Cuba’s Sacrilegious Opposition

Erasmo Calzadilla

Graphic: cubayatwittea.blogspot.com

HAVANA TIMES — We Cubans without access to the Internet traffic information on USB flash drives. A video showing a protest staged by the Union Patriotica de Cuba (Cuban Patriotic Union, or UNPACU) – an organization of the opposition that is strong in the country’s east – reached me through one of these.

From the balcony of a humble house nestled in a poor neighborhood, a dozen dissidents yell forbidden phrases and ideas: “Down with Fidel, Raul and communism!”, “murderers!”, “thugs!”, “donations are not for sale!”, “one currency!”, “fair salaries!”, “milk for our children!”, “roofs for the people!”, “freedom for political prisoners!”, “Cuba for Cubans, not tourists!”, “respect for the opposition!”, “no more evictions!”, “no more unemployment!”, “down with the political police!”, and so on and so forth.

The neighbors begin to crowd beneath the balcony: people of all ages and colors, humble folk who look at the spectacle with curiosity and in silence. The occasional old man hurls an insult at the protesters and a grandmother threatens to throw stones at them.

The police don’t take long to arrive: a jeep fitted with loudspeakers carrying furious, violent people that inspire fear. They provoke the UNPACU protesters so they will come down and have a go at it, but the protesters respond saying theirs is a peaceful demonstration.

An official from the Provincial Communist Party Headquarters has the difficult task of responding to the choir of the opposition. She uses a megaphone and shrieks but nothing meaningful comes out of her mouth: nothing with any thought behind it, only pre-fabricated phrases, empty slogans, revolutionary ditties. Below are some of these:

“There’s no opposition here, you’re just miserable scum, mercenaries working for a foreign power, imperialist puppets. You’re not a part of this dignified and hard-working people, there’ll never be room here for you. You’re no one, you’re nothing, scoundrels! Your political prisoners are paid criminals. The enemy is here today. Out with them, out with them! Illiterates, we won’t allow you to attack and offend us. (Addressing the members of the CDR) Don’t let three mercenaries on the empire’s payroll stain the honor and dignity of this community, don’t let them hold these indecent demonstrations…”

From time to time, she hands over the microphone to another woman (supposedly from the people) who says pretty much the same things, only in a more aggressive, personal and offensive tone.

Things end up getting quite heated: someone at street-level dares say something in support of the demonstration, and a furious horde of people lunges at them.

I don’t know anything about UNPACU, but this video has left me with a good impression about them. One has to be courageous to raise one’s voice like that, knowing that a crowd of fundamentalists can beat you to a pulp, the police lock you up indefinitely and State Security make your life hell.

This time around, at least, it was the demonstrators who maintained a civic, restrained and intelligent attitude, before the fascist behavior and intolerance of those who defend the system.

I know nothing about UNPACU’s politics or the contents of its agenda. At this demonstration, at least, they make the demands that anyone is duty-bound to address to a totalitarian dictatorship.

Each of the phrases pronounced by this handful of nut-cases was like a beam of light piercing through the fear, undermining the myth of monolithic unity, profaning the sacred totem. People listened to them passively, as though they witnessed some kind of artistic performance, but something in their world was surely fractured forever.

The video ends there and I don’t know how the party ended.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.


38 thoughts on “Cuba’s Sacrilegious Opposition

  • October 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm
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    Elizardo Sanches uses to get his information from independent journalists all around the country that reports and some times can take videos ….. here you have 2 of those sources “Hablemos Press” and “Reporters without borders”:
    http://www.martinoticias.com/content/arrestos-cuba-dd-hh-/22145.html

    http://en.rsf.org/cuba-cuban-journalist-arrested-for-03-10-2014,47056.html
    Elizardo Sanches organization specializes in Human Rights Violations and is a very trusted source of information about the crimes of the castro gov…… you don’t like Elizardo’s work???…. it is compressible….. no castro apologist likes anticastro Cubans.

  • October 6, 2014 at 3:28 am
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    As you don’t speak Spanish, here is a translation of the article I referred to:

    “The modern filtration equipment has been donated by an evangelical congregation in the United States, which is dedicated to providing this type of assistance to countries facing humanitarian crises, such as Haiti. In Cuba they keep about forty similar pieces of equipment running.”

