For a few days now the news about the fake elections in Zimbabwe has been all over. And I just can’t help to wonder… inevitablemente me pregunto, ¿por qué tengo la impresión de que esta película me es demasiado familiar?
This morning, from NPR to MSN, everyone is publishing the special packages with the reports about the violence, the voters being forced by Mugabe’s mobs to vote for him, the burnt and mutilated bodies of the opposition, the sole opposition runner-off taking refuge in the Dutch Embassy, his calls to his supporters not to endangered their lives… it’s a nightmare.
A nightmare whose victims are putting their last hopes in the international community.
An international community so worried with global warming, the end of the world, the green life and who knows how many, whether the Pope wears Prada or not and who knows how many other trivial things, that is paying deaf ears to the cries of totalitarian regimen’s victims all over the world, like the people of Zimbabwe.
Like for so many years they have done with the people of Cuba.
Then, I can’t help to go back in my memory, being an elementary school kid in communist Cuba, where we were taken out of school when people like Mugabe would visit castro’s tropical farm.
It would happen mostly to the kids attending the schools neighboring Havana’s International Airport. But sometime they would bus us there from farther places in the capital.
And there we were, in the curbside of the avenue leading to the airport, under the merciless sun, wearing our red uniforms and pañoletas, waving little flags, welcoming the compañero Mugabe. Later they would feed us a hearty merienda not common elsewhere else, and happy you go, bused back to your school.
Thus, I can’t help to feel remorse.
The same way I feel disgusted by the violent images from Zimbabwe, I can’t help to feel disgusted for the stolen elections we have had in Cuba in the past 50 years.
And the international community, in its majority, is still paying deaf ears. Will they need to see (if any MSM outlet has the guts to publish it) the mutilated and burnt bodies of Cubans to finally get it?
Jun 27, 2008
For a few days now the news about the fake elections in Zimbabwe has been all over. And I just can’t help to wonder… inevitablemente me pregunto, ¿por qué tengo la impresión de que esta película me es demasiado familiar?
Jun 26, 2008
It’s more about dirty laundry, hidden interests, lack of you-know-what, you name it. It's about the quest for freedom of a nation that has been suffering the iron fist of communism for 50 years.
Is about the masterful piece written from Cuba by Oswaldo Yañez on his blog, Conexión Cubana. (You can even have versions in English and Italian).
Go there if you want to learn how apes are more important to Spain that human rights and freedom for Cuban dissidents, if you want to learn about the failure of the castro’s inc economy, if you want to read how they are desperately trying to hold onto power, no matter how many dead bodies they have to leave in the middle of the way.
Go there and help yourself.
Mi casa es su casa.
The gaitos are salivating over the truckload of free mojitos.
H/T to Babalú Blog
The reason? Place your bets…
In a press release the company said it’s due to the high costs of soy beans and corn, due to government mandated production of corn-based ethanol that has skyrocketed the price of food for everyone, including the turkeys that the plant processes.
“The increased costs, the release said, have resulted from government policies that mandate ethanol production as a part of the Renewable Fuel Standards. In the past year, Butterball's feed costs have increased by $200 million and by more than $300 million in the last two years.”
“Congress and the administration have been cautioned since at least 2005 that consequences such a plant reductions, closings, higher unemployment and higher food costs would result from our nation's current renewable fuels policy," Shoemaker said in the release.
You know what, this Cubanita over here needs to be enlightened –one more time, because something in here simply does not add up.
Let’s take a quick look:
-We are using the land that it was supposed to be used to grow food to grow corn that, instead of being used to feed animals and human beings, is used to produce ethanol.
-Thus, food prices are going higher and higher and it looks that it won’t stop. I feel the pain in my wallet every time I look at my grocery bill.
-From releases like this one you become aware that our Congress is already aware of the consequences of this policy, but apparently the wake-up calls have fallen in deaf ears.
-Then you hear in the news that corn-based ethanol is one of the most expensive ones, that sugar cane ethanol is cheaper to produce but then, something is going on that sugar cane ethanol produce in Brazil, for example, is having a hard time to get into the US market.
