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Friday, April 18, 2014

US reality in socialist Cuba

US reality in socialist Cuba
Story Created: Apr 17, 2014 at 9:12 PM ECT

I never miss reading a Rickey Singh column on purpose. His takes on
Caribbean politics and geopolitics are incisive and usually on target,
with one exception: his take on Cuba.
It is in dealing with that socialist state that his steely analyses turn
mushier than yesterday's pablum. His recent (April 16, 2014) piece
arguing that Cuba's new foreign investments law is intended to "combat
the destructive effects" of the US "blockade," is a case in point. Its
"core dimension," he insists, is intended "to finally overcome
persistent consequences of America's crippling economic blockade." This
blockade, he says, also involves US "acts of terrorism."
Mr Singh should be a little more precise in his terminology if he is to
understand what the changes in Cuba's economic direction are intended to
achieve. Several points: First, a "blockade" is what President Kennedy
put around Cuba during the Missile Crisis of 1962, i.e., nothing enters
or leaves Cuba without being boarded by US ships. No such action is in
place. What is in place is an embargo which is onerous enough but not
fatal. Not unlike Radio and TV Martí, which hardly anyone in Cuba pays
any attention to, its main purpose is to mollify the die-hard
recalcitrant Cuban-American lobbies in Miami and New Jersey. After five
decades of failure to achieve "regime change", the embargo is being
overtaken by events.
Consider the following: Some 450,000 Cuban-Americans travel to Cuba
every year and they, and the remittances of an estimated 75 per cent of
the other Cuban-Americans, are now the second major source of hard
currency after the Venezuelan oil and payments for services. Second,
investigate the expansion of cuentapropista paladares (restaurants)
which have become such an integral part of tourism in the island, and
you will find Miami money. The sirloin steak you ordered? Most surely
from Florida since the US is now the single most important supplier of
food in Cuba. Even the mix for the very Cuban daiquiri comes from Miami.
The reason behind the new law on foreign investments is the total
failure of the socialist command economy to generate growth and
especially its inability to absorb into cuentapropismo (small
enterprises) the estimated 500,000 state workers now made redundant.
Raul Castro himself has repeatedly argued that there is need for foreign
investment and foreign know-how—call it private enterprise. This
explains why the new law specifies that those who "live abroad and have
capital" are welcome. This includes Cuban-Americans.
But there is a fly in the ointment of this new initiative. Once again
the Cuban reforms leave out just what would put a real dent in the
embargo—allowing native Cubans to expand their enterprises beyond the
incipient and puny cuentapropista dimensions.
This responds to the idée fixe that doing otherwise would encourage
"capitalism." Foreign capitalism, yes; domestic capitalism, no. And, Mr
Singh, please note that this detrimental streak of ideological
intransigence has nothing to do with the US embargo. Fortunately, as
China and Vietnam demonstrate, this too will soon pass.

Anthony P Maingot
Professor Emeritus
Florida International University

Source: US reality in socialist Cuba | Trinidad Express Newspaper |
Letters -
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/US-reality-in-socialist-Cuba-255730611.html

Cuba and Modern Technologies of Indiscretion

Cuba and Modern Technologies of Indiscretion
April 17, 2014
Dariela Aquique

HAVANA TIMES — We're definitely living in an era in which technology has
become an essential part of people's lives everywhere. The devices,
techniques and processes employed in any field and directed towards
progress and development, such as portable computers, state-of-the-art
cell phones and other, have become something like a fifth appendage for
people.

What use are we giving these technologies, however?

When Alfred Hitchcock released his adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's
story It Had to Be Murder, the suspense film Rear Window, in 1954, he
could not have imagined that, sixty years later, there would be so many
real-life versions of the main character L.B. Jefferies.

In the film, a photographer who has suffered an accident and has a leg
in a cast spends hours sitting in front of a window at home. He notices
that his neighbor (Raymond Burr) is acting suspiciously and begins to
spy on him using a pair of binoculars and a photographic camera. Thus
unfolds the plot of the movie.

I wonder what Mr. Jefferies might have been able to do with cutting-edge
technology and if he had lived in our age, when not a single event in
our life fails to be recorded by a nosy camera somewhere (and ends up in
YouTube or Facebook many a time).

The immense majority of Cubans do not know these social networks because
they have no access to them, and the alternative at hand is to circulate
such materials using USB memories, such that people can watch them in
their computers or DVD players.

Drawing inspiration from such programs as Videos Asombrosos ("Amazing
Videos") or Al rojo vivo ("Red Hot"), which air amateur videos, Cubans
try to keep abreast with the times and have become improvised paparazzis
that record just about everything.

Promiscuity is the word that applies to a situation in which nothing is
private anymore. Lacking scruples and sometimes evincing much morbidity,
people film any situation they come across and make it public.

This is why we are constantly seeing images of regrettable accidents,
police officers beating up a civilian, people with physical deformities
making silly faces in front of the camera, a reprisal against dissidents
and things like the most recent and popular of Cuba's amateur videos,
"The Nude Beauty of Camaguey".

A woman – no one knows for certain why – walks buck naked down a street
in Camaguey. She is followed by a throng of men who film her with their
mobile phones and cameras and say crude things to her. She is finally
intersected by female police officers who attempt to cover her. She
resists and gets a good pummeling.

The crowd of people standing around yells: "Don't hit her, that's
abuse!" The nudist is then taken away by the police officers. There are
several versions of what happened. Some say she is a member of the
opposition staging a protest (I don't buy this), others that she is
mentally ill (I put more stock in this one).

The fact of the matter is that this video has not only been seen by
people in Camaguey, but by everyone in Cuba. It may even have been
uploaded to the Internet, thanks to our indiscrete technologies.

Source: Cuba and Modern Technologies of Indiscretion - Havana Times.org
- http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=103062

Salon Tropical ‘Paladar’ in Santiago de Cuba Is Still Afloat

Salon Tropical 'Paladar' in Santiago de Cuba Is Still Afloat
April 17, 2014
By Norges C. Rodríguez Almiñan (Progreso Weekly)


SANTIAGO DE CUBA — In 1996, the Cuban government decided to allow some
economic activities theretofore exclusively handled by the State to be
developed by private workers or self-employed entrepreneurs.

Among the activities allowed, one of the most popular was the
preparation and commercialization of food. The places where this
activity was carried out became known as "paladares," thanks to a
Brazilian soap opera broadcast on Cuban TV at the time.

During that period, the opening was very timid. The State restricted the
number of customers (only 12 at a time) and the hiring of the labor
force, stating that only relatives living on the premises could work in
the restaurant.

In the early 2000s, the government took several measures that adversely
affected the private workers and many of them gave up their work
licenses. In 2011, the regulations on private workers were relaxed and
self-employed entrepreneurs again became actors of importance in the
country's economy.

One of the private restaurants that survived all these waves, one of the
oldest in Santiago de Cuba, is the Salón Tropical in the November 30
neighborhood, known to everyone as "the paladar in the 30th." Its owner,
Nilda Gil, has managed the place from the start, as best as the rules of
the game allowed her.

Norges Carlos Rodríguez: When did you found the restaurant and why did
you choose that activity and no other, like lodging for instance?

Nilda Gil: In March 1996. I began with this because, although I never
studied food preparation, I always liked it. Lodging did not attract me.
At first, I worked and my sister took care of the kitchen. When I
returned from work, I'd remove my uniform and helped her in the kitchen.
We began with a small seating capacity. I used the first room in the
house and began with four tables and six chairs.

NCR: How did you handle the hiring of workers, the preparation of the
menu, and how did the customers behave?

NG: At that time we couldn't hire workers, only members of the family
who had to live in the same house, and were members of the same CDR
[Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, a neighborhood watch
network]. The menu consisted of spaghetti, pork chops, smoked loin, and
lamb, which were the only things we could sell. Seafood could not be
sold; it was banned. I had to reinvent and lay out different menus for
three days with the same ingredients: pork, lamb, rabbit and chicken.
One day we'd make Italian food, the next day Chinese. At the time, many
customers came, both Cuban and foreign. There were a lot more customers
than today.

NCR: The Cuban government has acknowledged that the 1996 opening was
done as a palliative. It assumed that self-employed work was a necessary
evil. This made many people look at self-employed workers with
suspicion, and many prejudices were formed regarding you. What
experiences did you have with this?

NG: All kinds. I was inspected three times over the sale of lobster and
shrimp, which were forbidden. I was detained by the police. If anything
was missing at some state-run place, they'd come here, looking for it.
The inspectors came day in, day out. We could barely work.

NCR: When did the taxes go up and by how much?

NG: That was in 2000. At first, we all paid the same: 500 national pesos
[CUP]. Then someone did a study and said that some paladares should have
their taxes raised because of their location. Those that were in midtown
should pay in CUC [convertible pesos]; those that weren't, would
continue to pay in domestic currency.

I had to pay in domestic currency but that problem was that I was
situated in a neighborhood with many boarding houses. So I asked the
ONAT [internal revenue office] to do a study and give me a license for
hard-currency trade, so I could serve foreign tourists, because I
couldn't do business in hard currency if I didn't pay taxes in hard
currency. At the end, I had to pay 700 CUC [about $700]; restaurants in
midtown had to pay 860 CUC.

When the taxes went up, many paladares in Santiago de Cuba disappeared.
From the existing 120 paladares, only eight remained, then only two,
Las Gallegas and the Salón Tropical. The customers either came here or
went there.

NCR: Why do you think the taxes went up?

NG: Well, remember that this was a necessary evil and people knew that
self-employed workers worked here.

NR: In 2011, new activities were approved. In the case of restaurants,
the state allowed an increase in the number of chairs and allowed you to
hire workers from outside the family. What benefit did those changes bring?

NG: Those measures were very favorable because in the past only the
relatives could work in the business, and that entailed problems with
discipline. Now we have the possibility to hire specialized personnel
who know the trade.

Now we notice a slight change. In the past, we self-employed workers
were almost accused of being counter-revolutionaries; now, we're
described as the rescuers of the nation. I don't know what we'll be
tomorrow, but I do notice a tendency to help us. We'll see.

NR: In comparison with 1996, how's the attendance and the access to
supplies and foodstuff?

