In the course of next week, Correos de Cuba will put on sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that was approved in the Second Ordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the price of one peso in national currency. Correos […]
February 15, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This is the 80th anniversary of the release of one of the most famous cartoons of all time: Tom and Jerry.
How did this story come about? The plot is simple: fed up with the mouse that wanders around his house, a cat sets up a plan to throw him out with a trap loaded with cheese.
But the mouse, who is very lively, manages to get his favorite food out without any problem and then continues to walk around the corridors – and rooms, and so on – very happily. The cat insists on catching him, but always fails.
The friendly animal duo was created, as they say, in a moment of desperation.
The animation department of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studio (MGM), where the creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera worked, had tried unsuccessfully to imitate other studios that had created successful characters like Mickey Mouse and the Porky Pig.
The animators, both under 30, began to think of their own ideas.
Barbera said he liked the simple concept of a caricature of a cat and mouse, with conflict and persecution, even though it had been done before.
Puss Gets the Boot (translated into Spanish as “El gato se gana el zapatazo”) was the first animated short film they released in February 1940.
The debut was very good and earned the studio an Oscar nomination for best animated short.
And the success deepened when a letter arrived from an influential figure in the entertainment industry from Texas asking when he was going to see another one of those “wonderful cat and mouse cartoons.”
Jasper and Jinx, as they were originally called, then became Tom and Jerry.
According to Barbera, there was never any discussion about the characters not talking.
Having grown up with silent films starring Charlie Chaplin, the creators knew that the cat and mouse could be fun without any dialogue.
The music, composed by Scott Bradley, highlighted the action of the plot, and Tom’s “human” cry was played by Hanna himself.
For most of the next two decades, Hanna and Barbera supervised the production of more than 100 of these short films.
In the world, these Tom and Jerry films are considered the best, because of their excellent hand-drawn animation.
In the mid-1950s, when producer Fred Quimby retired, Hanna and Barbera took over the MGM cartoon department. It was a time of budget cuts.
Tom and Jerry is still very popular around the world. It can be found on children’s television everywhere from Japan to Pakistan, and a new game about them for cell phones has over 100 million users in China.
(With information from La República)
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
I have written a great deal about the desirability and necessity of the international community’s categorical definition of the term terrorism. Since there is no universally-accepted definition
of the term for use by international humanitarian law, and no such formulation has been reached in international bodies, apparently, because of the impossibility of doing so without including the terrorist actions of nation-states.
In 1937, the League of Nations referred to terrorism as: “Any criminal act directed against a State, intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of private persons, a group of persons or the general public. In 1988, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution reiterating that “…criminal acts directed or calculated to provoke a state of terror in a group of persons or in particular persons in the general public, for political purposes, are unjustifiable in all circumstances, whatever the political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other considerations that may be invoked to justify them”.
Dictionaries more or less agree in identifying terrorism as “the systematic use of violence, or threat of violence, against individuals or larger groups, to achieve a political objective whose scope often transcends boundaries national.”
Although it is common to specify that it refers to actions carried out by non-governmental groups, there is also admitted, as another concept, that of “state terrorism”. This is is that exercised by a government against communities under siege or that it seeks to conquer, or against its own subjects as a means of subjecting them to its excesses and arbitrariness.
It has become a tradition, and it is still a systematic practice today, that the great powers and tyrannical governments, use their vast media resources to make the term “terrorists” be applied to the methods of struggle chosen by revolutionaries and patriots in their emancipatory clashes.
The U.S. superpower has imposed the label “terrorist” on the fighters who have made their actions felt. Its immense media power describes as terrorism the actions of the patriotic resistance, whose clear military inferiority is imposed to organize in secret or irregular units that fight outside the universally accepted military parameters when facing the superior armed forces of the invader or occupier.
Hence the need to avoid this trap by clearly distinguishing revolutionary methods of struggle from terrorist methods. On the basis of my own personal experience, as a combatant in the ranks of the insurrectional movement that defeated the dictatorship that ruled Cuba until the last day of 1958 and took power on a day like today in 1959, I perceive several clear differences:
Revolutionary methods are identified with the aspirations of the people while the terrorists are almost always strongly rejected by the population. This is because the former seek to innovate the scenario and the asymmetrical conditions of the struggle in order to raise the combative morale of the people. They also promote the incorporation of new armies, to ridicule the unpopular repressive forces of the tyrannical regime.
Their goal is to call the world’s attention to the revolutionary war being waged and to denounce the anti-popular character of the oppressive government. Revolutionary forms of underground struggle are intended to increase the support of the people for their cause and therefore are not intended to provoke panic but to promote the adherence of the people. Terrorist procedures are typical of the gangs of drug criminals, mafias, extreme right-wing paramilitary organizations and, in general, mercenaries at the service of powerful economic interests.
They seek to impose their authority on the basis of the population’s fear of the cruelty of their actions. These may take the form of threats, warnings or they may be directly punitive. They do not aspire to attract the people to their cause but to impose their authority on the basis of fear, on fear.
