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European Union

14ymedio, Havana, 24 October 12017 – Cuba’s General Customs Office of the Republic (AGR) issued a press release Monday reminding about the rules in force regarding non-commercial imports of stoves that “use electrical resistance for their operation.” Air conditioners, washing machines and televisions are among the appliances most imported to Cuba by domestic travelers. Stoves are also among … Continue reading "Cuban Customs Limits Imports of Electric Stoves" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 18 October 2017 — The European Commission has approved a project of 700,000 euros to repair damaged houses in the municipality of Yaguajay after the passage of powerful hurricane Irma, which ravaged Cuba between 7 and 10 September. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will be responsible for reconstruction work on the ground with … Continue reading "UN And EU Allocate $826,000 To Repair Homes In Cuba Destroyed By Hurricane Irma" Continue reading
EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini Luxembourg, October 17 (RHC)-- European Union foreign ministers have reaffirmed their support for the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, saying the accord is working and is a … Continue reading
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Caracas, October 14 (RHC)-- Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has denounced the European Union and the U.S. President Donald Trump's government for ignoring the transparency of the South … Continue reading
… cooperation with the governments of Cuba and Burundi, the European Union … the outbreak of cholera. The Cuban Ambassador Carlos Trejo Sosa requested … cooperation and the possibility of Cuban assistance in humanitarian deliveries as … great relations with since the Cuban people are descendants of these … Continue reading
… Spain, Alfonso María Dastis Quecedo Havana, September 5 (RHC)-- The … María Dastis Quecedo arrived in Cuba Tuesday on a two-day official … , aimed at strengthening bilateral ties. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez visited … dialogue and cooperation agreement between Cuba and the European Union. Edited … Continue reading
14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, Havana, 15 July 2017 — The visit to Cuba by United Nations expert on Human Rights, Virginia Dandan, ended this Friday. The press conference she offered before leaving fueled expectations, after spending several days in an intense program of meetings and activities “on the ground.” In her statements, however, the official from the … Continue reading "Virginia Dandan, The Expert Who Asks No Questions" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 12 June 2107 — With a decade’s worth of fledgling but stalled attempts at reforming Cuba’s economic system, a convulsive situation in Venezuela that could have repercussions in Havana and less than eight months to go before the end of his term as president of the Council of State and Council of … Continue reading "3D Film, Raul Castro’s New Hobby / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Últimas desvergüenzas, editorial 489 11 Julio, 2017 8:00 pm por Primavera Digital en Cuba La Habana, Cuba, Redacción Hab, (PD) La dictadura militar castrista reivindicó ese poder absoluto que disfraza de “soberanía e independencia” en el tema derechos humanos para violarlos a gusto. Esta fue su respuesta, luego de la aprobación por la Eurocámara del […] Continue reading
Will Trump Open A Pandora's Box Of Litigation Over Cuban Property?
If the president fails to continue the suspension of Title III, business
relations will be disrupted far more severely and irreparably than they
would be by any regulatory change.
07/10/2017 02:34 pm ET

Long before the Departments of State, Treasury, and Commerce finish
writing the new regulations that President Trump ordered to restrict
trade and travel to Cuba, the president will face another decision on
relations with Havana that could be far more consequential for U.S.
businesses. By July 16, he will have to decide whether to continue
suspending certain provisions of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and
Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (also known as Helms-Burton, after its
sponsors).

If he allows Title III to go fully into effect, he will open the door to
as many as 200,0000 lawsuits by U.S. nationals whose property was taken
by the Cuban government after 1959.

U.S. courts would be swamped, the ability of U.S. companies to do
business on the island would be crippled, and allies abroad might
retaliate for U.S. suits brought against their companies in Cuba. The
tangle of resulting litigation would take years to unwind.

Title III allows U.S. nationals to file suit in U.S. courts against
anyone "trafficking" in their confiscated property in Cuba—that is,
anyone assuming an equity stake in it or profiting from it. The U.S.
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission has certified 5,913 claims of U.S.
nationals whose property was seized. These are the claims that Cuba and
the United States had begun to discuss during the Obama administration.

But Title III takes the unusual position of allowing naturalized Cuban
Americans who lost property to also file suit against alleged
traffickers. Normally, international law recognizes the sovereign right
of governments to dispose of the property of their own citizens.
According to the Department of State, by including Cuban Americans who
were not U.S. citizens when their property was taken, Title III creates
the potential for an estimated 75,000-200,000 claims worth "tens of
billions of dollars."

Back in 1996, angry opposition from U.S. allies Canada, Mexico, and
Western Europe, whose companies doing business in Cuba would be the
targets of Title III law suits, led President Bill Clinton to insist on
a presidential waiver provision in Title III when Congress was debating
the law. As a result, the president has the authority to suspend for six
months the right to file Title III law suits, and he can renew that
suspension indefinitely. Every six months since the Cuban Liberty and
Democratic Solidarity Act was passed, successive presidents, Democrat
and Republican alike, have continued the suspension of Title III.

If President Trump does not renew the suspension by July 16, however,
claimants will be free to file Title III law suits by the tens of
thousands. Once the suits have been filed, there will be no way to undo
the resulting legal chaos.

When the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act was passed, U.S.
allies in the Americas and Europe denounced its extraterritorial reach.
Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom passed laws prohibiting
compliance with it. The European Union filed a complaint with the World
Trade Organization, which it dropped after President Clinton suspended
Title III. In fact, the principal justification both President Clinton
and President George W. Bush offered for continuing the suspension was
the need to maintain cooperation with European allies.

