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Daily Archives: July 18, 2011

Mala atención médica en hospital habanero

domingo 17 de julio de 2011

Mala atención médica en habaneropor Máximo José García GonzalesPeriodista Independiente23 de Junio de 2011

La Habana. El 28 de Mayo de fue ingresada en un hospital capitalino la opositora pacifica Magela Lizama Rojas Delgado, con una enfermedad de origen desconocido a la 1:00 pm de la tarde.

Relata Belkis Felicia Jorrin Morfa que su nuera estaba sufriendo de fiebre alta, vómitos e infección acarreada por la misma fiebre que ascendía a 40°C por lo que fue internada en el hospital habanero Calixto García.

Ahí permaneció más de 72 horas sin saber los galenos del mal que la aquejaba con un tratamiento de sulfaprin en suero hasta que determinaron que la doliente había adquirido el virus (E-coli) y que en Cuba no había medicamento para tratarlo. Al pasar todo este tiempo fue dada de alta sin ninguna prescripción médica ni tratamiento.

También argumenta Jorrin Morfa que durante la estancia de Magela en el hospital, un grupo de opositores activistas de la Comisión de Atención a Presos Políticos y Familiares (CAPPF)

desencadenaron una protesta por la mala atención de dicha institución al escasear el potable para los pacientes, la prohibición de llamar por teléfono y la de guardar alimentos en frio.

Magela Lizama reside en calle Belascoain número 306 entre San Rafael y San Miguel, Centro Habana. En dicho lugar también se encuentra la sede del Segundo Buro de Atención al Político presidido por Belkis Felicia, activista de la CAPPF.

http://www.derechoshumanoscuba.com/2011/07/mala-atencion-medica-en-hospital.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DerechosHumanosCuba-Cappf%2FCdhd-2506+%28DERECHOS+HUMANOS+CUBA%29

Ampliarán la refinería cubano-venezolana de Cienfuegos

IDROCARBUROS

Ampliarán la refinería cubano-venezolana de Cienfuegos

Para elevar la capacidad de procesamiento diario de 65.000 barriles a 150.000. EL UNIVERSALlunes 18 de julio de 2011 02:03 PM

Caracas.- Próximamente comenzará el movimiento de tierra para la segunda etapa de ampliación de la Refinería de Petróleo Camilo Cienfuegos, anunció el director de Expansión de la Empresa Mixta cubano-venezolana Cuvenpetrol, encargado de gerenciar del enclave, Julio Sánchez, reporta el diario cubano Granma.

La operación está inscrita dentro de los planes económicos de la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (Alba), que contemplan el incremento de la capacidad de procesamiento diario de 65.000 barriles (volumen actual) a 150.000.

Los trabajos implican ocho terrazas, en cuyo espacio físico la cifra de metros cúbicos de tierra a desplazar podría alcanzar los cinco millones una vez finalizadas las labores, indicó Sánchez., según AVN

La faena incluirá la ejecución, anexa, de un área de facilidades temporales para respaldar el proyecto; además de almacenes a cielo abierto o techados, una clínica para atender a los obreros y el edificio administrativo del ente contratista.

Se estima que el movimiento de tierra finalice en el lapso comprendido entre ocho y 14 meses, mientras que se prevé que el proceso de ingeniería básica de la expansión culmine en el primer trimestre de 2012, explicó director.

http://www.eluniversal.com/2011/07/18/ampliaran-la-refineria-cubano-venezolana-de-cienfuegos.shtml

Payá: Los cubanos tenemos derecho a los derechos

Payá: Los cubanos tenemos derecho a los derechos

El opositor cubano declaró a Radio Nederland, que el Congreso del Partido sigue negando los derechos a los cubanos e impide la apertura que todo el pueblo quiere

martinoticias.com 17 de julio de 2011

"Se mantienen los mecanismos de represión, pero ya hay una vibración por el cambio"

El opositor cubano, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, declaró a Radio Nederland que el pueblo cubano desea vivir en , pero que el Partido Comunista sigue negando ese derecho a los cubanos.

Los cubanos tenemos derecho a los derechos, aseveró Payá a la emisora holandesa.

Payá fue entrevistado el fin de semana tras publicar el documento "El Camino del Pueblo", en el cual numerosos grupos de la oposición en Cuba piden derechos básicos, como elecciones libres y el respeto a los derechos de expresión, asociación y de movimiento.

Payá destacó a Radio Nederland que el Sexto Congreso del Partido Comunista afirmó la continuidad del sistema, del grupo de poder, que lleva más de medio siglo con el mismo estilo totalitario, y por lo tanto, el pueblo tiene que hacer su camino hacia la libertad.

Afirmó que el pueblo de Cuba nunca ha escogido vivir en el comunismo y sin derechos. "Los cubanos ahora queremos mantener la y la educación gratuita. Queremos mantener todo lo positivo, pero queremos derechos, queremos libertad, queremos dejar atrás el odio y el miedo. Por lo tanto nuestro llamado es a la solidaridad con este camino del pueblo", señaló Payá.

http://www.martinoticias.com/noticias/cuba/Oswaldo-Paya-Los-cubanos-tenemos-derecho-a-los-derechos-125713623.html

Vuelo 6620

Publicado el lunes, 07.18.11

Vuelo 6620Gina Montaner

Hay viajes que uno nunca quisiera emprender. El cuerpo sin vida del cubano Adonis G. B. será repatriado de Madrid a La Habana cuando la embajada del país del que huyó lo devuelva a Cuba. Así de cruel y caprichosa es la vida. El deseo de este joven de 23 años era escapar del encierro de aquella isla maldita. Y ni siquiera se cumplirá su última voluntad.

