The One-sided Paralysis of the Cuban Press

Television remains under a strict monopoly of the Communist Party to sustain a biased editorial line does not represent the national complexity.

Television remains under a strict monopoly of the Communist Party to sustain a biased editorial line does not represent the national complexity.

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 5 January 2015 – Sometimes I wish I lived in the country they show on television. This hopeful nation of rose-colored dreams presented by the official press. A place of props and slogans, where factory production exceeds goals and employees are declared “workplace heroes.” In this Cuba, bouncing off the antennas to reach our small screens, there is no room for sickness, pain, frustration or impatience.

The official Cuban press has tried to approach the country’s reality in recent years. Several young faces appear on TV programs to report on administrative negligence, poor services, or consumer complaints about bureaucratic paperwork. But even still, state journalism continues to be a long way from objectivity and respect for the truth.

Television, radio and newspapers are maintained under strict monopoly of the Communist Party, and not only because they are ideologically subordinated, but also because they are financed from the state coffers – money that belongs to all Cubans – money that they use to sustain a biased editorial line that does not reflect the national complexity.

The topics covered by the journalists of this partisan press represent the interests of an ideology and a group in power, not of the entire country. They never dare, for example, in their reporting, to question the authorities, nor the current political system, nor the organs of State Security nor the activities of the police, among other taboo subjects.

However, where the official press most betrays the precepts of balance and impartial information is in the testimonies they broadcast, in the voices they give space to and the opinions they express. By the grace of journalistic censorship, access to the microphone is granted only to those who agree with the government and applaud the actions of its leaders.

They never interview someone with a difference of opinion, or someone who believes the country should take other political or economic paths. Unanimity continues to fill the front pages and the news broadcasts, although for a long time now loud dissent has been heard on buses, in stores, in the hallways of institutions and even in classrooms.

At the beginning of this year an avalanche of reports filled the television broadcasts. The protagonists were young people who claimed to live “in the best of all possible worlds,” smiling with confidence in their future and not even dreaming of emigration. Not included among the opinions were those from anyone in the process of leaving Cuba, or feeling frustrated by their professional prospects, or submerging themselves in illegalities to survive.

In the almost 70,000 hours of annual television broadcasts not a single self-employed person complains about their high taxes. Parents who fear the growing violence in Cuban streets are never encountered in the Cuban media, and women beaten by their husbands don’t appear demanding legal measures to protect them from the abuse.

The teachers whose pay doesn’t allow them to live a decent life find no echo of their demands in the media, nor do dissidents appear to demand respect for their opinions. An inmate denouncing bad prison conditions has no chance to appear before the cameras, nor do the patients who have been victims of medical ethics violations or bad treatment in the Public Health System.

This entire area of Cuba, the widest area, remains outside the authorized media. Because the official Cuban press doesn’t exercise journalism, rather it proselytizes. Although it is made up of many professionals with university and post-graduate degrees, they do not have the freedom to engage in the work of reporting. Instead of looking for the truth, they try to impose an opinion. What they do cannot even call itself “the press.”

33 thoughts on “The One-sided Paralysis of the Cuban Press

  1. THIS ARTICLE FAILS TO MENTION THAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS ALLOWED U.S. TELECOMMUNICATIONS TO DO BUSINESS IN CUBA SINCE 2009! IT ALSO FAILS TO MENTION THAT GOOGLE OFFERED THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA FREE WI-FI FOR THE CUBAN PEOPLE, BUT THE DICTATORSHIP SAID NO!

    USA TODAY: FCC to allow U.S. telecom services to Cuba – by Roger Yu — The Federal

    Communications Commission said Friday it has removed Cuba from its “exclusion list,” allowing U.S. companies to provide telecommunication services to the Caribbean country without separate approval from the agency. Cuba was the last remaining country on the FCC’s exclusion list. “Removing Cuba from the Exclusion List benefits the public interest as it will likely alleviate administrative and cost burdens on both” telecom companies and the FCC and fuel more competition among telecom carriers interested in the market, the agency said.

    The move has been anticipated following the Obama administration’s decision in late 2014 to reopen diplomatic relations with the island nation. At the time of the dramatic announcement, the U.S. government said telecommunications companies will be among the first industries to to set up equipment and other infrastructure projects needed to begin their services.

    In September, the departments of Commerce and Treasury followed through by removing a series of restrictions on Americans traveling to and doing business with Cuba. The changes, ranging from investment to banking to joint ventures, enabled American businesses to establish a “physical presence” in Cuba and hire Cubans to work in their offices.

    The U.S. economic embargo on Cuba remains in place since only an act of Congress can lift it.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/01/15/fcc-allows-us-telecom-companies-provide-services-cuba-without-agency-approval/78866114/

  2. KING OBAMA IS REALLY BELIEVING IN HIS OWN SUPERPOWERS! SO GLAD THAT HE IS BEING REPLACED! HOPEFULLY BY SOMEONE NOT SO EGOCENTRIC!

    WORLD AFFAIRS JOURNAL: Obama’s Cuba Policy Met By Crackdown in Cuba – by Ellen Bork

    According to the New York Times, “Administration officials believe that, rather than waiting for the Castro government in Cuba to loosen its grip on power before making a presidential visit there, Mr. Obama can use his presence to help create momentum toward democracy that the Castros will be unable to stop. It needs more than nudging. Since the president’s launch of a new approach to the Castro regime one year ago, the human rights situation has deteriorated. One hundred protesters were arrested on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Overall, arrests are on pace to exceed the 2014 total, which was a record.

    Then, on December 20th, Antonio G. Rodiles was arrested after a march. Rodiles had just returned from a visit to the US during which he met with members of Congress, the State Department, and the Washington Post. (Rodiles has also written for this publication.) Speaking to Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation by telephone from Havana after spending five hours in jail, Rodiles said he had been charged with “public disorder” and fined, steps he believes are preliminary to having his passport confiscated. “It had everything to do with the meetings I had in Washington,” he told Gonzalez. “Things are going to get worse.”

