It’s a Long Way to Cyprus

Yoani Sánchez, Havana, 3 July 2014 — Yesterday on the bus, with the summer heat and after the long wait at the stop, two men commented loudly on their annoyance. “This sure doesn’t happen in Cyprus!” one said to the other, and laughter rang out all over the bus. He was referring to a monologue by the comedian Nelson Gudín, which has become a viral phenomenon on the alternative distribution network for videos. The actor plays a drunk who, among many other absurdities, complains about the space given in the national media to relating the problems of other countries, while remaining silent on ours. The old technique of “the mote in another’s eye…” which is one of the pillars of the official Cuban press.

Unemployment, corruption, economic cuts and social unrest… in Cyprus… were a topic of discussion and analysis by the panelists on the Roundtable show on several occasions. To underpin the axiom that “it’s hell out there and paradise in here,” the unpopular TV program placed a special emphasis on the difficulties being experienced by this member state of the European Union. So much time and so many reflections were dedicated to it, that the character played by Gudín ended up commenting, “Huh?… I didn’t know we were living in Cyprus?” The sarcastic phrase has almost become a slogan on our streets.

Just let an official delay some paperwork, for an ironic voice to note, “this guy surely comes from Cyprus.” That lady who is out of work due to economic adjustments, “is probably Cypriot,” her acquaintances will comment maliciously. Not to mention the empty shelves because of shortages; “It shouldn’t happen in Havana, only in Nicosia,” a frustrated customer claimed a few days ago. “At this rate, we’ll know more about the antagonisms between the Greeks and the Turks than about our own national problems,” a university professor pointed out to his students.

By the work and grace of the ideologues of the official press our principal preoccupations no longer take the form of an island in the Caribbean, but of this other one in the far off Mediterranean, where all the problems are concentrated.

55 thoughts on “It’s a Long Way to Cyprus

  1. Good point Simba. There were a few minor revolts in Nazi concentration camps and a few slave revolts in the USA as well. But they were easily put down by slave-owners.

    The last big slave revolt in Cuba was in the Escambray during the 1960s.

    I think Castro has officially admitted to killing thousands of Cuban peasants during this period. Even with help from the Soviet military, it took a few years to crush them all.

    I think all the rebelling slaves who weren’t killed were deported to other regions of Cuba and never allowed to return to the Escambray.

  2. ALAN GROSS IS NOT A SPY, HE MUST BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT CONDITIONS!

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE: Migration Talks With Cuba – Jen Psaki – Department Spokesperson – Washington, DC – July 9, 2014

    On Wednesday, July 9, U.S. and Cuban officials met in Washington to discuss the implementation of the 1994 and 1995 U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords. These talks are held semi-annually. The U.S. delegation was led by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Alex Lee and the Cuban delegation was led by the Foreign Ministry’s Director General for U.S. Affairs, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro.

    Under the Accords, both governments pledged to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration between Cuba and the United States. The agenda for the talks reflected longstanding U.S. priorities on U.S.-Cuba migration issues, as well as certain areas where cooperation is in the U.S. national interest, including aviation security, search and rescue at sea, and visa processing. The U.S. delegation also highlighted other areas of ongoing cooperation relevant to migration, including the exchange of information on the interdiction of undocumented migrants, and related issues.

    The U.S. delegation reiterated its call for the release of Alan Gross, who was arrested by Cuban authorities on December 3, 2009, and later sentenced to 15 years in prison for facilitating uncensored internet contact between a small, religious community on the island and the rest of the world.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/07/228992.htm

  3. PEOPLE WAITING FOR THE DEMISE OF VENEZUELA ARE GOING TO BE WAITING FOR A LOT MORE TIME THEN THEY THINK
    Ramírez claims Venezuela has sufficient resources to meet external debt obligations

    Economic Vice President Rafael Ramirez, says Venezuela has sufficient resources necessary to meet its foreign debt obligations: “We already have within our FOREX budget U$D 42.000 billion set aside to pay this amount. There will be no problem with debt obligations,” he says. Ramírez adds that the government will put all state funds into a single account of the Central Bank of Venezuela, and says the nation wants to restructure its external obligations in order to extend due dates. (AVN, http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/venezuela-has-enough-resources-meet-its-external-debt-obligations; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140707/government-to-adopt-tax-measures-before-forex-reform)

    Government approaches world banks

    After disparaging international banks as an emblem of capitalism, the Venezuelan government has held a round of meetings with investment banks in an effort to change the country risk perception. The meetings last month in London and Caracas take place against a backdrop of a severe economic crisis that some believe is leading to a shift in the economic policies by leftist President Nicolás Maduro, and involves stiff adjustment measures over the next weeks. There was an immediate impact to efforts by Economic Affairs Vice President Rafael Ramírez, as Venezuela’s country risk dropped from 970 to 914 base points. (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140707/venezuelan-govt-approaches-world-banks; and more in Spanish: El Univesarl, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140708/venezuela-busca-apoyo-para-bajar-el-riesgo-pais)

    Government owes at least U$D 8 billion to local industry

    Eduardo Garmendia, President of the National Industrial Council (CONINDUSTRIA) says authorities have begun to provide FOREX to repay debts abroad, but only around 10-12% of the amount outstanding. He says pending debts are around U$D 8-9 billion and there is no repayment schedule. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/economia/gremios/conindustria–gobierno-debe-al-menos–8-000-millon.aspx#ixzz36sB3d04q)

  4. ALL THE PEOPLE PREDICTING THE COLLAPSE OF VENEZUELA ARE PROBABLY NOT VERY HAPPY WITH THESE REPORTS:

    Ramírez claims Venezuela has sufficient resources to meet external debt obligations

    Economic Vice President Rafael Ramirez, says Venezuela has sufficient resources necessary to meet its foreign debt obligations: “We already have within our FOREX budget U$D 42.000 billion set aside to pay this amount. There will be no problem with debt obligations,” he says. Ramírez adds that the government will put all state funds into a single account of the Central Bank of Venezuela, and says the nation wants to restructure its external obligations in order to extend due dates. (AVN, http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/venezuela-has-enough-resources-meet-its-external-debt-obligations; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140707/government-to-adopt-tax-measures-before-forex-reform)

    Government approaches world banks

    After disparaging international banks as an emblem of capitalism, the Venezuelan government has held a round of meetings with investment banks in an effort to change the country risk perception. The meetings last month in London and Caracas take place against a backdrop of a severe economic crisis that some believe is leading to a shift in the economic policies by leftist President Nicolás Maduro, and involves stiff adjustment measures over the next weeks. There was an immediate impact to efforts by Economic Affairs Vice President Rafael Ramírez, as Venezuela’s country risk dropped from 970 to 914 base points. (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140707/venezuelan-govt-approaches-world-banks; and more in Spanish: El Univesarl, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140708/venezuela-busca-apoyo-para-bajar-el-riesgo-pais)

    Government owes at least U$D 8 billion to local industry

    Eduardo Garmendia, President of the National Industrial Council (CONINDUSTRIA) says authorities have begun to provide FOREX to repay debts abroad, but only around 10-12% of the amount outstanding. He says pending debts are around U$D 8-9 billion and there is no repayment schedule. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/economia/gremios/conindustria–gobierno-debe-al-menos–8-000-millon.aspx#ixzz36sB3d04q)

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