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Another Latin betrayal of Cuba’s people — but who’s counting?

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In an aggravated version of the recent failure by LASA (Latin American Studies Association) to unequivocally support the oppressed and abused people of Cuba, reported here, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), an association of over 700 academic centers, has publicly addressed the current crisis triggered by the July 11 protests. Although CLACSO officially champions human rights, social justice and democracy, its formal pronouncement on the situation (signed July 12, as if by reflex, and issued July 13) may as well have been written by the Cuban dictatorship (and explicitly had input from Cuban academic centers belonging to CLACSO, of which there are 34).

The CLACSO document speaks, nay, screams for itself. Unlike LASA’s relatively nuanced though clearly compromised statement, issued this May, the CLACSO missive is completely and categorically pro-regime, blaming the pandemic and especially the US “blockade” (an unmistakable dog whistle) for the protests, which are described as acts of vandalism and terrorism, and whose presentation abroad is classified as “fake news.” There is NO criticism, let alone condemnation, of the 62-year-old totalitarian tyranny which has turned the once prosperous and thriving Cuba into a dystopian third-world hellhole.

In response, a group of 84 academics in the field of Latin American studies have expressed their dismay and indignation in a bilingual petition to CLACSO to rectify its position, which they consider complicit with Cuba’s dictatorship, ideologically biased, hypocritical and a form of “moral hemiplegia.” Alas, this is the same sort of thing that happened with the LASA declaration, which was not rectified to my knowledge, and I seriously doubt CLACSO will change its even more rabidly leftist and toxic tune. 

While this is no great surprise, since Cubans victimized by Castro, Inc. have been stabbed in the back by their supposed Latin brothers countless times, it remains appalling and contemptible — a grotesque indecency. Speaking as a Cuban, whoever makes or supports a statement like this CLACSO one, faced with the enslaved and long-suffering Cuban people risking their lives to finally break free, is NOT my brother and not even of my species, but rather a perverse alien. To paraphrase a medieval text which Yale professor of religion Carlos Eire will recognize, my response to such a person is Vade retro me, Latine, sunt mala quae libas–get thee behind me, Latin; what you offer me is evil. 

P.S. The top official of CLACSO is its Executive Secretary, currently Karina Batthyány, a sociologist from Uruguay whose surname suggests she is of Central-Eastern European (!) extraction. CLACSO was founded in 1967 on the initiative of UNESCO, with which it remains associated. Fittingly enough, UNESCO put out a tweet last month essentially honoring the bloodthirsty and hateful fanatic Che Guevara on the anniversary of his birth, which brought to mind that the noted Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas referred to UNESCO as UNASCO.

Really, you can’t make any of this stuff up. Talk about miseria humana.

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Just got back from an SOSCubaNYC March. I had the bullhorn for a few minutes to tell my story and why I'm there to support. So many amazing Cubans marching as one. We walked from Times Square to Union

Message from Hamlet         

Yep it does - replace blockade with embargo and you get the drift ... 🙂 The Blockade does not prohibit fishermen in Cuba from fishing, the dictatorship does; 🇨🇺-The blockade does not confis

18 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

Even if you where able to sneak in a ground station from my company (or the scam that is Starlink) you need a trained technician with a $15,000 piece of equipment to point the dish to the right satellite, which is over 22,000 miles away. Its not something you can just "eyeball". 

I am pretty sure I installed a satellite internet link a decade and a half or two decades ago maybe not the same speed but definitely no $15,000 equipment involved.

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A short article from FT gets right to the point. "In Cuba's case, rigid central planning and stifling one-party communism are the main culprits". The article also warns against foreign intervention. I have not heard one Cuban, living in Cuba, calling for foreign intervention, other than food and medicine. Only the opposite.   

https://www.ft.com/content/ecd11c0d-4853-44e5-a017-d276b1ac8e75

There hasn't been much mention yet of those detained in Cuba since the 11th. Some reports are saying 200, but nobody knows an accurate number. I had a long conversation with a friend in Havana on Sunday night. She knows of a couple who went out on the 11th and "got caught up in it", as she put it. She thinks they are facing 2 years in prison. A doctor she has heard of, in the front line of one of the protests, is expecting 25 years.

