Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Comunismo. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Comunismo. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, enero 07, 2015

How communism turned Cuba into an island of hackers and DIY engineers

BY Jenny Marder  
Photos by Edel Rodriguez and Ernesto Oroza
A fan made from a boat propeller, an old washing machine motor and welded steel rods in El Gabriel, Cuba.  Photo by Edel Rodriguez
A fan made from a boat propeller, an old washing machine motor and welded steel
rods in El Gabriel, Cuba.
Just outside Havana, in the childhood bedroom of illustrator Edel Rodriguez, a washing machine engine welded to a boat propeller has become a makeshift fan. This kind of cobbled-together contraption is common in Cuba. So are stoves that run on diesel from trucks, satellite dishes made of garbage can lids and lunch trays, and taxi signs consisting of old fuel canisters.
A truck with a box and seats mounted on the chassis, in La Salud, Cuba. Photo by Edel Rodriguez
A truck with a box and seats mounted on the chassis, in La Salud, Cuba.
Cubans are masters of invention. They have to be. In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower slapped the first trade embargo on the country, and in 1961, just before leaving office, he broke off diplomatic relations. But it was after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the loss of oil imports that shortages escalated in severity. The country lost about 80 percent of its imports, and the economy shrank by 34 percent.
“The Cuban home became a laboratory for inventions and survival.”So Cubans learned to make do. When something breaks, they patch it up. When something doesn’t work, they fix it. And when something is altogether lost, they invent it. They grill meat on metal chairs. They seal the bottoms of cars, transforming them into boats. From the suffering of 30 years of isolation has sprung a generation of amateur engineers, inventors and welders.“A market started with people who can rig things up,” said Rodriguez, who was born and raised in the small Cuban farm town, El Gabriel. In 1980, at age 9, he fled to Miami with his family on the Mariel boatlift, and he now lives in New Jersey. “It’s what Cubans have been in the last 60 years – just really inventive with things.”
A washing machine motor is used to power a key copier. Photo by Ernesto Oroza
A washing machine motor is used to power a key copier.
Ernesto Oroza, a Cuban-born designer who now lives in Miami, said several factors played a role in the DIY phenomenon. A high percentage of Cubans had engineering degrees, thanks to a system of free education. Many became intimately familiar with the mechanics of the standardized socialist products found in most homes — the Soviet-designed Aurika washing machine, for example, and the Orbita fan. Plus, no one was untouched by the crisis.
“Musicians, medical doctors, workers, homemakers, athletes and architects all had to dedicate themselves to making their own things and meeting the emerging needs of the family,” Oroza wrote over email in Spanish. “The Cuban home became a laboratory for inventions and survival.”
Oroza, who has spent decades collecting, studying and writing about these objects, has a name for the phenomenon: “technological disobedience.” Cubans, he said, weren’t deterred by complexity or scale and they learned to disrespect the “authority” of objects. That meant rethinking their original purpose and life cycle.
With the warm weather in Cuba, people could do without washing machine dryers.  So they found other uses.  These motors powered fans, lawnmowers, shoe repair tools and key copiers.  They were used to chop vegetables and shred coconut. Photo by Ernesto Oroza
They were used to chop vegetables and shred coconut. 
People scoured the city for plastic objects and industrial discards and swiped garbage from city dumpsters, which they’d grind up and inject into molds to make toys, dishes, electrical switches and footwear. The magazine Popular Mechanics was a hot commodity on the island.

“Industrial products were tinkered with and examined by hand,” he said. “Cubans dissected the industrial culture, opening everything up, repairing and altering every type of object.”
Washing machine motors were especially sought after.
With the warm weather in Cuba, people could do without the dryers. So they found other uses. These motors powered fans, lawnmowers, shoe repair tools and key copiers.
They were used to chop vegetables and, below, to shred coconut.
With the warm weather in Cuba, people could do without washing machine
dryers. So they found other uses. These motors powered fans, lawnmowers,
shoe repair tools and key copiers. 
In 1992, The Cuban military issued a book called “Con Nuestros Propios Esfuerzos” (With Our Own Efforts) that detailed crowdsourced ideas on manipulating, repairing or reusing everyday objects. Among them was a recipe to turn grapefruit rind into a “steak” by marinating it with lemon juice, onion and garlic and frying it up on a pan.
With rations so scarce, so much of the average Cuban day is spent hunting for the basics, said Rodriguez, who has returned several times since he left to visit family in Cuba.
“You get up at 7 in the morning, and say, ‘Where is there bread? Where do you get milk? Do you know anyone who has this?’ There’s no food in the government stores. Everything has to be hustled by connection, by someone you know or farmers. And most of it can’t be had by legal means.”
Cars, buses and other transportation vehicles are also scarce, and many Cubans illegally convert bicycles into makeshift motorcycles called rikimbilis by attaching small motors. The bikes make a “deafening noise,” Oroza said, and riders seek alternative routes through cities to avoid traffic police. Large boxes welded to trucks become buses and the bottoms of old cars are sealed shut and turned into boats, used by defectors.
Parents also reinvent old plastic containers as toys like helicopters, cars and puppets.
The rikimbili, prohibited, but widely used in Cuba, is made of a bicycle with a motor attached. Photo by Ernesto Oroza
The rikimbili, prohibited, but widely used in Cuba, is made of a bicycle with a motor attached. 
“These are people that live with objects that are always disemboweled, the electronic guts exposed, while others keep things as if they were palimpsests, scraped clean of their prior functions,” Oroza said. “And both of these practices essentially lead to a dismantling of the object’s identity.”
See more photos of Cuban inventions here >>

