Las sedes de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (Unpacu) fueron asaltadas por fuerzas policiales en las primeras horas de este miércoles. Los efectivos entraron a la fuerza en cinco viviendas ubicadas en los repartos de Altamira y José María Heredia en Santiago de Cuba, donde detuvieron a una decena de opositores, según fuentes de la organización opositora. Dos inmuebles que funcionan como sedes de la Unpacu y tres pertenecientes a miembros del movimiento fueron objeto de una ola de allanamientos ejecutada por agentes de la policía política y brigadas de la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR). Las viviendas resultaron “saqueadas” de manera simultánea según el activista Ernesto Oliva Torres, quien denunció que en la sede principal los efectivos confiscaron “un refrigerador, un televisor, dos laptops, seis teléfonos inalámbricos, entre otros”.[[QUOTE:Dos inmuebles que funcionan como sedes de la Unpacu y tres pertenecientes a miembros del movimiento fueron objeto de una ola de allanamientos ejecutada por agentes de la policía política]]Los registros vinieron acompañados de arrestos arbitrarios y el corte de las comunicaciones telefónicas de la mayoría de los activistas de la Unpacu. Entre los arrestados durante la mañana de este miércoles se encuentran Liettys Rachel Reyes, Carlos Amel Oliva y su padre Carlos Oliva, Alexei Martínez, Ernesto Morán, Juan Salgado, Roilán Zamora, Yriade Hernández, Jorge Cervantes y su esposa Gretchen, David Fernández, Miraida Martín y el coordinador nacional del movimiento, José Daniel Ferrer. Liettys Rachel Reyes, embarazada de 30 semanas, permaneció bajo arresto unas tres horas. Hasta ser liberada. El resto de los detenidos siguen en paradero desconocido.
Las sedes de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (Unpacu) fueron asaltadas por fuerzas policiales en las primeras horas de este miércoles. Los efectivos entraron a la fuerza en cinco viviendas ubicadas en los repartos de Altamira y José María Heredia en Santiago de Cuba, donde detuvieron a una decena de opositores, según fuentes de la organización opositora.
Dos inmuebles que funcionan como sedes de la Unpacu y tres pertenecientes a miembros del movimiento fueron objeto de una ola de allanamientos ejecutada por agentes de la policía política y brigadas de la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR).
Las viviendas resultaron “saqueadas” de manera simultánea según el activista Ernesto Oliva Torres, quien denunció que en la sede principal los efectivos confiscaron “un refrigerador, un televisor, dos laptops, seis teléfonos inalámbricos, entre otros”.[[QUOTE:Dos inmuebles que funcionan como sedes de la Unpacu y tres pertenecientes a miembros del movimiento fueron objeto de una ola de allanamientos ejecutada por agentes de la policía política]]Los registros vinieron acompañados de arrestos arbitrarios y el corte de las comunicaciones telefónicas de la mayoría de los activistas de la Unpacu.
Entre los arrestados durante la mañana de este miércoles se encuentran Liettys Rachel Reyes, Carlos Amel Oliva y su padre Carlos Oliva, Alexei Martínez, Ernesto Morán, Juan Salgado, Roilán Zamora, Yriade Hernández, Jorge Cervantes y su esposa Gretchen, David Fernández, Miraida Martín y el coordinador nacional del movimiento, José Daniel Ferrer.
Liettys Rachel Reyes, embarazada de 30 semanas, permaneció bajo arresto unas tres horas. Hasta ser liberada. El resto de los detenidos siguen en paradero desconocido.
El camión de la basura frena y Rebeca corre hacia el contenedor para hurgar en las bolsas. Es su carrera diaria contra el hambre, que tiene a muchos venezolanos viviendo de sobras, recoge un reportaje de la AFP.
Antes de que los desechos sean triturados, revisa veloz y encuentra un poco de pasta. Rebeca León tiene 18 años, está terminando la secundaria y vive en el barrio popular de Petare, en una casa que pese a su miseria cuenta con servicios básicos.Continue reading
El documental Give me Future, del estadounidense Austin Peters, traslada al Festival de Cine de Miami el megaconcierto que dio el grupo de música electrónica Major Lazer hace un año en La Habana, el "mejor momento" de la vida del jamaicano Walshy Fire, uno de sus tres integrantes.
