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Daily Archives: July 28, 2013

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have resumed peace negotiations in the Cuban capital. Following two weeks of violence that left a number of soldiers and Continue reading
Another Sunday in Matanzas, Cuba, another Sunday of government organized thuggery against some of the most valiant opposition activists on the island. Martinoticias.com reports that seven members of the Damas De Blanco, or "Ladies In White," and nine other human... Continue reading
28 July 2013 Continue reading
Agence France-Presse . Caracas The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, met aged Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana on Saturday, Venezuelan state news agency AVN reported. Fidel Castro, who turns Continue reading
STORY HIGHLIGHTS Ex-Cuban leader Fidel Castro greets Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, state media say Castro has made infrequent public appearances since illness forced him to step down in 2006 Castro Continue reading
Cuban Paralympic athlete Yunidis Castillo is taking home three gold medals from the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, which concluded Sunday in Lyon, France. In her latest victory Saturday, Castillo Continue reading
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY BEATRIZ LECUMBERRY A child stands in front of a graffitti at the Mountain Barracks (Cuartel de la Montana) where the remains of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are staying Continue reading
El Papa habla de política YAXYS CIRES DIB | Madrid | 28 Jul 2013 – 5:40 pm. Según Francisco, se debe rehabilitar la política como la forma más alta de la caridad. ¿Llegará el mensaje a Cuba? Ayer sábado el Papa Francisco pronunció un discurso de gran trascendencia. Fue sobre la necesidad y a la [...] Continue reading
Fidel Castro califica de ‘calumnias’ las críticas a su régimen por el incidente del barco norcoreano AGENCIAS | La Habana | 28 Jul 2013 – 7:03 pm. Fidel Castro calificó de intento de “calumniar” a su régimen las críticas surgidas tras la captura en el Canal de Panamá de un barco norcoreano que transportaba armamento [...] Continue reading
Peace talks between the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government resumed Sunday in Havana, with the negotiating sides exchanging accusations. Following a 19-day recess, the 12th Continue reading
Cuba: Hooked to the Cell Phone
July 22, 2013
Osmel Almaguer

HAVANA TIMES — With over 2 million mobile phone users, Cuba has around
half a million more cell phones than landlines. A number of "competent"
authorities often speak of this proudly, as though the reality behind
this phenomenon weren't shameful.

Thousands of landlines began to be installed around Cuba with the
arrival of the joint venture phone company ETECSA nearly ten years ago.
This process prioritized Havana over the rest of the country's provinces
because of its strategic importance as Cuba's capital.

The sprawling suburb of Alamar was one of Havana's prioritized areas and
one of the first places where landlines began to be installed was in the
part of the community where I live.

Needless to say, this process raised many hopes and awoke much passion
among people, both positive and negative. This was to be expected from a
people who, in their great majority, had never had a phone in their homes.

The plan had been conceived to have phone lines installed across the
entire neighborhood in a matter of a few years. The work came to a halt,
however, when it was only about 15 percent completed. At the time,
ETECSA was still a joint venture company.

People wondered why the company stopped intalling landlines and no one
ever gave any clear reason why. With time, people's enthusiasm over
these landlines waned and was replaced by the cell phone craze.

Having a mobile phone clipped to your belt became a status symbol. The
mobile phone introduced a new culture into Cuba, a culture with its own
behavioral codes and group dynamics. It also meant a triple investment
for the average Cuban, forced to enter into an inflexible, lifetime
phone line contract.

At first, owning a mobile phone was something of a luxury. Over time,
with a gradual decrease in prices, ETECSA achieved its lofty aim: to
satisfy the expectations of millions of users, "hooked" to this new toy
which does little to make communication less precarious, other than
afford users the minor benefit of being easy to locate.

The results of this process are the statistics which officials from the
now fully Cuban State company refer to when they proudly proclaim: "In
Cuba, there are more mobile phones than landlines", as though such a
ratio were a sign of development, and not sheer need.

What these officials fail to mention is that the installation of
landlines across Cuba came to a halt without apparent reason, that
mobile phone lines continue to be infinitely more expensive than
landlines and prohibitive for most Cubans (though highly lucrative for
this inefficient company).

