Author: Félix López
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
We come today to young Alejandro’s third and most complicated paradox: “If not socialism, what do we have left?” It would seem our young man was looking for an exit on the expressway, but I don’t think so since he already made it clear he goes for a cool socialism. Well? Nothing, I can see he wants and needs to know what the non-socialist option has in store for us. And I will answer him without using the worn-out tale of the Big Bad Capitalistic Wolf devouring the Proletarian Little Red Riding Hood.
What’s at stake is a lot more than a remake of a children’s story: history, maybe life itself; our ecology and future; our happiness and existence. Socialism is all that and even more: the sworn enemy of selfishness and inequality, boundless consumption and violence, warmongering and expansionism, drugs and pornography, a lifestyle based on foolishness and glamour… all synonymous with capitalism, designer of a society where –contrary to Martí’s precepts– the more you have to show off, the more valuable you are; where it’s not how you think but how well you’re dressed and what brand your cell phone is what matters; where people’s worth is measured by their fortune –ergo, the have-nots are not people– and the ID cards have been replaced with credit cards; where a mall is more worshipped than a university; where, according to Eduardo Galeano, to praise a flower you say, “it’s so beautiful you’d think it’s plastic!”
If not socialism, Alejandro, barbarism would be the only option left to us. I’m sure that capitalism would waste no time in presenting us with an oasis of spotless showcases and the mythical junk food franchises would compete for the best spots downtown where they could create a mirage of lights and affluence, as they did in the former USSR… and all the while that artificial bubble would be surrounded in a flash by a poor area with no schools but teeming with gangs; with no jobs but many prostitutes; with nothing to dream about but lots of drugs to forget that fact; with no quality lifestyle but the required TV set to sell you all kinds of comforts… and you bet I’m not even mentioning the terrible dangers fueled by deep-seated hatred.
There’s another, simpler and more realistic answer to Alejandro’s question: you either make sure you become an enterprising optimist and strive to build a cooler socialism –so you can keep your freedom and at the same time have a better and happier life– or risk your neck at the Russian roulette in a casino and end up finding out that in the realm of “every man for himself” even your smile can be mortgaged. It’s no coincidence that Silvio Rodríguez, who has traveled around the world and gives us through his music a kaleidoscope of life, voiced his support of a perfectible socialism in his capacity of Deputy to our National Assembly of the People’s Power, making it clear that we can improve ours and we must do it by ourselves.
President Raúl Castro warned in a recent speech that he had not been elected to restore capitalism in Cuba and invited all Cubans to discuss what kind of socialism we want. If we ever lose the gift of participation the Revolution will have lost its sense of direction. Hence the importance that we, our parents and our children, that is, three or more generations of Cubans –in one of which Alejandro belongs– take part in this get-together and engage in a collective reflection free of slogans and mechanistic attitudes.
I feel certain that our socialist values will come out stronger as a result. Not long ago, on the occasion of the Cuban Revolution’s 50th birthday, a number of young intellectuals were invited to talk about it and the realization of the socialist project. What follows is just a thumbnail sample of their comments sufficient to understand how necessary and comprehensive is the debate awaiting us:
Julio César Guanche: “In 1959, the Cuban Revolution gave birth to a beautiful specimen of utopian socialism and implemented on Cuban soil a significant part of Rousseau’s great ideal: universal citizenship, a sovereign society, and social justice. Fifty years later, Cuba realized that a revolution is not the ultimate goal, as every thing conquered must be re-conquered and changing with the times is the only way to move on”.
Ariel Dacal: “We must publicly discuss how we understand socialism and what to do to make it more effective in its quest for an anti-capitalist alternative, which entails as much social justice as possible. People’s education, culture, technical ability, feelings and political knowledge are underrated and in some cases wasted. In order to reverse that situation we must make qualitative changes in the way people get involved in the management and control of their daily individual and public life, both as workers and community members”.
José A. Fernández: “Our Socialism has fought against poverty, capitalism, imperialism and its worst manners –war and terrorism– as well as against the immobility of state bureaucracy, political ignorance, the opportunism of the alleged extremists, the tiny internal opposition and the strong external opposition, the ghost of the ‘siege’ that prevents us from trusting our own potential to be freer… We have contributed the beauty of a whole people of women and men forged with blood and fire, blockade and militia, lack of resources and a wealth of wisdom and faith in the justice we have earned”.
I hope that both young Alejandro and those who read these comments found in them food for thought, issues to debate, new questions and some answers. Many people deem a discussion about socialism in present and future tense a thorny subject. Rest assured that if we do it in public, using a pro-positive key instead of drawing up an inventory of problems, we will no longer be treading on waste land. The forest is crawling with snipers.
We have to keep creating and learning if we want to make progress and be better. With the energy of our people and Fidel’s endless supply of creative thoughts we have done what once seemed impossible: we saved socialism.
Author: Félix López
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Amid the wide assortment of comments caused by the quotation from Che Guevara in my previous installment (*) was an unexpected, if pleasant, surprise. Alejandro, a friend of mine’s teenage son, called to ask me three questions: “If the founders of socialism ended up straying from their course, how come we cling to it even more? Why does socialism seem more concerned about ideology than about aesthetics? And, if not socialism, what do we have left?”
Truth is, I hung up the phone in astonishment. Alejandro is about to turn 16, and I know for a fact he doesn’t have his head in the clouds. Be that as it may, I was struck dumb, because we often take it for granted that they don’t care about these topics or about politics, or worry that they will never grow fond of what their parents built. Big mistake! Alejandro is a faithful reflection of a reality that can be collective of necessity: our debates today won’t be any more to the point if we push aside our teenagers and youths, strip them of their right to argue and deny them the chance to participate that they expect to get from us.
It’s with great pleasure that I answer Alejandro’s questions, and I’ll start with “the founders of socialism”. Most of us have been brought up in the [almost geographic] belief that Eastern Europe –and particularly the former USSR– is the cradle of socialism, and therefore came to the conclusion that those who once raised the socialist banners were the same ones who set that ship adrift and gave up an ideal born to make up for, and become an alternative to, the capitalist system.
