30 November 2007

Good Doggie

Did we just get a pat on the head and an ‘atta boy” from the Miami Herald for being good little Chihuahuas?

The last time the dog catcher came to take one our little Chihuahua friends away, we all barked and growled and marked our territory.

That smack in the josico with a folded up Miami Herald apparently taught us our lesson.

Cuban Americans welcomed this week's Solomonic resolution to what has been a protracted and acrimonious custody fight over a 5-year-old girl, a marked departure from the high passions that dominated the Elián González saga seven years ago. A sign that hard lessons were learned from the painful Elián affair: The buzz on Miami's Cuban radio on Thursday centered on Venezuela's upcoming election and fears that the Hugo Chávez regime will turn into a dictatorship in Fidel Castro's image.

Even the queen of the Chihuahuas got her belly scratched by the Herald. They interviewed Ninoska Pérez Castellón, considered by the Monster on the Bay to be the yappiest of the ankle nippers.

''People were calm because they knew this kid had her day in court,'' she said. ``It's totally different than Elián.''

You know, I have a Chihuahua, Brutus. He’s a refugee from the streets of Hialeah and his tiny 4 ½ pound body has telltale signs that he was abused and had a hard life before we got him. He was so thankful to be given a home. So proud. But the one thing about him is that he doesn’t do tricks. He’s not eager to please. He’s loyal and will defend anyone in the family fiercely, and at his own peril, but never for a reward. If you say “good boy” and pat his head he growls. I like that about him.

29 November 2007


And so I’m watching the TV last night and they say there’s a development in the case of the little Cuban girl in the middle of another international custody battle. You know those news teasers. Armed with ever ready-ever charged laptop with built in Comcastic wireless connectivity, I breathlessly scour the internet for news expecting to find pictures of Federal Marshalls, tear gas and white vans whisking the poor child to a life of slavery, servitude and socialized misery.


Back to the tube working the remote like an X-Box 360 controller I scan the 800 plus Comcastic channels with nothing on with no luck.

So, finally at 10:00 PM I find out the girl's father is staying in the US. A settlement.

Holy Crap!

I know the conspiracy theory gene runs deep and rampant in my veins, but what is this all about?

This whole soap opera was being produced and scripted in Havana. Did the Cuban script writers walk out of their jobs in solidarity with their fellow communist script-writing brethren in Hollywood?

Or did Raul blink?

Did the father defect?

Maybe Raul has decided to live up to Brian Latell’s label of him as “pragmatic” and decided to cancel the soap opera .

Maybe it’s just communist pragmatism-a small strategic retreat in hopes of wining the battle later.

Oh and ther'es a big butt in all of this: the judge's. The "C" word judge. Jeri Cohen. She has to agree on the settlement. She was the star of this soap opera-with those kooky deer caught in the headlight eyes. How dare Raul cancel her show!

28 November 2007

El Güinero?

The blog of fellow Cuban blogger, El Güinero, has been silent since July 18. That was around the time when Ramiro began exerting even more control over access to the internet. We worry. We miss his stories of life in Güines.

Noticias Marti is reporting that his beloved city of Güines awoke to handmade anti-government signs on the main street – Calzada de Güines – on Saturday morning.

The sings which were glued to business facades had slogan like:

“Abajo Fidel Castro” ---“ Down with Fidel Castro”

“No mas comunismo”---“No more communism”

“Lo que necitamos es que te mueras”---“What we need is for you to die”

“Abajo el abuso”---“Down with abuse”

“Un mundo mejor es posible sin Fidel”---“A better World is posible without Fidel”

According to independent journalist, Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, the regime deployed many police to eliminate the signs while a crowd of curious Cubans watched.

We can imagine El Güinero getting satisfaction out of seeing the regime’s flunkies scrubbing down walls to get rid of “the evidence”. We can also imagine El Güinero planning and carrying out the covert mission "pa’ joder todavia."

Maybe he staged this whole thing to let us know he's still there- jodiendo todavia.

We hope . We pray.

