December 2017
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Translator: Regina Anavy

Iván García, 20 November 2017 — While Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the oldest dictator in the world at age 93, was giving a televised statement from Harare, surrounded by soldiers and elegantly-dressed officials, many miles away from Zimbabwe, Edna, a history professor at a pre-university, was washing clothes in Havana, in an anachronistic Aurika from the … Continue reading "The Crisis in Zimbabwe is Barely Mentioned in the Cuban Media / Iván García" Continue reading
Regina Coyula, 25 April 2017 — I had thought of writing about the first impressions that Bogota has left me, impressions deepened by the contrast of a people so warm that they do not seem to carry the burden of six decades of violence. I had thought of writing about a city dominated by churches … Continue reading "A Debt to Bogota / Regina Coyula" Continue reading
Angel Santiesteban, 16 October 2017 — Another title of this book could be A Cuban History of Fear. The fear of living (and, above all, of writing) surrounded by an army of police, undercover agents, collaborators and simple snitches in charge of rounding up the misguided souls of Cubans, be they writers or not. But … Continue reading "The Compañero Who Looks After Me" Continue reading
Iván García, 6 May 2017 — Some people in Cuba, not just a minority, want blood. And more severe laws for criminals. While the Catholic Church and different international institutions are advocating a crusade to eliminate the death penalty on the Island, there are people who, for many reasons, think firing squads should be reactivated. If … Continue reading "Cubans Want More Severe Laws for Criminals / Iván García" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 26 April 2017 — When night falls, it’s not advisable to walk through certain neighborhoods in Havana. Like the one from El Curita Park, on Reina and Galiano, up to the corner of Monte and Cienfuegos. In addition to the disagreeable odor from the sewer water running through the streets, you’ll see propped-up buildings, … Continue reading "Havana: Clandestine Business Deals, Poverty and Glamor / Iván García" Continue reading
Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado is in San Francisco, planning for the opening of his art exhibit, “Angels and Demons,” at the Immersive ART LAB, 3255A Third Street, May 11, 6-10pm. His exhibit is sponsored by the Human Rights Foundation as part of its Art in Protest series. This interview took place with the translation help … Continue reading "Interview with El Sexto (Danilo Maldonado) in San Francisco" Continue reading
Iván García, 6 March 2017 — A sloppy piece of cardboard painted with a crayon announces the sale of a discolored house in the neighborhood of La Vibora, 30 minutes by car south of Havana. If Amanda, the owner, who is raving poor, manages to sell the house for the equivalent of 40,000 dollars, she … Continue reading "Volunteer Blood Donors Ignore The Cuban Regime’s Business Dealings / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 21 March 2017 — In the slum of Lawton, south of Havana, the need for housing has converted an old collective residence with narrow passageways into a bunkhouse. With dividers made from cardboard or bricks recovered from demolished buildings, “apartments” have appeared where a dozen families reside, living on the razor’s edge. Among … Continue reading "The Cuban Regime Survives by Fear / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 22 February 2017 — Qatar authorities presented an official complaint before Eumelio Caballero Rodríguez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba, because during the obligatory health exam of the Cuban health workers they detected some cases of Cuban doctors infected with HIV. This was expressed in an email from the Embassy … Continue reading "Qatar Complains About Cuban Care Providers With HIV / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 24 February 2017 — Marino Murillo, the presumptive tsar of economic reforms in Cuba, a prime minister with broad powers, passed up a seat in the first row next to the senior staff of a long-lived revolution governed by an exclusive club of elders who, as a group, have lived almost 500 years, … Continue reading "The Cuban Regime Has Redoubled Its Assault On The Private Sector / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 15 February 2017 — Decidedly, equanimity isn’t one of Pastor’s strong points. He’s an industrial engineer transformed into a private taxi driver, and six days a week he drives a 1954 Dodge with a body from a Detroit factory, patched up a couple of times in a Havana workshop and improved with a … Continue reading "Private Taxi Drivers Feel Harassed By The Cuban Government / Iván García" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 19 January 2017 — As