More Herald coverage on USAID

As it turns out Oscar Corral’s article in today’s paper wasn’t the end of the story. A series of articles on the subject appeared on the Miami Herald’s and El Nuevo Herald’s web sites today, which will presumably be in tomorrow’s paper.

The gist of the stories is that much of the money gets spent here in US and that some of it has been spent on questionable items. The basis of the stories is a GAO report that was released today that suggests that better controls are necessary in administrating USAID programs that promote a peaceful transition in Cuba.

As I mentioned yesterday, the idea that government programs are wasteful and often don’t work as well is we would like is hardly news. The GAO produces literally hundreds of reports like this every year.

The articles also explain that much of the money was distributed to groups that submitted unsolicited proposals but that a competitive bid process is now in place. While the idea of unsolicited bids in a noncompetitive enviroment sounds scary, we aren’t talking about ordering weapons or paperclips. When you are trying to find ways to support dissidents you have to be creative and open-minded. You have to let people bring ideas to you. I suppose it’s kind of like being on the escape committee in a prisoner of war camp (remember the guy that wanted to pole vault the fence in the movie “Victory”?).

In any case, I urge everyone to read the actual GAO report or at least the highlights and not just the articles.

Here’s an understatement (from the GAO report’s highlights) for you:

The Cuban government’s active opposition to U.S. democracy assistance presents a challenging operating environment for State and USAID.

The full report explains the difficulties more fully:

Conditions in Cuba—a hard-line Communist state that restricts nearly all political dissent—pose substantial challenges to implementing, monitoring, and evaluating democracy assistance. USAID does not work cooperatively or collaboratively with the Cuban government, as it does in most countries receiving U.S. democracy assistance. The United States and Cuba do not have diplomatic relations, and the United States maintains an embargo on most trade. USINT staff is restricted to Havana. USAID does not have staff in Cuba, and Cuba program office staff have been unable to obtain visas to visit the island since 2002. Additionally, the range of Cuban partner organizations is significantly limited by U.S. law, which generally prohibits direct assistance to the Cuban government and NGOs with links to the government or the Communist Party.

Cuban law prohibits citizens from cooperating with U.S. democracy assistance activities authorized under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, punishable with prison terms of up to 20 years. Tactics for suppressing dissent include surveillance, arbitrary arrests, detentions, travel restrictions, exile, criminal prosecutions, and loss of employment. Neighborhood committees (known as Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) monitor residents’ activities; those identified as dissidents are subject to intimidation (acts of repudiation), including psychological and physical violence. Independent groups, dissidents, and activists face constant harassment and infiltration by Cuban government agents. In 2003, the Cuban government arrested and sentenced 75 leading dissidents and activists to terms of up to 28 years in prison…

The Cuban government also substantially restricts and controls the flow of information, routinely monitoring international and domestic telephone calls and fax transmissions. As of 2006, only about 200,000 Cubans out of a total population of 11 million had been granted official access to the Internet. The use of satellite dishes, radio antennas, fax machines, and cellular telephones is restricted due to high costs, laws, and the threat of confiscation. The customs service also routinely monitors mail, freight shipments, and visitors’ baggage for materials with political content…

39 thoughts on “More Herald coverage on USAID”

  1. If it’s the position of this blog that the Miami Herald is nothing more than an anti-exile rag, why does the Herald’s content get republished and discussed here so often?

  2. 33139

    The Miami Herald IS “nothing more than an anti-exile” rag. The reason we discuss its articles HERE and at the HERALD WATCH is to dissect them and highlight the real truth.

  3. So Corral is back in the saddle at the Herald. As far as I know, no formal apology from him or the Herald for the lousy job he did in the Marti moonlighters piece of 9/8. Maybe nobody over there feels any apology is warranted. Nope, not a problem. Just business as usual.

  4. No apology *IS* necessary. If a bunch of Cuban exiles don’t see the danger in reporters moonlighting for the government — and cashing six figures worth of checks, as a couple of them did, is hardly “moonlighting” — then there’s not much hope for you people.

  5. 33139
    When you hire a Cuban exile, by definition, you know you are hiring someone who opposes communism and Castro, that’s the reason they are called EXILES rather than IMMIGRANTS.
    You don’t have to be a braniac for that one.

    Besides, Radio and TV Marti are FUNDED by the government but they are not “moonlightning for the government.” Radio and TV Marti have the EXPLICIT PURPOSE of PROMOTING DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF INFORMATION in Cuba.