27 November 2007

“Curiouser and Curiouser”

December 2, 2007.

Mark the day on your calendars.

That’s the day we find out if Raul is putting his older half brother out to pasture. The hand picked candidates that will be on the ballot to be part of the Cuban Parliament have already been “selected” by the party according to Granma. If you’re not on that list, you can’t be unanimously “selected” President.

Last week we were playing around with the notion that the Cubazuela idea was most likely Fidel’s. By all indications, though Raul doesn’t mind fleecing Chavez’s petro dollars, he doesn’t share the “love and admiration” that Fidel has for Hugo. The Cubazuela proposal has really only been articulated by Perez Roque and Lague who are considered Fidel loyalists and Chavez who idolizes the tyrant.

If Fidel’s name isn’t on the list on Dec. 2, then it’s probably a no go for Cubazuela on the Cuban side. Ironically that’s the same day that Venezuelans will be voting on whether they want Venezuela to have a constitutional dictatorship and on whether Venezuela can enter into “Federations” as part of its new charter. Regardless of what the polls say, I expect the constitutional changes to win approval- a go-go on the Venezuelan side.

That might set up a showdown of sorts between Chavez, who considers himself Fidel’s heir and Raul who probably has no intentions of playing second banana to a foreigner.

You add to this the way Chavez keeps making friends and influencing people and you can see why Raul seems to be setting the stage, behind it of course, to make nice with the Empire.

“Curiouser and Curiouser”

26 November 2007

Some News from Cubazuela

So my dad calls me:

"Did you hear Chavez's latest?"

"Uh no."

"He canceled three Kings Day"

"¿De verdad?..Really?"

"Yup" he says "He's afraid they're going to tell him to shut up"

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This is what I do every Thanksgiving at noon.


Don’t Drink and Think

So, another night of drinking, talking and philosophizing last night. It’s ok, it wasn’t a school night.

And my friend tells me-an aside here- (the best thing about blogging is that I can start sentences with ands, ifs and buts!)-that Hugo Chavez stopped in Havana to meet with Fidel. Things aren’t going well for Chavez. He’s got students and the military against him on his constitutional reforms. If he wants to legitimize his annexation of Cuba, he needs to get this constitutional reforms passed since one of the articles gives him the power to enter into federations.

Our communist conspiracy theory evolved from the previous days beers. That was a school night.

So, what if this federation idea is the love-brainchild of Fidel’s infirmed, senile mind and Hugo’s ummm…instincts? This would be the real “transition” from Fidel to Hugo. Leaving number two Raul, still playing second fiddle. Its important to note that only Fidel’s ideological followers and boot lickers, Perez Roque and Lague, the Talibans, are the ones talking up the Federation-and of course, Chavez.

Now, to the best of my recollection, the Cuban Parliamentary “selections” were not to take place until March. Raul moved them up to Jan. 20. The Venezuelan referendum is on Dec. 2. So if Raul chooses to retire his older half brother by not putting him on the ballot, he can have a new “government” in place by the time Hugo can start to Federate-is federate a verb?-use you imagination.

Another Becks inspired thought was the media blitz declaring that the upcoming Cuban parliamentary “elections” could for the first time, not include, Fidel’s name. You know this kind of critical thinking or analysis did not come from the parrot press “covering” the regime in Havana and is more than likely a planted or leaked idea to test the waters and get people used to the idea of a Fideless Cuba with Fidel still alive.

Raul can, by cutting the brother out once and for all, string Chavez out on the federation idea and keep pimping Venezuela’s petro dollars and buy time to make some economic changes and stay in power. So are we forced to root for Raul in the short run here?

Tonight we will give thanks and praise. Three generations of Cubans. Screaming and arguing about Cuba.

Tomorrow: new conspiracy theories!

21 November 2007

A Gold Watch For Fidel?

The process for legitimizing Cuba’s totalitarian dictatorship, euphemistically called “elections” by the regime and parroted as such by the free press will advance to the next step when the newly “elected” Municipal Assembly meets to choose the National Assembly who then unanimously appoints a dictator-Fidel. This momentous celebration of people power is slated for 20 January 2008.