En un primer momento la instantánea resultó confusa: una masa alargada sobresale del de aterrizaje de un avión de Iberia recién llegado al de Barajas. El ojo humano tarda unos segundos en descifrar el contorno hasta reconocer las líneas de un torso desnudo que se ha deslizado del estrecho recoveco de la aeronave. Y luego la cabeza, los brazos entumecidos, la espalda amoratada. Una dura imagen extrañamente armoniosa en la composición perfecta de una foto tomada al azar. Es el cuerpo inerte de Adonis G. B., pero bien pudiera ser una escultura fetal de Henry Moore, uno de los tortuosos bustos que el pintor cubano Servando Cabrera dibujó en rojo y negro. O uno de los talles heridos y amordazados que otro compatriota de Servando, el gran Rolando Dirube, pintó en el exilio evocando el presidio político cubano.

En su locura por fugarse a cualquier precio de esa cárcel que es Cuba, Adonis G. B. fantaseó con rozar la aferrado como un pájaro indefenso a un monstruoso aparato de hierro. Nunca sabremos en qué instante del fatídico viaje se durmió para siempre arrullado por el silencio y el frío. Aterido, violeta y finalmente libre. Ajeno al tintineo de las copas de cristal en clase Business. Nadie le dedicó un brindis al polizón y sus quimeras.

No conocemos el rostro de Adonis G. B. Si acaso murió con la mueca de una triste sonrisa en su desesperada y juvenil ilusión de creerse liberado al fin. Sin más bultos que el suicida coraje de quien está convencido de que podrá sobrevivir al periplo improbable colgado de un hilo entre nubes y hielos. Un torso diminuto y frágil que navega en el cielo. Insubordinado y dormido.

Si hubiese justicia en este puerco mundo, a nadie se le ocurriría devolver a Adonis G. B. al infierno del que se evadió a costa de su propia vida. Su torso inmortalizado debería descansar a salvo de cadenas y servidumbres. El regreso de la mortaja en la abrigada panza de un avión es demasiado agravio para su corta existencia. Ahora sí tiene el billete que no pudo comprar en vida. El brindis. Las risas livianas en la cabina. En su delirio de altura Adonis siente que toca tierra firme en una ciudad con primaveras. Percibe un débil aleteo. Es su corazón antes de apagarse. Hace frío y todo es azul.

Nadie esperaba a Adonis G. B. en Barajas. El suyo era un viaje solitario. Sin maletas ni pasaporte. Un ave extraviada buscando refugio en el ala de otra gigante y metálica. No basta una ensoñación ni el brío de un torso varonil para aferrarse a la alucinación de que la vida está en otra parte. El avión de Iberia 6620 se elevó sobre La Habana y el polizón divisó la inmensidad del mar. Fue lo último que vieron sus ojos de muchacho loco que se atrevió a soñar.

www.firmaspress.com

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2011/07/18/984559/gina-montaner-vuelo-6620.html

Cineasta reivindica el derecho a la huelga en Cuba, hasta para disidentes

Publicado el lunes, 07.18.11

Cineasta reivindica el derecho a la huelga en Cuba, hasta para disidentesAFPLA HABANA

El cineasta y escritor cubano Eduardo del Llano pidió este lunes que se permita el derecho a la huelga en la isla para trabajadores, estudiantes e incluso disidentes, a quienes "es hora de dejar de verlos automáticamente como una lacra".

"Una sociedad moderna y democrática debe prever el derecho de los ciudadanos a expresar su descontento públicamente sin que por ello se les tilde de mercenarios o agentes enemigos", dijo del Llano, de 47 años, en su personal (http://eduardodelllano.wordpress.com/).

Del Llano, quien se reconoce como un partidario de la revolución de , pero con posiciones críticas, indica que "contrariamente a lo que parece creer nuestro gobierno, las manifestaciones callejeras no significan que una sociedad es débil y desunida. Más bien significan que es una sociedad humana".

Las autoridades cubanas sostienen que los opositores al socialismo en Cuba son "mercenarios" al servicio de .

"Hoy sería ridículo pretender que en nuestro país los obreros no tienen motivo de queja y sólo se sienten incómodos los remanentes de la antigua burguesía", agregó del Llano.

El cineasta subrayó que el derecho a la huelga debe estar regulado por la ley "y si usted no está de acuerdo, haga una contramarcha, igualmente pacífica, y grite lo que le dé la gana".

"Y los disidentes…bueno, es hora de dejar de verlos automáticamente como una lacra y aceptar que son -deberían ser- parte de la sociedad civil", destacó.

Opinó que "habrá algunos (opositores) mercenarios y oportunistas, no lo dudo -como también hay muchísimos comecandelas y arribistas en el campo oficial- pero otros simplemente tienen una opinión diferente acerca de lo que es mejor para el país, y sería sano, cuando menos, escuchar esa opinión y no ahogarla antes de nacer".

El gobernante Raúl Castro, quien ha llamado al debate de todos los problemas de la Cuba actual, ha aclarado sin que las diferencias de opiniones deben ser "expresadas preferiblemente en lugar, tiempo y forma, o sea, en el lugar adecuado, en el momento oportuno y de forma correcta".

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2011/07/18/985866/cineasta-reivindica-el-derecho.html

Cuba cuts bulk prices to support private workers

Cuba cuts bulk prices to support private workersThe Associated Press | July 18, 2011 | 01:12 PM EDT

Cuba is lowering bulk prices for goods ranging from marmalade and mayonnaise to tools and CDs to support newly independent workers and small businesses that lack a wholesale market, official news media said Monday.

The measure addresses a central complaint by many operators of private restaurants, cafeterias and other operations authorized under a wide-ranging economic overhaul launched last year by .

Under an order from the Ministry of Finance and Pricing, a 1.3-gallon (5-liter) container of cooking oil that used to sell for $11.50 can be had for $9.80, labor newspaper Trabajadores reported. A 7-pound (3-kilogram) container of tomato pure formerly worth $8.70 now goes for $7.00.

"The measure also includes tools and pneumatic and electrical equipment, all with the goal of enhancing sales to independent workers," the article said.

