Thursday, August 31, 2006

U.S.-Cuba Relations Worries Some Exiles

Published Sunday, August 27, 2006
U.S.-Cuba Relations Worries Some Exiles

The Associated Press

MIAMI -- Jorge de Cardenas emigrated from Cuba in 1958, worked with a
CIA-backed university group against Fidel Castro and spent years as a
successful Miami lobbyist. He should have been overjoyed at news this
month that Castro was finally handing off power.

But that change now casts a shadow over de Cardenas, 61. He spent a year
in prison for obstruction of justice in connection with a 1990s Miami
corruption scandal. Because of that conviction, like more than 30,000
other Cubans in the U.S., he would be eligible for deportation if the
two countries were to resume relations, according to Homeland Security's
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Under federal law, immigrants who have committed certain felonies are
automatically deportable, but Cubans have long been exempt because the
two countries lack a comprehensive immigration agreement.

De Cardenas said his wife, children and grandchildren, all U.S.
citizens, worry about what will happen to him.

"My family, they talk about it all the time, the possibility that I
could be deported," said de Cardenas, who is now a publicist and consultant.

A change in U.S.-Cuban relations could also spell an end to the minimum
20,000 visas Cubans are guaranteed each year, and it could kill the
so-called wet/dry immigration policy, which generally allows Cubans who
reach the U.S. to remain.

Department of Homeland Security officials declined to talk about future
policy revisions.

"It's something we're not ready to discuss in public until the situation
(in Cuba) changes," said Joanna Gonzalez of DHS, who added the
department is concerned that any statement it makes could spark mass
migration from the island.

So far this year, the U.S. Coast Guard has interdicted more than 1,600
Cubans at sea, up slightly from last year. That includes about 100 who
have been stopped since an ailing Castro temporarily transferred power
to his brother July 31.

In response, President Bush earlier this month relaxed immigration rules
for some Cubans while tightening them for those who attempt to come

De Cardenas wouldn't have to worry about deportation if he'd become a
U.S. citizen, but he said he maintained his Cuban citizenship because he
always hoped to return to the island.

His lawyer, Linda Osberg-Braun, said he is not alone in opting not to
become a citizen and thus leaving himself at risk for deportation.

"A lot of times it was because of patriotism and because they planned to
go back. And sometimes they just didn't know what they were supposed to
do," she said.

Orlando Boquete didn't have those options. The 51-year-old Cuban
immigrant spent 13 years behind bars before DNA testing exonerated him
from a 1982 sexual assault. But Boquete, who was released from prison
Monday, also escaped from prison and admitted committing several
felonies including burglary while he was a fugitive. Although ICE
officials have agreed not to request his deportation, those crimes bar
him from becoming a citizen, meaning he would remain at risk for
deportation if the U.S. and Cuba renewed relations.

Immigration lawyer Wilfredo Allen said an immediate push for mass
deportation is unlikely because it would take years for the two
countries to reach a broad immigration accord.

Immigration expert Ira Kurzban said an end to the 20,000 visa minimum, a
guarantee few other nations have, would probably come first.

Kurzban also said that a resumption of relations would likely spell an
end to Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows most Cubans in the U.S. to
become residents after one year.

"It's really a Cold War vestige that's been perpetrated and perpetuated
by various U.S. administrations but is an anomaly in law, even in
refugee law," Kurzban said.

For now Boquete and de Cardenas, like others in their situation, try not
to think that far down the road.

"I hope it doesn't happen," de Cardenas said, "but if it does, there's
nothing I can do."

Cuban transition makes no waves

Posted on Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

Cuban transition makes no waves
A month after Fidel Castro stepped aside, nothing in Cuba seems to have

One month to the day after Fidel Castro ceded power to his younger
brother, Raúl, Cuba appears to be much like a plane on autopilot with no
final destination.

There has been no visible indication of political change on the
communist-ruled island, no visible increase in rule by Raúl, no apparent
change in the machinery of government. There have been no stepped-up
challenges by dissidents or increases in the number of rafters fleeing
by sea.

Neither has there been any explanation for what caused the man who ruled
Cuba for 47 years to undergo intestinal surgery on July 31 and surrender
his monopoly on power for the first time.

Taken together, these elements have left some Cuba watchers wondering
about what is really going on in the island of 11 million people just 90
miles off Key West.

When Fidel Castro handed over the reins to Raúl, he stage-managed a
scene that caught most Cuba experts off guard: a succession from Fidel
to Raúl without Fidel's death.

Even now, some believe, the 80-year-old Fidel may well be continuing to
plot the island's future course, leaving little leeway for his
75-year-old brother.

''I don't think Raúl would want to make a lot of change with Fidel still
in the picture,'' said Mark Falcoff, author of Cuba, The Morning After.
``I think he's scared to death of his brother.''

''He has to be careful on how far he can push, not only because of
Fidel, but because of the hard-line Fidelistas, who would accuse him of
betrayal,'' said Edward Gonzalez, a Cuba expert at the California-based
RAND Corporation.


Illustrating the apparent calm, Miami radio commentator Francisco Aruca,
a steadfast critic of U.S. sanctions on Cuba, had been starting his
daily program with the words ``Today marks XX days, and nothing has

''Contrary to what people want to acknowledge, the great majority of
people [in Cuba] don't want the shaking up of society,'' said Aruca, a
frequent traveler to the island. ``I do believe that they want changes,
but no upheaval or violence.''

Even dissidents on the island have been reluctant to push too hard for
change, perhaps because some want to retain a measure of stability,
perhaps because some fear a government crackdown.

Wayne Smith, a former head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana and
frequent critic of U.S. policy on Cuba, said that dissidents have acted
responsibly and that the population as a whole has accepted the transfer
of power ``with great calm and maturity.''

''It had always been planned that Raúl Castro would step in, and he
did,'' Smith said in a telephone interview from Washington. ``Only
people in Miami were expecting some kind of collapse.''

Castro shocked the world on a Monday night a month ago when his
secretary, Carlos Valenciaga, read a letter on Cuban television,
announcing the power shift because of a ''sharp intestinal crisis with
sustained bleeding'' that required ``complicated surgery.''

The public has since seen Castro only twice, first in a series of Cuban
newspaper photos showing him sitting up, then in a video taken during a
bedside visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and broadcast on
Castro's 80th birthday, Aug. 13.

Raúl, too, has kept a low profile, showing up only to meet Chávez at the
airport, in the visit video and later in a photo that accompanied a long
interview he granted to the daily newspaper Granma.

Raúl said in the interview that he was open to dialogue with the United
States, and Washington later made somewhat similar comments. Both
comments included harsh caveats that would make it difficult to open
talks, but they nevertheless raised eyebrows among Cuba watchers.

In the meantime, the Bush administration has shown no appetite for any
aggressive effort to undermine the succession to Raúl and promote a
transition to democracy.


''The U.S. wants to avoid any kind of crisis or instability in Cuba,''
said Antonio Jorge, a professor of economics and international relations
at Florida International University. ``So, I expect Washington [will]
wait for the opportunity to establish some kind of . . . dialogue.''

Roger Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state for the Western
Hemisphere, said the administration's lack of more muscular insistence
for democratic reforms is more likely ``just a question of quiet

''The United States does not want to be perceived as trying to manage
what is happening in Cuba,'' he said.

But Noriega expressed concern about the ''lack of any obvious
mobilization'' by Cuba's small and traditionally tightly monitored
dissident movement.

''That's what's going to propel change -- when Cubans themselves take
the initiative and claim their rights,'' Noriega said. ``They need to
step up.''

In a sign that the elder Castro remains in charge, Raúl reportedly has
continued to work in his office in the Ministry of Defense instead of
moving into Fidel's presidential offices.

But Raúl received a Syrian delegation earlier this week in preparation
for a summit of Nonaligned Movement nations that Havana is scheduled to
host next month -- a move seen as a hint that Fidel will not be well
enough to attend.

Royal Caribbean announces a deal to buy Spanish cruise line Pullmantur

Posted on Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

Royal Caribbean announces a deal to buy Spanish cruise line Pullmantur

Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises plans to increase its presence in
Europe and Latin America with the purchase of a Spanish cruise line.

Royal Caribbean said this morning that it will buy Pullmantur for $897
million, giving it five additional ships with capacity for more than
4,500 passengers.

Founded in 1971, Madrid-based Pullmantur employs about 2,600 people and
targets both Europeans and Latin Americans.

The privately-held cruise line gets roughly two-thirds of its revenues
from cruising and the remainder from its tour operations, said Robin
Farley, an analyst at UBS in New York.

Pullmantur, which will keeps its name, also gives Royal Caribbean its
first wholly-owned European brand.

In the past several years, the Miami company has been deploying an
increasing number of ships under its namesake Royal Caribbean and
Celebrity brands to Europe and Latin America to take advantage of growth
in the worldwide cruising market.

Royal Caribbean said it will buy all of the capital stock of Pullmantur
for $551 million, plus its debt of $346 million. It expects the deal to
be completed by the fourth quarter of this year. The company also said
Pullmantur will be withdrawing from all Cuba-related activities before
the deal closes.

Royal Caribbean is the world's second-largest cruise operator with 29
ships and six more under construction.

Miami-based Carnival Corp. is the world's largest cruise operator with
81 ships and 15 on order. It has four British lines -- P&O Cruises,
Cunard, Ocean Village and Swan Hellenic -- as well as P&O Cruises
Australia, AIDA in Germany, and Italy-based Costa Crociere.

