For crying out loud. The very ugly truth.

If I read one more article on the damned travel restrictions where someone is quoted as saying “Lift the restrictions that separate families” or “The travel restrictions separate families,” Im going to scream.

Here’s a freaken clue: The US travel restrictions did not separate anyone’s family. There are only two people responsible for a Cuban family being separated: fidel castro and the person that made the decision to leave Cuba and come to the US seeking asylum. The US government did not force you to leave. The US government does not prevent your family from leaving Cuba.

It pisses me off to no end that some people cant wait a year or two or three before seeing their families again while others, like my father, left Cuba and didnt see his mother for almost twenty years.

It also pisses me off that some Cuban exiles immigrants cant see the freaken painfully obvious: they are fidel castro’s number one export, where his government creates the conditions where said exile immigrant leaves, preventing other family members from leaving specifically so said exile immigrant will provide the Cuban government the income it needs, via remittances, to continue to keep Cuban families separated.

88 thoughts on “For crying out loud. The very ugly truth.”

  1. Val,
    I know that no 2 Cubans will ever agree on anything. And I know that there is no solution that will make everyone happy. But….let me give you a scenario. I am not sure if you are a father as it would hit home if you are. A man is kidnapping children and he asks for ransom money. The more that people pay the ranson the more he kidnaps. Everyone sees this and wonders when the people will stop paying the ransom as it only feeds the kidnapper. Then one day he kidnaps your child. It is then that paying the ransom becomes a very difficult decision. Are you going to teach the kidnapper a lesson by not paying the ransom at the cost of the life of your child? Or will you pay the ransom knowing good and well that he will continue yet save the life of your child?
    I left Cuba over 40 years ago. I understand that there are many degenerates who have left and only want to go back and show off. I also know that I as many have many TRULY helpless relatives who need money and who I would love to see again before they die. Yes I HATE the propaganda that these idiots espouse yet I also must acknowledge that we are not hurting castro one bit by restricting remittances and visits on our end. Yes its castro’s fault but its expected of him. He doesn’t lead a free country. We do live in one.
    I only wish that we as Cuban Americans would be as sick at the so-called embargo and the hypocrisy behind that. Its ALL a political game and we are used as the pieces.

  2. pototo,

    Trust me when I say this: I come to my opinion difficultly and after much thought and I have stated here publicly many times before that I am no one to tell anyone not to see or help their families in Cuba.

    That said, let me speak bluntly and without malice:

    I find it quite troubling that some come to this country and for all intents and purposes are political refugees, allowed to stay after having been given absolute carte blanche like no other immigrant group because of fear of repression by their home country’s government, and then turn around and return the first chance they get to the very same country they fled in the first place.

    I also find it quite troubling that a cuban “exile” sees fit to blame the US for the separation of their family simply because the US government restricts visits to once every three years. I can assure you that had there not been so many thousands of mulos and mulas traveling to Cuba on a weekly basis pa gozar and take money to the regime, the US government would not have seen fit to implement said restrictions. I, personally, have met many many Cubans here in Miami who could give a shit about the condition of the rest of the Cubans in Cuba and who travelled to Cuba every chance they got to get laid and stay in the nice hotels and live like kings. TONS of them. Three years of not seeing family is not a lifetime.

    And what about the millions of Cuban who have no family abroad to help them? Who do they turn to for help?

    Considering also that the Cuban government runs and owns everything on the island, every single cent that enters said island ends up in their coffers, thus, by you sending a few bucks to help your family get a few much needed items, you are ultimately and directly part and parcel of what causes the misery in the first place as you are FINANCING their oppressors. Its like the few hundred dolars you take to family members is both a bandaid for them and a knife that inflicts the wounds they need the bandaids for. It is self-defeating anyway you look at it.

    castro’s government knows absolutely that every cuban they allow to escape will leave family emmbers behind that said escapee will undoubtedly want to help. Thus we play right into their hands.

    Not to mention that as long as the dinerito from Tio Pepe in Hialeah comes every week, Cubans will most likely not do a damned thing to help themselves and will become complacent and live in fear of losing that remittance money. Thus, not only are we funding the opppressor, but we are also helping said oppressor instill fear into the oppressees.

    This is my opinion and I have many other reasons to criticize my own regarding this, and I know I will probably get an earful from many, but, so be it. Someone has to say it.

    If you want the travel and remittance restrictions lifted then every single Cuban that enters this country MUST be treated like any other economic immigrant is treated. Cubans willbe just like the Mexicans, the Haitians, and every other group that comes to this country not for fear of oppression, but so they can make some greenbacks and send then to their families in need in the old country.

  3. Val,

    I have to disagree with you on this. I understand that reasonable people can, in good faith, have opposing views on this issue. But, allowing Cuban Americans to have regular visits with family members does more good than harm.

    I understand the arguments against it. And, I certainly do not support/condone those who travel there to stay in tourist hotels, flash the cash and brag. But, traveling to Cuba to visit family, staying in their homes, and providing for their basic needs as best we can is something that, in my opinion, should not be restricted. It maintains family bonds. In cases of earlier arrived exiles it renews or strenghthens bonds that may have been severed or weakened with the passage of time.

    Importantly, Cuban Americans are very tangible evidence to those in Cuba, whether family or not, that all the propaganda of the castro government is pure non-sense. There is a whole different world outside of Cuba that they know little about. We can enlighten them–even if only a little at a time. We are not interested in returning to “kick them out” of their ruined homes. We are not interested in returning to take over the Island and impose a system of savage capitalism.

    The living example of a free, independent, unafraid and successful Cuban American can say more to a Cuban in Cuba, than thousands of words on the printed page.

    Finally, I truly believe that one of the most important things to do once Cuba is free is to rebuild the family and social ties, and relationships of trust between the Cubans here and the Cubans on the Island. The destruction of these ties is the worst thing castro has done–far worse than the destruction of the economy. There is fear, misunderstanding and distrust on both sides of the Florida Straights. The sooner we start to fix this, the better.

  4. Little Gator,

    Since 1979 or so, Cubans have been able to fly to Cuba, until recently without any restrictions. You know as well as I do that many were going once a month. People have gone and not stayed in hotels, but they have celebrated their daughters’ “Quinces” there, because it is a hell of a lot cheaper. I know people who come summer, send their children there with money of course, so that family can take care of them, because it is cheaper than day care.

    All of those trips prior to the the restrictions have not done anything for the Cuban people. The only thing they’ve learned is that anywhere but Cuba is better. So rather than demanding changes from within, they take their chances in another country, mainly the US.

  5. Little Gator,

    What constitutes a “regular” visit? Once a week? once a month? once a year? Once every three years?

    I know my opinion seems heartless and believe me when I say this: Its not one that was easy to come by.

    But look at it from a historical perspective: Cuban americans have been traveling to Cuba since 1979. thats 27 years of renewing and strengthening bonds, 27 years of proof that the Cuban-American is not what the propaganda states we are, 27 years of enlightenment, 27 years of being examples freedom, independence and success. Now you tell me, after 27 years of Cban traveling to Cuba and being examples and helping out family what has changed in Cuba?

    Not a damned thing. Because the governmnent’s control of the economy trumps it all. And that’s the very same economy exile dollars kept afloat to the tune of a billion dollars a year.

    if said it once and Ill say it a million times: Cuba produces nothing of value for the country except the exile.

  6. While both “sides” of this complex issue have some merit, I agree with Val’s comments 100%. Unfortunately, for many living on the island, a relative living in exile is often just like an ATM. No doubt fidel has exploited the Cubans for 48 years and won the propaganda war, but it is castro who separates the Cuban family, period.

  7. Just follow the money. And here’s the money quote: “… as long as the dinerito from Tio Pepe in Hialeah comes every week, Cubans will most likely not do a damned thing to help themselves and will become complacent and live in fear of losing that remittance money.”

    THAT’s right, preach it, THAT is the naked ugly truth, then now and always. Remittances, trips, and EU tourism hasn’t kept Cuba from becoming a crumbling urinal for the locals, for Pete’s sake.

