Machado Ventura: Neither Young Nor Female

Machado Ventura in 2012, at the eighth plenary session of the 1st National CDR Directorate. (JCG)

Machado Ventura in 2012, at the eighth plenary session of the 1st National CDR Directorate. (JCG)

Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 31 August 2015 — If anyone embodies the most antiquated orthodoxy of the Cuban political system, it is undoubtedly Jose Ramon Machado Ventura. With his frail gait and infinite power, the vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers represents the most reactionary and ultra-conservative wing of the island’s government. Thus, the excessive role he has gained in the media in recent weeks worries many.

Machadito, as his elders call him, has starred this summer in activities ranging from visits to sugar mills and a meeting with cattle ranchers, to the speech at the closing ceremony of the Federation of Cuban Women Congress, a day at the 10th Congress of the Young Communist League, and the closing words this Saturday at the National Council of the University Students Federation. All this, although he is neither a farmer, nor a woman and much less young.

So many photos and statements have been published in the official press about the second secretary of the Party Central Committee are giving shape to a question on the mind of many Cubans. Will the most intense hardliners end up imposing themselves on the reformers who will potentially be part of power in Cuba? The frequent appearances of Machado Ventura on the public scene leave no room for hope.

Will the most hardliners end up imposing themselves on the reformers who will potentially be part of power in Cuba?

The little tree man some call this functionary, loyal to the core and grey in every mitochondria of his cells. To him is attributed a circular that prohibited the display of Christmas trees in hotels and public places in 1995. Years later, life imposed its own designs and now Santa Claus and colored lights are seen everywhere from the first days of December, in a defiant gesture that must in no way please this man who is a doctor by profession who has long since forgotten the last time he treated a patient.

This octogenarian, who acts as if he knows everything, represents what should end once and for all in Cuba. He incarnates this old-fashioned power that only approaches those below only to demand from them greater efficiency and more sacrifices. In his person is the sum of despotism, arrogance, the superiority of someone who hasn’t boarded a bus in decades, nor counted out the centavos to buy a a couple of pounds of chicken, and much less felt the cold emptiness of a refrigerator maintained on the average monthly salary.

Fortunately for the future, Machado Ventura will be one of those faces that are lost in history. Like in one of those jokes so popular in Eastern Europe that later jumped to the island, when someone looks for their name in some encyclopedia and finds barely a succinct note. Perhaps it will say he was a “cadre of the Cuban Communist Party who lived during the era when Cubans resumed the practice of decorating with trees and garlands at Christmas.”

27 thoughts on “Machado Ventura: Neither Young Nor Female

  1. ;PEOPLE LIKE THIS MAN ARE THE ONES THAT VOTE FOR RIGHT WING AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE UNITED STATES. MANY DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS IN LATIN AMERICA AND CUBA ARE SUPPORTED BY THE RIGHT IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY WANT TO BRING THE PLANTATION ECONOMY BACK TO WHAT THEY CALL BANANA REPUBLICS (INCLUDING CUBA). CUBANS THAT VOTE FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE PEERS TO GUYS LIKE THIS.

    http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/AAe4alR.img?h=768&w=1366&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

    KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept 8 (Reuters) – A Kansas jury on Tuesday said a white supremacist who shot three people to death outside two Jewish centers last year should be put to death for the crimes.

    Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who has been representing himself in court, was found guilty last month of killing Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Corporon, 69, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and Terri LaManno, 53, outside a Jewish retirement home, both in Overland Park, Kansas. The jury also convicted Cross of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at three other people.

    Cross said during the trial he shot them because he thought they were Jewish but none of those killed were in fact Jewish.

    Cross, 74, gave a Nazi salute to the jury, and declared “Death to the Jews” at the end of his closing statement before the jury retired to consider his sentence.

    At his two-week-long trial, Cross admitted he committed the killings, and said he had wanted to kill as many Jews as he could.

    Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, said Jews control the media, financial institutions and the movie industry and he blamed Jewish women for backing a movement that led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973 to legalize abortion.

    At the end of his closing statement on Tuesday, Cross glared at jurors over his reading glasses as he sat in a wheelchair and dared them to give him the death penalty.

    “I voluntarily sacrificed my freedom for my people,” Cross said. “Do you see fear in me? You see a proud white man.”

