Mexico Finances the Cuban Dictatorship by Paying So-Called Doctors Inflated Salaries

The leader of the conservative opposition details his accusations against López Obrador´s Government.

Mexican Senator Julen Rementería also criticized the hardships experienced by the Health sector/ Courtesy of Senator Rementería’s office.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, May 19, 2024 — The Government of Mexico is secretly financing the Cuban regime through the importing of doctors since the COVID-19 pandemic, according the leader of the National Action Party (PAN in Spanish) in the Senate, Julen Rementería, speaking on Wednesday.

According to the data provided by the leader of the main opposition party in the Upper House, the sponsorship is achieved thanks to the inflation of the salaries granted to Cubans hired in Mexico under the Health system payroll. He suggested that this employment relationship could be a facade to carry out other activities in the country since there are no documents that support the Cubans’ medical training.

The Cuban government is “paid up to 144,000 Mexican pesos (approximately USD 8,734) per month for each person who comes from Cuba because we cannot even say that they are doctors because they do not prove it with any document. What lies behind it? Well, the financing, from Mexico to a dictatorship, to that of the island of Cuba,” he added at a press conference. continue reading

An investigation by 14ymedio revealed in February 2023 that the Government of the Island will pocket USD $2,042 per month for each specialist and USD $1,722 for the services of a general practitioner

The Veracruz senator harshly criticized the visit of Zoé Robledo, director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security, to Havana, where on May 13 he held a meeting with President Miguel Díaz-Canel to “strengthen health cooperation.” That commitment is interpreted as an attempt to reach the goal of 1,200 doctors agreed with Havana – 768 Cubans have arrived so far – before the end of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s six-year presidential term in four months.

Rementería expressed his disagreement with this announcement after considering that “they are taking away a salary from Mexican doctors” without, in his opinion, being transparent about the reason for the decision ordered by the nation’s president himself, after making an agreement with the Cuban regime. “There are 51,000 Mexican doctors who are unemployed, and are we going to ask Cuba for doctors?” he reproached.

14ymedio documented last April how Mexican doctors belonging to the Health Institute for Welfare were fired before the arrival of a group of colleagues from Cuba. The island’s health workers were assigned to establish a base on the mountain of Guerrero, which was a stronghold of the guerrillas in the 1970s and currently faces a growing wave of insecurity with cartels, such as the Familia Michoacana or Guerreros Unidos, fighting over drug routes with bloodshed and fire.

Rementería urged López Obrador’s Administration to curb the importing of Cuban doctors, especially because so far neither of the two governments has publicly explained their employment situation. Nor has it responded to accusations of practicing a form of “modern slavery,” according to reports published by several organizations, such as Prisoners Defenders, which point to the withholding by the authorities in Havana of up to 90% of the salaries allegedly paid to its aid workers.

The PAN member’s denunciations against the alleged financing of the Cuban regime come just a few days after the opposition candidate for the Presidency, Xóchitl Gálvez, promised to cancel the bilateral agreement should she win the elections on June 2.

Translated by LAR

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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 Number of Political Prisoners Reached 1,100 in April, According to the NGO Prisoners Defenders

The figure includes more than a dozen of the cases reported in the previous month.

The statement adds that 225 people – mostly convicted of participating in the July 11, 2021, anti-government protests – have been charged with sedition / Screen capture

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Madrid, May 17, 2024 — The NGO Prisoners Defenders (PD) reported Friday that at the end of April, it registered 1,100 people imprisoned for political reasons in Cuba, more than a dozen more than those included in its previous monthly report.

The organization, based in Madrid, explained that in April it added 13 people considered political prisoners to its list and that five others left the registry after full compliance with the sanction or measure imposed.

The report, published on the NGO’s website, explains that 30 minors – the minimum criminal age in Cuba is 16 – remain on the list of prisoners. Of these, 27 are serving sentences and three are being criminally prosecuted.

PD denounced that “15 of the minors have already been convicted of sedition,” with an average sentence of five years of liberty deprivation, most of them under the regime of “home confinement or forced labor without internment.” continue reading

15 of the minors have been convicted of sedition, with an average sentence of five-year imprisonment 

The statement adds that 225 people – mostly convicted of participating in the anti-government protests of 11 July 2021 – have been charged with sedition, and at least 222 have already been sentenced to an average of ten years in prison.

According to PD, there are also 118 prisoners (including several who are transgender) who “still have political and conscience convictions .”

“All trans women of conscience in prison have been and are imprisoned among men, which is also the case with common trans prisoners, who thus suffer indescribable situations among men based on their gender identification,” denounced PD.

The NGO added that it identified “297 prisoners with serious medical pathologies without adequate medical treatment,” it also confirmed that “all are suffering from various medical pathologies due to lack of food, mistreatment, a repressive environment and lack of appropriate medical care for all of them.”

Recently, Prisoners Defenders sponsored the Foreign Affairs Committee for the Spanish Congress of Deputies to present a non-legislative proposal “regarding the possible evidence of human trafficking and modern slavery in Cuba’s collaboration missions abroad .” In a session attended by 35 deputies, the proposal was approved by a minimum margin, with 18 votes in favor and 17 against.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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 Bishop of Camagüey in Cuba Prohibits Ringing the Bells During Blackouts

This decision is attributed to the pressure on the Church from the Communist Party of Cuba to undermine the initiative of the priest of Esmeralda, Alberto Reyes.

The Bishop of Camagüey Wilfredo Pino Estévez / arzobispadocamaguey.com

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 May 2024 — The bishop of Camagüey Wilfredo Willy Pino Estévez prohibited Father Alberto Reyes from continuing to ring the bells of the Esmeralda parish as a symbolic protest against the blackouts in that municipality, sources close to the Catholic Church confirmed to 14ymedio, attributing this decision to pressure from the Cuban Communist Party to undermine the religious initiative.

