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 […]
Published: Saturday 28 December 2019 | 09:52:20 pm
By Mileyda Menéndez Dávila, Odalis Riquenes Cutiño, Liudmila Peña Herrera, Javier Rodríguez Perera, Laura Brunet Portela, Iviani Padín Geroy, Zorileidys Pimentel Miranda, email: email@example.com
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The 2019 photo gallery is loaded with images that remind us of who we are and what paths we are on. We say “we are” in the present tense, because we understand that what we have experienced during the last 12 months has marked the national sentiment, the spirit and even the geography, in such a way that today, only hours before the arrival of 2020, it is very difficult to say “we were”, because much of what happened this year marks the paths or the roads that we must travel during the coming calendar year.
We must not forget that Cuba is the compilation of our daily poetry wrapped in kisses, sweat or tears, depending on its human beings and their circumstances. Cuba is the reality of each of our realities. Therefore, every achievement, every pending task, every goal – accomplished or to be accomplished – becomes the precedent for the next step.
A more than happy man
Héctor Prieto Caraballo knows this well. Only a month ago, he thought that the greatest happiness was limited to sunrise in the countryside, breathing pure air, working the land and enjoying its fruits.
That meant seeing his father, Héctor Luis Prieto, known as the Havana Man, happy, always glued to the ground to grow the leaves of what many call, not without justified chauvinism, the best tobacco in the world.
“Planting, picking tobacco, making bushes… everything is interesting, but planting is my favorite activity. Seeing that tiny stance grow gives me a very nice feeling because I can appreciate the results of my work,” explains Prieto Caraballo, a graduate of Técnico Medio en Agronomía.
But since last November 22nd, he knows that happiness is not only wrapped in green leaves, but it is also in the form of crying, gurgling, smiles, future. Happiness photography has a new and beloved face for the young man from Pinar del Rio.
“It is incredible the power that a smile of his has. A child is the most beautiful thing you can have in life,” he says proudly, adding, “I feel like a more than happy man. This is a year I will never forget: my first child, my family, the results in production. Everything has been very good for me.
Creativity in the face of obstacles
The same cannot be said of the promoters of restaurants in Havana, cocotaxi drivers or other means of transport dedicated to tourism, room renters and business owners who were affected in 2019 by the intensification of hostile measures by the United States government towards Cuba.
For them, this has been the year of economic cutbacks, of mutilated profits, of applying creativity as a solution to the ban on U.S. cruise ship travel to the Greater Antilles. This is how Raidel Regaiferos Sánchez feels -because he has lived it-. He has been working for more than a year as a promoter of the restaurant Habana Boulevard, in the capital city.
“When I started working here, the restaurant was full almost all the time, like the rest of this type in Old Havana. But when Trump decided to have the cruise ships say goodbye to the harbor in the bay, many of the promoters changed jobs, since the pay depends on the consumption by the diners who come to the restaurant.
Faced with such a complex panorama, which translates into less income for the development of the non-state sector. Though Trump says that every measure tries to [only] affect the Cuban government, Raidel and his colleagues have no other option but to appeal to creativity and the reformulation of commercial strategies in order to “fall in love” with clients and not close the deal.
“Since then, we’ve had to update prices and update the menu, as well as implement other alternatives when it comes to promoting the site, and adding national consumers”. He says who would be happy if 2020 would bring longed-for opportunities to prosper, without measures “from outside” that attempt to destabilize “inside.”
Hope for many
Still in young Martha Regla Beltrán Boza’s memory is the devastating tornado that destroyed her home.
Photo: Mileyda Menéndez Dávila
Martha Regla Beltran Boza believed that 2019 would be the worst year for her and her family. They’re known as “the Many” because it is a nucleus with 24 people from three generations, all born and raised on the slopes of Lenin Hill, in Regla.
On the night of January 27, Martha had gone out to the street because she wanted to eat peanuts, but something in the air disturbed her and she ran back to bed with her mother. Minutes later, the roofs of the tiny wooden house fell on them, and behind them a nearby Yagruma tree, uprooted by the strong winds of the tornado that destroyed several areas in five municipalities of the capital.
“Now the family was really out on the streets,” he thought. Fortunately, a neighbor provided his small home so that a part of “los Muchos” would be aware of the recovery of the property, taken up by the Julio Antonio Mella contingent, which in this case became practically the entire onstruction, from the foundations, of three two-story masonry houses.
“They made us up to the entrance corridor, which until then was made of earth,” she says with relief. Today, she is in the third year of a pre-university educational program and dreams of soon joining a primary school classroom to teach literature, which is her favorite subject.
The usefulness of virtue
In Santiago de Cuba, the young hands of José Ruberlandis Vázquez Enrys, Sayonara Destrade Castillo and Indira Jardines Durán bear the mark of the effort to be useful in the face of the challenges posed by difficulties. Their energy and enthusiasm have been decisive in promoting the idea of food production parks, a Santiago-based initiative that is already recognized in the country for reproducing the artisanal practices of traditional gastronomy on a large scale, with a minimum of electricity and zero diesel fuel.
The alternative came to life in March 2019, in areas of the Ice Cream Wafer Factory. It’s located on Patria Avenue. Saltine cookies of various types and 100% rice cookies, candies of various shapes and flavors, homemade mayonnaise, cakes and pancakes, cassava and cassava frying, peanut and coconut nougats, pru, vinegar, sweet and dry wine, liquors, fruit and hard chilled ice cream, cassava, raspberry, Cuban pasta, instant soda, breads and sweets with flour spreaders. These make up a varied amalgam of products that are highly appreciated by the consumers who receive them. This is both in an Ideal Market and in cafeterias and points of sale in the Santiago food industry. Ruberlandis, Sayonara and Indira feel the satisfaction of having dedicated these last months to producing food for their people, using natural fuel: coal, firewood, bagasse and coconut shells. For them, 2019 can be summed up in two words: to be useful.
