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February 2018
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Translating Cuba

Lia Villares, 5 February 2018 — The low blow of a sudden search of a dissident’s home, orchestrated by members of Cuba’s counterintelligence “with the objective of seizing objects of illicit origin” and using this to accuse us, to charge us with a common crime (“illicit economic activity”), even if only for political motives, is … Continue reading "Defending Freedom is Not a Profession / Lia Villares" Continue reading
Today, the attorney Laritza Diversent posted on her Twitter account a photo of the State Security agent who led the illegal assault on her legal aid organization in Havana more than two years ago. An article from 14ymedio reported the assault carried out in September of 2016: Cubalex, The Center of Legal Information, located in the Havana … Continue reading "Cubalex Identifies State Security Agent Who Led 2016 Assault on its Headquarters" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 30 January 2018 — A group of Cubans remains trapped at the Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport after requesting political asylum. The travelers left Havana for Moscow on Saturday and their stopover in the Netherlands coincided with the implementation of a new transit visa requirement for Cubans. Victor Manuel Dueñas, a contributor to the Havana Times digital site, is among … Continue reading "Several Cubans Stranded At Amsterdam Airport After Requesting Political Asylum" Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 30 January 2018 — Despite a national inspection almost two years ago, the popular state food chain Di tú continues to illegally sell “homemade” croquettes of poor quality, according to a note published in the newspaper Granma on Tuesday. The Communist Party’s newspaper reports that following complaints from consumers the Food Production Company … Continue reading "Di Tú Croquettes Are Of “Dubious Quality” Says Official Press" Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 30 January 2018 — Despite a national inspection almost two years ago, the popular state food chain Di tú continues to illegally sell “homemade” croquettes of poor quality, according to a note published in the newspaper Granma on Tuesday. The Communist Party’s newspaper reports that following complaints from consumers the Food Production Company … Continue reading "Di Tú Croquettes Are Of “Dubious Quality” Says Official Press" Continue reading
Diario de Cuba, 30 January 2018 — Forced into exile by the Cuban regime, the Legal Information Center (Cubalex) has undergone a “radical and painful change”. However, reorganized in the USA, it aims to continue along the project’s same line: “to internationally denounce the Cuban State for its human rights violations, and spotlight the situation in the country. ” … Continue reading "‘Cuban civil society fails to utilize the mechanisms to report human rights violations’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 30 January 2018 — Iris Mariño García, a journalist from La Hora de Cuba (Cuba’s Hour), was charged on Monday with the crime of “usurpation of legal capacity” and is facing a sentence of up to one year in prison, the magazine’s director Henry Constantin told 14ymedio. Mariño is the third member of the editorial team of … Continue reading "Third ‘La Hora De Cuba’ Editor Charged With Illegally Practicing Journalism In Camaguey" Continue reading
Rosa Maria Paya’s press conference on the crash that killed Harold and her father, Oswaldo Paya. Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, 25 January 2018 — The book was part of the private collection of a writer who went into exile and even though the title did not appeal I chanced it, bored in the midst of the publishing drought of the ‘90s. Its pages narrated a country I knew, but described … Continue reading "‘Doctor Zhivago’, An Old Acquaintance Opens In Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 25 January 2018 — With the publication, on Wednesday, of the list of candidates for the National Assembly of People’s Power, one of the great unknowns of the transfer of power in Cuba was clarified: the current president’s son, Alejandro Castro Espín, is not on the list and thus is automatically unable to legally rise … Continue reading "Alejandro Castro Espín Can Not Be President Of Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 25 January 2018 – Rooftops with flimsily-covered wooden ‘houses.’ Rooftops with improvised pigeon coops and the sound of fluttering throughout the day. Rooftops in litigation where the neighbors fight over a place to stretch their clotheslines. Rooftops with water tanks where the water floods when it comes at all and moss … Continue reading "Rooftops That Look To The Sky" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 24 January 2018 — Three Catholic priests have addressed a letter to President Raul Castro in which they ask the president to let Cubans “choose in freedom,” not vote. In this way, the priests warn, the island will have “different” political options to “prevent that one day, given whatever circumstances, Cuba is submerged in … Continue reading "Three Priests Ask Raúl Castro For Real Elections To “Avoid Violent Changes”" Continue reading