    In his interview, Obama told Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News that he would make the trip to Havana only if he were able to meet democracy and human rights activists, or as he put it, “talk to everybody.” However, it’s hard not to be skeptical about the conditions the president would accept for such a visit. After inspiring initial rhetoric about freedom and democracy in speeches, these have hardly been a top priorities for his presidency. When Secretary of State John Kerry went to reopen the American Embassy in Havana, dissidents and activists were excluded from the ceremony, apparently because the Cuban government opposed it.
    http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/ellen-bork/obamas-cuba-policy-met-crackdown-cuba

  3. WELCOME TO THE GREAT MEDICAL POWERHOUSE CUBA CLAIMS TO BE!

    CANDIAN BROADCAST CORPORATION : Manitoba woman dies of mystery illness after trip to Cuba – Family of Barb Johnston, 54, warns Canadian travellers to have emergency plan – By Riley Laychuk

    “The resorts are absolutely gorgeous where the tourists are, the facilities are beautiful, the beaches are amazing,” John said. “But once we got to the medical centre, it was a horrendous shock. “It was very dirty, everything had rust on it, there was no doors on anything, everyone seemed to be in their street clothes.” Staff at the clinic had her transferred later that morning to a hospital more than two hours away on mainland Cuba. She was admitted to the intensive care unit, put on a ventilator and treated for septic shock.

    The hospital didn’t have food, water or public toilets that worked, the family said. Sinks were also few and far between. At one point, hospital staff asked the family to go and bring back orange juice and push it though Barb’s feeding tube, the said.

    Few spoke English at the hospital and getting any information was difficult, John said.

    “It was very basic medical care,” said their son Riley, who is a paramedic in Manitoba. “The Cuban doctors were doing medical practice from years ago. They didn’t have up-to-date medical practices and stuff like that.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-woman-dies-trip-cuba-1.3402024

  4. DEAR Omar Fudora!!! YOU NEED TO EITHER GET SOME READING GLASSES OR GO BACK TO SCHOOL DEAR! “Political arrests have intensified” IS NOT THE SAME AS “NUMBER OF PEOPLE ARRESTED SKYROCKETED”

    BOSTON REVIEW: Cuba After the Thaw – Worsening Inequality for Afro-Cubans and Women – by Michelle Chase

    Yet what already seems clear is that the renewal of U.S. relations will not automatically bring widespread prosperity, much less social equality, to Cuba. The December 17, 2014 rapprochement between Cuba and the United States came on the heels of several years of Cuban internal reform that have deepened inequality, stacking the deck of the new political landscape in favor of some Cubans. Not surprisingly, race and gender figure prominently in Cuba’s growing disparities.

    Even the most measurable change so far this year—the spike in American visitors—may contribute to the island’s deepening inequality. The growing flood of U.S. tourists will inevitably provide new clientele for the restaurants, home-stays, and other urban services that are the bread and butter of Havana’s new upwardly mobile class of business owners, who tend to be light-skinned and often male, threatening to leave Afro-Cubans, women, and vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, behind.

    Alejandro de la Fuente was among the first to document the return of racial inequality during the Special Period. The social schisms wallpapered over in the 1960s now returned with a vengeance in the 1990s. In the early 1960s much of the island’s middle and upper class, which were overwhelmingly white, decamped for Miami. There they established a powerful exile community, still largely white if now less affluent. In the 1990s they sent remittances—a crucial lifeline—to their family members on their island, who were also mostly light-skinned. The historic patterns of race and residence that the urban reforms had failed to disrupt were now monetized, as predominantly white neighborhoods converted their better housing stock into lucrative rentals. White, formerly middle-class Cubans mobilized the cultural capital still embedded in their social networks to jostle for jobs and scarce goods. Afro-Cubans were elbowed out of increasingly competitive positions in the tourist industry, one of the only ways to access hard currency (as opposed to Cuban pesos or convertible pesos, which have no convertible value). Racist ideologies, prohibited in public since the 1960s but maintained in private, now reemerged.
    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    https://bostonreview.net/world/michelle-chase-us-cuba-relations-afro-cuban-inequality

  5. Cuban Police Demolish The Roof Of An Evangelical Church In Camagüey
    http://translatingcuba.com/cuban-police-demolish-the-roof-of-an-evangelical-church-in-camaguey-14ymedio/

    14ymedio, Camaguey, 8 January 2015 – The police, on Friday, demolished the roof of an evangelical church in Camagüey, according to Fernando Vázquez Guerra, coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in the province. The center of worship, at number 27 Fourth Street in the Versalles neighborhood, is led by pastor Bernardo de Quesada Salomon, founder of Apostolic Move, a Christian movement that separated from the Cuban Council of Churches in 2003.

    Police agents stormed the pastor’s house at dawn, and violently arrested him and took him to the police station on Avellaneda Street, near the railroad station, according to the evangelical pastor Alexis Segundo Medina, who lives in Camaguey.

    Several independent journalists and activists have reported police raids and cuts to their phone service to prevent them from approaching the Versalles neighborhood, according to Henry Constantin, a contributor to 14ymedio, who commented before he was arrested for trying to leave his house.

    In a phone call from the 14ymedio newsroom to the Cuban Council of Churches, the president of that body, Joel Ortega, showed surprise at the news, which he labeled as “worrying” and he asked for the phone numbers of the pastors involved to investigate the information.

    The conflict between Quesada Solomon’s church and the authorities dates back to 2012. That summer, the pastor’s wife bought the building as housing, reserving an outbuilding for church activities and making some cosmetic changes. In October of the same year, the Department of Physical Planning fined the owner for not having requested a license for the work on the outbuilding, which the authorities considered independent of the house. The pastor affirmed that the Provincial Housing Department itself had assured him that a permit was not necessary. In addition, the outbuilding is included in the deed of the house, and so is considered a part of it.

