‘Tremenda Nota’ Journalist Who Obtained Asylum in US Freed

Yariel Valdés González, 29, was in the River Correctional Center awaiting an appeal presented by ICE against the decision by judge Timothy Cole that granted him asylum. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, March 5, 2020 — Five months after obtaining political asylum in the US, independent journalist and Tremenda Nota contributor, Yariel Valdés González, was released from the detention center in New Orleans in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was holding him until the resolution of an appeal.

“After 11 months I was finally able to set foot in the land of liberty. It has been a long journey, painful, stressful, sometimes disappointing, but definitely worth it. Only one night out from behind bars has been necessary to prove that better things are coming for me,” Valdés wrote last night.

The reporter, 29, was in the River Correctional Center awaiting an appeal presented by ICE against the decision by judge Timothy Cole that granted him asylum last September, according to the Washington Blade, a media outlet managed by the LGBT community and to which he also contributes. The Immigration Appeal Board, supervised by the Justice Department, rejected the appeal on February 28. continue reading

Valdés and his colleague Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez Martínez, editor of Tremenda Nota, had been detained in September of 2017 when they were trying to interview an official of the Communist Party of Cuba in the Villa Clara province about the preparations for hurricane Irma.

The reporter arrived in the US on March 27, 2019 and turned himself in to ICE officials at the Calexico Bridge in California, where he requested asylum, claiming he had suffered persecution in Cuba for his work as an independent journalist.

“I can begin my life again in this country,” the reporter told the Washington Blade.

“I hope to be able to continue my career as a journalist from here and continue the fight for a more democratic Cuba for the 11 million Cubans who have resisted and resisted this dictatorial regime that has been in power for six decades,” he added.

Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

The Cuban ’Chavito’ Smells of Death

Many private taxi drivers have chosen to accept only Cuban pesos (CUPs) as payment for their services. (Frans Persoon)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Marcelo Hernández, Havana, 6 March 2020 — “It’s 985 pesos,” the employee says when she brings the bill for a lunch for three people in a state restaurant in the municipality of Playa, in Havana. It exceeds the monthly salary of one of the customers, an engineer, who does not like the payment in CUP (Cuban pesos). “It is now more obvious than ever that prices have nothing to do with wages,” he complains.

Last week the Ministry of Internal Trade announced that the food services under state management can only use one currency, the CUP. Products that were previously sold in Cuban convertible pesos (CUC) such as beers, soft drinks, cigars, water, ice cream, jams and other alcoholic beverages, have been priced in Cuban pesos.

The measure has triggered uncertainty about the possible short-term disappearance of the CUC, which has been losing ground since the authorities warned that the survivor of monetary unification was going to be the Cuban peso. continue reading

Since 1994 two currencies have coexisted and people have become accustomed to alternating between the devalued Cuban peso (CUP), which the state uses to pay salaries and people use to buy basic products and services; and the convertible peso (CUC), comparable to the dollar.

During the Government of Raúl Castro, from 2008 to 2018, there was much talk about monetary unification and that it would be done gradually, but to date the schedule or the moment of completion of the process has not been revealed, much less what the exchange rate will be.

“We are still getting used to this new situation,” acknowledges an employee of a small state-owned store that strives to apply the new directives that, since last week, prohibit her from charging customers in CUCs. In the business, located next to the Habana Libre hotel, food combos with pork, rice and some vegetable are sold, as well as alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. “The simple fact of calculating the income at the end of the day is already a problem because the numbers [in CUPs] are larger and errors can increase, especially when you have been working in CUCs for so many years.”

“The Cuban peso is easier to counterfeit because the paper used for many denominations is of worse quality, so we must keep our eyes peeled because people have already tried to pass some bills that were not authentic,” she adds. “Now I get a chill when I have to give a user a bill in Cuban pesos and the amount is greater than what I earn a whole month working here; before I didn’t realize it so much,” said the worker.

At a table, an Italian tourist talks with two young Cubans. They have each ordered a plate of fried pork dough, accompanied by a Belgian beer which is the only one available these days due to poor national production. Vicenzo, who lives in Milan, says that every year he comes to Cuba once or twice and that managing in CUPs bothers him.

“If before I had to change my euros into CUCs, now I also have to, then, change my CUCs into CUPs because there are services — like Panataxis — that remain exclusively in convertible pesos, while to eat or drink I need the Cuban currency [CUPs], and I’m confused the whole time… I have to go out and exchange money because I don’t have enough [in CUPs],” Vincenzo laments, when the bill arrives for 412 CUP.

The employee comments to 14ymedio that the scene is repeated almost every day. “There are people who do not know, they come, they eat and drink, and then they do not have the correct currency to pay.” A few meters away, a clever black market entrepreneur has found his niche in that difficulty. “I change 1 to 22 right now without having to an exchange kiosk,” he offers, instead of the 24 pesos of the official CUC exchange rate.

From this month the premises that provide food services under state management will now carry out all their commercial actions in CUP. (Martin Abegglen)

“Although the ’chavitos’* cannot be used here , they are still the strong currency in stores and other services, so it is convenient for me to have them,” explains the money changer. “Most of the people who accept this change are tourists, Cuban-Americans or people who don’t want to have to interrupt a lunch or a meal to change money to pay the bill.”

While the state sector is obliged to respect the new measure, in private businesses they are more flexible. “It doesn’t matter if you pay in euros, dollars, convertible pesos or Japanese yen,” says Eduardo Rodríguez, the driver of a private car that makes frequent trips from Havana to Varadero or to the Viñales tourist area. “As long as it is money there is no problem.”

However, drivers of collective taxis that run on fixed routes within the city prefer to be more cautious. “I do not accept the chavito,” warns the self-employed worker at the helm of an old patched-up Cadillac that carries passengers between the Capitol and the town of Marianao.

The authorities have warned that after the monetary unification only the Cuban peso or national currency will be maintained. (Josef Willems)

“I can’t risk ending up with too many convertible pesos and then they suddenly unify the currency and only allow each person to exchange a small amount ,” he explains. “The same day they announced that the state cafeterias and restaurants were only going to accept CUPs, I decided to do the same inside my car, because that is a sign that cannot be ignored.”