NG: The clientele has shrunk a lot. In the past, we started work at noon
and worked till night. Today, we have very few customers at noon, and
only at night can we do something. The subject of supplies and
foodstuffs is tough on us. It was as difficult in '96 as it is today. We
don't have a market that can supply us, so we have to buy the food at
the hard-currency stores — that's expensive.

NR: One of the changes forecast for the country is the opening of
wholesale markets. What do you think?

NG: I won't believe it until I see it. I've been waiting 17 years for that.

NR: One of the options in this new opening is a link between private
businesses and state-run enterprises. What do you think of that?

NG: Well, I've already gone through that and didn't fare well at all. I
had a contract with Oriente University that was not favorable to me. I
always abided by the contract but they didn't, so there were past-due
bills that they never paid.

NR: Many private businesses in Cuba are taking seriously the role of
advertising and marketing, especially on the Internet. What do you think
of this? Is it important to you? Have you delved into it?

NG: That's extremely important and, yes, I have delved into it. I've
appeared in the magazine Excelencias Gourmet, in the issue published for
the Caribbean Festival, and that helped a lot because many tourists and
participants in the festival came to dine here.

The Gourmet television network, which broadcasts to Latin America and
the United States, did a documentary on us, too. They filmed an ordinary
day in the paladar: how we go to the store, how we shop in the market,
our day's work until the closing at night. It was a very pleasant
experience.

As a result, I received customers from Uruguay and Argentina. We also
have a presence on the Internet. The restaurant's Web page is updated
regularly. We have a profile in Tripadvisor, a page in Facebook and one
in Twitter.

NR: What personalities have you hosted?

NG: Actor Jim Carrey came here, also many Cuban actors and many
diplomats. We've had SINA officials [U.S. Interests Section], and the
French ambassador. The musicians in the Charanga Habanera came and I had
to roast a ham for them. We also had [Cuban actress] Luisa María Jiménez
and others who I don't remember.

NR: Today, American tourists cannot come to Cuba because of the
restrictions imposed by Washington. What benefits do you expect for your
business if the laws that prohibit the travel of U.S. tourists to Cuba
are lifted?

NG: It would be very beneficial, because I know that many would come.
This city would fill with them, and that's beneficial not only for
self-employed entrepreneurs but also for the country at large.

The author is an engineer living in Santiago de Cuba. He hosts the blog
'Salir a la manigua,' where this interview first appeared. Progreso
Weekly has published an abridged version.

Source: Salon Tropical 'Paladar' in Santiago de Cuba Is Still Afloat -
Havana Times.org - http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=103069

Opposing Venezuelans Decry Doctors-For-Oil Deal With Cuba Amid Soaring Inflation

Opposing Venezuelans Decry Doctors-For-Oil Deal With Cuba Amid Soaring
Inflation
Published April 16, 2014Fox News Latino

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AP) – When Judith Faraiz's son was near death after
a severe motorcycle accident, she put his life in the hands of God and
Cuban doctors.

Like many in Petare, a sprawling hillside slum of crumbling brick
buildings on the eastern outskirts of Caracas, Faraiz has come to rely
on Cuban physicians for free health services in a country where private
care is too expensive for the poor and public hospitals have a dismal
reputation.

The link is vital for both governments: In exchange for the services of
its doctors and other professionals, Havana gets an estimated $3.2
billion in cut-rate Venezuelan oil that is a lifeline for Cuba's ailing
economy. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, for his part, relies on
social programs such as these to shore up support among his poor power
base even as his approval ratings fall hand-in-hand with a faltering
economy.

The Cuban doctors are the most visible symbol of the controversial
collaboration between the two countries during 15 years of socialist
rule in Venezuela, and increasingly they are a flashpoint for the
violent unrest that has rocked the country since February and is blamed
for at more than 40 deaths.

The mostly middle- and upper-class protesters who have taken to the
streets say their country is following the path of Fidel Castro's
one-party Communist system. They see the doctors-for-oil deal as an
intolerable giveaway of Venezuela's vast petroleum wealth, even as the
country suffers from 50 percent inflation and chronic shortages of basic
goods like flour, cooking oil and toilet paper, not to mention a
homicide rate among the world's highest.

Unsubstantiated rumors have circulated that Cuban military advisers are
helping to crush the anti-government demonstrations. Some allege that
Havana is essentially running the Venezuelan military and that the Cuban
doctors lack proper training.

For supporters of Maduro's government, however, the doctors are an
example of concrete improvements in their lives delivered under the late
President Hugo Chavez and now his hand-picked successor.

Faraiz, a 54-year-old former domestic worker, said doctors at a public
hospital wanted to amputate one of her son's legs, which had been
horribly mutilated. He was prescribed a daily dose of antibiotics that
the family couldn't afford and contracted a serious infection.

So she took him to the Cuban doctors, who saved the leg by surgically
implanting eight nails and also healed his fractured cranium. The care,
and some of his medicine, didn't cost a cent.

Faraiz fears that if the opposition ever takes power it would follow
through on a promise to alter terms of the Cuba-Venezuela relationship,
and the doctors would be forced to leave.

"It will ruin the poor," she said, sitting in her low-ceiling living
room in Petare.

While official figures are not public, Cuba is believed to have sent
around 100,000 professionals, mostly health care workers but also
athletes, engineers and even circus artists, to Venezuela since Chavez
came to power in 1999. An estimated 31,000 Cuban health workers, about
11,000 of them doctors, are believed to be working in the country today.

Venezuela pays the Cubans a stipend for living expenses and they sleep
in dormitories at the clinics where they work. Havana also pays them
$425 a month — about 20 times the average government salary back home.

Cuba has similar programs in developing nations around the globe that
help burnish its international image, but none as important as the one
in Venezuela. Chavez was long the Caribbean island's staunchest
political and economic ally, and he spent months in Havana in 2013 for
cancer treatments before he died.

The South American country sends about 100,000 barrels of oil every day
to Cuba that accounts for half the island's domestic energy consumption,
University of Texas energy analyst Jorge Pinon says. Venezuela also
ships oil on preferential terms to other poor nations such as Haiti and
the Dominican Republic.

When the Cuban doctors arrived in Petare five years ago, residents
initially eyed them with suspicion and sometimes slammed the door in
their faces, said Yurisleidy Varela, a 29-year-old Cuban physician who
directs the local clinic that treated Faraiz's son.

Today the Cubans who staff "La Urbina" clinic are welcomed as they walk
the mazelike streets making house calls and vaccinating children. The
clinic offers free emergency, ophthalmology and pediatric care, as well
as minimally invasive surgical procedures. Its several dozen staffers
also minister to gunshot victims and drug and alcohol addicts.

But outside the slums and poor rural communities of Venezuela, the
Cubans have become a focus of anti-government rage.

In February, dozens of people carrying signs saying "Cuba go home"
physically harassed a Cuban baseball team playing in a tournament on
Margarita Island. More recently, assailants burned down a medical clinic
staffed by Cubans in the western city of Barquisimeto.

Some of the Cubans say the violence has them spooked.

"One never knows what can happen," Varela said. "If they're attacking
their own institutions, imagine how it is with us Cubans."

There's no sign that the doctors will decamp anytime soon, and Maduro
has vowed the anti-Cuba sentiment will only "bolster our conviction that
we must strengthen our brotherhood."

Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of Latin American history at Pomona
College in California, said that besides domestic political concerns,
continuing the Cuba-Venezuela alliance is a way for Maduro to send a
message to Washington that has been echoed in recent years by
like-minded presidents around the region.

"Cuba was a model for this generation" of leftist leaders, Tinker Salas
said, "and I think it is, in a way, a way to declare one's autonomy and
independence."

Source: Opposing Venezuelans Decry Doctors-For-Oil Deal With Cuba Amid
Soaring Inflation | Fox News Latino -
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2014/04/16/opposing-venezuelans-decry-doctors-for-oil-deal-with-cuba-amid-soaring/

Cuba’s Energy Initiatives

Cuba's Energy Initiatives
April 17, 2014
Fernando Ravsberg*

HAVANA TIMES — A work group for the promotion of renewable sources of
energy was recently assembled in Cuba. It is a space for debate on the
different points of view regarding what sources of energy could
contribute to the country's sustainable development.

Only 5 % of the energy Cuba consumes is derived from renewable sources.
Oil dependence has already driven the country to the edge of the
precipice several times – first with the US embargo, then with the
collapse of the Soviet Union and now with the crisis in Venezuela.

The country has been investing in solar, wind and biomass energy, and
trying to make optimal use of accompanying gas, for some years now.
Today, it is in search of foreign companies willing to invest some US $
3 billion in the sector.

It's true these sources of energy are expensive, but, considering that
oil is currently at US $100 the barrel and oil prices continue to rise,
the investment will be profitable in the long term. It will give Cuba
the independence it needs to develop its economy with no hurdles other
than its own.

Uruguay is well on its way to achieving this: all of the country's
energy will be produced by hydroelectric plants and wind farms, an
infrastructure which the country's Energy Director tells us will have
citizens paying lower electricity bills.

That could well be Cuba's path: creating more wind farms, accompanying
gas processing plants, solar panels, bagasse-driven generators and
paying closer attention to Cuban research now also proposing the use of
marabou plants for energy production.

No one can discard the possibility that good quality oil will one day be
found in Cuba, but I believe one shouldn't put all of one's eggs in one
basket and count on the discovery of a miraculous well that will flood
the island with crude and turn Cuba into an OPEP member overnight.

Not much hope of finding oil beneath the seabed remains after the oil
platform left Cuban waters, and it is not exactly advisable to again
dream of building nuclear power plants like those that caused serious
accidents in the United States, the Ukraine and Japan.

Cuban authorities seem to understand this and are taking the first steps
down the road leading to energy independence, with the great, additional
advantage of employing technologies that do not damage the environment
or put human life at risk.

Diving into the Deep

Bolstering renewable energy sources, however, is no easy task. It
requires a lot of time, large investments and cutting edge technology.
This explains why Cuba is offering generous tax exemptions to
businesspeople interested in investing in this sector.

This is fine for the macro level, but progress could be achieved quicker
if local versions of this same project existed, allowing citizens to
participate and thus saving the nation fuel and money.

