.

    The announcement of this new type of food service is promoted by the state company Cubanacan Travel with the attractiveness that reservations may also be made at private business associated with the tourism company.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=107350

  24. Again you are wrong, Simba. America is a continent with the USA, Cuba and many other countries. There are all the time many similar events in these countries and influences that affect them.
    Also I haven’t seen anyone publish Bible quotations…

  25. LOOKS LIKE THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS & CUBAZUELA OR VENECUBA ARE READY TO GO OVER THE ECONOMIC CLIFF! AS VENEZUELA GOES, SO WILL THE CATROFASCISTS! THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO MY BIGGEST “FAN”, DEAR OLD Simba!! ENJOY IT DEAR!

    BUSINESS INSIDER: Traders Are ‘Scared As Hell’ Of What’s Happening In Venezuela – by Linette Lopez

    Venezuelan investors are abandoning ship en masse after the government indicated that it would not take immediate measures to stop the country from sinking deeper into chaos.

    This week the Venezuelan government reiterated that it would not devalue its currency, giving it more bolivars for every dollar. It does not want to do that because the country already has the highest inflation rate in the world, at 64%.

    The official exchange rate is 6.3 bolivars per dollar, but the black-market rate sits at 113.62 bolivars to the dollar.
    Investors did exactly the opposite. They are abandoning Venezuela at a stunning rate. The country’s debt maturing in 2027 has fallen to a six-year low of 55.1 cents, according to Bloomberg, down 14% in a month.

    This is, in part, due to a global economic shift. Oil makes up 95% of Venezuela’s exports, and the commodity has gotten absolutely crushed in the past month — down 28%. Some accuse Saudi Arabia of keeping the price low to compete with the world’s burgeoning natural gas industry — an allegation the Kingdom and OPEC have categorically denied.

    In the meantime, Venezuela is already suffering from food shortages. A lot of that food — along with other household goods — is imported, and without the cash from oil, the government will not be able to subsidize those imports, according to a report by the research firm Stratfor.

    “Default is the end game,” the bond trader said. “Bonds trade down into the 20 cents on the dollar, then restructuring etc. but the default could cause political unrest.”

    President Nicolas Maduro lacks the charisma of his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez. His approval rating hovers around 30%, though the country remains more evenly divided about his socialist party.

    What this economic strain could do is take us back to February, when hundreds of thousands marched through the streets of Caracas and other cities all over Venezuela, with the government engaging in a campaign isolating or imprisoning opposition leaders like Harvard-educated politician Leopoldo Lopez (who still sits in jail awaiting his day in court).

    Back then the lines to get into government supermarkets were long. They will only get longer. The people will get angrier. Maduro will run out of time.

    But that does not mean he will let go of power. At least, not without a fight.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/traders-scared-as-hell-of-venezuela-2014-11

  26. What Simba sez about Humberto is fundamentally wrong. Yoani has made it clear that her main task is to observe the living conditions of the Cuban people and report the truth. That’s the task of all journalists, whatever the subject.
    Then we can all form our own opinions.
    Humberto draws our attention to articles that most of us haven’t read that confirm what Yoani shows us.
    Why Simba sez anything at all isn’t clear to me…

  27. Cuba doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In the history of that small nation in the last half century, it has had an enormous influence on Latin America and beyond. If someone else than Simba wants to tell me that all this is toyally irrelevant and unimportant, then come on! There is definitely a greater story with many connections between many events in many countries….

  28. There should be a UN embargo against any form of trade or even sending remittances to Cuba. That may seem cruel, but that would cause the immediate collapse of the Castrista govt. Then Yoani could become President or at least a member of the new govt…

  29. Hank: yes…the rights of human beings matter…but, also does obligation…..and the balance of equality and inequality…..a capitalist society priority is on rights and diminishes the others…there are more variables to the equation of what builds social justice…also…you call the Revolutionaries murderers primarily because of People that choose to leave the country illegally across the Florida Straits and perish. These deaths are not crimes under any international court. In Africa, Central America and other parts of the World this is a daily occurrence. In the case of Cuba the problem is scarcity, regime change law in the United States requiring a perpetual state of readiness which siphon funds into supporting a larger secret service apparatus then otherwise needed, more police, more restrictions on the population to protect the country’s sovereignty. The embargo, after 1959 without the Soviet block stepping in to help Cuba would have cause a Special Period in Cuba. Cuba has had to reinvent its governance (4) times in its history:

    1. liberation from Spain
    2. liberation from the United States
    3. liberation from the Soviet Union and satellites
    4. Presently transitioning to a Socialist Democratic Republic

    footnote: Cuban dissidents and some Florida expatriates want to return to #2. This is not the right thing to do. The governance of Cuba and the People of Cuba are better serve with a Socialist Democratic Republic today and the near future. The United States have to give up the Police State and Democracy of Power Money to create a more inclusive World. Cuba then can experiment with greater decentralization of the democratic process of its political organization without the fear of outside intervention that threatens Cuba’s independence and sovereignty today.

  30. Omar,

    I don’t think you understand what you write because what you write is nonsense.

    The point of Yoani’s posts, and those of the rational people who bother to say anything here is that the lives of individual human beings matter.

