May 30, 2010

Cuban political prisoners will not accept conditioning of their release

Angel Moya Acosta, Cuban political prisoner sentenced to 20 years during the Black Spring of 2003 puts it simple: Dignity and Decorum - we will not accept any conditions to our release.

Moya is the president of the Movement for Democracy and Freedom for Cuba and is speaking up against the blatant attempt of blackmail the Castro regimen is trying with the Ladies in White, asking them to split from their support ladies if they want to see their loved ones among the released - which is still something to be seen anyway.

Blackmail anyone?

Via Baracutey Cubano, here his is original letter in Spanish.  A free English translation, courtesy of *yours truly*:

Combinado del Este prison, Havana, May 27th, 2010

* * *
If my freedom depends on the Ladies in White and the support ladies stop doing what they have been doing for the past seven years, because the repressive regimen is imposing this condition on the, I won’t accept it because it is humiliating, denigrating and immoral.

Whoever accepts freedom under this type of conditions, well, it his problem. We all have the right to fight and demand from the regime the freedom to all Cuban political prisoners, but we must do it with dignity and decorum.

To ask this from women that for seven tough venturesome years have fought for the freedom of Cuban political prisoners with courage, honor, dignity all the right moral reasons in this world, is totally unacceptable.

To accept this condition from the 21st department of the State Security’s police is immoral and embarrassing. The freedom of Cuban political prisoners will not bear any type of condition. The only ones who accept humiliating conditions in order to be free are pervert criminals.

Support ladies are an inseparable part of the Ladies in White; the represent the Cuban people that have joined us in this fight. Through their example, dignity and courage, they set a precedent for men to break loose from the chains of fear and join the struggle.

Click here to keep reading

May 28, 2010

Obama, Sestak, and the centuries old Chicago Machine

Michael Ramirez summarizes it pretty well in IBD:

Once in the family, always in the family...

As an updated footnote, one only needs to add that the White House didn't try to bribe Sestak; they only sent Bill Clinton to explore if he would be open to a bribe, I mean, an unpaid advisory position.

Really? That's a big difference, no?

And let's not even go to Colorado's version of My Big, Corrupt, Chicago Wedding!

Now, back to regular programming...
Where were we? Ah!, Sí... the most transparent administration ever, in this new era of hopeandchange. We have nothing to worry about; after all, it's Bush's fault!

May 26, 2010

Mexico's hypocrisy and double standard

Aside from any opinion one may have about the recent state legislation approved in Arizona regarding immigration, there is one thing that should be crystal clear for every person in this planet:

Felipe Calderon and his government representatives have absolutely no business criticising a law written and approved by American legislators.

Because that would be the uttermost example of hypocrisy and double standard a person could ever show.

This article I found in USA Today online has more than one example of facts that support my opinion, beyond the countless personal testimonies I've heard from people from Central America and Cubans that have escaped the tropical gulag and have had to use Mexican territories to get to the USA.

I mean, I've seen - literally - clinical cases of post traumatic stress disorder caused by violent experiences individuals have suffered while being kidnapped by Mexican officials while trying to get to the US border.

Here is a preview:

... in Mexico, illegal immigrants receive terrible treatment from corrupt Mexican authorities, say people involved in the system. And Mexico has a law that is no different from Arizona's that empowers local police to check the immigration documents of people suspected of not being in the country legally.
"There (in the United States), they'll deport you," Hector Vázquez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, said as he rested in a makeshift camp with other migrants under a highway bridge in Tultitlán. "In Mexico they'll probably let you go, but they'll beat you up and steal everything you've got first."  

“Shakiras”, torture and the “non-existent” political prisoners in Cuba UPDATE

Luis Felipe Rojas (Crossing the barbed wire) is a Cuban blogger that writes from Holguin about pretty much everything that happens in Cuba’s Eastern provinces.

Today, he bring us a heart-wrecking post with a conversation he had with a man who served four years in Guantanamo's Province Prison for trying to leave the country.

English version of Rojas' post here.
Anderlay Guerra Blanco served four years in prison for trying to escape Cuba. Photo from Crossing the Barbed Wire

Yep, in case you haven’t notice, in Cuba you go to jail if you try to leave the plantation without the master’s permission.

