Funcionarios de los gobiernos de Cuba e Irán celebran desde este lunes en La Habana la décimo sexta sesión de la Comisión Intergubernamental para analizar las relaciones económicas y comerciales, así como para negociar y firmar varios acuerdos, informó la página oficial de CubaMinrex.Continue reading
When a society manages to liberalize prices – that is, they are determined by the relationship between supply and demand – they constitute an indicator of economic health.
This is so because a freely-set price is a function of consumers' tastes, the state of competition, the necessary levels of production, as well as a proper allocation of resources towards certain sectors of the economy.Continue reading
Representantes de los Gobiernos de Cuba e Irán celebran desde lunes en La Habana la XVI sesión de la Comisión Intergubernamental entre ambos países para analizar las relaciones económicas y comerciales, así como para negociar y firmar varios acuerdos, informaron fuentes oficiales.
El ministro iraní de Salud y Docencia Médica, Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, preside la delegación iraní que asiste a la reunión, en la que la representación del Gobierno cubano está encabezada por el ministro de Comercio Exterior e Inversión Extranjera, Rodrigo Malmierca, según una nota de la Cancillería de la isla.
La Comisión Intergubernamental, que se prolongará hasta el próximo miércoles, no se reunía desde septiembre de 2011.
Unos treinta funcionarios y empresarios de los sectores estatal y privado integran la comitiva del país islámico y tienen previsto sostener encuentros con representantes de organismos e instituciones cubanas involucradas en las relaciones económicas y comerciales bilaterales, señala la nota.[[QUOTE:El estrechamiento de los lazos entre ambos países también se produce en un momento en que Cuba busca alternativas para garantizar un suministro estable de petróleo]]Las reuniones atañen a sectores "como la salud, la energía, la agricultura, la educación superior, el deporte, el científico y el jurídico", precisa.
Además, durante su estancia en Cuba el ministro iraní "desarrollará un programa colateral que incluye entrevistas con otras altas autoridades cubanas y visitas a lugares de interés científico y cultural", agrega el comunicado.
El presidente iraní, Hasán Rohaní, realizó una visita oficial a Cuba en septiembre del 2016 durante la cual se reunió con su homólogo, Raúl Castro, y firmó un acuerdo de cooperación en los sectores de salud, educación e investigación.
Esa visita estuvo precedida por otra del canciller iraní, Mohammad Javad Zarif, quien también se entrevistó con el mandatario cubano, junto al que reafirmó el interés mutuo de ampliar las relaciones bilaterales en los sectores económico, comercial, financiero y de cooperación.
El estrechamiento de los lazos entre ambos países también se produce en un momento en que Cuba busca alternativas para garantizar un suministro estable de petróleo, dado que la crisis que atraviesa Venezuela ha provocado una importante reducción en el volumen de crudo subsidiado que ese país enviaba a la isla caribeña.Continue reading
State / 14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez
Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 12 February 2017 – "Take me, I'll pay you
double," implores a woman to a taxi driver on the main route of Prado y
Neptuno. The car is empty, but the driver does not stop to those hailing
his taxi, even while showing money in their hands. Imposed fixed prices
on private transport have unleashed a silent battle on the streets of
Since last Wednesday capital authorities have applied a new scale of
fixed rates on the routes of private taxis, a decision that reinforced
an end to the law of supply and demand, which regulated the private
transport since its authorization in the mid 1990s. Last year the
authorities decreed set fares, but the drivers found a way to get around
them and the state came back with a second round of controls last week.
Private transport drivers reacted by eliminating intermediate stops or
by opting to pick up only passengers going the full route. Despite not
relying on an independent union, they have closed ranks and reduced the
number of clients they transport in order to pressure local authorities
to take a step back.
"It has not been necessary for drivers to agree on taking these measure
because we all know that accepting this means worse measures to come,"
assures Leo Ramírez, one of the private taxis whose route runs between
downtown and the neighborhood La Víbora. Driver of a 1957 Chevrolet,
this man says the government is "waging war" on them.
