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Daily Archives: January 22, 2017

Este domingo fueron detenidas más de 60 Damas de Blanco por agentes de la Seguridad del Estado en La Habana, Matanzas, Santa Clara y Ciego de Ávila, según denunciaron a DIARIO DE CUBA fuentes de la disidencia interna.

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… Saturday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is taking a measured approach to the new president. Cuban shares a reality-show background with … neither.” Although he endorsed Clinton, Cuban has called himself an independent … of Pittsburgh. “Trump scares me,” Cuban said. “Donald, initially, I really … Continue reading
22 enero, 2017 Cuba tiene en una "Lista Roja" y en alerta para su protecci Continue reading
Según un sondeo oficial publicado en el diario Juventud Rebelde Continue reading
Grammy-winning disc jockey, producer and songwriter Diplo comments on the lack of celebrity culture in Cuba, where he performed for the Sundance documentary, "Give Me Future.  Video by Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times Continue reading

A dos días de haber asumido la presidencia de Estados Unidos, el régimen de Nicolás Maduro pidió a Donald Trump derogar el decreto firmado por su antecesor, Barack Obama, que considera a Venezuela una "amenaza" a su seguridad, según dio a conocer el diario digital <

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Cuba: Skepticism Beats Hope / Iván García

Ivan Garcia, 4 January 2017 — Like a metaphorical invisible hand, moving
to place a ouija or bet on Russian roulette, David, a young writer,
considers that the coming year will be unpredictable for the island.

In the hope that the Ifá priests (Yoruba mystics) will spread around
their Letters of the Year, the necromancers predict the future, and a
woman dressed as a gipsy, furiously blowing out cheap tobacco smoke,
turns up various clues after tossing a pack of cards on the table. David
suspects that 2017 will throw up more bad news than good.

"Forecasting is a maddening activity. All sorts of things can happen,
but few of them will help the Cuban in the street. The economy is
getting worse, Venezuela, which gave us free oil, is holding out the
begging bowl, and now we have a weirdo like Donald Trump at the White
House. In this situation, I don't think anything good is going to happen
for our country," is David's sceptical comment.

People in Havana said the same kind of thing when polled by the Diario
Las Américas.

Sergio, an economist "sees the future as grey with black stitches. The
countries which gave us credit for nothing, like Brazil and Venezuela,
are swamped by their own internal crises. Cuba's finances are in the red
and have far less purchasing power.

"Insufficient exports and imports which are almost doubling the balance
of payments. In most areas of production, whether agricultural or
industrial, we are either stuck, or going backwards. Forced cutbacks on
fuel are affecting and paralysing a variety of development plans, as
well as infrastructure, highways, railway lines, and ports which are in
urgent need of investment.

"All we have left is tourism and the export of medical services, which,
because of domestic conditions in Venezuela and Brazil, may fall by 40
per cent. And, of course, family remittances, which, although the
government will not publicise it, are now the second national industry
and the country's biggest contributor of new money."

Rubén, a social researcher, sees three possible scenarios, but makes it
clear that there could be other variants. "First scenario: Donald Trump
tears up all the agreements reached with Cuba. If you then factored in
the difficult economic situations in Brazil and Venezuela, the best
allies the government had, and Putin looking for a rapprochement with
the White House, the economic reversal would be serious. I don't think
as bad as the Special Period, but nearly.

Second scenario: If Trump does not move the counters about, there would
still be effects for Cuba, which is crying out for investments and
credits from anywhere in the world, but, because of geography and
history, the United States is the most appropriate. Third scenario:
Trump negotiates a major agreement with the government. But, in order to
achieve this, Raúl Castro has to give ground in political and human
rights terms. It is a complicated context". To that he adds that Raúl
and the historic generation has only one more year to govern.

For most people, the future is a dirty word. It's senseless and not
worth giving yourself a headache thinking about it. "Put simply, we have
to live from day to day here. Try to make four pesos, look up girls'
skirts, and think how you can get away from Cuba", says an internet user
in Mónaco Park, in the south of Cuba.

People usually shrug their shoulders, smile nervously, and churn out
rehashed remarks they have learned through many years of media and
ideological indoctrination.

"I hope our leaders have some answers, because things look grim", says a
woman queueing to buy oranges in the Mónaco farmers' market.

"If they"ve planned what's going to happen in 2017, up to now they've
said nothing. I think they're just like the rest of us — no way out and
shit scared. Like they've always said, "No one can bury it, but no one
can fix it either," says a man in the same line at the market.

And, on the question of what would be the best options for riding out
the probable economic storm, Yandy, a high school graduate, is
unequivocal. "Get the hell out of Cuba. Or, have a business, making lots
of money, so that you can dodge the economic crisis which will be with
us for decades".

Lisandra, a prostitute, is more optimistic "As long as the American
tourists come, you can make money. And if there aren't many of those,
the only thing to do is to make out with Cuban wheeler-dealers. But the
best choice is get out of Cuba."

But most Cubans, drinking their breakfast coffee black instead of with
milk as they would prefer it, don't bother themselves too much about the
future.