-And then you hear about government supported subsidies for farmers that grow corn for ethanol instead of, let’s say, tomatoes or lettuces. Obviously, farmers will want to grow the corn for ethanol that will give them more profits. Thus, more food shortages in the local market.
-Then comes the news about Colorado governor Bill Ritter proposing or supporting –whatever!, that the state oil rigs workers should work a nine months schedule –same as teachers—instead of 12 months a year. (So what, are we going to eat the prairie dogs that will procreate massively in those three months? Or are we going to use their caca to fuel our cars? Oh! Got it! Are we going to be riding horses on I-25?)
-And our government does not want to approve the drilling in US coast or Alaska or anywhere else in the country where there is oil. (Are we saving it for a museum?)
-Some rich politicians out there want us to believe that the future of the country is in the environmentally friendly big corporations and carbon trade and all that stuff that we, the average Joe’s that can not afford a hybrid car, don't even understand.
-You can also read in the local newspapers’ guest commentaries that there is a big time oil and natural gas deposit in an area that goes along Colorado, Utah and Nebraska? Well, the geographic details are not important; it’s somewhere close here.
-And there you have the news, op-ed and other evidence that the US hasn't build a new refinery or nuclear plant (the cleanest and cheaper energy source) in like, 30 years? Helloooooo!!!
-Then some Harvard specialist on something was saying yesterday in NPR that drilling in the US or using more of our domestic oil will not change the oil global price. But, who cares about the OPEC prices?
Can someone in our government, please, think about the prices we are paying at the pump, the prices we are paying at the supermarket or the prices the laid-off employees from Butterball are paying for loosing their jobs?
Boy, I do need some energy-friendly explanations.
Hey, you, up there in Congress, get real! That’s why we vote for you after all.
Jun 24, 2008
Then came the "clerical" mistake.
The group of dissidents were freed. And they talked about it, and there is an audio testimony.
Now, my fellow reader, it's your turn to draw your own conclusions.
For me, this is nothing but a betrayal. Out loud and clear --unless there is a new definition for in the dictionary that I haven't seen yet.
H/T to Babalú, Uncommon Sense, The Real Cuba and anyone out there reading and posting information about the political prisoners in the tropical gulag.
Jun 20, 2008
Great news to close the week--in a very ironically matter, of course.
First, after a week of dale pa'lante y dale pa'tras, I read that the European Union finally decided to continue playing castro's game (for a change) and lifted the so-called restrictions they imposed after the Black Spring crack down on dissidents in 2003.
Apparently, it does not matter that most of those dissidents are still in jail.
After checking PD collection of quotes, I wonder: what does castro and the Cuban G-2 know about Moratinos and Zapatero that have them literally eating from its hands? Big time dirty laundry, I guess.
I wonder if Europe would have accepted toaster ovens, cell phones and un-affordable computers instead of democracy and freedoms for their countries. I also wonder in whose ears fell the opinions of those directly affected.
But things get even better: a few hours after the EU released the decision to the news, castro's heir regimen imprisoned 7 dissidents whose whereabouts are so far unknown. Wow! I'm impressed with such improvements in human rights in Cuba!
On top of that, a press release and a demonstration against Obama has been announced in Miami, after it was known that two of his campaign advisers were high profile key players in the whole thing of sending Elián González back to Cuba. (Did they cheered with some bubbles after Elián was officially proclaimed member of the Young's Communist Union?)
More wacky details in NewsBusters (H/T to Babalú Blog)
Ay, mamá... prepárense para lo que viene!
I posted a crash course to Colorado businessmen and wrote some comments on the article too.
And, a couple of days ago, I sent a letter to the editor. 200 words, so you go and figure how do you state and opinion in that space, and letter was heavily edited... Anyway, it was published today and the reader's comment were not late, at all.
I keep my position, though. If you want to business for the sake of business, there is nothing that I can do about it. But do not come with the crap that you're going to kill policies with kindness.
Now what? do they want to cover their business and money-making purposes with an humanitarian mission to bring democracy to Cuba? Give me a damned break.
That's an insult to my intelligence and, as I've said before, to the memory of those murdered by the regimen and the sacrifice of those rotting in castro's dungeons.
Go and take a look at the comments see my response at the end of the thread. Please, feel free to add you two cents.