martes, diciembre 23, 2014

A World Conspiracy

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet
There probably is not a more loaded word these days than “conspiracy.” So often I hear people who may believe something nefarious might be going on anxiously qualify their position by insisting they are not a “conspiracy theorist.” And I completely understand the sentiment. Let’s face it, there are a lot of crackpot theories going around on numerous issues these days. So much so, the word conspiracy evokes an almost Pavlovian reaction in many people.
But just what is a conspiracy? It’s simply the act of two or more people agreeing to commit an illegal or immoral act. Conspiracies happen all the time—both big and small. The trick is to determine if it really is a conspiracy or not. And often times, the bigger the conspiracy, the harder it is to prove.
One of the greatest conspiracies of all time, in my opinion, is communism itself. Oh, and that’s not just my opinion. Conspiracy is one of the essential parts of communism, as I hope to point out in this article. Once again, this is not just my opinion, it comes straight from the communists themselves.
In my own experience, quite a few people I have encountered really have no idea what communism is all about. They might know the history of communism, but they often times don’t understand or grasp the ideology behind it. And let’s face it, the mere mention of the word communism is enough to make some people look at their watch and say, “Well, I better get going now.” The reaction is similar to when one uses the word “conspiracy.”
Another reason I believe a number of people glaze over when the subject of communism is brought is up is due to the dangerously misguided belief communism was defeated when the Berlin Wall came down. But the fact of the matter is one out of every five people on earth still lives under an oppressive communist regime. The countries that are still communist are:
  • China
  • Laos
  • Cuba
  • Vietnam
  • North Korea
Of course, I would still consider the regime in Russia as communist. Furthermore, the above list only includes regimes openly identifying themselves as communist. Most of South America and Africa are ruled by leftist regimes who embrace some form of socialism. (Brazil just elected a former communist terrorist for president.) And the ideological foundation of the European Union has been called Eurocommunism. Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has described the EU as a “pale version of the Soviet Union.”
Communist regimes have killed more than 100 million people worldwide in the 20th Century alone. And I would venture to say, that is a conservative estimate. So how can one think communism does not still pose a grave and ominous threat to all of humanity? It seems one must suspend all logic and reason to come to such a conclusion. This is why I feel so strongly that it is of paramount importance freedom-loving people understand the ideology and political goals behind communism and its implementation.
Naturally, it is not easy to boil a massive subject like communism down to a nutshell. But I have been studying the subject matter for several years know, and I’m going to attempt to do just that—boil some things down to a nutshell.
Most communist leaders rarely invoke the term communism. Instead, they talk of socialism. Remember, the USSR stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Stalin almost always referred to communism as socialism, as have many other communist leaders.
Granted, there is a fair amount of debate between scholars and historians on how socialism and communism differ. But many of these perceived differences are merely academic. In practice, there is very little difference between socialism and communism. But there are some things worth mentioning concerning the differences between socialism and communism.
One of the more concise definitions on the differences between socialism and communism, that I have heard is “a communist is a socialist in a hurry.” Others have stated, “A communist is someone who is not afraid to pull the trigger.” Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) is quoted as saying, “Socialism is the road to communism.”
Of course, there would be no communism without Marxism. The economic, social and cultural theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels form the ideological foundation of communism, i.e. socialism. But Marx was a theoretician, not a practitioner of socialism, per se. It was Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who first put the theories of Marx & Engels into practice—referred to as Marxism-Leninism.
Interestingly, about ninety-percent of what Karl Marx wrote solely concerned economics, as evidenced by his seminal work Das Kapital—which coined the term “capitalism.” (From the best I can gather, the term capitalism was not used in the United States until the latter part of the 19th Century.) But it was Marx’s call for “revolutionary struggle,” as outlined in the Communist Manifesto (published in 1848), that so captured the imaginations of many radicals at the time—and to the present day.
The entire premise of the Communist Manifesto rests upon the notion of “class struggle.” This is immediately evident when one reads the introductory lines of the Manifesto:
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another…
The concept of oppressor-oppressed lies at the heart of Marxian socialism—us versus them. The oppressor-oppressed model is prevalent in today’s political landscape, as is the notion of “class struggle”—rich vs. poor (see 1% vs. 99%), the haves vs. the have nots, the capitalist vs. the worker, the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat, and so on. Most Americans have been subjected to class rhetoric all of their lives—lower-class, middle-class, upper-classblue collar vs. white collar, etc.
Some modern-day Marxists and their fellow travelers (sympathizers) have expanded upon the oppressor-oppressed dynamic. A good example would be the godfather of “community organizing,” Saul Alinsky. Alinsky added yet another division to the mix: “the have some, want mores.” So now we have the haves (rich) vs. the have some, want mores (middle-class) vs. the have nots (poor), according to Alinsky.
It is important to note, that in the eyes of a Marxian socialist, the middle-class and upper-class represent the “petty bourgeoisie,” as Dr. Carroll Quigly disparagingly refers to the them in his mammoth work Tragedy and Hope.
The middle and upper classes are the economic engine of the United States. But socialism-communism wishes to control the means of production and distribution. In order to control production, one must control the producer–meaning, the individual. Individualism must be wiped out in order to create a true socialistic system, whereby the state will provide the individual with all of their emotional, spiritual and physical needs.
If I were to boil the Communist Manifesto down to its essence, it would be the abolition of private property. And if I were to reduce Marxism down to just one word, it would be sameness. We all will think alike, earn alike, live alike, work alike, dress alike … there will be no flavor for our fare, only sameness … a gray, dreary sameness. And all of this is sold to “the masses“ with lovable slogans like “unity in diversity” and “equality and fairness” and “progress and change.” Sound familiar? Once again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
(Screencap credit: Yuri Maltsev)
There is another important point to consider regarding Marx’s theory of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” as outlined in the Communist Manifesto. Communism is a utopia. It does not exist. The theory is the state will eventually “wither away” to nothing. And this will bring in the long awaited “workers’ paradise.” But this is all to occur sometime in the distant future. Soviet defector Yuri Maltsev has explained these concepts in greater depth in some videos I’ve posted here at the blog (see here and here).
(Screencap credit: Yuri Maltsev)
But before the long hoped for communist utopia can be realized (where every whim and need will be realized for all the “workers”), nations must be wiped out. This is what is referred to as the “transitional stage.” Many scholars have commented that this part of the Manifesto is not very well thought out. It is analogous to a person who does not like their house, so they decide to burn it down with themselves still in it. It is almost a juvenile belief that from the ashes will arise some great, new utopia the embodies perfect fairness and equality. Joseph Stalin said the Communist Party must originally be destructive. – See more at: http://www.therightplanet.com/2014/12/a-world-conspiracy/#sthash.ESixsPSO.dpuf
(Screencap credit: Yuri Maltsev)
So, at this point, I would like to start breaking down how communism is organized and implemented. I am going to refer to the lessons and experiences of ex-communists. Two of the sources I will be drawing from are Dr. Bella V. Dodd (19o4 – 1969) and Mike Vanderboegh (who claims he was the one who first broke the Fast and Furious story). Both are ex-communists who turned vocal anti-communists.
Bella Dodd points out there are three terms that are important to differentiate concerning communism—meaning: the Communist Conspiracy (world conspiracy), the Communist Party and the Communist Movement. These are three different concepts, and each one must be dealt with differently.
The Communist Conspiracy
The communist conspiracy should really not have the word communist before it, for it is a conspiracy for world control, according to Dr. Bella Dodd.
What is it that the world conspiracy hopes to accomplish?
The world conspiracy compromises a small group of elites located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, London, Moscow, Hong Kong, etc. Dodd points out that they are a determined group who wish to control the resources of the world. They wish to control all of the world’s natural resources—oil, iron, steel, tin, uranium, timber, and the land itself. (Dodd mentions the late Freddie Fields of Vanderbilt Steel, a card-carrying communist.) In order to control all the natural resources of the world, one must control all the people of the world—all seven billion of them.
Dodd points out that this leads to a rather strange phenomenon—one that confuses many Americans, since they believe that those who would be interested in business and industry would stand staunchly against communism. But the world conspiracy is compromised of many different and disparate groups and individuals.
The world conspiracy operates under different labels at different times: communism, socialism, humanism, goodwill, global governance, internationalism, globalism, economic democracy, industrial democracy, social democracy, and so on—whatever it takes to move people to mass action.