The interviewed painfully describes the “Shakira”, who is not by any means the Colombian singer whose hips don’t lie. (The original post in Spanish is here)

No. He is talking about a method of torture currently used in several Cuban prisons, especially against political prisoners.

Here is a milder demonstration:

An excerpt, in my very own free translation:

"The "Shakira" is the worst method of torture that I saw in that place. Since the individual is handcuffed with both hands and feet tied to his back, and later is thrown in the dirty floor of a punishment cell, he is left in an extremely uncomfortable position. When he tries to make any movement, the only part of his body that moves are his hips. Can you imagine the irony?

They have established the parallel with the singer that happily dances, moving her hips in a very peculiar way, with the way the inmate copes with the pain and the uncomfortable position. I saw men there who urinated and defecated in that position because they were being held like that for 24 or 48 hours.

There is even a variation of the "Shakira" where the inmate is literally hung from the ceiling of the punishment cell, through the chains between the handcuffs. This lacerates the skin, leaving permanent scars in wrists and ankles.

When the guards decide they want to punish someone, first of all, they handcuff the man like that and then, beat him up before putting him in the punishment cell in that position. That's why I told you it is humiliating for everyone, but the cruelty is worse when it is a prisoner that it is there for political reasons, or when the inmate shouts off against the government or when they engage in hunger strikes to demand to be taken to a doctor or what they call "their [political] prisoner's rights.

Besides, there are different variations of that same torture. The chain that ties hands and feet can be lengthened or shortened. The shorter they leave it, the inmate can only rest his chest in the dirty, humid and putrid floor they share with insects and rodents."

I can’t help to wonder WHERE are those that over the world raised their voices against water boarding and the tortures against jihadists in Gitmo.

Not that I justify it – that’s a topic for a whole different conversation - but, WHERE are their voices when the victims are just Cuban political prisoners?

WHERE are their progressive, liberal, politically correct, humanitarian, considerate, just, fair and moderate voices condemning the tortures against Cuban political prisoners in the hands of Castro’s thugs?

And the United Nations and et-al?

And the MSM that have news bureaus there?

And the intellectuals, Michael “Sicko” Moores and Congressional Black Caucus that drool over the buttock-less old “dear leader”?

And all those that in the floor of the US Congress recently applauded Cuban legislators – completely out of scope – resolution against Arizona?

I better don’t even go there…like cheap whores – actually, worst than them - they always end up in bed with the dictatorship.

Your silence is deafening.

May 25, 2010

Update on rabid Cuba's consul in Norway

... developing, scroll down for more updates...

Via Punt de Vista and Twitter (#Norway #perra #mordida #consul), here is my freely-translated version of the latest updates:

The Cuban consul in Oslo that bit a peaceful protester in her hand is in deep trouble, which her canine narrow mind – I apologize to all smart dogs out there, barf! – could never anticipate.

The news of the aggression towards Alexandra Joner, @AlexandraJoner, -Norwegian girl of Cuban descent that is a model, singer and actress- during last Saturday protest in front of the Cuban consulate in Oslo went viral online during the weekend and this morning, was being reported in all major news in Norway

Alexandra Joner
Close up of the bite
The Cuban consul faces being declared persona non grata in Norway, along with her husband, ambassador Rogerio Santana:

Although the Norwegian authorities have not made an official declaration yet, Barbara Joner, the mother of the young woman attacked by the Cuban consul hopes that she will be expulsed from the country. This morning, the mother of the girl went to a police station to file a forma complaint against the Cuban consul. She said in Norway an aggression of this kind is “unacceptable”.

She mentioned that, by the way the incident is being handled by the press; this has become a “national scandal”. Therefore, she believes this will lead to a diplomatic confrontation between the two countries. “There is no other way around than the expulsion, and we are only waiting for the bureaucratic process to be finished to have her, finally, expulsed from the country,” said Barbara Joner. A friend that his helping the Joners with their official complaints said that in Norway’s environment, the fact the consul approached the young girl, intimidated her and used (some of the worst Cuban-style) slurs is seen as a gravely offensive attitude that does not meet the standards of international diplomacy at all.

Norwegian officials are formally demanding the expulsion of both, the rabid Castro’s representative and her husband, who is the ambassador in Oslo:

In a popular news morning show, God Morgen Norge, Jan Tore Sanne, a conservative politician in the Norwegian parliament said he will not accept a mere setter of protest from the Foreign Relations department to the Cuban embassy, nor any sort of apologies. He stated he will demand the expulsion of both the Cuban consul and her husband.

