Notice of repairs

Just this once I am going to adopt the vocabulary of the dais and the worker meetings, to say to you that, “marking the second anniversary of Generation Y” I will try to implement some important improvements in the blog.  The start of this work resulted in a technical accident.  As I can’t promise that the maintenance work will be fast or efficient, I can only announce a forced vacation for the commentators.  So that no one will panic, let me say that something wasn’t working, but nothing has been lost.

I intend to create a participatory forum, where those who want to discuss issues that don’t relate to the posts can do so.  I will also try to connect this blog to the social networks that have become indispensable in recent months.  For this I rely on a slow and censored internet connection from the hotels in this country, and the invaluable assistance of colleagues around the world.

Once the blog is accessible again, comments will be temporarily closed, to be able to optimize the data bases without losing anything.  For now, I invite you to continue the debates at:

http://vocescubanas.com/generaciony/ or

http://generaciony.posterous.com/.

I appreciate advice about possible improvements, suggestions for software and utilities for the forum and, especially, the call to use this time to renew ideas, sharpen arguments and to renounce—once and for all—verbal violence.

73 thoughts on “Notice of repairs”

  1. Hi, it’s me again — very intrusive today!
    I closed this entry to comments since the Spanish entry was closed but then I realized it was closed because comments are temporarily disabled over there while the server change continues.
    And… Yoani says she’d welcome suggestions for blog improvements, so what better place to put them than here!
    So have at it folks!

  2. I think a participatory forum for the Spanish language site is a really good idea. The sheer volume of posts to each blog entry by Yoani is overwhelming.

    Given the much lower – thought steadily increasing – volume of posts on the English language site, I am correct to assume that the English language site will stay as is, with comments under each blog entry?

  3. John Two – I don’t know the answer to your question but I will find out. I THINK that the spanish site will still have discussion under each entry AND a forum where people can have an ongoing and continuing discussion on topics that might not be related to a specific entry… which is pretty much what seems to happen on the spanish side now… it’s just one long stream of comments with some reference to the latest entry, but continuing on, regardless.

    And the English is a little like that as well, but unless people demand it, it seems that continuing as we are, for now, is probably fine.

    What do you think should happen?

  4. I think this would be a major improvement, as right now the people leaving comments tend to get into personal discussions and disputes. And nobody gets to read all the comments, so there’s no point leaving them really. There are few comments for the English posts, so I don’t think a forum would be necessary. All the best

  5. I agree with #6. I don’t think there’s enough volume of posts on the English language site to justify a forum, but it’s a great idea for the Spanish language site.

    Besides, many of us who post on the English language site comprehend enough Spanish to read comments on that site even if we’re not comfortable posting in Spanish.

  6. ***
    I don’t see how Yoani Sanchez and her technicians can improve GeneracionY much. This site does an excellent job under very difficult circumstances. Good Job all!
    ***
    No veo como Yoani Sanchez y sus technicos puedan mejorar GeneracionY mucho. Esta sitio haga un trabajo excellente debajo de circumstancias muy difficiles. Buen trabajo todos!
    ***
    A question for Yoani–should the U.S. trade and tourist embargo be continued or ended? What action would give the best benefit for the real Cuban People?
    ***
    Una pregunta para Yoani–debia continuar o terminar el U.S. embargo de negocio y tourismo? Cual accion daria el beneficio mas grande por la gente Cubano verdadero?
    ***
    John Bibb

  7. Great to see you back online. I was worried that something was wrong.

    We support your work and if we can help in any way, please let me know.

    Rob Sequin

    Havana Journal Inc. from Massachusetts

  8. Bibb, I wouldn’t presume to know Yoani’s answer, but I can’t imagine most Cubans enjoy seeing Americans live it up on the island without real reforms for themselves. More tourism apartheid, etc. Some will rightly disagree and take note of the economic benefit to the country from a macro-level, but then you are back to square one in terms of a discussion of these resources making it down to the people. If anyone thinks that the regime in power is altruistic, you are kidding yourselves. Isn’t it obvious with all the changes that occurred this week that the Cuban political situation is about two men, Fidel and Raul? They control EVERYTHING. How anyone can defend this regime, unless you are a direct beneficiary of it, is really mystifying to me.

  9. Hello back everyone!!!
    I have a technical question, please, I need some one give me an answer. Sorry about my illiteracy in technical issues……….
    What is the difference between the actual blog design and a forum????

  10. Thanks a lot S. Voice….. from wikipedia I got that an internet forum is exactly what the Yoani’s blog is today, a place were people debates and emits opinions. So I still do not understand why is a good thing to change the actual design and convert it in a forum if both thing are the same.
    The links in your comments #14 and #15 didn’t explained me to much. I followed both links and them led me to lists of links, I followed some of those new links and them led me to new link’s lists…. I desisted very soon without getting any clue. Sorry buddy, my head is a nut a little for hard to open!!!!

  11. #16 — It seems from what she says… she’s not planning to replace the comments on the blog with a forum — she’s planning to ADD a forum… for people who want to discuss “other things”. We’ll see when it happens I guess!

  12. Hi Andy, I brought here our exchange from the last post………
    0000000000000000000000

    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!!!

  13. De best prove the commies doesn’t can afford a debate is the total lack of transparency and democracy you find in commies blogs. Commies blogs rarely accept postings with ideas different then theirs own. Even “moderates” commies like the Nobel Prize Jose Saramago do not allows comments at all in his blog “El cuaderno Saramago”, one time a month he post something extremely light or extremely general and then allows the comments under strictly supervision. Of course the comments never goes beyond 5.
    The Nobel Prize is so afraid of debate that prefer ignore the fact that everyone in the world comprehend immediately the causes of his fears and appear in front the world as a dictator in his micro world then offer the readers the participation opportunity.
    Commies like speeches no dialogues.

  14. [Repeating my post in case Carbo Servia never goes back to the other entry….]

    #19 YES… that is EXACTLY what I thought of when I saw the #41 post [on the previous entry]. 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 nun
    A Mennonite 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.

  15. Yoanni:

    Now back to the improvements to the blog, Yoanni, I wonder why is it that the discourse as it is currently being done, has to be interrupted. I thought computers and systems could do more than one task almost simultaneously.

    Yoanni, porque hay que interrumpir la forma en que presentemente operamos para introducir el nuevo formato. No es posible hacer los cambios sin interrumpir el funcionamiento de este blog?

