A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
I don’t think it’s elegant or attractive to make up personal stories. I think that everyone’s life is their own and private, and if it is ever told, it should be told by others. I don’t know, then, why I’m writing this commentary. Am I getting old? Is it nostalgia for another time? Or do I feel very satisfied with what I did during one stage of my life and I want to talk about it?
At the end of the 1980s, I wrote articles for various publications in Latin America. The Prensa Libre of Costa Rica and the Nuevo Diario of the Dominican Republic were my favorites, and I sent my weekly comments to those media outlets. I never suffered any censorship. It was published just as I sent it, not one comma would be changed. It was not easy to write from abroad to be read in other countries, considering that it was for different idiosyncrasies, ways of thinking and points of view that I sent my opinions. I have to confess, without fear of being pedantic, that I was very well-received by those readers who had few interests in common with me.
Already in 1989, and due to the beginning of the collapse of the socialist camp in Europe, the media in Miami began to open up to me. I began writing articles frequently in El Nuevo Herald of Miami, and was a frequent guest on local television and radio talk shows.
Since the troglodytes of the anti-Cuban right in this city were sure that the fall of the revolutionary government of Cuba was imminent, they dared to give a voice to people who thought differently. At that time, I became an integral part of a daily television program called Debate, where I shared space with two journalists who thought differently from me and always, in addition, with the participation of guests from the far right, who wanted to measure strength with me. Once again, without wanting to be pedantic again, they would come for wool and come out shorn.
In that program, I debated with the cream of the Miami right: heads of counterrevolutionary organizations, “vertical fighters” and coffee and milk leaders were my different opponents. Of course, the two journalists who accompanied me on the show were also my opponents.
When the USSR collapsed, I stopped participating in the program. The real reason was because I got tired of having to wear a necktie every day to go argue with idiots.
Although I was invited regularly to different spaces like this throughout that decade and half of the next, the atmosphere was no longer pleasant. I was increasingly tense and hostile, the more the threats, the more violent the attacks, not only from the directors of those programs but also from the public to whom they opened the phone lines to insult me. Actually, I had enough intelligence, cunning and patience to get around the insults, which, as the saying goes, came in one ear and came out the other; that is, they slipped out the other, for, as is commonly said, to foolish words, deaf ears.
But to continue participating in those media brought with it an enormous sacrifice. In order to defend myself correctly from those verbal attacks, I had to pay attention to what they said on the other programs. I had to hear them every day. I didn’t care about personal offenses, but having to tune in to them was a different matter. The time came when it was like self-flagellating or digesting vomit just for the sake of vomiting.
I remember that when the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, resigned as President of the Council of State due to health problems, I sent a note to Cubadebate wishing the Commander a speedy recovery. A few days later I was invited to a TV show and they read the note I had sent as if I were being caught in the crowd. I remember telling the director of that program and the journalist who was with her that she not only wanted Fidel to recover from his illness, but also wanted him to return to his post soon.
I have always said, written and done what I believed, I have always been consistent with what I thought.
I was a teenager during Batista’s time, not ten years old when Fulgencio entered Camp Columbia with his gorillas. I did everything I could against him. When after, 1959 I disagreed with some revolutionary measures, I opposed them and left Cuba.
When my homeland was left alone due to the disappearance of the Soviet Union, I began to travel to the island regularly and had the opportunity to meet three or four times with Fidel, a man I always respected and of whom I always publicly affirmed in Miami that he was the island’s best and most faithful defender.
By Leyanis Infante Curbelo
Maykel Espinosa Rodríguez
English Article Here
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Next Tuesday will be a day of great movement throughout Cuba. It is May Day, when one of the country’s massive celebrations takes place and is joined by large sectors of the population. It’s International Workers’ Day.
Millions of workers, professionals and students will greed the sunrise, occupying their positions to participate in the traditional parade that is organized in every corner of the archipelago. It is a time to celebrate our conquests and to reaffirm our support for the continuation of the revolutionary process.
