Chance to Meet Cuban LGBT Leaders Wendy Iriepa Diaz and Ignacio Estrada Cepero Today in Miami… BE THERE!

wniindexCuban LGBT leaders Wendy Iriepa Diaz and Ignacio Estrada Cepero will be in Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus this evening. Come meet them and show your support!

WHEN: Tuesday, Jul. 2, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

WHERE: MDC Wolfson Campus, Room 7128 500 NE Second Ave. Building 7 (first floor of the parking garage located on N.E. 5 St. and 2 Ave).

More information –> click here.

Celebration of the 4th Anniversary of the Network of Civic Libraries / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada, Jennifer Fonseca Padrón

By Jennifer Fonseca Padrón, Activist and Independent Journalist

( | Four years after the birth of the Network of Civic Libraries (NCL), its members and founders decided to come together to honor the date, look at the accomplishments of their work and set new goals to reach. The celebration took place at the NLC headquarters where a dozen librarians exchanged ideas and made a brief account of the founding and development of the organization; among them the presence of Teresita Castellanos, co-founder and integrant of this civic organization, should be highlighted.

“The Network of Civic Libraries was created in mid-June 2009 at the request of a group of librarians who were then dispersed without being part of any project or already disappointed at others,” says Omayda Padrón, National Coordinator from the start to this day. One of the future goals to achieve is the growth and rescue of libraries across the country, she added. “The work of independent libraries is equally important to the work of movements, political parties and other civic organizations because it represents a permanent source of resistance against the government in any community, city or province,” said León Padrón, a reporter invited to the talk.

The main objectives of the Reinaldo Bragado Bretaña Network of Civic Libraries are book launches in independent libraries, giving lectures, literary gatherings, offering courses on leadership, human rights, Twitter, among others; exchanging ideas with other organizations and mainly to make known books that have been censored by the government, as well as to promote unknown literature in Cuba by Cuban writers from the diaspora who were once convicted and even their work was banned. This was the case of Reinaldo Bragado Bretaña, the writer and reporter the Network is proudly named after.

Also it needs to be highlighted that within the Network we are developing the Animated Smiles Project which consists in rescuing civic values, encouraging reading as a habit and regaining the culture where children play children’s games, particularly for those who live in the outlying communities of Havana where most of the families are dysfunctional and present problems of alcoholism, drug and domestic violence and many more, expressed Padrón.

Translated by: Chabeli

21 June 2013

The Origin of Poverty / Ignacio Estrada

Julio César Solér Baró

Blogs at Misceláneas de Cuba

Claiming that the origins of poverty stem from politics is an insult.

Poverty has no roots in the wings of determined politicss and departing from the vast hunger created by the right-winged governments in the world, here, nonetheless, you have the example of the what the left has done for more than 70 years in Europe and the West; that which they continue to do in Cuba and North Korea, that what they did in Angola, Monzambique, Ethiopia, Combodia, Vietnam, Maoist China, Laos, Kampuchea and that which has been occurring in Venezuela.

The origin of poverty is segregation, in other words, the policies that create different kinds of development. This is fundamentally administrative rather than ideological.

The left had its opportunity to kick the “whores” to the street and take away their need for “sex” and there is the story: They did not accomplish this, Cuba, my country is a living example where the people have always died from hunger under the Castros and their damned Leftists, remember “Palo Cagao” and the “Island of Dust” in the “Marianao” where I discovered in my own flesh the acid and so many lies. We went to “free” school, voluntarily abandoning our souls and free will only to realize that in the exile of what we learned there that the rest of the world doesn’t give a damn, that we have to live this revalidating subjects and colliding with the 40-odd years with these basic subjects from which Marxism robbed all of its class hours in our 20s.

The origin of poverty, at the same time the origin of violence, is segregation. The latter is understood as the politics that create different kinds of development, the last being access to social well-being in a determined context, having today’s standard: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Translated by: Alexis Rhyner

14 June 2013

It Seems Cuba is Saying Goodbye to Beef / Ignacio Estrada

By Ignacio Estrada

Havana, Cuba: For decades Cubans have seem themselves constrained with it comes to putting beef on the table. A type of meet that causes stage fright in those who have never imagined themselves on a stage.

To date, no one knows why they are doing what the popular voice continues to pass from mouth to mouth: the final goodbye to red meat. The truth is that after the triumph of the ill-fated Revolution of 1959, this meat could only be enjoyed onthe tables of those in the highest economic echelons, or at the very least, who are members of the clan in power in the Cuban State.

It was our apostle José Martí who said in one of his poems … children are born to be happy … but maybe this can only be in Cuba until an age of somewhere between seven and nine years, after which they are stripped of dairy products and beef. Products only delivered back to them in old age or after acquiring any chronic disease and a medical prescription.

