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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-09-09 06:55 AM
Original message
MACHETERA - "Yoani Sanchez: Pentagon Babe"
"Yoani Snchez: Pentagon babe
May 8, 2009 No Comments

Rosa Miriam Elizalde has finally pointed out what never occurs to Time magazine or Grupo Prisa. Or maybe it has occurred to them they just cant bring themselves to admit it. That blog by the blocked Cuban blogger/whiner aint no ordinary blog. Lots o cash behind it.

There are other translations of this floating around on the Internet. Just not as good.

Cyber-command and Cyber-dissidents, More of the Same

Rosa Miriam Elizalde

English Translation: Machetera

Havana The news has gone around the world. The Obama administration is putting the final touches on a new cyberspace army. First the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times reported that the objective of this cyber-command is to guarantee the security of U.S. military computer networks threatened by the intrusion of hackers, particularly those linked to countries such as China and Russia.

Victims are being offered a single pill in which to swallow the fantasy of an external enemy and the details of the homicidal weapon used to kill it (a cyber-command that will keep watch over the planet and eventually enter into action). As Tom Burghardt, of Global Research <1> put it, the United States is using the subterfuge of cyber-security as a pretext for cyber-war, a project forged by the North American hawks before September 11, 2001 and one that began to come together in 2003, when a secret document <2> signed by Donald Rumsfeld, the ex-Secretary of Defense, was leaked, in which the order was given to create this special Command.

Since then, the military has been greasing the arsenal in order to hack into servers, engage in internet espionage, buy cyber-mercenaries, attack laws in order to criminalize citizens in the name of the war on terrorism, twist the arms of telecommunications companies and even launch in March of 2003, in Iraq an electronic bomb, which disabled all electronic systems at once.

The unprecedented thing then was not the creation of this army, but the actions of electronic warfare, which previously were split among 10 Pentagon operations and other centers of intelligence, as well as the Air Force, which began to function in a single direction, in order to extend Bushs holy war Either youre with us or youre with the terrorists not only against countries but against businesses, groups and individuals who would begin to be hunted like rabbits via the great nervous system of the global era.

For some bureaucratic reason that has not been revealed, the shadowy National Security Agency (NSA) is in charge of the Cyberspace Command. However, in 2003, the Cyberspace Command was introduced under the umbrella of the Air Force and would become an independent army in October, 2008, with a $2 billion operational budget for its first year.

Air Force General Robert Elder, who in November of 2006 was head of the Command, explained the reason for this new offensive deployment in cyberspace, at a press conference: The cultural change is that were going to treat it as a warfighting domain, and were going to actually focus attention and put priority on doing things in cyberspace, he said.

In fact theres nothing new, either in the Command or the self-promotion of the new Pentagon head who follows the same path as his predecessors in the Bush administration, nor in the offensive launched by the warlords. Its the same strategic version for repression and subversion that the U.S. government has been implementing for decades, simply recalibrated for a new era; the information era, whose spinal column is the Internet.

Get Out of the Way, Thats My Spot

USA Today realized in March of 2007 that one of the favored strategies of cyber-war was already in practice: <4> pirate attacks against Internet sites that bothered the Bush administration, for which the Air Forces Investigation Laboratory had $40 million dollars to spend.

But since then, the jewel in this offensive was the concentration on the creation of websites and cyber-dissidents putting forward the rhetoric of liberation for the North American troops in order to justify their bellicose actions.

This same publication realized some time later, in May of 2008, that the Pentagon is creating a worldwide network of foreign language news websites, including a site in Arabic for Iraqis, and it hired local journalists in order to write stories on current events and other features that might promote the interests of the United States and messages against insurgents. <5>

The daily added that The news sites are part of a Pentagon initiative to expand Information Operations on the Internet. It reported that websites built by the Pentagon included the Iraqi www.mawtani.com, the Balkan portal www.setimes.com and www.magharebia.com, for the Maghreb region.

What was the common denominator for all these publications, according to USA Today?

* They were written by local journalists hired to write stories in line with the Pentagons objectives.
* Military personnel or contractors edit the stories to make sure they are compatible with these objectives.
* The journalists are paid for their published stories.

And of course, the sites are highly discreet, in order to conceal the web hosters and domain registries, as well as the money trail for the payment of translators, journalists and technical personnel. USA Today announced the preparation of similar websites for Latin America, in particular, a portal that would be managed by the Southern Command, whose name and characteristics would remain anonymous.

Strange Coincidences

A simple exercise in comparing the domain registries for these websites revealed by USA Today, and another which enjoyed a fair amount of publicity in the first months of 2008, reveals the following results:

Domain Name: setimes.com
Date Created: 1 Oct. 2002
Expiration Date: 1 Oct. 2009
Last Update: 2008-08-05
Server name:
dns1.carpathiahost.com
dns2.carpathiahost.com
IP address: 66.117.39.197
IP location: Unknown server, Virginia, USA
Domain registered to: Domains by Proxy, Inc. GODADDY.COM, INC

Domain Name: magharebia.com
Date Created: 2004-10-13
Expiration Date: 2010-10-13
Last Update: 2006-07-17
Server name:
dns1.carpathiahost.com
dns2.carpathiahost.com
IP address: 66.117.39.197
IP location: Unknown server, Virginia, USA
Domain registered to: Domains by Proxy, Inc. GODADDY.COM, INC

Domain Name: mawtani.com
Date Created: 2007-08-16
Expiration Date: 2010-08-16
Last Update: 2006-07-28
Server name:
ns53.domaincontrol.com
ns54.domaincontrol.com
IP address: 193.179.58.35
IP location: U-turn A.s Ustecky Kraj, Czech Republic
Domain registered to: Domains by Proxy, Inc. GODADDY.COM, INC

Domain Name: mawtani.com
Date Created: 2003-09-8
Expiration Date: 2009-09-8
Last Update: 2008-7-4
Server name:
ns1.bluehost.com
ns2.bluehost.com
IP address: 69.89.26.116
IP location: Orem, Utah (USA) Bluehost Inc.
Domain registered to: Domains by Proxy, Inc. GODADDY.COM, INC

Another common element, not revealed by USA Today, is that the domains are in the hands of the GoDaddy domain registry, which characterizes itself as offering these services to preserve the anonymity of the buyer. It charges a premium for this of course. The owner of and sole investor in this company is Bob Parsons, an enormously rich ex-Marine and Vietnam vet and enthusiastic defender of extreme methods for softening up terrorists. <6>

GoDaddy has a long history of closing sites belonging to its clients without previous notification, and like other North American domain registries, it cannot offer registrations to businesses or people linked to countries which appear on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklist. Cuba is on the list.

