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Daily Archives: February 19, 2017

… photo / Oscar Alfonso Sosa) The Cuban Public Health system has announced … 23rd, said head of the Cuban vaccination program Lena Lopez in … that all vaccination sites in Cuba will be involved in the … before the victory of the Cuban Revolution poliomyelitis claimed the lives … Continue reading

La Policía de Quintana Roo, en México, después de 10 días de búsqueda rescató a dos cubanos que habían sido secuestrados, según dio a conocer la web Cancunmio.com.

Los cubanos fueron encontrados en el municipio Isla Mujeres.

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14ymedio, Havana, 19 February 2017 — Two Cubans have been rescued from the hands of their kidnappers on Isla Mujeres, as the result of a joint effort between the Federal Investigation Police and agents of the Ministerial Police of the state of Quintana Roo. In the operation carried out on Friday, one of those implicated in … Continue reading "Mexican Police Rescue Two Cubans Kidnapped in Mexico / 14ymedio" Continue reading
Havana (AFP) - More than 680 Cubans have been deported back to Cuba … reported Saturday. According to official Cuban reports, 683 people have been … 2015 along with Cuban President Raul Castro. Now, overland Cuban migrants are … illegal migration and human trafficking. Cuban media reported Saturday that the … Continue reading

Una ópera judío-cubana será estrenada este 3 de marzo en el Teatro Arenal de La Habana, según informa The New York Times.

La ópera Hatuey: Memory of Fire se basa en un poema épico de 1931 escrito en yiddish por Ascher Penn (Oscar Pinis), un refugiado ucraniano que huyó a Cuba.

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La iniciativa ciudadana Cuba Decide y la Red Latinoamericana Jóvenes por la Democracia (RedLat) entregarán el Premio Oswaldo Payá Libertad y Vida este miércoles 22 de febrero a las 11:00 de la mañana, según dieron a conocer en una nota a la que tuvo acceso DIARIO DE CUBA.

La ceremonia tendrá lugar en la casa de la familia Payá-Acevedo en la Calle Peñón número 221, entre Ayuntamiento y Monasterio, El Cerro, La Habana.

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… 's recent tweet that Cuban is "not smart enough … ' at NBA All-Star Saturday Cuban initially claimed the jersey number … targeting Cuban last Sunday morning, writing, "I know Mark Cuban well … to run for president!" Cuban, who has been vocal in … Continue reading


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Tres años después de autorizar sus ventas nadie ha comprado un Peugeot 508 en Cuba Iván García Quintero La Habana, con sus dos millones y medio de habitantes, y un millón de turistas extranjeros o visitantes ilegales de otras provincias, probablemente figure entre las peores ciudades del mundo para trasladarse de un lugar a otro […] Continue reading
La directora de ‘Lente Cubano’, en el punto de mira de la Seguridad YUSIMÍ RODRÍGUEZ LÓPEZ | La Habana | 19 de Febrero de 2017 – 18:16 CET. En circunstancias normales, escribiría una crítica sobre Lente cubano, audiovisual que circula en internet y a través de El Paquete, como he hecho con programas de la […] Continue reading

Los estadounidenses no viajan a Cuba ahora que pueden hacerlo, entre otros factores por los problemas que encuentran los turistas con la inflación y los altos precios, cuestiones legales como las 12 categorías en que pueden viajar y la competencia con otros mercados turísticos, según apunta leer más

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14ymedio

Dos cubanos han sido rescatados de manos de sus secuestradores en Isla Mujeres, a partir de un trabajo de conjunto entre la Policía Federal de Investigación y agentes de la Policía Ministerial del estado de Quintana Roo. En la operación realizada el viernes, fue capturado uno de los implicados en el secuestro, según la prensa local.

La Fiscalía Especializada en Investigación del Secuestro inició “una minuciosa indagatoria para ubicar y localizar a las dos víctimas” oriundas de Cuba quienes habían sido retenidas por las mismas personas que las ayudaron a “ingresar a territorio mexicano y exigieron a sus familiares la cantidad de 20.000 dólares por su rescate”, puntualiza el reporte.

