http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/cuban-policewomen-drag-ladies-in-white-into-a-bus-and-take-them-away-317a/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Cuban policewomen drag Ladies in White into a bus and take them away

Posted March 17, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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(Editing by Jeff Franks and Alan Elsner) | Reuters

Cuban police grabbed members of the opposition group “Ladies in White” by their hair, dragged them into a bus and drove them away to break up a protest march on Wednesday.

The white clothes the women traditionally wear were smeared with mud as they resisted policewomen forcing them into a bus. Government protesters shouted insults at them for the second day in a row.

The march was the third this week by the Ladies in White who are protesting the 2003 imprisonment of their husbands and sons, most of whom are still in jail.


Credit: REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

The seventh anniversary of the crackdown, known as the “Black Spring,” is Thursday, when the women said they will march again.

On Wednesday, they attended a mass in the working class neighborhood of Parraga and began walking toward the nearby home of dissident Orlando Fundora, who began a hunger strike last week.

As the 30 or so women walked along carrying flowers, about 200 government supporters marched alongside, separated by security agents.

“Worms, get out of here. Viva Fidel! Viva Raul!” the government supporters shouted, referring to former president Fidel Castro and his brother, current President Raul Castro, the only leaders Cuba has since the 1959 communist revolution.

For their part, the women shouted “Freedom” and “Zapata lives.” Orlando Zapata Tamayo, an imprisoned dissident died from an 85-day hunger strike on February 23 and has become a rallying point for Cuba’s opposition. His mother, Reyna Tamayo, took part in the march.

‘NO FEAR’

As the pro-government crowd swelled, state security agents repeatedly offered to take the Ladies in White away in a bus, but leader Laura Pollan refused.

Finally, they pulled a bus up and began hauling the women into it, grabbing some by the hair and others by the arms and legs as they screamed in protest. They were driven to Pollan’s house in Central Havana.

“They are invading Cuban territory. This street belongs to Fidel,” housewife Odalys Puente said of the women.

Ladies in White member Berta Soler said: “When a wild animal is penned up, it does this and much more. We are ready for everything. We have no fear.”

Cuba has been condemned internationally for Zapata’s death and its treatment of another hunger striker, Guillermo Farinas, who has been in a hospital receiving fluids intravenously since he collapsed on Thursday.

Fundora, a former political prisoner, was also said to be in hospital after beginning his hunger strike a week ago.


Credit: REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

Cuban dissidents, who are small in number and not well known domestically, say the hunger strikes have refocused international attention on their cause.

The United States and Europe have condemned communist-led Cuba over the hunger strikes and called for the release of its estimated 200 political prisoners.

Cuban leaders say dissidents are mercenaries working for the United States and other enemies to subvert the government.

They have vowed to resist international pressure to change their treatment of opponents.


Credit: REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

Thanks to HavanAndrew for posting the link

—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-

The Havana Journal is PROUD to support the Ladies In White and their peaceful protests. We hope no one is harmed in the process.

We would like to thank Reuters for getting this story out of Cuba and Reuters photographers Desmond Boylan and Enrique De La Osa for their bravery and determination to get in so close to the situation.

The world is watching now.

March 18 Update

Desmond Boylan took these photos yesterday. Great to see such a turnout WITH all the cameras rolling.

Member Comments

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On March 17, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

Disgusting.
Proof that the Castro’s are paranoid cowards.

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On March 17, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

Any comments from pipefitter or MiamiCastro?

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On March 18, 2010, HavanAndrew wrote:

BBC Video March 17

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8573809.stm

(Publisher note: I added the youtube video code above.)

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On March 18, 2010, publisher wrote:

I just watched the video and all I can say to Raul is GAME ON!

You want to send out the rapid response brigades and goons and policewoman who drag old ladies to the ground while the whole world watches?

GAME ON.

Can Raul control it this time? Is he allowing this to play out because he has no choice? Is this the end game of the Castro regime?

For the pipefitters and MiamiCubans of the world, you can’t tell me that these women are common criminals and/or agents of the US and/or that no one in Cuba cares or knows about them.

Not this time.

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On March 18, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

As usual, Cuba held under the magnifying glass.  I’m not condoning these actions….ideally, we’d live in a world where things like this didn’t take place at all.  But the hypocrisy, especially in this journal, is astounding.    Did any of you come to the defense of the peaceful protestors who were tear-gassed and beaten in Miami several years ago during the NAFTA conference?  It happened right here on our streets, but I would imagine it didn’t get the same attention that the ladies in white are now getting.  Do you defend just as vehemently the unmentionable atrocities that happen in remote places around the globe?  It never fails—-Cuba is ALWAYS held to higher standards.

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On March 18, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

MiamiCastro, you seem to forget always to your favor that this is a blog about Cuba. You say that you do not condone these actions but you do not oppose them either. 
For long time now people in the US has been able to think and to say openly their ideas under the protection of the constitution. You are a living proof of that, you are perennially criticizing the US government and nothing had happened to you.
Your example of peaceful protestors being tear gassed is not the most illustrative because again your are comparing oranges and apples to your favor.
The Miami peaceful protestors that I remember were anarchist and turned violent during a NAFTA conference. I still oppose the violence in that case but it is obviously not the same case.  The white ladies were walking on the streets. Have they protested in front of a conference with foreign dignitaries (like the Miami protestors did) they would enjoy a long holiday in Villa Marista.
Instead of enjoying the Castro government sponsored tours in Cuba try to live with the Cuban people for a while, you would see how quickly you would change your mind.

