Let’s begin with the obvious: there is no “elections” in Cuba” but “selections” by the Castro family to any positions of importance. The rest it’s only wishful thinking.
The filtration of the video of a lecture given by Miguel Díaz Canel last February to a select staff of the party, the FAR and MININT should be understood in that context. It is possible and perhaps productive to speculate if this video after six months of being produced was a deliberate filtration and has other purposes. But those considerations – useful, but always difficult to prove – would divert the analysis of what is relevant and perfectly verifiable.
Three months of the passing of the “eternal” Commander and election to the White House’s Donald Trump – not of the “guaranteed winner” Hillary Clinton – Castro address had to provide an orientation to his major paintings. Inside, there was a need to show firmness. Out the best was making soft until you see what the real policy towards Cuba of the new President of the United States.
In a totalitarian society, with total control over information, this is not difficult. A spokesperson with formal authority is used to impart internal guidance. Then it is circulated in certain circuits in a controlled way and in the street rumors, while an image of affable innocence is projected and patient waits towards the outside. Finally it “filters” if that is convenient.
The striking thing here is that whoever is blamed with the nonsense said in the video is the same personage that has been selling as the generational relay – an educated professional with efficient and open mind – of the Castro family. So why burn that “presidential” fantasy when we are less than six months away from the “big selection” of 2018?
The operation of selling the figure of Diaz Canel as a potential reformist attracted attention potentially damaging to him. Díaz Canel began to receive approximations from diverse external actors interested in creating early relations with the supposed Dolphin. He knows that’s deadly in Castro’s Versailles. It is corroborated by a long list of people ranging from Jose “Pepe” Llanusa to Carlos Lage, to Carlos Aldana, Roberto Robaina and Felipe Pérez Roque. The third seat in Havana is always deadly.
In Cuba, the people do not choose the head of the government. To choose – or rather to select – is a function of the power elite, or a meeting of shareholders of the corporation Castro that presided over by Fidel and now Raúl is the true owner of the country.
The candidates for that corporation’s administrators, the CEOs of Castro Inc., have to prove to be in tune with the thinking and interests of that power elite, not the ordinary citizen.
On the island, the candidate does not have to launch slogans of “water, roads and schools” to win popular votes, but to sell to the power elite the ability to attract more business with foreign capital, assure them totalitarian control over society and Possess the essential demagogic capacity to be able to make credible external propaganda about the benign intentions of the Cuban regime.
The least relevant is whether or not Diaz Canel thinks the same way he speaks. The important thing is that his speech reflects how the Cuban power elite really thinks, for which the position of president and head of state is that of a disposable CEO, as happened twice under the Castro presidents Manuel Urrutia and Osvaldo Dorticós.
Havana has been inoculated in several ways against the emergence of a potential Gorbachev in their yard, although he knows that no vaccine offers one hundred percent protection. That’s why you liquidate them early. It is a curious application to the leaders of the “predelicitiva dangerous laws” that allow in Cuba to imprison any citizen who has not committed crimes but that the authorities consider has propensity to do so.
In Cuba the power elite commands and the presidents administer whatever it decides. That is why what a candidate for “president” can say is only relevant in that it reveals, without makeup, the true mentality of their masters.
POLITICAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Díaz Canel attacks against alternative means and the ‘loyal opposition’
Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba’s first vice-president, attacked independent journalism, the self-employed, the “loyal opposition” and the United States. At a CPC meeting in February, the official attacked the island’s media and alternative projects. He fired on “subversive projects” such as the “package”, illegal WiFi networks and private businesses.
‘De-icing’: US maneuver against Cuba, says vice-president
Cuban First Vice-President Miguel Díaz-Canel assured that the “thaw” Cuba-US was a Washington maneuver for a “political and economic reconquest.” He emphasized that it was “a different way to try to achieve its ultimate goal of destroying the revolution,” he said. The senior official added: “Therefore, we do not have to give anything in return.”
Diplomats suffered brain damage from acoustic attack in Cuba
US diplomats who were attacked along with their relatives in Havana with some kind of acoustic weapon have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries and damage to the central nervous system, according to medical documents that had exclusive access to the American television network CBS, which disclosed them.
Washington Post: ‘Sinister Attack’ Against Diplomats are not minimized
The Washington Post describes in an editorial as “another sinister cost” of Barack Obama’s bet on relations with Cuba, the serious injuries inflicted on at least 16 US diplomats. The newspaper highlights that in the Cuban police state almost nothing happens without the regime knows and that the Trump Administration should not minimize what happened.
