Tag Archives: yoani sanchez

Yoani Sánchez’s faked Obama interview

Annals of Shame: How to fake an interview with the President of the United States of America and be sure nobody will notice

“The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” – Joseph Goebbels

Some years ago I accompanied a Cuban friend who needed to sign a document in front of a U.S. consular official at the U.S. Interests Section (USIS) in Havana.  Once past the waiting room where TV Martí plays to its small captive audience – the only one it can legitimately claim on the island – and back toward the section where such transactions take place, I noticed a couple of idle computer terminals.  I asked if I might go ahead and check my email while we waited.  The consular official narrowed his eyes at me.  “No,” he snapped.

That’s the nature of things when you’re a lowly U.S. citizen inside Fortress USA on Havana’s Malecon.  Continue reading


Ted Henken rolls snake eyes

Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Long story short.  Ted Henken, the quite white chair of the Black and Hispanic Studies department at Baruch College who calls himself “El Yuma” and writes a blog under the same title, recently returned from a trip to Cuba where he had gone to interview bloggers of all persuasions, but most especially his close personal friend, “La Yoa,” (Yoani Sánchez) whose cherished interview he saved for last. Continue reading

Enrique Ubieta Gómez on Prague, revisionist history, and the Cuban Five

Czech resistance hero Julius Fučík

In Prague: first impressionsespañol

Enrique Ubieta Gómez

Translation: Machetera

I’ve been invited to participate in the Fifth Regional Meeting of Cubans Residing in Europe, to be held this weekend in Prague.  Without a doubt it will be quite a rich experience, because with the advent of transnational corporate “freedom,” this capital, one of Europe’s most beautiful, has transformed itself  into a city that is deaf, mute and blind.   The Czechs no longer believe, hope, or care.  Its politicians are the most corrupt in Europe.  With the exception of the fiercely stigmatized communist paper, the ordinary press in the new country belongs to foreign consortia.  But the “free” citizens don’t want to think.  An editor here was sued for re-issuing Julius Fučík’s “Notes from the Gallows.”  History has been re-written, to the extreme of changing the date of the victory over Nazi fascism in order to attribute the honor to U.S. troops.  The current Chancellor, son of someone whose property was nationalized by socialism, had to learn his “native” tongue in order to re-insert himself and re-appropriate half of the country.  First, he made an investment: he was one of Havel’s principal financial backers.  I promise to write more, later.

Heroes and complete history.  Reflection on the Cuban Five, from Prague español

Just a few hours ago an act of solidarity with the five anti-terrorist Cubans being held as political prisoners in the United States took place, attended by Rosa Aurora, the wife of Fernando, one of those heroes.

I’m familiar with the discussions that sometimes arise between historians and academics on the greater or lesser social visibility of certain heroes (sometimes even on the qualification itself) and of people and events in history.  The counter-revolution doesn’t care for the revolutionary pantheon.  I suppose that this includes Mella, Villena, Jesús Menéndez and José Antonio Echevarría, among others diminished or made invisible in the pseudo-republic.  In the frankly rightwing newspapers such as Spain’s El País or Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, they’ve tried to present Che Guevara as a murderer and Fulgencio Batista as a democrat who made mistakes.  Miami’s circumspect historians (no matter where they live, whether in México or Barcelona, there’s a Miami mentality that marks and defines a person) sometimes call for “a complete history” in which Julio Lobo and Orestes Ferrara – two millionaires with dubious ethics – return as heroes in the social pages of a press made for the purpose of reproducing their values precisely. Continue reading

The utility of Cuban prisoners

Ex-Cuban prisoners color coordinated for maximum photogenic value.

For whom are the [Cuban] prisoners useful? español

Enrique Ubieta Gómez

Translation: Machetera

So here’s the problem.  The ex-prisoners arrive in Madrid.  The press clings to them for a few days.  If they’re lucky, they’ll begin to live from their labors and not from subversive activity that was quite well paid.  Perhaps some will manage a post in cyberspace.  But, as the Cubans say, no es fácil [it’s not easy], in the midst of an economic crisis.  I have no idea how much they’ll be paid for their commentary (the offensive or threatening diatribes they launch at revolutionary bloggers), but if we don’t publish them, they don’t get paid.  Little by little, they’ll be forgotten.  They’re no longer any use.  In other words, they’re no longer any use for their former promoters, for U.S. imperialism. Continue reading

Yoani Sánchez: A woman in search of a cause

“Sometimes the questions are complicated because the answers are simple.” - Dr. Seuss / Art: Varela

Today Rebelión published the first of a two part interview Salim Lamrani did with Pentagon babe Yoani Sánchez. English translation here.