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On March 18, 2010, publisher wrote:

No one can sum it up better than Yoani Sanchez (as seen at the Huffington Post)

The Legacy

Tough times are coming. In the long term, I’m optimistic, but a sense of apprehension overwhelms me thinking of the years ahead. The accumulated frustration is too much. They have systematically sown among us the rejection of different opinions and this will not be erased overnight. Yesterday, when I saw a housewife vulgarly screaming, “the worms are rioting” - referring to the march of the Ladies in White - I thought about the long road to tolerance that lies ahead. Learning to debate without offending, to live together with plurality and respect for differences, will have to become a compulsory subject in our schools. It is going to be a long process to make everyone understand that diversity is a cure, not a disease.

I fear that the always-present shout and slap will remain the quickest way to silence the other. I shudder to imagine a Cuba where physical - and legal - attacks against people, for their political affiliation or ideological leanings, continue. What a sad country we will have if the authorities continue to consider it normal to “teach a good lesson” to anyone who contradicts the official viewpoint. To me, a society that passively stands by as peaceful women with gladioli in their hands are bullied, as happened yesterday, is quite sick. But the sectarianism did not end there, rather they sought to justify it and to accomplish that they prepared a script for the most mind-numbing program on Cuban television: The Roundtable. Viewers, however, after two hours of stoic listening, knew that in the absence of arguments they were left only with insults, defamation, and verbal acrobatics.

Why don’t they have the courage to invite, to this dreary set where they carry on a monologue every afternoon, at least a couple of people who think differently? The most timid and laconic of the dissidents I know would expose them with a few questions and with some brief phrases would shatter their conspiracy theory. But they wouldn’t dare. Sheltered by power - there is no worse ally for a journalist - their words and pens sustained by their perks and privileges, they know they could not withstand the artillery of criticism. Thus, they extol the beating, resort to slogans, and show some hand-picked videos to prove that differences must be crushed. And so they feed the fanaticism, this germ that threatens to survive long past their own lives: the legacy of hatred and distrust that they intend to leave to us.

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On March 19, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

The next event of public protest is soon coming…
The hunger strike death of Guillermo Farinas.
The Cuban government must already be busy rounding up the ‘usual suspects’
of dissent so to avoid a disturbance…...

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Everyone is so focused on the white ladies being taken away that no one has stopped to think about what might have (and probably would have) happened had the police not intervened and taken the women away.  All it takes is for one person (on either side) to throw a rock and for all hell to break loose.  Publisher, you got it right when you said, “The accumulated frustration is too much”—-and that makes fertile ground for potential disaster at a demonstration, no matter how peaceful it is intended to be.  I’m not in favor of stifling dissenting voices, but when the “accumulated frustration” is at its peak, one needs to be careful that the situation doesn’t suddenly escalate, spin out of control, and end up costing serious injuries or even lives.  I wonder if any of the ladies in white are relieved they were taken away and not left in the hands of angry citizens.  If there are any, I’m sure we’ll never know.

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On March 19, 2010, publisher wrote:

Yeah, they looked really relieved in the photos above.

You really have no idea about anything, do you?

The mob is ordered by the Cuban government and then the Cuban government calls in the police to convince brain washed people like yourself to say stupid things like you do and be a good Communist to help spread the propaganda.

It’s really amazing that you can take any situation and find the good in Castro’s Communist dictatorship. Amazing.

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On March 19, 2010, publisher wrote:

I just added more photos above.

At this point, it’s hard not to believe that Raul is allowing this to continue.

First, if he really didn’t want this, he would round up the foreign media and confine them or force them to leave.

The size of the turnout cannot be hidden by tourists now.

If he is not willingly allowing these protests to continue then maybe this time it’s different and he really has no choice, pandora’s box has been opened.

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Publisher, you say the “mob is ordered by the Cuban government.”  Oh, really?  How would you know this?  It’s pure speculation on your part.  You completely discount the possibility that these could be citizens who showed up on their own free will.  Aren’t you being a bit naive?

As for your comment:  “It’s really amazing that you can take any situation and find the good in Castro’s Communist dictatorship,” all I can say is, read my post again.  It’s about other potential scenarios that “could have” easily happened and which could have been far worse than a group of women being taken away from a mob scene.  Isn’t that what this site is for?  To exchange different opinions and perspectives?

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Publisher, you also say, “At this point, it’s hard not to believe that Raul is allowing this to continue. First, if he really didn’t want this, he would round up the foreign media and confine them or force them to leave. “

Isn’t it a good thing that he’s not banning the media?  Could this…..oh… possibly mean he’s willing to have more transparency in Cuba, even at the risk of all the criticizm?

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On March 19, 2010, publisher wrote:

Yes. It’s a good thing that he has not banned the media. Great that you can always find something good.

Calling out the mobs and dragging old women away “for their protection” is however NOT a good thing.

So, let’s not give Raul too much credit here.

How about he’s leaves them alone like he has done for many years. Why call out the mobs now?

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On March 19, 2010, publisher wrote:

I guess you have never heard of rapid response brigades or the CDR? Funny that you don’t know about government ordered mobs since you know everything about Cuba.

Yes, this site is “To exchange different opinions and perspectives” but not to spread propaganda which is all you do.

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Okay….so not banning the media means Raul is bad…....but banning the media means he’s really bad.  Publisher, that makes no sense.

Also, I NEVER said the women were taken away for their protection.  I merely “implied” (since you nor I know the facts) that they just might be safer in the hands of the police than an angry crowd on the verge of spinning out of control.

