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Daily Archives: December 2, 2016

El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, comunicó este viernes que viajará a Cuba el fin de semana para despedir por segunda vez las cenizas de Fidel Castro, informa EFE.

El mandatario, que ya estuvo en La Habana al principio de la semana, hizo el anuncio de su nuevo viaje durante su discurso al inaugurar una reunión de "juventudes antimperialistas" en el trópico de Cochabamba (centro), su feudo sindical y político.

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… Key West, Florida (USA) and Havana (Cuba), confirms Deputy CEO Lars Jacob … in Havana to get the necessary green lights on the Cuban side … . The potential Key West - Havana excursion is in competition with … arrive at the center of Havana by boat after a 3 … Continue reading
Durante los últimos tres días, el cortejo fúnebre que lleva las cenizas de Fidel Castro ha recorrido Cuba a lo largo de una ruta que atraviesa cañaverales, palmas, bueyes que … Click to Continue » Continue reading
Ahora que Fidel Castro se ha ido y los jefes de estado de Canadá, México y otros países han hecho el ridículo al elogiar los supuestos logros de un dictador … Click to Continue » Continue reading
… many years that he held Cuba in bondage, tied to the … many years that he held Cuba in bondage, tied to the … Continue reading
… Images captured from Daily Mail. Cuba is on the minds of … the recent passing of Former Cuba President Fidel Castro, there is … Continue reading

(EFE).- Estados Unidos repatrió a 38 inmigrantes cubanos que intentaron llegar por mar al país y fueron interceptados por la Guardia Costera en rudimentarias embarcaciones en el Atlántico, informó hoy esa institución.

Los cubanos fueron interceptados en tres diferentes operaciones en el Estrecho de la Florida antes de tocar suelo estadounidense, y fueron repatriados a Bahía de Cabañas, en el norte de Cuba, precisó la institución en un comunicado.[[QUOTE:La Guardia Costera señaló que hasta la fecha 827 cubanos han intentado alcanzar las costas estadounidenses desde el pasado 1 de octubre]]

La Guardia Costera señaló que hasta la fecha 827 cubanos han intentado alcanzar las costas estadounidenses desde el pasado 1 de octubre.

En total, 7.411 cubanos que intentaron llegar ilegalmente a Estados Unidos por mar fueron interceptados en el año fiscal 2015-2016, que concluyó el pasado 30 de septiembre, lo que supone un aumento de 65 % respecto del anterior.

La Guardia Costera precisó que entre el 1 de octubre de 2014 y el 30 de septiembre de 2015 fueron interceptados 4.473 cubanos

Los cubanos que tocan territorio en Estados Unidos son favorecidos por la Ley de Ajuste Cubano de 1966 y su política de "pies secos/pies mojados", por lo que pueden quedarse en el país, mientras que aquellos que son interceptados antes de alcanzar la costa son deportados a la isla.

Según la Guardia Costera, la incertidumbre sobre un posible cambio de la política migratoria de Estados Unidos hacia Cuba ha disparado la llegada de inmigrantes de la isla a este país.

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El artista cubano Danilo Maldonado, más conocido como El Sexto, se declaró en huelga de hambre indefinida desde este jueves, dijo su madre María Victoria Machado. El anuncio se produce … Click to Continue » Continue reading
… of Miami's Little Havana and the non-stop coverage, replete … the revolutionary people of Cuba. It was the Cuban military that crippled … and the hostility towards Cuba. If the Cuban Revolution succeeded successive American … sought to strangle the Cuban economy, cutting Cuba's sugar export … Continue reading
Foreign desk: How Trump Can Save the Liberal Order President-elect Donald Trump thinks America’s getting a bum deal from the “prevailing international order,” notes Richard Fontaine at Foreign Affairs — yet even if he’s right, destroying it would “worsen the problems.” After all, that system led to “the longest period great-power peace in modern history,... Continue reading

Los cuatro países fundadores de MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur) —Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay y Paraguay— comunicaron a la canciller venezolana, Delcy Rodríguez, que su país cesa de ejercer sus "derechos inherentes" como Estado parte del bloque regional, tras haber incumplido las obligaciones asumidas en el Protocolo de Adhesión, según informa EFE.

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La muerte de Fidel Castro ha contribuido a aumentar la brecha que existe entre los ancianos que atestiguaron los cambios propiciados por la revolución cubana y los jóvenes que temen quedarse rezagados en pleno siglo XXI. Continue reading
Cubans in the South Florida Straits and brought them back to Cuba … September 1994, during the so-called Cuban rafter crisis. The Coast Guard … diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana in December 2014, the U … associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University … Continue reading
En 2015, Cuba recibió 3,5 millones de visitantes extranjeros y se calcula que puede alcanzar los 10 millones para 2030. La mayor parte, un 36 %, procede de Canadá, seguidos … Click to Continue » Continue reading

La Mesa de la Unidad de Acción Democrática (MUAD) denunció el fuerte operativo policial que el régimen ha desplegado a lo largo y ancho de la Isla, tras la muerte de Fidel Castro, en contra de opositores pacíficos, sindicalistas independientes y activistas de los derechos humanos.