Electronic commerce or the sending of remittances is prohibited by OFAC. In fact in March of 2007, the U.S. government, through OFAC <7> ordered the closing of 80 web sites belonging to a foreign tour operator whose owner lives in Spain and does business in the U.K. Without further notice, the ENOM registry blocked 80 domain names belonging to this tour operator, including some sites dedicated to purely cultural exchange, such as www.cuba-hemingway.com .

However, GoDaddy, which also has legal orders to close domains linked with Cuba and does so without a second thought, maintains a supposed Cuban website for the rock group Porno para Ricardo. Its a rabidly anti-governmental group, and money can be sent through the website to buy musical instruments for its members. The Cuban-ness of the website is suspect, because like others dedicated to Internet propaganda against the Cuban government, its not administered on the island, its servers are not in Cuban territory, it doesnt use Cuban domains, its owners dont appear to be in the Caribbean, and the sophisticated administrative tools and services offered at this website with its payment gateway and electronic money transfer via credit cards could not possibly be administered by a truly independent Cuban journalist without Washingtons political support and financing.

Add to this the overwhelming publicity campaign for this and other sites for dissident Cubans in Internet search engines, a campaign that also cannot be done from Cuba. Google wont allow it, out of compliance with the marching orders of the U.S. blockade against Cuba. In other words, if no-one here in Cuba can use a credit card to carry out a publicity campaign using Google Adwords <8>, will the directors of the famous search engine help track the money as it courses through the Internet, promoting these kinds of websites and creating the stars of worldwide cyber-dissidence?

Cyber-Dissidents

Military academics offer another extremely important variable in the information war waged on the Internet. In order to turn prejudices into real facts, they should be filtered through a personal perspective, preferably accompanied by pictures and other evidence which prove that the witness can be found where the story takes place.

Military Review,<9> the Pentagons official magazine, has dedicated extensive analysis to the importance of blogs and cyber-dissidents in this strategy. They serve to offer a face and anecdote to a rhetoric that corresponds to the political designs of the North American military for each region in conflict, particularly those where Internet use is on the rise.

Just as they themselves have built websites, the experts in the information war have created cyber-dissidents a la carte. A very controversial case was that of the Iraqi blogger Salam Pax, who during the U.S. invasion was mysteriously able to keep his anti-Saddam and anti-Bush blog running. Theres evidence of suspicious cyber-dissidents in Yugoslavia, China, Vietnam, Iran, and Syria.

In regard to Cuba, the meteoric rise of the blogger Yoani Snchez comes to mind, meeting as she does, all the conditions required by the Pentagon experts. The design of her blog follows various fallacies: the name of the host site: www.desdecuba.com suggests that all its Internet connection efforts come from Cuba. However, the server is hosted in Germany, registered to Josef Biechele who is this man? Why does she never mention this generous sponsor? She enjoys administrative resources that are not within the reach of any ordinary blogger, much less a Cuban one, who does not have the local administrative resources for a blog and must put up with an extremely slow connection in order to connect with international blogging platforms such as Blogger and others.

The technical support for this site, which is dedicated practically exclusively to her blog is a custom configuration, that at current market prices costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The marketing strategy, through Google and other digital and traditional media is major league.

The blogs content is manipulative. The blogger calls for demonstrations using Twitter, social networks and other versions of Internet 2.0 that are barely used in Cuba, a country with extremely limited bandwidth and weak Internet facilities, because for one thing, its entire Internet connection is via satellite. The U.S. blockade has prohibited Cuba from accessing electronic commerce and digital technologies via an undersea cable, for more than a decade. Those in Cuba who connect at a rate of 30-40 Kbps can barely manage to check their email and dedicate themselves to priorities that are light years away from Yoanis die-hard negativism.

To whom then, does this woman who obviously has no readers in Cuba, speak? Is she speaking to the Cubans or to an audience outside Cuba, bombarded by a prejudiced discourse that she is trying to highlight? Is her objectivity guaranteed by the fact that she is privileged to be here?

She claims to be apolitical, not committed to any system, and yet, the description that the creators of her blog use to identify her site say that www.desdecuba.com is a Politically independent magazine. It offers a view different from that offered by the Cuban government. Among her scribblings, the worn-out political theses used over the years by the State Department to put Cuba on all the blacklists, seasoned by a 1950s esthetic and the stereotype of Havana in ruins, are ways of giving the worst possible impression in the least space possible.

Lately she hasnt even bothered to hide her ultra-rightwing excesses, something that surely must be catching the attention of her handlers, since it is far from the role she is supposed to play. Its becoming more a blog that Luis Posada Carriles <10> might write, rather than one that might be expected from a pacifist blogger, a likely candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. For example, a post dedicated to the night of the long knives that will befall the island adheres explicitly to the license to kill attitude that comes out of Miami every now and then:

People waiting, with a stick or a knife under the bed, for the day that they can use them. Entrenched hatred against those who ratted them out, who denied them a better job or prevented their youngest child from studying at the university. There are so many waiting for the possible chaos that would give them the time necessary for revenge, that one would wish not to have been born at this time, when one can only be a victim or victimized, when so many yearn for the night of the long knives. (Yoani Snchez, April 24, 2009)

If the logic of the North American strategy is followed, the face that anti-Cuban discourse has today whether that of a woman or anyone else is the least important element. She and those who will follow are preparing the terrain for an escalation that allows them to continue to impose their pre-determined point of view on an audience of more than a billion Internet users who get their most of their information there. As well, it is a way of winning space to influence Cubans who because of the development and efforts to educate thousands of children and teenagers in digital technology, will be increasingly connected to the Internet.

The strategy of using the Internet for political intervention has been underway for at least five years, with a crescendo in recent months, culminating with the recent measures announced by the Obama administration. He inherited from Bush the decision to redirect financing for subversion against Cuba in the arena of telecommunications. That this announcement was nothing new was confirmed in the piece published by Paul Richter on May 7, 2008 in the Los Angeles Times: <11>

U.S. Agency for International Development, which oversees the program, is trying to persuade Central European and Latin American nongovernmental groups to join U.S. organizations in applying for its grants. A chief goal, officials say, is to spend most of the $45-million budget on communications equipment, such as cellphones and Internet gear, that possibly could be smuggled into Cuba to increase its peoples exposure to the outside world.

