PURPOSE: To bring to the attention of people concerned with Cuba a wide range of news and information about the island, the Cuban community abroad, Cuba’s international relations, and related topics. The list provides many resources to assist you in learning about Cuba, its politics and society. The primary language of this list is English, though some Spanish material is sent from time to time.
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LEAD MODERATOR: This list is moderated by Walter Lippmann, an author, editor and Cuba solidarity activist based in Los Angeles, California. You can learn about his views on Cuba through the writings at his website: www.walterlippmann.com
By Mileyda Menéndez Dávila
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
To banish gender violence from our lives, we must begin by accepting its multiple guises and propose worthy alternatives to everyday behaviors that normalize that scourge from male and female roles.
The violence that is externalized in public spaces against women, girls or other men according to their gender identity or sexual orientation, is barely ten percent of what occurs in an imperceptible way. It leaves no physical traces because it is exercised at the symbolic and psychological level, and is not denounced because it generates feelings of shame or disability. This is especially if the violent act comes from people who should guarantee us affection and protection.
Also influences the social tendency to tolerate other manifestations of violence reaffirmed through popular music and sporting events, the relaxation of the rules of coexistence or the misrepresentation of creeds that assume male supremacy as natural and necessary.
More than obeying
To modify this practice, it is necessary to understand the impact of intimidation on individual health and the well-being of society. Dozens of institutions investigate its causes and paths in Cuba, including the Institute of Legal Medicine, the Attorney General’s Office, the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex), the chairs of women, the Center for Women’s Studies and the Family, the Cuban Women’s Federation (FMC), the Center for Youth Studies and the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research.
The work of the Oscar Arnulfo Romero Reflection and Solidarity Group is an example of how Cuban civil society is also involved in the transformation of these lessons. Since 2007, that body has generated messages of public good that invite reflection on psychological violence, involving students and professionals of design, social communication, journalism and audiovisual media in the creative process.
This is how the Eres Más campaign was born, which, in addition to using traditional media circuits, occupies visible spaces in billboards and other media to reach all the municipalities in the country and make stereotypes problemmatic or to dismantle myths and macho customs.
Its main goal is to urge adult women of any race and origin to become aware of their rights and adapt the response to that aggression (subtle or obvious) that seeks to perpetuate the economic and sexual dominance of the masculine.
It also invites men to gradual change in beliefs and habits, in order to establish more equitable relationships from a spirituality committed to solidarity, plurality and participation.
More than resist
One campaign does not change the reality, but it makes the evil visible and appeals to feelings and principles to overcome the resistance to change of those who live with the abuse, although as they praise equal rights, sowing in the new generations those double standards, loaded with discriminatory prejudices .
Some patterns survive in our identity to such an extent that many people justify male violence unconsciously. Society is silent when the man controls or limits the woman, but is scandalized if it is she who tries to “put on pants” because that subverts the supposed natural order, and the same happens with the distribution of passive and active roles in homosexual couples .
Neither of the two extremes is right: It is necessary to educate ourselves in amorous dialogue to break such habitual mechanisms. It may also be necessary to seek legal or therapeutic help in the orientation centers for the woman and the family, the National Revolutionary Police, the Primary Health and the offices of attention to the citizen rights of the municipal Prosecutor’s Office.
The invitation to change is made: As a man, you can make the decision to try a different behavior, more respectful and consistent with your feelings. As a woman you have the challenge of suspending the legitimacy of violence, not allowing it in your environment or transmitting it uncritically to your children.
Do not accept being imposed on the road: build your reality according to your dreams and potentialities knowing that you are more, much more than what they make you see. You are not responsible for the suffocating behavior of significant men in your life (couple, father, brothers, colleagues, religious leaders, formal authorities), even if they try to justify centuries of patriarchal domination.
Day dedicated to youth
The main activities will take place in Las Tunas province from December 7 to 9. There will be held the National Meeting of the Platform of Cuban Men for Nonviolence and Gender Equity
Published Friday 01 December 2017 | 09:44:47 PM
The capital city of Tuesday 12 in the Mathematics Department of the University of Havana and will be dedicated to people with special needs, and their ability to love and enjoy the erotic without limitations
Author: Mariela Rodríguez Méndez
Masters in Clinical Psychology, counselor in STDs and HIV/AIDS and psychoanalyst
Posted: Friday 01 December 2017 | 09:46:58 PM
The confusion begins when I spend time without having sex with girls and I begin to get attention from men
JB: I’ve spent my whole life studying. That’s not why I stopped going out, having sex with girls and feeling good about them. The confusion begins when I spend time without having relationships with girls and I begin to draw attention to men … The problem is that I do not know if I’m gay or bisexual. I do not know in what direction my sexual orientation is. I am a 26 year old young man.
