Thursday, September 6, 2007

A note to readers

I want to clarify something and hopefully save some readers some aggravation.

I notice that when I post some things, like a photo of an urban garden cooperative or a citation of a Fidel Castro “reflection,” that some readers assume I am in agreement with a writing that I cite, or that I think the cooperative represents the ideal thing for the Cuban people.

Not so.

The pictures are from my collection unless I note otherwise. I put them up because I hope readers will like them. They break up the text. If they illustrate something I may add a caption.

When I cite writings that I pick up here and there, it’s because I think they are interesting or significant in what I am trying to do, and what I assume readers are trying to do, which is to figure out what is going on in Cuba. Which includes, for my part, reading things I don’t necessarily agree with.

As for the “reflections,” some readers believe that Castro is dead and the writings are not his own. Fair enough. I don’t share those assumptions. Right now our environment on that question is information-free. Someday, we’ll know the story.

But those “reflections” sure sound like Castro and they track with what we know of his views. And beyond the Fidel question, they sometimes represent a very distinct point of view in the debate on economic policy taking place in Cuba today.

That debate may not take place within parameters that we like, it takes place in a political system that most of us surely don’t like, but it is a real debate nonetheless. My impression is that it is gathering steam. I have no idea where it will end or the results it will produce. But I do believe it’s worth watching.

So I take the point about Fidel. I appreciate all comments.

And on economics, more soon.

29 comments:

afina said...

This blog is calm in the storm that is the blogosphere for Cuba.
I, by the way, appreciate your photos.

Those who are "offended" by your everyday pictures of Cuba are most likely, I suspect, those CA's from Miami who have never been to Cuba and don't have immediate family there - i.e., the ones who think that everyday things (like children playing, people dancing, and love) can't happen in today's Cuba. IE. the ones who argue that Cubans don't have the right to visit their dying mother back in Havana. They have an agenda and it ain't pure to say the least.

Thanks for this blog; your analysis is clear, informative and non-biased (as much as one can be in this topic). 'Stuck on the Palmetto' and 'Mambi Watch represent other bloggers equally deserving of respect in my humble opinion. And who can forget Alejandro Aremengol!! You guys represent the light (intellectual) at the end of the tunnel, suggesting that the Cuban debate doesn't have to be just about unhealthy and repressive extremes from the right (some in miami) and left (castro).

Cheers for this blog and keep the pictures coming!

Anonymous said...

by the way, do you take submissions and/or are you interested in readers photos of cuba. I have some I could send your way if you are interested.

Omar said...

This is the first time I agree with those that continuously call you "naive". Do you really expect not to receive those kind of comments? Do you really think they will stop after reading this? What is the point?

Elgentleman said...

Algunos confunden las citas con las opiniones del autor del blog y lo hacen de manera interesada, para desacreditar puntos de vista diferentes a los de ellos.
Es evidente la existencia de corrientes de pensamiento contrapuestas en Cuba hoy, en torno ala naturaleza y al alcance de las reformas posibles,pero debe comprenderse que la opinión de Fidel conserva todavía un enorme peso específico en la sociedad y cuenta con los canales de difusión internos, mientras que el criterio reformista se está expresando en Internet (kaos en la red, etc.),espacio de mínimo acceso para la mayoría.

Phil Peters said...

Afina, thanks very much. I will keep the photos coming. Easier than more writing.

Anon, I'm happy to look at submissions, my e-mail is in the profile.

Omar, I'm not making any predictions, but I wanted to say it anyway.

Gentleman, estoy de acuerdo contigo y es muy acertado lo que dices sobre el alcance de las ideas que vemos en Kaos, etc.

Juan Cuellar said...

A note to readers


"I want to clarify something and hopefully save some readers some aggravation."

Aggravation works both way. In my opinion, disconcerting is the proper word.

"I notice that when I post some things, like a photo of an urban garden cooperative or a citation of a Fidel Castro “reflection,” that some readers assume I am in agreement with a writing that I cite, or that I think the cooperative represents the ideal thing for the Cuban people. Not so"

For my part, photos of urban gardens are matters of choice. In this case your and only. It is your blog. BUT, the "reflections" is another story. There you (Phil) guess(.. one guesses, on the zero-sum supposition) a variant of an opinion or judgment based on little or no evidence. So then I ask you: why when a reader, like me, do the same thing you Call that "Assumptions?
The famous saying: Do as I say but not as I do.

"The pictures are from my collection unless I note otherwise. I put them up because I hope readers will like them. They break up the text. If they illustrate something I may add a caption."