if by magic, the irreverent and prosaic Donald Trump is the man of the hour for Cubans who have plans to emigrate. “He’s the guy; there’s no one else. If he orders it, the United States will open its doors,” says Miguel, emphatically, while he drives a ramshackle … Continue reading "Cubans Dismiss Obama as Persona Non Grata / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 6 January 2017 — When you live on the edge of an abyss, you lose your capacity to think about the future. Just ask Giraldo, who works as a plumber for Aguas de La Habana, what his plans are for 2017, and you’ll see an expression of surprise on his face. He takes … Continue reading "Cubans Don’t Have Big Plans For 2017 / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 13 December 2016 — The heat returned to the city along with the Reggaeton, the bustle and the alcohol. There’s nothing that bothers Danay, 26 years old, more than the drops of sweat running down her cheeks, mixed with the unbearable smell of kerosene of the old cars used as taxis in Havana, … Continue reading "So Did Havana Go Back To Laughing, Singing, Dancing? / Iván García" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 29 November 2016 — Cintia will never forget the day Fidel Castro died. Not because she had affection for the old guerrilla or felt devoted to the figure of the ex-comandante in chief. One month ago, Cintia’s parents had reserved a room, paid for sessions of photography and makeup, and invited some 100 … Continue reading "The "Dry Law" After the Death of Fidel Castro / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 26 October 2016 — Under the alleged charge of influence peddling, Héctor Rodríguez Llompart, an ex-Cuban diplomat and the ex-President of the National Bank, was arrested. “No one knows the motives,” said a source close to the Llompart family. “I think after the Ochoa case, the people running this country lost all the … Continue reading "The Ex-President of the National Bank of Cuba Has Been Arrested / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 24 October 2015 — Some news outlets echoed the words of the Vice President in charge of the Council of Provincial Administration for Havana, Isabel Hamze, when she exposed the Havana Government’s reasons for temporarily suspending the issue of new licenses for paladares — private restaurants — and revising those that already exist. … Continue reading "Hidden Agenda Behind the Attack on Cuba’s Private Restaurants / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 19 October 2016 — As in the Greek epic, Eusebio Leal, the Captain of a small stronghold of Cuban historians, confronted Brigade General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas and the Business Administration Group of the Armed Forces (FAR) with lively and poetic oratory. We know that FAR has taken possession of Habaguanex and several … Continue reading "Eusebio Leal Strikes Back Against the "Storm" / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almedia, 8 September 2016 — A commission put together by senior management from the Ministries of the Interior and of Public Health in Cuba has released a report that enters into evidence the origin of the entrance of the Zika virus into Holguín Province. “Soldiers and Doctors,” a paraphrase of the title of the … Continue reading "Negligence and Violations Opened the Door to Zika in Holguin / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 5 October 2016 — Right now, it’s easier to get to Miami than to Santiago de Cuba. To visit the second largest city on the Island, there are two daily flights that are rarely on time; you have to take a train for around 20 hours, or buy a bus ticket, a whole … Continue reading "In Spite of Hurricanes, Easterners Manage to Survive / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 26 September 2016 — Although the bleachers of the old stadium in Cerro are deserted, the overcast sky promises rain and the poor quality of the baseball game between Industriales and Sancti Spiritus invites a siesta, a chubby mulato with arms tattooed in Chinese writing — let’s call him Óscar — sits on the … Continue reading "Making a Living in Cuba on Gambling / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 19 September 2016 — Let’s get to know Osmel, born in Havana, in 1968. You can smell his body three yards away. He’s a carrier of HIV; he drinks alcohol and makes trouble seven days a week and doesn’t have any known residence. He sleeps on top of some cartons in a building that … Continue reading "The Challenge of Living Without Dollars in Cuba / Iván García" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 28 September 2016 — After passing the crossing of La Palma, two kilometers from the old bus stop of Mantilla, El Calvario is found nestled, a district of one-story houses, roads without asphalt and a multitude of dogs without owners. At the end of a