How Do We Make A Good Newspaper?

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.32.16 PMIn these times, when the great media of the press barely seem to survive the crisis, many are wondering, how can we make a good newspaper? The question includes not only choosing content, but also how to make it profitable and the dilemma between digital or paper formats. There are no clear formulas. Small websites become–in a short time–information reference points, while some of the news giants fall into the red and lose readers. No one knows for sure where the press of the future is headed.

We are used to technological advances and leapfrogging; Cubans will very like jump from an official press under the monopoly of a single party, to a multitude of media pushing to gain prominence. The day when non-government media is legalized, numerous publications–now underground–will be able to be read openly and even sold at the corner newsstand. Although that time is still to come, it’s worth it to begin preparing.

If I could highlight at least one indispensable feature of the press, I would choose interaction with readers. The close relationship between the writer of the information and its recipient is vital for a newspaper to meet the demands of modernity and objectivity. Right now in Havana, we are putting the final touches on a new digital media that will greatly help us to listen to your opinions. Without you, it would be only a medium talking to itself, ephemeral and inconsequential.

So back to the main question: How do we make a good newspaper? What are the topics that we should address in its pages? What sections are worth incorporating on the site? How can we involve you in developing the content? Which are the indispensable bylines we should include? What model or example should we follow? And the big question: Can we exercise quality journalism amid the current conditions in Cuba?

You can leave answers in the comments on this blog, on the Dontknow debate page, or on the CONTACT page. Thanks in advance for helping to give shape to the baby before its birth.

76 thoughts on “How Do We Make A Good Newspaper?

  1. Thank you Hank. A superb translation. I will try and read the book.

  2. Cuban friends of mine have drawn my attention to a paragraph on page 159 of Angel Carromero’s book “Muerte Bajo Sospecha – Toda La Verdad Sobre El Caso.” The book is easily available on Amazon, but not if you live in Cuba.

    The book is about Carromero’s eye-witness account of the events leading up to the death of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero in Cuba. Carromero also describes his subsequent bizarre incarceration in Cuba and forced confessions.

    Here is my translation of that paragraph:

    To think that those two men who I had gone to help – very modestly – in their struggle, wound up dead, made me understand how difficult it could be to struggle against a rigidly militarized state apparatus that is based on espionage and fear, which makes sure that each person is the enemy of the other, and where the objective is that every idea would give way to repression. In those States, the mechanisms of political propaganda and fear are put in place in such a way that there comes a time when the repressors themselves do not even need to be excessively vigilant, because every man watches himself, moved as he is by the diabolical mechanism of terror. People become gripped with fear and this state of fear develops by itself like a disease. The mechanisms are set in motion, each individual is stripped of his individuality, his unique way of thinking, so that he becomes integrated into an amorphous mass of people who obey.

  3. AWWW Nickaroo!! WERE THOSE ARTICLES AND THE INFORMATION IN THEM TOO MUCH FOR YOU DEAR?? DID YOU GET A BAD CASE OF THE FUACATAASSSS!!!!!!??

    YOU KNOW Nick, ONE OF THE “MODUS OPERANDI” OF CASTRO AGENTS IS TO DENIGRATE, DEFAME, DISMISS AND VILIFY ANYONE THAT DOES NOT LIKE THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY MAFIA AND THEIR “ASSOCIATES”!! YOU KNOW, SHOOT THE MESSENGER AND DIMISS THEIR MESSAGE! ARE YOU ONE OF THE CASTRO AGENTS? DONT WORRY, WE WILL LIKE YOU ANYWAY! JE JE JE!

    THE WORSE TYPE OF TERRORISM IS THE ONE THAT THE CASTROFASCSITS PRACTICE ON THOSE IN THE ISLAND WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH THEIR OLIGARCHY MAFIA! THEY BEAT, JAIL, INTIMIDATE IN SO MANY WAYS THEIR OWN PEOPLE! BUT THEIR END IS NEAR!

    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE: State Sponsors of Terrorism

    CUBA: Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982.

    Cuba has long provided safe haven to members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Reports continued to indicate that Cuba’s ties to ETA have become more distant, and that about eight of the two dozen ETA members in Cuba were relocated with the cooperation of the Spanish government. Throughout 2013, the Government of Cuba supported and hosted negotiations between the FARC and the Government of Colombia aimed at brokering a peace agreement between the two. The Government of Cuba has facilitated the travel of FARC representatives to Cuba to participate in these negotiations, in coordination with representatives of the Governments of Colombia, Venezuela, and Norway, as well as the Red Cross.
    There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.

    The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States. The Cuban government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.
    http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224826.htm

  4. Another death in Venezuela.
    Another chapter in the sad litany of Humby’s gloating over deaths in Venezuela.
    And Humby has also decided that he has some inside information as to the political persuasion of the killer.
    It’s all a little bit desperate Humby.
    It would be better to stick to posting 80’s pop clips.

