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Fidel Castro

Así lo cree el excanciller mexicano Jorge Castañeda Continue reading
Countdown begins for Raúl Castro's retirement next year
BY MIMI WHITEFIELD AND NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
mwhitefield@miamiherald.com

A year from now — on February 24 — something is expected to occur in
Cuba that hasn't happened in more than 40 years: a non-Castro will
occupy the presidency.

The coming year will be one of definitions in Cuba. But right now there
is only uncertainty — not only about how the transition will proceed but
also about the future of Cuba's relationship with the United States with
President Donald Trump at the helm.

In 2013, Raúl Castro told Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power,
the parliament, that he planned to retire from the presidency of the
Council of State and the Council of Ministers on Feb. 24, 2018. His heir
apparent became Miguel Díaz-Canel, a party stalwart who at the time was
promoted to first vice president of both councils.

When Castro retires as president, the Cuban Constitution also calls for
him to relinquish his post of commander in chief of Cuba's armed forces.
A Cuba without a khaki-clad Castro commanding the Revolutionary Armed
Forces is something many younger Cubans have never experienced.

Díaz-Canel's ascension next Feb. 24 — a date that has long had resonance
in Cuba history — is not assured, but most observers believe that a new
National Assembly that will be seated then will rubber stamp him as
Cuba's next president and he will replace the 85-year-old Castro.

Even with a successor, Castro is still expected to retain consider
clout. He has said nothing about stepping down as chief of Cuba's
powerful Communist Party and Cuba's military leaders are solid Raúlistas.

The power-behind-the-throne is not an unknown formula in Cuba. From 1959
to 1976, Osvaldo Dorticós formally served as president of the republic,
even though the true power was wielded by the late Fidel Castro, who was
then prime minister. From 1976, the posts associated with the presidency
have been occupied first by Fidel and then by Raúl Castro, who took over
on a provisional basis in 2006 when Fidel fell ill and then officially
in 2008.

Díaz-Canel represents a break from the revolutionary old guard and the
passing of the torch to a new generation of leaders. At age 56, he
wasn't even born when the revolution triumphed.

But there is also a school of thought that if Cuba's relationship with
the Trump administration goes badly, or if Trump yanks back most or all
of the changes under the Obama administration, it will provide a reason
for Castro to extend his tenure as president or at least to hang on to
his post as head of Cuba's Communist Party indefinitely.

"A lot of people in Havana are saying that if Mr. Trump and company
return to confrontational policies, backtracking on everything that was
done by Obama or most of it, the situation in Cuba would be to say,
'Let's circle the wagons,'" said Domingo Amuchastegui, a former Cuban
intelligence analyst who now lives in Miami.

"In the middle and older generations there was the feeling that Raúl
should not step down until the new administration comes to terms with
the normalization process or that if he steps down, he should stay as
first secretary of the party," said Amuchastegui, who spent the month of
December in Cuba. "What I found every day I was there were conversations
about what the new president [Trump] is going to do, will he be moving
back or going forward on normalization."

Cuba's Communist Party generally convenes a Congress every five years,
meaning it could be 2021 before a new party chieftain is named —
although a change could occur at any time if Castro decides to retire
from his party post.

At last year's party congress, Díaz-Canel wasn't promoted to second
secretary as some had anticipated. Instead, Castro's second in command
remained octogenarian, José Ramón Machado Ventura. If he succeeds Castro
as party chieftain, it wouldn't do much to promote the idea that space
is opening for new Cuban leaders or that, in Castro's words, a
"rejuvenation" is taking place. The 86-year-old Machado Ventura. joined
the revolutionary movement in 1952 when he was still a medical student
and fought alongside the Castros in the Sierra Maestra.

"If Cubans believe that [Castro] and his aging cohort of 1960s
revolutionaries remain the real power behind the throne, that would
suffocate and delegitimize the emerging, younger generation of leaders,"
said Richard Feinberg, a professor of international political economy at
the University of California, San Diego.

But Antonio Rodiles, a member of the opposition movement, fears that is
exactly what will happen.

"Power is going to continue as it is now in the hands of the military
and the heir clearly is Alejandro Castro Espín (son of Raúl Castro, a
colonel in the Interior Ministry, and a national security adviser),"
Rodiles said, "No doubt about it, Díaz-Canel would fulfill a function
similar to that carried out by Osvaldo Dorticós."

Feinberg said that managing U.S.-Cuba relations, once the White House
sets its course, will be less important in the next year "than managing
the historic transition to a post-Castro era on the island."

Rodiles, on the other hand, thinks the Trump presidency could
significantly alter succession plans on the island, especially if the
intention is to have Castro Espín as "the person behind the scenes who
is at the controls."

At this point, Díaz-Canel is still in the shadow of Raúl Castro.

"Cuba is a country that has been governed by a strong-man system," said
Arturo López-Levy, a lecturer at the University of Texas Rio Grande
Valley, former analyst with Cuban intelligence and cousin of a Castro
son-in-law in charge of military-owned companies on the island. "At
least I would have expected Raúl to give him more authority by now."

A review of Díaz-Canel's recent appearances on the front page of Granma,
the official newspaper of Cuba's Communist Party, shows him taking part
in local education, literacy and journalism events while Castro has
received a delegation from Iran and the president of Ireland. And it was
Machado Ventura who recently welcomed a communist leader from Vietnam.

Still, López-Levy said Díaz-Canel appears to be "the right candidate for
the job. He's well-traveled, experienced in leadership in the party, has
been a provincial leader, has good connections with the military. He
sounds good on paper, but at this point he looks too weak to be taking
on such an important role."

It is still Castro who makes the major pronouncements, including
recently extending an olive branch to the Trump administration, saying
he wants to pursue a "respectful dialogue."

The official media also is treading lightly when it comes to Trump. "You
have to notice how cautious and how much discretion the Cuban media is
taking when dealing with the new administration," said Amuchastegui.

Key to watch in the coming year is whether Díaz-Canel begins to play
more of a role in the relationship with Cuba's benefactor Venezuela and
in U.S.-Cuba relations once Trump policy toward the island is defined.