However, it is next to impossible for a Cuban to buy solar paneling,
wind-mills or mini-hydroelectric plants for their homes, to be able to
at least generate part of the electricity they require in their farms.

I've visited tobacco-growing areas in Pinar del Rio where there's no
electricity. Even though most of these farmers make good money (and in
hard currency), they can't watch television, own a fridge or enjoy a fan.

Renewable energy generators should be sold to the public at affordable
prices – meanness should go out the window when the interests of the
nation are at stake. The State will start to see profits as its oil bill
begins to decrease.

Cuba's vehicles also do not reflect these alternative initiatives. The
country does not import electric cars and does not authorize the use of
natural gas as fuel, as is the case in other countries in the region.
Cubans have no other option than to use gasoline or diesel, and at
hair-raising prices.

Current automobile prices in Cuba give the government more than enough
financial elbow room to offer discounts for electric cars, which can be
charged during the night, when most of the energy produced is lost.

Cuba could also import gas-operated devices that save enormous amounts
of fuel. Ironically, Cuban authorities apply fines to those who use this
technology today, and, in the event of recidivism, can even confiscate
one's car.

I am not criticizing the decision to use renewable sources of energy. On
the contrary, their use must be generalized as much as possible. It is a
question, rather, of doing what the old saying suggests: when you've
decided to jump into the water, the most advisable thing is to dive
where it's deepest.

(*) Visit Fernando Ravsberg's blog.

Source: Cuba's Energy Initiatives - Havana Times.org -
http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=103052

Cuba - No Country for the Elderly

Cuba: No Country for the Elderly
April 17, 2014
Warhol P

HAVANA TIMES — Some days ago, I was thinking about the inevitable
passage of time and, after a very simple calculation, concluded I would
turn 50 in 10 years. In 20, if I haven't died of a heart attack (the
main cause of death among men in Cuba), I will have turned 60 and
become, as they say, a senior citizen.

By chance, I ran into my friend and colleague Veronica Vega at a stop of
the P11 bus, bound for the neighborhood of Alamar. The trip is tedious
and unpleasant, and there's nothing better than having someone to
converse with on the way over.

We talked about the rise in the price of powdered milk, the positive and
negative aspects of the Cuban film Conducta ("Conduct"), about Internet
and our limited connection, which hasn't improved with the installation
of Venezuela's fiber-optic cable, and, finally, got to the issue of the
elderly. Veronica mentioned something I'd never noticed (which is
understandable, as I am still a young man).

She pointed out to me that crossing an avenue was something nearly
impossible for an old person, as the streetlights go green for only 15
seconds and thoroughfares are usually very wide (to the point that even
young people have to walk briskly across). "No one thinks about the
elderly here," she said. Thinking about what she said, I realized it's true.

It dawned on me that an elderly person would be unable to stand in line
at Havana's Coppelia ice-cream parlor for long, or go out to buy
potatoes, because the long lines of people and squabbles that take place
at the market would be too much for them.

To get any kind of medication, an old person who has no one to look
after them must go to a doctor's office to get a prescription and arm
themselves with plenty of patience, as one must wait a long time to get
seen by the physician.

Many a time, I've seen an elderly man or woman be left behind at a bus
stop because they were unable to get on the bus. Everyone knows about
Cuba's transportation situation. One has to be on guard all the time and
be aggressive to board a bus, and this is impossible for many old people
– we must recall that many have physical issues, rely on walking sticks
to get around and, to make matters more complicated, can't see very well.

We live in a time in which it's every man for himself and, by the looks
of it the elderly don't have many things going for them right now.

I read somewhere that Cuba is a country of elderly and that it is
governed by old men (the latter, of course, do enjoy a good quality of
life).

The population is gradually aging: couples don't want to have more than
one child, because of the economic problems we all know (housing,
nutrition, a long list of problems with no solution in sight yet).

It remains to be seen whether, 20 years from now, things will look any
brighter for the young and my generation – and for me, who, in a
not-so-distant future, will be an old geezer.

Source: Cuba: No Country for the Elderly - Havana Times.org -
http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=103063

Group says jailed Cuban journalist should be freed

Posted on Thursday, 04.17.14

Group says jailed Cuban journalist should be freed
Report says the reporter was jailed because she wrote about alleged
police abuse.
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
JTAMAYO@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM

Cuban authorities should immediately free a journalist jailed for
reporting on a case of alleged police abuse involving a man bitten by a
police dog, the Paris-based Reporters Without Frontiers (RWF) said Thursday.

Juliet Michelena Díaz, 32, was arrested April 7 because of her reporting
on "a case of ordinary police violence she had witnessed in Havana," and
should be freed, said Lucie Morillon, RWF director of investigations.

Michelena was initially accused of threatening a neighbor, but the
charge was raised to attacking the woman on the day her report was
published, indicating "a desire to silence her and put a stop to all her
critical reporting," Morillon said.

RWF, a non-governmental organization, ranked Cuba 170th out of 180
countries in its 2014 freedom of the press index. Cuba's communist
government controls all newspapers and radio and television stations on
the island of 11 million people.

Michelena, who reports for the independent Cuban Network of Community
Communicators, should be declared a "prisoner of conscience" by the
human-rights group Amnesty International, said CNCC director Martha
Beatriz Roque.

Roque said Michelena and five other CNCC reporters were at a Havana bus
stop March 26 when they witnessed an elite police unit known as the
Black Berets use police dogs to break up a brawl involving two men and
women. One man was bitten on the arm.

Police arrested the brawlers as well as Michelena, four of the CNCC
reporters and several bystanders who had been taking cellphone photos of
the incident in an attempt to seize all the photos, Roque said.
Michelena managed to hide hers.

The independent journalists were freed after a few hours, but police
detained Michelena again on April 2, aware that she had the photos and
was writing a report, the CNCC director told el Nuevo Herald. The report
was published April 10 on the Cubanet website.

A State Security colonel let her go after telling her that he would
handle her case personally, Roque said. Police arrested her again on
April 7, this time on an official charge of threatening a member of a
pro-government mob that had cheered her April 2 detention.

Her trial was initially set for April 10 but was postponed while her
husband, Jose Antonio Sieres Ramallo, tried to find a defense lawyer,
the CNCC chief said. Cuban attorneys know they can get into trouble with
authorities if they defend dissidents.

The CNCC focuses mostly on reporting at the neighborhood level, such as
complaints of broken sewer pipes, long waiting lines at health clinics,
and the collapses of many of Havana's old homes.

The RWF statement noted that independent Cuban journalists are "victims
of constant judicial harassments. The arbitrary detentions have the
objective of destabilizing the journalists and slowing their interchange
of information."

Havana journalist Dania Virgen Garcia was detained for several hours on
Saturday, it added. And when two government TV journalists who happened
to be nearby turned their cameras on the police, they, too, were
detained briefly.

Three other journalists are currently jailed on various charges,
according to RWF: Yoenni de Jesús Guerra García, arrested in October and
sentenced to seven years; Ángel Santiesteban Prats, arrested Feb. 28,
2013, and serving a five-year sentence; and José Antonio Torres, a
Granma newspaper reporter arrested in 2012 and serving a 14-year term.

RWF said it wrote a letter to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
before his visit to Cuba on April 10 urging him to take up the cases of
the jailed journalists with his hosts in Havana.

While the European Union is trying to improve relations with Cuba in a
series of negotiations due to start in the next few weeks, the letter
said, "that cannot be achieved at the expense of the journalists."

Source: Group says jailed Cuban journalist should be freed - Cuba -
MiamiHerald.com -
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/17/4066053/group-says-jailed-cuban-journalist.html

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Descriptive Hardship

Descriptive Hardship / Rosa Maria Rodriguez
Posted on April 17, 2014

An acquaintance of mine traded his one-and-a-half-room apartment for an
even smaller one and a little cash, to ease his alcoholism and misery. I
never entered his house and so I was unaware of his poverty. His
furniture looked like shabby junk, which was probably — as in most Cuban
houses — bought before the triumph of this guerrilla model that
installed itself in power in 1959 and has been there ever since.

An oily film covers the surface of the dresser that was perhaps once
covered in formica, the dilapidated cabinet narrates a history of old
age and over use, as do his mattress and the remains of his sofa and
Russian washing machine–from which he had to amputate the dryer–which
are as revealing as the speeches of the Cuba's leaders, their words
blurred by neglect and demagoguery.

During the move, he took out a yellowed nylon bag with a ton of
black-and-white photos to show his companions how beautiful the
apartment had been when his father moved in 1958. Then the furniture
seemed alive and the walls still wore an attractive and aesthetic coat
of paint. Monochromatic sentiments showing the nostalgia on his face,
pummeled by frustration and liquor.

His drinking buddies helped him carry out his things and let them in the
sun for an hour waiting for transport. They were a dozen addicts invited
to show "solidarity" and encouraged by rum, which served as fuel to
maintain their enthusiasm. A truck from the thirties carried a part of
the "skimpy" patrimony to the "new house," which was clearly built
before the Castro government and which sheltered, as in many other homes
in Cuba, the ethyl-alcohol scandals of that part of society that drowns
its disappointments and miseries with a cheap sulfuric homemade rum
which is all they can afford.

The alcohol solidarity brigade turned themselves over to the care of the
liquid treasure left int he bottle. The emptying of this was the shot
that ripped through their own hardships accumulated over decades of
governmental injustices, apathy, anti-democratic subjugation and social
exhaustion. The delirium tremens, or tremendous delirium of trying to
trick societies all the time with drunken ideological and economic
theories, has failed worldwide.

Perhaps, in the quiet of their homes, before the bottle gives them the
knockout blow, they pull from their personal yellowed plastic bags of
history, photos that bear witness to that fact that once–before
addiction had them tied by the neck–these were their houses and this was
their country, before this evil government drove it to ruin.

17 April 2014

Source: Descriptive Hardship / Rosa Maria Rodriguez | Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/descriptive-hardship-rosa-maria-rodriguez/

Neither Blacks Nor Whites, Cubans

Neither Blacks Nor Whites, Cubans / Fernando Damaso
Posted on April 16, 2014

Neither black nor white, Cuba is mixed, some of the country's
investigators and intellectuals have asserted for some time now. The
declaration seems to respond to an eminently political intention:
incorporation into the current Latin American mixed ethnicity, so
fashionable among our populists.

