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14ymedio, Havana, 15 August 2017 — The Aguadores prison authorities authorized on Monday the first family visit to the three activists arrested during the protest at the cathedral of Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 14ymedio was told by Reina Silvia González, wife of Alberto Antonio Ramírez Odio, one of the detainees. During the meeting, which … Continue reading "Three Activists Arrested At Santiago Cathedral Receive Their First Prison Visit" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 14 August 2017 – The Office of the Attorney General of Cuba declared the “final dismissal” of the case against the activist Eliécer Ávila, accused of the crimes of receiving and illegal economic activities. The court also ordered the seizure “in favor of the Cuban State” of most of the property seized during a … Continue reading "Prosecutor Dismisses The Case Against Eliecer Avila But Seizes His Belongings" Continue reading
… Caracas and Havana. He notes that tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers … junta, the Communist Party of Cuba, the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and … that he estimated 50,000 Cuban agents, including civilians, had established … Assembly. In remarks this week, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez issued … Continue reading
United Nations, August 8 (RHC-teleSUR)-- Human rights advocates and agencies at the United Nations have demanded an end to the discrimination, exclusion and lack of protections for Indigenous peoples around the globe.  The call comes ahead of the tenth … Continue reading
14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 1 August 2017 — I should be in Panama right now. But on July 31, when I showed up at the desk at José Martí International Airport, I was shown to an office where an Immigration officer informed me that I could not travel because I was “regulated.” The word has unpleasant connotations … Continue reading "Avatars Of A “Regulated” Person" Continue reading
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 26 July 2017 – There were few surprise in Jose Ramon Machado Ventura’s speech this Wednesday during the ceremony for National Rebellion day in Pinar del Rio. The Cuban Communist Party number two reiterated that “the direction of the Revolution is laid out,” and denied that Cuba was participating in the … Continue reading "Machado Ventura Denies Cuba’s Mediation In The Venezuelan Conflict" Continue reading
… human rights goes well beyond Cuba, where his family is from … lot of the dissidents in Cuba I've never gotten … Continue reading
… for nearly 20 years, said Cuban-Americans who escaped the Castro regime … Cuban government routinely detains for peaceful protesting. Rubio adamantly opposed the Cuba … Rep. Mario Diaz-Ballart , a fellow Cuban-American from Florida, on a rewrite … Continue reading
… rush plans to visit Cuba More: Cubans in Miami divided over Trump … for nearly 20 years, said Cuban-Americans who escaped the Castro regime … of jailed dissidents whom the Cuban government routinely detains for peaceful … Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a fellow Cuban-American from South Florida, on a … Continue reading
… human rights laws, in occupied Cuba’s land as a detention … Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 25 July 2017 — The former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Havana and current chair of the National Assembly’s Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Jose Luis Toledo Santander, is clear: there are similarities between the Cuban and Spanish electoral systems, although the island is free of those … Continue reading "A Professor Sees Similarities Between How Cuba and Spain Choose Their President" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 28 July 2017 — The man forms a trumpet with his hands in front of his mouth to warn of the presence of an informant. It is a transcendental gesture warning not to blab in a daily life were people constantly appeal to body language, obscene words and metaphors. Failing to do … Continue reading "Missing Words" Continue reading
UN Envoy Matthew Nimetz told Macedonian Human Rights Movement International: “Off the record – If I were Macedonian, I would not negotiate my name”. TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, July 26, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- UN Special Envoy Matthew Nimetz … Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 24 July 2017 — In a crowded bus, two women discuss who is entitled to the disabled seat. While one carries a cane, the other shows an ID card from the Cuban Association of Limited Physical Engines (Aclifim), an official entity with more than 74,000 associates that sets ideological requirements (i.e. fidelity … Continue reading "A Group Of People With Disabilities Organizes Outside The Cuban State" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 24 June 2017 — Independent journalist Sol García Basulto is under new restrictions of movement after police imposed a “precautionary measure of house arrest” during an interrogation held Monday in the city of Camagüey. The 14ymedio correspondent responded to a police summons at ten o’clock in the morning. First lieutenant Yusniel Pérez Torres, from the criminal … Continue reading "Police Impose “House Arrest” On Journalist Sol García Basulto" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 24 July 2017 — Cuba’s incipient civil society, independent journalism and political activism on the island is starting to find the cupboard is bare. According to a US embassy official in Havana, “Seven out of ten dissidents chose to settle in the United States after the Cuban government’s new immigration policy in January … Continue reading ""Since 2013, 7 of every 10 Cuban dissidents have settled in the US" / Iván García" Continue reading
Our apologies for not having subtitles for this video. 14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2017 — At least 40 activists attended a mass in tribute to opponents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero on the fifth anniversary of their deaths, on Thursday evening. The ceremony took place in the church of Los Quemados in Marianao, Havana, and passed … Continue reading "Dozens of Opponents Attend Mass in Honor of Oswaldo Paya in Havana" Continue reading
… to Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, according to Human Rights First … to Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, Human Rights First said in … Continue reading
… to Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, according to Human Rights First … to Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, Human Rights First said in … Continue reading