"Fue increíble e inspirador ser parte de ello", dijo este miércoles a EFE el músico en Miami.Continue reading
In its monthly report the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) denounced the "482 arbitrary arrests" of peaceful opponents and dissidents that took place in Cuba in the month of February.
The figure was slightly higher than those from the three preceding months: 359 arrests (November), 458 (December) and 478 (January).Continue reading
El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, cree que La Habana, "con todo lo que se le ha regalado", no ha hecho ninguna "concesión" dentro del proceso de normalización de las relaciones bilaterales, según dijo hoy su asesora Helen Aguirre Ferré en una entrevista exclusiva con EFE.
"El presidente (Trump) ha sido muy claro sobre que se van a evaluar todos los acuerdos de la anterior Administración (del expresidente Barack Obama) con Cuba", afirmó Aguirre Ferré, de ascendencia nicaragüense.Continue reading
El cubano Eladio Peraza, acusado por la justicia de Guyana por tráfico de personas, fue liberado el martes de los cargos por la magistrada en jefe Ann McLennan, informaron medios locales.
Según recoge la edición digital de Demerara Waves el fiscal que llevaba el caso recordó que Peraza habría obligado a una mujer cubana a prostituirse entre el 1 de marzo de 2016 y el 20 de enero de 2017 en el Club Bollywood, en Providence, del que era propietario.Continue reading
La Seguridad del Estado presionó al segundo jefe de la cárcel 1580, mayor Eiler Rivera Peña, para que el pase temporal que recibe el abogado Julio Ferrer Tamayo sea a partir de ahora cada 60 días y no cada 30, como tiene establecido esa prisión de menor seguridad para casi la totalidad de los reclusos.Continue reading
El jardinero cubano de los Dodgers de Los Ángeles, Yasiel Puig, no quiso hacer comentarios sobre un informe periodístico que señala que en su casa en Sherman Oaks (California) hubo un robo en el que se sustrajeron al menos 170.000 dólares en propiedades, en su mayoría joyas.
El Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles confirmó que el robo tuvo lugar el 27 de febrero e indicó que continúa investigando los hechos, según reportó EFE.Continue reading
Pending Trial / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Havana, 7 March 2017 — The Cuban Commission for Human Rights
and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) has denounced the death of
political prisoner Hamel Santiago Maz Hernández, an activist from
UNPACU, who died* on February 24 at Combinado del Este prison in
Havana. The opponent had been imprisoned for eight months without trial
for the alleged offense of contempt.
The CCDHRN has released its report for the month of February in which it
says that "there have been thousands of cases of Cubans killed in
government custody," a situation for which the authorities bear all the
"moral and legal responsibility."
The report includes the 482 arbitrary arrests of dissidents last month,
a "slightly higher figure than in January."
The CCDHRN also documented 16 cases of physical aggression and 18 of
harassment, "by the secret political police and para-police agents,"
with the victims being peaceful opponents, adds the report.
The text clarifies that, given "the closed nature of the regime that has
ruled Cuba for almost 60 years," it is "impossible to record the
thousands of violations of fundamental rights" that occur throughout the
island each month.
Nevertheless, it reports that the Ladies in White and the Patriotic
Union of Cuba (UNPACU) are once again the organizations most
repressed. In the case of the women's organization, they have been
"subjected to humiliations and other abuses" over and over. For its
part, 54 members of the UNPACU "are political prisoners, most of whom
remain imprisoned without formal charges or pending trial."
During 2016, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National
Reconciliation (CCDHRN) documented 9,940 arbitrary detentions. This
figure "places the Government of Cuba in the first place in all of Latin
America," according to the independent organization.
*Translator's note: Cuban State Security informed his wife that he died
of a heart attack.
Source: Cuban Human Rights Group Denounces The Death Of A Political
Prisoner Pending Trial / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuban-human-rights-group-denounces-the-death-of-a-political-prisoner-pending-trial-14ymedio/ Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 27 February 2017 — After working twelve hours driving a
vintage 1957 Chevrolet for a collective taxi company on the
Cotorro-Central Park route, twenty-nine year old Osdiel sits down to
have a beer at a dark bar in the south end of Havana, where he unleashes
his frustration over new measures Cuban authorities have adopted.
