Violence Against Women

Julieta Venegas’s voice echoes in the large room of the National Theater. She scales the heights, she dives into the soul. I am in a seat, in the dark, when the first notes sound. My eyes fixed on the stage. I have traversed the La Timba neighborhood from my house to get here, with dogs barking at me from the corners, and women in raggedy clothes watching out the windows. I have come to this place with my doubts, by progesterone, my fingernails so short they would be those on the hands of a teenager, dressed in my lack of femininity, my hair that resists the comb, my motherhood, my fierceness. I am I, with these ovaries that mark my biological clock and a son who any day now will make me a grandmother… I’d better prepare myself for the speed of life.

So I try to capture the rhythm of Venegas’ songs, repeating a refrain and snapping my fingers to mark the beat. The fight against domestic violence that she has taken up touches me closely, although I’ve never experienced family or matrimonial abuse first hand. But I know well the sullen, bruised, crestfallen faces that I see at every turn. In the elevator, in line for the bus, in this city where, despite its size, you bump into the same people again and again. I look at her eyes, which no longer meet mine out of shame and fear that her abuser will discover her call for help. But every inch of her skin, every scrap of her clothes say “Save me! Get me out of this situation!” I see the young girl in a tight dress, whose pimp follows her every step. A big woman with breasts grown larger from multiple births whose husband throws the plate from the table at her while shouting, “And is this all there is to eat?!” The secretary who makes up her face in front of the mirror thinking that if she pleases her boss at the end of the month she will get a bag with two pounds of chicken and some soap. The ballerina who converts a grimace into a gesture of pleasure after a kiss from some decrepit high mucketymuck, who promises her a better life.

And I look, between the end of one song by Julieta Venegas and the beginning of another, at the president of the University Students Federation (FEU) from the Economics Faculty. The same person who, last Saturday, in the Manuel Sanguily amphitheater at the University of Havana welcomed potential new students. To convince them to enroll in his specialty this boy said, “We have a lot of activities, Caribbean sports games, parties at the FEU beach club, and of course… the activities against the Ladies in White.” And I have been there in that auditorium, feeling an incredible sadness for this young man for whom going to insult women, preventing them from leaving their homes, screaming every kind of insult at them, is almost an entertainment. Two days later I found myself in the overstuffed seat at the National Theater confirming how the official discourse itself can incite and condone barbarism, inviting a talented artist to denounce domestic violence and – at the same time – crushing the song of freedom of so many women.

71 thoughts on “Violence Against Women

  1. Here’s a suggestion to the team “yoani”, the cia writers who write all this bullshift and delusional nonsense, and then pretend that some inept, incapable woman from Cuba is the author:

    Why not write about the positive changes in Cuba. Neutrally, at least, as the real journalists would do.

    Leave your presonal ideology in the crapper and try to write objectively.

    The latest changes to the Cuban penal system surely deserve a comment. After all, they seem to be very compatible with the (empty and senseless) words the team “yoani” regurgitates here ad-nauseam every day!!!

    And, surely again, that is something to look forward, no? The compatibility of your demands with the new changes in the penal code of Cuba.

    Or, will yo again only see the negatives (which will ne qite hard to find, if we judge by the draft of the law that will soon be submitted to a debate in the parliament).

  2. COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: 2012 prison census – 232 journalists jailed worldwide

    CUBA: 1
    Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, Centro de Información Hablemos Press – Imprisoned: September 16, 2012

    State security agents arrested Martínez Arias near José Martí International Airport in Havana where he was reporting on two tons of medicine and medical equipment that had been damaged, according to CPJ sources and news reports. Martínez Arias, a reporter with the independent news agency Centro de Información Hablemos Press, was taken to a police station in Havana where he was interrogated and beaten, Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, the organization’s director, told CPJ.

    According to Guerra Pérez, Martínez Arias was accused of contempt under Cuba’s archaic desacato or disrespect laws for shouting anti-Castro slogans after he was harassed by authorities. Article 144.1 of the Cuban criminal code establishes that those who threaten, defame, insult, or offend the dignity of a public official can be jailed for up to three years.

