Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Castro Clan is Fighting over Point Zero, Fidel Castro’s Home

The Castro Clan is Fighting over Point Zero, Fidel Castro's Home / Juan
Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 13 January 2017 — Point Zero has unleashed a conflict
between the Castro Soto del Valles and their cousins of the "emporium,"
the Castro Espins (Raul Castro's children), who are trying to expel
Dalia, Fidel Castro's widow, and her children from the strategic property.

It all seem carefully calculated, to maintain the appearance of a
well-groomed, well-brought-up happy family. Health, fame, money, power,
good moods and excellent humor; but less than three months since Fidel's
death, the fight between the members of the clan for the exercise of
power over the famous parcel that for years served as the refuge of the
former commander-in-chief, has become the beginning of a great soap
opera that promises to have many episodes.

Located to the west of Havana, in the municipality of Playa, in the
Jaimanitas neighborhood, exactly at 232 Street between 222nd and 238th,
is Point Zero, the apple of discord.

"They are pushing to get Dalia out of Point Zero," says one of the
bodyguards of the late Commander-in-Chief who, in addition, adds that he
feels hurt because none of the bodyguards were invited to the funeral.

"A lack of respect, a personal affront, and to justify the eviction they
come up with three cheap justifications," says the source.

1 – They are going to destroy everything so that nothing is left and no
one else can access the "last estate" of Fidel Castro.

2 – They are going to convert Point Zero into a museum with limited
access. Remodel it and include it as a part of an exclusive and
obligatory tour that will only be shown to important visitors.

3 – They are going to maintain the property as the temporary residence
for future Heads of State of the island.

I do not know what the outcome will be of this truculent story. But what
I do know, is that, by resolution, the properties used and enjoyed by
the maximum leaders do not appear on the Registry of Property because
they are a part of the "Associated Housing and Possessions Linked to the
Council of State" and cannot be inherited.

The provision is that the widows abandon the property where they lived
with the political leader. This was the case with the wives of José
Alberto "Pepín" Naranjo and Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, to cite
the examples of two deceased leaders.

But of course, there is always an exception. I know of one.
The "leadership of the country," understood to mean Raul Castro, for
personal interest and affection, is authorized under the
incontrovertible power of … "I feel like it," to transfer a property
from the regime's "Basic Possession" to "Personal Property."

"Dalia can be called the most varied epithets; but she was the wife of
Fidel and dedicated herself to that man. If they confront her, I assure
you that we are going to see the unleashing of the tongue of more than
one* Castro Soto del Valle" according to the firm statement of one of
the many former daughters-in-law of the dead commander.

*Translator's note: Fidel and Dalia had five sons and Fidel had another
son with his first wife and other acknowledged children.

Source: The Castro Clan is Fighting over Point Zero, Fidel Castro's Home
/ Juan Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-castro-clan-is-fighting-over-point-zero-fidel-castros-home-juan-juan-almeida/

Monday, January 9, 2017

Una rara enfermedad y la falta de condiciones para su cuidado ponen en peligro la vida de una niña habanera

Una rara enfermedad y la falta de condiciones para su cuidado ponen en
peligro la vida de una niña habanera
JORGE ENRIQUE RODRÍGUEZ | La Habana | 9 de Enero de 2017 - 10:52 CET.

Familiares de Yahaira Naila Diéguez Naranjo, una niña que fue
diagnosticada con neuropatía sensitiva autonómica hereditaria tipo IV,
consideran que el andamiaje burocrático existente en la Isla obstaculiza
el acceso a cuidados específicos, el único elemento que puede extender
su esperanza de vida, según —dicen— han explicado los médicos que la
atienden.

Yahaira cumplirá tres años de edad el próximo 23 de enero. María Elena
Carnesoltas Chapottín, su abuela, contó a DIARIO DE CUBA que "al año y
ocho meses de nacida, y después de realizarle exhaustivos chequeos, un
equipo médico del hospital pediátrico de Centro Habana" diagnosticó la
enfermedad y advirtió "que la afectaría para toda su vida".