The next one may not be as kind as Ernesto

Posted on Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

The next one may not be as kind as Ernesto

Tropical Storm Ernesto spared South Florida on its way north, where it
will spoil many a family's Labor Day weekend. We owe it all to Cuba and
Hispanola, whose rugged terrain took some starch out of the storm.

Some here who dutifully did the pre-storm drill may be asking themselves
what all the fuss was about. But don't fret: Consider all that careful
storm preparation a dry run for the two busiest hurricane months just ahead.

The silver lining here is that more South Floridians are preparing well
when a storm approaches. It's a good bet that Hurricanes Katrina and
Wilma have a lot to do with this year's good response to Ernesto. On the
anniversary of Katrina's shredding of the Gulf Coast, South Florida
could well have had a similar fate. Katrina really is an unforgettable
event for anyone living in hurricane territory. It was kinder to Florida
than to Louisiana and Mississippi. But it wreaked havoc here with power
outages and ripped up trees and roofs. Then came Wilma with a stronger

Survival lessons

Every hurricane causes its victims to learn a lesson or two about
survival and recovery. With Wilma's widespread power outages in Broward
and Miami-Dade counties, one lesson was to fill your gas tank before the
storm strikes. Almost predictably, the day before Ernesto arrived, long
lines queued up at gas stations.

Gov. Jeb Bush did his part by cautioning residents not to panic. Don't
top-off your car's tank if it already is three-quarters full, he said.
But many of us did just that. Others filled six or more five-gallon gas
containers rather than settle for, say, two. This kind of selfish
behavior can cause shortages for people who truly do need gas.

Hurricanes unpredictable

The predictions of Ernesto's intensity and where it eventually would
make a U.S. landfall changed daily. It was a tropical storm that became
a hurricane. It was supposed to steer toward the Gulf of Mexico but then
it bounced around the mountains of Hispanola and Cuba before emerging on
a path toward Florida.

Ernesto reminded us of this timeless truism about hurricanes: They're
unpredictable. Example: If not for a last-minute wobble to the east that
spared New Orleans the full force of Katrina's Category 5 fury, that
city would be in even worse shape today.

Because hurricanes are so unpredictable it is imperative that everyone
within the broad cone of a storm's projected path always prepare for the
worst. It is better to wonder afterward what all the fuss was about that
prompted all those preparations than to regret having gambled that the
storm would go elsewhere.

Cuba's first lady

The Arts Interview: Cuba's first lady
The Back Half
Alice O'Keeffe
Monday 4th September 2006
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba returns to London this week despite
political upheaval back home. Alice O'Keeffe asks its formidable
director what the future holds

Browse all articles by Alice O'Keeffe in the NS Library
A frisson of nervous energy sweeps the Ballet Nacional de Cuba's elegant
headquarters in Havana as Alicia Alonso's chauffeur-driven car pulls up
at the door. "She's arrived!" squeaks an assistant. She is helped
through the entrance hall and into her office, passing the posters which
show her poised and in her prime. Her head is wrapped in her trademark
scarf - today, a pale silky green to match her trouser suit - and her
lips are slightly unevenly painted pillar-box red. She greets me
regally, stretching out a gnarled hand and fixing me with her sightless
eyes. She may be 85 years old, but she is a true diva.

The news of Castro's illness broke only a few days before our scheduled
interview, and I half expected Alonso to cancel. I should have known
better; a consummate revolutionary, she insists that he is on the mend.
"Of course we worry a lot about him, because he works too hard and
leaves himself prone to illness," she says. "But we know that he will
get better. And in the meantime he has people around him who will
continue with the revolution."

The sense of impending change must, however, strike a particularly
personal note for Alonso. As director and prima ballerina of the Ballet
Nacional for the past 47 years, she is an integral part of Cuba's old
guard. Jorge Esquivel, the former dancing partner with whom Alonso fell
out bitterly when he "defected" to the United States, has compared the
revolution to "an orange: when you cut it in half, one side is Fidel and
politics, the other is Alicia and the arts."

Incongruous as it may seem, ballet was part of the Cuban revolution from
its inception. Legend has it that, while Castro was battling the
imperialists, he sent Alonso a message from his hideout in the sierra
asking her to form a national ballet company in the event of his
victory. When he came to power in 1959, she had no hesitation. "I was
dancing in Chicago, but I dropped everything and came running," she
recalls. She and her then husband, Fernando, were provided with $200,000
with which to found a national company and school.

Alonso finds it entirely natural that the revolutionary leader should
have been preoccupied with ballet, even in the throes of commanding a
guerrilla war. "I didn't ask him why it was on his mind," she says. "But
he is a man who understands culture. The first thing he did after the
revolution was to make sure the Cuban population learnt to read. Once
people want to learn, they want to live. Dance is the same - it gives
you a great appreciation for life. Human beings must always strive to be
better, to live better, to see better, to enjoy life. Ballet is the
purest, most beautiful way to do that."

In the Ballet Nacional's early years, Alonso was charged with no less a
task than educating the entire Cuban population in classical dance.
Ballet was such an alien art form that when the school first opened it
struggled to find students. "Parents didn't want to enrol their
children, so we gathered a group of students from orphanages," says
Alonso. "We started them off on judo and martial arts, before
introducing ballet gradually." From the beginning she found that Cuban
children showed a "special talent". Among that first group was Esquivel,
who would go on to become the Ballet Nacional's first major home-grown star.

Later, the company sought out new recruits by giving presentations in
farms, factories and military bases the length and breadth of the
country. The reception was not always warm - but Alonso was not easily
deterred. "One of the first presentations we did was for a group of
soldiers. Esquivel demonstrated how to lift the ballerina elegantly,
lightly. They were all nudging each other and laughing. They stopped
pretty quickly when we got one of them up on stage to try it. He could
hardly budge her, let alone do the lift! That shut them up."

The Ballet Nacional has, over the years, proved a very smart investment.
With a typically Cuban spirit of defiance, it continued to receive
funding even during the country's worst economic crises. And the
company, in return, has boosted the country's cultural prestige by
producing such international stars as Carlos Acosta, now a principal
guest artist at the Royal Ballet, and Jose Manuel Carreño, who is a
principal at the American Ballet Theatre. "There may be some material
things we can't do, but we have never lacked for spiritual things," says
Alonso. "This is a product of the Cuban system of education."

Inevitably, as the decades have worn on, Alonso has increasingly
attracted criticism - all of which she deftly bats away. I ask her about
the widely held perception that she is stifling new talent by continuing
to hang on to her position. "I don't think my presence has made it
difficult for anyone - quite the contrary," she replies sharply. "How
many stars have emerged from the Ballet Nacional de Cuba? You will find
it is more than in almost any other company."

More damaging, however, are the criticisms of her artistic judgement.
Despite having impaired vision since the age of 19, she still does a
large amount of choreography herself - at the Havana Ballet Festival in
October she will present three new works. One British critic, reflecting
a general consensus, described a previous effort as "disastrous".
Acosta, perhaps the most famous alumnus of the Ballet Nacional, pulls no
punches in his assessment of the company's repertoire. "Choreography in
Cuba is stuck. They do a Giselle, a Swan Lake, a Quixote, another
Giselle, another Swan Lake," he says. "It is frustrating, and as a Cuban
dancer it makes me very sad. To keep its magic, and to keep its public,
classical dance has to move forward. To a large extent Alicia is
personally responsible - as the director of the company, she makes the
artistic decisions." Again, on this point, Alonso sticks firmly to her
guns. "A great company is measured by its grand classics," she says. "We
respect them and enrich them as much as we can."

The other, and perhaps related, problem facing the Ballet Nacional de
Cuba is a painful exodus of talent. In its 2003 tour of the US alone,
five dancers "defected", choosing not to return to the island. This
brought the total to 20 in two years. Alonso is not forthcoming on the
subject: "Of course it hurts when people leave. But there is a great
international demand for our dancers." Still, it clearly rankles. She
has tried to keep a lid on the situation, allowing big stars such as
Carreño and Acosta to work abroad, while blacklisting those who go
without permission from the company. But, nevertheless, a combination of
economic and artistic incentives has tempted rising stars such as
Rolando Sarabia and Lorena Feijoo into exile.

In this, as in so many other respects, the Ballet Nacional reflects the
wider tensions in contemporary Cuba: materially poor, spiritually rich;
technically stunning, creatively stagnating; brought into being and held
to ransom by one, formidable, person. A Cuban friend of mine summed it
up later that day. "Both Alicia and Fidel come from a very wise
generation, which learnt to defend itself against all the odds. But they
will leave us with a question: where do we go from here?"

The Ballet Nacional de Cuba is at Sadler's Wells, London EC1, from 1-10

Havana Club rum hops Cuba trade embargo

Havana Club rum hops Cuba trade embargo

By John Hansell
the Morning Call
Posted August 31 2006

Havana Club rum is now being sold in the United States. Break out those
Cuban-made Cohibas and light one up in celebration.

On second thought, you might not want to smoke that cigar just yet. The
trade embargo with Cuba wasn't lifted while you napped through most of
your vacation last week. This Havana Club rum is produced in Puerto
Rico, by Bacardi. It's not the Havana Club rum made in Cuba and sold in
other countries throughout the world (and smuggled in the suitcases and
carry-on bags of Americans traveling home from overseas).

Confused? You should be.

The Havana Club brand was created by the Arechabala family, in Cuba, in
1935. It was a favorite of Americans while experiencing Cuba's nightlife
and was even sold in the U.S. prior to the Cuban trade embargo
established in the early 1960s. In 1960, the Cuban government seized the
Arechabala family's company and all of its assets. The family fled Cuba
and sold the brand to Bacardi in the mid-1990s.

