La Tienda de Cubanet
May 2008
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A Mercenary and Dangerous Old Man

By Leonel Alberto Pérez Belette

Havana (May 2008 – Cubanet) Members of the political police harassed an 80 year old opponent in his own home to prevent him from blemishing the festivities of the first of May. 

Alfredo Guilleuma Rodriguez has become a "danger" for the authorities of the state.  So much so that the State decided to place to two police officers and a member of the Committee of Defense of the Revolution (CDR) on his doorstep with the objective to stop him from leaving his dwelling on May Day. 



Reflections on Fidel Castro

Tania Diaz Castro
HAVANA, Cuba, April, (www.cubanet.org) - In 1959, after traveling triumphantly through the island dressed like a guerrilla, bearded, with a rosary around his neck, Fidel Castro was seen by many as the new Messiah.


Reporteros sin Fronteras / Comunicado de prensa / 31 de marzo de 2008

We all want to know

In a store where goods are sold in CUCs (convertible pesos) located in La Puntilla, on the corner of First Avenue and Zero Street, in Miramar, by the municipal beach, people are lost in the contemplation of a special bin of apples from Virginia, USA.  The large, red apples seem more like wax table decorations for the center of table.  They beckon deliciously, but they cost 0.40 CUC. 


One Step Back

We welcome the news that Fidel Castro has stepped down as Cuban leader.  Forty-nine years as the head of a dictatorial regime which has deprived the nation of truly free elections is hardly an honorable mark of distinction.


The Uncertain Future of Cuba

By Dolia Leal Francisco

HAVANA, Cuba, February (www.cubanet.org) - Most studies of the current Cuban situation agree that in the, short-term, there will be important changes in the country.

Felipe Perez Roque Admits that the Dual Monetary System is Unjust
HAVANA, Cuba, January 24, 2008, Alvaro Yero Felipe, (Free Association Agency / www,cubanet.org ) -The Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations, Felipe Pérez Roque, stated in front of some 60 people that the circulation of the two types of currency on the island prevents citizens from acquiring basic necessities.

Apparent Calm by Laritza Diversent
January 11, 2008

HAVANA, Cuba – The tranquility that one might sense at the moment from Cuba’s political landscape is hardly synonymous with calm. The significance of certain facts, which have been mostly overlooked, is evidence of the regime’s fear and insecurity. The stale image of Fidel Castro that displays his biographical information in the massive campaign for his nomination as a national deputy has invoked indignation and laughter.

Personal testimony
November 16, 2007, APLO Press
Kilo 8 Prison, Camagüey, Cuba
The Miami Herald
• Minnesota's agriculture commissioner going to Cuba
• Huge migrant tent city planned for Gitmo
• CIA to honor Bay of Pigs vets at its art gallery
• Appeal deals blow to Cuban father
• Media group criticizes acts by Cuba, Venezuela
Cuba, Venezuela Increase Economic Ties
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba's interim leader Raul Castro oversaw the signing Monday of economic partnerships in areas ranging from oil production to tourism as the nations moved to further integrate their economies.
Yahoo! News.
Cuba may be considering a more market-driven economy
Two dozen theater workers recently sat around a sun-splashed garden cafeteria in the Vedado neighborhood. They had been summoned by bosses to discuss Cuba's economic woes.
Ray Sánchez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
US challenges Castro to have dialogue with people
The United States on Monday challenged ailing Cuban President Fidel Castro to hold dialogue with his people, following his much publicized live media appearance with his Venezuelan ally Hugo Chavez.
Yahoo! News.
Long-absent Castro speaks live on TV
Cubans heard their ailing President Fidel Castro joking and chattering as he spoke live for the first time in months on a television show hosted by his Venezuelan ally Hugo Chavez.
Yahoo! News.
Chávez destabilizes, and U.S. pays bill
Chávez is following Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's script -- create conflicts with domestic and foreign ''enemies'' and claim you are defending a larger-than-life revolution in order to stay in power forever. Only difference is, with oil prices at a record $87 a barrel, Chávez is doing it with tons of money.
Andres Oppenheimer, .The Miami Herald.
Cuba's upcoming elections are neither free nor fair
People in Need, a Czech human rights and development NGO, calls upon the media and policy makers not to confuse the elections in Cuba with what are commonly called elections in democratic countries.
People in Need.
Parliamentary Elections in today's Cuba
It is a well-known that Cuba's current political system originates from the Constitution of 1975, which went into effect in 1976.
René Gómez Manzano.
Municipal elections in Cuba
Elections for delegates of the municipal assemblies of People's Power have begun in Cuba. These elections are of considerable importance for two reasons.
René Gómez Manzano.

