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 […]
By Julio Martinez Molina
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann
British comedian Ricky Gervais says that “comedy is that moment when the mind tickles itself”. My mind which at this point –after so much limp and conventional boring comedy– has forgotten about tickling was however exulted and rolled with laughter when I saw a model of the genre like New Zealand’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I’ve owed this post to that film since I saw it two years ago; and since then I have not seen any other movie of my once beloved genre with so much comic efficacy.
The film fulfills, and surpasses the cardinal objective of the genre recognized by Chaplin himself: to entertain and make people laugh. His formula, not new, operates perfectly here: a plot whose dramaturgical thread and whose cause-and-effect sense have organic purpose in the structure of situations –logically overlapped and sustained—are conducive to hilariousness. The timing and duration of the gags are perfect. Most dialogues, the precise and semi-invisible emotive handling of the characters/actors function without failure. This is all a result of the good work in the characterization and direction of the actors and the empathy arising from their interaction. The recipe never failed: from [Ernst] Lubitsch and [Billy] Wilder to the first Farrelly.
However, in truth, this film by director Taika Waititi, bears little relation to that kind of cinema in other aspects. The geographical context and the tone used represent the adaptation of the best concepts of those masters to the peculiar expressive coordinates and appetites of the comedy. These confer a very rare injection of weirdness to the essence of a genre that is blown up from within by means of the most gentle dynamite cartridge in the universe. It unleashes a strong implosion of endorphins coated with affection, tenderness and the resulting joie de vivre. But, beware, this is nothing like a “feel good movie”, or the commonplace “funny” story. With this film we thank life, without restrictions or double intentions. It does not feel the need to say anything fashionable for others to applaud. Perhaps, it is in the deep and timeless simplicity of its statements that lies part of its charm.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople makes you roll [on the floor] with delightful laughter from beginning to end. It finds in its main character –teenager Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison)– its best hilarious asset. This chubby, rebel, gang-hip-hop lover, who must march, wander, and run for his life, through the intricate forests of the New Zealand archipelago, is perfectly drawn as a character. The actor who plays the role –I can’t think of any other like him to do it– depicts him with colors full of endearing and overflowing sympathy.
When the spectator does not want a comedy to end, it has done its duty. With Hunt for the Wilderpeople one feels this desire, which is currently in a state of extinction after the poor state of the genre. Good comedies are nowadays isolated exceptions that usually come from emerging cinema industries (like this one), but which are unfortunately made invisible (like this one too) by the world film distribution apparatus.
*Julio Martinez Molina: Film Critic, member of the Cuban Association of the Cinematographic Press and of the UNEAC. Author of the books published on film criticism: “North America and the Cinema of the End of the Century”, Sources and Influences of Contemporary Cinema” and “Haikus of My Filmic Emotion.
Posted: Saturday 24 November 2018 | 02:21:56 pm.
Updated: Saturday 24 November 2018 | 02:24:25 pm.
Author: Leyanis Infante Curbelo
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
This edition of Havana’s Fashion Week began its fourth night with the largest influx of people to date, and opened the Havana weekend with one of the most interesting parades that have been presented.
Functionality, contemporary nods to tradition, diversity of materials and styles, characterized the proposals of the day, which closed with a golden brooch to climb on the catwalk a collective collection of wedding dresses by more than 10 designers.
As a tribute to the Matanzas poet Carilda Oliver Labra, Ismael de la Caridad presented a series of textile designs in which the exaltation of female eroticism and sensuality were the central axis. The use of transparencies, and the color black characterized the sample.
Also focused on the feminine universe, the fashion house Salomé decided to break the moulds of the formal jacket-pants set to resize it in an aesthetic context of the 21st century, accompanied by Laura Lis’s jewellery.
Two other collections focused on women. The first one, completely textile, in charge of one of the foreign guests, ElietteLesuperbe, from Guadeloupe Islands. Her proposal was divided into three fundamental parts, each guided by the use of a color: gold, representing light; red, for passion, and white, for purity.
The second belonged to the Baeza family, with a long trajectory in the area of leather goods. This time they offered a series of bags, wallets and accessories, in different formats and for different occasions.
In the masculine sector the young Yunior Hierro was located this Friday, with a series of guayaberas that managed to combine heritage and modernity; Maya Sierra, with a set of woven pieces, and the trinitarian project TRIEL, with classic and utilitarian linen shirts. All with a common line, to approach the contemporaneity, taking as base concepts and traditional materials.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the night were the NOVIAS, a sort of range of aesthetic possibilities for this special moment. The public was able to appreciate a wide range of designs close to fantasy, classic, alternative, youthful, daring, but, above all, national.
