Assaults Demonstrate Insecurity at University of Sciences University / Veizant Boloy

UCI_Cuba-300x168HAVANA, Cuba, November 12, 2013, Veizant Boloy / On November 4, at 10:30 PM, at the University of Information Sciences (UCI), located in the capital municipality of La Lisa, a group of more than several people, armed with a knife, threatened and beat a student, determined to take his laptop, according to information from workers there.

“A friend who was with the student at the time, had to give his cell phone to the criminals, in the face of their threats,” they said.

“They threw one of the guards on shift to the ground and were arguing with each other whether or not to kill him threatening him with a gun,” said a nurse who asked not to be identified. “Eventually they let him live,” she added.

Also, in UCI complex 1, a robber threatened a 4th year student of the faculty, named Manuel Ruiz Aguilera, a native of Marianao. He sustained injuries for not giving up his laptop and is recovering favorably.

There was a police operation, involving senior managers of the UCI and the Chief of the guards.

They managed to catch 8 suspects, in El Cano, a nearby neighborhood, which were located through a telephone call to the phone they had stolen. These citizens were armed and two of them wore shirts that said “UCI.” They had taken some laptops but the exact number could not be specified by any source.

According to some statements made by workers and neighbors of the place, the UCI is the target of numerous and constant thefts because of security weaknesses.

As a result, they’ve gone back to posting policemen to guard the surrounding area and promised that they will fence the perimeter.

In June last year, a theft of equipment theft occurred in the same place .

Veizant Boloy,
Cubanet, 12 November 2013

Human Rights Defender Kidnapped In His Home / Veizant Boloy

An act of repudiation in front of the house of Andrés Pérez Suárez, courtesy of the author.

Havana, Cuba, 11 October 2103, Veizant Boloy / Today, Friday, 11 October at 6:45 AM, Andres Perez Suarez, president of the opposition  group Commission for Assistance to Political Prisoners and Their Families (CAPPF, was arbitrarily arrested.  The arrest was carried out by the Department of State Security agent known as Camilo, supported by the police of patrol car no. 131.

“Now, Andres, things are complicated for you!” Camilo shouted, as he tried to enter the house by force, according to information received in a phone call by Regla Rios Casado, a Lady in White and Andres’ wife.

“He climbed over the fence, which is more than six feet high, and climbed on the roof looking for a way to get into the house,” said Rios Casado. “He told us he had a search warrant but what he showed was a an arrest order and they took him away.”

Also near Pérez Suárez’s house they arrested Mario Moraga Ramos and Roberto Ávalos Padrón, both CAPPF activists. In this operation the participating State Security agents were Leodan, Frank, and Captain Alejandro. According to agent Camilo, who hours later returned to threaten Rios Casado, Perez Suarex was taken to the police station at Infanta and Manglar in the capital municipality of Cerro.

From September to now, the government’s represssive forces have deployed operation and arrested Perez Suarez nd his wife to keep them from going to the Ladies in White march at Santa Rita Church, where they go every Sunday.

“Every time, after enduring harassment and beatings, we are abandoned to our fate,” commented Rios Casado. “The last time agent Camilo arrested me they took me without my shoes and without any money to a complicated place* called La Lechuga, in Melena del Sur. On that occasion a man and a woman, both police officers, dragged me out of the patrol car by my feet,” she concluded.

Regla Rios Casado and her family have suffered more than three acts of repudiation from last month to today.

Opponents have, on several occasions, denounced this practice through legal means. Based on the exercise of complaint and petition, provided for in Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic, and Article 26 of the rules themselves that recognize that “every person who suffers injury or damages unjustly caused by the officials and agents of the State exercising the functions of their job, have the right to demand and obtain corresponding reparations or indemnification in the manner established by law.”

The Attorney General of the Republic neither responds to complaints nor protects against them. Even though it is required to do so within 60 days of the violation.

More arrests today

We also learned that agent Camilo visited the Route 12 settlement of San Miguel del Padrón. Arrested there today were Yoeldy Boza Garrido, 24, and his father, Juan Bautista Boza, migrants to the capital from the province of Guantanamo. They live in appalling conditions, in a shack. Presumably, the reason for the detention was Yoeldy’s statements to Cubanet, in a video that shows the precariousness of their environment.