Pictures are pictures. Some may see it in a thousand ways.


"When I cite writings that I pick up here and there, it’s because I think they are interesting or significant in what I am trying to do, and what I assume readers are trying to do, which is to figure out what is going on in Cuba. Which includes, for my part, reading things I don't necessarily agree with."

So then why this posting Phil? Readers should be entitle to the same proposition or what they think is only bound to what you think they think or should be thinking?


"As for the “reflections,” some readers believe that Castro is dead and the writings are not his own. Fair enough. I don't share those assumptions. Right now our environment on that question is information-free. Someday, we'll know the story."

Thank you for recognizing it. But still, my assumptions are like your guesses.


"But those “reflections” sure sound like Castro and they track with what we know of his views. And beyond the Fidel question, they sometimes represent a very distinct point of view in the debate on economic policy taking place in Cuba today."

Like the total militarization of the economy? Is that Fidel's very distinctive point of view? That is the reality in Raul's economy. Castro's "reflections" is meaninless as proof that he is alive or dead? Valenciaga could be writing it, one could "guess." have you seen him Phil to confirm he is alive? To ascertain one way or another is to "guess"


"That debate may not take place within parameters that we like, it takes place in a political system that most of us surely don't like, but it is a real debate nonetheless. My impression is that it is gathering steam. I have no idea where it will end or the results it will produce. But I do believe it’s worth watching."

I agree. So why disqualify some view in the process. What is uncertain must be open to interpretation.


"So I take the point about Fidel. I appreciate all comments."

That's democracy as the least.

About the comments of Afina...No comments. Is the same old song.

Phil Peters said...

Omar, I see what you mean.

Anonymous said...

Juan, con tu musica a otra parte, notamos todos que tienes una gran necesidad de ser "escuchado" debes hacer tu propio blog, devuelvele el suyo a Mr. Peters, ya no haces comentarios sino disertaciones y lo peor de todo es que no te cansas de repetir estupideces. Nos preguntamos si no eres del grupito de Miami al que le pagan para salir como eficiente "brigada de respuesta rapida" ante las ideas brillantes que consiguen sobresalir y que difieren del monopolio clasico. Cudado, eso es lo que le criticamos a Castro y a su dictadura, pero parece que la dictadura de "afuera" es mas recalcitrante que la de alla y si es asi compay, prefiero seguir arando con los mismos bueyes.

Juan Cuellar said...

I understand your "agreement" with Omar, Phil.

To ignore difficulties until it goes away. But one thing is obvious to everyone that reads your comments: unavailability of answers to an argument. "Let us all paddle our backs in agreement" is your maxim.

You did the same thing the last time we spoke. "I just made the accusations in Congress against Nancy Perez Crespo program in Radio Marti based in what the New Times reported. Now you are doing the same thing about Castro's "reflections."
!Bravo, Phil! You want freedom of expression for everyone but the "hard-liners" You want nobody to "guess" but you.

Juan Cuellar said...

Ahora el Anonimo responde por Afina. Extrana simbiosis. Tu hablas de quien recibe un salario por opinar o trazar opiniones debes dirigir esa pregunta a otros en este foro. Lo demas no te respondo por respeto a las neuronas.

Anonymous said...

Sr. Phil su blog es de lo mejor que vemos en estos dias sobre Cuba y sus fotos son arte pura que nos llega al corazon a los que queremos de verdad a Cuba, con Fidel o sin el Cuba sigue siendo nuestra tierra y bien vale la pena mostrar al mundo tanta belleza. Para los que estamos lejos esas fotos son un poco de agua fresca, entre tanto resentimiento veo que algunos han perdido no solo el sentido comun sino tambien la sensibilidad. Pero solo algunos, ellos son la excepcion, el resto le agradecemos que "saque la cara" por nosotros ya que en estos tiempos esta siendo dificil encontrar mentes creativas, sobre todo del lado de aca, a los que estan en Cuba eso les sobra.

Juan Cuellar said...

Por si las moscas, ya que veo que se estan enfocando en las fotos como muletas. Mi discusion con Phil nada tiene que ver con eso.

A llamar las cosas por lo que son y no lo que quieren que sea. Tipico del cacareo del gallinero para llamar la atencion del gallo.

Argumentar lo que se dice y expone.

Juan Cuellar said...

Una observacion:

Son tan receptivos a las fotos que sus comentarios "fotograficos" los ponen en este post de Phil y se abstienen de comentar en la bella quinceanera cubana. ?Cunatas cosas dice esa foto?

Anonymous said...