These are the images of the parade, by Maykel Espinosa Rodríguez.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
There has been an intense and extensive media campaign that involved a group of U.S. officials accredited as diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana with strange acoustic attacks. Their origin and actors could not be identified, and then Washington decided to reduce the staff of its representation in Cuba. This had a big impact on consular, political and tourist relations between the two countries.
Washington’s rhetorical indictment didn’t identify presumed culprits or evidence of the supposed crimes, nor the sources for the speculative comments that were always anonymous. This peculiarity later served to justify the fact that the main victims could not be met with, given that they were agents of the U.S. intelligence services, and therefore unable by the nature of their functions, to contribute to the inquiries with testimonies related to their secret work at the Embassy.
The Cuban authorities, from the beginning, took on themselves the task of clarifying the facts. Cuba contributed to the U.S. investigative work. This included including supporting the work in Cuba of an ad hoc FBI delegation that traveled especially for that purpose. Then the U.S. government decided to drastically reduce the personnel in its mission in Havana. That aroused distrust with respect to the cooperation offered by the Cuban side.
Faced with the evident impossibility of discovering the origin and identifying the culprits, the idea that it could have been yet another malicious action against Cuba by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gained discreet strength.
But recently, coinciding with the entry into the arena of the ultra-reactionary and shadowy diplomat and politician John Bolton, as Trump’s National Security Advisor, with the prediction that he will soon become the power behind the throne in the White House, the press began to resurrect the issue of sonic attacks, increasing the number and scope of journalistic work on the subject.
A striking report by Jon Lee Anderson in The New Yorker served as a prelude to the resumption of the “acoustic attacks” campaign.
Almost simultaneously, Ottawa’s Globe and Mail reported that Canadian diplomats whose families, by a decision of their government, had to leave the embassy in Havana because of alleged sonic events they were publicly protesting, claiming that Global Affairs, Canada’s foreign ministry, had turned its back on them.
Canadian diplomats complained that, unlike the U.S. State Department, Global Affairs had said very little about the matter in public. It also did not seem to be making their case a priority without which it was difficult for them to get specialized medical attention.
“We didn’t expect to be abandoned, or more precisely, sacrificed. That’s how we feel now,” a spokesperson for the group told the Globe and Mail. Several of those affected believe that Ottawa has said little in public because it wants to maintain friendly relations with Cuba, the newspaper wrote.
Adam Austen, speaking Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, barely said that “we will continue to do everything we can to provide advice and support to those affected,” provoking opinions such as, “Canadian diplomats affected by the unidentified disease in Cuba feel abandoned. They feel that the Canadian government is covering something up, or is indifferent to a problem that someone in Washington is interested in magnifying.
Headlines such as “Canadian diplomats affected by strange ailments in Cuba feel abandoned” proliferated in those countries where information is decisively influenced by U.S. consortia.
It should be noted that investigations have been hindered from the outset by mysterious circumstances. First, because the U.S. side did not allow accredited experts of any nationality clinical access to those affected, nor to U.S. military doctors who could see them within a period of time close to the events, arguing that the patients were personnel working in intelligence tasks, thus obliged to respect strict rules of secrecy by the nature of their tasks.
I still think that the search for an intellectual author of the attacks between enemy persons or governments of the United States ignores the possibility that it may have been authorities of the American intelligence community. They may have been trying out some clandestine program or secret weapon, which for some reason fell into the hands of opportunists such as Senator Rubio with the unscrupulous help provided by Bolton.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
According to Federico Pieraccini, reproduced by Global Times on November 10, the midterm U.S. elections constituted a lottery of public office between Democrats and Republicans that culminated in a defeat for Trump’s administration and a clear victory for Washington’s “War Party”.
While it is true that it is in the Senate that the most important appointments are confirmed, it is the House that carries the main weight when it comes to domestic politics. The fact that Democrats have the majority of seats there makes the battle for Trump’s re-election in 2020 extremely arduous.
Trump should be able to prove to his constituents that he has kept the promises he made in 2016, and this is almost impossible with the House in the hands of his opponents.
As Pieraccini puts it, “the country faces a scenario of surrender to the war party, which is that faction that responds to the interests of specific conglomerates of power and not to voters. The real winners have been the intelligence agencies, Wall Street and the banks, the credit rating agencies, the Federal Reserve, the big media, the think tanks, the political directorates and the military-industrial complex.
Trump has been able to discover, in his first two years as president, how little autonomy he has in foreign policy, because of the warmongering of the American establishment.
