La Tienda de Cubanet

May 2005

May 25

Independent journalist sent to isolation cell for refusing to salute prison chief
Independent journalist Omar Moisés Ruiz Hernández was transferred to an isolation cell this week for refusing to salute the acting prison chief while he exercised in the patio at the Canaleta prison in Ciego de Avila.

Cuba said to have bought 400 buses from China
The Cuban government has let it be known that it has acquired 400 new Chinese buses. The news soon spread throughout the capital and raised hopes that the problems of mass transportation will be solved.

Man beaten by police after a failed attempt to flee Cuba in a motor boat
Adel García Acosta, 27, was beaten by police when he tried to escape custody after being detained trying to flee Cuba this week with 13 people, according to his wife.
Arsonists who torched house apprehended
Police said they filed charges against two men, whose names were given as Reinaldo and William, who said they had been paid 50 pesos to set fire to the house in which Raúl Gutiérrez, his wife and two minor children lived.
More than 20 cases of dengue fever found in Havana
Health authorities in Havana have placed hundreds of warning signs in the fashionable Plaza district of the city asking people who develop a fever to seek medical help after admitting over 20 cases of dengue fever to area hospitals.
Norway invites dissidents to National Day celebrations
The Norwegian chargé d'affaires, Mr. Johann Bive, traced the history of relations between the two countries to the beginning of the 20th Century when both countries achieved independence.

The Miami Herald
• Castro foes outline reform vision
• Dissidents' Havana organizing proceeds, undisturbed
• 'A triumph' in Cuba as dissidents gather
• Coll pleads guilty to lying
• Group urges Raúl Castro charges
• Dissidents not at meeting still pleased it was allowed
• Allegations against Posada grow
• Lawyers discuss property issues in post-Castro era
• Victims of distant conflict form ties with Cuban exiles

Yahoo! News
• EU lashes out at Cuba after expulsion of two lawmakers
• Cuba deports 13 would-be observers as first dissident conference opens
• Cuba blocks observers at dissident conference
• Europeans Urge Tougher Line on Cuba
• Castro: Cuba, U.S. Once Shared Terror Info

Chávez may plan on being new Castro
At the invitation of Venezuela's president, nearly 30,000 Cuban health care workers and sports instructors have spread out across Venezuela over the past two years offering free checkups, medicines and stretching classes.
Rare Opposition Gathering Opens in Cuba
With shouts of "Freedom" and the singing of the Cuban national anthem, more than 200 people on Friday opened a rare opposition assembly in communist Cuba, uninterrupted by authorities despite the expulsion of European lawmakers, journalists and others who planned to attend.
Yahoo! News.
Cuba dissidents debate democracy
Cuban dissidents have spent the last day of their defiant public meeting in Havana debating democracy bills.
BBC News, UK.

External links

Senator's story parallels paths of Cuban exiles
At a time when young men were rounded up on suspicion of inciting counterrevolution, the boy who would become the nation's first Cuban-American senator was an early convert to the cause of reversing Cuba's socialist transformation. Today, he recalls the period as a time filled with peril.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Fair makes old Cuba tangible
Every Saturday morning vendors arrive early, arranging their wares under a leafy canopy of palm and banyan trees. Foreigners and diplomats who scavenge for modest treasures here every weekend call it a flea market, but Cubans know it by another name: the Nostalgia Market.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Dissidents in Havana take united stand against Castro
Under a hand-painted banner proclaiming, "The homeland belongs to all," about 150 Cuban dissidents from across the island gathered for a landmark opposition meeting to demand freedom for political prisoners and debate the future of their fledging civic and political organizations.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Exile to Reveal Plan For Post-Castro Cuba
Political intrigues don't come any more epically scaled than this one: the future of Cuba after the inevitable death of Fidel Castro, the world's longest-reigning head of state and an American government nemesis like few others.
The Washington Post.

A Marielita describes her taking leave of Cuba
In the spring of 1980, Cuban President Fidel Castro opened the port of Mariel to allow Cubans less than happy with his revolution, people he referred to as "scum" and "worms," to escape his island gulag. More than 125,000 Cubans jumped at the chance and crossed the 90 miles of open water, in boats hired by their families, to Key West and a new life.
The Washington Times.

May 21

'A triumph' in Cuba as dissidents gather
In what organizers are describing as the largest and most public gathering of Cuban dissidents since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, a much anticipated reunion was not disrupted by the communist government Friday.
Information and Support Center.

