José Conrado

An unusual Sunday, with barely twenty-three degrees centigrade in Santiago de Cuba, I listened to him speak from the altar.  Over two hundred people attended his sermon in the wooden church in a poor neighborhood with the mountains as a backdrop.  To me, bored by the liturgies, I was surprised to see him celebrate from reality and to take Jesus as reference to deal with today. José Conrado is a difficult man for those who are accustomed to speaking—only them—to a multitude.  A Santiaguan, hearty and cheerful, able to give a piece of his mind to someone who dares to upset his congregation.  Annoying evidence for those who keep quiet and a hard nut for those accustomed to placing gags.

So it didn’t surprise me to see him pick up on the feeling of many people and address an open letter to Raúl Castro.*  I see he’s not waiting for an answer to his missive: he already has it.  It is that silent prayer that goes out from each of his parishioners, the way they cry out for changes, without raising their voices.  In his small Church of Santa Teresita everything has been said and—I who was there—say to them that it has the tone of the petition, which cannot, nor should, wait any longer.

*This letter was translated into English by the Generation Y team and posted as a page on this site.  The original letter, in Spanish, can be read here.

94 thoughts on “José Conrado”

  1. Sympathy
    Yoani has told us that Cuba’s railways run little by way of services but it would appear that they have, nevertheless, contrived a fatal crash with three dead (as I write) and nearly a hundred injured. I’d like to express my sympathy to all those involved.

  2. Bravo! We need more José Conrado’s and Yoani Sanchez’s.

    People of Cuba, the moment have come.

  3. Thanks for the heads up Iain Salisbury. Not even CNN nor MSNBC have published this on their sites yet as of 10:50 AM EST ! Are you a columnist? any relation to the british cricket player?
    I wonder if Yoanni will have anything to say about the train wreck.

    Regarding Jose Conrado, it is gratifying to see one more cuban standing up for what they believe in. I hope Yoanni continues writting about people like him.

  4. Train crash in Cuba, 3 dead and 93 injured
    AFP
    HAVANA
    Two trains full of passengers crashed last Saturday near the small town Sibanicu in the cuban province of Camagüey leaving a fatal balance of 3 dead and 93 injured according to the “cuban agency of national information”, AIN.
    Two of the injured were reported in very bad condition and 69 remained interned in local hospitals.
    The authorities investigates the causes of the accident, said AIN
    The cuban government is investing $500 millions in the modernization of the island railroads. In this plan includes buying equipment from China and Iran and improvement works of the national railroads affected for more than 15 years of economical crisis.

  5. Let us all join forces to see if we can put an end to the intolerance and for the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba. I think that will be very a very important step for our brothers and sisters in Cuba. Since it will allow us to help them in this dark hour.

    We hope the Cuban government is listening to them and to us. I believe that Corrado is right to think that Raul Castro can do some real change for Cuba. Let us hope that our expectations of him are well place.

  6. A voice from within, good for Conrado, a Cuban with a pulpit and 200 people to lisen.
    I have read Castro wanted one more generation under his control, but life’s cycle is life’s cycle therefore he will not be able to see. It also appears Raul is not Fidel but is waiting for the cycle of life to take it’s course.

    Both these men are very elderly, Fidel being very sick and Raul being very senile. Who will be the gate keeper of the island when the cycle of life gets them both. Best Wishers posters and here’s to a free Cuba, with those of us from US free to travel to Cuba.

  7. 111th CONGRESS
    1st Session
    H. R. 874

    To allow travel between the United States and Cuba.

    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    February 4, 2009

    Mr. Delahunt (for himself, Mr. Flake, Ms. DeLauro, Mrs. Emerson, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Moran of Kansas, Ms. Edwards of Maryland, Mr. Paul, and Mr. Farr) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

    A BILL

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. Short title.

    This Act may be cited as the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act”.

    SEC. 2. Travel to Cuba.

    On and after the date of the enactment of this Act, and subject to section 3—

    (1) the President may not regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents, or any of the transactions incident to such travel; and

    (2) any regulation in effect on such date of enactment that regulates or prohibits travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents or transactions incident to such travel shall cease to have any force or effect.

    SEC. 3. Exceptions.

    Section 2 shall not apply in a case in which the United States is at war with Cuba, armed hostilities between the two countries are in progress, or there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travelers.

    SEC. 4. Applicability.

    This Act applies to actions taken by the President before the date of the enactment of this Act that are in effect on such date of enactment, and to actions taken on or after such date.

    SEC. 5. Inapplicability of other provisions.

    The provisions of this Act apply notwithstanding section 102(h) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6032(h)) and section 910(b) of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7210(b)).

  8. EXCERPTS

    111TH CONGRESS
    1ST SESSION H. R. 188
    To lift the trade embargo on Cuba, and for other purposes.
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    JANUARY 6, 2009

    A BILL
    To lift the trade embargo on Cuba, and for other purposes.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2
    tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Cuba Reconciliation Act’’.

    •HR 188 IH
    SEC. 2. REMOVAL OF PROVISIONS RESTRICTING TRADE AND OTHER RELATIONS WITH CUBA.

    (a) AUTHORITY FOR EMBARGO.—Section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2370(a)) is repealed.

    (b) TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT.—The authori ties conferred upon the President by section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act, which were being exercised with respect to Cuba on July 1, 1977, as a result of a national emergency declared by the President before that date, and are being exercised on the day before the effective date of this Act, may not be exercised on or after such effective date with respect to Cuba. Any regulations in effect on the day before such effective date pursuant to the exercise of such authorities, shall cease to be effective on such date.

    SEC. 3. TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES.
    Any common carrier within the meaning of section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153) is authorized to install, maintain, and repair telecommunications equipment and facilities in Cuba, and otherwise provide telecommunications services between the United States and Cuba. The authority of this Section includes the authority to upgrade facilities and equipment.

    SEC. 4. TRAVEL.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Travel to and from Cuba by individuals who are citizens or residents of the United States, and any transactions ordinarily incident to such travel, may not be regulated or prohibited if such travel would be lawful in the United States.

    SEC. 5. DIRECT MAIL DELIVERY TO CUBA.
    The United States Postal Service shall take such actions as are necessary to provide direct mail service to and from Cuba, including, in the absence of common carrier service between the 2 countries, the use of charter providers.

  9. Thanks to Yoani for bringing more awareness to the thoughts of Jose Conrado. Judging from the tone and composition of his open letter to Raul, he must be a wonderful human being.
    I cant help but feel sadness for the Castro brothers who seem to only view the world through very dark lenses. Even in Fidels current Reflections one cant help but notice the bitterness of a lonely old man who has alienated all around him and now only waits for his final loss.
    As always, best wishes to all of the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom. We pray that that day of victory will come soon.

  10. #8 poster, It is my belief this will be moved and voted on without any press what so ever. This is what President Obama wants, he will not be helt responsible for it and the end results will/can be the same. This bill was written before Bush left office, How about that? It’s my understanding it was put in place to appease those voters in Florida so Jeb Bush could be Florida Governor. Cuban’s should forever remember this unthecial selfish act so one could be elected to power in US. This might be best kept quite, is this what Emanual meant?