A “busy” year
“When the Young Communist League calls, when your university asks for a hand, when the president of the country himself trusts the young people and believes we can do more, then there is no one who is not motivated,” says Massiel Cano Garcia, a student in special education.
A pile of photos he has on his mobile phone show that 2019 was a very busy year: “It was full of proposals and opportunities to show who we are as young people today,” he says.
With his finger, he slides the snapshots of the productive activities that made his University one of the best: planting potatoes in the middle of a field, or giving away smiles at the pediatric hospital.
Massiel keeps memories of all those moments, to show that the energy of his youth is transmitted, transformed and produced. “Watching over the savings in the companies in my neighborhood was something I did to feel useful and help my country move forward,” he recalls.
“It wasn’t a question of reporting to anyone. We didn’t have plans or figures to accomplish in one day. It was just “making us feel”, making those who didn’t know how important it was to save aware of it. And she recalls that Prado went up and down in shops, bakeries, commercial establishments, companies and homes, inspiring people, winning hearts.
“The idea was to convince people that no matter how insignificant it might seem, a simple click also mattered,” says those who now dream of dedicating their lives to special education. “My greatest wish is to be a good teacher for children with special educational needs.
A high jump
For someone like Luis Enrique Zayas, who several times has considered not giving another drop of sweat for the sport he practices, still young but with several fiascos. This year has been a kind of Copernican turn for his life. With hardly any possibility of participating in the Pan American Games in Lima, almost ten days before their start, he was informed of their presence. Forecasts placed him far from the podium, but in the Peruvian capital the triumphant apotheosis took place.
It was on August 9 when the high jumper shattered all the speculations and became the biggest surprise of the Cuban delegation in Lima. He invaded the summit with the best of his life, a jump of 2.30 meters, three centimeters higher than his previous personal best, achieved in 2016 when, breaking the same predictions, he became the world youth champion.
“I concentrated a lot on the whole competition and that’s how that gold medal came out, something super big for me, my family and Cuban athletics. In the meantime, I qualified for the World Athletics Championships in Doha”, said the athlete from Santiago, who has realised that life is a stage of constant tests and he, as a “good actor”, emerged as a protagonist more than once.
In 2020, looking ahead
Diverse in nuances, complex because of the ups and downs and the obstacles; full of successes and sacrifices… 2019 is falling behind. Once again we close a cycle, but we remain with the list of what we have accomplished or what is still pending, in order to focus our gaze on what we want to mark our life since January 1st, always with the conviction that we hum along with the Buena Fe group: we will receive it “head-on” in 2020.
December 28th, 2019
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Numerous nutritionists, as well as food experts, claim that the delicious deep-firied crackling pork rinds is not only not fattening, but is even beneficial to health and should be included in many diets.
It is said that pork rinds have high amounts of collagen, so when you eat them you will feel full sooner, which will make you eat less and this helps you lose weight.
It is also high in so-called established fat, which helps reduce cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and generally improves bone health. It also contains a lot of protein. One ounce (28 grams) of this food provides 17 grams of protein, which maintains the feeling of satiety and benefits the muscles. On the other hand, it has stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid that does not raise blood cholesterol levels, according to the website Meatinfo.co.
This food, which is eaten in many parts of the world – in Cuba almost all year round – is presumed to have been invented during the 1800s by the working-class communities of Savy in the West Midlands, or the Western Midlands, one of the 47 counties of England, UK, with its capital in Birmingham.
Like almost all fried and salted meat snacks, chicharrones are delicious. Recently, the company Muscle Food released chicharrones that are claimed to have the highest protein content of any chicharrones in the world. Their product is made from fried pork skin sprayed with salt and 70 percent of its nutritional content is protein, plus it has half the fat of pork rinds on the market.
Olympic gold medalist in taekwondo, Jade Jones, is known to like them a lot. And if an Olympic medalist consumes them regularly, it means they’re healthy. Also, according to Vice magazine and Milenio.com, most of the fat in pork rinds is mono and polyunsaturated.
St. George’s Hospital’s chief nutritionist, Cath Collins, confirmed that because what we eat is the collagen concentrated in the pig’s skin, pork rinds have an incredibly high protein content that maintains the feeling of satiety, benefits the muscles and improves bone health.
It turns out that lard [manteca de cerdo] is healthy
On the other hand, research conducted by Dr Michael Mosley and published by BBC News revealed that what we thought we knew about cooking oils was simply wrong. Most people believe that frying with vegetable oils has to be healthier than cooking with animal fat. The problem is that when fats and oils are heated they change, and in doing so produce chemicals that can cause heart disease or cancer.
Olive oil, for example, has a so-called lower smoke point, which means it will begin to change more quickly. The beneficial compounds then begin to degrade and potentially harmful compounds are formed. Sunflower oil, supposedly the healthier alternative, is much worse. Therefore, lard, so stigmatized in common use, is preferable to these oils in general, experts explain.
Nutritionist Mariana Rodríguez Pineda explains that the tendency to point to certain foods as being fattening — or not — is questionable. Any excess calories consumed in a day can cause us to gain weight, she says. There is no one food that, by itself, will make us gain or lose weight; what matters, after all, is the amount of energy you consume and the amount you spend, she says.
According to Rodríguez Pineda, the belief that chicharrones are not fattening comes from supporters of ketogenic diets, which are characterized by high amounts of protein and fat, and little or no carbohydrates.
