We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support in paying for servers. Thank you.


Cubaverdad on Twitter

Daily Archives: May 26, 2016

His profanity-infused jokes and storytelling style dominated the airwaves for more than a decade

Gustavo Perez-Firmat, 67, David Feinson Professor of Humanities at Columbia University, will lead discussion

Click to Continue » Continue reading

Traveling with a team of experts from the Environmental Defense Fund, the expedition’s goal was to explore Cuba’s oceans and become familiar with the culture of the country relative to its natural world.

Click to Continue » Continue reading
La joven activista de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba ha puesto su talento musical en función de la resistencia cívica al régimen castrista, junto al proyecto de música urbana "La Armada" Continue reading
… .S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) and Cuba's Grupo Empresarial … food industries to re-establish the Cuban marketplace for U.S. food … in Havana with USACC to interact with Cuban farmers. 'Our Cuban partners … , and our economies have matured. Cubans have an increasing opportunity to … Continue reading
Los conocimientos adquiridos en los talleres preparan a los activistas en temas como Democracia, Ciudadanía, Estado de Derecho, Liberalismo y Derechos Humanos a 20 activistas de Santiago de Cuba. Continue reading
… are right now.'' Cuban called himself "fiercely independent … answer is yes." Mark Cuban thinks his odds of being … on either ticket in November, Cuban said, "Slim to none … group of decision-makers,'' Cuban said. "It would be … Continue reading
… ” podcast Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he is “wide open … , none are right now." Cuban called himself "fiercely independent … asked what the chances were Cuban could be on either ticket … decision makers,'' said Cuban. "It would be put … Continue reading
… the Havana Challenge, a boat race from Key West to CubaHavana for more than two decades and teaches catch-and-release classes to Cuban fisherman. Maritime excursions in Cuba are growing popular again for Americans. A few years ago, HavanaContinue reading
Una amplia delegación de la isla asistirá al evento para disertar sobre el restablecimiento de relaciones entre La Habana y Washington, negritud, conexión a Internet, emigración, cuentapropistas, entre otros temas. Continue reading

La “Ley de Libertad para Viajar a Cuba”, presentada en enero de 2015, ha cobrado ímpetu en las últimas semanas

Pondría fin a las restricciones legales sobre los viajes a la isla para ciudadanos estadounidenses y residentes legales

Una vez aprobada en el Senado, la medida tendría que pasar por la Cámara de Representantes

Click to Continue » Continue reading
La precaria embarcación fue hostigada en alta mar Continue reading
Asegura coalición contra el embargo "Engage Cuba" Continue reading
… permission to begin flights to Cuba. "We've applied … apply to four cities in Cuba, including Havana. We're waiting … Continue reading

(EFE).- El presidente de la Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, se declaró este jueves en La Habana "muy optimista" con el proceso de apertura y de "actualización" económica que vive Cuba y aseguró que la Isla "va por el buen camino".

"Soy muy optimista en cuanto a que este inicio de la actualización de su modelo económico les va a llevar a las mayores cotas de bienestar, de progreso y a las mayores cotas de felicidad dentro de este pueblo soberano", afirmó Núñez Feijóo.

El presidente de la Xunta comenzó este jueves el programa de su segunda visita oficial a Cuba, tras la que hizo en 2013, con la apertura del Foro Económico Cuba-Galicia, que inauguró junto al presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de la Isla, Orlando Hernández.[[QUOTE:Núñez Feijoo inaugurará en La Habana el XI Consejo de Comunidades Gallegas, que se prolongará hasta el sábado]]

"Hemos estado en Cuba en los últimos 70 años y queremos estar en Cuba en los siguientes 70 años. Queremos estar en Cuba como prueba de que la Cuba de hoy vive en una encrucijada económica similar a la que Galicia experimentó al internacionalizar su economía y al ingresar en la economía de la Europa de la unión", resaltó.

El presidente de la Xunta, que ha viajado junto a un nutrido grupo de representantes de empresas de su región, expresó su apoyo al proceso de actualización económica emprendido por la isla y ofreció el potencial y experiencia de Galicia en áreas como la automoción, la industria naviera, el sector textil, el energético o la agroalimentación.

Por su parte, el presidente de la Cámara de Comercio del país destacó que España y Cuba viven actualmente "uno de sus mejores momentos en el desarrollo de sus vínculos bilaterales".

Orlando Hernández resaltó el papel que España ha jugado en la renegociación de la deuda de Cuba con el Club de París, un rol que ha contribuido a crear un "clima de tranquilidad" en la relación bilateral.