Only this time, there’s actually a little suspense. Fidel may not be on the ballot. Raul, may decide to retire his older half-brother to legitimize his own dictatorship.

Who knows, maybe Raul won’t even put himself on the ballot, choosing instead to head the Cuban Communist Party and the Armed Forces, leaving the ceremonial State political offices to a loyal party aparatik like Lage, Alarcon or even Perez-Roque. He could still control the country and be in a position to normalize relations with the next American administration -a Democratic one- they hope.

This arrangement gives Raul Castro flexibility to survive his brother's death. Having all but expelled the terrorist ETA from Cuba-they are relocation to either Venezuela or Bolivia- and trying to broker a deal between the Columbian Government of Uribe and the FARC and FLN narco-trafficking “rebel”-terrororists, he can get Cuba off the State sponsor of terror list-a stumbling block to American dollars. The next stumbling block to begin some kind of normalization of relations with the US, is the Helms-Burton law which forbids any US normalization of relations while either Fidel or Raul Castro is in charge.

Raul can then play the US off against Chavez to see who gives him more money or he has a back-up plan to get American tourists into Cuba if Chavez’s 21st Century Socialism crashes and burns in the near future. And, he can devote some time to his hobby: drinking, which is obviously what my friend and I were doing last night when we came up with this “analysis”. We figured you have to get drunk if you’re going to figure out what a drunk might do.

20 November 2007

Cuban Apartheid

I know we all sound like broken records in the Cuban American blogs. “Castro this, Castro that”

But what are we supposed to do when we know that injustices are being committed, in the name of a false ideological cult, on our countrymen, family and friends? Get in our SUV’s and drive? Order another beer? Keep crying out in the wilderness like a crazed coyote howling at the moon that nobody hears?

We keep screaming about the Cuban Apartheid and we get smirks and rolling eyes. When we talk about the conditions of Cuban blacks, the subject gets changed to football or the weather.

Everybody in Cuba has it bad, but the majority has it worse. The majority of the population in Cuba is now black.. Trust me, there are no African-Cubans in Cuba. There are dark skinned Cubans with a capital C. Cubans first black a distant second. In fact, many of the dissident leaders are black. Yet, the Cuban ruling class has a few blacks, tokens, in positions with little or no authority. And they were supposed to bring dignity and equality to Cuban blacks.

This is how they do it:

But, don't feel too bad. After all he has free education and healthcare.

19 November 2007

Pepito de Aviacion

Cuba’s new pragmatic and reform minded leader has decided to make good on his promise of “structural” changes.

On Thursday, he decreed that aircraft could be privately owned.

Way to go Raul!

And just think, I thought he was full of crap when he said that everyone in Cuba should be able to drink a glass of milk whenever they wished.

The hell with milk, now Pepito can buy an airline. He can put together all the “quilitos” left over from his $12 a month salary and buy some airplanes.

So I guess this means that Raul is selling the National Airline to some foreign investors.

Or maybe they’re starting to divide the looted Cuban National treasure amongst themselves and move towards a Russian style “transition” where the old nomenklatura thugs become the new entrepreneurial ruling “mob” by controlling the key national industries and ruling by intimidation.

I’m sure we’ll see what this is all about soon enough.

16 November 2007

Name Recognition?

The headline read Diaz-Balart visits China to meet with Chen Zhili.

So I re-read it actually says Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart.-in Prensa Latina.

Talk about name recognition.

This guy was a non person in Cuba. "Insiled" by his omnipotent father to anonymous lab work and sentenced to driving a beat up Lada and live in a bad apartment. Not allowed to leave the country with his family (I wonder why?). Now he’s a hyphenated, high falutin’, high profile ambassador for uncle Raul.

This guy has family in high places EVERYWHERE!

I’d add a few more hyphens in there just for kicks.

Like Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart-Franco or Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart-Stalin or Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart-Hussein or Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart-Hirohito or even Fidel Castro Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Wait! oops, not that one. Or like Ms. B’s favorite Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart-Kennedy.


