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Daily Archives: May 20, 2016

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Aida Levitan es de las cubanas que desde el exilio ha defendido siempre lo mejor de su historia y su cultura



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… . Coast Guard says about 20 Cuban migrants are clinging to an … "wet-foot, dry-foot policy." Cubans reaching U.S. land usually … .S. authorities sent home 15 Cubans who landed on an abandoned … Continue reading
… vice presidency. "Absolutely," Cuban responded while adding that he … to discussing it," Cuban said. Mark Cuban doesn't plan … that Cuban would resonate with voters. Like Trump, the 57-year-old Cuban is … president four years from now, Cuban replied, "No comment.… Continue reading

Tras el cierre de la frontera panameña, los migrantes retoman rutas ilegales de tráfico humano

Más de 500 migrantes se encuentran varados en el poblado de Turbo

Los migrantes quieren llegar a EEUU

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El Gobierno de México anunció el viernes que concedió la extradición del líder narcotraficante Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán a Estados Unidos para ser procesado por diversos delitos, informa AP.

La cancillería mexicana informó en un comunicado que el Gobierno estadounidense dio garantías de que el capo no enfrentará pena de muerte, una condición de México para extraditar a uno de sus ciudadanos. 

La defensa de Guzmán tiene todavía 30 días para poder iniciar un juicio de amparo contra la extradición, algo que su abogado había adelantado que harán.

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Though Ecuador and Central American countries have made it more difficult for Cuban migrants to cross their territory to reach the United States, the Cubans keep coming — many using the services of migrant smugglers to accomplish their goal.

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(Actualización) Autoridades lograron que se bajaran de la estructura a un escampavías Continue reading
El gobierno estadounidense ha garantizado que no se aplicará la pena de muerte Continue reading
El expresidente uruguayo habría afirmado durante la semana que "Maduro está loco como una cabra" Continue reading

El Senado de Estados Unidos incluyó una provisión de fondos en su ley presupuestaria de Defensa, que hasta ahora no se había hecho pública, para que el Pentágono pueda "diseñar o planear" nuevas instalaciones en territorio estadounidense que puedan albergar a los presos de Guantánamo, informa EFE.

La disposición legislativa no fue incluida en el resumen de la Ley de Autorización de Defensa Nacional (NDAA) publicada por el Comité de Servicios Armados del Senado la semana pasada, sin embargo aparece en el texto completo del proyecto que el comité publicó la pasada noche.

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Unos 20 cubanos saltaron de una embarcación y se treparon a la estructura de 109 pies de alto

Guardacostas rodearon el faro y negociaron con los inmigrantes, hasta que bajaron a las 5:30 pm

Un grupo por los derechos de los inmigrantes convocó a una protesta para pedir que se le permitan a los cubanos quedarse en EEUU

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Jorge González vivía en el edificio donde se proclamó el carácter socialista de la revolución
Nuevas medidas de Etecsa buscarían controlar la entrada de celulares procedentes del exterior, en medio del creciente interés de empresas de telecomunicaciones estadounidenses que ya adelantan sus negociaciones con la isla. Continue reading
Félix Navarro es el presidente del Partido por la Democracia Pedro Luis Boitel y aprovechó la ocasión para enviar un saludo a los "hermanos de lucha en la isla". Continue reading
19 mayo, 2016 España y Cuba quieren robustecer y diversificar sus lazos económicos y comerciales en el escenario de apertura internacional que vive la isla y aprovechando el buen momento de la relación bilateral, según se puso de manifiesto en el XXI Comité Empresarial hispano-cubano celebrado en La Habana. Continue reading
Uno de los barrios más conocidos de Estados Unidos está en inminente riesgo de desaparición. ¿Sobrevivirá el distrito considerado el corazón cubano de Miami? Continue reading
'Ahora tendremos extremo cuidado al comprar móviles', dijo un cuentapropista
Los Simpons amenazan con regresar a Cuba, tras haber sido Homer balsero y a pesar de la resistencia de la prensa oficial. Continue reading
La crisis en Venezuela resquebraja al oficialismo Continue reading
El caso de los centenares de migrantes cubanos atrapados en Turbo y otras ciudades de Urabá no es excepcional ni aislado... Continue reading
Radio Martí cumple este 20 de mayo, el aniversario 31 de su primera transmisión desde las oficinas de la Voz de América en Washington, con el propósito constante de ofrecer al pueblo cubano recursos informativos libres de censura. "El Gobierno de Estados Unidos depositó la confianza completa (en Radio Martí) para que el pueblo cubano tuviera alternativas", dijo Margarita Rojo, una de las primeras voces de la emisora y, hoy,... Continue reading