Some observers say in his last year in the presidency, they expect
Castro to concentrate on two things: taking further steps to unify
Cuba's unwieldy dual currency system and managing the relationship with
the U.S. The other pending reforms he will leave to Díaz-Canel.

"Raúl will have to concentrate on managing an economic recession at a
delicate moment of rising expectations, and most importantly, preparing
the terrain for the post-Castro era and a new generation of younger
leaders," said Feinberg. He "will struggle to maintain some degree of
systemic unity within the increasingly fractious ruling Communist Party
while allowing the new leadership sufficient room for maneuver, to set a
clearer vision for Cuba's future — a new more defined economic model, a
new social contract that preserves" revolutionary gains but allows "new,
more decentralized political arrangements."

There are several important economic challenges beyond uniting the
currency: trying to raise salaries, stimulating growth, managing the
relationship with Venezuela, which is in a financial free fall, and
trying to boost foreign investment.

Most are inter-related and may be difficult for Castro to take on over
the next year because of the complexity of Cuba's current economic
problems, said Carmelo Mesa-Lago, professor emeritus of economics at the
University of Pittsburgh.

While Castro has more political clout to undertake tough economic
reforms than a successor, "the timing is not good," he said.

"This is a very complicated moment in Cuba," said Enrique López Oliva, a
retired University of Havana professor. "People are disoriented. They
aren't sure what they should do. There's lack of clarity on what the
transition will bring as well as what the ongoing relationship with the
United States will be.

"If Trump tries to bring change in Cuba by pressure or by forcing it,"
said López Oliva, "all it does is reinforce the intransigent sectors
that don't want change."

Mimi Whitefield on Twitter: @HeraldMimi

CUBA PRESIDENTS SINCE 1955
2008-present: Raúl Castro (acting president 2006-2008)

1976-2008: Fidel Castro

1959-1976: Osvaldo Dorticós

1959-1959: Manuel Urrutia

1955-1959: Fulgencio Batista

FEBRUARY 24 IN CUBAN HISTORY
▪ Feb. 24, 2013: Cuba's National Assembly elected Raúl Castro to his
second term as president of Cuba.

▪ Feb. 24, 2008: Fidel Castro officially retired as president, although
illness prompted him to cede power to his brother Raúl in 2006.

▪ Feb. 24, 1996: Two U.S. civilian aircraft were shot down by aircraft
operated by the Cuban armed forces. Four South Florida men were killed.

▪ Feb. 24, 1976: The Republic of Cuba adopted its constitution.

▪ Feb. 24, 1895: The beginning of Cuba's War of Independence.

SOURCE: U.S.-CUBA TRADE AND ECONOMIC COUNCIL

Source: Countdown begins a year out from Raúl Castro's retirement |
Miami Herald -
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article134121954.html Continue reading
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Arroyo Naranjo, La Habana, Luis Cino, (PD) Es muy interesante un trabajo de Pedro Monreal González aparecido el pasado 8 de febrero en Cuba Posible con el título “¿Estamos teniendo en Cuba una conversación equivocada sobre la desigualdad?” No hay que hacer grandes análisis académicos, disponer de indicadores confiables sobre la distribución del ingreso y de la riqueza, recurrir a los índices Gini y Palma ni mucho menos esperar por el improbable reconocimiento oficial del problema, para afirmar que a […] Continue reading

(con información de EFE).- Amnistía Internacional denuncia un mayor "hostigamiento" a los críticos con el régimen cubano pese a la "supuesta apertura política" y el restablecimiento de las relaciones con EE UU en su informe de 2016. La organización, que ha hecho públicos este miércoles los documentos relativos a cada país y región del mundo, destaca la violencia y las desigualdades constantes en América.

"A pesar de las afirmaciones de apertura política", la sociedad civil y los grupos de oposición "denunciaron un aumento del hostigamiento a quienes criticaban al Gobierno", aseveró la organización.

AI constató que en Cuba persistieron en 2016 la retórica de la guerra fría, el control político del sistema judicial, las restricciones a Internet y a la libertad de expresión y el acoso a las personas críticas con el Gobierno.

Estas fueron "sometidas de forma habitual a arrestos arbitrarios y breves periodos de detención por ejercer su derecho a la libertad de expresión, asociación, reunión y circulación", dijo AI.

"Las autoridades jugaban al 'gato y al ratón' arrestando y recluyendo reiteradamente a activistas -a menudo varias veces al mes- durante periodos de entre 8 y 30 horas y liberándolos posteriormente sin cargos", explicó.

[[QUOTE:Persistieron en 2016 la retórica de la guerra fría, el control político del sistema judicial, las restricciones a Internet y a la libertad de expresión y el acoso a las personas críticas con el Gobierno]]"Con frecuencia no se presentaban cargos contra las personas recluidas en 'prisión provisional' durante periodos más largos, y sus familiares raras veces recibían" explicación sobre las razones de la detención, agregó.

El informe de AI cita cálculos de la Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional, según la cual hubo una media mensual de 862 detenciones arbitrarias entre enero y noviembre del año pasado en la Isla.

Entre ellas menciona la del grafitero disidente Danilo Maldonado El Sexto, arrestado horas después de conocerse la muerte del líder cubano Fidel Castro el 26 de noviembre.

Amnistía Internacional constató que Cuba es el único país de América que le niega acceso, como tampoco permite el de los relatores especiales de la ONU u otros representantes de organizaciones de derechos humanos. Tampoco ha suscrito una serie de pactos internacionales de derechos fundamentales ni reconocido la competencia de organismos de las Naciones Unidas como el Comité contra la Tortura o el Comité contra la Desaparición Forzada.

Las Américas fueron una vez más, en 2016, una de las regiones más violentas y desiguales del mundo, pese al discurso sobre democracia y progreso económico y la esperanza de que terminara en Colombia el último conflicto armado del continente. En el informe regional se afirma que la crisis de los Derechos Humanos se aceleró por una tendencia al aumento de los obstáculos y las restricciones a la justicia y a las libertades fundamentales.