If President Trump does not renew the suspension, all these old wounds
with allies will be reopened as U.S. claimants try to haul foreign
companies into U.S. courts for doing business in Cuba. We already have
enough tough issues on our agenda with Mexico, Canada, and Europe
without adding another one.

U.S. businesses would not be exempt from potential liability. A Cuban
American family in Miami claims to have owned the land on which José
Martí International Airport was built, so any U.S. carrier using the air
field could be sued under Title III. Another family that owned the Port
of Santiago could file suit against U.S. cruise ships docking there.

Moreover, it would be almost impossible for a U.S. company to know in
advance whether a proposed business opportunity in Cuba might become the
subject of Title III litigation. "This will effectively end for decades
any attempt to restore trade between the U.S. and Cuba," attorney Robert
Muse told the Tampa Bay Times.

Explaining the new trade and travel regulations that President Trump
announced on June 16, senior administration officials said they were
designed "to not disrupt existing business" that U.S. companies were
doing in Cuba. If the president fails to continue the suspension of
Title III, business relations will be disrupted far more severely and
irreparably than they would be by any regulatory change.

Source: Will Trump Open A Pandora's Box Of Litigation Over Cuban
Property? | HuffPost -
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/will-trump-open-a-pandoras-box-of-litigation-over_us_5963b584e4b09be68c005468 Continue reading
Havana, July 7 (RHC-Granma)-- The Cuban National Assembly's International … of relations between Brussels and Havana.  The Cuban parliamentarians noted that the … the Cuban statement, calling “unnecessary, inopportune” and  seeking to lecture Cuba on … Continue reading
… against Havana. But EU deputies also passed a separate resolution demanding Cuba … that move "interference in (Cuban) internal affairs." It called … " in the European Union. Cuba has been gradually opening up … ;s predecessor Barack Obama. But Cuba refuses to be lectured by … Continue reading
… between the European Union and Cuba as the continental bloc makes … 's hard-line stance against Havana. Lawmakers of the European Parliament … ;s new hard-line policy toward Havana, MEP Elena Valenciano, the rapporteur … step to normalize relations with Havana. Edited by Pavel Jacomino Continue reading
… (RHC/Prensa Latina)-- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez continues … the meeting, Bruno Rodriguez said Cuban ties with Rome have a … cultural grounds, adding that in Cuba there is 'great affection … process of improving relations between Cuba and the European Union.  He … Continue reading
Rome, June 12 (RHC)-- A two-day environmental summit of the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized nations plus the European Union and four invited countries kicked off in the Italian city of Bologna on Sunday.  The agenda set by host and G-7 president Italy … Continue reading
Havana, June 12 (RHC)-- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez met Monday in Havana with his … European Union (EU) and Cuba.  The top Cuban diplomat commended also the … Continue reading
Human Rights Violations: How to Report them? / Somos+

Somos+, 20 March 2017 — During the last session of Academia 10/10, we
were joined by renowned Prof. Moisés Rodríguez Valdés, a physicist by
profession but one with ample knowledge of human rights and civil liberties.

He is the chief spokesperson in Cuba for Corriente Martiana. Attendees
enjoyed this very valuable conference during which, among other
important topics, he explained how to formally report human rights
violations to the United Nations. The following are some of the major
points he shared with us.

Report violations of human rights you have experienced to the United
Nations.

Not doing so encourages the perpetrators' sense of impunity, even if
this is not your intention.

The process is easy and does not take much time, but the effect can be
significant if everyone follows established procedures.

We hear reports on a daily basis, through Radio Martí and other
broadcasters, as well as through digital and print media, of human
rights violations against civil society activists not formally
recognized, who are vilified and repressed and, occasionally, are
subject to unjustified physical violence.

Using the media to raise public awareness is NECESSARY, BUT IS NOT
ENOUGH. That is because UN resolution 1503 precludes the organization
from considering complaints based on press reports (see annex, UN Res.
1503).

Some complaints are forwarded to international human rights
organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International,
among others. There is nothing wrong with it, but this is also NOT
ENOUGH. UN Res. 1503 establishes that the complaint must be filed by the
victims, their representatives or organizations located in the places
where the actions were known to have occurred.

Furthermore, it is well-known that complaints by the European Union and
even the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), while
noteworthy, have proved to be inadequate in stopping systemic and
institutionalized violations depicting a persistent situation, which is
what triggers UN mechanisms.

Failure to communicate individual facts to this international
institution means to forego the one institution that can compel the
Cuban government to halt violations committed by state officials and
institutions, which essentially means State Security agents.

It is not a question of resolving individual cases but rather that out
of all the complaints made it will be possible to put members of the
Cuban government on the stand, as was done until prior to 2006, when the
Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the current UN Human Rights
Council (UNHRC).

The fact that the Cuban government has served on Council three times, or
that it is currently a member, does not preclude us from seeking redress
from that government through other channels provided we report each
violation we have personally experienced, or that others we know have
experienced, whether they are civil society activists or the population
at large.

For information on how to go about filing a complaint, we are attaching
the text of Res. 1503, which you should review prior to initiating such
communication, as well as the sample form to report violations to the
so-called special procedures.

We suggest that you begin the process by emailing your written testimony
to Corriente Martiana:

corrientemartiana2004@gmail.com

It will be reviewed and forwarded to the UN by people who have years of
experience in dealing with these matters. They will also send you
suggestions on how to format any future correspondence.

Do not fail to do so, for only in this manner will we contribute to
increase the political cost to the Cuban government for its systemic,
institutionalized violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
which keep the country in a continuous state of crisis, cause the steady
exodus of fellow countrymen and keep the citizenry mired in an effort to
survive amidst generalized fear and misery, which prevents them from
acting as legitimate citizens but rather as accomplices due to their
dependence upon the totalitarian regime imposed on our country.