  11. @American #10

    I don’t know if this is what Emanuel meant. But I do know, the OPPONENTS of this bill are burning up the internet, the phone lines and the U.S. mail service and flooding the offices (local and in DC) of their congressional representatives.

    So a strong email writing campaign (and office visits for those for whom it’s convenient) from the SUPPROTERS is important to let those same representatives know, the American people want this.

    It doesn’t have to be flashy, or seek news coverage, but it’s important to let them know they’ll be rewarded for their votes, not punished.

  12. Did anyone else get goose bumps reading that letter?
    Such a well written and eloquent way of asking for change while expressing support for his parishioners and countrymen… I must say that I’m very impressed by this priest from a “wooden church in a poor neighborhood”.
    Next time I’m in Cuba, I’m going to go to that little church with a print out of that letter and I’m going to shake his hand.

    Kudos to Yoani for speaking about this and kudos to the translation team for a job well done.

  13. SilentVoice dice: 8 Febrero 2009 a las 17:54

    Let us all join forces to see if we can put an end to the intolerance and for the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba. I think that will be very a very important step for our brothers and sisters in Cuba. Since it will allow us to help them in this dark hour.
    000000000000000000000000000

    Dear S.Voice, I wish comes true your hopes about the supposed benefices that finishing the embargo and travel regulation will bring over the cuban people. But I am not so happy about this as you because I am convinced that the solution to the cuban people difficulties are not in our hands but castro’s hand or cuban people determination to recover its freedom.
    I will write down some examples.

    Cuban emigrates send around $1000 millions to Cuba every year, the rest of the world commerce freely with Cuba, hundred of millions of dollars in humanitarian help were sent to Cuba last year…….. but…….. the help of the emigrates only reach a reduced % of the population, the commerce of the world with the dictatorship does not transforms in development or better live conditions for the population and the hundred of millions dollars in humanitarian help the world sent last year or the year before or 10 years ago or 45 years ago never reached the population because was/is sold in dollar in the specials shopping centers where people with dollars can buy.

    You get to learn a basic principle of dictatorship…… the people need to be kept at the border of starving in a surviving situation, if the people gets all its needs covered it will automatically start to think about politics….. politic-thinking people is no good for dictatorships health……… that’s why dictatorships need to create poverty…… that’s why embargo or no embargo gonna mean nothing positive for cuban people!!!

    The only solution for cuban people is to cast away the dictatorship or the dictators leave Cuba.

  14. Ok guys and gals I wrote up a letter to my senator and congressman that I will be sending soon and I am also posting here just in cases any of you have a suggestion to make.

    Any of you that feel like using my letter to write to your own senator is free to do so.
    Let us all join forces to see if we give a chance to CHANGE.
    I believe that is we change they will also have to change. In any case that this does not produce the effect we want we can always go back to the old ways.
    To send a letter to a senator or congressman is easy. If you have web connection then look on Google for their Web site and submit the letter via email. You can also do it via snail mail. But please do it!

    Here is my letter

    The Honorable Barbara A Mikulski
    Senate Office Building
    United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510
    Dear Senator:
    It has come to my attention that there are two bill proposals in congress regarding Cuba. One called “the Cuba Reconciliation Act” (H.R.188) and one called the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act”.
    I will like to give you my opinion about these two bills.
    I do believe that our policy of embargo and travel restriction has not achieved anything with regards to making the government of Cuba change. I believe that a new policy of engagement with the Cuban government should be able to change old animosities between our government and the Cuban government and vice versa.
    It is also very important that the travel restrictions are eliminated since I believe that people to people contact will make the Cuban people come to the realization that we are not against them as their government portrait us to be and on the other hand they may be able to see firsthand some of the lies propagated by their government. I will think there is always more positive than negative in any human interchange.
    With regards to the Cuban reconciliation act I will have to say that after all this years there have being no effect. I am not sure what the original intention was to have an embargo towards Cuba but what I can see is that the Castro regime has use it as excuse to repress his people even more.
    As you know the past year could be considered catastrophic for Cuba since there were three hurricanes passing thru the island. The Cuban government as you know refuse to accept any help from our government. As you can see the Cuban government disregard for his people is appalling. But we should take a higher moral ground this time and allow the embargo to end. Ending the embargo will hopefully mean that the Cuban government will possibly change his attitude in the coming future. It seems to me that in the past we have try to solve both issues but the Cuban government have acted recklessly deliberately with the objective that we do not continue on our path of making this two wrongs a right.
    I believe firmly that this new policies if passed will provoke changes in Cuba possibly the kind of changes we all desired. It is my hope that the end result of this will be the return to democracy and freedom for all Cubans.
    I will be very grateful if you supported both bills and will remember your actions on this matter of importance to me and many other constituent.
    If these two new policies are passed and they do not produce the expected effect on the Cuban government then we can always come back to the old policy. We hope the Cuban government is sufficiently smart to not waste this opportunity.
    My best regards
    Julio de la Yncera

  15. Carbo
    I do agree that the Cuban people need to do something to have things change but we should not force their hand by imposing an embargo that has not produce the expected result. It is their decision to make.
    It does not matter how much you and I asked them to rise up against what we see as an unjust government that represses them and uses them as slaves. They are the ones that have to realize that the solution for their problems is not to go to another country but to fight for their rights in his own country.

    I do believe that if we change our policy maybe the Cuban government will soften their own stance and may even change a bit to the benefit of his own people. Eliminating all the absurd prohibitions in place.
    At least that is my hope.

    I hope. I hope… I HOPE.

  16. Carbo Servia dice: 8 Febrero 2009 a las 21:39

    You get to learn a basic principle of dictatorship…… the people need to be kept at the border of starving in a surviving situation, if the people gets all its needs covered it will automatically start to think about politics….. politic-thinking people is no good for dictatorships health……… that’s why dictatorships need to create poverty…… that’s why embargo or no embargo gonna mean nothing positive for cuban people!!!
    000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    You’re right about the poverty part…. but… that’s what ending the embargo and travel restrictions can do. Flood the country with Americans… remember they are the closest ‘rich’ people, who can afford to vacation in Cuba. With their dollars. Which they will hand out right and left. Yes, the regime will take its share… but direct person to person can help alleviate poverty… and give people time to think about politics….

  17. Andy I could not have said what you express on #17 any better!

    We think very similarly!

    Thanks for caring for those that do not share our good fortune of living in freedom!

  18. the black american like jesse jackson and nelson mandela of south africa trying to help
    ====OSCAR ELIAS BICSET===

  19. Rene

    Do not worry we are on the side of truth.

    Dictators can lie to people some of the time but the truth will eventually come out.
    We see these Cubans fighting pacifically for freedom and we should do what we can to help them.

    One voice is too small against so much injustice.
    Let us all join all our voices to make them understand that they are not alone.

