Monday, May 26, 2008

Blog Review: "Cuba 21"

Cuba 21 is an entirely new concept and approach to blogging at least in the Cuban-American blogosphere. I am at a lost as to what to call it. "Soapbox blogging" would be good except that it connotes a certain spontaneous but at the same time fractured intensity of which this well-written and integral blog gives no evidence. The concept, if not the product, is similar, however. Readers of Cuba 21 are invited to become its authors. It solicits contributions from other bloggers whether reprints or original articles, specifying that it even welcomes those that plug other blogs. Now, I can think of nothing more rife for abuse; and yet, it appears, that no contributor has misused thus far the generous hospitality extended to him.

Its mission statement is "[To] unite all Cubans, inside and outside Cuba, whether of the right or the left." Here, again, we also must pause. Unity for the sake of unity is meaningless. Unity requires a purpose just as love requires an object. If that purpose is the liberation of Cuba, then I am all for unity. If the purpose is to show how Cubans can be tolerant of one another's opinions, how the dissident can co-exist in harmony with the henchman, the anti-Castro exile with the pro-Castro apologist, then no. Such "unity" is divisive and intended to destroy unity, not foment it. The truth cannot be assimilated with lies. When it is thus corrupted, it ceases to be truth. Men, likewise, who are upholders of truth, cannot make common cause with those who are its enemies without themselves being corrupted. Historia de Cuba.

And yet, remarkably, although there is one contributor to Cuba 21 who is altogether too obsequious to Raúl and actually seems to believe that he intends to redeem the Revolution by doing what Fidel promised to do but did not, all of its contributors, including that deluded individual, acknowledge that the last 49 years have meant nothing but misery for the Cuban people.

Again, I am perplexed as to why the Castro apologists have not made a concerted attack upon it, as one would expect them to do when they have been practically invited to do so. For whatever reason -- and I suspect that some have been repelled, openness or not -- Cuba 21 remains essentially an anti-Castro blog. Its diversity is confined to its Blogroll which includes blogs from all currents of opinion, including the most rabidly pro-Castro. Even this I will not object to because one must know what the enemy is thinking in order to be able to combat him. Personally, I am content that others should inform themselves on the subject and acknowledge no obligation to promote their propaganda. Still, I have no problem with others doing so since their propaganda is also a self-indictment which only the biggest idiots would be unable to see through.

The most interesting aspect of Cuba 21 are its excellent historical vignettes modelled on Havana 50/60, which I have always said is the best Cuban-American blog. It is not an easy formula to copy. You must combine your personal recollection of a specific site in Cuba with historical background and evocative photographs to create an ambiance of a time and place which exists only in our memory. I suppose that for some it is an emotional catharsis. I would not try it myself because such an experiment is certain to leave one feeling emptier inside, more alone and isolated from your past even as one tries to ford a new approach to it. The experience of exile itself, without the necessity of picking at wounds, does the same thing everyday without any special effort on our part. That much said, it is enjoyable to read the recollections of others. Yes, it re-awakens memories of our own but through the prism of another's experience and at a certain remove which makes the reading of such recollections more bearable. There is a wonderful evocation of Maceo's statue and its environs up at Cuba 21 right now which I commend to your reading pleasure.

Cuba 21 also contains news and videos which I have not seem duplicated anywhere else. Of special interest is an interview of Cuba's major dissidents as conducted and aired by Cuban State Television. They were ambushed in the worst Mike Wallace fashion except that being libelled was the least of their concerns. Naturally, they never knew whether they were actually being interviewed for television or if this was just a ruse to elicit their opinions for other purposes. They were all understandibly nervous and very cautious as they had every reason to be since the interviews were taped for a program on the regime's recent allegations that dissidents in Cuba are controlled and bankrolled by the U.S. The blogger who presented the video chastises the dissidents for their performance on the video and recommends that they prepare themselves better in the future. This is the same thing as criticizing someone for not making sufficient accommodations for the pink elephant that just dropped from the sky at his feet. I have no doubt that next time Cuban television besieges them, they will be better prepared and acquit themselves more to that blogger's satisfaction because it shall no longer be something at variance with all their experience.

