Saturday, September 30, 2006

Chávez, please keep talking

Like my mother says, "el tipo es un ánimal, si se cae come hierba." Literally the guy is an animal (a quadruped), if he falls he will eat grass.
Alaska villages reject heating oil gift from Bush critic Chavez

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An offer of free heating oil from a critic of President Bush will be rejected by four remote Alaska villages.

Leaders of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association said Thursday that they will not accept oil for residents of Nelson Lagoon, Atka, St. Paul and St. George offered by Venezuela President Hugo Chavez out of loyalty to Bush and the country.

Chavez last week called President Bush "a devil" and made other inflammatory comments about the United States. More on the story [here].

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cuba: Dead last in mobile growth

Another great achievement of the Cuban revulsion is to be dead last in communication growth. The Cuban regime may blame the “blockade” for having the highest deficit in mobile communication in the Western Hemisphere, but the truth is that it is in Cuba’s best interest to do so. If there is no communication, except what the regime feeds you, then the chances of people getting together and fomenting a counterrevolution are minimized. Just look at how Cuba stacks-up.
Regional [Latin America] mobile penetration stood at around 43% in early 2006, but varies greatly from country to country, with Jamaica, Chile, and Argentina recording the highest rates (apart from the small Caribbean islands) at around 93%, 70%, and 54% respectively, while Haiti and Cuba languish at 5% and 1% respectively. Some of the Caribbean islands have mobile penetration rates of over 100%, the highest of all being Turks & Caicos at 230%.
Read the whole report [here], but you have been warned there are lots of numbers.

Fidel castro coming to Miami

Miami, here is another opportunity for you to display your Cuban craziness. So, get those placards ready. You have used successfully in the past. Oh, I don’t know when you will need them, maybe never, but be ready nonetheless.
A story involving the famous Fidel Castro, who ironically arrives at Miami, like so many of his fellow Cubans, and at the same time living through a Cuban- American experience, creates the perfect scenario to watch him become a more humble person; the "Quixote of American Socialism". At the same time two sub- stories will strike the "emotional string" in our interior. The movie does not pretend to make any political statements on the Cuban Revolution or Fidel Castro's biography, however its purpose is to establish the story of the Miami of Today, in which all kinds of Cuban- American characters display their lives, their feelings and intentions relating to Fidel in his temporary and uncomfortable exile. The story shows "the other Cuba" and her two faces; one of the exiled Cubans, seeking the "American dream" and the other of the Cubans who capitalize this dream by camouflaging their political and economic interests, manipulating the dream of the others.
The story is presented in a movie called “I love Miami,” but it will not premier there, instead look to Bolivia for that privilege. Alina Fernández Revuelta, the daughter of the old fossil fidel has been invited. Also invited is the daughter of St. Ché, coinciding with her visit to the Bolivian town of La Higuera where they [los babosos] will pay homage to her dead and still dead father. No word on whether either daughter has accepted the invitation.

Is Chávez becoming a pariah?

It looks like some of Chávez’ European socialist friends would prefer to be friends at a distance, unless they are terrorist friends [like the two at the bottom on the article], then its hugs and kisses and exchanges of saliva.
Venezuela apologises to Portugal for Chavez poster

LISBON: Venezuela apologised to Portugal today after President Hugo Chavez used a picture of himself with Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates in an election campaign poster, Portuguese news agency Lusa said.

The apology came after Portugal said it was dissatisfied with the use of its Socialist prime minister's picture as Chavez campaigns ahead of Dec. 3 presidential elections.

"If there was any kind of particular interpretation (about the poster) we apologise," Lusa cited Venezuela's Communications minister, William Lara, as saying. Lara said the poster had been removed.

There is an 800,000-strong Portuguese community in Venezuela. "Breaking the blockade. Venezuela respects itself," read the poster.

The picture of the two men was taken three months ago when Chavez briefly met Socrates at Lisbon's airport while on his way to Russia.

Other campaign posters include Chavez with Cuban President Fidel Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Deadbeat Cuba gets loan from Russia

Cuba gets another opportunity to stiff the Soviet Union, scratch that, Russia.
Russia to lend $355m to Cuba

Posted By Newsroom On 28th September 2006 @ 07:30 In Home, International | Comments Disabled

MOSCOW - During Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov’s visit to Cuba on September 28 and 29, an agreement will be signed to lend Cuba $355 million to fund the acquisition of Russian goods and services, a source from the Russian delegation to Cuba told RBC. The idea was approved by the Russian government on 14 September.

Cuba will use the tied loan to finance the acquisition of Russian machinery and equipment. “This is a pilot project to support Russian exports. If it is a success, we will consider tied loans to other countries too,” the source said.

He also said an agreement would be signed to restructure Cuba’s debt to Russia, at about $166 million. He did not specify the terms of the debt-restructuring scheme but said it would include a grace period. Cuba’s debt to the former USSR, estimated at about $26 billion, will not be discussed at the negotiations, according to the source. This, he said, opened up new opportunities for relations between the two countries.

The Cuban authorities do not recognize the Soviet-era debt. Moreover, Fidel Castro’s government stopped servicing all debt obligations to Russia back in 1999. Cuban officials said Russia owed $30 billion to Cuba. They said the debt had been caused by the abrupt severing of economic ties between Cuba and the USSR. Visiting Cuba in 2000, President Putin offered Fidel Castro the chance to settle Cuba’s debt to Russia through the Paris Club, but the Cuban leader refused, suggesting that Russia should pay $200 million in annual rent for its spy base in Lourdes. Two years later Russia left the base. More [here].

PCs for Vader

Ten days before the purge of top officials in Cuba’s telecom, the IT minister Ramiro “The Lord R. Vader” Valdes presided over the purchase of 30,000 PCs to the tune of $10 million. The supplier is the Malaysian government owned company Mimos, and the purchaser is Cuba’s Electronic Group, a FAR (Cuban Armed Forces) company under the control of R. Vader. Yep, if there is a description for a conglomerate, FAR is certainly one. FAR runs Cuba’s tourism industry, hotels, travel agencies, car rental, they run it all. All this under the command of the fossil fidel and his little bro raul; although, it looks like R. Vader is assuming the CEO spot while raul appears inconsequential.

Let’s go back to those computers and see how it all works out. Each computer comes out to about $333, which is not a bad deal at all. Dude, it’s not a Dell! I mean the software alone assuming that it is MSOffice costs more than that. Now you know that all the components on Mimo’s PC are cloned the software is pirated. A US company is subject to fines of up to $10,000 per incident for using unauthorized software (not licensed), but this is Cuba, and the rules do not apply.

Watch out for an increase in hackers; although, the article indicates otherwise. It's war and they have warned us!

Mimos unit gets Cuban PCs deal
Saturday September 16, 2006

HAVANA: Mimos Smart Computing Sdn Bhd has secured a deal worth US$10mil to supply 30,000 personal computers (PCs) to Cuba's Electronics Group for the computerisation programme in this Caribbean island nation.

Electronics Group is a government body tasked to provide computers for schools, government offices as well as hospitals throughout Cuba.

Mimos Bhd president and CEO Abdul Wahab Abdullah signed the memorandum of understanding for the contract on behalf of the Mimos subsidiary while Electronics Group head Elio Pacheco Rivero signed for the Cuban corporation.

The ceremony was witnessed by Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin and Cuban Informatics and Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes Menendez at a hotel here.

From Left: Mimos Smart CEO Ahmad Shuhiamy Mohd Hashim, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin and Elio Pacheco Rivero. --Bernamapic
Zainuddin then handed over 50 PCs from Mimos to Menendez, who received them on behalf of Electronics Group.

According to a Cuban official, the country of 11 million population is embarking on a massive computerisation programme, especially to equip schools, hospitals and government offices in the rural areas.

Currently, Cuba imports computer hardware mainly from China.

Zainuddin said for more than 30 years, Malaysia and Cuba had formed a collaboration that had become an example of a successful South-South cooperation.

He said Universiti Sains Malaysia was working with Cuba’s Finlay Institute to develop vaccines for tuberculosis and meningitis while Cuban scientists were working with their Malaysian counterparts in anti-cancer research. Abdul Wahab, meanwhile, said Exim Bank of Malaysia had agreed to provide a credit facility to Mimos Smart Computing to supply the computers. – Bernama

To hell with Citgo

7-Eleven with more than 2,100 franchise stores has sent Citgo para el carajo. 7-E’s contract with Citgo of more than 20 years will not be renewed. The salesmanship of the year award goes to the Venezuelan quadruped, Chávez.
HOUSTON (Reuters) - 7-Eleven Inc. will drop Venezuelan-controlled Citgo Petroelum Corp. as its gasoline supplier, the convenience store operator said on Wednesday, a week after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush "the devil."

7-Eleven said in a statement it was switching to its own branded gasoline at more than 2,100 company-owned and franchise U.S. stores. Citgo has been 7-Eleven's gasoline supplier for 20 years. Read the rest [here].
Now go get your slurpee! Green is best.

H/T: The Real Cuba

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

100 million victims of communism remembered

Finally, the victims of the greatest epidemic to hit the world in the 20th century are remembered and honored with their own monument in Washington D.C. More people have died on the hands of Communism than all the wars of the century. The groundbreaking ceremony takes place on September 27, 2006 [10:00 AM to 12:00 PM].
The Memorial will feature a 10-foot-high bronze replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue erected by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989 and then destroyed by Chinese Com¬munist tanks. The statue was based on our own Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
Read the lectures under the title “Is Communism Dead?,” by lecturers Lee Edwards, Ph.D., Frank Calzon, Paul Goble, Harry Wu and sponsored by The Heritage Foundation.

Also visit the site “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” for addition info.

