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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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 | email@example.com
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…
IN PRINT EDITION:
Author: Gabriela Avila Gómez, Special Envoy | firstname.lastname@example.org
June 8, 2018 21:06:54
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
BEIJING: The proclamation of the People’s Revolution in China, the 1st. of October 1949, represented a transformation of the country that took deep root in every sphere, including the role of women in society, which until then could be defined in one term: obedience.
The belief in the superiority of men within the family and society over women led to the conception that women should always obey: first their father, then their husband and, if they were widowed, their son. As if this were not enough, the woman did not work, she had to admit her partner’s surname and did not even have the right to divorce, but the man did.
However, after the coming to power of Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China (CPC), a new stage for the development and empowerment of women was opened, leaving behind superstitions, lineages and patriarchy.
On one occasion, the Chinese leader stated that “in order to build a great socialist society, it is of the utmost importance to mobilize the great masses of women to engage in productive activities. (…) Only in the process of socialist transformation of society as a whole can true equality between the sexes be achieved.
In a conversation with Liu Meng, Vice-China Women’s University’s vice-chancellor, she said the Constitution – adopted just a few years after Mao took office as the country’s top leader – opened a new page for women’s emancipation by advocating for gender equality and encouraging them to move out of the confinement of the home to which they were previously committed.
Years before the appearance of the Magna Carta, the first Marriage Law had been enacted in the Asian giant, thanks to which the imposed and forced marriages, characteristic of ancient China, were definitively annulled.
WOMEN IN TODAY’S CHINA
Nearly 70 years after the People’s Republic, women in the Asian giant are an essential part of a society facing an ageing population and have a number of institutions that safeguard their security and promote gender equality, such as the National Federation of Women of China.
While the data provides an encouraging picture, it also reflects a number of difficulties for them, which the government of the president and secretary general of the CCPH Central Committee, Xi Jinping, knows and works to eliminate step by step.
“We will continue to pursue gender equality as a basic state policy and guarantee the legal rights and interests of women and children,” Xi said last year when presenting her report to the 19th National Congress of the CCPH.
Currently, their participation in political life is very notable, they are part of the National People’s Assembly, the Political Consultative Conference, and the administration at all levels.
Currently, the employment rate of women in the Asian giant is among the highest in the world, with a greater presence in sectors such as service and agriculture, said the vice-rector of the Women’s University of China.
However, as in other countries, efforts are being made to close the wage gap: in the Asian giant, women earn only 70% of men’s wages, and the higher the level of employment, the fewer women there are.
In that sense, Liu considers it difficult to have a female president in the short term, as their weight in top-level positions within the Asian nation is still very low.
This is due to the fact that they are left behind from antiquity and it is thought that if women want to be leaders they are ambitious and illogical, to which is added the difference in access to higher education between those in the countryside and those in the city, with 24% and 2%, respectively.
“We hope that the presence of Chinese women in high positions can increase,” she said.
The Asian giant has around twenty women’s universities, created under the premise of promoting gender equality, and training women’s talents to contribute to economic and social development and diplomacy.
One such institution is the China Women’s University and, according to its vice-chancellor, Liu Meng, currently has around 6,000 students, 99 per cent of whom are women.
There are careers,” said Liu, “in which there is a need for a balance between people of both sexes, such as that of a radio presenter.
Currently, the university has three cooperation projects, the first of which is aimed at training female officials from developing countries such as Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela. The second is dedicated to master’s degrees in women’s leadership and social advancement, and the last one is dedicated to women’s talents from nations included in the Silk Road and Strip.
Although women in China, and around the world, still have a long way to go to achieve their full rights, work from every family, locality and government is critical to their empowerment.
1949: Implementation of an agrarian reform that benefited more than 90% of the population. Some 300 million farmers obtained farmland.
1953-1957: First Five-Year Plan. From that experience are the Chinese progress that increased the national income to almost 9 a year and created a solid industrial base for a rise as a power.