    98% of my relatives remain on the island; just a few get help from here ~ the rest somehow manage, resuelven. Nobody revolts. Some have even dais they refuse to exit because “it’s too hard” over here.

    Val’s bullet proof on this one.

  8. Lori,

    I don’t know the ratio of people who have travelled to Cuba as “opportunists” to those who travelled with honorable intentions. But, I know young drivers who run through red lights and drag race. That is no reason to take away the driving licenses for all teen drivers.

    And, I have to disagree that all the visits “have not done anything for the Cuban people.” Maintaining family ties is important, providing information is important, giving them a different wiew of the world is important, sweeping away misconceptions is important. Your argument could be used against Radio and TV Marti (which you may or may not support). They have been in operation for many years, at a cost of millions of dollars, and nothing has changed in Cuba. But, providing information is important, so it is worth the effort. Allowing families to renew their bonds, or to maintain their bonds, is even more important.

    Val,

    I have not thought what constitutes “regular” visits. I suppose that would be different for different people–depending on their circumstance. For some, perhaps once or twice per year–or less. For others, it may be 3 or 4 times a year. I don’t know. By way of analogy, how frequently do you visit close family members in this country? People you love?

    Let me emphasize that I am arguing here for what I will call “honorable travel” for lack of a better term. That is, people who travel to visit family and renew or maintain family ties. People who stay with family and not pay into tourist hotels and restaurants, not splurge, not whore-around, etc. I am in no way justifying the latter.

    As to “what has changed after 27 years” please see my comment to Lori. The way I see it, it is not primarily about effecting change (although that is one goal), it is about maintaining family ties, which are precious and will be very important to the future of the country when change does occur, through whatever mechanism.

    Finally, I would not call your position “heartless.” Nevertheless, It is a position that tends to predominate with the earlier generation of exile. It does not predominate with those who have arrived more recently. I would not be so presumptous as to pretend to know precisely where your opinions come from, and I know nothing of your personal circumstance. But, those of us who arrived earlier went through more traumatic experiences of separation. In order to survive (as we did) we grew scars around our hearts and toughened our resolve. Later with the passage of time, perhaps, our hearts did not beat as strongly for those left behind, or there was no one left behind. Nevertheless, our intellectual resolve to free Cuba remained strong. Because our hearts were scarred and toughened, it is easier for us to make those “heartless” yet logical decisions.

    On the other hand, the more recent arrivals have, mostly, not had the same experience of brutal separation. Today, you can call your family in Cuba every day from your cell phone, and talk as long as you want. In the 60’s and 70’s you were lucky if you spoke once every few months, and then only for a couple of minutes before the operator cut you off. This keeps alive a connectedness that did not exist for earlier exiles. I have a friend who arrived 18 months ago. His wife and two young boys (6 and 8) remain in Cuba because she is a doctor. He hopes they will come soon. He speaks with them several times per week. After 18 months, his eyes always tear up whenever I talk to him about how they are doing, and what is happening in their lives.

    We could expand on this endlessly, but I hope I have been able to make clear my thoughts.

  9. Despite the travel restrictions, people can and do find ways around them. I know several people that visit Cuba on a yearly basis going through Mexico first.

    The argument of the “humanity” of the travel restrictions is a good one and deserves to be discussed in a civil manner as it’s being done here.

    In my opinion, however, anyone who uses the travel restrictions as a main reason for Cuba’s condition is really out of touch with reality.

  10. Little Gater,

    No doubt there are two very different views being exposed here. Remember the one responsible for the brutal separation of the 50’s & 60’s was fidel. When he realized he was losing out on a lot of cash, he opened up under the ruse of allowing families to stay in touch. I think Val said it best, the greatest export Cuba has right now is the Cuban, as it guarantees years and years of returns.

    Many people say the embargo has not worked, well I believe the Cuban community is responsible for part of that, as we have been cancelling it out for 27 years. Had these new restrictions been put in place when the Soviet Union took a dive, I think we wouldn’t be having this debate today.

  11. Here’s a question for you all. What do you think would happen in Cuba if every single exile stopped visiting, stopped sending money, stopped the care packages, everthing, nothing goes back home for say 18 months. What would happen?

  12. Ziva,

    Nothing different would happen, except that Cubans would have even less money, less to cover basic necessities of life, no aspirin, no shoes, etc.

    I know the theory: raise the “temperature” on the Island, and somehow spontaneously a big fire will ignite. Experience teaches us differently. I cannot think of a single example where this has worked. Beaten down, hungry and unarmed civilians will not overthrow a well armed repressive apparatus. It did not happen in the Old Soviet Union, or Hungary, or anywhere else. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Look at North Korea, the system’s inefficiencies, and international sanctions, have led to the death by starvation of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. If not for humanitaria aid, more would starve. Most North Koreans barely have enough to stay alive. Yet, there has been no mass unrest, no revolt.

    Here is a question for you: How many Cubans would starve to death during the 18 months this futile experiment lasts?

  13. It makes little or no practical difference who’s right on this issue. What’s been going on will continue and, if anything, increase. The Cuban regime essentially hit upon the perfect ploy for generating massive influx of money and goods into Cuba in exchange for nothing: chantaje sentimental (emotional blackmail). I’m not saying the people getting the money and goods see it or intend it that way, but that’s what it amounts to, and it definitely works. There’s no realistic chance to control it, let alone stop it. It’s far too entrenched by now, and too extensive. Those in Cuba are basically hostages, for whom the government extracts ransom from relatives and friends abroad, mainly in the US. It’s a Catch-22 situation. I can say how I think it should be handled, but again, it wouldn’t matter. I don’t see it changing unless something dramatic and very major happens to make it obsolete.

  14. And that would be a good thing, Val.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that the effect of this experiment would be to cause additional pain a el Cubano de a pie, without even a slight probability of success.

    And, this addresses only the practical aspect of Ziva’s modest proposal. The morality of it can also be debated.

  15. I agree with Val on this, and would add that the main reason for the travel restrictions was to give the sanctions some more teeth. If we’re going to have sanctions on Cuba, then we should really have sanctions, not a half-assed measure that makes us look like weak hypocrites.

    Btw, Val, what do you make of this? The Herald left off the byline because, allegedly, the journalist doesn’t have a proper visa. But the article reads like it was translated straight from the pages of Granma.

  16. For what it’s worth, I have first-hand knowledge of Cubans here who practically devoted their lives to supporting relatives back home, not just with necessities but with all kinds of frills and even luxuries; who were literally obsessed with sending as much as they possibly could as often as possible, even though they were definitely not well off. When they died and the remittances and packages stopped, their relatives in Cuba didn’t die or starve or go insane. They managed, and years later, they still are.

  17. Asombra,

    I agree with everything you say, except your belief that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about it because the status quo won’t change.

    I think things have changed, there are now strict restrictions imposed by the US on who you and I, and other Cuban Americans, can visit in Cuba (or not), and how frequently. There are also restrictions on how much assistance you can provide and to whom. So, what people think does have a very real and practical effect.

    There are always those who will skirt the rules, but for most people, I think the stricter requirements do pose an impediment.

  18. I too came over 40 yrs ago. I too supported “no contact with the enemy”, no trade, no support, no ‘nothing’. It was “us” versus “Castro” and his henchmen until we invaded or a counter-revolution errupted.

    Well, guess what. Hate to admit this, but Castro won and Cuba lost (bigtime). We have to face it and move on.

    LET’s completely TRY to reverse course.

    Open up the gates and let ALL CUBANS, and everyone else the freedom to visit their country for godsake.

    That asshole bitch, Cindy Sheehan, can go to Cuba and get a photo-op worlwide, and we can’t let our own go there to visit relatives. Give me a fucking break!!!

  19. Little Gator,

    But it doesn’t change the fact that the effect of this experiment would be to cause additional pain a el Cubano de a pie, without even a slight probability of success.

    How do you know that it has no chance of success? The few times the Cuban people have protested in any organized form against their government has been when they have been in dire straights. I refuse to believe the Cuban people are so beaten that they are sheep.

    As for causing additional pain to el cubano a pie, that may be so, but to continue with these handouts is to ensure that el hijo y el nieto del cubano a pie suffer the same fate.

