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Daily Archives: March 4, 2017

Raúl Castro visitó este sábado al presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, en el hospital de La Habana en el que se recupera de un cuadro viral de sinusitis e infección en las cuerdas vocales, según la versión oficial.

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Especialistas en los temas de la economía cubana cuestionaron el uso de datos oficiales publicados por Cuba y algunas organizaciones internacionales para estudiar la actualidad de la isla durante una … Click to Continue » Continue reading

Estados Unidos comenzó hace tres años un programa para sabotear con ataques informáticos y electrónicos las pruebas de misiles de Corea del Norte, y ello ha influido en los fallos registrados en algunos lanzamientos, informa este sábado The New York Times, reporta EFE.

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Malasia anunció este sábado en un comunicado la expulsión del embajador de Corea del Norte en Kuala Lumpur, Kang Chol, y le dio un plazo de 48 horas para abandonar el país, reporta EFE.

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14ymedio, Marta Requeiro, Miami, 26 February 2017 – I don’t know how my mother managed always to know a little more about my friends and their customs, and even those of the neighbors, because her limited time did not allow her to gossip; but she continually warned me that things are not always as they … Continue reading "Luxury and Excess in Socialist Cuba / 14ymedio, Marta Requeiro" Continue reading
Cuba: "Revolutionary Integration" As A Form Of Social Control / Cubalex

Cubalex, 2 March 2017 – It is common for people living in Cuba, once
they start school at about six and pass from one educational level to
another, to join social and mass organizations. First, in elementary
school, the Pioneers, and then, at age 14, the social and mass
organization and later the student organizations.

Once they start their working life they join the country's only union,
and the organization for their professional sector. Most do not have any
assigned function, but they pay their dues.

The rule is that everyone is integrated into several of the social and
mass organizations — all of them the only ones of their kind in the
country — according to their educational level, their professional
sector or specific interests. Their lives, social and work, and that of
their families depend on this integration and on participating in
patriotic, political and military activities.

"Revolutionary integration" violates freedom of association, which
includes the right not to be forced to join an organization. It is a
requirement to obtain a university degree, to get a job, or to ascend in
the workplace, where one also is required to be integrated into
political organizations.

State institutions, including schools, demand and verify your
membership. Sometimes directly, others through a business subordinate to
the Ministry of the Interior. Security and Protection, or the organs of
criminal investigation, coordiante with the social and mass organizations.

For example, the administration of the Committees for the Defense of the
Revolution (CDR), when a case is being investigated, provide private and
intimate information and opinions, in many cases personal and
subjective, that are later used by the prosecutor.

In the sentences of the courts, in addition to the personal data, it is
taken into account whether the accused person participates in activities
"targeted or programmed by mass organizations" or whether the person
publicly expresses disagreement with socialist principles. This
determines whether he is good or bad person.

"Revolutionary integration" is the mechanism of social control that
allows the political group in power to establish systems of rewards and
punishments. People who do not join these organizations for religious
reasons, or who publicly express their political opinions, are condemned
to work immobility, isolation and social discrimination.

Source: Cuba: "Revolutionary Integration" As A Form Of Social Control /
Cubalex – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-revolutionary-integration-as-a-form-of-social-control-cubalex/ Continue reading
The Ladies In Green Can Not Sell Their Lettuce / 14ymedio, Havana

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 2 March 2017 — A few minutes after noon,
the Lettuce Women stood on the corner of Obispo and Mercaderes streets
in Old Havana. They came with their unique message that promotes healthy
food and a love of animals. Under the March sun, their lettuce bikinis
generated more curiosity than their environmentalist discourse.

From a lime-green suitcase, activists pulled out magazines and ad
sheets to promote a vegan diet. A campaign that does not stop generating
confusion in Cuba, a country obsessed with meat and where the dream of
many people is to eat a steak every day.

At first the activists were surrounded by more press than public, but
their scanty clothing soon caused an uproar. Under the eyes of some
policemen the Ladies responded to questions from journalists and those
who wanted to know what it's like to be a vegan.

The women declared that, since their arrival on the island, they have
viewed the situation of the animals with "a lot of sadness," according
to Yerica Sojo, a Puerto Rican who has been doing this for more than ten
years, "there are many [animals] abandoned in the street who need help."
Some national groups do "a very good job of caring for them and
promoting compassion," like the Association for the Protection of
Animals and Plants.