Veizant Boloy  —

*Translator’s note: It is now a common practice to arrest opponents, drive them to far off places, and simply abandon them there. This is part of the strategy of repression the opponents call “catch and release.”

From Cubanet, 11 October 2013

Continued Wave of Kidnapping Regime Opponents From Their Homes / Veizant Boloy

Agent Camilo, photo from Lilianne Ruiz
Agent Camilo, photo from Lilianne Ruiz

HAVANA, Cuba, October 12, 2013, Veizant Boloy / In the early morning hours of today at 5:00 am, the agents of the State Security forcibly entered the house of Regla Ríos Casado, Lady in White, to conduct a search. They simply mentioned that they had a search warrant but they did not show it to her.

They handcuffed Regla Ríos Casado, who was forcibly removed, along with Rolando Blanco Casado, Regla’s son, and Andrés Pérez Suárez, who are still being detained.

The whereabouts of Ríos Casado are still unknown.

In the kidnapping, they seized a still camera, a video camera, documents and El Nuevo Herald newspapers.

Raicel Rodríguez, Juan Bautista, Mario Moraga, all members of the Commission for Assistance to Political Prisoners (CAPPF), remain detained and unaccounted for. Their arrests were reported yesterday in this media release.

The most visible head of these arbitrary operations of the Cuban political police is called Officer Camilo. This Camilo is chief of the teams of repressors who act every Sunday against the Ladies in White.

What is becoming most common now is the kidnapping of peaceful opponents — especially women — and taking them to areas far from the provincial capitals, where they are dropped off abused and without shoes.

Veizant Boloy

From Cubanet 12 October 2013

First Woman Born With HIV in Cuba Lives in Misery / Veizant Boloy

Yudelsy García O’Connor

HAVANA, Cuba, September 2013 , Yudelsy García O’Connor was officially the first child born HIV-positive in the island. Today, and now a grown woman, she blames the Cuban government for the situation in which she lives. “They always showed me off to the world as an achievement of socialist health care,” she told this reporter.

According to the carrier of the virus, not having a legal address where she lives, they will not give her the special diet required for her health, because she has no ration card. She has tried in vain to persuade the [governmental] institutions to give her the adequate monitoring her condition warrants. “Stress is terrible for HIV patients, according to the doctors we quite often get depressed,” she said.

“Profoundly Impressed”

“On several occasions I have complained to all the state institutions in Mayabeque province, I have sent letters to the Council of State, directly to President Raul Castro and the Ministry of Public Health. The answer is always the same: We cannot help you,” said Garcia O`Connor.

Yudelsy was born in the province of Guantanamo in eastern Cuba. At age 5 she was transferred to the [HIV/AIDS] sanatorium in Santiago de las Vegas, in the municipality of Boyeros in the capital. Her father, Salvador García López, who was sent to war Angola where he contracted the dreaded disease died when his daughter was just seven years old.

IMG_1491-300x224In 2002, former Unites States president James Carter visited the sanatorium, and met her in person. She was 15 years old. She later told the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper how grateful she was to the Cuban doctors and the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.

“I decided to leave the sanatorium, at age 19, when my mother, Adoracelis O’Connor Figueredo, lost her battle with AIDS. I married another HIV patient. I wanted to start a normal life. Then the authorities abandoned me,” she added.

Today she is 27 and lives in Mayabeque province with her husband, in a house with wooden walls, damp with termites and a dirt floor, located in a rural area. “We eat what we can find in the day.”

By Veizant Boloy —

From Cubanet

9 September 2013

A Day’s Salary is Spent in Two Trips / Veizant Boloy

LA HABANA, Cuba, September, — With the 2013-2014 school year beginning, Havana’s public transport crisis is hard to overlook. Bus stops are already crowded with waiting passengers and the situation could become even worse in the coming weeks as students begin making increasing use of public transportation.

“After 2007, when the articulated buses came into service, the situation got a little better. Waiting time between buses was reduced to less than twenty minutes,” says Teresa, a route inspector in the Havana neighborhood Tenth of October. “But stops were still crowded and delays were longer than scheduled.”

