New Zealand Butter

new zealand butter atrapados

The chicken comes from Canada, the label on the salt says it comes from Chile, the “tropical marinade” is “Made in the USA” and the sugar is from Brazil. The milk has a Dutch cow on the tetra pack, the lemon juice was processed in Mexico and the hamburger meat advertises in large letters that it is “one hundred percent Argentine beef.” The cheese package says that it’s Gouda from Germany, and the cookies have some Chinese characters explaining their origin, while the rice was cultivated in the paddies of Vietnam. We are drowning in the foreign!

So I asked an economist friend why the butter from the kiosk in our neighborhood is from New Zealand. Is it because we can’t produce such a basic food? And, I demanded, isn’t there some place closer we could get it from? The young woman, a graduate from the University of Havana, responded with the same phrase as the title of one of our comedy shows, “Let me tell you…” Then she told me that after finishing her studies they assigned her to complete her Social Service in an agency of the Ministry of the Food Industry. There, the fat freight invoices paid to transport goods from distant countries came to her attention. She took a list of some of them to the director, among which was one for powdered milk bought from some distant place in Oceania. The man cleared his throat and told her, “Don’t get mixed up in this because it’s rumored that the factory over there is owned by a Cuban higher-up…”

It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that individuals well-placed in the framework of power of this country own industries abroad under cover names. Equally unacceptable would be privileging the importing of products from these companies over ones that are closer and cheaper. That is, that so much money from the national coffers would end up in the pockets of a few — also nationals — who are the same people who decide where to buy from. Like a skilled magician passes a wad of bills, without our being able to see it, from his left hand to his right hand. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why certain brands — really bad and exorbitantly priced — monopolize the shelves in our stores. The old trick of “buying from yourself” would cause the country to incur excessive charges and crowd out domestic products of higher quality and lower cost.

I know, reader, that all this seems to be the fruit of great paranoia on the part of my friend… and on mine as well; but I hope that one day we’ll know, we’ll know everything.

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90 thoughts on “New Zealand Butter

  1. Hey , at least your country isnt on verge of bankruptsy because the pres./fam.spend money like water and he’s borrowed so much from freakin’ china that our grandchildren will never pay it back.Which is worse, a murdering dictatorship that keeps the thumb screws on you or a “bought” president who is economically putting the screws on us to turn us into a country of welfare addicts ?

  2. Pingback: Some Cuba food links « Notes on the Americas

  3. To the nazist gulag usa and their propaganda machines (foxtv, cnn and whatnot):

    You are going down the path of destruction you have imposed on the world for far too long. Now is the time for you to take your own medicine and die in horrible suffering, much like the suffering and the horrors of death and destruction you so generusly spread around the world under the shi**y excuse of “spreading democracy”.

    Well, guess what. No one gives a shift any more about you. No one reads this stupid site you have created in your delusional and fanatical pursue of your profits from exploiting other people. You are a history and your efforts in promoting your internal traitors as some sort of “democracy and free speech” champions is old and worn out tactic that just doesn’t work any more.

    NOTHING will work for you any more. You are nothing but a bunch of murderous maniacs that should be dealt with by your own “democracy” laws – death penalty.

    Nothing else is good enough for you.

  4. The thing is, “friendly translator”, that there actually a lot of people who do. NAd much more that the 1 and a half of you that don’t.

    The fact is that the “popularity” of the team “yoani” has dwindled of late and it is in a sharp freefall. So, the world that does not read your website and the lies you are trying to peddle here, doesn’t really care about you and your petty little hate and lies.

    “Anónimo
    Enero 2nd, 2013 at 17:47

    The thing is Damir, no body cares what you think.”

    According to the alexa.com, this site has fallen sharply from its’ peak ranking of 52,197, back in 2010. Today it’s trafic ranking peaks at 87,779 but for the most of the time it sits as low as 106,254. The only reason it still has any ranking is because its’ most faithful audience are males over 65, and from usa.

    The rest of the world doesn’t visit it any more, except occasionally. Outside of a few Spanish-speaking countries and the usa, the site is practically unknown.

    So, no one in the world really cares what some domestic traitor and wannabe Castro after Castros thinks.

    Dig that “friendly translator” anonimo? I really couldn’t care less what do you and your bum licker from Cuba think. Your usa is disintegrating unstoppably. Your “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” had ceased to exist in 2008 when the usanian nazist government had to do the purely socialist thing and save the industry and economy in a free fall.

    Mind you, it did not work and it will not work because of two insurmontable obstacles:

    16 trillion internal debt of the government, and growing;

    and

    56 trillion total debt, and growing.

    There’s simply NO WAY on earth to repay the total debt because it has entered into the loop and it is self-feeding.

    And that is the essence of capitalism. at work. The core principle of capitalism leads to this self-feeding loop.

