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Cuba in the News

Castro cronies in Toronto, JFK vs. Diefenbaker and paper companies: Why CIA plotted to sabotage Canada  11/17/2017 National Post: "“General Carter said that CIA would examine the possibilities of sabotaging airplane parts which are scheduled to be shipped from Canada to Cuba,” reads a now declassified memorandum about the meeting."

My Arrest: A Depressing Episode  11/16/2017 Havana Times: By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez, writer for the Havana Times - "They never interrogated me as there was no need. My activity is public and everything is posted on the internet."

Cuba takes to the web for ‘scientific exchange’ on acoustic attacks on U.S. diplomats  11/15/2017 Miami Herald: "In its latest effort to deflect accusations that it is somehow behind the incidents that harmed the health of 24 American diplomats and a handful of Canadian diplomats in Havana, the Cuban government reached out to the scientific community Wednesday, hosting a two-day online forum “to share information and opinions” on a new website called “The Acoustic Attacks and Science.” The government also has launched a Twitter account @supuestoataque."

Cuba State Security Frees HT Writer Osmel Ramirez  11/14/2017 Havana Times: "Osmel Ramirez Alvarez, a Havana Times contributing writer, arrested last Friday at his home in Mayarí and later taken to a State Security facility in the city of Holguin, was released late Monday afternoon."

Airbnb and Trump’s measures against Cuba  11/14/2017 On Cuba: "Among the self-employed that will suffer most directly from Trump’s measures are the owners of homes and rooms for rent for tourists, faced by a possible scenario of a drastic decrease in visitors from the United States. Many of them offer their services on the U.S. Airbnb platform, which promotes accommodations in private houses and which has experienced a notable growth in Cuba since it got to the island in 2015. A report by the company published in June – days before Trump announced the sanctions that took effect last Thursday – recognized that since Airbnb started operating on the island in the spring of 2015 more than 22,000 rooms had been included in the booking site and some 40 million dollars had been paid to the Cuban hosts."

U.S. sanctions damage Cuban entrepreneurs  11/13/2017 On Cuba: "The U.S. government measures, which restrict trips to Cuba and doing business with enterprises linked to the Cuban Armed Forces and Intelligence Services, have taken effect. Cuban and U.S. analysts are of the opinion that their further effects (since they have already considerably affected the quality of bilateral relations) will damage the Cuban economy, in the state-run sector as well as the non-state: the private sector which the Trump administration says it protects is already suffering with this decision."

Nuevas regulaciones de EE.UU. contra Cuba, ¿Una ayuda a los cuentapropistas?  11/10/2017 El Toque: "Si alguien le dijo al presidente Donald Trump que las más recientes medidas contra Cuba de los departamentos del Tesoro y el Comercio de su país, iban a favorecer al pueblo cubano y a sus emprendedores, le mintió. Son, en toda la línea, una vulgar y torpe política que agrede la voluntad y deseo de cambio que existe mayoritariamente en ambas orillas."

It’s your Cuba policy, Miami Republicans. You can’t blame Obama now.  11/10/2017 Miami Herald: "They must be applauding from Havana because the policy aimed to hurt the government ensures quite a workload for them instead of the fledgling entrepreneurial class, thanks to Trump and the Cuban Americans in Congress who had a hand in pressuring Trump to abandon engagement. Miami’s Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart even used their votes on healthcare to negotiate with Trump on Cuba. “Taking away people-to-people puts the trips back in the hands of babysitters,” says Maria de los Angeles Torres, a Chicago-based Cuban-American professor who has traveled to Cuba for research and family visits for decades."

Liberan bajo fianza al artista Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara  11/9/2017 14 y medio: "El artista también denunció que agentes de la Seguridad del Estado intentaron convencerlo de que el registro policial “no tenía nada que ver” con su activismo. Otero Alcántara pretende organizar la #00Bienal en la capital de la Isla como respuesta a la suspensión por parte de las autoridades culturales de la XIII Bienal de La Habana, debido a “los problemas económicos causados por el huracán Irma”."

Congresistas cubano-americanos aplauden las sanciones de Donald Trump a Cuba pero dicen que esperaban fuesen más severas  11/9/2017 Isla Local: "“Está claro que las personas dentro de la burocracia que apoyan la política cubana de la administración anterior siguen socavando al presidente Trump”, aseguró el republicano Díaz-Balart."

Una encuesta dice que los cubanos de Miami quieren mano aún más dura contra Cuba  11/9/2017 Isla Local: "La mayoría de los electores cubano-estadounidenses de Miami (EE.UU.) está de acuerdo con el giro dado a la política hacia Cuba por la Administración Trump e incluso piensa que se debería ir más lejos contra al régimen cubano, según una encuesta dada a conocer ayer por la Inspire America Foundation. "

List of Restricted Entities and Subentities Associated With Cuba as of November 9, 2017  11/9/2017 State Department: "Below is the U.S. Department of State’s list of entities and subentities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba. For information regarding the prohibition on direct financial transactions with these entities, please see the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control website and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security website."

Uncle Sam blacklists Cuban hotels, businesses, agencies  11/8/2017 Along the Maleco: "Below is the U.S. Department of State’s list of entities and subentities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba."

5 things to know about the new Cuba policy  11/8/2017 Cuba One: "At the same time, Cuba has made it easier for U.S. citizens to repatriate to Cuba with over 13,000 returning since 2014. Under a “no weight limit” and “tax free” policy, many are returning with shipping containers full of construction supplies to help family members start private businesses like casa particulares or paladars. And, they’re bringing millions of U.S. dollars with them as capital. It’s an important and fundamental shift — Cuban Americans are seeing a future in building a new Cuba."

The Detention of Cuban Artist Luis Otero is Everyone’s Business  11/8/2017 Havana Times: "Let’s do a test. Just stop at the corner of any block – in the Havana municipality of your choice-, and count to five, we enter the fifth house, we search, and sure enough we will find some sack of construction material (sand, gravel, cement). And almost certainly the person who bought it did it on the black market because right now there is no other way to acquire it, except for the subsidies granted by the State."

