Down With the Embargo, Long Live the Embargo / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Graphics by El Sexto

The New York Times is not in favor or against the American embargo of the Cuban government. The New York Times is simply in favor of what in every circumstance is most convenient to the Castro regime.

So it was that the New York Times just published this recycled editorial where they ask for an end to the embargo for the 1959th time, even going beyond American law (they are like frogs in the Fidelista fable, demanding of the White Heron that governs at coups of presidential resolution.

So, in addition, the New York Times in a second act to its distracting editorial, opened its plural debate pages to the one thousand and 959 Cubanologists: and so dissolved all the attention to not speak of what is most important now (and has been for two years), Olympianically omitting the presence in the United States of the witness to a double State murder on the part of the Raul and Fidel regime.

In effect, Angel Carromero is in American territory. However, the last reference on the New York Times to this criminal case of the Castro regime was from last year. The complaint of the Payá-Acevedo family, the complicity of the Spanish judiciary and executive with this announced assassination, the violations and mockery of those uniformed in olive-green on the little Island of the Infamous: none of this is Newyorktimesable. They love only the embargo because they know it works like an engine of little lies. Continue reading

Fetus and Other Left-overs / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

MY REPLY TO “A man’s right to choose” by Dana Schwartz in The Brown Daily Herald.

“About a baby’s right to choose” by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, I.W.P. Visiting Fellow Writer, Department of Literary Arts, Brown University.

In her opinion column “A man’s right to choose”, Dana Schwartz, as in all legalist approaches to baby abortion, misses an elementary point: life is by no means a biological burden to life, despite supreme courts —that may come and go with the ages— gender gurus and the political correctness of the more or less fashionableft.

“Every woman should have complete control over her own body and the decision to become a mother.” I couldn’t agree more with Schwartz. But this doesn’t extend to someone else’s body. Unless that the soon-to-be-born baby is deemed devoid of any control over his or her body and, in turn, deemed devoid of the decisions that he or she will never take once medically annihilated.

Modern society seems to have forgotten that babies are also women and men —mothers and fathers of other mothers and fathers to come—, not just sterile statistics for civil vindications. “Reducing the number of unwanted infants” is as simple as reducing the number of irresponsible conceptions.

Schwartz should be consequent enough as to discuss if women, in order not to be forced to become unwanted mothers, should “have the right” to destroy a baby’s body after “it” is born, but being still a part of her body through that last burden called the umbilical cord.

We condemn adult violence in Ferguson. We foster it from the very beginning against our own fetuses.

Original written in English

10 October 2014

Open Letter From the MCL to Pablo Iglesias and His Hatred of Cubans / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

MCL (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación / Christian Liberation Movement) in La Razón: “Mr. Pablo Iglesias, There is Poverty in Cuba and Leftist People are Repressed”

How can you deem it a campaign against “Cuba” that family, friends and colleagues of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero demand that these deaths are clarified, deaths that even the Cuban regime has not been able to explain?

The Cuban regime repeatedly blames its problems on “lags of the past” and on the former “bourgeois regime.”

Well then, they are now the past and the new bourgeoisie.

Dear Euro-Deputy, Mr. Pablo Iglesias:

I have had the chance to read—living in a democratic country where both you and I can (yes, we can) say whatever we please—some statements of yours through which you defend the Cuban regime.

In 2002 and 2003, more than 25,000 Cubans signed a citizens lawsuit—legally and constitutionally sound, according to Cuban Law, and known as the “Varela Project”—in which they demanded the basic rights and liberties enjoyed by citizens in democratic countries.

Specifically, the demands of the Varela Project are as follow: freedom of association, freedom of enterprise (for the citizens), amnesty for prisoners of conscience, and the call for a referendum to pass a fair and just electoral law, given that, at present, there can only be one candidate per position, and one who is logically endorsed by the regime. Continue reading

A Letter to Cuba’s Bishops / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

His Excellency, Dionisio García Ibáñez

Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba and Cardinal Primate of Cuba

Your Excellency:

Last night I had the opportunity to meet you at a reception in your honor given by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the papal nuncio to Cuba. Today I am writing to you regarding several concerns of the Center for a Free Cuba with the hope that in your role as president of the Cuban Conference of Catholic Bishops you might forward this letter to your fellow bishops.