  2. DICTATORS OF A FEATHER VIOLATE HUMAN RIGHTS TOGETHER!

    THE DAILY MAIL (Photos) :Close, but not too close: North Korea and Cuba celebrate their close diplomatic ties – across the world’s widest table and in front of stormy seas (but then they got cosy at the theatre) — Cuba and North Korea might have been the closest of friends for decades but – looking at their choice of table – it seems that weren’t too keen on getting any closer. The two countries sat on either side of a table which was almost as wide as the 8,000-odd miles which separates them as they met to celebrate more than have a century of good relations.

    Kim Jong Un and Cuba’s vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel did get a little closer at one point, as they posed stiffly on an offensively-bright carpet in front of a mural of some pretty stormy seas.

    Diaz-Canel had led a Cuban delegation to Pyongyang over the weekend.

    According to a statement put out through the Cuban News Agency, ‘the two parties verified the progress of bilateral relations and recalled the traditional bonds of friendship and solidarity existing between the two countries’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3226640/Close-not-close-North-Korea-Cuba-celebrate-close-diplomatic-ties-world-s-widest-table-stormy-seas-got-cosy-theatre.html

  3. Raúl Castro, the nominal president, has performed inconsistently. That is not surprising given his continuing refusal to countermand his brother on any matter of transcending importance. The most important figures in the leadership are Raúl Castro 84-year-old, Ramón Machado Ventura 85 and Ramiro Valdés 83. Ranking Cuban officials don’t know whom to obey or trust or how safely to maneuver around the Castro brothers. If there is a Cuban Gorbachev biding his time somewhere in the upper reaches of the leadership, he is wisely keeping a low profile.

  4. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA SAID NO TO GOOGLE WHEN IT PROPOSED TO GIVE FREE INTERNET TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE! IF KING OBAMA WOULD HAVE PUSHED FOR THAT I MIGHT SUPPORT HIS BAD US-CUBA SECRET DEAL!

    GLOBAL VOICES: Browsing the Web from Cuba’s Public Hotspots

    To use the Internet in Cuba, one must sign up for an account with ETECSA, the country’s parent company for all telecommunications services. There are two ways to get an account: you can buy a prepaid Nauta card, or obtain a contract with ETECSA that includes Internet browsing and email. In both cases, you are required to present official, government-issued identification, be it a state ID or passport.

    Hotels provide Internet access services for prices ranging from the equivalent of US$4.50 to US$10 per hour, and they do not request any sort of personal information. But with an average monthly salary of US$20, this kind of access is unthinkable for most Cubans.

    Three weeks ago, a Nauta card cost $2.50 on the black market. Today, prepaid cards circulating in the emerging black market of La Rampa cost $3 for browsing in WiFi zones. At official ETECSA retail outlets they cost $2, but users have to wait in long lines alongside people in need of charging their cell phones, paying their phone bills, or buying different products.

    And the lack of full Internet access is only part of the problem. Prices are high. The locations of hotspots give people little choice but to sit on steps, curbs, and sidewalks while using the Web, making an unfavorable atmosphere for browsing. And there is no coherent strategy for teaching everyone how to use the Internet, beyond what is offered for university students and those working in key sectors of scientific development in the country. These factors have left most Cuban Internet users logging on for little more than utilitarian purposes.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    https://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2015/09/07/browsing-the-web-from-cubas-public-hotspots/

  5. THAT US-CUBA DEAL THAT KING OBAMA MADE IN SECRET IS SURE HELPING THE CUBAN PEOPLE, DISSIDENTS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS!

    FOX NEWS LATINO : Chilean lawmaker beaten, arrested during protest in Cuba

    A right-wing Chilean congressman just back from a private visit to Cuba complained Monday that he was beaten, handcuffed and held for nearly three hours by Cuban authorities for participating in a peaceful demonstration by the Ladies in White dissident organization in Havana.

    “Without any dialogue, a shock group of the Castro regime arrived; they proceeded to beat those of us who were marching, without asking us for any identification and they arrested us,” Felipe Kast told reporters at Santiago’s international airport.

    He added that he remained under detention for more than 2 1/2 hours until he was permitted to make a telephone call.

    “There was no dialogue, the shock group of approximately 100 people simply arrived in vehicles, in buses, and I was knocked to the ground, handcuffed and taken to another place without being able to explain or learning any reason for it,” he said.

    Kast thanked Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz and the country’s ambassador in Cuba, Gonzalo Mendoza, for their efforts to obtain his release and added that he had traveled to Havana to spend time with relatives who live on the island.

    He said that the people who arrested him probably did not know that he was a Chilean lawmaker.

