A publication of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
Electricity consumption figures are bad news By Elias Amor In a single year, of deep recession, and which some of us estimate places us on the verge of something resembling the Special Period, the consumption of electricity in Cuba plummeted 25.2%, a quarter of that consumed the previous year... Read story »
Cuban parliament approves Communist Party roadmap By Marc Frank and Sarah Marsh Cuba's parliament approved documents confirming the Communist Party as the country's guiding force and banning the concentration of private property and wealth. The national assembly was summoned for an extraordinary session to approve Communist Party documents reaffirming the one-party political system and state domination of the socialist economy... Read story »
Reparto Eléctrico: causeways, mounds of garbage, spillage, and zero cultural life By Jorge Enrique Rodriguez The Consejo Popular Eléctrico, in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, is another example of a "marginalized neighborhood" stemming from the Government’s erroneous practices with regards to socio-cultural and economic issues, complain residents... Read story »
Trump and his new Cuba policy By Carlos Alberto Montaner President Donald Trump aims to amend and harden Barack Obama’s policy regarding Cuba. Obama, who did right in some social aspects of his domestic policy, erred totally in his strategy toward Cuba... Read story »
How Fidel Castro Supported Terrorism in America By Zach Dorfman FALN was started in the mid-1960’s with a nucleus that received advanced training in Cuba... Read story »
They Deceived Us With Tourism By Marta Requeiro But the years go by and as part of a macabre plan the areas where ordinary Cubans live are deteriorating, and in contrast every day the are more tourist centers supplied with amenities, luxuries and the latest technology to better serve the foreign visitor. They put make up on facades so that people who come to visit don’t see how the rest is falling down little by little... Read story »
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Venezuelan violinist brings his peaceful protest to New York
On Saturday June 24th, Wuilly Arteaga and renowned Cuban musician Paquito D’Rivera will honor the victims of repression by the Cuban and Venezuelan regimes.
NEW YORK.- Wuilly Arteaga, symbol of Venezuela’s street wide peaceful struggle for democracy, will arrive New York city after visiting Washington, D.C., and Miami. The 23 year-old musician braves water cannons, tear gas, and sheer violence by the authorities with a violin as his weapon of peace and hope.
On Saturday, June 24th, Arteaga will participate in a “Musical Mass” at Sacred Sacrament Church at 152 West 71st, New York, NY, that will be celebrated in Spanish by Father D'Angelo. Legendary Cuban musician Paquito D´Rivera -winner of 14 Grammys and many prestigious awards- will join Arteaga in a musical tribute to the victims of repression in Venezuela and Cuba; during Communion, those who've fallen in recent street protests in Venezuela will be named individually. Outstanding Venezuelan musicians including Jorge Glem and Cesar Orozco will also participate in the musical production by Leonardo Granados beginning at 2:30PM, when the Church opens its doors prior to the mass.
After the service, Arteaga and D´Rivera will lead a musical march of the Venezuelan and Cuban exile communities towards the statues of the independence heroes Simón Bolívar and José Martí, located at the entrance to Central Park on 59th St. and 6th Avenue. The date coincides with the 196th anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo that sealed Venezuelan independence in 1821.
With his trip to the U.S., Arteaga calls attention to his country’s grave crisis and mass protests. He also seeks to raise funds to donate musical instruments to deprived musicians in Venezuela, inspiring them to play at the peaceful demonstrations taking place all over the country since March.
Arteaga has participated in activities in Washington, DC, and Miami, and hopes to be back in Miami for a public gathering before returning to Venezuela. On Thursday, June 22nd, he and D'Rivera will hold a press conference at the United Nations headquarters hosted by the United Nations Correspondents Association.
Arcadia Foundation and Cuba Archive / Free Society Project, two non-profit organizations based in the U.S. working to advance human rights and democracy, are hosting Wuilly on this U.S. visit. Venezuelan New York residents Perla Capriles, Leonardo Granados, and Andrés Correa are coordinating the June 24th activities together with Venezuelan and Cuban organizations from the New York area.
For biographical information on Wuilly Arteaga, see the News section at www.CubaArchive.org. For information on Paquito D'Rivera, see http://www.paquitodrivera.com/.
