At nine in the morning an official looks, with boredom, at the citation we have presented at the door of the 21st and C station. We are left waiting on one of the benches for about 40 minutes, while Reinaldo and I take the opportunity to discuss all those things the dizziness of daily life always keeps us from talking about. At 9:45 they take my husband, asking first if he has a cell phone. Ten minutes later they return and take me to the second floor.
The meeting is brief and the tone energetic. There are three of us in the office and the one who raises his voice in song has been introduced as Agent Roque. To my side another, younger one, watches me and says his name is Camilo. Both tell me they are from the Interior Ministry. They are not interested in listening, there is a written script on the table, and nothing I do will distract them. They are intimidation professionals.
The topic was as I expected: We are close to the date for the blogger meeting that, with neither secrecy nor publicity, we have been organizing for half a year; they announce we must cancel it. Half an hour later, now far from the uniforms and the photos of leaders on the walls, we reconstructed an approximation of their words:
We want to warn you that you have transgressed all the limits of tolerance with your rapprochement and contacts with counter-revolutionary elements. This totally disqualifies you for dialog with Cuban authorities.
The activities planned for the coming days cannot be carried out.
We, for our part, will take all measures, make the relevant denunciations and take the necessary actions. This activity, in this moment in the life of the Nation, recuperating from two hurricanes, will not be allowed.
Roque stopped talking–nearly shouting–and I asked if he would give me all this in writing. Being a blogger who displays her name and her face has made me believe that everyone is willing to attach their identity to what they say. The man lost the rhythm of the script–he didn’t expect my librarian’s mania to keep papers. He stopped reading what had been written and shouted at me even louder that, “They are not obliged to give me anything.”
Before they send me off with a “get out of here, citizen” I manage to tell him that he won’t sign what he told me because he doesn’t have the courage to do it. The word “Cowards” comes out almost in a guffaw. At the bottom of the stairs I hear the noise of the chairs pushed back into place. Wednesday has ended early.
I saw a article about you in “le Monde”, the most important newspaper in France. Sad the article is about your citation at the police station about your blog. Good Luck!
What a day! I have no idea what you are going through, as I live in the US. However, I feel that life everywhere is generally bad these days. I got fired from my job today because of our bad economy. I stand beside you & support you in your freedom of speech. At least I can blog about what I want to. I am reminded, it could be worse for me. My thoughts are with you.
I am very thankful that you did not need your toothbrush, and that the police released you! I’m sorry about the disappointing news, however. 🙁 Thank you for writing; the world needs to hear.
Your writing is wonderful. Hopefully one day soon the embargo will end and American and Cubans both will be free to travel between each others homelands.
GOOD FOR YOU YOANI – TU SI LOS TIENES BIEN PUESTO – Todos llegamos a un momento en el cual las intimidaciones no trabajan. Que te entre por un oido y te salga por el otro. Yoani you are an inspiration. Thanks
TO DHoff: I agree with you in your sentiments and desires. As for an ’embargo” that only applies to the regular cuban citizen and any natural born cuban living in the usa.
My God! Cuba still is in the IXX century!
It is incredible that smart young good citizens have to deal with these uneducated, rude and vulgar political policemen of the comunist regime. And to think that an entire country is suffering this and very few like Yoani are risking so much to let the world know of their daily ordeals in comunist Cuba.
Yoani my prayers are with you. I am a Cuban in exile. I have memories of local police harassing and intimidating me as a child simply because my family would not agree to the Castro indoctrinations. I am grateful that I live in the greatest country with ample freedom. It is hard in the USA, but we are free to express ourselves in all possible ways. Please take care, we will be watching and listening, reading. We will care for you as much as possible.
“PEOPLE BEWARE OF COMUNISM”.
Fredom for Cuba!!
I don’t have easy words to offer you but one day, soon I hope, Cuba will be free.
In the meantime I’d like you to know that your story is spreading in the West.
