Henry Constantin and Juan Lorenzo Holmann, Awarded Grand Prize for Press Freedom

Nicaraguan Juan Lorenzo Holmann (left) and Cuban Henry Constantín (right) were the two recipients of the Inter-American Press Association this year. (Confidential)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, 22October 2021 — On Thursday, the journalists Henry Constantín, from La Hora de Cuba, and Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, from La Prensa (Nicaragua), were officially awarded this Thursday with the Grand Prize for Press Freedom granted by the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA). The award had been announced earlier this month.

The awards to both, vice-presidents of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, are given in “recognition of all independent journalists from Cuba and Nicaragua who, despite the repression, continue to report courageously,” said the organization’s president, Jorge Canahuati, of the Opsa Group, of Honduras.

The head of the IAPA, an organization that this week celebrates its 77th General Assembly, noted that both journalists have been jailed and that it is the first time in decades that two regional vice presidents of the IAPA have been imprisoned at the same time, which reflects that independent journalism in these countries is going through one of its “darkest periods.”

Holmann, general manager of the newspaper La Prensa, has been imprisoned since August 14 of this year and the facilities of La Prensa were occupied and closed the day before by agents of the Government of Daniel Ortega.

Constantín Ferreiro, director of the magazine La Hora de Cuba , was imprisoned and held incommunicado for ten days after being arrested on July 11, the day of the massive social protests in Cuba, and together with two other journalists from that medium remained under house arrest until August 23. continue reading

Yesterday, the organization also announced its awards for Journalistic Excellence in 14 categories, which reflect a trend towards “collaborative journalism, which is becoming more and more relevant in the disclosure and reporting” of facts, as stated by the President of the IAPA Awards Commission, Leonor Mulero.

This year, the hemispheric body recognized in the caricature category the work George Floyd, by Leonardo Parra, from la Oreja Roja  (Colombia), on racial tensions in the United States; while in the category of news coverage on the internet, the winner was The Employment Crisis, a collaboration between Ojo Público, from Peru, together with La Silla Vacía and Pop Lab, from Mexico.

The news coverage award went to The Survivors , from La Silla Rota, from Mexico; while the Alejandro Miró Quesada Garland recognition of mobile news coverage was for the work Father’s Day, by Ariel Garofalo, of the Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo.

The Oliver F. Clarke chronicle award went to I returned walking to Venezuela, by Luis Guillermo Franquiz, from Prodavinci, Venezuela, while the human rights and community service award went to the work of Ojo Público, Chequeos en Lenguas: the original voices that are fighting lies in the Andes and the Amazon.

Three sweet potatoes, by Sadiel Mederos Bermúdez, from El Toque (Cuba), won the award in photography, and Vaccines against the coronavirus, world hope, from La Nación (Argentina), won for infographic.

In the opinion section, the award went to Media: the unbearable discomfort of ideas, by Ariel González, from El Universal (Mexico); in the data journalism category won Evolution of the pandemic in Argentina , from La Nación , and in journalism Chavismo Inc. , a collaboration of Connectas, Alianza Rebelde Investiga and Transparencia Venezuela triumphed in depth .

A water chief in the Mayan paradise, a collaboration of Connectas in alliance with Aristegui Noticias, Proceso, Ruido en la Red, Univision, Vice en Español and the support of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) was recognized with theRoberto Eisenmann Jr. journalism award on the environment.

In health journalism, the Emergency Department was the winnerLife and death in a waiting shift, from the editorial team of El Tiempo (Colombia); and the Pedro Joaquín Chamorro university journalism award the award went to Ciudadela de Paz: the story behind illegality, by Sophia Cortés Piñeros, Gabriela Arraut Navarro and Rodrigo Eduardo Falquéz Herrera, from the Colombian El Punto.

The 77th General Assembly of the IAPA, which this year was held again in virtual format, will celebrate the last of its four days on Friday with the approval of its reports on press freedom in the countries of the region, conclusions and resolutions.

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One Hundred Relatives of the 11 July Detainees in Cuba Request the Mediation of the Catholic Church

Repression of the political Police against demonstrators of the protests of July 11, 2021 in Havana. (Marcos Evora)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 12 October 2021 — A group of relatives of people detained and accused by the Cuban authorities after participating in the anti-government protests on July 11 on the island have asked the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba (COCC) to intercede for their release.

“We are addressing the ecclesiastical authorities to ask for their immediate and formal intervention in order to achieve the liberation of all Cubans who exercised the fundamental right to freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration,” says the text of the letter, released by the opposition forum Estado de Sats on their website.

The letter, which has so far collected a hundred signatures, urges the hierarchy of the Cuban Catholic Church to accompany them “in this urgent need to do justice, to do good, to defend that good is done as stated in the Social Doctrine of the Church.”