What Trump’s Cuba crackdown will look like  11/8/2017 Miami Herald: "However, Miami Republican lawmakers who had cheered Trump’s more restrictive Cuba policies were openly critical of the new regulations Wednesday, saying they did not go far enough in punishing the Cuban government."


White House implements new Cuba policy restricting travel and trade  11/8/2017 WaPo: "The Obama changes were widely supported by U.S. businesses. Engage Cuba, a national business coalition that supports lifting the embargo and expanding trade and travel, called the new regulations a “more convoluted, confusing and counterproductive approach to Cuba policy” that will hurt the Cuban private entrepreneurs it claims to be helping, and abandon U.S. leadership to Russian efforts to regain influence in the hemisphere."

Fuerzas del régimen detienen al artista Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara  11/7/2017 Diario de Cuba: "El artista Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara se encuentra detenido en la estación policial de Cuba y Chacón, en La Habana Vieja, y su estudio en el propio municipio habanero ha sido sometido a un registro, confirmó a DIARIO DE CUBA la historiadora del arte Yanelys Núñez Leyva."

Using Fear to Strike at Cuban Tourism  11/6/2017 Counterpunch: "Everything indicates that, now, the tactic chosen by the right, at the service of imperialism, is to generate fear more than to legislate against Cuba. This is because, since for the former they have the concurrence –conscious or unconscious– of powerful international agencies and media, so much so that, for the second, they run the risk of increasing the division in the Republican ranks in Congress."

Gobierno de EEUU niega visas a Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba y obliga a cancelar gira  11/4/2017 Cuba Debate: "Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba tenía previsto presentar Latido, su más reciente coreografía, pero el Departamento de Estado decidió negarle la entrada a los bailarines que integran el grupo danzario, solo por ser cubanos."

Cuba’s Cultural Sector Slammed By Partial Closure of US Embassy  11/2/2017 Huff Post: "On September 29, 2017, the US State Department ordered a partial closure of the US Embassy, resulting in a complete shutdown of operations in the consular section. All visa processing services were indefinitely suspended. The justification for the decision was based on unexplained health incidents affecting US diplomats and spies serving in Havana over the last year. Despite opposition from both sides, including opposition from the American Foreign Service Association, the US embassy in Havana effectively suspended over half of its services indefinitely. The result of this seemingly benign foreign policy decision is a starkly human one. Over 100,000 Cubans and their families are waiting for their visa applications to be processed."

Perspectives for Cuba and its Diaspora  11/1/2017 Havana Times: "The long-awaited and highly-acclaimed suspension of the first immigration measures, which have had such a negative effect on Cubans on both sides of the Florida Strait, is an encouraging sign of the upper echelons in the Cuban government’s capacity to reflect, be mature and willingness to correct what needs to be made right."

JFK Files Reveal US Plotted to Use Biological Weapons in Cuba  10/29/2017 teleSUR: "During a meeting with top-ranking officials on Sept. 6, 1962, U.S. General and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Marshall Carter said, “biological agents disguised as substances of natural origin” can be employed to destroy crops in Cuba. Others present at the meeting, which took place only six weeks prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis, included National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy; Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; Air Force Gen. Edward Lansdale, who led clandestine operations against Cuba; and Edward R. Murrow, the famous broadcast reporter who was serving at the time as the director of the U.S. Information Agency, according to National Public Radio."

Cuba anuncia cuatro nuevas medidas migratorias  10/28/2017 Cuba Debate: "Como parte del continuo e irreversible proceso de actualización de la política migratoria del país, el Gobierno cubano ha decidido aprobar las siguientes medidas, las que entrarán en vigor el 1 de enero de 2018."

The CIA Proposed Killing ‘a Boatload of Cuban’ Refugees and Pinning It On Fidel Castro  10/27/2017 Alternet: "Perhaps the craziest revelation from the fairly limited collection of documents from the JFK assassination files release this week is the news that in 1962 the CIA seriously considered committing a mass murder of Cuban refugees and framing Fidel Castro in order to stoke American fear against the communist leader. The agency also tossed around the idea of setting off bombs in “carefully chosen spots” in Miami as well as falsifying documents that would implicate Cubans."

Fidel Castro en los nuevos archivos desclasificados en sobre el asesinato de John F. Kennedy  10/27/2017 Isla Local: "Un estrafalario plan de la CIA para reclutar a la mafia para matar a Fidel Castro, el conocimiento previo del FBI de la conspiración para asesinar al asesino de Kennedy y las sospechas del Kremlin de una conspiración de derecha fueron algunos de los aspectos más destacados, incluso cuando algunos archivos fueron retenidos por razones de seguridad nacional."

What Happened Thursday with the JFK Records?  10/26/2017 Mary Ferrell Fuondation: "What happened on Thursday, Oct. 26, with the JFK records scheduled for release under the JFK Records Act? A travesty. Most news reports correctly noted the release of about 2800 documents, but added that only a few were held back, in some cases saying "300 documents" remain withheld (see CNN, and Washington Post for example). They are off by a factor of 100. In fact, tens of thousands of documents, possibly as many as 30,000, remain sealed at the National Archives."

“El gobierno de EEUU cierra y Cuba abre”  10/26/2017 On Cuba: "El canciller cubano, Bruno Rodríguez, acaba de anunciar en Washington un paquete de medidas que benefician a los cubanos residentes en el exterior. Por su parte, una nota del ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores informa además que el gobierno “continuará estudiando nuevas medidas de actualización de su política migratoria”."

CIBERSOCIEDAD 2017: Cuban firms sign memorandums of understanding with foreign companies  10/19/2017 Granma: "A memorandum of understanding was signed October 18 between Cuba’s software applications company, Desoft, and Germany’s International Software Quality Institute, iSQI, as part of the Cibersociedad 2017 international event, underway in Varadero."