La investigación tardó diez días hasta que el 17 de febrero “se logró la liberación de las personas sanas y salvas”, aunque no se precisó la identidad de las víctimas. En el momento de ser rescatadas se encontraban en una reserva “en una zona de mangle ubicada sobre la Avenida Rueda Medina con calle Pelícano, en el municipio de Isla Mujeres”.[[QUOTE:Las autoridades policiales aseguran que la familia de los secuestrados no llegó a depositar el dinero del rescate]]

Las autoridades policiales aseguran que la familia de los secuestrados no llegó a depositar el dinero del rescate. En la operación policial se detuvo a “un implicado de iniciales L.J.C.P, como cabecilla del grupo, quien se encargaba de solicitar el rescate a los familiares en Estados Unidos, a fin de obtener su liberación para que llegaran a su destino”.

En otra acción policial fueron arrestados el mismo viernes en la tarde, seis personas de origen cubano, incluyendo una mujer, quienes “no pudieron acreditar su legal estancia en el Estado. Los migrantes fueron puestos a disposición del Ministerio Público para ser presentados ante el Instituto Nacional de Migración.

Se calcula que cientos de cubanos han quedado varados en México tras el fin de la política pies secos/pies mojados en enero pasado. Para muchos de ellos el sueño americano se ha convertido en una pesadilla de extorsiones y desapariciones.

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En circunstancias normales, escribiría una crítica sobre Lente cubano, audiovisual que circula en internet y a través de El Paquete, como he hecho con programas de la Televisión Cubana.

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La legitimidad de una asociación voluntaria contra la que representa el discurso oficialista Continue reading
Private Taxi Drivers Feel Harassed By The Cuban Government / Iván García

Iván García, 15 February 2017 — Decidedly, equanimity isn't one of
Pastor's strong points. He's an industrial engineer transformed into a
private taxi driver, and six days a week he drives a 1954 Dodge with a
body from a Detroit factory, patched up a couple of times in a Havana
workshop and improved with a German engine from a Mercedes Benz, a South
Korean transmission and a steering wheel from a Lada of the Soviet era.
With this car he operates on a fixed-route as a shared-taxi.

This mechanical Frankenstein is the livelihood of Pastor, his wife, four
children and two grandchildren. "When I stop driving, it's felt in the
house. So I have to be driving 12 or 13 hours daily. My family and even
my in-laws live from my almendrón (old American car). The government
considers us taxi drivers as tycoons, newly rich. But that's not true,"
says Pastor, while he drives his taxi through the narrow Monte Street in
the direction of the Parque de la Fraternidad.

At the end of the trip, he parks very close to the Saratoga Hotel and
enumerates details of the collective taxi business in Havana. "There are
two types of taxi drivers. Those who own their car, like me, and those
who lease it to someone who owns five or six cars and makes money
renting them out. We all pay the same tax, which the State raises each
year, by using some ruse," he comments, and he adds:

"The study that ONAT, the National Tax Office, did, which controls
private work on the Island, is very elementary. Its calculations are
removed from reality. The deductions for the time we aren't working are
erroneous. Sometimes the car has to be in the shop for two or more months.

But the transportation problem, which the government tries to blame us
for, is something that they haven't resolved. If my business is one of
supply and demand, then no one should stick their nose into my prices.
It doesn't concern the State. If they want to improve public
transportation let them buy hundreds of busses and taxis, so they can
see how low prices have fallen," says Pastor, who, as we're chatting,
becomes impassioned, and more than a few swear words sprinkle the
conversation.

"This can only happen in a dictatorship. If they really want things to
get better they would have had a dialogue with us, the taxi drivers, who
in the capital alone number more than 10,000. Compadre, the State
doesn't give a shit about helping us. They don't give us so much as a
single screw. We pay them everything. What would have been a good
solution? To sell us gas, which now costs 1.10 Cuban convertible pesos
(roughly $1.10 US) in the government filling stations, at 10 or 15 Cuban
pesos (roughly $0.40 to $0.60 US), and then require us to have fixed
prices on a route," says Pastor, indignant.

If you talk with any of the private taxi drivers in Havana, you will
note their barely-contained irritation. "It's simple: If the government
continues fucking with me, I'll surrender my State license tomorrow and
work under the table. Actually, there's a ton of people who are doing
that. They don't have enough police to be going after 15,000 illegal
taxi drivers," says a taxi driver who drives the Havana-Playa route.