Three months after the peaceful protests of 11J in Cuba, “mothers, wives, daughters and relatives of those detained and persecuted, we express our deep complaints and concerns about the situation and state of our loved ones,” the signatories state. continue reading

In their petition, they allege that their relatives are imprisoned “for exercising the elementary right to peaceful demonstration” caused by “a long and acute general crisis facing our country” and which threw thousands of Cubans into the streets “to demand respect for their rights and freedom.”

Estado de Sats accompanied the publication of the letter with an invitation “to all the relatives of those arrested and accused of participating in the July 11 demonstrations to join their signatures and support for this necessary and legitimate request to the Church.”

It is worth recalling the role of the Catholic Church in the Black Spring of 2003, when 75 Cuban activists were sentenced to between 15 and 27 years under the Law for the Protection of National Independence and the Cuban Economy (known as the Gag Law).

Years later, the Church achieved the release of the prisoners who agreed to leave Cuba and an extra-criminal license for the 12 who refused to do so, as was the case of Marta Beatriz Roque and José Daniel Ferrer.

The unprecedented protests that broke out on June 11 resulted in a dead protester and a wave of arrests of hundreds of participants and the main leaders of activism on the island, such as José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, leader of the San Isidro Movement.

Various organizations have documented more than a thousand detainees and as reported by the authorities, 62 people have been tried, mostly for the crime of public disorder — 53 of the defendants charged — although there are also accusations of “contempt,” “resistance” or “instigation to commit a crime.” In San Antonio de los Baños, where the peaceful protests began, the Prosecutor’s Office asks  between 6 and 12 years in prison for the 17 people who are being tried.

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Cuban Artist Tania Bruguera Will Participate at the Freedom Forum in Miami

The Cuban activists and ’artivista’, Tania Bruguera. (Twitter)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 16 September 2021 — Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera will speak at the next Oslo Freedom Forum, which will be held in October in Miami with the Venezuelan opponent Leopoldo López and the Nicaraguan journalist and human rights activist Berta Valle, among other participants.

The organizing entity, Human Right Foundation (HRF), announced this Wednesday that Bruguera, one of the leaders of the 27N movement, made up of young artists who on November 27, 2020 gathered in front of the Cuban Ministry of Culture to ask for freedom of expression, joined the list of speakers.

Bruguera, a multidisciplinary artist who has shone through her performances and participated in events at the Tate Modern in London and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, was in Cuba when peaceful protests broke out on July 11.

The activist could not participate because, like many other artists, the Police did not allow her to leave her home on those days, but in August she signed a petition from more than 150 intellectuals to the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in favor of a change of political course and the end of the repression of “a people disgusted by the lack of freedoms.” continue reading

The Oslo Freedom Forum, which was not held last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, will take place in Miami on October 4-5.

In addition to Bruguera Leopoldo López will also take part. López was first a prisoner and then a refugee in the Spanish embassy in Caracas before fleeing to the European country. Also taking part will be Nerta Valle, activist, wife of Nicaraguan opposition politician Félix Maradiaga and on exile in the United States since 2019.

According to the Human Right Foundation, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni, who is in prison in his country after surviving a serious poisoning, will participate with a speech read by a representative.

The forum’s theme this year is “Truth Ignited.”

“This year we are amplifying the voices of those who tell the truth to power and awaken movements that seek justice and challenge authoritarian regimes,” said HRF when announcing this meeting in Miami.

Other confirmed participants are former Belarusian presidential candidate and opposition leader Svetlana Tijanóvskaya, Uighur Chinese minority activist Akida Pulat, Iraqi political cartoonist Ahmed Albasheer and Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard.

Also Burmese activist Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, psychiatrist and co-founder of refugee aid organization Humanity Crew Essam Daod, Eritrean activist Filmon Debru, Hong Kong activist Glacier Kwong, and Steve Jurvetson, co-founder of the venture capital fund Future Ventures.

The list is completed by Obianuju Catherine Udeh, aka DJ Switch, a Nigerian activist who is a DJ and musician, and Arthur Holland Michel, a Peruvian-born writer and researcher specializing in the military applications of artificial intelligence.

According to HRF, a human rights organization headquartered in Montreal, Canada, the forum’s program in Miami will include colloquia and lectures by activists, academic experts and politicians from around the world, as well as art installations and live musical performances.

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Cuba Hopes to Resume Normal School Classes in 2023

Ena Elsa Velázquez reiterated that normality must be recovered as vaccination of children and adolescents from 2 to 18 years of age progresses. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 8 September 2021 — Cuba aspires to go back to having its usual school period from September to July, complete and in person for the 2023-2024 academic year, an official source said this Tuesday.

The Cuban Minister of Education, Ena Elsa Velázquez, reiterated in a press conference that this normality must be recovered as the vaccination of children and adolescents from 2 to 18 years of age progresses with their own formulas of the Cuban vaccines Abdala, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus.

The notice had already been given by Velázquez last May, when she said: “We are going to have two atypical school years, with a shift in time resulting from covid-19. It is planned to resume the normal teaching calendar (September-July) for the course 2023/2024.”

