Protests against power blackouts keep spreading throughout Cuba

From our Socialist Light and Power Bureau

As the Matanzas fire continues to rage and the power plant next to the inferno is shut down, Castro, Inc. keeps announcing crippling power blackouts throughout the island.

Experts acknowledge that this problem has no immediate solution due to the obsolescence of Cuba’s power plants and the magnitude of their disrepair. Basically, until new power plants can be built, the blackouts will continue.

Below is an account of protests in Holguin, one of the many cities where protests have been held.

Loosely translated from Cubanos Por El Mundo

Cubans in the city of Holguín took to the streets once again to protest against the blackouts that affect them every night and during the day as well.

Through social networks they have published images and videos in which a group of Antilleans are seen shouting slogans against the regime and phrases such as: “Turn on the current, pinga”, [Cuban expletive for male genitalia] “Hey, police, pinga”, “we can’t stand it anymore more”, among other expressions.

In the videos, which are seen more clearly than on other occasions, a group of people can be seen demonstrating peacefully in the streets, some families with children, and others watching and recording the situation.

Cubans have not stopped demanding their rights and the restoration of electricity. Since June they have carried out nightly protests against the blackouts and the shortages that affect the entire country, of medicines, food and other services.

Many young Cubans who are tired of living in misery and without a vision of a future for themselves and their families participate in these peaceful protests.

Cuban oil depot fire intensifies, inferno still out of control

From our Bureau of Socialist Disaster Management

Four days after a bolt of lightning started a fire at the Matanzas bay oil depot, the raging inferno keeps intensifying, spewing toxic smoke over a very wide area. Thousands have been evacuated and the city of Matanzas has been turned into a ghost town.

Meanwhile, fears about toxic rain and other environmental hazards hang over everyone under the colossal smoke cloud. Many of the injured are still hospitalized and the remains of missing firefighters who are presumed dead have yet to be found.

The only bit of potentially good news is that a firefighting ship from Mexico has arrived.

For a full day-by-day rundown on the disaster go HERE for several articles in Spanish

Smoke over Matanzas

Loosely translated from Periódico Cubano

Four tanks are currently affected by the fire, one of which was emptied before the flames reached it. (Collage: Irene Pérez-Cubadebate)

The fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, which started last Friday, August 5, continues out of control and, unfortunately, its intensity has increased in recent hours.

“It has taken a greater magnitude, four tanks of 50,000 (cubic meters) each are already compromised,” said Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ávalos Jorge, Second Chief of the National Extinction Department of the Cuban Fire Department, at a press conference.

He explained that what happened “has been a chain reaction since the first tank burned and exploded at dawn on Saturday.” At this time, firefighters and other forces are focused on terminal 321, where the tanks for clear products (gasoline) are located, to prevent the flames from spreading further.

Ávalos Jorge indicated “it is impossible to make an exact calculation of how long the work will take. It can take days.” He specified that “the fire is developing in a very complicated situation, taking into account the high temperatures and the air that has hit us a lot, since it favors it and develops it in a superior way, and that has meant that we cannot do more. actions with better results.

On the other hand, the lieutenant colonel said that the ‘Antonio Guiteras’ Thermoelectric Power Plant “is not in danger from the fire.” “We are taking, in any case, all the measures, and for the moment there is no need to worry about that very important unit,” he added.

continue reading HERE in Spanish

Statistic of the Day: Cuba has over 1,000 political prisoners

From our Bureau of Socialist Tolerance, Social Justice, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

The numbers speak for themselves. Data collected by Prisoners Defenders

From August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022, a total of 1,251 political prisoners have suffered political imprisonment in Cuba. All of them are tortured, as demonstrated by the detailed study of 101 random cases denounced by Prisoners Defenders before the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) and the public reproaches of the CAT after the complaints from civil society, which materialized in its subsequent May report on the situation of torture in Cuba. The report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, this past June, also confirmed that numerous boys and girls have been arrested and sentenced to very harsh sentences for exercising their freedom of demonstration and “association”.

