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Daily Archives: February 12, 2012

Public Declaration in Self-Defense of Rastafarian Artist Hector Riscar (El Nano) / El Sexto – Danilo Maldonado Machado

Public Declaration in Self-Defense of Rastafarian Artist Hector Riscar (El Nano) / El Sexto – Danilo Maldonado MachadoEl Sexto – Danilo Maldonado Machado, Translator: Unstated Share

I, Hector Riscar Mustelier, declare in writing what really happened on Wednesday 16 November 2011.

We left the National Cabaret, where we were working the Heritage Group, a reggae band, of which I am director.

We were Adrian (props), Daniel (drummer), Zenén (sound engineer) and I, crossing the corner of Prado and San Jose, where we were stopped by an officer with badge number 44777. He asked for our ID cards and tells us we can't continue, but Zenen didn't have his ID so we explained that we're musicians who come out of the club every Tuesday we're there. Then comes another officer, called Duruti, standing behind us.

As I was carrying a bag with a DVD, the officer no 44777 asks to search us completely, purse, pockets, everything. He tells us that we can continue and we get ready to do so when another one appears — 45717 — who wants to check IDs again. We say that we were already searched by another officer, but he aggressively orders us to put our hands on our heads and spread out legs.

We began to tell him that our audience was still coming out, and it was a spectacle in the street, that he could take me to the station in handcuffs if he wanted, but it was a violation, that he can't search a citizen against his will by force, because the Constitution protects us, at which point the officer is still more agitated, and physically assaults me taking me by the neck and punching me in the back, ripping my shit, putting me on the ground and putting handcuffs on me.

In the struggle my white turban had fallen to the ground. The officer stood me up at the same time the patrol car arrived. I was very insulted, like my colleagues, who could not believe that abuse was permitted, and they were also grappling with the , and that is why they also put Zenén in the car. Inside the car I see Duruti and 44777 outside, speaking separately. The officer 44777 comes up and says something to the patrol car officer who can not hear because we were still grappling with 45717.

Upon arriving at the Dragones police station they took my bag and soon the three officers arrived, talking softly to the guard. We were sitting on the bench, paying attention and hearing him say to the duty officer, turning to 45717: "You accuse him because you're in the [Communist] Party and no one will doubt you." So they're plotting it all in our face.

Then they begin to accuse us of drugs and we argue with them, against the lie.

They say the drugs were in my turban. Which is a big lie because everyone saw when my turban fell to the ground, and there was nothing either on the ground or on my head and everyone saw it. It was a brother and a witness who handed me the turban in the patrol car, and this can be clearly be seen recorded in the cameras there and we demand that these images appear and are displayed, because these films are or should be in the service of safety and security of citizens. Consulting them, there can be no confusion: all my clothes were white, easy to see in the dark, and every movement had to be recorded.

Continuing the story in the police station, they continued with their offenses while an officer without a badge, in black leather, showed a ball wrapped in nylon and said it was drugs, directly accusing me of having it in my belongings. Soon the experts came and took me up. I was very upset with all the injustice that I was a victim of, I know of similar stories but had never lived it myself, at all. I decided not to speak a word. I knew I needed a lawyer. They were mocking and accusing me as if everything is an absolute truth.

Then a higher level official dressed in dark green says that the proof was in the promotional papers for Herencia: he's referring to some invitations related to promotional group that were in my bag, they took when we entered the station, along with the DVD device. Of course the invitations had been manipulated long before the arrival of the experts, down in the folder.

I kept quiet, just said I wanted to speak in the presence of an attorney. Every passing minute there was more confabulation. Soon an officer came from narcotics, talked and left. Then comes another narcotics official from municipality of San Miguel del Padrón, with whom I had a discussion.

Before, years ago, he worked in Central Havana and wanted me to work for him and even gave me his phone. I gave him some brochures to learn our way of life, philosophy and ideology of African culture, where it becomes clear that our idea is the unification of our race, spiritual prosperity, peace and love in everything and everyone. But from the viewpoint of the police and government we are just hairy black drug addicts, persecuted and repressed by the police elements of this country.

I made it clear to this officer that I would never work for him. He said that year 2005 that one day I would regret it and he would retaliate. I didn't make a case of his threats and I never heard from him. Now he got angry, saying by way of derision (I quote) "So you took drugs! The drug gives your dick money… " What a phrase worthy of a chief national anti-drug department.

