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Persecution Grows Against Independent Journalism In Cuba

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 26 June 2017 — Independent communicators
in Cuba are victims of an escalating repression, according to a
complaint filed Monday by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH),
based in Madrid. The alarm sounded by the organization coincides with an
increase in complaints from journalists on the island as a result of the
government persecutions and obstacles they suffer when exercising their
profession.

"Last June 20 Henry Constantín and Sol Garcia, journalists for La Hora
de Cuba and contributors to 14ymedio, were not able to participate in an
event in Miami because each of them has been indicted for the alleged
crime of "'usurpation of legal capacity' [that is practicing a
profession without a license to do so] and so under Cuban law they are
not permitted to travel outside the country," OCDH reported.

According to the non-governmental organization, the Cuban government had
maintained a kind of "moratorium" with regards to repression against
independent journalists, but the strategy seems to have changed in
recent weeks with actions such as those carried out against Henry
Constantin, Sol Garcia Basulto and Manuel Alejandro Leon Velázquez.

Both Constantín and García Basulto have been expressly forbidden to
practice journalism on the island and the judicial process opened
against them has been criticized from various international forums,
including the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

The OCDH also denounced the arrest of journalist Manuel Alejandro León
Velázquez, a contributor to Radio Martí and Diario de Cuba . Leon
returned from a trip to Spain and has been accused of "usurpation of
legal capacity, association to commit a crime and dissemination of false
news," according to the organization.

The accusations against the three communicators are based on Article 149
of the Cuban Penal Code, which punishes those who carry out "acts of a
profession for the exercise of which one is not properly qualified." If
they are tried for this offense they could face a sentence of up to one
year of deprivation of liberty.

In Cuba, all the media belong to the State, according to the
Constitution of 1976. However, the absence of a Media Law has allowed
the independent press to flourish with sites such as El Estornudo, El
Toque, Cubanet, CiberCuba, Diario de Cuba, Periodismo de Barrio, On
Cuba, among others.

Human rights lawyer and activist Laritza Diversent, who recently became
a refugee in the United States, explained to 14ymedio via telephone that
there are over 300 items within the Penal Code to crack down on dissent
and journalism on the island.

"State Security is looking for different strategies to prosecute all
types of dissidents or critics in Cuba," explained Diversent, president
of the legal group Cubalex, who went into exile after a police and State
Security operation against her.

"Both illegal economic activity and the usurpation of legal capacity are
nothing more than resources to punish any type of activism within the
Island. Legal insecurity is very high because both the criminal law and
the criminal procedure law have been designed as tools of repression,"
said Diversent.

Independent journalist Maykel Gonzalez Vivero, who was arrested last
October in Guantanamo and suffered the confiscation of his tools of the
trade while covering the recovery in Baracoa after the passage of
Hurricane Matthew, confirmed the difficulties of practicing the
profession on the island.

"We do not have a law that supports us and protects the exercise of
journalism, we are at the mercy of the arbitrariness of the
authorities," he said. On that occasion, a team of correspondents from
Periodismo de Barrio suffered the same fate as Gonzalez Vivero.

Other independent publications, such as Convivencia magazine, have been
harassed during the last year with the arrest of members of its
editorial team and threats by the authorities against its contributors.
Foreign correspondent Fernando Ravsberg has been threatened with
expulsion from the country and even with "having his teeth broken" for
the critical entries he publishes in his personal blog Cartas desde Cuba.

Last year the IAPA emphasized, however, the timid rebellion of some
official journalists against the information policy directed from the
Communist Party. Among the examples cited by the IAPA was a letter
signed by young journalists published by the Villa Clara newspaper
Vanguardia, in which they claimed their right to collaborate with other
media.

The IAPA also recalled the case of a Radio Holguin journalist Jose
Ramirez Pantoja, expelled from the profession for five years for making
public the remarks delivered at a conference where Karina Marrón, deputy
editor of the official daily Granma, compared the country's situation to
that of the 1990s when massive protests occurred in Havana, which came
to be known as the Maleconazo.

Source: Persecution Grows Against Independent Journalism In Cuba –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/persecution-grows-against-independent-journalism-in-cuba/ Continue reading
Denuncian aumento de la persecución contra el periodismo independiente en Cuba MARIO J. PENTÓN mpenton@elnuevoherald.com Una escalada represiva en contra de comunicadores independientes en la isla ha sido denunciada este lunes por el Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos (OCDH), con sede en Madrid. La voz de alarma dada por el organismo coincide con un aumento […] Continue reading
Why liberals should support Trump — not Obama — on Cuba policy
BY MIKE GONZALEZ, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR - 06/27/17 11:00 AM EDT 54

Was President Obama's opening to the Castro government motivated by a
real belief that it would help Cubans, or was it a vanity project from
the start? We will never know for sure, but we do know it violated his
Inaugural promise that he would shake the hands of tyrants only if they
first unclenched their fists.

Raul Castro has never relaxed his grip on the island he and his brother
have ruled for nearly 60 years. In fact, after Obama announced the
re-establishment of relations with in December 2014, he tightened it.
Since then, Cuban dissidents have paid a heavy price in repression,
arrests and beatings.

According to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation,
politically motivated arbitrary arrests rose rapidly after the opening,
culminating in 9,940 last year—a six-year high. In December alone, 14
dissidents were beaten by government officials, according to the
Havana-based Commission, whose numbers are reported by Amnesty
International.

President Obama argued that, by "normalizing" relations with Cuba, the
regime would be inspired to grant fundamental freedoms to its people.
Yet Obama asked for, and of course received, nothing in return from the
Cuban authorities.

President Trump put some of that right yesterday when he announced that
he would reverse some of the Obama changes and reinstate some
prohibitions on trade with military-controlled entities and persons on
the communist-ruled island.

Trump's changes don't go far enough. Still, his critics should resist
the urge to lash out at him.

Once upon a time, American liberals knew that legitimizing dictators
never ended well for those who dared speak their minds. That insight led
them to denounce Washington's support for dictators and call out the
moral hollowness in FDR's fatuous line that Anastasio Somoza Sr. may
have been an S.O.B., "but he's our S.O.B."

They should not be surprised today that the Washington establishment's
rush to embrace the Castro regime in pursuit increased trade would only
further entrench the family's hold on power. The Obama changes, which
facilitated American trade and transfer of convertible currency to the
military and the Castro family, only made easier the prospect of their
continued rule.

In other words, if you denounced the Somozas, Augusto Pinochet and
Ferdinand Marcos, and you want to be considered consistent, you should
support the changes Trump announced in Miami.

Those changes are, in fact, narrowly tailored to restrict the
aggrandizement of the regime's military. And they didn't come easy.

Two factions waged a tremendous struggle to win President Trump's heart
and mind on the issue. On one side were a phalanx of congressional
offices that sought to curb the Cuban military's access to convertible
currency. Opposing them were career officials burrowed inside the
Treasury and the State Departments, who wanted President Obama's
legacy—the "historic opening" to the Castros—to be left untouched.

Nor was Cuba an idle bystander in the debate. According to Marc Caputo
at Politico, the regime launched a last-minute bid to stave off the
changes, enlisting Colombia's help in lobbying Trump. The government of
President Juan Manuel Santos reportedly threatened to pull out of a
U.S.-led summit on security in Latin America.

Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.), told the White House to tell Colombia that
if it withdrew from the summit, it could kiss the $450 million "Peace
Colombia" aid package goodbye. And that was that.

In the end, the Trump Cuba change closely mirrored the 2015 Cuban
Military Transparency Act introduced by Rubio in the Senate and by Devin
Nunes, (R– Calif.), in the House. The bill prohibits U.S. persons and
companies "from engaging in financial transactions with or transfers of
funds to" the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, the
Ministry of the Interior, any of their subdivisions and companies and
other entities owned by them.