    “I imagine that they didn’t know I was a legislator, which makes it just as serious as if they would have known,” said Kast, who added that each week the members of the Ladies in White suffer the same treatment to which he was subjected.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2015/09/07/chilean-lawmaker-beaten-arrested-during-protest-in-cuba/

  6. There is an important difference between the Soviet Union pre-Gorbechev and Cuba now: Cuba is ruled by the Castro family dynasty, and there’s no sign of a Gorbachev coming along any time soon. The succession has been planned, but what’s the chance that a Kim Jung Un – who’s even worse than his dad was – becomes the new ruler? Maybe not, becuse of Cuba being close to the USA rather than China?

  7. HMM!! SO THESE ARE THE BIG CHANGES BY THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA?

    UNCOMMON SENSE: Anti-Castro activists — plus Chilean parliament member — arrested in Cuba -Sept. 6, 2015
    Some 60 Cuban Ladies In White and other activists were arrested Sunday, the 21st-straight Sunday the Castro dictatorship’s secret police and other goons have targeted its peaceful opposition. Also arrested and beatenwas Felipe Kast, a member of the Chilean parliament who was marching with activists in Havana., it (And yes, it also was the fourth-straight Sunday of repression in Cuba since the United States reopened its embassy in Havana. As if that’s made a difference to the Cuban people. Or to the Castros.)

    http://marcmasferrer.typepad.com/uncommon_sense/2015/09/sept-6-2015-60-anti-castro-activists-plus-chilean-parliament-member-arrested-in-cuba.html

  8. The top Cuban leadership today resembles nothing as much as the feeble gerontocracy that governed the Soviet Union in the first half of the 1980s, until the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev in March 1985. In quick succession Leonid Brezhnev was briefly succeeded by Yuri Andropov, and then Constantine Chernenko, all three by then in their 70s, feeble and incapable of leading their fading empire out of its terminal illness. Cuba’s leadership today is even more unstable.

  9. Yantar, Russian oceanographic ship, may visit Cuba in the next couple of days.

    She collects intelligence. All type of intelligence.
    What do you guys think of Russia building a missile defense in Cuba to protect Central America from……. you know from whom, from some rogue North Korean missile ;-)

  10. Many times I’m sooo glad that I’m not a journalist and can characterize all I want!
    El ilegitimo – the illegitimate one – and the Chavista Organized Crime gang have no chance of winning the elections on Dec. 6. Therefore massive fraud is to be expected if the elections are even held. Now ex-pres. Mojica of Uruguay – a leftist – a few days before leaving office said that a “leftist coup” could happen in Vzla because of the lack of support for the Chavistas. Recently Andres Oppenheimer commented that the border conflict with Colombia was orchestrated in order to give an excuse for taking all power by, as Mojica said, the “leftists” themselves. The ” ” ar mine…

  11. We can’t expect rapid regime change in Cuba and other similar nations.
    Take a look at Burma, it has changed but is still the same, because the generals wear suits instead of uniforms but are still in power.
    Change has started, but it will continue slowly as IT and improving economies take hold…

  12. SAME TYPE OF JUSTICE AS CUBA! EVERYTHING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS! THE TRIAL FOR AMERICAN HOSTAGE IN CUBA ALAN GROSS WAS HANDLED IN THE SAME WAY BY THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA WHO IS BEHIND THE VENEZUELAN “GOVERNMENT”!

    FOX NEWS LATINO: More than year-long trial against Venezuela’s opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez nears end
    CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AP) – The more-than-yearlong trial of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez entered its final stages Friday as the defense delivered closing statements in a courtroom not open to the public or to journalists. The hearing was delayed for hours as the court waited for one of Lopez’s four co-defendants, 19-year-old Marco Coello, to appear. In the afternoon, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that Coello caught a flight to Miami on Thursday. The arguments ended at midnight, and are expected to resume next Thursday, with Lopez delivering a final statement. The judge could issue a verdict immediately afterward.

    Hundreds of his supporters gathered in the streets outside the court under piercing morning sun to demand Lopez’s release, though few thought it likely that he would be found innocent. They dispersed by nightfall, but another group of supporters took up a vigil in the posh eastern Caracas district where Lopez once was mayor.