Could part of these funds have been allocated to technical support and the disproportionate marketing of Cuban cyber-dissidence? Which European institutions are receiving this U.S. government money? Did the Spanish Prisa groups prize for the Cuban blogger come out of this? Is it coincidence that Prisa, Yoanis main marketer in Europe also owns Noticias 24, the Venezuelan opposition blog that is the most aggressive against Chvez?

Whatever the answer is, therell be more of the same. Not the Cyberspace Command, nor the Internet, nor the prefabricated cyber-dissdents, nor the politically designed collaboration meant to annihilate Cubas government.

<1> Burghardt, Tom (2009): The Pentagons Cyber Command: Formidable Infrastructure arrayed against the American People. En Global Research, April 26, 2009. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1...

<2> Rumsfeld, Donald (2003): Information Operations Roadmap, United-States National Security Archive, October 30, 2003. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB177/info_ops_... (PDF 2,3 Mb)

<3> Wood, Sara (2006) New Air Force Command to Fight in Cyberspace. American Forces Press Service. U.S. Department of Defense, November 3, 2006.

<4> Michaels, Jim (2007): U.S. Military Beefs Up Internet Arsenal. USA Today, March, 28, 2007.

<5> Eisler, Peter (2008): Pentagon launches foreign news websites. USA Today, May 1, 2008.

<6> In June of 2005, Parsons generated a huge controversy when he stated in his blog that the U.S. interrogation methods being used at Guantnamo are incredibly mild. All of the prisoners receive regular medical attention. Parsons, Bob (2005): Close Gitmo? No Way, June 19, 2005

<7> The so-called Torricelli Law or Authorization and National Defense Law for fiscal year 1992 authorized Cuba to connect to the Internet via satellite, with the condition that every megabyte would have to be purchased from U.S. businesses or their subsidiaries and approved by the Treasury Department. It established limits on these contracts and set extraordinary sanctions fines of $50,000 for each violation for those who facilitated either within or outside the United States, electronic commerce or the slightest economic benefit to Cuba. This has been rigorously applied and little by little, OFAC has gone about expanding the blacklist like crazy. In April of 2004, OFC informed COngres that of its 120 employees, four had been assigned to track the finances of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, while almost two dozen were assigned to enforce the blockade against Cuba. It admitted that the Internet was used as a fundamental source to follow payments. In Obamas recent announcements the subject of electronic financial transfers was not even mentioned. In other words, here as well, the blockade remains intact.

<8> Google Adwords is a way for Google to sell advertising under its control. They are ads which come up as relevant to whatever search is being done by the user. For example, if the user looks for Cuba on the right hand side or above the indexed pages, there will be ads referencing Cuba. Google charges the advertiser for each click on the ad.

<9> There are numerous examples in this magazine theorizing about the war of information and the use of so-called new technologies. Recommended reading: Partnering with the Iraqi media Military Review, July/August 2008. http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug08/D...

<10> Luis Posada Carriles, Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen. An admitted terrorist, responsible for the downing of a civilian airliner which killed 73 passengers, as well as a series of bombs that exploded in Cuban hotels during the 1990s and killed an Italian tourist. Posada Carriles lives in Miami.

<11> Richter, Paul (2008): Cuba USAID Program Gets Overhaul Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2008. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/07/world/fg-uscuba...

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and reviser are cited. This article is also available at Tlaxcala.

Categories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: black propaganda, blocked cuban blogger, cyberspace command, fake blogs, fake websites, internet access in cuba, josef biechele, salam pax
0 responses so far ↓

http://machetera.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/yoani-sanchez...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-09-09 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good to see it pointed out here, regarding Cuba's current internet access.
Shallow, stupid people who don't take the time to look into it have no idea what is involved, and are witness tools for all propaganda hatched to deceive people about Cuba and its access.

This article makes short work of establishing what has been involved. Excellent!

It's worth celebrating seeing someone take the time to share this information with people who clearly wouldn't know otherwise. You may remember one particular case in which someone tried to milk this arranged "dissident" story for all it was worth, and more from the first moments.

Advise people to research and find out everything they can. Information, education will be the only protection for people hoping to keep their heads above the flood of disinformation. Remember propaganda is an insult to US citizens. It dispresects them. It's their job to resist it by working hard to get the answers themselves.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-10-09 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. As soon as I saw that woman's blog, I knew there was something smelly there.
It was too polished and too cerebral. Not at all like Riverbend, for example. Thanks to Machetera for putting all of this together.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wow. Very interesting information.
When I noticed the lunatics at "babalublog" were supporting Yoani I wondered about her too.

She certainly has a following among exiled and expatriate Cubans. There is a lot to bitch
about in Cuba, and she stokes the fires professionally..
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. A Cuban on the island on Yoani
Sorry this is in Espanol, I think it is a rightwingish blog. Yoani's call for freedom of expression in Cuba is really not so extreme. I hope that she is not written off as a tool for US imperialism. That just simplifies a complex situation in regards to some basic rights denied to Cuban citizens. It's true that they lack avenues to get and give out information. The question I have is whether that is due to lack of bandwidth and when they do get more will they give their citizens full access.

