Something could begin this Tuesday


The street is not the same, nor are the neighbors who usually gossip in the lines at the markets; today they speak of universal themes.  They raise their eyebrows and point towards the north, while they make predictions about who will be elected at the polls in the U.S.  I don’t remember having lived through such a commotion during the Cuban presidential elections last February.

The cobbler in my building took a stand for one candidate and the old woman who sells flowers has been wearing a shirt with the Obama logo.  Our boring trajectory of two presidents in fifty years has exacerbated the curiosity over foreign elections.  We also know that the decision of U.S. voters will reverberate here and not so metaphorically as the flutter of a butterfly in the Amazon.  The remittances that allow thousands of Cuban families to get to the end of the month come primarily from the other shore, where a portion of this Island lives, and where the insults—“worms,” traitors” and “mafiosos”—have not managed to sever our emotional and family ties.  The political discourse of our own leaders would lose effectiveness without the United States in the role of the enemy.   Never, as today, has the destiny of Cuba been so clearly separated, and yet so dependent, on what happens ninety miles away.

So we are all waiting to see who will win this Tuesday, November 4th.  Those who have children who can come to visit them only every three years are confident that the Democratic candidate will be more flexible in allowing visits to the Island.  Others are betting that the heavy hand of the Republicans will manage to force the openings we have expected for decades.  In the face of the “uncertain prognosis” we show inside our country, there are those who assert that today’s results will either launch or derail, definitively, the cart of reforms in Cuba.

I would prefer that we drive ourselves, but very few want to exchange the work of the forecaster for the hard task of making things happen.  So when I write this post, the capricious vehicle of change seems to be stuck in a rut at the side of the road.  I have my doubts about whether what happens this Tuesday will get it moving.


  1. Yo creo que si Obama gana, las pocas libertades que quedan en suramerica quedaran mas amenazadas. Los tiranos se veran mas apoyados (Chavez, Evo). Claro que en Cuba, la diferencia sera muy poca.

  2. I honestly do not think that it will make much difference what happens in the the US. If Obama becomes more flexible about the embargo the Castros will tighten their grips on the people in order to keep the image of an enemy alive. If McCain wins and everything stays the same as far as policy towards Cuba goes then the status quo will be maintained.


    Honesto no pienso que diferenciará mucho qué sucede en el E.E.U.U. Si Obama llega a ser más flexible sobre el embargo el Castros apretará sus apretones en la gente para mantener la imagen de un enemigo viva. Si McCain gana y todo permanece iguales por lo que va la política hacia Cuba entonces el status quo será mantenida.

  3. All I can say is 50 years people , we need to try something different or are we the only one’s in the world that do not realize when somethig doesn’t work we should try a different solution. There has got to be a better way.

  4. Yoani, I am happy with tears. Obama will be our new president. And he was elected in part, by the Gen Y of Miami…they are forgetting their bitterness. It is time for a new day. For all, including Cuba. Those of us in the US who love Cuba and are not full of hatred, will stand with you and support you. The way ahead is not easy, but we can do it. Please don’t give up, keep encouraging your friends and family!

  5. Wow Jaco… that was a bit harsh there.
    Unhappy with the election I understand, but racial slander sucks dude.

  6. Yes, Obama will save Cuba. Instead of thinking of a solution yourself, just let Obama do it. That’s what people need: a bigger government to act like parents. Obama is going to tell Americans what to eat too. He’ll tax the rich and then the money will be processed through the government and the poor will get a few pennys for every dollar taken in.

  7. Two points; One, I strongly agree with Jenna. Isn’t Socialism what this blog stands against?
    And Two, I notice someone took down Jaco’s Post. Censorship! Isn’t that something else this blog opposes? I see, it’s only wrong when your voice is silenced. So I will read this blog no-longer. I put it down to hypocrisy.

  8. Hola de Texas–uno de los estados conservativos que no votaban por Obama–el candidato socialista. Muchos en nuestra pais piensan que “El Messiah” va a audarnos in la economia. Yo lo dudo mucho–sus ideas de como mejorar transportation va a resultar en nosotros usando los carritos de burro como en el retrato mas arribba!

    Hi from Texas–one of the conservative states that did not vote for Obama–the socialist candidate. Many in our country think that the “Messiah” will help us in the economy. I doubt this a lot–his ideas on how to improve transportation will result in us using the burro carts like in the picture above!


  9. Voltor,
    Hi… First off… Yoani has no control over the blog, it is blocked from Cuba and no one can access it.
    Second of all have you though that maybe someone (i.e. me) might have made a complaint about the offensive content of Jaco’s post and blogger removed it on their own? Seriously dude…

  10. Viktor,
    Hi… First off… Yoani has no control over the blog, it is blocked from Cuba and no one can access it.
    Second of all have you though that maybe someone (i.e. me) might have made a complaint about the offensive content of Jaco’s post and blogger removed it on their own? Seriously dude…

  11. Sickboy

    I did not take down my post. I’m guessing you are sick because you have no medical coverage?
    Don’t worry your messiah will come to your house and put his hands on you.