It’s better not to impose an answer that you still do not have. You must wait for experiences that allow you to distinguish your preference. You would have to define if you are only with men when you lack famale options or if you wish,in the first place, to be intimate with them, with women or both.
Sexual orientation is defined by preference; not by practices or conveniences. A person, due to multiple circumstances, can have sexual practices with people whom they do not prefer.
Homosexuality refers to the preference for people of the same sex, heterosexuality refers to the preference for people of the other sex and bisexuality supposes that they like with the same intensity people of both sexes, without being able to do without one or the other.
From what he says, until now he is doing well to be surprised by his experience. It is striking that he is not interested in being part of a couple and now he is worrying about an answer that would tie down his future decisions. Why define your orientation now? What good would it do to have that answer now? What else is going on?
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The deceptive trickery of the bourgeois governments sponsored by the United States has no limits. A few hours were enough for the candidate for presidential re-election in Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOA), to convert, a difference of 5% of the votes counted in favor of his opponent, Salvador Nasralla, into an advantage of for him that would proclaim him reelected President.
JOA had remained in an electoral campaign throughout his government. While locking up, banishing or burying his adversaries, he gave away balls, cardboard houses, bags of beans labeled with his photograph and the logo of his party and other sacramental gifts “blessed with the blood of Christ”. He distributed even 50 Lempiras (equivalent to 2.5 dollars) to all impoverished voters.
Depressing was the surprise for him and his cohort when, at the end of the November 26 vote, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced that the candidate of the Free Alliance-PINU, Salvador Nasralla, was ahead of him by 5 points.
A few minutes later, the TSE suspended the count due to “technical problems of the system” and shortly thereafter announced that, in a new calculation, JOA was ahead of Nasralla by 1 point.
Popular protests immediately broke out. Hondurans could not placidly accept the monstrous fraud, which came to fill the cup of humiliation that infringed the nation’s coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
Ollantay Itzamná, a Quechua nomad, son of Pachamama, activist and reflective defender of human rights and of Mother Earth, who also trained as a lawyer, anthropologist and theologian in Western science, has narrated, as a brilliant journalist, an understandable synthesis of the historical background of the phenomenon that is taking place in Honduras.
“The State of Honduras, in its almost 200 years, has been controlled and governed by an elite of landowners and self-designated conservative and liberal merchants. During the first 100 years, the leaders of Honduras were selected by means of bayonets and shotguns. At the beginning of the 20th century, the conservatives, to make the pantomime appear democratic, created the so-called Liberal party and, from that, Honduras lived a whole century under National-Liberal bipartisanship.
With the politico-military coup d’état of 2009, the rich in power accelerated their own political destabilization. In fact, the emergence of the social movement that became the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP), demanded the return to power of the deposed President Manuel Zelaya. It proposed profound structural changes in impoverished and alienated Honduras.
Beginning in 2012, the FNRP gave birth to the current political party Freedom and Free Refoundation, made up mostly of former liberal politicians, who, in its first participation in elections, took second place in the general elections of 2013, with 37 deputies from the 128 that make up the Congress of the Republic.
But the government of JOA, co-author of the coup d’état, which had control of the legislative and judicial powers, and made political life almost impossible. Not only did it exclude them from parliamentary committees, it systematically blocked their legislative initiatives.
After the 2009 coup, Honduras experienced a systematic “democratic” dictatorship, where illegality, corruption and the dissolution of rights were constantly promoted.
The illegality of the JOA dictatorship reached its maximum expression when, contrary to the provisions of the country’s Political Constitution, the presidential candidate announced he was seeking re-election, under the slogan: “The best life for Honduras can not stop”. Something unlikely in a country that has conquered the world record as “the country with the most violent war in the world,” and where the level of poverty worsened more than 10% after the 2009 coup.
Dissent or disseminating a critical thinking has been punished with harsh penalties and disrespect for human rights. It took on a murky look with massacres and selective killings, such as the murder of Berta Cáceres which was denounced worldwide.
“In these conditions, Honduras was forced to return to the ritual of the polls. The dictator, believing that his victims were defeated, tried to re-elect himself in the polls claiming to be ‘s anointed by God to continue governing Honduras for Christ. “
But, the resistance was not dead. It returned to him to ashes and defeated the dictatorship of fear, the dictatorship of the media and the divine dictatorship in which the oligarchy enrolled even the Cardinal, bishops, priests, pastors and apostles, says Itzamna.
