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  • Cuba (years ago) – Day 1, Miami to Havana. Disembarking



    Little story about Eastern Airlines before they went out of business. My mother worked for Eastern (MIA) as a secretary for one of the Vice Presidents for years (and years). She wrote the ethics guidelines for the stewardesses

    Love Cuban women........

    Camila Cabello – Havana
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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    • Cubans rally for anti-government protests


      Thousands of people protested across Cuba on Sunday against food and medicine shortages during the pandemic, per AP.

      Why it matters: It's unusual for demonstrations to be held against the Communist government, which is known for cracking down on dissent. The protests in Havana and elsewhere are the biggest since 1994, when an uprising saw many Cubans leave by sea, the New York Times notes.: https://www.axios.com/cubans-protest...539f35e31.html


      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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      • Obama started to normalise relations with Cuba, Trump tore it all down again and now Biden is not changing anything. Surely this ridiculous anachronism of US MMNCs, Guantanamo, organised crime and votes from ridiculously right-wing Cuban exiles has to stop, but the US simply won't move on

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        • time...........
          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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          • Oi Gewalt . . . how long, though. It's been decades. I don't see why it should be such a hot potato for state or federal politicians - local yes.

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            • Not my words, but totally agree
              You have to admire the chutzpah of the CIA.
              They organise demonstrations in Cuba against the conditions caused by decades of crippling, illegal economic sanctions strongly pushed by the CIA and imposed by the United States government.
              I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

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              • ^for christ’s sakes………….conspiracy theories? : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-57802170

                Fifty-five percent of Cubans overall say the normalization of relations between the governments in Cuba and the United States will be mostly good for Cuba, while 3 percent say it will be mostly bad and 26 percent say it will have no impact. Thirteen percent aren’t sure what impact the easing of diplomatic relations will have.

                Three years after Cuba eased some travel restrictions and eliminated the “white card” exit visa that required government permission to leave the country, 2 of 3 Cubans have a goal of traveling abroad in the next five years. Among those who want to travel, a large majority (81 percent) want to visit the United States.

                A shining light: https://www.norc.org/PDFs/Survey%20o...17_DTPv7r1.pdf
                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                • Mayorkas to Cubans, Haitians: Do not come to the U.S.

                  Cuban-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday delivered a clear message to the Cuban and Haitian people amid upheaval in both Caribbean nations: Do not come to the United States.

                  “The time is never right to attempt migration by sea,” Mayorkas said in a press conference at the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters. “To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking.”

                  “Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.”

                  Mayorkas’ message comes amid continued protests in Cuba calling for the end of the 62-year-old dictatorship and the recent assassination of the president of Haiti.

                  The Biden administration has expressed solidarity with the thousands of Cubans protesting on the communist-run island, but so far has not shared any concrete plans or policy to help them. On Sunday, a delegation of U.S. officials traveled to Haiti to discuss the Haitian government’s ask for U.S. assistance following the president’s assassination.

                  Anti-government protesters march in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, July 11, 2021. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in several cities in Cuba to protest against ongoing food shortages and high prices of foodstuffs. (AP Photo/Eliana Aponte) | Eliana Aponte/AP Photo

                  Many migrants attempting to reach the United States by sea have died on the dangerous trek over the years. In recent weeks, 20 migrants have died at sea, Mayorkas said.

                  So far, the U.S. has not seen a surge in Cuban or Haitian migrants by sea, Mayorkas said. But the U.S. Coast Guard has deployed officials to monitor the situation by air and sea in the Florida Straits and Caribbean Sea, he said.

                  “Any migrant intercepted at sea, regardless of their nationality, will not be permitted to enter the United States,” Mayorkas said.

                  In fiscal 2021, 470 Cubans and 313 Haitians have been intercepted at sea, compared to 49 Cubans and 430 Haitians in fiscal 2020, Mayorkas said.

