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Daily Archives: May 6, 2016

El delegado cultural del Gobierno de Corea del Norte, el español Alejandro Cao de Benós, dijo en declaraciones publicadas por HispanoPost, que "personalmente" cree que el acercamiento entre el régimen de La Habana y Estados Unidos “es una traición al ideal socialista y revolucionario original" por parte de la Isla.

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(EFE).- El Lord Mayor de la City de Londres, Jeffrey Mountevans, embajador para la industria de servicios financieros del Reino Unido, se encuentra de visita en Cuba para fortalecer los vínculos con la isla, informó hoy la Embajada británica en La Habana.

En su primera visita a la isla, Mountevans tiene previsto mantener encuentros con ministros del Gobierno cubano, reguladores y representantes del sector empresarial, según el comunicado de la legación diplomática de Reino Unido en Cuba.

"Es verdaderamente un momento importante para que las empresas globales fortalezcan los lazos comerciales con Cuba", declaró Mountevans, que representa los negocios de la "City", el centro financiero de Londres, y ayuda a la City Corporation en la asesoría al Gobierno sobre lo necesario para contribuir al buen funcionamiento del sector financiero.[[QUOTE:Antes de Cuba, el "Lord Mayor" también visitó Brasil y Chile como parte de su misión comercial]]

Además, se mostró convencido de que su visita será "productiva y señaló que la City de Londres, prominente centro financiero internacional, "tiene mucho interés en apoyar a Cuba en una fase de cambios para su desarrollo y crecimiento".

Antes de Cuba, el "Lord Mayor" también visitó Brasil y Chile como parte de su misión comercial.

Su visita a la isla tiene lugar una semana después de que el secretario de Relaciones Exteriores del Reino Unido, Philip Anthony Hammond, realizara la primera visita oficial de un canciller británico a la isla desde el triunfo de la revolución cubana en 1959.

El embajador británico en La Habana, Tim Cole, recuerda en la nota divulgada a la prensa por la visita del Lord Mayor que Hammond suscribió un memorando de entendimiento sobre la cooperación en servicios financieros.

Asimismo indicó que la City de Londres se encuentra en "buena posición" para trabajar de modo "más estrecho" con los bancos cubanos y las instituciones financieras, y considera que esta visita debe contribuir a "la identificación de nuestras prioridades iniciales para la cooperación".

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Una fuente de esa aerolínea citada por el sitio digital Infobae dijo a ese diario que "Cuba dejó de ser un destino barato para los argentinos". Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 5 May 2016 — The National Bureau of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) in Cuba rejects the recent measures from the U.S. Department of State which include coffee among the products produced by the non-State sector in Cuba that can be imported into the United States. In a statement … Continue reading "Cuban Small Farmers Association Defends State Monopoly On The Export Of Coffee / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata" Continue reading

Mario J. Pentón

Acostumbrados a hacer largas colas en la Isla, miles de migrantes cubanos varados en Panamá aguardaban por horas este viernes para comprar un boleto de avión hacia México. Entre estos "balseros de a pie" suben de tono las críticas por el alto precio de los pasajes que alcanza los 805 dólares por adulto.

José Antonio Quesada y su esposa, ambos abogados, se cuentan entre los que esperaban hoy bajo el sol para adquirir los pasajes. Desde el pasado 5 de mayo el gobierno panameño autorizó la venta de boletos aéreos para los migrantes cubanos y al menos 800 de ellos ya han adquirido su ticket para proseguir viaje.

El matrimonio de juristas gastó 1.669 dólares en pasajes, incluyendo el trayecto en ómnibus al aeropuerto, el equivalente a más de cinco años de salario para un abogado radicado en Cuba. Ambos han logrado reunir el dinero gracias a la ayuda de familiares en Miami, pero están preocupados porque no disponen de más efectivo una vez lleguen a la frontera estadounidense.

Quesada y su esposa viajaron desde la Isla a Ecuador con la intención de establecerse y mejorar económicamente. Sin embargo, las dificultades para legalizar su residencia y conseguir trabajo los empujaron a una difícil travesía por territorio colombiano y la selva del Darién. Partieron esperanzados con beneficiarse de la Ley de Ajuste cubano que otorga beneficios migratorios a los ciudadanos de la Isla que llegan a Estados Unidos.

Ahora los dos profesionales se cuentan entre los afortunados que han podido adquirir el boleto para los vuelos que comenzarán a partir del próximo lunes con destino a la ciudad de Nuevo Laredo en el estado de Tamaulipas, México. El costo del viaje en avión para los niños entre 2 y 11 años es de 332 dólares mientras que para los menores de un año el importe asciende a 160 dólares.[[QUOTE:La venta de los pasajes ha estado marcada por la ausencia de declaraciones oficiales de parte del ejecutivo panameño, lo que despierta suspicacias entre los migrantes]]

La venta de los pasajes ha estado marcada por la ausencia de declaraciones oficiales de parte del ejecutivo panameño, lo que despierta suspicacias entre los migrantes, que temen turbios manejos con los precios o falta de transparencia en el proceso. “El gobierno no nos da información” se queja el cubano Elizander Roque.

Al mediodía de este viernes cientos de migrantes de la Isla habían emprendido, por sus propios medios, el recorrido hasta el Mall de David, a 43 kilómetros del albergue donde se encuentran alojados en Los Planes, Gualaca, para comprar los boletos.