There is one final thing about this blog which I have withheld and will allow you to discover for yourselves. Let me just say that some people are at every party and funeral.

http://cuba21.blogspot.com/

66 comments:

Vana said...

Manuel:

I discovered this blog last week and saved it to favorites, I was shocked to find fantomas as one of it's contributors, for I considered it a pretty good blog, yet I have found nothing written there bye our fiend.

The wonderful pictures and trip through the Havana of bygone era are written by Tania Quintero, she's a dissident I believe in exile in Sweden, but don't quote me on that, her son Ivan Garcia is a dissident serving 20 years, I recommend her blog, El Blog de Tania Quintero.

I commented on her blog specialy the images of Maceo's park brought tears to my eyes, it was the park my sister and I played in, to see it circled with a fence broke my heart, I cannot tell you how many times my sis and I tried to climb it to reach Maceo, we never did.

Good review, pretty good blog thank you.

Fantomas said...

vana usted no puede vivir sin mi porque rayos usted me tiene que mencionar cada 5 minutos , no sabe usted que fantomas is everywhere by now

Anonymous said...

time to close shop, no comments today

the streak is over

Anonymous said...

" the Death of RCAB"

It is now 5.09 pm and nobody has posted a thing here at RCAB Nation

this is troublesome news and must be investigated soon

Maybe there are many Veteran Parades in town today, still something smells fishy

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anonymous:

It's not Veterans Day, it's Memorial Day, and except for fantomas, all the readers of this blog have a life besides counting comments here.

Enjoy the holiday.

chucho el panadero said...

anon: no te preocupes chico - Mat is working on a masterpice - the rest are eating balbeecqiu...

rin tin tin said...

panadero..
mat esta preparando el " big post" el post que escribira cuando gane Obama la candidatura democrata..

pero bueno, the obama Tsunami ya esta reclutando cubanos honrados y realistas (FCNA) que le daran duro a los intransigentes como mat , que no tiene familia en cuba y come bistec y langosta en balquiquie todos los dias, un barrigon de new jersey that is

iraq war veteran said...

It's not Veterans Day, it's Memorial Day

dear mat todat se celebra a los Veterans de todas las guerras , specially the fallen ones

what is the difference , i see none

Anonymous said...

the rest are eating balbeecqiu

yeah they are about to get home soon , this place will be packed tonite

where is fantomas?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

iraq war veteran:

The difference is that Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

rin tin tin:

If Barack Obama is elected president, I will close this blog on January 1, 2009.

I will not last another 50 years of Castroism and that's what Obama's election would assure.

Fantomas said...

If Barack Obama is elected president, I will close this blog on January 1, 2009.

I will not last another 50 years of Castroism and that's what Obama's election would assure

I have copied this and will save it until then

if you are a true gentleman you should close your blog by nov 5, 2008

Me das pena

Fantomas said...

If Mc Cain win I will close my humble abajofidel blog , Jan 2009

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

We now have another reason to hope that McCain wins. Of course, you are not a man of your word and will certainly renege on your promise.

I will wait till January 1, 1959 because it is the 50th anniversary of Castro's anti-Cuban Revolution and I will use that occasion to predict what lies ahead for the next fifty.

pedro el panadero said...

So, Mat are you voting for McCain ?

Fantomas said...

back to the future Mat 1959 or 2009

Fantomas said...

fantomas tenia pelo in 1959 be careful no te topes con el por alla

pedro el panadero said...

FYI Yoani va a moderar la publicacion de comentarios en su blog-- utilizando "un grupo de colaboradores".

Mat tu eres unico en este negocio de las blogs.... freedom of expression only at RCAB.

Anonymous said...

NO A LA CENSURA EN LOS BLOGS CUBANOS


NO A LA CENSURA


VIVA RCBA, EL UNICO EN SU CLASE

Anonymous said...

bUBABoLU BLOG

"an island on Miami WITH a bearded Censorhip cadre"

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

You are speaking great truths albeit anonymously.

pedro el panadero said...

fantomas no se atreve a criticar publicamente a los babalusianos... esta tratando de aser las pases con ellos.... por eso lo ase anon

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

What would you do if Obama is elected and gives the Castro regime another 50-year lease on life, as I've warned? Would you feel yourself defrauded? Would you conclude that you have no political acumen and never write another word about Cuba again?