    Regarding your request for suggestions:

    Is it possible to install a chat room or a link to one, so that the participants can interact in real time? It will be interesting if an agent thug gets in the chat and tries to debate.

    Seria possible incluir un “link” en este blog para que los participantes puedan conversar al momento? Seria interesante si unos de los agentes del regimen entra y trata de debatir.

  16. Carbo:

    Wow, the length and breath of your explanation really puts into perspective how that despicable system works. I know most of the individual techniques they use by reading the news, etc, but never thought of putting it all together. This is really scary stuff.

    I know that Miami is plagued by agents and recruiters of the regime. It is said that some of them are cuban and are prominent professors at Miami International University. I remember as a University student in Chicago, there used to be both types of “student” agents on campus: the ones with conviction, with usually violent and agitating tendencies, as well as the more submissive types, who would speak to defend the regime but be more subtle about it. They were usually either non-cuban hispanics and/or anglos.

  17. Serf
    To begin, I think this ridiculous assertion that dictatorial regimes can not be compared among themselves, affirming that it is especially hypocritical when part of us that, and just two months ago, used 60 times per minute the word “proportionality” in the context of skirmish in Gaza. After all, it is immoral to compare the number of victims, so that what counts is who is the aggressor (the Hamas) and the person assaulted (Israel).

    Leaving the history aside, however, it is worth remembering that even the common criminal justice tries to scale compared to crimes and give them punishment proportionate, so that kept everything else equal, who has murdered two people and should receive more punishment severe than those who murdered one.

    Discarded the possibility of comparing things imperfectly imperfect in a world of imperfections, we only divide humanity between angels (which, by definition, are not human) and the other, all equally flawed, as far as I Fábio Konder Comparato, and we as the two Geisel, Pinochet, Che, Franco, Pol Pot, which under the species of eternity and absolute, are no different in any of St. Francis of Assisi and other saints, such as those invented penicillin and vaccines.

    So, yes, dictatorships can – and should – be compared with each other, and if someone has the nerve as the flower of such sensitive skin and ears that hear not shut up about better or worst dictatorships hold gritinhos some hysterical and then faint perhaps you can make a concession and prejudice instead the last flower of Latium, talk about dictatorships before worse, worse and more worse less. If you can compare dictatorships to democracies and even among themselves democracies, why not collate dictatorships? All we die, but still, it is preferable that this occurs at 90, not to the age of 20. Similarly, it makes much difference to the individual what the odds that he or she must be killed, arrested, tortured in a scheme: 0.01% is equal to 10%.

    But so far, I have seen dictatorships being compared to an almost exclusively quantitative way: what most of them killed. It is an important standard, but by far not the only one.

    The fact is, qualitatively, the communist regimes were far worse than the Latin American military regimes. Ultimately, if someone does not want to live in Brazil the AI-5, the no / unable to make the bags and move to Uruguay to France or to the U.S. or Cuba, the USSR or China. Similar choices were available to those who live in Chile or Argentina so. But none of that applied to the USSR, the countries of the Warsaw Pact (Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany etc..), To China and so on. And is not being applied to Cuba, or North Korea, the two major fields of concentration and / or forced labor on the planet.

    That a person was prohibited from leaving East Germany (thousands died trying to jump a wall built to imprison the population) and continue, even today, forbidden to leave the tropical paradise of Fidel Castro, this is more than a circumstantial detail. It is, in fact, the core, defining these arrangements. The inhabitants of these countries are in no way submitted to a public or other arbitrary restriction of their basic freedoms. What they are revoked is the fundamental human right to come and go, to choose where they live. I repeat: they are not citizens of fact, they are the property of the state, and this, in turn, is private property of a gang of thieves, murderers and perverts.

    Who says that communism (or socialism) abolished private ownership mind: he turned, that yes, the bulk of the population on private property, ie slaves of turf in slaves. The schemes, which proclaim post-capitalist, are, in effect, pre-capitalist, feudal right, because the re-established slavery.

    In capitalism, as they say, everything that the worker has to sell is its workforce. Well, not in communism it freely available or even necessary, because he, his family and the workforce of all belong to the same large (a few families) also hold that the ownership of land and other means of production. Say, in passing, however, that more than 10 million Cubans slaves (not to mention the North Koreans) have fewer rights than slaves in medieval Europe or even the slaves of the 19th century in Brazil and the USA. The difference is that in the contemporary left, no one is trying to abolish the new slavery. (But the former was abolished either by the left.)

    Many speak of the alleged Cuban social achievements that, for all purposes, explain the rest (as a slave in Alabama did not have access to more calories than a nomad of the Kalahari). The “achievements” are the most cited health (and the bulk of what is said about you is a lie, pure and simple) and education (which is summarized in teaching the household so that it can follow the right instructions and be masters of literature written the rest of life). If we, however, take into account that those millions of slaves owned Castro’s private family, their households and master-of-woods, we see that they are only fulfilling their minimum requirements – food (very badly) and caring (even worse ) what, after all, is its large capital. If a cattle breeder, a breeder of beef cattle right care for your flock, feeds it, the vaccine-etc. He is not doing by altruism, generosity or because they love animals. He is only trying to produce meat is worth more in the market.

    We can then say that Cuba is a Caribbean island divided into two prisons. One of them, Guantanamo, houses hundreds of terrorist fanatics and murderers frantic captured on the battlefield where they face the civilization and barbarism. These bandit, who receive extensive and adequate nutrition to their religious requirements, medical care and whose first copies of the Koran (courtesy of the American taxpayer) are treated respectfully by guards, not even one was still running, many have been released, and is likely that soon the rest are too.

    The other jail, which occupies almost the whole of the island, encarcera over ten million innocent malnourished, incessantly indoctrinated, forbidden to know what happens in the world and have no choice except to live in a slum that has not been renewed or repaired for half a century. Any attempt to escape is punishable by death. Moreover, as the prisoners of Guantanamo are guaranteed the basic right to complain, complain and to require lawyers, the Cubans themselves are obliged to praise and thank their shackles. Surely, not the most abject slavery of our colonels, owners of livestock and people, would have thought.

    *
    The text above was an email from Nelson Ascher.

  18. Cold in Chicago dice: 9 Marzo 2009 a las 15:15

    …………..They were usually either non-cuban hispanics and/or anglos.
    00000000000000000000

    Dear C.Chicago, the only cubans you will see defending the tyranny outside Cuba are the agents of the intelligence services, the rest are victims of the tyranny and never you will see a victim defending its harasser. That’s why you only see non-cuban hispanic and/or angles defending the tyranny…… they defends something they doesn’t know and they has not suffered.
    By the other hand you have agents like comrade landis that hidden behind internet’s anonymity try to confuse the reader and make all us believe he is a non-cuban commenter that has been so deeply involved in the Cuban thing that his opinions about the issue are naturally heavy but…………… there is no infallible liar!!!
    Let’s see…..