This Friday the Ladies in Green plan to go to different schools to chat
with the students.

With regards to the Cuban diet they said it "contains a lot of animals"
but also "there are many fruits, vegetables and grains that can be
eaten" and that one can be vegan and "keep the Cuban culture of eating
rice, beans, bananas."

Among the recipes they distributed to the public, there were some to
prepare potato croquettes or mango ceviche.

Near the place where the activists engaged with the public is the San
Rafael street market. This week a head of lettuces cost about 10 Cuban
pesos (CUP) in the market, which is equivalent to the amount of money a
retiree receives on their pension for a full day.

Eating vegetables and legumes is often a luxury that many Cubans cannot

In the final minutes of the presentation the women took out some pens
shaped like fruits and vegetables from the bottom of their suitcase and
tried to distribute them among those present. However, a dozen people
rushed over the suitcase and grabbed all that were left.

The Lettuce Women promised to "warm up Havana" with "advice on how to
save animals, be healthy and protect the environment while being
vegans." But there were more lewd looks at their bodies than interest in
their message.

Source: The Ladies In Green Can Not Sell Their Lettuce / 14ymedio,
Havana – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-ladies-in-green-can-not-sell-their-lettuce-14ymedio-havana/ Continue reading
Cuban Double Agent Fears for His Life after Revealing His True Identity
/ Juan Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 27 February 2017 — Luis Enrique Cepero García was an
opponent of the Cuban regime serving a sentence in the Combinado del
Este prison when he decided to infect himself with a disease rather than
continue being subjected to mistreatment in prison.

Given his state of health, Luis Enrique was transferred and imprisoned
at the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) in Havana where,
on orders from a doctor, his life ended abruptly one day in 1995.

"I remember that before he died in the IPK, my brother Luis Enrique told
me that a doctor told another doctor he would not be there the next day.
My brother began to have some tremors. Then in the afternoon a nurse
came into the room and began putting cotton in his nose, mouth and anus.
My brother died and I was left with that image in my head.

"Then I did something I should never have done. To take revenge I joined
the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) and pretended to
be a revolutionary in order to get inside State Security and take my
revenge for the death of my brother," says William Cepero García, who
today is a former spy living on Santa Maria del Rosario Road, kilometer
4.5, Cubicle #106, Cambúte, San Miguel del Padrón, a district located in
the east of the Cuban capital.

When Luis Enrique died, William was living in Old Havana, buying and
selling antiques. He started pretending to be a revolutionary. He says
that, with his money and growing popularity, it was not difficult to
attract the attention of the Cuban secret services.

"I started at the CDR… Well, you know how that works. In 2005 I was
approached by officers from DTI (Technical Investigations Department)
who wanted to recruit me. But I told them that, if I was going to do
something for the Revolution, it had to be something big. It was then
that I met an officer by the name of Yosbani, a young man from a
Domestic Counterintelligence unit in Old Havana. He was the one who
recruited me."

I met the spy

"It's all a surprise to me," says Luz María Piloto Romero, a Cuban
dissident who now lives in exile in Miami. "I met William Cepero García
because he was living in Old Havana around the corner from my house. His
brother, the one who died from HIV, was a good friend of mine. I always
saw William at non-violent opposition events in support of human rights."

Cepero García says that, after several exams and countless meetings at
the Municipal Identity Card Directorate's offices, he was instructed to
collect information on people in the area who sympathized with opponents
of the government.

"At first I was very frightened," he admits. "I realized that the people
I knew were innocent but, after a few months working as a spy, I
determined that the information I was giving to my official contacts had
already been given to them by other agents I did not know."

Cepero García remembers being sent in 2005 to Cambute in San Miguel del
Padrón, where there as an active opposition movement. He says that there
he was part of a group under the direction of the local Domestic
Counterintelligence office. He began trying to penetrate the Cuban Human
Rights Foundation, an opposition organization then headed by Juan
Antonio Bermúdez Toranza.

"I very cautiously tried to warn Juan. I didn't know whether or not he
was also a State Security agent and did not want to get burned.
Everything here has been infiltrated," he says.

But Bermúdez Toranza, who currently lives in exile in Spain, says,
"William came out from the shadows. It was Juan Carlos who introduced
him to me."