A Sisleydis Moret, una cubana de 25 años, los precios le han sorprendido y dice sentirse “desesperada” por no contar con el dinero suficiente para comprarlos, debido a los gastos que ha realizado para su manutención durante la estancia en Panamá.

Su compañera en el albergue, Keily Arteaga, de 29 años, se halla en una situación similar. “La noticia nos cayó como un cubo de agua fría”, asegura y comenta que “ahora no tenemos el dinero que se nos pide”.

Arteaga, quien reside en una casa de alquiler en San Isidro, partió de Ecuador al no poder legalizar su estatus migratorio. Allí tenía “un buen trabajo” pero se encontraba ilegal, por lo que “todas las puertas” se le habían cerrado, explica. Dice haber aprovechado “toda esta rebambaramba” de la crisis migratoria en Centroamérica para llegar hasta Panamá.  

Quienes viajan acompañados por varios familiares experimentan la situación más delicada. Isleyda Lelle asegura que se alegró con la noticia de que había comenzado la venta de boletos a México, pero ahora debe esperar porque su madre, residente en Estados Unidos, ayude a “completar” el costo del viaje para ella, su hermano y su cuñada.

Para Andy Llanes la situación es más difícil pues comenta que no tiene “un dólar” para pagarse el boleto. “Mi travesía fue muy dura, en el camino nos asaltaron y nos robaron todo lo que teníamos”. En el viaje hacia Panamá detalla que a su compañera “la violaron y la pobre aquí se encuentra embarazada del coyote que la abusó”.

Llanes asegura que solo cuenta con las “chancletas” que lleva puestas y jura que si no puede proseguir viaje se quedará en Panamá porque “a Cuba no regreso ni aunque me amenacen de muerte”.[[QUOTE:Una fuente oficial, que pidió el anonimato, detalló que a los migrantes cubanos que se encuentran en Puerto Obaldía no les ha sido devuelto su pasaporte]]

Alfredo Córdoba, jefe regional del Servicio Nacional de Migración en la provincia de Chiriquí declaró a 14ymedio que todavía no sabe qué sucederá con aquellos cubanos que no puedan costear su pasaje.

Una fuente oficial, que pidió el anonimato, detalló que a los migrantes cubanos que se encuentran en Puerto Obaldía no les ha sido devuelto su pasaporte y que aún no hay orientaciones específicas sobre si serán o no parte del programa humanitario.

Este diario se ha comunicado tanto con la oficina del Servicio Nacional de Migración Panamá como con el Ministerio de Exteriores, pero hasta el momento no ha recibido respuesta sus preguntas.

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La nave, operada por la compañía Fathom, arribó en la mañana de este viernes al puerto santiaguero donde fue recibido por un grupo de rumba y las tradicionales cornetas china organizados por las autoridades turísticas de la región. Continue reading
El ministro español de Exteriores José Manuel García-Margallo se reunirá con el cardenal Jaime Ortega el 14 de mayo en la capital cubana, que había visitado en 2014 cuando Raúl Castro lo dejó plantado. Continue reading
Critica el silencio oficial respecto al asunto Continue reading

Cubanos que participaron en varias misiones ideológicas en Venezuela han expresado sus quejas por la pérdida de bultos con bienes de consumo que habían enviado a la Isla y que, al cabo de unos años, todavía no han llegado.

Según publica el periódico oficialista Escambray, los afectados son profesionales que usaron los servicios de una empresa llamada Espiral Infinito, la cual se encuentra en quiebra, y viven la situación como "un trauma".

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Centenares de avisos publicitarios, fotos, carteles, ropa y otros objetos reunidos en una exposición abierta el viernes en Miami Beach ilustran la imagen de la Cuba exótica y vibrante que atrajo a los estadounidenses hasta 1959, informa EFE.

"Paraíso prometido: encanto cubano, seducción estadounidense" es el título de esta muestra que permanecerá abierta hasta el 21 de agosto en el museo Wolfsonian de la Florida International University (FIU), alojado en un edificio de 1927 en Miami Beach.

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14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 5 May 2016 — Panama began selling airline tickets, on Thursday, to Mexico for Cuban migrants who find themselves stranded in the country. Tickets cost $805 and the first to benefit from the measure will be those staying at the Millennium Hotel, in the province of Chiriqui, according to a high … Continue reading "Sale of Airline Tickets to Mexico Begins for Cuban Migrants Stranded In Panama / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading

Una comisión del Senado aprobó este viernes el informe que recomienda la apertura de un juicio político con miras a la destitución de la presidenta brasileña, Dilma Rousseff, que decidirá la semana próxima el pleno de la Cámara Alta, reportó EFE.

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El periodista oficialista Sergio Alejandro Gómez, del periódico Granma, ha reclamado en su blog que se aclaren los costes del desfile de Chanel y el rodaje de Rápido y Furioso en La Habana y que se informe de los beneficios que la población extraerá de ambos eventos.

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Una nueva organización femenina, la Red de Mujeres por la Igualdad, adscrita al Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial (CIR) y el Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos (OCDH), hizo el miércoles su primera aparición pública, con un taller sobre la violencia de género.