But in his questions, brief as they are, a historic error comes to light. It may be true that this social system was conceptualized there, but we can’t overlook the fact that there were previous experiences of socialist coexistence. In South America, for instance, we had the so-called reservations of the Jesuits, who lived in Paraguay and its neighboring regions between 1609 and 1767, when the Catholic Monarchs expelled the Society of Jesus from their South American colonies.
The Jesuits had committed an unforgivable “sin”: they took the Indians out of the jungle, trained them in agricultural techniques and craftsmanship, and taught them to read and write, not without respect for their Guarani language. Instead of the whip, they used music as an educational tool. That’s how European instruments from that time like the flageolets, drums and harps arrived in such distant lands and joined the rhythm of the maracas the Guarani shamans moved to during their sacred dances.
That its colonies were being home since the early 17th century to a state where they looked at what we now know as socialism was utterly unacceptable to the Spanish Crown. That’s what Paraguay was at the time, a land of collective work, discipline, prayers, solidarity, learning and music. The first of such towns was San Ignacio Guasú, established in 1609 and soon followed by another forty missions along the banks of the rivers Paraná, Uruguay and Tape. By the mid-eighteenth century, according to historian Justo Fernández López, around 150,000 were already living in them.
Each mission made up a town, built around a great square and managed by a town council. There was also a church, a school, workshops of various arts and crafts, and a hospital. Surrounding them were lands devoted to intensive farming, where every native worked in a specific plot as well as in a collective field. Their economy was organized as a function of community work, and trade took place on the basis of reciprocity among the members, whether local or from other towns.
A deeper look into Latin American history we’ll reveal further –and more recent– genuine expressions of a creative and anti-dogmatic socialism. One example: Julio Antonio Mella, the young founder of Cuba’s Marxist-Leninist party, made it clear it was not his intention to reproduce here the Bolshevik experience and, at the same time, made a prophetic warning: the Party needed thinking human beings, not domesticated ones. He was not even 21 years old yet and was already speaking of a socialist revolution, only in the Cuban style.
And long before Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa plotted the route toward the 21st Century Socialism, another young man, the Peruvian José Carlos Mariátegui, had stated: “Socialism in America will be neither a replica nor a copy, but a heroic creation”. If we talk about creation, then there can’t be just one kind of socialism, much less one owned by someone. It has been proved in practice to be a diversified system daring enough to be different in different places.
That’s why I’m correcting Alejandro, who is wrong to assume that there was only one type of socialism which ceased to exist on the day that a crane knocked down the last of Lenin’s statues in Moscow. At any rate, here we are, clung to our socialism, the one with its roots in Martí and Latin America. An “always perfectible” socialism, as singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez put it: “Without giving up dreaming and wishing a better society with better human beings, but from the perspective we have today, not the one indicated by the pioneers of socialism”.
This being said, let me tell you that in my conversation with Alejandro I also learned that all around us there are youths whose grasp of history overpowers the gaps in their knowledge when it comes to conceiving a picture of the system they want to have. Alejandro knows how to be a fair critic, voicing his disagreement with ideas of his own and never disowning the society where he lives. However, when I asked him which system he likes better, he immediately chose the path of creation with great self-assurance: “I like a cool socialism”. A “model” we’ll leave for the next article.
(*) “Socialism is young and therefore flawed”, Chapucerías, Granma, 31.08.09
This is a dialectical and modern Constitution, if tradition is to be broken, tradition is to be broken, because breaking tradition is also a revolutionary act. Under socialism there is no room for any kind of discrimination against humans. Love does not have sex,” stressed intellectual Miguel Barnet.
Author: Susana Antón | firstname.lastname@example.org
July 22, 2018 12:07:10
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
As part of the analysis of the Draft Constitution at the First Ordinary Session of the Ninth Legislature of the National Assembly of the People’s Power, some of the issues discussed were gender equality, marriage and family as part of Article 68.
Mariela Castro Espín, a deputy for the municipality of Plaza de la Revolución, commented that with Article 68, Cuba places itself, from a perspective of comprehensive protection of people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, among the leading countries in the recognition and guarantee of human rights.
“This proposal for protection is the result of the maturity reached by the revolutionary process that legitimizes and protects social relations that materialize in various types of families, from which the State’s duty to protect them and not to discriminate against them is derived,” she said.
She expressed her agreement with the provisions of Article 68, which provides for the voluntary union of two persons with the legal capacity to do so and is based on the rights and duties of spouses.
Castro Espín submitted for the plenary’s consideration that the continuation of the text of the article should be left to legislation because it is specific and refers to the obligations of couples who choose to be mothers and fathers, in addition to the fact that it is based on the absolute equality of the duties and rights of the spouses and on the conditions that favor the achievement of their ends.
“It would result in an axiological and normative contradiction in the letter of the constitutional bill between the grounds of discrimination, sexual orientation and gender identity in Articles 39 and 40, and we would discriminate against families with gay parents in Article 68,” she added.
On the other hand, she stressed that Article 41 stipulates that the State works to create the necessary conditions to facilitate equality of citizenship and “the best way to say it is to do it”, she concluded.
For her part, the Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Women, Teresa Amarelle Boué, commented that it is a step forward that it has been taken away that marriage is the consensual union between a man and a woman..
However, there is no mention of adoption in this Article, and this is an issue that should be left to the Family Code and that should govern what marriage and other issues will be like.
“No one can be discriminated against because of their orientation. All rights are for all people and it is up to couples who want to be mothers and fathers to decide,” said Teresa Amarelle.
On the subject, Homero Acosta commented that the concept of matrimony that has been changed has an impact on the continuation of the article because it has a vision of a single-parent family and the issues related to children have a different formulation in the article.
The issue of children is regulated in Articles 69, 70 and 72, which refer to a concept of the family. “In no way does it limit the obligation of parents, whatever marriage in which it is constituted,” he said.
