Cold Kisses Under the Tropical Sun

The fear of not being able to leave, of remaining locked on the island, is shared by many of my compatriots. Those who have never traveled fear they will grow old without ever knowing what’s on the other side of the sea. Cubans living abroad are not exempt from this fear. Many of them, when they visit the Island, have a recurring nightmare that they will not be allowed to board the plane when they leave. It is precisely this feeling overwhelms the main character of the novel “Eskimo Kiss,” by the novelist and journalist Manuel Pereira.

The book, as yet unpublished, describes the experiences of a man who travels to the land he left twelve years ago. His mother’s advanced age compels him return to the “country of mirages,” as he calls it. His arrival is accompanied by the panic of being trapped and that apprehension is mixed with the constant feeling of being watched. To him, his country is “like a moustrap” during the four days of the “humanitarian entry permit” the authorities have given him.

It is not only that perception of confinement that overwhelms the character of Pereira, but the difference between what he remembered from his homeland and what it really was. The distance, years and emotions tend to put a patina of sweetness and harmony on loved ones and everyday life that is often shattered when they are reunited. Nor does a nation fading away, in a moral freefall, do much to help allay the impression of suffocation that runs through the pages of this book. “Will he be able to escape?” we ask ourselves from the moment we start reading. To get to the answer we have to immerse ourselves in the reality—as well known as it is absurd—in which we ourselves are trapped.

31 thoughts on “Cold Kisses Under the Tropical Sun

  1. THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS TRYING TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THE COUNTRY’S COLLAPSE BY INVENTING ANOTHER “ASSASSINATION PLOT” AGAINS Nicolas Maduro! RIGHT OFF THE Fidel Castro HANDBOOK!
    ABC NEWS: Venezuela Orders 3 Arrested for Alleged Plot
    Venezuela’s attorney general ordered the arrests Wednesday of three government opponents, including a former presidential candidate and a former state oil company executive, who are wanted for questioning in an alleged plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro. In an interview with state television, Luisa Ortega Diaz said arrest orders were issued for former candidate and United Nations ambassador Diego Arria; Pedro Burelli, the former external director of Petroleos de Venezuela; and Ricardo Koesling, an attorney who has been a strong critic of the Maduro administration.

    Ortega Diaz charged that groups are seeking to destabilize Venezuela’s socialist government and have formed “violent political plans” against Maduro and other high-ranking officials. Authorities investigating the alleged plot had summoned the three men to appear as witnesses.

    Because the three men being sought are believed to be out of Venezuela, authorities plan to ask Interpol to help capture them, Ortega Diaz said.

    Burelli, who has lived in the United States for several years, responded with his Twitter account, saying Ortega Diaz “is going down the wrong road.” He told the newspaper El Universal earlier this week that he is working with his lawyer to prove that the accusations “are based on forged emails.”

    The attorney general’s office opened its investigation in March after officials claimed a plot was being formed against the government. Caracas Mayor Jorge Rodriguez said last month that there was a “complex plan” to topple and assassinate Maduro and other leaders. He accused a former opposition congresswoman, Maria Corina Machado, of involvement and showed email messages that she allegedly shared with government opponents.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/venezuela-orders-arrested-alleged-plot-24096877

  2. YOANI SANCHEZ LIVE IN CHICAGO @ 6:00 p.m. (Central Time Zone) – Presentation and discussion -The event will be broadcast live in Spanish – El evento sera tranmitido en Espanol! CLICK LINK FOR YOUTUBE CONNECTION!
    CUBA UNCENSORED – Yoani Sánchez, Author and Blogger – In conversation with Maria Hinojosa, Anchor and Executive Producer, Latino USA, National Public Radio – This event will be streamed live in Spanish. An English translation will be available for those who attend the event.

    http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/files/Event/FY14_Events/06_June/Cuba_Un.aspx

  3. THE CASTROFASCISTS DONT WANT ANY INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCES IN THE ISLAND PRISON OF CUBA! EVEN FROM THOSE WHO ARE CONSIDERED “SYMPATHETIC” TO THE “ROBOLUTION”!
    ABC NEWS: Cuba Church Magazine Editors Quit Over ‘Divisions’ – by Peter Orsi – The former editors of an influential Roman Catholic magazine in Cuba resigned because its critical coverage caused controversy and tensions among the faithful, they said in a letter that circulated Thursday. Roberto Veiga and Lenier Gonzalez, who for about a decade led editorial coverage of Espacio Laical, said the magazine’s “socio-political profile” led to tensions that affected both them and Cardinal Jaime Ortega. “For that reason … it was not morally right to continue leading a publication that provoked divisions within the ecclesiastical community itself, where there are the positions of those who believe the Church should not meddle ‘in politics,'” Veiga and Gonzalez wrote in the letter, which Gonzalez emailed to The Associated Press. It also appeared on several websites.

    “We came to understand the impossibility of maintaining the editorial line of the magazine Espacio Laical as it has been,” they said.

    Word of the editors’ resignation emerged this week when an email they sent to colleagues appeared online.

    In the missive they said they had been “freed” from their positions — using a Spanish word that in Cuba is often a euphemism for “dismissed.”

    On Wednesday the director of Espacio Laical, Gustavo Andujar, issued a sharply worded statement saying they not been fired but rather submitted their resignation May 2.

    Veiga and Gonzalez acknowledged that they had in fact resigned, and regretted that their ambiguous language was misinterpreted.