“For the good of the Church and Father Alberto,” Willy issued the warning, sources say, and was “clear” in prohibiting this form of protest. The decision comes a few hours after the 30 bells that rang in Esmeralda on Friday night went viral on networks and were remarked on in independent media. As Reyes published on Facebook, the bells were for the “agonizing death of our freedom and our rights, the suffocation and collapse of our lives.”

The pressures from the PCC Religious Affairs Office, headed by Caridad Diego, are constant, but in the last three years, after the demonstrations of 11 July 2021, they have intensified, especially with the prohibition of processions and celebrations in numerous churches for fear of new protests. continue reading

A source from the archdiocese of Havana stated at the end of last April, after a proposal for dialogue from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba (COCC) expressed by its secretary, Ariel Suárez, became known, that at the diocesan level “the tension” with the Cuban Communist Party (PCC )“is worse than ever.” The same source asserted that relations between the regime and the Church continue to be “timid” and that, in any case, as he insisted, “the Government is very tense.”

Alberto Reyes, one of the most critical voices of the Catholic Church against the regime, had said that ringing the bell in the middle of the blackout was “a way of calling for the necessary dawn in our land sunk in night” and, furthermore, he intended to awaken a people he considered “domesticated.”

Reyes has been one of the ecclesiastical actors most harassed by State Security through warning calls, acts of repudiation and threats of judicial prosecution. In an interview given in July 2022 to 14ymedio, the cleric stated that the Cuban Government “has more than demonstrated its inability to build a society that is not only prosperous, but also capable of responding to the most basic aspirations of human beings.”

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

Priest Alberto Reyes Rings the Bells of His Cuban Parish in Protest Against the Blackouts

The ringing broke out in the darkness of the small town of Esmeralda, with less than 30,000 inhabitants, in Camagüey

In a video sent to this newspaper, the priest’s hand can be seen activating the bell, which hangs from a thin piece of wood from the parish tower / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 May 2024 — The bells of the Esmeralda parish, in Camagüey, tolled this Friday during the blackout. The warning of the Catholic priest Alberto Reyes was fulfilled, who promised to protest with 30 bells against the “agonizing death of our freedom and our rights, the suffocation and sinking of our lives,” represented, according to him, in the constant electrical outages that overwhelm the population.

The ringing broke the darkness of the small town of less than 30,000 inhabitants where the priest, one of the most critical voices of the Catholic Church against the regime, exercises his ministry. In a video that Reyes sent to this newspaper, the priest’s hand can be seen activating the bell, which hangs from a thin piece of wood from the parish tower, while another shot, taken from outside, shows the town plunged into total darkness.

Solemn and spaced, the peals – similar to those played during a funeral procession – are, the priest said this Friday on Facebook, “a way of calling for the necessary dawn on our land sunk in night.” With this gesture of continue reading

symbolic protest, which Reyes describes as “a voice lost in the loneliness and nothingness” of the Island, he intends to awaken a people that he considers “domesticated.”

“We are a people who have been convinced that, no matter what we do, nothing will ever change. “We are a people imprisoned in many ways, to which our captors, before the minimal reaction of protest or search for liberation, have responded with the brutality of those who are not willing to give in, even if they see us languish and die slowly,” he said this Friday.

He denounced the repression of protests that characterizes the regime and criticized the passivity of Cubans in the face of the hundreds of political prisoners who remain in prisons. He urged people to carry out gestures of “peaceful resistance,” such as abandoning official institutions, removing posters in favor of the system in private homes, educating their children to “reject duplicity” and using “the paths that one can find.”

Reyes, who remains in the country despite harassment from State Security, is part of a group of priests and nuns who have not hesitated to openly express their criticism of the Government. This position has brought him difficulties not only with state authorities, but also with ecclesiastical authorities.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

Abandoned for Years, El Golfito in Alamar to Reopen in Early Summer

A girl who was playing among the ruins of a miniature castle died when the structure collapsed

Visitors to El Golfito will be able to purchase everything in pesos / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Pedro Espinosa, Alamar (Havana), May 18, 2024 — Were it not for the fact that all Havana residents know what they are, one might think the ramps at El Golfito – once an important recreational center in Alamar – was an archaeological site. The work that a government construction crew has been carrying out for several weeks is very similar to what Indiana Jones’ colleagues would do: dusting, rebuilding, plowing and removing overgrown vegetation after many years of neglect.

When a veteran journalist with “Tribune de la Habana” wrote a column last year complaining about the deterioration of El Golfito, it immediately called attention to the situation. He posed a question to officials, asking if — even for a country in crisis — money could not be allocated to communal spaces. “Would it cost so much to fix these recreational centers that would allow the public to have a more active cultural life?” he wondered. “The answer is yes.”

The good economic news that the columnist was hoping for seems to have arrived. Rolando, one of the construction workers on the site, describes El Golfito and its miniature golf course as “a community project” that will be reopen “at the beginning of the summer.” continue reading

It was time, Rolando believes, that something was done with that area, where the ruins of El Golfito are just one of many

“Entry will be 200 pesos for those over 12 years old and free for the little ones. The entire offer will be in pesos,” says the man. In the surroundings of El Golfito – where the ramps can already be seen and the holes have been cleared – there will be “a cafe, a snack bar, swings, a seesaw and we are planting plants.”

It was time, Rolando believes, that something was done with that area, where the ruins of El Golfito are just one of many. Abandonment has been costly. “Several years ago,” he says, “a little girl who was playing in one of the ’little castles’ died because the structure collapsed.” Rolando does not know the details of the case, but one of his colleagues, who overhears the conversation, reprimands him: “You are talking too much.”

Rolando’s partner follows his scolding with an argument in support of the brigade: “Look what we’re doing,” he says, pointing to the grass and the fence they are putting up around the perimeter of the small field. At the moment, there is little progress and the place still looks like an excavation.

