Hollywood premier of ¨Soy La Otra Cuba¨ at Macha Theatre


Macha Theatre part of Macha Theatre/Films, presents Cuban Cultural Night, celebrating Cuba’s independence from Spain, with the premier of the documentary “I Am The Other Cuba” (Soy La Otra Cuba) which sheds light on the current state of Cuba, its revolutionary past, and its uncertain path toward an unknown future. Featuring interviews with a variety of Cuban dissidents, Italian filmmaker Pierantonio Maria Miccirelli touches on subjects ranging from the ever-present struggle for freedom, to the “myth of the revolution,” and a visit to the Ladies in White, a group of peaceful opposition women seeking a change to democracy, and a civil society.

Marti in Chains – a special monologue in remembrance of Jose Marti written by documentary producer Odalys Nanin and performed by Florenciani, will be performed prior to the show.

After the screening, delicious appetizers from the famous PORTOS Cuban Bakery will be served.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or discounted at: WWW. GOLDSTAR.COM

Special thanks to Gordiano Lupi.

In Spanish below the fold.

Read more

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart press release on Alan Gross “Abandon unilateral concessions to the Castro dictatorship”



December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012 Marks the Three Year Anniversary of American Aid Worker’s Imprisonment

Washington, D.C. –Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement on the 3rd anniversary of American humanitarian aid worker Alan Gross’ imprisonment by the Cuban regime:

“Today marks three years since Alan Gross, a humanitarian aid worker and U.S. citizen, was arrested and imprisoned for the so-called ‘crime’ of helping Cuba’s small Jewish community access the internet.  During his three years in prison, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds and is suffering from a growth on his shoulder that has neither been properly diagnosed, nor treated.

“The continued, unjustifiable imprisonment of the ailing Mr. Gross is a grim reminder of the true nature of the Castro regime which brutally oppresses Cuba’s pro-democracy activists, suppresses all outside information, and maintains a stranglehold on all aspects of daily life in Cuba.  Mr. Gross’ imprisonment and fifteen-year sentence for attempting to bring internet access to a small group of Cubans is yet another example of the ruthless nature of the totalitarian regime.

“The Obama Administration should abandon its failed policy of providing unilateral concessions to the Castro dictatorship in the form of expanded travel, increased remittances, and the granting of U.S. visas to high-level regime operatives. It is time for the Administration to stop appeasing the Castro dictatorship and its egregious human rights record, and immediately cease the channeling of U.S. currency to the Cuban people’s oppressors.

“At the time of his arrest, Mr. Gross was engaged in America’s noble effort to bring outside information to the Cuban people. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly lists the ‘right … to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’ as an essential liberty. His imprisonment, and the regime’s brutal oppression of pro-democracy activities, demonstrates the pressing need for increased solidarity with Cuba’s pro-freedom opposition and a deepened commitment to assisting the Cuban people in their struggle for basic liberties.”

Remembering Laura Pollan and the Ladies in White

Laura, in her own words on why the Ladies in White are out on the street, “We cannot allow our men, our families to be destroyed. We cannot allow them to die in prison.”

I will always remember Laura Pollan. This inspiring lady, wife, mother, and teacher, never imagined that she would become a political activist. In 2003, her husband, journalist Hector Maseda Gutierrez, along with 74 others were rounded up and arrested in what became known as the Cuban Black Spring, La Primavera Negra. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for “counter revolutionary” activities. As she struggled to find information on her husband she met other women relatives of the 74; their meetings were the beginning of the Ladies in White. Their quiet dignity, marching to make sure that their men would not be forgotten, standing up against increasing threats and violent repression, how could you not be inspired by these brave women standing alone against the power of the state armed only with gladiolas?

The murderous Castro regime has many ways to rid themselves of unwanted dissidents, murder by neglect, auto accidents, and perhaps injection. Many unanswered questions remain surrounding the death of Laura Pollan. If there was nothing to hide, why did they arrest Hablamos Press journalist Rios Otero?

Human Rights Foundation YouTube:

The valiant Las Damas de Blanco, Laura Pollan’s brave Ladies in White, led by Berta Solar, continue their mission without her, in spite of increasing violent repression against them. Today, October 14, is the anniversary of Laura’s death, please remember her.

More proof that there is no rule of law in Cuba

In normal countries, the family of murder victims have the right to attend the trial of accused perpetrator.  They have a right to witness the judicial process, to know that justice has been fairly served.   We’ve all seen televised high-profile murder trials over the years, and empathized with the grief and anger displayed by members of the victim’s family.  Can you imagine the pain felt by those family members had they been shut out of the trial?