El encuentro fue efectuado en la sede del CIR (casa de la familia Madrazo-Luna, en el Vedado capitalino). Asistieron una veintena de mujeres y media decena de hombres en representación de toda la membrecía nacional.

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Los encantos publicitarios que atrajeron la atención de miles de estadounidenses y los sedujo a visitar Cuba en las décadas 20, 30, 40 y 50 del siglo pasado, son parte de la exposición "Paraíso prometido: encanto cubano, seducción estadounidense", que se exhibe desde hoy en Miami Beach. La muestra, organizada por el museo Wolfsonian de la Florida International University (FIU), es fruto en parte a la donación de una coleccionista apasionada por el... Continue reading
Please click on the image to read the interview at Words Without Borders Continue reading

El Ejército colombiano reportó la captura de 16 integrantes de una red trasnacional dedicada al tráfico ilegal de emigrantes. De acuerdo con la investigación, se encargaba de conducir a ciudadanos cubanos, pakistaníes y africanos por el territorio nacional hasta la frontera con Panamá, según publicó el diario El Espectador.

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La congresista republicana por la Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, se ha mostrado sumamente descontenta por el hecho de que las hermanas Kardashian están presumiendo sus vacaciones en La Habana a través … Click to Continue » Continue reading

Emigrantes cubanos varados en Panamá están comprando pasajes aéreos para volar a México, aunque por el momento las autoridades del país centroamericano no han confirmado un acuerdo al respecto con los países vecinos para solucionar la crisis migratoria.

Testigos en la provincia de Chiriquí y funcionarios de Inmigración panameños citados por Martí Noticias dijeron que la venta de pasajes comenzó el jueves.

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… West, Kim Kardashian land in Havana May 07,2016 Rap superstar … the latest celebrities to visit Havana. They stopped at the Museum … television crew following them around. Cuba has seen a stream of … Continue reading

Adonia, el primer crucero estadounidense en visitar la Isla después de 50 años, arribó hoy al puerto de Santiago de Cuba acompañado por una pertinaz llovizna, reportó la estatal Prensa Latina.

El buque, perteneciente a la empresa Fathom, de Carnival, concreta un reciente acuerdo entre Washington y La Habana que autoriza la entrada de cruceros.

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El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación de España, José Manuel García-Margallo, viajará la semana próxima a Ecuador y Cuba con una agenda que llevará en primer plano la cooperación con estos dos países iberoamericanos en materia de ayuda al desarrollo. Continue reading
El barco cruzó este lunes el estrecho de Florida desde Miami hacia La Habana, reanudando los viajes comerciales. Una multitud de curiosos recibió a los 704 pasajeros que se embarcaron en el histórico viaje Continue reading

La editorial Hypermedia extiende el plazo para participar en el Premio de Reportajes 2016, en el que podrán concursar todos los interesados mayores de edad, residentes en Cuba, sean ciudadanos del país o no.

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En Cuba anuncian la venta de tabletas de Moringa para el 2017 mientras la venta de PV-2 (de Morinda) sigue en planes. Continue reading
… reality star was out in Havana, Cuba, with the rest of the … go out for dinner in Havana, Cuba Kim has been open about … go out for dinner in Havana, Cuba "I was in Thailand … : Khloe Kardashian causes outrage in Cuba after posing under Fidel sign … Continue reading
El rapero Kanye West, su esposa Kim Kardashian y miembros de su familia se convirtieron en las más recientes celebridades en visitar La Habana, pero al parecer su visita ha pasado sin penas ni gloria. La familia de protagonistas de reality show repite el cliché de pasear en un almendrón rosado por toda la ciudad, cenar en las paladares más famosas y tomarse selfies. Un equipo de televisión y sus escoltas los sigue a todas partes al Museo del Ron, al parque... Continue reading
… a classic American car in Havana, Cuba. (AP) West, Kardashian and members … visit Havana. (AP) North looked to be positively ecstatic while in HavanaContinue reading
Vecinos de un edificio derrumbado en Habana Vieja exigen solución a las autoridades ADRIANA ZAMORA | La Habana | 6 Mayo 2016 – 2:10 pm. Los vecinos de Villegas No. 5, en la Habana Vieja, estaban apostados este jueves en la acera, frente al inmueble, exigiendo a las autoridades una respuesta tras un derrumbe parcial […] Continue reading
Aunque no han sido revelados los detalles de las negociaciones impulsadas por la cancillería de Panamá, testigos y funcionarios de Inmigración dijeron a Radio Martí que la venta de pasajes comenzó el jueves. Continue reading
La nueva relación con EE UU es “un maquillaje del sistema cubano”, denuncia el pintor Carlos Boix Ginebra | Mayo 06, 2016 (EFE).- La apertura de Cuba no se concretará hasta que no haya amnistía para los presos políticos, los cubanos puedan salir y entrar libremente de la Isla y haya libertad de expresión o […] Continue reading
Más allá del Comité Central MARTHA BEATRIZ ROQUE CABELLO, La Habana | 05/05/2016 Para muchos el Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) está constituido por personas fieles al sistema y no leen entre líneas nada respecto a su formación. Pero los 142 miembros que lo configuran no fueron elegidos al azar, como tampoco […] Continue reading
Patriotic Union Of Cuba Launches A Political Program / 14ymedio,
Reinaldo Escobar

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 5 May 2016 — Since early this month,
members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) have begun to
disseminate the document Minimum Program and Projections, which outlines
guidelines for the actions of the opposition organization, forms of
struggle, and a proposal for the country 's future.