José, a street sweeper, takes the view that "in Cuba things don't
change. Hardly ever up and and nearly always down. The people who need
to worry are the bosses in government. If things go badly, they are the
ones with most to lose."

Translated by GH

Source: Cuba: Skepticism Beats Hope / Iván García – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-skepticism-beats-hope-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Urinals 'Out of Order' in Cuba's Largest Airport / 14ymedio, Marcelo
Hernandez

14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 22 January 2017 — A Canadian
tourist thought he had seen everything in Cuba, but just a few minutes
before boarding his flight he decided to use the bathroom in Terminal 3
of Havana's Jose Marti International Airport. There, like a realist
stage set to represent the indolence that runs the Island, he found that
no urinals were available.

For months the bathrooms of the main air terminal of the country have
suffered a gradual and unstoppable deterioration. A situation that is
exacerbated by the increase in travelers who passed through during 2016,
when a world record was reached for the growth rate in passenger
arrivals on commercial flights. Technical breakdowns include water
supply problems, a lack of toilet paper and attempts by employees to
charge customers a fee, not legally established, for the use of the service.

Some 50% more international travelers arrived through the famous airport
in a year that also set a new record for tourism, more than four million
visitors. They were able to obtain, first-hand, an advance view of what
they would find in the country, or a last look, in the best style of
Cuban inefficiency.

Source: Urinals 'Out of Order' in Cuba's Largest Airport / 14ymedio,
Marcelo Hernandez – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/urinals-out-of-order-in-cubas-largest-airport-14ymedio-marcelo-hernandez/ Continue reading
Mexico Deports 91 Cuban Migrants / 14ymedio, Mario Penton

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Chiapas, 20 January 2017 — The Mexican National
Institute of Migration (INM) issued a press release Friday stating that
91 Cubans had been repatriated to the island after the end of the wet
foot/dry foot policy that would have allowed them to obtain asylum on
reaching the United States.

"In compliance with the provisions of the Law of Migration, 91
foreigners of Cuban origin were sent this morning, from the airport of
Tapachula, Chiapas, to their country, after Cuban authorities granted
them recognition of their nationality*," explains the press release.

The group was composed of 20 women and 71 men who, according to the INM,
were waiting for the departure office to allow them to reach the US border.

Yadel Gonzalez Sagre is one of those Cubans. He had been interned in
Tapachula for 19 days, waiting for the document to continue to the
United States, but in the early hours of this Friday he was forcibly
removed from the "21st Century Immigration Station."

"Suddenly they told us that they were going to deport us and they took
us all out of there. It was terrible, they beat us and threatened us.
Then they shoved us into vans and from there we were taken directly to
the airport and they have been sending us on airplanes in small groups,"
he says through the app Messenger.

González fears that on his return, life in Havana, where he is from,
will become "a hell."

"We live in a country with no rights," he says.

According to the INM, the 91 Cubans "were returned to their country of
origin in a plane belonging to the Federal Police." However, both
González and other Cuban migrants claim that they have been transferred
in civilian aircraft, which could indicate an even greater number of
returnees.

The INM notes that the departure office, provided for in the Migration
Law, "is a facilitation measure that is provided to foreigners who do
not have their nationality recognized by the authorities of their
countries. It gives them permission to travel legally in the national
territory for 20 days so that they can [have time to] regularize their
migratory situation in Mexico or leave the country."

In the case of Cubans, the consulate general of that country agreed to
recognize the nationality of 91 of its citizens, applied for by the
Mexican immigration authority to facilitate the return.

Since the end of the wet foot/dry foot policy, hundreds of Cubans have
been stranded in Mexico when they tried to reach the United
States. According to unofficial data, there are 300 Cubans at the "21st
Century Migration Station" in Chiapas in southern Mexico and several
hundred more in the cities bordering the United States.

*Translator's note: Cuba refuses to automatically recognize the Cuban
nationally of people who leave the country illegally.

Source: Mexico Deports 91 Cuban Migrants / 14ymedio, Mario Penton –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/mexico-deports-91-cuban-migrants-14ymedio-mario-penton/ Continue reading
El Sexto Released, After Almost Two Months Detention / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 21 January 2017 — Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto,
was released this Saturday after spending nearly two months in prison
after being arrested on 26 November of last year for painting graffiti
with the phrase "He left" on a wall of the hotel Habana Libre, a few
hours after the announcement of the death of former President Fidel Castro.

The artist was never brought to trial and was released without
charge. "They gave my identity card and told me I would have no problem
traveling outside the country," the artist 14ymedio within hours of
being released. "I am in good health and I am very grateful for the
solidarity of all those who were aware of my situation."

El Sexto said that tomorrow he will try to leave the country and that
they gave him "a telephone number in case he had problems in
immigration," he said.

Initially the investigators who took their case told the family that the
graffiti artist would be accused of damaging state property, an offense
"that is not included in the Penal Code," according to a post published
on Cubalex's online site. "Painting the walls or facades of a hotel is
an infraction against public adornment. Inspectors of the communal
system are entitled to impose fines of 100 pesos national currency in
these cases," the text explains.