Finally, the women have been protesting for years and there hasn’t been a problem.  They were allowed to do their marches, AS IS THEIR RIGHT.  What’s changed?  Why this sudden turn of events?  Could it be their protests weren’t having much of an effect, and that’s why Laura Bush got involved in supporting them?  (Remember that the Balarts were friendly with the Bushes).  There are many questions to be answered, and I’m just curious, that’s all.  As you should be, too.  What is this all about?  The only thing the photos reveal is a large crowd of people, but they don’t say much else.

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On March 19, 2010, manfredz wrote:

I dont really know much about the inner workings of the Cuban state security agencies but because they didnt have enough time to destroy much we know very very much about how the Stasi (East German state security organs) worked, and no reason to believe Cuba works any different.
When angry Cuban mobs appear to heckle/bother/etc a protest against the government, they are not just ordinary citizens bothering the protesters because tehy’re so so happy with the system as it is.

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

So you’re saying that people who are happy with the system shouldn’t be called “ordinary citizens?”  Does that mean that Cuba’s doctors, teachers, farmers, athletes, etc…aren’t “ordinary citizens” because they support the system?

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Let me rephrase my previous post (#18)....I’m not implying that the mob consisted of doctors & teachers (people who would not likely heckle others or even be inclined to attend a counter-protest).  I would imagine the majority in the crowd were of a different sort…somewhat crass even….but the kind you’d find at any protest.  This type of person wouldn’t need any prompting, which is why I’m disinclined to believe they were brought there.

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On March 19, 2010, manfredz wrote:

I’m suggesting thse hecklers were not ordinary upset citizens but agents supplied by the state security organs, nothing less, nothing more.

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

For the purpose of….....?

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On March 19, 2010, manfredz wrote:

mainly discourage others from following with similar.
You dont have to be an Einstein to realize that the majority of the Cubans are not happy with the status quo.

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On March 19, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

MiamiCastro in case you do not know that is the modus operandis of the Cuban G2 (state political police). It has been for the last 50 years.

I know the insides and outs of how they operate; I have seen the G2 organizing repudiation marches as they call them.
They go to large government enterprises and ask that everybody has to participate (if somebody choose not to go would lose his job immediately). They provide buses and plain clothes agents to guide the whole act.
Normally they have agents infiltrated within the peaceful protesters and they would know the day and time of the protests ahead of time. They carefully plan everything and allow the “ordinary citizens” to abuse the peaceful protesters for a while and them the uniformed police show up showing the world that they are avoiding more abuses.
So people like you can wonder “what may had happened if the police had not intervened” well guess what the police was there in the corner all the time, actually they organized “angry crow”.
In Cuba everybody knows it. They use a lot the Blas Roca construction contingent. That was sort of a large government construction company created many years ago. Their workers receive a better than average pay and living conditions in exchange for”complete dedication to the Revolution”. They have been mobilized to attack similar pacific demonstrations numerous times in the past.
The Cuban people call it “la brigada de la tranca”. I’m sure readers would know what that means.

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On March 19, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

With the exception of manfredz, the rest of you don’t seem to be any different from the very people you criticize.  In other words, there is no room for dissent here.  That’s obvious from your pettiness….your infantile name-calling and the rabid defense of your own opinions as if they were the only ones that counted.  No wonder so few people are drawn to this site for honest debate.  I’m done here.

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On March 19, 2010, publisher wrote:

honest debate? with you?

I would love to have you post any websites where you think you will get more “ink” and honest debate than here.

Seems like you just can’t find anything bad to say about the Ladies in White so they are the winners here.

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On March 19, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

It’s ok,
It appears Miami’sanchocho’Moron has ‘got his words mixed up’, yet again.

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On March 19, 2010, publisher wrote:

When the Cuban government can’t take the pressure, deflect the attention to the “atrocities” in the US.

This is a standard tactic of the Cuban government and good Communist apologists like pipefitter and MiamiCuban.

So, here’s how Presnsa Latina is dealing with the recent international focus on human rights abuses in Cuba… blame George Bush. The article even uses a picture of Abu Grahib to kick off the story. Nice propagandist touch.

US Jails or Hell on Earth

(Prensa Latina) Cuba has been in the center of a US-headed media campaign attempting to distort a reality of full respect for human rights and huge efforts for that same objective in the rest of the world.

That move, fully coordinated abroad with anti-Cuban groups and rightist sectors particularly from the US and Europe, uses false arguments on penitentiary centers on the island and prisoners’ treatment.

Rest of the article

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On March 24, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

If you are really interested in the truth, go look at the reporting of the incidents by the BBC, no hair pulling, punching and all that reported by others, just the carrying of the protesters onto the bus and driven back to the leaders house. From an earlier video, Mrs. Poulan also admits that they do receive money from the US Cuban maffia.

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On March 24, 2010, publisher wrote:

Right. Photos, Reuters and Associated Press all lie.

“From an earlier video, Mrs. Poulan also admits that they do receive money from the US Cuban maffia.”

Quote your source.

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On March 24, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Pub, go to the BBC website and look for a story by a BBC reporter in Havana and see what he says. To see the video on Mrs. Pollan admitting they recieve money from Santiago Alvarez ($2400.00 US) look up “Damas en Blanco reconocen que reciben dinero de Santiago Alvarez youtube” Alvarez is a good friend of Luis Posada Cariles and was arrested in 2006 for having an illegal arsenal of weapons, machine guns, C-4 explosives and hand grenades in his Miami apartment complex.