The current 2020-2021 school period was resumed the day before throughout the country under the conditions of teleclasses and distance, after being interrupted in April 2020 when the first positive case of SARS-Cov-2 was confirmed.

Last fall, schools in the provinces least affected by the virus continue reading

resumed face-to-face classes, but the latest outbreak at the end of last year marked the return to distance education throughout the country.

Velázquez affirmed yesterday that the upcoming 2021-2022 course is scheduled for the end of February or the beginning of March next year.

She explained that hygiene measures such as the use of a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing will continue even while the vaccination campaign for the pediatric population is underway, which began on Friday and should end on November 15.

More than 70,000 children and adolescents have been infected in Cuba with the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, according to the island’s health authorities.

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Cuban Artist Hamlet Lavastida Has Now Been Held for 60 Days in Villa Marista

Lavastida “is not feeling well, he says he is under a lot of stress,” declared the poet Katherine Bisquet, partner of the visual artist.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio / EFE, Havana, August 25, 2021 — Lavastida “is not feeling well, he says he is under a lot of stress,” declared the poet Katherine Bisquet, partner of the visual artist. “I just spoke with Hamlet’s mother and she has requested psychological treatment.”

Bisquet said that “days ago Hamlet had asked his mother to send him pain relievers for his migraine attacks.”

Lavastida, declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, has now served 60 days in the maximum security prison in Havana known as Villa Marista, under the accusation of “instigation to commit a crime.” The artist has been denied a change of conditions of release and three appeals, Bisquet reported.

Given this, she held the Cuban regime responsible for any “physical or mental” damage that could occur to the graduate of the Higher Institute of Art: “What they do is totally illegal, typical of corrupt and despotic continue reading

systems. Freedom for Hamlet Lavastida now!” she posted.

The 38-year-old artist has been in custody since June 26. State Security has made it known that he is being investigated for a conversation in a private chat in the Telegram app of the opposition group of artists 27N (27th November), in which he proposed marking bank notes with logos of the San Isidro Group and 27N, an initiative that never materialized.

Known for his critical works, the Cuban Government considers that Lavastida “has been inciting and calling for civil disobedience actions on public roads, using social networks and direct influence on others,” according to the official website, Razones de Cuba.

Article 202.1 of the Cuban Criminal Code prescribes a penalty of “deprivation of liberty from three months to one year or a fine of 100 to 300 dollars” for instigation to commit a crime, which it defines as “publicly inciting commission of a crime.”

On this subject Bisquet warned: “The expression of an idea in private, even if it foreshadows the possible commission of a crime, cannot be sanctioned if it does not materialize. In criminal law that is called a preparatory act. As a general rule, preparatory acts are not punishable.”

Lavastida returned to the Island on June 20, after completing a residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien art gallery in Berlin and was arrested six days later. Upon learning of the artist’s situation, the German cultural institution spoke out and described him as a “recognized visual artist” and demanded that the Cuban authorities “immediately annul his imprisonment.”

For months activists and human rights organizations have denounced an increase in the repression of dissidents, especially those linked to the world of art and entertainment, whom they claim are routinely subjected to arrests, jailings, and confinements under house arrest.

This past July, the call for Lavastida’s release reached the Arco art fair in Madrid, where the collective performance The ticketing burning the street was held, an action that Lavastida proposed to do in Cuba, but  which never took place.

Those demands have been joined by international entities and institutions that have denounced the situation or expressed concern, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United States Government, and the European Parliament.

The Cuban government, for its part, considers critical voices as agents in the pay of the United States, who seek to subvert public order and overthrow the socialist system.

Translated by Tomás A.

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Cuban Police Blackmails Mothers by Detaining their Children if They Go Out on the Street

Women “are the driving force behind the demonstrations, since they are victims of a totalitarian government,” say the Ladies in White. (14yMedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 4 August 2021 — Institutional neglect and violence are two scourges that many Cuban women suffer, but not only this, they also cry out for democracy, freedom and human rights. It is something that is increasingly seen in citizen protests, as several organizations have accredited.

“When women in Cuba protest the social conditions they are suffering, they are also victims of institutional violence”, Elena Larrinaga, executive director of Red Femenina de Cuba [Cuban Women’s Network] points out to Efe in Madrid, which promotes the role of women as “agent of change” in the “peaceful” demonstrations in Cuba this past July 11th.

Cuba’s mentality continues to be “anchored in the past”, laments Larrinaga; suffering gender-based violence in the family is understood “as a scourge carried by all members, so it is not usually something that is discussed openly”.

According to legislative provisions, gender violence will be considered a crime starting in 2028, so Cuba is “the only country in the Western Hemisphere where it’s not criminalized,” she explains. Until then, the activist asserts, some 400 women will have died.