Tras la firma de un acuerdo de colaboración entre la Cámara de Comercio local y el Instituto Gallego de Promoción Económica, Nuñez-Feijoo prosiguió con diversas reuniones con representantes del gobierno de Cuba, como el viceministro de Comercio Exterior e Inversión Extranjera, Antonio Carricarte.

Mañana viernes, Núñez Feijoo inaugurará en La Habana el XI Consejo de Comunidades Gallegas, que se prolongará hasta el sábado.

Continue reading
HAVANA, May 26 (acn) Cuban first vice-president Miguel Diaz Canel … during WWII. The top government Cuban official is meeting a tight … between the two countries. The Cuban vice-president is also scheduled to … bilateral relations between Moscow and Havana. Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, May 25 (acn) Vladimir Putin, … Diaz-Canel, First Vice-president of the Cuban Councils of State and Ministers … ties after the visit to Havana of President Putin in July … and Social Development of Cuba until 2020. Representing Cuba at the meeting … Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, May 26 (acn) Cuban Premier Dmitri Medvedev held talks Thursday in Moscow with visiting Cuban first vice president Miguel Diaz-Canel … . President Vladimir Putin receives Cuban delegation Cuban Vice-president Pays Honor to Soviet … Continue reading
Otros 19 migrantes se encuentran detenidos en Bahamas Continue reading
Interrumpen lista de espera del aeropuerto de La Habana por cumbre regional Martinoticias.com La lista de espera del Aeropuerto Internacional “José Martí” de La Habana estará temporalmente interrumpida del 28 de mayo hasta el 7 de junio, informaron medios locales La decisión es parte de las medidas organizativas emprendidas por las autoridades cubanas “para asegurar […] Continue reading
El 26 de mayo de 2015, el excanciller uruguayo Luis Almagro se situaba al frente de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), como secretario general de la institución con la intención de fortalecer la democracia en el continente americano. Continue reading
Air Berlín volará a La Habana desde Düsseldorf dos veces por semana DDC | Berlín | 26 Mayo 2016 – 5:51 pm. La aerolínea alemana Air Berlin iniciará operaciones a La Habana con la incorporación de dos vuelos semanales entre la ciudad de Düsseldorf y esta capital, informó hoy el Ministerio de Turismo (MINTUR) según […] Continue reading
Los vaivenes del comercio agropecuario en Cuba José Alberto Álvarez Bravo 26 de mayo de 2016 La Habana, Cuba – www.PayoLibre.com – Con una rapidez de vértigo, iniciativas que durante su concepción y estreno han prometido ser la solución a las controversias originadas en los conflictos de intereses entre vendedor y comprador, entre mercancía y […] Continue reading
Embajador cubano responderá preguntas por Twitter Posted on 26 mayo, 2016 Por Redacción CaféFuerte En una iniciativa para promover internacionalmente la agenda política de Cuba en el nuevo escenario de relaciones con Estados Unidos, el embajador José Ramón Cabañas estará respondiendo preguntas este jueves vía Twitter. El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (MINREX) anunció que el […] Continue reading
¿Cuánto se ahorrarían los contribuyentes de EEUU si se recortaran beneficios a los cubanos? hace 44 minutos Martinoticias.com La cifra fue calculada por el Congressional Budget Office, una oficina que provee datos económicos a los legisladores. Una propuesta de ley para recortar parte del presupuesto de ayuda a los inmigrantes cubanos en Estados Unidos ahorraría […] Continue reading
Eliminar beneficios a cubanos ahorraría $2,450 millones, según reporte La Oficina Congresional de Presupuesto halló ahorros en un proyecto de ley El proyecto está patrocinado por el representante Carlos Curbelo y el senador Marco Rubio Ambos republicanos quieren promover la ley como una manera de recortar el presupuesto federal PATRICIA MAZZEI pmazzei@miamiherald.com Parece elemental, pero […] Continue reading
9 CLAVES PARA ENTENDER LA VIDA COTIDIANA EN CUBA El día a día de los cubanos es muy diferente al de los mexicanos, aunque hay puntos en común, ¿sabes cuáles son? Lunes, 20 de julio de 2015 a las 6:00 AM ¿Crees saberlo todo acerca de Cuba? La isla socialista reanudará relaciones diplomáticas con Estados […] Continue reading
Return to sender: Cayman's policy on Cuban migrants
By Editorial Board - May 24, 2016

On a picturesque beach in South Sound, there is an abandoned boat. The
waves pound upon its boards and planks. Scattered on the sand are dozens
of containers, for provisions and unspent fuel. Near the bow of the
makeshift wooden vessel, a simple message is painted in three capital
letters: "USA."

