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Elías Amor Bravo, 3 January 2018 — Cuba’s restrictions on internet access are an example of the types of controls the regime imposes on the population. On 28 December, however, it was announced that in 2018 the island’s inhabitants were expected to have access from their cell phones, something that thus far has not been the … Continue reading "Mobile Internet and the Right of Cubans to Social Networks" Continue reading
This video is not subtitled but the images will be interesting to all. Cubanet, Augusto César San Martín and Rudy Cabrera, Havana, 24 November 2017 — Contrary to what has been affirmed to date, the “Weekly Packet” did not have a creator. The original idea was spontaneous, in the mid-eighties, with the arrival in Cuba … Continue reading "The Real Parents of the Weekly Packet / Cubanet, Augusto César San Martín and Rudy Cabrera" Continue reading
Cubanet, María Matienzo, Havana, 23 November 2017 — According to Claudio Fuentes, photographer and human rights activist, he’s started doing something like ten interviews and they haven’t published any of them. Maybe it has to do with that mania he has to be always behind the camera, pointing the lens at the Ladies in White, other activists … Continue reading "Claudio Fuentes: "I Do Not Want to be an Opponent One More Day"" Continue reading
Cubanet, René Gómez Manzano, Havana, 5 Abril 2017 — In recent days, the absence of a true rule of law has become evident in the two countries of “Socialism of the 21st Century,” an absence that reached the highest levels of arbitrariness and injustice: Cuba and Venezuela. In the second of these the iniquity took place at the highest level, … Continue reading "Cuba and Venezuela: And God Created Them… / Cubanet, René Gómez Manzano" Continue reading
Cubanet, Paulina Alfonso, 26 December 2016 — What will become of Cuba in the new year now that Fidel Castro is gone? This is a question only foreigners ask. It is of no interest to most Cubans. They have other concerns: how to get out, how to survive and what number to bet on in … Continue reading "What Will Become of Cuba? / Paulina Alfonso" Continue reading
Cubanet, Tania Diaz Castro, Havana, December 12, 2016 – When in 2006 Raul Castro took power, one of the first things he said was that he would give a glass of milk a day to every Cuban. He knew very well the importance that the people gave to the strong tradition of having breakfast with coffee … Continue reading "No Right to Breakfast / Cubanet, Tania Diaz Castro" Continue reading
[1] For the environmental project, "A Rose-Colored Planet," children would be responsible for beautifying the green spaces of the capital. Dilapidated Havana requires much more than a community gardening project: sanitizing the city is the urgent business. [2]Cubanet, Gladys Linares, Havana, February 27 2015 -- Now it turns out that children have the responsibility for creating green spaces for the enjoyment of the public, and ending more than fifty years of governmental neglect. This is unheard of! In the article, "They celebrate the work day in order to promote the beauty of gardens," the newspaper Juventud Rebelde describes the environmental project, "A Rose-Colored Planet," and an interest group composed of 500 children that would be responsible for beautifying the green spaces of the capital. Will children be able to solve the problem created by the public services that go around collecting the large garbage and debris heaps that proliferate in the city, with 14-ton front-end loaders that destroy the sidewalks, curbs and gardens, and leave craters that become breeding grounds for mosquitos, rats, and other carriers of disease? Any idiot knows that the complexity of this task requires much more than a community project, because the duty of maintaining green spaces in good condition -- as well as of implementing public health and sanitation projects -- falls to the public administration. Will children be able to solve the shortage of wheeled bins needed to collect the 20-thousand cubic meters of waste that our city generates? This dearth of bins is often the result of mishandling by Comunales * workers (who are not held accountable for their actions), or acts of "social indiscipline" such as wheels being removed, junk being discarded in the bins, the bins being set on fire, etc. Such actions convert densely-populated neighborhoods such as Diez de Octubre, Centro Habana, Arroyo Naranjo and San Miguel del Padrón into sites for those large garbage heaps referenced above. Will our children be able to require that the workers who are currently installing the water meters in Marianao [3] not leave behind debris, trenches and water leaks upon completing these projects? But it is not only Aguas de La Habana [4] which leave behind their mark of shoddiness. The gas company does it, too, when they complete some road "repair" project. They claim that covering-up and fixing the sidewalks is the Comunales’* responsibility, and despite efforts often made by area residents, these projects are not finished adequately. All this negligence on the part of the State has provoke an exacerbation of acts of "social indiscipline."  In the absence of parks and recreational areas, the children play in the streets, annoying the neighbors. In the absence of containers, the public alleges (rightfully) that garbage cannot be kept inside the house, so they throw it in the street. Perhaps it is no coincidence that we hear so often of neighbors and relatives of friends dying of leptospirosis [5], as happened last week to a young man and his dog, who lived less than 100 meters from one of those garbage heaps. "A Rose-Colored Planet" includes among its objectives the creation of gardens for the enjoyment of hospitalized children and residents of elder-care facilities, applying the methods employed in French gardening -- a fine and noble task. Starting at early ages, this community project develops civic consciousness, which we so need today. But much more than children’s projects is needed to return Havana to its green lushness. Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison, and others Translator’s Note: * Comunales is the state-run waste management company in Cuba. For other articles in Translating Cuba about related issues, click here [6]. [1] http://www.cubanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Gladys-cover.jpg [2] http://www.cubanet.org [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianao [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_privatization_in_Cuba [5] http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/ [6] https://www.google.com/search?as_q=Comunales&as_epq=&as_oq=garbage+waste+trash&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=translatingcuba.com&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=&gws_rd=ssl Continue reading
[1] The government has cancelled your INFOMED email account due to its having been used on a classified ad website. [2]Cubanet, Orlando González, Mayabeque, Cuba, 12 March 2015 — Since February 23, the government has been cancelling some doctors’ and dentists’ internet and email accounts on the nation’s INFOMED network, which the state designates for health care professionals. The reason? Emails were being used to post classified ads on the popular Revolico website. Punitive actions like this are evidence of the government’s intention not to allow free access to Internet, at least in the short term. The classified ad website  http://www.revolico.com [3] is very well-known among many Cubans on the island. It lists a wide range of products available on the black market, including merchandise at prices much cheaper than those found in state-owned retail stores. The government has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to block access to the site. Nevertheless, Cubans have managed to make a mockery of the limitations by going through web services designed to evade censorship (VPN and web proxies). An offline version of the webpage is also delivered to homes through the popular underground entertainment service known as the "national packet." It contains all the classified ads from the previous week. Fifty-nine-year-old retired dentist Tania Alonso stated, "INFOMED email is the only way I have of communicating with my family overseas. Now they have taken it away because a nephew of mine, who uses the computer in my house, posted an ad for his cell phone on Revolico and listed my email address. No one told me anything. Only after I asked why I had not had email service for a week did they tell me that I was being sanctioned and they had cancelled my account. I really don’t know if what my nephew did is as serious as all that." Doctors in several cities claim they have made complaints in the respective workplaces but have not received explanations for the sanctions. "It’s unbelievable that visiting a classified ad page — a right in almost every country in the world, including Venezuela — is virtually a crime here," says Jose Alberto, a gatroenterologist from the city of San Antonio de los Baños. "For this ’indiscretion’ the authorities punish doctors who have served on various international medical missions, taking away their only means of accessing the INFOMED network. I think this action is ridiculous and shows a total lack of respect for health care professionals. We are practically slaves to the government. We work for a salary which barely allows us to eat. In any other country of the world we would be more recognized and appreciated than we are in our own. I am a veteran of three international missions and they take away my access just for using my email address as the contact in a classified ad." [4] Revolico.com, screen capture Another health professional who did not want to be identified said, "I went a week without being able to access my email account and neither the supervisors at my workplace nor the technical support person knew why. Only after I called the INFOMED offices was I informed it had been cancelled." CubaNet contacted Carlos Javier Peña Díaz, a co-founder of Revolico and based in Spain, who agreed to comment. "It’s been seven years since our website was blocked in Cuba and we still don’t understand why," he notes. "Revolico’s only goal is to help Cubans by providing them with an alternative marketplace based on the classified ad model. They can use our website to easily advertise products or contact sellers." Doctors and dentists who have lost their accounts add that they do not agree with this action and will take their complaints as far as is necessary. Their letters of appeal were sent to the management of INFOMED ten days ago and those affected have not yet received a response. [1] https://homiscdocs.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/infomed.jpg [2] http://www.cubanet.org [3] http://www.revolico.com [4] https://homiscdocs.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/revolico.gif Continue reading