Without a leader or a labor union looking out for their interests, a
large faction of Havana taxi drivers is organizing to overturn what they
consider to be arbitrary regulations imposed by the regime of Raúl Castro.
This report will be concise. Havana is a densely populated metropolitan
area of more than two and a half million residents with a road network
routinely in disrepair and a mass transit system in chaos. In the summer
of 2016 the city began regulating prices for private taxi services.
In the Cuban capital there are about thirty designated taxi corridors.
These are fixed routes costing between 10 and 20 pesos per ride based on
travel distance. The current fleet of taxis, which is operated by
licensed drivers as well as individuals who work clandestinely on the
sidelines, is estimated at between 10,000 and 12,000 automobiles.
"Sometimes there are more because drivers from nearby provinces such as
Artemisa, Mayabeque, Pinar del River and Matanzas come to Havana. That's
in addition to the hundreds of drivers working for state-owned companies
who pick up passengers during and after normal working hours to earn
extra money," says Francisco, an official with ONAT (National Office of
Tax Administration), an institution that regulates private sector work
Beginning in 2016, along with a rollback of the autocratic regime's
timid economic reforms, the government began meddling in prices that had
been determined by supply and demand.
In January of last year the government began a policy of regulating
prices for produce. In the last twelve months it has closed 60% of
independent farmers' markets.
The state does not sell fuel or spare parts at wholesale prices to
private-sector taxi drivers in spite of the public benefit they provide.
Eliecer, who drives a Soviet-era Lada along the Vibora-Vedado route,
explains, "In no paragraph of our contract does it say that the
government can regulate prices. We set them based upon supply and demand."
Before 1959 public transportation in Cuba was efficient but that all
ended once Fidel Castro and his bearded men came to power. For almost
six decades since then, it has been a pressing issue for the regime.
Bus, taxi, rail, shipping and air transportation have been plagued with
shortages that have impacted the time and ways it takes to transport
millions of people from one place to another within a city or across the
Though Havana should ideally have have a fleet of 3,000 buses, there are
only about 900 operating. Along the busiest routes such as the P6, P7,
P11 and P14, buses should arrive every three minutes during peak hours
but only come along once every ten or fifteen minutes. And there is no
subway or suburban rail network serving the city.
Three decades ago, the state operated 4,000 taxis and charged modest
prices. The fleet of state-run taxis now numbers less than 200 and often
are used to provide services to hospitals and funeral homes. These taxis
are also rented out, at market rates, to drivers who have finished their
There is a fleet of some 800 modern, air-conditioned cars which charge
in convertible pesos and are used primarily by tourists, foreign
visitors and affluent Cubans.
The regime has discreetly launched a small enterprise called Cubataxis,
a network of taxis with fares priced in hard currency. Three years ago
it began leasing them to drivers. "You get 500 CUCs (convertible pesos)
as a loan and every day you have to hand over 55 CUCs to the government.
The authorities give us twenty liters of fuel; we have to buy the rest.
To meet the guidelines, we have to clock up to thirteen hours a day. We
get to keep the car at home and we set the fares," explains Dagoberto,
who drives of a Chinese-made Geely.
For private-sector taxi drivers like Erasmo, this difference matters.
"Why don't they regulate Cubataxis' prices? Oh, because the government
makes money off this business. We fulfill a need in society. We
transport hundreds of thousands of people a day. We are doing the work
the government should be doing," he complains.
For a long time drivers who work for state-run businesses have sold fuel
at prices lower than those at gas stations. "On the black market a liter
of gasoline costs between twelve and fifteen pesos. The government sells
it for 28 pesos," says a private sector taxi driver.
According to reports, the reduction of petroleum imports from Venezuela
— deliveries fell from 100,000 barrels a day to 55,000 — is what led to
the Cuban government to begin charging its business operations for fuel.
This led to a shortage on the black market, forcing most private-sector
taxi drivers to raise prices. A trip that normally would have cost ten
pesos was soon up to twenty.
When authorities in Havana ordered a cap on cab fares in July 2016, the
response from a large number of taxi drivers was to break up the rides
into smaller segments. For example, if a trip from La Palma to
Brotherhood Park cost ten pesos, they would split it into two and
increase their profit.
Such subterfuge along with the price hikes have irritated large numbers
of customers who rely on shared taxis on a daily basis to get around.
