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14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 4 January 2017 – Building collapses and demolitions trace, in the urban landscape of Cuba’s capital city, a portrait of abandonment and desolation. The brushstrokes of time do not manage to erase all traces of human experience left in the decayed walls. However, life goes on and the need to solve everyday problems … Continue reading "A Water Tank as a Sign of Prosperity" Continue reading
Cubanet, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 1 January 2018 — On 28 December 2017, the newspaper Granma published an extensive article that uncovers a serious criminal act: the adulteration of drugs detected in the Reinaldo Gutiérrez pharmaceutical laboratory, located in the municipality of Boyeros, in the Cuban capital, with the substitution of methylphenidate bya placebo, the latter … Continue reading "Another Pandora’s Box Opens in Cuba / Cubanet, Miriam Celaya" Continue reading
EFE / via 14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2017 — Seven citizens from Pinar del Río province were sent to prison for the crimes of “hoarding and reselling” materials used for the construction of housing, one of the most problematic sectors of the island due to deficit of housing units and poor state of the housing that … Continue reading "Seven "Hoarders" Of Construction Materials Sent To Prison in Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 3 January 2017 – Is a ship that has had all its parts replaced still the same ship? The question is known as Theseus’s Paradox and illustrates the European Union’s dilemma with Cuba: Does a dictatorship that moderated its diplomatic language, tried to make peace with its enemy and lost its … Continue reading "Mrs. Mogherini, We Are Still Without Freedom" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 2 January 2018 — The official media are celebrating, right now, a new anniversary of what they insist on calling the Cuban Revolution. The festivities around the 1st of January, when Fidel Castro marked a turning point in the nation’s history, show all the traces of a routine that has exhausted … Continue reading "The Successive Deaths of the Cuban Revolution" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Pentón, Miami, 23 December 2017 — Several Cuban economists consulted by 14ymedio consider the growth of 1.6% in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) announced on Thursday by Cuban Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas before the National Assembly, meeting in Havana, unlikely. Cabrisas offered a series of growth figures including numbers for construction (+ 2.8%), tourism (+ … Continue reading "Cuban Government Happy Talk About the Economy is Not Convincing" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 1 January 2018 — In a letter published on Sunday, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) criticized the European Union for maintaining a “dialogue without demands” with the Cuban government. That complaint was published on the eve of the trip to Cuba of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of the EU, … Continue reading "Cuban Observatory For Human Rights Criticizes EU for Dialogue With Cuba “Without Demands”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Hanoi, 27 December 2017 — The Government of Vietnam has created a special cyber unit of 10,000 “cyber soldiers” it has named Force 47, to combat the growing threat of “erroneous opinions” that proliferate on the Internet, according to local media, quoting Nguyen Trong Nghia, deputy director of the general policy department of the Vietnam … Continue reading "Vietnam Uses 10,000 "Cyber Soldiers" To Fight "Bad Opinions" On The Internet" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 13 December 2017  — Time is an indelible and important imprint in any perspective. It is true that Cuba continues to be a country governed by a group incapable of coexisting with the opposition, beating down those who think differently, a criminal state that encourages the rupture of democracy and legality. It is also … Continue reading "The Magnified Danger to Castroism / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2017 — More than a man who believes, the priest José Conrado Rodríguez Alegre (b. 1951, San Luis, Santiago de Cuba) is a human being who overflows with credibility from every pore of his skin. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 and since then he has managed to reconcile, … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: José Conrado Rodríguez Alegre, Priest" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2017 — For a whole decade the economist Karina Gálvez Chiu (b. 1966, Pinar del Río) has contributed to the development of the Convivencia (Coexistence) Project in a constant and effective manner. Editor, lecturer and a keen analyst of the Cuban reality, this woman from Pinar del Río born in the complicated … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Karina Gálvez, Economist" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 29 December 2017 — Among the aftermaths of Hurricane Irma, which devastated thousands of homes along the island and damaged several hotels in the North Cays, the unusual prominence won by Army General Joaquín Quintas Solá (b. 1938, Santiago de Cuba) must also be counted. The soldier spent weeks visiting the affected areas and … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Joaquin Quintas Sola, General" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 29 December 2017 — The star of world badminton (b. 1989, Havana) has lived a year of vertigo in which he reached the highest echelons of the awards ceremonies, although he also missed out on some trophies. At the VIII Badminton Open in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero won the gold … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Osleni Guerrero, Badminton Player" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2017 — The year 2017 has not left a pleasant memory among Cubans. The last twelve months were marked by economic difficulties, the retreat in the diplomatic thaw with the United States, the destruction left by Hurricane Irma and a regional context increasingly adverse for the island’s government. Despite the reported growth … Continue reading "2017, Another Year Lost For Cuba" 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