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… was due to travel to Cuba will no longer be going … delegation to Cuba for the memorial service of former Cuban president Fidel … thoughts remain with the people Cuba during this time of mourning … to El Comandante Castro in Cuba." Members of Parliament paid … Continue reading
… many years that he held Cuba in bondage, and tied to … many years that he held Cuba in bondage, and tied to … Continue reading
… was due to travel to Cuba will no longer be going … delegation to Cuba for the memorial service of former Cuban president Fidel … thoughts remain with the people Cuba during this time of mourning … to El Comandante Castro in Cuba." Members of Parliament paid … Continue reading
The truth must be made known about this residential facility for children with autism which Neil Pollack and Patrick Paul have been in leadership. DELMAR, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 2, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ -- In January of 2001 Neil Pollack … Continue reading
… president-elect. After taking power in Havana in January 1959, when Dwight … as Cuban Americans and others around the world wonder how Cuba will … if Cuba does not make concessions along these lines, offering Cuban Americans … Cuba’s opening unleashes. Cutting off these trends would give the CubanContinue reading
HAVANA - Declaring "I feel Cuban," Argentine football great Diego Maradona has arrived in Cuba … its leader," Maradona told Cuban state television after landing late … legend visited Cuba in 1987. Maradona temporarily moved to Cuba in 2004 … Continue reading
Fueron interceptados cuando viajaban en un autobús por la zona sur del país Continue reading
La abogada cubanoamericana Yleem Poblete fue nombrada este jueves miembro del equipo de transición del presidente electo Donald Trump para el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional. Poblete, académica experta en política … Click to Continue » Continue reading

El artista gráfico Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, trasladado la noche del jueves a la unidad policial de Plaza de la Revolución procedente de Guanabacoa, está en huelga de hambre en demanda de su liberación, a casi una semana de haber sido detenido dentro de su propia vivienda.

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El exjugador también ha dicho: "Soy el representante argentino que vino a despedirlo" Continue reading

Cuba es un barco en medio del mar. Tiene todo el océano a su disposición para navegar hacia el futuro, pero como toda embarcación grande o pequeña, requiere de un timonel, un mapa, una brújula y lo principal, una fuerza que la impulse.

El timonel debe tener el pulso firme y la vista hacia delante, oteando el horizonte, guiado por el mapa y la brújula y sin entretenerse a mirar la estela dejada atrás. Para Cuba, no importa quién sea el timonel, hay un único puerto de destino: el desarrollo económico que permitirá cualquier otro tipo de desarrollo.

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Cualquier ingenuo podría afirmar que tras más de medio siglo de control totalitario sobre la sociedad, y después de operarse un aflojamiento de las tensiones en los vínculos con su tradicional adversario, el castrismo se sentiría seguro.

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Somos+ y su Academia 1010 están siendo blanco de ataques policiales Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 12 September 2016 — In light of the proliferation among Cubans of garments adorned with elements of the United States flag and, to a lesser degree, the flag of England, some “defenders” of the national identity and of patriotic symbols have proposed making the Cuban flag more visible, as “many Cuban flags.” Being that … Continue reading "The Flag "Bearers" / Fernando Dámaso" Continue reading

Tras varias jornadas movilizadoras, la urbe santiaguera está en calma. Culminan los trabajos de remozamiento y aumenta la presencia policial. La Plaza Antonio Maceo ha sido "engalanada" y el Cementerio Santa Ifigenia parece una "fortaleza inexpugnable". Todo está listo para el funeral de Fidel Castro.

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La ONG ha lanzado un comunicado a dos días de los funerales Continue reading
One drink, two drink, Cuba Gooding Jr. takes the floor. … Continue reading
… TV owner and billionaire Mark Cuban will also talk about the … Continue reading
For the past three days, the processional carrying the ashes of Fidel Castro has traversed Cuba along a route that has taken it past sugarcane fields, towering stands of palm … Click to Continue » Continue reading
Cubans Directed To Be Sad / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar and Mario Penton

14ymedio, Luz Escobar/Mario Penton, Havana/Miami, 29 November 2016 —
Women crying on camera, Facebook profiles turned into portraits
of Comandante Fidel, long lines to bid farewell to his absent ashes. No
reggaeton in the streets, no "good morning" from the announcers on
national television. For a tourist, the people, Cuban and devoted to
Fidel, transfixed by pain, have not lost any opportunity to say goodbye
to their leader. But the reality is very different from the slogans.

"The Student Federation sent me this picture by email," says a computer
science student in Santa Clara, while looking at an image of a young
Fidel Castro in his inbox. "The directions are for us to put it on
our social networks and dedicate a dignified farewell to the old man,"
says the teenager. "All of it, it doesn't matter to me, but if I don't
do it, it could affect my career," he adds.

Teresa, a woman from Cienfuegos who works in education, spends the hours
as the sun passes overhead in front of a photograph of the former
president and follows protocol to show signs of pain, which isn't pleasant.

"I went because the union made me. If you dare not to go you'll find out
what happens to you. He died, but the system he created is just the
same. He could have done a lot of good, but forcing us to go say goodbye
to him seems abusive to me," says the teacher, who added that she ended
up with a migraine after so much time standing in the sun.

Perhaps the most notable case of following the forms was the debate
between two news announcers, Froilán Arencibia and Mariuska Díaz, caught
on open mike, about whether they should greet viewers with "good
afternoon" or simply "greetings." Finally, the direction to eliminate
the "good" won the day because how could it be a good day if Fidel
Castro had died?

"They put us in a huge line where, at the end all we had in front of us
was a photo and his medals, because the ashes were for the leaders," an
independent worker told 14ymedio.

On elderly messenger in Havana had his own hypothesis about why Castro's
ashes weren't on display to the thousands of people who waited at least
four hours to enter one of the three "altars" in the Plaza of the
Revolution. "Looking at his photo were his admirers and opportunists who
wanted to look good at work. If they'd put the ashes on display, they'd
have to have someone guarding them and there might have been some damage
done," he said, in reference to the Afro-Cuban rites where the bones of
the deceased or, failing that, the dust of the skeleton contains the
spirit of the departed.

"There are people who really loved him and they're sorry. Fidel had a
people," a lady of 60 years, retired from the army, says ruefully.

In a Havana street, a young man who was with his girlfriend in a car
complains that a policeman knocked on his window and asked,
discourteously, that he turn off the music with which the couple was
passing the time.

In the case of Cubans abroad connected with the country, the
directions have been clear: you must first participate in a ceremony in
which a book of dedications and lamentations is filled, then you have to
reflect that pain in social networks.

