The audiovisuals show a compact crowd, with the presence of many young people carrying the flag of the original peoples, known as Wiphala
Author: Granma | firstname.lastname@example.org
February 3, 2020 23:02:39
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Thousands of people who support the Movement Towards Socialism joined to support the Arce-Choquehuanca duo for the May 3 elections. Photo: ANSA
The social networks are publishing videos of a massive demonstration by the population in La Paz, Bolivia, to support the registration of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) candidates on the last day of the term granted by the Plurinational Electoral Tribunal for this administration, said PL.
The audiovisuals show a compact crowd, with the presence of many young people carrying the flag of the native peoples, known as Wiphala. They march from the Plaza San Francisco in La Paz to the headquarters of the electoral body in the Bolivian capital.
As it is known, the registration period for the Bolivian political alliances and parties for the presidential elections of May 3 ended this Monday and from now on the electoral campaign for each of the registered candidates begins.
According to the Plurinational Electoral Tribunal (TEP), eight presidential candidates are registered, including the duo of Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca, for the MAS, while the right is divided between the self-proclaimed president Jeanine Áñez; former president Carlos Mesa, and Luis Fernando Camacho.
Meanwhile, Evo Morales presented a request before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to demand that the entity issue a precautionary measure in his favor that guarantees respect for his right to run for the Plurinational Legislative Assembly by MAS.
Recently, lawyers Patricia Hermosa and Wilfredo Chávez were arrested. They were to present before the electoral authorities the documentation required to register Evo as a candidate for the Plurinational Legislative Assembly.
“National demand is low and has been covered over the years. But exports in the form of raw materials offer us many possibilities,” said Félix Ramón Fernández, director of the pre-industrial division of the Tabacuba business group.
by Ronald Suárez Rivas | email@example.com
January 30, 2020 20:01:27
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
PINAR DEL RÍO: With the purpose of increasing exports, and attending a demand that today is not in conditions to cover, Cuba increases the plantating of burley tobacco.
During the current season, the plan is to reach some 1,700 hectares, distributed between the municipalities of Consolación del Sur and Pinar del Río, but the program to develop this crop aims to grow much more.
Félix Ramón Fernández, director of the pre-industry department of the Tabacuba business group, explains that there is currently confirmed demand from foreign customers for 5 000 tons. However, the country’s production will only be able to reach around 2,000 this year.
This is why increasing burley cultivation is one of the sector’s priorities.
Although currently only pineapple fertile lands are harvested, the official says that it will also be taken to other territories in the center of the country, in order to raise production to 10 000 tonnes.
However, the main focus will be on Vueltabajo, where it has already begun to replace dark tobacco in some of the Consolación del Sur and Pinar del Río plantations.
Fernández points out that burley production was very depressed, and was aimed solely at the Cuban industry.
“National demand is low and has been covered all these years. But export in the form of raw materials offers us many possibilities.
Justo Luis Fuentes, president of Tabacuba, assures that “this type of tobacco is very coveted in the world today. Therefore, the increase of its production constitutes a fundamental line of work, for the increase of exports.
“Cuban dark tobacco is also in great demand, but we have a greater quantity of that,” he adds.
Introduced into the country in 1947, in the area of Herradura (municipality of Consolación del Sur), burley is a type of blond tobacco that is mainly used in cigarette blends, due to its ability to retain aromas.
Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter crash along with eight others – including Gianna, one of his four daughters – leaves immense pain, even for those who are not sports fans
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Author: Yosel E. Martínez Castellanos | firstname.lastname@example.org
January 27, 2020 23:01:53
Basketball player Kobe Bryant is gone and leaves an immense pain, even in those who are not sports lovers. His tragic death, in a helicopter crash with eight others – including Gianna, one of his four daughters – on Sunday outside the city of Los Angeles, has been the news of the world for the last 48 hours.
The American shooting guard was a worthy heir to the legacy sown by Michael Jordan, considered the best player in the sport’s history. Kobe won everything: two Olympic gold medals, five NBA championship rings, two laurels for the most valuable player in the finals of that prestigious league and an award for the most outstanding basketball player, are several of the prizes he won, all with the Los Angeles Lakers club.
But Kobe made a name for himself beyond sports, for conveying values of justice and helping those who have needed it most financially. The “Black Mamba”, as he was known, was and will be an example to follow.
His departure has been commented on by personalities from the sports, political, social and cultural worlds, who through social networks dedicated countless words of praise to him.
Among the comments expressed by the personalities stand out the words professionalism, respect and love he felt towards the game.
Besides being described as an excellent man, capable of encouraging others not to give up their dreams and see their objectives fulfilled.
A natural competitor, as he was, was not defeated by death. He was victorious by winning millions of hearts.