http://www.penultimosdias.com/2009/05/10/el-fantasma-de... /

El fantasma de Kafka pasea por La Habana

La bloguera Yoani Snchez abri los ojos como platos cuando la empleada del hotel Meli Cohba, le mostr una regulacin, fechada en enero del 2009, y que por estos das se empez a aplicar en algunos hoteles de la capital. Por decreto estatal, los nacidos en la Repblica de Cuba no tienen derecho a comprar tarjetas de navegacin que les permitan acceder legalmente a internet por conexin inalmbrica.
La creadora de Generacin Y conoca que esta medida se vena aplicando en diferentes instalaciones tursticas fuera de la capital. El hotel Meli Cohba, a tiro de piedra del malecn habanero, es administrado por la cadena hotelera espaola Sol Meli. A una llamada telefnica de este redactor, no quisieron opinar sobre la absurda restriccin.
Las tarjetas de internet cuestan entre 6 y 8 pesos cubanos convertibles (cuc) la hora, cantidad equivalente a 200 pesos, casi el salario mnimo en la isla, que es de 225, y es una de las escasas formas de navegar por la red que tienen los cubanos.
A pesar de que se da por hecho, de que la administracin de Barack Obama autorizara a empresas de telecomunicaciones estadounidenses negociar con Cuba la conexin de cables de internet, el gobierno de Castro II, ha vuelto a mostrar el rostro de mendacidad poltica tan caracterstico en sistemas cerrados como el nuestro.
Exigen mucho al mundo, pero dan poco a sus ciudadanos. Firman tratados de respeto a los derechos del hombre y la libre circulacin de ideas y personas. Pero a la primera de cambio, echan todo al cesto e incumplen olmpicamente lo rubricado. Hacen un drama con el embargo de Estados Unidos, pero desde hace 50 aos le tienen embargados los ms elementales derechos a todo un pueblo.
Otro captulo de la intolerancia se vuelve a desplegar. Nos tratan como seres de tercera o cuarta clase. Adems de tener que pedir permiso para viajar al extranjero, o si vivimos en exterior, para visitar el terruo, ahora conectarnos por Wi-Fi es otro derecho secuestrado por el gobierno de los Castro.
Despus de asimilar la mala noticia, la bloguera Yoani Snchez sali mas convencida del Meli Cohba. La blogosfera cubana tiene un arduo trabajo que cumplir, para abrir un agujero en la muralla desinformativa del rgimen. Aunque tengamos que jugar al gato y al ratn con la polica ciberntica de la isla. Se har. Sin internet o con l, ustedes recibirn nuestros posts desde La Habana.

Postdata

Al da siguiente de escribir esta nota, el viernes 8 de mayo, Yoani Snchez me dijo que varios corresponsales extranjeros la llamaron, para decirle que al parecer la absurda medida se haba derogado. Ante la duda, me comuniqu con los hoteles Cohba, Nacional, Parque Central y Panorama y me informaron que tal regulacin jams existi.
El fantasma de Kafka rondaba por La Habana.
Una seora que se present como Alina, del centro de negocios del Cohba, me seal que donde nico en ese hotel le est prohibido a los desgraciados ciudadanos de la isla la conexin Wi-Fi a internet, es donde ella trabaja, en el centro de negocios.
Ms extrao fue lo que me explic una seorita de voz varonil que dijo llamarse Lesbia, del hotel Panorama. Le expliqu que haba estado en el lobby del hotel y hablado con un seor nombrado Arturo, quien me ense la famosa resolucin. Not que la voz de Lesbia titube por telfono: Seor, no le busque la quinta pata a la mesa, eso sera el jueves 7. Hoy, viernes 8 de mayo, no existe tal regulacin, si quiere navegar, pague sus 8 cuc. Bienvenido al hotel Panorama, y colg.
Al menos, me qued la satisfaccin de que un puado de blogueros con sus bitcoras, y la opinin pblica internacional, de una forma u otra, echaron abajo la discriminatoria regulacin. Vamos ganando el partido. De momento, 1 a 0. Pese al fantasma de Kafka.

Ivn Garca Quintero
La Habana

Temas: En Cuba Ivn Garca Quintero blogs & Internet
1 response so far ↓
1frida // May 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Ojal tengas razn con respecto al resto de los hoteles que has llamado, pero como ya he colgado ayer, a da 9 de mayo, 8:30 p.m. hora espaola, en el Hotel Nacional de Cuba sigue existiendo la restriccin para los ciudadanos cubanos solo pueden conectarse extranjeros previa presentacin de su pasaporte
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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Flamingdem: Machetera heard from "Penultimos Dias" in English Please See Her Response
"Yoani the Pentagon babes homies write in
May 9, 2009 2 Comments

n120245Machetera found something odd in her inbox this morning. A comment and not just the unintelligible garbage that Machetera receives with depressing regularity, but something that appears to have been somewhat carefully drafted despite the whopper of an error in the first sentence. Rosa Miriam Elizaldes article on cyber-dissidents apparently struck a nerve.

Instead of approving this in the comments section, Machetera will make it into a post of its own lucky you, Ernesto Hernndez Busto not everybody gets this treatment. Of course she reserves the right to answer the craziness as we go along.

Ernesto writes from Spain and has his own blog which you can google yourself if youre really interested. Its nothing so fancy as Yoanis of course, but maybe if he actually moves to Cuba and starts publishing from there, he too can get in on the Pentagon gravy train and scam an upgrade.

Here it is:

EHB: You should how the other side:

Machetera: Please dont text while driving.

EHB: The new media mission in which Rosa Miriam Elizalde has reappeared in the Cuban electronic media has to do with blogs and the internet. The point is to prove, through any means possible (although preferably without citing the newspaper Granma), that the increasingly numerous blogs and websites where many Cubans have dared to freely post their opinions are a part of a cyber-campaign designed by shadowy American institutions.

To do this, Rosa Miriam offers as overwhelming evidence the fact that the domain of the group Porno Para Ricardo was purchased through GoDaddy, one of the web sites supposedly sponsored by the Pentagon. (As have millions of other domains because, as everyone except Rosa Miriam knows, the registration fees from GoDaddy have no competition: its the cheapest, most anonymous and most secure way to buy a domain.)

Machetera: Lets be clearthe quotes around overwhelming are EHBs. This point was one among many in Rosa Miriam Elizaldes article. GoDaddy has plenty of competition and describing it as the cheapest, most anonymous and most secure way to buy a domain does nothing but make EHB sound like he has shares in the company. I can think of quite a few more secure ways to buy a domain, and you dont have to pay GoDaddys Private Domain Registration fee (what a ripoff) to hide your info either. But this is beside the point and EHB knows it.

The larger point is that both the USG and Porno para Ricardo chose the same registrar, and the owner of the company processing the registration is someone who is likely not to yank the domain as long as the content is in line with USG foreign policy goals. Unlike what happened with Steve Marshall and his Cuba tourism sites. GoDaddy wasnt his registrar but it surely would have yanked his domains just as quickly, despite having the resources to defend them on principle.

EHB: The latest exercise of Rosa Miriam, however, is too blatant for anyone familiar with the Internet and her alleged revelations are laughable to anyone who is somewhat aware of whats happening in the Cuban blogosphere. The whole world knows that Charlie Bravo is the webmaster of the PPR site (unofficial);

Machetera: Okay, wait a second, the whole world doesnt know that Charlie Bravo is the webmaster of the PPR site, sweetheart. Because I imagine you would have to actually care about the PPR site or their shitty music to have that particular piece of data on hand. But thanks for enlightening us anyway.

