As the crisis worsens in Venezuela, as a result of Castro’s intervention in his “internal affairs” and the violation of that South American country’s sovereignty over the island, Cubans begin to feel anguished by the danger they are from being submerged in another “special period” of absolute scarcity like that which followed the fall of the USSR.
However, this understanding of the gravity of the moment emanates from the fear that the regime sows in the population about that the US government is going to impose sanctions on Caracas if the illegal Constituent Assembly is created.
In other words, Castro’s propaganda suggests that the predictable aggravation of the already distressing economic situation of Cubans, derived from the crisis in Venezuela, is not the responsibility of the gang of drug traffickers, murderers and thieves who disarrange that oil country and Cuban intervention. The island’s state media affirm that the economic and social disaster of Venezuela is the work of the “counterrevolution” orchestrated by Washington, and that the situation is going to worsen for the Cubans because of the possible sanctions that the US could impose on Caracas if Installed the Constituent Assembly on July 30.
Meanwhile, the regime has already given orders to thousands of Cuban doctors and health professionals in Venezuela to stay quartered in their care centers, which will be protected by the National Guard, to provide emergency care between the 29 and 31 of July.
On the island, the fear of a serious recession has hit hard on a population aware that the country depends to a large extent on subsidies of various types and free oil, which, nevertheless, still comes. Ricardo Cabrisas, on the one hand, offered an optimistic growth figure in the first half of the year (1.1%), on the other hand, but acknowledged that the economic and financial crisis of the country worsened.
Cabrisas, an old Cuban intelligence officer, was surprisingly explicit and clarified that this lack of money was due to the fact that, since the government does not have cash, it does not pay its suppliers completely and they refuse to continue giving commercial credits to the island that only make Havana continue accumulating unpaid debts with its creditors. Those who promote a bill to extend trade credits to Cuba in the United States Congress should have that reality present.
On the one hand the country is still not sustainable and depends on another that collapses. In that context, poverty will continue to grow. This week it was once again confirmed that even the lukewarm “reforms” of the military regime are going backward and not forward.
It was officially confirmed that they have banned access to social networks to scientists and professionals, who both require such connection for the development of their work and for them to be able to keep up with scientific and technological novelties. Raul Castro no longer talks about developing the country as his brother used to do. He knows he would make a fool of himself.
On the other hand, as expected, the visit of the “independent expert” of the UN in human rights and international solidarity, Ms. Virginia Dandan, organized by the Cuban chancellor with the support of the communist party and state security -, finished like the previous ones realized by its colleagues of the UN Jean Ziegler and Maria Grazia Giammarino, with a political accolade to the dictatorship. None of them wanted to hear any voice other than that of the Cuban government.
Ziegler defended execrable dictatorships like those of the Mengistu, Mugabe, Castro, Gaddafi and Gbagbo. In Cuba he said he saw “an explosion of light”. Gianmmarino wanted to swallow the story that contracting companies of Cuban professionals abroad did not employ slave labor techniques under the leonine contract conditions. Ms. Dandan found nothing relevant to criticizing her counterparts.
The UN Human Rights Committee has been transformed into a club of complacent dictators and genuflects. It’s time to demand that its composition be restructured and its operating rules changed or disappear at once and for all.
Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC)
Crisis in Venezuela is concerning the Cubans
After the announcement of US that imposed severe economic sanctions to Caracas if the illegal Constituent Assembly finally settles convened by Nicolas Maduro, Cubans on the island are worried about the grave situation in Venezuela, aware that largely Cuba depends on financial support from the current Chavez dictatorial Government.
Cuban regime orders emergency plan for doctors in Venezuela
The Cuban government launched an emergency plan for the medical mission in Venezuela in the face of escalating popular protest. The circulated document order doctors to perform “security tasks” to ensure emergency medical care and requires all staff to remain quartered in their care centers between 29 and 31 July, as they will be protected by the National Guard.
UN human rights expert praises regime
Five days after a visit to Cuba organized by Chancellor Bruno Rodriguez, the UN expert on human rights and international solidarity, Virginia Dandan, issued a press release in Geneva on July 20 praising the International solidarity of the Castro regime and asks it to ratify the international human rights covenants.