14ymedio

Al menos 40 activistas asistieron el jueves en la tarde a una misa en homenaje a los opositores Oswaldo Payá y Harold Cepero en el quinto aniversario de su muerte. La ceremonia tuvo lugar en la iglesia de Los Quemados en Marianao, La Habana, y transcurrió sin incidentes.

La hija del líder del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación (MCL), Rosa María Payá, viajó desde la ciudad de Miami, donde reside, para participar en el recordatorio. Al lugar pudieron llegar unas 60 personas entre familiares, amigos y opositores.

Entre los activistas que participaron estuvo el exprisionero de la Primavera Negra Félix Navarro, el disidente Manuel Cuesta Morúa y la líder de las Damas de Blanco, Berta Soler.

En declaraciones a 14ymedio Rosa María Payá apuntó que halló en el recinto “a toda la sociedad civil representada” para honrar la memoria y el legado de su padre. “[Todos los opositores] estamos de acuerdo en lo fundamental: este sistema no funciona y hay que cambiarlo”.[[QUOTE:Rosa María Payá: “[Todos los opositores] estamos de acuerdo en lo fundamental: este sistema no funciona y hay que cambiarlo”]]Berta Soler opinó que “el régimen cubano pensó que asesinando a Oswaldo Payá iba a acabar con él” pero no ha sido así porque “vive entre nosotros”.

Oswaldo Payá fundó el MCL en 1988 y falleció el 22 de julio de 2012 junto a Harold Cepero, tras impactar contra un árbol el vehículo en el que viajaban y que conducía el joven político español Ángel Carromero.

Su hija lleva una intensa campaña internacional para exigir una investigación independiente del caso y sostiene que la muerte de su padre fue un asesinato orquestado por las autoridades de La Habana.

Un informe de la organización internacional Human Rights Foundation (HRF) apunta a "indicios sólidos" de que el automóvil en el que viajaba Payá y sus acompañantes fue embestido por otro.

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
En el aniversario de la muerte del líder del Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación Continue reading
… violated Paris Agreement, commitment to Cuba, and many other contracts they … Continue reading
… from Paris Agreement, agreements with Cuba and many other commitments in … Continue reading
… between the U.S. and Cuba. Gingrich replied that she hopes … dignity and human rights in Cuba. Udall also questioned Gingrich on … Continue reading
La ONU declara arbitrarios el arresto y posterior encarcelamiento de El Sexto DDC | Nueva York | 18 de Julio de 2017 – 10:29 CEST. Human Rights Foundation (HRF) aplaudió la decisión de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) de declarar arbitrarios el arresto y posterior encarcelamiento del artista gráfico Danilo Maldonado el 26 de […] Continue reading
… . In No Position to Lecture Cuba About Human Rights? “Well on … steps to normalize relations with Cuba because of their human rights … nations like North Korea. But Cuban officials said ‘really?’ Because the … Continue reading

Human Rights Foundation (HRF) aplaudió la decisión de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) de declarar arbitrarios el arresto y posterior encarcelamiento del artista gráfico Danilo Maldonado el 26 de noviembre de 2016.

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Cuba courted in diplomatic push on Venezuela crisis
Colombian president flies to Havana to seek support for regional
John Paul Rathbone in Miami

Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, was set to fly to Cuba on
Sunday on a mission to convince Havana to support a regional diplomatic
push to staunch Venezuela's growing crisis, which has left 90 dead after
three months of protests.

The initiative, which Argentina and Mexico are understood to support, is
controversial but potentially effective as socialist Cuba is Venezuela's
strongest ally and its intelligence services are understood to work as
close advisers to Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's embattled president.

"Santos is one of the few people, perhaps the only one, who knows the
three key players well," said one person with an understanding of the
situation. "He knows Maduro and Venezuela, he knows Raúl Castro, and he
knows Donald Trump and the US state department."

The diplomatic initiative comes at a critical time for Venezuela, as Mr
Maduro moves to rewrite the Opec country's constitution to cement the
ruling Socialist party's control by installing Soviet-style communes. An
early gauge of the regional diplomacy's success will be if Mr Maduro
cancels the July 30 constitutional convention to create a legislative
superbody.

Venezuela's opposition on Sunday mounted a symbolic referendum against
the convention, which polls show three-quarters of Venezuelans oppose.
The convention is widely seen as a point of no return for Venezuela.