Gusano Diaz-Balart de Mierda

15 November 2007

Moncada 07

Cuba just got pounded by Noel, a pesky little storm that killed a bunch of people all over the Caribbean. In Cuba, the regime says it killed one man and caused $500 Million in damages.

The eastern part of the island suffered terrible floods that destroyed homes and crops.

The armed forces were mobilized to evacuate and help the victims.

Incredibly, the regime is going to go ahead with an announced military exercise named Moncada 2007 to prepare for the unannounced enemy, (American), invasion from Nov. 19 to Nov. 23.

Cuba, because of the paranoia of its maximum leader, now cheerleader, Fidel, has 3 Armies:The Eastern, Central and Western with separate commands. They report to Raul, separately. (I’m not sure if they even interact with each other- Charlie Bravo?) The Eastern army will not participate in Moncada 2007 because it has its hands full with the Noel aftermath.


Imagine how much this “military” exercise is going to cost? Wouldn’t those millions be better served helping with the reconstruction of the flood affected areas in the east?

And how ready can any army be against any American onslaught? Seriously. IF, the big bad bogeyman to the north decided to invade using its military might, it would take what? A few hours to take Havana?

An incredible waste of time, effort and money?

Not really. These military maneuvers serve two very important purposes. One, they are for domestic consumption, designed to show the Cuban people that any rebellion or mass protest will be dealt with swiftly and harshly with deadly modern weapons of destruction. Two, they taet the common conscripted miliciano by also warning them what is in store for them if don’t follow order. The MNIT is also exercising making sure that soldiers know they have a gun to their backs.

That’s well spent money for the regime whose only real purpose is to oppress and suppress the Cuban citizen into submission in order to perpetuate its power.

14 November 2007

$ociali$t $pain

$pain has gotten Hugo Chavez’s me$$age loud and clear.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez demanded on Tuesday Spain's king apologize for telling him to shut up, warning that Spanish investments could suffer in its former colony because of the spat.

Euro$ trump National Pride for $pain’s $ociali$t government.

So what is the former world power and up and coming European economic powerhouse do when an uncouth bully with pockets full of petro dollars threatens not to do business with them anymore? Well, they do what they’ve always done, look the other way. Appease. Pretend.

After all, Chavez wasn’t talking to the King. The King is a nobody-a fixture, a relic of the glorious Spain of old what he says, however appropriate or succinct, doesn't matter. It was all a huge misunderstanding. Besides, Chavez didn’t say anything about Aznar that the Spanish opposition hasn’t already said. Just like he didn’t say anything about Bush that the Democrats hadn’t already said when he visited the New york and insulted the President. For Zapatero to stand up in defense of Aznar is as disingenuous as when Charlie Rangel stood up in defense of President Bush.

Like he does in Cuba, Zapatero will not only appease but work towards keeping Hugo Chavez in power. There’s money to be made. That’s what the colonies are for, after all.

13 November 2007

The Summit of Hipocricy

The King of Spain, that’s right, in the XXI century they still have a King … pfftt, asked Hugo Chavez why he didn’t shut up. That is a valid question and a natural response to Chavez.

Yes. Why don’t you shut up? The King was trying to teach the upstart Emperor some regal indifference.

The question is not why Hugo doesn’t shut up, but why doesn’t Spain speak up. Why isn’t the Spanish foreign minister on the offensive calling Chavez out for his fascist ways rather than on the defensive, defending Spain who under Arnaz’s leadership actually condemned tyranny and defended freedom-XXI Century Fascism in the eyes of Hugo Chavez?