However, after the initial announcement, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Internal Trade, Miriam Pérez, warned that sales in convertible pesos in the establishments of the state system of commerce and food services, are not related to monetary unification but are intended to create “greater control” in that commercial network. Some statements that have failed to placate the suspicions around the chavito.

“Sure, what would they say? If they publicly announce that this currency is already a corpse, nobody will want to have it in their pocket,” says Eduardo Rodríguez. “It is a danger to be saving money in chavitos because any day we could wake up with the news that they are useless, although my children and grandchildren were born with this currency and for them they were the bills that were really worth something because the other [CUPs] weren’t good for much.”

“It is not the same to say that a pizza is worth 3.50 CUCs when you put in front of the customer and then when he gets the bill he owes almost 90 CUP,” explains Wilfredo, a waiter in a state-run restaurant in Playa specializing in Italian food. “The number in Cuban pesos impresses anyone.”

*Translator’s note: “Chavito” is a slang term for a Cuban convertible peso, of disputed origin, but it is said to be a play on the name of the former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

The Invasion That Won’t Come

Nicolás Maduro dressed as a soldier during a Government ceremony in Caracas. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Carlos Blanco, Caracas, March 4, 2020 — There are fewer people hoping for an invasion to free Venezuela than those making fun of those supposedly waiting for it. These days, electioneering has changed the dishonest dilemma of “either we understand each other or we kill each other” for that of the no less ominous “elections or death,” until it could be “elections or Maduro forever.”

The logic that sustains the electoral illusion insists that nobody is coming to free Venezuela from outside and, given those circumstances, there only remains the domestic effort and, since citizens lack arms and military support, the only thing to do is go to the ballot boxes. Just as the accommodating wise men used to say, “Take what you can get.”

What’s certain is that there is not nor will there be an invasion unless the madness of the red leadership carries out open military actions abroad. This will not happen because the heads of the criminal organization have decided to dress up their external incursions with surreptitious funding for destabilizing groups and the always generous help for ELN, the FARC dissidents, the colectivos, and other gangs. continue reading

There will be no invasion because the United States is not in any political condition to do it and because the democratic forces of the country are not asking for it, among other things, because turning Venezuela into a space of prolonged foreign military occupation doesn’t interest or suit anybody.

If this is true, where will the internal forces for change come from? What role will the countries that support the removal of the regime and the restoration of democracy play?

I think that the internal forces can emerge from the progressive alignment of political and institutional factors that have differed in the past, but that now assume the goal of the replacement of the regime and understand that the electoral option with “the end of the usurpation” will lead to the continuation of the fraud.

The countries that reject the regime also differ from one another: those who try for elections of any type “with conditions” (which the regime will never give) and those who believe that it’s necessary to replace it with arm twisting. The first led by Europe and the second by the United States, Colombia, and Brazil mainly.

The convergence of the national coalition with the international coalition, between those trying for a regime change from within and without, is the key to building an irresistible pressure that will force supporters of the regime to crumble even more. One day there will rise those who will remove their little heads from the rotten environment full of flies and filth to say: Nicolás, let’s go, everyone hates us here.

There will not be a prolonged war a la Mao Zedong, but rather something I imagine similar to January 23, 1958 or April 11, 2002, when the generals, inspired, pressured, or frightened by the force of the people, said to the tyrant: “Either you run or you join us,” and, in the examples mentioned, Pérez Jiménez and Chávez ran…

Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera

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Editors’ note: This text was previously published by the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional. We reproduce it here with permission.

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

The Strategy Against Otero Alcantara Seeks to Foster Terror, According to Letter Signatories

Otero Alcantara has been the victim of a campaign of defamation and harassment orchestrated by the Cuban government, the signatories say. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger

14ymedio, Havana, 5 March 2020 — A group of artists, art and literature professionals, editors, journalists and intellectuals from Cuba and other nations signed a letter this week in support of the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, who as of Wednesday had been detained for 72 hours. The summary trial will be held in less than ten days as revealed by members of the San Isidro collective to which the artist belongs.

“We want to clarify that Otero Alcantara has been the victim of a campaign of defamation and harassment orchestrated by the Cuban Government as part of its implementation of Decree 349,” reads the text.

The letter, which seeks to gather many more signatures through an online petition on the Avaaz.org platform, was released this Wednesday and has already been signed by artists such as Tania Bruguera, Coco Fusco, Heidi Hassan, Carlos Lechuga, Reynier Leyva Novo, Carlos Quintela, Magela Garcés or the art curator Solveig Font Martinez. Among the journalists who have supported the Otero Alcantara are, among others, Carlos Manuel Álvarez, Mónica Baró and Luz Escobar. continue reading

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is facing a penalty of two to five years in prison for the crimes for which he is being investigated: outrage toward the national symbols and damage to property. According to activist Michel Matos, also a member of the San Isidro Movement, the artist was transferred to the Valle Grande prison on Wednesday “under a precautionary measure.”

The letter denounces that Otero Alcántara has suffered “multiple forced disappearances and detentions without judicial supervision that are human rights violations” and the accusation of “property abuse,” has the purpose of allowing the artist to be treated “as a common criminal.”

The Movement refuses to participate in any attempt by the State to “persecute and defame Otero Alcántara for the sole fact of being an artist and claiming his rights,” since they believe that after his arrest there has been a strategy that fosters “terror within the artistic environment and civil society, in order to win the complicity and silence of Cuban artists.”

“We refuse to cooperate with police and judicial repression. We refuse to testify against Otero Alcantara as a person, as a citizen of civic conscience or as an artist. The persecution of Otero Alcantara affects us all as artists, as Cubans and as human beings who love freedom and who respect their colleagues. Free Luisma*!” they conclude.

The authorities arrested Otero Alcantara last Sunday afternoon to prevent him from attending the LGTBIQ ’kissing call’ protest before the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television for the censorship of a scene from the movie Love, Simon in which two men kissed.

