Myopia and astigmatism

I put on the glasses of optimism and glance out over the collapsing city where I live.  With these shimmering crystals of hope, my heart beats more peacefully, without turning somersaults.  Thanks to them, I understand that I’m not climbing fourteen floors thanks to an inefficient state—incapable of installing an elevator after five months—but rather I am a fervent ecologist, determined to consume only my human fuel.  With this new glass through which I see everything, I see that my plate lacks meat not because of the super high prices in the market, but rather because I love animals and avoid the suffering of slaughter.

I don’t have an Internet connection at home, but the rosy lenses reveal to me that this service is only for officials and resident foreigners.  Perhaps they want to protect me from the “perversions” of the web, I tell myself, as would Voltaire’s ridiculous Candide.  So I’ve tried, for the briefest moment, to see palaces instead of ruins, leaders who carry us to victory when in reality they lead us to the precipice, and men who are hypnotized by my hair, even though I know they continue to watch me.

The problem starts when I take off the glasses of innocence and look around me, at the real colors of the crisis.  The pain in my calves returns in response to the long flights of stairs; I start dreaming of steak; and a blinking modem becomes an almost erotic desire.  I toss the glasses of optimism from my balcony, maybe there’s someone down there who still prefers to use them, who would even like to distort the truth with them.


  1. Well, apparently none of the so called defenders of human rights accepted my call.
    Again, where are Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone and the rest of evil rats that wine and dine with Fidel. What do you have to say to these atrocities?

  2. The crude reality that every Cuban experience each day is the waking call bell that ring for change. One day many Cubans will wake up and put and end to this.

  3. ya where is the pope…..hes in angola….maybe chavez can help ….jajajaj …….or have balls make a rebolution wake up stand up walk in the streets all together…make a rebolution..don t just stand there waiting for a tourist to bring you a gift…..stop bitching and do something………………one day many cubans will wake up ….jjaajajajaj maybe 10 off themm the rest are to lazy to do something…………

  4. There is an african-american saying “keep your eyes on the prize”. Look where they’ve reached: the president of the United States is a black man.

    The Cuban population is now intoxicated and dizzy with ideology and lies, so they may or may not act in their best interests in confronting the regime.

    Like I said earlier, the Universe will take care of the clean up soon.

  5. In the Spanish blog, there is a blogger by the name of Rumano who is contributing with inside information about the system and the many businesses that the government runs and where the money goes. It will be interesting to be able to have a translation to his many posts.

  6. #7 — Can you translate some of them? Or even some of the highlights? And post them here? That would be great!

  7. Andy, I read the comments by Rumano and is multiple comments related to all the properties that are adjudicated as personal properties of Fidel Castro and others in the government. I am not sure what is the use of translating something like that since there is no proof presented.
    It may all be true but I will repeat what the dictator said when Forbes made similar accusations.

    “If you find a dollar on my name on a bank account I will renounce power”

    It may sound from what I write above that I am not a believer but I do not see the use in that line of attack
    The best way for us to confront the dictator is to ask and fight for our rights the right to freedom and from that everything else should naturally follow.

    Unless accusations like that are accompanied with good proof they are empty accusations.

  8. There are in fact, plenty of material goods (food, appliances, toiletries, clothes, even Audis) available for purchase in Cuba. The issue is, to paraphrase Senior Jorge Orwell that “Some Cubans are more equal than others.” And that would be those Cubans with moneda dura and those Cubans with Cuban pesos.

    If you think no one is ‘making money’ in Cuba – here is a posting with links to photos of a state controlled store (Super Mercado 70) located in the neighborhood of Miramar in Havana. This store that caters to tourists, foreign businessmen, and ranking members of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP) and Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), but it is now open to all Cubans who have CUCs to spend.

    The link to the posting is here, with the link to the pics halfway down the post:

  9. ******Attention********
    Since no one has commented about this yet… Please click on my name to see my blog or click on Octavo Cerco in the right hand column on the index page of this blog…

    Ciro Diaz (frontman of La Babosa Azul and guitarist of Porno Para Ricardo) and photographer Claudio Fuentes have been arrested while showing solidarity with a Antunez (a dissident currently on hunger strike)… Just read it. Comment on the blogs, post about it on yours. Please, just get the word out.

