Voluntad Popular (VP), la formación del opositor venezolano encarcelado Leopoldo López, informó este lunes de que participará en el proceso de validación de partidos del Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), a pesar de los "riesgos" y condiciones "injustas" establecidas, reportó EFE.Continue reading
La historia de Hatuey en tiempo de ópera, escrita en lengua yiddish y ambientada en un cabaré de principios del siglo veinte suena, sin duda, como una combinación rocambolesca. Todavía más porque este fin de semana el estreno de Hatuey: Memorias de fuego, en el teatro Arenal de La Habana, ocurrió ante un público formado en su mayoría por estadounidenses.
El judío de origen ucraniano, Oscar Pinis, compuso un poema épico inspirado en la conocida historia del cacique rebelde. Transcurridas más de ocho décadas de su creación, el músico Frank London, integrante del grupo con influencias askenazíes Klezmatics, decidió que aquellos versos debían convertirse en una ópera.
La dramaturga Elise Thoron lo ayudó en ese empeño y escribió el libreto que la compañía Ópera de la Calle ha asumido, bajo la dirección de Ulises Aquino.
La obra Hatuey: Memorias de fuego tiene todos los ingredientes del teatro musical, al conjugar el canto, el baile y la actuación con una trama llena de alegorías. Los hechos se desenvuelven en el cabaré habanero El Dorado y el personaje del bardo se ve envuelto en una conspiración contra la dictadura de Gerardo Machado. Encandilado por la belleza de las coristas se presta para trasladar unas armas.[[QUOTE:Las brisas del deshielo diplomático soplan con fuerza en el mundo cultural de la Isla y sobre sus escenarios. Con 'Hatuey: Memorias de fuego' se da un paso más en ese abrazo creativo donde no todo lo que brilla es oro]]Sin embargo, los elementos de la historia no logran cuajar en un guión orgánico y fluido. Por momentos los temas superpuestos dejan ver las costuras que los unen y se percibe cierta forzada intención de hacer converger tiempos y situaciones aisladas por los siglos o el contexto.
En la escena final, uno de los esbirros de Machado, simbólicamente llamado Diego Velázquez, atrapa al principal conspirador del cabaré, ordena quemarlo vivo y se rememora la consabida escena final en la vida de Hatuey. A la par, la obra sostiene un sutil paralelismo entre los aborígenes invadidos por los conquistadores y el pueblo judío condenado a vivir en la diáspora.
Más allá de algunas imprecisiones (mencionar a Hatuey como siboney y taino indistintamente, o fallos en la escenografía), los actores de Ópera de la Calle dan muestras de profesionalidad y dominio de la escena. No obstante, en algunos bocadillos se tiene la impresión de que recitan consignas.
Las brisas del deshielo diplomático soplan con fuerza en el mundo cultural de la Isla y en especial sobre sus escenarios. Con la obra Hatuey: Memorias de fuego se da un paso más en ese abrazo creativo donde no todo lo que brilla es oro. Pero en estos casos es bueno saber que no basta con agregar unas palabras en inglés al catálogo o contar con un productor norteamericano.Continue reading
The Wall Street Journal lamenta en un crítico artículo publicado el domingo que Cuba sigue siendo un "infierno totalitario" donde los disidentes mueren en prisión bajo condiciones sospechosas y el régimen niega la entrada a "políticos prominentes antes considerados amigos".Continue reading
La salud del presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, ha mejorado y volverá este martes a su país desde Cuba, pero todavía necesitará un tratamiento por las dolencias de la garganta para lograr un restablecimiento completo, afirmó este lunes el vicepresidente del país, Álvaro García Linera.Continue reading
El presidente de EEUU, Donald Trump, firmó este lunes la nueva versión de su polémico veto migratorio, que seguirá prohibiendo la entrada de refugiados al país y detendrá la emisión de visados a los ciudadanos de Irán, Somalia, Yemen, Libia, Siria y Sudán, todos ellos países de mayoría musulmana.Continue reading
Young People / EFE-14ymedio, Lorena Canto
EFE (via 14ymedio), Lorena Canto, Havana, 5 March 2017 — A hundred days
after his death and although Cuba has limited by law the use of his name
and image, the figure of Fidel Castro is more present than ever on the
island, where the fervor towards the former president is beginning to
take on messianic proportions that have even come to his being compared
with Jesus Christ.