Terrorism generates panic and causes suffering and death to innocent people. Revolutionary methods engender admiration for the selflessness of those who carry out the actions and call for struggle and sacrifice for a just cause that identifies with the aspirations of broad sections of the people,
During the insurrectionary uprising in Cuba against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista supported by Washington, along with the guerrilla warfare that was being waged in the mountains, another very risky underground struggle was being fought in Cuba in the urban areas of the country that contributed decisively to the popular triumph of 1959.
The main actors in the urban revolutionary struggle were combatants from the same revolutionary organizations as when the war ended in the fullness of a process of unification of their ranks. These were the July 26th Movement led by Fidel Castro; the clandestine members of the Revolutionary Directorate created by the University Student Federation and led by its president, the architecture student José Antonio Echevarría, and the forces of the Socialist Youth, the formation of the People’s Socialist Party (Marxist-Leninist), many of whose members supported the line of armed struggle before this was the main form of combat drawn up by the national leadership of the PSP.
These three major political formations arose separately, but were united as the identity of their revolutionary objectives became more and more evident and as the awareness of the advantages that such unity brought to the struggle grew. They acted in a growing number of cities, carrying out political propaganda to promote the patriotic armed struggle. They carried out armed propaganda that included detonations with explosives, sabotage of production and services. They interrupted communications and transportatipm to harm the economic activity of the big businessmen who were unaware of the patriotic effort against the dictatorial regime. They collected resources through voluntary contributions of economic funds to supply the guerrilla fronts and urban combat activity, This was done taking care that the contributions were not contaminated with ill-gotten money. They collected taxes from entities located in areas that were being liberated and directly confronted the armed forces of the police and the army, among many other functions.
It was certainly an extremely dangerous activity for revolutionaries, and not only because of the brutal retaliation by the police forces against the tyranny that included barbaric torture of those we captured. In addition, this was also because of the risks involved in handling explosives.
The underground fighters had to mourn the deaths of some of their bravest and most determined comrades in arms or explosives handling accidents. But there were never, to my knowledge, cases of civilians (non-combatants) being killed or injured because of their own irresponsibility, thanks to their belief that it was a matter of principle to avoid actions too risky for non-combatants.
That is why it is advisable to be wary of information linking popular resistance movements anywhere in the world to terrorism. In each situation, it’s necessary to examine each case in the light of the motivations and objectives of its combatants, as well as the circumstances in which the struggle is waged.
Washington unabashedly approves of “friendly dictatorships” while applauding, promoting and financing terrorist actions by its allies and its own intelligence and counter-intelligence organizations. At the same time Washington presents itself as the leader of a war against terrorism that is increasingly rejected or distrusted by the people.
Terrorism could never be a method of revolutionary struggle because it is contrary to the interests and aspirations of the people and so could never be identified with a popular cause. That is why it is increasingly easy and possible to identify the difference between terrorism and the irregular methods of revolutionary struggle that oppressive regimes cynically try to equate. True revolutions must be characterized by the admiration of their own people for their humanism. That is why they are respected even by those they fight.
It should be a source of pride for Cubans and admiration for other peoples that, despite the fact that Cuba had suffered thousands of deaths as a result of acts of terrorism organized and financed from United States territory, the island’s authorities had never resorted to such despicable methods of defense or counterattack, even in the most extreme situations.
The fact is that terrorism, as a method of struggle, is typical of fanatics or criminals who seek their own good to the detriment of the common good, or of those ambitious for power and wealth who despise others. The torture of prisoners could never be the method of revolutionaries, who only deserve such a label if they are fighters for human welfare and dignity.
January 5, 2020
Originally published in two parts.
As part of the 29th edition of the Book Fair, Cuban writer Leonardo Padura’s Past Perfect and Winds of Lent were presented. Afterwards, Ediciones Unión will publish a second volume with Máscaras y Paisaje de otoño
Published: Friday 14 February 2020 | 12:36:15 pm.
By Dailene Dovale de la Cruz firstname.lastname@example.org
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
I woke up today with a book in my hands. I read it when I wake up, while I have breakfast, in the bathroom, before getting dressed, when I walk, inside the bus -sweaty and stress- in the Faculty… I lined it with an old magazine to take care of it among so many adventures. He’s my first literary love at this Book Fair.
It was Sunday, February 9, 2020. I had arrived at the entrance of Morro Cabaña. A friend of mine – curly hair, a skinny, ungainly body – greeted me. That day they were presenting Padura’s book, and I suddenly found a direction for my absent-minded steps.
The Alejo Carpentier room received passionate readers, who arrived hours before the meeting, sat down, lined up in a very long queue to buy the book, waited, got excited. Leonardo Padura presented the first two parts of Tetralogía de La Habana: Pasado Perfecto and Vientos de Cuaresma. Later, Ediciones Unión will publish a second volume with Masks and Autumn Landscape.
What is the Count up to, people ask him in the street. Your Mario Conde has transcended printed paper and is no longer yours, or perhaps he never was at all. For Francisco López Sacha this is the Cuban character of the 20th century, just as Cecilia Valdés was in the 19th century.
Leonardo Padura looked confident, proud of his work and of Conde in particular. The afternoon passed peacefully. And the space, small and warm, was full but in total silence. They listened.