Like most of his colleagues who transport passengers within the city,
for the past three days Ramírez only accepts riders going the full
route. "Most of the time I ride around with no passengers and I have
lost a lot of money," he says to 14ymedio. He claims, "if the measure is
not reversed I will turn in my license."
At the end of 2016, Cuba had more than 535,000 private or non-state
workers, the largest figure recorded since 2010, according to data from
the Ministry of Work and Social Security (MTSS). Of these, about 54,350
work in the transport of cargo and passengers and are popularly know as
The situation has put the mobility of Havana in check, a city with over
2 million people and a public transport system facing a deficit of vehicles.
In July 2016, the Council of Provincial Administration published
Agreement 185, setting maximum fares for the routes of the popular
almendrones*, or private taxis. At that time, established rates were for
the most important routes, but the drivers resorted to breaking the
trips into segments and charging per segment.
Tatiana Viera, vice-president of the Council, explained on national
television that behind that decision was "a series of violations that
occurred between the months of September and October." Consequently, "in
order to continue to protect the public," they decided on the new
"measures for shorter trips."
The official explains that private taxis transport workers, students and
even "teachers, who with their salary and hard work cannot afford
transportation at those prices." Viera pointed out that "it is our state
and moral duty to continue protecting these customers," even though she
classified the almendrones as "complementary transport."
"The problem is not prices, but wages," says Yampier, a taxi driver on
the route from the area of the Capitol to the municipality of Marianao.
According to this self-employed driver, "our cars are always full, which
means there are people who can afford our prices." However, he considers
that presently, they are all affected by the new measures.
A retiree who tried to take a taxi this Saturday to Santiago de la Vegas
from El Curita park, showed more optimism. "There was no one who could
pay those prices, which makes me glad the State intervened," she
commented to 14ymedio. She went outside with the newspaper stating the
new rates to "show (the drivers) if they tried to take advantage of her."
The sanctions for those who do not conform to the new rates range from a
fine to the confiscation of the vehicle. "Our inspectors are already on
the streets" dressed in "blue jackets," warns Viera and adds, "They are
accompanied by the National Revolutionary Police (PNR)."
Carlos Manuel, known as the Mule, is self-employed in construction and
lives in the Martí neighborhood. Every day he takes at least two private
taxis to get to the house where he is building a bathroom and a kitchen.
"When I heard the news I felt happy because I was going to pay half of
what I was paying last Thursday," he commented to this newspaper.
However, as the days pass, the Mule explains that these new measures
have actually "affected me a lot." Now, "I have to go to where the route
starts to hop on a taxi," he retells. So, "I pay more because I have to
go on a longer route now."
This construction worker is also concerned that "this type of decision
by the State will trickle down into other professions." In his case, he
is afraid that "one day they might announce fixed rates for the
placement of a square meter of tiles or the installation of sanitary
fixtures," a situation which he would be "deeply affected" by.
*Translator's note: "Almendrones" means "almonds" – from the shape of
the classic American cars often used to provide this service.
Translated by Chavely Garcia.
Source: Private Taxi Drivers Close Ranks Against Fixed Prices Charged By
The State / 14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/private-taxi-drivers-close-ranks-at-the-fixed-prices-charged-by-the-state-14ymedio-marcelo-hernandez/ Continue reading
Oppression," says Rocio Monasterio / 14ymedio, Mario Penton
14ymedio, Mario J. Penton, Miami, 11 February 2017 – Rocio Monasterio, a
Cuban living in Spain who became popular after starring in a televised
debate at the end of November in which she confronted Castro supporters
about the legacy of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, gave a talk
Friday in Miami about her ideological platform and her aspirations for
This 43-year old Cuban with parents from Cienfuegos and a member of the
(conservative) Vox Party in Spain defends the family and liberty as
supreme values. She is a passionate speaker who strongly criticizes the
Cuban government and condemns those politicians disposed to dialogue
"Cuba raised a big wall in 1959. Since then night fell on the country,
the search for liberty was interrupted. Unfortunately, 60 years later,
Cubans are still in the shadows and we don't see a light that
illuminates our homeland. All those who live in Cuba are imprisoned,"
she said before emphasizing, "When we see a brother imprisoned we have
to do everything possible to help him."