  5. THE CHAVISTASFASISTAS ARE GOING TO PIN THIS MURDER ON THE VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION IN ORDER TO DEFAME AND PUT THEM IN JAIL ON TRUMP UP CHARGES! THEY CONTROL ALL THE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, BUT THE EYES AND EARS OF THE WORLD ARE FOLLOWING THE EVENTS THERE! CHECK OUT THE STATEMENTS BY Nicolas Maduro BECAUSE HIS INTENTIONS ARE ALREADY THERE!

    ABC NEWS: Arrest Made in Slaying of Venezuela Ex-Spy Chief – by Jorge Rueda

    Police have arrested a suspect in the mysterious murder of a former Venezuelan intelligence chief with close ties to the late Hugo Chavez.

    Eliezer Otaiza’s body was dumped in a forested area on the edge of Caracas Saturday after his vehicle was intercepted by a group of armed men. He was shot four times.

    No motive has been established for the crime but President Nicolas Maduro said late Tuesday that enemies of his socialist government may have been behind Otaiza’s murder.

    In a ceremony honoring Otaiza at the National Assembly he urged his supporters to stay on maximum alert, saying that some of the opponents who’ve been staging anti-government protests since February are committed to using violence to destabilize the country.

    “There’s no such thing as casual coincidences,” Maduro told lawmakers and party leaders, many of whom vowed to avenge Otaiza’s slaying. “Let’s not forget the context of the last few months.”

    Interior Minister Manuel Rodriguez Torres gave few details about the investigation into Otaiza’s murder, saying only that the arrested suspect, who he didn’t name, had led police to identify the other alleged gunmen.

    Otaiza was one of the most loyal supporters of Chavez’s 21st century socialist revolution. As a young army officer, he backed Chavez’s failed 1992 coup attempt and was responsible for his personal security guard when he was elected president in 1992.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/arrest-made-slaying-venezuela-spy-chief-23529138

  6. MORE OF THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS DEADBEAT ECONOMIC POLICIES ! NO MORE PASTA, A “PRODUCT” OF THE DOWNLOAD SPIRAL OF THE VENEZUELAN ECONOMY IN THE PAST 15 YEARS! EXCUSE THE PUN!

    REUTERS: Venezuela’s largest private firm Polar halts pasta production – by Andrew Cawthorne

    Venezuela’s largest private company, Empresas Polar, said on Tuesday it was halting production of pasta due to delays in foreign currency allocations from the government.

    President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government is holding meetings with business leaders in efforts to boost productivity in the OPEC nation. But firms continue to complain of problems including currency restrictions.

    “The Polar Food plant in Maracaibo, which makes the pasta brands Primor and Gran Senora, is obliged to temporarily suspend operations due to a delay in currency payments,” said Polar.

    Companies pay local bolivars to state currency board Cencoex, formerly known as Cadivi, to receive U.S. dollars for imports. Polar said it needed to import wheat for pasta, a basic staple in Venezuela.

    “Operations stopped this Sunday April 27th, after our stocks of wheat loaned from other companies ran out,” the company added, without saying how much it was owed in dollars.

    Polar’s statement came the same day as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) complained Venezuela was dragging its feet on releasing $3.9 billion owed to airlines for ticket sales.

    There was no immediate reaction from authorities to Polar or the IATA, though Maduro has repeatedly said Venezuela will pay all its debts to private business.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/29/us-venezuela-economy-idUSBREA3S14820140429

  7. YOU DO BUSINESS WITH THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA AND YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN! THEY OWN THE ISLAND AND ALL THE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING THE JUDICIARY! SO GO AHEAND AN FORK OUT A FEW MILLIONS! THERE ARE INVESTING OPPORTUNITIES IN CUBA, AS IN A NICE JAIL CELL FOR A FEW YEARS WITHOUT CHARGES IF THEY WANT TO TAKE OVER YOUR PROFITABLE BUSINESS!

    HUFFINGTON POST: Cuba Is Open For Business That Might Land You in Jail – by Peter Kent (Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee)

    If word out of Havana is to believed — relayed aggressively in recent weeks by Cuban diplomats and trade emissaries to major investors in financial centers around the world — a new day of investment opportunities is dawning in the cash-strapped communist state.

    Reality is at stark odds with the platitudes of the Cuban trade officials and diplomats. One example, of many:

    Since September 10, 2011 a Canadian citizen, Cy Tokmakjian, President and CEO of the Tokmakjian Group of Companies, has been detained by Cuban authorities.

    He is one of dozens of Cuban and foreign business executives scooped by anti-corruption investigators of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (a ministry modeled, in the early years of the Cuban Revolution, on the Soviet KGB and East German Stasi).

    The Interior Ministry investigations are a direct product of President Raul Castro’s selective anti-corruption crusade. It is worth noting, that the only foreign “suspects” in the investigations are almost all European or Canadian business executives; none have come from Cuba’s like-minded communist or authoritarian regimes.

    Cy has been held for more than two-and-a-half years and is still awaiting his day in court. He is 73 years old, in frail health and held in La Condesa, a crudely austere, walled prison for hardened criminals located in the middle of a sugar cane plantation.

