Translator’s note: "Comandante" is a film by Oliver Stone about Fidel Castro
18 October 2014
Translator’s note: "Comandante" is a film by Oliver Stone about Fidel Castro
18 October 2014
22 October 2014
Graphics by El Sexto
The New York Times is not in favor or against the American embargo of the Cuban government. The New York Times is simply in favor of what in every circumstance is most convenient to the Castro regime.
So it was that the New York Times just published this recycled editorial where they ask for an end to the embargo for the 1959th time, even going beyond American law (they are like frogs in the Fidelista fable, demanding of the White Heron that governs at coups of presidential resolution.
So, in addition, the New York Times in a second act to its distracting editorial, opened its plural debate pages to the one thousand and 959 Cubanologists: and so dissolved all the attention to not speak of what is most important now (and has been for two years), Olympianically omitting the presence in the United States of the witness to a double State murder on the part of the Raul and Fidel regime.
In effect, Angel Carromero is in American territory. However, the last reference on the New York Times to this criminal case of the Castro regime was from last year. The complaint of the Payá-Acevedo family, the complicity of the Spanish judiciary and executive with this announced assassination, the violations and mockery of those uniformed in olive-green on the little Island of the Infamous: none of this is Newyorktimesable. They love only the embargo because they know it works like an engine of little lies.
And because of this I don’t have one ounce of respect for the great media. They are killing machines in exchange for majestic salaries. I prefer the tiny voices of the nobodies. The almost anonymous biographies of the redeemers and their blogs with zero commentaries in every post.
So they killed Harold Cepero and Oswaldo Payá, martyrs to a perverse country where a perpetual power stones you and manipulates you to death with impunity. The Cuban Interior Ministry killed them both on Sunday, 22 July 2012, like two nobodies who are now barely doubtful statistics for the Ph.D.-holding experts of the New York Times. In this Manhattan edifice, so chilling in its supposed transparency, I say: Fuck you, New York Times.
But, of course, the debate of our exile, historic or recently arrived, follows the rhyme of the New York Times. Some say: lift it… Other say: keep it… and the arguments in both cases were conceived decades ago by the genocidal hierarchs from Havana.
What is laughable about this debate between dinosaurs is that it keeps the commanderesque mummy of Fidel alive and kicking: the dictator makes us dance the motherfuckers’ conga every time his cadaverous cojones come out.
14 October 2014
MY REPLY TO “A man’s right to choose” by Dana Schwartz in The Brown Daily Herald.
“About a baby’s right to choose” by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, I.W.P. Visiting Fellow Writer, Department of Literary Arts, Brown University.
In her opinion column “A man’s right to choose”, Dana Schwartz, as in all legalist approaches to baby abortion, misses an elementary point: life is by no means a biological burden to life, despite supreme courts —that may come and go with the ages— gender gurus and the political correctness of the more or less fashionableft.
“Every woman should have complete control over her own body and the decision to become a mother.” I couldn’t agree more with Schwartz. But this doesn’t extend to someone else’s body. Unless that the soon-to-be-born baby is deemed devoid of any control over his or her body and, in turn, deemed devoid of the decisions that he or she will never take once medically annihilated.
Modern society seems to have forgotten that babies are also women and men —mothers and fathers of other mothers and fathers to come—, not just sterile statistics for civil vindications. “Reducing the number of unwanted infants” is as simple as reducing the number of irresponsible conceptions.
Schwartz should be consequent enough as to discuss if women, in order not to be forced to become unwanted mothers, should “have the right” to destroy a baby’s body after “it” is born, but being still a part of her body through that last burden called the umbilical cord.
We condemn adult violence in Ferguson. We foster it from the very beginning against our own fetuses.
Original written in English
10 October 2014
MCL (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación / Christian Liberation Movement) in La Razón: “Mr. Pablo Iglesias, There is Poverty in Cuba and Leftist People are Repressed”
How can you deem it a campaign against “Cuba” that family, friends and colleagues of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero demand that these deaths are clarified, deaths that even the Cuban regime has not been able to explain?
The Cuban regime repeatedly blames its problems on “lags of the past” and on the former “bourgeois regime.”