Welcome to Cuba.  The photo below is of the children of deceased Cuban pro-democracy leader Oswaldo Paya being prevented from attending the “trial” of Spanish youth leader Angel Carromero last Friday in Bayamo.


Photo by Orlando Luis Pardo @OLPL via Capitol Hill Cubans

Famous Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez Released

I’m happy to report that Yoani was released.  Here, in here own words via Twitter:

En español:

Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez Arrested – Updated

I just woke up out here on the left coast, checked Twitter, to see this:

Cubanet @CubanetNoticias HablemosPress: Yoani Sanchez, Reinaldo Escobar y Agustin Diaz presos en Dpto Instruccion de #BayamoCuba desde ayer 6pm.

Capitol Hill Cubans:

Yoani Sanchez Has Been Arrested

Prominent Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez has been arrested by the Castro regime, along along with her husband Reinaldo Escobar and other pro-democracy activists.

Yoani was arrested today in the city of Bayamo, where she traveled to attend the sham “trial” of Spanish politician Angel Caromero, who the Castro regime has accused of vehicular manslaughter in the crash that killed Cuban pro-democracy leader Oswaldo Paya.

More “reform” you can’t believe in.

Update:  There’s more at Reuters, AFP, and Bloomberg Business Week,   but so far no mention of Yoani’s arrest at Huffington.

Yoani’s most recent updates on Twitter:

@yoanisanchez 4 #Cuba Y siguen kilometros y kilometros de #Marabu http://twitpic.com/b10xdu 12:22 PM – 4 Oct 12

@yoanisanchez #Cuba Otra vez tenemos que parar para fumigar el auto. Le pregunto al policia si es por el #Dengue y guarda silencio 11:35 AM – 4 Oct 12

@yoanisanchez #Cuba Hacia el este situacion epidemiologica se deteriora. Policias nos detiene el auto en #Camaguey para fumigar el interior del vehiculo 9:17 AM – 4 Oct 12

Update #2: No doubt Yoani’s arrest is about Today’s Sham Trial on Paya’s Death, which she was covering for Spain’s largest newspaper, El Pais.

I removed Update #3, there is no verification of Yoani’s release.

How many Cubans have to suffer before people see?

Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see ?

Dylan was wrong, the answer is not “Blowin’ In The Wind”, but hidden by complicit propagandists to a murderous regime, who clearly see and ignore.

Brutal repression continues to increase in Cuba.  A record breaking 533 political arrests were documented in the month of September, bringing the total number of 2012 arrests to 5,105, compared to 4,123 in 2011, and 2,074 in 2010.  That is 533 people subjected to unchecked police brutality, terrorized family members, including children, and here,  as is the norm in Cuba.   Where is the outrage from all those bleeding heart humanitarian liberals?  I suggest they are happily ignoring what doesn’t fit their agenda in the same smelly damp place as those liberals and MSM Obama hacks not outraged over the brutal murder of Ambassador Stevens:  CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT, LAT, WAPO, etc, etc.


Thanks to our friend Mauricio at Capitol Hill Cubans for the above, and for this:

Over 20 Dissidents Arrested Today  at3:25 PMThursday, October 4, 2012

The Castro regime has arrested 22 Cuban pro-democracy activists who sought to attend a peaceful gathering in the town of Santa Clara to discuss the petition, “Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba.”

This petition simply asks for the Cuban government to ratify and respect international political and civil rights covenants.

For this, they were brutally arrested.

Among those arrested are 2010 Sakharov Prize winner Guillermo Farinas and former political prisoner Librado Linares.

More “reform” you can’t believe in.

IAPA: Release Imprisoned Cuban Journalist

Here’s more proof of why Cuba ranks at the bottom of the Press Freedom Index, along with other repressive regimes Belarus, Burma, Sudan, China, and North Korea.

Capitol Hill Cubans:

A charge of criminal contempt brought against Cuban independent journalist Calixto Martínez Arias for warning about cases of cholera and dengue in his country was today protested by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). If found guilty he could face three years in prison.

The hemisphere organization called for the immediate release of Martínez Arias, a reporter with the independent news agency Hablemos Press, who was arrested on Sunday (September 16) near Havana’s international airport as he was investigating another piece of information regarding a shipment of medicines and medical equipment donated by the World Health Organization understood to have been damaged due to negligence and poor warehousing conditions.

In June this year Martínez Arias had disclosed the existence of an outbreak of cholera and in August he warned of the appearance of cases of dengue on the island – information that was known by local residents before the government publicly admitted it.