1978: Policy of Reform and Openness, a project of nationhood that began more than 30 years ago and which considerably increased its national power, the standard of living of the people and the weight and contribution to the world economy. It catapulted the country’s political stability, fostered development and active diplomacy, which is still in place.
It has consolidated the construction of socialism with Chinese peculiarities and defined the path that the country should follow.
By 2020, the integral construction of a modestly affluent society would be completed.
China’s prosperity and stability are opportunities for all humanity to live on.
More than 30 countries are participating in the Strip and Silk Road initiative.
STUDENTS: TOTAL MEN(%) WOMEN(%)
UNIVERSITY: 1,793,953 51 49
TEACHING: 1,495,650 48.6 51.4
GRADUATE: 298,283 63.1 36.9
MEN: 86,852,572 (51.27%)
WOMEN: 65,287,288 (48.73%)
NATIONAL PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY (2018)
24.9% are women out of about 3000, total.
Data provided by Liu Meng, Vice-Rector of Women’s Univesity of China.
Although it is only in these times of increasingly widespread use of the Internet that the term has become popular, social networks have existed as long as human groups have existed.
Author: Iroel Sanchez | email@example.com
19 June 2018 19:06:05
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Although it is only in these times of increasingly widespread use of the Internet that the term, which used to be common only among sociologists and other social science professionals, has become popular, social networks have existed since human collectives first existed. Even other non-human groups also function as networks. Just look at an ant hill, a honeycomb… Their functioning is crucial for access to food, protection against other species, reproduction and for sharing essential information related to these vital activities.
In human societies, each individual already belonged to family networks, friendships, neighbors, co-workers or students, professionals, often overlapping, long before spaces such as Facebook or Twitter became commonplace.
However, the advent of the Internet has made tangible, and even capitalizable, what was previously invisible. By recording in the memories of powerful computers called servers, every search, every exchange, every publication of text, video or photos and those that interact with them, as well as the metadata that accompany them (date, time, sex, theme and geographical location of the participants, among others), in a space where every minute billions of these actions occur, the current development of computer tools to correlate them allows us to find and connect affinities at a speed that was unthinkable before.
This has given rise to companies known as “internet giants” or technology giants, whose potential lies precisely in capitalizing on these intangibles. Offering its users as advertising merchandise for other companies with an effectiveness that was unimaginable a few years ago, Facebook and Google have gone public for hundreds of billions of dollars. Fewer and fewer people are arriving at information by typing the address in their browser, the most common thing is to navigate through what a search engine like Google or the Facebook algorithm puts in front of us. Rather than surfing, we relate to internet applications that select for us virtual answers from the real world hegemons who paid for it.
For most people who use these two tools most of the time, the Internet is Facebook and Google, just as the operating system is synonymous with Android or Windows.
On May 18, 2012, a joint statement was issued by a group of civil society organizations to the United Nations meeting in Geneva for enhanced cooperation on public policy issues related to the Internet. It noted that “what was a public network of millions of digital spaces, is now largely a conglomerate of spaces of a few owners. Six years later, many people talk about Gafam (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) as the giant that controls the global digital space from a single country.
Beyond the denunciations of its use for political and military domination, as a consequence of what the former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden has already revealed, the effectiveness that transnational companies which can pay for advertising acquired in national markets, micro locating audiences according to their characteristics, tastes, and needs, crossing national borders, is devastating.
With more than 4 billion Internet users, the battle between Google and Facebook to manage the connection of the remaining 3 billion Earthlings to “internet.org” (free access to the services of these companies, but charged when they leave these spaces) is on the rise. The policies that penalize external links at Mark Zuckerberg’s corporation, making them virtually invisible, while rewarding content that does not require users to leave the social network to access it, are a manifestation of this obsession with having users all the time in the space where each action produces metadata for the company.
Undoubtedly, the digital divide has been closing at a much faster rate than the radio or television. However, far from meaning a diversification of cultural consumption, this has deepened the chasm between the core production of content and services held by a few American companies and the rest of the planet, causing a growing homogenization.