In other words, it aims directly at Cuba's largest company, the Grupo
Gaesa holding company (Grupo de Administracion Empresarial, Sociedad
Anonima). Founded by Raul Castro in the 1990s, Gaesa is run by the
military, more specifically, by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Lopez-Callejas—who also happens to be Castro's son-in-law. It represents
an estimated 80 percent of the island nation's economy.

Its affiliate, Gaviota, SA., owns the tourism industry. If you eat ropa
vieja at a restaurant, sip a mojito in bar, play golf in a resort, or
sleep in a hotel—you are paying Gaviota. Same with renting a taxi or
renting a car. Thanks to Trump's changes, that cash flow will now be
interrupted.

Or Raul Castro can unclench his fist and allow real Cubans to own and
run these places, and we really have President Obama's dream, expressed
on a January 14, 2011 speech, of increasing "people-to-people contact;
support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to,
from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence
form the Cuban authorities."

Shouldn't liberals support this?

Mike Gonzalez (@Gundisalvus) is a senior fellow in the Kathryn and
Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views
of The Hill.

Source: Why liberals should support Trump — not Obama — on Cuba policy |
TheHill -
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international-affairs/339637-why-liberals-should-support-trump-not-obama-on-cuba Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 26 June 2017 — Independent communicators in Cuba are victims of an escalating repression, according to a complaint filed Monday by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH), based in Madrid. The alarm sounded by the organization coincides with an increase in complaints from journalists on the island as a result of … Continue reading "Persecution Grows Against Independent Journalism In Cuba" Continue reading

Mario J. Penton

Los comunicadores independientes en la Isla son víctimas de una escalada represiva, según una denuncia presentada este lunes por el Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos (OCDH), con sede en Madrid. La voz de alarma dada por el organismo coincide con un aumento de las denuncias de periodistas de la Isla debido a las persecuciones y trabas que sufren por parte del Gobierno a la hora de ejercer su profesión.

"El pasado 20 de junio Henry Constantín y Sol García, periodistas de La Hora de Cuba y colaboradores de 14ymedio, no pudieron participar en un evento en Miami porque sobre ellos pesa una acusación por el presunto delito de 'usurpación de la capacidad legal', que según las leyes cubanas les impide viajar fuera del país", denunció el OCDH.

Según la organización no gubernamental, el Gobierno cubano había mantenido una especie de "moratoria" en la represión contra los periodistas independientes, pero la estrategia parece haber cambiado en las últimas semanas con acciones como las ejecutadas contra Henry Constantin, Sol García Basulto y Manuel Alejandro León Velázquez.

Tanto a Constantín como a García Basulto las autoridades les prohibieron expresamente el ejercicio del periodismo en la Isla y les abrieron un proceso judicial criticado desde diversos foros internacionales, entre ellos la Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP).[[QUOTE:La abogada y activista por los Derechos Humanos, Laritza Diversent, explicó a '14ymedio' que existen más de 300 figuras dentro del Código Penal para reprimir a la disidencia y el periodismo en la Isla]]El OCDH también denunció la detención del periodista Manuel Alejandro León Velázquez, colaborador de Radio Martí y Diario de Cuba. León regresaba de un viaje a España y ha sido acusado de "usurpación de la capacidad legal, asociación para delinquir y difusión de noticias falsas", según la organización.

Las acusaciones contra los tres comunicadores se apoyan en el artículo 149 del Código Penal cubano, que castiga a quien realice "actos propios de una profesión para cuyo ejercicio no está debidamente habilitado". De ser juzgados por ese delito podrían hacer frente a una condena de hasta un año de privación de libertad.

En Cuba todos los medios de comunicación pertenecen al Estado, según la Constitución de 1976. Sin embargo, la ausencia de una Ley de Medios ha permitido el florecimiento de la prensa independiente con portales como El Estornudo, El Toque, Cubanet, CiberCuba, Diario de Cuba, Periodismo de Barrio, On Cuba, entre otros.[[QUOTE:En Cuba todos los medios de comunicación pertenecen al Estado, según la Constitución de 1976. Sin embargo, la ausencia de una Ley de Medios ha permitido el florecimiento de la prensa independiente]]La abogada y activista por los Derechos Humanos Laritza Diversent, recientemente refugiada en Estados Unidos, explicó vía telefónica a 14ymedio que existen más de 300 figuras dentro del Código Penal para reprimir a la disidencia y el periodismo en la Isla.

"La Seguridad del Estado está buscando diferentes estrategias para encausar penalmente todo tipo de disidencia o crítica en Cuba", explicó Diversent, presidenta del grupo legal Cubalex, que salió al exilio tras un operativo de la policía y de la Seguridad del Estado en su contra.

"Tanto la actividad económica ilícita como la usurpación de la capacidad legal no son más que recursos para castigar cualquier tipo de activismo dentro de la Isla. La inseguridad jurídica es muy alta porque tanto la ley penal como la ley de procedimiento penal se han diseñado como herramientas de represión", dijo Diversent.

El periodista independiente Maykel González Vivero, quien fue detenido el pasado octubre en Guantánamo y sufrió la confiscación de sus medios de trabajo cuando cubría la recuperación en Baracoa tras el paso del huracán Matthew, confirmó las dificultades para ejercer la profesión en la Isla.[[QUOTE:El año pasado la SIP destacó la tímida rebelión de algunos periodistas oficiales contra la política informativa dirigida desde el Partido Comunista]]"No tenemos una ley que nos respalde y proteja el ejercicio del periodismo, estamos a merced de la arbitrariedad de las autoridades", denunció. En aquella ocasión un equipo de corresponsales de Periodismo de Barrio corrió la misma suerte que González Vivero.

Otras publicaciones independientes, como la revista Convivencia, han sido hostigadas durante el último año con la detención de miembros de su equipo editorial y amenazas por parte de las autoridades a sus colaboradores. El corresponsal extranjero Fernando Ravsberg ha sido amenazado con la expulsión del país e incluso con "romperle los dientes" por las entradas críticas que publica en su blog personal Cartas desde Cuba.

El año pasado la SIP destacó, sin embargo, la tímida rebelión de algunos periodistas oficiales contra la política informativa dirigida desde el Partido Comunista. Entre los ejemplos citados por la SIP estaba una carta firmada por jóvenes periodistas publicada por el diario Vanguardia de Villa Clara, en la que reclamaban su derecho a colaborar con otros medios.

La SIP también recordó el caso del periodista de Radio Holguín expulsado del medio durante cinco años por hacer público el contenido de una conferencia en la que Karina Marrón, subdirectora del diario Granma, comparaba la situación del país a la de los años 90, cuando ocurrieron protestas masivas en La Habana conocidas como el maleconazo.

Continue reading
From Joystick to Canon / Regina Coyula

From Regina Coyula's blog, 9 June 2017 (Ed. note: These interview
fragments are being translated out of order by TranslatingCuba.com
volunteers. When they are all done we will assemble them in order into
one post.)

The country was falling to pieces, there were people drowning in the sea
and on land, there was something called the Diaspora, but we bourgeois
teenagers of Havana's Vedado neighborhood knew nothing. Our lives
revolved around a company and Japanese console. In my SuperNintendo
years, Miguel was already a legend. Coyula was a gamer before gaming.
His name passed like a password between initials. You don't know how to
kill a boss on one of the levels of the game? Ask Coyula. You don't know
how to activate this or that power? Go see Coyula.

We were playing Street Fighter II Turbo and Coyula already had Super
Street Fighter II. We went to see him so he could show us the four new
fighters and the recent versions of others. I remember that he revealed
on the screen the improved attacks of Vega, the Spanish ninja that was
my favorite fighther. Afterwards he started to clarify for us some
technical doubts about The Lion King. And I remember that, while he was
leading Simba over some cliffs, I looked at his hyperconcentrated face
and had a revelation, "This guy is alienated, bordering on autism, he's
going to melt, he probably does nothing else in his life," I said to
myself. "I have to give up video games, because if I don't, I'll end up
like Coyula."

