Frida Kahlo / Rebeca Monzo

The daughter of a Mexican mother and German father, Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico on July 7, 1910.

She attended the Escuela Normal de Maestros and graduated from the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria. She dreamed of becoming a doctor until a terrible accident destroyed her body, forcing her to lay in bed for many months and receive painful treatments, causing her to stop studying medicine.

In the midst of her dramatic convalescence, her iron will and attachment to life led her to become extensively self-taught in the arts and the mysteries of painting. She became an artist and took advantage of her knowledge to teach classes at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in spite of her physical limitations.

Her first exhibitions demonstrated her talent, which she continued to develop and which culminated in a magnificent work, turning her into one of the most famous painters of her type worldwide.

She impressed upon her work all the pain, feeling, and sensitivity that characterized her life. The memory of Frida is inextricably linked to the great muralist Diego Rivera, who was her husband, lover, confidant, and greatest critic and admirer. In spite of a tempestuous marital relationship, art united them until the end of her life, on July 13, 1954.

This month, Mexico pays homage to those who hold a seat of honor in the plastic arts of the 20th century. I am also joining in this commemoration since Frida was a source of inspiration and presence in my patchwork art.

Frida Kahlo narrated her life through painted images. The painting of this great artist is like no one else’s. As Diego Rivera, her husband, pointed out one day, she “is the only example of the history of art, of someone who tore open her breast and heart to tell the biological truth of what she feels in them.”

Most of her work is unknown; it is held in private collections and by friends. The value of it grows each day.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

21 July 2014

What Is Happening in Venezuela Worries Cuba / Ivan Garcia

"If the media stops talking, let the streets talk"

“If the media stops talking, let the streets talk”

In one way or another, Cuba is taking note of the street protests occurring these days in Venezuela. The most nervous are the olive-green autocrats.

According to a low-level party official, since the death of Hugo Chávez on 5 March 2013, the regime has had various contingency plans filed away in case the situation in Venezuela did not turn out to be favourable to the interests of the island.

The official states, “If Maduro falls, we have a plan B. In the different groups, at least at the level where I work, it was taken for granted that Maduro would be a short-lived president. Although the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) controls most of the strings of power, there are divergent opinions among Chávez’s own followers about Venezuela’s relationship with Cuba. This type of socialism, with a democratic streak, is not to be trusted. Maduro can lose power both due to a plebiscite repeal or in six years. In our group meetings, it has been said that Maduro’s mandate only serves to gain time”.

The onslaught of opposition marches, barricades, and protests is shaking up different regions of Venezuela, but this force is also reaching the branches of power in Havana.

The Castro brothers still have much at stake in Venezuela. But just in case, Raúl Castro has opened a new window with Brazil in constructing the new port of Mariel and a Special Development Zone with a different jurisdiction.

And they almost begged the United States, enemy number one, to sit down to negotiate. Meanwhile, the Castro regime diplomacy crosses over to Florida, trying to seduce wealthy businessmen of Cuban origin. But the sensible businessmen continue to think about it.

When they look at the recent past, they only see shady management and a mysterious associate who changes the rules of the game at the first opportunity. Therefore, the Caribbean autocracy is going to fight mercilessly and to the teeth in order to keep its strategic position in Venezuela.

The key, as everyone knows, is petroleum. 100 thousand barrels a day acquired at sale prices keep Cubans from suffering 12-hour daily blackouts. When the skydiver from Barinas moved into Miraflores in 1998, Fidel Castro understood that after 9 years travelling through the desert, with finances in the red and exotic sicknesses devastating the country, the hour of his resurrection had arrived.

Cuba entered in a ”light” Special Period. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the island had experienced a deep-rooted economic crisis, but the faithful Bolivarian shared his chest of treasure. And this was an important part of the anti-imperialist project that so deluded the Commander.

The death of Chávez was the beginning of the end of the honeymoon. Maduro is faithful and he is allowed to lead. But he has no charisma. And after 14 years of economic insanity aimed at winning support among the most disadvantaged, all of the doubts, violence, and inflation have now exploded in the face of the PSUV.

Instead of letting go of the uncomfortable and parasitic burden that is Cuba, governing for all and looking after Lula and Dilma more than the Castros, Maduro, clumsy and stubborn, moved his tokens badly.

He professed to follow the Joropo and Pachanga of comrade Chávez. He designed a simple strategy: he shouldered his friend’s coffin and tries to govern Venezuela in his name.

