February 2018
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Translating Cuba

Iván García, 8 February 2018 — It was Sofia’s fifteenth birthday. Between her parents and relatives living abroad, they saved $3,700, enough to pay for a week in a four star hotel in Cancún.  After finding out via international media about the brutal violence devastating nearly all the Mexican states, they decided to change their planes … Continue reading "The Virtual Wall of the Mexican Embassy in Havana / Iván García" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 16 February 2018 — As of Thursday, Cuban has its first rural art gallery, opened in the mountain community of Cumanayagua in Cienfuegos province, the fruit of a project of Nelson Domínguez, painter, sculptor, ceramists and engraver, and, winner of the 2009 National Plastic Arts Prize. The new art gallery in … Continue reading "Painter Nelson Dominguez Opens Cuba’s First Rural Art Gallery in Cienfuegos" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Pentón, Miami, 16 February 2018 — The requests from Cubans seeking refuge in Chile have multiplied by a factor of thirty in a single year. According to the information provided to this newspaper by Chile’s Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, 1,603 Cubans requested that status at land borders in 2017. The previous … Continue reading "Cubans Form "Tremendous Lines" on the Borders of Chile" Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 15 February 2018 — Cuban socialism started from the premise that stripping the rich of their wealth would accomplish the elimination of poverty. An absurd premise, since the relationship is not less wealth less poverty, but quite the opposite, greater wealth less poverty. The problem is that poverty is not eliminated by taking wealth … Continue reading "Hatred of Wealth / Fernando Dámaso" Continue reading
Diario de Cuba, Waldo Fernandez Cuenca, Havana, 15 February 2018 — The theatrical work Los enemigos del pueblo (The Enemies of the People), whose presentation at the independent El Círculo State Security forces sought to prevent, undoubtedly marks a watershed in the career of actress Lynn Cruz. At that time she decided to create, with her partner the filmmaker Miguel Coyula, … Continue reading "Lynn Cruz is Committed to a Theater of Resistance" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 15 February 2018 — This week several residents of Havana’s Prado Street posted on Facebook pictures of the trees felled by a state brigade along the first 200 yards of the well-known promenade, guarded by bronze lions. Immediately the images went viral and were the subject of harsh complaints on social networks. The criticism … Continue reading "Havana’s Prado Loses Some Of Its Trees" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, 15 February 2018 — A friend calls me sounding depressed. For years he has chosen caution and the path of moderation but even so, he wasn’t able to avoid being labeled an enemy. In his work he avoided knocking on the doors of those the government found most “uncomfortable,” rejected … Continue reading "The Moderate Is Also An Enemy" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 14 February 2018 — The headquarters of the Cuban Legal Association (Ajudicuba) in Havana’s La Víbora neighborhood was subject to a police search on Tuesday morning, with the agents seizing numerous pieces of equipment and materials that the Association uses in its work. Ajudicuba president, attorney Wilfredo Vallín, told 14ymedio that he has been … Continue reading "Police Search Headquarters of Cuban Legal Association in Havana" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 9 February 2018 — Cuba has commissioned China, one of its principal economic allies, to fabricate a prototype harvester for marabou, an invasive plant also known as sicklebush which is seen as a plague on the Island’s fields, so it can be used as raw material for vegetal coal and be … Continue reading "Cuba Commissions China to Fabricate a Prototype Marabou Harvester" Continue reading
14ymedio, (with information from agencies), Havana, 13 February 2018 — The London Club, a powerful group that offers commercial credit to Cuba, offered the Government of Raul Castro “significant debt relief,” according to the Club’s coordinator Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, speaking to Reuters. The London Club represents three investment funds (Stancroft Trust, Adelante Exotic and CRF) and a commercial bank to … Continue reading "London Club Offers Cuba "Significant Debt Relief"" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Pentón/Antonio Delgado — Tens of thousands of Venezuelans cross the border with Colombia every day in search of food and work. They sell candy, bread, chewing gum and contraband gasoline. They prostitute themselves or simply ask for handouts on corners. They are the new faces of the Venezuelan migration in the Colombian … Continue reading "Thousands of Venezuelans Flee to Colombia to Escape From Hunger" Continue reading