    Only socialism has the answer, and that is what they tried to do in the usa nazist gulag, but being capitalists (read stupid), they did not and still don’t understand that it was done way too late.

    Now the only way out is total destruction of capitalism.

    Self-destruction that is.

    Of course.

  5. I have provided a number of links that prove the copy and paste “genius” to be a delusional liar who is one of the two people in the world that still believe that there is no embargo and economic blockade on Cuba by the nazist usanian gulag.

    It is voted down every year in UN Assembly and the only two countries voting against removing it are israel and usa, the two centres of all evil today in the world.

    The problem with the copy and paste “genius”, who is using someone else’s web site to promote him/herself (as those delusional capitalists always do) is that s/he is so deeply entrenched in her/his failed ideology that there simply isn’t a way to break that mental block in that empty geriatric head.

    Some of the previous anti-Cuban posters here have already died off. It is only a matter of time for this lone self-promoting hater to follow the suit and disappear into the oblivion.

    Don’t let us wait for much longer. You have got nothing to say anyway. The amount of other people’s articles and thoughts you have posted here with

    ZERO of your own input, shows nicely how little you are capable of offering.

    “Nothing” sums it up perfectly.

  6. Jack Spitz!! YOU SEEM TO “SPITZ” OUT A LOT OF HATE! PUN INTENDED! BUT THERE IS REALLY NO “BLOCKAGE” OR “EMBARGO” DEAR! IF YOU CAN PROVIDE PROOF WITH LINK ON HOW THIS “BLOCKAGE” OR “EMBARGO” IS HURTING THE ORDINARY CUBAN PEOPLE PLEASE DO SO! I KEEP ASKING FOR THIS INFORMATION BUT NO ONE HAS THE GUTS TO POST IT! OR DOES IT EVEN EXIST?

    U.S.-CUBA TRADE AND ECONOMIC COUNCIL, INC.
    ECONOMIC EYE ON CUBA- February 2012 – Report For Calendar Year 2011
    2011-2001 U.S. EXPORT STATISTICS FOR CUBA

    The following is the data for exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba relating to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000, which re-authorized the direct commercial (on a cash basis) export of food products (including branded food products) and agricultural products (commodities) from the United States to the Republic of Cuba, irrespective of purpose. The TSRA does not include healthcare products, which remain authorized by the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) of 1992.

    The data represents the U.S. Dollar value of product exported from the United States to the Republic of Cuba under the auspice of TSRA. The data does not include transportation charges, bank charges, or other costs associated with exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. The government of the Republic of Cuba reports data that, according to the government of the Republic of Cuba, includes transportation charges, bank charges, and other costs. However, the government of the Republic of Cuba has not provided verifiable data. The use of trade data reported by the government of the Republic of Cuba is suspect. The government of the Republic of Cuba has been asked to provide verifiable data, but has not.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://www.cubatrade.org/CubaExportStats.pdf

  7. Dr. Wayne MacArthur said: “We have worked closely with Cuban authorities and farmers over many decades, to help establish a local dairy industry in Cuba, through the free transfer of technology and expertise, and will always continue to do so.”

    HEY DOC! CAN YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOU AND YOUR INDUSTRY! I CANT SEEM TO FIND YOU ONLINE DEAR! GRACIAS HERMANO NUEVO ZEALANDER!

  8. I am a New Zealander living in New Zealand, so I was intrigued by the title of your article. I have visited Cuba at least 20 – 30 times on business over the last 20 years, and each time has been a great pleasure. I love Cuba and the Cubans I have met over the years, but I take no position on politics as it is not my right to comment publically on the affairs of others. I do appreciate and sympathize with Cubans and the hardships they face, and I disagree with the economic blockade forced upon Cuba by the U.S.

    However I am writing about your article. We are ourselves are a socialist country and New Zealand has been supplying dairy products to Cuba since the Revolution. We can be considered the the most efficient producer of dairy products in the world, and therefore our prices are the lowest when you compare the high quality. Exports of milk, butter, cheese, etc., is closely controlled by our government, and nobody apart from the New Zealand farmer’s co-operative, are permitted to own any part of the export company [Fonterra]. Therefore it is impossible for any Cuban [or anyone else around the world] to own, or part own the factories that produce and export butter.

    We have worked closely with Cuban authorities and farmers over many decades, to help establish a local dairy industry in Cuba, through the free transfer of technology and expertise, and will always continue to do so.

    You comment on the “supposed high freight”, but it is not so in reality. We export to almost all of Latin America and the US. The products that go to Cuba, probably come from our export shipments to Mexico, and they pay the bulk of the freight costs, with Cuba only paying for the freight from Mexico to Cuba, which is very close.