This woman was never able to calculate the consequences of her communist class act. As expected, last night she started backpedaling and is trying to twist the story, saying that Alexandra Joner attacked her first:

“She attacked me”, said the Cuban diplomat, whose name is Carmen Julia Guerra, during an interview with this TV channel. And while she was being nice giving her explanations to the media, she was being depictive towards Alexandra and her mother, Barbara Joner, both also present during the interview.

If you thought that Castro's thugs were in Cuba only, think again. They are everywhere, posing a hazard risk for diplomatic relations everywhere.

What its worse, nor them or their idiot enablers in Havana want to see the reality that is slapping them in their faces: they can not censor YourTube, Twitter, cell phone vids and freedom of speech on the Internet.

Their Nurenberg will probably be hosted online and their demise will come dressed up as a blue bird, with a .com tag on it.

TIP - If you need to request a visa to the Cuban consulate in Oslo in the near future, and would like to inquire whether you'll need a rabies shot prior to the appointment, the consulate phine number is
011-47-2308-3260 (H/T Penultimos Dias)

Via Guama - jokes to last an entire month...

Close up of CUJA, the murderer -Cuban- dog.

A video clip of Laila Samuels, interpreting "Nineteen", where Alexandra Joner plays a role.

And a priceless traditional Cuban rhyme dedicated to the b%^$#! - too bad it can't be translated!

May 24, 2010

Beware of the dog...err... the Cuban diplomat -UPDATE

On Saturday May 22nd, the Cuban consul in Norway (who happens to be the wife of the Cuban ambassador in that country) bit the hand of a Cuban-Norwegian young woman who was filming a protest in front of the consulate. The girl, Alexandra Joner, is a Norwegian singer are dancer, born to Cuban parents.

The protesters, a small group of people dressed in white, where holding hand-made signs demanding freedom for Cuba's political prisoners. YouTube Exhibit #1 here. (H/T to Marc, via Twitter - @marcmasferrer)

Stay classy, communist b%$#&! -- no pun intended ;-)

Apparently, this is not the first rabid incident involving the furry couple that are supposed to be acting as representatives of Castro's diplomacy...

UPDATE: an audio file with an interview of the bitten girl's mother, Barbara Joner, in Spanish, via Punt De Vista.

Garrix has an easy-to-read graphic explanation of Cuba's School of Foreign Relations best practices on recruiting:

Vet's Office: "'s from the Cuban Embassy... they want to check if we can deworm two of their officials..."

Let's see... we need an assistant for the consul, two embassadors... *

Canine Division: So... were you also called by Minrex? *

* MINREX= Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores / Office or department of foreign relations.

Cuba's escape's valve technique, revisited

I've come to dislike the word “reflection”. You can put the blame on Castro and his decrepit constant misuse of it – but that’s not important right now. After all the rumors and online buzz about the talks between the Cuban government and the Catholic Church to release the political prisoners, a reflection is a must.

I’d like to start stating that I am immensely happy for the (so far unconfirmed in its details) news that sick Cuban political prisoners will be transferred to jails located in their home provinces. That will be a huge relief for their families. Unofficial reports stated that by today, 15-18 sick prisoners would be transferred...

There are a lot of people who deserve credit for this news. (Sorry, personally I think the Catholic hierarchy and the government thugs are NONE of them).

The Ladies in White, Guillermo Fariñas and Orlando Zapata Tamayo – who paid the ultimate price giving his life for his position – are the first ones that come to mind. All of them who fought, and still fight, against the windmills deserve credit. 

Together, they’ve worked put Castro’s communist dictatorship on the spot, to destroy their fake PR-ready image that communist Cuba is a paradise. They have had to – at least indirectly – acknowledge the regime have political prisoners. Their useless kabuki theater is falling apart...

I hate to break up the celebrations but, please, make no mistake: this does not change an iota the fact that in Cuba, there is no freedom to dissent. Daring to think different is still criminalized by the Castro’s government. The unjust reasons why these men were jailed in the first place are still intact.

A full and complete celebration and honoring of Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s (and so many others’) death will take place only when freedom of speech, and freedom to dissent, returns to the streets of the island.