With the placing of a floral offering in the name of the Cuban people, and a pilgrimage to his tomb in the Colon Cemetary in Havana, Guillermo Isaías Sardiñas Menéndez, the priest known as the Father of the olive green cassock, was recalled yesterday on the 55th anniversary of his death
Author: National Editor | email@example.com
December 24, 2019 01:12:18
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Photo: Dunia Álvarez
With the placing of a floral offering in the name of the People of Cuba and a pilgrimage to his tomb, in the Colon Necropolis, in Havana, the priest Guillermo Isaías Sardiñas Menéndez, known as the Father of the olive green cassock, was evoked yesterday on the 55th anniversary of his death.
Major General José Carrillo Gómez, president of the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution (acrc), highlighted the personality of the former chaplain of the Rebel Army who came down from the Sierra Maestra with the rank of Commander, while Monsignor Ramón Suárez Polcari, chancellor of the Archbishopric of Havana, said a prayer in tribute to this distinguished personality. Also present were Caridad Diego, head of the Office of Attention to Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Party, Brigadier General Delsa Esther Puebla Viltre and members of the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution (ACRC), as well as representatives and religious leaders of our country. (National Editor)
BabalúAyé, “as he is also compared by the association of the believers in the Yoruba religion”, means “King or Father of the World”, Shangó’s brother
December 18, 2019
by Endrys Correa Vaillant | firstname.lastname@example.org
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Babalú Ayé, “as he is also compared by association with believers in the Yoruba religion”, means “King or father of the World”, Shangó’s brother.
The Chinese also see in Babalú Ayé a resemblance to one of the eight immortals of their mythology, Li Xuan, who, like Saint Lazarus or Babalú Ayé, wears thick cloth rags, is crippled on one leg, helps himself with crutches and is a lover of animals.
In these days, on the eve of December 17, his day; the devotees of this saint venerate him in different ways. Some slide with a stone on their backs, others walk barefoot or with flowers and candles. What almost everyone agrees on is that they go to the National Sanctuary of Saint Lazarus in El Rincón to deposit all their offerings. Some ask for health, others for protection, or for themselves and their families.
In El Rincón we find people of all kinds, from different places in Cuba and other countries. Even the riders go with their horses to bless them (they do it on December 17 and January 17).
It is normal to see them in the strollers known popularly as spiders moving in groups of up to 20 to fulfill their task. They arrive at the Rincón and go to the fountain in search of holy water, take it to the father of the church to bless it and cleanse their beasts to rid them of all evil, it is part of the ritual.
Like the Virgin of Charity, Saint Barbara or the Virgin of Rule, Saint Lazarus, will always have in Cubans, followers who will worship him to face his challenges, calamities and hardships. Faith in him manages to cross borders and clings to those who feel it and make it theirs.
Legend has it that Babalú Ayé, being a very womanizing man, was advised by Orula to control himself in this way because he could contract serious diseases, which he did not do. One day he met an irresistible woman, went to have fun, and when he woke up the next day his body was covered with malignant sores.
The elders of the village, seeing his condition, sewed his tongue with twelve diloggún (a divinatory system of the Osha Rule that uses the cauri snail in the hand of 18 or 21 pieces, depending on the orisha in question) and expelled him from the place.
His brother Shangó took him to Orula who, after scolding him for his disobedience, advised Shangó to look for Osain to prepare a remedy with herbs that would cure the disease. Babalú Ayé had to clean himself with them, bury the ebbó (cleaning and purification work) and go to a village where he would be proclaimed king. Ogún gave him two dogs to accompany him on the journey.
Fulfilling to the letter what Orula had told him, Babalú Ayé went to look for the place that Orula had described to him. When he buried the ebbó, it began to rain heavily and the sores that had afflicted it disappeared. To his surprise, as he entered the village he realized that everyone there was suffering from a serious illness, and the villagers who saw him went to meet him in veneration. This was because according to them, the cure for their ills would come with the man who arrived in the rain. Babalú Ayé, who knew some of Osain’s secrets of healing, began to care for the sick and was proclaimed king of the place.
Note: The data taken from the book “Con bendición de todos” by the professor and researcher Valentina Porras Potts.
In several Latin American countries, in Iran and elsewhere where governments not in the interests of the U.S. rule, the CIA special forces establish as a mode of interference the creation of violent groups apparently disorganized and spontaneous, which seek to sow chaos, to criminalize social protests and to justify the murderous action of security forces.
Author: Raúl Antonio Capote | email@example.com
December 11, 2019 01:12:56
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
While the repressive forces in Ecuador confronted the people who were demonstrating against the neo-liberal measures of Lenín Moreno’s government, and while the security forces murdered, tortured and kidnapped the participants in the protests, Ecuadorian television broadcasted SpongeBob dolls. Any attempt to present the truth was censored.