Early indications suggested the referendum was passing peacefully.
Opposition activists posted photographs on social media of long lines of
people outside impromptu polling stations, not only in Venezuela but in
towns and cities worldwide, from Australia to Malaysia to Saudi Arabia
and Italy, where Venezuelans living abroad were invited to vote.

Julio Borges, the head of the National Assembly, or parliament, told a
news conference in Caracas on Sunday he hoped the exercise would serve
as "a great earthquake, that shakes the conscience of those in power".

The government has played down the popular vote, which is non-binding.
It says the real election will come on July 30, although some analysts
have suggested there is still time for Mr Maduro to change his mind.

"To the extent that the [opposition referendum] prompts even
more . . . pushback . . .[it] could prompt [Maduro] to back down," Risa
Grais-Targow, analyst at Eurasia, the risk consultancy, wrote on Friday.
But "if Maduro does hold the vote on 30 July, it will represent a new
apex in the country's ongoing political crisis. It will also test the
loyalty of the security apparatus, as the opposition will likely
mobilise significant protests across the country".

Mr Santos has worked closely with Havana, Washington and Caracas over
the past six years as part of Colombia's peace process between the
government and the Farc guerrilla group. But his Cuba visit, part of a
long-schedule commercial mission to Havana, is also a sign of mounting
international exasperation over Venezuela.

At the recent G20 meeting in Hamburg, Mauricio Macri, the Argentine
president, backed by Mariano Rajoy, Spanish prime minister, implored
other heads of state to "take note of the situation in Venezuela, where
they do not support human rights".

The crisis in Venezuela has drained the country's foreign reserves with
figures released on Friday showing the central bank's coffers had
dropped below $10bn for the first time in 15 years.

The fall in reserves is likely to rekindle fears that Caracas might
default on its debt obligations this year. The state and its oil
company PDVSA are due to make capital and interest repayments of $3.7bn
in the fourth quarter.

Despite widespread concern over Venezeula's plight, there has been
little concrete action from other countries besides the US and Brazil.
Washington has placed targeted financial sanctions on some Venezuelan
officials while Brazil suspended sales of tear gas to the Venezuelan
government.

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, last month said the US was
building a "robust list" of other individuals to sanction. A more
extreme US policy option that has also been discussed in Washington is
to ban sales of Venezuelan oil into the US market.

US refiners have lobbied the White House against including crude imports
in any broader potential sanctions package as Venezuela is the US's
second-biggest foreign supplier to the gulf coast. A ban could also have
an impact on domestic fuel prices.

Cuba would make an unusual ally in an internationally-mediated attempt
to broker peace in Venezuela as it receives subsidised oil from Caracas
in return for medical services. Relations with Washington have also
cooled after Mr Trump partially rolled back the US rapprochement in
June, courting support from conservative Cuban-American legislators in
Washington.

But Havana could usefully offer safe haven exile for Mr Maduro's senior
officials who, with a bolt hole to flee to, would no longer need to
fight to the last.

Additional reporting Gideon Long in Bogotá

Source: Cuba courted in diplomatic push on Venezuela crisis -
https://www.ft.com/content/0bcdff72-6a07-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa Continue reading
Cuba Awaits New Trump Proposals / Iván García

Ivan Garcia, 14 June 2017 — What you lose last is hope. And those who
have plans to immigrate to the United States maintain bulletproof optimism.

Close to a small park in Calzada street, next to Rivero's funeral home,
dozens of restless people await their appointment for the consular
interview at the American Embassy located at the Havana's Vedado district.

Ronald, a mixed-race man of almost six feet, requested a tourist visa to
visit his mother in Miami. Before going to the embassy he bathed with
white flowers and sounded a maraca gourd before the altar of the Virgen
de la Caridad, Cuba's Patron Saint, wishing that they would approve his
trip.

Outside the diplomatic site, dozens of people await restlessly. Each one
of them has a story to tell. Many have had their visas denied up to five
times while some are there for the first time with the intent to get an
American visa; they rely on astrology or some other witchcraft.

Daniela is one of those people. "Guys, the astral letter says that Trump
instructed the embassy people to give the biggest possible number of
visas," she says to others also waiting.

Rumors grow along the line of those who read in social media — never in
the serious news — that Trump, in his next speech in Miami, will reverse
the reversal of the "wet foot-dry foot" policy.

In a park on Linea Street with Wi-Fi internet service, next to the
Camilo Cienfuegos clinic, two blocks from the United States Embassy,
Yaibel comments with a group of internet users that a friend who lives
in Florida told him that Trump was going to issue open visa to all Cubans.