To Raúl Castro Ruz on the 20th anniversary of the Mass for the Homeland celebrated by Saint John Paul II and the words of Bishop Pedro Meurice at Antonio Maceo Plaza in Santiago de Cuba, on January 24, 1998. On the first of January, the 59th anniversary of the triumph of a Revolution was commemorated. A … Continue reading "Letter to Raul Castro from Three Cuban Priests" Continue reading
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Yanelys Nuñez Leyva Continue reading
Donald Trump would like Norwegian immigrants. Blond, tall, orderly, hard-working, educated and clean people. Successful people with whom he shares physical features and certain traits. But it’s unlikely that he’ll have any luck. Today, Norwegians enjoy a standard of living higher than Americans and find that in their democratic, free and peaceful homeland there are … Continue reading "We Are All Norwegians" Continue reading
Alejandro González Acosta, 1 December 2017, Mexico City — Lichi[1] told me that the last time he was in Cuba[2], he went to visit a G-2 colonel at home, the brother of a famous Cuban historian who was Lichi’s good friend in Mexico. Between drinks and confidences, Lichi asked him: “Come on, man, just between us: … Continue reading "The Euphemism that Looks After Me / Alejandro González Acosta" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 28 December 2017 — Anyone who knows the Cuban reality even partly knows the role of “drivetrain” played by the so-called mass organizations. Instead of representing the interests of their members before the State, they function as watchdogs of the government’s interests in each of their sectors. The Federation of Cuban Women … Continue reading "When The Labor Union is the Employer" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 13 December 2017 — While the accusations grow against Russia for using social networks to manipulate the Catalan crisis, the American elections and Britain’s Brexit, the Kremlin-financed press gains space in Cuba. The references to Sputnik and Russia Today, which is now called RT, are increasingly frequent in the official media, which presents them among … Continue reading "‘Sputnik’ and ‘Russia Today’ Invade the Cuban Media" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 8 December 2017 — The essayist, literary critic, semiotician and translator, Desiderio Navarro, died Thursday in Havana, at 69 years of age as a result of cancer that, for the last year, had prevented him from appearing in public. Navarro, born in Camagüey in 1948, was a renowned polyglot and poet, as well … Continue reading "Desiderio Navarro Dies, the “Lone Ranger” of Cuban Semiotics" Continue reading
Both directors were born during the years of the Soviet presence on the Island, grew during the Special Period and have lived much of their lives under the dual currency system 14ymedio, Havana, 6 December 2017 — After several weeks without someone formally in charge, the job of director of Granma, official organ of the Communist … Continue reading "With Yailin and Yoerky, ‘Generation Y’ Arrives at the Head of ‘Granma’ and ‘Juventud Rebelde’" Continue reading
14ymedio, 25 November 2017 — The Mexican illustrator Joan X. Vázquez has created a series of comics produced by the human rights organization Amnesty International entitled Cubans’ Lives  whose pages tell the lives of Cubans and the continuous restrictions to which they are subjected in their day-to-day lives. The first issue is dedicated to Graciela, a … Continue reading "A Life Truncated For Criticizing The Cuban Government" Continue reading
Primavera Digital, Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez, El Cerro, Havana, 22 November 2017 —If in Cuba we were to change everything that needs changing, we would have to rewrite our constitution. Why? Because of the many absurdities that do not permit the economy, nor society, to advance towards development, as do almost all the other nations on … Continue reading "The Country of the Absurd / Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez" Continue reading
Primavera Digital, Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez, 1 November 2017, El Cerro, Havana. Some new phenomena are taking place, products of the state’s poor management and shortsightedness. Dwellings are being repossessed by people who are buying them legally or illegally. I occupy an apartment with three bedrooms, one bath, a living/dining room, a balcony, and a rear … Continue reading "Shortages and Shady Dealings / Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez" Continue reading
