Fidgeting on Mount Olympus


Yesterday, with my lunch half eaten, a friend called to ask if I had seen the 1:00 pm news.  No, I never chew while watching this type of program, it’s fatal to the digestion.  Mixing red beans with the announcement of the changes in the Council of State and Ministers, would have resulted in a mortar of incalculable consequences.  Even so, it bothered me to have missed the news and to find out—in bits and pieces—the changes that happened up there.

The “official notice,” published in the newspaper Granma, is long and full of language that puts me to sleep.  In short, various ministers and members of the Council of State have been replaced; this fall from grace has been rumored, even in the streets, for some months.  It didn’t even surprise me that one of the replacements, Carlos Valenciaga, was not mentioned, or that the military uniforms ended up with a greater presence at the highest level of the administration.

People are trying to find, in these changes, the depth and wisdom of a game of chess, but to me it seems like a game of “blind man’s bluff.”   I don’t believe the wished-for and necessary reforms that people were waiting for, were to have new ministers installed.  If the intention was to stimulate progressive measures, no functionary in charge of a ministry could have slowed them down.  The intention, however, has been to delay the changes, to dull them, to buy time in the game of politics, while we lose months and months of time in our lives.

Who will convince Marcos, who already has GPS for crossing the Straits of Florida, that the new ministers will pave the way to enable him to fulfill his dreams in his own country?  The announcement yesterday did not shorten the long lines to get a new nationality in front of the Spanish Embassy, nor the number of young girls who offer their bodies in exchange for a way out of here.  Calling the new chancellor Bruno instead of Felipe has little influence on the degree of hopelessness.  Changing the instruments doesn’t mean much, if the symphony being performed, and the director of the orchestra, are the same as before.


  1. As usual Yoani, you have such a great way of putting things. And the photo (with the caption) made me laugh. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hopefully, it will generate some interesting discussion and debate.

  2. I bring here today two comments of two different “canadian”* commenter posted yesterday. I bring these comments because I believe they are the perfect example about how works the special department of the Political Police of Castro that has to do with ideological propaganda. Those “agents”, known as “Castrolls” in the internet has a single and well defined goal: to discredit all opposition on the Castro regimen. This time is Yoani the target. Take a look of theirs inadequate attempts:

    extranero dice: 3 Marzo 2009 a las 20:59

    come live in canada you will have lots to complain about……… freezing ur ass. working for nothing.etc etc

    Socialist dice: 3 Marzo 2009 a las 22:21

    #4 LMAO its damn cold and the economy is shrinking. Can’t even get warm drinking rum bc I can’t afford it ($24). At least Yoani and her friends can drink and be warm. I know people who pay $50 a month to go to the gym and use the stair climber. Yoani gets it free and complains LOL She should be happy that she will have nice legs and a firm culo.

    You have here two (maybe one) “agents” in action…….. comments like these are often posted in the spanish site. The more comments and hit we have in this english site the most frequently we will have the visit of “Castrolles”……

    * Those guys (in the case of being two…. I guess it is only one) are not canadian. Castrolls are cuban nomenclature guys working for the Political Police Ideological Department (or something similar) that gets a trainee (a very bad one) in order of diverting the main objective of the attacked cyberspace and try to create chaos.
    Of course, each rule has it exemptions…… some times Castrolls are non cuban people.

    Some commenter posted counterarguments like these:

    FREE DR. BISCET dice: 3 Marzo 2009 a las 23:41

    Your name says it all #5. Its sad that you make fun of the plight of the cuban people. You should live in Yoani’s shoes for a month and see how you like being followed by the stazi-like secret police. Knowing that any day you can be taken away from your family and never be seen of again. Eating scraps, watching your kids go hngr yand you can do nothing. Go live like that and then let me know how you like socialism.

    John Two dice: 4 Marzo 2009 a las 00:40

    #5. For Yoani the lack of an elevator for four months in a high rise building may only be an inconvenience. However, what about seniors or people with mobility problems living in the same building? Those folks would be trapped in their apartments without a working elevator. What you call complaining, I see as another sad reflection on the daily struggle to survive in Castro’s Cuba.

