Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ortega-Lazo: A choreographed tribute to a choreographed shrine

According to western media around 4 thousands Cuban gathered along Havana Bay to pray tribute to the Virgin of Charity of Cobre (Virgen de La Caridad del Cobre), a catholic religious icon who has travel all along Cuba for the past 16 months in the first religious display permitted, since the 1950s, by a government that for too long considered the Catholic Church its ideological enemy.
Is it today?
Is this the Church who in 1998 in Santiago de Cuba, in front of thousands and in the voice of Archbishop Pedro Meurice, with the presence of the Pope John Paul II let’s not forget that, challenged the Castro’s clan presence in power and the communist ideology as the centre of Cuba’s society?
Let’s not forget what Monsignor Pedro Meurice said then:
"I introduce as well, an increasing number of Cubans who have confused the nation with a party, the nation with the historical process that we have experienced in recent decades and culture with and ideology. They are Cubans who reject all at once without discern. They feel uprooted rejecting what it is from here and overvalue the foreigner. Some consider this as one of the deepest causes of internal and external exile."
So, has been all of that vanished from Cuba society today?
Are there no more an ideology, “a group of people who reject all at once without discern”, a number of Cubans who have confused the nation with a party?
Then, why paramilitary hordes attack a group of pacific women who only hold a flower in their hands? Why dissidents are jail in punishment cells and beaten only for practicing what it is a recognised human right recognised by United Nations and subscribed by Cuba’s government?
Then, why right now Ivonne Malleza Galano had been transferred to a high security prison in Cuba?
Does Cardinal Ortega know those facts or he is acting a role in this satirical courtship with Cuba’s authorities?
With the presence of the “Vice President” Esteban Lazo and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in the Mass the show has its stakes high. The last name is the person who, in an event in his ministry, has declared to Cuba’s propaganda system agents they have to assault the social networks in order to vanish any clue of dissent with the party who had claimed the ownership of the nation.
Remember Monsignor Pedro Meurice’s words now?
What it is pretty sad is the presence in that choreographed show of Thomas Wenski, archbishop of Miami, the center of the nearly 2 million-strong Cuban exile community that fled the island after the 1959 coup that put Fidel Castro in power.
Wenksi said to reporters: "I've been able to come here today as a way of expressing the fact that the Cuban people wherever they are, are still one people".
Yes, Monsignor Wenski, we are still one people, even when Cuba’s authorities still don’t recognise that and hold discriminatory laws against us, do you remember that?
What it had happened yesterday was the first state-run cynical show to get ready for the big one coming next year: the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba.
Twisting what I say in the post about North Korea: this is the rehearsal for another choreographed show... next year

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kim Jong Il: a death choreographed

The picture could tell the whole story. On your left you can see the original picture that North Korea sent though the TV signals to the world. But... for some strange reasons (not too strange if you know what I mean), the North Korean authorities switched fast the image with a little touch of Adobe Photoshop to the one on the right.
OK, I admit it: not too fast to the sharp eye of The Telegraph to notice that, for some “not too strange” reasons, the group of 6 men on the left were “removed” with some virtual pixels of snow for some North Korean cyber-artist.
If the choreography went so far to remove such a silly details, what’s really going on in that strange country?
How far the authorities of North Korea had gone to sell a picture perfect about the mourning of a dictator who sank millions of people in hunger, meanwhile his generals, family members and himself were pretty well served?
Today, whatsoever, Cuba’s state media had ignored such a goofy detail and had rendered the so-expected tribute to a dictator who kept the North Korean on his hard grip.
Will be that the rehearsal for another choreographed death in the Caribbean soon?
Do you know to whom I am talking about, right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

