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Daily Archives: September 4, 2016

Las fuerzas policiales del régimen arrestaron este domingo a varios activistas de la campaña #TodosMarchamos, del Foro por los Derechos y Libertades (ForoDyL), cuando salían de la sede de las Damas de Blanco, según informó a DIARIO DE CUBA la activista Ailer González.

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Si está pensando enviar un mensaje de solo texto deseándole a un amigo una “feliz convivencia” con su familia o que no se someta a “la dictadura del trabajo”, es … Click to Continue » Continue reading
The founder of the largest issuing CRA for telecom and the highest credit scoring consumer since the invention of the computer, David Howe endorses Credit Karma SAN FRANCISCO, CA, U.S.A., September 4, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ -- “I’ve been a Credit Karma … Continue reading

Una decena de opositores han hecho pública un carta dirigida a Guillermo Fariñas para que abandone la huelga de hambre y sed, que llega este domingo a los 45 días.

"Somos tus hermanos de lucha, queremos lo mismo que tú estás demandando, pero te necesitamos vivo, para que sigas este camino con nosotros hasta obtener la libertad", dicen los opositores en la misiva. 

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La directora de Revolución y Cultura, Luisa Campuzano, se ha negado a declarar a The New York Times sobre las circunstancias del despido reciente de Yanelys Núñez Leyva, licenciada en Historia del Arte y miembro del proyecto artístico de reciente creación Museo de la Disidencia en Cuba. Núñez Leyva fue despedida al considerar la dirección de la revi

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14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Larada, Havana, 4 September 2016 – After the heavy rains that have hit western Cuba in recent days, many residents of the capital fear an increase in the number of building collapses. Denise Rodriguez Cedeno, 54, a resident Luz Street, between Egido and Curacao, in Old Havana, placed her family’s belongings in the … Continue reading "A Family Puts Its Belongings In The Street Amid Fears Their House Will Collapse / 14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada" Continue reading
… his daughter Sophia headed to Havana. Keane Daly and Taimairie Locke … Cuba." Most of the non-official passengers on Flight 387 were Cuban-Americans — among the nearly 400,000 who already visit family in Cuba … , a concession to take over Havana'sJose Marti airport, where … Continue reading
El periódico advierte que en Cuba ser un disidente puede provocar problemas, como ser expulsado del trabajo, detenido o agredido. Continue reading
… his daughter Sophia headed to Havana. Keane Daly and Taimairie Locke … Cuba." Most of the non-official passengers on Flight 387 were Cuban-Americans — among the nearly 400,000 who already visit family in Cuba … , a concession to take over Havana'sJose Marti airport, where … Continue reading
A 46 días de la huelga de hambre, y ante el deterioro acelerado de su salud, disidentes cubanos hacen pública una carta en la que piden al Premio Sajarov que ponga fin a la protesta para salvaguardar su vida. Continue reading
14ymedio, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Santiago de Chile, 28 August 2016 – I have arrived in the country in the middle of a cacophony, fortunately peaceful and civilized. It is Sunday, and tens of thousands of people are protesting against the AFPs. They complain about the “Pension Fund Administrators,” a retirement system founded on individual capital … Continue reading "Chile Returns To Its Old Populist Ways / 14ymedio, Carlos Alberto Montaner" Continue reading
La superestrella de la música pop Madonna envió tres mensajes por Twitter para repasar los mejores momentos de su visita a Cuba y agradecer a los cubanos que le hayan … Click to Continue » Continue reading
Yarelis Barrios: ‘El único doping que conozco es el sol que he cogido en la pista’ DDC | La Habana | 4 de Septiembre de 2016 – 17:56 CEST. La discóbola Yarelis Barrios, a quien el jueves se le retiró la medalla de plata de los Juegos Olímpicos de Pekín 2008 por dar positivo en […] Continue reading
Agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración exigirían a los cubanos entre $2.000 y $2.500 dólares para obtener un salvoconducto que les permita continuar viaje hacia la frontera con Estados Unidos. Continue reading
La Sociedad Cubana para la Promoción de las Fuentes Renovables de Energía y el Respeto Ambiental (Cubasolar) y la Unión Española Fotovoltaica (Unef) acordaron en La Habana intercambiar experiencias e … Click to Continue » Continue reading

El Foro Antitotalitario Unido, (FANTU) que lidera Guillermo Fariñas, denunció este domingo que la policía política amenazó el sábado al opositor José Ramón Borges, editor del blog de la organización Producciones Nacan y residente en Miami desde 2014.