                  In May, Mayorkas announced the designation of temporary protected status for Haiti, a designation that allows Haitians who were present in the U.S. at the time of the announcement to be granted legal status for 18 months. Mayorkas emphasized on Tuesday that TPS for Haitians “is not an immigration program” and only benefits those already in the U.S. in May.: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/0...aitians-499531

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                  • Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
                    [SIZE=14px]Mayorkas to Cubans, Haitians: Do not come to the U.S.

                    Cuban-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday delivered a clear message to the Cuban and Haitian people amid upheaval in both Caribbean nations: Do not come to the United States.
                    Sounds like a riot piece of dirt in this regard, like many Cubans who 'made it' to Florida - après moi le deluge.

                    Met quite a few Cubans in Fl and the younger ones were quite good - the oldies, however, are just to the right of Hitler and utterly dumbed down as to why Castro et al overthrew the corrupt and evil Batista.

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                    • it's no big news. same as always
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                      • "No more lies": What drove Cubans to the streets

                        Sara Naranjo, 88, took to Cuba's streets this past week because she is "done with being hungry, unemployed, without water, without power." Naranjo is one of thousands of Cubans to take part in what activists said were the largest anti-government protests on the island in decades.

                        What's happening: People like Naranjo, who remembers Cuba before the revolution, joined thousands of younger Cubans, who have only known Communism, in the massive street protests despite their fear of the government’s harsh response.

                        Why it matters: Sunday’s seemingly spontaneous mobilizations across the island were something unseen in 60 years of castrista rule.
                        • Anti-government protests even erupted in the southeast province of Santiago de Cuba, Fidel Castro’s stronghold during the revolution and where he is buried.
                        • “So much hunger ate away at our fear,” one demonstrator, Wendy Guerra, told the independent Cuban news site 14yMedio.

                        The big picture: The pandemic deepened Cubans’ frustrations with lack of food and resources that had simmered for decades.
                        • Tourism, mostly from Canada and Europe, dried up along with the hard currency it provided.
                        • Mismanagement of the island’s state-run economy, already under a U.S. embargo since 1962, sent Cuba’s GDP crashing by 11% last year, its worst showing since the former Soviet Union stopped subsidies in the early 1990s.
                        • Chronic power cuts and shortages of food and medicines have been more acute, while the nearly quarter-million people who have had coronavirus have had to seek treatment from a healthcare system on the verge of collapse.
                        • Vaccinations have been scarce since the government decided not to participate in the COVAX sharing program for developing nations and to develop its own shots.

                        Between the lines: Pockets of overt dissidence had been growing even before Raúl Castro, Fidel Castro’s younger brother and his deputy during the revolution, stepped down in June as head of the Communist Party.
                        • Movimiento San Isidro, a young coalition of artists, journalists and academics formed in 2019, urged more Cubans to make their dissatisfaction public.
                        • Musicians and San Isidro members, Maykel Osorbo and El Funky, were joined by Yotuel, Gente De Zona, and Descemer Bueno to release the song “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life), which became an anthem for this week’s protesters.
                          • Its lyrics demand “no more lies” and “no more doctrine,” telling those who cling to the revolution that their time is past.

                        The growing availability of the internet, though also controlled by a state-run company, has allowed like-minded Cubans to share their frustrations more easily, like they did on Sunday.
                        • The protests erupted days after #SOSCuba began to trend on social media, with Cubans demanding humanitarian assistance to address the island’s many crises.

                        Where it stands: At least one person — 36-year-old Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, who was from an especially impoverished part of Havana — has died during the protests, according to local reports.
                        • The government shutdown the internet and phone lines after the first protest on Sunday.
                        • Reliable information regarding arrests is hard to come by with estimates ranging between 200 and 5,000 people.

                        In Washington,the Biden administration has said the protests are “remarkable,” but has not yet indicated whether further policy changes were coming.
                        • The U.S. has warned Cubans who might attempt to emigrate across the Florida Straits that they would be turned back.

                        In Havana, meanwhile, President Miguel Díaz-Canel has pointed to the U.S. embargo as the cause of his country’s economic woes and accused U.S. authorities of financing and promoting “non-conventional warfare.”
                        • On Wednesday, the Cuban government announced that tariffs on the private import of food, medicine and personal care products would be lifted at least until December.

