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Dimas Castellanos

Dimas Castellano, 20 November 2017 — On November 1, 2017, Cuba presented to the UN General Assembly the project entitled “Need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US against Cuba.” In his speech, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez criticized the policy contained in the Presidential National Security Memorandum on the strengthening of the … Continue reading "Three Points to Solve the Embargo / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 13 October 2017 — According to information from the National Defense Council, Hurricane Irma, a category-five storm, hit Cuba between September 7 and 9, causing 14.657 houses to collapse, and another 16.646 to partially collapse, thus totaling 31.303 —not to mention the tens of thousands that suffered other kinds of damage. Between 2002 and … Continue reading "Cyclones, Housing and Revolution / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 7 September 2017 — The Cuban electoral system includes general elections every five years for deputies to the  National Assembly of People’s Power and delegates to provincial elections, as well as partial elections every two and a half years for district delegates and municipal assemblies. During this month the nomination of candidates corresponding to a new … Continue reading "Last Episode of This Cuban Electoral System / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 4 June 2017 — The “electoral” process which will take place in Cuba between October 2017 and  February 2018 lacks any relevance. Raúl Castro’s replacement as president does not mean he is relinquishing power, as, up until 2021, he will occupy the position of Secretary of the Communist Party, which is, constitutionally, the top … Continue reading "Cuba, Elections and Electoral Reform / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 18 November 2016 — The evil of corruption–the act of corruption and its effects–has accompanied the human species since its emergence. It has been present in all societies and in all ages. Its diverse causes range from personal conduct to the political-economic system of each country. In Cuba it appeared in the colonial era, … Continue reading "Corruption Versus Liberty: A Cuban Dilemma / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 17 January 2017 — By 2007, after forty-eight years of revolutionary rule, inefficiency and a lack of productivity had turned state-run farmland into fields infested with marabú weed. Meanwhile, food prices were increasing on the world market. In light of this situation, General Raúl Castro proposed “changing everything that needs to be changed.” … Continue reading "Why Foreign Investments Don’t Work in Today’s Cuba / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Diario de Cuba, Dimas Castellano, 15 December 2016 — Fidel Castro spent decades leaving his personal imprint on Cuba. Wielding absolute power and imbued with a high degree of of messianism, populism and voluntarism, he determined the fates of several generations. He undertook important social projects but hampered the economy and rolled back civil liberties. The … Continue reading "The Challenge of a Government without Fidel / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellano, 29 November 2016 — The great majority of Cubans were surprised by Donald Trump’s electoral victory. Surveys in other countries, and the official Cuban press, labelling Hillary Clinton as the favourite, created false expectations. Since the results have become known, all sorts of opinions have been put forward. Some believe that Trump is a dangerous … Continue reading "Donald Trump and Raul Castro / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellano, 5 December 2016 — The majority of analysts looking at the change of direction which may be experienced in the relations between Cuba and the United States, following the 8th of November elections, have concerned themselves solely with the policies on Cuba to be pursued by the new occupant of the White House, … Continue reading "Donald Trump, Cuba, and the Example of Vietnam / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 5 October 2016 — With the landing in Santa Clara of an Airbus A-320 from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood on August 31st, Jet Blue restarted commercial flights between Cuba and the United States, which were suspended in 1962. To accompany the general travel permissions, the increase in the level of remittances, better access to communications, the … Continue reading "Two Aspects of the Reintroduction of Flights to Cuba / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 5 August 2016 — In Sancti Spiritus, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), delivered a speech marking the 63rd anniversary of the assault on the Moncada barracks. José Ramón Machado Ventura began by wishing Fidel Castro well on his 90th birthday and reasserting “the commitment to remain faithful to the ideas for … Continue reading "Two July 26ths, And The Same Crisis / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 18 July 2016 — The statement issued in May of 2016 by the National Bureau of Cuba’s National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) in response to the US Treasury Department’s announcement that it would allow independent producers to export coffee Cuba to the United States should have come as no surprise. Said statement is a … Continue reading "Coffee: Relations with the US have revealed to the Cuban people the roots of the drop in productivity / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 1 August 2016 —  On 29 December, 2015 the Cuban president announced before the National Assembly of the People’s Power that “despite the impact of the international economic crisis, exacerbated in our case by the effects of the US blockade, maintained unchanged, and the external financial constraints, which have worsened during the second half of … Continue reading "The Cuban Economy Goes Into A Tailspin / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellanos, 3 August 2016 — The newspaper Granma recently published an article by Randy Alonso that commenced by dismissing “media vultures” who “revel in painting a dark picture, according to which Cuba will return to the direst days of the Special Period.” It is telling that Randy Alonso and the daily Granma would devote time and space to responding to these … Continue reading "Randy, The Situation Is Worse Than In The 90s / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