Another invasion, that of trash dumps, has been affecting the health of those who live by the sea for several years / 14ymedio

Beyond El Golfito, still in Cojímar, next to the beach, several ruined structures with a futuristic appearance still rise. These are old circular kiosks, now dilapidated, where food and soft drinks were previously sold to bathers. “I remember the cafe, the sellers of cold cuts, peanuts, the palm frond umbrellas, the filler sand that this piece of reef received every year to make our lives more bearable,” the official journalist reported longingly in her article.

Another invasion, that of trash dumps, has been affecting the health of those who live by the sea for several years. Bottles, plastic bags, pieces of clothing and all kinds of rubbish now take the place of the sun loungers and umbrellas of yesteryear. Of the bathers, no trace. Cojímar and Alamar, two names that evoked a sunny Havana of beaches, have ended up as “salty” as the fisherman whose failure Hemingway recounted.
____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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: ‘The Only Eastern Country in the Heart of the West’

Jorge Ferrer presents ‘Between Russia and Cuba’ in Barcelona. Against memory and oblivion.

Jorge Ferrer and Iván de la Nuez, at the presentation of ‘Between Russia and Cuba. Against memory and oblivion’, in La Central de Barcelona / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yaiza Santos, Barcelona, 17 May 2024 — The history of the link between Cuba and the Soviet Union, and what this meant for the world in the years of the Cold War, is well known. However, until now no one had related the intimate implications it had for several generations of Cubans. Especially those young people who, sent to study in Moscow, witnessed glasnost and Perestroika, waited for the change to be echoed in their country and ended up exiled.

The task of explaining this “very strange link,” between a Caribbean island and the icy lands of the USSR, in the words of Ricardo Cayuela, director of the Ladera Norte publishing house, was far surpassed by Jorge Ferrer in Between Russia and Cuba, Against Memory and Oblivion, which he presented this Thursday at the La Central bookstore in Barcelona.

The essayist and art critic Iván de la Nuez, resident in Spain for more than 30 years and presenter of the event, described the book as “huge, tremendous, extraordinary,” going beyond narrating the “life that every Cuban could have had.” The three lives – related in the three parts that make up the volume, are that of the grandfather Federico, a police officer under Batista exiled in the United States in 1968, when Jorge Ferrer was a baby; that of the father Jorge, a preeminent apparatchik at the National Bank of Cuba; and that of himself. In reality, says De la Nuez, the three lives are “at least 21”: seven, like cats, for each one. continue reading

But this is not, as it might seem, a memoir – and hence the subtitle – but rather an unclassifiable hybrid, as the author claims he likes to consider himself. “There is a memory gap in the world we live in,” he said at one point during the presentation. De la Nuez elaborated on the same idea, saying that “memory is often made of lies, and this is a book that seeks the truth.”

This is not, as it might seem, a memoir – and hence the subtitle – but rather an unclassifiable hybrid, as the author claims he likes to consider himself

For this purpose he undertook arduous research about his grandfather, his father and his own life in Moscow, where he arrived with his father as a teenager. It is in that part where he hit a wall, Iván de la Nuez emphasized: he wanted to get his file from the psychiatric hospital where his father forcibly confined him at the age of 16 for drug problems, but, in post-Soviet Russia he found that “that file is not open.” In that building, larger than the Kremlin, not only the mentally ill but also dissidents, like the poet Joseph Brodsky himself, were punished.

Both Cubans spoke about the term hypernormalization, from the Russian Alexei Yurchak, to refer to that moment in the USSR before its fall, and what it meant to live the socialist “experiment.” That “life without intimacy or seclusion” left room, however, for secrets, just like those that Ferrer tries to bring to light from his family.

Between Russia and Cuba is also, De la Nuez said, the book “by a translator” – as Ferrer is for authors such as Vasili Grossman, Svetlana Aleksievich, Iván Bunin or María Stepanova – “a book that translates the world for us” and aims for an impact. The experience of the Cuban in exile, like them, cannot be, in the opinion of the art critic, subordinated to the past. “If we spent all the time saying where we came from and denouncing it, we would have no way out.”

Faced with the idea of ​​Cuba that is usually held outside its borders, of a certain multiculturalism and folklore, De la Nuez indicates, in short, that Ferrer is right in finding the true uniqueness of the Island, “which no other country in the world has”: to be “the only Eastern country in the heart of the West.”

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

‘Che’ Guevara’s Daughter Attacks Small/Private Businesses and Accuses Them of ‘Facilitating the Entry of Drugs’ Into Cuba

Aleida Guevara March believes that the solution to inflation that she attributes to the private sector is to regulate prices

Aleida Guevara March currently directs the Che Guevara Studies Center in Havana. / The New Morning

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 13 May 2024 — Aleida Guevara, the eldest of the children of Ernesto Che Guevara and his wife Aleida March, declares war on micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) in an interview with the Italian media Il fatto quotidiano published this Saturday in which she accuses the private sector of favoring drug trafficking. “MSMEs entail security risks, because they can facilitate the entry of drugs or other illicit goods into the country. Controls must be intensified by the CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution),” asks the daughter of the Argentine guerrilla.

Her biggest criticism, however, is not such businesses in particular, however, but the increase in inequalities, which she attributes to them. “Although the initial objective was not wrong, that is, to import raw materials from abroad to produce goods in Cuba and resell them at cheap prices, these activities are creating problems because many times they directly import goods purchased in dollars, which when converted to pesos cost too much for the Cuban people,” she argues.

A pediatrician by profession, Guevara does not hesitate to make some recommendations on how to solve this economic problem that, in her opinion, the private sector has created, although the recipe is not new: “Regulating prices, above all,” she believes. “Teachers, doctors… need higher salaries, but the first thing is to regulate prices,” she resolves. Furthermore, she calls on the Government to act immediately. continue reading

A pediatrician by profession, Guevara does not hesitate to make some recommendations on how to solve this economic problem that, in her opinion, the private sector has created

Guevara, 63, “continues to practice medicine without abandoning my role as Cuba’s de facto ambassador to the world,” the newspaper quotes. Not in vain, in the interview she announces that in February she participated in the World Social Forum in Nepal representing the Island and that at the end of this May she will be in South Korea. “It is the first time they have invited a communist to speak,” she says, smiling, although she does not reveal the event to which she is invited.