In Latin America, of the 100 most popular sites, only 26% are of local origin and less than 30% are in the local language, and even though much of the latter is in Spanish, it is of American origin.
It is an everyday fact that an advertiser can now micro-localize in a network like Facebook or in the results of a search engine like Google the recipient of a message based on age, gender, geographic location and professional profile. This can be whether to position a product or news item, whether true or not, it’s just that you have to have the money to pay for it. This is absolutely legal and widely used, and has nothing to do with the recent scandals over the use of data derived from personal activity on Facebook to create political profiles of users associated with Cambridge Analytica.
Few countries have a critical demographic mass and language of their own that allows them to develop alternatives, such as China and Russia. Stanford University expert and professor Evgeny Morozov, not at all suspected of admiration for either country, pointed out ironically in 2015: “Notice the crucial difference: Russia and China want access to data generated by their citizens on their own soil, while the US wants access to data generated by anyone anywhere, as long as American companies manage it.
Processes such as Brexit, the election of Donald Trump or the response to the referendum on peace in Colombia have been impacted by these realities. The guarimbas of the first semester of 2017 in Venezuela, the defeat of the referendum for the re-election of Evo Morales in Bolivia, or the instantaneous deployment of violence in Nicaragua have had millions of dollars invested in social networks on the Internet.
The Internet is not the problem, but the economic and social inequality with which the hegemonies of the real world are transferred to virtual space, through money.
Tim Berners Lee, creator of the world wide web, on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of his invention in March 2017, expressed his “growing concern about three new trends” on the web: we have lost control of our personal information, it is very easy to spread misinformation on the web, and online political advertising needs transparency and understanding.
In 2016 Jonathan Albright, a professor at Elon University in North Carolina, published a map showing how, from the domain of Google’s search algorithm, the far-right colonized digital space much more effectively than the liberal left in the United States. Albright’s map, which followed 1.3 million hyperlinks, shows how a “satellite” system of right-wing news and propaganda (dark forms on the map) surrounded the dominant media system just in the year that Donald Trump reached the White House. Asked by The Guardian about how to stop this process, Albright replied: “I don’t know, I’m not sure if it can be done, it’s a network, it’s much more powerful than any actor.
“So it almost has a life of its own?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied the scientist, “and it is learning. It gets stronger every day.
What is the solution to this problem for a small country that does not want to be dominated by US hegemony? Can we flee from the social networks of the Internet? They are already part of the daily life of billions of people, of the majority of young people and of a growing number of Cubans. Can we create, without a critical demographic mass, national spaces that are exclusive as China does, that has more Internet users than the United States and Europe combined?
It does not seem to be viable, our alternative seems to be to network our values, to ask ourselves if the Cubans who carry them are the ones who have the best facilities to access the Internet, to make our media and our schools promote a culture of the use of these technologies that allows them not to be manipulated and that the institutional, political and social leadership is present and articulated in the network based on timely and quality information that is related to Cubans’ expectations and needs.
Author: Julio César Sánchez Guerra | firstname.lastname@example.org
June 5, 2018
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
In an old legend, back in 1284, the city of Hamelin was infested with rats. A stranger appeared and proposed to free them from such undesirable company in exchange for a reward. The people accepted the deal, the man played a flute and brought out all the mice, who then followed the flutist, who took them to the Weiser River, where they drowned. Then the people refused to pay the reward. The flutist returned one day in June and, in an act of revenge, with the music of the flute he took all the children who came after him to a cave from from where they never returned.
Fables hide stories and symbols. Has the pied piper returned to look for the children? Today a strange “music” threatens to take them away and rob them of their innocence in one fell swoop.
From an early age they are subjected to adult language. They consume songs marked by high doses of sex, video games and audiovisuals that stimulate the culture of violence…. From the room where they play connected by Zapya one says happily: “I’ve already killed more than 30!».
Now some families prepare the girls for the mini-quinceaneras where they are dressed in clothes that are not proper for their age; as if their parents were saying to their children: “Fly, fly, it’s time for you to grow up!” On the other hand, a globalizing wave of brands and manufactured customs seduces them with omnipresent toys.