  20. SilentVoice dice: 8 Febrero 2009 a las 22:43
    I believe that people to people contact will make the Cuban people come to the realization that we are not against them as their government portrait us to be and on the other hand they may be able to see firsthand some of the lies propagated by their government.
    00000000000000000

    What’s make you believe the cuban people thinks the USA is an enemy…. do you belive the cuban people is dumb???????
    Every cuban inside Cuba and outside know USA and Castro behave as allies!!!!!!
    You are too misinformed!!!!!
    I imagine one of the castro’s intelligence agents reading this letter and commenting with his pals: “another useful dumb” and laughing loudly!!!!!!
    00000000000000000000000000000000

    I do believe that if we change our policy maybe the Cuban government will soften their own stance and may even change a bit to the benefit of his own people. Eliminating all the absurd prohibitions in place.
    00000000000000000000000000

    It have not happened in China or Vietnam or North Corea…. why could happen in Cuba!!!!!
    How can “a bit of change” be good for the cuban people????
    You misunderstand the cuban problem exactly in the same way the dictatorship wants the rest of the world misunderstand it, I mean: “You (USA) beat us (dictatorship) then We (dictatorship) beat the cuban people”
    Don’t be silly, dictatorship will continue beating the cubans despite USA became their friends or not because the dictatorship problem is not USA, Russia, Mexico, The ETs or the fishes in the see……… the dictatorship problem is with the cuban p e o p l e!!!!!!!!
    Right now you behave your self as a helpful hand to the dictatorship

  21. Andy dice: 8 Febrero 2009 a las 23:38
    that’s what ending the embargo and travel restrictions can do. Flood the country with Americans… remember they are the closest ‘rich’ people, who can afford to vacation in Cuba. With their dollars.
    0000000000000000000000000

    Why it hasn’t happen with the flood of spaniards, canadians, mexicans, italians and ……….. anticastrist cubans that invaded Cuba in the last years…… don’t tell me do you believe americans are exceptional people!!!!!!

    We have a tool, the embargo….. this tool doesn’t work……. but we can’t cast it away without conditions because it is the only tool we have. We have to find some way to dismiss it under certain conditions.

  22. more america dollar for castro=======he will help the cuban people ===todavia hay idiota en el planeta y creen en los comunista de los castro

  23. Carbo

    I maybe wrong in my assumptions but what is wrong with trying? As I explained we can always go back if we do not see the change we are expecting.

    If we see that the Cuban government repressing even more then we can take action and go back.

    We seem to be trying to force the hand of the Cuban people by starving them. Of course is not us, It is their government but there are some Cubans who really believe what their government tells them. Obviously when I was in Cuba I was one of those that believe very little of what the government said.

    Let me ask you what is wrong with us changing? I think they will be scare if we do. Because it will be the end to the endless excuses of why their system does not improve their living conditions.
    Believe me I know that many many Cubans do know that the issue is not the embargo but their own government. But since they depend economically from their government and are not allow to organize in any way it is impossible for them to know how they all think and how many of them are.
    The Castro regime have being very successful applying the old principle of “Divide et impera” Divide and Conquer but we should try to do the opposite. Join forces! That is the only way to gain the freedom we all want for Cuba.

    The same way you mention that the Cuban intelligent agents reading what I write I could also say they may comment about what you have. Since your idea is to keep the status quo that as we know has fail to produce any change. Understand that we can always revert to our old ways if the expected change is not obtained. I believe we should give a chance to Change. If there is something that the Cuban dictatorship can not deal with is Change. They are to old for change.

  24. Carbo

    One more thing
    Cuba and Cubans as you probably know are very different that Chinese and Vietnamese and Koreans.
    As you have explained many many Cubans do know their government is the problem. We just need to give them the economic independence to be able to express it and the easiest way to do it is by dropping the embargo and allow Americans to flood the island.

  25. Carbo Servia dice: 9 Febrero 2009 a las 01:53

    Why it hasn’t happen with the flood of spaniards, canadians, mexicans, italians and ……….. anticastrist cubans that invaded Cuba in the last years…… don’t tell me do you believe americans are exceptional people!!!!!!

    0000000000000000000

    No, I absolutely do NOT believe that Americans are exceptional people. AND I THINK YOU MAKE A VERY GOOD POINT. BUT…..

    1 — The embargo hasn’t worked for 50 years, so what’s the difference. embargo no embargo. if lifting the embargo doesn’t help a thing, so what — keeping it isn’t helping anything either.

    2 — Here are the differences between americans and all the other foreigners.

    A – There are more Cuban-Americans… more Cubans outside of Cuba in America… than in any other country. BY FAR. There are about 1.2 million people who identify themselves as “Cuban-American” — About 125,000 or more have come in just the last 20 years. These are people who have close family members that they know well, in Cuba…. not just the grandchildren of Cuban immigrants who came in the 1960s and 1970s.

    B – American is CLOSE. There are no daily ferries going from Spain (where there are also a lot of Cubans) to Cuba. Or from Canada to Cuba. Once the travel restrictions are listed… Americans will be able to fly from cities like LA, Dallas, Atlanta, NY, Chicago — and all the connecting cities — plus Florida of course, and they’ll also be able to get on Ferries and just ‘hop over’… no big deal. A LOT WILL GO. It will be reasonable to take a ‘long weekend’ in Cuba.

    C — And a whole lot will go with dollar bills stuffed in their underwear…. so they’ll still have to pay the penalty to get CUCs, but not quite so much will be siphoned off by the government. And their credit cards will work there! Right now, an American has to take all the cash they will need… but if the embargo is lifted… ta da! Credit cards!

    D — And if the government tries to control all these tourists (who will have to stay in private homes, casa particulares… there are not enough hotel rooms)… they will have to hire a lot more police! HEY! There you go! More jobs for Cubans being police and harassing the Americans! It’s our own little Cuban Stimulus Job Creation Plan. (OK just joking.)

    E — I don’t know… but I think the Cuban people will be less afraid. Right now, who are their friends? Chavez? Putin? Oh goody. When they know Americans are truly their friends… I’m not talking about tanks and guns and invasions and so on… but to know that the US and its people really are your friends instead of wondering if they’re your enemies like the gov’t says… it has to help a tiny bit. Doesn’t it? Someone set me straight on this one. I really don’t know.

  26. Even one more.
    “Las damas de blanco”, “The ladies in white” (A group of women spouses of political prisoners) as you know the government uses groups of people to execute violence against them when they are manifesting publicly for the freedom of their husbands.

    I hope you notice that very recently there seem to have being a change in the Cuban government policy since they were not follow by the violent government mob and were allow to go all the way to the Capitol building in Havana protesting.

    I believe that policy change has a lot to do with the aspirations of the Cuban government with regards to the new American administration changing policy with regards to Cuba. I do believe they will be very careful in upsetting the big Cuban American community here after such a change. They will have to walk a very fine line.

  27. What about wet foot/dry foot

    We haven’t talked about the wet foot/dry foot and how that might change.

    1. Will the US stop taking rafters back to Cuba?

    2. Will the US take ALL rafters back to Cuba?

    3. Will Cubans lose the ability to automatically qualify for asylum in the US and be on the path to citizenship? Will they become like Mexicans, and Guatemalans and Chinese and all the other people who go to the US and cross the border without papers and have to hide themselves in the black market economy? (Wow! If anyone should be good at that it’s Cubans!!!

