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Mario Penton Martinez

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 7 December 2017 — Ernesto Machado will never forget a cold morning in 1968 at José Martí airport in Havana. A migration officer removed her parents’ gold wedding rings while annulling her passport. “This is the property of the revolutionary government,” the woman dressed as a soldier told her, before she left Cuba to … Continue reading "Cuban Customs Can’t Keep Up With Cuban Ingenuity" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 23 November 2017 — Under a parasol printed with a reproduction of the Tropical Gypsy, María Elena has left behind her profession as a doctor to dedicate herself to selling handicraft products that she makes for tourists in Matanzas. She graduated in 1993 but has not practiced for more than 10 years. “They … Continue reading "Official Data Confirm Degradation Of Cuba’s Health System" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 17 November 2017 – Cuba’s northern keys are a tropical paradise that were forbidden to Cubans for decades. In 2008, in the midst of a severe liquidity crisis, the reforms of Raul Castro’s regime allowed, for the first time since the opening to international tourism in the ’90s, Cubans to stay in … Continue reading "Cubans Are Traveling Abroad More and On The Island Less" Continue reading
The book ‘The Companion Who Attends Me’ was presented last Thursday in Coral Gables (Florida) and reflects its authors’ preoccupation with the omnipresence of surveillance in Cuba 14ymedio, Mario J. Penton, Miami, 3 November 2017 — Writing a book can be like an exorcism, especially when trying to leave behind ghosts of the past. This … Continue reading "The Cuban ‘Big Brother’ Seen by 57 Writers" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 1 November 2017 — The film director, screenwriter and writer Eduardo del Llano has denounced that the Cuban television censors are hounding him and accuses the authorities of wanting to force him to emigrate. According to a statement written by the artist and shared through the social networks of Carlos Lechuga, … Continue reading "Cuban TV Censors Come Down on Director and Screenwriter Eduardo del Llano" Continue reading
Mario Penton, Miami, 30 October 2017 — Two young Cubans are missing after the shipwreck on Saturday of a rickety boat on which they attempted to leave the country along with four other people. According to the relatives who spoke with14ymedio, the group on the boat had left from the area of Cayo Caguama, south of … Continue reading "Two Cuban Rafters Disappear After Their Boat Capsizes South Of Camagüey" Continue reading
Our apologies for the lack of subtitles on this video. 14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 28 October 2017 – On Thursday, after four years of exile, Ofelia Acevedo, widow of Oswaldo Payá, the deceased opponent of the Cuban regime, was not allowed to enter her own country. Acevedo, an activist in her own right, had decided … Continue reading "Oswaldo Payá’s Widow: “The Cuban State did not want to tell me why I can’t enter my own country.”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 27 October 2017 — “The Catholic Church in Cuba has a future of hope because despite the forces that have wanted to sow hatred in the Cuban nation, love has always triumphed.” This was the central message of Father José Conrado Rodríguez, presbyter of the church of San Francisco de Paula in … Continue reading "“This Soul of a Wounded People is The Worst Thing That Castroism Has Left Us”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 19 October 2017 — Ruber Hidalgo has traveled to five countries in recent years, an uncommon record for a Cuban doctor whose salary, in Cuba, was about $40 a month. Hidalgo is a specialist in integrated general medicine and has participated in four missions abroad organized by the Cuban Government. The doctor … Continue reading "Dozens Of Cuban Doctors In Brazil Fight To Escape From Havana’s Control" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 12 October 2017 — Russia is again aiding Cuba and, as with the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, the aid comes in the form of oil. Moscow is trying to compensate for the collapse of Venezuelan shipments, but part of the bill comes from Caracas, says Jorge Piñón, director of … Continue reading "Venezuela Finances Russian Oil Coming To Cuba" 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, Mario Penton, Miami, 22 September 2017 — Carlos Iván González arrived in Florida in 1980, during the Mariel Boatlift exodus, barely 14 years old. Now, at age 50 and after establishing a family in the United States, deportation is hanging over his head. In 2012, he was sentenced by a state judge to five years in … Continue reading "A ‘Marielito’ Will Be Deported After His Release From Prison After 37 Years In The US" Continue reading
14ymedio, Nora Gamez, Mimi Whitefield, Mario Penton, Miami, 17 September 2017 – Concerned that the Cuban government does not usually accept donations from the United States, the Cuban-American community is looking for alternatives to help their families on the island, which has been devastated by the passage of Hurricane Irma. According to a preliminary evaluation … Continue reading "After Hurricane Irma, Sending Help to Family in Cuba is Complicated" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 31 August 2017 — The red and white uniform has been washed and ironed for two days; next to it, a blue neckerchief. Eddy Alberto is eight years old and is starting the second grade at the Héroes de Yaguajay elementary school in the province of Sancti Spiritus. When he grows up, he wants … Continue reading "Under Raúl Castro, Cuban Education Has Lost Teachers And Budget" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 29 August 2017 — This Monday the process began to repatriate 75 undocumented migrants who were stranded in Panama after the United States ended the wet foot/dry foot policy that allowed Cubans who touched American soil to