An architect by profession, Monasterio decided to go into politics as a
result of the loss of values that, in her judgement, Spanish society has
experienced. She joined Vox as a way of giving voice to hundreds of
Spaniards who do not agree with the relaxation of policies by the
Popular Party, currently in power, an organization to which she
delivered her vote every year but about which she is singularly critical.
"It is extraordinary that a Hispanic Cuban can speak to Cuban Americans
in Miami. We are united by the Hispanic phenomenon," she said.
About those who opt for investment in Cuba in order to foster an
emerging middle class that in the future will be able to demand
political changes, Monasterio asserts that those politicians and
businessmen are "soothing their conscience for collaborating with the
"It is being shown that investment in Cuba is nothing more than
supporting Castro-ism," she adds.
As an alternative to totalitarianism, Monasterio proposes Hispanic values.
"We have inherited from Spain the Christian values that are society's
foundation: equality, defense of freedom, right to life, belief in the
individual and in his individual responsibility, also the family as a
fundamental value of society. All this is this based in freedom," she said.
One point that she emphasized was the relationship between the European
Union, above all Spain, and the Cuban Government. For the Hispanic
Cuban, the credibility of the institutions and the parties that
negotiate with Raul Castro are in jeopardy.
"In the collective imagination of Spain, Cuba is the most beloved. The
relationship of both countries is that of brotherhood," said Monasterio.
Nevertheless, she characterized as "a great betrayal" the normalization
of relations without a single word about human rights violations on the
"Those today who do not help the victims of Castro-ism are accomplices
in the oppression and contribute to the perpetuation of night in Cuba, a
night that has already lasted too many years," she added.
The architect conceives her battle as not only against communism but
against all kinds of totalitarianism, which according to her is being
exported from Cuba to Spain and Latin American countries like Venezuela,
Nicaragua and Ecuador.
"Totalitarianism is not only the lack of freedom, but also the
elimination of the individual. All contrary to our values," she says.
She also admitted that she fights hard against gender politics and is
radically opposed to homosexual marriage:
"I don't meddle in civil unions between people who have another view of
sexuality, but that is not matrimony. Matrimony is between a man and a
woman," she says.
For Monasterio, gender ideology is "another big dictatorship of our
time." She condemns Spanish education in this sense.
"We are subjected, once again, to determined ideologues who come from
big institutions. Gender ideology is contrary to the family and our
values," she said.
To oppose the proposed education in gender ideology values, Monasterio's
party proposed a platform for freedoms that defends the right of parents
to educate their children according to their values.
About her dispute with "the defenders of the indefensible, that is,
Castro-ism, Monasterio reminded that the Castro brothers came to Cuban
government promising equality," but what they have done is to equalize
everyone "in misery and oppression."
"A Castro military elite controls Cubans and makes them ignore freedom."
According to Monasterio, the Cuban diaspora confronts three big
responsibilities: the obligation to denounce what Castro-ism means
before those who truly do not know what it is; to be effective in the
use of a new discourse and new tools for telling and transmitting the
values of our culture; and to create a new iconography. "We have to pass
to the next generations the commitment to fight for the freedom of our
Translated by Mary Lou Keel
Source: "Those Who Do Not Help the Victims of Castro-ism Are Complicit
in the Oppression," says Rocio Monasterio / 14ymedio, Mario Penton –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/those-who-do-not-help-the-victims-of-castro-ism-are-complicit-in-the-oppression-says-rocio-monasterio-14ymedio-mario-penton/ Continue reading
Luz Escobar, Havana, 11 February 2017 – Sexists, hard and streetsmart,
such are the lyrics of most reggaeton songs that are heard everywhere.