Dimas Castellano, 15 April 2016 — Economic and social stagnation in Cuba are related to the lack of a middle class. To defend this thesis and promote debate, I submit the arguments below. According to Karl Marx, social classes are structured around the ownership of the means of production, while Max Weber saw it from … Continue reading "The Need for a Cuban Middle Class / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
From the blog of Dimas Castellano: In response to an article in Diario de Cuba about different views on human rights, one reader noted that he would like to read an account of how democracy disappeared from Cuba. In response, Roberto Alvarez Quiñones wrote “At Democracy’s Funeral,” an article which I am posting below. At … Continue reading "How Democracy Disappeared from Cuba / Roberto Alvarez Quiñones" Continue reading

El 17 de diciembre representa día de milagros y de promesas para los devotos de San Lázaro, el santo más venerado entre los cubanos después de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre. Su liturgia comienza, en la víspera, con una peregrinación que culmina en el poblado habanero El Rincón, donde está ubicado su santuario.

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Dimas Castellanos, 24 April 2015 — Elections for delegates to the Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power were held in Cuba on April 19. In light of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States, they highlight the pressing need … Continue reading Continue reading
[1]Looking back on the history of the conflict, Cuba and the United States tried to impose their political philosophies through confrontation only to have them run aground on the negotiating table. They opted for war as a continuation of politics in order to return to politics as a substitute for war. The presidents of both countries have now announced their willingness to normalize relations, which have been suspended since 1961.The encouraging news has generated a variety of opinions ranging from those who believe that the problem has been solved to those who believe that nothing in Cuba will change. Some believe that changes are already taking place while others question the intentions of the Cuban government and America’s Republican legislators. Some — I being one of them — think the resumption of relations will be beneficial, albeit difficultand prolonged, for Cuban democratization. This optimism is based on six considerations.1. In his speech the U.S. president distanced himself from previous demands that Cuba democratize before the embargo is lifted. Instead, he proposed a series of measures that would encourage the empowerment of citizens and serve as a precursor for a discussion in Congress on repealing the law. This shift means there is no more  “enemy” to fight and no need to “circle the wagons.” On the Cuban side, there was a tenant of Fidelism, which held that Cuba had already changed in 1959 so there was no need for further change. This has given way to the Raulist viewpoint, which is inclined to see some things change.2. The shift by the United States is a response to the failure of a policy whose goal was to promote change in Cuba as well as to the regional and international self-isolation that resulted from the policy. Cuba’s shift, though presented as a victory, reveals a failure of economic leadership, meager results from efforts at reform, mass exodus, widespread corruption and growing dissatisfaction. It occurs at a time when the fragility of Venezuelan oil subsidies is a topic of discussion and no new financial savior has appeared on the horizon.3. The series of measures by the White House includes an increase in authorized travel to Cuba, management training for private Cuban businesses and farmers, an increase on the limit of remittances to individuals and donations to humanitarian projects, an expansion in the sale and commercial export of goods and services from the United States including to Cuba’s private sector, expanded communication access from Cuba and the ability to communicate freely, and allowing U.S. telecommunication providers to offer internet services at lower prices.4. Since assuming power in 2006, the Cuban president has expressed a willingness to normalize relations with the United States and to adopt some domestic measures such as emigration reform. On the other side there has been a relaxation of certain policies by the American president since 2009, which paved the way for the joint announcement on December 17, 2014.5. The measures by the White House assume an orderly and peaceful transition. This policy serves as a guarantee to those in power, to those who are responsible for everything both good or bad that has happened over a very long period of time. Nevertheless, I think the government of Cuba will try to slow the process even though its leaders know it is unavoidable. They realize that, if it all ends in violence, they will be the losers. Organized democratization guarantees stability and the future of the Cuban nation.6. Cuba was able to mobilize individuals, institutions and governments to subvert the embargo. Several Latin American figures were involved or served as intermediaries. Canada and the Vatican also played a prominent role. With the enemy gone and the threat allayed, the previous rhetoric has become meaningless. These committed forces expect changes in Cuba in response to Obama’s speech. Denying this would mean losing the support achieved so far.In order to evaluate the