Unfortunately, I quit videogames. Then time passed and I saw [Coyula's]
movie Memories of Overdevelopment. I saw it, by the way, before I saw
Memories of Underdevelopment, which now seems to me like a regular
prequel and a little drawn out. Sergio, the protagonist of Memories of
Overdevelopment, ends up in a desert landscape that looks like another
planet. He's carrying a Barbie doll and his brother's ashes, which are
the ashes of the Mariel boatlift and, after that, of the Revolution. To
summarize. In 2010, Miguel Coyula scattered the ashes of Cuba in the
desert in Utah; he dispersed these ashes in a psychotronic dust, between
mutant and Martian. Seven years later, there are many people who still
haven't noticed.

I like that there is a guy like him in Cuban cinema.

Source: From Joystick to Canon / Regina Coyula – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/from-joystick-to-canon-regina-coyula/ Continue reading
From Regina Coyula’s blog, 9 June 2017 (Ed. note: These interview fragments are being translated out of order by TranslatingCuba.com volunteers. When they are all done we will assemble them in order into one post.) Jorge Enrique Lage interview with Miguel Coyula (Intro) 1 The country was falling to pieces, there were people drowning in … Continue reading "From Joystick to Canon / Regina Coyula" Continue reading
The Cuban Republic: Buried by Official Decree / Iván García

Iván García, 24 May 2017 — May 20 of this year with mark the 115th
anniversary of the birth of the Republic of Cuba. In the Throne Room of
the Palace of the Captains General, a building which now serves as the
City Museum, Tomás Estrada Palma — born in Bayamo in 1835, died in
Santiago de Cuba in 1908 — would go down in history as the first
popularly elected president of the republic.

With heat bouncing on the asphalt so intensely that even stray dogs seek
shelter under covered walkways, I go out to inquire about the May 20
anniversary.

Four pre-university students in their blue uniforms have skipped class
to go to Córdoba Park, a free wifi zone in the 10 de Octubre district.
They want to check out their Facebook wall, chat with relatives in Miami
and read the latest soccer blog from the Spanish newspaper Marca.

Though the heat is stifling, the young men do not even notice it. They
are eating ice cream cones, joking, gesturing and shouting at each
other. Striking up a conversation with them is easy. They are
seventeen-years-old and all four of them say that they hope to go to
college when they finish high school. When I ask them if they know on
what date the Republic of Cuba was founded, they hesitate and look at
each other, trying to come up with a correct answer.

"January 1, right?" two of them respond simultaneously.

"You guys are so dumb," says another, mocking his cohorts. "Independence
day is 10 October, when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed his slaves."

Another justifies his ignorance with the excuse that he does not like
history. "That subject is a drag. You mechanically learn to answer exam
questions like that, but the next day no one remembers the dates or what
they commemorate."

A man selling popcorn, who has been eavesdropping on the conversation,
sums it up by saying, "There are a lot of opinions on this topic.
Whether it was January 1 or October 10. But I think it was 1492, when
Christopher Columbus discovered the island."

It seems only academicians, professors, students of history and
well-informed citizens can explain the significance of May 20, 1902 in
the context of national history. Most Cubans are unaware of it. Keep in
mind that around 70% of the current population was born after 1959.

For people over the age of sixty-five like Giraldo — from his wheelchair
he asks people walking along the side streets of the nursing home where
he lives for cigarettes and money — the date brings back fond memories.

"It was the most important day of the year," he says. "The tradition was
to debut a new pair of shoes and a change of clothes. Cuban flags were
hung from balconies. I would go with my parents and brothers to Puerto
Avenue. In Central Park there were public concerts by the municipal
band. The atmosphere was festive. But this government erased it all from
popular memory. Now the dates that are celebrated are those that suit them."

While Cubans living in Miami enthusiastically celebrate May 20, in Cuba
it is a day like any other. That is how the military regime wants it.

Dictatorships have a habit of manipulating events. Just as the official
narrative would have us believe that José Martí was an admirer of
Marxist theories, so too does a military confrontation take on aspects
of science fiction. This is what happened in 1983 in Granada. According
to the Castros' version of events, during the invasion of the country by
U.S. forces, a group of Cuban workers sacrificed themselves while
clutching the Grenadian flag.

For Cuba's ruling military junta, the past is something to be erased.
Economic, urban infrastructure and productivity gains achieved in the
more than half century that the republic existed do not matter.

In an article published in Cubanet, independent journalist Gladys
Linares recalls that in 1902, as a result of the war for independence,
"agriculture, livestock and manufacturing were in a disastrous state. In
a gesture of great sensitivity, Estrada Palma's first action was to pay
members of the Liberation Army and to pay off the war bonds issued by
the Republic in Arms. To do this, he secured a loan from an American
lender, Speyer Bank, for $35 million at 5% interest, which had already
been repaid by 1943."

For its part, EcuRed, the Cuban government's version of wikipedia,
states that "Estrada Palma was noted for being extremely thrifty during
his presidency (1902-1906). In 1905 the Cuban treasury held the
astonishing sum of 24,817,148 pesos and 96 centavos, of which the loan
accounted for only 3.5 million pesos. The accumulation of so much money
compelled Estrada Palma to invest in public works. The government
allotted 300,000 pesos to be used in every province for the construction
of roads and highways as well as more than 400,000 for their upkeep and
repair.

The state-run press labels this period with the derogatory term
"pseudo-republic" or "hamstrung republic."

"They have done everything imaginable to obviate or destroy it. From
producing television programs such as "San Nicolás del Peladero," which
ridiculed the venal politicians of the time, to minimizing the advances
in material well-being achieved by various sectors of society. But when
you review economic statistics from the period 1902 to 1958, you realize
that, despite imperfections, there was more growth," says a retired
historian.

He adds, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. The Republic
of Cuba was founded on May 20, 1902. In the future, setting ideology
aside, May 20 should be included in the schedule of national holidays
and should be celebrated once again. Everything began on that day."

That remains to be seen. For the moment, new (and not so new)
generations are unaware of the significance of May 20.

This ignorance, a willful act of forgetting, is part of the late Fidel
Castro's strategy of building a nation from the ground up, burying its
customs and values, rewriting history to suit his aims. And he succeeded.

Source: The Cuban Republic: Buried by Official Decree / Iván García –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-cuban-republic-buried-by-official-decree-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Iván García, 24 May 2017 — May 20 of this year with mark the 115th anniversary of the birth of the Republic of Cuba. In the Throne Room of the Palace of the Captains General, a building which now serves as the City Museum, Tomás Estrada Palma — born in Bayamo in 1835, died in … Continue reading "The Cuban Republic: Buried by Official Decree / Iván García" Continue reading
Fundado el 22 de noviembre de 2007 CONSEJO DE DIRECCIÓN Juan González Febles: director, Luís Cino Álvarez: sub-director, Ana M. Torricella: diseño web y fotografía CONSEJO DE REDACCIÓN: Luís Cino Álvarez: Editor jefe, Rogelio Fabio Hurtado, COORDINADORA: Ainí Martín PERIODISTAS: Paulino Alfonso,  Frank Cosme, Osmar Laffita email: primaveradigital2011@gmail.com   http://www.primaveradigital.org    COLABORARON EN EL NÚMERO 486:  Agustín Figueroa Galindo: La Habana,  comuni.red.comunitaria@gmail.com Eduardo Martínez Rodríguez: La Habana. Escritor. eduardom57@nauta.cu Ed Prida: Miami, USA pridaissues@gmail.com; Fue profesor universitario e investigador científico del […] Continue reading
‘Las medidas de Trump se suman a las restricciones internas al cuentapropismo’ DDC | La Habana | 20 de Junio de 2017 – 22:22 CEST. Las medidas del presidente de EEUU, Donald Trump, hacia La Habana podrían afectar considerablemente a los cuentapropistas cubanos al sumarse a las “restricciones internas” que ya sobrellevan, según el economista […] Continue reading
Recuento tardío de una decepción anunciada Las modificaciones presentadas por Trump a la política del gobierno estadounidense con respecto a Cuba mejoran la apertura del expresidente Obama Alex Heny, Nueva York | 19/06/2017 9:05 am Finalmente, Trump llegó a la Pequeña Habana. Llegó, además, a un teatro, nombrado Manuel Artimes, ese que fuera el líder […] Continue reading
‘Nuestro proyecto de sociedad ha fracasado’, dice Fernando Pérez Continue reading
Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations
Darlene Superville, Michael Weissenstein and Josh Lederman, Associated
Press, Associated Press • June 17, 2017