US food sales to Cuba reach $500 million per year

Wait a minute, isn’t there a horrible bloqueo? Well let us see what the castroite apologists have to say, starting with the reporter who filed the story, Russ Mitchell.
Life for most Cubans is a bare bones existence. The average wage is about $13 a month. But health care and education are free, and no one goes hungry because every Cuban receives a food ration.
Mr. Mitchell, too many mojitos and too little time to really research the real story behind the ration books, eh?

And here is the other idiot!
"I think it's substantial," said Kirby Jones of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association, in response to a question about U.S. food sales to Cuba. "I think in the $100's of millions or billions of dollars."

Jones, a lobbyist and deal-maker, represents dozen's of U.S. companies in Cuba.

"The impression in the United States is that Cuba is stagnant — locked into some rigid communist ideology and structure," said Jones. "Cuba is totally different,
hundreds of companies do business with Cuba."
Even dissidents are sometimes off kilter. Since 2002 American companies have been selling food to Cuba, how much democracy has that brought the country?
But two Cuban dissidents who spoke to CBS News say trade with the United States could be beneficial to their cause.

"I agree with companies of United States here in Cuba because investment comes with people, and people have ideas," Oscar Espinosa Chepe told Mitchell. "These will be injections of ideas, democratic ideas."

In 2003, Espinosa Chepe was charged with sedition and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was recently released because of poor health. His wife, Miriam Leiva, is a journalist.

"I think little by little this could bring about democracy in Cuba," said Leiva.
Oh, I almost forgot, along with the story there is a video. Watch it [here].

Monday, September 25, 2006

Shake-up in Cuba's telecom

This is what happens when you show a little independence in Cuba, which in Cuba means to think out of the box, to think different from the castros. Ramiro Valdez, the new telecom chief appointed to that position by raul castro is reigning in his control. This from Reuters:
Cuba fires telecoms, computing chiefs in shake-up
Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:19 PM ET
By Marc Frank

HAVANA, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Cuba has fired the heads of two of the country's most influential companies in a bid to bring the computing and telecommunications enterprises back under firm state control amid a national anti-corruption drive, industry sources said on Monday.

Information Technology and Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes, 74, a former revolutionary hero, took over the sensitive sector that controls communist Cuba's communications, computing, Internet and software development late last month.

His was acting president Raul Castro's sole ministerial appointment since he took over temporarily from his brother Fidel Castro on July 31 after the latter underwent intestinal surgery.

The shake-up at the companies did not appear to be aimed at opening up the sector to foreign capital or to information and entertainment from outside the country, said the foreign and local sources, all of whom wished to remain anonymous.

They said Valdes was unhappy with the independence shown by some company directors and their inability to rein in subordinates despite an ongoing drive to increase state control over the economy, improve efficiency and fight corruption.
Cuban President Fidel Castro declared war on corruption a year ago, warning it could undo his 1959 revolution. Together with his brother Raul, Castro mobilized youth and Communist Party stalwarts to root out corrupt practices within the state bureaucracy, leading to widespread sackings in recent months.

Valdes fired the president of Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA (Etecsa), Jose Antonio Fernandez, and the vice minister for information, Nelson Ferrer, for failing to control the fixed-line and mobile services monopoly, the sources said.
Etecsa, with revenues of more than $400 million in 2005 and in which Telecom Italia <TLIT.MI> has a 27 percent interest, is one of the most powerful and visible companies in the country.

Valdez also fired the president of the powerful state-run Copextel corporation which imports, assembles and distributes advanced communications, computing and other technology, the sources said.

Copextel, with annual revenues of more than $200 million, has been caught up in recent corruption scandals involving kickbacks from foreign companies.
Etecsa's new president, Maimir Mesa Ramos, and Copextel's new boss, Antonio Orta Rodriguez, were both promoted from within the ranks.

International studies have found that Cuba occupies last place in Latin America for both mobile phone and Internet penetration, and is fifth from last in terms of its number of fixed telephone lines.

The government blames the four-decade-old U.S. trade embargo for its poor communications infrastructure.

But Cuba's 11 million people cannot buy a computer or subscribe to the Internet without a government permit, satellite television is prohibited, and mobile phones are available only for hard currency.
This is why a Cuban blogger is nothing more than an extension of the Cuban controled press, otherwise they would not be allowed to exist.


The idiot fathers of the Mexican town of Oyotzingo, which in Cuban is pronounced (O, yo te singo), have erected an obelisk to honor the band of pirates that sailed on the yacht Granma to rob Cuba of its future. The Cuban ambassador to Mexico Jorge Bolaños, and man with an extensive castroite pedigree was on hand to unveil the monument. The article goes out of its way to point out that the costs for the monument are covered by the town. The fact that a Google search on Oyotzingo leads "zero" results, it tells me that this is a very insignificant, probably a very poor, mismanaged little town, incapable of carrying such costs unless Mr. Bolaños account covered the necessary bribes.

Now for some clarification. It is not my intent to be vulgar with the Cuban pronunciation of Oyotzingo, but losely translated it means, “Oh, I will screw you.” Cuba and Oyotzingo, both have been Oyotzingados.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Citgo indicted for environmental crimes

If Citgo so blatantly circumvents environmental regulations on Yankee territory, imagine how badly they are poisoning the poor Venezuelans, where they rule like the kings of old. Although, we are asking you to boycott Citgo and their products, do stop by their service stations, use their bathroom even if you don’t need to, and flush twice, heck flush thrice. However, do not buy any of their products.
WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury in Corpus Christi, Texas, returned a 10-count indictment today, charging Citgo Petroleum Corporation, its subsidiary, Citgo Refining and Chemicals Co., and the environmental manager at its Corpus Christi East Plant Refinery with criminal violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Justice Department announced. [More on Citgo's felony]

Remove the eyesore

And the sign too!
Chavez remarks prompts city councilor to seek removal of famed sign

BOSTON The controversy over remarks by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (OO'-goh CHAH'-vez) is prompting a member of Boston's City Council to call for the removal of the famed Citgo sign in Kenmore Square.
Citgo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company.

Councilor Jerry McDermott says the flashing Citgo sign should be taken down and replaced by an American flag. He tells the Boston Herald it would be a way for the city to show its displeasure with Chavez, who referred to President Bush as "the devil" during a speech at the United Nations.

The Citgo sign has been a Boston landmark for decades, in part because it is so prominently visible over the left-field wall at Fenway Park.

An attempt by Citgo to dismantle the sign in the 1980s was abandoned after strong opposition from the city.

Cigto: the dictator's gas, don't buy it!

I did a little checking and found that there are four Citgo gas stations within 15 miles of my home. I am proud to say that I had to look them up, because I sincerely did not know their locations. I have not patronized these businesses since el burro de Chávez took over the company in the name of the Bolivarian revolution. Papa Val at Babalú is calling for strengthening the Citgo boycott; “…drive down to the next Amoco of Shell or Mobil and bypass your local Citgo station when gassing up.” However, I do not think that it should stop there. We should be asking Citgo spoke hole Florida Marlins slugger Miguel Cabrera to explain his position on Citgo, which in essence is about his views on Chávez after this burro cagó all over New York.
HOUSTON - May 31, 2006 --- CITGO Petroleum Corporation today announced the expansion of its baseball marketing effort with the signing of Florida Marlins slugger, Venezuelan-born Miguel Cabrera to a multi-year contract to serve as the Florida face of CITGO in its new Energia Latina marketing campaign. He will also be actively engaged in the community on our behalf, supporting youth-related programs and baseball clinics in the area.
This is just one sample out of many. Others like Univision that take advertisement and sponsorships from Citgo should be just as accountable. For now we do what we can; therefore, do not gas up at Citgo, go right pass it. To locate your nearest Exxon-Mobil station go [here].

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I am with el burro Chávez

The United Nations Assembly, aka den of rats, aka Non-Aligned Movement should be ripped off by the roots and relocated. Perhaps Tehran would be a fitting capital, or Caracas, or shit maybe even Havana. A place, off US soil where they can live and fester in their own vile and with third world accommodations. The US would retire its membership and its $5 billion in support, and let the “tapón de bañadera” pick up the tab instead. How's that for a little daydreaming?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New passport rules

The US will require passports for anyone traveling to and from the following:

• January 8, 2007 - Requirement applied to all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
• January 1, 2008 - Requirement extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.
Now how can we make this work to stop the illegal travel by US citizens to countries such as Cuba?

¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz

I am going to try to see this Celia Cruz exhibit before it leaves town. East coast it's coming your way after November 5.

This from Amazon

I've just received this great offer from Amazon, fortunately I can still buy paper toilet in bulk at Costco.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why does the Grim Ripper insists in toying with us?

Please do not misunderstand me, I do not wish anyone ill will or worse, death. However, when it comes to commies, and specifically commies with blood [Cuban] on their hands, then Grimie could not be a better friend. But what sin have we committed that all Grimie does is joke with us? One day he takes a dictator to the brink of death, and before you know it, the same dictator is swapping spit with other tyrants in training. Ba-hum-bug!

Well he is playing us again!
Raúl's wife believed to be very ill

The woman who often served as Cuba's first lady, the wife of acting leader Raúl Castro, is believed to be seriously ill with colon cancer.


As Raúl Castro rules Havana while his brother Fidel recovers from surgery, Cuba watchers say Raúl's longtime wife, Vilma Espín, is also believed to be seriously ill.

Although there's been no official word out of Cuba, reports of Espín's illness have been making the rounds in South Florida as the woman who often served as the island's first lady misses more and more important events.

Espín has been president of the Cuban Federation of Women for all of its 46 years, and for the first time last month missed its annual anniversary celebration.

The Holguín-based newspaper Ahora recently published a letter Espín wrote for last year's anniversary, suggesting that she was not even well enough to pen a statement this year.