So far this year, at least 26 women have died violently at the hands of continue reading

their partners, according to this network, and during 2020 there were about 30, according to the #YoSíTeCreoCuba [I do believe you, Cuba] platform and Alas Tensas [Tense Wings] magazine.

The last ones, Daniela Cintra Martín, 23, and her mother, Liena Martín, 42, died on July 25th in a rural community of Villa Clara at the hands of Daniela’s former partner.

The threats they tell young people are: “be careful what you do, remember that this is going to have an impact on your family”. They don’t realize that families no longer care about repression

“Women have been working in Cuba for a long time to empower females in a civic way, and this movement has grown and will continue to do so,” Marthadela Tamayo, vice president of the Council for the Transition in Cuba, tells Efe from Cuba.

Women “are the driving force behind the demonstrations, since they are victims of a totalitarian government that does not take into account the physical, psychological and mistreatment they suffer”, María Cristina Labrada, a member of the Ladies in White, a pioneer group in the peaceful struggle for freedom, also denounces from Cuba.

Women are now the “instigators” of this new wave for freedom. “It was demonstrated in San Antonio de los Baños, when they got up to shout “It’s over, we want freedom and democracy!'” Tania García, a human rights defender, told the Spanish agency from Havana.

After the protests that arose on the island there is an “irreversible” social change, she points out. “They are no longer a minority of women opposed to the Cuban government, there aren’t that many subjected to the current Cuban system, these demonstrations are helping many realize that rights have been taken away from us and we must recover them”, says García.

At a high price, that is: “With great pain, mothers are seeing how their children, who have come out peacefully to defend something legitimate, freedom, are jailed in prisons and their whereabouts are not known”, says Larrinaga.

Various independent organizations have documented more than 700 detainees since the July 11th protests, including minors and missing persons, with the country plunged into a serious economic and health crisis due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

One of the ways that the Cuban government has to exert “pressure” on women is through their children, these activists denounce.

“The threats they make against young people are: “be careful what you do, remember that this is going to have an impact on your family. They don’t realize that families no longer care about repression”, because in Cuba “fear has changed sides,” says Larrinaga.

In addition to threatening the young children of the women who come out to demonstrate, they also take them from their homes. “They knock on the door, take the children, mothers cry and scream and they carry them away”, she denounces.

María Cristina Labrada denounces the same: “In schools, children are forced to repeat regime-prepared slogans to indoctrinate them.  Mothers who refuse to allow their children to repeat them are judged and threatened with taking their children from them.

Translated by Norma Whiting

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The New Address of the Cuban Embassy in Washington is Oswaldo Paya Way

Caption: Oswaldo Payá Way is in front of the Cuban embassy in Washington. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 3 August 2021 — U.S. Senators from both parties approved on Monday the naming of the Washington street in front of the Cuban Embassy in honor of the late Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012).

Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio said yesterday that the change pays “a tribute to the life and legacy of one of the island’s most important civic leaders who paid the ultimate price in defense of the democratic future.”

For Rosa María Payá, daughter of the deceased dissident, Oswaldo Payá Way will be “a permanent reminder of the urgency of stopping the regime’s impunity.”

“My father’s legacy lives on in the struggle for freedom and the rights of the Cuban people,” the activist told EFE when the project was presented. continue reading

The approval comes in the midst of the protests that have erupted in Cuba since July 11 against the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel and which have been echoed in various demonstrations of support around the world, especially in Miami and Washington.

“Following the historic protests led by Cuban Americans in front of the regime’s embassy in our nation’s capital last Monday, another symbol of the tenacity of the Cuban people in their quest for freedom will be etched for eternity,” Rubio added.

Payá founded the Christian Liberation Movement (MLC) in 1988 to promote democracy and civil liberties through peaceful resistance.

A decade later, the organization created the Varela Project, which sought to advance democratic reforms under a provision of the Cuban Constitution that allowed the public to introduce bills.

Changing the name of the street “is a small but significant step that will force all those who visit or write to the embassy to remember not only Payá, but all those who have challenged the cruelty and oppression of the Cuban communist government.”

Payá’s family has maintained that the car crash in which the opposition leader and dissident Harold Cepero died on July 22, 2012 was caused by agents of the Castro regime.

Payá and Cepero were traveling in a car that went off the road. The car was driven by the young Spanish conservative politician Ángel Carromero, who was sentenced to prison in Cuba for voluntary manslaughter, but was repatriated to serve his sentence in Spain, where he was released within a few days.

In 2012, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution honoring the life of the Cuban opposition leader and calling for an impartial investigation into his death.

Translated by: Hombre de Paz

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‘Che Guevara’ Park and Street Name Changed in Spain in Rejection of Repression of Cuba

From now on, the Che Guevara Park will be called Teresa Perales Park. (Google maps)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Zaragoza, 29 July 2021 — In Spain, the government of Zaragoza has approved, in an extraordinary session on Friday, that Che Guevara Street will, from now on, be called Ana María Suárez (a Zaragoza victim of the jihadist attack in Cambrils), while the park with the same name will bear the name of Paralympic athlete Teresa Perales.