During the arrest, curator Claudia Genlui was beaten by a police and thrown to the ground on the public street, according to testimony. She clarified to the agents that, with Otero Alcantara, they were going out to get food because the protest call had been canceled, but their explanation was not heard. In addition, her cell phone was searched without documentation or an authorization for the search.

*LuisMa(nuel)

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Cuban Television Apologizes for the Censorship of a Gay Kiss

The censorship of the scene unleashed many messages of denunciation in social networks. (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 1 March 2020 — This Sunday the web portal of Cuban Television, belonging to the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT), apologized to viewers after censoring a scene from the film Love, Simon in which two men kissed.

“Cuban TV offers an apology to the television audience for the mutilation of the scene of the film Love, Simon in the space Pensando en 3D (Thinking 3D) on Saturday, February 29, where the protagonists, two young homosexuals, kissed,” says the note, in an unusual gesture from the official media.

The text also says that “in the face of this error” an analysis of what happened will be carried out because the omission “does not reflect homophobic positions of the ICRT and its directors of the TVC, as some have suggested in social networks.” continue reading

They also said that the film will be broadcast “in its entirety” on the same program and that it will be announced “in due course.”

“The inclusive vision of Cuban society pushes daily against cultural stereotypes. It is everyone’s duty to walk on the side of the righteous and move forward as the country that constitutionally recognizes ’the culture of Cubans to the full dignity of man,’” they conclude.

The censorship of the scene unleashed many messages of denunciation in social networks and part of the LGBTI community launched a call for a “kissing protest” in front of the ICRT building this Sunday at one in the afternoon. Several activists denounced State Security pressures after the announcement.

LGBTI activist Isbel Díaz reported on her Facebook page the arbitrary detention of Jancel Morero, a member of that community. “Our colleague and activist Jancel Moreno has been detained by State Security when he was trying to reach the Cuban Radio and Television Institute, and they have taken him to a place far away to prevent him from arriving at the protest.”

To Díaz, the apologies of the institution “once again show” that the Cuban LGBTI community is strong.

“We have on LGBTIQ community in Cuba. And our strength is in the streets, and in the courage of people like Jancel Moreno, about whom we still don’t have information. What they did on TV was not a mistake. Editing a film requires a thousand permits. It is an expression of the system, which after the reactions in social networks, hurries to put a patch on it,” she wrote.

“But that system always has time to intimidate, to violate, to infringe on people’s rights. Censorship on Cuban TV is consistent with the decision to put equal marriage to a referendum. It is all part of the same thing. The strength of 11,000 is more than justified. And we still have a way to go,” denounced Díaz.

Díaz was referring to May 11, 2019 when State Security agents clashed with LGBTI community activists and supporters of this group who went to Havana Central Park to demonstrate in favor of diversity on the Island. At least seven people were violently arrested on that occasion.

Jancel Moreno managed to send a message on Sunday after his arrest in which he claimed that he had been taken to a place he did not know but was far from home.

Art curator Claudia Genlui Hidaldo reported live on Facebook that State Security violently arrested artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara. She also said that she was beaten by a police officer at the moment they both left the house on San Isidro Street, in order to take her cell phone.

“I have been beaten by the police. They took my phone because I was filming what was happening to Luis Manuel and a police officer beat me and threw me in the street,” she said, still upset and nervous.

Both she and Otero Alcántara had denounced that since the morning their home had been under siege with several surveillance points to prevent them from reaching 23rd and M Streets.

Although the kiss protest was canceled, a dozen activists mobilized and arrived at the entrance of the ICRT with flags of the LGBTI community.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara Will be Tried for ‘Property Damage’

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara has been arrested twenty times in recent years. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 3 March 2020 — Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara will be tried in a “summary trial” to be held in less than ten days, according to the members of the San Isidro Movement of which the artist is a member. The movement denounced the coming trial.

The authorities arrested Otero Alcantara last Sunday afternoon to prevent him from attending the LGTBIQ ‘kissing call’ protest before the Cuban Radio and Television Institute. During the arrest, curator Claudia Genlui was beaten by a police officer and thrown to the ground on the public street. In addition, her cell phone was searched without documentation or an authorization for the search.

On Monday, artists Iris Ruiz and Amaury Pacheco, along with Genlui, went to the headquarters of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) on Rancho Boyeros Avenue in Havana to find out the whereabouts of Otero Alcántara. continue reading

The police informed them that Otero Alcantara is in the detention center known as Vivac, accused of property damage.

“They told us at the national PNR address that he will be subjected to ‘abbreviated summary judgment’ and that this should take place before ten days have elapsed according to the current legal system,” explains the group in a note published on Facebook.

According to the group, the authorities have sought an accusation of greater severity than on previous occasions to increase the probability of a trial and, eventually, a subsequent conviction. In the past, the activist had been charged with the alleged crimes of aggravated contempt and outrage against national symbols which had no judicial path.

The San Isidro Movement has not taken on this situation unprepared. “We will start a campaign based on the freedom of Luis Manuel, as well as towards the fundamental freedoms of all Cubans. We will be in the streets and in the courts, and as long as we exist we will be raising our voices because the injustice that prevails is great and unacceptable. All our operational options are on the table,” they warn.

In addition, they called on all Cuban artists who want to contribute some creative idea that supports “those who defend freedom on the Island of Cuba” to join the campaign for the freedom of Otero Alcantara, and to demand support from cultural communities to “raise their voices before the injustice and the oppression that is experienced on the island, because these procedures can happen (and they do happen) to any citizen who has decided to live in freedom.”

Otero Alcántara has suffered almost twenty arrests in recent years, especially for his activism against Decree Law 349, which seeks to regulate dissemination and artistic creation, keeping control in state hands.