MIAMI (AP) -- Pressing "pause" on a historic detente, President Donald
Trump thrust the U.S. and Cuba back on a path toward open hostility with
a blistering denunciation of the island's communist government. He
clamped down on some commerce and travel but left intact many new
avenues President Barack Obama had opened.

The Cuban government responded by rejecting what it called Trump's
"hostile rhetoric." Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue
"respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest.

Even as Trump predicted a quick end to President Raul Castro's regime,
he challenged Cuba to negotiate better agreements for Americans, Cubans
and those whose identities lie somewhere in between. Diplomatic
relations, restored only two years ago, will remain intact. But, in a
shift from Obama's approach, Trump said trade and other penalties would
stay in place until a long list of prerequisites was met.

"America has rejected the Cuban people's oppressors," Trump said Friday
in Miami's Little Havana, the cradle of Cuban-American resistance to
Castro's government. "Officially, today, they are rejected."

Declaring Obama's pact with Castro a "completely one-sided deal," Trump
said he was canceling it. In practice, however, many recent changes to
boost ties to Cuba will stay as they are. Trump cast that as a sign the
U.S. still wanted to engage with Cuba in hopes of forging "a much
stronger and better path."

In a statement released Friday evening on government-run websites and
television, Cuban President Raul Castro's administration said Trump's
speech was "loaded with hostile rhetoric that recalls the times of open
confrontation."

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba
wants to continue negotiations with the U.S. on a variety of subjects.
"The last two years have shown that the two countries can cooperate and
coexist in a civilized way," it said.

Embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open. U.S. airlines and
cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of
Florida. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban
migrants stay if they made it to U.S. soil but was terminated under
Obama, will remain terminated. Remittances from people in America to
Cubans won't be cut off.

But individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by
Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited. And the
U.S. government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing
a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities."

The changes won't go into effect until new documents laying out details
are issued. Once implemented Trump's policy is expected to curtail U.S.
travel by creating a maze of rules for Americans to obey. The policy
bans most financial transactions with a yet-unreleased list of entities
associated with Cuba's military and state security, including a
conglomerate that dominates much of Cuba's economy, such as many hotels,
state-run restaurants and tour buses.

Surrounded by Florida Republican officials, the president was unabashed
about the political overtones of his election victory and Friday's
announcement:

"You went out and you voted, and here I am, like I promised."

Cheered by Cuba hardliners in both parties, Trump's new policy is
broadly opposed by U.S. businesses eager to invest in Cuba.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically supportive of GOP presidents,
predicted the changes would limit prospects for "positive change on the
island," while Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said Trump's policy was
"misguided" and will hurt the U.S. economically.

Trump's declaration in a crowded, sweltering auditorium was a direct
rebuke to Obama, for whom the diplomatic opening with Cuba was a central
accomplishment of his presidency.

Yet it also exposed the shortcomings in Obama's approach.

Unable to persuade Congress to lift the decades-old trade embargo, Obama
had used his power to adjust the rules that implement the embargo to
expand built-in loopholes. Obama and his aides argued that commerce and
travel between the countries, which has blossomed since he relaxed the
rules, would make his policy irreversible.

Ben Rhodes, the former deputy national security adviser who negotiated
Obama's opening with the Cubans, said it was disappointing Trump was
halting the momentum that had built but added that it could have been worse.

"This is a limitation on what we did, not a reversal of what we did,"
Rhodes said in an interview.

For Cubans, the shift risks stifling a nascent middle class that has
started to rise as Americans have flocked to the island on airlines,
patronizing thousands of private bed-and-breakfasts.

"When he's cutting back on travel, he's hurting us, the Cuban
entrepreneurs," said Camilo Diaz, a 44-year-old waiter in a restaurant
in Havana. "We're the ones who are hurt."

Granma, the official organ of Cuba's Communist Party, described Trump's
declarations in real-time blog coverage Friday as "a return to
imperialist rhetoric and unilateral demands." Cuba's government may not
formally respond to Trump's speech until a speech Monday by its foreign
minister.

The Castro government is certain to reject Trump's list of demands,
which includes releasing political prisoners, halting what the U.S. says
is abuse of dissidents and allowing greater freedom of expression.
Refusing to negotiate domestic reforms in exchange for U.S. concessions
is perhaps the most fundamental plank of Cuba's policy toward the U.S.

Cuba functioned as a virtual U.S. colony for much of the 20th century,
and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived U.S.
infringements on national sovereignty. Trump, on the other hand,
described his move as an effort to bring about a "free Cuba" after more
than half a century of communism.

"I do believe that end is in the very near future," he said.

Cuba's 1,470-word statement Friday night labeled Trump a hypocrite for
calling on Cuba to improve human rights, saying the U.S. government "is
threatening more limits on health care that would leave 23 million
people without insurance ... and marginalizes immigrants and refugees,
particular those from Islamic countries."

The statement reiterates Cuba's commitment to "the necessary changes
that we're making now as part of the updating of our socio-economic
model," but says "they will continue being decided in a sovereign way by
the Cuban people."

The U.S. severed ties with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolution,
and spent decades trying to either overthrow the government or isolate
the island, including by toughening an economic embargo first imposed by
President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Castro were restoring ties.
Less than a year later, the U.S. Embassy in Havana re-opened, and Obama
paid a historic visit to Havana in 2016.

___

Weissenstein reported from Havana and Lederman from Washington.

Source: Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations -
https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-rolls-back-not-changes-us-cuba-relations-073828473--politics.html Continue reading
Belén Gopegui prefiere dormir del lado izquierdo y soñar con utopías desfasadas Continue reading
Tillerson: ‘Trump va a poner freno a las medidas de Obama’ AGENCIAS | Washington | 13 de Junio de 2017 – 19:08 CEST. El secretario de Estado, Rex Tillerson, dijo este martes ante el Senado que su Gobierno ve elementos “preocupantes” en la política de apertura iniciada por el expresidente Barack Obama, y consideró que […] Continue reading
Según informó en su blog el periodista Fernando Ravsberg Continue reading

El Gobierno cerró los paladares El Litoral y el Lungo Mare, dos populares restaurantes privados de La Habana, según informó en su blog el periodista oficialista uruguayo Fernando Ravsberg, excorresponsal de la BBC en Cuba.