At the end of this article, and without knowing the final pronouncement of the TSE, everything seemed to indicate a new confrontation between the oligarchy at the service of US imperialism and the mocked people. It could now be more violent and bloody than in 2009, if the poor don’t win electoral vengeance.
November 30, 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
La prestidigitación de los gobiernos burgueses patrocinados por Estados Unidos no tiene límites. Unas pocas horas bastaron para que el candidato a la reelección presidencial en Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández (JOA), convirtiera, una diferencia del 5% de los votos computados a favor de su contrario, Salvador Nasralla, en una ventaja suya que lo proclamaría Presidente reelecto.
JOA se había mantenido en campaña electoral durante todo su gobierno. Al tiempo que encerraba, desterraba o enterraba a sus adversarios, regalaba pelotas, casitas de cartón, bolsitas de frijoles rotulados con su fotografía y el logo de su partido y otros regalitos sacramentados y “bendecidos con la sangre de Cristo”. Distribuyó incluso 50 Lempiras (equivalente a 2.5 dólares) a todos los empobrecidos electores.
Deprimente fue la sorpresa para él y su cohorte cuando, al término de la votación del 26 de noviembre el Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) anunció que el candidato de la Alianza Libre-PINU, Salvador Nasralla, le aventajaba por 5 puntos.
Algunos minutos más tarde, el TSE suspendió el conteo por “problemas técnicos del sistema” y poco después dio a conocer que, en un nuevo cálculo, JOA iba delante de Nasralla por 1 punto.
Enseguida estallaron las protestas populares. Los hondureños no podían aceptar plácidamente el monstruoso fraude, que venía a colmar la copa de la humillación que infringió a la nación el golpe de estado que defenestró al Presidente Manuel Zelaya en 2009.
Ollantay Itzamná, nómada quechua, hijo de la Pachamama, activista y defensor reflexivo de los derechos humanos y de la Madre Tierra, formado también como abogado, antropólogo y teólogo en la ciencia occidental, ha narrado, como brillante periodista que es, una comprensible síntesis de los antecedentes históricos del fenómeno que está teniendo lugar en Honduras.
“El Estado de Honduras, en sus casi 200 años, estuvo controlado y gobernado por una élite de terratenientes y comerciantes auto titulados conservadores y liberales. urante los primeros 100 años, los dirigentes de Honduras eran colocados por medio de bayonetas y escopetas. A principios del siglo XX, los conservadores, para hacer aparecer democrática a la pantomima, crearon el denominado partido Liberal y, a partir de ello, Honduras vivió todo un siglo bajo el bipartidismo Nacional-Liberal.
Con el golpe de Estado político-militar de 2009, los ricos en el poder aceleraron su propia desestabilización política y, de hecho, el surgimiento del movimiento social que significó el Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP) que exigía la restitución en el poder del depuesto Presidente Manuel Zelaya y proponía cambios estructurales profundos en la Honduras empobrecida y enajenada.
A partir del 2012, el FNRP dio origen al actual partido político Libertad y Refundación Libre, conformado en su mayoría por políticos ex liberales, que en su primera participación en comicios, ocupó el segundo lugar en las elecciones generales del 2013, con 37 diputados de los 128 que integran el Congreso de la República.
Pero el gobierno de JOA, coautor del golpe de Estado, tenía el control de los poderes legislativo y judicial, y les hizo la vida política casi imposible. No sólo les excluyó de comisiones parlamentarias, sino que les impidió sistemáticamente sus iniciativas legislativas.
Después del golpe de 2009, Honduras vivió una sistemática dictadura “democrática”, donde la ilegalidad, la corrupción y disolución de los derechos fueron constantemente promovidas.
La ilegalidad de la dictadura de JOA alcanzó su máxima expresión cuando en contra de lo dispuesto por la Constitución Política del país, se autoproclamó candidato presidencial buscando su reelección, bajo el lema: “La vida mejor para Honduras no puede parar”. Algo inverisímil en un país que conquistó la marca mundial de “país sin guerra más violento del mundo”, y donde el nivel de pobreza empeoró más del 10% tras el golpe de Estado de 2009.
Disentir o difundir un pensamiento crítico se ha castigado con duras penas y el irrespeto a los derechos humanos cobró visos dantescos con las masacres y asesinatos selectivos, con el caso del homicidio de Berta Cáceres como el más repudiado mundialmente.