    Carbo Servia dice: 4 Marzo 2009 a las 01:59

    #4 and #5

    The stupid parallel you both try to make between the “problems” the canadian people have and the tragedy the cuban people goes trough is disgusting.
    A canadian can’t spent $24 in rum…. a cuban doesn’t earn $24 in four months
    A canadian can spent $50 in a Gym…. a cuban has to work ten months to earn $50

    Yoani is fighting to change this situation…. you both can well fight for a better Canada instead of spending your time making fun of other peoples problems.

  3. While I was reading her post I could not stop myself and smile! 😀
    Old same!, same old.
    It seems we have to bets going
    One that said this changes in Cuba mean nothing
    and the other that this changes mean more aperture.
    Will like to know how many think this means bigger changes are coming versus it will be the same status quo.
    I am optimistic I think more changes are coming.

  4. SilentVoice dice: 4 Marzo 2009 a las 03:20
    Will like to know how many think this means bigger changes are coming versus it will be the same status quo.
    I am optimistic I think more changes are coming.

    Dear S.Voice, to know the future you only need to study the past.
    “Changes” like this have I seen a lot. Never brought nothing good for the people. Nothing good will come never from the tyrants ……. the people and only the people can bring the changes that improves the nation situation.
    Yesterday I wrote sometimes purges comes dressed with “isolated unfriendly situations” (personal vendettas), “ideological differences” (take an “uncomfortable guy” off the way) or “rare circumstantial reasons like the trial # 1” (making up the regimen international face). Today, after reading Castro’s last “reflection” I guess this purge comes also dressed with some kind of vendetta that can lead to some “judicial process” on some of the purged persons. Will see.

  5. #4 I wish I agreed with you, but I don’t. I don’t see anything good from this. As we might have said in English, it’s just “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”.

    That does not mean I don’t have hope and optimism for Cuba — I do — but not from these people.

  6. Andy and Carbo I think you guys could probably be right and I agree the tyranny has pull similar re arrangement in minor scales before when someone gets uncomfortably close to the “honey of power” they like so much!!.
    Maybe they are at the end of their leach who knows.

    It’s possible the re arrangement have to do more with the global economy going down and the Cuban government getting lean like granma mentioned. So Cuba is not able to support so many drones! So the queen bee have decided to eliminate a few!

    Now they will be blaming all this people of corruption while they are free an immaculate. I guess I have to repeat with Mel Brooks.
    It’s good to be the king!

  7. I love the picture and the caption

    The unstoppable vehicle of change!!!

    Is that from an old russian motorcycle?

    Yoani’s sarcasm is great!


  8. In reply to Carbo #3.

    While due to anonymity of the internet it’s impossible to know for sure, I suspect these Canadians “friends” belong to groups such as this:

    The Canadian Network on Cuba can be fairly described as a Cuban front organization. The Canadians in groups like these are hard core ideologues who are members of the Canadian communist parties and other extreme left organizations. While few in number, these activists are very dedicated and make lots of political noise vastly disproportionate to the amount of support they have among the Canadian public (which is negligible). There are similar front groups in the US and every other western democracy spouting the Cuban line, conducting campaigns to “free the five”, defend Cuban style “democracy,” etc.

    Ironically, some of the same individuals in these groups were 25 years ago in the forefront of running solidarity campaigns for the old Soviet Union, Albania, and communist China.

    BTW, is anybody else having problems today linking to this website? Here goes try #10 to post this comment.

  9. For those of you, who enter this blog to express your opinion in favor of a regime that no one in their right mind could defend, please take a close look at what has taken place lately.

    Two guys falling in disgrace from a total of about twelve have been accused “supposedly” by Fidel of Power Hungry and I say supposedly because who knows who is doing the accusation.

    Every time these two brothers see someone with any degree of popularity among their elite, automatically they are accused of not being a “good revolutionary” and faced with dishonorable discharge from the ranks of leadership.

    If you have followed the revolution since its inception you can see clearly where some of their most fervent followers have end up: firing squad, jail, or exile. Just to name a few: Camilo Cienfüegos, Hubert Matos, Tony & Patricio De La Guardia, José Abrantes, General Arnaldo Ochoa, Amado Padrón, Jorge Martínez Valdés, Amado Bruno and many more that because of time I am not reporting them.

    This is not to say that I am not happy to see this happening, this is to prove to defenders of the indefensible that Fidel and his brother use you to the fullest until you disagree with them or your image or name is shown too frequently in the media.
    What they are doing with all of these changes is to create a panic state among themselves, I hope they succeed in killing each others so they will not be around when Cuba become free.