Eliecer, a driver on the Lisa-Parque Central route, explains his
accounting. "I drive for a lady who owns the auto. I pay her 25 CUC
daily. But I have to pay for repairs and gasoline. After the 600 Cuban
pesos that I turn over to the owner, I earn between 400 and 500 Cuban
pesos daily. But I don't have any rest. I kill myself working."

What especially bothers Osvel, a retired soldier, is the arrogance of
the authorities. "What would it cost the government to meet with us and
negotiate a good agreement? But no, they do it as they see fit. It's
true that you can earn 10 times what you would working for the State,
but you always have to put money aside in case of breakdowns, because
the cars are old and need frequent repairs. The easiest way is to force
it on people, an old government custom."

In a note published in the government newspaper Granma on February 8,
the authorities divided the city into 30 routes and determined the
prices that they think should be charged from one stretch or destination
to another in the city.

The other side of the problem is the customers. Eight out of 12 people
interviewed said they were upset by the increase in taxi prices in
Havana. "The taxi drivers have some nerve. Because they've had the balls
to double and triple their prices. If they think the government is
abusing them, then let them have a strike in the Plaza de la Revolución,
but don't try to get out of it by raising prices and fucking the
passenger," comments Daniel, who says he spent an hour waiting for a
taxi on Calzada de Diez de Octubre.

In July 2016, the Regime decreed that prices were going up, and they
opened a telephone line for complaints from the population. Many taxi
drivers stopped driving for several days, and the majority decided to
split the routes. For example, the route from La Palma to the Parque de
la Fraternidad, which cost 10 pesos, was divided into two: 10 pesos up
to Toyo and Calzada de Luyanó, and another 10 pesos up to the Parque de
la Fraternidad.

"The problem is that before, you could get gas on the black market. But
since last spring, the government began controlling the fuel that was
being stolen from State businesses. Now you have to buy it in CUCs, and
it costs more than double than it did under the table. And then they
raise the prices, explained a taxi driver.

All those interviewed agree, taxi drivers as well as users, that with
these populist measures the government is trying to disguise who's
really guilty and their proven inefficiency and incapacity to design a
functional model of transport.

Pastor, angry, goes further. "It's an undeclared war on private workers.
Why don't they raise the prices for taxis rented from the State? They
work almost without using the taximeter and then charge twice or three
times as much as they did two years ago. And in CUCs."

The fleet of modern autos painted yellow that circulate in the city, for
use by tourists or citizens with deep pockets, pay 55 CUC daily to the
State as a leasing fee.

The government isn't stupid. They're not going to start a battle with
taxi drivers who report their income. And in CUCs.

Translated by Regina Anavy

Source: Private Taxi Drivers Feel Harassed By The Cuban Government /
Iván García – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/private-taxi-drivers-feel-harassed-by-the-cuban-government-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Artists Supply is Short of Materials for Camaguey Salon / 14ymedio, Sol
Garcia Basulto

14ymedio, Sol Garcia Basulto, Camaguey, 17 February 2017 – With a
predominance of mixed techniques and recycled materials, Camaguey
artists hide the shortage of raw materials in the City Salon show. The
art show opened on 2 February and will run until the first days of March
in the Provincial Fine Arts Center.

The event began with a contest in which 32 artists participated with
more than 40 works, among which the wide presence of younger artists
stands out. The members of the Camagüey Provincial Arts Center presented
the prizes a few days after the opening.

The winner of the Grand Prize was video artist Hamlet Armas Perez, 27,
who explained to 14ymedio the difficulty of "creating art right now in
Camagüey" because of the lack of materials.

Many of the works show a nonchalant character and the authors have had
to deploy greater imagination to supply the missing resources, since the
Cuban Cultural Property Fund, the largest supplier of materials in the
province, has stopped supplying art products.

This situation is suffered in particular by painters, says Armas Pérez,
although video art makers also have "difficulties in finding resources."

Kevis, a young graduate of the School of Art Instructors who could not
finish his work in time for the exhibition, laments the high prices of
materials, as well as the complexity of finding them. "I'm paying for
a tube of white oil now 5 Cuban convertible pesos (roughly $5 US) on the
street," he protests.

"Some of the education and culture warehouses keep materials for more
than 20 years." Those are the resources that are circulating in the
province according to Kevis. "The tubes of oil are sometimes hard and
you have to put them in hot water to make them soft."