"Nos explicaron que este era el único caso en Cuba y que en el mundo
solamente se habían reportados unas decenas de personas con este raro
padecimiento".

El resumen de historia clínica de Yahaira, emitido el 17 de septiembre
de 2015 y al cual DIARIO DE CUBA tuvo acceso, detalla, entre las
afectaciones que la neuropatía sensitiva autonómica hereditaria tipo IV
provoca en la niña el síndrome febril intermitente, la anemia
ferropénica, la inmunodeficiencia combinada severa, la epilepsia
asintomática y el retraso en el desarrollo psicomotor y del lenguaje.

"Entre las recomendaciones de los médicos, cuando les preguntamos sobre
la esperanza de vida de mi nieta, están darle una mejor calidad de vida,
que precisa mantenerla en una habitación con aire acondicionado
permanente para disminuir los cuadros febriles, y el cuidado constante
de su higiene para evitar las complicaciones por infecciones", explicó
María Elena.

Yahaira no suda como resultado de su condición médica y por ello orina
con demasiada frecuencia. "Constantemente tenemos que cambiarla y no
damos abasto con los pañales desechables".

En octubre de 2015 María Elena decidió remitir cartas —que también pudo
ver DIARIO DE CUBA— al primer vicepresidente cubano, Miguel Díaz-Canel
Bermúdez; al presidente de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular,
Esteban Lazo Fernández, y al ministro de Salud Pública, Roberto Morales
Ojeda. A todos les explicó el caso de su nieta y la imposibilidad de
adquirir, con los recursos de que dispone la familia, un aire
acondicionado o el volumen de pañales desechables que requiere el
cuidado la niña.

Anexó además el informe social, emitido por el policlínico Raúl Gómez
García, donde consta que las condiciones de la vivienda en la que reside
Yahaira Naila —ubicada en Tamarindo #35, entre 10 de octubre y Rabí— no
son apropiadas y que sus familiares tienen "una precaria situación
económica".

María de las Mercedes Naranjo Carnesoltas, la madre de Yahaira, no puede
trabajar, obligada a atender las 24 horas del día a su hija, quien
además presenta constantes períodos de irritabilidad, regurgitación
frecuente de los alimentos y ausencia de sensibilidad al dolor que
provoca la automutilación de los dedos y la lengua, como consta en su
historial clínico.

La chequera que le otorgó el Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social
(MTSS) en concepto de "madre cuidadora" es de apenas 165 pesos
—aproximadamente 7 CUC—, y María de las Mercedes tiene además otro hijo,
de cinco años, afectado por una lesión en el lado izquierdo del cerebro
debido a un cuadro epiléptico.

"El sacrificio que esta familia tiene que hacer es muy grande.
Actualmente mi hija y mis nietos están en un alquiler de 60 CUC
mensuales porque primero está la vida de mis nietos y la salud de mi
propia hija", dijo María Elena Carnesoltas.

Los medicamentos para el tratamiento de Yahaira Naila varían en
dependencia del cuadro que presente en cada crisis: fumarato ferroso,
multivitaminas, vitamina C, ácido fólico, valproato de sodio, factor de
transferencia y antibióticos, son los elementales. Cada una de estas
medicinas es sufragada por la familia.

"Después de enviar las cartas, en esta casa se personaron de todos los
lados. Es decir, el caso de mi nieta está a nivel nacional. Sin embargo,
hasta ahora no existe ninguna medida concreta respecto a lo más mínimo",
señaló la abuela.

No obstante, un aire acondicionado no solucionaría del todo las
condiciones habitacionales óptimas porque "habría que realizar una
remodelación capital a la vivienda, solo para sellar el cuarto de la
niña", advirtió Leonel Rodríguez, especialista en servicios
constructivos y diseño de interiores.

"Eso implica añadir más peso y poner en peligro de derrumbe a toda la
edificación", añadió.