The Zapatero-lead socialist government of Spain has decided not to speak up. It has decided instead to engage old school tyrants and new wave constitutional dictators that enslave their people wrapped up in the myth of egalitarianism and XXXI Century socialism under its policy of “critical dialogue”. Hypocrisy

Hugo’s crime, as far as the Spaniards are concerned is not that he is on a course to enslave Latin America under the yoke of XXI century socialism-a leaner meaner socialism than the failed XX Century version that has crashed and burned everywhere, unfortunately taking 100,000,000 people with it. They don’t have a problem with that as long as the Spanish companies can make a little profit off the backs of the newly enslaved Latin Americans. Their problem with him is that he doesn’t have enough class to inflict his tyranny on the masses without calling undo attention to those are turning a blind eye in hopes of profiting from it.

Yes Hugo, Why don’t you shut up? We are supposed to speak in diplomatic feel good platitudes at these summits. We’re supposed to smile and have critical dialogue and make lots of money. We’re supposed to maintain some regal, above the fray indifference. Don’t expose our hypocrisy. Don’t ruin a good thing.

11 November 2007

¿El Vacilon del Domingo?

In some pinko-rojo, rojito- summit euphemistically called-(totalitarians love to use euphemisms a part and parcel of their propagandist newspeak to fool and appeal to what they euphemistically call the “masses”)-Summit for Friendship and Integration of Latin American People, Hugo, ¿porque no te callas?, Chavez received a phone call from his mentor and Cuban presidential “candidate” Fidel.

He was handed the phone by Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage while speaking about overthrown Chilean President Salvador Allende in a stadium in Santiago

Castro wasn't heard by the public because no one could get the speakerphone to work

Castro and Chavez conversed, with Chavez repeating Castro's words for the audience, according to the statement.

The were no reports as to whether the technologically, among other things, challenged Hugo, ¿porque no te callas?, Chavez got a similar call from Elvis or Walt Disney.

There is also no confirmation on what Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero were up to when Hugo, ¿porque no te callas?, Chavez, got the phone call from Fidel.

09 November 2007

Texas Hold'Em

Yesterday, I was pondering over the seemingly irreconcilable two paths that the regime seemed to be taking. One the Cubazuela option, the other possible negotiations with the Empire.

The former may actually be a hedge.

With the situation in Venezuela deteriorating amidst a student rebellion and Hugo Chavez’s former Defense Minister stating that Chavez’s constitutional reforms are tantamount to a “coup”, things aren’t as rosy in Miraflores as they seemed a few months ago when Hugo was riding a wave of popularity after his “re-election.” Mutiny in the Military, the “C” word AND students in the streets-not a good combination in Latin America.

Taking back the streets by squelching the Venezuelan student protests will probably require military force since the police and sending out armed violent thugs hasn’t worked. That may be the straw that breaks the Venezuelan Military Camel’s back.

If Cuba’s goose that laid the golden oil barrel cannot withstand a military challenge, Raul knows that he will have to deal or fold. By sending Jorge Bolaños to D.C. and overseeing a seemingly kindler gentler dictatorship, Raul may be positioning Cuba to deal rather than fold. Communists always deal. They’ll mark the cards and keep up an ace up their sleeve, but they’ll deal.

The problem is the The Empire’s only interest in not allowing Cuba’s communist regime to fold is stability-defined by the US as no mass exodus. The Bush administration, however has not-so-quietly started to build refugee camps to deal with any mass migratory situations and the President raised the stakes in his Cuba speech a few weeks by reaffirming the Havelian axiom of freedom before stability.

08 November 2007

Cubazuela Si, Yanqui...Maybe

I admit I like to have a little fun with the idea of a Cubazuelan federation led by Emperor Chavez.

But, it seems the joke may be on me.

By all indications this “federation” is all systems go.

Felipe Perez Roque made his pronouncement in New York that Cuba would be willing to give up its sovereignty and flag in order to enter into such a federation. Although there was no comment in the Cuban state-run media, Ricardo Alarcon supported Roque’s comments though he dismissed them as something that would not happen in the near future. Last night on Maria Elvira Live, Host Maria Elvira Salazar, reported that one of the changes to the Venezuelan constitution being put up for a referendum on Dec 2 is an article that constitutionally ties Venezuela and Cuba.

Even so, it appears that Raul is maneuvering the regime towards a possible future thaw in relations with the United States.