[1]They are referred to as old folks, half-timers and the pure. They are shipwreck victims of a capsized island. They cling to debris, trying to stay afloat. [2]Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro, Havana, February 27, 2015 — Men and women in Cuba who have reached the age of forty are referred to as tembas (old folks), medios tiempos (half-timers) and los puros (the pure). Those approaching this age have lived through the periods before and after 1989 on the island. Their childhoods were spent between schools in the countryside and schools like those in the countryside, an ostensible bonanza subsidized by the Council of Mutual Aid (CAME) and the war in Angola. As young people they heard the echoes of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and suffered through the crisis and blackouts. Those who remain view their lives like those of shipwreck victims on an island that has capsized. Some cling to debris, trying to stay afloat. Others see fulfillment slipping away in a country that continues to deny them a future. Cubanet interviewed people in Bayamo and Havana: one a small city, the other the capital. They offer a portrait of a generation for whom hope has been extinguished. Bayamo, a country within a country One couple agreed to be interviewed by this reporter on how they see their lives now and in the future. The man will turn forty in two years. Both declined to give their names. "They say that in 2016 the outlook in Bayamo could be very different, but that is exactly what the government promised my parents and what I inherited from them was crisis and the urge to leave behind these people and this country," he says. [3] "This is a beautiful city," says the woman, "but it feels very small when we see the tons of opportunities we are missing. The ones who prosper here, more or less, are the ones who get help from those who left when they were young to try their luck in another country. I don’t want my children to live with the despair I inherited from my parents. On that he and I both agree." Another man, known as El Pelón (the Bald Guy), graduated during the educational chaos of the last decade. "I have a lot of family living in the United States," he says. "At one time I thought about making the crossing to Miami, leaving through Puerto Padre. But life got messy, so I’m still here. By the time you’re forty, you feel the initial urge slipping away. It’s like you have entered a stage of life where you are moving at half speed. You resign yourself to things. Arriving in a new country at twenty is not the same as when you are over forty."  In Havana forty at forty The Maxim Rock theater is a hotbed for the young and not so young. It is Saturday in the capital. Tonight, two generations of music fans co-mingle, intent on having the best time possible. This reporter managed to have a conversation with one couple. He is forty; she is much younger. Both spoke informally without giving their names. "Twenty years ago," he says, "I was walking around Vedado, hunting for foreigners and ’hustling.’ It was the 1990s, the era of blackouts and all those nightmares no one wants to remember. You had to be brave to leave but also to stay. That’s what I tell people when they ask me why I am still living in Cuba." [4] "Something will have to change. These people’s time has passed," she says referring to the government. They are committed to the same old same old. But they are very mistaken if they think the public’s silence is due to resignation." Dominoes, a game of life and politics At a Casa de los Abuelos senior center, a buiding which is somehow miraculously still standing, a group of men is getting ready to play another round of dominoes. Everyone here is past the age of forty. As in the game of life and politics, each playing piece is a bet to be wagered in silence. Their faces tell the history of this country, spanning the dying past that landed them at this table and a future as uncertain as a domino. At the same time their counterparts are playing another round in Miami’s Maximo Gomez Park. They are veterans of nostalgia. Some still unabashedly await the imminent downfall of the two brothers, just as they did when they arrived in Florida at age twenty. However, the prospect of reconciliation without freedom for Cubans living on the island continues to shadow those on both sides of the Florida Straits. [1] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/dominó-cover.jpg [2] http://www.cubanet.org [3] http://www.cubanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/se-identifico-como-El-PelonBayamofoto-Camilo-Ernesto-Olivera.jpg [4] http://www.cubanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/TESTIMONIANTES-QUE-NO-SE-IDENTIFICARONBAYAMOfoto-Camilo-Ernesto.jpg Continue reading
[1] Eliecer Avila, 26 February 2015 — After having "conversations" like these, I always ask myself is it is worth the trouble to publish an account of them or not. I do not like even giving these people the impression that I have blabbed about everything. But I also believe not publishing such accounts only hurts me. They have cameras everywhere and have demonstrated they have no scruples. They can release a doctored video recordings and use the information to destroy someone’s life Upon entering the airport yesterday, I was approached by an immigration official. After taking my passport, he led me to a small office for "routine questioning." Since I am already familiar with these ploys, it did not surprise me to find Lieutenant Colonel "Yanes" and "Marquitos" there in the room. The latter goes by a different name when he is with other people. He was the young man who "looked after" us some time back. It was he who put me and Reinaldo into the patrol car on the day of Tania Bruguera’s performance. After my phone was taken away, the "chat" began. Though it was extensive, I am highlighting here only certain essential passages that provide some insight into the mindset of these people. Also included are some of my responses