As for me, I try and avoid thinking about this whole business, so as not
to imagine the worst.

Source: "Cell phones have eclipsed land line distribution in Cuba" -
http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=96785 Continue reading
“Nosotros somos, y nadie nos podrá arrebatar la honra de ser” [26-07-2013] (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- Hace poco tiempo autoproclamados líderes de la oposición envueltos en dimes que te diretes, chivatazos y chismorreo inútiles que sólo benefician a la dictadura, declararon que el problema de Cuba es prerrogativa de los cubanos de allá. Según ellos: “Los Estados Unidos [...] Continue reading
Cuba, armas y Farc JOSÉ FÉLIX LAFAURIE RIVERA Este debe ser el único país donde una alarma contra la seguridad nacional pasa inadvertida a la opinión pública. Pero más abrumador resulta el hermetismo del Gobierno, luego de las versiones que señalan la frontera ecuatoriana como destino del cargamento ilegal de armas fletado por Cuba en [...] Continue reading
BBC: Los cubanos y la confianza en los cambios Los más emprendedores son optimistas, mientras el pesimismo invade a los que ya no se pueden subir al tren. martinoticias.com julio 26, 2013 “El objetivo de los rebeldes que asaltaron el cuartel Moncada en julio de 1953 era una sociedad más equitativa, pero desde que los [...] Continue reading
Cuba cumple 60 años bajo el yugo de la Revolución castrista Este viernes Cuba conmemora 60 años del asalto al Cuartel Moncada, hecho que ha sido considerado como el comienzo de la Revolución cubana. Los actos de conmemoración estarán marcados por la presencia de los presidentes de Uruguay, José Mujica; Bolivia, Evo Morales y Venezuela, [...] Continue reading
Una fallecida y 16 heridos deja un accidente de tráfico en Guantánamo AGENCIAS | Guantánamo | 27 Jul 2013 – 8:51 pm. Una mujer murió y otras 16 personas resultaron heridas este sábado en un accidente de tráfico en Guantánamo, en un choque entre dos automóviles que viajaban por una carretera local, informaron medios oficiales, [...] Continue reading
Publicado el sábado, 07.27.13 OPPENHEIMER: El aniversario de la involución cubana ANDRÉS OPPENHEIMER AOPPENHEIMER@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM El gobernante de Cuba, general Raúl Castro, celebró el viernes el 60 aniversario del ataque guerrillero al cuartel Moncada que dio inicio a la revolución cubana, pero ese acontecimiento también podría ser recordado como el principio de las seis décadas que [...] Continue reading
La seguridad detiene a dos disidentes en Holguín el 26 de julio [27-07-2013] Alexei Jimenez Almarales Prensa Joven (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- Los disidentes Julio Cesar Alvares Marrero y Yolanda Pérez Díaz fueron detenidos en la mañana del día 26 de julio en la ciudad de Holguín. Estos opositores caminaban por la calle cuando un auto marca Lada [...] Continue reading
The Indian Economist: el fracaso socialista cubano Pobreza rampante, régimen represivo, debilidades estructurales y reformas supeditadas a los ideales revolucionarios; la esperanza es un cambio de dirigentes, y de ideología. martinoticias.com julio 27, 2013 En un reportaje sobre el fracaso del socialismo en Cuba, la publicación económica “The Indian Economist” contrasta las palabras de Raúl [...] Continue reading
Cuba ‘ha recuperado mucha de su bonanza’, concluye Mujica tras su visita a los Castro AGENCIAS | La Habana | 28 Jul 2013 – 12:16 am. El presidente de Uruguay, José Mujica, opinó este sábado que Cuba “va tomando color” y “paso a paso” se recupera económicamente, en sus últimas impresiones sobre la Isla antes [...] Continue reading
Enganchados al móvil julio 22, 2013 Osmel Almaguer HAVANA TIMES — En Cuba, los usuarios de la telefonía móvil exceden los 2 millones; alrededor de medio millón más que las líneas fijas instaladas. De esto, ciertas autoridades “competentes” suelen hablar con cierto orgullo, como si la verdad que encierra dicho fenómeno no fuera menos que [...] Continue reading
Historias no contadas: Corruptelas de la misión deportiva en Venezuela Publicado el Sábado, 27 Julio 2013 18:57 Por Uberto Mario* Los cubanos no inventaron la corrupción, pero han aprendido muy bien a diseminarla y afincarla por donde quiera que pasa un colaborador en cumplimiento de misiones fuera de la isla. He llegado a pensar que [...] Continue reading
Exiliados cubanos en España entregan informe a la UE sobre violaciones de DDHH en Cuba [26-07-2013] Redacción de Misceláneas de Cuba (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- El Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos entregó este jueves en la Sede española de la Comisión Europea un informe sobre las recientes violaciones de Derechos Humanos en Cuba para ser enviado a la [...] Continue reading
New fall flight to Cuba shows growing strength of Tampa's Cuban travel
market
Jamal Thalji, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 6:19pm

