31 March 2008

One Castro Giveth….

The Other Taketh Away

I guess the drop in tourist visits to Cuba coupled by the more stringent remittances and travel restrictions imposed by the Bush administration are hurting Cuba’s cash flow.

The changes keep on coming. These changes are designed to both create good will and legitimacy for Cuba’s new tyrant and to siphon in some cash from across the Florida Straights.


This latest reform of letting ordinary Cubans stay in hotels as long as they have CUC’s to pay for it, though, is more substantial and actually represents a real change.

Allowing Cubans to stay in formerly “tourist only” hotels, brings to mind the now famous video where University students challenged Cuban Assembly President, Ricardo Alarcon. One of their complaints was exactly this issue of Cubans not being able to stay at “tourist only” hotels even if they had the money. In Alarcon’s rambling rationalization of the now gone restrictions, he said something to the effect, if my memory serves me, that before the revolution, he was allowed to go to Tropicana, but couldn’t afford it, so what was the point of being “allowed” to go since in effect he couldn’t because he couldn’t afford it.

Back when I heard Alarcon defend the Cuban apartheid system to the Cuban students by using the affordability rationale, I winced at the intellectual dishonesty of his position. Though it is true that the majority of Cubans will not be able to afford a stay at one of Cuba’s resorts, they now can.

I’m not going to sit here today and play Alarcon and use his tired 50 year old dialectic.

This is an admission that Fidel’s policies have never worked.

So, here we are, back in 1958. After 50 years of prohibitions and restrictions and we’re right back where we started. Inequality

Biweekly Cuba Report

Cubanology's Biweekly Cuba Report has just been posted.

28 March 2008

(Blood) Ties That Bind

There are two arguments for ending the embargo against Cuba’s Castro communist regime that I hear the most.

One is the Embargo hasn’t worked. The other, we trade with China, why not Cuba?

It occurred to me while watching a video of the ghastly results of China’s crackdown in Lahsa, Tibet that trading with China, as some people argue, doesn’t exert any influence whatsoever in preventing China from brutally crushing the peaceful protests by Buddhist monks and Tibetan citizens. On the contrary, the west is so commercially tied to Beijing, that it’s forced to basically look the other way at the abuses and brutality being perpetrated on the peaceful and unarmed Tibetans by a ruthless military lead by a bunch of totalitarian oligarchs.

They way I see it, not having binding economic ties with the current Cuban regime, allows the US the freedom to condemn any brutality without any ecomomic repercussions like those that could potentially occur in the relationships with China and Venezuela, for example.

Take a look at these images-Warning-they are graphic-. Does it seems that having strong commercial ties with China has brought about a more open and tolerant society? Obviously other than giving the Chinese lots more hard currency to continue to invest in implements of oppression, it hasn't.

You have to wonder if the profits that the Chinese Regime made the Christmas lights that you bought in December could have gone to buy the bullets that killed these innocents or the trucks to move their troops into position or the fuel that got them there...

Essentially doing business with tyrants rather than oppose them at every turn, ultimately makes you complicit in the innocent blood that they spill.

So no, the Embargo hasn't gotten rid of Castro. But it has worked in isolating Cuba's totalitarian regime and put the US on the right side of history and humanity. Ironically it is usually those floks that always argue that the US is always on the wrong side and is to blame for everything, that argue the loudest to build ties with the Cuban regime.

When the day comes when Raul unleashes his dogs on the Cuban citizens at least some of us we'll have the piece of mind of knowing that none of the weapons used against our brethren weren't bought with our money.

26 March 2008

Afraid of Yoani

I’ve haven’t been able to post on the blogs for a few days, but thanks to the “wild colt” of the world-wide-web, I have been able to keep up with events in Cuba.

I keep reading articles about how Raul is doing this and doing that. Treading water , my friends.