OCDH calls on the UN to reconsider sending its experts to Cuba
The Cuban Human Rights Observatory (OCDH) called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, to reconsider that the UN send experts to the island. “With all due respect, we say that civil society Independent in the Island consider preferable that they do not go to Cuba”, the OCDH said in a letter dated Saturday.
“Forbidden to forget”: audience’s motto on Castro’s crimes
Those two words by the former political prisoner Cary Roque were heard in the auditorium of the Mayor’s Office in Miami, where the first public hearing of the commission last March was held to “end impunity for Castroism.” The commission intends to set up files on crimes against humanity committed in Cuba and in countries under the influence of Castroism.
Two parishes officiate a mass at the headquarters of the Ladies in White
A group of Ladies in White attended a Mass officiated by Pastors Cástor Álvarez and José Conrado at the seat of the women’s movement in Lawton, Berta Soler reported. Twenty-seven people were present in total, 16 Ladies in White and 11 activists, including three newly released prisoners, Augusto Guerra, Yosvanis Martínez, and Boris Reñí.
The UN declares arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of El Sexto
Human Rights Foundation (HRF) applauded the UN’s decision to declare arbitrary arrest and subsequent imprisonment of graphic artist Danilo Maldonado on November 26, 2016. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (GTDA) ruled that the Cuban State Maldonado was arbitrarily deprived of his right to due process of law, and recommended compensation to the graffiti artist.
Cuba is still excluded from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism
Amid promises by US President Donald Trump to intensify policy toward Cuba, the US has kept the Caribbean nation off the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. US ambassadors, academics and Cuban political ex-prisoners had asked President Trump to re-include Cuba on the list of governments that support terrorism.
The regime asks Moscow to modernize island armaments
The regime in Havana is asking the Kremlin for armaments to modernize all the technology of the Armed Forces, the director of the Russian State Arms Export Corporation (Rosoboronexport) Alexander Mijeev told a news conference in Moscow. Russians say they have requests to upgrade existing equipment and spare parts, Rosoboronexport assured.
Harassment to the Lady in White attending to a father suffering from cancer
“I’m being chased by two officers on a Suzuki motorcycle. They enter the hospital, go up to the address where I have to deliver the paper to give me the oxygen balloon, they go to the place where the staff is delivering it to me; If I go to see a doctor, they go after me. ” The Lady in White Leticia Ramos reported that she lives in a desperate situation to be able to care for her father with cancer.
US Senators call for investigation of Oswaldo Payá’s Death
In a joint statement, Senators Dick Durbin, Bill Nelson, Jeff Merkley, Marco Rubio, Bob Menendez and Ted Cruz, the last three of Cuban origin, filed a resolution honoring Payá’s legacy, who died in 2012 in a car crash. Traffic, and called for an “impartial” investigation into the circumstances of the dissident’s death.
Tribute being paid in Havana to Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero
Tribute days in Havana and Miami being paid to Cuban opponents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero on the fifth anniversary of his death in a car accident denounced by relatives and opponents as an intentional act carried out by agents of the Cuban government. Rosa Maria Paya traveled to Havana to coordinate the day of tribute to her father and Cepero.
At least 55 Ladies in White detained in 108 repressive workdays
At least 55 activists from the opposition group, Damas de Blanco, were detained on Sunday, according to what Angel Moya, political ex-prisoner, told Radio Martí. The opponent said that activists from other opposition groups were also arrested seeking to participate in the “#We All March for the Freedom of Political Prisoners” campaign. Police deployed since Friday, Moya added.
Convicted activist for putting music on the day Fidel Castro died
The opponent Tomás Núñez Magdariaga, activist of UNPACU who’s 66 years old, received his second conviction on July 18 for political reasons in less than six months, according to human rights activist from Palma Soriano Yenisei Jiménez Reina. Nuñez Magdariaga was accused of placing posters against the regime and of putting music on the day Fidel Castro died.
Drunken officials prevent the Ladies in White from going to Mass
“Almost all the personnel who have mobilized in front of our homes to prevent us from going to church have been drunk,” reported Mrs. Leticia Ramos Herrería in Matanzas. The activist reported that in front of her house her “relatives have seen the agents go out to drink beer and in the same operation have ingested alcoholic beverages.”
