His Majesty seems like a nice guy, but he doesn’t have a lot to say

To paraphrase the Beatles’ “Her Majesty,” The King of Spain visited Cuba, but he didn’t have a lot to say.  I mean, he didn’t have a lot to say to the island’s dissidents, who kept calling for a meeting.

According to Juan Suarez, The King and Queen visited Cuba and said “nada” about the repression:

Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia arrived in Cuba for an official visit on Nov. 11, just days before the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana by Spanish representatives.

Before the royal visit it was announced that the Royal couple would not meet with dissidents.

Amnesty International sent King Felipe a letter, made public on Nov. 8, petitioning him to make four requests during his visit to Cuba: Release six Cuban prisoners of conscience, José Pilot Guide , Silverio Portal Contreras, Mitzael Díaz Paseiro, Eliecer Bandera Barrera, Edilberto Ronal Azuaga, and Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces and repeal their sentences; Inform José Daniel Ferrer García of the charges against him or release him. Meanwhile, ensure that he has access to his family, lawyer and medical care; End harassment of Cuban artists Luis Manuel Otero and Amaury Pacheco; Repeal Decree 349 that prohibits all artistic activity without prior approval from the regime.

Amnesty International’s letter gives the King the guidepost to sit down with the Cuban government. At the very least, he should have demanded the release of some of these prisoners on humanitarian grounds. The King should have called on Cuba to show that real change is happening by giving artists more freedom to do their thing.

So why didn’t the King do it?  Well, I guess that the official position is that the King does not do politics.

Unfortunately, you can’t go to Cuba to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Havana, the city that served as the headquarters of Spain’s expansion to the New World, and avoid politics.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

“El bloqueo” does not stop $1,000 dinners for the elite

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According to news reports, Raul Castro came out of retirement to give the country some bad news.  In other words, things are going to really bad again

Or as my mother would say “la misma m______ de siempre”!

Why the bad news?  I’ll give you a clue:  “el bloqueo” or that US embargo!  Were you ready for that?

Not long after Raul broke the bad news, we learned of a “first” in La Habana.  Check this out:

The regime, of course, sanctions those who have more than their regulatory rations. In stark contrast, for the first time, Havana joined the list of cities celebrating the elite White Dinner that costs a mere USD $1,000 per guest.

In Cuba there is a serious food shortage; so much so that the regime has forbidden officials from talking about it in order to avoid internal rancor.

Le Dîner en Blanc is an international event that started in Paris, as its French name suggests. Founder François Pasquier developed the concept as a “secret” picnic.

Aren’t you happy to hear that a US $ 1,000 will get you an elite White Dinner in La Habana?

Why isn’t “el bloqueo” stopping those $ 1,000 dinners?  Can someone remind the elite that “el bloqueo” forbids expensive dinners?

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

It’s time for another article about change coming to Cuba

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Like some of you, I check social media for Cuba updates.  

This is the latest I found a.k.a as change is coming in Cuba

Cuban legal experts say they expect the government to send the National Assembly between 60 and 80 proposed laws over the next two years. They told The Associated Press that these measures, when approved, would replace laws considered outdated.

The assembly is almost sure to approve all government proposals, as it has for years.

“I expect to see big changes in Cuba with the new constitution,” said Julio Antonio Fernandez, a law professor at the University of Havana. “A new state structure, a transformed political system, led by the Communist Party, of course, but different and confronting big challenges,” he added.

One of the first changes will be in Cuba’s political system. In the next five months, the government is required to pass a new electoral law. The measure would split the duties of head of state and government between the current president and a new position of prime minister.

Also, new governors will replace the Communist Party first secretaries as the highest official in Cuba’s 15 provinces.

The Communist Party remains the only political group permitted in the country. However, the wording in the new constitution could give voters a choice among different Communist Party candidates instead of just voting “yes” or “no” for a single candidate chosen by the government.

So let me translate.   

Change is coming but The Communist Party will stay on top and going nowhere; and,

Change is coming but you will choose between two communists for office. Yes “Fidel A” vs “Fidel B”!

Change?   Not really!   Just more of the same that we’ve seen before.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Why is Mexico bringing Cuban doctors?

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Over the years, I’ve learned that Mexican presidents use Cuba as a way of keeping the domestic left quiet.

Therefore, it does not surprise me that President López-Obrador is going to bring in some Cuban doctors, as I learned in this post from Victor Becerra.

So what’s the big deal? What’s wrong with Mexico importing doctors to supplement its domestic supply of health care professionals?

There is no problem, but this is not a routine “importation” of doctors. As the article also pointed out, Brazil was paying US$3,500 to the Castro regime for each doctor. However, the Cuban doctor only got US$900 and could not bring his family along.

You can do the math. It looks like a great source of “hard currency” for the Castro regime and not a very good salary for the Cuban doctor.

President-Elect Bolsonaro of Brazil promised to kill the program because the Cuban doctors are exploited. Apparently, President López-Obrador of Mexico does not see it that way.

A few hours ago, I spoke with a Mexican friend who is a surgeon in Mexico City. I asked for his reaction to this and how the news is going down. He said he supports the idea but only if the doctors are being paid directly and work free of the Cuban government.

What about public opinion? I asked. He felt that most Mexicans would react negatively to people being used like this.

Maybe this is why President López-Obrador is downplaying the move.

PS:   You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow my blog.

Abortion and the aging of Cuba’s population

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“Que barbaridad” is all I could say after reading Ziva’s post about abortion yesterday.

