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Note from David: Mynona, when do you start your own blog? Would you kindly let me know?

I'm sorry. Have I missed all those stories about Americans being eaten by sharks as they try to make their way by small boat from Florida to Cuba? I've certainly missed those stories of Americans traveling to Cuba only to see asylum there. Yes, I must have missed that. Odd, since I do remember stories of people going in the other direction, however bizarre that appears to enlightened German reporters.

No doubt the German media can fill in the blanks in my memory.

du fällst ja genau auf die Propaganda rein, die ZDF beabsichtigt hat! Da streut man ein paar Wahrheiten in Nebensätze, damit das Bild nicht völlig schief gerät, so wie man in Nachrichten über Israel am Ende erwähnt, daß Israel auf einen Selbstmordanschlag reagiert hat.
Guck dir den Tenor des Artikels an! Was ist Headline! Was will ZDF dir sagen: romantisches Kuba, wilde Tänzer, herrliche Revolution.

"Ich fühle mich vor allem deswegen privilegiert, weil ich als Kubanerin mein Land repräsentieren darf, und damit auch solche Kubaner, die nicht den gleichen Lebensstandard haben wie ich."

Das ist doch die Lüge, die dieser Mensch hier verbreiten MUSS, die das ZDF glaubt und verbreiten will, die aber nicht wahr ist. Es ist eben nicht toll und romantisch, Kuba repräsentieren zu können, wie sich jetzt herausgestellt hat. Genau derselbe Mensch feiert jetzt dort oben mit. War nämlich Lüge, was sie damals vor der Kamera gesagt hat, damit das ZDF zufrieden ist.

Lies alles noch einmal und dann urteile du noch einmal!

Was hat mynona denn furchtbares geschrieben? Darf man sich nicht selbst ein Urteil bilden?

@ David,

are you deleting stuff that disagrees with your opinion or was it something else?

This is your blog and I have to respect your decision. Yet, I am a little unsure as to what exactly it was that made you delete my posting? I had merely translated some parts of the article not featured in your original posting. Is it not permissible to post a matter of fact translation of the article in discussion so that visitors who do not speak German get a more comprehensive picture? Or was it the length of the posting? I would love to contribute to this blog and would be very much obliged if you could kindly provide me with some hints as to what will be acceptable and what not and specifically why my translation of the article was deemed not acceptable.

As to your suggestion that I should start a blog of my own, I don't think I have the requisite technical expertise but I will give it a thought. For the time being, I am aware that some of the regulars here have their own blogs. Would anyone kindly allow me to repost my translation of the article at their blog?

@ Phil
are you deleting stuff that disagrees with your opinion or was it something else?

I had translated some more parts of the article which David had left out. Just that. No expletives, insults or anything of that sort. Just a translation of the article so that all readers who do not speak German could judge for themselves.

Phil: its his blog. so let him do whatever he likes. its (for me) annoying to read even here on this blog the weaky wanko lefists arguments.

but, to be honest, i'm also anoyed by copy and paste comments. i just hate it to ready through 50 comments with endless quotings of other sources. someone should either write about his own opinion or sending the link as a tip to david. to everyone else: start your own blog!

of course it's his blog and he's perfectly entitled to delete stuff but when you do it, you should give an explanation.

Actually the only persons who leave the United States to live in Cuba are running away from law enforcement. There is no extradition treaty. I can't think of anyone else that would go to Cuba from here. I don't think most Germans would like Cuba if they didn't have air conditioning. Heck they wouldn't like most of the south east US without air conditioning.

@sock puppet of doom

I don't think most Germans would like Cuba if they didn't have air conditioning. Heck they wouldn't like most of the south east US without air conditioning.

I'm an American, but have been living in Germany for the last 10 years, so perhaps I've misunderstood your quote. Was that sarcasm?

In the USA you'll find everywhere is air-conditioned, although I've never been to Alaska, I would suspect that they have more air-conditioning per capita than Germany. You see, the Germans or Europeans per se, consider air-conditioning to be deadly. Which is kind of silly, because it does get hot here.

