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Reinaldo Escobar

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 4 December 2017 — Neither metaphorical nor allusive, but simply ruthless, the staging of The Infinite Banquet highlights everything insane, corrupt and violent that political power can be. The play, written in 1999 by the playwright Alberto Pedro Torriente, premiered last Thursday, November 30, at the Teatro de la Luna in the Adolfo … Continue reading "‘The Infinite Banquet’ Reflects the Violence and Corruption of Power" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 24 November 2017 — Throughout my adolescence I had a recurring dream related to Mr. Fidel Castro. It used to repeat itself on the nights he delivered those endless speeches in front of hundreds of thousands of people. My fingers would perceive with amazing clarity the texture of the upper edge of … Continue reading "I No Longer Dream Of Fidel Castro" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 20 November 2017 — Several impounded trucks and numerous drivers demanding respect for the law have been the results of the stiffening of police controls, in recent weeks, on the transport of agricultural products in the municipality of Alquízar, located in Artemisa province. Around a dozen truck owners complained to 14ymedio … Continue reading "Alquízar’s Truckers Challenge the Police, Showing Them the Wording of the Law" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 14 November 2017 — “Have you come about the Giant African snails?” the residents of the Santa Amalia neighborhood ask any stranger who walks through their streets and seems to be looking for something. People have become increasingly alarmed after the publication, this Sunday, of a reader’s letter sent to the Juventud … Continue reading "Threat of Giant African Snail Reappears in Cuba’s Official Press" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 31 October 2017 — Gustavo Romero’s grandfather opened a hardware store in Cuba in the 1950s and a decade later it was confiscated during the “Revolutionary Offensive.” The old Canary Islander lost all his merchandise, but he had protected the cash under his mattress. A lesson that his grandson remembers now that he … Continue reading "Self-Employed Workers In Cuba Show Little Enthusiasm For Bank Loans" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 26 October 2017 — On the eve of the People’s Power elections in Cuba, the issue of representation in municipal, provincial and national bodies has again come to life, this time in an interview in Cubadebate with Gisela María Duarte Vázquez, president of the National Candidacy Commission. The official insists that diversity among … Continue reading "The Other Diversity" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 18 October 2017 — When the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, with its hammer and sickle as the dominant element in the decor, opened in the Great Hall of Peking in Beijing, the Cuban government breathed a sigh of relief. Havana is betting that the partisan meeting guarantees the continuity … Continue reading "Cuba’s Ruling Party Looks With Relief on China’s Communist Party Congress" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 5 October 2017 — Half a century after the death of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the official narrative of what happened on October 9, 1967 in La Higuera, Bolivia has significantly changed. After repeating for decades that Che was murdered in a school in that South American country, the Communist Party’s propaganda media, and in … Continue reading "Crime or Combat?: The Death of Che" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 26 September 2017 — Located between two bays, the Holguin municipality of Antilla is among the smallest of Cuba. In District 3, young Roberto Miguel Santana Capdesuñer aspired to be a delegate at the Nominating Candidates Assembly, but a mixture of chance and likely bad intention prevented it. Santana, 27, has been … Continue reading "Chronicle Of A Failed Nomination" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 25 September 2017 — When leaving the Argos Theater after the performance of Love Letters to Stalin, a good part of the audience needs to shake their heads. Like someone waking from a nightmare, there will be those who, for long minutes, fear that the monsters from the dream might appear around … Continue reading "The Intellectual and Power, More Than an Epistolary Relationship" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana 16 September 2017 — Aimara Peña was a little over 16 when she enrolled in a degree to qualify as a primary school teacher, but in the last semester of the course she was expelled from the Pedagogical University of Sancti Spiritus for her incipient political activism. Now, the young woman … Continue reading "Aimara Peña: “I want to hear what the citizens have to say”" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 14 September 2017 — The passage of the devastating Hurricane Irma along the northern coast of Cuba and the subsequent recovery process have underscored the strength of a powerful state and the fragility of a deprived citizenry. In each of the 14 provinces affected, from Guantanamo to Artemisa, substantial resources were … Continue reading "The Strength That Weakens Us" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 4 September 2017 — The Cuban elections have several publicized trademarks, among them the presence of children dressed in the school uniform to guard the polls. These Pioneers* confirm with a salute when the voter deposits their vote, in contrast to the armed soldiers who in the Republican past prevented the theft … Continue reading "The New Electoral Guardians" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 28 August 2017 — A video posted on social networks shows the first vice president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, concerned that critical activists with the Communist Party (PCC) will become candidates in the next elections. The “favored youngest son” of the power elite does not hesitate to propose actions to block the opposition candidates, … Continue reading "Miguel Díaz-Canel Commits An Electoral Crime" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 21 August 2017 — The most complex ethical dilemma facing a human being is to make the decision to die or to kill. Faced with this conflict, there are those who justify themselves by arguing that only by taking a life can they defend their family, their patrimony, the sovereignty of a … Continue reading "License to Kill" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 14 August 2017 — With so much secrecy, so much myth and legend, it is not even known for sure if this August 13 was the actual date of the 91st anniversary of Fidel Castro’s birth. His life was so surrounded by exaggerations and lies that even the moment he was born and … Continue reading "The Teachings of ‘Don Castro’" Continue reading
Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 5 August 2017 — The brake announced last June has just materialized. By canceling the awarding of licenses in several areas in which people have been allowed to work for themselves, and stopping the award of new licenses in several others, the government has confirmed fears about the advance of the private sector, … Continue reading "The Private Sector is the Victim of the Government’s Double Speak" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 27 July 2017 — The starting point for the Cuban electoral process is undoubtedly the disclosure of the voter register, the list of all those who have the right to mark a ballot at the polls. The preparation, public character and possible omissions of these lists decisively influence the course of the … Continue reading "The Dark Side of Voter Registration in Cuba" 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, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 21 July 2017 — In recent weeks, the official media have spared no space to explain the details of the Cuban electoral system, which they call “the most democratic in the world.” However, the infographics, data and explanations published so far neglect details that “firmly maintain” the mechanisms to avoid surprises. Between … Continue reading "By Show of Hands" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 19 July 2017 — The most controversial point of the Conceptualization Of The Economic And Social Model has been changed with discretion and without public announcements. The concentration of property and wealth that was prohibited in its first version, is only regulated in the final document, released after the last session of Parliament. The change … Continue reading "It Is No Longer Forbidden To Get Rich In Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 15 July 2017 – In his most recent public speech before Parliament, General-President Raul Castro offered a self-criticism about “political deviations” under which the private sector and cooperatives are governed. “Mistakes are mistakes, and they are mistakes… they are my mistakes in the first place, because I am a part of … Continue reading "The Mistakes of Raúl Castro" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 28 June 2017 – The shit, not the metaphorical kind but the kind that stinks, makes it nearly impossible to read the name Fin de Siglo, End of Century, imbedded in the granite floor. In five decades, one of the most emblematic Havana stores has transitioned from glamor to abandonment, passing also … Continue reading "The Death Throes of a Formerly Great Cuban Department Store" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Florida, Cuba, 26 June 2017 — “The sea water cleans everything,” Agustin reflects as he calls out his merchandise. This 74-year-old forensic assistant now works renting inflatable boats for the fishermen of Playa Florida, in Camagüey, a coastal strip where tourists rarely come and the economic crisis is strongly felt. “I came here … Continue reading "The Lethargy Of A Coastal Town In Camagüey" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 20 June 2017 — The recent decision by the president of the United States to limit commercial relations with Cuban companies controlled by the military highlights a rarely explored corner of the national reality. Anyone who knows the Island minimally knows that there is nothing like what can be called a … Continue reading "Trump, The Military And The Division Of Powers In Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 19 June 2017 – Over the weekend the official media have repeated ad nauseam the declaration of the government in response to Donald Trump’s speech about his policy toward Cuba. The declaration’s rhetoric recalls the years before the diplomatic thaw, when political propaganda revolved around confrontation with our neighbor to the … Continue reading "Consensus and Dissent in the Face of Trump’s Cuba Policy" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 13 June 2017 – In less than 72 hours President Donald Trump will declare in Miami the new basis for the United States government’s policies towards Cuba. At that time the decisions of his predecessor Barack Obama, during the process of normalization of diplomatic relations with the island, could be paused … Continue reading "Trump And Cuba, Or How To Bet On The Wrong Winner" Continue reading
Reinaldo Escobar, 1 June 2017 — With its usual unanimity, the National Assembly of People’s Power, on Thursday, supported the documents submitted to it by the Council of State. The extraordinary session put the final stitch in the straitjacket that the Communist Party of Cuba (CCP) is placing on the Parliament and other organs of power for … Continue reading "Cuba’s Parliament Positions Its New Straitjacket" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 26 May 2017 — The cranes show off their slender anatomy in some areas of Havana where several luxury hotels are being built. Apart from this landscape of progress, private construction and repairs face technological problems and shortages. This week it has been cement’s turn. “This is the third time I have come … Continue reading "The Future Is Built With Cement … But There Isn’t Any" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 18 June 2017 — The regular readers of the official press have learned that the most innocent headlines can hide the most interesting news. Phrases such as Notice to