Apparently disorganized and spontaneous violent groups acted. Their objective: to sow chaos, to criminalize protests and to justify the homicidal action of the security forces.
In Chile, after the lethargy cultivated with care by the media and fertilized by years of terror, the people woke up. The sons of Lautaro, Caupolicán and Allende defied the security forces. On October 14, 2019, high school and university students organized to massively evade [hiked prices for] the Santiago subway. The reason, a protest to the rise in the value of the ticket. But it was only the beginning, it was just a spark. Faced with the real situation of inequality created by neo-liberalism in that country, the protest became radicalized and generalized.
While the demonstrators, mostly young people, raised their arms to show the peaceful nature of the marches, violent events occurred in several places. Groups with no apparent relationship between them, alien to the demonstrators, were responsible for these events. The denunciation made by several people situates them in scenarios where Carabineros forces acted, to which some videos uploaded to social networks show them, even participating or stimulating the looting.
Here, too, the mass media opt for silence, for the criminalization of protest, while the forces of order murder, rape, and beat as in the “best times” of the dictatorship.
In Bolivia, a set of factors came together to bring about the fall of the government of Evo Morales. They were not only elements of internal dynamics, cyber attacks, espionage and propaganda tasks, destabilization campaigns, they were also criminal groups with no apparent connection between them, allied with military and police forces involved in the plot, external diplomatic action and intervention by destabilizing agents of the U.S. Embassy.
Bands of criminals protected by the narrative of “popular indignation,” for alleged electoral fraud, took control of the cities, carried out roadblocks in the style of the Venezuelan guarimberos, burned institutions, made threats, committed murders, tortured on the streets, and humiliated social and political leaders.
These right-wing criminal groups, armed, invisible to the media, acted with absolute coordination and took strategic points of the capital of the country, an example was the seizure of Bolivia TV, which shows a great advance preparation. They did not act at random: they directed their blows with precision, they knew against whom to proceed, they kidnapped, murdered and destroyed, selectively.
It was not a question of the people dissatisfied with a fraud that never happened, but of well-planned aggression. The people of Venezuela and Nicaragua, who have been victims of these unconventional acts of war, are well aware of this.
Not only in Latin America
The M.O. is not exclusive to our region. Last November, Iran suffered a wave of violence that destroyed 730 banks, 70 service stations, 140 government buildings and more than 50 security force bases.
Thousands of angry protesters took to the streets for days and attacked gas stations, banks and government buildings following the announcement of rationing and a 50% increase in fuel prices.
Here again, the tactic used in Bolivia is repeated: armed groups, perfectly coordinated and trained, act on the ground. Using the “swarm” technique, the groups communicated with each other and concerted actions using text messages to meet at points of attack.
The aggression came to a halt when the government turned off the Internet and wireless networks. Iranian security forces succeeded in capturing several CIA agents acting in these alleged anti-government groups.
Political Action Groups
In a 2003 book, Special Ops: America’s Elite Forces in 21st. Century Combat, the author states:
“Highly confidential, the Special Operations Division is considered the pre-eminent special operations unit in the world. Members are the elite of the elite. This is due to the sources from which the organization recruits its members: Special Mission Units, such as the Delta Force and the United States Special Naval Warfare Development Group…”.
The Special Activities Center (SAC), a division of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is responsible for conducting undercover operations known as “special activities”. Prior to 2016, the unit was called the Special Activities Division.
Within the SAC there are two separate groups: the Special Operations Group (SOG) for tactical paramilitary operations and the Political Action Group (PAG) for covert political operations.
The Political Action Group (PAG) is responsible for covert activities related to political influence, psychological operations and economic warfare. With the rapid development of technology, cyber-warfare was included in its missions.
The SAC offers its services to the President of the United States as an option when military and diplomatic actions are not politically viable or feasible.
The Political Action Group conducts covert operations to bring about political change. Covert intervention in a foreign election is considered by the sac the most important form of political action. This could include financial support for “appropriate” candidates for the United States, support with specialized media, technical support for public relations, resources to influence the vote, participation in political organization, legal advice, publicity campaigns and what they call “other means of direct action”.
According to SAC specialists, political decisions can be influenced by active values, such as the uprising of U.S. officials, pressure on officials and political leaders to make official decisions aligned with U.S. policy and objectives. In addition, they can develop mechanisms for the formation of public opinion favorable to U.S. interests, actions that involve the covert use of propaganda.
They may employ officials to work as journalists, use influential agents, operate media platforms, plant certain stories or information in places where it is expected to come to light “naturally,” or try to deny and/or discredit information that is in the public domain.
Most U.S. experts consider the SAC the current special operations force, perfect for unconventional warfare.