I applaud your efforts to continue communications with outside world! I worked in the state prisons where they still do not allow their employees to carry cell phones…we found other ways to communicate our ideas and give the inmates our voices. We help them organize prayer groups in the dorms and anything they wanted to do to interact or compare notes with the staff; who were also experts at intimidation…
My hope is that the Oil2Wind Power concept will reach into parts of the world where direct opposition to corrupt officials can be crushed by the pencil pushers; pray for your secret police and their families, that they will come to envy the freedom of thought and expression of the courageous; look for officers of the state who show independent thought and pray for them…that was the turning point in my prison watchdog experience; hearing the wife of an inmate in one of the dorms praying with her husband on the phone.
She prayed for the families of the guards; and I was reminded to pray for her and her children, even though I was not able at first to pray for the inmates…I could pray for their innocent children, and started to challenge other guards to pray in their families, for the well-being of the families of the inmates. It was during this transition – the summer of 1991 – that our top prison officials toured the prisons in the Soviet Maximum Security, run by Spetsnaz across the USSR, and returned to advocate a similar style of intimidation in the CA Dept of “Corrections”! Of course the world watched the USSR crumble along with the Statues of Lenin and Stalin; we at the prison saw the inmates organizing prayer groups in every dorm!
The key was that the inmates in a prison or a country can learn who has that spark of liberty in their hearts; and we were the collaborators to open communication between staff and inmates; now we are using these same methods to train mentors among contractors and veterans for renewable energy, through thousands of sites, and every region of the world! We can train engineering students to rebuild or replace old systems in old buildings, so that old secret police dogs do not have to climb the stairs because the elevator is broke for a month! We use the radio shows on Blog Talk Radio’s energytalk LIVE discussions as part of the ongoing training for new radio hosts; discussing energy and green jobs, along with politics and religious concepts in a respectful way, to prepare our teams to go on building and renovation assignments, with veterans and licensed contractors, who can hire and train people to work on the renovation of the old buildings in which they live. To see photos of one of these green build projects, go to http://www.BioLiberty.net, where Veterans Green Jobs is building the first Green Vets Training Center in North America, which will become a model for buildings and training centers in every city that supports hiring veterans trained by licensed contractors.
This is also happening to other Cuban bloggers… Visit http://octavocerco.blogspot.com/, Claudia was summoned yesterday.
Lo que mas le temen es a la informacion, en mi pais es lo mismo, … El muro sigue fuerte todavia, pero ha empezado a resquebrajarse. Tambien el cambio llegara a Cuba, y se podra decir libre al fin!
VIVA CUBA LIBRE
What all of this regimes are most afraid is information, in my country is the same… The wall is still strong, BUT it has started to crumble. The Change would arrive to cuba, and we all going to say, FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST.
VIVA CUBA LIBRE.
Ojala Algun Dia pueda estrechar tu mano Yoanie, te mando un abrazo desde Nicaragua, no es ni por cerca lo mismo que en Cuba, aca hay varias libertades y se esta luchando para que lo que se construyo de democracia Ortega on lo destruya ni nos imponga de nuevo una dictadura, pero es un aprendiz del dictador montruoso de FIdel
yo sinceramente creo que a esos dos subhumanos del minint que te entrevistaron les haria bien un “tapabocas revolucionario” de verdad. Quisiera enviarte una de esas plumas que graban Mp3 y son muy faciles de usar para grabar conversaciones sin que nadie lo note, para poder oir las voces de esas ratas.
I second the motion for an mp3 recording pen. Someone should bring one to Yoani. I’ll even pay for it if someone can take it down.