El abogado independiente Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo presentó este miércoles ante la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular una denuncia contra varios jueces profesionales del Tribunal Supremo, a los que acusa de "prevaricación y falsificación de documentos públicos" por los fallos dictados en contra de la liberación de su esposa, Marienys Pavó Oñate.

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La jueza del Tribunal Supremo Popular (TSP) de Cuba Rufina Hernández calificó a Fidel Castro como un "eminente criminólogo" y aseguró que la Revolución cubana "es una obra criminológica, permanentemente encaminada a purgar las causas de delitos y crímenes, o lo que es lo mismo en esencia, los males que aquejan a la sociedad".

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El hombre fue identificado por las autoridades como Alex Bejarano Tábora, de 52 años Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 14 May 2016 — Eight months haven’t been enough for the state-owned employer in the tourism sector to hire Yasmani, 23, a black guy nearly six feet talk who is perfecting his English in a private academy in Havana and who has wasted time and money learning the secrets of golf at a … Continue reading "Cuba: Capitalism From Afar / Iván García" Continue reading
57 años de república, 57 de revolución Continue reading
La represión por orientación sexual fue política de Estado Continue reading
Showtime viene a filmar al Parque Jurásico del Caribe porque sabe que eso le reporta una publicidad extra Continue reading

El estadounidense Grupo de Editores Independientes (IPG) ha firmado un acuerdo con el distribuidor peruano Corporativo yvt para llevar a Estados Unidos libros de tres editoriales cubanas, informa la publicación

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Unos 100 emigrantes, en su mayoría cubanos, permanecen en el casco urbano del municipio colombiano de Turbo, en Urabá, negados a moverse a otros sitios hasta que les dejen continuar camino seguro a través de Panamá, para alcanzar territorio de Estados Unidos.

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Los procuradores de Panamá y Cuba firmaron el jueves en Ciudad de Panamá un acuerdo para fortalecer la cooperación en la lucha contra el delito, informó el Ministerio Público panameño. "Las solicitudes de cooperación por escrito, ya sean remitidas por correo, comunicación facsímil, correo electrónico o utilizando otros medios técnicos que aseguren la obtención del documento, son contemplados dentro del pacto firmado por... Continue reading

Una misión comercial del Gobierno cubano, integrada por más de 30 empresas estatales, realizará una visita a República Dominicana entre el 23 y 25 próximos, coordinada por el Centro de Exportación e Inversión del país vecino (CEI-RD), informó este viernes el diario Hoy digital.

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Carteles de cuentapropistas hablan de envidia, mal de ojo, chisme y mala vibra Adriel Reyes Aunque pueden “no estar conscientes del fenómeno, los cuentapropistas cubanos utilizan frases y símbolos en sus negocios que denotan violencia”, explica el activista camajuanense Leonardo Rodríguez. En los menús de las cafeterías o en lugares visibles al público se pueden […] Continue reading
La vida de los otros: así es la existencia del 1% más rico del socialismo cubano Son los ‘winners’ del socialismo cubano. Su mundo se extiende en 15 kilómetros cuadrados divididos en cuatro urbanizaciones. Zonas exclusivas para compradores exclusivos en el oeste de La Habana AUTOR IGNACIO ISLA. LA HABANA 19.05.2016 – 05:00 H. Dicen […] Continue reading
The War of the Blacks / Somos+

Somos+, Jose Manuel Presol, 17 May 2016 — If there is something shameful
in our republican history, it is the events of 1912. Nothing much is
being said about it, not even in the government's current propaganda. It
is mentioned, articles and books are published about it, although it is
not widely exposed.