On the Roundtable television show last July experts claimed the problem stemmed from the critical economic situation, which has led to almost half the buses serving the Cuban capital being idled.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, reported that at the last meeting of the Council of Ministers it was acknowledged that among the reasons fewer buses are in service are antiquated technology a shortage of spare parts, acts of vandalism and poor conditions in maintenance facilities and roadways.

The Havana Provincial Transport Agency announced that it will take steps to alleviate the situation. It has promised to reinforce inner-city public transportation along some routes in the capital. It is now providing the public with the well-known Russian-made “Giron” buses, which have survived three decades of marked decline in this sector. They will take the place of articulated and single-carriage buses made by the Chinese manufacturer Yutong.

Opinions indicate that transport workers and the average Cuban believe the island’s transportation system would benefit from a continued expansion of cooperatives beyond agricultural and into the urban transport sector. This includes cooperatives which would lease vehicles from the state as well as those that would offer technical assistance and vehicle repair services.

Guaguas* for five pesos

Examples of similar cooperatives are the so-called taxis ruteros. They offer more comfortable travel — some are even air-conditioned — for five pesos a ride.

Carlos, a laborer who works far from home, confesses, “I can’t afford this luxury. I have to make do with the one peso guagua. I make 315 pesos a month and, since I have to catch three guaguas to get to work, I have to watch what I spend.”

People like Carlos, who make barely ten pesos a day, cannot rely on the public transport system. If they want to avoid having what little they earn docked, they must get to work on time, which means leaving home up to three hours in advance.

In Cuba, public transport is a vital component in gauging the success of the “updating of the economic model” called for in the economic policy guidelines. This sector is almost completely funded through the state budget. This is the reason so many people blame the Cuban state for not meeting demand.

From Cubanet

September 3, 2013

Translator’s note: Pronounced wah-wah; Cuban slang for bus.

Antonio Rodiles Will Return to Miami This Tuesday / Estado de Sats, For Another Cuba

Antonio G. Rodiles en el lanzamiento de la Campaña Por otra Cuba en Miami este mayo
Antonio G. Rodiles at the launch of the “For Another Cuba” campaign in Miami this May

The renowned activist and Castro regime opponent Antonio G. Rodiles, director of the Estado de SATS movement (an independent and intellectual group that encourages the exchange of ideas) will visit the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at Casa Bacardi, 1531 Brescia Avenue at the University of Miami, Tuesday, 30 July 11:00 am to give a press conference.

Acompanying Rodiles at this press conference will be the attorneys Veizant Boloy González, member of the Organizing Committee of the Citizens’ Demand For Another Cuba and correspondent for Cubanet and Primavera de Cuba, and Amelia M. Rodriguez Cala, who has defended many political opponents.

This event is open to the public. If you wish to attend please call the Institute at 305-284-CUBA (2822).

“Being held” or illegally arrested? / Veizant Boloy #Cuba

1355868031_veizantBy Veizant Boloy

Last 24th September, Angel Moya, ex-prisoner of conscience of the Spring of 2003, and a group of activists, were arrested for three hours by police agents and the State Security, for having handed out copies of the petition Por otra Cuba (For a different Cuba).

According to Moya, the agents involved in the arrest told him he was not being arrested, but “temporarily held.”

“They didn’t take us to jail as they usually do,” commented Moya. But, can a Cuban citizen be “held”?

According to Spanish law, the ability to hold can only be exercised in relation to goods. It is defined as a means to assist someone to extend his possession of something by way of security. The counter-intelligence people, the political police in the island, in order to avoid any legal or civic constraints, use the status “held” to justify arbitrary arrest.

The term “hold” doesn’t exist in the criminal law process. The agents of the State Security and the police are not authorized to hold anybody, as this term does not exist in the criminal legislation.

The International Treaty of Civil and Political Rights, in Art. 9, First Part, establishes, and I quote: “Every individual has the right to liberty and personal security. No-one may be subject to detention or arbitrary arrest. No-one may be deprived of their liberty, except for reasons defined in law and by way of the relevant established procedure.”