La información más completa de lo que debes conocer para solicitar el visado a Colombia desde Cuba  10/15/2017 Isla Local: "Como ha sido informado hace unos días por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos ahora será necesario que los cubanos viajen a Colombia para realizar los trámites de visado a ese país desde el consulado americano. Aquí te mostramos las opciones que tienen tus familiares para poder acceder al visado colombiano desde Cuba."

First recording emerges of high-pitched 'sonic weapon' linked to attacks on US Embassy workers in CubFirst recording emerges of high-pitched 'sonic weapon' linked to attacks on US Embassy workers in Cuba  10/13/2017 Fox: "Of Americans affected in Cuba, not all of them reportedly heard the sounds. But some who did said, while not identical, that the recording was relatively consistent with what they heard. “That’s the sound,” one witness said."

Mysterious Sounds and Scary Illnesses as Political Tools  10/10/2017 NYT: "The truth is, the sort of sonic weaponry that might cause the concussions and persistent memory loss that the State Department claimed to have found in its diplomats doesn’t exist, as far as experts in this field know. “Nothing about this story makes any sense to us,” said a marketing director of a firm that manufactures acoustic devices, quoted in Wired. To imagine that such weapons have not only been covertly developed but also were then somehow hidden near the embassy is even more fanciful, for a variety of logistical and technical reasons."

US tourists back from Cuba claim symptoms similar to mysterious attacks  10/6/2017 Fox News: [More false flags?] - ""Since we issued the September 29 Travel Warning, we have received a handful of reports from U.S. citizens who report they experienced similar symptoms following stays in Cuba," a State Department official told CBS News. "We have no way of verifying whether they were harmed by the same attacks targeting official U.S. employees."

Cuba, sus válvulas de presión y la candela  10/5/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "El endurecimiento de la política hacia Cuba se produce al mismo tiempo que el presidente y algunos de sus más cercanos colaboradores son investigados por el Congreso sobre la “trama rusa”, un tema que le costó el cargo al Director del FBI. El cierre total de la emigración de Cuba hacia EEUU vino de la mano de una trama sobre armas fantásticas que dejarían sordos a los diplomáticos estadounidenses. Así que la política hacia Cuba podría estar siendo dictada por uno de esos “investigadores”, el Senador cubano-americano Marco Rubio, quien hoy defiende al presidente, a pesar de la enemistad que los separó durante la campaña de nominación."

Gobernador de Florida promueve duras sanciones comerciales contra Cuba y Venezuela  10/5/2017 Cuba Debate: "El gobernador de Florida, Rick Scott, anunció hoy que presentará un proyecto de ley que “prohibe estrictamente” al estado, incluyendo todas sus agencias estatales, invertir en cualquier compañía que realice negocios con el gobierno venezolano del presidente Nicolás Maduro. Durante su discurso de inauguración de la Cumbre Latinoamericana 2017, dijo que también va a “asegurarse” de que empresas locales que comercian con el gobierno cubano de Raúl Castro “no reciban fondos federales”."

Gobernador de Florida promueve duras sanciones comerciales contra Cuba y Venezuela  10/5/2017 Cuba Debate: "El gobernador de Florida, Rick Scott, anunció hoy que presentará un proyecto de ley que “prohibe estrictamente” al estado, incluyendo todas sus agencias estatales, invertir en cualquier compañía que realice negocios con el gobierno venezolano del presidente Nicolás Maduro. Durante su discurso de inauguración de la Cumbre Latinoamericana 2017, dijo que también va a “asegurarse” de que empresas locales que comercian con el gobierno cubano de Raúl Castro “no reciban fondos federales”."

EEUU no reembolsará pagos de visa y cancelará citas de entrevistas en La Habana Read more here:  10/5/2017 Nuevo Herald: “La embajada en La Habana cancelará todas las citas de entrevistas para visas de inmigrantes y no inmigrantes que ya estén programadas. Los ciudadanos cubanos, al igual que los ciudadanos de otros países, pueden solicitar visas en cualquier embajada o consulado estadounidense del mundo, pero deberán estar físicamente presentes en ese país”, señala un comunicado del Departamento de Estado obtenido por el Nuevo Herald."

A ‘Sonic Attack’ on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It  10/5/2017 NYT: "Dr. Leighton said contagious anxiety or another psychogenic contributor couldn’t be ruled out. “If you make people anxious that they’re under attack from an ultrasonic weapon, those are the symptoms you’ll get,” he said."

NO HAY REPORTES DE NINGÚN EXTRANJERO DETENIDO  10/5/2017 Roberto Paneque: "Esta información parece ser otra FALSA NOTICIA de CiberCuba. Estuve investigando seriamente este reporte de Cibercuba y ninguna autoridad en Cuba tiene constancia de lo que se describe en este artículo. Este señor jamás fue detenido en Cuba ni tampoco se le decomisó ni un grano de arroz. Aparte de esto, entre a Facebook, puse su nombre, me apareció su perfil, le mandé solicitud de amistad y le pedí que por favor me explicara bien cómo había sido esto de su detención en Cuba y me respondió vagamente de que "es un asunto de mi delegado en Miami"."

Trump’s Non-Sonic Attack on Cuba  10/5/2017 The Nation: "But that theory has been challenged by the medical and scientific community, as well as former members of the intelligence community. Doctors and psychoacoustics experts consulted on the case have stated that the wide variety of symptoms is unlikely to have been caused by any known sonic or surveillance device. “No one has a device that could do this. Because no such device exists,” says Fulton Armstrong, a retired CIA officer who worked on Cuba policy in the Clinton White House. The idea that agents of a third country, like Russia or North Korea, could “lug special ray-gun technology around Havana, aim it at diplomats’ homes and tourist hotels undetected and unfettered, and get away with it all,” according to Armstrong, appears equally implausible."