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On March 24, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

Pipefitter when Fidel Castro was fighting Batista how you feel he got all the guns for the guerrilla. He got money from anybody that gave him some without any kind of distinctions. The Ladies in white are a pacific organization that the government continually harasses. They cannot get a job because in Cuba as you well know all the jobs are with the government and the few that are not still the government has to approve you to get it. How would they live if their husbands are in jail?  I do not care if the money is coming from Santiago Alvarez or from the Pope. They need it to live.
All the journalists in Cuba if they want to stay in Cuba have to accept the government censorship. Many times they are told what to say or not to say on their reports. Many journalists that did not accepted the government censorship has seen their journalist credentials revoked and therefore had to abandon Cuba.
A picture is worth thousand words. Look at the above pictures and think, are they being abused or not?

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On March 24, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

The difference is that the ladies in white are being used by the Cuban Mafia in Miami to interfere and make some negative propaganda against Cuba. The foreign media seem to say whatever they want, whether it is correct or not to get attention and are obviously informed by the demonstraters to be were the action is so to speak. The German embassy staff, caught on video, were also on site to try to make the most of the incidents. The ladies in white made their own bed, they may be pacific but they are not as innocent as you make out. They seem to not have any concern with whom they associate themselves receiving money from known violent American terrorists. If the tables were turned and this happened in the US you would never hear the end of it. According yo the BBC reporter who was there, they were not being abused, they were being asked by the police to get on the bus and they refused to go so they were put on it, the same as would happen anywere else.

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On March 24, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

“According yo the BBC reporter who was there, they were not being abused, they were being asked by the police to get on the bus and they refused to go so they were put on it, the same as would happen anywere else.” LOL
The BBC guy may say wherever he wants look at the pictures, the pictures speak for thenselves….

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On March 25, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Exactly Yeyo, You can’t see anyone’s hair being pulled or being punched. Just recipients of U.S. terrorist money refusing to do what they are asked and being carried into the bus. Away worse happens here in Canada. Just the other day , someone took a video of a police officer in Victoria kicking a man on the ground in the ribs for resisting an officer.

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On March 25, 2010, publisher wrote:

pipefitter, you have the right to be an idiot but don’t be an ass.

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On March 25, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

Pipefitter you and your pro-Castro crow never want to see what is obvious: the abuses of the people by the Castro government.
Look at the above pictures, do you sincerely feel that they were “asked” to board the bus. I can see that every one of the Ladies in White being thrown, pulled in the air by a bunch of police officers, twisted arms, pain in their faces. If hairs were pulled or not is simply secondary.
Look at the second photo, what do you see, look at the policewoman twisting the lady in white arm, and look at their faces, the police woman a face of effort in twisting the arm more, the lady in white a face of pain and suffering.  Do you have a mom, wife or sister, think about if something like that happen to any of them. Suffering is never the same, one thing is looking at it on TV and another thing trying to understand it.
They were abused, harassed and tortured physically and emotionally. They are brave women but remember they are mostly along because their husbands are all in Jail only for speaking openly against the Castro government.

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On March 25, 2010, manfredz wrote:

pipefitter…
lets put this in perspective.
In the Victoria BC incident you refer to, the video footage was shown on tv numerous times and condemend by reporters - did this also happen in Cuba?

Both Victoria and Vancouver police are probing the actions of the officers in question - did this also happen in Cuba.

In the Victoria BC incident there is no reason to believe that this was directed by higher ups whereas in Cuba there is every reason to believe it was.

Yes individual police brutality or officers going overboard (not sure yet which this was a case of but looking like the latter) happens everywhere and action is usually taken against officers that cross the line so I feel your comparison is not a comparison at all.
Just my 2 centavos worth.

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On March 25, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

There comparison is that there is no evidence of brutality towards the ladies in white.

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On March 25, 2010, publisher wrote:

Pipefitter,

Consider this your first warning. Now you are just being stupid. The photos are clear above. If you want to be intentionally disruptive you will be banned like many others who could not win their arguments.

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On March 25, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Pub I think you prove that the one who is edging toward stupidity is you. You say you are a publisher and fair in your reporting but all you do is cherry pick reports by your favorites, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, Cubamania (although Cubamania does have both sides of the argument unlike you) etc. without doing any legwork to get a true picture of what is really going on. If you were a real publisher you could find that there are a divergence of reports on this item. BBC, Latin American Herald Tribune in South America, El Universo in Mexico, press and videos and articles from around the world that have stated that there was no real brutality involved. It is sad that you claiming to be an unbiased reporter rely only on our biased North American reporting. Keep banning people and you will soon be publishing to yourself.

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On March 25, 2010, publisher wrote:

I don’t claim to be unbiased, just unbullshit.

I don’t like the far left or the far right.

I have asked you many times to quote your sources.

I only ban people who are intentionally disruptive. 

It’s funny that you act like the voice of reason. You and MiamiCuban are so blind that you can’t see the truth when there are actual photos posted in an article. You cannot accept the truth when it is shown to you.

