A Fruitless Complaint against Cuban State Security Agents

Luis Rondón Paz

The one-story building is the Military Attorney´s office. The other building is one of several belonging to State Security in Vedado.
The one-story building is the Military District Attorney’s office in Vedado.

HAVANA TIMES — This past June, I was again contacted by two State Security officials who warned me of the dangers I could become exposed to if I attended places in Havana where “political activities sponsored by the enemy” were held. They also tried to persuade me to act as an informant for them.

Out of naivety, I agreed to talk to them this time around, even though they had tried to deceive me, introducing themselves as journalism students over the phone. The damage had already been done. We talked and I told them I would think about their proposal to “continue our conversation.”

It seems they took what I said very seriously, because they started calling me and insisting on a meeting almost every day. Faced with this situation, I asked some friends for advice. My friends suggested I ignore them and, the last time they called, I made it very clear I wasn’t interested in talking anymore, suggesting they use proper legal channels to contact me.

Thinking about how to prevent any future attempts at contacting me (and avoid the terrible feeling of thinking someone is playing with your head), I sought legal counsel about my case through a legal and cultural initiative called the Alianza Unidad Racial (“Racial Unity Alliance”).

On July 28, after receiving counsel, I decided to lodge a formal complaint at the Military District Attorney’s Office located at the intersection of Tulipan and Boyeros, Havana, in the hopes that, after telling them of my uncomfortable situation, I would be left alone.

Unfortunately, my complaint yielded no results, because, according to the officers there, “State Security agents have every right to call you as many times as they deem convenient, particularly if it’s to warn you that you could be getting into trouble.” They also said I should be grateful, for they were looking after me. “How lucky I am, I have several body guards, all to myself,” I thought.

81 thoughts on “A Fruitless Complaint against Cuban State Security Agents

  • To the contrary, I revel in it!

  • We, Canadians who care for Human Rights and Justice, did bring him home through public pressure on this very unpopular Conservative government. So let me get this, because the kid is “indoctrinated” and Dad has certain ties to high level “terrorists”, this is just reason to send a USA Army assassination squad into a foreign country, attack a family home full of civilians and shoot them all to pieces, men, women and children alike…Hum, who is the terrorist here? Fight fire with fire you say? But the fire just got higher and higher to the point where it is today in all the places where the USA chose to stick his forces in throughout the Middle East.
    Coming back to Cuba here, we suffered a terrorist attack on a Cubana civilian plane, all aboard dead and, after being caught in Panama planning to assassinate Fidel during a visit to the University there, the Gusano perpetrator was liberated by the new, USA installed Panamanian Government and was sheltered by the USA in the Miami area for years until his death.

    I do not hope Omar fights Canada, neither him nor I have any reason to but to the contrary. This is one of the reasons I am proud of my Canadian citizenship, but then I am not a Canadian First Nations Person, and I’m not proud of what the Canadian Government did and is still doing to them.

  • The truth really riles you doesn’t it!

  • Khadr’s family home was and is in Canada like yours. His father was the right hand man of the world’s then leading terrorist and Omar was indoctrinated from an early age. You should recall the comments made on Canadian TV by his mind poisoned sister.
    At the moment he resides here in Edmonton. You didn’t get him back to Canada. As for your hope that he may fight again, it typifies your attitude towards the country where you reside and which shelters you from terrorists.

  • No, not for the privilege it brings but for the privilege it is to be able to defend my Country from the propaganda you throw at it in this international forum, but really anywhere, anytime. Now, do you want me to feel bad that I have achieved a certain status in my community or in my 2 countries? I do not regret this at all.
    Do you want the rest of the readership to think less of me because I have achieved a certain status in my community and in my 2 countries? How stupid!
    What about my openly confessed, succe$$ful Capitalist Enterprise here in Canada, is that a Socialist Peccadillo, a Communist Contradiction or a Capitalist Inversion…? Who gives a F–K, it sure works for me and all the people that I can help anyway I can, from fair employment to donations to sponsorship to travel abroad, connections and exhibitions.

  • Gee, that’s very interesting…

  • I agree with my President that the prison at Gitmo should be closed as soon as is legally and practically possible. We’re you aware that the Castros detained scores of anti-CASTRO dissidents this weekend whose only crime was peaceful marching?

  • If you support the USA being in Guantánamo, you support torture on 15 year old Omar Kahdar, a Canadian citizen who survived a Terrorist attack by USA Special Forces on his FAMILY HOME in Pakistan and was wounded defending himself and his family; he bravely killed one of the USA terrorists and wounded another before being taken prisoner and tortured for years afterwards before we got him back to Canada and are helping him get himself and his life back together. i have made a small donation to his rehab fund, hopes are he may get well enough to fight another day, he sure demonstrated courage under fire, the rest of his family there was assassinated in the cowardly, USA Terrorist attack.

  • Yo? Who says I support such a thing? Sounds like you have had some regrettable personal experiences. As an African-American, I have had my share of negative interactions with the abuse of power. This is what fuels my opinions regarding the Castro regime. I witnessed my Cuban friend arrested in front of the Hotel Vedado for “asedio peligro” (or something that sounds like that) for simply walking with me. Another friend lost the opportunity to finish her Ph.D at the University of Havana just because her older sister is a Damas de Blanco. That’s the reason they gave her! I could go on about how THEY told my future wife at that time how she should be careful dating a yuma. After all, she was the national morning newsreader and that job came with limitations. So you see, we all have our issues. You have a right to express your opinions without being called a liar. I have the same right.

  • No Moses, you can run but you can’t hide by invoking semantics and publishing your constant, false accusations towards Fidel and Raúl while claiming they are only opinions. Whether English is my first language or not is irrelevant, I can speak and write English better than 85-90% of native speakers in the USA; I learned my lack of civility towards the likes of you in Chile when i saw my comrades scattered like leaves on the ground thanks to you, USA, your weapons, your plans and your Hitlerian Puppet, Augusto the Beast Pinochet. So should we be “Canadian Nice” or “Baltimore Sharp Tongued”…I just do not feel like being civil with anyone who supports Torture of a 15 year old child, or Torture, period, and claims this is lawful.