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Fundado el 22 de noviembre de 2007 CONSEJO DE DIRECCIÓN Juan González Febles: director, Luís Cino Álvarez: sub-director, Ana M. Torricella: diseño web y fotografía CONSEJO DE REDACCIÓN: Luís Cino Álvarez: Editor jefe, Rogelio Fabio Hurtado, COORDINADORA: Ainí Martín PERIODISTAS: Paulino Alfonso,  Frank Cosme, Osmar Laffita email: primaveradigital2011@gmail.com    http://www.primaveradigital.org    COLABORARON EN EL NÚMERO 485:  Aimée Cabrera: Periodista y Bibliotecaria independiente. Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos (CUTC)  Reside en Centro Habana. aimeecabrera825.@gmail.com Agustín Figueroa Galindo: La Habana,  comuni.red.comunitaria@gmail.com Alfredo […] Continue reading
South Florida companies hoping to preserve Cuba gains await new Trump rules
Arlene Satchell
Sun Sentinel

When U.S.-based airlines and cruise lines flew or sailed through former
President Barack Obama's historic opening to Cuba, few expected that the
door might be slammed shut or partially closed by his successor in the
White House.

But that's the prospect those and other American companies are likely to
face this week as President Donald J. Trump prepares to announce
policies that could reimpose curbs on travel and business with the
Communist island.

Citing little progress by the Cuban government to improve human rights,
Florida lawmakers such as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario
Diaz-Balart have urged Trump to restore travel restraints under the
long-standing U.S. trade embargo against Havana.

South Florida could be the epicenter for fallout as the majority of
commercial flights and cruises that launched from the U.S. originate
from Florida airports and seaports.

A recent economic impact study by the advocacy group Engage Cuba
concluded that a complete rollback of the current policy on Cuba could
cost the American economy $6.6 billion and affect 12,295 jobs nationwide
during Trump's first term in office, according to a recent economic
impact study by the advocacy group Engage Cuba. Of that amount, airlines
and cruise lines would lose $3.5 billion with 10,154 jobs impacted. The
Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit is seeking an end to the embargo.

After restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014, Obama signed a
series of executive orders that gave U.S. businesses a small beach head
for doing business in Cuba.

Their reversal could have a "significant impact" in South Florida since
the region became a "jumping off place to Cuba," said John Thomas, an
associate professor of hospitality law at Florida International
University. Business from visitors in transit to and from Cuba could
also be at risk if flights and cruises sharply declined or disappeared,
Thomas said.

In a blog post Sunday, John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade
and Economic Council in New York, said the Trump administration is
weighing "ending self-directed travel and returning to group-only travel
for educational and people-to-people programs."

A snapshot of locally based services and other commerce with Cuba includes:

Airlines: JetBlue and Southwest offer regular nonstop service to select
Cuban cities including Havana from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood
International Airport. Delta and American fly from Miami International
Airport.

Cruise lines: South Florida-based Carnival Corp., Norwegian Cruise Line
Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. offer Caribbean itineraries
with one or more Cuba stops from Port Everglades, PortMiami or Tampa.

Pearl Seas Cruises of Connecticut operated a series of 10-night voyages
to Cuba earlier this year from Port Everglades and has plans for more.

Finance: Since 2015, Stonegate Bank of Pompano Beach has maintained a
relationship with Banco Internacional de Comercio to provide money
transfer services for companies operating in Cuba. It also offers a
Cuba-enabled U.S. credit card to travelers visiting the country.

Freight: Since 2001, Crowley Maritime Corp. has provided container
freight service to Cuba from Port Everglades, transporting mostly
poultry and other food products.

Under Obama's liberalized rules, Americans are allowed to visit the
island without a license and need not travel in organized groups
provided the purpose of their trips falls under one of 12 categories.
They include family visits, research, or educational activities for
"people-to-people" exchanges.

Since the diplomatic rapprochement, many companies used the rules as
leeway to set up businesses in Cuba and establish contacts with
government agencies.

"Our new relationship with Cuba has led to tangible results for American
companies, created U.S. jobs, and strengthened Cuba's growing private
sector," said James Williams, Engage Cuba's president. "If President
Trump rolled back our Cuba policy, he would add job-killing government
regulations on U.S. businesses. Reimposing restrictions on traveling to
Cuba would force Americans to jump through even more bureaucratic hoops
to exercise their right to travel freely."

Most local company representatives and South Florida legal advisers were
hesitant to discuss any damage tighter regulations might bring.

"We really don't know what's going to happen at this point," said David
Seleski, CEO of Stonegate Bank. He said the bank does not maintain
physical storefronts in Cuba and has no concerns about getting its money
out. Still, if U.S.-Cuba financial regulations were to change, fewer
money transfers and less spending on those credit cards might be the result

While Cuba represents a small percentage of the cruise operators'
business, trips have resonated well with consumers and represent a
long-term growth potential, cruise executives have said.

But the companies indicated they have the flexibility to stage a retreat.

"Because our assets are mobile, our ships can be rerouted as needed to
alternate destinations if there is ever an issue that arises with any of
our itineraries," said Roger Frizzell, a Carnival Corp. spokesman

For some American interests, the uncertainty has caused them to place
future Cuba business plans on hold, said Hector Chichoni, partner at the
Duane Morris law firm in Miami.

Chichoni said he is advising clients to tread carefully and ensure they
follow existing rules. But he said some are "going for it," enticed by
the prospects for profits in telecommunications, healthcare and hospitality.

Peter Quinter, a Miami lawyer at GrayRobinson who also counsels clients
on Cuba, agreed caution is merited.

"I remain concerned about the enforcement of contracts under Cuban law,
but executives and entrepreneurs interested in doing business with the
Cuban government already know that doing so is not for the timid," he said.

Source: South Florida companies hoping to preserve Cuba gains await new
Trump rules - Sun Sentinel -
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-trump-us-cuba-travel-changes-20170609-story.html Continue reading
OPINION. Cuba: Brzezinski, Castro, perestroika y cabezas pensantes Tania Quintero LUCERNA, Suiza – Cuando el 2 de junio en Martí Noticias leí Cuba en la órbita de la eminencia gris que fue Zbginiew Brzezinski, de Armando de Armas y Álvaro Alba, a mi memoria vino aquella etapa de los años 80, cuando la perestroika y […] Continue reading
Yoe Suárez: «Cuando ser honesto cuesta tanto» Entrevista al joven periodista y escritor Yoe Suárez Milho Montenegro, La Habana | 09/06/2017 5:15 pm Yoe Suárez (La Habana, 1990) es uno de los jóvenes periodistas más destacados de nuestro país. Ha recibido importantísimos reconocimientos por su trabajo, los cuales acreditan la profundidad de su perspectiva creadora […] Continue reading
Cubana agradece al MINSAP “la píldora quimbombó” (todo te resbala) Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca Cuando no lo hay en la farmacia, Margarita paga diez pesos y más “detrás del telón” por una tira del Alprazolam (versión cubana de Xanax) que le recetó el médico, porque tiene efecto quimbombó: cuando lo toma todo le resbala. Esperando […] Continue reading
Fundado el 22 de noviembre de 2007 CONSEJO DE DIRECCIÓN Juan González Febles: director, Luís Cino Álvarez: sub-director, Ana M. Torricella: diseño web y fotografía CONSEJO DE REDACCIÓN: Luís Cino Álvarez: Editor jefe, Rogelio Fabio Hurtado, COORDINADORA: Ainí Martín PERIODISTAS: Paulino Alfonso,  Frank Cosme, Osmar Laffita email: primaveradigital2011@gmail.com   http://www.primaveradigital.org    COLABORARON EN EL NÚMERO 484:  Agustín Figueroa Galindo: La Habana,  comuni.red.comunitaria@gmail.com Ángel Juan Moya Acosta: Coordinador del Movimiento por la Democracia y la Libertad de Cuba. (M.L.D.C) integrado a UNPACU, […] Continue reading
La bloguera cubana participa en el X Foro Atlántico Continue reading
Iván García, 6 May 2017 — Some people in Cuba, not just a minority, want blood. And more severe laws for criminals. While the Catholic Church and different international institutions are advocating a crusade to eliminate the death penalty on the Island, there are people who, for many reasons, think firing squads should be reactivated. If … Continue reading "Cubans Want More Severe Laws for Criminals / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 3 June 2017 – The Ministry of Higher Education (MES) ratified the expulsion of Professor Dalila Rodriguez from the Marta Abreu Central University of Las Villas. A letter dated May 9 and delivered this Friday to the academic, responds to her earlier appeal and confirms the revocation of her teaching status, as Rodriguez … Continue reading "The Ministry Ratifies the Expulsion of Professor Dalila Rodriguez from the University of Las Villas" Continue reading

14ymedio

El Ministerio de Educación Superior (MES) ratificó la expulsión de la profesora Dalila Rodríguez de la Universidad Central Marta Abreu de Las Villas. Una carta, fechada el pasado 9 de mayo y entregada este viernes a la académica, responde a su anterior apelación y confirma la revocación de su categoría docente, según explicó Rodríguez a 14ymedio.