Other products like tobacco, alcoholic beverages and bottled water are not covered by the order. Trabajadores did not say when it took effect.

Although the initiative targets private businesses, the same prices will apply for anyone making bulk purchases.

Cuba began allowing increased private enterprise at the end of 2010, issuing licenses for people to launch small businesses and hire employees independently of the state.

The government, which currently employs 80 percent of the labor force, plans massive layoffs although those plans have been put on hold.

Many entrepreneurs have complained about a lack of access to a wholesale market or to credit, as well as high tax rates. Cuba has said it plans to extend loans, but details have not been released.

The government fixes prices, and while some products are heavily subsidized and discounted, many other imported goods go for more than double their value elsewhere.

http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/43797190

El acoso a la prensa cubana

El acoso a la prensa cubana

Es imperioso que la comunidad internacional acompañe a la isla en su prédica por el retorno de la democraciaLunes 18 de julio de 2011 | Publicado en edición impresa

Cuba parece moverse a dos velocidades. Por un lado, las reformas tendientes a la apertura de la economía van acompañadas de la posibilidad de disponer en el futuro inmediato de de alta velocidad. Por el otro, el Estado cubano insiste en restringir el libre flujo informativo con acciones cada vez más represivas. Se trata de las dos caras de la isla, reflejadas en el nuevo informe del coordinador senior del programa de las Américas del Comité para la Protección de los Periodistas (CPJ, por sus siglas en inglés), Carlos Lauría.

Lo curioso es que el tendido del nuevo cable de fibra óptica en Cuba, anunciado por la dictadura de los Castro, no representa, lamentablemente, una garantía para el acceso irrestricto a Internet, como ocurre en la mayoría de los países. Es necesario que se eliminen todas las barreras legales para el acceso a la red y que los blogueros, entre los cuales se destaca Yoani Sánchez por su coraje al enfrentar al régimen con instrumentos precarios, puedan alojar sus sitios en dominios cubanos.

De concretarse esa aspiración, quizá demasiado osada para un orden represivo como el cubano, la isla comenzaría a emprender el camino de ida hacia la democracia y la , aniquiladas durante más de medio siglo en nombre de una revolución que ya casi no tiene padrinos ni referentes en el exterior. En un cambio de estrategia, según Lauría, las prolongadas penas de prisión como castigo a la presunta traición que significa informar y opinar han sido reemplazadas por la persecución oficial de los periodistas independientes, caracterizada por detenciones arbitrarias de corta duración, golpizas, campañas de descrédito, persecuciones y sanciones sociales.

Esta penosa situación subsiste a pesar de la reciente liberación de los últimos periodistas encarcelados durante la embestida contra la prensa independiente en 2003, conocida como la "Primavera Negra". La mayoría de esos periodistas fue conminada a abandonar el país. Tres se negaron, pero fueron liberados bajo licencia extra penal por razones de . Es una forma de libertad condicional que los vuelve vulnerables a ser arrestados otra vez.

A esos periodistas se les impidió cubrir las alternativas del congreso del Partido Comunista celebrado en abril y el aniversario de la Primavera Negra recordado en marzo. Es otra muestra de la mordaza que impone el régimen sobre la prensa independiente.

En este luctuoso panorama, la penetración de Internet en la isla es de alrededor del 14 por ciento. Las conexiones privadas son fuertemente restringidas. Para los periodistas independientes, las únicas alternativas son las conexiones clandestinas en el mercado negro o el acceso costosísimo en los hoteles, si no en embajadas extranjeras. Esto último, se entiende, tiene innegables connotaciones políticas y diplomáticas.

Por ese motivo, por primera vez un organismo internacional, que integra la Argentina, ha honrado a diplomáticos comprometidos con la causa de la democracia y los . El premio, que lleva el nombre de Mark Palmer, en honor al ex embajador norteamericano en Hungría, fue entregado durante la reunión Ministerial de la Comunidad de las Democracias en Vilnius, capital de Lituania. La única mujer premiada fue la holandesa Caecilia Wijgers, nominada por el Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina (Cadal), presidido por Gabriel Salvia en Buenos Aires. A su vez, el Proyecto Puente Democrático de Cadal le otorgó a Wijgers el Premio a la Diplomacia Comprometida en Cuba 2009-2010, que compartió con sus colegas Ingemar Cederberg (Suecia) y Volker Pellet ().

En Cuba son los blogueros quienes están librando la batalla por la libertad de expresión y merecen el mayor apoyo posible del exterior, de modo que no se sientan solos en su lucha por un necesario y deseable cambio de régimen.

El gobierno argentino, siempre renuente a denunciar las graves violaciones a los derechos humanos de los Castro, debería tomar nota de esta auténtica lucha por los derechos y las libertades, y brindarles su respaldo en lugar de verlos como traidores a una causa que, en teoría, está en las antípodas de su propio pensamiento. Mucho habrían hecho los gobiernos extranjeros si, durante la dictadura militar argentina, hubieran denunciado el drama de los desaparecidos que, no casualmente, en persona procuró omitir. Lo hizo para no entorpecer la estrecha y paradójica relación de la Argentina con su principal comprador de granos. Ese capítulo ominoso no figura en la versión kirchnerista de la historia.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1390369-el-acoso-a-la-prensa-cubana

Golpiza a las Damas de Blanco

Golpiza a las Lunes, 18 de Julio de 2011 04:31Ainí Martin Valero

Regla, La Habana, 18 de julio de 2011, (PD) En horas tempranas de la mañana del domingo 17 de julio, un grupo de al menos 16 Damas de Blanco fueron golpeadas al salir del Santuario de la Virgen del Cobre, en Santiago de Cuba, por miembros de las brigadas de respuesta rápida, organizadas por la Seguridad del Estado.