Nosotras, ellas y ustedes. Mujeres, elecciones (2017) y política en Cuba.  10/4/2017 Cetri: "En septiembre de 2017 estaba planeada la celebración en Cuba de comicios generales. Debido a las consecuencias del devastador huracán Irma que recorrió la Isla ese mes, se han pospuesto para el próximo noviembre. En su curso, se elegirán 12 mil 515 delegados y delegadas a las Asambleas Municipales del Poder Popular (AMPP) en su XVII periodo de mandato, para igual número de circunscripciones (la unidad territorial de representación política en el país)."

La nación como problema  10/4/2017 Elias Jose Palti: "Los historiadores y la "cuestión nacional".

The lie of the sonic attacks  10/3/2017 Progreso Weekly: "The first theory is that the attacks on functionaries — sonic or not — resulted from technical devices used for intelligence tasks by the United States. There are uncorroborated reports that the problem originated in LRAD-RX devices designed by the American Technology Corporation (ATC) for communications between the Central Intelligence Agency and its agents."

Aparece la punta de la madeja en el caso de las armas acústicas  10/2/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "“No fue sino hasta que los espías estadounidenses que trabajaban bajo cobertura diplomática reportaron oír extraños sonidos y sufrir efectos físicos que Estados Unidos detectó que algo iba mal, dijeron personas familiarizadas con la situación”, asegura la AP."

The Miseducation of the Black Diaspora, and how it’s dividing communities  10/2/2017 The Grio: "As crisis in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico continue to manifest in the wake of several hurricanes, our Blackness and understanding of it in America, and globally is now being put to the test. This test, of whether as a diaspora of Black folk who have been spread far and wide, are ready to combat the original sins of the Americas which turned us from one family, to distant relatives several times removed. Our current understanding of Blackness and what it should encompass was stolen from us; turned into an alt-history tale built on our differences rather than our intersections."

Strong potential for a right-wing Cuban false flag attack on US embassy staff in Havana  10/2/2017 Wayne Madsen Report: "Former diplomats assigned to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, the forerunner of the present U.S. embassy in the Cuban capital, believe reports of hearing and other medical problems afflicting U.S. embassy staffers in Havana may be caused by malevolent actions of right-wing Cuban plants acting under direction of right-wing Cubans in south Florida."

Cuba Alert Opposed by US Travel Association  9/30/2017 Progreso Weekly: "Meeting in Cuba, RESPECT*, the largest association of U.S. organizers of travel to Cuba, unanimously rejected the Trump administration’s Cuba travel warning and its decision to withdraw diplomatic staff from its Havana embassy."

Can You Still Travel to Cuba? Everything to Know About Trump's New Travel Warning  9/29/2017 Newsweek: "Visitors now need to meet the criteria for one of 12 types of legal travel to the island. But even with the new travel warning, there is no suggestion that airlines will not continue to operate flights to Cuba. Contacted for comment Friday, JetBlue, which began offering flights to Cuba in August 2016, said it was unaware of the State Department's guidance."

Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’  9/29/2017 NYT: "In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor.”"

What the State Department Warning on Cuba Means for Travelers  9/29/2017 NYT: "Over the past two years, nobody seems to have been keeping tabs on which Americans go to Cuba or what they do there, even though senior officials at the Treasury and Commerce Departments said they took travel restrictions seriously. Now, the Trump administration is directing the Treasury Department to strictly enforce the law regarding travel to Cuba, including routine audits."

Cuba Was Travel Warning, Not Restriction; Cruise Operators Not Changing Plans - Nomura/Instinet (CCL) (RCL) (NCLH)  9/29/2017 Street Insider: "He said industry discussions, it has not introduced additional travel restrictions. They have spoken to several operators, which have no plans to change itineraries calling on Cuba. While the U.S. is likely to issue a warning cautioning U.S. citizens not to visit the island, they have no indication that a travel ban will be put in place."

Trump’s effort to roll back ‘misguided’ Cuba policy stalls  9/27/2017 Fox: "However, the revisions to the Obama-era Cuba policy that Mr. Trump unveiled in June were nowhere near as sweeping as he suggested; the two embassies were permitted to remain open, for example, and the most significant change to the fine print amounted to the rescission of one of 12 categories of permissible American travel to Cuba (the kind called “person to person”). Nor was OFAC’s ingenuity taxed especially hard by a policy shift that asked the office to restore a category of travel to the status quo that OFAC had been policing for decades prior to 2015."

Is Cuba Safe  9/26/2017 Startup Cuba: "Violent crimes on tourists? Basically unheard of."

Cuba expert reports Havana and most tourism sites are back after Irma  9/25/2017 Seatrade Cruise News: "By now, however, most areas of the capital and other key cities that are frequented by foreign travelers are ready to receive visitors, according to a US-based Cuba expert who just returned from a three-day inspection tour with his team on the island. Places open for business include Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Viñales and the cities of Camagüey and Holguín, said Collin Laverty, an expert on Cuba and US-Cuba relations and the founder and president of Cuba Educational Travel."

Do 'Sonic Weapons' Adequately Explain 'Health Attacks' on Diplomats in Cuba?  9/25/2017 Snopes: "Collectively, the scientific research — which in many cases notes that anecdotal and inaccurate reports in newspapers have long obfuscated the actual science behind the plausibility of such a device — demonstrates that no single brand of sound could create the range of symptoms described by the victims of the Cuban health attacks, and even if they could, a covert device would be hard if not impossible to design. As such we rank the specific claim that an inaudible sonic device adequately explains the health attacks in Cuba as false."

Mariela Castro de vuelta a Facebook entre fuegos cruzados  9/20/2017 Café Fuerte: "Según un mensaje compartido por Castro Espín, Facebook le notificó que uno de los miembros de su equipo eliminó “por error” una publicación en la que la también diputada a la Asamblea Nacional difunde el número de cuenta llamada “Huracán-Donaciones” (número 0300000004978829), abierta en el Banco Financiero Internacional (BFI) para recibir donaciones de organizaciones y particulares que quieran colaborar con el proceso de recuperación tras los destrozos provocados por el potente huracán Irma, entre el 8 y el 10 de septiembre."

