29 September 2007

The New Repression

Happy weekend!

For those of us who blog about Cuba, Thursday night and Friday where tense.

Some of the people that we hold in the highest esteem had been assaulted, arrested or were unaccounted for.

Thankfully, most have now been released.

A kinder, gentler repression.

While looking for information on the demonstration lead by Martha Beatriz Roque at the Cuban Justice ministry and the ensuing chaos, I made some observations.

Raul is now credited for reducing the number of political prisoners by more than 20% since he took the reins from his ailing brother. Never mind that most of those released since then have served their unjust terms or the fact that there are actually people thrown in jail for having a differing political opinion.

The “new” regime has also learned that constant harassment and short “detentions” are just as effective repressive techniques as long incarcerations and much more acceptable to the world. This morning the first instinct is to rejoice that all those detained have been released, rather than protest the gross violation of human rights that occurred when they were not allowed to carry on a simple peaceful protest. When monks and photographers are getting blown away in Burma, actions like throwing somebody in a bus and taking them home “for their own protection”-like they did to Martha Beatriz Roque-and holding someone overnight for questioning, pale in comparison.

It is also clear that civil disobedience in Cuba is taking hold as a tool against the repressive communist regime. Leaders like Martha Beatriz Roque and Antuñez keep taking it to the streets and are gaining converts.

28 September 2007

Black Fall?

Raul is showing his true totalitarian colors.

Mr. Debate, General Pragmatic.

Assaulting Grandmothers who just wanted to join his debate by pointing out one of the problems of Cuban society by delivering a letter to the justice ministry asking that political prisoners in Cuba be kept in better conditions. This after all, is one of the reasons that the Empire uses to justify its unfair and cruel blockade on the island. Didn't he himself say last Sunday that everyone's opinion is welcome:

"we need to 'retronourish' ourselves with everyone's opinions (...), this will help us very much, but we need to speak with sincerity and with realism, in the adequate place, the opportune time and the 'correct' way, like we say in the armed forces"

I guess Cuba isn't the "adequate place". And it will never be until this band of bullies meet Mr. Lead.

27 September 2007

Special Friday Fast

Cuba’s democratic elections are “fortifying” its democracy as it nominates candidates to the municipal assemblies.

A debate is raging, at Raul Castro’s behest, for the citizens to air out the system’s shortcomings and suggest solutions.

There are many dissidents in Cuba that would love the opportunity to serve their country by participating in these two processes, yet the regime refuses “fortify” its democracy with those with different ideas and solutions.

And yet today we learn that the regime chooses to “fortify” its democracy by engaging in a massive crackdown of dissidents who were planning on meeting to call attention to – to debate, as Raul has decreed-one of Cuba’s worse problems : Human Rights

Raul is only interested in debating a bunch of parrots and is only interested in “fortifying” the repressive grip that he has on the Cuban population.

In a normal country, getting ready for national elections, the list of candidates would not be chosen by the government, but by the people and this would be one the posters throughout the island.

This Friday lets fast in the morning in solidarity our newly detained democracy activists and pray that they are successful in their struggle to bring freedom and prosperity to our enslaved island.

Days of the Living Deadtator

Is the new relationship between the Cuban regime and Zapatero’s Spain beginning to BUCkLe?

It could be. Zapatero is beginning to find out that for Castro, Inc., negotiations means that you do things their way and dialogue means you listen.

While at a press conference at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Zapatero was asked about Spain’s support for dissidents and free multi-party elections in Cuba.
The Spanish socialist Prime Minister, said that he wished Cuba would transition into a system where “participation of the citizenry was a constant” saying that Spain too had suffered a dictatorship and waited for forty years and that Spaniards are passionate about freedom. This statement, of course, compares Franco’s Spain to Castro’s Cuba . AND it had the effect of throwing a bucket of cold, holy water on the same creatures of the night that stormed out of Bush’s General Assembly speech as if they where vampires and “W” had brandished a cross at them from the podium when he said: ''In Cuba, the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end,'' ``The Cuban people are ready for their freedom. And as that nation enters a period of transition, the United Nations must insist on free speech, free assembly and, ultimately, free and competitive elections.''
According to this ABC.es. article, Felipe Pérez Roque met with Spanish foreign minister Ángel Moratinos and expressed his discomfort at Zapatero’s words forcing Moratinos to explain. Moratinos probably explained to his Cuban counterpart that the key to Zapatero’s statement was the part where he emphasized the Cubans had to learn how to “wait” just like Spaniards had waited. Zapatero never said how much longer Cubans needed to “wait” for basic human rights. Maybe he meant another 50 years. It’s only fair to point out that while the Spaniard’s 40 year wait under Franco was no picnic, unlike Cubans, who have already been waiting for Castro’s promised elections for 48 years, they, at least, had food, (after WWII), to go on a picnic and could go on a picnic anywhere in Spain while Cubans can’t.

Interestly, in the Spanish article, is the opinion, that although Spain has offered its hand in friendship to the Cuban regime, even serving as the regime’s intermediary at the EU, the “Castroist authorities are not satisfied. Perhaps, interpreting the new Spanish closeness as a sign of weakness, they are demanding more.” As evidence, they quote Abel Prieto, the Cuban Minister of Culture, (propaganda in the arts), as saying that “relations between the two countries are not yet normalized and that “new steps” need to be taken to make it so”. To my knowledge, Cuba has taken NO steps.