  • English is not your first language, is it? Your deportment reflects a lack of civility that does not advance a simple difference of opinion between us. No one is lying here. We should resign ourselves to agree to disagree.

  • As I said before, MacD, this is about Cuba and everyone can see through your personal attacks. I would be able to have these things in Cuba because I have made lots of $ here in Canada, but I stay because of my family and because I choose to be one with the People here, instead of a privileged Cuban living in an impoverished society. Now, piss off again, MacD.

  • Picking on Cuba and our Revolutionary Leadership was and is your mistake and you know tidily squat; ask the Chinese why they did not loan or invest before, not me. While you are there ask the Russians why they are preoccupied with NATO trying to encircle them from the Ukraine to the Baltics and about the Sanctions you have put on them. They have helped us before, but they are pretty expensive.
    I told you already about our natural resources such as the beauty of our land, all of your fellow citizens lining up to come and spend their money here, Welcome Gringitos! Everything you say about Cuba is a falsehood and such hatred can only come from a demented mind or a fat paycheck. You will never acknowledge you are beaten; I already printed 5 falsehoods/lies, everything that comes out in your writing is nothing but propaganda so sit down and shut up

  • I stand by every jot and tittle I have ever written on this site and where errors were made, they were not intentional. I readily acknowledge my mistakes. As far has ever been proven, I have never lied. You may not agree with me that Fidel Castro is a tyrant but that does not make my belief a lie nor are you in a position to say so. “Your” revolution has failed and only survives on the remittances and free oil sent from abroad. The New Man never came to pass. The heralded health care, education and sports achievements have eroded to their lowest levels. Cubans who live in Cuba (this excludes you) are leaving Cuba in record numbers. For what seems like personal reasons, you seem to blindly support the Castros. But, you also seem to be intelligent. You can choose to ignore the toilet paper and condom shortages but you can’t deny the facts. Cuba can’t feed or clothe itself. Cuba would be in the dark, nearly naked and hungry without the handouts from well meaning people. Does that sound like a success to you?

  • It is my truth from personal experience. As a brown-skinned African-American, I am constantly stopped in Havana. Obviously as soon as I open my mouth and present my passport, the interaction is pleasant. I believe there are many Cubans who don’t share your rosy view of the PNR.

  • You continue to avoid the truth. If credit was needed, the Chinese could have provided it if they wished. Brazil managed to guarantee the $700 million loan to rebuild the Mariel port. What “natural resources”? The Russians are nearly as technologically as advanced as the US. What is stopping them from aiding the Castros? Finally, please list but one “falsehood”. I will acknowledge my mistake if you point it out.

  • Rondon?
    My experiences of being stopped in the street by the police have all been in Havana, Cuba, where the State Police have stopped my wife and I four times for merely walking in the street.

  • Moses, it depends who your friends are. I don’t doubt for a minute that Gomezz’s friends have Internet, for as he says:
    “there are privileged people in every society, even Communist or Socialist systems”
    Gomezz has his reasons for his admiration for the Castro family regime for he is a supporter of the privilege that it brings.

  • In your first sentence you say “my Country” – better correct to “my Regime”.
    The worldwide criticisms of the Castro family regime – executions without trial, failure to have open free elections, initially repression and later eradication of free media have not been about Cuba and the people of Cuba. They have come from those who despise dictatorship, whether of the left or right.
    Read the Act which imposed the US embargo and the conditions for removal. Which parts of those conditions do you oppose?
    Because you choose to maintain that as one born in Cuba you can use the Royal ‘we’, although a Canadian – which necessitates swearing allegiance, you raise the question of to which country you owe allegiance. Which comes first?
    You say that “there are privileged people in every society, even Communist and Socialist systems; there is nothing wrong with that.”
    Not for the privileged who are holding the people in subjugation.
    When the peoples of 13 countries in Eastern Europe were freed from the Communist yoke and were able to hold free elections, NOT ONE choose to elect a communist government.
    Freedom and Communism are a contradiction.

  • You are not unique Gomezz in being a Castro family regime lackey.
    It is you who has repeatedly expressed your satisfaction at being able to mingle and mix with those relative few who prosper under the regime – those who support dictatorship.
    To boast – as you did that in Cuba you would be able to afford to have air conditioning, a car and a servant – is not the norm for Cubans and is cause for comment by those concerned about the average Cuban who exists on 33 cents per day.
    You are an enthusiastic supporter of the regime which having created the current conditions uses all its power and control to maintain them.
    Yes, you are a foe of the people of Cuba – who you can observe through the tinted windows of that car and feel superior.
    To which country do you owe loyalty – and to which did you swear allegiance?

  • You are forgiven, Moses and we can settle our numbers at ~1.5 million people with Cuban Heritage living abroad or ~12% of everyone in Cuba. Not that such makes any difference but there has been wonderful dynasties like the Chin, the Bush bunch excepted. Pierre Trudeau’s son Justin is running for Prime Minister in Canada and nobody minds here… The Kennedys had a run at it but the CIA murdered 2 of them, Ted blew it with the death of his pregnant girlfriend and the boys all died in “peculiar accidental circumstances”.
    Besides, Alex and Mariela are soooo good, I can’t wait to see them pick up the torch!
    The opportunity Cuba had to trade with anybody has been heavily curtailed by the Blockade and by our poverty thanks to the Blockade. We needed credits, investments and tech support and is only now that both the Russ and the Han are willing to invest and raise our credit ceiling; the EU was always very expensive and we only got from them whatever we could not get elsewhere, but sanctions being lifted will improve that situation. When the Blockade comes down, trade with the US will complete the happy, economic picture.
    We, like Canada, are a “Banana Republic”; we sell natural resources, including tourism, agricultural goods and suffer from a brain drain, just like Canada.
    My writing makes me smile because I can confront your falsehoods and challenge your inversions of the truth.