"We want to make Facebook into a place where our Comandante is
remembered and colleagues from other countries can go there to see the
pain of our people," a coordinator of the Cuban medical mission told
Cuban doctors at a meeting in Brazil.

"The truth is easy come easy go, they force us to stand in lines," jokes
one of the doctors of the mission who requested anonymity.

"This is like an open stage or one of the famous 'marches of the
combative people.' Doesn't anyone ask why there were not spontaneous
mass gatherings after the announcement? The people have to wait for
directions from above to be sad."

Source: Cubans Directed To Be Sad / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar and Mario
Penton – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cubans-directed-to-be-sad-14ymedio-luz-escobar-and-mario-penton/ Continue reading
Police Free '14ymedio' Journalist Reinaldo Escobar / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 1 December 2016 — The journalist Reinaldo Escobar,
editor in chief of 14ymedio, was detained for more than four hours on
Thursday, in the midst of the control measures that the Government
deployed after the death of Fidel Castro. The reporter gave an interview
to Spanish Television (TVE) on the Malecon in Havana where he was
intercepted by police and taken to the Zapata and C police station in
Vedado, according to witnesses who confirmed the arrest.

A man in civilian clothes approached the place where Escobar was being
interviewed by Vicenç San Clemente of TVE. "He said we could not be here
because it was an avenue where many presidents were passing by," the
Spanish correspondent told this newspaper. The man remained nearby
listening to Escobar's answers.

"They were questions about the future of Cuba, about the possible legal
reforms that might be made," explained San Clemente. However, the man
ended up calling a patrol car, with license plate 099, which took the
two journalists to the police station.

The Spanish Embassy in Havana began negotiations for the release of both
reporters as soon as they heard the news, a diplomatic source informed
14ymedio. San Clemente was held at the entrance to the police station,
but Escobar was lost to sight when he was led into the interior of the
building.

Four hours after the arrest, the Cuban journalist was released and when
he inquired at the station about the infraction or crime which had been
entered into the log book, the uniformed officer responded with the
brief word: prophylaxis.

Escobar graduated from the University of Havana in journalism in 1972,
and has served as editor-in-chief of this independent newspaper since
its founding, in May of 2014; the newspaper is blocked on servers on the
island by the government. Previously, Escobar worked for various press
media, among them the magazine Consensus, which was founded in December
of 2014, and on his personal blog, From Here.

In December of 1988, Escobar was fired from the newspaper Juventud
Rebelde (Rebel Youth), the second most important newspaper in the
country. The dismissal was due to several critical articles he published
after being motivated by the new air of glastnost in the Soviet press.
Since then the government has not permitted him to exercise his
profession in any of the state-controlled media, which exercise a
monopoly over the press.

Source: Police Free '14ymedio' Journalist Reinaldo Escobar / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/police-free-14ymedio-journalist-reinaldo-escobar-14ymedio/ Continue reading
Patria y Libertad: Homeland and Freedom / 14ymedio, Tania Bruguera

14ymedio, Tania Bruguera, Havana, 1 December 2016 — Today in Cuba, we
start a new phase, a phase that requires us to transition (shift) from
an anecdote to historic data, from rumor to research, from passion to
facts from what was symbolically assumed to what was actually done.

Time has come for us to ask for that archives be opened, to know how
many truths were manufactured and to what extent victories were
achieved, to know with certainty how many Cubans have died around the
world, to understand what social progress we have made and to learn
which agreements the government has made on our behalf.

The Cuban people have the right to know its history, all of it, and be
able to draw their own conclusions.

Today Cubans have stopped being children waiting for orders.

However, refusing to be underestimated requires understanding other
people's feelings, those that think and feel differently. It means
understanding that we are not always right and that the goal of
discussion is not to win arguments but to clarify our ideas and send
them out for consideration..

We need to stop thinking that only our feelings are valid because the
project of The Revolution has been a different experience for each
and every one of us, and since they were experiences, all of them are
valid. There are things to rescue and things to remove. It would be
more interesting to see howpeople have dealt with their experiences,
what they have done with them, instead of denying someone to feel in
their own terms.

We need to start saying "no" to the things we don't like, to the
things that keeps us from feeling clean and honest, even if this
means losing a privileged position, because there's no money, no
professional opportunity, no material comfort that can be compared to
feeling free, to being able to speak one´s mind.

But the life project that we can create from now on is only possible if
we allow ourselves to stop having double standard ethics, if we stop
telling something to some people and then something different to others.

We have an exceptional moment before us, not to defend a government or
a position, but to create all together a vision for Cuba; one that is
not biased to either extreme, a vision that can be a compilation of all
our points of view.

It is the time to create a new legal infrastructure that includes
respect for different opinions and stops political hate forever, that
ensures that citizens' preferences cannot be controlled by the
government; that can be a space for fair and inclusive decisions.

It is the time to create a political infrastructure that guarantees that
never again a president can hold all powers. This has happened 3 times
in Cuba since 1902. There should never be another president who
thinks he knows better than anyone, and what is better for us all.

This is the time to create a civic and social infrastructure that
includes everyone, that includes rights for everyone, that includes
political dissent as a civic right, that includes civic literacy.

It is the time to create an emotional infrastructure that nurtures room
for mutual understanding, a structure that does not allow anything to
horrify or minimize us.

A structure that allows solidarity and privacy, individual rights
and social rights where the life we want to have is respected but
also represents a common effort; a structure that allows truths and
claims from everyone, the majority but also the minority. A place
where a humanist utopia exists but never again paranoia among its
citizens, where emotions don't compromise what is fair.

Today, there is a real task for Cubans to complete: to balance what we
want to rescue and what we want to change. It is the time to stop
whispering our hopes, it is time to stop being afraid.

The best way to honor our homeland and ourselves is not being
submissive, not being a cynical nation, never again being a nation
with different classes of Cubans, nor a place from where to leave,
but a place where life is a dignifying act we are proud of.