    On September 27, Martínez Arias was transferred to the Valle Grande Prison in the town of La Lisa, Havana province, Guerra Pérez told CPJ. The journalist began a hunger strike in November, according to Hablemos Press. Two people recently released from jail told Hablemos Press that Martínez Arias had been placed in solitary confinement.

    At the time of his arrest Martínez Arias was looking into reasons why a shipment of medicine and medical equipment reportedly donated by the World Health Organization had been left to go bad, according to Guerra Pérez and news reports.

    Martínez Arias, who has worked for the news agency since 2009, has reported on sensitive issues such as an outbreak of cholera in Granma province, according to CPJ sources and news reports. Prominent human rights activist Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz, president of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation in Havana, told CPJ that Martínez Arias was arrested for his journalistic work.

    Martínez Arias has often been harassed by authorities for his reporting, Guerra Pérez said. In 2011, CPJ documented a string of arrests of journalists from Centro de Información Hablemos Press, which prevented them from reporting on the Communist Party Congress.
    http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/2012.php

  3. AN ODE TO The Man!! POLLY WANTS A CRACKER, POLLY WANTS A CRACKER! JE JE JE!

    BELLINGHAM HERALD: Cuba cracks down on dissidents on Human Rights Day – By JUAN O. TAMAYO
    MIAMI — Cuban police have detained more than 100 dissidents and put another 100 to 150 under house arrest in an island-wide crackdown to block any gatherings marking International Human Rights Day on Monday, according to government opponents. Among those detained were about 80 members and supporters of the Ladies in White, including dozens who were reportedly carted off roughly during roundups in Havana and on their way to the Our Lady of Charity Basilica in the eastern town of El Cobre. Security agents also sealed off several homes in eastern Cuba to avert gatherings of dissidents to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, said Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, head of the opposition Cuban Patriotic Union. The U.S. government swiftly denounced the arrests, saying it was “deeply concerned by the Cuban government’s repeated use of arbitrary detention and violence to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and intimidate independent civil society.” “We call on the Cuban government to end” the arrests and violence “and we look forward to the day when all Cubans can freely express their ideas,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday.

    Cuban police and State Security agents usually round up scores of dissidents on or before Dec. 10 each year to keep them from staging any sort of events marking the day. The government critics are then released after a few hours or days.

    About 45 Ladies in White and 10 supporters were arrested in Havana following their traditional march outside the Santa Rita church after Sunday Mass, said Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

    The women usually are allowed to go home without incident after the marches, but this weekend were harassed by government agents. When they sat down in protest, police dragged them roughly to three waiting buses, Sanchez said. Most were released by Sunday night.

    Ferrer said another 34 Ladies in White and two young girls were detained, 16 of them “with violence,” over the weekend around eastern Cuba as they tried to make their way to El Cobre to pray for human rights. All had been freed as of noon Monday.

    Police intercepted three more at the gates to the church on Sunday and tried to seize two others already inside, Ferrer told The Miami Herald by phone from his home in the nearby town of Palmarito de Cauto. But a priest in the church protected the women and drove them home after the Mass.

    The Ladies in White, founded by the wives, daughters and mothers of political prisoners, was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2005. They wear white clothes and carry pink gladiolas during their marches.

    Another 20 male dissidents were taken into custody and held in police lockups around eastern Cuba over the weekend, Ferrer added. Four were confirmed to have been freed as of noon Monday but there was no word on the fate of the others.

    Sanchez added that police and state security agents also put between 100 and 150 dissidents under house arrest during the crackdown, but stressed that he was still receiving new reports of arrests and releases as of Monday evening.

    A blog widely believed to be run by State Security agents, Yohandry’s Blog, claimed that police were forced to drag away the Havana Ladies in White before civilians nearby could give them a “forceful reply” for “failing to respect the pain of the Cuban people” over the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    Chavez announced Saturday that he was returning to Cuba for a fourth round of surgery related to his fight with cancer. He arrived Monday.