Relatively few things have been written about it; the data, which is
scarce at the source, are lost, and it is difficult to achieve an
in-depth knowledge about it. Oral transmission is likewise poor, perhaps
out of shame by some or out of fear by others.

I am referring to what is called the "War of the Independent People of
Color," or the "War of the Blacks."

Whoever denies the significance of our compatriots of color in the War
of Independence is blind. Their freedom from slavery, their recognition
as citizens and all their rights as Cubans stem from it. Apparently,
there was something deeper: friendship and brotherhood amongst whites
and blacks who had jointly fought as mambises (patriotic fighters).

But that equality was merely on the paper the Constitution was written
on and in multiple laws. The fact is that Cuba had, and still has, an
important racist component. At the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress,
Raúl Castro himself mentioned that "the fight against any vestige of
racism which hampers or slows down the promotion of blacks and mestizos
to leading positions shall be relentlessly pursued." And even after 57
years of a theoretical "egalitarian revolution" and three generations
under "socialism," we still encounter expressions such as "Dude, you
strike me as an 'Oreo'."

Legal equality had been achieved, but not in reality. In 1902 began the
creation of organizations in defense of the rights and interests of
black people, such as the Black Veterans Committee, some of whose
meetings were presided over by Juan Gualberto Gómez.

In 1908 the Group of Independent People of Color was created, a rather
more political organization, which on August 7 of the same year became
the Party of Independent People of Color (PIC, according to its Spanish
acronym). Its platform was not only anti-racist but also social, as it
called for an eight-hour working day and general and free education.

However, from then on big mistakes were made by both parties:

On the part of the State a black senator, Martín Morúa Delgado, filed a
motion against that party, by considering a party based on racial
principles to be unconstitutional, and the "Morúa Amendment," modifying
Section 17 of the Electoral Act was adopted and the PIC was declared
illegal.

Morúa, in his–likely honest–attempts to avoid social division, even
forgot the continuous insults to which he and other black and mixed race
senators and congressmen were subject. One of the most frequent was that
in all receptions, these were directed to the guest and companion or
mistress, while discriminating against their wives.

On the other hand, Evaristo Estenoz, a slave-born PIC leader, distanced
himself from many whites who supported him, thus politically isolating
himself, and attempted to foster a new U.S. intervention, to which end
he held meetings with figures such as Charles Magoon, the U.S.
occupation governor between 1906 and 1909, and Enoch Crowder, former
Military Governor of the Philippines, who had taken part in U.S.
interventions in Cuba and in wars against the Apaches, led by Jeronimo,
and the Sioux, led by Sitting Bull. Both of them being "very good company."

Finally, on May 20, 1912, a PIC armed uprising took place in Pinar del
Río, Havana, Santa Clara and Oriente to achieve their demands, although
it did not contemplate the overthrow of the government presided by José
Miguel Gómez.

Originally no attention was paid to it, but the contacts initiated by
Estenoz were in motion, and the Cuban government was warned that, in
order to defend U.S. interests, armed troop vessels were being sent to
Guantánamo and other destinations.

Thus, the President ordered the army to intervene, which put an end to
the uprising–to the embarrassment of all–by murdering all the black and
dark-skinned mixed-race people encountered, whether or not they had
participated in the revolt; it even removed peaceful workers from their
homes and killed them in front of their families.

The leaders of the uprising, Evaristo Estenoz and Pedro Ivonet,
perished. Regarding the former there are versions that he committed
suicide and that he died in combat; his body had a shot in the temple.
Ivonet was simply murdered after being taken prisoner.