He is referring to Juan Carlos González Leiva, a blind attorney,
activist and founder of the Independent Blind Fraternity of Cuba and the
Cuban Human Rights Foundation.

"William approached me offering to help. He was interested in my needs,"
adds Bermúdez Toranza. "His help was economic. He was a guy who moved
money around, dealing in antiques, jewelry and those sorts of things.
But he was asking a lot of questions; he wanted to know everything. He
never disagreed with any of my decisions and it isn't normal to agree
with everything. I never trusted him. I always compartmentalized with
him because I suspected he was working for State Security."

Two years later Bermúdez Toranzo was arrested and charged with
counter-revolutionary activities. William left the area but returned in
2009 with a new mission. "Juan (Bermúdez Toranzo) was in jail and his
then wife, Neris Castillo, was one of the Ladies in White, and my new
mission was to insert myself in her life, get information on the Ladies
in White, blackmail her and sleep with her… You know how these things
go," he says.

A female spy's testimony

"He told me he had come to carry out a task but he didn't have the
courage for it. He told me about his brother. I saw him trying to help
young men who had decided to set out to sea and other people I can't
remember right now. That's why I took him to what was then the US
Interests Section in Cuba, to the human rights office, so he could
provide information and decide whether to switch from one side to the
other," explains the former Lady in White, Neris Castillo Moreno, who is
now Cepero García's partner.

"He helped a lot of people. When my brother was taken prisoner, William
helped him. After being in a jail myself for a week, there was nothing
to eat at my house and he said to me, 'Let's go, Luz. I'll fix you a
sweet roll.' And he did. I hope that all the people he once helped might
now help him. Actually, I was surprised by the news," says Luz María, a
Cuban dissident who now lives in exile in Miami and says she knows
Cepero Garcia.

According to Cepero García, his work as a double agent earned him enough
credit with the regime's intelligence agencies that they ended up giving
him the mission to become the leader of the Republican Party of Cuba and
later the secretary general of the November 30th Frank País Democratic
Party after the death of the previous office holder.

However, after receiving a new mission from officials at Cuban State
Security, which Cepero García had allegedly infiltrated years earlier,
the self-described "double agent" decided to reveal his true identity
and expose himself to the risks inherent in such a decision.

"I fear for my life but I am aware of what I have done. I have to face
whatever comes." And here his story ends.

Meanwhile, the exiled Cuban dissident living in Spain, who is familar
with the spy's performance in San Miguel del Padrón, insists that Cepero
García's true intention in making this revelation is to leave Cuba.

"What William wants is a visa to the United States. I know he is a spy
and that he has regrets and that he helped people. But, look, if William
is saying that, he is not doing it because he is in charge or because he
wants to say it. He is saying it because someone is ordering him to do
so. And I assure you it is someone in Section XXI (of G2, the
Intelligence Directorate)," concludes Juan Antonio Bermúdez Toranzo

Source: Cuban Double Agent Fears for His Life after Revealing His True
Identity / Juan Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuban-double-agent-fears-for-his-life-after-revealing-his-true-identity-juan-juan-almeida/ Continue reading
La humillación castrista a Estados Unidos RAFAEL AZCUY GONZÁLEZ, Miami | 02/03/2017 Nunca un gobierno extranjero humilló tanto a los dirigentes estadounidenses como el régimen de los hermanos Castro. ¡Qué paciencia tan grande demostraron tener ante tanta subversión y chantaje, incluyendo la expropiación o robo de propiedades a sus propios ciudadanos! Tampoco los vecinos del […] Continue reading
El Gobierno ve en las TIC “un arma para la defensa de la Revolución” MARCELO HERNÁNDEZ, La Habana | Marzo 03, 2017 El papel de las tecnologías de la información como “arma para la defensa de la Revolución” ha acaparado la atención del último Consejo de Ministros, celebrado con varias semanas de retraso este martes […] Continue reading
… : Mexican federal police rescued 31 Cuban immigrants who had been held … said in a statement. The Cubans were taken to local offices … , the ministry said. Hundreds of Cubans who were in the process … granted residency to almost every Cuban who reached U.S. soil … Continue reading

El gigante brasileño de la construcción Odebrecht, que se halla en el centro del megaescándalo de corrupción en Petrobras, entregó dinero a las FARC durante 20 años para garantizar la seguridad de sus obras en Colombia, reveló el sábado el semanario Veja, infor