    Plus, not everyone in Cuba has un Tio Pepe in Hialeah with a big checkbook. There’s millions of Cubans now that have no one sending them dollars or Euros from abroad.

  20. Piruli,

    Cubans and everyone else have had the opportunity to visit that country for decades and the fruit of those visit has been more repression and more control and LESS freedom for the Cuban people. I dont see how opening up the floodgates and injecting money into the cuban government’s coffers is going to make that government change. if anything, it will make them work to continue wth the present system as it ASSURES them the income needed to continue it.

    For crissakes folks. It common sense.

  21. I also agree with Val 100%. It is not harsh to think in this way that Val wrote about. The Cuban exiles in America decided to leave their country they loved and give up all their wordly assests they worked hard for in exchange for freedom. I think I would be devastated if I had to go through what my parents went through!! I don’t think that after going through all of that, that we want to go back and put money in the pockets of the same people(Fidelistas) that turned our parents lives upside down!

    I have 1 relative living in Cuba, it’s my grandmothers sister and she calls all the time asking for money. She called last time and said to my mother to send money and my mother said for Fidelito to provide what she needs. She said that the Reovlution would be able to provide if it wasn’t for the son of a bitc…President that we have and the embargo that is in place. My mother defended this country, defended our President(good or bad?) and told her that she was not going to send money. This old lady is not a communist and never was a Revolutionary and look at her reaction anyways!! Trust me…we have sent money before to help in times of need because we have a heart.

    Harsh as it may seem, my mother was going to have to take off of her plate to give to someone else that HATES so much the very source of where it comes from.

    Sorry guys – for those of you that disagree with Val and others alike.

    God Bless America and all the opportunities that it has allowed for those Cuban Exiles that live in this country!

    Jose.

  22. Val,

    Point 1: I say “no chance of success” because I do not know of a single instance in recent history where this approach worked. See my previous comments, above, about North Korea. Can you identify one instance where this approach worked?

    Point 2: As to your second point, I hope “el hijo y el nieto” won’t suffer the same fate. But cutting off all contact and assistance isn’t the answer, see point 1, above.

    Point 3: I would venture to guess that most people sending assistance are of humble means, and do not have a big check book. In most cases they probably make financial sacrifices here to assist their loved ones in Cuba.

    I have never understood the argument that millions of Cubans don’t have access to remittances, therefore no Cuban should. I don’t see what point is being made there. If some are better off than others, should we bring everyone down to the same level of misery? I don’t like that concept.

    Finally, you agree that the effect of Ziva’s suggestions would be to cause additional pain to el ciudadano de a pie, on a moral level I have a problem with that. But that is another issue altogether, better addressed another time.

  23. BTW, Val,

    I truly appreciate the opportunity you offer me to express my views here. It helps me think these things through, and others’ comments help me clarify my own views and test the validity of my opinions.

    Thank you.

  24. Quid pro quo is what is needed. The dictatorship frees political prisoners, allows dissident groups to meet freely and publish their opinions, does not tax small independent businesses out of existence…these are but a few things the regime can do, and then we can talk about a relaxation of some restrictions one step at a time.

  25. case in point:
    My cousin is 80 some years old. Blind in one eye and losing eyesight in the other. She has no siblings, parents living, nor children. She is too frail to travel and by her own wrong decision as many others made thinking that it wouldn’t last stayed in Cuba. She is now stuck there. She is literally living like a rat. The issue is do I hate castro more than I love my aunt. The 18 month experiment would indeed destroy her. I can relate with Val and my desire that Cubans on the island rise up, but that ain’t gonna happen. castro has destroyed their hearts and minds. Many of these brought this on themselves. But my heart cannot turn away from my cousin who is suffering while we Cubans in exile want a free Cuba yet we are not willing to pay the price of blood that we expect those on the island to shed. The only patiots left in Cuba are the dissidents. Its a decision for the Cubans on the island to make if they want freedom its theirs to get if not well then wallow in the pit. But in the meantime I have or should have every right to help my cousin. And no one should have the say as to who my relatives are and how much I can help them. Does castro get my money, regrettably yes. But if we are going to take a strong stand at the expense of Cubans then by God don’t buy any products from ADM, don’t buy from anyone who does business with Cuba. All the American companies and others as well that trade with Cuba should be off our shopping lists. But you know what? That would be too uncomfortable for many. Are we ready to stop drinking Coke? Not use medical equipment from mfr’s that supply Cuba. It seems that many want a free Cuba, we just want someone else’s blood to pay for it. Didn’t mean to get this far off, but I am sick of the lack of substance solutions for a free Cuba. I want a free Cuba, but my 80 year old cousins death won’t bring it about.

  26. Jose Dominguez: I am saying exactly what I am saying. Why should any restrictions associated with the so-called embargo be removed if nothing is given in return by the dictatorship. Ahh…the dictatorship is not likely to do this? Then Pototo is absolutely correct.

  27. Little gator, it was a question, not a suggestion. North Korea does not have a thriving tourist industry to witness what is going on there, and although they turn their backs on current conditions I doubt they’d be able to ignore mass starvation. But, I agree with Val, no one would starve. The economy would collapse and the house would come tumbling down. Why do think fidel wanted the hated exiles money in the first place? Again, like Val said the exile is the only thing Cuba produces. I’m the last person who would tell anyone not to help their family in anyway they can, that’s not my place. That being said anyone who does visit and sends money is funding the regime. And whoever said this is just an exercise is correct, it’s not going to change, it was just a question for the sake of discussion.

  28. Little Gator and pototo,

    Again, I stated earlier that i am no one to tell anyone not to help their families in Cuba and each Cuban should do as he is morally compelled to do so. I am stating my opinion based on much thought, logic, and empirical and historical evidence.

    Yes. It seems heartless. Absolutely it does. But IMHO, this is a logically black and white issue. There is no grey area save for an emotional one.

    The facts speak for themselves. After 27 years of unadulterated travel and economic remittances from abroad, the regime has only tightened its grip on the Cuban people. THAT IS A FACT and is INDISPUTABLE. Logic dictates that the regime maintains said control and, perhaps even tighten same, as it GUARANTEES the status quo.

    And please dont take this the wrong way, but you two sound absolutely defeatist. What i get from your comments is that you believe the Cuban people have already given up and can only be saved by the heroic dollars from family abroad. That they can no longer fend or fight for themselves. And should this be the case, not only are the Cuban people doomed, but the Cuban spirit has been defeated and is long gone.

    I wonder what Jose Marti would think of his people now, whose spirits were broken by one man, and whom are so self defeated and self-pitied, that they are complacent in being lismoneros and beggars, gladly surviving on the meager crumbs they receive from others abroad.

    if the Cuban people do not stand up for themselves, then all is lost and all of us here are just pissing up ropes.

  29. “Cubans and everyone else have had the opportunity to visit that country for decades and the fruit of those visit has been more repression and more control and LESS freedom for the Cuban people.”

    Val, I don’t believe that “visits” of the last decades equates with yielding “more repression / more control / less freedom” for the Cuban people.

    What I believe is that we are fighting the notion (as our mentality has been since 1959) that any contact, visit, trade, will imply/provide ‘legimitacy’ to that dictorship in some way.

    I feel your sentiments, and know that they are driven by a deep sincerity of complete abhorance and animosity to that dictatorship. I also know that we should not be driven so much by that desire, that we lose sight of what is important to the innocents in this battle.

    I don’t want to trivialize the sacrifices of many who have given their lives and liberty for freedom in Cuba, over the ‘sacrifices’ of being able to (or not) to visit Cuba. Which compared to giving up your life, is no comparison at all. But we should not lump visiting (or not) as a “sacrifice”, it should be a “choice” at this point, because that battle over strategies has been LOST! Ultimately, we will win the WAR against that dictatorship, but it will not be WON or lost over “visits”.

  30. Anyone who argues in favor of lifting the restrictions on travel and remittances should just come out and say that they are in favor of lifting the embargo, because we can’t seriously talk about an embargo if it is going to leak like a sieve.