The realistic vision of foreign policy on which Trump based his electoral campaign was swept away within days of his victory. Hoping to bribe the hawks in Washington, he surrounded himself with neoconservatives. They ended up trying to box him into something similar to the Washington Consensus in which any attempt at dialogue with opponents is seen as a weakness or a sign of surrender, Pieraccini notes.
“Washington and its elites live trapped in a uni-polar bubble, convinced that the United States is the only world power left on the geopolitical chessboard. Pentagon planners have confirmed in two official documents (the Nuclear Posture Review and the National Defense Review) how international relations have become a multi-polar reality in which the United States will have to deal with competitors like Russia and China.
The outcome of the midterm elections could accelerate this process. With the House of Representatives in the hands of the Democrats, Trump will have to abandon his vulgar foreign policy even more than he has in the past two years. The accumulation of foreign policy concessions is remarkable. Suffice it to note that in the enmity towards Iran is fostered by Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are the Trump administration’s main partners.
The same goes for China, with the antagonism fostered by Trump himself to justify the impoverishment of the American middle class that voted for him to change that situation. And, of course, then there follows the endemic hatred of Russia, the sworn enemy of the Washington establishment.
But after his defeat in the House, in order for the House to approve something, he will have to grant much more freedom in foreign policy to the neoliberals, eager to reactivate the foreign policy of Bush and Obama. Without any concessions from the House, all of Trump’s national promises to his constituents will be thwarted.
The permanent political civil war in the United States seems destined to intensify, and the prospect of an even less independent administration in foreign policy will push the rest of the world to become less and less dependent on Washington and start looking the other way. Even towards European countries like France, Germany and Italy. They seem to have understood that an exclusive alliance with Washington is not beneficial to them.
Indeed, it is doomed to failure as a result of the chaos in US foreign policy. While many Eurasian countries such as India, Japan, Turkey, Iran, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan try to overcome their differences by creating international cooperation frameworks, Washington unnecessarily pushes the accelerator on disorder.
An example of Washington’s decline can clearly be seen in Korea, where Seoul and Pyongyang seem to be heading towards peaceful reconciliation, without the direct participation of the US.
In India’s disagreements with China and Japan’s disputes with China and Russia, the tension is always centered on the interests of distant Washington rather than those of the others involved. The next two years will resolve the question of whether the current reality is already multi-polar, or whether the uni-polar order remains, Washington being the indispensable nation for its friends and enemies.
November 12, 2018.
This article may be reproduced by citing the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
November 19, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
International Men’s Day is celebrated in 45 countries around the world on 19 November. The date was first established in 1992 by Thomas Oaster, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas in the United States, and popularized in 1999.
It is currently supported by the United Nations (UN). In Latin America there are few countries that have officially joined the celebration, however, each year its recognition increases in the region.
November 19 seeks to promote gender equality, male non-discrimination and highlight the contributions they make to society on a daily basis.
It also aims to highlight problems affecting men on a global scale, such as mental health, toxic masculinity and the prevalence of male suicide, adds The Independent.
The date has not been without criticism. As leaders of the global MenCare.org campaign ask: “Why do we need an international men’s day when we already have the rest of the year?
In a column published in the Huffington Post, Michael Kaufman and Gary Baker criticize the existence of a day that tries to resemble International Women’s Day, March 8, as men occupy a privileged position in society.
Scholars instead call for existing days, such as Father’s Day, to be used to highlight how men can contribute to gender equality and how toxic masculinity is one of the factors contributing not only to inequity, but also to impoverishing men’s mental health and relationships, both familial and personal.
Men die by suicide at a higher rate than women worldwide. Most of the more than 800,000 people who take their own lives each year are male, according to the World Health Organization.
In the tweet, he alluded to the role that men play in Bolivian society and their contribution to the country’s development.
On International Men’s Day, greetings and congratulations to our Bolivian brothers. To all the grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends, who contribute with their effort and work to the development of our beloved homeland.
1:22 AM – 19 Nov 2018
Think about the comments made by the American extreme right and, therefore, the Miami anti-Cuban right, about the famous caravan of migrants approaching the southern border of the United States. They bring to my memory that verse of the poet Campoamor in which he says: “And it is that in the traitorous world/ there is neither truth nor lie, / everything is according to the color/ of the glass with which one looks”.
Remember. more or less two years ago, Cubans who had left Cuba legally and who were residing in different South American countries began to advance through Central America with the idea of arriving in the United States? In order to be able to take advantage of the famous Cuban Adjustment Act. The right-wing made statements about a supposed humanitarian crisis. Those Cubans were fleeing, according to them, from the “Cuban communist dictatorship”, and that those compatriots only had the desire to reach “lands of freedom” in order to find the famous American dream.