and other reflections on their points of view. State Security (SE): Get this straight: The Revolution is not going to fall apart because you or some other little dimwit want to see it happen. You are a nobody! I ask myself this: If I am so insignificant and pose no threat, why do they focus this attention on me? Wouldn’t it be better to use the gasoline they’re wasting, the time, the salaries, the clothing and all the other resources to fix the hospitals, build buildings or buy internet antennas? SE: You are quite mistaken if you believe that we are afraid of the internet. The thing is we provide it to doctors, professors and Revolutionaries. We are not going to provide it to people like you or Yoani Sanchez. And don’t get the crazy idea that the Americans are going to subvert us with the internet. We are going to have a secure internet like Russia or China. You know full well that we have thousands of technicians and cyber experts to deal with that. It seems surreal to me that someone, especially a young person, would tell me that the model for information access that he wants for Cubans, for his own people, is to be found in Russia or China. On the other hand, it comes as no surprise to me that, given this mentality, the Cuban economy is in such ruins. Here is one of thousands of young professionals in the prime of their working lives trying to put the brakes on the nation’s development. I would give anything to have this conversation in public! I would love to know what Calviño thinks about this. What intellectuals, humorists, workers, artists, students and even the police and military officials think. I invite them to discuss this subject publicly but their response is to change the subject. SE: So, tell me. How did your trip go? With whom did you meet? What did you do? It went very well. I will share the details with my family, with my friends. I don’t see why I should share them with you. SE: O.K. We see you favor diplomatic relations with the U.S., but fundamentally your position is the same as that of other Counter-Revolutionaries. You see this change as an opportunity to import that "perfect democracy" that you like so much, like what they have in the U.S. That’s the conclusion our analysts came to after watching your interview on CNN for example. I am tempted to say a lot of things but realize that doing so would be pointless, so I say nothing. SE: Look, Eliecer, since it is my duty to advise you, I suggest you don’t get involved in all these initiatives that are sprouting up, in the house of your friend Yoani, or in the the events for the summit. Remember the instructor (investigator) who took care of you in Regla on the 30th? Well, don’t be surprised if there is a knock on your door and you are arrested for breaking the law, what with all the things you peope have been up to. We have laws here, just like in the U.S., and you didn’t break any laws there. Right? Expressing oneself is not a crime in any normal country in the world. I will keep saying what I think in Cuba, in Greenland, on Mars. Wherever I am invited to engage in serious conversation, I will be there, whether it be Yoani’s house or the Council of State! When they finally let me go, they were waiting for me at Customs on the other side. They took me to another small room and conducted a thorough inspection of my luggage. They finally saw I was clean and had almost no luggage. Their focus was on analyzing a book which René Hernández Arencibia had dedicated to me: The Book of Cuba; 500 Years of History. After the young customs agents and their boss had a good long look through it, they arrived at an encouraging conclusion: "Wow, it looks like it covers everything." And then they let me go. Still fresh in my mind is the loss of thirty-six books which were confiscated for being "of inadequate literary value." Clearly, the literary training of Cuban customs officials must be a serious matter. I doubt the world’s great men of letters could arive at such a conclusion so readily. I finally left the airport and went home. Then begins the "yoga" to refresh and detoxify with the little left to us in Cuba to enjoy: family, friends... and faith in the future, which refuses to be broken. Eliecer Avila, Engineer Footnote: This post should have been published a day earlier but was a delayed due to communication difficulties arising in Cuba.   [1] https://homiscdocs.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/img_4465-225x300.jpg Continue reading
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] [1] Photo from the internet[/caption]   Imagine you are at a party where a suckling pig is being roasted and all of a sudden, at the height of the festivities, Raúl Castro comes along with a bucket of water and douses out the fire. I cannot conjure a more apt image to illustrate the effect the army general’s speech at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit had on the spirits of Cuba’s dissidents. What Raul said was a recycling of what the secretary of state was saying. It was the spitting image, cut to size, to summarize the state of affairs. While the inhospitable bucket of water was being filled, he left it to the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) to release the statement by the American government indicating that the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between that country and ours did not include a lifting of the embargo, the closure of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo or permission for American tourists to travel to Cuba. "So the Americas have not had to hang their heads as low as TV and newspapers have been telling us," noted one party stalwart while