the population or Information note, which defy any elementary lesson in journalism, alert those initiated into the special “granmer” of the Granma newspaper that, behind the candid title, … Continue reading "Behind the ‘Information Note’" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escober, Havana, 15 May 2017 — On 11 May a new law went into effect in Cuba that imposes a determined price on the buying and selling of housing. The simple announcement, a month earlier, set off a frenzy in the notary offices to complete the paperwork for pending sales before the new … Continue reading "Cuba Raises Taxes on Real Estate Transactions" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 9 May 2017 — As in the old joke of socialist hell the products in Cuba disappear in turn. When there are potatoes, there is no oil to fry them in, when there is spaghetti, there’s no tomato sauce, and just when they release enough flour to make a cake, there are … Continue reading "Shortages, Now it’s Ice Cream’s Turn" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 16 April 2017 — The term secretismo (secretiveness), to refer to the absence or delay of certain information of public interest in the Cuban official media, began to be used first among critics of the system, until it came to appear in the speeches of the highest officials of the government. The … Continue reading "The Secrets of Secretismo" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 10 April 2017 — Facing the times that we live in can be an unpleasant task. And doing it without discrimination based on ideological viewpoints and with immediacy, takes visions of daring. This is the challenge that the Center for the Application of Political Marketing and Political assumes with the election of the “politician … Continue reading "“The Politician Of The Week,” A Citizens’ Initiative" Continue reading
Reinaldo Escobar, 18 June 2008 — The former president Fidel Castro has just published a foreword to the book Fidel, Bolivia and Something More in which he discredits the internet blog, Generation Y, written by my wife, the blogger Yoani Sanchez.  From the first day, she has put her full name (which he omits) and … Continue reading "Reflections* From a Glass House" Continue reading
Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 18 June 2008 — In this Central Havana of guapos* – tough guys – and brawls where I was born, I learned there are certain lines a woman should never cross.  I have spent my life breaking the laughable rules of machismo, but today – and only today – I am … Continue reading "Men’s Matters" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 3 April 2017 – In any part of the world, the first option a politician has to participate in power is usually through elections, but in Cuba this path seems the most Utopian. However, on the eve of the start of the electoral process that will culminate with the formation of … Continue reading "Cuban Opponents Who Bet On The Ballot Box" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 14 March 2017 – After contemplating several ideas of what to write about on this Day of the Press in Cuba, I decided to share with my readers an extract from an unpublished autobiography where I relate the vicissitudes of a journalist in the late eighties of the last century . … Continue reading "The Official Press and the Art of “Sweetening The Pill” / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 7 March 2017 — The two personalities who represent the polar opposites of the so-called process of updating the Cuban model have disappeared. We have seen neither hide nor hair of the “captain” of economic reforms, Marino Murillo, since October of last year, and Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, considered the braking mechanism … Continue reading "Disappeared / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 25 February 2017 — Many of those who experienced the first moments of the Revolution when they were between the ages of 14 and 20, became literacy teachers, young rebels, militiamen, cederistas (supporters of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) and federadas ( ‘federated’, i.e. supporters and activists of … Continue reading "‘Little Old Communists’ / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 18 February 2017 — When one looks at that territory of Cuban literature inhabited by women, it is usually observed from the concept of gender. Among those who study the phenomenon with more intensity, and also with more courage, Ileana Álvarez stands out. She is a poet, essayist, author of a dozen books and … Continue reading "Ileana Álvarez, Wings Always Ready To Fly / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" 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
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 8 February 2017 – Now underway is the second meeting of young journalists at the Jose Marti International Journalism Institute in Havana. The main objective of the event, organized by the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC), is to discuss “journalism and citizen participation, and communication in the context of updating Cuba’s social-economic … Continue reading "Young Cuban Journalists Look at Their Profession / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 27 January 2016 — An old Soviet joke from the time of Leonid Brezhnev relates his attempts to enthuse young people to celebrate the six decades of the October Revolution in the autumn of 1977. The septuagenarian leader entrusted to his friend, Aleksei Kosygin – who had a reputation of being a … Continue reading "Juvenile, Always Juvenile / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" Continue reading
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 23 January 2017 — Within 48 hours of Donald Trump being declared President of the United States, the political police maintained their repression against opponents unchanged. The hard hand of State Security begins to contradict the claim that “Barack Obama’s concessions” to the Plaza of the Revolution fueled the repressive character of … Continue reading "Obama Left, Trump Arrived, the Repression Continues / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar" Continue reading