    His personal assets and those of the business (in excess of $90 million) have been seized by Cuban authorities. It seems no coincidence that Cuba ensured claims made against the Tokmakjian Group exceed the value of seized assets. There have been suggestions to company representatives that additional millions sent from Canada could result in a more “lenient” outcome.

    Cy is a popular and respected corporate citizen in Canada and, until his incarceration in Cuba in 2011, had operated businesses there for more than 20 years.

    He was recognized by the Cuban Government — indeed, by former President Fidel Castro — for his integrity and his contributions to Cuba’s economy through various joint ventures and closely-audited partnerships.

    Throughout his detention, Cy has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

    At the same time, Cy has been pressured by the Cuban investigators to sign a variety of “confessions.” His own Interior Ministry-assigned Cuban lawyers are also under great pressure to gain any possible admission of guilt.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/peter-kent/cuba-business_b_5228281.html?just_reloaded=1

  8. GOOO FLACA!!!!!!!

    REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS (RWB): RWB publishes profiles of “100 information heroes”- Tuesday 29 April 2014.

    Through their courageous work or activism, these “100 heroes” help to promote the freedom enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the freedom to “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” They put their ideals in the service of the common good. They serve as examples.

    YOANI SANCHEZ – Cuba / The Americas
    A philologist by training, Yoani Sánchez is a celebrity in her own country and internationally. Time Magazine ranked her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2008. Her Generación Y blog, launched in 2007 with the aim of “helping to build a plural Cuba,” covers the economic and social problems that ordinary Cubans constantly face. Like other bloggers, she has been subjected to varied insults (such as “contemptible parasites”), intermittent blocking and judicial harassment. In early 2014, she announced her intention to create an independent collective media platform in Cuba. “The worst could happen on the first day, but perhaps we will sow the first seeds of a free press in Cuba,” she said.

    ANGEL SANTIESTEBAN-PRATS – Cuba / The Americas
    His blog is called “Los hijos que nadie quiso” (The children no one wanted). The writer and netizen Ángel Santiesteban-Prats has been held for more than a year for openly criticizing the “dictator” Raúl Castro, as he calls him. Convicted on trumped-up charges of “home violation” and “injuries” in a summary trial on 8 December 2012, he was sentenced to five years in prison. In April 2013, he was transferred to a prison in the Havana suburb of San Miguel del Padrón where he has been subjected to mistreatment and acts of torture. His novel “El verano en que Dios dormía” (The summer God slept) received the 2013 Franz Kafka Drawer Novel* Prize, awarded in Prague to unpublished Cuban novels.

    CLICK LINK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION!
    http://en.rsf.org/rwb-publishes-profiles-of-100-29-04-2014,46212.html

  9. THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS ARE GOING TO ATTEMPT TO FRAME THE OPPOSITION IN VENEZUELA FOR THIS MURDER! TYPICAL FASCIST BEHAVIOR! BLAME EVERYONE ELSE AND GET ALL OF THE OPPOSITION IN JAIL WITH TRUMPED UP CHARGES! SINCE THEY CONTROL ALL OF THE GOVERNMENT BRANCHES THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH MURDER! EXCUSE THE PUN!

    BBC NEWS: Venezuelan ex-intelligence chief Eliecer Otaiza killed

    A former chief of Venezuela’s intelligence service, Eliecer Otaiza, was killed on Saturday, officials have revealed.

    Maj Otaiza, a friend and ally of the late president Hugo Chavez, was shot dead outside the capital, Caracas.

    President Nicolas Maduro said police would investigate the “suspicious” circumstances of his death.

    Maj Otaiza was elected in December as local councillor for the governing PSUV party for the Libertadores area.

    Police said the motive for his killing was not yet clear.

    The body was discovered on Saturday on the outskirts of the capital with four bullet wounds, said Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres.

    The minister added that the major was found without any documents which is why it took police until Monday to identify the body, which had been taken to a local morgue.

    He said the subsequent discovery of Maj Otaiza’s stolen and bullet-riddled car led them to suspect the body was that of the councillor.

    Maj Otaiza had last been seen leaving a friend’s house on Friday night.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/27202809

  10. THE DOWNTURN IN THE WORLD ECONOMY ALONG WITH THEIR ECONOMIC FAILING IDEAS HAVE PUT THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS & THEIR LORDS THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA IN PLACE WHERE THEY HAVE TO MAKE POLITICAL CONCESSIONS! THE END IS NEAR FOR FASCIST LEFTIST DICTATORSHIPS IN LATIN AMERICA ONCE TRUE DEMOCRACY RETURNS TO VENEZUELA!

    REUTERS: CORRECTED-Venezuela failing to keep promises on airlines revenues -IATA
    Venezuela should urgently release $3.9 billion owed to airlines over ticket sales, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday, saying the government was not keeping to promises to offer fair exchange rates.

    The South American nation requires airlines to bill tickets in its bolivar currency and for close to two years the state currency board has denied airline requests to convert ticket sales revenues into hard currency and repatriate the funds.

    The Venezuela government said at the end of March that it would allow foreign airlines to repatriate the money, using the exchange rate in place at the time the fares were sold.

    “Since then there has been very little progress,” IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler said in a statement. “The situation is unacceptable.”