EHB: that it would be absurd (and impossible) that these independent blogs and websites on Cuban themes be housed on servers on the island;

Machetera: Yes, it would be absurd, wouldnt it, considering that I have more internet bandwidth coming into my house than most Cuban connections put together. Go on

EHB: that the registration of .cu domains is only authorized for official Cuban government sites (I myself have not been able to register one, nor have the managers of Bloggers Cuba);

Machetera: This is nutty. What if I were to tell you that I cant register machetera.es? Or machetera.dk? Waaahhhhh. Those damn Spaniards! Damn Danes! Of course I cant, neither can anyone else. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governs how suffixes (technically known as top level domains) will be sold and, get this each country gets to decide how they want to use the TLDs assigned to them. What a novel concept. Its kind of like countries have sovereignty over their little tiny piece of the Internet pie. Imagine. Sovereignty in this day and age.

I know its hard for EHB to swallow the idea that Cuba is not going to sell TLDs to people who want to use them to spread anti-Cuban propaganda (as if we dont already have more than enough of that) but hes just going to have to live with it, and hes also going to have to live with Rosa Miriam Elizaldes perfectly accurate point, which is that as long as these anti-Cuban sites are registered and maintained outside the island, their Cuban-ness is completely questionable.

EHB: that in regards to the internet its absurd to resort to the nationalistic territorialization;

Machetera: Not reallysee above.

EHB: and that what Elizalde pompously calls the sophisticated management tools and services on this website with a payment gateway or electronic gateway for sending money by credit card, is something anyone can do anywhere via PayPal in 15 minutes if it doesnt contravene the embargo regulations.

Machetera: Hey, thanks for adding that qualifier if it doesnt contravene the embargo regulations. You can kind of drive a truck through that, cant you? By the way, its a blockade, not an embargo, eejit.

EHB: In the case of Yoani they dont know what to make up.

Machetera: You dont have to make anything up in Yoanis case because the truth is so delicious all on its own.

EHB: Now they catch her with poor Josef, an old friend of Yoanis who has selflessly taken on the server for DesdeCuba for years.

Machetera: Man, Ill say thats selfless. And not a word of public thanks all this time from Yoani either. Is the girl self-centered or what?

EHB: Of course the servers not in Cuba because if it had been Generation Y wouldnt have lasted two seconds.

Machetera: Why? Because its like totally 100% negative and anti-Cuban without any positive view whatsoever, and is being used as a tool to spread lies and manufacture dissent? Or because any server housed in Cuba would have a hard time functioning on bandwidth doled out by the kilobyte?

EHB: (By the way, if you take the time to check out the site used by this journalist, youll discover that the server for Granma and other official Cuban press sites isnt located in Cuba either; Cubadebate, for example, appears to be housed in Japan, which is more or less the same distance as they are from Cuban reality.)

Machetera: And thank god for that, because otherwise we couldnt see their content at all, due to the bandwidth problem explained above.

EHB: When Rosa Miriam says that the technical support for this site, which serves her blog almost exclusively, is the kind of custom-designed tool which in todays market costs several hundreds of thousands of dollars, one has to laugh. A blog available from WordPress for free and a server thats not even dedicated are elevated by this specialist to something only a millionaire could afford, as she takes advantage of the widespread ignorance among Cubans about these things.

Machetera: Hold on. You know very well that Yoanis blog is not a free WordPress blog. Its something beyond that, with its own domain name, its custom design, not to mention a server capable of handling the few thousand echo chamber comments (do ex-Cubans have an extraordinary amount of free time to waste?) that pop up every time Yoani publishes a scrap of anything.

EHB: To them, the success of Generation Y must be the result of a Major Leagueadvertising strategy. With limited references to the way they themselves carry out ideological work and massive propaganda, the blog phenomenon is an alien world to them, a godson of sordid conspiracies and suspect financing.

Machetera: Waitheres a question. Speaking of ideological work and massive propaganda which of the following countries has a multi-billion dollar funded program overseen by a spy agency to hack into computers and servers for the purpose of disabling them, and also is known to have hired people in foreign countries to create Internet propaganda?

a. the United States of America

b. Cuba

EHB: Yoanis other sin is to use Twitter and other variants of Web 2.0 that are barely used in Cuba. The fact that anyone can freely send a message of up to 140 characters is a possibility that terrifies them.

Machetera: Whats Yoani been up to lately? Oh yeah, she tried to get a cacerolazo going on May 1st, didnt she? (The Argentineans must have loved that.) Now its not her fault it sounded like a 2 person conga you gotta admit that Cubans, even anorexic pasty white ones like Yoani have some sense of rhythm. But Yoanis not using Twitter to invite her friends to come have a beer with her after work (oh wait, Yoani doesnt actually work). Shes got an ax to grind, and shes getting tired of grinding it all by herself. I wouldnt say that Cuba is terrified of the possibility, judging by recent results, but theyre probably getting tired of the annoyance.

EHB: Maybe the person at Copextel who had to prepare the report about the liberalization of cellular telephones didnt tell them about that. Their excuse for banning Web 2.0 and any other form of direct participation worked until a few days ago: now the ever present blockade doesnt affect telecommunications.

Machetera: Yeah, Im sure Etecsa never heard of texting. That would explain why it costs so much less to text than talk and most Cubans with cellphones use them that way. How long did you say it had been since you were in Cuba? And glad you finally recognized its a blockade, even if you couldnt do it without throwing quotes around it. By the way, the undersea cable isnt actually switched on yet.

EHB: Then they throw the blame on the CIA, distorting the majority demand to open up the Internet on the island.

Machetera: I dont even know where to go with this. Its too stupid.

EHB: Along the way, Rosa Miriam gets sidetracked and becomes increasingly predictable: she copies M. H. Lagarde Jr. in the extreme distortion of the apparent content of a post where Yoani referred to the rancor and thirst for revenge that Castro-ism has incubated in Cubans for decades.