El año pasado estuvo marcado por "una retórica contraria a los derechos, racista y discriminatoria" en la región y una muestra de ello, añade el informe, fue la elección de Donald Trump como presidente de EE UU, lo que "suscitó honda preocupación" por el futuro compromiso estadounidense con los derechos humanos.

[[QUOTE:El año pasado estuvo marcado por "una retórica contraria a los derechos, racista y discriminatoria" en la región y una muestra de ello, añade el informe, fue la elección de Donald Trump como presidente de EE UU]]"Las oleadas de represión se tornaron cada vez más visibles y violentas; con frecuencia, los Estados hicieron un uso indebido de los sistemas judiciales y de los aparatos de seguridad para responder a la disidencia y al creciente descontento de la ciudadanía, y aplastarlos de modo implacable", denuncia AI.

El incumplimiento de los derechos también quedó patente en la amplia brecha de desigualdad sustentada por la corrupción y la falta de rendición de cuentas, afirma.

Las deficiencias de los sistemas de justicia elevaron los niveles de violencia, con países como Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, México y Venezuela con las tasas de homicidio más altas de mundo.

El Triágulo Norte de Centroamérica (El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras) era uno de los lugares más violentos del mundo; allí se mataba a más personas que en la mayoría de las zonas de conflicto del planeta. "La violencia de género, muy extendida, seguía siendo -afirma- uno de los fracasos más deplorables de los Estados en las Américas".

En octubre, la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (Cepal) reveló que en la región eran asesinadas diariamente 12 mujeres y niñas por motivos de género.

En toda la región, las personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transgénero e intersexuales (LGBTI) hicieron frente a índices de violencia y discriminación aún más elevados.

Amnistía subraya que la inacción de los Estados permitió que las multinacionales tuvieran cada vez más peso, especialmente las de los sectores extractivos, lo que afecta principalmente a los pueblos indígenas.

"La represión política, la discriminación, la violencia y la pobreza fueron el motor de otra crisis humanitaria cada vez más profunda, aunque en gran medida olvidada", alerta.

[[QUOTE:Cientos de miles de personas refugiadas se vieron obligadas a huir de sus hogares para buscar protección, a menudo corriendo el peligro de sufrir nuevos abusos]]Cientos de miles de personas refugiadas - mayoritariamente provenientes de Centroamérica- se vieron obligadas a huir de sus hogares para buscar protección, a menudo corriendo el peligro de sufrir nuevos abusos contra sus derechos humanos y arriesgando la vida, según el informe.

Muchos gobiernos demostraron una intolerancia cada vez mayor a las críticas, dedicándose a acallar la disidencia y amordazar la libertad de expresión.

El informe crítica la negativa de México a reconocer la crisis de derechos humanos del país (denuncias de desaparición de casi 30.000 personas, miles de muertos por operaciones de seguridad, miles más de desplazados por la violencia), una actitud similar a la de Venezuela.

En este último país, el Gobierno negó la existencia de una grave crisis humanitaria y económica, hubo un rápido aumento de la delincuencia y constantes violaciones de derechos humanos, y las autoridades silenciaron a la disidencia.

El informe destaca la ratificación por parte del Congreso colombiano del acuerdo de paz con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), que puso fin a un conflicto armado de 50 años.

Amnistía considera "extremadamente peligroso" defender los derechos humanos en muchos países americanos, y denuncia que "corrieron especial peligro de sufrir represalias" quienes se oponían a proyectos de desarrollo en gran escala y a las empresas multinacionales. Entre ellos, recuerda el asesinato en marzo de 2016 de la lideresa indígena hondureña Berta Cáceres, y asegura que Honduras y Guatemala eran los países más peligrosos del mundo para los defensores de la tierra, el territorio y el medio ambiente.

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Desde sus inicios, el régimen castrista se ha ocupado de distorsionar a su favor la historia de la insurrección Continue reading

Esta Feria del Libro de La Habana 2017 trajo entre sus novedades que el apologista de la Teología de la Liberación, Frei Betto, escribió un nuevo libro, Paraíso perdido. Viajes por el mundo socialista, y que además publicaron otro sobre su figura, Frei Betto: una biografía, prologado nada más y nada menos que por el difunto líder de la involución cubana.

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14ymedio, Havana, 21 February 2017 – The Cuban government has mobilized in the last hours to prevent several guests from arriving in Havana to attend to Oswaldo Paya Award ceremony, scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, at 11:00 am. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been the most recent to make public that Cuban immigration authorities did … Continue reading "Cuban Government Blocks Several Guests From Entering Cuba For The Oswaldo Payá Award / 14ymedio" Continue reading

(EFE).- Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) se convirtió este martes en el primer presidente o expresidente de México al que las autoridades migratorias de Cuba prohíben entrar a la Isla, un hito "histórico" que responde al parecer a una represalia por sus contactos con los grupos de disidentes cubanos.

"No hay un antecedente de que el Gobierno cubano le haya negado el acceso a su país a ningún presidente mexicano; incluso ha habido expresidentes que son muy bien tratados en la Isla", como Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994), afirmó a Efe el analista político Salvador García Soto.

El servicio migratorio cubano impidió hoy al expresidente abordar un avión rumbo a la Isla para asistir a un homenaje al disidente Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012).

También este martes la exministra chilena de Educación Mariana Aylwin denunció que el Gobierno cubano le prohibió la entrada al país.

Estaba previsto que Aylwin recibiera mañana un premio concedido de forma póstuma a su padre, el expresidente de Chile Patricio Aylwin, por la fundación que preside Rosa María Payá, hija del disidente cubano fallecido hace cinco años.[[QUOTE:El conservador Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), de Calderón, expresó un apoyo más enérgico al exmandatario]]A través de su cuenta de Twitter, la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) mexicana indicó que "lamenta la decisión del Gobierno de Cuba de no autorizar la visita a La Habana del expresidente Felipe Calderón".

El titular de la SRE, Luis Videgaray, agregó en la misma red social: "La presencia de Felipe Calderón en Cuba no representa ninguna afectación para el pueblo y Gobierno cubanos. Lamentamos la decisión".

El conservador Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), de Calderón, expresó un apoyo más enérgico al exmandatario y su grupo parlamentario informó que solicitará a la Cancillería que emita una "nota diplomática de extrañamiento a la República de Cuba".

