Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Young Men Viciously Beaten by Cuban Police!!

Violence in the streets of Havana. The police brutally beats two young men. Notice in the video, how one gets pushed into traffic, narrowly avoiding traffic. They get beaten continously, even though, they are not fighting back. This happened in August 2008, across from the University of Havana.

Yoani Sanchez Wins Another Award!!!

Yoani Sanchez, the Cuban blogger, who for the past year, has connected us with what's happening inside Cuba, and is considered by FP En Espanol, one of the 10 most influential intellectuals of Iberoamerica, winner of the Ortega y Gasset 2008, and the jury award from Bitá 2008.

She is once again bestowed, with the award for best Weblog and Reportes Without Borders given by the jury for the Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards "The Bobs".

The jury said, "Sanchez gives voice to an entire generation of Cubans and provides the world with a window into Cuba through her clear and poetic writing".

Additionally, she has been included among the 100 personalities selected this year by El País, a Spanish newspaper!

On her blog Generacion Y, Yoani writes,

"We still lack that which is the most coveted prize: the right to dialogue, dissent and to dye ourselves in the political colors of our choosing within our Island. We must not let this phenomenon be limited only to the blogosphere, we have to go in search of the jackpot: free opinion".

Yoani Sanchez has become the voice for the Cubans in the the Island. Lets hope that one day soon, her blog can be read inside Cuba. This award is a triumph, not only for our Yoani, but also for the Cuban dissidents and the exiles who desire freedom for Cuba.

This frail looking woman, who walks 14 flights of stairs to get to and from her apartment, in Havana, since the elevator broke, has been able to do what no one else before her has accomplished. Cuban Author, Jose Marti wrote, !A reported is much like soldier!. At this rate, she is going to topple the Cuban government with out firing a canon nor a rifle!

Congratulations Yoani!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peaceful Protests not Allowed in Cuba

During the early years of the Castro Regime when my parents were teenagers, they attended two separate schools in Havana. My mom attended Instituto de Mariano and one day after school, my mom and a group of her classmates decided to have a peaceful protest, to speak out against the land reform laws being implemented by Castro. They thought they still lived in a democracy.

The school my dad attended Instituto Tecnologico de Marianao, was run by a Spaniard by the name of Grasiano Lipiz. He was a refugee from the Spanish Civil War, when Franco was in power. Lipiz was a Communist, who was now free to show who he really was. He literally brought wood sticks and handed them out to his students and ordered them to go out on the street and beat up the “worms” from the other school, who were protesting. This is kind of how a civilian police works. They were all just 15 and 16 year old kids. My dad who didn’t even know that my mom was in the other school, remembers, thinking, “Why should I beat them up, they haven’t done anything to me”. He blended in with a crowd and disappeared-he was good at that. Years later when sent to the work camps, he would stand in the back so the sergeant who had a photographic memory, so that he couldn’t memorize his face.

Many students followed Lipiz order and during the scuffle, the police showed up and started arresting the protesters and not the attackers! My mom avoided being arrested when she ran and jumped on a bus. Many of her classmates were not so lucky and were arrested. My grandparents took her out of school after that incident and she lost contact with her friends.

Years later, when my parents shared stories, they realized how lucky they were and how disturbing that evil can rise up in the most unexpected places.This story happened in the early sixties, but thousands of others followed it and this violence against it's citizens goes on today. If you ever wonder why the Cuban people don't revolt; it's fear of retaliation by the authorities, that will stop at nothing to keep them slaves.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Cuba of the 1930s

A voyage through time, takes us to the Cuba of the 1930s. Lets hope, that someday soon, the "Pearl of the Caribean", can once again regain the luster it once had.