Repression of Religious Minorities / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

The levels of intimidation and repression of religious freedom on the island are the highest since 1980, according to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, published in May 2012. Their report documents a total of forty religious freedom violations in different regions of Cuba and compares them to those from previous years. Benedict XVI’s visit to the … Continue reading “Repression of Religious Minorities / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada”

(PARTIAL SUMMARY) Wave of arrests and threats sweep across Cuba just hours before the visit of Pope Benedict. #PopeCuba

Site manager’s note: The information about the extensive repression leading up to the Pope’s visit is coming to us through Twitter, emails, Hablalo sin miedo (Speak without fear) and other routes, other than blog posts. Raul Garcia Jr., over at Pieces of the Island, has prepared an excellent summary of the most recent reports. Keep … Continue reading “(PARTIAL SUMMARY) Wave of arrests and threats sweep across Cuba just hours before the visit of Pope Benedict. #PopeCuba”

Cuba: For 53 years the paper supports everything they write / Angel Santiesteban

The most official newspaper, the voice of the only political party in Cuba, is cynical enough to publish an article entitled: “The dark side of democracy,” by the “journalist” and Bolivian university “professor,” national “Senator” for the Socialist Movement party (MAS), “former director”of the weekly “Here” and former candidate in 2002 for vice president of … Continue reading “Cuba: For 53 years the paper supports everything they write / Angel Santiesteban”

Independent Foreign Policy? / Fernando Dámaso

Photo Rebeca The issue of foreign policy has always been central for any state. All declare, unequivocally, that their foreign policy is independent. However, nothing is further from reality. Historically, the foreign policy of states has always been conditioned on economic, political, and ideological interests. These go beyond national frameworks and reach into neighboring states, … Continue reading “Independent Foreign Policy? / Fernando Dámaso”

Capitalism in Castro’s Island / Iván García

The Cuba of the 21st century is split in two. The islet of the gentleman and the atoll of the comrade. The keys of capitalism are recognizable. Neon lights, fresh paint, large windows and air conditioning. In its stores, hotels, cabarets, nightclubs, bars and restaurants charging in hard currency (with New York prices), its employees, … Continue reading “Capitalism in Castro’s Island / Iván García”

Old and Evil… Yes, but not Wise / Miriam Celaya

For Cubans, accustomed to living at such a slow pace that time seems to pass only through sheer inertia, as if we belonged to the dizzying world beyond our borders, that other dimension of this universe, recent weeks have begun to make a difference. The Cuban reality has become less apathetic and linear – the … Continue reading “Old and Evil… Yes, but not Wise / Miriam Celaya”


CINDERELLA AND THE PAINTER by YOANI SANCHEZ (TAKEN FROM VOCES 8) Cinderella, the tail of this torpid caiman, the westernmost point of a country that long ago ceased to call itself the West. That’s Pinar del Rio, a place that has remained in the memory of thousands of Havanans, where we spent our long stays … Continue reading “CINDERELLA AND THE PAINTER / Yoani Sánchez”

Chronicle of my Trip to London (Pt. I) / Pablo Pacheco

Photo taken by Amnesty International by Pablo Pacheco Avila The future is unpredictable and our day to day experiences prove this. Just a few months ago my life was being consumed in a jail cell of the Canaletas Prison in the province of Ciego de Avila. Meanwhile, in other corners of the world thousands of … Continue reading “Chronicle of my Trip to London (Pt. I) / Pablo Pacheco”

Cuba and Egypt, Similarities and Differences / Dimas Castellanos

The overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt has encouraged the idea that a similar event could occur in Cuba. That conclusion, based on similarities, doesn’t take into account the differences between the two scenarios. The governments of both countries emerged in the 50’s of last century, formed one-party systems, nationalized economies, and lacked or limited civil … Continue reading “Cuba and Egypt, Similarities and Differences / Dimas Castellanos”

Closed, for Cubans / Henry Constantín

There are regions in my country where I still cannot enter. At least not unless if I am loaded with official documents, authorizations, guarantees, and recommendation letters. An entire list can be made out of these things. I’m used to it: In Cuba, one can write – actually, those in power have already done so … Continue reading “Closed, for Cubans / Henry Constantín”

El Dorado and the 21st Century Left / Claudia Cadelo

Photo: Leandro Feal, from the series “Trying to live with swing.” My only certainty is that I am not a communist, the rest I’m not that sure about. I have trouble defining myself politically. It could be the result of having been born into a system different from the rest of the world — outside … Continue reading “El Dorado and the 21st Century Left / Claudia Cadelo”

Double Dealing

The Cuban revolution ceased to exist in 1976. The death certificate was signed when they put into force a rigid constitution and institutionalized the country with a questionable political-administrative division. Farewell to the romantic phase of improvisation and a charisma-laden Fidel Castro, who in his uniform, travelled through fields and towns. And with a small … Continue reading “Double Dealing”

What Will be the Next Move?

Carrying out any sort of political analysis or political prediction in Cuba is almost like an Indiana Jones adventure.  The media does anything it can to misinform.  They barely extract any bit of information from those in power.  There is no way of getting any official statistics or facts. When one is an independent journalist … Continue reading “What Will be the Next Move?”

Che Yes, Barbie No

An apparently simple act, like decorating student dormitories with Barbie dolls and advertisements for capitalist consumer goods, has unleashed a mini-storm with the authorities on the island. Agustin Alfonso, age 20, a junior (3rd year) law student at the University of Havana, is the typical model of ideologist ambiguity who lives on the island at … Continue reading “Che Yes, Barbie No”

Cuban Dissidence: More Ego Than Talent

Even the president of the United States, Barack Obama, senses that the opposition on the island squanders its talents and energy in sordid and fruitless struggles. In response to the questionnaire sent by the blogger Yoani Sánchez, the American leader, among other aspects, commented that the Cuban opposition did not agree among itself. It’s true. … Continue reading “Cuban Dissidence: More Ego Than Talent”