Seoul and Havana announced in February of this year the reestablishment of their relations, which were broken in 1959 with the arrival of Fidel Castro to power, and this same Monday they confirmed the beginning of formal negotiations for the reopening of embassies. The years had slightly softened the situation – especially since the stage known as “the thaw,” during which tensions between the US and Cuba relaxed – and in 2016 some economic exchanges in technological and energy matters began, but the diplomatic scenario remained intact.

With the new context, the South Korean presidency announced that there were potential areas of collaboration and referred specifically to the island’s natural resources, but also to other areas, such as biotechnology and research.

With regards to the analysis of the current economic situation of the Island, Guevara does not use hot towels in the description. “We are experiencing a brutal economic crisis,” she says. However, that analysis is, to say the least, wrong. “We had to get our own vaccines, because no one gave them to us or sold them to us,” she says. The explanations as to why Cuba developed its own vaccines have been given by the Government itself, the health authorities and the directors of the medicine companies.

“We had to get our own vaccines, because no one gave them to us or sold them to us”

Havana declared that the cost of vaccines on the free market was too high, while developing its own formula allowed it to save money, to immunize the population, although perhaps later than other nations but at a greater pace, and guaranteed “sovereignty.” In addition, Cuba rejected joining the Covax international cooperation mechanism, whose objective is to provide vaccines to low-income countries thanks to donations from the richest and different organizations.

Although the system failed in part due to the slow pace of delivery of doses, Havana could not foresee this when it flatly refused to be part of Covax. Finally, the Island did receive vaccines from one of its partners, China, which provided the Sinopharm formula with which some Cubans were immunized.

Guevara also deviates from the truth when she analyzes the problems of tourism, which she insists “has not returned to pre-pandemic levels because the world has not recovered. We are in a general crisis situation and travel prices are high,” she adds.

The reality is that at the beginning of 2024, the World Tourism Organization declared the crisis in the sector after Covid-19 over, after 88% of the 2019 figures were reached in 2023. In general terms, looking globally, tourism numbers have already far exceeded the levels of that date. In Europe, Spain closed the year with 1% more international travelers than in 2019. On the continent, Mexico and the Dominican Republic show record numbers while Cuba sinks.

Guevara regrets the loss of foreign currency that this means for the country and its contribution to the depreciation of the peso – “which is no longer backed by the convertible peso,” she laments – but she trusts that China and Russia will provide new travelers to facilitate the recovery of the sector.

“If I talk about Fidel I get emotional”

The daughter of the Argentine guerrilla does not miss the opportunity to make clear the influence of the leader of the Revolution in her life – “if I talk about Fidel I get emotional” – and extrapolates it to all Cubans when she maintains that many miss him, but praises the figure of his current successor not so much for what he does but for occupying a space that, for her, is impossible to fill. “There is no point in making comparisons: replacing Fidel is too difficult, simply staying in his place is a heroic act.”

For herself, she calls on the people to support the president and remembers that the Constitution approved in 2019 is the result of a popular process. “Therefore, there is no going back: the Cuban Government is a government of the people, not of the elites.”

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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 Mother of Two Protesters From Caimanera Denounces Inconsistencies on the Part of the Prosecutor’s Office During the Trial

 Victoria Martínez insists that the accusatory testimonies are full of contradictions and have sanctioned relatives who provide versions different from the official one.

Victoria Martínez narrated in detail the operation full of intimidation with which the political police guarded the trial / Capture / CubaNet

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 May 2024 — The trial that began last Wednesday against the young people who protested against the Government in 2023 in Caimanera, Guantánamo, “is rigged.” The complaint was made on social networks by Victoria Martínez Valdivia, mother of two of those prosecuted for public disorder, instigation to commit a crime, and attacks, alleging that there are inconsistencies in the statements provided by the Prosecutor’s Office.

In a video shared by CubaNet, the mother of Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez and Felipe Octavio Correa Martínez, who each face six-year sentences and had an oral hearing this Wednesday in the Municipal People’s Court of Niceto Pérez, maintained that the statements of the witnesses against the six defendants do not coincide with statements made a year ago.

Additionally, she pointed out that her daughter was fined for no apparent reason after testifying in favor of the detainees due to an alleged inconsistency between her current testimony and the one she offered a year ago, when the process began. In contrast, four other people who also testified, but against the young people, and who at the beginning of the trial maintained different stories than those they had originally given to the Police, did not receive any sanction. continue reading

The activist recounted how the Prosecutor’s Office alleges that her daughter, who testified on behalf of her brothers and the rest of the detainees, had accused them of the charges

“They read her (the testimony) from a year ago, where she did not agree with the statement, because (she maintained) that she had said that the boys, mainly her brother Luis Miguel, had said: ‘down with the dictatorship,’ ‘down with the Government’. And she says, ‘no, at no time did I say that my brother said that,'” Martínez Valdivia said.

The mother also confirmed that the activist and independent journalist Yeris Curbelo Aguilera was intimidated by State Security last Wednesday, so that he left immediately after he arrived at the courthouse with the intention of covering the case. The courthouse is about 45 minutes from the city of Caimanera.

The mother (and activist) also said that the trial lasted eight hours and reiterated that at all times she was surrounded by a strong military operation that controlled each of the aspects surrounding the process, as 14ymedio reported this Friday, and remarked on the prohibition of using cell phones under threat from the political police.

In an interview with Diario de Cuba, Martínez Valdivia alleged that the defense did a good job in front of the court, despite not having good communication with the family members. “I consider that the lawyer made a good defense, even though I had distrusted of him based on the little communication we have had this year,” she emphasized.

