Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Odds and ends

  • On Monday, Granma published the first official notification of the Obama Administration’s easing of travel regulations governing Cuban American family visits: a minimal change that leaves the embargo “still standing,” but a “setback for the anti-Cuban mafia and its representatives in Congress.” AP story here.

  • With Cuba no longer barring its own citizens from staying in Cuban hotels, and with the Obama Administration easing rules for family visits, what happens? “The increase in travel will end up with the whole family (“familión ”) staying in an all-inclusive hotel on the beach in Varadero,” a Spanish hotel worker tells El Pais.

  • Last week an EFE reporter in Honduras quoted Assistant Secretary of State Tom Shannon saying that the Obama Administration is looking for a rapprochement (“acercamiento”) with Cuba. Not so – he was misquoted, the State Department says in a letter in Armengol’s blog.

  • From Encuentro, a report that three Cuban Americans, caught in Cuba during a botched 2007 attempt to smuggle Cubans out by fast boat, are appealing to the Council of State to reduce the 23-year sentences they are now serving in Cuban jails.

  • Granma on the black market business of providing DirecTV service in Cuba for 30 convertible pesos per month, and a police operation that broke up one such business…DirecTV’s content, Granma says, includes programming intended to “discredit and destabilize the Cuban Revolution.”


Marc Masferrer said...

Phil, does that content on DirecTV include the Cuban baseball team getting spanked by Japan?

leftside said...

Marc, the Direct TV content they are referring to includes illegal propoganda being paid for by you and me (TV Marti). It is illegal as there is a law against broadcasting propoganda inside the US. Because the Government was desperate to utilize satellite companies, the law had to be flouted. I mean who cares about the rule of law right when you are talking about Cuba. Who is going to sue?

The day the US ends these subversive broadcasts, is the day I will join those calling on the Cuban government to end its regulations on satellite TV.

Anonymous said...

Problems is, leftside, that Cuba hasn't had a legitimate government in decades and so, has no right to enforce any law or prevent the dissemination of information.

Now that that's out of the way - TV Marti is a waste of money considering the fact that hardly anyone sees it in Cuba.

Take that money, hire an editorial director and put it into Radio Marti, which actually IS listened to in Cuba. Makes a hell of a lot more sense to me.

You're talking about subversive acts by the U.S. government? How about all of the subversive acts by the mafia in charge of Havana that have been going on for decades? I think that is a HELL of a lot worse than U.S. TV Marti broadcasts on Direct TV.

You don't help a people to bring down a dictatorship by playing nice. You do what needs to be done.


leftside said...

You don't help a people to bring down a dictatorship by playing nice. You do what needs to be done.

Fine, but you can not expect Havana to "play nice" when the most powerful country in the world has a policy of regime change against you.

Anonymous said...

Left side is right, I mean the crux of the problem is the US not recognizing a govern. as legitmate for 50 years.

USA by the way only country in world to do this.

This hubristic/ethnocentric/imperalistic view is illustrated by anoy 10:05 when he/she says:

"Problems is, leftside, that Cuba hasn't had a legitimate government in decades and so, has no right to enforce any law or prevent the dissemination of information"

are you serious? I mean, I am no support of fidel, but your view is
bellicose, belligerent, and hostile to an automous country....
If your view about Cuba is standardized for rest of world, b.c you know we can't be hypocritical, then usa would be 'at war' with half of the globe.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Cuban citizen. What does the U.S. have to do with what I am saying?

Most of us don't view Fidel and Co. as legitimate, nor did many of us view Batista as legitimate for that matter.

Take off the anti-U.S. lenses - I don't give a rats ass about la yuma. What I care about is my own nation.


Anonymous said...

Jeez, just because El Coma-Andante enslaved a neigboring people and urged the Bolos to launch a nuclear attack against the Yanquis using the Soviet nuclear missles based in Cuba, some people still hold a grudge.

I mean, after all, the Cuban people are HIS property, aren't they? So lighten up, imperialistas! Why can't more people on this list be nice and logical, like Lefty?