And he is failing. In Cuba, either because of egoism or short-term mentality, the people on their feet, tired after 55 years of disaster, are crossing their fingers that the Venezuelan crisis does not shut off the petroleum faucet opened by the PDVSA (Petroleum of Venezuela, S.A.).

In a park in the Víbora district in Havana, a 70-year-old retiree expresses his opinion about the situation in Venezuela. “If that guy screws up, the effects on us will be tremendous. The power outages will continue, paralyzing the industries again and we will return to a situation equal to or worse than the beginning of the Special Period in 1990.”

Others are more optimistic. “It’s true, it will be hard. Since the Revolution, we have gotten used to living at the cost of someone else’s sweat. Before it was the USSR, now it’s Venezuela. If the worst happens there, we will have to accelerate the reforms here. Although this is already capitalism, but with low salaries”, states a lady identifying herself as a housewife.

A university student adds to the conversation. “Seeing the marches or strikes on the TV is something I envy. That freedom to protest before governmental institutions, such as in Ukraine or Venezuela… we need it here in Cuba.” And he added that “in FEU (University Student Federation) meetings, the situation in Venezuela is a primary theme, but I have heard rumors that there is more alarm in some Party groups.”

In this hot February, in spite of the news arriving from Caracas, the people on the street continue with their lives. Waiting in long lines to buy potatoes, which were lost in the battle. Going to the markets in search of food, vegetables, and fruit. Or sitting on the corner in the neighborhood to talk about films, fashion, football, or baseball.

And this is because for many on the Island, Venezuela is not in their agenda.

Iván García

Photograph: “If the media stops talking, let the streets talk”, says this banner painted by students marching on 13 February in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, some 172 km (107 mi) west of Caracas. Photo by Luis Turinese, taken from Global Voices Online.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

24 February 2014

Venezuela Yes, Castro No / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Venezuela, Life or Abyss: Let’s Not Abandon Them Now

Left-wing dictators never step down. Thus says a killer subject called Universal History.

Left-wing Latin-American dictatorships have no reason to be the exception. They institute eternal systems like the Castro dynasty to the humiliation of the Cuban people. Or they impose their feast of outrages before and after being deposed from power, such as in Chile with the radical regime of Salvador Allende. In both cases, the price of any change is criminally high.

Today, Venezuela is struggling in the streets between these two limits. They have already gone beyond both.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

8 March 2014

Enrique Colina: Utopian Obstinacy Turns Dreams into a Nightmare / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

Enrique Colina

Taken from OnCuba, by Cecilia Crespo

In November last year, the French channel France O aired the documentary “The Marble Cow” by the renowned critic and film producer Enrique Colina. It was only shown once in Cuba, during the last International Festival of New Latin-American Cinema held in Havana.

Some days ago, a Spanish friend who saw Colina’s documentary asked me about Ubre Blanca. For those who do not know, this was a cow that turned into a media phenomenon in the 1980s. In only one day, it produced 110.9 litres of milk and 27,674.2 litres in 365 days of lactation, pushing Arleen, the North American champion, out of the Guinness World Records.

At that time, many people thought that with this cow, Cuba’s economic problems would be solved. The dream fell apart several months later. Colina, a Cuban master of documentaries, took advantage of the story of Ubre Blanca (White Udder) to metaphorically discuss other failed economic plans carried out some decades ago on the island.

Given the insistence of my friend to know more about this documentary, I decided to contact Enrique Colina. We began by talking about “The Marble Cow”, but this wound up being just a pretext for one of the most lucid intellectuals of our country to talk to us about how he sees the present and the future of Cuba.

Tell us about “The Marble Cow” and its relationship to the Cuba that Cubans experience.

The starting point of this film is the never-ending phenomenon of gauging facts that are somehow exceptional and converting them into paradigms of reality. The documentary expresses what one of the people interviewed says about the Cuban press: it is more propaganda than thoughtful, and it does not offer the symptomatic analysis of reality that we need as citizens.

This is currently being demonstrated in what is happening with the exorbitant price of cars. Everyone in the streets is talking about it and nowhere has the media referenced this event. After yet another meeting of the Union of Journalists, in which they all speak in favor of reflecting reality, nothing ever appears in this respect.