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… from the U.S. to Cuba, and eight airlines are approved … effort to normalize relations with Cuba. Carla Robbins, an adjunct senior … from the U.S. to Cuba, and eight airlines are approved … effort to normalize relations with Cuba. Carla Robbins, an adjunct senior … Continue reading

La discóbola Yarelis Barrios, a quien el jueves se le retiró la medalla de plata de los Juegos Olímpicos de Pekín 2008 por dar positivo en unas pruebas de doping, negó este domingo que haya tomado sustancias conscientemente para mejorar sus resultados deportivos. "Estoy segura que no tomé nada", apuntó.

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“El único doping que conozco es el sol que he cogido en la pista y las pesas que he levantado en mi vida”, aseguró en una entrevista, y dijo sentirse disgustada con el INDER. Continue reading

Yosmany Mayeta Labrada

Tras las fuertes lluvias que han azotado el occidente cubano durante los últimos días, muchos de los residente de la capital temen un aumento en el número de derrumbes. Dionisia Rodríguez Cedeño, de 54 años y vecina de la calle Luz, entre Egido y Curazao, en La Habana Vieja, colocó este sábado las pertenencias de su familia en la vía pública tras desplomarse parte del techo de su casa.

Quienes pasan por la concurrida calle, enclavada en el centro histórico, pueden ver maletines con ropa amontonados a las afueras de una edificación, enseres de cocina y un ventilador. La familia de Rodríguez Cedeño tomó la decisión de permanecer por horas a la intemperie, en protesta por la falta de respuesta de las instituciones encargadas de asignarles materiales para reparar el inmueble.

El mal estado de la vivienda se agravó con el temporal de intensas lluvias, vinculado a la novena depresión tropical de la actual temporada de ciclones. Un fenómeno meteorológico que provocó en el occidente y centro de la Isla intensas lluvias e inundaciones moderadas en la localidad costera de Surgidero de Batabanó.

Con más de 35 años residiendo en el lugar, Rodríguez Cedeño trabaja en la Empresa de Servicios Comunales y comentó a 14ymedio que sus problemas habitacionales comenzaron “desde el año 2003, pero no he recibido respuesta de nadie”. Su situación roza en estos momentos con el desespero.

[[QUOTE:Dionisia Ridríguez: "Desde hace 13 años estoy pidiendo a través de un dictamen técnico una reparación para mi casa, pero siempre me han dicho que no hay materiales”]]Una angustia que la ha llevado a presionar a las autoridades también con la advertencia de que no enviará a las nietas al colegio el próximo lunes, cuando comienza en todo el país el curso escolar, al no contar con condiciones para garantizarles “un hogar”.

"Desde hace 13 años estoy pidiendo a través de un dictamen técnico una reparación para mi casa, pero siempre me han dicho que no hay materiales”, cuenta. En otras ocasiones, Rodríguez Cedeño  ha optado por “reparar con recursos propios” pero el deterioro económico de la familia, compuesta por “cuatro mujeres y dos niñas que padecen asma crónica", le ha impedido seguir ocupándose en solitario de los arreglos.

Luego de varias horas en que las mujeres se mantuvieron con sus pertenencias en plena vía, la autoridades del Consejo de la Administración  Municipal (CAM) de La Habana Vieja llegaron al lugar, para conocer los daños ocurridos en la vivienda y llamarlas a la calma. Decenas de personas, especialmente extranjeros de paso por la ciudad, filmaban lo que sucedía.

Los directivos del CAM, explicaron que la familia sería ubicada en una Comunidad de Tránsito (Albergue) por alrededor de siete días y luego llevada hacia una vivienda habitable en otra comunidad, para personas cuyas casas han sido declaradas inhabitables o se han derrumbado.