While there is intolerance and repression towards those who think differently, I can’t help to see this as just another move of smoke and mirrors. “But at least is some sort of relief for the prisoners and its families!” some will tell me. Yes. That it is true. But it is not over yet.

Unless all political prisoners are released, there are free elections and freedom to politically organize outside the government’s line, and freedom to dissent so Cubans don’t have to be imprisoned for daring to talk and think different, acts like this won’t be nothing beyond a valve for the regimen to release some of the steam that has been building up in Cuba for quite a few years now.

Almost fifteen years have past since the last rafter’s crisis – it’s an open secret that it is the regimen preferred method to release the steam that their failed society keeps building up. (It seems that, for now, they are not considering showering Obama with another “gift”, although I wouldn’t take for granted it).

As of Monday afternoon, via Penultimos Dias (Spanish), I learned that there are no official reports of the transfers yet and Europa Press is reporting that the Cuban government keep pushing the Ladies in White to split from their group of "support ladies" [Cuban women dress in white that accompany them in their Sunday's marches] in exchange of benefits for their jailed relatives. I don't know in Europe, but in plain cubano, that is called chantaje (blackmail).

On the other hand, sources from the Catholic Church in Cuba are saying they have "never talked about an specific timeframe" for this measures...

For me, this move only means a patch of low-dose Tylenol for a patient with a terminal brain cancer. Nothing will really change until you completely remove the sucker from the victim’s head. And if you aim to save his life, you better do it stat!

May 20, 2010

Today is Cuba's Independence Day

Hundred and something years ago, my homeland saw the birth of its first Republic, and started a dream.
A dream shattered in pieces on January 1st, 1959, when Castro and his communist thugs took over the country and betrayed every single idea from that Republic that was, by the way, founded in principles very similar to those our Founder Fathers laid down for the United States.
I have a dream

This Cubanita in super-busy today, but I've been attending the virtual march to celebrate Cuba's independence day in Twitter. You can follow me @cbntaRMNP and the hashtags #20mayo, #OZT and #ZapataVive

Viva Cuba Libre!

May 17, 2010

The real failure of communism in Cuba

Yesterday, in the middle of a busy Mom Sunday, I splurged myself with a few minutes in Twitter and found this article in the Gainsville Times, where Frank Norton Jr. describes his experience during a recent trip to Cuba. He describes pretty well what for me, is not news because it was my daily life up until almost ten years ago.
"Underground capitalism: Throughout our visit, we've seen small flares of capitalism: the man selling pizzas out of his basement; an elderly gentleman dressing three dachshunds in hats, coats and sunglasses charging $1 per picture; the Cuban Coco cabs that charged $6 a trip; vendors in the crafts shops selling carved ebony statues or colorful canvases. Capitalism is alive, thriving actually, in the deep bowels of Cuban life. Capitalism may even be the dark underbelly of successful communism. In a totalitarian state, the underground micro economy keeps the engine running and the populous content and fed."
Where I disagree with him? Well, when he started repeating the broken record on who’s to blame for the shameful state of a country that was ahead of the region five decades ago.

[Introduce here my deja vu thinking I was reading Granma or watching la mesa redonda (round table]
“Cuba has learned to recycle, out of embargo necessity.”
Excuse me, but Cuba has learned to recycle out of communism-induced misery and chronic scarcity. Cubans are some of the most miserable individuals in the region thanks to the failed economic policies of socialism, despite having been constantly fed by the former Soviet Union, the East European communist and now, Hugo "Monkey" Chavez -with his 200 Twitter assistants - petrodollars.
“The embargo: Our days passed and our opinion of the anti-Castro embargo has changed. It does not hurt Castro or his oblivious government; it hurts the children, old men and women and everyone in between.”
"The children, the old men and women and everyone on between" that are tied to the communist elite of Cuba’s Communist Party, high rank military officials, high class intellectuals a-la-Silvio Rodriguez and those who have relatives living in exile and sending them hard currency are not hurting. For Christ's sake, not even THE Cubans living in Cuba believe that story of the embargo anymore!

I’ve seen, personally, some in those ranks living in Cuba like any middle class family would live here. There is no embargo when you have connections.

