General Raúl Castro seems to be affected by a sudden rally of totalitarian fever. His actions last week, both in domestic and foreign matters, corroborate this.
The numerous measures aimed at containing and reversing the progress of the private sector, which we have already discussed in our previous summary, have added new ones. The closure of Cuba’s largest private accounting cooperative and the announcement that no more non-agricultural cooperatives will be allowed are signs that continue to deny the benign “reformist” character that some wanted to bestow on Raul Castro.
The propaganda in favor of the regime mistakenly confuses this “Raulist” phase of fragile and limited “opening” with a non-existent “reformism”. The openings are resealed when deemed necessary. Reforms are more complicated to reverse. That is why the Castros never made structural reforms, but changes or adjustments (updates) of administrative policies always reversible by executive decree. Fidel Castro had already done so in the nineties. He opened and closed it again. The problem for Raúl is that if he continues on this path of setbacks there is no new Chavez on the horizon that comes to finance him.
After 11 years of replacing his brother, Castro II shows that his political compass wasn’t, and still isn’t, popular welfare, but the eternal power of his family clan. For Raul, power is a “zero sum game”. He cannot grant even one apex of the monopoly economy of his totalitarian state to the micro-business because that, according to his binary mentality, weakens his power.
But the rise of totalitarian fever has not only been in domestic politics. Regarding foreign relations, this week, the Cuban government announced its support for North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear tests and announced that it would be in the “first line of solidarity” with the Maduro regime.
Not surprising if one remembers that Castro was surprised sending a ship with a smuggling of arms to North Korea in the middle of the dialogue with the White House of Obama! His reference to Venezuela isn’t surprising either. Thousands of Cuban officials, military and intelligence officers actually run that narco-colony on the island.
The influential “The Wall Street Journal” newspaper of August 8th again put its finger on the sore and insisted that Raul Castro is in charge in Venezuela, so the logical and effective thing to do, would be to sanction the Cuban regime and not only their South American subordinates.
The recent statement by President Donald Trump specifies that with Venezuela all the options – including the military option- were on the table, which has caused some to distance themselves from his words, in order not to be politically incorrect.
But while a US military intervention is only a hypothesis that some prefer to reject, those same people and governments still do not pronounce on the actual ongoing intervention that has taken place for years in Cuba’s internal affairs.
The Cubazuela Axis – which has been promoting for several years the subversion of democracies throughout the hemisphere and is now clinging to power in Caracas over a pile of corpses – is motivating indignation in the international public opinion.
The moral, just and necessary thing to do is that not only the United States, but all democratic countries face the plans of Castroism in Latin America, by all means effective within their reach. The use of military forces should not be ruled out if that is what is required to save Venezuela and protect the peace, security, and interests of the rest of the democratic countries of the hemisphere.
As Congressman Albio Sires warned Vice President Mike Pence last week: Venezuela can become “another Cuba, but with oil.” It is enough to imagine how much more damage, poverty and death would have caused Fidel Castro around the world, had Cuba been a major exporter of oil.
REPORT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA, AUGUST 15, 2017
POLITICAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Castro rules in Venezuela, it must be sanctioned, says US newspaper
“The Wall Street Journal” suggested on Aug. 8 that any US-led strategy to free Venezuela should admit that Castro rules in Caracas and is the one to be sanctioned because personal sanctions against Maduro “will not change Castro’s behavior, Who are only worried about his Venezuelan oil and his profits from drug trafficking. ”
Warning that Venezuela could be another Cuba, but with oil.
Cuban-American congressman Albio Sires, a Democrat from New Jersey, compared Nicolás Maduro to Fidel Castro, and warned that the Venezuelan dictator seeks to establish a Cuban-style government, but with oil. Sires made that warning to US Vice President Mike Pence at a luncheon also attended by Senator Marco Rubio and Rep. Jeff Duncan.
MININT plan to crush Cuban dissidents
Attack, contempt, non-payment of fines for distributing leaflets, as well as other common crimes such as heavy theft are part of the package of false accusations from the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) against opponents in Cuba. Francisco Luis Manzanet assured Martí Noticias that the regime wants to stop activism by bringing activists to prison for common crimes not committed.
The regime wants to know who puts the posters of ‘Down Raul Castro’
“The political police came to question me about who is putting up anti-government posters in Havana and I told them to do their work.” “Down with the dictatorship,” “Raúl Castro is down,” said activist Zaqueo Báez. UNPACU, released from prison after being on hunger strike.
Acoustic weapons would have affected US diplomats
A strange incident in Havana affected 5 US diplomats and a Canadian, who felt a sudden loss of hearing and other symptoms. Investigators question whether the Cuban government, or forces outside the Castro hierarchy, placed devices that produce non-audible sounds inside or outside diplomatic houses to deafen them.
Harassment of US personnel in Havana has never ceased
The regime has harassed US personnel in Cuba for decades, lawmakers and former diplomats said after an “incident” in which diplomats were injured and led to the expulsion of two Cuban officials from the island’s embassy in Washington. Senator Marco Rubio recalled that the harassment of the Cuban government has never ceased.
The façade of the Embassy of Cuba in Caracas is reinforced
The Cuban embassy in Caracas is being reinforced with a high block wall at the main entrance. The wall covers precisely the letters that identify the Cuban diplomatic headquarters. In social networks appeared images August 6. Venezuelans said the wall expresses the fear of Cuban personnel to possible reprisals.
Send to prison those who protested on July 26 at Santiago de Cuba
Reina Silvia Gonzalez, wife of Alberto Ramírez, detained in Versailles, Santiago de Cuba, together with her brother Leonardo and his father Alberto, told Radio Martí that they will go to jail while they are charged for having protested on July 26 at the Céspedes Park.