El Sexto, 32, was also imprisoned for nearly 10 months at the end of
2014 when he was arrested for painting the words "Raúl" and "Fidel," in
reference to the Castro brothers, on the side of two living pigs as part
of an artistic action entitled Animal Farm. The artist planned to
release the animals in Havana's Central Park, when he was intercepted.

On that occasion the artist was accused of contempt, a crime that is
imputed to those who lack respect for public officials.

In 2015, El Sexto received the Václav Havel International Award for
creative dissent, awarded by the Human Rights Foundation.

Source: El Sexto Released, After Almost Two Months Detention / 14ymedio
– Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/el-sexto-released-after-almost-two-months-detention-14ymedio/ Continue reading

Tan solo el 11,2% de los adolescentes cubanos encuestados por Centro de Estudios sobre la Juventud considera que en la escuela se les enseña lo que necesitan saber, según dio a conocer el estatal Juventud Rebelde.

Un 31,75% dijo no encontrarle importancia al estudio.

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Cuban immigrants facing humanitarian crisis near U.S. border, Tampa
helping out
Non-profit sending non-monetary donations to help
Isabel Rosales
3:28 PM, Jan 22, 2017

TAMPA, -
A pair of wrinkled hands are proof of a long fight in escaping a regime.

"11 years in an inferno. In hell," said Oscar Rodriguez, a Cuban exile.

For 11 years in 1960s he attempted to leave Cuba. That's why as
president of non-profit Casa Cuba. He started an initiative to send
donations to the border. From clothing, to toiletries to non-perishables.

"I think they are in worse conditions because they are like in a limbo,"
said Lydia Gonzalez, who also escaped the communist regime.

Right now around 150 Cubans are stuck there. Their trip to the U.S. cut
short. To pay for the months-long journey most sold their homes and
every belonging.

"I feel so bad," said Gonzalez. "I feel so bad."

Despite feeling bad she said she's supportive of ending the wet foot,
dry foot policy.

"It's not a free country like come and come and come. No, you need to
have your law," Gonzalez said.

The policy has long angered a number of politicians who say some Cuban
immigrants abused the law by getting American residency not for
political escape but for economic betterment.

"We don't care about the Republicans or Democrats in this situation. We
just care about the people," said Rodriguez.

He insists he's staying neutral in this debate, but is speaking out for
the community's help.

"They are over there without hope, so we have to give a little bit to
them," Rodriguez said.

Casa Cuba reopens Saturday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2506 W.
Curtis St. in Tampa.

Source: Cuban immigrants facing humanitarian crisis near U.S. border,
Tampa helping out - Story | abcactionnews.com | Tampa Bay News, Weather,
Sports, Things To Do | WFTS-TV -
http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-tampa/cuban-immigrants-facing-humanitarian-crisis-near-us-border-tampa-helping-out Continue reading

Pablo de Llano

Minutos después de anunciarse la muerte de Fidel Castro, el pasado 25 de noviembre por la noche, Danilo Maldonado Machado pasó por casa de su madre y tocó en la ventana de su habitación. María Victoria Machado abrió y su hijo le preguntó: “Mami, ¿tienes miedo?”. Ella, que había oído la noticia, le dijo que no: “Ya sabes que esta es mi hora de acostarme”. Él siguió: “Bueno, pues yo me voy a calentar la pista”. La señora Machado asumió que su hijo se iba a pintar alguna consigna anticastrista en una ciudad, La Habana, que aquella noche se había quedado muda, silenciosa, vacía. Libre para los gatos y para los locos.

—¿Alguna vez le ha pedido que no se exponga tanto?

—No —responde la madre desde La Habana—. Yo admiro a mi hijo.

El Sexto, alias artístico de Maldonado, se fue y reapareció un rato más tarde a un costado del hotel Habana Libre. Con un teléfono móvil, arrancó una retransmisión en vivo por Facebook en la que se enfocaba a sí mismo y hablaba burlándose de Fidel y de Raúl Castro, recordando a opositores muertos, moviéndose por la calle desolada: “Nadie sale”, dijo. “Raro”, se mofó. “Nadie quiere hablar. ¿Pero hasta cuándo ustedes no van a querer hablar, caballeros?”.[[QUOTE:Era un excéntrico haciendo un show cómico-político en un teatro vacío pero vigilado. La sitcom más arriesgada del año en La Habana]]

Llevaba un sombrero blanco tipo panamá. Las gafas de sol, colgadas de la camiseta. Bajo el párpado derecho, un alambre de espino tatuado. Auriculares al cuello. Era un excéntrico haciendo un show cómico-político en un teatro vacío pero vigilado. La sitcom más arriesgada del año en La Habana. Entonces le preguntó a algún escudero: “Papi, ¿dónde está mi pomo?”.

El Sexto cogió un espray y sobre un muro lateral del Habana Libre, el hotel donde el padre de la revolución cubana tuvo su primera oficina tras conquistar la capital, garabateó: “Se fue”.

En directo. A la cara. Riesgo nivel cien.

Él lo disfrutó. Miró a la cámara y dijo: “Veo pánico en sus caras”. 1,97 metros, delgado, barba, mirada pletórica. Un Quijote cruzando la línea.