Also of interest-and disbelief from yours truly-is the author’s contention that Zapatero was “dragged” into the current Spanish foreign policy, which he doesn’t “sympathize with in spite of the image created to the contrary” (pulheeez!) by Moratinos who apparently fell for the “Raul the Pragmatic” image that HAS been created here in the States by wishful thinkers and adopted and cultivated by the regime and its minions to suit their purposes.

It looks like Zapatero is starting to realize that dealing with the Castros brings nothing but grief and recriminations ,has no political advantages and is thinking of jettisoning the albatross of the Cuban Deadtator until at least after the Spanish elections next year.

A Morning Chuckle

So a man gets an e-mail. It's a Cuba News Alert. It says Ailing Fidel may be the butt of jokes -- but the legendary .... Its from the Toronto Sun. The Man reluctantly clicks. He knows whats coming ..and ode the Worlds Favorite Comandante....

The Page loads...

He Reads...

He laughs...

He's dumbfounded...

First line:

HAVANA -- Fidel is alive! Fidel is alive!

"When is it going to be our turn to live?" jokes one Cuban upon seeing Fidel Castro appearing for the first time on TV last week since his illness.

And at the end:

Which brings up another joke I heard: A man dies and goes to heaven. After about a week, he says to God, this is boring and God says, no problem, go down and try hell for a week, come back and tell me where you want to spend eternity. In hell, the man finds a room full of beautiful Cuban women, a humidor of the best Cuban cigars, a bar stocked with Havana Club 15-year-old rum and advises God "I am going to stay in hell."
But when he arrives back in hell, he is greeted by devils with fire all around them, holding pitch forks which were being thrust into his backside. "What happened?" he yelled. "It seems different."
"Well," says one of the devils. "The experience you enjoyed last week was for ourists. This is how it is for residents."

.Again everybody laughs but the irony is not lost on them.

The middle is not bad either except for one sentence blaming the US for Cuba's poverty.

read it here

26 September 2007

Slick, Hugo, Slick

Hugo Chavez may sound like an uncultured, unpolished brute, but he knows how to “get elected”

Back on August 15, Chavez unveiled his plans for sweeping constitutional changes that will allow him legitimize his perpetual reelection-along with his stuffed ballot boxes, hacked electronic voting machines, government controlled press, jailing of the opposition and Jimmy Carter.

Since Chavez controls Venezuela’s national assembly, he should be able to push the constitutional change through without too much of a struggle….

… But, the changes have to be approved by Venezuelans in a national referendum.

He knows the opposition is going to put up a huge fight against his plan of installing a constitutional dictatorship.

So, in order to better his chances at the “polls” and sweeten the deal for voters, Chavez is including a proposed 6 hour workday for Venezuelan workers as part of the reforms hoping that many Venezuelans will trade two hours a day of “free” time for their freedom.

Coupled with his “Venezuelan Time” proposal , I’m not sure if it will result in Venezuelans working work 2 ½ hours less or if they’ll be ½ late for work everyday.

And for “spacey” folks out there that doubt that Chavez is following in Castro’s footsteps, Hugo just set a new record on his Alo Presidente program by talking for eight straight hours:

Mr Chávez compared himself with his friend and ally Fidel Castro, president of Cuba, whose long speeches are legendary.

He quipped about the length of his broadcast and his ability to go so many hours without using the toilet, adding that Castro once joked with him it was a sign of a good prostate.


Ironically, his pal Castro has no use for toilets anymore.

25 September 2007

The Chinese Food Time Machine

Do not eat Chinese food before you take a nap.

That’s what I did ,which resulted in a frightful nightmare.

I dreamt it was 2026.

I was sitting in a government clinic waiting to see my government assigned primary care medical assistant to see if my symptoms were severe enough to warrant a visit to the government’s physician compound in nearby Plantation.

The heat in the clinic was turned down so low that I had to wear my coat and my gloves indoor. Ever since oil hit $200 a barrel, the government had mandated that all thermostats be kept at 68 degrees F from April to October and at 62 degrees F from November to March.

The Holographic projector had news about the glaciers that were now reaching as far South as New York State. Scientists were arguing on how long the new Ice Age was going to last.

The US was preparing to celebrate its 250th year of independence under threats from the Socialist Party to launch massive protests against the racist, chauvinist, imperialist white slave owning founding fathers that created the US in order selfishly lower their tax rates and make money by taking over the world in an imperialistic orgy unparalleled in human history.

President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, was threatening to veto the repeal of Fur Use bill.

And worst of all … Cuba had released the latest Fidel video.

Whatever you do, do not eat chinese food before you take a nap.

Mea Culpa

With other Cuban American bloggers saying they are sorry that they prematurely jumped on the "Castro is Dead" bandwagon that came through town about a month ago and vowing not to err in premature exhuberance again, I feel obligated to add my voice to the chorus and say that I too am sorry:

I am sorry Fidel Castro Ruz didn't die.

I am sorry he's "vivito y babeando."

There, I said it. I feel SO much better now.

And please if you hear any rumors abour Casto's Cuba, share then with the rest of us, without apologies or recriminations.

Since what happens in Cuba, stays in Cuba, the only way for truth to escape is through word of mouth and through unsubstantiated verbal reports- rumors.

It is not our fault that Cuba exists in an information vacumn, isloted and cut off from the rest of civilization or that its so called leaders are liars, propagandists and rumor mongers. We are not to blame that the international free press purpose in Havana is not to report the truth, but just not rocking the boat so they are allowed to stay for the impending memorial service.