Espín also did not attend the 13th Latin American congress on sexology and sexual education in Brazil, where she was to receive an award. And radio station CMHW in the central city of Santa Clara referred to her last month in the maudlin terms often reserved for the very sick or dead, saying she was the ``eternal guide of the newborn motherland.''

Last month, El Nuevo Herald published a story on the spreading word of Espín's ill health, including one report that she may be suffering from colon cancer. [More]

Special brew for tyrants only

H/T: ¡Ya No Más!

Upon what meat that this Cuban Caesar feed?

In an interview with CNN and transmitted by Venezuela de Televisión, the heir apparent, Hugo Chávez said that fidel castro could be back in the business of oppression [now in the hands of his younger brother] in just couple of weeks. My guess is that December 2 is still the target date, it is the date that Cuba celebrates the landing of “Granma” on the cost of Cuba, and the day when Cuba plans to ‘celebrate’ the tyrant’s birthday; postponed from the original date of August 13, due to his exploding intestine.
Castro volverá al poder en semanas según Chávez

El presidente venezolano, Hugo Chávez, afirmó en una entrevista con la cadena CNN que su homólogo y amigo Fidel Castro volverá al poder en Cuba en pocas semanas.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Cuban original

One of my favorite Cuban folk singers. Pero caballero, tremendo cambio, casi no la reconozco. Photoshop or Dr. 90210? Albita Rodriguez we need a concert in California.

Trojans just getting going!

Trojans defeat the Cornhuskers (28 -10).

USC quarterback John David Booty looks to pass in the first quarter. Booty finished with 257 passing yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

First Bank of United Socialists States of South America

Dictator for life wannabe, Hugo Chávez has proposed at the meeting of the Non-Aligned manure producers in Cuba the formation of a Bank of the South. Now rogue states, terrorists and dictators can have their own financial institution (away from the pesky watchful eyes of the banks from North and the World Bank) to move around money as they please for their various nefarious causes. Of course, it would not be limited to Latin-American nations; surely, Mahmoud of Iran will play a big role in the bank’s funding.
Chavez proposes ‘Bank of the South’

Havana, Sept 16: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has proposed the creation of a Bank of South American nation to use international reserves for financing the development of these countries. "If we are going to have a Bank of the South, we cannot lose one single day to use our international reserves to finance our development," he told the 14th summit of 118-nation NAM here yesterday.
"Where are our reserves today?... In the countries of the North. This is about re-launching the potential of NAM and the basis of unity of this movement," Chavez said. Read [more].
Chávez also proposed the formation of a “Commission of the South,” which will be lead by non other than the Cuban skeletor, fidel castro. The Commission will advance the idea of the integration of Latin-American states, becoming a singular economic block and common coinage, and with Chávez at the helm.
El trabajo de esta comisión estaría centrado, según Chávez, en temas que en reiteradas ocasiones el mandatario ha mencionado. Un Banco del Sur, una petrolera del Sur, un sistema universitario y una televisora, se encontrarían entre las “propuestas” que Chávez ha planteado al resto de países de América del Sur, según dijo. More [in Spanish].
Translation: The work of this commission would be centered…one bank of the South, one oil company of the South, one university system and one television network.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fontova takes on The Miami Herald

Via Babalu:
Mainstream Media Frenzy Over Bogus Scandal

Humberto Fontova
Friday, Sept. 15, 2006

Last week the headline flashed from the New York Times to USA Today and from the BBC to Drudge. Both the AP and Reuters ran with the scoop. Even Editor & Publisher ran a story.

The breathless reports told of intrepid reporters at the Miami Herald – prompted only by ingenious hunches and inspired only by public spirit – uncovering a scandal of stupendous international import. The article in the Miami Herald that ignited the frenzy even included photos (mugshot-style) of the ten miscreant journalists.

The Herald's findings were staggering:

"U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports," headlined the New York Times.

"Journalists Paid to Blast Castro," said CNN.

"10 Miami Journalists Take U.S. Pay," read the headline in the Miami Herald itself, whose staff contained two of the reporters besmirched by the scandal, Pablo Alfonso and Wilfredo Cancio. By an odd coincidence, these two were conspicuous on the Herald staff for their strong anti-Castroism. In a sanctimonious huff, the Herald brusquely fired them and canceled all assignments with the besmirched Cuban-American freelancer Olga Connor.

From the Huffington Post to Michael, leftie blogs are all gloating, and characteristically so. The reports in the Miami Herald and New York Times depict a Republican payola scheme where knavish Cuban-American commentators were variously bribed and duped into parroting vicious Bush-ite propaganda against the Castro regime, which was broadcast into Cuba via the U.S. government-funded Radio and TV Marti.

Upon reading all this, and especially upon reading who were among the ten "bribed" journalists, Cuban-Americans could hardly apply themselves to the first business at hand (canceling their Miami Herald subscriptions) for their convulsions of laughter.

To think that such as Miami radio star Ninoska Perez-Castellon (whose husband is among the longest-serving political prisoners of the century after almost 30 years in Castro's Gulag) and Pablo Alfonso and Carlos Alberto Montaner (both former political prisoners themselves and authors of multiple anti-Castro books) require bribes to submit anti-Castro broadcasts is beyond funny, beyond pathetic, beyond stupid.

So we have to expect it from the MSM (mainstream media), which also flip-flopped on this issue. Think about it. For years they've been telling us the opposite. The liberal mantra has it that those rich, dastardly and politically powerful Cuban-Americans deviously direct U.S. policy. Traditionally, we've been portrayed as the most fiendishly clever cabal to ever grease a palm, plant a story, fund a PAC, or place a severed horse head in your bed.

We make up a minuscule 1/300 of the U.S. population, yet according to the MSM and the Democrats, we control U.S. foreign policy with a firm testicular grip, against the wishes and interests of the entire U.S. population. That takes talent.

"Cuba Policy isn't made in Washington," harrumphed Bill Press in a CNN column. "It's made in Miami by former Batista supporters who think they can reverse history!"

"Bush's defense of the embargo serves a family voting bloc and little else," snarled Kathleen Parker in a column.

"A small number of powerful exiles in South Florida cow our politicians into keeping the crazy Cuban policy!" snapped media baron Al Neuharth in USA Today.

Back in the '80s, liberals claimed that Radio Marti itself was a blatant kickback from the Reagan team to Reagan friend and backer Jorge Mas Canosa, then head of the Cuban American National Foundation. In brief, the Cuban-American tail traditionally wagged the U.S. policy dog. Now they tell us it's the reverse. Consistency, please, MSM.

For the record, Radio and TV Marti are sisters to Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Voice of America. All fall under the management of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG.) For over half a century American and foreign commentators, academics and journalists have appeared on all these broadcasts and – just as the terrible ten outed by the Miami Herald, to the blast of trumpets – all have been paid for their time.

"For decades, some of the most prominent journalists in America have been paid to be on Voice of America," explained Larry Hart, spokesman for the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

But just let those dastardly (and, most unforgivably, Republican) Cuban-Americans try it!

David Lightman of the Hartford Courant appears regularly on Voice of America – for pay. "My view is I'm a professional. I should be paid for my time. … I don't just wing it."

For years Martin Schram, a Scripps Howard columnist, has served as moderator on Voice of America – for pay. "If they wanted us to simply volunteer our time, they wouldn't have a show," he said recently.

But just let those dastardly Cuban-Americans say the same!

In fact, they say something different. "I'd do it for free," says one of the supposedly besmirched reporters, Juan Manuel Cao of Channel 41 in Miami. "But the regulations don't allow it. I charge symbolically, below market prices. And I'm proud to help break the censorship in Cuba."

Much like Radio Free Europe in its heyday, Radio Marti offers a tiny taste of non-Stalinist broadcasting to a captive people. Alexander Solzhenitsyn told the Wall Street Journal in 1981:

"American broadcasts are the mighty non-military force whose kindling power in the midst of Communist darkness cannot even be grasped by the Western imagination." But refugees from Cuba's Communist darkness can easily grasp it and heartily agree.

These cracks in the darkness greatly annoy Cuba's Stalinist regime. And like clockwork, annoyance in Havana quickly translates into annoyance among American liberals. The symptoms quickly manifest in the liberal media.

Media frenzies against those dastardly right-wing Cuban-Americans are an old and recurring story (recall Elian Gonzalez). Just this past June, the frenzy involved hysterical reports of a lust to "ban books" by Cuban-Americans parents. "Miami-Dade School Board Bans Cuba Book," headlined the New York Times on June 15. The campaign was portrayed as completely unprecedented in nature and thoroughly fascistic in intent, prompting even the ACLU to ride to the rescue.

Yet a simple phone call to the American Library Association would have revealed that over the past two decades, every single year sees between 400 and 600 such schoolbook protests in the U.S. by parents, much of it over material considered "racially insensitive." As a result, 257 books, including "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Catcher in the Rye" have been yanked from public libraries.

But just let those right-wing Cuban-Americans try it!

I suppose it's asking too much that editors at the Miami Herald read American history, or know the history of America's most famous journalists, or be conversant in the most basic laws involving contractors with any branch of the U.S. government. But you'd think these erudite editors might read their own paper.

On March 31, 2002, two different El Nuevo Herald (the Miami Herald's Spanish-language sister) articles reported that Olga Connor and Pablo Alfonso (the same ones now being depicted as knaves and scoundrels for hosting shows on Radio Marti) hosted programs on Radio Marti. The article even boasted of the amount being paid to Mrs. Connor per show!

Yet last week a "disappointed" Jesus Diaz Jr., president of the Miami Herald Media Co., said that these payments violated a "sacred trust" between journalists and the public. Then why did his own paper boast about the magnitude of this "violation" four years earlier and reward the "violator" with more and bigger assignments for over half a decade?

