Sunday, November 29, 2009

Independent press struggle novel

From the Latin American Herald Tribune:
Online Novel Details Struggle for Press Freedom in Cuba
By Ana Mendoza
MADRID – Exiled Cuban author and journalist Julio San Francisco documents the struggle for press freedom in his homeland in “Prensa Gulag,” an online novel that the co-founder of an independent news agency on the island has been working on for much of his life.
Click here for the whole story.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Movimiento Independiente Opción Alternativa realiza primer taller de periodismo independiente

Segun el Directorio Democratico Cubano:

Este primer taller de periodismo independiente se prolongará durante cuatro domingos sucesivos, y en el mismo se impartirán nociones fundamentales del periodismo que incluyen fundamentos, ética, objetividad, transparencia e inmediatez, según explicara el periodista independiente Jesús Galván Fernández, quien funge como profesor de los activistas que asisten al mencionado taller. En este sentido el comunicador agregó que los graduados de este taller conformarán el futuro Centro de Información del MIOA a la vez que proseguirán profundizando materia informativa hasta convertirse en periodistas independientes. Según palabras textuales Jesús Galván expresó, “este taller es una necesidad, pues el pueblo cubano tiene derecho a una información objetiva y es por ellos que los egresados trabajarán bajo el precepto Martiano de que la palabra se ha hecho para decir la verdad y no para encubrirla.”

Para mas información haz clic aqui

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toilet paper is running out in Cuba, but there is no shortage of penises

Prosthetic penises, that is.

No word yet on how or whether the fake phalluses will be rationed.

From AFP (via the Independent Online):
Penis implants for the sexually challenged

Cuba's government has offered its first free penis implants, part of a program set to be expanded across the communist island, an official newspaper has reported.

It is likely not what Karl Marx had in mind when he imagined a society transformed "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs," but Juventud Rebelde reported on Friday that the silicon and silver penis implants are set to become more common.

Men in seven Cuban provinces will be eligible for the procedure, which urologist Juan Carlos Yip boasted was normally "exclusive to first world countries and at a high cost.

"It will be carried out in patients whose sexual suffering does not respond positively to traditional treatments."

Those over 40s and those with diabetes or circulation problems are set to be first in line the paper reported.

Click here for the story.

Now, we all know that Cuba's government has a knack for catchy slogans. So let's offer suggestions. Call it an "exchange" of sorts. What slogans should the Cuban government consider using to promote this revolutionary new program?

Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

UPDATE: I have been come to understand that these are not actually prosthetic penises... but they are... something?... that is implanted in the penis to aid with erections. I'm not a doctor, and that doesn't make this any less ridiculous if you ask me.

It should be noted that any views on penile implants are their author's and do not reflect any penile implant-related views of Raíces de Esperanza, Inc.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Willy Chirino's exchange proposal

From the Miami Herald:

Cultural exchange a one-way policy

Willy Chirino, Pedro Pan kid turned Cuban-American salsero, has an offer for Raúl. Yeah, that Raúl, Fidel Castro's little brother now running that prison paradise across the Florida Straits.

``Let them pick and choose a bunch of their artists, the ones that represent the revolution the most . . . and come here to this city in the place they choose for a concert in which they express exactly what it is they want to express. Freedom for the five spies or whatever,'' Chirino tells me, taking a dramatic pause for effect.

In exchange, he notes ``let us Cuban artists who live outside the island, Gloria Estefan, my wife Lissette [Alvarez], Marisela Verena, Amaury Gutierrez, Albita [Rodriguez], just to mention a few'' hold a concert in Cuba with Cuban punk rockers like Gorki Aguila, rappers like Silvito El Libre and other artists who ``really have the courage inside the island to be able to use their music as a way of communicating the real struggle.''

Wouldn't you start a riot? I ask him.


Click here for the whole story and a video of the interview.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reinaldo's invitation to dialog answered with an act of repudiation

In this video, Reinaldo Escobar, husband of Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, is harassed by a mob carrying out an act of repudiation simply because he wanted to exchange peacefully with the people responsible for the beating of his wife.

"These figures can look at you but cannot speak..."

From NPR:

Cuba Was A Canvas For Artist Belkis Ayon

Ten years ago, one of Cuba's leading young artists took her own life, with no warning to family or friends. Her name was Belkis Ayon, and a major exhibit of her work is now under way in Havana. The event has revived an enduring mystery in Cuba — about art, African myths and the shadowy, all-male secret society known as Abakua.
Belkis Ayon

The Abakua world Ayon depicted is of sharply contrasting black and white tones. Many of her characters appear with intense, even fearful expressions in their eyes. They lack mouths, which art historian Cristina Figueroa says is a commentary on the oral tradition's secrecy.
Click here for the whole story and a slide show featuring some of Ayon's work.

"Ningún estado puede dar lo que no tiene"

De Diario Las Américas:
Prensa vende intento de Raúl de desmontar el “paternalismo” de Fidel

Por Antonio Martínez

La prensa oficial cubana intenta vender en estos días el proyecto del general Raúl Castro de desmantelar el “paternalismo” y los subsidios generalizados que caracterizaron el medio siglo de Gobierno de su hermano y antecesor Fidel.

“Ningún Estado puede dar lo que no tiene”, titula hoy en lo alto de su primera plana el diario Granma, portavoz del gobernante Partido Comunista, del que aún es primer secretario Fidel Castro a pesar de que lleva más de tres años sin aparecer en público por una enfermedad que le obligó a dejar la Presidencia.


Haz click aquí para el artículo completo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 18: Dr. Julia E. Sweig Presents Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know

In collaboration with The Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, Books & Books will host Julia E. Sweig on Nov. 18, as she comes to Miami to present her latest book, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. Dr. Sweig is the Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies and the Director of Latin American Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a leading expert on Cuba, Latin America, and US policy toward the region.

In her latest book, published in June 2009, Dr. Sweig makes use of two decades of research to shed light on the complexities of Cuban reality and its politics.

If you're in Miami, mark your calendars!
Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 8:00 PM
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, FL

For additional information about Dr. Sweig and her work, please visit her homepage.

Mensaje de solidaridad para el pueblo cubano

Joan Fernández de República Dominicana

Monday, November 9, 2009

Music that Helped Bring Down the Wall

From the New York Times:
Musicians Who Poked at the Iron Curtain
Guitars, keyboards and drums did not topple the Berlin Wall. But for the young people who helped bring down Communist regimes across Eastern Europe in the fall of 1989, pop music was a profoundly subversive force, inspiration and vital tool of protest for challenging and undermining a totalitarian state stricter than any parent.
They saw themselves as rebels with a cause, punks whose lyrics railing against the status quo often carried a heavy cost, including surveillance and the danger of being labeled social parasites because their music could not be legally recorded, played or broadcast.
Click here for the full article.

As more and more Cuban musicians stand up against the status quo it is great to know that what they are doing has been proven to make a difference.

Mensaje de solidaridad para el pueblo cubano

Ricardo Salas de Costa Rica

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009