Cult of Personality in Cuban Parliament

Raul-Castro-Revolucion-Nikolai-Leonov_CYMIMA20150715_0001_16

The cover of the book “Raul Castro: A Man in Revolution ‘Nikolai Leonov.

Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 15 July 2015 — The cult of personality has a thousand ways of showing itself. From the face that stares out from every schoolroom wall, to the flattery with which the government journalists refer to certain officials. It would seem, however, that the times of greatest excess in the veneration of a figure had been left behind, to the extent that the memory of Fidel Castro has languished since his forced retirement. However, the pernicious practice continues here, with its exaggeration and ridiculousness.

On Tuesday, the entire National Assembly of People’s Power dedicated itself to the presentation of the book Raul Castro: A Man in Revolution, written by the Russian Nikolai Leonov. A special session of the Parliament had as its sole purpose to attend the launch of this volume, published by Capital San Luis, and with more than 80 biographical photos, some of them previously unpublished.

Out of modesty, or because he had to lead the 11th Plenum of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee, Raul Castro did not attend the presentation, but this does not detract from the gesture’s devotional character. This was compounded by the use of parliamentarians for purposes not included in their functions. How much did it cost for those deputies who had travel to the Palace of Conventions? With so many problems facing the country, which affect millions of people, how could a day of “the official organ of State power” be squandered to sing the praises of a single man?

Situations like yesterday are proof that the pernicious cult of personality remains intact among us, fostered by those who idolize a few and those who swell with vanity at the flattery.

140 thoughts on “Cult of Personality in Cuban Parliament

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

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

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

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

    VIDEO #1: La cárcel por dentro – 1ra parte (The prison from inside part #1)

    VIDEO #10:Testimonio del reo Marcos Damián Rafael Fernández Rodríguez (cubano)- Testimony of prisoner Marcos Damián Rafael Fernández Rodríguez (Cuban man with no hands)- (Cuba) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skdaI3VTBtE&feature=player_embedded

  2. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA HAS NOT ALLOWED THE RED CROSS OR THE UN TO INSPECT THEIR JAILS SO THESE NUMBERS ARE JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG!

    BBC NEWS: A glimpse inside Cuba’s prisons By Sarah Rainsford – May 1, 2013

    Proportionately, communist Cuba has one of the highest prison populations in the world, with over 57,000 inmates spread across 200 facilities in a country of 11.3 million people.

    Officials say they are now trying to reduce the number sent to Cuba’s five maximum-security jails – currently around half of all detainees – by extending the use of lower-security prisons.

    But our one-off prison tour was limited. And the real experts in prison monitoring are still banned from visiting.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-22365244

  3. YOU MEAN THE DEADBEAT CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA IS NOT GOING TO DEFAULT ON PAYMENTS AFTER THEY GET THESE CREDITS? HA HA HA!

    VOICE OF AMERICA: Cuba, Paris Club Members Agree on Debt Total: $15B – June 08, 2015

    HAVANA—Cuba and the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations have agreed that Cuba owes $15 billion stemming from a 1986 default, an important first step toward renegotiating the debt, Western diplomats said.

    “The final amount of $15 billion has been approved by both parties, so that is a big first step and now the creditors will meet to set policy for formal talks,” said one of the diplomats with knowledge of the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The figure represents the total that Cuba owes 16 Paris Club nations from its 1986 default and includes principal, service charges, interest and penalties.

    The government last reported its “active” foreign debt, accumulated after it declared a default, at $13.9 billion in 2011. It no longer reports its “passive” debt from before the default, which economists estimate at $8 billion plus interest, service charges and penalties owed governments and commercial creditors.

    The Economist Intelligence Unit estimated Cuba’s total foreign debt as $26 billion at the end of last year.

    Negotiations with the Paris Club creditors would be the first since negotiations failed in 2001, in part due to a huge $35 billion debt owed Cuba’s former benefactor the Soviet Union, and since then largely forgiven by Russia.

