Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soy Paquito - El de Cuba... y Soy Yasmin - La de Cuba...

I just discovered two fascinating new Cuban blogs. The first is called, Paquito, el de Cuba, and is written by the proud Cuban journalist, communist, gay, sero-positive, father, Francisco Rodriguez.

Read below for my translation of his provocative profile. I discovered Paquito while reading a recent article at IPS/Havana Times by Patricia Grogg, "Home Internet, Distant Dream in Cuba," which quotes him as saying:

“Any measure to improve connectivity and expand Cuba’s capacity to access the internet is positive, because it will allow more voices on the island, both institutional and individual, to be heard worldwide.”

Grogg also quotes him as saying:

“Greater (internet) access for civil society, including institutions and individuals, would contribute to demonstrating that the (Cuban) revolution isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be, nor as perfect as others would like to think. To do this, we need technology, but also training in diversity of thought and viewpoints.”

On the other hand, Grogg also cites another blogger, the Marxist, feminist blogger Yasmín Portales (a woman with a sharp tongue and a sharper mind, originally affiliated with Bloggers Cuba, whom I recently met at LASA in Toronto) who told Grogg that she did not believe that the newly announced [fiber optic] cable [from Venezuela] would increase residential connections, “because that’s not where the state’s interest lies.”

Readers are encouraged to check out Yasmín's blog. There she describes herself this way:

"Soy cubana. Mi vida es un fino equilibrio entre el ejercicio de la maternidad, el feminismo y el marxismo crítico."

These clearly are not your mother's (or grandmother's) communists or marxists!

I am Paquito, the one from CUBA;
Follower of Marti and a journalist;
Communist and gay;
Convinced atheist and occasionally superstitious;
Father of a boy whom I adore and partner for 7 years of a sero-negative man who loves me;
AIDS patient since 2003 and cancer survivor for more than 5 years;
University professor and student of life;
Follower of the Cuban economy and passionate consumer of world literature;
Incontinent giver of opinions and moderate belligerent;
Friend of my friends and compassionate with my enemies;
Often mistaken and never regretful;
Unfailing optimist and eternally enthusiastic;
Alive and bubbly;
In sum, just another normal, everyday guy who wants to share his story, opinions, and dreams with you...

Readers might also be interested in the blog Tomar la Palabra, which I also recently came across.


  1. Hey, el yuma,

    This one is an elogio. Thanks for featuring us, Tomar la Palabra. Our blog is hard to classify, and I mean it. Many anticastro tendencies are represented, making us sort of multipolar. Needless to admit that the quality of our posts varies dramatically.

    We launched the blog as a response to Elaine's lockdown of La Polemica. There was some animosity at the beginning between her and us -mainly or only from our side-, but I'm happy to say that attitude has been fortunately overcome. Some of us, the ex-polemicos, found a way to channel our individual voices. If you ask me, it has been a fulfulling experiment for almost a year now.

    In regards to La Joven Cuba, I think that it has never deserved the attention it gets. The facts are that La Joven Cuba received much of its early -and even recent- page views from the regular visitors of Tomar la Palabra. And let's face it, it's pretty easy to get lots of attention if (1) you live in cuba, (2) support Castro and (3) offer dictablanda-ish, "unmoderated" comments. I'm sure that you would agree that Cuban exiles reject ("refudiate" as Sarah Palin would say) the selective exposure theory, and don't get me into cognitive dissonance because we actively seek it.

    On the other hand, I agree with you: Bloggers Cuba was amazing. I critizised them when I disagreed with them, but overall, I think that they offered a fresh perspective of really good quality. I wish they could come back.

    Below is a list of most of my posts. You were actually menctioned in one of them (la nacion vs. la emigracion). You will see it if you hover over the image. I really can't remember what made me include you there to be quite frank.

    Thanks again,

  2. Some typos and bad grammar corrected:
    "The fact is"