  • This is another lie, Cuban Police are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, I have had lots and lots of encounters with them and witnessed a lot of interactions with the public. Never saw Cuban Cop pop out of his car and shout “Hit the Dirt, MF, Right Now! brandishing a gun in her/his hand, and yet I see this perpetrated by cops on young and old alike (specially if Brown or Black) nearly nightly in the USA reality series “Cops”, with the MF omitted, of course. And yet I saw Emigildo, a cop in Centro Habana, walk through the Callejón de Hamel with his uniform shirt hanging out and the top 3 buttons open, police hat cockeyed, gun belt and gun still on his waist and his 2 month old baby in his arms. Everyone there was genuinely glad to see him and women rushed to coo the baby and chat as he walked by. There wasn’t the least sign of fear or dislike or power tripping/intimidation on anyone’s part, and this is a tough, poor and largely Afro-Cuban neighborhood, not Playa. I see stuff like this in town after town and barrio after barrio; the police in Cuba are part of the People, unlike in the USA and other developed countries where cops have become a militarized, self-segregated and overwhelmingly right-wing force.

  • This response is not about Cuba, it’s about me and thank you for recognizing what a formidable foe I have been by dedicating me so much of your attention, but it’s really a forum about Cuba, not me, so piss off, MacDuff, and have a nice day, eh!

  • No, you do not get off that easy; you have repeatedly accused our leadership of heinous crimes which are simply lies and now you want to back up and claim it was just your opinion. Well, it wasn’t; there is a vast difference between an accusation and an opinion so do not try to seek refuge in semantics, you just can’t deny all of what you have said against Cuba, Fidel, Raúl, our Revolutionary Leadership and our People. So the hat fits, you have lied many times and will continue to do so in order to demonize our Revolution. And I will continue to denounce you for what you are.

  • 1) I really have not counted them lately, give me a year or so and I’ll e-mail you the number…
    2) There are privileged people in every society, even Communist or Socialist systems; there is nothing wrong with that. Right here in Canada or the USA there are people that have access to a private jet, a yacht, a Masserati and you do not raise an eyebrow even though Aboriginal North Americans live in complete and abject poverty in both countries.
    3) Access to news from all over the world is not a “right”, a roof over your head is, education is, food on the table is, health care is, protection from crime is, protection from White, Racist Cops and “Oath Takers” or whatever they call themselves is also a right but these rights do no exist in the USA.
    3)The reason for our lack of connectivity has to do with the Blockade, it’s not our government’s “gift”, it’s YOURS!
    4) The exodus of pendejos (cowards) is always welcomed, they have and will continue to become a problem for the USA or whichever country takes them; however, the young, economic migrants from Cuba are very different and we count with many “secret admirers” amongst them who will be happy to learn and send us all kinds of interesting news and information about all kinds of interesting things in the USA. Thanks for providing both cover and info!

  • No darling, I have contempt for you, IC, Moses and Griffin because you try to disfigure the truth about my Country and this is part of a worldwide campaign of slander and lies against Cuba that has been going on unsuccessfully since the ’60’s. You just can’t hide the sun with your thumb, MacD. But these ramblings of yours against me are naught but your desperate attempts at negating what I have to say by insulting me and calling into question my personal integrity. Your response is not about the article, though, because you are beaten there.

  • Did you not read my comments to Moses 2 days ago? I don’t like to repeat myself so just look above and you will find my answer.

  • It is clear that Gomezz is a close associate of the privileged in Cuba. Those who know Cuba, know who the privileged are. They are the Castro family regime, its cohorts in the military -including GAESA and the Communist Party of Cuba.
    Gomezz is concerned about his associates, not the people of Cuba. Why else would he boast that he could return to Cuba living in air conditioning possessing a car and employing a servant?
    Gomezz describes the life of luxury enjoyed by his associates and cares naught for the poverty imposed by them upon the subjugated peoples. Typical of communist/socialist administrations.
    Although enjoying the standard of living in Canada and considering it to suffice for his family, he obviously yearns to be part of the power and control system of Socialismo.
    Yes, if he returned to Cuba, he too would get the Internet along with all the other lackeys. He is proud that his associates all over Cuba can access the Internet – no doubt with the aid of Alejandro Espin Castro. Yet in a city approaching a population of 100,000 there is no means for the Cuban public to access Internet – perhaps however lurking in the bureaucratic mass there is an agent duly reporting along with the information gleaned by the CDR.
    Humility does not lurk within the soul of Gomezz, only contempt for the people and admiration for those who hold power and control over them.

  • you have no idea my friend, in my case i am the one who “can be saved” but still its annoying tho. the good news is, they look for me and -i have 2 new bodyguards:)

  • Though Cowards Flinch and Traitors Sneer
    We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here!

    Rondón is paranoid about his run in with the cops, nothing else. He had been involved in some harebrained scheme to get Internet from a USA server and got caught doing it, they canceled his account and, shortly afterwards there were Cuban Cops snooping around. Maybe it was to do with this or maybe he was in the wrong place or maybe it was just routine, God only knows too well that a bored Cop is the world’s most dangerous person. Some cops interviewed him and asked them to snitch, he said he’d think about it and they called him until he told them to take a hike, and they took a hike…What is wrong here, pray tell?

  • Uncensored internet in Cuba? I’ll believe when I am downloading CANF pdfs from a laptop in Havana and Castros goons don’t come knocking on my door the next day.

  • This is a BLOG! “In my opinion…” is understood.

  • Yes! Because the State of Hostilities between the USA and Cuba was so high that electronic communications would have been used to hack, sabotage, infect and spy on all of our private, public and secret files. There is proof of this. I was aghast when, after Fidel Himself visited Havana’s main Ashkenazim Synagogue in a gesture of recognition and inclusion to this minority some years ago, certain elements within this group tried to harbor a USA spy who was trying to set up a secret, electronic communication system amongst them to the “outside” in order to exploit their sympathies for Israel and use them as spies for the USA. Needles to say the USA Spy was caught when he was denounced by patriotic Jews who saw right through the ruse. I held a serious exchange of letters with William Miller, who heads the Cuban Jewish Community or did at that time, on this very subject.
    When I stay with my friends in El Vedado, Playa or Centro Habana, they all have uncensored Internet, I used free Internet connections all over the Island, even in the Zapata swamps; so some people already have Internet services everywhere and more coming. Did you forget when Cubasí and I went over all of this with you, MacD and IC? Tsk, Tsk Moses, you’re getting old at remembrance, or maybe you just don’t want to.