The ones that do not fit in any of the above categories are the ones really hurting, and not precisely by the embargo. American credits to the communist dictatorship WILL NOT change an iota of their misery.

If what is left of the embargo is gone tomorrow, regular Cubans will continue recycling our of necessity, will continue starving with the rationed food that lasts only the first two weeks of the month, kids will continue not having milk after age seven through the rationing book, and their parents will continue stealing from their workplaces and trading in the black market in order to eat the remaining two weeks of the month.

And all that, while American taxpayers – in the era of hope and change, government bailouts and power grabs - subsidize the defaulted unpaid credits extended to the plantation’s owners.

However, there is another face of Cuba that Mr. Norton didn’t mention. Maybe he didn't see it... who knows?

(Click here to keep reading)

May 14, 2010

Ideological subversion and disdain are killing the US

It is not about lack of historical memory anymore. It is not about the uber liberal hypocrisy and double standards. Or being a brain-washed sycophant bred in an American college.

It is WAY more than that when you see the fact that a given management / PR company lighted up the Empire State Building to celebrate China’s communist murderer regimen, while refuses to light the darn building in white in blue to celebrate what would have been Mother’s Theresa 100 birthday.

Sorry, Mother, you're not evil enought to deserve being honored
(Photo from AP)

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro tried to investigate the story for, and he wonders:

"If the Third Reich had survived World War II, would the Empire State Building have felt “honored” to illuminate the building in red to commemorate the night Adolf Hitler burned the Reichstag to the ground and started a Nazi revolution in Germany? Would anyone be proud of the relationship between our countries and our people then? I highly doubt it. For some reason, (and I have to imagine that reason is the indoctrination of ultra-leftism at American universities and from Hollywood), we have conveniently forgotten about the brutality and human rights violations committed by communist states. Somewhere along the line communism became heroic and even fashionable. If that seems like a stretch, check out the T-shirts produced by popular rock band Rage Against the Machine that champion Che Guevara. Apparently, fascist dictatorships are evil, but communist ones are acceptable, and that kind of rationale in itself is unacceptable. In reality, Communism has been responsible for the slavery and oppression of hundreds of millions of innocent people. That’s why citizens of many communist states like China, Cuba and the former Soviet Union risk their lives to escape. Communism in all forms is evil and should never, ever be honored under any circumstances. To honor communism is to honor evil."

Have at it - I strongly recommend a barf bag.

Memo to the socialistoids, communistoids and idiot liberals in America:
Charity = good.
Communism = EVIL.

Will you EVER finally get it?

#ZapataVive on Twitter on May 15th - UPDATE

[scroll down for updates]

Please, join us!
This is our plea to the world and our call for solidarity:

Saturday May 15th is the birthday of Orlando Zapata Tamayo. Had he been alive, he would have turned 43 years old, probably in one of those jails where the Castro regime tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress him and from where he escaped once and for all last February 23rd.

In Banes, in the eastern Cuban province of Holguín, the political police have a permanent siege on Zapata Tamayo’s mother’s house, to prevent her from celebrating the memory of OZT, his example of rebelliousness against totalitarianism and his total devotion to the cause of freedom in Cuba. In the cemetery where he rests, the political police have tried to erase his name from his tombstone and they have also posted surveillance guards at the foot of a nearby pine tree to prevent people from coming close to his graveyard and to make them forget he ever existed.

But we have bad news for the Castro brothers and their sinister police: starting on the eve and throughout May 15th, we will celebrate the life of Orlando Zapata Tamayo. And we are going to do it with the same words with which his mother and the Ladies in White invoke him:

¡Zapata Vive! (Zapata is alive!) These women carry in themselves the will of many Cubans of being free.

This is an open invitation, and the meeting point is Twitter: #ZapataVive will be the hashtag. We will also use #OZT y #Cuba. Let’s make the conversation about Cuba on May 15th a conversation about Zapata Tamayo. Let’s not allow his flame to go out until the dawn of a free Cuba.

Numbers do make a difference here. If you want to join us celebrating the life of Zapata on his birthday, we invite you to link in Twitter, between the 14th and the 15th, articles, comments, drawings, songs, videos and any other material that has appeared in traditional media, blogs, Youtube, Myspace, Facebook and other social networking sites. Post what you have written and what others have written as well. And don’t forget to add #ZapataVive, #OZT and #Cuba on each tweet. Let’s welcome May 15th, Zapata Tamayo’s birthday, with a message of freedom for Cuba.