"Yo no estoy pidiendo una casa ni nada para mí en lo absoluto. Estoy
pidiendo que mi nieta tenga una calidad de vida óptima, que su esperanza
de vida sea la que le permita su enfermedad y no la que decida la
burocracia de las instituciones del Estado", dijo la abuela.

Source: Una rara enfermedad y la falta de condiciones para su cuidado
ponen en peligro la vida de una niña habanera | Diario de Cuba -
http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1483955566_27982.html

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Un mal en aumento - la indigencia callejera

Un mal en aumento: la indigencia callejera
4 enero, 2017 7:24 pm por Jorge Bello Domínguez

Güira de Melena, Artemisa, Jorge Bello, (PD) El nivel de mendigos en las
calles va en ascenso, no solo en la capital, sino también en algunas
provincias del país.

Se suponía que la indigencia era un mal que había sido erradicado hace
tiempo por la "Revolución Socialista". Pero hoy es una realidad con la
que tropezamos a cada paso que se da.

Los principales factores que inciden en el aumento del número de
pordioseros son el rechazo familiar y la falta de viviendas, que parece
un problema insoluble.

La mayoría de las personas que se encuentran en la indigencia son de la
tercera edad.

Dentro de una década, más del 35% de la población cubana será mayor de
60 años.

Las mujeres no quieren parir y son muchos los jóvenes que solo conciben
su futuro fuera de Cuba.

Un anciano que pernocta en un portal o una parada de ómnibus, que pide
limosnas en una cafetería para alimentarse y poder sobrevivir, quizás
tenga una pensión, pero no le alcanza ni para malcomer una semana.

Resulta triste ver como los niveles de indigencia van en aumento. Las
instituciones estatales de Seguridad Social dejan mucho que desear en su
gestión y desempeño. El paternalismo estatal que enseñaron al mundo
durante muchos años, terminó.

Es frecuente ver a ancianos desnutridos pidiendo limosnas para poder
llevar un poco de alimento a su estómago, ver cómo duerme alguien
desamparado en un contenedor, en las aceras públicas, personas que
deambulan por las calles como autómatas, en espera que el Creador Divino
haga su voluntad.

Cuando el ya difunto Fidel Castro, con su camarilla de guerrilleros
barbudos, tomó el poder en 1959, hizo muchas promesas a este pueblo.
Dijo que "la revolución se había hecho por los humildes y para los
humildes", y aseguró que la miseria y los mendigos serían erradicados, y
que ningún anciano, mujer o niño quedaría desamparado por la revolución.

Pasados 58 años de lo que puede calificarse como involución, Cuba se
encuentra ante un panorama muy diferente del que prometió Fidel Castro.

Las instituciones de Seguridad Social encargadas de proteger a los
ancianos dejaron de hacerlo por orientaciones de la cúpula gubernamental.

Muchos ancianos, que de jóvenes dieron su apoyo incondicional al
régimen, incluso exponiendo sus vidas en la lucha clandestina, la
guerrilla y las guerras que la dictadura patrocinó por el mundo, ahora
están sumidos en una deprimente miseria, divagando en un limbo de
incertidumbres y penas, sin apoyo, abandonados y traicionados por
aquellos que les prometieron una vida digna.

A medida que transcurra el tiempo y siga agravándose el problema de la
vivienda por la falta de reparación de las existentes y la insuficiencia
de las que se construyen, serán más los indigentes que deambulen por las
calles, algo que pronosticaron no se volvería a ver jamás en Cuba.
comuni.red.comunitaria@gmail.com; Jorge Bello; móvil +53 53353648
*Red Cubana de Comunicadores Comunitarios

Source: Un mal en aumento: la indigencia callejera | Primavera Digital -
https://primaveradigital.org/cubaprimaveradigital/un-mal-en-aumento-la-indigencia-callejera/

Saturday, January 7, 2017

'Special Troops, batons, guns and dogs' to control the people in Guantánamo

'Special Troops, batons, guns and dogs' to control the people in Guantánamo
MANUEL ALEJANDRO LEÓN VELÁZQUEZ | Guantánamo | 7 de Enero de 2017 -
01:18 CET.

