Monday, October 8, 2007

I Nominate Cuba Watch

At one point I was actually considering to put the Cuba Watch blog on my list of favorites, until I noticed that much of the criticism was ridiculous and without reason. There are some good posts, but most of the time it's just wrong. Take a look at the latest one.

Cuba Watch has this arrogant series called the "Oblivious Asshole Award" rewarding strangers for what he deems have "true lack of reasoning skills" or those who come from "the wolf's den of bigotry and hate." But, the latest award recipient reveals more about how hysterical and vindictive Cuba Watch really is.

A reader of Cuba Watch seems to have pointed to the latest victim here, RubyJi. On June 29, 2007, RubyJi uploaded this public photo on her Flickr account. It shows a young man wearing a T-Shirt that says: F--K the Miami Mafia, Get Well Fidel. (You might also recognize this person, since he was attacked in public by Vigilia Mambisa in January.) The t-shirt is as offensive as Cuba Watch's own "Oblivious Asshole Award" image, but Cuba Watch then decides to take out his/her anger on RubyJi, who's quite innocent in this case.

Cuba Watch notes that RubyJi has a blog and Flickr account, but fails to mention that in each account there's hardly a mention of Cuba or Fidel Castro. The Flickr photo in question is the only image with a "cuba" or "fidel castro" tag. Also, RubyJi's blog makes NO MENTION of Cuba or Fidel Castro since its creation in December of 2000.

But, this doesn't stop Cuba Watch from saying that RubJi "apparently supports the continued subjugation of the Cuban people and illicit enrichment of the regime's fat-cats in Havana" and that she should "crawl back into the wolf's den of bigotry and hate from which [she] came."

All this from ONE photo (among 2,461 so far by RubyJi), and about a shirt she didn't even wear.

In the end, not only does Cuba Watch violate the Flickr Community Guidelines by copying and publishing her photo, and not linking back to her Flickr account, Cuba Watch threatens to post RubyJi's private e-mail exchange on his blog. Such a gesture would not only violate RubyJi's right to privacy, but also her "right of first publication" protected under US common law .

In which case, Cuba Watch would be the true winner of being oblivious.


Rick said...

And they link to babalu, BUCL, and Cuban-American Pundits....

Go figure.

Actually I detect a similarity in writing styles and blog format, down to the posted fair use agreement, that Henry Gomez uses.

No, forget it. Couldn't be.



You are incorrect on all accounts.

1) CubaWatch has not violated any copyright guidelines/laws. That is why clear reference is made to flickr, so as not to give the impression that the photo's copyright belongs to CubaWatch. I would never directly link to her account for the simple reason that I don't want to make it easy for someone crazy enough to attempt to physically harm this individual to do so.

2) I have never, nor would I ever, threaten to post this woman's email. I certainly don't want some loon tracking her down. Don't know where you got this idea, as I even took the effort of whiting OUT her email address from the snapshot of her profile.

3) The posting of the t-shirt's image makes clear this individual's stance. It is offensive - 100 percent.

I have grown increasingly tired of the lies, hatred, and callous disregard of the Cuban people exhibited by oblivious individuals the world over. Those who continue to support - tacitly or directly - the dictatorship will be called out. I have seen too much, especially in my more recent travels to the island. There simply is no reason for anyone to have any support or feelings of empathy for the regime. Support the regime - you support our continued subjugation.

Thanks in advance for allowing me to respond.


-Anatasio Blanco


Damnit - meant to say "all counts" not "all accounts." Sometimes the fingers fly on the keyboard a bit too fast.

-Anatasio Blanco

Mambi_Watch said...


1) I NEVER said that you "violated any copyright guidelines/laws." I specifically said that you violated "the Flickr Community Guidelines by copying and publishing her photo." NOT laws, NOT copyright guidelines.

I provided a link to the Flickr Community Guidelines, and was specifically referring to the fourth guideline which states:

"The Flickr service makes it possible to post images hosted on Flickr to outside web sites. However, pages on other web sites that display images hosted on must provide a link from each photo back to its photo page on Flickr."

As a user of Flickr material, you have violated this rule. It's not hard to understand.

Since Flickr photos are meant to be public, the legal argument, I'm sure, is complicated. Nevertheless, as the original photographer and uploader of the photo in question, RubyJi's authorship through Flickr should be respected. In my opinion, you violated this ethical consideration.

Consider this scenario: If you had been another Flickr account holder, and did the SAME action as you did with Blogspot (by copying another's photo for your blog), RubJi would have all the right to file a Notice of Infringement with the Yahoo! Copyright Team. In which case, your account would be suspended.

2) I NEVER said that you threatened to post RubyJi's e-mail, I said: "Cuba Watch threatens to post RubyJi's private e-mail exchange." I was referring to the expressions that RubyJi would be providing in a private e-mail exchange, that NO ONE has the right to copy and publish without her permission. This is also a simple rule to follow, and that I also provided links to which provide supporting legal arguments.

3) The t-shirt in question reveals the stance of the one who is wearing it, NOT the photographer. The t-shirt bearer is being offensive, NOT the photographer. As I pointed out, you fail to mention the fact that RubyJi's position on Cuba is not clear or apparent, thus your harsh criticism is unfair and unwarranted.

If you are tired of the "lies, hatred, and callous disregard of the Cuban people exhibited by oblivious individuals the world over" then do it by showing some evidence next time. This post targeting RubyJi is cowardly and unjustified.

You point out lies by pointing out facts, which are supported by reliable sources. You point out hatred by pointing out established intolerance and injustice.

As for "callous disregard," I don't see how you are gonna win people over with your hysterics.


"Hysterics?" Yes indeed, I am hysterical about a great many things. You could even say I foam at the mouth every time I hear a so-called "believer" in social justice expressing support for the continued subjugation of my family in Cuba.

The time for armchair quarterbacking with regards to Cuba is over. The posting of that image was in and of itself, a statement regarding the sentiments of the individual who posted it. If you, or anyone else, are hoping I would attempt to steer the blog in an effort to avoid hurting people's feelings - you're quite mistaken.

The bottom line is, it's time to start calling out those people who in any way, contribute to the propaganda coming out of the regime. It's time to start exposing, as often as possible, those individuals who profit from the regime. It's time to start rejecting, loudly and in unison, the revisionists of history who have gone to great pains to distort and hide the truth regarding the Cuban nightmare.

You make a point with your statement regarding Flickr guidelines however, I don't have a Flickr account and have signed no agreements with that organization. The idea that I would allow something as insignificant as Flickr's guidelines to prevent me from pointing out the inherent hypocrisy in stating a person is "obsessed with social justice" while sending (through a third person) good wishes to one of the world's most cruel dictators is . . . well . . . silly.

I stand by my actions 100 percent.


Anatasio Blanco

Ruby said...

Apparently some people think democracy means shouting their ideas the loudest. It's hardly helping the cause of freedom anywhere.

= RubyJi