    That is not to say that there aren’t any good-faith arguments in favor of lifting the embargo, but simply that one should be honest about what one is proposing. This isn’t just about travel and remittances; this is about whether we are going to allow trade with Cuba while the current regime remains in power.

    Fwiw, what Val describes as the official/unofficial policy of the regime is certainly not unique to Cuba. The Mexican economy is hugely dependent on remittances from El Norte, which is why exporting Mexico’s surplus labor through illegal immigration has long been an unofficial pillar of Mexican economic policy. If Castro is able to benefit from a similar scheme, then the sanctions are really just a joke.

  31. Val, Why should we ease up on any restrictions directed at the dictatorship without getting anything in return for the Cuban people? If, as some here have suggested, we return to a “softer” embargo, what have we shown the dictatorship? To stick to its guns and to continue to oppress as it sees fit. Why should change be one-sided and limited to our side of the charco?

  32. Val,
    you got me all wrong. The dollars won’t save Cuba, but my dollars may save my cousin.Defeatist? No. Realist? Yes.
    Remittances and visits haven’t kept Cuba afloat. But the many countries including my own US (which I love) that trades with Cuba does. What would Marti say of Cubans today? He would be embarrassed of both those on the island and off. On the island for not taking a stand to change things in Cuba off the island for the same. Those of us off the island ran, those on the island cowered. We are both responsible. The heroes on the Bay of Pigs tried to do what others were not willing to do.
    As for being restricted regarding remittances and visits I am talking about policy and not about the freedom of those who believe in different ways. Patria o Muerte it looks like many forgot the cost as well as the meaning. Thanks for letting me spout. But as I said if we can’t truly boycott at the expense of our lifestyles we don’t have any right to criticize others. If those of us off the island truly want a free Cuba it has to cost us something. When we left Cuba we achieved free Cubans but not a free Cuba. Defeatist no but I realize that a free Cuba will only come from Cubans. Not the US, UN, EU or anyone else. Its time for something of substance and boycotts, paper embargos, and restrictions won’t accomplish it. Freedom always comes from the blood of patriots. Thats what I learned in my 2nd country.

  33. Piruli,

    Val, I don’t believe that “visits” of the last decades equates with yielding “more repression / more control / less freedom” for the Cuban people.

    Look at the facts. 75 incarcerated in 2003. No more small business. Stricter regulation against Cubans mingling with tourists. More actos de repudio.

    What I believe is that we are fighting the notion (as our mentality has been since 1959) that any contact, visit, trade, will imply/provide ‘legimitacy’ to that dictorship in some way.

    Negative. Its not about contact, its about MONEY. As long as the governmnet controls EVERY aspect of the economy, EVERY cent that enters that country goes to maintain that control in order to keep it going in perpetuity. Plain and simple, concise and to the point.

    And, if you truly believed that the battles had been lost, then you wouldnt be here right now. I, as compltely frustrated as I am right now, as nauseated as I am for having to have this opinion which I trulky believe to be right, refuse to say all is lost.

  34. Val,

    I would like to think that I do not have a defeatist outlook. I maintain hope that change is possible, particularly, now. And, could even happen faster than anyone of us might anticipate.

    I am addressing here a very specific issue of family contact and help to our loved ones. I view that as a separate and “untouchable” component of the whole. The embargo, keep it. Non-negotiation over other issues, fine with me. But, allow family contact and assistance. To me, that is the foundation of a better future for Cuba when the time comes, and it will come.

    As for the state of the Cuban people, I cannot speak for all. I can only speak for the many I know, some of whom are family. They have a tough life. They have not allowed themselves to be defeated by their daily grind. They fight and struggle everyday for themselves and the new generation coming up. Many do believe/realize that they are without weapons against the power of the State. They admire the dissidents, but view their struggle as quixotic.

    If we can encourage them with our presence, we should. If we can ease their daily burden with a few dollars, a bar of soap, a bottle of vitamins, or a pair of sox, then why not do it? These are my only points here.

    And, one day when a castro no longer rules, we will fly, or take a ferry, down there whenever we want, as frequently as we want, without guilt or recrimination. The last 47 years will quickly seem like only a nightmare that’s only half-remembered. There will be a lot of work to do. But the ties of love and family we maintain and nurture now will help to speed the healing that I think Cubans (here and there)so need.

  35. pototo,

    You are right. The dollars will not save Cuba. Quite the contrary, they will serve to strengthen what ails her. And while they do offer some temporary comfort to your cousin, it’s not only fleeting, but it’s like sticking a bandaid on a gaping wound. It simply will not stop the bleeding, just prolong it.

  36. Little Gator,

    Lets stop right here and now and think about this particular moment in Cuba’s history. fidel castro is, for all intents and purposes, dead. The cuban people are in limbo. What’s left of the Cuban government is scrambling – and they are scrambling, make no bones about it – to maintain a reasonable semblance of control and ultimately stay in power.

    We are at a precipice.

    Now, is this really the time to be calling for the listing of the travel restrictions? Logically speaking, who stands most to benefit, right now, if these travel and remittance restrictions were to be lifted?

  37. “Sincerely Piruli tell me, what will win the WAR?”

    I mispoke when I said “WAR”. There is no “WAR”. We would like there to be a WAR but with no arms, there is no war. So we are left to fight and engage an entrenched enemy from the outside solely with opinions, political protests, ‘restrictions’, and a meaningless fake embargo.

    I don’t say to give up the fight, but the ‘tools’ we’ve been using in this fight have yielded nothing but all the negatives (inside and outside of Cuba) that I have seen written in this post today.

    No can mention even ONE POSITIVE that has been yielded to the people IN CUBA for all the support this NO-VISIT strategy has provided.

    The “no money for Castro / no visits” equation will not bring down this dictatorship, it will only hurt the people that IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO HURT.

  38. Piruli,

    Again, your point is well taken and perhaps you are correct, the no money restrictions will not ultimately topple the dictatorship, But again, at least in this particular moment in time, given the particular circumstances and situation, lifting these restrictions will only serve to economically strengthen the dictatorship and give the flailing government some much needed breathing room.

    So, is asking for some to sacrifice by not seeing their cousin for another year or so, and not sending an exhorbitent amount of money to the island for some time such a big deal?

  39. Why don’t they and we demand more energetically that the Castro’s government allow a free traveling policy to the Cubans in the island? It’s a lot easer to complain here about the bad Americans than wont allow us to expend our hard earn dollars to be expended in Cubans Socialist Paradise supporting those than voluntary decided not to abandon the island and kept playing the Castro’s rumba. We know the libreta still institutionalized and the Cubans had the option to buy practically nothing. However, every time I see a picture of Cubans specially those in government planed events, political marches or meetings of repudio etc. wearing jeans, tan tops, Nikes and American baseball caps makes my blood boils; knowing that we are supporting people that are at least physically and publicly collaborating in the Socialist charade. With there attitude they are diminishing the traumatic effort and sacrifices that we make to provide them with a little help that in some cases has become and imposition and a demand. In most cases playing off our guilty feelings, while we compare sentimentally the haves and haves not.
    We left knowingly or at least I did that it was a one-way ticket with not return.
    We should not forget our relationship with the family (write, use the phone, e-mail if possible) help them in emergency cases medicines, money to buy passports, visas airplane tickets to live the island. Invite them to come and see YOU. Any other than moral and emergency support is a waste. No hay nada que “cueste mas que criar un hijo bobo en Cuba.”

  40. Piruli,

    The only time there has ever been a NO VISIT/NO MONEY to Cuba was before 1979 imposed by Cuba. When fidel realized the money that was being lost that was changed. After that there’s been basically no restrictions until recently, and it is not a NO VISIT/NO MONEY law now either. The restrictions consist of less money and less travel. You can still send medicines and other items.

    I do believe that at this present time and given the current situation overthere, now is not the time to open up.

  41. Everyone has to decide for himself what is appropriate in his particular situation. Depending on the specific case and circumstances involved, sending money and/or goods may be perfectly justified, but a great deal of non-essential goods and money is being sent, a great many non-essential trips (quite a few of them incredibly frivolous) are being made, a great many non-essential phone calls are being placed, etc., etc. It’s a matter of degree and level of appropriateness, and all too often things are being done indiscriminately, with no consideration whatever give to the wider, long-term implications of continuing this way.