I'm sorry about that too and that's why I'm here.

24 September 2007

Down Hugo's Rabbit Hole

As Venezuela continues its slide into the giant rabbit hole of XXI Century Socialism, the mad hatter, or is the rabbit? or is it the queen? or is it all three? Hugo Chavez, continues to forge a “wonderland” society as absurd and nonsensical as the children’s classic.

“Curiouser and curiouser!”

This week he decided to make himself the master of time and create “Venezuelan Time”.

In his TV show last Sunday he decreed that the country would set their clocks back one half hour to achieve a "more equitable distribution of sunlight" and to allow children to wake up for school in daylight instead of before sunrise.

"I don't care if they call me crazy, the new time will go ahead, let them call me whatever they want,"

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

Chavez, however, didn’t give himself enough time to accomplish the time change and the clock roll back had to be rolled back:
Even Chavez had seemed unprepared. When he first made the announcement, he told Venezuelans to move their clocks forward, when really the measure requires them to be turned back.

In delaying the shift, Chavez said on Sunday that Venezuela still had to complete the necessary bureaucratic steps with international organizations.
His government is now aiming to implement the change in January, the science ministry said.
The thing is that by January Venezuela, which is now in Spring, will be in Summer and thus the days will be naturally longer by about an hour, I suppose, making the half hour roll back uncessary- I think. I’m all confused.

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

To Do Or Die

It sounds like Raúl Castro did not feel like speaking to reporters in Varadero on Sunday. According to a quote from Italian news agency ANSA, it sounds more like he blew them off by suggesting that they direct their questions to his brother Fidel. He said "you know I don't speak much, wait until Fidel goes out on the street and you get him there".

Raúl is not really interested in filling his famous half-brother's B.S.-ing Boots, what he seems to be interested in doing is maintaining power. And that, at this point, necessitates propping up the ex-dictator and making him perform for the cameras on occasion, pretending that he is coming back at some point and that he is involved in the decision making process of the regime in some fashion.

In a normal society, the government would explain to the citizens what exactly is wrong with their leader, including a prognosis and then give the ailing leader and his family some privacy to convalesce. But not in Cuba. In Cuba the people don't have the right to know. Hell, they don't have rights period.

Raúl was asked about his July 26th speech inspired "debate" that is reported to be raging throughout the island's government, institutions, workplaces and streets on how to reform Cuba's socialist society in order to preserve it.-My advise-call a taxidermist and preserve that dying dinosaur before it finishes decomposing.

Raúl is quoted as saying "They can talk not only about the speech, but about everything they want to talk about, with bravery, sincerity, but without any illusions that we are magicians and were going to 'resolve' (ironic choice of a word) problems". Of course, people in Cuba are left to "resolve" their own problems without any "illusions" that their government will. The regime is only there to pay lip service and to police their exploitation.

Castro II also said "we need to 'retronourish' ourselves with everyone's opinions (...), this will help us very much, but we need to speak with sincerity and with realism, in the adequate place, the opportune time and the 'correct' way, like we say in the armed forces"

Nice to see Raúl reminding the Cuban people that they are nothing but foot soldiers in his decaying empire. Their role, like a soldier, is to follow orders. To do or die-that's the one thing that the regime has no problem "resolving" for the Cuban people. No socialist magic wand-just a a totalitarian repression machine.

22 September 2007

Divulging State Secrets

Well, it took them four weeks, but the regime managed to pump enough drugs into Fidel Castro to show him on TV last night and contradict gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who I’m assuming is now getting ready to butch up since he promised to turn straight if he was wrong about Fidel’s death.

Though many of the wires announced that a healthier Fidel had appeared on TV, all I saw was a very sick old man being used by the same revolution that he started as a propaganda prop. The once feared and forceful Fidel is now a feeble and harmless old man that’s forced to wear an Adidas tracksuit and perform the only act he was ever really good at: B.S.

Even to someone who has the lowest opinion for Fidel possible, like I do, this is an embarrassing and pathetic spectacle.

Right before the video came out and eclipsed any Castro news that was out there, something very interesting came to light.

According to published reports Ann Louise Bardach , CBS television correspondent , has penned a new book, Without Fidel, where it is revealed that:

Castro has permanently ceded effective power to his brother Raul - not on the temporary basis that Cuban authorities claim.

It confirms that when the dictator disappeared from public view this summer he was undergoing treatment for an illness that is expected to kill him.

The book, to be published later this year, reportedly says: “A few weeks after Fidel Castro’s surgery, his son, Antonio Castro, an orthopedic surgeon and the doctor for Cuba’s national baseball team, was more forthcoming with some of his foreign counterparts at an international baseball event.

“Asked solicitously about his father’s health, the amiable Antonio shook his head sadly, and said: 'What my old man has is insurmountable.’”

This bit of information about Antonio Castro confirms that the rumors about Castro having a relapse right before his birthday resulting in a septicemia and reported by Yolanda Martinez in Mexico’s “La Reforma” where accurate. Especially since Hugo Chavez pretty much confirmed the septicemia yesterday when he stated “They transfused nearly all Fidel's blood, he is still alive because he's Fidel. They gave him I don't know how many transfusions,".

Yolanda Martinez was never reprimanded, rebutted or deported by the Cuban government. I heard that this was because she might have gotten her information straight from Fidel Castro’s family and that is why nothing was done to her, but his family was given a “gag order” about Cuba’s best known “state secret”.