  10. Now that the link seems to be working again, in #10, I meant to say that these groups spout the Castro line, and are front groups for the Castro dictatorship.

  11. Channel 41 in Miami will be glad to interview Mr. Lage and Perez Roque when they arrive in a speed boat in Marathon Key in Florida.

    Next day The Miami Herald will have an editorial in which they will recount their stories. How long ago they discovered that the two brother were not to trust.

    In the afternoon they will visit Versailles Restaurant to have a “cortadito”.

    Two months later they will receive their work permit from Social Security.

    A week later no one will remember them.

  12. Remember a while back we commented jokingly about a Gorvashev in Fidel Castro’s Central Commity
    Well I think he probably took the joke seriusly and decide to eliminate the two posible Gorvashev.
    That is why as he said the got to close to his Jar of Honey. 😀
    The honey of Power!

  13. Wow I am glad this site is up again!
    Yoani please do not do this again!
    Just to double check

    Translator are you the one who wrote the post on my site?
    I was not sure the post was coming really from you.

  14. If you look closely, there is silver hair, I mean, lining to all these personnel replacements that the Castro’s have performed. I was going to say engineer but realize their are mentally challenged and unable to use their imaginations as their frontal lobe has by now calcified.

    Since their brains have been beaten up by frustration and old age, it should be interesting to watch how these old goats get outmaneuvered at the international chess table. Watch how paranoid they are of their loyal younger friends around them, a clear and prototypical sign of dementia.

    Obviously, they are hell bent on overturning all the young upstarts in their little politburo or whatever they call it. Sooner or later due their intellectual challenges, mistakes and miscalculations will be that much greater.

    For those of us in this blog, don’t despair, things are looking good as we watch the brother and his historical associates decay into oblivion due to alzheimer’s, just like the “coma-andante”. Time is on our side.

  15. I have nothing but appreciation for the folks who administer this site. But would it be possible to provide a bit more explanation when this site is going to be down for what ended up being 2 full days? Many of us were understandably concerned when this site went down shortly after a major shakeup in the Castro regime. Thanks.

  16. Hello everyone! Let me get to translating the ‘official explanation’ and then I’ll get back here and fill in any missing pieces. But briefly, the story is this. Yoani wrote a version of “we’re going to be working on the site, hopefully it won’t crash” — ready to post before the SECOND phase of software improvements… she did NOT think that the first phase would cause any problems.

    But, as you all saw, the site flickered on and off for a day… and then went down. Of course once it’s down, there’s no way to post something on the site to say why it’s gone down.

    And Silent Voice, yes it was me! I remembered the name of your site and just googled it.

    FOR NEXT TIME — anyone who wants to is welcome to send an email to: desdecubaenglish – at – gmail -dot – com. I will collect and save a list.. and if something like this happens again, I will email all of you individually!!!!!


    – The ‘second phase’ of software improvements will be upgrading all the sites to newer WordPress software. When this happens the sites may go ‘down’ temporarily one by one. So… if you see the Spanish site is working but the English site has disappeared, not to worry. Along with behind-the-scenes improvements for translators and those who post the translations, this should allow the language that readers see to match the language of blog. So, for example, instead of being asked for your ‘nombre’ you’ll be asked for your ‘name’.

    – The ‘whatever’ phase will include other improvements as mentioned in the new post, such as linking the blog to social networks and possibly other things I don’t know about yet.

    – In short, expect Generation Y to be a little ‘fragile’ over the next… I don’t know how long! Obviously the first step took much longer than expected and resulted in an unexpected crash… we’ll see how the rest of it goes.

    – But…when it’s all finished, I’ll let you know. Then, if the blog crashes again, you can all worry!

    In the meantime — please note the links in the “Notice of Repairs” post… and if there are problems you can go there and confirm that it’s just a technical glitch. (The “posterous” blog was created by a reader from the Spanish site and includes things not posted by Yoani… no ‘message’ there… just a place to park some interesting information.)

    – One more “one more thing” — for those of you who send me your emails for the notification list… don’t worry — I won’t send a blanket email with everyone’s addresses visible to everyone else!