El documento aparece firmado por la asesora jurídica del MES, Denisse Pereira Yero, y por el jefe del Departamento Jurídico, Jorge Valdés Asán. Los funcionarios no consideran una apelación el reclamo de Rodríguez porque “basta que se incurra en uno de los supuestos del artículo 74 inciso d) para que se pierda de manera directa la Categoría Docente”.

El pasado 11 de abril la profesora recibió una orden de despido de su puesto en la Facultad de Humanidades, emitida por el rector Andrés Castro Alegría y en la que se invoca el artículo 74 del Reglamento para la aplicación de las Categorías Docentes de la Educación Superior.

El argumento esgrimido para justificar la expulsión fue que la profesora no había logrado “subsanar un grupo de actitudes que se apartan en lo social y lo ético del correcto actuar docente educativo que exige su categoría docente, y que puede afectar la formación de los educandos”. Una noticia que Rodríguez recibió con sorpresa.[[QUOTE:La filóloga cursaba un doctorado en Ciencias Pedagógicas, era activista del sindicato y recibió en febrero pasado una evaluación de excelente]]La filóloga, de 33 años y residente en el municipio villaclareño de Camajuaní, cursaba hasta el momento de su expulsión un doctorado en Ciencias Pedagógicas, después de obtener un máster en Estudios Lingüísticos y Editoriales. Era activista del sindicato y recibió en febrero pasado una evaluación de excelente.

Desde comienzos de 2015, la académica experimentó presiones de la Seguridad del Estado. Varios agentes la entrevistaron para indagar si tenía contactos con el activista y pastor evangélico Mario Félix Lleonart. También se interesaron en conocer cómo eran las relaciones con su padre, Leonardo Rodríguez Alonso, coordinador del Instituto Patmos, una organización independiente que defiende los derechos religiosos en Cuba.

Dalila Rodríguez afirma que no pertenece a ningún grupo opositor, ni siquiera asiste a eventos convocados por entidades independientes en la Isla. “Todo esto lo han hecho para que mi padre se sienta culpable”, opina.Cuando le comunicaron su despido, la vicerrectora primera, Osana Molerio Pérez, y la asesora jurídica le informaron también que no le estaría permitido apelar por el camino del sindicato y le advirtieron que no debería volver “a poner un pie” en la Universidad.

El proceso de despido estuvo plagado de irregularidades, denuncia Rodríguez. Según el reglamento, su caso debió ser analizado previamente por la comisión encargada de las categorías docentes y ofrecerle siete días para apelar. Sin embargo, el rector tomó la decisión directamente y sin respetar los plazos.[[QUOTE:Señaló que las autoridades docentes “ni siquiera han podido mostrar una sola prueba en [su] contra”]]Rodríguez decidió entonces escribir al Ministro de Educación Superior, José Saborido, pero la respuesta recibida esta semana asegura que en su caso “no hay violación alguna” porque “no se trata de un proceso disciplinario sino de un procedimiento administrativo de carácter especial”.

En conversación telefónica con 14ymedio, la profesora calificó de “increíble” que poco después de haber sido evaluada con las mejores calificaciones en su trabajo se haya convertido en alguien “con graves  problemas éticos y sociales que perjudica la formación” de los alumnos.

Dijo sentirse “totalmente desamparada, después de trabajar once años en esa universidad”, y señaló que las autoridades docentes “ni siquiera han podido mostrar una sola prueba en [su] contra”.

De la misma Universidad fue expulsada pocos días después la estudiante de periodismo Karla Pérez González, tras ser acusada de pertenecer al Movimiento Somos+ y "tener una estrategia desde el inicio del curso para subvertir a los jóvenes".

Su caso despertó una ola de indignación y a su favor se pronunciaron también voces oficialistas como el cantautor Silvio Rodríguez, quien escribió en su blog: "Qué brutos somos, coño, y pasan décadas y no aprendemos".

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‘Hollywood quiere filmar en Cuba y no puede’ DDC | La Habana | 31 de Mayo de 2017 – 16:51 CEST. “Hollywood quiere filmar en Cuba y no puede”. Según un artículo publicado por el blog oficialista La Joven Cuba y replicado por Segunda Cita, de Silvio Rodríguez, “desde el segundo semestre del pasado año […] Continue reading

"Hollywood quiere filmar en Cuba y no puede". Según un artículo publicado por el blog oficialista La Joven Cuba y replicado por Segunda Cita, de Silvio Rodríguez, "desde el segundo semestre del pasado año vienen cada vez menos producciones estadounidenses a la Isla".

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14ymedio

Desde la cárcel del Vivac, donde ha cumplido este lunes tres días de detención, Joanna Columbié, miembro del Consejo Nacional de Somos+, ha informado que el agente Leandro, de la Seguridad del Estado, le ha asegurado que ese movimiento opositor "será destruido en los próximos días".

Roxana Arias, amiga de Columbié y también miembro del movimiento opositor, pudo ver el pasado sábado y este lunes a la activista. Ambas visitas fueron de diez minutos y con la condición de que solo podía entrar una persona.

"Hoy le vi el rostro colorado como cuando le sube la presión", cuenta la amiga, quien además señala que Columbié "no estaba comiendo mucho" y que "había un calor horrible" en el penal.

Este domingo fue llevada a la enfermería para tratarse el dolor que sufría a la altura de los riñones pero el personal médico del centro le dijo que "por ser fin de semana" no tenía medicamentos para administrar.[[QUOTE:Según Eliécer Ávila, líder de Somos+, el agente 'Leandro' ha dicho a Joanna que será "procesada" porque ya están "cansados" de Somos+ y de su participación en #Otro18]]Según Eliécer Ávila, líder de Somos+, el agente Leandro ha dicho a Joanna que será "procesada" porque ya están "cansados" de Somos+ y de su participación en #Otro18.

"Leandro la saca de la celda a cada rato, hasta de madrugada, para interrogarla" narra Arias.

En el blog del movimiento Joanna envió un mensaje a todos los que siguen su "injusto encierro". En el comunicado afirma que nada podrá doblegarla porque su mente es más fuerte que su cuerpo y anunció que si la deportan regresará y si la encarcelan resistirá.

Joanna es diabética, asmática e hipertensa y su familia está muy preocupada. La madre de Columbié, que vive en Santiago de Cuba, llamó hoy al Vivac para saber de ella y le informaron que su hija estaba bien de salud. Además, le dijeron que todo el mundo tenía derecho a que los familiares llamaran para preguntar "menos ella" y que esta situación era como consecuencia de "no haber educado bien a su hija".

Arias cuenta que a Columbié le han dicho que la van a deportar este viernes pero el agente Leandro le hace saber frecuentemente que la van a "procesar".