For a while there I was in agreement, but discussing the state of affairs over a few cold ones the other day with a friend, we cane to the agreement that things can’t be that secure in Castrolandia when they are of afraid of this little lady:

21 March 2008

The Clueless on Cue

There’s not too much Cuba related online today, being Good Friday and all, so I was looking around to see I could find something interesting and I came across this headline: Toasting Raul, the next Gorbachev: Foster. From a Canadian web site no less. Hmmm?

But I’m desperate, so I click, cringing. As the page loads…A Big picture of Raúl. And so I figure its one of those folks that has bought the propaganda that lil bro is Mr. Pragmatic, etc, etc. and I brace myself,

As I read on, though, I find that this is not the case. Far from it:

Cuban President Raul Castro’s recently revealed economic “reforms” brought to mind two quite unrelated characters: Lewis Carroll’s White Queen, and an old Cuban exile acquaintance of mine named Ignacio.
President Raul, the sprightly 76-year-old who was “elected” to the presidency of Cuba on Feb. 24, thus replacing his ailing octogenarian brother, Fidel, is reportedly planning to grant his enslaved nation access to more consumer goods. Citing “the improved availability of electricity,” the new Maximum Leader will offer for sale computers, DVD players, pressure cookers, and microwave ovens. However, air conditioners are not to be made available until next year, and electric toasters – those ultimate consumer luxuries -- not until 2010. That’s what prompted my thoughts of the White Queen, who famously said to Alice “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday -- but never jam to-day.” In Cuba, yesterday is 1959.

I like this Foster guy! And his article gets better, tying the failures of socialist command economies to “sustainability”- a word that I’m personally developing as strong a dislike as I have for “reforma agraria”:

President Raul will almost certainly wind up as his nation’s Mikhail Gorbachev. That is, he will preside cluelessly over its collapse. But the passing of the old Cuban regime will be mourned by neo-socialists not because they see a world without air conditioning as a problem, but as a model.
I'll toast to that!

And, just as if on cue, we have this pathetic piece from, where else?, the New York Times lamenting the economic chaos that will befall our homeland once those eco-friendly commies are recycled.

Through accidents of geography and history, Cuba is a priceless ecological resource. That is why many scientists are so worried about what will become of it after Fidel Castro and his associates leave power and, as is widely anticipated, the American government relaxes or ends its trade embargo.
… Cuba has done "what we should have done -- identify your hot spots of biodiversity and set them aside," said Oliver Houck, a professor of environmental law at Tulane University Law School, who attended the conference.

In the late 1990s, Houck was involved in an effort, financed in part by the MacArthur Foundation, to advise Cuban officials writing new environmental laws. But, he said in an interview, "an invasion of U.S. consumerism, a U.S.-dominated future, could roll over it like a bulldozer" when the embargo ends…

“Hot spots of biodiversity and set them aside” Freedom, happiness and progress-all hotspots- also set aside. But, doesn’t bother these eco-fascists. These “collectivists” like my friend Tomas would say, are all about exerting their elitist crackpot ideas on the rest of society. That’s really why they are mourning the inevitable demise of Castrolandia form the comfort of their temperature controlled homes with a fully belly and the freedom to write all the inane nonsense that comes to their minds, without ever thinking of the implication that their ideas mean for human beings.

19 March 2008

Parallels and Double Standards

I confess I read Obama’s speech on reverend Wright very carefully, word by word, thesaurus in hand, twice. And as far as speeches go, that was an impressive and well written speech.

Basically, what I got from it was that blacks in this country have had an existential experience that justifies a righteous rage for their homeland. A white person who has never been subjected to racism cannot possibly understand what its like to suffer the oppression and humiliation of racism. African Americans have earned their right to be militant, belligerent and angry because they have been historically victimized. So we have to understand when people like the Rev. Wright go on anti-American tirades.

…Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past." We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

…This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What's remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them…

Fair enough.

But, like most things do, this made me think of Cuba.

And I can identify with this unique phenomenological cultural experience.