TAMPA — Island Travel & Tours operator Bill Hauf said that in November
his company will add another weekly flight to Cuba from Tampa
International Airport.

That's significant because air travel to Cuba is at its strongest during
the summer months, when school is out and Cuban-Americans can take their
kids with them to visit relatives.

So adding Cuban flights in the offseason may be a better indicator of
the growing demand for flights from Tampa to Cuba. Those visitors
include many non-Cubans traveling to the island for educational trips
and other purposes authorized by the U.S. government.

Island Travel & Tours will add a Friday flight starting Nov. 1. So
during the offseason, the company will offer round trips to Cuba on
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

"We still see the demand growing by American groups as well as
Cuban-Americans here in the Tampa region," Hauf said. "We think it's
time to add a third flight. We're in the middle of a strong season, but
we expect to keep at it after the season is over."

Tampa International was allowed to resume commercial flights to Havana
in 2011 for the first time since the trade embargo took effect half a
century ago. More than 75,000 people have since used the airport to
visit Cuba.

There are now five flights a week from Tampa to Cuba. Island Travel &
Tours offers a flight to Havana on Wednesday and two on Sunday. ABC
Charters Inc. of Miami offers Tampa-to-Holguin on Tuesdays and
Tampa-to-Havana on Saturdays.

When the peak summer travel season ends next month, Island Travel &
Tours will give up one Sunday flight. ABC Charters Inc. will also stop
its Holguin route, according to its website.

But when Island Travel & Tours starts up its Friday route to Havana on
Nov. 1, that will still give Tampa International four weekly flights to
Cuba during the offseason. Hauf said the Friday flight will be popular
with those who only want to spend the weekend in Cuba.

Tampa has a base of about 80,000 Cuban-Americans that provides a steady
stream of customers to fill airplane seats to Cuba during the summer.

But the real potential to grow the market lies in non-Cubans. The U.S.
government doesn't allow Americans to go to Cuba for tourism. But it
does issue "people-to-people" licenses that allow Americans to travel to
Cuba for educational, cultural, religious and humanitarian reasons.

Hauf said that's the market that's growing. He's also trying to get
permission from the U.S. and Cuban governments to book flights to the
Cuban cities of Santa Clara and Cienfuegos.

"All those people that can legally travel to Cuba are the impetus for
growing the business," he said. So, in three years Hauf has added three
different flights to Cuba. "We're adding one once every year," he said.
"The business is growing. More Cuban-Americans are traveling and
traveling more frequently, and more Americans are traveling, all of
which is good news."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3404.

Source: "New fall flight to Cuba shows growing strength of Tampa's Cuban
travel market | Tampa Bay Times" -
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/airlines/new-fall-flight-to-cuba-shows-growing-strength-of-tampas-cuban-travel/2132823 Continue reading
Debate of Positions / Fernando Damaso
Posted on July 26, 2013


It's no secret that in our society, and even within the government
itself, different positions are debated about how to confront and
resolve our economic, political and social crisis. The honeymoon era,
based on a supposed monolithic unity of all the components of the
nation, which ultimately was never for real, has been left behind and is
just a bad memory, displaced by the winds of change of different
intensity and direction.