Faced with these realities, the family, school, society… have new cultural challenges. How can we educate our children today? You can’t answer with prescriptions. But it is not from the “pedagogy of the cry” or confusing children with the grass that grows alone. We cannot forget Martí’s warnings: “The street is guilty when it does not educate”.
Let’s encourage habit of reading and the ability to astonish. Since when do we not put our children to sleep by reading them a story? Or do we prefer that they sleep with their cell phones in their hands? Let us teach with all our strength the mystery of the poem The Two Miracles, from the Golden Age, where nature is saved by the kiss of a child to a butterfly.
Let us always return to our children the country of the wonders and powers of imagination, the one that my Saharawi brother Abdel Mayí taught me in a book of his culture and colonised country, a book called Tales under the Jaima.
The teacher came into the classroom threatening all the children: “You have two minutes to paint on your blackboards a bird and a tree; if you don’t do it in that time, I’ll kneel you down facing the wall, get to work! The children painted desperately. As the two minutes passed, the master struck a blow on the table. “Time’s up: raise your boards!” In all of them there was a tree and a bird, but a child at the end of the classroom had only one tree. The teacher prepared to give the punishment, and with rage asked, “Where is your bird? The boy, with his face full of magic elves, replied: “Teacher, when you hit the table, the bird was frightened and flew away”.
Let’s feed the children with the bird that always flies, with the music that beats the pied piper so that this time it leaves our children at home, and in our souls, a song with our childhood intact.
27 May 2018 20:05:48
Photo: Pagina 12
There is no fact that justifies the closed hatred of many people with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) embodying Kirchnerism in general.
This hatred is deep in the bones of a large part of the population, based on the very effective media campaign that “reported” many actions of the previous government that never happened, but they did so following “post-truth” methodology. That is, “it doesn’t matter if what we say is true, but if people believe it”. Of course, in order to achieve this, they had a near monopoly on all the media, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc.
For those people who are interested in knowing the truth and doing small or large investigations on their own, alternative websites were enough to expose the lies of the government’s dismissive opposition to the previous government, and those of the current government. But a large part of the population does not carry out this task. And the progressive press, like Page 12, was also demonized, and still is.
To create such a false negative image of CFK, they also used a propaganda apparatus aimed at manipulating people’s subjectivity instead of arguing, with some basis, using real facts. Not only was and is Durán Barba, but a whole team of publicists, Argentine and foreign, many of them appointed by the U.S. Embassy, who organized the “subliminal” campaign against Kirchnerism.
The previous one was a middle-class government, which respected the general functioning of capitalism; therefore it did not affect economic concentration, large agrarian property and the economy in its almost totality in private, foreign and oligopolistic hands. At the same time, it carried out a very important series of social reforms and infrastructure growth more than any other government in Argentine history, as well as the extension of human rights.
Without directly confronting the concentrated and centralized international capital (CCyCI), which is the true power that dominates Argentina and the world, it laid the foundations for a more integral economic development, promoting science and technology, education, health, employment, retirement, the interconnection of long distances with electricity, the beginning of the reconstruction of railways, sewage pipelines, running water and in general it laid the foundations, to a certain extent, for a greater “growth with social inclusion”. In addition, it was freed from the burden of foreign debt, albeit by paying millions of dollars, but much less than the nominal demand for it. The country thus acquired a certain degree of economic independence, and the increase in the number of schools and universities, the recovery of technical schools, the return of more than a thousand scientists to the country and the construction of laboratories to enable them to carry out their work at the level of global technological progress. It manufactured three satellites entirely in the country, which placed it in eighth place in this area.
However, the international CCYCI remained intact, made large profits and continued its concentration, centralization, foreignization, oligopolization and privatization.
Despite all this, the Kirchnerist government was unbearable for the CCYCI for a multitude of reasons. In the first place because it hindered their open and implacable plundering, as the current government does. Second, because it showed that within capitalism one can live better, and that was increasingly incorporated into the consciousness of the people, who could not know that under capitalism it is impossible to maintain that improvement for long.