Keep us posted on anything that is published on the subject by emailing us at We will post updates on the evolution of the event. The goal is for the #ZapataVive hashtag to become one of the “trending topics” on Twitter on May 15th.

Let our voices get to the Cubans who seek their freedom. And let them reach the ears of the tyrant. Starting on Friday, May 14th and throughout the 15th: ¡Zapata Vive! The hashtags: #ZapataVive, #OZT, #Cuba.

Spread the word!

H/T to Aguaya at Dessarraigos Provocados

Orlando Zapata Tamayo's grave in Banes, Holguin, has been desecrated.
H/T Babalú Blog / Via Twitter #OZT #ZapataVive

Civic resistance lesson for Americans

For quite a few weeks now, a fellow blogger and I – both free Americans, after escaping from communist countries – have been ranting at the indifference so many people around us have towards the path this nation is going under the current administration.

We feel we are screaming to the top our lungs and nobody is listening.

There are bad days when we think that calling upon the red flags of American being heavily penetrated by socialism in Facebook, Twitter and blogs is completely useless.

There is the frustration of seeing so many young Americans taking their freedom and their rights for granted.

There are days when I personally think, “Darn it, should we really need to have a United Socialist States of America for people to learn the lesson the hard way?”

And there are that bad days when we just want to throw the towel and say: “I’m done.”

But then, unavoidably, I have an epiphany, usually dressed in plain white in the streets of Havana. It is when I look back and see the plea of the Ladies in White, relentlessly standing for their loved ones, against the powerful machine of the communist repression.

(Click here to keep reading)

May 13, 2010

Looking back, longing for home, and not so...

It's been a year since I had to go back to Cuba. Not to sunbathe in the beach, spend my hard-earned dollars in the government-owned hotels or brag about the latest cell phone or pair of shoes. I had to go because my father suffered two heart attacks and – after waiting almost nine months to receive the passport and required (and fully paid) authorizations from the Cuban consular office in Washington, DC – I wanted him to meet my US born son in our homeland.

It was a trip plagued with a mix of heart-breaking sentiments, where more than once I questioned myself, my own principles and those things that I hold dear.

My father and relatives in Cuba met my son for the first time. My cousin who lives in Spain joined us there and we all met, for he first time, her blond galleguita. The four cousins raised together as sisters in Alamar reunited, after 10 years.

Along with being with my Dad and going with him to medical follow-up visits, I mostly stayed home with my family. I went with thousands ideas of stories I wanted to tell in this blog. I thought I could touch base with the life I left behind and then, come back here and write about it. Well, reality proved me wrong. And the fact that both my son and I got sick while there (in the peak of the swine flu scare) didn’t help much either.

For reasons that I don’t fully comprehend I still feel unable to connect the dots to explain in writing everything I saw. From the first paper that I had to request here to travel, to the second I step out of the crappy airport in Havana where the US charter flights arrive, I was completely panicked that they would not allow me to enter the country.

It wouldn’t be the first case anyway, and knowing my fiery personality – now improved/aggravated by my God given First Amendment Rights – I knew I would be walking on eggshells.

As I’ve posted before, I came back disappointed, sad, and hopeless and at some points, yes, mad. This sometimes has made me think that I’ve lost my capacity to deal and overcome adversity… but after three or four days of being in Cuba, after seeing all the relatives that I hadn’t seen for years, I was SO ready to come back, I felt I could built my own inner tubes raft and paddle North ‘till the American shores…I just wanted someone whom to tell “I’m American” and to hear “Welcome home”. I was afraid.

My father finally joined us in the land of the free seven months ago. But I am still afraid for the sake of the others that I left behind. And sometimes, I can not find a logic explanation to it.

So, while this Cubanita still struggles to put together some of those ideas in a logical order – sometimes I am THAT optimistic – I will leave your with the ones that don’t need words.

These are some of the pictures that I took; much less than what I had originally planned because after we got sick, were basically stayed home-bound. But this is, after all, a snippet of what used to be my tiny world in Havana…

The welcoming committee when the airport's doors finally open to the street in Boyeros: slogans, signs, more slogans and more signs, like if you were going to be able to fill out your empty stomach with emptier slogans.

