Capriles’s Defeat Shows His Victory / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

The difference in vote totals was only about 300,000 people.

The votes of the Venezuelan people have brought to light an almost equal balance in the presidential decision.

With 50.66% for Nicolas Maduro and 49.07% for Capriles, the now elected president Maduro, looking at the final decision, said in response to the vote totals, “If I lose by one vote, or win by won vote, it has to be respected.”

Maduro knows that the fight is over, as demonstrated by the votes. Capriles, for his part, reaffirms that he followers and he’s capable of changing the destiny of Venezuela.

These are the days of a government where the actions will be taken by Maduro, the current president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Where his capacity as leader will be used for the interests of the Castro regime.

A Cuban intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela that will intensify as the days go on until taking over, it becomes almost a colony of the Castros, but with this difference that this country has resources than can feel the wings of the ambition of the Cuban regime.

Today more than ever Capriles must be keep his eyes wide open as any slip by Maduro can open the doors of the presidency to Capriles.

22 April 2013

The Era of Broken ATM Cash Machines / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

Several banks in the capital’s municipalities have broken ATM cash machines, which makes it hard for people to get their money.

In Cuba the use of technology to facilitate and expedite service to the population in the metropolitan banks, fails to live up to the same services and technology of other Latin American countries.

Ana C. Jimenez, 45, says she lives near the metropolitan bank that is next to Quinta Canarias — a center for people with psychological problems — in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo.

“Every time I go to take money out, the ATM is broken, and this is a bank that’s always full of people and there’s one line for all transactions,” Jimenez said.

The simplicity of having a magnetic card to withdraw money from any ATM is complicated. The truth is that many people don’t want to travel long miles to avoid the huge lines at banks, but many complain they have no choice but join those lines, and then spend long hours of waiting to get the money to buy food.

One problem that affects these services is maintenance, the State enterprises, as usual, exploit the equipment until it stops working. Then when it breaks they repair it, instead of maintaining it so so it doesn’t break. By not tracking the maintenance, the machines break more often and it shortens their useful life, and causes problem for citizens.

The truth is that, meanwhile, the technology is out of service, and instead of maintaining and caring for it so it functions efficiently, citizens are stuck in lines for several hours.

8 April 2013

90% of the private cars in Cuba don’t offer any protection to drivers and passengers / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

Most of the private cars in Cuba are old, built around 1939, 1941, 1955 etc. None of them have seat belts or airbags, which increases the number of fatalities in an accident.

Private cars don’t have seat belts or airbags at the steering wheel. Also government vehicles are like this too, and their passengers a vulnerable in any accident.

A government driver in the Instituto Nacional de Educación Física y Recreación (INDER), who preferred to remain anonymous says “I have been driving a (Russian made) Lada 2107 for two years and it hasn’t had seat belts since the day they gave it to me.”

A mounted policeman explained that most of the traffic is made up of old cars. “Many of the old cars have brakes which rely on water with detergent in place of proper brake fluid” explained the traffic cop.

Ricardo López, 35-years-old, says he has a friend who places his trust in water and detergent rather than spend money on brake fluid. “The reality is that drivers trying to save money don’t buy brake fluid,” added López

The modifications to the old cars: exchanged motors, transmissions, gearboxes, and even loss of the structure of the vehicle in order to get more people in. These things are everywhere in the streets offering private transport services, “But nobody bothers about safety,” says Carlos Ramírez, aged 42, a passenger.

Adrian González, 32, comments that the car he is driving is a ’52 Chevrolet, “the car has had its chassis modified to carry more people,” says González

An accident in Independence Avenue (Boyeros) is usually catastrophic.

Independence Avenue is one of the roads where you get many old adapted cars, which are made into racing cars and which are driven at excessive speed.

Private cars are mostly ancient machines with a very rigid chassis which in turn adds to the danger because they it do not absorb the force of the impact, while modern cars are designed to absorb the force of impact, as well as having the benefit of seat belts and air bags on the steering wheel.

But not everyone has the opportunity to buy a one- to three-year-old car. The economy doesn’t permit it, the old crates are more affordable in terms of paying back the loan.

Translated by GH

25 March 2013

Cancer, A Mortal Illness / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

he early death of Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, president of the Republic of Venezuela, brings with it instability for the country and those allied with him.

With the death of the leader the opportunity to take power is knocking on Capriles’ door. In a country in mourning, the political opponents are gathering their forces to attack the violations of the constitution without concern for the pain of the rank and file Chavista and family members.

The opportunity presents itself but not right now. Continue reading

State Security Imposes Itself / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

Blockade, Aggressions, Manipulation

Blockade, Aggressions, Manipulation

With the arrival of the anniversary of the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the Cuban martyr and human rights defender on the Cuban island, hundreds of arrests were carried out in order not to allow any festive and peaceful festive activity on the part of the opposition to the Castro regime.

