As the date approaches when dictator Raul Castro hand over the office of President of Cuba to a successor appointed by him, the scenario continues to complicate both the Havana dictatorship and its Venezuelan colony.
This week CIA director Mike Pompeo said the presence of Cubans, Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah Arab militants put the US at risk. And that “the American government is taking this particular case of Venezuela very seriously.” While this high-level warning in Washington was taking place, dictator Maduro secretly traveled to Santiago de Cuba to receive instructions from his boss, Raul Castro. The Venezuelan opposition denounced the visit and it was then that the official newspaper of the island confirmed the presence of Maduro in the colonial metropolis that commands in Venezuela.
As expected, Cuba-Venezuela trade fell by 70% from 2014, from $ 7.3 billion to $ 2.224 billion in 2016. China is now Cuba’s first trading partner, for the first time in the 21st century, with total trade of US$ 2,585 million in 2016. Beijing is the only major sugar importer the island has today, which exports some 400,000 tons per year.
It is pertinent to emphasize the antinational character of both dictatorships.
Maduro’s regime is delivering oil wealth to Russia, in exchange for money and credit it needs to survive and pay off its exorbitant foreign debt. Caracas offers Moscow oil assets in exchange for cash, and the Russians are thus taking over the oil reserves of Venezuela, the largest in the world.
In Cuba, Castro II also shows the antinational and irrational condition inherited from Castro I, and instead of giving more prominence to the self-employed, puts them in more trouble and orders that no new licenses be granted or cancel existing ones in essential private activities. This affects all the people, because with fewer products and services prices will rise and with the very low salaries in force people will be even poorer. Taxes will also be raised and the exemption of payment for the first five employees will be eliminated, which would lessen the tax burden on the self-employed and encourage job creation.
In that atmosphere, entrepreneurs do not want to open bank accounts as the regime now requires. They do not trust banks. They argue that the government’s objective is to strengthen controls over the private sector. The bank accounts the government can confiscate or freeze those who “do not behave well,” or to prevent owners from “accumulating wealth.”
On the other hand, the PCC already instructed its grassroots militants to avoid that in the next municipal elections of October they could propose independent candidates not approved by the PCC. They are already imprisoning potential candidates and threatening others with imprisonment. This is the “direct popular democracy” of which the Cuban government vaunts in all international forums.
It is the same “democracy” that intensifies harassment of independent journalists. In the last weeks 10 journalists have been arrested or threatened and mistreated. Shame on others because they are the ones who take their faces for the rest of the Cuban journalists, members of the official association of the union – the Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC) – that fail to fulfill the Martians’ maxim that the truth is to say it, not To hide it.
Without wanting to recognize their problems, blaming others for them, silencing criticism, stifling or suppressing productive areas of society, approaching an inevitable biological relay, with its only external pillar in the process of breaking, the Cuban regime sails with the bow set to a perfect storm next year.
Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC)
POLITICAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS
The crackdown on independent journalists
Journalists from the Cuban Network of Community Communicators (RCCC) reported that there has been an increase in harassment against independent journalists on the island. In a statement that organization calls for protest against this new offensive repressive. At least 10 journalists have been arrested or threatened in recent weeks.
Https://www.martinoticias.com/cuba-threats-journalists-in dependents-activists / 150859 .html
CIA Director: Cuban presence in Venezuela is a risk for the US
“The Cubans are there, the Russians are there, the Iranians and Hezbollah are there,” the CIA director said in an interview. “That is something that puts our country at risk and that is why the American government is taking this particular case of Venezuela very seriously,” said the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States, Mike Pompeo .
Maduro’s secret visit to his mentor Raúl Castro was discovered
The newspaper Granma had to confirm the presence in Santiago de Cuba of Nicolás Maduro, after his secret visit was denounced by the Venezuelan opposition with data and maps on Twitter. Opponents singled out the presidential plane’s secret flight to Cuba for a visit to Raul Castro, a political mentor to Maduro, who was not informed in Venezuela.
Https://www.martinoticias.com/ a / cuba-announces-visit-surprise-of-mature-un-day-after-that-opponents-venezuelan-twitter / 151041.html
Policemen beat an activist woman and break a tooth
The Ladys in White Aymara Nieto and Gladys Capote were arrested and beaten up by MININT agents in Havana. Gladys was beaten so brutally that a tooth was shed. As they beat her, they shouted “mercenary” paid for by the US. Both women were arrested so they would not march down the street.
The PCC will prevent nomination of independent candidates
The strategy of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) to prevent the nomination of more than 100 independent candidates in the upcoming municipal elections begins to reveal itself. The PCC has ordered its base members to prevent the nomination of independent candidates not approved by the PCC itself.
More repression against independent candidates aspiring to register as delegates to the Popular Power Council.
Cuban opponents who want to run for delegates from People’s Power districts, totally controlled by the Communist Party throughout the country, told Radio Martí that it is increasing pressure from the State Security to prevent them from being elected in their respective neighborhoods. Many have been arrested and others grossly threatened.