    Agent Landis affirms to be a professor and an american that has visited Cuba since the beginning of the dictatorship:

    • Michael N. Landis dice: 20 Enero 2009 a las 02:15
    Patricio, my daughter was down there rebuilding some of the homes, though across Lake Ponchartrain, in Mississippi; she went into the city often enough to know what was going on. Also, one of my former students, who subsequently became………

    Michael N. Landis dice: 19 Enero 2009 a las 19:26
    I second Nakr’s proposal: given the right marketing, and if the damned embargo is finally lifted, this could be a profitable venture, especially given virtually unlimited supply of overweight northamericans (alas! including myself)!

    Michael N. Landis dice: 20 Enero 2009 a las 02:46
    Actually spent three months there in the summer of ‘59, and another three months, out in the campo, during the Zafra de los Diez Millones, back in ‘69-’70,

    OK!!!!…Once we know he is a American professor let’s find the reason because the big amount orthographical and grammatical mistakes the “professor” use to kill the English language:

    Michael N. Landis dice: 18 Enero 2009 a las 00:16
    Actually, although there were a few aweful (awful is better) public housing projects in New Orleans, it was esentially (essentially, please) ……………..

    Michael N. Landis dice: 20 Enero 2009 a las 02:46
    ……………, like most folks in Cuba, whether by “sponaneously reappropriating”…(Sponaneously?? OK, let’s forgive this one but …. What about “reappropriating”, the word even does not exist buddy!!!) …….items from their enterprise, or offering a service or product on the side, they managage (another one) to survive, and this is good practice for the more heartless, mixted (too careless for a professor) economy to come…………….

    Michael N. Landis dice: 28 Enero 2009 a las 21:21
    …………. to many fields of truck crops, such as tomatos…… (missing an “e” is normal), ……….. When the canneries processing his tomatos (but missing the same “e” twice is not a mistake, it is a crime!!!!)
    ……..in Maryland or Deleware…….. (Oh dear!!!)

    We can get boring finding the orthographical mistakes of the agent landis and someone can justified those mistakes as a normal produce of speedy writing but…… what about this:

    Michael N. Landis dice: 26 Enero 2009 a las 20:32
    …………….Also, it is time for people who care, such as yourself, …….(“you” most be written, Proffe!!!)

    Michael N. Landis dice: 29 Enero 2009 a las 16:55
    …..the trip was worth it for the fotos ……….(are you writing Spanish pal???)

    Take your mask off, please!!!

    For me there is no doubt, agent landis is not a professor, is not an American, his mother tongue is Spanish and he is a castroll working from some office in one of the several MININT buildings in Havana or in some embassy in The States.

  19. Carbo S your Good. You’ve exposed some Regime cheerleader that’s here with propaganda mission. Free Press and more media is exposing alot of the abuses the current Government has caused. The world now gets a better taste of what life in Cuba is all about. Thanks Yoani. Thanks everyone here who reads Yoani’s work … God Bless you All. Change has to be in Cubas Future, the backbone of the revolution is fading out.

  20. Carbo,

    You have put the nail on this guys coffin. But you know, although we have to be on guard, I would assume many of these agents turn around, not just in spy novels, but also in real life. Surely, after living in the U. S. and watching how we have the privilege to speak, move, and work as one wishes, this must have an impact on the conscious and subconscious. One’s loyalty to a single individual or dynasty surely cannot compete with the need of the population and country as a whole. These people have families and I’m sure they want the best for them, including prosperity.

    These agents, must understand that no one is asking to hand the country over to the U.S., or any other power, on a silver platter. But rather, introduce change and freedom to the extent that it benefits the population and preserves the essence of the Cuban culture. Foreign policy should be conducted in a way that enhances the well being of the population instead of inflating the egos of the psychos. Cubans have a lot to be proud of, – i.e. a beautiful country with over 300 species of birds (about 150 endemic or unique) the longest caves in the world, best cigars, potential oil resources, third largest coral reef formation in the world rings the island, beautiful sugar sand beaches, enterprising people. Confronting big countries is not necessary and does not have to be in the agenda.

    So come on Landis, if you are, and/or anybody else out there who may be working for the regime: Nature has given us a sector of the brain that really comes to fool bloom in your mid twenties. It is called the frontal lobe. This is the part that challenges our instints and habits. Give up your youthful and impressionable self and redirect your energy to the benefit and future of Cubans and Cuba, not the dictators. You are old enough now to reflect and realize that in human experience, as in nature, there are no absolutes, and one must have the freedom to adapt and change while maintaining discipline.

    Don’t get me wrong, I realize I may come across as foolish or naive. However, I believe in giving adversaries a way out, as ultimately we are all in the same boat.

  21. #25, can’t we debate issues on this blog without involving ourselves in loopy conspiracy theories, or trying to uncover people’s true identities and loyalties? There are Canadians, Americans and Europeans (albeit a small minority) who support the policies of the Castro regime to varying degrees. They are entitled to hold these views even if we think they are mistaken.

  22. For the rest of all y’all with regards to #23 and #30

    lameculos
    adj. toady

    lameculos (mf)
    n. toady, bootlicker

  23. As I was unsuccessful at getting at personal motivations (from the motivated people themselves) — let’s try another question, inspired by reading the comments over on the Portuguese translation.

    Could one of the.. we’ll call you for now the amici fideli [and please don’t criticize my latin – I just made it up and it’s entirely irrelevant]… could one of the supporters of Fidel please explain why it is necessary to restrict the right of Cubans to leave their island at will? What is the danger to the socialist paradise? And please don’t tell me, like Alarcon tried to, that if all the Cubans decided to travel at once there would be too many planes in the sky and they would hit each other and crash.

    And if the danger is that the leavers would take not only their hunger but their skills with them, depleting the human resources of the communist paradise (yeah, I know, I changed the word… you choose)… how is this not slavery?