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EEUU impone drástico recorte a visas para visitas de cubanos Posted on 4 marzo, 2017 by Café Fuerte Estados Unidos redujo a 12,218 las visas otorgadas a ciudadanos cubanos para visitas familiares, intercambios culturales y viajes profesionales en el 2016, el más drástico recorte de los últimos ocho años con relación a solicitantes de la […] Continue reading
Cubanos piden a presidente de Panamá que cumpla con “alternativas” a la deportación marzo 04, 2017 Recuerdan al mandatario que él mencionó en febrero esa posibilidad para los que decidieran quedarse. Diácono de Cáritas, que atiende a la mayoría de los isleños dice estar trabajando en algunas de esas opciones. La sombra de la deportación […] Continue reading
Padre que denunció desatención del gobierno cubano pide que le devuelvan a su hijo marzo 03, 2017 Palenque Visión para Martí Noticias Armando Torres Pozo denunció a la prensa independiente la desatención del gobierno al caso de su hijo de 4 años, con parálisis cerebral. Las autoridades le retiraron la custodia del niño mientras arreglan […] Continue reading
EEUU denuncia que Cuba viola privacidad de sus ciudadanos marzo 03, 2017 Pablo Alfonso Funcionarios de gobierno monitorean la correspondencia y las comunicaciones entre los ciudadanos, rastrea sus movimientos y entra en las viviendas sin autoridad legal y con impunidad”, denuncia el Informe sobre Derechos Humanos del Departamento de Estado. Aunque la Constitución cubana protege […] Continue reading
ETECSA en el reporte de derechos humanos de EEUU marzo 03, 2017 Jorge P. Martínez En el informe sobre derechos humanos en Cuba, el Departamento de Estado estadounidense señala al monopolio estatal de las comunicaciones de Cuba por actuar en contra de los activistas pro derechos humanos. El Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos produce […] Continue reading
EEUU expone las violaciones de los derechos humanos en Cuba marzo 03, 2017 El Departamento de Estado publicó este viernes un informe detallado sobre la situación de derechos humanos en la isla, incluido en su informe anual. El Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos presentó hoy el informe sobre derechos humanos 2016, en el cual […] Continue reading
EN NUESTRA OPINIÓN: Un informe deprimente sobre Cuba JUNTA EDITORIAL Un informe del Departamento de Estado, publicado el viernes pasado, indica que la pésima situación de los derechos humanos en Cuba no ha cambiado gran cosa el año pasado. El informe, mencionado en el artículo Sin cambios en reporte de EEUU sobre derechos humanos en […] Continue reading
Sin cambios reporte de EEUU sobre derechos humanos en Cuba NORA GÁMEZ TORRES ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com La situación de los derechos humanos en Cuba no sufrió grandes cambios el pasado año, según se desprende de un informe confeccionado por el Departamento de Estado publicado este viernes. El reporte anual sobre derechos humanos en el mundo correspondiente al […] Continue reading
La soberanía y la amalgama SEBASTIÁN ARCOS CAZABÓN El pasado viernes 24 de febrero, este periódico publicó un artículo de opinión de Jorge Dávila Miguel titulado ¿Dos rubias esperanzas para Cuba?, que incluye un vitriólico ataque contra Rosa María Payá, y termina con una disquisición sobre la soberanía cubana y el rol de EEUU. No […] Continue reading
EE.UU. advierte del autoritarismo de Cuba, Nicaragua y Venezuela 3 MAR 2017 21h52 EE.UU. advirtió hoy del “autoritarismo” que ejercen los Gobiernos de Cuba, Nicaragua y Venezuela, y denunció las deficiencias del sistema judicial colombiano y los abusos y la corrupción que cometen las fuerzas de seguridad en México. En su informe anual en materia […] Continue reading
Donantes “voluntarios” de sangre ignoran los negocios del régimen cubano 03 de marzo de 2017 – 21:03 – Por IVÁN GARCÍA Según informes del Gobierno cubano, el 95% de todas las unidades de sangre humana acopiadas se fracciona en sus componentes, lo que permite un comercio mucho más lucrativo que cuando solo se vende el […] Continue reading
Travelling to Cuba this year? Swap your hotel for a homestay
Nicola Trup
Evening Standard March 3, 2017

There's a cowboy waiting outside my room. Kitted out in a checked shirt,
jeans and a Stetson, he introduces himself as Miguel, and soon we're
clip-clopping away in a horse-drawn cart.

