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May 2016
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Translating Cuba

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 6 May 2016 — Accustomed to standing in long lines on the island, thousands of Cuban migrants stranded in Panama were waiting for hours Friday to buy an airline ticket to Mexico. Among these “middle class rafters” criticism was rising over the high price of airfares which has reached $805 for … Continue reading "Cuban Migrants Criticize The High Prices Of Airfares To Mexico / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 27 May 2016 — As of three weeks ago there have been power cuts of up to three hours in different parts of Havana. Sometimes longer. “Friday, April 29 in Altahabana (a neighbourhood in the southeast of the city), the power was cut off from eleven at night until four-thirty in the morning. … Continue reading "Cuba: The Return of the Power Cuts / Ivan Garcia" Continue reading
Anddy Sierra, Havana, Cuba, 30 April 2016 — The battle by Lumumba residents against the dumping of solid waste in the neighborhood is all but lost. The garbage dump, established three years ago, is bigger today and includes debris from roadwork done in the area. According to residents, there were initially only twenty meters of trash, but today … Continue reading "“I’m Going to Set Fire to It and See What Happens” / Anddy Sierra Alvarez" Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 24 May 2016 — Historically, Venezuela has been a country of dictators, as have others in Latin America: Simon Bolivar was one, regardless of his merits as the Liberator of America from the Spanish yoke;  and then the Monagas brothers were (1846-1858); followed by Guzmán Blanco (1870-1888), Cipriano Castro (1899-1908), Juan Vicente Gómez (1908-1931), … Continue reading "A Dead End / Fernando Damaso" Continue reading
14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 25 May 2016 — For Cubans who update their domestic entertainment weekly with the now famous, private and anonymous “Weekly Packet,” a subtitle in bright greenish-yellow letters at the beginning of movies has become familiar. It is the ever present www.gnaula.nu, which appears so frequently that it spurred my curiosity: I found … Continue reading "Internet Domains, Sovereignty And Freedom / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula" Continue reading
14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 25 May 2016 – People with whom we share sorrows and joys are a reflection of ourselves, however different they may appear. As friends we choose them to accompany us, but also to complete us, with the diversity and continuity that our human nature needs. The problem is when … Continue reading "Shameful Friends / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez" Continue reading
EFE (via 14ymedio), Maria Tejero Martin, Oslo, 24 May 2016 – Danilo Maldonado is known as El Sexto the name engraved in ink on his skin and that he paints on the walls of Havana to plant an idea of freedom in his compatriots, like a seed that flourishes and breaks the “dangerous myths” that, … Continue reading "‘El Sexto’: “Myths are very dangerous, but an idea can break them.” / 14ymedio, Maria Tejero Martin" Continue reading
14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 24 May 2016 – The receding tide of the populist wave in Latin America, in particular the delicate situation in Venezuela and the ouster of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, has uncovered all kinds of speculation about the supposed relationship of cause and effect controlling political-economic and social process in Cuba. Those … Continue reading "Cuba is Not Brazil or Venezuela / 14ymedio, Pedro Campos" Continue reading
14ymedio, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 23 May 2016 — Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, recently made his second visit to Cuba. Unlike his first, in November 2014–when the general-president did not deign to meet with him—this time his “highest excellency” Spanish Foreign Minister was emphatically welcomed by the upper echelons of … Continue reading "The Step-Motherland’s Droit de Seigneur / 14ymedio, Miriam Celaya" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 24 May 2016 — Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, faces a prison sentence of three months to five years for the alleged crime of resistance. The activist was arrested last Sunday when she attempted to go to the Cathedral of Havana for the inauguration of the new archbishop of the capital. After … Continue reading "Lady in White Berta Soler Threatened With Prison / 14ymedio" Continue reading
