When Was This Cuba Story Written?, Pt. 2

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The following article could have been written this week -- and some variant of it probably was -- by a journalist speculating about the "unprecedented" opportunities Obama has created for telecom in Cuba; how it will "promote freedom" in Cuba; and the "impediment" of the embargo.

Yet, none of the above is true.

So when was this story actually written?

From The Orlando Sentinel:

Let Cuba Hear The Voice Of Freedom - Pick Up The Phone And Call

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies . . .

''Hola, this is from Norte America, George Washington country, land of the free.''


''We're having arroz con pollo today, fried plantains, salad with all the fixings and a beautiful flan eggcustard for dessert. You could have such a wonderful meal, too. But first, you must get rid of Fidel.''


* * *

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies . . .

''Hola, this is from Norte America, land of opportunity. Today we are honoring Cuban patriot Jose Marti by serving a roast pig, black beans and rice, and a special pineapple bread that's out of this world. Plus, a mango shake. You should try it. We would love to share. But first, you must get rid of Fidel.''


* * *

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies . . .

''Viva Cuba Libre! This is los Estados Unidos. We are thinking of you as we sit down to a picadillo dinner. Nothing fancy - it's a weekday. We're using ground sirloin. It's only about $3 a pound. What does it cost in Cuba? We heard ground beef goes for $25 in the black market - if you can find it. You don't have to pay those prices, you know, chico. When are you going to get rid of Fidel?''


* * *

It has been three days since phone service between the United States and Cuba was made easier by direct-dialing capability offered by AT&T Corp. and rival MCI. Another four long-distance phone companies also have plans to make the direct-dial service available.

For 30 years, the U.S. embargo against Cuba had not allowed such service, but the Cuba Democracy Act of 1992, although tightening other aspects of the U.S. embargo, liberalized communications between the two countries. Then, in October, the federal government approved direct-dial service from the United States.

Many Cuban-Americans don't know what to make of the service. Many with close relatives in Cuba welcome it after years of having to wait for days for an operator to get a call put through Cuba's antiquated system. Many others fear that the United States will be aiding and abetting communist dictator Fidel Castro, allowing him to profit from the service.

Being in the communications business, I see the potential for a great public service in the making.

Americans interested in expanding democracy throughout the hemisphere will have the opportunity to tell Cubans about life in the States, and offer tips about how to make their lives better in Cuba.

But first, get rid of Fidel, we can advise those who have phones in Cuba, likely to be those who at one time supported Castro.

Certainly, food is not the only topic of importance, but it is the one topic that all people can understand. It is the one issue that meshes the political with the dire economic conditions in Cuba.

Notwithstanding the anti-Yankee propaganda spewed by Castro's revolutionary goon squads, most Cubans on the island understand that Castro's communist system is at fault for the crummy situation they've faced for almost 36 years now.

The Havana riots of August, which brought several thousand young people to the streets, protesting the totalitarian regime, was a strong signal that Castro's government is losing its iron grip.

So if you care about freedom, reach out and dial some Cubans. They desperately need the support of freedom-lovers everywhere.

Answer: December 5, 1994