Placing love, family and friendship above ideologies is the only way
Cuba will be a nation again.

(English version from Tania Bruguera's own site)

Source: Patria y Libertad: Homeland and Freedom / 14ymedio, Tania
Bruguera – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/patria-y-libertad-homeland-and-freedom-14ymedio-tania-bruguera/ Continue reading
Lights After The Ashes / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 1 December 2016 – Timidly, without much
noise or fuss, Havanans are shaking off the national mourning decreed
for Cuba, as of last Saturday, for the death of Fidel Castro. Despite
cultural activities having been cancelled, the closed theaters and the
bars without alcohol, the first Christmas decorations are beginning to
be seen in some homes.

The owners of these houses adorned with lights and garlands risk being
reprimanded by those closest to officialdom or by the police.

In a city where the authorities have severely reprimanded those who play
loud music in their homes, or who plan any kind of festivities, to
install Christmas decorations is true defiance, a gesture of irreverence
more daring and forceful than an opposition slogan shouted in the Plaza
of the Revolution.

Thousands of families across the capital city are waiting for the end of
this period of seclusion imposed by the powers-that-be to prominently
display their tree with a star and snow made out of cotton. These are
the symbols of the new times, of the holidays that will inevitably come
after the great funeral.

Source: Lights After The Ashes / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez – Translating
Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/lights-after-the-ashes-14ymedio-yoani-sanchez/ Continue reading
Opposition Alliance Calls To Open An Inclusive National Dialog / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 1 December 2016 – The Democratic Action Unity
Roundtable (MUAD) has made a call to open a national dialog a few days
after the death of former Cuban president Fidel Castro. The opposition
alliance believes that the country is entering a new stage in its
history, according to a declaration signed by its spokesperson, Boris
Gonzalez Arenas.

MUAD said that for many Cubans the memory of the political leader is
marked by "injustices and inhumane detentions" and the "unjustifiable
loss of human lives." The statement also references the "uprooting
suffered" by thousands of islanders "on seeing themselves forced to
abandon (…) the land in which they were born." For these people, Fidel
Castro will remain "a totalitarian dictator" the document emphasized.

However, for other Cubans he will always be considered as the ruler "who
opened the doors and gave them opportunities for themselves and their
families that they did not have before the revolutionary process
initiated in 1959." In the memories of this part of the population
Castro will remain "the hero, the father, the 'at your orders' Commander
in Chief," the statement says.

The declaration focuses on "a new generation of Cubans" who have "their
own interpretation of our history and our reality." They are individuals
with "desires for a respect for diversity of thinking and for freedom,"
and who dream of "a truly plural Cuba with respect for human rights and
oriented to the benefit of all."

The challenge for the current government is to put into practice "a set
of measures that really impact the economic and social environment" and
that allow "wide participation of all Cubans, wherever they are," MUAD
emphasizes.

The renewal of the national legislative political order also is called
out as an urgent matter, in the document made public by the opposition
coalition.

"The only path we have to achieve all the economic, social and political
transformations that we want for Cuba is an inclusive dialog," says the
final paragraph of the statement.

MUAD brings together more than thirty independent civil society
organizations. In the middle of this year the alliance suffered a
serious reversal with the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), the largest
opposition organization in the country, left its ranks. The same thing
occurred with the United Anti-Totalitarian Front (FANTU), led by
Guillermo Fariñas.

Source: Opposition Alliance Calls To Open An Inclusive National Dialog /
14ymedio – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/opposition-alliance-calls-to-open-an-inclusive-national-dialog-14ymedio/ Continue reading
The Death of Fidel Castro: What Awaits Us Now? / Iván García

Iván García, 28 November 2016 — It was half past ten at night in the
privately-owned Perla Negra bar in Havana's populous La Viñora
neighborhood and thirty minutes by car from the center of the city,
where the locals were drinking mojitos, caipirinhas and even stout. No
one had yet learned of the death of the Fidel Castro.

The dominant sounds were salsa music, reggaeton and Marc Anthony ballads
along with the clinking of glasses, the shuffle of canapés and the
whispers of couples in love.

No one thought to interrupt the party to announce the death of the old
guerrilla leader. At midnight, Oscar Lopez —an engineer who was
celebrating his birthday with his wife — was walking the nine blocks to
his apartment in the Lawton neighborhood. He did not notice anything out
of the ordinary other than a short line of four or five people waiting
to buy ground pork patties for their children's breakfasts.

As is customary at this time of the morning, sales clerks at small food
service businesses were yawning in front of shelves of confections and
cold-cut sandwiches, drunkards were lying on the covered sidewalks of
Tenth of October Avenue, and a few gay and transvestite prostitutes were
trolling for customers.

"I swear, nobody was talking a about the news. I didn't even notice any
extra police deployments. The night that Fidel Castro died was a night
like any other. I found out about his death at two o'clock in the
morning when my brother, who lives in Miami, phoned to tell me," says
Oscar as he waits in the line to purchase bread, which Cubans have
bought from the state using their ration books since 1962.

When you ask ordinary Havana residents what they were doing when they
heard the news of Castro's death, they respond without any hint of
drama. More than a few of them found out through text messages sent from
Miami. This is not surprising given that a large segment of the Cuban
population does not typically watch state television.

Most people watch TV through illegal satellite antennae or they rent a
compendium of programming known as the Packet, which offers melodramatic
Mexican soap operas and mediocre audience participation programs from
the other side of the Florida Straits.

Unlike Miami, where Castro's death took place on the day after
Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and hundreds of people celebrated with
bottles of rum and roast pork, the news here was received here with
little notice or fanfare.

For Cubans, Fidel Castro essentially died on July 31, 2006, when an
unexpected illness forced him to give up power. By the time his passing
was announced on a cool autumn night ten years later, his death had been
long expected.