The massive use of abortion is further evidence of the regime’s moral corruption. They see babies as potential mouths to feed or more trouble for a regime that never has enough supply of anything.

The other consequence of abortion is the aging of the Cuban population:

A depressed birth rate means two things: The population grows at a reduced pace, and the overall population is older.
Cuba is already seeing its population growth start to plateau. Plus, a large percentage of the population falls into the 40-to-60 age bracket, which means that in a few years the younger generation will need to support a large number of retirees.
In fact, by 2021 more people in Cuba are expected to leave the work force than to join it; by 2026 more Cubans will die than be born; and by 2050 the number of people in Cuba over age 60 will reach 3.5 million, or 36% of the population, according to figures cited by the British ambassador to Cuba, Tim Cole.

What a legacy of communism in Cuba — an aging population, young women with four abortions and tourists with dollars can buy condoms but the locals with pesos can’t. What a horrific revolution, is all I can say.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Memo to President Trump: Support the Cuban doctors in Brazil

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Over the last few days, the Trump administration pulled US diplomats out of Cuba and issued a travel warning.

We call on President Trump to issue a statement of support for Cuban doctors fighting the corrupt system of sending medical personnel to other countries.

A few days ago, some Cuban doctors decided to sue the Castro regime in Brazil.

They want out of this arrangement, as we see in this report from the New York Times:

In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor.”

Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under contracts with the Cuban authorities.

Countries like Brazil pay the island’s Communist government millions of dollars every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba’s most valuable export.

But the doctors get a small cut of that money, and a growing number of them in Brazil have begun to rebel. In the last year, at least 150 Cuban doctors have filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts to challenge the arrangement, demanding to be treated as independent contractors who earn full salaries, not agents of the Cuban state.

“When you leave Cuba for the first time, you discover many things that you had been blind to,” said Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez, one of the doctors who filed suit.

“There comes a time when you get tired of being a slave.”

Cuban artists and athletes have defected during overseas trips for decades, most of them winding up in the United States. But the lawsuits in Brazil represent an unusual rebellion that takes aim at one of Cuba’s signature efforts.

Sending doctors overseas is not only a way for Cuba to earn much-needed income, but it also helps promote the nation’s image as a medical powerhouse that routinely comes to the world’s aid.

Rare act of defiance indeed!

We hope that they get a fair hearing in Brazil. I don’t know if most Brazilians even know that the Cuban doctor that takes care of them works under this arrangement. Many Brazilians may think that this is just a Cuban doctor who left the island like other Cubans did.

A few years ago, I was listening to an interview on Radio Marti and a Cuban doctor who had defected explained that this export of doctors and nurses was draining the island of medical personnel. He said that Cuba’s hospitals had shortages of doctors because they were all being exported to bring hard currency to the regime.

We will keep an eye on this case in Brazil. Again, let’s hope that they get a fair hearing and gain asylum if they choose to ask for it.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Remember when Cuba did not have a “baby” problem?

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Once upon a time, Cuban men and women got married and had lots of babies.   I recall growing up with lots of cousins, uncles and aunts.   It was Cuba or the place that we remember growing up in!

Suddenly, the Raul Castro regime is telling Cubans to go to the “love motels” and reproduce:

Let’s begin in Cuba, where federally run “love motels” (i.e., affordable rooms for fornicating) have sprung up throughout the state due to the fact that public sex in public parks is getting out of hand. The country’s continued housing crisis means multiple generations sleep under the same roof, while divorced duos can’t afford to not continue living together.
The un-Hemingway-sounding “Provincial Housing Company of Havana” told it’s official trade union weekly: “To think about how to diversify options for love is not farfetched, we want to revive this service that is in high demand, has a big social impact and without a doubt is very profitable.”
This is all due to the fact that, by 2025, Cuba’s population is projected to decrease by some 1 million residents thanks to low fertility and birth rates.

As the article points out, many other countries have seen a decline in birth rates.      However, Cuba has additional problems.

Cubans have a housing problem.   This is on top of massive shortages, from baby milk to diapers.

Furthermore, as we noted a couple of years ago, young Cubans have an abundance of love but don’t want babies!

Last, but not least, there is “the free abortion” problem:

Cuba, which has unrestricted access to legal abortion, has an abortion rate of 58.6 per 1000 pregnancies in 1996 compared to a Caribbean average of 35, a Latin American average of 27 (the latter mostly illegally performed), and a European average of 48. Additionally, contraceptive use is estimated at 79% (in the upper third of countries in the Western Hemisphere).

The whole thing speaks volumes about what young Cubans think of their country and the morally corrupt regime that runs it.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

 

In Cuba, abortion is birth control

Someday, we will look back at how the Castro regime devastated Cuba, from the economy to freedom to free abortions.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie serves on the advisory board for The Catholic Association.   She recently wrote some very troubling information about Cuba and abortion:

The main form of “birth control” is abortion, my patients tell me. Condoms and pills are hard to get, and they come and go according to the daily whims of the government.

Abortion, on the other hand, is free, ubiquitous, and taught aggressively in state education as an action entirely devoid of moral meaning.

So what is the result of this moral depravity?   As Dr. Pozo-Christie wrote:

“…..women in Cuba have almost entirely ceased to give birth.

In about 50 years, experts predict that over 40 percent of Cubans will be over 60.”

A sad story to say the least.   Or better put, the fruits of a corrupt leadership.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.