So, since divulging state secrets, is treason in Cuba and punishable by death are they going to give Dr. Antonio Castro the “paredon”?

21 September 2007

Remaking An Old Fairy Tale

Fairy Tales Can Come True …

Fairy God Mother Raul wants Cubans to debate, suggest, come up with innovative and creative solutions to fix Cuba’s Guadalajara sized economy. Isn’t that what he was elected for? Oh-never mind. Isn’t that the role of all pragmatic and benevolent despots?

He’s encouraging debate, according to media sources. One in English, one in Spanish. Pretty much the same story ... hmmmm? Great minds thinking alike? Lazy reporters parroting “official” Cuban news? Committed regime operatives earning their keep?

He’s letting Cubans speak their mind in public. Well! Why? What a great guy! Where has he been for the last 50 years. Did he just get to Havana after having been hidden in an undisclosed location with Dick Cheney bunker somewhere? Well no, he’s seems to be buckshot wound free.

Raul is an enigma of a man. Accustomed to living in the shadows of his maniacal big half brother and in virtual anonymity. But now has the opportunity to either be Gorbachev or Ceausescu. Either one is fine with me.

But if Raul really wants a debate on how to improve Cuban society, he needs to look no further than his jail cells. In them, he will find patriots-Men and women who didn’t initiate the debate when they were given permission. No, these folks got thrown in Castro’s dungeons for merely suggesting simple societal changes to improve the conditions in their beloved country and fellow Cubans. Let them out. Let THEM make a suggestion or two. Are we afraid of words and ideas?

If he really wants debates, let him call for elections which is still the best way for ideas to be aired and debated. Let this man right here run for president against the Communists. Let’s hear this man’s plans for change.

Hell, if Raul, Castro II, really wants a debate-real suggestions to bring about “structural changes” in his island prison, I’m sure this man right here would give him an earful.

Raul doesn’t even have to let him out of his jail cell. Raul can just go visit him. Yes, and Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet would welcome him to the cell and treat even Raul, his jailer-his oppressor, with respect. And he would share his vision with Raul. Honestly, for he is not afraid of Raul and his regime.

And this man, Biscet, would volunteer to stay in his cell the rest of his life, no he would lay down his life, if he knew his ideas would help his country and his fellow Cubans leave the FIFTY years of misery and oppression that they have suffered.

But Raul doesn’t want a debate. Raul wants to know how he can make a few extra bucks off the backs of his slaves. Raul wants cover. Scapegoats. He wants to be able to unleash a totalitarian fascist exploitation of the Cuban worker and be able to say that HIS change, HIS model was the result of the people’s wishes, of a popular debate.

I have read this book and seen this movie.

Remakes are never as good as the original

20 September 2007

Nothing to Export

It’s the yearly event we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the “National Let’s End The Embargo” event.

Frankly, I get more excited about International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

So all the full court press about ending the sanctions is on in the form of “articles” that are designed to appeal to the ego centric, guilt ridden self loathing of the American psyche.

So I’m reading one of these “pieces” in the Herald and I could not believe what I was reading:

Though Cuba's economy is small -- close to the size of that of the Mexican city of Guadalajara

The City of Guadalajara!

This means that Cuba has no ecomomy. It’s a charity case.

the Cuban economy doesn't have a lot of productive sectors, it has to import about $10 billion a year in goods.

It seems the most important Cuban export is Cubans. Castro exports Doctors and other professionals to other ideologically bankrupt regimes in the area for hard currency and exports exiles that see no choice but to send money back to Cuba to help their relatives survive as they are held hostage.

19 September 2007

That’s the Ticket!

Cuba and its loyal pro-bono publicity agents have started the yearly whinnathon about the “blockade” that culminates in a resounding victory against the "empire" at the UN as evidenced by this totally "objective" and well parroted Reuters piece.

You've heard of the Embargo, the "blockade",You know-the one imposed on them by its FIFTH largest trading partner.

This year in order to reach a wider audience I encourage them to hire Jon Lovitz to replace the chromosome challenged Felipe Perez Roque to deliver their “message”.

Maybe its me, but the regime’s message sounds a lot more natural and palatable when you add “Yeah, That’s Right, That’s the Ticket” at the end:

"Enforcement of the blockade has reached levels of madness and has been particularly ferocious and cruel in the last year," “Yeah, That’s Right, That’s the Ticket”

"No bank dares accept a Cuban transaction," "Our country wants to pay but can't. The Swiss banks are afraid of receiving transfers," “Yeah, That’s Right, That’s the Ticket”

Cuba has not been able to pay its dues as a party to the chemical and biological weapons conventions because banks will not transfer Cuban funds “Yeah, That’s Right, It’s the Embargo, That’s the Ticket”

"World rejection of the embargo is practically unanimous," “That’s the Ticket

U.S. sanctions cost cash-strapped Cuba $3 billion in extra trade and financial costs since mid-2006, including higher credit, freight and insurance rates, and the loss of business, the report said. Cuba is banned from the U.S. market, the world's largest for premium rum and cigars. “Yeah, That’s Right, That’s the Ticket”

Cuba also blames U.S. sanctions for the lack of Internet access it offers its population. The U.S. embargo blocks Cuban connection to nearby submarine optic fiber cables, forcing Cuba to access the Internet via costly satellite communications. “Yeah, That’s Right, That’s the Ticket”

18 September 2007

When Life Gives You Democrats …

You make limonada.