Angel González Fariñas, director of the gallery, thinks that the
predominance of mixed techniques is more related to "the authors'
instinct for experimentation" and takes for granted the "lack of
materials especially in the prints and mountings."

The artist Jorge Luis Pulido Álvarez, who won the Salon's third prize
and three collateral prizes with the trilogy In the habitat of my art,
says that his work was done with mixed technique and that in spite of
the shortages "the artists overcome these difficulties with the passion
they feel."

Lewis, an art instructor in the visual arts, said that he could not
present his work at the event because he could not get the mounting that
his work needed: a frame and glass. Lacking the necessary resources to
dedicate himself to painting has pushed him to dedicate himself to drawing.

Another artist who has abandoned painting, in his case for a better
remunerated technique — carpentry — is Pedro. This former professor
at the School of Art Instructors says that he has dedicated himself to
making coatracks and shoe racks because "you have to eat."

However, despite the adversities, the organizers of the show have
managed to maintain a high standard.

The curator and critic Pavel Alejandro Barrios Sosa sums up his
perception of the work of the artists: "Art for art's sake, the
amusement of the artist, quotes, versions, allusions, the relationship
between culture and popular expression, between the national and the
universal."

Source: Artists Supply is Short of Materials for Camaguey Salon /
14ymedio, Sol Garcia Basulto – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/artists-supply-is-short-of-materials-for-camaguey-salon-14ymedio-sol-garcia-basulto/ Continue reading
Local Producers Missing From Pinar Del Rio Wine Shop / 14ymedio, Ricardo
Fernandez

14ymedio, Ricardo Fernandez, Pinar del Rio, 17 February 2017 – The Pinar
del Rio Casa de los Vinos (House of Wines) got off on a bad foot the day
of its inauguration. The opening ceremony, held on Tuesday, had to be
delayed for several hours as the construction work had not been
completed and customers were scarce.

Those most missed were the local producers, who were the initial
promoters of this initiative – along with the urban agriculture workers
– and who planned a place where customers could taste and buy artisanal
wines. The idea, which failed for lack of state support, was taken over
by the state-owned Internal Trade Company, but without the presence of
the private winemakers.

On the island, despite the climate and the limited access to raw
materials, an increasing number of producers are making artisanal wines,
from the fermentation of fruits such as guava, orange, papaya,
pineapple, soursop and mango.

The new place in Pinar del Rio, situated at No. 8 Gerardo Medina Street,
seeks to enhance the inventiveness of winemaking and has capacity for 26
customers. "We prioritize the local production of artisan wines," the
manager, Julio Corrales Banos, told the official press.

On the opening day, however, only the industrial wines made in the
province were on offer because of the lack of an agreement with the
area's producers. The absence of a legal framework that allows the state
to contract directly for the products of these entrepreneurs is limiting
local activity.

Artemisa and Mayabeque are currently the only provinces that have
greater flexibility in contracts with the private sector. Raúl Castro's
government has given autonomy to the Administration Councils of the
provincial Assemblies of People's Power to experiment with another type
of management.

For winemakers from Pinar del Rio, being able to count on something like
this would mean a considerable jump in profits due to the increase in
demand that has been noticed in the region in recent years.

For the moment, the sale of privately managed wines is carried out from
doorways and informal stands on the busiest streets of the city. Some
thirty producers sell wine, the majority of which are of excellent
quality, despite not meeting the international standards for the
inclusion of sugar in the fruit fermentation process.

The wines that are produced in the Island have high degrees of Brix, a
unit of measurement of the sugars present in a drink, and are usually
sweet or semi-sweet, with a low volume of alcohol.

Ernesto Reinoso, 81 years old, produces 26 Vinos de Rey in a traditional
way. "If the objective was to create a space where the people of Pinar
del Rio can consume wines, they would have to look at the prices,
because the wines we sell are very cheap, 1 Cuban convertible peso
(roughly $1 US) a bottle," he says about the new place.

At the head of the first stage of the Casa de los Vinos was Julio del
Llano, a retired winemaker regrets that no private producer was invited
to the opening. Del Llano, the third generation of winemakers in his
family, is a promoter of quality among producers and was the first in
the territory to register his brand.