North Korea and Cuba: The reinvention of the Matryoshkas

Someone could think there are not too many resemblances between the small Caribbean island and the secretive and mercurial regime in the Korean peninsula. But they would be wrong, for many reasons too.
Today the whole world was stunned by the news coming from North Korea: Kim Jong Il died... last Saturday. Meanwhile the western media tries to dig into the secretive death of one of the craziest regimes in the planet; Cuba just woke up with a little statement from the official Communist Party newspaper giving not a hint of what was going on through the minds, and thoughts, of the best friend of that Asian regime in the Western Hemisphere.
The point is: it is not good news for the Castro’s monarchy in this very moment.
Beyond all that, what it came to my mind was that little Russian nesting dolls named Matryoshkas. It is crazy, right?
Not too much. Just think how curious are those sets of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. You lift one and you get the next one ready to play: maybe in a different color, a different shape or small detail in some place... but the same.
They are the same. Just let me dig a bit more in it, if you don't mind.
The Kim Jong saga’s regime had requested to all their citizens to call them “Dear Leader” and all of them had to wear a little button with his face on their shirts. 
Well, I remember when I was in Cuba, a few years ago, the Secretary of the Communist Youth in my last job sent a letter to Fidel Castro - in one of those moments when the organization of young communists has the “initiative" to write a letter of support for something - and he had to change its header “Commander in Chief” as the communists call Castro with “Dear Fidel”, or a one more appropriate "Dear Commander in Chief".
Pure coincidence? I don’t think so!!!
In both, North Korea and Cuba, the education system is more an indoctrination camp rather than a school system. Their citizens are subjects rather than regular people with civil and human rights. There aren’t any democratic elections, any freedom of opinion and expression, any freedom to hold their own opinions without any interference, and absolutely any freedom of peaceful assembly and association in both: Cuba and North Korea.
In both countries the change of power should be sought as a change of a name within a family dictatorship: Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and now Kim Il Un in North Korea; in Cuba: Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and many are speculating Mariela Castro Espin or some of the Castro’s family clan members could be the next person in charge after the historic figures in the island.
For sure, nobody knows. The truth whatsoever is both countries are more like those little wooden figurines in Russian tradition, where you pull one and you can see the other one underneath: with a slightly different name, some superficial differences but, in essence, the same.
So, here we have it. The reinvention of the Matryoshkas in North Korea could be the prelude of what could happen in Cuba very soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Petition To Jack Dorsey (founder and CEO of Twitter) and the Cuban-American Congresspersons

What follows it is a formal PETITION to Jack Dorsey and the Congresspersons US House of Representatives by a group of Cuban exiles, daily users of Twitter, in order to investigate the improper use of Twitter by the Cuban Government. I reproduce literally the English translation of the Petition.

To sign it, please click here => GO PETITION 

Dear Sir Jack Dorsey

Dear Sirs Cuban-American Congressmen

The undersigned, wish to draw attention of public opinion on an issue that we consider serious: IMPROPER USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS, SPECIFICALLY THE TWITTER, by the Castro government.

We denounce the Cuban government, which severely restricted the use of Twitter to private citizens on the island, is introducing its own employees en masse in the same, with the avowed purpose of controlling (1), following instructions to do a very precise issued by the Communist Party of Cuba (2) in what have been called the #cyberwar, and that basically takes place in #Cuba hashtag 

We denounce these profiles exhibit suspicious behavior such as: use of a common avatar (3) to conduct media campaigns, same time input and output of the network, stubborn defense and seamless of the repressive policies of the Castro government, and tacit recognition of the existence of leadership and discipline among them (4), in summarizing the behavior of an organized gang, rather than random individuals. (5)

We denounce that within this group of profiles Castro highlights some real names, clearly identifiable as journalists, Communist Party officials, government officials, agents and spies uncovered Cuban security for themselves or members of the budgeted units "Youth Club" ( 6) especially designed for this purpose of agitation and propaganda apparatus and supervised by the Communist Party of Cuba in order to "tame the wild horse of the Internet" as once said Telecommunications Minister Ramiro Valdes Cuba.

Denounce the use of clearly fascist hashtags like #hoynosalen (7) and other campaigns of incitement to extreme physical violence, which occur when the Ladies in White and dissidents are demonstrating is occurring or an act of repudiation in Cuba, prompting in networks is what is happening there in the street.

For all this ..

We call on the Cuban-American congressmen to investigate whether due to the age of laws relating to the embargo against the dictatorship, created when there were still social networks such as we know, has created a legal vacuum, which is being exploited by tyranny and if these activities mentioned betray the spirit of those laws, by allowing a non-democratic government and included in the list of state sponsors of terrorism becomes an American company, a weapon and ram their propaganda and repression.