The trial against the six young people for whom the Prosecutor’s Office requests sentences ranging between nine and four years

The trial against the six young people for whom the Prosecutor’s Office requests sentences ranging between nine and four years, is part of the regime’s response to the anti-government protests that in May 2023 shook the municipality of Caimanera, to demand freedom and a dignified life for the population of the area, close to the United States military base in Guantánamo.

From the beginning, the demonstration faced an aggressive response from the Government, which did not hesitate to use force to repress the protests by sending the so-called “black berets” (Special Forces) into the streets, and cutting off access to communications.

The campaign to discredit those who took to the streets continues to this day thanks to the official media, which tries to reduce the events to an “unusual demonstration” of a few dozen people with signs of having consumed “alcoholic beverages.” The same accusation, to which is added that of “promoting chaos,” appears in the prosecutor’s petition released by the relatives of the detainees.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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 Trial Against the Caimanera Protesters in Cuba Begins Behind Closed Doors and Under a Strong Security Operation

Those prosecuted are accused of public disorder, instigation to commit a crime and attack

Hundreds of Cubans took to the streets to protest asking for “freedom” in Caimanera, Guantánamo, on May 6, 2023 / Capture

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 17 May 2024 — The trial against the Caimanera protesters for the crimes of public disorder, instigation to commit a crime and attack began this Wednesday behind closed doors and under a strong security operation that protects the surroundings of the Municipal People’s Court of Niceto Pérez, in the Guantanamo province.

The activist and independent journalist Yeris Curbelo Aguilera tried to cover the case but was intimidated by State Security so that he would leave immediately. The reporter shared his testimony through an audio that was broadcast through the Facebook page Presos Políticos de Cuba [Cuban Political Prisoners] where he briefly chronicled the situation outside the court.

“I went to Niceto Pérez but when I arrived [there was] a tremendous police and State Security operation. As soon as they saw me get out of the car, the mobilization and more intensified, against me,” he explained. “They pounced on me, they got on top of me and the head of State Security in Caimanera, Lieutenant Colonel Giovanni Rafita, and others, told me that I could not enter the court.”

The activist and independent journalist Yeris Curbelo Aguilera tried to cover the case but was intimidated by State Security

However, a few minutes later, after being harassed and remaining in the crosshairs of the political police, they finally asked the journalist to leave under the threat of charging him with the crimes of disobedience and contempt. continue reading

The trial is taking place a year after the anti-government protests that shook the municipality, next to the United States naval base, where the protestors demanded freedom and a dignified life for the population of the area. This sparked a violent response from the regime that did not hesitate to send to the streets groups of Black Berets — as the elements of the National Special Brigade of the Ministry of the Interior are known — to repress the participants and try to limit the events to an “unusual demonstration” of a few dozen people.

This Wednesday, at the start of the process against those detained for the protests, sitting on the bench of the accused was Daniel Álvarez González, who is facing the harshest sentence with a nine-year prosecutor’s request for the crimes of “public disorder” and “instigation to commit a crime,” reported Martí Noticias.

He was followed by Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez, whom the authorities seek to imprison for six years accused of “public disorder” and “attack.” Álvarez González and Alarcón Martínez remain under precautionary prison measures at the Guantánamo Complex.

The rest of those involved in the process remained free on bail. Among them are Rodolfo Álvarez González, Freddy Sarquiz González and Felipe Octavio Correa Martínez, all three with a prosecutor’s request for six-year sentences for public disorder and attack. Completing the list is Yandris Pelier Matos, who faces four years for public disorder.

The document against the detainees, which was released by some relatives, indicates that on May 6, 2023, Daniel Álvarez González and Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez began shouting slogans such as “Down with Díaz-Canel,” “Down with the Revolution,” with signs of having consumed “alcoholic beverages” and with the aim of “promoting chaos.”

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the six accused young people maintain “reprehensible” behavior, but none of them have a criminal record

According to the official story, their calls incited other residents to accompany them, according to the Guantánamo Public Ministry, which states that they even tried to overpower law enforcement to avoid arrests. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the six accused young people maintain “reprehensible” behavior, including participating in illegal games and dog fighting, in addition to being unemployed. However, none of them have a criminal record.

“It is a closed-door trial, that is what I am aware of so far,” Victoria Martínez Valdivia, mother of two of the protesters, explained to Martí Noticias this Wednesday. One of her sons suffers from mental retardation and was still brutally beaten by police agents. “Let’s see what happens, [in court] we are the accused, three witnesses for each one and two closest relatives. The last contact I had with the lawyer, [said that] he had prepared the defense for the boys,” she added.

In the court hearing held this Wednesday, not only family members of the accused participated, but also defense witnesses, as well as some police officers and government officials, who testified against the defendants.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

A Spanish Bank Leaves Cuba as a Russian Bank Opens Offices in Havana

The two documents, signed by the head of the BCC, represent the end of one era and the beginning of another / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, May 1, 2024 — Two resolutions adopted by the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) have become a symbol of the financial future towards which Havana seems to be moving. In a announcement published on Tuesday in the “Official Gazette,” the bank indicated that it has accepted a request by Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) to close its branch in Havana and is allowing the Russian bank Novikombank to open an office in the Cuban capital.

According to international agencies, BBVA is exploring a possible merger with Banco de Sabadell, another important Spanish financial institution. Sabadell itself has had an office in Cuba since 1995.