Yolanda Ferrer, deputy for Pinar del Río, commented that marriage must rest on the absolute equality of the duties and rights of the spouses and the law must determine the way in which it is constituted.
“We are taking a revolutionary and very important first step. There is no justification for depriving the happiness of forming a family. We have to face prejudice and make the justice we defend inclusive,” she said.
Speaking again, Deputy Mariela Castro Espín stated that “if we consider the reproductive issue, we must be consistent in giving these guarantees to all families”.
Miguel Barnet also commented that we are entering a new era. “This is a dialectical and modern Constitution, if tradition is to be broken, tradition must be broken, because breaking tradition is also a revolutionary act and under socialism there is no room for any kind of discrimination against humans. Love doesn’t have sex,” she said.
At the conclusion of the plenary debate on the subject, the deputies agreed to leave Article 68 as it stands and to include the terms “families” throughout the Constitution.
Author: Grupo Empresarial Correos de Cuba | email@example.com
July 30, 2018 18:07:43
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Directorate of Institutional Communication of the Business Group Correos de Cuba announced that as of Tuesday, July 31st, the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Cuba will be commercialized in all units and press boxes, in tabloid format of 32 pages, and will be commercialized through the national postal network at the price of one peso (cup).
First, on Tuesday, July 31st, it will be sold in the post office and press room units of the provinces of Havana, Mayabeque, Artemisa and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.
As of Wednesday, August 1, it will begin to be sold in the post office and press room units of the provinces of Pinar del Río, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus and Ciego de Ávila.
Meanwhile, starting on Friday, August 3, it will be sold in the post office and press room units in the provinces of Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.
As reported by the mass media, the draft Constitution of the Republic of Cuba will be submitted for popular consultation between 13 August and 15 November 2018.
Directorate of Institutional Communication Grupo Empresarial Correos de Cuba
Author: Claudia Padrón Cueto
September 24, 2015
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
For the browsing experiences of web users to remain pleasurable in the country, the information strategy of our society must achieve a greater synergy. This is the responsibility of all those who are concerned with the education on the use of Information Technologies.
This past holiday season will probably be remembered as the “wifi summer in Cuba”. Undoubtedly the period was marked by the extension –through this type of connection– of the opportunities for web surfing at 2 CUC’s an hour. And while it is true that the price is still high for most, the wifi is welcomed.
Every day people go to the squares, parks or places with wifi reach to make use of internet navigation services. Many go to make video calls (using IMO) or check their Facebook profiles; while others find –in the wake of the wifi– a way to profit.
This is how it works in the city of Pinar del Rio: At the different access points some young people wait for new arrivals at the park or connection area and immediately offer “one hour of connection for only 1 CUC”, that is, half the official price.
They act as go-between working on commission for a percentage of the total amount collected. They take their customers/users to other persons who use their PCs and cell phones with wireless connection and sell the service to these temporary users.
Connectify Hotspot is a software –one of many– that allows sharing Internet by several users. Of course, in accepting this browsing option the speed and original connectivity potential is reduced, but still it is possible to access the web and even make video calls.
In addition to these agents of shared wifi, and of those others who hoard coupons to then sell them for 75 Cuban pesos [official price 2 CUC = 50 Cuban pesos], this journalist and some close friends were able to confirm the existence of other “merchants” who charge for a simple advice, for example: how to recharge a Nauta account that only requires to enter portal@…, and from this address type the card code.
This is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes; but lack of knowledge makes some users resort to these “advisers” who take advantage of the inexperience and charge for the service 10 Cuban pesos. Such practices also involve certain risks, because those who offer “help” could even keep the data of the customer (username and password) and then use this information to access their accounts.
There are many who connect without even knowing how to turn on the wifi on their phone or what a browser is, what a web site, a web page or a network profile are. This is simply because without practice there is no possible knowledge. And such lack of knowledge frustrates the browsing experience of some, while others fill their pockets.
It’s been three months after the opening of the areas of wireless access service –indispensable in any modern society—and they are very much appreciated; but still the telecommunications company needs to improve its management so it is not limited only to the signing of contracts. It is also necessary to expand the benefits at the Joven Club [Free Computer Service Facilities] and provide guidance on the use of new technologies to solve the most dissimilar demands and problems of Cuban society in its way to computerization.
Schools should also join in this instruction task considering that today’s students options lead to new tools and benefits, provided by the use of ITs. These options need to be managed with dexterity so that users do not become easy preys to deception and theft.
Author: Germán Veloz Placencia | firstname.lastname@example.org
24 de julio de 2018 22:07:37
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The trivialization of the art of clowning is a widespread phenomenon in our society, rooted essentially in its conversion into a lucrative business.
Author: Leidys María Labrador Herrera | email@example.com
29 March 2018 20:03:13
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
A unique music sounds and at its rhythm, the picturesque character comes out, dressed in big shoes, colorful clothes, a funny wig or hat, painted face and the unmistakable red nose. He or she stumbles forward, laughs loudly and always has a joke up their sleeve.
Surely, if we were to conduct a survey of the Cuban population about their idea of what a clown is, the descriptions would more or less revolve around the one we presented at the beginning of this report. I can bet that most people would think the question was a little silly because who doesn’t know what a clown is? But this is accompanied by another question: do we really know?
We are not far from the truth when we say that behavior and clothing largely define a clown, but they are only its superficial shell. Behind that peculiar being that we see before us, there are other elements that make up its essence and that, unfortunately, have been diluted in the limbo of having certain acting qualities, some vis comic and the idea] that with that they are already suitable to make people laugh.
However, a deeper approach to this subject allows us to understand that clowning is an art that has become trivialised and commercialised in our society. Many have turned it into a lucrative business, to the detriment of the most important function of the clown: touching human sensitivity.
From the opinion of well-known personalities of Cuban theater and some of the most faithful exponents of this type of acting, Granma approaches the dilemma of the true differences between the clown who is sustained only in the material interest, and the one who starts from the actor’s ethics, the conscious dramaturgy and the need to transmit true messages to the people.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A CLOWN?