    In December, the religious leader was summoned to a meeting at the Provincial Department of Housing where he was told that he should demolish the floor of the outbuilding. Three years later, in December 2015, the minister complained that Camaguey Physical Planning had issued a demolition order against a ceiling constructed in the outbuilding.
    Initially, the order required demolishing the roof and was announced on December 3, to take effect seven working days from that date.

    On 4 December, Quesada made an urgent call to the international community through the digital site Religion in Revolution, in which he claimed there was persecution “against the Church where more than 600 people gather.”

  6. Again, no report by the Castroit tyrannical regime control press with regard to the orders given to security agents to destroy Christian churches

    The church Pastor Bernardo de Quesada Salómon has confirmed to the independent Cuban outlet 14 y medio that the building “does not exist; it was demolished entirely.”
    Catholic churches under the Castroit tyrannical regime have fared a little better than the Protestant churches, due to the fact that Catholicism can practice legally in the island.
    The regime persecution again those practicing Christianity have increased since December 2014, when the Obama administration made major concessions to the Castroit regime.

  7. OBAMI ……HAS IT RIGHT ONCE AGAIN….OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WANTS TO SHOW UNITY ON HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITH LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS…START BY LIFTING THE EMBARGO OF CUBA. STOP FUNDING THE RIGHT WING MEXICAN GOVERNMENT SO IT CAN KILL MORE OF ITS OPPOSITION. TAKE A PAGE FROM THE CHINESE STATE DEPARTMENT AND CREATE A POLICY OF NON-INTERVENTION IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF LATIN AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS. REMOVE ALL SPIES AND PROXIES TRAITORS FROM LATIN AMERICA. HELP VENEZUELA DIVERSIFY ITS ECONOMY AWAY FROM OIL WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. STOP FUNDING OR HARVORING AT HOME SO CALLED DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT REGIME CHANGE IN LATIN AMERICA WITH OUR HELP BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE MAJORITY OF THEIR COMPATRIOTS AT HOME. A FOREIGN POLICY OF MUTUAL RESPECT AND EQUILATERAL TRADE RELATIONS.

    IN ADDITION:
    1. STOP INCENTIVICING CUBAN PROFESSIONALS (DOCTORS) TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY.
    2. WET FOOT/DRY FOOT…IT DOES NOT MATTER IF DETAINED BY COAST GUARD OR BORDER GUARDS, THEY SHOULD BE SEND BACK HOME.
    3. STOP CULTURAL IMPERIALISM INCENTIVES AS A WAY TO PROMOTE AMERICAN PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IN THE WORLD.
    4. ISIS IS A REGIONAL PROBLEM WITH GLOBAL IDEOLOGICAL GOALS THAT CANNOT BE ACHIEVED. LET THE REGIONAL STATES DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM.
    5. CLOSE MILITARY BASES AROUND THE WORLD. RETURN GUANTANAMO TO CUBA.

    CAPITALISM IS NOT WORKING AND WE NEED TO CHANGE IT AT HOME. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD NECESSARY TO CREATE AN INCLUSIVE WORLD.

  8. CAPITAL HILL CUBANS…WHAT A CROWD!!!….BOOT LICKERS OF THE W.A.S.P. ESTABLISHMENT….

    1. NUMBER OF PEOPLE ARRESTED SKYROCKETED….no they keep arresting the same people.

    2. SELF-EMPLOYED NUMBER DECREASED…..Money is the problem, not because there has been any changes to the law that allows the existence of private businesses. SUPPLY AND DEMAND ECONOMIC ISSUES.

  9. CAPITOL HILL CUBANS: Statement on Obama’s Final State of the Union
    As regards “the lives of the Cuban people,” here are the facts —
    Since Obama’s new Cuba policy was announced on December 17th, 2014:
    — Political arrests have intensified. There were over 8,616 political arrests in 2015, including 1,447 during the month of November, which is the highest recorded number in decades.
    — Released political prisoners have been re-imprisoned. Over half of the 53 political prisoners released to the Obama-Castro deal have been re-arrested at some point, with five serving new long-term sentences.

    — Cubans fleeing the island has skyrocketed. The number of Cuban fleeing the island has nearly doubled in 2015 compared to the previous year. We are currently facing the biggest migration of Cubans since the 1994 rafters crisis.

    — The number of “self-employed” workers has decreased.There are nearly 10,000 less “self-employed” licensees in Cuba today than in 2014. Meanwhile, Castro’s military monopolies are expanding at record pace.

    — Religious freedom has regressed. Last year alone, 2,000 churches were declared illegal and 100 were designated for demolition by the Castro regime.
    http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2016/01/statement-on-obamas-final-state-of.html

  10. SO KING OBAMA CALLS FOR LIFTING THE CUBAN “EMBARGO” AGAIN! BUT HE HAS GOTTEN NOTHING BACK FOR ALL OF HIS CONCESSIONS TO THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA! THE CASTRO CLAN ARE EVEN HOLDING A HIGH TECH HELLFIRE MISSILE FOR HOSTAGE! SO WHAT KING OF DIPLOMACY IS THIS? NO WONDER HE HAS SUCH LOW APPROVAL RATINGS! HE HAS BECOME SUCH A DIVISIVE FIGURE IN HIS OLD AGE!

    NEWSWEEK: President Obama Calls for Lifting Cuban Embargo in State of the Union Address – By Polly Mosendz – 1/12/16 – 9:56 PM

    “Lift the embargo,” President Barack Obama said during his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, addressing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

    The president has been working to improve relations with Cuba since December 2014, when Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two nations. Since then, U.S. and Cuban embassies have reopened in Havana and Washington.

    “Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, setting us back in Latin America. That’s why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, and positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people,” Obama said on Tuesday. “You want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere? Recognize that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/cuba-embargo-president-obama-state-union-414972

  11. HMM! SO THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA IS GOING TO THIS MEETING WHILE THEY HOLD A U.S. HIGH TECH HELLFIRE MISSILE AND WONT GIVE IT BACK? NO WONDER PEOPLE DONT TRUST THE OBAMA ON FOREIGN POLICY! DUH!