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On March 25, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

You may think you are “unbullshit” but you choose to believe the bull coming from North American scources while not trying to get info from others to let People judge for themselves. That makes you biased. I told you in post 30 were you can look at Mrs. Polan in a video, quite openly admitting she recieves money from the Cuban Mafia. If you don’t speak spanish Yeyo, I he is the man I think he is, can tell you what she says. I also told you where to look for other info on the marches. I suppose you haven’t seen the video in El Universo from Mexico showing the last demonstration of the “ladies” quite peacfull, a lot of women wearing home made bandages and slings to cover their imaginary trama suffered in the other march.(I guess they couldn’t have gone to a clinic with imaginary wounds now could they) LOL
Pub, you are a long way from middle of the road. Are you a tea party member yet? What you see in those photos is a big show Pub, a big show.
I am not the voice of reason but I have enough sense to look at various scources and make up my own mind about who is right.

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On March 25, 2010, publisher wrote:

Keep reading Granma for “balance”.

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On March 25, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

I will, you on the right, Granma on the left.

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On March 26, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

And pipesmoker on the left of Granma.

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On March 26, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Pipefitter, you might as well give up.  Publisher and the others don’t “reason”——-they just see what they want to see because they enjoy their limited thinking.  Here are the FACTS:  The pictures above would never stand up in a court of law because all they show is the police (female) doing their job of breaking up a demonstration and taking the women away…..something that happens everyday and EVERYWHERE in the world, including the U.S.  What these photos also show is that no limbs are being twisted, no heads bashed in, no torture, no sign of blood anywhere. 

So PUblisher, Yeyo and the others see “more into” the photos than are apparent, and they blame others for not “seeing” what they see.  It’s laughable.

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On March 26, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

MiamiMoron,
Of course there are no photos of “limbs are being twisted, no heads bashed in, no torture, no sign of blood anywhere” because the brutal treatment you describe is inflicted upon the peaceful non-violent demonstrators after they have been forcefully loaded onto a bus against their will and transported to a location where they receive such ‘punishment’.

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On March 26, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

Miami"Cuban” on your last post you actually admited “…all they (the photos) show are the police (female) doing their job of breaking up a demonstration and taking the women away….. What these photos also show is that no limbs are being twisted….”
And my question is ...doing their job?? So in your opinion the “job” of the police is “breaking up demonstrations”? It is ok for the police to “break up pacific demonstrations?
“No limbs being twisted” what about the second photo above, where it is very clear that a black police officer is twisting the arm of the Lady in white. Look at the third photo that shows a lady in white being pulled from different angles seemingly by three police officers, her arms are in the most unnatural positions, now, it is not been twisted?
You definitely have no idea of what human rights means.
Check the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it may help. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

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On March 26, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

I guess it’s realy hard for Pub to understand what is realy going on because he doesn’t speak spanish and he has no interest in looking at news from countries that have more in common with Cuba. He would rather believe the bull from here in North America backing the U.S. agenda. I have seen at least four reports and video from Latin America, BBC and Spain that confirm the degree of over acting of the demonstrators and confirmation that the group receives money from the Miami Cuban mafia. I told him were to look for it but he is not interested. How is it that the N.A. press hasn’t said anything about the demonstration march after the one shown above were the “ladies” are made up in obviously home made fake bandages and arm slings to see if they can get a few more North Americans to send them some dollars. It was quite peacfull and makes the “ladies” look silly but this doesn’t have the right kind of negative spin on it to condem Cuba and doesn’t qualify as news.

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On March 27, 2010, libertad wrote:

Heres a question, what sort of Cuban in Miami is favors the Castro regime, none I’ve ever met. If you like it why not go there and wave to the hundred who risk their lives on rickety rafts to be free?

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On March 27, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

http://www.therealcuba.com
See photos of THOUSANDS of people dressed in white marching through Miami in support ot the ‘Ladies in White’
More marches are planned for Barcelona, New York and Los Angeles

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On March 28, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

Wonderful interview to Anita Snow, ex AP Bureau Chief in Havana.
http://www.wgbh.org/programs/programDetail.cfm?programid=12

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On March 29, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

As for JMW’s comment:  “See photos of THOUSANDS of people dressed in white marching through Miami in support ot the ‘Ladies in White”——yes, celebrities do have a way of attracting a crowd numbers….never fails.  Unfortunately, neither you nor I will know who was there because of their convictions and who was simply lured by the stir of a rally and the chance to see a celebrity.  Not everything is what it seems.

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On March 29, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

Then it was just an amazing co-incidence everyone was dressed in white.
And where are the police ‘doing their job’ to take them away in busses?

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On April 07, 2010, HavanAndrew wrote:

Ladies in White
by Margarita Alarcon
Huffington Post
April 7, 2010

People, in general, have to be entitled to protest, disagree, and feel at liberty to complain. Whether these individuals, with something to complain about, wear one particular form of garb or another, and whether they carry daisies, signs, or gladiolas is of no difference. This said, it is my humble opinion that the self proclaimed Ladies in White, of the Cuban counter revolution, should be allowed a space where they may complain about whatever and whomever they deem appropriate. Just as long as they, and the people they encounter along the way abide by rules of civility.

Protests have been common place for ages. All over the world, groups of people and organizations go through a standard process before staging any kind of march, protest or manifestation. Usually, the process includes applying for permits or licenses by which city or town governments, or the police, issue authorization. After authorization, these groups or individuals are allotted a date, a timetable, and a space where in they may do all the protesting they desire.

In the early 1990s I recall ultra right wing Cuban Americans from the New Jersey area protesting my father’s presence in New York City, Cuba’s role at the Security Council in the UN, and our nation’s rational view (pretty much unique in those days), regarding President Bush Sr.‘s invasion of Kuwait. Those protestors organized themselves and marched from one end of Lexington Avenue, starting a little below 38th street, all the way up towards East Harlem. They stopped short of reaching the upper upper East Side because it is a known fact in NYC that the Cuban American community of NJ takes the Dominican community of Washington Heights, the Boricuas of Spanish Harlem, and the African Americans of Harlem very seriously. Those social groups would always organize a counter march in favor of the Cubans.

