el maestro

el maestro
"Trincheras de ideas valen más que trincheras de piedra." José Martí

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Large hail pelts Cuba in the middle of worst drought in 50 years

Map showing hardest hit area in the east of Cuba

Cuba suffers from the worst drought in 50 years, cattle and poultry has started to die of starvation in Camagüey while most crops do not survive such dry conditions. Urban areas like Havana report that about a million people are affected by the lack of water, where the tankers that supply the precious liquid simply cannot cope with the demand.

Cuba faces the worst drought in fifty years

The precipitation that everybody hopes for came last week in the form of violent thunderstorms in different regions of the largest island of the Caribbean causing more harm than good. Ice balls the size of oranges pelted fields and roads destroying all sorts of crops and killing unprotected poultry flocks.

Cattle severely affected by lack of water 

This rainy season has been the driest in three years in an already desperate situation which authorities have described as the worst in half a century.

People wait for a tanker at a Havana corner

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spanish Police brutally charges on peaceful demonstrators in Barcelona

Spanish demonstrators attacked by police
The Outraged (Los Indignados) were dispersed for some time by riot police at Barcelona’s Plaza de Catalunya today with at least 120 injured, many of whom have been treated in local hospitals. According to the account of the demonstrators, the crackdown started in the morning when police moved in firing rubber bullets and tear gas. Images can be seen in a video circulating in the internet today of police attacking peaceful demonstrators with their batons without prior provocation. Many can be seen running bleeding and helpless against the overwhelming use of force of the riot police agents.

Tens of thousands of Spaniards have filled the main squares of Spain’s cities since May 15 in a wave of anger over economic stagnation, growing unemployment and government austerity measures. They have dubbed themselves as The Outraged (Los Indignados).

The camp, that had been cleared in the morning raid in detriment of the protesters, has since then been retaken by los indignados and thousands of their supporters who hurried to the plaza in response to the appeal issued over the social networks for friends to come and defend  the camping site. Outnumbered by protesters, the police withdrew and, according to eyewitnesses, by 1:00 in the afternoon (local time), there were around 9 000 demonstrators at the plaza with renewed outrage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

“Stop Israeli war crimes”, yells woman at U.S. Congress, during Netanyahu’s speech

·         She later gets beaten, arrested at hospital

Netanyahu interrupts his speech
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu was briefly interrupted as he was addressing a joint session of Congress on Tuesday afternoon when the voice of a woman shouted from the gallery, “Stop Israeli war crimes”.  The audience booed the heckler, who was immediately removed from the premises, and gave Netanyahu a standing ovation. The Prime Minister then took the occasion to remark that “you can’t have real protests in the farcical parliaments of Tehran and Tripoli. This is real democracy”, for which he received another delirious round of applause.

Rae Abileah is democratically removed from the premises
The heckler, Rae Abileah, a CODEPINK activist, was confronted by members of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and reportedly beaten to the point that she had to be taken to the George Washington University Hospital to be treated for neck and shoulder injuries, where she was soon after arrested by Police.

CODEPINK activist Rae Abileah is treated at the hospital
From her hospital bed, the 28 year old activist of Israeli descent told reporters that she was in “great pain”, but that "it was nothing compared to the suffering the Palestinians go through on a regular basis”, and added that “this kind of colonial occupation cannot continue.”

Land occupied during the Six Day War in 1967
Netanyahu has flatly dismissed as “unpractical” the assesment made by U.S. President Obama that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be to start peace negotiations based on the 1967 Israeli borders, i.e., before the Six Day War when Israel occupied, and kept, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights from its neighbors.

Although Obama has considerably watered down the notion of the ‘1967 borders’ initial idea, by clarifying that negotiations would have to take into account present demographic changes on the ground, which is nothing less than the occupied territories where Israel has allowed new Jewish settlements; it is, nonetheless, a unique opportunity to restart the many times interrupted peace process in the Middle East from the perspective that the Palestinian land is under illegal occupation.

Palestinian loss of land 1946 - 2000
However true that if Israel does not accept the 1967 borders as a starting point in future negotiations with the Palestinians, no sustainable peace will ever be achieved in the area; Netanyahu continues to slam any prospect of real compromise conducive to the existence of both states, Palestine and Israel, sharing borders in harmony.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

116th Anniversary of José Martí’s fall in combat In Dos Ríos

On May 19th, 1895 José Martí dies in combat for the independence of Cuba, as he had many times anticipated. A day earlier, he had started a letter to his dearest friend Mexican Manuel Mercado, which he never finished. This letter is considered his political testament, and in it with incredible clarity, in a visionary reflection, he sentenced:

“I am in daily danger of giving my life for my country and duty for I understand that duty and have the courage to carry it out-the duty of preventing the United States from spreading through the Antilles as Cuba gains its independence, and from empowering with that additional strength our lands of America. All I have done so far, and all I will do, is for this purpose.