“This is the 17th detention of this independent artist, and they will continue… because there is one goal: to bend, to tire, to eliminate his creative spirit, his conviction, to condition his art … I really believe it impossible [for them to achieve this], at least for a long time,” Genlui explained on Facebook.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Cuba Offers Canada Doctors to Care for Indigenous Populations

Jerry Daniels in Havana with doctors preparing to go abroad. (@MCDRSC)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 5 March 2020 — A Cuban doctor arrived last Monday in the Canadian province of Manitoba as an advance guard for a project for the hiring of Cuban health personnel to serve the native populations of that country.

To compensate for the forced withdrawal of its medical missions in several Latin American countries, especially in Brazil, the Cuban government is trying to find new markets for the export of services that represent the country’s primary source of income, ahead of remittances and tourism. And the indigenous Canadians offer an opportunity in a rich country that has difficulties in serving these populations.

The Cuban government brought Jerry Daniels, great chief of the southern Manitoba region, and David Ledoux, chief of the Gambler people, as well as Nelson Genaille, of the Sapotewayak Cree nation, to a press conference at the National Hotel in Havana last Friday to sell the offer from the Cuban government. On Monday there was a Cuban doctor deployed in the field who will be the pioneer of a project to which they hope to add many others if the experience is good. continue reading

In their presentation in Havana, the indigenous leaders explained that the Canadian Government has failed to bring to their villages the high standards of healthcare found elsewhere in that country and Cuba will be able to do so.

“We want our communities to have clinics, hospitals and other care centers, and I urge the other leaders of the ‘first nations’ to open up to this possibility of collaboration with Cuba, which we need so much,” said Daniels, who regrets that natives abandon their communities to move to big cities due to lack of support.

In an interview with the Russian agency Sputnik , Michelle Chantal Dubois, an advisor of Mohawk origin and promoter of the initiative, said that the problems of offering good quality healthcare in the indigenous villages are linked to the lack of capacity of the Canadian Government to train health services that serve these areas, so the project with Cuba, if it materializes, will cover that aspect as well.

“Even if Canada were willing to do so, it would be impossible to train a sufficient number of doctors. There are no doctors and nurses for all of Canada, […] 38% of them are foreigners and of those, a large number have been trained in Cuba,” said Dubois.

Among the problems that afflict these communities, according to Dubois, are alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide associated with poverty. “The Cuban vision of health is mainly focused on prevention. The goal is to prevent problems. This is really what we need. Cuban doctors are also sensitive to the reality of suicide, which is a serious problem in indigenous communities,” she pointed out in the interview.

The indigenous chief of Manitoba believes that individuals from the national health services experience a large cultural shock and remain very few days because they are part of an elite that is not prepared to face the living conditions of the indigenous people, and they expect the opposite of what those who arrive from the Isand will expect. “Cuban doctors take the time to adapt and integrate into the communities they go to. On the contrary, Canadian doctors seem to have little interest in the aboriginal reality,” Daniels said.

From the first contacts, at the end of last year, this current campaign developed by Cuba to attract new contracts was born. On December 5, 2019, Cuba’s Deputy Minister of Health, Marcia Cobas, delivered a speech in Ottawa to representatives of the native peoples, a large market that consists of 634 communities and about 1.6 million people.

Last year, Cuba increased its presence in new parts of the continent by negotiating with countries that were not previously in its sights. The French Parliament approved a project in July to reform the health system to respond to the demands of its overseas territories, which for months had been requesting to hire Cuban doctors.

The provision authorized the territories of the French Antilles to hire doctors and health workers from outside the European Union. The promoters of the idea lamented that the great distance that separates them from Europe, together with the laws, was leaving them without medical personnel.

At the beginning of 2019, French Guyana hired one hundred Cuban doctors, under an ordinance in force since 2005.

Far from there, but in the same country, a French town in the department of Ardèche (Privas) asked to be able to bring Cuban personnel to reopen the maternity hospital that they had to close in September due to lack of staff.

Cuba’s efforts are also very focused on the Middle East, where in recent years it has maintained numerous international missions in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

This latter country was the focus of an extensive article in the British newspaper The Guardian, which visted a hospital in Doha and found that each Cuban doctor received about 1,000 dollars a month, approximately 10% of what other foreign doctors earn in the country’s hsopitals. The rest of the money paid for the Cuban doctors, betwen $4,000 and $9,000 remain in the hands of the Cuban State.

This same newspaper published a report this month dedicated to analyzing the efforts of Donald Trump Administration to put an end to the international missions, which it describes as slavery, based on the the labor and salary conditions of the professionals that serve on them. For this article, The Guardian interviewed several doctors who said they were happy to do this work although they dared to confess their discomfort with the small percentage they receive relative to what the State earns.

The impact that the breaking of the huge contracts Cuba had had with countries such as Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia especially, although also in Uruguay, is unknown.

The Plaza of the Revolution also had the Mexican option, which it tried at the end of 2018 after Andrés Manuel López Obrador became president, but it was rejected by the president himself. Another instance was Venezuela, with whom Cuba maintains collaboration in all areas, although it has withdrawn part of its medical staff in that country.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Mike Porcel, From Censorship to Censorship

Mike Porcel has arrived from the hands of the young filmmakers who have lovingly told his story and his attempt to leave the country during the massive Mariel Boatlift.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 4 March 2020 — I had heard of him in the same terms that are used to describe a mythological creature. Those who listened to Mike Porcel told me about his lyrics, his mastery of the guitar and a voice that stood out among other troubadours, but my generation never heard him on the radio or saw him at a concert. All we knew was that he had existed, that he had been erased from our musical history and that his songs were taken from us.

This February, decades later, I heard Porcel’s name again. The censorship of the documentary Sueños al pairo (Dreams Adrift) at the Young Filmmakers Festival has once again hidden the work of this troubadour from Cubans. However, unlike in the 1980s when the cultural authorities could condemn any ‘uncomfortable’ artist to ostracism or social death, this new excising out of intransigence only serves to turn our focus to the author of Ay, del amor (Alas my Love) and Diario (Diary).