    “I think both sides are more optimistic this time around,” another European diplomat said. “The Russian issue is out of the way, relations are improving with the United States and the European Union, and Cuba is seeking international credibility and more investment.”
    http://www.voanews.com/content/cuba-paris-club-debt-total/2813010.html

  4. Humberto: your numbers are from 1995 (the Special Period)…..that is 2015-1995= 20 years ago!!!……784/100,000 X 320 Million Americans= 2.5 Million Americans in jail as recent as 2010

    USA 2.5 Million/320 Million = 1% of population ( more like 1.5% because in 2010 the U.S. population was around 310 Million)
    Cuba 100,000/ 12 Million = 1% of population ….

    Moral of the Story: Don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house….

  5. GENEVA (9 June 2010) – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, expressed deep disappointment after being informed by the Government of Cuba that it was unable to accommodate a fact-finding mission to the country before the end of his mandate, on 30 October 2010.

    “I regret that in spite of its clear invitation, the Government of Cuba has not allowed me to objectively assess the situation of torture and ill-treatment in the country by collecting first-hand evidence from all available sources,” said the UN expert.

    The Government of Cuba issued an invitation to the Special Rapporteur in February 2009 to conduct a fact-finding mission to the country before the end of the year. However, despite several attempts by Mr. Nowak to propose mutually acceptable dates, no agreement was reached with the Government.

    This visit was to be the first mission to Cuba by an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor specifically torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Previous visits by the Human Rights Commission and Council envoys to Cuba have included the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries (1999), the Special Rapporteur on violence against women (1999) and the Special Raporteur on the right to food (2007).

    Manfred Nowak, appointed Special Rapporteur on 1 December 2004 by the former UN Commission on Human Rights, is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. Mr. Nowak is currently Professor of Constitutional Law and International Human Rights at the University of Vienna (Austria), and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.
    http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10129&LangID=E#sthash.qbSM9Mwa.dpuf

  6. OUR DEAR Omar Fundora AGAIN WITH THAT “BAD OLD USA” PSYCHOSIS! SO HOW COME DEAR Omar DOES THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA NOT ALLOW THE RED CROSS OR THE UN TO INSPECT CUBAN JAILS DEAR?

    Human Rights Watch published an extensive report (LINK PROVIDED) on prison conditions in Cuba in 1999. In it it widely criticized most aspect of the Cuban judicial and prison system.

    In it criticized the lack of openness of the Cuban regime: “Cuba’s refusal to allow domestic or international human rights monitors to conduct regular visits to its prisons casts a veil of secrecy over its extensive prison system, reportedly one of the largest per capita in Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba refuses to disseminate even the most basic prison statistics, such as prison population figures. Cuba’s Penitentiary Establishment Directorate, however, reportedly maintains a centralized, computerized system that would readily make available detailed information about all detainees in Cuba’s prisons.”
    According to an article in the Miami Herald (LINK PROVIDED) in September 2003 Cuba’s jails may hold over 100,000 inmates. The same article puts the last visit of any international organization to Cuba’s prisons in 1989 (International Red Cross). The UN estimated the number of prisoners in Cuba between 100,000 and 200,000 in its 1995 UNHCR Special Rapporteur’s (LINK PROVIDED) report. A figure of 100,000 or more makes Cuba the country with the most prisoners per capita in the world.

    International organizations have reported that inadequate food and medical assistance, sexual abuse, limits and restrictions on visits, beatings,… in Cuba’s prisons. Amnesty International (LINK PROVIDED) has often started letter letter writing operations to support suffering prisoners of conscience.

