That optimism was not clouded when, also on the morning of the 26th, I knew that a part of me – the writer – had entered the blacklist with which the President of the United States intends to drown us and force us to be a neo-colony – or perhaps one more star of the flag – of his country.
by Pedro de la Hoz | email@example.com
July 27, 2019 01:07:40
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The morning of July 26th confirmed my optimism. To see and feel the people from Granma province [granmenses], in the name of many and in my name, honoring the legacy of the heroes of the Moncada; I could feel, in plain sight and with the heart ahead, the line of continuity between the revolutionary historical generation and the current one; knowing that poetry goes beyond words to settle in the most endearing place of collective memory. This happened when our President referred to the words of Miguel Barnet and Roberto Fernández Retamar, made me think about how much I can, can, deliver to be really better.
That optimism was not clouded when, also on the morning of the 26th, I knew that a part of me – the writer – had entered the blacklist with which the President of the United States intends to drown us and force us to be a neo-colony – or perhaps one more star on the flag – of his country.
As an author, I have signed contracts and published with the Captain San Luis publishing house. Now it turns out that this publisher, together with Verde Olivo [Olive Green, the magazine of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces] and two more hotels, were added to the list of Cuban entities with which US citizens are prohibited from having financial transactions.
In the case of n publisher, the ban indicates that there is no possibility that a similar American institution negotiates with it the publication of any work in its catalog, nor that a distributor or bookstore in that territory acquires or markets books published in Cuba from the houses mentioned, nor that a US citizen – not the very few who come to the Island in the midst of so many delusional restrictions, but those who visit the book fairs in the world and come up with them at a Cuban kiosk or another country to buy a volume from Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo – is suspected of having acquired publications from entities newly included i\on the Index.
I use this last term because it is obvious the kinship of the measure with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum et Derogatorum (commonly named by the first word) of the Holy Inquisition, in force from 1612 to 1819.
My editor, Julio Cubría, described the situation quite clearly: «The government of President Donald Trump has just included the publishing houses Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo in the list of entities restricted to the people of the United States. By simple presidential decree, the children of that country will not be able to read The Black Doll, by José Martí; nor discover The Night of the Rainbows, with Olga Marta Pérez, nor rescue with Enrique Pérez Díaz to Agatha in Danger. Their adults may not reveal the legend of the National Hotel of Cuba, written by Pedro de la Hoz and Luis Báez; nor to know the stories of the Capitolio, narrated by Ciro Bianchi and, of course, they will not be allowed in any way to know the true history of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Why the Cuban Revolution?, let alone the monstrosity of the biological war against Cuba, nor what did Fidel find to the triumph of the Revolution? What a great fear of Cuban culture. In spite of laws and blockades, our publishing house will continue as up to now exalt the truth ».
Behind the fight against Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo, the White House uses a pretext: both editorials are attached, respectively, to the Ministries of the Interior and the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Witch hunters don’t give a damn if published books deal with history, be they fiction, or testimonial accounts of general interest.
Looking at things well, however, it occurs to me that such a ban is associated with the cultural needs of the current occupant of the Oval Office. His response to the journalist Megyn Kelly was public and notorious when inquiring about his literary tastes: “I read passages, summaries, chapters, but I don’t have time to read.”
The last straw is that they are given by the author. His titles? How to get rich and think like a multi-illionaire. It would be enough to compare themes and contents with the books of the publishers Capitán San Luis and Verde Olivo, to coincide with what a writer expressed in the Mexican magazine Letras Libres – nothing to see or by any means with a thought close to the left – about the character : “Trump’s lack of culture will go down in the history of the country as a loss”.
It doesn’t matter that Charles Dickens (1812-1870) died so long ago, what he wrote is still alive for anyone who wants to assume the adventure of reading, and during these months the bookstores of the country stimulate the encounter with the English novelist, through difficult times (Editorial Arte y Literatura, Colección Huracán, 2017).
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Every summer, inevitably, I associate the season with reading. Since my student days, I’ve been looking forward to those months when, in addition to taking a walk, going to the beach, watching movies or series, reading as much as I wanted and as much as I wanted, without academic demands.
Now, professional life leaves less leisure time, but I still can not conceive of a vacation, not even an obligatory medical rest, without reading some postponed titles. If the book comes in through one door, boredom comes out through the other.
