[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Miriam Leiva Speaks Out

Friday, May 11, 2007

Miriam Leiva Speaks Out

From today's Herald:
Daily Life In Cuba Is Really Very Hard

Miriam Leiva did not set out to become a Cuban dissident.

She was a senior official at the Foreign Ministry and in the 1990s was asked to choose: her job or her husband, critical economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe. She chose her marriage.

''My life changed completely. I used to travel and work very hard,'' she said. Afterward, ``I had to stay in my little apartment with almost nothing to do. People are afraid to get in touch with me, so I lost a lot of friends.''

Now an independent journalist, Leiva catapulted into the the dissident movement when her husband was among those arrested in a 2003 crackdown and she helped found Ladies in White, a group of female relatives of jailed dissidents pushing for release.

When Fidel Castro got sick, many Cubans were expecting change. Yet the grind continues, she said.

''Daily life in Cuba is really very hard,'' she said. ``Cuban people used to be very happy, always laughing or joking or singing, and that has been lost. You see the faces tense, and people who are not so old look old.''

``It's true that in Cuba education and public health are free, but, you know, the price you have to pay for that is so high.''

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Blogger Mambi_Watch said...

It's important to note also that Miriam Leiva is opposed to US policy towards Cuba. That opinion is usually left out when some people quote her.

Its pretty clear that life in Cuba is miserable, speaking generally. So the following question should be (since Leiva's comments are being published in American papers) what can Americans do about it.

This is where the debate begins and continues.

8:56 PM, May 11, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


I thought this post was about Leiva's thoughts on life in Cuba, not U.S. - Cuba policy.

She's perfectly entitled to her views and there can indeed be differences of thought, especially when it comes to how to end the castro regime. She, more than the vast majority, has a personal stake in this.

The important thing is that she is on the side of the Cuban people and freedom. That's a point that you and the rest of your like-minded brethren out there fail to recognize when criticizing conservative Cuban-Americans.

And your point was....?

10:48 PM, May 11, 2007  
Blogger Mambi_Watch said...

Fail to recognize? I fully recognize that Cubans want change. Polls in Cuba show this, and the complexity of what manner of change they want.

The recent Gallup poll inside Havana and Santiago confirmed and illustrated this desire. And past polling has shown that the majority of Cubans disagree with US policy, especially the embargo.

So why is this fact ignored?

And this his nothing to do with conservative Cuban-Americans.

By posting these statements of Miriam Leiva, you carefully paint a picture of the woman which is not entirely accurate. Why don't you post what her real views are. I'd be more than happy to provide you those links.

1:35 PM, May 12, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


You STILL don't get it, do you? This post is NOT about Leiva's thoughts on U.S.- Cuba policy. Why can't you for a second separate her views on her own government from her views on foreign policy? I did, and yes I was aware of her feelings towards U.S. policy. No links are necessary. You know, I do know a thing or two about this stuff.

I can't help but think that it burns you up when someone you agree with actually speaks out against the Cuban regime in such a forceful way as Leiva did. All you and people like you want to do is focus on how lousy conservative U.S. policy towards Cuba is, instead of showing support for those in Cuba who need it the most. You're comments and body of work have made this very very clear. This post isn't about painting a full and accurate picture of Leiva, it's about posting some accurate comments she made.

Unless you want to talk about Leiva's thoughts on Cuba, this thread is over. If you want to go over all of the polls that you apparently have so much time to look up and believe as if they were gospel truth, do so on your own blog.


8:08 AM, May 13, 2007  
Blogger Mambi_Watch said...

I've read many articles from Leiva, Paya and others. There's no dispute from me that their negative views of life in Cuba are accurate. I fully support their positions. And, its absurd to think that it burns me up. I encourage dissenting views, in Cuba, and especially here in the US.

But, as I stated before, what do the readers of the Miami Herald take away from this piece? That Leiva has settled to occasionally complaining to the Herald and participating with the Ladies in White?

It goes far beyond that. I encourage your readers to read more on Leiva and her various positions on Cuba.

4:48 PM, May 14, 2007  

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