# Otro18 will nominate 170 candidates in municipal elections
Two months after the October “municipal” elections in Cuba, citizen platform # Otro18 announced that it will nominate more than 170 independent candidates, although he denounced that all of them are being harassed and threatened by the regime. The leader of that entity, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, said that the electoral law allows independent candidacies.
50 activists and neighbors were detained in a river
About 30 activists from UNPACU and some 20 residents of Altamira, Santiago de Cuba, were violently detained along with their families, including children, while they spent the day on the river Ulloa, San Luis municipality, denounced José Daniel Ferrer. The group moved in a private truck to that river “with the intention of spending a pleasant day with family,” Ferrer said.
Opposition leader accused of murder plot beaten by police
Opposition leader Ovidio Martín Castellanos, one of UNPACU’s national directors, has been charged with an attack, despite the fact that he was brutally beaten by the political police. Martín Castellanos was on August 19 in a recreational meeting with dissidents and neighbors of the different opposition cells, including many children in a river in Santiago de Cuba.
The regime raises internal control over public health authorities
The Cuban dictatorial regime ordered urgent measures to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) to increase the control of internal information, after the leakage of restricted data that the government concealed from the population about epidemics and health hazards of Cubans in general. MININT looks for those responsible for leaks.
Oppositor Jorge Cervantes tells the horror of his 85 days in prison
After 85 days of detention without trial, a 39-day hunger strike and indictment for three crimes not committed, UNPACU’s opponent Jorge Cervantes Garcia gave Martí Noticias details of his confinement. “Once they dragged me to see if I injured my feet and I walked by myself and got injured because they dragged me along the pavement.”
UNPACU denounces wave of raids and arrests of activists
MININT agents raided two houses and arrested 4 UNPACU activists and 57 looting of activists from UNPACU since last December. A raid occurred at the home of a brother of the UNPACU coordinator in Havana, Zaqueo Báez. Another was against Ismael Bori Reñí and his wife Aimara Nieto.
Santiago oppositors are intimidated at a psychiatric hospital
Agents of MININT took Alberto and Leonardo Ramírez Odio, and their father, Alberto, to the provincial psychiatric hospital in Santiago de Cuba. They were then returned to prison. The oppositor Reina Gonzalez said it could be to inject drugs. Or they wanted to give them electroshock and the medical authorities refused, explained Carlos Oliva.
Arrested 57 Ladies in White in several provinces
For 113 consecutive weeks, the Cuban regime has banned the Ladies in White from exercising their right to free expression in Cuba. On Sunday, August 20, 55 women were arrested in the provinces of La Habana (20), Matanzas (21), Palma Soriano (11), Bayamo (3) and Guantánamo (1) and Ciego de Ávila Political prisoner Ángel Moya Acosta.
Cuban resident in the US claims MINREX and MININT
The Legal Department of Pinar del Río, attached to the opposition Corriente Agramontista, filed a petition and an amparo petition before the Cuban People’s Supreme Court in favor of the Cuban resident Geiser Conde, for “economic and emotional damages” by preventing him to enter his country to attend his brother’s funeral, despite having his travel documents in order.
Castro’s FARC party will have those same acronyms
The FARC’s narcoguerrilla will become a political party that will be called Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria de Colombia, so it will maintain the same acronym for FARC, according to the leader of the organization Rodrigo Londoño, alias “Timochenko”, said in Havana. Before returning to Bogotá to attend the founding congress of the party.
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND LABOR RIGHTS
The regime refuses to accept advantages of private marketing
Common sense indicates that the most efficient economic management should be supported. But the Castro regime does not. According to official figures in the first quarter of 2017 the sales of agricultural markets supply-demand, and the “carretilleros” increased by 117% and 25% respectively. That of the state markets grew by 1.1%.
Crisis in Venezuela and brake to self-employed will hit the economy
The political crisis in Venezuela and the decline in the timid economic reforms could worsen the critical situation that Cubans face, warns expert. The situation remains complicated in the second half of this year, according to the Inter Press Service (IPS) service in Cuba, the economist Pavel Vidal.