    Thank you for allowing me to correct some errors, as in my experience the relationship between Cubans and New Zealanders is very strong.

  9. The piece about butter is typical of the type of “journalism” Yoani does.She tries to build a case about corruption based on a remark supposedly made t a young woman about not asking too many questions; from this, Yoani builds her case for corruption. How absurd. She would not even come up to the non-standards of Fox lies in the U.S. We do not need to wait to know what she is: a sniveling lackey of the U.S. government. She was bought and paid for a long time ago, and it is evident in her trashy articles. She seems not to know that there is a blockade of Cuban products by the U.S. or if she knows, she is too much of a prostitute to mention it. It is rather silly to talk about foreing products in Cuba and not mention that this is the way of the world; if she were not so stupid, she would tweet less and read something to get a smattering of education. She is one of the dumbest people on earth. She is a useful idiot for the U.S. and the Cuban government uses her to determine what the latest propaganda of the U.S. is about. His idiot Humberto Capiro writes most of the comments in defense of the idiot Yoani. Salim Lamrani long ago showed Yoani up as a stupid, know nothing fascist, and everything she says demonstrates the truth of his assessment.

  10. Pingback: Cuban-style “Sanctions Free” Coffee, Just in Case Your Wondering | The Poblete DC Dispatches

  11. 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

  12. YOUTUBE: DOCUMENTARY “Under Cuban Skies” — Workers and Their RIghts – Under Cuban Skies Workers and Their Rights is an account of the systematic violation of human and labor rights committed by Fidel and Raul Castro since they took power fifty years ago, supposedly on behalf of the Cuban worker. Their revolutionary government, as the film shows, is the only hiring entity and, as such, is guilty of discrimination in employment, of confiscating 97% of the salaries paid by foreign investors, and of prohibiting the workers right to organize representative unions, or to conduct collective bargaining. Interviews with hotel workers the privileged class of the Cuban labor force and with independent labor leaders and dissident journalists, were conducted in Cuba, while counterpart interviews were filmed in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Miami. The two sets of interviews make clear the stark contrast between the labor conditions in hotels operated by multinational corporations in Cuba and hotels run by those same corporations abroad.

  13. Good question Marco. If the Chinese had higher wages and unions Apple would have to build their Ipods elsewhere.

    Hopefully worker rights will come to all countries one day.

    The big question in Cuba is not the NZ Butter, it’s the “tropical marmalade” from the USA and the sugar from Brazil.

    Cuban workers make much less than American workers, the Chinese or other Latin American workers and are capable of growing tropical fruit and sugar.

    The answer is as Yoani suggests, the complete corruption of the socialist system and its inability to produce anything efficiently.

    As Cuba moves towards a one-party capitalist dictatorship it will start attracting more manufacturing just as China did.

  14. Anonimo/”friendly translator”, you are deleting again my posts, are you “democracy and free speech chimp”.

    Well, here it is again. The personal information about the team “yoani’s” Spanish residence and confirmation that they are just a part of greater imperialist machine working against CUBA:

    Yoani Sanchez
    Sta.Ma- Soledad Torres Acosta 2
    28004
    Madrid
    ES
    +34 918298497

    And it is also very funny to note that the team “yoani’s” address is in Spain while the domain registrar is in

    GERMANY

    Hostmaster Strato Rechenzentrum
    Tech-C Address: Cronon AG Professional IT-Services
    Tech-C Address: Emmy-Noether-Str. 10
    Tech-C Postal Code: 76131
    Tech-C City: Karlsruhe
    Tech-C Country: DE
    Tech-C Phone: +49 72166320305
    Tech-C Fax: +49 72166320303

    If yo live in Spain, why on earth would you want to register your domain in another country? And in Germany at that, which is much more expensive than Spain!!!!????

    Because your cia handlers organised everything for you in Germany, didn’t they?

    While you were “studying” the “art of blogging”!!!

    HAHAHA!!!!

    Who are you kidding!!!?? You have got no idea about WordPress and computers. You haven’t written a single letter in any of your books, and neither on this site.

    There are many of your verbal comments on the internet and any good philolog can tell us that the person that speaks is

    NOT

    the person that writes here.

    Apart from the fact that teh spanish language of the writer and teh speaker are two different languages, it is also very obvious from your videos that the poor woman is just not a skillful speaker at all, let alone a skillful writer.

    And look at some of the posts here in spanish! Sometimes the language varies from a peasant’s lingo to a moderately educated person.

    But, the only consistent thing is that the Spanish used is

    N O T

    CUBAN Spanish.

    The woman in your videos speaks like a proper Cuban. There’s no sofistication in her. And there are many typically Cuban phrases used in her speech.

    Yet there are none of these in Spanish language of the posts here.