Mike Vanderboegh, a former card-carrying communist, explains it is all just collectivism at the end of the day. Whether one wishes to call it nazism, communism, socialism, fascism, progressivism, liberalism, nativism, tribalism, racism—ism, ism, ism—everything is in service to the collective.
One of the main goals of communism is to divide the people. When people are busy fighting amongst themselves, they are unable to organize and form an effective opposition. This is where all the class struggle and oppressed-oppressor rhetoric comes into play. And, unfortunately, the tactic has proved wildly successful. So much so, that even communists themselves have been astonished at how effective the tactic of pitting one group against the other has proven to be.
The communist conspiracy has a secret and a public face. Communists are taught to lie; they are masters of the “language of the lie.” Shrouding their true intentions in lovable labels and slogans (semantic manipulation, as the KGB/FSB calls it) is what communists do best. Examples include phrases like “sustainability,” “economic justice,” “environmental justice,” “global citizenship,” “assault weapons,” “gun control,” “white privilege,” “diversity,” “climate change,” “agents of change,” “progress,” “progressive,” etc.
“If you’ve got the language up front, you’ve already won the debate … They suck you into their worldview,” says Mike Vanderboegh.
The party teaches to never use an outright lie. Instead, communists employ disinformation (Soviet term) to agitate honest grievances. In a similar vein, Saul Alinsky taught, “Rub raw the resentments of the people.”
Mike Vanderboegh explains, “They [the party] take a kernel of truth and wrap it in a lie … packaged so credulous people will pass it on to other credulous people to influence their behavior to go in a certain way.”
There were less than 20,000 Bolsheviks in Russia during the 1917 October revolution who managed to wrest hegemony and control over 200 million Russian citizens, adding credence to the adage that “the organized minority will beat out the unorganized mob every time.”
The communist conspiracy has many different channels of offerings, but it all works toward the same goal: world control.
The Communist Party
The original Communist Party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, the majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party—a group of revolutionaries led by Vladimir I. Lenin. (Bolshevik means “majority” in Russian.)
In 1919, the Communist International (Comintern for short), also known as the Third International, was initiated in Moscow. In the same year, the Communist Party USA was founded in the United States. The Comintern was an international communist organization whose goal was to fight “by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State.”
The Communist Party was established as a blueprint and framework for a future world government. Communist parties (sometimes referred to as the Labor Party or Socialist Labor Party) were established in every nation of the world. Communist parties established internationally were, in effect, skeletons for a future government, not a political party.
The party focuses on politics, economics, social issues—and is particularly interested in the educational systems, and in the cultural life of the people. The party concerns itself with the “morality of the people,” but only for the sake of expediency. The party makes it a point to be out front on any social ill or injustice. But strictly for the purpose of gaining control, and for the ear of the people.
Within the party, members are judged on their “ideological purity.” Mike Vanderboegh describes the levels of “purity” as follows:
“There are radishes, tomatoes and killer tomatoes. A radish (negative term) is a party member who is red on the outside but white on the inside. A tomato is a party member who is red through and through. But a killer tomato is a communist who is willing to pull the trigger.”
There really isn’t a lot of difference between a radical revolutionary and a religious zealot. (Note: I’m not disparaging religion, per se, but rather fanaticism.) A true revolutionary devotes themselves to the struggle much like a religious zealot devotes themselves to their religion. Marxian socialism is a religion in its own right—a faith, albeit one marked by fanatical, atheistic fervor. Nothing comes before the cause, i.e. “the struggle.” Nothing. The precepts of the Marxian faith are well spelled out in Cleon Skousen’s book The Naked Communist.
The Communist Movement
The purpose of the communist movement is to establish a social and ideological attitude that is pro-left. It comes to the people through very pleasing devices.
Communism in the U.S dates back to before and after the Civil War when Karl Marx visited the States. Marx lectured in New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. He even corresponded with the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The First International (First Comintern) was disbanded at the Philadelphia Conference in July 1876.
The Communist Movement on a worldwide basis does different things at different times. Communists will do everything they can to unleash confusion, chaos, depravity, perversion, conflict—parent vs. child, black vs. white, gay vs. straight, one religion vs. the other, man vs. woman, etc., etc.
Promising members within the Communist Party were often sent to Lenin’s Institute for Higher Learning, where they were taught such things as racial agitation, trade union building, every facet of Russian history (apparently the Russian communists are rather “patriotic,” cf. irony), small arms training and guerrilla tactics.
Inflaming minds on a racial and ethnic basis has proved to be one of the most effective tactics for the communists to divide people and create conflict. (Sound familiar?)
Gaining complete dominance over media, entertainment and educational systems (see Common Core) is of intense importance to the communists, for these institutions and power centers have proven to be the most effective way to divide the people and forward the party agenda.
Dr. Bella Dodd believed there weren’t but a dozen universities that deserved the name “university.” All the others were simply institutions of indoctrination, moving people in a direction the elites wanted them to go. The purpose of these indoctrination centers is to demoralize students, creating within them a feeling of alienation with everything and everyone around them, particularly with their biological families.
Communists strive to make people ashamed, dissatisfied and unhappy with their country, for they eschew the very notion of national sovereignty and patriotism, since communism employs “radical social change” to move the world toward a “classless, borderless” society. This is why communists often refer to themselves as “citizens of the world,” and not proud citizens of their respective countries. (By the way, Barack Obama considers himself a “citizen of the world.”)
While the press is willing to expose the horrific crimes of Adolf Hitler (and rightly so), they have steadfastly refused to report on the monstrous crimes committed by communist regimes, such as the former Soviet Union and Red China, where mass killings occurred on an industrial scale. The astonishing brutality and barbarism employed by communist regimes is unlike anything that has ever been seen in the history of humanity.
For example, according to Bella Dodd, in North Korea, a million men were transported to Inner Mongolia because the “Korean type” was not a “type” the communists wanted to procreate. The communists decided they were the ones who will decide which nation shall exist, and which “racial stock” should be promoted.
Dodd claims the same forces that moved Communist development also moved fascist development. Communism enthrones the proletariat, the common man. Fascism enthroned the state.
The communist movement is not one monolithic block, but operates under many labels, i.e. organizations. The communist theory of change revolves around creating conflict. This is born out of the theory of dialectical materialism that states all progress is brought about by conflict. They will often create an organization for the sole purpose of creating conflict. If there is no conflict, they engender conflict in order to move public opinion to the left, in the direction of communism. They will create a right in order have people oppose it so they will be pulled toward the left. This is the notion of “controlled opposition.” Vladimir Lenin once said, “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”
From my own research into the origins of communist ideology, I have run up against some rather astonishing and incredibly disturbing claims and allegations. There is a real “heart of darkness” that lies at the center of all this. I can’t fully explain it at this point. I just don’t have enough verifiable and concrete information. But I have been coming to the rather startling conclusion that is something quite sinister that seems to be above communism itself.
In Cleon Skousen’s book The Naked Capitalist (1970), which is a critique of Dr. Carroll Quigly’s book Tragedy and Hope, Chapter One includes a rather sobering quote from Dr. Bella Dodd. When I first read the quote, I about fell out of my chair, because it corroborates a lot of related research I have done over the years. But I just didn’t want to believe it was true. It just seemed too incredible … like a bunch of crackpot nonsense. But I’m not so sure now. So, I’ll leave the reader with this excerpt from Chapter One of Skousen’s book, and the reader can make up their own mind.
“I think the Communist conspiracy is merely a branch of a much bigger conspiracy!”
The above statement was made to this reviewer [Cleon Skousen] several years ago by Dr. Bella Dodd, a former member of the National Committee of the U.S. Communist Party.
Perhaps this is an appropriate introduction to a review of Dr. Carroll Quigley’s book,
Tragedy And Hope.
Dr. Dodd said she first became aware of some mysterious super-leadership right after World War II when the U.S. Communist Party had difficulty getting instructions from Moscow on several vital matters requiring immediate attention. The American Communist hierarchy was told that any time they had an emergency of this kind they should contact any one of three designated persons at the Waldorf Towers. Dr. Dodd noted that whenever the Party obtained instructions from any of these three men, Moscow always ratified them.
What puzzled Dr. Dodd was the fact that not one of these three contacts was a Russian. Nor were any of them Communists. In fact, all three were extremely wealthy American capitalists!
Dr. Dodd said, “I would certainly like to find out who is really running things.”