EFE (via 14ymedio), María Tejero Martín, Oslo, 23 May 2016 — Cuban opposition member Rosa María Payá said Monday ,in an interview with EFE, that the “totalitarianism” of the government led by Raul Castro “has not broken” despite the open contact with the United States and the European Union (EU), and so she asked that … Continue reading "Rosa María Payá: “Totalitarianism is not broken in Cuba, we can not pretend it is” / EFE (14ymedio), María Tejero Martín" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 19 May 2016 — The raindrops tinkle on the zinc roof of a greasy hut used to store sacks of fertilizer, agricultural tools, and the various ancient contraptions that are always be a nuisance to keep in the house. Osvaldo, the sixty-five-year-old owner of a farm southeast of Havana, calmly takes a drag … Continue reading "Why Cuban Agriculture Is Inefficient / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 22 May 2016 – In a packed cathedral with screens showing the mass for those who couldn’t enter the temple, Havana’s new Archbishop, Juan de la Caridad Rodriguez, took possession of his new post this Sunday. The successor to Jaime Ortega y Alamino delivered a homily in which he acknowledged he … Continue reading "The New Archbishop Of Havana Confesses To Being “Scared” / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata" Continue reading
Dora Leonor Mesa, 13 May 2016 Guide for Members of Parliament No. 17-2009 This manual is the result of a collaboration between the Interparliamentary Union, a world-wide parliamentary organisation, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with the support of the International Red Cross Movement and the Luna Roja Media. On all five … Continue reading "Missing People / Dora Leonor Mesa" Continue reading
14ymedio, Pedro Armando Junco, Camagüey, 21 May 2016 — Every city rests on the man who safeguards it. He can be called mayor, administrator or public official; ultimately the label is the least important. This is his charge, like the steward of the millionaire’s mansion. His obligation lies in the zeal with which he is able to … Continue reading "In Search Of The Owner Of The City / 14ymedio, Pedro Armando Junco" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, 21 May 2016 – Three years after the first meeting of the G20, a group of Cuban filmmakers who are demanding a Film Law, the group continues to wait for an institutional response that addresses their demands. This week a letter was made public reaffirming their demands for greater recognition for filmmakers and … Continue reading "Filmmakers Reaffirm Their Demands / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 14 May 2016 — Eight months haven’t been enough for the state-owned employer in the tourism sector to hire Yasmani, 23, a black guy nearly six feet talk who is perfecting his English in a private academy in Havana and who has wasted time and money learning the secrets of golf at a … Continue reading "Cuba: Capitalism From Afar / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 16 Ma 2016 — Quite unexpectedly, Cuban authorities say they are prepared to suspend or cancel medical missions to Brazil and Venezuela. Ever since Cuban informants, who are spread across the continent, warned that Brazilian legislators were planning to remove President Dilma Rousseff from power and long before President Maduro began facing … Continue reading "Cuba to Close Medical Missions in Brazil and Venezuela / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
We observe a man who always speaks of patriotism and he is never patriotic, or only with regards to those of a certain class or certain party. We should fear him, because no one shows more faithfulness nor speaks more strongly against robbery than the thieves themselves. Felix Varela (in El Habanero, 1824) 14ymedio, Regina … Continue reading "Revolutions and Democracy / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula" Continue reading
14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 19 May 2016 — All signs point to the collapse of Venezuela. Every minute that passes the country is disintegrating in the hands of Nicolas Maduro, who insists on maintaining with revolutionary violence a power that he has not known how to keep through efficiency or results. His stubbornness has … Continue reading "Maduro and the Country That is Disintegrating in His Hands / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez" Continue reading
Somos+, Jose Manuel Presol, 17 May 2016 — If there is something shameful in our republican history, it is the events of 1912. Nothing much is being said about it, not even in the government’s current propaganda. It is mentioned, articles and books are published about it, although it is not widely exposed. Relatively few … Continue reading "The War of the Blacks / Somos+" Continue reading
Somos+, 17 May 2016 — On Saturday, May 21, at 2:00 p.m., at the Club Cubano de New Jersey (New Jersey Cuban Club), the president and founder of Somos+ Political Movement, will give a lecture about current issues in Cuban society. After several months of efforts, this meeting is possible thanks to the cooperation of the … Continue reading "Meeting in New Jersey with Eliecer Avila this Saturday / Somos+" Continue reading