The photograph of the Cuban boat on the front page of Tuesday's
newspaper is an image of a dream deferred. The 43 Cuban migrants who
arrived in Grand Cayman on May 6 will not achieve their goal of escaping
their home country and reaching the United States … at least not this time.

For now, they have been detained by Cayman Islands immigration
officials, who currently have 116 Cuban migrants in custody in various
locations around the island. What follows next is a bureaucratic waiting
game, with the probable result being transportation back to Cuba by air,
and then, perhaps, some day, more attempts to flee.

It is important to understand the tremendous risks that these people
take when they fling their lives upon the mercy of the sea. For the
migrants who head south from Cuba, if and when they finally reach land
in Central America, their journey has just begun. From there they face
an arduous trek of 1,500 miles or more — on foot, by car, on trains …
any way possible — across multiple borders, facing natural elements,
government officials and organized criminals; until they maybe, at last,
attain their Promised Land, of the Free, of Opportunity, etc.

It is just as important to recognize the rewards that — perhaps aren't
actually received — but that these migrants anticipate, and upon which
they have pinned all their dreams, and all their hopes.

The experiences of the disappointed Cuban migrants who wash ashore in
Cayman are very different from what happens to those who do successfully
reach the U.S.

The New York Times recently published a story based on interviews with a
group of a dozen Cubans who made landfall in the Florida Keys. The men
expressed gratitude in two equal measures — for being in America, and
for no longer being in Cuba.

"What you have here is a nest of hope," one migrant said. "What you have
there is a nest of scorpions."

Instead of an immigration detention facility, the Cubans who reached
Florida were taken to a nonprofit assistance center run by the Roman
Catholic Church. They were put up in a motel in the short term. Half
were to be transported to Las Vegas, Nevada, to find work, and the other
half to Austin, Texas. The dreams of these dozen were, in fact, realized.

As has been related in The New York Times and many other news sources,
Cubans are saying that they are more afraid than ever that if they don't
get out of Cuba now, they may never be able to enjoy the special
protections still being extended to Cuban migrants by the U.S. (i.e.,
"wet-foot, dry-foot").

In Cayman, we are witnessing the effects of the nascent U.S.-Cuban thaw,
and the turbulent diplomatic and political currents, in the form of the
swelling numbers of migrants whose journeys end prematurely in our
waters or on our shores.

The agreement Cayman has in place with Cuba, to detain the migrants and
have them returned to the land from which they tried to flee, is far
from ideal. It is, to many Cayman residents, undesirable or even
distasteful. It is also expensive. But, unlike the vast nation of the
U.S., Cayman cannot possibly accommodate even a small portion of the
Cuban migrants who might wish to stay.

Although the conditions in Cuba may be the source of the problem, Cayman
is the recipient. Unfortunately, that doesn't look to change, unless or
until the U.S. alters its policies on accepting Cuban migrants (and
extinguishes their beacon of hope).

The problem of how to handle Cuban migrants may remain one for which
Cayman may not have an adequate solution.

Source: EDITORIAL – Return to sender: Cayman's policy on Cuban migrants
| Cayman Compass -
https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/05/24/editorial-return-to-sender-caymans-policy-on-cuban-migrants/ Continue reading
Internet Domains, Sovereignty And Freedom / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula

14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 25 May 2016 — For Cubans who update
their domestic entertainment weekly with the now famous, private and
anonymous "Weekly Packet," a subtitle in bright greenish-yellow letters
at the beginning of movies has become familiar. It is the ever present
www.gnaula.nu, which appears so frequently that it spurred my curiosity:
I found it impossible to recognize what country corresponded to the
extension ".nu" so I turned to the always useful Wikipedia.

Surprise. The country where all the movies we watch at home are pirated
is Niue, an atoll with the pretensions of a little island, attached to
New Zealand. In 1996, an American (who of course doesn't live in Niue)
took the rights to ".nu" and in 2003 founded the Niue Internet Society,
and offered to the local authorities to convert the quasi-island into
the first wifi nation of the world. The offer was rounded out with a
free computer for every child. Nothing spectacular; we're talking about
a population of barely 1,300 people.

The irony is that while ".nu" generates enormous profits, the
inhabitants of Niue who want to connect from home and not from the only
internet café are obliged to pay for installation and service.