When the house changed hands back in November of 2006, Castro fans, Miami Mafia haters, leftists and misguided free traders where giddy in anticipation because of the long awaited lifting of the economic sanctions against the rogue Cuban regime of Fidel Castro, commonly referred to as the embargo, seemed at hand.

There were GOA investigations, interviews, editorials, visits to La Habana-a full court press, but in the end the embargo stayed. Not only that, in July there was a resounding 182-245 defeat against a Charlie Rangel watered-down amendment that would have eased certain restrictions on agricultural trade with Cuba that left the veteran Castro lover whining:

“I was blindsided,”

In an interesting article on “The Hill”, we learn that Charlie’s defeat is due to Cuban-American “interference” err participation in the political system through a PAC:

The U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee (PAC), founded at the end of 2003, has given $322,500 in political donations in the 2007-2008 cycle, including $10,000 to Clyburn.

“From about 2000 to 2003, everything was going downhill in terms of maintaining current Cuba policy,” said Mauricio Claver-Carone, a former Treasury Department attorney who is one of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC’s 32 directors. A coalition of liberal Democrats, free-trade Republicans and agriculture state lawmakers interested in opening travel and trade restrictions to Cuba seemed to be gaining ground, he said.

That’s when the PAC was formed and the decision was made to target new members of Congress in an effort to create a bipartisan wall of support for the embargo. Claver-Carone said the group’s effort is modeled after the bipartisan support in Congress built by pro-Israel groups.

But Charlie, who not only embraces a racist totalitarian regime that has instituted an apartheid society 90 miles from the US mainland, but who also works against that regime’s victims who are trying to inform the world of the human rights abuses here in the US, would not admit that the exiled Castro victims had beat him:

Rangel blamed an organized opposition and a lack of urgency
on the part of embargo opponents for defeat, and downplayed the role of political contributions.

“I don’t think we really put up much of a fight,” he said.

Sorry, Charlie-have some limonada.

17 September 2007

Some Good news and Some Bad News.

First the Bad news:

Once they decide to either admit Castro is dead or decide to unplug him from his combination life support/reflection writing machine, whatever the case may be, the Dictator for Life and Death of Cuba, will NOT be placed in a mausoleum a la Lennin, according to Lazaro Barredo Medina, director of the Official Organ of the Cuban Communist Party, Granma, who was interviewed by 'Diario de Noticias' in Portugal.

This is bad news because it means that someday you won’t be able spit, urinate or otherwise desecrate the tyrant’s grave. (something that I've personally been looking forward to and probably one of the causes that prompted the Almighty to zap my cable box with a bolt of lighting)This is also bad news for Cuba’s future tourist economy because a Castro mausoleum would have meant a steady “stream” of golden contributions to the island from foreign tourists. What Cuban exile wouldn’t pay $20, $50 even $100 bucks to spit on Castro’s bones? What member of the international left wouldn't pay twice that to lick their idol's casket clean?

The good news is that Barredo finally admitted that Castro “cannot return in his previous capacity “. Now before you say that this can just be his personal opinion and not necessarily the official story, think. Barredo is the official parrot and disseminator of the official lie du jour. AND if Fidel isn’t able to return to his Dictator for Life position, he’s technically the reflecting ex-dictators new boss. AND besides, nobody in Cuba is allowed to have a personal opinion and express it.
Barredo also said that when Castro dies, the current system of government will continue because "there's a shared leadership". This is an interesting statement. It could mean that Raul Castro has been forced to share power and that the power sharing is what is causing the Castro-Communist version of "stay the course". Or it could all be a smokescreen to make Raul seem less of a despot than his older half-brother Fidel.

But then again, this guy Barredo lies, fabricates and misinforms for a living, so you can’t believe anything he says.

My Troubles

You've probably noticed that I haven't been updating La Contra Revolucion as often as usual. I lost my internet connection.

According to the technician, it was an act of God.

Here's what apparently happened:

14 September 2007

Connectivity Issues

Gusano’s internet access is still not very “Comcastic”. After replacing my router AND my cable modem, now they tell me it’s my connection and that they’re going to have to send out a technician –sometime between 8 and 11 on Sunday. But, on the bright side, I have over 40 channels of digital muzac!

And why do I trouble you with my connectivity issues?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Ever since I came to the US, whenever I complained about anything, my parents would remind me of my family and Cuba and about how great I had it compared to them.

Quick comparison:

PC’s. Anybody can buy a PC- No questions asked-They’re available at libraries and schools. Gratis. In Cuba, forget about it.

Access: Not regulated and I can’t even list the many different types of providers. In Cuba, it’s Ramiro’s internet. You go where he wants you to go or else.

And now it’s getting even worse for Cubans to connect to the internet and circumvent the Castro-Communist propaganda they call news-and I don’t mean the New York Times.

Case in point:

Here’s a Chicago Tribune Article on this very subject –Some Excerpts:

Ordinary Cubans have trouble affording and securing authorization for computers and home dial-up service (high-speed access doesn't exist in Cuban homes).

One report estimated that only 220,000 of the country's roughly 11 million people are online. If Cubans have a computer at work, Web access is often scant -- limited to pages related to their job -- except for senior officials, government journalists and certain other professionals.

Since last year, Reporters Without Borders, a French non-profit group, has been raising concerns about Cuba."With less than 2 percent of the population online, Cuba is one of the world's most backward countries as regards Internet usage," the report said, ranking it as the worst in Latin America and on a level with Uganda or Sri Lanka.