    ABC NEWS: Cuba to Attend Security Conference With US for First Time – by Ben Fox

    A delegation from Cuba will take part for the first time in an annual Caribbean regional security conference co-sponsored by the U.S. military’s Southern Command, a senior official said Tuesday, portraying the participation as a significant step in the ongoing thaw between the long-hostile neighbors.

    The Cuban government’s decision to accept an invitation to the Caribbean Nations Security Conference in Jamaica this month follows other relatively small but symbolic forms of military engagement between countries that normalized relations in December 2015, said Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of Southern Command.

    “We’ve normalized now and, regardless of how we think of each other in terms of politics, we have very, very common challenges,” Kelly said in an interview two days before he ends his tenure as commander of U.S. military operations in the Southern Hemisphere.

    The conference takes place over three days starting Jan. 27 in Kingston, Jamaica. Senior military and other security officials are expected from 16 Caribbean countries as well as the U.S., Canada, France, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. Cuba has not yet said who it will send and its government had no immediate response to a request for comment by The Associated Press. Venezuela, which has a chilly relationship with Washington, won’t be there, Kelly said.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cuba-attend-security-conference-us-time-36242188

  12. Obama Keen to Facilitate Cuba’s State-Sponsored Human Trafficking
    http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2016/01/obama-keen-to-facilitate-cubas-state.html

    at 9:23 AM Monday, January 11, 2016
    The mask has quickly come off Obama’s Cuba policy.

    For the past year, Obama has purported — at least in rhetoric — that his new Cuba policy is aimed at increasing “support for the Cuban people.”

    Now, it’s just blatantly looking to change policies simply because “Castro doesn’t like them.”

    Last week, it was reported that the Obama Administration will likely end the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (“CMPP”) program, which provides safe-passage for Cuban doctors who have defected in third-countries.

    The rationale for this program is simple — the terms and conditions under which Castro exports Cuban doctors-for-profit constitutes human trafficking.

    Human trafficking is the Castro regime’s main source of income, with the export of doctors netting over $8 billion last year alone. This is a high margin business for the Castro dictatorship, whereby Cuban doctors are coerced, have absolutely no say about salary, work in deplorable conditions and often have their passports confiscated. Meanwhile, the Castro regime keeps over 90% of their income.

    This practice has been denounced internationally as a violation of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the International Labor Organization’s (“ILO”) Convention on the Protection of Wages.

    It is forced labor — plain and simple.

    As Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez has previously explained, these doctors are “feudal serfs” of the regime.

    So how — by any stretch of the imagination — does ending the CMPP program, which is the only safeguard these doctors currently have, “support the Cuban people”?

    Clearly, it doesn’t.

    Doesn’t Obama see anything wrong with Cuban doctors being tracked-down, kidnapped and repatriated, upon trying to defect; or the security and intelligence apparatus that keeps a watchful eye of them; or withholds their passports; or separates their families, in order to dissuade defection?

    Upon arriving in the United States, Cuban doctors who choose to defect face an uphill struggle to ever practice medicine again. Thus, the CMPP program doesn’t “lure” them, as some detractors claim.

    Here’s a novel concept — how about ending the CMPP program when Castro stops trafficking in these individuals in violation of international law?

    Sadly, this is only part of a pattern whereby the Obama Administration appears keen to give the Castro regime a free-pass on human trafficking.

    Last month, it was reported that Obama is also considering allowing MLB to contract directly with the Castro regime — namely with Fidel’s son, Antonio, through a state-entity called INDER — to traffic in baseball players to the United States.

    This would allow Antonio Castro (sorry INDER — wink, wink) to negotiate, contract and keep a large chunk of these player’s wages for himself — strengthening the notion that all athletes in Cuba (like doctors) are “feudal serfs” of the regime.

    Never mind that this would also be in violation of U.S. sanctions, labor and human trafficking laws.

    Finally, let’s not forget last summer’s infamous politicization of the Trafficking in Persons Report.

    Pursuant to the release of the 2015 Trafficking in Persons (“TIP”) report, a Reuters investigation revealed that human-rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions had not improved and Cuba did not deserve to be upgraded from a bottom Tier 3 ranking to Tier 2. The reports indicated that senior Obama Administration officials pushed without legal merit and prevailed in upgrading Cuba — as another concession to the Castro regime.

    The Obama Administration’s lead negotiator with the Cuban regime in the normalization talks, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, has since admitted that she made a recommendation about Cuba’s status in the TIP report, but she has refused to share this recommendation — and its justification — with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    During an August 2015 hearing on the TIP Report, all such input was requested from the State Department, and the committee chairman, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), even threatened to subpoena the information.

    To our knowledge — there has yet to be a response.

    Maybe they couldn’t figure out how it would “support the Cuban people.”

  13. ALL THE CHEERING FOR THE M.U.D. VICTORY IN THE RECENT ELECTIONS IS GOING TO BE VERY SHORT LIVED. THE PRICE OF OIL MAY GO STILL LOWER : FREEDOM, LIBERTY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY CANNOT FIX THIS PROBLEM FOR VENEZUELA.

    Venezuela Crude Falls to $27.87 a Barrel, Its Lowest Level in 12 Years

    CARACAS – The average price of Venezuela’s crude basket fell $1.19 this week to $27.87 a barrel, its lowest level in 12 years.

    “Crude prices ended the week lower, mainly due to concern surrounding the performance of China’s economy and excess supply in the market,” Venezuela’s Oil and Mining Ministry said in its weekly bulletin.

    It also said the price of Brent crude fell to $35.41, down from $37.06 last week, while West Texas Intermediate dropped from $37.14 to $34.99.

    The OPEC Reference Basket, meanwhile, fell from $31.71 to $30.14 between the last week of 2015 and the first week of January.

    The price of Venezuelan oil has plunged over the past two years, falling from an average of $88.42 a barrel in 2014 and $44.65 a barrel last year, sending the OPEC member into a severe economic crisis.

    The world’s fifth-leading oil exporter, Venezuela produces less than 3 million barrels of crude per day (bpd) and exports some less than 2 million bpd, mainly to the United States and China.