"Sure you have every luxury at home," he said. Everyone knows how we live humbly at home with my mom and my wife. This officer wanted to provoke me. I just opened my mouth to say: "LIAR, you say that because I never worked with you."

Then they took me to the station where I was assigned an "instructor"(investigator/interrogator) named Yordanis, who insisted for days that I make my statement, fooling me saying he would investigate the matter well. I told him I had evidence to disprove all the police farce and that was when I stated this in my own hand.

We now know, all that is on file 826/11, they have set a trap, using my declaration, adapting it to the police, with all their lies so well organized. The cost of my statement has been the loss of the only visual evidence in my favor, disappeared.

Now the file is back to the station with the sole intention of "fixing" pretty much everything, or leaving out details that were inconsistent, so that they are perfect. They used my mom to sign a record of delivery of DVD that was never dealt with because they were so busy at the Dragones station constructing their lie that they had no idea of dealing with the DVD.

They falsified further investigations of my Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (): having cards made by the comrades of the , where they say they haven't gone to check anything, neither in Cerro nor in Central Havana, and are fully prepared to declare in court.

Only because of the type of people we are, Rastafarians, in the false investigation they say the worse they say about about a person. I know no one with cars and motorcycles, only a few who visit us very little. The bikes that come to visit are for two People's Revolutionary Police investigators that are our neighbors living in the same hallway.

The comrade who appears declaring now (named Ernesto), after the P4 the sent, said that someone in turn says that I used to sell in the National, but in his opening statement only said that I had seen "smoking."

Everything has been improved to incriminate me for a traffic offense that is not mine, committing unjust illegalities that not even a lawyer has the courage to denounce.

Back in 2003 I did serve an unjust traffic sanction that was reported but nothing came of it, but now, according to the fabricated record, I also engaged in the planting of marijuana, that makes us all ask, where is that seed? What's happening? Can this really be happening here in Cuba? Or is that the police accept that they invented everything? Or is it better, rather than to be just and true, to someone who has committed no crime? Someone who in any case they have to help do justice to the truth, but not harm through abuse of power, because it is not for this reason that we have the security police of this country.

Or, if this does happen, then there is: injustice, illegality, corruption, manipulation, deceit, violation of , abuse of power, ideological discrimination and racism.

No more for now. Hoping for ultimate justice and fair use of my rights, and rights of the true facts, and to soon recover my liberty, unconditionally.

RastafariPEACENo more discrimination!

6 February 2011

Not Twelve, Seventeen / Miguel Iturria Savón

Not Twelve, Seventeen / Miguel Iturria SavónMiguel Iturria Savón, Translator: Unstated

Since the release of latest political prisoners from the repressive crackdown known as the Black Spring of 2003, foreign correspondents in Cuba cling to a mythical number twelve, referring to those who refused exile and stayed on the island, which is a half truth.

There were 52 remaining of the 75 convicted under the Gag Law, when the regime decided to open the gates to launder its image abroad after the death of striker Orlando Tamayo and physical deterioration of another striker, Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, icons of civic resistance.

Of the 53 who left earlier, almost all under the euphemism of parole, remaining on the island from 2004 to 2006 were the independent journalists Jorge Olivera Castillo and , Assemblywoman Martha B. Roque Cabello, the liberal politician Hector Palacios Ruiz and Marcelo Lopez Bañobre.

Among those who marched from the to exile in this period are the poets Raúl Rivero and Manuel Vazquez Portal. In 2010 there were 12 who said no to banishment, 12 of 52 prisoners who waited in prison despite the pressure of the regime, the mediating efforts of the Archbishop of Havana and the facilities offered by the Spanish government which was acting as a screen for the Castros before the European Community.

Among the twelve who chose to live at home instead of seeking under another flag are Feliz Navarro, Iván Hernández Carrillo, Arnaldo Ramos Lauzurique, Oscar Elías Bicet, Eduardo Díaz Freitas, Librado Linares, José D. Ferrer García, Guido Sigler Amaya, whose brother is being medically treated in the United States; Diosdado González Marrero, Pedro Arguelles Morán, Héctor Maceda Gutiérrez and Ángel Moya Acosta.