Big capital always ends up annulling these reforms in one way or another. Thirdly, because a large part of the population began to understand, albeit with distortions inherent in the class-conciliation ideology of Kirchnerism, the nature of the CCyCI, its global economic power, and this increased awareness was becoming increasingly dangerous to the power of big business.
It is now said that CFK cannot be a candidate because she has a limited ceiling as a result of this demonisation. It cannot be that there are candidates, not just CFKs, who are demonized and therefore unable to stand for election, or at least see their presentation as very restricted.
It is necessary to know the differences, on the one hand, of a government with all its limitations such as Kirchnerism, but which had sincere intentions to promote “growth with social inclusion”.
The main need for the de-demonstration of Kirchnerism lies in being able to see reality objectively, in being able to see the differences between one government and another, between its different politicians, and in its different objectives: the previous “growth with social inclusion”, the current one, looting.
And this difference in objectives is reflected in different repressive policies. The previous government promised not to repress social protest, and as far as the national government is concerned, it did 90%. The strategy of the current government is to repress social protest, to repress dissenting voices, to repress anything that may come between its policy of looting with greater or lesser force. The latter is complemented by a very effective and sophisticated policy of deceiving the people. This deception must be fought.
Under the previous government, the social struggle was mainly focused on improving living conditions, on going for more, with practically no repression of social protest. In today’s world, the social struggle is increasingly dedicated to preventing murder, repression, unjustified imprisonment, and the freedom of political detainees; in short, the struggle is essentially defensive, rather than “going for more”.
Without the de-demonstration of Kirchnerism, it is impossible to understand the different policies being pursued in the country, and half the population will continue to be subject to constant deception. Economic power has the great capacity to permanently change its discourse to cover up every new step it takes in the looting it carries out.
The songs insulting the president reveal that a good part of the people have taken note of what the real policy of this government is. The dominant power has a great capacity to permanently deflect political protest that is directed directly at the president and the government in general by constantly inventing scapegoats to replace them. Big capital is causing the crisis, the population is increasing its resistance. The economic power itself is working to divert this protest to the representatives closest to the people, who are the ones who disturb the power.
The de-demonstration of Kirchnerism is a necessary condition for advancing in the general consciousness of the people, without which victory over the current dominant world power is impossible.
Army General Raúl Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, and the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, have led the decision-making process in the face of this regrettable event.
Author: Yeilen Delgado Calvo | email@example.com
18 May 2018 20:05:57
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The speed and efficiency of the competent authorities and the discipline and solidarity of the population following the 12:08 p.m. plane crash in Havana on Friday – when a Boeing 737-200 leased by Cubana de Aviación was dropped to the ground at the time of takeoff – were highlighted from the scene by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Council of State and Ministers.
The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the PCC, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, who is recovering satisfactorily from a recent surgical operation, scheduled in advance to suppress a hernia, is keeping abreast of the situation and has given the relevant indications. He also asked to convey his condolences to the families of the victims of the catastrophic accident.
Diaz-Canel offered, on behalf of the Government and the Party, his condolences to the families of the victims. “All the measures planned for this type of event have been taken, the facts are being investigated and all the information will be given. No centres or homes were damaged,” he said.
In the afternoon, a government meeting was held, chaired by Díaz-Canel and Salvador Valdés Mesa, first vice-president of the Councils of State and Ministers, during which, together with the ministries and bodies involved, the event was characterised and evaluated.
After that meeting, the highest authorities of the Ministry of Transport (Mitrans) informed the press that on the national flight DMJ 0972, which was traveling from Havana to Holguín, 104 passengers and one infant were traveling, of which five were foreign citizens and the rest were Cubans. The six crew members were also foreigners.
Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, first vice-minister of the Mitrans, reported that three people were rescued alive and are being cared for, but their condition is very serious; they have not yet been identified. In addition, he said that the plane fell to the ground in an uninhabited area between the José Martí airport and Santiago de Las Vegas.