It is not known how many victims there were. Some mention 60 victims,
which could be ludicrous if we were not referring to human lives, others
mention 6,000. The safest thing is that they ranged between 3,000 and 4,000.

In order not to revisit similar mistakes and embarrassments, let us
recall that we are all Cubans and it is no good to merely state it on a
piece of paper. This is another pending change which has to be begun, as
all changes, by ourselves.

Source: The War of the Blacks / Somos+ – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-war-of-the-blacks-somos/ Continue reading
Revolutions and Democracy / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula

We observe a man who always speaks of patriotism and he is never
patriotic, or only with regards to those of a certain class or certain
party. We should fear him, because no one shows more faithfulness nor
speaks more strongly against robbery than the thieves themselves.

Felix Varela (in El Habanero, 1824)

14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 19 May 2016 – Observing the tranquil
surface of Cuban society offers a misleading impression. The stagnation
is localized only in the government and in the party; and even there it
is not very reliable. There is no doubt that many party members
participated in and observed the 7th Congress of Cuban Communist Party
(PCC) hoping for changes and, watching the direction of the presidential
table, dutifully (and resignedly, why not) voted one more time unanimously.

Outside this context, where one thing is said but what is thought may be
something else, there is right now a very interesting debate in which
all parties believe themselves to be right. The most commonly used
concepts to defend opposing theses can be covered in the perceptions of
revolution and democracy, which each person conceptualizes according to
his or her own line of thinking.

There are generalities that are inherent in the concept itself. In the
case of the concept of revolution, it involves a drastic change within a
historic concept to break with a state of things that is generally
unjust. Although it is a collective project, revolutions don't always
enjoy massive support; it is not until it is resolved that the great
majority of citizens are included.

That said, from the official positions of the Cuban government they are
still talking about the Revolution that overthrew the Batista tyranny
and initiated profound changes in Cuba as a continuing event. This group
believes itself still within the revolutionary morass, but can a country
live permanently in a revolution?

One immediate consequence of a social revolution is chaos; everything is
changing, and after a nation experiences a revolutionary process it
needs stability to return to the path of progress, a natural aspiration
of society and of the individual.

The 1959 Revolution became a government many years ago and its young
leaders are, today, old men who in their long time in power ensured
mechanisms for the control of the country. It could be nostalgia for not
having been there or it could be comfort with the idea of having made
mistakes and implemented bad policies, all justified as an appropriate
effect of the revolutionary moment.

It is here that democracy intervenes. Whatever kind it is, it must
characterize itself because popular decisions are effective; directly or
through the leaders elected through voting. And also through debate. One
can't insist on continuing to wear children's clothes when one is an
adult. Norberto Bobbio's concept is always widely accepted: without
recognized and protected human rights there cannot be a real democracy,
and when we are citizens of the world, and not of one state, we are
closer to peace.

We do not live in a democratic country, however much they want to
minimize the lack of freedoms and blame it on the "blockade," the
"imperialist threat" and novelties such as "opinion surveys" or "media
wars." Because democracy is an umbrella that should also protect
minorities of every kind.

We can see vestiges of Marxism-Leninism in this stumbling march toward
capitalism without democracy, we see in the free state version of the
idea enclosed in this disturbing paragraph of a letter from Engels to
August Bebel, regarding power and those who oppose it: "So long as the
proletariat still makes use of the state, it makes use of it, not for
the purpose of freedom, but of keeping down its enemies and, as soon as
there can be any question of freedom, the state as such ceases to exist."

Where are the rights of minorities? How do we know if they are real
minorities? So far, certainly, the public support for the government has
been a matter of trust, but the suspicion showed by the government when
asked for transparency is striking.

