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Thursday, August 03, 2006

COLUMN: HOSTILE U.S. WORDS PLAY INTO CASTRO'S HANDS

If there was any question that the Bush administration and Cuban exile leaders should avoid aggressive statements following Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's apparent decision to hand over power to his brother Raúl, an hourlong conversation with one of Cuba's leading dissidents removed any doubts. Read the full column on what dissident Oswaldo Paya told me, and my conclusions, here.

64 Comments:

Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

Andres, I do agree with your article 100%.I agree with the bush commission assisting a transition to democracy and address the humanitarian needs of Cubans if the regime collapses.But is the responsibility of that cuban people to handle this issue without any outside source meddling.If Cuba does start to make a transition to a democracy, The United State should help cuba in a humanitarian way.For 47 years Fidel Castro has only brought ruin and misery to Cuba, so if he is incapacitated, even for a short period of time, it is a great moment for the millions of Cubans who live under his iron-fisted rule and oppressive state machinery.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

It's unfortunate that many Cuban-American exile leaders are calling for "civil disobedience" or some form of coup in Cuba. But, it is not surprising. According to Oppenheimer, there are polls showing that Cuban-Americans are opposed to some form of external intervention. Well, a 2004 FIU poll on Cuban-American attitudes show that they generally FAVOR an American or Exile military intervention. You can check for yourself here: http://www.fiu.edu/~ipor/cubapoll/index.html

Oppenheimer should reveal what polls he's reading.

If people were seriously concerned about giving "humanitarian" aid to Cuba, then they would support abolishing the unilateral sanctions that are imposed by the US on Cuba. According to many aid agencies, the sanctions on Cuba not only interfere with delivery and transportation of humanitarian needs to the island, but also increase costs significantly. There should be no excuses to delay the transport of any aid to nations.

To transfer all feelings towards one man is an error. Large sectors of Cuban society have embraced the goals of the Cuban Revolution and have dedicated themselves to continuing its goals for many years. Cuba boasts many accomplishments in the Carribean and Latin region that go unnoticed by the news. No doubt Cuba violates human rights, but within the THIRD WORLD, Cuba stands out with far more successes and accomplishments that are worthy lessons to us all.

1:18 PM  
Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

Once again,Andres here we have your typical leftwinger...Castro's regime hasn't accomplish nothing for the cuban people, Amigo...Stop readin those Leftist propaganda trash and read real news about cuba.Yes, Fidel Castro has accomplish one thing "RUIN AND MISERY"

1:48 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

We can throw mud around all you want. "Ruin and Misery" is here and there. If you were truly concerned about it, then you would know that Colombians suffer far worst human rights abuses than Cubans. Human Rights Watch considers Colombia's human rights abuses as the "most serious human rights and humanitarian situation in the [Latin] region."

See for yourself here: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/colomb12206.htm

HRW's reports have described "Ruin and Misery" existing in Colombia for years. And, this is compounded with millions in aid from us, the citizens of the United States.

I don't deny Cuba's human rights violations, they are obvious. But, there's far more "Ruin and Misery" around the World than in just Cuba.

As I said: "...within the THIRD WORLD, Cuba stands out with far more successes and accomplishments that are worthy lessons to us all."

That's a fact supported by several medical journals, and health specialists in the USA and around the World.

Check any academic reference of vital statistics on Cuba, and compare it with all the nations in the Latin region. That's a notable success.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

We can throw mud around all you want. "Ruin and Misery" is here and there. If you were truly concerned about it, then you would know that Colombians suffer far worst human rights abuses than Cubans. Human Rights Watch considers Colombia's human rights abuses as the "most serious human rights and humanitarian situation in the [Latin] region."

See for yourself here: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/colomb12206.htm

HRW's reports have described "Ruin and Misery" existing in Colombia for years. And, this is compounded with millions in aid from us, the citizens of the United States.

I don't deny Cuba's human rights violations, they are obvious. But, there's far more "Ruin and Misery" around the World than in just Cuba.

As I said: "...within the THIRD WORLD, Cuba stands out with far more successes and accomplishments that are worthy lessons to us all."

That's a fact supported by several medical journals, and health specialists in the USA and around the World.

Check any academic reference of vital statistics on Cuba, and compare it with all the nations in the Latin region. That's a notable success.

2:49 PM  
Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

I am not going to debate which country got it worse but for 47 years.. I think cuba got it worse. sorry but you can copy and paste all you want about colombia Economic Structure. But currently colombia is not living under a dictatorship like cuba so my amigo is a big different comparing both country in that aspect since President Alvaro Uribe has the luxury to land a free trade deal with the United States.Mr Uribe is also trying to secure more US funding and military aid to fight drugs traffickers and rebels under the US-backed Plan Colombia.Another luxury that the cuban people don't have in cuba.Under Plan Colombia, the US has already provided some $2.6 billion in training and military equipment since 2000. Oh, yea I am sure the cuban people would love to have this type of backin to overthrown Fidel Castro's regime.Colombia misery blame it on the left-wing rebels and paramilitaries involved in Colombia's 40-year civil conflict use drug money to finance their operations. who are responsible for Terrorizing the counrty.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

The only "accomplishments" of the Cuban Revolution are the world's highest suicide rate and the world's highest rate of abortion.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, cuba's suicide rates aren't the hightest in the world... Richer countries like France, Finland and Russia have higher rates.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suiciderates/en/
here goes the website on world suicide rates

11:07 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Published Thursday, June 18, 1998, in the Miami Herald

Study: Suicide epidemic exists under Castro

Dade exiles fare better than Cubans on island

By JUAN O. TAMAYO
Herald Staff Writer

Cubans on the island have the highest rate of suicide in Latin America. But Cubans in Miami-Dade County kill themselves less often than other Miamians, and Cuban-born women in Miami commit suicide least of all, according to a study.

And although Cubans on the island average one death per three attempts serious enough to require hospital treatment, Communist Party members commit one suicide per attempt, the study says.

If suicide is truly an act of desperation, then the just-published study, Suicide in Cuba and Miami, shows that Cubans are dreadfully miserable in one place and far less so in the other.

"The difference between the two places reflects different societal, political and economic outlooks," said Maida Donate-Armada, one of the two Cuba-educated academics now living in Miami who wrote the study, published by the Cuban American National Council.


The catalyst

Using statistics from the Cuban Health Ministry and Donate-Armada's own study of suicides in 1984, when she was working for the Health Ministry, the study argues that the island's people have been emotionally shattered since the failure of President Fidel Castro's plans for a record 10 million ton sugar harvest in 1970.

"It was the first break in the collective conscience regarding the revolution's ability to provide coherent answers to economic problems," said Donate-Armada, a psychologist who left Cuba in 1993.

The island's suicide rate nearly tripled after that catastrophe, from 8 per 100,000 people in 1969 to 23.2 per 100,000 in 1982, the study reported.

So bad was the crisis that in 1979 the government classified suicide statistics as state secrets, the study added, and began hiding them under other categories like "violent deaths" or "other unclassified physiological illnesses."



Highest in Latin America

Donate-Armada estimates Cuba's current suicide rate at more than 20 per 100,000 -- about 2,500 deaths a year among 11 million people. That would put the island well ahead of the average in Latin America, where the rates of suicide hover between 8 and 12 per 100,000, Donate-Armada said. "A level of 20 is already an epidemic. In Cuba, anything higher would almost be a mass suicide," she said.

Donate-Armada's co-author in the 1984 study was Zoila Macias, a physician who was director of national statistics at the Cuban Health Ministry from 1991 to 1994.

Their study showed that suicides in Cuba, as in most countries, often involve people with family problems, low education levels and low or no incomes. But the similarities appear to end there.

Cuban women kill themselves significantly more often than their foreign counterparts, the study showed. While the world average is one woman for every three men, the island's ratio is nearly 1-1.

That probably means that Cuban women have the highest suicide rate in the world, the study said.


More successful attempts

Suicide attempts by Cubans are also more often successful. The world average is 10 attempts per death, but Cuba's is 3-1. And Communist Party members, Donate-Armada added, succeeded nearly every time they staged a suicide attempt serious enough to require notifying a hospital.

The study said the higher death-per-attempt rate showed not only deeper desperation but perhaps also a lack of effective medical care for those who try to take their lives.

Cuba's suicide rates have clearly swung with history: From 2.2 per 100,000 in 1907, soon after Cuba won independence from Spain, it rose to 13.1 in 1957, in the thick of Castro's guerrilla war against President Fulgencio Batista.


With hopes riding on the fledgling Castro revolution, suicides plummeted in the 1960s and averaged 8 to 10 per 100,000 people, Donate-Armada said. But after 1970 harvest failure, the rate rose, peaking at 23.2 in 1982 -- two years after the crisis unleashed by the Mariel boatlift. That figure made Cuba fourth in the world at the time, behind Hungary, Denmark and Austria.


Miami-Dade exiles

That grim picture of Cuba contrasts sharply with the study's findings on suicides among Cuban-born residents of Miami-Dade County as reported by public health officials in 1980, 1989, 1990 and 1991.

In the most statistically significant difference, Cuban women in Miami are far less likely to kill themselves than their male counterparts. There is one female suicide for every five male suicides in Miami, compared with nearly 1-1 in Cuba.

"It seems the Cuban woman is quicker to adapt to and assimilate the new values of North American culture," the study said.

And although Cuban-born Miamians still lead all other Hispanic groups in suicide, they kill themselves less often than the average Miamian: They make up 29.1 percent of Miami-Dade's population, but only 25 percent of the 300 Miamians who kill themselves each year, the study showed.

The county's overall rate was 16.2 suicides per 100,000 people in 1991, and the rate has tended to fall in the last couple of years, the study indicated, for both Cubans and the rest of the population.

