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Capturan a 2 de 4 cubanos que se fugaron de albergue en Chiriquí, Panamá La pareja detenida será enviada a la capital para agilizar su deportación a Cuba. Migración busca a los otros dos. El Siglo: desesperación empieza a apoderarse de cubanos Las autoridades panameñas enviarán a la capital para su deportación a Cuba a […] Continue reading
Cubanos en Panamá, escépticos y decepcionados con propuesta del gobierno junio 19, 2017 Lizandra Díaz Blanco El grupo de migrantes cubanos teme que una vez en la isla, el gobierno de Castro les reprima por las declaraciones que han ofrecido a la prensa, o que no cumpla con su parte de dejarles salir de la […] Continue reading
Cubanos entre los más deportados por las autoridades de Panamá 18 de junio de 2017 – 16:06 – Por JOSUÉ BRAVO El país centroamericano se blinda contra el aumento de las inmigraciones y reporta más de 425 deportaciones SAN JOSÉ.- Los cubanos conforman el segundo grupo de mayor deportación de Panamá, sólo superados por los […] Continue reading
Cuba y Venezuela en la agenda de reunión Trump-Varela El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, se reúne hoy en la Casa Blanca con su homólogo de Panamá, Juan Carlos Varela, con quien tratará cuestiones bilaterales y hablará de la situación de Cuba y Venezuela. La reunión de este lunes en la Casa Blanca ha […] Continue reading
Rosa María Payá entrega a Trump petición de apoyo a plebiscito en Cuba junio 16, 2017 La activista cubana Rosa María Payá, promotora de la campaña Cuba Decide, entregó al presidente Donald Trump un documento con la petición de apoyo a la iniciativa de un Plebiscito Vinculante en Cuba. Payá, quien estuvo presente en el […] Continue reading
Cuba Decide pide al presidente Trump que apoye un plebiscito para la democracia en Cuba junio 14, 2017 PRESIDENTE DONALD TRUMP: POR FAVOR, APOYE LA REALIZACIÓN DEL PLEBISCITO PEDIDO POR EL PUEBLO CUBANO PARA LOGRAR LA DEMOCRACTIZACIÓN DE CUBA. Durante más de 5 décadas, la única iniciativa legal y masivamente participativa del pueblo cubano ha […] Continue reading
Oposición coincide en que derechos humanos deben ser prioridad en política de Trump hacia Cuba Aunque con opiniones diversas sobre qué cambios debe introducir la nueva administración estadounidense en el proceso de restablecimiento de relaciones con la isla iniciado por Obama, disidentes opinan que EEUU debe exigir al régimen cubano el respeto por las libertades […] Continue reading
¿Tender puentes o complicidad con el castrismo? Si algo ha comprendido muy bien el régimen castrista, es la facilidad con que se alcanza a convertir en intelectual a cualquier papanatas José Gabriel Barrenechea, Santa Clara | 12/06/2017 9:59 am Hace unos meses el filme Santa y Andrés, que anteriormente había sido censurado del Festival del […] Continue reading
Así evoca el ex diplomático cubano Juan Antonio Blanco las instrucciones de su gobierno Continue reading
Difundir los rostros de la oposición cubana es un deber Continue reading
¿Paciencia o desesperanza? 30 Mayo, 2017 8:00 pm por Rogelio Travieso Pérez El Cerro, la Habana, Rogelio Travieso, (PD) El pasado 20 de mayo, en el periódico Granma órgano oficial del Partido Comunista de Cuba [PCC], apareció un titular que decía: “Aprueba III Pleno del Comité Central documentos rectores de la actualización del modelo económico […] Continue reading

(EFE).- El director y compositor cubano Electo Silva Gaínza, considerado el decano de la música coral en la isla, falleció este martes en su ciudad natal, la oriental Santiago de Cuba, a los 88 años de edad, informó el Instituto Nacional de la Música.

Las cenizas de Silva, reconocido también por su labor pedagógica, estarán expuestas varias horas en el Salón de Arte del Museo Bacardí de Santiago, segunda ciudad en importancia del país caribeño.

"Cantores Polifónicos" fue la primera coral que creó en 1955 y a lo largo de su trayectoria dirigió el Orfeón Santiago durante cuatro décadas y del Coro Femenino Sirena de Conservatorio Esteban Salas, además de dedicarse a formar grupos infantiles.

También estuvo más de 20 años al frente de la Coral de la Universidad de Oriente, que en 2016 le otorgó el título Doctor Honoris Causa en Humanidades, en atención a sus significativos aportes a la cultura nacional.[[QUOTE:Durante su larga trayectoria de trabajo se hizo merecedor de condecoraciones y otros reconocimientos, entre ellos la Orden Félix Varela, el Premio Nacional de Música y el Doctor Honoris Causa en Humanidades de la Universidad de Oriente]]Silva compuso piezas de música coral sobre versos de poetas españoles, y realizó arreglos para piano y violín.

