Fernando Ravsberg

Let’s Clone Cuba’s Exposito

The other day I opened my Facebook and found an invitation from a group of Cubans that had the curious name “Let’s Clone Lazaro Exposito.” For those who don’t know of him, he’s the secretary of the Party in Santiago de Cuba.

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Is Cuba Moving Towards a National Debate?

If in dialogue with the leaders of a religion, that’s not even the professed by the majority of people in Cuba, it was possible to touch upon and make advances around such difficult issues, what won’t be possible to achieve if discussion is generated with the participation of all Cubans.

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Double Standard & the Need to Speak the Truth

I attempted to explain that if those of us in the media set our sights on promoting universal concepts such as democracy, political liberties or human rights, the only way to attain them must involve measuring all countries with the same yardstick.

The lack of political freedom in Saudi Arabia should receive as much media coverage as that in Iran, while those held prisoner without trial in Guantanamo by the United States merit equal attention with the Cuban prisoners of conscience.

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Cuba’s Agricultural Funnel

Agriculture bureaucrats responsible for allowing much of Cuba’s farmland to be invaded by the marabu bush weed are losing ground in the countryside, while campesino families are beginning to take control over their own properties. Land in Cuba is changing hands and the effect is immediate: food production is increasing.

The authorities have taken a first step toward transforming land tenure, but they also need to change the distribution and commercialization system. Otherwise, all the efforts of farmers in the field will never be reflected on Cuban tables.

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Cuba’s Health Resources Dilemma

Lately, however, I’ve confronted a contradictory feeling. I can no longer speak of the public health system as all-embracing. The reality is that while some doctors work day and night in Havana, Guantanamo or Haiti, others do in fact squander their material resources.

The national media, however, blanket us with data on the Operation Milagro (eye surgery) program, the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, the medical brigade in Haiti and other public health campaigns in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador.

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Don Alejandro

Among the private campesinos, Don Alejandro stood out as much for the quality of his tobacco as for the productivity of his land. His prestige was such that Fidel Castro himself —the father of the agricultural collectivization— went to his farm to learn its secrets.

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Cuba Is Back to the Trenches!

In Cuba these days we are seeing concerts in support of the Revolution, ceremonies of patriotic demands at workplaces, fiery statements in the press by readers, and speeches by those who remind people they mustn’t yield – “not even an inch.”

The siege mentality returns in the face of the “foreign threat” —embodied this time by the United States and the European Union— which in words of Raul Castro have launched an “enormous smear campaign against Cuba.”

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Cuba’s White Collar Corruption

The removal of Gen. Rogelio Acevedo from his position as the head of Civil Aeronautics has exposed a Pandora’s Box. On the street, people are talking about how corruption within the airline industry rose to overshadow all previous cases; this latest instance involved the embezzlement of millions of dollars generated from clandestine commercial activities.

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Suicide as a Political Weapon in Cuba

The political prisoners who began the strike with Coco have already changed their minds and have all begun eating again. He, however, is continuing. He has already gone into shock one time and it’s possible that by the time this posting is published he will be on the verge of suffering a second attack.

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Unanimity in Cuba: False & Pernicious

I returned to my house this past Monday after a meeting to nominate candidates to become delegates (municipal authorities) and reread an interview with sociologist Aurelio Alonso. He pointed out that the great challenge Cuba faces is institutionalizing the Revolution, making those institutions work, seeing that each person plays their role and moving the country forward as a united whole.

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