The Center for a Free Cuba is an independent organization that promotes respect for human rights and the re-establishment of a democratic government under the rule of law in our beloved Cuba.

The Center considers the evangelization and humanitarian work of the Church in Cuba to be of utmost importance and has always responded to the requests of priests and bishops who have approached us. In light of our strong desire to continue collaborating with the Church, please allow us to share with Your Excellency the following concerns:

1) It has been reported that there are over three thousand cases of dengue fever in Cienfuegos. What can you tell us about the causes of this epidemic and what steps are being taken to counter it? How can we support the Church to help those affected?

2) As of more than two years ago, two devout Cuban Catholics have been held prisoner without trial. They were arrested and beaten by State Security agents as they were preparing to attend the mass celebrated in Havana by Pope Benedict XVI in March of 2012. Sonia Garro is being held in the Manto Negro prison. She is not in good health. Her husband, Ramón Alejandro Muñoz, is being held in the Combinado del Este prison.

Could not the Church urge the authorities to release them, or at least to put them on trial? We would also greatly appreciate it if the bishops celebrated a mass on behalf of Sonia and Ramón and all other political prisoners, as Archbishop Wenski did recently in Miami.

3) It is well known that the regime has intensified its repression of peaceful opposition figures such as the Ladies in White. Could not the Catholic Bishops Conference of Cuba ask the authorities to cease acts of repudiation and the excesses of the Rapid Response Brigades for the sake of peace and national reconciliation? Is there anything that might be preventing this noble and urgent request?

4) In the [Church sponsored] periodical, Espacio Laical (Secular Space), there have been articles about the need to encourage a “loyal opposition.” Many ask, loyal to whom or to what? To the regime or to freedom, democracy and the full dignity of all human beings? Clarification of this issue would be helpful so that the publication or the Church is not seen to be branding as “disloyal” anyone not in agreement with those who for more than half a century have held the people of Cuba hostage.

Given our great respect for your high office, we would very much appreciate your comments on the concerns we have outlined in this letter.

In extending this cordial and patriotic message to Your Excellency, as well as to the other bishops of our forlorn homeland, we evoke the memory of the historic visit of His Holiness, St. John Paul II, who urged all of us to be “valiant in truth, bold in freedom, constant in responsibility, generous in love, invincible in hope.”

Respectfully yours,

On behalf of the Center for a Free Cuba

Guillermo Marmol, businessman and civic leader

Filiberto Agusti, Esq., attorney and legal counsel for the Center for a Free Cuba

Dr. Néstor Carbonell Cortina, businessman, intellectual and civic leader

Ellis E. Briggs, former United States ambassador to Portugal, Panama and Honduras

Beatriz Casals, businesswoman, intellectual and civic leader

Prof. Carlos Eire, Yale University

Dr. Sergio Díaz Briquets, international advisor

Prof. Jaime Suchlicki, University of Miami

José Sorzano, former United States ambassador to the United Nations

Prof. Enrico Mario Santí, University of Kentucky

Otto J. Reich, former United States ambassador to Venezuela

Joaquín P. Pujol, economist, former assistant director of the International Monetary Fund and member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy

Victor J. Pujals, P.E., professional engineer and civic leader

Robert A. O’Brien, businessman, civic leader and philanthropist

Frank Calzon, executive director for the Center for a Free Cuba [frank.calzon@cubacenter.org]

Posted to this blog:
25 September 2014

Blacks, What For? / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

FREEDOM FOR SONIA Y RAMÓN ALEJANDRO…!!!

FREEDOM FOR SONIA Y RAMÓN ALEJANDRO…!!!

Today, Thursday, 18 September 2014, it has been two-and-a-half years since a black Cuban married couple have been in prison. This hasn’t the least importance, of course. They have never been brought to trial, nor have charges been filed against either of them. What’s the difference. Surely they’re two neighborhood thieves. I’m going to mention their names purely as Cuban gossip, well, as a curiosity in times of barbarity: Sonia Garro and Ramon Alejandro Muñoz.