The media phenomenon of Ubre Blanca in the 1980s was impressive. Some years after the propaganda paraphernalia that surrounded its appearance I was on the Isla de la Juventud, where I visited the workshop of the sculptors who made the marble cow. It had already been finished for several years and the authorities had not yet decided where to place the sculpture, whether at the entrance to the airport, in a public square, or at Ubre Blanca’s original home. The sculptors were anxious to get the statue out of the workshop because it took up a lot of space.

From that moment I had the idea of making the documentary, in which this cow could become a symbol, a metaphor of a deranged reality. It is a disorder that even today continues to be represented officially in the cult of a hero placed on a pedestal that, even though there is an overflowing trash bin at its base, is always framed so that only the hero and pedestal appear. Continue reading

A Heartfelt Loss / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

(http://www.miscelaneasdecuba.net) – On the afternoon of 15 January, Dr. Francisco Leblanc Amate passed away. He was a founding member of the executive committee of the CUTC (United Council of Cuban Workers) where he acted as legal counselor on the BAJIL (Bureau of Independent Labor Legal Advice) and the ISECI (Cuban Institute of Independent Unions).

His strong professionalism characterized his work as a labor lawyer for independent unions. Many remember his decades of collaboration and participation in seminars and conferences on union workers, which he shared with provincial delegates and activists in the Council along with well-aimed opinions in articles on these and other topics related to law and the labor situation, whether state-run or not, in modern-day Cuba.

His family has received heartfelt condolences from his colleagues in Cuban independent  unions, who remember Dr. Leblanc for his unprecedented honesty, courtesy, and wealth of knowledge.

 Translated by: M. Ouellette

20 January 2014

We Would All Win / Fernando Damaso

Photo: Rebeca

In 2013, and seeming to continue into 2014, a trend developed to test every measure to be implemented through pilot projects in “laboratory” provinces. Everything from the most simple to the most complex has had to go through this process, the only accomplishment of which, essentially, is slowing down a measure’s implementation.

Thus, things that have been more than thoroughly tested over 54 years of failures, such as how any private commerce or service functions better and more efficiently than a national one, have suffered from this absurd transition.

It appears as though our authorities, unaware for years of the real problems in the country and immersed in international matters, are only now discovering these problems and, instead of relying on the Republic’s 56 years of rich experience, have forgotten about it.

All of this, reestablishing itself now after years of prohibition, existed and worked before: public transportation, water and sewage systems, garbage collection, the cleaning of streets, sidewalks and entryways, their maintenance and repair as well as that of the buildings, health and education services, the supply of propane and industrial gas for consumers, electricity and telephone grids, railways, shipping, and others. Continue reading

Another Bastion / Regina Coyula

For speaking so much about peace, being at an economic crossroads, and having announced moderation in the use of resources, the government spared nothing on its Bastion 2013 strategic exercise, and the entire country came out to prepare against an illusionary enemy. That is, if we believe what we read in the media; my son experienced it a different way.

A call was made by the University during the normal class schedule, and attendance was guaranteed since not attending amounted to an unexcused absence. Male students in Economy, Finance, Cybernetics, Tourism, and Geography were gathered in the university stadium. Noisy and disorganized, the students gathered in the center of the field into something vaguely resembling formation. In front, a stranger in civilian clothes, tried to bring them to order; for their part, the professors spread among the students tried to do the same.

Before the general disorder with microphone in hand, the stranger in front shouted in a booming voice “Attention!” Failure. Mockery broke out among the students and the man with the microphone had to resort to conciliatory patriotism without much success. However, he did manage a general laugh after haranguing them with his diatribe when he put “At ease!” students who had never been in any other position. Troublemakers in the group yelled at him to shut up and there was spontaneous applause for problems with the sound.

The only moment of silence came during the hymn; an even bigger silence if you keep in mind that the students weren’t singing; a silence broken only by a cell phone that rang twice. Later, a girl read the requisite communication from a Lieutenant Colonel who spoke of compromise, country, the enemy, and such things. The activity ended with the students moving to the theatre of the School of Psychology to see the movie Caravana, Kangamba, or some other bellicose audiovisual presentation. Failure. With attendance now taken, most students found better things to do.

A television camera witnessed what happened at the University stadium: perhaps with good editing of the material, something has come out of these days of victorious exercise to guarantee “our military invulnerability”.