“En estas condiciones, la hondureñidad fue obligada a volver al ritual de las urnas. El dictador, creyendo que sus víctimas estaban vencidas, intentó reelegirse en las urnas alegando ser el ungido del Dios para seguir gobernando en Honduras para Cristo”.
Pero, la resistencia no estaba muerta. Volvió sobre sus cenizas y derrotó a la dictadura del miedo, la dictadura de los medios de prensa y la dictadura divina en la que la oligarquía enroló hasta al Cardenal, obispos, curas, pastores y apósteles, señala Itzamná.
Al cierre de este artículo sin conocer el pronunciamiento final del TSE, todo parecía indicar un nuevo enfrentamiento entre la oligarquía al servicio del imperialismo estadounidense y el pueblo burlado, que pudiera ser ahora más violento y cruento que en 2009, si se desconoce esta venganza electoral de los pobres.
Noviembre 30 de 2017.
By David Brooks, US correspondent for Mexico’s LA JORNADA daily
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Faced with the increasingly obscene and dangerous political landscape in this country, we hear responses that are moving from the simple no to Trump and his agenda, to something that could generate a progressive change in this country.
The most recent state and local elections in various parts of the country held on November 7 were what some expected, wished, prayed for … that is, a first warning of what could be a wave of repudiation and even progressive change through the the polls in the intermediate elections (federal legislative and several governorships) in 2018 and through new, or renewed, decentralized but allied social movements.
Not only did the Democrats sweep away Republicans in states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and others, but many of the electoral winners were not only Democrats but progressives, and in many cases these victories had a tinge of divine vengeance.
For example, Lee Carter, a marine veteran of the Iraq war, who identified himself as a democratic socialist, defeated a Republican to take his place in the lower house of Virginia, and celebrated that night by inviting everyone to sing Solidarity Forever, the hymn of trade union movement.
Also winning a seat in that same chamber wasa Danica Roem, defeating a Republican who had promoted anti-transgender measures and who had declared himself the main anti-homosexual in the state; She is now the first transgender state legislator in the country. Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala became the first Latinas to become state legislators in Virginia’s history.
In Hoboken, New Jersey, the new mayor is Ravinder Bhalla, a Sikh lawyer, who declared: I am everything Trump hates: a dark man in a turban, and a proud American with the knowledge to stop his assault on the values of our country. . In Helena, Montana, the progressive Wilmot Collins is not only the first African-American to be mayor in the history of the state, but is a refugee from Liberia who won against the Republican mayor who opposed to the entry of refugees to this country.
In Philadelphia, perhaps the most radical district attorney in the country, Larry Krasner, civil rights lawyer, fierce critic of the massive incarceration in this country and who has represented Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street activists was elected. In the Atlantic County commissioner race in New Jersey, Ashley Bennett defeated the Republican in that position; She decided to challenge him at the polls after he via Facebook if they would return home in time to cook their. dinners.
Braxton Winston, who won a seat in the city council of Charlotte, North Carolina, is an activist whose image went viral: his fist held high in front of a battalion of riot police before being arrested in a demonstration against the death of an African-American at the hands of police. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the next mayor will be progressive Tim Keller, who replaces the outgoing conservative Republican.
The progressive triumphs were remarkable, as they offered more evidence of a growing sector within the Democratic Party outside the centrist leadership. Electoral organizations such as the Working Families Party and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) together with the growing diaspora of the support movement for the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders (still the most popular national politician in the polls), Our Revolution and new networks as Indivisible, they were key to generating these triumphs.
But it was also the result of new alliances between social groups, especially immigrant organizations that promoted candidates who directly faced the xenophobic policies of pro-Trump Republicans and other civil rights defense organizations such as Black Lives Matter, along with organizations defending the rights of women and environmentalists.
What happened in the November elections with hundreds of progressive local and state candidates is the beginning of a wave (…) a massive repudiation of Donald Trump, said Joe Dinkin of the Working Families Party. Independent experts, such as the influential Cook Political Report, indicate that the polls, for now, indicate that a political wave in favor of the Democrats is being glimpsed in 2018, implying that they could retake control of one, and even both houses of Congress.
The wide range of active resistance against Trump is showing its potential to go beyond being just opposition to the populist and at the same time plutocratic right-wing agenda and pushing forward a progressive agenda both at the polls and in the social sphere, where some claim it is growing a movement of many movements, varied and decentralized, as described by LA Kaufman in The Guardian. He argues that, in addition to established progressive organizations that have seen their membership grow (as in the case of Working Families and DSA), an impressive number of local grassroots groups have flourished -but at the same time, adding to national networks as Indivisible- that as a whole are six times bigger than the Tea Party (the most influential rightwing current within the Republican Party).