En escenarios internacionales, Silva dirigió a los coros Gotemburgo (Suecia) y Tritonus (Dinamarca), al infantil de la Radio de Dresden (Alemania) y al de la Universidad Veracruzana (México), y además integró los jurados de distintos concursos de su especialidad organizados en países de América y Europa.

Varias de sus obras y publicaciones se han editado en Dinamarca, Suecia, Estados Unidos y Francia.

Nacido el 1 de noviembre de 1930, comenzó sus estudios de violín a los ocho años en Haití, donde vivió con su familia, en 1952 fue a estudiar becado en París y cursó estudios de Pedagogía y Sicología en la Universidad de Oriente. 

Durante su larga trayectoria de trabajo se hizo merecedor de condecoraciones y otros reconocimientos, entre ellos la Orden Félix Varela, el Premio Nacional de Música y el Doctor Honoris Causa en Humanidades de la Universidad de Oriente.

Fallecido a causa de una bronconeumonía bacteriana, el cadáver de Electo Silva Gaínza será cremado y sus cenizas expuestas en la sala de arte universal del museo Emilio Bacardí, ubicada frente al parque Céspedes.

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Yoani Sánchez

Si algo queda claro en la obra de Jesús Hernández-Güero es que no se trata de un artista complaciente. Su mirada transgresora resulta insolente y ajena a cualquier militancia política, credo religioso o conveniencia comercial. El creador levanta chispas por todas partes: en la Isla donde nació y en la Venezuela donde reside ahora.

En 2008, Hernández-Güero decidió que su tesis de graduación en el Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) fuera un libro titulado La Tercera Pata, con textos de periodistas y escritores censurados. Reunió escritos del poeta Rafael Alcides, el exprisionero de la Primavera Negra Oscar Espinoza Chepe y el narrador Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, entre otros.

Ese empeño lo llevó a tocar muchas puertas y no pocos lo vieron como un provocador. Quería mostrar la tradición periodística nacional que incluye a figuras como Félix Varela o José Martí y que se rompió cuando las publicaciones independientes “fueron cerradas y luego prohibidas” para solo quedar “en circulación las pertenecientes al Estado”.

A la dirección del ISA no le gustó ese carácter de inclusividad. Hernández-Güero recuerda que un mes antes de la discusión de su tesis el decano lo citó junto a su tutora, la crítica y curadora Mailyn Machado, para comunicarle que el proyecto no había sido aprobado. Solo le quedaban dos opciones: hacer la prueba estatal o presentar un compendio de su producción artística.Optó por la segunda posibilidad y de paso coló el proyecto del libro. El día de la presentación ocurrió un conveniente corte eléctrico en el ISA y su tesis “nunca tuvo una conclusión real” aunque terminó con el máximo de calificaciones.

Hernández-Güero, nacido en 1983, está consciente de que gran parte de su investigación y producción artística “tiene un sentido crítico y alto contenido socio-político, y eso pone incómoda a las instituciones oficiales o a los que las dirigen”.

El creador instaló su residencia en Venezuela aunque viaja con frecuencia a la Isla, donde recientemente participó en una muestra en el Cine Chaplin que, bajo el título Contaminación, acompañó al Festival de Jóvenes Realizadores.

Sin embargo, su estancia fuera de Cuba no lo ha librado de la censura porque busca “incomodar, inquietar al espectador, no solo ante el arte, sino ante la realidad que se habita y piensa”. Algo que sabe “muchas veces no es bienvenido institucionalmente”.

Hace tres años su obra Tener la culpa, con un asta de siete metros doblada y la bandera venezolana “izada” en el suelo, se expuso en Ciudad Banesco durante el Salón Jóvenes con FIA en Caracas. La pieza fue instalada antes de la inauguración y los organizadores taparon la insignia con una bolsa negra. El resultado semejaba un cadáver cubierto.

La pieza causó tanto revuelo en las redes sociales que finalmente retiraron la bandera y dejaron solo el asta doblada. “Desde ese momento la obra cambió”, aclara el artista y ahora al mostrarla incluye algunos de los tuits publicados durante el proceso y “la documentación de cómo desmontaron [la tela]”.

Todo el fenómeno mediático y de reprobación quedó integrado a la obra. Porque la censura, en palabras del artista, “es un boomerang que pretende golpear a quien se lo lanzan, pero mayormente termina golpeando al lanzador”.Con situaciones similares ha debido lidiar en varias ocasiones y cree que la censura es una compañera inseparable “cuando la obra tiene como materia de investigación los grandes tabúes sociales como la política, el poder, la religión, la sexualidad, la pornografía, entre otros”.

El trabajo de Hernández-Güero cuestiona constantemente al poder. No sólo al político, sino también “al poder simbólico de las imágenes y convenciones visuales que se sedimentan en el imaginario social como verdades indestructibles, inmóviles o intocables”, aclara.

En esas circunstancias siempre está expuesto a recibir reprimendas o amonestaciones que terminan por “completar la obra o le expande a otro plano”, muchas veces insospechados para el propio creador.La más reciente de sus obras lleva el nombre de Coincidencias históricas y mezcla en una misma imagen retratos de grandes personalidades que han asumido posturas y actitudes similares ante la cámara fotográfica, sin importar la época, el lugar o el contexto.

