FINANCIAL TIMES. Why Cuba’s artists are protesting.

Perched on cliffs and shorelines, hollowed by fissures, their structures so otherworldly they could inhabit a city by Giorgio de Chirico, Alejandro Campins’ paintings of abandoned bunkers warrant their solo exhibition at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam in Havana.

BUSH URGES CUBA REFORM

President Bush called on Cuban President Fidel Castro to hold free elections in a broadcast beamed at the island on Monday, holding out the olive branch of improved relations if Castro complies and stopping short of demanding the ouster of the Cuban ruler.

Cuban doctors in Brazil plan lawsuit that claims U.N. agency made $75 million from “slave trade”

After years of telling the world about Fidel Castro’s “admirable humanitarian efforts” to help the sick around the world, many have taken notice that Cuban doctors were being exploited. On the island, Cuban police have visited their families to warn them that doctors who accept Brazil’s offer to pay their full salaries will not be able to see their relatives for eight years. They were not allowed to accompany the doctors as a way to discourage defections. PAHO’s controversial role should be investigated by the international community.

ANDRES OPPENHEIMER: Crece escándalo de los médicos cubanos en Brasil: alegan que la OPS se quedó con $75 millones. The Miami Herald, 29 de Noviembre 2018

El escándalo en torno de los más de 15,000 médicos cubanos que han trabajado en condiciones de virtual esclavitud en Brasil está creciendo: algunos de ellos planean presentar una demanda en Miami contra la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS), con sede en Washington. Afirman que la organización regional no solo supervisó el programa, sino que también se embolsó $75 millones de sus fondos.

CUBABrief: The double standards of EU’s dialogue with Cuba

By talking only to the Cuban government and ignoring civil society groups, the EU is allowing the Cuban state to continue its programme of repressing democracy and human rights, write Ariadna Mena Rubio, Rosa Maria Payá and Erik Jennische.

THE DIPLOMAT. What’s Next for Vietnam-Cuba Military Ties?

Late last month, Vietnam’s deputy defense minister paid a visit to Cuba. The trip spotlighted the ongoing activity within the military aspect of the relationship amid a key year in the ties between the two countries.

CubaBrief: LA NOBLE INTRANSIGENCIA DE JOSE MARTI Por Carlos Ripoll, y los apóstatas.

Entre nosotros algunos se deshonran por su egoísmo y su vileza favoreciendo a la tiranía; como en la época de la colonia cuando José Marti, apenas un adolescente le echaba en cara su apostasia a un joven cubano partidario de Espana. Por escribirle una carta Marti fue condenado por sedición y enviado a prision. Marti, como Carlos Ripoll, en cuestiones de Cuba y la libertad era intransigente. Entonces como ahora había cubanos apóstatas, pero como ahora también cubanos con talento y con virtud.

CUBABrief: Cuba’s Constitution worst than old ones

Cuba’s announcement of a new constitution that would remove references to a “communist society” and recognize the right to private property has generated a lot of enthusiastic headlines around the world. But I read the 755 paragraph document, and — trust me — it's no step toward modernization.

CUBABrief: Havana's "constitutional reforms," including gay marriage. Read The Economist, View "Improper Conduct" in Youtube.

Cuba’s new tolerance of gays ignores years of repression & whitewashes rights’ denial today.
According to The Economist, (july 26, 2018), the rewritten Cuban Constitution announced by Havana’s "most striking change is the redefinition of marriage to encompass any two people... Mr Castro’s daughter Mariela, who leads the national sex-education agency, asked for this clause. In a calibrated display of tolerance, the government let evangelical groups protest against the policy publicly—a courtesy withheld from demonstrators demanding political freedoms.

A tale of 2 newspapers: the best & the worst, Darkness & Light, foolishness & belief: Cuba,The NYTimes & The WashPost, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (Special thks to Dickens)

While many have criticized The New York Times editorials on Cuba and its important advocacy of President Obama's concessions to the regime, few have taken notice of The Washington Post's siding with the Cuban people, and with Cuban dissidents and its thoughtful criticism of the Castro's dictatorship.

CubaBrief: Cuban artist gives away his work in streets of Havana.

CBS reports on a visit to Havana by American diplomats this week. CBC should not be surprised that Washington holds Havana responsible for the physical safety of diplomats stationed on the island, including Canadians and Americans. There are now 26 diplomats and19 American citizens with similar symptoms.  

CubaBrief: It is up to PM Trudeau to get Canadian back. Thanks for Asking, but No, I will Not be Traveling to Cuba.

This CUBABrief highlights three stories focusing on issues familiar to most Cuba watchers: the finger-pointing about who is to blame for the deaths caused by the recent aircraft disaster (this time Havana did not blame the CIA); a foreigner, in this case a Canadian, who discovers Havana’s disregard for the rule of law and his government’s inability to protect  him; and Cuban-Americans who have learned from their loved ones about misery and repression on the island. 

CubaBrief: BROOKINGS WOKE UP AND SMELLED THE COFFEE: "New Cuban President Moves Cuba Backwards." AP: US inspectors missed Cuban aircraft.

Despite the fact that for years The Brookings Institution, one of Washington’s most prominent liberal think tanks, provided intellectual ammunition to President Obama’s Cuba policy, it has now discovered that “Cuba moves backwards: New regulations likely to impeded private sector growth.”  What is news to the Brookings scholars is well known to the Cubans on the island.