At this specific moment, with data closing as of July 31, 2022, the list of political prisoners in Cuba contains a total of 1,002 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience suffering judicial sentences, as well as provisions limiting their freedom by the prosecutors without any judicial supervision, in flagrant violation of international law and due process.

Prisoners Defenders has been able to verify a list of 1,002 political prisoners as of 07/31/2022 (VER). Of the 1,002 political prisoners, the following are still serving sentences or precautionary measures:

32 boys and 6 girls, 38 minors in total.
4 girls and 22 boys, 26 minors, have already been sentenced, 16 of them for “Sedition”, to an average sentence of 5 years in prison, after the “reductions” in the appeal and cassation processes.
171 demonstrators, including 16 girls and boys, have already been sentenced for “Sedition”.
697 sentenced prisoners of conscience are still on the list with sentences between 1 and 25 years.
Other political prisoners carry sentences of 30 years and up to life imprisonment (12 of them)
At least 122 women (including those of the trans gender) still have political and conscientious orders and sentences

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

Images of the Day: Want to buy a vacation home in Cuba? How about this fixer-upper?

From our Bureau of Socialist Real Estate Bargains

Hey! Don’t pass up this opportunity. After 63 years, seven months, and eight days of socialist totalitarianism, this Cuban pictured below is ready to seek greener pastures. And he is selling his magnificent house and his Chinese bicycle or simply trading them for a one-way plane ticket to Nicaragua.

Such a deal. This perfect vacation cottage give a whole new meaning to the woke buzzword “equity.”

Picture yourself shirtless and barefoot, enjoying the soft tropical breezes on this shady porch as you sip mow-hee-toes and day-kee-rees. And just imagine what a view you will have of toxic plumes of black smoke if your local oil depot happens to catch on fire, just like the one in Matanzas. Epic, man, truly epic. Socialism is the future!

You know, without socialism that noble savage would be homeless!

Cuban dissident Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas arrested again

From our Weapons of Mass Distraction Bureau

While the inferno in Matanzas keeps raging and the news media devote most of their attention to it, Castro, Inc. continues to carry on as usual, and this, of course, includes its constant persecution of dissidents.

So, while the fire gets all the attention, the venerable dissident Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas is imprisoned somewhere. The arrest took place on Friday, and now –three days later — there is no word on his whereabouts. His crime? He intended to join a demonstration. Preventive harassment is completely legal in Castrogonia, where one can be arrested and imprisoned for “potential dangerousness.”

No one is paying attention, naturally. Let’s see what happens next.

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias

Dissident Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas, was arrested at his home in Santa Clara by State Security agents to prevent him from going out to demonstrate and released at night.

Her daughter, Haissa Fariñas, told Radio Televisión Martí that the State Security agents knew in advance that her father intended to demonstrate this Friday and the order “was to prevent it.”

“Until now we do not know specifically where they have him arrested or rather the location of it,” said the opponent to this wording.

Alicia Hernández, Fariñas’s mother, told Radio Martí that her son was arrested when he was preparing to go out into the street in the morning. “When I looked out I saw the patrol, but well I saw him in passing, he was already inside (of the patrol),” she explained.

Mrs. Hernández assured that as soon as the agents see her son’s willingness to leave, “they immediately come for him.” “He does not resist any of that, there is no force or anything, they put the handcuffs on him and leave,” she explained.

She lamented that the authorities never inform her where he is transferred and that it is the opponent himself who, after being released, tells her in which police unit he was detained.

Pope Francis remains silent about persecution of Catholic clergy in Nicaragua

See photo above. Watch video of this event HERE, which will allow you to hear this bishop singing hymns of forgiveness, peace, mercy, and the old-time favorite of persecuted Catholics in the Hispanic world: “Reine Jesus Por Siempre.”