  18. And just let me say… on my own behalf… it’s SO NICE TO BE BACK AND TO SEE ALL OF YOUR PIXELS HERE. I’ve missed you!

  19. Back to the topic being discussed above. Another take from Time Magazine on why Perez Roque may have been dumped:
    “By dumping Fidel loyalist Felipe Perez Roque as Foreign Minister and replacing him with a career diplomat, Raúl may be signaling a less political and more flexible tone for Cuba’s foreign policy apparatus. Perez Roque, 43, a former personal aide to Fidel, is a pugnacious communist doctrinaire often referred to as Fidel’s pit bull, more suited to El Comandante’s policy of confrontation with Washington. (He once called himself part of the Cuban “Taliban.”) His successor, Bruno Rodriguez, who had been Perez Roque’s No. 2, is by contrast a more bookish foreign service veteran, a former journalist who was Cuba’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1995 to 2003. As such, he may be a better fit as Foreign Minister as Raúl tries to engage the Obama Administration — and vice versa. The younger Castro has expressed a desire for improved ties with the U.S. and is seeking an end to Washington’s 47-year-old trade embargo against communist Cuba.”

  20. Ha! Any doubts about the determinedly Stalinist nature of this regime change should have been dispelled by the 1930’s show-trial nature of the identical, spontaneous letters the two thugs wrote. I was cut-off in mid flow yesterday, but this was what I’d written, perhaps overtaken by events:
    Interesting that someone should mention bees – as Fidel put it: “[La razón es que] la miel del poder por el cual no conocieron sacrificio alguno, despertó en ellos ambiciones que los condujeron a un papel indigno. El enemigo externo se llenó de ilusiones con ellos”. I started to say something about the changes yesterday but was disconnected (doubtless to the relief of many :-)) by something Teutonic. Well, it looks as if I may have been wrong to predict Roque as the eventual successor – but maybe for the right reason? Was he becoming too powerful? I love the reference to the “external enemy”! If an unreconstructed Stalinist thug like Roque has to be replaced by a thug from the military because he’s too liberal, it doesn’t bode well for the people.
    Incidentally, Chavez is hurtling down the well-trodden revolutionary road at breakneck speed and his solution to the inevitable collapse of agriculture has been to order his troops to take over the rice processing plants. Lets see if his military is any more successful at conjuring nourishment from thin-air than his “wise grandfather’s.”


    My apologies for interrupting this discussion — which is a good and important one — again.

    My understanding is that the comment function in the Spanish language blog has been temporarily turned off… while the blog is ‘getting situated’ in its new site. It may be off for as long as a week. (Moving the half million comments or so was part of what caused the problems in moving the blog to the new server.)

    With that in mind, if the comment function on this English-language site suddenly stops working… all I can say is… please stand by! I don’t expect there will be any problems with it, but there might be.

  22. We need a glossary for English speaking readers.

    Instead of footnotes over and over again, we need to explain, simply and as apolitically as possible, words and issues such as:
    Food Rationing, Dual Currency, CUC, Cuban Peso, Peso Stores, Battle of Ideas, Maleconazo, Black Spring… and so on and so on and so on.

    Here’s our plan to prepare one.

    1 – Ask you, the English-speaking readers, to help come up with a list of terms, events, ideas, issues

    2 – Submit the list to the readers on the Spanish site and ask them to prepare the definitions. You, the English-speaking readers, are also welcome to prepare definitions.

    3 – Take the Spanish definitions, repost them here, and invite those of you who are bi-lingual to translate them into English!

    4 – Create a permanent glossary, accessible from the sidebar, and begin to link terms as they appear in the articles to the glossary.

    So, with that I invite you to begin. Simply post your lists, ideas, definitions, etc. here in the comments. Please post them as separate comments, not as add-ons to other comments — which will make it easier for me to find them.

    Any additional ideas about how to do this, what it should be, etc, are MOST WELCOME.

    Your Friendly English Translator… who is very excited about turning over a bunch of the work of this blog to you, the readers, who really make the blog what it is! Thank you all, in advance!