    I refer to the extensive reports linked to at the top (HRW and Cubafacts) for a more detailed report on abuses in Cuba prisons.

    http://www.cubaverdad.net/cuba_prison_system.htm

  7. POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE UNITED STATES
    There are about 100 political prisoners in various prisons across the United States. These women and men are listed and recognized as political prisoners by numerous human rights, legal defense and progressive/socialist organizations. These people all come from the Civil Rights/Black Power/New African Liberation struggles, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, Indigenous Peoples survival struggles, Chicano/Mexicano Movements, anti-imperialist/anti-war movements, anti-racist/anti-fascist struggles, the Women’s Movement, social and economic justice struggles, and especially in the past several years, from the Environmental/Animal Rights movement. They are Black, white, Latino and Native American. Most of these political prisoners have been in captivity since the 1970s and 80s. Some were convicted on totally fabricated charges, others for nebulous political conspiracies or for acts of resistance. All received huge sentences for their political beliefs or actions in support of these beliefs.

    Additionally, there are many thousands of revolutionary minded, politically conscious prisoners in U.S. jails. These are people who became more politically aware and active once they landed in prison. A lot of these prisoners also get singled out for extra harsh and restrictive treatment like the political prisoners. Since 9/11, the U.S. has also imprisoned thousands of Arab and Muslim visitors to this country, as well as some Islamic citizens and residents.

    The U.S. government likes to deny that it holds political prisoners. The harsh punitive conditions of confinement, often in special “control unit type” prisons, that political prisoners face day in, day out, decade after decade, exposes and refutes this government myth. Not only does America hold political prisoners, but they are being held under longer sentences than any kind of prisoners, anywhere in the world! Despite this, these women and men remain committed to their communities, movements, and principles. As best they can, through their voices and very lives, they continue to uphold the politics of justice, equality and liberation, especially for the poor and working class people throughout the world. Political prisoners in the United States want and need your awareness and support.

  8. BASIS FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW VIEW OF POLITICAL OFFENDERS
    There are three factors which are considered by all courts when determining whether an offense is political. The first factor is the offender’s past participation and involvement with
    the political movement, and his personal belief as to whether the crime was justified by his purported political objective. The second factor is the existence of a connection or link between
    the crime and the political objective. Finally, an examination is made of the relation or proportion between the crime and its method of commission and the political objective.1 7 It is also
    uniformly held that to constitute a political offense the political element must dominate the intent of the offender to commit the crime, and outweigh the apparent significance of the
    common crime. I” The final category of classification of political offenses are those which are generally termed “international” crimes. Included in this category are such crimes as slavery, 9 war
    crimes,”0 genocide,2′ piracy on the sea and in the air,22 and offenses against the peace and security of mankind. 3 These types of crimes are forbidden by international law because they
    are considered to be inimical to the very concept of a civilized world order. Offenders committing war crimes and genocidal acts are excluded by many treaties from consideration as political offenders

  9. WHY LOPEZ HAS NOT BEING CONDEMN …NOT NECESSARILY A PURE OFFENSE
    Classes of Political Offenses
    The requirement of proof regarding the offender’s subjective intent varies greatly with the type of political offense. The closer he strikes at the government the greater the proportionate
    increase in the weight of the presumption that his act was politically motivated.
    The “pure” political offense is customarily directed against the government. It has been described by one authority as constituting ” subjective threat to a political ideology or its supporting structures without any of the elements of a common crime. It is labeled a ‘crime’ because the interest sought to be protected is the sovereign.”‘” These “pure” political crimes have usually been limited to treason, sedition and espionage.,Authorities and courts have consistently held that such “pure”offenses are political crimes, and will not subject the offender
    to extradition. The “relative” political offense is characterized by the presence
    of one or more common crimes which are related to a political goal of the offender.’ This type of political crime has traditionally caused the most problems for the courts in their attempt to define the act as a political one. The degree of closeness between the common crime and political objective is subject to the interpretation of the domestic courts of each nation. As a result, there is no accepted rule applicable in all nations, but rather a hodgepodge collection of principles often
    dictated by political events and changing circumstances.'”