At the same time, the Cuban government registered the Havana Club
trademark in the U.S. in 1976. In 1993, it formed a joint venture with
drinks conglomerate Pernod Ricard to sell Havana Club internationally
(except for the U.S., that is, because of the existing trade embargo).

Bacardi began selling rum under the Havana Club name in the mid-1990s,
but discontinued the sales shortly thereafter when they were sued by
Cuba and Pernod Ricard over the rights to the Havana Club name. For the
past decade, the issue has been in litigation in the U.S. courts.

On Aug. 3, the U.S. government declared Cuba's trademark registration
"canceled/expired." Basically, this means that the Cuban government no
longer has a claim to the Havana Club trademark in the U.S. Bacardi
immediately began selling its Puerto Rican version of Havana Club in the
U.S. According to Bacardi, the rum will initially be sold only in
Florida for about $20, but will expand its distribution to other markets
in the future.

Enough with all this legal mumbo jumbo, you say. Just tell me what the
stuff tastes like. Technically, it is a light rum. It is clear and
colorless. According to Bacardi, it is produced in the traditional
manner -- from molasses -- using the original Arechabala family formula.

"It [Havana Club from Puerto Rico] has the best of both worlds," says
Bacardi Master Blender Jose Gomez. "It has the complexity, roundness and
full flavor of an aged product, but at the same time it is extremely
smooth, light and mixable like a light rum."

Gary Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology and host of, offers a similar opinion: "Havana Club from
Puerto Rico is an incredibly well-crafted rum that mixologists are going
to find extremely useful for cocktail preparation. It's complex enough,
and smooth enough, to be sipped neat, or over ice, but it also has a
wonderful sharp quality that shines right through classics such as
mojitos and daiquiris. It will, no doubt, be the base of many new
cocktails to come, too."

It doesn't look like the battle over the Havana Club trademark will be
ending anytime soon, though. Pernod Ricard says it will sue over the
refusal of its application to renew the registration of the trademark
here in the U.S. They also vowed to sue any group that markets non-Cuban
rum under the Havana Club name in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Bacardi has claimed that the ruling by the U.S. government
means that it now is the owner of the Havana Club brand and they will
fight for the rights to the brand in markets outside of the U.S.,0,5292482.story?coll=sfla-features-food

Hitchhiking my way around Cuba

from the August 24, 2006 edition

Backstory: Hitchhiking my way around Cuba

From a vintage Chevy to a buggy ride, adventure proves a corner – and a
thumb – away.
By Danna Harman | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

TRINIDAD, CUBA – In perhaps a moment of lapsed judgment, I recently
decided to travel around Cuba the way most Cubans do - by thumb. And so,
on a cloying Caribbean day, I found myself standing under palm trees on
a road outside Trinidad with an off-duty policeman and his family. We
were waiting for passing cars to stop. We were hitchhiking.

These days, wherever you travel, someone - usually your mother - will
warn you that hitchhiking is not advisable. But in Cuba it's a way of
life. "Here, your car is your brother's car," Araceli, a grandmother in
Trinidad, explained to me. "That's the essence of Cuba."

But, the spirit of socialism aside, picking up hitchhikers is also
required in Cuba. And, as far as I could tell, it would be hard for
anyone to get anywhere if it weren't.

The first thing you need to know about Cuban transportation is there
isn't much of it. According to a 1997 World Bank study, only 32 cars
exist for every 1,000 people - about the same ratio as in 1958, a year
before the revolution. The US, by comparison, has 808 per 1,000.

To buy a new car, you need state permission. This is granted exclusively
to senior state workers, certain medical professionals, and VIPs.
Regular Cubans are restricted to owning vehicles already in the country,
mostly American classics from the pre-1970s - cars with big grilles, big
fins, and big gas bills. Few spare parts exist because of the US embargo.

Public transportation is scarce and overcrowded. People line up for
hours to get on buses or "camels," 18-wheelers transformed into
lumbering transport vehicles. Taxis belong to the state and are too
expensive for all but tourists. While some private car owners can get
permission to run taxi collectives, these are as unreliable as the
vintage cars themselves. There is always biking and walking. But, I was
told, hitchiking was a top bet.

Outside Trinidad, it became clear that life on the road involved a lot
of waiting by the side of it. An hour after arriving, I was still
standing there with the off-duty policeman and co. By then, we had been
joined by a family going to the beach, a dozen people heading to work,
an elderly man on crutches, a young couple on a date, and a church
group. And, of course, an "amarillo."

As might be expected, hitchhiking in a land of rules is no free-wheeling
affair. State officials, known as amarillos for their yellow uniforms,
are stationed along the country's highways to oversee the process. Their
job - for which they earn a respectable 400 pesos ($15) a month - is to
make lists of riders and flag down passing cars.

Not all cars are required to stop. Those with yellow, caramel, and white
plates indicate state vehicles and must pull over. Brown plates
(military) and blue (private) should stop but don't have to. Little is
expected of green (tourists) or black (diplomats) plates because, as
Araceli explained, "they think differently about their responsibilities
to the community."

The system is not without problems. Theoreti- cally, drivers in state
cars who don't stop can be fined. But a suspiciously high number passed
by, making a "turning in a moment" sign with their hand. Others just
ignored their community responsibility altogether - leaving the
amarillos vainly trying to scribble down plate numbers.

Finally, I decided to give up and take a collective taxi going to Sancti
Spiritus. The price, announced the driver's assistant, was 5 pesos (18
cents), to be collected by assistant No. 2. Half the people at the
hitchhiking stop paid up and piled into the '56 Chevrolet. "Not to
worry," the policeman assured me as I waved goodbye. His free ride would
eventually come. "The system is slow," he said. "But it works."

Fernando, the Chevy's driver, was really a rowing instructor who earned
a state salary of 500 pesos ($19) a month. But he inherited a '54 Buick
several years ago, which he fixed up and traded for the Chevy. He filled
out the paperwork and, a year later, got approval to switch jobs and
become a driver - and now makes four times what he did as an instructor.

Such permission, of course, comes with regulations. He can, for example,
only make one run on his two-hour route a day. "Why?" I ask. "That's
just the rule," he said, bemused at the question and slowing down for
the second police inspection in half an hour.

On Day 2, I didn't hitchhike either. I wanted to. But it was not to be.
I was told the Sancti Spíritus-Caibarién road, where I was going, was a
bus route, which meant no amarillos, few hitchers, and even fewer people
moved by the spirit of socialism. There was only one other problem - the
bus was only for Cubans. I could have taken the tourist bus - at nine
times the price - but it had just left, according to station master
Fidelito. But not to worry: Fidelito's friend, Juan, who runs a small
unofficial transport business, was going to help.

Soon enough, Juan and I were road-tripping along in his rebuilt Russian
Lada. He would be fined if caught with a foreigner, so he asked me to
pretend I was a mute cousin. Later, we made a detour to see a monument
to Camilo Cienfuegos, a hero of the revolution, in Yaguajay. It was
impressive, but we had to whiz by to avoid police. I stared out the
window at coconut trees and billboards. "Life is worth living," read
one. "Plant ideas and they will grow," suggested another.

I was getting discouraged with hitchhiking, when, on Day 3, it all came
together. As I stood outside Remedios, an amarillo finally stopped a
state vehicle, a minivan filled with workers returning from a "fun day"
at the beach. I jumped in. We then pulled over for the driver to buy
some avocados. We stopped later for onions for the driver's assistant.
We picked up a family going to see cousins. No one talked to me, but it
felt great. I was hitchhiking.

I got dropped off in Santa Clara, where I went to the Che Guevara
museum. And then, still humming the catchy revolutionary tunes piped in
over the speakers there, I got another ride. And another - all the way
back to Havana. My fortunes had turned.

There was Pablo with his horse and buggy, who wedged my laptop bag
between his legs and the horse's backside for "safekeeping." Caesar and
Diego from the national water department, who told me about their time
as soldiers in Angola. And Luis Alfonso, a cancer specialist, who took
me for tea at his great aunt's home. By the time I rolled into Havana
the next evening, chatting baseball with my new friend Jamie from the
Finance Ministry, I was a bona fide hitchhiker - living the Cuban

I was also ready to hail a tourist cab.

Cuba is ripe for change

Cuba is ripe for change
By scantojr

As I wrote before, I am very optimistic about Cuba's future. I'm not
suggesting that things will occur quickly. However, Cuba's future will
be bright because I believe in the people.

Oscar Arias Sánchez was president of Costa Rica and winner of the 1987
Nobel Peace Prize. Today, he wrote Cuba's dictatorship is ripe for

"Cuba is not some different kind of democracy, nor has it followed a
path chosen by the Cuban people. Cuba is, plain and simple, a
dictatorship, and this gives great pain to those of us who love liberty. "

Cuba did not choose 47 years of Fidelismo. It was imposed on the Cuban
people by repression and a vast network of political prisons. Fidelismo
also had the support of international lefties, who were willing to go
along with Castro's repression because they shared his hatred of the US.

Pres. Bush should make it clear to the Cuban people that the US is ready
for diplomatic and economic relations with the island. However, Cuba
must hold free elections and respect human rights. I believe that the
Cuban people will accept that deal.