lunes, diciembre 22, 2014

Sarah Palin: Light a Candle for Cuban Freedom Fighters

On Monday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin urged Americans to light a candle and put it in their windows this Christmas eve to show solidarity with Cubans who are still fighting for their freedom and human rights.
Palin accused under President Barack Obama of emboldening the oppressive Castro regime with his announcement last week that the two countries will begin to ease its relations.
“I am so ashamed with what the Obama administration has done to Cuban people. I do not support it,” Palin, speaking in front of a lit candle, says in a video that will be seen on The Sarah Palin Channel. “This Christmas eve, I intend to light a candle and put it in my window to show my solidarity with every brave Cuban fighting for freedom and every political dissident languishing in Castro’s prisons.
“I encourage you to do the same. Let’s join together in this. Let’s show them that the light of freedom shall never be extinguished.”
Palin is taking a page out of President Ronald Reagan’s playbook. In 1981, Reagan addressed Americans and asked them to light a candle to support Polish freedom fighters against the oppressive Soviet Union.
After the Soviet Union declared martial law in Poland in 1981, former Polish Ambassador Romuald Spasowski defected and was granted asylum in the United States. In a meeting with Reagan, Spasowski asked if Reagan would light a candle and put it in his window for the people of Poland.
Reagan, Palin says, “did him one better” with a televised address in which Reagan urged every American to light a candle for the people of Poland so the millions of candles can give notice that the light of freedom won’t be extinguished.
“Once, earlier in this century, an evil influence threatened that the lights were going out all over the world. Let the light of millions of candles in American homes give notice that the light of freedom is not going to be extinguished,” Reagan told Americans then. “We are blessed with a freedom and abundance denied to so many. Let those candles remind us that these blessings bring with them a solid obligation, an obligation to the God who guides us, an obligation to the heritage of liberty and dignity handed down to us by our forefathers and an obligation to the children of the world, whose future will be shaped by the way we live our lives today.
“Christmas means so much because of one special child. But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future lies the true meaning of Christmas.”
Palin said Obama’s actions on Cuba reminded her of how Ronald Reagan dealt with communists. She referenced Stephen K. Bannon’s In The Face of Evil documentary, which Palin said was one of her “favorite documentaries about President Reagan.” It is clear that Obama has probably neither seen it nor learned its lessons.
Reagan, Palin says, rejected the notion that the Soviet Union was here to stay and Americans “had to get used to it” and pretend there was some type of moral equivalency.
Palin contrasted Reagan’s “moral clarity” during the Cold War against the Soviet Union with Obama’s recent appeasement on Cuba. She mentioned that Reagan knew that the Soviet Union’s economic model was “a total failure” but did not collapse only because the Soviets were able to manipulate Americans into propping it up with grain deals and technology exchanges. She blamed “naive diplomats” and “Wall Street greed” for combining to “prop up the most repressive regime in human history” that “would have crumbled so much sooner under the weight of its own incompetence if it were not for” the policies of appeasement.
Reagan, Palin notes, had the “moral clarity” to call the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and declare that his strategy for the Cold War was simply, “we win, they lose.”
When Reagan supported Lech Walesa and the shipyard workers in Poland who were demanding basic human rights and freedom, it was a pebble that would start an avalanche, Palin says. Reagan’s gestures were not “empty” and “symbolic” because he “gave assistance behind the scenes to the freedom fighters,” and that is how Reagan won the Cold War.
Palin urged viewers to contrast Reagan’s moral clarity with Obama’s decision to “spit in the face of every human rights activist in Cuba.” She said Obama’s decision to reverse U.S. policy toward Cuba “enriched their oppressors and sanctioned their abuse.” She said that “greedy crony capitalists are propping up a failing Communist regime” in Cuba, and Obama just gave the “Castro regime the hard currency and the economic boost to remain in power forever.”
Palin said it is “ludicrous” to think that Cubans will enjoy democracy and human rights because corporations can sell products there.
“Ask human rights activists in China how that’s working for them,” Palin said, noting that the Cuban government will pocket 92% of wages of their workers to empower the apparatus that controls them.
She ultimately accused Obama of giving “away all of our leverage to fight for human rights” and betraying “the people who are courageously putting their lives on the line fighting for freedom.” She even said Obama was “spitting in the face of every human rights activist on the globe” before asking Americans to light candles to support the Cuban freedom fighters that the Obama administration betrayed.