This tendency, promoted by the authorities and some associated
personalities, instead of looking objectively at the African influence
in the formation of the Cuban nationality and identity, overestimating
it to the detriment of the Spanish, also an original race. To do this,
for many years, they have officially and supported and promoted its
demonstration, both in arts and religion, with the objective of
presenting it as the genuine Cuban.

Bandying about issues of race has many facets and, hence, varied
interpretations. Marti said they didn't exist, and wrote about the
different people who populate the distinct regions of the planer, noting
their unique characteristics, both positive and negative and which, in
practice, differentiate them. His romantic humanism went one way and
reality another. In more recent times, they sent us to Africa to fight
against colonialism, to settle a historical debt with the people of that
continent brought to Cuba as slaves, according to what they tell us.

That is, we accept that they can't free themselves and we, in some way
considering ourselves superior, come to their aid, independent of the
true political hegemonic interests, which were the real reason for our
presence in favor of one side in the conflict, during the so-called Cold
War.

Without falling into the absurd extremes, talking about superior and
inferior races, in reality there are differences of every kind between
the historical inhabitants of different regions. To hide or distort it
doesn't help anyone. Some ethnic groups have developed more than others
and have contributed more to humanity, and still do. No wonder we speak
of a developed North and the underdeveloped South, and it has not only
influenced the exploitation of some by others, as both the carnivorous
and vegetarian Left and their followers like to argue. There are those
who, with their talent and work, are able to produce wealth, and those
who find it more difficult and only create misery.

In Cuba, the original population lived in north of South America and
expanded to the Antilles. Afterwards came the Spanish, and later the
blacks, Chinese, Arabs, French, Japanese and the representatives of
other nations of the world, bringing their customs, characteristics,
traditions, virtues, defects and cultures, which in the great mix (never
in a pot) formed the Cuban nation. For many years whites were the
majority, followed by mixed, blacks and Asians (in 1953, whites were
72.8%, mixed 14.5%, black 12.4% and Asians 0.3% of the population).

From the year 1959, with the mass exodus of whites and Asians, who
settled mainly in the United States, and the increase in births in the
black and mestizo population, plus the various racial mixtures, their
percentages increased within the country, but not among Cubans living
abroad, who are mostly white. To ignore the statistics constitutes both
a demographic and political mistake, they are as Cuban as those based in
the country, often with more rooted customs, traditions and culture.
Cuba is white, mestizo, black and Asian and much more, but above all, it
is Cuba. Who benefits politically from this extemporaneous definition of
a mixed Cuba? What are they trying to accomplish? to divide Cubans still
further?

It is absurd that, after years indoctrinating people about the
non-existence of races (say man and you will have said it all), and not
taken into account published statistics, now appears this strange
assertion,which no one is interested in or cares about, whites, blacks,
mixed, Asians, trying to survive within a system that has been unable,
for over 56 years, of solving its citizens' problems.

It's a secret to no one, that it is precisely and black and mixed
population that is most affected by the economic and social crisis, the
most discriminated against by the authorities, despite their discourse,
propaganda, and the 30% quotas within political and governmental
organization.

With the exception athletes and artists, blacks and mixed-race are the
poorest, hold the worst jobs, are least likely to graduate from college,
live int he worst conditions, often bordering on slums, and are the most
likely to be in jail or prison.

I doubt that the conclusions reached by these investigators and
intellectuals have some practical value or help in any way to change
this terrible situation, nor to the authorities of Public Order cease to
besiege them, continually stopping them and demanding their ID cars on
the streets of our towns and cities.

11 April 2014

Source: Neither Blacks Nor Whites, Cubans / Fernando Damaso |
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/neither-blacks-nor-whites-cubans-fernando-damaso/

Récord de visas estadounidenses para cubanos en el 2014

Récord de visas estadounidenses para cubanos en el 2014
Posted on 17 abril, 2014
Por Wilfredo Cancio Isla*

Estados Unidos otorgó la cifra récord de 19,500 visas para visitas
familiares y viajes profesionales o de negocios durante la primera mitad
del año fiscal 2014, según estadísticas del Departamento de Estado.

De acuerdo con un reporte de la Oficina de Intereses de Estados Unidos
(USINT) en La Habana, el número de visas de no inmigrante constituye un
incremento del 27% con relación al mismo período del año anterior. El
presente ciclo fiscal comenzó el 1ro de octubre del 2013.

La Sección Consular de la USINT también concedió -hasta el 31 de marzo-
11,250 visas de inmigrante a ciudadanos cubanos como parte de los
acuerdos migratorios bilaterales, establecidos entre La Habana y
Washington en 1994 y 1995.

"Respecto al procesamiento de visas de inmigrantes estamos muy por
encima del ritmo necesario para cumplir con la cifra de 20,000 anuales
fijada por los acuerdos migratorios", dijo un portavoz de la USINT a
Diario Las Américas.

Más visas múltiples

Las autoridades consulares revelaron además que de las visas otorgadas
para visitas, más del 90% recibieron el documento para entradas
múltiples a Estados Unidos por cinco años, una categoría que la USINT
comenzó a conceder a los cubanos en agosto del 2013.

La mayoría de las visas de no inmigrante son para visitas familiares
(B2), pero una porción significativa (identificadas como B1) se destinan
para viajes de negocios o por razones profesionales como exhibiciones
artísticas, conferencias y eventos académicos y culturales.

Las cifras de visados en ambas categorías en el 2014 marcan un alza sin
precedentes para ciudadanos cubanos en la última década, con más de
30,750 documentos concedidos al término del primer semestre fiscal.
Durante el 2013, la USINT entregó 32,254 visas de visitantes y 24,727
para inmigrantes.

El otorgamiento de visas estadounidenses a cubanos se ha flexibilizado
gradualmente en la administración de Barack Obama. Desde en el 2009,
Washington ha concedido más de 133,000 visados de visitantes y ha
cumplido estrictamente con la entrega de al menos 20,000 visas para
inmigrantes, en cumplimiento de los acuerdos establecidos con Cuba.

Reforma migratoria

Pero a la vez, las solicitudes de cubanos para viajar a Estados Unidos
se han disparado desde enero del 2013, luego que el gobierno de Raúl
Castro puso en vigor una reforma migratoria que elimina los permisos de
salida a los ciudadanos nacionales.

"En la medida que Estados Unidos y Cuba flexibilicen el flujo normal de
personas, es lógico que se establezca un puente continuo de visitantes e
inmigrantes", consideró Juan Antonio Blanco, experto en relaciones
internacionales y profesor del Miami Dade College (MDC).

Blanco consideró que la política de la administración Obama ha sido
acertada en "no perder el tiempo" en la normalización de relaciones con
el gobierno cubano, mientras proyecta cada vez más su acercamiento con
la población de la isla.

"En realidad, ha habido una mejoría de las relaciones con la nación
cubana, no así con el gobierno cubano", indicó el académico. "Esta
política de acercamiento diferenciado la ha aplicado esta administración
con mucha claridad".

Una quimera migratoria

Para el analista Sergio Comas, la normalización de las relaciones
migratorias es aún "una quimera".

"Hay que preguntarse por qué a pesar de que Cuba quitó el permiso de
salida y Estados Unidos ha abierto más las compuertas para inmigrantes
legales y visitas de todo tipo, la gente sigue saliendo en balsas o
entrando por la frontera mexicana", opinó Comas.

Las nuevas regulaciones migratorias cubanas permiten a los viajeros
permanecer hasta 24 meses en el extranjero sin perder sus derechos
ciudadanos, lo cual deja abierta la opción a quienes visitan Estados
Unidos a acogerse a la Ley de Ajuste Cubano y obtener residencia legal
antes de retornar a la isla.

Comas cree que la precaria situación económica de la isla impone la
emigración a muchos cubanos en busca de dinero que luego revierten en
ayudas familiares o inyectan a negocios privados.

"Las facilidades de poder tener una visa múltiple y venir en visita
familiar o como artista, son supertentadoras", enfatizó.

VISAS DE NO INMIGRANTE PARA VISITAS FAMILIARES, INTERCAMBIOS ACADEMICOS
Y CULTURALES Y VIAJES DE NEGOCIOS (2004-2014)

2004 – 10,508
2005 – 11,632
2006 - 7,330
2007 – 10,614
2008 – 11,060
2009 – 17,690
2010 – 20,768
2011 – 16,654
2012 – 15,983
2013 – 32,254
2014 – 19,500 (Octubre 2013-Marzo 2014)

Fuente: Oficina de Intereses de EEUU

*Publicado en Diario Las Américas

Source: Récord de visas estadounidenses para cubanos en el 2014 | Café
Fuerte -
http://cafefuerte.com/cuba/13622-record-de-visas-estadounidenses-para-cubanos-en-el-2014/

En las calles y como cada domingo

En las calles y como cada domingo
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 12:00 ESCRITO POR JUAN GONZALEZ FEBLES

Cuba actualidad, Lawton, La Habana, (PD) La mañana del domingo 13 de
abril y luego de participar en la misa en la iglesia Santa Rita de
Casia, en la barriada Miramar, municipio Playa de la capital cubana, 87
Damas de Blanco acompañadas solidariamente por 34 activistas hombres
marcharon por las calles en demanda de libertad para los presos
políticos y para todo el pueblo de Cuba.

Para la ocasión, 12 Damas de Blanco resultaron arrestadas de acuerdo con
los reportes recibidos en esta redacción, provenientes de Ángel Moya
Acosta, ex prisionero de conciencia, miembro del Grupo de los 75,
ejecutivo en Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) y líder del Movimiento
Libertad y Democracia por Cuba (MLDC).

En Matanzas, el fraterno Félix Navarro Rodríguez, coordinador general de
la Unión Patriótica de Cuba, (UNPACU) también ex prisionero de
conciencia y miembro del Grupo de los 75, nos dice que en el municipio
Colón en esta provincia –Matanzas- once activistas pro democracia fueron
detenidos antes de llegar al templo para la misa dominical. Sus nombres:
Yudaymis Fernández Martínez, José Hernández López, José Ferrera Vázquez,
Alberto Sánchez Martiatu, Carlos Álvarez Guerra, Fidel Morejón Delgado,
Jesús Lago López, Nelson Acosta Ríos, Onelio Mesa Noda, Rubisdelvis Calá
Merencio y Herminio Hernández Padrón.