It is not necessary to be a theatre specialist to understand that any actor or actress, when she or he plays a role, if she or he does so with responsibility for her or his art and the unavoidable commitment to the audience, is capable of changing her or his skin. During the time that a production lasts, it assumes another life, other conflicts, another reality.
Building a character doesn’t mean it’s anything like him. In other words, it is possible to assume values, ways of acting, norms of behavior, even a temperament that has nothing to do with the actor’s true personality. In the case of the clown, although there must be the same level of responsibility, ethics, and commitment, the clown and the actor are the same person. The one cannot exist without the other.
This is what a man who, like many others, began as a clown for parties and birthdays, but then decided to take a step forward, because he understood the need to dignify such an ancient and vilified art. Perhaps this is the greatest merit of the group he founded and which today has become a paradigm of clowning in Cuba, Teatro Tuyo. Ernesto Parra, its director, knows very well what the birth of a clown is all about.
“Actors in our profession have the ability to approach lives from a character. The actor in the dramatic theater is going to play the role of a doctor and does not necessarily have to have studied medicine, he can play the role of a drunkard and be a teetotaler, but in the case of the clown the difference, which is not tacit, but only the adaptation to this concept of acting, is that yes, we are playing a character who is the clown, but it has been made with the actor’s own characteristics. There is no distance between the character I am going to play and the person I am.
“In any case, the actor who plays a clown, whether it be on a birthday, in a theatre, in a circus… when the performance is over, is once again the normal person who goes home to face his routine. What happens is that this character is constructed from his own psycho-physical characteristics. The mythical example is that of Charles Chaplin, who built a Charlot, the little tramp, through his own experiences.
A similar opinion is shared by young Adrián Bello Suárez, who has carried out all his acting growth in Teatro Tuyo.
“My clown’s name is Belo, and I started to find him after I had been in the group for some time. In fact, I’d say he’s still a long way off. I have drunk from Belo and Belo from me, I could tell you that we are walking hand in hand along the same path. Because that’s what the art of clowning is all about, of finding the clown that we all have inside us which is unique for each person, and building it with your own emotions, feelings…”.
Such experiences show that playing a clown is more than just having a red nose. Perhaps it is from this ignorance that the superficial vision of those who believe that dressing up in colorful costumes and stumbling senselessly is to be a clown.
THE DEFORMATION OF THE REAL CLOWN
The children are seated awaiting the presentation. The birthday boy’s parents are also anxious to see the protagonist who, frankly, has a tight budget The time comes, but there is no music of bugles or cymbals, what begins is the thunderous reggaeton and the clown comes out wagging his waist in an act that has nothing to do with comedy but borders on the obscene.
I’m not saying this is always so. We cannot commit the sin of absolutists and say that all those who today entertain in children’s parties act in this way. But how many of us haven’t had regrettable experiences like that? The saddest thing is that this person continues to do his “job” and we continue to open the doors of birthday parties to him.
NOTE: Sound file is in Spanish:
For Rubén Darío Salazar, director of the “Teatro de las Estaciones” group, this process implies a step backwards when talking about clowning.
“The art of clowning in our region, and in Cuba specifically, has suffered a regression. This is because it is something that many people feel entitled to do without, schooling, without training. They think they can just play the clown without any of that. But the worst part is that people believe it, and they are paid and hired and they cause a distortion in the profession.
“Being a clown has long been an art form looked down upon, and I don’t know why, because we have had in our country people with a powerful history in clowning, like Edwin Fernandez, known as Trompoloco. He was an actor who played the clown with a mixture of impressive lyricism and satire. I believe that this has been lost, it has been deformed, it has been devolved, without any of us noticing that the art of clowning is the new comedy, if we take it seriously, with the discipline and commitment it demands”.
TRIVIALIZATION, A LATENT PROBLEM
Ernesto Parra himself has a similar opinion. He says the trivialization of the art of clowning is a resident problem in today’s Cuba, especially when the real perspective of any actor performing a clown is lost, driven by economic need.
“We cannot say that the art of clowning is made in a single way, nor that it has these or those typical characteristics. The clown genre, according to the master Dario Fo (Italian actor and writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature), is the preparation of an artist who becomes a total actor and is the one who transmits, through humor, not as an end but as a means, an emotion, poetry, an idea, tackles a problem. It is not the stereotyped clown, of screams, of colourings, of jumps, of falls, of stumbles. Although they are elements that he uses to construct his dramaturgy, they do not constitute his main objective. That is to say, to take the spectator by the hand to arrive from humor to touch the soul and to move”.
Emptiness, lack of real, direct communication with the public, and in many cases, a total lack of tools to enrich the character, are some of the most common aspects when analyzing this phenomenon of the “multiplication” of clowns. The sharp vision of the master Roberto Gacio, who is a theatre institution in Cuba, allows us to evaluate some of the most notorious weaknesses that these clowns face.
“It is necessary to investigate, deepen, and be in a very serious position to transmit messages, not so much from social reality as from human existence. This, like other phenomena, is also marked by the loss of values, the lack of interest in personal and collective improvement and, of course, the economic factor.
“The way to save the clown’s art is to realize that you have to say things out of sensitivity, out of humanity. The clown and the clown, in general, are also like big children, who talk about serious adult things or children’s things, but with a lot of tenderness”.
Logically, like other similar dilemmas that take place within all artistic expressions, this process cannot be seen as alien to the social context, nor divorced from everyday realities or the way people perceive the world around them. These are aspects to which researcher, theatre critic, and director of the magazine Tablas-Alarcos, Omar Valiño Cedré, attaches great importance.
“There are two different dimensions to the problem. The abundance of clowns, which in reality there are not, should not be seen as excessively pernicious. It is simply an economic reality, in which people who have a certain capacity for animation, entertainment and the world of acting, seek that economic reinforcement for their profession, although they are not necessarily clowns [themselves]; and of course, there is the dimension that Teatro Tuyo and other artistic groups and entities represent, which is the dimension of the real clown, of the clown as a very singular priest of the performing art.