And not everything is manifested or has an end in the electoral field, with these movements -inmigrants, indigenous people, anti-war military veterans, defenders of freedoms and civil rights, environmentalists, professional athletes, artists, students, workers’ organizations and trade unions- fighting in several fronts, but with more and more solidarity among them, which makes them very dangerous for the guardians of power.
The “no” that defined the initial resistance to the seizure of power by Trump and his allies is now seeking to invent, to invite, to a yes.
(Taken from La Jornada )
My Last Farewell to Armando Hart
By Manuel E. Yepe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Tonight I will go to the Marti Studies Center of Cuba to give my last farewell to revolutionary combatant Armando Hart Dávalos, who died in Havana of a heart attack.
To say Armando Hart in Cuba is to invoke some of the most transcendental works of Fidel Castro’s revolution. Especially in the fields of education, culture, journalism and politics. Before meeting Armando Hart, I had had very casual relationships in the insurrectional camp with his brother Enrique Hart, whom I admired a lot but worked with very little, because although we both were active in the same revolutionary organization, the 26th of July Movement, my level in its hierarchy was far from from that which Enriquito and Armando had reached.
During my six years as Cuban Ambassador in Romania from 1962 to 1968, I used to do what I jokingly called “courtesy visits” to several colleagues with whom I had developed friendly relations at the time of the insurrectional struggle against the Batista dictatorship. which I consolidated during the period from 1959 to 1961 when I worked as “Introducer of Ambassadors”, a position that is also called Director of Protocol, in the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, then headed by the Chancellor of Dignity, Raúl Roa.
One of those habitual friends contacted during my always short vacation in Cuba was the young Armando Hart, at that time Minister of Education, with whom I exchanged my new diplomatic experiences, with his as minister and political leader.
Each annual meeting with Hart was for me a master class that left me better prepared to contribute to the revolutionary cause in my country while I felt that the experiences in international politics that Armando narrated were also well received.
When I finished my mission as an ambassador in Bucharest and introduced myself to Roa, the foreign minister informed me that, by indication, President Osvaldo Dorticos would go to work in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) with Armando Hart, who was then the Organization Secratary of the PCC. From then on, I served as head of the (unipersonal) section of international information of the Cuban party organization in a function that basically meant serving as Party spokesperson in permanent exchange with those responsible for international information of accredited national or foreign press organs.in Cuba.
For me, this was great news. It allowed me to continue for a few more years developing my intellect, which is the main benefit received by those who have had the honor to work as collaborators with Armando Hart.
A short time later, at Hart´s suggestion, I was selected Director General of the Prensa Latina news agency. There I maintained close working and friendship relations with this extraordinary Cuban revolutionary intellectual whose footprint will remain indelible in the history of the country.
In recent years I have shared with Dr. Armando Hart the role of collaborator with newspapers PORESTO! and a strong friendship with its General Director Mario Menéndez Rodríguez.
November 26, 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
MI ÚLTIMO ADIÓS A ARMANDO HART Por Manuel E. Yepe
Esta noche acudiré al Centro de Estudios Martianos de Cuba a dar mi último adiós al combatiente revolucionario Armando Hart Dávalos, fallecido en La Habana a causa de una crisis cardiaca.
Decir Armando Hart en Cuba es invocar algunas de las obras más trascendentales de la revolución de Fidel Castro. En especial en los terrenos de la educación, la cultura, el periodismo y la política. Antes de conocer a Armando Hart, había tenido relaciones muy eventuales en el campo insurreccional con su hermano Enrique Hart, a quien admiré mucho pero traté poco, porque aunque militábamos en la misma organización revolucionaria, el Movimiento 26 de Julio, mi nivel jerárquico distaba mucho del que habían alcanzado Enriquito y Armando.
Durante los seis años que me desempeñe como Embajador de Cuba en Rumanía 1962 al 1968, acostumbraba a realizar lo que yo llamaba jocosamente “visitas de cortesía” a varios compañeros con quienes había desarrollado relaciones de amistad en la época de la lucha insurreccional contra la dictadura batistiana, que consolidé durante el período de 1959 al 1961 cuando trabajé como “Introductor de Embajadores”, cargo que también se identifica como Director de Protocolo, en el Ministerio cubano de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba, entonces encabezado por el canciller de la dignidad, Raúl Roa.
Uno de esos habituales amigos contactados durante mis siempre breves vacaciones en Cuba era el joven Armando Hart, a la sazón Ministro de Educación, con quien intercambiaba mis nuevas experiencias diplomáticas, con las suyas como ministro y dirigente político.