Trinidad, in southern Cuba, is more than just a photogenic,
Unesco-listed town (though it is that, too). It's surrounded by natural
attractions; within just a few kilometres are some of the country's best
beaches, with sweeping hills and valleys ripe for exploring.

We're dropped off near the edge of town, and Miguel gets our group of
wannabe cowboys saddled up. "Only one hand," he says, as I reach for the
reins; the other holds on to a metal handle on the saddle — something
I'm thankful for once I realise I have no control over my horse's speed.

We ride along a dusty trail, through scrubby meadows and palm-dotted
woodland, stopping en route at a grass-roofed open-air bar serving
refreshing cups of sugar-cane juice. We ride a little further before
dismounting again, and making the short walk to El Pilón. It's dry
season, so this normally impressive waterfall isn't much more than a
trickle, but it flows into a pair of beautiful natural rock pools,
framed by caves and forest. I clamber into the cool, dark water, with
cigar smoke and the sound of acoustic guitar drifting over from the
makeshift bar nearby.

Arriving back in Trinidad in the late afternoon, the sun is starting to
slip down behind the colourful Spanish colonial houses, and I walk
slowly back to my homestay, slightly bruised from a day in the saddle.

It's two decades since Cuba's casas particulares ("private homes")
scheme was introduced, allowing locals to rent out their spare rooms to
tourists. They offer a sharp contrast to the state-run hotels, which,
while often grand, tend to come with rather indifferent service ("They
know they will always have a job, so they have no reason to try," one
Cuban tells me). Until last year, when rules were relaxed, it was
illegal to own a private business, but as running a casa particular is
considered self-employment, the scheme has been a great way for Cubans
to boost their incomes, which, according to official figures, average
about £20 a month.

Casas, meanwhile, are a cross between a B&B and a family home: you get
your own key but you might also hang out with your hosts. On practically
every street in Trinidad or Old Havana you'll spot at least one of the
scheme's blue signs, and with so much competition, owners often come up
with a USP. At "Casa El Ceramista" (The Potter's House), where I'm
staying, host Alexey will show you how to throw a pot on his wheel — the
walls are decorated with his clay creations.

The next day I take a tour of the town's historic centre with Roxy,
whose parents run another casa. Having grown up in Trinidad, she's full
of local insight, like where to find the best views (the top of the
tower at Museo Lucha Contra Bandidos) and the most unusual night out
(Disco Ayala, a club in a spectacular natural cave).

Tourism is booming in Cuba, thanks in part to the US easing its rules
for visiting — a move that may be reversed by President Trump. For now,
though, new businesses are springing up to cater to the growing number
of travellers, and among them is Bar Café El Mago. With its white-washed
walls and quirky reclaimed furniture, it wouldn't look out of place in
Hackney or Brooklyn, though like the casas particulares, it's also
someone's home; the delicious coffee is made in the family kitchen.

Soon it's time for me to move on to Havana, and a five-hour cab ride in
a gorgeous, if somewhat rickety, Fifties Buick leads me to my next casa.
Marisela's apartment, part of a grand old townhouse in the capital's
Vedado neighbourhood, is decorated in every colour of the rainbow, and
Marisela chooses her clothes to match.

I can't leave Cuba without a stroll around Habana Vieja (Old Havana),
whose pristine streets are the city's most photographed, so the next day
I head over in another old taxi. Winding between a series of pretty
squares, I take in the imposing baroque cathedral and moated fort before
finding myself outside Hotel Ambos Mundos.

Most Havana establishments trumpet even the most tenuous connection to
Ernest Hemingway, who lived here in the 1930s, but Ambos Mundos is bona
fide — the writer rented a room in the hotel for seven years. So I
decide to stop for a drink in the Art Deco lobby bar. Unsure of what
"Papa" would have ordered, I opt for a coffee spiked with rum. It's a
potent, not entirely pleasant, concoction, but as I sit back in my
chair, the sound of jazz piano drifting over me, it feels like little
has changed since Hemingway drank here — even if he preferred a mojito.