"We winemakers will have to continue marketing through self-employed
workers, as we have done until today," concludes Del Llano, who has won
multiple awards in national quality contests.

In February of last year, in the 25th Artisan Wine Festival, celebrated
at the Agricultural Fair of Rancho Boyeros (Havana), a contest was held
in eight categories: white, rosé, red, sparkling, dry, semi-dry, sweet
and semi-sweet. Luis Bermúdez Rodríguez won the grand prize with a
sample of semi-sweet wine made from pineapple and banana, 2013, with
12.8 degrees of Brix.

Source: Local Producers Missing From Pinar Del Rio Wine Shop / 14ymedio,
Ricardo Fernandez – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/local-producers-missing-from-pinar-del-rio-wine-shop-14ymedio-ricardo-fernandez/ Continue reading
Senador aliado de Trump en delegación de congresistas a Cuba Posted on 19 febrero, 2017 Por Redacción CaféFuerte Una delegación de cuatro senadores y un representante del Congreso de Estados Unidos viajará este domingo a Cuba, en vísperas de cumplirse un mes de la llegada de un nuevo presidente a la Casa Blanca, y entre […] Continue reading
Balsas y cayucos en Museo de Miami Según Jorge Zamanillo, uno de los ocupantes le contó que se hirió una pierna con un trozo de metal y comenzó a sangrar. Los tiburones rondaban la balsa. Era de noche, sin agua apenas para tomar. “Es una historia típica de los balseros”, apunta. En el Museo de […] Continue reading
Cuba y Francia firman acuerdo de colaboración científico técnica febrero 18, 2017 Pablo Alfonso Los proyectos con prioridad, entre ellos la salud y la biotecnología, dentro de este acuerdo serán seleccionados por comisiones nacionales de común acuerdo y validados por especialistas de los dos países. Cuba y Francia firmaron en La Habana un convenio de […] Continue reading
Bloomberg: augurios sobre boom de viajes de EEUU a Cuba fueron un poco exagerados febrero 18, 2017 Expertos consultados por el grupo especializado en negocios creen que la especulación, no la demanda, generó la fiebre de las aerolíneas por Cuba. Limitaciones legales, precios que se cuadruplicaron y una insuficiente capacidad hotelera han frenado la “invasión […] Continue reading
En Cuba “sí tenemos casos de presos políticos”, afirma obispo de pastoral penitenciaria LA HABANA, 05 Ene. 16 / 05:19 am (ACI).- En Cuba “sí tenemos casos de presos políticos”, afirmó Mons. Jorge Serpa Pérez, Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Pastoral Penitenciaria del Episcopado cubano en una reciente entrevista, donde también explicó la realidad […] Continue reading
Cuba abrió sus puertas pero ahora los estadounidenses no van Domingo, 19 de febrero del 2017 El resto del Caribe está animado con la multitud estadounidense del receso de invierno, pero Cuba tiene algunos problemas singulares. Aquí los detalles de su situación. (Bloomberg).- ¿Acaso en los Estados Unidos pasaron por alto la circular del sector […] Continue reading
Cuba tras la reforma migratoria: 671.000 salieron de la isla, 55% no regresó aún Cada año nuevo, muchos cubanos salen a la calle cargando una maleta. Dan una vuelta a la manzana y regresan a su hogar, sorteando el agua que sus no menos entusiastas vecinos lanzan desde puertas y ventanas. Los primeros esperan que […] Continue reading
Cuba, Venezuela y Bolivia, motivos para temer a Trump ABEL GILBERT SÁBADO, 18 DE FEBRERO DEL 2017 – 23:02 CET Todo puede ser peor con Trump para los países donde la prédica antiestadounidense ha sido constante. En Cuba, Venezuela y Bolivia ya tomaron nota. CUBA: Raúl Castro dijo que quiere profundizar los acuerdos alcanzados con […] Continue reading
Operación Porsche: la búsqueda clandestina de las joyas perdidas en Cuba La isla encierra aún algunos misterios: entre los clásicos almendrones se esconden ejemplares alemanes de los años cincuenta. Con dosis de espionaje, la historia de cómo fueron hallados los últimos Porsches que sobrevivieron a la Revolución Cubana 18 de febrero de 2017 Cuba encierra […] Continue reading

Ramiro Valdés, miembro del Buró Político y vicepresidente de los Consejos de Estados y de Ministros, fue galardonado este sábado con La Perla, máximo honor conferido por el Poder Popular en Cienfuegos, según dio a conocer el diario oficial 5 de Septiembre.