Cada encuentro anual con Hart era para mí una clase magistral que me dejaba mejor preparado para aportar a la causa revolucionaria en mi país mientras sentía que las experiencias en política internacional que narraba a Armando también eran bien recibidas.
Cuando terminé mi misión como embajador en Bucarest y me presenté ante Roa, el canciller me informó que por indicación el Presidente Osvaldo Dorticós yo pasaría a trabajar en el Comité Central el Partido Comunista de Cuba con Armando Hart, quien era entonces el Secretario de Organización de esa colectividad. Serví a partir de entonces como jefe de la sección (unipersonal) de información internacional de la organización partidista cubana en una función que básicamente constituía servir de vocero del Partido en intercambio permanente con los responsables de información internacional de los órganos de prensa nacionales o extranjeros acreditados en Cuba.
Ello constituyó, para mí, una gran noticia que me permitió continuar algunos años más desarrollando mi intelecto, que es el beneficio principal que reciben quienes han tenido el honor e trabajar como colaboradores de Armando Hart.
Poco tiempo después, a propuesta de Hart, fui seleccionado Director General de la agencia de noticias Prensa Latina en cuyo desempeño mantuve estrechas relaciones de trabajo y amistad con este extraordinario intelectual revolucionario cubano cuya huella permanecerá indeleble en la historia de la patria.
En los años más recientes he compartido con el doctor Armando Hart la función de colaborador con los periódicos PORESTO! y una fuerte amistad con su Director General Mario Menéndez Rodríguez.
Noviembre 26 de 2017.
Last October, when The New Yorker magazine and The New York Times brought to light allegations by several women who claimed to have been sexually harassed by the producer, the Hollywood panorama shuddered.
By Luis Autié Cantón
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Harvey Weinstein has a crazy look about him and an ogre’s face. If we framed his face in a “Wanted” poster, typical of 1920s America, nobody would question his links to the Mob. Until only a month ago, from his perch at the top of the Weinstein Company, his opinion could elevate or bury the career of anyone who throws himself into the choppy sea that the world of cinema is. Like the ancient Roman emperors. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Pollice verse or pollice convert. Success. Failure. Imperator Harvey. But Weinstein is, first of all, a predator, a womanizer.
Last October, when the New Yorker magazine and the New York Times brought to light the complaints of several women who claimed to have been sexually harassed by the producer, the Hollywood scene shuddered. The strangest thing of all is to see how the investigation of the case provides evidence that, apparently, Weinstein’s “odd habits” were not recent or new whims. Reports indicate that, since 1980, he had his way with actresses, almost always, on the rise in their careers. Or he tried, at least.
Hollywood is a complex ecosystem of relationships, handshakes, winks, smiles, favors and pats on the back. And the insolence of Harvey Weinstein shows that, in addition to the rottenness and moral pustules that are now visible, collusion is rampant in that great cinematographic industry.
Nobody paid any attention when, in 2013, in front of the audience gathered at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, actor Seth MacFarlane joked while announcing the candidates for the Best Supporting Actress award. MacFarlane, after pronouncing the names of the lucky ones, said something that, although it raised a laugh in the audience at the time, today it produces a bitter sensation of guilt and regret: “Congratulations to you five, for you won’t have to pretend that you feel attracted to Weinstein any more». Spooky.
Italian actress and director Asia Argento made public, on her personal Twitter account, a list that includes herself along with 81 other women who were victims of harassment and sexual abuse by perhaps the most influential producer in what is considered the Mecca of cinema.
Among the most recognized names are Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Cara Delevigne, Kate Beckingsdale, Angelina Jolie, Heather Graham, Lupita Nyongo and Lena Headey. The latter enjoys a notable reputation today, thanks to her role as Cersei Lannister in the famous television series Game of Thrones.
This sinister vox populi reveals a deplorable connivance as it is induced by fear. The fact is that, in a high percentage of the women involved, fear of failing professionally if they denounced the producer prevailed over the determination to put an end to such annoyance at the time.
Weinstein was born in Queens, New York, in the winter of 1952, within a Jewish family. Since 1970, he leaned toward film sets more as a business than for artistic reasons, when he produced a series of rock concerts in Buffalo. With the money raised, he founded, together with his brother Bob, a small film distribution company that they called Miramax. The name comes from the union of Miriam and Max, their parents. And so, with their new company, the brothers continued along the line of making films about concerts. Eventually, in 1980, they adapted a British film to fit the tastes of the American public. The result? The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball, the company’s first great success.