After 50 years of this nonsense, the dictatorship may think it still is in charge of Cuba. But it is not. Freedom for Cuba is inevitable, and nothing it does will be able to fully silence Yoani and other Cubans like her. The Internet, indeed, is a “wild colt.” Thuggish behavior like this will certainly not change that.
be strong, yoani
we are with you
esté fuerte, yoani
estamos con usted
I hope that the online translator will not mess this comment up, unfortunately, after only two years of taking Spanish at my high school, I gave up. I know some, but not enough, and i understand better than i speak or write it. I simply wanted to say that you remind me of the infamous Mirabal sisters that i have recently had the pleasure of discovering. It is your struggle and others struggles like yours that will be absolved by history, not the reign that Castro and his followers have lead. While I am new to this blog, and unfortunately the modern day struggles of Cuba, I hope that your article will help me to better understand your peoples plight. While neither of my names begin with the letter Y, I hope that I will be accepted here. I am sure that you receive countless comments or e-mails like my own, but I believe that is only testament to what an amazing and inspiring woman you are to both the female sex and others across the planet. You are the reason why cynics continue to lose the argument of human nature, and it will be a sad day for all the world when you stop blogging and expressing yourself(here’s to hoping it will never come). This comment has grown in length, and as you may know, in America, the shorter the sweeter, so i will leave you with this; You are a monumental inspiration across the world and I hope that your courage will fan across others lives like it has my own. words can not express the inspiration you have become to me.
Espero que el traductor en línea no comedores de este comentario, lamentablemente, después de sólo dos años de tomar mi español en la escuela secundaria, me he rendido. Sé que algunos, pero no lo suficiente, y entiendo mejor que hablo o escribir en él. Simplemente quería decir que me recuerdan de la infame Mirabal hermanas que recientemente he tenido el placer de descubrir. Es su lucha y otras luchas como la suya que será absuelto por la historia, no el reinado de que Castro y sus seguidores han llevado. Aunque soy nuevo en este blog, y por desgracia hoy en día la lucha de Cuba, espero que tu artículo me ayudará a comprender mejor los pueblos de su difícil situación. Si bien ninguno de mis nombres comienzan con la letra Y, espero que voy a ser aceptado aquí. Estoy seguro de que usted recibe un sinnúmero de comentarios o e-mails como el mío, pero creo que sólo es testimonio de lo increíble y una mujer inspiradora que son tanto para el sexo femenino y otros en todo el planeta. Usted es la razón por la cual los cínicos siguen perdiendo el argumento de la naturaleza humana, y será un día triste para todo el mundo cuando usted deja de blogs y expresarse (en este caso a la esperanza de que nunca llegarán). Este comentario ha crecido en longitud, y como ustedes saben, en América, el más corto es el dulce, así que te dejará con el presente; Usted es una inspiración monumental en todo el mundo y espero que su valor se fan a través de otras vidas como si tiene el mío. palabras no pueden expresar la inspiración que se han convertido para mí.
THE PEOPLE OF CUBA NEED A BETTER GOVERNMENT. It is sad to see the HEAVY HAND that rules on the Island. Thank you for exposing this treatment and documenting it for the world to read. God Bless you for your courage.
Forgive me if I hesitate in believing the roof is on fire. I remember in April Yoani telling us her blog was being censored. I guess not quite. Months later she was telling us about the impending censorship trial of the “punk rocker” Yorki. The trial was actually about noise and he had to pay a small fine and was released. Now we are to believe this one-sided account from a devout Government enemy?
I would like to believe her and not the authorities, who are claiming Yoani has been working with “counter-revolutionaries.” If it is all lies, there is only one way to know and that is to be completely transparent. If there is nothing to hide, I would hope we will soon be reading about all her unsavory contacts and why it was within the law against conspiring with foreigners for the purpose of regime change.