The admiration unleashed by these twelve heroes of civic resistance is a continuation of the position taken by the five former prisoners released for reasons between 2004 and 2006. All remain on the island under control of the political .

Everyone deserves respect and affection as the rest of the 58 who went abroad by choice, family pressure or state pressure. In the Kabbalah and in historical mythology, twelve is a mythical number. Twelve were the original tribes of Israel, the Promised Land of antiquity. Twelve apostles accompanied Jesus at the Last Supper.

Twelve independence fighters remained alive with the Father of the Nation, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, after the attack on the village of Yara, on October 10, 1868. And twelve expedition members met with Fidel Castro in a hamlet in the Sierra Maestra after the failed landing of the Granma yacht on December 2, 1956.

So twelve is all very well, but please, no more manipulation. There are not twelve but seventeen prisoners released from the Black Spring who remain in Cuba. There are also other fighters in prisons, and in the streets who are serving or served sentences for demanding the freedoms kidnapped by the "liberators of the Fatherland."

August 22 2011

Uncertain Execution of Judgment Hurts Civil Society Activist / Dora Leonor Mesa

Uncertain Execution of Judgment Hurts Civil Society Activist / Dora Leonor MesaDora Leonor Mesa, Translator: Unstated

Persistent rumors from the ECAL No. 2 state that the entity surrendered to the a letter dated September 7 this year which states that … "as outlined in file No. 174 of 2010, regular process established by Dora Leanor Mesa Crespo and provision made by the Municipal People's Court of Diez de Octubre, ordering the demolition of the wall' that affects the applicant, we have to inform you that in a visit to the former premises occupied by the Negotiating Group of the Extinction Movement of State Microbrigades, located in Calzada de Luyanó No. 557 between Manuel Pruna and Juan Alonso, Diez de Octubre municipality, to date we have been unable to access this location to determine the scope of work to be executed, because the compañero residing there, named Adolfo Perez Zenea is serving a sentence of imprisonment in Penitentiary 1580."

Based on information obtained from sources that refused to be identified, the director of the ECAL Pita No.2 Nelson Córdova Pita his Legal Advisor Yaquelín Rodríguez allege they are seeking the key from the defendant's wife, also a local resident, worker at the Municipal Plaza Microbrigade, part of the construction company that is located at 23rd and 2nd street, in the Vedado neighborhood.

A confirmation of the existence of the letter of ECAL No. 2 was delivered to the Police, the justifications are related to the complaint of weeks ago — property infringement — by the civil society activist Ms. Dora L. Mesa.

First some clarification would be good. The above residence of the worker and his wife is absolutely , as is confirmed by documents held by all parties. The place is not even legally registered as state property, it was part of the house of the complainant. Furthermore, the ECAL # 2 tries to ignore the judgment of the Municipal Court No. 17 of Diez de Octubre dated April 29, 2011 which appears verbatim:

Fail: We must declare and we do declare in favor of the complainant, and in consequence affirm this statement condemning the defendant to respect the required separation between the two properties adjoining the site, and the defendant must demolish and create a corridor of approximately one meter and fifty centimeters between the two properties. Without Costs.

It should be clear that the complainant does not have to demolish a wall, because the sentence is explicit by clarifying that they have to demolish the adjacent locale, always taking appropriate action because the ceiling of the room is used a wall of the house of the applicant. Lest by chance the property of the activist might also be demolished.

This legal battle has been going on for 45 years. The request for enforcement of judgment is dated June 30, 2011. From that moment 3 trials have been suspended by the absence of the directors of the ECAL and other unknown causes. The next citation is Sept. 27 at 10 a. m. and probably will be suspended by the most unlikely reason: Protection of breeding animals for profit, slippery keys, busy magistrates…

They are wasting their time if they believe that Ms. Dora Mesa will not go every day to the Municipal Court of Diez de Octubre to know how to start the execution of the judgment. They don't know the power of filial love and the brave old man's voice clamoring for justice.

Regardless of the excitement or otherwise of the case, the applicant can legally establish another lawsuit but cannot demolish the premises and request the restitution of his backyard. In short, if your family spends nearly half a century in these legal chores, should be awarded the missing part. As the Cuban sociologist Calviño would say: It's worth the pain.