    IATA said that the Venezuelan government had made offers to release some of the airlines’ funds, but at lower exchange rates or at a discount, offers that were rejected by airlines.

    “Airlines are committed to serving the Venezuelan market but they cannot sustain operations indefinitely if they can’t get paid,” Tyler said.

    Airlines such as Germany’s Lufthansa have reduced services to the country, while Air Canada, has stopped services altogether, citing security concerns related to street protests.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/29/venezuela-airlines-idUSL6N0NL2Y820140429

  11. THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS HAVE RUINED VENEZUELA’S ECONOMY FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS AND NOW THEY TRY TO BLAME IT ON A COUPLE OF MONTHS OF DISRUPTION BY THE PROTESTERS?? THE CURRENCY HAS BEEN DEVALUTATED BY 700% BY THEM WHICH MEANS PEOPLE ARE BECOMING POORER NO MATTER THEIR INCOME OR “HELP” FROM THE STATE! DUH!! PLEASE, ESE CUENTO ES PARA BOBOS!

    REUTERS: Queues, shortages hit Venezuela’s homeless and hungry – by Carlos Rawlins
    Huge queues at supermarkets and shortages of basic products have become the norm in Venezuela over the last year – and the most needy are increasingly at the sharp edge.

    Workers at soup kitchens for the homeless and hungry face an ever-more difficult task to find rice, lentils, flour and other staples to provide a free daily hot meal.

    “I queue for hours every day because you can only get one thing one day, another the next,” said Fernanda Bolivar, 54, who has worked for 11 years at the church-supported “Mother Teresa” soup kitchen in a back-street of downtown Caracas.

    “The situation’s got terrible in the last year,” she said, in a dingy kitchen at the center named for the Roman Catholic nun who helped the poor and dying in India.

    Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro’s government say the queues are a national embarrassment and symbol of failed socialist economics similar to the old Soviet Union.

    But officials say businessmen are deliberately hoarding products as part of an “economic war” against him. They point to popular social welfare programs, and a halving of poverty levels since Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999, as evidence that Venezuela’s poor are better cared for than ever.

    The government this month began an ID system that tracks shoppers’ purchases at subsidized prices in state-run supermarkets. Officials say that will thwart hoarders and guarantee an equitable distribution of cheap food to those who need it, but critics are decrying it as a Cuban-style ration card that illustrates the shocking state of the economy.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/29/us-venezuela-homeless-idUSBREA3S0DQ20140429

  12. Cuba oil consumption average (1980-2013) 184,000 barrels / day in 2013 it consumed 170,000 barrels/day. Cuba need to import a minimum of 120,000 barrels/day to satisfy national needs.
    In 2010 the country had net oil exports of 1.7 million barrels per day (bbl/d), the eighth-largest in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. While crude oil production for 2011 increased 100,000 bbl/d (and equaled 2009 levels), overall production levels have declined by roughly one-quarter since 2001. Natural decline at older fields, maintenance issues, and the need for increasing foreign investment are behind this trend. In addition, net oil exports have also declined since domestic consumption has increased 39% since 2001. (from 550,000 barrels/day to 765,000 barrels/day)
    As of 2010, Venezuela maintained roughly 5,500 miles of oil pipelines to service the country’s domestic consumption. While discussions to build an international pipeline with Colombia are ongoing, Venezuela currently has no international oil pipelines.
    Venezuela’s oil production between 1991 and 2012 average 2,500,000 barrels/day ….it is still the same for 2014. Exports to Cuba are 400,000 barrels/day (estimate). However, Cuba only needs 120,000 barrels/day to satisfy its consumption. The rest is refined in Cuba and sold. Even though the U.S. is buying 50% less or 951000 barrels/day vs. 1.3 million barrels/day (in 1997) oil from Venezuela then it used to in 2011. The U.S. still buys 186,000 barrels from the Virgin Islands which buys the oil exclusively from Venezuela. One of the fastest growing destinations of Venezuelan crude oil exports has been China. In 2011, China imported 230,000 bbl/d of crude oil from Venezuela, up from only 19,000 bbl/d in 2005 picking up dollars from the decline in imports from the U.S.

  13. HMMM!! HOW CAN THE CASTRO “GOVERNMENT” “MOVE” ON A PROJECT WITH VENEZUELAN “FUNDING” WHEN THE Nicolas Maduro IS BROKE! NICE FAIRY TALE BY THE CASTROFASCIST OLIGARCHY MAFIA! IN OTHER WORDS, ITS A LIE! AND I HATE WHEN THE PRESS REFERS TO “CUBA” IN ARTICLES WHEN THEY SHOULD SAY THE “CASTRO” WHEN REFERRING TO ANY “GOVERNMENT” NEWS!

    BLOOMBERG: Cuba Moves Ahead With $2.7 Billion LNG, Ammonia Projects – by Pietro D. Pitts

    Cuba continues moving forward with development of a $1.4 billion natural gas regasification project and a $1.2 billion urea and ammonia plant under a Venezuelan initiative to provide cheap fuel to regional allies.