"The payments to journalists were discovered in documents recently obtained by The Miami Herald as a result of a Federal Freedom of Information Request on Aug. 15," read the bombshell Miami Herald article. Herald managing editor Tom Fiedler then added that it was all part of a two-year-long investigation. We're supposed to be impressed.

We are indeed impressed – because, unlike CIA memos and classified Warren Commission transcripts, all payments by the Broadcasting Board of Governors are a matter of public record and easily obtainable in at most two days. If it took the Miami Herald's intrepid staff two years to obtain information any wino can get in two days with one phone call, the Herald's got much bigger problems than they think.

The Herald impresses us further by consulting and quoting assorted "ethicists" to echo its charges. "This is such an obvious textbook case," echoes University of Florida journalism professor Jon Roosenraad. "This is exactly like a business reporter during the day going out and moonlighting as a PR person for a local company at night and then going back to the paper the next day and writing about 'his' company."

Here's an essay question for you, professor Roosenraad. Edward Murrow, John Chancellor, Hugh Sidey, Fred Barnes and many others have accepted and do accept payments from Voice of America. Does your course include ritual denunciations of them as "textbook" journalistic scoundrels? Explain, please.

Pablo Alfonso contracted with Voice of America's sister agency Radio Marti – with full disclosure to his employers. He also proved his ethical code as few American journalist (not to mention journalism professors) ever have. In the late '60s Alfonso was arrested in Cuba for publishing Catholic literature. Under threat of torture by a Stalinist regime, he refused to renounce his moral principles and was thrown into its dungeons for years.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of Havana's Villa Marista torture chamber while some of those now gloating and name-calling (for some reason Michael Moore waddles to mind here) undergo subtle "questioning" by Castro's goons!

It so happens that the Miami Herald has plenty cause to investigate its staff. But they're looking for dirt in all the wrong places – or right places, given their current agenda, which is widely rumored to be the opening of a Havana Bureau. Back in 1997 when CNN craved a Havana Bureau, Ted Turner was much less subtle. "Castro is one helluva guy!" he gushed to a capacity crowd at Harvard Law School. "You people would like him! Most people in Cuba like him."

Within weeks CNN was granted its coveted Havana Bureau, the first ever granted by Castro to a foreign network.

By the way, that CNN bureau's longtime reporter, Lucia Newman, recently moved over to Al-Jazeera. A "lateral career move," I think they call this.

To many, it appears that the Miami Herald is simply carrying out character assassination hits assigned by the Cuban regime. The evidence is more than circumstantial. Just two weeks before the Herald's hits on the ten journalists, the hosts of the Castro regime's TV show "Mesa Redonda" denounced some Cuban exile reporters as being on Bush's payroll and claimed that some would soon be axed by the Miami Herald. Hmmmm ...

As Cuban-American author and Miami radio host Enrique Encinosa speculates: "Interesting how the Castro regime knew of these firings in advance. An intelligence analyst would look at three possibilities: either Castro's DGI has a mole at the Miami Herald; worse still, Cuba has an agent in an important decision-making capacity at the paper; or the Miami Herald is negotiating and cooperating with the Castro regime."

More interesting still, the Miami Herald recently hired a reporter named Janet Comellas, a lifelong Cuban national and recent "migrant" who until November of 2005 was a prominent propagandist for Cuba's Stalinist regime. Her specialty was U.S.-bashing. Obviously, hers was not a lateral career move, like Lucia Newman's. Given Comellas' credentials and specialty, she's assured an illustrious career in America's mainstream media. The New York Times probably already has its eye on her as Maureen Dow
d nears retirement.

Who to believe?

Manuel Rosales: Chávez conceded we are tied

Manuel Rosales, the single opposition presidential candidate, showed satisfaction at President Hugo Chávez' alleged remarks "in which he conceded, before his followers, that we are tied in polls."
In a press release, Rosales claimed that such information leaked from a meeting Chávez -who is running for re-election next December 3rd- held with his electoral campaign taskforce Miranda, where they assessed recent polls.
Rosales added that Chávez "has publicly acknowledged we are tied."
However, this is not what the Cuban press is reporting. They have Chavez at an overwhelming lead…with the majority of the dead voting for Chavez.

News from Dr. Darsi Ferrer

Today, I received an e-mail from Dr. Darsi Ferrer. I will not post it because I did not get his permission to do so. However, he reassures that he, his son and his wife are safe and in good health. Darsi is thankful for our support and the manner in which the news of his arrest [here] and [here] was quickly disseminated. Darsi is a dissident that discards the idea of a castroite succession in Cuba, and instead calls for change [CAMBIO].

Sentenced to Cuba

You are an olympic boxing champion, you return home with a gold medal, become a celebrity and make a lot of money. Then you begin to live it up; bars, parties, women, put on a little weight, and the government of your country begins to get upset that your chances of winning again are dwindling. Therefore, they [your government] force you to leave for a country where the fun you have been having is non-existent, and where boredom and lack of freedom will leave you no choice but to train. You are sentenced to the island of Cuba.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Will he run out of bath robes?

The dying dictator appears once more in pictures, this time with Argentinean legislator Miguel Bonasso. Being an example of the perfect Latinamerican idiot [Miguel], of whom the manual was written. Do you think he inquired about Dr. Hilda Molina and of her desire for reunification with her family in Argentina?

Cubans cross border at Tijuana/San Diego

By the time these Cubans reached Tijuana and then San Diego, their feet should be really dry. So according to the law there should be no question that they are allowed to stay in the US. Right?

9 men being held at Otay Mesa jail
By Onell R. Soto

September 13, 2006

A group of Cubans awaiting possible deportation from Mexico broke out of a detention facility in Tijuana last weekend and showed up hours later at the San Ysidro border crossing, where they requested political asylum.

Ten Cuban men broke through a fence at the detention center sometime after 10 p.m. Saturday, Mexican officials said. They were accompanied by a man from Guyana.

Nine of the Cubans made it to San Ysidro and requested asylum, they said. It's unclear what happened to the other Cuban.

U.S. officials confirmed that the Cubans are in local custody but declined comment about asylum.

The Guyanese man was caught in Tijuana by immigration authorities who are now, again, working on deportation, said Mexican Consul General Diego Luis Cabrera Cuaron in San Diego.

The Cubans, who were smuggled into Mexico, had been in Mexican custody while officials there decided whether to deport them to Cuba, Cabrera said.

The facility they escaped from is not a jail, but a place where people stay while their immigration status is decided.

Their flight north of the border now makes a return to Cuba less likely, Cabrera said.

U.S. law treats Cubans differently from people from the rest of the world. Cubans fleeing the Castro regime who arrive on U.S. soil can apply for permanent residency.

Although the Cubans had been in Mexican custody, officials there aren't asking for their return, Cabrera said.

“Since they are in the United States, the U.S. government will decide,” he said.

The nine Cubans trickled in on foot Saturday night and early Sunday morning, said Vince Bond, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, which runs the border crossing.

Cubans come through San Ysidro infrequently, he said, calling this group “unusually large.”

They were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and are being held at an Otay Mesa jail, ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack said.

She wouldn't say whether they have sought asylum.

The shortest distance as the crows flies between Havana, Cuba and Tijuana, MX is 2,205 miles.

Our visitors

Breakfast of babosos

The Jurassic dictator, the president of Cubazuela, and the Bolivian cocalero will breakfast together this morning. Hosted by fidel, on the menu [according to Hugo] is fidel’s own confection, which he has lovingly called ‘tsunami.’ This tsunami is a combination of oats, rye and wheat, which fidel credits to giving him strength, and to anyone that eats it. The last great tsunami resulting from an earthquake in the Indian Ocean [December 2004] killed an estimated 300,000 people…all that is needed is one more.

Morales, Chávez y Fidel Castro desayunan juntos en La Habana

Caracas. El presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, anunció que desayunará hoy con sus colegas Fidel Castro de Cuba y Evo Morales de Bolivia, en el marco de la XIV Cumbre del Movimiento de Países No Alineados (NOAL).

"Te invito, Evo, a un desayuno con Fidel que se está recuperando ya" de una crisis de salud, dijo el mandatario, quien partió anoche para asisistir a la cumbre en La Habana, citó AFP.
"Fidel cocina bien, prepara una cosa que llama "tsunami" que es una combinación de avena, centeno y trigo, y dice que salvó su vida gracias al "tsunami" porque da una fortaleza a quien la toma", celebró el presidente.

Chávez dijo que llamó a su colega boliviano para "manifestarle una vez más, sobre todo ahora cuando allá la oligarquía arremete contra Evo, contra el pueblo de Bolivia, que detrás de eso ... esta el imperio" norteamericano.

"Sin duda llamé para manifestarle nuestro apoyo y nuestra solidaridad y quedamos en vernos con Fidel", relató Chávez en un acto con mujeres por el quinto aniversario del Banco de Desarrollo de la Mujer.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The truth is inconvenient

The only reporting coming out of the NAM meeting in Cuba will be what's approved and scripted. It seems that the Cuban regime is thinning Havana of foreign journalists; the regime would not want truth to get in the way of their reporting, so they are being "asked" to leave.
In a September 11 statement, Reporters Without Borders added that the Cuban regime is showing "bad faith" regarding a draft of a final document that will follow a summit meeting of the world's nonaligned nations, being held in Cuba's capital of Havana September 11-16. The protection and promotion of human rights are among the objectives to be outlined in the document, the Paris group said. But the Cuban regime is disregarding human rights principles by doing "its utmost to limit coverage" of the Havana meeting by expelling foreign journalists from the country.
The only discussion taking place about human rights, is how to drive it back 3,000 years.
Reporters Without Borders reaffirmed its previous declarations that Cuba is the "second biggest prison in the world for journalists," after China, and is holding 23 independent Cuban journalists behind bars.