  10. Silent Voice, everybody is different, you may find comments may by Rumano as unimportant however I believe there is lot of truth in his statements specially when he mention so many names, people that are in charge of different corporations, their locations, who they deal with, etc…
    Today, Rumano posted several posts from 202 thru 215 quite important for us to dismiss it and promise to post a lot more. Here is a guy who apparently at some time and point worked closely with some of the principals and is now in a position to disclose all the facts, the least we can do is to listen and then everyone can form their own opinion.
    There are many ways to fight a war, I believe exposing the truth is one of them. That you don’t see any use in that form of attack, well that’s your opinion and I respect it, but I still like what Rumano is posting.

  11. ***
    Yoani Sanchez’s photo with the mouse reminds me of the TALE OF TWO CITIES MADAME DEFARGE with her knitting needles. Maybe the guillotine and tumbril carts will be coming for the Castro brothers soon. Yoani is one serious looking lady.
    El retrato de Yoani Sanchez con el “raton” me da recuerdo DE SENORA DEFARGE DEL CUENTO DE DOS CUIDADES con sus aguajas para tejir. Es posible que la guillotina y los carros van a venir pronto por los hermanos Castro. Yoani es una mujer muy seria.

  12. Statue of Liberty
    It is possible that all he is saying is true
    So what?
    Can we prove it?
    If there is only his word then is just gossip.

    On the other hand it is easy to prove that
    Cubans do not have freedom to travel or
    freedom to speak what they want

    Example: Yoani Sanchez.

    See the difference.

    Our main fight is not against corruption in Cuba.
    That should be our focus later once we gain freedom.
    On the other hand everyone is free to pursue what they like as you said
    I express only my opinion and I do not intend to dictate to anyone
    what they should do.

  13. Just to be clear

    I said above that Yoani Sanchez is an example of a Cuban citizen who is not able to express herself freely since as we know the Cuban government has try to intimidated her with the goons that follow her and the phone call harassment and the other little things they do to make her desist on her purpose.

    As we can see so far they have not succeeded in intimidating her since Yoani keeps publishing her posts.
    As end result we know of the tactics use by the Cuban government to control its citizens
    to make them behave the way they want you to behave.

    There are many other examples. For example many Cubans outside of Cuba had try to return to Cuba to visit and the government does not give them permission or would give them permission and then once in the Havana airport harass them and send them back to the country they came from.

    Those are the things we can see and report on and we can prove.
    We can also see people like Eliecer asking for the freedom to travel anywhere without permission.
    Why does the Cuban government wants to have that kind of control?
    Why do they want to have that kind of power?

    My hypothesis is because is another way to control their citizens.

  14. Silent Voice. You need to understand that we all have different points of view and we should respect each other opinion instead of trying to impose your own.
    You find Rumano’s comments as gossips, I don’t.

  15. How is it possible not to believe what someone else writes but to believe what Yoani writes? Who has spent anytime with her?

    Whether her comments are true or not, she gets what she asks for. By fighting back, she know there wil be consequences. But when these consequences happen, she complains about that.

    Either you fight and face the the hand that is dealt to you by the Castros or you stop what you do and become a ‘good’ person and travel abroad.

    Word of advise, if you get off the island don’t come back this time :S

  16. Statute
    I respect your opinion and I believe you are miss understanding what I mention above I am only explaining my point of view as you are yours. Every body have the right to a point of view.

    As for

    “How is it possible not to believe what someone else writes but to believe what Yoani writes? Who has spent anytime with her?”

    Socialist that is a good question that I was expecting some one to ask.

    Here is my answer.

    As you can see Yoani has place proof as the paper notices where she has apply for permits to travel and the paper notices denying her to travel plus I know of many other people I also trust in the same situation. That last is l corroborating evidence supporting her case.

    Now if you get an isolated anonymous person claiming something is true is kind of hard to believe unless you know the person or have corroborating evidence.

    Again going back to Yoani

    The things she talks about and she writes we (Cubans) all have experience ourself in one way or another so I know she is telling the truth. Since what she said matches my experiences.

    I will give her the credit or believe in her in things I have not experience myself.
    It is reasonable to do so and again because it matches the experiences reported by others.

  17. Socialist

    Her point is that there should be no consequences for talking about the regime
    Any Cuban citizen should be allow to speak freely

    The moment there is a consequence then there is no freedom!

    That is the point she is proving.

    The Cuban government should had let her travel
    If they had done that then they would have had evidence that in fact people in Cuba could critic the regime and there will be no consequences.

  18. As for your advice

    “Word of advise, if you get off the island don’t come back this time :S”

    I believe what Yoani and the majority if not all Cubans want is the right to travel freely without any government intervention.