We invite you to share with us your experiences as part of this commemoration through the most personal of images: a selfie. The most original and successful will be published in the printed version of our journal.
You can send your images to our emails email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our Facebook. Remember to attach your data, and the geographical location (country, city, municipality, neighborhood…) where the photo was taken.
So grab your camera or cell phone and meet me at the parade.
By Juventud Rebelde
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
MANAGUA, April 24.- The Government of Nicaragua thanked the Episcopal Conference on Tuesday for its willingness to participate as a mediator and witness to the dialogue convened by the President of the Republic, Daniel Ortega, to restore order and peace in the country.
We are deeply grateful for the willingness of Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes and all the bishops to continue to contribute to the meeting, tolerance and peaceful coexistence in our country, according to PL.
The text, read by the Vice-President, Rosario Murillo, also fully shares the proposal of sectors that could participate in the national dialogue sessions, in addition to others.
“Once again, our gratitude, on behalf of the Nicaraguan families and the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, for their willingness to participate as mediators and witnesses in these important events in Nicaragua’s present history,” the message underscores.
Previously, the Episcopal Conference had accepted in a communiqué the role of mediator and witness of the dialogue proposed by Ortega, faced with the situation of violence experienced in recent days in the country.
On Sunday, the president invited Cardinal Brenes and a delegation of bishops to accompany the dialogue by announcing the repeal of the social security reforms that, he said, served as a trigger for the violence.
In the last few days, Nicaragua experienced great social tension, unprecedented in more than a decade.
It all began when protests against the aforementioned reforms were infiltrated by alleged criminal groups and vandals incited by the right wing for general anguish and instability in the country, according to reports.
In an appearance before the people, Ortega recognized the minority’s right to criticize, but not to conspire to destroy, promote violence, and worse still, to seek out the most extremist and racist political groups in the United States to finance destabilization plans.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“The herd” is a term coined in Spain these days that identifies, in an incriminating tone, a group of five young men who are accused of raping a girl… even though they have been tried and convicted by the courts for violence alone.
They could have been christened with that nickname because of the way they acted, like wolves in a group. Or by force.
Thus, like a herd of hungry wolves, hemispheric organisms of a different stripe, but of the same kind, open their jaws and throw their claws at the violent events that have taken place in Nicaragua.
Their very identification gives rise to conjecture about the sincerity of their concerns, and allows them to guess what it is that they crave.
The biased Humans Right Watch already calls for a meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS, so that the presence of a representative of the draft Inter-American Commission on Human Rights may be applied to Nicaragua.
IDEA – the so-called Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas, which brings together former right-wingers, conspirators and interferers – also called on the head of the OAS, the discredited Luis Almagro, to promote the adoption of measures within the framework of the so-called Inter-American Democratic Charter, created by the United States to justify certified intervention in other nations.
And it should come as no surprise that in Miami the congressional far-right is calling for a tightening of sanctions established by the NICA-ACT (Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2017).
But what best allows us to feel the magnitude of that which is being woven against the Sandinista government, and where it is coming from, is Washington’s attitude. By order of the State Department, its Embassy in Managua pulled out its staff and closed it, while “alerting” U.S. citizens not to travel to the country, in a wake-up call that should be taken into account.
In a statement of harsh and little-used epithets in diplomacy – so similar to those of President Donald Trump’s verbiage – the White House on Friday spoke of “repugnant political violence” that “has impacted the international democratic community.
Meanwhile, on social networks and in the right-wing international media, where so many errors are made, the reasons that gave rise to the facts hardly exists any more. Gone is the social security reform that sparked the riots and was repealed by the government a week ago, almost immediately after its enactment. The point now is to keep up the protests.
A Twitter account cited by the website Misión Verdad for its suspicious appearance along with the demonstrations and which identifies itself as SOS Nicaragua, continued to call for insubordination this Saturday with this message: “How disappointing that we are surrendering so quickly for the sake of “tranquility.” That it is disappointing that all those who died have died so quickly for us to surrender. You don’t have to have conflict in the streets to keep fighting.”