Cuba after Fidel Castro

Cuba after (Fidel) Castro

Prospects and Possibilities
By Mark Falcoff
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006
Real Instituto Elcano (Spain)
Publication Date: September 4, 2006


The announcement that Cuban President Fidel Castro has temporarily ceded
power to his brother General Raúl Castro has raised all manner of
speculation about Cuba's future. Actually, however, the mechanisms of
succession have been in place for some time both in terms of the formal
system and the sociology of power. While Raúl Castro lacks many of his
brother's formidable political qualities, he is not to be
underestimated. While Cuba continues to suffer from the loss of its
Soviet sponsor, to some degree its place has been taken by Venezuela.
The United States has its own plans for a Cuban transition which does
not include either of the Castro brothers, but in reality dares not to
pursue its goals too vigorously for fear of a migration crisis. While
the Cuban people are known to anticipate some sort of improvement after
Fidel Castro has left the scene, their precise aspirations are vague and
unknown, and no match for the efficiency and singlemindedness of the regime.

The Crisis

The announcement a few days ago by the Cuban government that President
Fidel Castro had undergone emergency surgery for internal bleeding and
was therefore temporarily transferring power to his brother Raúl has
suddenly raised a series of interesting questions about the future of
the regime on the island and its relations with the outside world,
particularly the United States.

If Cuba were--as it claims to be--a Communist state of a more or less
"normal" kind, a health crisis on the part of its leader would not merit
such intense media and political interest. In fact, however, the morbid
fascination aroused by Fidel Castro's illness underscores an
inconvenient fact: in its later phases the Cuban regime has come to
resemble to an embarrassing degree the patrimonial dictatorships which
have often plagued small countries in the circum-Caribbean. On one hand,
the most important institution in the country is now not the Communist
party but the armed forces. On the other, the pyramid of political power
is more or less coherent with the generational hierarchy of the ruling
family. Also, until quite recently it has depended almost wholly upon
unsavory arrangements with unscrupulous foreign investors.

That Fidel Castro himself is a larger than life figure in Cuba, and to
some extent the world, cannot be denied. On the island he has made
almost all the important decisions for a half-century. Although he has
periodically talked about institutionalizing his revolution, it remains
a largely personal affair. Witness the fact that over the years the
dictator has brutally truncated the careers (and sometimes the lives) of
others who could have a reasonable hope of succeeding him or at least of
challenging his unquestioned power, starting with Huber Matos and ending
most recently with General Armando Ochoa. Although there was much talk a
decade ago of his grooming a younger generation to succeed him, little
progress has been made along that line. The sudden emergence of Raúl
Castro from under his brother's shadow underscores this fact.

The Existing Succession Scenario

Fidel Castro's decision to temporarily cede power to his brother cannot
have been a surprise to ordinary Cubans or to anyone outside the country
who has carefully followed developments over the last five years. At the
level of institutions, Raúl is vice-president of the Council of State
and also vice-president of the Cuban Communist party, so there can be no
disputing his right to assume the reins of power in the event of his
elder brother's disappearance. But it is not merely a matter of paper
constitutions: for years Raúl Castro has been steadily amassing economic
and political power. He is minister of the armed forces and minister of
the interior. The former is a particularly important portfolio because
it places him at the apex of the tourist sector, one of the few
productive sectors of the Cuban economy, which is run by the military.
He has also been careful to place loyalists (raulistas) at the head of
key ministries (sugar, transport, communication, higher education, basic
industries) as well as the Central Bank, and in key positions in the
Communist party and the National Assembly.

It is often said--with some reason--that Raúl Castro lacks the skills
and assets which have made his elder brother such a successful
politician. He is pejoratively referred to as the most charmless man in
Cuba. Gruff and often abrasive, he is a poor public speaker, married to
a harridan who as president of the Federation of Cuban Women is widely
despised in Cuba. He lacks the glamour, the dash, the revolutionary
cachet which characterized Fidel in his best years. He enjoys no
important revolutionary legend of his own.

On the other hand, it is possible to underestimate his staying power,
his organizational talents, and his realism. His only serious problem
may be his health, which is reported to be precarious. At 75 he may not
long survive his brother, and even now it is not impossible that he may
predecease him. If the Cuban revolution is to remain a family affair
before long it may well have to reach into the next generation, possibly
to Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, Castro's only legitimate child, a
Soviet-trained physicist and former director of the Cuban Atomic Energy
Agency. In the absence of both Fidel and Raúl the Cuban regime could
morph into a more impersonal, "collective" style of leadership such as
characterized the classical Communist regimes of Eastern Europe but such
an eventuality requires a significant leap of imagination.

Cuba in the International Community

Whoever succeeds Fidel Castro must confront some difficult challenges.
Cuba has been invented three times as a country--once as a Spanish
colony, once as an American protectorate, finally as a member of what
might be (generously) styled the Soviet Commonwealth of Nations (the
only one of its members to enter voluntarily). In each of these three
incarnations it enjoyed a profitable association with a major empire.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union Cuba has had to cobble together a
series of relationships with other countries, none of which have fully
replaced the $6 billion annual subsidy from Moscow.

New trade arrangements with China, the end to isolation in Latin America
(including recent accession to MERCOSUR), the opening to European,
Canadian and Latin American tourism, and most recently the favorable
economic relationship with Hugo Chávez's Venezuela have stanched some of
the bleeding. On the other hand, it is fair to say that taken together
these relationships have thus far failed to restore the modest living
standards that prevailed before 1989. The regime has also suffered from
a recent tightening of the U.S. embargo, virtually ending most travel
between the United States and Cuba and drastically lowering the ceiling
on remittances (which at some points in the recent past were Cuba's
principal source of foreign exchange).

Moreover, since 1990 Cuba's capital plant has been in steady
deterioration, witness the virtually collapse of the sugar industry, the
country's oldest and most important economic activity. Problematic
relations with some foreign investors have caused cancellation of
contracts or delays. New political uncertainties are bound to restrain
foreign investors until it is clear either that Fidel Castro has
returned to full exercise of power or that his brother has successfully
established himself as a successor. In any case, much of the wave of
foreign investment in the 1990s was driven by the presumption of an
early end to the U.S. ban on tourist travel, an expectation which was
run to ground by Castro's shooting-down of three American planes and the
enactment of the Helms-Burton Law (1996).

In surveying Cuba's international situation probably the most important
new development has been the emergence of Venezuelan president Hugo
Chávez as Fidel Castro's closest friend and ally. He is reporting giving
the island roughly 90,000 barrels of oil a day (of which the island
consumes a little more than half, selling the rest on the world spot
market for hard cash). In exchange the Cubans have been seconding
doctors, teachers, sports trainers and intelligence and military
officials to Venezuela to help Chávez consolidate his rule.

Chávez's contribution to the survival of the Cuban regime has hardly
been less significant. Following the end of the Soviet subsidy in the
1990s, when the country was on the bare edge of starvation, Raúl Castro
is supposed to have convinced his brother to implement some modest
economic reforms which would encourage greater agricultural production
(and also allow a measure of self-employment). This earned him a
reputation for pragmatism in the international press; some even now are
suggesting that if he were to succeed his elder brother he would widen
and deepen the reforms. However, many of the concessions to the market
granted in the mid-90s have already been withdrawn, and the advent of
the Venezuelan subsidy removes the last incentive to retain them.

Some now raise the question of whether Chávez's economic largesse has
not bought the Venezuelan strongman a seat at the table when Cuba's
political future must be decided. Probably such notions are exaggerated.
The Cuban political and military elite most likely regard their
Venezuelan counterparts as bumbling amateurs who need stern and
disciplined guidance. Also, Cuba's own sense of its national identity is
far stronger than that of Venezuela, which lacks of a coherent heroic
narrative of its own. Finally, Chávez, having come to power by the
ballot box, lacks the mystique of a genuine revolutionary which would
allow him a decisive or even a significant voice in Cuban government
councils except under conditions of extreme emergency.

Prospects for Relations with the United States

To discuss political change in Cuba inevitably raises the question of
the island's future relationship with the United States. This is so for
historic and geographic reasons, and also because the Cuban revolution
has produced a politically significant, well organized and well financed
diaspora centered in two states (Florida and New Jersey) rich in
electoral votes in presidential races.

Without doubt this exile community has exercised an influence on U.S.
Cuban policy far out of proportion to its numbers. (But it is also true,
a fact frequently ignored by European and Latin American commentators,
that the success of the exile lobby has rested to a large degree on a
widespread public distaste in the United States for the Castro brothers
and all their works.) The Cuban-American community has periodically
leveraged this influence to strengthen the embargo and also, lately to
force Washington to define the conditions under which it would recognize
and assist any post-Castro regime. Helms-Burton, for example,
specifically names both Fidel and Raúl Castro as individuals with whom
the United States would refuse to deal under any circumstances. The
latest example is the Cuban Transition Plan (2004) which supposedly
sketches out the circumstances under which the United States would
disperse $80 million to a post-Castro government. The fact that such
plans might alarm ordinary Cubans (many of whom fear that the exiles are
returning to seize their expropriated properties and take revenge on
their former countrymen) seems lost on the exile leadership, which often
seems tone-deaf to the vast cultural, racial and political changes that
have taken place on the island since 1958. Needless to say, the Cuban
government makes the most of the propaganda opportunities presented by
such political theater.

In spite, however, of the public posture of the United States, if there
were significant changes on the ground in Cuba the coalition which
supported Helms-Burton in the first place would probably shatter into
pieces as some elements sought to reposition themselves to take
advantage of the new possibilities for investment. Even within the
Cuban-American community there would be significant divisions. This much
said, such changes are inconceivable if Fidel Castro returns to the
helm, and probably unlikely in the event that his brother manages to
successfully takes his place, if for no other reason than that the
latter will be challenged to validate his right to succession and his
revolutionary bona fides.