Here is the whole article...Link does not work []

Press Group Calls Cuba's Castro "Predator" of Press Freedom
Cuba said to be expelling foreign journalists from global meeting

Ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is a "predator" of press freedom, says the Paris-based global press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders.

In a September 11 statement, Reporters Without Borders added that the Cuban regime is showing "bad faith" regarding a draft of a final document that will follow a summit meeting of the world's nonaligned nations, being held in Cuba's capital of Havana September 11-16. The protection and promotion of human rights are among the objectives to be outlined in the document, the Paris group said. But the Cuban regime is disregarding human rights principles by doing "its utmost to limit coverage" of the Havana meeting by expelling foreign journalists from the country.

The United States and other members of the international community repeatedly have called for release from jail of Cuban independent journalists.

Castro, sidelined by an announced intestinal illness, temporarily has handed power to his younger brother Ra�l. News reports said it is unknown what role, if any, Fidel Castro will play in the summit.

Reporters Without Borders reaffirmed its previous declarations that Cuba is the "second biggest prison in the world for journalists," after China, and is holding 23 independent Cuban journalists behind bars. (See related article.)

The press group said several heads of state "who hold press freedom and pluralism in contempt," such as Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be "greeted in the Cuban capital by another predator of free expression in the person of Fidel Castro."

The Havana summit, said Reporters Without Borders, "should not be used as a screen for governments for whom the imbalance" between the developed and developing world "justifies dictatorship, oppression and the absence of a state of law." The group said it hoped that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is scheduled to attend the meeting, will "remind Cuba of the goals of the non-aligned movement in relation to human rights and fundamental liberties."

Reporters Without Borders said the ministers of the nonaligned countries have reaffirmed the importance "to the promotion and protection of human rights and commitment to fulfill obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in accordance to the U.N. Charter and other international instruments."

But the group said that "we can unfortunately expect that countries" such as Iran "will sign a promise that they have no intention of honoring, not forgetting Cuba," which as the president of the nonaligned movement is supposed to promote that human rights commitment.

Reporters Without Borders said 3,000 delegates from 116 member countries (soon to be 118 with the forthcoming membership of Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis) and representatives of several observer countries, such as China, are expected to attend the nonaligned movement's 14th summit in Havana. The group said the nonaligned movement was founded in September 1961 by countries that did not want to take sides in that era's Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Several other global press advocacy groups previously joined with Reporters Without Borders in protesting the Cuban government's refusal to allow foreign journalists into the country to cover Castro's announced health crisis.

The Miami-based Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), for example, said August 7 that Castro's health crisis led international news organizations to seek urgent entry into Cuba for their reporters. But, the IAPA said, Cuban officials had denied entry into Cuba of at least four journalists for failing to get the necessary entry visa, which takes several weeks to obtain. In addition, four other journalists from Europe, who had complied with Cuba's visa requirements, had their permission to enter the country revoked.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in an August 3 statement that little is known about Castro's illness, other than he underwent surgery for intestinal bleeding, as Cuba's government announced. (See related article.)

The U.S. State Department said in an April 5 report called Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2005-2006, that Cuban officials and their "proxies" increasingly tormented pro-democracy activists and independent journalists through the use of mob actions known as "acts of repudiation."

The report said accused dissidents, some charged with common crimes, "received sham trials, and those sent to prison were often held in harsh conditions." The Western Hemisphere section of the report is available on the State Department Web site.

Source: U.S. Department of State


The Palm Beach Post pats itself on back for being one of the first papers allowed to take pictures of Cubans while the Jurassic beast convalesced in a hospital bed. However, the video has zero surprises; the pictures are the cliché photos that typically appear on every leftist rag. It is a montage with the same old tired images of the Argentinean assassin. It shows Cubans with big cigars, and a narrator that forgot to throw away the chewing gum. The poem “When Night is Darkest,” by Cuban poet Miguel Barnet is read and the background music is a sickening allegorical song about “comandante Che.” See the video [here].

I’ll get a copy of Granma instead, at least I already know it is good toilet paper.

Monday, September 11, 2006

No words necessary!

"We will never forget! May all your souls rest in peace in the Eternal Heavens. Love, Kelly M."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

9/11: Survivor tells her story

We all remember where we were on the day of the 9/11 attacks. Some of us were 2,000 miles away from the epicenter, but that day is no less ingrained in our memories and in our hearts. Now imagine being there during the first attack [bombing] on February 26, 1993, living through it, and then again on September 11, 2001 and surviving that as well. Such is the case for Cuban-American Elia Zedeno.
"I had worked in the North Tower since 1980, and was trapped in an elevator in the 1993 bombing for about an hour," said Zedeno.
It seems like that first attack in 1993 prepared Zedeno with survival instincts for what would inevitably save her life in the 2001 attack.
Zedeno recalls it being a snowy day, and instead of going out to lunch, she picked something up and was on her way back to the office. She got caught in the elevator during the bombing.

She was trapped with at least five other people for about an hour.

"I had no idea what had happened; all I knew was that the doors would not open," said Zedeno. "[My mind] was jumping back and forth. It went from totaling going berserk, where I could hear my heart beating, to completely calm and thinking I am hoping this thing is not big enough to be covered on TV, and if it is, I hope my parents aren't watching."

The morning of Sept. 11, Zedeno was working at her desk on the 73rd Floor of the North Tower.

"I heard a very loud sound followed by the building shaking, and I knew something was wrong," said Zedeno. "I started screaming and headed for the stairs. I immediately thought of 1993 and by the time I got to the stairway I was screaming, 'Not again, God, not again!' "

As she was coming down the stairwell in what first seemed to be mass panic, Zedeno ran into a colleague who stopped her and attempted to calm her down.

"At that moment I knew I had to conserve my energy if I was going to make it out," said Zedeno.

Read the whole story [here].

Friday, September 08, 2006

California Gov. has some 'espleinin' to do (UPDATE)

Tell me folks, should I still vote for this guy? What is latino blood? It must be green colored. I guess we [Cubans] are not only intransigent, but "feisty and temperamental" too.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized Friday for saying during a closed-door meeting that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood." Read more [here] and [video].

OK. The truth is that I voted for Arnold in the recall election against then Gov. Colorless Davis, and I will vote for him again in the next regular election. I was being rhetorical in asking the question. The truth is that Cuban and Puerto Ricans are HOT, and the only mistake made by Arnold was not listing a couple of additional blood types (Spanish, Taino, Chinese, and God knows what else). Anyway, the recorded conversation was about Bonnie Garcia, the only Republican woman in the State Legislature and a close allied of the Governor. Bonnie happens to be of Puerto Rican decent and “feisty.” She has not been offended at all, and has taken it as a compliment. Look at Bonnie’s picture and you decide if she is hot, I think she is and being Republican (and in California) makes her more so. Meanwhile, the LA Times and Arnold’s political opponent Phil Angelides are feverishly working to create a scandal.

Bring La China out of the closet

This from Radar
Over the past six weeks, Americans have learned quite a bit about Raúl Castro, who took over as head of the Cuban government in late July. One thing they haven't been told, however, is something millions of Cubans have long taken for granted: that little bro is gay.

Friday's punch in the gut

Last weekend my wife an I went for a little afternoon ride to Old Town San Diego. We had a nice little lunch, visited the galleries, and kioks with artists selling their work. Here is a kiosk that almost ruined what was a great afternoon. Yeap! Thats the assassin's image in a not so upscale cloth handbag next to a wood carved virgin. Are they both religious symbols?

I promise to post the nicer pictures later this weekend.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The cadaver in royal blue

Castroite cyber-terrorists shut down site (UPDATE)

A couple of days ago, I posted about the censorship endured by Chilean journalist Manuel Fuentes Wendling in the bureaucracy of the web hosting company Data Center in Atlanta. Data Center was hosting his now removed blog Manuel is being censored as the result of attacks suffered by the site by castroite cyber-terrorists hackers (at one time more than 20,000 hits per minute). The attacks seem to have been prompted by articles written by Manuel about the dictator fidel castro, which I guess (actually I am sure) did not put the dictator in the best of light.

In a release originally posted by Freethoughts, Manuel seemed to be dumbfounded that a US based company would be in the business of censorship. Isn’t the US is a country where free speech is a constitutional guarantee? Manuel must have forgotten about Google and Yahoo, US based companies that are bending over to provide the tools for censorship and internet filtering in such places as China, Burma, et. al. However, what concerned me most was that Manuel may have been on his way out of the fight, at least that was my impression, and that bothered me more than one company practicing censorship. To do so, means they won! I believe that capitalism will see to Data Center’s eventual demise. I therefore wrote Manuel. What follows is my translation to his response, which follows the English version.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for your e-mail and for publishing my case in your blog. I am looking for the best way to reappear. However, things have left me disconcerted.
  1. The dictatorial attitude of the people that manage Data Center in the US, where the concept of liberty, free thinking and free speech and press are supposedly sacred; and,
  1. In Chile, the most conservative right, represented by the National Renovation Party, has declared that the Communist Party of Chile “is now different and thinks differently.” Do you see the enormity of that idiotic statement made by the president of that group, Mr. Carlos Larrain? On the other hand, is this the new line that the right now walks in Latin-America under an external influx whose source could be from inside the United States? The truth is that based on may expansive experience in political analysis I do not believe in the autonomy of the right, whether politically or economic. Obviously, such way of thinking and of analyzing things, although not precise, it does not pleases the communist left but also “others” sectors that move more in the shadows.
This is not the first time that someone kicks me in the rear, and when I turn around I see only “friends” smiling o looking the other way, in that stupid attitude like the one that whistles looking at the sky.

The Communist Party in Chile continues being Marxist-Leninist, it continues to support the dictatorial regimes of Cuba and Vietnam, and as it has historically occurred it will return to grab the political power to try to turn into pieces the right and capitalism.