    PS… the last sentence in [this] comment is a JOKE!!!!!!!! I typed in “JOKE!” but it got lost! Help moderator… please fix it!
    I don’t want everyone yelling at me!

    MODERATOR: CONSIDER IT FIXED.

  28. PS… the last sentence in comment #31 was a JOKE!!!!!!!! I typed in “JOKE!” but it got lost! Help moderator… please fix it!
    I don’t want everyone yelling at me!

  29. andy======go to cuba and tell that communist party =====you should go to cuba to create a democratic party in cuba

    and see if will back you up==========================and then we will be talking
    andy ====cono tiene buena ideal pero los castro no piensa como tu y yo
    el prolema no es los estado unido ========es los castro===es bueno sonar andy

  30. RENE — estoy de acuerdo.. I agree… but… THEY ARE OLD MEN AND THEY ARE GOING TO DIE.

    I do not think anything will change until Fidel dies… everything I think is based on that. The country is sunk in a lethargy… there are not enough Yoani’s… but… he WILL die… and Raul will die… the old tired evil men will die.

    And I believe there are younger people who see the future. They can have a better future.

    Everything I suggest is only preparing for after the old men die.

    Ahora, el pais esta estancado en tiempo — now the country is suspended in time. But the old men will die.

  31. andy ==========see this video=======esto son los que puede cambir a cuba ===change for cuba future
    youngr people in this vidio

  32. Andy, S.Voice, I repeat I do agree, embargo or no embargo the cuban people will stay at same condition……
    however eliminate the embargo will not help the cubans….then

    I repeat

    We have a tool, the embargo….. this tool doesn’t work……. but we can’t cast it away without conditions because it is the only tool we have. We have to find some way to dismiss it under certain conditions.

    and I add specially for you Andy:

    There is almost 3 millions cubans spread over the world each one of those cubans has almost 3 relatives in Cuba what means they have regular contact and exchange impressions with approximately 9 millions cuban. We all speak the same language and have the same aspirations and…….. we send $1000 millions every year, money that at least the 80% reach the cuban people….. why then this huge influence does not cause a bettering of conditions for the cubans???
    I going to tell you why….. because the government is in the middle creating poverty in order of make the cubans spend the monies we send in “governmental shopping” where the prices are sky high. The system is designed for avoiding the mass arriving of dollars and tourist reach the people. Do you believe the commies are stupids??, knowing them that the mass tourism can cause their fall they will no take measurement to prevent this effect??
    If we the emigrated cubans have not get any benefits for our landsman with all our money and influence over millions of cuban, why then will a bunch of gringos “bring the prosperity of the people of Cuba?
    Those gringos will do exactly what canadians or europeans does: have sex, get drunk, get burned and some of them will be filmed having sex with children by castro’s intelligence and once at home they will receive a copy of the film and a list of instructions with castro’s intelligence plans for his/her new life and ideological orientation.

  33. Carbo Servia…

    ok you may be right about EVERYTHING except ONE THING….

    The embargo hasn’t worked for 50 years so what’s the point of it.

    Even if the US govt just ends the embargo, ends the travel restrictions and then says, “Go to ‘heck’ Cuba, not my problem”… even that is better than this fake ‘war’ the US and Cuba are having. It’s just stupid. Too much energy. Too much rhetoric. Too much stupidity. And no… unfortunately I think the evil communists are among the smartest people on the planet. How else could they survive for 50 years in Cuba… 60 years in China… over 70 years in Russia… when they are so evil and only spread misery.

  34. SilentVoice dice: 9 Febrero 2009 a las 02:49
    I believe that policy change has a lot to do with the aspirations of the Cuban government with regards to the new American administration changing policy with regards to Cuba. I do believe they will be very careful in upsetting the big Cuban American community here after such a change. They will have to walk a very fine line.
    00000000000000000000000000

    S.Voice, I would give my right……. no….. my left eye for being so truthful as you are.
    You don’t know the beast……. but I have seen things…… I remember when Clinton planed to normalize relations with castro and castro understood that Clinton was serious in this plan……. castro shot down “Brothers to the Rescue” airplanes killing 4 american citizens!!!!
    Recently were declassified some documents by the US gov. that revealed several intents made by almost all american administrations to have normal relations with castro….. all intents failed!!!!
    I bet my income tax devolution ……… when Obama reaches the point of normalization the dictatorship will do something to abort it….. you will see!!!!
    By other side, the dictatorship cares nothing about upsetting the cuban community of USA. There is something called “society polarization” it is a strategy used for the modern leftist dictatorship to create a permanent state of belligerence between the country civil poles. At one pole you have the dictatorship and theirs supporter at the other pole you have the anti dictatorial party(s). The dictatorship leave only 2 choices to the normal citizen: you are with me or against me. You are with me you have to participate or approve (or at least be quiet) in dictatorship’s crimes . You are with the anti dictatorial party you will be harassed, killed, put in jail or at least have to leave the country. Leaving the country will not give you the peace of being out of this “society polarization” because you going to have your relatives living as hostages in your country, maybe a son or your mother, your brother, etc. The dictatorship will find ways of making you upset even when you have no hostages in your country. They will for example not allow you to visit your country or make you pay sky high prices for your cuban passport, or ask you pay very expensive visas for allowing you travel in your own country, etc. They will you forever upset on them because in such way they create a constantly stream of hate that cause theirs supporter be afraid of the changes. Is a closed circle that is very hard to broke.

  35. Carbo Servia —

    It seems you are talking at cross purposes to yourself.

    In #36 you say we have a tool… the embargo… and we have to have conditions.

    In #39… you remind us about the brothers-to-the-rescue planes and the fact that the dictatorship does not WANT a peaceful solution to anything… they just want control and power over their slaves.

    That is why the embargo should end with no discussions, no preconditions, no nothing. No matter what the US offers the dictator will say no. So… tell him to go to hades… it doesn’t matter what he says… the embargo is over… too bad.

    I believe until Fidel dies NOTHING WILL CHANGE anyway… but at least get the embargo out of the way and stop treating American citizens like they are also slaves and cannot travel wherever in the world they want.

  36. Andy dice: 9 Febrero 2009 a las 04:58
    How else could they survive for 50 years in Cuba… 60 years in China… over 70 years in Russia… when they are so evil and only spread misery.
    00000000000000000000000000

    Andy,
    The communism could be instituted in many european countries because it was an ideological stream that flooded the world at the beginning of the XX century. Communism and Fascism were (or are) 2 extreme manifestations of socialism in fashion even today. Several countries in the world fell for those “ideas”. To get ride of a communist dictatorship is very hard because it is designed to compromise all national factors in become in complicity with the dictators. Now, each countries has particularities that make things work in one or other direction. In Russia it lasted 70 years “only” because the russian commies fell in the trap of truly believe in this crap and pretended overcome the world and become the spreader of the “good news”. As you know they ended as an exhaust country that no longer were the bigger empire on the world and today the run one of the wildest capitalism ever existed. If they had done as castro did, do not believe the crap and concentrate in keeping the power, they surely would be in the power today. China survived 60 years thanks to the help of the USSR first and USA later but at the end they also transformed their country in to a very wild capitalism system.
    Cuba my friend, Cuba’s actual government were helped to reach the power by the US gov and has been maintained there by the conjunction of several forces, the most active of them ……..The US gov!!!
    I leave now, tomorrow………. I’ll be back…………. good night people.