In recent days, some characters of known inflexible affiliation, fearful
of losing their precarious positions and privileges, even with the small
and slow changes introduced mainly in the economy, have targeted the
so-called new rich, principally the successful self-employed, preaching
to unleash a witch hunt, something we have always had plenty of: for
example Bird-on-a-Wire*, The Battle Against the Pots**, etc.

The demons being exorcised now are quinceañeras (huge parties for girls'
15th birthdays), dressing in the latest fashions, listening to
contemporary music, eating ham shank, drinking Coca-Cola and preferring
Disney cartoons. Also included are some owners of vehicles dedicated to
passengers and cargo which, according to these characters, has nothing
to do with the culture. It seems incredible, but it is real. The absurd
proposals to change the situation do not bear repeating…

Nevertheless, times have changed and people have as well, though perhaps
not as much as we would have liked, but if, before, prosperity was
punished by word and deed, now, at least in words it is not the case
and, indeed, it is emerging strongly, hence the spear launched against it.

For myself, I don't care about the new rich, provided they have obtained
and obtain their wealth with their talent, initiative, hard work and
determination. Both those who have become rich from the spoils of
ancient wealth for their riches, arguing the necessity of converting it
into the property of the whole people, which they did, transforming it
into state property where some, acting within the state, obtained and
derived their wealth, positions and privileges, adding to them at the
expense of the misery of the citizens.

Nor have I ever believed in a false equality, which really only equaled
poverty for the majority of the population, while a privileged elite has
remained and continues "on top the ball," as a popular song says, far
above ordinary Cubans.

Translator's notes:
*Bird-on-a-Wire was a police operation in February 1982 against
speculators who were cornering rural markets and charging exorbitant
prices for the goods.
**The Battle Against the Pots: The "pots" (wealthy people) were accused
of diverting state resources to meet their own needs (for example, using
a state-owned crane to lift a water tank onto an individual's house).

23 July 2013

Source: "Debate of Positions / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba" -
http://translatingcuba.com/debate-of-positions-fernando-damaso/ Continue reading
Posted on Saturday, 07.27.13

Cuba celebrates 60 years of involution
BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
AOPPENHEIMER@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Cuban President Gen. Raúl Castro celebrated Friday the 60th anniversary
of the guerrilla attack on the Moncada barracks that marked the
beginning of the Cuban revolution, but the event could just as well be
remembered as marking six decades of Latin America's biggest political,
economic and social fiasco.

Granted, many of us, especially those born outside the island, once saw
the "Cuban revolution" with a dose of romantic admiration. But even if
you brush aside the fact that Cuba's revolutionaries toppled one
dictatorship to install another, the cold statistics of the past six
decades tell a story of thousands of senseless deaths, a massive
emigration that split Cuban families, and an economic collapse with few
parallels anywhere.

In 1958, the year before then guerrilla leader Fidel Castro took power,
Cuba had a per capita income of roughly $356 dollars a year, one of the
three or four highest in Latin America, according to Carmelo Mesa Lago
of the University of Pittsburg, co-author of "Cuba under Raúl Castro"
and one of the most prominent experts on the Cuban economy.

By comparison, Costa Rica was poorer, and Asian countries such as South
Korea were much poorer, with per capita incomes of less than $100 a year.

Consider how much things have changed since:
• According to the World Bank's databank, South Korea, which started
welcoming massive foreign investments in the early 1960's, today has an
annual per capita income of $22,600; Costa Rica of $9,400, and Cuba of
$5,400. And according to Mesa Lago, Cuba's real per capita income is
probably lower than that because the figures have been manipulated by
the island's government.
• South Korea has 276 cars per 1,000 people, while Costa Rica has 135,
and Cuba only 21, the World Bank statistics show.
• In South Korea, 37 percent of the population has access to broadband
Internet, compared with 9 percent in Costa Rica and 4 percent in Cuba,
they show.

While South Korea has become a world industrial powerhouse — its Samsung
electronic goods and Hyundai cars are exported everywhere — and Costa
Rica has high-tech factories from companies such as Intel, Cuba is an
industrial basket case.

The island has not even been able to continue producing sugar or cigars
at its 1958 levels. According to Cuban government figures cited by Mesa
Lago, Cuba's sugar production has fallen from 859 tons to 106 tons per
1,000 people over the past six decades, and Cuba's cigar production has
fallen from 92,000 cigars per 1,000 people to 36,000 over the same period.