    “It moves us that a private communication for friends … should become a matter of concern for so many men and women inside and outside of Cuba,” the letter said. “We also regret the aggressive and disproportionate tone of the message from Gustavo Andujar.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/longtime-editors-cuban-catholic-magazine-24093990

  4. THOSE Raul Castro “CHANGES” ARE JUST A SMOKE SCREEN TO SAVE FACE AND TO BUY THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY MAFIA MORE TIME TO CEMENT THEIR ECONOMIC EMPIRE IN THE “POST-CASTRO CUBA” ALONG WITH THEIR THUGS!

    THE NEWS TRIBUNE: Longtime editors out at Cuban Catholic magazine – by Andrea Rodriguez

    HAVANA — The top two editors of the Cuban Roman Catholic Church’s influential magazine Espacio Laical are no longer working for what is one of the few independent media outlets on the island, the publication and one of the editors said Wednesday.

    Espacio Laical is a rare local source of news and commentary that is not controlled by the government or the Communist Party, and in recent years it has published a number of articles with tough analyses of President Raul Castro’s economic and social reforms.

    A statement from the magazine said editor Roberto Veiga and co-editor Lenier Gonzalez submitted their resignation May 2, but it was only recently accepted.

    “Espacio Laical will continue forward with a new team,” said the statement, signed by magazine director Gustavo Andujar. “It will have its defenders and detractors, just like now, though criticisms and praise will not necessarily have the same content or come from the same groups as now.”

    Gonzalez confirmed to The Associated Press that the two had resigned. He did not offer details, but said they intended to issue a letter with more information.

    Word of their departure appeared previously on Cuban exile websites that suggested the two had been dismissed.

    Veiga and Gonzalez had been at the editorial helm of Espacio Laical for about a decade and began to take on more influence in recent years as Castro began the reforms.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/06/11/3238409/longtime-editors-out-at-cuban.html?sp=/99/296/358/

  5. THE CASTROFASCISTS TYPICAL TACTIC OF INTIMIDATION AND VIOLENCE! WHERE ARE ALL THE LATIN AMERICAN LEFTISTS ON THIS?? KISS CASTRO BOOTS I GATHER!

    MIAMI HERALD: Top dissidents detained in Cuba – Most were freed later in the day but one alleges he was severely beaten – by Juan Tamayo

    Cuban police detained four top pro-democracy activists and at least 40 other dissidents Wednesday in a crackdown in which an independent journalist alleges he was severely beaten by a State Security agent.

    Most of the dissidents were freed later in the day, but the large number of detentions fueled complaints that the government of Raúl Castro government has been turning to tougher and, at times, violent means of repressing dissent.

    Havana human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez characterized the events as “short-term, arbitrary detentions for political motives” and said the number of detainees could top 44 because several activists haven’t been accounted for.

    Sanchez’ Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported a record 3,821 such arrests in the first four months of this year. That compares to the previous high of 2,795 during the first four months of 2012. The detentions are usually designed to intimidate dissidents and keep them away from opposition gatherings,.

    Two well-known dissidents, Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as Antúnez, and his wife, Yris Pérez Aguilera, were hauled away by police during an early morning raid of their home in the town of Placetas, the Cuban Democratic Directorate said.

    The wife sent a text message from her cell phone saying that the couple had been taken to police headquarters in the nearby city of Santa Clara, the Miami-based Directorate reported. It was not known whether they had been freed as of Wednesday night.

    There was no immediate explanation for the couple’s detention, although they are considered to be among the most hard-line dissidents on the island and are leaders of the National Civic Resistance Front Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

    Police have raided their home at least four times since February, seizing phones, computers and documents they brought back from a lengthy trip abroad last year. It took them to several cities in the United States, Europe and Latin America.

    Magaly Norvis Otero, a member of the dissident Ladies in White, said she and at least 30 other women and 15 men were detained when they tried to attend the Havana trial of the husband of group member Yalenis Cutiño. She accused him of domestic abuse.

    “As the women and the others arrived at the trial, police arrested us and took us to jail. I know of at least 30 women and 15 men but there might be more,” Norvis told El Nuevo Herald by phone.

    Among those detained were Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, and her husband, Angel Moya, a dissident who served about eight years in prison.

    Norvis said many of the dissidents detained were freed after about four hours, but she had no immediate word on Soler or Moya.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/11/4171942/top-dissidents-detained-in-cuba.html

  6. DONT COUNT ON THE CASTROFASCSISTS TO HELP YOU IF THEIR TOURISM AND INCOME WILL GET NEGATIVELY AFFECTED!

    TORONTO STAR: Toronto man’s death by speedboat in Cuba shrouded in secrecy – Gigel Tonea’s family are frustrated by the lack of information coming from Cuban police about what happened to him while snorkelling. – by Wendy Gillis

    Sitting on the shore of Cuba’s Santa Lucia beach last month, Anca Tonea could see a speedboat stopped in the bright blue waters, close to the reef where her husband, Gigel, was snorkeling.

    When she saw a passenger lift a man out of the water, Tonea knew something wasn’t right. The man’s flippered feet, she says, were dangling off the side of the boat, lifeless.

    Tonea watched the boat speed away, and when her husband failed to return to the beach, she knew it had been his body hoisted aboard.

    After a chaotic few hours seeking answers — Where was her husband taken? Could she see him? How was he doing? — she says she was brought to the hotel lobby, where a resort employee delivered the devastating news.

    Gigel, a vibrant 66-year-old dental technician and father of three, was dead.