My office receives sunlight starting at 6:30 in the Summertime and finally abates around 14:00, the office has no air-conditioning. By the time I get into the office at 9:00am the temp is already at like 80 degrees F.

Worse still, conventional thinking over here is that drinking cold drinks is bad for your stomach so you won't find many refreshing cold drinks with ice here. Alas, there is no 7/11 big gulp here either...

The office here was unbearable in August of 2003 when there was a heat-wave. In fact over 11.000+ Parisians died (mostly elderly) during the event. I still get strange looks from colleagues when I observe that the building is only 3 years old and wasn't built with air-conditioning and that AC is not necessarily a luxury but also as necessary as heat for comfortable living.

So even your honest translation, and the fence-sitting of most of Europe's intelligentsia will not alter the fact that Fidel Castro is one of the most despicable dictators who imprisons his own people.

Sorry, but this is beside the point. This is not about whether Castro is or is not a despicable dictator. He is. And nobody so far has said anything to the contrary, including myself. Let me repeat: he is. And this is neither about Haider or Berlusconi.

This is about whether the article in discussion is (as David claims) a specific case of taking "pro-government statements by Cubans at face-value" and whether its author is indeed viewing a cruel dictatorship through rose tinted glasses. Now, in order to discuss this question in any reasonable it would be helpful to know what the article actually says and that it does explicitly mention the hardship Cubans suffer under Castro. Hence my translation. Here is just one example:

“... I received the photo, and then he had a piano sent to my house, too.
But while Castro may have provided her with a piano and a good education, without Nicole Durr the young singer would have been left without a perspective in Cuba, like many talented and well-educated musicians there.“

The article also mentions the permanent supply problems in Cuba, the power failures, the poor standard of living, the fact that Cubans earn less than 20 USD per months on average etc.

The question I would like to raise: is this article really all about a „sly admiration“ of the Communist regime, or rather about admiration for the people of Cuba who - despite all the hardship they have to suffer under a cruel dictatorship - still somehow manage to keep alive a musical tradition many more affluent countries could only dream of? Or is it maybe a bit of both?

Why do these question and my translation provoke such a strong reaction (while OTOH there does not seem to be a problem with TED's dismissing my posting as „weaky wanko lefists arguments“ without even having read it)?

"David was right in deleting your comment."
someone should delete all your dumb comments too!

Does every piece in the German press the author of this blog disagrees with have to be "propaganda"? I found the quoted ZDF article very balanced. It show a positive example of achievement in Cuba without ignoring the difficult reality. Does every article about Cuba have to come with a Castro blasting disclaimer?

I never got to read what mynona posted originally. But what the ZDF article quoted about that pride of that musician is true.

"Kaum einer ist bisher nach einer Tournee im Ausland geblieben. Das spricht für die Zufriedenheit mit dem Ensemble. Es hat aber auch zu tun mit dem Stolz auf die eigene Heimat, auf deren Lebensgefühl und deren Kultur, die für die meisten Kubaner mit Geld nicht aufzuwiegen ist. Technische Probleme, Stromausfälle und die ständigen Versorgungsengpässe auf Kuba haben Nicole Durr schon manchmal an den Rand der Verzweiflung getrieben. Aber trotz aller Schwierigkeiten, hat sie sich und auch den Tänzerinnen und Tänzern mit der Bühnenshow einen Traum erfüllt."

No communist propaganda here, right? Cubans are very proud of their country. That has little to do with Castro and communism, much more with the culture. I know an artist in Havana who had a visa for the U.S. for months. He was absolutely anti-Castro but he loved his country so much that he could barely bear to leave it. So did that woman "lie" to the ZDF? Well in a dictatorship you never know but she could very well have meant what she said. Why did she (and others) leave then? I can understand that, too. Living in Cuba (even as a privileged person) isn't easy and in 2003 Castro tightened his grip again.