Horas después, según la reconstrucción de su madre, fue sacado de su apartamento a la fuerza por un grupo de policías y encerrado en la cárcel de máxima seguridad Combinado del Este, a las afueras de La Habana, acusado de daños a la propiedad del Estado. Apenas este sábado, dos meses después, pudo salir en libertad.

“Me entregaron mi carné de identidad y me dijeron que no tenía ningún problema para viajar fuera del país”, aseguró el artista al diario cubano 14ymedio pocas horas después de haber quedado en libertad sin cargos. “Estoy bien de salud y agradezco mucho la solidaridad de todos los que estuvieron pendientes de mi situación”.

Durante el tiempo que estuvo encarcelado, Amnistía Internacional lo declaró preso de conciencia. Una campaña en Change.org recogió unas 14.000 firmas por su liberación. Kimberley Motley, una abogada afroamericana especializada en derechos humanos, viajó en diciembre a Cuba para intentar visitarlo en prisión, pero fue detenida y devuelta a Estados Unidos. La vicepresidenta del Parlamento alemán, la socialdemócrata Ulla ­Schmidt, se declaró su “madrina política”.

Preso por segunda vez —en 2015 pasó 10 meses encerrado por planear una performance pública con dos cerdos pintados con los nombres de Fidel y Raúl—, El Sexto se ha convertido a sus 33 años en una heterodoxa figura de la disidencia.Más provocador que activista, es en esencia un punk al natural, un gamberro creativo que en otro país solo habría pagado una multa por pintarrajear una pared, pero a quien la Cuba del siglo XXI dedica el trato punitivo propio de una amenaza a la seguridad del Estado.

Cuando lo dejaron libre en 2015, después de una huelga de hambre, El Sexto viajó por distintos países y explicó en una charla que en sus comienzos definió su postura política como artista como respuesta a la propaganda oficial, abundante en la isla: “Si ellos tienen derecho a violar mi espacio visual, yo también tengo derecho a violar su espacio visual”, sostuvo.

Años atrás estaban en auge las proclamas gubernamentales pidiendo la vuelta de cinco cubanos encarcelados en Estados Unidos por espionaje. Los denominaban Los Cinco Héroes. Fue ahí cuando Maldonado se puso su apodo —El Sexto— y salió a grafitearlo.

“Danilo dice que el arte tiene que ser valiente y tratar de impactar a la gente”, explica desde La Habana su novia, Alexandra Martínez, una periodista cubanoamericana que conoció en Miami. Dice que El Sexto es fan de Estopa y de Joan Manuel Serrat. Cuenta lo impresionado que quedó cuando fue a Nueva York y visitó el estudio del artista Julian Schnabel, director de Antes que anochezca, la película sobre Reinaldo Arenas, el poeta cubano que murió de sida en el exilio, y de Basquiat, sobre el creador que empezó su carrera escribiendo SAMO, acrónimo inglés de “siempre la misma mierda”, por las calles de Manhattan.[[QUOTE:La señora Machado cuenta que en el expediente del caso se ha registrado que el coste de borrar la pintada de su hijo en el Habana Libre fue de 27 pesos cubanos]]

A su pareja le gusta un dibujo que ha hecho en su actual estancia carcelaria. Se titula Cementerio de hombres vivos. Es una litera de tres pisos con un hombre en el inferior, el del medio vacío y una cucaracha en el superior. “Alguien”, dice su madre, ha estado sacando de la cárcel las hojas en las que pintaba y las van publicando en su página de Facebook. Tienen un estilo surrealista. También escribe. Habla de sus pesadillas —guardias zoomorfos que lo maltratan—, toma apuntes del lenguaje de los presos —“la jodienda: sinónimo de comida”— y dirige mensajes a su público —“sigo sin recibir noticia de mi caso”, “dibujo poco por mi alergia, el exceso de humedad y la falta de luz”, “el jefe de unidad me golpeó”, “solo el cósmico sabe del verdadero propósito de este calvario”—.

La señora Machado cuenta que en el expediente del caso se ha registrado que el coste de borrar la pintada de su hijo en el Habana Libre fue de 27 pesos cubanos, 1,01 dólares. “Pero no le perdonan lo que pintó”, dice. Maldonado ha escrito desde prisión: “Imagínense cuántas personas se ríen de mí. Ya soy famoso en cárceles y prisiones”. Fidel Castro se fue. Las rejas permanecen.

_______

Nota de la Redacción: Este texto se reproduce aquí con la autorización de El País, donde ha sido publicado hoy.

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Cuba at a Crossroads
Analysis JANUARY 22, 2017 | 14:00 GMT
By Mark Fleming-Williams

It's been more than a month since the death of Cuban leader Fidel
Castro, and the mood in Cuba is somber. Messages of remembrance are
daubed on walls, and banners reading "Hasta Siempre, Comandante" hang in
the streets. Official New Year's celebrations in Havana — celebrations
that coincide with the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution's victory in
1959 — were canceled this year out of respect for the departed leader.
But among the banners and the nostalgia there are also signs of
modernity beginning to emerge that could transform Cuba.