That poor, black, Catholic and pro-democracy couple, are still today in a legal limbo as atrocious as Gitmo, continue to be separated in regimes that are technically torture, and no one remembers. Blacks, what for? Neither the Pope nor the Cuban bishops have ever asked, from beyond the Malecon. One of them–who knows if he will soon be named our next Cardinal-Minister–was personally presented with the Garro-Muñoz family case, thanks to the prelate coming to Washington DC to collect the indulgent money from exiles to repair who knows what church on the island (as if a temple is worth more than the parishioners). And nothing, obviously. Nothing has happened here. The blacks to the hole and the whites to the chicken.

FREEDOM FOR SONIA Y RAMÓN ALEJANDRO…!!!

18 September 2014

Leave a comment in Diario de Cuba after being silent for so long / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

We are Castro, as long as we Cubans continue being interviewed by G-2 (State Security) without publicly denouncing this coercion.

Leave me a comment here and now with your name and when-where-how Castro’s State Security bothered you.

HERE IS THE TEXT in English, and HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN LEAVE A COMMENT.

Because you know better than I do.

In private, we confess everything, proud of being annoying to the regime.

In public, we make ourselves crazy so as not to politicize this topic for the worse.

To continue traveling outside Cuba without problems.

To continue visiting Cuba without major complications.

I dare you, damn it.

Talk to me.

HERE IS THE TEXT in English, and HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN LEAVE A COMMENT.

Talk to yourself.

Let’s also talk to ourselves and not only to the anonymous agents of the political police of your supposed country, Cuban coward on the verge of complicity.

Save me.

Save yourself.

Save us.

For the death that already was.

For the life that will come.

HERE IS THE TEXT in English, and HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN LEAVE A COMMENT.
4 September 2014

Castro Versus Castro / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

"Que Ché, Que Pinga!" "When I grow up I want to be Fidel Castro!" Alen Lauzán. (ALEN-LAUZAN.BLOGSPOT)

“Fuck Che! When I grow up I am going to be Fidel Castro!*” Alen Lauzán. (ALEN-LAUZAN.BLOGSPOT)

As long as the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) exists in Cuba, this secret and murderous organization, but in its turn legitimized by all the secret and murderous organizations in the world, regardless of ideologies or political rivalry in public (in private power always supports power); as long as the life of every Cuban depends on the vile will of another anonymous Cuban; as long as nobody questions this complicity by a returning and cheerful exile, businessmen avid to be ministers tomorrow, clergy blackmailed by their own flesh, and even by an opposition without pressure platforms and much less urge for power; as long as we just continue denouncing these clandestine citations from G-2, instead of recognizing that it is an incessant civil war of the State against its citizens, the Cuban nation has no chance of regenerating itself.

The Transition Program, agreed by the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL in Spanish) chaired by Oswaldo Payá, touched on the issue very early on. There would be no decent dialog as long as they didn’t open the archives of Evil and its agents confessed their crimes before the democratic justice that should come. As a consequence, State Security, by an order that could have only come from the Castro family, touched Oswaldo Payá, probably summarily processed in a Cuban place and executed in situ parajudicially.

All Cuban workers and unemployed Cubans, when they show themselves to be intelligent people, with desires for an active biography, have been, are, and will be interviewed by the political police of my country. It seems an exaggeration. Pardo’s paranoia. But you in your cowardly heart know well it’s not so. You know well that you were also called by them (whether you live on the Island or in its antipodes).

During my year and a half visiting the United States, I’ve been in contact with all the generations of exiles or emigrants or whatever they want to call themselves. A captive people that is no longer Cuban, since they can’t reside or participate in the social life of their previous country. Recognized stars of the stage and visual arts have confessed it to me. Geniuses of science have confessed it to me. Athletes or, to be exact, high-performance ex-athletes, have confessed it to me. The signature names of our music and literature also confessed it to me. G-2 frequents them all.

In principle, none of them has had any problem in Cuba. I knew many of them from Cuba and none told me anything about this facet of interlocutors of a Castroism of the catacombs, underground. My friends live there (perhaps they’ve ceased to be so from now on), happy to be almost protestors, while giving dozens of controversial interviews outside, provided they accept the annual interview with the official who looks after them, provided they follow the suggestions of their respective agents. Low profile perverse Fidel-ity, that ranges from threats thrown just as jokes, to the donation of a leg of mutton on the part of the authority when one of our loved ones fall into bed and is declared (gratis) as a terminal patient.