jueves, diciembre 11, 2014

Tito's Murder Squads in Germany

Robert Zagajski stands in a barren field on the outskirts of Munich and stares at the spot where his father's lifeless and beaten body was discovered in 1983. He was just 17 at the time of his father's murder, but the terror of that day still lingers. "This place symbolizes suffering for me," he confesses. As we witness in these opening moments from Tito's Murder Squads, the thrilling new documentary from directors Phillip Grull and Frank Hofmann, Robert's father Djuro was one of 30 victims in what is believed to be the longest series of unsolved murders in German history.
Much like the majority of the slain, Djuro was a Croat exile who stood in strong opposition to the socialist Yugoslavian regime, and sought sanctuary on German soil. There were many thousands of Yugoslavians just like Djuro, who were all anxious to take advantage of Germany's bustling economic promise, and flee the constrictions of their birth place beginning in the late 1960's. But for some, there was no escape, and their homeland followed them in the form of ruthless assassins sanctioned by the communist party and their leader Josip Broz Tito.
Tito's Murder Squads untangles this twisted tale with all the tension and intrigue of an international spy novel. The film tracks a complex investigation that has mystified and challenged German authorities for more than three decades. Their efforts are buoyed by the families of the victims, who struggle to find closure in their quest for justice.
That justice is hard fought, as investigators attempt to shed light on a large group of Yugoslavian spies who have long operated in shadow within Germany's borders. Uncovering reams of secret documents and featuring a series of chilling interviews with many of the key players on both sides of the story, the filmmakers remain vigilant in their pursuit to hold accountable both the members of the Yugoslavian secret service who signed the death warrants and the assassins who carried out these dirty deeds. It's a journey that continues to this day. But for people like Robert Zagajski , discovering the truth behind what was taken from him so long ago is well worth the wait.
They are among the longest unsolved murders in Germany: Up until the fall of the Berlin Wall, around 30 opponents of the Yugoslav regime were killed in the Federal Republic. Most of them were exiled Croats. The assassination orders came from Belgrade. For years, German investigators searched for the murderers and the people behind them. One of the masterminds was Josip Perkovic. German prosecutors believe the former high-level intelligence agent was responsible for the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic over 30 years ago. Now Perkovic has been indicted in Munich. Philipp Grüll and Frank Hofmann have been looking into this and many other cases. The result is a documentary as exciting as a thriller by John le Carré.

lunes, noviembre 10, 2014

Riccardo el hombre que derribo el Muro de Berlín

Cuando el gobierno de la Alemania comunista fijó una rueda de prensa para el 9 de noviembre de 1989, nadie esperaba que, tan solo cuatro horas después, multitudes de personas pasarían la frontera hacia el oeste de Berlín. Fue ese acto informativo el que precipitó la caída del Muro de Berlín, uno de los hitos del siglo XX con el que se logró la reunificación germana. Hoy, 25 años después, Google recuerda en su doodle esta efeméride. Berlín es actualmente una ciudad cosmopolita y muy distinta a aquella brutalmente partida en dos durante casi tres décadas.
La confusión histórica que precipitó la caída del Muro de Berlín tuvo dos protagonistas, el portavoz alemán Günter Schabowski, miembro del Politbüro de la RDA, y, sobre todo, el periodista Riccardo Ehrman, corresponsal de la agencia italiana Ansa.
Los prolegómenos de la trascendental rueda de prensa habría que buscarlos en la cada vez más creciente demanda de libertad y democracia en la RDA, que había llevado a miles de alemanes del este a huir a occidente a través de Hungría, Polonia y Checoslovaquia. A lo largo de septiembre y octubre se suceden manifestaciones en Leipzig y en otras localidades alemanas en las que los concentrados clamaban Wir sind das Volk! (¡Nosotros somos el pueblo!). Medio millón protestaron en la céntrica Alexander Platz de Berlín oriental el 4 de noviembre contra lo que calificaban un sistema opresor y sin perspectivas.
La presión sobre la RDA se hizo insostenible. Erich Honecker, líder de la Alemania comunista, renunció el 18 de octubre y, en un intento de calmar los ánimos, el gobierno comunista diseñó una nueva ley para dar permisos de viaje al exterior sin condiciones previas que, en principio, entraría en vigor el 10 de noviembre. Pero la supuesta solución terminó precipitando los hechos en cuestión de horas.
En medio de una rueda de prensa ya histórica, convocada por el gobierno comunista para explicar la nueva norma, Riccardo Ehrman, quiso indagar más y repreguntó cuándo sería efectiva la ley. Lo que siguió forma ya parte historia. Schabowski, contrariado, rebuscó en sus papeles sin encontrar la fecha correcta e improvisó: «De inmediato». «Creo que fui el único que realmente entendió en ese momento lo que ocurría», cuenta Ehrman, que hoy tiene 84 años. «Salí de inmediato y mandé un teletipo a la central en Roma diciendo: 'Cayó el Muro'. Mis colegas pensaron: 'Riccardo se volvió loco'».
Pero Erhman no estaba loco. La escena hizo que miles de personas se congregaran espontáneamente ante puestos fronterizos de Berlín. Antes de la medianoche, las autoridades no tuvieron más remedio que abrirles el paso. El Muro que había separado Berlín y el mundo durante casi tres décadas se había derrumbado gracias a un gran malentendido, cinco horas de vértigo y miles de personas sedientas de libertad. «Que se dieran al mismo tiempo todos los factores que llevaron a la caída del Muro fue un golpe de suerte increíble», resumió el director de la Fundación del Muro de Berlín, Axel Klausmeier, al comentar las circunstancias que llevaron al final del gran símbolo del mundo bipolar de la Guerra Fría.
Así se avanzó en una noche histórica
Tras la rueda de prensa todo se precipitó en una intensa jornada. El Muro de Berlín vivía sus última horas. Esta es la cronología:
19:04 horas: La agencia Dpa envía un teletipo urgente anunciando: «Los ciudadanos de la RDA pueden emigrar por todos los pasos fronterizos de forma directa y desde este momento».
20:00 horas: El informativo de la cadena pública ARD comienza con este titular: «La RDA abre sus fronteras». El Parlamento de la Alemania occidental interrumpe su sesión. En la RDA, el comité central del partido único SED termina una reunión sin percatarse de lo ocurrido en la rueda de prensa de Schabowski.
21:20 horas: Miles de personas que fueron saliendo a la calle ya desde la conferencia de Schabowski se reúnen ante el paso fronterizo de la calle Bornholmer. Sin órdenes claras y sorprendida por la situación, la guardia fronteriza permite a algunos pasar al oeste invalidando su pasaporte, una «expatriación» de facto. Los primeros berlineses del este cruzan el Muro y son recibidos en el oeste con lágrimas y abrazos.
21:34 horas: El presidente de Estados Unidos, George Bush, reacciona con prudencia a las noticias que llegan de Berlín. En una rueda de prensa se muestra «encantado», pero responde meditativo y cauto.
23:00 horas: Aumenta la presión en el cruce de la calle Bornholmer, donde miles de personas gritan: «¡Abajo el Muro!». Sin disparar un tiro, los oficiales del cruce abren las barreras y suspenden los controles. En los 45 minutos siguientes cruzan al oeste alrededor de 20.000 ciudadanos de la RDA.
23:50 horas: El canciller alemán, Helmut Kohl, ofrece una rueda de prensa durante su visita a Varsovia y anuncia que interrumpe su viaje a Polonia. Al día siguiente vuela a Berlín.
00:02 horas del 10 de novuiembre: El informe de situación de la policía de la RDA señala que los ocho pasos fronterizos de Berlín están abiertos.
Desde la 1:00: Miles de berlineses del este y el oeste se unen ante la emblemática Puerta de Brandeburgo y trepan al Muro. Otros bailan y celebran en las cercanías. La policía de los dos Berlines vuelve a cerrar el acceso hacia las 3:30 horas.
8:00 horas: La RDA comienza a emitir permisos o visados para los viajes al oeste. Hasta el 11 de noviembre a las 13:00 horas se entregan 2,7 millones de visados.
9:30 horas: El alcalde de Berlín, Walter Momper, pronuncia un discurso en Bonn, capital de la Alemania occidental, en el que resume la sensación que recorre todo el país: «Anoche el pueblo alemán fue el pueblo más feliz del mundo».
Continuar leyendo aqui >>  
Mas detalles sobre Riccardo Erhman aqui >>  