La mayoría son apariencias premeditadas, pero en otros casos se trata de un instante captado sin que mediara pose alguna. Su intención es “desmitificar a estas figuras” y cuestionar “la percepción que se tiene de ellas en el imaginario histórico y social”. La elaboración es simple: superponer un rostro sobre otro, lo que da paso a nuevas caras y a “otras expresiones posibles, pero irreconocibles, desconocidas por todos”.

Son obras con un gran contenido político y a finales del año pasado cinco de las piezas de esa serie fueron premiadas en el Salón Octubre Joven, en el Museo de Arte de Valencia (MUVA).

Hernández-Güero no prefiere un soporte por encima de otro. En cuanto a las nuevas tecnologías cree que conocerlas previamente da más posibilidades para “saber su potencial”. Porque mientras más arsenal tenga un artista con más posibilidades contará para “navegar dentro de la creación”.


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14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 30 May 2017 — If something is clear in the work of Jesus Hernández- Güero is that he is not a complacent artist. His transgressive look is insolent and unrelated to any political militancy, religious creed or commercial convenience. The artist raises sparks everywhere: in Cuba where he was born and in Venezuela … Continue reading "Jesus Hernandez-Guero Or The Art Of Provoking" Continue reading
CubaEmprende celebra cinco años con una expoferia dedicada a los ‘cuentapropistas’ DDC | La Habana | 25 de Mayo de 2017 – 21:37 CEST. El Centro Cultural Padre Félix Varela acoge desde el miércoles y hasta el próximo domingo el Proyecto CubaEmprende que, en ocasión de su quinto aniversario, realiza la Feria Expoemprendimiento, informó la […] Continue reading

El Centro Cultural Padre Félix Varela acoge desde el miércoles y hasta el próximo domingo el Proyecto CubaEmprende que, en ocasión de su quinto aniversario, realiza la Feria Expoemprendimiento, informó la revista católica Palabra Nueva en su edición digital.

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La Habana, Cuba, Redacción Habana, (PD) La oposición pacífica nada tiene que esperar de una Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular compuesta mayoritariamente por servidores del régimen. Todos o la mayoría son militantes del único Partido Comunista. Otro 18, Cuba Decide y el resto de las opciones afirmadas en la reforma de la ley electoral, obtendrán nada o lo que obtengan solo serán recursos que emplearán para obtener nada. En el momento en que fueron presentadas, hubo 11020 firmas documentadas de […] Continue reading
Amnistía Internacional aboga en otra ciudad holandesa por la libertad de Eduardo Cardet Luis Felipe Rojas El grupo defensor de los derechos humanos pedirá a los ciudadanos de Culemborg, Holanda, que firmen una petición por la libertad del médico opositor cubano, condenado a tres años de cárcel en Cuba. La causa del médico opositor cubano […] Continue reading
Cultura y República en Cuba: del origen militar y marinero a la modernidad del Havana Hilton mayo 21, 2017 Armando de Armas / martinoticias.com El eminente historiador Manuel Moreno Fraginals definió la cultura cubana como militar y marinera, y no le faltaba razón a pesar de que, como sabemos, la isla no ha dado ni […] Continue reading
Miami, USA, Robert A. Solera, (PD) La Habana tiene , a la vez, el atractivo de algo hasta hace poco restringido a sus legítimos dueños, los cubanos exiliados, muchos de los cuales añoran volver a verla, aunque sólo sea como extranjeros adinerados que reviven sus años mozos donde habitan sus recuerdos empañados por la pátina […] Continue reading
Independent Journalism Seeks to Revive Press Freedom / Iván García

Iván García, 3 May 2017 — Let's step back in time. One morning in 1985,
Yndamiro Restano Díaz, a thirty-seven-year-old journalist with Radio
Rebelde, took out an old Underwood and wrote a clandestine broadsheet
entitled "Nueva Cuba." After distributing the single-page, handmade
newspaper up and down the street, one copy ended up pinned to a wall in
the Coppelia ice cream parlor in the heart of Havana's Vedado district.

His intention was not to criticize the autocratic regime of Fidel
Castro. No, it was simply an act of rebellion by a reporter who believed
that information was a public right. In his writing, Yndamiro tried to
point out the dire consequences that institutional contradictions were
having on the country's economy.

He was arrested and questioned at Villa Marista, a jail run by the
political police in southern Havana. Later that year he was arrested
again, this time for having given an interview to the New York Times.
That is when his troubles began. He was fired from Radio Rebelde and
branded with a scarlet letter by Special Services. Without realizing it,
Yndamiro Restano had laid the foundations for today's independent
journalism in Cuba.

Cuba was emerging from overwhelmingly bleak five-year period in which
censorship was having an almost sickening effect. The winds of glasnost
and perestroika were blowing from Gorbachev's USSR. Some intellectuals
and academicians such as the late Felix Bonne Carcasses decided the time
was right for more democratic openness in society and the media. Havana
was a hotbed of liberal thought.