From a Westerner's perspective, Cuba feels immediately dysfunctional.
The Communist mentality still clearly dominates, and there are queues
for everything, particularly for important functions such as banking and
exchanging currency. With few personal incentives to provide good
service, attendants often focus on finishing conversations with
colleagues before serving customers. When a system fails — for example,
if a bank card fails to withdraw money or if a bus is already fully
booked — the news is delivered to the hyperventilating customer with a
disinterested shrug. From the outside looking in, it's clear that the
Cuban system was constructed for the benefit of the residents, who
appear to have plenty of time on their hands, rather than for the
benefit hassled foreigners.

Perhaps that should be expected considering the island's history, during
which outsiders have been more of a curse than a blessing. When Cuba was
a Spanish colony, English and French pirates regularly raided it, and
when it became more profitable in the 19th century, those profits were
quickly appropriated by Spanish colonial masters, giving rise to a
substantial separatist movement on the island. But liberation from Spain
in 1898 did not afford Cuba the independence it desired. The United
States, having assisted the Cuban rebels in the Spanish-American War,
inserted itself into Cuban politics, giving it the constitutional right
to intervention.

During the decades after independence, the U.S. military intervened in
Cuban affairs regularly, fostering resentment and discontent. But U.S.
influence was not constrained to military action. Havana became a
favored destination for freewheeling American tourists, a Las Vegas of
its day, which was highly distasteful to Cuban traditionalists,
including a young Castro, who eventually seized control after waging an
ascetic guerrilla campaign in the southeastern mountains. Castro's
initial policy toward the United States was ambiguous, but it soon
became profoundly adversarial. Cuba turned away from the United States
and is today in its 59th year of true autonomy, the longest stretch
since it was first settled by Spain in 1511.

Such autonomy may appeal to Cubans' pride, but it does not do so much
for their stomachs. Cuban cuisine is notoriously limited, at least
partly because of the U.S. embargo that has been in place since 1962.
(Food is actually permitted by the embargo, but it gets through only in
limited quantities.) Any island would struggle to subsist on its own
resources: Cuba's initial solution was to cultivate a relationship with
the world's other superpower at the time — the Soviet Union — leading it
to undertake communist policies and to join the Council for Mutual
Economic Assistance. Soviet resources helped Cuba maintain a reasonable
lifestyle on the island and an outsize influence off it: Cuban forces
made decisive foreign interventions during the Cold War, particularly in
Africa.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, Cubans suffered
tremendously. Gasoline shortages forced people to turn to horse and
cart. Food shortages for huge swathes of the population led to severe
medical problems. Wages collapsed to lows that have hardly recovered
since. For Cubans, the lesson was that outsiders are a necessary evil
that are missed when they're gone.

Turning to Tourism
The Cuban solution to the end of Soviet support has been a gradual
opening to tourism. The process has been halting, with developments
often reversed when other forms of support emerge. For example, when
Cuba's cozy relationship with Venezuela led to an influx of cheap
energy, the island lost focus on tourism. But when the Venezuelan
economy collapsed, Cuba again began promoting tourism. Yet, the strategy
is not a magic bullet.

The foreign exchange provided by tourists is by definition more valuable
than the local pesos in which wages are paid. (The Cuban government has
created two separate currencies, CUCs, which are used by tourists, and
CUPs, which are used by Cubans.) This means that it is more lucrative to
drive a taxi than to be a university professor. A recent one-hour car
journey cost approximately $30. The driver was a full-time economics
professor, who had been attracted by the opportunity to earn
considerably more than his $24/month* university salary. Doctors are
facing a similar dilemma. Cuba's highly trained medical professionals
and the quality of care they provide residents have long been a point of
pride for the Cuban Revolution, but many doctors are finding it hard to
resist the call of Western cash. As doctors, they earn around
$48/month*, a high wage for Cuba but one that is dwarfed by what a
free-spending tourist can offer. Thus, the economic incentive in Cuba is
moving away from the study of advanced subjects and toward the study of
languages, particularly English, which is needed to compete for a
lucrative position in tourism. This will undermine many of Cuba's
traditional social strengths over time.

(*Salaries are self-reported)

Vinales
The opening up process has been accelerating recently. Domestic reforms
at the start of the decade created more opportunities for
entrepreneurialism, while the 2014 U.S.-Cuba rapprochement has opened up
the island to U.S. tourism. These developments have caused distortions
as existing systems struggle to cope with increased demand. The effect
is most clear in tourist haunts such as the beautiful Vinales, where
newly printed guidebooks are already out of date. Tourists swarm through
the small town, swamping the local resident population and consuming
resources like locusts. Bicycle rental prices are double those listed in
guidebooks, and the recommended restaurants have long waits.

This spike in demand is naturally also affecting the supply side, and
parts of Vinales are reminiscent of a 19th century gold rush town.
Walking the streets, it seems that every single carpenter, plumber,
tobacco farmer and housewife has transformed their lives to serve the
tourist industry. Most houses have been turned into identical bed and
breakfasts, and guided walking tours through the countryside are run
like factory lines, with seated tobacco farmers delivering the same
spiel to each passing group, spaced 30 minutes apart. The fledgling
tourist industry has yet to discover the merit of tactfully disguising
its true purpose, and a visitor can emerge feeling well milked. With
time, larger and more sophisticated businesses will undoubtedly come to
dominate the Vinales tourism sector, but for the moment resourceful
Cubans are indulging in a capitalist feeding frenzy.