waiting in line at a pharmacy. With the PCC not being terribly secretive on this issue, one dissident was heard to express the following words of despair: "Rather than making our work for democracy easier, this could make it more difficult. The United States and the Soviet Union had diplomatic relations and even then it was a cat and mouse game. Given that experience, if up till now they have imprisoned us, in the future they could execute dissidents for being American spies, which is what happened to Russian democracy advocates in Soviet times." Other dissidents are less pessimistic. After the initial impact of the unwelcome bucket of water that Raul used to dampen the festivities, some began to look at the glass and realized it was not half empty but rather half full. Times have changed. No matter how much Raul might like to resurrect the tactics of the USSR, he cannot. According to Marx every organism contains the seeds of its own destruction, as I heard said to a proverbially enthusiastic dissident and learned man. Such is the case with socialism, to which Raul Castro must ever increasingly apply capitalist remedies in order to survive. The now almost five-hundred thousand self-employed workers — an army that just keeps growing — will be the gravediggers of the system. Clearly, they are not politicians; they are merchants. They are in the business of making money and, not surprisingly, would prefer not to court problems with the government that might stand in the way of their making even more money. The great paradox, however, is that, by choosing to be economically independent, they have become a potent political force. Behold a people, a sector of workers, with initiative but with no knowledge of their rights, as the dissident scholar of my story keeps saying. For example, the "botero" still does not know that, by paying taxes, he has the right to demand streets without potholes. The same applies case by case, sector by sector, to the restaurant owner, to the mechanic. Before you know it, you have created a public with intentions similar to the multitudes who stormed the Bastille. Based on what they have told me, other dissidents more optimistic than the one mentioned above are betting on the perhaps exaggerated notion that Raul and his few remaining cohorts from the old days do not have many civilians from which to choose. And with perhaps even more exaggerated optimism, they do not see anyone in the Council of State with the status to command respect in their homes much less, they claim, under circumstances in which a fixty-six-year-old government has shown that socialism is no more than a fantasy dreamt up by Karl Marx. Havana, the Cuban city from where I am gauging the pulse of the political situation, is experiencing a period of forecasting comparable to that of the Institute of Meteorology during hurricane season. Except that, unlike cyclones, no one knows when or where things will happen. Meanwhile, the public — the frowning general public — is dying from trying to catch a bus while waiting for remittances from overseas, as if the guy with the bucket is not on their side. Neither the divinations of dissenters nor the enthusiastic forecasts of the governement’s new economic model matters to them. Trying to interpret this feeling, a seasoned retired teacher who sells empanadas in hospitals told me the following: "Don’t waste your time listening to them. It’s not going to happen here. And they can stop talking about Raul and his opponents. What happens will be what God wants." 20 February 2015 [1] https://homiscdocs.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/cubo.jpg Continue reading
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] [1] Raul Castro's daughter Mariela Castro Espin[/caption] [2] Cubanet, Tania Díaz Castro, Havana, February 19, 2015 — Homosexuality has been around longer than humans have been walking upright. But Fidel Casto — working through State Security, an organization he founded and of which he has always been in charge — has done everything possible to banish it from Cuban soil. He once looked upon it as a cancer capable of eating away his dictatorship. In an August 2010 interview with the journalist Carmen Lira for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, the Cuban leader for the first time confessed feeling guilty for the emergence of homophobia in Cuba, an attitude that is still prevalent in the country’s top leadership. In the interview he acknowledged that "there were moments of great injustice" and noted that he personally had no such prejudices. On this particular occasion the Comandante was not lying. Several of his friends in positions of power were widely known to be homosexuals, including Alfredo Guevara and Pastorita Nuñez. To the guerrilla leader, they were neither "twisted trees" nor "a byproduct not found in the field," as everyone else used to describe them. The thousands who were identified by State Security suffered imprisonment, harsh treatment and were forced to do hard labor in the notorious Military Units to Aid Production [3] (UMAP). Half a century has passed. The Castro dictatorship is still in power. The same problems still exist, only to a lesser degree. It is perhaps for this reason that the current president’s daughter, Mariela Castro, spends her free time on a campaign of sorts against homophobia and discrimination in general. It seems that she may have been inadvertently criticizing her uncle, Fidel Castro, when in an interview with the ANSA news agency she said, "There is no doubt that in their creation in 1965 and in their operations, the UMAPs were arbitrary." Arbitrary is another term for