  • Re-read my comment. You seem to misunderstand how I reference the KKK. Cuban secret police are known for their abuses. Just ask the surviving family members of the late dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo. I hope that you are not defending the Cuban ‘justice’ system. Stop before you embarass yourself further.

  • According to Wikipedia there are more than 1 .2 million Cuban exiles. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_exile
    Add to that number, another 500,000 Cubans with at least one parent born in Cuba. Please forgive the license that I take to describe these 1.7 million Cubans as “nearly 2 million”. The point I hope you can understand is that family dynasties seldom turn out well for any country, be it Bush, Clinton or Castro. The opportunity to trade with China and Russia is nothing new.The US embargo has never limited those trade relationships. Likewise, trade with individual members of the EU has been only marginally impacted by US policy. What changes are fueling your optimism? What should concern you is the real possibility of losing the Venezuelan teat that pumps 100,000 barrels of oil daily into the Cuban economy. If Cuba had to purchase even half of that oil at market prices, the lights would go out in Cuba. By the way, when you squirm with glee about increased trade brightening Cuba’s economic outlook, what exactly is Cuba selling? Agriculture? Manufactured goods? Natural resources? Do you just write what makes you smile or are there facts backing up your reasons to be optimistic?

  • Sorry Moses, but WRONG again! There are no 2 million Cubans living abroad. At max, ~500,000 born in Cuba and ~700,000 born and/or raised someplace else, many with only one Cuban parent. Are they Cuban?
    My 3 children are not Cuban. They were conceived, born and raised in Canada and Mom is not Cuban. They are 100% Canadian and like most Canadians, they have an interesting genetic code. What is being denied to the youth in Cuba is not “freedom” but good paying jobs because we are still a poor country, and that poverty has been largely the direct result of the USA Blockade although I will be the first to admit that mistakes were made in trying to force the Russian economic model of Socialism to our particular situation. But Now, with the reins of power firmly in our own hands, relations with the USA normalizing and increased trade with and investment from China, Russia and the EU, we’ll do more than tread water alright. Don’t you know about Our Lady of Charity/Ochún and the 3 Pedros, Cuba’s National Myth? It’s all in there Moses, read how they were rescued from the Storm by rowing in the “wrong” direction, and maybe you will understand us a little better.

  • M. Gomezz,

    If I may ask, why do you choose to live in Canada and not in Cuba?

    That’s not a rhetorical jibe, it’s a sincere question. You praise & defend Cuba, but you don’t live there. Why?

  • It’s just ridiculous to compare the Cuban Police to the KKK, that is a new low for you, Cuban Cops are not racist, they come in all colors and most of all, the Cuban Police is not famous for their abuses, quite the contrary, your USA cops are! You are so funny when you are cornered! And there is Due Process of Law in Cuba as I have witnessed, We got judges, robes, secretaries, guards, gavels, the whole shebang, but no funny wigs, PLEASE!
    Nothing happened to this kid and you can’t find harassment anywhere here. Did you know Rondón tried to get Internet service from an USA server through fraudulent means and was caught? Read “The External Blockade and the Internet Sanctions in Cuba” posted above…

  • What you are not addressing here is a nothing article about a nothing incident that happened to a person who had been trying earlier to get Internet through fraudulent means, got caught, kicked out by the USA company and then later, approached by the Cuban cops, questioned, asked to become a snitch; he turned them down and that was it. I actually don’t blame you, there is nothing here you can criticize or even comment on!
    If you get Al-Jazeera, you are on a watch list already, silly; and I’m happy to meet a non-racist Cuban American, not many out there. But maybe you live in a neighborhood in transition and have no choice but to accept minority people as your neighbors. Anyway, I’m glad you are broadminded, at least about racial relations.
    I’ve had these type of exchanges in Cuba many times, in public too, and nothing ever came of it, you are exaggerating again IC.

    Oh, if this site is frowned upon in Cuba, I’d better quit now before I blow all the Red Stars from my file, how silly of me..!

  • # 1-3. No, they are accusations you have made that would land you in court in the USA unless had you said: “In my opinion…” You did not.
    #4. Yes, I said the USA has broken every treaty they were signatories to and you wrote “No, they have never…”(# 4) until I wrote “what about the Native Amerindians, and then you even admitted (WOW) you were wrong.
    #5. Why then do you keep putting words and thoughts in my writing to try to find fault with it?
    Being this the article about a young man who was questioned by the cops, but maybe not out of the blue. It appears on another of his articles (“The external blockade and the internal…”) that he had committed Internet fraud in order to get service from a USA company against their rules and USA law (and Cuban law) while in Cuba and got found out by the USA company and kicked out. They might have notified Cuban authorities, remember that if you brake the law in one country, the authorities of any other country are going to suspect you or at least keep an eye out for you. It’s still you trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, nothing happened to Rondón except he might get charged if he ever goes to the USA…

  • As long as the Castro-style socialist economy remains the norm in Cuba, Cuban youth will be forced to leave Cuba to find that “better” life you write about. As long as political freedoms are denied, Cuban youth will choose to leave Cuba at ever-increasing rates. I should hope that you have loftier aspirations for the Cuban people than just “staying afloat”. The last thing Cuba needs are more Castros in charge. There are more than 11.2 million Cubans in Cuba and nearly 2 million who live abroad. Surely there is a least one other Cuban not named Castro qualified to lead.

  • Here in San Francisco, WiFi is free virtually all over town. You either fail or are avoiding the point I is making. The internet in Cuba is censored. Can you explain why?

  • #’s 1-3 are opinions. Albeit shared by millions of people, they remain opinions. Look up the definition as you seem confused regarding the difference. #4 Did I say anything about US treaties? When? #5 I KNOW what you have written which is a reflection of what you think.

  • #1 Lie: Fidel and Raúl are tyrants.
    #2 Lie: Cuba is a living hell.
    #3 Lie: Cubans don’t demonstrate because are a beaten-down bunch,

    #4 Lie: The USA has never broken any treaties it has signed.
    #5 Lie: You know what I see and don’t see.

    There is 5 quick ones but many more, these are “facts, not opinions you have uttered here.