The most ridiculous theories circulate around the city among those who
dream to migrate. The facts or promises made by Trump to close the
faucet of immigration mean nothing to them.

Guys like Josue holds on to anything that makes him think that his luck
will change. "That's the gossip going on. Crazy Trump will open all
doors to Cubans… Dude we are the only country in Latin America that
lives under a dictatorship. If they give us carte blanch three or four
million people will emigrate. The Mariel Boatlift will be small in
comparison. That's the best way to end this regime. These people — the
government — will be left alone here"… opines the young man.

In a perfect domino effect, some people echo the huge fantasy. "Someone
told me that they were going to offer five million working visas to
Cubans. The immigrants would be located in those states where they need
laborers. The people would need to come back in around a year, since the
Cuban Adjustment Act will be eliminated," says Daniela, who doesn't
remember where she heard such a delirious version.

Now, let's talk seriously. If something Donald Trump has showed, aside
from being superficial and erratic, it is being a president profoundly
anti-immigrant. But more than a few ordinary Cubans want to assert the
contrary.

The ones who wish to immigrate are the only segment that awaits with
optimism good news from Trump. The spectrum of opinion of the rest of
the Cubans ranges from indifference to concern.

In the local dissidence sector, the ones who believed that Trump was
going to open his wallet or go back to Obama's strategy towards dissent,
became more pessimistic after the White House announced a decrease of
$20 million dollars for civil society programs.

"Those groups that obtained money thanks to the Department of State are
pulling their hair out. But the ones that receive financing from the
Cuban exiles are not that unprotected," indicates a dissident who
prefers to remain anonymous.

The Palace of the Revolution in Havana is probably the place where
Trump's pronouncements are awaited with the greatest impatience. The
autocracy, dressed in olive green, has tried to be prudent with the
magnate from New York.

Contrary to Fidel Castro's strategy, which at the first sign of change
would prepare a national show and lengthy anti-imperialist speeches,
Raul's regime has toned that down as much as possible.

In certain moments they have criticized him. However, without
offensiveness and keeping the olive branch since the government is
betting on continuing the dialogue with the United Estates, to lift the
embargo, to receive millions of gringo tourists and to begin business
with American companies.

Official analysts are waiting for Trump to act from his entrepreneur
side. The autocracy is offering business on a silver plate, as long as
it is with state companies.

According to a source that works with Department of Foreign trade, "The
ideal would be to continue the roadmap laid out by Obama. With the
situation in Venezuela and the internal economic crisis, the official
wish is that relations with the United States deepen and millions in
investments begins. The government will give in, as long as it doesn't
feel pressured with talk about Human Rights.

"I hope that Trump is pragmatic. If he opens fire and returns to the
scenario of the past, those here will climb back into the trenches.
Confrontation didn't yield anything in 55 years. However, in only two
years of Obama's policy, aside from the panic of many internal leaders,
there was a large popular acceptance," declares the source.

In Havana's streets Trump is not appreciated. "That guy is insane. Dense
and a cretin and that's all. If he sets things back, to me it's all the
same. The majority of ordinary Cubans don't benefit from the agreements
made on December 17. Of course, I think it was the government's fault,"
says Rey Angel, worker.

And the reestablishment of the diplomatic relations and the extension of
Obama's policy to get closer to the the island's private workforce,
caused more notice in the press than concrete changes.

The people consulted do not believe that Trump will reduce the amount of
money sent in remittances by Cubans overseas, or the number of trips
home by Cubans living in the United States. "If he does, it will affect
many people who live off the little money and things that family living
in the North (United States) can send", says a lady waiting in line at
Western Union.

The rupture of the Obama strategy will decidedly affect the military
regime. And it looks like the White House will fire its rockets against
the flotation line. But anything can happen. Trump is just Trump.

Translated by: LYD

Source: Cuba Awaits New Trump Proposals / Iván García – Translating Cuba
-
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-awaits-new-trump-proposals-ivan-garcia-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
La relatora de la ONU niega la existencia de una oposición política en Cuba La Habana | Julio 14, 2017 (EFE).- La relatora de la ONU sobre derechos humanos y solidaridad internacional, Virginia Dandan, alabó este viernes los programas de cooperación que mantiene Cuba en el exterior, aunque eludió pronunciarse sobre la situación de los […] Continue reading
Relatora de derechos humanos de la ONU rehúsa en La Habana hablar sobre el tema julio 14, 2017 La relatora, Virginia Dandan, dijo que está satisfecha con la calidad y diversidad de los encuentros que ha mantenido durante su visita a Cuba, en la que no se ha entrevistado con ningún miembro de la oposición, […] Continue reading
'No sé a qué se refiere por oposición. Francamente no sé quién está en la oposición' Continue reading
Cuba's Raul Castro dismisses harsher US tone under Trump
- Castro's comments to Cuba's National Assembly were his first on
Trump's June announcement of a partial rollback of the Cuba-U.S. detente
- He also rejected any "lessons" on human rights from the U.S., saying
his country "has a lot to be proud about" on the issue
The Associated Press

Cuban President Raul Castro denounced President Donald Trump's tougher
line on relations with Havana on Friday, calling it a setback but
promising to continue working to normalize ties between the former Cold
War rivals.

