Desde la Brigada 2506 hasta hoy, el exilio político cubano se ha percibido en la isla como una función de la política norteamericana frente a la revolución. El 17D demostró que, en esa función, no es la cola la que mueve al perro, sino, en última instancia, el perro el que decide
Leer todo - Cuba Continue reading
Este viernes por la mañana, el Foro para los Derechos y Libertades convocó a un grupo de activistas para efectuar un encuentro bajo el título Después de la Cumbre de Panamá, ¿qué sigue?. El evento tuvo lugar en la vivienda de Antonio González Rodiles, director del grupo opositor Estado de Sats.
Alrededor de 70 asistentes escucharon los testimonios de Berta Soler, Jorge Luís García Perez Antúnez, Gorki Águila, Roberto de Jesús Guerra y otros activistas que participaron en el Foro de la Sociedad Civil durante la recién finalizada VII Cumbre de las Américas, en Panamá.
Los debates abordaron los temas relacionados con el restablecimiento de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos y sobre las acciones realizadas por parte de los representantes de la sociedad civil enviada a Panamá por el Gobierno cubano.Continue reading
La Comisión Nacional Electoral ha informado este viernes de que ya se distribuye la documentación junto a los escudos, banderas y urnas para la realización de los comicios del próximo 19 de abril.
Más de ocho millones de electores potenciales, distribuidos en 24.646 colegios, participarán en estas elecciones parciales, donde se elegirán a 12.589 delegados de igual número de circunscripciones del Poder Popular. Un total de 63.441 jóvenes se estrenarán como electores.
Son 27.379 los candidatos cuyas fotos y biografías han sido colocadas en lugares públicos como único elemento de información para los electores. La presencia entre los candidatos de al menos dos opositores ha resultado la parte más atractiva y novedosa de todo el proceso. A pesar de las presiones recibidas, Hildebrando Chaviano Montes y Yuniel López O´Farrill se muestran optimistas y esperan obtener los votos necesarios para erigirse en delegados. Los dos activistas fueron tachados de "contrarrevolucionarios" en las biografías redactadas por los autoridades sin consultarles.
Las votaciones comenzarán a las 7 de la mañana de este próximo domingo y al abrir los colegios electorales se trasmitirá una alocución por la Televisión Nacional y la emisora Radio Rebelde.
Entre las novedades de este proceso figura un software realizado por los estudiantes de la Universidad de Ciencias Informáticas que se usará para computar los resultados. Además, habrá observadores que velarán por que se cumplan los requisitos que establece la Ley Electoral.
La Empresa telefónica ETECSA informó de que ha puesto a disposición del proceso 337.000 líneas, que incluyen 5.600 móviles y 370 líneas de datos. En la Comisión Nacional Electoral, así como en las comisiones provinciales y municipales, ETECSA tendrá un representante para atender cualquier dificultad que surja en las comunicaciones.
Desde hace semanas una intensa campaña propagandística exhorta a los ciudadanos a acudir a las urnas, ya que la abstención es considerada como un indicador del descontento popular, como lo son también la anulación de la boleta y el voto en blanco.Continue reading
"Mariano, Lisa", grita uno, a la vez que otro vocifera: "Guanabacoa por el anillo" o "Guanabo, vamos que me voy". Las personas se gritan para que nadie se les cuele en el trayecto de la cola al carro. Se mueven en grupos de cinco o de diez, según el tipo de taxi que sea.
Las piqueras, antes situadas en distintos puntos de La Habana, ahora han sido reagrupadas en el Parque El Curita.Continue reading
Posted on April 16, 2015
Rebeca Monzo, 15 April 2105 — The 7th (of April) arrived. The Summit of
the Americas in Panama and, with it, the invited and participating
delegations started to arrive in the Central American country. The
official Cuban delegation, one of the largest, had a good time
organizing and preparing, under the optics of the totalitarian regime,
making up a series of NGO officials, with the objective of making
themselves look like the only Cuban civil society.
The inconceivable and unacceptable thing was to send characters
well-known as loyal to the regime, pretending to make them pass as
members of this civil society. Among them, just to mention the most
known, was Dr. Eusebio Leal, the historian of Havana, Miguel Barnet,
President of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and Abel
Prieto, Adviser to President Raul Castro who, along with many others
chosen, lended themselves to serve as bullies in the famous meetings of
repudiation against the Cuban opponents, real members of nascent civil
society, insulting them and even sometimes, hitting them and preventing
them from leaving through the front door of where they were staying,
having to remove them safely from the hotel by the kitchen and the
backyard of the property.