Jun 18, 2008
A video without audio (who knows what amount of caca was being said behind those quinta edad body movements), without a date, without a reference to the place where it was filmed, with the sole voice of Randy “the disgusting” Alonso and the final stupid phrase from chávez?
This is soooo prone to have been filmed centuries ago and filed to be use in the near future, to dispel rumors –one more time, of the mummy passing through hell’s door…
The mono-neuronal anormaloides have overused the scam so much; I really doubt it has any impact anymore. ¿Qué pasó con la creatividad? (Some creativity, please)
Caballeros, you know the Cuban saying: “if it smells like caca, looks like caca and taste like caca”, what else do you really think it could be?
Then (what a coincidence, eh?) the hand that directs the caca-andante reflections brings us the newest version of matrix reloaded; I mean, the new rant agaisnt Yoani Sánchez –with Hilda Molina metida en el potaje, in the prologue of a book probably dedicated to Evo “Cabeza de Melón” Morales.
Can someone, please, explain me what does global warming have to do with food contamination?, so I don't need to ask what does the c... have to do with the congress?
Anyway, one thing is clear; Yoani Sánchez is, indeed, en el pico de la piragua. Cuban bloggers out there –no matter what your stance is about Yoani, we have to keep our eyes opened and watch closely. As each day passes, la cama que le están preparando becomes even more dangerous.
In our voices might lies her safety.
But the best comes at the end: here is Yoani's husband's response the attacks against his wife. Magistral.
FYI, want to see the photos or the video of the mummy? Fine with me, but go to another of the thousand places that are dancing around the ghost with today’s news. I won’t bring that crap image over this blog. (I want to prevent my kiddo to have nightmares in the future, you know).
Jun 17, 2008
Esa es la noticia que hoy nos llega desde el país de la siguaraya.
Una ejemplarizante operación contra las fábricas artesanales donde los merolicos cubanos llevan años haciendo maravillas para que los cubanos de a pie tengan un bendito jarro donde calentar, aunque sea una vez al mes, el cafecito ligado con chícharos.
Con expedientes policiales y multas incluidas.
Ya saben que el factor terror no puede faltar.
Ay, Dios, mío, las cosas que pasan en el país de la siguaraya.
Aquí, del otro lado del charco, yo me pregunto: ¿realmente son tan anormaloides, mononeuronales y estúpidos que no se dan cuenta que son un reverendo fracaso?
Sí señor, a los de allá arriba, un F-R-A-C-A-S-O con letras mayúsculas.
This is such a transition. These are so groundbreaking reforms…
Debería darles vergüenza.
Pero no, that would be asking too much from them.
Jun 13, 2008
Well, the news today, which shouldn't surprise us at all, is that Obama, "el enviado del cielo", said on national TV the problem is not the rising cost of gas, the problem is that they rose too fast.
In other words, that we Americans, need and "adjustment process" to the new ridiculously high prices of gas. In Cubano that would be more or less like, "OK, te voy a meter el pie, pero despacito, you know, con calma, pa'que te me vayas adaptando".
What else are going to hear / see until November?
I don't even want to imagine it.
H/T to Babalú Blog
Just take a look at the words of this young Cuban actor, recently arrived to Miami. We’re very close in age (although I won’t say mine) and our arrival to the US is separated merely by seven years. The golden nugget?
"Los jóvenes cubanos de hoy no nacimos bajo el encantamiento de la figura de Fidel Castro”… "Sentimos la falta de libertad y reclamamos el derecho a elegir nuestro futuro''.
The philosophy we grew up with –after your “eyes-opening” given experience?
“Lamentablemente, la única salida en Cuba es la salida''
In other words, most of us see or used to see our fatalistic luck, referring to castro’s inc, as “a nosotros esto nos cayó del cielo”, you know, we inherited it “de jamón”.
The sure solution was, and still is, to leave that hellhole. A fin de cuentas, we are not going to be the first ones to follow that route.
Is that right? Is that wrong? I don't know; I'm none to judge.
But the fact is that it was lo que nos tocó vivir.
Then, inevitably, I remember the worst years of the “special period”, specifically July and August, when the summer and the heat are bestial in Cuba.