Castro's comments to Cuba's National Assembly were his first on Trump's
June announcement of a partial rollback of the Cuba-U.S. detente
achieved by then-President Barack Obama. They contained echoes of the
harsh rhetoric of the past.

"Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through
coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail," Cuba's
president told legislators.

He also rejected any "lessons" on human rights from the U.S., saying his
country "has a lot to be proud about" on the issue.

Surrounded by Cuban-American exiles and Cuban dissidents in Miami, Trump
announced last month that the U.S. would impose new limits on U.S.
travelers to the island and ban any payments to the military-linked
conglomerate that controls much of the island's tourism industry. He
said the U.S. would consider lifting those and other restrictions only
after Cuba returned fugitives and made a series of other internal
changes including freeing political prisoners, allowing freedom of
assembly and holding free elections.

Trump's policy retained elements of Obama's reforms but tightened
restrictions on travel and employed harsh rhetoric on human rights.

On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration said it was suspending
for another six months a provision of the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

The State Department said it told Congress that it will keep suspending
a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that deals with property seized from
Americans. The provision lets Americans use U.S. courts to sue
non-American companies that operate and deal with property confiscated
after Fidel Castro's revolution.

Speaking to the National Assembly, Castro called the Trump
administration's policies a "setback," though he reiterated his
government's position that it would work to normalize relations with
Washington.

Earlier in the legislative session, Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas
announced that Cuba's economy is growing again after a dip last year.

Cabrisas said the economy grew around 1 percent in the first half of
2017. That puts GDP growth on track to hit 2 percent for the year.

The government said the economy shrank last year by 1 percent amid
falling support from troubled Venezuela. That was the first decrease
reported in two decades. Cabrisas said that instability in the supply of
Venezuelan oil weighs on the country but tourism, construction,
transportation and communications were growing.

Foreign media did not have access to the National Assembly session.

Source: Cuba's Raul Castro dismisses harsher US tone under Trump -
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/15/cubas-raul-castro-dismisses-harsher-us-tone-under-trump.html Continue reading
La experta de la ONU de visita en Cuba esquiva el tema de los derechos humanos AGENCIAS | La Habana | 15 de Julio de 2017 – 00:38 CEST. La experta de la ONU sobre derechos humanos y solidaridad internacional, Virginia Dandan, no se pronunció sobre derechos humanos en la rueda de prensa de este […] Continue reading
… topic of human rights against Cuba, which can be proud of … the Americans, including the emigrant Cuban circles, for the lifting of … relations between the two countries. Cuba has the will to continue … , but they cannot expect that Cuba will discuss its principles or … Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 14 June 2017 — What you lose last is hope. And those who have plans to immigrate to the United States maintain bulletproof optimism. Close to a small park in Calzada street, next to Rivero’s funeral home, dozens of restless people await their appointment for the consular interview at the American Embassy located … Continue reading "Cuba Awaits New Trump Proposals / Iván García" Continue reading
HAVANACuba has much to be proud … (US) siege” of Cuba, Castro told the Cuban parliament. The foreign press … policy toward Havana in a June 16 speech to Cuban exiles in … individuals and firms trading with Cuban state conglomerate Gaesa, seen as … Continue reading

(EFE).- La relatora de la ONU sobre derechos humanos y solidaridad internacional, Virginia Dandan, alabó este viernes los programas de cooperación que mantiene Cuba en el exterior, aunque eludió pronunciarse sobre la situación de los derechos fundamentales en la Isla y negó la existencia de una oposición política.

Preguntada por la vulneración de los derechos humanos en la Isla que denuncian organizaciones como Amnistía Internacional o Human Rights Watch, la experta independiente de Naciones Unidas declaró que "esas cuestiones no están dentro de los parámetros" de su mandato.

"Estoy en Cuba con el propósito de observar las actividades de solidaridad internacional del Gobierno y las organizaciones internacionales con sede aquí. Dentro de la solidaridad internacional está la solidaridad preventiva que corresponde a la acción colectiva de los Estados y que debe respetar la convención de los derechos humanos", acotó la investigadora filipina.