Well then, they are now the past and the new bourgeoisie.
Dear Euro-Deputy, Mr. Pablo Iglesias:
I have had the chance to read—living in a democratic country where both you and I can (yes, we can) say whatever we please—some statements of yours through which you defend the Cuban regime.
In 2002 and 2003, more than 25,000 Cubans signed a citizens lawsuit—legally and constitutionally sound, according to Cuban Law, and known as the “Varela Project”—in which they demanded the basic rights and liberties enjoyed by citizens in democratic countries.
Specifically, the demands of the Varela Project are as follow: freedom of association, freedom of enterprise (for the citizens), amnesty for prisoners of conscience, and the call for a referendum to pass a fair and just electoral law, given that, at present, there can only be one candidate per position, and one who is logically endorsed by the regime.
Many of the undersigned and promoters of this project encountered retaliation and were fired from their jobs and teaching positions. 42 of these promoters were imprisoned and subjected to exile in 2010. This repression was the trigger to the well-known Cuban Spring (“Primavera cubana”).
Their demands continue to be ignored in Cuba. The slightest dissidence against the regime is severely punished. Dissidents continue to be oppressed, their neighbors forced to participate in the so-called Acts of Repudiation or Pogroms, which often end in physical violence. Even people who await permits to work abroad are forced to participate in these repugnant acts to prove their loyalty to the regime.
It is not possible to form associations, it is not possible to publish anything that is not in agreement with the regime, and, least of all, to organize a political party.
The regime, in a more successorial than transitory eagerness, engages itself, today, in bogus economic reforms (which Oswaldo Payá used to call CAMBIO-FRAUDE, or FRAUDULENT-CHANGE) to perpetuate privileges by those known as Cuban economic-military junta, who attempt to switch from the wildest of Communisms to the wildest of Capitalisms, where the poor will be poorer (yes, there are poor people in Cuba; so poor, that they don’t even have the right to say they are poor), and the rich (the members of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP)) will continue to be the only rich.
It is shameless, as shameless as the rebelling pigs in Animal Farm, to move away from what were their mottoes (suffice to remember the emphasis that Fidel would place on the word Capitalism; today, one of his children exhibits his wins on golf, that Capitalist-par-excellence sport according to Castro) and to become allies of any foreign interest that seeks to invest, looking for easy opportunities by enlisting an enslaved work force—there are no free syndicates in Cuba—whose salary is paid for by the State, which, in turn, retains most of it.
To top it off, Cubans cannot shop, with their own currency, in the vast majority of stores (where, only with a bit of luck they may be able to acquire some basic product) because the regime uses an absurd currency duality via the so-called CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso), whose value is set arbitrarily; suffice to give the example of an SUV vehicle, which will cost 66,000 euros while the median salary in Cuba is equivalent to 20 euros per month.
Needless to say, these poor attempts of opening of the economy are also off-limits for anyone perceived as a dissident, and there are several small-business owners who, in their utter fear of losing their scanty properties, reject any kind of opposition to the regime, hence becoming part of the repressive machine.
Long-gone is also the notion of Cuba as a Medical and Health Superpower that the regime so proudly hoisted; today, Cuba is a more-than Third World country where diseases such as cholera—eradicated since colonial times—have reappeared, thanks to the inefficacy of a regime only efficient, nowadays, in repression. For the benefit of the leading caste, the regime exports thousands of health professionals (while retaining most of their salaries), leaving several regions of the island deprived of professional assistance and resources in health services, in sheer contrast with health facilities that cater exclusively to foreigners which enjoy the benefits and resources of First World nations.
Education in Cuba is nothing more than a doctrine and control-producing process since the earliest of childhood. I remember how we were forced to shout “We will be like Ché!” and many of us wondered why on Earth would they want any of us to become assassins. The process of selection of regime followers becomes more and more severe as the schooling level increases (college is for revolutionaries, as they say), with many study topics being forbidden if they are perceived to lead to disloyalty to the regime.
Anyone can claim this is part of the nation’s past, but repression continues to expand, and the question is how can the same people who created this mess back in 1959, and continue to be in power, can solve the problem? Again, they repeatedly blame their problems on “lags of the past” and on the former “bourgeois regime”. Well then, they are now the past and the new bourgeoisie.