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The secrets of Santería lie deep in these Cuban families
BY MIMI WHITEFIELD
mwhitefield@miamiherald.com

PALMIRA, CUBA
José Entenza Montalvo, a babalawo, or priest, shows the faded
handwritten books, some more than a century old, where special knowledge
of medicinal herbs and plants and the names of those initiated as
babalawos are recorded.

For Entenza, the book has a direct link to his own family history. He is
the great-great-grandson of the former slave who first began the
veneration of Santa Bárbara in Palmira, a town in the central province
of Cienfuegos.

It is only one of the many treasures at the Sociedad Santa Bárbara, a
religious association founded by his ancestor, that serves as a living
museum, a repository of history and current spiritual belief where the
rites of the Lukumí religion, popularly known as Santería, are practiced
much as they were during the times of slavery in Cuba.

Few things appear to have been thrown out at the religious complex.
Instead, they are passed from generation to generation.

Entenza leafs through the neatly written entries in decades-old ledgers
that detail the cost of ceremonies performed and the items used — one
chicken of various colors, rum — and the names of those who came for
consultations.

When West Africans were forced into slavery on Cuban sugar plantations
between the 16th and 19th centuries, their overseers tried to force them
into Catholicism, too. They responded by secretly maintaining their own
religious traditions and associating or syncretizing their gods with
Catholic saints to avoid persecution. Santa Bárbara, for example, is
linked to Changó, the Yoruba deity of war, lightning, thunder and fire.

When slavery was abolished in Cuba in 1886, many of the former slaves
settled in Palmira and brought their African religious traditions with them.

The religion was passed from Lutgarda Fernández, a former slave, to her
daughter — the famous Ma'Fea Fernández who followed her mother as
director of the Santa Bárbara religious association, and, finally, to
Entenza.

Next to the temple where a life-size statue of Santa Bárbara with long
black hair and a flowing red gown sits on an altar surrounded by
offerings of red flowers and red plastic apples are the remnants of the
original thatched-roof home where Entenza's ancestors lived. Here,
ceremonial drums stretched with goat skin and extra goat hides hang from
the ceiling, and there is a small statue of Santa Bárbara, the first one
brought to Palmira, he said.

As the story goes, Lutgarda was ailing after a difficult birth when
Santa Bárbara (Changó) appeared in her room, instructing her to burn her
statue and use the ashes mixed with oil to make compresses. Lutgarda was
cured, but the saint told her she had an obligation to establish a
religious site.

About a decade after the abolition of slavery, Lutgarda began holding
religious ceremonies at the location where Sociedad Santa Bárbara now
stands.

The society was officially founded on Dec. 4, 1914, and Lutgarda was the
first director. But a decade earlier, processions honoring the beloved
deity began, and they continue to this day. On the Dec. 4 feast day of
Santa Bárbara, believers dress in red, the color of Changó, and the
statue of Santa Bárbara is taken down from the altar and paraded through
the streets of Palmira on a platform hoisted aloft on men's shoulders.

Palmira is about 7.5 miles north of the city of Cienfuegos but it seems
more distant. Its isolation from the rest of Cuba helped preserve
African traditions in this municipality of about 33,000 residents in a
surprisingly undistilled form.

Some babalawos in Havana have been accused of commercializing the
religion, charging exorbitant fees to tourists for cleansings and
consultations. Necklaces and bracelets in the color identified with
various orishas, or deities, also are sold as tourist trinkets. But in
Palmira it's all about the religion.

With three religious societies, Palmira is known as a center of African
religion in Cuba.

But now Santería adherents include people of all races and from all
walks of life, and in a nod to the 21st century, the Sociedad Santa
Bárbara now has a Facebook page.

The Facebook page contains several posts from Oba Ernesto Pichardo, the
high priest who heads the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye in Hialeah.
Pichardo and the church, which is not syncretic and practices the Lukumí
form of worship, won a landmark Supreme Court decision that established
Lukumí as a religion. The case began over a Hialeah ordinance that
prohibited animal sacrifices, even for religious purposes.