    Source: Blessed be filtered water / 14ymedio, Elvira Fernandez | Translating Cuba – http://translatingcuba.com/blessed-be-filtered-water-14ymedio-elvira-fernandez/

  • October 4, 2014 at 11:52 am
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    As the regime isn’t reporting on the arrests – not denying them either – it falls to the emerging civil society in Cuba to do so.
    They do it well and with lots of crosschecking.
    I bet you can’t gives us one name and prove that the data posted about him isn’t correct.
    Lately it has been reported that in the whole of Cuba there are 6000 foreigners living permanently and mainly in the Havana area. As they are most often employed by the mixed companies they will never report on evenets as they will lose their jobs.
    The in recent years the foreign correspondent of “El Pais” and the BCC were kicked out or “frozen out”.
    It is well known they exert some form of “self censorship” though all report the data on political prisoners from the organizations cited above as do international human rights organizations. All without questioning them.
    The tourists are mainly in the air conditioned buses or “beach / adult resorts” and very few have knowledge of the real Cuba.
    If a social minded tourist strays where he should be he quickly is approached and attempts are made to confiscate and delete images and data as the Czech supermodel Helena Houdova found out when she took pictures of slums in Havana in 2006.
    As such the well informed in and outside Cuba fully trust these reports.
    You desperate attempt to slander the source has again miserably failed.

  • October 3, 2014 at 9:01 pm
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    So, these “dissidents” themselves tell us their numbers are legion. And that thousands upon thousands of them were arrested. Sorry, but with the thousands of foreign tourists, businessmen and journalists on the island at any one time, you will have to do a little better than that.

    Even your good friend here, Moses P., has had to concede here that there is no organized opposition to speak of in Cuba. If you want widen the political discourse there, I think you are going to have to end the insane US policy of aggression against the Cuba people that has been condemned by nearly every other nation on the planet, including your own, every year for decades now at the UN. From what I can tell, even the malcontents on the island hate the US for it. Any US-backed group is bound to be viewed by all with suspicion.

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm
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    Remember that that “water treatment” equipment was industrial grade and clearly not meant for hospitals but had use in the chemical industry and even in the military industry in Cuba.

    As far as medicines go: get real. Cuba just doesn’t want to buy for the Cuban people. The hospitals for tourists and the Castro oligarchy are loaded with everything the other hospitals lack. If the regime would spend more of the 8 billion the get from the slave labour of doctors rented out on the people instead of on the military the situation would be a lot better for the Cuban people.

    The Castro dictatorship deprives the Cuban people of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity
    They do ensure the have it all themselves though.

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm
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    Still mindlessly repeating the same old tired propaganda lies I see.
    More Cubans dies at the hands of the Castro regime than from any consequence of the embargo. Only the “loony left” of the Castro propaganda machine still try to peddle that “genocide” lie.

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm
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    UNPACU has published some list on their members and the Centro de Información Hablemos Press has often posted a parallel list.
    You really should start informing yourself better.
    Note that the regime never has denied that these people were arrested.
    Very reliable people compile the lists the basis of data from very reliable witnesses and with not from the regime to even attempt to deny the facts. As usual you are on your own desperately trying to deny the facts.

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm
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    That last post of yours indeed exposes your claim that the sanctions constitute “genocide”.

    There are no sanctions “calculated to bring about its physical destruction” of anyone in Cuba.

    On the contrary: the remittances that Cubans receive – for most part from the US – and upon which 60% of Cuban depend to survive flow freely
    The fact that medicines don’t make it to Cuba – at least not to the Cuban part of the apartheid medical system – is because the regime doesn’t allocate the funds.
    In the William Soler children hospital in Havana the “Cuban section” is decrepit and lacks everything while the “tourist” section is well maintained and fully equipped.
    By your definition it is the “internal embargo of the Castro regime that constitutes genocide.

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm
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    They pay tour guides to praise the regime.

    Your pathetic lies about the trade sanctions are easily exposed: US church groups have sent lots water treatment units of them to churches in Cuba: over 40 in fact.

    Source: Bendita sea el agua filtrada –
    http://www.14ymedio.com/nacional/Bendita-agua-filtrada_0_1640835906.html

    In 2008 the regime only bought 1% of the medicines and medical equipment that vendors had licenses to sell.

    “It’s not the embargo,” said John
    Kavulich, a senior policy adviser at the New York-based U.S.-Cuba
    Economic Trade Council, which provides nonpartisan commercial and
    economic information about Cuba. “These are economic and political decisions not to buy.” Cuba often waits for allies to donate what it needs, Kavulich said. “They’d rather get things for free than pay for them.”

    “It’s unclear why U.S. medical exports aren’t reaching Cuba”, Dallas Morning News, 5 December 2009.