En este municipio Colón, fueron arrestadas diez Damas de Blanco durante
la caminata, luego que participaron en la misa. Sus nombres: Caridad
Burunate Gómez, Asunción Carrillo Hernández, Mayra García Álvarez,
Antonia Marcelina de la Riva Linares, Aleida Cofiño Rivera, Lázara
Rodríguez Roteta, Tania Echevarría Menéndez, María Teresa Castellanos
Valido, Yenisleydis Millo González, Zayda Lázara Hernández Rubí y
Maritza Acosta Perdomo.

En el municipio Cárdenas de esta misma provincia, nos informa Navarro
Rodríguez que seis Damas de Blanco fueron arrestadas durante la
caminata, luego de concluida la misa. Sus nombres son: Hortensia Alfonso
Vega, Yamila Sendra RRuiz, Odalys Hernández Hernández, Amada Rosa
Herrería Rodríguez, Ramona Terrero Batista y Mercedes Laguardia Hernández.

Con la impresión aun fresca de haber visto por el canal Telesur, a la
articulada y coherente oposición venezolana defender su discurso y en
él, -entre otras cosas- la manifestación política pacífica en las
calles. Ver de primera mano cómo los opositores venezolanos hicieron
frente al populismo post totalitario empoderado desde el castro-chavismo
fascista del siglo XXI en Venezuela, hizo ciertamente más fácil la
realización de este reporte de coraje cívico ciudadano en las calles de
Cuba, cada domingo.

Para Cuba noticias: j.gonzalez.febles@gmail.com

Source: En las calles y como cada domingo | Cuba noticias
actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/destacados/118-represion/10353-en-las-calles-y-como-cada-domingo.html

El pajarito y la jaula

El pajarito y la jaula
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 11:35 ESCRITO POR ROGELIO FABIO HURTADO

Cuba actualidad, Marianao, La Habana, (PD) Un reportaje, de la otrora
tan demonizada agencia de noticias AP, acerca de un servicio de
mensajería gratuita para uso de los cubanos, denominado Zunzuneo, le ha
venido como anillo al dedo al gobierno militar de Cuba, siempre empeñado
en controlar rigurosamente la información.

El mencionado programa, bajo el patrocinio de la USAID, (Agencia de los
Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional) intentó poner a
disposición de cualquier cubano, un canal de información libre de la
vigilancia oficial. Hay que señalar que la empresa de comunicaciones
cubana (ETECSA) no pone a disposición de nadie, excepto del selectísimo
grupúsculo al mando, nada ni siquiera parecido.

El problema es que las nuevas tecnologías de comunicación ponen
constantemente en jaque los mecanismos de control y censura, practicados
habitualmente por el Totalitarismo. Por eso, detienen y procesan al
señor Gross, cuya actividad, regalar medios de comunicación, sólo es
considerada ilegal en un país donde se considere la libertad de
información un delito.

El revuelo actual es tan ridículo como peligroso. Esta tarde el mal
llamado espacio de la Mesa Redonda, ha recalentado la atmósfera, con
virulentos ataques a los agentes mercenarios al servicio del
imperialismo dentro de la Isla, a cargo de tres de sus voceros
incondicionales a sueldo fijo, por cierto que una de ellas ya ha
adquirido un cierto acento madrileño.

Afirman que dicho Programa pretendía establecer una red social, para
posteriormente movilizar a las personas para que participasen en
manifestaciones y protestas antigubernamentales. Como si el medio de
comunicación por si mismo tuviese la virtud mágica de promover dichas
acciones. De acuerdo con esa prevención, tendrían que prohibirle el uso
de la red telefónica a todos los potenciales descontentos.

Ese razonamiento excusa a los gobernantes del deber elemental de
promover el bienestar de los ciudadanos bajo su responsabilidad. Si
resulta que pese a toda la felicidad que se les procura, se les ocurre
protestar, la culpa es del Zunzún que los alienta a hacerlo, no de la
asfixiante jaula donde padecen carencias de todo tipo.

Es importante señalar que esta nueva campaña del invicto David, coincide
con el inicio de sus conversaciones con la Unión Europea, con vistas a
recuperar las facilidades perdidas, o más bien despreciadas años atrás
por el Iluminado. Se supone que en dichas negociaciones, van a prometer
portarse de lo más bien en lo adelante con respecto a los Derechos
Humanos y demás.

Es de temer que, animados por este éxito de relaciones públicas, se
dispongan una vez más a arremeter contra los malignos enemigos, ahora
más desamparados que nunca.

Eso sí, tan pronto los senadores norteamericanos determinen entregar
desinteresadamente sus cheques al gobierno vitalicio de la Isla, ya sea
para financiar las investigaciones acerca de la hierba de guinea o el
platano micro-jet, serán recibidos con todos los honores y gastados sin
burocracia, ni utilidad real ninguna, pues en eso hay casi cincuenta
años de experiencia.

En este momento me avisan que Telesur está trasmitiendo en vivo y sin
editar, el Diálogo entre la oposición venezolana y el Gobierno de
Nicolás Maduro. Vamos a ver si a los iluminados de Birán se les despejan
las entendederas y asimilan la evidencia de que la información es un
derecho, no un arma, y acaban de abrirle la jaula al pajarito.

Para Cuba actualidad: rhur46@yahoo.com

Source: El pajarito y la jaula | Cuba noticias actualidad.Periodismo
independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/destacados/117-politica/10348-el-pajarito-y-la-jaula.html

La mejor oferta o solo una premonición

La mejor oferta o solo una premonición
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 11:26 ESCRITO POR JUAN GONZALEZ FEBLES

Cuba actualidad, Lawton, La Habana, (PD) Las cosas suceden y no hay nada
más elocuente que un hecho. La oposición venezolana demostró
articulación, coherencia y estar unida en una estrategia compartida para
el enfrentamiento al fascismo castro-chavista. Lo singular es que esta
demostración llegó a Cuba nada menos que por la televisión oficial a
través de Telesur.

Aunque los censores por acá cometan de vez en vez y de cuando en cuando
alguna que otra pifia, pienso que nunca llegarían a una de tal
envergadura. La pregunta que sigue es: ¿Qué viene después? El diálogo
oposición-gobierno de Venezuela trasmitido en su totalidad la noche del
jueves y que se extendió más allá de la madrugada, fue seguida al día
siguiente por una Mesa Redonda que tuvo como tema la constitucionalidad.

Como de pasada, quedó establecido por los historiadores y comentaristas
oficiales entrevistados y las opiniones aportadas por estudiantes de
Derecho entrevistados "al azar", que la constitución cubana más
relevante fue la de Guáimaro. También quedó como la primera república
cubana la de 1869, y así quedaron eliminadas para dar paso a algo en
proceso, la ratificación de la más avanzada de las constituciones en su
momento, la de 1940. También el reconocimiento de la destruida república
democrática surgida el 20 de mayo de 1902, arrasada desde su causa por
sus errores y por la horda verdeolivo en 1959.

Me pregunto si no se trataría de que estará en proceso una de esas
conspiraciones con tufillo PSP a la que son tan afines los mandamases
verdeolivo. Al ver el desempeño de los opositores venezolanos, que dejó
en las pequeñas pantallas cubanas verdades conocidas, las mismas que
desde hace décadas han planteado opositores, periodistas, etc., y que
solo era posible leerlas en plegables hechos casi de forma artesanal o
verlas y escucharlas desde Radio y Televisión Martí, me pregunté si en
los planes de transición económica al capitalismo de estado y de
transición política al fascismo en juego, no estaría ofrecer un diálogo
similar en que participe una "oposición leal" reconocida y empoderada,
junto a figuras ya elaboradas y mejor seleccionadas.

Imaginen este diálogo, que es solo una premonición. El ilustre general
sin batallas, presidente sin votos y heredero sin gloria, Excelentísimo
Raúl Castro Ruz, el Señor Miguel Díaz Canel Bermúdez, Marino Murillo
Jorge, la dulce y femenina Arleen Rodríguez Derivet, el inefabilísimo
Randy Alonso Falcón, Reinaldo Taladrid -para que cada quien (si puede)
logre sacar sus propias conclusiones-, la Sra. Rosa Miriam Elizalde,
Luís Báez, Miguel Barnet y el habilísimo empresario y además Historiador
de la Ciudad, Eusebio Leal Spengler.

Imagínenlo que tenga lugar frente a esta ilustre e ilustrada
contrapartida: Jorge Luís García Pérez 'Antunez', Roberto de Jesús
Guerra, Laritza Diversent, Yoani Sánchez, Eliecer Ávila, Reinaldo
Escobar, Dimas Castellanos, Miriam Celaya, Miriam Leyva, Elizardo
Sánchez, el espacio leal y la oposición laical o viceversa, entre otras
celebridades y para que no falte amenidad y aporte artístico, Omni Zona
Franca.

Presentes en el diálogo: CELAC y UNASUR, OMS, el Nuncio Apostólico y el
cardenal Jaime Ortega, dignatarios en representación de la Unión
Europea, el embajador de los Estados Unidos, el zarévich Putin, el
representante de Yutong, perdón de China, y para que quede reportado
para los inversionistas extranjeros de Miami, por El Nuevo Herald, el
colega Juan Tamayo.

Luego que ambas partes demanden el cese del bloqueo y la liberación de
los tres restantes héroes prisioneros del imperio, podría escucharse a
alguien decir que no se trata de ser anti-castristas, que no se está a
favor o en contra sino todo lo contrario o que la constitución del 40
está rebasada. Llegará el turno a que la nueva Ley de Inversión
Extranjera, las reformas y sus lineamientos han funcionado de maravilla.
Este será el momento del clímax para los señores Fanjul, Saladrigas y
otros de este corte. Podrán recuperar su inversión y luego reinvertir
sin peligro de huelgas o demandas enojosas, con una mano de obra
excelente. La mejor, más hambreada y desposeída de América Latina, pero,
quizás la más calificada.