"Cubans are very normal in Miami, in terms of their suicide patterns," Donate-Armada said. "It would seem their social, economic and political conditions here are to their liking."



Copyright © 1998 The Miami Herald

1:31 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

When Cuba's suicide rate reached 24 per thousand in 1986--making it double Latin America's average, making it triple Cuba's pre-Castro rate, making Cuban women the most suicidal in the world, and making death by suicide the primary cause of death for Cubans aged 15-48. At that point the Cuban government ceased publishing the statistics on the self-slaughter. The figures became state secrets. The implications horrified even the Castroites. — Humberto Fontova

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok. Castro is death. Viva Cuba Libre. Urra! New democracy in Cuba!!!..any style: Colombian, Peruvian, Chilean, even Iraqi. Are the Cuban Americans willing to pack and return to Cuba? Are they willing to renounce to those comfortable homes, cars, infrastructure that now enjoy in US? Are they willing to star earning pesos and enjoy “the free speech”? Come on. Wake up!!!
Just look at the Mexicans (and all the rest of Latin American countries). The number of people trying to get US amount millions!!!! Ironically, they have what Cuban Americans dream about: democracy.
My point is with or without Castro the number of Cubans dreaming to live and work in Miami would be the same as happens in all Latin America, in particular among the poor who don't give a damm about democracy. What would be different if Castro regimen had not existed? Maybe, only the socioeconomic origin of those who are living in Miami would be different (same number). So instead of blaming Castro, make him a Monument. Thanks to him you get a good legal status once you get US: the dream of any wet back Mexican.
Forget “Cuba Libre”, the best scenario for the Cuban Americans is a sort of protectorate like Puerto Rico. I guess that is also the dream of Condi and Bush.
My concern is what is going to happen to those Cubans who live now in Cuba? Are they going to be evicted from the home they live in? How are they going to be affected in the hypothetically case of a huge change in the relative prices? Are the former owners going to claim their former properties? Are the Cuban American dreaming to buy the best spots in Havana? Retirement homes, maybe?
I’m sure that many of the Cubans live in terrible conditions. In fact, nobody in Latin America who belongs to the middle upper class would like to live there (I include myself in this group). But those in the bottom of socioeconomic ladder, which amounts millions in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and other democracies would dream to have those fundamental rights that everybody enjoy in Cuba: education and health. Yet, our democracies are unable to provide those basic things to millions.
Good luck.
PS. somebody told me that instead of waiting for the death of Castro, the Cuban Americans should lobby for the end of the embargo and promote Spring Break in Varadero. ;)

9:01 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

There is more to life than being sick or going to school. Health and education are not free in Cuba, nor are they universal. Unless you are a party member in good standing, the prospect of higher education is closed to you. Even then, professionals are paid slave wages by the State, and any doctor or engineer would gladly change places with a taxi driver (and many have). There is universal health care in Cuba, but it varies in quality according to your connections with the regime. Fidel Castro has his own state-of-the-art private hospital in Cuba, and his closest collaborators may be treated at the ultra-modern hospitals reserved for foreigners. Ordinary Cubans, however, must use the public hospitals, which are ill-kept and antiquated. The largest of these, the Calixto Garcia Hospital, is 70 years old and literally in shambles. There are no blankets available in hospitals (you must bring your own if you have them). There are no surgical needles or anesthetics (you must have relatives send you these from abroad). You are also obligated to bribe the doctors--who are paid $20.00 per month by the State--if you are to have any chance of surviving your stay in the hospital. I can only wish that you or one of your family members may some day realize your "dream" of being treated in a Cuban hospital.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manuel:

First and foremost, you didn't answer any of the questions I posted.

As for the health and education, at least there is a health post in the middle of nowhere. Ask the people of any "barriada", "villa", "fabela" if they have access to basic care. Ask if the ever meet a doctor or paramedic. Ask if they receive vaccination. The ansewer is no!!! Is the health service free in US? As far as I know if you do not have insurance and get sick you are death. I know first hand that some schools of public health in developed countries use the Cuban system as benchmark. The system must have something interesting, don’t you think?

As for education achievements, UNESCO data shed light on this issue. The Cubans are far away if we adjust those numbers by income per capita. I would dream to have thos numbers in my country. As I said previously, I cannot deny the harsh conditions in Cuba but the achievements in several areas surprise me a lot. It is a puzzle. The human development index (HDI) also offers notable results for Cuba.

Where higher education is free? Tell me to send my kids there. Even the community colleges in US charge a fee. Are you trying to say that without Castro it would free and universal? Please. Come on.

The fact that people in Havana with higher education work as taxi drivers is clearly a signal that the Cuban economy is unable to absorb them. At the same is signal that the tertiary enrollment is above the efficiency level over provision. By the way, this is not an exclusive Cuban phenomenon. Take a taxi in Lima, Quito or Bogota and the driver will be an engineer with highly probability.

I believe in the benefits from a market economy, democracy, rule of low, corporate governance, etc. I'm not a "taliban" and, therefore, I feel puzzled by those achievements.
That confirms me clearly that when it comes to public goods, there is under provision if one relies only on the market. That confirms that there is a role for governments in the provision of health and education.

My impressions is that as long as the Cuban Americans deny that there were something wrong within Cuba before Castro, the new Cuba libre would be just another “rupublica bananera.” The transition from communism to free market economy is not easy. Russia experience is a good example. In my modest view, the scenario is a mess. Moises Naim (Foreign Policy’s editor) pictures a terrible scenario in the Washington post.

As I said before, I'm sure I could not stand a day in a Cuban Hospital now. I have to pay a private insurance here to get access to health services. The doctors are good. Some of them trained, ironically, in Cuba. But I’m not thinking in me now. I’m thinking in the bottom 20% of the income distribution of my country. I’m thinking if they ever have visited a hospital or meet a doctor in their whole life. Just in case I'm writing from a democratic middle income country according to the World Bank.
Manuel you need to travel a bit more and learn how other people live in other countries even under democracy. The fact that there are no blankets does not surprise me. It is not shocking. It remind me a class of development economics I took years ago and an American Student was surprised by the fact that only ¼ of the roads were paved. Big surprise! Shock! That is call parochial life around Miami. Travel to Latin America, Africa, then nothing surprises you and adjust your benchmark.

Good Luck.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

"Is the health service free in US? As far as I know if you do not have insurance and get sick you are dead".

First of all, there is Medicaid (for the indigent) and Medicare (for the elderly or handicapped) as well comparable health-care assistance programs in all 50 states. The neediest people in the United States enjoy a level of health care which is not available to even the wealthiest in most countries.

Even people (such as illegal immigrants) who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and cannot obtain private health insurance are not left to die in the United States. They can go to the emergency ward of any hospital--yes, absolutely any hospital, private or public--and, according to law, they must be treated regardless of whether they can pay or not.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

"Where is higher education free? Tell me so I can send my kids there. Even the community colleges in US charge a fee."

Yes, community colleges charge a nominal fee, but this is paid by grants from the state and federal government. The student pays nothing. In fact, the stipend he receives also covers the cost of books, meals and incidentals. If he does not have private health insurance, the government also underwrites it while he is enrolled in school.

In state or private colleges, students are also eligible to receive tuition assistance from the state and federal government based on family income. Colleges also offer full-tuition scholarships to qualified students. For example, students with family incomes of $40,000 or less can attend Harvard for free.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

Given that you know so little about the United States today, I do not wonder that you know nothing at all about pre-revolutionary Cuba.

Before the Revolution, tuition at the University of Havana was $50.00 per year. There was a government scholarship fund that underwrote even that nominal amount for needy students.

As a consequence, according to UNESCO's Basic Facts and Figures (1957), Cuba had more students enrolled per capita in higher education in 1957 (13.5 per 1000 inhabitants) than did the USSR (9.5); Japan (6.9); France (4.1); Italy (3.2); Germany 3.0); and the U.K. (1.9). The comparable figure for the U.S. in 1957 was 17.7.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

As for health care in pre-Castro Cuba, it was also also widely available and virtually cost-free.

There were hundreds of mutual aid societies in Cuba that provided full health care benefits to their members and their immediate families, including hospitalization, for an annual fee of $2.00.

Fidel Castro himself belonged to such a mutual aid society (El Club de los Gallegos). Although his father was a wealthy landowner, Fidel's appendicitis operation in 1946 was underwritten by the Gallegos' Club. Fidel paid (or his father paid, since Fidel never worked in his life)) just $2.00. You can read about this in Tad Szulc's sympathetic biography of Castro.

If you could not afford $2.00 to obtain health insurance, there were also charity hospitals in pre-revolutionary Cuba. No one who needed medical treatment was ever denied it in pre-Castro Cuba.

According to the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. (1958), the mortality rate per 1000 persons in Cuba in 1958 was the lowest in the Western Hemisphere (5.8). The comparable rate for the U.S. was 9.4 and for Canada 8.1. The countries with the highest mortality rates were Colombia (12.8); Ecuador (15.2); Brazil (20.6); and Guatemala (21.3). Figures were not available for Haiti.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manuel:

Yes I’m an ignorant in American affairs.

"The student pays nothing."

What a big lie!!! So then, why the debt explosion among college graduates? Why the debt burden among bachelor’s graduates is a big concern? Where you live? You know perfectly that there is no free lunch, my friend. You know that.

“…[s]tudents with family incomes of $40,000 or less can attend Harvard for free.”

Yes, sure. That must be the case of exceptionally gifted kids. The average college kid must work hard or take federal loans to get a college degree of questionably quality in many cases. By the way, the government is going to cut a big chunk of that fund. That is news in every campus.

By the way even those gifted who attend for “free” Harvard have to work as teaching assistants or research assistants, which is great ... again, no free lunch. Am I right?