unjust, despotic, abusive and tyrannical. Mariela’s current silence is curious given what recently happened on the TV soap opera La Otra Esquina (The Other Corner), which can be seen on Cuban television’s Channel 6. As is now public knowledge, this soap opera — written by Yamila Suarez — was apparently forced to conceal a storyline concerning the characters Oscar and Esteban, a gay couple played by two wonderful veteran actors. Changes involving episodes being edited and brief blackouts occurring during the broadcast strongly suggest that, since the show could not be cancelled — its schedule had already been announced and there was no available replacement — it was censored on orders from the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. So what has the defender of gay rights done in response in the months since? Nothing. She has not said if she participated in the heated discussions at the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) in an attempt to fend off eliminating the love story between the elderly Oscar and Esteban in favor of more filial relationships that had nothing to do with the plotline In last week’s episode a photo of the two lovers could be seen on a table. They were standing with their heads pressed together, a classic and tender expression of love. The censors forgot to remove from the set this and other props that revealed what was going on. On February 9 the independent journalist Frank Correa denounced the action in an editorial published on CubaNet, thus bringing to public attention the difficulties La Otra Esquina had to go through to get on the air. In this production Mariela exited stage left. She was not looking to create more problems with her little old uncle. The way the show has been changed is evidence that in Cuba homophobia is still with us. 20 February 2015 [1] https://homiscdocs.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/mariela-1.jpg [2] http://www.cubanet.org [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Units_to_Aid_Production Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, 10 September 2103, Polina Martinez Shvietsova, www.cubanet.org –If you sell tenderloin or minute steak from your doorway, Caution! You could put yourself behind bars. Before 1959 it wasn’t like this. The country possessed a livestock of around six … Continue reading Continue reading
MIAMI, Florida. — In the North Cemetery of Woodlawn Park, in Miami, lie the remains of the former Cuban president Gerardo Machado y Morales (1871-1939), who was the politician who constructed the most works during the Republic, and also was … Continue reading Continue reading
Young Oscar Casanella is threatened in the public roadway by “factors” of the revolution. State Security wants him fired from his work. HAVANA, Cuba. — Someone must have heard the telephone conversations of Oscar Casanella.  Those days he was organizing … Continue reading Continue reading
“Una luz por los míos” / Collective Action To all Cubans July 13 marks the 20th anniversay of the 13th-of-March* tugboat crime against a boat that carried 72 Cubans, sunk by the Cuban regime off the Havana Bay to prevent their … Continue reading Continue reading
Among the first victims of January ’59 was the history of Cuba, especially the phase of the Republic. A radical rupture caused the immediate divorce of the new generations with a past that was reduced to four lines in scholarly … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba — Doctors working in the clinic located within the gatehouse of Central Havana Children’s Hospital refused medical treatment to a three-month-old infant named Alexander because his parents refused to comply with an internal policy of the hospital. The … Continue reading Continue reading
Several members of Estado de Sats were summoned by State Security to a Havana police station this Saturday, to “warn” them about the Grafiti Colectivo Por otra Cuba, organized by the independent project for this Sunday, to support the campaign … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – Very often we hear the officials of the Ministry of Education stress our country´s successes in this field from 1959 onwards, and we ask ourselves how can they possibly talk about this without the slightest shame, ignoring … Continue reading Continue reading
Many Havana streets barely have any pavement. The drains are clogged. With the rains the overflowing sewers allow sewage out. They try to justify these difficulties with the Special Period, everyone knows that the neglect began in 1959. Cubanet, HAVANA, … Continue reading Continue reading
Fernando Dámaso | La Habana | 1 Jun 2014 –- My generation used trams when we were kids and early adolescents. After that they disappeared, to be replaced by English Leyland buses, supplied by Autobuses Modernos, known as “nurses” because … Continue reading Continue reading
The drag queens warm up Havana with the steam of their bodies. Prostitution has been their lifesaver. HAVANA, Cuba – Lolita, Alejandra, Samantha, Paloma, and África María are drag queens who stamp their feet on every Havana street corner during … Continue reading Continue reading
That the State sells cheap products at high prices is a dreadful cynicism. HAVANA, Cuba. — First there appeared the “SPAR” products.  Then, on a shelf of the Ultra store in Central Havana, we saw the unmistakable seal with the … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba. It happened in the Motel on 11th and 24th streets, near the iron bridge connecting Vedado and Miramar. In a room rented for two hours, the unpleasant whisper was heard: “Mami, you have a wonderful stench!” It was … Continue reading Continue reading