Journalist Tania Díaz Castro along with young activists Rita Fleitas,
Omar López Montenegro, Estela Jiménez and former political prisoner
Reinaldo Bragado established the group Pro Arte Libre. According to the
writer Rogelio Fabio Hurtado, Cuba's independent press was born out of
the first dissident organization, the Cuban Committee for Human Rights,
led by Ricardo Boffill Pagés and the organization's vice-president
Rolando Cartaya, a former journalist at Juventud Rebelde. In a 2011
article published in Martí Noticias, Cartaya recalled, "When we arrived
at dawn at his house in Guanabacoa's Mañana district, Bofill had already
produced half a dozen original essays and eight carbon copies of each
for distribution to foreign press agencies and embassies."

No longer able to work as a journalist, by 1987 Yndamiro Restano was
making a living cleaning windows at a Havana hospital. He would later be
fired from that job after giving an interview to the BBC. Frustrated by
not being able to freely express himself in a society mired in duplicity
and fear, he joined the unauthorized Cuban Commission on Human Rights
and National Reconciliation created by Elizardo Sánchez.

Along with other journalists fired from newspapers, magazines, radio
stations and television news programs who were eager to publish their
own articles without censorship, Restano decided in 2011 to form an
organization that would allow reporters condemned to silence to work
together. Thus was born the Cuban Association of Independent
Journalists, the first union of freelance correspondents.

In 1991 — a date which coincided with the beginning of the Special
Period, an economic crisis lasting twenty-six years — the Havana poet
Maria Elena Cruz Varela founded Criterio Alternativo which, among
causes, championed freedom of expression. In an effort to crack open the
government's iron-fisted control of the nation, Maria Elena herself,
along with Roberto Luque Escalona, Raúl Rivero Castaneda, Bernardo
Marqués Ravelo, Manuel Diaz Martinez, Jose Lorenzo Fuentes, Manolo
Granados and Jorge A. Pomar Montalvo and others signed the Charter of
Ten, which demanded changes to Castro's status quo.

On September 23, 1995, Raúl Rivero — probably Cuba's most important
living poet — founded Cuba Press in the living room of his home in La
Victoria, a neighborhood in central Havana. The agency was an attempt to
practice a different kind of professional journalism, one which reported
on issues ignored by state-run media.

Now living in exile in Miami, Rivero notes, "I believe in the validity
and strength of truly independent journalism, which made its name by
reporting on economic crises, repression, lack of freedom and by looking
for ways to revive the best aspects of the republican-era press." He
adds, "There was never an attempt to write anti-government propaganda
like that of the regime. They were pieces whose aim was to paint a
coherent portrait of reality. The articles with bylines were never
written so some boss could enjoy a good breakfast. They were written to
provide an honest opinion and a starting point for debate on important
issues. That is why, as I found out, Cuba Press was formed at the end of
the last century."

Cuba Press brought together half a dozen official journalists who had
been fired from their jobs. Tania Quintero, now a political refugee who
has lived in Switzerland since 2003, was one of them.* Once a week,
Quintero boarded a crowded bus to deliver two or three articles to Raul
Rivero, whose third-floor apartment was a kind of impromptu editing
room, with no shortage of dissertations on every topic. An old Remington
typewriter stood vigil as the poet's wife, Blanca Reyes, served coffee.

The budding independent journalism movement had more ambitions than
resources. Reporters wrote out articles in longhand or relied on
obsolete typewriters using whatever sheets of paper they could find.
Stories were filed by reading them aloud over phone lines; the internet
was still the stuff of science fiction. The political police often
confiscated tape recorders and cameras, the tools then in use, and well
as any money they found on detainees. They earned little money but
enjoyed the solidarity of their colleagues, who made loans to each other
that they knew would never be repaid.

Those who headed other alternative news agencies also had to deal with
harassment, arrest and material deprivation. That was the case of Jorge
Olivera Castillo, a former video editor at the Cuban Institute of Radio
and Television who wound up being one of the founders of Havana Press.

Twenty-two years later, Olivera recalls, "Havana Press began life on May
1, 1995. A small group led by the journalist Rafael Solano, who had
worked at Radio Rebelde, was given the task of starting this initiative
under difficult conditions. After working for four years as a reporter,
I took over as the agency's director in 1999 and worked in that position
until March 2003, when I was arrested and sentenced to eighteen years in
prison during the Black Spring."

Faced with adversity, the former directors of Havana Press — Rafael
Solano, Julio Martinez and Joaquín Torres — were forced to go into
exile. "More than two decades after this movement began, it is worth
noting its importance to the pro-democracy struggle and its ability to
survive in spite of obstacles. Those initial efforts paved the way for
the gradual evolution of initiatives with similar aims," observes Olivera.