“You can read about this in Tad Szulc's sympathetic biography of Castro.”

I prefer Jorge Catañeda’s book.

“ According to the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. (1958), the mortality rate per 1000 persons in Cuba in 1958...”

Your answer surprises me a lot. If everything was great in the Cuban economy before Castro, then why a revolution? Irrational people? It does not make sense. Are you familiar with inequality? Semi-feudal economy? Gini-coefficient? poverty? Plese name a country that was doing well economically and suddenly had a revolution? As long as you Cubans do not recognize that there were somenting wrong before Castro, there will be no hope for Cuba libre. It will the same "republica bananera" like all the L.A countries.

By the way, cross-sectional statistics before 1960 are meaningless. Nobody trusts statistics before 1960 for developing countries. Every trained economist knows that.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

Will you please post at least under your first name? Surely the death squads in your country will not be able to identify you, and I am getting tired of addressing you as "Anonymous."

Please do not misquote me. I said students pay nothing in community colleges. If they choose to attend private universities, their parents may be required to make some contribution based on their income level. If they have not alloted money for their children's education, then it might be necessary to obtain a low-interest student loan.

Poor students, however, do attend college for free, all expenses paid. They can also choose to enroll in work-study programs, where they are paid for work done at the college. Most willingly do so because they need the money for personal expenses. There's nothing compulsory about it, however.

In Cuba, however, "voluntary" work for the State is compulsory, even for young children. In fact, 12-year olds in Cuba attend school for half the day and pick potatoes in the fields for the other half.

Would you put your children to work at age 12? Well, Cuban parents don't have a choice. The State enforces child labor and students and parents must comply.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

"If everything was great in the Cuban economy before Castro, then why a revolution?"

The Cuban Revolution was not predicated on the redress of social inequities but on the restoration of democracy to the island.

Before 1959, Cuba had the third-highest GNP in the Western Hemisphere; the highest incomes per capita in Latin America; the lowest rate of inflation; the most diffuse land ownership; and the largest middle class.

Before the Revolution, more Americans lived in Cuba than Cubans in the United States, although Cubans at that time could enter the U.S. without a visa, just like Canadians.

Before Castro, no Cuban had ever attempted to float to the U.S. on an innertube or on a door, or on any other makeshift contrivance. You did not require government permission to immigrate nor did the Cuban Coast Guard fire at you on the high seas.

It was only when Castro instituted his police state and turned Cuba into a mendicant nation that more than a third of the Cuban population fled the island. There has been no comparable exodus in the history of the Western Hemisphere.

What would you say if tomorrow 100 million Americans fled the U.S.?

Obviously, there is something very wrong in Cuba today which wasn't the case before 1959.

Now, what could that "something" be?

As for Cuba becoming a "banana republic," I should certainly prefer it to its former status as a Soviet colony or its present existence as Castro's plantation.

If Cuba were a "banana republic," at least the people would have something to it.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

"By the way, cross-sectional statistics before 1960 are meaningless. Nobody trusts statistics before 1960 for developing countries. Every trained economist knows that.

Oh, how convenient. So the cut-off date is 1959? I know of "no trained economist" that has disavowed these statistics. And I suppose you are not a "trained economist" because no trained economist would ever say something as foolish as that.

Economically, Latin American countries occupy today basically the same statistical position as they did 50 years ago. Very little has changed except that Cuba no longer leads Latin America in all economic indicators, as it did before 1959.

By the way, Professor Nicholas Eberstadt of the Harvard Center for Population Studies-- hardly a conservative institution--has shown that Communist Cuba falsifies (or "cooks up") its health and education statistics, and that, in fact, it keeps two sets of books, one for internal and another for external consumption. By studing the raw data used to calculate Cuba's infant mortality rate, Everstadt concluded that infant mortality in Cuba was actually higher under Castro than before the Revolution.

In 1958, Cuba's infant mortality was the lowest in Latin America and 12th lowest in the world.

Batista, unlike Castro, never used these statistics to justify his regime, as Castro has always done.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

GOOD NEWS FROM BRAZIL

Reuters, 05 August 2006

But Brazil’s Folha de S. Paulo newspaper said the Brazilian government had been told that Fidel Castro had a malignant stomach tumor. The paper did not identify its sources.

“It looks like we will lose our friend,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was quoted as telling an aide.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous J. Marti said...

"If they choose to attend private universities, their parents may be required to make some contribution based on their income level."

Hey Talibani, that is a lie and you know that.

Michigan University is a public university and I know, first hand, they don't ask you about your income in order to charge you accordingly. Same happens with Michigan State and all the public American universities.

“Poor students, however, do attend college for free, all expenses paid.”

Sure, maybe after some years in the army or after a wave of layoffs (as part of some compensatory package)

“The most diffuse land ownership”

So why there were land reform… does not make sense.

“ By the way, Professor Nicholas Eberstadt of the Harvard Center for Population Studies-- hardly a conservative institution--has shown that Communist Cuba falsifies (or "cooks up")..”

Hardly conservative…Plop. Samuel Huntington must be laughing

Anyway, it does not surprise me. The “cooking technique” is fully extended among statistics offices. That is the reason why I give no credit to old statistics and less produced under Batista.

“I suppose you are not a "trained economist" because no trained economist
would ever say something as foolish as that.”

Haha… My advice to you is to edit a book entitled “Cuba for dummies”. You will get rich. I guess many years in Miami consuming bad literature, bad TV, bad films and bad food are affecting your reasoning… you sound like a Taliban.

Final question:

My prediction is that we are going to witness a big fight in Cuba for the government control.
Are you going to be Sunny or Shiite on this matter? Without mea culpa from both sides Cuba, next Haiti.

I’m sure you had a great life under Batista. Maybe you were a dandy in the Tropicana. Dancing with Celia and “Don Corleone”.
Good for you.

Do you like my name? He must be moving in his cofin.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Well, the truth comes out. You are not some misinformed South American with an uncertain grasp of the language, which is the persona you adopted in your previous posts. Now it appears you are a college student at some university in Michigan who is saddled with hefty student loans. Now, if you had used the money lent to you to actually pay for your education rather than squandered it for living expenses in lieu of work, you wouldn't be in such a pickle today. Maybe daddy can write you another check and everything will be OK.

Yes, Cuba had the most diffuse land ownership in Latin America before the Revolution. Castro's "Land Reform" consisted of confiscating privately-owned lands, but these were never distributed to the peasants. He kept it all. The Castro regime remains, after 47 years, the sole landowner in Cuba. But in a way this is actually a good thing, because it makes it easier to restore the farms and plantations to their legitimate owners.

The problem is that you have seen Godfather II too many times and mistake fiction for history.

And, yes, I did have a great life in Cuba, so did everybody else before Castro came along.

Good luck with the student loans.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

If I do write a book entitled
"Cuba for Dummies," I will dedicate it to you.

3:04 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Cuba has a new maximum leader. It is not Raul Castro, but a protégé of Raul's, General Álvaro López Miera. He is featured today in a front-page article in the party organ "Granma," which is both highly-adulatory and of unprecedented length.

Here is the text of the interview with him:

General de Cuerpo de Ejército Álvaro López Miera
Calentando el brazo...

Su abuelo, Marcelino López, fue infante de Marina. Peleó en 1895 contra las fuerzas cubanas. Participó en el combate de Calimete, donde Antonio Maceo hizo polvo una columna española, que él y otro oficial lograron salvar del total aniquilamiento al morir su Jefe. El padre fue un eminente científico y medio militar. Ahora él es militar y su hijo científico, como el abuelo. El General de Cuerpo de Ejército Álvaro López Miera, de 62 años, actualmente Viceministro de las FAR Jefe del Estado Mayor General, se ha destacado en tres misiones internacionalistas por su valentía y astucia, desplegadas en numerosas acciones combativas, así como por sus excelentes cualidades personales como jefe. Dicen que la artillería es la diosa de la guerra; para él, ha tenido un papel básico, esencial, en su formación como militar. Álvaro López ha recibido numerosas distinciones. Entre las que sobresale la de Héroe de la República de Cuba, pero si algún día se instaura una medalla para los hombres sencillos, afables, puntuales y serios, estoy convencido de que será uno de los primeros condecorados. Eso nadie lo dude.

(Tomado del libro Secretos de Generales)

LUIS BÁEZ

—¿Descríbame su infancia?

—Soy hijo de combatientes republicanos españoles.

—¿Cómo se llamaba su padre?

—Julio López Rendueles.

—¿Cuál era su especialidad?

—Doctor en Ciencias Químicas. Además de en España realizó investigaciones de interés científico en Francia y Alemania.

—¿Militó en algún partido?

—Sí. en el Partido Comunista español. Tambien fue fundador del Partido Comunista de Cuba.

—¿Tenía algún cargo?

—Proclamada la República Española en 1931, fue designado para dirigir un Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza en Sama de Langredo, región minera asturiana con tradición de luchas sindicales. Siempre le gustó impartir clases.

—¿Combatió al fascismo?

—Mucho. Fue uno de los defensores de El Escorial. También cuando se enviaron los primeros jóvenes españoles a estudiar aviación a la Unión Soviética, viajó con ellos como responsable político y profesor de aerodinámica.

De regreso en España, asumió la Dirección del Instituto Obrero de Barcelona hasta que tuvo que emigrar a Francia con su compañera.

—¿Cómo les fue?

—Mal. Apenas llegaron fueron detenidos y enviados a un campo de concentración. Gracias a las gestiones de los intelectuales progresistas franceses, fueron puestos en libertad y viajó a Cuba invitado por la Facultad de Ingeniería Química de la Universidad de La Habana para impartir conferencias.

—¿Cuándo llegó?