Juan, no terminas de entender, como Fidel eres un dinosaurio en el siglo 21, deja el camino libre para q nuevas y buenas ideas lleguen al tema Cuba, las tuyas pasaron d moda, a nadie le importa seguir escuchando la misma cantaleta d hace 50 años, lo unico q hacen ustedes es perpetuar el mal de Cuba mientras se estan llenando los bolsillos a costa delos cubanos, nunca salen del angulo obtuso Fijate en tu idiotez, pretendes q se hable d Cuba y q no se cite a Fidel pq si lo hacen tienen vacios inconsistentes Brillante analisis Juan, buscate otro blog para exponer este es solo para los q tienen algo sustancioso que aportar que no necesariamente tiene que coincidir, busca los archivos anteriores y te enteraras q es democracia en un debate, tus ataques a Peter demuestran que tu si tienes disponibilidad para responder en una discusion sobre todo respuestas brillantes como las que nos has dado en el presente. Te aconsejo que leas mas, los blogs son una forma de expresion muy personal, no son la reunion del nucleo del partido donde el orden del dia es destruir al que piensa, ni desacreditarlo cuando no te gusta lo que dice, recuerda que estamos en libertad y desde esta posicion deberiamos hacer mas para que Cuba sea libre, no para entorpecer lo que otros con las mejores intenciones hacen.
Solo estoy de acuerdo contigo en lo de ¡Bravo Phil! porque el te ha dado una leccion de democracia y tolerancia ademas que te ha dado el credito q no tienes al contestar tus insultos, te trato como igual lo que no puedo hacer yo porque me averguenza tu postura.

Juan Cuellar said...

Una correcion:

Debi decir "novia"

Juan Cuellar said...

Anonimo:

Si lees con detenimiento lo que abruptamente escribiste acerca de mi te daras cuenta que tu mismo te desacreditas. Tus acusaciones de que vivo por decir lo que siento es en si ese ataque personal del cual me acusas que hago con Phil. Nada democratico. Yo no de que obsoletismo hablas, porque si algo es realmente obsoleto es ese regimen que esclaviza a nuestro pueblo y sus ultimas maniobras para apuntalarlo en su pantano.

Incluso me botas de un blog que ni siquiera es tuyo, tipica maniobra de los castristas.

No hables por Phil en su blog. El esta capacitado para hablar por el.

Anonymous said...

Juan, para ciegos como tu puedo entender que no encuentres los comentarios sobre la foto de la novia. Deben ser parte de los vacios que has señalado. Interesante, algunos si podemos leerlos a simple vista y a la vez participar en un debate que ahora dare por terminado pq nada esta aportando a tus neuronas, o si? Tengo la impresion que ellas se nutren de esto. Yo dejo el espacio a algo mas productivo, tu ya aburriste, personajes como tu contaminan a la juventud que tiene mas que dar.
Debías hacer lo mismo, este blog merece mas que lo que le estas dando.

Anonymous said...

No hablo por nadie, tengo mas claro que tu q Peter puede hacerlo brillantmente, hablo pq soy cubano, hablo por la juventud, por los q queremos q Cuba sea libre pero apreciamos q las viejas y convenientes ideas ya no funcionan y q necesitamos otros caminos con los cuales tu no comulgas pq apuntalan al regimen.
Te repito que me aburriste, dejare el espacio para ideas mas sanas, es estupid seguir dandote la oportunidad de hablar cascaritas de piña, es obvio que no sabes nada de Cuba y mas obvio q no te interesan los cubanos.

Juan Cuellar said...

Pues bien anonimo, se consecuente. No has podido senalar nada de lo que he comentado o discutido con Phil: !Nada, Zilch, nothing! Al no ser acusaciones bufonas. Todo lo que le he dicho a Phil parte de una realidad indiscutible, si no que Phil salga a desmentirlo. No son ni fueron ataques personales. Los tuyos si lo son y lo haces bajo el anonimato; ?que diran los que te leen? Crees que le estas haciendo un favor a Phil y en verdad lo estas perjudicando con tus exabruptos. Afirmar ese absurdo de la "juventud" de tus ideas es burlesco, es reverberar la esencia decadente del regimen en Cuba: mucho ruido y pocas nueces. Te comportas como ellos. Si Phil se abstiene de responderme es su prerrogativa, pero te aseguro que el no lo haria como tu lo estas haciendo. Ni creo tampoco que le agrada tu estilo, pero bueno, esto es solo un "guess" de mi parte, aunque con base.

Juan Cuellar said...