It’s interesting to me that Cuban exiles have also experienced a reality that is unique to us in that our own country victimized us and disowned us, not because of race or gender, but because of a different vision of what the social contract between the state and the individual should be. Because of ideas. Because of Orwellian thought crimes.

And yet, when we express our anger and our militancy against communism and human rights abuses, we are dismissed and discounted as hysterics and kooks. When we refuse to back down from the principles and values that we know are right – those principles that we so famously put forth to forge a “ more perfect union” as the eloquent Senator from Illinois reminded us yesterday, all those years ago in Philadelphia- we are called intransigent in the best case and rabid dogs in a worse case.

Even when the media needs to consult a Cuban expert, they usually, flock to the Latells and the Peters and The Sweigs of the world rather than the Valladareses and the Montaners of the world. After all, what do they know about Cuba? They have only experienced the evil and oppression of the Castro regime in the flesh so what would they know?

Imagine if they had asked Bill Clinton, that good ‘ol boy from Arkansas and “America’s first Black President” to give his expert opinion on reverend Wright’s comments and the black experience in African-American churches.

Imagine if a bunch of right wing pro American types went to protest in front of Rev. Wrights church the same way that a left wing anti American type group-Code Pink- came to protest against Castro’s victims in la calle ocho.

Of course you can’t - there’s a double standard.

18 March 2008


I don’t know about the rest of you intransigent exiles out there, but I have “discussions” on matters relating to Cuba.

It seems whenever someone I know catches something in the news or online regarding Cuba, they like to bounce it off me. Ouch!

I don’t know why my non Cuban friends have this obsession to "expose" me to the opposite point of view. It’s as if they believe that by always playing the devil’s advocate, they’re going to evolve my views into an enlightened nuanced fusion of my ideas and Fidel’s. Ah, the dialectics of exile.

Maybe they just like to push my buttons. But, I know what oppression, misery and evil are and I don’t care which way you look at it, that’s all Fidel ever brought to my homeland.

So, anyway, to make a long story longer, a friend sends me a link to a new law being proposed by Florida State Rep. Eddy González–from the Republic of Hialeah-that would prohibit US residents or citizens who received their degrees through the Fidel Castro Scholarship from practicing medicine in Florida.

His added comment was “don’t you people have anything better to do?”

It seems that my pal considers it a waste of taxpayer money to spend time on such biased and vengeful triviality.

At first, I was going to let it go and laugh it off. After all, I was having a long, busy day enjoying the freedom of our free market system…

…But maybe that “you people” was just a bit much.

It’s funny how it doesn’t bother anybody when "those people" who live in the Sunshine State go through the trouble and expense of amending the state constitution to prevent pregnant pigs from being confined in cages.

But when "us people" object to some med-student wannabe going to Cuba to study medicine for “free” because of the inherent immorality inflicted on our captive brethren by this purely propagandist ploy, it’s a waste of time and taxpayer money.

As I told my buddy, those “free” medical scholarships are paid with the blood, sweat and tears of the Cuban people who make a ridiculous $14 per month and have lived on rationed food for almost 50 years. And if you want to talk about a waste of taxpayer money, the Cuban people get taxed at about a rate of 96% so that the regime can provide “free” services like the secret police, censorship and free Doctor Degrees to the oblivious.

The Castro regime pays for these “free” scholarships by keeping the Cuban people living in squalor. The scholarships are as un-“free” as the Cuban people. Not only are those people going to study medicine in Cuba "for free"being used for propaganda purposes, they are taking food out of the mouths of the poorest of the poor.
Maybe if they were pregnant pigs that were being mistreated, mis-housed and undernourished by their owners, it would be an outrage. But no, they're just Cubans.

17 March 2008

The Chinese Model

A friend of mine was telling me she went to see “Bodies-The Exhibit”, which is being shown in Fort Lauderdale, this weekend.

This is a big deal. Thousands of free and enlightened Americans flocking to see plasticized corpses in various stages of dissection, posed as if they were performing different activities, supposedly for education’s sake. For macabre entertainment and making a buck is more like it, if you ask me.