  10. DISSIDENTS AND POLITICAL OFFENDERS
    Motivations of the Political Offender Traditional theory of political offender motivation assumes
    that penal sanctions will not deter his actions.8 The political offender allegedly is committed to the principle of political change through his act, and does not consider his actions
    blameworthy. He attacks the status quo through his act, and denies the legitimacy of the particular laws, claiming instead an allegiance to a “superior legitimating principle.”‘ For him
    this “higher principle” or political cause justifies the violation of penal law.'” Whether the political offender’s values are considered appropriate so as to preclude extradition is a test of
    pure subjective intent. In determining his intent, courts have traditionally admitted all evidence of the offender’s political history and police records.”

  11. THE ISSUE OF AMERICANS REFUGEES IN CUBA
    I. POLITICAL OFFENSES AND OFFENDERS
    There is no universally acceptable definition of what constitutes a “political offense.” However, there is a generally accepted rule which states that political offenders are not subject
    to international extradition

  12. Venezuela…Lopez
    Marxist criminologists argue that most political crime arises from the efforts of the state to reproduce the structures of inequality: racism, sexism, ethnic preference as well as class advantages. Thus, states will protect property rights and reduce the rights of trade unions to represent the interests of the poor. Even war is likely to be grounded in the problems of local capitalists in wealthy countries in the effort to move raw materials, profits and jobs in a globalised political economy, and opposing such a war will be a political crime. Marxists do not dispute that, for a society to function efficiently, social order is necessary. But they consider that, in all societies, one class, usually characterised as the “ruling class”, gains far more than other classes. Marxists agree with functionalists that socialisation plays a crucial role in promoting conformity and order. However, unlike the latter, they are highly critical of the ideas, values and norms of “capitalist ideology”. Modern Marxists point to education and the media as socialising agencies, which delude or “mystify” the working class into conforming to a social order, which works against its real interests. Thus, all controls which directly or indirectly explit the criminal law to control access to the discourses are political crimes.
    At one extreme, crimes such as treason, sedition, and terrorism are political because they represent a direct challenge to the government in power. Espionage is usually considered a political crime.[3] But offenders do not have to aim to overthrow the government or to depose its leaders to be acting in a way perceived as “political”. A state may perceive it threatening if individuals advocate change to the established order, or argue the need for reform of long-established policies, or engage in acts signifying some degree of disloyalty, e.g. by burning the nation’s flag in public. But the scope of such crimes can be rather less direct.

    Structural functionist criminologists recognise that states invest their resources in maintaining order through social conformity, i.e. a particular culture is encouraged and maintained through the primary social discourses which may include religious, economic, social, or other less formal concerns. Any interference with the media of communication or the sets of meanings embedded in the communications themselves may be perceived as a threat to the political authority of the state. Hence, whether in hard copy or electronically, if individuals distribute material containing uncensored information which undermines the credibility of state-controlled news media, this may be considered threatening.

    Moreover, even an offence against non-governmental institutions, persons, or practices may be deemed political. Violence or even discrimination against an ethnic or racial group, as well trade union strikes or picketing against private employers, can be perceived as a political crime when those in power see such conduct as undermining the political (and economic) stability of the state. In this context, note that the Law Enforcement Code of Conduct passed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police says in part: “The fundamental duties of a police officer include serving the community, safeguarding lives and property, protecting the innocent, keeping the peace and ensuring the rights of all to liberty, equality and justice” (cited in Robinson, 2002). This code requires that police behave in a courteous and fair manner, that they treat all citizens in a respectable and decent manner, and that they never use unnecessary force. When they do, it is argued that this constitutes a crime (e.g. as an assault) and, if it is institutionalised, then over time, the use of unnecessary force become a state crime.

  13. Humberto: The “tourist dollars to keep them afloat”…are you serious.. Cuba’s tourist dollars is like Nigeria’s oil dollars….or Venezuela’s oil dollars…..it is not to keep the government afloat….it is how theses countries earn foreign currency for their people…

  14. Humberto: “the cash system you are talking about” …is going to be expanded to include credit …this will increase demand for U.S. agricultural products…more jobs for Americans and more opportunities for private small enterprises in Cuba…lower prices for food in Cuba…supply and demand at work….