Pork rinds, which are of animal origin, are permitted in this type of diet. For all these reasons, Rodriguez assures us that there is no better diet than a balanced one that includes carbohydrates, fats and proteins, since restricting one of the three nutrients can be harmful to health.
By Amelia Duarte de la Rosa
November 25, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The world commemorates this November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, even though one in three women on the planet suffers physical or sexual violence.
However, the term “Violence Against Women” coined by the UN in 1993, encompasses many types of attacks beyond physical, sexual or psychological, and also has to do with any threatening act, whether it occurs in life public as in private.
Many women in the world suffer from labor and political violence as an inalienable part of gender inequality and lack of equal rights for women and girls.
Among the highest rates of gender violence worldwide are found in the Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa, where although physical or sexual rape has a higher incidence, the female population is unprotected in terms of economic empowerment, political leadership and inclusion.
According to the United Nations Annual Report 2017-2018, women remain trapped in a network of inequalities that place them in the worst part of unpaid care, social protection and insecurity.
Gender disparities also intersect with gaps in education, income and access to services, as well as ethnicity, sexual orientation and geographic location.
In addition, women and girls are particularly vulnerable in education, which prevents them from achieving universal schooling and having more employment opportunities.
Harassment, discrimination at work and psychological aggressiveness also affect them as victims, because women are exposed to strenuous work schedules, low earnings, difficult conditions and an increased risk of violence.
UN Women data shows that one in 10 women in the European Union declares that they have suffered cyber-bullying since the age of 15. This includes unwanted, sexually explicit and offensive emails or SMS [text] messages, or inappropriate and offensive attempts in the social networks, which are positioned as the main means through which this psychological violence is exercised.
Meanwhile, a study conducted in 27 universities in the United States revealed that 23 percent of university students are victims of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
For its part, Africa is one of the most restrictive continents in terms of women’s rights and it is estimated that millions of them have been subjected to female genital mutilation.
In addition, it leads the ranking as the region with the least safe abortions in the world, followed by Oceania and Latin America, which takes thousands of lives each year.
It is believed that only one in four abortions is carried out in safe conditions.
UN Women implements an aid plan in several countries to close these gender gaps and create counseling centers for survivors of violence.
In addition, some governments develop economic empowerment plans to counter violence against women, such as in Japan, which, for example, approved paternity leave to allow the professional development of mothers.
However, all action continues to seem useless when, UN data confirms that 71 percent of victims of trafficking worldwide are women and girls, and one in two women in 2017 was killed by their sentimental partner or a member of their family.
(Taken from PL)
On November 15, 238 years had passed since the dismemberment of the Bolivian indigenous leader. Along with thousands of his followers, he surrounded the city of Nuestra Señora de la Paz [today’s La Paz] for several months creating chaos and sowing panic among the Spaniards who lived in the small city
November 20, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
November 15, marked 238 years since the dismemberment of the Bolivian indigenous leader Túpac Katari. Together with thousands of his followers, he surrounded the city of La Paz for several months, creating chaos and sowing panic among the Spaniards and their descendants who inhabited In the small town.
Before dying, Katari formulated this prophecy: “I will die but I will return and be millions.” The historic phrase was rescued by Aymara leader Evo Morales when he assumed the presidency of Bolivia in 2006, and his government began to work for the demands for the rights of the original peoples.
Katari’s real name was Julian Apaza Nina. He was born in 1750 in the Aymara community of Ayo Ayo, province of Sica Sica, near La Paz, the son of a miner who died in the mines of Potosí. This indigenous leader led one of the most important rebellions against Spanish colonialism in Upper Peru, along with his wife, the heroine Bartolina Sisa and her younger sister Gregoria Apaza.
Legend has it that when Julian was born in 1750, two huge condors settled in the nearby mountains. One represented the Aymara and the other, the Quechua. Thus they learned that this child would be very important for the two native communities. That’s what happened.
The young Julian adopted the pseudonym of Túpac Katari in tribute to the indigenous leaders Túpac Amaro II and Tomás Katari, to fight against Spanish domination, organizing the indigenous and mestizos for the great rebellion he was preparing.
An army of more than 40,000 indigenous people from different regions such as Calamarca, Caracato, Sapahaqui, Laja and Viacha, led by Tupac Katari, twice surrounded the city of La Paz in 1781. Their seige lasted for one hundred and nine days, causing serious damage to the Spanish forces. This was mainly due to lack of supplies, however, troops sent in aid from Argentina prevented the fall of the city.
Katari was betrayed, imprisoned and sentenced to be executed through dismemberment, which took place on November 15, 1781, in the small town of Peñas, two hours from El Alto.
He was made to walk around the main square, his tongue was cut, he was quartered by stretching his limbs by four horses. They pierced his head over the tip of a pillory to intimidate the rebels. And as if that were not enough, parts of his body were exposed in different regions.
But his example led to other uprisings that achieved the expulsion of the conquerors of Bolivian land. And the fence was sculpted forever as the indigenous epic that bent the Spanish conquerors for a few months.
Now in Bolivia, a reissue of that siege is taking place. Representatives of social organizations of the city of El Alto, and the federations of coca leaf producers of El Chapare, decided to encircle La Paz. They demanded that the murders of the peasants and the mobilized people cease; human rights violations cease and the legitimate government and not the coup be restored.
In a tweet from Mexico, President Evo Morales recalled the Bolivian indigenous leader: «Spanish imperialism thought that by tearing up Tupac Katari 238 years ago, it would cut off the strength of the people to break the chains of colonialism. Today, more than ever, the fight continues. Before the repression of the racist coup, we repeat the sentence: I will return and be millions!,” he wrote.