    The regasification project will have the capacity to process 2.06 million metric tons per year and consist of building facilities to receive and process liquefied natural gas, Petroleos de Venezuela SA said in a December report released last week. The aim of the project is to provide a clean and low-cost energy source to the population, the company said without giving a completion date.

    The urea and ammonia plant will have the capacity to process 400,000 metric tons per year of urea and 370,000 metric tons per year of ammonia. The project seeks to benefit Cuba’s industrial sector, particularly plastics, industrial agriculture and chemical products, PDVSA said.

    Output from the urea and ammonia plant will be destined to meet demand in Cuba while excess output will be exported by PDVSA’s petrochemical affiliate Pequiven to countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The project conceptualization phase has been finalized though no completion date was given.

    Created by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005, the Petrocaribe Initiative lets its 18 member countries buy oil from PDVSA at market prices, paying 5 percent upfront and the remainder over 25 years at 1 percent interest.

    PDVSA exported an average 103,400 barrels a day to Petrocaribe members in 2013 compared to 102,000 barrels a day in 2012, the company said. Cuba, under an accord with Venezuela, received 89,600 barrels per day in 2013 from PDVSA compared with 91,100 barrels per day in 2012.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-28/cuba-moves-ahead-with-2-7-billion-lng-ammonia-projects.html

  14. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THE CASTROFASCIST DEADBEAT OLIGARCHY MAFIA! SE ESTAN CAGANGO, NO DINERO! A MAFIA GETS USE TO LOT OF DINERO! CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT MONEY!

    MIAMI HERALD: Moody’s cuts Cuba credit rating – The firm says turmoil in Venezuela and perhaps in Castro succession makes for increased risks. – by Juan Tamayo
    The Moody’s credit rating firm has dropped Cuba’s low ranking even further, saying that the island is vulnerable to an “elevated risk” of an economic collapse in Venezuela as well as “abrupt and disorderly” changes at home.

    Although Cuban ruler Raúl Castro “recently indicated that his current term will be his last and, at the same time, appointed a first vice president … there is considerable uncertainty around the future state of Cuba’s political economy,” the firm said.

    Those factors create the risk of “an abrupt and disorderly political transition” in Cuba, Moody’s said in a report last week on how the turmoil in Venezuela could affect its cheap oil exports to member nations of the Petrocaribe program.

    “Cuba relies heavily upon Venezuela for oil, which is imported with favorable financing terms through Petrocaribe,” the credit rating firm said. It put the value of Venezuelan oil sent to the island in 2012 at more than $6 billion.

    “Given Venezuela’s increasingly unsustainable macroeconomic imbalances and elevated risk of an economic and financial collapse, the future of this arrangement is uncertain, rendering Cuba vulnerable to a sharp adjustment in the cost of energy imports.” Moody’s said.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/28/4085697/moodys-cuts-cuba-credit-rating.html

  15. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT

    The leftist believe ( in principle) in greater equality for all. The left wants universal healthcare, education and racial equality. The Right believe (in principle) in privilege, economic apartheid, racism. They believe that this is necessary to manage scarcity. The truth about governance is somewhere in between the two. It can best be balanced in the Welfare State. A State where there is universal healthcare for all, livable minimum wage, minimizes privilege in the law of the land, democratic elections cannot be bought or government can’t be persuaded to skew the laws and regulations of the land towards the business class at the expense of the working class in the Nation. Good governance can feed, provide transportation, house, provide healthcare and work for the majority of people in the Nation without de-stabilizing inequality in all its dimensions. The small part of the population that cannot find quality of life are supported with social programs and help. Today neither the Right or the Left are doing a very good job at meeting the needs of the People around the World. In Cuba, scarcity is bad, but, it is made worst by Cuban geography. The Empire to the North constantly bombards the World with propaganda about its achievements even though the standard of living of U.S. citizens have declined steadily for 45 years and Capitalism is an unsustainable economic system that must be abandon or certainly cannot be the center of the economic universe for the World. The Media, thanks to the internet is being used by both the Right and Left to promote themselves in ways that were never possible before. The amount of noise in the digital media from both camps has made extremely difficult for the average citizen of the World to know what the truth really is. Governments, newspapers, companies, people that we trusted in the past for information are using the internet as a tool of foreign policy, propaganda and persuasion, respectively, instead of adhering to keeping the digital media as a source of information and communication of facts and ideas. The problem with bias information in the internet is that it has contribute to the chaos in the World more than to its control. Newspapers most important mandate in democratic societies is to monitor power and inform the People without bias. This basic practice has being thrown out the window with the explosion of information that the internet has facilitated and the digital media. Hopefully the new digital newspaper Sanchez is embarking on will adhere to informing the People without bias and also, some day, will be able to monitor power in Cuba without fear of Power.

  16. THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS AND THEIR LORDS THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA, THINK THAT THEY CAN KEEP HUMAN RIGHT ABUSES AND VIOLENCE AGAINST PROTESTERS A SECRET! IN THEIR MINDS THEY ARE STILL LIVING IN THE 20th CENTURY! THEIR ACHILLES HEEL!