Although normalization of relations with the United States has been the
stated goal of the Cuban government for some time--even to the point of
it being its number one foreign policy priority--Fidel Castro himself
has on more than one occasion spurned opportunities for improvement,
most significantly in an effort made by Secretary of State Kissinger and
Assistant Secretary William Rogers at the end of the Ford administration
(1979-80). In some ways this is not to be wondered at; Castro's
revolutionary mystique depends to some degree on his adversarial
relationship with the United States (which also pays off significant
benefits at international organizations like the United Nations); to
enter into a bourgeois "business as usual" relationship would undercut
his own legend as an intransigent revolutionary. Also, given the
official version of Cuban history (which actually predates Fidel Castro)
the relationship between Cuba and the United States must everywhere and
always be a zero-sum game.

It is very possible, in fact, that both sides of the Florida straits
find the status quo to their liking. Cuba offers the United States no
significant economic benefits--it is a small market populated by people
who are deeply impoverished and likely to remain so. It has nothing the
United States needs or wants. Exaggerated expectations by the
agribusiness community are based on inaccurate extrapolations from the
days when the U.S. took the entire Cuban sugar crop at a subsidized
price. Even the prospects for tourism should be discounted for Cuba's
inadequate infrastructure and the competition represented by established
venues with world-class accommodations like Mexico and the Dominican

Moreover, at this point the principal concern of Washington is bound to
be uncontrolled migration flows. The present accords with Havana (1994)
assure an orderly movement of roughly 20,000 persons a year to the
United States and establish a mechanism for returning those who have
fled illegally. An abrupt change of government in Cuba, or worse still,
the collapse of authority, could lead to another migration crisis such
as traumatized the state of Florida and much of the Southeastern United
States in 1980.

This unspoken agenda probably puts any administration including this one
implicitly at odds with elements of the Cuban exile community who
evidently place regime change at the top of its list of priorities. In
effect, at the center of U.S. policy is a deep contradiction--a desire
for a political transformation in Cuba towards something more or less
resembling Costa Rica, Chile or Uruguay, but an even greater fear of
disorder. Under such circumstances immobility is the normal prescription.

It is a truism--confirmed by countless visitors to the island--that
ordinary Cubans expect some sort of change after Fidel Castro leaves the
scene. But of what this change should consist, whether an end to
shortages, rationing, militia duty, substandard housing or merely the
psychological state of war under which the country has lived for nearly
a half-century, is unclear. Some observers believe that these
expectations are so high that Raúl Castro will have no choice but to
meet them at least partially or risk loss of authority and even power.
But the Castro brothers have done so well with a combination of
ideology, organization, gambling on a favorable international
conjuncture, repression and the selective allocation of rewards that it
would be surprising indeed either of them chose to abandon it now.

Mark Falcoff is the Resident Scholar Emeritus at AEI.,pubID.24852/pub_detail.asp

Catholic Church can be safe space bridge-builder in post-Castro Cuba says expert

Catholic Church can be 'safe space,' bridge-builder in post-Castro Cuba,
says expert
By Agostino Bono

Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Catholic Church can play a positive role in Cuba
during any transition period after the death of ailing President Fidel
Castro, said a foreign policy expert on Cuba.

The church can provide a "safe space" for Cubans to work during any
transition period, said Julia Sweig, director of Latin American studies
at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the 2002 book, Inside
the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground.

The church "is an institution that is respected by the people in Cuba,"
she said during an Aug. 24 telephone news conference organized by the
Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank based in New York.

The Cuban and U.S. bishops could also form a bridge between the Cuban
exile community in the United States and the Cubans inside the island
nation, she said.

Sweig added, however, that the "ups and downs" in the relations between
the communist government and the Cuban bishops since the 1998 Cuban
visit by Pope John Paul II probably have weakened the role that the
church could play.

Before the papal trip, the Cuban and U.S. bishops and Castro all saw a
positive role for the church in promoting a peaceful post-Castro Cuba,
she said.

"There has been a lot of tension since the pope's visit," she added.

Although the government "opened up" its hold on the church, "the church
wanted more space than the government wanted to give," said Sweig. The
Vatican wanted a greater church influence in Cuban life, she added.

Cuban church officials have said that the church's uneven relations with
the government have often been tied to how tightly the government is
holding the reins on the entire society. When the government temporarily
relaxes economic and political control of society, things loosen for the
church, but they tighten again once the government reasserts control
over society, they said.

Sweig was commenting on the future of Cuba after Castro, who turned 80
Aug. 13. On July 31, after undergoing surgery because of intestinal
bleeding, Castro temporarily ceded power to his younger brother, Raul
Castro, head of the Cuban army and intelligence service.

The power shift interrupted 47 years of continuous rule. Fidel Castro
came to power on the Caribbean island Jan. 1, 1959, at 32 years of age
after leading a successful guerrilla rebellion against dictator
Fulgencio Batista.

Castro's turning over of authority has sparked much speculation in the
United States on the political future of Cuba and the possibilities of
improved relations with the U.S., which for more that 40 years has had
an economic embargo against the nation.

Sweig said the U.S. government "is not seen as a positive player" in the
current situation and has no influence inside Cuba. This is because its
policy of trying to internationally isolate the Castro government is
seen as a failure, she said.

The U.S. has "a misconception" that the revolutionary movements that
occurred in communist-ruled Eastern Europe before the fall of the Soviet
bloc can be reproduced in Cuba, Sweig said.

"You can't take the East European model to Cuba," she said.

Dissident movements inside Cuba are fragmented and weak, she said. The
movements are penetrated by Cuban intelligence, and any dissident who
"gets sucked into a relationship with the U.S." loses credibility, she said.

Castro still maintains a "folkloric, rock-star status" among Latin
American leftists because he "waves the anti-imperialistic banner" and
has been resilient in power despite hostile U.S. governments, she said.

"He has survived nine U.S. presidents," said Sweig.

De Marti a la realidad

Posted on Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

De Martí a la realidad

Tarde o temprano, Cuba tendrá que afrontar sus relaciones con Estados
Unidos. Para empezar, las elites políticas e intelectuales de la isla
deben tomar responsabilidad de nuestro destino y cesar de definir los
valores autóctonos en una simplificadora oposición al Norte. Se puede
ser nacionalista, antiimperialista y soberano sin sacrificio de una
conciencia autocrítica que nos permita vernos tal cual somos y, sobre
todo, comprender que nadie tiene que pedirnos disculpas por que seamos así.

Dicho con vulgar claridad: los americanos no tienen la culpa de nuestros
problemas. José Martí fue intelectualmente deshonesto y políticamente
demagógico cuando le postuló a Cuba la misión de impedir la expansión de
la influencia gringa sobre el resto de nuestros países. Esa sola tesis,
a mi modesto juicio, lo sitúa en la tradición del mesianismo
latinoamericano que impone a nuestros pueblos el saldo de un ego
insatisfecho con las circunstancias de su nacimiento. No se puede ser
Napoleón (ni siquiera Bolívar) si uno nace en el barrio de Jesús María.
Martí perdió, eso sí, la ocasión de ser un coherente pensador que dotara
a su pueblo de un legado capaz de encaminarlo a través de la historia
con una saludable percepción de sus posibilidades y una enriquecedora
noción de su identidad. La pompa de las frases, su efímero estallido en
un cielito de teatro bufo, triunfó sobre el sentido común y el deber a
la verdad.

No es de extrañar entonces que Fidel Castro haya querido alguna vez
producir mejores quesos que los suizos y que su plan de desarrollo
eléctrico se anuncie como la solución a los problemas energéticos de la
humanidad. Conste que me opongo a cualquier modalidad de embargo que no
lleve la legalizada y transitoria impronta de la comunidad
internacional. Pero sin una artificial, costosa y alienante plataforma
antinorteamericana, el castrismo nunca hubiera podido instrumentar su
supervivencia, desde la sumisión a la órbita soviética hasta el
estrangulamiento de una poderosa clase media. Como delirante
contrapartida, tenemos a un exilio que no ha conseguido derrotar a la
dictadura, según se dice con las comisuras embarradas de pastelito de
guayaba, porque Washington le ha atado las manos.

Un observador imparcial está llamado a sacar dolorosas conclusiones
sobre una isla que hace cien años quería ponerle el pie en la puerta a
la primera de las potencias mundiales y hoy ha terminado como una
mendicante colonia venezolana. Nuestra nación se halla en el alba de uno
de sus momentos fundacionales. No sabemos cuál será el desenlace. Sin
embargo, cabe asegurar que ocurrirá a 90 millas de la Florida. Durante
casi medio siglo nos hemos privado de los cercanos beneficios del
mercado y la tecnología de nuestro poderoso vecino, sin habernos puesto
a salvo del peligro de la dependencia. A la república mediatizada, por
decirlo con el lenguaje del castrismo, hemos opuesto la república en ruinas.

Cegados por el ramplón, desfasado y autodestructivo
antinorteamericanismo de José Martí y Fidel Castro podríamos perder la
ocasión de reinventar nuestras relaciones con Estados Unidos, a partir
de una amplia conciencia de las ventajas y los peligros que incuba el
futuro. Y aquí llego al punto central de esta nota: necesitamos vivir en
paz, respeto y plena apertura económica y diplomática con los americanos
sin exponernos a ser arrastrados por la acelerada dinámica plutocrática
que está minando los valores democráticos y, de hecho, la prosperidad y
liderazgo de esta nación. Pero esto sólo será posible si nos aferramos,
con dientes y uñas, a la estricta realidad.