With the publication of this text, which summarizes the experience of
the nation's largest group of activists, UNPACU is demonstrates maturity
and responds to criticisms about the Cuban opposition's lack of a
platform or agenda.

In nine pages, the program underlines the commitment of the opposition
to use peaceful means to reach its goals. It also clarifies that the
proposals contained are addressed to those living in the country and in
the diaspora and proclaims the need for "a free, democratic, just,
fraternal and prosperous Cuba."

This inclusiveness is appreciated in a nation that for decades no longer
exists only within the island, and where the phenomenon of emigration is
growing in numbers rather than diminishing in recent months.

Jose Daniel Ferrer, national coordinator for UNPACU, is optimistic that
the program's reach to date. Speaking to 14ymedio he noted, however,
that "the document is not final and is subject to changes or corrections."

For this former prisoner of the Black Spring, the platform is a "more
complete tool" in the work of the organization and has been received
"very well," mainly in Santiago de Cuba. Right now, he says, it is
"being distributed throughout the province, we will continue to print it
and send it to the rest of the country."

The text has not been the result of improvisation or a race against time
to publish a program. Several activists consulted confirmed that the
text originated in March of 2013, when the UNPACU instructed the lawyer
Rene Gomez Manzano, its chief legal adviser, to write the first draft.

That initial text was worked on by regime opponent Elizardo Sanchez
Santa Cruz and Ferrer himself, who used as sources for the final wording
of the document other texts, including: UNPACU, For The Cuba Of Your
Dreams and We Are UNPACU. Only after the recent close of the 7th
Congress of the Communist Party, with its disappointing results, did the
organization publish its program.

Ferrer explained that the dissemination of the text was preceded by
"many days of work and consensus in meetings occurring in several
provinces of the country." Technology was an ally in this effort, as
they were also able to share opinions through "emails, Facebook chat and
Twitter direct messages," he says.

The organization describes itself in the pages Minimum Program and
Projections as "a pluralistic and ecumenical effort of a union of
activists and former organizations." Its managers collected and
summarizes in their ideology components ideology "of Christian belief
and the liberal and social democratic doctrines."

Their main proposal for the country is summarized in "the establishment
of a democratic order that combines a social market economy, political
pluralism and makes possible greater equity and solidarity between the
individuals and groups that make up our society."

Copies of the program will be delivered to the "different levels of the
so-called People's Power, and, why not, the oppressor Party," said
Ferrer, who is quick to note that the "the main audience is the millions
of Cubans tired of living without rights, without freedom and in
complete misery. "

In its project for the economy, the program lists the current situation
as "an authoritarian capitalism, combining the worst of a savage market
and a state centralism," and details the main problems affecting items
such as wages, food, housing, transport, industry and agriculture, among
others.

As a counterpart, UNPAC advocates a social market economy, where "both
the State and the markets, open to citizen control and advocacy, serve
as mechanisms to generate personal and public prosperity." It is also
committed to "the fertile combination of all forms of property and
production: small, medium or large, national, foreign or mixed," but
rejects the existence of state or private monopolies.

The group claims the right of Cubans living abroad to invest and own
property in the country and proposes the creation of "genuine agrarian
reform that recognizes the full rights of those who work the
land." Detailing the need to respect the properties acquired after 1959,
especially those used as living quarters, it intends to seek
"compensation formulas" and the right to put forward impartial claims
for confiscated property.

In the socio-political approach, the program calls for a new
constitution and a new electoral law "to ensure free, fair and
competitive elections," and proposes the establishment of freedom of
expression and association and the right to strike and unionize.

The document calls for respect for all religious beliefs and fraternal
organizations, and the promotion of Internet access, freedom in art,
academic freedom in teaching, university autonomy, the repeal of all
laws in force today that violate human rights and the immediate and
unconditional release of all political prisoners.

For those who see this emergence of this platform as a possible cause of
friction between dissident forces, Ferrer says that, on the contrary,
the new text "enriches and strengthens the struggle for the
democratization of Cuba." A clarification that is worth taking into
account is that the Democratic Unity Roundtable a coalition of
opposition organizations to which UNPACU belongs, is about to publish
its own program.

Ferrer does not believe in haste or improvisation, but stresses that
UNPACU members do not "like to leave for tomorrow what you can do today."

Source: Patriotic Union Of Cuba Launches A Political Program / 14ymedio,
Reinaldo Escobar – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/patriotic-union-of-cuba-launches-a-political-program-14ymedio-reinaldo-escobar/ Continue reading
Mexico Is Not Deporting Cuban Migrants Despite Minrex Announcement /
14ymedio, Mario Penton

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 4 May 2016 — Mexico continues to grant
"exit permits" to Cuban migrants arriving in Mexican territory from
Central America, according to comments made to 14ymedio by an official
of the National Institute of migration in Tapachula, Chiapas. On
Tuesday, the Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) released in a
statement saying that a memorandum of understanding between the two
Nations to "ensure a regular, ordered and safe migration" was now in effect.

The document Minrex is referring to is part of a set of agreements
signed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, during Raúl Castro's
last visit to Mexico with the purpose of strengthening relations between
the two countries.

