The Cuban Dissidents


Recently, I came across an extremely intriguing line of blogs. Here is the link: The authors are a bright group of people from Cuba, who write about the daily hardships Cubans experience. Thankfully, the blogs are translated to English(they write too advanced for my crude Spanish)

Two in particular grabbed my attention: Yoani Sanchez and Miriam Celaya. Both write well, and provide stinging commentary directed at Cuba’s Dictatorship(i.e. Raul Castro and his brother, Fidel). You can find out more about what life is really like on the island just 90 miles south of Florida.

I found, despite all the rhetoric thrown across the sea by both U.S. and Cuba’s leadership, that the saddest part is the Cuban people are those that suffer. An explanation at how these bloggers actually get to blog demonstrates the need for Obama to step up change in how the U.S. approaches Cuba–i.e. lift the embargo and see what happens.

Cubans are not allowed to use the internet. Therefore, bloggers must assemble their own computers from parts on the black market. They write their articles, save it onto a flash drive, then attempt to enter tourist hotels, where there is internet access. Often times, the security at the hotels will not allow them to enter.

If they get inside a hotel, they e-mail their articles to friends outside of Cuba, and the friends subsequently post them to the whole wide world. Also, there are a remarkable amount of people translating the original spanish posts to English and many other languages.

The articles, especially those written by Miriam and Yoani, are often directly in opposition to Fidel and Raul. In other words, they don’t hide their contempt and desire for wholesale change. Miriam and Yoani want freedom, something that is NOT currently available to Cuba’s citizens. These brave souls are dissidents, similar to the Vaclav Havel’s of Eastern Europe. Although these particlar bloggers have not been sent to jail, like Havel in his day, they are doing essentially the same thing: peacefully, but vigorously, pushing for an end to dictatorial oppression. The advantage that the Cuban dissidents have over Vaclav Havel is the internet. The latter puts Cuba’s leaders in an difficult position. Yoani and Miriam have a direct voice to a huge audience, spanning most countries of the world. If Raul actually harmed them, the word would be out, and both Cubans and the world at large would know of their misdeeds. Therefore, their grip on power would be more precarious. Massive popular discontent is a quick way for a totalitarian state to be overturned.

In reading the dissidents’ blogs, I’ve seen several mentions of our President, Obama. The Cubans, it seems, are delighted by Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency. To them, it means Castro and co. can no longer use the U.S. as a scapegoat for the poor quality of life facing many Cubans. Obama, to them, does not fit well in the mold of racist, capitalist imperialism that Castro so often has said throughout the years. It makes me proud to hear that what we have done here(i voted for Obama) can create a hope in those that are constantly searching for. But simple hope is not enough.

The U.S. imposed embargo on Cuba has not achieved its goal–to get rid of the dictatorship. If anything, it has helped Castro prolong his long overdue exit from leadership. Fidel premised much of the 1959 revolution on hate for the U.S. Indeed, the U.S. exploited Cuba and its people. in 1959, the Cuban people had every right to dispose of the Batista regime. Fidel has succeeded in stopping U.S. exploitation, but has not helped its people in any material sense. Over the years, Fidel has constantly painted the U.S. and capitalism as the source of the world’s problems, and the U.S. embargo has only served as another tool for Castro to hold sway over many Cubans. If we lift the embargo, it is not certain that the dictatorship will vanish. What will happen, though, is that Castro and co. will no longer be able to use the embargo as an excuse. Furthermore, there will be a large infusion of U.S. dollars into the Cuban economy. Who knows what that can do, but one of the possibilities is that many people will see an improved standard of living. With that, many people may become more bold in their demands for change.

There are no guarantees that life will improve–from an economic standpoint–for many Cubans if the embargo is lifted. One only need to look at much of Latin America–they trade with the U.S. but huge swaths of the population live in severe poverty. Guaranteed, though, is the chance for an end to Castro and for the Cuban people to be liberated.


One Response to “The Cuban Dissidents”

  1. Daniel Perez Says:

    Apparently the Cuban Tyranny has deleted this blog site.

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