    Now to respond to your “fact”, they leave because they are poor and are seeking a better life, but “in record numbers” because more Cubans are now able to travel legally to more countries and to each country that accepts them; Cuba is not a prison, but it is still a poor country thanks to the Blockade and the state of hostilities with the USA, all of which should be resolved soon.

    Let me remind you the Prison in Cuba is in Guantánamo and it’s also a Torture Center.

  • The Castros secret police, modeled after the notorious East German Stasi and Russian KGB, have a reputation that precedes them. It’s like having the KKK stop by for a chat. In fact, their interactions with the writer were relatively benign. However, given the track record of abuses these thugs have earned, even a a simple phone call is disturbing. Lacking due process in Cuba, the political police can do virtually whatever they want to do to you. The lack of basic human rights in Cuba makes even a benign interaction, unnerving.

  • Thanks for the advice IC, it’s imperative to stay young in your mind, remember all the outrageous things we did out of exuberance and not criticize the young for the same thing but understand them and give them support. I always talk to the new generation when I go to Cuba and sympathize with their observations and many of their critiques of our government. Most basically though, they want to stop being poor and to be able to live a more comfortable life where they can afford more consumer goods and have better housing and job opportunities. This is true anywhere on this planet. They also want less government control over what they can and can not do and this is also UNIVERSAL; Cuban youth wants to travel as well, just like young people all over. Once the Cuba-USA conflict is finally resolved, this is what should start happening.
    But remember that whatever happens then it will be by our hand and not by another government’s boot; whether we sink or swim will be on us Cubans, and we have a really good record of staying afloat.

    The Cuban People are the Revolution, not just Fidel and Raúl, besides, we have a NEW generation firmly in place: ¡Hola Alex y Mariela!

  • What plight, Moses, what “harassment”? You’ve never been contacted or questioned by the police? You take anything that happens in Cuba, such as this, and blow it up well beyond all proportion. I do not even understand why this article was featured except to show an example of normal, Cuban police-work. We just know what this Kid wrote; did he leave anything out or was there another reason he was contacted? I guess we will never know, but we can’t just assume all of the information is here. People are contacted by the cops everywhere in this planet in the course of police work everyday millions of times (literally). If this kid would have been threatened, slapped around, beaten up, jailed, tortured, raped, fired from his job as a course of police action and not the other way around as it is here, fined or “disappeared”, there would be a lot of cause for this article and your outrage (and mine), but there is NOTHING here. The cops contacted him, questioned him about the company he kept and tried to enlist him as a rat by phone until he finally told them to take a hike. The minute he actually did tell the cops he was not interested in their proposals, the phone calls stopped and nothing else came from it, so: Where is the problem, What’s the big deal? You should really pick your battles much better, this obsession you have with criticizing everything in Cuba is just untenable and obviously unbelievable.

  • ….then it must really suck to know that with the death of the Castros you revolution will most likely go poof! You should talk to more young Cubans. More and more risk their lives to leave your free health care paradise. What do they know that you don’t?

  • ….and yet, despite your petty insults, attempts at obfuscation and semantic games, my point still stands. I have access to news from all over the world, each with its own unique slant. Other than your “privelaged” friends, remind me again how many have free access to information in Cuba.

    It’s a sad truth that Cuba has less connectivity (including phone access) than any other country in the hemisphere. ….One of the many gifts of the revolution.

    As for your artist friend who wishes to stay in Cuba, good for him. But the exodus of young Cubans looking for a life outside of the revolution are near all time highs! Apparently they don’t share your love of the Castros …..but then again, you don’t even live there. …How telling!

  • Police “harassment” anywhere should be “cried” about. Police are public servants and should busy themselves protecting innocent people and catching criminals. One would hope that as a victim of harassment that you would be more and not less sympathetic to this young man’s plight.

  • Can we stick to Cuba’s problems on this site. The drama unfolding in Ferguson deserves it’s own separate blog.

  • Monseigneur, please try and stick to the subject of the posts. If you want me to send your e-mail to Moses I can with your authorization so you can continue the tit-for-tap in private.

  • Again, did I say We were singing “slave songs”? No, I said We Were singing a Victory Song, the metaphor is flawless and true while you continue to try to twist my words and invent stuff I never wrote in a futile effort to. Your song, however does have a certain air of defeat and desperation now that your own country has decided to stop the hostilities and sit down to talk. Sour grapes, old man, rant and rail against Cuba and our Revolutionary Government all you want while the “Oath Bearers”, a White Supremacist, “patriotic” organization is allowed by the Missouri authorities to bear arms on the street against the African-American population of Fergustan and their united, multiracial supporters.
    I sing in the morning since I was a baby, the Babalaos and Seers tell me it was because I had accomplished my “mission” in my last “past life” and my spirit was “triumphant” (their words). I never thought much about that since my plate was always full in the present life, the only one I can account for, and account I can as a defender of our Cuban Revolution since my first year in College (’66), and every other just cause that landed on me regardless of where I was. Maybe that is my “Mission” and I sure’nuff get gratification out of exposing people like you that have nothing good to say and nothing to back it up.

  • ………and air conditioning and a car and a servant.
    Liked the phrase: “work associated privilege.” used to describe those within the circle of power of the Castro family regime and Communist Party of Cuba. Your obvious place is within the echelons of those who hold power and control over the impoverished peoples of Cuba. That’s a true socialist/communist!
    Stalin, Lenin and Marx would have appreciated your support but too late, they have gone so you will just have to make-do with the Castros. – it’s The Gomezz Method

  • Gomezz has at long last admitted the truth. He wrote:
    “Because of ………………. my extremely high connections in both the Cultural and Bureaucratic establishment in Cuba, I could go back to a very comfortable. air-conditioned life, with a car and even a cook/cleaner, better than I have here;”
    He describes so accurately the assets which are bestowed upon those who are an inner part of the Castro family regime coterie that I have to accept that he is a loyal supporter of those who would thus reward him and which separates them from the subjugated common people.
    I was perhaps wrong in criticising his use of the Royal “we” when writing of Cuba. It is communist Cuba, not free Canada that he supports – and Moses, where he rightfully belongs. There the luxury life awaits him and he can feel superior to the common folk, report dissidents and serve his political masters.
    He has no loyalty to his country of residence to which he as an immigrant swore allegiance when taking citizenship. He is opposed to the freedom which benefits those in
    multi-party democracies.

