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Thread: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

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    Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Fabiola Santiago: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/08/3275068/fabiola-santiago-cubas-bloggers.html

    By Fabiola Santiago
    fsantiago@MiamiHerald.com
    Posted on Friday, 03.08.13
    The Cuban bloggers, bold chroniclers of totalitarian rule, are traveling in winter, an apt metaphor for the old order they’re challenging back home, and to a smaller but no less significant extent, for that of the traditional exile.

    Yoani Sánchez. Eliécer Avila. Orlando Luis Pardo

    The weather casts a gray patina on their photos from Europe and New York, but their tongues are as sharp abroad as they are inside Cuba when they denounce the arrests of dissidents or illustrate — as they’re doing now with Cuba’s new travel policy — what it’s like to live in their world.

    In one word: Treacherous. Whether inside Cuba or out.

    Their words are dissected: Do they call it “the embargo,” as in the United States, or “the blockade,” as in Cuba?

    Their motives are questioned: Are they true opponents of the regime, or useful fools?
    Criticism comes at the ready from all sides, including from Cuban-government-planted bloggers and from those competing for attention and prominence — some of them exiles who were once branded Communist sympathizers themselves.

    It’s nasty and dangerous out there, yet the bloggers cross borders, participate in panels, collect prizes for their work that they were given years ago, when the government denied them permission to leave.
    Very good article by Fabiola Santiago about the three Cuban bloggers traveling around the world and their international impact. The Castroit regime made a big mistake allowing these bloggers to travel abroad and they are paying a big price for it. The regime is discredited now more than ever.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Yoani Sanchez, Eliécer Avila and Orlando Luis Pardo speeches prepared the field for the accusations of the Castroit regime abroad by Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of the assassinated leader Oswaldo Payá, and Bertha Soler leader of the Ladies in White. Because they were allowed to travel after Yoani, Orlando and Eliécer, their declarations had a mayor impact. Our respect and gratitude to these five outspoken Cubans whose efforts are substantially contributing to the cause of freedom and democracy in Cuba.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Yoani Expression thrives thanks to flash drives
    PUEBLA, Mexico: Yoani: Expression thrives thanks to flash drives - Cuba - MiamiHerald.com

    Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, speaking at a media forum in Mexico, said Cubans use computer memory sticks to evade Internet censorship.

    BY TIM JOHNSON
    McClatchy News Service

    Speaking at a media forum in Mexico, Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez talks about how memory sticks help Cubans evade Internet censorship. "Information circulates hand-to-hand through this wonderful gadget known as the memory stick," Sánchez said. “And it is difficult for the government to intercept them."

    PUEBLA, Mexico -- Dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez on Saturday told newspaper publishers from around the Western Hemisphere that “nothing is changing” in Cuba’s ossified political system and that “the situation of press freedom in my country is calamitous.”

    But Sánchez said underground blogs, digital portals and illicit e-magazines proliferate, passed around on removable computer drives known as memory sticks. The small computer memories, also known as flash drives or thumb drives, are dropped into friendly hands on buses and along street corners, offering a surprising number of Cubans access to information.
    The Castroit regime is starting to break down, more and more Cubans are losing their fear. New technologies like cell phones, flash drive, Bluetooth, etc, are helping accelerate the process.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Free communication through new technologies like twitter, which allow sending and receiving instant short messages, represent a thread to repressive governments. Twitter can be used to bring democracy to those countries such as the Castroit regime, and in due time will help to do so. The regime cannot stop this twitter technology to broadcast news. It doesn’t have a fix structure, its change and adapt to new events, cannot be control by the tyrannical regime.

    The flow of free information inside Cuba keep increasing at an accelerated pace, speeding up the pace of change of the collaboration around a share goal of helping to put an end to the Castroit monarchical regime and bring freedom to the island.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Due to the new technologies is easy to record and transmit the Castroit regime goons violence against dissidents, including women and young people, with total disregard for their basic human rights. The military regimen lies and abuses are been video and witnesses accounts recorder, exposing them in a manner and to a level that was impossible before the advent of these new technology.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Yoani Rejects Unconditional Lifting of Sanctions
    Capitol Hill Cubans: Yoani Rejects Unconditional Lifting of Sanctions

    at 10:08 AM Thursday, March 21, 2013

    In an interview with TV Marti, Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez clarified that she supports the lifting of U.S. sanctions -- but not without pre-conditions.

    Q: Are you in favor of lifting the embargo without conditions?

    Yoani: I am not if favor of that, I think that it is clear that there should be conditions [for the lifting the embargo] and that there should be a long process of debate before doing so.

    Moreover, she stated her satisfaction in meeting with U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and their understanding of the need to help the Cuban people find ways to freely access the Internet.
    See video at: Capitol Hill Cubans: Yoani Rejects Unconditional Lifting of Sanctions
    Most Cubans long ago realized that the main cause of their calamity is not the external U.S. embargo, but the internal government embargo.

    Cubans problems are not the result of the embargo; they are due to the corruption and ineffectiveness of a system that is against private property and free enterprise. These and no others are the real reasons of the problems.