Very selectively, the same people who described Cubans in Central America as people who pursued the American dream, now accuse the migrants who approach the border with Mexico of being a gang of thieves, criminals, drug traffickers and the sick. They supposedly came exclusively with the idea of murdering, stealing and infecting the citizens of this country (the US). What do you think? A humanitarian crisis in one case and an invasion by criminals in the other.
That caravan is made up of those who have been coming for years, people who flee poverty in search of better living conditions. The constant stream of migrants has never stopped. The difference is that in these moments they have come together to make the journey in larger groups. Perhaps they hope to gain more publicity for their attempt to reach the United States. Hostility is what they have received, not a compassionate welcome like that of the Cubans two years ago, but a negative and demonized one.
Those people who arrive and those who for years have been arriving, come from countries where everything exists that, since the very day of the triumph of the Revolution, the US right-wing have asked of Cuba. These include a multiparty system, market economy, representative democracy, with elections every four years, freedom of the press, etc. And if all that exists in their countries and if by implementing it all problems are solved, we have to ask ourselves, why do they emigrate? Why do they abandon the paradise that should exist in their countries since their social, economic and political system is the one that, according to the right, must prevail in all nations so that progress, wealth and social development can exist?
Obviously, the fact is that there is a multi-party system does not solve anything, but it does create a lot of politicking, corruption and demagogy. Freedom of the press only guarantees that those who have money can control the media to defend their interests. Those who believe that the market should be allowed to regulate everything, if not they are dreaming, at least they are sleeping, since even in the most developed countries there are control mechanisms over it. Representative democracy has shown time and again that it does not represent anyone in the long run. Although, well, it does represent the sectors that in one way or another control power, be it the army, the oligarchy or the political parties.
The poor wretches who come in caravan for the United States were taken as an electoral campaign flag by the Republican right. The President got tired of scaring the voters, telling them that a real invasion of thugs was coming, with the idea of them going to the polls in support of the candidates of the Republican Party. So much so that, starting from election day itself, the man stopped talking about the imminent dangers represented by the arrival of the caravan. Even the army was mobilized to the border and there this part of the troops are waiting for the supposed unarmed invaders to arrive.
The control of a country’s borders is normal and it is a duty of the government. It is true that no one has the right to enter illegally into a nation that is not their own, but what should not be done is to politicize immigration and to let some in and not let others in, only because it suits them politically.
Even now, after the policy of dry feet, wet feet, has been abolished, Cubans are subject to the same treatment as the other peoples of Latin America, since there is still the famous Cuban Adjustment Act, which makes Cubans different and privileges us only for political reasons Why? Oh because, and we have to go back to poetry, “everything is according to the color of the glass with which one looks”.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The “wars against terrorism” waged by the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in retaliation for the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, have caused the death of half a million people, according to a study released by Brown University, which is based in Providence, Rhode Island, United States.
Brown is an important private center of advanced studies and research that is part of the Ivy League. Brown brings together the most accredited and exclusive private universities on the East Coast of the United States, where a high proportion of the political, intellectual, scientific and business leaders of that country graduate.
The surprising new study by Brown University reveals that between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed during the U.S. Wars after September 11, 2011.
The study examined the three “war on terror” conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – the latter as an extension of the Afghan war and the focus of U.S. drone attacks.
The half a million deaths include those of combatants and civilians due to direct fighting and war violence. However, the number could be much higher, given that the study did not take into account the perhaps much higher number of civilians killed by infrastructure damage, such as the disablement of hospitals or water supplies, or other indirect results of war.
Tragically, civilians account for more than 50% of the approximately 500,000 deaths. The study further estimates that both U.S.-backed foreign forces and opposition militants each suffered more than 100,000 deaths.
As for U.S. forces, the report reveals that more than 60,000 U.S. soldiers were killed or injured in the three previously-mentioned conflicts after September 11. This includes 6,951 U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since U.S. invasions of those countries in 2001 and 2003.
As for the seventeen years of the so-called “forgotten war” in Afghanistan, the study concluded, according to the Voice of America (VOA), that in October 2018 deaths in Afghanistan numbered about 147,000 people, including Afghan security forces, civilians and opposition fighters. The figure also includes the deaths of 6,334 U.S. soldiers and contractors, as well as more than 1,100 allied soldiers.
In particular, Brown University’s study makes explicit reference to attempts by the U.S. government to “paint an optimistic picture” of wars, which has prevented the American public from knowing the true extent of the civilian casualties from the United States and other countries.
