Cuba: National Security and Defense of Cattle / Juan Juan Almeida

•July 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The “National Defense Council” is, in exceptional situations, the highest institution of power. Whenever it meets, it is charged with internal order, security, foreign policy, military forces, plus all the economic, legal and social activity of the country.

So it is logical to understand why the luggage of the Cuban leaders are filled with reserves of Imodium, Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismal and all the anti-diarrheals in existence, before leaving for the Extraordinary Summit of the Group of 77 plus China, held in Bolivia, the Army General Castro Ruz called for a Defense Council his First Vice President and his Vice Presidents and a select representation of civilian and military.

The topic was the illegal slaughter of cattle that — as argued — is aggravated in the current socioeconomic circumstances: recording-breaking in southern Cienfuegos. The Pearl of the South, as this beautiful city is known, is the province where the highest rate of cattle theft and slaughter.

The pandemic of killers — as revealed in this important meeting — is seriously affecting the national economy, further reduces the almost non-existent cattle herd, affects the animal heritage of the State companies, cooperatives and individual producers.

This fact, and other administrative issues that of course are ignored, were responsible for the insufficient availability of beef cattle for people’s consumption (as if citizens even received beef), with affects on the food industry, tourism and even light industry because of the lack of skins for the making of shoes and other leather goods for export. The words fly, we know that during the important meeting there was talk about creating rules and measures intended to exercise more control over the livestock industry, and making new regulations aimed at exorcising the evil of illegal slaughter.

The Revolution dictates, and the revolutionaries comply with the need to confront the problem by creating a joint integrated commission for officials from the Ministries of Justice, Agriculture and the National Police, with special participation in the issue by the forces and measures of State Security.

For the first time, to anyone’s knowledge, in a government meeting no one mentions “the Blockade”; I imagine that it’s pretty convoluted to blame the United States for the Cuban amateurs. But the prize for the day’s hero, or the fool of the moment, depending on your point of view, was won by Gustavo Rodriguez, agricultural engineer and Minister of Agriculture.

The comment is heard among the most select gossip of the Cuban political class.

They say that in the full meeting, where the job is to obey, the man, armed with the courage that comes from ingenuity, and not rebellion, criticized the inefficient of the State and its legal mechanisms. He said that, “Increasingly severe criminal penalties haven’t been able to stop the crime; we should recognize the farmers’ ownership of their animals and implement other alternatives to address the problem, such as legalizing and regulating the controlled slaughter of cattle, and gradually implement it, in an experimental way and with a tax policy and prices capable of governing the trade in beef.”

“El Chino*” got upset and let out a shout that was heard in China; leaving the only alternative and unanimous proposal to increase repression, sanctions and the prison population. Oh! And to keep under observation the opinion offered by the comrade minister.

*Translator’s note: “El Chino” (the Chinese man) is reference to Raul Castro.

25 June 2014

Very Deep to be Real /Juan Juan Almeida

•July 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Latin Press agency reports that in a scientific seminar of the Cuban Economic Studies Center (CEEC), the attendees analyzed topics related to the updating of the Cuban economic model, among them those related to decentralization, municipalization, education and development.  The specialists linked to this workshop say development has to be built and planned, and should include sector policies, macro-economics, national priorities coordinated with territorial priorities, innovation, competition and a marketplace.

I am convinced that they are talking about another country, because judging by the concrete reality that we touch, the experts met and met again; they studied and studied but in the end, they disapproved.

Translated by mlk.

27 June 2014

The Ex-President Does Not Have a Double/ Juan Juan Almeida

•June 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

On the evening of June 24 at 5:15 PM, the cyber-comandante Fidel was back, once again offering up his reflections. This time he went to great lengths to explain himself but, unfortunately, no one understood him, not even his own brother.

He started off with his obsessive and repetitive fixation on universal disaster, went on to reprimand the international media for not covering issues of greater importance, and closed by extending his congratulations to Maradona, to Messi, to Telesur and to American soccer players.

Commentaries such as these prove the former president does not have a body double. If he did, he would not write so much drivel.

27 June 2014

Santa Ana In Sight / Juan Juan Almeida

•June 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

How much Santa Ana day has cost us, and as always, as the date, July 26, approaches I have zero tolerance. Already this year they are announcing the celebration will be in the new Artemisa province.