Some of the small moves he has made will put the regime in a better position to negotiate with the next administration if it has to.

For example, last year the Cuban regime started to disassociate itself with the terror groups that Fidel had supported in the past. For example, last year it was reported by CNN that the ETA, an terrorist organization of Basque Separatists, was looking to leave its safe haven in Havana for new digs in Bolivia, perhaps at the request of the regime. Cuba has also hosted talks with Colombian terrorist guerrilla groups FARC and ELN and the Columbian government. These moves may be designed to get Cuba off the “state sponsor of terrorism” list.

The regime has also noticeably changed it “dissident control” tactics replacing long incarcerations with short “holdings” and less brutal intimidation. Raul has also been trying to live up to his Stateside –academic created label of Mr. Pragmatic by calling for a national “debate” on the revolutions problems-that should take another 10 years or so- and by promising to make some changes.

Now we learn that Raul is sending Jorge Bolaños to head its Interest Section in Washington DC. This move signals to many Cuba watchers possible upcoming delicate negotiations with the Empire.

07 November 2007

Wristband Revolution

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to wear wristbands
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know We're all wearing our wristbands
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right all right,
all right Ah ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know You better wear a wristband instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right all right,
all right all right,
all right, all right
all right, all right,
all right

06 November 2007

¿Como se dice Abajo Fidel en Chino?

El campeonato de la XXXIV Copa Mundial de Béisbol empezó hoy en Taiwán.

Y nosotros que somos como las cucarachas porque estamos en todas partes nos hace falta tener una representación en el Mundial.

¿Habrá que hacer una colecta para enviar a Enrique para Formosa con una cartulina y un sharpie o tenemos a un cubano en la China libre que saque la cara por el pueblo?

05 November 2007

Two Cuban Secrets: Dissidents and the MINIT

It’s frustrating to sit on this side of the puddle and wonder why the Cubans living on the other side just don’t do something. Anything!

Ok, so some kids wore some “cambio” bracelets and got arrested. Quietly. Big deal! Have you seen the protests in Venezuela? The hell with bracelets. We need protests like those. Thousands screaming with signs, tear gas, rubber bullets, brutality, beatings, blood.

Understanding the predicament of Cuban dissidents requires the aid of Cuban philosophy. In order to be a Cuban philosopher…well, all Cubans are philosophers, but to be a good Cuban philosopher, you have to be able to succinctly analyze the phenomenology of the specific reality being discussed and make a simple one-phrase pronouncement that breaks down the human condition to its essential existential component. (ok, so Cubans are good B.S.’ers too). So, I’m not a master of Cuban philosophy, but I’m going to take a stab at it anyway:

“El que esta fuera del agua, nada bien”

The opposition inside the island is weak, fragmented, infiltrated and virtually unknown. This is highlighted in this story from a Ray Sanchez article in Sunday’s Sun Sentinel.

More than 200 people had mobilized for the late September protest demanding
freedom for political prisoners. But state security agents intercepted many of
the dissidents outside the capital and detained them for hours.

"People were picked up on roads; others were prevented from leaving their homes," said Martha Beatriz Roque, 62, one of the organizers. An economist by profession, Roque has pushed against the Castro government for 17 years and served two prison terms for her efforts.

In the end, only eleven people attended the peaceful demonstration outside Cuba's Justice Ministry. It quietly fizzled when police loaded the demonstrators on a bus and drove them home.

Is all the opposition in the island totally hapless and clueless? Hardly. In Cuba, every fifth person in any group is probably an informant, an undercover member of the MINIT, (interior ministry). It is impossible to organize large protests because of this. In order for a mass protest, like the ones occurring in Venezuela, to occur, thousands would have to spontaneously take the streets without planning because any planning would surely alert the regime through its network of informants. Still, dissidents keep on trying. 70 young people protesting elections with or without bracelets is something. It's incredible. Sisyphus had a better chance of getting the rock to stay on top of the hill.- “No hay peor diligencia que la que no se haga”

Just how does the regime keep track of and control the opposition in order to thwart their regime change plans?