The bodies used for the exhibit all came from somewhere in The People’s Republic of China. The “stars” of the show all donated their bodies to science so they could be used in this traveling cadaver circus. Yea, right.

And we all accept as fact, without questions or reservations, that in a country where there is no rule of law, where there are no civil rights and where the corrupt and illegitimate government imposes its will on the citizens with deadly force, that these bodies where “harvested” in an ethical and lawful way, according to our constitutional standards of law.

Leave it the communists to exploit its citizens even after death and to the free world to accept it in the name of entertainment and profits-no questions asked.

That is the Chinese Model that many believe Cuba is heading for. A society where citizens are mere means of production in a huge government conglomerate designed to maximize profits using a pool of captive slaves. By the mere accidental geographical location of their birth, millions are condemned to be wholly owned by the state- a resource to be used and exploited like any other. And everybody else looks the other way.

The looking the other way-“la vista gorda”-also occurs when the living slaves are taken off the reservation to perform and entertain the free men-free by the accidental geographical location of their birth, mind you, not by their deeds or sacrifices. Sometimes, though, the slaves don’t behave the way they are supposed to. This annoys the paying customers, the entertained.

For example, last week seven soccer playing Cuban slaves escaped form their communist masters while at an Olympic qualifying CONCACAF organized tournament in Tampa.

By the weekend, two knuckleheads, Andrew Hush and Jeff Rusnak who seem to have more passion for “The World Game” than for humanity were expressing their dismay that the Olympic qualifying tournament was ruined by defection of the seven Cubans. Drats! These two sports fans who were lucky enough to be born free are begrudging the fact that some who weren’t, took actions to achieve that freedom at the expense of their precious soccer tournament. Do they have any idea of the scrifice that you make by making the decision to defect? No. And they don't care. They just want to see soccer.

These two guys are representative of an egocentric and self serving society that values its pleasure and entertainment above the freedom, humanity and dignity of their fellow human beings. They would be in favor all Cuban teams playing their matches in a heavily guarded, maximum security concentration camp so that the athletes can only escape by dying….maybe.

Well, they’re going to get their wish this summer when the Olympics are held in Beijing, China-the World’s largest concentration camp. There, they have perfected the Model. They own you and exploit you even after you die. Then, you are free to travel the world in a cadaver circus.

14 March 2008

It’s The Economy, Estupido

Just when everybody in Cuba was jumping up and down in joyful and gleeful expectation to go buy computers and DVD players and such, along comes the Party Pooper to ruin all the fun- The Communist Party.

According to this uncharacteristically-not so pro-regime AP piece, Granma’s director Lazaro Barredo had these “reservations” about the Cuban people’s expectations:

'I am worried that some people are waiting for the announcement of specific measures that would immediately resolve household or spiritual needs, or ones that would automatically lead to more consumption,' Barredo wrote.

According to Barredo, who we, of course, know is "freely" expressing his personal opinion, because that's what "journalists" do in Granma, Cubans are suffering for a form “malaise”, (maybe he met with ex-pres Carter when the ex-pres paid tribute to Fidel on his vist to the island), and what they need to do is work and sacrifice even more and harder for the revolution. I’ve heard this one before. A few times. Hay que sacrificarse.

'We can't expect more needs to be resolved if people don't work more, if they don't produce more,' he wrote, adding: 'Unfortunately, there is a not-insignificant part of our society ... that wants to live without working.'

The article also has the mandatory quote from Cuban Expert Phil Peters, who blogs about Cuba over at The Cuban Triangle where he posts lots of pretty pictures and comments against the current US Cuba policy, who offers a retort of sorts to Barredo’s comments:

'I don't think the problem is that Cubans want to live better without working for it,' he said. 'The problem is that even by working hard, Cubans cannot live because they are not paid enough to make a decent living.'