September 20 2011

Efficient Leadership and Organizations for Cuban Civil Society / Dora Leonor Mesa

Efficient Leadership and Organizations for Cuban Civil Society / Dora Leonor MesaDora Leonor Mesa, Translator: Unstated

The Cuban Law Association, the Cuban Observatory of LGBT Rights, the Citizens Committee for Racial Integration … are some examples that serve to encourage pro-democracy activists and other civil society actors to continue to create spaces for civic activity and to expand their reach, because they can help ordinary citizens to take initial steps to raise the hope for positive change.

To have a vibrant civil society requires successful civil organizations. Success is possible even in hostile surroundings if promoters are trained properly in the types of leadership and efficient organizational structures.

Contingency theories emphasize situational factors, where the effectiveness of leadership depends on the situation. People become leaders not only for their personal traits, but because of situational factors. The motivation and the ability of the followers are among the factors that affect situational decisions.

Each civil society organization can use certain types of leadership but contingency theories emphasizing situational factors could be very useful in the current Cuban atmosphere, characterized by its dynamism and hostility.

The Fiedler contingency theory has helped develop an educational organization, the Cuban Association for the Development of (ACDEI), but the transformational theory of Bass and Leithwood allow a leader-follower relationship more effectively in the current Cuban environment and in particular in educational settings.

Our small NGO is currently working on a project called "ACDEI supports Private Nurseries," whose target audience are owners and educators and the employees who work with them, and parents and families of children. It prepares teachers and unskilled caregivers, instructing them in modern educational techniques and the knowledge and use of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In addition to educating the children of the nursery , we emphasize in explanations to owners that their businesses provide an important service, where the initial cost is relatively low, but it is characterized by certain aspects that require certain skills and staff training.

In particular we reiterate that the beneficiaries of the service (the nursery school children) can not be considered as clients but as learners. Children who receive continuous stimuli in their environment later develop with better physical, psychosocial and cognitive outcomes (Umayahara, M., 2003).

The ACDEI NGO strives to provide both children and educators and caregivers education and training required by the standards of the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. To continue this line of work it is hoped that the articulation between preschool and primary education will more successful and thus improve children's learning.

September 10 2011

Yoani Sanchez’s Technical Book / Miguel Iturria Savón

Yoani Sanchez's Technical Book / Miguel Iturria SavónMiguel Iturria Savón, Translator: Unstated

Last May I was overwhelmed when browsing in the apartment of Yoani Sanchez I came across her book Word Press: a to talk to the world. Three years earlier I had noted her famous blog (Generation Y) and, stimulated by it, I opened my blog, Island Anchor, also hosted on the platform Cuban Voices. The connection continued with the sessions of the Academy, occasional meetings, calls and text messages and my collaborations in Voices magazine, created by Yoani, Reinaldo Escobar and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.

The volume struck me with its compositional structure, didactic sense, the effective selection of expository texts, the eloquence of the illustrations and the overall coherence, both technical and casual, all of it "so Yoani," whose human warmth cohabits with a scriptural acuity. The pragmatism of her civic proposals, her passion for new technologies, her citizen journalism and her commitment to what happens on the island, always from a personal viewpoint that is no stranger to wonder and the need to seek.

Word Press: a blog to talk to the world is a compendium of accelerated learning from Yoani Sanchez, the curious and avid linguist, fascinated by "the mysteries of cyberspace," and whose banner of . It is also a gift for beginners and an instrumental doorway, perhaps for the methodical carpenter to test the tools that free — and release — us from the information banality and dreams of domination of despots, these young men who damaged the lives of millions of people and converted the nation into a hacienda that supports them.

The work, of 463 pages, 20 chapters, 2 prologues, Editor's Note, Glossary, Bibliography and Index, is a reference manual of educational value, a brick of paper that outlines her own experience with her blog, interacting with readers and the media and how this universal Cuban woman — recognized for her talent and dedication to others — learned to do it all. If anyone thought there were some kind of "maneuvers" around the prizes Yoani has been awarded from outside the island they can put that idea to rest. Yoani has succeeded because she convinces with her writings and computer knowledge.

Written at the request of Eugenio Tuya, editor of the publishing house Anaya, who rates the outcome as excellent and praised the clarity of exposition and "charming amiability" of the author, the book is intended for "all who dream of exposing their life's travels through a blog and especially those in difficult situations who need to communicate with the world and be encouraged to express themselves freely."