significance of these measures, it is worth analyzing the stagnation and reversals suffered during the period of confrontation. These include the disappearance of civil society, the absence of basic liberties, the subordination of the economy to politics, the loss of the Cubans’ status as citizens and other ills. Under a regime which might more accurately be defined as Fidelist, a key characteristic of which was confrontation, there was a refusal to back down until the opponent backed down. Better for the country to sink into the ocean, as was stated on one occasion.As external conflicts supplanted internal ones, military confrontation became a way to avoid making any compromises on human rights. As the effects of the above-mentioned negotiations begin to take effect, however, external tensions will gradually give way to the tensions between people and government. What happens after that will be the sole and exclusive responsibility of Cubans themselves.Given current conditions, doubts over the normalization of relations will be kicked aside at the negotiating table. Previous rescues were financed by subsidies from the Soviet Union and Venezuela, but the former has disappeared and the latter is bankrupt. There has also been little success at attracting foreign capital and there is no chance a new financial savior will suddenly appear.It is a phenomenon unprecedented in history. A government that came to power by force has — despite fifty-five years of ongoing ineffectiveness and economic mismanagement — spearheaded this change without any other person, group or party managing to establish an alternative power base. With apparent continuity, Fidelism is being discarded in the name of Fidelism. It is an oddity that calls for detailed analysis, debate and research. How did a country with a western orientation and a civil society that arose in the first half of the twentieth century and lasted until mid-century — a country that had one of the most advanced constitutions for its time – manage to regress to a point of such economic, spiritual and societal decay?The normalization of relations, although important, is only a first step. Lifting the embargo now depends more on the Cuban government than the United States. It involves moving beyond an expressed willingness to actually implementing measures to empower citizens and weaken opposition to repealing the law in Congress. Otherwise, it will work to the advantage of opponents of normalization. It is quite simple: lifting of the embargo is in the hands of Cuba, in domestic actions implemented for the benefit of Cubans.In spite of this difficult hurdle, there will be a gradual and civilized process of transformation, whose success will depend on the commitment of the Cuban people, who have been deprived of the freedom and opportunities that are the lifeblood of a nation’s citizenry. It is one whose sense of civic responsibility has been lost but which can now no longer be ignored.The shifting landscape will allow for a restructuring of the foundations that determine the fate of a nation and each of its people. Therefore, the importance of restoring diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States will depend to some extent on the behavior of both governments, but above all on the will and actions of Cubans themselves, a responsibility that can not be assumed by any government foreign or domestic.Original in Spanish [2]19 January 2015[1] http://www.diariodecuba.com/ [2] http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1421624432_12384.html Continue reading
The decision of the president of United States to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, the interruption of which was so negative for the Cuban people, such that everything that happened in the last 53 years is related to this event, … Continue reading Continue reading
One of the central figures of the Cuban opposition, who participated in the revolution before its ultimate victory but ended up being sentenced to 20 years in Castro’s prisons, was the independent economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, who died in Madrid. … Continue reading Continue reading
In accordance  with the new Foreign Investment Law*, workers will be engaged by an State-run employing organisation. When you factor in the fact that the only union permitted is the one representing the interests of the State, we are looking … Continue reading Continue reading
Una Noche (One Night) is the film which best reflects why it is that young people leave Cuba. That’s how a female friend of mine, who is a lover of the seventh art, laconically replied to my question, after visiting … Continue reading Continue reading
In 1953, in his self defense statement [as he appeared at his trial for the Moncada Barracks attack] History will absolve me, Fidel Castro addressed some key issues pending in our country: land reform for instance. He announced on that … Continue reading Continue reading
In a statement issued on Tuesday, February 11th, Rogelio Sierra Diaz, Cuba’s deputy foreign minister, reported that the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union (EU) had authorized the European Commission and the EU’s senior representative for foreign affairs and … Continue reading Continue reading
Alfredo Despaigne in the Caribbean Series2014. By Dimas Castellano As if what happened during the first three days of competition on Margarita Island was an exception and not a manifestation of the stagnation experienced in all spheres of Cuban society, … Continue reading Continue reading
The road to exit the crisis is clear; what is lacking is the political will to travel it. Among the partial reforms the government of Raul Castro announced was the enforcement of a timeframe for measures to eliminate the dual … Continue reading Continue reading

La editorial californiana ABC-CLIO ha puesto a la venta el libro Cuba, editado por los periodistas independientes Dimas Castellanos y Miriam Celaya, que intenta dar una "visión crítica, completa e imparcial" de la situación en la Isla.