Machetera: I have no idea who the hell M.H. Lagarde Jr. is like I said, you ex-Cubans have a lot more time to screw around on the Internet than the rest of us, but I dont know how you read Yoanis post about Cubans just waiting for the opportunity to pull out their long knives and kill each other in order to make up for past slights as anything other than bloodthirstiness. For the historically inclined, The Night of the Long Knives is generally a reference to the Nazi score-settling which killed hundreds of people in the mid-summer of 1934. But Yoani couldnt have been thinking of that. Or could she?

Rosa Miriam Elizalde is quite right to point out that this is probably not the stuff Yoanis handlers had in mind, and she ought to be careful about destroying her carefully prepared image. She might actually end up having to work for a living.

EHB: As a culmination of her extensive diatribe, Rosa Miriam takes care to point out that the work of the blogger is a little less than useless, since obviously she has no readers in Cuba, a refrain that is repeated in several sites and which can be easily disproved. Yoani and her blog (even with access blocked to Cuban cybernauts) hasand every day will have morereaders in Cuba.

Machetera: I think weve been down this road before. Yoani whines that her blog is blocked in Cuba. Some people in Cuba with internet access say that it is, other people in Cuba with internet access say that it isnt. I really couldnt be less interested either way. When Im in Cuba, Im fighting just to read my email, just like the average Cubans I live with. It really wouldnt occur to me to waste my time or money looking up a crappy anti-Cuban blog put together with foreign aid. Maybe more Cubans will start reading Yoanis blog if they have full Internet access after Venezuela switches on the undersea cable next year. But if full Internet access were free and ubiquitous in Cuba, Im betting that a tiny fraction would be interested in reading Yoanis constant bitching. The rest of the malcontents will go for the porn.

EHB: Many more than Rosa Miriam has, notwithstanding that she uses every official means to discredit Yoani and present her as an instrument of the American government or of Spains PRISA group, or any of these tired fables.

Machetera: Oh man, youre not going to turn this into a catfight now, are you? Comparing Rosa Miriam Elizalde and Yoani Snchez? Please. The former works hard, the latter snipes, while freeloading on the Cuban government she so despises, to raise her no doubt bothersome children. If readership numbers are that meaningful to you, Paris Hilton probably has more readers than either Yoani or Rosa Miriam Elizalde combined. That doesnt really mean much unless you see peoples readership choices as an indicator of the decline of Western civilization.

→ 2 CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: yoani sanchez, rosa miriam elizalde, paris hilton, godaddy, bob parsons, porno para ricardo, anti-cuban websites and blogs, top level domains, undersea cables to cuba, texting, twitter, cyber-dissidents, cyber-command
Yoani Snchez: Pentagon babe
May 8, 2009 9 Comments

xsRosa Miriam Elizalde has finally pointed out what never occurs to Time magazine or Grupo Prisa. Or maybe it has occurred to them they just cant bring themselves to admit it. That blog by the blocked Cuban blogger/whiner aint no ordinary blog. Lots o cash behind it.

There are other translations of this floating around on the Internet. Just not as good.

Cyber-command and Cyber-dissidents, More of the Same

Rosa Miriam Elizalde

English Translation: Machetera

Havana The news has gone around the world. The Obama administration is putting the final touches on a new cyberspace army. First the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times reported that the objective of this cyber-command is to guarantee the security of U.S. military computer networks threatened by the intrusion of hackers, particularly those linked to countries such as China and Russia.

Victims are being offered a single pill in which to swallow the fantasy of an external enemy and the details of the homicidal weapon used to kill it (a cyber-command that will keep watch over the planet and eventually enter into action). As Tom Burghardt, of Global Research <1> put it, the United States is using the subterfuge of cyber-security as a pretext for cyber-war, a project forged by the North American hawks before September 11, 2001 and one that began to come together in 2003, when a secret document <2> signed by Donald Rumsfeld, the ex-Secretary of Defense, was leaked, in which the order was given to create this special Command. Keep reading →

→ 9 CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: black propaganda, blocked cuban blogger, cyberspace command, fake blogs, fake websites, internet access in cuba, josef biechele, salam pax
Chasing the tail of U.S. Cuba policy
May 1, 2009 No Comments

pescadillaWashingtons impossible equation

When the late Phil Agee described his job application process with the CIA in the late 1950s, he talked about undergoing repeated lie detector tests where he deliberately lied about various things, just for the hell of it. He resented being judged by a machine and wanted to see if he could beat it. At first it seemed that he failed. The tests were repeated. Again, an unhappy result. He was sent home. Just as he was feeling most desperate, sure he would never be hired and on the verge of admitting what he had done and begging forgiveness, he was suddenly approved. There are only two ways of viewing such a process. Either the CIAs application process is inept, or it deliberately recruits liars. Keep reading →

→ No CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: raul castro, fidel castro, cuban five, blockade of Cuba, gerardo hernandez, brian latell, phil agee, ex-cia, lie detectors, washington as cesspool, corporate press, stovepiping, csis, circular reasoning
Leonard Weinglasss questions for Hillary Clinton
April 26, 2009 5 Comments

21mccain-533A story filed by Associated Press journalist Anita Snow last Tuesday, April 21, included the following sentences: Obama could suffer serious political fallout if he agreed to swap the so-called Cuban Five communist agents who were convicted of espionage in Miami in 2001. The ringleader was implicated in the death of four exiles killed when Cuban military fighters shot their planes down off the islands coast in 1996.

In a reflection published soon afterwards, Fidel wrote, Isnt thatan indirect threat to the president of the United States?

Indeed it is a curious comment, detached from any person interviewed in the story, and therefore presumably Snows original creation. Nevertheless, the fallout Obama might expect to encounter through such a swap would likely rest with the minority of Cuban exiles in Miami who never voted for him in the first place. He won Florida without, or despite, them, and most U.S. citizens outside of Miami have little memory of the February 24, 1996 shootdown and less still of the Miami trial of five Cubans, five years later, where the U.S. Government, the families of the downed pilots and Cuban exiles with a long history of terrorist action against Cuba joined in a simmering fury in search of a victim.