History would prove him right. Today Our America struggles against the power of the United States that desperately tries to keep its grip on the South.  Martí would been very proud today to see Cuba stand by his principle of human dignity and independence in the concert of nations of Latin America, integrated and united, in a solid front to oppose the imperial ambitions he had, like no other, foreseen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cuba upholds health care as an elemental human right in Geneva

Cuban Deputy Health Minister José Ángel Portal maintained the notion that health care is an essential human right at the 64th Assembly of the World Health Organization, and communicated Cuba’s concern for the grave crisis that engulfs the world today in all aspects of life and how that predicament affects each country in particular, specially the poor and marginalized groups of those countries, for whom, in addition to hunger and malnutrition, access to health care services is a chimera.

Portal praised the prioritization of prevention and control of non-transmissible diseases at this WHO meeting, given the present international situation of morbidity and mortality, and restated Cuba’s support for the WHO strategy to fight those diseases, based on surveillance, primary prevention and stronger healthcare systems.

The Cuban Deputy Minister also took the occasion to remark Cuba’s achievements in health care, such as the extraordinary infant mortality rate of 4.5 per 1,000 live births at the end of 2010.

Cuba’s health care system is considered to be one of the best in the world, superior to that of some developed countries. It could be argued, however, that other countries are not blockaded and have not been under the constant and mounting aggression of the most powerful power of the world, which turns those achievements in real deeds.

with information from Prensa Latina

Sunday, May 15, 2011

March against homophobia in Havana

March on La Rampa, Vedado
On Saturday, the International Day against Homophobia was observed in Havana by hundreds of Cubans who marched on La Rampa (23rd Avenue), to repudiate homophobia and in favour of sexual diversity.

Mariela Castro, Director of the National Sexual Education Center and a firm advocate of homosexual rights in Cuba, organized and led the rally whose goal was, in her own words, “to raise awareness about discrimination”.

Mariela Castro, center, led the March
In an already patriarchal world, Cuba, together with other Latino countries, shares a “machista” oriented culture, where intolerance towards homosexuality is acceptable and in many cases expected; however, in recent years, Cuba has experienced a steady improvement in the treatment of homosexuals, both officially and socially. This improvement is greatly due to the national campaign the CENESEX (National Sexual Education Center) has led informing and educating about sexuality, the construction of gender, and homosexuality.

Sexual diversity in Havana
The Cuban government currently pays for sex-change operations and is considering an amendment to the Family Law to include recognition and benefits for same-sex unions. Cuba, as a paradigm of social equality and respect for human dignity, still has much to progress in the road for total acceptance of homosexuals as productive individuals who can contribute to the betterment of society as any other member of the community.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Police brutality in Cuba? Fabrications and lies "made in USA"

Wilfredo Soto García
The means of misinformation, main stream media, have been publishing the same headlines for the last couple of days: Cuban dissident dies after police beating. All online sites, with no exceptions, have regurgitated exactly the same piece of information word by word, as if these agencies had just cut and pasted some sort of ‘official version’ of the events, without any ethical concerns regarding the truthfulness of its content, the pain and suffering that it could cause, or consulting eyewitnesses of the incident, or the doctors that treated Wilfredo Soto García, or even, and more importantly, his family.

As usual - Cuba has been through these kinds of smear campaigns repeatedly for the last 52 years - the insidious clouds planted by the power of U.S taxpayers’ money start to dissipate and the truth, little by little begins to appear.

Cuban media has published the account of witnesses and relatives of what really happened.

Here are some excerpts:

Rosa Soto García (sister): Declares that her brother “suffered from several illnesses such as, gout, hypertension, migraines, and heart growth and for that reason he had been under medical care for a long time”. She added that he (Juan Wilfredo) “did not follow the doctor’s advice and did not take care of his health.”
On the incident itself, she says that “he was never beaten”, and calls it is a “big lie, and a fabrication from beginning to end”, complaining that the “media manipulation of his brother’s death is hurting her family”, and expressed her gratitude for the medical help he received.
“We are so outraged that the day of the funeral, my brother’s son, sickened of the position of the “dissidents”, asked them to leave the cemetery", affirms Rosa.