The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, expressed condemnation of the arrest and detention. He declared, “It is a contradiction that a journalist faces the possibility of gong to jail for reporting on matters of public interest, while on the contrary the information should be taken as an alert to correct a problem affecting the population.” He added that “as we have been denouncing on repeated occasions control of information that is disseminated in Cuba continues unchangeably in the hands of the government.”

Roberto de Jesús Guerra, the director of Hablemos Press, and Veizant Boloy, a lawyer and collaborator of the agency, said that Martínez Arias is being held at a police station in Havana, where they were able to visit him and confirm that he had been beaten. Shortly afterwards Guerra and Boloy were themselves detained and later released.

Martínez Arias, the victim of repeated arrests so far this year, is accused of contempt of Fidel and Raúl Castro, a criminal offense under Article 144.1 of the Penal Code referring to threats and various offenses uttered by word of mouth or in writing against authorities, which is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, announced that as part of its twice-yearly review of the state of press freedom in the Americas the IAPA will take an in-depth look at the case of Cuba during its General Assembly to be held October 12-16 in São Paulo, Brazil.

He is the third Hablemos Press journalist to be detained this month.

Las Damas De Blanco letter to Raúl Castro

damas de blanco cuba acoso
In a letter to Raúl Castro dated September 15, 2012 the Las Damas de Blanco demand an end to the unconstitutional violent repressive acts against Las Damas members and their families, including children, committed by the rapid response brigades,  sponsored by the Cuban State Asamblea Naciónal de Poder Polular of the Communist Party of Cuba and Raúl Castro. 

 Hundred of activist’s homes have been raided, looted, and damaged.  Members and their families, including minor children have been subjected to terrifying attacks where they were stoned, sprayed with water hoses, been beaten, dragged and had personal items damaged and stolen.  Minor children have had their clothes torn and been threatened with juvenile detention. 

 As Cuban citizens, they ask for an end to the ferocious repressive acts unleashed against human rights defenders and especially the woman in their group, and remind that the Las Damas de Blanco is a peaceful movement and their activities are within the existing constitutional framework.  They ask for energetic measures against the brutality of the repressive forces in his services.

Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba:

Ciudad de La Habana, 15 de septiembre de 2012.

A: General Raul Castro, Presidente de la Republica de Cuba y del Consejo de Estado.
c.c General Abelardo Colome Ibarra
Ministerio del Interior.

De: Movimiento Dama de Blanco

Senor Presidente:

Las integrantes del Movimiento Damas de Blanco Laura Pollan, como ciudadanas cubanas , reclamamos a usted , que ponga freno a la ferocidad desatada por las fuerzas represivas contra los defensores de derechos humanos y especialmente contra las mujeres de nuestro grupo ..

Las Brigadas de Respuesta Rapida , organizadas y dirigidas por la Seguridad de Estado , sin otro propOsito que el de linchar a los crlticos al gobierno , han allanado , saqueado y daiiado cientos de casas de activistas.

Para ser breves, Ie mencionaremos dos sucesos ocurridos en el transcurso de menos de un mes:

EI jueves 6 de septiembre del ano en curso , una muchedumbre enfurecida , comandada por la delegada de la circunscripcion al Poder Popular y militantes del partido comunista , derribo a golpes de mandarria la casa de la Dama de Blanco ,Vivian Pena Hernandez y su esposo Misael Valdes Dlaz en la ciudad de Palma Soriano, rompieron y robaron sus articulos personales.

En Holguin, el pasado 18 de agosto, efectivos de la polida regular, de la Seguridad del Estado , y paramilitares allanaron la vivienda donde 14 Damas de Blanco realizaban una reunion a la que lIamamos Te litera rio.

Durante el allanamiento de la vivienda , las turbas golpearon, arrastraron y lazaron piedras y chorros de agua contra las mujeres, confiscaron libros y DVD; agredieron y arrancaron la ropa a la nina de una de las Damas de Blanco y aterrorizaron a otros menor, amenazandolo con internarlo en un centro de reclusion de menores.

Ante el riesgo de otros actos de esta naturaleza nos vemos en la obligation de responsabilizar a la direccion del Estado cubano , de 10 que pueda ocurrir contra nuestra integridad flsica y mental.

A pesar de que usted , en mas de una ocasi6n , ha recalcado su disposici6n a favorecer el dialogo y no temer a las discrepancias , la proliferaci6n de la violencia autorizada a 10 largo y ancho de la isla, demuestran el incremento de fa intolerancia polftica de los que detentan el poder en nuestra patria.