Where literature reigns, the overwhelming and sticky Cuban heat can give rise to the icy feeling of helplessness on a 19th-century English street, with hands terrified by the cold and eyes tarnished by thick factory smoke.
It doesn’t matter that Charles Dickens (1812-1870) died so long ago, what he wrote is still alive for anyone who wants to take on the adventure of reading, and during these months the country’s bookstores stimulate the encounter with the English novelist through difficult times (Editorial Arte y Literatura, Colección Huracán, 2017).
Assuming today those classics where the author does not hesitate to show his “hairy ear” and interrupts the plot to give assessments and question the reader himself, can be a somewhat “strange” experience for those accustomed to contemporary works.
However, there is a singular pleasure in feeling as close to women or men as Dickens, capable of writing more than 400 pages of intelligent and nuanced stories without computers.
In Hard Times (1854) rationality and feeling are confronted; there are no archetypes of good and bad, and few characters are spared the irony with which the author describes a social panorama where money was the center, and the craziest theories were invented -perhaps the great-great-grandparents of fake news- to justify that some had everything and others nothing.
As a good narrator, Dickens avoids clichés and suspicious happy endings, although some crooked beings receive some divine justice and others redemption. It takes advantage of its pages for a defense that is not at all working class pamphletarian, relegated to being born and dying confined to the same spaces, and without even expectations.
Thus, the worker Stephen Blackpool makes a perhaps naive, though accurate, defense of his own: “I do not know how it happens, madam, that the best qualities we have are precisely those that lead us to almost all our difficulties, misfortunes and errors. (…). We are also suffering people and, as a general rule, we want to do well. I can’t think that all the faults are on our side.
Hard Times is a crusade against hypocrisies, which the author mocks mercilessly, and also a powerful reflection on the most despicable human qualities and those essential – among them imagination – to try happiness.
Countless myths have historically reinforced stigmas about sexuality after people reach the sixth decade of life and come to consider themselves as adults and older adults.
Author: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta | firstname.lastname@example.org
July 7, 2019 20:07:50
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Countless myths have historically reinforced stigmas about sexuality after people reach the sixth decade of life and come to see themselves as adults and older adults.
These myths, in the case of women, “conceived under the stereotype of mother, woman as a function of the family”, have hindered their enjoyment of sexuality, and which increases in the so-called third age.
This is what Dr. Beatriz Torres Rodríguez, president of the Cuban Society for the Multidisciplinary Study of Sexuality (Socumes), said at the recently held XVII Congress of the Cuban Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, addressing this issue.
“Women are prepared to attend to and satisfy the needs of others. Socially, there is a predominant belief that her sexual capacity and desire are less than those of men, and that female love is romantic and must have an erotic passivity,” the specialist said.
This is accompanied by other myths such as that only in youth you enjoy a good sexuality and that women in old age do not have an active sexual life, and are not interested in engaging in some romantic relationship, said the expert.
When talking about women’s sexuality in old age, many times we only think about the following aspects: fragility and loss of pubic hair; the vaginal mucosa dries up and atrophy, thus diminishing its secretion and facilitating infections; the vulva, labia minora and clitoris decrease in size, there is a shortening and narrowing of the vagina; the ovaries decrease in size, and the cervical mucus is thick, scarce and cellular; the breasts become flaccid as a result of the atrophy of the tissues and the lack of hormonal secretion.
For the psychologist, it is essential to take into account what older women think and what is meant by geriatric sexual health.
The latter is “the psychological expression of emotions and commitments that requires the greatest amount and quality of communication between partners, throughout existence, in a relationship of trust, love, ability to share and pleasure, with or without intercourse,” according to specialized literature.
This concept is fundamentally based on an “optimization of the quality of the relationship” (more than in quantity), said Dr. Torres Rodriguez.
For the interviewee, several elements cannot be lost sight of: self-perception of sexual attractiveness is a very important social factor.
“The climacteric anticipates the “feeling of old age” in many women. A large number of women mistakenly believe that once their reproductive function is over, sexual function is also lost,” she said.