[[QUOTE:Estas vecinas de La Habana Vieja han pasado a formar parte de las 33.889 familias que a lo largo de todo el país necesitan un hogar]]Rodríguez Cedeño han pasado toda la noche entre la calle y la semiderruida vivienda, a la espera de que este domingo las autoridades cumplan su palabra. Advierten que de no darse una solución duradera a su caso, plantarán “otra vez la casa en plena calle”.

En su actual situación, estas vecinas de La Habana Vieja han pasado a formar parte de las 33.889 familias (132.699 personas) que a lo largo de todo el país necesitan un hogar, muchas de las cuales llevan décadas viviendo en albergues para damnificados. El censo de población de 2012, arrojó que el 60% de las 3,9 millones de viviendas que existen en la Isla están en mal estado.

Durante la última sesión de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en julio pasado, los diputados reunidos en la comisión permanente de Industria, Construcciones y Energía, coincidieron en que “el problema habitacional constituye la primera necesidad social en Cuba”.  Los parlamentarios criticaron la “falta de coordinación, integración y prioridad” a nivel municipal a la hora de gestionar las demandas de la población en cuanto a solicitud de materiales y permisos constructivos.

En el primer semestre de este año al menos 90.652 personas que han recibido subsidios para labores constructivas se han presentado en las tiendas de venta de materiales. Sin embargo, solo 52.000 han podido comprar la totalidad de las asignaciones, debido al desabastecimiento de producto claves como acero, bloques, muebles sanitarios, baldosas y tejas.

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Construirán siete parques eólicos con el objetivo de lograr una mayor participación de las fuentes renovables de energía en la producción de electricidad, que actualmente solo es del 4 por ciento. Continue reading
El popular escritor cubano reflexiona en entrevista con BBC Mundo sobre la influencia mundial de su país y los retos que enfrenta de cara al futuro. Continue reading
Report: Phone and Internet Service in Cuba, How it Works / Anne Nelson

Graphic from the report: Click to enlarge to make it more readable.
http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/etecsaservicesdiagram.png

Download the report here: CUBA'S PARALLEL WORLDS: DIGITAL MEDIA CROSSES
THE DIVIDE
By Anne Nelson
http://www.cima.ned.org/resource/cubas-parallel-world-digital-media-crosses-divide/

Note: Translating Cuba posts this graphic and the link to the larger
report, as we post everything on our site, without any "guarantee" that
what the authors say is accurate or even true. However this report is
getting good reviews by people "in the know," and the graphic appears to
be an excellent and easy to understand summary of the current formal
arrangements for phone service and internet in Cuba.

Source: Report: Phone and Internet Service in Cuba, How it Works / Anne
Nelson – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/report-phone-and-internet-service-in-cuba-how-it-works-anne-nelson/ Continue reading
El éxodo inacabable: ¿Cuántos cubanos han emigrado en los últimos 20 años? NORA GÁMEZ TORRES ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com Cifras oficiales cubanas indican que cerca de 660 mil cubanos emigraron desde la llamada “Crisis de los Balseros” en 1994 hasta el 2015, pero algunos expertos consideran que el éxodo en las dos últimas décadas pudiera acercarse al millón […] Continue reading
El gobierno de la isla decretó un duelo oficial el lunes, 5 de septiembre, por el fallecimiento del dictador de Uzbekistán Islam Karimov. Continue reading

El papa Francisco proclamó este domingo santa a la madre Teresa de Calcuta, quien dedicó su vida a los pobres, en una misa de canonización celebrada este domingo en la plaza de San Pedro del Vaticano ante unos 100.000 fieles, reporta AFP.

"Proclamamos a la beata Teresa de Calcuta santa y la inscribimos entre los santos, decretando que sea venerada como tal por toda la Iglesia", declaró el papa Francisco, quien pronunció en latín la frase de canonización ritual.

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La revista The New Yorker aborda en un artículo del periodista Jon Lee Anderson —biógrafo del Che—, aparecido en una reciente edición, la situación actual de los fugitivos estadounidenses en Cuba en el marco de aproximación diplomática entre ambos gobiernos.

