Monthly Archives: April 2010

Not Even By Force

But time does not stop

On Saturday, April 17, at 10:00am I was invited to attend a seminar about Computing and Communication Technology (TIC) led by Yoani Sánchez, at Silvio Benítez Márquez’s house, in the Punta Brava area of La Lisa municipality in Havana Province.

Two subjects were to be addressed by the speaker: Blogs and Twitter. The first was based on Andrew Sullivan’s well-known post, “Why I Blog.”  The second covered “Survival Manual for the First Days of Twitter” by Delia Rodríguez.

I was aware of the enthusiasm and anticipation that was going around since others who had also been invited called me to confirm if the seminar was still on.  This was a part of it.

Yoani was behind the human barrier at the door.

But, we are aware of the warnings of our Apostle of Independence: “Men fall into two categories, those who love and build and those who hate and destroy.” Those with exclusive power executed another plan. They gathered at daybreak, situating themselves in the area to prevent access to the house. They even placed four undercover agents at the front door of the house just in case anyone of us managed to break through the ringed throng that blocked our way. These even attempted to block Silvio’s mother’s way.  Significantly, we were not intercepted–the obstacles cleared and the human barrier at the entrance gave way. It is possible they thought that our presence there did not matter much since no one else would be allowed through.

I recalled that Abraham Lincoln left us his classification of human work: Those who do useful work, those who do useless work,  and those who are lazy.  Rulers feel omnipotent with their useless, repressive strength that only paralyzes those who are lazy.  They tend to underestimate the creativity and strong will of those determined to perform, at all costs, useful actions.

I proved once more that one can always do good. We learned from Silvio’s family, that the old laptop was having technical problems and Yoani decided to check it out. Instead of the seminar, she held a workshop; three hours later, after taking the computer apart, cleaning it and updating its programs, we left the house. Silvio’s son, a smart adolescent was her outstanding student, who like a sponge absorbed everything he was learning.

At the same time, last Sunday, the 25th, elections of the so-called Popular Power were held across the entire country in every district. This is the reason why the group of retired members of the Communist Party from the area where I live and members of the rapid response brigades, among others, have been restless.  It seems my support for the Candidates Platform for Change has led to instructions for them to keep me under control. First they were expecting me to nominate myself at the nomination assembly–they waited for me, prepared with a strong response.  Now all morning long on election day, there were two people posted at the entrance to my apartment.  They are aware that I get along with my neighbors and have taken that into account. But I followed Karl von Clausewitz’s wise advise: “It is by our enemies position that we can draw conclusions about their intentions, and thus plan accordingly.” Therefore, on both occasions, I left them waiting and widened my social network of information in the neighborhood. They have lost moral authority even though they have maintained the formal one.

I know that the efforts of repressive forces are in vain–in his magnificent play to anti-Nazi resistance Schweyk in the Second World War Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956), the German playwright tells us change cannot be stopped: “But time does not stop.  The unlimited ambition of those now in power continues its course.  Like fighting cocks splattering blood defending their position, but time cannot be stopped.  Not even by force.”

Translated by HEFA.


The Kiss of the Blogger Academy

“Decorated” by Samantha and Samylia Medina Martín

On Thursday the 8th we celebrated the end of the course in the Blogger Academy. Altogether, between the bloggers and others we were 32 people, 27 students and 5 teachers: Yoani Sanchez (Word Press), Miriam Celaya (Cuban Culture), Claudia Cadelo (Blogpost), Reinaldo Escobar (Interactive Journalism), Wilfredo Vallin (Ethics and Law) y Claudio Fuentes Madan (Photography).Those who taught some subjects were students of others.

The interactive dynamic, team spirit, relaxed atmosphere and prevailing joy allowed us to come together like people in a fairy tale: The Musicians of Bremen. We felt happy and “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” according to the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. This happened once the classes were over and the meetings ended. Each one takes his grief in his own way: alone, with ice or diluted with the soft drink of his choice.

Me, I usually suffer from evocations, I remember my time in elementary school in the second half of the decade of the ’50s in the last century. At school I was restless, talkative and rather unruly. So I always kept a great distance, light years away, from the well-known scholars. In particular there was an award insignia, the desire of all parents for their offspring, which was awarded in a special ceremony. Awarded only to the brightest comets who had passed, with the corresponding level of learning, with a purified light, it was called, “Kiss of the Fatherland.”

As the old saying goes, better late than never. fortunately that happy and sociable little boy is alive and well today in the adult. His little friends, the twins Samantha and Samyra, awarded him the kiss of the Blogger Academy.

Other photos of the activity:

The Evangelists of Change

The Evangelists of Change

The brotherhood of Consenso, and more…

Total list of the Evangelists of Change, graduates of the Blogger Academy.

With Wilfredo Vallin and Juan Juan Almeida

Between the chronological extremes, Rebeca Monzo and Hector William Riturreta, the baby of the Academy.

With Miguel Iturria of the blog Island Anchor and Silvio Benítez of the Platform for Change.