The comparison with other disadvantaged world zones stems from a false argument. One only needs to review the official indexes put forward by the UN regarding human development in Cuba in 1958, which were, in fact, superior to those in Spain itself at the time. It must become clear, however, that dictatorship in Cuba did not begin in 1959, but in 1952, which explains why so many Cubans fought in that revolution that was immediately betrayed by those who continue to be in power today.
The trite insistence of calling the USA the foreign enemy is no longer credible. Today, it is precisely the USA that is Cuba’s main commercial partner in food and other products. The embargo is not the problem nor is it the solution. The rest of the world has no embargo against Cuba, and yet Cuba cannot engage freely in commercial exchanges with anybody else. The real embargo is the embargo of freedom to which the people are subjected by the regime itself.
The MCL does not seek revenge, nor does hatred nor ill-feeling move us. We work for the reconciliation of a country in which all Cubans, from within or from abroad, can live, because we are one nation; for a country where all political options are welcomed (I remind you that even leftists in Cuba are repressed) and where what has positively served us can be preserved; where no foreign intervention exists; where thousands of Cubans never again have to serve as fodder in post-colonial wars in Africa; where, within the diversity of ideas and initiatives, mistrust is no longer; where those who think differently are not referred to as “gusanos” (worms). And so on.
In other words, for a country where we can enjoy democracy (even if an imperfect one) just like the one we enjoy here. This is about democracy versus dictatorship, not an ideological matter.
It is not the intention of this letter to provoke controversy, but to clarify certain issues for you, as you seem to be rather ill-informed about them.
I remember some years ago, during a televised debate with your friend Juan Carlos Monedero, some of these (and other) topics were tackled, and just like I said then, the real proof that democracy will have arrived in Cuba will be the day when we Cubans are able to debate freely in Cuban television.
To finish, dear Mr. Iglesias, I must add that there’s an article of yours in which you claim that the Christian Liberation Movement is “campaigning against Cuba”.
In first place, it seems you are confusing Cuba with the Cuban dictatorship. Cuba is much more than that and the majority of Cubans do not want it.
Secondly, how can you deem it a campaign against “Cuba” that family, friends and colleagues of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero demand that these deaths are clarified, deaths that even the Cuban regime has not been able to explain? (see http://www.oswaldopaya.org/es/2013/12/15/una-secuencia-incoherente/).
On the other hand, you resort to a macabre exercise (due to its analysis and its origin: you place yourself in the place of the supposed executioner) when you allege that “had they been intended murders, the regime would have also eliminated their witnesses”. It is a dangerous exercise to use the reasoning of the executioner, and tyrannies have no presumption of innocence.
Like Oswaldo Payá said, in his acceptance speech for his 2002 Sakharov Human Rights Award from the European Parliament, where you now serve, “Dictatorships do not belong to the left nor to the right. They are only dictatorships.”
Last year, the European Union’s parliament voted to include an amendment, in its report of human rights, requesting an independent investigation on the death of Oswaldo Payá.
This year, we will once again petition support towards that investigation.
In the event that petition was indeed taken to the voting table, what would your vote be?
Sincerely, and wishing you the best in your exercise as Euro-Deputy,
Carlos Payá Sardiñas
Representative, Christian Liberation Movement, Spain
Translated by: T
29 June 2014
His Excellency, Dionisio García Ibáñez
Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba and Cardinal Primate of Cuba
Last night I had the opportunity to meet you at a reception in your honor given by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the papal nuncio to Cuba. Today I am writing to you regarding several concerns of the Center for a Free Cuba with the hope that in your role as president of the Cuban Conference of Catholic Bishops you might forward this letter to your fellow bishops.
The Center for a Free Cuba is an independent organization that promotes respect for human rights and the re-establishment of a democratic government under the rule of law in our beloved Cuba.