Vía telefónica Aimé Garcés Leiva, Vice presidenta de la Federación Latinoamericana de Mujeres Rurales (FLAMUR), quien también fue agredida, comento que al salir de la iglesia fueron brutalmente golpeadas. "Lo que nos hicieron no tiene nombre, Belkis Cantillo Ramírez fue herida en un brazo, algunos opositores que se encontraban allí trataron de evitar la golpiza, pero les dieron golpes y los detuvieron. Conocimos que a Prudencio Villalón lo dejaron sin conocimiento, esto ha sido un abuso y responsabilizamos a la policía política por esta infamia"

Más de trece mujeres fueron atendidas en el Ambrosio Grillo. Cantillo quien fue herida, recibió varios puntos en un brazo, las demás cuentan con golpes por todo el cuerpo. Según la fuente la golpiza fue propinada por una marcha en protesta por la hacia la oposición, que las féminas realizaron por algunas calles de la ciudad.

http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/noticias/3-ultimas-noticias/1841-golpiza-a-las-damas-de-blanco

The Bodies of the Martyrs Would Be Borne by Us / Yoani Sánchez

The Bodies of the Martyrs Would Be Borne by Us / Yoani SánchezTranslator: Unstated, Yoani Sánchez

Social processes have an often unpredictable alchemy. Although there are analysts who persist in wanting to write a universal formula for uprisings, or another for civil peace, reality is wedded to the contrary. Cuba, for example, has defied the prognostications of nearly all the optimists and exceeded the expectations of even the most hallucinatory minds.

It appears that the specialty of our country is to shatter the forecasts of Santeria priests, spiritualists and fortune-tellers. For several decades we have disappointed the predictions of our collapse and, in particular, the repeated prophecy of a popular revolt. Cubanologists of all stripes have assured us, on this or that occasion, that the the island is on the verge of fracture and that the people will throw themselves into the streets at any moment.

Instead, the sidewalks are indeed full of people, but they are standing in line to buy bread or eggs, or to submit applications to consulates to emigrate. Not even the candles lit by the Santeria priests for tranquility are upended by . Those of us who hope for a peaceful solution are happy because, at least to date, nobody has had to serve as cannon fodder against the anti-riot squads.

The chimerical formula of explosion foretold by some relies on the element economic strangulation to inspire a people to rise up in struggle. There are those who would like to give another turn of the screw to the United States against the island and cut off all remittances that come from the outside. According to their hypothesis, Cubans caught between the rock of their needs and the hard place of an authoritarian government would choose to overthrow the latter.

I must confess that the mere mention of this theory reminds me of a bad joke: An ancient leader, being interviewed by a , enumerates the signs of resistance. The autocrat relates that his people have survived the economic crisis, the lack of , the collapse of the electrical network and the absence of . As he explains each hardship in this string he appends, again and again, "and yet the people stand firm." Finally, the daring reporter interrupts him with a question, "And have you tried arsenic, Commander?"

The thesis that our reality simply needs more economic hardship for the social pressure cooker to burst is heard, oddly, most often among people who do not live in the country. The Diaz-Balart amendment to the Financial Services Appropriation Bills, recently approved by the House Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Congress, would roll back measures taken earlier this year by Barack Obama that eased restrictions on family to the island and liberalized person-to-person monetary assistance. Voices in support of the amendment see these bridges as oxygen that feeds the Cuban government, prolonging its stay in power.

According to the arithmetic of "deprive them to make them react," change would be just around the corner the day the spigot of foreign aid dried up once and for all. But in the middle of that proposition, untested in practice, eleven million people, and an equal number of stomachs, would be caught. People who did not hit the streets in the devastating years of the nineties when our plates were nearly empty and our clothes hung in tatters from our emaciated frames.

During that time of endless hardship, a single popular "uprising" happened on August 5, 1994, sparked by people desperate to leave the country, not change things here. As fearful as we might be that the pressure cooker could reach the bursting point, the reality is that the vast majority would rather throw themselves into to the sea than face the repressive forces.

And it is not because a people has a genetic predisposition to bravery or cowardice, it is simply that there are a vast number of methods to confront social rebellion. Those that have already touched us are, without a doubt, efficient to the point of scientific proof.

For those political scientists who veer closer to physics than to social sciences, it would be enough to shut off the flow of remittances and travel between Cuban-Americans and the the island for something to begin to move on the national stage. In their desire to prove such a conjecture, the theory would be promulgated by them and the bodies of the martyrs would be borne by us.

Over the course of the experiment and as it moved toward its conclusion, the swimming pools of the mansions of the olive-green clad rulers would not lack their supply of chlorine, the satellite of the Maximum Leader's children would not diminish a single kilobyte in bandwidth, and the brand name lingerie of so many officials would not cease to flow through back channels into the country.

Not only would this turn of the screw be unnoticed on the dining tables of the official hierarchy, but with their full bellies they would continue to rule over a people with only one obsessive thought: where to find something to eat every day. The misery that reigns in so many places would continue to be a mechanism of domination, not one of disobedience.

Watching the news that filters to us through illegal satellite TV, text messages, Twitter and email, we feel like guinea pigs in a laboratory where all decisions are made by others, far from our shores. We have the sensation of being mere numbers in a calculation as simple as it is dangerous. Where the result anticipated by the architects of the "pressure cooker theory" – that it will explode – ignores the fact that its detonation could provoke a cycle of violence that no one could know how or when it might end.

18 July 2011

http://translatingcuba.com/?p=10886

Cuban Icarus Dies in Desperate Escape Attempt / Yoani Sánchez

Cuban Icarus Dies in Desperate Escape Attempt / Yoani SánchezTranslator: Unstated, Yoani Sánchez

2011-07-18-DSC08013.jpegAdonis G.B. came into the world as the socialist system in Eastern Europe was beginning to collapse. He spent his childhood among the privations of to Cuba's most critical time which we called "The Special Period." Perhaps he proudly wore the pioneer scarf and his voice may have been the loudest when the children shouted, "We will be like Che!" We can guess that in his teens he was exposed to the new educational method of teaching classes through television. Also, he had the opportunity to be confused by the dual monetary system and, one find day when he started to shave, he would have discovered in the mirror a man with no expectations.