 Translated by: M. Ouellette

25 November 2013

All Rights for All Families / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

The “National Meeting of LGBT Families with Sons and Daughters” will take place 16-17 November, 2013 at the National Secondary of Buenos Aires, located at Bolivar 263 in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

The meeting will bring together LGBT families with children from around the country. It aims to discuss means that will allow us to rely on legal tools and different social, educational, and cultural aid in order to move through the process of inclusion and visibility in areas of education, work, health, and society in general.

This community meeting is designed around the idea of integration, where boys, girls, and teenagers from our families can socialize within a perspective that celebrates differences as a value that enriches us as a society.

The event is organized by 100% Diversidad y Derechos (Diversity and Rights) and relies on the support of the National Secretary of Childhood, Adolescence, and Family of the National Ministry of Social Development, the National Cultural Secretary, the National Secretary of Human Rights, and the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism (INADI).

During the meeting, we will work in committees related to different themes. These groups are designed to strengthen and empower LGBT families with children and aim to discuss visibility, rights, and full inclusion. We will also rely on discussion panels where we will address the advances and challenges of family diversity in our country.

In addition to sharing experiences in each region of the country, we will work to identify obstacles to inclusion due to visibility in different areas, good recording practices, challenges for inclusion of family diversity in cultural and educational aspects, access to rights, and timely needs.

The specific objectives are:

- Promoting social and political recognition of LGBT families with children in the areas of education, culture, health, work, unions, and communication, facilitating community empowerment and their full inclusion in society.

- Contacting LGBT families with children and identifying their legal situation in recognizing their filial and documented relationships.

- Promoting access to and information regarding the use of assisted reproduction techniques for LGBT families.

- Accompanying and advising two-mother families as beneficiaries of the DNU 1006/2012 and other facts.

- Accompanying and advising two-mother families in registering their sons and daughters in the context of same-sex marriages.

- Accompanying, informing, and offering judicial advice regarding the adoption process, for female couples and single women as well as male couples and single men.

- Discussing and generating proposals for inclusion from the perspective of family diversity in cultural areas, especially those destined for children and adolescents.

- Discussing and generating proposals for inclusion from the perspective of family diversity in educational areas, especially at the preschool and primary school levels.

Translated by: M. Ouellette
4 November 2013

South Africa Reports Alarming Increase in HIV among Adolescents / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

Madrid, Spain (15 Mar 2013) – The South Africa government reported today an alarming increase of school-aged girls and teenagers infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

The South African Minister of the Department of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, published figures on the AIDS situation in the country, where at least 5 million South Africans—10.0% of the population—live with HIV, and on youth sexuality.

In a speech during an official event in the northeastern province of Mpumalanga, Motsoaledi said that there is an alarming increase in the number of cases of HIV-positive young girls with respect to boys.

He specified that at least 28.0% of adolescent girls in South Africa are infected with the AIDS virus, 85.7% more with respect to the 4.0% of affected boys, according to a report by the official news agency SAPA.

The Minister attributed this stratospheric difference to older men that sexually abuse or exploit adolescent girls. “It is clear that these girls were not involved in sexual relationships with boys of the same age, but with older men,” he said.

“This is destroying our children,” the Minister added, in reference to adults that abuse or seduce adolescentes with gifts and promises to give them a better life than what their parents can provide.

The leader of the South African Department of Health also gave figures regarding the incidence of pregnancies and abortions among South African teenagers. These have also increased in recent years.

In agreement with data from 2011, at least 94 thousand South Africans between 10 and 15 years old become pregnant, some of them HIV-positive, while more than 77 thousand have abortions in public centers and many more have them in other places.

“We cannot continue like this any longer. We have to put an end to this,” affirmed the Minister, who has been widely praised for his efforts to stop the spread of AIDS.

Motsoaledi has directed the largest anti-retroviral (ARV) program in the world, under the attention of 1.5 million affected people, since the South African President, Jacob Zuma, appointed him Minister of Health in 2009.

In addition, he has fought to reduce the spread of AIDS and to prevent more people losing their lives due to this disease, which affects 10.0% of the population and caused the death of 260 thousand people in 2012, half of all such deaths throughout the world.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

14 October 2013

Russian Athletes Pose in Support of their LGBT Teammates / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

During the Out Games, considered the Olympic Games of the LGBT community, the Russian team posed for Adam Bouska’s NOH8 campaign against discrimination, in support of the LGBT community in their country.