narrow alley the Cubalex Center of Legal Information … Continue reading "Laritza Diversent, Devastated by the Police Operation Against Cubalex / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 29 August 2016 — The most powerful of all the Cuban generals, Division General Humberto Omar Francis Pardo, was replaced in his job as Head of the General Direction of Personal Security (DGSP). The position is now filled by Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro, who is known by various nicknames, like “The Crab,” “Grandson-in-Chief,” … Continue reading "General Francis is Out of the Game and Raul’s Grandson Ascends / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Iván García, 27 August 2016 — I still remember that two-day trip to Pinar del Río. I stayed in a Communist Party hotel at the side of the old central highway. I visited the province’s outstanding factories, cooperatives and work centers. Then in Havana, I wrote three or four sugar-coated articles about the excellent management … Continue reading "Cuba: Journalism on Demand / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 24 August 2016 — Renting Fidel Castro’s yacht will be the new publicity backdrop that will be the next thing to enter the arena in order to convert the “Acuarama II,” as it is named, into an appetizing bait. For some time, the auto rental business, Grancar, has been renting a couple of … Continue reading "Renting Fidel Castro’s Yacht for 5,000 Dollars a Day / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 22 August 2016 — The breeze coming from the coast is a blast of hot air that barely cools things off. The sun reverberates and the tourists take refuge from the insufferable irradiation in a swimming pool in the form of a huge shell, split in two by a cement walkway. Others escape … Continue reading "Cayo Coco: An Emporium Of Cuban Military Capitalism / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, La Voz del Morro, August 15, 2006 — Humans eat meat; cattle feed on forage and in their own way find the nutrients in the soil populated by worms, which probably eat other bugs that I don’t know about; but I’m sure they occupy a major place on the food chain that … Continue reading "Fidel Castro: Ignoring Him is the Best Punishment / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, February 1, 2016, Martí Noticias — The Ministry of Public Health claims it is giving an award but it is creating a total hornet’s nest. On tour throughout the country, Dr. Marcia Cobas, Vice Minister of Health and a member of the Central Committee of the Party, announces in every hospital she visits … Continue reading "It Shows a Lack of Respect to Distribute 200 Cars Among All Cuban Doctors / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 25 April 2016 — In 2008, General Raúl  Castro, showing signs of an “extraordinary benevolence,” allowed Cubans to have access to cellular telephone service. The number of these devices created an elevated and accelerated boom that was not foreseen even by the most seasoned economists. But, according to sources in the office of … Continue reading "Theft of €œElectronic Waste€ From Telephones Is a Business in Cuba / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 20 June 2016 — Carlos Emilio is a pseudonym. He has the rank of Colonel, and his real name is Emilio Alejandro Monsanto. He’s detained in Havana, in an elegant house converted into a military prison, accused of being the possible intellectual author of the theft and sale of information from the eighth floor … Continue reading "MININT Colonel In The Vortex of The Theft of Papers From MININT / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Iván García, 9 August 2016 — The sun illuminates the Plaza Vieja, and a humid heat transforms the place into an open-air sauna. When you set foot on the cobblestones, the sensation you have is one of walking on burning embers. At the entrance of the planetarium, dozens of kids accompanied by their parents get in … Continue reading "Without Eusebio Leal, Habaguanex is Controlled by the Military / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 1 August 2016 — The principal sources of income of the business, Habaguanex, and the Office of the Historian of Havana, are now officially part of the Group of Business Administration [GAE] of the Revolutionary Armed Forces; and the rest are removed or scrapped. After a long process that ended in this … Continue reading "The Military’s Coup d’Etat Against Eusebio Leal’s Empire / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, August 8, 2016 — This past July 18, in the Cuban capital, Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Mujica, the head of the Capdevila Special Command of Firefighters, Boyeros municipality, and of the prevention unit of the José Martí Havana Airport, was detained. He’s accused of being the brains behind a hypothetical illegal operation — in … Continue reading "Top Official Of The Ministry Of The Interior Implicated In Contraband Case: Crime Or Reckoning? / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Iván García, 5 August 2016 — In the middle of the empty bottles of aged rum and the Presidente Dominican beer washed down on the patio, five people are drinking and talking about sports and business. From the back comes the sound of the Reggaeton, Hasta que se seque el Malecón, [“Until the Malecón dries up”] … Continue reading "Hookers Will Increase With The Tourist Boom And The Economic Austerity / Iván García" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 28 July 2016 — In spite of certain comments, important desertions, crises, adjustments and a new renegotiation, the Government of Cuba will continue sending doctors to health programs in Venezuela and Brazil. Cuban health authorities scour the island, from end to end, affirming in every corner that they are prepared to interrupt … Continue reading "Cuba Continues Sending Doctors to Brazil and Venezuela / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 4 July 2016 — The Cuban authorities are preparing to receive, in a short period of time, a bonanza  of Cubans with deportation orders in the U.S. They’re constructing for them, in an undeveloped area, what many call a “polyfoam” neighborhood. Judicial and police matters are subjects that both governments discuss with … Continue reading "They’re building houses for Cubans deported from the U.S. / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Iván García, 1 August 2016 — Whatever serious prophecy is offered, Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, has very few options. It’s an uncomfortable liability even for the followers of chavismo [the politics of Hugo Chávez, who preceded Maduro]. No one knows the interior of the Palace of Miraflores better than the Havana Regime. It’s an undisputed merit … Continue reading "Cuba and Venezuela: Stormy Weather / Iván García" Continue reading
Luis Felipe Rojas, 30 July 2016 — This weekend — the end of July 2016 — Armando de Armas will open the Festival Vista in Miami. In the middle of the diatribes coming out of the U.S. elections, the Cuban novelist and essayist has given another twist to the torture with his gift of this corrected … Continue reading "Armando de Armas Shows His Cards / Luis Felipe Rojas" Continue reading
Iván García, 28 July 2016 — A woman with outlandish eye-glasses, reading a book in the back seat, and a sinewy mulatto who is chain-smoking and chatting up the driver on the approaching economic austerity are two of the six passengers in an old collective taxi that the chauffeur drives, zigzagging along the ruined road. … Continue reading "The Other Mariel / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García , 22 June 2016 — The park at Galiano and San Rafael is a beehive of activity. At one end, several teenagers play soccer, using a school desk as the goal, while 50 men and women are connecting to the Internet, sitting on wooden benches or the ground. Conversations with relatives or friends … Continue reading "Three Months Later, The Residents Of Havana Still Remember Obama / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 9 June 2016 — Ask Luis Carlos Rodríguez, retired, his opinion about the designation of “Wonder City” based on an Internet survey conducted in the winter of 2014 by the Swiss foundation, “New 7 Wonders,” and you will hear a long list of complaints, sprinkled with insults, about the olive-green government that has … Continue reading "Intense Rains Give Evidence of the "Wonder" of Havana / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 19 July 2016 — At the traffic signal on Infanta and Carlos III, in the heart of Havana, Guenady takes advantage of the red light to thirstily take a swig out of a half-liter of ice water that he keeps at one side of his driver’s seat. Perhaps the cold water helps to … Continue reading "The Cuban Government Wants to Regulate Prices for Collective Taxis / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 24 June 2016 — “Twenty minutes. Neither more nor less,” says Emilio, a civil engineer. This was the time he took at work to “analyze” a document replete with jargon, approved by the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, celebrated this past April in Havana. “Imagine: The boss had authorized us … Continue reading "The Future of Cuba, According to the Regime / Iván García" Continue reading
Iván García, 18 July 2016 — Two retirees, a strolling detergent vendor and a vacationing doctor, kill time in a park in south Havana, debating the surprising Portuguese victory of Cristiano Ronaldo in the European Cup. They also comment on the Regime’s new austerity measures, which presage another season of “skinny cows” [shortages]. Neither the … Continue reading "Cuba: Where is the Money? / Iván García" Continue reading