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October 2017
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Luz Escobar

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 11 October 2017 — When he was a boy all he needed was a scalpel to shape a piece of wood and he gladly exchanged the tracks of athleticism for art. Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara dreamed of “being famous, having money and improving the world,” but ended up denouncing, through his aesthetic … Continue reading "Luis Manuel Otero: “Fear is One of the Most Effective Tools of This System”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 9 October 2017 – Months ago, surrounded by strict discretion, the remains of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Mariana Grajales were exhumed in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. The operation was led by the same specialist who, two decades ago, led the search for the remains of Ernesto Che … Continue reading "Cuban Authorities Secretly Disinter Remains of Céspedes and Grajales" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar/Mario Penton, Havana/Miami, 5 October 2017 — A few days after the US authorities announced the suspension of the issuance of visas at its embassy in Havana, the State Department has confirmed this Thursday to the Nuevo Herald newspaper that it will not reimburse the money Cubans paid for the visa process. The 160 dollars … Continue reading "Cubans Outraged to Learn they Will Not be Reimbursed for US Visa Interview Fees" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 1 October 2017 — To avoid losing his sanity, Daniel Llorente sweeps the floor of the psychiatric hospital in Havana with a broom. Llorente trained in automotive mechanics in East Germany, and five months ago the activist was arrested while waving the American flag in the May Day parade in the … Continue reading "“The Man With the Flag” Marks Five Months Detention" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar and Zunilda Mata, Havana/Varadero, 21 September 2017 — “This is what’s left of the gardens of the Blue Lagoon,” says an employee while looking at a cellphone photo of fallen palm trees and tangled vegetation. The bus in which he is traveling is responsible for distributing staff to the hotels in Varadero, Cuba’s … Continue reading "Irma Reconfigures Cuba’s Tourist Map" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 23 September 2017 – Hope is fading these days in Havana’s San Lázaro Street due to the closing of the Malecón, after the damages left by Hurricane Irma. The lives of the residents along the coastline are stalled, waiting for humanitarian aid that has never arrived. The San Leopoldo neighborhood and the … Continue reading "Hurricane Victims Along Havana’s Coastline Wait for Help That Never Comes" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar and Zunilda Mata, Havana, 18 September 2017 — Black smoke from charcoal rises from an improvised fire in Dinora’s yard, which is close to the area most affected by Hurricane Irma in Caibarién, in the province of Villa Clara. In addition to half her house being on the ground, her new problem now … Continue reading "Charcoal, the Expensive and Only Cooking Fuel After Irma" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 13 September 2017 — Hundreds of people demonstrated in Havana’s Diez de Octubre neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, protesting the lack of electricity and water after Hurricane Irma. The protest began spontaneously, according to witnesses who spoke with 14ymedio. “We want light! we want water!” and “The people, united, will never be … Continue reading "Hundreds of Havanans Protest in Neighborhood Five Days Without Electricity or Water" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 8 September 2017 – The return to class, for thousands of children and young people, means a return to the discipline of school after two months of vacation. This September, school directors have focused their crusade against fingernails and hair painted bright colors, and students are forced to get haircuts or … Continue reading "Cuban Students Rebel Against the Uniformity of the Classrooms" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 5 September 2017 — The young touchscreen generation looks at them with curiosity and the new rich keep their distance, but there are Cubans for whom public telephones continue to be an important way of communicating in the face of the high prices of the mobile service. Making local calls from … Continue reading "Cuba’s Public Phones Persist in the Smartphone Era" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 30 August 2017 — These are frantic days. The uniform has to be ready, and a supply of pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners collected. The school year begins on Monday, and each year the cost of equipping a student for the classroom increases. Cuban families spend nearly an entire month’s average salary … Continue reading "Cuban Families Try to Equip Their Children for the School Year Without Ruining Themselves" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 28 August 2017 – The sun is rising and a teenager is unsuccessfully trying to find the presence of a wireless network. After months of waiting, the residents of La Pera Park, in Havana, are losing hope that an internet browsing point will be installed there. However, an artist got there before the … Continue reading "In Havana’s La Pera Park Art Anticipates Technology" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 2 August 2017 — The Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) is celebrating its six years in the midst of the complicated situation faced by the island’s opposition, assaulted by repression and limited by laws that penalize any form of organized dissidence. Under the leadership of José Daniel Ferrer, UNPACU was born in … Continue reading "Opposition Organization UNPACU Turns Six In Very Difficult Circumstances" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 8 August 2017 — Every Sunday, Raymel Casamayor meets with several friends in Havana’s Maceo Park and, together, they go for a walk through the nearby streets with a speaker connected by bluetooth to a mobile phone through which all kinds of Cuban rhythms are heard, beyond the rumba and reggaetón … Continue reading "Music Everywhere He Goes" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 22 July 2017 — The future could only bring good things. His son grew up and his passion for photography allowed him to rub shoulders with