A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

"Cuba Libertaria" #3: On the situation in Cuba today (en)

From GALSIC <cesamepop@noos.fr>
Date Sat, 1 Jan 2005 08:11:44 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

During our stay on the island we were able to see how the Castro regime has
sunk the population into great material, cultural and political poverty. We
ourselves saw 90% of the hospitals in Cuba closed, the official reason being
that they are under restoration. The remaining hospitals that were open are
almost exclusively at the service of those Venezuelans who, thanks to the
arrangement with the Chávez government, travel free with a companion in order
to be treated there. The Cuban government even favours the emigration of
doctors to Venezuela and the figures are spectacular. At the same time, the
population of Cuban has literally been left without medical aid or medicines.
And this at a time when we are witnessing a resurgence of an epidemic of mental
illness that may be at its greatest for over a decade. As is known, this
illness - in its two versions, outward and internal - is recognized to have its
origin in denutrition.

The Cuban population's shortage of food is proof. The shops where the few
rationed food items are distributed are these days almost moments. More and
more people subsist thanks to the black market and thanks to help from
relatives abroad, prostitution and corruption.

Literally, a Cuban worker who works ten hours a day doesn't earn enough to be
able to eat. And as if that wasn't enough, the government is preparing to
penalize the dollar with a surcharge of 10% and to convert it obligatorily to a
currency that has so solvency or support. After dollarizing the Cuban economy,
this new measure can only be considered cruelty. Its negative effects on the
population won't take long in being felt.

With all this, the population's demoralization is visible, the impoverishment
of the people is atrocious and unjust. They put up with long hours of
electricity cuts with resignation and impotence: there have been a very few
isolated local protests, all of which were repressed, such as in recent days in

We could write more about the poverty, illness and repression in Cuba: the
feared Interior Ministry forces patrol the streets of Havana together with the
police. It is like living in a State of siege. To make matters worse, this
situation that the Cuban people have to endure contrasts with the privileges of
the regime's bureaucratic class which goes on nourishing (pun intended) the
sinister slogan "socialism or death".

It was death after all, since the bureaucratic caste is more dehumanized than
ever and intends to keep its privileges even at the cost debilitating the
population. The words of a professor from the University of Havana come to
mind, who during the recent Congreso José Martí heard said: "Cuba is a
laboratory of millions of experiences in subsistence". Unfortunately it is
true. And these experiences are the product of a despotic regime. The cynicism
of these words is enormous, as the regime now appears to see itself as a
laboratory, a testing ground in ecological experimentation... It would not be
surprising if sooner or later the Castro regime presented itself to the world
as the first ecological State in the universe - it would only be the latest
perversion that Castrism could invent.

During these days of Congress at the Hotel Nacional, where a large part of the
Castro regime's "intellectual community" is meeting, we have seen just how
remote they are from the reality of Cuban society: they care nothing about
reality and do not scrimp in their praise of the regime. Their complicity, with
few exceptions, is absolute or simply convenient, but they are complicit to the
repression and the misery into which the Cuban people have sunk.

There is no doubt that these supposed "Cuban intellectuals", and the many
militants of the Spanish Izquierda Unida present in Havana for the occasion of
this Congress, have abdicated all responsibility for what Noam Chomsky spoke
about in the Sixties. On their return to Spain, no doubt they will recount the
magnificent attention flourished on them by the Fundación Antonio Nuñez
Jiménez, which has just put the finishing touches to a luxurious book rejoicing
in the title of "Por una cultura de la naturaleza" (Towards a culture of
nature), and which explains the miracle of Communist Cuba starting with details
of a visit to their Miramar farm. They will tell us that in Cuba there is no
hunger but plenty of culture and progress.
Much could be said about the Miramar farm, now the Fundación Antonio Nuñez
Jiménez. It includes many of the objects and documents gatheredby this
character when he was alive and that are without a doubt part of the natural
and cultural heritage of Cuba and other places, and which are now exhibited to
visitors by Doña Lupe Velis accompanied with glasses of champagne and
vols-au-vents, all so they can tell the outside world what Cuba is doing to
save nature. Greater hypocrisy would be hard to find. Above all, it is known
that Miramar is home to some of the leading personages of the regime, either
active or retired, who already have been absorbed by the regime, and whose
children no longer reside in Cuba and live abroad, generally on the
administrations of foreign companies. They have been put safely out of danger.
Of those that remain, it would be possible to make a long list, including
details of their activities: many of which are related to businesses with
members of the Spanish Izquierda Unida who together run some cabarets or
discoteques in Havana, but the urgent thing is to do something to alleviate the
dramatic situation of the Cuban people.