14ymedio, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 18 May 2016 — A small protest convoy and a demand by a group of bicycle taxi (pedicab) operators at the Plaza of the Revolution; indignation and astonishment among producers and traders about the arbitrary and unannounced closing of the wholesale market for agricultural products in the capital; irritation of several citizens who … Continue reading "Rules to Prevent Debate / 14ymedio, Miriam Celaya" Continue reading
14ymedio, Madrid, 18 May 2016 — The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, in an interview on Spanish Television on Wednesday, defended his meeting with Raul Castro in Cuba, recalling the ties that unite the two countries, among them the “Spanishness” of the Castros. “In Cuba, apart from human relationships, Fidel … Continue reading "Fidel And Raul Castro “Are Very, Very Spanish” / 14ymedio" Continue reading
14ymedio, 18 May 2016 – Government opponent José Daniel Ferrer received his new passport on Tuesday, and will be able to travel outside the country for the first time. The former prisoner of the Black Spring has permission to leave the country only once, according to information from Cuban authorities. During his trip he plans … Continue reading "Jose Daniel Ferrer Gets a Passport / 14ymedio" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, 16 May 2016 — A fine drizzle falls on the city and Felix, a pedicab driver for 22 years, takes advantage of the chance to take a break. Beside Havana’s Capitol building the man recalls a protest held last Monday by a group of his colleagues in the Plaza of the Revolution. They … Continue reading "Pedicabs, A Battle For The Streets / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 16 May 2016 – Cuba’s government-owned phone company, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA), has announced that starting this Wednesday, May 18, new rules will come into effect for cellphones which will more strongly control their use. According to the newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth), the measures will include an automatic blocking of … Continue reading "Cuban Phone Company to Block “Blacklisted” Phones / 14ymedio" Continue reading
14ymedio, 17 May 2016 – The Cuban government has published an “official note” announcing price reductions for products sold in Cuban convertible pesos (CUC) which will go into effect on Tuesday. The measure is aimed at “gradually increasing the purchasing power of the Cuban pesos (CUP),” explained the Ministry of Finances and Prices in the … Continue reading "Cuban Government Announces New Set of Price Reductions / 14ymedio" Continue reading
Rebeca Monzo, 16 May 2016 — During the recent meeting of the National Council of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), archaic terms and concepts were were complacently dusted off in response to the reappearance in public of the Revolution’s aged leader. In an evocation of old ghosts, the meeting took place … Continue reading "A Hundred to One / Rebeca Monzo" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 14 May 2016 — The line of trucks extends along the embankment that provides access to the only wholesale agricultural market in Havana. But unlike other days, the farmers who have come with their merchandise neither unload it nor sell it. The place is surrounded by police and someone is passing … Continue reading "El Trigal Wholesale Market’s Last Day / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
Hablemos Press, Cuban Journalists and others* (see below), 13 May 2016 — Officials of the Cuban Communist Party hired a Swiss attorney to establish offshore companies for their global business activities, the Panama Papers reveal. The unprecedented leak of 11.5-million documents from the legal firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama exposed the offshore actions and suspicious … Continue reading "Cuban Officials in the Panama Papers / Hablemos Press" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 9 May 2016 — In connection with a top secret theft targeting the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Cuba (MININT), a high number of officials have been arrested, a colonel in charge of computer operations has committed suicide in his own office on the eighth floor of Building A at MININT … Continue reading "On the Trail of the MININT Papers / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 28 April 2016 — What do the autocratic Castro brothers, the solemn Vatican, Islamic fundamentalists and the madhouse that is North Korea have in common? The answer is simple: devotion to dogma, lack of transparency and unchecked caste-based power. In theory communism should be music to the ears of a laborer who works … Continue reading "The Enemies of Modern Democracy / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 12 May 2016 — The most expensive labels in Cuba are on the verge of the abyss. Mango, Gas, Zara, Paul & Shark, Adidas, Lacoste, Desigual and a few others present their calling cards to the Cuban government while naïve foreign businessmen in the high-end textile industry look on, allowing themselves to … Continue reading "Antonio Castro’s Fiancee, Manager of Desigual: How a Boutique Works in Cuba / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