Cuba detains, expels several foreign journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention and expulsion of several foreign journalists who traveled to Cuba to cover an unprecedented gathering today of opposition activists and international observers.
Committee to Protect Journalists.

Farmers fined, their produce confiscated, for trying to market it
Authorities in the municipality of Banes, Holguín province, imposed fines on at least three farmers and confiscated their produce for trying to sell it on their own, outside the government's procurement mechanism.

Seven young women and one Math teacher accused of prostitution
Authorities in Banes, Holguín province, arrested seven young women and a Mathematics instructor May 5, under charges of engaging in prostitution.

The Miami Herald
• All eyes are on dissidents' assembly
• Former rebel: Posada ordered torture
• Exiles reluctant to publicly back militant Posada
• Venezuela: Cuba wouldn't get Posada
• To find tribute to Celia, follow the salsa sounds

Yahoo! News
• Cuba Deports Two European Lawmakers
• Cuba's Democrats
• Venezuela says it will not hand Posada to Cuba if US extradites him
• Terror suspect Posada Carriles charged with illegal entry into US

European Governments Demand Answers From Cuba
European officials have reacted angrily to Cuba's expulsion of two lawmakers and the detention of at least two Polish journalists ahead of a dissident assembly.
VOA News.
A summit in Cuba to plan democracy
The world will witness a momentous event today in Cuba, if all goes as planned. More than 300 representatives of opposition groups plan to meet on the outskirts of Havana. Appropriately, this bold summit starts on Cuba's Independence Day.
The Miami Herald.
Message by President George W. Bush to commemorate Cuban Independence Day
"I am pleased to send greetings to all Cubans celebrating the 103rd anniversary of Cuban independence. We honor the warm family ties, the faith, the history, and the heritage that unite us all."

May 18

Allergy vaccines scarce in Cienfuegos
Several parents raised a ruckus Thursday morning at the Pediatric Hospital in Cienfuegos after they were told there was no allergy vaccine available to administer to their children.

Old and infirm complain their meat ration is spoiled
Consumers here complained the beef ration allotted to the old and infirm with special dietary needs and sold at the 8 de Octubre outlet May 9 was spoiled.

Citizen carrying chlorine container is arrested
A man walking down the street carrying a gallon container of chlorine was arrested by police last Wednesday in Santa Clara.

The Miami Herald
• Castro rallies Cubans against terror, Posada
• Cuban exile whisked away after his arrest
• Posada extradition issue poses major credibility challenge for U.S.
• U.S. arrests exile hours after Cuban march
• Posada speaks out in Miami
• Police short on Mariel release data

Yahoo! News
• Cuban Dissidents Set for Rare Meeting
• Sources: Cuban Exile Being Moved From State To State
• US caught between fighting terror and tense ties with Cuba, Venezuela
• Cuban in U.S. Denies Role in 1976 Attack
• Venezuela says it will not hand Posada to Cuba if US extradites him
• Cuba 'bomber' in US a test for Bush
• Cuba to switch computers to Linux, dumping Windows
• A Look at Luis Posada Carriles' Life
• Senior Chinese Official Meets With Castro

Member of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society In Cuba disappeared
Through a telephone call at 6 PM today, we were informed by Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, that member of the opposition movement and activist of the Assembly, Antuan Clemente Hernández, has disappeared, after receiving a citation from the political police (state security) on May 12th.
Information and Support Center.
U.S. finally says No to terror suspect
After accused terrorist Luis Posada Carriles made a mockery of the federal agency charged with homeland security, it finally did its job: The Department of Homeland Security arrested him yesterday.
The Miami Herald.
Veteran dissident still dreams of Cuban democracy after 40 yearst
Gustavo Arcos Bergnes, the most veteran of Cuba's opposition leaders, still dreams of seeing his homeland shake off the communist system that compelled him to break with Fidel Castro almost four decades ago.
Tallahassee Democrat, Florida.
Contreras is stable and ready to take off
Most of the White Sox players ignore the kids clamoring for autographs near the visitors' dugout in Oakland. But Jose Contreras stops and squiggles his name for practically every youngster there, chatting in his broken English.
Sporting News.
For Cuban Retirees, Years Are Anything But Golden
Sometimes, the 69-year-old retiree has nothing but eggs and rice to put on his family's table for days on end.
Tampa Bay Online, Florida.
Cuban civil society
Despite Fidel Castro's prisons holding ever more dissenters in foulconditions, courageous Cubans will be in Havana on May 20 for a general meeting of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba.
Hentoff. The Washington Times.
Cuban family seeks asylum
Family members of Cuban refugee Juan Jose Haber Guerra, arrived in Grand Cayman from New York on Sunday evening to meet with lawyers and help him apply for political asylum.
Cayman Net News.
Rafael Diaz-Balart's long fight for Cuba
That's the image many Westerners have of Fidel Castro. Oliver Stone has called the dictator "one of the Earth's wisest people." Other media moguls, actors and intellectuals have traveled to Havana to pay homage and make small talk about cigars.
Jewish World Review