A party such as the Hard Frontline, with an office in Los Pinos neighborhood, was besieged and some were locked up for no reason.

We are going through a transition, if they comply with the guidelines agreed at the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. These five years will be the last that will under the thumb of Raul Castro and there will be a weakening of totalitarian power and a coming of the path of true democracy.

But if so will these be unforgettable years for the Cuban opposition?

State Security and its support brigades (keeping the regime’s boots clean) are becoming more violent. Each anniversary of a death of Cuban dissidents leads to several arrests, repudiation rallies, persecutions, “accidents,” or unwanted trips.

On anniversaries like these the Human Rights Commission in Cuba will report simultaneous arrests and the rate of arrests of dissidents in Cuba will increase.

The fight for some is on time, for others, this would be an opportunity for the Cuban Dream: democracy and freedom from all political taboos.

25 February 2013

Why Vote / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

1360619150_indexThese have been rigorous days on the island of Cuba, the first elections after the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. Full of bureaucracy, an evil that affects us deeply.

For whom will you vote? Few ask because they don’t have political information. Candidates with full resumes but nothing to identify what they are thinking. What the candidate himself brings; a degree or PhD, an internationalist or a simple worker and, the most praised, the “fighters”. They are only recommendations to choose who will represent you at higher levels.

The functions of a delegate for your area is is nothing more than to raise or take to the legislative body the needs of the citizens which they carry on their shoulders (they are the ones who represent you in government). But the word they do benefits themselves. If the delegate himself has “problems” there is no chance for others in need until their problems are solved. Although the delegate will always have problems and if you want to solve a problem, it is only with a bribe that most of your problems will be resolved.

“Then why vote?” says Érica González, 43.

Why have elections? It is a way for the government to show the world that “democracy” exists in Cuba.

With the manipulation of 53 years they become increasingly more skilled, the experience makes them stronger in managing to deceive the world with their intelligence maneuvers.

11 February 2013

Cuba Takes Advantage of Hugo Chavez’s Illness / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

imagesThe Cuban government takes advantage of the situation of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to assume the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

As everyone knows, the health outlook of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is not entirely favorable. He is beset by complications such as heart failure or respiratory infection, not yet controlled. There are speculations that Chavez will not win this battle, because overcoming cancer is very difficult. Continue reading

Cholera Came to Stay / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

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Avoid cholera. Wash your hands well.

With the outbreak of Cholera in the eastern provinces, to cite an example: Granma province.  Result of contaminated or stagnant water for several days.  Citizens obliged to store water because of declining supplies on the part of state entities.

When the outbreak’s development reached its peak, the government took small, practically secret measures.  Many of the Cuban citizens resident in other provinces, principally the Havanans, found out about the problems in the east of the country by rumors finally proven by an advisory notice from the Minister of Public Health, in which he said that there was a total of three deaths, all of them older (elderly) and several infections.  “But the outbreak was controlled,” said the source.

When the government decided to take measures on the trips from any province to the affected corners.  Already many Havanans with relatives came and went from the affected places.  Because of having taken the measure of suspending trips to the affected provinces, it was not the correct solution.  With a short note of important character, alerting Cuban citizens that no matter the means or how important the problems were, not to travel to the country’s east.  Because of having a Cholera outbreak in said areas.

The government knows that Cubans do not use the state transportation routes to the provinces. More trips occur on their own than as passage from the bus terminal, on trains, or the airport.

Today in the Cuban capital we are facing the same problems as in the east.  We have an outbreak of Cholera that the authorities have not wanted to recognize.  With meetings in the education centers alerting their workers that there is an outbreak of “acute diarrhea.”  A township like that of “Cerro,” already four known deaths from the virus.

How did said outbreak occur?

Preparation for years that the island had in losing little by little the public sanitation, the international doctors or the foreign students.  Many of them coming from poor places and away from civilization.  Where illnesses like Cholera, AIDS, etc., have developed strongly.

Drinking water contaminated by sewage water, result of the exploitation that the hydraulic networks suffer that on letting the water flow gives way to the entry of rubbish.  By having breakdowns in the main networks mentioned.

Today the country has a very poor public health service, the loss of customs on the part of Cuban society, bureaucracy that delays taking action to eradicate something.  They make of the locality an area where illnesses are favored.

Translated by mlk

January 21 2013

Massive Migration / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

imagesThe Migration Law will show its true face. As announced, today the new amendments go into effect today.

As expected, today is a day when many Cubans who want to know new frontiers can be secure in knowing that they will not be denied in the acquisition of Cuban passport, their noses pressed against the gates of travel and migration.