  37. @ CARBO SERVIA– I see what you’re saying and ordinarily I would agree with you on MOST OF WHAT YOU SAY. When it comes to the embargo, though, I have to disagree and agree with some of the others here. For one, it has been well proven that it’s simply NOT WORKING. For one, because the embargo is not even totally existent. The U.S. still continues to be one of the greater providers of food to Cuba. So what embargo are we even talking about?

    Another thing, I refuse to accept these comparisons of the U.S. to Spain, Canada and the rest of Europe. The Cuban people DO NOT FEEL THE SAME ABOUT THOSE NATIONS as they do about the U.S. as evidenced by their continued obsession with the U.S.’s “blockade” against them. They talk about it constantly BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT IT for obvious reasons. The U.S. is not only their biggest neighbor, but they have long held CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL TIES with the U.S. MOST OF THEIR MOST INFLUENTIAL EXILES CAME HERE, not to those other countries. Their young people don’t dream of leaving Cuba to go live in Toronto or Barcelona. Most of them want to come HERE and they watch our television when they can. You SIMPLY CANNOT COMPARE THE INTEREST that is held for the U.S. to the interest with another place. THERE IS BOUND TO BE SOME SORT OF EFFECT ON MASSES OF AMERICANS SUDDENLY CONVERGING UPON CUBA ALL OF A SUDDEN. That cannot be denied in light of the evidence of the GREATER IMPORTANCE OF THE U.S. TO THE AVERAGE CUBAN PERSON that any other country on earth, without a doubt. Exactly what will happen OF COURSE WE DON’T KNOW. But at this point, I think it’s well worth the risk.

    And another thing, Diaz-Balart, PLEASE STOP COMPARING THIS EMBARGO to that which has been placed on another countries in other parts of the world! Libya is NOT A NEIGHBOR, NOR IS IT A WESTERNIZED COUNTRY LIKE CUBA IS. It DOES NOT HAVE THE HISTORY OF EMOTIONAL, CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL TIES with the U.S. that Cuba does. It is not a formerly developed nation with WESTERNIZED IDEAS and IDEOLOGY that Cuba has. How the hell can you compare both? It’s an unfair comparison! Same goes with Iran! How can you compare Cuba to Iran? Gimme a break!

  38. Beny More —

    How great to see you here! And here I thought you’d been dead and gone for over 40 years. Wonders never cease.

    Please fill us in a little more on what Diaz-Balart is up to. I don’t live in his neck of the woods (or anywhere close!) and haven’t been listening to him (which is nice and peaceful for my ears).

    Cuba and Libya eh? That’s a good one.

  39. Where is the cross purposes, Andy

    I repeat my dear friend……… embargo does not work and must ended but…….. it is our only tool and we can’t give it away for nothing.

    In other words

    Embargo or no embargo the cuban people will not get benefits ………. then, let lift the embargo but let try to get something for the lifting

    It is so hard to understand????

    I have asked people inside Cuba about the embargo lifting, the most people says:

    Lifting the embargo will not bring me a better living, I don’t care if there is or not embargo, anyway the government will continue blaming the lifted embargo for our problems or the hurricanes, the dry climate, etc, etc, etc

    Good night Andy, I read you tomorrow

  40. Carbo S #44 —

    OK… I’m an open minded person. I’d like to hear what you propose. Really. But I cannot imagine ONE THING the evil dictators are going to give the US in exchange for SOMETHING THEY DON’T WANT.

    I mean what will Raul propose? “IF you end the embargo we promise to only arrest 100 more independent journalists this year instead of the 10 we were planning”????

    No, it’s not hard to understand the IDEA of giving something and getting something. BUT THEY DON’T REALLY WANT WHAT THE US WOULD BE GIVING!

    Here are my ideas….
    1 – lift the travel and remittance restrictions, no strings attached, just do it.
    2 – lift the embargo.
    3 – DO NOT RETURN GUANTANAMO! Absolutely NOT. Now THERE IS SOMETHING THEY WANT. Frankly, I don’t know if the US should ever return it. But if they did…. they should demand A LOT. For example… they could demand that all the money in the foreign bank accounts of the dictators and their families be returned to Cuba and used for the good of the people. Along with freedom and guaranteed future freedom IN THEIR OWN HOMELAND for all political prisoners and about a billion other things.
    4 – DO NOT RETURN THE SPIES… again… something they want. MAKE THEM PAY BIG TIME. (Actually I’m not really sure they want the spies… it’s another thing that has more power if they don’t have it.)

    But please… do tell me what you think fidel/raul would give the US for lifting the embargo. (Which as many have pointed out isn’t really an embargo at all… it would just means they could run up debts they’re never going to pay….)

    Oh… another thing the US should do…. connect the internet cable to the interests section (or maybe it’s already connected for all I know) and then install the MOST POWERFUL wireless transmitter… and then…. drop wireless routers from the sky (no wait, that won’t work… they’ll shoot down the plane/helicopter)… well… just walk around leaving wireless routers under every bush for people to find and take home… so Cubans in Havana at least could get on line! And make sure there’s enough capacity for Skype! Would that be cool or what?!

  41. Unfortunately, Cuban communism will not die with the appalling Castro dynasty. Anyone who imagines he/she knows what goes on in these wretched politburos is probably delusional – and that goes for most of the members. However, if I had to predict a successor, it would be Foreign Affairs Minister Felipe Perez Roque. He is a much younger man and, as a Stalinist thug of the “old-school”, he can be trusted to perpetuate the practices of the regime.
    Concessions are useless. All these people care about is power and their own privileges. They have no “better natures” to which we might appeal. Were it otherwise, they’d have put a stop to suffering on the island decades ago.
    (Incidentally, I am no relation, alas, to the distinguished, eponymous cricketer. I’m a professional physicist, specialising in electron microscopy, and an occasional journalist, specialising in Latin American affairs.)

  42. Iain #47

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the lack of “better natures” let alone “better angels” — only worse devils to be sure. That said, I don’t think there’s necessarily a natural progression to the most similar and most thug like… somewhere in there, there’s a Yeltsin. A pragmatic let’s get on with it type who knows what simply unleashing the entrepreneurial energy of the Cuban people would go a long way to solving the seemingly intractable problems of feeding housing educating and healing (medicating?) people. And from there… well it’s going to be a long road under any circumstances but I do have hope.

    Not to mention that there IS some residual affection for Fidel… the abusive father but the only father most of the people have ever known. There’s no affection residual or otherwise for Perez Roque.