Looking forward that you will carefully assess this suggestion, I remain,

Sincerely,

Moisés Leonardo Rodríguez Valdés

Human Rights Advocate

This document was prepared and distributed by Corriente Martiana, an
institution currently focused on the promotion of human rights through
face-to-face teaching, distribution of information and teaching
material, and implementing pressure strategies on decision-making
individuals.

Address: Ave. 45 # 2410 e/ 24 y 26. Cabañas, municipio Mariel, provincia
Artemisa. Cuba

Emails: corrientemartianacuba2004@gmail.com moises47@nauta.cu

Web page:
www,corrientemartianacuba.org
@cubamartiana

Mobile phone: +53 5 3351152

Annex 1

Procedure contemplated in Res. 1503, reviewed (summary of the main
points for purposes of this suggestion).

The fact that a communication is forwarded to the applicable government
and an acknowledgment of receipt is forwarded to the author thereof does
not mean any opinion as to the admissibility or merits of the
communication. When the Working Group finds that there is reasonable
evidence to the existence of a persistent sitatuon of manifest human
rights violations, the matter will be referred to the Working Group on
Situations for review. The Working Group on Situations will consist, as
before, of five members designated by regional groups, and due attention
shall be given to the rotation of its members.

The Group shall meet one month, at the latest, prior to the Commission's
meeting, in order to review particular situations referred to it by the
Working Group on Communications, and it shall subsequently decide
whether or not to refer some of those situations to the Commission.

Then, the Commission shall adopt a decision on each particular situation
brought to its attention in this manner. Confidentiality.

All initial steps of the process are confidential until a situation is
referred to the Social and Economic Council (ECOSOC). However, since
1978, the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights has disclosed the
names of those countries subject to review. Thus, if a situation of
abuses occurring in a given country are not resolved during the initial
stages of the process, it can be brought to the attention of the
international community through the ECOSOC, which is one of the main UN
bodies.

What are the admissibility criteria for a communication to be reviewed?

– No communication shall be admitted which is contrary to the principles
of the UN Charter or which displays political motivations.

– Only one communication shall be admitted if, after having reviewed it,
it is determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe –also
having taken into account all replies sent by the interested country–
that there is a persistent situation of manifest, conclusively proven
violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

– Communications may originate from individuals or groups claiming to be
victims of human rights violations or from those having first-hand,
reliable knowledge of those violations. Anonymous communications shall
be inadmissible, as well as those based on media reports.

– Each communication shall describe the events and indicate the purpose
of the petition, as well as the rights which were violated. As a general
rule, communications containing offensive terms or insulting comments
regarding the State against which a claim is made shall not be reviewed.

– In order for a communication to be reviewed all internal remedies must
have been exhausted, unless it can be convincingly proven that national
solutions would be ineffective or would take longer than reasonable
expected to be achieved.

Annex 2

THIS IS THE MOST COMMON COMMUNICATION MODEL USED, WHICH YOU MAY USE:

Communication to UN Special Procedures from CUBA.

(Read the instructions at the end prior to beginning your communication.)

i. Identification of individuals(s) victim(s):

1. Surnames:

2. Given Names:

3. Sex: M____ F____

4. Date of birth or age (at the time of being subject to the violation):

5. Citizenship(s):

6. a) Type of ID (ID from your country, passport or similar).

ID Card

b) Number:

7. Profession and/or activity (if there are grounds to believe that the
violation of rights and/or freedoms bears any relation to it(them):

8. Current address:

City: Province:

II. Identification of violation's perpetrators.

1. Date when violation occurred:

2. Place where violation occurred (please provide as many details as
possible):

3. Alleged perpetrators of violation:

4. Are perpetrators members of any official institution? Which one?

III. Please provide a detailed description of events and circumstances
under which the violation subject to the communication occurred (be
brief and concise).

IV. Indicate which rights were allegedly violated during incident
subject to the communication.

V. Identification of individual(s) or organization(s) filing the
communication:

1. Name and surnames of individual(s) or name of the organization and
representative's name:

2. a) Address of the individual or the organization's headquarters:

City: Province:

b) Email:

c) Telephone No. (landline):

d) Cell phone:

Instructions.

1. If you submit a handwritten communication, please use black or blue
ink and write legibly, preferably in block letters.

2. Your communication shall not be reviewed if you use insulting
language or political content.

3. Please limit yourself to describing the events in connection with the
incident and clearly and concisely provide only the essential details.
It is not a questions of evaluating or giving an opinion, only of
describing the facts.

4. No anonymous communications shall be accepted.

To clarify any questions, you can contact Moisés Leonardo Rodriguez at:

Avenida 45 número 2410 entre 24 y 26, Cabañas, municipio Mariel,
provincia Artemisa. CP 34100. Cuba.

Email: corrientemartiana2004@gmail.com

Let's do it! That way we will achieve a more favorable environment for
the defense of Human Rights!

P.A. Mosés Leonardo Rodríguez

Original Corriente Martiana founder.