Details: Cuba

Nicola Trup travelled with Homestay.com, which offers doubles at
Alexey's in Trinidad (bit.ly/ThePotter) from £24, B&B, and doubles at
Marisela's in Havana (bit.ly/MariselaColores) from £31, B&B. Virgin
Atlantic (virgin-atlantic.com) flies from Gatwick to Havana.


Source: Travelling to Cuba this year? Swap your hotel for a homestay -
https://www.yahoo.com/news/travelling-cuba-swap-hotel-homestay-172020558.html Continue reading
By Barbara Sturken Peterson

Flight CU188, a twin-jet Airbus A320 on its way from the Caribbean to
Canada, looks no different than the 5,000 other commercial planes flying
through U.S. airspace —except maybe for that red, white and blue livery
that looks straight out of the swingin' '60s. In fact, this flight is
anything but typical: Even in an emergency, the crew can't land in the
U.S. If it did, there's a good chance that local marshals would seize
the plane.

That's because the Airbus flies for Cubana de Aviación, the official
airline of Cuba. The deal that the U.S. and Cuba brokered two years ago
to normalize relations should have sent the Caribbean carrier soaring
into the lucrative blue yonder of the American market. Instead, the
airline is being dragged down by lingering issues from the 60-year-old
trade embargo, including potential seizure of Cuban assets — like the
Airbus — to settle U.S. claims to recover assets confiscated by the
Castro regime. Meanwhile, in the past six months, Cubana has had to
watch from the sidelines as 10 U.S. carriers zip back and forth between
the two countries on about 40 daily round trips.

Additional turbulence may ground whatever plans Cubana has to tap into
its northern neighbor's massive travel market and earn desperately
needed revenue and hard currency. In November then-president-elect Trump
tweeted: "If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban
people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will
terminate [the] deal."

The president may have been out of step with the American public. A Pew
Research survey released a few weeks after Trump's tweet revealed that
75 percent of respondents approve of steps taken to restore relations
with Cuba. "The momentum among American travelers for unfettered access
to Cuba continues," says Ninan Chacko, the CEO of Travel Leaders Group,
a consortium of high-end travel agencies.

When the U.S. and Cuba agreed to resume diplomatic relations in late
2014, air service was an integral part of the discussions. A longtime
State Department hand, who helped negotiate aviation treaties with
former foes like China, says "it's almost unprecedented" that a country
wouldn't want its state-owned airline to benefit from any increase in
air traffic. As a former official, the Foggy Bottom veteran spoke on
background, but confirmed that Cubana does in fact now have the right to
fly to the U.S.; however, the airline first wants the legal situation
clarified. (The Cuban embassy did not respond to requests for comment.)

Most U.S. business leaders believe that full trade and tourism
ultimately will resume, and that Cubana will become a customer for U.S.
companies, such as aerospace suppliers — avionics from Honeywell, jet
engines from General Electric and Pratt & Whitney and jets from Boeing.

Once dubbed the world's most dangerous airline for a string of fatal
crashes decades ago, Cubana could use a serious upgrade. Although the
roughly 20-plane fleet includes a few leased Airbus jets, it consists
mainly of Russian-built Antonov, Ilyushin and Tupolev aircraft, a sort
of "Aeroflot of the Caribbean." In safety matters, at least, its
performance has improved.

Certainly, other airlines have successfully shed their communist-era
reps. Vietnam Airlines is gunning to be the second-biggest full-service
airline in Southeast Asia with a fleet of Boeing Dreamliners and Airbus
A350s. For Cubana to pull off a similar Cinderella feat, it will need to
clean up its customer service act to go along with a new, improved
fleet. (It typically ranks near the bottom in customer surveys on
TripAdvisor and the U.K. review site Skytrax.) A cautionary tale:
China's state-owned airlines had to give flight attendants "smiling
lessons" when the carriers began flying to the U.S. and other Western