We were living 8 hours with electricity and 8 hours without it, on a rotating basis. (And we lived in the capital; my relatives in Pinar del Río were without electricity for 16-20 hours in a row).
I used to got nuts –almost literally, screaming on top of my lungs, in the middle of the stairs of my soviet-style-block multifamily building: “Hay que irse de esta m….” “Me voy aunque sea para Burundi”. Funny, short after that we started seeing in the news the civil struggle in Burundi.
Meanwhile, my poor mother wouldn’t stop to pull me from my arm, telling me: “Niña, cállate la boca, que te van a meter presa”. I think I was lucky that none of the chivatos del barrio thought I was becoming a “social pre-dangerous” individual.
By then I was almost half of my career in law school (in the distance education program, you know, all by myself, so nobody could come later to tell me that I owe my university career to anyone; no social service required, BTW) and I started to realize that what I was studying and answering in my tests was nowhere close to the reality. Things didn’t add up, you know, no me cuadraba la caja con el billete. Y se hizo la luz…
If you read Yoani's post about the hand that throws the palitos chinos, you'll see it's not only the filólogos, it's an entire generation that has been spreaded all over the world. I have classmates living in Germany, LA, Chile, Spain... and I've also know of some that died in the Florida Strait.
Everything is so familiar!
I also wanted to study journalism, but I was not awarded any of the five choices of careers that I requested. Not matter the good grades in HS and the good grades in the admission tests.
I also knew I had to leave. I knew it since day one.
The difference is that I don't have what is required to go back, like she did.
His testimonies about the realities of the Isla de Pinos prison, las tapiadas de la cárcel de Boniato, La Cabaña, el Combinado del Este, at some point are strong enough to leave you speechless.
For me it’s still really hard to process all that information. Not because I don’t believe it, but because sometimes it's hard to believe the reality of the society I grew up in is such a cruel one. Unfortunately, that's the real one.
Now more than ever I feel that those men and women deserve our highest honors for daring to opposed castro’s scheme since day one, and for still being there, speaking up against the regimen.
I just wish I would have known earlier…(and there I go again, with my cantaleta about how robbed and fooled I feel for being born and raised in that “hombre nuevo” generation. What a crap!)
Anyway, through Valladares book, I found really amazing how a man can learn to dominate the fear trusting his strength to God. But, on top of all that, I discovered a love story. A love story that you don’t quite find often in this live of ours.
However, there is a reaction deep in mind that I’ve been noticing while reading this book and the others that I have included in my re-education program.
With “Against all hope” it’s been really stronger, because I still have some blurred memories in my mind of when the regimen broadcasted the footage of Valladares in the hospital (or jail, I can’t remember the details).
I was a kid, I think that in elementary school, but I do remember that the message was to let us know he was a liar and that he was just pretending to be unable to walk. Obviously, the regimen was portraying itself as being super fair and benevolent for providing him with medical care.
I wondered who this man was and why those footage were filmed with hidden cameras. They were in black and white (as our tv at home) and the images were pretty bad. Then, as usual with castro’s campaigns, everything vanished and there were no more words about him.
And there is also the reaction of thinking that I lived in Alamar, in a zone that is basically across the street form el Combinado del Este. It terrifies me to think how many horrors where taking place so close to my house, my entire family, my neighborhood.
It is also shocking to learn about the murders and tortures in La Cabaña, the place where I used to work while until a left Cuba. It’s a weird thing. A very weird feeling.
There you are, reading the description of the physical places in the book and, as an involuntary reflex, you are trying to map out in your mind where that place is, or if you were ever close to it while you were working in La Divina Pastora, totally clueless about all the blood that was shed between those ancient walls.
You read about the little bridge and the arms deposit and I can’t help to think in El Polvorín, that was a bar when I used to work there.
I read about the paredón and I can’t help to think if may be I was in that place, during that celebration when I was like 11 or 12 years old. It took place not in the side where the restaurants are, but in the side that back then only the military has access to it.
A group of outstanding students from my school –destacados, were invited to this military ceremony or parade. I don’t even remember exactly what it was for. It was in an open space inside the military part of the fortress, surrounded by ancient and thick walls. Far away in one side, there were things that now I supposed are las galeras. All that was being repaired to become a museum.