The Cuban nwebsite “Proyecto Inventorio” reported that BBVA asked to close its office shortly after the death of Eduardo Pellicer Ramírez, its sole employee in Havana. It claims, “The shuttered office, which officially had only one employee until 2023, oversaw BBVA’s interests in Cuba. These include actions on behalf of Aurea S.A. (49%), the leasing agency which collects the rent (in the millions) from GAESA’s Lonja de Commercio office building.” The rest of its business is with Havana’s Office of the Historian

According to international agencies, BBVA is exploring a possible merger with Banco de Sabadell

As for the agreement with Novikombank, it is not without political implications. Not only does it represent a step towards closer relations between Havana and Moscow, the bank is also under sanctions imposed by the United States after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. continue reading

Four members of its board have been placed on a sanctions list and the institution itself was disconnected from the Swift banking system by the European Union and the United Kingdom. The U.K. also froze its assets in Britain, claiming it would be benefitting from or even supporting the Kremlin through its involvement in businesses with ties to industries strategically important to the Russian government.

Under the supervision of BCC, it will operate as a “correspondence office” with Russian entities authorized to do business with Cuba. However, it will be “prohibited from directly engaging, either actively or passively, in banking or financial operations of any kind,” the document states. Among its functions will be “managing, promoting or coordinating the business operations of its parent company, in freely convertible currency (MLC) with entities established within the country’s borders.”

The resolution also notes that the Novikombank office in Havana will have to “submit its books along with any documents and other information that [BCC] official might request.”

Novikombank’s office in Havana will also have to “present its books for review”

Spain as well as Russia have both enjoyed privileged banking relationships with Havana. In July 2023 the BCC took the unprecedented step of approving an application submitted by Alto Cedro Finanzas Internacionales, a Madrid-based company which had been operating on the island since 2020, to become a cooperative bank.

At that time, Alto Cedro was prohibited from providing its services to the then recently legalized micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) without expressed authorization by the BCC. Founded in 2020 with 3.5 million euros in assets by the Spanish magnate Javier Botín — a member of the family that manages the prestigious Banco Santande, for which he serves as an “outside consultant” — the company operated in Cuba as an international non-banking institution. In 2023, its directors asked Havana for a license to broaden its scope.

The corporation received authorization to open accounts in hard currency and Cuban pesos, receive and grant loans, manage risk and even “monitor its debtors.” It was also allowed to provide financing using the various existing modalities, export and import operations of goods or services and investments.”

The high-level Cuban official responsible for facilitating the 2002 conversation with Alto Cedro was Ricardo Cabrisas, then vice-president of the Council of Ministers. The atmosphere for talks was ideal since Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez had travelled to Havana in 2018 for several reasons, among them to open doors to more investors from the Iberian peninsula.

As for Russia, financial rapprochement was always a substantial component of Havana’s alliance with Moscow. In December the BCC officially adopted the Russian payment system Mir, an alternative to Visa and Mastercard, that the Kremlin launched in 2016 to avoid economic sanctions.

“This move is an indication of the good financial relations between the two countries, which contribute to the economic development of the nation,” Prensa Latina said at the time. Since the tightening of sanctions against Russia, Cuba has encouraged the use of Mir banking cards and a increasing reliance on Russian banks.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

Popular Protests Have the Cuban Regime Backed Into a Corner / Cubanet

Mothers protesting in Maisí, Guantánamo Province, Cuba (captured from YouTube)

Cubanet, Luis Cino, Havana, 27 March 2024 — More than a few Cubans in exile are skeptical about the scope and effectiveness of the current protests by the Cuban population. They belittle them, arguing (in agreement with the official narrative) that the demonstrations are only about food and electricity, and that to calm them down will take only bestowing a little rice and beans from the state reserves, reducing the blackouts a little, blasting some reggaeton from loudspeakers, and hauling in the kegs to dispense beer on tap.

Many who think this way are disgusted and scared when they see protesters in flip-flops, the men without shirts, yelling vulgarities and expletives against Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. They cannot conceal their elitism and contempt for what they consider to be easily-manipulated mobs of hungry rabble, politically illiterate. Thus, they betray a dissociation from reality and an arrogance as great as that of the leaders of the Castro succession.

If it is true that six decades of dictatorship have eroded societal values and civic sensibilities, and managed to keep many Cubans in a state of confusion and degradation, the populace overall has had enough of so much misery and oppression, and will not be meekly herded back into the fold.

The women and men who took the streets to protest are demanding freedom, because that is what they need to live with dignity–not only food, water, and electricity, as those trickster-bosses who try to hide the will of the people would have us believe. continue reading

There is room for agreement with those who speak of the need–now and in the future, if we aspire to democracy and not banana-republic anarchy–for the protesters to have leaders who can present a coherent political program as an alternative to the regime. But we cannot look down on those who, since July 11, 2021 (11J), in their own way and within their range of possibility, have been resisting the government with demands that, within a totalitarian state, inevitably become political.

The sum total of protests documented since 2021 by the Cuban Observatory of Conflicts produces a statistic that until very recently would have been inconceivable: 12,972. And that number will only increase.

Ordinary men and women, many of them illiterate, who demand to live as human beings, are managing to back the regime into a corner — something which the pro-democracy opposition did not achieve in decades.

We must humble ourselves and, however painful it may be, recognize that those of us who were endowed with civility and a certain intellectual baggage, opposing the regime since the 1990s, have failed in our efforts. We
have done so without knowing the job, improvising as we went, with a high level of idealism, without explicitly proposing to take power; all the while denouncing the abuses of power, and struggling to open spaces for democracy in the very smallest chinks feasible, as happened with the Varela Project, the high point of the opposition. And throughout, with a high toll of beatings, imprisonments, banishments, and even murders.

But we were unable to fully connect with the average Cuban. How were we going to reach a blackmailed, frightened population, who after decades of indoctrination and ideological manipulation, was sick of harangues and rejecting anything that smelled of politics? To top it off, this population was subjected to a constant bombardment of defamation against the oppositionists, who had no right of reply via any of the media in service to the State.

Everything conspired against opposition movements. And it was not only the repression. It was also the lack of resources and the ill-use or embezzlement by unscrupulous elements of the little that there was available; insufficient or poorly directed international support; internal disagreements and conflicts due to inflated egos and roles — often fomented by undercover State Security agents; the vices and tricks of Castroism transplanted to the opposition camp; the opportunists and imposters opposition to obtain a refugee visa.