So I find another curiosity: the second most used internet extension
after ".com" corresponds to another little place in the corner of the
Pacific, also unnoticed, a group of islets of roughly four square miles.
Tokelau is the name of this place whose domain ".tk" hatched in 2009 and
was free, and today it is the virtual home of hundreds of thousands of
sites of dubious probity.

The way in which the territorial domains of each country (ccTLD, which
stands for: country-code-top-level-domain) are managed is very
different. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN) has left the who and how to the discretion of each country. Many
countries have privatized it either in the hands of institutions or
companies created for that purpose, while in others it is done by an
entity attached to a stage agency.

The two ways of operating ccTLDs have advantages and disadvantaged.
Deregulating the extensions tips the balance toward the more profitable
companies to the detriment of the agencies, NGOs and social and cultural
institutions. Decreasing the influence of governments, can weigh heavily
on the sovereignty of countries with fragile economies or small and
young countries.

As a counterpart, state-regulation administration tends to protect
social and cultural interests, a successful management style that can
lead to gains that positively impact national life. It can also happen
that the process for buying a ccTLD are restrictive or discriminatory,
sheltering under deliberately vague rules to be applied at their
discretion, as is the case with Cuba's ".cu".

In Latin America, Argentina is the only country that offers a site for
free; hence the millions of sites with the extension ".ar". This
gratuity is about to change because a way to collect payments is being
studied. In Chile and Nicaragua domains are administered through public
universities. In Guatemala it is also done through a university but in
that case a private one.

State regulation occurs in Venezuela through the National
Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), and in Cuba through the
Information Technologies and Advanced Telematic Services Company (CITMATEL).

Colombia, and without going into details about its antecedents, is a
reflection of a similar debate ongoing in many countries. A private
company owns its ccTLD and they believe that the fact that 89% of the
owners of a ".co" site are foreigners living outside the country, far
from violating national identity, internationalizes Colombia and brings
its brand to the entire world. What underlies these debates is that the
market is imposed on cultural values and little can be done in the
defense of an intangible patrimony.

But ultimately, who governs the Internet? Any observant newcomer claims
that the United States governs it. On its territory are the institutions
and the majority of the servers intended to organize what would
otherwise be chaos.

The now well-known ICANN assigns domain names (DNS) to IP addresses, has
a contract with the government and is located in California. Very
influential internet companies such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon are
also American. By September there will be news of a change; simply that
ICANN will be independent of the United States Department of Commerce.

In this asymmetric influence are counterpoised the interest of other
parties involved and also of the internet. International organizations
such as those dealing with trade (the ITO), intellectual property and
the International Communications Union have been involved in conjunction
with ICANN. Virtual space modifies the notion of sovereignty, with added
risks to equality and diversity; so the term governance has gained
importance in the design of policies, where governments, civil society,
business, academic and technical innovators come together.

In the same way that innovative technicians have placed in our hands the
protocol that ensures open access to the internet from any type of
device, it behooves governance to establish policies, even if they are
not binding, to guarantee freedom of expression and information, full
access and limits on control.

Source: Internet Domains, Sovereignty And Freedom / 14ymedio, Regina
Coyula – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/internet-domains-sovereignty-and-freedom-14ymedio-regina-coyula/ Continue reading
'El Sexto': "Myths are very dangerous, but an idea can break them." /
14ymedio, Maria Tejero Martin

EFE (via 14ymedio), Maria Tejero Martin, Oslo, 24 May 2016 – Danilo
Maldonado is known as El Sexto the name engraved in ink on his skin and
that he paints on the walls of Havana to plant an idea of freedom in his
compatriots, like a seed that flourishes and breaks the "dangerous
myths" that, he says, surround Cuba.

When he was nine he caused his mother grief when he drew Fidel Castro in
his military uniform but with the head of a monkey; by his twenties he
had decided to turn himself into the antihero El Sexto (The Sixth), in
response to the regime's campaign to free Los Cinco (The Five), Cuban
agents arrested in the United States.

In his thirties, after the United States initiated contacts with Cuba
after years of the embargo, Maldonado "knew I would go to jail" he told
EFE, when he was inspired to paint the names "Raul" and "Fidel" on the
backs of two pigs for a piece of Orwellian inspired performance art
which he was unable to carry out.

"The worst thing is that I never got to release them, but I went to
jail, I went to jail for something that never existed, without cause or
role," explained Maldonado, who was declared a prisoner of conscience by
Amnesty International.

His incarceration prevented him from collecting the Vaclav Havel Prize
for creative dissent a year ago in Oslo, and today he is in the
Norwegian capital for the first time, where he is participating in the
Oslo Freedom Forum, although he says that he has already attended this
annual forum of activists and defenders of human rights "in conscience."