But Cuba isn't North Korea, never was. And if you compare the poorest quarters of Havana with those of Santo Domingo, there is really no comparison. I have seen both.

Well, I don't have a dog in the current fight but I do have a comment about Cubans who manage to get here. Life is going to be hard for these people for awhile. If they decide to put down roots in the Miami area, they will have great support from a large Cuban expat community, but generally people who come here from dictatorships have one hell of an adjustment period. I wish them luck.

I said it elsewhere, this blog is biased and it likes to present information in a biased way. As a serious media critic is therefore disqualified.


Please provide us with a listing of non-biased media organisations.

I know that. But his head will explode trying to answer. As with you, I predict that he/she/troll will simply choose not to answer : probably too busy solving more of the world's problems : weiter Kreuzritter!

My description of fair reporting/journalism/media or even government for that mattter, is simply organisations that have the least contradictions.


David was right in deleting your comment.
Oh, and TED was right, too, in dismissing your so-called arguments as „weaky wanko lefists arguments“.

Niko, you have not even read the deleted comment. And my „argument“ was a actually a translation of the article.

I know, I should not bother with your childish insults. But I really enjoyed reading some of your other comments and besides you sound quite young to me. So I will make one last effort:

Your general assumption seems to be that you are only most intelligent person on this planet. You seem to believe that all the imbeciles around you need to be constantly reminded of what only you already know: Castro is a despicable dictator responsible for horrific human rights violations in Cuba. Of course he is. But people are not as stupid as your arrogance leads you to believe. They do not need to be constantly reminded of the obvious.

Niko, let me assure you that you are not even half as clever and people around you are not quite as stupid as you like to think. Live with it. Here's a nice example of your amazing mind at work:

But why the double-standard when it comes to Cuba? Here's why. Fidel Castro pretends to be a socialist, hence Europeans give him a pass. Also, Cuba has such a lovely countryside - I mean, life can't be as bad there, can it?We see similar mechanics at work when it comes to Austria's Haider and Italy's Berlusconi. The German government tried to impose sanctions on Austria because Haider's party gained too much power, but gave Berlusconi's right-wing coalition a pass. Why?

Because Berlusconi pretends to be a socialist, just like Castro?

mynona on Niko:

Your general assumption seems to be that you are only most intelligent person on this planet.

Well, that could be true...;-)

You seem to believe that all the imbeciles around you

No, don't misunderstand Niko now. Not all are imbeciles, only many, too many...

But people are not as stupid as your arrogance leads you to believe.

I'm not so sure when I read some of the comments here, including yours, mynona.

They do not need to be constantly reminded of the obvious. (except when it comes to bashing the US)

OooooK, now I know why there is no talk about Iraq's mass graves. Thanks for enlightening me. It's because people/MSM are too smart.

Niko, let me assure you that you are not even half as clever

Really ???

and people around you are not quite as stupid as you like to think.

Now this would be great, if it were only true. But as I said before, examples of stupidity can be found in abundance on this blog.


since many seem to talk about your first entry, but nobody read it, i would kindly ask you to post it again if possible in the comment section here

The Cubans engage in trade and business with anyone they want in the world, except the US, and even then it happens to a certain degree.

The US government is not causing Cubans to live in poverty. Castro and his adolescent political system are.

Euros are worried about A/C, with the argument being energy consumtion issue. A/C in a climate such as one finds in the whole of Europe (including the nations on the mediterranian) requires more energy, and more pollutants to be expelled than the cooling cycle. So what they are left with is the ancient superstitions about 'vapours' and no drinking water in the summer or whatever.

It's irrational, especially in a continent that has a much smaller energy degree delta than the US does. In other words it should be cheaper and easier to heat and cool in Europe as it does in the U.S. - but it isn't. I guess they like penitently suffering for the new green religion as well as the old one.