A commission of inquiry, chaired by the Institute of Civil Aeronautics, has been set up to carry out an exhaustive investigation; with the collaboration of the Ministry of the Interior, the site has been preserved. The process of clarification will be complex, he said, and has been negatively marked by heavy rains. However, all the assurances are available to follow it up.
The Ministry of Public Health also created the conditions to care for the families at such a difficult time, with the help of psychologists and other professionals with experience in post-traumatic scenarios, and the Ministry of Tourism will guarantee them accommodation in the capital.
The provincial governments have been responsible for informing them of the news and ensuring its transfer to help identify the remains, which is expected to be difficult. At the end of the personalised notification, the flight manifest shall be made public.
Adel Yzquierdo Rodríguez, head of Transport, referred to the solidarity of the people of Boyeros, who arrived on the scene moments after the impact. “One survivor complained, and people hurried to remove the obstacles to reach him,” he said.
He also praised the professionalism of the Airport Fire Command and the other Rescue and Rescue personnel, who acted quickly and sensitively, and explained that the protocol for situations of this type worked as planned. He also stated that the management of the Mitrans was very close to him at a routine meeting, and arrived at the site immediately, as were several ministers and leaders in Havana.
“At the time of the accident, the post was activated for emergency situations and the tracks were closed for review. Minutes later, after seeing that there were no problems in them, the authorization was given to resume operations and the airport regained its vitality,” said the Minister of Transport.
Systematic information will be provided to the press and the public, and the highest party and government authorities will check the course of the investigations.
The Party, the Government, the Mitrans and the Civil Aeronautics accompany the pain of the loved ones of the victims, ratified Yzquierdo and Rodríguez Dávila.
April 3, 2018
By Rolando Pérez Betancourt
Graduated in Journalism from the University of Havana in 1973. Graduate in French from the Institutes of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs. José Antonio Fernández de Castro National Prize for Cultural Journalism (1999), José Martí National Prize for Journalism for the work of life (2007). Journalist at the Granma Newspaper. Attends the weekly program “The Seventh Gate”. He is one of the sharpest film critics in Cuba.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Increasingly, the globalization of gossip gains ground from the social and cultural magnitude.
“-Dig this!, Mrs. X divorced Mr. X after finishing her latest movie.”
“Yes, but he was already sleeping with somebody else.”
“With a He, or with a She?”
This is just an example of banal and depoliticized gossip in its comprehensive role of obliterating transcendental reasoning.
Back in the 50s, as a child, I learned about the subject — without understanding it then—by reading the glossy magazines collected by a cousin who, despite spending a fortune in red dye and high heels, never reached her dream of looking like Rita Hayworth and, by chance, marrying a prince from distant lands.
At the time, gossip about show-business celebrities was nothing compared to the explosive levels it reaches today in the huge and dominant information platforms of the Internet, where a headline about the latest mass killing at a school in the United States may rank equally, or below, the latest steamy dress exhibited by Jennifer Lopez, or any other actress with less artistic talent, but with enough curves, public life, or money to keep up with the hype.
These are myths and individual fame aimed at trivializing culture and monopolizing the attention of an audience eager to follow the bombastic life of the rich and famous, instead of the political, cultural or economic events that, in their fabric of human implications, could indeed influence their own lives.
The sensationalism irradiating from individuals is winning the battle from the social fact as part of the US-Americanization of the myth that –without landing craft or air strikes– invades and seduces millions of minds settled in Europe (also an exporter of those empty values), Asia, and Latin America.
“Information” maneuvers with the clear central objective to have de-politicization and banality govern the everyday life of an international society that –according to their plan– should become increasingly more individual and private, and less collective and social.
This cultural model based on sensationalism, the excessive transcendence of the image, and the exaltation of celebrities (true or fabricated), is aimed at focusing popular attention on egocentric principles with numbing effects. It has the same purpose – only now on a scale unimaginable in the mid 20th Century—that one day made my cousin try and fail to look like Rita Hayworth.