During the rest of that decade, Harvey and Bob kept reaping fame in the cinema world until 1989, when director Steven Soderberg’s award-winning film Sex, lies and Videotape turned Miramax, overnight, into the main independent producer in the United States.
In 1996, Miramax won its first Oscar with The English Patient, a prize that consolidated his fame, later increased with titles like Shakespeare in Love or Good Will Hunting.
Almost ten years later, in 2005, the brothers left Miramax to found the Weinstein Company, along with Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodríguez and Colin Vaines. From The Weinstein Company, Harvey’s own company, he was fired by his own brother Bob, after the scandals. It’s like that. Thumbs up. Thumbs down.
It was then that Harvey tried to cling to his boat to ride out the swell, but the water was already up to his neck. Through his spokeswoman, he has tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to ease the tension, but no one is likely to believe his words. “(…) The way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it”, he said. But what would have happened if his predatory adventures had never been disclosed?
Around those days, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Hollywood held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the producer’s future. Logic prevailed: Harvey Weinstein is no longer a member of the famous cinema institution, at least in the United States.
But there is still some doubt: how far can the moral cover-ups go within Hollywood? Harvey’s is by no means an isolated, ephemeral case. Let us bear in mind that two stars of the cinema firmament like Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby were also in the eye of the storm for similar behavior. Even more recently, House of Cards star Kevin Spacey fell from grace following a pedophilia scandal.
In view of these facts, and knowing the conduct inside that industry, it is very probable that Weinstein’s sexual setback will become a ghastly box-office hit. It has all the sleazy ingredients of Hollywood’s formula for success. And the theaters will be full. Do not doubt it.
In the print edition the day this article appeard on page 6, it was referenced on the front page with a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow.
NOTE FROM FLUENT SPANISH-SPEAKING
CUBAN TRANSLATOR i CONSULTED:
|Now, regarding the expression: I had never heard of it, so I went to Wikipedia and found this:
Pollice verso or verso pollice is a Latin phrase, meaning “with a turned thumb”, that is used in the context of gladiatorial combat. It refers to the hand gesture or thumbs signal used by Ancient Roman crowds to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator.
But what I consider an extremely interesting thing about it is, and I quote:
Homeland or Death,
Also this week I made a run out to my favorite CD and DVD bootlegger, Roly, whose kiosk is just north of 23rd and 12th. The laws of the market helped this customer. Last year he was charging 1.50 CUC per disc. Now the price is down to 1.00 CUC each. I´m not sure when I´ll get around to watching these, probably not while here, but for a mere 9.00 CUC I´m now the owner of these movies:
THE FOUNDER with Micheal Keaton
LOOKING FOR FIDEL by Oliver Stone
COMANDANTE by Oliver Stone
INCONCEIVABLE ith Gina Gerson, Faye Dunaway and Nicholas Cage
ROUGHT NIGHT with Scarlett Johansson
LION staring Dev Padel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman
WONDER WOMAN with Gal Gadot
VESTIDO DE NOVIA by Marilyn Solaya
SOLO EN BERLIN with Emma Thompson, Brendon Gleeson and Daniel Bruhl
November 15, 2017, 6:35 PM
Some Very Preliminary First Re-Impressions.
by Walter Lippmann
Though I really want to share with you some of my many first impressions on arriving back in Cuba after nearly a year away, this Internet office (Sala de Navegacion as they’re called), will close in a half hour, so a fuller report simply isn’t practical today. Hope to get something fuller out tomorrow. Still…
There were only 55 passengers on the 160 seat Alaska Airlines plan which flew direct from Los Angeles to Havana yesterday. The crew loved it. Probably the company isn’t thrilled because they must be losing money. On the other hand, they made a commitment to provide this service, and probably signed a contract, so I say, “good for them” for keeping up the service.
Today I’ve visited with several friends, begun to deliver medicines and various other things which I brought for them. There are a few more to be delivered, and that will get done.
Spent a lot of time today walking the streets, sucking up first impressions (mostly quite positive), which I’ll try to detail tomorrow.
Am working in a very nice new Internet office. TWENTY machines, flat-panel screens. Quiet place, good for work. No blackouts. Friendly staff. People coming in and out during gmy time here. I’ve been working for about 2.5 hours and will stay a bit longer.
The city is about as clean and as dirty as it always is. There are more new small restaurants. Some which were here last year have gone out of business already. Others (A wonderful restaurant called Doña Laura, on H between 23rd and 21st in Vedado) are expanding their services.