  24. John Two dice: 10 Marzo 2009 a las 16:31

    #25, can’t we debate issues on this blog without involving ourselves in loopy conspiracy theories, or trying to uncover people’s true identities and loyalties? There are Canadians, Americans and Europeans (albeit a small minority) who support the policies of the Castro regime to varying degrees. They are entitled to hold these views even if we think they are mistaken.
    0000000000000000000000

    Dear John, you are not understand or not read completely my posts.
    Of course we can debate issues on this blog….. I do ti….. you do it……..Andy, Ian, Chicago, Voice, Machete, Patricio, Moska, Ernesto, everybody does it but……….. the agents!!!!……. the agents will never do it!!!
    You and me have debated things about the embargo, SVoice and CChicago and me have debated a lot too.
    Don’t be naive; conspiracies are not theories in the case of cubans exiles fighting against castro’s tyranny. You can find thousand examples of conspiracies that have leaded normal people like you to the court sale in Miami and other parts of the States because they had the same naive point of view you have. The Florida International University is full of these cases, the 5 castro spies is another case………… the only enemy dictatorship has is the cuban people, all theirs efforts are directed to control, spy and neutralize the cuban community fighting out and in Cuba…….. the best example of what am saying is the attacks the comrade Landis drives against Yoani……. where in the damn world you see a “professor” call Socrates, Plato and the tomatoes mother to attack a girl whos only sin is to describe the daily live in a country???!!!
    Come on John…. wake up!!!

  25. Hello all.

    Let me announce a new Desde Cuba blog in English: Retazos.

    http://retazosen.wordpress.com/

    This is an absolutely fantastic blog and I hope you’ll all go visit and say “hello” to El Guajiro Azul who is a beautiful, lyrical and at times very moving and at time very funny writer (and often both). I am sure you will enjoy it.

    Peace.
    Your Friendly English Translator

  26. Friendly Translator:

    Anybody noticed that Google is listing this site as ” not available” ? I have it book marked, but others looking for it might not find it. The spanish site is listed as available.

    Wonder what is going on with Google, anybody knows?

  27. JUST A NOTE FROM MIAMI HERALD TODAY: Re New Trade Bills affects on CUBA.

    miamiherald.com/457/story/943485.html

    miamiherald.com/457/story/943485.html
    The budget bill, which already passed the House, creates a general travel license for Americans who want to travel to Cuba to cut agricultural and medical sales deals with the communist government. It also lets Cuba pay for goods on arrival — instead of before the products leave U.S. ports — and removes funding for enforcement of family travel restrictions enacted by former President George W. Bush.

    Left intact in the bill, which expires in October, is a measure that suspends enforcement of rules that say Cuban Americans can only visit immediate relatives once every three years. Travel to the island would still be illegal, but the department wouldn’t be allowed to spend money trying to catch anyone doing it.

    Geithner acknowledged that U.S.-Cuba policy is under review to determine “the best way to foster democratic change in Cuba and improve the lives of the Cuban people.”
    ”Your views and the views of others on Capitol Hill will be important to that review,” he wrote. “And the president remains committed to consulting with you as we consider changes to Cuba policy.”
    The administration’s apparent willingness to buck the intent of Congress surprised many Cuba-watchers. Both sides cast the final vote as a victory, because Obama backed down from the toughest new provisions — but he also got opponents to leave the family travel amendments untouched.

  28. Iain Salisbury and John Two

    ………….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…………………………. 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!!!

  29. Estimados Amigos,

    Updating of the administration of the site desdecuba.com and the blog “Generation Y” has been more difficult than expected.

    It’s almost pointless to say that restrictions on the communication network from the Island are most of these difficulties.

    We could turn over to friends the responsibility of doing this work for us, but that is not our intention.

    We do not limit ourselves simply to being blog authors. We want to be a part of the entire global network with all of it attributes. The scarcity of points of communication, the high cost of communication and the filters are no more than greater incentives to our imagination.

    Thank you for your patience,
    The Team from Desde Cuba

  30. Estimados amigos:

    La puesta al día de los programas de administración del sitio desdecuba.com y del blog “Generación Y” ha tenido más dificultades que las previstas.

    Es casi inútil decir que las restricciones de comunicación a la red mundial desde la Isla constituyen la mayor parte de esas dificultades.

    Podríamos entregar a personas amigas la responsabilidad de ejecutar estas tareas por nosotros, pero no es nuestra intención.

    No nos limitaremos a ser simples autores de blogs. Queremos ser parte de la red mundial a parte entera, con todos los atributos. La escasez de puntos de comunicación, el alto costo de la comunicación y los filtros no son más que incentivos a nuestra imaginación.

  31. Hola Yoani, y saludos desde Venice Beach, Cali.

    Tranquila y tomate tu tiempo, estoy seguro que cuando aregres los bichitos tu Blog seguira Numero Uno.

    Yo sigo de Vacasiones y te sigo, grasias al Friendly Translator, Tseo y el resto del equipo….

  32. Here’s hoping, Yoani, that you and the tech team will soon have your blog up and running again, as I enjoy your comments–;much more than theirs. In the meantime, as the saying goes, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play;” in this case the “mice” on this thread, and the “moto thread” after it, have indeed been playing some bizarro y baroquoco, tunes. Actually, I misspeak. Their tunes are more like a Philip Glass symphony, with the same variations on a theme being played over-and-over-and-over again, ad infinitum y ad nauseum!

  33. #43 “Their tunes are more like a Philip Glass symphony, with the same variations on a theme being played over-and-over-and-over again, ad infinitum y ad nauseum!”

    Unlike yours which are so original every time. “Fidel good. Raul good. Fidel good. Raul good. Cuba=Heaven. Socialism or Death. We Shall Overcome. Who cares if we’re prisoners on this island and not allowed to leave. Who cares if they treat us like babies. Viva Fidel. Viva Fidel. Viva Fidel.”

    Yep — real original and interesting.

  34. Actually, Rondole, given the general content of most responses to Yoani’s comments, wouldn’t you say that my comments are rather original? It is my premise that the mind “can make a heaven of hell–or a hell of heaven!” (Not that Cuba is either…it lies somewhere betwixt the two, although closer to the former, than the latter, to my way of thinking.)
    As to not being allowed to leave Cuba, you actually have a far better opportunity for that than most of your Third World brothers and sisters from Mexico and Central America, many of whom never complete the perilous journey, or are sent back home, time-and-again. “All” you have to do is either be patient enough–and have enough $$$ spread around by the expatriat members of your family–to go through the baroque legal exit procedures to the Promised Land, or , failing that, have them pay the $$$ for a speedboat to pick you up and wisk you there, though, of course, you must place at least one foot on dry land! First World countries now place more obstacles in the way of Third World emigres than does Cuba, which at this point probably wants as much of those hard-currency First Wolrd remitances as it can get! This may not be the case in the future, however. If Obama keeps printing up all those dollars to fund the stimulus packages and get credit flowing again and save the car companies and…and,…and…, then on down the line the USD will be on par with the CUP, rather than the CUC. If you expect the U.S. taxpayers to repay all this funny money in the future, you are sadly mistaken. The amounts we are talking about ALEADY by far exceed our ability to repay. Sorry to be the bearer of unpleasant news.