When I read your comments I really don’t know if you are for real or if your comments are trying to hide a meesage of missunderstanding directed to those who are trying to understand our struggle. Maybe you will hesitate to believe that the roof is on fire, as you implied. First, because you have not live in Cuba you don’t know what HELL IS ALL ABOUT IT, secondly because you are very naive and don’t know or don’t want to know how one live under a totalitarian regime where your entire life is run and controlled by the system since the time you get up early in the morning until you go to bed at night. You are also questioning her denouncing of the blog censorship and the trial or Gorki, well apparently you are either blind, or don’t want to see the truth or don’t want to believe the many pictures and videos that support the truth of what had happened. Gorki’s trial was not about the noise and his music, his trial came about it because he was going to release a CD in which he was critical of Fidel and in a police estate you are not allowed to express freely your dissatisfaction about the regime or their leaders and because this case gained worlwide noteriaty the communist apparatus was cut with their pants down about what they were going to do to Gorky and they decide not to procede with his trial and just gave him a fine and a reprimend. You continue to doubt Yoanny when you write: “Now we are to believe this one-sided account from a devout Government enemy?” Well, let me tell you this, Yoanny is not the enemy, the enemy are those who are trying to suppress the masses under the communist boot.
Your last paragraph says it all. You want her to disclose her supporters and be transparent. She can do all of that if she would have live in a free country but she can not do that in Cuba were all your rights are controlled by a few. I was born and raised in Cuba, now living in a free country were my rights and those of others are protected by the constitution and I don’t consider myself “an unsavory contact” as you said, on the contrary I am very much a lover of freedom and a believer that no matter were you live you should be free of expressing yourself.
I just hope that if you are reading this blog and consider yourself a freedom lover, please do not fall for the poisonous message that “AV2TS” is trying to imply here. If Cuba was such a paradise, let the cuban people choose their way of government by having free elections instead of a regime that has perpetreded itself for the last 50 years. Let freedom ring!
HIJA DE PUTA
in English – BITCH
I apologize for some people may find this rather rude but why is it that people like you always choose to write about allegedly the worst things from a communist state. I challenge you to also find and post positive things about Cuba which I know are quite a lot more than the negative things you mention. Communism is not hell, I challenge everybody, specially you my dear, to find a picture of the cuban police force repressing the people with antimutiny troops, horses, pressure water as commonly happens in “greater democrecies”.
hope to hear from you
@av2ts : You just got told by Carlos so I won’t go on and on and on about it. For someone who complains about one-sided politics and opinions do you think your blog provides a fair and unbiased assessment of Cuba and Venezuela? Because as far as I’m concerned after spending some time on your blog today I think that you provide what we all do: opinions. You don’t report news, I don’t report news… we report our opinions on the news.
@Robert: Good job on the little hissy fit there. If you’d post up your blog URL or email address I’m sure you’d hear from most of us. Why don’t you post positive things about Cuba… Seriously. I travel there 4-5 times per year and there’s nice beaches and nice hotels and nice people. That’s where to positivity ends. Have you ever lived in Cuba? Have you ever been told to shut up by your government? I’m guessing not. You need references about police brutality? Click here:
@everyone else… I haven’t seen so many comments on an English blog post here in a really long time! Keep it up everyone!
Guys keep it cool!
Maybe you don’t know yet that Communism and Capitalism are good siblings. Comy is no so lucky with money and prosperity like Capy is but Comy seems to be more friendly at least to me. Anyway I have visited both many times, I had share wonderful moments with both of them, I can’t choose whom to be with yet and I don’t want to, even though I confess I do prefer Capy specially when he is not depressed, he has those faces where goes crazy, I have even thought one of these day he will kill himself, oh god! So, with Comy I disagree so much! One day I promised to not visit him anymore, I was very angry, but you know after few years of no words I decided to visit him. After all these years finally I was last Sunday afternoon in front of Comy’s door and when I was about to knock he opened the door and surprisingly wearing a big smile he said: welcome.
Yo corazon Fidel mucho! He’s standing up the Yankees, which is more than I can say about you suckholes.
Maybe you’d like to live in Haiti. The people there are “free” and they can “vote”.
Don’t be fooled Cubans! In America you’re only as “free” as your bank account.
