Unas preguntas para Yoani

When you speak of the embargo – and please note that I use the correct terminology – and how the “trade restrictions” imposed under same cause material difficulties, what exactly do you mean?

Please note that currently, the US if Cuba’s number one supplier of food and probably medicine, and that Cuba has always traded “freely” with almost every other country in the world.

And please clarify with what entities, exactly, will US businesses be “trading” with.

Also, how will the American tourists that would flock to Cuba should these travel restrictions be lifted prevent open acts of hostility like those forced upon you and other Cuban bloggers and how will the millions in US tourist dollars help ease the conditions of incarcerated Cubans like Antunez, Tamayo, Biscet and Ferrer?

And with all due respect, when you mention Cuba’s “sovereignty”, does that include the government of Venezuela as well?

And, if you will, how is it that these new “cultural exchanges” you speak of, which have been taking place already for decades, will help promote some kind of “change” within Cuba?

And, I’ve got to say that I find the argument that said embargo is used by your government to support a maxim that contributes to a lack of freedom of Cuban citizens rather illogical. First because you know and state that the maxim is based on a false premise and second because it appears that you are advocating trade with the very same government that usurps the freedom of Cuban citizens. Is this what you want? For US companies and corporations to be free to “trade” with the those in complete charge of Cuba’s “inefficient state-run economy?” Because I can assure you that US businesses would be more than happy and totally willing to place businesses in a country where said business would not have to worry one bit about worker’s rights or employee benefits, given that the government in control of said employees takes careoif that perfectly well for them, from a purely business and money making point of view, especially since no one could accuse said business directly of slave labor or indentured servitude.

And one final question. Since lifting the embargo and trade and travel restrictions would, in effect, be the normalization of US/Cuba relations, do you also advocate repealing the Cuban Adjustment act and it’s associated treatises? Where all Cubans wanting to come to the US would no longer be given immigration carte blanche and would be subject to the exact same immigration policies held for all other nations with which the US has normal relations?

Son preguntas sanas y sin malicia, pero sumamente importante.

10 thoughts on “Unas preguntas para Yoani”

  1. Why don’t we stop wondering if she speaks English, or if she reads this blog; let’s get these questions to her. I suggest in Spanish. I think that these are excellent questions to ask, and I hope they are being asked in the interest of knowing where she stands, and not as a form of attack or alienation.

    Her email: YoaniSanchez@gmail.com
    Her phone: 011-535-2709611

  2. Oops sorry about the typos. This wireless keyboard/mouse on the Imac tends to have one eat a sandwich with one hand while typing with the other.
    Bad idea. I won’t do it again.

  3. I’ll have to agree with Orlando.
    If you don’t ask in Spanish and if you don’t blog in Spanish you might have very good questions and an interesting blog dealing with the issues of the Cuban community and their interests in the USA but you’ll never be in touch with the ones that really have to answer tne questions about Cuba and more than that, the ones that will have to truly solve the problem of the broken Cuban nation. Sorry.

  4. Upon seeing Orlando’s posting of her email, I went ahead and sent her Val’s post with a nice note attached-as well as with an offer of a Spanish translation if she so desires.

  5. Guys, Yoani has a bevy of translators working for her and her writings are posted in various languages. Im sure I need not translate this for her.


    Im pretty sure you are new to this blog as I dont recall the name, but this blog is written and published in English, always has been and always will. And we are all very well aware and in touch with those on the island. Moreover, Ill aver that most people who read in Spanish that are not Cuban pretty much dont give a rats ass about Cuba, yoani or any other Cuban as right now, almost all spanish speaking nations have socaliist governments and or sentiments. One need only read Humbertos post above about the OAS and look at who’s in charge in Spain to validate that statement.

    Sorry. But if yoani can read andrew sullivan in English, she can sure as hell make the effort to read this post, if she so desires.

    And Ill state profusely that this post is not meant as as attack or criticism, but merely questions raised in my mind as I read Yoanis comments on the embargo and restrictions.

    And Ill also note that Yoanis tone in her comments about the subject is somewhat – no, very – concise and direct, without metaphorical illusion and without the usual flourish that her prose is known for and thus I responded in kind.

  6. Well done Val.

    I’m going to have to address the embargo issue at greater length myself at some time in the future at my own site. But what I think gets to the heart of my argument that the trade restrictions of the embargo must be maintained–I did support loosening of travel and financial transfer restrictions on relatives of Cubans still on the island–is that there are none of what cultural geographers refer to as “channels of diffusion” open or waiting to be opened between Cubans and others outside the island.

    We are already informed by our experience with China that there are flaws in the argument that supposed “national self-interest” would dictate that the Chinese would trade with us in good faith and that freedom would follow in its wake. But what we have seen instead is that the Chinese took the dollars they gained from exports here, then purchased our debt and bought what they needed from abroad elsewhere so that they could prevent those multitudinous ties from developing at the personal level along which ideas and cultural change, with all their attendant political implications, could proceed. Where are those channels waiting to be developed in Cuba? We all know the answer–nowhere.

    Cuba must prove that it is a fit partner to trade with before the embargo can even be amended, much less lifted. And the laundry list of what they will have to do to approach fitness is very long indeed and absolutely impossible of achievement–I humbly submit–so long as Cuba is Castrista.


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