Translated by: Anonymous

Source: Human Rights Violations: How to Report them? / Somos+ –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/human-rights-violations-how-to-report-them-somos/ Continue reading
Somos+, 20 March 2017 — During the last session of Academia 10/10, we were joined by renowned Prof. Moisés Rodríguez Valdés, a physicist by profession but one with ample knowledge of human rights and civil liberties. He is the chief spokesperson in Cuba for Corriente Martiana. Attendees enjoyed this very valuable conference during which, among other important … Continue reading "Human Rights Violations: How to Report them? / Somos+" Continue reading
Havana, June 6 (RHC)-- Foreign … Waszczykowski held talks Monday in Havana with Cuban Minister for Planning and … Cuban economy minister, the Polish diplomacy chief held talks with his Cuban … and Cooperation Agreement signed between Cuba and the European Union in … Continue reading
Iván García, 1 June 2017– The majority of the openly anti-Castro opponents I know do not live in lavish mansions nor do they possess items fashioned with the latest technology. Neither do they boast bank accounts in financial paradises and they do not own yachts or beach houses.  I don’t believe any of them know how … Continue reading "Autonomy of Cuban Dissidents Will Always Be Beneficial / Iván García" Continue reading
London, May 16 (RHC)-- A number of major banks operating in London are planning to move some 9,000 jobs out of the UK as the country prepares to leave the European Union, a new report has revealed.  A tally of job warnings since July last year, when 52 … Continue reading
… Relations between Cuba and Europe was inaugurated Monday in Havana. The European Union's Ambassador in Cuba, Herman … today's Cuban society. At the ceremony, Havana City Historian Eusebio … cooperation project run by the Havana Historian's Office. Edited … Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 9 May 2017 — Cubans have not seen the images of that lady who, armed only with her determination, stopped an armored police tank in the streets of Caracas. The official press also conceals the tears of those who have lost their children because of the repression of the those in uniform and the … Continue reading "Manipulation And Silence, Cuba’s Information Policy On Venezuela" Continue reading
Dozens Of Ladies In White Arrested On The 100th Day Of TodosMarchamos

14ymedio, Havana, 8 May 2017 – At least 38 Ladies in White were arrested
this Sunday in Havana, Matanzas, Guantanamo, Ciego de Avila and Santa
Clara, during the 100th day of the #TodosMarchamos (We All March)
campaign for the release of Cuba's political prisoners.

The leader of the group, Berta Soler, was arrested along with three
other activists outside the group's headquarters in Havana's Lawton
neighborhood. The women carried posters denouncing the harassment
against their movement, dissident Deisy Artiles told 14ymedio.

Soler was leaving the headquarters along with to Yamilet Garro, Aliuska
Gómez and Sodrelis Turruella when they were intercepted and arrested by
the police. Inside the house were Artiles, along with Ladies in White
Zenaida Hidalgo and Cecilia Guerra.

The police also detained, in the vicinity of the headquarters, the
former political prisoner Angel Moya Acosta and the activist Jose Oscar
Sánchez.

"The operation started on Friday morning," Artiles said, adding that "an
act of repudiation was carried out [against Berta Soler] at the time of
her arrest."

Dissident Ada Lopez was also arrested outside her home when she tried to
reach the headquarters of the movement. Her husband reported the arrest
and managed to photograph the moment she was taken to a police car.

In Matanzas, at least a dozen of the movement's women managed to reach
the church to attend Sunday Mass, while 19 were arrested on the way to
the parish.

"We have had an operation since Saturday in front of the houses of the
Ladies in White," said Matanzas activist Leticia Ramos Herrería.

The police "have been embroiled in trying to end our movement," says the
opponent. "The threats they are making against the activists and their
families are serious. Many are being fined for simply evading the police
cordon in front of their homes."

In the town of Palma Soriano, in Santiago de Cuba, a dozen members of
the group were arrested, while in Ciego de Avila the police violently
arrested the dissidents Lucía López Rondón and Mayden Maidique Cruz.

On Thursday, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) issued a
report in which it stated there were 1,809 arbitrary detentions in the
island during the first four months of 2017.

Throughout the month of April the organization documented 467 arbitrary
arrests, of which 335 were women and 132 were men. 147 of those arrested
were black and ten of them were "beaten brutally," according to the text.

The OCDH emphasizes that a climate of repression prevails "at a time
when the Cuban Government has achieved important international support
such as that from the European Union and the Government of Spain," and
warns that "in the coming months the political climate may be aggravated
because of the government's nervousness over the difficult economic and
social situation that Cuba is facing."

Source: Dozens Of Ladies In White Arrested On The 100th Day Of
#TodosMarchamos – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/dozens-of-ladies-in-white-arrested-on-the-100th-day-of-todosmarchamos/ Continue reading
14ymedio, 8 May 2017 – According to a report on foreign debt by Spain’s Secretary of State for the Economy and Business Support released to the newspaper El Economista, Greece and Cuba account for 60% of all foreign debt owed to Spain. According to the report, Cuba owes the Spanish State 2.07 billion euros, (about 2.27 billion dollars). The … Continue reading "Greece and Cuba Account for 60% of the Debt Owed to Spain" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 8 May 2017 – At least 38 Ladies in White were arrested this Sunday in Havana, Matanzas, Guantanamo, Ciego de Avila and Santa Clara, during the 100th day of the #TodosMarchamos (We All March) campaign for the release of Cuba’s political prisoners. The leader of the group, Berta Soler, was arrested along with … Continue reading "Dozens Of Ladies In White Arrested On The 100th Day Of #TodosMarchamos" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Penton, Miami/Havana, 4 May 2017 — The team at the Cubalex Legal Information Center and its director, attorney Laritza Diversent, have obtained political refuge in the United States following the intensification of repression against the nonprofit organization dedicated to legally advising Cubans. Diversent, told 14ymedio, from a stop at Miami International Airport this … Continue reading "Laritza Diversent and Cubalex Begin Their Life In Exile" Continue reading
Brussels, April 29 (RHC-Agencies) -- The 27 European Union (EU) countries' leaders adopted unanimously the guidelines on Brexit negotiations with Britain, European Council President Donald Tusk said Saturday. After the bloc's first summit since … Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 23 April 2017 — In the palace of the Captains General in Havana there is a throne awaiting its king. It was prepared when Cuba was still a Spanish colony and a monarch has never sat in its imposing structure. The visit of Spain’s King Felipe VI visit may end such a long wait, … Continue reading "The King, The President and The Dictator" Continue reading
Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, … country. After that meeting, the Cuban diplomatic head will be received … political dialogue and cooperation between Cuba and the European Union. Fernando … representatives of the Cuban government. Garcia Casas analyzed in Havana the state … Continue reading
Madrid, April 17 (RHC)-- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez has … on dialogue and cooperation between Cuba and the European Union.   In … , traveled to Havana and met with representatives of the Cuban government.  García Casas met with Cuban Foreign Minister … Continue reading
CUBA'S PREMIUM GAS SHORTAGE LEAVES DIPLOMATS STUCK
BY REUTERS ON 4/9/17 AT 6:40 AM

