Crisis in Cuban cemeteries: Human remains discarded in trash bins

From our Bureau of Discarded Cubans with assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Social Justice for the Dead

In Cuba, it is not just the living who are abused by the government. Take a look at what is being done to the dead.

Absolutely revolting. Hell on earth, from the cradle to the grave.

Loosely translated from CiberCuba

“In the Colón Cemetery”, wrote in the aforementioned social network the user identified as “Enrique Varona”, who without further details shared four photos that show the treatment that the mortal remains receive in the most important Cemetery of the island.

In two of the shared photos you can see ossuaries – very different from each other – placed in a room, but in the other two images you can see bones mixed in a garbage tank inside the cemetery.

“How sad! What rage! ”; “How shocking!”; “What lack of respect!”; “How awful!”; “I can’t believe it”, “What callousness!” Were some of the comments from Cubans who cannot understand that something like this could happen.

“Even assuming they are from people without mourners, how are you going to throw them away like that in the trash, and in full view of everyone?” Asked a netizen, who said he was “speechless” in the face of the images.

“Most likely they will cremate them and scatter the ashes. Bones like this are not thrown away by the black market that they would generate, ”commented another in reference to Afro-Cuban religions that use human bones in their practices.

“If there is no respect for the living, what could be left for the deceased?” Was a recurring criterion among several commentators.

“The moment you think the country hit rock bottom, things like this surprise us. There are no more words ”, sentenced another.

The crisis in Cuban cemeteries has been a recurring complaint in recent years. In 2018, the Cuban government admitted that the country’s more than 800 cemeteries had collapsed. To solve this, it was proposed to build more crematoria, plan exhumations and expand the cemeteries in cases where there was land available.

However, in Havana, 20 of the 24 cemeteries lack surrounding land to expand to. Complaints about delays in exhumations due to lack of ossuaries are also added to the space crisis.

The situation worsens due to the dramatic rate of aging in Cuba, which results in a natural increase in deaths.

Continue reading HERE

Bankrupt Cuba is desperately seeking foreign business partners, especially from Cuban diaspora

Socialist social justice

From our Bureau of Shameless Parasites and Amoral Dumb-Ass Hosts

As the corrupt oligarchs of Castro, Inc. try to deal with the collapse of Cuba’s economy — a catastrophe for which they can only blame themselves — they are searching frantically for saviors from abroad.

Nothing new here. This has been going on since the collapse of Sugar Daddy number one, the Soviet Union. This time around, however, the search for foreign cash seems more desperate than ever.

This time around they’re searching more intensely for investments from the Cuban diaspora. Yes, Yo-Yo’s, hop to it if you’re dumb enough and amoral enough. Go ahead and pour dollars into Castro, Inc.’s coffers. Then wait and see what happens to your money.

Potential investors

From the Tampa Bay Times

Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment is opening the door to Cuban Americans who want to participate in foreign investment projects as the island tries to jump-start its beleaguered economy and encourage Washington to loosen sanctions.

Katia Alonso, the ministry’s director of foreign capital investments, told the Miami Herald by email in response to a list of questions that Cuba won’t reject potential business bids from Cuban Americans based on the sole fact that they live in the U.S. — something she said the law has never prohibited, though in the past exile entrepreneurs haven’t always been welcomed either.

“Cuba is open to foreign capital regardless of its place of origin,” Alonso explained, “so if a Cuban American were interested — whether they were born in the U.S. or migrated to that country — in investing on the island, their interest would be evaluated just like any other potential investor from any other place of origin.”

The invitation comes as Cuba looks to boost foreign investment by including opportunities for small and medium business investors within the 503 projects now available, adding up to an estimated $12 billion. Most of the open proposals are in the tourism and energy industries, while the others include investment projects in agriculture, commerce, telecommunications, construction, medical tourism and pharmaceutical industries.