The publication of the official note triggered alarms among the
thousands of Cuban migrants scattered across the continent, for whom
Mexico is a necessary stage on the way to the southern border of the
United States. The media never had access to the document, signed last
November during Raúl Castro's visit to Mérida, although the note of the
Cuban Foreign Ministry clarifies that its purpose is to "enhance the
cooperation between the two countries in the fight against illegal
migration."

This newspaper got in touch with Chiapas' 21st Century Immigration
Station, and an official who asked not to be identified said that they
have no instructions to stop granting exit permits to Cuban migrants.

Mexico's Foreign Secretary confirms that he is aware that the agreement
has taken effect, and said that it is an update of what was already in
effect. However, officials were surprised by the Minrex announcement and
said they are considering issuing a public statement.

Luis Enrique Pastrana is the owner of the Plaza Emmanuel Inn in
Tapachula, Chiapas. He has devoted himself for some years to hosting
dozens of Cuban migrants seeking to reach the immigration station. As he
said to 14ymedio, "Cubans fear that the exit permit will be withdrawn
but so far everything remains the same."

According to Pastrana, on Tuesday 21 Cubans who were staying in his
hostel received the document, and this Wednesday another 11 guests have
arrived who plan to follow the same path.

"Every day many Cubans arrive and replace the ones who leave, although
people are fearful since a rumor is spreading saying the laissez-passer,
as they call it, won't be issued anymore," he said.

After crossing the Guatemalan border, Cuban migrants gather outside the
immigration offices from six in the morning and into the afternoon to
receive the document authorizing them to travel through Mexican
territory, with the condition that they must leave the country within 20
days.

Rosmery Valledor is a Cuban architect who was stranded in Panama. From
2012, she lived in Venezuela but she decided to emigrate because of the
difficulties she was going through there. As she says, "the situation in
that country is unsustainable."

Valledor spent more than one month in Panama until she succeeded in
continuing on her journey across Central America in a clandestine way.

For her, the most difficult thing about the journey was "the terror to
which we are subjected by the coyotes (guides)." The young woman says it
is "a journey for which you need not only money but also a lot of courage."

"We were afraid that once we got there they would not want to grant us
the laissez-passer, but we went to the immigration station and they
agreed that the next morning we would be assisted without any problem,"
she added.

According to the Mexican daily La Jornada citing IMN (Mexican
Immigration), since the end of October of last year 7,455 Cubans have
appeared before the country's immigration centers, an unusually high
number since records have been kept. Of these, 243 were sent back to the
island.

Contacted by telephone, an official of Cuba Embassy in Mexico said he
knew nothing about the matter and referred it to the press officer, who
did not answer calls.

Translated by Alberto

Source: Mexico Is Not Deporting Cuban Migrants Despite Minrex
Announcement / 14ymedio, Mario Penton – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/mexico-is-not-deporting-cuban-migrants-despite-minrex-announcement-14ymedio-mario-penton/ Continue reading
Want to do business in Cuba? Be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops
By Alli Knothe, Times Staff Writer
Thursday, May 5, 2016 2:03pm

TAMPA — Nearly 37,000 people traveled between Tampa International
Airport and Cuba in 2015, spending $1 million just to get there, and
local businesses are working to figure out how to get in on the action.

But there are lot of hoops to jump through, cautioned Tim Hunt, a lawyer
who represents American businesses trying in Cuba.

"In this communist country there is no way to separate business from
politics," he began in a presentation to business and community leaders
in Tampa on Thursday morning sponsored by the Urban Land Institute.
"Anyone who is looking to do business in Cuba is effectively paralyzed
unless you find the right folks in the Cuban government to push your
proposal through."

After the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union, from which Cuba had been
receiving substantial economic support, the island nation turned to
tourism as a way to support itself. Cuba in 2014 had about 3 million
visitors from Europe and Canada, Hunt said. The thousands of people
traveling from the United States these days can make a big difference in
Cuba, but the improved relationship may not be as fruitful for American
interests, he said.

"They want U.S. companies to come to Cuba, rebuild their country and for
the most part, leave," he said.

And yet major U.S. corporations like Sprint, Carnival Cruise Line and
Starwood Hotels and Resorts have worked out deals to break into the
Cuban market.

Successful business deals, Hunt said, required the business
representatives flying to Cuba and finalizing an agreement with the
Cuban government before approaching the U.S. government for a license.

Hotel rooms are scarce, he said, Internet and cellphone service is hard
to come by and can prove a barrier for business owners.

Florida Produce of Hillsborough County Inc., has been exporting food to
Cuba since 2001. Hunt represented the Tampa-based business in the
negotiations between the Cuban and U.S. governments. Last last year the
company got the green light to open a warehouse in Cuba. According to
Hunt, it will be the first American company in more than 60 years with
permission to open a physical location in Cuba. It is unclear when it
will open.

Janet Zink, the assistant vice president of media and government
relations for Tampa International Airport, also presented at the event
Thursday.

"We're the third largest Cuban-American population in the U.S.," Zink
said. "A lot of that is people traveling to visit their families."

The airport will find out this summer whether or not the Department of
Transportation approved its application to offer daily flights to
Havana. Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles and John F. Kennedy International
Airports are also in the running.

