A prayer for the cable


A vague completion date, and the question of whether it will bring information for all, surrounds the submarine cable linking Cuba and Venezuela.   To all of us who complain about the poor connectivity found on the Island, they have an argument to shut us up: “We have to wait until the cable is ready.”  With so much riding on it, I’m going to list what this projected umbilical cord should bring us:

  • Internet access for all, not based on privilege, with the opportunity for anyone to contract for a home connection.
  • In primary and secondary schools and in universities, broadband for the students and time to access the network that is less limited than today.
  • A reduction in costs at the cybercafés and internet-connected computers in the hotels, which today cost one-third of a monthly salary for one hour.
  • The opportunity to use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Hi5 and more.
  • Finally, that we can get our hands on services such as Skype, videoconferencing, sending large packets of information and even watching television on the internet.

If the blessed cable is not going to bring all that, please explain to me the reasons why we have to wait until 2011 for it.  I hope that at least a small fiber of its content reaches my freelance blogger hands; or will it be that the kilobytes that circulate in its interior will have, like a watermark: “Only for the trusted.”

Translator’s note:
The cost of the printer, 689.00 CUC [convertible pesos], is the equivalent of more than 3 years’ wages.


  1. Pour les écrivains. une imprimante, c’est très utile! Votre textea illustre bien la difficulté actuelle de vous procurer à bas prix du matériel électronique assez fiable et à jour. Je suggère aux voyageurs québécois et canadiens qui se rendent dans l’île de penser apporter dans leurs bagages une imprimante compacte qu’on trouve sur le marché pour moins de 100 $ canadiens… C’est loin d’être impossible bien qu’il puisse y avoir encore des restrictions côté douanes. Dans son récent voyage à Cuba, l’artiste montréalais François Gourd a bien emmené une bicyclette pour laisser en cadeau. Un autre habitué de Cuba, croisé par hasard dans ma région natale (nous nous sommes reconnus au port de la casquette kaki modèle « Che ») m’a dit qu’il apporte toujours des filets, de la ficelle et autre matériel de pêche à son ami pêcheur cubain qu’il visite depuis des années. Que les écrivains voyageurs y pensent! Tout cela est relativement facile pour nous mais de grande importance pour que vive l’amitié et la solidarité Québec-Cuba. Le peuple cubain apporte beaucoup à la vie des Amériques et son épanouissement me tient vraiment à cœur.

    Bonne année 2009 ! Bonne continuation! Je vous aime.

  2. Sorry to all those who caught my footnote that you’d have to work your whole life for a printer…when I looked again (after I’d actually woken up) I realized it’s about 35+ MONTH’s wages… not 35 years… And… given that there are 12 months in a year (see, I’m not always totally demented….).
    Happy almost New Year!

  3. You sound bitter. How do expect to advance your people with such an unmotivated attitude? You complain about what your paid, but it seems you make no effort to change that. If you did, you would write inspiring articles not cry like a little child without her parents. The question for Cuba is how do you get more money in the individuals pockets.

    I have the answer and it’s very simple. It’s a crying shame your government hasn’t thought of it earlier or has and hasn’t implemented it. I believe the reason this is so, my friend, is because Castro needs to stop holding his dick, opps I mean his gun.

    Look, if you want to spread your revolution across the globe, it will not be done with guns. No, that was where it all went wrong, but that is where Castro got lucky, though in complete fairness he isn’t a communist anyhow and you don’t live in a communist sociiety, but I’m sure you know that.

    Communism doesn’t supposed to work when it’s forced upon a people, it has to be a further PEACEFUL development of capitalism. When all the capitalists share an equal amount of WEALTH not POVERTY than the theory is they’ll realize there is no need for money or bartering.

    I believe to facilitate such a revolution in the “free world”… I love that one… haha… well, it will start with cooperatives. As the cooperatives gain momentum and numbers the capitalist institutes will also gain political power and can than begin to implement changes. Furthermore, regular capitalist business owners can starts paying their people more fair wages or get taxed more, but that is another stage along the way. The bottom line is that in order to change a massive economy, it is from the inside out, you can’t go and attack it from the outside, that will not happen without everyone dying and you need not that to happen.

    You can’t fight an army as technologically advanced as America’s, you will parish. You must take it over economically. Now the reason Cuba lasted for so long as a kind of communist country is because it is small so it is easy to ‘handle’. That is why Russia could never of succeeded unless it was made communist in pockets, slowly and gently.

    The problem with Cuba now, however, is your boy is holding his dick. He really must let go of his dick. Sure he likes talking about his dick and putting his dick in his fathers ass (united states) but the truth is that he must release his dick and die a happy spiritual man, not a materialist pervert. I like the guy, I think he is great, I’m just giving some jolly advice.