  43. There is a columnist for the Miami Herald, called Alejandro Armengol, supposedly born in Cuba.
    This ridiculous fellow always expresses himself negative against any act taken toward the tyrants of Cuba.
    Recently a group of Spaniards in Madrid decided to aid Cubans that live in the EU to protest the dictatorship.
    This Castro’s Agent writes a column making fun of the situation. I have follow his writings closely and always have something negative to say about those who oppose Castro. I wonder why he did not stay back in Cuba; his writing in “Granma” would have made the system very happy.
    This is the title of what he wrote: ALEJANDRO ARMENGOL: El anticastrismo como diversion.

  44. Cuba is different from any other sactioned country, it was personel, from the Kennedy’s for the screw up, Bush to help brother get elected. The Embargo has helped Castro stay in power, isolation of anything from family dog to 11 million people that can’t leave the back yard or an island when the master is the only touch of interaction plays on the brain.

    Fifty years, fifty years, fifty years is a long time, which in generations would involve grandma, mother, daughter, grandchild and greatgrand child.
    Americans of these generations have never known anything except freedom to go anywhere in the world except Cuba.
    In our minds Cuba is a forbidden place and when the gates are opened the citizens will flood Cuba, very near, not expensive to get there and with money in their wallets. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State said what better Ambassodors than The American People. I run a small Cultural Non Profit for Children Foundation, what a trip for( underpriledged by US standards )to travel to Cuba. Best Wishes for all posters and here’s hoping for a free Cuba and the freedom of The American Citizens to travel to Cuba.

  45. Carbo on #44

    “I repeat my dear friend……… embargo does not work and must ended but…….. it is our only tool and we can’t give it away for nothing.”

    I would also agree but the history of the problem is that every time we have gotten close to a deal with them as you have acknowledge they have done something on purpose to force our hand the other way as it has being discuss.

    Therefore this goes to show that the Cuban government can not live without the powerful enemy of the North!
    If we make their powerful enemy their biggest friend then what are they going to say?
    They must have strong reasons to keep us as enemies. Those are the lies they have being telling Cubans for 50 years and unfortunately some still believe them.

    If we do as you say and ask for something in exchange they will do something again to force our hand so that they do not get what they appear to want!

    As Carlos and others explained we have not try going this other path and I think they can not deal with this change because to them is an unknown variable.
    I am sure they are sufficiently smart to know that unknown variables are not good for them since they do not know the end result. I strongly believe that the end result will be on our favor.

    I agree also with Carlos. While Fidel Castro is there people will not do anything. Will see later what happens!

  46. Carbo

    This “The dictatorship leave only 2 choices to the normal citizen: you are with me or against me. ” is the false dichotomy logical fallacy that he has put the Cuban people. What is real is that some people will agree with him on certain things and disagree on the rest as it happens all over the world with any leader. Nobody is 100% with any government! Nobody is 100% oppose or 100% in favor of any government. they are multiple shades of agreement
    and I can not express this any better than our poet Dulce Maria Loynaz on her poem “I dreamed of classifying”.

    I dreamed of classifying
    Good and Evil, the same way wise men
    classify butterflies:
    I dreamed of pinning Good and Evil
    down to the dark velvet
    of the glass display case…
    Under the white butterfly
    a label that would read “GOOD”.
    under the black butterfly,
    a label that would read “EVIL”.
    But the white butterfly
    was not Good, nor was the black butterfly
    Evil… And in between my two butterflies,
    flew green, golden and infinite
    all the butterflies of the earth.

    Replace Good with us and Evil with them or vise versa and there you have it!
    This as you probably know was written by another very smart woman. Just like Yoani.

    Unfortunately we have all bite his hook of “you are with me or against me”. If you listen to Yoani she is very explicit not to label herself as oppose to the Cuban government!
    Let us stop doing so because every time we do he wins!

  47. Regarding the reference above to Diaz-Balart and the so embargo (or whatever you want to call it), unfortunately for many exiles who are moderates, these brothers are related to Castro by virtue of their aunt having been married to the dictator with one child (Fidelito I believe). The fact that the dictator betrayed that marriage, plus other unknown family and political factors created very bad blood between the Diaz-Balarts and the Castro family. This I believe taints and distorts logical thinking and prevents the use other methods for dealing with Cuba. These are people who are just unable to think outside the box and are ironclad in their thinking.

    I support the earlier suggestion by the writer who sent the letter to their legislator. Letter writing to their legilatros should be done by all of us concerned about the situation in Cuba.

    There is no question that people – everybody not just Cuban-Americans – should be allowed to travel. I know of many who once there, will not hold back notwithstanding the consequences, in telling their relatives, extended families and friends, what they think of the regime and the situation they are in as seen from outside the island. I believe you multiply this a million fold, and sooner or later change will come. I would also support all manner of cultural exchanges, including students, so that everyone learns from everybody else.

    I like the idea suggested earlier of lifting the “embargo” a few years, and if this does not work, the U.S. can always tighten up or reassess its relationship with the regime.

  48. From an article in the American Spectator:

    Yoani remains hopeful and believes “change will come not through government agencies but through the citizens and the spread of information and exchange with the outside world.”

    So… it seems to me our job is not just to chat with each other here on the blog — but to spread the word, recruit more readers, write to newspapers, elected officials, and so on.

  49. I believe what Yoani is doing has a lot to do with this

    As stated by His Holiness John Paul II during his visit to our country,

    “Let Cuba open to the world and let the world open to Cuba.”

    who by the way did not agree with the embargo.

  50. Posted by Ian #47:
    “Concessions are useless. All these people care about is power and their own privileges. They have no “better natures” to which we might appeal. Were it otherwise, they’d have put a stop to suffering on the island decades ago.”

    Are ending the restrictions on travel and trade necessarily “concessions.” Perhaps ending them is enlightened self-interest?

    And nobody can say for sure whether there is or is not a Gorbachev type figure in the Cuban leadership lying in the weeds waiting for the day the brothers Castro pass from the scene.

  51. John Two #61

    There’s ALWAYS a “Gorbachav” type figure lying in the weeds of any organization… but there are always “Fidel” type figures lying in the weeds too… most of them never make it to the front of the room, for good or ill.

    I think that’s what’s most important about what Yoani’s doing — with her blog, and very importantly with the new “Blogger Journey” she and her friends have undertaken… they are actively going around the island — physically and virtually — and recruiting people to join them in this virtual civic space.

    Citizenship has been crushed for so long — what’s amazing is that it has not died — but the spark must be tended and grown. That is what Yoani is doing.

    The other thing that I think is amazing — is that even though the great bulk of her readers, of course, are outside the island, she doesn’t write for us… she continues to write for her fellow citizens — to address their issues, to speak in their language, she keeps her face turned to the island, while of course building bridges to those of us beyond the waves.