She said while they don't collect data on the reasons that people are
flying, anecdotally the city has become a stopping point for educational
and business groups from around the country on their way to Cuba.

June and July are the busiest months for Cuba travel, she said. "We're
up to nine flights a week right now."

Contact Alli Knothe at aknothe@tampabay.com. Follow @KnotheA.

Source: Want to do business in Cuba? Be prepared to jump through a lot
of hoops | Tampa Bay Times -
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/economicdevelopment/want-to-do-business-in-cuba-be-prepared-to-jump-through-a-lot-of-hoops/2276087 Continue reading
US Coast Guard repatriates 52 would-be refugees to Cuba
AFP

Miami (AFP) - The US Coast Guard over the last several days has sent
back to Cuba 52 migrants intercepted trying to cross the Florida Straits
to reach the United States, officials said Thursday.

The Coast Guard repatriated the migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba on
Wednesday, a Coast Guard statement said.

"These repatriations are a result of three separate migrant
interdictions at sea within the last week in the south Florida Straits,"
the statement said.

Under Cold War-era immigration laws, Cubans who succeed in making the
perilous crossing and set foot on US soil are allowed to remain in the
United States, but many lose their lives attempting it.

The number of Cubans attempting the voyage has risen over the past two
years, following the rapprochement between the Washington and Havana.

More migrants are attempting the trip out of fear that normalized
relations will bring about an end to the special status granted Cuban
immigrants under the US law.

In each of the three recent cases involving Cuban migrants -- who were
attempting to reach the US in rickety rafts -- the Coast Guard not only
helped enforce the US border, but "prevented these perilous sea voyages
from ending in tragedy," the statement said.

"Safety of life at sea continues to be the Coast Guard's primary
concern," said Coast Guard Captain Mark Gordon.

"The dangerous waters of the Florida Straits can be unforgiving for the
unprepared on ill advised and illegal voyages. Immigration policies have
not changed and we urge people not to take to the ocean in unseaworthy
vessels. It is illegal and extremely dangerous," Gordon said.

Source: US Coast Guard repatriates 52 would-be refugees to Cuba -
https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-coast-guard-repatriates-52-refugees-cuba-194038463.html?ref=gs Continue reading
When Castro Put Out the Welcome Mat for Americans in 1959
By MARY JO MURPHY MAY 5, 2016

The letter from Fidel Castro to the American people read like this:

"I wish to invite the American tourists and the American business men to
come back to Cuba."

"We are back to normal in Cuba, a Cuba where there is liberty, peace and
order, a beautiful land of happy people. Our hotels, shops and offices
are open and we want our friends from the United States to come and see
Cuba, which can now be counted among the countries where freedom and
democracy are a reality."

This was not the invitation that led an American cruise ship to sail
into Havana on Monday, the first from the United States to dock there in
40 years. Other forces and figures smoothed those choppy waters. Rather,
this invitation, according to a report in The Times, was issued by Mr.
Castro in January 1959, shortly after he overthrew the government of
President Fulgencio Batista.

Just months earlier, in November 1958, Mr. Castro's rebels were still
fighting hundreds of miles from Havana, and it was Batista who was
trying to revive tourism.

"To the visitor, Havana continues to be a charming, cosmopolitan city
which is rapidly becoming one of the most modern in Latin America," The
Times reported on Nov. 2.

"Streets are crowded and there is heavy traffic both day and night.
Motion picture theatres have good houses. At the big casinos and
nightclubs the play over the green tables is heavy. The Sevilla Biltmore
Hotel Casino has no limit on any wager in any game and recently two
Americans won $59,700 in two hours there at the blackjack table. This is
not rumor but an authenticated report."

When the Batista regime fell, it was left to Mr. Castro to resume the
enticements. And he did so with gusto.

A year after Mr. Castro's letter, the headline "Yankee Tourist Now a
V.I.P. in Cuba" ran in The Times along with a photograph issued by the
Cuban government showing a bikini-clad model posing seductively on
Varadero Beach.

"That secretary of a number of years ago who went to Havana on one of
those cruises for $49.50 to spend a few days may be able to do so
again," R. Hart Phillips wrote. "Maybe not for $49.50, but for not too
much more than that. This is because Premier Fidel Castro has launched a
crash program designed to attract American visitors to Cuba, where
tourism is rapidly becoming a state owned and operated business."

Castro had made himself president of a new tourist organization with
"unlimited powers in tourism," Mr. Phillips reported. "With great
enthusiasm, he flies around the island, ordering the confiscation or
seizure of hotels and motels, the development of new beaches and the
construction of new roads, hotels, motels and other facilities for tourists.

"Strangely enough, Dr. Castro simultaneously talks of an 'imminent
invasion' by enemies of his regime and of blood flowing in the streets."

Nevertheless, Mr. Phillips reported, "the American tourist has become,
in the second year of the Revolution, a Very Important Person. He is
welcomed everywhere he goes. To the visitor, Cuba is a peaceful island
where the present Government is striving to remedy all evils of past
Governments."

It may not have worked out quite as planned.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/07/us/politics/donald-trumps-idea-to-cut-national-debt-get-creditors-to-accept-less.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&src=trending&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Art%20%26%20Design&action=swipe&region=FixedRight&pgtype=article Continue reading
Contributions to a dictionary of late Castroism
BORIS GONZÁLEZ ARENAS | La Habana | 6 Mayo 2016 - 7:59 am.