People whose ideas differ from those of the Castro regime, will be the most demanding of, and the most rejected, in possessing such a document. In some cases they will obtain a passport to travel but they will have to sign an agreement not to return to their native country until there is a change of government. It is argued that they are of great danger for the government.

The Cuban passport has a very clear objective to prevent people with scientific, political, and other important interests from leaving. The government will make them suffer for their desire to learn, and they will regret having chosen their careers.

The wait for the fortunate will fall like a bucket of cold water. The letter of invitation to travel has been eliminated, but there are other requirements tied to being Cuban citizens.

History has always shown that the ingenuity is need to achieve one’s goals, optimism always helps to brings positive energy, but with this system nothing is clear, a yes is a no and a no is a no.

The territorial migration offices are never crowded and you enter them with great demand for bribes to immigration authorities.

Anyway, the truth comes to light, those mistaken will acknowledge their wrong version, but opponents of the government, they will recognized their great prediction.

January 14 2013

13th Annual Shepherd’s Staff March, Without the Support of Traffic Authorities / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

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The shepherd’s staff march is held every year, on December 17 — St. Lazarus Day.  This time the traffic authorities didn’t help like in past years. Observed by State Security (DSE) this year with more participation.

It started at 1:00 pm from the fountain at Sports City, beginning with the participation of 40 people and little by little more arrived until there were 80 people participating.

Traffic was a challenge, they had to cross at the green lights without having a traffic cop to stop the cars.

In the street people gave us food and wished us good health for ourselves and our families, there were those who joined us and even carried the staffs.

The bundle of staffs was heavier than in previous years but we made it to Rincon at night, exactly at 8:00 pm.

We brought the staffs into the church making three Ohm, leaving the church and continuing with our ritual. At the end we were surrounded by State Security, many with bitter faces whose expressions said, “I’ve had enough with this waste of time.”

But in the end we managed to conquer, once more, the walk that brought the union of many people with different positions.

December 18 2012

The Cuban Government is Increasingly Concerned / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

imagesVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias announced that he will again have surgery for malignant cancerous cells found in in medical check up performed in Cuba.

Cuban television interrupted regular programming on 8 December 2012 to let Cuban citizens know the current state of health of president Hugo Chavez.

Chavez commented that he is having problems that are preventing him from fulfilling his presidential duties, counseling the Venezuelan people that there may be new elections to choose a new president. “Vote for Maduro,” Chavez said.

Tomas Gonzalez, 65, says, “Now we see the desperation of the government, when I saw them interrupt the broadcast I thought something serious had happened in Cuba but it was Chavez crying for a miracle. He also emphasized that, “Sadly, this is a hard fight, to keep the cancer from winning, it is another surgery and possibly the last. It reminds me of the song by the group “Queen” when they declare they have AIDS and could die at any moment,” Gonzalez said.

Pedro Lopez, 49, commented that president Hugo Chavez has confidence in Cuban doctors and that they might be able to save his life. “But there are better specialists in the world but he would be afraid to receive medical care from an “enemy”, a completely crazy aberration.”

Lopez comments that the situation could become even more difficult. “Venezuela is the principle source of Cuba’s oil and if Chavez dies we Cubans could experience blackouts all over again.” Of even more concern is a new “Special Period.”

December 10 2012

Loss of Values in Cuban Civil Society Officially Recognized / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

imagesThe prime time news on Cuban television provides an account of the loss of values of Cuban civil society.

In it they highlight a complaint by a doctor who is bothered by the loud music at night recreation center near his house. The victim in this case, the doctor, complained for several days without getting any response.

Several people are victims of lack of education! Where do they put the churches and underground gay shows?

These two in recent years have expanded throughout the whole island. The activity with microphones or loud music or building a very musical church! They do not consider the place that is always surrounded by neighbors.

The Cuban Revolution with its more than 50 years of existence has brought many irreparable customs that in their promoters’ eyes are good.

What did the Revolution teach us?

In a bus today today, a person with a small child, be it a man or a woman, should be given a seat, but men and women both, many of them turn away to show they’re not looking, but sometimes you see someone chivalrous, but you don’t see it every day.

Formal presentations by the TV is a waste of time, the practice has always been the best way but since even that has fruit, a society destroyed by a revolution of equality where some work and others who work live. “This is what we will continue to develop.”

The Revolution taught us to organize a line of people has already failed, no one lines up to catch a bus (the word “last person” does not exist*).

Formal educational presentations on the TV are a waste of time, the practice has always been the best way but it no longer bears fruit, a society destroyed by a revolution of equality where some work and others live on their work. “This is what we will continue to develop.”

*Translator’s note: In Cuba, it’s customary for new people arriving at a line or a waiting room or area to ask “who is the last person?” and to organize themselves in that way, versus standing for long hours in line.

December 3 2012