Added to this is the fact that older people find it very difficult to consult medical science professionals, because there is a general lack of training in areas of sexuality and, even more so, in the sexuality of older people. Hence, the role of health professionals in general and family physicians, as well as specialists in Geriatrics, as key health providers at this stage must become essential.
It is essential that the person is cared for from a holistic point of view and that, for example, sexual dysfunctions are taken as seriously as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Studies carried out in our context have shown that, contrary to what many people think, a considerable part of dysfunctions in old age have their origin in ignorance, false expectations, feelings of being handicapped and other phenomena. These, although they play an important role in the appearance of dysfunctions, are relatively easy to combat and prevent by means of adequate information and discussion.
According to epidemiological studies, the fact of losing one’s partner is one of the most important determinants of the cessation of sexual activity.
“Traditionally, there has been a strong social tendency to consider negatively the establishment of new affective relationships, and even new marriages in widows, which further limits their sexual activity,” said the psychologist.
In general, it is essential that the family accept the sexuality of the elderly, consider the possibilities of second and third marriages, and respect the privacy of the parents and grandparents.
Older women’s sexuality as an indicator of quality of life, especially perceived quality of life, requires a better understanding of all factors affecting it. One of the most important is mourning, for the body, for sexual and social losses.
But what does old age really imply or limit? On the subject, the experts William Masters and Virginia
Johnson, who are dedicated to the study of human sexual response, argue that the elderly can have sex at any age.
An international survey of 1126 elderly people, conducted by the University of Michigan, showed that 30% were sexually active and showed that sexual dysfunction is not inherent in aging.
Hence the need to influence the understanding of the sexual changes that occur in old age and the negative influence that myths and beliefs have on the enjoyment of sexuality in women over the age of 60. “Sexuality is not only for young people,” explains Dr. Beatriz Torres Rodríguez.
Promoting knowledge about the rights of the elderly to enjoy their sexuality and promoting public policies that do not only correspond to the health sector is essential. The idea is to encourage spaces for socialization, recreation and growth in these stages of life, without neglecting family education in these areas.
According to the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), the epicenter of the tremor was located 16 kilometers west of Searles Valley, at a depth of 10 kilometers.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on the Richter scale shook Friday night in the U.S. state of California near the city of Ridgecrest, where another major earthquake occurred Thursday, according to RT.
The earthquake at 20:19 local time was reported as significantly greater than the July 4 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.4 and was recognized as the strongest tremor recorded in the region in two decades.
The latest news about last night’s earthquake indicated that it was 11 times stronger than the previous one.
According to seismologist Lucy Jones, as with any event of this type, the telluric movement has a chance of being followed by a larger tremor, as replicas of magnitudes five to six are likely.
Megan Person, spokeswoman for Kern County, reported that multiple injuries and fires have been reported in Ridgecrest, a community west of the Mojave Desert and approximately 240 kilometers north of the city of Los Angeles.
In the center of the latter city, Friday’s earthquake caused the buildings to sway strongly and felt more intense than the day before, while Donald Castle, who lives in Porterville, west of Ridgecrest, told the chain that his house was shaken from 20 to 25 seconds.
So far, the tremor was reported to have caused more than 15 aftershocks.
The San Bernardino Fire Department reported minor material damage caused by the natural disaster.
“Some houses have been displaced, cracks have appeared in the foundations, there are collapses of the retaining walls,” the service reported, detailing that fires were also recorded.
It is also known of the existence of slight injuries in the city of Ridgecrest, the closest to the epicenter, where the local Police Department has not received reports of serious injuries, according to the report.
Rafael Correa, former Ecuadorian president, alerted in his official Twitter account about the closing of his Facebook page.
Author: Digital Editor | email@example.com
June 8, 2019, 11:06:31
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The former Ecuadorian president commented that the maneuver is a case of “open censorship”. Correa denounced that the Facebook company had closed his personal page in that social network, in which he was followed by 1.5 million people, due to a “political” decision.
In a message broadcast Friday on Twitter, the former Ecuadorian president (2007-2017) said that, according to Telesur, “we are witnessing a new attack on freedom of expression. Without any reason, the social network @NotiFacebook decided to suspend my account. Stronger than ever. We will continue fighting to recover our homeland.
Correa said Mark Zuckerberg’s company never warned him of “non-compliance with community rules,” and said the suspension was politically motivated.