Stringball, don’t waste bandwidth warning Cubans about the “perils” of Yoani’s blog. If you were even the least bit informed, you’d be aware that her blog is blocked inside Cuba along with internet access generally.
I’ve been an avid reader of this blog since I first became aware of it a few months ago. Yoani, long may you blog. I greatly admire your courage in standing up to a dictatorial regime that is clearly on its last legs.
When Communism fell in my native Romania, on December 22 1989, I was outside the town hall of Cehu Silvaniei, my hometown, along with probably half the local populace. We were yelling for Comrade Buteanu, the chief of the local Securitate — that was Romania’s secret police — to come out so we can rip his head off and put it on a stick. Town hall was also the headquarters of regular police (called Militia; handled traffic stuff, drunkenness and chicken thievery) and Securitate. The regular cops were nowhere in sight, which we took as a sign that we might at least get to give him a good roughing up. In the end, his sorry ass was saved by Mr. Pantea, a widely respected middle school teacher, who got up and noted that we were looking rather like a savage mob, which eventually embarrassed everybody into a far more genial mood. Still, I think Comrade Buteanu was feeling some heat, and he might have shat his pants that day. What I’m saying is that Comrades Roque and Camilo, as well as Robert here who called you a bitch, might not be so lucky when Communism falls in Cuba too, as I am sure it will. They would be well advised to be polite, then, so they may have as few things as possible held against them when that time comes. Just thought I’d give them a piece of advice here. Good luck with your blog. And good luck to Cuba and its fine people. You guys are in my thoughts.
HELL, is not having decent running water or food to eat, while watching my Government hand it out to others as “AS A GOODWILL GESTURE” PURELY POLITICAL. My Doctors are now in VENEZUELA for this same Campaign, not treating the people in my own counrty who just suffered three huricanes. God BLESS AMERICA who is always trying to help us, and MY OWN GOVENRMENT teaching me and my children to HATE her. If any one from my own government reads this please come around again and sell me (with the CUP money ) some more DONATED HURRICANE SUPPLIES. My family is hungry again TODAY.
@Moska Negra: that was an amazing comment. My hear goes out to you and your family.
Moska, I am sorry for your hardships. But I hope you do understand that Cuba is making needed millions in hard currency from sending some (volunteer) Doctors abroad to help some of the neediest in South America. Cuba has a surplus of doctors, even after sending many abroad. Doctors are not more needed because of the hurricanes – thankfully, human injury was minimal. I don’t know what you mean by the Government handing out aid “as a goodwill gesture” purely political. I am sure things are still difficult in areas hit by the storms – as they are in the US (new orleans). As someone who wanted to send money directly to friends in Cuba after the storms, I am also frustrated between the walls to donating supplies directly to the people. My Government did not allow it, nor the simple sale of emergency products. Is that “always trying to help” you and the Cuban people??
This is an amazing blog, thank you for sharing. I’ve been to Cuba and the people are wonderful and friendly, but they really have nothing, it is very sad.
Robert- you are all foolish.
Do you think those doctors are going to foreign countries, because they have it so good in Cuba, that they have time to “volunteer”?!
They HAVE to go, forced by the government.
Lots of Cuban doctors came to South Africa as well, being used as cheap labour, that’s AFTER they were used by the Russians, for fighting in Angola!!
The Cuban people have been used by different regimes, all over the world for their own gain, how SAD!!!
Like they used to say, Cuba is so big, their government is in Russia and their graves are in Africa.
ANYONE who can defend the Castro-regime, is crazy!
I’m sorry to report that your experience is not so different from scenarios in Canadian police stations and even in our courtrooms.
I have fought for transparency with Canadian officialdom for decades, and the reluctance to put in writing enforcement policies and procedures is no different here than in your account. Many officials refuse to respond to anything by e-mail or FAX. They will either ignore the request for information or clarification altogether, or respond by telephone (just to be able to claim they have responded). Some have gone so far as to mail a response to an incorrect address, or even to write a draft response and file it away without ever mailing it! And if they do respond, the response will be evasive.