Well, for years we exiles have been saying that Cuba’s repressive machine is brutally effective and omnipotent, one of the worse in the “Soviet Block”. In this Miami Herald article, we learn that the Cuban Ministry of the Interior learned its repressive ways from the “best”, the West German Stasi, according to Jorge Luís Vázquez:

Headquartered amid the grim Soviet-styled apartment blocks of the former East Berlin, the Stasi -- short for Staatssicherheit, or State Security -- succeeded through surveillance, intimidation and torture in becoming one of the most feared intelligence agencies in the world. By the time the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, the Stasi had 91,000 employees and 350,000 collaborators in a country of 17 million.

When the Stasi archives were opened to the public in the early 1990s, East Germans learned that there had been 986 documented deaths at the prison and discovered 112 miles worth of files on their fellow citizens.

Wow. “El que nace para tamal, del cielo le caen las hojas”

Accusations of the extreme repression in Cuba are usually shrugged off or dismissed as anti-Castro right wing, Batistiano hysteria. Not only that, the victims of the regime’s repression are often attacked by Castro supporters and apologists. The following excerpt hints at why those who have visited Cuba, may go on to become fervent Castro defenders and appologist as well as Cuban exile attackers-it’s all in the “tapes”.

Vázquez says he found the MININT is ''almost a copy'' of the repressive Stasi security system, exported by East Germany to Cuba in the 1970s and '80s, and that the ties between the two organizations run far deeper than previously known.

From how to bug tourist hotel rooms to an intriguing mention of the hallucinogenic LSD, the degree to which the Stasi trained and provided material and technical support to the security arm of Fidel Castro's regime had a sweeping and harsh impact on Cuba.

Germans taught the Cubans how to mount effective camera and wiretap systems for eavesdropping -- for example, at what height on the wall to install microphones, which color wallpaper provides the best concealment, and which shade of lighting for the best video recordings.

“Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres”

02 November 2007

La Estrella Solitaria (Lonestar)

I Guess It’s Muerte

Patria o Muerte (Fatherland or Death).

That’s the forsaken totalitarian ultimatum that I’ve heard since I was born from Fidel Castro Ruz.

A lot of Cuban blood has been spilled for that island.

Most Cubans are nationalistic, unapologetically so. The flag, the anthem, all the symbols of our land are like divine entities. The palm trees are our pride. The soil, red like the blood of our many patriots, is red and sacred. If you don’t get that, you never will and this paragraph will sound like the corniest, stupidest thing you ever read. Sorry, sorry you don’t get it.

And now, to finish the total and utter destruction of what we Cubans hold sacred, this band of thugs that rules Cuba, has decided they have the right to surrender our flag to the highest bidder.

Signs of this travesty have been visible for sometime now. Carlos Lage once stated that Cuba and Venezuela had two presidents, Castro and Chavez, and when Hugo Chavez visited Cuba last moth to celebrate Che’s “feast day” he talked about his dream of creating a “federation”. But these statements were so ridiculous that they were taken as jokes prompting yours truly to muse whether I was now a Cubazuelan refugee or a Venecuban exile. Lies from communists, jokes from clowns-nothing too unusual.

But now, it looks like its for real. We have Felipe Pérez Roque in New York declaring that Cuba would be willing to surrender “its sovereignty and its flag” to join some as yet unformed Latin American block. Has Roque gone rogue? Is this a Talibanic move behind Raul’s back in the presumed behind the scenes power struggle between the Fidelistas and the Raulistas? I doubt it.

So I guess it’s “Muerte”, “Death”, because it’s no longer “Patria”, “Fatherland”.

The revolution has died by its own hand-by suicide only it has decided to take the country with it.

So what does this mean for the long suffering Cubans stuck in the island? The only thing the revolution ever gave them was their birthright-being Cuban. Castro’s whole totalitarian farce revolved around Cuba’s sovereignty. All the scarcity, hunger and hardships were justified as sacrifices for Cuba’s sovereignty, for the “Patria” who always had the big, bad, Yankee wolf at the door huffing and puffing, eager to tear the house down and sacrifice the “Patria” at the altar of Capitalism. B.S., I know, but nationalistic B.S. nonetheless, designed to appeal to the Cuban psyche.