Sahily Téllez, a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore, says Fidel was
a distant figure to her. "Unlike my parents, I did not grow up seeing
him as a dominant figure in my life. To me, he was old news, a man who
led a revolution and built a society that barely works. Fidel and other
elderly officials like him seem anachronistic, conservative. Among
people of my age, Fidel and Raúl are not very popular. It's just that
many of us aspire to live in a consumer capitalist society. We associate
Fidel with poverty and his speeches were full of ideology."

What most worries Daniel Pereda, a self-employed taxi driver who drives
a dilapidated 1954 Chevrolet, is what could come after the death of
Fidel Castro.

"The situation isn't pretty. There's the crisis in Venezuela. If Nicolás
Maduro loses power because he is shipping oil to Cuba at rock-bottom
prices, it will impact Cuba and our lives. Then there is the victory of
Donald Trump in the United States. He is an unpredictable guy who will
probably not continue Obama's friendly policies towards Cuba. This must
be giving quite a few people in the Palace of the Revolution (the seat
of government) anxiety attacks," he says as he swerves to avoid potholes
in Cerro Avenue.

Already the state press has begun broadcasting extensive special
programming eulogizing the life and work of Fidel Castro. The funeral
planning committee has announced that on November 28 and 29 people will
be able to visit the José Martí Memorial in the Plaza of Revolution to
pay their well-deserved respects.

People are also being called upon to do something that seems
mind-boggling: "Sign the solemn oath to fulfill the concept of
Revolution as expressed by our historic leader on May 1, 2000 as an
expression of the will to give continuity to his ideas and our socialism."

At 7:00 P.M. on November 29, a commemorative rally will be held in
Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. The transfer of Castro's ashes will
begin the following day, retracing the route that The Caravan of Freedom
followed in January 1959. The journey will end with another rally in
Santiago de Cuba on December 3, this time in the city's Antonio Maceo Plaza.

The internment is scheduled for 07:00 A.M. on December 4 at Santa
Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. It was also reported that the
Military Review and Combatants March, which commemorates the 60th
anniversary of the Granma landing (December 2, 1956), and Revolutionary
Armed Forces Day are being postponed until January 2, 2017.

Suspicions and rumors are spreading throughout Havana. Marino Ruiz, a
grocery store worker, believes that "Fidel Castro died days ago.
Everything fits perfectly. A weekend that correlates with December 2,
the 60th anniversary of the armed forces and a month and six days after
the 58th anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution," he observes. But
the truth is that Fidel Castro met with the president of Viet Nam, Tran
Dai Quang, at his home on November 15. And photos of the meeting were
taken by his son, Alex Castro, and his personal photographer.

According to Ignacio Gonzalez, a nurse, the memorial events will be a
nine-day nuisance. "There will be dozens of programs on radio and
television eulogizing the 'maximum leader.' And all this racket will no
doubt go on for one or two months. You have to wonder what awaits us. If
only I could fly to the moon."

With no power to rally supporters or a message that resonates with the
average Cuban, Castro's death has caught the divided dissident community
off guard.

"Difficult days lie ahead," according to Carlos Díaz, an independed
sociologist." I would not want to be in Raúl Castro's shoes. He is faced
with an ongoing economic crisis, a system that does not work, a very
erratic Donald Trump as president of the United States and the impending
fall of Chavismo in Venezuela. He will have to move very carefully to
avoid being the one who brought down the revolution his brother Fidel
led. I believe the government will accelerate new and more significant
economic reforms. But the political process will remain closed and they
will continue exerting iron-fisted social control as long as they can."

Julio Aleaga — head of the opposition group Candidates for Change, which
advocates nominating dissidents for the few elected offices for which
private citizens can compete — believes that "the death of Fidel Castro,
a very negative figure, can be the catalyst for profound change. The
conservative wing of the ruling party has lost a powerful symbol. And in
medium term change is unstoppable."

Diana Armenteros, a political science graduate, is not so optimistic.
"Castroism has a lot of life left in it. They won't be able to bury
Fidel just yet. Let's not forget that the military controls 80% of the
national economy. Untangling this mess won't be so easy," she claims.

At the moment it is too soon to analyze what effect the death of Fidel
Castro will have on the current situation. The funeral ceremonies have
only just begun.

The legendary Plaza of the Revolution is being prepared to receive
millions of Cubans who will pay their last respects to Fidel. And the
Communist Party propaganda machine will continue to run at full throttle.

For a few days — probably for a couple of months — the place Cuba will
most closely resemble is North Korea.

Source: The Death of Fidel Castro: What Awaits Us Now? / Iván García –
Translating Cuba -
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El Consejo de Ministros ha dado luz verde a la firma por parte de España del acuerdo de cooperación entre la Unión Europea y el Gobierno de Cuba que sustituirá la política que impulsó en 1996 el entonces presidente del Gobierno español, José María Aznar.

La conocida como Posición Común condicionaba una profundización de las relaciones con el régimen a avances hacia la democracia y el respeto de los derechos humanos.

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Red ink: The high human cost of the Cuban revolution
BY GLENN GARVIN
ggarvin@miamiherald.com
LINKEDIN

Danilo Maldonado's collision with the Cuban revolution is, in some ways,
a silly asterisk to history. And in others, it practically defines the
country's dilemma of the past 57 years, a state that defines itself as
the people's political vanguard, but more often seems to be their jailer.

On Christmas Day of 2014, Maldonado — a dissident graffiti artist better
known as El Sexto — was riding along Havana's waterfront Malecón when
traffic cops pulled his car over. Hearing odd scrabbling noises from the
trunk, they opened it to find a pair of pigs with names scrawled on
their backs: Fidel and Raúl.

Without another word, the cops arrested the 30-year-old Maldonado. (Not
that his explanation would have helped; he was taking the pigs to
perform in an informal production of George Orwell's withering
anti-communist satire "Animal Farm.")