Papa Che has not uttered a word about this, which is only the latest of many instances of outright persecution of Catholics by Nicaragua’s socialist dictatorship, a campaign of harassment that includes “.the siege of priests and bishops, the expulsion of members of religious communities, the desecration of temples and the closure of radio stations.”

Maybe his silence has something to do with his preferential option for leftist dictatorships. Yeah, maybe. Remember, Cuba is “a symbol” and King Raul is a friend with whom he has a “human relationship.”

Loosely translated from Cubanos Por El Mundo

The injustice of a bishop who remains held in Nicaragua is being “ignored” by Pope Francis, which represents one more example of his complicity with the dictatorships, in this case, especially with Nicaragua.

Meanwhile, a group of bishops have shown their support and concern for Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, of the Diocese of Matagalpa in Nicaragua.

The aforementioned bishop has been locked up under house arrest in the curia of that town for four days by the security forces of the Nicaraguan regime and affirmed that the police accuse him of allegedly “inciting hatred”, for that reason he is in a house condition for jail.

“The latest events, such as the siege of priests and bishops, the expulsion of members of religious communities, the desecration of temples and the closure of radio stations, hurt us deeply,” said Peruvian Bishop Miguel Cabrejos, president of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopal Council. (CELAM).

Bishop Rolando Álvarez, 55, is critical of the Daniel Ortega dictatorship and for that reason he is being persecuted by the regime.

It was learned that the police initiated an investigation against the Diocese of Matagalpa, which Álvarez presides over, for allegedly trying to “organize violent groups” and incite “to carry out acts of hatred” to destabilize the country.

In the midst of this injustice, the highest representative of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, avoided speaking on the subject during his homily on Sunday, which represents his complicity with the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega, who harasses those who are in his against.

A group of bishops from Latin America have raised their voices against this situation that attacks the Catholic Church and have asked the parishioners for their prayers so that Bishop Rolando Álvarez comes out of this terrible situation.

Cuba fire update: Third oil storage tank collapses, firefighters still missing

Despite help from Venezuelan and Mexican firefighters, the fire in Matanzas keeps raging. Castro, Inc., as usual, is filtering all information from the disaster site, so piecing together what can be learned from various sources, the big news is that the third oil tank has exploded.

Other headlines:

Over 4,000 people have been evacuated

17 firefighters “disappeared”, only one corpse has been recovered. Castro, Inc. is not releasing any information on the missing men.

Pope Francis, a.k.a. Papa Che has given a blessing to all who are being affected by this fire.

From Periodico Cubano

The lid of a third tank exposed to the fire at the Supertanker Base in Matanzas has collapsed after the wind changed direction to the Northeast.

The information was confirmed by the official website of the Matanzas government, after a new explosion occurred in the areas surrounding the third fuel tank.

“The risk of it happening, as specified in the previous note, was never ruled out. The forces that worked in the place had been evacuated. The installation of a powerful pump will soon be completed to start spraying both tanks with chemical foam,” the authorities explained.

The fire, at the time of writing these lines, no longer behaves in the form of a column, but rather the wind has laid it horizontally, allowing the fire to spread to other parts of the base.

According to sources close to the incident consulted by Periódico Cubano, the Cuban government’s strategy consisted of preventing the third tank from exploding, consuming the fuel from the second tank and lowering the parameters; then enter to carry out search and rescue work.

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

How can online stores based in U.S. sell Cuban products despite the embargo?

From our Bureau of Impertinent Questions

Hey, what about the embargo? How can you sell stuff produced by Castro, Inc.? Isn’t that illegal?

How much does Castro, Inc. make on every $216 bottle of Habana Club Gran Reserva 15-year-old rum sold through these American online supermarkets?

Some sharp-eyed observers are asking these questions. Let’s see what happens next.

From AOL

Online supermarkets allowing Cuban Americans to pay for food for their families in Cuba have become a lifeline for many on the island during the pandemic, helping them survive amid widespread food shortages.