    N.Y. TIMES: In Venezuela, Protesters Point to Their Scars – by William Neuman
    VALENCIA, Venezuela — Clipso Martínez was shot at such close range by a soldier at a protest that his surgeon said he had to remove pieces of the plastic shotgun shell buried in his leg, along with the shards of keys Mr. Martínez had in his pocket, shattered by the blast.

    Jorchual Gregory was detained with 10 others who said that over three days they were kicked, pistol whipped, doused with pepper spray and battered with helmets and shotgun butts.

    “They wanted to make people afraid so we wouldn’t stay in the streets,” said Mr. Gregory, 19. “But what happened was more protests and more deaths.”

    Venezuela has been shaken by more than two months of often violent protests that President Nicolás Maduro says are designed to overthrow him. He has held the opposition responsible for violence that the government says has claimed more than 40 lives, including those of protesters, bystanders and six National Guard soldiers.

    Until recently, most countries in the region had either supported Mr. Maduro, said little about the protests or gently urged him toward moderation. But there were growing signs that support for Mr. Maduro in the region was weakening, as some of Venezuela’s neighbors showed unease with the government’s response to the crisis, including the aggressive treatment of protesters.

    The growing concerns in the region coincided with increasing evidence of a pattern of violent behavior by the security forces here. Mr. Maduro has said that “a very small number of security forces personnel” have been “accused of engaging in violence,” and that the government has arrested them. Yet abuse allegations continued to mount, particularly against the National Guard, a military branch at the forefront of the government response to the protests.

    Soldiers have been accused of firing shotguns loaded with hard plastic buckshot at point-blank range, injuring numerous demonstrators and killing a 23-year-old woman. Soldiers and police officers have also been widely accused of beating detainees, often severely, with many people saying the security forces then robbed them, stealing cellphones, money and jewelry.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/world/americas/in-venezuela-protesters-point-to-their-scars.html

  17. People don’t want to waste time reading long articles. The extremelylong articles that cheerleaders of the Castroit tyrannical regime, like omar fundora, post on this blog are articles full of falsehoods written by their Castroit masters. These cheerleaders are always enthusiastic in describing the Castroit regime record in Cuba based on its lies, not the real facts.

  18. THE PROBLEM OF FINDING THE TRUTH IN WHAT WE READ….A BIAS STATEMENT FIRST AND WHAT WAS CLOSE TO THE TRUTH SECOND….

    Capitol Hill Cubans was more measured, praising the writer’s talent and accomplishments but echoing the same argument when it came to his politics:

    Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 87, died last night at his home in Mexico City.

    Known as ‘Gabo’, he was one of the most popular and talented Latin American novelists of our time. His writings include…Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Autumn of the Patriarch, both with strong political undertones and stinging critiques of Latin American dictators.

    Unfortunately, Gabo’s criticism spared dictators of the left.

    His intimate friendship with Latin America’s longest-serving, deadliest and only totalitarian dictator, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, was legendary.

    Throughout his life, Gabo’s condemnation of dictators always stopped short of Havana, where he was provided a home with all of the privileges and luxuries denied to ordinary Cubans.

    His double-standard became emblematic. It is practiced today by some of Latin America’s leaders, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica — all of whom were once themselves victims of military dictatorships and scorned those who coddled their repressors.

    Yet inconceivably, these Latin American leaders now coddle the sole remaining military dictatorship of the Americas.

    Goodbye Gabo.

    May your literary legacy live forever.

    But close an unfortunate chapter in Latin America’s ideological double-standard.

    Blogging from Trinidad and Tobago, Kris Rampersad talked about García Márquez’s literary legacy:

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artists of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world … trying to seize the magic of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of new found power; the failure of the dream of independence that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies.

    She even turned the discussion about the author’s politics on its head, saying:

    If only the political world read more they probably have worked harder to shape a better world driven by the conscience of the likes of Marquez. RIP.

  19. US CONTINUES TO DE-ESTABILIZE COUNTRIES IN LATIN AMERICAN….VENEZUELA
    The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

    Apr 25th 2014, by Eva Golinger – Postcards from the Revolution

    Author and journalist Eva Golinger details recent U.S. funding of the Venezuelan opposition, concluding that, “What is clear is that the US government continues to feed efforts to destabilize Venezuela”.

    Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado- two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February – have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy “NED” and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

    These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following 8 years.

    At the beginning of 2011, after being publically exposed for its grave violations of Venezuelan law and sovereignty, the OTI closed its doors inVenezuela and USAID operations were transferred to its offices in the US. The flow of money to anti-government groups didn’t stop, despite the enactment by Venezuela’s National Assembly of the Law of Political Sovereignty and NationalSelf-Determination at the end of 2010, which outright prohibits foreign funding of political groups in the country. US agencies and the Venezuelan groups that receive their money continue to violate the law with impunity. In the Obama Administration’s Foreign Operations Budgets, between $5-6 million have been included to fund opposition groups in Venezuela through USAID since 2012.