When they are not tending to international affairs, diplomats based in
Havana can be found these days stewing in interminable lines at gas
stations and concocting ways to increase the octane in fuel as Cuba's
premium gasoline shortage takes its toll.

Cuba sent around an internal memo last week advising that it would
restrict sales of high-octane, so-called "special fuel," in April. That
is not an issue for most Cuban drivers, whose vintage American cars and
Soviet-era Ladas use regular fuel.

But it is for the embassies that use modern cars whose engines could be
damaged by the fuel at most Havana gas stations. So the diplomats are
taking a leaf out of the book of Cubans, used to such shortages, and
becoming resourceful.

Given the U.S. trade embargo, Cubans have for decades had to invent new
ways to keep their cars on the road, replacing original engines with
Russian ones and using homemade parts.

"I bought octane booster, and the embassy has bought lubricants, meant
to help the motor deal with rubbish gasoline," said one north European
diplomat, who got a relative to bring the booster in his luggage given
it is unavailable in Cuba.

"At the moment we are using the car that runs on diesel, so we can
'survive'," said an Eastern European diplomat.

Cuba has not announced the measure officially yet. According to the
memo, "the special fuel remaining in stock at gas stations from April
will only be sold in cash and to tourists until the inventory is depleted."

"It's very serious. I have already suspended a trip to Santiago de Cuba
for fear of lack of gas," said one Latin American diplomat, adding that
it seemed like the problem would last. "Diplomats are very worried."

Some embassies in Havana have people scouting out which stations still
have some higher-octane fuel and are sending around regular updates to
staff. One gas station worker said they were getting small deliveries of
fuel each day still.

The embassies are also advising people to carpool or use the diplomatic
shuttle.

Meanwhile the European Union has requested from the ministry of foreign
affairs that one or more service centers be set aside for diplomats with
special gas, according to a European diplomat.

Cuba has become increasingly reliant on its socialist ally Venezuela for
refined oil products but the latter has faced its own fuel shortage in
recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the Communist-ruled island cannot easily replace subsidized
Venezuelan supplies as it is strapped for cash.

Although the memo referred to April, it is not clear how long the
shortage will last. Cubans joke that once something disappears in Cuba,
it is never to return, referring to products that have disappeared from
their ration book like cigarettes, beef and condensed milk.

The Peugeot dealership in Havana has sent its clients lists of technical
tips on how to protect their motors while using lower-grade gasoline,
including more frequent maintenance and ensuring vehicles at running at
optimum temperature before driving.

The shortage is also impacting others using modern cars such as taxi
drivers, tourists and workers at joint ventures.

Source: Cuba's Premium Gas Shortage Leaves Diplomats Stuck -
http://www.newsweek.com/cuba-premium-gas-shortage-diplomats-stuck-581066 Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 31 March 2017 — A delegation from the European Union in Cuba visited the Coexistence Study Center (CEC) in the city of Pinar del Río on Thursday. The group was headed by EU political attaché in Havana, Carlos Perez Padilla, and also included representatives from the embassies of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece … Continue reading "European Diplomats Visit The Center For Coexistence Studies In Pinar Del Río" Continue reading
14ymedio, 27 March 2017 – The Spanish airline Plus Ultra will operate regular flights between Havana and Barcelona from July 1, according to reports in Spanish media. The flights will operate once a week and will be the first to directly link both cities. As a launch promotion, round-trip tickets will cost 449 euros. Sources … Continue reading "New Airline Will Link Havana And Barcelona" Continue reading
Editorial: Holding the Repressors Accountable
DDC | Madrid | 31 de Marzo de 2017 - 04:08 CEST.

Both off and on the Island, in recent weeks several successful actions
have been taken against State-perpetrated violence.

Composed of lawyers, professors, human rights activists and political
and student leaders of several Latin American countries, a new
organization was announced: the International Commission for the
Investigation of Crimes against Humanity by the Castro Regime. Dedicated
in its first stage to documenting and investigating violations, it will
organize public hearings in various capitals and advocate for the
creation of an international tribunal to investigate these crimes.

In Havana, a delegation of the Ladies in White submitted to the Attorney
General of the Republic a detailed analysis of the repression suffered
by the women's movement from 2016 to 2017. The report was also presented
to the delegation of the European Union (EU) and the Apostolic
Nunciature, and in the next few days will be sent to the Military
Prosecutor's Office, the State Council and various embassies.

In Washington the Citizens for Racial Integration Committee provided the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with a report covering the 187
cases of human rights violations of Afro-Cuban citizens. This report
will serve as the basis for efforts by various activists in their
dealings with Cuban authorities.