External links

Lifeline thrown to Cuba
Diplomats and experts have been wondering where Castro is getting the cash for such initiatives, given that in recent years the country has suffered poor domestic production, chronic power blackouts and anemic economic growth.
Chicago Tribune.

Profile: Cuban 'plane bomber'
Posade Carriles: "I've always believed in the armed struggle" Terror suspect Luis Posada Carriles poses a double headache for the United States: his alleged crimes relate to Cuba and its ally Venezuela, and he is a former CIA employee.

'War on terror' at odds with 'war on Castro'?
Cuban and Venezuelan demands for extradition of ex-CIA 'terrorist' suspect pose challenge for US.
Christion Science Monitor.

May 13

Woman selling artificial flowers for Mother's Day fined
A 55-year-old nurse trying to supplement her income by selling artificial flowers for Mother's Day said police and government inspectors fined her 100 pesos and confiscated her merchandise.

Medical post closed for lack of doctors
The urgent care medical post next to the El Cerro bus station in Havana has been closed until further notice due to the scarcity of physicians occasioned by the wholesale shipment of doctors to other countries.

Cuban doctor in Angola possible Marburg victim
A Cuban physician who died March 22 while working in Angola may have been a victim of the epidemic of the Marburg virus that has already killed 316 in the African country, his friends and relatives in Cuba say.
Student, 14, attempts suicide
A 14-year-old student at the Juan Olaiz high school in Cienfuegos took approximately 40 tablets of an unspecified psychiatric drug in an apparent attempt to take her own life.
Police crack down on street vendors in Holguin province
Twenty street vendors were arrested in their homes last week in the municipality of Banes in Holguin province and charged with selling without a license.
Disturbance squashed at Combinado del Este prison
Authorities last week put down an uprising by common criminals in the Combinado del Este prison on the outskirts of the capital, according to reports from a political dissident imprisoned there.
Attempted theft at cigarette factory detected
Someone attempted to steal 19,000 pesos worth of cigarette paper from a factory in Ranchuelo, but the security detail detected the shipment under the refuse in the garbage truck.

The Miami Herald
• Bolton nomination figure known as expert on Cuba
• Cuban hip-hop artists moving forward, left behind
• Mariel artists' contributions are saluted
• Artistic and dramatic, monthlong showcase has it all
• Papers connect exile to bomb plot
• Pope appoints new bishop in Cuba

Yahoo! News
• Castro Defends Fugitive Sought by U.S.
• Cuban terror suspect seeking US asylum was on CIA payroll: documents
• Cuban terror suspect seeking US asylum was on CIA payroll: documents
• Freedom Flight, a Comedy Starring a Fidel Castro Character and Celebrated in The Latin Community, Is a Hit!
• US says has no Venezuela extradition request for accused Cuba bomber

Troopers slam Castro for comment
Indignant New Jersey troopers blasted Cuban leader Fidel Castro yesterday for calling convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard a "political prisoner'' and victim of American racism.
The Trentonian, NJ.
Crackdown on Cuba's disaffected youth
Cuba's government is repressive. Its latest crackdown targets so-called ''anti-social'' youths, most of them black. Since January more than 400 people have been imprisoned, almost every one of them black.
The Miami Herald.
Dissidents get OK to visit Cuba
The United States has given members of the anti-Castro Cuban American National Foundation permission to travel to Cuba for a meeting of dissidents May 20.
World Peace Herald, DC.
A piece of American dream
Like the hundreds of thousands of Cuban immigrants before them, Pedro and Mirka Heredia came to the United States with a dream and not much else.
The Arizona Republic.
How Castro's doctrine denied Mario millions
Although Amir Khan is brimming with confidence ahead of his clash with Mario Kindelan in Bolton tomorrow, Britain's new boxing sensation is facing mission impossible.
Evening Standard. UK.