Acoustic attack in Cuba affected 8 or 9 US diplomats
Journalist Steve Dorsey of CBS Radio, who brought to light the acoustic attack in Havana against US diplomats, increased from two to eight or nine the number of diplomats who had to abandon their missions. Dorsey said that “one of the affected officials has been deaf for 10 months,” and that “it is feared that [the injury] will be permanent.”
Washington: Cuba has to find out who attacked diplomats
Diplomats were victims in Havana of “attacks on their health,” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the serious symptoms that forced diplomats to prematurely complete their missions. It was Washington’s toughest statement on the mysterious incidents on the Caribbean island, which have perplexed experts.
Two citizens arrested for telling the truth about Fidel Castro
Citizens Alberto Oliva Diéguez and Mariano Rojas Marino, residents of the city of Holguín, were sentenced to one year in prison for defaming “martyrs of the country” during Fidel Castro’s funeral. Police sector, that Fidel Castro “died without any court judging him for his crimes.”
State Security arrests 65 Ladies in White across the country
At least 65 Ladies in White were detained throughout the country by MININT to prevent them from claiming elementary liberties and the release of dozens of people for political reasons. Repression against the group occurs every week. These operations usually start in the days leading up to Sunday. It was the 112th day of the Campaign #Todos Marchamos.
A common prisoner dies after 28 days on hunger strike
On August 10, the common prisoner Fernando Arsola, 42, died at the Aguadores prison in Santiago de Cuba, after 28 days on hunger strike, according to his wife Yarima Calumbe Arsola said that it was better to die than “to comply 2 Years of imprisonment for Raul Castro, “because he was innocent of the charges made to him. He appealed his case and they did not respond.
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND LABOR RIGHTS
An App to connect to the internet without going to a WiFi point
The platform Apretaste has just launched a new application that will provide Internet access in Cuba through the Nauta mail, without having to connect in a WiFi point of those established by the Government.
Users will be able to enjoy the more than 40 services that Prestaste currently offers (social networks, information, internet search, entertainment) and read the news of DIARIO DE CUBA in real time.The app can be installed on any Android phone.Salvi Pascual, creator of Apretaste believes that “internet access can change people’s lives for good.”
Government will further increase taxes on entrepreneurs
As part of the regime’s offensive against the private sector, the taxes on the self-employed will increase even more. Radio Rebelde also explained that among the fiscal initiatives is the elimination of the exemption of payment by the first 5 employees, and that “control mechanisms” will be improved to avoid tax evasion.
Cuba-Venezuela trade collapsed by 70% since 2014
Trade between Cuba and Venezuela has dropped 70 percent since 2014. Bilateral trade has dropped from $ 7.3 billion in 2014 to $ 2,224 million in 2016. Venezuelan exports to Cuba, almost exclusively oil, fell to $ 1.6 billion and Cuba Only exported to Venezuela for $ 642,000 in 2016.
Syphilis cases have increased rapidly by 352% since 2008
The number of syphilis sufferers in Cuba soared by 352% between 2008 and 2016, according to the Statistical Yearbook, which reported a jump from 1,419 to 5,800 patients in 2016. The trend in 2017 continues to rise, according to figures released by the Institute ” Pedro Kourí “. This week 65 cases were reported, compared to 50 in the same period of 2016. Syphilis if not well treated can be deadly.
China relieves Venezuela as Cuba’s First Trading Partner
China overtook Venezuela as Cuba’s first trading partner, with an exchange of $ 2.585 billion in 2016, due to the deep Venezuelan economic crisis, which already caused a drastic reduction of bilateral trade with the island. China is today the only big customer Cuba has for its sugar exports.
Growing discontent between business owners and consumers in Cuba
The new measures announced by the Cuban government that prohibit the delivery of licenses to the most lucrative private businesses, and cancel it in some cases, have generated the discontent both of private entrepreneurs and consumers, who are directly affected by the rise in Prices due to the shortage of supply, and low wages.
Https://www.martinoticias.com/cuba-medias-unpopular-cierre-negocios-privado /151124. Html
Self employed Cubans keep their money under the mattress
Keeping the money at home, under the mattress or not, is the most reliable way for most account holders to manage their funds, since they do not trust the banks of the Castro regime. A new directive forces each account holder to have a bank account, but everyone suspects that it has to do with the government’s eagerness to control.
The government encourages people to cut trees to build homes
The alternative proposed by the regime in Guantánamo to build houses is to cut trees and with that wood build the buildings destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. The lack of equipment to transport materials, the scarce skilled labor and the low quality of the inputs, are among the main limitations for the construction of the houses.
State controls worsen the private transport in Mayarí
Since the government forced the passage of cars to lower the weight of cars by two pesos, the service, which covers 80% of urban transport in Mayarí, Holguín, fell. “We were happy when they lowered it, but now most of the coachmen do not want to go to Cocal, the busiest route because the trip is very long and it is not business,” said Andres, a passenger.