October 6

The Miami Herald
• 2 used 'church' to violate Cuba travel ban
• Fidel, Cuba pay homage to Che
• Plan for post-Castro Cuba outlined
• Canadian firms offer Cuban healthcare to U.S. Canadian patients

Bush calls for release of all Cuba's political prisoners
President George W. Bush Wednesday called for the release of Jose Luis Garcia Paneque and all other political prisoners held in Cuba, after meeting the dissident reporter's family at the White House.
Yahoo! News.
Cuba may be considering a more market-driven economy
Two dozen theater workers recently sat around a sun-splashed garden cafeteria in the Vedado neighborhood. They had been summoned by bosses to discuss Cuba's economic woes.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Castro 'lucid and at full capacity'
Fidel Castro is "lucid" and mentally is "at full capacity," Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said on Thursday following a two-day visit to Havana.
Yahoo! News.
Cuban-Americans help Ukrainian children
On Monday, it was nine Ukrainian children playing with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium while waiting to be fitted with free prosthetic limbs.
Yahoo! News.
28 killed in bus, train crash in Cuba
A bus collided with a train in eastern Cuba, killing at least 28 people and injuring another 73, including 15 reported to be in critical condition, state television said late Saturday.
Yahoo! News.

October 5

The Miami Herald
• CIA officer named to Cuba-Venezuela post
• Planning for land claims after Fidel is gone
• Judge: Cuban girl to spend more time with dad
• Cuban diplomat: Mexico immigration accord needed

U.S. faults Cuba for visa shortfall
The United States issued only about 15,000 of the 20,000 emigrant visas it had agreed to issue to Cubans during the last fiscal year, American authorities said Monday, and they blamed Cuban officials for the shortfall.
Yahoo! News.
Cuban dissidents denounce break-up of protest
Cuban dissident leaders denounced Friday the police detention of 47 activists attempting to hold a street protest in Havana on behalf of political prisoners.
Yahoo! News.
Cuba ends controversy over Che Guevara's body
Cuba has confirmed that the body found at a grave in Bolivia's Vallegrande town was that of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, thus ending a controversy over the authenticity of the body of the socialist revolutionary who was slain by Bolivian army in 1967.
Yahoo! News.
US readies for 'mass exodus' from Cuba after Castro
The US government is prepared for a possible mass exodus of Cubans after the death of elderly leader Fidel Castro, US-Cuba transition coordinator Caleb McCarry said.
Yahoo! News.
Castro says ex-Spanish prime minister Aznar urged bombing of Serbian media
Fidel Castro on Sunday accused former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar of urging Washington to bomb Serbian radio and television stations during NATO's participation in the war in Kosovo.
Yahoo! News.
Few Manitobans become 'medical tourists' in Cuba
A Manitoba company offering "foreign surgery for the middle classes" is finding most of its patients come from the Maritimes and the United States, not its home province.
Yahoo! News.
Cuban VP Calls for Greater Efficiency
Cuba needs to produce higher-quality goods more efficiently, cut graft and reduce reliance on gasoline, a major economic leader said in remarks published Sunday.
Yahoo! News.
Cuba to open new stage in foreign investment
In what may be seen as an attempt to open up its economy, Cuba is preparing to invite more foreign investment in a 'new climate' in the country and to prevent errors committed in the past, Foreign Investment Minister Marta Lomas said.
Yahoo! News.
The Cubanization of Venezuelan schools
There have been plenty of signs that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is poised to take over as the anti-imperialist leader of the Americas, a position until now held unofficially by ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. It is now evident that Chavez is no longer trying to take baby steps toward an authoritarian regime.
Maria Elena Salinas. NorthJersey.com.
Catholic church losing strength in Cuba
On a January morning nearly 10 years ago, Archbishop Pedro Meurice introduced a papal mass here in the island's second-largest city by boldly accusing the state of corrupting the moral traditions of Cuba.
Ray Sanchez. Sun-Sentinel.
Cabinet official assesses Cuban economy
Cuba needs to produce higher-quality goods more efficiently, cut graft and reduce reliance on gasoline, a major economic leader said in remarks published Sunday.
Yahoo! News.

