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Ernesto Perez Chang

Cubanet, Ernesto Perez Chang, Havana, 9 November 2016 – The elections in the United States, with the victory of the Republican Donald Trump and the defeat of the Democrat Hillary Clinton, contrary to the predictions of most polls, has captured the attention of the world’s public opinion in recent hours due to the decisive nature … Continue reading "Opponents of the Cuban Regime React to the Election of Trump / Cubanet, Ernesto Perez Chang" Continue reading
We have to wonder how much the Cuban government invests in restricting this essential information tool in our time, blocking it and even minimizing the “harmful effects” of its free and generalized use Cubanet.org, Ernesto Perez Chang, Havana, 24 April … Continue reading Continue reading
El escritor Ernesto Pérez Chang reconoce los riesgos que implica el periodismo independiente y asegura que no hay marcha atrás en su decisión Continue reading
[1] [2]Cubanet, Ernesto Perez Chang, Havana, 9 April 2015 – The discussion parallel to the Panama Summit (Summit of the Americas) lacks the presence of Antonio G. Rodiles, because the Cuban government, very "opportunistically," has retained his passport.A recognized opposition activist and director of the Estado de Sats (State of Sats) civic project, this talkative, jovial, controversial man who was young athlete, doctor of science and professor at prestigious universities in the United States, one day decided to leave the comfort of academic life to return to Cuba and challenge the regime, building, in his own home, a space for public debate as an alternative to the stagnation that affects Cuban society.The announcement of the conversations between the governments of the Cuba and the United States has generated different positions among the Cuban dissidence. The opinions of Antonio G. Rodiles in a certain way deviate from those of the rest of the opponents, calling attention to those things that should be paramount at the dialog table where many do not feel represented.“From my point of view,” warns Rodiles, “is very illogical to accept a path where there is no clear request to the regime in Havana. We all know that the principal objective of the regime is to maintain itself in power. They cannot maintain it much longer because this elite is going to die of natural causes and clearly they are working for the transfer of power to their family. (…)"If the international community (…) allows them to make this transition without asking anything in return it is going to be happiness for them, and anguish for us Cubans (…). Our position has been made clear against a political process, we are peaceful fighters and we believe the solution for Cuba has to be a peaceful and a political one but this must be through a clearly defined process, there must be transparency, which was not what happened (…)."It is clear that in a negotiation process not everything is going to be said, not all points are going to be put on the table, but at least the line and the logic of what you want to accomplish should be, and so far we have not seen that Cubans’ civil and political rights are the end point of this conversation, and this is what overwhelmingly concerns us.”Although the constant dedication of the Estado de Sats project consumes a great part of his social and family life, Antonio G. Rodiles – who affirms that he grew up “hearing the Voice of America and Radio Marti,” and without hearing “that Fidel and Raul Castro were heroes,” despite being the nephew of one of Raul Castro’s trusted confidants – agreed to meet with us, for hours, to talk about what we wanted to know about his past, his obsessions, his personal perspectives on a democratic future, and even his daily life, shaped by a sense of commitment to his ideas and with respect for dialogue, qualities that have made him a true leader for a good part of the opposition within and outside Cuba.Video below is in Spanish[embed]https://youtu.be/z9O4mPLu-fA[/embed][1] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Screen-Shot-2015-04-09-at-12.26.11-PM.png [2] http://www.cubanet.org Continue reading
En un ambiente de tensiones he tenido que desarrollar mi trabajo intelectual y mi vida familiar en los últimos meses Continue reading
“La cocina de los chinos en Cuba. Recetario familiar” va mucho más allá de lo que indica el título, para convertirse en un homenaje a todas las familias de descendientes de chinos Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_38565" align="aligncenter" width="550"] [1] Photo by author[/caption][2]Cubanet, Ernesto Perez Chang, Havana, 7 February 2015 -- More than a decade has passed since the first big purchase of busses from China and Russia was made in order to ameliorate the transportation problem in Cuba, and no improvement is in sight. Contrary to what was promised then, moving from one point to another becomes each day a greater agony for low-income citizens.Although officials from the Ministry of Transportation continue blaming the economic embargo and the world crisis for all the difficulties they face, it is well known that there are other phenomena, many of them related to corruption.In that sense, it is not surprising to encounter silence in the official media and in the statements by some officials in which they try to hide the million-dollar embezzlements that the importing and transportation companies must confront every year such that what is invested on one side passes to the pockets of a few on the other.Besides the negative figures supplied by Ricardo Chacon, Director of International Relations for the Ministry of Transportation (MITRANS), in the press conference held in 2014 in order to “denounce the embargo,” there were other data missing about the damages caused to the Cuban economy by the frauds and thefts committed by some of the senior leaders of strategic enterprises related to transportation.According to what we could learn through an official from Havana’s Provincial Transportation Department, who for obvious reasons has asked our discretion as far as his identity, a great part of the economic losses that were suffered last year, as in years before, is due to the chaos and the embezzlement of great sums of money by senior leaders of enterprises like Transimport, whose director, Jesus Jose de Hombre, was arrested some months ago and is under investigation for an act of corruption that also involves the director of the company Autopartes, tied to the illicit sale of thousands of engines that were intended for public transportation.