From the Gulag to the UMAP: Official History and the Control of Memory

Abel Sierra Madero, Hypermedia Magazine, 15 May  2020 — Yuri Brokhin, a Soviet filmmaker who defected in 1972 and settled in the United States, described his experience trying to purchase a Volga automobile in the late 1960s. In all of Voroshilovgrad, Ukraine, there were only twelve of these cars available for sale to the public, … Continue reading “From the Gulag to the UMAP: Official History and the Control of Memory”

UMAP: Selective Memory

Ernesto Hernández Busto, Penultimos Días, 13 September 2016 — It seems that in Cuba one can now talk about UMAP, the notorious Military Units to Aid Production (in Spanish: Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción), internment and forced labor camps where the Cuban government imprisoned homosexuals, the religious, intellectuals, dissidents and any other “suspicious … Continue reading “UMAP: Selective Memory”

Castro Regime Censors Blog Calling Raul Castro Responsible For UMAP* / Diario de Cuba

Diario de Cuba, Havana, 9 February 2016 — A blog on sexual diversity, Proyecto Arcoiris (Rainbow Project), housed in the government-run blogging platform Reflections, has been censored by the regime after addressing UMAP and publishing a text attributing the responsibility for it to Raul Castro, according to the Global Voices international network of bloggers. Those responsible for … Continue reading “Castro Regime Censors Blog Calling Raul Castro Responsible For UMAP* / Diario de Cuba”

Of UMAP* and Other Demons / Henry Constantin

UMAP: Citizens’ force used for the good of society. Brilliant initiative of military cadres. A common school, half in ruins, half with children in uniform, with its Cuban flag and signs on the walls. The boys talk among themselves, then look with curiosity at the stranger, who takes photos of enormous homeless sites behind the … Continue reading “Of UMAP* and Other Demons / Henry Constantin”

Truth and Memory Weekly Bulletin on UMAP / FELIX LUIS VIERA

FELIX LUIS VIERA I was the soldier UMAP 22 of the “Company” 1, the “Battalion” 23 of the Band 6, based at the Senado sugar mill, of the Military Staff of the UMAP, Military Unit 1015, with headquarters in the city of Camaguey. The day after I turned 46 I met the Sergeant Major Hector … Continue reading “Truth and Memory Weekly Bulletin on UMAP / FELIX LUIS VIERA”

Truth and Memory Weekly Bulletin on UMAP / HÉCTOR SANTIAGO

HECTOR SANTIAGO UMAP* was more terrible than what has been said, because they tried to change homosexual orientation through so-called scientific methods which, imported from the USSR, consisted of insulin injections and the application of electroshocks, interacting with images of naked men, on the one hand, and naked women on the other. So the images … Continue reading “Truth and Memory Weekly Bulletin on UMAP / HÉCTOR SANTIAGO”

21st Century Fascism and Cuba

14ymedio, Yunior García Aguilera, Madrid, 12 May 2022 — I will try to avoid falling into Godwin’s law, according to which, any discussion on the internet that is prolonged leads to the possibility that someone will call someone else a fascist, or compare them to Hitler and the Nazis. However, in the Cuban context a … Continue reading “21st Century Fascism and Cuba”

‘The Body Never Forgets’, an Essay on the Concentration Camps in Cuba

EFE (via 14ymedio), Jorge I. Pérez, Miami, 5 April 2022 — The forced labor camps in which, as in the Soviet gulag, dissidents, religious, homosexuals and artists were confined in the Cuba of the 1960s, left “a lot of pain and trauma” not yet healed, affirms the Cuban historian Abel Sierra Madero, who has just … Continue reading “‘The Body Never Forgets’, an Essay on the Concentration Camps in Cuba”

Cuban Intellectual Ambrosio Fornet, Who Baptized the’Five-Year Gray Years’, Dies

14ymedio, Havana, 5 April 2022 — The Cuban film writer and screenwriter Ambrosio Fornet Frutos died this Tuesday at the age of 90, the Casa de las Américas reported on its social networks. “His work constitutes a fundamental part of the nation’s culture, which he always defended,” the institution wrote, recalling that the intellectual was “one of its … Continue reading “Cuban Intellectual Ambrosio Fornet, Who Baptized the’Five-Year Gray Years’, Dies”

Silvio Rodriguez Continues With His Very Personal Process of ‘Rectification of Errors’

14ymedio, Madrid, 14 February 2022 — The “Revolutionary Offensive of 1968” has done a lot of damage to the Cuban people, according to Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez, who is once again critical of some aspects of Cuba’s historical and current ruling power in an interview with the Argentine news agency Télam. The troubadour affirms that the US … Continue reading “Silvio Rodriguez Continues With His Very Personal Process of ‘Rectification of Errors’”

The Honorable Allure of Censorship

“This house has to be torn down!” Drink, in ‘The night of the murderers’, by Pepe Triana 14ymedio, Madrid, Yunior García Aguilera, December 21 2021 — In 2013 I had the good fortune to meet one of the greatest Cuban playwrights of all time: José Triana. I found myself visiting London for the premiere of Feast, … Continue reading “The Honorable Allure of Censorship”

The Space and Time of Words

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 6 October 2021 — Something that I have never managed to do is pronounce two words at the same time. This “deficiency” has led me to understand how difficult it is to state two ideas simultaneously in a grammatical sentence. In this arduous struggle of half a century, I have also learned that … Continue reading “The Space and Time of Words”

Marrero, Fidel Castro and Nazareno: The Return of Moringa

14ymedio, Elias Amor Bravo, Economist, August 14, 2021 — More than a hundred references to “Fidel” swamp the official communist press on a day like today, his birthday. This blog will not be offering any remembrances or testimonials to the work of this communist dictator but, among the jumble of information we have found, one article … Continue reading “Marrero, Fidel Castro and Nazareno: The Return of Moringa”

Havana Auxiliary Bishop Alfredo Petit Vergel, Dies at 85

14ymedio, Havana, 8 August 2021 — The auxiliary bishop of Havana, Alfredo Petit Vergel, died this Saturday in the Cuban capital, at the age of 85, according to a note released by the San Julián De Los Güines parish. Born on July 24, 1936 in Havana, Petit studied at the College of the Brothers of the … Continue reading “Havana Auxiliary Bishop Alfredo Petit Vergel, Dies at 85”