  35. Rondole dice: 15 Marzo 2009 a las 04:57
    0000000000000000000000

    Dear Randole, I agree 97% with your appreciation about comrade landis psychosis but I left a 3% margin for some of his old memories that lies hidden deeply in his subconscience and sometimes makes an involuntary escapade:

    ……………..Cuba, which at this point probably wants as much of those hard-currency First Wolrd remitances as it can get! This may not be the case in the future, however. If Obama keeps printing up all those dollars to fund the stimulus packages and get credit flowing again and save the car companies and…and,…and…, then on down the line the USD will be on par with the CUP, rather than the CUC………….

    Evidently the comrade knew that 50 years ego the cuban peso had the same value than the dollar, the cuban people did not need to emigrate, did not need receive any hard-currency from no where because it only needed its hard-work and intelligence for being one of the first economies in this hemisphere. We didn’t need 50 years dictatorship for getting what the comrade “predicts” will happen in the future because………. WE HAD IT!!!!

  36. Dear Carbo Servia, “…….WE HADIT!!!!” Yes, the pre-Revolutionary Cuban middle class, not to mention the upper class, had it–but not the rest of the population, an overwhelming majority. And besides, even those in the middle class who had a real social conscience felt that Cuba didn’t have it, and hence were amongst the principal supporters of the Revolution. They wanted to make something better of their nation–and did! Since my first visit to Cuba was in 1959, six months after the triumph of the Revolution, but before the social and economic policies of the Revolution could be significantly enacted, I remember exactly how tough it was for that vast majority of Cubans who had little or no money or power. The economic conditions I saw in Cuba in 1959 were far worse than anything I ever saw in the American South of the time.
    Yes, the 1959 Cuban peso was on par with the USD of the time. They were both interchangable. For $3 in 1959 you could stay a night at the Hotel Roosevelt, Amistad y San Miguel, Centro, or purchase the services of a street whore. Alas! Inflation is the perpetual curse of Imperialism, be it ancient Roman, or contemporary American. Now, $3 won’t even get you a Latte at Starbucks–only some Brazilian industrial-strength coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, and even in Cuba nowadays the working girls charge significantly more than $3–not that I ever partook of their services, then or now.
    I’ll be the first to admit that there are problems, and that a new generation needs to arrise and solve them; however, as used to be said of the Church, to wit: “Within the Church all is possible. Outside the Church, darkness,” (Who said that? Origines?) can also be said of the Revolution. As Thomas Jefferson said, each new generation needs to make its own revolution. It will be within the context of the Revolution, however, and not that of embittered Florida exiles of the generation of the 1960’s. Both within Cuba and without, time has passed them by. Despite the ancient Chevies and DeSotos, Cuba has changed, is changing, and will change. It will never, however, go backwards to “the good old days” of the 1950’s, because for most they were decidedly NOT good!

  37. At least, comrade landis, in one thing we have the same opinion:

    ……….Those in the middle class who had a real social conscience felt that Cuba didn’t have it, and hence were amongst the principal supporters of the Revolution. They wanted to make something better of their nation–and did!……………

    Yes you are right; the Cubans were and are a non-conformist people. We wanted something better in 1868, in 1895, in 1930 and we wanted something much better that what we had in 1959, that’s why we made a revolution to improve something that was a good thing and convert it in something much better. We were socialist (and some of us still are socialists), we wanted for our country something like the system Sweden or France were creating at this time but…………… our revolution were stolen. The men that had the opportunity of become one of the greater leaders of latinamerica decided to put aside the Cuban people dream and become a vulgar, bloody and successful tyrant….. Just another one in latinamerica.
    I have a very different memory about the Cuba before castro. I never saw this poverty you said affected our country. I was a member of a poor family, I lived in a very poor neighborhood outside Guanabacoa and I never went hungry or bar footed. I assisted to the little and free school of the neighborhood and my parent drove me to the “Casa de Socorro” where I got healed for free my first broken bone or got the needed penicillin injections when I got one of my frequently amygdale infections. I remember a brand new, luminous and happy Havana city. All those neighborhoods that today are in ruins were full of well conserved family houses were lived mixed whites and blacks, chineses and jews, medle class and poor. I remember a country with the biggest middle class in the emisphere and a very little poor population. I remember the clean smell of Havana’s “Solares”. Today’s “Solares” smell sewer and black waters running out across the whole city. I remember the whores restricted to theirs “headquarters” at Colon Street but I don’t remember a single case of infantile prostitution what is an epidemic today.
    We Cubans not only have our memories but a lot of facts:

    The following statistics comes from studies made by FAO, UN and …………. cuban government (I mean dictatorship)
    In 1959 the cuban population was 6 millions, today we are 12 millions
    In 1959 the annual income of each cuban was 1200 pesos and the exchange rate peso/dollar was 1/1
    Today the annual income of each cuban is 2000 pesos and the exchange rate is 28/1 what means a cuban worker annual income is 71 dollars!!!! The annual income got down 1100 dollars.
    In 1959 there were 3.5 telephone lines per 100 people, today there are 15 lines per 100 people, what means that 11.5 telephone lines per 100 peoples get lost
    In 1959 the country generated 450 w per person, today only 75 w….. where are the other 375 w???
    In 1959 the caloric consumption per person were 2800 cal, today only 1100 cal… the “revolution” vanished 1700 cal per person/day!!!!!!!!!!
    In 1959 each cuban bough 59-76 pounds/year of meat, today can buy only 5 pounds/year.
    1959 47 eggs per person/year, today 13 eggs per person/year
    1959 12 pound chicken per person/year, today only 5
    1959 38 cars per 1000 inhabitants, today only 10
    1959 one urban bus per 300 inhabitants, today one bus per 25.000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1959 one interurban bus per 2000 inhabitants, today one per 35.000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1959 66 TVs per 1000 cubans, today 15 per 1000
    1959 one doctor per 950 cubans, today one per 740 (half of them works outside the country hired by the government)
    1959 one dentist per 2100 cubans, today one per 1850
    1959 Cuba had 6.000.000 cows, today only 1.800.000
    Unemployment 1959 = 2.8%, today = 35%
    1957 Cuba has the lowest inflation rate in the hemisphere 1.8%, today 28%

    How you can to reconcile the image you pretend to give of pre-castro Cuba with the image the most Cuban has about our country in 1959 (including me) plus facts the UN, FAO and the own castrist officials gives about Cuba before castro???!!!
    It is impossible!!!…….. The only explanation, my dear, is that you are lying!!!!