Ultimately they found five victims, but their rage was focused on one in particular: the one Snow pejoratively calls the ringleader, Gerardo Hernandez. Keep reading →

→ 5 CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: brothers to the rescue, cuban five, gerardo hernandez, hermanos al rescate, icao, shootdown, supreme court, terrorism against Cuba
Cubas Rubicon
April 24, 2009 2 Comments

CUBA-ARMY-REHEARSALWeve said to the North American government, both privately and publicly, that were readyto discuss everything: human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners, everythingbut on equal terms. Ral Castro

Speech by Cubas President at the Fifth ALBA Summit in Cuman, Venezuela, April 16, 2009

English translation by Machetera, revised by Manuel Talens

Ral Castro (to Hugo Chvez): Remember that you need to give me the floor to thank everyone, especially those whove spoken and Im not going to exclude Daniel, because hell also speak as well, just as hes done throughout his entire life as a revolutionary in the name of the Cuban people, all the expressions of solidarity and support for our Revolution, to our people, and I believe, therefore, also the Leader of the Revolution, comrade Fidel Castro, whos listening to us directly.

Im not going to go on, Ill speak on the other points. I have to speak according to what they tell me at the mass meeting in the Plaza, dont I? I still dont know how itll be. Are we going to speak there in the Plaza?

Hugo Chvez: Yes. Weve asked you to speak in everyones name.

Ral Castro: No, thats a huge responsibility. If anything, the main host.

Anyway, I think that what weve heard here this afternoon, that doesnt surprise us, the whole world knows it, except the United States, its main ally, Israel, and one country or another that occasionally abstains or has even voted against the United Nations General Assembly, is that the entire planet condemns the blockade.

I dont want to talk about the OAS, I already spoke in Saupe, at the Rio Summit, right? And furthermore, our friend Zelaya will meet with all the delegates at the end of May and the beginning of June; I dont want to answer what Mr. Insulza recently said, because Fidel already did it some hours ago.

We can talk about many other things besides the OAS. The OAS, it might be said, has oozed blood since its very creation; Cuba is one example, but before Cuba there were plenty more. Keep reading →

→ 2 CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: agrarian reform, bay of pigs, blockade of Cuba, democracy, dengue hemorrhagic fever, dulles brothers, eisenhower, human rights, jacobo arbenz, krushchev, OAS, one-party rule, playa girn, political prisoners, raul castro, u.s. financed dissidence, united sugar company
Heelary Cleenton joo espeek espaneesh?
April 23, 2009 No Comments

MEXICO-US-CLINTONOn Wednesday, April 22, while Machetera was admiring new developments in pediatric dentistry (she herself was a victim of the dark ages of the trade), USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was appearing before Congress to discuss foreign policy. On Venezuela, she repeated the line that her boss tossed out at his limited press conference in Port of Spain that dangerous handshake between Chvez and Obama? You know that rascal Chvez, so good with the cameras!

On Cuba, she uttered something truly amazing, and the major media rushed to repeat and amplify it, like a hall of mirrors:

President s actions did draw a response from Ral Castro which was then contradicted today by Fidel Castro saying that my brother didnt really mean that we would talk about political prisoners and human rights so I think you could see theres beginning to be a debate, I mean, this is a regime that is ending.

Whoa Nellie. I mean Hillary. Thats some Spanish translation youve got going there. Check it again with your sister-in-law.

What did Ral actually say? Since nobody has produced an English transcript of Rals extemporaneous speech at the ALBA Summit, Machetera will oblige. Heres an excerpt: Keep reading →

→ No CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: cuban five, cuban mercenaries, hillary clinton, obama and chavez, raul and fidel
Patron saint of Cuban mercenaries and lazy journalists
April 22, 2009 2 Comments

AP journalist Anita Snow reports that according to Cuban dissident Elizardo Snchez (El Camajn) more than 200 Cubans serving time in Cuban prisons for taking money from the United States to overthrow the Cuban government, are nearly unanimous on the idea that they would rather stay in prison than be traded for the Cuban Five.elizardobotellawhisky

Now, Macheteras just a humble blogger, picking over the carcass of a story dragged back by a beat reporter, but still, she has a few nagging questions. First of all, it cant be pleasant talking to someone as slimy as Snchez, and Snow probably wanted to get off the phone as fast as possible, but Machetera wonders if it occurred to her to ask him how he came by his information? Did he take a poll? Snow mentions that Snchez talks to some of these people and their families every day, but its kind of a leap between talking to numerous prisoners and saying that most of the 200″ are unanimous on the idea of serving their entire sentence. Isnt it?

Second of all, its not Snchez doing the time, is it? Snchez is free to continue hanging out in public parks, trading info for whiskey. So maybe its easy for him to say?

And when would it be worth mentioning to readers that Snchez is a man notorious for playing both sides of the fence working Cuban security at the same time he worked Frank Calzon not because he cared about either, but because his main allegiance was to himself?

→ 2 CommentsCategories: A "free" press? It would be a good idea! Cuba
Tagged: cuban dissidents, cuban five, johnny walker
Waiting for Godot
April 15, 2009 2 Comments

Obamas Cuban Dilemma

mango1One of the most painful things about being a citizen of the United States of America over the past several decades has been living aboard a political ship that is constantly listing to the right even as it sinks. Just when you think it cant get worse, it does, and our foreign policy, which was never much good to begin with, grows ever more appallingly belligerent. This means that any course correction from aggressive belligerence, no matter how small, is greeted as remarkable change, even when it leaves you worse off than when you started. The mass media have a lot to do with it of course, framing the issues for a general public that is poorly educated and therefore ignorant by design. Keep reading →

→ 2 CommentsCategories: Cuba Venezuela
Tagged: blockade of Cuba, poisoned fruit, Port of Spain, soap making equipment, Summit of the Americas, telecom in Cuba, U.S. travel restrictions, undersea cable to Cuba
CANF to the back of the class!
April 9, 2009 No Comments

sj0016-medThe Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) has just written a term paper for Obama. Machetera gives it a D.

On the bright side, if CANF really has the inside track with the Obamans now (and they might, if Obamas terrible pandering speech to CANF in 2008 is any indication) it looks like one of Macheteras friends at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington will finally be able to realize his dream of shopping at Ikea before he leaves for Cuba later this year. (See CANFs suggested removal of the 25 mile travel restriction on Cuban diplomats in the U.S. in return for allowing USA diplomats free roaming for subversion in Cuba.) Keep reading →

→ No CommentsCategories: Cuba
Tagged: blockades as a weapon, canf, food as a weapon, radio marti, seeds as a weapon, tv marti
High noon at the socialist corral
April 4, 2009 No Comments

0018a516Governmental Reorganization in Cuba and the Solidarity Shootout

By ngeles Diez (and Eduardo Hernndez)

English translation by Ana Atienza, revised by Machetera

The ministerial reorganization in the Cuban government, Fidel Castros letter explaining the reasons for such changes, and the publication of self-inculpatory letters from two significant officials belonging to the political leadership of the country have triggered a blind shootout within the Cuba solidarity movement which should be analyzed in order to avoid what has come to be usual practice in the European left: permanent atomization around superficial issues and the rejection of reflection and debate.