Considerando que las Damas de Blanco, somos un movimiento pacifico y nuestras actividades estan dentro del marco constitucional vigente , Ie pedimos que tome medidas energicas contra la brutalidad de los cuerpos represivos a su servicio y que cese de alentar en alocuciones publicas el odio entre cubanos.

Sin orto particular,
Movimiento Damas de Blanco Laura Pollan.

I believe this should stand as evidence against the criminal Castro regime when in the future justice is served.

Remember Cuba’s American Hostage: Alan Gross

From our good friend,  Mauricio Claver-Carone in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Cuba’s American Hostage

The White House calls for the release of Alan Gross but puts scant pressure on Havana to let him go.

Since December 2009, American development worker Alan Gross has been imprisoned by the Castro regime for trying to help Cuba’s Jewish community connect to the Internet. For that Mr. Gross—who was in Cuba as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development—was arrested, convicted in a sham trial and sentenced to 15 years.

The White House and State Department have repeatedly called for Alan Gross’s “immediate release.” The Gross family’s legal team urged the family to keep a low profile, thinking it could negotiate his release. (The family ended that representation earlier this year.)

But Fidel and Raúl Castro don’t typically react to discretion and haven’t felt much U.S. pressure on this case. Even after Mr. Gross was seized, the administration sought rapprochement with Havana and continued talks in 2010 and 2011. It also has continued to ease U.S. sanctions on Cuba.

Mr. Gross’s sister, Bonnie Rubinstein, recently led a protest in front of the Cuban Interests Section—a de facto embassy—in Washington, D.C., seeking her brother’s release. She feels “he’s being ignored” and says, “Alan does not want to be forgotten. He doesn’t want to be left there. He wants people to know about him.”

It’s easy to understand her concern. In April 2009, the Obama administration eliminated all restrictions on Cuban-American travel and remittances to Cuba, which became the centerpiece of our nation’s new “Cuba policy.” Those actions predated Mr. Gross’s arrest. However, after Mr. Gross was seized in December of that year and throughout 2010, while he was being held without trial, the administration took various steps that, collectively, seem incomprehensible.

The administration initially used diplomatic mechanisms to try to negotiate Mr. Gross’s release. These included a high-profile visit to Havana in January 2011 by then-Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson.

Ostensibly this was for the Cuba Migration Talks, which are part of a process to ensure safe and legal migration from Cuba. But Ms. Jacobson was the highest-level official ever to represent the U.S. at the talks, and it was hoped she could intercede on behalf of Mr. Gross. Nothing happened.

Common sense suggests that at this point the Obama administration should have toughened its stance by making clear that there would be repercussions if Mr. Gross was not released. Instead, the administration began another round of easing sanctions the next week.

This time the concessions to Havana had nothing to do with advancing the humanitarian goal of allowing Cuban-Americans to visit and assist their families. Instead Washington agreed to establish a frivolous travel category under the banner of encouraging “people-to-people” visits.

Under the “people-to-people” program, the Cuban government approves package tours of Havana conducted by U.S. “nonprofit” companies. American tourists are accompanied by regime “guides.” Tourists visit government ministries, confiscated cigar factories, censored art festivals, official cultural events and other places burnished by the Castros’ propaganda machine. Evening mojitos and salsa dancing are included.

Such trips have become a great new source of “trouble-free” travelers and income for the Cuban regime. They’re also lucrative for U.S. entities, including many state and local chambers of commerce, which license the dealings and now offer “Cuba tours” to members at a premium price.

The Obama administration followed up that all’s-well message to the Communist dictator still holding an American hostage by granting a visa to Cuban dictator Raúl Castro’s daughter, Mariela, to make a promotional tour across the U.S.

It’s no wonder the Gross family has become more vocal and is now holding weekly protests at the Cuban Interests Section. Two U.S. senators, Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) and Jerry Moran (R., Kan.)—who have historically encouraged U.S. business ties with the Castro regime—stated in June that they have suspended their efforts to promote U.S.-Cuba trade. Sen Moran said he hoped this would “put pressure” on Havana to release Mr. Gross.

In July, the Obama administration did indefinitely postpone its yearly Cuba-U.S. Migration talks. But the Commerce Department is allowing shipments directly to Cuba out of the Port of Miami of food, medicine and other humanitarian items—and also of 32-inch flat-screen TVs.

Will the Obama administration—or a Romney administration—ever make it clear to the Castro brothers that their regime cannot take Americans hostage with impunity? The prospect of the U.S. rolling back non-humanitarian travel and transactions to the island would get Havana’s attention. One thing is abundantly clear: Alan Gross needs stronger, tougher support than rhetorical demands that he be “immediately released.”