    See, if he wants to continue his revolution he needs to take charge of the renaissance. Is it he is waiting for the Americans to commence it? We all know their media is under the neo-fascists control, what is he waiting for? He must put all his money in letting your people be creative, making t-shirts and fashions of all sorts. He must make the biggest fashion show the world has ever seen. He must bring the best musicians over to your country and have a woodstock, every week. He must bring at least a million more people to his country a week and that wealth must be passed amongst his people.

    11,394,043 is your population.

    You bring 1 000 000 people a week that’s 4 000 000 a month that’s 48 000 000 a year. let’s say they give your country an average of $700 a piece, that’s $33 600 000 000 extra dollars for cubans which equals out to about $3000 a person and you know you’d push that number to about $ 6000, easy. Would I legalize drugs and push that number to an easy $15 000 just based on the tourist’s vices? Maybe.

    Now that is just the weekly woodstock event. Not to mention the other events such as the fashion expo I mentioned earlier. Nor to mention your new fashion industry nor to mention the actual renaissance which will be sold on i-tunes and if i-tunes doesn’t co-operate than I’m sure others will.

    The cubans must take over the world’s media, because the media is in control of the world. They must influence the media by influencing it’s vessels, it’s artists and so forth. Offer them paradise and they will offer you the keys to their countries.

    He must open the borders and let your people roam the world, why not? He must let people come to Cuba and be able to live there as well. He must make it a place where the rich capitalists come and live as communists, that would be good.

    How do you do that you ask?

    Well, people would stay in Cuba and work 6 hour days if they were allowed to live like kings. Who wouldn’t?

    It’s that simple.

    If the average Cuban has gold dishes and silk bed sheets, than everyone would want to be the average Cuban. Getting citizenship would be another thing mind you.

    So please, don’t be so negative.

    Dec 28th 2008

    Leonard Noah Taylor


  4. Otro caballito de troya del castrismo..

    ¿no se dan cuenta? esta tipa es solo una fachada, habaldera de boeberías pero sin ninguna acción…
    así pasó con los supuestos disidentes: resultaron ser epias del servicio secreto…..

  5. I must say that I find “anonimo’s/a.k.a. Leonard Noah Taylor’s post a breath of fresh air! It is thinking like this, “outside the box,” (err, even to use that expression proves that one is still INSIDE the box) a.k.a. “brainstorming,” which leads to creative solutions. The problem is, err, how to IMPLEMENT some of these new solutions. We need to come up with a “business plan.” (There I am again, thinking inside the box!) Probably best to have a division of labor here: those who come up with creative possibilities–and those who can implement them. In any event, Thanks, Leonard Noah Taylor, for giving me something to think about.

  6. Incidentally, on the printer pictured, I highly recommend that the Museum of Technology, should one exist, purchase this printer, as it is already a museum piece!

  7. Hey Troya,

    Don’t trust anyone ever but at the same time don’t pass judgement until one is guilty.

  8. Hey Mike,

    I believe that we must know what we’re dealing with in order to face it, yet at the same time we shouldn’t waste our most valuable commodity, which is time. Every thought counts, so let’s all try and make them as positive as is possible.

  9. only one cable under the pacific carries the whole internet in the world, and is more than enough

  10. Hey, http://www.therealcuba.com,

    You should never trust your government, especially since it’s wrong to even trust a single individual. Can you name me one government that you do trust? In a properly running communist/anarchist world we would all trust each other, sure, but since that isn’t the world we live in, that isn’t the way we should think.

    We’re compartmentalized, so we should act appropriately. An education system that screens for any dissenter’s, of course, is wrong. But how is it any more wrong than an american education system that leaves it’s citizenry completely subject to the whims of a few bad men in power?

    It’s all the same thing, really. One is just more in the open than the other. In Cuba you learn to put up with it, which teaches you focus, which is more than the American educational system teaches their people. I don’t necessarily agree with that line of thought mind you, but it does work to a certain degree.

    Look at it this way, at least the teachers aren’t berating their students, which is how the chef’s treat cooks in the fine dining industry and say its for our own good. In the fine dining industry if you speak out about having to work 14 hour shifts, six days a week with maybe one break each shift for 15 minutes if your lucky all while working as an apprentice that makes less than minimum wage, you could very well be blacklisted and never get a job in that industry again, well, at least in whatever city it is you’re working in at the moment.

    Still, in that case of fine dining, you can always leave the industry. In Cuba you can’t walk away so easily. My point, however, is that even in capitalist society, you still have institutions within it that don’t operate in what would be a truly capitalist fashion. True capitalism has rule of law from what I understand, but for some odd reason these rules are none existent in much of their institutions. Look at the banking fiasco!