    Surely these purposes DO NOT CONFLICT with the purposes of ANY newspaper or TV station, because the US CONSTITUTION, under which ALL US newspapers and TV stations are established, IS BASED on DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF INFORMATION as in FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (1st Amedment in the Bill of Rights)

    So YES, an apology IS necessary FOR discriminating against Cuban EXILES who contributed in programmes funded by the US government with the PURPOSE of promoting DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF INFORMATION in Cuba, if doing these things is ILLEGAL then the US Constitution would be ILLEGAL as well.

  6. “You people”, 33139? Thanks for the tip-off (although your first comment on this thread was tip-off enough). Your second comment reeks of prejudice, bad faith and/or ignorance of the relevant facts of this case. If you are ignorant, you are not qualified to comment on the matter. If, as it appears, it’s more and worse than that, no amount of facts or explanation will make any difference, so I will not waste my time. It’s useless to try to enlighten those who refuse to see.

  7. No, I’m not ignorant at all. The fact of the matter is, these “moonlighters” were working for the federal government, which is an absolute no-no starting from Journalism 101. (Even worse, several of these “journalists” were making far more from their “moonlighting” jobs than they were making as legit journalists.)

    It makes NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER that they happened to be working for a democratic government instead of a communist government.

    One minute you guys are bashing the Herald for not having standards and the next minute you get mad when they enforce standards. You need to make up your minds.

  8. By the way, Cubans are about the least P.C. people on Earth, so spare me the false moral outrage over my use of “you people” above. Gracias.

  9. First of all dipshit, literally hundreds of non-cuban-american journalists have moonlighted for the sister organizations of Radio Marti (VOA, etc.). It wasn’t an issue until the anti-Cuban Miami Herald wanted to make it an issue. But oops they got egg on their face because it turns out that many of the contributors DID have permission from their bosses. And they never hid the fact that they were contributing to Radio Marti. It’s kind of hard to hide when the broadcasts are streamed on the Internet. That was a hit job on the exile journalists and you lapped it up, yum yum yum.

    And as for “6 figures” yes a couple of the people that made major time contributions to Radio Marti made “6 figures” OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD. Nobody got rich off of their $100-$440 appearance fees jackass.

    Here’s something that’s politically incorrect for you:

    In the words of USC coach Pete Carroll FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU!

  10. 33139 Honey, you can stick the PC right were it fits.
    I AM A CUBAN EXILE, a refugee from communism and from that dictator Castro. I will never be an immigrant, and if you think distinguishing an EXILE from an IMMIGRANT is PC, then you can go and take that to Webster’s Dictionary, socotroco.

    IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE, that’s why we are EXILED, because in a communist regime there is NO FREEDOM OF PRESS or DEMOCRACY, while in the US there is and it is ESTABLISHED BY THE US CONSTITUTION.

    The Cuban exiled reporters WERE NOT working for the government, they were CONTRIBUTORS to the government funded programmes of Radio and TV Marti which were establiched by the US government TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF INFORMATION in Cuba.

    If you see no difference between someone who gets paid for promoting freedom and democracy and who does so willingly, and someone who gets paid for hiding the truth and indoctrinating the public by a regime that prohibits freedom of press, of speach, and of any sort such as those who work for Granma and La Mesa Redonda, then obviously you have a problem identifying between a dictatorship and a free democratic society.

    From Journalism 101 reporters ought to be reporting the truth, and these cuban-american reporters were indeed reporting the TRUTH when they went to the programs at Radio and TV Marti.

    From Journalism 101, The Herald should not be discriminating against reporters for their political views. Is wanting freedom and democracy for Cuba or for any country illegal?? I don’t think so. Thus, from Journalism 101, the Herald should apologize for their discrimination, because disseminating the idea of democracy and freedom of information while getting paid for doing such job IS NOT against ANY JOURNALISM 101 practice.

  11. It only takes 10 minutes at this site to see why mainstream Americans have never taken Cubans (exiles, immigrants, whatever) seriously.

    First, it’s impossible to have a civil discussion. Any hint of disagreement with the Exile Party Line is met immediately with “jackass,” “dipshit,” and “FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU!” (see above).

    Second, the Marti Moonlighters issue is a perfect example of the double standard Cubans seem to carve out for themselves and their issues. I don’t care what you guys say: Taking money from the federal government is a complete and unforgivable no-no. If people want to volunteer their time, then that’s fine, but taking payment is an ethical problem. (And if non-Cubans took money too, they should have been fired as well.)