May 9

Mother's Day for the Ladies in White
The Ladies in White have undertaken a campaign that has transcended our borders in its goal of obtaining freedom for their loved ones.

The Miami Herald
• Ex-officer: Bomb suspect lying
• Relatives of Italian killed in Havana bombing want to testify against Posada
• Fighter for a free Cuba eulogized at funeral Mass
• U.S. rockers Audioslave put on landmark show
• Cuban-American icon dies of leukemia

Yahoo! News
• Cuban political prisoners' wives warn against dissident congress
• Castro says US invasion will set South America on fire

Against all odds in Cuba
Paired with the ration card, the kitchen has become a symbol of desperation for Cuban women, especially as Cuban society divides.
Frank Calzon, The Miami Herald.
Export of workers
They come from all over the island. Women and men. Black and white, mostly young. They are the Cuban poor looking for an opportunity to save a few euros to help their families. They are eager to know and learn about the world and willing to travel to far, unknown places.
Jaime Suchlicki, The Miami Herald.
Spear recalls brush with death in Cuba
Inside a tidy ranch home high on a ridge, Maine Agriculture Commissioner Robert Spear sits on a blue sofa, his right arm swathed in bandages and resting high on a pillow.
Bangor Daily News. ME.
A whole new ball game for brave Cuban guests
They come from the balmy Caribbean ... but these two brave Cuban teenagers got their first taste of a different sun-soaked 'paradise'.
Evening Times, UK.

External links

Federal judge rules against demonstrators in raid to get Elian
A federal judge Friday ruled against awarding damages to 13 people who were tear-gassed during the raid to seize 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez five years ago.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Cuban Exile Could Test U.S. Definition of Terrorist
From the United States through Latin America and the Caribbean, Luis Posada Carriles has spent 45 years fighting a violent, losing battle to overthrow Fidel Castro. Now he may have nowhere to hide but here.
The New York Times.

'My best friend Che'
Ernesto "Che" Guevara may be an icon of revolution to millions, but for Alberto Granado he was a friend. He tells the story of their extraordinary friendship for a BBC Two documentary.

May 6

Cuban political prisoner goes on hunger strike
David García Capote, who's been serving a 30-year prison sentence since 1999 on charges of trafficking in humans, went on a hunger strike at the end of April, according to his sister, Zenayda García Capote.

Cuban olympic medalist given confiscated dwelling
Cuban authorities have given to Olympic silver medalist Yaneliys Labrada Díaz a house taken from a family that says it had purchased it for US$5,000.

Alternative Republican Movement chooses dissident prisoner as its president
Orlando Zapata Tamayo, currently in prison, last week was elected president of the dissident Alternative Republican Movement at a meeting held by members in the capital.
AIDS medicines scarce in sanatorium in Cuba
The irregularity and delay in distribution of medicines for AIDS patients in the Aguas Claras sanatorium, in Holguín province, are jeopardizing the lives of dozens of patients, said Arnaldo Pino, one of those affected.
Woman barricades herself to prevent eviction
Yudinela Caridad Castro barricaded herself in the home she occupied April 14 in the Párraga neighborhood of Havana, after Arroyo Naranjo municipal housing authorities threatened to evict her.

The Miami Herald
• Rare Cuban sound: U.S. rock
• Cuban exile, father of two Florida congressmen, dies
• Nation may seek militant's extradition from the U.S.
• Vermont food trade deal signed

Yahoo! News
• Cuba's Castro Criticizes New OAS Leader
• Venezuela, Cuba to Team Up on Shipyard

U.S.-Havana chill prods Loyola to pull the plug on Cuba program
Bowing to criticism that it could get sucked into the battle between Washington and Havana, Chicago's Loyola University has suspended a U.S. government-funded program to provide English language courses to adults in a poor Havana neighborhood, a university spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Chicago Tribune.
Axis of Subversion
Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are not the only ones opposed to President Bush's nominee for U.N. Ambassador, John Bolton. In his annual May Day speech earlier this month, Cuba's Fidel Castro used the occasion to rail against Bolton.
Weekly Standard.
Marti shown to be complex 'Divine' figure
An oversized statue at the entrance to Central Park freezes the moment Jose Marti entered the pantheon of Latin American independence heroes, rearing back on his horse, frock coat flapping, as Spanish bullets strike his body.
Myrtle Beach Online.