    Now the question I ask you is this: how come businesses are allowed to pay their staff pennies on the dollars that they profit from? Shouldn’t a tax for those that don’t give their employees a fair percentage exist? That should be rule of law, no? And forget regulations. Just gimme a piece of paper telling me what is accepted and what isn’t, spare me the bureaucratic mess.

    And to jump to another subject but still running along your line of questioning: how about that Obama and how he wishes to implement universal health care which will entail every american seeing the doctor once a year which will include mental screening? And if they don’t comply, they go to jail. Sounds awfully similar to the nazi party, I hate to say it.

    Every government has their ways of dealing with matters and obviously they aren’t all correct. Cuba, in my opinion is doing a much better job than most other countries, but who am I to say, since I’m not a Cuban living that experience? Maybe it’s my bias which is based on what I believe to be Cuba’s potential, I can’t tell you for sure.

    I do know that when it comes to Cuba’s educational system, of course its obvious to me that they’re indoctrinating the children to a certain degree. But please, tell me what country doesn’t do that? It’s the norm and the funny thing is the majority of Americans don’t even realize how they have been indoctrinated. Obama won many votes because he spoke of educational reforms, yet nowhere did he mention he would actually change the propaganda they call curriculum.

    If a child has something to say about their country, let them speak out, maybe they have something positive to say, maybe they have ideas their community can use. If they hate their country because they don’t swim in the same pools as the tourists and so on, maybe that rage should be harnessed into the arts like I had earlier spoke about. Besides, if those tourists didn’t have those pools those tourists wouldn’t be there and the cubans quite possibly wouldn’t even have fresh water to drink.

    I ask you this once again, would it be so difficult to start a cultural revolution over there in Cuba? I’m not talking one like that which Mao implemented where culture was destroyed, but an actual revolution of culture? No, it isn’t right that students aren’t allowed to go to university if they are dissenters, but at the same time it must be understood why and the Cuban culture should be allowed to grow.

    If anyone wants to brainstorm on how we can help make a difference to the Cuban people, by all means hit me up on my myspace account and let’s get the ball rolling. I’m sticking it out up here in Canada for the moment, because I feel I can make a difference over in these parts. I may take a paid holiday over in Cuba, however, and teach their Chef’s a thing or two about authoritarian rule! Yeah right, though I wouldn’t mine learning the secrets of Cuban food from the Cubans… yessir!

    On a final note, let me just say that Canada is the melting pot of refugees. It’s funny, that my country is filled with so many whom have come here due to refugee status, yet, our government is still run my old white men and our country is still owned by the queen of England! Absurd world we live in when the answers are just a handshake away, yet no one is willing to shake hands.

    Dec 29th 2008 ( I put the wrong date last time, oops)

    Leonard Noah Taylor


  11. Dear Mr. Taylor. What an enormous amount of shit you wrote. Where you on something? I suggest you forget about
    “sticking it out in Canada for the moment, to make a difference” and get your ass down to Cuba and LIVE there for a couple of years and try to tell them all your wonderful crazy ideas about how to run the country. Ohm please do not forget to ask them to let you use the Internet when tey put you in jail.

  12. Dear Mr. Taylor. What an enormous amount of shit you wrote.

    * How so?

    Where you on something?

    * No, are you? I suggest maybe you smoke a joint.

    I suggest you forget about
    “sticking it out in Canada for the moment, to make a difference” and get your ass down to Cuba and LIVE there for a couple of years and try to tell them all your wonderful crazy ideas about how to run the country.

    * You suggestion sounds more like a threat and you sound more like a wacko CIA agent. Or, at least, someone working for the American government who tries to sow discord amongst bloggers.

    Ohm please do not forget to ask them to let you use the Internet when tey put you in jail.

    * Okay there, buddy. They’d put me in jail for suggesting they make more money. Sounds like you are definitely scared of my idea and I will give you a little clue, my friends. This is not my idea. Now I beat you with my havana drum. GO scurry, scum of the earth, gooo!

  13. Hey Armando,

    Cuba prohibits marijuana, but why? Do they prohibit hemp too? I’m not sure. I do know that marijuana is no worse than their rum, which America outlawed years back in order to push the mexicans back into Mexico. Where do you think the name marijuana came from? It was made up by the yankees, do the research. Or just ask your superior, next time he tells you what a fine job your doing.



  14. *I do know that marijuana, which America outlawed years back in order to push the mexicans back into Mexico, is no worse than their rum.