Lots of revolutions, successful or not, peaceful and otherwise, have come as the result of mistreatment/imprisonment of participants of previous failed ones. 

No current protests, at least not of the scale of last week, but a large security presence on the streets. Lots of tension. And the core issues haven't gone away.

The medicines that are most requested are the simple ones for most of us, painkilers and anti-inflammatories. Aspirin (high dose and low dose), Ibuprofen, paracetemol, any of these with codeine, maybe diclofenac, naxopren.

She was saying prices on the black market have gone crazy. 800 cup ($12-$15 depending) for 10 ibuprofen pills.

I have a flight booked in November, Covid pending. I can bring at least one extra 30 kg bag, which I'll be filling with these. No import taxes or awkward customs moments now. All of us who go regularly will know someone there who can get them to people who need them. It's not much, but a relatively simple thing to do for anyone planning on going.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Bijan said:

I am pretty sure I installed a satellite internet link a decade and a half or two decades ago maybe not the same speed but definitely no $15,000 equipment involved.

I'm guessing it was a user terminal. That's very possible. The margin for error is higher on user terminals, by design. 

When you're trying to connect $100,000+ of ground equipment to a Billion+ dollar Satellite, $15k to get it 100% right is a drop in the bucket. Its definitely not required to get your Dish Network up and running though. 

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31 minutes ago, Ryan said:

I have a flight booked in November, Covid pending. I can bring at least one extra 30 kg bag, which I'll be filling with these. No import taxes or awkward customs moments now. All of us who go regularly will know someone there who can get them to people who need them. It's not much, but a relatively simple thing to do for anyone planning on going.

 

 

I have a couple different trips booked for early November. (different airlines in case of cancellation) 

I wasnt 100% confident before the protests that the trip would be doable and now I'm 50/50. 

I hope both the Travel situation around the world and the situation in Cuba improve drastically by then, but things are shaky right now. 

Depending on airline, I can Bring 100 or 120 pounds of Checked luggage and a Carry On. Its not much in the grand scheme of things, but its better than nothing. 

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2 hours ago, Ryan said:

The medicines that are most requested are the simple ones for most of us, painkilers and anti-inflammatories. Aspirin (high dose and low dose), Ibuprofen, paracetemol, any of these with codeine, maybe diclofenac, naxopren.

I have a flight booked in November, Covid pending. I can bring at least one extra 30 kg bag, which I'll be filling with these. No import taxes or awkward customs moments now. All of us who go regularly will know someone there who can get them to people who need them. It's not much, but a relatively simple thing to do for anyone planning on going.

 

Not very optimistic about November travel and not sure it will be feasible, but I'll see ...

In case it's doable I will raid the pharmacy ... have already 2 packages of 10 lbs each in MIA waiting to go to HAV ...

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52 minutes ago, Nino said:

Not very optimistic about November travel and not sure it will be feasible, but I'll see ...

In case it's doable I will raid the pharmacy ... have already 2 packages of 10 lbs each in MIA waiting to go to HAV ...

Just last Sunday, Ireland put Cuba on the "Mandatory Hotel Quarantine" list, some of the rest of the E.U. will possibly follow, due to the rise in cases in Cuba recently. This means, even though I am vaccinated, I would have to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks after returning. While I could use the rest, I don't think that would fly with my wife and kids. Of course that might, hopefully,  have changed by November, but who knows where we'll be by then.

Most people I know in Havana are getting their third jab around now or will be soon. Soon we'll know if they work. On one hand, it'll make travel easier to Cuba, great for Cubans and getting currency into the local economy. On the other hand, successful vaccination campaigns have been good for political careers in other countries (UK), so if that happens in Cuba it will take at least some of the steam out of a protest movement. Poorly managed vaccination programmes (eg. if the Cuban vaccines aren't effective) have had the opposite effect on approval of governments (Ireland, Aus).

So a successful vaccine program in Cuba will probably make it less likely for change to happen anytime soon. But it would be a terrible thing to wish that a vaccine doesn't work. Better to try to solve immediate problems first.

 

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3 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

I have a couple different trips booked for early November. (different airlines in case of cancellation) 

I wasnt 100% confident before the protests that the trip would be doable and now I'm 50/50. 