This is a basic word for this artist who considers himself a "prisoner
of conscience" who seeks to "awaken" the conscience of Cubans and open
the eyes of foreigners whose romanticism prevents them from seeing that
the vintage cars that circulate around Havana "means that we are stuck
in time."

Meanwhile he draws on a page, showing the Little Prince that he carries
on his long lean arm. And if, as Antoine de Saint-Exupery's character
would say, "the essence is invisible to the eyes," Maldonado feels that
his mission is to attack just there, on the plane of abstract
consciousness, where he "works with things that don't exist to make them
a reality."

Like freedom in Cuba, he laments, although he is "sure" that art will
first bring rights to the island and later allow them to become reality,
in the same way, he explains, that he conceived the hunger strike he
undertook in prison as a work of art titled "Mao's awakening."

"I said that if consciousness could change what is, it should save me
from there, I would die because I would have been talking complete shit.
The bars have to opened by the hands of the repressor himself, only in
this way will art exist. And so it happened," he affirmed.

Maldonado believes that art can serve as a catalyst for any change, like
a predecessor, and says that "an idea can destroy what exists." Even the
regime.

"I want to bring down a dictatorship that has lasted for a very long
time in my country, demystify it and demystify the false canons it was
selling, like that of Che Guevara," says El Sexto.

"Often it sold [the idea] that wearing green and roaming the world with
weapons was cool. And it is not cool. Cool was a guy like Martin Luther
King, Mahatma Gandhi or Christ. But cool is not the type of people who
believe they are rebels and what they are is a murderer who wants to
impose his idea," he added.

Maldonado does not mince words, either to defend the caricatures of
Muhammad or to charge his followers who have spent centuries killing in
his name.

"That is what I don't want to have happen in my country, that I die and
that fucking nutcase passes as a savior. What I want is that my art
demystifies and destroys him, leaves his essence in the base and that
people understand he is not good," he says, referring to Castro.

For him, he is confident that "art can do anything," even with some
"very dangerous myths."

"They manage to go on for so long that if people don't chip away at them
they are more dangerous dead than alive. But an idea can destroy and
undermine anything (…) That is why they fear me and follow me. They took
me prisoner because they know of this influence," says the artist, who
says he will continue living in Cuba and will give his life for what he
considers his duty: "Awakening" consciences.

Source: 'El Sexto': "Myths are very dangerous, but an idea can break
them." / 14ymedio, Maria Tejero Martin – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/el-sexto-myths-are-very-dangerous-but-an-idea-can-break-them-14ymedio-maria-tejero-martin/ Continue reading
14 more Cuban migrants land in the Keys

The group arrived in Islamorada on Tuesday
They spent four or five days on a "rustic vessel"
BY DAVID GOODHUE
KeysInfoNet

A group of 14 Cuban migrants came ashore in Islamorada and 13 landed on
Ballast Key off Key West on Tuesday morning, according to the U.S.
Border Patrol.

The Upper Keys group landed near the Morada Bay Resort, on the bay side
of U.S. 1 at mile marker 81.6, around 8 a.m. A "concerned citizen"
noticed the 14 men and called the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Adam Hoffner.

The men told Border Patrol agents that they traveled for four or five
days on a "homemade rustic vessel." The boat's engine failed at sea,
leaving the men stranded in the open ocean while they made repairs.

"Homemade vessels such as this, often suffer from engine of other types
of mechanical failures putting the migrants at risk," Hoffner said in an
e-mail. "The vessels also lack appropriate safety equipment and
navigational devices."

Hoffner said his agency regularly receives both confirmed and
unconfirmed reports of migrants drowning at sea on their way to the
United States.

Under the 1995 changes to the Cuban Adjustment Act, migrants from Cuba
who set foot on dry land in the United States can stay here and apply
for permanent residency after a year. The policy is known as wet-foot,
dry-foot.

The Lower Keys group — all men — landed on Ballast Key, part of a group
of small islands west of Key West known as the "Mule Keys." They were
reportedly in good health. They said they were at sea in a single-engine
fishing boat for two days.

It has been a busy year for the Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border
Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies responsible for
keeping an eye out for migrants and human smugglers. Migrant arrivals
and interdictions are up sharply in the wake of thawing relations
between the United States and the Castro regime. Many Cubans fear the
wet-foot, dry-foot policy will soon be repealed, and they want to leave
the island before that happens.