Until recently, Cubans used to joke that the three biggest
accomplishments of Cuba's revolution are health, education and the
restoration of national dignity, while its three biggest shortcomings
are breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But even Cuba's health and education standards have fallen in recent
years, and its national dignity has been compromised by its almost total
economic dependence first from the former Soviet Union, and lately by
Venezuela.

Today, Cuba's life expectancy of 79 years is the same as that of Costa
Rica, and below South Korea's 81 years. In education, Cuba deserves
credit for virtually eliminating illiteracy sooner than most other Latin
American nations, but its higher education is far from what it used to be.

A newly released ranking of Latin American universities by QS, a
well-known London-based university research firm, places the once
prestigious University of Havana at the 81st place in the region. It
ranks way behind universities of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Argentina,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Paraguay.

Asked whether Castro's latest pro-market reforms to revert Cuba's
economic disaster will work, Mesa Lago told me in an interview that
"these are the most important economic reforms that have been
implemented in Cuba since the revolution. The problem is that excessive
regulations, bureaucratic red tape and taxes are blocking their success."

My opinion: Cuba's apologists will probably argue that I'm influenced by
the Miami exile "mafia"and will come up with Cuba's own figures
purporting to show the island as a model country.

But when I heard the presidents of Uruguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other
countries who were standing next to Gen. Castro on Friday's anniversary
in Santiago de Cuba praising the "achievements of the revolution," the
first question that came to my mind was: if Cuba is such a success and
Cubans are so happy, why hasn't the government allowed one single free
election in six decades? The answer is that Cuba's dictatorship knows
very well that its revolution has been a fiasco, and that it would lose
them.

Source: "Andres Oppenheimer: Cuba celebrates 60 years of involution -
Andres Oppenheimer - MiamiHerald.com" -
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/27/3524279/andres-oppenheimer-cuba-celebrates.html Continue reading
Lawmaker calls out celebs that boycott Florida, but patronize Cuba
July 23, 2013 by Joe Saunders

A Florida congressman wants to know how rapper Jay Z can join a boycott
of the Sunshine State, but still visit a totalitarian regime 90 miles
from its shores.

On the Laura Ingraham radio show Tuesday, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart,
R-Fla., said celebrities who stand in judgment of Florida's "stand your
ground" law but have no problems with the Castro brothers' dictatorship
are "a little bit off" in their priorities.

"Look, thank God we live in a free country, and people can opt to be
silly and foolish, but that's a contrast — they go to Cuba, and that's
okay," Diaz-Balart said, according to The Hill.

"They hobnob with the regime; that's okay. But they won't go to Florida,
where we're free. That's their choice, but I think their priorities are
a little bit off."

Jay-Z and fellow stars like Kanye West and Justin Timberlake have said
they will follow entertainer Stevie Wonder's lead in boycotting Florida
venues because of the law, as part of the fallout from the George
Zimmerman trial and his July 13 acquittal.

Jay Z and his wife, Beyoncé, visited Cuba in April as part of a wedding
anniversary celebration. The visit drew attention and criticism on
Capitol Hill for possibly violating the United States' 53-year-old trade
and travel embargo on the island country.

While Florida's stand-your-ground law itself was not a factor in the
Zimmerman trial, it has become a stand-in for liberal criticism of the
verdict because part of it was included in instructions the jury
received for deliberations.

Confirmations in the music world of who's taking part in the boycott of
Florida are still a little sketchy. But for one of the most widely
reported lists of participants, click here:
http://aprildryan.com/2013/07/22/celebrities-take-action-against-stand-your-ground-law-in-florida/

Source: "Lawmaker calls out celebs that boycott Florida, but patronize
Cuba - BizPac Review" -
http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/07/23/lawmaker-calls-out-celebs-that-boycott-florida-but-patronize-cuba-80255 Continue reading
In Memory of Oswaldo Paya / Rosa Maria Rodriguez
Posted on July 27, 2013

Text of quote: "Let them call free and democratic elections on a the
basis of a new electoral law and an environment that allows all Cubans
to have the right to be nominated and elected democratically, to
exercise freedom of expression and of the press, and to freely organize
political parties and social organizations with total plurality. Yes or no?"