There are other changes afoot in Cuba, most notably when it comes to
internet access. In July 2015, the government began allowing wifi zones,
both in public areas and around hotels, providing Cubans with more
access to the outside world than they've had in decades. There are still
huge barriers — the cost is prohibitive, particularly for locals, and
internet access often requires standing in the street beside a hotel
bashing at a phone in competition with one hundred others for limited
bandwidth. Still, the information revolution has begun to arrive in
Cuba, and as Cuba well knows, revolutions aren't easy to reverse.

The End of Communism
As its tourism sector develops and as its foreign patrons fall away,
Cuba is moving away from Communism. Now, with Fidel Castro's death and
current President Raul Castro's advanced age, it seems that the
influence of the brothers has a natural time limit. Moreover, recent
developments in Cuba's relationship with the United States have been
positive: The United States followed its 2014 rapprochement with Cuba
with an end to its "wet foot-dry foot" policy, which was designed to
undermine the Cuban administration by encouraging emigration from the
island. The arrival of the internet, too, will surely have a dramatic
effect on Cubans' understanding of the world and of their place within
it. Seeing a glimpse of what lies beyond their island will increase
their desire to travel and to seize the opportunities available to
others around the globe. Perhaps it will also encourage them to pressure
their government to continue opening more.

However, despite the progress made, it should not be assumed that Cuba
will unequivocally continue opening. Cuba made its most recent changes
with the help of a relatively accommodating U.S. government, which did
not make excessive demands of the island. But the United States is now
transitioning to a new administration that may view U.S.-Cuba relations
more traditionally. Because Cuba is so strategically positioned at the
mouth of the Gulf of Mexico and near the all-important Mississippi river
network, the new U.S. government may be tempted to try to bring it back
under U.S. influence, similar to its position before the Revolution. But
for Cuba, which has just experienced nearly 60 years of autonomy for the
first time in its history, submitting so much to U.S. interests may be
too great a price for normalization. Therefore, it is conceivable that
Cuba could once again double down on its post-Revolution policies of
austere isolation.

Source: Cuba at a Crossroads | Stratfor -
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Artist 'El Sexto' walks out of prison in Cuba
Artist spends 2 months in prison after celebrating Fidel Castro's death
By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer , Liane Morejon - Reporter
Updated: 6:42 PM, January 21, 2017

HAVANA - Cuban authorities freed artist Danilo Maldonado on Saturday.
The Cuban government had been holding the artist known as "El Sexto"
since Nov. 26.

International human rights U.S. human rights lawyer Kimberley Motley
took up his case and was later detained for hours in Havana.

More Cuba Headlines
Danilo 'El Sexto' Maldonado shares work from prison
Maldonado's family said they were grateful to Motley and international
civil rights attorney Centa B. Rek Chajtur from the Human Rights Foundation.

"It was the growing awareness about his case that has led the Cuban
government to liberate him," a statement on the artist's Facebook page
said. They added that Maldonado plans to "continue doing meaningful art
towards a free and democratic Cuba."

The artist was released after the Geneva-based United Nations Working
Group on Arbitrary Detention started to review a legal petition filed in
his behalf.
The graffiti writer had been in prison before. Cubans held him for about
10 months after he attempted to release two pigs he had spray painted
with the names of Raul and Fidel Castro.

Maldonado's latest arrest happened before an exhibit he was supposed to
host in Miami during Art Basel. Cuban authorities showed up to his
apartment after he celebrated the death of Fidel Castro with graffiti.

Source: Artist 'El Sexto' walks out of prison in Cuba -
http://www.local10.com/news/cuba/artist-el-sexto-walks-out-of-prison-in-cuba-efe-reports Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 4 January 2017 — Like a metaphorical invisible hand, moving to place a ouija or bet on Russian roulette, David, a young writer, considers that the coming year will be unpredictable for the island. In the hope that the Ifá priests (Yoruba mystics) will spread around their Letters of the Year, the necromancers predict the future, and … Continue reading "Cuba: Skepticism Beats Hope / Iván García" Continue reading
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Primera prueba cubana para Trump: Delegación de funcionarios de Raúl Castro recorre EEUU Posted on 22 enero, 2017 Por Redacción CaféFuerte Los retos para el presidente estadounidense Donald Trump no son pocos, pero a 24 horas de su investidura la tiene plantada la primera prueba cubana ante su flamante gabinete. Una delegación de funcionarios cubanos […] Continue reading
El Sexto: “El hermano es el que debía estar en el Combinado, no yo”. enero 22, 2017 María Matienzo Puerto Eso aseguró a Cubanet el grafitero disidente Danilo Maldonado, liberado tras 57 días de prisión en Cuba sin juicio. LA HABANA, Cuba.- El artista plástico Danilo Maldonado, “El Sexto”, fue liberado al cabo de 57 […] Continue reading
Liberado el grafitero cubano Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto enero 21, 2017 Pablo Alfonso “Ustedes tienen, un grano de arena no, una piedra, por la libertad de mi hijo. Todas las noticias, todo el apoyo y todo lo que han hecho por su libertad ha sido importante, dijo agradecida María Victoria, durante una entrevista telefónica con […] Continue reading
Desfile de modelos III: la educación en Cuba JOSÉ MANUEL PALLÍ Me bastó con un viaje a Cuba (el primero, en mayo del 2002) para comprobar la falsedad de otra de las tantas mentiras que la propaganda infantil dirigida desde Miami por alguno que otro “zorro” le quiere hacer creer a la humanidad toda: que […] Continue reading
Cuba: ¿aumentará ‘la presión a la olla’ tras cambio de política de EEUU? NORA GÁMEZ TORRES ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com A apenas días de dejar la Casa Blanca, Barack Obama anunció la decisión probablemente más trascendental para los cubanos entre todas las que tomó durante el llamado “deshielo”: la eliminación de la política de “pies secos, pies mojados”, […] Continue reading
“Para matarme a mí hay que echarla” CubaNet entrevista a El Sexto, liberado luego de 57 días de prisión Sábado, enero 21, 2017 | María Matienzo Puerto LA HABANA, Cuba.- El artista plástico Danilo Maldonado, “El Sexto”, fue liberado al cabo de 57 días de prisión sin juicio. Acusado de Maltrato a la propiedad del […] Continue reading
… port and maritime officials from Cuba has arrived in the United … ) west of Havana. The visit, the first from Cuba during the Donald … Sentinel newspaper reported that the Cuban delegation will be traveling to … cooperative farms in Cuba to be exported. But Havana is eager to … Continue reading