Charged with "disrespect of the leaders of the revolution" — the police
clearly did not believe it a coincidence that the pigs' names were the
same as those of the Castro brothers who have ruled Cuba since 1959 —
Maldonado languished in jail without a trial for 10 months until Amnesty
International labeled him a "prisoner of conscience" and the government
finally turned him loose.

Those 10 months — 300-some days, 7,000-some hours, all irretrievably
lost — are a tiny part of the human cost of Fidel Castro's revolution.
If Castro strode the stage of world history the past six decades,
preaching socialism and making allies and enemies of nations a hundred
times Cuba's size, the price was paid — in jail time, in exile, in blood
— by his unwilling countrymen. It is a price that defies accounting.

"The price? I couldn't begin to give you the numbers," says Carlos
Ponce, the director of the Latin American and Caribbean division of the
human-rights group Freedom House. "I can tell you that 2 million Cubans
live outside Cuba, I can tell you that in the last 10 years, there have
been nearly 18,000 political detainees.

"How many in jail since 1959? How many executed? How many lost at sea? I
can't even guess."

There are organizations that try to track those numbers. But extracting
information from a secretive totalitarian regime that likely doesn't
even know the answers itself is a nearly impossible task and likely to
remain so, even if there are significant changes in the way the the
Cuban government does business following Fidel Castro's death last month.

"Even after the Soviet Union fell, when some of its archives opened up
for a time, all we really learned was the extent of the cover-up, all
the measures the Soviets took to cover up their crimes," says Marion
Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial
Foundation, which studies the human-rights histories of communist regimes.

"But we never got a precise number of victims, or their names. The
Soviets didn't want to keep precise records — they had learned their
lesson from the Nazis, who did keep precise records, which were used to
indict Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg."

Approaching the problem from the other end — compiling statistics based
on accounts from victims or their friends and families — has its own
difficulties, including the human tendencies to exaggerate or even
deliberately falsify information for propaganda purposes.

In the mid-1990s, one of the most visible reproofs to Cuba's
human-rights record was the "Quilt of Castro's Genocide," a collage of
hand-sewn cloth panels bearing the names of about 10,000 Cubans believed
to have met their deaths at the hands of their own government. But
within a few years, the quilt disappeared after many of the "victims"
proved to be alive or to have died of natural causes.

Yet even with all the obstacles, some groups have at least made a start
in establishing the broad outlines of what Castro's government has cost
its people.

DEATHS
The late and widely respected University of Hawaii historian R. J.
Rummel, who made a career out of studying what he termed "democide," the
killing of people by their own government, reported in 1987 that
credible estimates of the Castro regime's death toll ran from 35,000 to
141,000, with a median of 73,000.

"I think that's a good range," says Smith. "It's compatible with what
we're comfortable using, which is 'tens of thousands.'"

Yet the Cuba Archive, the Coral Gables-based organization generally
regarded as the most scrupulous in documenting human-rights abuses in
Cuba, uses a much lower figure of 7,193 (which, incidentally, includes
21 Americans, several of whom worked with the CIA).

"Those are the ones we've documented, using either information released
by the government or the testimony of eyewitnesses, not hearsay or
guesswork," says Maria Werlau, the group's president. "We know the
numbers are much, much higher, but this is what we can actually document
so far."

Part of the difficulty is figuring out what deaths to include. The 5,000
or so executed in the immediate aftermath of Castro's 1959 takeover —
sometimes after kangaroo-court trials, sometimes without even that — are
included in nearly everybody's figures. (Figurative talk about a balance
sheet for the human costs of the revolution turns quite literal when the
executions are discussed; for a time during the 1960s, the Cuban
government extracted most of the blood from the victims before they were
shot, then sold it to other communist countries for $50 a pint.)

But what about the Cuban soldiers killed during Castro's military
adventures in Africa during the 1970s and 1980s? (The official death
toll: 4,000. But a Cuban Air Force general who defected in 1987 put the
number killed in Angola alone at 10,000.) And the county's suicide rate
has tripled under Castro. Should the 1,500 or so Cubans who kill
themselves each year be included? If not all of them, how about the 10 a
year who commit suicide — or die of medical neglect — in prison?

The largest number of deaths is believed to be those lost at sea trying
to escape Cuba on makeshift rafts. For years, the Cuba Archive used an
estimate worked up by Harvard-trained economist Armando Lago of about
77,000 rafter deaths by 2003.

But that number was always controversial. It was derived not from
eyewitness testimony but a shaky mathematical formula. Lago first
estimated the number of Cuban refugees reaching the United States by
sea, then assumed that they represented just 25 percent of the attempted
crossing. The rest were presumed dead.

"After Armando died in 2008, we quit using that 77,000 number," Werlau
says. "We don't really know how many people arrive by sea — the U.S.
Coast Guard does not cooperate with us, and in any event, they don't
catch everybody who comes by sea. And the 75 percent mortality rate,
that was just an assumption that was not really defensible. It might be
lower. It might be higher."

Instead, the Cuba Archive uses a much lower number — 1,134 missing or
dead — collected from accounts of survivors who saw other rafters go
astray. "We know that number is far too low — far, far too low — but
it's what we can prove," she says.

Whatever the real number of deaths that can be attributed to Fidel
Castro's regime, it's clear he was an underachiever compared to other
communist regimes, where large percentages of the population were
killed. "Our estimate on deaths in the Soviet Union is 50 million, and
in China, 60 million," says Smith. "Castro is small chops compared to that."

POLITICAL PRISONERS
Whether you count in cold economic terms as time diverted from
productive work, or as an unquantifiable sentimental loss of moments
with friends and loved ones, the uncountable thousands of collective
years Cubans have spent in jail for political offenses is certainly part
of the human toll of the revolution. But it's a number that no one is
even willing to guess at.

"There is no one list of political prisoners that can be considered
complete or reliable," says Matt Perez, a spokesman for the New
Jersey-based Union of Cuban Ex-Political Prisoners. "Even court records
and prison records wouldn't tell you.