With all due respect, and I do respect Peters because he sat across a table from the lovely, talented and hot Maria Elvira Salazar, I think Peters who is described as a working for a “pro-democracy” think tank based outside Washington, needs to dive back in the democracy tank and re-think that answer.

I think we can all agree that the problem in Cuba has nothing to do with whether Cubans work or not or how much they get paid, but who they work for-the regime-which is undemocratic. The problem is lack of democracy and a totalitarian monopoly of all the means of production. Like they say in Miami: No Castro, No Problem.

To be fair, maybe the AP quoted our friend Peters out of context. Or maybe Phil doesn’t work for a pro-democracy think tank, but a tank-democracy pro think. They get stuff mixed up at the AP a lot.

13 March 2008


My goodness the "transition" is begining. Tropical Perestroika is in full bloom in Havana.

There’s a news story going around that Raúl is going to allow the purchase of computers and dvd’s.



Let’s see, there’s only one official importer, seller and price setter on the island: Raúl. And according to the above referenced news article, the markup for a computer would be set by law at 240%-thank God they're communists and not bloodsucking, protalitarian exploiting capitalists becuase Wal-Mart, a bloodsucking, protalitarian exploiting capitalist company, for example, would charge something like $750 for a decent no frills home system. Plus a 240% markup, that would run it up to $1,800. That’s 10.71 times the average ANNUAL salary of an ordinary Cuban with no access to hard currency. That means a person would have to work almost 11 years – without spending anything on room and board, clothes or personal hygene , just to buy a computer. Forget having a love interest-that’s expensive and impossible if you're not spending anything on hygene and you live in Cuba-Cubanas don't play that.

In the US, it would be the equivalent of a $321,000 machine. I have on a those-a house.

But let’s assume that your tia Cuca in Hialeah sends you $1,800 she won in a beauty contest, (She's Hot-looks like your Dad but with curves and hair), and you get a new computer. What are you going to do with it? Run personal finance software? Play Call of Duty III? Play Doom?-wait, that’s not a game-that’s your reality. There’s no internet access because Raúl, (remember him?), is the only ISP on the island and he and his pal Ramiro don’t want you surfing the web and being deceived and tempted by the siren song of a bunch of bloodsucking, protalitarian exploiting capitalists who are only interested in tricking you into spending $14 monthly salary on bad porno and assorted hiny things.

And how about software? You can’t buy American software, like Windows, down there because of the embargo. Oh, what am I thinking? Raúl, (remember him?), is the law and he’s OK with piracy and violating intellectual property laws as long as he can sell it to you for a 240% markup to prevent you from being exploited by the bloodsucking, protalitarian exploiting capitalist, Bill Gates.

Like I said, Whoopee!

Oh and get a surge protector a real good one-a UPS- that's another year of work.

sorry for the "descarga".

Tomorrow is Friday and I will try to post something positive.

12 March 2008

Glo, Say It Ain't So ...

Poor little rich girl, Gloria. Not Vanderbuilt, Estefan that is.

There’s a couple of interesting quotes attributed to the Miami diva in this article. I don’t know if Gloria was tired or if she was tailoring her answers to an anglo audience or what, but her statements may explain why she doesn’t see a problem with inviting the Che loving Carlos Santana as a contributor on a CD dedicated to her former homeland, 90 Miles.

He author describes Gloria as:

the daughter of Cuban exiles - her dad was a political prisoner after Castro’s revolution

Gloria, who was born on the Pearl of the Antilles- to which she owes her fame and fortune-doesn’t describe herself as an exile, but refers to herself as an immigrant, however:

“They want to hear about my experiences, the difficulties and what I’ve learned along the way,” she said. “Especially being an immigrant - which is discussed so much these days - and having success and living the American dream.”

Estefan also has this to say:

For (husband) Emilio and me, the music is the one tie to our homeland
The one tie? ¡ Coño, ahora sí que la puso en China!