It is not ours, now, to find political advantage in Adonis' decision to as a stowaway in the landing gear of an Iberian Airbus, but to find the causes that pushed him to die like that. The truth is that the Island's officials haven't said a single word about his death, paralyzed, perhaps, by the degree of popular anguish. But despite the institutional secrecy, the news circulates on all sides and and one question predominates: Was the situation of this young man in Cuba so untenable, or did he have an additional reason, whether feeling pursued by danger or compelled to cross the ocean to meet someone? For now, no one knows. The truth is that he could not have undertaken such a plan without planning ahead, because among the most protected places on this island are the airports.

It's hard not to dwell on his suffering in the cramped space he shared with the jet's wheels. The pain in his bones fractured by the implacable landing gear mechanism a few seconds after takeoff, the panic of confinement, the rage at understanding the failure of his attempt, the unexpected cold that ended up killing him. No one will ever know if he had the occasion to repent.

We don't know the severity of his problems, but what we can intuit is that he found no solution at hand to end them. Adonis came to the conclusion that he had to leave the country. But he didn't have a Spanish grandfather that would allow him to change his nationality; no one in the world would give him a letter of invitation; no embassy would award him a visa, because his desire to be a permanent immigrant surely leaked through his pores. Nor was he a high performance athlete or a talented musician with the ability to travel and desert. He lacked any contact with the human smugglers who frequently cross the Straits of Florida, and had not the slightest idea that he was going to commit a folly.

There is no thermometer that measures human despair and each person has his own threshold of resistance. This young Cuban whose body was found hanging in a strange position in the Madrid had two opportunities to participate in elections, never knowing how the candidates he elected thought. He attended elementary at the time of the Fifth Communist Party Congress and had to wait fourteen more years for the next Party Congress to announce some changes. He probably didn't have a profession with a future, nor resources to undertake the intricacies of self-employment. His own roof would have been, for his short years, an impossibility.

Adonis could not wait. If he had stayed in his country he would be alive, thinking of a better way to escape from here.

http://translatingcuba.com/?p=10884

Closed for Demolition / Francis Sánchez

Closed for Demolition / Francis SánchezFrancis Sánchez, Translator: S.Solá

[I have decided to publish, before this is closed down, some texts that I didn't publish at the time because it was practically impossible to do it because of obvious difficulties or because as time passed I doubted that it would be the best idea. Due to recent events, I think it is best not to leave them unpublished. They are the following texts: the article "Guatacas" (Hoes), the poem "La palabra Abedul" (The Word Abedul) and the documents "Carta abierta a un amigo" (Open Letter to a Friend) and "Aclaración al lector" (Clarification to the Reader). The last work that must be published on this blog is "Cerrado por demolición" (Closed for Demolition), which will appear in three parts or submissions: "La cosa en la red" (The Thing in the Net), "Puntos negros" (Black Points) and "Nosotros y las nubes" (We and the Clouds).]

I. The "Thing" in the Net

When I opened this blog, only some five months ago, I told the story of a night full of nightmares, the time that my wife almost collapsed and I was at her side for us to survive impotence and frustration together for reasons that are explained in the post "Mass Layoffs. Dissolve the public?" Now this blog called "Man in the Clouds" is closed down or nailed to the air with this article which, under the title "Closed for Demolition" I plan to publish in three parts or submissions, after I have once again lived through a night of horror. Cuban television has just shown, at the top hour of eight-thirty at night, a new chapter of the series "The Reasons of Cuba", with the title "Cyberwarfare".

I had promised myself to try to never hurt, much less attack, other people in my writing, as well as to not defend myself from that type of low blows when I became a target because of my points of view–to encourage personal disagreements or mudslinging, supposedly among intellectuals, is an undertaking of destruction and ethical poverty in which the principal investors in immobility and censorship are accustomed to place their ample resources, betting on empty, on despair and generalized revulsion–but it seems I have no alternative but to break the second of my resolutions and defend myself. I will do this because essentially it won't even be self-defense, which is a luxury impossible for me to properly undertake given the very excessive and even abstract disproportion between my attacker and myself. It seems the critical hour has come and I want, while I still can, to denounce injustice and put my ideas and my position down in writing.

The faceless apparatus of the political police accuses me, among the few "independent bloggers" that exist in Cuba, to be in the pay of the United States government. "Cybermercenaries in Cuba" wrote an invisible hand on the Google search engine and, to the horror of my family, I do not know which shady search engine could have produced as a result of this television program showing a page of my blog on the small screen. Enrique Ubieta, who often shows up to defend the powerful "Raison d'Etat", author of some book he was asked to produce and director of the newspaper "La calle del medio", at one point says to the camera that this is obviously some ambitious guy who, like somebody who sets up a fried stand, is trying to get through the economic crisis very easily by getting on the for money paid by Washington. It is unbearably false that my blog be shown here, even a single page for a fraction of a second, but it happened and I saw it, and the most horrible part is that it is linked to my profound impotence. I don't have to say that I have never set foot inside the USA in Havana, nor have I earned or aspired to earn a cent for writing or recording my ideas on a personal blog. A blog that began one day in search of my own breathing room as a marginalized intellectual. A marginalization whose degree has increased a lot since, in early 2007, I published my text "La crisis de la baja cultura" (The Crisis of Low Culture), loaded with a strong dose of social criticism, at the same time as those events that some have called "the email crisis".