  52. Correcting my own comment. There are not always “Fidel” type figures lying in the weeds. There are not that many fidels in the world. There are MANY would-be-fidels… but what makes a fidel so evil and dangerous is that you take a man who is a complete psychopath, who sees the world only as it is reflected in himself, who has absolutely no feeling or care for other human beings, none at all, who has no sense of humor, no self-awareness, yet who is incredibly intelligent… AND… this is what sets the fidels apart, is charismatic to other people. They cannot see that he is a psychopath. They are drawn to him. They believe he is listening to them. That he cares about them. But no, he only cares that they care about him. People like Jim Jones who convinced all those people drink the Kool Aid in Jonestown (and shot the few he couldn’t convince).

    Most psychopaths do not combine all these qualities… the ones that make them dangerous on a global scale. Jim Jones, for example, a lot of people could see that he was a psychopath. And of course fidel, even early on, some could see. But it took the slow development of all his crimes for (almost) everyone to see… and even now there are people who excuse him… nothing was his fault… amazing.

  53. I miss spelled Gorbachev sorry ! 😀

    I am glad you enjoy a bit of Cuban humor. I could not help myself. I was thinking to say something clever as Fidel Castro in the Weeds by I could not place myself in his shoes!

  54. Andy dice: 9 Febrero 2009 a las 07:00

    Here are my ideas….
    1 – lift the travel and remittance restrictions, no strings attached, just do it.
    00000000000000000

    What are you proposing is…….. we, the dictatorship, kick the butt/ass of cuban people as we please, you (US) give me the americans money without conditions so we can continue kicking our slaves a..sss
    0000000000000000000

    2 – lift the embargo.
    000000000000000000

    Ibidem!!!!!!
    000000000000

    3 – DO NOT RETURN GUANTANAMO! Absolutely NOT. Now THERE IS SOMETHING THEY WANT.
    000000000000000000000

    With all my respect Andy I believe you misunderstand Cuba’s past history……….
    In 1933 cuban people drew a revolution. This revolution brought the derogation of the Platt amendment form Cuba’s constitution, an amendment imposed by the US government to our then young republic. The “perpetual lease” of Guantanamo’s Bay territory stipulated in the Platt amendment is no longer valid because the Platt amendment self is no longer valid…….. the cuban people rejected this abusive “lease” and the US army is still there only because the exercise of the force…. and it has nothing to do with ideologies……. USA has no right to be there, then it is not a negotiable item despite the political situation in our country.
    One of castro’s more execrable crimes against our country is to have left aside the fight for recovering this territory and many people, including me, believes there is a secret treat between Cuba and USA about Guantanamo.
    00000000000000000000

    4 – DO NOT RETURN THE SPIES…
    0000000000000000

    Who were the spies spying ??????………….. Spying the USA?????…… NO……… they were spying cuban emigrates, they were conspiring to kill cuban emigrates, they were part of a conspiracy that has nothing to do with US government but Florida police, they are not spies, they are part of a mob. Your doubts about if castro wants the spies back are well grounded…… he wants no them back, that’s why he is crying so loudly for them….. no country in the world would assemble such a big spectacle in the media for get free spies, because the effect on the public opinion would be exactly the contrary.
    So the spies are not a negotiable thing for the dictatorship…….. dictatorship doesn’t care of them!!!!!
    000000000000000

    But please… do tell me what you think fidel/raul would give the US for lifting the embargo??
    000000000000

    In this question, exactly in this question you can find your misunderstanding of the cuban problem and the relationship Exile/USA.
    USA have to give nothing to castro and castro have to give nothing to USA. The problem is not between USA and castro but between castro and the cuban people…… (I have repeated it several times in my comments)
    The US gov gave a tool to the exile….. the embargo……. this tool, like much other pseudo tools US gov gave to the exile, doesn’t works…… why doesn’t works all those tools….. it’s a issue for other comment………. but anyway it is the only tool we have, then lets try to change it for something good, like:

    – Freedom for all political prisoners
    – Speech freedom
    – Association freedom
    – Travelling freedom
    – Union (bonding) freedom
    – Commercial freedom
    – Etc, etc.

    I would change the embargo for only one of the above named “freedom”

  55. I read that today… it’s demented beyond belief. In fact it convinces me that Fidel IS alive and still writing his own reflections because no one who was trying to fake it would write anything so unbelievably ridiculous!!!!!

    But… of course I’ve never had a chat with el comandante en jefe myself (thank god) but I’ve read a lot about him and there’s no question that he two qualities that have helped him be a ‘successful’ tyrant. 1 — that he IS ‘intelligent’…. and I mean that only in an academic sense… there are a lot of kinds of intelligence… and clearly he’s missing many of them. 2 — he has (or one might say at this point, HAD) an unbelievable memory… for facts, figures, people, the details of their lives, etc etc. A truly extraordinary memory. That’s how he could stand up there and give 8 hour speeches will of ‘facts’… yes, I know, he made up a lot of the so-called ‘facts’ himself — but he seems to have had one of those photographic memories for everything he read and heard.

    Equally obviously — either they’ve anointed a complete moron as his stand-in Reflexiones writer… or… he’s still writing them and he is NOT going out of this world with his mind intact.

    I was a little surprised as well by the conflating of Aristotle, Plato and “Inmanuel” Kant and including the latter as one of humankind’s most influential thinkers of all time (I personally thought it was Yoani, but what do I know)…. not to mention he misspelled John Kenneth Galbraith’s last name and his ‘helpers’ didn’t correct it. Nor did they correct the spelling of Clara Rojas’s son which is spelled with two M’s. (I should note I’m one of the world’s worst spellers…. but still I noticed these weirdnesses….)

  56. Sorry … “that” in my last comment referred to fidel’s reflection today… a few comments came in while I was writing mine and separated it from John Two’s comment.

  57. to Carbo #70….

    ok, I’m more than happy to agree you know more about cuba and understand it 1000 times better than I do.

    BUT (ja ja)….I don’t think I agree with your idea that fidel, raul, whomever, would trade any one of your ‘freedoms’ for ending the embargo. why would they. they don’t want the embargo to end.

    #2… on Guantanamo… I am NOT saying the US has a right to it… not at all… but… I am only saying it’s something Cuba DOES want. So… if it could be ‘traded’ for all those freedoms… what would be wrong with that?

    #3 – well at least we agree on the “spies”!!!!

    oh — #4… I DO believe, as you do… that the REAL PROBLEM IS BETWEEN CASTRO AND THE CUBAN PEOPLE… NOT BETWEEN CUBA AND THE USA… THAT IS JUST A SIDESHOW.

  58. SilentVoice dice: 10 Febrero 2009 a las 01:52

    Ok is done, I wrote to my senator
    00000000000000000000000000

    I know the cuban people is sure that we, the free part of them, are in majority responsible of taking right decisions about it fate and never, never, will go as easy as you want following an empty invocation……

  59. truly extraordinary memory

    andy========you believe anything==================

    yo creo el 90%de los cubano fidel castro le lleno la cabeza de ka ===== ka

  60. Andy dice: 10 Febrero 2009 a las 03:05
    000000000000000000

    OK Andy, now we are more closer because we are only 2 items away of be 100% in accordance, that’s good my friend!!!
    0000000000000000000

    whomever, would trade any one of your ‘freedoms’ for ending the embargo. why would they. they don’t want the embargo to end.
    00000000000000

    Well, I believe we have to get the international help for setting enough pressure on dictatorship for make them accepting the lifting of the embargo in exchange of those “freedoms”, it is not an new thing it were a well proven strategy that drove the apartheid regime out of Sudafrica and rose Mandela to the power.
    000000000000000000000

    #2… on Guantanamo… I am NOT saying the US has a right to it… not at all… but… I am only saying it’s something Cuba DOES want. So… if it could be ‘traded’ for all those freedoms… what would be wrong with that?
    00000000000000000

    You are right.
    00000000000000000000000

    It seem we are close the solution……. Now we only have to convince the USA, the world and castro….jajajajaja

  61. Carbo

    I believe I am doing the right thing for them (Cubans).