No wonder the Spaniard Esperanza Aguirre advises in his prologue that Yoani Sanchez, "In teaching us to use the tools of information technology, gives us an exciting lesson … about our duty to always open new windows, whatever the difficulties, a juggernaut for freedom. "

José Luis Orihuela, author of, evokes the as the XXI century printing press and the blog Generation Y as "the paradigmatic representation of the network as a technology for freedom and the blog as a personal press," to which he adds that "Yoani has extended her passion to many others inside and outside the island" and that she and her blog "are no longer just about technology, not only about the literature of the everyday, and have become a symbol of peaceful resistance to oppression, in a tangible demonstration of the power of words."

"This is a book about the tool that has made possible the Revolution of Yoani Sánchez, Word Press, written for people like her: those who don't know technology but have things to say, those who want to communicate and have no other means than the most simple and powerful: a blog."

Perhaps because of this and because "the network is no longer a space for consultation and has been converted into a space for participation in the social environment," Yoani's book can not circulate on the island, where it is seized by officials, recalling those lists of medieval inquisitors bent on shaping thought and censoring those who did not assume the prevailing orthodoxy.

The list of contents would be enough to stimulate the search for the next installment from the best-known blogger in Cuba. Attractive and suggestive titles such as: The Birth and Consecration of Word Press; The Map to Install Word Press; The Viscera or the Administration Page; Appearance and Design of the Blog; Learning to Live with the Commentators; the Trolls and other Creatures of Cyberspace; Categories and Labels; URLs and Links, Multiplatform Blogs…

Through these themes lie the road ahead and the liberating door for those who accompany Yoani on her wanderings, real and virtual. They just have to dare. Not surprisingly she claims that "the highest purpose of mankind will not have to wait for someone' who will open a space where you can show yourself. You will not need a bureaucratic permit. You will not need to amass a fortune or have a menacing backing you up … You would not even need to be under the umbrella of a political party … Here you have a window, or rather the carpenter to build it … "

July 21 2011

The New Man Needs Toys / Dora Leonor Mesa

The New Man Needs Toys / Dora Leonor MesaDora Leonor Mesa, Translator: Unstated

Without detracting from the prestige gained by Cuban since 1959, in my view the shortage of toys that children in Cuba have suffered, and do suffer, has been ignored.

While the Russians were sending millions of rubles every day, our parents gave up sleep to buy three toys a year. In schools and kindergartens the situation was no better. The toys are few, the variety and beauty meager. Even the comics (in Cuba we call them muñequitos) for some time were few and not very fun because of the "socialist realism" in the art and culture of the now-extinct socialist bloc.

The Cuban Revolution has abolished private property for more than half a century, and eliminated for-profit education. It attempted to create a kind of "New Man," with a collectivist outlook and willing to sacrifice for the common good. It created the educational institutions known as "scholarships" — which were, in practice, boarding schools — where many children were kept much of their youth. Along with that came the state-run organizations such as the Organization of Pioneers, the Secondary Student Federation, the Union of Young Communists and many more.

These plans had a significant impact on Cuban society and dazzled half the world by their novelty and the success in academics extended to many citizens. Behind the strategy were successful Cuban educators with Russian and German advisers of the former socialist camp. This was a valuable aid in pedagogy given the reputation Russian and German schools enjoyed for centuries the.

Toys are generally expensive. But in Cuba today I invite my readers to visit the toy stores at the Habana Libre or the Carlos III Complex. A doll or a truck that is worth more than $10 in many parts of the world, can only be bought in those stores with the monthly salary of a Cuban surgeon. A remote control SUV can be purchased if desired, with the salary of two surgeons. Do not mention BMX bikes because I might have to include the salaries of the entire medical team in the operating room.

This situation is not new. It's been like this for decades. So when they say that Cuban children are happy and they do not lack the basics, I remind the "enthusiasts" that a toy for an infant is like water for humans, especially in the world of technology and knowledge.

If you ask a girl how much a Playstation is worth, she might doubt her answer. But ask her what the black market prices are and then she will give you all the details you need, and she will also to update you on the exchange rate between the CUC, the euro and the dollar.