    Have you ever paused to think how many Einsteins, Feynmans or Shakespeares have been lost in the Florida Straits as a direct result of trying to escape the castro tyranny? I have.

    Lining people up in front of a firing squad and shooting them, as the castros have done many times, over and over again for the last 50 plus years, does not make for a legitimate government. Quite the contrary, it makes for a criminal, murderous enterprise. What or who gave the castros the right to take all of those human lives?

    Here’s the simple truth. The rights of individual human beings should be protected. The castro dictatorship does not care one whit about individual human rights.

    All the castro mafia cares about is maintaining its grip on power. When you hear about the castro dictatorship offering to send doctors to help end the Ebola epidemic, ask yourself the following question:

    Did the castros send doctors to aid the victims of their firing squads? Of course not. The castros are murderers.

    You talk about building some kind of grandiose “World Order”

    That’s been tried before and has failed miserably. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. They all had delusions of creating a World Order.

    In reality, they were all mass murderers, just like your pals the castros. Millions of people have died because of the insanity you peddle here.

  31. Yoani writes:” The wall fell far away, while another parapet was raised around us, that of ideological blindness, irresponsibility and voluntarism.”

    It is true that Cuba was like a ship stranded in the Caribbean after the fall of the Soviet Union. But, Cuba found a new ideology and purpose: Building a Socialist Democratic Republic. Irresponsibility not true and voluntarism for sure. Cuba and most of the World are working on building a more inclusive World Order. The United States new Police State and Democracy of Power and Money is the only country that can derail the World’s effort to create inclusive societies. Societies build on obligations instead of rights can protect the Environment, Restore the destruction caused by the More and More society and Conservation can then occur .

  32. Hank: Here is what Ms. Weil philosophy was regarding rights and obligations. Also, equality…as you can see, Ms. Weil believed in a more inclusive society. Workers in Cuba are not slaves. They have been organized and directed to work for the good of the society. It is their obligation to help Africans suffering from the Ebola virus. It is their obligation to help others. I think Ms Weil would praise Cuban collectives and Cuban workers being sent to places where they can help other human beings in need.

    Part 1: The Needs of the Soul

    Part 1 begins with a discussion of obligations and rights. Weil asserts that obligations are more fundamental than rights, as a right is only meaningful insofar as others fulfil their obligation to respect it. A man alone in the universe, she says, would have obligations but no rights. Rights are therefore “subordinate and relative” to obligations. Weil says that those directing the French Revolution were mistaken in basing their ideas for a new society on the notion of rights rather than obligations, suggesting that a system based on obligations would have been better. Weil claims that while rights are subject to varying conditions, obligations are “eternal”, “situated above this world” and “independent of conditions”, applying to all human beings. The actual activities which obligations require us to perform, however, may vary depending on circumstances. The most fundamental obligation involves respecting the essential needs of others – the “needs of the soul”.

    Weil backs up her ideas on the needs of the soul by mentioning that Christian, ancient Egyptian and other traditions have held similar moral views throughout history, particularly on the obligation to help those suffering from hunger. This, Weil says, should serve as a model for other needs of the soul. Weil also makes a distinction between physical needs (such as for food, heating and medical attention) and non-physical needs that are concerned with the “moral side” of life. Both kinds are vital, and the deprivation of these needs causes one to fall into a state “more or less resembling death”.

    Weil goes into some detail on collectives. She says that obligations are not binding to collectives, but to the individuals of which the collective is composed. Collectives should be respected, not for their own sake, but because they are ‘food for mankind’. Collectives that are not ‘food for mankind’ – harmful or useless collectives – should be removed.

    Equality

    Equality is an essential need when defined as a recognition that everyone is entitled to an equal amount of respect as a human being, regardless of any differences. Weil advises that an ideal society ought to involve a balance of equality and inequality. While there should be social mobility both up and down, if children have a truly equal chance for self-advancement based purely on their own abilities, everyone who ends up in a low grade job will be seen as being there due to their own shortcomings. Weil says an ideal social organization would involve holding those who enjoy power and privilege to a higher standard of conduct than those who don’t; in particular a crime from an employer and against employees should be punished much more severely than a crime from an employee against his or her employer.

  33. Simba Sez: I really didn’t think you would understand, but it’s okay, I’ll tell you the difference. I suggested what you might say with no repercussions if you didn’t like the idea. The Castro Boys would tell you what to say and pack you off to prison or shoot you for disobedience. We live in America, the Castros do not. We can disagree all we want to, but I can’t tell you what to say, nor did I attempt to. I suggested only.
    If you were to write a blog, and allowed a comment section, would you not expect commenters to comment on the subject of your blog rather than copy and paste passages from the bible, or any other matter that had nothing to do with what you wrote? It would seem they had no respect at all for what you wrote, but merely used your blog for their own purpose. Wouldn’t it?

  34. AWW POBRECITO Simba! STILL TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO SAY IT! REMINDS ME OF MR. CASTRO!!

  35. Simba Sez: Freedom of speech? What speech? All you do is copy and paste what somebody else said. It takes a certain amount of intelligence to actually say something of your own. You really ought to try it sometime. I know it’s difficult for you, but you could start with something simple like, Yoani, I like what you said, then work on it as you gain confidence.

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