—En 1940. El barco que lo trajo en su segundo viaje a La Habana, fue hundido por un submarino alemán.

—¿A qué se dedicó?

—Impartió clases en distintos centros de enseñanza. Escribió algunos libros: Química general aplicada a Medicina y Farmacia, en cuatro volúmenes, reconocida como la obra más completa en su género en lengua castellana en aquellos momentos.

También realizó obras relacionadas con las ciencias naturales para la primera enseñanza, entre las que se destaca su Sexto grado, El descubrimiento de nuestro mundo donde se colocaba al alcance de los niños una ilustrativa descripción del desarrollo de la técnica y la ciencia alcanzados hasta esos momentos.

—¿En qué momento marchó a Santiago de Cuba?

—En 1950 fue contratado por la Universidad de Oriente. Se trasladó a residir en aquella ciudad.

En el claustro de profesores de ese centro docente impartían clases otros destacados intelectuales de izquierda: José Luis Galbe, Herminio Almendros, Juan Chabás. Todos republicanos españoles.

—¿Participó en la lucha contra la tiranía?

— Sí. Su casa se convirtió en refugio seguro y generoso de cuantos luchadores clandestinos tuvieron necesidad de curarse o esconderse en los momentos de mayor represión. Fue profesor de Vilma Espín y otros destacados revolucionarios orientales.

—¿Tuvo contacto con el Ejército Rebelde?

—Sus visitas al Segundo Frente Oriental Frank País ofrecieron oportuno asesoramiento al Ejército Rebelde en la fabricación artesanal de medios de combate, como fue la bomba que lanzó el avión rebelde piloteado por Alfonso Silva Tablada en el poblado de La Maya.

Esa participación en apoyo de la defensa no se interrumpiría, pues con el triunfo del 1ro. de Enero de 1959, continuó ofreciendo sus servicios a las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias tanto en el orden científicotécnico como en el docente, hasta su muerte.

—¿Su madre qué hacía?

—Era médico practicante. Ejerció en diferentes hospitales. Participó en el frente de Madrid. Fue muy activa en la lucha contra el fascismo. También colaboró con el Movimiento 26 de Julio.

—¿Usted nació en Oriente?

—No. Nací en La Habana. A los siete años nos mudamos para Santiago de Cuba.

—¿Cuándo comenzaron sus inquietudes revolucionarias?

—Siempre viví dentro de un ambiente revolucionario. En casa se escondían y se curaban combatientes de la lucha clandestina y de la Sierra Maestra.

Un día que iba para la escuela, en el cruce que hay en la carretera del Morro y Ciudamar, estaban tirados en la cuneta unos jóvenes que habían sido asesinados por el ejército.

Bajaron a todos los pasajeros que íbamos en el bus con el pretexto de que alguien los reconociera. El objetivo real era sembrar el terror. Eso me golpeó profundamente.

Un poco idealista y de muchacho de aquella época, tracé un plan para quitarle un fusil M-1 a un policía marítimo que esperaba el ómnibus en la parada de Ciudamar Yacht Club.

En esos momentos se encontraba escondido en casa un joven combatiente. Se estaba curando de unos tiros que había recibido al ir a desarmar un policía. Le conté mi plan. Se preocupó por lo descabellado y se lo informó a mi padre.

—¿Cómo reaccionó su papá?

—Como es lógico se inquietó. En un viaje que hizo al Segundo Frente se lo planteó a Raúl Castro, el cual autorizó a alzarme sin llevar ninguna arma. Estoy hablando de noviembre de 1958. En esos momentos nadie se podía incorporar a la lucha si no llevaba un arma.

—Ya en las montañas, ¿a qué se dedicó?

—Llegué con la ínfula de ir a combatir pero me incorporaron al Departamento de Educación que dirigía Asela de los Santos. Estuve dando clases a niños campesinos hasta el triunfo revolucionario.

Debido a la edad, 14 años, nos de cían los "michelines". Ahí en la escuela de Tumba Siete, es donde veo por primera vez a Raúl.

Ya en esos momentos mi hermano Julio se encontraba alzado en el Segundo Frente. El había estado incorporado en La Habana a la lucha insurreccional y participó en los sucesos del 30 de noviembre de 1956 en Santiago de Cuba.

El General López Miera aprecia innovaciones en el armamento.

—¿En qué sitio lo sorprendió el triunfo revolucionario?

—Me encontraba en el caserío Los Caroes, Mayarí Arriba. Es un lugar bastante intrincado. Siete días después del triunfo llegué a Guantánamo.

La Revolución había triunfado y yo me mantuve alzado unos días sin saberlo. Me pasó algo parecido a Charles Chaplin en el film El Gran Dictador.

—A Fidel, ¿en qué momento lo vio personalmente?

—Una noche, en casa de Cayita, en Santiago de Cuba.

—¿Dónde estuvo los primeros meses de 1959?

—Pasé en Santiago de Cuba una escuela de instrucción revolucionaria, continuación de la fundada en Tumba Siete en el Segundo Frente Oriental.

Después vine para La Habana y seguí un curso similar que se abrió en Ciudad Libertad.

—¿Qué tarea emprendió al finalizar el curso?

—Fui a ver a Mabel Rivero Pupo. Tenía intenciones de meterme en la aviación. Contaba con buen físico.

Había sido nadador y clavadista en Santiago de Cuba. Rivero me quitó esa idea de la cabeza. Me aconsejó que siguiera los estudios.

Regresé a Santiago. Hice los exámenes del Instituto. Comencé a estudiar el bachillerato. En medio de esta situación hice un viaje al exterior con mi padre.

—¿En qué año?

—1960.

—¿A qué países?

—España, Francia, Italia y finalmente a la Unión Soviética.

—¿Cuál fue el objetivo del viaje?

—Recoger experiencias para la apertura de escuelas tecnológicas. Un poco lo que después fueron los Camilitos. Eso lo manejaba papá con Vilma.

—Al regresar a Cuba, ¿volvió para Oriente?

—No. Me quedé en La Habana. Me presenté en el Quinto Distrito. Ahí se fueron formando las distintas unidades.

—¿Cómo entró al arma de artillería?

—Parte del personal del Quinto Distrito pasó a La Cabaña para formar unidades de artillería. Al frente estaba el comandante Pedro Miret, quien desempeñó un importante papel en la preparación de nuestros artilleros.

Al producirse el desembarco de Girón estábamos empezando a asimilar las piezas del cañón 122. Aún no habían pasado ocho días cuando nos ordenaron entregárselos a compañeros que tenían un poquito más de experiencia. Fueron los que se enfrentaron a los mercenarios en Girón con esta arma.

Imagínese mi decepción. Nuevamente me quitaban la oportunidad de combatir.

—¿Después de Girón, le dieron alguna misión?

—Me enviaron para el este de La Habana. Emplazamos la batería en Las Cuevas del Cura y más tarde nos trasladaron al oeste de la capital. En septiembre de 1961 me mandaron a pasar un curso de formación de jefes de unidades de artillería. Terminé con el rango de oficial.

—¿Qué hizo cuando la Crisis de Octubre?

—Era responsable de las piezas que defendían la entrada y el este de la Bahía de La Habana, a lo largo de la Playa del Chivo hasta la Habana del Este.

—¿Qué instrucciones recibió?

—Rechazar cualquier ataque a la capital. Recuerdo que en una noche, con un solo vehículo, emplazamos todas las piezas.

—¿Eran las cuatro bocas chinas?

—No. Había una mezcla de piezas. Teníamos cuatro o seis cañones 57. Unos tres cañones 85 y algún 122. En total eran unas doce piezas distribuidas a todo lo largo del litoral.

—¿Qué situaron a la entrada de la Bahía?

—Un cañón 85.

—¿Para dónde fue al terminar la Crisis?

—A impartir clases de artillería en La Cabaña.

—¿Qué tiempo estuvo?

—Hasta que la URSS entregó el armamento que protegía los cohetes estratégicos. Entonces me mandaron para los cohetes FKR con Fernando Vecino Alegret.

También me pusieron a estudiar con los soviéticos para que ocupara el cargo de Jefe de servicios químicos de la Brigada.

—¿Cuál es la razón?

—Como papá era químico, me orientaron estudiar esa materia, ya que no había una noción clara de su contenido. Cuando empezaron a instruirme en el manejo de las caretas antigás me percaté de que eso no tenía nada que ver con la profesión del viejo.

Por suerte, Vecino me puso de Jefe de Operaciones de la Brigada de cohetes. Ahí estuve hasta que la unidad fue desactivada y me enviaron a pasar el Curso Básico de Artillería.

Al terminarlo me designaron Oficial de Operaciones de la Jefatura de Artillería radicada en La Cabaña.

Al poco tiempo solicité ir para las tropas, que era el trabajo que realmente me gustaba, y me ubicaron en la unidad 3500.

Ahí comencé a adquirir experiencia en artillería reactiva. Ocupé diversos cargos: desde Jefe de Batería hasta Jefe de Grupo de Artillería Reactiva.

En 1974, pasé el Curso Superior de Guerra. Una vez terminado, volví para la 3500 y estando en este proceso como Jefe de Grupo de Artillería llegaron los lanzacohetes BM-21.

—Por lo que me ha narrado tuvo una buena preparación.

—Sí. Todos esos cursos me ayudaron a formarme al igual que los conocimientos que nos transmitieron los especialistas soviéticos, muchos de ellos, combatientes de la II Guerra Mundial.

—¿De qué depende el éxito de la artillería?

—El éxito depende de cada elemento de la unidad, de la preparación que tenga la gente. Además, la compenetración con el soldado. El jefe es como el director de una sinfónica porque la acción del artillero depende de todo el colectivo.