    Third, the U.S. government didn’t force anyone into exile and, in fact, WELCOMED Cubans here. To say one will “never be an immigrant” infers total loyalty to Cuba instead of to the country that opened its doors. This is foolish thinking, and EXACTLY the type of sentiment that causes non-Cubans to want all of the special immigration privileges for Cubans ended.

  12. Against my better judgment, since I expect it won’t change anything, I’ll comment one more time.

    I stand by my prior comment. “You people” is equivalent to “those people” as used by Clinton to refer to Miami Cubans during the Elian affair. It’s a derogatory, pejorative, dismissive term. It has nothing to do with being PC or not (apart form the fact that you’re implying all Cubans are, or think, or behave exactly the same, which is false). By the way, are you Cuban?

    The great majority of the people “fingered” by Corral, like Carlos Alberto Montaner, were not Herald employees and therefore were not bound by Herald policies, meaning the Herald had no grounds to accuse them of anything. Nobody was hiding what they were doing. The Nuevo Herald writers who got fired had been permitted to work for Radio/TV Marti by their former boss, and if that was no longer OK, they should have been told as much and given the choice to either stop their Marti work or leave the Herald. Instead, they were summarily fired, which was at best heavy-handed and inconsiderate.

    What all these journalists were doing on Radio/TV Marti was getting the truth to people who can’t get it from their own media. This is exactly the same thing that has long been done by non-Cuban journalists, including such icons of American journalism as Edward R. Murrow, through entities such as the Voice of America. Nobody ever smeared those other journalists as being on the take, which is what Corral’s article did. It was wrong, he was wrong, and the Herald was wrong. The journalists involved were unfairly treated, not to say abused, and they deserve at the very least an apology.

  13. Again, you’re missing the point. I never said Radio/TV Marti isn’t a worthwhile or noble endeavor, but those “journalists” crossed the line by taking paychecks from the federal government. If they believe in the cause and want to volunteer, then fine, but taking paychecks? Absolutely not. (And 99% of the people in the American media will agree.)

  14. .And 99% of the people in the American media will agree.

    Except of course people like David Lightman, the Washington Editor for the Hartford Courant, who were taking money for essentially the same thing.

    Notice that when he is confronted with FACTS that Mr. 33139 drones on about something else.

    And he gets the dipshit, jackass and FUCK YOU treatment for his previous idiotic remarks not just the ones from today. He is an internet troll, nothing more.

  15. No, 33139, you’re missing (or ignoring) the points, plural, but never mind. I knew it would be useless. I expect I would have done better not to bother. You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, and if you don’t want to see, all the facts and figures in the world won’t make you.

  16. 33139
    I am having a civil discussion, but when you tell me THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between taking money from the dictator Castro to PROMOTE LIES and COMMUNIST INDOCTRINATION vs. taking money from the US government to PROMOTE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION and DEMOCRACY in Cuba, your argument takes away the meaning of words which BTW ARE IMPORTANT in a “civil discussion.”

    How is it UNETHICAL to PROMOTE THE TRUTH and to get paid for such CONTRIBUTIONS????
    THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF JOURNALISM, TO PROMOTE THE TRUTH IN FACTS such as exposing the lies of the Castro regime.

    I WILL NEVER BE CALLED AN IMMIGRANT BECAUSE I LEFT CUBA AS AN EXILE, what part of that do you not comprehend. EXILES migrate because they don’t have freedoms or rights in their home countries, IMMIGRANTS migrate because of other purposes such as economic. THERE IS A DISTINCTION and the DICTIONARY makes it, so READ it.

    MY LOYALTY is TO FREEDOM, and the US has given me that, so my loyalty is with the US. The regime in Cuba denied my rights and freedoms, thus, I hold no loyalty toward them.


    In fact, if US newspapers and TV stations function freely is BECAUSE the US CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM, thus, the newspapers should be thanking the journalists for upholding and promoting the rights and freedoms which allow the US newspapers to work.

    BE very clear that it is thanks to the US CONSTITUTION and Capitalism that newspapers and TV stations have such freedoms, NOT thanks to communist regimes or socialist ideas which prohibit DEMOCRACY and FREEDOMS.

  17. blah blah blah

    1. What “facts” am I ignoring?

    2. Since when is it okay for journalists to accept money from the federal government?

    3. The Marti Moonlighters case was debated far and wide in American media circles. Please name five major media people or organizations who came out in favor of the “reporters” who were fired, or came out in favor of taking money from the government.

    (I’m not holding my breath.)

  18. see that’s why we can’t have a reasonable “civil discussion”
    you just say “blah blah blah” and ignore the facts. I am not going to re-state all that I previously said. If you are not willing to understand what I said and to explain and answer the points every one else is making then there is no point in arguing.