"Reprobamos lo que está ocurriendo; es muy lamentable que a estas alturas del partido pasen estas cosas, cuando todos nos hemos pronunciado porque se respeten las libertades, la democracia y los derechos humanos", indicó la senadora Mariana Gómez del Campo en una conferencia de prensa.

Por otra parte, la directora de Amnistía Internacional para las Américas, Erika Guevara Rosas, dijo que no le "sorprende" el veto, y más cuando el acto al que iba a asistir Calderón "se trataba de un homenaje a un muy reconocido defensor de derechos humanos que ha perdido la vida en esa lucha por la defensa y el activismo".[[QUOTE:La directora de Amnistía Internacional para las Américas, Erika Guevara Rosas, dijo que no le "sorprende" el veto]]Guevara denunció que en la Isla sigue dándose un "sistema represivo" que ataca las voces disidentes, aunque ahora las tácticas de este mecanismo han cambiado y, por ejemplo, se ejecutan acciones como "detenciones arbitrarias de corto plazo".

García Soto recuerda que "los Gobiernos del Partido Acción Nacional no tuvieron una buena relación con Cuba".

Con el primer mandatario panista, Vicente Fox (2000-2006), los asuntos bilaterales alcanzaron un momento crítico, después de que este le dijera a Fidel Castro durante una cumbre de la ONU la conocida frase "comes y te vas", con el objetivo de acortar la visita del entonces presidente cubano y así no complicar la relación el estadounidense George W. Bush.

Tras esto, México llegó a retirar a su embajadora en la Isla y expulsó al representante cubano con el argumento de que La Habana se había entrometido en sus asuntos internos.

Paradójicamente el acercamiento entre ambos países y el posterior restablecimiento de las relaciones vino de la mano de Calderón y el embajador Gabriel Jiménez Remus.[[QUOTE:Calderón mantuvo contactos con disidentes, que "es algo muy sensible para un Gobierno como el cubano, que no es muy abierto al apoyo de este tipo de grupos"]]No obstante, recuerda García Soto, Calderón mantuvo contactos con disidentes, que "es algo muy sensible para un Gobierno como el cubano, que no es muy abierto al apoyo de este tipo de grupos".

La negativa de que Calderón asista al evento de homenaje a Payá, programado para este miércoles, responde a la labor que ha venido realizando, "quizá no desde la presidencia, pero sí fuera de ella", y a su discurso, en el que habla de la "necesidad de una democratización en Cuba".

El analista estima que la prohibición no afectará las relaciones entre México y Cuba, porque "es un tema personal con Calderón", y porque pertenece a un partido político distinto al que ahora está en el poder, el Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

La "prueba" es que "el Gobierno mexicano no tuvo una reacción muy fuerte a este rechazo más allá de un posicionamiento de la Cancillería", argumentó.


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Mario J. Pentón

En medio de la incertidumbre en el panorama de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba, más de 250 participantes de diferentes universidades se darán cita en la XI conferencia de estudios cubanos y cubanoamericanos del 23 al 25 de este mes en la Universidad Internacional de Florida, auspiciado por el Cuban Research Institute (CRI).

La conferencia, que tiene un carácter bienal tendrá como título Más allá del antagonismo perpetuo: reimaginar las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba. En el encuentro se darán cita algunos de los más prestigiosos economistas y pensadores de la Isla y la diáspora.

[[QUOTE:"No tenemos una idea clara de cuál va a ser la política de Trump hacia Cuba por lo cual, esta serie de paneles tienen mucha actualidad"]]Se discutirán una serie de temas entre los cuales están los cambios económicos y políticos en las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba a partir del 17 de diciembre del 2014, así como los lazos culturales entre la diáspora cubana y la Isla.

"Al organizar la conferencia no teníamos idea de los acontecimientos que tendrían lugar y que han marcado las relaciones entre ambas naciones, como la muerte de Fidel Castro, el fin de la política pies secos/pies mojados y la elección de Donald Trump", explica Jorge Duany, director del CRI.

"La situación entre ambos países es muy fluida. No tenemos una idea clara de cuál va a ser la política de Trump hacia Cuba por lo cual, esta serie de paneles tienen mucha actualidad", añade.

También centrarán el interés de los investigadores en aspectos poco explorados como la arquitectura cubana en la Isla y en el exilio así como las relaciones entre instituciones académicas cubanas y estadounidenses.

Los expertos analizarán temas clave para el futuro de la nación como el desarrollo de la sociedad civil y el cuentapropismo. También se presentarán ponencias sobre la desigualdad racial, de género o por orientación sexual y los vínculos entre ambos lados del Estrecho de la Florida.

Según Duany, una de las principales dificultades para la realización del evento son las barreras y restricciones que ambos países mantienen.

"Teníamos un panel sobre la obra del humorista cubano Guillermo Álvarez Guedes. La mayoría de los ponentes reside en Cuba y tuvieron problemas para obtener el visado", lamenta Duany.

En el caso de algunos expertos cubanos que deseaban participar en el evento, las autoridades de sus centros de trabajo les negaron la posibilidad de participar.

No obstante, los esfuerzos del CRI por integrar a expertos de las dos orillas da sus frutos. Hasta el momento hay 23 personas residentes en Cuba que participarán previsiblemente en el encuentro.

[[QUOTE:En el caso de algunos expertos cubanos que deseaban participar en el evento, las autoridades de sus centros de trabajo les negaron la posibilidad de participar]]Uno de los paneles estará dedicado a los retos y oportunidades en las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos desde la perspectiva de la Iglesia Católica y las Iglesias Protestantes. También habrá un panel dedicado a la influencia del reguetón en la cultura cubana.

El evento contará con más de 250 participantes de diferentes universidades de Estados Unidos, Cuba, Puerto Rico, España y otros países.

También se proyectará el documental El tren de la vía norte, dirigido por Marcelo Martín. La película se desarrolla en el área de Morón a Punta Alegre y cuenta las peripecias de un viaje en tren en la Cuba de hoy. Al finalizar la proyección el director del filme participará en una ronda de preguntas y respuestas.