sábado, noviembre 08, 2014

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 25th Anniversary

In this Nov. 11, 1989, photo, East German border guards are seen through a gap in the Berlin wall after demonstrators pulled down a segment of it at Brandenburg gate. (LIONEL CIRONNEAU/Associated Press)
Documents show accident and contingency, anxiety in world capitals
East German crowds led the way, with help from Communist fumbles, self-fulfilling TV coverage, Hungarian reformers, Czechoslovak pressure, and Gorbachev's non-violence
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 490
Posted November 9, 2014
For more information contact:
Thomas Blanton and Svetlana Savranskaya - 202/994-7000, nsarchiv@gwu.edu

Washington, DC, November 9, 2014 The iconic fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago today shocked international leaders from Washington to Moscow, London to Warsaw, as East German crowds took advantage of Communist Party fumbles to break down the Cold War's most symbolic barrier, according to formerly secret documents from Soviet, German, U.S., Czechoslovak and Hungarian files posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
The historic events of the night of November 9, 1989 came about from accident and contingency, rather than conspiracy or strategy, according to the documents. Crowds of East Berliners, already conditioned by months of refugee flights to the West and weeks of peaceful mass protests in cities like Leipzig, seized on media reports of immediate changes in travel restrictions — based on a bumbled briefing by a Politburo member, Gunter Schabowski — and inundated the Wall's checkpoints demanding passage. Television coverage of the first crossing that yielded to the self-fulfilling media prophecy then created a multiplier effect and more crowds came, ultimately to dance on the Wall.
The documents show that the actual collapse of the Wall began with Hungarian Communist reformers who proposed in early 1989 to open their borders to the West, while seeking particularly West German foreign investment to solve Hungary's economic crisis. Hungarian Communist leaders checked in with Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in March 1989, letting him know they planned to take down the barbed wire; and Gorbachev — true to his "common European home" rhetoric — responded only that "we have a strict regime on our borders, but we are also becoming more open." (Document 1) The Hungarian decision sparked a stream and then a flood of East German refugees.

Abandoned East German Trabants
line the streets of Prague.
Gorbachev himself unintentionally gave a signal that the Wall could fall in his press conference on June 15, 1989 after a successful visit to West Germany, where in response to a question about the Wall, he said that "nothing [was] permanent under the Moon" and connected German rapprochement to the building of the common European home. In fact, his conversations with Kohl and other members of the West German government created a real breakthrough in Soviet-FRG relations, which would stand Kohl in good stead in the difficult reunification talks during the next year (Document 2). Gorbachev especially reinforced the theme of European unity in his speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg where he presented his vision of the common European home on July 7, 1989. After speaking about an essentially united Europe based on universal human values, it would be hard to argue in favor of its continued division.
By August 1989, the Hungarian-initiated refugee crisis had become so acute that the West German embassy in Budapest had to shut down, unable to handle the hundreds of East Germans camped out there for visas. On August 19, Hungarian reformers even hosted a "Pan-European picnic" near the Austrian border, after which some 300 East Germans high-tailed across the former Iron Curtain. The subsequent negotiations on August 25, 1989 between Hungarian Communist leaders with West German chancellor Helmut Kohl and foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher show the Hungarian calculation that only the deutschmark could save them, and by mid-September the Hungarians lifted all East-West controls (Document 3).

East German demonstrators take to the streets in Leipzig, October 9, 1989.
Other world leaders were not at all eager for the Wall to fall, notably the British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who told Gorbachev on September 23 to ignore those NATO communiqués about German unification, that even her buddy, U.S. president George H. W. Bush opposed that kind of change (she would be wrong, when the time came. See document 4). As Gorbachev later commented to his Politburo on November 3, the West did not want German unification, but it wanted to prevent it "with our hands, to push us against the FRG" so as to head off any future Soviet-German cooperation — but Gorbachev believed European integration was the ultimate solution to Soviet economic problems (Document 6).
Czechoslovakia was closer to East Germany than Hungary was, and after Hungary opened its gates, Prague quickly filled with East Germans willing to dump their Trabant cars in the streets for a chance to clamber over an embassy wall and flee to the West. By November 8, Prague had become so choked with East Germans that the hard-line Czechoslovak Communist Party's Central Committee made a demarche to East Berlin demanding they open their borders — a moment of pressure from fellow Communists that played a key role in the East German party's decision to announce revised travel regulations the next day (Document 7).
The draft regulations were full of temporizing language and largely intended to let off steam while kicking the emigrant problem down the road. East Germans would have to apply for visas, and the vast majority who lacked passports would have to wait even longer for those. But the presentation of the new regulations came at the very end of a botched press conference from 6 to 7 p.m. Berlin time on November 9 by SED Politburo member Gunter Schabowski, who did not know the back story, the hedges, the limitations meant by the drafters of the documents. Visibly rattled from the shouted questions about travel and the Wall, Schabowski read from his briefing papers the words "immediately, without delay" when asked about the timing of the changes that would allow any East German to emigrate (Document 9).
Television news and the wire services as well promptly announced the opening of the borders, and in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy reinforced by TV coverage, crowds of East Germans massed at the border crossings and ultimately persuaded the senior official at the largest inner-city checkpoint at Bornholmer Strasse to open the gates (a story told in fresh detail by Mary Elise Sarotte in her new book, The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall). Once Bornholmer opened, other crossings soon followed; and within hours, people were chipping off souvenir fragments from the concrete panels formerly surrounded by a "death strip" in which earlier Wall jumpers had died.
So unexpected was the Wall opening that Helmut Kohl himself was not even in the country. Instead, the West German chancellor had gone to Warsaw to meet the new Solidarity leaders of that country, and work out some long-standing Polish-German tensions. The transcript of Kohl's discussions with Lech Walesa show the Polish leader complaining that events in East Germany were simply moving too fast, and even predicting, presciently, that the Wall would fall in a week or two — at which point Kohl would have no time (or money) for poor Poland (Document 8).
In Washington, the George H. W. Bush White House greeted the fall of the Wall not with joy or triumphalism (that would come much later, when the President was running for re-election in 1992), but anxiety and even fear about instability. When questioned by reporters why he did not show more elation, President Bush replied, "I am not an emotional kind of guy." (Document 10)
Bush's caution and prudence were appreciated in Moscow, where Gorbachev's messages to Kohl centered on preventing chaos and reducing instability, keeping "others within limits that are adequate for the time being…." (Document 11)
But at Gorbachev's side, his foreign policy adviser Anatoly Chernyaev in private let loose with one of the very few high-level expressions of real joy about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Chernyaev's diary entry for November 10, 1989 (Document 12) contains the coda for the demise of the Iron Curtain, "the end of Yalta" and the Stalinist system, and a good thing, about time, in Chernyaev's remarkable view.