September 28

The candy man
I woke up early today and accompanied my neighbor Felipe on his daily route around the city. He's a 68 year-old retiree who devotes himself to selling candies made by his wife. Felipe is an electrician by trade and he worked for thirty years.
PINAR DEL RIO, Rafael Ferro Salas

Disidents and family of prisioners protesting in HavanaCuba releases 40 dissidents arrested Thursday: opposition
The Cuban government has released around 40 people it had detained for trying join a small but bold Havana street protest headed by a leading dissident, an opposition human rights group said Friday.
Yahoo! News.
The Miami Herald
• Cuban dissidents freed after brief detention
• 18 Cuban migrants arrive at gas station
• Cuban dad wins ruling but not custody -- yet
• Two dozen dissidents rounded up in Havana
• Cuban archbishop: Religious freedom slowly spreading on island
• Cuban girl's rights to be next decision
• Cuban official assails Bush
• Photo shows heavier-looking Fidel Castro standing, meeting with Angolan president
Castro's daughter recalls homeland for Berks audience
She describes her father as a tall, hairy man wreathed in cigar smoke whose image replaced the cartoons she watched on television as a child.
Félix Alfonso Peña. Reading Eagle.
Legacy of Cuban Singer Honored
Salsa singer Celia Cruz came from humble origins in Cuba to become a larger than life persona known for her unforgettable performances.
Ramiro Burr -- San Antonio Express-News.
Cuba detains at least 21 dissidents: activist
Cuba has cracked down on a bold demonstration organized by the leading woman dissident in the Americas' only communist-ruled country.
Yahoo! News.
Music, Not Politics, Moves Chucho Valdes
The comparsa drums are thundering, but it's the piano driving the beat with a furious array of improvisations that blend raw Afro-Cuban rhythms with the toe-tapping, head-bobbing beats of straight jazz.
Yahoo! News.
Chinese automaker Yutong exports more buses to Cuba
Chinese automaker Yutong Group Co. Ltd. has delivered 200 mass transit buses to Cuba, the first such China-made vehicles ever exported, a company spokesman said.
Yahoo! News.
Bush urges U.N. to spread freedom
President Bush announced new sanctions Tuesday against the military dictatorship in Myanmar, accusing it of imposing "a 19-year reign of fear" that denies basic freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.
Yahoo! News.
Bush says Castro rule near end, urges 'free' polls in Cuba
US President George W. Bush, in a speech to the UN General Assembly here Tuesday, called for "free and competitive elections" in Cuba, saying the long rule of ailing President Fidel Castro "is nearing its end."
Yahoo! News.
Cubans walk out during Bush UN speech
Cuba's foreign minister walked out of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday in protest of President Bush's speech in which he said the "long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end" on the communist island.
Yahoo! News.
Castro mocks rumors of his death in TV interview
Fidel Castro's reappearance on state television has dispelled rumors of his death, but left open the question whether the ailing Cuban leader could emerge from his long convalescence to take back the reins of power.
Yahoo! News.
Miami Cubans skeptical of Castro on TV
Cubans in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood expressed a mixture of skepticism and disappointment Friday at Fidel Castro's first appearance on Cuban television in three months.
Yahoo! News.

September 20

The unfinished plaza
The majority of people were excited when they heard the news. After many years this city would have a civic plaza. Every province in Cuba has one.
PINAR DEL RIO, Rafael Ferro Salas

The Miami Herald
• 'Cuba's future must be democratic,' U.S. diplomat says
• 5 Cubans spared death penalty in attempted hijacking
• Cuba's trade prospects challenging
• Arturo Sandoval: On a mission to elevate jazz
Normando Hernandez, an extremely ill Cuban prisoner of conscience, is moved to a Havana hospital
Officials of State Security carried out the move in the early morning hours on Friday, September 14th, and according to what they told his wife, Yaraí Reyes Marín, the prisoner will be given a general checkup.
Tania Maceda Guerra. Payo Libre.
Cuba Has Better Health Care Than U.S.?
Communist countries are famous for hiding the truth. Twenty years ago, when I reported from the Soviet Union, officials insisted there were no poor people in Russia, but they refused to let me look for myself.
John Stossel. Real Politics.
Missionaries pray for Castro's health
No one knows how his death would affect restrictions on religion.
Sherri Day. Tampa Bay.
Cuba: Government, UN Seek to Boost Impact of Aid
Cuba and the United Nations have agreed to concentrate their cooperation on five areas in the next few years, in order to avoid spreading resources too thinly, and to increase synergy between projects.
Patricia Grogg, IPS. .
Cubans find fast, illegal path to U.S.
A multimillion-dollar human-smuggling enterprise is bringing thousands of Cubans to the United States on speedboats at a price of up to $10,000 a head, and the flourishing business has increased the number of Cubans illegally entering the country by double-digit percentages in each of the past three years.
Carol J. Williams, The Seattle Times.
Jailed Cuban writer, extremely ill, hospitalized; may be freed
Hernandez Gonzalez is one of 59 writers still imprisoned following a 2003 crackdown on dissidents. At the time, 75 writers were arrested, tried and convicted of "endangering the state's independence or territorial integrity.''
Jeremy Gerard. Bloomberg.
Cubans wonder where their Web access went
At a government-run Internet cafe inside a Havana post office, the 1,942 Cubans signed up to use the computers were left with a question this summer: Why had the government abruptly cut their Internet access, leaving them only with e-mail on a state account?
Michael Martinez, Chicago Tribune.
Closing arguments in Cuban custody case
A Cuban farmer fighting for custody of his 5-year-old daughter made virtually no effort to be a parent when the girl left the island nation with her mother, state child welfare attorneys said in closing arguments Wednesday.
Yahoo! News.
Angolan president to visit Cuba
Angola's veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is to embark on a three-day official visit to long-time ally Cuba on Wednesday, state media reported.
Yahoo! News.
Cuba: US Embargo Has Cost Over $89B
Washington's 45-year-old embargo has cost Cuba more than $89 billion to date, wreaking havoc on everything from primary education to pest control and nearly all other facets of island life, the foreign minister said
Yahoo! News.
Nebraska Planning Cuba Trade Trip
A Nebraska delegation this fall will be making another trade trip to Cuba. Governor Dave Heineman said he's going to lead the agriculture-based group to the island nation in November.
Yahoo! News.
Thompson Discusses Cuba During Visit To Miami
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson blamed Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday for the publicity surrounding his remark suggesting Cuban immigrants are bringing suitcase bombs to the United States.