On Friday, a group of 21 migrants climbed onto the American Shoal
lighthouse off Sugarloaf Key after being confronted by a Coast Guard
boat that morning. They eventually came down off the 109-foot structure
later in the afternoon and were taken aboard an undisclosed Coast Guard
cutter to be sent back to Cuba.

However, an injunction was filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday by the
non-profit group Movimiento Democracia on behalf of some of the
migrants' families living in Florida arguing the Cubans made it to the
United States under wet-foot, dry-foot.

Also last Friday, nine Cubans arrived in a "single-engine rustic boat"
at the Dry Tortugas National Park about 70 miles from Key West. The
eight adult men and one woman arrived about 7:30 p.m., Hoffner said.

They told Border Patrol agents they spent two days at sea. The migrants
were first picked up by the Coast Guard, and it is not yet clear if they
will be allowed to stay.

Source: 14 more Cuban migrants land in the Keys | In Cuba Today -
http://www.incubatoday.com/news/article79832782.html Continue reading
Royal Caribbean still waiting on Cuba
By Rebecca Tobin / May 25, 2016

Royal Caribbean International said that the cruise line is still in the
process of obtaining permission to sail to Cuba, and would likely use
the Empress of the Seas for Cuba voyages.
"Obviously, we're looking forward to being able to sail to Cuba, and
we're in the process of talking to various authorities ... to get the
various permissions that are required," Royal Caribbean International
CEO Michael Bayley told reporters at a press conference on the new
Harmony of the Seas last weekend.
As for when? "Tomorrow would be good," Bayley said. "But we're waiting
for the approvals."
The Empress is scheduled to operate short Caribbean cruises from Miami
through the end of July. "So we wouldn't be going [to Cuba] until the
end of July, beginning of August, assuming we get permission from the
Cuban government."
The 1,602-passenger Empress, which previously sailed for Spanish cruise
line Pullmantur, is in drydock through the end of May.
Carnival Corp. began sailing to Cuba in early May via its Fathom brand.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has also expressed interest in Cuba,
possibly using an Oceania Cruises ship.

Source: Royal Caribbean still waiting on Cuba: Travel Weekly -
http://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/Royal-Caribbean-still-waiting-on-Cuba Continue reading
Cuba's Shameful Friends / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez
05/25/2016 04:49 pm ET | Updated 10 hours ago
Yoani Sanchez
Publisher of 14ymedio, independent newspaper in Cuba

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 25 May 2016 - People with
whom we share sorrows and joys are a reflection of ourselves, however
different they may appear. As friends we choose them to accompany us,
but also to complete us, with the diversity and continuity that our
human nature needs. The problem is when our choices of coexistence are
not based on affinities and preferences, but on interests and alliances
focused on annoying others.

In the same week, the Cuban executive has embraced two deplorable
authoritarian regimes. A few hours after Cuban Vice President Miguel
Diaz-Canel Bermudez met with government functionaries in Belarus,
Havana's Plaza of the Revolution hosted a meeting between Raul Castro
and a special representative from North Korea's Workers Party.
Disgraceful comrades, shamelessly embraced and praised by the island's
officialdom.

In a world where civil society, calls for the respect for human rights,
and movements that promote the recognition of rights are making
themselves heard ever more loudly, it is difficult for the Cuban
government to explain his good relations with Europe's last dictator and
with the cruelly capricious grandson who inherited power through his
bloodline. What united the island's authorities with similar political
specimens?

The only possible answer is sticking their finger in the eye of Western
democracies and the White House. The problem with this attitude lies in
the demands from these fellow travelers for commitments and silences.
Diplomatic friendship is converted into complicity and the comrades end
up defining the nature of those who have chosen their company.

Source: Cuba's Shameful Friends / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez -
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoani-sanchez/cubas-shameful-friends--1_b_10134002.html Continue reading
Connecting to Cuba: Accomodations
Jake Whittenberg , wsts2 3:05 PM. PDT May 25, 2016

It's just a 45-minute flight from Miami to Havana, but it's a world away.

When we landed at Jose Marti International Airport (HAV), I noticed my
cell phone with Verizon service switches to Cubacel. I was able to make
calls in Cuba back to the states, but it's $2.99/min. WiFi is only
available in certain hotels. The Cuban people don't have access to the
internet, unlike the government, and American credit cards do not work.

When I got off the plane, the line for customs was very fast actually.
(Aside from the few moments when the power went out, and we thought we
were stuck.)

After showing my journalist visa and passport, I was asked about any
recent illnesses or trips to Africa; then that was that. My bags were
never searched, and I was never asked any other questions.