I was selected to read a proclamation at the beginning of the ceremony and everyone was pretty nervous, running here and there, speculating if fidel or raúl would arrive at the very last minute. (Man, we were so naïve back then!). I went up there and read it and when I turned to my side, there he was, raúl with su cara de curda. Go figure!
The ceremony ended, we (the kids) all were fed a very nice merienda and shipped back to our school. Borrón y cuenta nueva and everybody was very happy.
Those are the things that clogg my mind when I read these testimonies.
I’m glad that I now leave in a free society where I can read all the sides of any given story, and make my own conclusions. Sometimes is sad to see clearly how I was fooled and lied to, but I’m thankful to God, the Providence or whoever is up there for having opened my eyes about to the truth of the revolution after I graduated from high school.
I just wish I would have done it earlier; but again, someone up there is designing your path, and there is nothing that you can do to avoid it.
Just found you can download a condensed version of the book, in pdf, here. Now, a different though as a closing note: what a useless and hypocrite organization the UN is! –but that’s a topic for another post.
Jun 10, 2008
And one of them is the sight of the numbers rolling in the pump every time I have to fill the tank.
MDH and I have to commute 45 min, ida y vuelta, to go to work every day. We live in a budget. Every time I go groceries shopping, the bill is bigger, bigger and bigger. I am the type of woman that clips coupons for everything and hold tight to my list. I rarely buy anything that is on full price. We have a kiddo that wears Pampers and whose gallons of milk last day and a half. In this country, having and driving a car is a need, not a luxury. MDH and I both work full time and hold another part-time teaching job because we don't want to inherit Nicolás with a bunch of credit card debts. For Christ's sake! We even switched the cars because I am the one that drives more; I'm now with the Caliber ortopédico and MDH is with the Tucson.
Therefore, when I put together all the thoughts that I've stated above, I can't help to wonder (and yes, feel confused about) why do I have to keep paying the rising costs of gas. Where is the final cap? Caballeros, hasta cuándo y hasta dónde vamos a llegar?
Then I find the most complete, detailed and hilarious explanation --vía Babalú Blog-- in the words of Pepe Peña, a character that I never met in the original TV series, but that I'm now gladly discovering.
His explanations of the rising gas prices and the global warming stuff are... priceless.
Not being enough, he now brings some stats, you know, for those that need numbers to support statements. (And for those of us that need those numbers to repel some statements)
What can I tell you?
I'm just a rookie citizen trying to learn in order to reduce the confusion, and to survive every time I head to the gas station.
Lo que menos necesito en estos momentos es que me de un patatú.
I have a child to raise...
I have to keep it cool...
Hummmmm (I might need to learn some yoga to cope)
H/T to Babalú Blog
Jun 6, 2008
While putting together some thoughts to post about my latest reading, "Cómo llegó la noche", by Huber Matos, I stompped with this interview Juan Gonzáles Febles did with him, for Cubanet.
And I've been amused, one more time, by his testimony. There is no way to tell you the things I've discovered reading his memoirs.
Amid people who say bad and good things about him --I still haven't met someone that, one way or the other, hasn't been fooled by the castro's machine... lucky those who opened their eyes one time and escaped alive to tell their stories-- after reading the book I was left with a feeling of having met someone consecuente con sus principios, con todas las de la ley.
As a young child, I lived in Camaguey. And, among some blurred memories from my surroundings and the people back there, I remember his name was pronounced as a whisper. I had no idea why or whom they were talking about. Now I know. Now I understand the whispering.
I don't know if this Cuba's re-education program is gonna make me any good, or if it's going to make it worse. But when you read stories like this, you reach a dimension where you really realize the evil and terror that Cuba has suffered for half a century. And how your family, your relatives, your friends and yourself have been just un grupo de peones en la mesa de ajedrez.
It is unavoidable, for a person like me, from the generation of "el hombre nuevo", the process of going back and re-examine everything you were taught, everything you were told, everything you've always heard.
It is also unavoidable the sense of being robbed. The feeling that a bunch of scumbags stole you entire life, twisting the reality you've know since you were born.