    However, as I’ve said, it’s always going to be a personal decision, and it looks like, generally speaking, the Cubans who live abroad will continue to be enablers for the regime, no matter how they feel about the regime itself. The irony is devastating, diabolic even, which is perfectly in keeping with the real source of the problem and the very knowing promoters of this perversely brilliant “solution.”

  42. Val,

    I understand your argument that this is a “particular moment in Cuba’s history.” It may also be that those in control right now are scrambling. If so, it makes perfect logical sense to hold off a little, sacrifice a little to give things that one last push. But, what if there is no precipice? What if castro II and gang are still firmly in control?

    How long do we refrain from sending our grandmothers the medicine for high blood pressure? How long do we hold off on sending the money for that refrigirator to replace the crappy Chinese model that stopped working last week? See my point?

  43. I don’t have any immediate family in Cuba, so I’m looking at this without as much passion as some like , pototo(whose point I understand and sympathise with)

    I do know a few young, recently arrived Cubans who waited the required year and then went back to visit their families. This was done with money that the US government gave them to study.

    I find it reprehensible that someone would come into this Country as a “political exile” and then return to the same Country who exiled them after just 365 days. And using taxpayer money really ticks me off.

    I am for being able to send some money and limited travel, but am against unlimited money or travel to help Castro.

    The only way that I would be for unlimited travel is if the US were willing to give up its immoral position of not allowing people in this country to plan an insurection in Cuba.

    The communists in Cuba let us in because they know that the US helps them in controlling all outside attempts to oust them by force.

    So…if we change to a “free for all” then put EVERYTHING on the table and really change the game.

  44. “if the Cuban people do not stand up for themselves, then all is lost and all of us here are just pissing up ropes.”

    that comment from Val is not worth a nickel. you and all the exile community never stood up for themselves or Cuba. They just hid their tails between their legs and ran, ran, like cowards. and you all have been running kastro out of Cuba for 48 years and have not done didily. I am just as antikastro as anyone but my perspective comes from being in la yuma from years before kastro stole the country. you do not have the right to criticize those that genuinely care for their families and if they wish to go to see them and bring them things that they cannot have there, so be it. ALL OF YOU ARE FALSE PATRIOTS, LIVING OF EL CUENTO FOR 48 YTEARS.

  45. nospinzone1,

    This post has generated great participation. As we can see, there are different opinions on the subject. We can all agree to disagree and in our own ways find justifications for our choices. However, there’s no need to bring personal attacks and insults to the forum. Please! You are also entitled to your opinion, but respect is a way of communication and you are not communicating too well. Remember that when you throw dirt, you lose ground!

    What goes around comes around! 🙂 Melek

    “Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth; and I am sure…we both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution, not to cherish its exercise even where in opposition to ourselves.” ~ Jefferson

  46. nospinzone1,

    If you were here BEFORE cuba was stolen, then what moral grounds do you have to criticize people who weren’t even born at that time?

    Many Cubans attempted to get rid of castro and died trying.

    What kind of patriot are you?

  47. nospinzone,

    You dont know my family’s particular circumstance as well as any other here. Making such a blindingly idiotic comment only illuminates your idiocy.

  48. Val!

    I guarantee you that the Cuban Exiles that left the island in the 60’s & 70’s if allowed to visit their families within a year or two after leaving would have. The fact of the matter was that they couldn’t and was a very unfortunate circumstance, but for us to say we never saw our parents again so I don’t want you to see yours is WRONG!! This country has NO right to deny travel to anyone. It is Cuba’s right to deny entry. Cuba separated the family and now we help them maintain that separation. There are many cases where Cuba has allowed exit visas for many different cases only to have the U.S. Interest Section in Havana deny entry for fear these people may stay or other reasons. This country crys and demands for the realease of political prisoners, yet takes two to three years to process their applications. Of course it’s easy for you to say, that to wait 3 years to see your mother is not all that bad. It’s obvious your mother is either here or in heaven and doing just fine. When the Miami Exile group wanted to keep Elian with his uncle and cousins, they were family enough then, more so than his father. But now, my uncles and cousins in Cuba aren’t family enough. Embargo or no embargo, travel or no travel, fidel or no fidel, raul or no raul, there will be no change in Cuba until the people rise and make that change.

  49. nospinzone1m, you make a lot of false assumptions and toss insults out after them. I guess you have no manners, so I would suggest that you are nothing more than a worthless piece of trash.

  50. nospinzone1, you might want to consider a trip to the VA to get your head checked, because you’re nuts. You do not know what the fuck you’re talking about, period. Go get help, por favor.

  51. One thing you conveniently forgot to mention on your website was the fact that the ladies in white along with other dissidents, have called for a lifting of the travel restrictions as it does absolutely nothing. That little bit of news went unmentioned here and at the realcuba.com. Are you only reporting what is convenient?

  52. Havrum, what gets posted here is whatever the Editor and contributing writers feel like posting. If you read through the archives you’ll see that there have been many debates about the embargo with opinions freely expressed. I don’t know about the others, but I did read that story and felt that is was nothing new. There are advocates for and against the embargo, both on and off the island. This is common knowledge.

  53. nospinzone1, you might want to consider a trip to the VA to get your head checked, because you’re nuts. You do not know what the fuck you’re talking about, period. Go get help, por favor.

    Posted by Ziva at January 11, 2007 12:52 AM

    FREE COUNTRY, TO WHICH YOU HAVE NOT CONTRIBUTED A FRICKING THING BUT WHINE AND GET GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS. THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT OWE CUBANS A FRICKING THING. YOU AND YOUR ILK ARE THE ONES THAT NEED HELP. YOU WERE A COWARD WHEN RAN AND LEFT THE OTHERS TO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR COWARDY. GO GET YOUR WELFARE CHECK, MF

  54. nospinzone1,

    From your last post, it is obvious that you know nothing about anything. I don’t believe you’re even really Cuban. You’re just an imbecile with a computer who can barely spell.

    Why don’t you go read a book instead of wasting everyone’s time with utterly childish and moronic statements!

    You are the one who contributes nothing since you know nothing.

  55. No Spin Zone 1,

    Your head didn’t get the memo, stop it from spinning so that when you make another comment you make some sense.

    You came in here, where nobody had personally insulted anyone else despite the fact that they have strong opposing opinions and you start attacking people. You are insulting people here because you’re assuming they left the country of their birth, however you freely admit you left your country of birth. Do the words glass house, ring a bell?

    If they have no rights to express their opinions because they supposedly left their country, then neither do you.

  56. Guys (and Gals),

    I hate to see this discusion degenerate into name calling and childish tantrums. It is obvious that Nospinzone1 has nothing to contribute to this discussion. He has too much time on his hands, and is here merely to insult and draw a reaction.

    I don’t know who said it, but “the best insult is simply to ignore someone. What better way to insult someone than to deny their existence.”

    My advise: ignore the guy. He doesn’t deserve your time.

  57. I agree with Mavi, Lori and LittleGator,

    La ironia es que con un nombre como “nospinzone”, intenta cambiar el tema y el tono de los comentarios. Ya que dijo que tambien era Cubano (cosa que dudo,) he decidido escribir en nuestra lengua vernacula … 🙂 Prejuicio y odio dominan su lexico … recuerden que no se puede razonar ni discutir con el ignorante. Asi que no sintonizen a su programacion y dejen que “cante el himno y se vaya del aire”.

    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

    “El silencio es el templo donde el sabio medita, la carcel de la que huye el necio y el refugio donde se esconde el cobarde.”~ G. Eliot

  58. Nospinzone1: Wow…you have made possible something that hasn’t happened to me on this blog before–I agree with everyone else on something, and that is in pointing out that you are obviously ignorant or anti-Cuban or both. If you are really Cuban vete a la biblioteca, estudia un poco, y reflexiona.