December 11, 2019 12:12:07 | CLAUDIA PIS GUIROLA
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
It’s set in 1994 and Carlos is 14 years old. Some of his friends, neighbors and relatives leave Cuba behind the siren songs of the U.S. government. The US, which, while tightening the economic and financial blockade, promises benefits and guarantees to those who manage to set foot on American soil. In handmade boats, improvised from any material, they sail the seas: they are rafters. But Carlos (Damián González) is a teenager and in the midst of his personal pains, is unable to understand the full political-social dimension of the moment. Through his gaze, Agosto [August] is told. It is a film without excesses and with no desire to judge, which appeals to the collective memories of those who face the only Cuban film in competition in the section of Opera Prima during this 41st International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana.
With the support of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), this production between Cuba, Costa Rica and France had to go through a long road of almost ten years to see materialize the original project of Armando Capó (director) with script by Abel Arcos. Finally, it is now possible to enjoy a work that, beyond the dramatic force of the context in which it is set, delves into more universal values such as adolescence, the loss of loved ones and the sexual awakening of a boy who will have to assume the socially accepted demands for his gender, but made even more acute by economic precariousness.
Capó, coordinator of the Fiction Chair at the International Film and TV School of San Antonio de los Baños, tells of a long documentary production (Descubriendo Pancha, 2004; La marea, 2009; Ausencia, 2011), which may have influenced the way the story is told. There are no dramatic effects or heartbreaking catharsis. Even the treatment of color from a palette without stridencies, the tempo of the edition and the use of hand-held camera contribute to achieving a story from a calm, with an unconventional narrative structure, but very attractive from, among other things, the careful recreation of the era.
With the performances of Glenda Delgado Domínguez, Felito Lahera, Verónica Lynn and Lola Amores Rodríguez, this is a film in a very different sense that proposes a healing gaze towards that moment of farewells and separations. That August was the same for many and those who still need a reconciliation with that summer, perhaps this August, will find it.
Published: Tuesday 10 December 2019 | 11:24:12 pm.
by Mileyda Mendéndez Dávila
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
WOMAN #1: What happened to Caridad’s husband was for lack of…
WOMAN #2: And what happened to the lady that lives on the corner was due to an overdose.
in sex, it is fundamental to respect oneself and the other person.
Lara Castro, Spanish sexologist
Carlos is 19 years old. He studies engineering and is an attractive young man, intelligent and nice enough to arouse the interest of whomever he wants. His friends respect and support him, his relationships have been stable and his sexual life healthy, so far without surprises.
Like many young people, Carlos has felt the need to experiment to the maximum of his abilities. Even without the traumatic experiences to justify it, he decided to venture with “the famous little blue pill”, because they promised him that he would see the clouds and show them, in addition, to his roommate.
The outcome could have been magnificent, as other young people who were pleased insist on narrating, but Carlos ended up in a hospital ward with an intense pain in his penis, erect for more than three hours, and an unbearable headache. Luckily, it was enough to drain the limb with a syringe and there were no sequels.
According to street rumors and reaffirmed by specialists in Sexology and Urology in our country, in the last decade the number of young men who consume Viagra without a prescription, has risen worryingly. This is true both in its Cuban variant and products imported illegally under the name, not always reliable, Viagra.
The interesting thing about this phenomenon is that this drug is a vasodilator (dilates the vessels of the circulatory system). It doesn’t stimulate desire, and is intended for patients with erectile dysfunction after trying other therapies whose use involves fewer physical risks.
When employed by a young man who has no circulatory problems or erection difficulties, it can cause priapism, that continuous and painful erection of the penis that lasts several hours and requires surgical intervention to resolve.
Even without immediate traumatic episodes, it is a dangerous habit because it creates dependence and deepens the insecurity, low self-esteem or anxiety of the young person. In the long run, this can generate the feared dysfunction, but of psychological origin, explains psychiatrist and sexologist Elvia de Dios, therapist at the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex).
In addition, possible reactions to the chemical surpass the advantages that its consumption supposedly brings, if there is no basic cause, which is lack of erection. These include headaches, palpitations, facial redness, nasal congestion, dyspepsia … Added to this is that some men should not use it because they are allergic to its components or these interfere with their treatments for chronic illnesses (such as heart disease).
There are also restrictions for uncontrolled hypotensives and men with retinitis pigmentosa. This is because, according to the Cuban expert, international studies report vision damage, since this drug relaxes smooth muscles by inhibiting the production of the enzyme FDE-5 (5-phosphodiesterase) but can also inhibit FDE-6, vital for the retina.
In the new protocols of attention to sexual dysfunctions in our country (in the process of validation to be generalized throughout the health system), we insist on the rigor of the prescription of the drug, accompanied by other indications, such as its ingestion away from meals, low-fat diet in the previous hours and not taking more than one pill a day.
It is essential to demystify other aspects that young people handle inappropriately. Viagra does not protect against any STI and its use does not increase sexual appetite: without desire and prior stimulation, it does not lead to anything positive.
These insecure young people force a process that should be natural, spontaneous and pleasant for both parties, in an attempt to look good above all else. In that state, it doesn’t matter if you use alcohol, viagra or other natural aphrodisiacs: the expected effect is in your mind, even if your body suffers the undesirable consequences.
A healthy sexuality in all senses includes unlearning prejudices that point to the man as merely responsible for the sexual relationship. It takes into account that, at that moment, responsibilities are shared equally, so the only doses that must mediate between them are that of attraction and honesty.