  15. The Castro brothers imposed on the Cuban people and illegitimate political dynasty, taking advantage of their revolutionary fervor during the first year in power. The public office became the exclusive domain of the Castro clan, making a “dynasty” out of public service for 55years and counting.

    The good news is that the Castroit horrors and violence against the Cuban people is almost at an end. Fidel Castro and his murderous brother Raúl are like the walking dead. They have not realized that they and their kind are all practically extinct.

  16. YOUTUBE: Javier El-Hage habla en NTN24 sobre caso Payá, EE UU y su política con Cuba y Venezuela – El director jurídico de Human Rights Foundation (HRF), Javier El-Hage, opinó en el programa La Noche del canal de noticias NTN24 las conclusiones el informe del “Caso de Oswaldo Payá”, publicado el 22 de julio de 2015, en ocasión del 3er aniversario de la muerte del importante activista por la democracia. El-Hage explicó que el informe elaborado en coautoría con Roberto González, abogado asociado de HRF, concluye que “la evidencia excluida de manera deliberada apunta a que los hechos ocurridos el 22 de julio de 2012 no fueron un accidente, sino el resultado de un hecho automovilístico provocado deliberadamente por agentes del Estado”. La entrevista fue realizada el 22 de julio de 2015.

  17. LATINO FOX NEWS: Spanish senators denied access to jailed politician in Venezuela – July 24, 2015

    CARACAS – Venezuelan authorities on Thursday denied permission to a group of visiting Spanish senators to meet with a former mayor who is being held at the Sebin intelligence agency headquarters.

    “We would have liked to be able to go in, since that is what we came for, but we’re not going to make any kind of criticism regarding the decisions (the authorities) are taking. We’re respectful. We came here with the intention of seeing Daniel (Ceballos),” Sen. Dionisio García, a member of Spain’s governing Popular Party, told reporters.

    Garcia and three colleagues – from three different parties – waited for two hours for authorization to enter the Sebin HQ in Caracas, but when that was not forthcoming they left.

    The senators were accompanied by a delegation from the Venezuelan opposition MUD alliance that included the wives of detained political opposition figures Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo López, Mitzy Capriles and Lilian Tintori, respectively.

    “We’re going to be here tomorrow and we haven’t lost confidence (that we’ll be able to visit Ceballos) and if at some time they tell us that we have authorization, then we will (do so),” García said.

    The senator said that “it would have been nice” for the lawmakers and “for (Venezuela’s) own image” for them to have visited Ceballos.
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/07/24/spanish-senators-denied-access-to-jailed-politician-in-venezuela/

  18. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY ONLY WANTS TOURIST DOLLARS TO KEEP THEMSELVES AFLOAT! THEY ARE UNABLE TO REACH ANY SELF-SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL GOALS OR ANY SECTIONS OF THE ECONOMY THAT WILL HELP THE CUBAN PEOPLE BECOME MORE SUFFICIENT. ALL THESE TIMBIRICHE BUSINESSES THAT Raul Castro HAS “ALLOWED” WERE ALREADY EXISTING IN THE BLACK MARKET.

    UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA WHARTON SCHOOL REPORT :Can Raul Castro’s Reforms Create a New Cuba? -November 22, 2011

    At first glance, say experts, Raul Castro seems to modeling his country’s future after China and Vietnam, whose one-party, nominally communist governments have managed to maintain power for decades while also emerging as globally competitive exporters of industrial and agricultural goods. Look deeper, however, and it is apparent that Raul’s approach won’t turn Cuba into a miniature of those two much larger Asian communist countries, experts say. The key problem for Cuba is that Raul’s reforms are not nearly as deep or thorough as those enacted by communist governments in China and Vietnam. In Cuba, “they are going in the right direction, but the issue is whether the reforms are profound enough or fast enough to meet the difficult crisis,” says Carmelo Mesa Lago, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh, whose new book on the Cuban economy is scheduled to be published in Spain and the U.S. in 2012.