Porcel has returned through the front door, as well he should. Instead of through one of those cynical official tributes to those who were once excluded and vilified, the singer-songwriter has arrived from the hands of the young filmmakers who have lovingly told his story and his attempt to leave the country during the massive Mariel Boatlift. And they tell of the later silencing of his voice during the nine long years he was forced to remain in Cuba condemned to ostracism with the collaboration of the artistic guild that was complicit in his banishment from the stage. continue reading

The Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) has treated “guest of honor” Porcel, as expected. Not only excluding the documentary from the young Filmmakers Festival, but also denying permission for the use of images of his work from their archives. The result is that, instead of a heroic Cuban under siege, for long minutes we see a vulgar people, disposed to lynch those who want to leave the “socialist paradise.” Many of those faces that we see in the execrable acts of repudiation, are spending their old age in Miami or living in Havana off remittances from that city.

The directors, José Luis Aparicio and Fernando Fraguela, manage with their work to confront us with our own responsibility, even those of us who were just children when Porcel’s voice was prohibited. Although the guilt is not inherited and many didn’t even know of the troubadour’s existence, the mere fact of having accepted and contributed to – with a lack of curiosity or fear of asking questions – the support of a partial version of our culture, with some names authorized and others forbidden, represents a collective burden.

Passing before the camera we also see some of the faces of the troubadours of that time, drinking buddies, the singers who added Porcel’s songs to their own repertoire, among them those who were silent or looked away when the stigma of “gusano” – worm – that word hurled by Fidel at those who wanted to leave – was placed on the artist’s life. Some of them contributed – out of envy, fear or mediocrity – to burying alive a man who, just before, they had hugged and wanted to appear in family photos with when his song En busca de una nueva flor  (In Search of a New Flower) became the hymn of the 9th Youth and Student Festival in 1978.

Sueños al pairo is a painful journey through the unhealed wounds of a nation. To this day, the Plaza of the Revolution has not offered a public self-criticism of those excesses in which it fostered the confrontations of Cubans against Cubans, protected by some in an alleged ideological superiority that, unfortunately, continues to be instilled in schools and promoted in the national media

The hordes of political intolerance still remain and, even today, they gather – out of economic opportunism – though they no longer act out against emigrants but they remain ready to destroy the life of a dissident, of a human rights activist or of an independent journalist.

The double-censored, the outlaw Mike Porcel, has returned to make us understand how little the limits have changed.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Construction Materials Will Be Sold with a Magnetic Card to Prevent Corruption

The sale of construction materials with a magnetic card is aimed at “achieving a greater transparency in the selling and the cash handling, using e-commerce platforms.” (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 March 2020 — Construction materials will only be sold with the use of a magnetic card in four Cuban provinces and one municipality. This measure seeks to prevent the corruption and theft prevailing in the so-called rastros [flea-markets], the common moniker for the state-owned outlets where construction materials are sold. Mayabeque, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Isle of Youth will be the first territories where cement, sand, water tanks and bricks will no longer be acquired in cash.

According to the Ministry of Internal Commerce, this measure will be extended to Havana in the following month and in May, it will be implemented in all the provincial capitals.

The report also points out that the use of other means of payment will be authorized on an exceptions basis by the Central Bank of Cuba for the beneficiaries of subsidies and credits approved between 2012 and 2019 or due to any weather situation during the time specified. continue reading

According to the Ministry, this resolution seeks “to acheive a better transparency in sales and in the way the cash is handled, using e-commerce platforms.

Depite the new local production programs for sand and gravel and construction blocks that have received plenty of attention by the official media in the last few years, the so-called rastros are unable to meet the high demand of a country where more than 60% the housing units are in a fair or poor condition.

This situation has contributed to theft, wrongful management, the arbitrary variation of prices and shortages of the most in-demand items, such as cement, steel bars, fibre cement tiles and zinc boards.

In these outlets that sell in Cuban pesos there is usually lack of doors, windows, bathroom fixtures, paint, plastic pipeline pieces and hydrolic and sanitary connections. The situation is even worse when it comes to ceramic tiles, concrete joists and water tanks.

Another alternative is the stores that sell only in Cuban convertible pesos (CUC), where they have a limited offer of construction materials at high prices. At the so-called ’shoppings’, a P350 bag of cement, used for concrete roofing and kitchen counters, is worth 6 CUC (roughly $6 US). Depite this price, which equals the wages of one week’s work for an average professional working for the government, the demand of this product is still high.

Since the collapse of the Communist Bloc and the end of the Soviet subsidies, the national cement industry has suffered decades of decadence. In 1989, 3.7 million tonnes of cement were produced in the Island but by 1993 the number had dropped to 1.04 million.

Although slightly recovered, the recent years show disturbing data; such as 2017, when a little over 1.4 million tonnes of gray cement were produced in Cuba. According to a report by the Association of Producers, the numbers are still very far from the 5.2 million achieved by the Dominican Republic that same year, and also far from the amount produced by the Island itself in 1958, with a record of 4.27 million tonnes, according to Foresight Cuba.

It has been more than a year that this product has almost disappeared from the retail chain that sells in CUCs, while in the rastros it has been limited to customers who have been granted subsidies for the restoration of their houses damaged by  hurricanes or tornados, like the one that impacted more than 3,000 houses in Havana in January 2019.

After the hit of the tornado, the government granted a 50% discount on the cost of the construction materials for those affected by the natural disaster in the neighborhoods of Luyano, Regla, Guanabacoa, and Santo Suarez, and a 70%  discount on water tanks. However, the damages were way greater than the country’s capacity to produce or import many of the materials.

“It is necessary that the rastro in the Plaza de la Revolucion district starts selling products for the people who cannot count on a subsidy, as most of the buildings, especially in the Vedado neighborhood, are more than 60 years old and need some restoration and at that rastro they always say that they only have construction materials for those receiving subsidies,” complains Maricel, an internet user who reacted to the press release about the new measure from MINCIN (Ministry of Internal Commerce, for its acromyn in Spanish) published by the state newspaper Granma.