    You don’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge and dicuss other people’s points so why should I answer any more points you bring up.

    You just want to deviate the debate with irrelevant points. Good thing you are not holding your breath because I don’t plan to answer to you as you go off on a tangent.

    Once again PROMOTING FREEDOM OF INFORMATION and DEMOCRACY and getting paid for it, even if it is by the US government, is NOT unethical.

  19. 33139,

    Give it up dude. As you can see, you will get nowhere with these people. But please keep in mind, not all Cuban-American are like these block heads. And also keep in mind that those in Cuba are the exact opposite to those in Miami.

    Stop wasting your time. If you want to get to know what Cuba and Cubans are all about, your on the wrong website/blogsite.

  20. cacubano
    Rather than speaking blindly and without argument, why don’t you support you offenses with proof.
    No te hagas el muy cubanazo mijito porque YO NACI EN CUBA y vine hace 6 a~os en el 2000, asi que anda por ahi pa’ alla. Se nota que no conoces a los cubanos, en tu la la land estas perdido en un campo de lechuga.

    Deberia darte verguenza de no defender a las personas como esos reporteros, que a diferencia tuya, estan tratando de que los cubanos en Cuba obtengan informacion verdadera y de que aprendan sobre la democracia.

    Y pa’ que no hables de lo que pica el pollo, tengo 18 a~os y soy mujer asi que ni se te ocurra sacarme un stereotipo. Mejor llama a tus padres y abuelos, que seguro que si son de ese exilio de Miami que tanto blasfemas, pa’ que te den un cocotazo por hablar tanta cascarita de pi~a.

  21. FACT: The Herald article on the Marti Moonlighters implicated 11 journalists of which several including Ninoska Perez Castellon, Paul Crespo, and Carlos Alberto Montaner are commentators and columnists and therefore not subject to the same objectivity rules as reporters.

    Fact: Olga Connor was freelance culture reporter for the Herald who was implicated in the story. She does not write about politics or US Cuba relations. She hosted a show about art and culture on Radio Marti. How is her objectivity compromised?

    Fact: Two years prior to the article that smeared Olga Connor the Herald published articles about Radio Marti that mentioned that she was a host and even how much she got paid. How is that good research, when they didn’t even look at their own archives?

    Fact: Omar Claro is sportscaster and does not cover politics or US-Cuba relations. He was working part-time for Radio Marti also as a sportscaster. He was also smeared as having violated journalistic ethics. How could his integrity as a SPORTSCASTER be in jeopardy? Does he read the scores wrong on purpose?

    Fact: The issue of journalists working for government-funded media is not new. Professional journalists are hired by VOA, Radi Marti, and the other stations to bring up the level of professionalism in their broadcasts, not as an inducement to sell a particular point of view.

    Fact: The Herald article equated the moonlighting gigs to the case of Armstrong Williams, a talk show host who was paid to ENDORSE A SPECIFIC POLICY OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION to his audience IN THE UNITED STATES. Radio Marti is NOT PERMITTED TO BROADCAST IN THE US.

    FACT: Not one incident of bias in any domestic article or broadcast by any of the implicated journalists has been reported.

    FACT: Several of the Marti Moonlighters have been critical of the Bush administration. They were in effect being paid by the government while they were criticizing the government.

    Fact: The parent organization of all of these government-funded broadcasters has set up a firewall between them and the government. The same type of firewall that separates NPR and PBS from the government.

    FACT: By federal law Radio Marti must adhere to the same journalistic code of ethics that VOA (Radio Marti’s Sister Broadcaster) aheres to. A code of ethics that is public record.

    FACT: In the aftermath of the Herald article, it was made public that high ranking journalists from media around the country were working on similar moonlighting gigs with VOA. These journalists included David Lightman who was the Washington Bureau chief of a major metropolitan newspaper.

    FACT: The payments made to the journalists ranged from $100 to $440 dollars per appearance (pre-tax). Nobody got rich from their participation. The Herald puposely aggregated several years worth of payments to make the sums look larger.

    FACT: You know all of these these things and you ignore them because you are douchebag.

    FACT: The same Cubans that live in Cuba live here. There is no magic switch that gets hit when people leave that makes them into jerks. We are sad and angry because of our separation from our country because of a tyrant but we are the same Cubans.


    You are right we are bunch of Block heads that will not be convinced by your lies and smears. Go away, PLEASE!

  22. Oh and I forgot one:

    FACT: Voice of America, Radio Marti, et al are subscribers to the Associated Press along with almost every other mainstream media outlet in the world. The Associated Press therefore receives government funds yet nobody questions their objectivity as a result.