[caption id="attachment_38567" align="alignleft" width="300"] [3] Alternative transportation in Lido, Marianao -- The people ride in the backs of trucks[/caption]On the streets of Cuba it is common knowledge that the black market for parts and vehicles, as well as for all services related to the field, is supplied by a network of corruption that reaches the highest levels in government institutions. The inability to honestly administer all these enterprises that function as true mafias is obvious when the constant resignations by officials are taken into account, the frequent changes of high managers as well as of the ministers and vice-ministers related directly or indirectly to transportation but, also, when it is revealed to us the exaggerated price of a vacant position in any of the warehouses or offices related to the sale or import of automobiles and auto parts.[caption id="attachment_38569" align="alignright" width="300"] [4] The lines for the bus[/caption]A worker – whom we do not identify for his safety – for one of the warehouses of the Gaviota enterprise group, in the capital, tells us about this particular:“The job as assistant to the Warehouse Chief goes for a thousand dollars and those that have to do with marketing also are “nibbling close.” There are people here who have entered on the bus and left in a Hyundai. They enter without a peso in their pockets because of what they had they spent on buying the job but later they get twenty times what they invested. Here I have seen new cars being removed, just arrived through the port. Later old cars are put out to rent, as if they were the new ones.”All of the old trucks and cars that circulate through the city, above all those dedicated to the particular business of transportation, are known to get their spare parts in mechanisms of the dark market due to the absence of legal providers. It might seem like a miracle that cars in use for more than half a century still continue rolling on the country’s highways but a glance inside of any of them would dispel such amazement.The driver of an almendron (a 1950s American car for hire) says about the expenses that keeping those vehicles functioning implies that necessity has become part of the urban profile.“You have to go out and look for all the parts. As there are none, they stab you with the prices. If you want to have it running at least eight hours, so that the business pays you, you know that in a year or two you are going to have to "re-motorize yourself." Every week you have to give it maintenance so that it doesn’t die and adapt all kinds of parts. And none of it is legal, they all require papers and you pay this and that and the other so that everything comes out okay. Everyone who has a car rolling on the street has to make an arrangement if you don’t want to forget about the car. The State requires you to go to the black market because it doesn’t give you anything. They know what they are doing and they have seen a windfall in that. He who makes the law makes the trap.”[caption id="attachment_38568" align="alignleft" width="300"] [5] Alternatives in the transportation crisis (photo by author)[/caption]Even though for the foreign visitor it could all work wonderfully – given that they travel the best routes of the country in comfortable panoramic buses and not in horse drawn carriages or unsafe trucks like those at the Lido terminal in Mariano – the transportation outlook on the island is quite grim. There is no way to break that cycle of corruption that the government itself has created and not because of inability or innocence. So many years committing the same mistakes only points to something quite high, at the head of the State, someone knows how to finish that infallible refrain that seems the slogan of every social project: There’s good fishing in troubled waters.About the author:[6]Ernesto Pérez Chang (El Cerro, Havana, June 15, 1971) Writer. Graduate of Philology from the University of Havana. He studied Galician Language and Culture at the University of Santiago de Compostela. He has published these novels: Your Eyes Face Nothing (2006) and Alicia Under Her Own Shadow (2012). At the end of this year the outlet Silueta in Miami will publish his most recent novel, Food. He is also the author of books of stories: Last Pictures of Mama Nude (2000); The Ghosts of Sade (2002); Stories From Headquarters (2003); Variations on the Illiterate (2007), The Art Of Dying Alone (2011) and One Hundred Lethal Stories (2014). His narrative work has been recognized with the prizes: David de Cuento, the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), in 1999; Gazette Story Prize of Cuba on two occasions, 1998 and 2008; Julio Cortazar Latin American Story Prize in its first call in 2002; National Critic’s Prize in 2007, Alejo Carpentier Story Prize in 2011, among others. He has worked as editor for numerous Cuban cultural institutions such as the House of the Americas (1997-2008), Art and Literature Editorial, the Center for Research and Development of Cuban Music. He was Editor in Chief of the magazine Union (2008-2011).Translated by MLK[1] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/transporte-1.jpg [2] http://www.cubanet.org [3] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Transporte-alternativo-en-el-Lido-Marianao.-Foto-P.-Chang.jpg [4] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/transporte-2.jpg [5] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Alternativas-ante-la-crisis-del-transporte.-Foto-P.-Chang.jpg [6] http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/perez-chang-448.thumbnail.jpg Continue reading