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Camilo Ernesto Olivera

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to translate and subtitle all the wonderful videos coming out of Estado de Sats and the Forum for Rights and Freedom, but for our many readers who do understand spoken Spanish, we just … Continue reading Continue reading

Con la conducción de sus dos locutores oficiales y realizadores, Gorki Águila (líder del grupo de rock Porno Para Ricardo) y Camilo Ernesto Olivera (periodista independiente, colaborador de DIARIO DE CUBA), se lanzó este sábado el primer recopilatorio de Cambio de Bola, un programa radial pensado para la gente "aquí en Cuba".

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[1]They are referred to as old folks, half-timers and the pure. They are shipwreck victims of a capsized island. They cling to debris, trying to stay afloat. [2]Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro, Havana, February 27, 2015 — Men and women in Cuba who have reached the age of forty are referred to as tembas (old folks), medios tiempos (half-timers) and los puros (the pure). Those approaching this age have lived through the periods before and after 1989 on the island. Their childhoods were spent between schools in the countryside and schools like those in the countryside, an ostensible bonanza subsidized by the Council of Mutual Aid (CAME) and the war in Angola. As young people they heard the echoes of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and suffered through the crisis and blackouts. Those who remain view their lives like those of shipwreck victims on an island that has capsized. Some cling to debris, trying to stay afloat. Others see fulfillment slipping away in a country that continues to deny them a future. Cubanet interviewed people in Bayamo and Havana: one a small city, the other the capital. They offer a portrait of a generation for whom hope has been extinguished. Bayamo, a country within a country One couple agreed to be interviewed by this reporter on how they see their lives now and in the future. The man will turn forty in two years. Both declined to give their names. "They say that in 2016 the outlook in Bayamo could be very different, but that is exactly what the government promised my parents and what I inherited from them was crisis and the urge to leave behind these people and this country," he says. [3] "This is a beautiful city," says the woman, "but it feels very small when we see the tons of opportunities we are missing. The ones who prosper here, more or less, are the ones who get help from those who left when they were young to try their luck in another country. I don’t want my children to live with the despair I inherited from my parents. On that he and I both agree." Another man, known as El Pelón (the Bald Guy), graduated during the educational chaos of the last decade. "I have a lot of family living in the United States," he says. "At one time I thought about making the crossing to Miami, leaving through Puerto Padre. But life got messy, so I’m still here. By the time you’re forty, you feel the initial urge slipping away. It’s like you have entered a stage of life where you are moving at half speed. You resign yourself to things. Arriving in a new country at twenty is not the same as when you are over forty."  In Havana forty at forty The Maxim Rock theater is a hotbed for the young and not so young. It is Saturday in the capital. Tonight, two generations of music fans co-mingle, intent on having the best time possible. This reporter managed to have a conversation with one couple. He is forty; she is much younger. Both spoke informally without giving their names. "Twenty years ago," he says, "I was walking around Vedado, hunting for foreigners and ’hustling.’ It was the 1990s, the era of blackouts and all those nightmares no one wants to remember. You had to be brave to leave but also to stay. That’s what I tell people when they ask me why I am still living in Cuba." [4] "Something will have to change. These people’s time has passed," she says referring to the government. They are committed to the same old same old. But they are very mistaken if they think the public’s silence is due to resignation." Dominoes, a game of life and politics At a Casa de los Abuelos senior center, a buiding which is somehow miraculously still standing, a group of men is getting ready to play another round of dominoes. Everyone here is past the age of forty. As in the game of life and politics, each playing piece is a bet to be wagered in silence. Their faces tell the history of this country, spanning the dying past that landed them at this table and a future as uncertain as a domino. At the same time their counterparts are playing another round in Miami’s Maximo Gomez Park. They are veterans of nostalgia. Some still unabashedly await the imminent downfall of the two brothers, just as they did when they arrived in Florida at age twenty. However, the prospect of reconciliation without freedom for Cubans living on the island continues to shadow those on both sides of the Florida Straits. [1]ó-cover.jpg [2] [3] [4] Continue reading
Is the Cuban government considering declaring as “heritage assets” the classic cars that roam the streets? Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro, Havana, 2 January 2015 — Apropos of the imminent reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the US, General Motors … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba. It happened in the Motel on 11th and 24th streets, near the iron bridge connecting Vedado and Miramar. In a room rented for two hours, the unpleasant whisper was heard: “Mami, you have a wonderful stench!” It was … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, CUBA.  Each day we awaken, and the dinosaur is still here.  The delegates of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) will meet with the master generals of the island-farm on the 11th, 12th and 13th of … Continue reading Continue reading
The Casa de las Cadenas, in Guanabacoa, could collapse on several families. It has withstood hurricanes, but now needs help. HAVANA, Cuba. – The walls have stood for nearly 270 years. But the degree of deterioration in the old house … Continue reading Continue reading
Cuba is not the same as 40 years ago, but its leaders are the same HAVANA, Cuba, February — Cuba intervened militarily in Angola on the side of the MPLA in August of 1975.  In 1977 Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) … Continue reading Continue reading
Habana, Cuba.- The girl rests beside me, as naked as a country without rights. She turns tricks on weekends to keep alive her mother, who became infected with HIV when she herself was a prostitute over a decade ago. “My … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, January 6, 2014 / – Twelve midnight rang on 31 December, and 2013 ended. Havana said good-bye with its streets half-empty streets in Vedado and the speakers all reggaeton in the indigent heart of Buenavista. Apparently almost … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba, December, — It was after 10 am Saturday, December 7.  The patrol car of the PNR (National Revolutionary Police) braked at my side, a few meters from where I live.  The uniformed officers got out of the … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, December, — Between 1977 and 1978 Cubans living in the United States were able for the first time to return to the island to visit relatives. When my great uncle and great aunt came to our house, … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba  December 10, 2013, Augusto César San Martín / The home of Antonio Rodiles, leader of the independent group Estado de Sats, which from today through tomorrow is celebrating the First International Conference on Human Rights, was besieged … Continue reading Continue reading
Saturday morning Estado de Sats presented the first issue of their magazine “Handbooks for the Transition” despite a political operation to prevent the audience from arriving; several activists were detained, Antonio Rodiles, director of the independent project, informed Diario de … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, November 6, 2013, Camilo Ernesto Olivera / On Saturday, 2 November, Blanca Record was dismissed as director of the Cuban Rock Agency. This was the surprising and unusual response to a protest expressed through “official channel.” Blanca … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, October, - A teenager, a wannabe to the ”reggaeton fashion,” succeeds in paying for his Spanish Language exam grades on a regular basis: “In my high school you can do business, provided that you are willing to pay well.”  The young man, … Continue reading Continue reading
On 13 March 1963, during a commemoration on the steps of the University of Havana, Fidel Castro said: “For there walks a specimen, another byproduct we must fight (…), many of these lazy ‘hipsters,’ children of the bourgeois, walk around … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , September 4, 2013, – Two police cars parked at the entrance to a high school. From one of them a man in civilian dress got out, and with long strides entered the school. Uniformed police also … Continue reading Continue reading
 HAVANA, Cuba, September, At the beginning of the nineties, the Argentine journalist Andrés Oppenheimer published a book entitled, Castro’s Final Hour. The first chapter begins with the description of the execution of the accused in the murky Cause No. … Continue reading Continue reading