  • Name one lie. Please be careful to understand the difference between “lie” and “opinion”. You see crumbling infrastructure and call it beauty. I see a collapsed building in Central Havana where a young girl was killed and see a failure of Castro socialism. That’s a difference of opinion. A record number of Cubans are leaving Cuba legally and illegally in 2015. That’s a fact. Where is my lie?

  • So funny….I just happen to be sitting in my “affluent neighborhood” right now watching 3 (not 4) black teens walking by my home. …ummm They walked by and seemed harmless enough, and no one else seems to be bothering them. ….See, and they walked right on by with no one hassling them.

    … Does shit happen? Yes it does, and bad shit at that. In an open society like ours, where anything and everything makes the news, it’s so easy to throw stones. It’s a bit harder in Cuba where everything is swept under the rug, a totalitarian system where nothing changes, and even exchanges like the one we are having here, are not tolerated.

    ….once again Monseigneur, you re trying to draw a moral equivalency where non exists.

    I also receive Al Jazeera at home…..no problems there. How about if you concentrate on trying to get Cubans regular and easy access to Havanatimes.org, which is another site frowned upon in Cuba, instead of worrying if I have access to Al Jazeera or not.

    ….talk about mindless.

  • I said this before and you are putting words in my writing that are not there ONCE AGAIN!
    Because of my academic credentials, my long record of struggle for Cuba and Popular Movements around the World, my participation in the armed defense of the Allende Government, my work with Pastors for Peace, my foundation for Cuban Arts and my extremely high connections in both the Cultural and Bureaucratic establishment in Cuba, I could go back to a very comfortable, air-conditioned life in Cuba with a car and even a cook/cleaner, better than I have here; except life is not just measured by comfort and worldly possessions (or TP).
    I live here in Canada with my FAMILY, for my FAMILY (3 kids, 4 g.kids and counting), and while am at it, I’m also bringing artists, sending musicians, bringing scientists, sending librarians, bringing educators, sending computers, artistic supplies, musical instruments and bicycle parts to help break the Blockade, both physical and cultural, with which the USA tried to drown our Revolution. It was many “romantic” Cubans living abroad that kept our country in contact with the People of the World and contributed to the defense of the Revolution anyway they could. I am doing just that right now. I defend Cuba from Canada or anyplace I happen to be as I always have and I have done a pretty good job of it here in Canada, opening bridges between our Peoples and combating your lies.

  • And here’s a chap who believes he has the authority to determine what nationality I am and that such is some sort of response to my points. As I have observed in the past, when loosing Carlyle tries to shift the focus from the subject of the discussion to the personal with such Preppy School Debating Team tactics as twisting the meaning of words and splitting hairs (semantics), trying to undermine the opponents credibility with personal attacks and ridicule, then platitudes and general truisms and finally unanswerable, meaningless or absurd questions. This is why I always answer all your points and you do not answer mine, you just can’t.
    Nothing happened to this kid, eh; the Cubans did to him just the same as the Canadians did to me, it’s nothing but common vigilance. As to why me and why would they want to is all in my past post, and what they might really have been doing is your own baseless conjecture. There is nothing in this here article to get upset or cry police harassment about.

  • Singing? As record numbers of Cuban leave the island by legal and illegal means to escape Castro socialism, I have no doubt that you are singing. Every day you wake up in Canada, you and many other Cubans are singing because of the opportunities you now have that you didn’t have in Cuba. By the way, slave songs were sung as a way to communicate messages. Slaves were not allowed to talk while working but singing was permitted. It also helped pass the time despite the grueling work. Not the best metaphor to choose for you to make your point.

  • I never said Cuba was not a police state, so again stop putting words in my writing that are just not there. I have said in this forum that I believe my country is a benign police state and it is this only because the USA tried to topple it by violent, illegal means for 55 years. Police presence. police bullets and police violence never stopped us nor people in many other countries from pouring out and protesting anyway. Look at Fergustan, MO, USA as an example that no matter how many uniforms, how many armored vehicles, how many helicopters and how many cameras the People will demonstrate against injustice even in a malign police state, which the USA is for Black, Brown and poor White People.
    Your fantasy comparisons hold no water, in the first place We have beaten You, the USA, through our efforts, our weapons, our state of readiness and vigilance, our cunning and our sacrifices over the 55 years you tried to punish us and starve us and blockade our efforts to freely trade with the world. You, USA, the one that beats the drum of “free trade economy” the hardest, have been the one that tried to prevent us from conducting free trade with the world and tried to prevent the whole planet from doing trade with us. the hubris!
    We are singing, Moses, and it’s a song of Victory. The only one beaten down here is the effort to repossess Cuba through invasion, and when that failed, through starvation (like in a traditional European siege) by 11 USA presidents and all the talent, resources and $ they threw at this criminal objective.

  • You are simply laughable and the best part is you really believe your own propaganda, “electronic warfare” ha ha ha, this is just ridiculous. I love the way you demonstrate your extremism through exxxageration to the ninth degree. Had you said “electronic censorship”, you would have been on rather solid ground even though many of my friends and colleagues in Cuba have Internet in their homes; but they are top people in their fields and I know this is a work associated privilege. In fact, one of my best friends is a pretty hard core dissident and features these sentiments freely in his art, but unlike you, he does not want to leave the Island so he can do everything he can to change the system INSIDE CUBA. The cowardice you guys have shown by leaving Cuba instead of fighting for what you claim you believe in says everything about you. Glad that you reinstated your position on “Electronic Warfare” so that everyone can judge for themselves your extremist “condition”.
    And if you did not get this already, maybe is time you knew most of the news you get in Miami (USA) are heavily slanted, and Internet access is not free in the USA, you have to pay for it and many, many people in the USA cannot afford it either…and cannot afford a roof over their heads, or a meal oftentimes, or life-saving medical treatment; all the things We take for granted in Cuba.