El huracán Irma demanda un nuevo enfoque para Cuba  9/18/2017 Havana Times: "Irma debe ser el detonador que reoriente el rumbo, la visión y las metas que Cuba debe alcanzar, para seguir siendo el Faro y Guía del tercer mundo. Cuba tiene que desistir de las nimiedades en contra del cuentapropismo y las cooperativas de construcción. En su lugar, debe promover, estimular y ampliar esos servicios y otros, aun con sus defectos, como los que plagan y corrompen las empresas estatales, estas constituyen ya, el referente de servicio y calidad que el país demanda."

Thinking about sending hurricane relief to Cuba? It’s complicated  9/16/2017 Miami Herald: "Aware that the Cuban government sometimes rebuffs hurricane relief from large U.S.-based charities, Cuban Americans and exile organizations are scrambling to come up with ways to help friends and family after Hurricane Irma tore through the island’s north coast."

One Week after Hurricane Irma, Cuban Damage Increasingly Alarming  9/15/2017 CARE: "The Cuban government is leading relief and recovery efforts. In advance of Irma, more than two million people were evacuated in government centres or the homes of friends and relatives. Local authorities are now working to restore power and clear roadways from debris so people can return home. CARE and local partners are preparing to support these efforts with emergency programming initially targeting 20,000 people in the provinces of Villa Clara, Camaguey and Holguin. CARE will focus on clean water, hygiene and sanitation support and also look to help people with shelter assistance to repair damaged homes."

Another Stripe on the Tiger: Fear of Trump’s Cuba Policy­  9/15/2017 Counterpunch: "By early September 2017, the project had raised nearly £6,500 and a grand piano is now sailing to Havana. In good time it seems, as just then Eralys received a message from US company Stripe, which process all GoFundMe donations, saying that the account would have to be closed. It related the decision directly to President Trump’s new Cuba policy announced on 16 June."

España: Amplia campaña de recaudación de fondos en solidaridad con Cuba  9/15/2017 Cubadebate: "Movimientos de Solidaridad con Cuba en territorio español han abierto cuentas bancarias en diferentes lugares para apoyar el proceso de recuperación de la Isla tras el paso del huracán Irma. Más de 11 mil euros es el balance provisional, a las 9:30 horas de este viernes 15 de septiembre, de la recogida de fondos en la cuenta habilitada por la asociación vasco-cubana de amistad Euskadi-Cuba, con la colaboración del medio Cubainformación TV, destinados a esta causa. La citada cuenta fue la primera habilitada, desde el pasado lunes."

Caibarién, entre la noche y el día  9/14/2017 Granma: "Y mientras llega la corriente, la gente agradece la iniciativa de facilitar a las familias caibarienenses la posibilidad de recargar sus celulares en aquellos centros que operan con grupos electrógenos, con cuya acción se facilita la comunicación entre las personas, algo vital en situaciones como la que experimenta ese territorio."

La ayuda continúa llegando a Cuba tras paso de Irma  9/14/2017 Granma: "Pocos días después de que iniciara la fase recuperativa en Cuba tras el paso del huracán Irma, los mensajes de solidaridad continúan llegando, así como los envíos de ayuda humanitaria. Ayer, la Corporación de Comercio e Inversiones Thai Binh entregó ayuda material por valor de 150 000 dólares a la embajada de Cuba en Vietnam para contribuir a mitigar los daños causados por el huracán Irma. Esta no es una simple aportación económica, es un gesto que hace honor al espíritu solidario de los vietnamitas, en especial hacia un pueblo que sentimos como hermano, dijo el presidente de la entidad, Tran Thant Tu, al entregar un cheque simbólico al embajador Herminio López Díaz."

Protest in Havana’s Santos Suarez Neighborhood  9/14/2017 Havana Times: "Police units were mobilized. Dozens of black berets (special troops) and vehicles were deployed and headed towards to the protest. To many people’s surprise, the protesters moved directly at the repressive unit, outraged when they saw that they were being dealt with as if they were criminals. The special forces withdrew in the face of everyone’s jeering."

En la tormenta, Alamar  9/14/2017 Periodismo de Barrio: "Imágenes de Alamar, municipio Habana del Este, durante el paso del huracán Irma."

Cuba's crumbling infrastructure no match for might of Irma  9/13/2017 Guardian: "“Given that the country is so poor and the housing is so bad, you would think that there would be many more deaths,” said Elizabeth Newhouse, who has led delegations of emergency managers from New Orleans and the Gulf coast in the US to study Cuba’s response system. “This is really a small number given what it could be.” Advertisement “They are very adept in disaster mitigation,” said Newhouse, director of the Cuba program at the Center for International Policy. “They have to be.”"

Fotos: El huracán Irma hace añicos muchos de los ruinosos edificios de La Habana  9/13/2017 Univision: "La capital de Cuba intenta de a poco ponerse de pie tras el paso del huracán Irma que dejó, según cifras oficiales, 10 fallecidos siete de ellos en La Habana. Muchos de los edificios de la ciudad, famosos por su ruinoso estado y falta de matenimiento, cedieron a las ráfagas de viento de más de 130 mph que azotaron a la isla. La capital estuvo inundada y los habitantes estuvieron 'con el agua por la cintura' y aún cientos de miles de personas están incomunicadas y sin electricidad. En fotos, un recorrido fotográfico entre escombros, desolación y ansias de recuperar algo de normalidad. "

Volunteers Needed in Cuba After Hurricane Irma  9/12/2017 Canadian Global Response: "We’re now calling on Canadians to step up and help Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which devastated the island. Irma landed in Cuba on the weekend as a Category 5 storm, with hurricane-force winds over 200 kph destroying roofs, buildings, and ripping trees from the ground. Rainfall is expected to continue tomorrow as the country continues evacuations especially along the coastline, where mudslides and flash floods are predicted to follow. Michael Krause is organizing an immediate relief team to Cuba, sharing the following images from the community of “La Gloria” after Hurricane Irma."