  14. BLOOMBERG: Meet 2016’s Worst Economic Performers – Venezuela will contract the most while Taiwan faces a heightened risk of recession – January 10, 2016

    Oil-rich Venezuela will contract by 3.3 percent this year, the worst forecast of any of the 93 countries in our analysis, followed by junk-rated Brazil, debt-laden Greece and commodities-ravaged Russia.

    Below are the bottom 10:
    Latin America

    The outlook is dire for bottom-ranked Venezuela: from shortages of basic goods such as medicine to the collapse in the price of oil, which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s exports, the nation is looking at a third straight year of negative GDP. The opposition party taking over congress for the first time in 16 years offers brave investors a glimpse of good news.

    The situation doesn’t get much better elsewhere on the continent. Brazil’s 2016 GDP forecast combined with last year’s drop puts the country in its deepest recession since at least 1901. Two major credit rating companies have already downgraded its sovereign debt to “junk” status.

    Next door in Argentina, newly-elected President Mauricio Macri is steering the country in a new direction to dodge economic catastrophe and prevent a drop in GDP this year. Sworn into office last month, he has already begun to implement measures aimed at bolstering growth and reigning in the country’s fiscal deficit.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-11/meet-2016-s-worst-economic-performers-flirting-with-disaster

  15. KING OBAMA WILL NEED TO PACK MORE THINGS IN HIS TRIP TO CUBA SINCE HE WILL HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING SOME OF THESE ITEMS THERE!

    THE NEW YORKER: Shopping in Cuba – By Barbara Demick

    A Spanish-English dictionary, sunscreen, insect repellent, a towel, chocolate ice cream: these are the items that eluded me during a recent trip to Cuba. For all the hoopla about the island’s opening and the more than three million tourists who swamped it last year, Cuba is no country for shoppers. The more mundane the object of desire, the more exasperating it can be to find.

    I’m not saying that these common items are completely unavailable in Cuba—I’m sure they are for sale somewhere on the island—but I couldn’t locate them. And I did look. The problem might be that I spent half of my trip in Trinidad, a cobblestoned colonial city on the Caribbean coast. When I ventured out to the Galería Comericial Universo, which my Lonely Planet claimed featured “Trinidad’s best (and most expensive) grocery store,” it was closed due to lack of electricity. I was able to peer into the darkened grocery store to see considerable yards of empty shelves. Electricity woes might have accounted as well for my inability to obtain ice cream for my son. When we finally found it, on the menu of an expatriate beach club in Havana, it arrived melted. And the waitress couldn’t find a spoon.

    At the Plaza de Armas in Havana, the large open-air market, my inquiry about a Spanish-English dictionary was met with “no es fácil,” an answer I heard often in Cuba. The bookseller did offer up a Russian-Spanish dictionary. At a kiosk in a suburban neighborhood, which the proprietor proclaimed “not just the best bookstore in Havana, but all of Cuba,” I found a Larousse dictionary from 1987, with yellowed pages that crumbled as I opened it. It was for sale for the equivalent of five dollars, a week’s salary for most Cubans. (After I returned from Cuba, I was told I could find a decent used dictionary at Cuba Libro, an English-language bookstore that opened in 2013.) I never found a state bookstore that was open.
    But Cuba also looks to me like a North Korea with palm trees. To be sure, Cuba has evolved politically, investing in education and health care rather than weapons of mass destruction. But the economic fundamentals in these last bastions of Communism are much the same. Like North Korea, Cuba maintains a distribution system in which citizens pay a low cost for inadequate rations of staple foods. (At one state shop, the provisions, listed on the blackboard, were grains, washing soap, bathing soap, toothpaste, sugar, salt, coffee, evaporated milk, eggs, and oil.) As in North Korea, archaic laws prevent the private sale of commodities that have been deemed strategic to the nation. Fishing is limited in both countries on the grounds that the bounty of the seas is the exclusive property of the state.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/shopping-in-cuba

  16. WASHINGTON – The United States government said it is open to reviewing its Parole program that encourages Cuban doctors on international missions to “defect” and move to the U.S., a high U.S. official told EFE.

    “The normalizing (of relations between Cuba and the U.S.) is a long, complex process. Considering all our relations in evolution, we believe the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP or Parole) program should be included among the many elements we have to work on,” the official told EFE.

    The CMPP program was created in 2006 under the government of President George W. Bush (2001-2009) to help Cuban health professionals escape from international missions in third countries by offering them “secure and legal” access to the U.S.

    The program, administered by the National Security Agency and the State Department, has been slammed by Cuba, which sees it as inciting health professionals to abandon their “internationalist missions.”

    This is not a minor problem for a country where one of the greatest sources of revenues comes from exporting professional services, above all medical services, which in 2014 brought in some $8 billion.

    Though no official figures exist, it is estimated that thousands of Cuban doctors have defected from those missions in recent years, which have been established above all in friendly Latin American countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil.

  17. THE POST AND COURIER: How Cuba got our missile – Jan 9 2016

    The FBI and U.S. intelligence agents are still trying to figure out whether the diversion of the missile to Cuba was purely accidental or a clever Cuban intelligence coup.

    The U.S. company discovered the diversion in June 2014 and alerted the Obama administration, then deep in negotiations to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. In the succeeding months President Obama freed three Cuban spies in exchange for Alan Gross, unjustly jailed for five years in Cuba for helping Cuban Jews, and an unidentified U.S. spy held by the Castro regime. Liberalized U.S. trade and travel to Cuba followed, and Cuba was granted full diplomatic relations.

    Nevertheless, the State Department has not been able to get our missile back. And we thought the Cuban government was now our friend.

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20160109/PC1002/160109430/1022/how-cuba-got-our-missile

  18. I THINK KING OBAMA HAS SOME SPLAINING TO DO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! AND THE WORLD!

    YOUTUBE: State Department Will Not Deny That U.S. Sold Hellfire Missile to Cuba

  19. International ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has moved Cuba’s economic from stable to positive, citing its lessening dependence on Venezuela and the possibility of more improved relations with the United States.
    It said the positive outlook reflects its expectation that measures to diversify trade and financial links will contribute to favorable macroeconomic trends and will coincide with continued easing of economic sanctions by the US.