14ymedio, Justo Mora, Cienfuegos, 13 February 2018 — Regla Nicolás works in a polyclinic in Cienfuegos but every day she has to slip out to chase food in the city’s undersupplied “Hard Currency Collection Stores” (as the state has chosen to formally name its chain of stores where items are not rationed). “With the money … Continue reading "In Cienfuegos, Women Take Turns to ‘Solve’ the Food for the Day" Continue reading
14ymedio, Carlos A. Torres Fleites, Santa Clara, 12 February 2018 — The Natilla Jiménez baseball field in Santa Clara, known as El Sandinito, is filled on the weekends with children who share a dream: to become part of the provincial team, later of Cuba’s national team and, perhaps, finish in the Big Leagues in the United … Continue reading "Families Step Up in Place of the State to Support Children’s Baseball" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 13 February 2018 — A Cuban businessman residing in Ecuador was arrested in Havana, suspected of being the ringleader of a criminal gang operating between Cuba, Panama and the United States, engaged in swindling, extortion, human trafficking and money laundering, Marti News has confirmed. Alexis Castro Maspoch, 34, is being held in pretrial detention at Valle … Continue reading "Alleged Head of US/Cuba Money Laundering Network Arrested in Havana / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 13 February 2018 — A book of testimonies and interviews, Rapping a Utopian Cuba by writer Alejandro Zamora Montes from the Spanish publisher Guantanamera, was withdrawn by the authorities from the recently concluded Havana International Book Fair, an act that activist Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna labelled as censorship in statements to 14ymedio. Madrazo visited the … Continue reading "Cuban Authorities Confiscate All Copies of a Book About Rap at the Havana Book Fair" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 12 February 2018 — Cuban authorities refused to allow six activists to travel to Argentina to participate in a workshop on “electoral process,” according to information provided to 14ymedio this Sunday by Julio Aleaga, member of the independent platform Candidates for Change (CxC). “There were ten activists planning to travel to Argentina this weekend, … Continue reading "Six Cuban Activists Denied Right To Leave The Country For Reasons Of “National Security”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 9 February 2018 — Algeria wants to put to rest rumors about the new contingent of Cuban doctors speculated to arrive from Cuba. The Algerian Ministry of Health has denied that the agreement signed in Havana on 30 January of this year included an increase in the number of health professionals from the island … Continue reading "Algeria Denies More Cuban Doctors Have Arrived" 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
Juan Juan Almeida, 31 January 2018 —  The young Cuban, Raidel García Otero, who was reported on Friday to be comatose, as a result of alleged medical negligence and irresponsibility on the part of the Cuban prison authorities, died on January 23rd at 3:10 pm, in the company of his family and doctors in the Salvador Allende … Continue reading "The Death of a Young Man Who Fell Into a Coma Because of Medical Negligence in a Cuban Jail / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 24 January 2018 — This year will mark 116 since the founding of the Republic on 20 May 1902. Although it was the time of the nation’s greatest progress and development–with important economic and social achievements, including health and education–this period has been systematically discredited and distorted during the last 60 years when … Continue reading "The Teacher From Central Valley / Fernando Dámaso" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 10 February 2018 – Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) has established a new model of medical prescription forms to “confront the crimes and illegalities involved in the improper use of medications,” according to a report this Saturday in the state the newspaper Granma. The measure began to take effect in Havana on February … Continue reading "Cuba’s New Medical Prescription Forms Address the Fight Against the Black Market" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Madrid, 1 February 2018 — The Cuban journalist Julio Batista Rodríguez was awarded the Special Ibero-American Prize for Environmental Journalism and Sustainable Development for his work The Dead Waters of the Havana Club. The report, published in Periodismo de Barrio on 28 August 2017,  denounces the dumping of the byproduct vinasse from La Ronera Santa Cruz, the … Continue reading "Independent Reporting from Cuba Wins Ibero-American Award for Environmental Journalism / 14yMedio" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 8 February 2018 — The young woman walks among the booths selling Chinese literature at the Havana Book Fair in search of works by this year’s star attraction, the writer Yu Hua, who finds a passionate readership on the island. With his criticisms of the censorship imposed on his work by the … Continue reading ""Censorship Has Been A Constant In My Work," Laments Chinese Writer Yu Hua In Havana" Continue reading