    The opposition group Express Art for Freedom, meanwhile, announced a contest, open to island residents only, for the best Tweet regarding International Human Rights Day. The winner, who will pick from among a computer, a camera or a cellular telephone, will be announced after Dec. 23.

    And in Spain, two Cuban groups marched to the Cuban Embassy in Madrid on Sunday to protest the detentions and demand the release of Sonia Garros and Calixto Ramon Martinez, dissidents who have been jailed on the island for several weeks.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/10/2798688/cuba-cracks-down-on-dissidents.html

  4. BOSTON GLOBE: Cuba dissidents denounce wave of detentions

    HAVANA (AP) — Cuban dissidents accused authorities Monday of a wave of arrests to prevent them from gathering to mark International Human Rights Day.

    More than 100 government opponents were briefly detained and promptly sent back to their homes, human rights monitor Elizardo Sanchez said.

    ‘‘The saving grace is that (the arrests) are of short duration,’’ said Sanchez, who heads the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

    A leader of the group known as the Ladies in White said they were rounded up Sunday when they held their weekly protest march outside a Havana church.

    ‘‘They told us we were being provocative,’’ Alejandrina Garcia said by phone.

    Dissidents have no legal recognition in Cuba, which accuses its small community of vocal opponents of being traitors and ‘‘counterrevolutionaries’’ who accept foreign money to undermine the government.

    The U.S. State Department criticized what it called arbitrary detentions aimed at silencing criticism on the island.

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/caribbean/2012/12/10/cuba-dissidents-denounce-wave-detentions/0xqs2teuAhq7egD3mUZuEP/story.html

  5. TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE LIKE THE SONG GOES!

    HISPANIC BUSINESS.COM: Cuba Enforces New Law to Promote Food Production
    Dec 10, 2012

    A new Cuban law on land usufruct came into force on Sunday with the purpose of boosting the island country’s food production.

    Under the Decree-Law 300 and its accompanying regulations, designed to expand the delivery of state-owned idle land, beneficiaries are allowed to build housing and other production-related properties.

    Also, the legislation increases the limit of land given to each beneficiary from 40 to 67 hectares, while including forestry and fruit production in the allowed activities.

    In addition, food producers are expected to enjoy tax reductions or exemptions after a new tax law comes into effect in January.

    Cuba has an agricultural area of some 6.6 million hectares, and the idle land was estimated at 1.8 million hectares four years ago, when the government began its delivery in usufruct.

    According to the National Land Control Center, the island now still has 975,000 hectares of idle areas to deliver in usufruct, and 65 percent of them are infested with marabou, a thorny shrub very difficult to eradicate.

    The Cuban government considers food production as a strategic issue. The country spends $2 billion a year to import 80 percent of the food needed to meet domestic needs.

    http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2012/12/10/cuba_enforces_new_law_to_promote.htm

  6. FINANCIAL TIMES: Glimpsing the outline of a post-Chávez Venezuela – by John Paul Rathbone

    2013 may well be the year that biology trumps ideology – if not in attitudes to global warming (although perhaps that too) then in the increasing actuarial possibilities that both Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez will soon die.

    Fidel Castro, the father of the Latin American left, is 86 years old and infirm. Hugo Chávez, his ideological son, is only 58-years old (and with a body that still looks like “packed concrete,” as Gabriel García Márquez once put it). But the Venezuelan president’s cancer condition is worsening. After 14 years in power, Chávez even went so far this past weekend as to endorse a possible successor – his vice president Nicolas Maduro.

    Castro and Chávez are both great windbags, who like to monopolize national conversations. So their departure would, at the very least, mark a profound change in the air that perfumes regional politics. But beyond that? Fidel’s death would mark a major symbolic passing. But the post-Fidel Cuba that many have feared or hoped for over the past 50 years has already arrived. In case you hadn’t noticed, Fidel Castro stopped governing Cuba several years ago, when he handed the reins of power over to his brother, Raul. In that respect, an era has already ended.