    “The positive outlook also anticipates that the Cuban authorities will maintain the current reform momentum following the Communist Party Congress in April 2016, while managing challenges stemming from weaker external finances,” it said in a statement issued on December 10.

    Moody’s said the key drivers of the rating action were that Cuba’s dependence on Venezuela has lessened since 2014, and despite pressure on Cuba’s external finances from lower economic and financial support from its main trade partner, risks remain manageable; and that continued reform momentum and increased rapprochement with the United States have supported favorable macroeconomic performance and raise the likelihood that US economic sanctions might be eased further.

    On the Venezuela issue, it noted that in 2014, Caracas greatly reduced trade and investment flows to Cuba as economic stress stemming from lower oil prices and social tensions led to increased liquidity pressures for the oil exporting nation. As a result of reduced support from its main trade partner and top provider of financial assistance, Cuba’s economic growth slowed significantly to 1%, from 2.7% in 2013.

    “However, measures to diversify trade and financial links seem to have been successful and have coincided with a gradual easing of economic sanctions by the US. Although they have not fully offset the loss of Venezuelan support, the outlook for stronger inflows remains favorable over the medium term,” it said.

    Increased tourism activity has also improved the economic outlook for the country, Moody’s said, but tourism earnings have not fully offset the decrease in Venezuelan financial inflows which has hurt the balance of payments.

    “Despite these challenges, Moody’s believes that external liquidity pressures remain manageable as the authorities have adopted measures to ensure balance of payments sustainability since the 2008-09 liquidity crunch and the crisis that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The country’s dependence on Venezuela will diminish further as Cuba diversifies its trade and financial relations over the next two to three years,” the ratings agency said.

    As barriers to investment and financing constraints continue to ease, supported by continued US rapprochement, the authorities will have much greater scope to access finance and ease the current tight external liquidity conditions. Moody’s expects an increase in capital inflows is forthcoming. Both government policy and the changing relationship with the US will encourage more inward FDI, as well as official lending, following the restructuring of commercial and bilateral debt in recent years.

    As for the second driver of the outlook change, Moody’s said it expects that cautious reform momentum will be maintained as the US is likely to continue easing sanctions.

    It said Cuba’s outlook would improve further if there is a further easing of US economic sanctions that has a material impact on the island’s economic prospects and reform momentum is maintained. However, if there is no further progress in this area and reform momentum is loss, Moody’s said the outlook would slip back to stable.

  20. The Castroit regime unable to give toys to poor children took away the toys from the dissidents. The regime not even respect the children. The regime use intimidation, oppression and arrest to prevent the celebration of community events like the Three Kings Day in clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  21. HMM! I GUESS KING OBAMA’S LITTLE SECRET IN CUBA IS UP! I RECALL THAT Fidel Castro WAS READY TO NUKE THE USA IN 1961!!
    Joint Statement by Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart, Curbelo and Sires:

    “Regardless of how Cuba came into possession of a U.S. Hellfire missile – which must be investigated – it is unconscionable that the Obama administration knew the Castros were in possession of this sensitive U.S. military technology since June 2014 and still moved forward with its policy to open up travel, trade, investment and diplomatic relations with the regime. The fact that the Castro regime was able to acquire a U.S. Hellfire missile could be indicative of the lengths it is willing to go to undermine our national security and harm our interests. Congress must provide oversight to determine how the U.S. export control system failed to prevent this gross violation from occurring, and if Cuba’s espionage apparatus played a role in this Hellfire acquisition.

    The Cuban regime rebuffed the President’s efforts to secure the return of the Hellfire missile even as the negotiations were ongoing, and yet the regime still got everything it could have wanted. It is no wonder that the Castro brothers feel ever more emboldened to continue on with the repression of the Cuban people, with intimidation and unlawful arrests at an alarmingly high rate.

    This is a very serious breach and we are deeply concerned that the Castros have already shared the sensitive technology with the likes of Russia, North Korea or China. Let us not forget that last year the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and China’s top military official General Fan Changlong both visited Havana to discuss strengthening military cooperation efforts and one of Cuba’s senior officials Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to the DPRK to visit Kim Jong-Un. We urge the Administration to start holding the Cuban regime accountable for its continued transgressions not only against its own people, but its continued disregard for international norms.”
    http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2016/01/cuban-american-house-members-joint.html

  22. AND THE CASTROS ARE WELCOMING PUTIN WITH OPEN ARMS!

    CAPITOL HILL CUBANS: Rubio Demands Answers From Administration on U.S. Missile in Cuba’s Possession — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, today demanded answers from the Obama Administration regarding reports of a U.S. Hellfire missile in Cuba’s possession. In a letter to the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta S. Jacobson, Rubio asks the State Department about its prior knowledge of the missile, and he warns of its significant implications on U.S. national security. The full text of the letter is below:
    Dear Assistant Secretary Jacobson:

    Preventing the proliferation of sensitive U.S. technology is one of the most important duties carried out by the State Department. While your bureau is not the primary entity within the State Department handling these issues, you oversee U.S. policy toward Cuba and interactions with Cuban officials. Thus, the fact that members of Congress are reading about Cuba’s possession of a U.S. missile in the newspaper rather than from you or other State Department officials is astounding and inexcusable.

    Given that you have been talking to officials of the Cuban government for more than a year as part of President Obama’s efforts to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, I would like to know:
    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE LETTER!
    http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2016/01/rubio-demands-answers-on-us-missile-in.html

  23. ANOTHER CONCESSION BY KING OBAMA TO THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA WHICH HAVE GIVEN NOTHING BACK TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE OR THE USA! THE CASTRO CLAN SELLS THESE DOCTORS TO COUNTRIES AT A PREMIUM WHILE PAYING THE DOCTORS A FRACTION OF WHAT THEY EARN! ITS CALLED SLAVE LABOR, AND IS THE MAIN REASON MOST DOCTORS WANT TO MIGRATE TO THE USA!