  59. ustedes lo que son unos acomplejados porque saben bien que echaron una chancleta y dejaron el problema a los que se quedaron. colectivamente, los cubanos somos unos corderos pendejos. en vez de quedarse y luchar por la patria corrieron. Naci en la provincia de Camaguey, y yo y mi familia no vinimos corriendo de fidel. servi a este pais que nos ha acogido y quiero a este pais como a mi propia patria.l ustedes son muy guapos aqui en la yuma pero en Cuba se metian la lengua en el kulango. apartre de venir pendejamente vienen y demandan y exigen y critican a el pais que les dio la mano sin deberles un carajo. Me resbala la mierda que ustedes digan de mi pero lo que pasa es que les duele que les digan las verdades.

  60. nospinzne1

    Que sabes tu de lo que pasaba en Cuba si ni estabas ahi? What do you know about some of my family members who spent years in jails for rising up against the dictatorship? What do you know about those mothers who lost their sons to the firing squad without a fair trial? What do you know about the daily intimidation and or terror that many of our families lived as the regime became increasingly oppressive? What do you know about the pain of the separation of our families (my sisters and I were sent out without our parents because they thought they were doing the best thing for us…and they were given the outcome of this dictatorial regime). Tu estabas en la yuma, no? Y tu que hiciste por Cuba? Are you Pontius Pilate? Te lavas las manos porque no estabas ahi? Que valiente.

  61. No Spine 1,

    Most the Cubans that left Cuba after the revolution arrived abroad with only their clothes on their backs. They did not leave so that others that stayed in Cuba would suffer, they left because they wanted a guarantee of their freedoms. Children were sent abroad without their parents for the same reasons. Cubans did not want their children sent to Russia for doctrination, so instead they sent their children to the US for guaranteed freedom. My parents left Cuba and my gradnparents stayed thinking the revolution would pass. My father and mother did not leave them to suffer. In actuality they all suffered!

    Most Cubans of the golden era that came to the USA after the revolution and their children and grandchildren, etc, etc have had meaningful impacts on their own lives and have contributed greatly to the USA.

    Very few cubans from that golden era are on welfare, but I can tell you of many cubans that come from castro’s doctrination are on welfare or manage to get other government aid, etc, etc.

    I’m sorry to all on this blog that you want to be so rude. Giving your individual opinion is one thing, but being disrespectful is another while giving your opinion.

    My uncle came to the Yuma before castro’s revolution and he definitely does not see things the way you do. He has compassion for Cubans who lost it all.

    Even if you stayed in Cuba, you still lost it all!

    Not all Cubans are fighters or military and can join underground groups to infiltrate castro’s government. Most people are regular individuals with families that needed to leave to protect their family and move on and start their lives again in a free society.

    In closing, if you think that the people on this blog should not discuss Cuba’s politics in the US and in Cuba, that’s ok.

    In using your reasoning, you should not have an opinion of the cuban exiles that came after the cuban revolution because you did not go through what they went through!

  62. No Spin Zone 1

    De acuerdo a la manera tan baja con la que te expresas, es evidente que el acomplejado eres tu.

    La logica tuya esta un poco tergiversida. Como puedes criticar por no hacer nada e irse corriendo a gente que ni siquira habian nacido cuando castro se robo el pais? Porque no hiciste nada tu?

    Lo que tu dices no tiene sentido.

    Obviamente odias a los Cubanos y todavia dudo que seas Cubano. Pero si de verdad lo eres…vete a un psiquiatra porque te veo muy mal!

  63. USTGEDES SE CIEGAN A LAS VERDADES. SI YO HUBIERA ESTADO EN CUBA CUANDO LA ROBOLUCION NO HUBIERA SIDO TAN PENDEJO COMO TODOS LOS QUE ECHARON UNA CHANCLETA. DOS MILLONES Y PICO DE EXILIADOS QUE PUDIERAN HABER HECHO UNA DIFERE3NCIA EN COMBATIR AL REGIMEN Y SIN EMBARGO OPTARON POR ABANDONAR LA PATRIA Y LOS QUE SE QUEDARON A SU SUERTE. ES MAS LOS PRIMEROS EXILIADOS SON LOS QUE MAS ASCO ME DAN. CUANDO EMPEZARON A LLEGAR LOS QUE ESOS LE LLAMABAN “ESCORIA” Y LA ACTITUD DE ACOMPLEJADOS MENTALES DE QUE ERAN MEJOR QUE LOS QUE LLEGARON DESPUES DE ELLOS. REMEMBER THE MARIEL BOATLIFT. ALL OF THE ELITISTS THAT CAME IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES RAILED AGAINST THEIR FELLOW CUBANS. DONT GIVE ME YOUR ELITIST SHEET.

  64. Nothinkzone1:

    Oye…Mavi tiene razon…el acomplejado eres tu. Hay caca en todas parte y tu eres parte de esa caca.

  65. Hey No spine,

    Why didn’t you or your family go to cuba to fight for it’s freedom? Why do you criticize others for not doing what you have not done! We have not turned our backs on our fellow cubans, our fellow cubans have been seperated due to government ideals planted in the minds by castro’s communist propaganda.

    I think you have been programmed too by anti cubans as well. It shows in your remarks.

  66. Hey No spine,

    Why didn’t you or your family go to cuba to fight for it’s freedom? Why do you criticize others for not doing what you have not done! We have not turned our backs on our fellow cubans, our fellow cubans have been seperated due to government ideals planted in the minds by castro’s communist propaganda.

    I think you have been programmed too by anti cubans as well. It shows in your remarks.

    Posted by jose dominguez at January 12, 2007 10:26 AM

    Post a comment

    WE CAME HERE FOR ECONOMIC REASONS NOT BECAUSE SOME ASSHOLE DICTATOR MADE US RUN. WE DID NOT COME HERE TO GET WELFDARE , FOOD STGAMPS, ETC. WE DID NOT COME HERE DEMANDING; WE WENT TO WORK AND WE MADE THIS OUR COUNTRY LIKE ZILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD DO. WE DID NOT DO IT OUT OF PENDEJITIS AGUDA LOIKE YOU DID. YOU TALK TRASH TRYING TO JUSTIFY YOUR RUNNING AWAY FROM THE PROBLEM. GO GET YOUR FOOD STAMPS.

  67. SINCE YOU LIKE TO PUT NOMBRETES, I WILL DO LIKE INDIAN CHIEF: CAMBIAR TU NOMBRE; NUEVO NOMBRE SER JOSEFITA.

  68. My entire family has been in the US for over 47 years. They respect and love this country. They also have fond memories of their Cuba. They live in Miami and hear about Cuban politics all the time. Even though they vote, love this country and would never move back to Cuba, they are still interested in knowing what happens in Cuba. If you are so negative as to what the people on this blog want to talk about, why do you visit the blog? To curse and get mad at your fellow Cuban? I think that you fall in the same trap that you hate so much about the bloggers. You have your opinion and they have theirs. We are all Cuban-Americans and we excercise our right to our opinions.

    I didn’t leave Cuba, my parents did. I was born in this country and am Cuban-American. Just like there are Scotish, Jews, Irish, Itlaian Americans and all are proud of their heritage. There is nothing wrong with that. The first generation American is always closest to their heritage roots and always in touch with their grandparents and parents feelings and memories.

    Unfortunately, you think that all of the Cubans are on welfare, and it’s very far from the truth.
    You should be proud that the Cubans that have come to this country after the revolution have done very well for themselves after starting over from gound zero. Maybe you are not Cuban or do not want to associate yourselft with Cuban Americans? I don’t know – but it baffles me how ignorant you are about these topics and are only interested in insults. Those insults tell me alot about your feelings toward the Cuban people, your heritage and your political point of view. Besides your insults towards the Cubans in exile, do you actually have a political point of view or do you just like the insults? Please let me know.

  69. I can’t think of an immigrant group that was as successful as quickly as Cuban-Americans. If there is one latin group that is on welfare the LEAST, it is Cuban Americans.
    So I challenge our friend to back up his statement about Cuban-Americans being on welfare.

  70. No Spin Zone 1,

    Ni~no, calmate que te va dar un patatu!