Moya was not “held”, he was arbitrarily arrested, in breach of the precept of Art. 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by the Cuban state in 1948: “No-one may be arbitrarily arrested, nor imprisoned, nor exiled.”

Translated by GH

December 18 2012

The Consumer and His Rights / Veizant Boloy #Cuba

20-derecho consumidor

by Lic. Veizant Boloy

In shops in the capital where they sell things for foreign currency, they offered various food products and things for the home at reduced price, which pleased the people living there. Jams, packets of biscuits, boxes of caramel powder, packets of fried tomatoes, custard, alarm clocks, and other things costing no more than one CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso).

Both customers and retailers took advantage of the discounts and bought as much as they could afford. “This is a bargain,” said one of the retailers.

The vast numbers of customers didn’t spot the flaw. Some, who took the precaution of turning the product over to note the expiry date, read the information: best before the month of August 2012. Others didn’t notice this until they got home.

The shop assistants told them to try the products, but they wouldn’t accept any returns. The nonsense was that, in the case of the clocks, they didn’t have any batteries so you couldn’t try them. In various parts of Havana there are shops which are skilled in selling faulty products, but this wasn’t the case here. These products had passed their sell-by date and others were just useless.

Selling date-expired food to people constitutes a commercial and public health offence. The offence is the greater when most of the consumers of the jams are children.

The consumer’s rights are set out in the regulations issued by the public authorities intended to protect purchasers or users in the market of goods and services, which bestow and regulate certain rights and duties.

In spite of the fact that the consumer’s rights are not an independent branch of the law, fundamental aspects of the relationship between producers and consumers are to be found in Commercial Law, Civil Law; others in Administrative Law and also Procedural Law.

In Cuba, there are legal regulations which protect the purchaser’s rights, but they are not heeded. The inspectors look the other way. The people are on the whole unaware of their rights, and, in a time of scarcity, accept these infringements of their rights as consumers.

The best advice to Cuban consumers is to check before you buy. And insist on it.

Translated by GH

January 3 2013

Campaign for Another Cuba: Video #Cuba

This video is less than 4 minutes long.

OLPL Hosts ESTADO DE SATS for ANTONIO RODILES / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Translator’s note: The collaborators and supports of Antonio Rodiles and Estado de SATS have decided to hold an Estado de SATS every evening at 6:00 PM as long as Antonio is in jail, to demonstrate that the arrest of one man cannot shut down the project. Our apologies for not having a subtitled version — readers are encouraged to contribute to preparing one… the first step is to make a transcript in Spanish and email it to TranslatingCuba – at – THANK YOU! (Or feel free to translate it and subtitle it and send us a link to the subtitled video!)

November 16 2012

Our People’s Lawyers / Cuban Law Association, Wilfrido Vallin Almeida

Wilfrido Vallin Almeida

The news hits me because it’s so inconceivable: as he was trying to find out the situation of a person detained in Santiago de las Vegas, the young lawyer Veizant Boloy, of the Cuban Law Association, was arrested.

This arrest took place inside a police station. Veizant was handcuffed and locked in a cell as well. There are no charges; there is no Arrest Record; there is nothing. Now in Cuba not only are the lawyers who are not pro-government not allowed to inquire about an imprisoned person, but those who question and demand compliance with the law must be punished.

The officer, obviously irritated, told him:

“We no longer tolerate lawyers in police stations taking an interest in those who are detained.”

And in a different moment:

“For us you guys are not lawyers.”

For some time we have known the defenseless situation existing in Cuba regarding those who are detained and that we lawyers cannot be with them from the moment they are taken prisoners. We can only do it after a certain amount of time, when the police have already done what they deemed appropriate.

But this matter of not allowing us even to inquire about the situation of a person who is detained is the height of arbitrariness… but only to demonstrate to what extents goes the harassment of those for whom the laws were not written.

And that harassment results — I have no doubt — from the fact that many people are willing to inform other Cubans of the Citizens’ Demand that was delivered to the headquarters of the National Assembly of the People’s Power on June 20th of the current year.

That demand urges the government to ratify the UN Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which seems to be the last thing it wants in this world.

In acting in a repressive and violent way against what they themselves signed, those who do it show their true face to the international community… who observe what is happening not only in Syria or Africa.