Primavera Digital, Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez, El Cerro, Havana, 6 November 2017 — I’ve just finished reading an eBook (which has never been published in Cuba) written by someone who was detained in Cuba’s infamous “Military Units to Aid Production” [known by their acronym in Spanish as UMAP], who endured all of the bloody sordidness of … Continue reading "Poor Memory? / Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 27 October 2017 — The Cuban government has set price caps for 47 food products in the province of Villa Clara “with the aim of containing the excessive increases” of recent weeks, “a gap that allows profit at the expense of the consumer,” says a note published on Thursday in the local press. … Continue reading "Cuban Government Caps Food Prices in Villa Clara to “Stop Unjustified Increases”" Continue reading
The [coma-andante] walking coma, wants me to work El coma andante, quiere que yo trabaje Paying me a miserable salary Pagándome un salario miserable The walking coma wants me to applaud El coma andante quiere que yo lo aplauda After he talks his delirious shit después de hablar su mierda delirante No walking coma No … Continue reading "For October 1st*: A Golden Oldie… Because, Why Not?" Continue reading
Camilo Venegas Yero (from his blog “El Fogonero”), Dominican Republic, 11 September 2017 — I found this image on a Facebook wall. It illustrates today’s Cuba like few others. In it, it is clear that the ruined country survives from catastrophe to catastrophe, without producing anything that makes it move in any direction (when you’re stuck … Continue reading "With Water Chest-high / Camilo Venegas Yero" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 8 September 2017 – The return to class, for thousands of children and young people, means a return to the discipline of school after two months of vacation. This September, school directors have focused their crusade against fingernails and hair painted bright colors, and students are forced to get haircuts or … Continue reading "Cuban Students Rebel Against the Uniformity of the Classrooms" Continue reading
Primavera Digital, Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez El Cerro, Havana, 5 September 2017 — We list here the most pressing problems faced by average Cubans: 1-A greatly reduced ration book of subsidized foods. High prices in the markets. Very little on offer in the stores. Relatively cheap goods of horrendous quality. In an island surrounded by water … Continue reading "Cuba’s Most Pressing Problems / Eduardo Martinez" Continue reading
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez/Mario Penton, Havana-Miami, 6 September 2017 — After devastating Antigua and Barbuda, Hurricane Irma continues to approach Cuba with sustained winds of more than 180 miles/hour. The islander’s residents are anxious buy food, candles and materials to reinforce doors or windows but the chronic shortages of the last weeks are aggravated by the increase … Continue reading "Cuba Awaits Irma, One of the Most Powerful Hurricanes in its History, With Empty Markets" Continue reading
Primavera Digital, Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez, Havana, 31 July 2017 — In the 1960s and even the 70s, the legitimacy of the system–despite its continuous economic fiascos and failure to achieve an adequate and genuinely Cuban social system–was acceptable for the hopeful lower classes, while the middle and upper classes were fleeing to Miami. Fifty-eight years … Continue reading "How Does the Cuban Survive? / Eduardo Martínez" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 29 August 2017 — This Monday the process began to repatriate 75 undocumented migrants who were stranded in Panama after the United States ended the wet foot/dry foot policy that allowed Cubans who touched American soil to stay. The Cubans stranded in Panama accepted that government’s proposal to return to their … Continue reading "Cubans Stranded In Panama Are Wary of the Deportation Initiated By the Government" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 1 September 2017 — Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, whose family had to go into exile after the Cuban Revolution in 1959,  never thought that his image would be linked to that of Ernesto Che Guevara, one of the “bearded ones” who established communism in his homeland. The image of Guevara welcomed … Continue reading "‘Che’ Guevara Welcomes Passengers At Miami Airport For A Few Hours" Continue reading