Or would you embrace Raúl and kiss Fidel's petrified toe, following Obama's example?

That will be your choice, fantomas.

Vana said...

The sad thing Manuel is that the Damas de Blanco have mistakenly endorsed Obama, they must believe he is the answer, I on the other hand feel like you do, Obama would be a disaster for Cuba let alone the USA, it would only prolong the regimes hold, I cannot begrudge the Damas their choice, they don't know any better.

Vana said...

fantomas I could live the rest of my life happy in the thought that I would never see that condom head again, or read your inane comments.

Vana said...

No bbq here I have been busy all day watching over, and feeding abandoned Scrub Jay babies, they break my heart, while keeping locked my natural born killer terrier, life's a bitch

pedro el panadero said...

"The sad thing Manuel is that the Damas de Blanco have mistakenly endorsed Obama"

Vana quien es usted para jusgar a las damas de blanco? Ellas estan dentro del infierno y usted aqui lamentandose que su perro no puede salir afuera....... un perro que al igual que usted tiene mas libertad que las damas........50 años con la misma cantaleta....

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

We must consider the fact that the most important thing to the Damas en Blanco (Ladies in White) is to see their loved ones freed from prison. Raúl is using them as bargaining chips and will not release them until he gets what he wants from Obama. The Damas en Blanco have concluded that they will never be released unless the promised meeting without pre-conditions takes place first.

It is Obama's reckless pledge to meet with Raúl which sealed the fate of Cuba's political prisoners and put the Damas en Blanco in an untenable position.

We should all pity them and deplore Obama's use of their suffering to advance his political agenda. He really is no different from Raúl.

Vana said...

Pedro:

I think you need to read my comment a little bit better, I said I do not begrudge them their choice, I do not need you to remind me that the last 50 years for those living in Cuba as been HELL on earth, I'm well aware of the facts, Iam not judging them, I'm no one to do that.

Anonymous said...

Manuel porque usted chivatea a los anonimos de este blog, si fantomas quiere quedarse anonimo once in a while razones tendra

ahora que le incumbe a usted que esto suceda?

pedro el panadero said...

Vana ya saco a su perro poodle a mear

usted no sabe lo que es la libreta , ni la escuela al campo porque usted y su familia corrieron despaboridas al principio de la revolucion

los verdaderos cubanos los que nos chupamos aquello no queremos nada de personas tan cobardes como usted

que derecho tiene usted en cuba si usted la abandono cuando mas la necesitaba

Vana said...

Manuel:

Yes that is their #1 priority, nothing I would love more than to see their loved ones released, I'm afraid Obama will not do that for them, you are right, he is the same as Raul.

P.S. Pedro el panadero sounds a lot like fantomas.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

I can smell you at a mile away (you know, the violet water). I don't even have to check with Sitemeter. Comment under any moniker that you wish: I will always be able to detect you.

Vana said...

Yeah Pedro IS condom head, of that I'm convinced.

Vana said...

BTW pedrito mi perra no es un poodle, es un Scotish Terrier, so shut the fuck up fantomas.

pedro el panadero said...

Vana said:
"I am not judging them, I'm no one to do that."

I read your comment- you said they are making a mistake and that "they don't know any better."


Is'n that judging ? very easy to do when you are here...

Ps. 10:39pm pedro could be fanto
the rest are not.....

jose el cocinero said...

vana te compro el perrito-- el restaruante chino cerca de mi casa paga 5 dolares la libra --pero eso se tiene que ser de pura raza-- los perro satos no tienen muy buen sabor y son muy duros.

el chinito de Pasadena said...

yo sirvo arro flito en mi restaurant aqui en pasadena , cali , tendremos filete de scott terrier a la vana en salsa de maunier this coming friday for lunch special

no doggy bags avail

Vana said...