Los cubanos se desquitaron de Irma con humor y conga  9/12/2017 EFE: "En un recorrido por las zonas de La Habana que se anegaron por la penetración del mar, un fotógrafo de la Agencia Efe plasmó ayer en imágenes la otra cara del huracán en una muestra de cómo los habitantes de la isla se sacudieron la tragedia y recuperaron la sonrisa."

Damage Report on Varadero, Cuba Hotels  9/12/2017 Havana Times: "From what could be noticed today in the inspections it is estimated that the recovery time for hotels can vary from a few weeks to a few months for hotels that have been most affected. The current priority will be the restoration of electricity, water and telecommunications services. The recovery in hotels will depend largely on the resources invested by the Cuban government, which will have much on the table due to the extensive damage suffered from Irma in the areas of Cayo Coco, Santa Clara, Camagüey and the provinces of Holguin and Matanzas. The structural damage and destruction of residential areas in the provinces of Matanzas, Villa Clara, Ciego de Avila and Camagüey is substantial."

After Irma, a Look at Why Cubans Are 15 Times Less Likely to Die From Hurricanes Than Americans  9/12/2017 Truth Out: "According to the Center for International Policy, a person is 15 times as likely to be killed by a hurricane in the United States as in Cuba. Meanwhile, Cuba has already sent more than 750 health workers to Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Dominica and Haiti. For more, we speak with Elizabeth Newhouse, director of the Center for International Policy's Cuba Project. She has taken numerous delegations from the US to Cuba to see how the Cubans manage disaster preparedness."

After Irma, a Look at Why Cubans Are 15 Times Less Likely to Die From Hurricanes Than Americans  9/12/2017 Truth Out: "One of the Caribbean islands hardest hit by Hurricane Irma was Cuba, where 10 people died. Irma hit Cuba's northern coast as a Category 5 storm. It was the deadliest hurricane in Cuba since 2005, when 16 people died in Hurricane Dennis. Cuba has long been viewed as a world leader in hurricane preparedness and recovery. According to the Center for International Policy, a person is 15 times as likely to be killed by a hurricane in the United States as in Cuba. Meanwhile, Cuba has already sent more than 750 health workers to Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Dominica and Haiti. For more, we speak with Elizabeth Newhouse, director of the Center for International Policy's Cuba Project."

Irma: Cuba sends hundreds of doctors to Caribbean islands devastated by hurricane  9/9/2017 Independent: "More than 750 health workers arrive in Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Dominica and Haiti."

Trump Prolongs Blockade Against Cuba by Another Year  9/8/2017 teleSUR: "Under the blockade, however, business relations are restricted and there are new taxes on travel to Havana."

Dos jóvenes tratan de subvertir el significado de ‘disidente’ en Cuba  9/7/2017 NYT: "Este año, viendo que las expectativas de los cubanos han sido recalibradas tras la normalización de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, Luis Manuel Otero y Yanelis Núñez Leyva, una pareja de La Habana, consideraron que era el momento propicio de redefinir lo que significa ser un disidente. Crearon el Museo de la Disidencia en Cuba, un sitio web que reseña a las personas que se han opuesto al gobierno a lo largo de la historia."

Noam Chomsky: Antifa Is a 'Major Gift' to the Right  8/31/2017 Alternet: ""Eleanor Penny, who has written extensively on fascism and the far-right, told The Independent: "Chomsky treats the battle against fascism as a battle for moral purity than can be won when the left remain respectful, polite, and deferent." She added: "But fascists have no interest in winning that battle. They don't care about respecting free speech or the right to a fair trial; they've openly declared their murderous intent towards people of colour (and other undesirables) and they'll pursue that goal by any means necessary. In this context, physical resistance is a duty, an act of self-defence, not an unsightly outpost of leftist moral decline.""

A Cuban’s long road to Oxford  8/29/2017 On Cuba: “I bought the ticket to China with my last savings, before I was given the exit permit. Many persons said I was crazy and today I recognize that it was risky, but I was sure I was going to achieve it. I hadn’t the slightest idea about how it was going to be, but I took the risk because I was confident I would not fail.”

Los vaivenes del sector privado en Cuba  8/29/2017 Progreso Semanal: "Desde la entrada en vigor el pasado 5 de agosto de las nuevas restricciones al cuentapropismo, una palabra que se ha puesto de moda entre quienes tienen o pretendían tener un negocio privado: incertidumbre."

Turista estadounidense casi va a la cárcel por intentar salir de Cuba con CUC  8/28/2017 Cibercuba: "La bloguera estadounidense Jaime Morrison, corresponsal de viajes para el portal digital de Bravo Tv, fue detenida por las autoridades aduaneras cubanas durante su primer viaje a la isla por intentar abandonar el país con pesos convertibles (CUC)."

Caribbean Cable System Could Link to Cuba, Says Report  8/27/2017 Periodico 26: "The Saint Lucia-based Deep Blue Cable undersea cable infrastructure company, of the Netherlands, could land two spurs of its Caribbean network on the island of Cuba, according to a report in the Irish Times."

Liberan en La Habana al Paparazzi Cubano  8/26/2017 Yusnaby: "Tras estar detenido por presuntamente grabar y transmitir vía Facebook imágenes del Carnaval Habanero, fue liberado el Paparazzi Cubano, uno de los jóvenes más seguidos en las redes sociales desde la isla."

Was Cuban sonic attack a weapon, or an accident?  8/24/2017 CNN: "Others point to the political circumstances -- the attacks happened at a time when the US and Cuba were working to improve relations in the wake of the Obama administration's decision to end the decades-long US embargo against the island nation. Why choose that moment to engage in a particularly damaging harassment campaign? There are other possibilities, including environmental factors, said experts like Sharon Weinberger, a journalist, and the author of "The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA." Others, such as former Foreign Service Officer James Lewis, point to the possibility of human error, in particular a surveillance operation gone wrong."