Dandan ofreció este viernes una conferencia de prensa en La Habana para exponer las conclusiones de su primera visita oficial a Cuba, donde se reunió con funcionarios del Gobierno, incluidos los ministros de Relaciones Exteriores, Bruno Rodríguez, y de Comercio Exterior, Rodrigo Malmierca, así como con representantes de organizaciones oficialistas de la sociedad civil.[[QUOTE:La relatora de la ONU, Virginia Dandan, eludió pronunciarse sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en la Isla y negó la existencia de una oposición política]]La relatora señaló que está satisfecha con la calidad y diversidad de los encuentros que ha mantenido durante su visita, en la que no se ha entrevistado con ningún miembro de la oposición, grupos que dijo desconocer.

"No sé a qué se refiere por oposición. Francamente no sé quién está en la oposición", afirmó la relatora en rueda de prensa.

Cuando se anunció su visita, el Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos, con sede en Madrid, solicitó a la relatora que "escuche la versión de los oprimidos" y denunció que en los últimos 18 meses se han producido en Cuba 12.000 detenciones arbitrarias por motivos políticos camuflados como supuestos delitos comunes.

La Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional -un grupo disidente que registra en Cuba los incidentes relacionados con la vulneración de derechos fundamentales por motivos políticos- contabilizó el pasado junio al menos 380 detenciones por esa razón y la cifra más alta de violaciones de la libertad de movimiento en varios años.

Esta organización, con base en el interior de la Isla, denunció el pasado mayo que los presos políticos suman ya 140, cifra que se duplicó en el último año.

Sin embargo, el Gobierno cubano, que considera a los disidentes "contrarrevolucionarios" y "mercenarios", no registra oficialmente a ningún preso político en sus cárceles, ya que aduce que se trata de presos por delitos comunes.[[QUOTE:El Gobierno cubano, que considera a los disidentes "contrarrevolucionarios" y "mercenarios", no registra oficialmente a ningún preso político en sus cárceles]]La relatora, que ha recabado información durante estos cuatro días de reuniones y visitas, tiene que elaborar un "completo informe" sobre las actividades de solidaridad internacional y respeto a los derechos humanos de Cuba, que deberá presentar ante el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU en junio de 2018.

Dandan destacó las "fortalezas" del sistema de cooperación exterior de Cuba, que se apoya en la educación, la salud y el deporte, áreas que pudo conocer de primera mano con visitas a la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina -donde se forman médicos de todo el mundo-, centros de salud, casas de abuelos, y con sus encuentros en el Instituto Cubano de Deporte y el Ministerio de Educación.

Como ejemplo de su compromiso con los derechos humanos, el Gobierno cubano defiende su acceso universal y gratuito a la educación y la salud, así como sus misiones solidarias en el exterior.

Desde 2001 Cuba desarrolla el programa "Yo sí puedo" con el que pedagogos cubanos han alfabetizado a más de 9,8 millones de personas en unos treinta países de Latinoamérica y África; y en 2005 se creó la brigada "Henry Reeve", que ha prestado asistencia médica en emergencias en más de 19 países, como en la epidemia de ébola en África Occidental en 2014 o el terremoto de Haití en 2010.[[QUOTE:Cuando se anunció su visita, el Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos, con sede en Madrid, solicitó a Dandan que "escuche la versión de los oprimidos"]]Como "desafíos" de ese sistema de solidaridad internacional, la relatora mencionó la "incapacidad del Gobierno cubano para acceder al equipamiento médico de última generación (...) para responder ante emergencias médicas".

La vigencia del "bloqueo" de Estados Unidos sobre la Isla es el principal obstáculo para que Cuba acceda no solo a equipamientos médicos, sino también a nuevas tecnologías o a financiación externa.

"Entre toda la documentación que tengo que analizar, espero poder averiguar más sobre los inconvenientes causados por el bloqueo, su impacto en la capacidad de los cubanos de disfrutar de sus derechos económicos y sociales", aseveró Dandan, la segunda relatora de la ONU que visita Cuba en los últimos meses.

El pasado abril lo hizo la relatora sobre trata de personas, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, pero Cuba no recibía un experto independiente de Naciones Unidas desde 2007.

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… visit to Cuba in response to an invitation by the Cuban Government … know first hand about the Cuban experience Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno … visit to Cuba in response to an invitation by the Cuban Government, and she recognized the role of Cuba in … Continue reading
Bruno Rodríguez habla a la experta de la ONU sobre ‘programas de cooperación’ del Gobierno DDC | La Habana | 13 de Julio de 2017 – 21:36 CEST. El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, recibió este jueves a la experta independiente de la ONU sobre derechos humanos y solidaridad internacional, Virginia Dandan, en […] Continue reading
If Trump Ends Our Remittances? / Iván García

Ivan Garcia, 8 July 2017 — Without too much caution, the CUPET tanker
truck painted green and white begins to deposit fuel in the underground
basement of a gas station located at the intersection of Calle San
Miguel and Mayía Rodríguez, just in front of Villa Marista, headquarters
of State Security, in the quiet Sevillano neighborhood, south of Havana.