The page of the former president, who is in Belgium after politically breaking with his former ally and current head of state of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, was deactivated on April 11, the same day that Moreno’s government decided to withdraw political asylum from the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange.
Correa blamed this situation on the Facebook person in charge of the Andean Region, Diego Bassante, who would have political differences with the ex-president. “He was a judge and a party in this ‘technical’ decision to suspend the page,” he said.
The former president opened last Thursday a new page on the social network, which was joined by more than 40,000 followers in just a few hours. However, the account was canceled on Friday.
“I can’t believe it,” Correa said, and asked the lawyers to help him find out what can be done in these “open censorship” cases.
Beijing surprises at first sight, but it is essential to descend from the skyscrapers to the catacombs of the Chinese ancestors to understand why in this city, located from the Havana prism on the hidden face of the moon, even the humblest of its inhabitants speaks with optimism of the future.
by Alejandra García Elizalde, special report
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Beijing looks like the city of the future. The first lights of the day on this side of the world – which lives 12 hours ahead of the Island – first stumble upon the skyscrapers of the city. In days of little pollution, it is a spectacle of yellow lights reflected in the crystals of the jungle of buildings that appears in front of the window of any neighbor of the Chaoyang district, located in the heart of the capital of the most populous country in the world.
Amidst the vertigo of architecture, there is space to remember Havana. Every morning, as on the Island, the parks are filled with people of all ages, taking advantage of the sun on cold days, or the cool in the heat; to walk their pets, play cards, buy fruit or sweets from street vendors who settle in the surroundings, or exercise with traditional Tai Chi, the martial art that many Cubans practice today, mainly in old age.
Although there are similarities between the Island and Beijing, the colors of the Caribbean and the smell of the sea are much missed. The tones of this city are mostly gray. The smoke caused by the pollution of nearby industries means that only a few times, after the dawn, one sees the blue of the sky or the sun.
It seems that the city floats within a thick cloud.
But Beijing attracts in other ways: the subway, always punctual, that connects in a few minutes each end of the city of more than 24 million inhabitants -more than twice as many as in all of Cuba-; the smells and flavors and variety of its food, despite being so different from that of Cuban cuisine; the way in which the skyscrapers coexist with the pagodas of imperial times, 5,000 years ago, a pattern that follows with certain fidelity the architecture of Havana’s Chinatown, on the backs of the Capitolio.
The hard-working and noble spirit of its people caught Fidel’s attention in 1995 and 24 years later, these traits remain intact. They are always seen in some activity: on scaffolding, watering trees on equipment prepared for it, when there has been much lack of rain, loading cement in the vicinity of a building under construction…
“I can appreciate that China is the country of the 21st century, it is the country of the future, with its human potential, its natural resources, scientists, the talent of its children. I believe that in the 21st century China is going to be the awakening giant,” Fidel told the press on that occasion. And so it has been.
Nothing is as important to the Chinese people as their history and millennial traditions; and the Qingming Festival or Day of Sweeping the Tombs, held every April 5, is proof of that. This national holiday is very reminiscent of the Day of the Dead in Mexico. Millions of Chinese visit the country’s cemeteries to pay tribute to their ancestors.
On that day they clean the tombs and adorn them with flowers, make offerings of food or money with fictitious bills created for the occasion that are burned next to the tombs to reach the beyond. The legendary hero and the humblest ancestor of a family matter.
Babaoshang, an ancient temple transformed into a cemetery after the Empire became a Republic west of Beijing, overflowed with flowers that day. There is such variety and color in the parade that tulips, peonies, orchids and chrysanthemums seem to come out of a painter’s palette. The country of the future is also a nation that does not forget, and this is perhaps the key, the yin and yang of Chinese power.
If 5,000 years ago his people discovered the compass, paper, silk, porcelain…, today it follows in the wake of another important transformation. In a quarter of a century, it became the second [largest] economy of the planet and is a reference for the world in the development of artificial intelligence, space exploration, the invention of initiatives to curb pollution of the environment.
Beijing surprises at first sight, but it is essential to descend from the skyscrapers to the catacombs of the Chinese ancestors to understand why in this city, located from the Havana prism on the dark side of the moon, even the humblest of its inhabitants speaks with optimism of the future.