Archive for March, 2010

News not published in Cuba: Eloisa Lezama Lima

Posted in Pedro Luis, Translator: ricote on March 30, 2010 by Pedro Luis

This past Friday Professor Eloisa Lezama Lima, age 91, died in Miami, according to the writer José Prats Sariol.  Her burial, also in Miami, took place last Saturday. The sister of the author of Paradiso, Eloisa Lezama Lima left the country in 1961. The letters that her brother wrote her from Havana, published by her, constitute an indispensable source for the biography of the poet, whose centennial is celebrated this year.  In Cuba the news was not published.

translated by ricote


Homage to Cuban Transvestite Divas

Posted in Pedro Luis on March 29, 2010 by Pedro Luis

“Colors and Fantasy” Spectacular, a homage to 17 Cuban Transvestite Divas.

Wednesday, April 28, at 8:30 PM.

Teatro Municipal de Playa (56 and 43 streets). Havana. Cuba.

Direction: Efraín Zayas

Presented by: René Cunil, Elixardo Morales and Pedro de la Nuez.

Farinas Rejects Being Moved to Spain

Posted in Pedro Luis on March 29, 2010 by Pedro Luis

The Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas turned down the offer to be taken to Spain via medical transport and asked the Spanish government to make the same offer to the 26 political prisoners who are sick in the Island’s prisons, reported his spokesperson, Lisset Zamora, to the Diario de Cuba.

“He is not interested in abandoning Cuba, and much less to going into exile”, Zamora said from Santa Clara. “He turned down the offer and asked that they give the same opportunity to the 26 political prisoners who are sick in the prisons so that they can be treated in Spain.”

Not long before, the Spanish minister of the Exterior, Miguel Angel Moratinos, had announced Farina’s rejection of the offer.

According to the Spanish news agency Espanola EFE, Moratinos declared at a press conference that Spain’s main priority was to prevent Farinas death, and he added that there is a diplomatic effort with the Cuban authorities to have the dissident cease his hunger strike.

The offer was communicated over the weekend by the political consultant of the Spanish Embassy in Havana, Carlos Perez-Desoy, to Farina’s mother, Alicia Hernandez, who is with the psychologist and independent newspaper reporter in the Arnaldo Milian Castro hospital, in Santa Clara, where he has been admitted since the 11th when he suffered a second collapse.

The first information was that Farinas, 48 years old, had accepted the Spanish offer, with the condition that he would be allowed to return to the island.

In agreement with Zamora, Farinas found himself on Monday “stable within his grave situation”, in the few hours afterward his health would deteriorate dangerously due to a severe staph infection, that he contracted from the catheter through which he was being fed.

“The fever has gone down and his blood pressure is stable”, said the spokeswoman, and she explained that Farinas was receiving intravenous antibiotics and other medications.

Farinas began his hunger strike the February 24, after the death of the political prisoner Orlando Zapata in Havana, at the end of an 86 day hunger strike. He asks General Raul Castro, as ” a humanitarian gesture” the release of the sick dissidents.

The exiled ask Europe for help in extending the internet in Cuba

Posted in Pedro Luis, Translator: AMC on March 29, 2010 by Pedro Luis

“It isn’t about ideologies, but about humanity. We need solidarity” said the Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez

Those in exile believe the internet and the new technologies have become an indispensable ally in getting their message out, as has happened since the death of Orlando Zapata, and have asked the European governments to make available free and accessible connections in their respective embassies in Havana, reported the AP.

“The revolution of the new technologies have come to mark the end of the Cuban revolution” said Pablo Diaz, director of Diario de Cuba.”The Internet helps protect those on the island and at the same time sensitize (make aware) those who are outside.”

Diaz participated in the seminar with other figures (supporters) of the opposition, both in exile and on the island.”Europe in solidarity with Cuba” organized by the foundation of the former president of Poland Lech Walesa, in collaboration with a few Spanish and European representatives in Madrid.

Diaz confirmed that not even the illness of Fidel Castro has had as much of an impact on the island as the new technologies and defined the web as “a beast” that the government cannot tame.