In this way, the Olympic team showed their support to the silent LGBT community in Russia. Neither after the Olympic Games in London nor after the World Athletics Championships in Moscow did any Russian athlete come out in support of the community.

The NOH8 (No Hate) Campaign is a silent photographic protest against the world’s anti-gay laws and propositions. The campaign is composed of photographs of people dressed in white t-shirts in front of a white background with their mouths taped shut and “NOH8″ printed on one cheek. The campaign was created on 10 February 2009 by the famous photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley as a direct response to California’s Proposition 8, which tried to eliminate the right to marriage of same-sex couples in the state.

Every day there are more demonstrations of support for the Russian LGBT community on the national and international level, even amid persecution and the continued violation of their human rights.

Since Vladimir Putin approved several anti-gay measures, the protests have extended throughout the world, especially leading up to the next Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in Sochi (Russia) in 2014.

Without travelling very far, the FELGTB (National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals, and Bisexuals) symbolically lit an Olympic torch this past Monday in Madrid with the aim of denouncing homophobic policies in Russia.

Some of the attendants—among whom were found the president of the FELGTB Boti García, representatives of the PSOE (Spanish Workers Socialist Party), such as Pedro Zerolo and Carla Antonelli, and the Equo, such as Juan López de Uralde—participated in a symbolic relay race that ended with the lighting of the multi-color ceremonial flame installed in Plaza Mayor.

The basic aim, according to the manifest read by García and Rubén López, board member of the FELGTB international area and spokesperson for the Acrópoli University Association, was to show their “solidarity” with the Russian LGBT community and athletes that will participate in the Olympic Games in Sochi, who will see “their dignity reduced”.

Along these lines, they demanded that the Spanish Olympic Community and the Spanish Sports Council take a step forward to defend the rights of Spanish athletes, who “are surely not all heterosexuals”. They denounced the “inaction of the authorities”, who have succumbed to the “shame of keeping quiet”, López explained.

In recent months, Russia has approved laws such as those that prevent same-sex couples from adopting children, or the one known as the “law of homosexual propaganda”, which carries a marked homophobic tone according to LGBT associations. This law, such as they those from the Federation that they denounce, has led to a series of declarations in recent days on behalf of certain Russian politicians.

The manifest reports two in particular. First, the words of the Russian Sports Ministry, whom they accuse of ensuring that “during the Olympic Games, athletes may not show signs of affection with people of the same sex because they may be detained”. Second, those of the Vice Minister in charge of the Sochi Games, who ensures that “in compliance with this law, if people of traditional sexual orientation spread propaganda about non-traditional sex to children, they will be held responsible”.

The approval of these laws by part of the Duma, along with homophobic attacks that have come to light in recent months, has lead some associations to call for boycotting the Sochi Olympic Games, the first Winter Games to take place in the country.

It has also sparked demonstrations and protests in different countries, such as the celebrated one in front of the Russian Embassy in Spain last August, or in front of the Foreign Ministry coinciding with the G-20 summit.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

14 October 2013

Cases of Dengue in the Cuban Military School / Ignacio Estrada

By Ignacio Estrada Cepero, Independent Journalist

Havana, Cuba. In recent days, the “José Martí” Military Polytechnic Institute (IPM, ex-Belén College), located in the capital municipality of Marianao, has had to increase medical attention in the military infirmary due to the appearance of constant cases of fever.

According to information not published by any medical official, the military school is keeping a total of 54 cases isolated from the rest of the students. It is unknown how many of these patients have been diagnosed positive for Dengue through the known laboratory IgM test.

Students of this military school confirm the existence of the sickness, but are afraid to speak of its presence at the institute for fear of retaliation by their superiors.

The military school is located in a marshy area, and thick underbrush surrounds its sides. Besides the presence of tunnels and an old rail line trench, there are other places prone to the appearance of sources of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the transmitting agent of this sickness.

The “José Martí” Military Polytechnic Institute has a student body of around 5000 boarders, in addition to a small number of youth from the General Obligatory Military Service (SMGO), these last destined for work at the center.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

October 8 2012

The Impact of Hispanics in the United States / Miriam Leiva

Miriam Leiva, Havana | 09/27/2012 9:52 am

From Cubaencuentro

National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, from September 15th to October 15th, holds particular importance this year, since it occurs during the electoral campaign heading up to the elections on November 6th. Hispanics can determine the results, especially if they use their right, which they do not always exercise, granted as American citizens.