Not bad that children know the world around them but I disagree with those who say that Cuba does not skimp on education resources. On the facts would be preferable to say that is skimps. The list is long: Textbooks are unattractive, teachers lack computers or email, 45% of schools lack telephones, and children lack toys despite the efforts of their parents and teachers to provide them.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 3, paragraph 1 provides:"In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration."

Selling is a legal business, selling toys at exorbitant prices, in my opinion, is a scam aimed our daughters and sons. They treat us like the Spanish colonialists treated the Indians: exchanging mirrors for gold.

September 13 2011

They deposited a formal request for investigation into the murder of Juan Wilfredo Soto Graca / Ricardo Medina

They deposited a formal request for investigation into the murder of Juan Wilfredo Soto Graca / Ricardo MedinaRicardo Medina, Translator: Hank Hardisty

Abdel Rodriguez Arteaga, Vice Presidentof the Cuba Independent and Democratic Party, gave to the Attorney General's Office, at noon, July 11th, a document in support of the request for investigation to the death of Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia. The original request was made by two priests on June 8th.

Copies of the document, presented by Rodriguez Arteaga, were delivered to the State Council, Ministry of Interior and Justice, and were accompanied by a hundred signatures in support of the request for investigation to the death of Soto Garcia, presented by the priests: Ricardo Santiago Medina Lleonart Salabarria and Mario Felix Barroso,on June 8th.

The letter dated July 8, states that the signatories ask the Attorney General to exercise his powers to:

1) Give a public explanation from the Cuban government of this lamentable event.

2) Restore the Methodist Pastor Yordi Alberto Toranzo Collado to his pastoral ministry and to his rectory in the Methodist Church: "The Trinity" of Santa Clara. Bishop Ricardo Pereira Diaz, (Bishop of the Methodist Church in Cuba) removed him under pressure from the Department Religious Affairs, Ministry of Justice, after the minister attended the funeral of Soto Garcia.

Copies of this document were given, in addition to the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, to His Eminence Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, and Bishop Ricardo Pereira Diaz, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Cuba.

Translated by Hank Hardisty

June 11 2011

Absolute Cuba: More Cuban Flags and Less Che Guevara / Dora Leonor Mesa

Absolute Cuba: More Cuban Flags and Less Che Guevara / Dora Leonor MesaDora Leonor Mesa, Translator: Unstated

While in Cuba and almost anything is possible, it produces confusion to try to buy a flag and the national emblem in your own country and to find there are none in the shops, nor do the libraries offering representations or posters or patriotic symbols, nor even the books on the subject.

Meanwhile the market is saturated with pictures of Che Guevara, even embedded within the national emblem. The fact remains that Che Guevara is liked by most of the Cuban people, however the situation, in my opinion, is outrageous.

Symbols are learned by children from the time they are small. The flag, the national emblem, the anthem … Together they form part of the identity of a nation. No wonder the image that is used to represent the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba is the shield of the royal palm, the national tree.

It is worth emphasizing the Law of Laws of the Republic of Cuba, Chapter I, Article 4 where it states:"The national symbols are those which have presided, for more than a hundred years, over the Cuban struggles for independence, the people's rights and social progress:The lone star flag;The anthem of Bayamo;The shield of the royal palm."

I will never tire of repeating that for years UNESCO and UNICEF have promoted: "The quality of early childhood is essential for the development of a country."

Although brochure No. 6 for children of two to three years in the "Educate Your Child" program don't mention patriotic symbols, the toddlers become familiar with them inductively, by their constant presence in the nursery, private or otherwise, which will help to facilitate their further understanding of their transcendental meaning. The most important thing is to protect our identity and pass bit by bit to the smallest.

The pride of being born in Cuba, is not limited only to being generous, playing baseball and dancing well. To have in a Cuban home the flag and its shield is not only a right, it is a need in these hard times being experienced by the country.

The or Cuban who wants photos of Che can buy them. Cubans also want to buy Cuban flags and shields of all shapes and sizes. I guess my opinion does not matter … but if you are interested, here it is:

Absolute Cuba: More Cuban flags and shields and many preschoolers who, before going to , harmoniously sing the national anthem.