La Conferencia está dedicada a Cristóbal Díaz Ayala, un prominente abogado y escritor cubano, que ha realizado importantes aportes en el estudio, la preservación y promoción de la música cubana.

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El Sexto denuncia en Ginebra encarcelamientos sin juicio en Cuba Al concluir su discurso pintó un graffiti que arrancó el aplauso de los asistentes. El artista opositor cubano Danilo Maldonado “El Sexto” participó este martes en la en la Novena Cumbre de Ginebra para los Derechos Humanos y la Democracia. En el evento hizo una […] Continue reading
Luis Almagro: la pera del olmo SERGIO MUÑOZ BATA El liderazgo se demuestra actuando con valor y por eso aplaudo la decisión del Secretario General de la Organización de Estados Americanos, Luis Almagro, de aceptar la invitación para viajar esta semana a Cuba a recibir en persona el premio Oswaldo Payá, en honor al disidente […] Continue reading
Aquellos maravillosos años setenta Para mí, alguien que nació en 1971, es comprensible que los setenta no puedan darme más que la impresión de un mundo perdido José Gabriel Barrenechea, Santa Clara | 21/02/2017 11:06 am Hace unos meses el poeta Idiel García, el editor Jorge Luis Rodríguez y yo fantaseábamos en el Café Literario […] Continue reading
Do We Have to Wait for the Government to Sell the Peugeot 508s to
Improve Public Transport? / Iván García

Ivan Garcia, 18 February 2017 — Seven in the morning at the bus stop at
Acosta Avenue and Poey Street, in the dense La Vibora neighborhood in
southern Havana. Almost a hundred people are waiting for the No. 174 bus
to Vedado.

While waiting for the bus, some take the opportunity to have a coffee
from the roving coffee-seller. Others breakfast on bread with croquette
or an egg sandwich from a private cantina, continually looking at the
bus stop, in case a 'guagua' (bus) shows up.

Also at Acosta and Poey, some 40 people are in a line waiting for their
turn to catch a shared-taxi to Vedado. Jaime, a maintenance worker in a
polyclinic, can't give himself the luxury of taking taxis.

"In the morning the taxi driver charges twenty "reeds" (Cuban pesos,
CUP) to Vedado. Since I work in Playa, I have to take a second taxi for
another 20 pesos. The return is the same. Eighty 'coconuts' to come and
go from work, and I only get paid 20 a day. If I take a taxi I can make
the trip in an hour, and if I wait for the bus, it's three hours coming
and going. Many documentaries, books and recorded chats about the life
and work of Fidel Castro, but the government spent 60 years without
being able to solve the transport problem. This is crap, brother," says
Jaime, notably angry.

If you want to meet a Cuban ruminating on the horrors of Castroism,
visit him at home during a blackout, or ask him about the supposed
benefits of socialism at the bus stop crammed with people.

At best, he relaxes at a popular pachanga (party) with some cheap beer
and infamous rum, with reggaeton or aggressive timba in the background.
But when it comes from moving from one place to other in Havana, they
put on a whole other face.

Like Mireya's face right now. She's a kitchen helper at a school. "Oh
mother. I leave at 6:30 in the morning to catch a bus. And at 8:00 I'm
still at the stop. And when you do manage to get on, you have to keep
your wits about you because at least opportunity the pickpockets will
lift your wallet. And don't even talk about the perverts. They shove
themselves up against your 'package' from behind like you're their wife.
The other day some shameless guy was so hot he took it out and
masturbated in plain sight," said Mireya, talking openly to everyone
around her.

The lines at the butcher shop to buy "chicken for fish," or to do legal
paperwork, or to wait for public transport, have become a kind of
people's plaza where a journalist, politician or specialist in social
topics could take the pulse of a nation. Two years ago, the president of
Finland disguised himself as a taxi driver to learn his compatriot's
opinions about his management of the state. That would be a good example
for the Cuban authorities to follow.

Managing efficient public transport, be it land, air, rail or sea, is
something the olive green junta that governs Cuban can't get done.

Fidel Castro, today feted for his extensive anti-imperialist discourse
and his role in the decolonization struggle of Africa, was never able to
design a working transportation system for the island.

Havana, with its million and a half inhabitants, and a million foreign
tourists and illegal visitors from other provinces, probably features
among the worst cities of the world to get from one place or another
quickly and cheaply.

In the 1960s, Fidel Castro acquired three thousand Leyland buses in
Great Britain for urban and interprovincial transport. But it wasn't
like that. In the following decades, they were bought in Spain, Japan,
Hungary, Brazil and China.

In Havana it has always been an odyssey to travel by bus. At its best,
there were more than 100 bus routes in the capital and 2,500 buses plus
a fleet of 4,000 taxis, bought from the Argentina military dictatorship,
although they never finished paying for them.

With the coming of the Special Period in 1990, the closest thing to a
war without bombs, public transport experienced its real death throes.
The "camels" — a monster patented by some sadistic engineer — were
container trailers outfitted with seats and pulled by a semi-truck
tractor unit that could carry 300 people each, packed like sardines in a
can.

Havanans still remember the memorable brawls inside the "camels," worthy
of an Olympic boxing match. Those steel boxes were saunas in the
tropical heat and according to street legends they served to procreate
dozens of kids of unknown fathers.

If every Cuban state official had to pay a penny for every revealed lie,
believe me, there would be a legion of new rich on the island. Many
thought it was a bad joke, but in 2014, the government, in complete
seriousness, after authorizing the sale of Peugeots at Ferrari prices,
announced that they were going to use the profits to create a fund to
buy buses to improve urban transport.

Three years later not a single Peugeot 508 has been sold. Logically, you
don't have to have a Nobel in economics to know that no one is going to
pay the equivalent of 300,000 dollars for a touring car. And in cash.

Thus, ordinary Cubans like the worker Jaime and the cook Mireya, are
still waiting two hours to board a city bus. Until all those lovely
Peugeots are sold.