Among Hispanics, Cuban-Americans could contribute to the country and the people that took them in, sharing opportunities, and even with the Cuban people living in our small archipelago through their support for the continuation of the measures adopted by the current administration.

Celebrating Hispanic heritage started on the national scale in 1968 with a celebration that lasted a week, the week chosen so as to coincide with Independence Day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15th; Mexico on September 16th; and Chile on September 18th. In 1988, President Reagan approved a law that extended the celebration to a month, from September 15th to October 15th.

The population of the United States is 311,000,000 people, of which 50,500,000 are Hispanic (63% of Mexican origin), or 17.9%, and this is expected to rise to 30% by 2050. 19,500,000 of these Hispanics were eligible to vote in the 2008 Presidential Elections.

Each month, 50,000 youth reach adulthood, and in 2012 there are more than two million new voters, for a total of 23,000,000; however, only 60% are registered to vote. In the previous elections, 2 out of 3 voted for Obama. In swing states, the Latin population is 245,000 (14.2%) in Nevada, 104,000 (5.9%) in Utah, 455,000 (12%) in Colorado, 749,000 (8.5%) in Illinois, 128,000 (1.5%) in Ohio, 254,000 (2.2%) in Virginia, and 2,100,000 (16%) in Florida, where, as it is well-known, Cubans play an important role, go to vote, and, in this opportunity, could do even more.

The different visits to these states by President Barack Obama and the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, their interviews in Spanish-language television, radio, and newspapers, as well as their campaign materials in this languages, confirm the importance they place on how Hispanics can influence the results.

The notable participation of Marco Rubio, senator of Cuban origin, at the Republican Convention and Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and second-generation Mexican, at the Democratic Convention demonstrate the importance of Hispanics in the current contest.

Rubio, a young man supported by the Tea Party, reached his current position in the last elections, but his captivating impression made people wonder if he would be presented for Vice President, or if he would prefer to wait and aspire to the Presidency four years from now.

Castro, 37 years old, is seen as a potential candidate, as he is a great orator, capable of reaching the public, and shows the aggressiveness required to be President of the United States.

Although President Obama is indebted to this segment of the American population, which mainly supported him in the 2008 election, above all for the hoped-for law for immigration reform (there are around 12 million undocumented immigrants), the advantage currently goes to Romney, for 63% against 28%. In addition to positions unbecoming to traditional Republican Party members, the current candidate has expressed opinions detrimental to eliciting sympathy, and which actually spark great fear.

For its part, the populace of Cuban origin has been able to participate in all of the opportunities that competitive, thriving American society offers, and with its efforts, has elevated itself to outstanding positions in business, culture, sports, science, religion, politics, and more.

There are Representatives and Senators of both parties that reach these notable positions through their capabilities and attention to the diverse interests of voters. In Florida, in particular, they carry out an important role as the decisive vote in this state, so that relations with Cuba constitute not a theme of international (exterior) politics, but rather domestic (internal) politics.

Keeping in mind that they have been the driving forces behind the commercial embargo, they lamentably coincide with the immovable ruling on the Island over the course of the last 53 years, which in reality favors the interests of those who hope to remain in power and bequeath it to their heirs or chosen people.

The embargo, called “blockade” in Havana, benefits the regime against which it acts, since it is  used as an argument to justify the regime’s whims and failures, blaming imperialist aggression, but fundamentally to suppress any opinion contrary to what is dictated.

However, for more than a decade, since the presidency of George W. Bush, fortunately for the poorly fed Cubans, the United States has been the main supplier of food to Cuba, and it occupies fifth place in the socio-commerce of goods, mainly for this reason.

The Island population very positively recognizes the measures of President Obama to allow visits by Cuban-Americans and to send money, which have: contributed to normalizing family and friendly contacts; largely mitigated the economic precariousness; notably reduced dependence with respect to the Government, almost the only employer; and favored expanding information about the exterior reality, especially regarding possibilities for personal and social development in the United States, as well as visits to the country.

Currently, a change in the politics of bringing the peoples of both sides of the Straits of Florida closer together is greatly feared in Cuba. The course of the American elections is followed with great interest, in great contrast to what occurs with the elections in October to select delegates to the People’s Power, whom everyone knows are chosen beforehand, and which will neither resolve any problems for the citizens, nor will have an influence on the serious economic, political, and social crisis prevailing in Cuba.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

September 27 2012