For the former prisoner of conscience, "independent journalism remains
one of the fundamental pillars in the struggle for a transition to
democracy. It has held this position since the 1990s, when it emerged
and gained strength due to the work of dozens of people, some of whom
had worked for official media outlets and others who learned to practice
the trade with remarkable skill." This is because independent journalism
began with people who had worked in technical fields or in universities
but had no journalistic experience or training. They are self-taught or
took self-improvement courses either in Cuba or abroad, carved a path
for themselves and are now authorities their field. They include the
likes of Luis Cino, Juan González Febles and Miriam Celaya.

Radio Martí was and still is the sounding board for the independent
press and opposition activists. The broadcaster reports on the regime's
ongoing violations of freedom of expression, its intrigues, its delaying
tactics and its attempts to feign democracy with propaganda that rivals
that of North Korea.

In a 2014 article for Diario de Cuba, José Rivero García — a former
journalist for Trabajadores (Workers) and one of the founders of Cuba
Press — wrote, "It is worth remembering that this seed sprouted long
before cell phones, Twitter, Facebook or basic computers. The number of
independent journalists has multiplied thanks to technology and
communication initiatives over which the Castro regime has no control."

Necessity is the mother of invention. Even without the benefit of proper
tools, a handful of men and women have managed in recent years to create
independent publications such as Primavera Digital, Convivencia or 14ymedio.

Currently, there are some two-hundred colleagues working outside the
confines of the state-run media in Havana and other provinces, writing,
photographing, creating videos and making audio recordings. But they
still face risks and are subject to threats. At any given moment they
could be detained or have their equipment confiscated by State Security.
Their articles, exposés, chronicles, interviews and opinion pieces can
be found on Cubanet, Diario de Cuba, Martí Noticias, Cubaencuentro and
other digital publications, including blogs and webpages.

In almost lockstep with the openly confrontational anti-Castro press
there is an alternative world of bloggers and former state-employed
journalists. They practice their profession as freelancers and hold
differing positions and points of view. Among the best known are Elaine
Díaz from Periodismo de Barrio, Fernando Rasvberg from Carta de Cuba and
Harold Cárdenas from La Joven Cuba, all of whom are subject to
harassment and the tyranny of the authorities.

Reports issued by organizations that defend press freedom in countries
throughout the world rank Cuba among the lowest. The regime claims that
there have been no extrajudicial executions on the island and that no
journalists have been killed. There is no need. It has been killing off
the free press in other ways since January 1959.

Since its beginnings more than two decades ago, Cuba's independent press
has sought to revive freedom of the press and freedom of expression. And
slowly it has been succeeding. In spite of harassment and repression.

*Translator's note: Tania Quintero is the author's mother.

Source: Independent Journalism Seeks to Revive Press Freedom / Iván
García – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/independent-journalism-seeks-to-revive-press-freedom-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Iván García, 3 May 2017 — Let’s step back in time. One morning in 1985, Yndamiro Restano Díaz, a thirty-seven-year-old journalist with Radio Rebelde, took out an old Underwood and wrote a clandestine broadsheet entitled “Nueva Cuba.” After distributing the single-page, handmade newspaper up and down the street, one copy ended up pinned to a wall … Continue reading "Independent Journalism Seeks to Revive Press Freedom / Iván García" Continue reading
Urge mirar a Cuba 14 de mayo de 2017 – 15:05 – Por Editorial Diario Las Américas Bastaría convocar a todas las naciones y hacerles comprender que deben ignorar sus intereses políticos y económicos más particulares para mirar a Cuba con la misma preocupación que han atendido la injusticia en otros países Creer que la […] Continue reading
Hermano de Payá reivindica el derecho a votar para todos los cubanos 14 de mayo de 2017 – 12:05 – Por Luis Leonel León El representante en el exterior del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación asegura que el Proyecto Varela y la propuesta para reformar la ley electoral continúan vivos @LuisLeonelLeon llleon@diariolasamericas.com Hace casi cinco años, el […] Continue reading
Cuba Decide, por la continuidad del Plebiscito de Oswaldo Payá mayo 10, 2017 A 15 años del Proyecto Varela, Rosa María Payá, hija del fallecido disidente, impulsa la realización de un plebiscito vinculante que ponga en manos del pueblo el futuro político de la isla. Promotores de la iniciativa Cuba Decide recordaron este miércoles en […] Continue reading
Recuerdan aniversario de entrega de firmas del Proyecto Varela mayo 10, 2017 El Movimiento Cristiano Liberación recordó este miércoles el XV Aniversario de la primera entrega de firmas del Proyecto Varela en la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular en Cuba, el 10 de mayo del 2002. En su sitio en internet, el MCL señaló que […] Continue reading
‘A Raúl Castro puedes llegar rápido. Búscate la manera de llegar a Obama’, dijo el Papa al cardenal Ortega DDC | Madrid | 10 de Mayo de 2017 – 20:22 CEST. “A Raúl Castro puedes llegar rápido. Búscate la manera de llegar a Barack Obama. Yo pago los viajes”, fueron las palabras que el papa […] Continue reading
¿Qué celebraron el 1ro de mayo? 9 Mayo, 2017 7:26 pm por Rogelio Travieso Pérez El Cerro, la Habana, Rogelio Travieso, (PD) En 1961 los cubanos perdimos algo que le pertenece a todos los habitantes de este mundo: el respeto al derecho sagrado de ser libres. Los cubanos no tenemos el derecho de elegir a […] Continue reading
Corriente Agramontista ________________________________________ ENFOQUE JURÍDICO DE LA OPOSICIÓN CÍVICA Posted: 20 Apr 2017 07:28 PM PDT Este folleto didáctico parte de que la fórmula clásica de transición a la democracia: de la ley a la ley a través de la ley, exige perseverar en la relación de medio a fin por vías cívicas para rescatar […] Continue reading
El Cerro, la Habana, Rogelio Travieso, (PD) En 1961 los cubanos perdimos algo que le pertenece a todos los habitantes de este mundo: el respeto al derecho sagrado de ser libres. Los cubanos no tenemos el derecho de elegir a nuestros gobernantes y los padres no pueden decidir qué tipo de educación quieren para sus […] Continue reading