In a previous post I mentioned that Cuba has more than enough to protest about and more than enough to get out in the media. The husbands of these Ladies in White have been accused of being sponsored by a foreign government by using the funds allotted to Cubans on the island. These funds are intended to create a “social opposition” within the so called “independent civil society,” and to “identify the adequate means in order to put a quick end to the Cuban regime and organize the transition.”

Funds during the Bush Jr. administration rose from 3.5 million yearly to 20 million and continue at that level today. These ladies, whose husbands have been sentenced to prison terms for being accused of acting on behalf of the interests of a foreign government logically have as much right as the next person to be annoyed. They will of course want to make their feelings known, even when members of their families were caught red handed. They have the same right to protest as the Cuban government does. They have the right to take punitive action against nationals working at the bequest of the United States- which coincidently is gravely punished and prohibited by the US itself.

So, let the protests begin. Let the Cuban government allow for them to take place, by granting these ladies a permit to do so. Of course, with proper police security to warn off any onlookers who deem it appropriate to heckle, push, shove, or whatever aggressive lime lighting attitude may play about.

I then would request that the foreign press, Amnesty International, and the rest of the political and non political organizations out there, cover the much less publicized protests of the thousands of Cubans on the island who want an end to 50 years of economic, political, cultural and scientific punishment. Or end the acts of sabotage and terrorism that the island and all of the people outside of the island have been subject to for the past 50 years. This is including but not exclusive to acts such as the murder of Carlos Muñíz Varela, a 26 year old Cuban American shot and killed in San Juan Puerto Rico. Or multiple bombings in the city of Miami, against the places of work of individual’s hoping to reconcile with the government on the island. Or acts of sabotage, like the downing of a Cuban civilian aircraft with 73 passengers on board.

More to the point, these Ladies in White protest their husband’s incarceration and they want them home. There is a lesser known group of ladies in Cuba, not because they have less reason or passion, but simply because they get less coverage and demand less attention.

This other group of ladies is smaller in size and they too have reason to protest. They do not wear white and they do not carry flowers. They carry the conviction of their truths and the truths of their husbands. More importantly, the truth of an entire nation - including that of the infamous Ladies in White.

These are the wives, mothers, and daughters of the Cuban Five. Five men imprisoned for the past decade in the United States for fighting the same acts of hatred which the Cuban nation has been dealing with for the past 50 years. They did not act on behalf of a foreign government. They were not in the United States to topple the government there, or “take steps directed at training, developing and strengthening of the opposition and civil society.” They were there to help protect both the people of Cuba and the people in the US who believe that a better reality across the straights is possible.

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On April 07, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

I’m not surprised with this article.
She writes on the Huffington Post from Havana. She obviously has access to internet and is allowed to do so by the Cuban government because her articles are ALL pro Castro government and justifying all the human rights violations in Cuba.

I disagree with her in most of her articles but applaud the Huffington Post for allowing different opinions no matter where they are coming from. There is no such thing like that in Cuba.

At the end of the day his father Ricardo Alarcon is the President of the Cuban National Assembly and front man for any US issue in Cuba.

What would you expect Margarita Alarcon to say? In order for her to continue enjoying her nice live she has no other choice than to agree with the Cuban government.

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On April 08, 2010, Gringo Cubano wrote:

pipefitter OR MiamiCuban, please reply:

What do the Ladies in White actually DO which actually threatens the security of the state (i.e. the Cuban government)??

Why didn’t the police try to calm down the angry crowd and protect the rights of the Ladies in White to march and assemble??

Why do Cuban police grab and take away the ones they are trying to ‘protect’ (which is an infringement of their liberty) instead of taking away those who were threatening to act violently and hurt the ladies?

In the USA the police are supposed to take away the violent protesters no matter which side they are on.  IF the police in the USA hauled away the peaceful protesters (and the media tells us about it), we have strong objections to obvious INjustice.  What about Cuba?

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On April 08, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

I’ll answer a question with a question.  If a group of men in the U.S. accept funds from Al’Queda in order to…...let’s say….. spread Al’Queda propaganda, they, naturally, would end up in jail.  Or is anyone here going to argue that?  How would most Americans feel if their wives customarily paraded the streets in protest (which amounts to supporting the sworn enemy), even if they were doing so peacefully?  This is a hypothetical question, of course.

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On April 08, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

#58, MiamiMoron
Your hypothetical question is absurd.
You are comparing the peaceful actions of a group of civilian women against a highly organised, well funded organisation of religiously fanatical terrorists.

Which ‘sworn enemy’ are the ‘ladies in white’ supporting?

Please explain the ‘sworn enemy’ without repeating Castro verbal garbage or supporting the complete destruction of the Cuban nation and its people.

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On April 08, 2010, Gringo Cubano wrote:

I see, the JOURNALISTS who were jailed in Cuba in 2003 were TERRORISTS? 

So the Ladies in White are now the equivilent of Al’Queda wives?

Yes, that is how the Cuban government sees them, because they see ANY OPPOSITION as treasonous.  But these journalists were native Cubans who were trying to practice Freedom of the Press.  NONE of those journalists ever plotted to blow up innocent civilians, much less overthrowing the govt.