    Juan A. Blanco habla en su columna de la “mafia de la Habana” [Véase Encuentro en la Red]. Otros, entre ellos yo, la han denominado “gerontocracia” en comparación con la “efebocracia” de los primeros años de la revolución. Todo el mundo está de acuerdo en que estamos ante un régimen totalitario, sin espacios para la discusión y ni siquiera un verdadero consenso entre quienes detentan el poder, que no llegan a ser una “clase política” precisamente por esa ausencia de espacios para dirimir las diferencias. Así las cosas, se ha hablado mucho de “sucesión” o de “transición” en los últimos tiempos. Pero hay algo que solo se intuye: Se hace muy difícil una cosa o la otra porque este tipo de mafia no es capaz de establecer una verdadera línea sucesoria fuera de los lazos de familia, sanguinea o ideológica, léase parientes cercanos y nomenclatura partidista. Lo que los sociólogos llamaban la “reproducción del modelo de dominación” está comprometida por la propia naturaleza del régimen. Si repasamos la historia no tardaremos en comprobarlo, desde Alejandro Magno hasta Stalin, pasando por Mao y sin olvidar a gente como Mugabe o el propio Fidel Castro. En otras palabras, el padrino siempre tiene que escoger su sucesor en el seno de la mafia; de lo contrario compromete la continuidad y los privilegios que han surgido a la sombra de la “dictadura”.

  24. re: “the unstopable vehicle of change” Since one of the principle influences of those who made the Cuban Revolution was Plato, no doubt, (in addition, of course, to Marx and Lenin) then, as transcriber and interpreter of Socrates, his REPUBLIC and his philosophy of the IDEAS, then the TRUE vehicle is not an ACTUAL or INDIVIDUAL operating vehicle, but rather the PURE IDEA of a VEHICLE, the UR VEHICLE. Hence, this seemingly disused and partially disassembled Czecho-Slovakian moto with side-car fills the bill as the visualized IDEA of vehicle, rather than an acutal, working vehicle. Thus, we must think about this vehicle and where–once the parts are remade, the motor reassembled, and the wheels again attached–we want it to go. I, for one, want it to go to the NEW JERUSALEM! !Adelante, Cubanos!

  25. Talks about mixing your metaphors #29, as you take us on a trip from Plato to Marx to Lenin and then end with a Jewish/Christian metaphor.

    Know what I think? Instead of clinging to the belief that everything can somehow be re-modeled or even salvaged, it is better to assign some ideologies that have demonstrably failed to the scrap heap of history. One of those failed ideologies is Marxism-Leninism.

  26. Dear John II: From the looks of the Western economies, are you really so sure that socialism is the system in collapse? It the true Marxian sense, I think the NEXT stage of history will be a SYNTHESIS of the best elements of the two. As for the moto, I must say that my ideas are more in keeping with our new realities of the dwindling resources ane wise re-use of what Nature gives us. Therefore, that moto will once again cruise down History’s Highway, but this time on a RECYCLED engine, wheels and other parts. Finally, as for the New Jerusalem, it is just as much a part of the Marxist/Socialist metaphor as it is of the Judeo-Christian one, especially since I am sure you are well aware that St. Paul, St. Augustin, and subsequent Church Fathers recycled Plato towards their own Christian ends. Call it the City of God, the City on a Hill, or the New Jerusalem, all us socialist feel that “a better world is possible.” “A possible world is better”? As Marti said (to paraphrase), there are no impossible things, just people who are not motivated enought.

    P.S. I see that a lot of the regulars around here like to gang up on those of us of the Left who dare to post on Yoani’s blog. Typically, they use personal attacks and inuendos, rather than reasoned arguments. Seems they just want this blog to be a place that “preaches to the choir,” like their favorite channel, FAUX, or their favorite blowhard, Rush Limberger!

  27. #31
    Well I consider myself a “leftist”… but that’s from the perspective of country that’s pretty much to the far right, compared to other ‘developed economies’… I’m never sure what to call these countries or who’s in them and who’s not. I’m for a much stronger social safety net, and certainly we need practical solutions to things that aren’t working… like our terrible health care system.

    Meanwhile… I can’t say I’ve ever actually listened to Limbaugh except for some youtube clips on huff post… don’t watch Fox (well I don’t have a TV… so I don’t want much, needless to say)… and I hope I don’t ‘gang up’ on the left or the right.

    THAT said… I, like many here, cannot understand anyone who has been exposed to multiple choices, supporting communism as an economic system. It doesn’t work.

    As for whatever the name of the system is in Cuba… it’s really not about communism or socialism or any economic system at all… it’s about a totalitarian dictatorship running a slave labor island… for their own egos and benefit. It’s about complete psychopaths successfully taking charge of and keeping charge of an entire nation.