September 15 2011

Las Damas de Blanco rendirán tributo a Pollán

Las rendirán tributo a Pollán

Se reunirán el lunes en la sede de la organización femenina para celebrar el que hubiera sido su cumpleaños número 64 12 de febrero de 2012

"Un gladiolo, el arma conque nosotras realmente defendemos la del pueblo de Cuba"

Más de 40 Damas de Blanco asistieron a misa el domingo en la Iglesia de Santa Rita, en la ciudad de La Habana, para orar por la libertad de Cuba y recordar a Laura Pollán, quien cumpliría el lunes 64 años de edad.

La portavoz de la agrupación femenina Berta Soler dijo a Radio Martí que el lunes "pese a todo el hostigamiento que pudiéramos tener, las Damas de Blanco vamos a concentrarnos en nuestra sede para rendirle tributo, honor, a nuestra líder, Laura Pollán".

Manifestó que cada una de las 44 mujeres que caminaron por la 5ª Avenida portaban su arma preferida: un gradiolo.

"Un gladiolo, el arma conque nosotras realmente defendemos la libertad del pueblo de Cuba", agregó. (Audio)

La policía política reprime a Damas de Blanco en Holguín

La policía política reprime a en Holguín

Fueron detenidas Caridad Caballero Batista y Berta Guerrero 12 de febrero de 2012

Agentes policiales reprimieron este fin de semana a las Damas de Blanco y a varios activistas prodemócratas en la provincia de Holguín.

El coordinador de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba, José Daniel Ferrer García, dijo a Radio Martí que Caridad Caballero Batista y su esposo fueron violentamente detenidos por agentes de la policía política.

"Iban hacia la Iglesia, iban hacia misa cuando en dos autos, varios agentes policiales dirigidos por el mayor Douglas, de la policía política los detuvieron violentamente. Pude escuchar todo lo que iba aconteciendo hasta que cerraron la línea telefónica". (Audio)

Añadió Ferrer que también fueron detenidos en Holguín, la Dama de Blanco Berta Guerrero y su esposo, Franklin Pelegrino del Toro.

Entretanto, el opositor Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, denunció nuevos actos de hostigamiento en la ciudad de Holguín.

En su página de , Payá señala que ha aumentado la vigilancia en torno a su persona.

Precisó que al llegar a Holguín el sábado en la madrugada al de la localidad, agentes de la Seguridad del Estado lo trataron con tono amenazante.

Algunos agentes le plantearon que él venía a marchar con las Damas de Blanco y que lo esperaba afuera el activista Juan Carlos Reyes, líder del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación en Holguín.

Payá señala que respondió: no vengo a eso, vengo a Holguín porque soy cubano, a encontrar a mis compañeros y amigos, no traten de intimidarme.

Critica Cuesta Morúa loa de intelectuales a Fidel Castro

Critica Cuesta Morúa loa de intelectuales a

Afirma que "cierto sector de la izquierda" siente la necesidad de alabar a las dictaduras 11 de febrero de 2012

Fidel Castro se reunió durante "más de nueve horas" con intelectuales de 22 países, que asisten en La Habana a la Feria Internacional del Libro, a los que llamó a luchar por la paz sin dejarse "vencer por el pesimismo", informó el sábado la prensa local.

El líder del opositor partido Arco Progresista, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, dijo a Radio Martí que "este tipo de reuniones viene a satisfacer a cierto sector de la izquierda de rendirles loa a las dictaduras". (Audio)

El portal oficialista Cubadebate divulgó 42 fotos del encuentro, en el que participaron, entre otros, el Premio Nobel de la Paz de 1980 Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, el Premio Cervantes 2005 Sergio Pitol, el teólogo brasileño Frei Betto y el periodista franco-español Ignacio Ramonet.

Fort Lauderdale company wants to run Cuba ferry

Posted on Sunday, 02.12.12

Fort Lauderdale company wants to run Cuba ferryThe Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Fort Lauderdale company is still awaiting government approval to run a ferry between Port Everglades and Cuba.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel ( reports that Havana Ferry Partners applied for the license nearly two years ago.

The company is one of at least four interested in running ferries to Cuba through licenses allowed as exemptions to the .

A U.S. Treasury Department official told the newspaper in an e-mail the office cannot comment on specific licenses.

Absent the approval, Havana Ferry is pushing for a one-time permission to carry passengers to Cuba in March for Pope Benedict XVI's scheduled visit.

Broward County leaders have backed requests for ferries, which traveled frequently between Havana and Florida before the communist revolution.

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