La alta representante de la Unión Europea (UE) para la Política Exterior, Federica Mogherini, afirmó este lunes que la inhabilitación del dirigente opositor venezolano Henrique Capriles durante 15 años para ejercer funciones públicas "no ayuda" a rebajar la tensión en Venezuela, reportó EFE.Continue reading
Las fuerzas de seguridad de Venezuela disolvieron este lunes, por quinta vez en los últimos diez días, una protesta opositora con cientos de participantes que pretendía acceder al centro de la ciudad para manifestarse en contra del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), reportó EFE.Continue reading
La Fundación para los Derechos Humanos en Cuba ha dado la bienvenida a través de una carta abierta a la relatora especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la trata de personas, María Grazia Giammarinaro, que comienza este lunes una vista a la Isla. No obstante la entidad, con sede en Miami, advierte a la funcionaria de que "no está visitando una sociedad abierta".
En la misiva la Fundación reconoce la "integridad, profesionalidad y experiencia" de Giammarinaro que le "garantizarán en gran medida el éxito de su misión" pero "no será fácil", asegura. El texto incluye algunos comentarios que "pueden ser útiles" para la relatora durante su estancia en el país.
"La sociedad cubana en la actualidad constituye un entorno propicio para que las instituciones estatales y los actores no estatales fomenten y se beneficien de diversas formas de trata de personas", se dice en el texto. Este flagelo social propicia la "falta de libertades básicas como la de expresión, de prensa y el derecho a libre asociación".
Esta situación, unidad a la creciente pobreza, "empuja a muchos ciudadanos a adoptar diversas estrategias de supervivencia como el ejercicio de la prostitución". A lo que se le suma que "las instituciones estatales se involucren en prácticas criminales, como el tráfico de trabajo no libre".[[QUOTE:La visita de la funcionaria se enfoca especialmente en los casos de trata de mujeres y niños]]La visita de la funcionaria se enfoca especialmente en los casos de trata de mujeres y niños y es la primera que realiza un miembro del Consejos de Derechos Humanos de la ONU en los últimos diez años.
La Fundación aprovecha esta ocasión para recordar que el Código Penal "continúa sin considerar criminales ciertas acciones cometidas contra menores de edad entre 16 a 18 años a los que la legislación cubana estima adultos".
La existencia de "leyes de peligrosidad social", que permite a las autoridades "detener y encarcelar a cualquier persona si consideran que puede cometer un delito también se incluye en la carta, una denuncia a la que se le agrega la queja por el procesamiento legal de miles de mujeres porque "estaban usando un vestido atractivo o estaban hablando con un turista".
"La lucrativa exportación estatal de servicios médicos y otros servicios profesionales a otros países" ocupa buena parte del documento y es catalogada como una "esclavitud moderna". "Las autoridades cubanas pagan sólo una fracción (menos del 20%) de los ingresos obtenidos a través de su trabajo, usualmente en lugares de riesgo".[[QUOTE: Las impresiones que obtenga durante su recorrido serán incluidas en un informe oficial a presentarse ante el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU en junio de 2018]]A esto se suman los reportes de "médicos y las enfermeras que trabajan en estos proyectos" que se quejan de las "condiciones de vida deficientes y la presencia de cuidadores que conservan sus pasaportes y vigilan las actividades del profesional médico y sus relaciones personales fuera del trabajo".
La Fundación asegura que "abogados cubanos independientes y otras asociaciones de la sociedad civil" no fueron avisados previamente de la llegada de la funcionaria y solo se enteraron de la visita el pasado viernes a través de la prensa oficial, algo que cataloga como "preocupante".
"Los mensajes que escuchará fueron cuidadosamente escritos y ensayados de antemano para su visita. El acceso a su delegación será estrechamente filtrado y monitoreado", advierte el texto. La entidad se muestra dispuesta a ayudar a Giammarinaro "en la coordinación de entrevistas con representantes independientes de la sociedad civil".
La relatora visitará las provincias de La Habana, Matanzas y Artemisa y las impresiones que obtenga durante su recorrido serán incluidas en un informe oficial a presentarse ante el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU en junio de 2018.Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 8 April 2017 – Walking along the
streets with Eliécer Ávila can be a complicated task. His face is well
known thanks to a viral video broadcast almost a decade ago. However,
before fame came into his life, this young man born in Las Tunas was a
model "New Man": the most finished product of ideological indoctrination.
Like all Cuban children, Avila shouted slogans during his school's
morning assembly, participated in countless repudiation activities
"against imperialism" and dreamed of resembling Ernesto 'Che'
Guevara. But while, in school, they taught him the social achievements
that the Revolutionary process brought to the population, at home
reality was stubborn and showed itself to be something quite different.