To write, create and reflect, defending the hypothesis of full internal , is something that I have had since I was a child, like breathing. But it makes no sense for me to try to run faster than the lies, since a larger truth is common knowledge, atrocious and popularly incorporated into people's daily survival mechanism in the face of despotism and the Mystery Syndrome in Cuba: the key is not to predict the problem you might get into, but the one the want to create for you. I, like any individual, lack legal mobility inside a monotonous system, and the most I can hope for is that they pardon my life in order not to air dirty laundry in front of third parties. The structure, the true apparatus of power, works in the shadows. The convictions and activities that any individual may be involved in that show any degree of rejection of the system will be just one set of little crystals under a magnifying glass, a microscope or a telescopic viewer, according to each clinical evolution.

Some months before, a video had leaked through–circulated on a flash drive to another–that was of a conference given to some colleagues by a specialist from the Ministry of the Interior, entitled "Enemy Campaigns and Policies for Confronting Counterrevolutionary Groups", in which the theme of the new technologies was addressed. On the topic of the blogosphere, he made the following comment:

"They want to create in our minds the concept that the is a kind of enemy of the Revolution. If we take on the bloggers now, we will really make an enemy for ourselves."

The presenter doubtless was alluding to the process of criminalization that, before the Internet and blogs, over time had made against other technologies that had empowered people: video cameras, video cassettes, computers, printers, mobile phones, to give just a few examples, as well as concepts such as civil society and branches of science like sociology. Which reminds me that, in 1998 when I got my first computer with a printer connected, a cultural assembly registered a complaint against the "danger" that was in my house, which was made by the director of the provincial library. The operating strategy, nevertheless, apparently was going to suffer a radical shift, going from the supposed precaution of a private meeting to the public offensive tactic of the establishment of a new prohibitive code that, following the war manual, reduces a problematic social reality to an epithet, a discrediting term for a person who asks for rationality, but gets echo, euphoria, unconditional repudiation: "cybermercenary" is the new word that overwrites so many other terms that have historically been put in the mouths of the masses.

The day after the previously mentioned television program showed, the newspaper "Granma", official organ of the PCC (Cuban Communist Party), would publish an even more inclusive and horrific accusation, which apparently left me before the masses labeled just as one more venal soldier, but with all the colors of the typical beast for whom the hunting season never expires in public spaces: pro-Yankee, traitor, terrorist, in other words a monster ready for lynching, packing and sending to hell. In a provincial town like Ciego de Ávila, where I live, going to hell is not a very long trip. These processes of demonization had already begun long before, with a harassment that became progressively less veiled. Now it is the spying, vigilance and I suffer all the time. A meeting was even called by the First Secretary of the Provincial Party at which intellectuals and journalists were exhorted to avoid me. One fine day somebody robs me, takes my cell phone out of my wallet. Another day someone comes to let me know they have been recording and filming me. From one day to the next a literary activity that some careless promoter was kind enough to organize for me and my family is cancelled. Suddenly the television, on the program of March 21 previously mentioned, puts a moral price on my photo. And finally, as a climax, "Granma" publishes multiple accusations, which are also so exaggerated that I am able to refute them all at the same time. Luckily, the activity of a writer and the social reflections made on a blog have the objective of staying afloat, of opening oneself to scrutiny, letting the light in that so bothers those who live in shadows and speculation. So instead of saying "lie" a thousand times, I can limit myself to asking in what part of my texts I have advocated any of that which is imputed to me here:

"These bloggers [...] have exhorted people to rise up in Cuba, have promoted , support the Cuban Settlement Law, justified the blockade, deny that the most reactionary sector of Miami is the enemy of the Cuban people, say that the case of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a smoke screen and even go so far as to openly express [sic] the change of the political system [...]."*3

The latter reproach is very confusing since the editing evidently failed, but it is worth doubting if, in order to straighten out the text, the "official organ of the party" would be willing to do without the Marxist dialectic that has theoretically justified the Cuban political system and which recognizes in social relations a non-linear process, an object of permanent transformation. Would it be inhuman to live according to the universal maxim, so romantic and absolute, of "change everything [everything!] that must be changed." Or rather is it not monstrous that someone can decide what everything is for everyone? An identical paradox was presented to intellectuals in June of 1961, in a meeting at the National Library, under the banner of "Inside the Revolution, everything. Against the Revolution, nothing" (this year is the fiftieth anniversary of this event), so that these [intellectuals] could entertain themselves for a long while "sucking on this stone". Life would show that no one was going to find an escape from the rhetoric of power, no one except the subject master himself, much less intellectuals with the "original sin" of not being of the proletariat or revolutionaries and, meanwhile, they could give each other as many exclusions as there were stars in the sky and political power could be concentrated. Well, for good reason the "words of the intellectuals" are not known, although the 'I'm afraid" said that day by Virgilio Piñera is still quite explicit.

I responsibly proclaim what I believe comes out naturally in my work: I would never associate myself with hatred or the shedding of a drop of blood; I do not approve of the blockade against Cuba; I reject any type of terrorism, fundamentally state terrorism. To express myself against all terrorism would lead me to be, for example, against the type that promotes revolutions by blowing up bombs in movie houses and parks, against the type that tries to destabilize governments by putting bombs in hotels, against the type that organizes paramilitary squadrons and causes people to disappear, against the type that converts society into an artificial political web capable of functioning millimetrically to produce the expatriation or social death of anyone whom it doesn't like, against the type that sends out crowds to surround a man in his house with his family only because he thinks differently… By the way, regarding my rejection of violence, in a section of my poem collection "Epitafios de nadie" (Nobody's Epitaphs) (Ed. Oriente, 2009), the poem "Medallista de plata" (Silver Medalist) about the sabotage of that Cuban plane in Barbados says: "[...] On what island, of what random face / did the assassin ask quickly quickly for a ticket? / It was forgotten here in his luggage. / Never open it again. The gold is for the sea." In the same book, as a matter of fact, two other poems about such tragedies in contemporary Cuban history do not appear, since they were censored: the sinking of the tugboat Trece de Marzo and the events of August 1994 which some call the Malecón Uprising.