Then, all the national press overflows with unending lies, and I read things like this: “In this province by the minute the work atmosphere, enthusiasm, commitments and pride are on the rise, it barely rests, daily we check the previewed works and other actions linked with the population’s quality of life, with the improvement, beautification, and sanitation of towns, cities and centers, declared Raul Rodriguez Cartaya, chief of the Provincial Administration Counsel.”

And it offends me that they keep believing that we citizens are revived by accepting as true this disrespectful stream of lies knowing that the country is falling to pieces.

Translated by mlk.

25 June 2014

Now They Will Leave’ But Illegally / Juan Juan Almeida

•June 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Gelkis Jimenez, Adriel Labrada, Carolos Manuel Portuondo, Alejandro Jaime Ortiz, Yasmani Hernandez Romero and Diosdani Castillo were ballplayers excluded from a pre-selection of 43 players that was prepared to face a United States university team next July.

According to the president of the Cuban Baseball Federation himself, Higinio Velez, the reason for the elimination is that the mentioned players were caught when they tried to leave the country. More foolish than foolishness, I ask myself if instead of suspending them, if it is not better to let them go. It does not even deserve comment.

Translated by mlk.

26 June 2014

Most Important, Control / Juan Juan Almeida

•June 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

According to authorities from the Ministry of Communications, Cuba loses more than ten million convertible pesos a year in income due to fraud in services. And they have warned, there will be penalties.

After a little research, I learned that the real concern of these Cuban officials is not the increase in cloned ETECSA (phone company) cards to call abroad; the real issue is that the use of new technologies – such as calling and receiving calls via the internet, from Cuba to overseas and vice versa – is difficult to control and prevents tracking. This reminds me of the opportune sign, which I saw so many times: A painted eye. The stalker.

26 June 2014

Cuban Mission in Venezuela in Danger / Juan Juan Almeida

•June 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

They add up to thousands, the Cubans, health professionals, who have been sent to Venezuela since the first Cuban Medical Mission landed in Caracas December 16, 1999.

Our technicians, doctors, nurses; they continue and will continue fulfilling the Hippocratic Oath in the South American country and the sacred duty of offering medical attention to all who need it.

The enthusiasm of the first collaborations has eroded, today all the personnel of the Cuban medical cooperation seem to be transitioning to a bad moment, full of insecurity and uncertainty, because among many other situations, they confront the discontent of a wide sector of the population.

So shows a classified report dated last Friday, June 13, signed by Dr. Victor Gauter, chief of all the missions, and sent with urgency to the Cuban Public Health Ministry.

The document in question asserts that in the Carabobo state alone, located in the north central coast of Venezuela, in a central region of the country, in the first week of June, that is to say, from Sunday the first until Saturday the seventh, the following points were given which I quote verbatim because of their importance:

- Nine Cuban cooperators were threatened by Venezuelan nationals. Among the main causes of these threats are the relationship of a couple of married nationals and political issues.

- Two collaborators deserted, one stomatologist and one a rehabilitation technician from Valencia township.

- Five volunteer workers were attacked in different townships of the State.

- Two popular medical offices were stoned, one in the Valencia township and the other in the Naguanagua location.

- In the Bolivar and Marti CDI, located in the Guacara township, they hung posters that said, “Cubans out.”

- At the “La Libertad” stomatology clinic, ASIC Bolivar, also in the Guacara township, they opened a hole in the wall and they stole all the instruments and halogen light from the display case.

- Eight collaborators were urgently hospitalized on presenting symptoms of dengue fever.

It is a lot for only one state, and too much for a week. But before such concrete events, with clear traces of a serious conflict that looms, the directors from Havana responded with their habitual irresponsibility and, without abandoning the repeated formula of false humanism, they sent an official who travels states with the mission of recruiting personnel in order to form groups of Cuban computer experts linked to social networks who will flood Twitter uploading photos of achievements and “red Sundays.”

Come on, as if real problems could be controlled with visual solutions. We should not forget that the damages caused to people, with the sole objective of politicizing, have not only consequences but also guilty parties.

Translated by mlk.
18 June 2014


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