    Just because I wrote to my congressman and my senator does not make it that they will vote the way I will like them to vote as you must probably know.

    I have mentioned and also mentioned in my letter to them that if these changes do not produces any fruit then we could go back to the old policy and I will be one of the first to ask them to do so.
    But what I see is our brothers and sisters with no voice in Cuba since as we know the Cuban government does not care for them. We know the Cuban government refuses to change then I believe it wise for us to do so since it will mean that maybe the Cuban people may get some respite.

    My objective is the same as yours I believe.

    I like to see Cubans free.
    Free to choose their own leaders free to choose the economic system they desired
    and not some system imposed by the Communist party.

    You and I have the opportunity to influence this because we live in freedom and maybe could affect the outcome of this two bills in a very small way by asking our respective legislators.

    Think of the 50 years of embargo! has it solve the problem?
    If you honestly answer that question the answer should be NO.
    Then why should we stick to the old “solution” if it is not really a “solution”.
    As Andy mentioned with other words it is lunacy to continue on that path.

  62. #76 Carbo — WAIT! WAIT! It can’t be that easy! What are we going to fight about now?!?!?!?!

    (But seriously… what international pressure? The only countries they care about are those who give them things. Do you think Hugo-Baby is going to pressure papa fidel? If not him, who?)

    #77 Silent — Don’t forget… you only live in the district of ONE representative but your state’s TWO senators both represent you… so be sure to write to both of them.

  63. Thank you for the welcome. I have read this blog for quite some time but have only recently become brave enough to post any comments. (I’m not nearly as brave as Yoani!)
    After reading your #71 posting I went and read the current Reflection and couldnt agree more with your comments. It is very difficult to follow Fidels rambling in this one.

    I wish to thank you and all of the others here who write to discuss and clarify the current situation in Cuba and Cuban/American/World relations. Best wishes to all.

  64. Jerry dice: 10 Febrero 2009 a las 03:58
    0000000000000000000000

    Hi Jerry, please don’t go, I need reinforcements!!!!!!!

  65. (But seriously… what international pressure? The only countries they care about are those who give them things. Do you think Hugo-Baby is going to pressure papa fidel? If not him, who?)
    000000000000000000000

    A country needs of all other countries, Hugo-baby-mind alone is not enough for the voracious appetite of castros.

  66. WAIT! WAIT! It can’t be that easy! What are we going to fight about now?!?!?!?!
    000000000000000000

    We can fight about the need to add the following text to the letter S.Voice sent to the representatives:

    “I want you to work for lifting the embargo to Cuba’s dictatorship prior the liberation of all dissidents, journalist, independent libraries, human right fighters, pacific opponents and political adversaries the dictatorship has in jail.
    Prior the ending of the violations of the human rights and the ending of the traveling restrictions that make hundred of children live separated of theirs parents.
    Prior the ending of the internal embargo on the cuban people that make it suffering extreme poverty.

    That’s it!!!!!

  67. Everybody is writing letters to their senators and congressmen, here is mine.

    1.- We (USA) own Guantanamo, therefore please do not give it away. Putin is around the corner
    waiting for us to pull out so they can move in with their sophisticated subs.
    2.- The Embargo. Embargo? Yes, the Embargo. I have seeing people write in this blog that it never
    worked, that if abolished, Cuba will become a paradise overnight. Well, It never worked, eh?
    If it never worked why is it that Castro is beating the drums on a daily basis for us to end it.
    You know my dear Senator, I think right now our government is giving the banks a huge
    stimulous package; hardly any money left to loan Castro any money to subsidize his economy.
    Oh, I forgot, leave the Embargo alone, it is working.
    3.- I am oppose to the takeover of The Miami Herald by the official news agency of Cuba “Granma”
    4.- What about wet foot/dry foot.
    I propose that if any of the Castro’s brothers arrive in US soil they should not qualify for asylum
    or citizenship?
    I am not kidding, it may happen.

    Respectfuly yours,

    Daydreamer.

  68. #75

    I also believe fidel’s head is and has always been full of ka ka… but…. unfortunately…. although he may be senile now he was not stupid before…. very unfortunately.

  69. Statute of Liberty dice: 10 Febrero 2009 a las 04:56
    0000000000000000000

    Yeah, you have a point!!!!!!

  70. #85

    I don’t expect fidel’s brothers will hightail it to the US of all places… but… I am sure that his children with their swiss bank accounts (and the cousins and so on)… will all be hightailing it to spain or wherever where they will live out their lives in luxury. can’t we find some little deserted island somewhere and move all the descendants of these monsters there so they can enjoy each OTHER’S company and not pollute our countries with their presence? Oh.. and cut off the swiss bank accounts while we’re at it.

    Raul’s daughter Mariela already has italian and spanish citizenship….

  71. #85 — we have a friendly debate here (it’s more fun when people disagree strongly… but we try to keep it civil while we do)… so in that spirit, feel free, if you’ve a mind to, describe why the embargo “is working.”

    thanks.

  72. To #90
    I think the Embargo is working because if you take a look at the numbers: Cuba continues to purchase in “Hard Dollars” (Cash) anything they need or want from the Yankees they so much hate, upsssssss, that was a slip of tongue. I mean the Americans.

    If you read today’s blog about pizza, you will notice how Yoani describes that “era”; as “the golden decades of the Soviet subsidy” which means that if the embargo is lifted it will be the “golden” decades of the USA subsidy”. Get it?

  73. To: # 92

    No, I don’t get it. I’m not an accountant, and in any case, this is about achieving real goals, that will help free the country, not one of those shortsighted quarterly financial reports that in any case have proven to lead to failure.

    After fifty years I think most of us can discern a failure from real success. Look at, and consider the possible long term effect of lifting the “embargo”. So what if people can purchase ham and cheese once the embargo is lifted. They will recognize the source of whatever prosperity they attain, and with some prodding, also see that they’re still shackled by a creaky ideology, put in place by sclerotic and irrelevant old men.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Forget what you may have lost. That was long ago and we and our ancestors are all to blame for allowing the corruption and insensitivity between social groups back in the fifties. This is fifty years later, a new generation with a new perspective has emerged.

    As far as Guantanamo, no chance the U.S. should give it up now. If Cuba is ever free, the terms should be renegotiated and the rent increased on par with other countries who host military bases. God knows a democratically elected government in Cuba will need all the revenue it can get.

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