El libro, de 596 páginas, incluye textos de analistas independientes, "periodistas ciudadanos, ciberactivistas y blogueros que viven en Cuba actualmente", indicó la editorial en su sitio en internet.

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One hundred and twenty-five years after his death on August 11, 1888, the scientific results that the eminent chemist, physiologist, agronomist, industrial technologist and science writer Alvaro Reynoso y Valdez bequeathed us are still on the waiting list.  While the … Continue reading Continue reading
The facts and news about the sport of balls and strikes, learned during the recently concluded month of July, settle the dispute between amateur and professional baseball in favor of the latter. It started with the debut of Yovani Aragón in … Continue reading Continue reading
Interview of Dimas Castellanos by Ernesto Santana Zaldivar, published on April 26 and 29, 2013 in Cubanet. Although still uttered timidly, recently you have begun to hear the word “negotiation” in some statements by the Cuban political opposition. Despite having … Continue reading Continue reading
The few expectations generated by the Ninth Congress of the Union of Journalists and Writers of Cuba ( UPEC ), held last weekend, ended in frustration. The changes that demand journalism plays an effective role in social transformations were conspicuous … Continue reading Continue reading
Dimas is second from right. Interview with Dimas Castellanos Marti, historian and journalist. From Havana, Felix Sautie Mederos Por Esto! asks: “Unravel the causes of the crisis our society finds itself in (…) The concept of race as a group … Continue reading Continue reading
This past March 23, the prize-winning essayist, critic and literary investigator Roberto Zurbano, who up until this moment functioned as the director of the Editorial Fund of Casa de las Americas, was dismissed from the position.  This measure was taken a … Continue reading Continue reading
Experience, supported by social sciences, teaches that interest is an indispensable engine for achieving goals. In the case of the economy, the ownership of the means of production and the amount of wages decisively influence the interests of producers. When … Continue reading Continue reading
In the second half of the 18th century Creole capabilities along with the effects of the English occupation of Havana and the Haitian revolution created favorable conditions for turning Cuba into a sugar powerhouse. Land owners understood the importance of … Continue reading Continue reading
The XCIII Plenary of the National Council of the Workers Central Union of Cuba (CTC) that recently met under the chairmanship of the Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), agreed to postpone the celebration of its XX Congress, … Continue reading Continue reading
Once the flag of the stripes and stars was lowered amid popular rejoicing on 20 May 1902, Generalissimo Máximo Gómez proceeded to raise the national ensign at Palace of the General Captains. “I think we have made it,” were his words … Continue reading Continue reading
Published in Curazao, issue 24 May 3, 2013 The marginality, an effect of exclusion, is a phenomenon that prevents or limits the enjoyment of certain rights. It manifests itself in all social relations, including politics. In these lines I circumscribe … Continue reading Continue reading
Published in the second edition of Cuadernos de Pensamiento Plural, April 2013. People cannot live without history. On the 160th anniversary of the birth José Martí, “the crowning figure of Cuban political thought,” his ideas, instead of being used to solve the … Continue reading Continue reading
In the expanded meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Friday May 13, the head of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment reported on the irregularities in the operation of businesses with foreign capital and international contracts; the Minister of … Continue reading Continue reading
On May 1 the government of Cuba was the subject for the second time of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a tool of the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations responsible for reviewing the obligations and commitments made … Continue reading Continue reading
New resolutions issued by the Ministry of Economy and Planning, introducing changes in economic relations, give more attention to the re-insertion of non-state forms of management. The measures, published in the Official Extraordinary Gazette, No. 4, of February 21, 2013, … Continue reading Continue reading
“Without a strong union there will be no economy,” said Salvador Valdes Mesa, vice president of the Council of State and member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) in the recently concluded plenary session of the … Continue reading Continue reading
On the 29th of October of 1897 in the pasture of La Yaya, in Sibanicú, Camagüey, the drafting of what would become the last mambí Constitution came to an end. The resulting text represented a qualitative leap forward in Cuba’s … Continue reading Continue reading