Resourceful: your first lesson for survival in Cuba, from the moment you catch your first breath in at birth.

Sometimes, size DOES matter.

One of the entrances to my former neighborhood in East Havana: Alamar, located 13 km East of downtown Havana and North of the infamous prison Combinado del Este.

(Click here to keep reading)

May 12, 2010

How do you know if you're being forced-fed into socialism?

The easy way out to this question would be by simply paying attention to what Cubans, Russians and Eastern Europeans who lived behind the iron curtain are screaming to the top of their lungs.

For once, it would make sense, since they have lived and suffered the monster of socialism and communism up close and personal, so it is logic that they should know a thing or two about living without freedom and with the government deciding - literally - the number of feminine pads a woman is supposed to use in a month.

But we, human beings, are complex entities. You may not even want to see the easy answer in front of your eyes. And if that's the case, a small summary of facts on how to identify a socialist government and/or president may be in order.

Star Parker has masterfully have put it together in this column:
" There’s a debate going on about whether it’s accurate to call our President a socialist. Here’s what I say. Socialism has three key characteristics, all of which I believe he buys into. "

"First, socialism disdains private property as sacred. Any doubt where our President stands on this? As former Council of Economic Advisors head Greg Mankiw notes regarding the health care bill, the prime motive was not “health per se but ... redistribution of income.”
I would add that yes, socialism disdains private property for everybody but to them: those in the power elites of the communist/socialist parties, the government and the military forces that keep them in power. Private property is despicable, but for only for the repressed masses. Pure double standard. Do as I say, but not as I do.
"Second, socialism puts faith in government social engineering. Just think government health care, government takeovers of banks and car companies, and cap and trade."

Indeed. They take over everything, end up owning everything and then, everything ends up not working.
Just look at Cuba after 50 years of failed economic non-policies and communist misery - again, only for the oppressed masses, never for the elites. Or Venezuela, an oil-rich country that is having...err... blackouts. Imagine yourself living in a nation-wide DMV field office, and you"ll get the picture.
"And third, socialism is godless, secular religion. It sees human redemption in government planning."

I would add that socialism and communism always try to eradicate first the two nuclear forces in society: religion and family. They do that in order to successfully brain-wash the new generations and erase the traditional values that hold nations together and usually are knit-tight to individual liberties.
Castro did it in Cuba when the first ones to be sent to the concentration camps called UMAP were Catholic priests and seminarists. Religion became a curse-word in a nation culturally and traditionally Catholic, where church always played a key role in the civic society.

Christmas trees were prohibited as capitalism's sins and you could go to jail for having one in your house. Things changed a little after Pope Jean Paul II visit to the island in 1992, but the damaged has been already done to three generations of Cubans born after Castro took over. Look at me, born after 1959, and I have no idea what I am supposed to do when I enter a church...
Then he attacked the family and its influence in the raising of its youngsters. In Cuba, you are separated from your parents at the age when you need them the most: in your teen years. Boarding schools with a system of work-study are the norm. (But again, there are always a few privileged that can evade that rule...) And at a young age, you're being told to denounce your parents and relatives if the talk ill about dear leader, the revolution or socialism.
Unfortunately, in this third case, we're already in big trouble in the US: just look at the government take over of public education and how it has become public indoctrination, not to mention the sick communist, anarchist and anti-Republic penetration in American colleges...
Finally, this last step it is crucial because it provides the communist moonbats with the basis for the process of ideological subversion that allows them to entrench in power.
That is, in plain English, sucking up your brain until you're not able to think by yourself and you become a robot-like leech totally depending on the government.
However, there is one thing that we should always keep in mind: the words of the Iron Lady when she said that socialism is great, until you ran out of other's people money.

That's what's happening in Greece. They ran out of other (Greek) people's money and now raided German's money. And when that one is gone, who know whose wallet in Europe will be raided. And I don't even want to think about when they are done emptying out all EU's pockets...

May 10, 2010

Triple celebration on Mother's Day -pic added

On October 2006, I became this super-uber-zealous Cuban mama bear. My son, my three years old Cubanito-in-the-making is, literally, the sunshine of my days.

Yes, I have that type of personality with the four letters, the natural guardian/supervisor that breathe through the breaths of her brood. Guilty as charged.