numerous artists. But the life of Yuris Gabri Garrote Rodriguez was turned upside down in 2015 when he was sentenced to ten years in prison for carrying … Continue reading "They Lost their Homes and Freedom Because of ‘Maria’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton and Luz Escobar, Miami and Havana, 14 July 2017 — Ileana Sánchez is anxiously rummaging through her tattered wallet, looking for some bills to buy a toy slate for her seven-year-old granddaughter who dreams of becoming a teacher. She has had to save for months to get the 20 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos, … Continue reading "Average Wages Rise but Nobody in Cuba Lives on Their Salary" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 16 June 2017 – The closure of three private restaurants in Havana last week has sparked doubts among owners of food service businesses. The fact that the three paladares – private restaurants – were rated “excellent” on Trip Advisor, one of the most important travel sites on the web, has fueled … Continue reading "Three “Paladares” Closed Were Among The Best Restaurants In Havana" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 29 May 2017 — They call him “Manolo 440” because a few years ago he had an electrocution accident in a building under construction. He managed to survive and has since been given the nickname of the voltage that almost killed him. He was lucky, unlike the 89 people who died in Cuba last … Continue reading "Danger, Men At Work" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 5 May 2017 — Uncensored, fun and with many varied themes — this defines the producers of the paketito (little packet), a new compendium of audiovisual material that aims to fill the gaps left by the popular weekly packet. Unlike its predecessor, which is made and distributed publicly, the paketito lurks in the … Continue reading "The ‘Little Packet’, A Clandestine Rival For The ‘Weekly Packet’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 29 April 2017 — They stare, amazed, but they don’t buy anything. Their faces press against the glass and admire that unattainable wealth that is a few inches from their hands and an abyss from their pockets. The new luxury theme park in Havana is the newly opened boutiques on the lower floor … Continue reading "Hotel Manzana, a Luxury Theme Park in Havana" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 19 April 2017 – When the wind blows, the odor of burning overwhelms the town of El Guay, in the municipality of Mella (Santiago de Cuba). It is an odor that sticks to clothes, hair and food. Last Sunday a downpour put out the forest fire that burned 5,000 hectares in … Continue reading "Residents Thank the Rain That Put Out The Year’s Biggest Fire" Continue reading
Note: The video above is not subtitled but the excerpts from Nadie here are subtitled. 14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 16 April 2017 – Cuba’s State Security and the National Revolutionary Police surrounded the independent gallery El Círculo to prevent this Saturday’s screening of the documentary Nadie (Nobody), directed by Miguel Coyula and featuring the censored … Continue reading "State Security Prevents Screening Of Miguel Coyula’s Documentary ‘Nadie’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 2 April 2017 — Not even the most unconditional followers of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, known as ‘Titón’, have seen the movie Strawberry and Chocolate as many times as Alberto Maceo. This Cuban with the mischievous smile worked as a projectionist at Havana’s Acapulco cinema when the film was on the marquee for a year. The … Continue reading "‘Albertico’, Projectionist for ‘Strawberry And Chocolate’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 30 March 2017 — Through the streets of Sagua la Grande, in the province of Villa Clara, people walk around with bottles, buckets and every kind of receptacle. This month’s break in the turbine that supplies the city’s water has forced its inhabitants to carry water from different towns. “It’s been … Continue reading "Sagua La Grande, The Village Where A Glass Of Water Is A Miracle" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar/Mario Penton, Havana/Miami, 25 March 2017 – Maria, 59, has a daughter in Miami she hasn’t seen for six years. Her visa applications have been denied three times and she promised herself that she would never “step foot in” the US consulate in Havana again. Cuba is the country with the most denials … Continue reading "Cuba Holds World Record For Visa Applications Rejected By The United States" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, 19 March 2017 – It rained when the presidential plane touched down on the tarmac at Havana’s Airport. On 20 March 2016, Barack Obama began a historic visit to the island that awakened hopes and sparked questions. One year after that visit, Cubans are taking stock of what happened and, in particular, … Continue reading "A Year After Obama’s Visit, Cubans Feel Disillusioned With His Legacy / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 14 March 2017 – Whether they are independent or official, reporters share the same complaint against institutions, which they accuse of hindering access to information and hiding data. And for this reason all informants have the same requirement: greater access to sources. Gabriela Daihuela studies journalism and dreams of dedicating herself to … Continue reading "Cuban Journalists Demand Greater Access To Sources / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar/Mario Penton, Havana/Miami, 6 March 2017 — At age 67, struck by old age and a miserable pension, Raquel, an engineer “trained by the Revolution,” scavenges among the garbage for the sustenance of each day. Her hands, which once drew maps and measured spaces where promising crops would grow, are now collecting cartons, cans … Continue reading "With A Pension Of 240 Pesos, Raquel Survives Thanks To The Trash / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar and Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 2 March 2017 — A few minutes after noon, the Lettuce Women stood on the corner of Obispo and Mercaderes streets in Old Havana. They came with their unique message that promotes healthy food and a love of animals. Under the March sun, their lettuce bikinis generated more curiosity than their environmentalist discourse. … Continue reading "The Ladies In Green Can Not Sell Their Lettuce / 14ymedio, Havana" Continue reading