                        By the numbers: 3.5% of all Latinos in the U.S. are of Cuban ancestry or Cuban immigrants, the fifth largest Latino or Hispanic cultural group.
                        • Most live in Florida. The state’s weight in the Electoral College means Cuban Americans have outsized political influence.

                        https://www.axios.com/what-drove-cub...5dd98001e.html
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                        • Havana Rally In Support Of Cuba Government In Response To Last Sunday’s Angry Protests


                          Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and former president Raul Castro rallied tens of thousands of supporters in the streets of Havana nearly a week after they were stunned by the most widespread protests in decades.

                          Last Sunday, July 11th, thousands of Cubans took to the streets expressing anger over long lines and shortages of food and medicines, as well as repeated electricity outages. Some also demanded quicker vaccinations against COVID-19. But there were also calls for political change in a country governed by the Communist Party for six decades.

                          At Saturday’s rally, Diaz-Canel made an unusually impassioned speech blaming the unrest on the U.S. and its economic embargo, calling “the blockade, aggression and terror.”

                          Diaz-Canel called on the United States to lift its blockade on the island nation.

                          The Cuban government has said information that has spread on social media and messaging apps against Havana was part of a broader U.S.-backed attempt by counter-revolutionaries to destabilize the country.: https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/07/1...ba-government/

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                          • Biden takes steps to review Cuba policy after protests

                            President Biden is weighing whether to reestablish remittances to Cuba in the wake of historic protests earlier this month.

                            Doing so would allow Americans to send money to relatives in Cuba amid discontent with food shortages and difficulty accessing medicine.

                            “The administration is focused on only allowing such transfers if we can guarantee that all of the money flows directly into the hands of the Cuban people instead of allowing a portion of the proceeds to be siphoned off into regime coffers,” a senior administration official told The Hill.

                            The official added the move would be paired with other efforts to “build international pressure against the regime, designating sanctions against those responsible for violence and repression against peaceful protestors, and helping Cubans get access to the internet.”

                            The U.S. eased restrictions on remittances to the island nation under former President Obama, but they were walked back during the Trump administration.

                            But the potential shift could go beyond remittances.

                            A senior administration official told the Miami Herald, which first reported the potential shift, that Biden had ordered the State Department to evaluate reestablishing consular affairs with Cuba.

                            “The administration will form a Remittance Working Group to identify the most effective way to get remittances directly into the hands of the Cuban people,” the official said, adding that the State Department “will review planning to augment staffing of U.S. Embassy Havana to facilitate diplomatic, consular, and civil society engagement, and an appropriate security posture.”

                            Juan Gonzalez, senior director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, also recently told Univision that Biden had established working groups to urgently reconsider remittances and consular services.

                            Biden thus far has expressed support for those that protested in Cuba, saying last week they were “bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights.”: https://thehill.com/policy/internati...after-protests
                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                            • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                              • ‘There’s No Turning Back’: A Cuban Dissident on What’s Really Happening in Cuba

                                What prompted the protests and what’s going on now:

                                Why is it happening?It’s an accumulation. It’s not just Covid-19. People have been believing in the revolution, following the government's mandate to sacrifice. But people are tired of the government’s abuse.

                                Cubans are doing eight hours in line just to get a piece of bread. And at the same time, the housing situation is worse. People said, “Enough.” …. They see people in power and their kids living the great life. A few months ago, the grandson of Fidel [Castro] did a video in a Mercedes Benz, very arrogantly showing off his life while the people are starving.

                                [The day the protests started], a friend messaged me and said, “You have to see this.” And then another friend called, saying: “Look at this.” That’s when I saw the scene in San Antonio de los Baños [a town about 20 miles southwest of Havana, where the islandwide protests began]. And that’s how the news spread: People calling each other in different provinces, telling each other what was happening.

                                Then, the government quickly cut out the internet. And hand in hand with the blackout, they started putting out fake news.