The residents of Yarey de Vázquez – the Puerto Padre municipality of
Puerto Padre where the leader of the Somos+ (We Are More) Movement was
born – are poor, the kind of poverty that grabs you by the throat. A
place lost in nothingness, where many families still use latrines for
their bodily needs, and live in houses with roofs made of palm fronds.
Surrounded by pigs, chickens and tedium, Avila realized that his life
did not resemble the official version he was being taught. Born in 1985,
in the middle of that "golden decade" when the Soviet Union was propping
up the island, he was barely walking a year later when Fidel Castro
ordered the closing of the free farmers markets in the midst of the
"Process of Rectification of Errors and Negative Tendencies."
Eliécer Avila reached puberty during what was called the Special
Period. With the voracity that still characterizes him, he faced many
days of his adolescence with his plate half full, or almost empty. He
hand stitched the shoes he wore to school, invented all kinds of
"outfits" from his grandfather's old shirts, and turned off the light
when it was time to strip down to his underwear, so no one could see the
With a natural leadership quality, in which a certain humor mixes with
an undeniable histrionic capacity to narrate anecdotes, the young man
made his way through those years without climbing aboard a raft to
escape the country or ending up in jail. Those who knew him predicted a
future in politics, because of those "fine lips" that helped him in
student meetings and in romantic conquests.
A little bit later, luck smiled on him. He was able to enroll in the
University of Computer Sciences (UCI), founded in 2002 in the middle of
the Battle of Ideas. UCI was located on the site that had once been the
Center for Exploration and Radioelectronics Listening, known as the
Lourdes SIGNIT Station, where until 2001 Russia – and the Soviet Union
before it – had had its largest spy station outside its borders. UCI was
a school for trusted young people to become computer soldiers for a
Revolution that fears the Internet.
While a student at UCI, Avila led Operation Truth. His task was to
monitor digital sites and blogs critical of the Government. In those
spaces, the young revolutionary sharpened his arsenal of tools for
political struggle that included everything from hacking to the
execution of the reputation of anyone who opposed the Plaza of the
Little by little, like acid that filters through the cracks, those
anti-government arguments he read on the web began to sink into his mind
and mingle with his own disagreements. Restless, in 2008 he took his
turn at the microphone during a visit to UCI of Ricardo Alarcón, then
president of the National Assembly. The minutes of that public
appearance that followed marked the rest of his life.
The video of the collision between Ávila and Alarcón jumped to first
place in the hit parade on the clandestine networks that distributed
audiovisuals. No one wanted to miss it, especially the moment when the
leader of Parliament justified the travel restrictions imposed on Cubans
by saying how congested the skies might be, if everyone were allowed to
board an airplane.
Now, nine years later, the young activist prefers not to be called
"Eliécer, the one who debated with Alarcon," but for the rest of his
life it will be his most important letter of introduction to millions of
Cubans. His challenge of power, with simple questions and a firm voice,
has been one of the most accurate and best documented gestures of
rebellion in almost six decades of Castroism.
After that, he received his punishment. After graduating, the
authorities sent him to a remote Youth Computer Club to purge his
audacity. It was the decisive moment in which he decided to cross the
red line towards independence. He left the state sector, founded the
Somos+ Movement and relocated to Havana. One audacious act after another.
The attacks rained down from all sides. State Security raised the level
of pressure on his environment, traditional opposition leaders threw
darts at the upstart, and there was no shortage of those who claimed
that he was only a mole for the political police disguised as a dissident.
Since then, Ávila has tried to give shape to a civic discourse that uses
new technologies and a less politicized language, closer to the concerns
of ordinary people. But, like every dissident, he is caught in the grip
of charges of illegal action, subjected to constant vigilance and
assigned the halo of demonization imposed on anyone who does not applaud
The numerous trips abroad that he has made since the Travel and
Immigration Reforms of 2013 have allowed him to know the world, only to
discover that the most exciting and indecipherable of the territories
that await him is located in the future Cuba. That country so many have
dreamed of and that is taking so long to arrive.
Recently he went a step further and announced that he was prepared to
represent the electors of his constituency as a delegate. A somewhat
remote possibility, given the oiled mechanisms of control over the
People's Assemblies maintained by the ruling party where, by show of
hands, the attendees must nominate the potential candidates.
This week, the guajiro of Yarey de Vázquez has crossed another line. A
public protest at José Martí International Airport has resulted in his
house being searched, and him being arrested and charged with "illicit
economic activity." The trigger was the seizure of his laptop at Customs
when he returned from Colombia.