Esta será la apoteosis, pero como dije anteriormente, se trata de solo
una premonición, cualquier semejanza con sucesos por venir, es pura
coincidencia. Espero que la televisión oficial -al menos en Telesur-
repita programas como este diálogo con la oposición venezolana. Walter
Martínez con sus bodrios manipulados y su aliento filibustero, aburre.

Tampoco quiero que alguien vaya a ofenderse con las alusiones al
fascismo. No se trata de una descalificación, el fascismo se desprende
del marxismo y merece el mismo respeto en tanto idea política, como
este. Aunque ambos apesten.

Para Cuba actualidad: j.gonzalez.febles@gmail.com

Source: La mejor oferta o solo una premonición | Cuba noticias
actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/destacados/117-politica/10347-la-mejor-oferta-o-solo-una-premonicion.html

Familia de opositor sufre marginación y represalias

Familia de opositor sufre marginación y represalias
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 11:56 ESCRITO POR LUIS CINO ÁLVAREZ

Cuba noticias, Arroyo Naranjo, La Habana, (PD) No es solo Harold Barbosa
Ibarra, residente en el Reparto Eléctrico, municipio capitalino Arroyo
Naranjo, quien ha tenido que pagar el precio de oponerse al régimen,
sino también su esposa y sus dos hijos pequeños.

"La maquinaria represiva de la dictadura castrista ha dejado secuelas en
mi familia", afirma Barbosa Ibarra, integrante del Partido Solidaridad
Liberal.

"Mi hija Betsy, de 9 años, quien padece desde que nació de meningocelis,
no recibe atención social. A mi otro hijo, Ricardo, de 11 años, en la
escuela los profesores lo maltratan y lo aíslan por el simple hecho de
tener un padre opositor", explica Barbosa.

Refiere que su esposa, Yulesmy Padrón, que era cantante y percusionista,
se siente muy frustrada, al punto de enfermar de los nervios, ya que no
ha podido seguir en la música, que es su gran vocación, ya que la
Agencia "Adolfo Guzmán", a la que pertenecía, no la contrata por estar
casada con "un contrarrevolucionario".
La familia vive de un modo muy precario, pues a Harold Barbosa, por ser
opositor, no le dan trabajo. Ha reclamado hasta al Consejo de Estado,
pero todo ha sido en vano.

De cualquier modo, para Harold Barbosa resultaría muy difícil conseguir
trabajo. A consecuencia de una salvaje golpiza que le propinaron en
1994, cuando lo encarcelaron, quedó lisiado del brazo izquierdo, en el
cual tuvieron que implantarle una varilla de metal.

El pasado mes de marzo, la casa de los Barbosa fue apedreada en dos
ocasiones por partidarios del régimen azuzados por la policía política.

Para Cuba noticias: luicino2012@gmail.com

Source: Familia de opositor sufre marginación y represalias | Cuba
noticias actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/cuba-noticias/represion/10352-familia-de-opositor-sufre-marginacion-y-represalias.html

Denuncia madre constante acoso y hostigamiento de la Policía política

Denuncia madre constante acoso y hostigamiento de la Policía política
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 11:47 ESCRITO POR OSMANI LÓPEZ ROSALES

Cuba noticias, Ciego de Ávila, (PD) La opositora pacífica María del
Carmen Tejada Hernández, madre soltera de 53 años, vecina de calle
Prolongación Maceo número 123, municipio Chambas, provincia Ciego de
Ávila, denuncia el acoso y hostigamiento emprendido contra ella y su
familia por parte de la Policía política, en particular el oficial
Manuel Hernández, delegado del Ministerio del Interior en el mencionado
municipio.

Afirma Tejada que el oficial Hernández en varias ocasiones la ha
agredido verbalmente en público, y la ha amenazado con revocar la
sentencia de su hijo, Manuel Antonio Delgado Tejada, quien está en
libertad condicional pues cumple sanción por una causa común.

Vale aclarar que esta mujer lleva más de un año operada de cáncer en el
bajo vientre, lo cual no parece importarle a este agente del régimen
castrista que la hostiga constantemente por la única razón de pertenecer
al Partido Democrático 30 de Noviembre Frank País.

María del Carmen dice sentir mucho temor por las represalias que estos
esbirros puedan tomar contra su hijo, quien no está integrado a ninguna
organización opositora. Asimismo ratifica su compromiso de seguir
luchando hasta lograr la definitiva libertad de Cuba.

Para Cuba noticias: valdirobe2012@gmail.com

Source: Denuncia madre constante acoso y hostigamiento de la Policía
política | Cuba noticias actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/cuba-noticias/represion/10350-denuncia-madre-constante-acoso-y-hostigamiento-de-la-policia-politica.html

Pastor Morejón entra en segunda semana de ayuno

Pastor Morejón entra en segunda semana de ayuno
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 11:41 ESCRITO POR LUIS CINO ÁLVAREZ

Cuba noticias, Arroyo Naranjo, La Habana (PD) El pastor Manuel Alberto
Morejón entró en la segunda semana del ayuno que inició el pasado lunes
7 de abril para exigir que el gobierno responda las demandas hechas por
la Alianza Cristiana.

Dichas demandas, que fueron formuladas en una carta enviada al
Presidente del Consejo de Estado y de Ministros, General Raúl Castro,
son: la promulgación de una Ley de Cultos y Asociaciones, elaborada
imparcialmente entre representaciones de todas las confesiones
religiosas; el cese del acoso hacia los hijos de cristianos en las
escuelas y el cese de la represión contra las iglesias.

El pastor Morejón realiza el ayuno en su casa, que es la sede de la
Alianza Cristiana, en Calle 27 número 1003 apto. 18, en El Vedado

Dos días antes de iniciar el ayuno, el 5 de abril, Morejón fue citado
oficialmente para la Unidad de la PNR de Zapata y 2, en El Vedado.
Cuando concurrió, acompañado por Carlos Alberto Montoya Palomino,
supervisor de la Alianza Cristiana, e Hilario Rodríguez Cruz, los
oficiales de la Contrainteligencia que se identificaron como el teniente
coronel Fernando y la capitana Aliuska, le comunicaron que el ayuno que
había anunciado que realizaría en el parque ubicado en la calle Hidalgo
esquina a 2, cerca de la Plaza de la Revolución, no lo iban a permitir
en ese lugar ni en ningún otro lugar público.
Los oficiales le pidieron a Morejón que esperara y le aseguraron que
tendría una respuesta a sus peticiones en un plazo no mayor de 60 días,
a partir de la última carta entregada Consejo de Estado.

Morejón declinó realizar el ayuno públicamente, descansando en la
palabra dada por los oficiales. No obstante, advirtió que se mantendrá
en abstinencia de alimentos sólidos en la sede de la Alianza Cristiana
hasta que le sea respondida oficialmente la demanda hecha, tal como lo
estipula la Constitución.

Para Cuba noticias: luicino2012@gmail.com

Source: Pastor Morejón entra en segunda semana de ayuno | Cuba noticias
actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/cuba-noticias/137-disidencia/10349-pastor-morejon-entra-en-segunda-semana-de-ayuno.html

La Habana, sin control, ni disciplina urbana

La Habana, sin control, ni disciplina urbana
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 10:43 ESCRITO POR OSMAR LAFFITA

Cuba actualidad, Capdevila, La Habana, (PD) El orden y la limpieza de la
capital cubana dejan mucho que desear. Prácticamente no se respeta nada,
existe una total desidia con los deberes y naturales obligaciones de los
ciudadanos con las normas elementales de limpieza y cuidado de la
propiedad pública.

No existe una cultura de conservar cuidados los parques. En la mayoría
de ellos, no hay flores, las farolas carecen de luz, a los bancos les
han robado los listones de

madera o las losas de granito que sirven de asiento, para utilizarlas
como meseta de cocina.

Solo en época de lluvia el césped se ve verde. Si transcurre más de un
mes sin que llueva, se ve quemado por el sol, lleno de polvo y basura,
porque nadie se ocupa de regarlo.

La disciplina y la falta de respeto al ornato público es tal que
cualquiera sin importarle el daño que provoca a la higiene, tira los
escombros a la vía pública y a las pocas horas se convierte en un
vertedero de basura donde pululan los roedores e insectos propagadores
de enfermedades.

Los camiones que recogen la basura demoran tres y más días en pasar, por
causas que no son explicadas por los dirigentes de la municipalidad.

Como no existe un horario para estos menesteres, es normal que en pleno
día, en una calle de mucho tránsito, se pongan a recoger la basura y
originen tranques y embotellamientos sin que ninguna autoridad tome
carta en el asunto.

Los residentes de La Habana, muchos de los cuales proceden de las
provincias orientales, parece que sufren una especie de epidemia cuyo
síntoma primario es la falta de cuidado por la limpieza de la ciudad
donde viven. Se han acostumbrado a vivir rodeados de basura.

Resulta realmente deplorable contemplar al personal dedicado a la
limpieza de las calles. Es tal el deterioro de los equipos que emplean
que habría que botarlos junto con la basura que recogen. No tienen
escobillones, palas, escobas, guantes, uniformes. Cualquiera los
confundiría con pordioseros.

Los recogedores de basura y muchos jubilados, como el salario y la
pensión que devengan no les alcanzan, para ganar un poco más dinero, se
dedican a la recogida de latas vacías de refrescos y cervezas que
encuentran botadas en la calle. Esa es la nueva forma de sustento que
han encontrado aquellos que deberían estar en sus hogares, descansando,
después de toda una vida de trabajo.

Para Cuba actualidad: ramsetgandhi@yahoo.com

Source: La Habana, sin control, ni disciplina urbana | Cuba noticias
actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/cuba-sociedad/sociedad/10342-la-habana-sin-control-ni-disciplina-urbana.html

La manipulación de la Salud Pública

La manipulación de la Salud Pública
JUEVES, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2014 11:12 ESCRITO POR ARNALDO RAMOS LAUZURIQUE

Cuba actualidad, Centro Habana, La Habana, (PD) El régimen cubano acaba
de anunciar un incremento salarial a 440 mil trabajadores del sector de
la Salud, que duplica y más los salarios de: médicos, estomatólogos y
enfermeras, aunque no se informa el nivel de los aumentos a otros
técnicos, ni al personal auxiliar.