“The decline of the Castro regime has come as a result of the internet 2.0 and the shared files” he added.

The journalist Raul Rivero asked for more technological help from the embassies and diplomatic missions. He remembered (reminded) how some dissidents organized themselves using the internet, with help of the exiled in Miami, to rebroadcast live(?) Zapata’s funeral, who died in February after a prolonged hunger strike.

“That was something (previously) unthinkable. The technological development is very difficult for the dictatorship”, stated Rivero.

Rivero highlighted the role that the bloggers, headed by Yoani Sanchez, are playing as they tell the world what is happening in Cuba.

Yoani Sanchez participated by phone from Havana.

“Enough reading headlines that Cuba violates, and that Cuba represses. It is the government that violates everything. The government is not Cuba” said the blogger.

“it isn’t about ideologies, but humanity. We need solidarity.” she added.

Antonio Guedes, vice president of the Liberal Union of Cuba, emphasized the importance of the internet, but more so of all those who broadcast via short wave radio, so that the Cubans can get more information, since it is difficult to access a computer on the island.

Guedes insisted that the European embassies should open their doors to the dissidents and offer connections to the broad band.

“Every day more Cubans denounce what is happening in the country”, added Guedes. “Some of them don’t even consider themselves dissidents, but the government makes a great effort to categorize them as political dissidents and persecute them.”

“Tomorrow may be too late.”

From Cuba, the activists Jorge Olivera and Miriam Leiva participated in the forum via telephone and denounced a “wave of repression” of Raul Castro’s government after the death of Zapata.

“We are speaking today, because tomorrow may be too late”, said Olivera, one of the detainees in 2003 who was liberated the following year due to health issues (problems).

Olivera showed his confidence in Europe as they work to liberate 200 political prisoners when he said, “They die slowly in the subhuman prisons of Castro’s regime.”

In the same vein, Leiva demanded the involvement of the European and Latin American parliaments so that they demand the liberation of the prisoners of (conscience?)

“Cuban society is immersed in the gravest political, economic and social crisis of our history, without our government announcing neither changes nor democratic advancements (progress).

The Spanish representative of the conservative Popular Party of Luis (??), one of the meetings organizers, said that he would work from the parliament to attend to the demands of the internal opposition.

The secretary general of the European Popular Party, Antonio Lopez Isturiz, said this Friday in the Diario de Cuba that 18 conservative prime  ministers, gathered the day before in a meeting, decided to oppose the change of position of the EU regarding Cuba.

The governments that disagree with Spain are Germany, France, Italy, Malta, Holland, and Bulgaria until they reach 18, according to Lopez Isturiz.

Diario de Cuba covered the event live (in real time)on Twitter.

Translated by AMC

Spain Offers Help to Fariñas

Posted in Pedro Luis on March 29, 2010 by Pedro Luis
The Spanish ambassador in Havana, Manuel Cacho, personally reiterated the offer of an airplane. Fariñas turned it down again, saying it “would be a shame to waste the gas on that.”

Spain offered an air ambulance. Fariñas said he would only accept it if he were allowed to return.

Alicia Hernández, the dissident’s mother, told the press that Fariñas talked with the political consel at the Spanish embassy in Havana, Carlos Pérez-Desoy, to whom he explained “that I would not leave to become an exile and neither would I leave to return.” The dissident asked the Spanish government to offer the air ambulance to the political prisoners who are ill.


Posted in Pedro Luis, Translator: Ondina Felipe on March 27, 2010 by Pedro Luis

Dear Friends, the news that I published about The Ladies in White, I took it from the German Press Agency in Havana. They published the information but it seems that it was written by a Cuban.

Translated by Ondina Felipe

Calle 13 Causes Unrest in Miami

Posted in Pedro Luis on March 27, 2010 by Pedro Luis


After its concert on Tuesday at the Anti-Imperialist bandstand in Havana, Calle 13 is back in the center of controversy. Their lateness in leaving the stage Thursday at the American Airlines Arena, an event which promised to provide Miami with some of the most important figures of urban music, was one of the causes of unrest among the public, resulting in screams, fights and an avalanche of bottles thrown onto the stage.