Finally, whether they want it or not, those Covenants will be ratified and we will continue to work to that end, we who — although some may not like it — are OUR PEOPLE’S LAWYERS.

Translated by: Espirituana

September 24 2012

Disgraceful / Cuban Law Association – Veizánt Boloy

by Veizánt Boloy

The laws are used by some citizens today like waste paper. If we take as an example the acts of repudiation — where citizens gather and scream at and even physically attack their fellow citizens or their homes — surely they would change their minds. To those who by Law are allowed to engage in this type of act.

If we describe the acts that are undertaken and that enjoy immunity, we don’t think about murder, manslaughter or robbery, because these are addressed in our Cuban Penal Code. We refer to violations and crimes that emerge from these illicit acts.

These acts of repudiation are an illegal act and to maintain a permissive attitude towards them is intentional. The act of repudiation could entail multiple crimes, such as public disorder, injury, threats, violation of the home; all with a high social danger.

According to the text of the Constitution we are all obligated to remain in strict compliance with the law. Of course, if would be utopian and excessively confident to let the Governing Council of the People’s Supreme Court resolve this problem as long as it is not independent of the Executive Power.

If, indeed, in their role to administer justice and to ensure compliance with the law, the courts and prosecutors are those who allow these illicit and immoral actions to arise, and thus they confirm the suspicion of many that “the country is ungovernable.” With contempt for the law we ask a question: What is a country without laws?

The Organs of State Security belong to the Ministry of the Interior, which acts without impunity, sparing no expense. What happens is considered “collateral damage,” and in this way any injuries are justified.

The Cuban Penal Code in its first article defines as one of its objectives to contribute to developing in all citizens the conscience of respect for the law, of doing one’s duties, and of correctly observing the norms of coexistence.

In our criminal legislation there is no specific article that criminalizes this reprehensible act and hence the degrading acts against “the most dangerous for the Country,” are without an doubt the work of many in a country located on Mars.

As a starting point, we must internalize how difficult it is to create a true nation, with respect for the others, and forgetting all that visceral hatred for those who think differently. However, despite all the force of the government, every day the number of people who want change, but who out of fear don’t demand it, is growing.

August 18 2012

The Collapse / Cuban Law Association – Veizant Boloy

Veizant Boloy

Across the country, inhabited homes continue to collapse. The housing deficit and the bad conditions of housing in Cuba can be cataloged as a “chronicle of an announced collapse,” something inevitable because of the progressive deterioration of the constructions on the island.

There is no research process undertaken to investigate what is responsible for the collapses, much less a subsequent compensation to those injured. The performance of the search and rescue brigades is the only thing that improves, their catalog of irresponsibility of the residents or victims.

The parliamentarians in their last regular session did not prioritize a discussion of the topic.

In these times of cholera, Cuba is at the center of the hurricane and the edge of the sword before the world. The opinions about those who hold the reins of government are expressed. The guilty in the shade are those who lead and let it happen, and if this is so how blind are these minds.

The institutions behave impiously and the populace pays with its blood and its lives the price of being captive. It is alarming, those who are sheltered under the grim shadow of a system in ruins.

It’s obvious, half a century of delay in Decree Law 288, issued by the State Council, at the end of last year. The legal statute authorized and buying and selling of real estate, but it is still impossible. The poor Cuban people, with a salary of roughly $15 U.S. a month, cannot aspire to even a modest apartment.

The government recently gave birth to private subsidies through bank loans but over 50% of the requests are rejected. On the other hand, the speculation in and hoarding of construction materials have made it “mission impossible” to acquire the materials legally, as demand grows in sync with their disappearance.

According to Gladys Bejerano, Controller General of the Republic, stressed in the VII National Audit, the new guidance on self-regulation would be applied in the Construction sector; specifically with regards to the sale of materials and to the awarding bank loans and subsidies to individuals.

More can be done, over-population is an important factor to be taken into account in the marginalization. Cuba in general is flat, with large tracts of land unused in agriculture or housing construction. Several generations live in the same house.

A Christian friend sees this from a positive viewpoint: It’s good to keep the family together.

August 6 2012