Thus, a situation of supposedly social origin has turned into a political crisis that seeks to give rise to foreign intervention and the demise of the Sandinista government.
The speed with which events that seem to have come out of nowhere flowed evokes a magic art, even if there is no such thing. Rather, it seems to be the maneuvering of a well-oiled machinery that, as in other nations that are victims of the US and pro-imperial right-wing animosity, sadly uses young students as cannon fodder for violent acts that oblige the forces of law and order to act. This makes it easier to blame the executive branch for the deplorable deaths and to justify the adoption of hemispheric pressure measures.
In theory, everything already has a name and has been applied in Eastern European countries to remove goverments which make Washington uncomfortable, just as they tried to apply it to Venezuela. The so-called “color revolutions” that lead to what has been called a soft coup, that is, the demise of a president without the use of bayonets and military boots.
It was not promoted in left-wing theory. It is written in Pentagon documents and is a well-thought-out imperial strategy, as noted in the November 2010 Special Operations Forces Training Circular 18-01, entitled The Un-Conventional War.
In each place with its own characteristics, the executives of Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil can attest to this, without leaving out the saga of corruption and the unjust imprisonment plotted against Lula. The issue is regional, and it is a question of completing the shift to the right, manipulation by means of a population as victimized as the political subject who is demonized.
Within Nicaragua, the alignment, on the side of instability, of the Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep), an ally of the executive in this Sandinista term, although its old and very bitter enemy, also sheds light on who can prosper from these undesirable events, even though they have not yet been clarified, and where an Episcopal Conference continues to play a fundamental role, which has agreed to be the guarantor of the dialogue called for by the Government, but is cited as its criticism of the facts.
Leaders of the Unen (National Union of Students of Nicaragua) denounced the presence in one of the universities taken over by the demonstrators of members of the opposition Sandinista Renewal Movement, where figures who left the ranks of the FSLN gather, and their pressure on the young demonstrators to remain in revolt.
In a statement by the Sandinista Front, which was not widely disseminated, the ruling party has given elements of judgment. For example, the fact that the protests were initiated and led by university students, especially from private religious schools – basically the UCA, the Jesuits and the Polytechnic (Upoli), of a Protestant church based in the USA.and its adoption of a violent character with the use of homemade mortars; the mobilization of the Sandinista Youth as a counterpart; the assaults and fires of representative Sandinista premises and State institutions and Sandinista houses, as well as the looting of supermarkets and warehouses, among them the one that kept all the medicine of the insured….
The establishment of a Truth Commission announced on Friday by the Nicaraguan National Assembly should, hopefully soon, clarify the interim events, and the dialogue called for by President Daniel Ortega should restore the stability that has characterized the last decade in Nicaragua.
But everything must be resolved from within. The herd of Washington-protected institutions seeking intervention must remove their teeth from their new prey.
By Juventud Rebelde
Posted: Saturday 28 April 2018 | 08:54:30 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba denounces the attempts to destabilize the Republic of Nicaragua, a country that lives in peace and where significant social, economic and security progress has been made in favor of its people.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba reaffirms its commitment to the principles of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of State and Government during the Second Celac Summit in January 2014, and rejects interference in the internal affairs of that sister nation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the sovereign efforts of the Sandinista people and Government of Nicaragua, chaired by Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra and Vice-President Rosario Murillo Zambrana, to preserve the dialogue, peace and well-being of Nicaraguans.
Havana, April 28, 2018
By Lazaro Farinas
Posted: Monday 23 April 2018 | 09:31:55 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick, so you can go far.” That is the definition of the Big Crow’s policy implemented by President Theodore Roosevelt at the beginning of the last century. What became known as the Roosevelt Corollary established that “if a European country threatened or endangered the rights or property of US citizens or businesses, the US government was obliged to intervene in the affairs of that country to ‘reorder’ it”.