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND LABOR RIGHTS
Government admits that the economic crisis worsened
Cuba’s economic and financial crisis worsened in the first half of 2017 because the country has difficulty obtaining commercial loans because of late payments to suppliers, who do not want to accumulate more debt with the island, said Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas . He added that expected export earnings fell short at $ 417 million.
Restrictions to professionals and scientists to social media
Access to social networks in Cuba is prohibited for scientists and professionals in most state institutions with access to the Internet, according to an article published on July 19 in Juventud Rebelde. The state newspaper provides details and complaints from professionals and university students regarding the inability to connect with colleagues and forums from other countries by Facebook or Twitter.
The wages are very low and the shortages get worse
The salary of state workers is a bad joke. The minimum wage is extremely low. With that money, the basic food basket is given to the state: 7 pounds of rice, 5 of sugar, 20 ounces of beans, half a pound of vegetable oil, a pound of chicken, a packet of spaghetti and a daily dinner bread of 80 grams, complains Antonio, a construction worker, who explains that this food reaches only for a week.
They denounce ‘perennial stagnation’ of the Cuban countryside
With more than half a century of agrarian reform and 9 years of giving land to usufruct, the Cuban fields are in a “perennial stagnation” and their inhabitants with no hope of progress, commented the leader of Somos +, Eliécer Ávila. The activist visited his relatives in El Yarey de Vázquez, Puerto Padre, where he grew up, and he knows well the poor living conditions of the countryside.
Cuban children will remain without toys
Cuban children will remain without toys
The National Assembly of People’s Power reaffirmed that the shortage of toys for Cuban children will continue. Cuban rulers continue to reject the Three Kings Day tradition. They have always argued that this is a sequel of the past, which only served for the children of the wealthy classes to exhibit good toys.
Self-employed folks recommend measures to Washington
A group of Cuban businessmen made recommendations to the US government to strengthen the private sector in Cuba in a letter sent to the Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce. They recommend facilitating Cubans the opening of US bank accounts, allowing individual travel for Americans, and more access to US exports.
State officials are unaware of their work content
Many state workers are known to leave their jobs to try to get into the private sector to get better wages. But few would imagine the great speed with which that tendency grows. The government itself reported in the National Assembly that between 2014 and 2016 there were 300,400 casualties among professionals, mid-level technicians and skilled workers.
Four activists are prevented from traveling to racism related event in Colombia
The Cuban regime prevented travel to Colombia to independent journalists Víctor Manuel Domínguez and Yusimí Rodríguez and members of the Citizens’ Committee for Racial Integration Jorge Amado Robert and Fernando Palacios, who would participate in an exchange in Cali on racism in both countries. The four activists are of the black race.
Reporter reveals lack of hygiene in Havana hospital
Patients and residents of the Miguel Enríquez Clinical Surgical Hospital known as La Benefica in Havana have been complaining to the People’s Power for months to eliminate rubbish and debris on sidewalks and inner streets of the care center. The lack of hygiene has uncovered the alarms of the neighbors. There are rodents, flies and insects everywhere.
Cuba’s internal tourism registers a great increase
Cuban domestic tourism has grown dramatically over the last 9 years, with 991,122 nationals staying at hotels in 2016, a historic record. In 2008, 61,508 Cuban residents resided on the island. 33% of that one million national tourists stayed in facilities controlled by the military, and 94% of them did so in the more expensive hotels.
Despite harassment of the opposition MININT represents railway workers
A member of the opposition Christian Movement for Liberation (MCL) in Santiago de Cuba, Ernesto López, who was elected in June to represent railroad workers before the Labor Court of his center, was freed over the weekend after almost 72 hours of arbitrary arrest. Lopez represents 200 workers of the railways of Santiago de Cuba.
The business of the telephone balance in Cuba
Cubans have found a new way to take advantage of cell phone opportunities in illegal personal benefit operations. In the absence of money, the balance, as a new currency, facilitates the relationship between customer and service provider, expanding the possibilities of selling and acquiring products. For example, drugs, sex, gasoline, miscellaneous items.