stay. The Cubans stranded in Panama accepted that government’s proposal to return to their … Continue reading "Cubans Stranded In Panama Are Wary of the Deportation Initiated By the Government" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 1 September 2017 — Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, whose family had to go into exile after the Cuban Revolution in 1959,  never thought that his image would be linked to that of Ernesto Che Guevara, one of the “bearded ones” who established communism in his homeland. The image of Guevara welcomed … Continue reading "‘Che’ Guevara Welcomes Passengers At Miami Airport For A Few Hours" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 24 August 2017 – Currently, Cubans and foreigners residing in Cuba are permitted to pay customs duty on imported products in Cuban pesos only once per year. Subsequent import duties must be paid in Cuba’s other currency, the Cuban convertible peso (CUC), which is worth 25 times the Cuban peso (CUP). … Continue reading "Cuban “Collaborators” on Foreign Missions Will Pay Customs Duties in Cuban Pesos" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 10 August 2017 – The Cuban population is aging at an inverse ratio to the investment required to support this share of the citizenry. Almost 20% of Cubans are over 60, and a recent government study sees aging as “the nation’s biggest demographic challenge.” Health spending fell from 11% of GDP … Continue reading "Cuba Spends Less on Healthcare Despite the Aging of the Population" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 3 August 2017 — Fewer than 42,000 Cubans have emigrated since 2013 according to official statistics published in Havana. However, US officials say they have welcomed more than 141,528 Cubans during the same period. The enormous discrepancy between these data is explained by the lack of transparency of the Cuban Government, which conceals … Continue reading "Cuban Government Obscures the Figures to Hide the Magnitude of Emigration" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 4 August 2017 – “It doesn’t matter when, all we get are feathers,” complains the father of a family, disgusted on finding no kind of meat other than chicken in the Hard Currency Collection Stores (TRD), the state chain that sells only in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). Since the beginning of … Continue reading "Cuba Has No Plan B To Make Up For The Loss Of Venezuela" 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, Mario J. Penton, Panama City, 2 July 2017 – They managed to escape Cuba to leave behind traces of corruption and negligence that, according to Yudenny Sao Labrado and her husband Yoendry Batista, reflect the prevailing system on the island. From a neighborhood on the outskirts of Panama City, the couple relates the story … Continue reading "Cuban Couple Prefers to Face the Jungle Rather Than the Law in Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 7 July 2017 – On Friday, Panama’s deputy minister of security, Jonathan del Rosario, offered Cubans stranded at the Gualaca camp $1,650, plus a ticket back to Havana and a multiple-entry visa for Panama, at a meeting to which 14ymedio had access. The proposal, which the migrants will have until July … Continue reading "Panama Offers $1,650 and Return Ticket to Cuba for Migrants Stranded In Gualaca" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 26 June 2017 — Independent communicators in Cuba are victims of an escalating repression, according to a complaint filed Monday by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH), based in Madrid. The alarm sounded by the organization coincides with an increase in complaints from journalists on the island as a result of … Continue reading "Persecution Grows Against Independent Journalism In Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, David (Panama), 23 June 2017 — The green seems to fill everything in Chiriquí, in the western Panamanian province where the government hosts 126 undocumented Cubans in a camp in the region of Gualaca. The stillness of the morning in the middle of the huge pines that grow in the foothills of the … Continue reading "“We Exist Between Illusions And Fears”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miamia, 25 May 2017 — On the verge of being operated on in Miami for a traumatic cataract caused by a punch from a Cuban State Security agent during one of the many acts of repudiation against her, the dissident and former political prisoner Martha Beatriz Roque was forceful in evaluating the … Continue reading "Martha Beatriz Roque: “The Cuban Opposition Has Not Found The Right Path”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 18 May 2017 — Seen from the Venezuelan opposition as an army of occupation and from the Venezuelan government as soldiers of socialism, tens of thousands of Cuban professionals live a situation that is complicated day after day in convulsive Venezuela. The Cuban government has asked them to stay “until the last … Continue reading "Cuban Professionals Are Afraid In Venezuela" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 15 May 2017 — The artist Danilo Maldonado, known as ‘El Sexto’ (The Sixth), announced his desire to reside in the United States, although he will remain attentive to what happens in Cuba to be able to denounce the arbitrary detentions. Maldonado, whose girlfriend, Alexandra Martinez, is a US citizen, declined to respond … Continue reading "‘El Sexto’ Will Stay In The US But Will Continue To Fight Against Arbitrary Detentions In Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Penton, Miami/Havana, 4 May 2017 — The team at the Cubalex Legal Information Center and its director, attorney Laritza Diversent, have obtained political refuge in the United States following the intensification of repression against the nonprofit organization dedicated to legally advising Cubans. Diversent, told 14ymedio, from a stop at Miami International Airport this … Continue reading "Laritza Diversent and Cubalex Begin Their Life In Exile" Continue reading