The announcement was made during the debate on a motion of the People’s Party (PP) and Citizens (Cs), led by the government, to reject the Cuban regime’s repression against civil society demonstrations and to defend a transition towards democracy on the island.

The initiative has gone ahead with the vote of the PP, Cs, Vox and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) in response to the concern for human rights in Cuba and, in particular, the ABC correspondent Camila Acosta, who was released after five days detention and is in home confinement awaiting trial.

During the debate, councilor Alberto Cubero, general secretary of the Spanish Communist Party in Aragon, defended the Cuban regime as a demonstration that continue reading

“another world is possible,” and has presented the island as an example of a country in which there is no eviction, because the banks have no more power than the Government, in the face of the “dictatorship of capital” in the West.

“Go live in Cuba,” replied the mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, adding “not on vacation” but to stay and live, if he really believes that it is a “communist paradise.”

“When he loses a few kilos, he will return to Spain and will be convinced that it is the best country in the world,” he added.

Previously, the PP spokesperson, María Navarro, had reiterated that “all those who live in communist countries want to get out of them” and that everyone who does not defend human rights and democracy at all costs is not a democrat.

“No matter how much you don’t say dictatorship, there is a dictatorship in Cuba,” she remarked in response to the left of the vice mayor and spokesperson for Cs, Sara Fernández, who added that “they have remained in the symbolism and have closed their eyes to reality.”

From the PSOE, its spokesperson, Lola Ranera, has justified her rejection of most of the points of the motion because “you have to be respectful of the Cuban people”, who are carrying out their own transition and, consequently, you have to stand with them and not use them as a “political football.”

For her part, Amparo Bella (of the Podemos communist party) has urged not entering into the “partisan use” of human rights made by the “extreme right” and has defended the correction of Cuba’s democratic deficits as the only viable and peaceful solution to the conflict.

“How easy it is to be a communist in a free country and how difficult it is to be free in a communist country!” Said Vox spokesman Julio Calvo, who said that he is ashamed to see how the Spanish “far left” parties position themselves in favor of the Cuban regime.

Likewise, the government team has given the green light to the renaming of Pedro Lázaro and Agustina Simón streets, in compliance with the Democratic Memory Law of Aragon, although the Francoist names of 12 other streets remain unchanged.

On July 25, a group of young people from the university group Alternative, from the Faculty of Political Sciences of the National University of Rosario, in Buenos Aires, demanded the revocation of the title of “illustrious citizen” of Rosario to ’Che’ Guevara, and through the citizengo.org platform published: “Out with the dictator Che Guevara from the City of Rosario.”

The petition was addressed to the mayor of the city of Rosario, Pablo Javkin, and the president of the Deliberative Council, María Eugenia Schmuck, and published on July 15. It already has 17,847 signatures, and states “Young people from Rosario support the fight for the freedom of the Cuban people.”

The promoters of the initiative note that while in Cuba “there is no free expression, basic goods are scarce and 51% of the population lives in poverty, in Argentina the authoritarian leaders who plunged Cuba into this chaos are honored and worshiped.”

For this reason they ask the political class for honesty and coherence and demand the revocation of the title of “Illustrious Citizen,” granted in 2003 by the Deliberative Council of Rosario, to a person who facilitated the arrival to power of the Castros. In addition, the ask for renaming the Plaza del Che with a name voted on by the Rosario citizenship. “Also, we request the removal of the Guevarist mural from the Plaza de la Cooperación.”

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Cuba Registers Highest Number of Daily Covid Cases: 9,323

Havana concentrated most of the positive cases for SARS-Cov-2 with 1,583. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 28 July 2021 — Cuba registered 9,323 cases of Covid-19 this Wednesday, the highest number of confirmed cases in a day since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, according to the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap).

The previous record was from Sunday, when 8,854 SARS-Cov-2 positives were reported in one day.

Health authorities reported today that 68 people died from complications arising from the disease, for a total of 2,560 deaths so far. The total number of infections now amounts to 358,378.

To diagnose today’s patients, of which 19 cases were imported, 51,209 samples were analyzed, according to Minsap. continue reading

There are 84,684 people are admitted to hospitals and isolation centers: 43,593 active cases — 149 critical and 201 serious — plus 37,459 with suspicious symptoms and the rest under epidemiological surveillance.

Most of the cases are concentrated in Havana with 1,583, followed by the western province of Matanzas (1,314) and the eastern province of Guantánamo (936).

In risk areas, including the capital, a health intervention study of the two most advanced formulas of the five vaccines developed by Cuba against the coronavirus is being developed: Abdala and Soberana 02.

The first of these is already a vaccine, the first Latin American anti-Covid vaccine, upon receiving authorization for emergency use after showing an efficacy of 92.2% in clinical trials.