Continue reading HERE

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros: The art of collaborationism with Cuba’s dictatorship

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros (Photo: Vogue)

As we are seeing the heart wrenching images of Venezuelans bravely demonstrating and risking their lives to regain their freedom and self-determination, the dark forces of the Cuban dictatorship are directing the steps of the Maduro regime to use violence on civilians. These two dictatorships exist because people turn a blind eye to human suffering and oppression. They are able to remain in power when there are those who, beyond indifference, opt to collaborate with tyranny.

One of the most notable examples is Ella Fontanals-Cisnesros. A native of Cuba who fled to Venezuela when Castro took power. Cisneros lived in Venezuela and married Oswaldo Cisneros, a wealthy Venezuelan, whom she divorced in 2001. Cisneros is a known art collector who now lives part of the time in Havana, Cuba where she pays the Castro dictatorship for an expropriated house in the exclusive neighborhood of Miramar that she has renovated and redecorated for the pleasure of visiting dignitaries of the regime. A 2017 publication, Havana Living Today, describes the Cisneros house:

“The house today displays a cohesive tasteful glamour that is unique in the city. Comfortable upholstery is balanced with Anglo-Indian furniture and Spanish Colonial antiques which, in turn is played off Cuban pop and abstract paintings from Cisneros’ contemporary and modern collections”.

In a totalitarian state like Cuba, only a foreigner within the most intimate circles of trust is able to live in this type of opulence.

While we witness the courageous efforts in Venezuela and remember the countless lives that have been lost at the hands of the Castro regime, it’s important to reflect on the decision of a multimillionaire like Cisneros to live lavishly in a country that is consistently ranked one of the worst human rights violators. A country where the government relishes in human suffering as a means of control.

To add, Cisneros uses the financial resources that she gained in the country that gave her refuge to pay the dictatorship who will use those resources to repress the people of Venezuela and her own people in Cuba. Fontanals-Cisneros needs to be reminded that art is intended to reflect human dignity, not as a means to suppress human dignity.

What is most repulsive is when you compare the Cisnero dwelling with the dilapidated homes throughout the island and the inhuman conditionals that Cubans and Venezuelans are subjected to daily. Not due to poverty but because of a system that imposes misery to retain power. Perhaps because of Cisneros’ multiple artistic endeavors she has not had time to look at the images of the starving children in Venezuela or the tanks that are used to crush demonstrators in the streets of Caracas.

In the end, Cisneros will be accountable for her decisions and will not be known for her art collection. She will be remembered for her flagrant disregard for human dignity and as an ally of the dictatorships that oppressed her own people.

UM President Julio Frenk to meet with some Cuban exiles on August 18

University of Miami president Julio Frenk has responded to all the howls of protest that have reached him concerning his autocratic handling of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies. His response should surprise no one: he has scheduled a meeting for Aug. 18, “where we can come together with members of the Cuban exile community to discuss the future of Cuban and Cuban-American studies at the University of Miami.”

Please note that this “discussion” is scheduled to take place THREE DAYS AFTER Jaime Suchlicki steps down as director of the ICCAS.

No word yet on who those “members of the Cuban exile community” will be, or how much real discussion will take place. But does it really matter who is invited to this “discussion”? By the time that gathering takes place, the torpedo launched at the ICCAS will have hit its target and inflicted major damage.

For those unfamiliar with the way in which American universities work, and with the red herring of “academic integrity”, here is what you need to know:

When they face no real threat from anyone they respect or fear, especially alumni, university presidents tend to hold “discussions” that are little more than press briefings during which they dig in their heels and tell everyone in the room that what they want to do is a fait accompli (a done deal), and that there is no room for really discussing anything. And when issues of so-called “academic integrity” are being used to move forward some political agenda, the chances of any real discussion taking place are extremely slim.

Let’s hope this is not one of those very common occasions, but a genuine dialogue.  But that would be a miracle. Given the extreme lack of respect that anti-Castro Cubans get in academia, the chances of any real discussion are slim indeed, or worse than slim.

Multi-cultural & politically correct

But if anti-Castro Cuban alumni of UM raise their voices loudly, along with other Cuban exiles in Miami — including political figures — maybe Dr. Frenk will really listen. In real estate — so they say — the only thing that matters is location, location, location. In academia, the only thing that matters to presidents is funding, funding, funding, or, more specifically fear, fear, fear of losing funding.