The gas station, with four pumps, belongs to the Ministry of the
Interior and all its workers, even civilians, are part of the military
staff. "To start working in a military center or company, be it FAR
(Revolutionary Armed Forces) or MININT (Ministry of the Interior),
besides investigating you in your neighborhood and demanding certain
qualities, you have to be a member of the Party or the UJC (Union of
Young Communists)," says one employee, who adds:

"But things have relaxed and not all those working in military companies
are 100 percent revolutionary. And like most jobs in Cuba, there are
those who make money stealing fuel, have family in the United States and
only support the government in appearances."

Let's call him Miguel. He is a heavy drinker of beer and a devotee of
Santeria.

"I worked at the gas station six years ago. It is true that they ask for
loyalty to the system and you have to participate in the May Day marches
so as not to stand out. But it is not as rigorous as three decades ago,
according to the older ones, when you could not have religious beliefs
or family in yuma (the USA). I do not care about politics, I'm a
vacilator. I have two sons in Miami, and although I look for my
shillings here, if Trump cuts off the remittances to those of us who
work in military companies, Shangó will tell me what to do," he says and
laughs.

If there is something that worries many Cubans it is the issue of family
remittances. When the Berlin Wall collapsed and the blank check of the
former USSR was canceled, Fidel Castro's Cuba entered a spiraling
economic crisis that 28 years later it still has not been able to overcome.

Inflation roughly hits the workers and retirees with a worthless and
devalued currency, barely enough to buy a few roots and fruits and to
pay the bills for the telephone, water and electricity.

Although the tropical autocracy does not reveal statistics on the amount
of remittances received in Cuba, experts say that the figures fluctuate
between 2.5 and 3 billion dollars annually. Probably more.

Foreign exchange transactions of relatives and friends living abroad,
particularly in the United States, are the fundamental support of
thousands of Cuban families. It is the second national industry and
there is a strong interest in managing that hard currency.

"Since the late 1970s, Fidel Castro understood the usefulness of
controlling the shipments of dollars from the so-called gusanos
('worms,' as those who left were called) to their families. When he
allowed the trips of the Cuban Community to the Island, the Ministry of
the Interior (MININT) had already mounted an entire industry to capture
those dollars.

"Look, you can not be naive. In Cuba, whenever foreign exchange comes
in, the companies that manage it are military, or the Council of State,
like Palco. That money is the oxygen of the regime. And they use it to
buy equipment, motorcycles and cars for the G-2 officials who repress
the opponents and to construct hotels, rather than to acquire medicines
for children with cancer. And since there is no transparency, they can
open a two or three million dollar account in a tax haven," says an
economist.

The dissection of the problem carried out by the openly anti-Castro
exile and different administrations of the White House is correct. The
problem is to find a formula for its application so that the stream of
dollars does not reach the coffers of the regime.

"The only way for the government not to collect dollars circulating in
Cuba, would be Trump completely prohibiting transfers of money. It's the
only way to fuck them. I do not think there is another. But using money
as a weapon of blackmail to make people demand their rights, I find
deplorable. I also have the rope around my neck. I want democratic
changes, better salaries, and I have no relatives in Miami. But I do not
have the balls to go out in the street and demand them," says an
engineer who works at a military construction company.

Twenty years ago, on June 27, 1997, the Internal Dissident Working Group
launched La Patria es de Todos (The Nation Belongs to Everyone), a
document that raised rumors within the opposition itself. Economist
Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, along with the late Félix Antonio Bonne
Carcassés, Vladimiro Roca Antúnez and lawyer René Gómez Manzano, tried
to get those Cubans who received dollars to commit to not participate in
government activities or vote in the elections, all of them voluntary.

It is true that the double standards of a large segment of Cubans upset
the human rights activists. With total indifference, in the morning they
can participate in an act of repudiation against the Ladies in White and
in the afternoon they connect to the internet so that a family member
expedites the paperwork for them to emigrant or recharges their mobile
phone account.

This hypocrisy is repulsive. But these people are not repressive. Like
millions of citizens on the island, they are victims of a
dictatorship. In totalitarian societies, even the family estate is
perverted.

In Stalin's USSR a 'young pioneer' was considered a here for denouncing
the counterrevolutionary attitude of his parents. There was a stage in
Cuba where a convinced Fidelista could not befriend a 'worm', or have
anything to do with a relative who had left the country or receive money
from abroad.