                                But I had already seen it: It was just surreal. It was very, very, very powerful to see people screaming, saying, “I have no fear.”

                                The truth is, I was fairly calm at first. But when I started to get internet access and saw all the videos coming in of the beatings, police hitting and shooting at people, that really hit hard. Because those are images you’d never imagine coming out of Cuba. It’s something you never expect to see from Cuba.

                                We have seen 10 policemen beating a young kid. We have seen special forces enter a neighborhood, shooting when everyone is unarmed.

                                Why this moment is different for the Cuban people:

                                Right now, everyone — all 11 million of us — knows someone that went to the protests, or knows someone that knows someone that went to the protests. Everyone has had an opportunity to verify stories and not believe what’s being said on TV.

                                Every person that has been unjustly detained, every person that has felt for the first time that feeling of freedom, every person that has now felt what it’s like at a protest to yell what you want, what you feel, what you’ve held back — there’s no turning back.

                                Today, there are thousands of Cubans who can’t turn back. Yes, the government is going to threaten and do what they always do — scare, process them legally, make them feel like they can’t leave their home. But in my experience, this was a step forward that I don’t see turning back.

                                The protest is bigger than anything that Raul and Fidel Castro were able to organize. But this was completely spontaneous. There is no leader, no opposition group that is able to do something like this. You can see it. And they were peaceful. Of course, there were some people who broke into food stores and also turned some police cars.

                                Still, the message from the people was very clear: [Vandalizing] the food stores means they are hungry and there is no way they have access to food. And turning over the police cars is saying they have enough of the police abuse. The people have spoken very clearly.

                                What the people want is to live a prosperous life with rights.

                                I think the older generation got used to living in a cage and, maybe, if you take away the cage, they don’t know anything else. But the younger people are clear that there are two options: Either they fight for their rights or it’s another lost generation. And it’s been very moving to see these people.

                                The majority of those arrested are young, many under 21. They’re saying: “Well, before I give up, I’m going to fight.”

                                And I think that’s what people want: Prosperity. To be able to think about more than, “What am I going to eat today?” or that “I have to stand in line for eight hours to buy bread.” People want to do more with their lives.

                                What Americans don’t understand about Cuba:

                                I’m part of the left and let me tell you — this isn’t socialism. This is neoliberal state capitalism.

                                The American left needs to understand that Cuba is no longer the paradise of social justice. It’s a dictatorship. And the U.S. government should be on the side of the Cuban people. I would say to the American politicians, to be on the side of the people and to not believe the fake news and the stories the government is creating.

                                Because, look, the Cuban people have endured 60 or 61 years of embargo and none of this happened before. So, what does the embargo have to do with this? Nothing.

                                What does the embargo have to do with policemen beating a young kid? What does the embargo have to do with the special forces shooting unarmed Cubans? What does the embargo have to do with [President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s] order for people to go defend the revolution on the streets? These are the questions I have.

                                Yes, of course, the embargo has had an impact. But the situation we are in today is caused by the Cuban government.

                                Now, on the opposite side, a U.S. military intervention is not a good response. The destiny of the Cuban people is in the Cuban people’s hands. And the second that a second country — and intervention, specifically — is in the picture, that’s not going to help.

                                First of all, [a military intervention] would back up some of the Cuban government’s claims. And second, I know, incredibly, it could sway people. That means many of those that today may be against the government would close ranks and come together with the government [to stand against U.S. intervention].

                                I don’t see it as a good solution. I think what has to be done is pressure the Cuban government so that it doesn't have another alternative than to give Cubans rights.

                                And I do believe that other countries can help, by telling the Cuban government there’s certain conditions it must meet to do business. Because the Cuban government is very good at making itself seem like the victim internationally — the victim of the embargo, the victim of — air quotes — mercenaries in Cuba, the victim of everything to get sympathy that translates into money and aid. That has to end.

                                The world has to stop seeing the Cuban government as a victim. The Cuban government is the aggressor.

                                More in the article: https://www.politico.com/news/magazi...ruguera-500421

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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