Palmira has become a popular stop for people making cultural visits or
Americans who are on people-to-people tours of the island. Entenza will
explain religious practice to them and sing in Yoruba and beat a drum to
summon the spirits of the dead so visitors can make requests.

In a secret chamber where a sepia portrait of Lutgarda and other
santeras and babalawos stand guard, Entenza shows the round tray of
cowrie shells that babalawos cast to divine la letra del año, or
prophecy for the year. Various groups of babalawos do their own readings
and come up with their own prophecies.

Last year, the reading in Cienfuegos advised being careful of the sun, a
possible indication of health problems, and urged adherents to nurture
the earth and protect the environment. "Ochún (the goddess of love) said
you must take care of your health," Entenza said.

There were also indications that things would improve slightly on the
island, said Entenza. "The little changes were when Obama came," he
said. Former President Barack Obama visited Cuba in March 2016 — the
first visit by a sitting U.S. president since 1928.

Another small change last year, he said, was the arrival of the first
regularly scheduled commercial flights from the United States that
brought more U.S. visitors to the island, including those — mostly Cuban
Americans, he said — who have found their way to Palmira.

This year, between Dec. 31 and the morning of Jan.1, babalawos once
again came together to come up with this year's letra. Such gatherings
are held not only in various places in Cuba but also in Nigeria, other
Latin American countries and Miami, and the advice and proverbs are
different in each location. This year's letra from Havana warned of the
possible proliferation of corruption and expressed concerns about
pollution and the environment.

In Palmira, the letra drawn by the babalawos at Sociedad el Cristo,
another religious association, offers advice such as taking care with
one's health and avoiding family arguments, especially between brothers,
and advises against making offers one cannot fulfill.

Among the proverbs this year are two — one that could be interpreted as
speaking to the generational shift now underway in Cuban political
leadership: "The person who tries to be both the head and tail will
never rest" and "He who was born to be the head can't remain in the tail."

Video:
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article133588554.html

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Source: Palmira, Cuba is a cultural and spiritual center for Santería |
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La politización de la universidad es la negación de su universalidad PEDRO CAMPOS | La Habana | 19 de Febrero de 2017 – 08:58 CET. La palabra universidad, usada hace siglos para identificar a centros de altos estudios diversos, tiene sus orígenes en el latín universitas, que significa universalidad o cualidad de universal, lo cual […] Continue reading
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Encabeza una delegación que continuará las conversaciones entre ambos países Continue reading

Cientos de seguidores del líder opositor venezolano Leopoldo López marcharon este sábado para conmemorar el tercer año de la detención del dirigente y en respaldo a su lucha por un cambio democrático de Gobierno en Caracas, reporta AP.

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Un grupo de mujeres argentinas que firman como "Yegüitas K" dirigieron una carta a Silvio Rodríguez en la que lo eligen como guía de su lucha, según dio a conocer el propio cantautor en su blog y según reproduce el oficial leer más

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La agrupación femenina Anacaona celebra su 85 aniversario este año y ha decidido celebrarlo con una gira por los barrios de la capital, según dio a conocer el oficial Cubadebate.

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Organized by IQPC with strategic partnership of Dubai Customs DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, February 19, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Cargo and Personnel Screening Conference, taking place on 20th-21st February at the Dusit Thani hotel in Dubai, is … Continue reading

Carlos Alberto Montaner

Hace bien el presidente Donald Trump en respaldar a Israel, pero no debe cancelar la idea de la creación de un estado palestino.

El apoyo de Washington ha ido incrementándose con cada gobierno que ha pasado por la Casa Blanca. Eso es moralmente justo y políticamente conveniente. Al fin y al cabo, el Estado judío es la única democracia existente en esa torturada zona del planeta.