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El MCL teme que Eduardo Cardet pueda ser condenado como ‘mínimo a tres años’ DDC | Holguín | 22 de Enero de 2017 – 18:19 CET. El Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, MCL, “teme” que a su coordinador nacional en la Isla, Eduardo Cardet, se le condene “con máximo rigor por el caso que le han fabricado” […] Continue reading
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 22 January 2017 — A Canadian tourist thought he had seen everything in Cuba, but just a few minutes before boarding his flight he decided to use the bathroom in Terminal 3 of Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. There, like a realist stage set to represent the indolence that runs the … Continue reading "Urinals ‘Out of Order’ in Cuba’s Largest Airport / 14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez" Continue reading

La Casa Blanca eliminó el español de su página web y también fueron cerradas cuentas en español que el Gobierno de EEUU tenía en las redes sociales, según informa el periódico español El País.

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Cuba tiene en una “Lista Roja” y en alerta para su protección al 46.31% de la flora nacional en peligro de extinción, lo que la sitúa como la isla del … Click to Continue » Continue reading

La recientemente publicada "Lista roja de la flora vascular cubana 2016", compilación que incluye la evaluación de 4.627 especies de la vegetación cubana, el 66,57% del total de plantas reportadas para el archipiélago, señaló que aproximadamente el 50% de la flora nacional está amenazada de extinción, el 18% en peligro crítico de extinción y 25 especies ya han sido declaradas extintas, según dio a conocer el estatal leer más

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El dramaturgo, crítico literario y periodista cubano Amado del Pino, residente en España desde 2008, falleció este domingo en Madrid a los 56 años a causa de un cáncer, informó … Click to Continue » Continue reading
… to exchange money at the Havana airport can stretch on for … its developing relationship with Cuba and the Cuban government makes some political … a vacation toasting themselves on Cuban beaches. Those more liberal rules … supportive Cuban diaspora, new, more restrictive travel and remittance policies for CubaContinue reading

El documental Give Me Future del realizador Austin Peters que cuenta la historia del documental de Major Lazer en La Habana en 2016 se estrenará en el Festival de Cine de Sundance, según informó Fact Magazine

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El Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, MCL, "teme" que a su coordinador nacional en la Isla, Eduardo Cardet, se le condene "con máximo rigor por el caso que le han fabricado" a un "mínimo de tres años", según publicaron este sábado en su página web.

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En horas de la mañana de este domingo, en la Terminal 3 del aeropuerto José Martí de La Habana, las autoridades "impidieron viajar" a Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, quien se dirigía a Miami después de estar dos meses en prisión sin juicio, según contó el propio grafitero a DIARIO DE CUBA.

"No me dejaron subir al avión", aunque "ya había hecho el check-in", dijo.

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Zunilda Mata

El dramaturgo, actor y crítico literario Amado del Pino (Camagüey, 1960) murió este domingo en Madrid a los 56 años de edad, según confirmaron a 14ymedio varias fuentes cercanas a la familia.

El muro de Facebook de Del Pino, y de su esposa Tania Cordero, se ha llenado de condolencias a lo largo del día, en especial de cubanos emigrados que recordaban su trabajo dentro de la Isla. “Allá donde vayas sigas escribiendo como lo hacías”, era uno de los tantos mensajes dejados en la red social.

Graduado del Instituto Superior de Arte en la especialidad de Teatrología y Dramaturgia en 1982, trabajó como asesor teatral en el Conjunto Dramático de Camagüey, Teatro de Arte Popular y otros grupos del país.