For now, protest by the international community demanding the immediate release
of all political dissidents in Cuba is urgently needed and must be increased
(the overcrowded jail conditions and treatment of Cuban prisoners were already
denounced in 1999 by Human Rights Watch in the report "Cuba's Repressive
Machinery", but have now increased considerably with regard to prisoners being
kept incomunicado and under-nourished). At the same time, it is important to
urge the United Nations Population Fund to declare a state of emergency
regarding the lack of foodstuffs in Cuba.

Another testimony:

Florida's businessmen celebrate the birthday of Castro's brother

HAVANA, 2 November - Businessmen in the US state of Florida, that "bastion of
the anti-Castro exiles", gave a party in Cuba on Monday evening to celebrate
the 80th birthday of Ramon, the elder brother of Fidel Castro. The president of
the Florida-Cuba Business Council, rancher John P. Wright IV, hosted the party
whose guests included the President of the Cuban parliament, Ricardo Alarcón.

In the invitation which was also sent to the press, Wright says: "We are here
to celebrate, as neighbours and friends of commerce, the search for mutual
economic prosperity and tranquillity for Cuba and the United States". In order
to avoid untoward political and ideological interpretations of the encounter,
he aimed that "the American spirit of free enterprise, the desire to work, the
leadership of the private sector and well-meaning businessmen, respect the
independence of the Republic of Cuba, the generosity and the union of its
people, and the strong historical bonds of the Cuban-American community".

A total of 244 US industralists met in Cuba for the 22nd Havana International
Fair, representing 125 companies; of these, the largest group came from
Florida, with 71 people from 27 companies. Irrespective of "political
positions", American businesses began to trade with Cuba back in 2001, a
business that allowed them to find a new market for their excess food products
with bringing them millions of dollars in profit. "It is symbolic that they are
coming from Florida", said the president of the Cuban company Alimport, Pedro
Alvarez, who directed those operations which to date have been worth $963
million in sales.
Ramon Castro, dressed in a traditional guayabera shirt with his white beard
providing a striking family resemblance with his brother Fidel, 78, thanked all
present for their flattery with his jovial, frank character. He declared that
"irrespective of their political disagreements, Cuba and the United States were
looking for economic progress". Mongo, as he is popularly known, is currently
an adviser to the ministers of agriculture and of the sugar industry.

In a relaxed and informal atmosphere, with no shortage of food, whiskey or
"special" añejo rum (the same which is aged specially for Fidel), Wright had
joined the Cuban folk music group with whom he played (on mouth organ and
maracas) the famous piece "Chan Chan", by the late composer Compay Segundo, and
provided vocal accompaniment to the group in other musical numbers.

Neither Fidel nor his younger brother Raúl, attended the party, but it was said
that the Commander-in-Chief had given his brother a Mercedes Benz and "a
well-deserved vacation in Europe" for his eightieth birthday. For many of those
present, the birthday was simply another symbol of the new times. The event was
celebrated at a luxurious mansion in the El Vedado district, where the "House
of Cuban and Soviet Friendship" was situated during the 1970s and 1980s.

Bulletin N° 3 December 2004
Paris, France
G.A.L.S.I.C - Tribuna Latinoamericana
Support Groups for Libertarians and Independent Syndicalists in Cuba
145, rue Amelot
75011 Paris (France)
E-mail: cesamepop@noos.fr

Addresses for contact and information:
MLC: movimientolibertariocubano@yahoo.com.mx
Solidaridad con Cuba: cubava2OO3@yahoo.com.mx
El Libertario (Venezuela): ellibertario@hotmail.com
GALSIC - France: cesamepop@noos.fr

translation by nmcn/ainfos

****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Options for all lists at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html

A-Infos Information Center