Padura spoke of his need to narrate so as not to go crazy in the early 1990s and how his favorite reader is the Cuban public, the one he thinks about while writing in his native Mantilla.
After the immense queue, of passing and paying – “one book per person”-, of receiving with emotion the dedication, the individual is left in front of the work. Why do so many people follow and adore Mario Conde and Padura? That could be the first classic question.
Padura’s novels burst onto the literary scene, to change some fixed judgments especially regarding the crime novel. They are very Cuban novels, in the author’s own words, without imitating some somewhat predictable patterns that characterized part of the detective novel published in the country during the 1970s (with its exceptions).
See here this Timeline (Scroll down for slide show)
In Past Perfect, for example, the “hero” accumulates defects, vices, incurs a compartment that we could call immoral or that borders on such classification. Nevertheless, it is he who gets up to work – even after a drunken, haggard and exhausted bout. It is he who feels and loves his city, with all its defects… On the obverse side, there are the unpolluted, perfect and false. On them, after the typical characterization (an impeccable man), little dirty rags begin to fall (which in the end are a whole dump).
These novels are social criticism, still valid and necessary. The kind of book that catches you on a Sunday afternoon, and accompanies you during your breakfast/lunchtime meals, when you wake up or after you go to sleep. All that remains is to invite you to let yourself be caught. Conde, a little bit disheveled, will teach you the well-known phrase about deceptive appearances and will make you reflect a little bit on Cuba, Havana and how each one assumes and builds life, in the middle of their circumstances.
By Julio Martínez Molina
February 8, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Three very recent films on the international scene, two of them exceptional and one of less artistic importance, are interconnected by both the sensitivity and the tenderness with which they have focused the love between two women. Their stories among the most beautiful provided by this thematic plot in the history of the screen. And to affirm it on a slope that has illuminated masterpieces like Carol and wonders like Disobedience is no small thing.
There are certain gay films with male characters who emulate rabbits in their animalistic urge to fornicate at all times, in any space, with anyone, through the vicissitudes of many bodily fluids and little love. On the other hand, these three stories of lesbian romance stand out in contrast, by celebrating the union of a couple with the understanding of an absolute physical and mental communion, one that dispenses with third parties. Then there’s the finding in the person loved the supreme enjoyment in the physical and spiritual, the acceptance of the other with all its burden of differences, their respect as a human being. This does not imply the overflow of eroticism and passion inherent in every bond that also possesses flesh and desire, manifested in the plots of these three filmic pieces bordered by intense sexual passages.
The first two are the Spanish Elisa and Marcela (Isabel Coixet, 2019) and the French Portrait of a Woman on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019); the other is the English The Secret of the Bees (Annabel Jankel, 2018). All of them have been directed by women and perhaps that is where the depth of the formation of the six central characters and their human richness lies; fundamentally the complicity in the approach to their sentimental and moral universes.
Co-written and directed by the Catalan Coixet, Elisa and Marcela, is based on true events that took place in primitive Spain, the first homosexual marriage in the history of that country. It occurred in 1901 by two Galician girls, albeit under the premise of a lie: one of them disguised herself as a man. Although it is still valid today, as they could never undo it, in the absence or flight of their spouses.
Teachers Elisa (Natalia de Molina, in another of the notable compositions of a career in ascent) and Marcela (Greta Fernández, the revelation actress of the moment in the Spanish Peninsula) fight at arm’s length to maintain their relationship in a patriarchal scene of ecclesiastical omnipotence. It is still far from being prepared in the psychological and cultural orders to metabolize such a bond. Misunderstood, rejected and ridiculed, the two young women must leave three countries on two continents in order to continue to be together.
The kernel of the story has to be peeled off in the lyricism by which Coixet approaches a love story. It’s shaped, seen and told from the presupposition of that incomparable beauty arising from loving and honoring being the object of veneration and desire. The intimate scenes of the two central characters are carefully beautiful, and they testify to their mime, to the carnality and spirituality of their passion, to the joint desire to please and love each other; in spite of the hatred and ignorance that hangs over both of them. De Molina and Fernandez, especially the first one, were great.
The visual splendor of black and white photography, great in several shots of interiors, enhances the film.
Portrait of a Woman on Fire, is sensory as the three previous works of its director, garments the model gradualness through which Sciamma works the romantic attraction of its protagonists. In the first hour of the film, which is calm in its progression and full of details, references and subtleties (those furtive or frontal glances of Héloïse, the lady to be painted, towards Marianne, the painter!
The two are also in conflict with each other. It was 1770 and the beautiful young bourgeois Héloïse had to be painted, in order to send the canvas to the rich Milanese man who was to marry her. Marianne represents, there is no other, given the time and the conventions, an episode that – although probably the most important thing in her life and never forgotten by her – has to be closed within itself once the lady travels to Italy with her husband.
Noémi Merlant (Marianne) and Adèle Haenel (Héloïse) compose two memorable characterizations. This is decisive in the sense of capturing their characters’ attempt to curb an instantaneous drive and the vehemence with which they accept it and give themselves over to the love affair after realizing how futile the commitment is. The stylization of Portrait of a Woman on Fire is largely due to the observation of the bodies and the close-ups. It’s pure filmic visual poetry that dialogues and transmutes with the pictorial space of the story. Thanks to the mailbox of Claire Mathom, the director of photography.