sábado, mayo 17, 2014

Los 70 años de 'Camino de Servidumbre'

Carlos Alberto Montaner
Hace exactamente 70 años el economista austriaco Friedrich Hayek publicó Camino de servidumbre. El libro, un best seller en su tiempo, conserva (casi) toda su vigencia en esta América Latina nuestra que no aprende de sus errores ni olvida sus peores comportamientos. Tres décadas después de publicar su obra más conocida, la academia sueca le otorgó el Premio Nobel de Economía en 1974.
¿Qué dijo Hayek en su famoso libro? Algo muy importante: que la planificación centralizada por el Estado va en contra de las libertades y del progreso. Nos empobrece espiritual y materialmente.
¿Por qué? En esencia, aunque no lo explicó Hayek de esa manera, porque la libertad es el ejercicio pleno de la facultad que tenemos de tomar decisiones y construir con ellas nuestras vidas de acuerdo con nuestros valores, intereses y querencias.
Cuando el Estado decide por nosotros lo que supuestamente nos conviene, además de empobrecernos, nos genera un profundo malestar. Ese tipo de Estado deja de ser un conjunto de instituciones a nuestro servicio y bajo nuestras órdenes, y pasa a convertirse en nuestro amo y señor. Nos somete a la más vil servidumbre.
Sucedió en Cuba, como ha ocurrido siempre en los Estados totalitarios, cuando el gobierno estableció los libros que debíamos leer y los que debían ser destruidos. Cuando unos revolucionarios iluminados decidieron las verdades que ya habían sido establecidas y hasta el modo en que nos debíamos ganar la vida.
Incluso, escogieron las personas a las que debíamos querer o detestar, como ocurrió cuando se dio la orden de interrumpir los lazos con los “gusanos” que habían abandonado el país y se rompieron parejas, y padres, hijos y hermanos dejaron de hablarse. O cuando se persiguió a los homosexuales porque el Estado, cruelmente, había hecho metástasis a la zona afectiva y había decidido controlar las emociones de las personas para hacerlas felices y obligatoriamente “normales” mediante la reeducación que se lograba maltratándolas en los campos de caña.
Al margen de lo que Hayek escribió en Camino de servidumbre, hay un elemento esencial que mantiene la vigencia de la obra siete décadas después de haberse publicado. Del texto se desprende el rol que debe desempeñar el Estado en su relación con la sociedad, y, sobre todo, el que no debe jugar porque todos acabamos perjudicados.
No es verdad que el Estado, una entelequia manejada por personas, como todas, que tienen sus intereses, preferencias y clientelas políticas, es capaz de definir el “bien común” y actuar eficientemente y con sentido de la justicia. Lo demostró otro Premio Nobel de economía de la misma cuerda de Hayek, James M. Buchanan, con sus estudios sobre la “elección pública”.
No es verdad que el Estado debe elegir "triunfadores” y “fracasados” o asumir la función de repartidor de bienes para igualar los resultados del trabajo. Suele hacerlo mal, distorsiona y reduce el proceso de creación de riquezas y demoniza los logros económicos como si fueran actos vergonzosos.
Entre las decisiones sesgadas de los funcionarios convertidos en comisarios, supuestamente transformados en píos agentes de una improbable justicia social, y el mercado, conformado por las decisiones libres de millones de personas, el mejor resultado, el que suele conducir al desarrollo y eleva el nivel de vida de toda la sociedad, es el que se deriva del mercado que es, sin duda, una expresión de la libertad.
Al principio de esta nota subrayé que Camino de servidumbre conserva casi toda su vigencia. ¿En qué falla? Tal vez en suponer que el socialismo conduce inevitablemente al totalitarismo. No siempre es cierto. Los socialistas inteligentes aprenden de la experiencia y pueden rectificar.
Lo hicieron los suecos ante la crisis económica de los años noventa provocada por los excesos del Estado de Bienestar. Termino con un párrafo de Mauricio Rojas, un chileno del socialismo carnívoro que llegó a Suecia exiliado tras el golpe de Pinochet, allí adquirió un doctorado en economía, evolucionó intelectual y emocionalmente, y llegó a ser miembro del parlamento sueco representando al partido de los liberales.
Dice Rojas, hoy de regreso en Chile, muy preocupado por las medidas que está tomando la señora Bachelet:
“Sería muy lamentable emprender un camino, el del gran Estado-patrón, que otros han tenido que desandar. Se puede construir un Estado del bienestar distinto, que una la fuerza creativa de la competencia, la diversidad y el capitalismo con un profundo compromiso solidario, pero para ello no hay que dejarse llevar por las consignas de quienes creen tener la razón por el simple hecho de gritar más alto”.
José Manuel González