Today, leaders who were moral role models are missed, such as Oswaldo Payá, Laura Pollán, Vladimiro Roca, Elizardo Sánchez, and Gustavo Arcos Bergnes.  

José Daniel Ferrer, Félix Navarro, and dozens of other oppositionists are in jail. Hundreds more have been forced into exile.

But currently, the regime has to face the daily demands of a people who are fed up with abuses and lies. Because the government has no solutions to offer, these protests will continue. And the people, unlike the stubborn bosses, have learned lessons from 11J.

In his article, “The art of protest in Cuba”,  Omar López Montenegro explains, “Neo-Castroism stopped being the only referent in the life of Cubans and, therefore, the whole false mythological construction undergirding it fell apart — including stereotypes such as ‘nobody can fix this thing, but nobody can do away with it, either,’ and so many others that for years nourished a culture of apathy and acceptance of injustice as an inevitable evil. The people what changes, they want them now, and they want them as a result of their own actions, not regime accommodations or miraculous intervention by third parties.”

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

A Total of 95,500 Cubans Have Received the U.S. ‘Humanitarian Parole’

This April, 17,870 migrants from the Island entered U.S. territory; in the first four months of the year, 81,191 entered

A Cuban mother and daughter received ’humanitarian parole’ in April / Facebook/Mario J. Pentón

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, May 17, 2024 — Up to 95,500 Cubans have benefited from the Humanitarian Parole Program promoted by the Biden administration since its entry into force in January 2023. Of these, up to April, there were already 91,100 Cubans in the United States.

Data offered in a statement by the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirm that migrants from the Island are the third nationality to benefit from this program, surpassed by Haiti, with 184,600, and Venezuela, with 109,200.

After ending Title 42 – a rule created by the Donald Trump Administration for the return of migrants during the pandemic – Washington decided in January 2023 to offer applicants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua a special permit or “humanitarian parole,” which it had previously initiated with Ukraine and Venezuela. continue reading

Data from the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirm that the Island’s migrants are the third nationality to benefit from humanitarian ’parole’

The update to April’s migratory data was announced a few days after humanitarian parole was denied to Liván Fuentes Álvarez, former president of the Municipal Assembly of the People’s Power. His flight permit was revoked just as he was about to board a charter airline that would take him to the United States, Martí Noticias journalist Mario J. Pentón reported.

Despite the fact that a source confirmed to the same media that they do “everything possible so that those who are members of the repressive apparatus of the Cuban regime cannot benefit from measures that are designed to help the Cuban people,” some members of the Communist Party have entered the United States through the parole program.

14ymedio denounced the case of Misael Enamorado Dager, who served as the first secretary of the Communist Party in Santiago de Cuba between 2001 and 2009, and now resides in Houston, Texas, after entering the country under humanitarian parole, as reported by the influencer Niover Licea on social networks.

Yurquis Companioni, a counterintelligence agent in Sancti Spíritus, also entered the United States through the southern border – after traveling the route from Nicaragua to Mexico – thanks to his sister, who already lived in the U.S. and was his sponsor for a six-year parole.

The Office of Customs and Border Protection also announced that in the month of April, 17,870 Cubans arrived in the United States. Although the figure is lower than the 19,566 who entered in March, the total number of migrants from the Island in the first four months of 2024 is 81,191, which represents more than double the 34,253 registered in the same period in 2023, and 12,782 fewer than in 2022.

In April, the United States allowed the entry of 41,400 migrants at the border crossings with Mexico through the online application CBP One. The total number has reached more than 591,000 since the system was introduced in January 2023.

In April, the United States allowed the entry of 41,400 migrants at the border crossings with Mexico through the online application CBP One

“As a result of greater surveillance, migration on the southwest border has not been increasing, reversing previous trends. We will continue to monitor migration patterns, which are constantly changing,” said Troy Miller, acting commissioner of the CBP.

The acting commissioner of the CBP, Troy Miller, said that the deployment of a greater number of Border Patrol agents has contributed to the “decrease” in the number of arrests on the border between the United States and Mexico. “We will continue to monitor migration patterns, which are constantly changing,” the statement added.

The Biden Administration also stressed that as part of the new restrictions, asylum will be prohibited to people who pose a risk to national security,” to those convicted of a serious crime, to those related to terrorism and to those who are “considered a danger to the security of the United States.”

Previously, the determination of eligibility for asylum was given at a later stage in the process, upon determining the merits of asylum applications, detentions and expulsions.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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 Receives 23 Rafters Returned by the United States and 545 From Several Countries in 2024

Three of those returned were on parole at the time of leaving the Island

The Governments of Havana and Washington have a bilateral agreement so that all migrants arriving by sea to U.S. territory will be deported to the Island  / EFE

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Madrid, 14 May 2024 — Cuba received 23 rafters returned by the United States Coast Guard Service (USCG) onTuesday, for a total of 545 Cuban irregular migrants deported from several countries in the region so far in 2024, official media reported. These migrants – 20 men and three women – were intercepted by the U.S. authorities after participating in two illegal exits from the island through the western port towns of Cárdenas and Mariel, according to a report released by the Ministry of the Interior.

Three of those returned were on parole “for compliance with criminal sanctions at the time of leaving the Island and will be placed at the disposal of the corresponding courts for the revocation of said benefit,” it emphasizes.

It also reports that two others are under investigation as “alleged committers of criminal acts” who were investigated before their illegal exit. continue reading

Another two are under investigation for “alleged commission of criminal acts”

With this return operation, there are now 39 return operation carried out from different countries in the region with a total of 545 people in 2024, the report specifies. Last year, from Mexico alone, 774 Cubans were expelled, according to a source from Mexican Migration officials, under the category of “assisted returns.”