"The government took advantage of a bad situation to adopt populist
measures that favor passengers. But they didn't take into account the
fact that taxi drivers are the owners of their vehicles and can
determine prices. Now that there is a lid on prices, God help you if you
are trying to catch a taxi," says Lisván.
For Osdiel, the owner of a 1957 Chevrolet, the problem is one of
negotiation. "The government wants us to do what it wants us to do. But
this is not the era of slavery. Most taxi drivers want to sit down and
talk, then come to an agreement. My proposal would be for the
authorities to sell us a certain amount of fuel at a subsidized price in
exchange for them being able to set prices."
Manuel, a slow talking kind of guy, believes, "The targets of this
offensive are the owners of small fleets of cars, jeeps and trucks. They
want to screw us over because we make a lot of money. And that's a crime
in this system. Sixty percent of private-sector taxi drivers in Havana
don't own their vehicles. They are salaried workers. I estimate that a
hundred or two hundred people own at least four or five cars each and
have ten to twelve employees working for them. I own six cars, five
jeeps and three trucks. The purpose of these measures is to wipe us off
For the time being, more than four thousand drivers have decided not to
go to work next Monday, February 27. "We will say that our cars are
busted or we are sick. We will go on strike. Let's see what they'll do
then," says Osdiel defiantly.
The battle between private-sector taxi drivers and the government of
Raúl Castro has become like a serialized novel. We will see what the
next installment brings.
Source: Havana Taxi Drivers Up In Arms / Iván García – Translating Cuba
- http://translatingcuba.com/havana-taxi-drivers-up-in-arms-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 7 March 2017 — The two personalities
who represent the polar opposites of the so-called process of updating
the Cuban model have disappeared. We have seen neither hide nor hair of
the "captain" of economic reforms, Marino Murillo, since October of last
year, and Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, considered the braking mechanism
for any measure that looks like a change, has not appeared in the
official media since 27 February.
Murillo did not appear in the images that filled the media during the
nine days of the funeral and mourning period of former President Fidel
Castro. He was not seen in the last session of the parliament fulfilling
his usual role of asking for accountability on the implementation of the
Party's Guidelines. He was not on the viewing platform saluting the
troops who marched in the military parade of 2 January, nor at any other
significant event of the ruling party during the current year.
On the other hand, rare is the day when the second secretary of the
Communist Party, Machado Ventura, does not appear visiting a chicken
farm, sausage factory or a sugar mill, moments that he uses to hammer
home his slogans of discipline andcontrol, demands that put him in the
headlines almost daily in the official press. He is the visible face
that exhorts the peasants to produce food and the workers to comply with
However, the most significant sign that unveils the wide range of
suspicions about the whereabouts of this hardliner has been that when
Raul Castro returned from his brief trip to Venezuela, the so-often
repeated scene of Machado Ventura receiving him at the bottom the
airplane stairs was missing. Perhaps this is the first time that images
of the general president's return to the country were not released and
that the press didn't mention who welcomed him.
The last meeting of the Council of Ministers, held on 28 February, was
the first of Raul Castro's presidential term that was not broadcast live
on television, nor were photos published in the Party newspaper Granma.
Both Murillo and Machado Ventura should have been visible as members of
the group of highest ranking decision makers in the country.
Instead, in the official information about the meeting there was a
reference to Leonardo Andolla Valdea, deputy chief of the Permanent
Commission for the Implementation and Development of the Party
Guidelines. He was in charge of saying, on this occasion, what would
have normally been said by Murillo, also known as the "czar of the
It is not serious to spread rumors, much less to invent them. In
journalism only the facts must be counted, showing evidence and citing
sources. However, under the opaque veil of secrecy in which the most
important political and economic events unfold in Cuba, absences attract
attention as much as presences. What is not said can be as revealing as
what is stated.
Source: Disappeared / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/disappeared-14ymedio-reinaldo-escobar/ Continue reading
La revista Rolling Stone Italia eligió para su imagen de portada al papa Francisco, a quien define como el "papa-pop".
"¿Por qué Francisco en la tapa de Rolling Stone? Simple, porque el Papa dice cosas de sentido común, tan de sentido común que su soledad comienza a ser palpable", explicó la revista.