Cubanet, Luis Cino Alvarez, 24 August 2017 — In his hardline speech to Cuban Communist Party (PCC) cadres, Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel killed any illusions some may have harbored that a future government headed by him, following Raúl Castro’s retirement,* would tend towards reforms and be less authoritarian and repressive. Assuming the stance of a … Continue reading "Díaz-Canel: Killer of Illusions / Cubanet, Luis Cino Alvarez" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 31 July 2017 –This Sunday Nicolás Maduro buried what was left of Venezuelan democracy. He did so in spite of international criticism, national protests that for more than a hundred days have demonstrated disapproval of the Constituent Assembly, and the difficult economic situation that the country is going through. The new organ of power that … Continue reading "Maduro Takes Venezuela One Step Closer To ‘Cubanization’" Continue reading
Cuba Primera Digital, Eduardo Martinez, Rodriguez, El Cerro, Havana, 25 July 2017 –The Cuban people wish for, desire and silently demand changes that can lift us out of this sticky inertia wherein poverty resembles some plasticine or treacly substance that endlessly congeals in our hands. The demand is silent because we lack access to communication … Continue reading "Real Power / Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez" Continue reading
Our apologies for not having subtitles for this video. 14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2017 — At least 40 activists attended a mass in tribute to opponents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero on the fifth anniversary of their deaths, on Thursday evening. The ceremony took place in the church of Los Quemados in Marianao, Havana, and passed … Continue reading "Dozens of Opponents Attend Mass in Honor of Oswaldo Paya in Havana" Continue reading
On NOT Waiting for the King to Die / Rosa María Payá Cuba Decides: Continuing Oswaldo Paya’s Work for a Plebiscite Oswaldo Payá Remembered On The Anniversary Of His Birth / 14ymedio Rosa María Payá: “Totalitarianism is not broken in Cuba, we can not pretend it is” / EFE (14ymedio), María Tejero Martín Je Suis … Continue reading "Cubans Want to Vote in Free and Open Elections: Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero Are Two of the Many Who Have Died For It" Continue reading
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 5 July 2017 — They arrived, enthusiastic and happy, to their party for the end of the school year. One mother brought a macaroni salad with mayonnaise, another brought from home some disposable plates and a third took on providing the croquettes. The celebration was ready in no time, while the horns played … Continue reading "School Diplomas" Continue reading
Rebeca Monzo, Havana, 16 June 2017 — Cuba is a distant planet. It has nothing to do with the rest of the world, because nothing functions there as in the majority of civilized countries. This “planet” is ruled by the whims of its ancient rulers who have spent almost 59 years doing whatever they please. … Continue reading "Planet Nothing" Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Viñales, 27 June 2018 — At the entrance to Calle Obispo a guide explains to her customers the restoration works in the historical center of Havana. A few yards away, the line to exchange currency is full of foreigners and in the corner bar one hears English, French and German. Tourism is shaping the … Continue reading "The Dark Side Of Tourism in Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 12 June 2017 — His mother died, his brother emigrated and now no one brings flowers to the tomb of one of those many young Cubans who lost their lives on the African plains. His death served to build the authoritarian regime of José Eduardo dos Santos in Angola, a caudillo who, … Continue reading "The End Of The Cycle For Two Caudillos" Continue reading
Cubanet, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 1 June 2017. – A characteristic feature of ineffective and outdated political regimes is the constant appeal to the historical past as a mechanism for legitimizing the present, and as a resource for survival. In the case of Cuba, this principle has been the rector of official discourse and its means … Continue reading "Between the Official Utopia and Generational Realism / Cubanet, Miriam Celaya" Continue reading
Note to readers: Now into our 10th year, this ALL-VOLUNTEER project has rarely paused for even a day. Now, we’re going to semi-pause for about 3 weeks. We will try to post at least one translation a day, but will be physically in the wilds and away from the internet for at least part of … Continue reading "A brief semi-hiatus" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 29 May 2017 — They call him “Manolo 440” because a few years ago he had an electrocution accident in a building under construction. He managed to survive and has since been given the nickname of the voltage that almost killed him. He was lucky, unlike the 89 people who died in Cuba last … Continue reading "Danger, Men At Work" Continue reading