The headline on a well-documented article by The Miami Herald’s Nora Gamez Torres is true: “Raúl Castro’s economic reforms were supposed to make life better in Cuba. Didn’t happen.” Cubans are facing increased shortages, and the disastrous two currency system continues to exploit Cubans. Raul Castro, despite many efforts by the Europeans who forgave tens of millions of dollars of Havana’s debt, might not be able to make Cuba’s expected payments, negotiated as part of the debt restructuring.
We publish in this issue Carlos Alberto Montaner's "A Year without Fidel," and Diario de Cuba's "Those who refused to mourn" about some Cubans who remain in jail because they refused to join the collective bereavement a year ago. And the good news that Radio Marti is increasing its broadcasts to Cuba.
En este Cuba Brief/ Cuba en Breve: tres tema extraordinarios:
· El derecho al trabajo y a la no discriminación de los trabajadores cubanos del informe reciente de Amnistía Internacional que acaba de distribuir el blog de ASCE, la Asociación para el Estudio de la Economía de Cuba;
· un magnífico ensayo del Profesor Rafael Rojas: “ Breve historia de la censura en Cuba (1959-2016).
· y “Cuba and North Korea in the same line of combat", un analisis muy importante de Alvaro Alba, Senior Research Associate en el Cuban Studies Institute (CSI).
Yesterday, the Cuban regime held municipal “elections” in which no candidate independent from the Communist Party was allowed to run. The Associated Press reported that “the man widely seen as Cuba's next president delivered a defiant rejection of demands for change in the island's single-party system as he participated Sunday in the first in a series of elections expected to end with his taking over from Raul Castro next year.”
For sure, Raul Castro knows the old Spanish adage that says “If you see your neighbor’s beard on fire, immerse yours in water.” Today, is not a good day for the General-President. The United States returned Pyongyang to the list of state sponsors of terrorism and Robert Mugabe, longtime friend and accomplice of the Castro dynasty is no longer in power. We are reprinting in English an article by Yoani Sanchez on the relationship between Mugabe and the Castros. It is very much worth reading.
The Washington Post, November 17, 2017 reports that “North Korea falls back on close ties with Cuba.” Relations between Havana and Pyongyang have been very strong for more than half a century. A big difference today is that under the Trump Administration Washington is not likely to sweep under the rug hostile actions by either regime.
General Raul Castro awarded Cuba's Order of Solidarity to Puerto Rican terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, responsible for more than one hundred bombs throughout the United States and millions of dollars in damage. He was to remain in prison until 2051 but his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama shortly before the end of his Administration.
Alaska Airlines will end its flights to Cuba in January, a year after launching a daily Los Angeles-Havana route that began with great fanfare but was fading even before President Donald Trump last week imposed new restrictions on travel to the island nation.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal today, Mary Anastasia O’Grady focuses on how “[t]he Russians used their experience at home to annihilate [Cuban] dissident peasants.” Months after Castro’s coming to power a peasant uprising ensued due to the regime’s efforts to confiscate farmland and the farmers’ production, in a fashion that resembled Soviet experiences earlier many years earlier.
In this issue: The Wall Street Journal reports that some see a silver lining under the Trump administration's new mesures reversing parts of Barack Obama's opening to Cuba.
In this issue: "Russia renews talks of a military base in Cuba," a release from the Cuban Studies Institute, "What Trump’s Cuba crackdown will look like," published by The Miami Herald, and "Regime forces arrest artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara" in Cuba, published by Diario de Cuba, an independent online newspaper.
The Trump Administration releases new regulations promised by the President to curtail millions flowing to Cuban military and security services. It is a good beginning but some Cuban government companies have been left out. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says it is a good first step.
As reported earlier the House of Representatives approved a bill entitled “Cuban Airport Security Act of 2017.” The bill instructs the Administrator of the Transportation and Security Administration to submit a report to the Congress assessing “the ability of known or suspected terrorists to use Cuba as a gateway of entry into the United States,” and “the vetting practices and procedures for airport employees,” as well as “any other information determined relevant to the security practices, procedures and equipment at such airports.”
Panampost just published an article: “Castro Regime Sends Scarce Items to Dominica while Cubans Struggle to Recover from Hurricane.” Unfortunately, not only is General Raul Castro sending elsewhere tons of assistance that are urgently needed by Cubans after the havoc of Hurricane Irma, but assistance donated to Cuba by several countries is not distributed but sold by the government to desperate families. Cuban customs continues to place obstacles on the importation of food and medicine needed by thousands of homeless Cubans.
The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer published on the Eastern Caribbean island of the same name runs today [October 23, 2017] an article: " Cuba, Caribbean ties to U. of Miami in New Online Report.” U.M. president Julio Frenk says “We look forward to more opportunities to strengthen academic bonds, increase research and welcome diverse discourse on the humanities, politics and culture.”
The drama on the sonic attacks on American diplomats continues. Congressman Wilson (R. SC) calls for the State Department to investigate. The Associated Press has just reported that there are two more cases.
The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine lecture by Dr. Roberto Villafranca [University of Medical Sciences, Cuba] was advertised to be heldtomorrow, October 18th. According to the UM announcement, Dr. Villafranca was to speak on “[t]he Cuban National Health System [which] is highly structured, prevention-oriented, and gives special attention to continuing medical education.”
Your editorial “Cuba’s Sonic Attacks” (Sept. 26) quotes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “It’s a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered.” Cuba is a totalitarian state and very little happens on the island that escapes Raúl Castro’s security police. International law requires governments to provide protection to foreign diplomats. Unquestionably Cuba failed to protect U.S. diplomats.
The same regime that in June of 2013 told the Panamanian government that a North Korean cargo vessel approaching the Panama Canal contained only a shipment of sugar for the people of North Korea, had little to say when warplanes, thousands of projectiles, and missiles were found under tons of sugar. Press forward to recent statements by Cuba’s Foreign Minister questioning whether the brain trauma, dizziness, and permanent hearing loss of American diplomats in Cuba is real.
A Quebec man who simply wanted to help the people of Cuba in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma says he'll never go back, even though his wife is from there and they have strong ties to the island.