  15. Are you a chef, Noah? If so, the Cuban tourist industry sorely needs your help. What is that show on the BBC? “Ramsey’s Kitchen from Hell,” or somesuch? I know Cubans are capable of creating great meals, as evidenced by the delerious 30-paged descriptions in Lezama Lima’s novel “Paradiso,” of meals once served (sort of like M.F.K. Fischer’s prose, although marketed as a cook book, is really one on philosophy and the passage of time. Of course there has to be something more than the typical remuneration given chefs, even in the Cuban tourist industry. Still, in the end such work really is a labor of love. At least you have a vital skill which the Revolution sorely needs, and I suspect while you are cooking up a gastronomic revolutionary bouillibass (sp.?) you would cook up a philosophical/political/artistic one as well.
    Touching on another subject you mentioned, my two daughters are now going through the American educational system. Although I am trying to give them some subversive tutoring, nevertheless, it is difficult to overcome the dead weight of our society’s cultural superstructure. Fortunately, both have developed a sense of irony and whimsy which should serve them well. I liked Joani’s description of how, when she was younger, she tried to intruduce “troublesome” agenda items at the school assemblies of the Young Pioneers. Yet if she was instead born in the U.S., instead of Cuba, in 1975 she’d experience much the same reaction by the educational “authorities.” Their reactions are depressingly the same, no matter where you happen to be born.

  16. Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m not a chef just yet but merely a humbled cook, since I started my culinary career quite late, but in a few years I very well may be, that is unless I get side tracked by another sort of business venture. My first and main concern at this moment is to find financial security for myself, because you can’t just go and put yourself out there fighting the powers that be, well, depends on how ‘out there’ is out there and believe me I know out there HAHAHAHA!!!. For now, I’m just a little bit out there as far as revolutionary acts are concerned, as far as revolutionary thoughts, wow, you best lock me up in the asylum!!

    But yes, I agree with you that food is essential. It is what I call the essential passion. Good food is miraculous and does so much for the soul! What passion is greater than a nice juicy sirloin from a grass fed cow or a freshly caught fish going into your mouth? Well, at least to me food is better than sex, but I’m sure I’ll get a lot of flack from the wacko CIA wannabes hanging around this page for saying such.



  17. Is a nuisance to see how some people feel the need to be ‘self center’ and right long letter with nothing constructive to say. How can a person that is not financially secure can teach a gobernor or a president how to run a country?. But anyways, everyday a fool comes out.

  18. This Noah got to be high on something. Writing so much and not saying anything in particlar. Well we can all, excuse him is New Years and people drink more . But pal, next time write less and say more.

  19. “Is a nuisance to see how some people feel the need to be ’self center’ and right long letter with nothing constructive to say. How can a person that is not financially secure can teach a gobernor or a president how to run a country?. But anyways, everyday a fool comes out.”

    How you assume I’m self-centered, I would like to know. You can’t just go and call me names without backing your claims, you know!

    And I gave much constructive critism’s, the fact that you didn’t even notive them means I shouldn’t even of noticed you, but I am not you.

    How can a person who isn’t financially secure teach someone something? Wow. I will not even answer this, I suggest you read some books.

    And to insult me, calling me a fool.. well, they say that the bigger the light the more bugs it attracts. The truth is scary, I know



  20. This Noah got to be high on something. Writing so much and not saying anything in particlar. Well we can all, excuse him is New Years and people drink more . But pal, next time write less and say more.

    * I understand you haven’t read a book in eons. I understand that you are used to watching television and no matter how well someone tries to give you just the facts, it will not compare to your television. For that I cannot help you.

  21. Canadians are nuts when it comes to their idiot politics. We have a saying here in New Orleans that there is only one thing worse than a Yankee….a Canadian. lol

  22. Canadians are nuts when it comes to their idiot politics. We have a saying here in New Orleans that there is only one thing worse than a Yankee….a Canadian. lol

    **Psft, the only thing funny is what a typical dumb american you are with that sweeping generalizing statement. Is this how your conversation went: “Hey Gilbert, them Canadians over therrrre in they’z eglooss maybe are all dumbs I thinker.”

    Guess who hooks the cubans up with their medical equipment? Too filled with that typical american arrogance to know the answer? Well, I’ll tell you, it’s us Canadians. You douche bag americans on the other hand think it’s a okay to support a government that holds sanctions on Cuba and other countries. You know, those same sanctions that end up killing millions of people a year?. It’s amazing how arrogant americans think its all fine and yankee doodle dandy to hold a whole people accountable for the mistakes of a few. It’s the american people that should suffer the pain of sanctions for condoning such things. Everyone is so nice to you americans. We always say, oh it’s not the americans that are idiots, its just their government. haha, right.

    Take care.


  23. I’m venezuelan, and I have to say that any of the state organism have “decent” internet connection. I studied in a public university (Which I’m proud of), and the internet there was impossible.
    Since the givernment took CANTV (Venezuela communications company) all the internet infrastructure became terrible, and the speeds are lowering everyday.
    Resuming, don’t expect too much on that cable…

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