  38. Carbo Servia

    Don’t get excited. We are all old here… though I daresay probably not as old as the beastly bearded dictator. Poor mr. landis dreamed in his depression era youth of a communist paradise… and he is still stuck on those dreams. leave him there. the future is for the young. fidel will be dead. raul will be dead. landis will be dead. we will be dead, you and I. No… cuba of the young, cuba of yoani and her friends will never go back to landis’s childhood, nor to their own. they will soar into the future on the wings of their hopes and their dreams which will have finally banished the nightmare of the evil old man who fancies himself the puppet master today but will be rotting in his grave soon enough. and they will move on. joyously. freely. without him.

  39. …………“Within the Church all is possible. Outside the Church, darkness,” (Who said that? Origines?)…………
    000000000000000000

    We all know very well who said something similar: “Within the revolution everything is possible, outside the revolution nothing” fidel castro.
    And after saying that he killed all oppositors and dissidents and jailed all criticizers for 20 years or more.
    Now comrade landis advices Yoani to be part of the process in Cuba in order of get changes and not be against the process, forgetting that the tyrant doesn’t makes differences and kills or incarcerate all people that pretend to move a bit the dictatorial system he created. In Cuba there is no revolution, in Cuba happened a Substitution of tyrants. Revolution is something that changes in a dynamic way not something that stay immobile for 50 years killing thousands, incarcerating hundred of thousands and forcing millions of people to emigrate.

  40. Trying to reason with Carbo and Andy reminds me of Alice trying to reason with the Mad Hatter and his tea party, or the Queen of Hearts and her subjects in Alice and Wonderland. Alice just kept having the same circular conversations. Suffice it to say that their vision of Cuba is just as unlikely to happen as is the Cuba envisioned by the ideological aparatchiks of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I have faith in the pragmatism of the Revolution; it will be able to adjust itself to new realities (as exemplified by its miraculous survival after the colapse of the so-called Socialist Camp in the early 1990’s), and the gradual improvement in conditions after the trauma of the Special Period. I suspect there will be greater changes during the next decade, including greater democracy, greater mix of private and public sectors in the economy in order to better meet domestic needs, and greater integration with the world trading system.

  41. #52 greater democracy?!?!?! Oh my god the world will come to an end. How can the poor stupid Cubans be expected to govern themselves?
    Private sector economy — there you go… the rich will get rich and the poor will soon be living in the gutters.

    good grief. just when you thought you had a good revolution going it all goes to hell in a handbasket after a mere 50 years, how disappointing.

  42. I’ve never tried to comment in English before but it’s good to add some diversity to the obviously limited group and probably regulars in this Section. It brings some heat from the Spanish Section avalanche if they are able to comment in English I guess.
    Mr. Landis (#52) complains about the unability for reasoning with some other participants who disagree with his position of hope about the future of Cuba under castrism.
    This is a position widely popular among those who try in this Blog to support the unsupportable. As soon as they are bombarded with data and practical experience together they start complaining about intolerance. But history and recent facts show that there is no room for such hope. There is no room neither intention of change or evolution in the mind of the Cuban elite. In fact, they don’t need it and they are ready to crash any intention of change and evolution. Their optimal state of affairs is a return to the Cold War and they desperately need confrontation for survival in power.
    Those are the facts. Out of them there is only a dream for a future that never arrives. For these dreamers Cuba is the land of the future. And always wiil be.

  43. Andy dice: 17 Marzo 2009 a las 04:12
    How can the poor stupid Cubans be expected to govern themselves?
    000000000000000000

    Grounded in comrade landis own confessions I would add to your complain the following:
    How the stupid Cubans pretend know better Cuba’s problems then an egocentric professor that has read all existent books in this damn world???!!!!
    How can people that has been living for more than 40 years inside Cuba, suffering all vicissitudes the Cubans use to suffer, suffering the tyranny harassment, living at starvation border, threatened like 5th class citizens, being obligated to live a double moral life or otherwise being obligated to live at the “society” margin, spending theirs entire life and effort to find the way of escaping this situation….. how can those people, these incapable and ignorant Cubans pretend they know best the Cuban problem than comrade landis????!!!!…..It is inadmissible, Andy, comrade landis has been visiting Cuba more than 5 times!!!!…….. he was there when he was 16 years old!!!!…… he was there “working” in the “zafra” (I guess it was the 10 millions zafra, the same zafra that started the destruction of the Cuban sugar industry), he has been there enough as to know best the Cuban problem than any stupid Cuban!!!!
    Understand!!!

  44. To No. 52

    I don’t know why people put blinders on or try to cover the sun with their thumbs. A cute analogy does not wash. Especially since the story is a better fit for what plays out in Cuba, with the people playing Alice, as they get taken for a fifty year rabbit chase. Except in this case they don’t wake up, but instead die, watching their children continue the fruitless chase.

    Like the Jefferson Airplane song says, “feed your head” – with facts that is, not drugs or marxism.

    Oh, and yes, the spell checker did wonders. I wish I had time to use it to correct my blunders, but I’m on a ten minute break.

  45. Let’s try to deconstruct the following latest statement from Mr. Landis:
    …”I suspect there will be greater changes during the next decade, including greater democracy, greater mix of private and public sectors in the economy in order to better meet domestic needs, and greater integration with the world trading system.”
    Well, if it’s only a suspicion it might be acceptable. But let’s analyze this “manifesto” in real context:
    “I suspect there will be greater changes during the next decade…”
    Frankly, I don’t see any sign supporting this suspicion. All of the contrary, the elements in the government who supposedly supported the intention of change have been oblitarated and are “unworthy” all of the sudden.
    “including greater democracy…”
    Again, this statement has no way to be supported. Even the people who “elected” the unworthy did not get any reason at all that explains why they “voted” for unworthy and power honey tasters.
    “greater mix of private and public sectors in the economy in order to better meet domestic needs…”
    Well, the recent events deny this suspicion. Every action concerning expanding economic sectors and tending to the referred mix have been crushed and the potential entrepeneurs are in jail. The move to return unused land to farmers is so blocked with bureocracy and non sense that makes it a joke.
    “and greater integration with the world trading system…”
    All right, this one is probably the best one. The Cuban debt only to the Paris Club is close to 24 billion only surpassed by Indonesia with 34 billion but counting 200 million citizens. So, a Cuban citizen (11 million in the island) is the most indebted in the world. On top of that, estimations of another 8 billion debt are out of the Paris Club and we are not talking about the 150 billion owed to to Russia. Yeah, this integration will be good to see under castrism. And a painful one for sure.