14ymedio, Jorge Hernandez Fonseca, 13 May 2016 – Like a good Brazilian novel, where the best scenes are reserved for the end, the Brazilian left is finally exiting the stage of that South American giant. This Thursday, having first served successive terms in the Chamber of Deputies and later the Federal Senate, Dilma Rousseff was … Continue reading "Brazil And The Decline Of Latin American Left-Wing Populism / 14ymedio, Jorge Hernandez Fonseca" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 13 May 2016 – Less than three years after it opened, the El Trigal agricultural market closed its doors this Friday after it was announced on primetime television news last night by the vice president of the provincial government, Luis Carlos Gongora Dominguez. Located in Havana’s Boyeros municipality, the center had been heavily … Continue reading "El Trigal Wholesale Agricultural Market Closes Its Doors / 14ymedio" Continue reading
14ymedio/Agencies, Havana, 13 May 2016 — The suspension of the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, is bad news for Cuba, which, despite detente with Washington, is feeling the effects of the recession affecting its allies in South America and Africa. Brazil will review its short-term policy toward the island, as revealed on Friday to Reuters, by a … Continue reading "Rousseff’s Ouster Will Have a Negative Impact On The Cuban Economy / 14ymedio" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 13 May 2016 — More than 300 Cuban migrants cannot pay their passage to Mexico or have only part of the money, a source in the Panamanian government who requested anonymity told 14ymedio on Friday. The migrants are in a temporary shelter prepared by the authorities in Gualaca (Chiriqui province), and … Continue reading "Hundreds of Cuban Migrants Are Stuck in Panama Without $805 to Travel to Mexico / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 13 May 2016 — The municipality of Old Havana had its ancient underground water and electrical systems renovated last year. The streets were dug up to replace the pipes and wiring. Beyond the mess and the dust, these works have brought the residents two precious services, services without which it is unthinkable to … Continue reading "In the Dark / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 12 May 2016 – Havanans enjoyed a certain freshness twice this weekend. Not only did the thermometers drop a few degrees, but the emblematic Coppelia ice cream parlor, located in the heart of the capital, reopened its doors after being closed for repairs for several weeks. The work is part of … Continue reading "Coppelia Puts Makeup on the Shortages / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 10 May 2016 — “There is really no spectacle more hateful than that of servile talents.” (José Martí, Complete Works, Volume 13, Page 158, Cuban National Press.) I wanted to start these lines with this thought of the Apóstol [Cubans refer to Martí in this way], as many of our intellectuals, some of them … Continue reading "Servile Talents / Fernando Dámaso" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 12 May 2016 — US machinery maker Caterpillar is ready to enter the Cuban market once the embargo is lifted, confirmed Caterpillar director Doug Oberhelman on Wednesday, after a meeting in Havana with the island’s authorities. The management of the company, headquartered in Illinois, told Reuters that it was “received warmly” by the … Continue reading "Caterpillar “Is Ready” To Join The Cuban Market / 14ymedio" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 11 May 2016 — Daniel Llorente Miranda, 52, is a spontaneous dissident. He doesn’t belong to any opposition party, nor is he an un-gagged journalist. He is on his own. Last 22 March, with the stars and stripes on his shoulders, Llorente found himself in the area of the United State Embassy, waiting … Continue reading "State Security Tactics in Cuba / Iván García" Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 4 May 2016 — When I hear the elderly political leaders talking about the irrevocability and the permanence of Cuban socialism, I feel sorry for them, thinking about how everyone in the world with at least half a brain must be laughing at them. It’s clear that nothing made by man is irrevocable or permanent. … Continue reading "Two Absurd Terms / Fernando Dámaso" Continue reading
Luis Felipe Rojas, 3 May 2016 — They’ve barely finished giving a slap before they give another. The insult-spitting machine of the Castro regime is fired up week after week. Arbitrary arrests, repudiation rallies, and beatings calibrated from the offices of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) in every province. This arsenal of harassment counts … Continue reading "Castro’s Kicks and the Applause of the Sheep / Luis Felipe Rojas" Continue reading