A Cuban student named Eliécer Ávila Sicilia, went head-to-head with a top government official (Ricardo Alarcon) at some computer science meeting. Another local secretly taped the meeting and posted it online. I love the fact the techy kids are causing a ruckus. The government responses were ridiculous as ever.
Student: “Why is it we can’t travel?”
Government Response: “I wish all the Cubans can go out and get to know the world outside. I think it would be the end of the ideological battle in this
country. When the [Cuban] people see how they [outsiders] really are…..what’s
real…. how other people live.”
Student: “Why are us Cubans not allowed to enter tourist hotels freely?”
Government Response: Alarcon tells students about his time in New York as
Cuba’s ambassador to the UN. “How many times did they [Americans] kick us out of a store because of the latino accent? Because of the color of our hair? They [Americans] realized we weren’t Anglo Saxons and shouldn’t be in the store.”
Student: “Why were the sites Yahoo and Google suddenly restricted?”
Government Response: [note: CNN couldn’t even write the quote and instead said Alarcon spoke for 30 minutes. Must have been some long-winded unquotable answer]
I can’t even comment on the tail end of the video, a meeting where local
Cubans were being told they were going to be taxed EVEN MORE when working
with foreigners. Can you say “mocking laughter”?
There is no independent press in Cuba. It is punishable by law. So seeing an outburst this honest and raw is a landmark moment for the island shrouded in secrecy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard these type of questions posed several times by youth down there, but only in private homes — never in the local news, much less international news. Ahhh, the power of amateur video!
If you think most young Americans cannot remember a time where at least one
Clinton/Bush was in the White House (thats 27 years!), then imagine the
spirited counter-culture that has lived with the same president for 49
years! This generation is ready for some serious change. Sound familiar?
Stay Strong guys!