Three months after Hurricane Matthew hit, the inhabitants of Baracoa and
Maisí are complaining about the Government's sluggish response to aid
those who lost everything, and criticizing the still-strong military
presence in the affected areas.

"All this is controlled by special troops, 'black berets' and 'red
berets.' The situation has been like this since the passage of Matthew,
and in recent days some 300 or more of them showed up to relieve those
who are here," explained Wilder Frómeta Romero, who lives in Balatrera,
Baracoa.

"They control the lines to buy building materials and other things. They
go around armed with batons, tear gas, and pistols. People are scared."

Oversight at locations selling materials for the repair of homes is
meant to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

"It's where there are the most dissatisfied people, because they give
the materials to people who aren't supposed to get them, there are long
delays in the allocations, and, moreover, they don't give people what
they really need," said Frómeta Romero. The military "is trying to avert
a protest," he said.

He explained that at the end of the year the authorities "slashed the
prices" of some items "and the streets were packed."

"Several people, mostly youths, got into fights, and the 'black berets'
went up there, I think to prove their supremacy to the people," he said.

Frómeta Romero's wife complained that many basic necessities, like
"rice, peas, soap, toothpaste and sugar, are expensive."

"The prices of agricultural products, such as vegetables and meats, are
sky high. Chicken abounds, but at the TRD (stores), where you cannot go,
due to the lines, and, in my case, my fear of military dogs," said the
woman.

"They said they were going to give rice and beans free of charge for six
months, and since the Hurricane they have only given out these products
free once, and that was during the month of the tragedy. What they have
you done with that, I do not know," she complained.

Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz, a dissident leaving in Jamal, said that
in the town "they've installed security cameras everywhere."

The authorities put "a checkpoint in Yumurí and another on the Toa
Bridge. The soldiers have taken over Baracoa in such a way that some
don't even want to go outside, they're so scared," said Manzanet Ortiz.

"The reinforcements are brought in Jeeps, and guarded by patrols, with
their sirens blaring, so that everyone knows that more guards have been
sent. A few days ago they got into it with some kids, and, with what
those black berets know about personal defense, imagine how they ended
up," he added.

Manzanet Ortiz complained that "the repression against dissidents has
increased" because "people come to us to report the injustices that are
being committed."

"When we try to leave the town they stop and inspect us to see if we
have any recorded information or images on us. They take our USB drives,
cameras, phones, everything that they believe serves to conduct
independent journalism," said the dissident.

In Maisí, one resident affected by the hurricane, who asked not to be
identified, said the situation there "is similar to that in Baracoa."

"The authorities claim that it is 80% recovered, but the truth is that
most of us are living in 'temporary' shelters made out of cardboard
sheets and tar to craft walls and roofs sheltering us from the rain,"
said the woman, a resident in the town of El Veril.

"I myself have begun spending time in an office they want to get me out
of," she said.

"They are leaving for last those of us whose houses were razed by the
hurricane, and giving priority to those who suffered partial damage;
according to the State, to build us a complete house," she said. But
"I'm not going to leave (the office) until I see what happens, because
with them you never know."

A young man from Los Llanos, who, like his neighbor in El Veril,
preferred not to reveal his name, said that the town is also "militarily
reinforced."

"Since Matthew swept through that place, the special troops have not
left," said the youth.

"No one has ever seen so many soldiers here. I can even understand that
they have mobilized those doing their Military Service as a labor force
for the recovery process, but the only thing the special troops do is
sow fear among the peasants," he said.