14ymedio, Madrid, 8 February 2018 — The Cuban government has finally granted approval to Philip Goldberg to head the US embassy in Havana, according to Reuters, which cites a US official as its source. Despite the deterioration in relations since the beginning of the presidency of Donald Trump, Cuba and the United States have opted to keep the … Continue reading "Cuban Government Approves New US Chargé d’Affairs Philip Goldberg" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 27 January 2018 — Pizarra, a new Twitter-like social network created so that Cubans inside and outside the island can communicate, is already working and will allow users themselves to moderate content. This was explained to EFE by one of the social medium’s creators, the young computer scientist Salvi Pascual who has … Continue reading "’Pizarra,’ a Cuban Twitter, Launches to Connect the Two Shores" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 7 February 2018 — La Demajagua National Park, the farm in eastern Cuba where the wars of independence began in 1868, is being refurbished to improve its facilities, gardens and access roads, with the incorporation of new symbolic elements. Located in Granma province, the farm was declared a national monument in 1978 and … Continue reading "Historic Farm Where Cuba’s Wars of Independence Began to be Refurbished" Continue reading
EFE via 14ymedio, Miami, 7 February 2018 — On Tuesday, February 6, the Miami-Dade County Commission requested that the United States Government, the Organization of American States and the United Nations not recognize a possible transfer of power in Cuba if it is not the result of free elections. The petition was contained in a … Continue reading "Trump, UN and OAS Asked To Not Recognize Transfer of Power In Cuba Without Free Elections" Continue reading
14ymedio, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Donald Trump is wrong when he declares that his intention is to Make America Great Again. When has the country ever been in better shape and its society more comfortable? When have its Armed Forces been more feared and more powerful, endowed with an annual budget of 600 billion dollars, an … Continue reading "There’s No Nostalgia Worse Than Longing for What Never Happened" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 1 February 2018 — “What concerns me most right now is to finish building the room for my eldest daughter who plans to give birth to a girl at the end of February,” confesses Eduardo, the warehouse manager of a bakery west of Havana, as drives along in his uncomfortable and tiny Fiat made … Continue reading "Elections and the Future Cuban Government / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Ricardo Fernández, Camaguey, 7 February 2018 — The city of Camagüey is experiencing an intense digital transformation thanks to independent wireless networks that connect thousands of users throughout the country. It is a complex framework that carries the Wi-Fi signal from the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) to all neighborhoods and also eliminates censorship. In this … Continue reading "Uncensored Internet in Camaguey Thanks to Alternative Networks" Continue reading
EFE via 14ymedio, Havana, 5 February 2018 — The remains of the nuclear physicist Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, Fidel Castro’s first-born son, known as Fidelito, who took his own life last Thursday, rest in the pantheon of the Academy of Sciences in the Colon Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Havana. On Monday, the discreet black marble pantheon was … Continue reading "Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart was Buried in the Colon Cemetery in Havana" Continue reading
14ymedio, Antonio Maria Delgado and Mario J. Pentón, Bogota, 6 February 2018  — “Venezuela … I would not wish it on even my worst enemy,” says Luis Alfredo Rivas in a bus terminal in Bogotá, with tears in his eyes. The young man, 32, is one of the thousands of Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia who left … Continue reading "Rich in Venezuela, Beggars in Colombia" Continue reading
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