Oswaldo Payá came into this world and left it in leap years. He was a
righteous man, devout Catholic and exemplary parent. As he was also with
his country and with his time and his proposal to compel change to the
iron structures of the Cuban dictatorship; but in exchange he received
bullying, harassment and constant threats — open and veiled — against
his person and his family.

He worked for the nation and the full exercise of the rights of Cubans.
He thought up and developed multiple proposals for the democratization
of Cuba, which the government authorities systematically ignored for
more than two decades. Is is that men who carry freedom in their souls
and think and feel in a clearly democratic way, something that naturally
repels tyrants.

In this year since his death in circumstances disputed by his family,
small changes have occurred in the way of achieving the oligarchic
objectives and perpetuating the government. Many have stepped aside to
advance and to gain ever more space for externalizing the designs of the
dictatorship, and among them are the annihilation of opposition
political organizations inside Cuba. The ubiquitous presence — the
unseen, which is equally or maybe more effective — of Cuban
intelligence, the same here as in the world, conspires to prevent
democrats from achieving our goals.

Today, when many opponents and dissidents seem confused in finding the
way and means to achieve the desired democratization of Cuba, the
dictatorship is consolidating and positioning its family, friends, and
trusted staff.

They find it easier due to the absence of a path and a common and
unifying leadership animated not by the violence of the raised machete,
but by the sincerity, uprightness and intelligence of a proposal for a
liberating transition and real changes.

A year after the death of Payá, they continue to lack the support of the
world community to strengthen our society in the search for authentic
paths not vitiated by police influence. That leaves us to imagine viable
proposals that are agreed and achieve international support to promote them.

23 July 2013

Source: "In Memory of Oswaldo Paya / Rosa Maria Rodriguez | Translating
Cuba" -
http://translatingcuba.com/in-memory-of-oswaldo-paya-rosa-maria-rodriguez/ Continue reading
Prison Diary XXXIX: State Security — Factory of Detractors and Betrayers
/ Angel Santiesteban
Posted on July 27, 2013
Intent to discredit UNPACU (Patriotic Union of Cuba)

The machinery of the Castro regime's State Security creates detractors,
traitors, and division among the opposition; this has historically been
its most persistent work.

We learned that to confront the designs of the Castro brothers, is to
enter the hall where they teach the "instruments" of psychological and
physical torture, if persuasion, persecutions, interviews, threats and
blackmail haven't been enough.

For this mission, to enroll you as an "agent," covert or concealed,
appears on the path to achieving their purpose of making you desist.
Some agree when they themselves are persecuted, and then give in, and
they are then used against those who, like them, once decided to dissent.

These beings become human missiles capable, like androids, of complying
to the letter with orders; to this must be added that most of those who
lend themselves to the needs of the regime are, in addition to being
cowards, usually mediocre, lacking in artistic talent, such that they
will not be remembered for their work; nor for their treachery and
meanness. They are negative beings, dark, murky, pieces in the gears of
the dictatorship who take advantage of the immediate benefits provided
to them by the totalitarian government as payment for their intrigues
and support of their smear campaigns.

I know that this happened with the National Patriotic Union of Cuba
(UNPACU), and particularly with the most visible of its organizers, the
patriot José Daniel Ferrer. They are nothing more than smokescreens used
to discredit one the most outstanding figures of the Cuban
revolutionaries, pursuing, risking his life and that of his family for
the freedom of Cuba, with a change in the current political process that
guarantees the rights for all Cubans, backed by the UN Covenants.

The death throes of the regime are visible, the kicking of the hanged
man, without logic or direction, its feet lashing out in all directions.
If we have the patience to wait and get this far, how can we not stand
up to their latest injustices and excesses.

Justice is what we are trying to achieve with change. Then we will
analyze their abuses, impositions to placate their anger, and the course
of national treasure; we will pursue their family bank accounts
globally, and return to Cuban its patrimony.