  • October 3, 2014 at 6:44 pm
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    I mean polls done by the IRI and Gallup.

    All highly regarded by the experts on Cuba as informative and trustworthy.

    elections have no real choice as the regime decides who can be “candidate”.

    the nominating sessions are in open meetings run by the CDR that Fidel Castro reputedly modeled on “committees of territorial vigilance” established by Adolf Hitler in 1935.

    Fidel himself described them as such in his 1960 speech:

    “We are going to implement, against imperialist campaigns of aggression, a Revolutionary system of collective surveillance where everybody will know who lives on their block and what relations they have with the tyranny; and what they devote themselves to; who they meet with; what activities they are involved in.”

    These Chivatos ensure no freedom of speech is available and their presence – pen in hand to report and disobedience – ensures the only subservient people can local level candidates.
    From then on all further “candidates” are presented, vetted and approved by entities of the Castro regime.

  • October 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm
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    Arthritis medicine is exempt from the embargo. If the tour guide you mentioned actually does (did) hate the US, I still think we will be OK. Your “genocide” definition is way over top. It’s hard to justify physical destruction of the Cuban people when the US is sending $6 billion in remittances and selling food and medicine.

  • October 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm
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    You mean “polls” conducted by a US Republican group — pathological liars and enablers of the largest financial fraud in the history of world? Get real!

    Cuban elections are more democratic than any in the US. The fact that your US-backed “dissidents” can’t get anywhere in the system in no way undermines the system’s credibility — quite the contrary.

  • October 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm
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    The definition I use is from Article 2c of the UN Genocide Convention — the basis for international law on genocide. It states that the crime of genocide includes, among other things, “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/full/357?OpenDocument

    Sounds like your beloved embargo to a tee. You must be so proud.

    The tour guide in question was repeatedly criticizing the government. He didn’t seem to be too concerned about any supposed “inspectors.” He didn’t care for his own government, but he obviously hated the US. Even I had to cringe. He never actually mentioned the embargo though.

    The only time I can recall a tour guide mentioning the effects of the embargo was in a restaurant in or near a national park in the mountains. She conveyed a request to our group from one of waitresses for any spare pills for a certain arthritis medication that she said was blocked by the US embargo. Fortunately, a British woman in our group had a few pills to spare.

  • October 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm
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    Which “various sources?” Can you quote them? If a source was named, it seemed to me it was always Sanchez or his organization. I don’t recall reports from any reliable witnesses.

  • October 3, 2014 at 7:45 am
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    Blah, blah, blah, the internet’s pro-Castro websites are replete with the same cut-n-paste of your contrived definition of genocide. You never seem to mention that the Amnesty International report you cite does not call the embargo “genocidal’, you add that part yourself. And yes, tour guides are well-instructed to allay blame for anything negative tourists may see or inquire about on the US embargo. I have tourist guide friend in Cuba, who says that from time to time there are inspectors on his tours put in place to assure he toes the Castro propaganda line. Finally, as far as making friends go, the US has received record numbers of legal and illegal Cuban immigrants so far this year. You can make up this crap all you want but the reality on the ground in Cuba is simple. Embargo or no, the US is a better option for Cubans than the Castros tyrannical regime.

  • October 3, 2014 at 3:06 am
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    The dissident movement in Cuba isn’t “micro”. The wave of arrests (over 9000 up to now) proves that.

    It is in fact the top of the pyramid of discontent.
    Polls in Cuba have shown that the majority of Cubans rejects the regime. The rigged election system just prevents them from electing new leaders.

  • October 3, 2014 at 3:01 am
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    The arrests have been confirmed by various sources and have not been denied by the regime.
    Deal with the facts.
    Discontent is rife in Cuba. So is repression.
    Lots of reports about the Cuban dissident movement in lots of sources.
    Also: try learning some Spanish to get to the news.

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm
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    In Hong Kong Moses the young people are seeking to retain the rights that China agreed in negotiations when Hong Kong was handed back 17 years ago. Currently they are not prohibited from demonstration.
    People like 1945 are academic socialists envious of the power and control the Castro family regime has over the subjegated people of Cuba. They thirst to have similar experience of power but know that they are doomed to remain just average and very ordinary.
    The academic socialist has no understanding of that which drives people to risk their lives in seeking freedom. for they are opposed to freedom, they seek domination by the state over the people.
    But you won’t see them in a hurry to subject themselves to socialism, they prefer to skulk in the shade of the benefits they receive from free democratic states with the economic drive that capitalism provides.
    1945 is just another like Dan, Dani and the confused Mr. Goodrich who cannot distinguish between theory and reality. To them humanity is unimportant, control and power is the attraction.
    Keep up the fight!