The Cuban regime supports North Korean ICBM missile tests
According to the official newspaper of the North Korean dictatorship, Rodong Shinmun, Cuba expressed in full support for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to strengthen its defensive capabilities, including intercontinental missile launches, “Which Express the enormous degree of irresponsibility of Raúl Castro.
Possible opposition candidate in October elections
Activist Jose Rolando Casares, proposed as a candidate for municipal elections by platform # Otro18, was imprisoned in Pinar del Río. Police officers went to his house, asked him to accompany them, they put him in a patrol car, took him and then learned that he was taken to the prison “Kilo 5”, said Manuel Cuesta Morua.
Grotesca disinformation in Cuba about what happens in Venezuela
According to Cuban state media, the vote on the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela was an “exemplary victory” and the day passed “with a large influx of people.” The protests are not demonstrations against the Maduro regime but rather acts of violence organized by the US, and the protesters are not Venezuelans but “right-wing terrorists.”
Press Releases for the Military in Cuba
The Cuban Resistance Assembly congratulated the three winners of the radio contest “Mi hermano militar” by Radio República, the voice of the Cuban Democratic Directorate. The contest consisted of writing a message addressed to the Cuban military where they are encouraged to defend the freedom of the Cuban people and not to be accomplices of the communist regime.
Opposition discuss with priests the role of the Church
Political opponents held a first meeting with Catholic priests José Conrado Rodríguez and Castor Álvarez. Antonio Rodiles, Ailer Gonzalez, Berta Soler, Ángel Moya, the photographer Claudio Fuentes and Raúl Borges participated in the meeting. They exchanged criteria on the role of the Church and the opposition.
53 Ladies in White detained across the Island
MININT forces detained 53 Ladies in White on Sunday 111 against the TodosMarchamos campaign for the release of political prisoners. In Matanzas 21 women were arrested, in Havana 17, in Santa Clara three, in Palma Soriano 11 and in Guantánamo. 8 women arrived in Bayamo and 14 in Matanzas, Angel Moya reported.
Activist demands punishment for the person who prevented him from leaving the country
The activist Lía Villares delivered a complaint to the MININT in Havana to investigate and punish the officials of that ministry that banned her from leaving the country. The request was received by an employee who did not write anything in the sections of “name and position” in which only recorded: “Agent 018”.
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND LABOR RIGHTS
The regime closes a large private cooperative of accounting services
The Ministry of Finance and Prices ordered the closure of Scenius, one of the country’s six private accounting and financial services cooperatives, in another measure to hit the private sector. Scenius has 30 days to liquidate operations with nearly 100 clients, including state-owned enterprises. The closure will leave 326 self-employed, partners of this organization with headquarters in several provinces.
No more non-agricultural cooperatives will be authorized
The regime will not authorize the creation of new non-agricultural cooperatives until it is known when. State official Yovana Vega argued that some cooperatives act as private companies, with the president as if they were the owner, with few partners, and manage with self-employed wage earners, and then distribute the profits only among the partners.
Government takes another step to end private taxi drivers in Havana
The Ministry of Transportation announced more regulations against private passenger taxi drivers in Havana. The regime wants them to be incorporated into state pikes with which they must establish contractual relations. These pikes will only be operated by the state and not by independent cooperatives. That is, it is a step to finish with the boteros habaneros.
‘It’s as if they are bothered by a prosperous people’, says self-employed
“Promises, that’s what Cubans live on and they live in power,” said a worker at the private restaurant Art Pub. “I do not think these new restrictions are related to disorders in the private sector, the government does not want Is competition and less in a coveted sector such as tourism. It is as if they are disturbed by a prosperous people, a people with joy to live.
Frustration grows among independent workers in Cuba
Cuentapropistas, (small business owners) and taxi drivers have reacted with concern to the new measures taken by the Cuban government that temporarily suspend the permit for new licenses and cancel it in some cases. The new measures nullify the licenses to carretilleros or itinerant vendors of agro products.
Angola refuses to receive new Cuban medical collaborators
In an unprecedented decision that could reach diplomatic scope, the Angolan government rejected the sending of 192 Cuban medical personnel prepared to travel and join the Cuban medical mission in that African country. The unexpected decision was communicated to Havana through an e-mail sent from Luanda by the ANTEX company, on July 31.
Teachers and academics in Cuba earn poor wages
In the last session of the National Assembly of People’s Power a deputy dared to claim, albeit timidly, that academics and university professors earn very little. That claim is today the daily talk in that sector. A university professor in Cuba earns 735 pesos ($ 30) a month, the lowest wage in the West in that branch.
The government continue to reduce wages to agricultural producers in Holguin
The wages of state agricultural workers in San Germán, Holguín, remain low or unpaid, and no leader clarifies how long that will happen. Some tractor operators said they felt cheated. Lazarus, one of them, has recorded the salary accrued per fortnight and says that they have already stopped paying 4,000 pesos.
Cuban netizens artfully mock Castro’s censorship
Cuban netizens, especially the young and the students, manage to get the addresses of the most effective mirror pages word of mouth. As an open secret, every day it is more common for Cubans on the island to access censored and blocked websites by the government, using a proxy or mirror page, according to Martí Noticias.
Cuba exported only US $ 9 millions to Russia in the first half of 2017
Trade between Russia and Cuba amounted to 176.2 million dollars during the first half of this year, of which only 9 million dollars corresponded to Cuban exports and the remaining 167 million dollars were imports from Russia. Cuba’s trade with its political ally continues to be very small.
After protests, construction materials are delivered to shelters.
After about 20 people, mainly women, protested last August 2 in front of the provincial government of Havana to demand better conditions in the shelter where they live, began to arrive at said shelter building materials. Also appeared in the surroundings “strange” people dressed in civil, like guarding.