What am I doing fighting communism that is more alive and active than ever but with new technological garments; with the same tyrannical thinking dressed in the language of human rights and pro-democracy? Sometimes, I have come to doubt. I think that it is healthy.

However, I will never yield my principles on behalf of democracy and liberty. Because of that, I will surely continue to fight the Cuban dictatorship that is a Latin-American nation that will have to be liberated sometime.

Again, thank you and if this serves as text for publication, you may do so.


----- Original Message -----
From: Manuel FuentesWendling
To: 'El Confeti'
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 1:32 PM
Subject: Responde e-mail

Estimado amigo:

Gracias por tu e-mail y por la publicación de mi caso en tu Blog. Estoy buscando la mejor forma de reaparecer. Pero me dejan desconcertado dos cosas:

1. La actitud dictatorial de las personas que manejan el Data Center en EE.UU., donde se supone que el concepto de libertad, librepensamiento y libertad de expresión y prensa son sagrados; y,

2. El que en Chile la derecha más conservadora - representada por el Partido Renovación Nacional - ha declarado que el Partido Comunista de Chile " ahora es otro y piensa diferente". ¿Pero te das cuenta la tamaña imbecilidad dicha por el presidente de esa colectividad, el señor Carlos Larraín? ¿O es esa la nueva línea que está siguiendo la derecha a nivel latinoamericano bajo algún influjo externo que podría provenir desde el interior de los Estados Unidos? La verdad es que por mi larga experiencia en el análisis político no creo en la autonomía de las derechas ni políticas ni económicas. Y obviamente, tal forma de pensar y analizar las cosas no sea, precisamente, del agrado ya no de la izquierda comunista sino de "otros" sectores que se mueven más en las sombras.

Esta no es la primera vez que alguien me patea el trasero y cuando me doy vuelta veo sólo gente "amiga" sonriéndome o mirando hacia otro lado, en esa actitud estúpida del que silba mirando para el cielo.

En Chile el Partido Comunista sigue siendo marxista-leninista, sigue apoyando los regímenes dictatoriales de Cuba y Vietnam y, como ocurriera históricamente, volverá a lograr poder político para tratar de hacer pedazos a la derecha y el capitalismo.

¿Y qué hago yo luchando contra el comunismo que está más vivo y activo que nunca y con nuevos ropajes tecnológicos pero el mismo pensamiento tiránico encubierto por su lenguaje pro derechos humanos y pro democracia? A veces he llegado a dudar. Creo que eso es sano.

Pero mis principios en favor de la democracia y la libertad, amigo mío, son inclaudicables. Por eso, seguramente, seguiré luchando en contra de la dictadura de Cuba, que es una nación latinoamericana que habrá que liberar en algún momento.

De nuevo mis agradecimientos y si te sirve este texto para publicarlo, puedes hacerlo.


Manuel Fuentes Wendling

I don't think Manuel will mind if he receives your encouragement, and maybe your help. His e-mail is:

Surprise, yeah right!

Coca Evo Morales paid what is being described as a “surprise” visit to the docent cadaver of Havana. Seeking advice? Perhaps. A marionette does not move without the puppet master pulling the strings. Der Spiegel interviewed coca Evo before his Havana visit.

SPIEGEL: What influence did Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have on the nationalization of Bolivia's natural resources?

Morales: None whatsoever. Neither Cuba nor Venezuela was involved. I managed the nationalization myself. Only seven of my closest associates knew about the decree and the date. Although I did meet Chavez and (Cuban leader) Fidel Castro in Cuba a few days before the announcement, we didn't talk about nationalization. I had already signed the decree before I departed for Cuba, and the vice president gave it to the cabinet. When Fidel asked me in Cuba how far the project had progressed, I told him that we planned to announce the nationalization in the coming days, but I didn't give him a date. Fidel warned me to wait until the constitutional convention. Chavez wasn't aware of anything.
Denial means yes!

SPIEGEL: Do you know how Castro is doing?

Morales: Yes, I spoke with him on the phone today. He has been feeling better for the last two days. He told me that he'll be well enough to attend the summit of nonaligned nations in Havana in September.

SPIEGEL: And he'll give a speech then?

Morales: Certainly. It's an opportunity he won't miss.
Folks, if the cadaver gives a's no surprise.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Darsi: Bury this regime now

On September 1, Dr. Darsi Ferrer was arrested by the Cuban gestapo. A sticker with one word seems to have provoked the Cuban authorities and shook the Cuban revolution all the way down to its roots: CAMBIO [CHANGE]. So much so that they even attempted to murder his 5 year old son. ONE WORD! Dr. Darsi is now "free" and sends the following message (translated by yours truly) in Spanish via Miscelaneas de Cuba, H/T: Freethoughts.

A Call to the National Conscience

Juan Carlos Linares Balmaseda

September 4, 2006

Havana – “This is a call to all Cubans to bury this regime now,” exhorts activist for human rights Darsi Ferrer Ramírez, 36 years old, doctor by profession, and who resides on San Bernardino 265 located in the capital neighborhood of Santo Suárez.

Juan Carlos Linanes Bamaseda (JCB): Dr. Darsi’s account of the recent hostilities:

Darsi Ferrer Ramírez (DFR): “Past 2:00 in the morning of September 1, they knocked on my door with fury, and when I opened it there were several tens of police officers, many with guns in hand, and about a dozen patrol vehicles. Dressed in only pants, I was pushed and placed into one of the vehicles. They took me to the Aguilera police station in Lawton. When they took me out of the vehicle one of the guards made the statement: “these gusanos (worms) should be killed with blows.”

There, I made the state security responsible for whatever may happen to my son that was left alone back at the house, because my wife was taking care of her ill mother in another part of the capital. The boy is 5 years old, and a level 3 asthmatic. To make matters worse, and which I later found: my wife had to break open a window to be able to enter the house and she found the boy sleeping and an open gas valve on the stove, which constitutes a murder attempt. This goes beyond political or ideological differences. It is about those in uniform that are capable of killing children without any type of scruples.

As sunrise approached, they took me out from the jail cell for interrogation. They insisted in it because I had posted three stickers in public places in my block that said CAMBIO (CHANGE).

These interrogators were state security officials, and were not known to me, they were dressed in civil clothing and used pseudonyms, because they do not have the courage nor the honesty of giving their true identity. This is contrary to those of us who fight for a better Cuban society. At around 07:00 hours they released me and I had to return home barefooted and without a shirt. I looked like a psychiatric case walking through the streets.

In that same day of September 1, at around 12:00 noon, in the center of the Vedado neighborhood, I was arrested again. I was placed in a patrol vehicle and taken to the police station located on 21 and C, there another patrol vehicle took me again to the Aguilera station. Without an explanation or motive, one more time I ended up in a jail cell. At around 11:00 that night, they took me to be interrogated; these time two officers in green uniforms, with state security insignias. I was release at around 2:00 in the afternoon of September 2.

I reaffirmed to them that change is necessary, that the Cuban people are tired of so much abuse. That now is the time to determine and demand a new nation with real sovereignty, for all that remain on the island, and not keep fattening the sharks in the Florida Straights with Cubans desperate with their intention to emigrate. To keep the hope of the young from deteriorating. For children to no longer go to bed hungry and the powerlessness of their parent’s against this tragedy.”

JCB: Would you like to say anything else?

DFR: “Yes. I would like to call for all Cubans to unite, and I am referring to all the Cubans on the island and in exile, and specifically to all the opposition leaders, to understand with clarity that now is when their leadership is needed, being the channel at the forefront of peaceful civil disobedience. They should have the incentives to not cooperate in any way with the repressive actions of the regime, and to encourage the population with actions that are precise and solid. Like posting CAMBIO stickers in public places, and bringing their neighbors out of their litany and indifference. Moreover, I call on exiled Cubans to support us, and the organizations that fight for democracy in Cuba. Organizations not only inside Cuba, but those outside as well, and to eliminate their differences no matter how small, and together fight. My main message is that change is in each one of us Cubans. Fidel Castro has to abandon power now, and we cannot accept a succession of castrism.”

Castroite cyber-terrorists shut down site

Journalist Manuel Fuentes Wendling is shutting down his blog [don’t bother with the link, it no longer works]. The US service provider Data Center located in Atlanta will not allow, one of the few non-leftist blogs from Chile to publish again, at least not with them, clearly violating Mr. Fuente’s right to free speech and expression. What has published that has been so damning that would cause Data Center to shut it down? The site has been systematically attached by cyber-terrorists since July 26, at one point getting hits of over 20,000 per minute. It all started after the site published three bits of news concerning Cuba’s dying dictator fidel castro. Principally, it was the video showing fidel loosing his cool at the MERCOSUR summit in Argentina when journalist Juan Manuel Cao questioned him about allowing Dr. Hilda Molina to travel and see her family in Argentina. After that, the cyber-castroite-terrorists were let loose.

The war is on!

Mr. Fuentes denounced the shutting down of, and the censoring imposed by Data Center. Read his statement (Word document) in Spanish [here].

H/T Freethoughts

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rocker with cojones

The following is an interview with the punk Cuban band Porno Para Ricardo, and more specifically its firebrand leader Gorki Águila Carrasco. It was published [in Spanish] for the internet magazine Cuba Encuentro. It is interesting that bands such as Audioslave [will not provide link] have been allowed to play in Cuba, while members of home grown bands like Porno face actual jail time for playing their brand of music and without mincing words. Regardless, Gorki continues to be defiant, calling things by what they are, and there are no regrets. Cuba needs more Gorkis, just look at the band's logo, does it offend?

H/T: Alberto – EC reader and commentator.

Here is a translation of the article, the Spanish version appears after this.

Gorki Águila, leader of the band Porno Para Ricardo, affirms that he does not have to resort to any poetic means to point out who is responsible for the “hell that Cuba is in.”