This Cubanita over here, despite living a lot of changes in the personal relationships department over the last months, never loses sight of the future because of a very simple reason: my son.

I am who I am because of him.
I do what I do because of him. I did what I did thinking of him – even before he was born.
And I keep doing, and I keep going, simply because of him.
So yes, yesterday was a blast and will always be, no matter how old I am or how old he is.

That being said, on Mother’s Day, I also celebrate the biggest turning point of my life – after the birth of my son… or at the same time… anyway, one thing wouldn’t have happened without the other.

Nine years ago, in the wee hours of Mother’s Day, I set foot in the United States for the first time.

Sick, exhausted, scared like never before in my life and full of dreams and real hope, I step in American soil and nervously managed to utter the words: “I am Cuban and I want to request the protection of the US government” – or something like that ;-)

My own mother thought I was taking a few days off from work. I just couldn’t bear the heavy weight of telling her in advance my plan, and have her worried to death precisely on Mother’s Day.

Nine years have passed and Mami and I, now living together again in the land of the free, in the foothills of the Rockies, often joke about it. And she always reminds me that I’ve always been very good to keep secrets, even since I was a little girl.

Yes, I was born in Cuba.
But as I told a Cuban I met in this altitude last week, I am being made in the USA.
As I’ve often posted before, I am that kind of nerd that every single day thanks God for being in this country.

Left behind are those first days in a relative’s modest home in NW Miami, the first driving lessons, the English classes in the Miami Dade Community College REVEST Program, the first language assessment tests, the first job interview, and the countless nights in my little studio apartment in Miami Beach, where I would woke up in the middle of the night, sweating, having nightmares that I was back in Cuba, arrested by the Cuban police that would not allow me to come back to my tiny and penniless corner of freedom in South Beach.

Behind – but not forgotten – are the days in Bayside when I would choke eating an ice cream cone, just by thinking that my little niece and nephew left back in Cuba were not able to enjoy that “luxury”.

Or the unbelievable sense of guilt when buying $9.99 shoes, after doing the math of how much basic food staples would my parents buy with that money in the tropical gulag.

Many things have happened since those first days.

I climbed the ladder to better jobs. I put myself back to school and got my Master in Journalism and Mass Communication at FIU. I relocated out of my beloved Miami homeland, more than one mile high above the sea level – quite a change! (Have I mentioned that I bleed through my nose for three months in a row when I moved to colorful Colorado?)

I “built” a home and a family.
I was able to get both my parents out of that communist hell hole of misery that Cuba has become.

My son was born here and I was blessed with sleepless nights and the endless responsibility of raising a fine and honest human being.

[I was that kind of young “new generation” Cuban female that up to nine years ago, lived up to the mantra I was never going to have children if I had to have them in Cuba]

I became an American citizen in early 2008 and due to a mix of the my own experiences as journalist, my communism-induced post traumatic stress disorder and the environment of the presidential elections, I became more in tune with my political views and my conservative values.

And can proudly say that now I have a better sense of who I am, the things that I hold dear and the principles that I want to pass onto my kid.

I also discovered the blogosphere and have made amazing friendships while doing my modest contribution to the freedom of Cuba and to keep my adopted homeland in the spirit our Founder Fathers envisioned her.

Things have changed lately, but I am still the Captain (la capitana, as my mother says) of this unconventional ship. I can say, with absolutely no regrets, that I have made true the American Dream.

All that has been possible because of a very simple reason: because on that Mother’s Day of 2001, I step a foot in the greatest country on Earth.

For those reasons, and for the many miles I still have to come in my endless journey, Mother’s Day means a whole big deal to me.

I celebrate not only having welcomed my papichulo to my life, but also the simple fact of being in this country, where I first met my right to life, freedom and the pursue of happiness that, ultimately, made possible the birth of my child.

All that on top of endlessly thanking the person behind the scenes that made me a tough cookie: my mother.

May 3, 2010

Obama is like Castro

Yes, he is.

They are both communists opportunists who get high with the mere thought of redistributing wealth - for others, not for them, duh!

Report me, offend me, profile me, denounce me, call me right winger, extremist intransigent -whatever. I was born and raised surrounded by Rapid Response Brigades anyway.

Crazy times we're living in...

And I am getting really tired of this lousy de-ja-vu.