By the way, there ARE people in the US who spread Al’Queda propaganda all the time… they are called Al Jazeera network, you can watch them on TV or the internet.  And there are lawyers who work to defend Al’Queda terrorists and their associates whether in military tribunals or civilian courts.

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On April 08, 2010, Gringo Cubano wrote:

Even the most vehement anti-Castro fanatic does NOT want to randomly blow up & kill innocent Cuban civilians and implement an extremist religious theocracy government where anyone who does not convert is killed (that’s Al’Queda).  You can’t compare the 2… it is so offensive to label Journalists as Terrorists.

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On April 09, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

JMW1,
A country which imposes an embargo on another country, one much smaller and weaker, can be presumed to be a “sworn enemy.”

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On April 09, 2010, libertad wrote:

When in doubt say “embargo.” Because personal responsibility is overrated. i.e. If someone mentions human rights abuses by the Castro regime just say “its the embargoes fault.” Or if a political prisoner dies blame it on the “opposition press.”

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On April 09, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Gringo, as for your post #61, did you know that the exile community in Miami venerates Luis Posada Carriles?  He’s the classic definition of a terrorist, but in Miami he is a hero to thousands.  That means they support his decision to blow up an airliner.  Yet these are the same people who are foaming at the mouth because the Dames in White were hauled away from a rally.  Nothing makes sense. 

And to you, JMW, who is always generalizing and missing the point:  Here’s a bite-size piece you can understand—-Cuba’s situation is tantamount to Russia and China together imposing an embargo on the U.S., and for you to go and rally on the streets of an American city IN SUPPORT of those trying to do us harm.  You might not be a terrorist, but you’d be seen as a traitor to your country.  Somehow I don’t think you’d even be allowed to parade the streets in your pristine white outfit, which the Ladies in White had been doing for quite some time before the recent turn of events.

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On April 09, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

MiamiCastro, the notion that all Cuban exiles venerate Luis Posada Carriles is a lie and you know it.
I’m Cuban and know tons of people in Miami that do not like Luis Posada Carriles. I can say that the majority of Cubans either in Cuba, Miami or elsewhere do not approve terrorism, and nothing farther from the true that they would support “blowing an airliner”.

However that impression that you are giving here is the same one that Castro sell daily to alienate the Cuban dissidents under a shadow of terrorism.
The fact and the matter is that very few people in the world had been more associated to terrorism than Castro. Remember the guerrillas in all Latin America, paid, sponsored and staffed by Castro.  Fidel Castro himself acknowledged that he had sent or aided guerrillas in every single country in Latin America except Mexico. General Ulises Rosales del Toro, ex Vice Minister of the Armed Forces and actual Minister of Agriculture personally disembarked and leaded the invasion to Venezuela. 

However you are a Cuban descent, you family left Cuba, likely because they did not like Castro, and here you are giving conferences about the niceties of the Castro government and how nice is to abuse and torture whoever dissent with Castro in Cuba. If you are not being paid, you are losing big time.

I condemn terrorism and violence in all forms. I condemn Fidel Castro and Luis Posada Carriles.
But, can you do the same? I don’t think so.

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On April 09, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Yeyo, you live in a different world.  Where I work, woe be to anyone who says Carriles is a terrorist.  He attended Estefan’s rally and was very much accepted.

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On April 09, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

I do live in a diferent world than you. I know we all humans fighting for human rights live in a diferent world than the Castro lovers / Human rights haters.

Carriles attended the Estefan’s rally? So?

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On April 09, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

So?  I think that should speak for itself.

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On April 09, 2010, Gringo Cubano wrote:

MIAMI is a world unto itself.  From the Midwest, all of the Cubans who bash each other so vehemently look, well…. parecen un poco loco.  But I understand the passionate arguements on all sides and that Cubanos are passionate people.  Let’s just try to keep the peace with each other, as we will have plenty of opportunity to influence the outcome in Cuba soon enough (either thru our own travel and interaction with Cuban people, or thru opportunities to build business enterprises or to improve the institutions of civil society.  But if we fight too much now we will not be ready to work together in the future (do we really want Cuban democracy to be as polarized as Washington DC politics?)  UGH!

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On April 09, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

True, Gringo….we need to keep the peace!

To Yeyo….just for the record:  it was also Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who lobbied for the release of Orlando Bosch, who was also related to the bombing of the airliner.  That’s how corrupt Miami’s politicians are.

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

for all you people argum about cuban human rights i can tell you that cuba system still bad no matter what the lady in white did or nothing why we are here in usa because castro never will change he and his brother are dictadores so remeber that they only way to se cuba free have to be usa go there and clean house like in iraq castro his brother son roberto alarcon y all those comunista that still there making people suffer and dont suuport them so i belive that cuba will never change in my life and i am 41 now so please support democratica is way better them comunismo you can see 59 years of it god bless all you people

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On May 05, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

The majority of Cubans I talked to don’t want American style so called democracy, they just want to improve their own system.

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On May 05, 2010, manfredz wrote:

using iraq as an example of “cleaning house” is probably not a good one to use sicne its created a total mess.
As stated above, I think only the Cubans can clean house once and if they get a chance (and sooner or later they will) without help/interferernce from the USA government or Cuban Americans.
Sadly the potential to do so under Raoul never even got started, so dont expect the next opportunity until both Castros are gone

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

well you can be rt about cuba but can you see anything changing with that system will never if castro is gone you will still have fallowers like in any country dont forget that that a lot of people are in prison still for castro and raul and other politica crap so they will be afraid to walk away from it because they will get punish for all that have done so if you look around socialismo or comunismo dont work look venezuela is going same way a rich country like that in oil is getting destroy and soom will be like cuba. in the other hand people say why usa do negocios with china if is comunista well the respond is that chine has something to give usa but cuba dont and we own chine 14 trillion dollars that we will never pay off so if cuba was like chine no cuban be here thery have evrything so life is better .so only way cuba will change if all that cominista regine is gone thank you

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On May 05, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Manolito,
So you don’t feel that Cuba is already taking steps towards something more similar to the Chinese model?  Isn’t this a positive step?  You say that nothing will change under the Castros, yet things are changing slowly.