Soberana 02, meanwhile, awaits that authorization by showing an efficacy of 91.2% with a scheme of two doses and an extra of Soberana Plus, another of the compounds that scientists on the island are investigating.

More than 3 million Cubans, out of a population of 11.2 million, have at least one dose of these formulas after clinical trials and intervention studies carried out at the same time as the healthcare one.

Cuba has not purchased vaccines on the international market, nor is it part of the WHO Covax mechanism created for low- and middle-income countries to access them.

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Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and the United States, Among More Than 20 Countries That Condemn Mass Arrests in Cuba

The signatories urged the Cuban Government to respect “the rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, guaranteed by law, without fear of arrest or detention.” (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE / 14ymedio, Washington, July 26, 2021 — The governments of 21 countries, including the United States and five Latin American nations, condemned on Monday the “mass arrests and detentions” of protesters in Cuba and demanded respect for human rights on the island.

The declaration was signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Ecuador, the United States, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland and Ukraine.

The statement recounts that on July 11, “tens of thousands of Cuban citizens participated in demonstrations throughout the country in protest against the deterioration of living conditions and to demand changes,” and denounces that in the face of these marches “the Government responded with violence.”

The ministers of the countries named above also stressed continue reading

that the protesters “exercised the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

That is why they exhorted the Government of Cuba to respect “the rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, guaranteed by law, without fear of arrest or detention.”

“We urge the Cuban government to release those detained for exercising their rights to peaceful protest,” the statement added. “We ask for freedom of the press and the full restoration of internet access.”

The largest protests in more than six decades occurred with the country mired in a serious economic and health crisis, with the pandemic out of control, and severe shortages of food, medicine, and other basic products, in addition to long power outages, which drove Cubans to take to the streets to criticize their government.

Cuban authorities insist on blaming the United States for both the demonstrations and the extreme shortages that the country suffers.

Translated by Tomás A.

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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.

They March in Madrid for Freedom in Cuba and Spain’s People’s Party Joins the Demand

Of course Cuba is a dictatorship, said the president of the PP (Partido Popular / People’s Party) Pablo Casado Blanco. (@pablocasado_)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Madrid, July 25, 2021 — With the slogan “The hour of freedom has arrived. If Cuba is in the street, we are too”, the March for Cuba was held this Sunday from the Plaza de Cibeles to the Plaza de Callao Madrid.

Among the participants were the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Gauidó and the president of the Popular Party, Pablo Casado, who through his Twitter account declared: “Of course Cuba is a dictatorship” and made it clear that his attendance was to “support #SOSCuba and Yotuel,” one of the composers and performers of ’Patria y Vida,’ the soundtrack of social protests in Cuba.” We are here, he said, “to seek democracy and freedom for the Cuban people.”

As a show of support, the People’s Party will present in the municipalities of the autonomous community motions of support to the Cuban people to demand that the Cuban government end the “repression” of its population.

While the regional secretary of the party, María José González Revuelta, in statements to the Europa Press agency expressed her concern about the human rights situation on the island and continue reading

rejected Miguel Díaz-Canel’s “call to combat,” she also asked for the cessation of “unjustified” violence and “arbitrary” detentions; She also joined the “call” of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to guarantee human rights, in particular the right to protest.

Also, the actor Yotuel had organized another subsequent march in a nearby area, also in the center of Madrid; but through a video he communicated that it was disbanded. He encouraged both the Spanish “freedom lovers” and the Cubans in Spain to join the earlier march to “defend the rights of the young people who are being massacred in Cuba.”

The singer, front man of the group Orishas, has supported from Miami, where a good part of the Cuban exile is concentrated, the social protests that broke out in Cuba on July 11, shouting “freedom.”

Different organizations have denounced the repression of the protests by the Cuban authorities, with hundreds of detained and disappeared, while Justicia de Cuba [a government organ] has claimed that so far there have only been 19 judicial proceedings involving 59 people and has denied that there have been summary trials.

Translated by Tomás A.

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At the Youth Music Awards, ‘Freedom’ for Cuba was Loudly Heard

The Puerto Rican singer Farruko during his performance at the Premios Juventud, this Thursday in Miami. (Capture)

14ymedio biggerEFE / 14ymedio, Miami, July 23, 2021 — The 2021 Premios Juventud (Youth Awards) ceremony, this Thursday in Miami, was marked by the call from Cuban artists about the situation that exists on the island after the protests unleashed on July 11th in dozens of cities.

To the shout of “Viva Cuba libre” (Long Live Free Cuba) by Emilio Estefan and Pitbull, the singers Joncien, Lena, Malena Burke and Yailenys Pérez performed Libertad (Freedom), while Gente de Zona and Yotuel Romero offered a special version of Patria y Vida (Homeland and Life), the theme that has been turned into an anthem for those, inside and outside the island, who call for the fall of the Castro regime.