    Mesa Lago notes that in China and Vietnam, local farmers have been allowed to lease from the government the land that they work on for an indefinite time period; Chinese and Vietnamese farmers have been encouraged to care for that land as if it were their own. In Cuba, contracts to lease plots of land are valid for only 25 years. “After 25 years, that contract may or may not be renewed by the government, and the land may be seized by the Cuban state for social needs,” Mesa Lago notes. That’s particularly troubling because “a lot of land in Cuba has been taken over by the notorious marabou plant,” says Adrian E. Tschoegl, a management lecturer and senior fellow at Wharton. It often takes two years just to clear marabou-infested land, Tschoegl adds, so a 25-year lease is effectively cut.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/arabic/article.cfm?articleid=2744&language_id=1

  19. HATE TO TELL YOU Omar Fundora BUT ANY IMPROVEMENT IN SHIPMENTS OF FOOD WILL ONLY BENEFIT THE TOURISTS AND THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA WHO OWNS ALL THE LARGE BUSINESSES IN CUBA. THE USA HAS BEEN ABLE TO SEE FOOD TO CUBA ON A CASH BASIS FOR A LONG TIME.

    U.S.-CUBA TRADE AND ECONOMIC COUNCIL, INC. ECONOMIC EYE ON CUBA- February 2012 – Report For Calendar Year 2011 2011-2001 U.S. EXPORT STATISTICS FOR CUBA The following is the data for exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba relating to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000, which re-authorized the direct commercial (on a cash basis) export of food products (including branded food products) and agricultural products (commodities) from the United States to the Republic of Cuba, irrespective of purpose. The TSRA does not include healthcare products, which remain authorized by the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) of 1992. The data represents the U.S. Dollar value of product exported from the United States to the Republic of Cuba under the auspice of TSRA. The data does not include transportation charges, bank charges, or other costs associated with exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. The government of the Republic of Cuba reports data that, according to the government of the Republic of Cuba, includes transportation charges, bank charges, and other costs. However, the government of the Republic of Cuba has not provided verifiable data. The use of trade data reported by the government of the Republic of Cuba is suspect. The government of the Republic of Cuba has been asked to provide verifiable data, but has not.
    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!
    http://www.cubatrade.org/CubaExportStats.pdf

  20. CUBANS ARE ALSO CONCERN ABOUT THE INCREASE FLOW OF TOURISTS AND MONEY FROM THE U.S. AND THE NEGATIVE IMPACT IT CAN HAVE ON THE ECOSYSTEMS OF THE ISLAND
    Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat

    Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners Focus on ISIS as Greatest Danger

    By Jill Carle

    In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, many publics around the world name global climate change as a top threat, according to a new Pew Research Center survey measuring perceptions of international challenges. This is particularly true in Latin America and Africa, where majorities in most countries say they are very concerned about this issue. But as the Islamic militant group ISIS maintains its hold in Iraq and Syria and intensifies its grisly public executions, Europeans and Middle Easterners most frequently cite ISIS as their main concern among international issues.

    Global economic instability also figures prominently as the top concern in a number of countries, and it is the second biggest concern in half of the countries surveyed. In contrast, concerns about Iran’s nuclear program as well as cyberattacks on governments, banks or corporations are limited to a few nations. Israelis and Americans are among the most concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, while South Koreans and Americans have the greatest concern about cyberattacks relative to other publics. And apprehension about tensions between Russia and its neighbors, or territorial disputes between China and surrounding countries, largely remain regional concerns.