    The Toronto man’s grieving family is now left with questions about what led to Gigel’s death and reeling from the way they say Anca was treated.

    The Toneas say Cuban officials did not allow Anca to see her husband’s body, asked her to identify him using just the mass-produced flippers he had brought from Toronto, and — most painfully — failed to inform her of the cause of death while she was still in Cuba. Until she arrived in Toronto the following day, Anca says, she believed Gigel had suffered a stroke or gone into cardiac arrest in the water.

    It wasn’t until her three kids used Google to translate the Spanish police report, they say, that they learned he was run over by a speedboat while snorkeling.

    “It was the word ‘propeller’ that told us,” said her eldest, Alexander Dandy, referring to a Cuban police report that says Gigel suffered fatal injuries to his head and back after being struck by the boat. “The idea that she left Cuba without knowing how he died, that’s very sinister.”

    The Provincial Criminal Investigation Unit in Cuba is now investigating the case. That’s standard procedure for cases involving a foreigner’s death, according to Yoan Dominguez, the Canadian consular officer assigned to the case. The incident could constitute a homicide offence, says the police report provided to the family.

    The police unit responsible could not be reached for comment. Dominguez refused repeated requests from the Star to provide contact information for the appropriate investigators.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2014/06/11/toronto_mans_death_by_speedboat_in_cuba_shrouded_in_secrecy.html

  7. Simba! Why don’t you stop whinning and contribute something with intelligence dear!

  8. Simba Sez: Within the scope of the Capiro/Fundora committee of irrelevancy Yoani’s blog is being successfully reduced to nil value. Thank you Yoani for continuing to write about the trials and tribulations of the Cuban good life against all odds.

  9. UNDERSTANDING U.S. VS. CUBA RELATIONS TODAY….

    Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers
    May 5, 2014
    Contact: Brian Reil

    In the book to be released May 5, 2014, Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers, Hufbauer and Kotschwar suggest markers for the path to restoring normal economic relations between the United States and Cuba. The markers would link each step forward in the normalization of US economic ties with appropriate measures to ensure that US firms and workers gain additional rights in the Cuban economy.

    Cuba will face severe economic challenges, whatever the transition scenario between an autocratic state-centered economy and a democratic market-centered economy. But both the United States and Cuba stand to gain much from greater economic integration.

    In their study, Hufbauer and Kotschwar discuss how US merchandise exports to Cuba could reach $4.3 billion annually, while Cuban merchandise exports to the United States could reach $5.8 billion annually. Over the past six years, US merchandise exports to Cuba have been a fraction of that, generally ranging between $300 million and $500 million annually. For the United States, there is currently no recorded trade in services, causing the United States to miss out on $1.6 billion in potential sales to Cuba. Conversely Cuba is missing out on potential sales of $0.9 billion to the United States.

    “Transition to capitalism in Cuba has promise and pitfalls. The United States will have a unique opportunity to incentivize a successful Cuban economic transformation,” said Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute. “Hufbauer and Kotschwar offer farsighted practical guidance on sequencing to ensure good outcomes for both the United States and Cuba.”

    Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar
    Assisted by Cathleen Cimino and Julia Muir
    ISBN paper 978-0-88132-682-6
    April 2014 | 135pp. | $23.95

    About the Authors

    Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow since 1992, was formerly the Maurice Greenberg Chair and Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (1996–98), the Marcus Wallenberg Professor of International Finance Diplomacy at Georgetown University (1985–92), senior fellow at the Institute (1981–85), deputy director of the International Law Institute at Georgetown University (1979–81); deputy assistant secretary for international trade and investment policy of the US Treasury (1977–79); and director of the international tax staff at the Treasury (1974–76).

    Barbara Kotschwar, research fellow, has been associated with the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 2007. She is also adjunct professor of Latin American studies and economics at Georgetown University. Before joining the Institute, she was chief of the Foreign Trade Information System at the Organization of American States. She has advised Latin American and Caribbean governments on trade-related issues and has worked with multilateral and regional development banks on a variety of trade and development projects.

    Cathleen Cimino and Julia Muir assisted with the study.

    About the Peterson Institute

    The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit institution for the rigorous, open, and intellectually honest study and discussion of international economic policy. Its purpose is to identify and analyze important issues to making globalization beneficial and sustainable for the people of the United States and the world and then to develop and communicate practical new approaches for dealing with them. The Institute is widely recognized as nonpartisan. It receives its funding from a wide range of corporations, foundations, and private individuals from the United States and around the world, as well as from income on its endowment.

  10. UNDERSTANDING U.S. VS. CUBA RELATIONS TODAY….

    Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers
    May 5, 2014
    Contact: Brian Reil

    WASHINGTON—Relations between the United States and Cuba, frozen in hostility for more than a half century, are starting to thaw. In a new Peterson Institute study, Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar argue that once the two countries enter negotiations for political and economic normalization, the United States should pursue a gradual and strategic easing of sanctions rather than lifting the longstanding embargo against Cuba in one grand gesture. Although many voices sympathetic to the suffering of the Cuban people will urge instant one-way economic normalization by Washington, the authors say a gradual approach would be more effective in avoiding a shift from communist dictatorship to oligarchic autocracy in Cuba.

    The United States is already missing out on opportunities since Cuba has established trade and investment relations with Canadian, European, and, increasingly, Chinese firms. However by rushing to dismantle US sanctions and unilaterally opening US markets to Cuban goods and services, without proper institutions in place in Cuba and with Cuba’s barriers to trade and investment intact, the United States could lose an opportunity to help US companies and their workers gain access to a new Cuban economy.