The Center considers the evangelization and humanitarian work of the Church in Cuba to be of utmost importance and has always responded to the requests of priests and bishops who have approached us. In light of our strong desire to continue collaborating with the Church, please allow us to share with Your Excellency the following concerns:
1) It has been reported that there are over three thousand cases of dengue fever in Cienfuegos. What can you tell us about the causes of this epidemic and what steps are being taken to counter it? How can we support the Church to help those affected?
2) As of more than two years ago, two devout Cuban Catholics have been held prisoner without trial. They were arrested and beaten by State Security agents as they were preparing to attend the mass celebrated in Havana by Pope Benedict XVI in March of 2012. Sonia Garro is being held in the Manto Negro prison. She is not in good health. Her husband, Ramón Alejandro Muñoz, is being held in the Combinado del Este prison.
Could not the Church urge the authorities to release them, or at least to put them on trial? We would also greatly appreciate it if the bishops celebrated a mass on behalf of Sonia and Ramón and all other political prisoners, as Archbishop Wenski did recently in Miami.
3) It is well known that the regime has intensified its repression of peaceful opposition figures such as the Ladies in White. Could not the Catholic Bishops Conference of Cuba ask the authorities to cease acts of repudiation and the excesses of the Rapid Response Brigades for the sake of peace and national reconciliation? Is there anything that might be preventing this noble and urgent request?
4) In the [Church sponsored] periodical, Espacio Laical (Secular Space), there have been articles about the need to encourage a “loyal opposition.” Many ask, loyal to whom or to what? To the regime or to freedom, democracy and the full dignity of all human beings? Clarification of this issue would be helpful so that the publication or the Church is not seen to be branding as “disloyal” anyone not in agreement with those who for more than half a century have held the people of Cuba hostage.
Given our great respect for your high office, we would very much appreciate your comments on the concerns we have outlined in this letter.
In extending this cordial and patriotic message to Your Excellency, as well as to the other bishops of our forlorn homeland, we evoke the memory of the historic visit of His Holiness, St. John Paul II, who urged all of us to be “valiant in truth, bold in freedom, constant in responsibility, generous in love, invincible in hope.”
On behalf of the Center for a Free Cuba
Guillermo Marmol, businessman and civic leader
Filiberto Agusti, Esq., attorney and legal counsel for the Center for a Free Cuba
Dr. Néstor Carbonell Cortina, businessman, intellectual and civic leader
Ellis E. Briggs, former United States ambassador to Portugal, Panama and Honduras
Beatriz Casals, businesswoman, intellectual and civic leader
Prof. Carlos Eire, Yale University
Dr. Sergio Díaz Briquets, international advisor
Prof. Jaime Suchlicki, University of Miami
José Sorzano, former United States ambassador to the United Nations
Prof. Enrico Mario Santí, University of Kentucky
Otto J. Reich, former United States ambassador to Venezuela
Joaquín P. Pujol, economist, former assistant director of the International Monetary Fund and member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy
Victor J. Pujals, P.E., professional engineer and civic leader
Robert A. O’Brien, businessman, civic leader and philanthropist
Frank Calzon, executive director for the Center for a Free Cuba [email@example.com]
Posted to this blog:
25 September 2014
FREEDOM FOR SONIA Y RAMÓN ALEJANDRO…!!!
Today, Thursday, 18 September 2014, it has been two-and-a-half years since a black Cuban married couple have been in prison. This hasn’t the least importance, of course. They have never been brought to trial, nor have charges been filed against either of them. What’s the difference. Surely they’re two neighborhood thieves. I’m going to mention their names purely as Cuban gossip, well, as a curiosity in times of barbarity: Sonia Garro and Ramon Alejandro Muñoz.
That poor, black, Catholic and pro-democracy couple, are still today in a legal limbo as atrocious as Gitmo, continue to be separated in regimes that are technically torture, and no one remembers. Blacks, what for? Neither the Pope nor the Cuban bishops have ever asked, from beyond the Malecon. One of them–who knows if he will soon be named our next Cardinal-Minister–was personally presented with the Garro-Muñoz family case, thanks to the prelate coming to Washington DC to collect the indulgent money from exiles to repair who knows what church on the island (as if a temple is worth more than the parishioners). And nothing, obviously. Nothing has happened here. The blacks to the hole and the whites to the chicken.
18 September 2014