    These are among the findings of a new Pew Research Center survey, conducted in 40 countries among 45,435 respondents from March 25 to May 27, 2015. The report focuses on those who say they are “very concerned” about each issue.1

    Anxiety about Climate Change High in Latin America, Africa

  21. Cuba is anticipating four percent growth next year.

    Cuban Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Marino Murillo Jorge has presented the Economic Plan for 2015 to the Council of Ministers. It outlines stronger growth in 2015.

    “Next year the Cuban economy will continue to progress despite the blockade, external financial constraints and the international situation,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

    The plan intends to direct resources towards key sectors such as manufacturing, construction, trade, agriculture and forestry among others while maintaining basic social services.

    “By 2015 an increase of the GDP by slightly over 4% is projected, whereby the previous rates and slower trend of recent years are reversed,” expressed Murillo.

    The Cuban government expects 2014 growth of 1.3 percent.

    Cuba also expects to increase exports of flour, soybeans, wheat and potatos in 2015.

    Regarding employment and wages, Murillo explained that the minimum wage grew by 9.1 percent, thanks to increased income from health and sports industries as well as foreign investment in the last quarter. The government will attempt to maintain similar trends in 2015.

  22. Humberto: The amendments will increase the supply of food going to Cuba and reduce the cost of shipping products from Cuba and other countries that trade with Cuba on their way to the U.S. In other words ….more trade is being facilitated…win-win for everyone!!!

  23. As Defense Minister, Raúl Castro is responsible for war crimes in and out of Cuba. During the rural uprising of the sixties, his armed forces set fire and executed hundreds of prisoners on the spot. During the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, five prisoners were executed shortly after their capture and nine were deliberately asphyxiated in a trailer truck. The toll of victims multiplies over the course of decades with Cuba’s international military incursions in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Intentional attacks on civilian populations in Angola are part of his legacy.

  24. As Defense Minister, Raúl Castro is responsible for war crimes in and out of Cuba. During the rural uprising of the sixties, his armed forces set fire and executed hundreds of prisoners on the spot. During the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, five prisoners were executed shortly after their capture; ans nine were deliberately asphyxiated in a trailer truck. The toll of victims multiplies over the course of decades with Cuba’s international military incursions in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Intentional attacks on civilian populations in Angola are part of his legacy.

  25. SO WHAT WILL THE CUBAN PEOPLE GET FOR LIFTING THE TRAVEL BAN? SOME EXTRA MEASLY TIPS? THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA SAID NO TO GOOGLE OFFERING FREE WI-FI IN CUBA! THIS OBAMA US/CUBA DIPLOMACY IS ONE BAD ONE WAY AFFAIR FOR THE USA AND THE CUBAN PEOPLE!

    THE HILL: GOP-led Senate panel votes to lift travel ban to Cuba — The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted to lift the ban on travel to Cuba in an 18-12 vote. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) offered the amendment to a bill that would fund Financial Services and General Government in the next fiscal year. For nearly 60 years, Moran said the only country that Americans are prohibited to travel to is Cuba. “This amendment would eliminate that prohibition and allow Americans the opportunity to travel to Cuba,” he said.
    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/248955-gop-led-senate-panel-votes-to-lift-travel-ban-to-cuba

  26. RECENTLY RELEASED …07/22/15
    Statement on Cuba Amendments in Senate Appropriations Committee

    Amendments include a one-year rider to lift the travel ban on Americans
    A CBS News poll just this week showed that 81% of the American people support ending the travel ban, including 71% of Republicans.
    Background on Amendments and How They Advance American Interests:
    Amendment Lifting Travel Ban to Cuba For One Year, proposed by Sen. Moran adopted by a vote of 18-12.
    The amendment prohibits the use of any funds appropriated under this Act or any other Act to implement any law, regulation, or policy that restricts travel to Cuba for one year.
    Amendment To End 180 Day Delay for Ships That Have Docked in Cuban Ports, proposed by Sen. Tester, adopted by voice vote.
    The amendment repeals the requirement that a vessel entering a port or place in Cuba may not load or unload freight at any place in the United States within 180 days without a license issued by the Secretary of the Treasury.
    Amendment Allowing Private Sector Credit for Purchase of American Agricultural Sales in Cuba, proposed by Sen. Boozman, adopted by voice vote.
    The amendment allows the private financing by United States persons of sales of agricultural commodities to Cuba. The amendment would not cost the government and does not allow for U.S. export credit guarantees or expose U.S. taxpayers any risks associated with exporting to Cuba.