What you experienced is just the normal behaviour of any official anywhere who is ordered carry out an unjustifiable act, lacks the courage to refuse, and wants to protect himself from the consequences. Our Canadian police do exactly the same thing, even though they have much less to fear from such refusal.
Expat, no one was forced to go volunteer as a Doctor anywhere, just as no one was forced to go to Angola to fight the South African white supremecists, the CIA their paid mercanies. What the Cubans achieved in Southern Africa is nothing less than than a miracle. They were decisive in hastening the fall of apartheid. This is why Mandela is one of theCuban Revolution’s (and Fidel’s) biggest fans. Cuba’s outsized role around the world – training doctors, teaching literacy, serving the poor – is a model for all the rich countries.
Otropogo is employing one of the favorite tactics of Castro apologists – namely bogus analogies.
When’s the last time the Canadian government ordered a blogger to show up at a police station for writing a critical blog posting? Or prohibited bloggers from attending a meeting? The answer of course is never. Were this ever to occur, I guarantee it would be on the first page of every newspaper and the leading story on every newscast.
John, when is the last time the US had an active “regime change” policy against Canada? When is the last time Canadian exiles committed a terrorist act on Canadian soil? When is the last time the US funded Canadian exiles to make contact with Canadians to further their policy of regime change? The US actually has a well-funded “Plan for Transition” with a classified annex all ready to go for Cuba – dictating a policy of privatization. The US “Plan” for Cuba has the temerity to call for a private secondary mortgage market, with all kinds of securities of the nature that is sinking the US at this moment… Cuba is a country under unprecedented economic and diplomatic attack. We don’t know if Yoani participated in those plans or not. But Cuba has a right to defend itself.
“John dice: 9 Diciembre 2008 a las 00:49
Otropogo is employing one of the favorite tactics of Castro apologists – namely bogus analogies.
When’s the last time the Canadian government ordered a blogger to show up at a police station for writing a critical blog posting?….Were this ever to occur, I guarantee it would be on the first page of every newspaper and the leading story on every newscast.”
In Canada (and the US) the political establishment has much more sophisticated, and far more effective, ways of stifling dissent. Believe it or not, there are worse things than being called to the police station for a scolding.
Here in Canada the “free” media regularly blackens the reputation of innocent people at the request of police, no matter how implausible the accusation. Have an in depth look at what is reported to have happened at Mayerthorpe, Alberta on March 3, 2005, for an extreme example.
And if anyone has the courage to speak up for the truth, they can blog until the cows come home, because no one will pay the slightest attention. They certainly won’t get their viewpoint onto any front pages or newscasts. There’s no need to forbid any meetings.
Have you heard of the “Debunking 911” movement in the US? If not, you might look at the book:
“Debunking 911 Debunking:
An answer to Popular Mechanics and other Debunking 911 Debunking An answer to Popular Mechanics and other defenders of the official conspiracy theory”
by Dr. David Ray Griffin
The facts marshalled in the above book to discredit the official account of the events of September 9, 2001 are simply dismissed everywhere as “conspiracy theory”. Which is much more effective than a private scolding by a junior police official. So effective, in fact, that the poster boy of American dissent, Noam Chomsky, rejects the book’s conclusions as impossible while refusing to address the massively persuasive documentation it presents.
I am no “Castro apologist”. I’m simply warning Cubans not to follow the Russians’ example of drinking themselves into a stupor on bogus freedoms, or they too will end up senseless in the gutter.
AVT2S: Another bogus analogy. Canada changes “regimes” through democratic multiparty elections, or when governments fall because they no longer have the confidence of the Canadian Parliament. Despite the counter-productive nature of US Cuban policy, this policy would quickly change if the current Cuban government agreed to give up its monopoly on power and committed to holding genuinely free and fair elections. And shame on you for casting aspersions on Yoani without offering a shred of evidence to back them up.