Como esto es en esencia lo que discutia con Phil, aqui inserto este articulo de hoy del Economist. Ahora ire a cortar mi cesped.

http://www.economist.com/world/la/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9769046

Fidel Castro

Chronicle of a rumour foretold
Sep 6th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Covering up a death has got harder


FOR the past few weeks Miami has been gripped by rumours that Fidel Castro, Cuba's sick communist president, may be dead. One factor fuelling the fire is that Cuban officials insist that his health is a state secret, though they also say he continues to recover from intestinal surgery. Another is that no new images of Mr Castro were issued on his 81st birthday last month. Then there is the deep-rooted belief among his opponents that the death of the Líder Máximo will be covered up.

It would not be the first time. El Cid, Spain's quasi-fictional hero of the Reconquista, is alleged to have carried on fighting after his death, his body strapped to his horse to terrify his Moorish opponents. China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, died on a journey in 210 BC, but the news was kept quiet for two months until his entourage had safely returned to the capital. The death of Edward VI, a young English king, was disguised during several days of scheming over his succession. Tibetan leaders managed to hide the death of the fifth Dalai Lama for no fewer than 15 years.

But cover-ups have got much harder. Not even the sudden and destabilising death of Joseph Stalin or the expected demises of Josip Broz Tito, Leonid Brezhnev or Kim Il Sung were hushed up for long. To hide the death of a dictator, one of his sidekicks needs to have both privileged access to information and the strength to suppress its leakage. But any such person is an obvious successor and thus has little interest in concealment.

Nonsense, say the conspiracy theorists in Miami. They point to the cases of Spain's General Francisco Franco and Mao Zedong, both of whose deaths were revealed on suspiciously symbolic dates (the anniversary of Japan's surrender to China, in Mao's case). So just before October 10th, the date of Cuba's declaration of independence from Spain in 1868, expect another wave of rumours in Miami that Mr Castro has passed away.

Omar said...

So far there are 20 comments to this article. About 40% of them have been made by our friend Juan Cuellar. That is more than what the most talkative person in the blogosphere, ie: Anonymous, has dared to comment in this case. Furthermore, Juan's words make about 60% of the total (1400 out of 2400). Thus, our Juan is not just a frequent commenter but also an expansive one. An extra complication comes from the fact that an important part of Juan's contributions are just pasted text. None of these things would be a big problem for me, and probably others, if Juan were participating in an exchange of ideas, but the sad truth is that he doesn't read what others write. He is fighting an imaginary adversary. He is behaving as a machine. Please Juan, read, take your time, cut the grass. Is there a possibility to open in this blog the section "Just for Juan"?

Juan Cuellar said...

Omar, which he could be, if I can "guess", Afina + anonymous 1, 2 and so on, is now engage in mathematical equations. For that, my friend (?) Omar, Granma was, mostly created. Exchange of ideas? can anybody tell me which ideas have you presented, besides the tedious task of % my messages . The paste is from "The Economist" and I must "guess" again that is not welcome here, to say the least, with to much enthusiastically. The fact is that no one can, not even Phil, confirm that the tyrant is alive. And that is the $64,000. question.

leftside said...

Juan to believe that Fidel is dead at this point is highly irrational. Sure, Cuba might have an interest in "managing" his death. But to cover it up for days and weeks as articles keep popping up under his name and officials assure us he is recovering, is pure nonsense. The smooth transition has already told us Cuba does not need to be so desperate, nor would they have any interest in being exposed as liers in front of the Cuban people as thir first post-Fidel act. To believe otherwise (like so many in Miami, including the Babalu crowd) just shows the depths to which suspicion and contempt clouds the judgement of too many...

Juan Cuellar said...

Leftside, I laugh my heart out when you said: "Cuba does not need to be so desperate, nor would they have any interest in being exposed as liers in front of the Cuban people" This is something new. First, the Castros and their goons are not "Cuba." Second, they are expose as lier every single minutes, hours, days, months, years since their existence. If you believe he is writing those "reflections" is fine by me, but please, find some other arguments that makes sense.

Troglo said...

Coño Juan Cuellar, tu padeces de diarrea verbal, compadre. Tok

Juan Cuellar said...

troglo? Valgame Dios.

leftside said...

JC, if the blatently obvious reasoning I put forth does not make sense to you, the problem is not with me my friend. And just because you and your friends disagree with Cuba on something (sorry, the Cuban Government), does not make them the liers.

Juan Cuellar said...

Disagree on something? Manda, you know what! "Blatently obvious reasons" What kind of "mambo jambo" is that? You are on the leftside...for sure.

Anonymous said...

Juan Cuellar is one of those. Apaga y vámonos!