From the polemics that are shared among websites and from closed-door
meetings to emails and the chorus of the interested, and from there to
the classic rumor on the street, it is clear that there is an imperative
to widen the debate. Patriotism is not a state monopoly nor is it
reflected only in talking about history and honoring symbols, much less
in the cult of personality, which by the way, this year promises North
Korean dimensions.

One of the ideas that is addressed in this debate is the danger posed by
"non-revolutionary transitions in the name of democracy," but we know
that this is a concern of the hardline defenders of that model that they
stubbornly insist on calling socialist; 'they' being those who consider
themselves anti-imperialists, those who "won't budge an inch," and who
sleep peacefully without looking for other culprits for the collapse
that surrounds them on all sides.

My concern as a citizen is not having democracy in the name of the
Revolution.

Source: Revolutions and Democracy / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/revolutions-and-democracy-14ymedio-regina-coyula/ Continue reading
Cuba to Close Medical Missions in Brazil and Venezuela / Juan Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 16 Ma 2016 — Quite unexpectedly, Cuban authorities
say they are prepared to suspend or cancel medical missions to Brazil
and Venezuela.

Ever since Cuban informants, who are spread across the continent, warned
that Brazilian legislators were planning to remove President Dilma
Rousseff from power and long before President Maduro began facing
pressure from the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the Cuban
government — calculating as ever and with a proven penchant for creating
adversity — secretly devised a plan B, which has now begun to take effect.

The interim president of Brazil, Michel Temer, publicly stated that his
government does not intend to get rid of the Cuban medical program "More
Doctors," which was established by Rousseff's government. Such
assertions only demonstrate that the acting president is unaware of the
surprise Cuba's shifty ideologues have in store for him.

Perhaps he will learn the hard way that, for the island's government,
the medical missions are more than just a charitable undertaking and a
very profitable enterprise. The are above all instruments of pressure
that are one aspect of an aggressive foreign policy.

A commission made up of members of the Communist party, the government,
the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) and local officials are touring
the island of San Antonio de Maisi to brief staff at every hospital on
plans for removing all Cuban health care workers from Brazil and
Venezuela at a designated time and returning them to Cuba.

This action has two objectives. One is to forestall more doctors from
deserting. The other and more important one is to strike a timely
political blow by withdrawing the services of Cuban doctors in remote
and impoverished areas.

In conversations with staff, this itinerant commission reported that
Cuba receives significant subsidies by leasing out its professionals'
services as part of various overseas health care programs. But it now
plans to amortize its economic losses by backing out of its agreements
with Venezuela and Brazil.

Cuba is fashionable and there will always be places in the world with a
profound need for health care workers. Thus the idea is to redirect
Cuban medical cooperation to other countries and gradually increase
health care access on the island. But not to Cubans. On April 3 the
minister of health, Lina O. Pedraza Rodriquez, signed Resolution
145/2016 which allows doctors to collect up to five percent of the fees
billed to foreign tourists.

Concurrently, MINSAP has released more than 200,000 dollars from the
hard currency reserve on orders from the Central Committee to launch a
big ad campaign that includes an untold number of printed flyers for
distribution through privately owned rental homes, hotels, travel
agencies (both inside and outside the island), the official Ministry of
Foreign Affairs website, Cuban diplomatic missions abroad and MINSAP
affiliated facilities, including hospitals. It is intended to promote
and sell a range of health care services that the country offers.

Source: Cuba to Close Medical Missions in Brazil and Venezuela / Juan
Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-to-close-medical-missions-in-brazil-and-venezuela-juan-juan-almeida/ Continue reading
Local restaurant owner reveals why he fled Cuba
BY RYAN WOLF/FOX SAN ANTONIO FRIDAY, MAY 20TH 2016

Just feet from the loop, in a city about 2 square miles long, sits a
quaint, unassuming little restaurant where the authentic foods trump its
size.

La Rumba Cocina Latina located in Windcrest is where people go for a
taste of Cuban cuisine.

"Cuba, for me, lives in my heart," Antonio de Jesus Utra, the chef and
owner said.