Source: Do We Have to Wait for the Government to Sell the Peugeot 508s
to Improve Public Transport? / Iván García – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/do-we-have-to-wait-for-the-government-to-sell-the-peugeot-508s-to-improve-public-transport-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Régimen cubano redobla su acoso al sector privado 19 de febrero de 2017 – 19:02 – Por IVÁN GARCÍA Tras 10 años de ensayos fallidos, el Gobierno autoritario de Raúl Castro no logra encaminar la sociedad ni la economía del país a pesar de sus promesas de cambios zar de las reformas económicas en Cuba, […] Continue reading
El Sexto habla este martes en cumbre de Ginebra sobre Derechos Humanos El grafitero y ex prisionero de conciencia cubano, Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, participará este martes como orador en la Novena Cumbre de Ginebra para los Derechos Humanos y la Democracia. En el evento, que se realiza cada año en vísperas de la sesión […] Continue reading
El festival del monólogo del libro se fue a bolina “Gracias a Fidel estamos empinando papalotes hoy” Lunes, febrero 20, 2017 | Ernesto Santana Zaldívar LA HABANA, Cuba.- La 26 Feria Internacional del Libro de La Habana, terminó el 19 en su sede de la fortaleza de La Cabaña, pero el sábado 18 alcanzó su […] Continue reading
La producción y la publicación de libros en Cuba han caído más de un 20% en un quinquenio DDC | Valencia | 20 de Febrero de 2017 – 14:50 CET. La producción y la publicación de libros en Cuba han caído en más de un 20% en el quinquenio de 2011 a 2015, según indican […] Continue reading

“Gracias a Fidel estamos empinando papalotes hoy”

The post El festival del monólogo del libro se fue a bolina appeared first on Cubanet.

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Ivan Garcia, 18 February 2017 — Seven in the morning at the bus stop at Acosta Avenue and Poey Street, in the dense La Vibora neighborhood in southern Havana. Almost a hundred people are waiting for the No. 174 bus to Vedado. While waiting for the bus, some take the opportunity to have a coffee from … Continue reading "Do We Have to Wait for the Government to Sell the Peugeot 508s to Improve Public Transport? / Iván García" Continue reading
Tres años después de autorizar sus ventas nadie ha comprado un Peugeot 508 en Cuba Iván García Quintero La Habana, con sus dos millones y medio de habitantes, y un millón de turistas extranjeros o visitantes ilegales de otras provincias, probablemente figure entre las peores ciudades del mundo para trasladarse de un lugar a otro […] Continue reading
La directora de ‘Lente Cubano’, en el punto de mira de la Seguridad YUSIMÍ RODRÍGUEZ LÓPEZ | La Habana | 19 de Febrero de 2017 – 18:16 CET. En circunstancias normales, escribiría una crítica sobre Lente cubano, audiovisual que circula en internet y a través de El Paquete, como he hecho con programas de la […] Continue reading
Operación Porsche: la búsqueda clandestina de las joyas perdidas en Cuba La isla encierra aún algunos misterios: entre los clásicos almendrones se esconden ejemplares alemanes de los años cincuenta. Con dosis de espionaje, la historia de cómo fueron hallados los últimos Porsches que sobrevivieron a la Revolución Cubana 18 de febrero de 2017 Cuba encierra […] Continue reading
La politización de la universidad es la negación de su universalidad PEDRO CAMPOS | La Habana | 19 de Febrero de 2017 – 08:58 CET. La palabra universidad, usada hace siglos para identificar a centros de altos estudios diversos, tiene sus orígenes en el latín universitas, que significa universalidad o cualidad de universal, lo cual […] Continue reading
Las autoridades posponen el juicio de Eduardo Cardet ‘a última hora’ DDC | Holguín | 18 de Febrero de 2017 – 23:43 CET. Yaimaris Vecino, esposa de Eduardo Cardet, coordinador del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación (MCL), informó a DIARIO DE CUBA que el juicio de su esposo no se celebrará este lunes 20 de febrero como […] Continue reading

La palabra universidad, usada hace siglos para identificar a centros de altos estudios diversos, tiene sus orígenes en el latín universitas, que significa universalidad o cualidad de universal, lo cual es la esencia de la universidad moderna: la búsqueda y el encuentro con el conocimiento universal.

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The Spirit Of The Executions Still Haunts La Cabaña / Cubanet, Tania
Diaz Castro

Cubanet, Tania Diaz castro, 14 February 2017 — Nelson Rodríguez Leiva,
26, was shot in La Fortaleza de la Cabaña in 1971, along with his
dearest friend, Angelito de Jesús Rabí, 17.

Also in the same place, but a century earlier, the poet Juan Clemente
Zenea was shot.

It did not help Nelson that, in 1960 he had been a teacher in the
Literacy Campaign in the mountains of Oriente, or that in 1964 he
already had an excellent book of stories published by Virgilio Piñera,
in Ediciones R, or that his mother Ada Leiva wrote a letter to Fidel
Castro asking for clemency for her son, or that another book of Nelson's
poems was pending publication.

Just a few days ago El Nuevo Herald in Miami published an extensive
report about the exposition of the writer Juan Abreu, with one hundred
portraits of those executed by the Castro regime, painted by him, and
presented at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels,
Belgium.

Perhaps Nelson's face was there.

Abreu received the respect and admiration of former political prisoners
such as Pedro Corso, director of the Cuban Institute of Historical
Memory Against Totalitarianism, and the poet Angel Cuadra, who said that
Abreu's Exposition "… is like making history talk through the faces, to
rescue them and give them new life." He would have also received the
support of the writer Reinaldo Arenas, a dear friend, who lamentably
died in New York and who always remembered his friend Nelson.

It's about, said Abreu, "… not conventional portraits, but an approach
to the faces, so often blurred, conserved in old photos."

Abreu's project is a history of the Cuban regime, today in the hands of
Raul Castro, who wants to erase, above all, those days when this place
was used for executions after summary trials, to make examples or simply
for revenge or fear of a fierce opposition that arose among all the
political opponents condemned to death. Bringing it to the European
Parliament must be considered a victory.