LA GUACAMAYA ROJA
by Marta López Fesser
December 17, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
*Free kindergarten for 2 years
*6 months paid maternity leave
*Paid paternity leave
Only 15 countries in the world have these 3 basic policies to facilitate shared parenting. Cuba is the only one in Latin America, it has the happiest babies in the world. reports UNICEF.
HAVANA, Cuba – When Juan Carlos and Maria decided to start a family three years ago, they knew there was only one way to raise children. “For a family to work, you need a team: that means sharing all the tasks and responsibilities,” says Juan Carlos.
Juan Carlos, who would be a first-time father, did not yet know the intricacies of fatherhood, but he knew he had to be present. “There are things we can’t share, like the discomfort or the physical weight of the pregnancy, but I can be there for [Maria], so that we can learn together and share this journey,” he says.
Juan Carlos did his best not to miss any of Maria’s medical exams before delivery. At the consultation, the couple observed that most of the instructions and advice given them was directed directly to her. Juan Carlos had to insist on his interest in being taken seriously. He wanted to know what his role was, how he could help his son reach his full potential, but he didn’t know who to turn to.
Cuba is one of 15 countries with three basic social policies and programs to help mothers and fathers: free public preschool education for the first two years; a minimum of six months of paid maternity leave to facilitate breastfeeding; and 12 months of paid paternity leave after the birth of the baby.
For a family to work, you need a team: that means sharing all the tasks and responsibilities.”
However, despite these programs and policies, social norms and structural barriers in Cuba make it difficult for men to participate equitably in all stages of child-rearing. Only 18 percent of fathers participate in educational activities with their children during early childhood; only 33.2 percent of children under six months of age receive exclusive breastfeeding benefits, and only 125 fathers were able to take paternity leave between 2003 and 2014.
When Maria recently became pregnant with Oliver, her second child, she and her partner did everything possible to take advantage of the resources at their disposal. “You can never be prepared enough,” says Maria. “Being a mother or father means learning that what you do and what you don’t do has lasting repercussions on the development and happiness of your children. It’s a deep, vital reflection that encourages you to want to do things right from the beginning.
On this occasion, they learned that they had access to free childbirth classes. “They were very useful; we met other couples in the same situation,” she says.
They also knew that MarIa had the right to choose a person to accompany her in childbirth, and Juan Carlos wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. “For me, it was a vital and unrepeatable experience that I believe all parents should live. It’s hard to imagine the pain and sacrifice that women have to suffer,” he says. “That arrival commits you for life.
Juan Carlos learned about these rights and services through the communication materials of “Padre desde el principio,” [Father From the Beginning] an initiative led by Cuba’s Ministries of Education and Health with help from UNICEF. The aim is to engage fathers by informing them of their rights, responsibilities and the benefits of shared fatherhood in an equitable manner.
Maria exclusively breastfed her two children for the first six months of their lives. “It would not have been possible without Juan Carlos. It is true that I am the only one who can feed them, but Juan Carlos was the one who got up at night to bring them to me and who took care of the household chores.
Juan Carlos was also the one who stayed at home with his children when Maria’s maternity leave ended, so she was able to return to work. “It’s been a wonderful experience,” he says. “Having a role in [their lives] from the beginning gives you the security to take care of them completely, and enjoy it!”
Maria agrees: “He has not only taken on traditional roles, such as washing and cleaning, preparing food or caring for the baby: they have also spent quality time together, developing a parent-child bond that will be the basis of their relationship in the future.
The “Father From the Beginning” initiative promotes equal parental responsibility from birth, precisely because if parents are involved from the beginning, they are more likely to continue to be involved throughout their children’s lives. Parents who are actively involved from the outset not only demonstrate a greater commitment to protecting their children from violence and prioritizing their education and health: they also challenge deeply rooted beliefs and stereotypes of masculinity.
“At first, our neighbors thought that our way of raising our children was strange, but they no longer see it that way,” says Juan Carlos. “I see a change: younger generations are evolving.
December 9, 2019.
by Vicky Peláez
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Evo Morales, who managed to lift his country out of extreme poverty and turn it into an example of economic and social development in the region, must recognize that his sin of naivete was in believing that his code of ethics and his love for Pachamama would be understood by the majority of his countrymen and respected by foreigners who aspired to all his resources.
If one has a good knowledge of the means available to the enemy, the losses could be minor (Victor Serge, 1890-1947).
Evo Morales, the great leader who managed to lift his country out of extreme poverty and turn it into an example of economic and social development in Latin America, must recognize that his sin was in naively believing that his code of ethics and his love for Pachamama would be understood by the majority of his countrymen and respected by foreigners who desired all his resources.
He did not calculate well the destructive capacity of his enemies and did not worry about preparing his people to defend his revolution. [Instead, he focused] all his energy and organizational capacity on the growth of the economy and the well-being of his people. Both he and his second, Alvaro Garcia Linera, underestimated the danger signs and did not prepare for the coup that was being prepared and had been practically announced for years.
Now, North American power – and especially the CIA and the DIA – must be celebrating by finally overthrowing that Indian Evo Morales who dared for 13 years to build a proud and sovereign pluri-national state in defiance of Washington and, in particular, the transnationals, by cutting off almost free access to deposits of gas, uranium and strategic metals such as lithium, indium, gallium.
Since the arrival in power of Evo Morales on January 22, 2006, the United States conspiracy began with its servile OAS, the US intelligence services, the Jubilee Foundation, NGOs such as Standing Rivers, the national and international Evangelical Church, the Bolivian Civic Committees, the US Embassy in La Paz and the high command of the Armed Forces and the Police.
All of the coups require a great deal of preparation and training to set in motion well-organized actions by both the local civil groups and the paramilitaries. In the case of Bolivia, they wanted to hand over their country to the United States in exchange for access to power and business.