He fled the communist island in 2002.

"Wow!" he recalled about his past. "For me, it was scary."

Utra was an art dealer by trade. He said he faced arrest in Cuba for
making too much money. That's when he left his family behind for Mexico
and hired a coyote to smuggle him into El Paso, TX for chance to live
the American dream.

He eventually reunited with his son in America, who also escaped Cuba
via speed boat.

"Cubans have better treatment than any other country in the world,"
Lance Curtright, a San Antonio immigration attorney said.

Curtright's clients are mainly from Mexico.

He sees their path to legal status in stark contrast to the Cuban
Adjustment Act from the 1960's.

"It's under a procedurally ordered fashion," Curtright explained. "At
the very beginning, they present themselves to a Border Patrol agent.
They get a legal document to come into the United States, and after 1
year they become a lawful permanent resident with a social security
card. They can pay taxes and they are easily assimilated into the system."

The Cuban population has steadily grown in the United States,
accelerating from 737,000 in 1990 to more than 1.1 million in 2013,
according to statistics compiled by the Migration Policy Institute.

Studies show how taxpayers fork over hundreds of millions of dollars for
public assistance programs to help Cuban refugees while they wait to
become legal residents.

Curtright said many of clients are forced to live in the shadows.

"You can't go and get a driver's license for example," he told Fox San
Antonio's Ryan Wolf. "You can't go and get a job, at least not lawfully.
They're greatly limited in what they can do, which can cause a great
deal of anxiety and a great deal of hardship on them and their families."

Gerardo Breniz remembered the struggles he and his family faced growing
up as Mexican immigrants.

"It just rocked my world," the 25-year-old said. "It just shook
everything from the bottom up."

He and his sister lived in constant fear as children, while their mother
worked long hours on a "visa overstay".

Eventually, his family had to leave their home and go back to Mexico.

"It was quite an experience," he emotionally said. "You see your mom in
handcuffs. You see an immigration officer yelling at your mother. And
then having to leave everything behind."

Breniz is now a legal assistant in San Antonio. He wants to see
immigration reform, in line with the treatment of Cubans, especially for
Central Americans who flee gang violence and poverty.

"I think that it is fair," Breniz said about the Cuban Adjustment Act.
"And, I think it's important that they receive this privilege."

Chef Utra hopes the law doesn't change just because relations between
the United States and Cuba start to normalize.

He said Cuba is still very much under dictatorship rule.

"Maybe in the economic aspect, but not in the political life," he said
about any changes happening in his home country.

Local legislators, including Congressman Henry Cuellar, believe the law
needs to be change when it comes to the way Cubans are able to enter the
United States.

The Obama Administration has made it clear that won't happen anytime soon.

La Rumba Cocina Latina celebrates its 1-year anniversary in June.

Source: Local restaurant owner reveals why he fled Cuba | KABB -
http://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/local-restaurant-owner-reveals-why-he-fled-cuba Continue reading
An Inclusive Cuba Would Always Be Stronger
May 19, 2016
By Fernando Ravsberg

HAVANA TIMES – It is no secret that Washington is slowly moving away
from its former partners of dissent and betting on the self-employed,
cooperatives and Cuban entrepreneurs, born under the reforms led by
President Raul Castro.

The advantages of these over traditional dissenters are huge; they are
integrated into society, their compatriots consider them successful
people and they have their own financial resources, so the government
doesn't have to maintain them and the water in which they swim is the
market economy.

They even have contradictions with the prevailing social model on the
island, which ties their hands with an inefficient bureaucracy, by
officials always slow to make decisions, some corrupt and many fearful
of losing their position.

Workers and self-employed entrepreneurs are frowned upon by the more
political "orthodox", those who still believe that the purity of
socialism is measured by the amount of the means of production in the
hands of the state. It's the hangover from drinking so many Soviets manuals.

Those who go to the sources of socialism can see that Karl Marx merely
proposed nationalizing only the "core means of production" and Lenin put
it into practice promoting private initiative in the New Economic Policy
(NEP).