    REUTERS EXCLUSIVE: U.S. considers ending program that lures Cuban doctors to defect -By Jeff Mason and Daniel Trotta

    The U.S. government is considering putting an end to a program that encourages Cuban doctors and nurses on overseas assignments to defect, a senior aide to President Barack Obama said, in a gesture emblematic of improving U.S.-Cuban relations.

    The Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, which started under President George W. Bush in 2006, targets one of Cuba’s proudest achievements: sending doctors, nurses and other medical professionals abroad, either on missions of mercy or to raise cash for the Communist government.

    The program grants U.S. officials discretionary authority to allow Cuban medical professionals into the United States, providing assistance at U.S. embassies in the countries where the doctors are posted. It is open to more than 50,000 Cuban medical professionals in more than 60 countries.

    The program has now been placed under review, said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor to Obama who was part of the negotiating team that reached detente with Cuba a year ago after 18 months of secret talks.

    But mostly the assignments are a revenue-earner for the Cuban government. It has sent 30,000 medical professionals to socialist ally Venezuela in exchange for more than 100,000 barrels per day of oil. Thousands more are in Brazil, typically in far-flung areas that Brazilian doctors avoid.

    While the jobs are well-paid by Cuban standards and highly sought, the doctors receive only a fraction of the amount that the foreign governments pay for their services. Some defectors have cited harsh working conditions as reasons for abandoning their posts.

    Critics consider the practice a form of exploitation. The U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report cites some defectors who claim the government used threats or coercion to keep them in their jobs, and a State Department description of the parole program refers to doctors and nurses as being “conscripted” to work abroad.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-usa-doctors-idUSKBN0UM24V20160108

  24. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA TRYING ITS HARDEST TO GET RID OF THE OPPOSITION IN CUBA! AND WHAT IS THIS “POST-REVOLUTIONARY CUBA”, MORE LIKE THE CASTRO CLAN 2.O!

    NBC NEWS: Fates of 53 Cuban Dissidents Show Difficulty of US Policy

    Obama says he could make the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to post-revolutionary Cuba as early as this spring if he thinks human rights on the island are improving and a presidential trip will help. The fates of the released dissidents show just how hard it will be for the U.S. to push human rights in Cuba in the direction the Obama administration desires.

    U.S. government information and an Associated Press assessment of the dissidents’ lives 12 months after their release shows that at least 35 have asked for refugee status allowing them to move permanently to the U.S., reducing the ranks of an already weak and divided opposition movement. Many applications have been delayed by vetting of the dissidents’ criminal records, some of which have little to do with political activity. Seven have either left Cuba for or are preparing to leave this month.

    Among those who remain, at least six men are back in Cuban prison on what their allies say are politically related charges. Others have abandoned activism altogether.

    A number of Cuban activists say the new U.S. policy of engagement focuses on diplomatic and economic ties instead of improving human rights. Others say easing tensions between the U.S. and Cuba will inevitably lead to better conditions on the island. International advocacy groups such as Amnesty International say that no matter what the United States does, it’s up to Cuba to improve the island’s human rights situation.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/fates-53-cuban-dissidents-show-difficulty-us-policy-n492706

  25. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA HARBORS MANY CUBANS WHO HAVE COMMITTED MEDICARE FRAUD! THIS WELFARE RACKET IS ANOTHER OF THEIR PLANS TO BRING MONEY TO THEIR COFFERS!

    SUN SENTINEL: Rubio to propose bill to cut aid to Cuban migrants – by Megan O’Matz and Sally Kestin
    On the presidential campaign trail Thursday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said he will introduce legislation within days to address unbridled abuses of refugee aid to Cuban migrants. Rubio joins other influential Cuban Americans in Congress calling for an end to abuses documented in a Sun Sentinel investigation in October that found welfare meant to help Cubans settle in America was instead funding life on the island.

    “You now have evidence of people coming to the U.S.,” the Florida Republican told reporters in New Hampshire, and “qualifying for Social Security or other benefits and they’re moving back to Cuba and they’re collecting the checks there.”

    “That’s just outrageous,” he said. “Those abuses need to be dealt with.”

    At a party earlier at the Bedford, N.H., home of a woman who runs a conservative think tank, Rubio said: “I have a law that we are going to introduce this week that shuts down this issue,” according to NBC News.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-rubio-bill-cuba-aid-20160107-story.html

  26. BET IT WAS A CUBAN SPY, WHICH THERE ARE MANY IN SOUTH FLORIDA WHO SENT IT TO CUBA VIA SPAIN! YOU’RE DEALING WITH A MAFIA!

    WALL STREET JOURNAL: Missing U.S. Missile Shows Up in Cuba – Inert Hellfire missile sent to Europe for a training exercise makes mysterious trip, sparking concerns over loss of military technology – By DEVLIN BARRETT and GORDON LUBOLD

    An inert U.S. Hellfire missile sent to Europe for training purposes was wrongly shipped from there to Cuba in 2014, said people familiar with the matter, a loss of sensitive military technology that ranks among the worst-known incidents of its kind. The missile was sent from Orlando International Airport in early 2014 to be used in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization military exercise, said the people familiar with the case. As with other sensitive military gear, the shipping crate was clearly marked as containing material subject to rigorous export controls, and that shipping information would have made clear to anyone handling it that it wasn’t regular cargo, these people said.
    The missile was sent by its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp., after the company got permission from the State Department, which oversees the sharing of sensitive military technology with allies.

    A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter, referring queries to U.S. government officials.

    State Dept. spokesman John Kirby said the agency “is restricted under federal law and regulations from commenting on defense trade licensing and compliance issues.”