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Otro 18 La Santísima Trinidad del pueblo cubano, el pueblo cubano-americano y USA es un falso ídolo: en política, el pueblo cubano está solo Arnaldo M. Fernández, Broward | 26/05/2017 1:12 pm El apoyo a la democracia necesita, por supuesto, muchísimo dinero Claudio Fuentes (Estado de SATS) El año fiscal 2018 será otro, tanto para […] Continue reading

Miriam Celaya

El cabello blanco y los ojos azules sugieren la estampa de una abuela salida de algún cuento infantil, pero Marta Cortizas es en realidad una habanera que tras emigrar a Estados Unidos encontró una manera de ser útil a sus compatriotas. Desde su apartamento en Kendall (Florida), compila cada día noticias, columnas de opinión y reportajes para enviarlos por correo electrónico a Cuba, en un servicio que se conoce como La lista de Marta.

Los envíos comenzaron hace casi siete años y hoy los reciben más de 50 suscriptores. Sus destinatarios son periodistas independientes, activistas de la oposición y de la sociedad civil o, simplemente, amigos.

Desde niña, Marta tuvo el hábito de leer y cuando comenzó a trabajar como mecanógrafa en la Biblioteca de la Casa de las Américas, en julio de 1967, quedó asombrada con el catálogo y la hemeroteca de la institución. A esta última la considera "el disparador" de su pasión por la información.

Entre las paredes de La Casa, como la llaman los habituales, conoció a Virgilio Piñera, Antón Arrufat, José Triana y Luis Agüero, que visitaban con frecuencia la sala de lectura. Trató con Mario Benedetti, Roque Dalton, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Iverna Codina, Fayad Jamís, Manuel Galich y guarda buenos recuerdos del "entrañable poeta Raúl Hernández Novás".[[QUOTE:Los envíos de noticias y otras informaciones comenzaron hace casi siete años y hoy los reciben más de 50 suscriptores]]Esta mujer de hablar dulce y tenacidad a prueba de desánimo llegó a trabajar como secretaria del poeta y ensayista Roberto Fernández Retamar. "Amé con pasión mi trabajo y logré el respeto de mis compañeros sin necesidad de pertenecer a las organizaciones políticas. De hecho, nunca pertenecí a ninguna", aclara.

Los años posteriores a su jubilación, Marta los dedicó al cuidado de su madre, pero ni el retiro ni la vida doméstica apagaron sus bríos de librepensadora. En medio del obligado encierro casero leía incansablemente. Con frecuencia esas lecturas incluían libros censurados por las autoridades, unos textos que profundizaron su postura crítica frente a la doctrina oficial castrista.

A inicios de este siglo, su esposo, Eugenio Leal, se vinculó a otros miembros de la oposición, periodistas, organizaciones y activistas, experiencia que compartió con Marta. Ambos participaron en la fundación de la revista Consenso, la primera publicación digital independiente que en 2004 vio la luz en la Isla.

"Comencé a fungir como secretaria y miembro del consejo de redacción", evoca Marta. "Fue una experiencia maravillosa que me ofreció otra realidad para, desde la revista, abrir una puerta a la libertad de expresión en Cuba".

En octubre de 2005 Eugenio y Marta sufrieron un aparatoso acto de repudio frente a su propia vivienda. "El hecho de que hubiésemos creado Consenso y de que tuviese su sede editorial en nuestra casa molestó a las autoridades".

Primero fueron amenazados por la Seguridad del Estado y días después "lanzaron un mitin de repudio masivo, que conllevó una guardia de 24 horas en los bajos de nuestro edificio por parte de agentes represivos, miembros del Comité de Defensa de la Revolución y militantes del Partido Comunista".

El cerco se prolongó durante nueve días, "con el objetivo de que nadie nos pudiera visitar y también para atemorizar a los vecinos. Desde esos momentos en nuestro vecindario quedamos sumidos en un ostracismo total y absoluto", lamenta.[[QUOTE:Un lugar especial en sus recuerdos lo tienen "algunos prisioneros de la Primavera Negra que recibieron apoyo para abrir sus blogs personales"]]Este suceso marcó un punto de inflexión en la vida de Marta. "Comprendí que por nada ni nadie uno puede perder su dignidad personal y sus derechos básicos como ser humano".

Si el mitin intimidó a los vecinos, con Marta surtió el efecto contrario. De hecho, continuó trabajando para Consenso y más tarde para la revista Contodos, hasta febrero de 2007, cuando salió el último número. Para entonces estaban por nacer los primeros blogs independientes.

"La blogósfera alternativa tuvo la virtud de establecer vínculos estrechos entre un gran número de activistas cívicos, periodistas independientes y opositores que antes estaban inconexos", explica. En los meses más intensos de 2008 y 2009 "se promovieron diversas campañas, tanto para denunciar violaciones de derechos contra los activistas opositores y los ciudadanos comunes como para exigir la liberación de los presos políticos".

Un lugar especial en sus recuerdos lo tienen "algunos prisioneros de la Primavera Negra que recibieron apoyo para abrir sus blogs personales, cuyos textos dictaban por teléfono desde la prisión". Marta transcribió muchos de aquellos artículos que después terminaron publicados en internet.

Al fallecer su madre, su hija –emigrada años antes– la invitó a visitar Miami, pero la Dirección de Inmigración y Extranjería le negó el permiso de salida durante tres años. "Aunque poseía pasaporte español no me permitieron viajar. Denuncié lo que me sucedía y finalmente me autorizaron a salir del país en octubre de 2010", detalla. "Tomar la decisión de emigrar ha sido la más difícil en mi vida", confiesa.

En Estados Unidos encontró "la libertad que tanto anhelaba, el poder votar democráticamente, la posibilidad de trazar metas y lograrlas, la satisfacción de ver el desarrollo" de su hija y sus nietas. Se siente feliz y agradecida del país que la acogió, pero advierte de que Cuba está por siempre en su corazón.

La emigrada hace un alto en ese punto de la historia y cita a Guillermo Cabrera Infante: "La nostalgia es la memoria del alma". Asida de esa añoranza y con el deseo de contribuir a través de las posibilidades tecnológicas, Cortizas vislumbró nuevos horizontes. "Empecé a copiar artículos, sobre todo de temas cubanos y algunos del acontecer mundial, que enviaba junto a mis misivas a los amigos".[[QUOTE:Cada día trata de esmerarse en buscar lo más importante para mandar por correo electrónico. También desde la Isla le remiten solicitudes específicas]]Casi sin darse cuenta aprendió a editar los artículos, quitándoles las fotos, disminuyendo la letra, para que consumiesen menos memoria al enviarlos. Así comenzó a crecer tanto la información que enviaba como el número de receptores.

Cada día trata de esmerarse en buscar lo más importante para mandar por correo electrónico. También desde la Isla le remiten solicitudes específicas. "A todos los trato de complacer. Eso me hace sentir retroalimentada y útil", asegura.

"A veces empleo incluso más de cuatro horas diarias en recopilar información y trato de hacerlo los siete días de la semana. La mayor recompensa es recibir muestras de preocupación hacia mí cuando por distintas causas he dejado de realizar algún envío".

No cree que la apertura de zonas wifi con acceso a internet en varios puntos del país haya mermado la demanda de recibir noticias. "Mientras el Gobierno mantenga la mordaza a la libre información, mientras controle a través de sus mecanismos el acceso a diferentes webs, este trabajo será útil", sostiene.

"Me regocijaré el día que ya no sea necesario que siga haciéndolo. Entonces buscaré otra forma de servir".

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Cuba's Proxy War in Venezuela
Mary Anastasia O'Grady in The Wall Street Journal

The commitment to Maduro among soldiers and police is breaking down

Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro is responding to mass demonstrations
by selectively killing civilians. If, as a result, some branch of the
military breaks with the regime, the country will descend into civil
war. But until then it's a one-sided slaughter.

It's also a Cuban proxy war. More than a dozen high-ranking Cuban
officers are said to be in Venezuela, along with thousands of Cuban
intelligence agents. Their job is to keep Venezuelan army officers under
constant surveillance to prevent the feared military uprising to restore
democracy. If the international community wants to head off disaster, a
good place to start would be in Havana.