    Opposition figures delivered statements calling on President Nicolas Maduro to roll back what they say has been a consistent policy of attacking and imprisoning critics. Maduro was in Qatar on Friday, continuing a multi-nation tour to seek loans and action on oil prices as the socialist South American country’s economy sinks deeper into recession.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/09/05/more-than-year-long-trial-against-venezuela-opposition-leader-leopoldo-lopez/

  13. The intended transfer of powers has been to stop any pretension to power the people outside of the Castro family, and with the restitution of the so calls “historical leaders”, ensure that the “generational change” don’t try to carry out any change. Nevertheless, the international media have served only to overstate his microscopic political personality, his anodyne words and his still more inefficient governmental management in the poorest and devastated country of America.

  14. THE EDUCATION IN CUBA IS NOT REALLY FREE, YOU ALWAYS PAY THE CASTRO REAPER! IF YOU UPSET THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA YOU GET PUNISHED AND NOT LET BACK TO VISIT YOUR FAMILY! THE WORD “WELCOME” IS MORE LIKE WE NEED YOUR MONEY!

    BBC NEWS: Cuba welcomes back doctors who fled to work abroad

    Cuba has said it will welcome back doctors who deserted while serving on government-backed programmes abroad.

    The health ministry said doctors who fled in those circumstances would be guaranteed a job in Cuba and would incur no punishment or loss of status.

    Some 25,000 Cuban doctors are currently working abroad in programmes organised by the island’s communist government.

    In the past, most Cubans who fled the country were banned from returning to the island, often for long periods.

    The offer has also been extended to doctors who were allowed to emigrate on official visas, under a more open policy introduced in 2013 by President Raul Castro.

    Critics say the highly-trained professionals are underpaid, while the Cuban government charges other countries for the service and make significant profits.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34158513

  15. THE HOLY SEE DOESN’T WANT TO SEE THE HUMAN RIGHTS CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA IN THE PAST 56 YEARS!

    NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: The Castros Are Unrepentant, Their Crimes Are Ongoing, and They Do Not Deserve Forgiveness – by YLEEM D.S. POBLETE

    With the Holy See playing an integral role in this U.S.–Cuba rapprochement, will the pontiff follow Washington’s lead and also wipe the slate clean? Will the Holy Father provide political absolution to the Havana tyranny and Communist-party leadership during his visit to Cuba? Do the elements exist that would justify forgiving their crimes? The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the sacrament of forgiveness requires “contrition, confession, and satisfaction.” Contrition requires the sinner to possess deep sorrow for past offenses against God and neighbors. The sinner must be firmly committed to amend his evil ways and resolve to sin no more. In the case of Cuba, the dictatorship does not detest the more than five decades of murder, torture, arbitrary arrests of human-rights dissidents and political opponents, or infanticide using Rivanol (among other methods). Quite the opposite.

    Raúl Castro’s words and deeds since December 17, 2014, are boastful and strident in defense of Communism and the totalitarian system that his brother started and he continues. The Castro machinery is stained with the blood and tears of prisoners of conscience and human-rights defenders. The regime shows no remorse for past acts. In fact, it gave a hero’s welcome to a convicted Cuban spy who was complicit in the murder of innocent Americans. It still harbors wanted terrorists, killers, and other fugitives. Injuries continue. Thousands of men and women of all races, ages, and backgrounds, seeking to exercise their fundamental rights, have been beaten and arrested in just the last eight months.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423504/cuba-castros-unrepentant-unforgiven

  16. Cuban troops have shown fantastic class on the Beijing parade!

    They came to the commemoration activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War
    Just check here:
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2015-09/03/c_134584089_7.htm

    The Chinese servicemen exclaimed:
    “Follow the Party! Fight to win! Forge exemplary conduct!”
    This may also be a guide for the Cuban FAR.