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… several questions though. Firstly, is Cuba ready? Travel expert Peter Greenberg … not Havana was telling too, he said, adding that the Cuban government … will become Starwood stays; in Havana the Hotel Inglaterra will be … in Cuba supports the regime and in particular the Cuban military,… Continue reading
… open a representative office in Cuba, becoming the first bank from … have been reluctant to enter Cuba partly because of the risk … can bring heavy fines. The Cuban central bank's website … a U.S. opening to Cuba, Washington removed a barrier to … Continue reading
Lessons From Myanmar / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila

14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, Yangon, Myanmar, 2 September 2016 — During his
visit to Cuba, US President Barack Obama mentioned the changes in Burma
(now Myanmar) as an example of the most recent democratic transition
from a fierce military dictatorship that lasted over half a century.

Since then, the idea of an exchange between the opposition and Cuban
civil society and their counterparts in Myanmar was developed. Today
this political and cultural contact is a reality full of very valuable
lessons that can only be appreciated by seeing how changes take place
and are managed in real time, the interactions between contending forces
and their interests, the pros and cons, the alliances and the ruptures,
the shared joys and disappointments of a frustrating process, which many
say, is just beginning.

From the air, the tremendous difference in infrastructure and
development in Myanmar and, for example, its neighbor Thailand, is
remarkable. It is like when you leave Miami and then fly over Cuba. It
is clear that this country was left out of the democratic, educational
and technological changes that catapulted the so-called Asian Tigers.

At a time when those countries focused on global integration with
millions of young people ready to conquer the art of creating products
and services on a grand scale, Myanmar's military dictatorship chose
total ostracism, shutting off the country like a strongbox to avoid any
"foreign influence." It always tried to keep the county semi-enslaved in
the service of an army that, like an octopus, controlled the social,
economic and spiritual life of this nation, located exactly on the other
side of the world.

At the airport, going through immigration is somewhat tense because the
military is not yet entirely accustomed to looking at tourists as
ordinary people. To alleviate this problem they have thoroughly replaced
all possible customs and immigration clerks, placing in these positions
young people who are a lot more open and unprejudiced, and who even smile.

Myanmar currently receives just over a million tourists a year, an
insignificant figure not only compared to its neighbors, but in
proportion to its nearly 60 million inhabitants. This figure, however,
is growing due to democratic changes, which in turn attract many investors.

Currency exchange offices accept the US dollar, the euro and the
Singapore dollar, but in order to pay for anything in any one of these
currencies, you have to be sure the bill is not the least bit wrinkled,
because they won't accept it. And don't panic if you see people spitting
out a red substance on the street. It is not blood, but rather a pigment
that comes from a mix of herbs and is constantly chewed, as in Bolivia.

On the streets of Yangon there are no motorbikes. Here superstitions are
very important even when making policy decisions. In a nearby country it
happened that there was a wave of crime in which the criminals used
motorbikes to move around and perpetuate attacks, so the military junta
completely banned them in the capital "just in case."

In Myanmar men wear a kind of wide skirt that is adjusted through a knot
just below the navel, without underwear. Women are often seen adjusting
the typical costume that covers them from the ankles to the neck, an
elegant garment emphasizing the sensuous curves of a perfect waist, as
described by George Orwell in his novel Burmese Days.

They are as thin "as sticks" with shapely legs and smooth hair that
falls in perfect shapes… no thanks to the gym or expensive treatments,
but from a traditional diet based on vegetables, plus genetics and a
life marked from childhood by hard work.

Incredibly decent and helpful, one and all, the citizens of Myanmar grab
your heart with their extraordinary mixture of simplicity and nobility,
probably a reflection of the basic teachings of Buddhism, among which
one stands out in particular: "We must live to give love, not only to
our friends, but also to our enemies."

Although the country is an infinite melting pot of ethnicities and
religions, Buddhism predominates as a belief, significantly influencing
the moral base and value system that rules society. The presence of the
monks and their temples (pagodas) is everywhere. You cannot touch the
monks and much less can they touch a woman. They, however, can touch you
at will.

The monks are greatly venerated and were the protagonists in several of
the largest protests against the abuses of the military power and in
support of changing the terrible economic situation of the country. The
majority of these demonstrations were held in the late eighties and were
called the Saffron Revolution, after the color of the monks' clothing.
Many of them were sent to prison and served long sentences as political
prisoners.