Evo Morales’ government was well aware of this process in Bolivia after the Police Crisis Resolution Tactical Unit shot down a paramilitary cell composed of Bolivian-Hungarian Eduardo Rozsa Flores and European mercenaries Michael Dwyer (Irish) and Árpád Magyaros (Romanian-Hungarian) on 16 April 2009. These terrorists were hired by Croatian-Bolivian businessman and landowner Branco Marincovik for the purpose of assassinating Evo Morales and provoking a coup d’état and the secession of the departments of the so-called Media Luna (Santa Cruz, Tarija, Pando and Beni) forming a new country.
In 2008 the intelligence services of Cuba and Venezuela warned Evo Morales that he should not rely on most of the high-ranking officers of the Armed Forces because of their pro-American indoctrination at the School of the Americas (SOA). Precisely that year, Evo Morales made the decision to no longer send the Bolivian military to the SOA. But he did not dare to reform the military institutions by instilling in them pluri-national values.
It was not until 2016 that the General Juan José Torres Gonzales Anti-Imperialist Command School was created, where the geopolitical theme of imperialism was designated as an obligatory course. On August 9, 2019, already informed about certain suspicious movements in the Armed Forces, Evo Morales proposed to create an Anti-imperialist Southern Command along with the participation of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
However, the coup d’état had already been going on for several months. The Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bruce Williamson, coordinated the final details of the dismissal of Evo Morales with the commander in chief of the Bolivian Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman. (TV Mundus, Argentina, November 14, 2019). Washington strategists designated the Bolivian army as the central knot of the coup, with the Civic Committees organizing and executing acts of protest, violence, looting and all kinds of actions to destabilize the Morales government, head off the process of change from its officials to the political leaders and not allow their re-election. It was even planned that Bolivia’s first indigenous president would repeat the fate of Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. (CounterPunch, November 2019).
When in August 2018 the Mexican journalist Luis Hernández Navarro asked Evo Morales in Cochabamba about the possibility of a coup d’état, the president replied: “I don’t think there will be a military coup, but they will try a national upheaval… The U.S. embassy is looking for a way to [promote] upheaval the country. But they have failed, failed and failed because we are with the truth. It’s the great advantage we have. (La Jornada, Mexico, 12-11-2019).
Morales was mistaken, because his truth and his code of ethics, based on the principles of equality, of patriotism, of always telling the truth, or of not stealing and protecting Pachamama were drastically opposed to the truth of the opposition. They were desirous of preserving and increasing their economic and social privileges although at the expense of national sovereignty.
Apparently, neither the Bolivian president nor his second, Álvaro García Linera, has read the essay by the Russian revolutionary Víctor Serge What Every Revolutionary Must Know about Repression (1921). Then they would have known that, from the moment a revolution is prepared, the counterrevolution looks for ways not to allow it to begin. Neither Evo nor Alvaro studied well the historical proclivity of the military of his country to betrayal and military coups. The fifteenth president of Bolivia, General Mariano Melgarejo, came to power through a coup, and handed over the Bolivian coastline with all its riches to Chileans and Englishmen, finally escaping to Chile.
The other military coup plotter, Hilarión Daza Groselle – the 19th president – betrayed his mentor Mariano Melgarejo for 10,000 pesos and offered Chileans a pretext for the Pacific War (1879-1884). He also betrayed the Peruvians and eventually deserted and escaped to Paris. The thirty-sixth president, German Busch Becerra, also military, participated in three coups and finally betrayed the homeland. President General Rene Barrientos immediately called his CIA chiefs when Che Guevara was captured in October 1967 to receive orders regarding what to do with the prisoner.
No wonder, then, that with so many sinister antecedents throughout the history of the Bolivian military, the now former commander in chief of the Bolivian Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman – a graduate of the School of the Americas in 2003 and ex-military attaché in the U.S. – betrayed Evo Morales. It turns out that by August 7, when Kaliman declared himself anti-imperialist and a supporter of the changes the president was implementing, he was already engaged with the U.S. embassy to carry out a coup d’état. Police general and former president of Latin American police attachés in Washington, Vladimir Yuri Calderón, was also involved in the betrayal.
Analyst Sullkata M. Quilla, of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis (CLAE), revealed that Kaliman and other generals participating in the coup received one million dollars each and police chiefs $500,000. The payment was made by Williamson, and was made in Argentina in the province of Jujuy under the auspices of its governor, Geraldo Morales. 72 hours after the coup, Kaliman and other military and police chiefs moved to the U.S. safe from any national or international investigation. (TV Mundus, Argentina, November 14, 2019).
The Bolivian people are paying with their blood for Evo’s sin of innocence by not taking into account the experience of Hugo Chávez, who from the beginning of the process of change managed to form a solid civil-military alliance and also create the Committees for the Defense of the Bolivarian Revolution. He indoctrinated them in Simón Bolívar’s postulates and armed them with 100,000 Kalashnikov machine guns acquired in Russia. His successor, current president Nicolás Maduro, strengthened and trained these committees militarily. They already have more than 2,000,000 militants.
Since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) was reformed and educated in patriotism as was their intelligence service. In spite of all these measures, in 2019 alone there were 47 attempts by the CIA, the DIA and the Colombian intelligence services to recruit officers of the Armed Forces, as President Maduro recently revealed.
Televen de Venezuela reported that attempts have been made to steal missiles and dismantle the system of mobile and fixed radars. Thanks to the actions of patriotic military, these attempts were discovered and those involved were arrested. According to Nicolás Maduro, his “military institutions are doing permanent intelligence work. (Televen-Tv, November 12, 2019).