Pablo Diaz Espi: How do you read the current moment inside the country? Antonio Rodiles: I daresay we are experiencing today the transfer of power from the “old guard” to their heirs, who are desperately seeking legitimacy and agreements. Facing … Continue reading Continue reading
Letter to Obama: The internal opposition questions that it doesn’t address human rights on the Island. Manuel Cuesta Morúa, president of the Progressive Arc Party “It is not very viable to address the proposal directly to self-employment in Cuba since … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba — The mega-port of Mariel and the impoverished town of Mariel are two sides of the “prosperous and sustainable socialism” — wealth and poverty — which Raul Castro promotes as a “solution” to Cuba’s problems. The Brazilian company … Continue reading Continue reading
“The mobile phone you are calling is turned off or is out of the coverage area,” is the response Cuban mobile phone users commonly receive these days. As a result of the cellular blackout and lack of official information, rumors … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – Not that my neighbors would agree. It was purely coincidence. While the workers on the state payroll marched in the Plaza of the Revolution, my closest neighbors ran out of patience; they rebelled and demanded that I … Continue reading Continue reading
The Program for International Democratic Solidarity of CADAL, Democracy Bridge, has nominated Cuban dissident leader Manuel Cuesta Morúa spokesman for the Progressive Arch Party, to the Václav Havel 2014 Human Rights Award, according to their press release. The award “aims … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba – If April was the cruelest month for the Anglo-American poet T.S. Eliot, for Cuban writers and artists it has always been a nightmare. Disqualifications, censorship, marginalization and prison for ideological, sexual and religious “deviations” turn the freedom … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – I recently participated in a course on Criminal Procedure taught by Dr. Wilfredo Vallin, an independent lawyer, to members of civil society. We learned what the law requires and how police are supposed to act when making … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA – Cuba. Perhaps the tenor Placido Domingo nostalgically remembers his stay in Havana. If he does, the Grand Hotel undoubtedly would occupy a special corner in his memory. Unfortunately for us, although perhaps luckily for her, Maria Cervantes, jewel … Continue reading Continue reading
Currency speculation has the island on the edge of mental collapse. Monday with which to pay wages is scarce. Peso equivalents to the dollar aren’t sold. Informal money changes want real dollars. Puerto Padre, Cuba — The State Currency Exchange … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba — For almost the first three years of his regime, Fidel Castro was not interested in Cuban intellectuals. He did not forgive their passivity during the years of revolutionary insurrection. They had not put bombs in the street, … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – On April 12, 2003, media throughout the world carried the news of the execution of three young Cubans for their involvement in the hijacking of the Regla-based boat “Baraguá.” They were trying to flee the country and … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba.  Jose Manuel Rosado, 74 years of age, from Havana del Este, stands in line at four in the morning to be among the first to “fill up his checkbook.” The bank opens at 8:30 for multiple transactions.  Many … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba — The Cuba-United States confrontation increased its pitch with the publication by the daily Granma of the article, Zunzuneo: The Noise of Subversion, commenting on a report by the AP news agency about ZunZuneo and Piramideo, two text message … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, April – Osvaldo Esteban Brito Amat is another of the many Cubans, mostly youngsters, who every day jump into the sea looking for a better future. “And the sharks? Aren’t you afraid of them?” I asked him while … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba – It’s not too surprising that a son of Cuba’s Minister of the Interior recently arrived in the U.S. to stay. Josué Colomé–as this immigrant is named–is not the first descendent of a high official of the regime … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA Cuba – Imagining a Cuban nutritionist in a health centre is like flying a kite without air. Given the general scarcities, these specialists in healthy eating, in their efforts to propose adequate diets to patients with obesity, high cholesterol … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, CUBA.  Each day we awaken, and the dinosaur is still here.  The delegates of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) will meet with the master generals of the island-farm on the 11th, 12th and 13th of … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – Some 53 years, 5 months and 17 days after the publication of Law 890, which provided for the expropriation of many locally owned and foreign firms, principally American, the regime just introduced the new Foreign Investment Law … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba — Prices of agricultural products have increased between 15 and 25 percent in recent months. An unsustainable burden if we take into account the population’s salaries. The price increase coincides with new forms of marketing. It turns out … Continue reading Continue reading