It’s much worse than this. In a single family I have found vedettes and executioners, poets and political experts, essayists and abusers. And beware of naming us, you asshole, because I could even kill when it comes to keep my family at peace. Castroism constitutes us today, is ubiquitous and for that very reason, it’s impossible to be located. Castroism concerns us all, except for the original Castros, who are about to die and their descendants will run away with their millions elsewhere.

In these blackmails we are all the complicit of all. It’s happening right now. They tell me new examples through the social networks from Havana. They ask me for advice and to remain silent. It’d be worse if I ever mention their names and situations. Moreover, those who reside abroad would sue me and put me to jail for moral damages and defamation if I dare to speak.

We are infamous up to this point. We have lived our whole lives in the times of Castro. We shall die, then, with the honors which correspond to the horror of being us (and not the Castros) the true Castro’s decrepit but yet demonic clan.

*Translator’s note: A reference to the chant children must repeat during school morning assembly: “Pioneers for Communism, we will be like Ché!”

From Diario de Cuba

4 September 2014

 

THE TRANSITION THAT IS ABOUT NOT TO COME / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

THE TRANSITION THAT IS ABOUT NOT TO COME

The power of Castro’s dictatorship couldn’t rely only in the annihilation of all kind of opposition, despite the fact that, since January 1959, its governability depended on fear (out of pure terror) to reduce a plural society to military obedience, ideological hatred, and apartheid, whether geographical (in the case of the exiled for life) or uncivil (for those resisting as pariah on an Island turned into a labor camp behind The Iron Curtain). Detaching our homeland from its hemispheric context put us into orbit as a satellite of the totalitarian axis of the Cold War: the best alternative for the new class —now a gerontocracy elite in their eighties— to keep control in perpetuity, or at least for over a dozen of White House administrations.

The power of Castro’s dictatorship necessarily had to rely also on violence and, for so many —let’s say— people of good-will in the world, the beauty implicit in the narrative of The Revolution, with its ritual of burying a decadent past in order to resurrect it in a fertile future, as all revolutionary rhetorics promotes itself. To the image and likeness of those historical guerrillas, nowadays only octogenarians inside Cuba remember what presidential elections are all about. Such a legacy leaves a discouraging anthropological damage if we are ever to move forward from the Castrozoic Era.

Our citizenship was homogenized as soldiership, under the vertical rule of a personality cult, as a justification to survive against a foreign foe meant to last forever: nothing less than the first economy and war potency of the First World, an anthological archenemy called Imperialism. But nobody believes in this Fidelity fable anymore. And, after half a century of officially sequestering the sovereign will of our nation, it’s about time for Cubans to recover their own voice, since the Castros’ long-lasting regime is the one who should retire in silence.

Continue reading

Letter to Pope Francis from the Christian Liberation Movement Youth

“But Cubans are tired, Cubans want changes. More than ten years ago more than 25,000 Cubans supported a legal reform project. Called the Varela Project, it called for a plebiscite to ask the people, yes or no, did they want free elections. The Cuban Constitution establishes that if more than 10,000 people support a legal proposal than the government is constitutionally required to respond.” Rosa Maria Paya. Poster by Rolando Pulido.

Havana, May 5th 2014

“Fear is ridiculous and it provides ammunition to the enemies of liberty.”- The Venerable Father Felix Varela

Your Holiness, Pope Francis:

We would like to thank you with utmost respect and kindness for taking time to read this letter.

We are Cuban Catholic youth who everyday are intent to fortify ourselves to the clamors that burst forth and splatter our conscience from the brutal reality of our beloved Cuba. From the dawn of our youth we have occupied the rows of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), a pacifist-civic movement which, inspired  by Christian humanism and the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church, has yearned for the freedom that Cuba has wanted and needed for more than 25 years.

We love the church, and we have grown under her auspices with the influence of her Ignatian spirituality. Because of this, we turn to you to voice our pain and concern with several Cuban Bishops who, surrounded by pro-government Cuban laity and other figures of privilege, pronounce and act in the name of the Church before the unfolding drama that we Cubans have lived in for more than half a century.