En la foto Jorge Bergoglio aparece sonriente y con el pulgar para arriba.Continue reading
Al amanecer de este miércoles, sobre las 6:00 de la mañana, fuerzas del régimen "irrumpieron" en cinco viviendas de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU), incluida la sede nacional, en Santiago de Cuba y "detuvieron" a alrededor de 10 activistas, según denunciaron a DIARIO DE CUBA Lizandra Robert Salazar y Ovidio Martín Castellanos, dos de los coordinadores de la organización.Continue reading
Despite thaw in relations, Ana Belén Montes looks set to serve last nine
years of quarter-century sentence
PABLO DE LLANO
Corresponsal en Miami
Miami 8 MAR 2017 - 16:05 CET
On February 28, in her cell at a maximum security prison in Fort Worth,
Texas, Ana Belén Montes turned 60 years of age. Once regarded as one of
the Pentagon's top analysts and an expert on Cuba's military, the
so-called "Queen of Cuba" was arrested in 2001 when her 17-year career
as Cuban spy was discovered and she was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
Despite the thaw in relations between Havana and Washington under Barack
Obama, which saw three of the last Cuban spies returned home in 2014,
Montes remains behind bars in a facility reserved for some of the most
dangerous and mentally ill prisoners in the United States.
In 2016, a family member revealed that Montes had undergone surgery for
breast cancer, although there has been no official confirmation of this.
Her release is currently scheduled for 2026, by which point she will be
69 years old.
Unlike the three prisoners released in 2014, the Cuban government has
never officially campaigned for Montes' freedom. In June 2016, Miami
Spanish-language daily El Nuevo Herald reported that Cuban officials had
asked after her during a meeting in the United States. A few months
earlier, Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez had called for her
release at a concert in Spain. The request was repeated a few days ago
at one of his concerts in Puerto Rico. Mariela Castro, daughter of
Cuba's President Raúl Castro, posted a report from Venezuela's official
news agency mentioning that a campaign for Montes' freedom had been
organized in Cuba.
Montes penetrated US intelligence deeper than any other Cuban agent
Writing in his blog on Montes' birthday about her treatment by the
regime, Cuban journalist Harold Cárdenas said: "The Cuban Foreign
Ministry's discretion is understandable. In contrast, the silence in the
national media is shameful."
There has been speculation that the United States and Cuba are
negotiating Montes' exchange for Assata Shakur, the Black Panther leader
accused of shooting a police officer who managed to escape to Cuba in
1984, claiming political asylum. But a 2016 US State Department internal
document rejects the option.
Montes is considered to be the Cuban agent who most deeply penetrated US
intelligence. An analyst at the Pentagon, she was recruited by Havana in
1984, and after undergoing training, would report each night to her
handlers via shortwave radio without ever having to make copies of
documents, thanks to her remarkable memory.
She rose through the ranks from her initial position as a typist,
garnering commendations along the way, one of which was presented by the
then-head of the CIA. Born to Puerto Rican parents on a US army base in
Germany and whose two siblings worked for the FBI, while her former
boyfriend was a Pentagon official, Montes passed on top-secret
information, such as the identity of four US spies in Cuba or US
activities in Central America. She refused payment for her spying,
telling the judge at her 2002 trial she acted out of "love" for Cuba,
which she felt was being treated "cruelly" by the United States.
The Cuban government has never officially campaigned for Montes' freedom
Former CIA analyst Brian Latell, who worked with Montes, remembers her
as "bitter" and "prepared to risk her life for her love of Fidel Castro
and his revolution."
Piero Gleijeses, an expert in US foreign policy, was her teacher in the
1980s when Montes undertook a Master's in International Studies at Johns
Hopkins University. He remembers her as a "brilliant" student regarded
as "conservative" in the classroom. Montes visited him in a decade
later, ostensibly to discuss a paper he had written, but in reality to
scope him for information about Cuba. "I told her that if I had any
confidential information I wouldn't tell her, because I knew where she
worked and I didn't agree with US foreign policy."
A year ago, in a letter to her family, Montes wrote from her cell:
"There are certain things in life that are worth going to jail for. Or
that are worth committing suicide for after doing them."
English version by Nick Lyne.
Source: US-Cuban thaw: No sign of release for the last Cuban spy in a US
jail | In English | EL PAÍS -
http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/03/08/inenglish/1488974544_403150.html Continue reading