Luz Escobar, Havana, 1 March 2017 — After a two month free trial, the fees for government-run home internet service, known as “Nauta Hogar,” were announced on Wednesday. The Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) will charge between 15 and 115 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC) for packages of 30 hours, depending on the connection speed, which … Continue reading "Cuba Announces Exorbitant Rates for Limited Home Internet / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 21 February 2017– Surrounded by cables and circuits Alexei Gámez has spent his life. From an early age he became passionate about technology despite growing up amidst the rigors of the Special Period. At age ten, he had a computer, “the kind that connected to TVs,” he recalls with a mixture of pride … Continue reading "Alexei Gámez: “Before Wifi This Was a Dead Town” / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 16 February 2017 – In the photo the couple smiles with one glass of beer in hand, all they were able to obtain after waiting in a long line at a Varadero resort. Nine years after the government allowed Cubans to enter hotels in Cuba (a right previously denied them in what … Continue reading "Cuban Customers: Collateral Damage In The Tourism Boom / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
Luz Escobar, Havana, 11 February 2017 – Sexists, hard and streetsmart, such are the lyrics of most reggaeton songs that are heard everywhere. Topics that speak about jealousy and rivalries, but that can also convey very different messages. Under the name La Unión (the Union), a group of young artists spread the Christian faith to … Continue reading "Faith Arrives to the Rhythm of Reggaeton / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 7 February 2017 — Rustic, elegant or family friendly. These are the preferred accommodations offered by Airbnb in Cuba. The hosts, for their part, prefer serious customers who pay well, but above all value the ability to directly manage their rental, two years after the huge international private rental platform opened its services in Cuba. … Continue reading "Airbnb, The Cuban Experience / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 4 February 2017 — Colombia’s sugar mill whistle sounded again at the end of January, like a giant awakened from a seven-year-long lethargy. The residents in the area breathed a sign of relief: the driving force behind the local economy seems to be the sugar mill, but technical and organizational problems … Continue reading "Colombia Sugar Mill, A Giant That Is Slow To Wake Up / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
Every night when Bisaida Azahares Correa goes to bed and looks at the ceiling, she is afraid that when the sun comes up she will have leave the house where she lives with her two children. This dwelling in the Siboney neighborhood is her only chance of not ending up sleeping on the street, but its … Continue reading "“I Did Not Enter This House Through The Window” / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 27 January 2017 — Since late last November Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, has lived a nightmare. He passed from one police station to another until he reached the dreaded Combinado del Este jail in Havana. His crime: to write on several walls a graffiti that read “He left,” a few hours after the … Continue reading "“That day, like the kids, I went out to play,” says El Sexto / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 24 January 2017 — The hectically busy residents of the areas bordering Havana’s Malecón, on Tuesday, tried to repair the damages left by seawater flooding over the seawall the previous day. The strong northwestern winds associated with an extensive extratropical low pressure over the state of South Carolina have submerged the dreams … Continue reading "Taking Stock of the Flood Damage in Havana / 14ymedio" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 23 January 2017 — The leader of the Dignity Movement, Belkis Cantillo, who was arrested last Thursday was released Monday afternoon, as confirmed to 14ymedio by Moraima Diaz, an activist of the same movement. Shortly after being released, in a telephone conversation with this newspaper, Cantillo explained that she was given a warning … Continue reading "Belkis Cantillo, Leader Of The Dignity Movement Released / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 20 January 2017 – A bird has his nest on a fragment of wall and a creeper peeps over what was once the sumptuous door of the Moscow Restaurant. Almost three decades after a fire extinguished the sparkle of the downtown location, its ruins are a headache for its closest neighbors … Continue reading "Fire, Neglect and Bureaucracy Sink the Moscow Restaurant / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, Luz Escobar, 6 January 2016 — Half a hundred people crowded around the outside of the store. Some shelves display dolls, play tea sets and teddy bears: an explosion of pink and lilac. In others, plastic wagons, swords and firefighters’ equipment appear darker and bluish. There is no other occasion like Three Kings Day – Epiphany, when … Continue reading "The Three Kings Are Also Sexist / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 7 January 2016 – A few lights blink in Julian’s living room, on San Ignacio Street between Teniente Rey and Amargura in Old Havana. This week he was given a router to connect to the internet, as a part of a pilot project being carried out in the area. However, the … Continue reading "Old Havana, Internet Territory / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
On the filthiest walls of Havana something always surprises you, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 23 December 2016 – “Over my dead body!” echoes across a living room in Florida, Camaguey, Cuba, the day Jorge Angel discovered his family absorbed in the weekly packet. Now the wife sneaks to watch the reality shows that come in the weekly audiovisual compendium so as not to annoy the … Continue reading "Cuba’s ‘Weekly Packet’ is Caught in the Crossfire / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 23 November 2016 — The film Santa and Andrés will not be screened at the 38th edition of the Havana Film Festival, to be held between 8 and 18 December. Sources from the industry guild commented to 14ymedio that the exclusion of the independent film, directed by Carlos Lechuga, could be motivated by its theme, focusing … Continue reading "The Film ‘Santa and Andrés’ is Excluded From Havana Festival / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar" Continue reading