I guess Gloria and Emilio are lucky immigrants. They turn down the volume on the music and the “one tie” is gone. Others, exiles and refugees, are tied to that island in ways that they have to turn up the volume to drown out the sorrow.

She also expresses her opinion on the immediate future of Cuba under (r)aúl here.

11 March 2008


When I found out about the Colombian raid in Ecuadorian territory that killed Raúl Reyes had also yielded intelligence that implicated Chavez and Correa as partners in crime with the narco-terrorist FARC, my first thought was $6/Gal gasoline.

Chavez and his bought and paid for friends in Latin America do not respect the rule of law and act accordingly. Here in the US, however, it’s a different story. And we, as such, do not do business with state sponsors of terror, at least when it’s blatantly obvious. The laptops and documents recovered in the Ecuadorian pretty much prove that Chavez and Correa are in bed with the “rebels”.

Now, the administration, who was content to tolerate Chavez’s dalliances and belligerences to keep the oil flowing and our SUV’s rolling, is being forced to investigate his involvement with the FARC. Chavez may get his wish after all. No business with the empire. This would be a serious short-term blow for his cash flow-until he finds other buyers that can refine his sour and sludgly crude- and could have serious repercussions in his client states, like Cuba. My guess is Hugo just became very expendable.

Now, I’m reading that not only is Chavez a state sponsor of terrorism, but that Correa’s Ecuador, is a state sponsored by terrorism.

Our own Taliban, here in this Hemisphere. Ecuadoristan.

07 March 2008

Loud Words

Most of the Cubans imprisoned during the Black Spring are still in jail, subjected to beatings, inadequate medical care, and long separations from their family.

These prisoners of conscience live in daily torment. And so do hundreds of others. Yet most of the world says nothing. This is a sad and curious pattern. Last fall, dozens of young Cubans who wore bracelets imprinted with one word, "cambio," or change, were arrested by Cuban police because of their political beliefs. Yet in the face of this assault on the freedom of expression, much of the world was silent.

Last December, Cuban authorities stormed into a Catholic church, tear-gassed parishioners, and dragged 18 worshipers out. A Catholic official called the episode, "the worst attack against a church in 45 years." And yet in the face of this assault on religious freedom, much of the world was silent.

And last weekend, Cubans were pushed and shoved and beaten as they distributed copies of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights. That same week, Cuba signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The international community applauded Cuba for signing a piece of paper -- but on the abuses that same week, much of the world was silent.

A small band of brave nations; countries such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia have placed themselves at the forefront for the fight for human freedom in Cuba. They recently lived through communist tyranny. They remember what life is like under the boot of the oppressor. They know the daily hardships that ordinary citizens have to endure just to survive. And they refuse to look away.

Unfortunately, the list of countries supporting the Cuban people is far too short -- and the democracies absent from that list are far too notable. When a new day finally dawns for Cubans, they will remember the few brave nations that stood with them, and the many that did not.

A few weeks ago reports of the supposed retirement of Cuba's dictator initially led many to believe that the time had finally come for the United States to change our policy on Cuba and improve our relations with the regime. That sentiment is exactly backward. To improve relations, what needs to change is not the United States; what needs to change is Cuba. Cuba's government must begin a process as peaceful democratic change. They must release all political prisoners. They must have respect for human rights in word and deed, and pave the way for free and fair elections.

So far, all Cuba has done is replace one dictator with another. And its former ruler is still influencing events from behind the scenes. This is the same system, the same faces, and the same policies that led Cuba to its miseries in the first place.

I know, I know, I' ve said all this before, ad nauseum. But that's what is like when nobody listens. You are forced to give the same speech. Over and Over.

Well, that actually wasn't me or another Cuban, although it could very well have been.

That was the President of the United States. By some strange coincidence I happened to be by a TV set tuned into Fox, who carried the speech live.

When I was listening to it, and mind you, I'm not Dubya's biggest fan, my first impression was that it sounded as if had been written by an exile who has felt the tyranny in the flesh.

