March 2018
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Translator: Regina Anavy

Regina Coyula, 16 March 2018 — (Text published in the bulletin of the 2018 Internet Freedom Festival) Cell phones have been used commercially in the world since 1995, but we Cubans couldn’t have our own cell phones until 2009. Internet access through prepaid cards in public places dates from 2015. In Cuba, the year 2017 … Continue reading "Internet from the Shore / Regina Coyula" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Pention, 17 March 2018 — The website of the Panamanian Government for visa procedures has collapsed due to extremely high demand, especially from Cubans and Venezuelans. Javier Carrillo, the Migration Director General, has confirmed this to 14ymedio. “We set up this site to offer 50 daily appointments in our Havana consulate, but demand … Continue reading "No More Appointments For Visas To Panama Until The End Of May" Continue reading
Iván García, 19February 2018 — Pescao Designs, a project that is intended to offer decorative solutions to foreign businessmen, state-owned operations and small private businesses, began operation five years ago in the house of the founder, on Carmen 16 Street, in La Víbora, a neighborhood 30 minutes by car from the center of Havana. Their … Continue reading "Cuba: Private Enterprise Could Be the Solution / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio (with information from news agencies), Havana, February 15, 2018 — The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, said this Thursday that he will be attending the next Summit of the Americas, which will be celebrated in Lima on April 13 and 14, “come hell or high water,” in order to, he added, tell “the truth” … Continue reading "Maduro Invites Himself To The Summit And Cuba Calls His Exclusion "Unbelievable"" Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 15 February 2018 — He’s like a character out of a dark novel by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. He turned 30 on December 2, 2017, and the life of Luis Manuel Otero has been marked by survival. He still remembers the 12-hour blackouts when he was a kid, in the middle of the Special … Continue reading "Luis Manuel Otero: From Athlete to Dissident Artist / Iván García" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 9 February 2018 — Cuba has commissioned China, one of its principal economic allies, to fabricate a prototype harvester for marabou, an invasive plant also known as sicklebush which is seen as a plague on the Island’s fields, so it can be used as raw material for vegetal coal and be … Continue reading "Cuba Commissions China to Fabricate a Prototype Marabou Harvester" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario J. Pentón/Antonio Delgado — Tens of thousands of Venezuelans cross the border with Colombia every day in search of food and work. They sell candy, bread, chewing gum and contraband gasoline. They prostitute themselves or simply ask for handouts on corners. They are the new faces of the Venezuelan migration in the Colombian … Continue reading "Thousands of Venezuelans Flee to Colombia to Escape From Hunger" Continue reading
EFE via 14ymedio, Miami, 7 February 2018 — On Tuesday, February 6, the Miami-Dade County Commission requested that the United States Government, the Organization of American States and the United Nations not recognize a possible transfer of power in Cuba if it is not the result of free elections. The petition was contained in a … Continue reading "Trump, UN and OAS Asked To Not Recognize Transfer of Power In Cuba Without Free Elections" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havna, 23 January 2018 — The local authorities in Cabaiguán, Sancti Spíritus Province, have become serious about sales from ambulatory cart vendors. Since the end of last year, more than 50 contracts with the carretilleros have been rescinded for violating the regulated prices imposed by the State, according to the official press. In addition, the … Continue reading "Authorities in Cabaiguan Suspend More than 50 Cart Vendor Licenses" Continue reading
EFE, via 14ymedio, 12 January 2018 — Cuba has recognized the advance that was made for immigration connections with the U.S. with the repeal, a year ago, of the “wet foot/dry foot” policy, which offered preferential treatment to Cuban citizens, but insisted that “normalization” would not take place while the Cuban Adjustment Act continues in … Continue reading "Cuba Recognizes Immigration Advance with U.S. But Requests End to Cuban Adjustment Act" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 19 January 2018 — As part of President Michelle Bachelet’s recently concluded visit to Havana, a Chile-Cuba Business Seminar was held. During the activity, celebrated Monday, January 8, in a room at the Hotel Nacional, the Chilean president met with several businesspeople of her country who reside on the island. Among those … Continue reading "A Curious Fact about Bachelet’s Visit to Cuba / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 12 January 2018 — The Cuban Government is preparing a new blow to restrict the rights conceded to non-agricultural cooperatives of production (CNAs), specifically those devoted to the construction sector. According to information obtained by Martí News, the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers is developing a set of new judicial … Continue reading "Cuban Government Plans Blow Against Management of Non-Agricultural Cooperatives / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
Ed. Note: This article talks about Cuba’s two currencies, the Cuban peso and the Cuban convertible peso, and the potential ‘unification’ of the two currencies. The Cuban peso is also called “national money” and by the acronym “CUP.” The Cuban convertible peso (“CUC”) only came into use in 1994. It is not convertible outside the … Continue reading "The Dollar Strengthens In Cuba In Anticipation Of Currency Unification / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, November 24, 2017 – The new immigration law which takes effect this Wednesday in Brazil could benefit hundreds of doctors who have escaped from the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) mission in this country. According to André De Santana Correa, a lawyer who represents 80 doctors from the Island who abandoned their … Continue reading "A Lawyer Sees Salvation in Brazil’s New Immigration Law for "Deserter" Doctors" Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, January 3, 2018 — An immense grasslands with tones of yellow and green extends up to the horizon, and Miami’s skyscrapers can be glimpsed in the distance, like blue boulders. Far from the metropolis, where more than six million people live, one of the largest and most famous wetlands of the … Continue reading "The Everglades: An Endangered Garden on the Doorstep of Miami" Continue reading
Alejandro González Acosta, 1 December 2017, Mexico City — Lichi[1] told me that the last time he was in Cuba[2], he went to visit a G-2 colonel at home, the brother of a famous Cuban historian who was Lichi’s good friend in Mexico. Between drinks and confidences, Lichi asked him: “Come on, man, just between us: … Continue reading "The Euphemism that Looks After Me / Alejandro González Acosta" Continue reading
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