El dramaturgo tuvo una destacada trayectoria en las tablas nacionales, una labor que fue reconocida con el Premio Internacional de Teatro Carlos Arniches a partir de su pieza Cuatro Menos. Su desempeño como periodista y crítico de teatro también le valió el Premio Internacional de Periodismo Miguel Hernández, además de desempeñarse como jefe de la página cultural del periódico Juventud Rebelde y redactor de la revista Revolución y Cultura.

El gran público lo recuerda por su personaje en la película Clandestinos dirigida por Fernando Pérez. En la cinta representa a un goloso revolucionario con dificultades para seguir una huelga de hambre desde prisión. Del Pino le otorga cierto toque de humor a la seriedad del tema, hasta el punto de que su frase sobre embarrarse con unos frijoles negros se ha incorporado al habla popular.[[QUOTE:Amadito, como lo llamaban sus amigos, actuó también en el filme Guantanamera (1994), de Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, que sería duramente criticado por Fidel Castro, en el discurso más largo de su vida política]]Amadito, como lo llamaban sus amigos, actuó también en el filme Guantanamera (1994), de Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, que sería duramente criticado por Fidel Castro, en el discurso más largo de su vida política. El mandatario aseguró que el argumento de la cinta ironizaba sobre las dificultades para trasladar el cuerpo de un fallecido, lo que denotaba "falta de sensibilidad humana y de solidaridad".

La huella de Del Pino en el teatro está marcada por la doble condición de dramaturgo y crítico. La primera le mereció el Premio Internacional de Teatro Carlos Amiches por su obra Cuatro Menos y por la segunda el Premio Internacional de Periodismo Miguel Hernández. En 2005 recibió la Distinción por la Cultura Nacional.

Sus textos se sumergen en las contradicciones sociales, echan mano del realismo, la poesía y de las búsquedas estructurales, además de mezclar la calidad literaria y la efectividad  teatral.

Sus obras Penumbra en el noveno cuarto y El zapato sucio se han representado en diversos países y son objeto de estudio en el Instituto Superior de Arte cubano. La versión para teatro de la novela Vientos de Cuaresma de Leonardo Padura, también se cuenta entre sus grandes aciertos.

Aunque en los últimos años estaba radicado fundamentalmente en España mantuvo su presencia en Cuba alternando, como confesaba a sus amigos, “entre la nostalgia por Madrid y por La Habana”. Al momento de redactar esta nota no se conocía todavía si sus restos serían trasladados a la Isla.

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Una emigrante centroamericana me comenta, no sin cierta sorpresa, que muchos cubanos exiliados en Miami han celebrado el fin de la política “pies secos, pies mojados”. La señora no puede … Click to Continue » Continue reading
México repatrió a 91 cubanos que se encontraban indocumentados en ese país en tránsito hacia Estados Unidos, los primeros devueltos después de que Washington cerró la migración ilegal desde la … Click to Continue » Continue reading

Marcelo Hernández

Un turista canadiense creía haberlo visto todo de Cuba, pero faltando pocos minutos para abordar el vuelo decidió ir al baño en la terminal 3 del Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí de La Habana. Allí, como un decorado realista para representar la indolencia que recorre la Isla, se encontró con que ningún urinario estaba disponible.

Desde hace meses los baños de la principal terminal aérea del país sufren un paulatino e indetenible deterioro. Una situación que se agrava con el aumento de clientes que pasaron por el lugar a lo largo de 2016, cuando alcanzó un récord mundial de crecimiento en llegadas de pasajeros en vuelos comerciales. A las roturas técnicas se le suman los problemas en el suministro de agua, la falta de papel sanitario y el intento de las empleadas de cobrarle a los clientes un precio, no establecido legalmente, por el uso del servicio.

A través del aeropuerto insigne de la Isla arribaron más del 50% de los viajeros internacionales que llegaron al país en un año en que también se marcó un nuevo récord para el turismo, al alcanzar más de cuatro millones de visitantes. Ellos pudieron obtener de primera mano un anticipo de lo que encontrarían en el país o una despedida, al mejor estilo de la ineficiencia cubana.

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El también ensayista y periodista residía en Madrid, España Continue reading
La primera delegación oficial cubana que visita Estados Unidos bajo la presidencia de Donald Trump inició los intercambios “sobre las oportunidades de negocios e inversión extranjera en la isla”, informó … Click to Continue » Continue reading

El dramaturgo, crítico literario y periodista Amado del Pino (Tamarindo, 1960) falleció este domingo en Madrid a la edad de 56 años, según dio a conocer en un comunicado Karelia Vázquez, periodista y colaboradora de el diario español El País.

Del Pino destacó como dramaturgo, crítico y periodista.

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Hicieron su petición antes del fin del Programa de Parole Continue reading

La activista Belkis Cantillo, líder del Movimiento Dignidad, "detenida" el pasado jueves por agentes de la Seguridad del Estado como denunció el líder de UNPACU (Unión Patriótica de Cuba), José Daniel Ferrer, todavía en horas de la mañana de este domingo "no había sido liberada", según dijeron a DIARIO DE CUBA la hija de la líder, Martha Beatriz Ferrer Cantillo, y la activista Yoanna Quesada Massabeaut.

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Tercera victoria frente al equipo de Ciego de Ávila Continue reading