Insuficient lunch servings for the elderly & poor in Havana
He arrives at noon with a metal cup and a plastic bag . Roberto is one of the many elderly who eat lunch in the parish of La Milagrosa, in the Havana neighborhood of Santos Suárez. The ration he receives at breakfast, lunch and snack is the main sustenance of this 78-year-old pensioner who receives a pension of 220 CUP, less than 10 dollars.
Flights from the US to Cuba continue to decline
Less than a year after Barack Obama restored commercial flights between Cuba and the US, US airlines are reducing their routes to the island. While Americans’ interest in traveling to Cuba remains high, “hope initially perceived is not so bright today,” said John Grant, a specialist in air markets
Panama seizes 811 pounds of cocaine going to Cuba
Panamanian authorities reported to the press that 318 packages containing 811 pounds of pure cocaine were seized in a container destined for Cuba. The drug was discovered on August 19 in an operation at the Cristobal seaport in Colón province, Panamanian prosecutor Paula Valdés said.
China: CCP will control companies that have foreign capital
The reactionary policy of Chinese President Xi Jingping to strengthen the role of the Communist Party in all of Chinese society came to the business of foreign companies in the country, and some executives are very upset. Companies now have to let the CCP review the contracts and have the final say in business and investment operations.
Military companies: corruption, low wages and non-labor rights
Martí Noticias chatted with 12 employees of military companies who complained of mistreatment and low wages. Diego Perea (fictitious name) explained that they have to work with the air conditioning turned off to save fuel, and that the union is a faithful guardian of the bosses and when asked “you must participate in marches or acts of repudiation of dissidents.”
US pulls out of the blacklist some 5,000 Castro entities
The Treasury Department unexpectedly removed some 5,000 Internet domains from Cuban entities and individuals that were on the list of restrictions to do business with the US. The measure allows more flexibility to conduct commercial transactions with the US, which does not fit with the announced new policy of Donald Trump towards Cuba.
Many schools in Cuba will not open on September 4
Many schools in Cuba will not open their doors on September 4 due to problems of various types, including toilets. Many schools are in deplorable physical conditions and are being rebuilt. Only in Villa Clara, of 120 reconstruction works that are currently working, 73 will not be ready for the beginning of the school year.
The crisis of interprovincial transport worsens
If the situation of urban transport is bad, it is even worse that of inter-provincial transportation in Cuba. Who wants to travel to the east of the country must sleep several nights at the terminals to obtain a ticket. In Havana, hundreds of people flock daily to the Omnibus terminal to see how they “solve” a passage at a premium under the carpet.
Tourism in Cuba requires a change of mentality and strategy
The Cuban tourism sector calls for profound model changes that go through a “change of business mindset” and “strategy” of the government to attract foreign investment, according to The Havana Consulting Group. The “very slow and limited” process of the restructuring of the economic model is damaging the “tourist boom” that the island lives.
Study reveals high rates of senile dementia in Cuba
A study on old age in Cuba showed that 160,000 people suffer from dementia on the island, which by the year 2040 will reach the 300,000 affected, 2.7% of the total population, according to state press. In Cuba, dementia is the leading cause of disability in older adults, and is the largest contributor to care needs and economic overburden.
In Cuba old age is synonymous with misery
Zaida Bauta is 86 years old and suffers from diabetes, lives alone with her son and receives a retirement pension of 200 pesos. Sometimes they do not know how they survive but they prefer not to ask for any kind of assistance to the Government. “You may think that as a painter I have money, so we prefer to save ourselves the wrong time and humiliation,” said Abenamar, the son of Zaida.
Havana languishes among debris, rubble and epidemics
Havana is affected by communicable diseases due to environmental insalubrity. It is estimated that since 2000, the volume of solid waste that is thrown on the streets of the capital has been increased by 30% without anybody picking them up. Many municipalities do not even have a truck to collect the garbage, which remains for weeks on the street.
Cuba is building less and less and inequalities are increasing
While the Cuban takes years to build or repair a home, he sees full well-equipped hostels emerge before his eyes, an unmistakable sign that the constructive fever in Havana is for tourism and not to alleviate the situation of those in need. Today the deficit of the housing fund on the island is 883, 050 housing, 30,000 more than in 2016.
Teacher deficit persists a few days after the new school year
The lack of teachers beats the Cuban education system, one of the flagships of the communist government. Lack of incentives and low wages, the lack of incentives that promote this vocation among the young, are some of the causes of the current collapse of education in Cuba. Many boys take the pedagogical career only to not go to military service.