Mr. Bush's words were as emotive and heartfelt as any that anyone of us exiles could have written. Loud words.

The biggest difference is that he has the power to put some action behind those loud words. We can't.

You know what they say about actions.

06 March 2008


I woke early this morning.

I was looking for something to post. Looking through the news, there’s Cuba, Raul, Obama Chavez, Columbia, Oil. So many things in flux. So many variables. So many changes, I was thinking. And yet the circumstances surrounding my homeland, don’t seem to ever change…

Oh yeah
Still dont know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought Id got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But Ive never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see
the faker
Im much too fast to take that test

(turn and face the strain)
Dont want to be a richer man
(turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I cant trace time

I did a post about change, over at Babalu. Everybody wants a change down there. Everybody wants a piece of the change so that they can get some change-in their pockets. Never mind the Cuban people, the Cuban children, three generations of which have grown up to see their dreams sacrificed on the altar of Fidel’s tropical Marxist tyranny. And now, others are invited to join in on the humiliation of a people…

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations

They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
(turn and face the strain)
Dont tell them to grow up and out of it
(turn and face the strain)
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you cant trace time

I never ever thought that it would last this long as I was looking back at Varadero’s fading coastline from my National Airlines Boeing 727 flight’s window all those years ago. Every year, I get older and the possibility of seeing freedom return in my lifetime gets smaller…..

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through
(turn and face the strain)
Oh, look out you
rock n rollers
(turn and face the strain)
Pretty soon now youre gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I cant trace time
I said that time may change me
But I cant trace time

05 March 2008

Cheesy Deal With The Devil

Fidel the ever faithful Marxist is, of course, all about “the masses”.

The “masses” are clamoring for food, to be able to travel, to join the rest of humanity in the 21st century and finally leave the fabulous 50’s behind.

But it is not to be. Not in Cuba. Things will not change there, at least not substantially until the tyrant is dead and incinerated.

So what are the Cubans to do? Well for them to forget their many troubles, Fidel is importing some opium as a diversion. The opiate of the “masses”- religion.

Fresh on the heels of Cardinal Bertone’s odious visit to the island, we learn that more ecclesiastical reinforcements are on the way.

As the next step in the Church’s “investment” in Cuba, the regime is entering into a partnership with 4 German monks who they have granted permission to build a monastery near Havana. Talk about a deal with the Devil:

The four monks will be provided by the Missionary Benedictines, also known as the Ottilien Congregation, an order of monks with its world headquarters at Landsberg am Lech, west of Munich.

I hope the monks took a vow of hunger or brought their own food. I’m sure they’ll find that everyday life in Cuba is perhaps more austere and lacking in material comfort than life in the monastery.

So what’s in it for the tyrant?

Well, Castro, supposedly agreed to the partnership before he “retired” last month, but with a caveat:

It was understood that Castro had insisted that one of the four monks with farm experience be skilled in cheese-making.

And of course, the church bent over backwards to please the cheese loving despot.

Maybe Hatuey was on to something…

04 March 2008

You Can Always Count on Them ...

I am an only child.

I like to think that this is because I broke the mold, but I know better.

What was broken was my parents’ heart seeing their country being destroyed piece by piece, province by province, town by town, street by street, home by home, family by family, person by person. They chose not to bring another child into Castro’s orgy of destruction.

Their mission became to get me out of Cuba. When I was around five years old, I overheard a scary conversation between my mother and a friend who had asked her why she didn’t have any more children. My mother told her friend, sobbing, that she would rather die than bring another life into Cuba to suffer and struggle for no good reason, (“a sufrir y pasar trabajo, por gusto”). She said all she cared about was “getting this kid out of here before they kill him.” She was convinced that my mouth and the revolution were on a collision course. I wasn’t very fond of the olive drabbed “milicianos” thugs who were put in charge of destroying Cuban society and took their mission very seriously. And I had my own mission - joder.