    The NED, a “foundation” created by Congress in 1983 to essentially do the CIA’s work overtly, has been one of the principal financiers of destabilization in Venezuela throughout the Chavez administration and now against President Maduro. According to NED’s 2013 annual report, the agency channeled more than $2.3 million to Venezuelan opposition groups and projects. Within that figure, $1,787,300 went directly to anti-government groups within Venezuela, while another $590,000 was distributed to regional organizations that work with and fund the Venezuelan opposition. More than $300,000 was directed towards efforts to develop a new generation of youth leaders to oppose Maduro’s government politically.

    One of the groups funded by NED to specifically work with youth is FORMA (http://www.forma.org.ve), an organization led by Cesar Briceño and tied to Venezuelan banker Oscar Garcia Mendoza. Garcia Mendoza runs the Banco Venezolano de Credito, a Venezuelan bank that has served as the filter for the flow of dollars from NED and USAID to opposition groups in Venezuela, including Sumate, CEDICE, Sin Mordaza, Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones and FORMA, amongst others.

    Another significant part of NED funds in Venezuela from 2013-2014 was given to groups and initiatives that work in media and run the campaign to discredit the government of President Maduro. Some of the more active media organizations outwardly opposed to Maduro and receiving NED funds include Espacio Publico, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Sin Mordaza and GALI. Throughout the past year, an unprecedented media war has been waged against the Venezuelan government and President Maduro directly, which has intensified during the past few months of protests.

    In direct violation of Venezuelan law, NED also funded the opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), via the US International Republican Institute (IRI), with $100,000 to “share lessons learned with [anti-government groups] in Nicaragua, Argentina and Bolivia…and allow for the adaption of the Venezuelan experience in these countries”. Regarding this initiative, the NED 2013 annual report specifically states its aim: “To develop the ability of political and civil society actors from Nicaragua, Argentina and Bolivia to work on national, issue-based agendas for their respective countries using lessons learned and best practices from successful Venezuelan counterparts. The Institute will facilitate an exchange of experiences between the Venezuelan Democratic Unity Roundtable and counterparts in Bolivia, Nicaragua and Argentina. IRI will bring these actors together through a series of tailored activities that will allow for the adaptation of the Venezuelan experience in these countries.”

    IRI has helped to build right-wing opposition parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and has worked with the anti-government coaltion in Venezuela since before the 2002 coup d’etat against Chavez. In fact, IRI’s president at that time, George Folsom, outwardly applauded the coup and celebrated IRI’s role in a pressrelease claiming, “The Institute has served as a bridge between the nation’s political parties and all civil society groups to help Venezuelans forge a new democratic future…”

    Detailed in a report published by the Spanish institute FRIDE in 2010, international agencies that fund the Venezuelan opposition violate currency control laws in order to get their dollars to the recipients. Also confirmed in the FRIDE report was the fact that the majority of international agencies, with the exception of the European Commission, are bringing in foreign money and changing it on the black market, in clear violation of Venezuelan law. In some cases, as the FRIDE analysis reports, the agencies open bank accounts abroad for the Venezuelan groups or they bring them the money in hard cash. The US Embassy in Caracas could also use the diplomatic pouch to bring large quantities of unaccounted dollars and euros into the country that are later handed over illegally to anti-government groups in Venezuela.

    What is clear is that the US government continues to feed efforts to destabilize Venezuela in clear violation of law. Stronger legal measures and enforcement may be necessary to ensure the sovereignty and defense of Venezuela’s democracy.

  20. THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS UNDERESTIMATED THE DISCONTENT IN THE POPULATION AND THE RESOLVE OF THE STUDENT PROTESTERS! THE END IS NEAR FOR THE CASTROFASCISTS TOO, RIGHT AFTER THE Nicolas Maduro EITHER FALL OR DOES AN ABOUT TURN ABOUT ITS GIFTS TO THE DEADBEAT CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA!

    THE SLATE: Scores of Venezuelans march against government – by JORGE RUEDA and JOSHUA GOODMAN

    CARACAS, Venezuela — Scores of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro marched in Caracas on Saturday, vowing to remain on the streets in defiance of a high court ruling limiting protests. Student organizers at the last minute decided against marching downtown to avoid a confrontation with security forces in the government-controlled district. Instead they concentrated in the wealthier, eastern neighborhoods that have been the hotbed of unrest since February. Demonstrators carried signs on Saturday blasting a Supreme Court ruling this week that gives police the right to disperse protests that don’t have a permit. Opponents say the ruling is the latest attempt by the socialist government to muzzle dissent amid widespread discontent with 57 percent inflation and record shortages.

    While Maduro is unlikely to cede to opposition demands that it grant an amnesty for jailed activists, the negotiations could force him to loosen the state’s tight grip on the economy, said Dimitris Pantoulas, a Caracas-based political consultant.

    He points to the government’s wink-wink approval of recent price increases for regulated goods and its willingness to divert government savings earmarked for social spending to fund private investments as a sign of encroaching pragmatism.

    “Just sitting across the same table as the government is something the opposition hasn’t achieved in 15 years” of socialist rule, said Pantoulas.