May 3

Weather allows Florida's TV into Cuban homes
Because of climatic conditions, television signals from South Florida have been received in some Cuban homes the past few days.

The health of imprisoned dissident Héctor Palacios Ruiz said to deteriorate
Gisela Delgado Sablón says that her husband, Héctor Palacios Ruiz, a political dissident serving a 25-year prison sentence, is deteriorating.

Mother of dissident jailed since 1987 says her son is in poor health
The mother of political prisoner Arturo Suárez Ramos, imprisoned since 1987 on charges of piracy alter he tried to illegally leave the island, is in poor health, his mother says.
Customers prefer private ice-cream shops
The opening of a privately-run ice-cream shop April 26 makes seven in the small municipality of Ranchuelo, in central Cuba, and points to an odd phenomenon in Cuba, where just about everything is run by the government.
Cubans who tried to sep haven in the Mexican Embassy sentenced
Twenty-three Cubans who sought asylum in the Mexican Embassy have received prison sentences ranging from tour to 18 years.
Political prisoner starts a hunger strike to protest lack of medical treatment
Political prisoner Ricardo Pupo Sierra slipped a note out of the Vista Alegre prison last week saying that he had started a hunger strike to protest lack of proper medical treatment.

The Miami Herald
• Castro wants Posada expelled
• 18 Cubans were smuggled, U.S. Border Patrol suspects
• Confiscated art is now off-limits
• Cuba and Venezuela forge trade partnership
• Chávez, Castro bolster alliance

Yahoo! News
• Suspect Stirs Memories of Attack in Cuba
• Toby Keith Entertains Troops on a USO Tour to Cuba, Germany, Belgium and the Persian Gulf
• Agent's Ex-Wife to Get Frozen Cuban Funds

Cuba played secret role in Vietnam War
Cuba has disclosed its military engineers took part in the widening of the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail in the midst of Vietnam's war with the US, according to an interview with a Cuban participant in the official paper Juventud Rebelde.
Brisbane Courier Mail, Australia.
Castro's largesse troubles economists
Cuban President Fidel Castro recently sent a team of economists on a secret mission as part of his campaign to put a brake on growing poverty and social stratification in what was once one of the world's most egalitarian societies.
Financial Times, UK.
Group for Social and Corporate Responsibility in Cuba acts to protect workers' rights
In observance of International Worker's Day, the Group for Social and Corporate Responsibility in Cuba today called on the Cuban regime and foreign investors in Cuba to respect worker's rights as outlined in the International Labor Organization's conventions recently ratified by Cuba.
Harold Doan and Associates, CA.
Cuban product may give fillip to prawn industry
Prawn and shrimp breeders will be able to breathe easy soon with a biotech product that could make their fry resistant to diseases such as the dreaded white-spot virus.
New Straits Times, Malaysia.
Cuban teenagers are ready to walk again
Ernesto Lopez and Yamelis Salazar are having prosthetic limbs fitted thanks to £10,000 raised by council workers.
Glasgow Evening Times, UK.
Play ball: B.C. teacher helps Cuban relive glory
Canadian tries to get recognition for former major-league pitcher, 94, forgotten by the baseball establishment.
The Globe and Mail. Canada.
Cuba, the U.N. Human Rights Commission and the OAS Race
The vote on Cuba seems to have become a reference point for Latin American governments to characterize their ideology, as leftist and left-of-center countries have traditionally abstained or voted against the resolutions.
Harold Doan and Associates, CA.

External links

Book says Cuba site's information exaggerated
A former commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison exaggerated the value of information gleaned from detainees and knew that aggressive intelligence teams were staging friendly interrogations for visiting lawmakers and senior military officers, according to a former Army interpreter stationed there two years ago.
Boston Globe.

Chávez courts Castro
While the Bush administration's relations with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez plummet, the leftist firebrand leader is deepening alliances with Cuba's Fidel Castro, converting a close personal friendship into economic and political gain for both Latin leaders.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Rivals duel over Cuba policy
Even as activists from across the country gathered in the Capital on Wednesday to protest U.S. sanctions against Cuba, pro-embargo members of Congress announced the formation of a new group that will work to further isolate Fidel Castro's government..
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

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