In addition to that, university presidents fear bad publicity for their institution.  But given the fact that the American news media would love any move that silences anti-Castro exiles, anywhere, Dr. Frenk does not need to fear that at all. No fuss raised by Cuban exiles will make any difference beyond the confines of the exile community.

So, this leaves the future of the ICCAS in the hands of those who can scare the hell out of Dr. Frenk in the fund-raising sphere. Face it, issues of ethics and values and justice or real academic integrity have little to do with the torpedo launched by Dr. Frenk at the ICCAS, or the so-called “discussion” scheduled for August 18.

Read all about this upcoming “discussion” in The Miami Herald, HERE

Miami Herald columnist harangues Miami’s Cuban exile ‘hardliners’

 

Fabiola Santiago has once again fired one of her illogical missiles against so-called “hardliners” in the Cuban community.

This time around, she has chosen to vilify those Cubans who don’t want to see the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies turned into yet another center for pro-Castro activities.

Can there be a more opportune gift to the Cuban regime than an exile community at war with itself? As for academic virtue, there’s little credibility when you politicize your agenda. ICCAS can stand improvement and update.

The Cuban exile community is not a monolith of thought and purpose, as much as a sector of Cuban Miami and the ruling class in Cuba would like it to be so. Both extremes are mirror images of each other, but the majority makes up the heftier middle and comes in all sorts of political hues.

Just like the Cuban dictatorship purports to speak for the Cuban people, the hardliners in Miami don’t speak for all Cuban Americans.

Ms. Santiago argues that it’s time to “modernize” the ICCAS, that is, to make it “more open to engagement,” a euphemism for “more open for cooperation with the Castro regime for accepting its propaganda.”

“Engagement” means accepting the legitimacy of the Castro regime and cooperating with it, and Ms. Santiago seems to think that such a course of action is neutral and objective — that it is somehow the most reasonable approach to be taken towards the study of Cuban politics and culture. What Ms. Santiago fails to understand about academic institutions that focus on political issues such as ICCAS is that there is no such thing as neutrality or objectivity when it comes to politics. There is no “middle,” really.

But, alas, Ms. Santiago seems to think there is such a thing. She even thinks there is a “hefty middle” when it comes to political attitudes among Cubans, and goes as far as to equate “hardliners” in the Cuban community with the monsters who run the Castro regime.

Ms. Santiago also seems unaware of the fact that American universities are full of institutes with very clearly-defined political goals, and that it is standard procedure for them to politicize their agenda. In fact, it could be said that just about every institute and think tank in the U.S. is politicized and agenda-driven in one way or another, and that the vast majority of them lean to the left, and quite a few of them to the hard left.

Of course, every institute promotes its agenda as reasonable, and many of them disingenuously claim they’re not politicized. But that does not mean that every agenda is necessarily reasonable, in and of itself, or un-politicized, or that it is value-free or bias-free.

Why shouldn’t the ICCAS at the University of Miami be entitled to resemble similar institutions elsewhere — that is, why shouldn’t it be able to promote a specific agenda, and to do so without having to pretend that it is neutral or that it approaches political issues as value-free?

If pro-Castro Cubans or Cubans indifferent to Castro — or the “hefty middle”, as Ms. Santiago prefers to say — want to promote their agenda, there are plenty of other institutes they can support. Or why don’t they simply establish their own institute if they are dissatisfied with all the others that deal with Latin America and Cuba?

There’s the rub. The sad truth is that the so-called “hefty middle” is not really interested in “balance.” Simply put, what the so-called “hefty middle” wants is for the so-called “hardliners” to shut up and go away.

As Ms. Santiago sees it, ICCAS is an ugly embarrassment, and says it is “reminiscent of times when Cuban Miami was criticized around the nation for lacking respect for academic and artistic freedoms.”