Not only that there is the co2 boondoggle. Those wise (european) authors of Kyoto do not account for carbon absorption. The US and even to a greater degee the whole of North America as a NET ABSORBER. Thinly treed, cold, crowded, and inefficent Europe is a NET POLLUTER, when the CO2 sinking is subtracted from output.

The lesson we should all follow?: be impirical. Our feelings don't matter.


Admore all the suffering you want - as long as it's not just for the sake of admiration. It's best done when trying to remove the source of their misery.

It's the "never ending revolution" that's making their lives nasty, brutish, and short.

@joe n:...The US and even to a greater degee the whole of North America as a NET ABSORBER. Thinly treed, cold, crowded, and inefficent Europe is a NET POLLUTER, when the CO2 sinking is subtracted from output.

do you have a link for this statement, or do we have to go and take measurements ourselves?


OK, here's a suggestion I hope we can all agree on: enough time has been wasted on all sides. Let's leave it there.

One last word: Niko, as I said, I quite liked some of your comments on other topics. I think we could agree on many other issues, in particular the many real examples of abhorrent anti-americanism in the German press. It's a shame it had to come to this little showdown of ours. Maybe another time.

What a weird discussion. ZDF reports on a success story in Cuba (made possible with the help of a German) and gets trashed because it doesn't dwell enough on Cuba being a depressive socialist dictatorship.
What is so terrible about the article? That Castro donated a piano? That an article dedicated to music doesn't go into a detailed political analysis about a socialist society?
So next time you write about German music, don't forget to mention Hartz IV and Germany selling weapons to China or you will be dismissed as biased and a bloody propagandist for socialist Germany.

@niko:...I'm sure "no comment" will give you ample space and opportunity at his newly-founded blog

would you please stop mentioning my blog? i have no interest in blogging and attracting visitors. that's why i never link it.

Niko, did it never occur to you that this article was NOT about Castro?

What you want is something that's actually done in the communist media: That you can't write about a capitalist country without going into a political tirade.

This was an article about MUSIC! That Castro has blood on his hands is simply irrelevant in that case.

You'll probably insist on a political analysis in a baseball report as well.

Niko, I don't know that gardening article.

This article was about music. If Fidel Castro was notorious for suppressing musicians I'd think you'd have more of a point. He, probably in a whim, gave her a piano, and she made the best of it. More power to her.

That's why articles about Cuban literature tend to be far more "political", because a writer in Cuba will have to deal with the political reality in his country every day.

A musician certainly is affected, too, but not at the same level (exception: a critical songwriter).

OK, next time MTV shows the music clip "Break my stride" (filmed in Havana), let's insist on the disclaimer: "Warning, Cuba is a repressive Communist dictatorship, enjoy the beautiful pictures at your own risk.

What you don't want to acknowledge is that Cuba, despite being that brutal bloody communist dictatorship and all that, DOES go out of its way to sponsor the development of arts, sports and science. This doesn't make Fidel a less repressive dictator.

But does EVERY article about some hopeful Cubans have to blast Fidel Castro at the same time? A boring routine, sorry.

@niko: Good luck then! May we infer...?

no hope. but i might feel urged to run a niko-special one day...

"Cubans are very proud of their country. That has little to do with Castro and communism, much more with the culture. I know an artist in Havana who had a visa for the U.S. for months. He was absolutely anti-Castro but he loved his country so much that he could barely bear to leave it." - Transatlantiker - He loved it so much, it hurt, as many such lovestruck have pined, in their expectant fear of loss, somewhat delicious as it is.

So, Yea Verily, the artist had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the Fatherland, fearing, lo, a perhaps permanent separation, with its inevitable crippling *complex*, due to the bonding richness of his strong culture, which had taught him to love Cuba in a way heretofore thought to be only as one such as the enlightened Robert Redford or Vanessa Redgrave could love, since, after all, they knew Cuba was not North Korea. What North Korean, the reasoning went, could "barely bare" to leave North Korea? No, certainly, Cuba "never was" North Korea, and a love to rival that of the ages thus necessarily eventuates, especially if the loved is also not Santo Domingo.