It was not difficult to foresee that Castroism, due to the way in which
it had become a reflection of the political practices and personality of
Fidel Castro, would slip into a deep crisis when he was no longer in
power. His absence, however, was not a result of his death, and his
brother, Raúl Castro, was placed at the helm of the nation, which has
meant a protracted agony for the model, as its deterioration did not
take long to become manifest. Late Castroism is this lingering twilight.

As a stage of the general phenomenon, late Castroism is not lacking in
new and commonly used rhetorical resources. In this article I take the
liberty of suggesting some of these new ones, mainly drawn from the
language employed by the official media outlets, President Barack
Obama's brilliant speech last March and, above all, the sessions of the
VII Congress of the CCP, which finished a few days ago.

Guidelines (lineamientos): This is a novelty of late Castroism, in
contrast to the preceding stage. It is a contrivance based on the
reasoning that State policies can be determined by "guidelines" lacking
Constitutional or legal status. From this point of view, Guidelines
represent an intensification of Castroism's traditional contempt for its
own legal and political regulations.

"They were discussed with all the people and fall within what is
legitimate, as they are to overcome the crisis, and bolster development,
even if some measures are not in accordance with the Constitutional
framework" (Alina Martínez, "40th anniversary of our Constitution: The
framework necessary for our socialism", interview of Marta Prieto
Valdés, Trabajadores, Feb. 21, 2016).

The Guidelines, however, have a significant institutional impact. During
the VII Congress it was revealed that 22% of them had been fully
implemented, while most of them featured some level of implementation,
which had entailed "the issuance of 344 new legal regulations, of
different levels, the modification of 55, and the abrogation of 684"
(Juventud Rebelde April 19, 2016).

But their illegality is not the least attractive of the Guidelines'
characteristics. Drawn up with the manifest intention of improving
Cuba's economic performance, five years after their issuance, and with a
high level of implementation, the results are meager: "Murillo, who
chaired the commission, indicated that during the period there were no
major changes in the structure of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with
sectors like Agriculture making a paltry contribution ... " (Martha
Andrés and Jorge Legañoa, "The progress of reform," Trabajadores, April
18, 2016).

However, nothing deserves more attention at a congress than the progress
made on the Guidelines. At the Seventh Congress of the PCC discussion of
them was assigned to the Third Committee, made up of 312 delegates and
112 guests, making it the event's most important (Martha Andrés and
Jorge Legañoa, "The progress of reform," Trabajadores, April 18, 2016).

Resistance (Resistencia): The biggest novelty that late Castroism brings
to this concept is the emptying of the weak rhetoric that gives rise to
it. The diplomatic rapprochement with the US is the root cause of this
phenomenon, manifest before, but which lost, with the event, any
residual basis.

As a system of masses, in Castroism resistance is reduced to a
collective abstraction, a kind of resistance by all to something – most
often "imperialism" or "the empire." The notion polarizes social
conflicts and renders daily antagonisms irreconcilable, essential
aspects of totalitarian control.

Related to sacrifice, the term "resistance" is wielded in an attempt to
associate the heroic character that Castroism attributes to itself with
the misery to which it condemns citizens: "We reached that point thanks
to the heroic resistance and sacrifices of the Cuban people ..." (
"Central Report to the VII Congress of the CCP" Juventud Rebelde, April
17, 2016).

Historic generation (Generación histórica): This term seeks to mask the
grotesque fact that a group of very old men, 90 and 85 years old, who
have clung to power for nearly 60 years, are actually talking about
renewal and rejuvenation.

"... some will be 75 or 80, and can carry out important tasks, but not
hold important leadership positions, for obvious reasons ..." ( "Central
Report to the VII Congress of the CCP" Juventud Rebelde, April 17, 2016).

The measure, which was launched at the Seventh Party Congress, to
prevent access to the Central Committee by those over the age of 60, and
the phasing out of the historic generation, confuses one generation with
another and simultaneously bars from power those who have held it for
nearly six decades and the next generation, which naturally seemed
destined to succeed it.

Thus, the notion of the "historical generation" was confirmed at the VII
Congress not only for marketing purposes, but also as part of a
convoluted political stratagem.

Private property (propiedad privada). One of the most notable changes of
late Castroism has been its acknowledgement and appreciation of private
property. "The recognition of the existence of private property has
generated honest concerns among more than a few participants during
pre-Congress discussions ... (…) The idea ... is to call things by their
names and not take refuge in illogical euphemisms to hide reality "("
Central Report to the VII Congress of the CCP " Juventud Rebelde, April
17, 2016).

To validate private property late Castroism not only did not hesitate to
praise the capitalism contemporary to it, but also the formidable
Constitution of 1940, thereby transcending two essential arguments of
its ideological discourse: the injustice of the capitalist system and
the institutional poverty prior to 1959.

Homero Acosta, the secretary of the Council of State, asserted at the
Seventh Congress that: "Private ownership of the means of production
must be defined according to its social function (...) in capitalism in
its initial stage the owner of property could do whatever he wanted with
it. But the development of capitalism, and various historic elements,
led to gradual changes in legislation with respect to private property.
That is the genesis of the concept of social function. In Cuba the 1940
Constitution recognized the social function of private property "(Alina
Perera Robbio, "Enriquecen proyecto de modelo del socialismo cubano",
Juventud Rebelde, April 17, 2016).