On Thursday Miami's El Nuevo Herald reported it has a recording of
Venezuelan generals—at a meeting in Barquisimeto three weeks ago—"giving
orders to use snipers to control demonstrators." According to the Herald
they did so "with the argument that they find themselves on the
threshold of a civil war."

Maybe the generals know something not yet acknowledged publicly—that the
commitment to Mr. Maduro among the nation's soldiers and police is
breaking down.

It happened once before, in April 2002, when snipers backing the regime
picked off protesters during a demonstration in Caracas. When some
members of the army refused to help then-President Hugo Chávez crack
down on the crowd, he was forced to step aside, albeit temporarily.

Once back in power, Chávez accelerated the recruitment and arming of
paramilitaries. Thousands now show up at antigovernment protests, firing
weapons into crowds and using their motorcycles to run down
demonstrators. If the Cubans remain the power behind the throne, there
will be no one to stop these trained killers from slitting the throats
of the opposition.

The possibility of a break inside the armed forces seems to be on the
rise. As the Journal's Anatoly Kurmanaev reported on Wednesday, National
Guard riot police are worn down from taking on thousands of street
protesters almost daily since the beginning of April. Rank-and-file
soldiers also are not immune to the hardship and hunger caused by Mr.
Maduro's senseless economic policies. They say they too are underpaid
and underfed.

The dictatorship is clearly worried about this and recognizes it will
lose a war of attrition. One source in Caracas who marched in the
streets Thursday observed a noted increase in regime repression.

In recent weeks government enforcers also have launched attacks on lower
middle-class neighborhoods where Maduro critics live. They break down
gates and doors, rampage through apartment complexes, fire tear-gas
canisters through windows and loot homes.

On May 7 the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional reported that between
April 4 and May 5 the National Guard, together with National Bolivarian
Police and chavista militia, invaded 11 different residential areas in
Caracas. One family of four in the El Paraíso district, requesting
anonymity, told of how they cowered together in a bathroom for eight
hours to keep from being asphyxiated by the tear gas that had inundated
the rest of their apartment.

It wasn't the first blitz on the building complex known as Terrazas del
Paraíso. On April 19 pro-government thugs smashed an iron grille to get
in and rob one of the neighbors. On April 26 civilian-clothed militia
entered the complex and fired rubber bullets, injuring some residents.
"But it was to frighten us, because they didn't steal anything," one of
the victims told the newspaper.

On May 11 El Nacional reported that since this most recent wave of
protests began, state security forces and paramilitary have engaged in
similar violence and theft against 13 condominiums in six cities
including Maracay, Valencia, Barquisimeto and Merida. Forty-seven people
have been killed in the violence perpetrated by the antiriot squads and
paramilitary madmen since early April.

This is state terrorism. But it may not have its intended effect. Most
of the country is solidly against the government, and this includes
low-income Venezuelans, once the base for chavismo. Paradoxically the
repression seems to be strengthening opposition resolve. Perhaps
Venezuelans have reached a tipping point. They will get new elections
and freedom for political prisoners, or are ready to die trying.

The brutality also may be eroding the confidence of the men and women in
uniform. Many seem not to have the stomach for the cruelty their Cuban
handlers expect from their South American protégés. On May 5 opposition
leader Henrique Capriles said 85 members of the armed forces, including
some young captains and sergeants, had been detained by the regime for
criticizing the repression. On May 19 a member of the National Guard was
arrested in Táchira for having crossed over to defend protesters.

The international community has the power, through sanctions, to rein in
Cuba. If it fails to do so, the Venezuelan opposition will be massacred.

Source: Cuba's proxy war in Venezuela | Babalú Blog -
https://www.babalublog.com/2017/05/22/cubas-proxy-war-in-venezuela/ Continue reading
Las protestas contra Maduro son ‘contrarrevolución’ Continue reading
Silvio Rodríguez exhorta a los venezolanos a luchar por la América ‘que previeron Bolívar y Martí, Fidel y Chávez’ DDC | La Habana | 22 de Mayo de 2017 – 13:56 CEST. Silvio Rodríguez exhortó a los venezolanos a que “no dejen de luchar por lo que vale la pena, la América Nuestra que previeron […] Continue reading

Silvio Rodríguez exhortó a los venezolanos a que "no dejen de luchar por lo que vale la pena, la América Nuestra que previeron Bolívar y Martí, Fidel y Chávez", en un mensaje compartido en su blog Segunda Cita y publicado por el sitio oficial Cubadebate

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Fundado el 22 de noviembre de 2007 CONSEJO DE DIRECCIÓN Juan González Febles: director, Luís Cino Álvarez: sub-director, Ana M. Torricella: diseño web y fotografía CONSEJO DE REDACCIÓN: Luís Cino Álvarez: Editor jefe, Rogelio Fabio Hurtado, COORDINADORA: Ainí Martín PERIODISTAS: Paulino Alfonso,  Frank Cosme, Osmar Laffita email: primaveradigital2011@gmail.com   http://www.primaveradigital.org    COLABORARON EN EL NÚMERO 481: […] Continue reading

14ymedio

El poeta, ensayista y profesor Guillermo Rodríguez Rivera falleció este martes en La Habana a los 74 años de edad. Fue considerado uno los intelectuales residentes en la Isla más destacados de su generación.

Nacido en 1943 en Santiago de Cuba, Rodríguez Rivera llegó a ser doctor en Ciencias Filológicas por la Universidad de La Habana, donde también trabajó como profesor desde 1968.

Como docente enseñó a sus estudiantes a mantener el sentido crítico a la hora de abordar la literatura y sus clases destacaron por el cultivo de la audacia para elegir autores y títulos en un país con una larga lista de libros censurados.

De una sensibilidad extraordinaria y con gran ingenio -que volcó también en sus ensayos- Rodríguez Rivera vivió parte de su vida con problemas de salud que afectaron su movilidad.[[QUOTE:Guillermo Rodríguez fue considerado uno los intelectuales residentes en la Isla más destacados de su generación]]Muchos cubanos lo recuerdan por sus poemas más conflictivos como Para conjurar al Estado y Futuro imperfecto. Otros prefieren evocarlo como el intelectual que siempre salió en defensa del proceso político revolucionario sin abandonar una postura crítica.

Fue miembro de la Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba y colaborador de la Fundación Nicolás Guillén. En 1966 publicó su primer libro de poemas y participó en la fundación de la revista cultural El Caimán Barbudo, de la cual fue jefe de redacción.

En 1970 fue finalista del Premio Casa de las Américas en la categoría de poesía y escribiójunto con Luis Rogelio Nogueras la novela negra El cuarto círculo (1976).

Su antología poética Canta se publicó en 2003 y obtuvo el Premio de la Crítica. Dos años después dio a conocer su libro Nosotros, los cubanos que logró tres ediciones entre 2005 y 2007. La editorial José Martí realizó traducciones del texto en inglés y francés.

En los últimos años Rodríguez Rivera participaba con frecuencia en el blog Segunda Cita del cantautor Silvio Rodríguez.

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En Cuba “no quieren que se mueva ni una mosca”, opositor ve cambio radical en Seguridad del Estado Rosa Tania Valdés El líder del movimiento disidente Somos + conversó con Martí Noticias acerca de los móviles del gobierno para bloquear el blog y de los intentos por desactivar a la oposición interna. El blog del […] Continue reading
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14ymedio, Havana, 16 May 2017 — The digital site of the Somos+ (We Are More) Movement has now joined the list of pages censored on the servers of the Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) which supply public WiFi. The leader of the organization, Eliecer Avila, links this measure to “the growing influence” of the site among … Continue reading "Cuban Government Extends Censorship To The Digital Site Somos+" Continue reading