After paying the taxi fare, we entered the crumbling and in need of repair Soviet Union era concrete skyscraper. The rockers were waiting inside. They have been discussing how to continue with their music. Yesterday, the police issued them a citation that foretells nothing good about their objective of openly continuing to produce their music.

The document with the official seal, lies on top of the table, it has the appearance of being nothing more than a friendly invitation.

What is it about, exactly? We asked Gorki Águila Carrasco, singer of the group Porno Para Ricardo, in an interview for “Encuentro en la Red.”

It is a citation from the police with the seal of the Cuban Republic, from the Ministry of the Interior, of the National Revolutionary Police. A certain Lieutenant Torres signs it. I have been ordered to appear there tomorrow at 11:00 hours.

What exactly do they want from you? Do they want to force you not to ever play again?

Gorki: All this started when we were accused of disturbing the peace and tranquility –the police told us that the neighbors were complaining about the noise during the night. Now they want to tell us something about the words in our songs that attack Fidel Castro. At one time, the police very cynically told us: “Whatever your feelings about the Cuban revolution, you are forbidden from saying it in public.”

Then, the words that you write speak directly about Fidel Castro?

G: Yes. We have a song dedicated to our commander in chief, that mentions his complete name and it is states very clearly that he is a son of a whore. All the art that is created in this country, in some way, it is hidden in double entendre, and I have grown tired of those poetic words filled with indirect insinuations. The time has come to call it by what it is. What I am interested in saying the most with the words in our songs is that the hell that we live in has a first name and last names: Fidel Castro Rúz. I do not have to resort to any poetic means to say it.

May I quote you directly in the article?

G: Of course, yes, that is what I am saying.

Have you played the Castro song in public?

G: No, because it would be virtual suicide. Nonetheless, if we record it in the end I will end up in the hands of some official. That is why that we have received the citation from the police. Their strategy is to intimidate us, to blocks us with all the resources at their disposal. We are already prohibited from playing in concerts and now they do not even want us to rehearse.

Is this the first time that you have been interrogated by the police?

G: This is officially the first time with my present group, Porno Para Ricardo. However, without considering that, being already with them, I was imprisoned.

Why were you imprisoned?

G: They used the fake pretext of drugs. A girl that would not leave me alone, not for a moment, kept asking for drugs, and just to get rid of her, I arranged to get her two amphetamine tablets. She turned out to be a police informant. In spite of that, amphetamines are legal here: you can get them with a medical prescription at any pharmacy.

How long was the sentence?

G: I was given four years, but I only served two –so many people wrote about it outside Cuba that in the end they let me go before completing the full sentence.

Making punk music is something outside the norm in Cuba?

G: Yes, actually is not in fashion with Cuban rockers. There are five or six punk rocker groups in Cuba, but none of them has gone this far to say the things that we say. Many of them live in the double life, moving between the official music and the extra-official music scene, which is something that does not interest me in the least. Some rappers are a little more open, like in the case of the group Aldeanos. They too use “his” name and the last names and to not resort to double meaning words.

How did you get to rock music in a communist environment and filled with afro Cuban hip-hop?

G: Thanks to schoolmates. At the beginning, I liked popular Cuban music, but when I listened to my school friend’s rock records, I knew immediately that those musicians spoke for me. It was sort of a revelation.

How old were you then?

G: Twelve.

What music inspired you the most?

G: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Velvet Underground, Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Clash, the Ramones…But the first music that I listened to were popular songs, including ballads that my mother would often sing to me.

Do young Cubans know the groups you mentioned?

G: The older ones know about the older generation groups, but only a very limited few know about The Clash or Ramones, for example.

How do you go about getting these records? Because you cannot buy them here, right?

G: No, you cannot buy them. Cubans that are allowed to travel, or sometimes tourists bring them.

How are your fans?

G: We have the same fans that other rock groups have. In Cuba, there is no such a thing a punk rock movement; therefore, anyone that listens and likes rock music comes to our concerts. Since there is no separate forum for punk rock here, the people come to all the concerts.

When was the last time that you played as a group?

G: The last time that we played was a month ago [this interview was conducted in the month of May]. However, we played anonymously –another group invited us to play, without saying a word as to who we were or our name. We are not authorized to play by any means; therefore, we have been looking for some alternative that would allow us to [play] outside the official sphere.

Can you play at private parties, weddings, etc.?

G: To play at private parties and all that, like you suggest, is very difficult and complicated. Although many people like us, there are in a state of fear and the people have panic about inviting us to play or to come here and talk to us. If we play in a private house, it could compromise and destroy its owners. Here many people like our music and would behave normally if it were not for all that, they pretend not to see us in the street, as if one had leprosy for something worse.

Do you have contact with any of the extra-official intellectuals or dissidents? Do they know the group exists?

G: We do not have any type of contact with them, and we would like to contact some of them, because the more constant feeling one has here in Cuba is loneliness and separation. One finds himself on his own in what we do, even when surrounded by friends, which on the other hand is good. However, sometimes one also runs into people that know about the group, although they have never been to a concert, and have never had a cassette in their hands.

What is the social background of the group’s members?

G: Like almost everyone in Cuba, we come from a very poor environment. The communist system has given poverty to the masses. Everything here is equally divided in a very just way. We are all the same in our misery.

When you were in school, did you get into any trouble because of your music or the long hair?

G: When I was in the Pre University, I was accosted, constantly, because I was dressed like a rocker and in certain occasions, they would literately kick me out of the school. They tossed me out to ruin my life and the only effect that it had was that I left school.

Guitarist: I studied mathematics and later I stayed to teach for 2 years. Finally, they decided in a communist youth conference that I was going to be kicked out for having joined the group, even dough I had excellent references from the school.

Drummer: I graduated from the university, but I did not know about the group in those days.

G: He is new to the group, because the “old” drummer decided to separate himself from this environment after he started to receive calls from the police threatening him and his family, and the pressure built, and even his blond-haired girlfriend blackmailed him to leave the group.

How did the group formed?

G: I decided to form a group in 1998. Since I loved rock’n’roll, I thought of doing something that I could tell my grandchildren about, that I did not just listen passively to that music. That is when I found the ex drummer. The friend that you see here used to play bass, and he is the best musician amongst us, but all of the sudden he announced that he was going to start playing the guitar. We were a trio: bass, guitar and drums, which was fine, because while we had few people in the group, it was better for working together. All we need now is a bass player.

Guitarist: Our last bass player left the group, same as the drummer. This is the fourth or the fifth member to quit the group; they feared to continue playing with us.

G: We have even written a son dedicated to all the bass players that have betrayed our group.

Did you have to do military service?

Bass player and guitarist: Yes, we had to do it. After school ended, we served one year.

G: No not me. I managed to find a way of getting a certificate from a psychiatrist that would exempt me from military duty. However, if that had not worked, my plan was to go to the committee of military recruitment dressed as a woman and pass myself as a homosexual, so they would reject me.

What was the psychiatrist’s diagnosis?

G: I am not sure, but something to the effect of being schizophrenic.

What are your plans henceforth?

G: Well, before you arrived, we decided to stop rehearsing for a while and instead of that, we are just going to record.
In 1996, there was a violent governmental operation against underground music in Czechoslovakia, and that provoked that resurgence of an opposition group to the government called Charter 77

G: That is great! We have been thinking of changing the name of the band so that we could play again in future concerts. We could call ourselves that, Charter 77.

I do not think that that it is a good idea, if you want to remain playing without calling attention to State Security and the police.

Don’t be a full, the intelligence and cultural knowledge of the local agents is extremely low.


At the end of the interview, what happened in the room without a roof; we asked the group to pose with their guitars for a photo. Just a moment ago, they where talking about the need to stop playing in concerts for a little while. However, once they had those instruments in their hands, they eyes acquired as strange glimmer. They turned on the sound equipment, and the music flowed through the amplifiers and baffles and was heard throughout the entire neighborhood with a shaking roar, accompanied by the voice of Gorki: “Comandante…” [listen to the song, via Penúltimos Días]

«Llegó la hora de llamar las cosas por su nombre»

Gorki Águila, líder del grupo Porno Para Ricardo, afirma que no necesita ningún recurso poético para señalar al culpable del 'infierno que vive Cuba'.

Petr Placák, Ciudad de La Habana

martes 29 de agosto de 2006 6:00:00
Grupo Porno Para Ricardo. Gorki Águila, a la derecha

Después de pagarle a nuestro taxista, entramos en un rascacielos de concreto de la era soviética, descascarado y en muy mal estado. Los rockeros nos esperan dentro. Han estado discutiendo cómo podrán seguir de ahora en adelante con su música. Ayer recibieron una citación de la policía que no presagia nada bueno para su objetivo de poder continuar produciendo un arte libre.

El documento acuñado, que yace visible sobre la mesa, no tiene la menor traza de ser una invitación amistosa.

¿De qué se trata exactamente?, le preguntamos a Gorki Águila Carrasco, cantante del grupo Porno Para Ricardo, en entrevista para 'Encuentro en la Red'.

Se trata de una citación de la policía acuñada con el sello de la República de Cuba, del Ministerio del Interior, de la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria. Está firmada por un tal teniente Torres. Me han dado la orden de presentarme allí mañana a las once.

¿Qué es lo que ellos quieren exactamente de ustedes? ¿Quieren obligarlos a que no vuelvan a tocar más?

Gorki: Todo esto comenzó cuando fuimos acusados de perturbar la paz y la tranquilidad —la policía nos dijo que los vecinos estaban protestando por el ruido que hacíamos de noche. Ahora quieren decirnos algo acerca de las letras de nuestras canciones que atacan a Fidel Castro. Una vez un policía muy cínico nos dijo: "Cualquier cosa que sea lo que ustedes piensen sobre la revolución en Cuba, está prohibido que lo digan en público".