It could be argued that academic freedom is precisely what is at stake in recent events at UM and its ICCAS, and that if anything is “ugly” at all in recent developments, it is not the unabashedly anti-Castro stance of the ICCAS, but the attempt being made by President Frenk and associates to masquerade their censorship of that stance as respect for “academic freedom.”

It is sheer lunacy to argue — as Ms. Santiago does — that the so-called “hard liners” are actually helping the Castro regime because they fracture the exile community, and that their so-called extremism is no different from that of the Castro regime. Such illogical vitriol is also convincing proof of Ms. Santiago’s own lack of respect for dissent and genuine political dialogue.

Oh, but what else is new? Genuine tolerance has never been a distinguishing feature of the left in the United States, or anywhere. And being embarrassed by one’s elders and one’s ethnic group has long been an earmark of the children and grandchildren of immigrants.

Anyway… see for yourself…. go here for the full diatribe from Ms. Santiago.

Dish Network pollutes mailboxes, airwaves with crappy Castroite Cuban propaganda

Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago comments today on the pollution many of us are finding in our mailboxes: junk mail promoting Dish Network’s “Cubamax” TV channel. She hits the nail in so many ways:

Cuba-sanctioned TV arrives in U.S., sugar-coated for Yanqui viewers

The age of rapprochement with Cuba has moved into the realm of the absurd.

We’re not doing so well exporting democracy, but the famously propagandist Cuban television is making a debut in America.

“De Cuba a la Yuma,” boasts the DishLATINO sales brochure that arrived in my mailbox, peddling in Cuban street lingo a new channel of state- sanctioned Cuban programming aimed at the U.S.

“CUBAMAX TV has arrived….”

Missing: quality artistic production and freedom — to be expected from an entity with direct connection to the ruling Communist party.

Pollution found in your Tio Pepe's Mailbox yesterday.
Pollution found in your Tio Pepe’s Mailbox yesterday.

I’ll let you read the whole beautiful thing at the Herald but the closer is a doozy:

For the bargain price of a $34.99 per month subscription, DishLATINO will import into your home 24 hours of this low-budget, badly acted dramas, soft Commie porn propaganda, and Cuban children’s programming.

Now, you too can raise your kid to be a good soldier of the Revolution like Eliancito.

Fifty-seven years of dogmatic fidelismo and Cubans are still fleeing the island anyway they can — and in record numbers, post-engagement. Back home, to get away from drab Cuban TV, they paid for a viewing “paquete” circulated in the black market with American shows and Cuban Miami fare. Now that they’re here, they’re pursued as… Cuba television consumers! Fertile targets for the sale of products from the state they fled — so Kafkian.

Viva la Yuma, lucky land of the uncensored, where you can subscribe to all the junk TV your brain cells can stand.

My experience tells me there are certainly “Latinos” in this country who idolize Cuba under Castro. I just don’t think a lot of them are Cubans living in Miami, and this channel certainly could not have been conceived to appeal to them. Nobody is that stupid, or are they?

 

Noisy protest over Dish Network and Cubamax TV

It took a while but folks finally took notice of Dish Network’s foray into broadcasting Cuban propaganda in the U.S.

While I personally find these tactics distasteful and counterproductive I also find them understandable. Nobody seems to give voice to the concerns of the historical Cuban exile community anymore.

A better approach is to tell Dish Network directly how feel, like what this commenter on Dish Latino’s Facebook page said:

Jose Valeradiaz – I’m sorry but the only thing I miss from Cuba are my people. Not the old cars, or trash piled up on the corners, or the stool pigeon neighborhood spies from the CDRs or the “Round Table” or the houses in ruins, or the Castroite dictators and much less Cuban TV but there are enough channels and technology here so as to not watch it or block it.

How many degrees of separation between Dish Network executives and Castro?

Dish Network’s new channel Cubamax TV promises to be free of communist propaganda but in Cuba there’s nothing that isn’t politicized. Paraphrasing Cuban dissident punk rocker Gorky Aguila, you may not like politics but politics likes you, comrade.

Exhibits A and B: Tweets from the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC:

Note the use of the cliche of an antique car as the symbol for this abomination.