    In the book to be released May 5, 2014, Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers, Hufbauer and Kotschwar suggest markers for the path to restoring normal economic relations between the United States and Cuba. The markers would link each step forward in the normalization of US economic ties with appropriate measures to ensure that US firms and workers gain additional rights in the Cuban economy.

    Cuba will face severe economic challenges, whatever the transition scenario between an autocratic state-centered economy and a democratic market-centered economy. But both the United States and Cuba stand to gain much from greater economic integration.

    In their study, Hufbauer and Kotschwar discuss how US merchandise exports to Cuba could reach $4.3 billion annually, while Cuban merchandise exports to the United States could reach $5.8 billion annually. Over the past six years, US merchandise exports to Cuba have been a fraction of that, generally ranging between $300 million and $500 million annually. For the United States, there is currently no recorded trade in services, causing the United States to miss out on $1.6 billion in potential sales to Cuba. Conversely Cuba is missing out on potential sales of $0.9 billion to the United States.

    “Transition to capitalism in Cuba has promise and pitfalls. The United States will have a unique opportunity to incentivize a successful Cuban economic transformation,” said Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute. “Hufbauer and Kotschwar offer farsighted practical guidance on sequencing to ensure good outcomes for both the United States and Cuba.”

    Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar
    Assisted by Cathleen Cimino and Julia Muir
    ISBN paper 978-0-88132-682-6
    April 2014 | 135pp. | $23.95

    About the Authors

    Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow since 1992, was formerly the Maurice Greenberg Chair and Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (1996–98), the Marcus Wallenberg Professor of International Finance Diplomacy at Georgetown University (1985–92), senior fellow at the Institute (1981–85), deputy director of the International Law Institute at Georgetown University (1979–81); deputy assistant secretary for international trade and investment policy of the US Treasury (1977–79); and director of the international tax staff at the Treasury (1974–76).

    Barbara Kotschwar, research fellow, has been associated with the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 2007. She is also adjunct professor of Latin American studies and economics at Georgetown University. Before joining the Institute, she was chief of the Foreign Trade Information System at the Organization of American States. She has advised Latin American and Caribbean governments on trade-related issues and has worked with multilateral and regional development banks on a variety of trade and development projects.

    Cathleen Cimino and Julia Muir assisted with the study.

    About the Peterson Institute

    The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit institution for the rigorous, open, and intellectually honest study and discussion of international economic policy. Its purpose is to identify and analyze important issues to making globalization beneficial and sustainable for the people of the United States and the world and then to develop and communicate practical new approaches for dealing with them. The Institute is widely recognized as nonpartisan. It receives its funding from a wide range of corporations, foundations, and private individuals from the United States and around the world, as well as from income on its endowment.

  11. CONTINUE BAD ECONOMIC NEWS ELSEWHERE IN THE ECONOMY FOR VENEZUELA

    SIDOR has been shut down for 29 days since April, at lowest productivity in history

    SIDOR is reaching the worst levels in productivity in its entire history due to labor strife. The industrial conglomerate has been paralyzed for 29 days since the end of April due to worker shutdowns over back pay due and a lack of spare parts and supplies. More in Spanish: (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140609/desde-abril-sidor-ha-estado-paralizada-por-29-dias)

    Suppliers have cut off credit to Venezuela’s chemical industry

    Juan Pablo Olalquiaga, President of the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry Association, says that even if the government pays all it owes to the local chemical industry and they can repay their pending external debts, international suppliers are no longer willing to grant credit lines and will only dispatch supplies through up-front payments. “They say they have lost confidence in the Venezuelan market due to repayment delays”, he says. More in Spanish: (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)

  12. AIRLINE INDUSTRY IN VENEZUELA SLOWLY SHOW SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENTS

    45% of the domestic airline fleet at a standstill

    Humberto Figuera, President of the Association of Venezuela Airlines (ALAV), Humberto Figuera says the plight of domestic carriers is equal to or more critical that of international airlines. He explains that 45% of the domestic fleet is grounded due to shortage of spare parts; and lack FOREX to pay for maintenance. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/economia/figuera-45-de-la-flota-de-las-aerolineas-nacionale.aspx)

    Airlines are slowly adjusting rates

    Some airlines that came to an agreement with authorities on repayment of its FOREX debt since 2012 have begun to apply adjusted rates and resume ticket sales as usual. Airlines such as INSEL y TIARA Airlines are selling tickets to Caribbean islands such as Aruba and Curacao, at around U$D 300 and U$D 330. INSEL reports fares to Miami at around U$D 540 are available for September, October and November. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/economia/empresas/lineas-aereas-activan-nuevas-tarifas-de-boletos-po.aspx#ixzz34EGdCeea; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140610/aerolineas-publicaran-en-julio-sus-tarifas-en-dolares; Ultimas Noticias, http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/economia/aerolineas-ya-comienzan-a-vender-pasajes.aspx)

  13. INDICATION THAT MADURO PROMISES THAT HE WOULD INCREASE DOMESTIC FUEL PRICES MAY BECOME A REALITY….

    Petroleum minister hopes OPEC to keep oil production ceiling

    Venezuela’s Minister of Petroleum and President of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Rafael Ramírez, says he hopes the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will keep its output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels per day during their current meeting in Vienna. (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140609/petroleum-minister-hopes-opec-to-keep-oil-production-ceiling)