    Chávez might wish he could hand over the reins of power as smoothly as Fidel Castro did. But Chávez faces a different set of historic conditions in Venezuela. Unlike the Castro brothers, who came to power as leaders of a popular armed rebellion, Chávez owes his legitimacy to the ballot box. And Venezuela’s new constitution, as approved by Chávez, requires fresh elections should he depart.

    “Chavismo”would face a far more uncertain future without the charismatic former tank commander at its head; it was always a highly personalised political project. How uncertain that future could be may be seen at regional elections next week. On December 16, voters will not be choosing their president, as they did in October when Chávez won presidential elections by a large margin, but rather governors and local councilmen. That is an important difference.

    Nor will Chávez, recuperating from surgery in Cuba, be campaigning alongside his party against the opposition this time either. The opposition has always struggled to maintain a united front. But Chavismo, without Chávez, may well struggle too. Indeed, whether it will now unite behind Maduro, the putative successor, will be a key test of the institutions that Chávez built while in power. A first glimpse of what a post-Chávez Venezuela might look like could come sooner than one might expect.

    blogs.ft.com/the-world/2012/12/glimpsing-the-outline-of-a-post-chavez-venezuela/?

  7. The Man! YOU HAVE YOUR PRIORITIES AND I HAVE MINE DEAR! GO AND COMPLAIN ABOUT IN A BLOG SUITED FOR THAT! AS A DIVERSIONARY TACTIC IS GETS REALLY OLD!

  8. @61… Ah yeah Humberto that’s the parrot peanuts I was talking about… Your are so full of them they make you desperate for Cuba to observe human rights…minus a small convenient detail called Guantanamo… isnt it?

    and if the sky is so clear in Venice bs beach, can you see any drones??? Or today they dont fly?

  9. INSTITUTE FOR WAR & PEACE REPORTING: Cuban Journalist Pressured to End Hunger Strike – Cuban authorities order water withheld from Calixto Martínez Arias. – By Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez – Dec 8, 2012

    Independent journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a reporter for the Hablemos Press Information Centre, has been on hunger strike for close to a month now.

    Martínez Arias was detained on September 16 near Cuba’s international airport in Havana while investigating allegations of a damaged shipment of medicines sent by the World Health Organisation.

    The authorities charged him with insulting President Raúl Castro and his brother Fidel Castro, the first leader of post-revolutionary Cuba. (See Cuban Journalist Faces Charge of Insulting Castros.)

    Martínez Arias, 42, began a hunger strike on November 10. At a meeting with his sister on November 30, he told her he planned to carry on, as a way of protesting against overcrowding in the jail, and also against having to wear prison uniform and being stripped of all of his belongings.

    The authorities at the Combinado del Este Prison, where Martínez Arias is being held, are refusing to disclose information on his health.

    A fellow inmate, who requested anonymity, said by phone that on December 7, State Security officers took Martínez Arias out of the punishment cell he was in and asked him to end his hunger strike.

    The prisoner said Martínez Arias told him afterwards that the officers were “from Villa Marista” – State Security headquarters.

    “They took him out to try to force him to end his hunger strike, [and show that] they won’t give in to pressure. But he made it clear that he would continue his strike because they had refused to offer him any kind of guarantees,” the inmate said. “When he returned to his cell, they denied him water in order to force him to end his strike.”

    Another prisoner confirmed the incident, saying he saw two officers in green uniforms with State Security insignia taking Martínez Arias out of his cell on December 6.

    He saw him the following morning, and Martínez Arias told him that “he was feeling weak, but wouldn’t give up his strike”.

    Speaking on December 6, Martínez Arias’s lawyer said he had still not been given access to the journalist’s records, despite having requested them on two occasions.

    In a statement issued on December 7, the Inter-American Press Association reiterated its demand for “the immediate release of the Cuban journalist… who has been imprisoned since September and has been on hunger strike for nearly a month in protest against the appalling conditions in which he is being held”.

