By: Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The Trump administration, at the head of the United States government, has just included Cuba on three new lists.
That is part of the policy change, which Trump announced when he met in the city of Miami, with a group of “rank Batistianos, annexationists and terrorists” as our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, described them in his recent speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations.
One of the lists, from the State Department, refers to different Cuban entities with which the US citizens will not be able to carry out financial transactions. This list is headed by the MINISTRY OF THE ARMED FORCES, THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR, THE POLICE AND OTHERS ORGANS OF STATE SECURITY. They also include a series of hotels and other entities that supposedly belong to the security forces of the Cuban government.
This measure has been shaped by the main interest of trying to affect the trips of US citizens to Cuba. But what it establishes is unconstitutional, within the so-called freedoms that American citizens have proclaimed, as well as being irrational.
For example, if a US citizen commits a traffic infraction, he has to pay a fine to the police, in doing so he is violating a regulation of the US government and could be incriminated for this.
It is irrational and ridiculous to include in the ban two brands of soft drinks made in Cuba. The so-called “individual freedoms” of the American are torn up again when the government regulates them up to the brand of soda pop that can be drunk.
To continue issuing regulations, the Trump administration will establish the type of toilet paper that Americans should use in Cuba. It is possible that even THAT will have to be regulated for people from the US. That is the so-called “democracy”, and a sample of the “freedom” that prevails in capitalist society.
The other lists, also regulating what the US citizen can do or not do, have the same goal, try to affect the relations between the Cuban people and the American people, the contacts that are established between visitor and visited, in order, to the greatest extent possible, to avoid these contacts.
In general, people from the US who have traveled to Cuba are kind, respectful and interested in knowing the truth of what is happening on the Island. That is the danger that the enemies of our country are considering.
Those who return from Cuba, speak with honesty of our people, of the advances of the revolution and of the situation in which we live, which is always much better than the image disclosed by the enemies and the Miami mafia.
What kind of regime is Trump creating?
It is not only trying to reverse the progress in relations with Cuba that was achieved during the Obama administration. The violations of the US Constitution and to the liberties proclaimed in that same document, are directed at creating a repressive, discriminatory, terror regime, comparable to the existing one at the time of peak of the McCarthyism.
Perhaps that is the true meaning of his motto “Make America great again”.
By Néstor García Iturbe
Translated and Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Some compañeros from other countries have written to me worried about Hurricane Irma and its consequences. That is why I make this brief chronicle. It would be unnecessary for those who live in Cuba and surely they would have much to contribute from their personal experiences.
AFTER PREPARATION TO RECEIVE IRMA AND ITS ARRIVAL IN CUBA, THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THAT ALL LIFE HAS BEEN ALTERED.
This hurricane crossed several provinces of the country along the north coast, destroying a good part of our tourist facilities and beaches, in addition to seriously affecting many cities.
The size of the hurricane was such that when it passed through a place it affected an area of more than three hundred kilometers. The closest to the eye of the hurricane with winds of about 250 kilometers per hour, in addition to the rains, those that were far from the center of the hurricane were also affected by winds of 80 kilometers in some cases and 150 in others (approximately).
Virtually the entire country ran out of electricity, with heavy flooding, disrupted roads, telephones. The news could be heard on the radio, the one with a portable radio, because although the television was on the air, no one could receive the signal because of the lack of electricity.
Although Civil Defense properly and timely warned about the dangers and the need to be safe, people were placed at safe locations to shelter, accidents occurred that cost the lives of ten Cubans.
Losses were also suffered in agriculture, industries, housing, schools, hospitals and others.
For those who have visited Cuba and have been in Havana, I can tell you that the water the sea advanced about 800 to 900 meters from the coast, above the seawall, in some places reached the height of 1.5 meters (as in the neighborhood where alive). You can understand that it destroys mobile homes, electrical equipment, shops, streets. trees, cars, electric and telephone lines, flooding of tunnels, garages and everything that is usually the basement of a building, where people often live.
After the hurricane, work began on the restoration of normality, and although much of the services (water, electricity, gas, telephone, television, radio) have yet to be restored, they have been reestablished in almost all of the country. On Monday the school year should be restarted at all levels, people who had problems with their home will continue in shelters, but work is underway on many of these, as well as factories and power plants. Most of the streets are passable and almost all the trees that were demolished were eliminated.
We still have some work to do, we have solved a good part but there are always issues that we must resolve to bring the country and its citizens back to the situation in which they were before Irene.
We are grateful for the solidarity shown by many people who are friends of Cuba, the help that is coming to us from some countries and above all we are grateful to have so many friends, like you, who care about us.
Many hurricanes would have to pass so that the Revolution would not go ahead. A hurricane affects us, but it does not stop us.S
Thank you all,
By Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
February 20, 2016
A CubaNews translation
Edited by Walter Lippmann
Many “skilled in the art” say that in the days remaining before the Nobel Peace Prize President visits Cuba, the US government will probably make some gestures towards our country to “sweeten” the environment so that when he arrives there is a favorable climate for his welcome.
I don’t figure the welcoming will be in the style of the film Bienvenido Mr Marshall [Welcome Mr. Marshall]: everyone with American flags, lots of people standing in the sidewalks all the way from the airport to the place where he will be staying, bands playing the Marines anthem as the entourage goes by. Good is enough, but not too much.
Apparently the US government has also thought of the gestures to “sweeten the welcoming”.
On February 18, the USAID (US Agency for International Development) –whose actions have nothing to do with international development, but with political subversion and interference in the internal affairs of other countries– extended to February 29, the deadline for submissions by organizations interested in Cuba of projects for providing “humanitarian assistance to political prisoners and their families as well as individuals and groups that have been politically marginalized.” The initial deadline was February 15.
