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Profile Information

Name: Sócrates
Gender: Male
Hometown: East Coast
Home country: Spain
Current location: Spain
Member since: Mon May 20, 2013, 03:32 PM
Number of posts: 770

Journal Archives

Yoani Sanchez: my mother and the Onions

Quoted from 14 y medio, written by the Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.

At times, when I talk to my mamá, I explain the need for Cuba to open itself up to democracy, to respect human rights and to establish freedom. She listens to me in silence for a while. After some minutes, she changes the conversation and tells me about the eggs that haven’t come, the bureaucrat who mistreated her, or the water leak at the corner of her house. Then, I ask her how much onions cost. My mother has to pay out three days worth of her pension to buy a pound of onions. I no longer have to say anything, she just concludes, “This country has to change.”


Posted by Socialistlemur | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:09 PM (1 replies)

Overstatement by Fernando Damaso

Taken from "translating Cuba" a website which offers translations of posts written by bloggers based in Cuba. I recommend it.

"Typically, we Cubans are short on economic issues and pass on politics. At least that has been the case for the last fifty-six years. We veer between shortcomings and excesses, never finding a happy medium, as so many of the world’s nations and peoples do. We now seem to be in a period of unrestrained overstatement.

First there was the celebration of 61st anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks. Given the hours devoted to scheduled programming on radio and television and the tons of paper and ink expended on this topic, one would think this event had completely changed the history of mankind, except that, so far, mankind has not noticed.

The series of neighborhood concerts given by the singer Silvio Rodriguez — which compelled him to say that, until giving them, he was not aware how bad (he used another word) Cubans were — was described as an epic accomplishment.

The summer road trip take by twenty or so young people from Sabaneta in Guantanamo province to Miraflores in Ciego de Avila — names which by sheer coincidence matched those of two places in Venezuela, recalling the last electoral campaign of that country’s late president — were part of an admirable campaign.

The victories by the Cuban baseball team — reinforced with professional players — against a team of American college students constitute a great accomplishment which swept aside memories of the defeat suffered the previous year by the Cubans at the hands of American team. The sliver and bronze medals which our athletes win are as valuable as those of gold and even shine more brightly because they were won with heart. Apparently, athletes from other countries do not have the heart to compete.

There are even dead people who go on living even after their deaths because they are eternal. It’s not that they get older every year but simply that their birthdays are remembered.

In any normal country the output of a factory or farm is not considered newsworthy. Here it represents a heroic labor achievement. One might add that our children are the happiest in the world, our women the most emancipated and that our citizens enjoy the best health and education systems in the world as well as the most generous social security benefits. The list goes on and on.

Superlatives on a daily basis have become a bad habit. Moderators of radio and television programs, journalists, artists, politicians and even national leaders all do it. Today’s sad reality must be masked with big-sounding words. The problem is that overstatement to the point of ridiculousness is only a step away."

2 August 2014

Posted by Socialistlemur | Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:23 PM (0 replies)

Banned from a forum by a "host"?

I think either last year or the previous year I was banned from a forum by a host. I can't recall the details. To be honest I'm not suffering a crisis from it, and I find the DU set up to be fine. However, it does seem a bit arrogant for a single individual to have the ability to ban comments forever. The whole idea seems a bit inefficient, because it creates an environment where there's no debate (the forum becomes an echo chamber where all participants have to more or less agree with the host).

Conversely, if a forum is ruled in such an autocratic fashion, is it possible to create a parallel forum which could be labeled "forum subject yy, diversity of opinion encouraged"?
Posted by Socialistlemur | Sat Aug 2, 2014, 05:13 AM (6 replies)

'Argentina's insular policy shatters MERCOSUR,' Mujica warns

Uruguayan President José “Pepe” Mujica questioned Argentina’s recent decision to stop freight transfers at ports belonging to MERCOSUR countries Buenos Aires has no maritime agreements with. Mujica blasted an “insular” position that “shatters” regional integration

Posted by Socialistlemur | Sat Nov 2, 2013, 02:58 AM (0 replies)

Heinz Dieterich discusses Maduro and Venezuela in aporrea.com

Heinz Dieterich, a German/Mexican communist who used to be a close friend of Chavez', broke with him as Chavez began to use measures Dieterich felt were fascist rather than socialist. This weekend he published a highly critical piece in aporrea.org, a radical communist website. The response in aporrea by other contributors has been virulent. This article is being quoted inside Chavista circles, some say Dieterich was bought by the CIA, others that he's working for the Russians who have now decided to pull the plug on Maduro and want to see him replaced.

Anyway, here's the original article in Spanish.


Posted by Socialistlemur | Tue Oct 15, 2013, 01:56 AM (0 replies)

Venezuela releases judge Afiuni from house arrest

Source: Associated Press

Venezuelan authorities on Friday freed a judge who was arrested in 2009 after late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez objected to one of her rulings. Her case became a cause celebre for the opposition and international human rights groups.

Dozens of supporters met Maria Lourdes Afiuni outside the apartment building where she has been under house arrest with cries of “freedom,” as she walked to the street without handcuffs or police escort for the first time in three-and-a-half years.

Amid a few tears, she thanked the well-wishers for coming out, but declined to comment further since she is still under a gag order not to discuss her case publicly. Instead the judge, her daughter and her lawyers went to a church to pray.

Thelma Fernandez, an attorney for the 50-year-old magistrate widely considered Venezuela’s most high-profile political prisoner, said a Caracas judge had released Afiuni from house arrest so she can seek treatment for health problems.

Read more: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2013/06/16/2003564944

No comment.
Posted by Socialistlemur | Sun Jun 16, 2013, 08:51 AM (24 replies)
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