But, why indeed, the artist wondered, did Fidel give him, in particular, a visa to leave? Was his greatness finally noticed, or rather, more ominously, actually just unappreciated? Would he ever be allowed to return? Might he be captured by the slaver Capitalists? Oh, the rising of such poignant emotions, so sweet yet painful, within his sensitively masochistic breast. Oh, the sad but wonderous viscissitudes of this mortal life of yet glorious struggle, apparently so urgently in need of possibly his own artistic expression in the U.S., after the manner of yet other Cuban artists and Sportsfigures, some bravely deciding even to colonize the U.S.?

He wondered..., then decided.

Yes, long live Cuba and its rich culture, untainted by despot and despotism! Long live the African-Cubans, having received their just reparations from a just country, so that they are now full Cubans, unlike the brutish case to the North, where the oppressed and slavery-disabled tribe of "African Americans" still exists, unaccepted by the Aryan Masters, ruthlessly producing a profligately CO2-abetted climate of hate. Oh, the hot pathos, pungently secreted from the injustices of the anti-culture into which he would now travel, he still barely baring to sally forth from his own warm cultural Cuban Nirvana - except, perhaps, to further the equality of people - economic democracy - he mused?

And thus, this, it became clear to him, is why he was being sent, and why he was going - yes, to do what the Canadians and migrant Mexicans had not been able to do, even with the assistence of the erudite and charismatic Michael Moore, Teresa Hines, Bianca Jagger, and Whoopi Goldberg: enrich the awareness of the Red States by rightfully inflicting upon them a "critical mass" of Cubans, so that they too would love Cuba and become Blue, like it and the rest of the civilized world, with its higher I.Q. and already achieved economic democracy.

But, why, then, the wrenching torture the artist could barely bare when such a noble task had in fact befallen him? Nay, becoming nobly enraged by these considerations, he would take the conflict no longer, resolving to leep forward in a great leap of faith, into the unknown of nuanced truth he had heard only muffled fragments of, from the mouths of the European elite and the Democratic Underground, muzzled as they had been by Fox and talk radio, and now even the Internet Bloggers themselves: he would instead march forth a missionary much as had his Spanish ancestors, a literally new breed of emissary from now Old Europe, to produce a reconciliation of Islamofascism with the Neocon Naziism of Bush=Hitler, thus spreading cultural Cuba, with its transcendence of politics, to the Capitalists and unwashed Rednecks, leavening racism and imperialism with a pure multiculturalism sprung from the salt-people, those truely of the Earth. All would be well. Yes, It is Written.

And this is why, yon Bourgoise, our artist could just bare to leave Cuba in spite of his great love for Cuba, spawned by its culture - a happy ending indeed: for he sought to save the World! And we should expect many more of them.

Really. When was the last successful artist, athlete or scientist executed in Cuba?
Maybe you should try to visit the country to form your own opinion.
Oops, I forgot, the U.S. government doesn't allow that.

Dear Joe P.

It was a bit difficult to read your posting. I guess you fell in love with the web of your words somehow.

First of all, Cuban artists are better informed than you may think. This guy had friends and family members in Miami and did have quite a clue.

I forgot to mention that Fidel didn't give him a visa. The United States did. Regular Cubans face little problems when they try to leave Cuba, if a country is willing to take them. It's different with famous scientists or baseball cracks, true.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this guy (who was not someone enjoying any privileges) did let his US visa expire and did not travel. Hard to believe indeed and his friends thought he was nuts. And he was a guy who had a few nasty encounters with Castro's thugs.

The real hypocrisy is that of the United States that bemoans the cruel fate of the suppressed Cubans but mercifully sends boat people back to the socialist paradise if they weren't lucky enough to touch American soil ("wet feet, dry feet").

Niko, I asked: When was the last successful artist, athlete or scientist executed in Cuba?
I have not said that nobody gets executed in Cuba.
The three persons in question did hijack a boat with passengers that was not seaworthy and put people at grave risks.
Since nobody was hurt execution was certainly a too harsh sentence. In the United States they would probably have gotten 20 years.