Source: Cuba's Quiet Battle for American Airspace | Fast Forward | OZY -
http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/cubas-quiet-battle-for-american-airspace/75517 Continue reading
¡Viva la papa socialista! [03-03-2017 21:51:00] Mario Hechavarría Driggs (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- La llamada primera vuelta en la venta normada de la papa, bajo control estatal, ha concluido en la capital cubana. Pasados cuatro días este lunes 27 de febrero, los mercados cerraron temprano, agotadas las existencias del producto en tanto la población, si bien apoya la […] Continue reading
Cuba un estado represor [03-03-2017 20:49:25] Pedro Corzo Escritor, Periodista y Editor (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- Con frecuencia se escucha a los analistas calificar de estado narcotraficante a algún que otro país, una apreciación que debería usarse con otras connotaciones, por ejemplo la calificación de estado represor, le vendría al régimen de La Habana a la medida. Por […] Continue reading
… rally included Latinas for Trump, Cubans4Trump, Tea Party Miami and Miami … , one woman hoisted her sign: “Cubans for Trump.’’ Continue reading
Aun pueden verse jóvenes y risueñas en la portada de la revista Mujeres, con el pañuelo en la cabeza, uniformadas, reclinadas en un camión que las regresa del “Domingo Rojo”. … Click to Continue » Continue reading
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Report: Cuba has kept drug trafficking, consumption in check

Although Cuba sits in close proximity to Caribbean drug lanes and the
U.S. market, the U.S. State Department's annual narcotics control report
found that it's not a major consumer, producer or transit point for
illegal narcotics, and drug consumption on the island remains low.

The report to Congress, which was released Friday, discusses the record
of countries around the world in combating the global drug trade. It is
the first time since 2008 that the report was rolled out to the media.

It comes at a time that William Brownfield, assistant secretary for
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, says the United
States is experiencing "perhaps the worst drug crisis that we have seen
in the United States of America since the 1980s, and the worst heroin
and opioids crisis that we have seen in the United States in more than
60 years."

But it is also a time when Cuba and the United States have begun to work
more closely on combating the drug trade. A new U.S.-Cuba drug accord
was signed in July 2016, and there is a U.S. Coast Guard liaison in the
U.S. Embassy in Havana to coordinate with Cuban law enforcement. Direct
communications between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and
Cuba's National Anti-Drug Directorate began in July.

The Coast Guard and Cuban authorities have been sharing tactical
information on vessels transiting Cuban waters that are suspected of
trafficking and are coordinating responses.

"Cuba's intensive security presence and interdiction efforts have kept
supply down and prevented traffickers from establishing a foothold,"
said the report. "Cuba concentrates supply reduction efforts by
preventing smuggling through territorial waters, rapidly collecting
wash-ups, and conducting thorough airport searches."

State Department report

The most recent maritime seizure of drugs by Cuban authorities occurred
in 2015. That year, the Cuban government seized 906 kilograms of illegal
drugs, including 182 kilos of cocaine, 700 kilos of marijuana and 24
kilos of hashish oil. That same year, Cuban authorities detected the
incursions of 48 suspicious go-fast boats along the island's
southeastern coast.

In July 2016, Cuban authorities sentenced 11 Cubans to 15 to 30 years in
prison for smuggling marijuana from Jamaica through Cuba to the Bahamas,
the report said. During the case, the principal organizer was extradited
from Jamaica, a country with which Cuba also shares real-time
information on suspected trafficking.

The report also looked at money laundering and financial crimes around
the world.

"The government-controlled banking sector, low internet and cell phone
usage rates, and lack of government and legal transparency render Cuba
an unattractive location for money laundering through financial
institutions," the report said.

Although the risk of money laundering is low in Cuba, the report said
Cuba has a number of "strategic deficiencies" in its
anti-money-laundering regime. Among suggestions were that Cuba increase
the transparency of its financial sector as well as in criminal
investigations and prosecutions.

Follow Mimi Whitefield on Twitter: @HeraldMimi

Source: U.S., Cuba have increased cooperation on fighting illicit drug
trafficking | Miami Herald -
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Carlos Alberto Montaner

Hay que admitir que el populismo suele estar a la derecha y a la izquierda. The Economist la gran revista británica, describe magistralmente la confusión. El presidente de Filipinas, Rodrigo Duterte, que ha liquidado a cientos de vendedores de drogas, es populista. Pero también lo es, y en grado sumo, el boliviano Evo (Ego) Morales, cocalero inveterado que ha multiplicado por cuatro las tierras dedicadas a ese cultivo.

El populismo son creencias y conductas que hermanan a figuras erróneamente situadas en bandos opuestos. Fidel Castro, comunista hasta el último minuto de su vida, y Juan Domingo Perón, cuasi fascista formado en la Italia de Mussolini, en donde fue attaché militar del gobierno argentino, eran primos hermanos ideológicos y se profesaban una mutua admiración.