Topics that speak about jealousy and rivalries, but that can also convey
very different messages. Under the name La Unión (the Union), a group of
young artists spread the Christian faith to the rhythm of this urban
genre so popular in Cuba.
The group, founded in 2013, promotes their songs and videos through the
Weekly Packet in the folder titled "Christian section." A musical work
that stands out in the Cuban panorama by combining two elements that
seem opposed: religion and reggaeton.
Willing to break down those prejudices, Ramiro (Pucio), Osmel (Mr.
Jacke), Randoll (El Escogido), and Misael (DJ Misa), compose and sing
for a new generation of listeners born with this millennium. A
generation accustomed to choosing a la carte the audiovisual materials
they consume and who are very familiar with flash drives, Zapya and
In times of vertigo in the exchange of content, the members of the Union
release their songs under the label Kingdom Records, a handcrafted
studio installed in the house of DJ Misa, in the Alamar neighborhood. In
that zone of ugly buildings and good musicians, rap and hip-hop reigned
in earlier decades.
In public performances of the Union, women dancing with lewd movements,
twerking style, are not seen and the group members do not wear heavy
gold chains around their necks. Even so the places where they perform
are packed and fans sing along to the lyrics, which praise values such
as solidarity and friendship.
In a conversation with 14ymedio during a promotional tour around La
India, in Old Havana, the director of the group, DJ Misa, said that from
the beginning they wanted to "take the message of Jesus to the Island's
youngest listeners" and they thought it "perfect" to use urban music "as
a strategy" because "that is what is mostly heard in the streets."
Currently, the DJ Misa is immersed in a whirlwind of preparations for a
concert the group will perform on February 17 in the central venue
Riviera. The launching of a new video clip also fills him with pride,
although reaching the point they have now arrived at has not come easily.
The beginnings of the Union were not exempt from "some obstacles,"
comments DJ Misa, because few people dared to "mix Christian music with
reggaeton." However, they found acceptance within the island's
millennials and the pastor of the Methodist Church of Alamar, Daniel
Marín, who supported them unconditionally.
A recent survey of young Cubans found that their idols range from soccer
players, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, to reggaeton singers,
like Yomil, El Chacal and el Príncipe, who are overwhelmingly popular
among those under 30 years old.
In this context, Christian musicians count on an audience interested in
rhythms representing reality. But it is also an audience accustomed to
the ruggedness of many reggaeton songs, which praise sexism, promiscuity
and frivolity. These are the themes heard in bars, cafeterias, and taxis
and even during morning assemblies in Cuban schools.
DJ Misa explains the support they have also received from other pastors.
He says it is because many young people "who are in church but no longer
very interested and about to leave," after listening to their music
return with more joy. Although he laments that due to lack of resources
they can only do two or three concerts a year.
Both performances and video clips are self produced and financed, says
the artist, who complains "there are still no companies that promote
Christian music." Nevertheless, they have managed to perform various
concerts and in August of last year filled the venue Avenida.
The young man's production ability was self-taught, and he counts on
spreading his music through social networks, such as Facebook and YouTube.
He does not discard that the Union will be televised and is thinking
about presenting his next music video, Jesus Fanatic, at next year's
Lucas Awards. DJ Misa is convinced that his audiovisuals "have the same
quality as the ones presented" and show a "very professional appearance."
As they reach the small screen, these young musicians are achieving a
special place in the national urban music, a place where the heavy
terrain of reggaeton manages to gain spirituality and compromise.
Translated by Chavely Garcia
Source: Faith Arrives to the Rhythm of Reggaeton / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar
– Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/faith-arrives-to-the-rhythm-of-reggaeton-14ymedio-luz-escobar/ Continue reading
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