The governments of Havana and Washington have a bilateral agreement so that all migrants arriving by sea to US territory are deported to the Island.

Also, deportation flights resumed in April 2023, mainly for people considered “inadmissible” after being held on the border with Mexico.

Some 22,946 Cubans arrived in the United States last January, according to a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP).

The CBP added that in the first four months of fiscal year 2024 – which began on 1 October 2023 – 86,139 Cubans have arrived in the United States.

Since the beginning of this year, Cubans have also been returned on commercial flights from the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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 US Criticizes the ‘Outrageous’ Sentences Imposed on the Nuevitas Protesters in Cuba

Undersecretary Brian A. Nichols pointed out that the incident is evidence of the “continued repression of the Cuban Government.”

The trial of those who took to the streets in Nuevitas has once again put the severity of the Island’s courts in focus / X

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 April 2024 — The Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, Brian A. Nichols, described this Monday as “outrageous” the sentences imposed by the Cuban courts on those who demonstrated in Nuevitas, Camagüey, in August 2022. In his account on X, the senior official denounces the ’inconceivable’ and ’continued repression by the Cuban government” against those who “struggle for their rights and basic needs.”

This week, the Provincial Court of Camagüey sentenced 13 Cubans to prison sentences between 4 and 15 years for going out to peacefully protest in the streets of Nuevitas. At that time, the Island was going through one of the peak moments of its energy crisis, fueled by shortages, heat and long blackouts.

Nichols, who published his post on the matter in English and Spanish, alluded to the severity of the sentence, which he described as “harsh.” The Cuban Government has not yet responded to the high official nor has it summoned the US diplomatic staff in Havana to “ call their attention,” as happened last March, after the protests in the east of the country. Then, the Cuban Foreign Ministry blamed the United States for instigating the demonstrations in Santiago de Cuba and other cities. continue reading

Exemplary sentences against those who take to the streets are a common practice of the regime, but they intensified after 11 July 2021, when massive protests broke out to which Havana responded with police repression, arbitrary arrests and judicial punishments.

 Fray Pascual Claro Valladares “tried to hang herself” in the Cerámica Roja prison in Camagüey

The trial of those who took to the streets in Nuevitas has once again brought into focus the severity of the Island’s courts and the serious consequences, on a personal and family level, that they have brought for those involved. A dramatic example is that of Fray Pascual Claro Valladares, who “tried to hang herself” in the Cerámica Roja prison in Camagüey, after learning of her sentence. Her mother, Yanelis Valladares Jaime, also prosecuted for sedition, was acquitted “due to insufficient evidence.”

Mayelín Rodríguez, the young woman who broadcast the protests on Facebook, received the highest sentence, 15 years. The charges: “continued enemy propaganda” and “sedition.” For his part, José Armando Torrente, accused of the crimes of sedition, attack and resistance, was sentenced to 14 years. Jimmy Jhonson Agosto and Ediolvis Marin Mora, both found guilty of sedition and sabotage, will spend 13 years in prison.

The majority of those prosecuted were sentenced to 10 years in prison for sedition, the crime par excellence that was also used in the convictions of the protesters of 11 July 2021 (’11J’). Along with Fray Claro Valladares, this is the case of Davier Leyva Vélez, Keiler Velázquez Medina, Menkel de Jesús Menéndez Vargas, Frank Alberto Carreón Suárez and Lázaro Alejandro Pérez Agosto.

For his part, Yennis Artola del Sol received a sentence of 8 years in prison for “continued enemy propaganda,” and Wilker Álvarez Ramírez, a sentence of 4 years for concealment.

The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) issued a statement this Saturday in which it condemns “in the strongest terms” the resolution of this trial, which took place during two days in January.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

‘Propaganda Artist’ Tours Havana’s Agricultural Markets

On the eve of May 1, posters fill everything from state stalls to ’MSMEs’ connected to the regime

With a black marker and leaning on a weak cardboard, the “compañero” drew slogans / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 30 April 2024 — With a cap, backpack and the gestures of an artist, a “compañero” – it is not known if sent by the Party or the municipal government – ​​walked around the agricultural market on 17th and K, in Havana, on Tuesday morning. With a black marker and leaning on a flimsy piece of cardboard, he drew a slogan, “Long Live May 1!”, surrounded by flourishes and shading.

Without paying much attention to the “propaganda artist,” the campesinos in charge of selling took the posters and hung them in their sales stalls. The scene, which is repeated every year on the eve of May 1st — Workers’ Day — was reminiscent of the Czech politician Václav Havel’s mockery about daily life in a dictatorship: the guajiro uses the sign not because he cares about what it says, but because it is a talisman to scare away the inspectors.

Neither the fuel crisis nor the “war economy” have prevented the Government from planning a May 1st in style. The date, the parade – which will be attended by hundreds of foreign “guests” – and the barrage of propaganda are one of the trademarks of the Island’s regime, whose cameras record the event to show the world its supposed popular support. continue reading

In several MSMEs in the capital, as well as in private businesses or companies that can afford it, there are no squalid signs like those on 17th and K but rather colorful banners. Showing their adherence to the system that allows them to exist and marching in its support is also a guarantee of survival. For their part, the Propaganda offices of the Communist Party, dedicated to printing signs and flags for these dates, have orders “a flor de piel.”

Showing their adherence to the system that allows them to exist and march in its support is also a guarantee of survival / 14ymedio

The official press has made its usual display of preparations. In Havana, for example, no one will be able to park their car on any of the streets that lead to the so-called Anti-Imperialist Platform of the Plaza de la Revolución. In Sancti Spíritus, the Communist Party newspaper published maps and diagrams, so that no workplace would be missed during the “proletarian anniversary,” and promised “recreational and cultural activities” to entertain those who go to the parade.

Tomorrow, all the media repeat, the workers of Havana will “demand” two things: that the United States remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism and that it end the blockade. Raising wages or solving the chaos of the economy can wait.

____________

COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.