I'm not explaining myself to you anymore pedrito, you took my comment out of context, whatever your sick head wants to imagine, go ahead, frankly my dear I don't give a damn what you think.

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT and Vana,
I hope you have had a nice Memorial Weekend. I'll have to check out this new blog, sounds interesting.

Did you hear Benicio del Toro won best actor at Cannes for his rendition of Che Guevara. He dedicated his win to Che himself . . . Ugh! What is wrong with these folks in Hollywood? Do they live in a parallel universe? He could have just dedicated to Charlie Manson or Jack the Ripper or any other mass murderer.

MaT,
please do not shut down this blog if Obama wins. That is when the truth really will need to be told. Please reconsider.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

I may not only close the blog, I may leave the country. If Barack Obama is elected president, the U.S. will not be a safe haven for anti-Castro Cubans anymore. Think of Venezuela.

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT,
do you really think it would be that bad? I don't think he can simply walk over the constituion and although he will have a democratic congress, he'll still have to bargain and compromise, no?

Sheesh,
your vision sounds very ominous.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

Very few Jews left Germany when Hitler was elected chancellor in 1933. Big mistake.

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT,
my in-laws arrived this weekend and plan to stay for two weeks. They are great folks and I love to discuss Cuban history and politics with my father-in-law. Tonight I discussed a few things that we've touched upon in your blog and was surprised at how much he agrees with your opinions on Jose Marti, Batista and a cornucopia of Cuban history from Maceo to the elections going on in Miami between Joe Garcia and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. . . When he's around we literally sit on our deck under the stars and discuss what would be the best solution for a free Cuba . . . kinda cute.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza

Our greatest enemy is the belief that "it can't happen here." It is this misplaced hope that fueled the ovens of Auschwitz.

And, yes, we are facing a comparable fate.

Fantomas said...

Very few Jews left Germany when Hitler was elected chancellor in 1933. Big mistake

Are you comparing Obama to Hitler

Give me a break, profesor mat

don't push it

Fantomas said...

obama knows his salsa video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Dzt402rMQ

aunque pienso que hillary will prevail here in PR

Fantomas bold Prediction

out of 900k voters

obama 44
Hilarry 56

Ms Calabaza said...

Hillary was drinking El Presidente Beer in PR with Ricky Martin today as per CNN.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Is being "not as bad as Hitler" sufficient reason for you to support Obama? Evil may fall a mile short of Hitler and still be intolerable. But Obama will come a lot closer than that.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

Was Walter Mercado unavailable? Or is he a Republican?

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT,
for years I have not been able to figure out what Walter Mercado is . . . but somehow his political persuasion was not on the top of the list of my curiosities. . .

Aquario ~ Paz! Tranquilidad con Papas Fritas . . .

Fantomas said...

I like President Beer Calabaza

It is a beer from The Dominican Republic

Es buena

Our beer is Medalla... not very good

Fantomas said...

Mat am inclined to say Walter is Republicano but then again i may be wrong

He is not Gay. He is pre-transgendrical

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ixS9bxkpE

Ms Calabaza said...

Fanto,
what is pre-transgendrical?

'splain, please??

Fantomas said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66h4WHLGn8s


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4cGSPQQyVg&feature=related

Fantomas said...

Fanto,
what is pre-transgendrical?

Walter es un injerto en estudio todavia

Transexual, transsexual, transgender transition and crossdressing - feminizing hormone therapy, electrolysis, medical, sex reassignment

Fantomas said...

LISTEN CAREFULLY mat

you will love this one

at the 32 seconds mark

http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=102323

Vana said...

Ms Calabaza:

The folks in Hollyweird are mostly commie, nice to be a socialist when you live the hi-life isn't it? I would love to see them all in Cuba eating from the libreta, and living in ruins

Anonymous said...

would love to see them all in Cuba eating from the libreta, and living in ruins

What is a libreta Vana?

Ms Calabaza said...

when I grow up I want to have Barbra Streisand' politics and her money . . .

Fantomas said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guCGPvfnyRA

Vana said...

Anon 1:29:

You're pulling my leg right? are you Cuban?

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