Salim says that an unnamed “western diplomat” who’d read some of the “relatively critical” articles he’d written about Yoani passed them along to her, and as a result she asked to meet with him to clear up a few things.  They met in the middle of the afternoon at the bar in the Plaza Hotel in Havana.  He describes her as affable, serene, never flustered, and with her experience dealing with Western media, “relatively practiced in the art of communication.”

The rest of the interview is a tour de force of incoherence and ignorance.  But José Varela has already been busy with the machete, over at varela blog, and there’s no-one better.

The Complicated Chica español

José Varela

Translation: Machetera

Yoani Sánchez has been interviewed by a French journalist (complete Spanish text here) and has told him that she has photos of the blows she received in the street, but she doesn’t want to reveal them because she’s going to present them in court.  This detail is significant because one’s credibility in court is not dependent on possibly self-inflicted or fabricated proof, but rather, proof collected in situ.  It’s dependent on witnesses, experts, medical reports or a confession from the aggressor (or aggressors).  If what she’s seeking is to denounce a violation (as seemingly suggested at first in the interview) the opportunity was lost by not publishing the photos on her blog or giving them to her great ally, the international press.  But if she’s looking to punish her aggressors (which is what she said later), she’s not going about it the correct way. Continue reading

Ernesto Hernández Busto, Peter Ackerman and James Glassman in the same room? Call the firemen!

Hat tip to Eva Golinger…sometimes the news just doesn’t get any better than this.  It seems that Machetera’s secret admirer, Ernesto Hernández Busto, is hitting the talking heads circuit now for who else but his other American idol, George W. Bush.

W, whose latest vanity project is something called the George W. Bush Institute (whatever happened to the good old days of disgraced presidents quietly slithering off to San Clemente?) has hired James Glassman to run the shop and put on silly dog and pony shows like the one EHB will be joining on April 19 in Dallas.  The “Conference on Cyber-Dissidents,” co-sponsored by NED beneficiary Freedom House will also feature Al Giordano’s new best friend Peter Ackerman, and a raft of other guests linked to U.S. intelligence. Continue reading

Frei Betto explains Yoani Sánchez’s life of luxury

La Jiribilla interviews Frei Betto español

Translation: Machetera

Once again, Cuba is in the news.  But the majority of the reports reflect a false reality, produced by the huge multinational media conglomerates to follow the media campaign of the moment.  “The problem is simply that we live in a world that is considered to be democratic, where it is said that everyone has the right to freedom of expression,” explained the Brazilian theologian Frei Betto in an interview  with La Jiribilla. “It just so happens that very few people have access to the means of expression; therefore, the version of events that is presented by those who have hegemonic control of the major media, such as with the Zapata Tamayo story, is always on the side of imperialistic interests and those of the United States; these lies and a strong ideological offensive are meant to discredit the Cuban Revolution and destabilize the country.

The author of Fidel & Religion is currently in Cuba to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of this seminal text and says that “Nothing’s going to happen because fortunately there are plenty of people who do not have the means to express themselves but who show, as I do, their support for the Revolution and, above all, denounce the fact that behind every campaign there’s a permanent plan to destabilize the Revolution, as though this were a country that does not allow its people freedom of expression.  What it does not permit, just as no country permits, least of all the United States, is conspiracy to destabilize the government, and in Cuba’s case, the Revolution.”

“Now you have a woman here who spends every day disparaging Cuba through her blog,” Betto pointed out.  “This is the only country in the world in which a person can enjoy the luxury of not working, of spending the entire day blogging, and nothing happens to her.  Nothing happens, not in the sense that she doesn’t go to prison, but in the sense that if someone in Brazil were to not work and spend the entire day at their computer, they’d go hungry, they’d end up in the street, they couldn’t support themselves, and if they were to fall ill they’d be totally lost because they’re not going to have the money to get medical attention, while in this country, this woman has that luxury.  She is proof positive that there is freedom of expression in Cuba.  What there is not, just as there is not in any country that I am aware of, is freedom to conspire.”

In Betto’s judgment, “the Internet is important because by virtue of its speed and proximity, huge amounts of information and barriers are liquidated, and this is essential to allowing more reflection over the events taking place in the world.  Unfortunately the capitalist system and those who have ideological hegemony dominate the Internet, and therefore when there is something favorable to Cuba or when there is a demonstration of solidarity with Cuba, it comes out way down in thirtieth place on the search engine, but if there’s something negative about Cuba, it comes out on top.”

“We have exceptionally worrisome situations in Latin America,” said Betto, who won the 2009 ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the  People of our Americas) Literature Prize.  One is “the blockade against Cuba, the criminal, imperial manner in which the United States relates to Cuba through the blockade and its base at Guantánamo.  These are factors that demand plenty of attention, and plenty of resistance by Latin American and Caribbean countries.”

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the author and translator are cited.