Now, it is expected that the siege around the young leader and his
Somos+ Movement will continue to close. Nothing is more disturbing to a
system that has played with social alchemy than a creature from its own
ideological laboratory turning against it. Eliécer Ávila will be doubly
punished because power acts with more fury against its own, when it rebels.
More articles in English by and about Eliécer Ávila can be read here.
With online translation:
Source: Eliécer Ávila, The 'New Man' Who Became An Opponent –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/eliecer-avila-the-new-man-who-became-an-opponent/ Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, 8 April 2017 – Were the events like the books
tell us? Is the official story a report of what really happened? The
attempt to answer these questions inspires the documentary and two
fictional shorts that were presented Wednesday in the 'Moving Ideas'
section of the 16th edition of the Young Filmmakers Exhibition of the
Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) in Havana.
Under the motto "Forgetting does not exist," the filmmakers approached
collective and family memory to show a point of view often ignored by
the epic of Revolutionary discourse. The works probe those memories for
what Cubans treasure about moments in national life, beyond the
gilded frame that the institutional version attaches to them.
Economic disasters, a war on a distant continent and the drama of family
separation after exile, were some of the issues addressed by this new
generation of film directors, who show a special interest in looking
back. Children of indoctrination and official silence seem willing to
shed light on the darker areas of what has happened in the last half
Director Pedro Luis Rodríguez offers the short Personal Report set on
the eve of the Revolutionary Offensive of 1968 — when all remaining
private businesses in the country were confiscated, down to the last
shoeshine boy. It was a watershed moment in the economic life of the
nation that brought profound effects on commerce, supply and even the
mentality of those born after that massive closure of private businesses.
In less than half an hour, Rodríguez shows the conflicts experienced by
Ricardo, an analyst on the Planning Board, who is preparing to present a
report to his boss on the consequences of the measure that is about to
be taken. The protagonist defends his right to participate in the
decisions that are made in the country or at least to be heard, but
everything is in vain.
Personal Report presents that look from below on a historical event
where the decision was taken "on high." An offensive about which the
government has never offered a public self-criticism, although a quarter
of a century later the private sector was again authorized to
operate. Today, more than half a million workers are struggling to
support themselves despite strong legal limits on their activities and
In the discussions with the audience after the screening in the Chaplin
room, Rodriguez acknowledged that his film is "a wink" at the current
phenomenon of self-employment. His desire is that the work serves to
"reflect on this present" and to meditate "on participation and the need
to be heard and to be consistent with oneself."
The flood of memories and questioning continued with the fictional
short Taxi, directed by Luis Orlando Torres. Taxi addresses another of
the many themes barely touched on by the fiery speeches from those in
power: Cuba's involvement in the war in Angola and its aftermath in
society; the plot centers on the physical and mental wounds left by that
conflict outside the island's borders.
Torres focuses on the effects on families and establishes a parallel
with the internationalist medical missions that now send Cuban
healthcare workers around the world, and their consequences here at
home. The film develops a suspense story that begins when a taxi driver
picks up a passenger in a seemingly casual way. A brief conversation
will suffice to call into question moral aspects of a war, one which the
Government has always defended as an act of solidarity.
Meanwhile, The Son of the Dream, directed by Alejandro Alonso and filmed
in 16 millimeter with a Bolex camera, relives through family letters and
postcards the filmmaker's memories of an uncle whom he was unable
to know due to the separation caused by the Mariel Boatlift. The
material is the result of a workshop given at the International Film
School of San Antonio de los Baños by Canadian director Philip Hoffman.
Beyond the aesthetic and artistic values of each of the projects
presented in 'Moving Ideas', it is clear that much of the young cinema
that is being produced on the Island is not trying to please
institutions or accept pre-established truths. It is an uncomfortable,
irreverent, questioning and willing movement to belie an epic story that
has been shaped more with silences than with truths.
Source: Young Cuban Filmmakers Challenge Official History – Translating
http://translatingcuba.com/young-cuban-filmmakers-challenge-official-history/ Continue reading
Todos los grupos políticos del Parlamento Europeo (PE) se mostraron este lunes, en el primer debate sobre el Acuerdo de Diálogo Político entre la Unión Europea (UE) y La Habana, a favor de apoyar el pacto, ya respaldado por el Consejo y ratificado por gran parte de los Estados miembros, reporta EFE.
La Eurocámara votará tanto dar luz verde al texto como una resolución con su posicionamiento sobre el acuerdo alcanzado en diciembre entre Bruselas y La Habana antes del verano, previsiblemente en la sesión plenaria de julio.Continue reading