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm
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    Why do you gain such satisfaction from decrying the attempts of Cubans who seek a free society where human rights are recognized, where there is freedom of expression rather than the repression of the dictatorial Castro family regime?
    Is it because you think of people as mere numbers who should be grateful for their monthly rations?
    Is it because you approve the Castro family regime control of the economy?
    Or is it perhaps a smouldering envy of the power and control; that the Castro family regime has over the day to day lives of 11.2 million subjected people?
    Perhaps you envy the Castro brothers – both BIG and little brother being able to cough up $709 million for a 27% shareholding in the monopoly ETECSA telephone system which has proven to be ill-managed and failing to provide basic service?
    Are you aware that demonstrations in Cuba are illegal unless organized by regime controlled organizations?
    Do you have no respect for those brave enough to defy dictatorship?
    Take a good hard look in the mirror! See if you can detect the slightest speck of humanity!

  • October 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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    They pay tour guides to criticize the government??? You aren’t even making sense, Moses. The fact is, you aren’t making any friends in Cuba with your genocidal embargo, not even, it seems to me, among the malcontents on the island.

    Your beloved embargo “helps to deprive Cuba of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity.” (Amnesty International) Call it the elephant in the room, but, yeah, that’s pretty much genocide in anyone’s book.

  • October 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm
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    Believe what you like if it comforts you. As was obvious, however, from this article that was entirely favourable to their cause, this tiny group of “dissidents” had no public support to speak of in that neighbourhood.

  • October 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm
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    I wander why that “tiny” demonstration produces such a horror in castro regime as to send its thugs and paramilitary to “fight” the peaceful and “tiny” demonstration!!!!!…… I figure only one reason to this….regime feels extremely weak, so weak that this “tiny” demonstration made it feel menaced.

  • October 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm
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    Here is UNPACU, its goals, its philosophy, its work, its planes and some of its people……only in Spanish ….sorry

    http://www.unpacu.org/

  • October 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm
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    I was referring to coverage in the international mainstream capitalist media. Coverage there of “dissident” activities in Cuba now seems to be at an all time low. When they were first allowed to travel abroad, there were breathless accounts of their antics in Miami and Washington nearly every day as they hobnobbed with terrorists and sponsors of the genocidal US embargo. Now, not so much.

    And I don’t know where you are getting your info, but José Daniel Ferrer is not “locked up in prison.”

  • October 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm
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    Tour guide? C’mon, Castro pays these guys to say that stuff. Ask that same tour guide if I paid his fare would he leave today for Miami? Hell frickin’ yea! What you mean to say is that there is no ‘organiized’ opposition to the Castro regime. I concede that point. The Castros have done a fabulous job of keeping the people focused on daily survival such that ethereal issues like freedom and democracy are put on the back burner. Eating and living take priority. About the ‘genocidal’ embargo. Is that the one where the US, through remittances and other services, sends nearly $6 billion per year to Cuba? Does genocide include being the 5th largest country selling food to Cuba? More than 500,000 American tourists will visit Cuba this year. Each tourist leaves an estimated average of $1,000 in the Castro treasury. Genocide? I don’t think you know what that word means.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm
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    Griffin, everything you say is true. What you don’t know or have forgotten is that by the time Life & Time magazine decided to cover the Civil Rights movement, black folks like my parents had already spent years in the civil rights trenches at lunch counter sit-ins and department store boycotts. These outside agents were of tremendous value to getting the word out, but only after the movement was well established. Rosa Parks, a diminutive domestic worker who I had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions, decided on her own without the benefit of any Congressmen or the National Guard to not get up from that seat on the bus. My own mother kissed her two little boys on the forehead and left on a freedom bus ride not knowing if she was going to see us again. That kind of ‘cojones’ appears to be lacking for the most part in Cuba. Please don’t misunderstand, there are a handful of brave people in Cuba. The Ladies in White are heroes of mine. But what we are seeing take place even today in Hong Kong, or what took place in Kiev earlier this year or what must take place anywhere an oppressed people are willing to rise up seems to be lacking in numbers in Cuba. By the way, the Castros are diabolical but no worse than the Klansmen or Birmingham, Alabama’s Bull Connor. I have mentioned on this site before how my great-uncle was hung on a tree in front of my mother’s house. Despite these horrors, my mother, as the late Maya Angelou said…”and still we rise.” I hope Cubans can find the inner courage to rise up as well.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:37 am
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    And who was the primary source for these claims of “thousands of arrests?” Only Elizardo Sanchez who would like you to believe this is some huge mass movement in Cuba. Consistent with the above article and the tiny “demonstration” described there, it seems nothing could be further from truth. Much to your chagrin, Cuba is no powder keg waiting for your one little spark.