I exchanged my money to the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) which is almost
1:1. From the airport, there were a lot of people gathered outside,
waiting for loved ones to visit. But there were also a lot of Cubans
hoping to earn a dollar from the tourists getting off the airplane.

My taxi ride from the airport opened my eyes to Cuba right away. My cab
driver spoke English, and also served as an excellent tour guide during
our drive.

There are a lot of Cubans trying to make extra money by renting out a
room or a house to tourists. I stayed with Jorge Luis Onidina in his
house along the seawall in Havana. He was incredibly gracious and
accommodating. The Cubans are very hospitable and kind-hearted. My room
was comfortable and cost $60 CUC/night. (I found out later that is
actually a little high)

After I woke up every morning, Jorge would offer me an espresso. Being
from Seattle, I love good coffee. Jorge could have dialed back on the
sugar, but I appreciated the gesture. Again, the Cubans are very caring.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are booking a hotel online you can do that, but
MAKE SURE YOU BRING CASH TO PAY FOR IT. Right now, Cuba is not connected
to American banks. So, just because you enter your credit card online to
book your room, it is not paid for until you get there. Cuba is still a
cash economy, so remember that when scheduling a trip.

To get around, I mostly took taxi cabs. In populated areas they are
everywhere and easy to hail. To find one from Jorge's house in the
suburbs, I had to be more patient or ask him to call a local friend to
give me a ride. I was given a tip to only use the yellow taxis because
they are owned by the government and drivers won't try to scam you. The
cost to get to and from the airport was $25 CUC. Most shorter rides were
$10-$20.

If you are traveling a short distance in areas like La Habana Vieja (Old
Havana), try to hop in one of the classic American cars. The Cubans
offer taxi rides in them to tourists for extra money. They are
everywhere and fun to see their interiors. See the classic cars section
for more.

Because a lot of the cars are rebuilt using local parts, I found a lot
of cars spew a lot of exhaust. Sometimes on a busy morning, the major
roads got incredibly busy. Cubans drive with the windows up and the
air-conditioning on.

And although my first cabbie spoke English, it's not very common. So
brush up on your Espanol!

Source: Connecting to Cuba: Accomodations | NWCN.com -
http://www.nwcn.com/news/local/connecting-to-cuba-accomodations/215104848 Continue reading
Bartenders Are Winning Cuba's Embrace of Capitalism, and Doctors Are Losing
By Henry Grabar

Cuban state employees are abandoning their jobs for high-paying,
private-sector gigs—in Cuba. As bartenders, bellhops, and taxi drivers.

The growth of the Cuban private sector over the past two decades has
created some serious imbalances between skills and pay: A bartender with
some generous foreign customers could make more in tips in a weekend
than a doctor, each of whom is employed by the Cuban government, does in
a month.

A new reform could exacerbate that issue. Cuba will soon legalize small-
and medium-sized private businesses, according to an economic
development plan approved by the Cuban Communist Party Congress last
month. The 32-page document hit newsstands in Havana on Tuesday,
according to the Associated Press, and offers the first glimpse of the
reforms approved at April's five-year CCP meeting. It comes on the heels
of President Obama's historic trip to Cuba in March, and the relaxing of
the U.S. embargo.

The CCP hasn't released many details, but the plans have been the works
for some time, says Richard Feinberg, a professor at the University of
California-San Diego and the author of Open for Business: Building the
New Cuban Economy. It will soon be possible for Cuba's self-employed,
known as cuentapropistas, to incorporate their operations, easing the
way toward working with Cuban banks, foreign investors, and state-owned
companies. Small businesses will be the vanguard of the market economy
in Cuba, while bigger industries remain under state control.

Some private enterprise—including small restaurants, guesthouses,
construction trades, and taxis—is already legal in Cuba; a good deal
more occurs on the margins of the law. About half a million Cubans have
self-employment licenses; as many as a million Cubans may have some
illegal or informal involvement in the private sector.

"Up until now, the whole private sector was under something of a
cloud—something that was tolerated, a way to sop up some unemployment,"
Feinberg says. The CCP document, in contrast to your classic Fidelista
pronunciations, affirms the positive contributions of private property.
Capitalism!

In some cases, anyway. Authorized private enterprise in Cuba currently
includes the sale of food and drink, the production and sale of
handcrafts, transportation, room rentals, construction, and some
services. But private professional activities—anything that requires a
college degree, basically—aren't legal yet. Engineers and lawyers, for
example, aren't yet allowed to have their own practices. If they do have
a side gig, it's by operating without (or with an inaccurate) license
and with the aide of mulas, who smuggle in supplies like printer ink
from abroad. It's not uncommon for a university professor to do tutoring
in the evenings, or a state-employed architect to have his or her own
clients outside the office.