I hope both the Travel situation around the world and the situation in Cuba improve drastically by then, but things are shaky right now. 

Depending on airline, I can Bring 100 or 120 pounds of Checked luggage and a Carry On. Its not much in the grand scheme of things, but its better than nothing. 

American flies on Mondays from Miami around 10:30-ish, Jet-Blue flies out of Ft Lauderdale in the 2:00 time slot on Fridays since January. If you are not on that flight(s) you dont have any guarantees. Also the food, medicine, hygiene items must be in a separate bag not mixed in with shoes, clothes. John

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10 minutes ago, JohnnyO said:

American flies on Mondays from Miami around 10:30-ish, Jet-Blue flies out of Ft Lauderdale in the 2:00 time slot on Fridays since January. If you are not on that flight(s) you dont have any guarantees. Also the food, medicine, hygiene items must be in a separate bag not mixed in with shoes, clothes. John

I'm actually on a mixture of United and Southwest flights on Saturdays and Sundays. Neither airline is actually flying on the days/slots I booked today. I understand I have no Guarantees on either  They will have to start adding frequencies, just one part of why its looking less likely by the day. 

Thanks for the tip on the separate bags. I can/will do that if I make the trip. 

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16 minutes ago, helix said:

Not to be negative or unhopeful but, how the hell could Cuba have developed an effective Vaccine ?  

I’m sure it’s more communist propaganda than a legit vaccine. 

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3 hours ago, Kaptain Karl said:

I’m sure it’s more communist propaganda than a legit vaccine. 

It’s feasible even for a country like Cuba. They chose a vector that’s been around for decades so it’s hardly cutting edge. 

Whether it’s legit…well, we’ll find out soon enough. 

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1 hour ago, JohnnyO said:

Here's the formula: NaCl+H2O

It cures everything. John

Just gargle with it and all is good!

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7 hours ago, helix said:

Not to be negative or unhopeful but, how the hell could Cuba have developed an effective Vaccine ?  

It's pretty simple.  They spend all their treasure on development of vaccine instead of food production or other basic necessities that we just take for granted. 

A tropical island with so much land that imports most of its food. WTF! 

But as far as the efficacy of the Cuban vaccine goes, I was on a Signal video call with a friend's mom a few days ago.   She had just had her 3rd dose and had a low grade fever, aches, runny nose, pains and chills 24 hours after and was fine the following day.  Similar symptoms I had after the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine.  The difference is she didn't have access to any NSAIDs, decongestants, etc.  Even the pharmacies in the hotels were empty. 

 

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From Havana:

The Cuban government is making a campaign of hatred and discrediting all the people who participated in the demonstrations, in addition to making a witch hunt for all the patrons who post or publish any video or photos ... yesterday they began to release the prisoners the reason why they were delayed in the release depends on how quickly the signs on the body of the beatings and torture disappear ... 😭😭😭 yesterday I saw a video of a protester who explained that every day they were inspected and he alone they released him when he no longer had traces of violence on his body .... !!!

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18 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

So what are the next steps here?

How do we picture the Cuba situation 12 months from now?

The U.S. Admin announced more, but fortunately much more directed Sanctions:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/us-imposes-new-cuba-sanctions-over-human-rights-abuses-n1274765

In 12 months time, I dont see drastic improvement unfortunately. I think the same people will still be in power and I dont see things really improving until they're gone. 

I did hear that the Government announced more "changes", but they all sound similar to the first set of changes. They wont do anyone much good until travel to the island grow's dramatically. Who knows when that will be. 

They announced:

  • A "Garage Sale" Essentially the government wont be permitting and taxing every single private sale, Think houses and cars, appliances, big ticket items. Another boon for the mules, if they can get airline tickets. 
  • More Credit Facilities for house hold items are being offered by the government. I guess maybe an attempt to "stimulate" the economy?
  • The "legalization of means of Transport built from Parts" Im not as clear on what this one means, but it looks like it legalizes the majority of the cars you see on the road. Not production vehicles, but the classics and even non classics that are stitched together with what ever is available. 

Its great to see the Government Reacting, but none of the announced changes will make much of a difference right now. 