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

well let me ask you una pregunta as a cuban if is changing why now when you go you have tompay insure and they charge you 20% of you money that is no change they dont even have food in the store no matter if you got dollares and how about this if you get cught with carne de vaca you go to jail i dont think is chaging plus you know the castros have very hight pride keep the revolution going no matter what anyone say the embargo with usa is no big deal castro go around with china venezuela and other country to keep going

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On May 05, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

I just came back from Cuba, and if you have money you can buy most of the food you could want, especially in the bigger towns.

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

also miamicuban let me give you some information my primo came from cuba last year we live en isla de la juvetud and he did 5 anos in prision becuse he spoke again cuban comunismo party so the vecinos who is the watch dog comited call the pnr g2 and he got arrest so after he got out he scape from cuba in a boat to usa so you can see thing still same and will never change untill all that placa mala that castro train for revolution is gone or jail remeber all that we talking here if ok you can not do it in cuba now tell me what is change in cuba for better like china if cuba was like china why come to usa when you have a noice weather and playas there so that is why we all come here if castro was smart he will let usa fix the country up and people will not live the country and he can sit and get pay with not sudor but not he want to be in the historia that he rule for 59 plus years that is why will not change and anyone who is board now there only see comunismo they dont have any deseo to better life gracias

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

well my sister is going next week and she told me nothing was there when she went in havana so i bet you pay petty penny when you got to airport they charge you for money exchange and extar stuff rt so you can see cuba and castro will not change i get you can not get carne de vaca if you do and get cought you go to jail

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On May 05, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

MiamiCuban what is the improvement that you have seen lately? Cuba has gone from bad to worst and every year is getting worst.
I have never seen a Fidel or Raul Castro speech talking about hope and better future, instead every year speeches are about how aggressive is the US and that to confront the US the people would need more sacrifices….“bad times are coming”.
I refused to continue living without hope not only for my wife and I but most importantly no hope of better life for my kids and that is why I left Cuba.
It is very clear to the Cubans that Fidel and Raul Castro are completely inept to lead the country to better prosperous future. I guess that is not a thought but it had been proven during the last 50 years.  If people sometimes refrain to speak openly is because in Cuba everybody is afraid.

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On May 05, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Manolito, everyone’s experience of what Cuba “is” and what it “is not” varies significantly from person to person, so I can’t opine on your sister’s, or your own, experience.  I do have family there who will never leave, whether times are good or bad, and they’ve worked within the system to improve their lives. They’re now educated and have access to medical care, whereas prior to 1959 some actually had to quit school at the age of 13 in order to work as maids.  I’m not saying your own experience isn’t valid….only that everyone has a different story to tell.

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

yeyo you are rt i dont see any changes at all is bad to bad evrytime someone come to cuba to bring some to the family is more money out now insure what is next if you have a cell the monitor if ylou have a computer you dont have internet if you have internet they monitor this mean still comunismo there castro and that regine dont going to change do you all remember last year or two when raul took over cuba he got ready of 10 of his man incluido roca who thye was saying he was trying to make a difrent see what happen raul say out and got ready of them so he can keep the party going he put 10 viejos there that if that house is liking water from the roof they will not still a carbor to cover up the hole so you can see is not change for those who think change is coming like yeyo say sali mos de guatemala y entramos en guata peor

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

yes miamicuba i undestand what you say but like i say you family is there and they maybe be happy and never want to leave i respt that 100% but how long they are going to take untill something happen and the job that they have is gone and they only will depent on you sending money so they can live better and you rt they dont speak the mind and keep the mouse shut that is why nothing happen to them but do you think that is life i dont think so life is short and you and me and other knows but is nice to go to you amigos house and talk a open conversation with out knowing if el comite is gooing to hear you and tell la policia so i belive what you are telling me but i hope one day nothing happen and you will be telling me something diferente

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On May 05, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

Hi Yeyo, regarding post #80, I honestly can’t say from first-hand experience what improvements there have been since I haven’t been to Cuba in over two years.  But I feel there have been positive steps; for example, the opening of private beauty salons is certainly a step in the right direction.  Let’s hope this continues for small business so that it paves the way for easy movement of goods and services.  If we can just get out of their way….like lift the embargo….that would help tremendously.  I, for one, would love to buy their shampoo (Sedal)....it’s better than the name brands we have here!

To Manolito: My family in Cuba won’t accept money from us because they’re very proud.  They make do with what they have, and since some of them travel abroad they’re able to bring back goods that the rest of the family and neighbors can also benefit from (like washing machines, refrigerators, etc).  I know that everyone isn’t as lucky, but like I say…they work within the system they have.

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On May 05, 2010, manolito f wrote:

good miamicuba thst is bad they dont take help from you in usa but like i say after happen years ago when company was in cuba and castro took it all like chavez did to verizon in venezuela company now in days they way money and economic is they are not taking any riesgo to lose all and knowing that they can not get it back thast is my opinion