So, as I whine about my connectivity issues while I post this on my laptop using a borrowed “aircard” , I am forced to reflect on all the advantages and freedoms that I have learned to take for granted and on how spoiled I am compared to ordinary Cubans held captive on the island.

A little adversity and sacrifice can be humbling, sobering and a great reminder of why you’re so anxious to get on-line in the first place.

I just wish I didn’t have to hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head saying:

¡Niño parece mentira que te quejes! ¡Con todo lo que tienes! ¡Ya quisieran tus primos tener la mitad de la mitad de lo que tu tienes! ¡ Los probres..con el trabajo que pasan…….

Then, the voice would quiver and she would be unable to finish the sentence as tears welled in her eyes.

13 September 2007

Castro's Revenge?

My “Comcastic” internet is dead. Not Castro dead. Really Dead.

So postings and comments may short and few. No need to thank me.

I noticed, while I was checking the wires, that the Associated Parrots are peddling one of those endearing Castro anecdotes about how Fidel Castro saved Ronald Reagan, and thus civilization as we know it, (hehehe), from an assignation attempt in October of 1984. So you’ll probably going to be force fed that soup today.

Through extensive research I was able to dig up this rare photo of Reagan thanking Fidel Castro for saving his life. (Castro is the one with the beard.):

This was from the same reflection where Castro accused the Bush administration of “misinformation” about the 9/11 attacks.

It seems from some of the past reflections that though Castro has a deep rooted hatred for the United States and its free market system, but has developed a deep affection and admiration for “dead presidents”..hmm?

Naturally, the free press doesn’t try to verify Castro’s reflective claims from the Cuban government, but they do try to verify the claims from the US government. The Castro ghost writing team are probably all in intensive care in one of Cuba’s first class free hospitals from laughing so hard.

Supposedly, the Cuban regime alerted US authorities about the Reagan assassination plot in October of 1984-just a year after the Grenada invasion-which reminded me of a conversation I had this weekend with my friend Dr. Mario about Castro’s Floridian atomic dreams.

So I did a quick-well not quick if you’re using dial up-search. And low and behold, it seems that that Saint Fidelis of Biran, was not all about saving presidents.

Humberto Fontova to the rescue:

According to General Rafael del Pino, one time head of Castro's Air Force who defected in 1987, during the U.S. invasion of Grenada Castro ordered military plans for the destruction of the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant South of Miami.

“I want to do something that the Yankees will remember for the rest of their lives!" Del Pino recalls Castro raving. "And when we're gone, history will remind the Yankees that we were the only ones who made them pay dearly for their imperialistic arrogance around the world!"

Obviously, the Turkey Point caper was abandoned by Castro.

Which leads me to another thought. ( I know…OUCH!) Was saving Reagan and unleashing Reaganomics and the Reagan Revolution on “The Empire” Castro’s revenge for Grenada?

12 September 2007

Loose Marbles UPDATED

Castro's ghostwriters are continuing to have a good laugh at the expense of the free press.

And it is clear that they have gotten a hold of "Loose Change" a conspiracy theory "documentary" that claims that the Bush government, and not Al Qeada, was behind the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In the cadaver-blogger in chief's latest "reflection" , the theories put forth on "Loose Change" are repeated for the Cuban population and the world press.

The comedy writing team that's putting together the reflections continue to come up with sillier topics.

This one piece in particular which makes Castro sound more like his protege, Chavez, than his old self by repeating the conspiracy theories behind "Loose Change" makes Castro, once the Latin Loose Cannon" of the Caribbean sound more like he has loose marbles.

If Castro manages to stay "alive" much longer, they may start issuing reflective mea-culpas so that much like Darth Vader, the evil servant of the Dark Side, can find some historical "absolution".
The cadaver ghostwriting team is now bragging about how the new "reflection" is getting international media attention.
They must be dying of laughter seeing how the press eagerly eats up the BS Soup. Se Atracan.
These guys are now just testing to see how big a lie they can get away with...and so far the biggest lie-that Castro is penning these reflections- goes unchallanged.
What they are doing is practicing the Cuban art of "corriendo maquinita".
From Prensa Latina:
Madrid, Sep 12 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Fidel Castro's reflection on the sixth anniversary of September 11 attack in US was widely spread in Spain.

Digital and printed national newspapers, the daily TV and radio news with a large audience like National of Spain and SER, devoted important spaces to describe the Cuban leader's most recent writing.

Daily news like El Mundo, La Vanguardia and El Pais, among other of national broadcast, inserted very detailed versions of the text.
Classic. The Boys (or Girls) are now informing about information distributed by legitimate informative sources on their misinformative "reflection" about the alleged misinformation put out by the Bush government about the 9/11 attacks. (too much information?!?)
These guys are masters are playing mind games and spinning their web of deceit, (i before e except after c-it still looks wrong), and sitting back and to see who gets stuck.
Too bad they've never channeled any of that energy for productive purposes like providing toilet paper for the average Cuban citizen.

11 September 2007

Some Sneak In, Some Sneak Out...

sneaking into a paradise lost
to see the ruins
before they’re ruined
by golden arches, red light specials and freedom of choice

coming face to face with shadows
the ruined lives of others
with tanned skins,
downcast sparkling eyes and a lyrical muted voice

(speaking of…)

sneaking out a paradise lost
escaping the ruins
risking it all to be saved
by golden arches, red light specials and freedom of choice

avoiding the deep blue shadows
that claimed uncounted others
sunken dreams and drowned sorrows
that lie in ruins on the bottom of a sea of pure turquoise.