Others, such as Yunior, hope that the new measure “eradicates the smuggling of materials and we can all acquire them according to the needs of each one.” Smuggling materials is a widespread practice and one to which families who decide to repair their home must frequently appeal. In the informal market of the Island you can find many of the products stolen from the rastros and also other diverted from the state buildings.

“Everything for construction materials,” says an ad on one of the most popular classified digital sites in the country. “We have galvanized glazed doors and windows, cement, bricks, glass blocks, large slabs and all of the best quality, the best prices and the best deal in the market. Our stock is impressive and stable, and we have transportation available,” it adds.

Some of the outlets that  sell construction materials are closed to the public, such as in La Timba neighborhood, and are only attending to tornado victims. (14ymedio)

Customers who are in a hurry and have more economic resources turn to this informal sales network, as they tire of waiting for products to appear in the state outlets.

“They gave me a subsidy to buy sand, cement and a water tank,” says a resident from La Timba neighborhood in Havana whose roof did not withstand the rains last summer. However, they have not yet supplied all the products needed at the state sales office closest to her home. “It does not matter if it is with magnetic card or with cash money in hand, the fact is that the materials are not there,” she laments.

At the entrance door to the premises, a sign indicates: “We are closed to the public and we are only attending to victims.” Outside, a dozen informal sellers approach the frustrated customers who arrive and do not qualify for materials. With the informal sellers, payment can be in “Cuban pesos, convertibles, dollars, euros or pounds sterling,” one boasts.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

AECID’s Cuban Website Hacked With Messages Against the Castro Brothers

The hacked page before it was taken down: We are anonymous, we are legion, we don’t forgive, we don’t forget, wait for us, freedom for Cuba, down with Raul down with Diaz-Canel. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 22 February 2020 — The Cuba Anonymous Group announced on Twitter this Sunday that it had accomplished a new hack, this time on the web page of the Physics Faculty of the University of Havana. Beginning in the morning, one could read on the digital site messages such as “Freedom for Cuba” and others saying “down with” Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro.

Hours later, the web page remained out of service and now presents an “error” message to those who try to visit it. However, the YucaByte project managed to grab some screen captures while the intervention lasted. “We are anonymous, we are legion, we do not forgive, nor forget. Wait for us. Freedom for Cuba, down with Raúl, down with Díaz-Canel,” the group wrote.

“We are telling the dictatorship that we are here to stay, enough of lies and deceptions towards our people,” they added. continue reading

Last Thursday they hacked the web page of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), in Cuba and for some hours messages against Díaz-Canel and Fidel and Raúl Castro appeared.

A screen grab of AECID’s website with the message “Fidel Castro is the greatest assassin the Cuban people have ever known.. Down with the Dictatorship!” To the lower right the box says, “Fidel sent for Che to be killed and all the Cuban people know that.”

“Fidel Castro is the greatest assassin the Cuban people have ever known,” at the top of the web page, along with phrases such as “we demand freedom,” and “down with the dictatorship.”

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Facebook account of “Anonymous Cuba Oficial,” a group previously unknown on the island, whose page on the social network was recently created and has only two posts.

“We decided to launch this attack against the Embassy of Spain in Cuba because of its support for the Cuban regime. If you support the communists and repressors you are our enemy,” the group wrote when it assumed responsibility for pirating the AECID website in Cuba.

Although it belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this portal is administered from the local headquarters of the AECID in Havana, attached to the Spanish embassy.

“These are the articles that the people must read so that they know the truth, in the 21st century the internet has opened the eyes of many people,” added Anonymous Cuba in its message, in relation to the publications inserted to replace the original from the Cuban portal of AECID.

“Fidel sent for Che to be killed and all the Cuban people know that,” “Raúl Castro is a murderer” and “Down With Díaz-Canel (the current Cuban president) and the Castro regime” were other phrases that appeared for hours on the website, which is currently inactive.

The group said “this is only the beginning of what awaits them” and added: “You will not escape from our hands, we are there within your system and we know everything you do, every key you press, what pages you search on the Internet, all your secrets will be revealed.”

“Freedom for the people of Cuba and our brothers,” the message ended.

The Spanish Embassy and the AECID office in Havana have declined to comment on the attack and refer inquiries to the Office of Diplomatic Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid.

This is not the first time that a digital site hosted on Cuban servers has suffered an attack. In May of last year the official newspaper Granma was hacked and on its cover photos of opponents were published being repressed by the police. The Alliance group claimed responsibility for that action and placed its logo on the cover of the official organ of the Communist Party next to Raúl Castro’s photo.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Cuba Needs a Civilizing Revolution

When activists, intellectuals, academics, religious figures, artists, students, professionals, and workers rise up and take a step forward, the door will be opened to a future of peace, brotherhood, and prosperity. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ariel Hidalgo, Miami, February 28, 2020 — The English Revolution of 1688 was called ’Glorious’. It happened 48 years after the first one broke out in 1640. That one was against the absolute monarchy and was violent, and the king was sent to the gallows. But the second one was peaceful, freedom of the press was declared, and the first declaration of human rights was approved.

The final result was an order so stable that it has lasted until today. “The spirit of this strange revolution was opposite to all revolutionary intent,” the historian G. M. Trevelyan would say. Another historian, Juan Pablo Friso, explains why it is called that: “To be glorious a revolution must bring together this: that it is driven by impulses like moderation, consensus, pragmatism, prudence, and impartiality.”

That is what we Cubans need to put an end to the coven of these 60 years. If in 17th-century England it was to correct the errors of a bourgeois revolution, in 21st-century Cuba it would be to correct those of a supposedly socialist revolution. continue reading

The aim of socialism, according to Marx, was “to put an end to the divorce between producers and the means of production,” (in other words, workers should be the masters of the instruments with which they work) and that was a principle shared by other socialist theorists, like the anarchist Proudhon, who imagined a society of artisans and small business owners.

Of course, workers didn’t have the power to expropriate the bourgeoisie and take hold of those means, which is why they needed, according to Marx, to topple first the bourgeois State and raise in its place a revolutionary State responsible for carrying out this task: expropriating capitalists and landlords to then transfer those means to the hands of the workers, that is, two steps or phases: expropriation and empowerment.