Acceso a Internet y uso de tecnologías estimula debate en blog cubano  8/24/2017 IPS: "A su juicio, en los escenarios donde se discute la informatización sigue como gran ausente la comunidad de usuarios, “la que a diario pone a circular aplicaciones para sus teléfonos que, de modo off line, les ayuda a saber un poco más de los medicamentos que necesita, los restaurantes que pueden visitar, la orientación por calles”."

Díaz-Canel amenaza con cerrar plataforma digital OnCuba  8/21/2017 Cubanos por el Mundo: "Sin embargo, el periodismo independiente en Cuba ha estado sufriendo en los últimos meses una creciente represión por parte de las autoridades, que además han reforzado la censura y bloqueado el acceso desde la isla a plataformas de publicaciones digitales."

I’m an Expert Traveler, But I Accidentally Broke This One Rule — And Almost Went to Jail (Don’t Let It Happen to You)  8/11/2017 Bravo TV: "After more confusion, officers coming in and out conversing in Spanish in hushed, serious tones, and glaring at me, my crime was revealed to me: I had attempted to leave the country with Cuban Convertible Pesos. This is illegal in Cuba, and despite all of my pre-trip research... I'd had no idea. There is also a change office right there in the terminal, after the security screening area, so why wasn’t I allowed to change it there? Other travelers were doing so."

Hearing loss of US diplomats in Cuba blamed on covert device  8/10/2017 WaPo: "However, officials familiar with the probe said investigators were looking into the possibilities that the incidents were carried out by a third country such as Russia, possibly operating without the knowledge of Cuba’s formal chain of command."

La UCO detiene a un cubano por «lavar» 238 millones de dólares del Medicare  8/6/2017 ABC: Maintaining the reputation of Cuban Americans for large volume Medicare crimes.

IU students learn dance, culture in Cuba  8/3/2017 Indiannapolis Recorder: "More than 2,000 creatives — from artists and musicians to actors and magicians — take over the streets of Cuba each year during a colorful celebration known as the Festival del Caribe. Last month, a group of 11 Indiana University students, along with faculty members and alumni, traveled over a thousand miles to be among the crowd. These scholars didn’t come as spectators or tourists; they came with the goal of learning new moves and showcasing their skills on a global stage."

Handing over of licenses for private work in Cuba suspended  8/3/2017 On Cuba: "The measure forms part of “a systematic process of checking and perfecting, geared at correcting deficiencies,” reported the island’s First Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security Marta Elena Feitó. According to what was published this Tuesday in the Gaceta Oficial Extraordinaria No. 31, until this process concludes “it was decided to not give new authorizations” for some 20 of the activities, among them the rental of homes and rooms; gastronomic services in cafeterias and restaurants (paladares); the swapping and selling and buying of homes; the repair of electronic equipment; and the jewelry business."

UN GOLPE DEBAJO DEL CINTURÓN AL CUENTAPROPISMO EN CUBA.  8/2/2017 Entre Alianza: "Aún así, lo que corresponde (según el Reglamento) es retirar las licencias a los infractores, no generalizar y tomar medidas que coloquen en estado de indefensión a la mayoría de la población cubana."

Una cifra impredecible: las remesas  8/2/2017 Progreso Semanal: "Una fe con letras mayúsculas, en correspondencia a la clasificación oficial de unas planillas ya inexistentes, donde sin ton ni son, las autoridades inquirían si tenían FE (Familiares en el Exterior). ¿Y quién en Cuba, desde los niveles más humildes hasta en los más notables cargos oficiales en el partido comunista y gobierno no los tiene? Que levanten la mano, por favor, las excepciones." [Los cubanos ibero españoles viven en su mundo proprio - la mayor parte de los afrocubanos no tienen familia en el exterior. Las remesas y aun peor las inversiones no llegan a los afrocubanos. Las diviones sociales crecen cada dia.]

Clubs de verano y la informatización en Cuba  8/1/2017 Cuba Ahora: "Durante este período estival, los Joven Club de Computación a lo largo y ancho de la isla despliegan intensas jornadas de promoción a sus plataformas más novedosas y representativas…"

Paralizado el otorgamiento de algunas licencias para cuentapropistas  8/1/2017 Progreso Semanal: "La gaceta oficial de Cuba publica hoy nuevas medidas para el ejercicio de las 201 actividades por cuenta propia permitidas en el país desde 2010. La nueva regulación se corresponde con el anuncio que hiciera el presidente cubano Raúl Castro durante la última sesión ordinaria de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (ANPP), sobre la necesidad “erradicar los fenómenos negativos detectados y asegurar el desarrollo ulterior de estas formas de gestión en el marco de la legalidad”."

Trinidad is Cuba’s small wonder, but beware new restrictions  7/30/2017 Repeating Islands: "When the policy announced by President Donald Trump in June goes into effect in several months, U.S. residents will be restricted from personal travel and from supporting Cuban military ventures. In Cuba, that means government-owned businesses, including many hotels and restaurants. In order to stay within the guidelines, traveling with a tour operator is your best option."

Cuba’s ration book: Symbol of equality, but burden on state  7/29/2017 Repeating Islands: "For several years now, the ration allowance has been getting smaller and smaller: a few eggs, some cooking oil, rice, sugar, beans, bread, chicken and coffee, enough for two weeks at most. Before, the packages were bigger and better quality, and even included a cigarette allowance."

The digital revolution in Havana: between liberation and submission  7/27/2017 Open Democracy 

Africana Institute Trip to Cuba August 3  7/26/2017 Essex Community College: "A contingent from Essex County College, through a trip sponsored by the College’s Africana Institute, is heading to Cuba for a week-long educational experience. Led by Africana Institute Director Dr. Akil Khalfani and Professor Ladylease White, a total of 15 travelers will embark to Cuba on August 3."