And if we look at the roots of Cuba, José Martí would be an enemy of the
concentration of capital in few hands because "exclusive wealth is
unfair." He also noted that "a nation that is rich has many small owners".

The worst of the orthodox view is that they use the media to fill the
citizenry with their prejudices, fears and suspicions, some of them
confirmed by the new US strategy, but many others are just to scare people.

The future will depend on who this emerging sector identifies with. In
this terrain their economic interests will be first, but they will also
be influenced by more subjective aspects such as nationalism, social
conscience or political ideas.

If the authorities and economists have determined that more than one
million state workers must move to the private sector, they should act
consistently, making them feel that their economic interests are
inextricably linked to those of the nation.

It's not about preparing tangled speeches; it would be suffice to
explain the closure to foreign investment in some branches of food
service and hostels, benefitting locals by limiting the competition from
large conglomerates.

The entrance to Cuba of fast food chains or international restaurants,
for example, would put the Cuban businesses at a very unequal
confrontation, both in production costs and by the experience and
accumulated capital.

SMEs, cooperatives and the self-employed, should be the first interested
in maintaining some niches in the economy in the hands of Cubans because
that way they defend their own interests while enhancing the nation.

However, there are also subjective aspects that influence. It has to do
with the appreciation or contempt with which they are treated. In the
Cuban press and in some political speeches remain too many prejudices
against this private sector, a legitimate child of the Cuban Revolution.

Corruption cases are always mentioned much more concerning private
businesses than in state enterprises, despite the fact that the economic
crimes in the state sector are far more, due to it being much larger and
also by the huge lack of controls.

It takes forever for a cooperative to be approved and the self-employed
have no wholesale markets to purchase supplies. They are also forbidden
from importing. Likewise, only 200 forms of self-employment are allowed,
while the inspectors bleed them dry demanding money under the table.

The economic role of the autonomous may seem small compared to the state
but the fact is that the reforms would be impossible without them. No
government can run efficiently if it has to address both nickel mines
and the street sale of fritters.

The private sector reduces the number of state employees; covers the
lodging deficit for tourists outside the hotels; solves everyday
problems of the population, and contributes to the national coffers with
taxes while allowing the government to address the crucial sectors.

Private enterprise is not an enemy of the nation or even "a necessary
evil." Sometimes it even has a social profile in its project, such as
the case of Papito the barber or the Cuban Art Factory, where culture
and sustainability merge.

As in any other economic and social sectors there will be corrupt or
unprincipled people but President Raul Castro himself said most are
"patriots". So why so much prejudice, mistrust and suspicion against them?

While in Cuba the bureaucracy and orthodoxy make life impossible for
them, they receive praise from the US, from where they receive offers
for loans, training courses and open doors to export and import. Which
of the two policies will be the most intelligent and provide the best
results?

Source: An Inclusive Cuba Would Always Be Stronger - Havana Times.org -
http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=118869 Continue reading

Gilberto “Papito” Valladares opened a barber shop that spawned a community/cultural project and gave rise to private businesses that employ nearly 100 people. The Callejón de los Peluqueros boasts four private restaurants, three art galleries and more.

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Las autoridades intentan evitar una crisis humanitaria Continue reading

Más de medio millón de militares y milicianos venezolanos inician este viernes dos días de ejercicios de defensa, bajo un estado de excepción y de esfuerzos internacionales por abrir un diálogo entre el Gobierno del presidente Nicolás Maduro y la oposición, reporta la AFP.

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La medida está en vigor desde 1984 Continue reading

La producción de lácteos en la Isla se enfrenta a serias dificultades que van desde el envejecimiento y falta de mantenimiento en la industria, obsolescencia tecnológica, déficit en el acopio y distribución hasta la más elemental calidad de la materia prima fundamental (la leche fresca), reconocieron autoridades del sector.

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