So what now? What are these people formerly known as Cubans supposed to sacrifice for now? Hugo Chavez? a Bolivarian Empire? The United Socialist States of Soviet Amerika? Is the “new man” that the revolution created so apathetic and materialistic that he no longer holds the “Patria” sacred? I doubt it.

If this travesty of integrating Cuba into Chavez’s Pan-American Federation goes through, it may very well act as a catalyst to unite the people formerly known as Cubans inside the island with the Exiles formerly known as Cubans living outside the island to put aside differences and fight for the common cause of Cuban sovereignty. For a flag, for a palm tree, for some red earth. That, we all have in common.

Again if you don’t get it, you never will and I’m sorry you don’t.

01 November 2007


Another day in the tropical island-wide concentration camp that is Cuba, another 60 people thrown in the slammer. Intimidated, terrorized and roughed up.

For what?

Well, apparently for taking Raul Castro at his word. (something you should never do with a communist, btw). On October 28th, in La Habana, a group of young people decided to comment on the state of affairs in Cuba. Now, being young, hip, fashion conscious and brought up to be Che–like revolutionaries, the young rebels did what young rebels do these days. No, they didn’t burn cars like they do in Paris. No, they didn’t throw rocks like they do in Palestine. No, they didn’t whine about it on their myspace page like they do in the States. And, no, they didn’t take to the hills as guerrillas like Fidel, Raul and Che urge the youths in other countries to do. They donned wristbands and took to the streets! Innocuous and pitiful as far as protests go, wouldn’t you think?

But, not in Cuba. In Raul’s New Land of Pragmatism and Open Debate wristbands are deemed too dangerous to be tolerated. You see, the wristbands worn by the youngsters had a message on them. A one word message: “CAMBIO”, (change). The youths were wearing the harmless bracelets to comment on the just completed municipal elections. Now, isn’t that what elections area all about- Change? And aren’t they in fact agreeing with interim President Raul Castro, who himself, has promised structural “changes”-Cambio?

No one would be happier than me if Raul Castro decided to change the course of the Cuban nightmare-volution and transition the country into some semblance of a democracy, (I'm not even all that picky). But arresting young people for wearing wristbands and for complaining about much needed societal change, something that Raul himself has said is needed, is not a very promising start. Maybe if they had worn wristbands with “Inertia” or “Stagnation”, they wouldn’t have invited the regime’s wrath. I doubt it. The regime isn’t against any statement per say, it is against the individual and his right to express himself.

But, what I find promising is that the regime that boasts about standing up to the Empire and repeatedly volunteers its citizenry for all out war against the invading, wristband wearing, annexationist Americans is frightened of innocuous wristbands with the word “cambio”-(change). It doesn’t say much or for its seriousness in making the changes that Raul has promised the Cuban people to improve their everyday lives and thus for the confidence that the regime has in its ability to survive the “succession”.

I have always resisted the temptation of wearing one of those trendy silicone wristbands that support one cause or another or make some sort of profound statement because I’m much too cool to wear my heart out on my wrist, but given the irritation that the one-word wristbands caused the insecure Cuban regime, I’m looking into making my own version of the “CAMBIO” wristband and making an exception. We should all be wearing “CAMBIO” wristbands in solidarity to the Cuban youth who risked so much with such a simple and harmless act.


From The Miami Herald's Naked Politics:

Republican Sen. Mel Martinez and his Cuban-American counterpart, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, put aside partisan differences today to blast a common foe: Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

From the Senate floor, the two displayed small white plastic bracelets with the word, "Cambio" (change) etched on them.

Here's a picture with the "CAMBIO" wristbands worn by Sen.Martinez and fellow Peacock Sen. Menendez on the Senate floor.

We need to get these in mass quantities and sport them like the counter revolutionary fashionistas that we are!