¿Entonces, las letras que ustedes escriben hablan directamente sobre Castro?

G: Sí. Tenemos una canción dedicada a nuestro comandante en jefe, que menciona su nombre completo y dice bien claro que es un hijo de puta. Todo el arte que se produce en este país está, de alguna manera, enmascarado con un doble sentido, y ya yo me cansé de esas letras poéticas llenas de insinuaciones indirectas. Ya llegó la hora de llamar las cosas por su verdadero nombre. Lo que más nos interesa decir en nuestras letras es que el infierno en que vivimos tiene un nombre y apellidos: Fidel Castro Ruz. Ya no necesito de ningún recurso poético para decirlo.

¿Le puedo citar literalmente en el artículo?

G: Claro que sí, por eso es que lo estoy diciendo.

¿Han tocado la canción de Castro en público?

G: No, porque eso sería virtualmente un suicidio. Pero sí la grabamos y al final acabó en las manos de algún oficial. Por eso es que hemos sido citados por la policía. La estrategia de ellos es intimidarnos y obstaculizarnos con la mayor cantidad de medios posibles. Nos han prohibido ya tocar en conciertos y ahora quieren que ni tan siquiera ensayemos.

¿Esta es la primera vez que los interrogará la policía?

G: Esta es la primera vez oficialmente con mi grupo actual, Porno Para Ricardo. Pero sin tener en cuenta que, estando ya con ellos, estuve preso.

¿Por qué fue encarcelado?

G: Usaron el falso pretexto de las drogas. Una chica no me dejaba tranquilo ni un momento pidiéndome drogas, entonces para quitármela de arriba, me las arreglé para conseguirle dos pastillas de anfetaminas. Y resultó que ella era una informante de la policía. A pesar de eso las anfetaminas son legales aquí: las puedes conseguir con una receta médica en cualquier farmacia.

¿Cuánto tiempo le echaron de condena?

G: Me echaron cuatro años, pero sólo cumplí dos —tanta gente escribió sobre eso fuera de Cuba que al final me dejaron salir antes de cumplir la condena total.

¿Hacer música punk es algo fuera de lo común en Cuba?

G: Sí, incluso entre los rockeros cubanos no está de moda. Hay cinco o seis grupos punk en Cuba, pero ninguno de ellos ha llegado tan lejos como para decir las cosas que nosotros decimos. Muchos de ellos viven una doble vida, moviéndose entre la escena musical oficial y la extraoficial, algo que a mí no me interesa hacer para nada. Algunos de los raperos hablan más abiertamente, como es el caso del grupo que se llama Aldeanos. Ellos también usan el nombre y los apellidos de Él y no recurren al uso del doble sentido.

¿Cómo llegó a la música rock en un medio comunista y lleno de hip-hop afrocubano?

G: Gracias a algunos amigos de la escuela. Al principio me gustaba la música popular cubana, pero cuando escuché los discos de rock de mis compañeros de escuela, supe inmediatamente que esos músicos hablaban por mí. Fue una especie de revelación.

¿Qué edad tenía entonces?

G: Doce años.

¿Qué música le inspiró más?

G: La de Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Velvet Underground, Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Clash, The Ramones… Pero la primera música que oí fueron canciones populares, incluyendo los boleros, que mi mamá me cantaba a menudo.

¿Son conocidos entre los jóvenes cubanos esos grupos que mencionó?

G: Los más viejos conocen los grupos de generaciones más viejas, pero sólo un círculo muy limitado conoce a The Clash o Ramones, por ejemplo.

¿Cómo se las arregla para conseguir esos discos? Porque no puede comprarlos aquí, ¿no es así?

G: No, no se pueden comprar. Los traen aquellos cubanos a los que les es permitido viajar, o a veces algunos turistas.

¿Cómo es el público que tienen ustedes?

G: Tenemos el mismo público que otros grupos de rock. En Cuba no existe un movimiento punk como tal, así que cualquiera que oye y le gusta la música rock viene a nuestros conciertos. Como no hay un espacio aparte para el punk aquí, la gente viene a todos los conciertos.

¿Cuándo fue la última actuación del grupo?

G: La última vez que tocamos fue hace un mes [esta entrevista fue realizada en el mes de mayo]. Pero tocamos anónimamente —otro grupo que nos invitó a actuar sin decir ni una palabra sobre quiénes éramos o nuestro nombre. No estamos autorizados a tocar de ningún modo, así que hemos estado tratando de encontrar alguna alternativa que nos permita hacerlo fuera de la escena oficial.

¿Es que tampoco pueden tocar en fiestas privadas, bodas, etc.?

G: Tocar en fiestas privadas y demás, como sugieres, es muy difícil y complicado. Aunque le gustamos a mucha gente, hay una atmósfera de miedo y a la gente le da pánico invitarnos a tocar o venir aquí y hablar con nosotros. Si tocáramos en una casa particular, eso pudiera meter en problemas y destruir a sus dueños. Aquí mucha gente que le gusta nuestra música y se comportaría de una manera normal si no fuera por todo eso, se hace la que no lo ve a uno en la calle, como si uno fuera un leproso o algo peor.

¿Tienen contacto con algunos de los intelectuales extraoficiales o disidentes? ¿Saben ellos de la existencia del grupo?

G: No tenemos ningún tipo de contacto con ellos, y en realidad nos gustaría contactar a algunos, porque los sentimientos más constantes que uno tiene aquí en Cuba son la soledad y el aislamiento. Uno se encuentra haciendo en solitario lo que hace, incluso estando rodeado de los amigos, que por otro lado son buenos. Pero también a veces uno se tropieza con gente que conoce al grupo aunque nunca haya ido a los conciertos, y que de alguna manera les han llegado nuestros cassetes a sus manos.

¿Cuál es el background social del que provienen ustedes?

G: Como casi todo el mundo en Cuba, venimos de un ambiente de mucha pobreza. El sistema comunista le ha donado la pobreza a las masas. Aquí a cada cual se le reparte lo mismo de una manera muy justa. Todos somos iguales en nuestra miseria.

¿Tuvieron problemas todos ustedes por causa de la música o el pelo largo cuando iban a la escuela?

G: Cuando estaba en el preuniversitario me molestaban, sin parar, porque me vestía como un rockero y algunas veces hasta me botaron literalmente fuera de la escuela. Me echaron a perder mi vida y el único efecto que tuvo todo eso fue que dejé la escuela definitivamente.

Guitarrista: Yo estudié matemáticas y luego me quedé enseñando otros dos años. Al final acordaron en una reunión de los jóvenes comunistas que me iban a botar por haberme metido en el grupo, a pesar de que tenían muy buenas referencias en la escuela de mí.

Baterista: Yo me gradué de la universidad, pero tampoco conocía al grupo en esa época.

G: Él es nuevo en el grupo, porque el baterista anterior se quiso apartar de este ambiente cuando empezó a recibir llamadas de la policía amenazándolo, y su familia entonces lo empezó a presionar y hasta la rubia que era novia de él lo chantajeó para que se fuera del grupo.

¿Cómo se formó el grupo?

G: Yo decidí hacer un grupo en 1998. Como me encantaba el rock'n'roll pensé que debía hacer algo para poder decirle a mis nietos que no sólo me dedicaba a escuchar pasivamente esa música. Entonces fue que encontré al baterista anterior. Este amigo mío que ves aquí tocaba antes el bajo, él es el mejor músico de entre todos nosotros, pero de pronto nos dijo no hace mucho que iba a empezar a tocar la guitarra. Así que éramos un trío: bajo, guitarra y batería, lo que estaba muy bien, porque mientras menos gente haya en el grupo, mejor se puede trabajar juntos. Ahora sólo nos hace falta encontrar un bajista.

Guitarrista: Nuestro último bajista dejó el grupo, igual que el baterista. Este fue el cuarto o quinto miembro del grupo que lo dejó por el miedo a seguir con nosotros.

G: Hasta hemos escrito una canción dedicada a todos los bajistas que han traicionado a nuestro grupo.

¿Tuvieron que servir en el ejército?

Baterista y guitarrista: Sí, tuvimos que hacerlo. Un año después de la escuela.

G: Yo no. Yo me busqué la manera de conseguir un certificado de un psiquiatra que me daba la baja del ejército. Pero si eso no hubiera funcionado, mi plan era ir al comité de reclutamiento militar vestido como una mujer y hacerme pasar por homosexual, para que no me aceptaran.

¿Cuál fue el diagnóstico del psiquiatra?

G: No sé muy bien, pero era algo así como síntomas de esquizofrenia.

¿Qué piensan hacer a partir de ahora?

G: Bueno, antes de que llegara, decidimos que vamos a dejar de ensayar por algún tiempo y en vez de eso vamos solamente a grabar.

En 1976 hubo una violenta operación contra la música underground en Checoslovaquia, y eso provocó que surgiera un grupo opositor al gobierno llamado Charter 77…

G: ¡Eso está buenísimo! Hemos estado pensando cambiarnos el nombre para poder volver a tocar en conciertos más adelante. Pudiéramos llamarnos así mismo, Charter 77.

A mí me parece que esa no es una buena idea, si ustedes quieren mantenerse tocando sin llamar la atención de la Seguridad del Estado y la policía…

G: No seas bobo, la inteligencia y los conocimientos culturales de los agentes locales son extremadamente bajos.


Al final de la entrevista, que transcurrió en una habitación sin techo, le pedimos al grupo que posara con sus guitarras para una foto. Un rato antes, estaban hablando de la necesidad de parar de dar conciertos durante un tiempo. Pero en cuanto tuvieron los instrumentos en las manos otra vez, sus ojos adquirieron un extraño brillo. Encendieron los equipos de sonido, y la música de los amplificadores y bafles recorrió el vecindario con un estremecedor rugido, acompañado por la voz de Gorki: "Comandante…".