Also in the US, at the University of California Irvine (UCI) School of
Law, a group of independent journalists and activists from the Island
offered the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression first-hand
information on violations of this right. The group met with teachers and
students, and advised the Special Rapporteur to insist on his request
for an authorization to visit Cuba.

Meanwhile, at its last meeting the UN Committee against Enforced
Disappearances raised objections to the official Cuban report, called
for the Island's authorities to ratify the Optional Protocol to the
Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, and to recognize the International Criminal Court. It
also pointed out the fact that the Government does not currently
recognize the legitimacy of any human rights organizations in Cuba.

All this activity comes in addition to the sustained work, on and off
the Island, by organizations such as the Cuban Commission for Human
Rights and National Reconciliation, Archivo Cuba, the Foundation for
Human Rights in Cuba, the Cuban Human Rights Observatory, and Cubalex.

It is not just a question of documenting and publicizing each of the
violations and crimes, but holding the regime's representatives and
institutions accountable for their repressive and criminal record. The
joint work by international and Cuban organizations, although not
officially recognized, serves to pressure the repressors and serve
notice that their crimes are being methodically recorded and will not go
unpunished.

In recent months State-sponsored violence against opposition activists
and independent journalists has increased, but also growing and
strengthening are means and instruments to peacefully resist such
violence, and to keep the truth about our most recent history alive.

Source: Editorial: Holding the Repressors Accountable | Diario de Cuba -
http://www.diariodecuba.com/derechos-humanos/1490926100_30042.html Continue reading
Ladies in White Report the Repression They Suffer to Attorney General

14ymedio, Havana, 2017 — The Ladies of White Yamile Garro Alfonso,
Lázara Barbara Sendilla and Maria Cristina Labrada delivered on Monday,
as representatives of the whole movement, a summary report to the
Attorney General's Office on the repression they have suffered over the
last fifteen months.

The leader of the women's group, Berta Soler, explained to 14ymedio that
the report is the same as the one presented on 23 March by Leticia Ramos
to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression,
David Kayes, on "Arbitrary detention and harassment against the family
of Ladies in White," but that it had been "updated to yesterday."

Soler detailed that the new version of the report explains how "the
Cuban regime" threatens them "all the time" with fines to keep them from
leaving the country and with imprisonment.

The leader of the movement denounced that activist Lismerys Quintana
Ávila was sent to prison on Monday in what she defined as "a rigged trial."

"They are really inventing some crimes to be able to fine us and to kill
the Ladies in White," explains Soler

"We delivered it to the Attorney General's Office, the European Union
Delegation, the mailbox of the Apostolic Nunciature and the Embassy of
the United States," said Soler. She also said that they will also "hand
it over to the Archbishop of Havana." According to the Lady in White,
the movement wants the Catholic Church to understand what is happening
to them.

"They are really inventing some crimes to be able to fine us and to kill
the Ladies in White," explains Soler, who considers the actions of the
authorities arbitrary and also denounces "what they are doing to the
families, to the children and spouses," of the activists.

He added that they plan to deliver a copy of the text, about twelve
pages, to the Military Prosecutor's Office and the State Council, as
well as to send it to the embassies of Spain and the Czech Republic by
e-mail.

She also denounced that the Ladies in White headquarters in the Lawton
neighborhood of Havana is surrounded by "an operation" that "has been
around the clock since Thursday, March 23."

Source: Ladies in White Report the Repression They Suffer to Attorney
General – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/ladies-in-white-report-the-repression-they-suffer-to-attorney-general/ Continue reading
Dead Sea, March 30 (RHC-Xinhua) -- The United Nations, European Union and leaders of Arab states said Wednesday that there was no alternative to the two-state solution in ending the decade-long conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Addressing the … Continue reading
London, March 29 (RHC-Xinhua) -- Britain has officially begun the historic process to leave the European Union (EU) as the letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May was sent to leaders of the 28-member bloc. "There is no turning back," May … Continue reading
Havana, March 27 (RHC-ACN)-- European Union ambassador to Cuba Hernan Portocarrero … weekend at the University of Havana, marking the 60th anniversary of … efficient and sustainable economy,” said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez during … the University of Havana, the EU ambassador to Cuba said that “despite … Continue reading
Brussels, March 21 (RHC-Xinhua) -- European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday announced that he will convene a summit on April 29 to approve the European Union(EU)'s guidelines on Brexit. This followed the British government's announcement … Continue reading
State of the Cruise Industry: Trump Effect, Cuba and More
by Susan Young | Mar 15, 2017 9:32am


"Demand for cruising in the last 10 years has increased 62
percent," Cindy D'Aoust, president and CEO, Cruise Lines International
Association (CLIA), told thousands attending the Seatrade Cruise Global
conference's "State of the Industry" general session at Port Everglades,
FL, on Tuesday.

Some 25.3 million ocean passengers will sail on CLIA lines in 2016, she
said, noting that more than $50 billion in new cruise ship orders are on
the books right now. That's twice as many new ship orders than what the
industry had a decade ago, emphasized D'Aoust.

What's Driving Business?

The four major cruise company executives then sat for a "State of the
Industry" discussion with reporter Susan Li of MSNBC, the session's
moderator. "What's driving business?" she asked.

"All of us have great experiences onboard our very differentiated
brands," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival
Corporation. "People love cruising, they see it as a great value and
they can't stop talking about it to all their friends and relatives and
we all do a reasonably good job of now promoting [the experience]."