Aureliano Díaz

10 September 2007

On Castro Death Rumors

From Maria Elvira Salazar's Polos Opuestos on the rumors that circled Miami-Havana 2 weeks ago August 24th....btw, guys, she looks pretty in pink.


Gusano Gets an Attaboy!

You always hear people say "Take it from the source"

So, when a source like Ziva, who is responsible for Blog For Cuba and dreams in Cuban, tells you you're doing a great job and honors you with a Thinking Blogger Award, you should be proud, and I am!

Thank you, Ziva.

Now Back to our regularly scheduled Castro bashing....

08 September 2007

And I almost Forgot...

Whether you call her La Virgensita. La Santisima, Nuestra Senora de la Caridad, Cachita-because only Cubans would have a nickname for their patron saint- or Ochun, today is her day.

And I got me one of those big old candles with her likeness on it and I'm going to light it right now and join the millions of Cubans that today pray that, just like she saved those three Cubans from the storm so long ago, that she protect our island during the looming tempest. And that once the clouds begin to clear that the light of freedom shines brightly to every corner of our enslaved island.

The Litany of The Beards

What is it about facial hair and Anti-Americanism?

It seems every anti-democracy despot in the last century has had some kind of distinguishing facial hair. Hitler, Castro, Bin Laden even Hussein and Stalin with their bushy moustaches-all had some kind of identifying facial hair, which probably explains why Chavez isn’t taken all that seriously- he can’t grow facial hair.

Just an observation.

So today, the big buzz is the color of Bin Laden’s beard. I wish these terrorists would get better video equipment because, to me, in the newly released video, Bin Laden looks like he’s wearing a cheap Halloween beard form Abdulmart.

These bearded flakes, have all seem to have hired the same scriptwriter. Bin Laden sounded much like Fidel-criticizing our leaders, political system, economy even warning us agaisnt the threat of global warming.

The message is the same:

Iraq is "the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States"

Bush should “ a way to get U.S. troops out of Iraq "as quickly as possible without making the situation worse"

Bush is also a :
lawbreaker, a liar and a man with the blood of thousands of innocent lives on his hands.

"has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack because of his arrogance and willfulness."

Then there’s the obsession that seems to run strong with the bearded ones about historical absolutions and legacies:
"History will surely judge America's decision to invade and occupy (Iraq)…as a decision that was not only tragic but absurd,"

And of course there’s the appeal to save Mother Earth by attacking the current administration for its:
"destructive environmental agenda."

Claiming also that:
It really is institutionalized corruption," "It is deeply unethical and its effect is to place the private, narrow interests of wealthy and powerful industrial groups above the interests of the American people, generally."

Was that Cuba’s Blogger In Chief reflecting on America? Was it Bin Laden railing on the US infidels?

No, it was another young man, Al Gore.

Yes folks, Castro’s tirades and Bin Laden’s accusations come right from America’s Bossom. Their speech writers are homegrown.

No wonder Al shaved his beard off.

07 September 2007


Well, it’s Friday afternoon and the phone isn’t vibrating in my pocket with calls from the rumor mills of Mayami.. That’s a shame because I kind of enjoyed the buzz.

What there is a buzz about today, however, is tonight’s 20/20 in which John Stossel is going to take BIG, Bad Michael Moore to task for his truth challenged segment on Cuban healthcare from his documentary Sicko.

What Cuba has is a HealthPropagandaCare system. The best ever.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say Castro did in fact create the best healthcare in the World. Well, since it’s Cubans, in the Galaxy. No. IN THE UNIVERSE. Let’s call it umm….CastroCare..Free..

Let’s do a quick little analysis of the hidden costs of CatroCare:

Would you trade your right to sue a doctor for free healthcare?

Would you take a 96% pay cut in order to have free healthcare?

Would you give up ALL your first amendment rights in order to get a “free” appendectomy?

Would you let the state choose your vocation for a few “free” fillings?

Would you give up your right to travel freely to the destination of your choice for “free” checkups?

Would you give up your right to go to a supermarket and buy whatever food you wanted and could afford for the rationed cards that go along with CastroCare?

OK. I’ll stop. Anyone who doesn’t get the point by now, can’t get on a webpage anyway.

Even if CastroCare was the best healthcare system in the Universe, which it isn’t, the cost is too high. Only a fool or a Marxist (I know, that’s a redundant statement) would opt for such a system.

CastroCare is not free. It is one of the most expensive systems in the world because it has been financed with nearly fifty years worth of the blood, the sweat, the tears and the dignity of the Cuban people. And the only thing that carries that high of a price tag is freedom-which is the one thing that doesn’t exist in Cuba.

06 September 2007

El Fid Blogueador

Legend has it – or is it rumor has it?- since it can’t really be confirmed. Nevertheless, legend has it that when El Cid Campeador died, his wife had his body strapped to his horse, Babieca, and sent him back into battle. The enemy was so afraid of what looked to be an invincible fighter that they retreated back to their vessels and fled. Thus, El Cid Campeador won his final battle even after his death.

This must be the inspiration for the Cuban regime.

In one of those proverbial history repeats itself moments, We may be witnessing the birth of the of the legend/rumor of El Fid Blogueador.