Similar to websites offering groceries online, these platforms allow U.S. customers to select and pay for products that usually cannot be found in island stores, such as meat and milk, that will then be delivered to the address of the recipient in Cuba.

But some of these online stores have become a marketplace for flagship Cuban products such as Havana Club rum produced by state companies and enterprises that are private on paper but maintain their links with the government, raising questions about compliance with the U.S. embargo and the legal basis for the business model.

For instance, Miami-based Cubamax, a Cuba travel agency now offering food products for Cubans on the island, offers four different brands of rum made in Cuba, including Havana Club. Supermarket 23, another e-commerce platform registered in Florida, is marketing a $216 bottle of Havana Club Gran Reserva. The same bottle is $239 on Cubamax.com.

Other products manufactured by Cuban companies are for sale, as well.

Cubamax is selling well-known Cuban coffee brands such as Cubita and Serrano and buffalo ground beef from Empresa Pecuaria Genética El Cangre, a state enterprise in the town of Guines, near Havana.

And Supermarket 23 is offering products marketed by the state’s Empresa Integral Agropecuaria in Ciego de Ávila.

How Cuban rum and other state-made goods ended up being marketed to U.S. customers despite embargo regulations is a question some activists are posing to authorities.

Continue reading HERE

Shocking! Apartheid hotel for Cubans is filthy, lacks food and amenities, and has rude staff

Cuba for Cubans

From our Annals of Socialist Apartheid Bureau with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Social Justice and Equity

For many years, Canadian and European tourists have been describing how their Cuban “dream holiday” turned into a nightmare. In all these cases, the main issue has been that they’ve had to endure the same indignities as Cubans.

In other words, some foreigners occasionally fall outside of Castro, Inc.’s apartheid bubble.

Due to that apartheid, which is the foundation upon which Castro, Inc.’s tourist industry is built, Cubans who seek to have their own “dream holiday” run a much greater risk of experiencing a nightmare. Hotels which don’t cater to foreigners — that is, hotels that are for Cubans only — are as nightmarish as one can imagine, maybe even worse than that.

Allow one Cuban to tell you about her experience of being a Cuban in search of a “dream holiday.”

Pool for Cubans

Loosely translated from CiberCuba:

Aidelen Blanco Valcárcel, a Cuban woman, criticized this Thursday the conditions of the Grand Memories Varadero hotel, which she assured looks like a campground, and denounced having been scammed because the price does not correspond to the quality of the service.

“I just returned from the Grand Memories Varadero hotel, after spending a lot of time collecting money to enjoy a vacation (…), I return today with the worst possible disappointment,” Blanco Valcárcel said in a publication he shared in the group of Facebook “No! So cheap”.

“They didn’t have enough towels, the bathroom of one of them didn’t flush, you had to lift the lid of the toilet to flush. The minibars were dirty, full of ice, with open drinks, we asked for the missing towels but they never arrived, in the end we personally had to look for them in the lobby, ”she said.

She also described the horrors of one of the hotel’s swimming pools, which, in addition to having green water, was completely unusable and gave off a bad smell, a clear sign that it had not been cleaned for a long time.

“We went back to the lobby to make the claim and there we did not escape the queues, although it seems incredible there was a queue to complain, [because] we were not the only ones who were dissatisfied, there they tell us that they are very sorry, that we are right but that they were working on solutions, that as long as we used the other pool, it is worth saying that it was green just the same, but not in the same conditions as the other one”, Blanco Valcárcel pointed out.

The client pointed out that the food offers were scarce, that the rice was dirty, without washing or choosing and that cockroaches were even found on a table. She added that when she complained about this to a hotel worker, he jokingly asked her if the insect also had a handle.

Meanwhile, at the end of June, the activist Yanilys Sariego reported that a security guard had prohibited her from entering the food store of the Meliá Internacional hotel in Varadero because of her Cuban status.

Whole horror story HERE in Spanish (more photos)