Some examples of the company’s political action programs were actions to prevent the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from winning elections in 1948; already in late 1960, the 1953 Iranian coup d’état; Chile 1953; Guatemala 1954; Indonesia in 1957, as well as the provision of funds and support to the Solidarity union in Poland 1981, attempted coup d’état in Venezuela 2002; coup in Honduras 2009, Nicaragua 2018, Juan Guaidó’s self-proclamation in Venezuela, attacks on the Venezuelan National Electric System (SEN) 2019, etc.
As clear as water: the presence more than once of officials and agents of the US special services in the field denounced during these actions, plus the recognition in public documents of their interventionist actions against governments that are not related to them, proves the direct interference of the United States in these blows, which only have a soft name, because they have left a mark of blood and suffering in all parts of the world.
To foresee is the word of order, the progressive forces, the leaders of the left must be prepared and prepare their peoples. It is necessary to be willing to give everything, to face with intelligence the Yankee plans and to win.
A Guide to America’s Special Operations Units : the World’s Most Elite Fighting Force. Da Capo Press.Southworth, Samuel A. & Tanner, Stephen. 2002. U.S. Special Forces.
At the Center of the Storm: My Life at the CIA. Harper Collins. Tenet, George. 2007.
Author: Rolando Pérez Betancourt | firstname.lastname@example.org
December 8, 2019 22:12:47
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Finally exhibited at the 41st New Latin American Film Festival, The Wasp Network (Olivier Assayas, 2019) makes it clear with historical objectivity that the Cubans who infiltrated counterrevolutionary Miami exile organizations had the right to watch over the security of their country, and thus stop the wave of terrorist attacks of the 1990s carried out under the protection of the United States.
This is an important aspect to be taken into account in the film by the Frenchman Assayas, a prestigious director whose work is known in our country. He has made it possible to appreciate the sensitivity of an artist capable of tackling the most dissimilar human problems from intimate stories.
Based on the book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War, by Fernando Morais, Assayas himself wrote the script about a conflict that – it could not be otherwise – establishes who are the aggressors and who are the victims in a history that goes back half a century.
It was enough for the Miami counterrevolution, without seeing the film, only news after its presentation at the Venice Film Festival, to make a fuss and a pathetic warning: in those lands, the film couldn’t even show its head.
The theme of the Five Heroes and the stories that flow from it would allow us to make a few films and series. But in any work based on reality, there is a selection of events and characters, along with artistic licenses put into function of a dramaturgy and simplification of the plot. From Morais’s book, Assayas highlights what he considered pertinent to build a web of events that span several years and not a few intrigues. Although the film has been promoted as an espionage thriller, the director says that it is a historical vision conceived with the intention of capturing a feat that, after he learned about it it, captivated him.
It was advisable, however, to balance the tone and balance the conflict in such a way that a whole point of view in favor of the revolutionary cause did not prevail in a film with foreign funding and international distribution. Besides, the assumption of the political factor in any subject is always a reason for division of opinions and even entrenchments. These can be seen now, even, in “artistic” criticisms in which ideological positions against the “Cuban communist regime” stand out more than an unprejudiced practice of professional analysis.
But facts are facts and artistic honesty, although it is necessary to qualify, cannot be detached from them.
For this chronicler, The Wasp Network ends up being a film worthy and meritorious to see, which is not free of inconsistencies in its realization. Of these, the most significant, is the dispersion motivated by wanting to cover everything and explain more than necessary, taking into account the possible ignorance of the subject that an international audience could have. In this sense, the script resorts to leaps in time and an entry and exit of characters that leaves gaps in terms of purposes of the story and the lack of roundness of certain situations, such as the one concerning the flight to Cuba undertaken by the infiltrator Juan Pablo Roque (Wagner Moura).
Another debatable card -which for a Cuban spectator has nothing revealing about it- is the surprise factor that is intended to impregnate the infiltrators in Miami. It first, it makes them appear as traitors who escape from the Island and later, in their real function, a double game devoid of the dramatic force that, it is guessed, was among the director’s goals.
The Wasp Network is focused on the stories concerning René González (Édgar Ramírez) and his wife Olga Salanueva (Penélope Cruz, in an excellent performance).
Also the afore-mentioned Roque and the wife who is sought in Miami (Ana de Armas), each couple with their very particular love-political conflicts and was carried with considerable ease in the plot. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Gerardo Hernandez, leader of the group. It would be necessary to see the opinions that the real characters have regarding their characterizations.
The film efficiently reconstructs the terrorist attacks against tourist facilities, shows the maximum faces of the counterrevolutionary exiles and resorts to excerpts from the archives as a reminder that everything that counts comes from reality. This is how President Clinton and Fidel appear separately, towards the end, during an interview with an American journalist. Fidel is conclusive about the right of the most spied country in the world, Cuba, to know what the enemies are doing on U.S. soil to attack the Cuban people.
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.