This permanent intelligence work was ignored or not supervised by the government of Evo Morales and almost certainly its intelligence services – the SIE and the DIE – were already infiltrated by the U.S. CIA and DIA. The government of Evo Morales also neglected the role played by most NGOs in destabilizing MAS and its government. According to Resumen Latinoamericano (20 November 2019), in 2007 there were 1,800 NGOs in the country, of which only about 640 were registered in 2018. Many of them were financed by the US government through USAID, an organization that has spent more than $97,000,000 dollars since 2002 on promoting separatism in Bolivia and financing the opposition. So much spending by the Americans has now been recovered.
The entire effort of Morales’ pluri-national government was dedicated to the economic growth and social welfare of his people. He neglected the security of his State and forgot that the enemy, both internal and external, never sleeps, waiting for his moment. Finally it came in the form of a coup d’état and with the self-proclamation of Jeanine Áñez as president of Bolivia. This president has already received from the United States what most of the opponents so longed for: a Green Card, sent by the same Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (Aporrea, José Sant Roz, 24-11-2019). It was also discovered that Jeanine is the perfect Bolivian birlocha (someone who hates her race).
From birth until the age of 19, she was called Anahí Ayelén Áñez. She was someone of the purest indigenous origin. In school called her Chola, chula, cholita. With time and thanks to the USAID scholarship and her identification with the evangelical religion, she tried to drive out of her body and mind everything indigenous by coloring her hair and changing the color of her eyes with contact lenses. She earned her law degree by correspondence and by the age of 38 she was director of Total Visión.
To better understand where this president and the opposition around her could take Bolivia, it is worth reproducing the de facto president’s response to a foreign journalist who asked her, after being sworn in, if she was racist. Jeanine said that “I never wanted to be president of anything, much less of this country. On the other hand, as far as I know, since the world is world supremacy has been and will have to be white. I have never seen a Supreme who is black or Indian, not even brown. The same Lord Jesus Christ is white.”
With a government of this type, the only thing that can be expected is Bolivia’s economic, social, political and cultural retreat into the past, where inequality, racism and injustice imposed their rules. The National Legislative Assembly, whose president and two-thirds of whose representatives are members of the MAS, did not dare to follow the constitution and deal with the resignation of Evo Morales. Its president, Monica Eva Copa, achieved consensus for the law enabling new elections.
The Confederación Obrera Boliviana (COB), the Mesa de Unidad and other organizations signed an agreement with the transitional government. According to the president of the Legislative Assembly, Monica Eva Copa, “if I made a decision with my heart, we would still be at war. But we have to use our heads so that this will be pacified and there will be no more death. (Pagina 12, 27-11-2019)
In the meantime, repression continues and the Minister of Government, Arturo Murillo, has published a list of senators and deputies who, in his opinion, promote destabilization of the country. He also announced the creation of a special apparatus of the Attorney General’s Office to arrest deputies and senators. At the same time, Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, the city of El Alto, Yapacaní and the North of Potosí continue with the blockade of highways demanding an end to repression.
Unfortunately, Evo Morales, Álvaro García Linera and the MAS leaders did not do in time what Monica Eva Copa calls “use your head” to prevent this sinister coup d’état and to protect both national security and the excellent economic and social achievements that Bolivia achieved in these 13 years of Evo Morales’ government. They forgot that “the enemy never sleeps” and, especially, the class enemy.
By Ana Álvarez Guerrero,
Student of Journalism of the Faculty of Communication of the University of Havana. On Twitter: @aaguerrero97
Irene Pérez, Cubadebate photojournalist. Graduated in Journalism from the University of Havana (2014). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @irenepperezz
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernandez and René Gonzalez, spoke today with Cubadebate about the Cuban premiere of the film “Red Avispa” at the 41st New Latin American Film Festival.
What did you both think of the film directed by French director Olivier Assayas?
The answer to this question and their impressions of this film – one of the most controversial of this edition of the Festival – were shared by Gerardo and René this afternoon, in an exchange that was transmitted through Cubadebate’s Facebook page.
Some of Gerardo and René’s impressions of the film
The film, as many people have said, is not exactly the story of the Five, it is the story of part of the Five, but it also goes beyond that to the story of the confrontation between Cuba and the United States. It seems important to me that from the point of view of a European, who has no direct relationship with this conflict of so many years, a film has been made on a subject that, during the time in which this story unfolded, was a subject censored by the media of the world. That is the fundamental value of the film. I know that it will generate debate in the Cuban public, because it is the most difficult audience for a film like this. This is because it knows the case, it lived it. If the film gets a rating of 50 points from Cuban viewers, it’s a good film.
What I liked most about the film was the boldness of placing the subject of terrorism in Hollywood. It is known that in Miami they have threatened to burn cinemas that show it. I think it’s brave to make a film that, without being pro-Cuban, embraces the truth and this truth favors us because we’ve been the victims for more than half a century.
The film shows 50 years of aggression, terrorism, crimes against Cuba. They are not so afraid of the film as they are of the story, a story that if they could have told it they would have done it, they have money, connections. This was a trial in which the 12 members of the jury, when they left the courtroom, took an oath of silence, did not dare to speak. In another case, each one of those 12 members would have made his book of when he was a juror in the case of the 5.
This case filled the judicial system, the judge, the jury, the prosecutors with shame, that’s why it’s a story that they can’t tell and that they’re afraid of, and that for so long they hid and tried to let nobody know. They are afraid that the history of U.S. aggression against Cuba, for so many years, will be known.
Expect an expanded summary of Gerardo and René’s statements to Cubadebate.