Earlier, a message had been transmitted from Cuban artist Camila Cabello, wearing a T-shirt that read “Patria y vida,” who made an appeal in Spanish to American and Latin American youth to support protesters in Cuba.

“I feel very proud of my Cuban blood and even prouder of those who have taken to the streets to lead the change, despite the repression, despite the fear. Let us unite our voices with theirs, Patria y Vida!” Cabello said.

Previously, the Puerto Rican artist Farruko had come on stage wearing a T-shirt that read “Miguel Díaz-Canel singao” (motherfucker), an insult widely used continue reading

these days to refer to the Cuban president.
But one of the most emotional moments of the gala was when the audience at the Watsco Center welcomed Venezuelan artist Chyno Miranda, who appeared for the first time on television after more than a year fighting severe health problems.

The moment also marked the return of the Venezuelan duet Chyno and Nacho after their separation in 2017. The artists performed a medley of their greatest hits such as Mi Niña Bonita and Andas En Mi Cabeza, and later they sang Queriendote, the new single from their new album.

Miranda, who was always a great dancer, had serious movement difficulties due to peripheral neuropathy and encephalitis that he suffered as a result of his covid-19 infection in March 2020.

The night’s guest of honor was Puerto Rican reggaeton performer Daddy Yankee, who received the “agent of change” award for his fight against child hunger, as well as his help to families affected by the onslaught of Hurricane María.

The Colombian artist Karol G won six Juventud prizes out of the twelve awards to which she was nominated, the same number as her compatriot Camilo was nominated for, but he won none.

The interpreter of “Bichota and 200 cups” won the awards for “young female artist”, “the catchiest ” and “the most trendy”, among others, while Bad Bunny followed closely, with five awards, including two most coveted, “album of the year” and “song of the year.”

From Mexico, Grupo Firme finished with four awards, while Natti Natasha received three, and Becky G and Los Dos Carnales took two each.

Other artists who left the Watsco Center in Miami happy tonight were Puerto Ricans Jhay Wheeler and Franchesca, who were recognized as the best new artists.

In previous years, the songs performed at Premios Juventud were traditionally the most popular of the moment. However, the absence of concert tours in Latin America seemed to stimulate artists to present new music on stage.

During the ceremony, mention was also made of the collapse of the residential building in Surfside, Florida, where about a hundred people died this month, and the use of masks and vaccination against Covid-19 was urged, because it was a night in which music was not detached from the problems of these times.

Translated by Tomás A.

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On Hunger Strike, Chess Player Arian Gonzalez, Imprisoned After Cuban Protests

González was transferred to the prison at La Pendiente station, in Villa Clara, from the Camajuaní police station. (Facebook)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2021 — The Spanish-Cuban Grandmaster Arián González, who is also a lawyer, has been on a hunger strike for three days and will continue “as long as his health allows it,” after being imprisoned for participating in the massive anti- government protests on July 11 in Cuba.

“He is strong in his decision,” the chess player’s 32-year-old girlfriend, also a lawyer, confirmed to Efe. González has been under arrest for a week for the crimes of “public disorder” and “incitement to the masses,” which Cuban legislation punishes with penalties of three months to one year in prison.

González is currently in La Pendiente prison, in the province of Villa Clara, awaiting trial. He was transferred there from the Camajuaní Police Station, where he was held for several days.

His partner expressed concern for the Grandmaster’s health, although so far she has not continue reading

seen him “very physically worn out.” The lawyer resides in the Spanish town of Orense and traveled to Cuba in early July to care for his diabetic mother.

“We are a very close family that will never leave you alone, whatever happens,” said the girlfriend, named Massiel, who thanked the other chess figures for their support.

Regarding the next step, he commented that González’s lawyer “will do everything possible to get a visit approved as soon as possible.”

This same Tuesday, the Grandmaster Leinier Domínguez came out in defense of González, describing his colleague as a “good and decent man.” In his publication, Domínguez attacked the Government of Cuba, which he calls “macabre.”

At the moment, different groups and entities have expressed their concern about the situation of the chess player, while in the embassy and the consulate general of Spain in Havana they affirm that they are limited as they are a person who has dual nationality.

Cuban law does not recognize dual nationality for those born on the island, who for all intents and purposes are considered Cubans only within the national territory.

In the absence of official data, activists have documented more than 500 detainees since the July 11 protests in Cuba, including several minors, while religious organizations assist relatives of those arrested and bring to light harsh testimonies of people freed in past days.

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The Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba Pleads for Non-Violent Resolution of Differences

Dionisio García, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, during his homily this Sunday. (Capture)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 19 July 2021 — In his Sunday homily, Dionisio García – archbishop of the easternmost diocese of Santiago de Cuba – pleaded for the resolution of differences on the Island through peaceful means, and “never with violence and intolerance.”

“In the midst of the difficulties, the protests, the demonstrations of recent days, and because of the arrests that have been made, the repressions, the Church wants to intercede for all Cubans, for all of Cuba,” said García during his first mass following the antigovernment protests that shook various localities of the Island a week ago.

