The Bad Sleep Well / Julio Cesar Galvez

Foto tomada de Internet

Photo taken from the Internet

By:  Julio Cesar Galvez

General Raul Castro will visit Chile in the next days, January 26-27, in order to participate in the First Summit of the Community of Latin American and Carribean States and the European Union (CELAC-EU).  On this date he will again meet face-to-face with Cristina Fernandez, president of Argentina; Evo Morales, of Bolivia; Ollanta Humala, of Peru, and of course with Nicolas Maduro, Fidel Castro’s new pretty-boy, who now serves as the hand-picked president of Venezuela.

Maybe in the Chilean capital they will again meet to continue tracing the strategy that permits them, although one day the dream of glories will end, to become the new Latin American colonial masters of the 21st century.

They all passed through Havana recently in order to see and talk with Hugo Chavez during his post-operative process, but the truth is that the press only published and reflected conversations and handshakes with Fidel and Raul Castro.  Not a shadow of Chavez.  Nothing.  No commentaries about how they had seen him, or photos at his side, to say the least.  As the grandmothers in Cuba used to say years ago:  “If I have seen you, I don’t remember.”  Just in case, “Solavaya.  Pa llá pa llá.”*

The meeting with the president of Brazil Dilma Rouseef is not to be missed, she will surely inquire how the South American giant’s investments go on the island; nor that with the Nicaraguan commander, Daniel Ortega, although a little distant from the clan at the moment, in spite of how much he praises the Castros and Chavez fearing to lose the subsidies with which Venezuela favors him.

It will surprise no one that he talks animatedly with Mariano Rajoy, the president of Spain, or with his Foreign Minister, Manuel Garcia Margallo. In the end, one must be grateful to the Mother Country.  Ah, so it is, don’t talk to me about Carromero. That’s all in the past, and the main thing, in times of crisis, is business.

Santos, of Colombia, will laugh in the photo that they will take together and they will agree that many of the FARC can continue on vacation, as it may be, another month in Cuba.  “The poor guys, after so much time in the scrublands, they well deserve a rest!”

Rafael Correa will tell him, whispering in his year ear, how his presidential re-election campaign is going, and Pinera, who is not disposed for anyone to tarnish the handover of the Pro Tem presidency of CELAC on the 28th of this month, is not worried about delivering the top leadership of a democratic organization to a man accused of complicity in a political assassination.  Simply, he washes his hands like Pontius Pilate.  Done!  Castro as president of Cuba enjoys diplomatic immunity.

We do not doubt, something that is in the calculus of probabilities, that Holland, the president of France, and even the German Chancellor herself, Angela Merkel, will hold bilateral meetings with the leader of Cuba.

Everything will be a celebration, hugs, congratulations, photos, good omens, while they think of the juicy investments and fabulous commercial agreements they will establish. They will all be complicit, nothing new under the sun, in the repression and the beatings by the political police against all who don’t go along with the official discourse; from the legal violations of civil and constitutional rights of the inhabitants of the Greatest of the Antilles by the regime; from the hunger, misery, physical, psychic and moral impoverishment, through which the Cuban people traverse.

For the 90 political prisoners who currently find themselves in Cuban jails, especially Sonia Garro Alfonso and her husband Ramon Munoz Gonzales, detained since March 18, 2012, and who they keep incarcerated without informing them of any charge.  For journalist Calixto Ramon Martinez Arias, in prison since September 16 of last year, for unveiling the existing cholera cases in the country, and the regime refuses to this moment to recognize the number of deaths from this epidemic.  The case of American Alan Gross, sentenced to 15 years in prison, for the supposed crime of subversion, for the simple fact of providing to the Cuban Jewish community internet communication equipment.

Many things will be talked about in the days of the CELAC summit with the European Union, except the problems that in reality affect the whole world.  Latin America will keep exporting its in-demand raw materials.  Europe will try to take advantage of its former colonies in order to solve the severe economic, political, ethical and social crisis through which it is passing.  The people of these countries will fight to improve their standard of living and to exit from the usual routine, while the leaders — ah, the leaders! — as always:  Mine first.

*Translator’s note: These two expressions are both incantations to ward off evil.

Translated by mlk

January 24 2013

Opening Pandora’s Box (Pt. 1) / Julio César Gálvez

Math does not make mistakes.  Two plus two is always four.  It is part of the exact sciences.  The Spanish press agency EFE published a report titled “Spanish government studies possibility of slashing aid for former Cuban political prisoners”, which has been re-posted in various other news agencies around the world.  However, the “sources close to the Ministry of Exterior Relations”, which EFE quotes without mentioning names, does not say the absolute truth, or is not aware of specific details.

Two minutes before boarding the plane which brought us to Madrid on July 13th of 2010, we signed documents provided by functionaries of the Spanish embassy in Cuba at the airport of Havana.  These documents were known as BROA, and they specify the aid we would receive upon arriving to Spanish soil for 18 months, but could be extended to 24 months in cases of VULNERABILITY, which we do find ourselves in at this very moment.

According to the document, we were to receive house payment of up to $745.00€ monthly, not 700 as the functionaries of the Red Cross who tend to us have informed.  The document which we signed was to give us funds for being political refugees in the European Union, not in Spain.  The truth is surely known by the functionaries who elaborated the secret agreement between Moratinos, Zapatero, Raul Castro, and Jaime Ortega.

Of the monthly 180.00€  per person which we receive, we have to pay electricity, gas, water, food, and everything else, which we have to justify with receipts.  This is something which is very good and normal, just that I can’t buy candies and sweets for my 7-year-old son Emmanuel.  Inviting a friend to drink coffee at any shop is a sacrilege.  Albert Einstein could not carry out any similar mathematical analysis in order to survive.

In regards to medical coverage, it is the same which every other resident of Spain has, and it is registered.  It is much better and of excellent quality. Very far from the Castro propaganda which says that Cuban healthcare is the best in the world.  The Cuban medical centers wish they were at the level of Gomez Ulla or Gregorio Maranon, doctors whom I’ve met.  There is nothing special, save for the fact that the first 8 families which arrived to Madrid were able to routinely carry out medical check-ups thanks to the gestures of the Community of Madrid, considering that the Red Cross, which was the entity in charge of the refugees at that time, had refused.

Translator’s note: Julio César Gálvez is one of the Black Spring political prisoners released into exile in Spain in 2011. He blogs at Cuban Voices from exile with Pablo Pacheo Avila and Jose Luis Garcia Paneque.

12 April 2012