    And to my way of thinking — it’s absolutely incomprehensible that anyone at all (other than the slavemasters themselves) supports it. So… if I’m a little incredulous about any so-called ‘argument’ trying to convince me that Cuba under fidel/raul is “just great” or “about to be great” or “would be great if it weren’t for the damn americans”… nope… I just can’t go there. Ever.

  28. #31, if the debate were between US style democratic capitalism versus European style democratic socialism, I’d definitely side with the latter.

  29. #31, the quote below independent Cuban blogger beautifully captures how I feel about those who defend the totalitarian system in Cuba:

    “Muchacho Enfermo: What would you like to say to those outside Cuba who agree with the system and that criticize your blog and other blogs from

    Claudia Cadelo: I have nothing to say to people that use their freedom of expression, their civil rights, their economic freedoms and their political freedoms to defend this totalitarian system. I don’t believe that any system is perfect, but what I am sure of is that this system is not the right one: a better society cannot be constructed if the basis of it is oppression, fear, militarism, the absence of civil rights and the supreme unlimited power in the hands of only two or three people; and we can add to that that the social ills, the corruption and the poverty which are also a part of the status quo, which remains.”

    Full interview with Claudia at this link:

  30. Well, well, well, …. what can I say about Landis comments??…..not to much after Andy’s and John’s brilliant replays!!!!
    Only a thing…… Since you have show your real face I have no option that degrade you and give you back the subcategory of “comrade” and take off you the Mr. title I gave you after you got me confused and make me think you were a simple tourist traveling Cuba under the governmental supervision. Now, after your confession, I know you are a simple agent working for the bloodily tyranny that enslave our people.

  31. There is a peculiar coincidence in this space that works hardly against the active agents of the tyranny that ultimately visits this blog…… the most anti castro commenter in this site are people that considers them self as leftists…… as my self.
    Some of us , as my self, have an anti imperialistic thinking.
    The most of us considers the castro regimen a fascist one and we can easily demonstrate it . However, I don’t know how will the castro agents attack the tyranny’s criticizers in this site…. under what premises and with what arguments they will debate???!!!

  32. #36 So… CS… you know we see pretty much eye to eye on things… but…. here’s what I don’t understand. (And note, I’m asking you because I expect an honest intelligent answer… at least as far as you’re capable of even imagining one… I know I can’t imagine one at all but maybe you can…. and I am NOT asking the agents themselves because I don’t believe anything they say….)

    So here’s what I don’t understand.

    These ‘agents’ or ‘apologists’ or whatever you want to call them are spread throughout the whole world. We know of course that many of them are writing from the Cuban embassies abroad… so it is their job to spread this idiocy. And we know that some of them are simply what I call the “Che-freaks” — completely uninformed and misinformed, probably reasonably decent people, who just don’t KNOW anything and can’t imagine that Fidel and Che and Raul really ARE/WERE all little Stalins.

    But there are people who do know… and they are safely in some OTHER country… and they write what they KNOW are lies (they have to know… anyone intelligent enough to write a sentence has to know, if they’ve actually been exposed to it)…

    WHY DO THEY DO IT!!!!!!!!!

    What do THEY get out of it?

    I really can’t imagine.

    I can’t imagine, as Claudia says, people who use their freedom to defend the Stalins, dead or alive.