These acts, absolutely unacceptable, have set a terrible precedent in
front of governments of other countries, the international press, who
have remained amazed before similar acts of marginality, vulgarity, and
lack of respect to the host country. As my friend Mary would say: "They
showed their trashy ways," confirming with their deplorable attitude
what the opposition from within the island has been condemning for years.
As if these abuses of power were not sufficient, they have tried to
monopolize Jose Marti, as if he doesn't belong equally to all of those
born on this battered island.
Translated by: BW
Source: To the Government supporters: "You showed your trashy ways" /
Rebeca Monzo | Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/to-the-government-supporters-you-showed-your-trashy-ways-rebeca-monzo/ Continue reading
Posted on April 17, 2015
"Some do not know me well, some are prisoners of fear." Interview with
opposition member Hildebrando Chaviano, candidate for delegate to the
Cubanet.org, Orlando Freire Santana, Havana, 15 April 2015 – Independent
journalist Hildebrando Chaviano is one of the opposition candidates
nominated by districts in the capital with a view towards the midterm
elections to be held this coming April 19. In order to learn of the most
recent events surrounding his nomination, we visited him in his
apartment on the 28th floor of the Focsa building in the El Vedado
Q: Have you noticed any change recently in your neighbors' treatment of you?
A: "I can tell you yes, indeed. But a change for the better. Neighbors
approach me and greet me cordially. Even those who have never had a
close relationship with me, now I notice they are friendlier.
"However, the neighbors from the building are one thing, and another is
the workers of the State establishments located here in Focsa. Many of
them, due to the extent of their working hours — especially those in the
food business – will vote at this polling station on the 19th. And
certainly, I am aware that they have distanced themselves from me. I am
convinced that they have been told categorically that they may not vote
"Even recently there occurred a telling event. Some reporters from the
German television station Deutsche Welle visited me. When they were
leaving we came to the building's reception area where they wanted to
take some pictures of me. The receptionist, very startled, left the
place, because according to her own words, 'Not for anything in the
world could I appear in those photographs.'"
Q: What has been the popular reaction to the exposure of your
biographical data, full of insults for being a "counter-revolutionary?"
A: "My perception, basically through conversations with my neighbors, is
that this time the biographies have been more widely read than in prior
elections. They have even told me that they have seen passersby, who
have nothing to do with this polling station, stopped in front of the
photos and biographies.
"Most of the neighbors are convinced that the insults placed in my
biography are revenge by the authorities for a nomination that they did
Q: Do you believe that voters are ready to support an opposition candidate?
"It is undeniable that there are many voters who are not going to vote
for me. I am not referring to neighbors from my building but to people
in the rest of the district. Some because they do not know me well, and
others are prisoners of fear. Among the latter ideas are entertained
like 'what if there is a hidden camera that films the voting,' 'what if
each ballot has a password that identifies the voter'… Nevertheless, it
is no less certain that people want something different, and many see me
as a brave person who has decided to confront the machinery of power."
Q: Do you believe that an opposition delegate can adequately carry out
his work in the midst of the bureaucratic structures of the People's Power?
A: "I think so, as long as you have a program of action. Because, look,
here almost all the delegates that enter office do it without a defined
program, and therefore they become simple 'errand boys' between their
voters and the municipal governments. Under those conditions, obviously,
they end up swallowed by the governmental bureaucracy, and they also
lose the trust of the voters.
"I appreciate that my trips abroad have given me insights about
initiatives that could be implemented at the community level.
Q: What message do you send to Cuban voters a few days before the election?
A: "The voters must lose the fear of voting for an opposition candidate.
They should be convinced that it is possible to vote for a candidate who
does not represent the interests of the government. Because even in the
hypothetical – and almost impossible – case of finding out the identity
of the voters, it would not be possible to repress so many people
Translated by MLK
Source: "Many Voters Will Not Vote for Me" / Cubanet, Orlando Freire
Santana | Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/many-voters-will-not-vote-for-me-cubanet-orlando-freire-santana/ Continue reading
La panadería de Eliot amaneció este viernes con la paleta de amasar rota y una fila de gente a la espera para comprar una flauta o un panecillo. El hermano ha salido a toda velocidad para arreglar la pieza con un tornero, porque "no se puede estar un día sin vender, la pérdida es tremenda", asegura el atribulado panadero.
Este trabajador por cuenta propia ha abierto un negocio singular en el barrio habanero de La Timba donde oferta una gran variedad de productos horneados. Cada día que logra sortear los altos precios de la materia prima y los problemas con la infraestructura, lo cuenta como una hazaña.
Entre los numerosos negocios que han florecido desde las recientes flexibilizaciones para el trabajo por cuenta propia, no abundan las panaderías. Si por un lado las quejas por la mala calidad de ese producto en el mercado racionado crecen, sorprende que los atrevidos emprendedores cubanos no se hayan lanzado a amasar y hornear para todos los gustos.