  23. qbanartemisa ,

    For your information, I’ve been to Cuba a number of times. First time being in 1998 and my last time being last year. I’ve also stayed with my family in Arroyo Naranjo, and not some fancy state run hotel. I’ve also spent time in Miami, as recently as March of this year, so believe me, I DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CUBANS AND cuban exiles.

    If you read my reply more carefully, you would have noticed that my reply was not concerning the state that Cuba is in now, we all know how bad it is, but that I was responding to his posts stating that you it’s beyond difficult to try to have a meaningfull discussion on this blogsite beacuse a vast majority on this blogsite are one sided and will not accept any type of arguements or discussions that are not part of this blogs mainstream.

    I don’t have to try to prove anything, beacuse you all do it so well. Print out a couple of the replys on this blog and take it to some impartial person at your church, school, or coffee shop outside of little Habana and see what they say.

    You say that you want freedom in Cuba, but at the same time, you can’t take it when others try to voice their opinions here. What type of future do you envision for Cuba? Freedom of expression as long as we all agree with the majority?

    As soon as someone voices a different point of view, they get jumped on and called stupid, dumb, communist, ect. You know that’s true. Show me where it hasn’t happend here in the past. That is exactly what happend in Cuba durring the 60’s 70’s, and 80’s when people tried to leave. They were called gusanos and made to believe that they were tratiors to Cuba.

    In essence, most on this blog site have become what they are trying to fight. I don’t suppose anyone here will agree, and that’s part of the problem.

    In regards to Cubans. I’m sure you’ll be the first to agree that Cubans are full of live, love, and joy. They know how to make the best out of a bad situation. They will give you the shirt off their backs to help out a friend or family member. They will debate, but at the same time listen to what the other person has to say. Can you really say that the vast majority of those in Miami or still have the same values? I don’t think so. I’ve spoken to so many of my friends whom I’ve taken or have gone to Miami and not one person likes it. Their main objection to Miami is how they are treated not by caucasians, blacks or anyone else. But how they are treated by the Cuban community. They get treated rudely and without respect. Then I have to hear over and over how Cubans can’t tolorate anyother points of views. They tell me about the near riots when Los Van Van tried to play a concert in the Miami Arena, by the way I was in Miami during that concert and I all the hate and anger with people throwing bottles and rocks and everyting else. I get people telling me who Cubans think they’re above the law during the Elian G. situation. I get people telling me that Cubans are a bunch of hypocrites because they want to enforce an embargo against their own people, but at the same time they send money to Cuba via western union by the millions every year.

    I really don’t care how old you are because that has nothing to do with anything. I don’t care when you came to this country because you don’t even consider yourself to be an American, but you enjoy all the benefits that this country has to offer.


    When the “cuban exile community” can start to look at themselves seriously and see that they are not perfect, that many people have taken this embargo issue for their own benefit and not because it will topple fidel anytime soon, that there is a different point of view that should be heard, then you can talk to me. Till then as conductor and george m. likes to repeat so often….FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU!

    That wasn’t very nice was it?

  24. Cacubano,

    You come in here and make all sorts of accusations and less than flattering remarks about Cuban-Americans, on a Cuban-American blog no less, and you then have the nerve to preach to us about how we should (and shouldn’t) act?

    Are you serious, or are you some frustrated crank with no life who has nothing better to do than to harrass and provoke? The answer is obvious.

    If you have nothing constructive to contribute, please shut up. Now.

  25. cacubano
    You have NOT lived in Cuba like I HAVE, the fact that you have VISITED Cuba and Miami does not make you the ALL TIME conosseur of Cubans or Cuban Exiles. I LIVED IN CUBA UNTIL 2000, and I was there when the Elian Gonzalez situation and the kids in my school in Havana wanted Elian to stay in Miami, there was even a joke going around that Elian could return to Cuba but only if he claimed the rest of the Cuban kids so that we could all go to live in Miami.

    When people come to this blog and IGNORE the FACTS it makes other people in this blog upset.

    One thing is to HAVE a DIFFERENT OPINION and a DIFFERENT thing is TO IGNORE THE FACTS. When YOU WILLINGLY IGNORE the FACTS and DON’T have the courtesy to DISCUSS them then you get called what you ARE: a LIAR.

    And FYI TOLERANCE does not imply accepting the LIES of other people. If you DON’T want to FACE REALITY, then that is YOUR PROBLEM but I am NOT GOING TO LET YOU PROMOTE LIES.