  46. Andy #32

    “Could one of the.. we’ll call you for now the amici fideli [and please don’t criticize my latin – I just made it up and it’s entirely irrelevant]… could one of the supporters of Fidel please explain why it is necessary to restrict the right of Cubans to leave their island at will? What is the danger to the socialist paradise? And please don’t tell me, like Alarcon tried to, that if all the Cubans decided to travel at once there would be too many planes in the sky and they would hit each other and crash.”

    Andy, I do not qualify to be a fideo philiac but I will give you the honest answer they won’t give you.

    I believe the main reason is because the island will be empty in just a few years. All the brains in Cuba will immediately go to any other country and they will be left with all the unproductive people.

    Is not possible to have slavery without slaves.

    Cubans are not stupid they know that what they have being trying to build for 50 years is an Utopia.

    Another answer is because once everyone is gone there is not reason to send money to Cuba. So it is good for the Castro regime to keep families split in half. One half outside sending money to the other half inside.

    Another answer is because if people were allowed to go out and return they will realized of the multiple lies and propaganda they have being subjected to. They always show capitalism as exploitative society etc etc and socialism as a more humane society while we know the reverse is true.

    Another reason is to show who is in control. To have another mechanism for controlling people. If you do not behave like he wants you to he will not let you get out. (Example: Yoani Sanchez) (Example Hilda Molina) etc etc

    I could keep going
    I am sure any of the fideo philiacs will admit to any of above instead they will claim about thousands of plains crashing in the air etc as we already know. 😀

    The truth is the socialist paradise is HELL!

  47. #55 — please visit us more often! It’s nice to have different voices here and especially nice to have people who can go back and forth between the english and spanish sites and bring more insights to the english-only readers and commenters!

  48. #56
    Here’s the problem you don’t understand. Mr. Landis has always been well fed so he is very smart. Cubans have had to starve from time to time (is it true that during the ‘special period’ they melted condoms onto pizza to make people think it was cheese?) so they are all brain damaged and not too smart. That is why Mr Landis’s book learning is so much more valuable than your experience. You may THINK you experienced it… but without proper nourishment for your brain it was like you were on LSD or something… seeing things that weren’t there (like evil dictators) and not seeing things that were there (gorgeous steak dinners, for example).

    Do you understand more clearly now?

  49. Andy and others one of the excuses that Castro and the Communist in general use to explain their intolerance for capitalism is exactly what you have mentioned.

    “the rich will get rich and the poor will soon be living in the gutters.”

    Is that true? Is capitalism more exploitative than socialism?

    I guess for a wild west type of capitalism it could be true but the reality is that Cuba’s communism can not compete with salaries paid by capitalist and also is a way to control people to do what you want if their livelihood depends on the all powerful government then they will be less inclined to talk bad about it.

    Think that average Cubans make less than 20 dollars a month one of the lowest salaries in the western hemisphere if not the lowest.
    Even for enterprises that some Cubans work their salary in foreign currency is paid to the Cuban government and the Cuban government pays them in Cuban pesos that are worthless in Cuba.
    So what can we call that? super exploitation?
    I think there was a name for it
    Slavery.
    that is people that are force to work without pay. Just sufficient to survive.

  50. #63
    Oh dear Andy, what didn’t the Cubans under the last special period in order to survive!!!
    The following is a list of survival tactics developed by the Havana population from 1989 to 1999:
    – Grapefruit skin or pieces of fabrics used for cleaning floors becomes fried beef. After fried the few grams of beef the population received ones a year, people saved the fat mixed with cooked blood, anion and garlic bits in order of dressing with this mix pieces of grapefruit skin or the extremely soft and sponged fabric known as “frazada de piso” traditionally used in Cuba for cleaning floors. After lying in this dressing several days and after adding huge amount of lime juice and garlic the grapefruit skin or fabric were fried and eaten as a normal piece of beef.
    – Nowadays you can take a promenade through Havana’s street at night and do not meet a single cat in your way. They have been practically exterminated. People have eaten almost the whole cat’s population in Havana. You cant’ find any difference between a well dressed cat and a hare or rabbit. I remember seen crews of very specialized cat hunters operating near the garbage dumps of hotels and “dollar” restaurants; they were very skilled in catching cats alive using rudimentary “equipment” while riding heavy Chinese bicycles.
    – The birds have also disappeared. Even the “tiñosa”. Growers of competition pigeons has it hard to protect theirs flocks of the human predators.
    – In the country side the farmers have to keep a close eye over theirs stock because the hungry population.
    – Condom pizza: you take the flour mass and cover it with tomato past (if you have it) or paprika past or a mixing of both. You boil several times the amount of milk you can get, mostly of times an adult Cuban can only get the amount of milk the children in the family spoiled. The residual of this boiled milk will be the cheese on your pizza. You place a layer of oil (a lot) and another layer of garlic and anion (for disguising the condom flavor) and an extended a condom on the top. Now your pizza is ready to be baked….. good luck!!!
    – But the queen of the desperation’s table in Cuba is the traditional “cock soup”, this “dish” saved our mambises of starvation, saved a lot of Cubans under the great recession (1920) and still save our people today. I know somewhere in the future the Cuban people will raise a monument to the “cock soup”: brown sugar diluted in boiling water.

  51. Andy dice:

    Thank you Andy.
    I’ll try to drop by the English section more often. Never did before but I think it’s worth because obviously as in the Spanish section most of the international defenders of castrism are “tocando de oído” meaning fed of leftist propaganda and after a couple of visits to the island they really believe that they found the sacred truth and have the right of telling us Cubans how good things are under totalitarism…from far away and democracy.
    Regards.