  33. Dear Andy, Your question has so many answers as many survival strategies have developed the commies through the time. The communist found very early that Adam Smith were right when he affirmed that the only problem of the communism theory and practice were located in its economical utopia that make the whole system grounded on the tip of a needle. Since this the commies has spent most of the time and efforts looking for and improving survivals strategies that allows the “system” extend its durability. One of these strategies is the finding and conversion of followers. The most communist countries have special departments dedicated only to this task. They use the same recruiting tactics that the most intelligence agencies use but directed not only to find probable spies or collaborators but also political followers. Ones they have identified a prospect they lose on him/her a sophisticated manipulation mechanism that always lead to the complete recruitment of the prospect or its complete destruction. It is no difficult finding plenty of prospects in this world full of hate and confused people. There out is lots of Che-freaks, as you said, there is neocommunists, confused socialists that believe the castros has something to do with socialism, normal people that believe theirs problems are caused by USA and also believe castro is against USA and it make them believe castro is theirs friend. The list is very long, that’s why the commie’s intelligence agents have no problem to find prospect and convert them in a militant collaborator. Of course, sometimes the normal intelligence procedure is not enough to convert a prospect, that’s why the agents run a parallel procedure just in case the main procedure fails. This plan B consists in spying the prospect closely to find its weaknesses, develop these weaknesses into a life episode and induce the prospect into a trap. This trap can be a criminal act, an immoral act, a treason act, etc. In the case the intelligence department takes notice of some weaknesses a public or semi public person have develop, they will try to induce this person to commit an act related to its weaknesses and be involved in a possible scandal that only the agents can stop. In the most pure mafia style these strategies are used mainly on writers, famous artists, religious hierarchy, etc. Of course, Andy, you can find some enthusiastic follower that defends a tyranny for pure conviction but it will be only the exception that confirms the rule. The most of those “defenders” are recruited agents that do their job with more or less honesty. You can difference the firsts from the seconds after a round of debate. When they find trough the debate that theirs ideas was no sustainable they disappear. If the person is a true believer it will try to find the “light” trough acquiring more knowledge and will come back for more debate when she/ he find it self ideologically stronger. After another round of debate and finding it self more confused this person will disappear for ever or in rare cases will recognize its mistake. But an agent, a recruited agent will never recognize its mistake, it can’t because is working, it will never accept a debate, it can’t afford a debate, will always come back and post pamphlets and cut-paste articles from the internet or enunciate dogmas, it is their work, and finally will always attack you and the others like you in a personal basis trying to kill the messenger….. because they can’t kill the message!!!

  34. The closed and paranoid universe of Carbo, Andy, et. al. is not unlike that found on all those Christian fundamentalists which clump around a dozen channels of my satellite service (or not unlike the universe of those who get all their information from FAUX, or all the So. Florida radio stations which beam the blather of the Miami Mafia.) In it, they create a world of agents, of sinister representatives of the devil, etc. Whether their closed universe has anything to do with the real world, however, is quite another matter. At its best, such universes are like those of the cloistered nuns, or the Menonites, Pennsylvania Dutch, etc. At worst, they are like the dark universes of those Mormon offshoots of the Arizona/Utah borderlands or, ultimately, of that of the Branch Dividians or the Rev. Jim Jones. In other words, a universe which finally ends in an apocalypse–at least for them! So spin out all your barococo yarns, like some demented drunk spiders. After a while, though, this sort of stuff is a bore. Luckily, I can switch channels. (And even in Cuba, one has this option, if one doesn’t yet have an “illegal” satellite connection, but only three channels: one rebroadcasting a speech by Fidel, one broadcasting a women’s volleyball game betwixt Cuba and Venezuela, and one an intermediate language course in Italian, for in Cuba there are always the streets, which in Cuba are always alive, not like up here, where the streets are either devoid of people, or they are all hurrying from one place to another to work their two- or sometimes three jobs to make ends meet.

  35. #41 Michael N. Landis… why don’t you tell us a little more about YOURself and YOUR motivations. You’ve left quite a big footprint around the web and you seem like a nice ordinary person… ‘fighting for human freedom’ even… you live in a nice ordinary town — rather remote and secluded up there in the northeast corner of the country, but there’s nothing wrong with that… you appear to have a nice partner who works helping people in need… you mention you have daughters… a completely nice ordinary person.

    And yet you come on this blog and accuse a bunch of your fellow commentators of being cloistered-nun-bigamists-fox-news-watching-waco-fireballers-kool-aid-drinking-demented-drunk-spiders!


    Is this your little outlet where you don’t have to be ‘nice’? When you go to the town meetings in your little rural town do you tell anyone who doesn’t agree with you that they sound like a cloistered nun or a Branch Dividian?

    What’s with the personal attacks? What’s really accomplished by that?

    I mean on the North Korean bulletin board you even admitted you thought you might vote for Obama.

    And yet here… we get the lively Cuban streets as some kind of argument for something. No, I would guess the streets of small town Vermont probably aren’t so lively… but my streets are lively enough. And I don’t care about 100 channels or 3… as I mentioned I don’t bother to even have a TV because there are a lot of more interesting things to do in life. These are not arguments. Do you think life is better in Havana than in Brattleboro? And if so is it because of the greatness of the bearded dictator?

    Tell us about yourself. Tell us what makes YOU tick since you’re so convinced that drinking the kool-aid is what makes US tick.