Mario Lleonart, 16 December 2017 — Another flagrant violation of religious liberties took place in Cuba on 14 December 2017, when Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara’s pilgrimage to the San Lázaro shrine was stopped, according to information provided by his wife, Yanelys Núñez Leyva. Otero Alcántara was detained on the orders of the Cuban State Security, which is what  … Continue reading "Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara’s Right to Believe and Practice His Faith / Mario Lleonart" Continue reading
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14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 26 November 2017  — In the Havana neighborhood of La Timba a teenager loudly sings Latin trap song that causes a stir among young Cubans:  “You are not in control here, silence/Pay attention you evil woman.”  The rhythm is gaining ground on the Island with its lyrics charged with misogyny and gender … Continue reading ""You Are Not in Control Here," the Refrain that Silences Women" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 31 December 2017 — The young man knocks on the door, having arrived from the distant town of Güira, sweating buckets. He doesn’t have to mince words, just display his merchandise consisting of fresh milk, cheese and a leg of pork. This informal vendor has cheaper deals than those in the state markets, … Continue reading "The Economic Crisis Explained Through A Leg Of Pork" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2017 — The reporter and designer of the independent magazine La Hora de Cuba has experienced a series of intense months throughout 2017. Last March, Sol García Basulto (b. 1988, Camagüey) was charged with the alleged crime of “usurpation of legal capacity” for exercising independent journalism, for which she faced a penalty of … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Sol García Basulto, Journalist" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 27 December 2017 – A resident of Jagüey Grande in Matanzas, Alexei Gámez (b. 1981, Matanzas) has contributed to enabling a locality where almost three hundred residents connect to each other through wireless networks to exchange content, chat and enjoy audiovisual material without having to be connected to Internet. This computer engineer specializing … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Alexei Gámez, Computer Scientist" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 27 December 2017 — At just 37 years of age, Haydée Milanés (b. 1980, Havana) is one of the best voices on the national scene and the singer who has received the most praise for her work in the last year. The artist has achieved success with her album Amor, in which she takes on … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Haydée Milanés, Singer" Continue reading
14ymedio, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 27 December 2017 — An essential feature of the Cuban socio-political and economic system is the reluctance of the ruling class to offer exact and reliable figures and data about the performance of the economy and finances at the end of each year. December is, for Cubans living in Cuba – … Continue reading "The Cabalistic Exercises of the Managers of the Cuban Economy" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2017 — The activist, who divides her time between Havana and Miami, directs the Cuba Decides initiative that proposes the holding of a plebiscite to initiate a transition to democracy on the Island. With a degree in Physics, Payá (b. 1989, Havana) has had an intense year in which she has … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Rosa María Payá, Activist" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 27 December 2017 — Known as the “man with the flag,” Daniel Llorente (b. 1963, Havana) is a “freelance” opponent who has stood out for his activism after the diplomatic thaw between Cuba and the United States. His image made the rounds of the social networks and the covers of many international newspapers … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Daniel Llorente, The ‘Flag Man’" Continue reading
Cubanet, Havana, Miriam Celaya, 22 December 2017 — On the morning of 21 December 2017, it became known in the international media that “the Cuban Parliament” – whose most outstanding feature is not having decided anything at all in its more than 40 years of existence – has “just decided” to extend the presidential mandate … Continue reading "Castro Suspects / Cubanet, Miriam Celaya" 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, Miami, Carlos Alberto Montaner, 17 December 2017 — On Dec. 21, the residents of Catalonia will vote again. Few international news have generated so much interest among Latin Americans as those emerging from Spain. I don’t say “the Catalans” because (as it should be) all the Spanish citizens living in the four Catalonian provinces — … Continue reading "Rehearsal for a Civilized Divorce" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 24 December 2017 — As a child, Aimara Peña (b. 1989, Sancti Spíritus) dressed in her impeccable primary school uniform to guard the polls in the People’s Power elections. At that time she felt a special emotion as she said “voted” every time a voter put their ballot in the ballot box. She did not suspect that … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Aimara Pena, Independent Candidate" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 12 december 2017 — On 28 January 1976 in Havana, Ricardo Bofull founded the Cuban Committee For Human Rights, along with Edmigio López and Marta Frayde. Forty-one years later, the independent journalist Tania Díaz Castro, in her house in Havana’s Jaimanitas neighborhood, west of the capital, surrounded by dogs and books, recalls that era. “I … Continue reading "Cuba: ’The Human Rights People’ / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 24 December 2017 — Young, daring and feminist, La Señorita Dayana (b. 13 January 1984, Las Tunas) vindicates the figure of women in urban music. The author of songs such as A Ti Lo Que Duele and La Mentira is opposed to the role assigned to women as simple objects of mens’ sexual