Si esos factores se logran, el triunfo está asegurado. Es una de las causas del éxito en la guerra de Angola y en especial en la utilización de los cohetes BM-21.

—¿En qué momento surgió ese modelo de cohete?

—El BM-21 es una pieza que desarrollaron los soviéticos años después de su famosa Katiuska, con un potencial de fuego muy grande, o sea, la Katiuska es el BM-13.

En Cuba también tuvimos el BM-24 y el BMD-20. En Angola los BM-21 jugaron un papel muy importante.

— ¿Cuándo se decidió enviar los BM-21 a Angola?

—En 1975. En los momentos que nos estábamos entrenando en el Polígono de Clavellinas, en Mantua, para participar luego en la maniobra Primer Congreso, como saludo al Primer Congreso del Partido, se produjo la agresión sudafricana a Angola y el Comandante en Jefe decidió mandar personal de los BM-21.

El armamento se entregaría en Angola porque iba directamente de la Unión Soviética.

—¿Va con ellos?

—En esta oportunidad no me lo permitieron debido a la proximidad de dichas maniobras. Preparé el personal. Pertenecían a mi grupo. Estaban bien entrenados.

Ya en el Polígono Ignacio Agramonte, en Camagüey, se decidió mandar más dotaciones de BM-21 a Angola. Plantee ir. La jefatura de artillería lo aceptó. Dejé a mi segundo al mando al frente de la unidad.

—En Angola, ¿a dónde se dirigió?

—Al Frente Sur. Se encontraba de Jefe el hoy General de Cuerpo de Ejército Leopoldo Cintra Frías (Polo). Me presenté con mis piezas. Esta unidad se utilizó mucho distribuyéndola por piezas, o sea, no llegó a emplearse como grupo. Empezamos a poner en acción a los BM-21.

—¿Qué influencia tuvo el BM-21 en la guerra de Angola?

—Enorme. Era el lanzacohetes más moderno que teníamos en esa época.

—¿Cuándo entraron en acción?

—La batería que se envío inicialmente participó en el combate de Quifangondo, donde se rechazaron las fuerzas zairenses que avanzaban sobre Luanda. Mobuto llegó a decir que le habían tirado con armas de exterminio en masa, por la efectividad y poder que tiene este armamento.

En el libro de John Stockell, oficial de caso de la CIA, titulado En busca de enemigos se habla de la enorme influencia que tuvieron los Organos Stalin —así define esa arma—, en la derrota del enemigo. Realmente tienen un efecto devastador.

—¿Cuáles son los combates en Angola que nunca olvidará?

—Hay tantos momentos inolvidables... El combate en la loma Congreso en que peleamos fuertemente para evitar que el enemigo tomara esa altura dominante.

El puesto de observación y el personal que lo defendía se metían en una cueva y nosotros realizábamos el fuego sobre la misma con los BM-21, barriendo las fuerzas enemigas que intentaban tomarla.

Los sudafricanos contaban con el cañón 140 mm que tenía más alcance que las piezas que poseíamos en ese momento. Hasta que pudimos silenciarlos.

—¿Cómo lo hicieron?

—Con astucia. Nos dedicamos a cazar la Batería de Cañones 140 sudafricana, que tanto daño nos hacía en la dirección Quibala-Morro de Tongo. Para lograr descubrir su posición la cuqueamos, como decíamos en aquel entonces, mediante el fuego de las piezas de 85 mm del grupo de Gilfredo Cardona.

—¿De qué manera la cuquearon?

—Me trepé en un helicóptero Aluette. Ascendimos unos 1000 metros en la región de Catofe. Estando en tales menesteres, me comunica el hoy general de división Romárico Sotomayor que una avioneta enemiga viajaba hacia nosotros. Le ordeno al piloto darnos a la fuga. Bajamos entre los morros y nos tiramos en un descampado cerca de Quivala.

Horas después, al informarle a Polo sobre el percance, me preguntó: ¿Por qué no le tiraste con las Maliutka del helicóptero? Quedé algo atónito y le respondí que tal tipo de combate no lo dominaba.

Al día siguiente, mordido en mi amor propio, volví a la faena, esta vez subiendo al monte Quilala, de más de 150 metros de altura. Los 140 mm comenzaron a disparar sobre el señuelo.

—¿En qué consistía?

—En una pieza de BM-21 colocada cerca del borde delantero nuestro, la cual realizó el fuego y se retiró.

— ¿Qué hicieron los sudafricanos?

—Empezaron a disparar empecinadamente sobre la posición abandonada de la pieza BM-21.

—¿Ustedes qué decidieron?

—Determinamos los datos sobre la posición enemiga ubicada al máximo de nuestro alcance y tiramos la salva que cubrió el blanco totalmente, luego por declaración de un prisionero sudafricano y al avanzar hacia el Tongo, pudimos comprobar el destrozo causado a aquellos que tanto nos habían dañado.

En otra ocasión estábamos bajando en dirección sur, en el río Nia. Por la altitud del terreno, el BM-21 alcanzaba un poco más de los 20 400 metros.

Aún así, no teníamos el alcance suficiente para batir una emboscada que estaba haciéndonos mucho daño. Pusimos los proyectiles a calentarse al sol en el medio de la carretera de Santa Comba, para que cogieran temperatura y aumentaran su alcance.

Sotomayor me preguntó desde el Puesto de Mando por qué no abría fuego. Desde el puesto de observación le respondí: "estamos calentando el brazo".

—Finalmente, ¿qué ocurrió?

—El experimento dio resultado. El arma llegó al objetivo y aniquilamos la emboscada. Esa es la astucia que a veces, había que emplear.

López Miera (a la derecha) acompañando al Ministro de las FAR durante una visita a una de las industrias que perfeccionan el armamento.

—¿De dónde sacó esa astucia?

—De la experiencia, de las maniobras, del estudio del arma. En Angola tuvimos que aplicar métodos nuevos que incluso, no se estudiaron en Cuba. La situación era difícil y había que recurrir a otros sistemas para ubicar las piezas.

Esta arma tenía sus especificidades y sus cualidades muy buenas y en ese sentido, logramos una excelente sinfónica de combate; experiencia que me sirvió de mucho en Etiopía.

—¿En qué año fue a Etiopía?

—En 1977.

—¿Qué carácter tuvo esa guerra?

—Los combates en Etiopía tuvieron un carácter mucho más regular, lo que nos permitió poner en práctica los conocimientos adquiridos en Angola.

Las condiciones eran difíciles, sin embargo, interesantes, porque en Etiopía lo que llevábamos fueron solamente especialistas. En mi grupo habían 72. El resto, 204, eran etíopes. Aparte de las dificultades que el idioma generaba.

Tuvimos que preparar a esa gente prácticamente unos días antes de entrar en combate y sin hacer maniobra alguna. Sin embargo, tuvimos éxito, precisamente por la preparación que ya teníamos.

Hacíamos fuego de grupo con el total de las piezas. Empleábamos más eficazmente los BM-21 apoyando a los tanques y en cooperación con la aviación.

Aquí nuestra aviación tuvo un papel relevante, se produjo un combate más combinado. Siempre estuve apoyando a la Tercera Brigada que era la de Polo. Allí se emplearon brigadas de tanques con su composición completa. Además, cuando combatimos en Harewa, era en condiciones de desierto, incluso, con espejismos.

En esta ocasión los tanquistas decían que iban llegando al Mar Rojo por el espejismo que veían. Era una situación muy compleja.

—¿Su momento más difícil?

—Hubo muchos momentos difíciles. Por ejemplo, cuando recibí la orden de apoyar la 69 Brigada de Infantería etíope, que avanzaba por Golocha en dirección a Jijiga.

Después de varios días de combate y grandes bajas de la parte somala y etíope, logramos en la noche del 28 de febrero de 1978, ocupar en la cima de Welabu (China Hasen) una pequeña porción de terreno.

El compañero Gilberto Bárzaga con una Compañía de Tanques y yo con un BRDM-2 (blindado), llegamos de noche a la posición ocupada por la diezmada brigada etíope.

Los intensos aguaceros y la resultante crecida de los ríos, nos impedían toda retirada de aquel lugar de gran importancia, tanto para nosotros como para el enemigo, pues daba acceso a Jijiga.

Los somalos comenzaron a avanzar con tanques para recuperarlo.

Bárzaga con su serenidad habitual, desplegó sus tanques y nosotros abrimos fuego con los BM-21. Esa noche se decidió el posterior avance por esa dirección.

Al día siguiente, la 3ra. Brigada de Tanques de Polo y el resto de las fuerzas cubanas subían por aquel angosto desfiladero y ampliaban la base de partida para la ofensiva sobre Jijiga.

Todavía habría que rechazar para ello los contraataques enemigos de los días 1ro. y 3 de marzo, en los cuales se destacarían los artilleros de tanques de Polo y los del Batallón de BMP del teniente coronel Julio Vargas con sus cohetes antitanques dirigidos.

Allí mismo, en la subida hasta ocupar esta posición, hubo momentos difíciles, de ataque empecinado de los somalos.

Anteriormente, en la loma de La Mosca al sur de Harare, recuerdo el rechazo de la ofensiva que se inició el día 22 de febrero.

Fue una situación muy tensa. Ese día apoyamos al batallón de tanques del hoy general de brigada Miguel Lorente. Nuestros combatientes brindaron una heroica resistencia.

—¿Qué no ha olvidado?

—Jamás olvidaré la imagen de Lorente combatiendo de noche con su tanque y disparando con su ametralladora antiaérea, con un techo de trazadora del enemigo sobre su cabeza y la dotación con la ametralladora coaxial y el cañón 100 mm al máximo de su cadencia.