In this article we have summarized the general opinions taken from multiple published articles and opinion pieces from different sectors: What had happened? What was behind those changes? Why was nothing reported? These questions were not made solely by groups close to the Revolution, but also by those clearly against it. Surprisingly enough, such confusion has placed all of us in the same space: the void which, as we all know, relentlessly tends to be filled with value judgments. And thats where weve engaged, some for the better, some for the worse.

Cuban institutions have not tackled this confusion, nor did they take the time to fill that void. But, should they have? The only certainty is that accomplished facts have been the only available explanation, thus leading to proliferation of the most surprising and contradictory hypotheses, thus resulting in a new fragmentation of solidarity. Keep reading →

→ No CommentsCategories: Cuba New World Old World Socialism
Tagged: battle of ideas, consensus building, Cuba solidarity, Cuba's special period, opinion

http://machetera.wordpress.com/
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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Flamingdem: Machetera is concerned about your bandwith question . . .
as am I.
magbana

From Machetera:

"The question I have is whether that is due to lack of bandwidth and when they do get more will they give their citizens full access"

THAT'S YOUR QUESTION?!

Let me give you a few other questions that might be a little higher priority for you to ponder. I assure you the Cubans outside of Yoani's tiny circle think a lot more about these things than they do about whether they'll ever have "full" internet access.

1. When are Cubans going to be able to pay the same price for rice/cooking oil/diapers/toilet paper/brassieres (just to name a few essentials that cost way too much and are much worse quality) as USAmericans? I'm not even talking about relative to income. Just the same price, period.
2. When are Cubans going to be able to find wood, cement and paint at reasonable prices to repair their crumbling dwellings and construct new ones?
3. When is Cuba going to have adequate sewer & water treatment facilities so that Cubans can stop boiling and filtering their water before they drink it and those who can afford a bit of toilet paper can actually flush it?
4. When might Cubans be able to afford to heat the water in their buildings so they do not have to heat their children's bathwater a pot at a time on the stove in the winter?
5. When will a 65 year old fume belching jalopy cease to be the standard for a "used" car in Cuba?
6. When will Cuba be able to finally get these polluting things off the road and have access to technology for cleaner fuel and cleaner air in its largest cities?
7. Is there any limit to what Cuba's government should be expected to provide for its citizens? They already get slammed for a socialist approach to housing and healthcare. Is full internet access more important than say, shoes? As long as Yoani can afford it, is that all that matters?

The question you should really be asking, indeed the only question any U.S. citizen has any right to ask, is how much longer you are going to let your government get away with the blockade of Cuba that causes all of these things.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Kicking this to read later. Thanks, magbana. n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Maybe Yoani should ask her bosses why the United States is limiting internet access for Cuba
as part of a blockade that has been condemned around the world.
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Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. right the server is in Germany because Cuba won't host it
and Obama authorizes the pursuit of improved telecommunications with Cuba and in another thread you say amen to allowing Cubans to have internet access. but here you condemning it. so which is it?? do you want Cubans to be able to access the net without having to so secretly or not??

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10218521-38.html
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. It bears repeating some of your opening post. Going to save this for files, as well.
Cyber-Dissidents

Military academics offer another extremely important variable in the information war waged on the Internet. In order to turn prejudices into real facts, they should be filtered through a personal perspective, preferably accompanied by pictures and other evidence which prove that the witness can be found where the story takes place.

Military Review,<9> the Pentagons official magazine, has dedicated extensive analysis to the importance of blogs and cyber-dissidents in this strategy. They serve to offer a face and anecdote to a rhetoric that corresponds to the political designs of the North American military for each region in conflict, particularly those where Internet use is on the rise.

Just as they themselves have built websites, the experts in the information war have created cyber-dissidents a la carte. A very controversial case was that of the Iraqi blogger Salam Pax, who during the U.S. invasion was mysteriously able to keep his anti-Saddam and anti-Bush blog running. Theres evidence of suspicious cyber-dissidents in Yugoslavia, China, Vietnam, Iran, and Syria.

In regard to Cuba, the meteoric rise of the blogger Yoani Snchez comes to mind, meeting as she does, all the conditions required by the Pentagon experts. The design of her blog follows various fallacies: the name of the host site: www.desdecuba.com suggests that all its Internet connection efforts come from Cuba. However, the server is hosted in Germany, registered to Josef Biechele who is this man? Why does she never mention this generous sponsor? She enjoys administrative resources that are not within the reach of any ordinary blogger, much less a Cuban one, who does not have the local administrative resources for a blog and must put up with an extremely slow connection in order to connect with international blogging platforms such as Blogger and others.

The technical support for this site, which is dedicated practically exclusively to her blog is a custom configuration, that at current market prices costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The marketing strategy, through Google and other digital and traditional media is major league.

The blogs content is manipulative. The blogger calls for demonstrations using Twitter, social networks and other versions of Internet 2.0 that are barely used in Cuba, a country with extremely limited bandwidth and weak Internet facilities, because for one thing, its entire Internet connection is via satellite. The U.S. blockade has prohibited Cuba from accessing electronic commerce and digital technologies via an undersea cable, for more than a decade. Those in Cuba who connect at a rate of 30-40 Kbps can barely manage to check their email and dedicate themselves to priorities that are light years away from Yoanis die-hard negativism.

To whom then, does this woman who obviously has no readers in Cuba, speak? Is she speaking to the Cubans or to an audience outside Cuba, bombarded by a prejudiced discourse that she is trying to highlight? Is her objectivity guaranteed by the fact that she is privileged to be here?

She claims to be apolitical, not committed to any system, and yet, the description that the creators of her blog use to identify her site say that www.desdecuba.com is a Politically independent magazine. It offers a view different from that offered by the Cuban government. Among her scribblings, the worn-out political theses used over the years by the State Department to put Cuba on all the blacklists, seasoned by a 1950s esthetic and the stereotype of Havana in ruins, are ways of giving the worst possible impression in the least space possible.
Thanks for the information.
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