Muy cerca de la calle Colón, en uno de esos edificios conocidos como "pastorita" de la calle Bellavista, desde hace unas semanas asoma un vistoso cartel que anuncia unos panes maravillosos en una gigantografía recién impresa. Es un apartamento de planta baja donde se ha instalado un sencillo anaquel de madera para exhibir los productos. Su fuerte es el pan, pero también hace panetelas, cakes y otros dulces finos.
Una bolsa de 15 panes grandes cuesta 20 pesos cubanos y tiene hasta semillas de ajonjolí. La voz se ha ido pasando entre los vecinos y ahora le piden por encargo panes que algunos más viejos solo guardan en la memoria. Desde la madrugada todo alrededor huele a ese sabor inconfundible de la hogaza cociéndose lentamente en el horno.
[[QUOTE:Cada día que logra sortear los altos precios de la materia prima y los problemas con la infraestructura, lo cuenta como una hazaña]]El lugar también tiene una oferta de productos de tamaño más estándar que cuestan un peso cada uno, panecitos para perro caliente y otros en forma de cangrejitos. Eliot no necesita salir a pregonar ni vender a domicilio. Sentado en el balcón de su casa, atiende a todos los que llegan en busca de otro sabor y otra textura que no sea el del insípido pan de la bodega.
Hace unos años intentó abrir una barbería en el patio del apartamento, pero no le fue bien. La cosa terminó en la estación de policía y le confiscaron lo poco que había ido adquiriendo para habilitar el negocio. Un par de viejos sillones de barbería fueron montados en un camión y, al final, hasta él pasó un buen rato en la estación ya que perdió la calma con los muchachones vestidos de azul.
Por suerte, la vida ahora le sonríe. Las madres de la zona garantizan allí la merienda de sus hijos y los dueños de las cafeterías cercanas amanecen para llevarse su buena cantidad que después venderán en bocaditos y sándwiches. Briseida, la jubilada que cobró esta mañana su pensión, espera a que la paleta rota regrese del tornero. "Hoy sí me voy a dar el gusto de comerme un buen pan", dice.Continue reading
Apr 17, 2015 3:54 AM CEST
Bush isn't a fan of the deal with Cuba or Iran.
Michael C. Bender
CONCORD, New Hampshire—Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush took aim at
current President Barack Obama on Thursday, saying the two-term Democrat
has put his own legacy ahead of securing strong international pacts on
behalf of the country.
"This president wants to get deals for his legacy, whether it's Iran or
Cuba," Bush told about 100 Republicans on Thursday at the Snow Shoe Club
in Concord, New Hampshire. "He's negotiating without getting any
concessions in return."
Bush criticized the deal with Obama struck with Cuba to normalize
relations saying "we're basically going to perpetuate the regime" while
"we get nothing." Bush said Obama instead should have forced regime
change in the communist country, or required open elections.
Bush said Obama was banking on a miracle in Cuba, "similar to Ayatollah
"This was not about proper negotiations," Bush said. "This was about a
Obama has defended both deals. He has said that sanctions on Cuba have
not worked, and normalizing relations will create new opportunities for
both countries. The president says the preliminary agreement with Iran
is a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to keep Iran from getting a
Obama has become a top target for Bush as he campaigns around the
country ahead of his expected presidential announcement in the coming
Bush and other Republicans who are either presidential candidates or
expected to soon join the race will meet with Republican voters on
Friday in Nashua, New Hampshire for the "First in the Nation Republican
Leadership Summit." The event's name refers to the state's status of
holding the first presidential primary every four years.
Source: Jeb Bush: Obama Cares More About Legacy Than Strong Deals for
the U.S. - Bloomberg Politics -
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-17/jeb-bush-obama-cares-more-about-legacy-than-strong-deals-for-the-u-s- Continue reading
Off the terror list, Cuba represents a less risky proposition but for
bankers it's been tough to get over the hefty fines that once came with
Thursday 16 April 2015 17.08 BST Last modified on Thursday 16 April 2015
Barack Obama's decision to remove Cuba from the state sponsors of terror
list after 30 years is many things: a symbol of the cold war's end, a
negotiating tactic to dispel distrust, and – most practically – an
assurance to bankers wary of rushing into a legal minefield.
Nearly four months after Obama and Cuban president Raúl Castro announced
a historic rapprochement and a softening of sanctions against doing
business on the island, few companies have tried to take advantage of
the changes. Lodging company Airbnb set up with locals and streaming
site Netflix made a mostly symbolic entrance there, but the most
powerful forces in finance, the banks, have watched from afar for fear
of getting caught up in a web of sanctions.