Nuestra condición de tierra arrasada nos permite asumir un modesto pero
esperanzador punto de partida. Ni ellos son tan malos, ni nosotros tan
buenos. Y viceversa. Por supuesto, hay que tomar sus precauciones,
porque ellos nunca nos van a tratar mejor de lo que se tratan a sí
mismos. Y se tratan cada día peor.

El verdadero separador

Posted on Wed, Aug. 30, 2006

El verdadero separador

Encontramos muy deficiente el artículo de Laura Morales sobre protestas
en Miami contra las restricciones a las visitas a familiares en Cuba
esclava impuestas por el gobierno del presidente George W. Bush [ver
Protestan contra medidas que limitan los viajes a Cuba, 27 de agosto].

El periodista tiene un deber de presentar las varias facetas de un tema.
Sin embargo, este artículo excluye toda mención de las injustas medidas
migratorias impuestas por el régimen totalitario marxista que
desgobierna Cuba desde 1959. El artículo omite señalar que, aún hoy, el
régimen castrista bochornosamente exige a los exiliados cubanos obtener
y pagar por un permiso para visitar su país natal. También omite
inexplicablemente decir que el régimen castrista no les ofrece a los
cubanos que visitan a sus familiares en Cuba esclava garantía alguna de
que les respetará sus derechos civiles y humanos durante su estadía.

Las medidas del presidente Bush, por muy arbitrarias e injustas que
puedan ser, no pueden ni remotamente compararse con las crueles e
inhumanas medidas del régimen castrista que divide, persigue y separa a
todas las familias cubanas por los últimos 47 años. Este artículo sobre
las ''protestas'' también omite el hecho de que la única causa, motivo o
razón por la cual la familia cubana hoy se encuentra separada es
precisamente el oprobioso régimen castrista, contra el cual diaria e
implícitamente protestamos todos los que hemos sido obligados a vivir
fuera de nuestra patria.

Dr. Eladio José Armesto

Editor de `El Nuevo Patria'

Batalla antivectorial en Cuba

Batalla antivectorial en Cuba
BBC Mundo Ciencia

Las autoridades en Cuba llevan a cabo una campaña para combatir de forma
"urgente" la propagación del dengue.

La infestación del mosquito que transmite la enfermedad ha desatado una
epidemia en La Habana.

Aunque se sabe que han aparecido numerosos casos de la enfermedad en la
capital cubana, las autoridades no han confirmado aún las cifras.

Pero el gobierno ha pedido a la población que se involucre en una
campaña de "dimensiones extraordinarias" que incluye la fumigación en
distintas ciudades y la limpieza de depósitos de agua.


El dengue es una enfermedad causada por varios virus transmitidos por el
mosquito aedes aegypti y ocurre en las zonas tropicales del mundo.

"Es el mismo vector que transmite la fiebre amarilla", dijo a BBC Mundo
el profesor Axel Kroeger, del Programa de Investigación de Enfermedades
Tropicales de la Organización Mundial de la Salud.

Según el investigador en varios países de América Latina se ha visto en
los últimos años un rápido incremento de la enfermedad.

El dengue puede manifestarse con diversos grados que van desde el
"dengue clásico" que principalmente provoca fiebre alta.

"El peligro -dice Axel Kroeger- es desarrollar las complicaciones que
conducen al dengue hemorrágico que puede ser mortal tanto para niños
como adultos".

Cuba se ha visto afectada en las últimas semanas por un alto nivel de
infestación del mosquito transmisor.

Es por eso que las autoridades pidieron a la población involucrarse en
el combate del vector para impedir una mayor propagación.

"Cuba es un caso muy especial -señala el profesor Kroeger- porque ha
logrado controlar el virus y la transmisión de la enfermedad durante
casi veinte años".

"Y lo han hecho combatiendo a los mosquitos" afirma.

Sin embargo, agrega, "eso significa que la población no tiene una
inmunidad o defensa natural contra el vector, por lo que un caso
introducido desde fuera puede causar grandes epidemias".

"Es por eso que existe un peligro real en el país", afirma el investigador.


Aunque actualmente avanzan las investigaciones para el desarrollo de una
vacuna contra el dengue, se cree que ésta todavía va a demorar varios años.

Cuba es un caso muy especial porque ha logrado controlar el virus
durante casi veinte años, pero eso significa que la población no tiene
una inmunidad natural contra el vector
Prof. Axel Kroeger, OMS
Es por eso que la única solución para combatir la propagación de la
enfermedad es mantener muy baja la densidad de la población del mosquito.

"El control del vector es lo más importante --indica el experto de la
OMS-- y para esto es esencial la ayuda de la población".

Es necesario, dice el investigador, llevar a cabo fumigaciones dentro y
alrededor de las casas y en los depósitos de agua donde anida el mosquito.

Se debe eliminar estos depósitos o si son grandes hay que colocar
larvicidas para evitar el desarrollo del vector.

Los primeros síntomas de la enfermedad son fiebre alta, dolor severo en
los huesos, músculos y articulaciones, dolor de cabeza, y debilidad general.

"Si se tienen esos síntomas es importante acercarse lo más pronto
posible a un centro de salud para obtener un diagnóstico clínico",
afirma el especialista.

Nota de

Publicada: 2006/08/31 15:27:27 GMT

El asombro y la colera

Posted on Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

El asombro y la cólera

En las últimas semanas, el tema de la ''sucesión'' castrista en Cuba ha
sido plato fuerte de la prensa: en las noticias y en las columnas de
opinión, en programas radiales y televisivos, en declaraciones de
funcionarios norteamericanos y de personalidades de otras naciones y,
desde luego, entre cubanos, de ambas orillas y de toda ideología. Sin
embargo, en toda esta gama de comentarios --apasionados unos, ponderados
otros; arriesgados y comedidos; pesimistas y esperanzadores-- no he
encontrado hasta ahora el suficiente nivel de asombro y de repugnancia
ante la grotesca parodia de transmisión hereditaria con que el castrismo
dinástico aspira a perpetuarse.

La gente comenta esta sucesión y habla de la personalidad del heredero
--provisional o permanente-- de Fidel Castro con la misma naturalidad
con que podrían hacerlo de un príncipe saudita o de otro de los
petrodéspotas del Oriente Medio, legitimando ya, con el lenguaje mismo
de la discusión, el carácter de un régimen que por fuerza y engaño se le
ha impuesto a los cubanos por casi medio siglo, pero que, en su esencia,
constituye una aberración.

Desde 1902 hasta el advenimiento del castrismo en 1959, Cuba fue una
república democrática; imperfecta, ciertamente, en la que no faltaron
funcionarios corruptos, fraudes electorales y hasta golpes de Estado;
pero democracia sin duda, en la cual, salvo por breves hiatos de
intolerancia, se respetaron siempre las libertades fundamentales y se
ejerció la pluralidad --de partidos políticos y opiniones-- al tiempo
que una pujante prensa independiente y una respetable judicatura servían
de contrapeso a los naturales excesos de los políticos. Esa democracia
cobijaba una evidente prosperidad, notoria en el último decenio de la
república. Quien haya visto una vista aérea de La Habana en 1948 y otra
de 1958, puede darse cuenta de que eran casi dos ciudades distintas. La
última se iba llenando de nuevos edificios que transformaban y
configuraban su perfil. El mismo que conserva casi cincuenta años
después, pero en estado de abandono o de ruina.

En el ínterin, un demagogo anulaba las libertades del país y paralizaba
su economía, apoyado por una banda de facinerosos. Confieso que si algo
me lastima de la tragedia de Cuba, tanto o más que la tiranía misma
(injustificable e irredimible ciertamente), es la catadura de sus
principales actores, el grotesco remedo y la vulgar impostura que impone
esta canalla disfrazada de generales y ministros. Lo más vergonzoso es
que se colaron en nuestra historia por la puerta del traspatio y les
salió bien en lo que a la conservación del poder respecta; pero todos
estos años de mando no han conseguido lavarles la plebeyez ni supe-

rarles la improvisación. ¿Quién puede decir que Raúl Castro es un
general, por muchos soldados que mande? No, es un bodeguero disfrazado
con cuatro estrellas. Y lo mismo podría decirse de Ramiro Valdés, o de
Ricardo Alarcón, con el pelo pringoso que recuerda a ciertos regentes de
burdeles baratos; o del mequetrefe que tiene la cartera de relaciones
exteriores y que cualquiera podría confundir con un buhonero
impertinente y de ahí para abajo toda una caterva de criminales esperpentos.

Hablar con seriedad de esta sucesión o transmisión de poderes en Cuba es
legitimar ese régimen espurio que destruyó nuestras instituciones,
envileció a la ciudadanía y arruinó a nuestro país. Discutir sin asombro
y sin cólera la maniobra con que un viejo criminal ensaya la
perpetuación de una harapienta monarquía de farsa (semejante a la del
rey Christopher de Haití, aunque con menos lustre) es una vergüenza que,
en el caso de los cubanos, debemos sumarla a la que ya nos toca por
dejar que Castro vaya a morirse de viejo y en su cama.