Anonymous said...

that's the crux; one half doesn't think the Cuban govt is legitimate; that's the half screaming outside the country, mostly from Yuma

the other half live with the government on a day to day basis; and have done so for 50 years. and they don't care if you call it legit or not. they matter, you dont

there has never been a 'legitimate' government in cuba. until fidel came along and gave cuba for the cubans. it's a terrible system, and you can think its illegitimate, but after 50 years those who want to destroy instead of reform have no right to say anything. You may say you are Cuban, tu eres gusao.

Anonymous said...

it's so easy to say the govt is illegitimate and then discount all and everything.
gerardo what makes a government legitmate? and what cuban government in history was legitmate?
please speak to the issue and try not to be ideological in response.

Anonymous said...

"Gerardo, what makes a government legitmate?" Well, Virginia, in the 21st century, how about regarding as legitimate a goverment which comes to office by means of free and fair elections? Now *that's* a novel concept for you, eh?

Anonymous said...

Then the United States government was not legitmate from 2000 to 2008 as they were not free and fair elections.
and who decides what's free and fair? Who decides what candidates will run, how the financing is done? You're absolutely right, free and fair elections are one very important method to determine legitimacy. But not the only. And how legitimate is it when the US demands Cuba hold 'free and fair' elections, as long as no Castro is involved? can you spell hypocrite. and dont you think if US got it's hand on free and fair elections in Cuba, as it is their demand, then they would manipulate it to their end, solely. So free and fair elections is meaningless in a society under siege, like cuba has been since the revolution. I understand your point, but that clarion call is simply a smokescreen as a perceived way to regain control. Nice try, but let the people of cuba decide how free and fair elections, if desired, will be structured. Not screams from the US apologists.

Anonymous said...

the government's legitimacy is drawn through patria, self determination and sovereignty. i'm in favor of elections, under cubans (who live in cuba) terms, not by having a foreign power demand, one that has tried to destroy the country for the past 50 years.
so be a little more nuanced, if possible.

Anonymous said...

"Then the United States government was not legitmate from 2000 to 2008 as they were not free and fair elections. and who decides what's free and fair?"

Right on! Maybe the Cuban government should have arbitrated the 2000 election, employing its crack experts in judging tight election races. Ha, ha, ha!

"I'm in favor of elections, under cubans (who live in cuba) terms...
so be a little more nuanced, if possible."

Yeah, the only *real* elections are the ones perpetrated in Cuba over the past 50 years, using Soviet standards.

Actually, I've got more serious ways to waste my time than to argue with buffoons like this. Over and out.

Anonymous said...

typical gusano, when the going gets tough, run away. stick to your dreams and delusions, if you think Cuba was using Soviet standards for elections you really have drunk the kool aid.

jose said...

gusanos have no legitmacy b/c they don't care about cubans, but rather their NEO-CON ideology.

I bet the same gusanos want to bomb Palestians, take over VZ, and claim that Evo is not illegitmate even though he actually was elected.

They also think Iraqis love bush.

gusanos are no cubans. they are neo-cons disguised as hispanic.

Anonymous said...

anony 2:27, I suspect you are not writing from cuba, perhaps calle ocho?.. just my opnion

Anonymous said...

"if you think Cuba was using Soviet standards for elections you really have drunk the kool aid."

Hey, Phil, what do you think of this collection of deep thinkers your blog has attracted? Prime candidates for the Orwellian Hall of Fame, no?

Anonymous said...

it was a typo; should have said 'was NOT' using Soviet standards. while there are differences, the one party rule and illegality of the parties the same.
cuba definitely should open up to multi parties, it's just how to get to that point is the contentious issue. you can't force political change at the point of a gun, and reform is next to impossible for a society under siege.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:07 is spot on.

multi party elections is the way to go, but its how you get there.....

so, I guess one position is that while it should open up, Miami folk should play NO role. I would like to see that, but not possible, once cuba opens miami folk will deluge teh island with their crap.

Ernesto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernesto said...

About Granma's article

Anonymous said...
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