Friday, March 29, 2013

Odds and ends

  • Cuba’s Cardinal Ortega was impressed with statements that Cardinal Bergoglio made about the state of the Cathilic church just before he was elected to the papacy; he asked for a written version and the Argentine obliged him the next morning, saying Ortega could make the remarks public.  He reiterated that permission days later as pope.  Cardinal Ortega released the text in a mass in Havana, and Palabra Nueva tells the story.  See also EFE, Café Fuerte.

  • Rep. Cathy Castor of Tampa on the futility of U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba.

  • Roberto Zurbano in the New York Times on Afro-Cubans’ unequal opportunities in an era of reform.

  • From strategist Steve Schale, a sober look at the numbers in Miami-Dade – registration, demographics, and recent voting behavior.

  • Writing in CubaEncuentro, sociologist Haroldo Dilla supports the call for an independent investigation of the death of Oswaldo Paya but is less than impressed with the Spanish Partido Popular activist who drove the car in which Paya died: “Carromero was, and continues to be, a joke in bad taste for the European right.  He was a toxic gift that came at a high price: the death of two opposition activists, including one of its most renowned leaders.”

  • Granma runs a post-mortem on Cuba’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic and concludes that Cuban players have skill but need more nerve.  Conclusion: more high-stakes tournament play needs to be built into Cuba’s baseball program at all age levels.


Anonymous said...

Cuban computer science graduates were prepared for specific purposes.

They wer trained to serve the Cuban totalitarian regime as:

1- Censors that wpuld place restrictions on where Cubans with access to the internet could navigate.
2- Spies that would detect those that evaded censorship controls or used the internet to introduce into the island or to send out of it information that would be considered hostile to the totalitarian Cuban government so that such people could be sanctioned.
3- Propaganda specialists working on the internet providing pro government information for domestic and foreign consumption.
4- For offensive and defensive roles cybernetic warfare.
5- To create software and internet services for domestica and export purposes.

However creating such specialists is a double edged weapon since they would have access to information from abroad and could be easily subverted.

Besides such specialists could be easily subverted since would be well informed about working conditions in their profession abroad and could compare it with their conditions in Cuba.

So this would lead to dissatisfaction and inconformity.

A good proportion of these professionals would not want to serve in the positions that the government offered them to, censor, spy, or work in cybernetic warfare.

They would, of course, all be interested in creating software and in providing internet services.

But even in this case many of them would like to do it on their own and not work for the government so that they could reap greater benefits from their work.

The contradiction is that the majority of these computer specialists lack motivation to do such work for government enterprises due to lack of incentives.

They would like nothing better than to work on their own in cooperatives developing software or providing services for foreign clients.


Anonymous said...

However, there are significant obstacles to such cooperatives being allowed at present.

The internet link to Venezuela has not been activated because the existing computer specialists have not been able to set up an efficient arrangement that would allow the government to reduce the flow of subversive propaganda into the island.

Since this is the government's first priority, it can not permit such cooperatives to be created since it would allow their best computer specialist to abandon their present positions in order to go into such cooperatives.

Besides the government wants to produce software and furnish internet services in state own companies so that it profit from these specialists work.

It would like to pay them low salaries and receive al lthe income from their work so that it can have high profit margins and reap the maximum benefits from their work.

The computer specialists, of course, would prefer to work on their own so that they could have higher income.

Thus the state cannot at present allow computer specialist cooperatives to compete with state own enterprizes because the specialists would earn more in the cooperatives and would readily abandon their positions in the state own companies.

So the idea of this cooperatives that provide computer software and services would have some practical obstacles at teh present time.

However, in the long run this would be teh refficient solution since the totalitarian state is not able to motivate the computer specialists under the present arrangements since the computer specialists lack incentives, motivation and initiative.

The adequate solution would be to allow such cooperatives and for teh state to have a participation in their profits through taxation.

But the way to regulate this may take some time to implement not because of any inherent difficulty in finding the proper arrangements but due to bureaucratic resistance.

Also the success of such cooperatives will be hindered by their inability to market their services in the United States while embargo restrictions continue in place.

All this is lamentable because Cuba has the qualified manpower to provide these services in a competitive manner if the computer specialists had adequate incentives and were allowed to operate in an independent manner.


Antonio said...

Yes, please see the movie Chico Y Rita as recommended. Also, the special features are also an absolute must see, as the director/ producers talk of how the Chico character was inspired by Chucho Valdes.