Exhibit C: Luis Silva who portrays “Panfilo” on a Cuban TV show in front of Miami’s Olympia Theater. He was the entertainment for the launch party

01PANFILO_CPJ

Exhibit D: Luis Silva with Randy Alonso, who is one of Fidel Castro’s lackeys in the media. He is the longtime host of the Cuban propaganda show “Mesa Redonda” and the editor of Cubadebate, which is a website that claims to be “against media terrorism”, whatever that is. In practice it’s another propaganda arm of the regime.

panfilo-en-cubadebate
Far right: Castro stooge, Randy Alonso Falcon. Next to him: Luis Silva (Panfilo)

Exhibit E: The aforementioned lackey, Randy Alonso Falcon with the coma andante Fidel Castro.

6987-fotografia-g
Stooge Alonso with tracksuit in chief

Exhibit F: Screen capture of Cubadebate article promoting Cubamax launch (we don’t link to commie websites as we’re an island without a bearded dicktator.

cd

It seems that there are only 3 degrees of separation between Dish Network executives and the leader of an apartheid state in our hemisphere. It’s all one big happy family of sinvergüenzas. For shame.

Dish’s Cubamax runs afoul of US law

I’ve posted a couple of times about the ridiculously stupid idea Dish Network came up with of packaging programming from Communist Cuba and trying to sell it in the US. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it does.

Well, it turns out that it’s not just a dumb idea, it’s probably an illegal one. You see, this isn’t the first time it’s been attempted. Jason Poblete, an attorney who “helps clients navigate the complex legal, and at times political, federal interagency regulatory and legislative processes primarily on matters overseen by the Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce as well as the Congress,” wrote about a similar offering called Cuba Play TV back in 2011. Poblete was sure that that Cuba Play ran afoul of the US embargo on Cuba and though I’m not attorney (just a retired tailor) I’m pretty sure the law hasn’t changed despite Obama’s “normalization circus” as we call it around here.

If there were any reciprocity by the regime in Cuba, a U.S. company’s effort to start broadcasting Cuban television in the United States would not be much of big deal. If people want to pay to watch communist television, with programs produced by state sponsor of terrorism, so be it. But why can’t we do the same in to Cuba an broadcast U.S. shows and newscasts? It’s a rhetorical question and you know the answer.

Late last year a Miami-based company, Olympusat, announced the launch of a new network that would broadcast “carefully-selected content, free of any political affiliation or ideological influence from the Cuban government.” Really? Olympusat’s statement is propaganda. The Cuban regime has a Ministry of the Arts that controls all television and artistic work. When you disagree with their rules they warn you, beat you, imprison you and, if all else fails, you will be exiled or worse…

Here is a novel thought. Now that the Cuban regime will be receiving money for its television programming, maybe the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) can seize a portion of some or all of these monies and set them aside to begin compensating U.S. citizens that are owed billions of dollars by the Cuban regime for debts, claims, and judgements.

Of course laws don’t mean anything if they aren’t enforced and the Obama administration seems awfully lax in enforcing anything related to sanctions on the Castro kingdom but as they say, “no hay mal que dura cien años” and Obama will soon be chasing golf balls around full time, so one can hope the next administration takes this “broadcasting with the enemy” thing a little more seriously.

Anyway, judging from the fact that Cuba Play TV was never really heard from again, I can’t help but think that it flopped like a grouper on the deck of my boat. One can hope that Cubamax suffers a similar fate.

photo 13
Cubamax TV flopping

 

Dish goes red, fumbles in the Red Zone

Baseball is America’s pastime but football is America’s sport and despite the fact that they haven’t been to the playoffs in a coon’s age, the Dolphins still rule in Miami. Which brings me to Dish Network, which has decided to pull the plug on NFL Network and its affiliated Red Zone channel. I’m finding the programming decisions being made by Dish to be very interesting. Getting rid of football and adding a channel with programming from communist Cuba. It’s almost like they don’t want subscribers in Miami.

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor hits the ball free from Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson punching it through the end zone for a touchback in the fourth quarter during Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field, Oct. 5, 2015.  (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)