With the Empire only ninety miles away ready to annex -already having laid a siege to the tiny island state of Cuba for 45 years and with the Exiled Mafia ready to jump on board anything that will float to turn socialist Cuba into a modern prosperous, progressive and productive member of the world community once again, the fearful regime has put a number two pencil into the hands of its once invincible leader, El Fid, so that his words of poison can strike a venomous blow to the empire and its Miami mobster minions in a final decisive battle.


El Fid Blogueador, who lived his whole life telling one whopper after another, who never met a lie or an excuse he didn’t like is now propped up on Granma, his ship, to fend off the enemy.

And all the scribes, they read his words and they believe, in fear, that El Fid Blogueador, is still spreading his message. And in their awe and panic, they do not dare question if it is really El Fid that writes in Granma for they are too busy exalting the wisdom in his words of woe and his eternal combativeness against the enemy.

So one day when it is learned that El Fid Blogueador fought his last battle, told his last lie, conned his last suckers from beyond, they will not feel ashamed at their gullibility.

No sir! They will tell the Legend of El Fid Blogueador who conned them one last lime from beyond the grave and they will rejoice at how masterfully they were deceived!

05 September 2007

Castronomics From Beyond

And so … Cuba’s blogger in chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, EPD, (por si las moscas), now warns us , perhaps even from the great beyond, that the world might be heading for another global recession like the great depression of the 30’s.

Is it because he’s going to kick the bucket and leaving the masses of the world without their greatest protector and benefactor?

No, it’s because:

Washington's coffers were depleted during the Vietnam War and that ``since then the United States economy is sustained by natural resources and the savings of the rest of the world.''

NOT one cent in wealth has been created in the US since the sixties. Nothing has been built, no cars, no homes, no roads, no bridges, no schools, no hospitals, no industries-nothing, no taxes have been paid. If you follow Castro’s logic, economies and societies are stagnant-never growing. Well, I guess you can’t blame him-given the view from his hospital window. He’s looking out unto a country freeze framed in 1959.

Castro, the great economist, the dictator who could not even provide his people with toilet paper, the leader whose every grandiose scheme for economic growth and independence failed miserably, the man that brought us the mini-cow and countless other bovine experiments, the man with thousands of failed get Cuba rich schemes-THE Ralph Kramdem of dictators-(who used to tell his long suffering wife Alice she lived in the “lap of luxury”-just like Castro tells the Cuban people), now tells us that there’s going to be a recession because of Viet-Nam?!?

That statement right there is the thought that betrays the communist world view and exposes its fallacious economic philosophy. Castro doesn’t accept the fact that wealth is created. No. To him and his fellow socialist wealth is a given and finite quantity that can only be carved up differently. A pie that the “classes” struggle over until everyone has an equi-tiny piece – except for the ones that own the knives, of course.

Whereas, we in the free world recognize that wealth can be created. That the pie can be made larger so that everybody can share in the pie, albeit a different size slice. New pies can be baked, with different fillings, even.

But not to Castro, who’s stuck back in the late 1800’s when Marx was writing Das Kapital and Spain was struggling to cling to what was left of its once vast empire and the outdated Mercantilist philosophy of the Colonialist period-which is why Castro continually uses words like imperialism and views trade and investments with other nations as a threat to Cuba’s sovereignty.

04 September 2007

Next to Last

The Heritage Foundation just came out with its 2007 Index of Economic freedom.

Cuba beat out only North Korea.

Cuba's economy is 29.7 percent free, according to our 2007 assessment, which makes it the world's 156th freest economy. Its overall score is 2.5 percentage points lower than last year, partially reflecting new methodological detail. Cuba is ranked 29th out of 29 countries in the Americas, and its overall score is so low that it is less than half of the regional average.

It's hard to imagine that the same Cubans that succeed and prosper against the odds here in the United States live in the second least economically free country in the world.

Some Observations:

Trade Freedom - 60.2%

Cuba's weighted average tariff rate was 9.9 percent in 2004. Procedures for the allocation of hard currency and centralizing of imports have resulted in delays and bottlenecks, and customs corruption is common. Consequently, an additional 20 percent is deducted from Cuba's trade freedom score to account for these non-tariff barriers.

Trade freedom? Excuse me but Cuban citizens cannot trade; only the government can trade.So the average tariff benefits the regime and its corrupt leaders-60.2% seems like a generous score .

Fiscal Freedom - 62.8%

Cuba has a high income tax rate and a moderate corporate tax rate. The top income tax rate is 50 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent.

Wait! Top income tax rate at 50%?!?. So if I make $15 a month as an Accountant in Havana working at Sol Melia, and the regime receives $750 a month for my services are you telling me that the $735 they pocket isn't really a 98% tax rate that they keep in order to be able to indoctrinate my kids with their "free" education and access to free medical diagnosis ? (because health care includes medicines and treatment which are hard to come by in Cuba)

Monetary Freedom - 65.8%

Inflation in Cuba is moderate, averaging 5 percent between 2003 and 2005. Relatively moderate prices explain most of the monetary freedom score. The government determines prices for most goods and services and subsidizes much of the economy (although the retail sector has some private and black market activity that is not government-controlled). Consequently, an additional 20 percent is deducted from Cuba's monetary freedom score to adjust for measures that distort domestic prices.

OK, so the regime fixes prices and supply with the money they make by not paying a fair wage and in order to survive, Cubans have to get access by hook or crook to Convertible Pesos- the other currency- to buy in the black market where the cost of goods are set by supply and demand yet this doesn't equal into the inflation calculation?

Conclusion: Economic freedom doesn't exist in Cuba. What exists is economic slavery to the Castro regime.