    The people familiar with the case said the missile was sent to Spain and used in the military exercise. But for reasons that are still unclear, after it was packed up, it began a roundabout trip through Europe, was loaded onto a truck and eventually sent to Germany.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/missing-u-s-missile-shows-up-in-cuba-1452213667

  27. Again, no report in the Castroit regime control press with regard to the Castroit security agents and police arresting and seizing toys, food and decorations from the Ladies in White and other dissident groups that planned to distribute them to poor children on January 6, “Dia de los Reyes Magos”. They planned to distribute thousands of toys through the island on January 6, to celebrate the Three Kings Day, a traditional give giving day in the island which mark the Feast of the Epiphany when the three kings delivered gifts to the baby Jesus.

    This is the type of regime that the Obama administration ingratiate itself with, one that is openly hostile to Christianity.

  28. M. B.

    Yoani can’t access the internet regularly in Cuba and usually will not be able to answer your question.

    Home internet access is only authorized for a small number of foreigners, professionals and Communist Party supporters and spies, all other Cubans are forbidden home internet access.

    There are a few public places to access the internet in Cuba, but it is very expensive, it is very slow, and is usually heavily censored.

    At some of these places, Cubans can wait 12 hours in line in order to spend 5 minutes sending Christmas wishes to their families over here.

    And that’s in Havana, where internet access is best. Most of Cuba has no access at all.

    If you have any questions for Yoani, you’ll have to visit her in person or get someone to visit her. If you do that, you’ll be followed by a team of spies for the rest of your visit or even thrown out of the country.

    It’s very different in England as you can see.

  29. Your observation on free press is outstandingly good. Being able to speak about the leading country in revolution is quite difficult to say the least. I’m someone who likes to think is educated enough to understand such language but just by reading your article I quickly came to the conclusion that “my gosh I’ve yet so much to learn,….mmmm…those courses advertised in the Guardian seem perfect” alas I digress.

    Free Press is and must be always the staple food of any society but regarding your issue I think we can draw similarities with people given free newspapers to read daily in fact twice a day here in London.
    You can read the Metro in the morning and the Evening Standard for free in the Evening. I would love to absolutely love to believe that the owners of these press institutes are giving away free newspapers because they’re are providing a free service for the town. Where do you start to question motives of a free product or service? If you spend £2 you will be reading a paper that is better crafted, written and more inline with the way you think its actually quite scary that your thoughts actually mirror a lot of the published material and on top of being more informative the Guardian educates you. I think that type of Press is worth paying for. And in some other newspapers the sections i.e subjects like sport is very well presented.

    Free Press is something to be celebrated that I find fascinating to say the least. Where does the article and documents come from? And what agenda if any does the publisher wish to portray?

    Can I ask what is your most favourite flyer or article ever written?

    Many Thanks

    M.B

  30. Yoani article is so applicable to the United States Media, that is very scary. There is no hope for the People of the World to influence government and governance due to the monopoly of the Media by the wealth and power of the ruling class of the World. In the United States Media control by the wealthy and privilege mirrors the Media in most other parts of the World including Cuba. This is not a problem of Central government, this is a World problem. The Media over the decades has evolved from a source of information about issues affecting nations to a tool of population control and influence. Yoani is a babe in the woods that is beginning to recognize the true nature and purpose of the Media in today’s modern societies. There is no point of criticism against the Cuban Media Industry because the problem is a global problem only the People can bring about change by demanding truth and un-bias publishing of news and reports in their respective countries. The oppression of the truth by Global Media is a violation against good governance that nobody seems to be championing for change.

  31. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CUBA- Amnesty International Publications 2010
    STATE MONOPOLY OF THE MEDIA: The media is a key arena in which the right to freedom of expression is exercised. It plays a critical role in any society, for example raising awareness of human rights and exposing human rights violations. The media has the potential to help shape public opinion and to monitor and assess the performance of those holding public office at all levels; it is an important tool for scrutinizing government practices in all societies no matter their political ideology. The absence of an independent media is a serious obstacle to the enjoyment of freedom of expression and the adequate review of corrupt and abusive official practices. Restrictions on the Cuban media are stringent and pervasive and clearly stop those in the country from enjoying their right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.8 The state maintains a total monopoly on television, radio, the press, internet service providers, and other electronic means of communication.9 According to official figures, there are currently 723 publications (406 print and 317 digital), 88 radio stations, four national TV channels (two devoted to educational programming), 16 regional TV stations and an international TV channel. All are financed and controlled by the government.10 Three newspapers provide national coverage: Granma, which is the organ of the Cuban Communist Party, Juventud Rebelde and Trabajadores.

    CONTROL OF INTERNET ACCESS
    In Cuba, access to the internet remains under state control. It is regulated by the Law of Security of Information, which prohibits access to internet services from private homes. Therefore, the internet in Cuba has a social vocation and remains accessible at education centres, work-places and other public institutions. Internet can also be accessed in hotels but at a high cost. In October 2009, the government adopted a new law allowing the Cuban Postal Services to establish cyber-cafés in its premises and offer internet access to the public. However, home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans and only those favoured by the government are able to access the internet from their own homes.
    However, many blogs are not accessible from within Cuba because the Cuban authorities have put in place filters restricting access. The blogs affected are mainly those that openly criticize the Cuban government and its restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement. For example, Generation Y is one of the dozens of blogs that are filtered or intermittently blocked by the government and are not accessible inside Cuba.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/005/2010/en/62b9caf8-8407-4a08-90bb-b5e8339634fe/amr250052010en.pdf

  32. No report whatsoever in the Castroit regime control press about the medical condition of Vladimir Morera in his 88 day of hunger strike.Vladimir belongs to the peaceful opposition group Movimiento Cubano Reflexión. He was one of 53 prisoners freed as part of the negotiation leading to the re-establishment of U.S.-Castroit regime relations on December 17, 2014. He was imprisoned again in April for placing a sign in front of his home on the eve of local elections to the Assembly of People’s Power; it read: “I vote for my freedom and not in elections not allowing me to elect my president.” Because of it, he suffered an “act of repudiation” by the regime incited demonstration, was arrested, and sentenced in November to four years of prison for allegedly causing public disorder during this incident.

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