According to what the butchers themselves have commented, beef can now be purchased only on the black market or in the network that works on hard currency, the CUC; as of now those who had received this product get only poultry (chicken).

A situation that has led everyone to complaining and even quoting that the Bolivian President Evo Morales said in a television appearance where he claimed that  it is the chicken, carrier of female cells, that alter the system in men, causing them to become homosexual.

I don’t know what will happen if this comment becomes reality. I think and have talked to some colleagues about the unfair crime of Theft and Slaughter of Cattle, Receiving Their Meat and The Sale of It, which is considered an Attack on the Cuban Economy, a crime that has put thousands of innocent people behind bars. And that in a country that does not practice the Hindu religion where the cow becomes a sacred animal, something inexplicable.

What is laughable is that the animal whose meat is called Red Gold, is only forbidden for the lower class and for families who rely entirely on their basic wages. While a group that criticizes us may continue to acquire meat thanks to remittances received from family and friends from abroad. Now there are those who enjoy impunity, and knowing that an entire people is denied this product they will continue to put it on their tables along with other delicacies that only they can enjoy.

As comments have corroborated, over the past two months they have been giving us only chicken, instead of beef. A fact that is already making many think that if this is truly Cubans’ last farewell to beef, from fear many don’t even mention its name but rather call it, “Tilapia from the Pasture.”

10 June 2013

Gay Pride Day in Cuba / Ignacio Estrada

By Ignacio Estrada

Havana, Cuba – For the third consecutive year the community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual in the island will join the initiative to hold a new Gay Pride Day 2013.

The celebration extends throughout June and close with renowned Gay Pride Walk taking place on Saturday June 29. During the entire celebration participating organizations will advocate for equal marriage in the nation. The name for this initiative is: Equal Marriage Cuba Now Is The Time.

The organizations launching their call are recognized for their rebellious stance to the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) led by Mariela Castro. An offician institution that wants to  manipulate the Cuban community (LGBT) to achieve political benefits for government campaigns. Forgetting an agenda that focuses on the fundamental rights of this community and its main demands.

The scheduled Days contemplate public debates, educational lectures, and video discussions among other initiatives. Some of the organizations that have joined the big celebration of Pride in Being Gay in the Cuban nations are: The Observatory for LGBT rights in Cuba, The Cuban Platform for LGBT Rights, The Shui Tuix Project, The Cuban League Against AIDS and The Open Doors Foundation among others.

This day is dedicated, as every year, to remembering what happened at Stonewall in 1969. Events where, for the first time in history, there was a demand for the rights of the LGBT community. A date on which only the independent  Cuban LGBT community adds to its commemoration unlike CENESEX.

The Closing Ceremones of the Gay Pride Day 2013 in Cuba, will be held Saturday June 29 with a concentration of the Cuban LGBT community on the steps of the Capitol building in Havana and then we will travel together along the Paseo del Prado to the Malecon. A celebration that has become the preferred one among a  constantly growing number.

Something that has not been lacking in this day of Gay Pride 2013 is the collaboration of countless friends of Cuba, who have sent their solidarity and unmatched cooperation, among them the Cuban graphic designer Rolando Pulido.

10 June 2013

Call to 7th Annual Gay Pride Walk in Havana, 2013 / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

The Cuban Community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) invites interested parties to participate on Saturday, June 29 at 3:00 pm to gather on the steps of the Capitol of Havana. We will then walk together from the Capitol retaking the Paseo del Prado and finishing the walk at Prado and Malecon.

June 29 is the date when we will be remembering the Stonewall Events of 1969, a prelude to the claim for the rights of the LGBT community. The Cuban community’s efforts are not isolated from what we wanted to conquer in decades past.

When we are walking every inch of the Havana arterials on Saturday June 29th, we will be feeling the pride of being members of a community that today demands legalization of Equal Marriage on our Island. A demand that unites us and that we are identifying with this commemoration.

Cuba Marriage Equality Now is the Time is an initiative that joins the thinking and feeling of the entire Cuban LGBT community.

We are calling on you to join our big celebration where stigma and marginalization are put to one side, where your religious beliefs, your race and identity politics are not reasons to isolate yourself from our community.

We will all walk and we invite everyone in solidarity with our cause to make this day a day of celebration for all, where the only thing we want are the rights of our community to continue to be proudly different.

So let’s all walk on Saturday, June 29 at 3:00 PM with Pride in Our Differences.

Coordinating Team of the Event

10 June 2013

Prisons and HIV/AIDS in Cuba / Ignacio Estrada

By Ignacio Estrada

Havana, Cuba – There are a total of six penitentiaries in Cuban focused on confining the Cuban prison population affected by HIV/AIDS.