    The only SOB who enforces an embargo against their own people is Fidel Castro. Did you know that Castro sells the DONATIONS destined to the Cuban people in HIS STORES. Did you know that they put you in JAIL if you get caught selling or buying meat, or eggs, or milk, or any products in the streets. Did you know that you get a fine and can even go to jail if you get caught with an antena to view foreign channels.

    If you read a little you would know that the US embargo allows for the trade of food and medicine with Cuba and requires Cuba to pay in CASH, so that the burden doesn’t fall on US taxpayers. Castro still trades with the rest of the world, but he doesn’t care about cubans and all his trades and profits go to his personal bank accounts.

    Pleeeease, tu sabes de Cuba lo que yo se de astronauta. And don’t come here preaching cause you’ve never lived in Cuba and you don’t know what is like to go to school there and to live there FULL TIME.

    If the Cuban exiles get upset is because they have suffered things that YOU never suffered. They were the ones whose property got stolen, whose family members were put in jail unfairly and maybe even killed and who suffered los actos de repudio. SO you know what, they have every right to be upset at the opportunists like the Van Van who suck up to the regime and who don’t give a crap about the Cubans lack of liberties and human rights in Cuba.

    Cubans in Cuba are full of suffering and misery and they try to make the best out of it, considering the failed system in which they live, the horrible conditions and lack of freedoms, and all the HP of the regime that make their lives a living hell.


    Cuando tu visitaste Cuba en el 98, YO y mi familia nos estabamos comiendo un cable tratando de irnos de Cuba. Y ya en ese momento nos habian negado la salida a mi hermano y a mi asi que no pudimos irnos hasta el 2000, y gracias a Dios que nos pudimos ir en ese a~o porque si no a mi hermano lo hubiera cogido el servicio militar, que pa’ que sepas es obligatorio. Y hubieramos tenido que esperar muchos a~os mas hasta que los HP comunistas del regimen accedieran a darnos el permiso de salida.

    I am not an American because I wasn’t born here and because I don’t have my citizenship yet. But you can bet that I love this country because it gives me the freedoms that I would not have in Cuba. You enjoy all the benefits as well and don’t even have the courage to defend those who promote DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF INFORMATION in CUBA.

  26. robert,

    I don’t have to go anywhere to “make all sorts of accusations and less than flattering remarks about Cuban-Americans” like you say. You people do it all yourselves, ever single day of the week that you go on rants and raves.

    And now you say I have the nerve to preach? That’s the pot calling the kettle black. It’s the “Cuban”-American “exile” community that’s been preaching our foregin policies towards Cuba for the last 45 years, to no avail.

    Why can’t those in Miami just take the time to



    As far as I’m concerned robert, tu puedes come mierda with the rest of your “exile” pals, some who won’t even take the time to become U.S. citizens, but reap all the benefits of living here.

  27. cacubano
    I do not reap any benefits other than the wonderful FREEDOMS this GREAT COUNTRY has offered me and THAT is WHY I LOVE THIS COUNTRY. THESE ARE THE SAME FREEDOMS YOU ENJOY, BUT YOU DON’T DEFEND THOSE WHO PROMOTE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND DEMOCRACY IN CUBA such as the reporters which Miami Herald fired. If I have not become a US citizen is because I am still filing out the papers because I am doing them with my family.

    Why don’t you READ THE POST that conductor put up with ALL the FACTS before you go on OFFENDING people simply because they live in a different state.

    NO one has acussed you of ANYTHING other than IGNORING THE FACTS. READ man READ, is that too much to ask???

    READ THE FACTS, otherwise, DON’T COMMENT on issues that YOU DON’T even care to READ about.

  28. qbanartemisa,

    your what? 18 years old? and you were born in Cuba and lived there for how long? Well guess what, I’m over 30 years old and I’ve been living with this Cuba situation, dealing with family seperation, family trying to escape, family for the embargo joining alpha 66 and family against the embargo long before you were ever conceived and born in Cuba, so spare me your sob story, I’ve heard them all before. Okay?

    If your 18 years old, then you were 11 years old during the Elian G. situation. I was in Cuba as well during that event and I to spoke with family members young and old and I know for a fact that not all 11 year olds could comprehend such a complicated matter, and I know for a fact that not every child wanted him to stay in the U.S.
    But at the end of the day, it does not matter what they wanted, that was a family affair that should have only concerned the 2 families involved. Not fidel or the U.S. govt. But at the same time, since everyone was involved, when the U.S.GOVERNMENT say it’s time to let the child go, then guess what….It’s time to let the child go. NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY IS ABOVE THE LAW.