“Being a clown is the greatest thing in the performing arts. A real clown moves an amount of energy, of metaphors, of symbols, of abilities around him that is hardly achievable with any other scenic material. I believe that the challenges are, for all those who want to evolve from one side to the other, to know technically, spiritually and intellectually, what a clown is and how to train. Knowing how to be up-to-date, how to be effective in terms of communication and how to establish new pacts, new links with today’s public that is not the same as it was a few years ago”.
That is precisely the perspective of a group that has managed to fill theatres, to be loved by young and old and become an obligatory reference point whenever there is talk in Cuba of the worthy profession of the clown.
July 11, 2018 10:07:14
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The International Relations Secretary of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), Jacinto Suárez, reaffirmed today in Havana the invariable will of the Nicaraguan government to preserve peace in that nation.
According to Prensa Latina, Suárez rejected the wave of violence unleashed in the Central American country last April and insisted on an end to crime, encouraged, he said, by political manipulation by the right.
The Nicaraguan leader, who will participate as a delegate to the 24th Sao Paulo Forum in this capital city, ratified the call for dialogue as a way to restore peace to the nation’s citizens, and deplored the vandalism of groups described as terrorists whose aim is to spread chaos and terror in the country.
“The destruction they have caused is not easily replaced and the loss of human life is irreparable. It is necessary to resort to peaceful means,” he said after recalling the achievements of the past 10 years in areas such as the economy, health, education and the fight against poverty.
Also president of the International Relations and Integration Commission of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, Suarez warned that the destabilizing actions of the last three months respond to a soft coup orchestrated from abroad, similar to that applied in Venezuela, which seeks the resignation of the president, Daniel Ortega, and foreign intervention.
In addition, he explained that the students who participated in the first riots were manipulated by the right-wing, and assured that the promoters of such actions are not political activists, but criminals.
Suárez, who joined the FSLN in its struggle as a teenager, also referred to what happened on Monday in the department of Carazo, where residents denounced the complicity between the Catholic Church and criminal groups during a visit by the Episcopal Conference to the Basilica Menor de San Sebastián in the municipality of Diriamba.
In this regard, he said that the citizens repudiated the alleged use of the temples as a den for criminals, torture centers and weapons storage.
He also criticised the Conference’s bias in the national dialogue between the representative of the Executive and opposition sectors.
The escalation of violence erupted on April 18 against government social security reforms, which although later repealed did not stop the protests, to which other political demands were added.
These reforms, in line with allegations, served as a pretext to implement a plan aimed at destabilizing the nation and overthrowing the Sandinista government, which reiterates its commitment to the defense of peace, security and the right to life of all citizens.
The genius is in the masses, Fidel said at the Manuel Ascunce Domenech School in Santa Clara.
Art Instructor’s Day Observed
Author: José Antonio Fulgueiras and Pedro de la Hoz
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
February 19, 2001
SANTA CLARA: “The genie is in the masses, the genie is massive”: these two deep convictions were expressed by Fidel when he opened last night, in the Escuela de Instructores de Arte ManuelAscunce Domenech, in this city, the system of educational institutions of this type (15) operating in the country since last September.
The Commander in Chief made this comment when analyzing the enormous possibilities that are open to the development of talent under the conditions when the Revolution, after four decades of extraordinary growth in the number of people educational work, is carrying out a colossal program for the promotion of a general and comprehensive society-wide culture.
The event coincided with the celebration of the Day of the Art Instructor, September 18. February, date of birth of Olga Alonso, a young woman who belonged to the first batch of this speciality, of remarkable poetic sensibility, who died in an accident in 1964, near the Escambray, when She was killed. was doing her duty.
Fidel spoke with the school’s director, Pedro Díaz Guerra, and with teachers and students from downtown.
“Your historic mission,” he said as he addressed the students of the school- is that all the children of our country acquire a culture art, learn to appreciate art, that millions of children, that all of them those that are born every year and that are currently around 150 000, have the possibility of awakening artistic genius or artistic faculties they’ve got inside them. It’s to turn all those children into artists, to teach them to paint one, to work in the clay or clay to others, to teach them to enjoy what humanity has created for thousands of years, to bring them that spiritual wealth that has no limits and that human society does can create for man.” He compared that mission to the sowing of seeds of gold in our children and adolescents, while there may be a star in every human heart.
No less than 4 000 children will enter this type of school each year. students, served by cloisters in which the contribution of the following are highlighted members of the UNEAC and the HermanosSaíz Association, organizations that together with the to the National Union of Cultural Workers, have given their full support to the initiative.
Fidel emphasized the idea that the wealth of a country cannot be measured in the cold terms of the Gross Domestic Product, or of its production material only. He highlighted the incalculable benefits of the education, health, sport and culture, and resource training a priceless capital that in our country has developed in correspondence with the project of society that we built.
He contrasted our ideal of culture with the one that prevails in the world, where what he described as cultural poison is proliferating: exacerbation of violence, the erosion of national identities, an industry of the entertainment that stimulates the selfish and irrational feelings of the human being.
He expressed his confidence that we are building a kind of society that will be inspires in the noblest feelings of the human being, the brotherhood, the brotherhood, the generosity, solidarity, as well as an absolute and enormous conviction satisfaction with the society we are building, the way in which we are building it, the way in which we are doing, and the heroism accumulated in defense of that dream of society, which we temporarily call socialism, and which we will one day call socialism. communism .
In front of a square filled with students of the school of Villaclara, of intellectual and artistic personalities and guests the governors of the Venezuelan states of Portuguesa and Lara, Antonia Muñoz and Jesús Reyes, and the British rock band Manic. Street Preachers, with whom he had a good talk for a while. He developed an artistic program in which a young boy, Antonio La Villa, a student of the Commander’s presence with tenths of a second and a third of a second. dedicated to cultural mass.