    The president of the association’s committee for press freedom, Claudio Paolillo, said, “The Cuban government has a tendency to ignore local and international appeals against their deplorable human rights abuses. We cannot be silent in the face of constant violations.”

    The Hablemos Press Information Centre has set up a petition on the change.org website to win broad international solidarity for Martínez Arias’s case. It is asking President Castro and the official Union of Cuban Journalists to act to secure the journalist’s immediate release.

    Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez is an independent journalist and founder of the Hablemos Press news agency in Cuba.

    http://iwpr.net/report-news/cuban-journalist-pressured-end-hunger-strike

  10. IS Yoandry Depass THE CUBAN/BRIT ALAN GROSS? THE CASTROFASCISTS ARE SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLORS AGAIN!

    THE TELEGRAPH UK: Family appeals for Briton stuck in Cuba – By Nick Allen and Alex Spillius

    The family of British man trapped in Cuba after travelling to the country to help his mother in the wake of Hurricane Sandy has issued a heartfelt appealed for his release.

    Yoandry Depass, who was born in Cuba but moved to the UK as a child, was stopped from leaving Havana a week ago when the Cuban authorities told him he did not have the right documents.

    Leah Hall, his partner and mother of his child, said that on his way in Mr Depass was told by an immigration officials that “he would be all right” for this trip but should get a Cuban passport for any future travel to the country.

    He was then stopped by officials attempting to leave on Dec 4 and return to his family in Mansfield.

    Cuba does not recognise dual nationality and Mr Depass was required to have a Cuban passport to travel in and out of the country. He was unaware of those requirements when he arrived in on Nov 24 to visit his mother Oadalis, whose roof was blown off by the storm.

    She said Mr Depass, who is universally known as Yogi, was staying in his mother’s one-room shack living off basic rations with no shower or bath facilities” in Santiago de Cuba, a 12-hour bus ride from the capital Havana.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/cuba/9734717/Family-appeals-for-Briton-stuck-in-Cuba.html

  11. HI The Man!! HOW IS YOUR MONDAY MORNING? HERE IN VENICE BEACH IS BEAUTIFUL, CLEAR BUT CHILLY! HOPE YOURE HAVING A GOOD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY! OOPS, FORGET THAT YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS DOES NOT APPLY TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE IN THE ISLAND JAIL!

  12. BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: The New Cuban Economy: What Roles for Foreign Investment? – By: Richard Feinberg

    For revolutionary Cuba, foreign investment has been about more than dollars and cents. It’s about cultural identity and national sovereignty. It’s also about a model of socialist planning, a hybrid of Marxist-Leninism and Fidelismo, which has jealously guarded its domination over all aspects of the economy. During its five decades of rule, the regime’s political and social goals always dominated economic policy; security of the revolution trumped productivity.

    THE WORLD’S HEAVIEST TAX ON LABOR
    The most unusual characteristic of the Cuban FDI regime is the labor contract system . FDI firms are not generally allowed to directly hire labor . Rather, a state employment agency—typically a dependency of the relevant sectoral ministry (e .g ., tourism, light industry)—hires, fires, settles labor disputes, establishes wage scales, and pays the wages directly to the workers . The FDI pays the wage bill to the state employment agency which in turn pays the workers . But there is a very special twist to the Cuban system: the FDI pays wages to the employment agency in hard currency and the employment agency turns around and compensates the workers in local currency, an effective devaluation or tax of 24-to-1 . Thus, if the firm pays the employment agency $500 a month and the employment agency pays the workers 500 pesos, over 90 percent of the wage payment disappears in the currency conversion; the effective compensation is instantly deflated to $21 per month . This could be the world’s heaviest labor tax . It provoked one Cuban worker to remark to the author: “In Cuba, it’s a great myth that we live off the state . In fact, it’s the state that lives off of us .”

    This labor system, which also authorizes only one national union (the Confederation of Cuban Workers, which is closely allied with the Communist Party), violates many principles of the International Labor Organization, of which Cuba is a charter member . It also freezes Cuba into a low-wage, low-productivity trap .