© Echerri 2006

Si tras la muerte de Castro el Gobierno es continuista sera dificil recuperar bienes

«Si tras la muerte de Castro el Gobierno es continuista será difícil
recuperar bienes»

Oviedo, Ángel FIDALGO

Los asturianos que tienen bienes nacionalizados en Cuba y que se
acogieron al convenio de indemnización que firmó en 1986 el Gobierno de
Felipe González con el de Fidel Castro podrán reclamar todavía sus
propiedades, según una sentencia del Tribunal Supremo. El profesor de
Derecho Internacional de la Universidad de Oviedo Javier González
profundiza en los distintos aspectos de esta sentencia.
-¿Es fácil la reclamación de los bienes en Cuba?
-No, pero sí existe el derecho a reclamarlos o a una indemnización por
los bienes confiscados o expropiados, que son dos calificativos distintos.
-¿Cuál es la diferencia?

-Si hablamos de confiscación estamos asumiendo el carácter absolutamente
ilegal de la conducta del régimen castrista, y si hablamos de
expropiación estamos suponiendo que, por ciertas reglas, los estados
pueden proceder a nacionalizar bienes de particulares.
-En el caso de Cuba, ¿qué término es el correcto?

-El Derecho Internacional, en el asunto de las nacionalizaciones, admite
la posibilidad de que un gobierno pueda, por razones de interés general,
proceder a expropiar bienes de particulares. Esto quedó claro tras la
revolución soviética y después de la segunda guerra mundial con los
países socialistas. Entonces nadie cuestionó que había un cierto derecho
a la nacionalización.
-Pero en estos tiempos...
-Este término parece que suena obsoleto. Ahora, con los vientos de la
globalización, hablar de que el Estado puede nacionalizar suena muy arcaico.
-¿Cuáles son los términos concretos del derecho a la nacionalización?

-Eso es lo que no está claro. Si un Estado puede proceder a poner patas
arriba la economía de un país y hacerse con todos los bienes, lo que
pareció posible cuando hubo régimenes socialistas, hoy parece
impensable. Sí podemos hablar de economías mixtas y entonces diríamos
que hay unos límites en la actividad del Estado y que no puede hacerse
con los bienes de todos los particulares sin más.
-¿Cómo se pueden hacer este tipo de reclamaciones?
-En su día, y esto fue una de las cuestiones que han sido polémicas,
fueron los estados, de los que eran naturales los afectados, los que
intentaron llegar a alguna solución con el Estado que expropiaba. En
ejercicio de lo que se llama la protección diplomática en la que el
Estado protege a sus nacionales cuando son víctimas de algún daño en sus
personas o bienes; lo que también vale para las empresas.
-¿Como ocurre en Bolivia con la petrolera española Repsol?
-En este caso el Estado español blinda a Repsol porque vela por sus
intereses. También hay un acuerdo entre los dos países de protección
recíproca de inversiones, y todo esto es en ejercicio de la protección
-Repsol amenazó con demandar a Bolivia.

-Sí. Pero en este caso concreto ya hay un acuerdo entre España y Bolivia
por el que cada país se compromete a dar protección y respetar las
inversiones que cada uno de los estados realice en el otro. Este marco
es una de las cuestiones críticas en este caso, porque si hay un
compromiso convencional Bolivia tiene presuntamente que respetarlo.
-¿Y si el Gobierno boliviano pretende adoptar medidas de nacionalización
del sector energético?
-Entonces tendrá que hacerlo teniendo presente que en todo caso tiene
que respetar las inversiones españolas.
-¿Y si no lo hace?

-España puede litigar ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de
Diferencias, que es un organismo de solución de litigios que tiene sede
en Washington y que depende del Banco Mundial, que tiene el objetivo de
resolver las diferencias entre estados cuando afectan a inversiones. Ahí
sí hay un marco específico institucionalizado para poder en su caso
solventar las diferencias.
-¿Y en el caso cubano?

-No. Como no existe el mecanismo de acuerdo de promoción y protección de
inversiones, lo que hubo que hacer en su día fue sencillamente llegar a
un acuerdo bilateral entre España y Cuba para solventar el problema. Lo
que hizo nuestro país fue en el año 1986 firmar un acuerdo con el
Gobierno cubano en relación con el tema de la compensación a los
españoles por las medidas adoptadas tras la revolución.
-Un acuerdo que se saldó con compensaciones escasas.

-Siempre recuerdo una frase de Manuel Fraga que decía que se había
pagado con caramelos. Lo que quería decir es que se habían pagado
indemnizaciones que no cubrían, ni por lo más remoto, el valor real de
los bienes.
-De ser así, ¿cómo el Gobierno español pudo firmar esas compensaciones?

-No fue tan raro porque normalmente cuando se producen acuerdos entre
estados que interesan a una masa de bienes muy amplia, lo que se hace es
fijar una indemnización global, pero que no es la suma de todos los
bienes, sino una cantidad estimada.
-En el caso de Asturias parece que fue mínima, según los afectados.

-Es que precisamente la función de estos acuerdos es asumir que se ha
producido un proceso de expropiación con carácter general, porque el
Estado posiblemente no puede afrontar el pago real de los bienes
incautados, y entonces el otro Estado se da por bien pagado siempre que
reciba alguna cantidad. Siempre ocurre así, y por esto tanto España como
Francia, Suiza o Italia llegaron entonces a pactos similares con el
Gobierno de Cuba y aceptaron una mínima compensación.
-No obstante, para las nuevas reclamaciones habrá que esperar a un
cambio de régimen político en Cuba.

-Lo que hizo España fue admitir que tras las indemnizaciones ya no tenía
ninguna queja de Cuba, porque como Estado había protegido a sus
nacionales por los daños que les causaron y que por lo tanto, a partir
de ese momento, no iba a plantear más reclamaciones. Pero lo que ocurre
es que los particulares pueden decir que el Gobierno español transigió
con sus derechos particulares, y que por lo tanto ellos tienen derecho a
solicitar compensaciones particulares. Pero si tras la muerte de Fidel
Castro el proceso es continuista, como parece previsible, no parece que
las personas que reclaman sus bienes los puedan recuperar debido a la
situación crítica en la que se encuentra la economía de la isla. La
situación no es para ser optimistas.

Alertan sobre programa maligno en computadoras

Alertan sobre programa maligno en computadoras

Cuba no está exenta de los programa maligno de computadora que generan
tráfico telefónico indeseado mediante los Dialers o marcadores
telefónicos fantasmas, que constituyen un fenómeno que puede hacer
crecer de forma aparentemente inexplicable la tarifa telefónica.
Por: Agencia Cubana de Noticias
Publicada: 31 de Agosto del 2006/7:48
Al respecto, el diario Juventud Rebelde comenta hoy que hace más de un
año, en su sección Acuse de Recibo, publicaron dos casos de personas de
Santiago de Cuba y Ciudad de La Habana, quienes se quejaban de que la
Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA), les exigía el pago de
llamadas al extranjero que ellos no habían realizado.

Se trataba de varias llamadas al Reino Unido, por un monto de 387,50
pesos convertibles en las de Santiago, y por 67,83 convertibles en la
capital, las cuales ambas clientas aseguraban enfáticamente que ni ellas
ni nadie habían realizado por lo que pedían ayuda ante lo que
consideraban "acciones fraudulentas que deben ser sancionadas".

Sin embargo, ni era un fraude ni un invento; tras larga y exhaustiva
investigación de ETECSA, la entidad dictaminó que en ambos casos las
clientas habían sido víctimas de "una nueva modalidad informática de
generación de tráfico telefónico internacional indeseado"; o lo que es
igual, un programa maligno denominado Dialers, que ataca a máquinas
conectadas a Internet por módem, generando llamadas telefónicas sin que
muchas veces las personas se den cuenta.

En ambos casos citados, las clientes de ETECSA afectadas por los Dialers
poseían computadoras con acceso a Internet a través de sus líneas
telefónicas, con contrato de tarifa mixta y salida internacional.

Los especialistas recomiendan a los usuarios para combatir esta trampa,
extremar la protección de la computadora, no mantener conectado ni
encendido el módem cuando no esté trabajando, emplear el candado
electrónico en el teléfono, así como actualizar los productos antivirus
y antidialers.

El Contrato de Servicio de Telecomunicaciones en Moneda Nacional expresa
la obligación del cliente de "solicitar a ETECSA la conexión de
aparatos, accesorios, modificación o cambio de lugar en los equipos
instalados, y no conectar a la línea telefónica ninguna terminal de
telecomunicaciones (extensiones del aparato principal, facsímil, módem,
computadoras y otros) sin el debido conocimiento y autorización de la

Guillermo Farinas pone fin a su larga huelga de hambre

Guillermo Fariñas pone fin a su larga huelga de hambre

El periodista independiente mantendrá, no obstante, su demanda de acceso
a Internet.


jueves 31 de agosto de 2006 15:52:00

El periodista independiente cubano Guillermo Fariñas depondrá este
jueves la huelga de hambre que sostiene desde el 31 de enero pasado,
pero mantendrá su demanda al gobierno de libre de acceso a Internet,
informó la Asamblea para Promover la Sociedad Civil, según la AFP.

En un comunicado, la organización explicó que Fariñas, de 43 años,
accedió a la petición de las disidentes Bertha Antúnez y Martha Beatriz
Roque, quienes consultaron a la médico opositora Hilda Molina y llegaron
a la conclusión de que Fariñas podría morir en menos de una semana.

Fariñas ha pasado la mayor parte de sus siete meses de huelga de hambre
ingresado en el Hospital Provincial Arnaldo Milian Castro, de Santa
Clara, donde ha sido medicado e hidratado por vía intravenosa.

Según el texto, entregado a la prensa, Antúnez y Roque pidieron a
Fariñas "incorporarse en estos difíciles momentos que vive el país, a
los esfuerzos que tiene que realizar la disidencia" para llevar a Cuba a
la democracia.