A recently-published study entitled Human Cost of the Post-9/11 Wars: Lethality and the Need for Transparency denounces the fact that: “Full accounting of the total death toll has been “prohibited by governments interested in painting a promising picture of perfect execution and progress” but also points out that war chaos and inaccessibility of dangerous places prevent narrower, more truthful and accurate accounting.
In fact, the total number of direct deaths in these wars may never be known. For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities held by the Islamic State (ISIS), but most likely their bodies have not been recovered.
In addition, this figure does not include “indirect deaths”. Indirect damage is damage that occurs when the destruction or damage of wars has long-term consequences for the health of people in war zones. For example, due to disruption of access to food, water, sanitation, electricity or other infrastructure.
Estimates compiled in the past by independent monitoring groups and survey organizations have put the death toll in Iraq at more than one million people.
November 12, 2018.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
VIENTIANE, November 11.- Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel congratulated his Nicaraguan counterpart, Daniel Ortega, on his 73rd birthday this Sunday.
“I join my brother President Maduro in congratulating him on the birthday of his brother Commander Daniel Ortega. Congratulations,” he wrote in his Twitter account, shortly after the Venezuelan leader congratulated the president.
Diaz-Canel is touring Europe and Asia and is in Laos this weekend, PL said.
A Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Bank of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Central Bank of Cuba was signed on this day in the presence of President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and his Laotian counterpart Bounnhang Vorachith.
In another tweet Díaz-Canel stated that “we celebrate in Laos the 50th anniversary of the National Liberation Forces Command. It was in the legendary caves of Viengxay, where our doctors consolidated the unbreakable friendship of our peoples.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
In 2009 Caster Semenya astonished everyone with her triumph at the World Athletics Championships. She was 18 years old at the time and crowned a season in which she dropped seven seconds to her best time in the 800m flat. In Berlin, the mark of the final took her to 13th place of all time and meant the widest margin of a champion compared to her rivals. However, as soon as she passed the finish line, accusations began to haunt her.
“She is a man,” said Italian runner Elisa Cusma, and as a powder the media replied. “Master Semenya is he or she,” said one of the Spanish newspapers accredited in the German capital on the front page. Meanwhile, another prestigious European newspaper began the day with “Semenya’s sexual ambiguity”. Above Usain Bolt’s three records, the news became the success of the tournament.
Then the IAAF demanded gender tests to confirm that she was a woman. There they discovered that the South African woman did not have a uterus or ovaries, but she did have internal testicles and testosterone levels three times above normal. Caster Semenya suffered from hyperandogenism. The results came out 21 days after the gold medal. And in the midst of the public debate about her sexual identity, many forgot that she was a teenager who never questioned her status as a woman.
This is confirmed by her family in Limpopo, South Africa’s northernmost province and the land where she was born in January 1991. “She played like all girls,” the grandmother said in an interview with the BBC, “but she also liked to run and always excelled at it. For many people, however, Semenya has a man’s back, voice and face, and looks different to the naked eye.
Amid the controversy, the IAAF required her to limit her blood testosterone levels to 10 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L), a decision that forced the athlete to take medication to control her body. However, she still repeated the universal title in 2011 and won the Olympics a year later, but so much time fighting herself in the end turned out to be too much.
In 2013 she didn’t even attend the World Cup and two seasons later she finished the semifinals in last place. Her career wasn’t so successful anymore… until another intersex runner raised her voice.
It was Dutee Chand, an Indian sprinter unable to attend the Commonwealth Games by refusing to limit testosterone values. After her complaint, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) considered that there was no evidence capable of demonstrating the advantage of athletes with hyperandrogenism.
The verdict removed the fourth year of regulations and Caster Semenya once again displayed all her power in Rio de Janeiro, the London World Cup and the Diamond League stops. Step by step, the South African rose in the historic ranking, won her first medal in the 1500m and won several nominations for best athlete of the season. But on April 26 of this year another IAAF decision threatened his career again.
According to the athletics governing body, athletes with hyperandrogenism would be forced to reduce their testosterone levels to 5 nmol/L by November 1, 2018. Otherwise, their only option was to compete as men, move to tests such as long-distance races and pitches or participate in divisional events for intersex athletes.
To support its proposal, the IAAF released a study which states that no woman should record more than 5 nmol/L of testosterone, “but those with differences in sexual development can have very high levels, which extends to the normal male range and even beyond. It was the conclusion that TAS did not find in its first research.
According to the report, “a higher proportion of testosterone increases muscle mass by 4.4%, strength by 12-26%, and hemoglobin by 7.8%. Experts estimate that the advantage of having circulating testosterone levels in the normal range of men rather than in the normal female range is greater than 9%.