  52. #65 My parents have told me about what they used to eat during the depression and even then it wasn’t that bad. my mother lived on a farm so they always had something though they had to buy things like flour… it was a dairy farm… can you imagine the luxury? all the milk and butter you want… but… nice to have a little bread to put it on once in a while. of course they had a huge ‘garden’ (mini vegetable farm) and all the potatoes and everything they wanted, and also fruit trees.

    my father lived in the city and although his mother had a job, they had very little money. he remembers milk with a piece of bread in it, or rice with milk… milk I guess was cheap enough and easy to come by — even in the “city” people around the edges could keep cows and both lived in climates where the grass would grow and there was no marabu!

    Now that you mention it, I did notice there aren’t a lot of birds in a havana. I didn’t think about it at the time.

    In cuba… sugar seems to be like milk was for my parents.. .you can have as much sugar as you want. of course sugar is not very nutritious!

    as for the idea of eating cats… that doesn’t really bother me… I mean it’s a nice little animal… yum yum… I did notice, though, that most of the dogs I saw in havana were so skinny it was hard to understand how they could live and they wouldn’t have been very good to eat… unless you like dog guts…

  53. #66 Well, Rodolfo, I was in Cuba for a whole week, don’t you know, so I am the world expert on the Island Paradise. I really did think it was a paradise… beautiful beyond belief. And it took me a long time… maybe even as long as 10 minutes… and I don’t think it really sunk in for maybe the first hour… to realize it was a bizarre totalitarian state. So I can understand people who don’t catch on for maybe… Oh I dunno… half a day? After that there’s no excuse!

    But seriously… I KNEW (ha!) about Cuba before I went… and I honestly thought I could go there for a week and not “notice” anything about the politics of the government… that as a tourist it just wouldn’t affect me… it wouldn’t be apparent. BUT IT’S SO OBVIOUS. IT OVERWHELMS EVERYTHING. Of course as a tourist you are so aware of the ‘tourist apartheid’… but… I did manage to just go off on my own down ‘insignificant’ streets and get into conversations with everybody…. I didn’t really have any interest in the tourist sites… I just wanted to talk to people. So I learned a lot.

    And by the way, I DID notice that people were very happy to talk to me when I started with questions like “what’s it really like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship under a psychotic 80-year-old?” (yeah, it was still fidel when I was there)… instead of “wow! aren’t you proud to live in the land of Che?”

  54. English Translator, is this blog in repairs because is being attacked by Castro’s Gestapo or is it really true that you are trying to make it better?
    I think it is just fine the way it is. “If ain’t broke why fix it? I love my Kentucky accent!

  55. Honest and truly — they have been moving the blog to a new server. It is LIKELY that the constant attacks that go on continually could have made that harder… but there’s really no proof.

    The main problem has been the size of the file. There are somewhere between half a million and a million comments on the blog… it’s BIG. And maybe it was just settled into the old house you know, didn’t want to go to the new one, didn’t care that the old pipes were leaking, the windows were cracked, the walls were getting a little moldy… the new house is all clean and perfect but it’s not yet home!

    Keep in mind that the blog is two years old… and everything new… from taking comments, adding videos, etc etc… everything new has just been “tacked on”. So it really was past time to re-establish it from the ground up.

    There are still a number of tasks to do, so it could be a little unreliable for some time yet. But, hopefully, you, the readers, won’t notice ongoing problems.

    Even today, with the blog perfect “from the outside” when I tried to load up a new entry it wouldn’t take it right away. So, if some of the translations are later than usual, that might be one reason. Or maybe I’m just sleeping.

    And in other news… I be lovin’ yer Kentucky accent too!

  56. No cats in Habana? No birds? Now I know you folks haven’t been there since you left in the early 1960’s (or maybe even late 1950’s). Not only have I had no trouble seeing them, but on fotos and videos posted by many at other sites there are numerous examples of both. Sit in any parque and you are bombarded with the noisy squawking (and err, sometimes more–as I once was while reclining under a tree outside La Cabana) of the birds. Talk about fantasyland, the comments of you Miami and West New York exiles reveal that most of your “observations” are based on pure fantasy. Sort of like the “reliability” of many items in the Drudge Report. No wonder Radio Marti is totally discounted by folks who actually live in Cuba; they only have to look out their windows to note that the latest “reports” are total fabrications. Some cats, no doubt, were eaten during the darkest days of the Periodo Especial, but this is not the case now, nor has it been for quite some time.
    As for Rudolfo’s comments that every entrepreneur has been crushed, etc. Not so. Every other vacant lot in Habana seems now to be turned into a vegetable garden, with most of the proceeds going to the cultivator. Also, more taxis particulares, more paladores, more installers of “illegal” satellite dishes and/or internet connections, not to mention private businesses by anyone who has a marketable skill (e.g. auto mechanic, plumber, carpenter, mason, appliance and electronic repairperson, etc. etc.). As for these folks being carted off to jail, or even receiving a large fine–pure fantasy.
    No time for further reality checks now as my dictator, my adolescent daughter, wants to use this computer to go onto FaceBook!
    !Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

  57. #72 Michael N. Landis dice: 19 Marzo 2009 a las 18:03

    ………….!Hasta La Victoria Siempre!…………….. (che guevara’s preferred utopia)

    (Written TODAY by comrade landis under Yoani’s post “Notice of Repairs”… that means ….. 5 posts ago!!!!!!!!!!!)
    000000000000000000

    I knew it!!!!… this guy uses to sneaks in old pages and try to left “the last comment” in order of avoid uncomfortable replays from other commenter and in such way make believe eventual readers that his comment can’t be rebated!!!!
    It is a castroll’s normal tactic; I have seen it many times in the spanish site……… take notice of this John 2!!!!!!!

    But for our Che freak comrade landis have I very bad news…. I left Cuba not too long ago and I know perfectly that the only birds that still fearful fly Havana’s sky are the uneatable sparrows. The same can witness whoever of the hundred of thousand cubans that has left the island in the last decade WE WILL NOT ALLOW YOU LIE HERE. Yes we know the special period in not now so hard as it were in the 90’s, we know the people now can find better things to eat than cats or condoms but as you self reckoned it was a time were cats had it very hard. It was a time that Havana’s sky were crossed by band of wild birds of any class, Havana’s rivers were full of milliards of tropical fishes and streets alleys were cat country. But all this despaired thanks the “good job” of your beloved tyranny, the same “good job” your admired che guevara did when he enjoyed exterminating the cuban youth in La Cabaña prison were you confessed been reclined on a tree seeing birds and maybe trying to imagine your self helping the che killing no cats but people.

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