    See, my wife is a linguist, and she specialises in Latin languages. She has discovered this anomaly and she is of opinion that this puppet is indeed not the author of the posts here.

    The verbal language just doesn’t come close to even that moderately educated Spanish your cia handlers use in their banal and deranged propaganda rants.

    A farce, that you most certainly are.

  15. Nice entry. Drowning in the foreign is a great way to put this. Unfortunately its too common in all of Latin America, although in countries other than Cuba its more like drowning in the American. I live in the USA and even here everything is made in China these days. Not because our economy is so bad, but because they can make it all less expensive using cheap overworked labor. Its funny that New Zealand butter was the focus. I lived in Cuba for a short while and was surprised to see it virtually everywhere and wondered the same. So who knows what the explanation is for the far travelling butter. But I also ask myself, “is an ipod travelling 8,000 miles from Beijing to New York the most efficient way to do this?” Maybe not.

  16. Apparently the mentally deranged and unstable do not recognize themselves on this forum, while posting pointless rants. Happy New Year to all.

  17. I am left to wonder what is this butter from N. Zealand in the life of a “dissident” like the team “yoani’s” domestic traitors. Probably something along the “Last tango in Paris” lines…

    In the meantime, and in a stark contrast with the team “yoani’s” lies about women in Cuba being opressed and maltreated (by communists and communism, and just about everything else under the Cuban sun that annoys the criminals and domestic traitors), the reality is quite different:

    In the current National Assembly sit 266 women, which is 43,32 % of the total number of its members.

    For the next elections 299 women are putting forward their candidatures. If all of them are elected, that would lift the total number of wome in the National Assembly to 48,86 %.

    Which other national assembly/parliament in the world has that many women representing the people of the country?

    Surely the nazist gulag usa, boasting to be the “democratic” country…???

    Not really.

    Out of 100 senators in the nazist senate, only 17 are currently women, constituting 17%.

    And in congress there are 76 women, constituting 16.6% of all representatives.

    And the nazist call that a “revolution” and an “empowerment” of women!!!

    Cuba beat the shift out of them by having almost a half of its’ National Asembly representatives seats filled by women.

    Yeah, let us talk about women being a second grade citizens in Cuba.

    Ok, I can understand that a domestic traitor is dealt with according to the law and prohibited from being a politician, it is a normal practice in every country in the world. There’s no place in politics for criminals and mentally deranged and unstable individuals.

    The joke is on those cre^%s in cia for financing this loser, self-declared liar and disturbed person in dire need of professional help.

  18. General elections in Cuba. The photos and biographies of the candidates are being widely published for all Cubans to see. None of them from the “dissidents”, Marx forbid from the team “yoani’s” doemstic traitors and terrorists.

    Ho come? They say they want the change, yet they do not want to participate in the process.

    If yo do not participate, you cannot influence the change.

    The team “yoani” are in this only for the money, and maybe for the “throne” when their idols Castros leave it up for grabs.

    http://www.vanguardia.co.cu/index.php?tpl=design/secciones/lectura/portada.tpl.html&newsid_obj_id=26941

    Hypocrites.

  19. HAVANA TIMES: Punishing Cuba’s Rosa Maria Paya – Haroldo Dilla Alfonso

    The recent immigration reforms enacted by the Cuban government after a year-long push were greeted with joy by intellectuals, foreign governments and international organizations.
    Although the executive order has not yet come into force, I invite those doing the cheering to take a moment and pay attention to the case of Rosa Maria Paya.

    She is the daughter of Oswaldo Paya, the recently deceased leader of the Christian Liberation Movement. This is a young woman who has not reached her first quarter-century. A recent university graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physics; she was invited by Chile’s Miguel de Cervantes University to pursue a degree in public policy. She was denied permission to leave the country and she was not even informed of the reason for the refusal.

    Noting the articles summarizing the official reasons for deciding who can and cannot travel, one cannot determine in which category Rosa Paya fits.

    Discounting technical reasons — though she’s a college graduate, the University of Havana rejected her as a teacher alleging procedural matters — I can’t imagine that this young woman could be placed in the sinister categories of being a threat to the “public interest,” “the foundations of the Cuban State” or “national security.”

    In short, Paya is a young woman whose brief path in life has not allowed her to become a leader within the asphyxiating spaces of the opposition. She wasn’t invited to a hostile country or by an organization of the militant opposition; instead, she was invited by a recognized university that is linked to a political current that, while in no way sympathetic to the Cuban regime, is opposed to the blockade/embargo and to violence.

    From the official Cuban point of view, Rosa Maria is punishable because she has adopted a position that is politically belligerent with regard to the government, which is completely her right, and because apparently she is attempting to assume the leadership dramatically abandoned by her father, which, needless to note, is also her right.