Many sectors or social groups have been categorized as traitors or fifth columnists, also lumped in a group, according to some strategy of doctrinal hardening, sometimes within something as simple as to say, "Whoever doesn't jump is a Yankee." These have included those young men who had to hide away to listen to the Beatles, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, poets of family life, ecologists, street artists of the eighties, hip hop singers, and a long list of others, each one in its own time. Over and over, we members of the Cuban family have been variously called "scum", "country-sellers", "worms", and have apparently been worthy of repudiation, stonings and kicks, receiving and passing on the baton, the black speck. At the same time, in order to restrain that plurality embodying ideological differences and social criticism, frequently the traitorous pretext has been used by people who adopt a field of intellectual action that is internally mined because they were supposedly making up a scenario for a foreign invasion. A very notable Inquisition-like scene was set up against the authors of the books "Fuera de juego" (Out of the Game) and "Los siete contra Tebas" (Seven Against Thebes), prize winners from the UNEAC 1968, in poetry and theater, respectively. The "Declaration of the UNEAC", signed November 15, 1968, and given out as a prologue to the poem collection of Heberto Padilla, demonstrated a mechanism that would remain essentially active, an overgrown apparatus that marks people and works for their circulation with an untimely meaning.

"Now then: whom do these books serve? Do they serve our revolution, slandered this way, hurt by such means? Obviously not. Our revolutionary conviction allows us to point out that poetry and that theater are our enemies, and their authors are the artists they need to feed their Trojan horse at the hour when imperialism decides to put into practice its policy of warlike frontal aggression against Cuba."

Manuel Díaz Martínez, a member of the Poetry Judging Panel, tells us that, after a lot of maneuvering to avoid giving the prize based strictly on literary quality, the executive leaders of the UNEAC met with the different members of the panel to explain to them the problems that had come up with the books in question and there, at that time, Félix Pita Rodríguez in his role as attorney general, played the last card, the lethal disintegrating ray one, saying: "The problem, comrades, is that there is a conspiracy by the intellectuals against the revolution." Díaz Martínez reveals: "Before such an accusation, I asked to speak and I requested him to give out the names of those "conspirators". He didn't give them. What existed was a government conspiracy against freedom of opinion."3 Although Félix Pita didn't say them, the names of those intellectuals would become well known in the following years, due to the weight of the suffering and ostracism that some of them, "counterrevolutionaries" like José Lezama Lima and Virgilio Piñera, would endure to the end of their lives.

I reject and denounce the epithet "counterrevolutionary"–the term mercenary is included a priori; it is always around the house–that they want to apply to me as a pretext for repression, for eliminating the right to live in a nation and a culture that are alive and open, because I practice an intellectual policy of resistance that is not that of collaboration, or of silence, or of exile; it is perhaps best described as existentialist. If it offends me, it is because it is untrue, the same reason for which I believe the term "revolutionary" intellectual is invalid since it, with a functionalism and a reductionist and exclusionary axiological , has been used to deny the natural rights of the artist or the intellectual–uncomplicate him, dehumanize him, emptying his thought and work–in the period following the triumph of the Revolution, inside Cuba. Both reductions are resonating figures that follow the same selective pattern, since they inform, more than on the particular qualities, on the will for power that dominates a social field reduced to its minimum .

The game of taking turns in power allowed inside such limits carries with it too much feigning, pretense, hypertrophy, traditional debate of the appropriateness of social criticism, a problem that soon became written in the annals of academia as exclusively applying to the topic of the function or the "role of the revolutionary intellectual" in society. The art of simulation, needed to survive, would lead many to cross the waters of that obligatory ideological baptism while barely touching them, adopting an essentialist vision of accepting the stereotype of such a mark in a decontextualized form. Manuel Díaz Martínez himself tells that, in the meeting of the Judging Panel at which a final decision would be made, he defended his proposal, declaring that "Fuera del juego" (Out of the Game) was critical but not counterrevolutionary–actually revolutionary in its criticism".

This synecdoche could be justified for the hypo-statization of the figure of the "revolutionary intellectual" for the plain and simple flesh-and-blood intellectual, as has frequently happened, trusting that the rights earned for one, for the only existing or really accepted one, are going to be extended as if by contagion to the rest. This modest aspiration, nevertheless, perhaps hides in the end a conflict with the humanist tradition, when one tries to make obsolete an ideal model, on which have depended a good part of the achievements of Western civilization–to which the process of Cuban nationality belongs, however much this might be sometimes denied–in which intellectuals not only represented themselves to themselves and to others, like mirrors facing mirrors, but who aspired to express, catalyze, assign prerogatives, rights and rich possibilities of all of society as a whole. In this sense, the social and critical relevance of the intellectual is going to be subject to the universal norm of the average common man, because he thinks or exists, nothing else.

But the degree of ideal communicability and criticism that the advocates of a Manichean, convenient, simplifying power structure in Cuba unfortunately seems to be being reduced, more and more, to zero. Desiderio Navarro, in his presentation "In medias res publicas" (In the middle of the public thing) presented at the International Conference "The Role of the Intellectual in the Public Arena" (organized by the Prince Claus of Holland Fund held in Beirut in February 2000), stated regarding the Cuban situation:

"[...]the criteria for correct social criticism would not be [whether it is] the truth, but rather the degree to which its attention to detail, scrupulousness and rigor correspond to a certain measure of what is necessary or advisable. [...] To not criticize the whole or to criticize less than is necessary or advisable is not a reason for condemnation and exclusion. This shows that "zero", total absence, is in reality the ideal degree of social criticism."4

So neither does the favorite strategy of official refutation accept within the public domain that any ideo-esthetic platform be established for debate unless it is not vertically controlled. In practice, this reaction has been made into law: close the social contract to the human being, discrediting his will as if he were a micro-organnism that obeys an infinitely superior infection process.

