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None of the classics of Marxism-Leninism could foresee the possibility that a country formally declared as socialist would be governed by a family dynasty. But now we get the news (?) after the death of Kim Jong Il that the leadership of that country will be left in the hands of his third son, Kim Jong-un, whom they call “the brilliant comrade.”

With the information available to us on this island, we should not make predictions about whether the new Kim has reformist tendencies, or is subnormal, or is more totalitarian than his predecessors. What I do consider useful to put on the table is the ease with which in this country’s public offices are inherited and, what interests us most, is how the Cuban media, private property of the Communist Party, approaches the issue: taking it for granted.

In the name of an alleged respect for the sovereignty of nations, they will recognize the legitimacy of the new leader, happy that a precedent exists, quick to point out the “imperialist maneuvers” or “media campaign” launched with regards to a family clan’s perpetuating itself in power. We must pay attention to the degree to which such a monstrosity is accepted, because said acceptance will be directly proportional to the proclivity to repeat here what happens there.

And I won’t even try the line, “this is not North Korea.”

19 December 2011


In the lower left corner of my screen I have the Windows Taskbar. When I click it suggests different shutdown options:

Switch User

Log Off





Ah, if it were only that easy! On the keyboard and over the mouse keys I have a monopoly on decisions, but in the realm of reality I can barely manage to blow the dust off my table. Cubans in exile approached our shores to launch fireworks. The newspaper Granma assures me they are terrorists. I saw groups on the Malecon in the rain, brought there in a bus with government license plates, and they want to convince me that it is the people spontaneously gathering to confront the provocations of “the employees of the empire.”

I get calls from almost all the provinces in the country denouncing arbitrary arrests, beatings of opponents and other abuses. On Sunday the Ladies in White try to march down 5th Avenue and are forced into official vehicles and taken away. There are people on hunger strikes, others prepare and sign documents, the Twitterers tweet, the poets do their thing, the movie lovers gather in the screening rooms of the 33rd Cinema Festival.

Nightly TV programming includes a science fiction film where a young man leaves the plane of reality and enters a computer game. I didn’t have nightmares, but on waking up this Monday I surprise myself trying to find a comparison between the options offered by technology and those I just haven’t found in reality.

13 December 2011

Link to Original Blog in Spanish

Please help translate

Reinaldo Escobar (1947), an independent journalist since 1989, writes from Cuba where he was born and continues to live. He received his degree in Journalism from the University of Havana in 1971 and subsequently worked for different Cuban publications. His articles can be found in various European publications, and in the digital magazines "Cuba Encuentro" and "Contodos."

Desde Aquí/From Here is a personal undertaking born from the need to write about those topics that fill my head every day but that cannot find a space in the official Cuban media.

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