Los etíopes luchando al extremo de su capacidad, ya con poco parque luego de un combate que llevó más de ocho horas y nosotros protegiéndonos a un costado del tanque, determinando los datos con una linterna, para tirar con los BM-21, sobre un enemigo a pocos metros que se empecinaba en ocupar aquella altura de la que dependía la estabilidad de la defensa de Harare. Luego, la voz de fuego y la espera, que parecía interminable, del vuelo de los cohetes hasta el blanco, que por la dispersión de esta arma y la cercanía del enemigo pudimos ser nosotros... y finalmente, el impacto de metralla y muerte, que unido al fuego de los tanques cubanos y de la infantería etíope, hacen desistir a los somalos, al menos por esa noche.

Al día siguiente, y en los sucesivos, se reanudaría el combate hasta que el día dos, comenzamos la ofensiva en dirección a Fedis y luego la enorme tristeza por conocer la pérdida del capitán Sigfredo Corona, jefe de la batería y su puesto de observación, donde quedaría como único sobreviviente el compañero Orlando Cardoso Villavicencio, hoy Héroe de la República de Cuba y el Jefe de la Batería etíope.

Posteriormente, en el ataque a Harewa fui apoyando al batallón de tanques de José Aroche Pacheco y cuando salimos a la retaguardia de la defensa enemiga, estos habían ocupado posiciones, abriendo fuego sobre los tanques.

Yo, que iba fuera del tanque K, al igual que unos paracomandos etíopes, me encontré bajo el fuego de la infantería y morteros que batían el costado derecho del tanque.

—¿Cómo se salvó?

—Por suerte "soy de izquierda", me tiré junto con los etíopes y ellos siguieron detrás del tanque.

De repente me encontré en la situación tragicómica de estar en medio del desierto, bajo el fuego enemigo, sin comunicaciones con mi gente, ya que mi jeep, se había alejado del tanque, y teniendo como único armamento mi pistola Makarov y la cartera con la tabla de datos situación ridícula para un artillero.

La tropa de mi puesto de observación bajo la dirección del capitán Salvador Sánchez Masa, jefe de comunicaciones del grupo BM-21, se parapetó detrás de un hormiguero etíope —especie de panal de tierra y arena con aproximadamente 1,5 m de altura y 90 cm de ancho—, como único baluarte para protegerse del fuego de ametralladoras y morteros que realizaban los somalos desde una cercana trinchera.

A duras penas llegué al lugar y me encontré la trinchera más irregular, oportuna y bendita, que haya ocupado en mi vida, cavada a mano, con los cascos, los platos de campaña, etc., gracias a la bondad de la arena y la determinación y pujanza del instinto de conservación de mis hombres.

Desde entonces, respeto a ese laborioso insecto y evito matarlos bajo cualquier descuidada pisada.

Al terminar la misión en Etiopía permanecí un tiempo en La Habana y luego me mandaron para la Unión Soviética.

—¿A qué?

—A pasar un curso de dos años en la Academia Militar del Estado Mayor General de las Fuerzas Armadas de la URSS, General K. E. Voroshilov.

—¿Qué tal le fue?

—Bien. Adquirí importantes conocimientos. Pero tuve que hacer un esfuerzo extraordinario.

Desde expresar en el idioma de Gorki la decisión y el planteamiento de misiones a las tropas de una agrupación de ejército, hasta comentar la obra Materialismo y Empiriocritisismo de V.I. Lenin, la cual traducida al español, resulta compleja.

Todo eso "espachurrando" el idioma del famoso escritor y basándonos más en la osadía y audacia del cubano, que en el conocimiento del idioma ruso y el dominio de los temas tratados.En la Voroshilov fue mi despedida de la artillería.

—¿Cómo sucedió?

—Raúl Castro acudió a imponerle a la Academia la Orden Antonio Maceo. Estabamos formados.

Al verme me dijo: "Olvídate de la artillería, que cuando regreses vas como jefe de Tropas Generales". Ya en Cuba me hicieron jefe de una Brigada de Tanques. Con los trabajos que pasé para dominar mi nueva especialidad se pudiera escribir un libro. En esas condiciones vuelvo en 1987 a Angola.

—¿Con qué rango?

—Jefe de Operaciones de la Misión.

—¿Qué acontecimientos importantes se produjeron?

—Al golpear fuertemente los sudafricanos en Cuito Cuanavale, el jefe de la Misión me mandó con un grupo de combatientes cubanos en un helicóptero y me dijo:

"Bueno, resiste 72 horas, para que nos informes de la situación". Arranqué para Cuito.

Me pusieron al frente de la 30 Brigada de Tanques. El Comandante en Jefe dio la orden de trasladarla para el sur cuando decidió crear la agrupación, para presionar a los sudafricanos en la dirección de Cahama-T’Chipa. En cinco jornadas recorrimos cerca de 800 km.

—¿Cómo se enteró que le habían conferido el titulo de Héroe de la República de Cuba?

—Me citaron al MINFAR. No me dijeron el motivo. Estando allí un compañero de Cuadros orientó que los que iban a recibir el titulo Héroe de la República de Cuba se colocaran delante.

Yo me quedé donde estaba. Igual hicieron Pancho González y Harry Villegas. Entonces, el compañero, dice: "Ustedes, pasen adelante". ¡Imagínate que clase de sorpresa nos llevamos los tres!

Así es como me enteré. Nos llevaron para el Palacio de la Revolución y el Comandante en Jefe nos impuso la Orden. Tambien varios compañeros fueron ascendidos a generales.

Esto no se puede ver como un mérito propio, ni por la actuación personal. Es el reconocimiento a todos los que hicieron posible la victoria. Un artillero o un jefe de tropas sin su colectivo no es nadie.

9:01 AM  
Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

Don't pay any attention to Jose Marti.I know who he is...Worthless piece of Mierda, who tried to comprehend cuban politics but he obviously can't grasp well. All his knowledge come from copy and paste articles.. He doesn't know Jack-shit about Cuban Politics. I advice Jose Marti to collect stamps or rent a movie because you are obviously not knowledgeable or articulate enough to be posting facts about cuba.Ignore this wannabe sitepest...Remember is not worth paying attention to a Parasite.

10:32 AM  
Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

And for the Anonymous guy...My definition of "ANONYMOUS" Means he doesn't have big cojones to show his name, coward people usually take this paths of anonymousness.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous J. Marti said...

Talibani,

You are wrong.!!! Yes, I'm daddy.
and I write checks to my son who is attending an American University. He pays a lot of tuition as international student, and I guess I am subsidizing some needy student too(Cross-subsidy) and I happy to do so.

Copy and paste...haha.

You read literally many parts of the messages and infer that I like “El Padrino”. I don’t like Coppola. I prefer Godard, Bergman , Buñuel… out of your leagues.


As I read is some post: " whithout Fidel, you are Puerto Ricans", which is not bad at all.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Javier said...

Somebody send me this funny stuff...enjoy talibani

Desde chicos nos explicaron que para saber si un perro es joven o viejo había que multiplicar su edad biológica por 7. Con los países, entonces, hay que dividir su edad por 14 para saber su correspondencia humana. ¿Confuso? En este artículo pongo algunos ejemplos reveladores: Argentina nació en 1816. Tiene ciento ochenta y nueve años. Si lo dividimos por 14, Argentina tiene trece años y cuatro meses. O sea, está en la edad del pavo. Argentina es rebelde, es pajera, no tiene memoria, contesta sin pensar y está llena de acné. Por eso le dicen el granero del mundo.
Casi todos los países de América Latina tienen la misma edad y, como pasa siempre en esos casos, hay pandillas. La pandilla del Mercosur son cuatro adolescentes que tienen un conjunto de rock. Ensayan en un garage, hacen mucho ruido y jamás sacaron un disco. Venezuela, que ya tiene tetitas, está a punto de unirse para hacer los coros. En realidad quiere coger con Brasil, que tiene catorce y la poronga grande. Son chicos; un día van a crecer.

México también es adolescente, pero con ascendente indio. Por eso se ríe poco y no fuma porro inofensivo como el resto de sus amiguitos. Fuma peyote y se junta con Estados Unidos, que es un retrasado mental de 17 que se dedica a matar a chicos hambrientos de seis añitos en otros continentes. En el otro extremo, por ejemplo, está la China milenaria: si dividimos sus 1.200 años entre 14, nos da una señora de ochenta y cinco, conservadora, con olor a pis de gato, que se la pasa comiendo arroz porque no tiene para comprarse la dentadura postiza. Tiene un nieto de ocho, Taiwán, que le hace la vida imposible. Está divorciada hace rato de Japón, que es un viejo cascarrabias al que todavía se le para la chota. Japón se juntó con Filipinas, que es jovencita, es boluda y siempre está dispuesta a cualquier aberración a cambio de dinero.

Después están los países que acaban de cumplir la mayoría de edad y salen a pasear en el BMW del padre por ejemplo Australia y Canadá. Estos son típicos países que crecieron al amparo de papá Inglaterra y de mamá Francia, con una educación estricta y concheta, y ahora se hacen los locos.
Australia es una pendeja de 18 años y dos meses que hace topless y coge con Sudáfrica; Canadá es un chico gay emancipado que en cualquier momento adopta al bebé Groenlandia y forman una de estas familias alternativas que están de moda.