No obstante, el también psicólogo "mantendrá vivas, de otras formas, a
partir del momento que termine su rehabilitación", su demanda de acceso
a Internet.

Sin mencionar la explosion de dengue, Lage llama a apoyar la campana contra el Aedes Aegypti

Sin mencionar la explosión de dengue, Lage llama a apoyar la campaña
contra el Aedes Aegypti

El vicepresidente se refirió al reto de 'disminuir la infección del
Aedes Aegypti, casi llevarlo a cero'.

Redacción EER

jueves 31 de agosto de 2006 15:46:00

Sin mencionar la existencia de casos de dengue en varias provincias de
la Isla, el vicepresidente cubano Carlos Lage llamó este miércoles a
apoyar la campaña contra el mosquito Aedes Aegypti, transmisor de la
enfermedad, informó la AFP.

"Tenemos (…) dos retos: un reto inmediato, urgente, de la mayor
prioridad, que es disminuir la infección del Aedes Aegypti, casi
llevarlo a cero", dijo Lage en declaraciones reproducidas por un
telediario local.

Lage no precisó cuáles son los niveles de esa "infección", pero señaló
que un segundo reto es "analizar con profundidad y espíritu crítico (…)
cuáles son las condiciones que el país tiene que crear, en la forma que
tiene que trabajar para que no se repita".

La prensa de la Isla —bajo control del gobierno— se ha referido en las
últimas semanas a la campaña que se lleva a cabo contra el mosquito,
pero no a la explosión de casos de dengue, denunciados por la prensa
internacional y por periodistas independientes.

La semana pasada, la BBC informó sobre la existencia de "una epidemia"
que estaría afectando a varios barrios de La Habana.

"En mi centro de trabajo dijeron que hay más de 3.000 casos reportados
en toda la ciudad y que los municipios más afectados por estos focos son
Cerro y Playa", afirmó una joven citada por la BBC en su sitio en Internet.

Una doctora del Ministerio de Salud Pública, que pidió el anonimato,
corroboró que existe una ola de casos de dengue y que "éstos se están
produciendo en toda la Ciudad de La Habana".

"Hemos tomado todas las medidas, tenemos varios hospitales —el IPK, el
Salvador Allende y La dependiente, entre otros— con unidades de dengue,
con un total de 800 camas listas para recibir a los pacientes", afirmó

De acuerdo con la BBC, todo parece indicar que se trata de dengue común,
y que habría muy pocos casos de dengue hemorrágico, la versión más letal
del virus.

La campaña que se realiza contra el mosquito transmisor de la enfermedad
incluye fumigación con aviones y aspersores manuales, recogida de
desperdicios y escombros, además de recomendaciones que divulgan los medios.

Otra parte la realiza un contingente de personas que visita una por una
las viviendas, orientando a la población sobre medidas preventivas.

"Llevamos semanas trabajando a tiempo completo para erradicar los focos.
Sólo aquí, en el (municipio habanero) Cerro, hemos detectado ya 146",
afirmó uno de los participantes.

En sus declaraciones a la televisión oficialista, Lage aseguró que "el
país dispone de recursos necesarios para garantizar los productos que
requiere" la erradicación del mosquito. "No puede faltar un producto un
día en ningún lugar", dijo, al tiempo que llamó a la población a dar
apoyo decidido a la campaña.

"Sólo con la fumigación no resolvemos el problema. La fumigación es el
tratamiento de las consecuencias y hay que tratar las causas", añadió.

Lage recordó que en ocasiones anteriores se han realizado fuertes
campañas contra el mosquito, pero luego no se mantienen "las condiciones
de higiene necesarias" para evitar que se reproduzca nuevamente.

El sistema de recolección de basuras y de limpieza de las calles en la
Isla, gestionado por el gobierno, es crónicamente deficiente.

Nombrado Ramiro Valdes ministro de la Informatica y las Comunicaciones

Nombrado Ramiro Valdés ministro de la Informática y las Comunicaciones

Valdés sustituye en el cargo a Ignacio González Plana, a quien 'le serán
asignadas otras tareas'.

Redacción EER

jueves 31 de agosto de 2006 13:57:00

El gobierno cubano nombró a Ramiro Valdés, considerado un hombre de la
línea dura del régimen, como ministro de la Informática y las
Comunicaciones, informó una escueta nota publicada en el diario
oficialista Granma.

Valdés, uno de los Comandantes de la Revolución, sustituye en el cargo a
Ignacio González Plana. Según la nota oficial, la decisión fue tomada
por el Consejo de Estado, a propuesta del Buró Político del Comité
Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC).

A González Plana "le serán asignadas otras tareas", dice el texto sin
proporcionar más detalles, y agrega que Valdés, quien se desempeñaba
desde 1996 como presidente del Grupo de Electrónica del Ministerio de la
Informática y las Comunicaciones, "cuenta con amplia experiencia y
resultados positivos en su labor".

Ramiro Valdés, de 74 años, fue uno de los hombres que participó con
Fidel Castro en el asalto al Cuartel Moncada, en 1953, y en el
desembarco del Granma, en 1956.

Tras el triunfo de la revolución, se encargó de la creación de los
servicios cubanos de inteligencia y fue ministro del Interior en la
década de los sesenta —una de las más represivas del gobierno de Castro—
y de finales de los setenta a mediados de los ochenta.

Fue miembro del Buró Político y vicepresidente del Consejo de Estado
hasta 1986, cuando fue sustituido. Actualmente es miembro del Comité
Central del PCC y diputado a la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular.

Algunos analistas se han referido a su "notoria enemistad" con Raúl
Castro, quien hace un mes recibió provisionalmente el poder por la
intervención quirúrgica a la que fue sometido su hermano Fidel.

El veterano militar es, sin embargo, "un hombre de confianza" de Fidel
Castro, según los expertos.

Grave Guillermo Farinas tras siete meses en huelga de hambre

Grave Guillermo Fariñas tras siete meses en huelga de hambre

'Desde la semana pasada está teniendo fiebre, ha tenido vómitos, dolor
de cabeza y en las articulaciones, y tiene también problemas renales',
dijo su madre.


jueves 31 de agosto de 2006 12:56:00

El estado de salud del disidente cubano Guillermo Fariñas, quien cumple
este jueves siete meses en huelga de hambre, se ha agravado en los
últimos días, dijo su madre, Alicia Hernández, informó EFE.

Fariñas, un psicólogo de 43 años, director de la agencia de prensa
independiente Cubanacán Press, inició su protesta el pasado 31 de enero
en demanda de acceso a Internet, restringido por el gobierno de la Isla.

"Está bastante grave porque desde la semana pasada está teniendo fiebre,
ha tenido vómitos, dolor de cabeza y en las articulaciones, y tiene
también problemas renales", explicó Hernández en una conversación
telefónica desde Santa Clara.

Fariñas fue trasladado la semana pasada al "aislado 2", una habitación
de la sala de terapia intensiva del Hospital Provincial Arnaldo Milián
Castro, donde puede recibir visitas —aunque separado por cristales— los
martes, jueves, sábados y domingos de 1 a 2 de la tarde.

Por su delicado estado de salud, el opositor ha pasado la mayor parte de
su huelga en el hospital, donde recibe hidratación vía intravenosa.
Hernández dijo que los médicos le aplican ahora un tratamiento con
potentes antibióticos para combatir dos bacterias detectadas en su

En una información transmitida desde La Habana, el disidente Oscar
Espinosa Chepe dijo haber hablado con Hernández, quien le informó que
"Fariñas se niega a tener conversación con oficiales Seguridad del
Estado, por haber llegado a la conclusión de que no poseen ninguna
respuesta positiva para su reclamo" de acceso a Internet para todos los

Ernesto causo inundaciones en Guantanamo y aislo poblaciones en Santiago de Cuba

Ernesto causó inundaciones en Guantánamo y aisló poblaciones en Santiago
de Cuba

La tormenta tropical llegó debilitada a la Florida, aunque con fuertes


miércoles 30 de agosto de 2006 12:52:00

La tormenta tropical Ernesto causó inundaciones en algunas zonas de
Guantánamo y dejó varias poblaciones aisladas en Santiago de Cuba, pero
sus daños fueron menores de lo previsto.

Miles de evacuados retornaban este martes a sus hogares, aunque todavía
los cielos del centro y oriente de la Isla estaban encapotados y a ratos
se producían lluvias fuertes y rachas de viento, informó la AP.

"Ya estaba desesperada por volver, se extraña la cama y la casa de uno",
dijo a la AP Ramona Montero, de Santa Cruz del Sur, Camagüey, localidad
catalogada como zona de riesgo debido a lo bajo de sus tierras.

Ernesto golpeó Cuba tras de dejar un muerto en Haití, y llegó a la
Florida debilitada en la noche de este martes, aunque con fuertes aguaceros.

Más de 600.000 personas fueron evacuadas en varias provincias de Cuba,
donde los vientos no hicieron mella, pero las precipitaciones fueron

Como balance positivo, Ernesto llevó los embalses del centro y oriente
de la Isla hasta su capacidad total, sobre todo en Santiago, donde se
encuentran al 94%, y en Guantánamo, donde llegaron al 91,3%.

Este martes se normalizaba también la producción agrícola, y el
transporte por carretera y aeronáutico volvían a su ritmo habitual,
aunque se mantenían marejadas peligrosas para la navegación en la costa
norte, advirtió el Instituto de Meteorología de Cuba.