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31 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

The U.S. Admin announced more, but fortunately much more directed Sanctions:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/us-imposes-new-cuba-sanctions-over-human-rights-abuses-n1274765

In 12 months time, I dont see drastic improvement unfortunately. I think the same people will still be in power and I dont see things really improving until they're gone. 

I did hear that the Government announced more "changes", but they all sound similar to the first set of changes. They wont do anyone much good until travel to the island grow's dramatically. Who knows when that will be. 

They announced:

  • A "Garage Sale" Essentially the government wont be permitting and taxing every single private sale, Think houses and cars, appliances, big ticket items. Another boon for the mules, if they can get airline tickets. 
  • More Credit Facilities for house hold items are being offered by the government. I guess maybe an attempt to "stimulate" the economy?
  • The "legalization of means of Transport built from Parts" Im not as clear on what this one means, but it looks like it legalizes the majority of the cars you see on the road. Not production vehicles, but the classics and even non classics that are stitched together with what ever is available. 

Its great to see the Government Reacting, but none of the announced changes will make much of a difference right now. 

Heard same on my daily Havana update:

Good morning my dear friend .... Today we woke up with new improvements and measures taken by the government that let us breathe a little ... "It is not the solution because the solution is in the hands of the problem" but they were things that should have been done long time....
One of them was that they allowed the "Garage Sale". I explain that before, if you wanted to sell anything of yours, you had to ask the government for a permit and pay high taxes, that's why people did it illegally ...
The other measure is that we can already buy on credit ... although only household appliances and household items ...
And the last measure is the legalization of means of transport made and created from parts ... I explain that there are many motorcycles, and cars and hybrids between motorcycles and cars that many Cubans have made here and circulated illegally ...
Anyway, good measures but not the solution ...🤷🏻‍♂️

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9 hours ago, Corylax18 said:
  • The "legalization of means of Transport built from Parts" Im not as clear on what this one means, but it looks like it legalizes the majority of the cars you see on the road. Not production vehicles, but the classics and even non classics that are stitched together with what ever is available. 

This could also mean privately imported electric e-scooters. 200,000, so I read, in Cuba now. I have seen the numbers of them growing on the streets in the last couple of years. There are official sellers, but many have been imported in parts and sold privately in a legal "grey area". They're getting popular in Havana with businesses starting home deliveries during the pandemic. I see closed nightclubs offering home deliveries of cocktail kits. Obviously not for all Cubans.

Good article this week from Jon Lee Anderson, who has lived in Cuba. Written before the announced sanctions on Alvaro Lopez.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/is-cubas-communist-party-finally-losing-its-hold-on-the-country

Where it's going. I don't think there is the mood in Cuba for a violent revolution. If the government can take the pressure off, unrest might dissipate. Some of that pressure will be released with immediate access to more food, medicines. Tourism will help and for that, the Cuban vaccines will have to work. Remittances would help too. What happens to the people rounded up in last week's protest could have a part to play in what happens in the near future too.

Certainly Diaz-Canal didn't handle it well. He's trying to backtrack somewhat now. But Cubans have seen how weak he is compared to Fidel. 

I hear a flotilla has left Miami at 7 am this morning. Whatever a "flotilla" means in this case, the rumours in Cuba are that it will have a "military escort". The Cuban Office of Foreign affairs has "condemned this agressive bahaviour". Rumours of another protest today at midday in Havana.

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Ryan said:

Good article this week from Jon Lee Anderson, who has lived in Cuba. Written before the announced sanctions on Alvaro Lopez.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/is-cubas-communist-party-finally-losing-its-hold-on-the-country

Where it's going. I don't think there is the mood in Cuba for a violent revolution. If the government can take the pressure off, unrest might dissipate. Some of that pressure will be released with immediate access to more food, medicines. Tourism will help and for that, the Cuban vaccines will have to work. Remittances would help too. What happens to the people rounded up in last week's protest could have a part to play in what happens in the near future too.

Very good article there, worth reading, good insights, thanks for the link !

Agree with your assesment, but don't see the Covid situation in Cuba get better anytime soon.

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Good interview where with Tania Bruguera. She has been under house arrest in Cuba for 8 months after taking part in the "San Isidro Movement" protests last November. Calling out failed policy rather than the embargo but also warning against foreign military intervention. 

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/07/21/cuba-protests-tania-bruguera-500421

 

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