For example, in first grade I was given a revolutionary “talk” a “charla”, at school. One day, probably a Friday, they had us lined up outside in the schoolyard just before the commencement of some revolutionary program and they started counting heads. I took offense to that and said “no me cuentes, que no soy gallina”-"don’t count me, I’m not a hen"-under my breath. I didn't exactly know what that meant, but it sounded pretty rebellious. The revolutionary zealot "teacher" overheard me. After the program, I was taken to the office where they very nicely said what they always said. The same infernal speech…kind of like Obam…but that’s another post… “Mijito, tu sabes….blah, blah, blah, the revolution, blah, blah, blah, Fidel, blah, blah, blah……”

So I didn't blame my mother for the way she felt and I saw her point, but she could at least have gotten me a puppy!?!

Seriously, as I grew older, I always wondered if I would have had kids myself had I not been rescued from the island prison. I really see no point in consciously doing so – as cold and as nihilistic as that sounds, But hey, I’m not a very warm and fuzzy person. I blame Che. They told me to be like him and in a way, I am.

ANYWAY, the reason I bring this up is because the Cuban regime has announced that for the second straight year, the Cuban population has declined. By 1,889. Yes, in a country of 11.2 million people, they can tell you, with totalitarian precision, that in 2007 there were exactly 1,889 less Cubans in Cuba then there were the year before. Not 1,885 not 1,890. Not 2,000, which, by the way, is an immaterial .0168069425%. No, 1,889. EXACTLY.

I wonder how they counted the 5 who were on a Coast Guard cutter on the way back to the Cuban concentration camp after being “intercepted” at sea on December 31, 2007? Would they have been numbers 1,890 to 1,894 or where they included in the 1,889?

Anyway, thanks to my mom, I’m one of the APPROXIMATELY 2,000,000 Cuban exiles that escaped Castro's animal farm or concentration camp-pick your metaphor-and are not counted like livestock or inmates.

03 March 2008

Cuba And Globalization

Ever since the Soviet Union collapsed under its own heaviness, commies, leftists and guilty rich kids all over the globe have been whining, complaining and demostrating.

Their main goal is to stop progress and prevent people from living comfortable and productive lives.

Once people are relatively happy and gain some financial independence, they quickly lose the need for Marxism’s envious ideology. After all, Marxism dogma of no private property is an easier sell to the have-nots than the haves.

The Soviet Union is no longer around to check the power of the free-enterprise system, so we have all these slackers running around warning us about the evils of hard work, success and profits. They preach against Globalization, Global Warming, American Hegemony, etc.,-all ways to stop progress and the spread of wealth to buy some time until they can regroup and make a comeback.

So where do all these disillusioned leftists go to commensurate about their losing streak?
Why the last bastion of Socialism-Cuba.

Havana, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) Some 1,000 experts from 50 countries are to attend in this capital Monday the International Meeting of Economists on Globalization and Development Problems, amid a panorama of economic uncertainty and high oil prices.

Now, ironically if they want to look at development problems, they’re in the right place. But these folks aren’t interested in developing anything. Their idea of progress is to stop development because it serves their purposes.

Also on the ironic front is the “high oil prices” since the biggest reason for oil prices jumping in the last couple of weeks has to do with Hugo Chavez’s ignorance, belligerence, and saber rattling. Hugo is , of course, the most fervent if not vocal anti American Hegemony and Free Market critic around.

And even more ironic is that they will be discussing:

The US recession's impact on economies of the Latin American and Caribbean countries, and the international situation due to the explosion of the private debt and the real estate sector are among the lectures of the meeting.

In other words, they’re going to lecture “on private debt” and “real state” in a country where it is illegal to have either. Maybe they’re going to suggest the abolition of private property as a solution to the “private debt” problem and the nationalization of all real state as a solution to the real state bust. They can call the conference “Muerto el perro, se acabó la rabia”.
Pero, sigue la peste-digo yo.