We also call on the Cuban-American congressmen to investigate

-If these Cuban officials used Twitter to impersonate the true will of the Cuban people, to justify the repression of peaceful dissent in Cuba, make apology in the same cheering and applauding the beatings, arrests and rallies of repudiation that suffers, and to lie, defame, slander and even a serious threat to life (8) and safety of those who oppose the military dictatorship of the Castro brothers.

-If these Cuban government officials encourage criminal acts in third countries, serving ay echo hassle considered terrorist groups such as ETA, the FARC and Hezbollah and undemocratic governments like Syria, Iran and Venezuela

-If these government officials use a social network Cuban American to defame this country, its form of government and its leaders, while encouraging rebellion in it, and propaganda to the 5 Cuban spies, convicted and confessed , prisoners in U.S. jails.

-If the current demonization of Cuban dissidents, but it is a score before the world public opinion, exploring and creating at the same time the ground for more harshly punish, if necessary, to those people.

Furthermore we asked the Twitter company based in American territory to investigate:

-If you are broadcasting mass messages from Cuba, not from private homes, but from government offices prepared for this purpose, which would be tested if they had all the same IP, and if this is a clear violation of the rules of use of a social network designed for and by individuals

If these state-Castro offices are responsible for the massive creation of clones and controls, accounts that make mass spamming of the regime media flooding the network with their slogans, verbal abuse and apology for the violation of basic human rights the island and constantly harassing other users.

-If these accounts are being manipulated by various people throughout the day, from different sites and if they are making improper use of tools such as Tweetdeck, Twitterfeed on, etc. to keep broadcasting 24 hours a day, as bots

-If these accounts are violating the rules of Twitter in terms of violence and threats: You may not post or send direct threats of violence or specific other. Illegal use: You may not use the Twitter service for any illegal purpose or promoting illegal activities. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and any acceptable content. Accounts in series (9): You may not create multiple accounts for purposes harmful or abusive. Bulk account creation will result in suspension of all accounts. or Spam (10): You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of sending spam.sobre especially if updates are mostly links and not personal updates

To this we must add that the dissent uses the network because it is the only avenue available to citizens because the government in Cuba has a monopoly on the press so they would not be applicable to all measures depriving the island's IP network access, but just want to take measures with the Castro government officials who make a bad use of these new technologies

Therefore we urge both the owners of Twitter as the Cuban-American congressmen and other competent authorities to take notice of this matter and put an end to these abuses as soon as possible, using existing legal instruments or creating new ones if necessary given the seriousness of the facts

Attached to the blog created for this purpose the evidence we have gathered to justify our claims

We appreciate your cooperation

Note: Please visit the original PETITION's website to get the whole information. Here => GO PETITION !!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Freedom Fireworks for Cuba

These are the lights of the Freedom Fireworks threw as seen from Havana City, Cuba by the fleet of Cuban exiles to commemorate the International Day of the Human Rights and the flagrant violations by Castro's ancient regime.

This is the Beginning of the End to Castro's Era.

Cubans from outside and inside will be together soon without anymore barriers and discrimination!

Cuba will be to all Cubans... again !!!!

Note: Pictures taken by Orlando Luis Pardo from Havana and sent via Twitter through his account @OLPL
         Video taken from YOUTUBE Uploaded by user => elenavmolina on December 9, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cuba: Vespers of the International Day of Human Rights

I known, Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic Church. According to the Wikipedia: “The word comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα and the Latin vesper, meaning "evening”. And about obscurity and secrecy, very attached to evening activities in autocracies as in religion, it is what I am going to talk.
Two days before December 9, Cuban authorities have begun to “get ready” for the International Day of Human Rights. From the island, dissident voices, independent journalists and some blogger are reporting a massive deployment of security forces around the already controlled houses of dissidents, and specially the group of women known as Ladies in White. Human Rights activists, independent journalists and dissidents as a whole have been advised by the political police (well known as G2 in Cuba) not to go out to the streets and celebrate the day.
This is how Cuba’s government accomplishes what they already had signed under Unite Nations headquarters: worthless scraps of paper, that’s what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights means for the old and the “new” Castro’s regime. Those are the reforms under Raul Castro.
Today, Twitter and all the social networks have been reporting detentions, movement of security forces around the homes of prominent dissidents like Sara Marta, kidnapped not too far by Cuban police and around the houses of the Ladies in White members.
At the same time, one of the women who participated in a protest in the Central Park in Havana last week (watch the video above) is still missing. Ivonne Malleza Galano has been kidnapped also by Raul Castro’s security forces. Her whereabouts are unknown and Cuban activists and dissidents are concern about her.
In the video, you could also watch how people shout to the police when they spread tear gases and violently detained the three women. This is how Cuba accomplishes its international compromises under United Nation and how Cubans live their everyday life.
Something you should not pass over it: the faces of fear of the men watching how the police are beating and spreading gases on the women.
It is amazing, but in Cuba women are stepping up in their resolution to bring down Castro’s walls of repression.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Letter to Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO and creator.