Posted: Saturday 07 December 2019 | 08:17:44 pm.
by Marina Menéndez Quintero
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
A decision announced a priori brings about the purposes Alberto Fernandez has in his portfolio for when he is sworn in as president. Within two days: Argentina is not going to accept the last pull of the scandalous $56 billion that Mauricio Macri sought from the IMF, It has been the largest loan granted by that institution in all its history. Nor will it negotiate more loans.
His will be a term that will be born under that Sword of Damocles, because the strong indebtedness agreed by Macri will still continue to hover over the country for some time. But Fernández will not allow the overruns with which the Fund manages the Governments to overfly it. No more recipes.
That is what would happen if the new president accepted the possibility – outlined recently by officials of the IMF – of signing another agreement for the country to receive more money lent to “help” – say the IMF officials – to pay what is owed …
Fernandez won’t do it. In the weeks since his election, he has reiterated the same idea: the country will not pay until the economy reactivates and grows.
With this conviction, he faced his first dialogue with the new head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva. She asked him, a few days ago, to apply policies of “fiscal viability” that allow the nation to pay off the debts contracted by the outgoing president.
The president-elect remained at “his 13” [stuck to his guns]. His administration, Fernández replied, will propose “a sustainable economic plan” and there will be no more fiscal “adjustments.”
However, Argentina has no choice but to pay, probably through renegotiation.
The new government – he has also reiterated this – will not declare Argentina in default (cessation of payments). This would mean that all credit and investor doors would be closed and, in addition, there are commitments made with private debt holders. But the incoming executive also refuses to tighten people’s belts just to favor, as Mauricio Macri has done until today, the eternal circle of indebtedness.
The situation seems unusual in its difficulty, although it is not new. It resembles too much that of Argentina in 2003, when the late former president Néstor Kirchner took over the helm of an equally indebted country. Perhaps then with more factories closed and more hunger, and the nation was the prey of a boiling up that brought the beaten middle class to the streets, put pot-banking in vogue, and pushed a president, Fernando de la Rúa, out of the Casa Rosada. Then, at the climax of the impossibility of maneuvering, the government was forced to freeze the money of savers in the banks and decreed the so-called “corralito financiero” (financial corral).
Those spontaneous mobilizations were the result of several administrations as rabidly and ruthlessly neo-liberal as the one Macri is now concluding. He has also been repudiated in the streets by those who come back from the same evils, and even by those who did not experience them before but suffer them now.
Somehow, Macri has also been taken out of the house of government by the people, only “for the better”. The electoral outcome that gave victory to the Front for All is due, in good measure, to its ability to unite its main protagonists to the strength of Peronism but also -and a lot!- to that popular rejection that gave its punishment vote to the outgoing administration.
If you look at the numbers, these four years may outweigh the critical times of the 1990s and early 2000s in depredation. If, when Nestor Kirchner arrived, Argentina’s debt was around $170 billion dollars, last June external debts were at $283.567 billion: $7.819 billion more than a quarter ago, according to data from the National Statistics Institute cited in Argentine reports. That figure represents 80 percent of GDP! Almost the same as the country produces, because it has been in recession for three years.
The times for the cabinet of Alberto Fernandez are shortened if you take into account that for 2021 they will face payment deadlines of $38 billion of capital, and $16 billion in interest.
Kirchner, at the time, paid the Fund once and for all. He renegotiated with private bondholders, in transactions that meant important “removals” of Argentina’s debt.
Now is Alberto Fernandez time to act. How will he do it? How will he be allowed to do it? Because one observer has pointed out that the gendarmes of the Monetary Fund will react to the sovereign attitude of Alberto Fernandez, as dictated by the United States.
Deputies of the Popular Unity Party denounced the outgoing president in court for having indebted the country for more than $100 billion dollars, and the fact that $86 billion of them have fled.
Upon filing the complaint, Claudio Lozano and Jonatan Baldiviezo accused him of the crimes of non-compliance with his duties as a public official and abuse of authority,. They estimated that “if we do not suspend payments, the debt could choke Argentina’s recovery.”
The weight of Macri’s external debt and the IMF’s persecution are not the only evils that the new government will have to fight economically.
An interesting article published in Página 12 by Alfredo Zaiat also points out the strong fiscal restrictions that have had to be implemented and will be against them. These include the exchange control implemented in the face of hit international reserves, weakened by the flight of foreign exchange; the weakened productive and labor scenario, the fall of the Argentine peso against the dollar (still at 63 to one) and the demands of trade and social sectors that have been hit hard by the crisis, such as teachers, scientists and state employees.
Fernandez knows where the core is to move the country forward. He hasn’t stopped working with a team of the Front for All since the good percentages obtained by his candidacy. With Cristina as vice-president, he announced that he would be the new head of state.
He has met with the provincial governors to ask for their support and also to demonstrate that he will govern by listening and counting on them. He has also spoken slowly with businessmen and industrialists, who have equally been hit by the macro crisis, to whom he gave guarantees of reactivation and asked for support.
The new government wants to return the workers’ salaries which had beenand fatten a little the slim pensions of the retirees; that there is no more need for soup kitchens, to improve access to education and health… And it has announced emerging social plans to alleviate that other macro debt: the one contracted with society.
The decision to incorporate two new ministries into the cabinet: Gender and Equity, and Habitat and Housing, illustrates where their paths go. This can also be seen in the announced Argentina program against hunger, and other social plans that will seek to provide a basic food basket to vulnerable households, and to guarantee potable water…
Those aspirations are a sign of how much citizenship needs. And the performance in the economic sphere on which many will depend; there everything is decided for Argentina today… or almost everything.