First State-run 3d Movie Theater Opens in Santa Clara / Yoel Espinosa Medrano

PB080051-300x225SANTA CLARA, Cuba 8 de noviembre de 2013, Yoel Espinosa Medrano/– The first State-owned 3D movie room, in Villa Clara province, began operations on 8 November, after government authorities announced the closure of these kinds of theaters operated by the self-employed.

The room is located in the Provincial Film Center (CPC) on Luis Esteves Street in that city. The capacity does not exceed 20 seats. Showings are from 12:00 AM to 12:00 PM, with Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00 AM with children’s shows. Admission is 5 Cuban pesos (about 20¢ US), and 10 Cuban pesos for adults.

Edey Mora Mora, director of the CPC, reported on the local radio station, CMHW, that the investment was made by the State company RTV Commercial and its production arm, Videos 4 Caminos.

With regards to private video rooms, the functionary said, “The private spaces were closed because in Cuba only State institutions directed by the Cuban Film Industry are allowed to air audiovisual programs.

Mora Mora said that they are working to rescue other rooms that are in back technical and physical condition.

On the province’s main theater, the “Camilo Cienfuegos,” currently with technical problems, located in Caro Leoncio Vidal Park, will be a multipurpose room with a capacity of 100 to show 3D films.

 Yoel Espinosa Medrano

Cubanet, 8 November 2013

Blackouts Wreak Havoc in Villa Clara / Yoel Espinosa Medrano

SANTA CLARA, Cuba, October 9, 2013, Yoel Espinosa Medrano / Blackouts of up to ten hours a day have been seriously affecting residents in the province of Villa Clara for several weeks now. Electricity is the main choice for cooking.

Last week in Santa Clara about 200 people in the Condado neighborhood went out into the street at night in front of their homes and launched a spontaneous “pot banging protest.” Fifteen minutes later electricity was restored.

“I do not know what is happening at the Electric Company, the blackouts are more prolonged and continuous, they have three different circuits and they aren’t making repairs on any of them or maintaining the power lines, but there’s no power between 8:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the evening,” said Guillermo del Sol Perez, a resident of 3rd Street and Circunvalación in the Brisas del Oeste neighborhood in Santa Clara.

Utility officials announce the daily blackouts on the local radio, saying that the service is down for maintenance. They also interrupt the service intermittently for periods of 30-60 minutes in the morning or evening hours.

In the offices of the Commercial Department of the Electric Company, the damage to domestic equipment reportedly exceeds two thousand, because of service irregularities, according to a worker who requested anonymity.

“This is the worst, they turn off the power in the early morning and don’t turn it on again until dusk; the most affected are those of us with children crying from hunger and we have no way to heat even a glass of milk,” said Dania Conception mother of two children living on 1st Street in the La Vigia neighborhood, also in the provincial capital.

In most nuclear families, accounting for the number of members, they are given an emergency fuel reserve. Those who receive liquid gas are allowed 20 kg per 12 months, and for the rest they receive five liters of alcohol and some 15 liters of kerosene for the same period, through the ration book.

The blackouts paralyze work, state and private, as well as the preparation of snacks, lunch and dinner for thousands of students in regular schools and boarding schools.

Yoel Espinosa Medrano

From Cubanet, 9 October 2013

Maria is Disillusioned With Life, She Would Rather Die / Yoel Espinosa Medrano

María-y-Felinciano-en-su-vivienda-3-224x300SANTA CLARA, Cuba, October 9, 2013, Yoel Espinosa Medrano / María de la Cruz Martín Concepción is a lady of 65. She lives in the central province of Villa Clara, one of the territories with the highest rates of an aging population in Cuba. Relatives and neighbors are keeping and eye on her. She is determined to take her life if the situation in which she lives isn’t addressed.

She says she has lost the joy of living. Death has played with her on several occasions. She has had three heart attacks. She also suffers from Ischemic Heart Disease, Diabetic Neuropathy, Hypertension, among other conditions common to her age, exacerbated by poor diet.

Martin Concepcion is experiencing a crisis of diabetes and high blood pressure . She hasn’t bought the medicines to control her conditions for three months. Her drugs — Glibenclamide, Cartopril, Nitropental, Dipyridamole and others — cost about 100 Cuban pesos a month.

Fatally, General Raul Castro took 198 pesos (some 7 dollars) from the pension she receives from social assistance. To control her illnesses she drinks infusions made from medicinal plants, and also subsists on the charity of others who give her the occasional pill.

Her husband, Joseph Felinciano Fernandez, 72-years-old, nearly died of a bowel obstruction complicated by peritonitis recently. He earns a monthly pension of just over 200 Cuban pesos (about $7) .

Three years ago, a man driving a Russian brand Ural motorcycle with a sidecar hit the horse-drawn wagon Felinciano was driving and caused a skull fracture that affected his hearing. He also has an abdominal hernia.

The motorcycle driver was under the influence of alcohol and fled the scene. Eventually the police found him. The old man was in serious condition for several days in a hospital.

The trial for the accident was prearranged. The accused, the person who hit the back of the cart, had “patrons” and money. He got of scot-free and the old man was sentenced to pay a fine.