September 17

The Miami Herald
• Castro's 9/11 idea defended
• Cuban dad's lawyers will call no witnesses

Cuba Perks Show a Post-Fidel Touch
Interim Ruler Raul Castro Takes Small Steps to Improve Cubans' Lives, but Are They Enough?
Yahoo! News.
Behind Che Guevara's mask, the cold executioner
A revisionist biography has highlighted Guevara's involvement in countless executions of "traitors" and counter-revolutionary "worms", offering a fresh glimpse of the dark side of the celebrated guerrilla fighter who helped Fidel Castro to seize power in Cuba.
Matthew Campbell. Times Online.
Cuban woman tells tales of human smuggling
Word about potential smuggling voyages comes to her almost weekly, a 24-year-old woman named Adiany says.

September 11

The Miami Herald
• Cuban dad asked in court about sex life
• Cuban dad breaks down in custody case
• Cuban girl's mother is pressed: Why the lies?
• For Dad's neighbors, dispute not complicated
• Senate restores aid to Cuban opposition
• Democrat Chris Dodd would end Cuba embargo if elected president

Americans Break Law to Visit Cuba
Thousands of U.S. tourists already travel to Cuba behind Washington's back, and many say being sneaky is part of the fun.
Yahoo! News.
Castro accuses US of 9/11 conspiracy
An article attributed to Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Tuesday accused the US government of deceiving the world about the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.
Yahoo! News.
Castro: Cuba provided info that saved Ronald Reagan from assassination in 1984
Cuba once saved the life of U.S. President Ronald Reagan by giving American officials information about an assassination plot, President Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published Wednesday.
Yahoo! News.
Defection no guarantee of success for Cuban baseball players in U.S.
Just about every Cuban boy hopes to play baseball for the national team in the Olympics. It is only when that wish is taken away - as it was from Francisley Bueno - that thoughts turn to America.
Yahoo! News.

September 5

The Miami Herald
• Cuban girl's mom: Dad knew she had problems
• Mom says she sent pictures to Cuba after all
• Fidel warns of coming global recession
• Ché Guevara's relics go up for auction
• Rumors of Castro's death persist, except in Cuba
• Doubts cast on report of Raul Castro Italy trip
• Fidel not in danger as he convalesces: minister
• Girl's custody battle continues in Miami
• Lawyer who kissed Castro back in the spotlight again

South Africa: SA, Cuba agree to train unemployed youth
South Africa and Cuba have signed a co-operation agreement that will benefit many unemployed young people, by training them n the field of social development.
Packing up home 'easy' in needy Cuba
Packing up after having his press accreditation withdrawn, BBC correspondent Stephen Gibbs reflects on whether the Cuban authorities really need to go to the lengths they do to control information.
Stephen Gibbs, BBC.
Cuba upgrading its weapons in case of U.S. invasion
Cuba has been upgrading its military arsenal since President Fidel Castro fell ill 13 months ago, to defend itself against a possible U.S. invasion, senior officers told Trabajadores weekly on August 27.
Defense News.
Cuban dancers crazy for democracy
Cuban dance ranks alongside rum and cigars as one of the island's most famous exports. It seems curious, then, that a UK-inspired dance initiative is causing such a stir in Havana.
Michael Voss. BBC News.
The secret love of Cubans: the imperialist refrigerator
Before he disappeared from public life, an ailing Fidel Castro enlisted the prowess of Chinese industry last year to get rid of some of the most resilient totems of American imperialism: Frigidaire, Kelvinator and Westinghouse refrigerators from the 1950s.
Simon Romero, International Herald Tribune.