    What will bring "Change" to Cuba are “free elections”, the freeing of all “political prisoners”, and the implementation of a “market economy”.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Cuban blogger, "citizen Yoani," at the UN
    Maria Werlau: Cuban blogger, ‘citizen Yoani,’ at the UN | Babalú Blog

    By Maria Werlau

    She was delayed from filming a last-minute CNN interview, so I was anxious to rush her through the next steps. Passes were secured at the information desk --she used her Cuban passport as ID and was photographed like any other visitor. We hurried downstairs and through the basement parking lot to the Library building where journalists’ and UNCA offices are located during the main building renovation. As we walked fast and through successive security points, I told her the Cuban government had blocked our plan and we would have to improvise. We agreed it did not matter, she was at the UN and she was going to speak regardless. Just minutes before, I had read on my phone that the tantrum had played out at the highest levels; Cuba’s Ambassador had filed an official protest asking the UN Secretary General to call off the “grave attack.”

    Cuba is very influential at the UN, it has one of the largest and most active representations. China, Russia, Iran, and the likes are strong supporters, plus it exerts great influence over many other governments --many opportunely host Cuban medical missions or share "revolutionary" sympathies, others just want to avoid trouble. Cuba’s diplomats are known for expertly working the UN bureaucracy and rules. The room change was the least of my worries. At any moment, I feared, we could be stopped at a security check, escorted out of the building, or attacked by Cuba’s diplomat-thugs. These things have actually happened at the UN in New York and Geneva.
    Maria Werlau, Executive Director of the nonprofit CubaArchive.org, was instrumental in getting the United Nations Correspondences Association’s (UNCA) to invite Yoani to speak at the UN. The article recount step by step Yoani visit to the UN

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Cubans Are Trapped In A Myth
    Yoani Sanchez: Cubans Are Trapped In A Myth

    Yoani Sanchez
    Posted: 03/26/2013 8:24 pm

    It's cold in the Hague. Through the window I can see a seagull find a piece of a cookie on the sidewalk. In the warmth of a local bar several activists are speaking of their respective realities. From one corner of the table a Mexican journalist explains the risk of exercising the profession of reporter in a reality where words can cost you your life. We all listen in silence, imagining the newsroom shot up, his colleagues kidnapped or killed, the impunity.

    Then a colleague from the Sahara speaks up and his words are like sand in your eyes, reddening them until the tears flow. The anecdotes from the North Korean also make me cringe. He was born in a prison camp from which he escaped at age 14. I follow each of these stories, I could live them. From whatever culture and geography, pain is pain anywhere. Within the space of a few minutes we pass from the midst of a shootout between cartels to a tent in the desert and then to the body of a boy behind barbed wire. I manage to put myself in the skin of all of them.

    I hold my breath. It's my turn to speak. I tell about the acts of repudiation, the arbitrary arrests, the assassination of reputations and a nation on rafts crossing the Florida Straits. I tell them of divided families, intolerance, of a country where power is inherited through blood and our children dream of escape. And then come all the phrases I've heard hundreds, thousands of times.

    I've barely said the first words and I already know what is coming: "But you can't complain, you have the best educational system on the continent"... "Yes, it might be, but you can't deny that Cuba has confronted the United States for half a century"... "OK, you don't have freedom, but you have a public health system"... and a long repertoire of stereotypes and false conclusions taken from official propaganda. Communication breaks down, the myth prevails.

    A myth fed by five decades of distortion of our national history. A myth that no longer appeals to reason, only to blind belief, a myth that accepts no critics, only fans. A myth that makes it impossible for so many to understand us, to be in tune with our problems. A myth that has managed to make many perceive as good things in our nation that they would never accept in their own. A myth that has broken the channel of ordinary sympathy generated for any human being who is a victim. A myth that traps us more strongly than the totalitarianism under which we live.

    The seagull takes a piece of candy in his beak. At the table the talk turns back to North Africa and Mexico. The sense of explaining my Island to them is lost. Why, if the whole world seems to know everything about us, without ever having lived in Cuba. I cringe again on hearing of the harsh lives of these activists, I again put myself in their place. And who puts themselves in ours? Who unravels this myth in which we are trapped?
    The myth of the success of the Cuban Health Care System

    The myth of Castro tyranny about the success of the Cuban Health Care System, is debunked by an article titled “Re-examining the Cuban Health Care System” included in the latest edition of the online journal, “Cuban Affairs,” published by the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, and a report written by Dr. Hilda Molina smuggled out of the island.

    The author, University of Oklahoma Professor Katherine Hirschfeld, spent nine months in the island living with a Cuban family and interviewing family doctors, medical specialists, social workers, nurses and patients as part of her research:
    “Conducting qualitative ethnographic research in Cuba is not easy. North American anthropologists have historically been viewed with suspicion by the Cuban government, and in some cases research permission has been revoked for individuals who took a critical perspective or inadvertently broached the issue of political dissent (Lewis, 1977; Rosendahl, 1997). In my own case, the overwhelmingly positive portrayal of Cuba in the medical anthropology and public health literature meant that I arrived on the island with very favorable expectations. I never anticipated my research would evolve into a critique.(…)' Re-examining the Cuban Health Care System, http://ctp.iccas.miami.edu/website_d...feld-press.pdf, Vol. 2, Issue 3-July 2007.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Another quote from Katherine Hirschfeld article Re-examining the Cuban Health Care System:
    The Cuban Ministry of Health [MINSAP] expects physicians to structure their clinical interventions to achieve the Ministry’s annual health goals. As with other sectors of the economy, MINSAP sets statistical targets that are viewed as the equivalent of production quotas. The most carefully guarded of these health targets is the infant mortality rate. Any doctor who had an unusually high rate of infant deaths in his or her jurisdiction would be viewed as having failed in a number of critical respects.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    I've been to Cuba, a couple times, and I'll go again when I can. Most of what you post here is ****e.

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