The acceptance of private property did not occur, however, along with a
general recognition of all the prejudices that had been behind its
prohibition, but rather elements associated with its success, like the
accumulation of capital and property, which were proscribed: "Guideline
No. 3, approved by the VI Congress, and which it is proposed to maintain
and strengthen in the updated plan, flatly states that "in non-state
forms of management the concentration of property will not be
permitted," adding that "neither will wealth" (Central report to the VII
Congress of the PCC, Juventud Rebelde, April 17, 2016).

Forgetting (olvido): Support for forgetting certain aspects of history
in late Castroism entails several difficulties arising from a desire to
retain its political control, unchanged, even as the system's economic
fundamentals are undone and it is hoped, nevertheless, that no
significant changes will occur.

"The introduction of the rules of supply and demand is not incompatible
with the principle of planning. Both concepts can coexist and complement
each other to benefit the country, as has been successfully demonstrated
in the reform processes in China, and renovation in Vietnam, as they
describe it. We have called it "updating" because we are not going to
change the fundamental objective of the Revolution"("Central Report to
the VII Congress of the PCC" Juventud Rebelde, April 17, 2016).

While the socialist intention to overturn the economic procedures
identified with capitalism, supposedly due to their unjust and exclusive
character, is abandoned in favor of the rules of the market economy, the
sole party and the preponderance of the State are maintained, their
existence explained only as guarantors of the socialist economic order.

This doctrinal transformation, made in haste and without preambles,
marks a significant act of willful forgetting, and not a merely
theoretical step. To put an end to private property, now re-established,
in the 60s a considerable number of large landowners were pursued,
followed by more moderate fortunes and, finally, through the so-called
Revolutionary Offensive, in 1968, even small ones. And, to suppress
resistance by them, they were converted into enemies of the working
class, and absolutely brutal action was taken against them. The
restoration of the market economy by those responsible for such
aggression makes the calculated forgetting involved in this action a crime.

While in this way late Castroism makes deliberate forgetting an element
of its official ideology, it, nevertheless, continues to call for a
struggle against it, branding it a ploy of the enemy.

The speech by US President Barack Obama at the Gran Teatro in Havana was
an important turning point for the State's renewed criticism of
forgetting about the past. The shock suffered by the Castroist political
elite, and the widespread enthusiasm sparked by the leader's visit,
unleashed waves of criticism of the speech by the official media.

"Now what does Obama want? Let's not forget how successive governments
stopped us, through a fierce blockade, from buying food, medicines and
other goods to develop and achieve what he calls for today for this
'poor and suffering people' (Alina Perera Robbio, "Thank you, Obama ..."
Juventud Rebelde, March 23, 2016).

"This is why we cannot accept, unappalled, his plea to forget history as
a way towards progress in our relations" (Yoerky Cuellar, "The white
rose and the necessary fertilizer", Juventud Rebelde, March 23, 2016).

The surprising thing is that the President never said that things must
be forgotten. This distortion made possible an attack on a brilliant
speech, while its most vexing aspects for late Castroism's elite were
conveniently avoided.

The contradictions involved in forgetting the past, towards conflicting
purposes, do not cease to amaze the official spokesmen themselves. Less
than a month before private property was extolled by the official elite
for its social value, one of Castroism's ideological minions had stated
in an article against President Obama's speech that "Stimulating private
initiative Cuba, when, as a Harvard professor, he knows that the
greatest truth in the Communist Manifesto is that it is abolished, in
practice, for nine-tenths of humanity, is not exactly an act of honesty"
(Iroel Sanchez, "Obama in the great theater, or Obama's great theater in
Havana? " Juventud Rebelde, March 23, 2016).

It is too much to expect, of course, that the fickle passion of such
voices might point out on this occasion the dishonesty of Raúl Castro,
or Homero Acosta. They will, no doubt, continue to laud late Castroism
and their outdated reflections will, like so many other things, be
forgotten.

Source: Contributions to a dictionary of late Castroism | Diario de Cuba
- http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1462517984_22180.html Continue reading
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Cruise ship makes last stop before returning to Miami

Carnival’s Adonia is the first U.S. cruise ship to visit Cuba

Carnival has bigger plans for Cuba

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Washington anunció el 15 de marzo un nuevo paquete de medidas de alivio del embargo estadounidense vigente desde 1962

Entre las disposiciones incluyó nuevas facilidades para que los estadounidenses viajen a Cuba

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El poeta y periodista Bladimir Zamora murió este jueves tras varios días hospitalizado, informó la periodista oficialista Paquita Armas Fonseca en su sitio en Facebook. Tenía 64 años.

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Carlos Celdrán lleva a escena “10 millones”, una pieza autobiográfica

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… West and Kim Kardashian visit Cuba to film scenes for Kim … Up with the Kardashians'. Cuba has been visited by a … Continue reading

El Gobierno anunció el jueves que ampliará la capacidad habitacional para el desarrollo del turismo en la Isla, recuperará instalaciones y remodelará otras hasta 2030, para lo cual recurrirá a la inversión extranjera y al concurso de empresas mixtas, según informaron medios oficiales de prensa.

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