    PDVSA delivered two diesel shipments to BP and GUNVOR

    Venezuela diesel exports resumed this January after years of devoting their entire diesel production to the domestic market, while a growing demand from power plants has limited sales in recent months and forced PDVSA to boost imports. More In Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/economia/pdvsa-entrego-dos-cargamentos-de-diesel-a-bp-y-gun.aspx)

  14. THE CASTROFASCISTS LIE ABOUT HEALTH EMERGENCIES IN CUBA! GO AT YOUR OWN RISK!

    MIAMI HERALD: Mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya may have arrived in Cuba – A disease first detected in the Caribbean in December has been spreading rapidly from island to island. – by Juan Tamayo

    Cuban doctors already facing outbreaks of dengue and cholera are now reporting the island’s first cases of Chikungunya, a painful, mosquito-borne fever spreading across the Caribbean, according to an independent journalist.

    Doctors at the Vladimir Ilich Lenin General University Hospital in the eastern city of Holguín have confirmed dozens of cases of the fever in several parts of eastern Cuba, Mario Hechavarria reported for the Hablemos Press news agency.

    Hospital workers told him that dozens of cases had been confirmed with laboratory tests and that national health officials have turned a school outside of Holguín into a hospital to treat the patients and keep them isolated, Hechavarria said Tuesday.

    Cuban authorities have not publicly confirmed any cases of Chikungunya. But they have long been reluctant to comment on similar diseases, apparently to avoid scaring away foreign tourists who are one of the island’s key sources of income.

    Independent journalists were the first to report the first outbreaks of dengue in Cuba in the 1970s and of cholera in 2012 – both during the summer mosquito and rainy season when latrines flood and overflow.

    Chikungunya, similar to dengue, causes headaches, skin rashes and acute fevers lasting two to five days and followed by joint pains that can persist for years. It is rarely fatal but can kill elderly or already ailing persons.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/10/4169913/chikungunya-may-have-arrived-in.html

  15. VICE NEWS: Will Venezuela Become a No-Fly Country If It Defaults on Its Airline Debt? – by John Holman

    In order to buy dirt-cheap commercial airline flights, Venezuelans have for years taken advantage of a wide gap between a fixed government exchange rate on the US dollar against the bolivar — the national currency — and the bolivar’s fluctuating value on the black market.

    For example, a Venezuelan who had purchased international airfare was permitted until recently to acquire up to $3,000 at the state rate of 6.3 bolivares per dollar.

    But Venezuela’s Chavista government stuck to its fixed rate even as the bolivar lost considerable real value against other world currencies, while demand for dollars on the country’s black market set the bolivar far cheaper. Many Venezuelans made a habit of taking the $3,000 exchange allowance and reselling it on the black market for a profit as high as 700 percent.

    The trouble began in late 2012, when Venezuela began to stop paying airlines the dollars for ticket sales in bolivares. Before long, some international carriers threatened to stop flying to Venezuela altogether if the government didn’t pay up.

    But everyone will soon be forced to pay higher airfare across the board as Venezuela struggles to pay off unpaid “repatriation” fees to airlines, which the Venezuelan Airlines Association estimates at some $4 billion.

    Facing rampant inflation and dwindling foreign currency reserves, on July 1 Venezuela will drop the official trading value of the bolivar for airfare from about 10 bolivares to the dollar to 50. This narrows the gap but does not match the black market rate, which is currently about 70 bolivares to the dollar. The government has also set stricter limits on access to dollars by Venezuelans traveling abroad.

    As the crisis continued, unpaid airlines became reluctant to sell tickets in bolivares, fearful that they wouldn’t be able to recuperate the sales in dollars. American Airlines, United Airlines, and Panama’s Copa carrier were among airlines that suspended ticket sales in Venezuela earlier this year. Air Canada suspended flights to the country altogether in March, and last month Italy’s flagship carrier Alitalia announced that it would also stop flying to Venezuela.

    However, despite Maduro’s imperious warnings, his government has started to give into the airlines’ pressure. Air and water transport minister Hebert García Plaza announced June 6 that the government had so far paid its debt from 2012 and 2013 to six airlines: Tame, Avianca, Tiara Air, Aeromexico, Insel Air, and Aruba Airlines.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    https://news.vice.com/article/will-venezuela-become-a-no-fly-country-if-it-defaults-on-its-airline-debt

  16. THE CASTROFASCISTS ARE PUSHING HARD FOR THE RELEASE OF “THE CUBAN 5” SPIES WHO WERE MORE LIKE 14 SPIES IN THE RED AVISPA NETWORK. ONLY 3 ARE LEFT AND THEY ARE TRYING TO TRADE THEM FOR ALAN GROSS WHO IS IN JAIL IN CUBA FOR BRINGING IN CELL PHONES, COMPUTERS AND INTERNET ACCESS EQUIPMENT TO THE SMALL JEWISH COMMUNITY! WHAT HE BROUGHT INTO CUBA IS NOW ALLOWED BUT HE IS STILL IN JAIL! TYPICAL HOSTAGE TAKING BY THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY MAFIA!

    GOP USA: Will Obama Free Cuban Spies and Terrorists? – by By Cliff Kincaid

    The two-day event, the main focus of the “Five Days for the Cuban Five” campaign, was open to the press, enabling this columnist to attend and film the activities of the hard left as they operated under the watchful eyes of José Ramón Cabañas, Chief of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., and his agents. About 150 people attended the event.