"Customers are happy, the economy is doing well and we've had the Trump
effect," said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line
Holdings,who said the stock market is at an all time high.

Dio Rio continued: "We haven't had any external shocks to the system, so
all systems are go and I think all of us are seeing that in bookings and
pricing. It's going to be a good year."

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, focused on the
ability of cruising to give people the freedom to travel -- to go to
places in the world they might not go to on land.

Vago said the cruise industry's focus on safety and security makes them
feel cocooned and confident to travel: "Customers think, 'I can visit
that part of the world and I can do it in a safe mode. I can explore,
and I can 'touch' places."

From the perspective of Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean
Cruises Ltd.: "For a long time, we've really been expecting this – [a
strong surge in demand for cruise vacations] -- and in the last few
years, we've had a lot of things that retarded this, but all of a
sudden, I think the understanding of what a cruise offers, seems to have
taken hold."

He said it's almost as though someone released it from a bag. "We're
seeing it in the United States, which is a tremendous market because of
consumer confidence and the economy doing well," said Fain, but added
"actually we're [also] seeing it in Europe and Asia is just exploding."
Donald added that part of the burgeoning demand is because "we've
invested a lot to create demand." He said there's "no big correlation
between economic growth and demand. One factor? The industry is all over
the world, so it has the ability to weather any recession that hits one
region or economy.

The Trump Effect

What about the Trump effect? Li asked. "What about policies that U.S.
President Donald J. Trump's administration may take that could have an
effect on corporations, such as border taxes, corporate taxes that may
be cut?"

"It's too early to tell," said Donald. "We just have to wait to see what
the taxes are." He said his company pays taxes everywhere in the world
and operates in lots of political environments…so the industry
just has to wait for specifics of any policy changes.

Donald noted that the cruise industry pays lots of taxes that other
industries don't pay, and in some cases, there are taxes the industry
doesn't pay.
Vago emphasized that it wasn't Washington as much as Brussels [the
European Union] that was impacting the cruise industry. "From the
regulatory side, Brussels sometimes is certainly more the driver for our
industry," Vago stressed.

"One of the things that is very heartening to me…is that people do
understand the economic benefit that we all contribute to the local
society," Fain said, pointing to CLIA's release of annual numbers and a
thorough economic analysis that show the local economic impact in jobs
and other factors.
For example, Fain noted that CLIA's recent numbers show the cruise
industry is responsible for 350,000 jobs, just in the United States, and
there are many more across the globe.

"When you have that kind of economic impact, governments tend to want to
help [the industry involved]," Fain said. "While nobody can predict the
future, we have some really good reasons to believe that maybe we're not
as vulnerable than some."

Del Rio said "most businesses today recognize that the Trump
administration is a pro-business government and we're all going to
benefit from a basket of initiatives, whether it's infrastructure,
whether it's less regulations, tax reform that could put more money in
consumers' pockets, and that's good for all businesses."

Today, the industry carries 25 million people across all social/economic
levels, Deo Rio noted: "So everyone is going to benefit if it's true
that these kind of initiatives come to fruition."

"I agree we have to wait and see," he added, "but at least we're talking
about the right things and that puts a bounce in everybody's step, and
has triggered the Trump Effect."

He said the stock market is up nearly 13 percent since the beginning of
the year "and that's...great for business."

But What About Cuba?

Del Rio, a Cuban American who emigrated to the U.S. when he was seven,
is now head of a company that sails to Cuba and has publicly expressed
his delight at that development. All three of his line's brands are
sailing there this year.

So Li asked Del Rio about President Trump's potential "revisiting" of
the Cuba situation – with the potential for Trump to roll back existing
policies put in place by former President Obama allowing the cruise
industry to begin service.

"Let's hope he revisits it in a positive way," said Del Rio. "I'm all
for lifting the embargo. It's been a failed policy for 57 [or so]
years." He said that after that time frame, "you'd think someone wants
to try something new."

Del Rio continued: I salute President Obama for starting that process.
All of us are going to Cuba or have already gone. It's a major market
that could develop over time."

He noted that "Cuba has infrastructure limitations today but certainly
Cuba can be a major force in the cruise business for years to come, and
I hope the administration sees that potential. They are business oriented."

As for discussing the issue, "I think it's in the best interest always
to just bring people together," said Donald. "Who knows what the
administration is going to come up with. I have no particular insight on
that."

Donald said that as long as the Cuba policy that impacts cruise travel
isn't rolled back, "we'll continue to forge forward." He agreed with Del
Rio that the embargo being lifted would be the best policy for Americans
and for the Cuban people.

"But the powers that be will discuss that," Donald stressed. "We're just
privileged and honored to be able to sail there."

He said Cuba is a beautiful country with beautiful people and "so many
Americans want to go there."

Fain found it interesting that the cruise industry is so much in the
center of the discussion about Cuba, and says it demonstrates the
industry's advantage: "Nobody's talking about, 'oh, this is great for
the hotel industry.' Nobody is talking about, 'oh, this is great for the
airline industry.'"

Cruising offers an opportunity to visit ports of call or places that
would be a little more difficult to visit, said Fain. Even though Cuba
is a fairly insignificant part of any cruise line's business right now,
"I think it says something about one of the great attributes of
cruising, which is that we bring that infrastructure with us."

China Potential

Li asked if the administration would opt to label China a currency
manipulator, what effect that would have? Doesn't that hurt businesses
that do business in China?

"China one day – it's inevitable -- will be the largest cruise market in
the world," said Donald. Probably, larger than the entire cruise
industry is today and it's just sheer numbers of people."

He added that the China market will take a long time to develop, the
industry has to build ships to serve it, and there isn't enough shipyard
capacity to make it happen in a short time frame.