Speaking in the National Shrine of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint, the prelate said that the petitionary prayers that Sunday are “above all, that there be no violence, that the logical differences that may exist in each people may be resolved through dialogue, mercy and forgiveness, and never with violence and intolerance.”

The Archbishop of Santiago recalled that the Cuban Catholic hierarchy has advocated for the need to realize “changes that will give hope and trust to our people, who need to feel respected whenever they wish to express how they feel and view continue reading

our realities.” He also referred to changes that would help the people of the Island “to plan a better future and the wellbeing of their families, and that this may result in the wellbeing of the nation.”

García, a member of the permanent committee of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba (COCC), also prayed that in the current public health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, patients and the medical personnel who attend to them may have the resources they need. He emphasized the responsibility of all in the face of this situation.

Early this week, the Catholic Church in Cuba defended the right of thousands of people who took to the streets of the Island to express their displeasure with the deterioration of the economic and social situation during the unrest of last Sunday and Monday, which left one dead, several wounded, and a hundred arrested*.

In a statement, the COCC warned that “violence begets violence, the aggression of today opens wounds and feeds grudges for tomorrow that will take much work to overcome.”

Along those lines, the bishops invited “all to not energize this crisis, but rather with serenity of spir and good faith, promote listening, understanding and the attitude of tolerance, to consider and respect the other, so that together we may find ways toward a just and adequate solution.”

Pope Francis, this past Sunday, expressed his concern over the “difficult moments” that Cuba is undergoing because of the protests and called for “dialogue and solidarity” in that country, following his recitation of the Ángelus from his window at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

“I am close to the dear Cuban people in these difficult moments — in particular the families, who suffer the most. I pray to the Lord to help build in peace, dialogue and solidarity a society that is ever more just and fraternal,” said the pontiff, who has on two occasions (2015 and 2016) visited the Island.

The protests of last Sunday (July 11), the most extreme that have been documented in Cuba in the last six decades, occurred while the country is submerged in a grave economic and public health situation unleashed by Covid infections, along with a severe shortage of food, medicines and other basic necessities, in addition to long-lasting power blackouts.

*Translator’s note: Much higher numbers of arrests were reported by others.

Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison 

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European Union Asks the Cuban Government to ‘Allow’ and ‘Listen’ to the Protesters

Protesters this July 11 in front of the Cuban Capitol, in Havana. (EFE / Ernesto Mastrascusa)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio) – The High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, urged Cuban authorities on Monday to “allow” peaceful protest demonstrations and to “listen” to their participants.

“I want to ask the government to allow these peaceful demonstrations and listen to the demonstrations of discontent from the protesters,” Borrell said at a press conference after a Council of EU Foreign Ministers.

The Spanish politician explained that the situation in Cuba was not on the Council’s agenda, since events on the island had been developing in the last hours.

“I have discussed with colleagues the news that was arriving from Cuba. As far as we know, there have been important demonstrations in a significant number of cities to protest the lack of medicines, the increase of those affected by Covid, and also protests in against the regime,” he said.

Borrell acknowledged that it has been a “manifestation of discontent that, as far as we know, has reached a dimension that continue reading

has not been known since 1994.”

He noted that there have been a “significant number of demonstrations and there has also been a response from law enforcement authorities that, for the moment, has not been been of a character that has produced particularly violent clashes, according to the news I have available.”

In any case, he asserted that “everything must be said very carefully and with much attention because events may change in the next few hours.”

“The issue has not been the subject of discussion but, certainly, I want to express the right of the Cuban people to express their opinions in a peaceful way,” he stressed.

According to European sources, Borrell mentioned the situation in Cuba in the Foreign Council “without elaborating”, “without commenting” and without evaluating “in a very descriptive” or “in depth” way.

The sources justified that the discussion of the protests in Cuba had not gone further in this meeting of Foreign Ministers due to the fact that it is an “ongoing” situation and, therefore, it is “premature” to pronounce on the matter.

This “political-social” process must see “if it is prolonged or acquires a more consistent appearance” in order to be able to analyze the situation on the island with greater perspective, according to the sources.

The United Nations, for its part, said on Monday that it is following the development of the protests in Cuba and stressed the need for the authorities to fully respect the freedom of expression and assembly of citizens.

“We are simply monitoring what happens and … we want to make sure that the basic rights of the people, especially freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly, are respected,” said spokesman Farhan Haq when asked about it in a press conference.

Haq stressed that, in the face of these protests, the United Nations maintains its “position of principle” on the importance of respecting these fundamental freedoms and said that he hopes that will be the case in Cuba.

Asked about the alleged attacks suffered by journalists, including a photographer for the AP agency, the spokesman for the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, stressed that “anywhere in the world the press must be free to do their work without harassment and without violence or threats of violence. ”

Translated by Tomás A.

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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.