You can get a FULL MEAL at Doña Laura for 30-40 pesos (1.25-1.50 CUC!), served on porcelain plates with metal knives and forks, a wonderful bargain and good food (imagine, a glass of mango juice for 5 pesos, a glass of guava juice for 3 pesos (twelve US pennies!).
Now, if you want to feed a minimum of FIFTEEN people, they will deliver a complete meal to your home, including a pig leg, for $80.00 CUC. I’m not sure where I could host such a party, but you can see things are moving right along here. I’ll write a longer report, maybe post a picture at some point.
There’s so much to say, but rushed work is guaranteed to be sloppy, so that is all for today. Been delivering presents to friends and dealing with a few bureaucratic tasks. Hopefully, more will be possible tomorrow. There’s a LOT to report.
By: Juan Pablo Carreras
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
With the presence of researchers, specialists and defenders of body-art, the second edition of the Tatuarte body art project was developed. It was held at the House of the Young Creator of the Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS), in the city of Holguín.
Gilberto González Carcacés (Yiki), founder and organizer of the event, said that this edition was attended by plastic artists, young creators and more than a dozen developers of this art in the country.
He said one of the distinctive features of the gathering is seen in the stimulation of the tattooed crutch, a technique that has disappeared today. It goes back to the origins of this artistic manifestation, consisting of a stick and two needles to achieve the desired drawing by hand.
The defense of the aesthetic and artistic values of the tattooed as a mode of expression within the plastic arts. This was the main objective of the discussions after the presentation in theoretical workshops of presentations on the ritualistic tattoo and the policies of the written body, by Vladimir Hechavarría and Danilo Guerrero, respectively.
Yudith Figueredo Domínguez, a young assistant, who offered the possibility of being tattooed at no cost, saod that the approach to this practice means assuming in the body a manifestation of the art that one will carry for life.
At the same time, Enrique Hernández Castellón, an artist from the province of Matanzas, said he was pleased by the reception of the AHS in the territory. He commented on the rise of this culture in Cuba which is experiencing an advance along with technological development, because every day better equipment, inks, and all kinds of materials become available.
During the closing day, a children’s workshop for screen printing and recycled paper was developed’ This theoretical event on muleta tattooing, in addition to the jam session by of the troubadours Raulito Prieto, Manuel Leandro and Leiner Verdecia.
The tattoo in the Cuban society of the 21st century still has as many detractors as followers and, although its origins go back to the emergence of the main civilizations, it is still subject to taboos and prejudices.
November 13, 2017
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
For a long time, Colin Kaepernick became a true symbol in the United States against the racial violence that the policemen inflict on black people, and that has led to murders.
The American football player’s stand cost him his career in the NFL, since he remains without a team and he himself denounces the fact that he is being made the victim of a “conspiracy” by the competition.
In spite of this, the icon does not abandon his struggle, and has obtained the recognition of being named “man of the year” by GQ magazine.
Attacked directly by Donald Trump, and seconded by almost all of his NFL teammates who popularized the gesture of kneeling while the US national anthem was played, Kaepernick is already almost a martyr of the racial struggle.
The ex-Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers will express with words his fight in a book. And presumably that, his word, is the most valuable and complicated thing to obtain from him.
Good proof is that he has even preferred not to give an interview to GQ for that report in which he is named “man of the year”, although at least he has had the deference of posing in various photos through the streets of Harlem, in New York.
The magazine announced that Kaepernick will be featured on its cover and will be honored as “man of the year”, highlighting his social and racial struggle and his already legendary gesture of August 27, 2016, when he refused to listen standing to the United States national anthem.
Hundreds of women and men came out on short notice today to protest sexual abuse and rape. Called by local organizations and a group of female farmworkers, an estimated 500 people assembled in the heart of the Hollywood tourist district. They marched to the headquarters of CNN where a militant rally was held, then marched back to the starting point.
The crowd was lively, well-organized and very spirited. Local feminist and activist groups, as well as a leadership group of female farmworkers who drove 100 miles from Ventura county, made forceful statements, including speaking from personal experience. Speakers included figures in the Hollywood entertainment industry as well as local activists. The farmworkers carried signs in Spanish, and their leader spoke, in Spanish, to the assembled protesters. The event was very diverse ethnically.
One particularly striking aspect was that most of the signs were hand-made.
Police were present and well-mannered. Lots of media people were the and reports went out in the LA TIMES, LA OPINION (Los Angeles’ main Spanish-language daily) very quickly. I’ve been going to demonstrations since 1961, and except for that first march, this was the first time I have EVER been to a protest where I did not know one single individual.
Here are a series of photos I took at the demonstration.