El dos veces candidato a la presidencia de Venezuela, Henrique Capriles, aseguró este viernes que los ministros de los Servicios Penitenciarios, Iris Varela, y de Interior, Néstor Reverol, supuestamente usan a presos para reprimir protestas antigubernamentales en Maracaibo, reporta EFE.

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El periodismo independiente cubano busca rescatar la libertad de prensa mayo 03, 2017 Iván García, desde La Habana LA HABANA – Retrocedamos en el tiempo. Una mañana de 1985, Yndamiro Restano Díaz, de 37 años y periodista de Radio Rebelde, en una vieja Underwood decidió redactar un boletín clandestino de información titulado Nueva Cuba. El […] Continue reading
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Corruption Versus Liberty: A Cuban Dilemma / Dimas Castellano

Dimas Castellanos, 18 November 2016 — The evil of corruption–the act of
corruption and its effects–has accompanied the human species since its
emergence. It has been present in all societies and in all ages. Its
diverse causes range from personal conduct to the political-economic
system of each country. In Cuba it appeared in the colonial era, it
remained in the Republic, and became generalized until becoming the
predominant behavior in society.

To understand the regression suffered we must return to the formation of
our morality, essentially during the mixing of Hispanic and African
cultures and the turning towards totalitarianism after 1959, as can be
seen in the following lines.

The conversion of the island into the world's first sugar and coffee
power created many contradictions between slaves and slave owners,
blacks and whites, producers and merchants, Spanish-born and Creole, and
between them and the metropolis. From these contradictions came three
moral aspects: the utilitarian, the civic and that of survival.

Utilitarian morality

The father of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), said that
utility is measured by the consequences that actions tend to produce,
and came to the conclusion that all action is socially good when it
tries to procure the greatest possible degree of happiness for the
greatest number of people, and that each person has the right to be
taken into account in the exercise of power.

That thesis of Bentham became a popular slogan synthesized in the
phrase: "The greatest happiness for the greatest number." Such a concept
crystallized in Cuba as a creole variant of a utilitarianism that took
shape in exploitation, smuggling, corruption, banditry, and criminality,
which turned into the violation of everything predisposed as an accepted
norm of conduct in society.

The gift of a plant by the sugar planters to the governor Don Luis de
las Casas; the diversion of funds for the construction of Fortaleza de
la Real Fuerza de la Cabaña, which made it the most expensive fortress
in the world; the gambling house and the cockfighting ring that the
governor Francisco Dionisio Vives had for his recreation in the Castillo
de la Real Fuerza, whose government was known for "the three d's":
dancing, decks of cards, and drinking, for which reason, at the end of
his rule, there appeared a lampoon that said: "If you live (vives) like
Vives, you will live!"; the mangrove groves; bandits like Caniquí, the
black man of Trinidad and Juan Fernandez, the blond of Port-au-Prince …
are some examples.

Utilitarianism reappeared on the republican scene as a discourse of a
political, economic, and military elite lacking in democratic culture,
swollen with personalismo, caudillismo, corruption, violence and
ignorance of anything different. A masterful portrait of this morality
was drawn by Carlos Loveira in his novel Generales y doctores, a side
that resurfaced in the second half of the twentieth century.

Thus emerged the Republic, built on the symbiosis of planters and
politicians linked to foreign interests, with a weak civil society and
with unresolved, deep-rooted problems, as they were the concentration of
agrarian property and the exclusion of black people. The coexistence of
different moral behaviors in the same social environment led to the
symbiosis of their features. Utilitarianism crisscrossed with virtues
and altruisms, concerns and activities on matters more transcendent than
boxes of sugar and sacks of coffee.

Throughout the twentieth century, these and other factors were present
in the Protest of the 13, in the Revolution of the 30, in the repeal of
the Platt Amendment, in the Constituent Assembly of 1939, and in the
Constitution of 1940. Also in the corruption which prevailed during the
authentic governments and in the improvement accomplished by the
Orthodox Dissent and the Society of Friends of the Republic. Likewise,
in the 1952 coup d'etat and in the Moncada attempted counter-coup, in
the civic and armed struggle that triumphed in 1959 and in those who
since then and until now struggle for the restoration of human rights.