  • I know a handful of Cubans like him. They have long romanticized Cuba and the Castros as a hedge against the frustrations they have about their real lives outside of Cuba. They say things like “if this was in Cuba. ….” to imply a better outcome would be possible. Here’s the kink in the hose: When they walk into the 100k sq. ft supermarket, or turn on their cable TV, or simply sit down in front of their computer to check out Havana Times, they seem to forget about what that stuff would be like if they were in Cuba. As I always say to these guys, if Cuba was as good as they try to make it sound, they would have packed up and moved there a long time ago.

  • Your logic is faulty. You seem to be arguing that how can Cuba be called a police state if there is less violence in Cuba? Is that close to what you are saying? It is because of the Castro police presence that more protests therefore more violence does not take place. I dare say that after 3 generations of oppression, Cubans are simply beat down. The same logic you use to compare Cuba to the US was used by slaveholders 170 years ago. As slaves worked under the hot sun and sang, slave masters would utter that they must be happy to be slaves because why else would they be singing?

  • Here is a fellow who in these columns uses the Royal “we” when writing about Cuba, yet who openly describes his activities in Canada way back at the time of the Montreal Olympics.
    Why on earth the RCMP would approach him to become a “snitch” is a mystery, unless they were using it as a means to detect whether in fact he was a loyal Canadian or not.
    As he writes, he suffered no consequences. If he had been in Cuba I would have been a different story, he would undoubtedly have been “roughed up” by the State Police – and very likely locked up as a dissident.
    Any genuine person possessing the strength of feelings expressed about the benefits of the Castro family regime whilst deprecating his chosen country of residence for more than half his life, would find it intellectually impossible to refrain from returning to live under the regime he so admires. The regime deserves his services and like Canada would gain by his moving.

  • Is your connection to news and information from the outside world somehow curtailed? Mine isn’t either. How about the Cubans? Isn’t their access to information unavailable, curtailed, or in most instances blocked through jamming of the signal?

    ….so yes, when you’re blocking signals from the outside world it’s called electronic warfare, something usually done by the military against an enemy third party. So how little must the Cuban Communist regime think of its own people that they do the same??!!

  • You are blinded. You are trying to draw a moral equivalency where non exists. You are not helping in the conversation in moving Cuba beyond a dictatorship!

  • Let me get this straight, blocking Internet signals from the outside world is conducting “electronic warfare” against us; are you drunk or high? This is what I say about way out of the ball-park exaggerations and patently false statements that make you such an easy rival to prove wrong. Spying on the People of the USA electronically by your government has been on the news for the past 2-3 years, did you get any of that or was your attention occupied by activity in the Neighborhood Watch* Committee of Dade County (*This is what the CDR is called in Canada, isn’t it the same in the USA?), Standing your Ground and making sure no minority teens with hoodies came near your precious children. You only look at Cuba from your jaundiced, incendiary Miami perspective so you can imagine all of these heinous crimes and even “electronic warfare” where there isn’t even a wisp of smoke. Take a good look around there in Miami and you will see all that you claim is wrong with Cuba, but times 100.

  • Try hanging out at the Mosque there in Miami and receive Al Jazeera in your computer and I’ll show you what freedom of association is in the good ol’ USA. How’bout 4 Black or Brown teens walking down the street either in their neighborhood or a White, affluent neighborhood, day or night; you are so incredibly easy to negate IC, why do you leave yourself open for ridicule with such mindless comments, don’t you have any self-esteem?

  • So you can’t speak Spanish either, eh Moses; it was not correct to tackle these women even though they were shouting “¡Abajo Fidel!”, but you are drawing a comparison to a terrorist act against innocent people, blowing up a civilian airplane on purpose and then the main perpetrator being given refuge in the USA and charged only with entering the country illegally. This SOB (forget the name) died in his bed after living unmolested in Florida for years and being honored by the Gusano society. I saw a program where he was having an art sale (his awful paintings) and the house was full of avid collectors and admirers including a Cuban American, Super Gusano who proudly proclaimed he was the murderer of Ernesto Ché Guevara after Che was wounded and captured.

    To respond to MacDuff’s tit for tat -they did it to us so what- attitude, the Malaysian plane was shot down by mistake, not on purpose like the Cubana flight. On the other hand I remember when a (South) Korean Airlines passenger plane was being used by the South Korean CIA on orders from its USA masters as a civilian shield to hide their spy plane behind, violate Russian air space and take photos of a very sensitive Russian base. The shield thing worked too well and the Russians hit the commercial airliner instead of the spy plane. No one ever paid for that yet the CIA and KCIA were completely responsible.
    The difference between a Terrorist and a Dictator is simple. A Terrorist is defined by her/his CONCRETE actions which are purposely focused on creating fear and terror amongst the population at large or a defined portion of it. A Dictator is so depending on who is interpreting the actions he/she is taking in order to control the People and run a country. ALL governments seek to impose more and more control over their populations in “exchange” for government services that we, the People pay for through our labour and our taxes anyway. The balance is always unfair to the People, regardless of the name of the “System”, it just depends on how unfair it is.

  • Sooo ridiculous to think that being contacted by the authorities, questioned by the authorities or asked to be a snitch by the authorities is such an affront, abuse or even harassment. There obviously were no other consequences for this guy, so WHAT! The RCMP wanted me to become a snitch for the Montreal Olympics, they came to my house unannounced, they interviewed me there, the called me a couple of times and had me come to their brand new headquarters for a 3 hour “interview” where I was emphatically asked to demonstrate my Canadian loyalty by ratting on my fellow protesters. That was simply good work, I was pretty involved in leftist politics and they were afraid of any show of dissent before an international audience. Like Rondon-Paz, I suffered no consequences.
    This is done by EVERY SINGLE GOVERNMENT ON THIS PLANET, and Canada did not have the might of the USA set against it. You just take anything sooo out of all proportion and make such stupid comparisons, man I think you are either obsessed or are being paid for this work, either way it’s laughable. Eh, by the way, Fergustan was hot again last night; I wonder why the police don’t shoot Black people in Cuba? In fact, they shoot very, very few people, period.You talk police state, look around you dude, tell me how come is a shooting offense to Run while Black or Brown, or standing in the corner while Black or Brown, or trying to escape while Black or Brown or playing with a toy-gun while being a Black or Brown child. You got a lot of nerve to even bring up this subject.
    A few Cuban women, relatives and friends of jailed “dissidents” with no groundswell support among the population are “roughed up” by overzealous cops and civilians while calling for the overthrow of their government is NO news. Protesters are shot, seriously beaten, tortured, set on fire, raped and jailed in every single country under USA domination and in the USA itself quite regularly. This is not “tackling” or “roughing-up”, this is extensive damage and death; yet these protesters brave the cops by the hundreds of thousand and go out and demonstrate anyway. How come this does not happen in Cuba except for ~4 dozen women trying to provoke the authorities, build the popular support they totally lack and create an incident worthy of the international media to embarrass the Cuban Government? Who is the “moron” now, Moses, nothing good ever comes out of your postings.