There is a list of other people on death row. I don't know what they did. Do you?

But is anyone of them a successful artist, athlete or scientist who is on death row for saying bad things about Castro?

And how many people are on death row in Huntsville, Texas, alone?

Please don't make me defend the Castro Regime. I have neither the reason nor the inclination to do so.

When I was stationed in Germany with the Army, there were reports from East Germany about racial unrest in the big cities.

The DDR was prosperous compared to other Soviet satellites. They had a labor shortage, caused in part by WWII and people fleeing to the West. In the 1970s, the Hoenecker government imported "socialist brother" guest workers from Vietnam and Cuba. As to be expected, there were many racial and cultural incidents between Germans and these unfortunate immigrants.

I find it ironic that German elites can romanticize Cuba and its people, taking into consideration what a disaster it was when Cubans came to the DDR to work. To my knowledge, none of these guest workers stayed or settled in the DDR like the Turks did in West Germany.

Most people who "romanticize" Cuba have never been there. There is nothing romantic about Cuba. It is fascinating for us because it makes us feel we step back in time. This makes for beautiful photos. The reality is a lot less pretty. Maybe it's the music.

"Fidel Castro's government said Wednesday it will handle a high seas standoff with the armed hijackers of a ferry who have threatened to throw some of an estimated 50 hostages overboard if they cannot go to the United States."


The latest crisis began early Wednesday when a group of people armed with three pistols and at least one knife hijacked the ferry overnight, Havana said in a statement read on state television.
The ferry is one of several providing regular service between Havana and the small communities of Casablanca and Regla on the other side of Havana Bay.


Of course it's easier to insult people.

To my knowledge, none of these guest workers stayed or settled in the DDR like the Turks did in West Germany.

Not sure how many Cubans stayed, but I know many Vietnamese stayed in East Germany.

My last recollection about the three Cubans who were put to death for wanting to leave Castro and Brothers Inc. (Cuba) was that this publicly forced Europe to halt their patented soft-power diplomatic tactics with the imprisoned island nation. Or at least, the tactics were put on ice until Brussels thinks our collective memory has passed and to-be elected European Foreign Minister Joscka Fischer can one-again approach his brother in arms.

But, for the time being:

Cuba 1
Europe 0

Mr. no comment:

This is one of many -


And don't joke about having to take your own data. People who didn't drink the kool-aid of the green party-esque "science" agenda have an imposible time getting a grant on both sides of the pond.

I lived in the DDR back when i had hair. There were some students and guest workers from other parts of the Comecon blob and their dependencies. They would try to stay there because even though the weather sucked, and the place was not nearly as much fun as Hungary or Yugoslaviam the standard of living was highest in the eastern block.
But that really isn't saying much. I'd put it on par with the parts of Pennsylvania which were ravaged by floods, and never really recovered economically.

As a proposition on how to run a society, the DDR sucked. Please move on.

@ Joe N.

You miss my point. It was my impression that Cubans were not treated with all that much respect in the DDR. I am just suprised that "Neo commies" among the German elite treat Cuba as a socialist paradise.

"God, no wonder Germany has become such a shitty place. It's comments like yours that make me
understand the gloating over there at LGF, the comments of folks like Pato and others, the fact that Schröder's Germany is increasingly been interpreted as the second coming of the Third Reich. No, not the Jew-killing part, but the cold, cold stance on brutal murder for the sake of an ideology."

Germany is a wonderful place......i love it!
Wie oft hast du eigentlich ausgang in der woche?

You're right - they were treated like dirt. Everyone dark was. They might have been humming "the Internationale", but they surely had little to no knowledge of anyone other that Germans, eastern Europeans, and a few western europeans.

While they're at it, do you think that Old Europe will be giving Castro a reactor too? They seem to think it's a good idea everywhere else?

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