And it is a lesson. A cold turkey lesson of the prisons in Cuba, of the terror story of El Presidio Modelo, a macabre lesson of the evil that lies behind the royal pieces of the so called Cuban revolution.
This book is a must. And I am extremely glad to know that is been circulating in the island. People need to know. The Cuban people needs to read zillion of testimonies like this.
Para no perder la costumbre, I'm now reading "Against all hope", by Armando Valladares.
They have to be evaluated by the Cenesex first. Not your doctor of choice, but the organization under the government's ruling --and leaded by raúl's daugther-- that takes care of those issues.
Hasta ahora el Cenesex ha diagnosticado transexuales a 27 personas y tiene en estudio a otras 57. De las primeras, 13 cambiaron su carnet de identidad oficial y siete lo están tramitando. Una de las diagnosticadas fue operada en 1988, bajo una autorización especial, y vive como mujer.
Que alguien me diga...
Can someone, please, explain me why the surgeries were not authorized before?
And, entre col y col, could someone also throw some info on why individuals with a sexual orientation different from heterosexuals were hunted down? Why castro's inc established the UMAP? Who gave them the righ to define what type of sex life Cubans should follow?
Oh, God, those confusions of mine!
H/T Penúltimos Días
Especially, when someone does to you a huge favor, adivinando tus pensamientos and writing about them, so you don't have to work it all from the scratch. (Am I becoming a lousy blogger? Well, may it's just that it's Friday and I am in need of some Happy Hours)
The favor comes from Babalú Blog, as we hear that Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez said in a interview that she's for Obama.
I totally agree she is free to think, and said and support whoever she wants --even though when that "free-thinking" is usually a chimera when you live in Cuba. (That's why we are here in the first place!)
But Val's reflexions at this post are the ones that struck me the most, since they summarize most of the thoughts that have been clogging the mind of this "less than expert-citizen-in-election-year".
I do want changes, but not that type of change. And no matter what, I'll admire Yoani's courage unless she proves me wrong. Because respecting differences is what makes a democracy.
Now, all of the sudden, I feel I am a little bit less confused.
Jun 5, 2008
An independent coalition of Cuban farmers is asking the government for an agrarian reform. Didn’t this happened –according to what I was taught in school back in Cuba, during the wonderful first five years of the “revolution”? Boy, there is something really whacked in the (version of) history I’ve learned. I guess I’ll need to re-educate myself, pronto.
Then, I read that the International Republican Institute conducted a clandestine survey in Cuba and The New York Times goes over it. The majority said their biggest concerns were in the range of economics and dealing with a grueling stomach. And there are people surprised that only a 10% mentioned the lack of political freedom as the main problem facing the country.
Is the NYT surprised? I'm not.
Dude, have you read lately what happens to those who dare to speak against the regimen under raúl, the munificent reformer? With all the secrecy of the survey, do you really think people didn’t run risks by answering while being closely watched by el comité and who knows how many more ñángaras?
But, what struck me the most is that they call the study “rare”. I guess I need to deepen on the concept of rare. Can someone, please. shed me some light on this?
Last but not least, I am deeply concerned with my debut in my the presidential elections in November. I’ve said before it was not what I have in mind. At. All.
In the past few days, I’ve been under the impression that all these images of… ejem… (clear my throat) Obama, are looking way too familiar. Eureka! Michelle Malkin got it for me.
Not that I am surprised at all with the similitude. But you’ve heard the saying, “If looks red, smells like red, looks like Che and is endorsed by barbatruco, then it’s more surely a commie tapiñao”.
Pero eso no es todo. No, qué va! There is more to be added to my confused state of mind: che "the butcher of La Cabaña" heirs, after living la vida como Rockefeller, are asking respect for their father's image and talking against its commercial use.
Would you, please, give the heads-up to the useful idiots, including Hollywood & Co.?
H/T to Penúltimos Días, Uncommon Sense and Michelle Malkin.
Jun 3, 2008
Montaner comments on Mega TV are here and here.
In his latest column, Montaner give us details on how and why Barredo wants more blood.
I wonder what would be Yoani's response; or more interesting, when did she even heard of Montaner for the first time.