With the implementation of this Corollary, the American President was actually putting into practice the doctrine that James Monroe, who was the fifth president of this country, had proclaimed before the Congress in 1823. “America for Americans,” the president told the congressmen and the world. Of course, you have to understand that for Americans, Americans are Americans. Roosevelt, with his big stick, gave free rein to this country’s interventions in Latin America. Just a few weeks ago, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a public statement that the old Monroe Doctrine was still in force.
Many countries have been invaded by U.S. military forces since Monroe proclaimed his famous doctrine, but even more have been the ones that have secretly suffered this country’s interventionism in its internal affairs; many governments overthrown in one way or another, many were the military dictatorships established with his support, many were the pressures to overthrow democratically elected rulers.
Fortunately, military interventions have disappeared from the hemisphere, but have been replaced by conspiracies, pressure and sanctions. Many Latin American countries have received and continue to receive this form of interference.
Venezuela and Cuba are classic examples of this approach, but countries such as Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua and others cannot be left behind.
What is happening with Venezuela is incredible. The United States and its allies in the region and the Western world have mounted a campaign of disinformation about the homeland of Simón Bolívar and his government that is on the edge of infamy. Ever since the late Commander Hugo Chávez became president of that country through fully transparent and democratic elections, the United States and its international right-wing cronies began mounting a disinformative campaign against him and his government. In reality, they did not settle for anti-Chávez propaganda in the national and international media, but from there, they went on to practice, with a coup d’état, an oil strike, unbridled violence in the streets, etc.
The Venezuelan government is accused of everything in international organizations, in the discredited OAS, in the forums of the United Nations, in Unasur, now it has just been vetoed at the Summit of the Americas and in the Washington Congress, measures are being taken and sanctions are being created against the rulers of that nation.
The country that has set a record for holding democratic elections is accused of being an infamous dictatorship. A country that has held 20 elections in less than 20 years in power, fair and transparent elections, elections that have been supervised and observed by foreign organizations. They accuse the government of fraud in these elections, but we must ask ourselves, how is it that by fraud they lost the elections that took place a few years ago to elect the National Assembly?
According to them, Nicolas Maduro is an ironclad dictator, but how is it possible for such a dictator to accept freedom of the press, from which he is subjected to dirty campaigns. The right always says the same thing and uses the same speeches. When Donald Trump was running for president of the United States, he got tired of proclaiming that the American electoral system was fraudulent, but when he won the elections, he did not mention the issue any more.
Now that presidential elections are to be held again on 20 May in Venezuela, an international campaign has already begun to discredit them, despite the fact that several opposition candidates are running for the presidency. All the polls are giving it to Maduro as a winner, but what if an opposition candidate wins? Would they do like Trump did?
I don’t know if the day will come when a U.S. government will stop thinking of Latin America as its backyard and start to respect it. It is my hope that the day will come when you will truly forget what you have done so far and come to the conclusion that you must relate to that region with respect, that you will forget the Monroe Doctrine and the Big Club and that you will erase the carrot and stick theory. Because I love this country where I have lived for so many years and because I love Latin America, the region where I was born, I do not lose hope. Maybe I’m daydreaming.
By Yuniel Labacena Romero
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
CIEGO DE ÁVILA: About ten women out of 30 reported having received some kind of physical, psychological, sexual or economic violence for 12 months, according to the Survey on Gender Equality, conducted in 2016 by the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), which also revealed a low perception of this problem in our society.
These data demonstrate the urgent need to accompany, make visible, analyze, explain and systematically put the issues associated with gender violence in all areas of society, especially in the media, given their social function and scope.
It is precisely with this aim in mind that the First Communication, Gender and Equity Workshop, organized by the Oscar Arnulfo Romero Center, the FMC and the National Center for Sex Education, has been held to date, bringing together some 40 media professionals and actors with an impact on the public sphere from almost every region of the country.
During the days of debate, Cuban advances in a series of stereotypes and prejudices were recognized, but also that silence is not the option in the face of gender violence. The participants argued this statement, since this problem is often a hidden, naturalized, invisible fact, which is framed in a patriarchal culture. And in most cases, women are in a position of subordination to men, making them more vulnerable.