  17. For many years Cubans in exile and still today hold “membership cards” in the Republican Party. Rubio and Ted Cruz representatives in the Congress of the United States are Republicans. A political party with a nationalistic message for the white population in the United States. An “anti” everything that threatens the wealth of the Rich. The Cuban government message as you can see is “We want to perfect our Socialism”. The Right Wing Republican Party message claims to be “We want to make America Great Again”…however, what they don’t tell the public is that in order to “Make America Great Again” will require for us to spend our way out of the slow economy. In the past when ” America was Great” this was possible only by Wars. ISIS is today’s Nazi Germany for the Right in the United States…if you watch what Donald Trump said in the video, what he is upset about is the fact that ISIS is being bankrolled by the oil fields they have conquered. Oil fields, that according to him, should be owned by Americans since we won Dessert Storm against Saddam Hussein. The camouflage is off. We told the World prior to the War that we wanted to liberate the Iraqi People from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Donald Trump clearly say that Mexico don’t care about the United States. What he really wants to say is that we don’t care about Mexico. Mexico for us is nothing more than a resource of oil for our More and More society. We are responsible for thousands of Mexicans being killed for being activists against the Right Wing tyranny of Nieto and his Administration. I bring this up because Cubans that want to bring regime change in Cuba are making a huge miscalculation by taking money and any other form of aid from the United States. The Revolutionary Government in Cuba was the only government in Cuba that brought independence and sovereignty to Cuba. No other government in Cuba has being able to do that. The Democratic Movement against the Revolutionary Government of Cuba and Latin America is a tool for American Hegemony in Latin America (even if these organization claim they are not. The leadership of these organizations are extremely foolish to think they are not). Socialism is the best option for Cuba and Latin America to protect the independence and sovereignty of all Latin American countries. Just as the message from Donald Trump to the American People is “We want to make America Great again”. The message by all Latin American Countries should be: ” We want to create Socialistic Democratic Republics to protect our sovereignty and independence from foreign aggression”. This is Latin America Nationalistic message to the World that should said. American Imperialism in Latin American is on the move again…

  18. Now you see what Machado is like….now this is the potential future President of the United States…..the Personality that embodies the Right Wing and the Republican Party in the United States….

  19. TO PRESERVE AND TO IMPROVE SOCIALISM

    This is what Cubans want and they show it on the banner on the video below.

    Sure, Americans and their bloggers want something quite different. And they hit against the most powerful weapon Cuba has: the unity of Cuban people.

    This is why they offend and ridicule the leaders of the Revolution.

  20. NEWSWEEK:Top Cuban Official Rejects Nongovernment Wi-Fi Offerings – BY TAYLOR WOFFORD – 7/13/15
    A top Cuban Communist Party official says he is skeptical about any low-cost or free offers to increase Internet access for the island nation, despite the country’s notoriously low Internet penetration rate. Only 5 percent of Cubans have regular access to the Internet, one of the lowest rates in the world, according to Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization. About 25 percent of the population has access to the country’s intranet, which hosts mostly pro-government websites.

    José Ramón Machado Ventura, the second-highest ranking member of the Communist Party of Cuba, behind President Raúl Castro, said in an interview with the daily newspaper Juventud Rebelde that “the whole world knows that there is no Internet in Cuba because it has a high cost…. There are some people who want to give it to us for free, but not for Cuban people to communicate but to penetrate us and do ideological work for a new conquest.” The paper is published by the Cuban Young Communist League.
    http://www.newsweek.com/top-cuban-official-rejects-google-wifi-offer-353087

  21. GLOBAL VOICE: Cuba Si, Google No: Cuban Officials Rumored to Reject Google’s Free WiFi Offer – 17 July 2015
    Top Cuban officials allegedly have rejected an offer from Google to supply the island with free public WiFi throughout the country. Although neither the company nor the Cuban government has explicitly commented on the matter, multiple news sources seem to have drawn this conclusion from an interview in Juventud Rebelde (“Rebellious Youth”), the island’s long-standing youth newspaper. The interview featured Jose Ramon Machado, a contemporary of the Castro brothers, who after forty years at the helm of Cuba’s Union of Communist Youth appears as determined as ever to instill in young Cubans the values and morals of Cuba’s unique brand of Marxism.

    When the reporter asked Machado what he thought about the value of the Internet for Cuban youth, Machado’s response was clear:

    “Internet access is a great opportunity and at the same time a great challenge, because new technologies are novel and vital, not only for person-to-person communication, but also for development. Everyone knows why there isn’t more Internet [in Cuba]. It’s because of the high cost.

    There are those who would like to give us Internet for free, but they aren’t doing this so that Cubans can communicate with one another, rather they’re doing it with the goal of penetrating us on ideological grounds, in an effort to make a new conquest. We need to get Internet, but in our own way, recognizing that the imperialist intention is to use it as one more way to destroy the Revolution.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    https://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2015/07/17/cuba-si-google-no-cuban-officials-rumored-to-reject-googles-free-wifi-offer/

  22. I don’t remember the name of the guy who’s going to be the successor of RC, but I think it’s someone who’s a lot younger than than this one. Also I’d like to know if the new crew that’s supposed to take over can be any better than RC + FC, or can they be held back by the old guard?

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