How New US Regs on Cuba May Affect Your Travel and Business Plans  7/26/2017 Havana Times: "Basically, the questionnaire is a compendium of measures that will be implemented in the coming months under the strategy of restricting certain individual trips of people-to-people contact, and prohibiting the relations of US business people and companies with Cuban entities linked to the Armed Forces, Intelligence Services and State Security."

Inside Cuba’s D.I.Y. Internet Revolution  7/26/2017 Wired: "the Cubans—the very resourceful Cubans—haven’t exactly been sitting around sipping mojitos as the digital revolución passed them by. They have workarounds. Oh, do they have workarounds."

The broader implications of Washington’s new Cuba policy  7/25/2017 Caribbean Intelligence: "Speaking to diplomats to try to understand the broader implications of this, and in the absence of relevant US interlocutors, uncertainty prevails as to whether this means that the Trump directive opens the door to further change, making in reality the new Cuba policy potentially far more substantive."

Cuba’s surprising internal tourism boom  7/25/2017 Progreso Weekly: "National tourism has had meteoric growth in the last years. In 2016, more than 991,122 Cubans stayed in hotels on the island, establishing a record in the country’s tourist history. This figure is even more remarkable if we take into account the rise in prices of tourist services brought about by the avalanche of North American tourists, with lodging prices per room rising by more than 95% on average with respect to the previous year."

Foreign Investment in Cuba: Are the Obstacles Too Great?  7/24/2017 Havana Times: "Cuban government authorities have recognized themselves the fact that they need 2 billion USD per year in direct foreign investment, but ever since the new law came into effect in 2014 up until the end of 2016, they have only manage to attract a total of $1.3 billion. Investors in our country come up against all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles, from extremely long negotiation processes which are riddled with excessive paperwork, to poor preparation of of their national counterparts. One cannot ignore the fact that, in many cases, the CEOs of Cuban companies who take on leading these negotiations and their supervisors aren’t business people by training, but members of the Cuban Communist Party’s cadre who are very well trained in the political order of things, but maybe not so much in trade and business matters."

Manolín le dice a Pablo Milanés: “Déjame a mí responderle a Cao, que le voy a dar nocao”  7/21/2017 El Lumpen 

Conoce el nuevo negocio del ‘jineterismo virtual’ que está de moda en Cuba gracias al internet  7/21/2017 Todo Cuba: "De todos sus “amigos”, esta chica ha conocido a tres en persona: un cubanoamericano, otro colombiano y un mexicano. Con los demás, solo mantiene contacto a través de redes sociales como Facebook y WhatsApp. “Es como si estuvieran aquí, pero no tengo que salir con ellos a ningún lado”, advierte."

Cuba and its Tropical Pol Pot  7/20/2017 Havana Times: "Che Guevara warned us about the danger of these “wage-earners who obey official ideology”, who he defined as “apprentices who live under this budget.” However, he didn’t ever imagine that these same apprentices could one day have a life of their own and harm the government that finances them."

Cuba’s Private Sector Readies for Government Offensive  7/20/2017 Havana Times: "If you want more of the same, all you have to do is remember the government’s negative response for any kind of direct funding from abroad for cooperatives and/or small private businsses, an intiative which clashes with the other well-established Cuban State monopoly, the banking system, which is repeatedly incompetent."

Castro’s casa: social work lessons from Cuba  7/19/2017 Repeating Islands: "In a street of salmon and teal painted houses, once home to wealthy colonial administrators, sits the Casa del Abuelo. Now a community centre providing free day services for older inhabitants of the neighbourhood, Casa del Abuelo – or home for grandparents – was the first of many such facilities set up by Fidel Castro during a wave of social reforms to provide care and support for ordinary Cubans after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the US economic blockade crippled the country’s economy."

The Bell Tolls, or Should, for Ana Belén Montes  7/17/2017 Counterpunch: "A Cuban friend working in tourism said that since US citizens began arriving in Cuba in greater numbers, she has not met a single one who was not positively surprised. “It is not what I expected”, they say."

Amenazan a promotores de proyecto social en Matanza con decomisarles la vivienda  7/16/2017 Habana Linda: "“Las personas que trabajan en el Tondique son voluntarias, nosotros no cobramos nada, no lucramos, lo que les damos a esas personas es mucho amor, mucho cariño”."

Las empresas estadounidenses ante el freno ideológico de Cuba  7/15/2017 Café Fuerte: "Esa generosidad de las empresas estadounidenses para contrarrestar la atmósfera política predominante en Washington está disminuyendo. Ninguna empresa en Estados Unidos necesita acceder al mercado cubano; es difícil de asimilarlo para un ego como el de Cuba, pero hasta que eso no se entienda, la relación comercial, económica y política bilateral continuará simultáneamente apretando el freno y el acelerador. Una dirección correcta no puede ser cambiante."

Cuba Officially Announces Mandela Day Marathon in Havana  7/12/2017 PL: "The diplomat also recalled the strong ties between both nations reflected in the friendship and example of two universal men such as Mandela and the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro. She urged the entire population to participate and pay tribute to the former South African president, icon of the struggle against racism."

Díaz-Canel: ‘Los cubanos tienen que usar internet para hacer Revolución’  7/10/2017 Habana Linda: "“Los cubanos tienen que usar internet para hacer Revolución. Tenemos que ser capaces de poner los contenidos de la Revolución en internet, en todas las plataformas, desde todas las instituciones. Y aprovechar para contrarrestar así toda esta avalancha de contenido seudocultural, banal, vulgar que existe en la red”, instó el primer vicepresidente de Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, este jueves."

Pablo Milanés: "Cuba es un pueblo adormecido por un Gobierno estancado e incapaz de aportar nada nuevo"  7/5/2017 El Mundo: "En Cuba es muy difícil que se altere cualquier cosa."

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