Otropogo: You expose yourself as nothing more than a conspiracy theorist. Small wonder you fall for the deceptions of the Castro regime.
43. John dice: 9 Diciembre 2008 a las 17:56
” … Despite the counter-productive nature of US Cuban policy, this policy would quickly change if the current Cuban government agreed to give up its monopoly on power and committed to holding genuinely free and fair elections. ”
Are you really unaware of US intervention in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954? In both cases, it replaced a popular parliamentary regime with a murderous autocratic one.
“And shame on you for casting aspersions on Yoani without offering a shred of evidence to back them up.”
What aspersions ?
I merely point out that repression of dissenting views is just as vigorous, and much more effective, in Canada and the US as in Cuba.
“Otropogo: You expose yourself as nothing more than a conspiracy theorist” –
Certainly I believe the Nazis burned the Reichstag themselves in order to fan the flames of racial hatred and accelerate their ride to power.
I believe the Russians framed the Nazis for the mass murder of the Katyn Wood to serve their own political ends.
I believe the West accepted the Russians’ story about Katyn Wood for decades to serve ITS own political ends.
I believe Western journalists cynically failed to question China’s ridiculously low estimate of 10,000 casualties in the Tangshan earthquake of 1976 (now revised to “at least 240,00”), despite the eye witness reports of a French delegation, just to have continued access to China.
I believe that the US engineered the military coups in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, trained the torturers and encouraged the “disappearances”
I believe the US (and Canadian) media conspired to suppress the brutality and extent of civilian casualties of the US invasion of Panama.
I believe that 9/11 was engineered, directed, and facilitated by agents of the US government.
I believe that every US president since Truman, with the possible exception of Eisenhower, would be convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity if judged by the standards applied at Nuremberg.
And, yes, each of the above beliefs imply a sizable conspiracy. So I suppose I AM a conspiracy theorist, but why would you add “nothing more than”? Is there any literate person in the world who doesn’t espouse at least one conspiracy theory?
And why would subscribing to these “conspiracy theories” make me “fall for the deceptions of the Castro regime” in particular?
Is it really your view that the “Castro regime” is the ONLY conspiratorial group in the world? Or are you perhaps suggesting that there is no such thing as conspiracy at all except in the imagination of lunatics?
avt2s- U really do not know much do you? The war in Angola had nothing to do with the fall of apartheid in South Africa, it was over long before 1994.
There was a peacefull hand over of power by the apartheid-government, because most of the white people in South Africa were tired of the way it used to be.
I know, I was there and voted yes in the referendum for change.
Have you met any of the Cuban doctors who are working in South Africa? They are forced to be without their families and are being used or rather abused by the ANC government, as cheap labour in very rural, backwards areas, where not even South African doctors want to work.
As for the Cuban soldiers in Angola, I met one in Cuba and believe me, he didn’t volunteer to go to Angola.
you critisize some people of believing in castro’s regime and ideas but then you are as guilty for believing the other side naively. If you allow me to put you out of your ignorance in respect to South Africa peaceful hand over in apartheid let me tell you that there would have not been any freedom for the namibian people, no freedom for Mandela and no peaceful hand over at all had it not been for something called CUITO CUANAVALE (1988). And there is some else you must know, the victory in that battle of cuito cuanavale was achieved BECAUSE Angolans followed the advice of the CUBAN army instead of the soviets.
It is important for people to know, specially you who voted for it, that if South Africa had not been defeated in CUITO CUANAVALE, nothing would have changed in that part of africa and you would have not voted at all.
in respect to doctors my friends the problem is that you, as many other, do not understand the Cuban people. For you someone going to rural areas and into the jungle is something crazy or they are forced to do it for nothing. That does not apply to Cubans. Yes, it is true they are away from their family but the state looks after them and those doctors receive a lot of help from the government.