El profesor de Princeton Jan-Werner Müller, en su breve libro What is populism, publicado en el 2016 por la University of Pennsylvania Press de Filadelfia, se acerca al tema acertadamente. De sus páginas extraigo once categorías que distinguen a cualquier sociedad populista, pero hago la aclaración de que no todos estos rasgos deben estar presentes para calificar de esa manera a un gobierno.[[QUOTE:Incluso, se puede ser un demócrata, como fueron el argentino Raúl Alfonsín o el primer Alan García (o el primer Carlos Andrés Pérez), y presentar características populistas]]

Incluso, se puede ser un demócrata, como fueron el argentino Raúl Alfonsín o el primer Alan García (o el primer Carlos Andrés Pérez), y presentar características populistas. En todo caso, esos datos aislados no son suficientes para calificar a un gobierno de populista. Es necesario que coincidan seis o siete síntomas de los más graves para determinar que se trata de un régimen de esa naturaleza.

Estos son los once rasgos definitorios:

1.     Antielitismo: se culpa a la élite política, económica, o simplemente urbana, de colocarse de espaldas a las necesidades del pueblo. En Camboya llegaron a ejecutar maestros por saber leer y escribir. En China, durante la Revolución Cultural de Mao, apresaron a personas por llevar lentes. En Cuba hubo épocas, especialmente en los años sesenta, en que el uso de corbatas equivalía a identificarse con la burguesía explotadora.

2.     El exclusivismo: sólo “nosotros” (quienes detentan el poder) somos los auténticos representante del pueblo. Los “otros” son los enemigos del pueblo. Los “otros”, por lo tanto, son unos seres marginales a los que se puede y se debe castigar.

3.     El caudillismo: se cultiva el aprecio por un líder que es el gran intérprete de la voluntad popular. Alguien que trasciende y supera a las instituciones, y cuya palabra se convierte en el dogma sagrado de la patria (Hitler, Mussolini, Perón, Fidel Castro, Juan Velasco Alvarado, Hugo Chávez).

4.     El adanismo: (por Adán) la historia comienza con ellos. El pasado es una sucesión de fracasos, desencuentros y puras traiciones. La historia de la patria se inicia con el movimiento populista que ha llegado al poder para reivindicar a los pobres y desposeídos tras siglos de gobiernos entreguistas, unas veces vendidos a la burguesía local y otras a los imperialistas extranjeros.

5.     El nacionalismo: una nefasta creencia en la propia superioridad que conduce al proteccionismo o a dos reacciones aparentemente contrarias. El aislacionismo para no mezclarnos y contaminarnos con los diferentes, o el intervencionismo para esparcir nuestro “magnífico” modo de organizarnos, lo que da lugar a sangrientas aventuras.

6.     El estatismo: o la acción planificada del Estado, y nunca el crecimiento espontáneo y libre de la sociedad y sus emprendedores, lo que supuestamente colmará las necesidades del pueblo amado, necesariamente pasivo.

7.     El clientelismo: concebido para generar millones de estómagos agradecidos que le deben todo al gobernante que les da de comer y acaban por constituir su base de apoyo.

8.     La centralización de todos los poderes. El caudillo o la cúpula dominante controla el sistema judicial y el legislativo. La separación de poderes y el llamado check and balances son ignorados.

9.     El control y manipulación de los agentes económicos, comenzando por el banco nacional o de emisión, que se vuelve una máquina de imprimir billetes al enloquecido dictado del Ejecutivo.

10.  El doble lenguaje. La semántica se transforma en un campo de batalla y las palabras adquieren una significación diferente. “Libertad” se convierte en obediencia, “lealtad” en sumisión. Patria, nación y caudillo se confunden en el mismo vocablo y se denomina “traición” cualquier discrepancia.

11.  La desaparición de cualquier vestigio de cordialidad cívica asociado a la tolerancia y la diversidad. Se utiliza un lenguaje de odio que preludia la agresión. El enemigo es siempre un gusano, un vende-patria, una persona entregada a los peores intereses.

Ahora le toca a usted, lector, discernir si el gobierno de su país es a) perdidamente populista, b) moderadamente populista, c) nada o casi nada populista. Vale la pena hacer ese ejercicio.

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