Saturday, November 07, 2009

Beer, Ice cream and Beaten Bloggers

Thanks to Val from Babalublog I learned yesterday that Yoani Sanchez and other Cuban bloggers were temporarily detained and beaten on her way to a peace protest against violence. I've been since following Claudia Cadelo on twitter, and today I checked Generacion Y to see Yoani's point of view. It can only be said that the Cuba Governement is afraid, and that these heirs to Cuba's future are extremely brave. For more details on this Babalublog pretty much has it covered with updates.

After reading the various blogs, I perused the news websites to see what they had to say. The only thing CNN is covering on Cuba is how Miller Beer and Haagen Dazs ice cream may be sold in Cuba --for a premium nonetheless. As Cuban citizens are sequestered and beaten for their exercising of free speech, Chicago food (and other companies) are negotiating how beer and ice cream are to be sold on the island. Given that it is a premium, the target audience is not the everyday Cuban citizen. Given that it is ice cream and beer, the target audience is not the hungry poor of the nation. Given that the Cuba government is still communist, any premium commodity that will come from America, goes through the tourist, and ends up in Castro's pocket. The Cuban people have once again been ignored.

"We're in this for the long haul as well," said Paul Johnson of Chicago Foods. "Like I said before, we're thinking about today as well as tomorrow."

A tomorrow that would have U.S. tourists sipping American beer on Cuban beaches. --CNN

The truth is that any attempt to lift the embargo will only satiate the appetite of the visitor, the tourist, while filling the pockets of an oppressive government regime through inflated taxes. With no embargo, the everyday Cuban citizen will be left as hungry and oppressed as they were with the embargo. Since 2000, the US is the number one provider of food to Cuba and yet the hunger persists. If the Cuban government cannot use the resources it is given to aid its own people on a small scale (restricted donations), then it is clear that it will not do so on a large scale (the lifting of the embargo.) Period.

For those who claim that a new era has dawned on Cuba should take a close look at the incident that happened with a peaceful group of Cuban bloggers. Nothing has changed. Oppression remains in the cities while luxury and freedom exudes in the resorts.

I don't know about you, but I'm no longer eating Hagen Dazs ice cream nor drinking Miller beer.

UPDATE: CNN FINALLY writes an article about this.


Paul Johnson said...
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Julio said...

We need your help! Whether you have already supported this human rights
campaign or not. Please spread the news about "OZT: I accuse the Cuban
Government" ( -an initiative that
promotes the letter "For the liberation of all Cuban political prisoners
(which you can read and sign on; you can
also sign by sending an e-mail to with your full name,
city and country of residence).

The letter has been signed by more than 43 thousand people worldwide. Among
those who signed the letter are Pedro Almodovar, Ana Belen, Nacha Guevara,
Mario Vargas Llosa, Paquito D'Rivera and a growing group of distinguished
figures from the branches of the arts, science, politics

If you have already supported the campaign, thanks you so much! If you want
to do more, we invite you to put our logo on your blog. You can find it
(Yes, we have the logo in English as well.)

We also invite you to copy and paste this text and send it via email to your
friends and acquaintances who live in Cuba. Spread the word! We should all
be part of the future that deserves Cuba, a future where people are not
prosecuted for thinking differently. We count on you! THANK YOU!


Our new expat blog, based in Jakarta, has just started a blog debate on Castro's Cuba, incl. its health services..

Ross's Right Angle

If you share our concern at Communist tyranny in Cuba, please have your say!