    If Google News English-language coverage for the past few months is any indication, the international mainstream media seems to have truly grown weary of your “dissident” pals. A classic case of media over-exposure on their recent travels?

  • October 2, 2014 at 8:09 am
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    Again, I have to point out Moses, that the African-American civil right movement did indeed have several advantages over the Cuban people.

    Americans had a free press. Life & Time magazine printed photographs of those freedom marches and fire hosings. Dr Martin Luther King’s speech from the Washington Mall was shown on TV. They had allies in the Senate, in Congress and in the White House. President Eisenhower ordered US troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to force the schools to accept desegregation.

    In Cuba, the people have no allies in government, no positive media coverage as the state controls all the media. One thing the Cuban people have that the Americans did not have was a professional Stalinist state security apparatus ready to beat, arrest, jail and murder anybody who they see as a threat.

    You are grossly unfair to call the Cuban people “cowards”.

  • October 2, 2014 at 8:01 am
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    They don’t all live together. The members are in many cities across Cuba. The regime does not give them any ink at all because they fear them. The founder of UNPACU, José Daniel Ferrer, has not travelled abroad, as the Castro regime keeps him locked up in prison for daring to call for human rights in Cuba.

    The regime frequently uses agents to infiltrate these organizations and disrupt them:

    “My mission within State Security was to disparage and discredit UNPACU, especially its leader, José Daniel Ferrer, and the Ladies in White,” Ernesto Vera told el Nuevo Herald by phone Wednesday from his home in the eastern city of Santiago De Cuba.

  • October 2, 2014 at 7:37 am
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    You have in the past claimed that there are only 3 to 6 dissidents in Cuba. The facts have exposed that lie. Thousands of arrest show lots of people oppose the regime.
    As far as the “ink” the Cuban opposition gets: thousands a month.
    As far as “travels” go: the regime only impedes their travels.

  • October 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm
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    You may have hit the nail on the head. At least partially. However, when I see the young people in Hong Kong daring to take on Bejing, I wonder what is it about the youth in Havana that would rather face sharks in the Florida Straits than face Castro.

  • October 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm
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    Face it, Moses, there is no legitimate opposition to speak of in Cuba. If the US cut its funding, these “dissident” micro-organizations would disappear overnight. They have simply failed to show any real leadership, and to put forward any attractive alternatives for the Cuban people.

    Your genocidal embargo can’t be helping matters either. Even the biggest complainers in Cuba seem to hate the US for its meddling. Last time I was in Cuba, a tour guide who was always complaining openly about the government said something really nasty about Americans to what he thought was a busload of Canadian tourists. But there was an American couple and their son there as well. I’m sure all the Canadians felt horribly for them. I sure did. A politically conservative friend of mine (a moderate by US standards) said he noticed the same kind of thing on other occasions on his trips to Cuba.

  • October 1, 2014 at 4:33 pm
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    Only 12 out of a supposed 8,000 “activists” at this supposed demo? A whopping 0.15% turnout! My guess is that there are at MOST 12 “activists” in this obscure micro-group in total.

    It is no wonder these “dissidents” of yours aren’t getting much ink these days. With all their travelling abroad these days, their mystique seems to have worn off. The Cuban government might even do well to subsidize their travels. (Hee, hee!)

  • October 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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    My in-laws who live in Guantanamo did not know who Guillermo Fariñas was or anything about the organization UNPACU earlier this year . Both of my wife’s parents are engineers, her grandfather is a retired lawyer and her sister is a teacher. I mentioned Fariñas’ hunger strikes to them and they vaguely remembered hearing something and none of it positive. My Cuban family is best described as apolitical and busy themselves with the normal daily struggles in Cuban life. I agree that the Castros have done an effective job in filtering pro-democracy information but I suggest that in large measure the reason this information does not get out as we might expect it would is because Cubans are simply too busy worrying about what to eat on a daily basis. Even Cubans like my in-laws who aren’t worried about finding the money to buy the food (thanks to a daughter and son-in-law who live in the imperial north) still have to struggle to find decent food to buy. Little time and energy is left over to ponder pro-democracy organizations.