"For instance right after the [1961] Bay of Pigs invasion, Castro
rounded up everybody who might remotely be considered a suspect in
working against the government, thousands and thousands and thousands of
people. They didn't have enough jails to hold them all, so they took
over schools and then houses and just put people inside, so crowded that
they couldn't even sit down.

"Some of those people were released in days, some in weeks, some in
months, and some went to jail for a long time. Most of them never had
any kind of trial and hearing. But every single one of them was a
political prisoner, at least for a little while.

"Perhaps someday, if we're lucky enough and the regime falls and we can
get into the archives, we can know this. If they don't burn them first."

Even the archives might not be enough. Many criminal offenses in Cuba,
from the illegality of owning a boat to the prohibition on farmers
slaughtering cattle to feed their families, wouldn't be crimes at all in
a democracy where people can come and go as they please and sell the
products of their work to whomever they choose.

"In Cuba, telling the difference between a political crime and a common
crime can be very complicated," says Cuban-American writer Humberto
Fontova, author of several books harshly critical of the Castro regime.
"The prohibition on slaughtering cows, for instance — you might actually
spend more time in jail in Cuba for killing a cow than for killing a
person, because they don't want farmers selling their beef to anybody
but government slaughterhouses."

Freedom House's Ponce, during conversations with Alan Gross, a U.S.
government contractor jailed for five years in Cuba on spying charges,
was astonished to learn that Gross' cellmate was in prison for accepting
an unauthorized tip from a foreign tourist. "Five or six years in jail
for taking a couple of dollars from a tourist!" exclaimed Ponce. "Most
human-rights groups do not include those types of crimes when they are
making lists of political prisoners, but I don't know what else you
could call it."

Nearly everyone who has examined the issue of Cuban political prisoners
agrees that, over the course of Fidel Castro's rule, they numbered in
the hundreds of thousands, serving jail time ranging from a few hours to
a few decades. And there is no sign that his death has changed anything.

Within a few hours of Fidel's exit from the mortal coil, Danilo
Maldonado, barely a year out of jail for his renegade pig humor, was
locked up again, accused of writing anti-Castro graffiti on the wall of
the Hotel Habana Libre, where Castro lived for a time following his
victory in 1959. The words Maldonado scrawled: Se fue. He's gone.

Clearly, he's not.

Source: The human cost of Fidel Castro's revolution was a high one |
Miami Herald -
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Fidel Castro: Unwitting father of modern Miami
BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI

The Gateway to the Americas: That's how Miami's business and civic
leaders would grandly if sporadically label the city in the middle of
the last century. In reality, the slogan was wishful thinking, little
more than the stuff of promotional brochures.

Contrary to the historic image as a sleepy tourist town that seems to
hold sway today, Miami was at the time already a dynamic city, having
grown dramatically after World War II. But it looked steadfastly north
as it absorbed waves of New Yorkers, Midwesterners and Southerners both
white and black who were drawn to settle in Miami by — what else? —
climate and opportunity.

Then came the Cuban Revolution.

Fidel Castro's march to Havana at the head of an army of bearded
revolutionaries in the early days of 1959 would turn out to be the
single most consequential event in Miami's short history. Over the next
five decades, Castro's increasingly repressive and eventually
economically bankrupt regime would send successive new waves of
enterprising Cuban refugees to Miami, transforming the fledgling
metropolis into a true international city that looks both south and
north, though likely in ways those civic leaders of the 1940s and '50s
never imagined.

It's one of the ironies of history that the late Castro, the Cuban
revolutionary hero-cum-tyrant who died Thanksgiving weekend at age 90,
was the unintending father of today's Miami — a cosmopolitan, polyglot,
multicultural global city that serves as an uber-capitalistic nexus of
finance, trade and culture between the United States and Latin America
and the Caribbean.

And it all goes back to the enclave centered on Little Havana and Calle
Ocho that the first waves of Cuban exiles established in the 1960s,
historians and sociologists who have studied the exodus say.

Mostly educated members of Cuba's elite and middle classes, these
largely disenfranchised exiles — with a substantial assist from a U.S.
government eager to showcase the American system's advantages over
Cuba's Communist regime — used their skills and experience to build
local businesses, providing ready-made employment for each group of new
arrivals, before branching out into larger enterprises and banking and
international trade. From that base, Cuban exiles would accomplish
something almost unheard of, rising to a dominant political and economic
power and reshaping a big U.S. city within a single generation.

It helped that the early exiles were what Florida International
University sociologist Guillermo Grenier, himself a Cuban exile, calls
"the right kind of immigrants" — overwhelmingly white and educated, many
already familiar with Miami and the United States and its business mores
— who arrived in massive numbers at a propitious time.

Immigration was opening up for non-Europeans, refugees from the Cold War
were welcome, and starting in 1966 the Cuban Adjustment Act, an
extensive refugee assistance program and generous federal small-business
loans gave exiles a priviliged immigration status and a marked economic
leg up. The U.S. population and economy, meanwhile, were beginning a
historic shift to the Sunbelt and the civil rights legislation barred
discrimination against minorities, Grenier notes.

Miami, a developing city primed for growth and without a deeply
entrenched elite, was fertile ground for a determined group of
newcomers, he said.

"Cubans didn't so much make Miami as Miami was ready to be made,"
Grenier said. "You had a perfect cauldron with this environment where
immigrants with the characteristics of Cubans would have to mess up big
time not to thrive. And we did thrive."

By dint of sheer numbers, mostly controlled by Fidel Castro's decision
to open or shut the tap for Cubans looking to leave the island, the
exiles were sure to change what was then known as Dade County, which had
a population of just under one million. About 135,000 Cubans came just
in the first two years after the Revolution, followed between 1965 and
1973 by 340,000 more on the twice-daily Freedom Flights, most of them
members of Cuba's middle and working classes.