The bankers have cause to be concerned. The US has actively pursued
banks who violate sanctions agreements, in 2009 forcing Credit Suisse to
pay a $536m settlement for its dealings with Cuba, Iran and others, and
then drawing a $8.9bn fine from BNP Paribas last year for working with
Sudanese clients. Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are the only nations on
the state sponsors of terrorism list. Also last year M&T Bank, the only
institution that had been available to Cuban diplomats in Washington,
suspended that service.
"You really had an enormous exposure to that risk, from US regulators
who have imposed very substantial fines on financial institutions," said
Pedro Freyre, an international practice attorney for a Miami law firm.
"It made it impossible for Cuba to do anything in the international
banking system with US dollars," agreed Antonio C Martinez II, an
attorney with the Gotham Government Relations Firm, a New York law firm.
"Any bank that touched that sanctions web would get caught in it and fined."
Since the December changes to US rules, the State Department has tried
to persuade banks to get involved in Cuba, including by inviting
executives to meet with officials in Miami a year ago. But bankers felt
no safer after the discussion, said professor Christopher Sabatini, a
Cuba scholar with Columbia University, who attended that meeting.
Because banks and telecoms have to clear nearly all activity on Cuba
with the Treasury and Commerce departments, complying with US rules
became a losing business in and of itself, Sabatini continued. "The
executives would say, 'There's no way we can go to the board, it's not
profitable for us. We have to staff up all these lawyers, and do all
this paperwork and conform to all these regulations, and simply the
return isn't there.'"
Taking Cuba off the list changed that, he said: "It's removed the fear
of having their profits sort of seized for having done business with a
terrorist-supporting state, and it also makes compliance costs much less."
Banks by nature are very risk-averse
Off the list, Cuba represents a far less risky and expensive proposition
to bankers and other companies, the attorneys said, although that did
not mean bankers would rush to the island. "Just because something is
allowed doesn't mean that it will happen, and these banks are by nature
very risk-averse," Freyre said.
Bankers and most companies have stayed cautious because although January
changes allowed them transactions with Cuban banks, congressional
On 1 March, MasterCard removed its block on US-issued cards in Cuba, the
only credit card company to do so. Rob Rowe, vice-president of the
American Bankers Association only offered a cautious statement: "banks
are certainly watching for further developments, but the US government
has a lot more steps to take until the industry can take action."
American Express, Citi and JPMorgan Chase have said they are still
waiting to for more details about how the US and Cuba actually start
The wrangling over banks – an issue Cuban negotiators have repeatedly
raised in talks – also suggests that the US and Cuba in some ways plan
to improvise as they feel their way through the uncharted territory of
rapprochement after 50 years apart.
Major obstacles on both sides are the nations' respective bureaucracies,
for instance. In the US, regulators of byzantine American system can
sometimes be at odds with both officials and businesses. Cuba's highly
centralized system on the other hand treats almost everything on a
case-by-case basis, with decisions made by a select few. Somehow, the
two sides will have to work out ways for the systems to work in tandem.
"They haven't been living completely isolated from the universe – it's
not like North Korea," Freyre said, "but it's not going to be easy."
Freyre said he has seen "a real commitment on the part of the Cuban
authorities to make changes" that can accommodate the US, and Sabatini
noted that the US rules in turn have been written fairly broadly,
"organized more around general principles of US foreign policy" than
specific politics between nations.
With that broad language, the US can adjust how it implements the new
rules as Cuba in turn tries to make its system more flexible. Sabatini
described the State Department's strategy of promoting democracy through
capitalism by saying, "it basically throws it open to more of a market
question than a regulatory one."
Taking Cuba off the list is also a negotiating tactic, Martinez said,
that could help convince Cuba to drop the 10% surcharge it imposes
against the US dollar – another deterrent to doing business there, and
main reason why phone calls to the island are so expensive.
"Think of it as a pipeline," Freyre said. "The United States has one
control valve and Cuba has the other, and the US slowly opens the valve
and gets Cuba to slowly open its valve. It's going to take a while, but
they're beginning to ramp up the flow."
The embargo imposed by Congress still prohibits most investing and
financial transactions on Cuba, and senators and representatives could
still try to fight off the White House's attempt to take Cuba off the
list. Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio, for instance,
openly opposes detente with Cuba, as does Florida representative Ileana
Cuba was placed on the list in 1982 for supporting leftist guerrillas in
Latin America, and more recently kept there for providing refuge to
Basque separatists. The Obama administration now says Cuba has not
supported terrorism in the past six months and is now eligible to be
Source: Banks not rushing to Cuba as fear of entering a legal minefield
still lingers | World news | The Guardian -
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/16/cuba-off-terror-lists-banks-still-wary-sanctions Continue reading