August 31

The Miami Herald
• Lawmakers push a united, hard-line front on Cuba
• Castro essay criticizes U.S. presidential hopefuls
• Cuban dad's letters were fake, mom says
• Cuban prison uprising case encourages death penalty opponents
• Mom in Cuban custody case testifies about her rough life
• Four in Cuba jail break sentenced
• Misfit was born in Ohio, executed in Cuba

Paya: Change Cuban vote laws
The architect of the Varela Project pro-democracy drive asked Cuba's parliament on Thursday to abolish and replace the country's electoral law and hold free, democratic general elections as soon as possible.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Heeding Castro's defection fears, Cuba to skip boxing worlds in Chicago
Cuba won't send a boxing team to the world championships in Chicago, heeding Fidel Castro's fears about future defections after two fighters abandoned their teammates during the Pan American Games.
Yahoo! News.
Little Havana Looks to Life After Castro
Travel guides list Little Havana as the heart of the Cuban exile community, the symbolic hub of opposition to Fidel Castro and a must-see neighborhood for its galleries, cigar shops and espresso stands.
Yahoo! News.
Racial slurs are increasing
I would have thought that The Washington Post, published in a city that is predominantly African-American, would be more sensitive against ethnic slurs. I was wrong. Apparently they are only sensitive when the insults are about blacks, not Hispanics.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Better opportunities await Cuba
An era is ending. With Fidel Castro's inevitable passing, neither Latin America nor Cuba will ever be the same. The Comandante has always valued ideas -- i.e., his own -- over the prosaic -- i.e., ordinary people. Since Cuba alone never satisfied his supersized ego, he looked elsewhere, Latin America in particular.
Marifeli Perez-Stable, The Miami Herald.
CANF Letter to Editor of Washington Post regarding Pat Oliphant Cartoon
Pat Oliphant's cartoon published in the Washington Post on August 24th is so incredibly bigoted and exceedingly inaccurate in its portrayal of Cuban-Americans, the fact that you would allow such a cartoon to appear in the pages of your paper is outrageous.

August 28

The Miami Herald
• Castro essay criticizes U.S. presidential hopefuls
• Killings spotlight Cuban migration via Mexico
• Cuban father scores crucial victory in custody case
• DCF chief calls Cuban dad case 'unusual'
• Castro signs political essay, sidesteps health questions
• Castro death rumors crop up again

US suggests Cuban government behind Castro dead rumours
Yahoo! News.
Brother testifies in Cuban custody case
Yahoo! News.
Man gets 5 years for illegal ammo stash
Yahoo! News.
Cuba, where cemetery vault is sold on Internet
Yahoo! News.
Obama promises more open policy towards Cuba
Yahoo! News.
Tears at Gloria Estefan's new album
Yahoo! News.
Cuba upgrading its weapons
Yahoo! News.
Eyes on Cuban detainees
Yahoo! News.
Czech transition to democracy inspiration to Cuban opposition, says anti-Castro politician Albio Sires
Yahoo! News.

August 24

The Miami Herald
• For Cubans, a movie title may be a reference to Americans
• Anti-corruption laws toughened in Cuba
• Fidel Castro stays silent on health, but not U.S.
• Hungary agrees to take in 29 Cubans
• Havana: Most Americans feel like Obama
• Cuba blasts Hungary over asylum for 29
• Green cards now easier for Cubans born abroad
• Candidates bring Cuba into race
• Judge defends impartiality in Cuban-child custody case

Cuban FM dispels rumors about Castro getting worse
Yahoo! News.
Obama's Cuba stand breaks rank
Yahoo! News.
Obama's Foreign Policy Reset
Michael Duffy, TIME.
Will Obama's Stance on Cuba Hurt?
Tim Padgett, TIME.
Clinton Takes the Bait on Cuba
Tom Bevan. Real Clear Politics.
Journalist is freed after 15 months in prison
Laura Wides-Munoz, Sun Sentinel.
Barack Obama's stance on Cuba travel may not help him in Florida
Sun Sentinel.
Cuban cigar artisan does brisk business in Norwalk
James Lomuscio, The Advocate.

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The Worst of the Worst / Freedom House

Reporters Without Borders Annual Report
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The International Committee for Democracy in Cuba
Hurricane Dennis tragic path through Cuba


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