Despite being weighed down by dramatic and visually mellifluous decisions in the resolution, as well as appeals to misplaced magical realism and less nuance, The Secret of the Bees is also another tender female story. It is the 1950s in a rural Scotland that does not forgive the “lesbian” Dr. Jean (Anna Paquin, in a work of introversion unaccustomed to the actress in recent times), much less its clandestine union with the young worker Lydia (Holliday Grainger). The relationship between the two, despite their desire for anonymity, will be revealed in the air of a closed atmosphere of intolerance.
In director Jankel’s eyes, this love is marked by tenderness. Although the observation of the two women’s intimate space never reaches the degree of visual sophistication of the films of La Coixet and La Sciamma, such scenes are also very beautiful. Perhaps they are less stylized, but not all of them need to be assumed in such a way.
Author: Leslie Díaz Monserrat | email@example.com
February 9, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Sometimes life is heavy. Problems sit on your shoulders, like a burden trying to sink you. In those moments, some hang up their hopes, sit in a corner of their own life and cover their face with their hands.
They don’t know it, but right then and there they have lost, because there is no sadder defeat than the one that comes after you stop fighting.
That’s why I admire the women in my family so much. I admire my mother and her integrity, that ability to stand up after losses, after the deepest pain, after so many things.
That is why I am proud of my country. This is because we have in our blood the lineage of men and women who never saw an option in the word surrender. Men and women who continue to fight, even when everyday life becomes complex.
I admire people who do not lie in bed and watch their problems devour them. I admire people who are scared out of their wits every day when they wake up.
In the end, that’s what life is all about, imposing oneself, drawing paths, not letting time go by without doing at least one good deed.
Life has the taste of the kisses you give, the warmth of the hugs, the color of the people who love you.
Life is built on the footprints you leave on others every time you help them.
Life is not about piling up things, awards, titles. There is an infinite pleasure in seasoning nostalgia with irreplaceable memories.
Life rewards those beings who do not bend to boredom, those who every morning inject themselves with high doses of energy and go out into the street and open the door of their car to those who wait at the bus stop, and give a medicine to those who need it and share a cup of coffee even with a stranger.
With these people, you can build a country, a family. These are the indispensable, necessary beings, those who never give up.
By Leyla M. Mancebo Bada, journalism student
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Isabel and Pedro have been dating for almost a year and say they are very much in love. They both showed up at a party, liked each other and then gradually got to know each other better. However, they do not have the traditional relationship of a couple, they “according to the current times and new trends of love”, as they defined it, they have an open relationship.
Yes, open. It is a relationship in which both can meet other people and its members have the freedom to have sexual or affective relationships with third parties, this without including their partner in them and respecting that the greatest source of affection and commitment is maintained in the closed bond of the couple.
They tell us that they are satisfied with their relationship, “there are no complaints, sometimes a little jealousy appears but it soon passes, and the best thing is the freedom to enjoy and live – in a safe and clear way – our spaces, they add. None of this means that there are less moments that we share together as a couple, on the contrary, explains Isabel.
And it is as the Spanish therapist Antonio Bolinches says, in an open relationship, both members agree that they can have other short or lasting relationships. But it is the primary couple that structures their affective life, and where love resides with a capital letter.
“Today there are many open couples,” explains Pedro. We young people experience a lot, and that lack of commitment is more interesting, it gives you more assurance that you won’t be hurt. Who knows, and one day we will no longer want to follow this trend and we will become official in the most traditional way, but in the meantime, we feel good about it”.[To expand on the topic, listen to the Podcast: Open Couples, Does Love Die?], where JR’s radio show More Than Paper addressed the phenomenon. JR PODCAST: http://www.juventudrebelde.cu/cuba/2017-02-13/jr-podcast-parejas-abiertas-muere-el-amor
This is just one of the many examples of love and relationships that are practiced today. With the great social opening to the free development of sexuality, it is normal that new definitions and ways of exploring human identity and personality exist.
Likewise, with the arrival of iconic dates such as February 14, known as Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day, a whole horde of references to love in its maximum expression is unleashed in society. And I wonder if in the post-modern era we can assume that love is only a matter of two?
Both the officialisation of the LGBTIQ+ community and the emergence of new consensual forms of stable relationships have given way to terms such as polyamory or open relationship. Where monogamous canons are abandoned in order to live love fully, according to the affective needs of each individual.
Another very fashionable practice in these times are swinging couples, in which the members of two couples exchange their members for a defined and pre-established time. About this, Mileyda Menéndez Dávila, editor of the Sex Sense section of this newspaper, explains that these are not irresponsible orgies or tasteless youthful discargas (which also proliferate, sadly).
“In addition to the swinging encounters, there are mostly adults with happy marriages, people willing to oxygenate their erotic life without the disparate hypocrisy of infidelity or the renunciation of love cultivated in harmonious coexistence.
“There is a whole code of good conduct in these groups, which includes everything from protection against pregnancy and STIs to the essential reserve in terms of handling private information. One of their passwords is usually inscribed in large letters in the usual meeting places: NO is NO, to make it clear that individual freedom is inviolable in any circumstance” he says.