14ymedio, Caridad Cruz/Mario Penton, Cienfuegos/Miami, 17 April 2017 – teaching children cursive writing and educating them is much more than a job for Adrian, an elementary school teacher in Ciego de Avila. His threadbare pants stained with chalk dust make clear that he is not one of those most favored by the economic changes on the … Continue reading "“Being A Teacher Is Not Profitable In Cuba But It Teaches You To Love”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 14 April 2017 — Juana Chiroles will never forget December 26, 2015. It was the last day she saw her son and her two nephews. As night fell the young men told her they were going to kill some pigs and had a rope and several implements. They never returned home. Some … Continue reading "A Small Cuban Town Lives With The Anguish Of The Disappearance Of 13 Rafters" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 14 April 2017 – Cuba just suspended the sending of a group of 710 health professionals who would have worked on the “More Doctors” mission in Brazil, our of fear of desertions, according to a report from the Brazilian press informed by that country’s Ministry of Health. The decision not to … Continue reading "Cuba Stops Sending Doctors To Brazil For Fear Of Defections" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 31 March 2017 — The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FDHC) launched its new program Artists For Rights in Miami on Friday and sent a strong message to the Cuban government’s “repressors”: You are being watched and your actions will not go unnoticed. The artistic project seeks to sensitize artists … Continue reading "Warning to the Repressors: “We Are Watching You”" 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, Mario Penton, Miami, 16 March 2017 — A call from Cuba finally let Yandry Perez relax. His aunt had alerted him through an interrupted phone call from the north of Villa Clara, that for two days the whereabouts of his mother and his two younger brothers had been unknown. Organized in absolute secrecy to facilitate … Continue reading "Total Uncertainty Among Families Of Cuban ‘Rafters’ Recently Arrived In The United States / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada and Mario Penton, Havana/Miami, 8 March 2017 — Carlos began to travel to Ecuador when Cubans did not need a visa. He brought back clothes and appliances to sell in the informal market, until he discovered a more lucrative business: the import of electric scooters, the flagship product of those who do … Continue reading "Scooters Ease The Problem Of Public Transport / 14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada and Mario Penton" 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, Mario Penton, Miami, 3 March 2017 – With the opportunity to study at the university by passing the University entrance exams with the “minimum score,” the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) is offering an incentive for young women who want to enlist in Military Service, which is an obligation for men. The announcement was made … Continue reading "Cuba Seeks To Encourage Women To Enter Military Service / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
Video: Lajas Blancas Camp Where Almost 100 Cubans Are Living 14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 2 March 2017 – In the next few weeks Panama will deport almost 500 Cubans who remain undocumented in the country, after being stranded by the end of the United States’ wet foot/dry foot policy in January, which had previously allowed … Continue reading "Panama Will Deport Almost 500 Cubans in the Coming Weeks / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 24 February 2017 – Members of the Cuban exile remembered the anniversary of the death of four Cuban Americans after the shooting down of two planes of the humanitarian NGO Brothers to the Rescue by the Cuban Air Force in 1996. The commemorative activities began with an act of homage to … Continue reading "Brothers To The Rescue: A Crime That Hurts “Like The First Day”/ 14ymedio, Mario Penton" 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
Video not subtitled: Rocio Monasterio talks about her dreams for Cuba in Miami 14ymedio, Mario J. Penton, Miami, 11 February 2017 – Rocio Monasterio, a Cuban living in Spain who became popular after starring in a televised debate at the end of November in which she confronted Castro supporters about the legacy of former Cuban … Continue reading "“Those Who Do Not Help the Victims of Castro-ism Are Complicit in the Oppression,” says Rocio Monasterio / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Diana Ramos and Mario Penton, Quito/Miami, 10 February 2017 — A group of Cubans in Ecuador united in the Movement X Cuba (MXC) requested in an open letter to the next present of Ecuador, the end of the medical missions of the Cuban government in the Andean nation. Doctor and president of the association, … Continue reading "Cubans In Ecuador Ask Ecuador’s Next President To End The Medical Missions / 14ymedio, Diana Ramos and Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 9 February 2017 — A Cuban couple were deported Wednesday by the National Migration Service in Panama. Both were detained by the authorities in Guabalá, in Panama’s Chiriquí province. According to immigration sources, the couple entered the country “irregularly.” Both were returned to Uruguay, where they legally reside. Their intention was to reach the … Continue reading "Between 2 And 100 Cubans Expelled From Panama, According To Sources / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Penton, Miami, 6 February 2017 – Two dozen health professionals who abandoned their Cuban medical missions abroad arrived this afternoon at the Miami International Airport from Colombia. This is the first group to arrive in the United States after the end of the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP). “This is a triumph … Continue reading "First Group of Cuban Doctors Arrives in Miami after the End of the ‘Parole’ / 14ymedio, Mario Penton" Continue reading