In general, those who were young students in 1988 are called "Generation
88," in memory of the heroic attitude that many of these boys, some of
them mere children, assumed in defense of their country and their
rights, paying a high cost in innocent lives at the hands of the armed
forces.

That sacrifice laid the foundation for the process that is happening
today in the country, overthrowing for the first time the one-party
military rule in that year. There then emerged 235 political parties,
which were more or less consolidated into 91 ahead of the 1990
elections, the first competitive elections since 1948.

The National League for Democracy (LND), which already had more than
three million members (of which, one million are women), swept the
elections getting a historic triumph that gave them the capacity to
govern, but the defeated military didn't go along, they broke the rules,
ignored the election results and imprisoned the leaders of the winning
party, among them its leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

With this coup, the military frustrated the aspirations of the whole
nation for freedom and progress, but that would be temporary.

In 2011, after the release of Aung San and thousands of political
prisoners, new elections were called, but several of the most
influential parties chose not to participate, citing the obvious lack of
confidence in the military and demanding a change in the Constitution to
offer real guarantees to civil parties.

The constitution is the legal instrument that guarantees the supremacy
of the military class, still today. The constitution establishes that
25% of the seats in parliament are reserved for the military, regardless
of the results of the election. The trap closes completely with the
provision, in addition, that the constitution can only be changed with
more than 75% of the votes, so it is mathematically impossible to modify
anything, no matter how small, without the consent of the military.

Not satisfied with this, the constitution gives the military permanent
control of the country's most important ministries: Borders, Armed
Forces and the most strategic, Interior. This latter entity, in addition
to the usual functions of controlling order, in Myanmar also controls
all public administration, a great part of the economy, and also
education. The decisions of the military in these institutions are
virtually autonomous and unquestionable.

For these reasons, although the country is very happy with the second
victory of the NLD in 2015 and the rise to power of Aung San, many
believe that as long as the military holds on to all that power they
will not have a true democracy.

Aung San and her party assumed from the beginning a conciliatory
attitude, trying to reach agreements with the military leadership that
will directly benefit citizens, and working so that the country can
begin to emerge from its deep poverty, making it easier and offering
guarantees for both foreign investment and internal trade.

These negotiations have been possible in part because the current top
leader of the military and Aung San have a certain personal empathy and
have maintained a constructive dialogue. This aspect was strongly
criticized by other political parties and many civil society
organizations, who demand clarifications and that the military take
responsibility for its crimes, as well as the release of political
prisoners who remain in jail.

Many of these prisoners were sanctioned for "resistance" against
attempts of certain members of military or their associates to take away
all or part of their land.

Beyond these issues, thorny and inconclusive, there are hundreds of
examples of positive transformations that quickly began to empower
people, especially young people. In 2012, a SIM card for a cellphone
cost about $1,000. Today you can buy one for just $1.50 and it provides
completely free access to the internet, creating overnight more than 10
million internet users ravenously exploring the web, creating new ways
to organize and discuss issues that previously didn't exist. In Myanmar,
as in Cuba, meeting with others without permission from the military
junta was prohibited.

Another important change was to eliminate the tax demanded by the
military of 100% on the purchase value from anyone who acquired a
vehicle. This was reduced to between 3% and 5%, which has facilitated
the importation of millions of light trucks and buses for public
transport. This measure represents an accelerator for the growing
economy that is trying to flourish, but which in turn poses great
challenges of infrastructure, because at certain times the city
collapses in traffic jams of a size never expected or imagined.

Impressive and positive is also the great work being done in the country
through hundreds of supportive organizations and NGOs which, along with
the new authorities, are contributing their experience on issues of all
kinds: entrepreneurship, agriculture, digital commerce, the broad-based
development of women, political participation, mediation in ethnic
conflicts, issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, water
purification and conservation, etc., through training in systems
provided not only in the capital but in the most remote villages of the
14 states that make up the vast territory of the country.

All this cooperation has also contributed to statistical studies,
surveys and research to bring to light for the first time in history the
true picture of the country in very sensitive areas such as human
trafficking, the sex trade of children, drugs, discrimination,
recruitment of children by ethnic guerrillas, etc., so that from this
information the state can implement programs and make decisions to
improve the situation.

