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April 2014
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Translating Cuba

Previously I have said that in the circus exercise called court, which I attended with the sentence already dictated by State Security, as I was made to know long before by one of their henchmen, a fact that I made … Continue reading Continue reading
Foreign Investment Law Project. Taken from Cubadebate The National Assembly or Cuban parliament approved with no problems — not a rare thing for this organ where although it’s not divine it “comes from above” — the new foreign investment law. … Continue reading Continue reading
The first three months of 2014 and part of April have stood out for the now traditional practice of the government use and abuse of congresses, symposia, fairs, assemblies, etc, from which emanate, almost always, two messages: one for abroad … Continue reading Continue reading
Photo from: http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=3555659 My former colleague Jose Alejandro Rodriguez who aptly handles the Letters to the Editor section in the newspaper Juventud Rebelede (Rebel Youth), last Wednesday published the comments of a reader annoyed by the absence of beer in … Continue reading Continue reading
A gentleman with a beard and a shabby shirt reads the newspaper in a Reina street doorway. “These people are re-inventing the wheel…” I can hear him say. The daily he has in his hands has a tabloid insert with … Continue reading Continue reading
Those of us in Cuba who sat in front of the television at dawn, witnessed an unprecedented event: The dialogue between the government and the opposition in real-time, from Venezuela.(*) Unprecedented in the sense that the majority of Cubans, born … Continue reading Continue reading
An acquaintance of mine traded his one-and-a-half-room apartment for an even smaller one and a little cash, to ease his alcoholism and misery. I never entered his house and so I was unaware of his poverty. His furniture looked like … Continue reading Continue reading
One, two, three and start your computers. The sounds of the microprocessor fans will be heard all night. When the sun comes up the ashtrays will be overflowing, the coffee cups empty, and there will be a winner. They are … Continue reading Continue reading
Neither black nor white, Cuba is mixed, some of the country’s investigators and intellectuals have asserted for some time now. The declaration seems to respond to an eminently political intention: incorporation into the current Latin American mixed ethnicity, so fashionable … 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
Archive photo The economic and political sanctions imposed on Russian and Ukrainian leaders and officials by the United States and the European Union in response to actions on the Crimean peninsula do not appear to have been thoroughly thought through … Continue reading Continue reading
The dialog between the Venezuelan opposition and Nicolas Maduro is in full swing. Its critics are many, its most visible loser: the Cuban government. For a system that for more than half a century has disqualified and reprimanded its dissidents, … Continue reading Continue reading
(Originally published in Cubanet the April 11, 2014 , titled ” Raul Castro Goes in Reverse”) Clearly, the new Foreign Investment Law “approved” by the usual parliamentary unanimity last March 29, 2014, has been the talk of the town on … 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
A group of Cubans in Cuba and its diaspora agreed to promote a road map for a constitutional consensus. Organizations and public figures from different generations, of all ideologies, religious beliefs and interests, we believe it is good that, firstly, … Continue reading Continue reading
I live in a community with more than sixty buildings. Behind them, as is the case with my home, many residents—at the request of the government itself—began planting fruit trees and banana plants. When the marathon of demolishing everything began, … Continue reading Continue reading
Where will the first Apple store in Havana be? I wonder sometimes when I am fabulating about the future. I imagine it on the corner of Galiano and Reina, above those arches that could well support an enormous apple. Although … Continue reading Continue reading
View of El Fanguito, one of Havana’s slums Just across from Cordoba park, in the Havana neighborhood of La Vibora, is nestled a luxury cafe called Villa Hernandez.  It is a stunning mansion built in the early 20th century and … Continue reading Continue reading
Some landlords from Santa Lucia beach in the Camaguey province find themselves confused before a measure imposed by officials from Immigration and Aliens. Since last year, they have made them sign a document obliging them to be responsible for the … Continue reading Continue reading
When a government’s financial figures are in the red, everything takes on new urgency. By now the formulas to address the problem are well-known. Often new tax measures are imposed while bloated public spending is slashed. But if the goal … Continue reading Continue reading
Much has been written about Zunzuneo and Piramideo and I’m not going to be an analyst. My reflection is simple: Could a mass messaging through Twitter subvert governments like those of Great Britain, Canada, France, Australia, Sweden, Costa Rica? Beyond … Continue reading Continue reading
The most sinister part of Death Under Suspicion is that it is the testimony of a man condemned to death, because Ángel Carromero reports that, before finally being deported to his homeland to serve the rest of his sentence in … Continue reading Continue reading
You can read the article in English here. 8 April 2014 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
There are countries that never recover from totalitarianism. They remain anthropologically backward, even though, after a more or less traumatic transition from dictatorship to democracy they end up being First World countries. Faith in themselves and in society dies. A … 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
At seven I had an incomplete smile. I was losing my baby teeth and also I read every sign I came across in the street. It was a time of learning and scraped knees from falls during games. Today, I … Continue reading Continue reading
7 April 2014 Continue reading
Arrogance is a personality trait impossible to hide for those who suffer from it. In fact, it becomes more obvious when an arrogant individual tries to cover his proverbial petulance under a cloak of feigned humility. The worst of such … Continue reading Continue reading
Translating Cuba would like to thank Isoceles Graphics and Rolando Pulido for the huge amount of time and effort devoted to the graphics for this website and for Yoani Sanchez’s foreign language sites for her blog Generation Y, all at … Continue reading Continue reading
Not a week goes by that we don’t receive a phone call from some Cuban prison to denounce physical abuses, denial of visits, lack of medical care and other outrages. The vast majority are common prisoners, men and women, many … Continue reading Continue reading
Tatania wants to sell a stroller, Humberto is interested in some sneakers, and the retired woman on the corner is offering a mahogany desk. Individual barter and buying-selling alleviates the shortages in state markets. So it’s become common to see … Continue reading Continue reading
Oh Jesus, our only consolation in times of sorrow, our only consolation sustain us in the immense vacuum that…! Today I woke up praying, asking for the rest of the fast-paced, almost dead, but still alive Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas. … Continue reading Continue reading
Better naked than… A woman with her breasts bare is an oracle in an ephemeral work of art. It is Havana in the eighties and the scandal caused by the exhibition “Nine Alchemists and a Blind Man” ends with its … Continue reading Continue reading
Photo: Rebeca Lately, I have been taking the pulse of the street by wandering around various produce markets which have been set up since new guidelines governing commercial activity went into effect. Though they are generally well-stocked and offer a … 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
Ken Griffey Jr, with young ballplayers in Havana Monday night, February the 10th, two Cuban journalists were invited to the welcoming reception Mr. John Caulfield–head of the USA Interest Section in Cuba–offered in his residence to three major league baseball players, Ken … 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
The challenge for defenders of free expression on the island was the subject of a meeting between the well-known blogger Yoani Sanchez and the vice president of the United States Joe Biden. Both communicated news of the meeting from the … Continue reading Continue reading
Some months ago, someone who does not wish to be named because she is closely related to a high level Cuban leader, called me and told me that she had finished living her first and very unhappy American experience.  Her … Continue reading Continue reading
With the unexpected death of Eusebio da Silva Ferreira on the morning of January 5, the soccer world lost one of its greatest players and an extraordinary ambassador for the sport, an honest and simple man, who never forgot his humble … Continue reading Continue reading
According to the still very useful UTEHA dictionary, photophobia is a medical term which means discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light. But the photophobia of my story has nothing to do with medical apprehension, but rather with … Continue reading Continue reading