    While students are boycotting the talks, they’re asserting considerable pressure on the negotiators by refusing to abandon the streets. For more than a month, dozens have been camping outside the offices of the United Nations, blocking several lanes of traffic on one of the capital’s busiest thoroughfares.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.thestate.com/2014/04/26/3411183/scores-of-venezuelans-march-against.html

  21. IS ANYONE SURPRISED ABOUT THIS?? PUTIN AND THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY MAFIA ARE PARANOID! THEY KNOW INTERNET ACCESS CAN CONNECT PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM INFORMATION THAT THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS HIDE OR FAIL TO PROVIDE!

    AS EXPECTED: “Russia and Cuba in particular have supported language allowing govenrments to block certain content.”

    THE HILL: Russia, Cuba oppose Internet control, surveillance agreement – by Kate Tummarello

    While most countries are signing on to a new agreement on Internet governance, Russia and Cuba have pushed back, according to U.S. officials.

    The nonbinding agreement was drafted at NETmundial, a meeting in Brazil this week that brought together representatives from governments, the tech industry and civil society to discuss Internet governance issues.

    The nonbinding agreement developed at the meeting lays down basic Internet governance principles — such as free speech, privacy rights, security and protections for the Internet companies that connect people online — and calls for a global approach to Internet governance and oversight.

    Specifically, the transition of oversight over the Internet’s Web address system, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), away from the U.S. government “should be conducted thoughtfully with a focus on maintaining the security and stability of the Internet, empowering the principle of equal participation among all stakeholder groups and striving towards a completed transition by September 2015,” the document said.

    The agreement also addresses government mass surveillance, saying it “should not be arbitrary or unlawful,” a standard that the U.S. government “is very comfortable” with, according to Scott Busby, deputy assistant secretary of State.

    That principle is “consistent with standards that have already been articulated in international law,” he said.

    “There is nothing groundbreaking new here in terms of mass surveillance or surveillance generally.”

    Some countries, including Russia, Cuba and India, raised concerns about the agreement, according to Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, the State Department’s coordinator for international communications and information policy. Russia and Cuba in particular have supported language allowing govenrments to block certain content.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/204429-russia-cuba-fight-internet-control-surveillance-agreement

  22. GREENPEACE AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTALISTS WILL NOT LIKE THIS STORY! BLAME IT ON THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA! THEY RUN CUBA AS THEIR PLANTATION WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE AS THEIR SLAVES!

    BUENOS AIRES HERALD: Cuba: growing private sector low on materials – by Ivet González

    HAVANA — The lack of markets to supply raw materials for Cuba’s new private sector, along with the poverty in isolated rural communities, is fuelling the poaching of endangered species of flora and fauna.

    In 2010, the socialist government of Raúl Castro gave the green light to private enterprise in a limited number of activities, mainly in the services sector.

    But without wholesale markets to supply the 455,000 cuentapropistas — officially registered self-employed people — unforeseen phenomena soon appeared, like the rise in poaching and illegal logging.

    Forests, which cover just under 29 percent of the territory of this Caribbean island nation, are suffering the consequences.

    “You can get a permit to work as a carpenter, but it’s hard to get the raw materials,” Antonio Gutiérrez, a carpenter who works at a sawmill in the Ciénaga de Zapata, the largest Caribbean island wetland, told Tie-rramérica. “You can also build more homes, or upgrade homes. People need boards, windows, everything…and to solve the problem they go into the bush and cut.”

    Last year, the forest ranger corps levied 19,993 fines for a total of US$125,000, and seized 2,274 metres of wood. Although there are no statistics on wood confiscated in previous years, the authorities say illegal logging is on the rise.

    “That’s confiscated mahogany and oak,” said Gutiérrez, 48, pointing to a pile of thin tree trunks on the ground. “Those trees had a lot of growing to do to become real logs.”

    He maintained that more wood should be sold to people in order to safeguard forests from illegal logging.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/157901/cuba-growing-private-sector-low-on-materials

  23. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FINDING IN DIGITAL MEDIA RESEARCH. I THINK EVERYONE ENGAGE IN THIS TYPE OF BLOG FORMAT SHOULD TAKE NOTE OF THIS:

    The rise of partisan sources for news and commentary—most notably high-profile left-and
    right-leaning blogs, but also a range of new options for radio and cable—creates a different
    but related challenge to broadcast news producers. Such outlets, which privilege a particular
    political viewpoint, compete with both public and commercial journalism projects to attract
    the most politically active audience members. Partisan news outlets can heighten political
    engagement, but at the cost of reinforcing ideology through conflict-driven journalism that
    diminishes context, balance and constructive debate

  24. I don’t understand all the Marquez talk here.

    Lots of artists are attracted to fascism, nothing new there.

    Ezra Pound loved Mussolini, Marquez loved Castro. What’s the point?

    A strong imagination is a good quality in a writer.

    But it can lead to delusion when dealing with the real world.

    If you want constant attention from the media, like Marquez, a good way is to buddy up with a psychopathic dictator.

  25. Nick,

    You seem to have an almost pornographic obsession with the USA.

    I wonder if Venezuelans will ever have the power to send the Cuban military bozos back home.

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