Ya Raúl Castro había expresado que no habría, en general subidas de
sueldos, salvo en esta esfera, que generará ingresos externos por 8 200
millones de dólares en 2014, que es el 64% de los 12 812,5 millones del
total de venta de servicios al exterior. Las restantes entradas de
servicios, corresponderían al turismo y las donaciones, que entre éstas
últimas incluyen las remesas. Estos ingresos permiten equilibrar la
Balanza de Bienes y Servicios, que presentó un saldo favorable de 1 256
millones en 2013, a pesar del enorme déficit comercial de mercancías.

Este incremento salarial no es una generosidad del régimen, sino que
trata de buscar una mayor eficiencia en el sector, agobiado por las
malas condiciones de trabajo y la sobrecarga que significan los más de
50 mil trabajadores -de los cuales 25 mil son médicos- que laboran fuera
del país. En este último caso, eso implica que el 32,54% de los galenos
trabaja en el exterior y solo el 67,46% lo hace en Cuba, que es un nivel
inferior a los 56 836 médicos que existían en 1995, cuando la
colaboración con el exterior era exigua.

Eso indica que mientras el país podría disponer de 145,3 habitantes por
médico, en realidad se eleva a 215,37 un nivel muy superior a los 193
que eran en 1995.

Si bien en 1988 el personal en otras naciones era muy reducido, en 2009
los médicos en el exterior ya llegaban a unos 20 mil. Eso explica la
sobrecarga de trabajo, que se trata de solventar con ese incremento
salarial.

El mayor nivel de salarios en el sector corresponde a los Médicos
Especialistas, de II Grado o con dos especialidades que reciben
actualmente 627 CUP mensuales -un equivalente a 25,08 dólares- y que
obtendrán un aumento de 973 CUP (38,92 dólares), por lo que pasarían a
cobrar 1 600 CUP (64,00 dólares) y con ello deberán sentirse muy
satisfechos, mucho más que el resto de los trabajadores de la Salud, de
más bajos ingresos.

Un comentario bastante pesimista al respecto lo hizo un tal Yosvanys en
la edición del 22 de marzo del diario Granma, donde comentó: "...,
habría que ver cuando llegue el momento de la unificación monetaria cómo
se revierte todo esto..." Esa duda es muy válida, ya que no se ha dado
ninguna información sobre la tasa de cambio que se aplicaría cuando el
CUP sea la única moneda, ni tampoco sobre los precios minoristas que se
establecerán.

Para tener en cuenta lo que eso significa hay que compararlo con los 8
200 millones de dólares que generan los 50 mil colaboradores de la salud
en el exterior, que como promedio ingresan 164 mil dólares al año por
trabajador, que significan 13 666,67 USD mensuales; de los cuales por
supuesto reciben una ínfima cantidad, apropiándose el Estado de su casi
totalidad.
Dado lo anterior, un Médico Especialista de II Grado recibe en Cuba,
después del aumento, solo el 0,47% de lo que le correspondería como
promedio a los cooperantes de cualquier calificación, fuera del país.

Al permanecer la tercera parte de los médicos en el exterior, los que
ejercen dentro de la isla, tienen un exceso de trabajo equivalente.

En 2009, cuando los médicos en el extranjero eran unos 20 mil, las 17
enfermedades cuya incidencia era de declaración obligatoria
correspondían a: blenorragia, brucelosis, diarreicas agudas,
escarlatina, fiebre tifoidea, hepatitis viral, lepra, enfermedades
producidas por meningococos, meningoencefalitis aséptica,
meningoencefalitis bacteriana, paludismo, parotiditis infecciosa,
respiratorias agudas, sífilis, tétanos, tuberculosis y varicela. Estos
padecimientos 6 996 693 de pacientes, que representaban 93 enfermos como
promedio para cada uno de los 74 880 médicos existentes; pero al hacer
el cálculo con los realmente disponibles en la nación el promedio se
elevaba a 127, para un índice de 1,37 que significa que los que quedaron
debían atender un 37% más de enfermedades.

Un resultado similar lo arrojaban las consultas médicas en ese año, que
ascendieron a 76,7 mm que para el total de médicos daba un promedio de 1
024 por cada uno; pero para los existentes en el país se elevaba a 1
398, con igual sobrecarga de trabajo del 37% para los médicos que
permanecen en el país.

Para 2013, con un mayor número de cooperantes en el exterior, la
situación debió haberse agravado y no es de esperar que el incremento de
salarios resuelva el problema.

Para Cuba actualidad: arnaldorl75@gmail.com

Source: La manipulación de la Salud Pública | Cuba noticias
actualidad.Periodismo independiente. -
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/economia/51-economia/10344-la-manipulacion-de-la-salud-publica.html

Is This the Moment to Normalize US Relations With Cuba?

Is This the Moment to Normalize US Relations With Cuba?
With Senator Foreign Relations chairman and Cuba hawk Robert Menendez
mired in scandal, the embargo could finally be lifted.
Tom Hayden April 16, 2014

Until last week, New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, chairman
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was relatively untouchable
among Democrats, while holding virtual veto power over US Cuba policy
and being a military hawk on US policies towards Syria, Iran and Venezuela.

Not any more.

Now Menendez's grip is weakened by revelations that his very close
friend, Miami opthalmologist Saloman Melgen, topped the country in
Medicare fraud, and funneled $700,000 in campaign contributions through
a Democratic super-PAC, nearly all of which were channeled right back to
the Menendez re-election campaign in 2012. Melgen ripped off $21 million
in Medicare reimbursements that year alone by over-prescribing a
medication for vision loss among seniors.

A key question is whether Senate leader Harry Reid, whose close former
aides run the Majority PAC for Senate Democrats, will aggressively
investigate ethics violations, diminish Menendez's Senate standing, or
risk his party's association with the scandal by circling the wagons.

Federal investigations, including two raids on Dr. Melgen's clinics,
already have revealed that Menendez interceded with Medicare officials
on his friend's behalf in 2009 and 2011. Menendez is still under
scrutiny by the Obama Justice Department. Menendez acknowledges
traveling several times on Melgen's private jet and staying at the eye
doctor's posh estate in the Dominican Republic. Menendez was forced to
reimburse $58,500 for the costs of those trips when the information was
disclosed in 2010.

The important back story in the Menendez-Melger case is that US Cuba
policy is at stake.

The Cuban-born Menendez is a fierce lifetime opponent of any easing of
tensions with Havana. As a top fund-raiser and the Democratic chairman
of the key foreign relations committee, Menendez is an obstacle to Obama
and Senate liberals on a range of national security policies. He favors
regime change through military or covert means in Syria, Iran,
Venezuela, and of course Cuba. He has the power to set bills, hold
hearings, and approve or deny administration nominations. Menendez is
becoming Obama's chief domestic obstacle in normalizing relations with
Cuba. Even on an administration priority like immigration reform,
Menendez (and Senator Marco Rubio) have pledged their votes only on the
condition that their hardline position on Cuba is heeded.

Now that Menendez's grip on power is weakened, the only question is by
how much.

Only a few years ago Menendez, chairing the Senate Democrats' campaign
committee, raised hell when one of the party's biggest fund-raisers,
Hollywood's Andy Spahn, tried raising funds for candidates who supported
a new Cuba policy. Spahn, who travels often to Cuba with American
politicians and Hollywood producers like Steven Spielberg, was demonized
by Menendez and shut down. But Spahn today remains as one of Obama's top
fund-raisers, and actively supports lifting the embargo.

This year an even sharper split erupted in the Senate between Menendez
and Senator Patrick Leahy who is making a top priority of achieving a
new Cuban policy. Leahy, who engages in steady, behind-the-scenes
dialogue with Cuban officials, obtained sixty-six Senate signatures on a
December 2013 letter to Obama calling on the president to "act
expeditiously to take whatever steps are in the national interest" to
obtain the release of American citizen Alan Gross. Gross is a contractor
for the US Agency for International Development serving a fifteen-year
sentence in Cuba for covertly smuggling high-tech communications
equipment into the island. A rival letter sent by Menendez and Rubio
calling for Gross' "immediate and unconditional release" garnered only
fourteen votes, an embarrassing setback for Menendez. In the opaque
culture of Washington, the Leahy letter was interpreted as political
cover for Obama to negotiate diplomatically for Gross' release, whereas
the Menendez letter was a dud.

The Leahy-Menendez feud has deepened further with recent revelations
that the AID has operated a secret Twitter program to stir protests in
Cuba. Leahy denounces the project as "dumb, dumb, dumb" while Menendez
defends it vigorously.

National Democrats interested in Cuba commonly claim their hands are
tied on Cuba because of Menendez's role. Under the 1997 Helms-Burton
legislation, President Bill Clinton delegated to Congress the final say
over recognizing Cuba and lifting the embargo, providing the most
powerful tool in Menendez's arsenal until now. For that reason, Obama
has pursued gradual progress with Cuba through executive action—like
lifting license requirements for travel by Cuban-Americans, which has
resulted in a flow of about 500,000 Cuban Americans per year. Obama also
is conducting business-like talks with the Cuban regime on immigration,
drug enforcement and other state-to-state matters. Obama shook hands
with President Raul Castro at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, angering
the Cuban Right.

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Any ebbing of Menendez's role will help Obama to take further steps
towards normalization. For example, the State Department is considering
lifting its designation of Cuba as a "terrorist state." Such a move
would make it much easier for the Cuban government to engage with
private banks and firms who now worry about breaching US anti-terrorism
laws. While lifting the terrorist label is within the administration's
power, the decision can be challenged by two-thirds of the Senate. With
a weakened Menendez, the Senate might go along with Obama and John Kerry.

The surfacing of the Medicare scandal, Melgen's donations to Menendez,
and the links between that money and the Senate's Majority PAC now
increase the pressure on Senator Reid and Democrats to distance
themselves from Menendez. For Democratic insiders, managing the scandal
is a dicey matter, because losing the Senate in November will turn Cuba
policy over to the exiles' latest favorite son, Senator Marco Rubio.