    The Cuban Interests Section functions as Castro’s embassy, in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, and operates as a front for the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI.

    Even the Obama administration has conceded that the “Cuban Five” were members of a Castro spy network.

    Featured speakers at the “Free the Cuban Five” conference included:

    Linda Evans, a Weather Underground terrorist pardoned by President Clinton

    Rafael Cancel Miranda, a Puerto Rican terrorist who opened fire on the House of Representatives in 1954, and was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1979

    Cindy Sheehan, the former anti-Iraq War activist who just ran unsuccessfully for California governor on the “Peace and Freedom” party ticket

    One “Justice for the Cuban Five” banner featured the logos of the Service Employees International Union, the United Steel Workers and the Teamsters.

    Unrepentant terrorists Linda Evans and Rafael Cancel Miranda emphasized this opportunity to get their comrades released from prison—most notably Oscar Lopez Rivera, a member of the Cuban-supported Puerto Rican FALN.

    Joe Connor, whose father was murdered in an FALN bomb blast in New York, has strongly opposed efforts to get parole for Lopez, and protested the decision by organizers of the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade to honor the convicted terrorist. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito supports freedom for Lopez.

    New York City Mayor “Red Bill” de Blasio and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) led the parade.

    Members of the Workers World Party (WWP), a hard-core Marxist-Leninist group known for its devotion to North Korea, organized the Washington, D.C. event on behalf of the Cuban Interests Section. The WWP activists who appeared to be in charge were Cheryl LaBash and Paul Teitelbaum.

    Teitelbaum works for the International Action Center, a WWP front, and is also conducting a “U.S. Hands Off Russia and the Ukraine” campaign, arguing against any effort to stop the Russian takeover of its former Soviet republic. He says, “…it’s important to gather and learn about the role of U.S. imperialism in creating the crisis in Ukraine and the relationship between the imperialists and the fascists.”

    Washington Post reporter David Montgomery covered the conference in a superficial story hailed by conference organizers. He called it “Rapping and Rallying for the ‘Cuban Five.’”

    The Post emphasized the appearance of actor Danny Glover, who “had tears in his eyes as he addressed the audience at Calvary Baptist Church,” and spoke of the need to release the last three of the “Cuban Five” who remain in U.S. prisons.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!!

    http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2014/06/10/will-obama-free-cuban-spies-and-terrorists/

  17. THIS YOUNG WRITER Brin-Jonathan Butler HAS A BOOK AND A DOCUMENTARY ON CUBAN ATHLETES! LOOK HIM UP! THINK THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM HIS UPCOMING BOOK! EXCELLENT! THERE IS A LINK AT THE BOTTOM TO A SHORT DOCUMENTARY ON Teofilo Stevenson, A SAD FIGURE WHO GOT DUPED AND USED BY THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY MAFIA AND WAS THROWN AWAY AFTER HIS USEFULNESS AS PROPAGANDA WAS OVER!

    SB NATION: Héroes for Sale Teófilo Stevenson, Yasiel Puig and the Agony of the Cuban Athlete – by Brin-Jonathan Butler

    http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2014/6/10/5786670/teofilo-stevenson-yasiel-puig-cuban-athlete-profile

  18. WELL, WELL! I GUESS THE PEOPLE IN THIS NEW ORGANIZATION “CubaNow” DID NOT LIKE FOR ME TO ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTION! THEY BLOCKED ME FROM COMMENTING ON THE PAGE! I THOUGHT THEY WOULD WELCOME CRITICISM!! SMELL LIKE A FRONT FOR THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY TO ME! TRYING THE “SOFT APPROACH” FOR LIFTING THE CUBAN “EMBARGO”
    QUESTION #1: HEY Ric Herrero! YOU DID NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION ON YOUR MIAMI HERALD PIECE ABOUT YOU GETTING YOANI SANCHEZ’ OK TO USE HER IMAGE ON THE NYC SUBWAY CAMPAIGN! I WILL ASK IT AGAIN! DO YOU HAVE CONSENT, AND IF YES CAN YOU PROVIDE PROOF! ONE MORE THING, MAYBE IF YOUR ORGANIZATION WAS MORE TRANSPARENT IT WOULD BE MORE BELIEVABLE AND HAVE MORE WEIGHT DEAR! CUBANOW advocates for practical US policies that help empower the Cuban people to freely determine their own futures.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/CubaNow/456083187856379

  19. BLOOMBERG: Venezuelan Prostitutes Earn More Selling Dollars Than Sex – by Anatoly Kurmanaev

    Prostitutes more than double their earnings by moonlighting as currency traders in Puerto Cabello. They are the foreign exchange counter for sailors in a country where buying and selling dollars in the streets is a crime — and prostitution isn’t. Greenbacks in the black market are worth 11 times more than the official rate as dollars become more scarce in an economy that imports 70 percent of the goods it consumes.

    “The dollar is king these days, but having them comes at a price,” Elena, who uses an alias to protect her identity, said late last month in a room she rents in a Puerto Cabello brothel. “Yes, we got dollars to afford the things our families need, but we have to sell our bodies for it.”