Source: 'Special Troops, batons, guns and dogs' to control the people in
Guantánamo | Diario de Cuba -
http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1483748301_27940.html

Friday, January 6, 2017

Housing Construction In Cuba Remains Very Slow /

Housing Construction In Cuba Remains Very Slow / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata

14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 3 January 2017 – This week Luisa
Bermejo's biggest headache will be getting the rebar she's lacking. For
months she's been piling up stacks of cement, bricks and other materials
to build an improvised room in the Cerro district of Havana. If she's
lucky she'll soon finish her house built with her own efforts, in a year
when the state plans to build fewer than 10,000 houses on the entire island.

The authorities recognize that the housing problem is the primary social
need in Cuba – analysts estimate the deficit at some 600,000 homes – but
in the last decade the number of homes built has fallen by 20%. In 2006,
there was a historic peak of 111,373 housing units erected, but by the
end of 2015 the total barely exceeded 23,000, more than half of which
were built through private efforts.

With the gloomy economic announcements in the last session of the
National Assembly, alarms have also been set off about the development
of the housing fund in the short and medium term. In his speech to the
parliamentarians, Minister of Economy and Planning Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz
declared that in the next twelve months the state will only finish some
9,700 homes.

The areas prioritized for the new buildings coincide with the five
municipalities affected by Hurricane Matthew in its passage across
Guantanamo province, a region where more than 38,000 homes were totally
or partially destroyed, and for which the government is raising
international aid to rebuild them.

The Alaves Emergency Fund, established by the Provincial Council of
Alava and the Municipality of Vitoria, in Spain's Basque Country, just
announced it will allocate 52,000 euros for schools and workplaces in
the area of Cuba affected by the hurricane, but foreign aid is barely a
drop in the ocean of Cuba's housing deficit.

The difficult situation facing thousands of families has led many to
stop waiting for the state's construction plans – in the style of those
undertaken in the years of the Soviet subsidy – and to seek their own
solutions. A tortuous road, where the obstacles range from getting the
materials to the cost of labor.

Luisa, 61, lived for six years in a place that she, her two daughters
and her husband sneaked into. "There was no bathroom and we had to see
to our needs in a can and empty it every day," she tells 14ymedio. With
the 2011 enactment of the law that allows the buying and selling of
houses , Bermejo acquired a small piece of land near Sports City, with a
rickety wooden house on it

These last three years she has dedicated to construction, spending full
time locating and acquiring the materials for the house, supervising the
brick layers and making with her own hands everything from formwork to
mortar. "We are living amid dust and sacks, but at least it's mine," she
reflects. So far, she has spent 2,000 Cuban Convertible pesos, a
decade's worth of the salary from her former job as a teacher, from
which she retired a couple of years ago.

At the beginning of the century, Vice President Carlos Lage was the
official functionary in charge of the housing program. The goal, in
those years, was to build 150,000 houses a year to relieve the problem.
Luisa hoped to benefit from an apartment in a microbrigade building
built by a social contingent, but the brief economic flourishing the
island experienced with aid from Venezuela was extinguished shortly
thereafter.

"We realize we have to solve this problem ourselves," she comments.
Shortly afterwards, Lage was ousted and no other face of the government
took on the public commitment to families needing a roof.

Instead, in the middle of last year, Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, also
vice-president of the Councils of States and of Ministers, made it clear
that the solution to the housing problem in the country resides "in
individual effort."

Despite the attention, the result is insufficient. The retired teacher
is now worried about problems with the supply of construction materials,
with the east of the island given priority, according to decisions made
in the capital. "We have a lot of problems getting pipes and everything
related to electrical installation," she explains. She also needs
"tiles, concrete glue and gravel."

Since last November, there have been weeks of shortages of building
materials in Havana, a situation that could slow even further the
completion of construction projects. But Luisa seems determined to
finishing her own personal plan. "This year my bathroom and my own
shower, even if I have to tile it with my own hands."

Source: Housing Construction In Cuba Remains Very Slow / 14ymedio,
Zunilda Mata – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/housing-construction-in-cuba-remains-very-slow-14ymedio-zunilda-mata/