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/12/cuba-economy-feinberg

  13. Humberto the parrot @ work… good work for peanuts… peanut bird – peanut does – peanut truths all over the place or is it something else??!

    Alan is still in prison and your group rejoice! man you gotta live to see this!

  14. @38 >> ?? oh why, Griffin just because you say so?? are we supposed to buy anything that you say more than we buy it from the other side??

    You said:
    “The reports on the Cuban medical system that bear the UN stamp were written by the Cuban government.”
    You said:
    “In 1995, Dr. Oscar Biscet published a report telling the truth about the Cuban medical system, the much higher infant mortality rates, the forced abortions of all pregnancies”

    Telling the truth??? just because it is endorsed by a US politician and we get a video promo on the site as if this is an action movie it’s gotta be the truth and nothing but the truth…

    By the way I used the past participle tense and that in my book places ‘the truth’ I was saying somewhere in the past… every revolution has its benefits.. that last or don’t last – full stop!… Batista would never have delivered change at a rate Castro did and for the better of society!… Read Rousseau on true citizenship is and learn – before you speak of ‘back to past’ again!

  15. THE CASTROFASCISTS FIGURED THIS EXTORTION PLOY USING ALAN GROSS AS A HOSTAGE WRONG! THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA ARE UP AGAINST THE WALL IN WORLD OPINION ON THIS! THE FACT THAT THEY DID NOT ALLOW THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS TO BE PRESENT IN THE COURTROOM FOR MR. GROSS’ TRIAL AND SUBSEQUENT APPEALS AS WELL AS NOT ALLOW HIM TO BE INTERVIEWED IN THREE YEARS BY THE WORLD PRESS SAYS A LOT ABOUT THEIR CASE AGAINST HIM!

    MIAMI HERALD OPINION: No deal for Cuban spies – There is no parallel between Alan Gross and Cuba’s espionage agents

    It was reassuring last week to hear from a ranking official of the State Department that there is no plan in the works, and none foreseen, to engage in a spy swap with Cuba that would involve trading U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross for five Cuban spies convicted in Miami.

    Four of them are still serving time and another is serving a three-year parole somewhere in the United States. The Obama administration official, speaking anonymously but clearly reflecting administration policy, said such a trade would be unacceptable.

    No deal: That should continue to be the standard reply from Washington to Havana whenever the topic comes up.

    Trading spies for hostages is a bad policy under any circumstances, especially when dealing with a cynical and corrupt regime like the one in Cuba.

    As the State Department official rightly pointed out: “There is no parallel between the two cases.”

    The unfortunate Mr. Gross, of Potomac, Md., became a pawn in Cuba’s sinister spy games when he was arrested in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009 after delivering three satellite telephones for use by members of Cuba’s isolated Jewish community so they could have access the Internet and contact people abroad without using the government’s tightly monitored telephone monopoly. It was part of a U.S. government pro-democracy program designed to reach out to the Cuban people.

    For that, Mr. Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for acts against Cuba’s “independence or territorial integrity.”

    That borders on the absurd. This kind of activity may have violated some Customs rules, but it’s perfectly legal anywhere in the world except in totalitarian regimes with arbitrary judicial systems and laws that can be twisted to achieve political objectives. And it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of “espionage” by any customary definition.

    Meanwhile, the so-called “avispa” (Wasp) network of Cuban spies engaged in a series of actions that clearly violated U.S. laws. They spied on military facilitees and infiltrated anti-Castro groups with the aim of obtaining intelligence that could be useful to the Cuban government.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE EDITORIAL!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/10/3132123/no-deal-for-cuban-spies.html

  16. CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY: Cuba Dictatorship An Embarrassment, Spanish Politician Says

    The president of the People’s Party in Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, called on Spaniards to commit to the democratization of Cuba and “take on” the dictatorship of the Castro brothers.

    “I want to say very loudly and clearly that for the citizens of the western countries, for all the citizens of the democratic countries that share the same cultural roots and the same moral and political values, the existence of the Communist dictatorship in Cuba is a reason for embarrassment and a call to our sense of freedom and responsibility,” Aguirre said.