"The most frequent manner of attacking critical interventions by the intellectuals in the public sphere is not, as one might expect, pointing out the negative consequences that their critical statements could supposedly have or, even less, the demonstration of the supposedly erroneous nature of these statements, but rather the attribution of reprehensible hidden intentions to their authors [...]."5

I am not falling off this cloud now. I knew the risk of being, of "inhabiting the language", even those limits broken and contaminated by an alien reality. Limits where there is always a lack of oxygen for the creatures that struggle to keep the heat and tremor of their dreams. One day a beloved successful writer taught me: "I only start wars I know I am going to win." This author, of course, had arranged to get in and out of scandalous activities without being unworthy of a certificate of confidence that is only issued from the vision of the winners. But true success is never the presence of anything, or proof of life, at least never in that despicable sense, not visionary. On the contrary, I think that if the plan for my freedom is condemned to failure in the small and circumstantial sense, it must move forward toward it in the larger sense: "I can no longer be free/I will enlarge my prisons."6 If indeed our common home–although not the largest of those we live in–is history, country, a language of our present and shared being, it seems inhabitable for the people who are completely defeated and must leave outside their excess suffering, even having fallen; the imponderable of being can make us endure before the door.

Notes:

1 The program was transmitted o the Cubavisión channel on March 21, 2011, and retransmitted on other channels the following day.2 "The Reasons of Cuba". Cyber warfare: mercenaries on the net", Deisy Francis Mexidor, in Granma, March 22, 2011, p. 5.3 Manuel Díaz Martínez: "Brief Inside Story of the Padilla Case".4 Desiderio Navarro: "In medias res publicas", in magazine "La Gaceta de Cuba", no. 3, May-June, 2001, p.43.5 Idem.6 Verse by Manuel Altolaguirre.

Translated by S. Solá

March 31 2011

http://translatingcuba.com/?p=10892

Cuba ofrece rebajas en insumos sin abrir mercado de mayoreo

lun 18 de jul de 2011 20:45 – Mercados españoles cerrados

Cuba ofrece rebajas en insumos sin abrir mercado de mayoreoPor ANDREA RODRIGUEZ – lunes 18 de julio de 2011, 19:49

El Estado comenzó a aplicar rebajas de precios para mercancías adquiridas en volúmenes superiores al uso doméstico sin abrir el mercado de mayoreo, medida que beneficiará a los nuevos trabajadores independientes de la isla.

Aceite, puré de tomate, mermeladas, mayonesas o discos compactos que se adquieren en "grandes formatos", o sea con empaques más grandes de los que una persona o familia necesita habitualmente, comenzaron a bajar de precio de acuerdo a una resolución ministerial divulgada el lunes por el diario Trabajadores.

Se trata de una "estrategia" para "potenciar las ventas a los trabajadores por cuenta propia", indicó el rotativo, órgano de difusión de la Central de Trabajadores de Cuba.

El recipiente de cinco litros de aceite que se vendía a 11,50 pesos convertibles (igual en dólares) pasó a ofertarse a 9,80 pesos convertibles y el puré de tomate (de tres kilogramos) bajó desde los 8,70 pesos convertibles a los 7,00, por ejemplo.

"Queda claro que la aplicación del descuento para los productos en grandes formatos no es exclusivo para quienes ejercen su labor en el sector no estatal, sino para cualquier cliente que desee adquirirlo", aclaró el rotativo.

Cuba abrió espacio para la iniciativa privada a finales de 2010 con la entrega de licencias a pequeños emprendedores deseosos abrir sus negocios e independizarse del Estado, que actualmente ocupa el 80% de la fuerza laboral del país.

El paquete de medidas fue criticado por los trabajadores independientes a nivel local (llamados en Cuba cuentapropistas) y analistas en el extranjero por la inexistencia de un mercado mayorista , impuestos excesivos y la ausencia de una política de créditos.

Como fijador de precios el Estado cubano suele poner cifras de comercialización de los productos por encima del 200%.

Según estimados oficiales, se dieron mas de 220.000 licencias en los últimos ocho meses –que se sumaron a las 150.000 ya existentes– un buen número de ellas permisos para instalar cafeterías, pizzerías y restaurantes, que necesitan de estos insumos.

Según la Resolución 163-2011 del Ministerio de Finanzas y Precios mencionada por Trabajadores, los descuentos para grandes formatos no se aplicarán a los cigarrillos, el , las bebidas alcohólicas o el embotellada.

Según Sara del Pilar Vidal, una experta del Ministerio de Comercio Interior, los productos de grandes formatos tenían lento movimiento, pero la situación comenzó a volverse más dinámica desde marzo y más aún a partir de la aplicación del descuento. No se indicó a partir de qué fecha entro en vigor la norma.

"La mencionada regulación también incluye las herramientas y los equipos neumáticos y eléctricos, todo con el objetivo de potenciar las ventas de productos a los trabajadores por cuenta propia en las tiendas de recaudación de divisas", explicó el rotativo.

En Cuba existen dos tipos de tienda para la población, las "recaudadoras de divisas" que comercializan sus mercancías en pesos convertibles –con conversión al dólar uno a uno– y las de "moneda nacional", que lo hacen en pesos cubanos –24 pesos cubanos por un dólar–.

Paralelamente, Trabajadores indicó que aunque no tienen los mismos mecanismo de venta se "aplica igual estrategia", en los comercios que operan en pesos cubanos.

Además la especialista del Ministerio de Comercio Interior, Maylin Prado, indicó que el Estado comenzó a adquirir en el exterior "tejidos, mercería (botones, hilos, cintas, etcétera), y materiales para la reparación de calzado", cuya venta beneficiará a los cuentapropistas.

http://es.finance.yahoo.com/noticias/Cuba-ofrece-rebajas-insumos-ap-576581208.html?x=0

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