If Democrats are uncomfortable about a nasty fight with one of their
own, who will step up? Menendez is not up for election this November.
Republicans who agree with his right-wing foreign policies may like him
where he is. Where are New Jersey Democrats? For many years the liberal
focus against the Cuban Right has centered on Miami, not so much on the
enclave of right-wing Cubans in Jersey City. The recent liberal
obsession about New Jersey has been about Republican governor Chris
Christie, not Democratic senator Menendez. The uproar over Christie,
while fully justifiable, is easier politically than Democrats taking on
a leader of their own party. But while causing traffic jams on an
interstate bridge is an outrage, how does it compare with a lone Senator
flaunting his own president, fomenting US military interventions, and
sabotaging a possible bridge to Cuba? Time will tell.

Source: Is This the Moment to Normalize US Relations With Cuba? | The
Nation -
http://www.thenation.com/article/179384/moment-normalize-us-relations-cuba#text=Denver%20students%20donate%20instruments%20in%20Cuba&via=9News

Reporteros Sin Fronteras exige la liberación de la periodista independiente Juliet Michelena Díaz

REPRESIÓN

Reporteros Sin Fronteras exige la liberación de la periodista
independiente Juliet Michelena Díaz
DDC | París | 17 Abr 2014 - 3:10 pm.

Está detenida desde el pasado 7 de abril y acusada de 'atentado'.

Reporteros Sin Fronteras (RSF) condenó este jueves en un comunicado la
"detención arbitraria" de la periodista independiente cubana Juliet
Michelena Díaz y exigió su liberación.

Michelena Díaz, miembro de la Red Cubana de Comunicadores Comunitarios,
fue arrestada con violencia el pasado 7 de abril. Poco después, varios
medios de prensa dieron a conocer un reportaje fotográfico suyo en el
cual se muestra a policías y miembros de las fuerzas especiales del
régimen utilizando perros sin bozal para reprimir a ciudadanos.

"Los cargos a los que se enfrenta Juliet Michelena Díaz han cambiado
durante una semana de detención. Al principio se le acusaba de 'amenazas
a una vecina de Centro Habana' y ahora de 'atentado'", señaló RSF. "A
pesar de que no existen pruebas contra la periodista, este último cargo
ha impedido que sea puesta en libertad rápidamente", añadió.

La organización pidió la liberación de la periodista independiente "lo
más rápido posible", además de "la retirada de todos los cargos
presentados contra ella".

Las acusaciones demuestran "el deseo de hacer callar a la periodista y
de censurar toda crítica. La violencia policial, por otra parte, está
lejos de ser un tema anodino para los ciudadanos cubanos", dijo Lucie
Morillon, Directora de Investigación de RSF.

La organización de defensa de la libertad de prensa señaló, además, que
las reuniones de la Red de Comunicadores Comunitarios, dirigida por la
opositora Martha Beatriz Roque, "a menudo son reprimidas y se saldan con
múltiples detenciones, generalmente de poca duración".

"En Cuba los profesionales de la información son víctimas de un
hostigamiento judicial constante. Las detenciones arbitrarias tienen por
objeto desestabilizar a los periodistas y volver más lento su
intercambio de información", dijo RSF.

Michelena Díaz ya había sido detenida el 26 de marzo de 2014, pero en
esa ocasión fue puesta en libertad horas después.

La organización mencionó asimismo un arresto, el 12 de abril pasado, de
la periodista independiente Dania Virgen García y dijo que "fue agredida
por agentes de la policía cuando dejaba a su sobrino en la escuela".

"Dos periodistas de la televisión oficial comenzaron a filmar el ataque
y también fueron detenidas. Las tres mujeres fueron puestas en libertad
esa misma noche", indicó RSF sin precisar la fuente de esa información.

RSF recordó que pidió al ministro de Asuntos Exteriores francés, Laurent
Fabius, que durante su reciente viaje a La Habana abordara con las
autoridades cubanas el tema de las detenciones de periodistas.

"El restablecimiento de las relaciones económicas entre los países de la
Unión Europea y Cuba no puede realizarse a expensas de los periodistas",
alertó la organización.

Señaló que, además de Michelena Díaz, en Cuba hay actualmente tres
periodistas y blogueros en prisión: Yoenni de Jesús Guerra García,
detenido desde octubre de 2013 y condenado a siete años de cárcel en
marzo pasado; Ángel Santiesteban Prats, encarcelado desde hace más de un
año, y el experiodista del diario oficial Granma, José Antonio Torres,
condenado a 14 años de prisión en julio de 2012.

Cuba es el país peor posicionado de América Latina en la Clasificación
Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa que elaborada anualmente Reporteros Sin
Fronteras. Ocupa el lugar 170 de 180.

Source: Reporteros Sin Fronteras exige la liberación de la periodista
independiente Juliet Michelena Díaz | Diario de Cuba -
http://www.diariodecuba.com/derechos-humanos/1397740203_8184.html

Holguín - Más de 3.300 reses murieron en los primeros meses del año

GANADERÍA

Holguín: Más de 3.300 reses murieron en los primeros meses del año
DDC | Holguín | 17 Abr 2014 - 4:56 pm.

Otras 69.000 cabezas de ganado están evaluadas como desnutridas, según
las autoridades.

Más de 3.300 cabezas de ganado murieron en Holguín en los primeros tres
meses del año y otras 69.000 están evaluadas como desnutridas en la
provincia, informa el diario oficial Granma.

La Delegación Provincial de la Agricultura culpa a la sequía, que ha
provocado el agotamiento de pozos, micropresas y tranques, sobre todo en
los municipios de Calixto García, Urbano Noris, Holguín y Gibara.

Según el diario del Partido Comunista, 35.000 cabezas de ganado vacuno
reciben agua a través de pipas, como parte de las medidas para intentar
atenuar los efectos de más de siete meses sin lluvias.

Lenna Ravelo Fombellida, jefa del Departamento de Ganadería de la
Delegación Provincial de la Agricultura, dijo que las áreas de pastoreo
están prácticamente calcinadas por el sol, y el territorio de Calixto
García es el más afectado.

La funcionaria añadió que para los animales considerados desnutridos se
han creado centros de recuperación en los que se les suministran
"alimentos frescos", como caña molida.

Ravelo Fombellida señaló que un número importante de vacas ha salido de
ordeño para que puedan amamantar a sus terneros.

"Se dispone así de menos leche para vender, pero son animales que hoy
promedian dos litros o menos, de ahí que se aconseje garantizar la
supervivencia de las crías", argumentó.

Reconoció que una parte de los productores de los sectores estatal y
cooperativo-campesino no dispongan de suficientes reservas de alimentos,
sobre todo de caña y heno, para momentos como estos.

Las noticias sobre muertes masivas de reses son frecuentes en la Isla,
aunque el Gobierno no suele dar cifras nacionales.

En febrero de este año, Granma reconoció que 18.400 reses murieron en
2013, solo en la provincia de Villa Clara, por "falta de alimentos y
cuidados". Eran 1.142 más que en 2012.

Hace solo siete días el diario oficial anunció un aumento del precio de
la leche en polvo que se vende en las tiendas estatales de recaudación
de divisas, alegando un alza de los costes en el mercado internacional y
la insuficiencia de la producción interna.

La bolsa de 500 gramos pasó de 2.90 a 3.35 pesos convertibles (CUC) y,
la de 1 kilogramo, de 5.75 a 6.60 CUC. Los precios —antiguos y nuevos—
son excesivamente altos en un país donde el salario mensual promedio es
del equivalente a unos 20 CUC.

En 1958 se calculaba que había en Cuba unos 6 millones de cabezas de
ganado vacuno. En 2006 el Gobierno contabilizaba 3,7 millones, tras
décadas de experimentos y políticas fallida.

Source: Holguín: Más de 3.300 reses murieron en los primeros meses del
año | Diario de Cuba -
http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1397746589_8185.html

LA RESISTENCIA INTERNA Y PLAYA GIRON...

LA RESISTENCIA INTERNA Y PLAYA GIRON...
Lionel Rodríguez
17 de abril de 2014

El 17 de abril de 1961 la Brigada 2506 compuesta por valientes exilados
cubanos desembarcó en Playa Girón, Bahía de Cochinos, al sur de Cuba,
como parte de un plan para derrocar a la dictadura comunista, lo cual se
hubiera conseguido si la CIA hubiese dado la orden de alzamiento a todos
los movimientos y grupos que en ciudades, llanos y montañas esperábamos
listos para lanzarnos a la insurrección, distraer al enemigo y bloquear
los refuerzos.

Una resistencia interna que cumplió tareas y que esperaba con
entusiasmo, entrenamiento y coraje el momento de lanzarse a una
sublevación nacional que hubiese garantizado el triunfo del desembarco
ante un enemigo todavía débil. La CIA nos había dado armas,
entrenamiento y promesas.

Por razones jamás explicadas, la orden nunca llegó y los brigadistas se
quedaron solos peleando en los pantanos sin nuestro apoyo ni el de las
unidades aéreas y navales de los Estados Unidos que patrullaban cielos y
mares adyacentes.

En Miami, "el gobierno provisional" fue arrestado y desaparecido
mientras duraron las operaciones. En la isla, miles de cubanos fueron
detenidos, decenas fusilados, cientos encarcelados por años.

Muchos brigadistas murieron en el desigual combate, otros fueron
asesinados y los supervivientes encarcelados hasta que un año después,
tras negociaciones entre Washington y La Habana, llegaron a Miami donde
fueron aclamados por una multitud de exilados y por el mismo presidente
John F. Kennedy quien marchó con ellos, les habló e hizo la tristemente
célebre promesa de "devolverles algún día en Cuba libre" una bandera
cubana que mostraba.

Muchos años más tarde, un alto dirigente de la Brigada 2506 (y miembro
de las Fuerzas Armadas de Estados Unidos) reveló que Robert Kennedy les
había dicho "el presidente está avergonzado por el fracaso y vamos a
trabajar en un plan nuevo y definitivo para derrocar a Castro". El plan
estaba en marcha -agregó- cuando Kennedy fue asesinado, Robert salió del
Gabinete y también lo mataron.

Lo demás son años de mentiras, indiferencias y negocios de USA y del
mundo con los criminales que gobiernan nuestra patria. !Gloria eterna a
quienes como pudieron y como pueden lucharon o luchan por la democracia
dentro y fuera de Cuba! !En paz descansen las víctimas del comunismo y
del capitalismo cómplice...!

Source: PayoLibre.com - Cuba - -
http://payolibre.com/articulos/articulos2.php?id=5997