    The Cuban government — hard and as brittle as the ice in which it keeps Cuban society embedded — is pathologically afraid of such civic challenges.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=85187

  20. SALON: The way we left Cuba – I came to Havana to film a documentary about a local boxer — and found a country trapped in an Orwellian nightmare – By Brin-Jonathan Butler

    The plane began its descent over the last 90 haunting miles of sea that divides Cuba from the United States, a sea that might be the largest graveyard in the world. Out my window the sunset glazed over the surface of the ocean and glinted off the slits and nicks of wave-creases like fresh wounds. Up and down the plane I heard the slap of blinders yanked down over the windows while the rest of us eagerly took in the view. It’s this last homestretch that always fleshes out the tourists from the locals on flights to the island.
    There are plenty of tragic and inspiring choices, but the most obvious legacy Castro will leave behind is the broken family.

    As the plane touched down at Jose Marti Airport I still wasn’t sure I would be allowed to enter Cuba in the first place. I had spent my last trip a few months earlier conducting illegal interviews with the country’s most famous boxing champions, men who had turned down millions and were only willing to discuss it if I paid them under the table. Of course there was no official way to have these interviews given the sensitivity of the topic. The state security had started following me after the first interview. All the Cubans I was working with couldn’t understand why we weren’t being arrested. But we kept going until we landed every interview on my wish list. Then it was just a matter of getting that material out.

    While I probably should have quit while I was ahead, my purpose this time around was to knock on the door of one of the most politically radioactive residences in the country—the wife of Guillermo Rigondeux, a 30-year-old two-time Olympic boxing champion, branded by Fidel Castro as a Judas and traitor to the Cuban people. I was there to track down the family of one of the most notorious defectors in Cuban history.

    Since Rigondeaux had escaped on a smuggler’s boat (venture humanitarianism between Cuba and Cancun has thrived enormously the last few years) and become a permanent exile, his family had been living under 24-hour surveillance and nearly house arrest. Cuban state security doesn’t mess around. As attractive an analogy it might be for any foreigner to view Rigondeaux as a kind of Orpheus, a highly charged defector forever abandoning his life, nobody is in any hurry to have a camera and a microphone placed in the face of Eurydice to discuss the matter. The official state version of events is quite sufficient, muchas gracias. Bienvenido a Cuba!

    Everyone on the island knows that at Castro’s first trial, when he was asked to confess who was intellectually responsible for his attack against Batista, he proclaimed it was none other than “a poet.” But whether Cuba’s Comandante likes it or not, his country is poetry of a different order, something like 1984 penned by Charles Dickens.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/3…..left_cuba/

  21. THANKS Griffn!! LETS HOPE THAT NEXT YEAR WE WILL ALL PUT OUR REAL NAMES WITH NO FEAR (Cuban guilt) OF REPERCUSSIONS!

  22. Humberto,

    I want to wish you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for all the posts chock-full-of-links on everything Cuba.

    And may 2013 be a very Happy New Year for the people of Cuba. Viva Cuba Libre!

  23. ANOTHER AWESOME DOCUMENTARY TRAILER: “Split Decision: The Guillermo Rigondeaux Story” – Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz (born September 30, 1980 in Santiago de Cuba) is a Cuban boxer who won the gold medal at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics in the Bantamweight (54 kg) class. Rigondeaux is a seven-time (2000–06) Cuban national champion at bantamweight. He currently claims an amateur record of nearly 400 fights with twelve losses; with his last losses coming to Rencise Perez and Bekzat Sattarkhanov in 1998, Waldemar Font in 1999, and his most recent loss against Aghasi Mammadov in 2003. After his defection in 2009, he turned professional. He is the current WBA Super Bantamweight Champion. Guillermo Rigondeaux is widely considered to be one of the greatest amateur fighters of all time.[3] According to Freddie Roach, Rigondeaux is probably the greatest talent he has ever seen.[4] Filmmaker Brin-Jonathan Butler is making a documentary about Rigondeaux.[5]

  24. YOUTUBE CUBAN DOCUMENTARY TRAILER: “Split Decision: The Guillermo Rigondeaux Story” – Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz (Spanish pronunciation: [?i??ermo ri?on?do]; born September 30, 1980 in Santiago de Cuba) is a Cuban boxer who won the gold medal at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics in the Bantamweight (54 kg) class. Rigondeaux is a seven-time (2000–06) Cuban national champion at bantamweight. He currently claims an amateur record of nearly 400 fights with twelve losses; with his last losses coming to Rencise Perez and Bekzat Sattarkhanov in 1998, Waldemar Font in 1999, and his most recent loss against Aghasi Mammadov in 2003. After his defection in 2009, he turned professional. He is the current WBA Super Bantamweight Champion. Guillermo Rigondeaux is widely considered to be one of the greatest amateur fighters of all time.[3] According to Freddie Roach, Rigondeaux is probably the greatest talent he has ever seen.[4] Filmmaker Brin-Jonathan Butler is making a documentary about Rigondeaux.[5]