Pese al espaldarazo inicial de Truman en 1948 para la creación de Israel y de un estado palestino por medio de una resolución de la ONU, a la que se unió la URSS gobernada por Stalin, acaso entusiasmado por los orígenes socialistas del país que estaba naciendo, la verdad es que en los años de Eisenhower no hubo simpatías especiales por el estado judío. Es a partir de esa administración cuando se inició, realmente, el respaldo a Israel.[[QUOTE:¿Por qué no ha sido posible la solución de dos Estados, uno israelí y otro palestino? Básicamente, por la incapacidad de los árabes de aceptar que los judíos se reinsertaran en ese territorio que un día les perteneció]]

¿Por qué no ha sido posible la solución de dos Estados, uno israelí y otro palestino? Básicamente, por la incapacidad de los árabes de aceptar que los judíos se reinsertaran en ese territorio que un día les perteneció, y al cual volvieron acosados por la inveterada costumbre de sus enemigos de maltratarlos, expulsarlos o asesinarlos a su antojo.

Los judíos más cultos y europeizados, de donde partió el impulso sionista, no llegaron festinadamente a la conclusión de crear en Palestina, en la tierra de sus antepasados, un Hogar judío que acabó transformándose en un Estado judío, sino fue el producto de una amarga necesidad impuesta por siglos de incomprensión y rechazo.

Fue un claro sacrificio realizado por un puñado de idealistas. ¿Quién en su sano juicio abandonaría la vida razonablemente cómoda del Imperio Austro-Húngaro, de Londres o París, incluso de las aldeas de Polonia, por la polvorienta aventura de fabricar un destino mejor en el Medio Oriente pobre e insalubre de finales del XIX y principios del XX?

¿Qué buscaban aquellos primeros sionistas convocados por el periodista Theodor Herzl? Procuraban crear un sitio propio, sin miedo a los pogromos, en el cual ser judío no fuera un estigma, porque estaban hartos de la discriminación, de las persecuciones, de los capirotes y de las miles de injurias y calumnias sufridas a lo largo de los siglos que ya presagiaban lo que luego sería el nazismo.

Para quien quiera entender la historia de lo ocurrido en la llamada Tierra Santa, que bien pudo ser llamada Tierra Sangrienta, le recomiendo un libro titulado Mi tierra prometida, excepcionalmente bien escrito por el periodista Ari Shavit. Me lo recomendó y obsequió mi amiga Alicia Freilich. Es estupendo.

Ahí están todas las claves y todos los hechos. Los asesinatos y las barbaridades cometidos por unos y otros, por los judíos y por los palestinos. No es una obra del choque entre buenos y malos, sino del enfrentamiento entre dos derechos y dos visiones excluyentes que generaban un desencuentro tal vez inevitable.

Netanyahu lo dijo claramente en su visita a Washington: nadie duda que los chinos proceden de China y los japoneses de Japón. ¿Es tan difícil entender que los judíos provienen de Judea?

Pero ahí no termina el razonamiento. Tampoco sirve el argumento de que jamás existió una nación palestina. Existe ahora, surgió en contraposición al sionismo, animada por su ejemplo, y es necesario abrirle un espacio, pero siempre y cuando esa sociedad admita que los judíos constituyeron un Estado con el que deben convivir en paz.

Esto fue lo que la ONU aprobó en 1948, dando por sentado que ambos Estados estaban condenados a entenderse, algo inmediatamente desmentido por la guerra desatada por varios países árabes, milagrosamente derrotados por Israel.[[QUOTE:Los judíos llegaron para quedarse y la existencia de Israel trasciende la idea del hogar de una etnia enquistada en una nación extraña, como pretenden algunos árabes]]

Pero ésa sigue siendo la clave de un conflicto que no comenzará a solucionarse hasta que los palestinos acepten que no pueden extirpar a los israelíes de la faz de la Tierra. Los judíos llegaron para quedarse y la existencia de Israel trasciende la idea del hogar de una etnia enquistada en una nación extraña, como pretenden algunos árabes.

Una patria común palestina sería confinar a los judíos en un nuevo gueto a la espera del pogromo definitivo. Eso no tiene sentido. Tampoco lo tendría al revés. Los palestinos tienen que aprender a ceder y de nada les vale invocar un derecho que, de existir, se tropieza con una realidad inconmovible. No hay otra solución, a largo plazo, que la existencia de dos naciones.

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La Embajada de Corea del Norte en Malasia exigió este sábado a las autoridades malasias que le entreguen el cadáver de Kim Jong-nam, el hermano mayor del líder norcoreano Kim Jong-un, que murió el lunes 13 en el aeropuerto de Kuala Lumpur en lo que parece un asesinato por envenenamiento, informa EFE.

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