"But for us again, we're in the business of travel and we can connect
people," said Donald, adding that currency manipulation as a topic for
cruise leaders to weigh in on, "is kind of beyond us."

Vago emphasized that "our assets are movable," referring to the ability
of ships to be moved to markets, based on global conditions. "The world
is the oyster," he said, pointing to the industry's three percent market
penetration, which reveals great potential.

Whether executives are talking about China or Cuba, Vago said it's
important to remember that the cruise industry's assets can move as
needed. Still, he's excited about the potential for those markets and
others across the globe.

Source: State of the Cruise Industry: Trump Effect, Cuba and More |
Travel Agent Central -
http://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/state-cruise-industry-trump-effect-cuba-and-more Continue reading
Havana, February 28 (RHC)-- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez met Monday in Havana with the … his meeting with the top Cuban diplomat, the Spanish foreign affairs … state of bilateral relations between Cuba and the European Union (EU … Continue reading
Oswaldo Payá Award Ceremony Is Absent The Winners / 14ymedio, EFE

14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 22 February 2017 — The presentation of the Oswaldo
Payá "Freedom and Life" Prize has led to a diplomatic conflict, after
the Cuban government vetoed the entry into the country of three of the
guests: OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, Former Mexican President
Felipe Calderón, and Mariana Aylwin.

Almagro, Calderón and Chilean delegate Mariana Aylwin were unable to
travel to the Caribbean country on Tuesday to participate in the event
called by the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, chaired by
Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá,
which the Cuban government Cuban has labeled a "provocation."

Around Payá's house, in the Havana municipality of Cerro, a police
operation deployed in the early hours of the day prevented activists
from reaching the home. From Manila Park, near the house, State Security
agents dressed in civilian clothes demanded documentation from any
dissident or independent journalists who approached.

Payá told this newspaper that her phone had been "out of service" in the
afternoon although "in the morning it worked." The ceremony was attended
by seven activists who had spent the night in the house "plus another 20
people who where able to reach it," said the dissident. Among them was
the head of the political-economic section of the US Embassy in Cuba,
Dana Brown, as well as diplomatic representatives from Sweden and the
Czech Republic.

Payá said that the award ceremony had been surrounded by a lot of
repression on the part of the regime, Cuban State Security and the
Foreign Ministry." She condemned the reprisals "suffered by civil
society members who wanted to participate in the ceremony, resulting in
many of them being arrested and others prevented from leaving their homes."

All of the leaders of the opposition groups on the island "were
invited," Payá told this newspaper. "There are some with whom we have
lost communication over the last few days because of everything that is
happening, and others who are not in the country and others who couldn't
get here."

"We hope that this aggression, this rudeness, will find a response and a
reaction in all the governments belonging to the Organization of
American States (OAS), in all the governments of our region and also in
the European Union," said Rosa María Payá.

Luis Almargo tweeted: Our interest: To facilitate #Cuba's approach to
Interamerican values/principles and to expand the country's achievements
in science, health and education.

The Chilean and Mexican Chancelleries regretted the decision of
Cuba, and Chile announced that it will call its ambassador on the island
for consultations.

Meanwhile, the only official response from Cuba has come from the
Cuban embassy in Chile, which issued a communication referring to the
matter as "a grave international provocation against the Cuban
government," with the aim of "generating internal instability" and
affecting Cuba's diplomatic relations with other countries.

According to this note, the act was created "by an illegal anti-Cuban
group that acts against constitutional order and that arouses the
repudiation of the people, with the collusion and financing of
politicians and foreign institutions."

The ceremony finally took place without the presence of the
international guests. "The chairs will remain empty" until the awardees
"can land in Havana" to pick them up in person, assured Rosa María
Payá. Other Cuban guests were prevented from leaving their homes or
arrested on the road.

Independent journalists Henry Constantin Ferreiro and Sol García Basulto
were detained in the airport of Camagüey at the moment that they tried
to board a flight towards the capital.

Constantín Ferreiro is vice-president of the Inter-American Press
Association for Cuba and remains in custody without his parents being
able to see him or provide him with personal hygiene supplies, according
to his father.

Havana's decision not to authorize the arrival of the head of the OAS
was known after a night of uncertainty in which it was not clear whether
Almagro had traveled to the Cuban capital, where he initially planned to
fly from Paris, where he had participated in institutional activities
yesterday. Rosa María Paya today called on the OAS to support the right
of the Cuban people to decide on their destiny.

"To the point that Cuba is democratizing, all democracies in Latin
America will also gain stability," said the opposition leader, who hoped
that "today is the beginning of an OAS commitment to the cause of rights
and freedom in Cuba."

She pointed out that they do not expect the OAS to "speak out against
anyone," but instead to put itself "on the side of all Cuban citizens in
their right to begin a transition process."

Source: Oswaldo Payá Award Ceremony Is Absent The Winners / 14ymedio,
EFE – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/oswaldo-paya-award-ceremony-is-absent-the-winners-14ymedio-efe/ Continue reading
14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 22 February 2017 — The presentation of the Oswaldo Payá “Freedom and Life” Prize has led to a diplomatic conflict, after the Cuban government vetoed the entry into the country of three of the guests: OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and Mariana Aylwin. Almagro, Calderón and Chilean delegate Mariana … Continue reading "Oswaldo Payá Award Ceremony Is Absent The Winners / 14ymedio, EFE" Continue reading
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini Brussels, February 16 (RHC)-- European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has warned that the current polarization and division in the US may result in destabilizing the rest of the world.  … Continue reading