    What facts am I ignoring? The fact that a vast majority of AMERICANS want this embargo lifted? Or is it the fact that this embargo is costing the average U.S. TAXPAYER millions to enforce with no results? Yes Cuba can trade and purchase food and medicine with cash, but YOU seem to also be ignoring a couple of facts as well:

    1) THE REST OF THE WORLD TRADES WITH CUBA, therefore this embargo will never work.



    You say you lived in Cuba? Well tell me then, what has the embargo done to you when you lived there to help your situation?

    “When YOU WILLINGLY IGNORE the FACTS and DON’T have the courtesy to DISCUSS them then you get called what you ARE: a LIAR.”

    When has the “exile” community ever, EVER, discussed any topic regarding Cuba with common courtsey? If you feel that people are not educated in the subjet, they you educate them, you don’t go off and call them communist, assholes, fuckers, and all the other names that people like george, conductor, ect like to do. When I was in school being taught a lesson, I don’t ever remember the teacher calling the students by those words if they did not know. So why should anyone on this blog from george on down??

    “The only SOB who enforces an embargo against their own people is Fidel Castro. Did you know that Castro sells the DONATIONS destined to the Cuban people in HIS STORES. Did you know that they put you in JAIL if you get caught selling or buying meat, or eggs, or milk, or any products in the streets. Did you know that you get a fine and can even go to jail if you get caught with an antena to view foreign channels”

    YES I DO KNOW THAT, AND I HAVE A COUSIN IN JAIL IN HABANA RIGHT NOW, so please don’t even go there with me. I also know that there is a growing black market in Cuba and that people try to make the best out of a bad situation. I’ve been to the dollar stores where not one person I’ve met could afford the products, and I’ve also been the the regular stores and farmer’s markets so I’ve seen whats out there and who eats what.

    “If the Cuban exiles get upset is because they have suffered things that YOU never suffered. They were the ones whose property got stolen, whose family members were put in jail unfairly and maybe even killed and who suffered los actos de repudio. SO you know what, they have every right to be upset at the opportunists like the Van Van who suck up to the regime and who don’t give a crap about the Cubans lack of liberties and human rights in Cuba.

    My grandparents lost there home. Who lives there now? My cousins, so I guess we lucked out. My cousin lost his gas station. Maybe I never had property in Cuba to loose, but you know what? When my family came to this country, they worked hard, had the benefit of saving the little money they had in Cuba and opening a bank account in this country, and know they have more here than they ever had there. And as BLACK-CUBAN-AMERICANS, that is no easy feat. S

    You can’t rewind the clock and go back to what it was like before fidel, and God knows you CAN’T DWELL ON THE PAST, all you can do is move on. But if you do want to live in the past, that fine by me, but don’t let your dreams of a past glorious life infringe on others who also want democracy in Cuba.

    In regards to the Los Van Van concert, which you where not here for, that was one of the worst cases of intolerance I’ve ever seen upfront. That could have been an event in which the “exile” community could have used for their benefit, to educate others on the plight of Cuba, but no, all they did was throw rocks and bottles to the crowd going to the concert, shout like they always do at the top of their lungs and give the Cuban American community another black eye. This is also about image. How do you think that make our community look in the eyes of the rest of this nation. People from Maine to Alaska, those who do not understand Cuba look at you guys like bafoons.

    “You enjoy all the benefits as well and don’t even have the courage to defend those who promote DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF INFORMATION in CUBA.”

    That by far is the most Idiotic line I’ve ever heard. Honey I know about those who try to promote freedoms in Cuba. I’ve been to the independent libraries in Habana, I’ve visited the Cuban jails not only to see my cousin but to see what it’s like for the average person without hope. I’ve can talk to you about Varela, Marti, Maceo and Biscet for ever in a day. You talk out of your culo on that one. Promote freedom in Cuba? Where side of the fence did the “exile” community stand on durring the Varela project? You tell me!

    “I am not an American because I wasn’t born here and because I don’t have my citizenship yet…”, well my mother was not born here, nor was my father, neither was my cousin or aunts and uncles, nor were my bestfriends parents or grandparents. The laws are a bit different for a person coming from Cuba to the U.S as opposed to say a Mexican coming here, so your one step ahead of the game. You can write perfect english so your 2 steps ahead.
    So again, spare me with your 18 year old views, it’s old and tired, and so are you.