When the analysis came out, the South African relived the same shock that accompanied her after her gold medal in 2009. Nearly a decade later, just two years after the last pill to control her body, her name was back in the headlines again. Although the rule doesn’t mention her directly, her face became one of the most wanted. And this time, far from the Berlin teenager, she decided to stand up and face everyone.
“I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It’s not fair to be told that I have to change. It’s not fair for people to question who I am. I’m Mokgadi Caster Semenya, I’m a woman and I’m fast,” he said just three months ago when he filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to stop the controversial decision.
The athlete’s lawyers argued that the measure “is discriminatory, irrational and unjustifiable,” and that it violates the Olympic Charter and human rights. The IAAF, for its part, maintains its argument about the need to “create categories of competition that guarantee the success determined by talent, dedication and hard work, instead of other factors that are not considered fair or significant, such as the enormous physical advantages that an adult has over a child, or a male athlete over a woman.
However, the news of the last days is in the announcement of postponing for five months the implementation of the rule, in order to wait for the verdict of the CAS and thus avoid the delay of the process initiated by Semenya affects other athletes involved. Now everyone is waiting for the result before March 26th.
“Prolonging uncertainty for athletes seeking to compete next year and beyond is unfair, so we have reached an agreement with the claimants. We have agreed not to enforce regulations against anyone until the regulations are respected. In return, they have agreed not to prolong the process. All athletes need this situation resolved as quickly as possible,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
Although the director claims to have full confidence “in the legal, scientific and ethical basis of the Regulations and therefore I hope that the Court of Arbitration for Sport will reject these challenges”, this delay means hope for Semenya and for the South African Athletics Association.
According to the Guardian, the president of the African body, Aleck Skhosana, the rules will have a “discriminatory effect on female athletes” and his duty lies in “protecting all female athletes, because the regulations marginalize certain female athletes on the basis of natural physical characteristics and/or sex.
And there lies the key to the whole affair. For Semenya, its lawyers and many of its defenders, it is unfair to proscribe a person with physical or genetic conditions different from the rest, but who was born this way and never took prohibited substances or underwent any medical treatment to achieve it.
“No one questions the strides of Usain Bolt, the wingspan of Michael Phelps or the cardiovascular system of the Spanish cyclist Miguel Indurain. There is no such rule among men,” they say.
For its part, although the IAAF study recognizes that in tests such as hammer throwing – a specialty dominated by European and white athletes – the excesses of testosterone in blood offer an even greater advantage, the rule does not apply to those throwers. Many then question whether there is also discrimination on the basis of skin colour or geographical origin.
“It is always worrying, as a matter of law, when policies seem to be aimed at limiting the participation of a small group of people,” Suzanne Goldberg, director of Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, told AFP. Her statements, along with those of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the organizers of the prestigious Wilma Rudolph Courage Award, shed light on an issue that does not yet have a clear end.
If CAS rejects the South African runner’s arguments and ultimately applies the decision, she must limit her testosterone or consider the option of climbing to 5,000 or 10,000 flat meters, tests where for now the rule is not effective. Meanwhile, if she wins the legal battle, it is almost certain that the world will continue to see the strides and master races of a girl who for a long time has struggled not to lose her essence as a woman.
Posted: Saturday 29 September 2018 | 10:15:43 pm.
Author: Ana María Domínguez Cruz
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Aesthetics and health. The debate is still endless because the search for beauty, beyond the superficial, can also be a guarantee of emotional health, psychological stability, high self-esteem and general well-being.
Plastic surgery professionals also work in the field of reconstructive surgery and caumatology, and say that in the first place the safety of the procedure and the training of the professionals who put it into practice should be paramount.
According to data released at the 2nd Congress of the Cuban Society of Plastic Surgery and Caumatology, held from September 5 to 7 on the Island, from 2001 to 2016, 309,469 plastic surgeries were performed in Cuba The majority (200,508) were aesthetic and the rest reconstructive.
They added that there is a considerable increase every year starting in 2011, which places us in line with the rest of the world, where each time the number of people who come or need this specialty grows.
Dr. Ariel C. Prada, a third-year resident in Plastic Surgery and Caumatology at the Hermanos Ameijeiras Clinical Surgical Hospital, recently arrived at the Multimedia Editorial Office of Juventud Rebelde to answer questions related to the discipline in the country, its potentialities and perspectives, as well as its risks and complications.
The professor instructor and editor of the magazine Cirugía Estética y Reparadora [Esthetic and Reparative Surgery] clarified not a few doubts of our readers -some teenagers and young people-, from whom we offer a selection.