desire. Born in a town in the interior … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Dayana Chavez Victoria, ‘La Senorita Dayana’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 25 December 2017 — Restless, hyperactive, media-focused and irreverent, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara (b. 1987, Havana) turned 30 this year in the midst of an unstoppable and controversial artistic work. With his proposal With All And For The Good Of A Few he created three artistic interventions centered on the luxurious hotel Manzana Kempinski. In the … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2017 — Everything pointed to the fact that Hurricane Irma would be the first in many years that Cubans would experience without the company of José Rubiera. Born in San Antonio, Jaruco in 1946, and for many years Director of the Cuban Institute Forecast Center, Rubiera has often commented that hurricanes fascinate him. … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: José Rubiera Torres, Meteorologist" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2017 — When it was confirmed that Karla Pérez González (b. 1998, Cienfuegos) had earned the right to be trained as a journalist at Marta Abreu de Las Villas Central University, she had the illusion that she could remove the foundations of stagnant Cuban journalism. The young woman promised herself that she would not be … Continue reading "Cuban Faces 2017: Karla Perez Gonzalez, Student" Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 18 December 2017 — Hanging from the young woman’s bag, the small speaker radiates a trap song throughout the bus, making the trip between La Víbora and Vedado into a fun disco or an acoustic martyrdom. In Cuba, where the penal code is so strict, the lax treatment that the authorities maintain toward environmental sound pollution … Continue reading "Music for Everyone All the Time" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 20 December 2017 — With a little money, housing can be arranged; with fiscal resolution and a legal framework that offers real confidence to the investor, the growth of the national economy is stimulated; with an effective campaign aimed at achieving social awareness, the problem of moral degradation is solved; and if our decadent politicians want … Continue reading "Something That Can’t Be Fixed in Cuba / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 22 December 2017 — You sense it, the penetrating smell of dead pigs, opened in the middle and showing their viscera, as soon as you enter the state-owned smoked meat production center in the municipality Diez de Octubre, south of Havana. Four people with green surgeon hats and high rubber boots sort the pigs. Some … Continue reading "Christmas and New Year’s in Cuba / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 22 December 2017 — Spaniards show a higher level of dissatisfaction with regards to the services offered by Cuban hotels, according to a survey published on the Hosteltur website. The assessment made by these visitors “does not reach the minimum required in general, highlighting especially the poor rating of three-star hotels, and an … Continue reading "Cuban Hotels Offer Terrible Service According To Spanish Tourists" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 24 December 2017 — As we do every year, we have selected a list of 14 people who have stood out over the last twelve months within the Island. People who, through art, music, activism, a sports discipline, politics or from any another sphere, have left a mark. With their drive and determination … Continue reading "Cuba: Faces Of The Year 2017" Continue reading
Fernando Damaso, 22 December 2017 — It seems that moving tombs and monuments from place to place has become a common practice. Now it turns out that, without consulting the citizen, where the real people’s power supposedly lies, the equestrian statue of General Calixto García Íñiguez which, since the 1950s, has been installed in the Malecón … Continue reading "Riding With Calixto / Fernando Dámaso" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 20 December 2017 — The place where Anselmo and Yolanda prepare their food has cracked walls and soot covers the entire room. Modernity has not arrived. They cook with kerosene, wood or charcoal. Fixed to the wall, two casserole dishes of medium proportions soaked by the excessive use of fire and blackened from the lack … Continue reading "In Cuba the Future is More Frightening Than the Present / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernández, Havana, 11 December 2017 —  There are enough cigarette butts left in the room to “fill a truck,” says Roger. In the clandestine betting house that this 68-year-old man manages in the neighborhood of Cerro, this Saturday was the most intense day of the year with the fight between the Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko and … Continue reading "Alcohol, Silence and Clandestine Bets" Continue reading
14ymedio, Adonis Milán, Havana, 6 December 2017 — For the past two years I have been directing an independent group called Persephone Theater. We recently premiered the play Hamlet Machine, by the German author Heiner Müller, with a staging that shows the overwhelming parallelism between the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and present-day Cuba. I traveled with this … Continue reading "My First Encounter with State Security" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 19 December 2017 — It was December 2007 when Hugo Chávez, in the company of Raúl Castro and a dozen Caribbean leaders, celebrated the PetroCaribe summit in Cienfuegos. For this city of 200,000 that Fidel Castro wanted to turn into the industrial heart of the country, the reactivation of the Camilo Cienfuegos refinery, … Continue reading "Cienfeugos Refinery Needs 5 Billion Dollar Upgrade" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 22 december 2017 — With the accumulated experience of six decades in power, Raúl Castro knows the political cost of breaching the latest and most widely disseminated of his promises: to leave the country’s presidency on 24 February 2018. Each day he prolongs his presence in that position  goes against the schedule … Continue reading "Another Raul Castro Promise Unfulfilled" Continue reading