  25. FOR ALL YOU SPORTS, BOXING FANS AND CUBAPHILES! AN EXCELLENT READ!

    SALON: The way we left Cuba – I came to Havana to film a documentary about a local boxer — and found a country trapped in an Orwellian nightmare – By Brin-Jonathan Butler

    The plane began its descent over the last 90 haunting miles of sea that divides Cuba from the United States, a sea that might be the largest graveyard in the world. Out my window the sunset glazed over the surface of the ocean and glinted off the slits and nicks of wave-creases like fresh wounds. Up and down the plane I heard the slap of blinders yanked down over the windows while the rest of us eagerly took in the view. It’s this last homestretch that always fleshes out the tourists from the locals on flights to the island.
    There are plenty of tragic and inspiring choices, but the most obvious legacy Castro will leave behind is the broken family.

    As the plane touched down at Jose Marti Airport I still wasn’t sure I would be allowed to enter Cuba in the first place. I had spent my last trip a few months earlier conducting illegal interviews with the country’s most famous boxing champions, men who had turned down millions and were only willing to discuss it if I paid them under the table. Of course there was no official way to have these interviews given the sensitivity of the topic. The state security had started following me after the first interview. All the Cubans I was working with couldn’t understand why we weren’t being arrested. But we kept going until we landed every interview on my wish list. Then it was just a matter of getting that material out.

    While I probably should have quit while I was ahead, my purpose this time around was to knock on the door of one of the most politically radioactive residences in the country—the wife of Guillermo Rigondeux, a 30-year-old two-time Olympic boxing champion, branded by Fidel Castro as a Judas and traitor to the Cuban people. I was there to track down the family of one of the most notorious defectors in Cuban history.

    Since Rigondeaux had escaped on a smuggler’s boat (venture humanitarianism between Cuba and Cancun has thrived enormously the last few years) and become a permanent exile, his family had been living under 24-hour surveillance and nearly house arrest. Cuban state security doesn’t fuck around. As attractive an analogy it might be for any foreigner to view Rigondeaux as a kind of Orpheus, a highly charged defector forever abandoning his life, nobody is in any hurry to have a camera and a microphone placed in the face of Eurydice to discuss the matter. The official state version of events is quite sufficient, muchas gracias. Bienvenido a Cuba!

    Everyone on the island knows that at Castro’s first trial, when he was asked to confess who was intellectually responsible for his attack against Batista, he proclaimed it was none other than “a poet.” But whether Cuba’s Comandante likes it or not, his country is poetry of a different order, something like 1984 penned by Charles Dickens.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/31/the_way_we_left_cuba/

  26. AND FOR THE END OF THE YEAR, ONE LAST ONE ON THE JAILS IN CUBA SUBJECT!

    MIAMI HERALD: Cuban inmates complain of poor conditions, food in video smuggled from Havana prison – Inmates at the Combinado del Este — Cuba’s largest and possibly most notorious prison — complain of prison conditions and lousy food. – By Juan O. Tamayo

    Ten videos smuggled out of Cuba’s biggest and reputedly worst prison, in an unusually daring operation by a dissident, show grotesquely dirty toilets, grimy walls, leaking sewage and food described as worse than “animal feed.”

    “Show this video to the international community, how this miserable dictatorship commits cruelties against humanity,” says the videos’ main narrator, an India citizen serving a 30-year sentence in Havana’s high security Combinado del Este prison.

    Havana dissident journalist Dania Virgen García, who writes the blog “Cuba por Dentro” — Inside Cuba — said the videos were shot in late January with a digital camera smuggled into the prison “so that everyone can see Cuba’s reality.” They were provided exclusively to El Nuevo Herald.

    The videos — which also showed several inmates, including a U.S. citizen complaining about prison conditions — appeared to be the first ever smuggled out of Cuba’s 200-plus prisons. Their views of prison buildings matched those of the Combinado del Este prison.

    The videos show a string of almost unimaginably filthy toilets, little more than holes on the floor of prisoners’ cells, many of them with walls so moldy from the humidity of the leaking sewage and water that they were nearly black.

    One inmate used a blue plastic 55-gallon drum in his cell to capture the leaking water and use it to flush the toilet and bathe. He also had rigged an electrical wire to heat up a five-gallon bucket of water for his bath.

    Also shown were a couple of empty six-man punishment cells known as tapiadas, or sealed, because their doors are solid steel rather than bars and they have no windows, just a row of slits about two inches wide and two feet high.