The media, now much more free, foster discussions of all these issues
and put pressure on the authorities from their platforms, both physical
and digital. The young people working on a Yangon newspaper talk about
the official media after the change, saying "nobody recognizes them,"
because "they changed their stale and censored discourse for another
kind of more dynamic journalism, objective and real; they are now
becoming real competitors for us."

This shows that journalism's heart was always beating, but it was
subjugated by a regime that annulled it and appeared more before the people.

The young Burmese man who acted as my translator said, "For me, the most
important thing is that people are no longer afraid, they laugh now,
before they were serious, now they dream of work and prosperity; before,
most young people regretted being born here… For myself, I'm not going
anywhere now!"

Source: Lessons From Myanmar / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila – Translating
Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/lessons-from-myanmar-14ymedio-eliecer-avila/ Continue reading
El mayor banco del Golfo Pérsico será el primero de la región petrolera en aterrizar en la Isla Continue reading
Cast and celebrities will celebrate the World Premiere of the lavish new film adaptation Sept 8th in partnership with the Henrik Ibsen Museum and the Festival. BRISTOL, SOMERSET, UNITED KINGDOM, August 29, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Leading cast and crew … Continue reading
BET Hip Hop Awards Host Nominees Show Date ATLANTA, GA, USA, September 6, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The BET “HipHop Awards” 2016 will be taped on Saturday, September 17th, at its new venue, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA, and will … Continue reading
Los residentes del Luz 459 denuncian el mal estado de sus viviendas Continue reading
… open a representative office in Cuba, becoming the first bank from … have been reluctant to enter Cuba partly because of the risk … can bring heavy fines. The Cuban central bank's website … a U.S. opening to Cuba, Washington removed a barrier to … Continue reading
14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, Yangon, Myanmar, 2 September 2016 — During his visit to Cuba, US President Barack Obama mentioned the changes in Burma (now Myanmar) as an example of the most recent democratic transition from a fierce military dictatorship that lasted over half a century. Since then, the idea of an exchange between the opposition … Continue reading "Lessons From Myanmar / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila" Continue reading
A la espera de mi ‘vuelo histórico’ ALEJANDRO ARMENGOL El periodista Michael Weissenstein acaba de realizar lo que considera un “vuelo histórico”. Lastima que para otros estadounidenses la posibilidad de llevar a cabo un viaje similar, con iguales facilidades, no deja de ser una ilusión. Weissenstein, jefe de la oficina de prensa de la Associated […] Continue reading
¿Cuba sin Instituto Goethe? Tras largos preparativos, el acuerdo cultural entre Alemania y Cuba parecía listo para ser firmado. Pero el gobierno cubano se resiste a permitir el establecimiento de una sede del Instituto Goethe en la isla. El pasado mes de mayo, cuando viajó a Berlín el ministro cubano de Asuntos Exteriores, Bruno Rodríguez […] Continue reading
Foreign Construction Workers in Cuba
September 3, 2016
Why is the Cuban government importing skilled workers for jobs that
Cuban residents could do?
By Cubaencuentro

HAVANA TIMES — In an interview architect Alexander Machado Garcia,
director of Investments at the Cuban Ministry of Economy and Planning,
pointed out:

"Along with favoring the participation of independent workers and
non-agricultural cooperatives, which made up 6% of the builders on last
year's construction projects, today the figure has increased to 9%, with
the growth mainly in maintenance projects. Furthermore, foreign contract
workers are being introduced onto the scene in the current investment
project at Santiago de Cuba's Port."

Foreign contractors who work in Cuba made the news recently when their
pictures appeared in newspapers around the world, while they were
working at the Manzana de Gomez Hotel projet in the heart of Havana.

However, the presence of foreign builders in such projects isn't just a
simple anecdote or the headline of a newspaper.

"Currently, we have 352 [foreign workers] hired and working not only on
the Manzana Hotel project but on other construction sites here in the
capital and in Varadero too. (…) By the end of this year, this figure
should increase to about 1100, nearly 1300 in total, where there will
also be approximately 200 Chinese workers working on electrical and
swimming pool installations. (…) There are other foreign workers but in
the technical advice side of things, and theyre not treated the same as
the Indians and Chinese. (…) The minimum salary is $1,500 USD a month,
and the highest is $2,500 USD, plus work clothes, food, healthcare,
transfers and accommodations," an employee affirmed in line with the
findings of the article published.

