When a person writes anything, they have to have a point of view, or their work will be boring. It is said that a POV is a factor of a person's perspective. So what is mine?
Cuba is very, very confusing - almost nothing is as it seems.
While the people are about the poorest in the Americas, they do manage to survive, in a fashion. They have apparently excellent health and apparently can be well educated.
But again, it is not as it seems.
First off, the Castros lie. I write about this in Mojito!. So anything you read from there is untrue; appatchiks will always write that whatever the Great Chief or his brother say or do is terrific and any civilian that is interviewed knows that they can only tell things that reflect positively on the revolution.
The health care success is at least partly due to the paucity of money to buy drugs or even rum or for that matter food that makes us obese. Local residents have a little access to health care, but even aspirin is unavailable without a special source of cash. But it is for sale to foreigners.
Young kids only get 1/2 day of school a day and a lot of this is devoted to Young Pioneers propaganda training. A person's family or personal history decides whether they can get a post-secondary education. Children of dissidents have no chance of seeing their kids becoming more highly paid anythings. Lucky people in the right families might get the opportunity to see other parts of the world by having their services sold in USD, while they are paid in pesos plus benefits like a better place to live or a coupon to allow them to buy a car, if they can somehow come up with the money.
So, compared to many of the so called intelligentsia here in Toronto, I would be seen as an anti-Castroite, or is that anti-Castroista. I suppose I wear that badge with a degree of honour, but from a lot of knowledge.
In Mojito we introduce the idea of the RC Church intervening in Cuba. Our speculation might not be too far off...
From Andrea Spinelli
The Cuban government led by Raul Castro has officially accepted and the release of 52 political dissidents imprisoned in the spring of 2003, the "Black Spring": The announcement came during a meeting yesterday between President Castro in Havana The Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Ambassador Miguel Angel Moratinos and Cardinal Jaime Ortega.
The Iberian ambassador, shortly before returning home, was received by Castro and the Cuban Minister, after days of negotiations were ongoing strategic Cuba-Spain-Vatican to persuade the Castro regime to operate to meet the pressing demands the international community.
According to a statement from the local Catholic Church, issued on the sidelines of the meeting, five of the dissidents will be released already in the day today, Thursday, July 8 and for the other 47 times will be about three to four months. Local authorities have stressed that the prisoners "could leave the island" to Spain. Despite the silence of the Cuban authorities, some time there had been negotiations between Madrid and Havana, Cuba mediated by the Catholic Church, for the release of political dissidents, yesterday's announcement represents another step forward after the meeting May 20 between Ortega and Castro, which led to the liberation of Ariel Sigler and transfer of prisoners to prisons closer to places of residence. It should be noted that the international community is sensitized by the hunger strike in prison, still in place, the dissident Guillermo Farinas: more than four months Farinas has chosen fasting to demand the release of 25 anti-Castro dissidents. Hospitalized in Santa Clara, almost desperate conditions, Farinas said that the strike will not stop until they will be contacted by the Cuban authorities. The reaction of domestic opponents to the regime, before the news of the release of 52 political prisoners, has been rather tepid: according to the spokesman of the Damas de Blanco, Laura Pollan, "If we are forced deportations certainly can not speak of progress on the human rights front, "he said, referring to the" possibility "for free, announced by the regime to flee to Spain. It was also underlined by the blogger Yoani Sanchez, the "liberation" is actually a "deportation" means the forced emigration, deportation, exile is standard practice to dispose of non-conformity with the procedure. "If you do not like, go away" is repeated to the Cubans, since childhood. It also complained that still do not know the names of the five detainees to be released today. The fear is that the Castro regime are being made to create a real airline ad hoc, with weekly flights, to "invite" expatriation who disagrees with the administration of Raul Castro. Spain, France and Chile planned destinations. After this amnesty will remain about a hundred dissidents in Cuban jails. But the term "dissident" is not pleasing to the scheme: "criminal" or "mercenary Yankees are certainly more popular in the definition of those who feel their conscience dictates not align with the existing Castro in the Caribbean island. And this is why, legally speaking, that prevents their complete liberation
Brian Lloyd French
I am a great admirer of the strength and talents of Cuban people and will share some of my experiences here.