There are also polyamorous relationships. As the word indicates, it literally refers to many loves and is conditioned by the scientific fact that monogamy is not a question of genetics or inherent in the human condition, but is the product of the historical and social evolution of interpersonal relationships.
In practice, polyamorous relationships are those in which their members have a consensual right to maintain more than one love relationship, and in many cases their members share lifestyles, homes and even assume collectively the raising of children. One of the characteristics of these relationships is the commitment of all parties involved.
Photo: Taken from the Internet
For some, choosing someone exclusively, among so many, to lead an ordinary life is contradictory, because sexual and emotional interest occurs naturally towards more than one person. There are those who say that the main obstacle to enjoying this type of relationship is jealousy, but control of it is a question of acceptance and self-esteem.
All these terms, practices, modernities, or whatever they are called, show us that each individual lives in his own way and has the right to his intellectual and emotional growth, but the openness of the ways of thinking and feeling, helps to achieve empathy with our fellow beings, even when we do not share their practices.
When it comes to love, anything that enriches us without harming others is valid. If loving a person is beautiful and pleasant, and if we also agree to do it in a safe way, then between you and me, there can be one more.
And do young people today still fall in love?
21st Century Couples
By Liudmila Peña Herrera
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The dark room lights up with every jump of the stage on the big screen. When that happens, even from the back chairs, you can guess the romance. She, with her rebellious curly hair; he, too, with a cascade of hair that spreads across his back.
She whispers something in his ear; he nods without moving his eyes from the big screen. There is a sui generis complicity between these two lovers who whisper so much in their seats. They seem to talk more than they see. They roll the credits, turn on the light and there she is, squeezing her left hand and avoiding him to stumble in the crowd that comes out of the Santiago de Cuba cinema.
Her name is Irela Casañas Hijuelos, she studies Sociology and is not disabled. He is Hugo González Diéguez, future psychologist, and blind due to retinitis pigmentosa as a child. They are holguineros and live the hard 90’s at the Universidad de Oriente. When they can, they escape to the cinema or to a concert at the Sala Dolores.
“At that time Almodóvar’s films were released and she always described them to me.” Hugo speaks as if he were recalling passages from a life he is grateful for. Twenty-two years have passed, his hair is no longer long, but he does not forget Irela’s words in his ear: “They were those other eyes that are needed to enjoy a good work of art”.
When they met, Irela was starting her first year and Hugo was in third. They shared a taste for rock and literature, had common friends and met in the Peña de los Raros.
“The first qualities that attracted me to him were the freshness of his character, his positivity, his spirit,so warlike, but at the same time so ethical, generous, that he faced life with a lot of peace and courage. That’s why I began to admire him and the friendship began to turn into love. Without any kind of prejudice, he did not limit himself to telling me that he loved me. I didn’t limit myself either and let that be born.
He listens to her every word with patience, and assures us that he fell in love with “her sensitivity, her intelligence, her joy, and also her naturalness, her desire for knowledge and life experiences. He could not see her, and yet he saw her.
It wasn’t love at first sight. Logically. Hugo had never even touched her to know what she looked like, but her voice and her personality bewitched him.
“Saint-Exupéry said that the essential is invisible to the eyes; that one can only see well with the heart. For me, above all, love is sympathy, a connection between two souls who find points in common. I liked her voice very much because it was pleasant and feminine, without resorting to subterfuge to please. And it is scientifically proven that smell is very important in attraction. That, and our affinities, were fundamental”.
Irela says no, that she was never afraid, that “it is society, with its hostile views and labels, that tells you, ‘Look, there is fear. You have to know it.” But I wasn’t afraid to let the relationship flow. It was something so natural, so beautiful, that we didn’t question anything and started to grow together, to enjoy each other.
Hugo, on the other hand, was afraid. But his was not the fear of others, of the questioning of others. He was afraid of the possibility of rejection. “When you care for someone very much, as I did for her, that’s what happens. It was very important that she accepted me and felt for me what I was feeling for her.
Irela was always a determined young woman, free as her curls, and judicious, confident. She cared about the acceptance of her own – who wouldn’t? – but that was not what would define the future of her relationship with Hugo.
“There was a little fear in my family, but when they realized that our relationship was very serious, that I was not going to give up, they began to accept my decision. Besides, with Hugo’s character, his authenticity and his noble and positive spirit, it is impossible not to admire him.
And they admired him. Or better yet, they admire him. Hugo is as grateful as he acknowledges his parents for never having been an obstacle: “I was always independent. They saw that step of mine as another sign of my way of being, and they supported me”.
At home, Irela reads you the subtitled films, and describes the visual works when they go to an exhibition. They almost always hang out together, except when she goes to La Mezquita publishing house, where she works, and he enters her office as a clinical psychologist at the Pediatric Hospital.
But what unites them most – besides love – are words. They both write. Their passion for literature is another bond, another link, and it has helped them to drive each other forward.
“I dedicated my first book to Hugo; although I read since I was a child, he helped me rediscover literature and start writing”.