Francia es una separada de 36 años, más puta que las gallinas, pero muy respetada en el ámbito profesional. Es amante esporádica de Alemania, un camionero rico que está casado con Austria. Austria sabe que es cornuda, pero no le importa. Francia tiene un hijo, Mónaco, que tiene seis años y va camino de ser puto o bailarín, o las dos cosas. Italia es viuda desde hace mucho tiempo. Vive cuidando a San Marino y a Vaticano, dos hijos católicos idénticos a los mellizos de los Flanders. Italia estuvo casada en segundas nupcias con Alemania (duraron poco: tuvieron a Suiza) pero ahora no quiere saber nada con los hombres. A Italia le gustaría ser una mujer como Bélgica, abogada, independiente, que usa pantalón y habla de tú a tú de política con los hombres. (Bélgica también fantasea a veces con saber preparar spaghettis.) España es la mujer más linda de Europa (posiblemente Francia le haga sombra, pero pierde en espontaneidad por usar tanto perfume). España anda mucho en tetas y va casi siempre borracha.

Generalmente se deja coger por Inglaterra y después hace la denuncia. España tiene hijos por todas partes (casi todos de trece años) que viven lejos. Los quiere mucho, pero le molesta que los hijos, cuando tienen hambre, pasen alguna temporada en su casa y le abran la heladera.
Otro que tiene hijos desperdigados es Inglaterra. Gran Bretaña sale en barco a la noche, se culea pendejas y a los nueve meses aparece una isla nueva en alguna parte del mundo. Pero no se desentiende: en general las islas viven con la madre, pero Inglaterra les da de comer. Escocia e Irlanda, los hermanos de Inglaterra que viven en el piso de arriba, se pasan la vida borrachos, y ni siquiera saben jugar al fútbol. Son la vergüenza de la familia.
Suecia y Noruega son dos lesbianas de 39, casi 40, que están buenas de cuerpo a pesar de la edad y no le dan bola a nadie. Cogen y laburan: son licenciadas en algo. A veces hacen trío con Holanda (cuando necesitan porro), y a veces le histeriquean a Finlandia, que es un tipo de 30 años medio andrógino que vive solo en un ático sin amueblar, y
se la pasa hablando por el móvil con Corea.

Corea (la del sur) vive pendiente de su hermana esquizoide. Son mellizas, pero la del norte tomó líquido amniótico cuando salió del útero y quedó estúpida. Se pasó la infancia usando pistolas y ahora, que vive sola, es capaz de cualquier cosa. Estados Unidos, el retrasadito de 17, la vigila mucho, no por miedo, sino porque quiere sus pistolas.

Israel es un intelectual de sesenta y dos años que tuvo una vida de mierda. Hace unos años, el camionero Alemania (que iba por la ruta mientras Austria le tiraba el fideo) no vio que pasaba Israel y se lo llevó por delante. Desde ese día, Israel se puso como loco. Ahora, en vez de leer libros, se la pasa en la terraza tirándole cascotes a Palestina, que es una chica que está lavando la ropa en la casa de al lado.

Irán e Irak eran dos primos de 16 que robaban motos y vendían los repuestos, hasta que un día le robaron un repuesto a la motoneta de Estados Unidos, y se les acabó el negocio. Ahora se están comiendo los mocos.

El mundo estaba bien así, es decir, como estaba. Hasta que un día Rusia se juntó (sin casarse) con la Perestroika y tuvieron docena y media de hijos. Todos raros, algunos mogólicos, otros esquizofrénicos. Hace una semana, y gracias a un despelote con tiros y muertos, los habitantes serios del mundo descubrimos que hay un país que se llama Kabardino-Balkaria. Un país con bandera, presidente, himno, flora, fauna, ¡y hasta gente!

A mí me da un poco de miedo que nos aparezcan países de corta edad, así, de repente. Que nos enteremos de costado, y que incluso tengamos que poner cara de que ya sabíamos, para no quedar como ignorantes. ¿Por qué siguen naciendo países nuevos -me pregunto yo- si los que hay todavía no funcionan?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Hey Manuel, I also noted that in Granma, and actually wrote about it.
http://bolicarreras.blogspot.com/2006/08/cuba-castro-corpse-watch-sunday.html
Something going on behind the scenes.

Key questions, does Raul have the complete loyalty of the Military? Are there pro-democracy and pro-economic reform factions within party loyalists? Many younger reformers were purged in the 90's and just recently. In the USSR, in Russia, the Baltics, Armenia, Georgia, many of the reformers - as well as the most vicious counter-reformers- came from within the party. Bottom line many of the civilian bureaucrats don't want to lose their jobs, and might be willing to go along with a "Chinese" or "Pinochet" model of transition, where the party and military keep control, while moving to a market-oriented economy. The military, as opposed to the party, does have more flexibility. They win if the Chinese/Pinochet approach is taken because of their presence in key industries, but in a move to democratization and market reform, if they preserve their character they also win, as the Chilean and Russian military's did in the transition to civilian rule. This is going to get interesting.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

woops...here is the link, sorry.
Here

3:59 PM  
Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

Sorry, Jose Marti "YOU ARE OUT OUR LEAGUE" copy and paste boy witn no knowledge of logic or wisdom. Is evident you don't have a master's degree in political science.Hahahaha maybe a GED?? that's questionable... Sorry, Jose but you can't even pronounce my collection of political literature.One good advice jose try to cultivate yourself educationally.Is not about what you read is about how well you grasp it.

5:22 PM  
Blogger estradapalma said...

I won't stand for island Cubans being evicted from their homes and all the Cubans I've spoken to here feel the same. We're not going to land with pistols to evict. We're coming with nailguns to fix up! My family had land there for hundreds of years that people live on now. They will be my new neighbors and they'll need my help.

Tomas Estrada-Palma

6:16 PM  
Anonymous J. Marti said...

GED? No, I hold just a PhD from an Ivy-League School.
I posted something in the board under Atoq nickname. Maybe that is the reason why you think I copy..Moron!
To be honest with you, I do not spend much time writing crap. I spend writing articles in scientific peer-review journals but to kill time and cool off my brain I waste my time reading crap…I love American blogs. My favorite ones are those in which a lot of uninformed rednecks and Cuban-Americans write. It is very ease to drive him crazy and you are one of those. TALIBAN!!!

6:16 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

I am sorry that you were obliged to pay for your son's education abroad because the universities in your country are deficient (no doubt because they are staffed by people like yourself). Still, you were wise to do so, since you wouldn't want him to be saddled with your own intellectual blindspots. I do not understand, however, why you blame the U.S. for not underwriting your son's education. Did he ever apply for a scholarship directly from an American university? The former Taliban minister of (dis)information is currently attending Harvard on a full-tuition scholarship. With a 40-billion endowment, Harvard can afford some "exotics." (Don't you just love liberals?).

6:24 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

"As I read in some post: 'without Fidel, [Cubans] are Puerto Ricans', which is not bad at all." — Anonymous

As the great Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodríguez de Tió wrote:

"Cuba and Puerto Rico share
A bird's wings and cannot part:
Flowers and bullets they bear
Upon the very same heart."

The translation is mine.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Boli-nica:

Why hasn't Raul been seen in public for the last 7 days?

I see Raul sitting by his brother's deathbed round the clock, waiting, waiting, waiting for Fidel to give him the word, or, rather, the number of his Swiss bank account.

Or is this vigil because Raul fears that at the last moment Fidel might select some other successor?

In that eventuality, there is surely a pillow ready at hand.

Suetonius should be alive to chronicle this scene.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

When Chernenko was lying sick and the Kremlin was voting on his successor, someone supposedly pulled the plug because 2 key Gorbachev oppenents were out of Moscow.

I personally think that there are military people and possibly some aparatchiks that are trying to bypass Raul, and the top leaders.

9:34 PM  
Blogger !Ya No Mas! said...

PhD, Ivy League you are killin me... Comedy Central Folks..Jose Marti have a PhD in what? You are a funny idiot...Keep actin like you have a brain.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

boli-nica:

I don't know if you have ever visited partisan blogs, such as the "Democratic Underground," where the moderators are unreconstructed Stalinists who take the greatest pleasure in deleting all criticisms of Castro and, when this becomes too wearisome, banning the Castro critics themselves.

This has been a very difficult week for the "Democratic Underground." There are doubtless many in Cuba who are shedding crocodile tears over Castro's fate; these stupid people, however, immured in their own intellectual ghetto, accept as articles of faith even the most outrageous claims made on Castro's behalf. Their gullibility is as boundless as their gall is inexhaustible, and they direct their ire at Castro's victim, in particular, Cuban exiles.

Its regulars are the detritus of American society, devoid of any human sympathy whatever. They go on curious tangents such as hailing Castro as a champion of gay liberation; warning of the imminent resurrection of Batista; claiming that the CANF is anti-semitic (as Castro clearly is not); and continually attacking the "gusanos" (their political vocabulary is stuck in the 60s).

These cretinous hordes have lately spent many a sleepless night fretting about the fate of their hero, and it does me infinite good to see them in a state of shocked denial.

The death of Castro will leave them only the little guy with the pompadeur to swoon over, and he is hardly a suitable subtitute for their diabolical Santa Claus. Kim Il Jung can be one of the elves, but hardly the bearded one. (Soon, incidentally, we will see the hairs from Castro's beard being auctioned on eBay).

Now, in their hour of trial, is the time to make them face their demons, so to speak.

I invite you and all knowledgeable anti-Castro bloggers to invade their underground and flush them out.

You, too, Anonymous should go there. You will find friends as intellectually-bankrupt and morally-deficient as yourself who will nurture your anti-Cubanism and make you feel that your opinions actually count for something in this world.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Manuel, my whole thing right now is just curiosity trying to figure out what the hell is going on behind the scenes in Cuba. Find that more interesting than discussing with neo-Stalinist creeps.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

boli-nica:

I am sure that your powers of deduction are as good as mine, and that we have already considered and weighed every possible scenario in the unfolding events in Cuba. Nothing will be known concretely to us about the Cuban situation till the regime deems to tell the truth, and we both know that it cannot and will not.

What we can do, however, is combat those whose solution for every crisis in Cuba is to lift the trade embargo, and, in effect, remove whatever leverage we may have in Cuba.