Havana Times, Lynn Cruz, 5 February 2018 — I recently read Tania Bruguera’s statements about an artist’s rights. One of them referred to the artist’s right to dissent. Within an authoritarian system, the artist begins to live a double dissidence, first in art, then in society. Having your own voice is always grounds for suspicion among members … Continue reading "“They’re Using You”" Continue reading
Diario de Cuba, Lia Villares, Havana, 6 February 2018 — Imagine your worst nightmare. Imagine that it materializes in real time, what you have intuited so many times, but it is no longer a lucid dream, now it is pure and harsh reality. Cold and concrete. The most despicable being, the one you have dedicated yourself … Continue reading "Imagine Your Worst Nightmare / Lia Villares" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 1 February 2018 — Cubans with Spanish nationality living on the island who can show they have “special needs” can now, like every year, apply at the Spanish Embassy in Havana for up to 200 euros a month in emergency aid. To access this benefit, interested parties only have to meet the same … Continue reading "Spain Offers Up To 200 Euroes in Emergency Aid To Its Nationals in Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 5 January 2018 — Without increasing production and with a simple change in “the ways of presenting and marketing the product,” the state company Caribex aims to increase revenues between 40 and 50% from lobster exports. This was explained to the Cuban News Agency (ACN) by its director, Javier Francisco Aguiar. The exquisite seafood remains reserved for … Continue reading "Caribex Wants to Get More Profitability From Lobster" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 5 February 2018 — Haiti is becoming the shortest, cheapest and most popular route among mules and Cuban merchants, who travel there for “shopping tours” to supply the informal street businesses and the dangerous market of illegal surgical drugs and equipment. “A lot of hidden goods are entering the country from these opportunistic excursions,” a source linked to the General … Continue reading "Haiti is the New Route for Cuban "Mules" in Search of Drugs and Illegal Surgical Equipment / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 6 February 2018 —  A silent police patrol began to search passersby they considered suspicious. When they saw it, the illegal tomato sellers quickly hid their merchandise on the staircase of a building in Havana’s Vibora neighborhood at Acosta and Diez de Octubre. An old woman, a regular seller of the newspaper Granma … Continue reading "The Other Fidel Castro / Iván García" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 5 February 2018 — The Valley of Viñales, whose unique landscape has made it a highly attractive place for tourism, faces the potential risk of an uncontrolled exploitation as well as illegalities in the provision of services for tourists, which has required the authorities to adopt measures for its protection, according … Continue reading "Cuban Authorities Denounce ‘Illegalities’ in Vinales to Serve Explosion of Tourism" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 6 February 2018 — “For the first time, I’m a Leninist,” a Cuban retiree said repeatedly and recklessly, standing in line for the newspaper. Around him some responded with a complicit smile. A few hours before, the news of a story with profound significance for Cuba had arrived: the triumph of the ‘Yes’ … Continue reading "The ‘Yes’ Victory in Ecuador is Also a Defeat for Castroism" Continue reading
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
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 5 February 2018 — How would the inhabitants of Cuba react if suddenly a Dubai millionaire wanted to buy the island for 5 billion dollars? That is the question the filmmaker Eduardo del Llano asks in his short film Domino, a part of the series Los cuentos de Nicanor (The Tales of Nicanor), which he has … Continue reading "An Arab Sheikh ’Offers’ 5 Billion Dollars for Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Justo Mora, Cienfuegos, 4 February 2018 — Shelves without medications and patients who do not find an answer to their needs; pharmacists who spend the day talking on the phone or doing manicures. Everything remains the same, but the newly restored pharmacies and opticians of the city of Cienfuegos are trying to hide their lack of supplies … Continue reading "Cienfuegos Pharmacies Get a Coat of Paint But Still Lack Medicines" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 2 February 2018 — Last January, State Security carried out “a real wave of systematic and illegal dispossession” of the means of work of the opponents in the Island, according to the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), which denouced the practice in its report on Friday. The organization also reports … Continue reading "Cuban Human Rights Group Denounces "Wave of Seizures" of Activists’ Property" Continue reading