The number of five thousand individuals shot dead hangs like a Sword of
Damocles over Cuba. The spirit of all these who faced the firing squad
hangs over La Cabana Fortress, no matter how many parties are held
there, no matter who much fun and excitement and hullabaloo there is, no
matter how many books are sold at the book fair that the executioner
government hold every year, for a people who are so busy just trying to
survive that they don't have time to read.

In this fortress, with a history as dark as the dictatorship itself, the
Book Fair is celebrated, strategic project of Fidel Castro to clean the
blood off their graves, cells, bars and walls, as if history could be
made to disappear.

The two young writers, Nelson and Angelito, were tied up there, their
eyes closed, so as not to see the rifles of the night, close together,
as they asked to die.

Not long ago, someone who knew them, told me that Nelson was very
romantic, that he wept with the melodies of The Beatles, and even
resembled a bit James Dean, the American actor of the fifties and that
Angelito, converted Into his noble page, had the face of a child.

Through the sad streets of La Cabaña Fortress, where Nelson and his
friend walked towards death, today walk the "grateful" who ignore this
story. They are looking for a book to read. Not precisely Nelson's book
of stories, The Gift, or those pages smeared with tears that someone
picked up from an empty dungeon.

Source: The Spirit Of The Executions Still Haunts La Cabaña / Cubanet,
Tania Diaz Castro – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-spirit-of-the-executions-still-haunts-la-cabana-cubanet-tania-diaz-castro/ Continue reading
Estadounidense cree que con Trump logrará instalar su fábrica en Cuba febrero 17, 2017 Rosa Tania Valdés Saúl Berenthal, el empresario que intentó junto a su socio Horace Clemmons, abrir la primera fábrica de Estados Unidos en Cuba, comparte sus esperanzas de hacer negocios en la isla en la era de Donald Trump. Los proyectos […] Continue reading
El INDER dice a los peloteros que son ‘abanderados de la Revolución a una nueva batalla’ DDC | La Habana | 17 de Febrero de 2017 – 16:13 CET. El equipo Cuba que participará en el Clásico Mundial de Béisbol fue abanderado el jueves en una ceremonia en la que, como es habitual en este […] Continue reading

Hubo un hombre que trabajó a las órdenes de Ernesto "Che" Guevara y no aparece en las biografías de este. No lo recuerdan los compañeros de guerrilla de Guevara que sobreviven todavía, pero Marcos Gorbán ha seguido su historia personal en un libro recién publicado. Pidió conocerlo personalmente y oyó su versión de los hechos. Buscó en archivos argentinos, buscó en la memoria de los sobrevivientes en La Habana hasta reconstruir su historia.

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Cubanet, Tania Diaz castro, 14 February 2017 — Nelson Rodríguez Leiva, 26, was shot in La Fortaleza de la Cabaña in 1971, along with his dearest friend, Angelito de Jesús Rabí, 17. Also in the same place, but a century earlier, the poet Juan Clemente Zenea was shot. It did not help Nelson that, in … Continue reading "The Spirit Of The Executions Still Haunts La Cabaña / Cubanet, Tania Diaz Castro" Continue reading
The Student Who Did Not Want To 'Ride With Fidel' / 14ymedio, Reinaldo
Excobar

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 16 February 2017 — David Mauri
Cardoso, a 24-year-old from Cienfuegos, dreamt of being lawyer but could
not successfully pass a test of dishonesty. In appearance it was a test
of Spanish, but what was being evaluated was his capacity to fake it.

Along with 30 other young people, who had not been admitted to higher
education through the standard entrance exams, David was part of an
experiment where workers were enrolled in the first year of Law School
at the Carlos Rafael Rodriguez University in Cienfuegos and then
assessed on their knowledge of Math, History and Spanish.

The exams were conducted in January and David was one of twenty students
who had made it to the end of the previous stage. He finished high
school in 2011, and after several failed attempts to enter the
university, this seemed to be his last chance.

Everything seemed to be fine until the first week of February, when they
summoned him to a Disciplinary Council. His "incorrectness" is described
in the Teaching Regulation of Higher Education, where it specifies "it
is a very serious error to say or do anything against the Revolutionary
Process." The punishment established for this behavior is expulsion from
the higher education system in any program throughout the country. On
Friday, 10 February, the resolution imposing this punishment was signed.

What, in fact, did David do?

The Spanish test consisted of writing an interpretation of a fragment of
the lyrics from the song "Riding with Fidel," which flooded the airwaves
after the death of the former Cuban president at the end of November 2016.

David tells 14ymedio how he reacted when he read Question No. 5, which
inquired about what he had felt when he honored the ashes of the
historic leader of the Revolution. "I realized I was not in a position
to fully respond, because that wasn't the case for me. The question was
based on an erroneous supposition, because I had not participated in the
acts of homage to Fidel Castro, nor did I personally honor him in a
spiritual way."

Before the exam, he had prepared himself to identify a simile or a
metaphor and felt capable of parsing a text to indicate subordinate or
juxtaposed sentences and to call out with precision grammatical mistakes
in any verb. But, he said, "To adjust to what they were asking me I
responded with total honestly about what this person had meant to me. I
was respectful because no one has the right to insult others. I gave my
opinion in the framework of good manners."

David recorded in his own handwriting the misery, the destruction of the
foundations of society and the injustices. He dared to use the term
"authoritarian" to define the established system in his country and at
some point, without his pulse trembling, he wrote the word "dictatorship."

"In short, I only offered my personal opinion, which is exactly what
they asked of me," he says with the simplicity of one who does not
believe he has performed a historic act.

The person in charge of grading the exam must have felt very troubled in
the face of such a demonstration of sincerity. David chose not to name
names, his Christian ethics precludes it. Nor did he mention the
identity of a Spanish-language methodologist at the provincial level who
is, at the end of the day, the person who assumed the responsibility of
lodging a complaint.

Here, the young student makes a legal argument. "This exam, more than a
private text, was a confidential document. Something between the
professor and the student that did not have to be sent on under any
circumstance."

And therein lies the key, because David did not make statements to
foreign television, nor did he publish an opinion piece in the
independent press, nor did he go out into the street with a poster, all
of which would have been his right.

In the sacred intimacy of the classroom, he offered his opinion, which
was what was asked of him. Without his consent, his responses were
"elevated" and analyzed under extra-academic rules.