Lissa: What are all the plastic surgery services that we can access for free?
Ariel C. Prada (ACP): You can access all plastic surgery services (including cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery) free of charge, after a medical assessment to determine whether or not you qualify for that intervention. There are procedures in which alloplastic materials are used (breast implants, buttocks, etc.) that in the case of cosmetic surgery must be acquired by the patient, having first the indication of its model and volume by the plastic surgeon.
Susel: Is it necessary to be of legal age to access an operation or is it only possible with the authorization of the legal guardian?
ACP: Like any medical-surgical procedure it has a legal background and risks. If you are a minor must have the approval of parents or legal guardians. We do not know the nature of the procedure you wish to be performed, but we always recommend that, if it is not strictly necessary, you wait until the age of majority, either to seek better aesthetic results or because they are purely elective surgical interventions (cosmetic surgery), not essential for your life. Remember that undergoing surgery, in this case, is a very personal decision that requires full awareness and maturity.
Hope: I want to remove the “crows feet”, a little fat from my belly, my neck wrinkles … How many cosmetic surgeries can a person do, and how long should you wait between one and another?
ACP: There is no specific number of cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries that can be performed on a person. Above all, it must be evaluated by a specialist, who will determine, according to his opinions, which is the best aesthetic option, according to factors as varied as the type of patient, age, basic diseases and magnitude of the procedure, among others.
“Our specialty is a complement to improve the quality of life of people. Thus, it in no way replaces healthy habits such as a good diet, avoiding toxic habits or frequent physical exercise. In fact, many times our intervention is not necessary or its magnitude decreases, with much better results. The patient must be aware and responsible for their own health, to have lifestyles that maintain the results of the procedure performed.
Yaima: I have black skin, am 52 years old… Does race influence this type of surgery?
ACP: In medicine, and particularly in plastic surgery and caumatology, one of the elements taken into account is the racial biotype. Age is also a factor that is considered depending on the patient’s desire.
Iris: How is the procedure so that a woman who was operated on a radical breast can have access to the reconstruction of this part of her body? Where should she go?
ACP: Surely you were seen in a center with oncology service. Your oncologist, after considering that you are free of the disease (at least for a year) can refer you to a reconstructive surgery service, either in an oncology hospital or clinical-surgical, to begin the process of breast reconstruction which can be done in several stages.
“The National Breast Cancer Program contemplates the free reconstruction of all women affected by this pathology, with quality and first-class breast implants in centers such as the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology (Havana), Hermanos Ameijeiras Clinical-Surgical Hospital (Havana) and Conrado Benítez Oncological Hospital (Santiago de Cuba). You should consult with your oncologist in which center, according to the regionalization of health services, you should be treated.
Carmen: Those of us in our third age can opt for simple procedures, such as, for example, one that allows us to lift our drooping eyelids?
ACP: Although there are “simple procedures”, all require the expertise, experience and “aesthetic vision” of a plastic surgeon. We mean that there are sick people, not diseases (an old medical adage). Therefore, each treatment must be individualized, because what a patient requests is not always the best aesthetic or technically possible option.
“In the elderly, we must take into account the compensation of their basic illnesses, because we are talking about purely elective procedures, in which the risk must be minimal and the benefit, the highest possible.
Yeny: What practices should a patient follow after having a lipectomy*? How long should she wait to perform physical exercises and which are the most recommended? Is it normal to feel punctures in the abdominal region two years after this type of surgery has been performed?
ACP: First of all, you must have followed the indications of the plastic surgeon who operated on you, because s/he knows the characteristics of the patient, the details of his procedure and therefore the limitations and possible evolution, among others.
“Generally, three months after the operation, as long as they have not been complex dermolipectomies, patients can gradually resume themselves into their lives fully, without excesses. Physical exercises should be dosed and increased progressively. Aerobes and any activity that tones the muscles improve the results of the procedure. Consult your surgeon about the symptomatology presented, because s/he will surely offer you a more exact explanation and a solution.
Surgeries do not replace healthy lifestyle habits, but they are a choice many make.
When we speak of plastic surgery, the term also includes reconstructive surgery, which guarantees not only an aesthetic result, but also the return of function to the affected area.
In this sense, Dr. Yamilé León Rodríguez, who works at Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, tells Juventud Rebelde that oncological, traumatic or congenital deformities in the face, in the breast due to cancer and ulcers in dissimilar parts of the body, among others, are treated in this way.