That is, indeed, the immediate reality which they fear and they will not
hesitate to raise their hands to order the physical disappearance of
those who hinder them, as has happened so far with several of our
leaders. In any event, we know that whether we are here or not, there
will be others who will impose order, laws and justice.

Our conscience rests on it.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, Prison 1580,

26 July 2013

Source: "Prison Diary XXXIX: State Security — Factory of Detractors and
Betrayers / Angel Santiesteban | Translating Cuba" -
http://translatingcuba.com/prison-diary-xxxix-state-security-factory-of-detractors-and-betrayers-angel-santiesteban/ Continue reading
Cuba - A Socialist Failure
Posted by TIE on Jul 27, 2013 in Latest Edition,
By Geeta Spolia

"I was not chosen to be president to restore capitalism to Cuba," he
said. "I was elected to defend, maintain and continue to perfect
socialism, not destroy it." These are the words of current Cuban
president, Raul Castro, reacting to the idea that his nation is on the
path to abandoning socialism.
Yet, even he seems to have accepted that 'the Cuban model doesn't even
work for Cubans anymore', a frank admission made by the erstwhile Cuban
president and his brother, Fidel Castro.
After the revolution of 1959, and since the 1960s, under the leadership
of the communist revolutionary Fidel Castro, Cuba's has been a socialist
economy in which there was an emphasis on central planning and pubic
ownership because of which the state owned and controlled the means of
production and private property includes and was limited to items of
personal use. The Communist party had complete control over public and
private life. Since 2008, when he fell ill, leadership passed into the
hands of Fidel Castro's brother, Raul who has been president since.
Ever since, Cuba has gradually entered a new era wherein elements of the
past let in and combined with the features of market economics. The
anachronistic and rigidly socialist ideals have given way to a new
public-private hybrid model. Different forms of property ownership,
production and investment have come about. The state-dominated economy
is allowing more and more for more operation of non-state actors. Real
estate, private credit and wholesale markets have seen modest
beginnings. Castro had the task of implementing economic reforms while
maintaining the continuity of the political system. This was to provide
a boost to production and employment through limited entrepreneurship
and private initiatives in small-scale enterprises. These reforms have
been implemented in the face of the recognition that Cuba must face the
challenges that arise internally, from within its borders, in the
aftermath of its revolution.
Some of the positive outcomes of the socialist structure were universal
literacy, an excellent free healthcare system and low levels of crime.
On the flipside there was also rampant poverty in a suppressive and
regressive regime that left little room for dissidence and allowed for
uninhibited abuse of human rights. Underground capitalism had always
existed away and out of plain view, but ensuring the socialist state's
survival.
Reorganizing the economy is really just a formal acceptance of what has
long existed mutely in Cuba. However, the path to market liberalization
is marked by several difficulties owing to Cuba's political, economic,
geographic and demographic peculiarities. It cannot thus adopt the same
path as say, China or Vietnam. It has structural weaknesses, such as a
vast aging population, deficient productivity and a services-oriented
economy. It has experienced fifty-one years of socialist rule, and has
to be eased into the market slowly, lest it collapses under the sudden
pressure. If the road to liberalization has been shaky and tumultuous,
it is due to the leadership's commitment to the ideals of the great
revolution, and while change is inevitable in the current global
scenario, it will come incrementally.
With Raul Castro ready to step down in 2018, which will see the end of
his final term as president, the country will see a much-needed change
in leadership and ideology. Cuba is a long way from capitalism and being
a market economy, but the timid steps taken by the Raul Castro
government have set it off in that inevitable direction. It will be
interesting to see the unique course it takes in the coming years.

Source: "Cuba – A Socialist Failure | The Indian Economist" -
http://theindianeconomist.com/cuba-a-socialist-failure/ Continue reading
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La cubana Yunidis Castillo obtuvo su tercera medalla de oro en el Campeonato Mundial de atletismo para discapacitados afiliados al Comité Paralímpico Internacional, que concluye este domingo en Lyon, Francia, informa la estatal Agencia de Información Nacional.

Castillo corrió los 100 metros T46 (afectados miembro superior) en 12.90 segundos, en una carrera que enfrentó con molestias en su pierna derecha y con un fuerte viento en contra, que en ese momento marcó en el anemómetro -5,2 m/s.

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