Tackling this problem should not remain a matter of slogans or tasks. There is a need to develop broader strategies that contribute to greater production and positioning of educational materials that reflect gender gaps and equities, as well as better implementation of public-good campaigns on the issue, the experts said.
Mareleen Díaz Tenorio, researcher for the Oscar Arnulfo Romero, explained that recognizing how acts of gender violence are evident is, in the first instance, the key point of how society and the media can achieve, together, the identification of this problem that affects a group of the unjustly called “weak sex” in the country.
It is essential to create awareness, consensus and political will so that all social actors can participate in this process. The longer we take to begin to transform, the more people will continue to suffer. Only respect for human beings will allow us to live in that better world that we need, the specialist said.
At the workshop – dedicated to the memory of Dr. Isabel Moya Richard, who was director of the Women’s Publishing House who was highly knowledgeable and a defender of gender issues – Eres más, a Cuban campaign for non-violence against women and girls, was presented, and the need to target specific actions at adolescent and youth audiences for their role in society was reiterated.
By Juventud Rebelde email@example.com
Published: Thursday 12 April 2018 | 02:08:31 AM
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
At press time, it was announced that a customer had signed a contract with a commercial unit of the Cuban Telecommunications Company (Etecsa) in Guanabacoa, in the eastern part of Havana, with whom the country has five million active mobile line services. According to information provided by Etecsa’s Institutional Communication Department, this figure confirms the growing evolution of mobile telephony on the island in recent years. Keep in mind that in December 2003 there were only 43,000 active mobile lines, by April 2008 the number of these had risen to 223 000, by March 2014 it had reached 2 million, by December 2016 it had reached 4 million, and 2017 closed with 4.22 million of these services.
This reflection begins with a true story: in a certain pharmacy in the capital, a patient asks for the medicine that will take him out of the crisis in which his digestive system has fallen and out of an almost unbearable pain that has caused him to go out into the street despite the fact that the doctor has ordered absolute rest.
The needy person, who has to update his or her home address papers, carries a certificate with him or her where the word “transit”, written by the doctor, can be read, but the pharmacy technique explains that the term is only applicable to transfers between provinces.
The dialogue between the needy and those who can help becomes a dead end. At some point the technique says vaguely: “Let’s see if we understand each other, let’s see if we can “solve…”. The patient gets confused and just asks, “Will they give me the medicine or not? Suddenly someone remembers that there is only one box left with the pills that they are urging and that are destined for a very critical case in the community. The patient feels almost guilty, and without having solved his problem he leaves with a bitter and surprising memory of the phrase in which he had hinted at the possibility of a solution.
Among Cubans there are terms that allude to our incessant effort to make our way through multiple difficulties: the “battle” or “struggle”, for example, serves to remind us of the enterprising eagerness, often positive, of the children of this island. But there are words that speak to us of less clean attitudes – such as the “search” – or of invitations to “solve”, to mediate in circumstances that, so humanly delicate, do not allow the inclusion of intentions of sale and purchase.
This last word is often disconcerting to the listener, who does not know the language of “help me, I will help you”: No one who has in his soul an ethical protocol in which cheating and pillaging add to the list of anti-values will be able to comfortably assume that complicity in which “aid” has a price and in the end the feeling remains that, to the right, solutions either arrive late or never arrive, unless there is a commercial option.
To tell the truth, the desire to “seek” (i.e. to find monetary or material advantages where there are resources), or this desire to “solve” – whether from the person who charges or from the one who pays – could find multiple explanations in reality: In three decades of increased economic and social difficulties, we have seen a lot of weeds grow in the shadow of emergencies and needs; life, like water seeking to run its course, has become for many a long-distance race in which almost everything is done against the clock, desperately, in a context marked by a lack of resources, bureaucracy and inefficiency in providing services, in a country that for much more than three decades has suffered the handshake of the empire through a commercial and financial blockade.