The expansion project at Santiago de Cuba's port, which is estimated to
take three years with 100 million USD in investment, carried out by the
Cuban government and a Chinese company, aims to develop a 230 meter
loading dock, with the capacity for allowing boats carrying up to 55,000
tonnes to dock, as well as warehouses and support infrastructure. Once
this construction project is completed, Santiago de Cuba will have the
country's second deepwater port. Building this project has been possible
thanks to a loan from the Chinese company, according to an agreement
signed by Chinese president, Xi Jinping, in 2014.

Many factors have come into play and contributed to the fact that Cuba
is resorting to hiring foreign workers to carry out these different
projects. When they have to give explanations, they repeat that this
decision has been made by the foreign investors, which is now permitted
under the new investment law, which favors contracting foreign workers.
Since investment figures and contributions of the parties always remain
hazy in Cuba, any analysis is in fact speculation to a great extent,
however, by placing this decision in foreign hands, under the principle
that whoever is paying, gives the orders, and doesn't always match
what's going on in reality.

It's possible that in the case of the Santiago de Cuba project, the
Chinese company is following the common plan of action that they've
implemented in their investments found in other parts of the world,
including Chinese citizens in their construction projects. However, with
regard to the well-known Manzana de Gomez project, the Cuban military
consortium GAESA is responsible for financing this project, which has
entrusted this work to the construction companies Union de
Construcciones Militares (UCM) and the French company Bouygues Batiment
International (BBI).

It was the French company that brought in the Indian workers, which
appear to also be working in Varadero, and they're even planning on
increasing this figure, all of this in mutual agreement with the Cuban
government.

In the case of the Manzana de Gomez hotel, this decision has been taken
so as to resolve problems with delays, robberies and poor quality work
[from Cuban employees]. It must be seen as an example of the chaos and
inefficiency of today's Cuban economy, whose causes are both political
and ideological, but also includes others. What lies behind this
initiative to look abroad for what we should have in Cuba not only shows
great disdain for the Cuban people, but also the widespread inability to
find solutions to problems.

First of all, you have to define the context of this situation. Any of
these Indian workers is earning up to ten times more than what a Cuban
gets paid for doing the same job. However, that doesn't mean to say that
there aren't plumbers, carpenters and construction workers in Cuba who
earn more than the Indians. The only thing you need to do in order to do
this is work in the private sector.

This is nothing more than a policy of burying the state productive
sector's head in the sand, as there are no legal means to pay higher
salaries and the State – that is to say, the bureaucrats who
administrate it- are unable to go one step further and open their minds
to something that goes beyond the almost feudal mentality they have.

Meanwhile, this kind of primitive exploitation encourages the
development of not only bad working habits but criminal behavior at the
same time. And therefore, robbery, mistakes and a lack of productivity
are the by-products of the absence of motivation. It's impossible to
think that there aren't any good Cuban builders on the island when
Cubans make excellent builders across the entire world.

In allowing foreign construction workers in Cuba, who receive many times
better salaries than Cuban workers themselves do, the Cuban government
is reversing the age-old mechanism of exploitation, whereby a workforce
capable of doing the same work for less money is brought from, or simply
attracted, from overseas. Therefore, Cuba converts itself into a kind of
enigma – or a perfect hell – for somebody like Donald Trump.

We mustn't forget that, in the case of the Manzana de Gomez hotel, the
Cuban State is the investor. So, the Cuban government prefers to pay
foreigners better so they can carry on paying their citizens poorly.

However, all of this has a simple explanation and that's the fact that
our economy is constantly being subordinated to politics, which
continues to endure, despite Raul Castro's government's supposed airs of
change. And another unfortunate conclusion, for those who rule in
Havana, Cubans continue to be the last cards in the deck.

Source: Foreign Construction Workers in Cuba - Havana Times.org -
http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=120834 Continue reading
A Bold Attempt to Redefine 'Dissidence' in Cuba
Editorial Observer
By ERNESTO LONDOÑO SEPT. 3, 2016

"Dissident" is a loaded word in Cuba, a label used to discredit and
punish. Those who have embraced the term can be shut out of public jobs
and are often subjected to arbitrary detentions and beatings.