For each of these, projects these organizations can request from $500,000 to $2,000,000 dollars. As can be seen, the sum is not negligible, especially if the project submitted gets $2 million.
USAID warned that the organization whose project is approved should not send US citizens to Cuba for project implementation, because these would be detected more easily.
So, if USAID makes that warning, and fears that those who come are detected, it is because the nature of the project is totally illegal and contrary to the established laws in Cuba. This type of project instead of “sweetening” the environment, adds the sour taste of interference in the internal affairs of our country. And this will happen only a few days before Obama arrives in Havana.
Some persons interested in this type of activity, but who have no interest in residing in Cuban jails, have asked questions to USAID about this project of the US government.
The clarifications provided by the USAID, are the following:
–This program operates under the jurisdiction and authority of US law. (It has no acceptance on the part of the Cuban government.)
– The program is secret and exceptions to this are individually considered. However, at the moment USAID is not requesting any exception for this program in accordance with DATA ACT or Memorandum OMB M-15-12-related to US government expenditures.
– Humanitarian aid to political prisoners and politically marginalized individuals and their families is the priority of this program. We cannot offer a methodology on how such aid should reach its beneficiaries.
From this it is clear that the actions of the US government to interfere in our internal affairs are maintained.
That from the money given by US American taxpayers so their government can work, funds are taken to “pay their agents in Cuba”.
That according to US government criteria, in Cuba there are “political prisoners” and politically marginalized people” who should be helped in their fight against the Cuban Revolution.
Surely when Obama comes to Cuba he will hold a meeting with the “politically marginalized” to assure them that their salaries are safe and they should continue to perform the activities that are indicated. In any case, if they go to prison, they will become “political prisoners” and will continue to receive their salary which, from that moment on considering they are in jail, will have a ten percent increase.
CUBA.- EU.- ACCIONES DE OBAMA PREVIAS A LA VISITA.
Por Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
20 de febrero 2016.
Muchos “entendidos en la materia” plantean, que en los días que nos quedan para que El Premio Nobel de la Paz llegue a Cuba, seguramente el gobierno estadounidense hará algunos gestos hacia nuestra patria que “endulcen” el ambiente y que cuando se realice el recibimiento exista un clima favorable para dicha actividad.
No me imagino que el recibimiento sea al estilo de la película “Bienvenido Mr. Marshall” todo el mundo con banderitas estadounidenses, haciendo una larga fila de personas desde el aeropuerto hasta el lugar donde va a residir y con bandas de música tocando el himno de la Infantería de Marina en la medida que pasa la caravana. Bueno es lo bueno, pero no lo demasiado.
Al parecer el gobierno estadounidense también ha pensado en los gestos que debe hacer para “endulzar el recibimiento”.
El día 18 de febrero la USAID (Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional), cuyas acciones nada tienen que ver con el desarrollo internacional, sino con la subversión política y la injerencia en los asuntos internos de otros países, ha extendido hasta el 29 de febrero el plazo para presentar proyectos de organizaciones interesadas en suministrar en Cuba “asistencia humanitaria a prisioneros políticos y sus familias, además de a personas y grupos que políticamente han sido marginados”. El plazo inicial vencía el 15 de febrero.
Para cada uno de estos proyectos estas organizaciones pueden solicitar entre 500,000 hasta 2 millones de dólares. Cómo puede notarse, la suma no es despreciable, sobre todo si el proyecto presentado alcanza los 2 millones de dólares.
La USAID advierte, que la organización cuyo proyecto sea aprobado, no debe enviar a Cuba ciudadanos estadounidenses para la ejecución del proyecto, porque estos serían detectados más fácilmente.
Muy bien, si la USAID realiza esa advertencia y teme que los que vengan sean detectados, entonces es porque la naturaleza del proyecto es totalmente ilegal y contraria a las leyes establecidas en Cuba, por lo que este tipo de proyecto en vez de “endulzar” el ambiente, le agrega el agrio sabor de la injerencia en los asuntos internos de nuestro país. Todo eso unos días antes de que Obama llegue a la Habana.
Algunos interesados en este tipo de actividad, pero que no tienen interés alguno en residir en la cárceles cubanas han realizado preguntas a la USAID en relación con este proyecto del gobierno estadounidense.
Las aclaraciones ofrecidas por la USAID, son las siguiente:
-Este programa opera bajo la jurisdicción y autoridad de las leyes de Estados Unidos. ( No tiene aceptación alguna por parte del gobierno de Cuba.)
– El Programa es secreto y las excepciones a esto se consideraran individualmente. De todas formas en estos momentos la USAID no está solicitando excepción alguna para este programa de acuerdo con el DATA ACT o el memorándum OMB M-15-12 relacionado con los gastos del gobierno de Estados Unidos.-La ayuda humanitaria a prisioneros políticos y personas individuales políticamente marginadas y sus familias, es la prioridad de este programa. No podemos ofrecer metodología alguna sobre la forma en que dicha ayuda debe llegar a los interesados.
De todo eso se desprende, que las acciones del gobierno de Estados Unidos para interferir en nuestros asuntos internos se mantienen.
Que del dinero que entregan los contribuyentes estadounidenses para que su gobierno funcione se toman fondos destinados a “pagar a sus agentes en Cuba”.
Que según el criterio del gobierno de Estados Unidos, existen en Cuba “prisioneros políticos” y personas políticamente marginadas” a las cuales deben ayudar en su lucha contra la Revolución Cubana.
Seguramente, Obama, cuando venga a Cuba, sostendrá una reunión con los “políticamente marginados” para asegurarles que sus salarios están seguros y que deben continuar realizando las actividades que se les orientan. En todo caso, si van a prisión, se convierten en “prisioneros políticos” y seguirán recibiendo su salario, a partir de ese momento, con un diez por ciento de aumento, por estar en la cárcel.