    *An earlier version incorrectly stated that Sen. Leahy introduced the travel amendment

  27. WELL Omar Fundora YOUR ACCUSATIONS, DEFAMATION AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE WITHOUT PROOF WITH LINK SOUNDS LIKE TYPICAL SHOOTING THE MESSENGER!

    INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE web site
    http://www.iri.org/

    Founded in 1983, the International Republican Institute (IRI) is a United Nations-partnered organisation that conducts international political and institutional programs.[2]
    Initially known as the National Republican Institute for International Affairs, the IRI’s stated mission is to “expand freedom throughout the world”. Its activities include teaching and assisting center-right political party and candidate development in their values, good governance practices, civil society development, civic education, women’s and youth leadership development, electoral reform and election monitoring, and political expression in closed societies. It has been chaired by Arizona Senator John McCain since January 1993.[1][3]
    IRI has dramatically increased its efforts to bring institutional structure to Arab countries whose social and political fabric was frayed by the Arab Spring.[4] IRI controversially was helping organize Haitian workers and farmers in Haiti prior to the 2004 Haitian coup d’état,[5] organized conservative political parties in Poland,[6] and has been involved in organizing women in Egypt during and after the Arab Spring.[7]

  28. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA FAILED ON THEIR FIRST ATTEMPT TO SMEAR SENATOR Robert Menedez WITH ALLEGATIONS OF USING UNDERAGE PROSTITUTES IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. NOW THIS!

    NEW JERSEY NEWS: Was Cuba behind Menendez investigation? His attorneys want to know – By Thomas Zambito – July 23, 2015

    NEWARK — Attorneys for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez want to know whether an agent of the Republic of Cuba kick-started the federal investigation that led to the indictment of New Jersey’s senior senator on political corruption charges.During a hearing in U.S. District Court Wednesday, Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell said he has requested documents in the government’s possession, which might show that prosecutors “got information from the Republic of Cuba to start this case.”But on Wednesday Justice Department prosecutors asked Judge William Walls to review any documents it has that it considers classified before deciding whether they should be turned over to the defense.
    Menendez’s lawyers believe the government’s move was prompted by a request made in May for government documents relevant to their defense.
    “Any documents or information describing or reflecting any allegation of wrongdoing by Robert Menendez made by an individual or agency from Cuba,” the request said.
    On Wednesday, Walls agreed to review any material the government considers classified based on national security concerns before deciding whether to turn them over to the defense.
    The suggestion that Cuban agents might be behind the Menendez criminal probe threatens to inject politics into a case that federal prosecutors say is about “government corruption,” not political payback.
    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/07/was_cuba_behind_menendez_investigation_his_attorne.html

  29. yskjs: Correct!!…is about quality of life…ideology is like religion…a wish for the right answer to the daily challenges of life struggle to exist….human rights are trampled daily by those that champion it as well as those that want them. Democracy, Freedom of Speech, “Free Market” driven by human greed only drives life over the abyss of extinction which stand to reason that since humanity is but an expression of life on this planet, it also will become extinct.

  30. Bardach is right, it’s about improving life for all Cubans, long term. It’s not about what the US got or didn’t get, except for a correction of geopolitical reality. I interpret that about what Cubans don’t want from the US as that they don’t want it imposed on them, because we all have the same needs regarding all types of justice.
    What’s improved until now is almost nothing, but the hope is a genie that won’t go back into the bottle…

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