  29. cacubano
    Why are you using MY age as an excuse to disregard what we have been talking about. Isen’t that a bit INTOLERANT and DISCRIMINATORY from your part.
    (OFF TOPIC) When I mentioned the Elian G. situation I was very clear to specify that it was in MY school, I didn’t generalize like YOU DO. You should read Cuba’s Ley de Patria Potestad where it SAYS that it is the Cuban government and its Institutions the ones that have ALL authority over minors less than 20 years old, the parents HAVE NO AUTHORITY under this law signed by Castro and Dorticos in 1962, thus, since Elian is in Cuba he belongs to the communist regime pretty much NOT to his dad.

    YOU are STILL IGNORING THE FACTS that conductor put in his post. ALSO WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE FIRING OF Cuban-American Reporters by the Miami Herald, NOT THE EMBARGO.

    AND BTW, ALL the shortages that the Cubans endure can be attributed to ONE thing, the INTERNAL EMBARGO that Castro imposes on Cubans and the FAILED communist system. YOU acknowledged YOURSELF that there is a BLACK MARKET in Cuba. WHY is that????? Is it because of the US embargo??? NO, it’s because of Castro’s INTERNAL EMBARGO, where everything cubans sell or buy between them is ILLEGAL, and YOU KNOW THAT VERY WELL.

    You may know about the people that promote freedom and democracy but YOU are NOT supporting those Cuban exiles who PROMOTE FREEDOM of INFORMATION and DEMOCRACY in Cuba such as the reporters that were FIRED by the Miami Herald. That is what this post was about until YOU changed the subject. SO READ BACK what we were discussing and don’t go off tangents.

    If Cubans get a different treatment than Mexicans is because there are no free elections in Cuba, unlike in Mexico. And like I said I don’t get any welfare or aid because I came as “reclamacion” not in balsa or through the frontier. Again this is a different subject and YOU can “spare me your sob story” as well.

    BTW I told you I was a woman so that YOU would treat me with respect and not saying all the crap that YOU say. AT least women YOU should treat with respect and NOT call me “bafoon” or “idiotic”, etc. If you want me to start offending you as well then tell me.

    And the Van Van are frikin OPPORTUNISTS and don’t give a crap about their fellow cubans’ lack of rights or freedoms because they go on tours around the world and then they go back to Cuba. How come Castro doesn’t let Las Damas de Blanco leave the country and yet the Van Van can??? YOU KNOW WHY, because the Van Van suck up to the regime or at least they are apathetic to what goes on in Cuba.

    YOU KNOW VERY WELL that at the concert for the Van Van they wouldn’t have allowed Cuban exiles to say the truth about Cuba, so spare us the suppossed “education” class which YOU KNOW that it WOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN PLACE because the Van Van are apathetic towards the cubans’ bad situation. They just wanted to make money and go back to Cuba to live the privileged life that the regular cubans can’t live. I know because Formel’s kids went to my primary school in el Vedado and YOU can bet THEY got privileges.

  30. baby doll, I’m not using your age for any reason more than you did by throwing it out there first. If you missed the point, which is quite obvious you did, move on. God knows I will.

    We can agree to disagree. You and your “exile” community have your opinions, as nieve as they are, and then there are the other ones who have the ability to reason and use logic with our opinions. There’s no need to continue this debate as this wheel is going round and round and geting nowhere.

    Adios, good luck, and I pray to God that when Cuba is finally free, idiots such as the south Florida exile community never return back to Cuba.

  31. And as you may have guessed, I did not take the time to read your reply. I have no time to take in trash, I only throw it out.

  32. Keep coming back. No matter how much you claim to hate us, you love it here. Admit it. You love it here. You know damned well you can’t keep away. You may stop commenting for a while, you may register a new name, but you’ll know in your heart that you’re still there. That’s ok, we’re not going anywhere. Enjoy it.

  33. How could anyone not come back? You see a free 3 RING CIRCUS full of clowns and fools, you gotta keep coming back for more laughs.

    If laughter makes us live longer, you just added an additional 50 years to my life, so keep up the good work.

  34. cacubano
    You call me “idiot”, “naive”, you claim that I don’t have the “the ability to reason and use logic.” And to top it all off, you call what I write “trash” yet YOU ADMIT YOU DIDN’T EVEN READ IT.
    OH sweety pie, from your obvious LACK of interest in READING what others post, you just show how INTOLERANT and DISCRIMINATORY you are.

    I am glad I could make you laugh, there is always a bitter-sweet taste to the truth.

    I look forward to having a rational discussion with you later on, that is when you have time to READ what others say rather than give us your MONOLOGUE and insults. Until then, may others be as courteous to you as you have been with me.

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