“We have a multi-disciplinary breast cancer care group that includes oncologists, mastólogos, radio-oncologists, imageologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and specialists in reconstructive plastic surgery, who enter the process after it has been decided how the ablative surgery of the patient will be conducted.
“The defect to be corrected may be in the breast, when a partial or total removal of an organ or body tissue is performed in a radical mastectomy, or to correct a defect that remains in the chest wall, as a result of an ablation of a large tumor.
“We have developed several techniques, including reconstruction with the local tissues of the breast, with muscles, especially the abdominal rectum and the broad dorsal, as well as through flaps obtained from the abdomen, or the novel technique applied in the country of the sentinel ganglion, which determines the degree of spread of cancer.
León Rodríguez points out that patients of different ages, from 18 to 85 years old, have been treated with this type of aesthetic reconstruction. “The results show that it is not mandatory to perform total exeresis and that the subsequent reconstruction, with or without the use of prostheses, gives the woman back one of the classic attributes of femininity”.
Rhinoplasty is a complex but generally not life-threatening procedure.
Dr. Julio Cesar Galvez Chavez recognizes that in the desire to look younger, more and more patients come to his office. They should know that there are also selection criteria for cervicofacial rejuvenation surgeries.
“If there are signs of aging, then we can consider this type of surgery. We can find these elements in young people, perhaps because they have very white skin. In general, however, we perform them in patients over 40 years and up to 60, although the age limit is not as determinant as physical conditions and health.
“Many people believe that this is a magical intervention that will return them to the freshness they had at 15 years. This isn’t so, because, although it is guaranteed to make you look younger, you can’t turn back the clock.
The fundamental motivations for performing a surgery in the environment of cervicofacial rejuvenation are related to the fall of the eyebrows, the appearance of horizontal or transverse wrinkles in the eyebrows, the excess of skin on the eyelids and the appearance of fat pockets in that area, the loss of the contour of the jaw and the presence of the so-called marionette lines, the fall of the chin and the loss of angularity in the neck, among others.
Gálvez Chávez is also an expert in rhinoplasty, an aesthetic procedure indicated for those who wish to modify the size and shape of their nose as well as to improve their respiratory function in case of deformities in their septum.
“We perform reductive rhinoplasty in those noses of large dimensions and augmentative for flat or underdeveloped. In addition, we can make other procedures to model or perfect the features according to aesthetic patterns worldwide, either in the tip of the nose, the wings, the back, the nostrils and in general in all regions of the nose.
“Rhinoplasties are not recommended for people over 40 years of age because the skin’s ability to adapt to structural changes is important. This is most noticeable before the age of 30,” says the specialist, who notes that, although vital rules of care must be respected after rhinoplasty, it is not a life-threatening surgery.
How many people yearn for an aesthetic surgery after which they will look slim and slender? Dr. Heizel Escobar Vega, a specialist at the Hospital Clínico-Quirúrgico Hermanos Ameijeiras, states that this is the main reason why patients come to her practice. They ignore the fact that liposculpture is not a method for treating obesity.
“Liposculpture is the surgical treatment we perform to treat the areas of the body where fat deposits are found, such as the abdomen, the trochanteric regions and the arms, among others. Not only is it a question of removing those fat accumulations, but also of performing the lipo-injection in other areas in which they are desired.
“With this procedure, we obtain a corporal mold, as much in men as in women. Lately, they want to lose fat, in the abdomen and lumbar regions. They also request high definition surgery to obtain the well-known “squares”, an increased request also in recent times in the female population”.
Escobar Vega insists that not everyone can be a candidate for this surgical intervention. “We are rigorous in the selection of patients. Although people generally think that it is a simple surgery, due to the fact that it is among the most performed globally, it is certainly one of the riskiest and has the highest mortality associated with it, depending on the time and volume of fat extracted. Moreover, its realization leads to the modification of the metabolic, biochemical and hepatic mechanisms of the organism.
“Follow-up after surgery is essential, and the patient must respect the measures indicated by his attending physician.
Dr. María del Carmen Franco Mora is a specialist at the Juan Bruno Zayas General Hospital in Santiago de Cuba. She explains that the demand for gluteal lipo-injection has grown, a procedure that requires prior liposuction or liposculpture, from which the fat extracted is injected into that area of the body.
“The most frequent general complications are associated with the most feared, ranging from fatty and pulmonary thromboembolism, septic shock and severe anemias, to local infection and hematomas, among others.
“The criteria established for the classification of the patient must be very respected. We do not operate on people with a body mass index above 30 until they lose weight before, nor on those with a history of thrombotic diseases in lthe ower limbs or with the presence of varicose veins, nor on those who take oral contraceptives, among other exceptions”.