The couple’s home, located on Callejón del Salado S/N and Circunvalación, in the Brisas del Oeste neighborhood of Santa Clara, in Villa Clara province, is in deplorable condition.

An official of the Municipal Housing Authority, named Minerva, classified it as in a state of total collapse.

María and her husband now spend the night at the home of a daughter who has one room, a kitchen and bathroom. Also living there are her son-in-law, grandson and wife.

Raúl Fernández is a paramilitary who holds the position of Coordinator of the Area , a notorious organizer of mobs and a member of the so-called Rapid Response Brigades who generally take actions against human rights activists. He visited the shack and told the elderly couple they would get together the money for lumber for repairs.

María sent letters to the various levels of government and the Party in Villa Clara.

A gentleman who identified himself as delegate of the People’s Power in the area analyzed the housing situation and said they could not spend another minute in it because the roof might fall in at any moment. He also said they did not have ownership of the house, so they were classified as illegals, despite having lived there for over 20 years.

The official said that without title to the property they could not subsidize their housing repairs.

Meanwhile, María waited for a formal response. She herself won’t see the end to their odyssey because with poor nutrition and no medications, her heart can’t withstand another attack.

Yoel Espinosa Medrano

From Cubanet, 10 October 2013

Growing Presence of the Dengue Fever Mosquito in Santa Clara / Yoel Espinosa Medrano

SANTA CLARA, Cuba, October 1, 2013, Yoel Espinosa Medrano / This city has a total of 657 foci of the Aedes Aegypi mosquito, 133 more compared 20 days ago, according to official data.

Juan José Pulido, director of Public Health for the area, reported on provincial radio that the situation is alarming because the current infestation rate is 1.01% with a tendency to increase, and the target rate is 0.05%. It has been exacerbated by the hundreds of homes with multiple infected sites.

The mosquitoes flourish mostly in containers where people store water.

The official did not report on the number of people infected with dengue fever.

The most affected areas are Marta Abreu, Santa Clara and Nazareno. Meanwhile, in the Arnaldo Milian Castro Provincial Hospital and the José Luis Miranda Pediatric Hospital there are dozens of people in isolation rooms and a large number being treated in their homes, supervised by a physician and community nurse .

Unofficially it is known that at least 5 people have died from this cause, including a pregnant woman.

“In the city there is also an increase in outbreaks of diarrhea, caused mostly by water pollution due to failures, both in the supply networks and in the plumbing; septic dumping the street is also an area of ​​concern, although the local party and government have made ​​a great effort to solve it,” reported Juan José Pulido.

From Cubanet

1 October 2013

Vacationers Infected with Cholera in Caibarién, Cuba / Yoel Espinosa Medrano


SANTA CLARA, Cuba , September 3, 2013 , Yoel Espinosa Medrano / Two men and a woman are hospitalized in the Marta Abreu clinic in the Brisas del Oeste neighborhood, infected with cholera. Gilberto Caballero is one of the names of those infected; he is in serious condition. The outbreak began in the Caibarién Beach, in the north of the province.

Also, a one-year-old girl was admitted to the José Luis Miranda Children’s Hospital in the provincial capital. The patients had dehydration caused by vomiting, diarrhea and of the only weakness.

“Gilberto was very bad, now he’s stable, the three are in isolation under strict medical supervision; in a few days they will return to their homes; here we have all the conditions for treating these patients; we decided to move only the pediatric case,” said one polyclinic worker who requested anonymity.

The infected spent a week on a work-sponsored vacation on the beach in Caibarién. They stayed on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the only 3-story building, located on 3rd and Circunvalación, in the Brisas del Oeste neighborhood in Santa Clara. Right in front of the building the waterline is broken. It was repaired just three months ago but every time drinking water service comes, every five or six days, the precious liquid pours down the street.

Dogs and horses drink water from the opening. There are people who scrub motorcycles and bicycles in the water stream.

This area, west of the provincial capital, is on red alert due to the high prevalence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry dengue fever.

This Monday, workers were blocked from entering the 1st of May National Industry of Household Production (INPUD), where the infected work, to allow it to be sanitized and rule out any possible outbreak of cholera.

The INPUD cottages, the Mechanical Plant of the Ministry of Agriculture and the hotel of the Interior Ministry, located in the seaside resort of Caibarién, were closed until further notice. The work of clean up is also underway there.

Health and epidemiology officials banned the sale of liquids in private restaurants and food outlets, state and private, in the Brisas del Oeste neighborhood.

Public health and government authorities have not commented. The numbers of people infected with cholera and dengue fever are a secret.

The local media only issue calls to maintain proper health and hygiene measures to prevent disease outbreaks.

About the author
yoel-espinosa.thumbnail Yoel Espinosa Medrano, born Matanzas, October 1973. His parents were peasants and at the end of the 9th grade he began his studies in a school for English teachers, in Santa Clara, from which he graduated in 1992. In 1998 he earned his teaching license in the English Language. In 2005 he began working at the Villa Clara School for Social Workers, from which he was fired for not being politically reliable. In 2006, he took up independent journalism through the Cubanacán Press Agency, where he was later made Managing Editor.

From Cubanet
3 September 2013