Fernando Rojas, director of the National Center for Community Culture, introduced one of the most emotional moments: Fidel’s award, with the Distinction for National Culture, to Mercedes Suárez, a Matanzas instructor of Plastic Arts; to Delia Aguilar, a Camagüeyan dedicated to dance; to Nieves Armas, a Santiaguera who has excelled in choreographic creation; and to Eloy Hernández, a veteran theater instructor in Villa Clara, who represented the graduates in the first courses implemented in the early 1960s. Everyone was deeply impressed by the words with which Eloy remembered how he, a guajiro from Santa Cruz del Sur, shoeshine boy, newspaper salesman and glass container scrubber, had the opportunity to study at the School of Art Instructors at the Hotel Comodoro and since 1963 has been practicing what is more than just a profession – an undeniable vocation.
The director of the EIA Manuel Ascunce Domenech, Pedro Díaz Guerra, spoke to explain the magnificent conditions of these schools and the support received from the artistic intelligentsia, the UJC and the organizations; and the president of the FEEM of the center, Yudislaydys Cardet, made clear the commitment of the future instructors to serve the Homeland. MICONS, MINIL, COPEXTEL and the Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial were recognized for their contribution to the development of these schools.
Forty minutes before the ceremony began, Fidel, accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto; the first secretary of the Party in Villa Clara, Miguel Díaz-Canel; and Otto Rivero, first secretary of the UJC, toured the installation. He exchanged with students who participated in drawing and modelling sessions and in dance and body expression practices; he received explanations about Cuban and universal painting works, particularly Picasso’s Guernica, from the collections of reproductions exhibited in the school, and he noted what the bibliographic resources and the use of audiovisual media represent for the quality of teaching.
This school has an enrollment of 359 students from the 13 municipalities of Villa Clara, who study in the specialties of Theater, Music, Dance and Plastic Arts.
The course lasts 4 years, of which 3 are dedicated to teaching and 1 is pre-professional, with internships in the cultural centres where the students come from and where they will be placed at the end of their studies.
El genio está en las masas
Fidel en la Escuela Manuel Ascunce Domenech, de Santa Clara.
Celebrado Día del Instructor de Arte
Autor: José Antonio Fulgueiras y Pedro de la Hoz
SANTA CLARA.-“El genio está en las masas, el genio es masivo”: estas dos profundas convicciones fueron expresadas por Fidel al inaugurar anoche, en la Escuela de Instructores de Arte ManuelAscunce Domenech, de esta ciudad, el sistema de instituciones docentes de este tipo (15) que funciona en el país desde septiembre pasado.
El Comandante en Jefe hizo este comentario al analizar las enormes posibilidades que se abren al desarrollo del talento en las condiciones actuales , cuando la Revolución, al cabo de cuatro décadas de extraordinaria obra educacional, lleva adelante un colosal programa para la promoción de una cultura general e integral a escala de toda la sociedad.
El acto coincidió con la celebración del Día del Instructor de Arte, 18 de febrero , fecha de nacimiento de Olga Alonso, una joven que perteneció a la primera hornada de esta especialidad, de notable sensibilidad poética, quien falleció en un accidente en 1964, en las cercanías delEscambray, cuando cumplía con su deber.
Fidel conversa con el director de la Escuela, Pedro Díaz Guerra, y con profesores y alumnos del centro.
“La misión histórica de ustedes -dijo al dirigirse a los estudiantes de la escuela- es que todos los niños de nuestro país adquieran una cultura artística , aprendan a apreciar el arte, que millones de niños, que todos esos que nacen cada año y que actualmente son alrededor de 150 000, tengan la posibilidad de despertar el genio artístico o las facultades artísticas que tengan dentro. Es convertir en artistas a todos esos niños, enseñarles a pintar a uno, a trabajar en el barro o la plastilina a otros, enseñarles a disfrutar lo que la humanidad ha creado durante miles de años, a aportarles esa riqueza espiritual que no tiene límites y que la sociedad humana sí podrá crear para el hombre”. Comparó esa misión con la siembra de semillas de oro en nuestros niños y adolescentes, en tanto puede haber una estrella en cada corazón humano.
Todos los años ingresarán en este tipo de escuela no menos de 4 000 estudiantes , atendidos por claustros en los que se destacan el aporte de miembros de la UNEAC y la Asociación HermanosSaíz, organizaciones que junto al Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Cultura, han dado todo su apoyo a la iniciativa.
Fidel hizo énfasis en la idea de que la riqueza de un país no se puede medir en los fríos términos del Producto Interno Bruto, o de su producción exclusivamente material, en tanto destacó los incalculables beneficios de la educación , la salud, el deporte y la cultura, y de la formación de recursos humanos , un capital invaluable que en nuestro país se desarrolla en correspondencia con el proyecto de sociedad que construimos.
Contrastó nuestro ideal de cultura con el que predomina en el mundo, donde prolifera lo que calificó de veneno cultural: exacerbación de la violencia, del sexo, erosión de las identidades nacionales, una industria del entretenimiento que estimula los sentimientos egoístas e irracionales del ser humano.
Manifestó su confianza en que estamos edificando un tipo de sociedad que se inspira en los sentimientos más nobles del ser humano, la hermandad, la generosidad , la solidaridad, así como una absoluta convicción y enorme satisfacción por la sociedad que estamos construyendo, la forma en que lo estamos haciendo, y el heroísmo acumulado en la defensa de ese sueño de sociedad , que llamamos socialismo, transitoriamente, y que un día llamaremos comunismo .
Ante una plaza colmada por los estudiantes de la escuela villaclareña, de personalidades de la esfera intelectual y artística, y de invitados especiales como los gobernadores de los estados venezolanos de Portuguesa y Lara, Antonia Muñoz y Jesús Reyes, y de la banda británica de rockManic Street Preachers, con los que departió durante un buen rato, se desarrolló un programa artístico en el que un jovencito, Antonio La Villa, alumno del centro , saludó la presencia del Comandante con décimas y una seguidilla dedicadas a la masividad cultural.