    The benefits of the trade are stacked around Elena’s room in the Blue House brothel — bags of rice, flour, sugar and cooking oil — products that other Venezuelans have to line up for hours to buy at regulated prices in shops, if they can find them at all.
    Black Market

    The bolivar has fallen to 71 to the dollar from 23 on the black market since President Nicolas Maduro succeeded his mentor Hugo Chavez in April 2013. The government tightened currency handouts to stem the outflow of foreign reserves, which are near a decade low. The official exchange rate, reserved for imports of food and medicine, is 6.3 bolivars per dollar.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-09/venezuela-prostitutes-earn-more-selling-dollars-than-sex.html

  20. HAVANA TIMES: Forbidden Magazines for Cuba’s Higher-Ups – Martin Guevara (nephew of Che Guevara)
    I was allowed to return to Cuba in 1986. They had told me I didn’t have permission to study, that I had to work. I had profound knowledge about books and rum and – arbitrarily, it seems – they gave me a job at the Ediciones Cubanas publishing house. There, I was tasked with receiving and distributing the magazines and newspapers destined to high-ranking Party members, from Fidel Castro, through the Central Committee to all of the members of the Politburo. I was surprised at the number of sensationalist magazines I had to include in the packages sent to the highest officials. Fidel only received US medical journals. At the time, he was sincerely interested in the field and followed research as though he were a medical doctor. There’s always been a widespread habit of exaggerating all of Fidel’s aptitudes (and to invent some), but the claims that he was an extremely studious person is true.

    Whenever he had the time, he was either reading or asking someone about a topic of interest to him. If his interlocutors were Cuban and had the misfortune of working in a field of particular interest to him, they knew he’d ask them all sorts of questions for hours, and do so, of course, without tolerating any question put to him. No, only he spoke, only he had concerns, and only his concerns were valid. That’s how things were with Fidel.

    Many others in the Politburo, however, received such magazines as Hola, from Spain, and Paris Match. I had no problem with this, even if the magazines were for them and not their wives, as the section chief told me in his efforts to indoctrinate me. I thought people should be able to read what they please. What I didn’t consider right is that the rest of the population should be denied access to this kind of gutter press and that it should be demonized and attacked as an ideological tool of capitalism.

    Looking down on people as idiotic, clumsy and unprepared for the materials that higher-ups read and enjoyed was one of the constant attitudes of the revolutionary leadership. At home, the children of high-ranking military officers or ministers could watch films such as Rambo or Chuck Norris movies (the most coveted ones at the time), while Cuban cinemas and television did not show these, labeling them imperialist garbage and a distortion of reality. They, however, felt that their families (and themselves) were at a higher level and could thus access such materials safely.

    This was more or less the situation when it came to travelling abroad. In fact, with the exception of athletes and some scientists (under close watch), no one other than Party members were allowed to travel.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=104156

  21. Simba Sez: If comments had to be paid by the word, I wonder what would change here?

  22. Sandokan,

    I agree. The US government should be ashamed of returning escaped slaves to Castro.

    Up until the 90s, the US government was the only one on earth that offered any support for Cuban freedom.

    It still is, but only on paper.

    This downward spiral actually started when Carter betrayed the Mariel boat people.

    Giving into Castro’s every demand hasn’t brought much democracy to Cuba.

  23. Omar,

    You are victim of the global capitalist turd conspiracy.

    Be brave, comrade.

  24. THE CAPITALIST TURDS CONTINUE TO BLOCK POSTS….YOANI SPEAKS OF OPPRESSION IN CUBA….WHO SPEAKS OF OPRESSION IN THE UNITED STATES???

  25. SPEAKING OF OPPRESSION IN CUBA. WHO CAN FORGET BATISTA

    The Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities (Buró de Represión de Actividades Comunistas, or BRAC) was the secret police agency that Fulgencio Batista maintained in the 1950s, which gained a reputation for brutality in its fight against the 26th of July Movement.

    The bureau was headed by Mariano Faget, who had first gained fame as a Nazi hunter during Batista’s first turn at power, from 1940 to 1944, when he was chief of Cuba’s Office of Investigation of Enemy Activities (OIEA), a counter-espionage unit that targeted Nazi and Fascist agents.

    Development of BRAC was aided and encouraged by the CIA starting in 1956.

  26. PHILOSOPHY: POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
    CUBA’S SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC UNDER CONSTRUCTION APPEARS TO BE A BLEND OF DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM AND MARKET SOCIALISM, BUT MORE TO THE LEFT.
    Some critics dispute that the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the nationalization of industries advocated by some socialists can be achieved without loss of political or economic freedoms. Some argue that countries where the means of production are socialized are less prosperous than those where the means of production are under private control. Yet others argue that socialist policies reduce work incentives (because workers do not receive rewards for a work well done) and reduce efficiency through the elimination of the profit and loss mechanism and a free price system and reliance on central planning. They also argue that Socialism stagnates technology due to competition being stifled. The tragedy of the commons effect has been attributed to Socialism by some, whereby when assets are owned in common, there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship (i.e. if everyone owns an asset, people act as if no-one owns it). There has also been much focus on the economic performance and human rights records of Communist states, although this is not necessarily a criticism of Socialism.

    Socialists have counter-argued that Socialism can actually increase efficiency and economic growth better than Capitalism, or that a certain degree of efficiency can and should be sacrificed for the sake of economic equality or other social goals. They further argue that market systems have a natural tendency toward monopoly or oligopoly in major industries, leading to a distortion of prices, and that a public monopoly is better than a private one. Also, they claim that a socialist approach can mitigate the role of externalities in pricing. Some socialists have made a case for Socialism and central planning being better able to address the issue of managing the environment than self-serving Capitalism.