The 200-plus legal means of self-employment in Cuba are themselves
severely restricted. Rules on property ownership would prevent the owner
of a successful guesthouse, or casa particular, from buying the house
next door, for example. The owners of paladares, Havana's chic private
restaurants, make their own menus and set their own prices—but the state
limits their size to 50 seats. When I visited Cuba last summer, one
entrepreneur, who runs a hip private cafe amid the state-run tourist
restaurants of Old Havana, told me he wasn't even allowed to put up a
sign outside.

Still, tourism is where the money is. Most emerging opportunities for
new business are directly or indirectly related to tourism, says Jorge
Duany, the director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida
International University. Because of Cuba's dual currency system—state
wages are paid in Cuban pesos (CUP), while private businesses can take
in the vastly more valuable convertible pesos (CUC)—the country has seen
a flood of professionals into the private sector, and into tourism in
particular. "People who have higher degrees are less remunerated than
people with less education, who are able to participate in this growing
private business sector," Duany says.

So the reforms will do two things: further liberalize the country's
existing, tourist-focused private sector, which is limited to a list of
jobs proscribed by the government. That will help Cuba prepare to meet
the growing influx of American tourists. (Already, there aren't enough
tables at Havana's private restaurants to go around.) But it will also
increase the flow of professionally trained Cubans into better-paying,
nonprofessional employment.

Is it a waste of a good socialized education to have economists giving
tours and driving cabs? Probably.

On the other hand, there's only so much prestige in a white-collar job.
"Baking cakes can be fun," Feinberg says. "Maybe more fun than being a
chemical engineer."

And it pays better too.

Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate's Moneybox.

Source: Cuba reforms business laws, but not for professionals -
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/05/25/cuba_reforms_business_laws_but_not_for_professionals.html Continue reading
Un informe al Congreso revela cuánto se podría ahorrar eliminando beneficios Continue reading
"Lo sucedido en el departamento del Amazonas es una muestra clara de los peligros que corren los extranjeros al intentar cruzar nuestro país de forma irregular", dijo el jefe de Migración Colombia. Continue reading
La cifra fue calculada por el Congressional Budget Office, una oficina que provee datos económicos a los legisladores. Continue reading
La agenda del mandatario popular no incluye por ahora ningún encuentro con el general Raúl Castro Continue reading
Lawton, La Habana, Juan González Febles, (PD) Desde horas de la madrugada del 24 de mayo de 2016, fuerzas combinadas de la policía Seguridad del Estado (DSE) y uniformados supuestamente miembros de la llamada Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR) rodearon la sede nacional del Movimiento Damas de Blanco (MDB) ubicada en […] Continue reading
La compañía de cruceros Royal Caribbean International informó que la todavía está en proceso de obtener el permiso para navegar a Cuba, según reportó el sitio Travel Weekly. El grupo dijo que probablemente utilizará para estos viajes a la línea Empress of the Seas. "Estamos en el proceso de hablar con diversas autoridades (...) para obtener los diferentes permisos necesarios", dijo el directivo de Royal Caribbean, Michael Bayley a... Continue reading

El diario Cayman Compass dedicó el pasado martes un editorial a la crisis migratoria cubana, en el que cuestionó las repatriciones y la manera en que las autoridades la enfrentan.

leer más

Continue reading
Dos grupos de 14 y 13 respectivamente llegaron a los cayos Islamorada y Ballast Key; llamadas de familiares angustiados indican que otros diez grupos no han llegado. Continue reading

Las autoridades migratorias de Colombia detuvieron a 157 extranjeros, de ellos 13 cubanos que permanecían de forma ilegal en el país, en controles rutinarios en las carreteras y los pasos fronterizos, informaron hoy fuentes oficiales citadas por un reporte de EFE.

leer más

Continue reading

Con decenas de asientos sin ocupar, la compañía Danza Contemporánea de Cuba estrenó el fin de semana, en la Sala García Lorca del Gran Teatro de La Habana, The listening room (Aula de audición), la nueva pieza del coreógrafo británico Theo Clinkard.

leer más

Continue reading

El secretario general de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), Luis Almagro, anunció el miércoles que la próxima semana presentará el informe del organismo sobre la situación humanitaria, de Derechos Humanos, institucional y de gestión pública de Venezuela, reportó Europa Press.

leer más

Continue reading