This year, with expectations reset by the normalization of relations
between Cuba and the United States, Luis Manuel Otero and Yanelis Nuñez
Leyva, a couple in Havana, figured it was time to redefine what it means
to be a dissident. They created the Museum of Dissidence in Cuba, a
website that chronicles the long line of people who have stood in
opposition to the government throughout history.

Among the dissidents they feature are President Raúl Castro and his
brother, Fidel, who took power through an armed revolt, along with
prominent leaders of modern opposition groups, who have been suppressed
by the Cuban government. The project carries an implicit message: The
current ruling class, which seems so rigidly entrenched, will most
likely be replaced one day.

Mr. Otero, who is a sculptor, has pushed the boundaries of free speech
before through performance art. But Ms. Nuñez's involvement with the
website was particularly gutsy, since she worked as a staff writer at a
magazine published by the Ministry of Culture when the site was created
in April.

"We set out to dismantle the pejorative meaning the word 'dissident' has
had in Cuba," Ms. Nuñez said in an interview. "It was designed to be a
space to generate dialogue."
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A few years ago, this act would have immediately turned its creators
into outcasts. But Ms. Nuñez said she had been hopeful that with the
culture of self-censorship and fear eroding, her supervisors might
simply look the other way. The site, after all, is not aligned with
dissident groups, nor does it challenge the government's policies directly.

In late May, though, it became clear she was in trouble. After meeting
with the vice minister of culture, Ms. Nuñez's boss told her that it
would be in her best interest to resign quietly because of her
involvement with the project. She refused and was told to take two weeks
of vacation. Before her leave was up, she was suspended without pay for
a month, pending the results of an investigation into whether she
visited websites at the office that were not relevant to her work.

On July 1, she was fired. Several Cuban state employees who have run
afoul of the government have chosen to walk away quietly. Not Ms. Nuñez,
who chose to challenge the decision.

"Even if I don't prevail, I think it's worthwhile to fight," she said.
"There's a pretense here that freedom of expression is respected. What
I'm doing could help build pressure to force them to follow the law."

Luisa Campuzano, the editor of Revolución y Cultura, the magazine that
employed Ms. Nuñez, declined to discuss her dismissal. "It's something
that's not worth talking about," Ms. Campuzano said in a brief phone
conversation.

Last month, a labor board rejected Ms. Nuñez's challenge to the
dismissal. She is now appealing her case to a municipal court, hoping it
will be assigned to a maverick judge. "The museum has a noble intent,"
she said. "If we're acting nobly, we can't be afraid."

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/opinion/sunday/moderate-republicans-unite.html?ribbon-ad-idx=11&rref=opinion&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Opinion&action=swipe&region=FixedRight&pgtype=article Continue reading
La actriz Ana de Armas dice que la ‘apertura’ de Cuba no se hace para ‘ayudar a la gente’ DDC | La Habana | 3 de Septiembre de 2016 – 18:18 CEST.| La actriz cubana Ana de Armas ha señalado que las transformaciones actuales en Cuba “no se están llevando en la dirección adecuada para […] Continue reading
El presidente del Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina reclama en Cuba la superación de ‘fragmentaciones’ DDC | La Habana | 3 de Septiembre de 2016 – 21:08 CEST. América Latina tiene que “olvidarse de las fragmentaciones y fortalecer sus procesos de integración” insistió el presidente ejecutivo del Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina-CAF durante […] Continue reading

El prospecto cubano Yoan Moncada, de 21 años, cumplió el sábado su primer juego como titular con los Medias Rojas de Boston, un día después de que debutara en las mayores saliendo desde el banquillo en una victoria 16-2 ante los Atléticos de Oakland, reporta el portal MLB.

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España, en su mayoría, pronuncia correctamente la 'Z' y la 'C' pero hay regiones en las que esta pronunciación no es exacta y se pronuncia igual que la 'S'. Continue reading
… will begin daily service to Havana, Cuba, from Atlanta, Miami and New … . All routes are subject to Cuban regulatory approval. “Today, we celebrate … flights between New York-JFK and Havana will connect the New York … to the second largest Cuban-American population, to Cuba’s political, cultural and … Continue reading