lunes, noviembre 04, 2013

Amis, Groys y Stalin en “El comunista manifiesto” — Iván de la Nuez

en respuesta a un lector, ivan sostiene la hipotesis [tesis?]: "Pero lo que el libro hace es seguir muchos elementos comunistas que renacen en Occidente una vez acabada la Guerra Fría. Y que no forman parte de una conjura comunista internacional, sino de una lógica de rentabilidad (estética, iconográfica, comercial, publicitaria) capitalista. Occidente “colonizó” y absorbió parte del comunismo mientras decía que lo estaba enterrando" [negritas y subryados -lg]; que constituye una manera muy coherente de reflejar una serie de acontecimientos y tendencias que discurren en las primeras decadas de este siglo xxi. bienvenido el reto al desempolvamiento neuronal.
Iván de la Nuez
(Comparto aquí el fragmento de un capítulo -”Stalin Neocon”-, que aparece en la tercera parte -”El cuerpo”- de El comunista manifiesto).
Cuando Zhou Enlai fue preguntado por la Revolución francesa, respondió que era “demasiado pronto para opinar”. Con respecto a Stalin, la izquierda de Occidente ha dado su opinión demasiado tarde.
Si el fantasma de Marx, con el que se inicia este libro, ocupa un lugar volátil en el presente, el cuerpo de Stalin está jalonado por un lastre demoledor que le obliga a caer hasta aplastarnos, digámoslo así, por su propio peso. Marx vaga como una metáfora que flota fuera del tiempo. Stalin encarna –como el título de Heberto Padilla, el más famoso de los poetas disidentes cubanos- “el justo tiempo humano” de su cronología, marcada por las decenas de millones de sus muertos.
Incluso para sus adversarios, Marx está lleno de “peros” (su sabiduría, su estatura como ensayista, el halo romántico de alguien que nunca dirigió un Estado). Con Stalin, hay pocos “peros” que valgan. Es más, no hay una sola virtud, ni una sola maldad, que supere la expansión mortífera de su proyecto.
Marx está más allá de la muerte. Stalin es la muerte misma.
Consideremos, si no, esta confirmación: los líderes del comunismo –de Ceaucescu a Fidel Castro, de Kadar a Honecker- pueden haberse permitido el lujo de ser malos marxistas, pero ninguno ha sido un mal estalinista. Ese georgiano, cuyo mostacho es tan reconocible como el bigotito de Hitler, es el rito de paso por el que cada líder del socialismo real debe pasar alguna vez en su vida para saber, de verdad, cómo es esto de llevar las riendas el poder.
Continuar leyendo en el sitio de Iván de la Nuez >>

miércoles, septiembre 04, 2013

Djokovic, Cuba y la libertad

El Independent

Por Antonio Rivas
"Yo nací el 22 de mayo de 1987 en un país que ya no existe: la comunista Yugoslavia. Cuando has vivido bajo el comunismo por generaciones, como en el caso de mi familia, aprendes a aceptar que hay solo una forma de hacer las cosas. El gobierno y la sociedad en la que vives te dicen que hay una sola forma de vestir, una forma para hacer ejercicios, una sola forma de pensar. Y, por supuesto, una sola forma de comer". Novak Djokovic. Tenista número uno del mundo.
El párrafo anterior fue extraído de la revista Men s Fitness en su edición de septiembre 2013, a propósito de un cambio en el régimen alimenticio del atleta que le permitió convertirse, después de varios colapsos y fallos en torneos de relevancia, en el mejor tenista del mundo en la actualidad. Luego de leerlo pensé: "qué bueno que tuvo la oportunidad de elegir algo tan sencillo como qué comer, o nunca hubiera llegado adonde está".
Pienso inmediatamente en mi deporte favorito, el beisbol, y vienen a mi mente nombres como Yasiel Puig, Liván Hernández, Orlando Hernández, José Canseco, y una lista larga de peloteros cubanos que "desertaron" de la isla para buscar mejores horizontes como deportistas profesionales. Y en una breve investigación acerca del deporte en Cuba consigo un par de datos contundentes: Cuba es el país número 18 en el medallero histórico olímpico mundial y número uno entre países latinoamericanos (Brasil es el segundo, en el puesto 37),  es también el número 2 en la historia de los Juegos Panamericanos superado solo por EEUU con poco más del doble de medallas de oro (y casi 30 veces el número de habitantes). Números suficientes para evidenciar el destacado papel del deporte cubano a nivel mundial.
Como amante del debate y del choque de ideas comienzo a pensar ¿qué es mejor: el triunfo anónimo colectivo en nombre de un país o el éxito destacado de un individuo? Difícil de responder de buenas a primeras. Pero después de reflexionar al respecto, la respuesta, a mi juicio, es: depende, de lo que cada quien quiera.
No puedo desmeritar el esfuerzo de los atletas, entrenadores y autoridades cubanas por dejar en alto el nombre de su país en competencias internacionales. Pero basta leer la prensa de los últimos meses para encontrar nombres como José Dariel Abreu, Yozzen Cuesta, Misael Silveiro, Odrisamer Despaigne y Orlando Ortega, todos atletas cubanos que quisieron abrirse camino profesional lanzándose al mar o abandonando sus delegaciones mientras se encontraban en el extranjero, para entender que algo no está bien. Y  la razón de ser está en un principio elemental de los derechos humanos: la libertad para elegir.
Aplaudo los logros colectivos de un país, en cualquier disciplina o campo, pero no por ello se debe cercenar el derecho de un individuo a labrar su propio destino y decidir qué es lo que más le conviene. No se puede, por querer ennoblecer una causa nacional, restringir las libertades individuales por decreto, por ley, por política. Es innegable el orgullo patrio que se siente al ver a Pastor Maldonado, Miguel Cabrera, Juan Arango o cualquier deportista criollo triunfar aquí y afuera. Y no solo en el deporte, también vemos a Gustavo Dudamel triunfar y dejar el nombre de Venezuela en alto dirigiendo orquestas de alta jerarquía en Europa y Estados Unidos. Así que el triunfo individual y la gloria de un país no son excluyentes sino más bien complementarios. ¿Cuántos Gustavo Dudamel se han anulado en Cuba en las últimas décadas? Nunca se sabrá.
En conclusión, cualquier dogma político que intente limitar la capacidad de elección libre pierde fundamento inmediatamente, por muy loables que sean sus intenciones. No creo en un bien colectivo a fuerza de la pérdida de la identidad individual, porque sencillamente, somos personas y tenemos derecho a pensar libremente.  El bienestar y la gloria de un país deben construirse sobre la base de la libertad de sus ciudadanos y no a costa de ella.

sábado, agosto 24, 2013

SHORT QUIZ on Communism

Six trivia questions to see how much history you know. Be honest, it's kinda fun and revealing. If you don't know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions (no cheating) before looking at the answers.
Who said it?
1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility ,,,,,for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We) ......can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above
Scroll down for answers

(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Wanna know something scary? She may be the next socialist president if you don't forward this to everyone that you know.
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"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño


le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.


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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva


Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]


A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan


Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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