Mr Mark Zuckerberg:
I am a Cuban programmer living in Toronto, Canada. I also am fluent in three languages: my native Spanish (because I am a Cuban born), English and French. Last year in an interview you gave to Wired Magazine you said, about your mission with facebook you said:
“For me and my colleagues, the most important thing is that we create an open information flow for people”
You also listed, in the same interview, your personal interests as "openness, making things that help people connect and share what's important to them, revolutions, information flow, and minimalism".
I guess you defined very well your own interests as well as mine. I’m glad you did in that way. As you see, we share a lot of personal similarities, at least in our personal life. Of course, I hadn’t achieved the huge professional success you had done though.
I am also a Human Rights activist through internet social networks like Twitter and, of course, Facebook. In both I have a similar account (@jmarloren in Twitter and the same nick in your brand Facebook) in which I spread my messages against tyrannies like Iran, North Korea and my own country, Cuba. I am also a furious oppositor to Hugo Chavez and his network of allies, who only are harvesting with opportunism and corruption the possibilities that Democracy had gave them in all those countries.
Last week, in Havana, Cuba, the regime headed by Fidel Castro’s brother, Raul Castro, had created a brand of your own Facebook. I guess even without your knowledge. Castro’s copycat facebook hasn’t been created to bring “an open information flow for people” as you said in the interview I already mentioned above.
 Cuban copycat Facebook even had been brought to light in a meeting with Cuban official bloggers, those who only spread Castro’s point of view and usually use your Facebook and Twitter to spread lies, offenses and to persecute all our independent voices in Cuba. They even didn’t dare to invite our small but very active group of independent bloggers in Cuba, among them the most prominent Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.
And by the way, let me not forget this, it was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez, which shows not only who really is acting behind those names in Facebook, Twitter and internet, but also how political biases had influenced the very beginning of that “social network” internationally branded by yourself and now stolen by Castro's regime.
Some Cubans, like me, and many others have been trying to reach you throughout your Twitter account to advice about this topic I guess you should know. But also to let you know that the creation of that copycat Facebook in Cuba is only for Cuban agents: the only ones who have internet connection in Cuba, and their poisoned bias purposes.
Neither Cubans living abroad nor our own citizens in Cuba could open an account in that copycat Facebook. You can guess then who are the ones who are managing and supervising that “network” ( a network of fears?), and who are the ones who are opening accounts there.
The fact they tried to give, originally, the Cuban “social network” the same HTTP sub domain FACEBOOK branded by you showed that it is a violation of the international law, acknowledged by them when they changed as fast they noticed our tweets through Twitter to you, as the ones I sent you today and I quote here:
@ceoMarkZuck Mark Zuckerberg, did u know #Cuba government copycat your own brand #facebook ?
@ceoMarkZuck And you know #Cuba gov is using that copycat #facebook as an segregationist tool against Cubans, their own ppl?
@ceoMarkZuck You said in Wired Magazine: "The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open." #Cuba #facebook
@ceoMarkZuck Well, #Cuba gov is making its own copycat #facebook to make Cuba more isolated from the world: a virtual apartheid
@ceoMarkZuck I hope I will hear your own opinion about that !!!
Originally they use this HTTP removed immediately: with is a flagrant violation of International Laws. Now, they had acknowledged this HTTP address for the faked Facebook: 
I hope I will hear you about this very sensible matter to us, and I truly believe to yourself too. After all, nobody wants to be related with tyrannies and tyrants.

Juan Martin Lorenzo