Not a single one of David's classmates was consulted on this sanction
because according to the regulation that ordinarily requires a process
that does just that, it only applies to "regular" students in the day
course.

Now everything is "comments in the hallway" and no one will come to his
defense.

David says he does not intend to appeal, although he explains: "I have
not resigned formally because I still have time, but I lost interest
because, when I think of appealing to the Minister of Higher Education,
I wonder who this official answers to and it makes me feel like not even
starting the process."

To the question of what he intends to do with his life now, David
jokingly replies: "What I was doing: inventing," that is figuring out
some way to get by, "like all young people do in Cuba."

Source: The Student Who Did Not Want To 'Ride With Fidel' / 14ymedio,
Reinaldo Excobar – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-student-who-did-not-want-to-ride-with-fidel-14ymedio-reinaldo-excobar/ Continue reading
Nieto de Raúl Castro prefiere a las cubanas y al “cubatón” Rolando Cartaya Su familia se codea con el jet-set internacional y realiza lujosos viajes, pero el primer escolta de su abuelo solo viaja con él y por ahora se divierte en exclusivos conciertos del “flow” vernáculo. ?Aunque su padre, Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, el […] Continue reading
Cuba “cocina” inserción de “desertores” en equipo nacional de béisbol febrero 16, 2017 Jorge P. Martínez La Federación Cubana de Béisbol analiza si los cubanos de Grandes Ligas deben integrar la selección nacional en las principales competencias internacionales, dijo Higinio Vélez, presidente de la Federación Cubana de Béisbol. Cuando el pelotero cubano Frederich Cepeda afirmó […] Continue reading
Trump: Rubio and I have 'very similar views on Cuba'
BY NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

President Donald Trump said during a press conference Thursday that he
shares Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio's views on Cuba.

"We had dinner with Senator Rubio and his wife, who was by the way,
lovely, and we had a very good discussion about Cuba because we have
very similar views on Cuba," Trump told journalists.

"Cuba has been very good to me, in the Florida elections, you know, the
Cuban people, Americans," he added in reference to the support of Cuban
American voters.

Former rival Rubio and his wife had dinner with Trump and First Lady
Melania on Wednesday night, after the president received Lilian Tintori,
the wife of the Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López in the
White House. A smiling Rubio posed for a photo with Trump, Vice
President Mike Pence and Tintori.

The comment suggests a possible change in Cuba policy since Rubio was
one of the staunchest critics of former President Barack Obama's
engagement with Cuba, especially in the area of human rights.

Rubio and New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menéndez, also Cuban American,
introduced a bill this week to "reform" the human trafficking report
produced annually by the State Department. Both senators expressed their
displeasure with the improvement of Cuba's ranking in the report, from
the worst level to the "tier 2 watch list" in 2015. Several proposals
included in the bill would likely affect Cuba's position in the report.

Rubio, who was reappointed as chairman of the Western Hemisphere
Subcommittee in the Senate, has also been one of the most active
politicians in Washington on Venezuela. On Monday, he gave a speech on
the Senate's floor in which he called for the release of López and
stated his hope for new sanctions to come against the government of
Nicolás Maduro. Earlier this week, the Trump administration froze the
assets of Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami for alleged links
to drug trafficking.

During his campaign, Trump promised that he would negotiate a "better
deal" with the Cuban government or would reverse Obama's measures. White
House Spokesman Sean Spicer has said that Cuba policy was under review
and that human rights would be a priority.

On Thursday afternoon, Rubio was scheduled to chair a hearing on the
need for U.S. leadership on democracy and human rights in the Americas.
Among the speakers was Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto,
who was recently released from prison in Havana following his arrest for
using street art to celebrate the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

FOLLOW NORA GÁMEZ TORRES ON TWITTER: @NGAMEZTORRES

Source: Trump: Rubio and I have 'very similar views on Cuba' | Miami
Herald -
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article133193594.html Continue reading
El Sexto pide ante el senado de EEUU ‘solidaridad con la causa de la democracia en Cuba’ DDC | Washington | 17 de Febrero de 2017 – 00:32 CET. Danilo Maldonado Machado, El Sexto, ofreció el jueves testimonio ante el Subcomité del Senado de Estados Unidos sobre el Hemisferio Occidental para los asuntos de Crimen […] Continue reading
Algún día se enseñará en las aulas cubanas la verdadera historia de don Tomás Estrada Palma Continue reading
… Thursday in Havana, an homage to the writer and to Cuba for … linked to Havana, the Caribbean and Cuba,” Colombian ambassador to Cuba Gustavo Bell … Cuban people for accompanying us in the peace process,” Bell said. Havana … of deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro and lived in Havana for a … Continue reading
The video of Maldenado’s remarks is here. His prepared remarks begin at 01:18:00, and can be read here in English. He then answers questions at 2:18:31. 14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 16 February 2017 — Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, a well-known Cuban graffiti artist and human rights activist, appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, … Continue reading "‘El Sexto’ Appears Before US Senate to Speak of Human Rights / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
… yesterday in Havana, an homage to the writer and to Cuba for … linked to Havana, the Caribbean and Cuba,” Colombian ambassador to Cuba Gustavo Bell … Cuban people for accompanying us in the peace process,” Bell said. Havana … of deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro and lived in Havana for a … Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 16 February 2017 — David Mauri Cardoso, a 24-year-old from Cienfuegos, dreamt of being lawyer but could not successfully pass a test of dishonesty. In appearance it was a test of Spanish, but what was being evaluated was his capacity to fake it. Along with 30 other young people, who had not … Continue reading "The Student Who Did Not Want To ‘Ride With Fidel’ / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Excobar" Continue reading
El Sexto comparece ante una comisión sobre Derechos Humanos en el Senado de Estados Unidos MARIO J. PENTÓN , Miami | Febrero 16, 2017 Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, comparece ante una comisión del Senado de Estados Unidos. (14ymedio) Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, conocido grafitero y activista por los derechos humanos pidió este jueves solidaridad con […] Continue reading
El sargento mayor Rafael Conde dejó la isla junto con sus padres cuando era solo un niño Continue reading