Fernando Rojas, director del Centro Nacional de Cultura Comunitaria, introdujo uno de los momentos más emotivos: la condecoración, por parte de Fidel, con la Distinción por la Cultura Nacional, a Mercedes Suárez, instructora matancera de Artes Plásticas; a Delia Aguilar, una camagüeyana consagrada a la danza; a Nieves Armas, santiaguera que se ha destacado en la creación coreográfica, y a Eloy Hernández, veterano instructor de teatro en Villa Clara, que representaron a los egresados en la especialidad en los primeros cursos implementados en los tempranos años 60. A todos impresionó vivamente las palabras con que Eloy recordó cómo él, un guajiro de Santa Cruz del Sur, limpiabotas, vendedor de periódicos y fregador de envases de vidrio , tuvo la posibilidad de estudiar en la Escuela de Instructores de Arte del hotel Comodoro y desde 1963 ejercer lo que es algo más que una profesión : una vocación irrenunciable.
El director de la EIA Manuel Ascunce Domenech, Pedro Díaz Guerra, habló para explicar las magníficas condiciones con que cuentan estas escuelas y el apoyo recibido de la intelectualidad artística, la UJC y los organismos; y la presidenta de la FEEM del centro,Yudislaydys Cardet, hizo patente el compromiso de los futuros instructores de servir a la Patria. El MICONS, el MINIL, COPEXTEL y el Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial merecieron un reconocimiento por su contribución al despegue de estas escuelas.
Cuarenta minutos antes de comenzar el acto, Fidel, acompañado por el ministro de Cultura, Abel Prieto; el primer secretario del Partido en Villa Clara, Miguel Díaz-Canel ; y Otto Rivero, primer secretario de la UJC, recorrieron la instalación. Intercambió con alumnos que participaban en sesiones de dibujo y modelado y en prácticas de danza y expresión corporal; recibió explicaciones sobre obras de pintura cubana y universal, particularmente el Guernica, de Picasso, a partir de las colecciones de reproducciones expuestas en la escuela, y constató lo que representa para la calidad de la docencia la dotación bibliográfica y el uso de los medios audiovisuales .
Esta escuela tiene una matrícula de 359 alumnos procedentes de los 13 municipios de Villa Clara, quienes estudian en las especialidades de Teatro, Música, Danza y Plástica.
La carrera dura 4 años, de ellos tres son dedicados a la docencia y uno pre-profesional con prácticas en las casas de cultura de donde proceden los alumnos y en las que serán ubicados al finalizar los estudios.
THANKS TO NELSON VALDES for the Spanish original, an early reference to Migues Diez-Canel from the year 2001. He was elected President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers in April 2018.
Author: Francisco Arias Fernández | firstname.lastname@example.org
June 19, 2018 21:06:33
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
A study by the Institute for High Security and Justice Studies and the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT), which analyzed the impact of the legalization of marijuana in North American states, was published in October 2017. It indicated that, in the USA, this measure contributed to an increase in the consumption of this drug, especially among users over 25 years of age, and led to “a significant increase in hospitalization cases linked to alleged cannabis intoxications”.
The Miami Herald recently revealed that a year and a half after an amendment to the Florida constitution legalized so-called medical marijuana, “the industry is finally showing signs of prosperity. The newspaper reported that some 91,000 Floridians are buying 56 pounds of marijuana weekly with prescriptions from 1,400 licensed doctors.
According to the information, when the medical use of marijuana was legalized in that state in 2016, drug dealers predicted that half a million users would register quickly, and the facts are proving them right, as more and more clinics are opening and customers are arriving by the thousands. The specialized state department said that new users are registering at a rate of 5,400 per week and to “make the process viable” the time to complete the process has been reduced to two weeks.
In this regard, the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has warned that the increased availability of marijuana, coupled with policies and legislative initiatives to regulate the use of cannabis for medical purposes in some states and for non-medical purposes in others, “has reduced the perception of the risk associated with cannabis use”.
The INCB, the body responsible for ensuring compliance with the international drug treaties, has called for a halt to the advance of legal marijuana, and criticized governments that passed laws in this regard.
Since last year’s report, it warned of non-compliance with international covenants by states that allowed the legalization of marijuana use. “These laws are contrary to international treaties” (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol), the agency said. It added that “rates of abuse [of drugs] may increase, especially among young people, because legalization measures may influence the way harm is perceived, in the sense that fewer people will consider cannabis to be harmful, highlighting the need for more effective prevention measures”.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
THE WORST ADDICTION CRISIS IN HISTORY
The “medical marijuana” fever that has been legalized in 23 U.S. states (almost half the country) and the “prosperity” of that industry coincide with what a report by the Office of the Surgeon General of the Nation called a “crisis” of addictions in the United States at the end of 2016, characterized by a death from heroin overdose every 19 minutes, more than 27 million people addicted to illicit drugs and medicines, as well as 66 million alcoholics. According to available statistics, “more than half of all new illicit drug users started with marijuana.
The phenomenon prompted President Donald Trump in October 2017 to declare a “public health emergency” in the country over the use of opiates, a substance whose use caused the death of 64,000 people in 2016 and is the worst drug use crisis in “human history”. Over the past six years, overdose deaths have become the most common cause of death from injuries in the United States, over and above traffic accidents or weapons.
If this situation was reached in the United States – among other causes – by a very liberal system of dispensing medical prescriptions for legal opiates to treat chronic pain, where can medical and recreational marijuana fever lead?
The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health warned that if current trends continue, one in seven Americans will face a problem with addiction in their lifetime, and estimated that the combined annual economic impact of alcohol abuse and illegal drug addiction is $442 billion (the cost of diabetes is about $240 billion).
To complicate matters, many addicts do not go to medical services or treatment because of fear, embarrassment, or discrimination, while another percentage say their level of alcohol or drug use is a problem that requires medical attention. Only 10% of people with addiction problems receive some form of treatment, as some of the health coverage plans do not fully cover doctor visits or medications associated with addiction health services.