I understand journalists like Omar Montenegro, of Radio Martí, who in a
radio debate on the subject, said that measures such as these can at
least serve to raise awareness of people who have turned faking it into
a lifestyle. But beyond whether regulation could be effective in the
moral order, in practice it would be a chaos for any federal agency of
the United States.

And, as much frustration as those of us who aspire to a democratic Cuba
may have, we can not be like them. It has rained a lot since then. The
ideals of those who defend Fidel Castro's revolution have been
prostituted. Today, relatives of senior military and government
officials have left for the United States. And the elite of the olive
green bourgeoisie that lives on the island likes to play golf, drink
Jack Daniel's and wear name-brand clothes.

If Donald Trump applies the control of remittances to people working in
GAESA or other military enterprises, it would affect more than one
million workers engaged in these capitalist business of the regime,
people who are as much victims of the dictatorship as the rest of the
citizenship.

The colonels and generals who changed their hot uniforms for white
guayaberas and the ministers and high officials, do not need to receive
remittances. Without financial controls or public audits, they manage
the state coffers at will. One day we will know how much they have
stolen in the almost sixty years they have been governing.

Source: If Trump Ends Our Remittances? / Iván García – Translating Cuba
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Virginia Dandan continúa de visita en Cuba y recorrió varias instituciones Continue reading

(EFE).- La relatora de la ONU sobre derechos humanos y solidaridad internacional, Virginia Dandan, continúa su primera visita a Cuba con reuniones con responsables de las carteras de Salud y Comercio Exterior, y una visita a la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM).

Dandan se reunió con la viceministra cubana de Salud Pública, Marcia Cobas, quien calificó de "muy fructífero" un encuentro en el que la investigadora independiente de Naciones Unidas recibió explicaciones detalladas sobre las particularidades del sistema de salud de la Isla.

Cobas señaló que autoridades de la Unidad Central de Cooperación Médica de La Habana expusieron a la relatora "la importancia para los cubanos del derecho a la salud y la atención médica gratuita", según informaron medios oficiales.

[[QUOTE:"Pudimos reflexionar sobre la colaboración y solidaridad que desarrollamos con los pueblos más humildes y necesitados del mundo"]]"También pudimos reflexionar sobre la colaboración y solidaridad que desarrollamos con los pueblos más humildes y necesitados del mundo", añadió la funcionaria del Ministerio de Salud Pública.

Dandan se entrevistó posteriormente con el ministro cubano de Comercio Exterior y la Inversión Extranjera, Rodrigo Malmierca.

La agenda de la relatora de ONU en la capital cubana incluye, además, reuniones con representantes de organizaciones oficiales de la sociedad civil y autoridades del ámbito de la educación y el deporte.

Hoy conoció el funcionamiento del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP) durante un encuentro con su presidente, Fernando González, quien le informó acerca del movimiento de solidaridad internacional con Cuba.

El miércoles, la relatora empezó su visita en la Asociación Cubana de Naciones Unidas, entidad que agrupa organizaciones oficialistas de la sociedad civil como la Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (FMC), los Comités de Defensa de la Revolución (CDR), la Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños (ANAP), la Unión de Escritores y Artistas (UNEAC) o la Unión de Juristas.

En esa misma jornada celebró reuniones con autoridades de los ministerios de Educación y Educación Superior, quienes le hablaron del sistema de enseñanza gratuito y universal de la Isla, una de las principales banderas de la Revolución, y con el vicepresidente primero del Instituto Nacional de Deportes, Roberto León.

El viernes, su último día en Cuba, la relatora tiene programada una reunión con el ministro de Exteriores, Bruno Rodríguez, y cerrar la vista con una rueda de prensa.

[[QUOTE:El viernes, su último día en Cuba, la relatora tiene programada una reunión con el ministro de Exteriores y cerrar la vista con una rueda de prensa]]La filipina Virginia Dandan es la segunda experta independiente de Naciones Unidas que visita la Isla desde abril pasado, cuando viajó a la nación caribeña la relatora sobre trata de personas, la italiana Maria Grazia Giammarinaro.

Estas visitas, ambas por invitación de las autoridades, marcan una nueva etapa en las relaciones entre Naciones Unidas y Cuba, que no había recibido en los últimos diez años a ningún experto independiente del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU.

Organizaciones como Amnistía Internacional o Human Rights Watch incluyen a Cuba entre los países donde se vulneran los derechos y libertades políticas y sociales de la población.

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HAVANA – The United Nations independent expert … Tuesday her first visit to Cuba, where she met with representatives … civil society organizations, including the Cuban Women’s Federation (FMC), Committees … freedoms are regularly violated. The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and … Continue reading