Irela has published two books of poetry and one of essays. Some time ago she was a literary editor at Ediciones La Luz, and her professional experience has been vital to him as well: “Because of her work, she is an implacable critic of my texts when she has to be”.
Hugo published a book of poetry and has another one in the process of being edited. He says that Irela does not praise without reason. He knows her and she inspires him: “She is my fiercest critic and, at the same time, my best muse”.
“Many people have asked me, ‘Are you two brothers? They do not understand how it is possible that, with my disability, I have such a beautiful and intelligent woman. They also ask me if she is blind or visually impaired; but there is no doubt that, in the eyes of society, she is more exposed because she is a woman and because she does not have the disability.
Hugo’s reflection is sharp. For Irela, it certainly seems to have been more difficult: “I have suffered harassment from unknown men who have seen me with him and said unpleasant things to me. But what struck me most, at the beginning of my return to Holguín, was that some people, supposedly very liberal because of their cultural work, said indirect phrases to me that denoted prejudice; although it is important to clarify that we have always received many more signs of friendship than of prejudice”.
“We try to make everyday life not just mean staying alive, but that life is beautiful, diverse. Thanks to the support of his family, we have our own house, in which we share the housework. He, for example, likes coffee because it gives him the exact amount of sugar that we both like. I sometimes go a little overboard,” Irela accepts and laughs happily.
Hugo laughs too. And both confess that they try to read, enjoy an audio-commented film, and be surrounded by friends… but together, always together, without untimely jealousy, because “they show little confidence in themselves. We are not jealous and that security protects us. For me it’s not a problem that she can watch and that I don’t notice. I know what I am worth and how important I am to her.
They walk the Holguin streets talking, laughing, waving… They go hand in hand looking for the shadow, if there is one. They transmit serenity, and also something unusual, difficult to translate with words, which perhaps has to do with their way of understanding life.
“We enrich the routine: I practice yoga and he does the Tibetan rites. Besides literature, he loves football: he’s a Real Madrid fan,” she says, and Hugo adds other ingredients to a love recipe they have been perfecting for more than two decades:
“Irela and I have built a couple without secrets. There is trust, respect and complicity. She’s not just my wife: she’s my partner, my accomplice. We love each other, but we are also friends.
And the confession brings them back to that Santiago cinema of his youth, where she narrated the film to him in a low voice while he felt that love spoke to his ear.
Granma joins the celebration for the Day of Love and Friendship, in which many men and women of this land defend the love of their hearts and that of their country
Author: Madeleine Sautié : firstname.lastname@example.org
13 February 2020 23:02:05
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
How do you write about love without the spirit of the poet being stamped on the white page? How do you touch it and say: “Hey, look, I’m writing, and you’ve crossed my mind, so you don’t leave me, so you’ve said everything.
“As if one could choose in love, as if it were not a lightning bolt that breaks your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard,” says the Cronopio major, preventing the advancement of the very letters that now seek to move aside that great of the Golden Age, which defined the greatest of feelings as “a carelessness that gives us care, / a coward with a brave name, / a lonely walk among people, / a love only to be loved.
The bard of swallows arrives at the round that is already forming: “The words of love will come back in your ears, / the burning words will sound, (…) as I have loved you…, disengage yourself, like this… they will not love you,” and the one who wrote the lyrical hexahedron sings: “Your love burst into my life like a gust through an open window.
“To suddenly know / that I was going to see her again, that I would have her / close, tangible, real, as in dreams. / What a contained explosion! / What a deaf thunder / rolling in my veins,” says the National Poet, just after the greatest of Cubans, in perfect rhyme, said: “I thought of you, and of your hair / that the world of the shadow would envy, / and I put a point of my life in them / and I wanted to dream that you were mine.
It is not always a peaceful stage where love verses nestle. Beyond their natural agitation, in very raw circumstances poems have been conceived, which as hymns deserve eternal deference.
Far from home and from his beloved, the Shepherd of Orihuela wrote, fighting Spanish fascism, his Song of the Soldier Husband:
“When I think of you on the battlefield, / my forehead that does not cool or appease your figure, / you approach me like a huge mouth / of hungry teeth. / Write me to the fight, feel me in the trench: / here with the rifle I evoke and fix your name, / and I defend your poor womb that awaits me, / and I defend your son.”
Like him, like the Salvadoran guerrilla who asked his beloved not to say her name when she knew of his death, many men and women today defend their love, that of their heart and that of their country, which is the greatest affection, in the most hostile environments. A world plagued by imbalance, subjugated by unreason, attempts against the happy destiny of men. May this day when love speak louder leave us for a few moments, not only to invoke peace, but to do what we must, in the name of love, for it.
Posted: Wednesday 12 February 2020 | 10:37:56 pm
By Marina Menéndez Quintero
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The disqualification, on Tuesday, of 365 candidates for the seats in Congress – which will also be held in Bolivia on May 3rd – shows just the tip of a campaign against MAS that has already been launched from the violent, from the “legal”, and now muddies, as expected, the electoral panorama.