The 1980 boatlift launched when Castro opened the port of Mariel to
anyone wanting out of Cuba would later bring 125,000 others — for the
first time including many Cubans who had grown up in Communist Cuba — in
a matter of months. In summer of 1994, after Castro allowed 32,000
people to flee on rafts, a bilateral migration accord that ended the
crisis reopened a steady flow until this day, with the U.S. government
agreeing to grant a minimum of 20,000 visas to Cubans every year. About
550,000 Cubans have received visas under the program since 1996, Grenier
said.

Most of those refugees have ended up in Miami, including many who
initially settled in Puerto Rico, New Jersey or the numerous other
accidental shores around the world where Cubans landed after exile.

"No matter how hard the U.S. government has tried to resettle Cubans
elsewhere, they gravitate back to Miami," said Silvia Pedraza, a
Cuban-American sociologist at the University of Michigan who has written
extensively about the Cuban exodus.

Today more than a third of Miami-Dade's population of around 2.7 million
is either Cuban-born or of Cuban descent, according to the U.S. Census
Bureau. Over the decades, Cubans have been joined in Miami by other
political refugees and immigrants from around Latin America and the
Caribbean, including Nicaraguans and Colombians, who found the
Spanish-speaking culture hospitable and have also contributed
significantly to the city's internationalization.

But it was Cuban exiles who first established extensive business ties
with the rest of the hemisphere, looking to diversify and expand their
enterprises through trade and finance, Pedraza and other experts say.
U.S. companies, too, recruited Cuban exiles with business experience —
sometimes garnered while working for Americans in Cuba — to staff, run
or expand operations in other Latin American countries.

The experience of Pedraza's father is illustrative. Alfredo Pedraza, who
had studied at MIT, worked for tire-maker B.F. Goodrich in Cuba, and
after leaving the island became the company's sales manager in Bogotá
for 12 years before settling in Miami for good, the Michigan professor
said. In Miami, he helped an Ecuadorean firm establish what's proven a
lucrative trade sector — shipping fresh shrimp by air from Ecuador to
the United States.

"Miami is in many ways a Latin American city and it's open to all of
Latin America," Silvia Pedraza said. "There are connections of all sorts."

At the same time, as Miami's Cuban enclave expanded and diversified,
Latin American businesspeople looking to invest or park their capital
securely in the United States — especially at times of political or
economic crisis in their homelands — increasingly looked to Miami, where
they could bank and conduct business in Spanish while enjoying familiar
food and customs. So did American and European businesspeople looking to
connect to Latin America.

Those advantages helped Miami vault over competitors for Latin American
commerce and shipping like New Orleans and Tampa, said sociologist
Alejandro Portes, a Cuban-born Princeton professor emeritus with a
distinguished-scholar appointment at the University of Miami.

"That Miami rose up to prominence as a global city has a lot to do with
the arrival of the Cubans, but also because their presence created an
attractive opportunity for others," Portes said. "For the well-to-do in
places like Argentina, it's much more convenient that Miami has a savvy
business community that speaks Spanish, than to go to New York and
conduct business through a translator or in broken English."

That success didn't come without a battle, said Portes, co-author of
"Miami: City on the Edge," a definitive account of the city's
transformation through the early 1990s. Cuban exiles initially met
resistance from Miami's business and political establishment. But even
as they asserted themselves economically, and exerted clout through
organizations like the Cuban American National Foundation and the Latin
Builders Association, Cuban exiles used their numbers and concentrations
to begin electing political leaders from among their own, eventually
supplanting the city's "Anglo" business and political leadership, he said.

"This was a fairly enlightened leadership that opened and procured the
internationalization of the city as a financial center," said Portes,
who is now writing a sequel about Miami's rise to international
prominence since the 1990s. "Out of those battles came a series of
stages that have transformed the city into one of the key players in the
global economy, and way beyond its past as a winter tourist destination."

But absorbing hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees also carried
significant costs. The crashing waves at times led to considerable
disruption, including crime waves and fiscal and political crises, tense
clashes over the primacy of English and, over time, a dramatic "white
flight" that's left Miami-Dade's non-Hispanic white population a
distinct minority.

The timing of the exiles' arrival also proved unfortunate for the
county's African-American population just as the civil rights struggle
might have opened doors and opportunities to blacks. They saw the road
to advancement closed off as hundreds of thousands of Cubans arrived to
fill jobs as waiters, maids, bellhops and cooks in hotels and
restaurants that were once the province of blacks.

To this day, relations between Cuban Americans and the city's
native-born blacks and Haitian immigrants remain standoffish at best,
and residential segregation is among the most pronounced in the country,
the sociologists say.

The rise of the city's internationally oriented economy that Cuban
exiles wrought, a significant segment of it concentrated in development,
has also created what some experts have termed a growth machine that
exacerbates economic divisions and inequality in Miami, not to mention
transportation and congestion problems — all which Portes says the
city's current leadership seems unequipped to address.

"The traditional black areas of town have not been beneficiaries in any
significant way of the economic expansion of the city. The winners are
the developers, the growth machine, the builders, the bankers and those
people who live in condominiums in Brickell and Downtown," Portes said.
"The city is living the consequences of its own success."

No longer a southern city, Miami is also no longer Havana north. Cubans'
success has attracted competition from entrepreneurial Venezuelans,
Brazilians and even — in a final turn of irony — Russians, who are
building, banking and living, at least part of the time, in the city.
The increasing diversity has diluted the sway of the Cuban political and
economic class, Portes says his new research suggests, leaving no clear
or decisive leadership group in place.

"There are lots of transients, lots of people who come and go, and there
are few of what you might call true Miamians, people who are civic
spirited," Portes said. "It exists, but is not very large."

And so the story of Miami doesn't end with the Cuban exiles, he
suggests. But as Fidel Castro is borne to his final resting place in the
city of Santiago, in Miami, too, it's not clear who's now going to be in
charge.

Source: Fidel Castro: Unwitting father of modern Miami | Miami Herald -
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