MININT steals food for homeless opponents
State Security stole eight large boxes of food that the Project Captain Tondique was distributing in the streets of Columbus to people in need, reported sources of dissent. The agents also arrested two of the activists of this project, Francisco Rangel Manzano and Nelson Acosta Ríos as they distributed these boxes of food.
Architects use artisan licenses to execute projects
In Cuba, architects are not allowed to set up an office or work on their own. They do not grant them licenses. That is why the architects who bet on staying on the island and aspire to get better wages than the state must overcome the limitations and apply for licenses of craftsmen or decorators to do something professionally.
Builders and contractors plan to return their licenses
Private construction workers and contractors in Havana plan to turn in their licenses. The shutdown of permits deliveries for private businesses will greatly reduce their clientele. “If we get the bills right, it is preferable not to pay the license or the taxes and face the fines of the inspectors for illegal work,” said Miguelito Zamora.
Pay for working: how much does a job in Cuba cost?
Armando, 30, wants to work the state sector but has barely managed to raise the money to buy the place he seeks. He went to a lender and sold furniture to get to the $ 600 he is asked by Cubataxi for a job as a chauffeur. A stevedore job costs $ 500, giving access to goods coveted on the black market.
The complaints against the new state co-operatives of taxi drivers
Inaugurated in June and subject to the State, Cooperative 1 of taxi drivers was created to improve transportation in Havana and to beat private taxi drivers. But the residents of October 10 and Arroyo Naranjo complain about the terrible service and corruption in that state-owned cooperative that does the Cast Electric-Vedado tour.
Dengue fever and conjunctivitis feared during carnivals
In Holguín, the epidemic of hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, dengue and zika, alarms the inhabitants, now worried that the contagion will increase in the carnivals about to begin in the municipality head of that province. Dexter Pérez Rodríguez, an activist at UNPACU, said that hospitals do not have the minimum conditions to care for those affected.
Https://www.martinoticias.com/cuba-holguin-zika-dengue-with juntivitis-hemorrhage/151059. Html
‘Cuba is a good market, but there are better ones,’ says US Secretary of Agriculture
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that while Cuba is a good market for American farmers, there are better ones in Southeast Asia, Europe, South Korea, Japan and others in developing countries . In a tour of the country, Perdue said that public money should not be used to finance food exports to Cuba.
Cuban government tightens the control over physicians abroad
Faced with an increase in desertions and the “deactivation of militants” of the PCC, which does not falter, in the various missions the MINSAP will be “a better selection” of those who will be sent abroad to confiscate 75% of their wages. Will reinforce control measures and the “political preparation” of Cuban doctors going to other countries.
Workers report big corruption in GAESA warehouses
Osmel Balmaseda was expelled from work after reporting missing tens of thousands of dollars in GAESA warehouses, the economic empire of the armed forces. Balmaseda was discharged for exposing the great corruption in his work center, where there are huge embezzlements and other manifestations of corruption.
Cuba holds the last place in the medal of the World of Athletics
The Cuban team was the last (38) of the World Athletics medalist in London. The only bronze medal was won by Beijing 2015 world champion Yarisley Silva in a pole vault. Despite the evident collapse of Castro’s athletics, the regime said in the press that it was “a good performance.”
Solomon Islands suspends sending medical students to Cuba
The authorities of the Solomon Islands, an independent country in Oceania, suspended the sending of medical students to Cuba. Returning Solomonans from Cuba can not even be called “doctors” until they receive local training. The measure is a setback for the communist government, which boasts of the quality of its doctors.
An exhibition of visual arts in Ciego de Avila is prohibited by the government
The Culture Directorate of Ciego de Avila banned an exhibition of visual poetry by the writer and journalist Francis Sánchez, who had initially approved the Provincial Council of Plastic Arts and would be held in a gallery of that institution. The writer won with the project of the exhibition, this same year, the prize of a scholarship of the Embassy of Norway.
The MININT prevents a rapper froom Santiago to travel abroad
State Security banned traveling to Miami on August 14 to reporter Omar Sayut Taquechel, organizer of the “Singing for Freedom” contest, and a member of UNPACU. Taquechel was arrested after a Customs official at Santiago de Cuba airport prevented him from boarding the plane. His lyrics are banned in Cuba.
Call for the ‘Third Open Classroom Blog Contest’
The ‘Aulas Abiertas’ project, based in Lima, Peru, invites bloggers, independent journalists and Cubans in general to participate in the contest “Third Open Contest of Blogs Openers”, 2017. The 10 best works will be selected. Its authors will be chosen as columnists of the opinion portal of Open Classrooms and receive $ 20 monthly.
Sabina: ‘It is tremendous how bad revolutions age’
“It’s tremendous how bad the revolutions age,” said Spanish singer-songwriter Joaquin Sabina in an interview in Chile. There is nothing more to see “what is happening today in Venezuela, or what has remained Castro Cuba.” He described as “pathetic” the development “utopias have had everywhere”, including those that generated the Cuban Revollution.