The lack of transparency and credibility will affect many. It is true that most of the candidates eliminated from the race did not belong to the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). Most (205) are from the right-wing Front for Victory, which in October nominated Chi Hyung Chu – a Bolivian of Korean origin who, although distant from Evo Morales and coup leader Carlos Mesa, came as a surprise when he came in third place… (Let’s not forget that usurper Jeanine Añez is now also running, and has aspirations).
But the MAS has 57 people who have been disqualified. And although the impossibility of going on the ballot also extended to members of the very group that represents Añez (the Juntos alliance, with only nine ruled out). So it is obvious that the fundamental blow is against Evo’s party, which was first in the polls since the beginning of the polls and when Luis Arce had not yet been chosen as its candidate for president.
This is the political grouping that has had the greatest impact in deep Bolivia after 14 years of refoundation, and in spite of the misunderstandings of certain neglected sectors that today are allied with the oligarchy, or are victims of its manipulations the crowds that came to receive Arce and his running mate, David Choquehuanca, when they returned to Bolivia a few days ago, showed that support.
The vulgar “cut” of MAS candidates for senator and congress is being justified by the supposed absence of certain documents and other bureaucratic requirements. It’s an argument as little credible as it is scarce the confidence in a Supreme Electoral Tribunal replaced without reason by the coup plotters, and headed by a headline that was slected “by hand”.
First, they persecuted and imprisoned the best leaders of the Movement Toward Socialism; then they confronted them with false accusations, and now they are preventing them from running.
It is hard to believe that officials as lowly as those who seized power would allow a return of the MAS to the House of the People or the Palace of Quemado. In order to wipe out their management, they are dismantling the fruits of the model.
The “hunt” goes on for more. Luis Arce has been linked to an alleged embezzlement in the Indigenous Fund. It could be used to get him out of the game at the right time. All that would be needed is to make the charges official (everything about it is false!) and call him to trial, or lock him up?
Meanwhile, the campaign against Evo is spreading. Not only has he been charged with terrorism and sedition, charges sent to Interpol to circulate an arrest warrant, which that agency rejected.
The alleged request by social and popular organizations to prevent Evo from running for the Senate has become a recurring theme in the official media. The argument is that he does not meet the requirements either because “he lacks papers”. This is the same sword wielded against Arce so that he does not seek the presidency either, and against Diego Pary, the former foreign minister, so that he is not allowed to run for the upper house.
This Wednesday, the former candidate and coup leader Carlos Mesa – Evo’s contender in October and the one who proclaimed the false fraud that opened the door to the coup -, asked the Prosecutor’s Office to extend the investigation against Evo, and to include the former vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linera, and the former ministers Juan Ramon Quintana (a refugee at the Mexican Embassy), Carlos Romero and Hector Arce.
His ploy is to link them to alleged “electoral frauds” in light of the frustrated October elections.
There is everything in the vineyards of this Bolivia of falsified institutions. There may be even more if, as some fear, the worst machinations are yet to come.
The blockade causes shortages, consumption is affected, constant feelings of anxiety are created, counter-revolutionary media try to connect people to hate. We have been educated according to principles of humanism and justice. Hate does not build. Let us not be manipulated
Author: Raúl Antonio Capote | email@example.com
February 12, 2020 23:02:52
On Tuesday [February] 11, at 12:26 p.m., a message surfaced on the internet, arousing the interest of thousands of people. One Internet user wrote on Facebook: “I just saw something shocking”, and was moved to tell of the courageous and dignified performance of a National Revolutionary Police (PNR) officer. “Alone, against an enraged mob determined to lynch a rapist, she, with no other shield than her body, fulfilled her duty (…) to protect his life, so that justice would apply the law to him”.
At the time, hundreds of people shared and commented favorably on the message, and the video uploaded to his channel by the Guerrero Cubano (Cuban Warrior) YouTuber, which motivated the Internet user’s writing.
In the material of Guerrero Cubano, one could appreciate the determined and just action of our police on February 8, in Santiago de Cuba. Proceeding according to the law, she was carrying out the arrest of a person who was accused of having committed a monstrous crime: the rape of a girl under eight years old. Meanwhile, a group attacked the law enforcement officers who, in spite of the complex situation, never lost their cool and acted with great professionalism.
In the course of these events, calls to lynch, burn, destroy, and confront the police began to appear in the networks. Unscrupulous people, taking advantage of the pain of the victim’s relatives, friends and neighbors, called for chaos and accused the PNR and the government of “protecting” the rapist.
The crime, unusual in our Island, awoke the indignation and anger of the people, in a country where respect for children is an essence and not a slogan.
The calls to violence and disorder using digital networks, messages that appear with a certain degree of synchronization, of articulation, in the main media of the counterrevolution, cannot be a coincidence. They appear in the same media that supported the wrongly called “Clandestinos” who tried to stain the immaculate image of the Apostle of Cuba, José Martí. These were the same “false democrats”, the same mercenaries, seeking, through the manipulation of the sensibility of a case like this, to involve people in acts against themselves.
The mechanisms of chaos and violence
The economic war against the island is increasing, using the method of blaming the victim. As the precept of unconventional warfare says, one must try to “achieve the strange result that the victim not only does not complain, but ends up blaming himself for his misfortune and applauding the executioner.