    Several clips show a prison yard described as “dirtier than a chicken house floor” and dotted with pieces of masonry that fell from the surrounding cells. One narrator says inmates are allowed outside for only one hour Monday through Friday.

    The prison hospital, shown only from the outside, has no medicines at all and is known as “the slaughter house,” says Dalvinder Singh Jagpal, who appears to have been the main videographer and narrator.

    Singh describes Fidel and Raúl Castro in several clips as “worse than al-Qaida” and adds, “They are anti-human. They are monsters.”

    YOUTUE VIDEO #1: La cárcel Cubana por dentro (The interior of the Cuban jail)

  27. YOUTUBE: The True Cuba — what Political Prisoners have to tell – Even after the visit of the Pope in spring 2012, in Cuba there are still several hundred political prisoners in jail. However, most people, especially Cuba tourists, know nothing about it because of the strict censorship. Those dissidents in jail suffer even more then political prisoners in other dictatorships, for instance the former prisoners in East Germany before 1989. Their families are not allowed to work, they often are sick, the International Red Cross or Human Rights Organisations like the International Society for human rights of Frankfurt-Germany cannot visit them.
    There exist almost no television or newspaper reports about their sad fate.
    Very rarely a few dissidents are released from jail – but immediately they are sent into exile without their families. For the first time since years dissidents in this video tell the free world how badly they have suffered in the jails of Cuba.

  28. 291 RCR!! YOU REALLY SHOULD NOT GET ME STARTED DEAR!

    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Prisoners generally are confined in poor and abusive conditions, often in overcrowded cells. Officials frequently punish political prisoners who complain about poor conditions or do not obey prison rules with long periods in punitive isolation cells, restriction on visits, or denial of medical treatment. Cuba does not permit the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit prisoners in Cuba; the last ICRC visit to a Cuban prison was in 1989.

    http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/features/hrc2009/cuba/cubasummary.html

  29. “BAD U.S.A., BAD U.S.A.! BLAME THE MESSENGER”!! 291 RCR! THAT SONG HAS BEEN HEARD ON THESE COMMENT SECTIONS SO MANY TIMES THAT YOU SHOULD BE GETTING RESIDUALS! BUT PLEASE, CLARIFY FOR ME ONE THING! WHY HAVE THE CASTROFASCITS REFUSE TO ALLOW THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS OR THE U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR INTO THE ISLAND’S JAILS DEAR?

    UNITED NATIONS: Situation of human rights in Cuba – 24 October 1995
    III. CONDITIONS IN THE PRISONS

    37. Non-governmental sources have informed the Special Rapporteur that
    they have recorded the existence of 294 prisons and correctional labour
    camps throughout the country; it is estimated that there are between
    100,000 and 200,000 prisoners in all categories; this figure represents a
    very high proportion of the country’s population. It is also a matter of
    concern, bearing in mind the fact that the Special Rapporteur is still
    receiving reports on the precarious living conditions in the prisons, such
    as those described below.

    38. In early 1995, there was an epidemic of leptospirosis at the Combinado
    del Este prison which resulted in the deaths of several inmates. More than
    100 prisoners had to be hospitalized.

    39. The Special Rapporteur has received a list of 26 inmates of a section
    of the Kilo 7 prison, in the province of Camaguey, who allegedly had
    tuberculosis. Moreover, in February 1995, an outbreak of diarrhoea
    apparently affected the great majority of the 1,300 inmates of that prison.
    An outbreak of tuberculosis at the Combinado del Sur prison in Matanzas has
    also been reported; there were six deaths at this prison during the past
    year. Cases of scabies also appear to be widespread.

    http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/50/plenary/a50-663.htm

  30. 54 freedom house

    HUMBERTO you are starting to slip bad referring to freedom house…….you read the bio an American Organization that promotes governments have to reflect Uncle Sam’s ideals……you are aware that Uncle Sam houses the world larges prisons and that over 65 per cent behind bars are non whites……for your shake read before putting your foot in your mouth

  31. The post 32 is a perfect example, yet another one, of the depth of ignorance and delusional brainwashed stupidity so characteristic for the team “yoani” and their 1 and a half pioner support brigade.

    It is obviously unknown to the id**t author that there are varieties of apples that

    GROW

    in tropical and sub-tropical zones.

    One such apple has even been developed in the neighbouring Bahamas.

    It is called Dorsett Golden. There are many more hot climate varieties.

    But what would the team “yoani’s” support brigade know…??? They think it is Castros fault that Cuba cannot grow apples. Somehow, bad Castros moved the island south enough to deprive the Cuban people of apples.

    It takes an ignorant, and we are talking the wrong wing, conservative and closed-minded, blind and uneducated ignorant, to write a comment such as the comment 32.

    These are the persons that attack Cuba and its’ government.