Madelín Soto (niece): “I went to the hospital to see him and there was no trace of violence on his body.” She also expressed her surprise that “if there had been any incident, he would have told me because we were very close”.

Yasmil Pérez Rodríguez (Madelín’s husband and Law student). He recounts that Wilfredo’s daughter asked him to help her take her father to the hospital and when he got to their house, Wilfredo was suffering from “intense perspiration, he could not feel his feet and we had to get him downstairs from his 4th floor apartment in a wheelchair. Once at the Arnaldo Milián Hospital he underwent a check-up and was administered all sorts of medications. When his situation worsened he was transferred to a therapy ward where he later died”. Yasmil adds that he stayed at the hospital with Wilfredo for a whole day and “had enough time to talk with the patient, took him to the washroom, helped him undress and did not observed any signs or symptoms of violence on his body”.  He concludes that “if the alleged beating had really occurred, Wilfredo would have told me since there were no secrets between us”.

Dr. Nestor Vega Alonso (physician): He treated Wilfredo frequently since 2008 and asserts that “Wilfredo’s health problems did not begin that day but long ago. In 2008, he was admitted to Ward “C” of the Provincial Hospital, suffering from a generalized edema and severe hypertension, but after a more detailed study he was diagnosed with a dilated cardiopathy, something really serious, plus gout, mellitus diabetes, all of which points to a reserved life expectancy forecast.”

Dr. Ricardo Rodríguez Jorge (forensic surgeon): This doctor, with a 14 year experience, conducted the autopsy and declares that the cause of death was a severe pancreatitis with hemorrhagic spots at the tail level and pancreatic body, all of which is consistent with the previous medical diagnosis. He further adds that in the post-mortem examination no signs of violence, either internal or external, were observed in the body of the diseased.

This is the information that those news agencies should have looked for before publishing the piece of news in question.  But, violating the sacred principles of truthfulness they just jumped at the opportunity to discredit Cuba, even if at the end they have to admit their mistake, or keep a shameful silence, as it has so often happened in the past.

Cuba has a pristine record of respect for human dignity, and Cuban police has never in 52 years of Revolution killed or tortured a detainee, and physical disappearance of prisoners has never happened after 1959.

Compare and see what really police brutality is. These pictures show how police dealt with demonstrators in Toronto during the G20 summit last year. Draw your own conclusions.

Here are pictures of how Cuban Police deals with the protests those “dissidents” have staged in Cuba, following instructions from the U.S government.

What is police brutality then?

With information from Cubadebate 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wilfredo Soto García died of severe kidney failure and pancreatitis, says his doctor

Dr. Rubén Aneiro Medina, "Arnaldo Milián" Hospital, Santa Clara, Cuba
Wilfredo Soto García, one of the so-called ‘political dissidents’, died in Santa Clara of an acute renal failure and pancreatitis on Saturday and was buried in that city yesterday.

 In an interview for a local independent blogger, Dr. Rubén Aneiro Medina, a physician with the Medium Therapy Ward at the Arnaldo Milián Hospital in Santa Clara, where Soto García had been admitted, said that “the patient was suffering from acute pancreatitis that brought about a complex clinical process worsened by an acute renal failure that he could not overcome”.

Dr. Aneiro, a member of a team of specialists that treated Soto, also added that the diseased also suffered from diabetes, hypertension and a dilated cardiomyopathy.

Up to this point the piece of news would be totally irrelevant, since this is a common happening in any country. But not in the case of Cuba, where lackeys, who mainstream media in their most sacred task of misinformation against the island label as ‘dissidents’, have started a slanderous campaign claiming that Soto García, 46, died after “being beaten and arrested by Police in a street fight two days earlier”. Eyewitnesses of that incident denied the veracity of that version.

Police brutality is inexistent in Cuba, and that is a fact acknowledged by friends and foes. In most cases Cuban police have had to interfere to protect the physical integrity of those agents from popular outrage when, following orders from Washington and Miami, they protest in the streets.

Even Agence Press, that in most cases echoes defamatory information about Cuba, could not help but recognize that “police beatings are not frequent in the island” and that the version of “the violent arrest could not be confirmed or independently verified”.

This is not the first media “operation” against Cuba, nor will it be the last, but as usual, fabrications against the Caribbean country and its Revolution, sooner than later, crash against the gigantic wall of truth of the principles that Cuba defends and by which it abides.