  36. #41, I’m pretty much the polar opposite of being a fundamentalist.

    I am active in working for human rights and civil liberties, both in my own country (Canada) and internationally. I’m also a supporter and member of Amnesty International. Amnesty’s country reports on Cuba helped inform my thinking about the true nature of the Castro dictatorship, as did my own analysis, research, and life experience.

  37. Andy dice: 8 Marzo 2009 a las 23:36

    #41 Michael N. Landis… why don’t you tell us a little more about YOUR self and YOUR motivations………

    You see Andy??!!…….We have not had to wait too much for reading a classical kill-the-messenger-work of a castrist agent (a Castroll). Comrade Landis came speedily and happily gave us the classic example.
    It is well known that in all communist countries opposition and dissident has been usually accused of mental incapability, mental alienation, dementia, etc. It is the most usual method of discredit opponents used by commies and castrolls. Hundred of thousands perfectly sane people in communists countries has been interned in psychiatrics hospitals and received medication and electroshock sessions until theirs will has been broken. It is a well known episode of the communist barbarism. I have told about my nick name and its meaning. Carbo Servia is the name of the special department of Havana’s Psychiatric Hospital where hundred of Cuban opponents to castro were interned and tortured in this way. This is something our castroll can’t deny because the unstoppable amount of evidence about these crimes the victims has shown to the world. In the last time we have even had a trial against a former “electroshock technician” that used give such treatments at the above named Hospital, the man had immigrated (!!) to USA and were identified in Miami’s streets by a former “patient”. All this is public record.
    Even knowing all this evidence and even having other themes to pick up in my comment # 39, themes more susceptible to debate like Adam Smith sarcasm about communism, the eventual veracity of the communists tactics of recruiting supporters, the dirty work on prospects, etc; our castroll decide to kill the messenger trying to discredit him by suggesting a probable paranoia. It’s the classical attitude. No debate is possible…. The orders have to be strictly followed!!!!
    I will move my comments to the following post that already has been out for 2 days. I see you there people.

  38. #44 YES… that is EXACTLY what I thought of when I saw the #41 post. It was so much what you said I thought for a moment that YOU must be Michael N. Landis, too, proving your own point by masquerading as two people. Really, I was sitting at my computer LAUGHING. I mean here I am… a perfectly normal person (most people would say so, I think)… and suddenly I am:

    A Christian fundamentalist
    A Fox news watcher
    A south Florida radio station listener
    A devotee of the Miami Mafia
    An agent
    A sinister representative of the devil
    Living in a closed universe
    A cloistered nuns
    A Menonite or Pennsylvania Dutch (you’d think the communists would honor these people… with their simple way of life where they support each other… but of course they’re capitalists so I guess they’re sinister representatives of the devil, too.)
    Living in a dark universe
    A Mormon
    A Branch Dividian
    A follower of the dead Rev. Jim Jones
    And a demented drunk spider

    Not only that… I am BORING.

    It’s an amazing list, isn’t it.

  39. Andy, you must have been schooled by Jesuits, since you seem to be skilled in turning the arguments of others inside-out and accusing them of the same qualities you reflect. I didn’t accuse you, or Carbo, or John II, of being any of the above, only of being LIKE, inasmuch as fail to get the larger, nuances picture, the above. It is called figurative language. Then again as Gore Vidal sez: “America: the Land of the Free…and the Home of the Literal!”

  40. Also, Andy, my posts themselves should tell you enough about myself and where I stand; no need to go into some autiobiographical rap. As for motivation, a bootless task, for who really knows the bases for human motives, save perhaps for the perennial drives of sex and power), certainly not the shrinks, though I would give the great novelists better marks in this task. Also, guess I can’t fault a Jesuit education, since it did wonders for Fidel, although he had natural talent to begin with.

  41. Nope — no Jesuits here… musta been YER edukashun… on account of telling someone “I didn’t say you WERE a cloistered nun bigamist snake, I just said you are exactly LIKE one,” is a little too subtle for my plebeian brain.

    And… if you aren’t even interested in knowing your own motives for wanting 11 million people to live in slavery… let alone to share them with others… then we don’t got a lot to say to each other do we.

    have fun trudging through the snow up there in the land of the free….

  42. can you tell me why the excahnget is so high i love cuba but dont know if i can aford to go back because of rate exchange

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