    Ya vi que tienes 71 a~nos. Creo que tenias bastante edad para ir a hacer algo por Cuba en 1961. Si no lo hiciste, no bebes criticar a otros por lo mismo.

    Yo naci en 1962 y vine en 1966 con mi madre y mi padre se quedo en la carcel por hacer contra- revolucion. No volvimos a ver a mi papa hasta 1976. El habia estado en la carcel desde 1964.

  71. Ya vi que tienes 71 a~nos. Creo que tenias bastante edad para ir a hacer algo por Cuba en 1961. Si no lo hiciste, no bebes criticar a otros por lo mismo.

    Yo naci en 1962 y vine en 1966 con mi madre y mi padre se quedo en la carcel por hacer contra- revolucion. No volvimos a ver a mi papa hasta 1976. El habia estado en la carcel desde 1964.

    Y PORQUE CUANDO LLEGASTES A LOS 18 NO FUISTES A PELEAR FOR SACAR A TU PADRE?
    DEBO RECONOCER QUE HE HE PUESTO EN EL MISMO BARRIL A LOS CUBANOS CONCIENTES QUE NO COGEN WELFAREE NI ESTAMPITAS NI EXIGEN AYUDA A LA YUMA Y DESPUES LA CRITICAN. PERO LA REALIDAD DEL CASO SIGUE SIENDO QUE COLECTIVAMENTE FUIMOS PENDEJOS EN IRNOS SIN PELEAR POR LA PATRIA.

    EL HIMNO NACIONAL DICE: “AL COMBATE CORRED BAYAMESES”

    ESOS SI ERAN VERDADEROS PATRIOTAS, LOS MAMBISES. EL RESTO QUE LE HA SEGUIDO A LA ISLA SON BUVCHIPLUMA NAMA.

    EL HIMNO NO DICE: AL REFUGIO CORRED COBARDES EXILIADOS QUE LA PATRIA OS CONTEMPLA CON VERGUENZA.

  72. Here’s some information from the US Census Bureau on Cuban-Americans … I would also like to point out that before castro’s revolution, there was a thriving and strong middle class in Cuba. Therefore, to assume that all Cuban exiles (who left in the early years)were wealthy is far from the truth!


    US Census Bureau. Facts about Cuban Americans:

    Cuban Americans have acquired an enormous amount of wealth and prosperity in an extremely short period of time; no other immigrant group has achieved this as quickly as the Cubans. Many immigrants have never achieved it at all, despite being in this country far longer than Cubans.

    Second-generation Cuban-Americans were more educated than even Anglo-Americans. More than 26.1% of second-generation Cuban-Americans had a bachelor’s degree or better versus 20.6% of Anglos. Thus Cuban-Americans in 1997 were approximately 25% more likely to have a college degree than Anglos.

    Other Hispanic groups lag far behind. Only 18.1% of South Americans had a bachelor’s or better. Puerto Ricans, despite being U.S. citizens by birth, recorded a disappointing 11%; Mexicans only 7%.

    In 1997, 55.1% of second-generation Cuban-Americans had an income greater than $30,000 versus 44.1% of Anglo- Americans. Thus Cuban-Americans are approximately 20% more likely to earn more than $30,000 than their Anglo-American counterparts. All other Hispanic groups lag far behind in average income.

    In 1997, 36.9% of second-generation Cuban-Americans had an income greater than $50,000 versus 18.1% of Anglo- Americans. Cuban-Americans were twice as likely to earn more than $50,000. Also, approximately 11% of Cuban-Americans had incomes greater than $100,000 versus 9% of Anglo-Americans, and less than 2% of other Hispanics.

    Cubans comprise less than 4% of the U.S. Hispanic population, Mexicans 65%, Puerto Ricans 10%, Central and South Americans 11%, and “others” 10%. Yet of the top 100 richest Hispanics in the U.S., more than 50% are of Cuban descent (ten times what it should be on a population basis), and 38% of Mexican descent. The rest is scattered among all other Hispanic groups.
    http://www.autentico.org/oa09629.php
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau

    ==========================
    Cierta noche, un hombre que viajaba a caballo rumbo al mar, llego a una posada. Se bajo, y confiado de los hombres y de la noche, como todos los jinetes que van al mar, ato su caballo a un arbol y entró a la posada.

    A media noche, mientras todos dormían, llego un ladron y robo el caballo.

    Al amanecer, el hombre descubrio el robo y se afligio por el caballo y por el ladrón.

    Entonces, sus compañeros de posada, rodeandolo, comentaron:

    El primer hombre: “Que tonteria la de amarrar el caballo fuera del establo”.

    Y el segundo: “Mas tonto aun, no haber atado los pies del caballo”.

    Y el tercero: “Ademas, es estupido ir hacia el mar a caballo”.

    Y el cuarto: “Solamente el perezoso y el lento usan caballos”.

    El viajero, asombrado, dijo: “Amigos mios, porque mi caballo fue robado, senalais(n con tilde) mis faltas y defectos. Pero es extrano(n con tilde) que ni una sola palabra de reproche se haya dicho en contra del ladron”.

    ============================
    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

  73. muy buenas CIFRAS, PERO DIME PORQUE ESOS CUBANOS QUE FUERON SUCCESSFUL SE ENSASNIARON CON LOS CUBANOS DEL MARIEL. DESPUES QUE SE HAN HECHO Y HAN VIVIDO COMO CARMELINA NO QUIEREN DARLE LA MISMA OPORTUNIDAD A LOS MENOS CAPACITADOS QUE ELLOS? ELITISTAS? ES LO MISMO QUE LOS DICHOS QUE DICEN LOS AMERICANOS QUE TODOS LOS CUBANOS EXILIADOS ERAN DE LA HABANA Y RICOS O CAMAGUEYANOS GANADEROS Y TERRATENIENTES.

  74. Nospinzone1,

    Mire que trato de comprender de donde viene ese rencor, resentimiento y hasta razgos de odio que despiden sus palabras, pero lo encuentro un poco absurdo. Usted dice que tiene 70 agnos, pero parece que sus experiencias lo han dejado cicratizado de un manera inaudita. Anteriormente acepto que habia generalizado sobre los cubanos, pero una vez mas esta haciendo lo mismo … en que quedamos? Nos da como ejemplo los comentarios hechos por algunos americanos sobre los cubanos … y que demuestran estos comentarios, sino la ignorancia del que los hace?
    Mi familia salio de Cuba cuando yo apenas tenia 4 agnos, pero cuando pienso en mi padre, que en paz descance, lo admiro por la valentia y el coraje que tuvo de dejar su patria y al resto de su familia por la libertad. Usted salio de Cuba antes de la revolucion, pero aun cuando apenas tenia 4 agnos, mi familia fue humillada e insultada … cuando recibimos notificacion de la salida … enseguida vieneron oficales comunistas a hacer el inventario de nuestra casa y todo su contenido y nuestros articulos personales pasaron a ser posecion del estado. Clausuraron la puerta de nuestra casa y tuvimos que quedarnos con familiares por casi 3 meses … esperando la salida … el dia en que salimos, nos rebuscaron, interrogaron y nada mas pudimos salir con lo ropa que teniamos puesta, nada mas … ni dinero, fotografias, joyas, etc … inclusive, a mi hermana y a mi nos quitaron unas cadenitas que teniamos puesta de la virgen …una experiencia sobretodo par nuestros padres muy degradable y penosa … y como muchos otros exiliados … llegamos a este pais por la gracia de Dios y con sacrificios (mas de parte de nuestros padres) nos encamimamos … aun recuerdo cuando los dias de recoger basura … ibamos por las calles a buscar muebles … y mi padre (en paz descance) siendo hijo de immigrantes en Cuba, sabia lo que era echar pa’lante sin esperar ayuda … y quizas por eso … lucho suficiente y como muchos otros que tomaron rienda propia de su destino, sin esperar nada gratis … llego a realizar el “American Dream” … y habiendo vivido con dolor lo de Cuba … siempre nos inculco la importancia de ser responsable y de la educacion … y con su sencillez humana, nos crio conscientes de que todos somos iguales y por lo tal, nadie es ni mejor ni peor que nosotros y debemos tratar a todos con respeto y como nos gustaria que nos tratasen a nosotros y en cuanto pudo nos llevo a viajar y a ampliar nuestros horizontes … sus palabras eran: Cualquiera te puede quitar lo material, pero lo que tienes en tu mente y espiritu nadie te lo puede arrebatar! Y quizas por su dedicacion y tanto trabajar, fallecio cuando apenas yo tenia 16 agnos … pero 30+ agnos despues … con mucho orgullo y dignidad … puedo decir que nunca recibimos un quilito de este pais que adoro y le estare agradecida por el resto de mi vida … pudimos recibir tremenda educacion y gracias a Dios llevar un vida comoda por los sacrificios de mis padres … y por nuestros logros propios. Asi que no se puede asumir que el cubano que hoy en dia goza de un estandar economico comodo no paso el niagara en bicicleta ,ni vivio atropellos ni golpes para llegar a donde esta … y esta es una historia como la de otros … porque todo cubano (o que tiene sangre cubana) tiene una historia que contar a raiz de las injusticias,oprecion y tirania de castro.
    Usted menciona el trato de los refugiados que llegaron por El Mariel. Bueno, yo trabaje muy allegadamente con estos refugiados. En aquel entonces vivia en New Jersey y muchos fueron enviados a esa area. Le dire, que como todo, habia de todo, pero tiene razon … habia muchos refugiados muy decentes y honestos y se integraron en la comunidad y les fue muy bien … como tambien lidiamos con otros que ni siquiera sabian por que los habian enviado para los Estados Unidos … no se puede generalizar, una vez mas que todos los cubanos que estaban aqui antes los rechazaron, pues esto no es verdad! Es como todo … por experiencias propias o por ignorancia algunos tomaron una actitud negativa … y eso da pena … pero es una relidad humana.