To these known and accumulated problems we must add the new challenges arising from the reconfiguration of the country in the economic and social spheres – a stage that, as a friend told me, is reminiscent of the movement of the bowels of the Earth, that rearrangement in which many customs and moral compasses seem to be dislocated while the scenarios, like the flakes of the planet, are being rearranged.
The fact that “resolving” lives among us as a style places us as a society, since it reminds us of the importance of the right-wing paths – that is, the entities that are responsible for the well-being of all – working together and doing so with agility. The other thing is that everything we design in terms of the necessary control must implicitly bring about the natural flexibility of life: rigidity and excessive restrictions are overwhelming and lead many to wonder what to do to “resolve” problems, and how to do it.
There is another inescapable aspect to this: even the ugliest attitudes can find an explanation, which does not mean that they deserve to be justified. Therefore, even if the most diverse distortions fuel the search for shortcuts, it would not be good for the dream country to wait for everything to go well in the target world to start looking inside. To rebel against brazenness and unscrupulousness at this moment seems to me to be an act of responsibility insofar as it limits the denial of virtue; it even seems to me to be an act of faith in the best possibilities for our fellow beings.
By Marylín Luis Grillo
Posted: Wednesday 04 April 2018 | 09:35:06 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
It was a single shot from a Remington-Peters rifle. Martin Luther King Jr. had fallen in Memphis, Tennessee.
Hours earlier, in a sermon, as if in anticipation of the bullet that tried to quell his throat, he had said to the congregation of the city: “We have difficult days ahead of us […] Like everyone else, I would like to have a long life. […] But that doesn’t worry me now. I just want to do God’s will. And he has allowed me to climb to the top of the mountain. And from there I saw the promised land. I may not get to her with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will reach the Promised Land. And I’m happy about it. Nothing worries me.
Luther King, who at the age of 39 had won the Nobel Peace Prize, had led a non-violent struggle for the civil rights of the African-American community, which had become the banner of hope… King did not die, because dreams do not die, they only come true.
The results of their struggle are not yet complete. Fifty years after his murder, the United States is still convulsed by inequality. The latest statistics illustrate that African-Americans suffer three times as many expulsions and school dropouts, their average household income is half that of white families, and with only 13 percent of the population, El País reported, they account for 40 percent of drug arrests.
A study by the Inequality of Opportunity Project also concluded that racial income disparities are one of the most persistent issues in American society, and that the racial identity to which one belongs marks the opportunities for study, work, salary levels, and social advancement from generation to generation.
Black people are also three times more likely than whites to be victims of police in the United States, and in 2015 alone, for example, with Barack Obama in the White House, law enforcement officers killed more unarmed blacks than armed whites. Faced with an Afro-descendant, the trigger is pulled without much attention.
Police repression, increasing inequality, debates in society about the role of identity groups, and Trump’s racist rhetoric are some of the factors that have led to the resurgence of movements like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the birth of others like Black Lives Matter.
“No Justice, No Peace” said one of the posters that flooded the streets of Sacramento a week ago protesting the death of another black man by police, 22-year-old Stephon Clark, who was shot down in the Californian capital on suspicion of breaking car windows and running around with a cell phone in his hand, which officers said they mistook for a gun.
Police opened fire up to 20 times on Clark and eight bullets hit him, seven from behind. The video of the arrest hardly shows whether the young man was approaching the officers or not. They do not order him to freez, or to lie on the ground, after the first order to show his hands, they immediately shout “gun” and shoot. The city has been shaken up again, but it is not enough.
This is a good time to remember Luther King. Less than two weeks ago, her nine-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee, was repeating the mythical words “I have a dream. She called for “a world without weapons”. His father, Martin Luther King III, son of the pastor, announced Friday the launch of a global initiative to encourage young people to focus on non-violence to resolve their conflicts.
The struggle continues, but it must be carried to its end; “from the mountain of despair, a stone of hope,” Dr. King would say. He was the same one who never stopped spreading faith because he had died: no bullet can kill dreams.