Civic morality

Civic morality, the cradle of ethical values, was a manifestation of
minorities, shaped by figures ranging from Bishop Espada, through Jose
Agustín Caballero to the teachings of Father Felix Varela and the
republic "With all and for the good of all" of José Martí. This civic
aspect became the foundation of the nation and source of Cuban identity.
It included concern for the destinies of the local land, the country,
and the nation. It was forged in institutions such as the Seminary of
San Carlos, El Salvador College, in Our Lady of the Desamparados, and
contributed to the promotion of the independence proclamations of the
second half of the nineteenth century, as well as the projects of nation
and republic.

Father Félix Varela understood that civic formation was a premise for
achieving independence and, consequently, chose education as a path to
liberation. In 1821, when he inaugurated the Constitutional Chair at the
Seminary of San Carlos, he described it as "a chair of freedom, of human
rights, of national guarantees … a source of civic virtues, the basis of
the great edifice of our happiness, the one that has for the first time
reconciled for us the law with philosophy."

José de la Luz y Caballero came to the conclusion that "before the
revolution and independence, there was education." Men, rather than
academics, he said, is the necessity of the age. And Jose Marti began
with a critical study of the errors of the War of 1868 that revealed
negative factors such as immediacy, caudillismo, and selfishness,
closely related to weak civic formation.

This work was continued by several generations of Cuban educators and
thinkers until the first half of the twentieth century. Despite these
efforts, a general civic behavior was not achieved. We can find proof of
this affirmation in texts like the Journal of the soldier, by Fermín
Valdés Domínguez, and the Public Life of Martín Morúa Delgado, by Rufino
Perez Landa.

During the Republic, the civic aspect was taken up by minorities.
However, in the second half of the twentieth century their supposed
heirs, once in power, slipped into totalitarianism, reducing the Western
base of our institutions to the minimum expression, and with it the
discourse and practice of respect for human rights.

Survival morality

Survival morality emerged from continued frustrations, exclusions, and
the high price paid for freedom, opportunities, and participation. In
the Colony it had its manifestations in the running away and
insurrections of slaves and poor peasants. During the second half of the
twentieth century it took shape in the lack of interest in work, one of
whose expressions is the popular phrase: "Here there is nothing to die for."

It manifested itself in the simulation of tasks that were not actually
performed, as well as in the search for alternative ways to survive.
Today's Cuban, reduced to survival, does not respond with heroism but
with concrete and immediate actions to survive. And this is manifested
throughout the national territory, in management positions, and in all
productive activities or services.

It is present in the clandestine sale of medicines, in the loss of
packages sent by mail, in the passing of students in exchange for money,
in falsification of documents, in neglect of the sick (as happened with
mental patients who died in the Psychiatric Hospital of Havana of
hypothermia in January 2010, where 26 people died according to official
data), in establishments where merchandise is sold, in the workshops
that provide services to the population, in the sale of fuel "on the
left" and in the diversion of resources destined for any objective.

The main source of supply of the materials used is diversion, theft, and
robbery, while the verbs "escape", "fight" and "solve" designate actions
aimed at acquiring what is necessary to survive. Seeing little value in
work, the survivor responded with alternative activities. Seeing the
impossibility of owning businesses, with the estaticular way (activities
carried out by workers for their own benefit in State centers and with
State-owned materials). Seeing the absence of civil society, with the
underground life. Seeing shortages, with the robbery of the State.
Seeing the closing of all possibilities, with escape to any other part
of the world.

Immersed in this situation, the changes that are being implemented in
Cuba, under the label of Guidelines of Economic and Social Policy of the
PCC, run into the worst situation regarding moral behavior. In this,
unlike in previous times, everyone from high leaders to simple workers
participates. A phenomenon of such a dimension that, despite its
secrecy, has had to be tackled by the official press itself, as can be
seen in the following examples of a whole decade:

The newspaper Juventud Rebelde on May 22, 2001 published an article
titled "Solutions against deception", where it is said that Eduardo, one
of the thousands of inspectors, states that when he puts a crime in
evidence, the offenders come to tell him: "You have to live, you have to
fight." According to Eduardo, neither can explain "the twist of those
who bother when they are going to claim their rights and instead defend
their own perpetrator." It results in the perpetrator declaring that he
is fighting and the victims defending him. The selfless inspector,
thinking that when he proves the violation he has won "the battle," is
wrong. Repressive actions, without attacking the causes, are doomed to
failure.
- The same newspaper published "The big old fraud", reporting that of
222,656 inspections carried out between January and August 2005, price
violations and alterations in product standards were detected in 52% of
the centers examined and in the case of agricultural markets in 68%.
- For its part, the newspaper Granma on November 28, 2003, in "Price
Violations and the Never Ending Battle" reported that in the first eight
months of the year, irregularities were found in 36% of the
establishments inspected; that in markets, fairs, squares, and
agricultural points of sale the index was above 47%, and in gastronomy 50%.
- On February 16, 2007, under the title "Cannibals in the Towers", the
official organ of the Communist Party addressed the theft of angles
supporting high-voltage electricity transmission networks, and it was
recognized that "technical, administrative and legal practices applied
so far have not stopped the banditry. "
- Also, on October 26, 2010, in "The Price of Indolence", reported that
in the municipality of Corralillo, Villa Clara, more than 300 homes were
built with stolen materials and resources, for which 25 kilometers of
railway lines were dismantled and 59 angles of the above-mentioned high
voltage towers were used.