  • October 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm
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    I think that the difficulty is that anyone under the age of sixty cannot remember anything else but the Castro family regime controlling every aspect of their lives. Humans are a mammalian species and can be trained to behave in ways that are contrary to their natural behaviour.
    George Orwell got that right and there are not many Winstons. Watch elephants in the wild and then see them in a circus, similarly lions and tigers. Rats and mice can be trained to perform tasks that do not occur naturally.
    The majority of Cubans will believe that the two scents debacle of “Ernesto and Hugo” was a consequence of malicious reporting by AP news agency and that yet again the US is attacking the now “sacred” images of Cuba’s heroes.
    Cubans are sick and tired, bu don’t comprehend that there is a better world out there where people can openly express their views and disagree with each other. Cubans are taught all through school about the need for RESPECT. Their masters have to be respected whatever they impose on their subjects. It is wrong to suggest change because it shows a lack of respect.
    Pavlov explains the syndrome!

  • October 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm
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    It is significant that an intelligent, educated and politically active Cuban man such as Erasmo has never heard of UNPACU and knew noting of it’s goals or the work that they have done. This fact is a testament to the effectiveness of the Castro regime’s blockade against the Cuban people.

    From Wikipedia:

    The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) is a dissident organization from the island of Cuba that brings together many dissident organizations in Cuba. It was created on August 24, 2011 by José Daniel Ferrer García . It has defined itself as a civil organization that advocates for the peaceful struggle but firmly against any repression of civil liberties on the island of Cuba.

    It is considered the largest and most active dissident organization in Cuba. According to statements at a press conference of Guillermo Fariñas in Madrid and Cubanacan Press Agency, 12 May 2013 were counted 5,073 member activists in Cuba assigned to the organization. In July 2013 totaled over 6,000 activists In December 2013, the organization totaled 8,000 activists affiliated.

    Since its inception in 2012 and has been described by Amnesty International as an organization of peaceful dissent, defining the beginning of the Patriotic Union of Cuba as follows:

    AMR 25/012/2012 Cuba, April 4, 2012: “The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) is an umbrella organization of dissident organizations based mainly in Santiago de Cuba, but also in neighboring provinces of the country. Our goal is democratic change in Cuba through nonviolent means. Since its inception in mid 2011, its members have suffered constant harassment and intimidation, including arbitrary arrests by the authorities.

    La Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) es una organización disidente de la isla de Cuba que aglutina a una gran cantidad de organizaciones disidentes en Cuba.2 Fue creada el 24 de agosto de 2011 por José Daniel Ferrer García. Se ha definido a sí misma como una organización civil que aboga por la lucha pacífica pero firme en contra de cualquier represión de las libertades civiles en la isla de Cuba.3

    Es considerada como la mayor y más activa organización disidente en Cuba.4 5 6 7 8 9 Según declaraciones en rueda de prensa de Guillermo Fariñas en Madrid y la Agencia Cubanacan Press, el 12 de mayo de 2013 estaban censados 5.073 miembros activistas en Cuba adscritos a la organización.10 11 En julio de 2013 superó la cifra de 6.000 activistas12 En diciembre de 2013, la organización alcanzó la cifra de 8.000 activistas afiliados.13

    Desde sus inicios, ya en 2012, ha sido calificada por Amnistía Internacional como una organización de disidencia pacífica, definiendo en sus comienzos a la Unión Patriótica de Cuba de la siguiente manera:

    AMR 25/012/2012 Cuba, 4 de abril de 2012: “La Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) es una organización que agrupa a organizaciones de disidentes con sede principalmente en Santiago de Cuba, pero también en provincias vecinas del este del país. Su objetivo es lograr cambios democráticos en Cuba por medios no violentos. Desde su creación a mediados de 2011, sus miembros han sufrido un acoso y una intimidación constantes, incluidas detenciones arbitrarias por parte de las autoridades.1

    http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unión_Patriótica_de_Cuba

  • October 1, 2014 at 11:53 am
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    I have heard all of the excuses about the differences between the African-American community of the 1960s and Cubans today. I am just not convinced that African-Americans had any advantage over what Cubans have today. What I know is that my 110 lb. mom stared down firehoses and faced police dogs so that her two black boys would not have to grow up in a Jim Crow world. It is estimated only 5% of the black community at the time actually participated in marches or sit-ins or civil rights protests of any kind. I simply do not understand the cowardice in the Cuban community to stand up for their rights. As famed civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Maybe Cubans are just not sick and tired yet.

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