But the Russian revolutionaries of 1917 made their own interpretation of socialist revolution, something then copied by their followers everywhere they triumphed: carrying out only the first part, expropriating but not empowering.

They invented the sophism that the revolutionary State, by representing the workers’ interests, should be the one managing those goods in their name. It was a very simple syllogism: “Everything belongs to the people. I represent the people. Therefore, everything belongs to me.”

The leaders of the Cuban Revolution followed that same line, expropriating the bourgeoisie without empowering the workers, and handing over to a new bureaucratic class the properties, which they distributed not based on ability but rather on “political reliability.”

And then they made their own contribution, marching in the opposite direction of the map of the route drawn by Marx, by expropriating as well, in 1968, from those who possessed their own means to make a living for themselves. This they called a “Revolutionary Offensive.”

The result was the most extreme form of monopolist capitalism of the State, with absolute control of the nation: legislative, judiciary, prison, sole owner of the press and all means of communication, of industries, banks, and companies, to which everyone must submit and serve, because not to do so was “antipatriotic,” and the cost could be ostracism or prison.

If revolution is a radical change of the structures of a society, then that revolution ended 52 years ago, with the “Revolutionary Offensive,” the last of the measures that radically transformed the structure of Cuban society. In all that time, at most there have been reforms, and to reform means “to change the form” while the essence remains intact. And if in all that time there has not been revolution, neither have there been “counterrevolutionaries,” but rather people unhappy with an unjust order.

However, when the structural crisis deepens and conditions mature for a new revolution, many of these unhappy persons who until then were adopting attitudes of rebellion, come to form the revolutionary crop of the new times to carry out a radical change of the structures established by the first revolution.

Now it would be a question of expropriating the only great monopoly that still remains, the State, in favor of the workers; that is, taking the second step that was never taken.

If that State has satisfactorily demonstrated its inefficiency in managing the goods that according to the Constitution itself belong to all of society, to the point that a large part of the industries in which Cuba used to excel have been destroyed, it must be removed for incapacity as an administrator of those means and transfer them to grassroots collectives.

Cuba is experiencing the greatest crisis of its entire history due to an order that blocks or checks all the means of productive forces. The Cuban leadership turned its back on a fundamental principle of Marxism mentioned by Engels during Marx’s funeral: “Man needs, first of all, to eat, drink, have shelter and clothing before he can create politics, science, art, religion, etc,” which is why it’s required to stimulate the creativity of human beings.

Cuban liberals, to demonstrate the superiority of capitalism to that socialism imposed on the Island, highlighted the fact that it is not the same when interest in productivity is only held by a small group of the Central Committee, than when that interest is held by thousands of capitalists. Following the same reasoning, the result would be even more significant when millions have that interest.

Individual or family ownership, for example, like the so-called self-employed, must be stimulated by reducing taxes and licensing costs, as well as eliminating the prohibitions intended, disloyally and unfairly, to protect the state-controlled companies from the competition of small owners, something that is paradoxical, since what normally occurs in capitalist countries is that laws are passed to protect small business owners from the voracity of monopolies, like the United States’s Sherman Act of 1890, which forced monopolies to dissolve or divide into various companies, and which even sat Rockefeller himself in the dock of the accused.

In Cuba, on the contrary, the State protects its monopoly with laws that limit the activity of the private sector, as one trying to protect a tiger from the possible aggression of a harmless kitten. This fact is revealing in itself, because if the State sees it as necessary to adopt coercive measures to counteract the competition of small businesses, this clearly demonstrates that state companies are inefficient, and moreover, the high efficiency of workers when they work for themselves.

What to do, then, with those inefficient state businesses? The key question would be why they are not efficient and why are private ones efficient. The answer is obvious: the State’s salaried employees lack incentives, while private employees are indeed stimulated. Thus, the solution is handing over to State workers a part of the utilities they produce, thus giving them a voice and a vote in the direction of the companies and businesses where they work. Is this capitalism? Quite the opposite. It would be a form of labor organization more in accordance with the original conception of socialism.

But this is not an ideological question, but rather the pragmatic search for the most effective methods to get the population out of the deepest crisis that this country has experienced in its entire history and prevent social explosions that will drag the country into total chaos.

And that is not the only danger: given the methods in which the decentralizations have been carried out, it is almost certain that there will be the birth of a business mafia which, without the control of the so-called historical leadership now at a point of disappearing, will have no qualms about making pacts with the big drug cartels needed for new routes to the United States market.

How could this new revolution be carried out in a peaceful manner? First, why does it have to be peaceful? Because a violent revolution would repeat the ways of thinking of the same civilizing paradigm in which was implemented the order that we want to supplant, in this case, the patriarchal thinking of armed violence and executions, which means falling again into the same errors that lead again to the starting point to repeat the same cycle. A glorious revolution need not be only political and economic, but rather, above all, civilizing, that is, in the consciousness of citizens.

Second, is a peaceful revolution to empower workers and restore citizens’ rights and freedoms possible? Carrying it out does not require the power of a revolutionary State, as Marx believed. Starting with the principle that no dictatorship is sustained without the collaboration of the people or part of the people, one concludes that nobody governs without the consent of the governed.

If civil society becomes aware of its responsibility for the salvation of a people on the edge of social explosion and chaos, it will have to act in unity and demand the necessary transformations. It will have to be conscious of its own force, what the leader of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, called “the power of the powerless.”

If, as everything indicates, that leadership does not commit to taking the steps that would avoid the approaching disaster, then it could become essential, before it’s too late, that the most conscious elements of the citizenry come together to make clear that necessity before civil society and call on it to wake up.

And when activists, intellectuals, academics, religious figures, artists, students, professionals, and workers rise up and take a step forward to demand, peacefully, without hatred, but energetically, the door will be opened to a future of peace, brotherhood, and prosperity.

Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Despite Its Enormous Internal Shortages, Venezuela Sends Medicines to Cuba

The shelves of Cuban pharmacies have been experiencing serious supply problems for at least three years. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 March 2020 — The government of Nicolás Maduro will send 16 containers of medicines to Cuba this Tuesday, according to Venezuelan journalist Javier Ignacio Mayorca. The writer published through his Twitter account that the Armed Forces in the state of Vargas launched “a special unit” for this operation.

“Vargas FAN [National Armed Forces] ordered a special unit for the shipment of 16 medicine containers, donated to Cuba by the Venezuelan government. The cargo is scheduled for Monday on ship of the Armada of the Island, called Saturn. They will also deliver corn flakes, courtesy of Agrofanb,” Mayorca said.

Julio Borges, former head of Parliament and current presidential commissioner for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, confirming the information, lamented that, despite the shortage that affect Venezuelans, the Government sends the products that its citizens need to the Island. continue reading

“Every day Venezuelans die because of the shortage of medicines, however the dictatorship prefers to send cargo to Cuba, rather than to help its own people. This only reaffirms that Nicolás Maduro is a puppet of the Castro regime, international pressure against Havana will not stop.”

Last January it transpired that 150 BioCubaFarma specialists had to leave their jobs on the Island due to a staff cut. Although the company initially hid it, it was forced by the independent press to admit it, which made the news public through the testimony of the workers.

In a statement, BioCubaFarma admitted that “due to the real situation with the unavailability of raw materials, the levels of drug production have decreased.”

The cuts in the pharmaceutical industry began at least two years ago, causing shortages in analgesics, antibiotics, recommended medications for heart disease and insulin for diabetics.

In the early 2000s, to increase its imports, Cuba promoted the pharmaceutical industry after signing collaboration agreements with the Government of Hugo Chávez that flooded the Venezuelan pharmaceutical industry.

“Venezuela went from being a market that barely received 0.53% of the exports of medicines that left Cuba in 1998, to be the destination of 97% of the drugs produced by laboratories in Havana in 2009, and by 2014 had become the almost exclusive destination of its pharmaceutical exports”, revealed a report by 14ymedio and Armando.info.

In 15 years, Cuba received some 2.2 billion dollars in revenue from sales of medicines to Venezuela. With Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan economic crisis, which has reduced the country’s GDP by more than 40%, forced Caracas to reduce imports by 76% in the last four years.

Last year it was Cuba that sent medicines to Venezuela. In February 2019, the Minister of Health, Carlos Alvarado, reported the arrival of a shipment of 933 tons of medicines and medical materials from Cuba, but also from China, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and “some direct purchases” of the Ministry.

Alvarado explained last week that Venezuela has expanded epidemiological surveillance to face the possible arrival of the coronavirus in the country, but experts consulted by the EFE agency have warned that it is the worst prepared country in the region to face the disease, precisely because of the lack of medicines and supplies, the difficulties of the public health sector and the lack of diagnostic centers.

Julio Castro and Jaime Torres, both infectologists, consider that the protocol is insufficient and that strict measures are required to stop the expansion of Covid-19, which Venezuela has escaped so far.

“The only way to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading is with very strict, very massive measures, with the participation of the population, and health and safety authorities that are not easy to implement,” says Torres.

The doctor does not doubt that there are detection kits in Venezuela, but he believes that on the negative side is that there are not many diagnostic centers prepared, along with “the difficulties of the public health sector, hospital capacity, ability to provide services.”

The Venezuelan government has implemented surveillance at airports, a measure that has not proven effective and in many countries does not apply because the symptoms may go unnoticed during the incubation period.

Maduro said last week that “there are many analyses in the world that show that the coronavirus could be a strain created for the biological war against China (…) and against the peoples of the world.” Venezuela, he said, “fortunately” has a plan to deal with “this attack.”

The official Cuban press has also speculated on this hypothesis, although the partners are not the only subscribers to conspiracy theories. The US government began by minimizing the virus last January, stating that it was a common cold. Donald Trump, who said Friday that Covid-19 was a “hoax” of the Democrats to win the elections, had to change his tone the next day, after the first death in the US from the virus, and he announced new measures and restrictions.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

’14ymedio’ Launches a New Mobile Version

The mobile version is still in a testing phase, so users may have difficulty accessing some content. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 March 2020 — A few months after reaching its first six years, the newspaper 14ymedio is releasing a new version to access our content from mobile phones and tablets. The newly opened interface seeks to provide users with a more pleasant experience, easier access to our content and a greater ability to share our articles on social networks.

Some of the novelties offered by this version include such things as the side menu from which the different sections are accessed, the transparent management of cookies, the option to share any content from the cover to a wide variety of social networks, instant messaging services, emails and browsers.

The ability to navigate between one article to another without having to return to the front page every time, a more attractive visualization of the images, a new menu at the bottom of each page with options for sharing content, together with a better presentation of the content related to the topic that has been previously published on our portal, guarantee a more complete approach to our reporting archive. continue reading

With all this, this newspaper confirms that it is still working on innovation and technological development, as well as being very attentive to offering a fast and pleasant experience for users, both in substance and in form.

This renovation is also aimed at readers who visit us through their cell phones, who represent almost 60% of our daily traffic, so that they can interact more effectively with our site and enhance their ability to spread our work on social networks and other internet services. Each internet user can thus become a promoter of our journalistic work.

The mobile version is still in a testing phase, so it is possible that users may have difficulty accessing some content, such as the comments area. We are sorry for the inconvenience, we promise to solve these problems as soon as possible and we invite you to give your opinion in the comment space of the web version.

Our media is still subject to censorship imposed by the Cuban authorities on national servers. However, the use of VPN services and anonymous proxies allows you to bypass this barrier.

The new mobile version, which is not an application for Android, iOS or other operating systems, is a qualitative leap in access to 14ymedio, which will be incorporating additional improvements in the coming weeks. Users should not take any additional action to navigate this version, which is automatically loaded when accessing from cell phones or tablets. We hope you like it.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.