If the official newspapers Granma and Juventud Rebelde had addressed the
close relationship between corruption and almost absolute state
ownership, with which no one can live off the salary, with which
citizens are prevented from being entrepreneurs, and with the lack of
the most elementary civic rights, then they would have understood that
repression alone is useless, that the vigilantes, policemen, and
inspectors are Cubans with the same needs as the rest of the population.

In order to change the course of events, it is necessary to extend the
changes in the economy to the rest of the social spheres, which implies
looking back at citizens' lost liberties, without which the formation
and predominance of civic behavior that the present and future of Cuba
require will be impossible.

Ethics, politics, and freedoms

In Cuba, the state of ethics – a system composed of principles,
precepts, behavior patterns, values and ideals that characterize a human
collective – is depressing; While politics – a vehicle for moving from
the desired to the possible and the possible to the real – is
monopolized by the state. The depressing situation of one and the
monopoly of the other, are closely related to the issue of corruption.
Therefore, its solution will be impossible without undertaking deep
structural transformations.

The great challenge of today's and tomorrow's Cuba lies in transforming
Cubans into citizens, into political actors. A transformation that has
its starting point in freedoms, beginning with the implementation of
civil and political rights. As the most immediate cause of corruption –
not the only one – is in the dismantling of civil society and in the
nationalization of property that took place in Cuba in the early years
of revolutionary power, it is necessary to act on this cause from
different directions.

The wave of expropriations that began with foreign companies, continued
with the national companies, and did not stop until the last fried-food
stand became "property of the whole people", combined with the
dismantling of civil society and the monopolization of politics, brought
as a consequence a lack of interest in the results of work, low
productivity, and the sharp deterioration suffered with the decrease of
wages and pensions. Added to these facts were others such as the
replacement of tens of thousands of owners by managers and
administrators without knowledge of the ABCs of administration or of the
laws that govern economic processes.

The result could not be otherwise: work ceased to be the main source of
income for Cubans. To transform this deplorable situation requires a
cultural action, which, in the words of Paulo Freire, is always a
systematic and deliberate form of action that affects the social
structure, in the sense of maintaining it as it is, to test small
changes in it or transform it.

Paraphrasing the concept of affirmative action, this cultural action is
equivalent to those that are made for the insertion and development of
relegated social sectors. Its concretion includes two simultaneous and
interrelated processes: one, citizen empowerment, which includes the
implementation of rights and freedoms; and two, the changes inside the
person, which unlike the former are unfeasible in the short term, but
without which the rest of the changes would be of little use. The
transformation of Cubans into public citizens, into political actors, is
a challenge as complex as it is inescapable.

Experience, endorsed by the social sciences, teaches that interest is an
irreplaceable engine for achieving goals. In the case of the economy,
ownership over the means of production and the amount of wages
decisively influence the interests of producers. Real wages must be at
least sufficient for the subsistence of workers and their families. The
minimum wage allows subsistence, while incomes below that limit mark the
poverty line. Since 1989, when a Cuban peso was equivalent to almost
nine of today's peso, the wage growth rate began to be lower than the
increase in prices, meaning that purchasing power has decreased to the
point that it is insufficient to survive.

An analysis carried out in two family nuclei composed of two and three
people respectively, in the year 2014, showed that the first one earns
800 pesos monthly and spends 2,391, almost three times more than the
income. The other earns 1,976 pesos and spends 4,198, more than double
what it earns. The first survives because of the remittance he receives
from a son living in the United States; the second declined to say how
he made up the difference.

The concurrence of the failure of the totalitarian model, the aging of
its rulers, the change of attitude that is occurring in Cubans, and the
reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the US, offers better
conditions than previous decades to face the challenge. The solution is
not in ideological calls, but in the recognition of the incapacity of
the State and in decentralizing the economy, allowing the formation of a
middle class, unlocking everything that slows the increase of production
until a reform that restores the function of wages is possible. That
will be the best antidote against the leviathan of corruption and an
indispensable premise to overcome the stagnation and corruption in which
Cuban society is submerged.

Source: Corruption Versus Liberty: A Cuban Dilemma / Dimas Castellano –
Translating Cuba -
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Dimas Castellanos, 18 November 2016 — The evil of corruption–the act of corruption and its effects–has accompanied the human species since its emergence. It has been present in all societies and in all ages. Its diverse causes range from personal conduct to the political-economic system of each country. In Cuba it appeared in the colonial era, … Continue reading "Corruption Versus Liberty: A Cuban Dilemma / Dimas Castellano" Continue reading
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