The blockade causes shortages, consumption is affected, constant feelings of anxiety are created, counter-revolutionary media try to connect people to hate, to lie to them, to mobilize them, and to skillfully pull the strings of rancor to turn people into a time bomb.
They “prepare the ground” with the aim of provoking great mental confusion, in the face of the avalanche of facts, messages, and false news. “Citizens fall into such a state of regression that they cannot think rationally, nor protect their interests,” the CIA manuals say. In that state, many people are easily manipulated.
Not for nothing did the subversion plans in the Obama era not renounce economic warfare. On the contrary, the Genesis project, to cite one example, clearly explained that it was necessary to “rigorously maintain pressure on the economy, to force the government to negotiate from disadvantaged positions”. It was a mixture of cultural seduction and economic suffocation.
During the presentation of the draft resolution Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba, in New York on 7 November 2019, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, stated: “In recent months, the government of President Donald Trump has begun an escalation of its aggression against Cuba, with the application of unconventional measures to prevent the supply of fuel to our country Its aim, in addition to affecting the economy, is to damage the standard of living of Cuban families. The United States government is indeed responsible.
About 187 actions, including fines, sanctions and measures against the Cuban people, were taken in 2019 with the aim of generating hardship, dissatisfaction and an uprising against the government. This was rightly stated in Lester Mallory’s Memorandum in 1960, which proposed to provoke disillusionment and discouragement in the population in order to facilitate the overthrow of the Revolution.
They want to leave us without fuel for transportation without gas to cook our food, to paralyze the country, and to affect the daily life of the Cuban family in order to wrest political concessions from us. They need a lot of hatred, they need fear, they need to annul the judgment of the people, so that they act irrationally, to annul their psychological defenses, to destroy their self-esteem.
Cuba has been the object of a systematic campaign of motivational influence, pure and hard psychological warfare, fabricated in the laboratories of the CIA. Its goal has been to build a state of mind that will lead the people to act beyond all logic, one that will move them to execute aggressive actions, and to create a state of irrationality that can turn the human being into a beast. In that state, scientifically managed, they try to lead them to the achievement of the action desired by the manipulator.
As the ideologists of the Guarimbas, the Ukrainian Maidan, of George Soros and Gene Sharp, the “internationalist” Otpor boys, repeat over and over again: their aim is to make sure that nothing remains but chaos.
The narrative of indignation in the service of imperial plans
In Bolivia, gangs of criminals, under the guise of “popular indignation” over alleged electoral fraud, took control of cities, carried out roadblocks in the style of Venezuelan guarimberos, burned institutions, made threats, committed murders, tortured people on the streets, and humiliated social and political leaders.
The modus operandi is not exclusive to our region. In November 2019, Iran suffered a wave of violence that destroyed 730 banks, 70 gas stations, 140 government buildings and more than 50 security force bases.
Behind this perfectly-crafted scenario was the targeting of protests, the escalation of violence, and the use of criminal recruitment to attack the security forces.
In 2004, Otpor leaders Srdja Popovic and Slobodan Dinovic created the Center for Applied Nonviolent Strategy and Action (Canvas) in Serbia, an attractive and productive business financed by the US government.
The manual Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial Points, became the “Bible” of the seditious and terrorist movements in Arab countries and Latin America, as much or more than the manuals of Gene Sharp, Bob Helvey and Ackerman, pioneers in the name of this strategy, and its precepts have been applied against Venezuela, Iran, Ukraine, Syria, Bolivia, etc.
Genesis, a project of ideological political subversion developed for Cuba, perfectly described this type of scenario: “Once the intentions of the movement are publicly declared, the highly committed activists are recruited, they move on to carry out street actions that generate repressive action by the security forces, in such a way as to create a state of ungovernability and chaos that justifies, always at the request of the Cuban people, United States intervention”.
What is raised on hate does not hold
Who is interested in making the world believe that a climate of insecurity and violence exists in Cuba? The Miami hate machine, the mud producer, which is profoundly anti-Martian, which is the same as saying anti-Cuban; which ignores an essential principle of the Apostle, everything that tries to rise above hate does not stand. Martí was a revolutionary without hatred, which is why he disagreed with “the barbarians who entrust everything to force and violence”.
The PNR acted in accordance with the law, in a country of laws that respect above all things the integrity of the detainee, a detainee who is not guilty until he is tried and sentenced. The PNR acted in accordance with the tradition learned from the founders of the nation, in accordance with a Revolution that tried war criminals, murderers who committed atrocious crimes, tortured and disappeared thousands of young Cubans. Batista’s torturers were not lynched, they were put on trial with all the guarantees of due process. That is how we acted then and that is how we will always act.
The person guilty of such an atrocious act will be tried and convicted, we have no doubt. We have been educated according to principles of humanism and justice that are the essence of the “sun of the moral world” to which we aspire. Hate does not build. Let us not allow ourselves to be manipulated.
Cuban Warrior T-3
The networks have begun to manipulate an event that occurred in Santiago de Cuba, during the arrest of a subject with HIV who raped a girl under 8 years old. Hundreds of outraged people tried to attack him and the police fulfilled their duty to protect him. Some vandals took advantage of the situation to throw stones. #Cuba #Miami
TRANSLATION by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.