President Donald Trump aims to amend and harden Barack Obama’s policy regarding Cuba. Obama, who did right in some social aspects of his domestic policy, erred totally in his strategy toward Cuba. Therefore, it seems to me reasonable to change it. Not everything Trump does is wrong. Sometimes, between midnight tweets, he’s right.
If there is something that any chief of state must do very clearly, it’s to identify the friends and foes of the nation he must protect. Trump knows, or intuits, that the Castro brothers have been trying to harm his country by any means for several decades now. In 1957, Fidel Castro wrote a letter to Celia Sánchez, then his lover and confidante, explaining that the struggle against Batista (the letter was signed on the Sierra Maestra) was only the prologue to the epic battle that he would wage against Washington for the rest of his life.
Fidel Castro, a dyed-in-the-wool communist, fulfilled that promise, later reiterated dozens of times orally and by the nature of his actions. That is why, when Fidel died, Donald Trump, who had been elected president a few weeks earlier but had not yet assumed his post, described him as “a brutal dictator” and stated that “though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”
President Trump is right when he affirms that Barack Obama should not have bet all the American chips without asking Raúl Castro to make fundamental concessions for the benefit of the Cuban people and its right to freedom and democracy.
Consequently, Trump, a few months after beginning his term, has again taken up the objective of changing the Cuban regime, irresponsibly cancelled by Barack Obama in April 2015, as announced by the former president during the Panama Summit, although, contradictorily, Obama had the courtesy to meet with Cuban dissidents who had traveled from the island, a symbolic gesture that deserves thanks.
Why has Trump reprised the strategy of “containing” Cuba, as Cold War jargon put it? Because Trump and his advisers, guided by the experience of Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, real experts in the topic, believe that Raúl Castro has not renounced confrontation, which recommends that he be deprived of funds.
Very much in consonance with the imprint left by Fidel to his brother and his regime, the Cuban revolution continues to be an enemy of the ideals and interests of the United States, as if the USSR continued to exist and Marxism had not been totally discredited more than a quarter of a century ago. To Cuba, the Cold War did not end. To them, “the struggle continues.”
That is shown by the Cuban alliance with North Korea, which includes clandestine supplies of war material prohibited by the United Nations, even as Raúl negotiated a “thaw” with Washington. It is evident in Cuba’s backing for Syria, Iran, Belarus, Putin’s Russia and for any dictator or “strongman” who confronts the Western democracies. Proof of this is its permanent hostility toward the State of Israel but, above all, it is most clear in Raúl Castro’s behavior in the case of Venezuela.
If Obama thought that the Cuban dictatorship, in exchange for good relations, would help the United States to moderate the behavior of Chávez’s and Maduro’s Venezuela, he was flat wrong. Raúl Castro’s Cuba is busy pouring gasoline into the fire that devours that country, so as not to lose the subsidies generated by its huge South American colony.
The Cuban top brass provide the essential backing for the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, a character formed in the Ñico López School for Cadres of the Cuban Communist Party. They furnish intelligence and training to their Venezuelan colleagues so they may cruelly repress the democrats in the opposition. Cuba’s very skillful political operators, formed in the tradition of the KGB and the Stasi, advise the Chavists and give form and sense to the alliance of the five pathologically “anti-yanqui” South American countries: Cuba itself, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador.
President Trump is right when he affirms that Barack Obama (despite his beautiful speech in Havana defending democracy) should not have bet all the American chips without asking Raúl Castro to make fundamental concessions for the benefit of the Cuban people and its right to freedom and democracy. That’s what Trump is now trying to correct.
*Carlos Alberto Montanerjournalist and writer, author of numerous books, including Perromundo, La Trama, La mujer del coronel,Otra vez adiós y Tiempo de canallas. His articles appear in dozens of publications around Europe, Latin America and the United States. Carlos Alberto is an associate researcher at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS).
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Cuba: From Columbus to Castro and Beyond, by Jaime Suchlicki, provides a detailed and sophisticated understanding of the Cuba of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Mañana in Cuba, by Jose Azel, is a comprehensive analysis of contemporary Cuba with an incisive perspective of the Cuban frame of mind and its relevancy for Cuba's future.
Death of a Dream: History of Cuba Elusive Quest for Freedom, the twenty one chapters are explicitly historical, strongly analytical, concisely written and closely argued; the result is a brilliant narrative that spanned over five centuries of Cuba's history.
For a list of more books available and to purchase them call ICCAS (305) 284-2822.