  12. Thanks Jaco 😉
    I’ll wait for the messiah patiently!
    But in the meantime I’ll rely on my free universal health care 😀

  13. sickboy, then your post in response to Jaco’s post should be taken down as well.

    Anyway, I am from New Orleans but I am currently in Portland, Oregon, which is one of the epi-centers of US socialism. I could write a book on it. Sufficce to say that this state is under one-party rule, the Democrats. I like Democrats. Southern Democrats. West coast democrats are socialists. I do not like socialists. My family has distant family in Cuba. I have been involved with events there since I was 12. I also lived 30 miles from the DMZ in Korea when war looked imminent several times while I was there. Who was the aggressor there? If you think 40,000 Americans were the aggressors against nearly 1 million North Koreans, then you don’t know how the world works at all.

    I just want to say that not everyone in the US is an Obama supporter, and not everyone runs around crying around here. Now, if the Castros and communism disappeared in Cuba, that would be something worth crying for. The melodrama and bullshit in the US right now is sky high. But I guess that is the beauty of a free society. People here are free to demand money of their government. People here are free to elect a government that will tell you how to live and what to think. People here are free not to be personally responsible for their behavior and not to accountable for it when they do something that hurts someone else. We live in two Americas in this country, one is more like Cuba, one is not.

    As for the 50 years of the embargo, why does it fall upon us to fix the worlds’ problems? Why does changing our position fix everything? It doesn’t. The Left just likes to make it seem like that because no one outside of the US wants to hear their bitching and no one outside of the US can do anything about it anyway. Look at the protesters in China during the olympics. They didn’t get very far, did they? And no one gave a crap. I wonder why. At any rate, these people scream loudest here hoping that someone here will hear them. They are trying to have influence and control here. And they have obtained it by demonizing their opponents at every turn and screaming to anyone who will hear them, even if you don’t want to hear it.

    No thanks. I am from a free America. There are people here who want a socialist Amerika. I wish they would just come out and admit it, but I suspect they are afraid of getting their asses kicked. lol

  14. Patricio,

    I completely agree that my response to Jaco’s post should have been taken down as well, since it’s now irrelevant.

    As for the current situation in the US, I only know what I see on television and I’ll have to take your word for it.
    Not everyone likes Obama, the popular vote was very clear on that. Korea was an entirely different situation, they posed at the time and still pose a legitimate threat to the US and to the nations around them. If you have family in Cuba you must know that Cuba poses no threat to anyone anymore. Not since the fall of the Soviet Union.

    The people in Cuba all loved Obama for one reason only, because they think that somehow he will lift the embargo. It won’t fix their problems if it is lifted. But it will become a whole lot harder for the Castro brothers to demonize the US if there’s no embargo. In turn that will make it a whole lot more difficult for the Castros to have a stranglehold on the island. I think that’s why people over there prayed for Obama to win. They don’t have access to the information you do and that’s another part of the reason they wanted to believe so hard.

    I’m no socialist. I love making money. I love having two cars and more bedrooms then I need in my house. But with the information I can get here on the news I’m still not sure that the democrats are socialists. Maybe some of them are… but the majority? that would just suck.



  15. Hmmmm.

    1. I wish you in Cuba and those with family in Cuba all the best. I have family, on my mother’s side, in North Korea but we’ve never heard from them in more than 50 years. With the number of people who have died from famine and “re-education camps” there we don’t even know if there are any family left there.

    2. I seriously doubt Obama will lift the Embargo. He may want to but it would require Congress to act on it and many Democrats in Congress would fear losing their next election if they did so. But even if Obama did lift the Embargo how would that help you? All it would do is increase the opportunities for the Castro brothers to steal even more billions.

    Even then the past history of the Castros and the Cuban government have a long history of nationalizing foreign owned property and businesses so many American investors would not be all that eager to sink money into Cuba. Also there is the economic problems so there is less money available to invest. Then there is the high risk of investments in Cuba compared to all of the other countries in Central and South America.

    3. For me, I did not vote for Obama, is that nobody really knows who he is or what he is planning. A lot of what he has said in speeches depended on who was listening. And because our newspapers and television reporters love him, they refused to report this. So Obama will say he is for something to one group, and against it to another and both groups are happy. You cannot trust what Obama says, you have to watch what he does.

    Don’t believe me? Then watch what he says and what he does and then compare them. They will not match.

    I hope it all works out but a lot of people here in the USA are very worried because Obama has a very Marxist past.

    (I am not fluent in Spanish. If someone would be kind enough to translate my comment, if it is useful to do so, then my thanks)

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