    The same way Yoani should be allowed to travel out of Cuba we should be allowed to travel back to Cuba without having to ask the Cuban government for permission.

    The moment you have to ask for permission it creates a situation of power and control on the part of the Cuban government and what we can all conclude is that the Cuban government uses it to control the personal freedom of many of its citizen. Not only the ones in Cuba also the ones outside as can be appreciated by how many anonymous post appear in this blog!

  19. One more thing
    I would think they (The Castro brothers have talk about Yoani on how to handle her)
    We see that Fidel wrote about her and Mariela Castro also talk about her etc
    I am sure they are the ones taking the decision of not let her travel on purpose.
    Notice they are not stupid people. They know that that decision will actually proof that there is consequences if you talk freely as she does and this does tell you something else if you ask your self
    why will they do that?
    The reason I believe is because for them is more important to keep others would be Yoanis at bay.
    If all of the sudden there is 1 million Yoani’s in Cuba they will really have a big problem in their hands and they would most likely loose control.

    That is why they set an example with her and the many others that try to speak freely.

  20. I have been wondering… why don’t they give permission for Yoani to travel and then refuse to allow her back in the country? Wouldn’t that be a good way to ‘get rid’ of her?

    Sure… then she would be free to travel around the world and speak out freely morning noon and night… she could go on all the talk shows etc etc etc. But what do they care about that… the world is full of people denouncing them morning noon and night even the dictator’s nephews in the U.S. Congress. So what. (And as soon as she had left Cuba, everything she said would be ‘yesterday’s news’… today she says, “This happened to me today… this is happening right now… I am here, in Cuba, and I see it, experience it….”)

    It seems that as a threat to other Cubans who would dare to be “Yoani” — separation from your family and country… forced exile… without your children… that is a bigger threat than not being allowed to go to a film festival in Prague.

    Well I shouldn’t try to fathom the minds and rationales of these psychopaths. The point is not to understand the dictatorship — that serves nothing — we understand them… they want complete and total power. The point is to get rid of them.

  21. HI, I wish You all the best. Im from Poland and I read about You in magazine. I think You are very brave person. I wish I could help You but I dont know how…
    I will be read Your site and I will be speak about You with my friends in poland.

    Maybe someday everything will be different… In Poland 20 years ago was very difficult to life..something like in Cuba..but changes come…
    ……….faith can move mountains……..

    My English isnt vey good…sorry about that..

    All the best

  22. Andy, please do not give them worst ideas than the one they already use against Cubans!
    Maybe they will discuss that one at the next central communist party meeting!

  23. Natalia you can help
    By posting what you think about democracy here about how do you think we Cubans could solve the problems.
    I admired Polish people. Your people were able to free thenself from a totalitarian regime. We need some how to replicate the same that happen in Poland in Cuba.

  24. Yes, we need you hear Natalia. Your english is perfect …….. Only take a look of my english and it will encourage you to participate without fear!!!!! Wellcome!!!!

  25. #3
    Canadiense, you don’t have other better thing to write than making mockery of a people that has offered tens of thousand lives fighting for its freedom, hundred of thousands of its sons has spent decades incarcerated suffering the worst physical and psychological tortures, and millions has had to choose the exile for surviving?
    You better take your time and learn about Cuba’s recently history before write down your ridiculous and misinformed comment.

  26. Tamara Nicola dice: 25 Marzo 2009 a las 02:22

    I read your blog everyday. If there is a way I can help – feel free to ask. I feel for you and pray for you often.

    Dear Tamara, Of course you can help. Your only presence in this blog and your comment is a great help, it makes the castro dictatorship back, it make the world know there is people who cares about the cuban people suffering. Your presence here makes Yoani more safer, tyrant will no dare to harm Yoani knowing she has so great international support.
    Welcome and thousand thanks.

  27. Natalia and Tamara:

    Great to hear that people like you from around the world are taking an interest and participating in this blog. Please, keep come forward and keep writing your thoughts and feelings. Awareness of Yoanni’s and Cuba’s situation helps protect them. Your telling your friends helps create awareness. These tyrants, as old as they are, will hurt deep down, seeing that it’s not just exiled and resident cubans that are confronting them.

    Living in Chicago, I shared with, and talked to friends from European countries including, and particularly Polish friends, who were extremely jubilant when the Solidarity Workers Union brought freedom to Poland.

    Look forward to continuing to hear from you in upcoming blog lists.


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