You are right, of course, they are leftists creeps at the Democratic Underground, but they are the largest blog on the net associated with the Democratic Party (nearly 100,000 registered users and 20 million comments).

If the next administration is Democrat, headed by Hillary Clinton or whomever, all efforts will be aimed at appeasing the Castro or post-Castro regime for the sole purpose of avoiding another election-tilting influx of Cubans. Keeping Cubans out of the U.S. is more important to Democrats than securing freedom for all Cubans.

So, yes, I do believe the leftist creeps must be combatted on their own ground. They are currently rejoicing over the probable defeat of Senator Joe Liebermann, who has been the most consistent Democratic critic of Castro in the U.S. Senate.

Bush, of course, has acted shamefully in reaffirming and making his own Clinton's "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy. But there are worse than Bush out there, and one such could be occuping the presidency at this most crucial moment in Cuban history.

A war of ideas on all fronts is what we need most, boli-nica.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Actually since the Soviet Union ceased to exist, I am not a big fan of the trade embargo or of restrictions of travel.
As a pressure mechanism, maybe it was useful, but when the Europeans started pouring in, it kind of became counterproductive.

IMO it would have been much better had the Miami exile community started to actively engage Cubans on the island, in much of the same way that many Eastern European expats and exiles started returning to their old countries, as soon as there was an opening. Exile communities were vital to successes in places like Armenia, Poland, and Lithuania. Saw it personally work in Nicaragua.
At the very least it would have built some connections. And we probably would know a lot more than what we know now.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Actually, boli-nica, Cuban-Americans send $7 billion in cash remittances to the island every years so that their relations can keep their tenuous hold on life. This has surely kept "a lot of connections alive."

12:18 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

sending remittances and going there once every three years is a hell of a lot different than people actually going back and forth, on regular flights and by boat.

After the cease fire in Nicaragua, a lot of anti-Sandinista exiles returned to the country, or simply flew back and forth from Miami, Honduras or Costa Rica to participate in politics or run businesses.


In Cuba there is little or no civil society, there are doubtlessly many Cuban-Americans with the know-how to go down there and start discreetly working on that goal.

5:21 PM  
Blogger roberto e said...

Sorry Andres, Would you be telling South Amercans to be low key if Pinochet,or the Argie Generals dressed as NY Doormen were still in Power terrorizing their peoples.

As for Mr Paya and all the other brave dissidents in Cuba I applaud and respect them but ,
Cubans can not wait another 47 years by giving another bloody tyrant a China like opportunity to make more money on the backs of the Cuban people as you and others in our community propose.
I expect nothing good from the Spaniards with their Hotel investments in Cuba built by Cuban slave labor and financed by Spanish Tax payer guaranteed loans to Hotel Groups and their partners the Castros' and the various Drug Cartels..
As for the USA one can only hope and pray that they get it right

Seems strange to me that an educated man like you does not know that Zapatero
as soon as he arrived in power called for all Euro embassies in Cuba to refuse receiving any of the valiant dissidents in their embassies in Havana..including Paya....... Thanks to the Czechs and Poles.. Zapatero eventually failed..The PLO flag draped scarf he was recently photographed wearing suits him to a Tee.

As for Miami Cubans charging to Cuba to take back crumbling properties... .from the poor souls in Cuba
......These poor souls are nobody's fools ,.......

Sometime ago a Spanish language TV reporter from UNIVISION interviewed a man outside his crumbling house in Havana.
In response to the reporter who questioned him about Miami exiles returning
he replied that he doubts that anybody wants his crumbling house and if they do
they must be in worse shape than he is . He then pointed to his house and thanked Fidel and his revolution for the wonderful shape its in ........

Many of us look forward to what happened in Poland, East Germany Hungary and the Czech Republic happening in Cuba.
I know that deep in your heart you do as well

You can keep the Chinese and Russian models for your academic treatise with other Latin American intellectuals constantly blaming the USA for everything instead of seeing that the fault is within themselves and their stagnant and corrupt tax- evading elites political,academic and private.

Sincerely ,

7:28 PM  
Blogger roberto e said...

Sorry Andres, Would you be telling South Amercans to be low key if Pinochet,or the Argie Generals dressed as NY Doormen were still in Power terrorizing their peoples.

As for Mr Paya and all the other brave dissidents in Cuba I applaud and respect them but ,
Cubans can not wait another 47 years by giving another bloody tyrant a China like opportunity to make more money on the backs of the Cuban people as you and others in our community propose.
I expect nothing good from the Spaniards with their Hotel investments in Cuba built by Cuban slave labor and financed by Spanish Tax payer guaranteed loans to Hotel Groups and their partners the Castros' and the various Drug Cartels..
As for the USA one can only hope and pray that they get it right

Seems strange to me that an educated man like you does not know that Zapatero
as soon as he arrived in power called for all Euro embassies in Cuba to refuse receiving any of the valiant dissidents in their embassies in Havana..including Paya....... Thanks to the Czechs and Poles.. Zapatero eventually failed..The PLO flag draped scarf he was recently photographed wearing suits him to a Tee.

As for Miami Cubans charging to Cuba to take back crumbling properties... .from the poor souls in Cuba
......These poor souls are nobody's fools ,.......

Sometime ago a Spanish language TV reporter from UNIVISION interviewed a man outside his crumbling house in Havana.
In response to the reporter who questioned him about Miami exiles returning
he replied that he doubts that anybody wants his crumbling house and if they do
they must be in worse shape than he is . He then pointed to his house and thanked Fidel and his revolution for the wonderful shape its in ........

Many of us look forward to what happened in Poland, East Germany Hungary and the Czech Republic happening in Cuba.
I know that deep in your heart you do as well

You can keep the Chinese and Russian models for your academic treatise with other Latin American intellectuals constantly blaming the USA for everything instead of seeing that the fault is within themselves and their stagnant and corrupt tax- evading elites political,academic and private.

Sincerely ,

7:29 PM  
Blogger Suarez said...

¡Qué divertido es este blog! Propongo un nuevo nombre: "Los gusanos tienen voz". ¿Què les parece?

2:34 PM  
Blogger Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Mejor ser "gusano" que un castrado castrista.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Oye Diego y que tal te suena:

"Zurdos Con Voces: Nostalgia y Estupideces"

12:28 PM  
Blogger sin_patria_pero_sin_amo said...

Oppenheimer considers the comments of Diaz-Balart and Bush to be 'hostile words.'

We must treat Castro with kid gloves and do nothing to offend him because...?

...Castro will enslave the Cuban people, while flooding the world press with false claims of 'free' education and 'free' health care?

...Castro will try to pass down the communist sceptre to his brother like some medieval absolute monarch?

...Castro will put journalists, librarians and teachers in prison for the unforgivable crime owning laptops?

Oh, wait!

He's done that already, no doubt with the help of the many 'tontos útiles' that populate the so-called mainstream media.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with stopping the destructive "dialogue" that takes place every day that adds nothing to reconciliation or getting Cuba out of it's crisis.

Most of the people who live in Cuba (70%) were born after the Castro brothers came into power and listing the failures of a system that has been in place for 47 years really falls on deaf ears. Besides, the Chinese help Fidel to block most if not all of the transmission from Radio Marti.


There are many accomplishments that can be sited after 1959.

Does anybody want to give back any Gold, Silver or Bronze metals attained in the Olympics?

By the same token, nobody can bring back the relatives of those people who have been shot, tortured, and psychologically abused by this regime or by Batista's government, for that matter.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IN FIDEL'S OWN WORDS: Speech delivered on July 26, 1970 talking about the failure of the "zafra de los diez millones"

"We are going to begin, in the first place, by pointing out the responsibility which all of us, and I in particular, have for these problems. I am in no way trying to pin the blame on anyone not in the revolutionary leadership and myself."

"Unfortunately, this self-criticism cannot be accompanied by other logical solutions. It would be better, but it would be hypocritical on our part.
I believe that we, the leaders of the Revolution, have cost the people too much in the process of learning. And, unfortunately, our problem--not when it is a case of the Revolution; the people can replace us whenever they wish--right now if you so desire!"......

"But of course, politics is not a game."

"WE MUST MAKE CHANGES, BECAUSE, LOGICALLY, THERE ARE COMRADES WHO HAVE WORN THEMSELVES OUT; THEY HAVE RUN OUT OF ENERGY AND ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO HANDLE THE RESPONSIBILITY THEY HAVE ON THEIR SHOULDERS.

"The Party's raw material are the workers, and the management's raw material is just that--material. It could be iron or any other material"

"Our Comrade President also worked in the canefields many times, despite health problems. This is not to say that our Comrade President's helath is not good, but many times he went to the canefields while suffering from backache...Perhaps the hardest thing for us about can cutting is not the physical work but having to do it while thinking about so many problems."

"In the past, all a citizen expected from the state was that it build post offices or a telephone stations. He did not dream of the state's solving his housing problem or any of his other problems. And he is right."

"This is really a collective mentality, a socialistic mentality. Today everything is expected from the administrative apparatyus, and especially from the political apparatus that represents it. Today it is not possible to depend on individual effor and means as was the case in the past."

"But what is socialism? Socialism is the possibility of utilizing natural and human resources in an optimum way for the benefit of the people..."

" If the 10-million-ton sugar harvest was a problem of brawn, what we now have now have fefore us is a problem of brains."

"And if the general level of our men still isn't very high and if the people of today are different from the people of 20 or 30 years hence as far as knowledge goes, this this people of today must make the use of intelligence, a sense of responsibiity and concern for problems a vital affair."



"If we don't make the best use of our resources it isn't because anyone keeps us from doing so--it is because we don't know how to use our resources optimally..."

4:30 PM  
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