    Their worst weapon:

    their unbelievable and enormous ignorance.

    Every comment these delusional ignorants make speaks for itself and discredit their ideology.

    Truth be told, their ideology is already doing a stellar job of discrediting itself, but they are obviously well equipped to speed-up that process.

    Well done.

  32. Suchi is the paranoid fear of the nazist dictatorship of the usa nazist gulag of small CUBA, that as soon as h. clinton got the hold of the power, she asked that the ties between Russia, Venezuela and Cuba be examined.

    Old plum was looking for signs that Russians might want to build military bases in Cuba again, and was hoping for something to drive the wedge between the three countries. Divide et impera, as all those imperialists love to say. (Divide and rule, for the wrong wing old and uneducated losers).

    http://wikileaks.org/Latin-America-Clinton-probes.html

  33. “Know your enemy!”, states a usanian ambassador to Chile Craig Kelly.

    The criminal is refering to Hugo Chavez and Venezuela. He also strongly recommends

    BLACKMAILING other countries in Latin America, in order to draw them away from Chavez and Castro, who usanian nazist criminal ambassador to Chile states “are very popular”.

    http://wikileaks.org/U-S-secret-blueprint-to-undermine.html

    Five years later, usanian nazist gulag is disintegrating as we speak. Cuba and Venezuela are still strong and independent.

  34. FREEDOM HOUSE: Freedom House Condemns Cuba’s Sentencing of Angel Carromero

    Freedom House condemns the Cuban authorities for unjustly sentencing Spanish citizen Angel Carromero to four years in prison in a trial that lacked transparency and due process of law. Freedom House calls on the Cuban government to allow for an independent investigation and to release information to Spanish and Swedish authorities into the circumstances behind the suspicious car crash that killed prominent Cuban human rights activists Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero, for which Carromero was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter on October 15.

    Although officially declared to be public, Carromero’s trial was shrouded in secrecy. Dozens of activists were denied entrance, and popular Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez was detained while traveling to the city of Bayamo to cover the trial. These actions were part of a concerted effort by the Cuban government to suppress information surrounding the mysterious crash and prevent questioning of the official version of events.

    The trial also lacked testimony from key witness Jens Aron Modig, who was a passenger in the car and survived with minor injuries. In a suspicious chain of events, Modig was released to his native Sweden quickly after stating that he was sleeping at the time of the crash and did not know how it occurred.

    Payá’s family has continually questioned the Cuban government’s account of the accident, and has called for an independent investigation. They never filed charges against Carromero, and maintain that he is innocent.

    Freedom House consistently places Cuba among the world’s most repressive societies. Cuba is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House’s survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2012. The island nation also received the second-lowest ranking in Freedom on the Net, a study of internet freedom in 47 countries released in 2012.

    http://www.freedomhouse.org/article/freedom-house-condemns-cuba%E2%80%99s-sentencing-angel-carromero

  35. Wikileaks published more of usa cables, revealing the efforts of the nazist gulag usa to

    OBSTRUCT

    relations between Spain and Cuba.

    http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=05MADRID2478&hl=cuba+eduardo+aguirre+moratinos

    usa nazist gulag ambassador in Spain, Aguirre met Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos to lay the groundwork for a new relationship after
    a year of difficult relations with the Socialist government,
    but also to make clear US concerns about Spanish policy
    toward Venezuela and CUBA and the lingering wounds in
    Washington over the Zapatero government’s harsh rhetoric on
    Iraq and US electoral politics last year.

    That is state terrorism and all usanian nazist gulag participants, all the way to the “president” forrest gump should face the Human Rights Criminal Court in Den Haag.

  36. “It is time to lift the sanctions and this unjust policy that violates all fundamental democratic principles, such as autodetermination”, said Kenny.

    YES! LETS DO AWAY WITH THE DOUBLE CURRENCY, SINGLE PARTY SYSTEM, MONOPOLY ON INTERNET AND NEWS TOO! THE CASTROFASCISTS SHOULD STOP VIOLATING ALL FUNDAMENTEAL DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES!

    THANKS Damir FOR THE INSPIRATION!

  37. Eighteen (18) countries of European Community signed a petition to end the policy of “Common position” against Cuba as it

    VIOLATES the basic human rights and democratic prinicples the EU is said to want to uphold.

    http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2012/12/30/organizaciones-europeas-exigen-fin-de-la-posicion-comun-contra-cuba/

    Enda Kenny, the PM of Ireland, argues that this policy limits drastically the communication and economic ties between Cuba and EU, serving only as a complementary policy to the usanian economic embargo and blockade.

    “It is time to lift the sanctions and this unjust policy that violates all fundamental democratic principles, such as autodetermination”, said Kenny.

    Cuba has the sovereign right to elect its’ own political system and the way into the future.

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