    Viva Cuba Libre!! & God Bless America!!
    Con respeto 🙂 Melek

    “A hero is a man who does what he can.” ~ R. Rollard

  75. USTED DICE MUCHOS PERO YO DIGO QUE EL 90 POR CIENTO ERA GENTE HONRADA Y TRABAJADORA PERO LOS ELITISTAS CUBANOS DE LOS PRIMEROS QUE LLEGARON LES VIRARON LA ESPALDA, LOS MALTRATRABAN DE PALABRAS Y NO LES AYUDABAN EN NADA. ES INNEGABLE QUE LOS CUBANOS DE LOS SESENTAS Y SETENTAS SON ELITISTAS, TAN ELITISTAS QUE EN ALGUNAS CIUDADES DE LA YUMA SON TAN DESUNIDOS, TAN POCAS GANAS DE AYUDAR A LOS ULTIMOS QUE LLEGAN QUE ESTAN DESPARRAMADOS POR LOS SUBURBIOS DE ESAS CIUDADES. AL CONTRARIO DE MIAMI/HIALEAH, NO HAY UN RESTAURANT DECENTE CUBANO DONDE VIVO. NO HAY SEDANOS, NO HAY UN GROCERY CUBANO DECENTE. PORQUE SERA ESO? COMO TAMBIEN ES INNEGABLE QUE MUCHOS EXILIADOS NIEGAN DE DONDE VIENEN Y LE DICEN A LA GENTE QUE SON DE LA HABANA CUANDO NO LO SON, QUE ERAN COMERCIANTES QUE TENIAN NEGOCIOS Y LOS DE LOS MIOS, LOS DE LA PROVINCIA DE CAMAGUEY, TODOS ERAN GANADEROS. YO NO ODIO A LOS CUBANOS COMO YO, YO SOLO VEO LAS COSAS COMO UN CIUDADANO AMERICANO QUE ESTUVO EN LAS FUERZAS ARMADAS DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS Y ESTUVO A PUNTITO DE SER DESTACADO A KOREA. ESO ME DA DERECHO A LA LIBRE EXPRESION Y A MIS OPINIONES. LA REALIDAD DEL CASO ES QUE NADIE A EXCEPCION DE LOS HEROES DE PLAYA DE GIRON, HA HECHO UN CARAJO PARA LIBERAR A CUBA; SE HAN DEDICADO A “TUMBAR” A FIDEL DESDE LA COMODIDAD DE MAYAMI/JAYALIA. Y ESA ES LA TRISTE REALIDAD DEL CASO.

    AL COMBATE CORRED BAYAMESES NO ESTA EN EL DICCIONARIO DE LOS EXILIADOS. Y HABLANDO DE LOS HEROES DE GIRON, UNA DE LAS COSAS QUE MAS ME ENCABRONA ES SABER QUE UN CUBANO ES MIEMBRO DEL PARTIDO DEMAGOGO DEMOCRATA, EL PARTIDO QUE NOS DIO LA TRAICION DEL PRESIDENTE KENNEDY; O SE OLVIDARON. EL MUY HP FUE A MIAMI A PROMETERLE A LOS EXILIADOS QUE ENTREGARIA LA BANDERA DE CUBA EN CUBA A LOS EXILIADOS Y QUE HIZO , LE RETIRO LA AYUDA AEREA PROMETIDA A LOS HEROES Y MARTIRES DE GIRON. EL PARTIDO DEMAGOGO DEMOC-RATE ES LO MAS CERCANO AL COMUNISMO QUE HAY EN LA YUMA.

  76. No Spin Zone 1,

    Con respecto a mi persona…yo vine a los 4 a~nos y medio…haci que no podia ir a salvar a mi padre. El al fin el pudo salir de Cuba en el 1976. Despues de casi 11 a~nos de carcel por haberse enfrentado a la revolucion. Creo que mi Padre, ni sus hijos, tenemos que abochornarnos por haber “salido correindo” como dices tu. Acuerdate tambien que Kennedy firmo un pacto de impedir a todos los que trataran de tumbar a fidel desde aqui y todos los Presidentes Americanos que vinieron despues han seguido la misma linea. Mi Padre (que hace 3 a~nos murio) tenia amigos que estaban en la carcel por tratar de sacar a fidel.
    Les han puesto cargos por trafico de armas, terrorismo,etc.

    Tambien te digo que no eramos ricos, mi Padre era electrisista y mi Abuelo chofer de guagua. Asi que no teniamos una mansion en Miramar ni nada por el estilo. Eramos gente de clase media trabajadora,y es mas que mi Padre estuvo de acuerdo con la revolucion al principio como muchos Cubanos.

    Yo estoy de acuerdo contigo que hay muchos viejos “vive bien” en Miami que hablan mucha m***da, pero que nunca dicen nada contundente. Y que muchas veces han venido aqui agentes de castro y se les a hecho facil poner en ridiculo a esos viejitos bobos. Cuyos viejitos, algunos, tuvieron mucho que ver con que fifo este en el poder.

    Pero chico, tampoco es justo que tu nos pongas a todos juntos y nos ataques de esa manera. Lo que paso en Cuba hace tantos a~nos fue por un gran enga~no y por la ingenuidad politica del pueblo Cubano. Yo espero que seamos mas inteligentes en el futuro.

  77. Although he has done everything that a perverse mind could do to rend apart the Cuban family, this battle, at least, Fidel Castro has not won. Inspite of him, Cubans have not lost and never will lose their devotion to family, which means not just love but the willingness to embrace the duties which love imposes.

    It is impossible to love merely in theory; it is the practice of love which validates it. Consequently, it is impossible to say: “I love my grandmother but I think that in the long term all Cubans will benefit if I let her starve.” Love necessarily imposes the obligation not to let her starve.

    If we embrace the enemy’s nihilism then we would be able to fight Castro to the last grandmother, even the last mother. But if we did that, what would be the point of fighting him at all when we have become the very thing he is?

    I have no family or friends left in Cuba. It would be very easy for me to endorse a social experiment of this kind. For all I know Val and Ziva may be right: the 18-month hiatus in assistance may just do the trick. But though I have little time to spare, I could never endorse it, precisely because the Cuban concept of family ingrained in me still lives even if my family does not.

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