Cuba, fifty-two years on its battle for dignity and sovereignty, is immersed in a process of renovation and reforms to its economic model of development, which will benefit our socialism, transforming it into a tool to preserve the Revolution and all its conquests. The enemies of Cuba cannot digest the fact that the Revolution, as it regenerates itself, becomes more invincible that it ever was.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Dignidad Cuba salutes all mothers around the world, and wishes them a very happy Mother's Day.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.

Washington Irving
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Jane Arden - Good mother

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May Day March in Havana from within

A participant in the March kindly took this sequence of pictures on behalf of Dignidad Cuba. Here are the different stages of the March, from the the moment they started gathering around Paseo Avenue, to the very heart of Revolution Square.

Photographer: Ángel Mata Sánchez - Havana

Monday, May 2, 2011

U.S. kills number one terrorist in Pakistan, while Posada Carriles sleeps like a baby in Miami

Obama takes credit for the death of Osama
On Sunday a special forces unit, Seal Team Six – ST6 missions are classified to the public – stormed a compound 100 km north of Islamabad, Pakistan, and in a 40 minute skirmish the United States most wanted terrorist ceased to exist, together with three other men; a woman, bin Laden's wife was shot on a leg trying to shield her husband. There are conflicting reports about the body; some sources claim that the U.S. Army is holding on to the physical remains as further prove of the assassination,  following DNA confirmation, while others say that the body was discarded in the sea. A gruesome picture was published in some websites claiming that it was bin Laden, shortly after having been shot by the US attackers, but later it was deemed to be fake.

Osama's compound burns after the attack
Obama proudly announced on TV last night that “justice had been done”, as crowds gathered outside the White House and Ground Zero to celebrate the death of their public enemy number one as they chanted “USA”, “USA”.

Since Obama also said that “we shared our intelligence on this compound with no other country, including Pakistan”, and there are no reports of whether the host country was consulted and Okayed the intervention in the last minute, presumably this was a U.S. Army unilateral operation.

The U.S. now braces for what they call “anti-American” retaliation all over the world and are advising all U.S. nationals to “exercise caution”. At this point, no Jihadist websites have acknowledged the death of Osama bin Laden, claiming that it is a U.S. hoax.

Long ago, when Osama bin Laden was probably a spoiled brat living off his father’s wealth, the United States was already actively involved in promoting and sponsoring terror against any country which dared to dissent with them. In the particular case of Cuba - because (state) terrorism has been the most sought after policy used against other countries as well - the United States has harboured and safeguarded all kinds of anti-Cuban groups who all claim the use of violence as their main weapon against the island; and in fact, acts of terror have been perpetrated many times against the revolutionary island, killing thousands of innocent civilians.

But the most eloquent example of the U.S. double standard and hypocrisy when conceptualizing the term “terrorist”, is with no doubt Luis Posada Carriles, a confessed terrorist responsible for the blowing up of a commercial Cuban airliner which killed all 73 passengers in 1976; the death of an Italian-Canadian tourist, Fabio di Celmo, in a series of hotel bombings in Havana in the late 1990’s; the failed attempt to assassinate then Cuban president Fidel Castro in Panamá in 2000, and a long list of criminal offenses, enough if the US government decided to take action and process this individual for his real crimes. (please see earlier entries on this blog on Luis Posada Carriles)

Confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles
Luis Posada Carriles is not hiding in a remote area in Pakistan inside an armoured compound protected by ferocious jihadists. This assassin lives freely in sunny Miami, and according to his own words, “sleeps like a baby”.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Millions march in Cuba in support of Socialism throughout the island

Revolution Square, Havana May1st, 2011
In Cuba, Labour Day celebrations were headed by Raúl Castro in Santiago de Cuba, a city considered to be the cradle of the Revolution and a symbol of resistance, where hundreds of thousands paraded in their Mariana Grajales Square, as Raúl waved a Cuban flag wearing a traditional white guayabera.

Raúl in Santiago de Cuba today
Thousands march in Santiago
In Havana, Machado Ventura, First VP, presided over the workers march in Revolution Square, where a sea of habaneros estimated in a million flooded the historical plaza in what have been described by those who took part in it as massive and well organized. 

Millions of Cubans marching for peace, dignity and Socialism showed their support for the new reforms that were approved in the recently held Sixth Party Congress in all important cities and small towns all over the island. Participants expressed their optimism for the future of Cuba’s socialism as it preserves the conquests of the Revolution.

Machado Ventura, first vice president in Havana

The minute the March started in Havana