    Types of Socialism Back to Top

    Democratic Socialism- advocates Socialism as an economic principle (the means of production should be in the hands of ordinary working people), and democracy as a governing principle (political power should be in the hands of the people democratically through a co-operative commonwealth or republic). It attempts to bring about Socialism through peaceful democratic means as opposed to violent insurrection, and represents the reformist tradition of Socialism.
    It is similar, but not necessarily identical (although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably), to Social Democracy. This refers to an ideology that is more centrist and supports a broadly Capitalist system, with some social reforms (such as the welfare state), intended to make it more equitable and humane. Democratic Socialism, by contrast, implies an ideology that is more left-wing and supportive of a fully socialist system, established either by gradually reforming Capitalism from within, or by some form of revolutionary transformation.

    Revolutionary Socialism advocates the need for fundamental social change through revolution or insurrection (rather than gradual refom) as a strategy to achieve a socialist society. The Third International, which was founded following the Russian Revolution of 1917, defined itself in terms of Revolutionary Socialism but also became widely identified with Communism. Trotskyism is the theory of Revolutionary Socialism as advocated by Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940), declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution (rather than Stalin’s “socialism in one country”) and unwavering support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles. Luxemburgism is another Revolutionary Socialist tradition, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg (1970 – 1919). It is similar to Trotskyism in its opposition to the Totalitarianism of Stalin, while simultaneously avoiding the reformist politics of modern Social Democracy.

    Utopian Socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought in the first quarter of the 19th Century. In general, it was used by later socialist thinkers to describe early socialist, or quasi-socialist, intellectuals who created hypothetical visions of perfect egalitarian and communalist societies without actually concerning themselves with the manner in which these societies could be created or sustained. They rejected all political (and especially all revolutionary) action, and wished to attain their ends by peaceful means and small experiments, which more practical socialists like Karl Marx saw as necessarily doomed to failure. But the early theoretical work of people like Robert Owen (1771-1858), Charles Fourier (1772-1837) and Étienne Cabet (1788–1856) gave much of the impetus to later socialist movements.

    Libertarian Socialism aims to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies, in which every person would have free, equal access to tools of information and production. This would be achieved through the abolition of authoritarian institutions and private property, so that direct control of the means of production and resources will be gained by the working class and society as a whole. Most Libertarian Socialists advocate abolishing the state altogether, in much the same way as Utopian Socialists and many varieties of Anarchism (including Social Anarchism, Anarcho-Communism, Anarcho-Collectivism and Anarcho-Syndicalism).

    Market Socialism is a term used to define an economic system in which there is a market economy directed and guided by socialist planners, and where prices would be set through trial and error (making adjustments as shortages and surpluses occur) rather than relying on a free price mechanism. By contrast, a Socialist Market Economy, such as that practiced in the People’s Republic of China, in one where major industries are owned by state entities, but compete with each other within a pricing system set by the market and the state does not routinely intervene in the setting of prices.

    Eco-Socialism (or Green Socialism or Socialist Ecology) is an ideology merging aspects of Marxism, Socialism, Green politics, ecology and the anti-globalization movement. They advocate the non-violent dismantling of Capitalism and the State, focusing on collective ownership of the means of production, in order to mitigate the social exclusion, poverty and environmental degradation brought about (as they see it) by the capitalist system, globalization and imperialism.

    Christian Socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist, and who see these two things as being interconnected. Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus, and the messages of modern Socialism.

  27. The trouble with the actual regime migration law is that the vast majority of those few who leave legally are approve to do so by the regime since they are loyal to it and are not considered a threat. But those who escape by boat or other means, except for the moles, are the real exiles. The way to handle this is to provide asylum, after scrutiny, to those who make genuine attempts to escape, and screen very carefully those who leave with the consent of the regime.

  28. OUR Yoani Sanchez WITH JOURNALIST Maria Hinojosa!!

    HART LECTURE – Thursday, June 12
    The Standard Club 320 S. Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604
    Business attire is required.

    CHICAGO COUNCIL ON GLOBAL AFFAIRS: “Cuba Uncensored” – With almost 600,000 twitter followers, Yoani Sánchez is one of the most prominent Cuban advocates for free speech and objective reporting in her country. A citizen journalist, Sánchez writes for her blog—Generación Y—from the experience and perspective of those in her generation. She received the International Women of Courage Award in 2011 from the US Department of State and in 2009 President Obama said that she provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba. Join Sánchez, in conversation with Maria Hinojosa of NPR’s Latino USA, to learn how she is leveraging technology to overcome censorship and to foster independent journalism. Her book, Havana Real, will be available for purchase and signing following the program.

    Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist and is the executive producer and anchor of both a radio show and television series: Latino USA, distributed by NPR, and America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, airing this fall on PBS and the WORLD Channel.CLICK LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION!

    http://ccga.informz.net/admin31/templates/Template_Html_Adv.asp?MFQID=15342844&test=t

  29. We too are wondering when Cubans will be able to travel freely.

    We have been amazed at how much positive publicity Castro’s propaganda has received over the past year.

    Instead of repeating Castro propaganda, foreign reporters should interview a few Cubans in secret and ask them if they have the right to leave Cuba and under what conditions.

    On the positive side, I think the Castro mafia has realized they can’t stop the flow of escapees and that they are actually profiting from the situation.

    All that money being sent to Cuba by escaped serfs will hopefully make them loosen their penalties for escape.

  30. my husband left 6 months ago, and we are planning to visit Cuba in November, he is a bit apprehensive about it. the idea that the government will do whatever they want is too overwhelming…

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