  • Rich, Putin did not even consider Cubana Flight 455 when his goons decided to destroy a Malaysian airliner flying at 32,000 Ft. in 2014 over a sovereign country which they had invaded. As you say, a decent human being would have learned from Flight 455.
    Terrorists are terrorists and only concerned about their own ambitions. There is little to choose between terrorists and dictators – both are evil.

  • To be clear, the bombing of Flt. 455 was tragic. Castro’s morons are those apparachiks who attack and beat unarmed middle-aged women peacefully marching home from church. These guys kick down front doors to harass graffiti artists. Castro’s security agents, were they to focus on domestic terrorists and would-be assassins, would be given a pass for their brutish tactics. But I have been an eye-witness to these guys in plaid shirts tackling Cuban women in Parque Central in Havana Vieja for the crime of chanting “Baja Fidel ” while banging pots and pans with wooden spoons. That’s why they are Morons.

  • Kinda old totalitarian behavior that will go the way of house phones in the US. Pretty desperate stuff but will be the thing of the past very soon. I suspect when the dust settles there will be a high percentage of the Cuban population who will continue to support this way of life. That’s to be expected but I still feel, as an outsider who is just taking a guess, the majority of those who live in Cuba will want this insanity to end. So the present system in Cuba is failing and the excuses as to
    why just puts more credence into that fact. Excuses, in todays world, will bring about failure as witnessed in Greece, Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti and numerous other countries. So I think it’s time to buckle up because information and communication is about to hit Cuba and change is inevitable.
    The ones knocking on peoples doors and interrogating Cuba’s free thinking citizens will be outnumbered
    and hopefully fear for their arms, legs and heads functioning normally! p.s. – I’m refraining from commenting on posts that I feel are so out of the realm of reality and felt compelled to mention this. Ironically, those who live in Cuba and defend the system past and present are not included. I am glad that the moderator of this website allows so many to post here and a tribute to his character and freedom of speech acumen.

  • The Cuban people and Cuba itself are embarking on new beginning and some sections of the Cuban government do not want this ange to take place, because they feel threatened by possible change and what this change will mean for the Cuban people. They wish to hold on to the idea that they know what is best for the Cuban people. These people, well at least some believe that they have the peoples best interests at heart, they are scared of change, help them to see the advatages of change and get them t embrace can, because deep down they too are Cuban patriots, more to be pityied than despised and feared. Help them to seethe dawn ofa new an exciting future for Cuba and it’s people. Viva change, viva freedom, real freedom for all Cuban people.

  • Of course, Moses, Cuba’s “morons,” as you call them, have no reason at all to be concerned with exile-directed terrorist acts such as downing a civilian Cuban airplane, bombing or machine-gunning hotels and coastal fishing cabins, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. Your premises maintain that everything committed against Cuba, and the support and protection of the perpetrators, is fine and dandy. Such propaganda may be adequately explained to the choir but independent thinkers believe it presents a damaging image of the U. S. democracy to the rest of the world. To harm innocent Cubans in the guise of “hurting Castro” shames democracy. The “morons” you mention on the island have managed to exist since the 1950s against powerful unchecked forces who are able to hide behind the world’s greatest military and economic superpower. So, Moses, their maligned security apparatus must be doing something right. In my humble opinion, such things as blowing up a child-laden Cuban airplane have convinced enough Cubans on the island that Castro might be the lesser of two evils, especially when, unlike his predecessors, he offers free health, education, and shelter services. Just a thought, of course. But despite propaganda to the contrary, Cubana Flight 455 and its aftermath still weighs heavily on my mind, helping to judge those who approve of it or try to ignore it. History registers the fact that Cubana Flight 455 was bombed into the ocean on October 6, 1976. I believe decent humans should take at least a nodding interest in history, and perhaps learn from it. Cubana Flight 455 is historic.

  • The insidious part is what you cant see. The CDR, neighbors watching neighbors, the electronic warfare the Cuban government conducts against its own people by blocking signals from the outside world…..

  • I do but it is still hard to imagine. And I have seen Castro repression with my own eyes.

  • Freedom of a association is illegal in Cuba is illegal Moses, you know this

  • When George Orwell wrote 1984 including Big Brother and the phrase “Big Brother is watching you.” few would have imagined that the Cuban State Security which gets a lot of it’s information through the CDR, would so closely resemble Orwell’s thinking in 2015.
    The State Security system is controlled by Alejandro Espin Castro, son of President Raul Castro Ruz. Part of the purpose of the Goons visiting Luis was to install fear – and they succeeded!
    This reflects the activities of the NVD in Soviet Russia and the Stasi in East Germany and should be a warning to those innocents who think that there is change in the Castro family regime thinking – or INTENTIONS!

  • It’s hard to believe that this sort of thing still goes on. I don’t mean the existence of State Security agents. All governments need some measure of internal surveillance. My surprise is that these morons have nothing better to do than to make harassing phone calls to someone they believe is guilty of the crime of free thinking. Is Luis a potential terrorist capable of building pressure-cooker bombs? Has he stockpiled an arsenal of AK-47s or sniper rifles? Or is Luis, at his national security worst, likely to be guilty of attending a meeting with a few like-minded friends who rant about the lack of cheap internet access? The cold war relic thought police must realize that their days are numbered. Castro paranoia can’t last forever.

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