Mr. Claver-Carone, an attorney, is a director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC and host of “From Washington al Mundo” on Sirius-XM’s Cristina Radio.

Obama’s Cuba’s policy fails to help the people

As Carlos Eire concluded in his post on the DNC Cuba platform, the party remains firmly in solidarity with Castrolandia. There’s no mention of a dictatorship, and there’s no mention of political prisoners or the lack of freedom. Well platform this DNC, your policy is a failure.  The continuing increase in the number of political arrests and  the record number of Cubans trying to escape the Cuban state show just how well “the people” are doing.

Capitol Hill Cubans:

538 Political Arrests in August

 at 11:00 AM Tuesday, September 4, 2012

According to Cuban independent journalists (CIHPRESS), the Castro regime has conducted over 538 documented political arrests in the month of August 2012.

That brings its 2012 total to 3,636, which means it’s en route to shatter its 2011 year-long total of 3,835 political arrests.

More “reform” you can’t believe in.

The weekend in Cuba news

Cuban Reforms Take on ‘Free’ Health Care
Cuba’s system of free medical care, long considered a birthright by its citizens and trumpeted as one of the communist government’s great successes, is not immune to cutbacks under Raúl Castro’s drive for efficiency.
The health sector has already endured millions of dollars in budget cuts and tens of thousands of layoffs, and it became clear this month that Castro is looking for more ways to save when the newspaper voice of the Communist Party, Granma, published daily details for two weeks on how much the government spends on everything from anesthetics and acupuncture to orthodontics and organ transplants.
It’s part of a wider media campaign that seems geared to discourage frivolous use of medical services, to explain or blunt fears of a drop-off in care and to remind Cubans to be grateful that health care is still free despite persistent economic woes. But it’s also raising the eyebrows of outside analysts, who predict further cuts or significant changes to what has been a pillar of the socialist system implanted after the 1959 revolutioCuban Reforms Take on ‘Free’ Health Care

Cuban Reforms Take on ‘Free’ Health Care

Cuba’s system of free medical care, long considered a birthright by its citizens and trumpeted as one of the communist government’s great successes, is not immune to cutbacks under Raúl Castro’s drive for efficiency.

The health sector has already endured millions of dollars in budget cuts and tens of thousands of layoffs, and it became clear this month that Castro is looking for more ways to save when the newspaper voice of the Communist Party, Granma, published daily details for two weeks on how much the government spends on everything from anesthetics and acupuncture to orthodontics and organ transplants.

It’s part of a wider media campaign that seems geared to discourage frivolous use of medical services, to explain or blunt fears of a drop-off in care and to remind Cubans to be grateful that health care is still free despite persistent economic woes. But it’s also raising the eyebrows of outside analysts, who predict further cuts or significant changes to what has been a pillar of the socialist system implanted after the 1959 revolution.

Cuban dissident Fariñas released after 48 hours in custody

The psychologist and independent journalist said he was held at a police station in Santa Clara, the city where he lives some 270 kilometers (168 miles) east of Havana, from Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning, adding that this was the fourth time he was detained in one week.

State security agents arrested him on Thursday, he said, along with other members of the opposition, for mounting a street protest against the supposed removal of a computer from the home of dissident Jorge Luis Artiles, something they blame the authorities of doing.

Reflections on Pope Benedict’s Visit to Cuba from Yoani Sanchez

If the hosts feared that Benedict XVI might emit criticisms about the management of the Communist Party on Cuban soil, real life calmed them. His public speeches were centered on pastoral themes and the boldest phrase that came out of his mouth was to assure us that “Cuba is looking to the future.” Beyond that, there was incense in abundance while social and political references were scarce.

Dissidents report a crackdown in Cuba

Cuban dissidents Friday reported a crackdown across the island, with more than 30 activists detained to keep them from marking the monthly “Day of Resistance” and the one-year anniversary of one of the most active opposition groups.

Fourteen members of the Cuban Patriotic Union were detained in Havana as they gathered for the anniversary of the group, according to Pedro Arguelles, another member of the Union.

Five other dissidents were reported detained in the central city of Santa Clara during a vigil demanding the release of all political prisoners. Another four were arrested in the eastern town of San Luis and three more in the central town of Placetas.

Police told a dozen dissidents in eastern Camaguey province they would be arrested if they left their homes to attend an opposition gathering, and told seven others gathered in a Placetas home that they would be arrested if they did not leave.