    The Spanish politician made her comments during a ceremony on Dec. 4 at headquarters of the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents honoring the founder of the Christian Liberation Movement in Cuba, Oswaldo Paya, and dissident Harold Cepero.

    Both dissidents were killed in an alleged car accident on July 22 in Cuba. Paya’s family has rejected the Cuban government’s version of how the opposition leader died and continues to maintain that his death may have been intentional.

    During her remarks, Aguirre announced she has joined a petition calling for an international investigation into the deaths.

    The political leader also stressed that the “commitment against the Castro dictatorship needs be greater in Spaniards.”

    “Because it was the last republic to gain independence, Cuba is the American nation with the closest ties to Spain, and they are very strong,” she explained. “Family ties, sentimental ties and emotional ties.”

    These bonds mean Spaniards have “more responsibility than anyone else when it comes to taking on the dictatorship, and when it comes to collaborating with the dissidence in order to achieve, once and for all, a return to a free Cuba,” Aguirre said.

    “So that once and for all, Cuba ceases to be a sinister anomaly among the nations of the West to which it belongs.”

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/10122012-cuba-dictatorship-an-embarrassment-spanish-politician-says/

  17. HUMAN RIGHTS DAY IS TOMORROW! BUT NOT IN CUBA!

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL-LADIES IN WHITE, CUBA: Transforming Pain Into Hope – Human rights defenders in the americas

    Take action now support human rights defenders in the americas human rights defenders in the americas play a vital role in exposing and combating human rights violations. many have paid a high price for their courageous efforts to break cycles of injustice, discrimination and impunity. in the past few years, hundreds have been persecuted and attacked. despite the lack of effective protection for themselves and their families and widespread impunity, they continue their struggle – transforming pain into hope. members of the Ladies in White in cuba have been repeatedly subjected to short-term and arbitrary detention and intimidation. the Ladies in White was formed by a group of women relatives of 75 prisoners of conscience who were imprisoned in 2003. all have since been released and the Ladies in White now campaign for the release of other political prisoners and to lift restrictions on fundamental freedoms in cuba. Join us in urging the cuban authorities to take all necessary measures to put an end to all acts of harassment and intimidation against the Ladies in White and other activists in cuba, and ensure they can all exercise their peaceful human rights activities free from fear and reprisals.

    Dear President Raul Castro,

    I am dismayed by the ongoing short-term and arbitrary detention, acts of repudiation and intimidation faced by the Ladies in White, because of their peaceful calls for the release of all political prisoners and for the lifting of restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights in Cuba.

    I urge you to:

    1. Stop all forms of harassment and intimidation against the Ladies in White and other human rights activists, and publicly recognize the legitimacy and importance of their role in society

    2. Immediately and unconditionally release anyone in Cuba detained solely for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of opinion, expression, association or assembly.

    Yours sincerely,

    CLICK LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION!

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR25/021/2012/en

  18. One of the most amazing things about the website that hosts Yoani’s blog is the dedication of the volunteers who translate the several dozen individual blogs into numerous languages not only English.

    Most do attach their real names to the translations, a few do not. With the falsehoods and venom directed against the translators by people like Damir, can’t say I blame those that don’t identify their translations.

    BTW, the Translating Cuba archive is worth a visit in its own right. It’s a useful reminder that there are many insightful Cuban bloggers in addition to Yoani. Here is a link to some recent blog postings by Eliecer Avila which are always worth a read: http://translatingcuba.com/category/authors/eliecer-avila/

  19. I’m half-man, half-woman. You dummies think you have it all figured out, it’s fun watching you makes fools of yourselves.

  20. To the dumb person calling himself Damir, there are several Anonimos here. You haven’t a clue which one is which. But then you are very confused about everything. Non entity, irrelevant, nuts.

  21. To the dumb person calling himself Damir, there are several Anonimos here. You haven’t a clue which one is which. But then you are very confused about everything. Non entity, irrelevant, nuts.

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