Increasingly, ecclesial offices are shunted into a caricature of the masses, to be only the bottom substrate in the background and a common denominator legitimizing the government, asking for more votes of confidence for the politico-military junta who govern as dictators and awaiting a new “leader” to succeed the dynasty of the Castro Brothers and amend the “justified errors” of 55 years of governmental mismanagement that devastated a country whilst omitting the daily violations of human rights and the repressive despotic and unpunished actions of State Security personnel against nonviolent opposition and begging for weak reforms which lack transparency and in so doing be able to navigate comfortably in all waters through the use of ambiguous and confusing language that decorate and embellish the harsh realities, foregoing calling them by name, and thus presenting themselves as authentic rhetoricians and builders of bridges. Continue reading

Investment in Cuba? What for? / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Investment in Cuba? What for?
ASCE XXIV / 2014 Annual Conference, Miami Hilton Downtown Hotel, Florida, USA
Panel 12. Concerto Ballrom B – Friday, August 1st, 2:45-4:15pm

1.

In Cuba during the 1970s, historian Manuel Moreno Fraginals challenged poet Jose Lezama Lima with his trendy scientific notions about the laws of objectivity and the transition to a colonial/pseudo republic/revolution from the slave mills to the Slavic sugarcane cutters; the now forgotten Soviet KTP. Exhaling an asthmatic counterpoint through his cigar, Lezama Lima responded to Moreno Fraginals without foregoing the Marxist irony of a convenient Catholic: “Ah… But when will we have a history that is qualitative?”

Are we Cubans lacking the type of analysis that at the margins of academic exactitude and author-centered erudition would also require ethicality? Is a qualitative economy that can escape the comparisons of percents and profits and the tendency to always side with the expounder at all conceivable? Is a qualitative political system that rises above the lowbrow politics practiced in our country unthinkable? How about a qualitative sociology without ideological determinism and infallible founders? When all is said and done, is the anthropology of a quality Cuban one that is multidimensional, subjective, and liberated from the consensus imposed upon on us with the rhythm of a conga drumbeat?

No wonder the Professor did not answer the Master’s question. Today, when it comes to Raul Castro’s reforms that in an ever-changing and capricious landscape that hides a clan’s control while a new image of legitimacy is created, would Moreno Fraginals rely on the laws of objectivity in a transition from communism to capitalism? And would Lezama Lima respond to him with an “Ah… And when we will Cuba have a history of qualitative capitalism?” Poetry asks impossible questions that history can answer, though it finds it inconvenient to do so. Continue reading

Wendy War

 

Grown in Exercises of Death, Wendy Guerra (Taken from her blog HABÁNAME) (Reposted by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in his blog)

I have death as white and truth far away… – Don’t give me your fresh roses; I am terrible for roses. Give me the ocean…Dulce María Loynaz

Death, solicitous and vigilant followed me until my fall. It was my companion – solicitous and loving - Rafaela Chacón Nardi

Dreadful voice in funeral I mourn, that flies from the seas of my homeland to the beaches of Iberia; sadly confused the wind delays it; the sweet song in my throat freezes and shadows of pain cover my mind. Ah, that suffering voice, that America denotes with its pity and on these beaches the ocean casts, “He died,” is uttered, “the ardent patriot…” “He died”, repeated “the Cuban troubador.” And a sad echo moans in the distance, “the sublime singer from Niagara died!” - Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda

I carry the subject of death very badly. I bow before death with too much grief. Just by peering at a roof I can fall overwhelmed by fear.

This week I wake with the memory of those who have passed on. My parents, my friends, my poets, my personal saints.

The soul, the body, the emptiness, the abandonment or slipstream that our most beloved dead leave, fight within me with severe injuries.

This week the world’s newspapers talk about death, confinement, the hunger strikes in my country. My head and my body are trapped in a bird cage that is the act of dying.

For many cultures it is a cycle that is closed to open other cycles that are clear and bright. This is the way I should see it, as death to me appears to be the end of everything. But death weighs me down and casts me toward a powerful darkness.

It always appeared normal to me that someone would decide to die rather that live indefinitely with an incurable illness. Always, even when the dilemma of euthanasia touched me closely. I looked at the still living body of my mother, looked at her face and closed myself off from any possibility other than finding a miracle or unearthing a hope. I convinced myself that in the care of the body that still flutters before us, hope lives.

The cage of life opens.

I mishandle death but one must confront it. Six Marches back, I had surrendered before my mother on the day of her death. Continue reading