Since the death of the leader of the Cuban Revolution last November 25
at age 90, there is no activity, congress or celebration in Cuba that
does not include a tribute to Fidel Castro in its program, while the
state media also devotes a good part of its space to him.
A good example of this situation was the recent Havana Book Fair, the
most important cultural event of the year on the island. This year's
event was dedicated to Canada and its authors, but the acts and
presentations of numerous titles around the figure of Fidel Castro
eclipsed the invited country.
The situation contrasts with the last will of the ex-president, made
into law last December by the Cuban Parliament: no monuments or public
buildings or streets with his name, in addition to a rigorous
regulations that shield the commercial use of his figure.
In life, the controversial commander was also opposed to the cult of
personality, although paradoxically it was his personal style of
exercising authority, which led some to consider him a leader and others
to consider him a tyrant.
"The charismatic and messianic figure of Fidel Castro was undoubtedly
one of the most popular elements of the Cuban Revolution from its
beginnings in the 1950s to at least the first decade of the twenty-first
century," Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at
Florida International told 14ymedio.
The key is whether the Cuban Revolution can survive without the physical
presence of the man who so passionately embodied it.
According to Duany, "the worship of and loyalty to the
commander-in-chief became one of the main ideological supports of the
Revolution, although his overpowering personality also provoked intense
disgust and resentment among his political adversaries."
The state media, until now, has avoided the word death and replaced it
with physical disappearance, a shift reminiscent of the way Fidel Castro
used the term biological inevitability.
The newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth), official organ of the
Union of Young Communists, went further on December 25, Christmas day,
which marked one month since the death of the Cuban leader: "Time does
not devour redeemers," said the front page, in a veiled parallel with
the figure of Jesus Christ.
"Man, we learned to know you eternal. Just like Olofi and Jesus Christ,
there is not a single altar without a light for you," says the chorus of
the song composed by Raúl Torres after the death of Fidel Castro, a tune
that played unendingly during the nine days of national mourning decreed
Another new constant is the assimilation of the former president with
the Cuban independence figure José Martí, father of the country and next
to whose tomb in Santiago de Cuba Fidel Castro was interred.
For the moderate opponent Manuel Cuesta Morúa, what is happening "seems
to be against the will of Fidel Castro."
"It seems that in his last will he did not talk about the media, where
his presence is constant. It is a gap they [the authorities of the
island] have used, but I think that responds to Cuban society's capacity
to forget," says Morua, the spokesman of the democratic initiative "Otro
18" (Another 2018), which advocates free elections next year.
In his opinion, the country's leadership seeks to perpetuate the message
of "do not forget the imprint of Fidel Castro" in a society that "has
been giving a clear and key answer in that direction, very intuitive, to
say that a country must not have a surname."
Transmitting this message to new generations is a particularly
complicated challenge; for an overwhelming majority of young Cubans, the
bearded commander is more of a distant figure than an ideological
In a recent study of Cuban teenagers published by Juventud Rebelde, no
respondent mentioned Fidel Castro among their most admired people.
"The poll seems to confirm an erosion in the figure of Fidel among the
younger generations of Cubans born and raised after the Revolution,
[despite] the government's efforts to maintain his memory as the
undisputed hero of post-Revolutionary Cuba," Duany concludes.
Source: Official Fervor Towards Fidel Castro Contrasts With the
Indifference of Young People / EFE-14ymedio, Lorena Canto – Translating
http://translatingcuba.com/official-fervor-towards-fidel-castro-contrasts-with-the-indifference-of-young-people-efe-14ymedio-lorena-canto/ Continue reading
Cubanet, Ana Leon, Havana, 3 March 2017 – Jose Vargas is 85 years old
and a retired musician. He lives alone in a room in a tenement in Old
Havana, depending on a monthly check of 240 Cuban pesos (eight dollars
U.S.) and whatever help his neighbors can offer.
