Home > Iván García > To Ted Henken in Cuba They Said: Yankee Go Home!

To Ted Henken in Cuba They Said: Yankee Go Home!

Good old Ted Henken was caught in the crossfire. I met him on his latest trip to Cuba. He’s an academic who speaks Spanish like a black man from Carraguao. The Cuban reality interests him greatly and he understands it well.

He was born in Pensacola, Florida and is a professor at a university in New York. He has a blog, El Yuma, and is a humanist and leftist. He meets all the requirements of a good democrat. He knows how to listen and respects differences of opinion.

He’s the type of person the Cuban government, which I don’t think has too many followers in the United States, should respect for his rectitude, honesty and professional ethics.

But as it happens the Cuban special services are wary of most of the people who come from the North. Erasing mental stereotypes takes time. And, unfortunately, the Cuban intelligence officers have been trained and raised with the image of Uncle Sam who comes in every disguise, including academics, to subvert the order.

And Ted comes from the North and is an academic. Also he brought a burning proposal in his backpack. Talking with bloggers from both sides. He was a perfect target. We already know that the regime sees a portion of the alternative bloggers as cyberwar commandos capable of causing more damage than an Al-Qaeda franchise.

In the rearview mirror, the Creole mandarins are seeing in technicolor the wave of protests in the Middle East and the civil war in Libya. The autocrats are trembling.

And they have to find new enemies to suppress and scare the masses. They can’t sit the creators of internet, twitter or facebook, in the dock of the accused, they point the censoring finger at those who use such tools without state approval.

In the “brave fighters of silence” didn’t like a gringo from New York coming to Havana to try to build bridges. The political police, more than any other authority, need an enemy. They don’t look kindly on pro-government bloggers who let their heads hover over the words dialogue and council.

And even though Ted didn’t come to Havana tobe the mother-in-law trying to harmonize damaged matrimonial relations, he chatted with bloggers of both tendencies. And he made the State Security tough guys nervous. At the airport, before he left, they put him on the black list. And told him, this will be your “last visit.”

Their motives could be great or nothing. They need adversaries. It’s the combustible to sustain the battles, justify the spending of resources, and maintaining high morale.

So Ted gave them the hook. A Yankee who is interested in the social situation of Cuba and not mulattas and mojitos. A weirdo. The authorities want the Yankees to come … but to spend dollars and shake their hips at evening soirees. Don’t think and leave a lot of tips.

Thus, Ted Henken unwittingly got caught in the crossfire. Despite being a ‘gringo’ leftist Latin American scholar and coming on his own account. But he came the North. That’s enough.

May 17 2011

  1. Adrian
    June 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    They don’t like him anymore because he listens , if he spent time listening to the opposition bloggers, that’s it. What they like is partisans, people acting more by faith than for what they actually see. People that don’t want to listen anynody with different ideas .

  2. Jck Spratz
    February 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This is nonsense stuff. I am an academic and everyone knows it, and I am treated well by Cubans. I have never been harassed or treated as anything but a person. I do my research and know many people; I never drink mojetos and do ot look for mulattas. Ted Henken is a person I just read about, and his blog on Yoani Sanchez is pure fiction. If he examined his own writings and that of Yoani, he would see the problems. He does not offer any evidence about anything, only vague assertions, and cannot see his own contraditcitons. He points out what Yoani says about her own blog–that it was a disaster when she tried to construct it, but changed overnight. But the disaster of a blog that was not known about until November he says 5 mjonths later was given a prize of 15000 euros as being a journalistic jewel. And shortly thereafter, Time Magazine named it one of the best blogs of the year. Does that not raise suspicion? It should. And then awards and claims she was one of the 10 most influential people of in Latin America in 2008 by Foreign Policy Magazine must certainly be an pause for reflection, but El Yuma, what nonsense, does ot see any of it. Yoani just got better technically he says. Year, and I can hit a baseball better than Babe Ruth ever could. 3000 to 5000 comments on one blog, and this is a simple blog like your grandmother has to put up her recipes. Utterly nonsense. The supporters of Yoani, saying she has a regular little Mom and Pop enterprise then go on to say that she has 14 million visits a month. Do you know how many visits the New York Times has a month? 33 million. The Prisa group that gave Yoani a special prize and 15000 euros has two hundred and fifty web sites and has 53 million visit a month. And Yoani’s web site is not suspect? You have lost all ability to reason if you believe that she is maintaining such a site from Cuba. And what did the former Directer of USIS just say: he does not want it known how often he had conservations with Yoani. And we can be sure they were more than just talk.

    Ted Henken is, then, nothing but an apologist for the apoligist of American Imperialism; he should never be allowed back in Cuba, and Oani should never be let out to come to the U.S. We do not want her here. She is a total fraud.

  1. May 19, 2011 at 8:38 am

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