The existence of these prisons responds to the increase in the disease in Cuban prisons. A propagation that has as its principal routes of infection self-innoculation and unprotected sexual contact among prisoners.

These prisons are controlled by the National Prison Administration of the Ministry of the Interior and what the prison population that suffers from this disease has least is qualified medical care.

The prison population living with HIV/AIDS in Cuba is now more than 458 inmates of both sexes, fewer women, inmates the great majority of whom are young men. These inmates are serving sentences for common crimes and two have sentences of more than six months for political crimes. Inmates who are forgotten and abandoned by the authorities.

They are inmates described by their own jailers as cockroaches in the hen’s beak (bugs which can’t even be allowed to demand anything). The lack of food in these prisons results in malnourished inmates who in many cases have bone disease. Add to this the terrible medical care, the lack of medications and the lack of people qualified to determine or diagnose opportunistic illnesses.

The patients who serve these sentences are steadily stripped of a number of violations not only of the Human Rights recognized by the United Nations (UN) but also those recognized by the United Nations Organization for Fighting AIDS (UNAIDS). Violations that expose the evil act of a government that treads on such important rights, displaying them only as flags of the group in power.

Already there are hundreds of sick inmates constantly denouncing the existing hunger in these prisons, to which we can add the use of punishment, beatings, confinement in punishment cells, the short hours of sunshine and if that wasn’t enough the increase of self abuse which are one of the most common methods that threatens the lives of the prisoners themselves, but also one of the few weapons they have to denounce what they live through daily.

Lately the TV channels accredited on the Island have toured various Cuban prisons but the difference from the alternative media is that there is not telling of the reality lived by those serving sentences on the island.

The fact of remaining silent about things like this makes us unforgivably complicit, and fails one of the precepts given by the Greatest Man of all Time, Jesus Christ.

27 May 2013

Welcome Home Yoani Sanchez / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

Cuba should know: Yoani Sanchez, creator of the blog Generation Y, has returned to Cuba. A pure Cuban woman. As sweet as our delicious sugar cane and with some ideals as lofty as our Royal Palms.

Welcome home, not only to your family and hearth, but to a nation that saw your birth and that today sees in you one of its most illustrious daughters.

31 May 2013

The Food Aid Problem Continues for People with HIV/AIDS in Cuba / Ignacio Estrada

By Ignacio Estrada

Havana, Cuba – The population affected by HIV/AIDS in Cuba is still not receiving oil as part of the aid from the United Nations Global Fund.

The Cuban community living with this disease has been living without aid since late 2012 and this continues to date. The aid was restored only a month ago and is expected to be only a total of 22 cans of sausages for all the rest of the year. Meanwhile vegetable oil has not been deposited in the warehouses for distribution.

According to what we learned, the food aid being delivered has only been approved for two years, due to continued growth of the population that lives with HIV/AIDS in Cuba, figures which are kept a state secret by the authorities in power. The appearance of these figures in the media would put in the public arena the uncertain efforts of the faltering health system.

It is important to clarify that aid provided by the UN relieves the lack of products on the island and is a relief for every home where a person lives with the disease.

I asked one of the UN officials in Havana — who preferred that his name not be mentioned — “Why did the help end before the scheduled time?” and he unhesitatingly replied, “The health authorities on the island receive help for a specific number of affected, which are backed by our project. Each year in Cuba new cases are detected and they are given the help of the already approved initial figure. This fact makes the products run out sooner than expected and causes the bumps from one year to another…”

The truth is that this year the population that lives with HIV/AIDS has received as aid only hot dogs and there is already talk of a second round with the same amount but vegetable oil is conspicuously absent. What many do not know is that even apparently after the next installment Cuba will say a final farewell to an aid which for years has palliated the hunger and the needs of the sick on the island.

27 May 2013

We Are a Community With Our Own Voice / Ignacio Estrada

Havana, Cuba. For years Mariela Castro Espín Has tried to take credit for numerous  efforts on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community in Cuba. Forgetting that this community has its Own Voice.

These uncertain efforts have won her international awards and recognition, before she has even achieved what is now her most ambitious project. Which is to declare to those who do not know the Cuban issue, that the project authored by Mariela had been initiated by her late mother Vilma Espin.

The constant appearance of Castro Espín before the national and international media are not showing, much less is giving voice to, the (LGBT) Cuban community. On the contrary, they are only providing an opportunity for the voice of the daughter of current Cuban President, Raul Castro Ruz, enthroned in an ill-fated Revolution that has only managed to put the community that she pretends to lead at a disadvantage. Continue reading