It states that more than 40% of people with an addiction suffer from a mental disorder, yet less than half receive treatment for both the addiction and the underlying condition.
On the social impact of the crisis, the document stated that “neighborhoods and communities are suffering as a result of the criminality and violence associated with alcohol and drug use, abuse, child neglect, and the rising costs associated with substance abuse.
INDUSTRY AND BUSINESS FLOURISH
“As the number of people with enrollment cards increases, so does our business,” said the manager of one of the four Miami-Dade County stores, which serves between 100 and 115 customers daily.
The Miami Herald points out that an even more evident indication of the industry’s flourishing is that fairs have been held to offer at least 100 new jobs for dispensaries, they are trying to increase the number of doctors with the course required to authorize patients and the Grow Healthy medical marijuana company was bought by a major New York firm for $47.5 million.
While the conditions are created to continue receiving millions at the expense of these patients, employers are investing undetermined amounts to try to influence lawmakers to sweep away what they see as “a key obstacle,” as the constitutional amendment states that “the only” ways in which medical use of marijuana in Florida is permitted is “in oils, tinctures, sprays and groceries.
The magnates of this business want to expand the universe of consumers and argue that to expand the industry and its profits it is essential to break the ban on smoking marijuana. “It’s just a barrier, but it’s fundamental,” they say, and so they seek to influence public opinion with all kinds of sentimentality, based on the fact that for most people in the United States, smoking is the most familiar form and that medical use was supported by 70% of voters in Florida in 2016.
CANNABIS: MONEY AGAINST HEALTH
Since the late 1940s, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that the use of cannabis (marijuana, hashish and hashish oil) was dangerous from all points of view: physical, mental or social. More recently, they were joined by so-called synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic or laboratory marijuana, even more harmful).
It is striking that the media serving the great beneficiaries of business talk more about the supposed therapeutic virtues of these substances than the doctors, scientists and health institutions of the United States or other parts of the world themselves. The Miami Herald newspaper’s own information reported that the doctors were apathetic about using medical cannabis or taking the necessary steps to indicate its use.
For this reason, information on the subject is frequently magnified and distorted, and the Internet is invaded with messages in favor of marijuana, the most widely produced, commercialized and consumed drug in the world.
The merchants of this business do not care about the health or future of their customers, they are interested in money and the present. Annually, the profits of the drug industry, in general, exceed 600 billion dollars and marijuana is an important commodity, whether it is illegal, legal or “medicinal”.
LETTERS POSTED TO GRANMA WEBSITE, AS OF July 1, 2018.
June 20, 2018
Marijuana is fine but we in Cuba sell other drugs because it also gives us money. We know that alcohol is killing people and every day in Cuba is more stimulated to consume it because in all the cafes are sold more than 14 types of drinks and often no food and tobacco as much as you want.
Albert N Jones said:
June 20, 2018
Millions of people suffering from mental illness, addictions and post-traumatic injuries acquired in the wars of conquest in the United States, roam without medical assistance, and are victims of some 35 suicides a day in the country. Of these, hundreds of thousands are Latinos, who were taken to these wars because of the offer to legalize their stay in the country. Today, hundreds of thousands of these men and women roam without professional services in their language to care for their neurological disorders, while in Cuba there are thousands of mental health professionals, facilities and experiences, while thousands of professionals lack well-paid jobs and the country has deprived itself of this substantial economic income.
Jorge Luis said:
June 20, 2018
We all know that any legal or non-legal drug can be addictive and the reason for addiction lies in the physiology of the human body itself. And to avoid this terrible evil, we must educate society and create a socio-economic and educational system that protects citizens from drugs. Capitalism in its essence is a generator of lethal drugs and addictions. The opium war imposed on China is an example, when capitalism is not able to generate profits through honest and clean trade. Today the drug is the oil that is lubricating the machinery of the local economies of many cities and nations, and even many of the large banks have been linked to the laundering of drug money. Drugs are also a macabre and scary method of social control. Some of the black community leaders in the United States have publicly recognized how this evil has destroyed their neighborhoods and have demonstrated that they used to fight for civil and political rights and now fight among themselves for drugs. All this big business is in the hands of an elite or power groups and the proof is that to obtain a permit to grow marijuana you have to pay a six-digit fee so many farmers cannot participate in the lucrative business and this helps to maintain the price of the drug. It is good to remember that societies divided into classes and under strong psychological pressure due to poverty, unemployment and the struggle for survival create an enormous psychological tension in the citizen, so that once he or she uses drugs and this temporarily takes him or her away from the reality that he or she lives to the other fantastic and pleasant reality, it is difficult for him or her to stop being an addict with terrible consequences.
June 20, 2018
Excellent article. Thank you. Thank you. In the media, both hegemonic and “counter-hegemonic” do not say anything. Only apologia, extolling the supposed attributes of cannabis and not informing about its dangers to health. and also here the consumption of all types of drugs is growing, especially when there is a crisis is more and more seen
June 21, 2018
Great journalistic work. This is a clear manifestation of the upheavals suffered by American society, infested by the manipulation of values imposed by some political authorities and, above all, by the mercenaries of financial power, who profit and enrich themselves at the expense of the deception and disinformation of a large part of the population. Marijuana is not only a drug that is harmful to health, but also a hook, a gateway to other, stronger and more harmful drugs. It is here that the fight against global drug trafficking must begin, not by encouraging the sale of “medical marijuana”. It is a fallacy, an abject way of making large profits at the cost of human suffering. In some “cultured European countries”, which boast of being super democratic, marijuana is sold in restaurants and other public places, where it is allowed to be consumed as part of the package of ddhh that any person must have, which is a moral aberration, as occurs in dozens of American states. In Cuba, “zero tolerance” for any form of addiction is a duty of the Cuban State and of our society to protect our youth and the population in general against this perverse scourge…
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