For two years this old man has waited for cataract surgery in both eyes.
He was "given the run around" without the least consideration at the
League Against Blindness; at Dependent Hospital, the operating room
ceiling collapsed, causing the indefinite postponement of the surgery;
and at Calixto Garcia Hospital there were no doctors available.
In spite of Vargas' ordeal, the official press speaks with pride of the
aging population that today comprises 18% of the Cuban population. It
argues that this longevity is an achievement of the socialist system and
optimistically describes it as a "challenge" for the near future. But at
the current juncture, the free health benefits that the Island's high
officials preach so much about in front of international agencies are
not perceived. How can you plan to confront the "challenge" if a
helpless old man has to wait two years for a cataract operation?
Disabled by partial blindness and diabetes, Vargas began to experience
hunger. He suffered hypoglycemia more than once from not eating for long
hours. Rosa, 68 years old, is the only neighbor who, in accordance with
her means, has dealt with feeding him and washing his clothes. "It hurt
me to see him so dirty and hungry (…) I have seen him eating things that
are not good for an old diabetic," the lady told CubaNet.
Nevertheless, Rosa could not take on that responsibility for long given
that she herself is retired and has health problems; so she tried to
Trusting in Christian charity, she went to the New Pines Evangelical
Church – very near the tenement where Vargas lives – which distributes
food daily for some elderly loners. But what a surprise when a woman
responded to her, without the least sign of compassion: "That is not our
problem. Go see the delegate [to the local People's Power], the Party
and the Government."
Rosa explained Vargas' case to Old Havana's Municipal Government and
sought a food quota and social worker services from the Family Attention
Centers. Reluctantly, they gave her written authorization that would
permit Vargas to carry home, twice a day, a bowl with rice, peas,
scrambled eggs and jam; all poorly made and without the necessary
As if that were not enough, Vargas had to walk a kilometer a day or pay
30 Cuban pesos (a fifth of his pension) for a bicycle-taxi in order to
collect the food. The social worker who should have taken care of this
task never showed up.
Behind the suffering of a forsaken old man there is so much
administrative corruption and human sordidness that right now the
prospect of growing old in Cuba is terrifying. The State does not have
the institutions or the specialists equipped to confront the wave of
aging that is approaching. The old age shelters – with a couple of
exceptions – are worse and do not accept old people with dementia,
advanced Alzheimer's or any other illness that requires care around the
At the beginning of the century Fidel Castro dedicated many resources to
graduating thousands of social workers who only served to squander
public funds in that crazy "Summer on Wheels" campaign, where the same
young people charged with regulating fuel consumption in order to
protect State property wound up stealing it. The government spent
millions of pesos, awarded college degrees to a gang of delinquents and
today cannot even harvest the humanitarian benefit of the investment
planned on the basis of political volunteerism and a lack of common sense.
In Cuba today there are not enough social workers, geriatric
specialists, adequate food or medicines. Many unfortunate old people
live in dwellings that are in a deplorable state. Vargas himself is in
constant risk of slipping on the mold caused by leaks in the tenement's
cistern; or being killed by a piece of loose brick from the eaves and
balconies of the building whose century-old structure is in an advanced
state of deterioration.
In the face of official indifference, people who don't have a place to
live enter "the mansion" in an old folks' home, to be "cared" for in
exchange for staying with the living instead of the dead. While death
approaches, who complains of mistreatment? Who can say if the old person
accepts his new situation or is feeling threatened?
A country that does not concern itself with old adults leaves them to
the mercy of bad people. That is the future that awaits Cuba, given that
the State wants to subsidize everything, and it is not possible.
Families have fragmented because of the exiles, and not even the Church
can be counted on. It is no wonder that the number of suicides by
elderly people has increased, although the government hides the statistics.
Translated by Mary Lou Keel
Source: Growing Old in Cuba: Luck or Misfortune? / Cubanet, Ana Leon –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/growing-old-in-cuba-luck-or-misfortune-cubanet-ana-leon/ Continue reading