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Posted November 11, 2008 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

I gave up reading CubaNet.org a while back because they only posted negative stories about Cuba. Well, I figured I would check in to see what they are posting these days. As you can see below they are still posting all negative news but with that said, I believe that it is factual and deserves recognition here. This site should be read by pro-Castro readers to balance their love for Fidel Castro and Communism in general.

I believe they have numerous sources inside Cuba reporting these short news stories. These sources are paid with funding from USAID funds if I am not mistaken. So, these sources risk their freedom and even lives daily to report this news. If they are caught they would be accused of being an agent for the US.

High school students riot over living conditions

RANCHUELO, Cuba, November 10 (Félix Reyes Gutiérrez, Cubanacán Press) – More than 50 live-in grade 10 students broke windows in a dormitory and destroyed mattresses last week in a protest over living conditions.

Four students were expelled and State security agents and national police who were called to the scene at the Miguel A Pedroso pre-university school at Ranchuelo, in Villa Clara province, November 4 questioned 20 students and took their fingerprints.

The students painted the words “whoever enters here will be stabbed” on the main door and the word “Danger” in English.

The student body numbers 400.

Pacifist denied government job

PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, November 10 (Rafael Ferro) – Labor ministry officials in the municipality of Consolación del Sur have rejected a job application from pacifist Felipe Gil, a member of the opposition People’s Party (Partido del Pueblo).

“I don’t know where else to seek work,” he said. “I’m prepared to work as a carpenter or bricklayer. I have all of my papers in order and the only reason the authorities allege is the fact I’m opposed to the government.”

Officials deny dissidents employment in state businesses dominated as key, such as tourism, construction and military institutions.

Independent journalist arrested

HAVANA, Cuba, November 7 (Víctor Manuel León) – State Security agents arrested independent journalist Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez on Wednesday after he had left the U.S. Interests Section, where he had attended a video conference workshop.

Guerra Pérez was accompanied at the time by ex-political prisoner Roberto de Miranda Hernández, who reported the incident. The independent journalist had participated in a workshop on libraries given by Georgetown University.

This was the second detention in a week of an independent journalist following a workshop at the Interests Section. Ismaris Salomón was detained after a workshop on journalism given by Florida International University.

Dissidents detained in Santiago de Cuba

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, November 7 (Juan Carlos Hernández) – State Security agents detained Luis García Pérez (Antúnez) and several other dissidents who had attended a meeting in a private home on Wednesday.

The meeting was held in the home of Denia Rodríguez, national coordinator of the People’s party (Partido del Pueblo).

The arrests were made in the street after the attendees left the house.

Windows broken in a private library

RANCHUELO, Cuba, November 7 (Félix Reyes Gutiérrez, Cubanacán Press) – A group of youths broke the windows of the Alberto Villafaña Library in Ranchuelo, Villa Clara on Monday.

According to Mario González López, who lives near the library, the youths kicked in the Windows alter leaving a night club around 2 a.m.

Two pacifist brothers detained by police

HOLGUÍN, Cuba, November 6 (José Ramón Pupo Nieves, Holguín Press) - Dissident pacifists Rolando and Néstor Rodríguez Lovaina were arrested by police Tuesday, according to another activist.

Jorge Corrales said the brothers were in the home of another pacifist when political police agents arrived. He said the pair was put in a car and taken to a police station.

Néstor and Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina are directors of two dissident organizations, the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (Movimiento Cubano Jóvenes por la Democracia) and the eastern Democratic Alliance (Alianza Democrática Oriental).

Prisoner denied transfer for health reasons

RANCHUELO, Cuba, November (Félix Reyes Gutiérrez, Cubanacán Press) – The mother of a political prisoner says authorities are refusing to transfer her son to another prison nearer home, even though he is ill.

Esperanza Rivero Álvarez says her son, Pedro Pedrosa Rivero, has been trying for three months to be transferred from the Agüica, which is 200 kilometers from his home, making it difficult for her to visit him.

Pedrosa Rivero, 43, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for illegal entry into Cuba. He has four children who live in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Coachmen Go on Strike in Morón

MORÓN, Cuba, November 5 (José Manuel Caraballo Bravo, APLA) – Coachmen in Morón have gone on strike to protest an increase on fees charged them by the municipal government. The coachmen have been on strike since last weekend. On Sunday, however, the strikers say there were some unlicensed coachmen in horse-drawn carriages picking up passengers in the city.

Teacher Is Fired for Meeting With Dissidents

HAVANA, Cuba, November 5 (Juan Carlos González Leiva) - A fourth-grade teacher was dismissed from her job after having attended a meeting with dissidents.

Mirelis Guerra Toyo said she was arrested by State Security officers and told she could not continue teaching on accoung of her counterrevolutionary ideas. The next day, she said, the director of the Jesús Suárez Gayol primary school where she worked told her she would not be allowed to continue to teach her forth grade students, and that her separation from the job would be officially listed as “due to unjustified absences.”

Guerra said she had attended a meeting of the Cuban Human Rights Foundation.


  1. Follow up post #1 added on November 12, 2008 by MiamiCuban

    The above article said:  “According to Mario González López, who lives near the library, the youths kicked in the Windows alter leaving a night club around 2 a.m.”  Only in Cuba would an incident like this make it to the newspapers.  This is a daily occurrence in most places around the world.  The way I see it, pockets of resistance are nothing new, in Cuba or anywhere else.  Cuba, of course, always has a spotlight shining on it, so it’s expected that some reporter would go to great lengths to find some story of rambunctious, discontent youths.  Yes, unrest there will be—-especially in the wake of devastating hurricanes. 
    The article also says that “coachmen went on strike”—-doesn’t say how many, so I’ll assume it means more than one.  Had it been a dozen, THAT would probably have made headlines.  Then there’s the mention of “a pacifist denied government job”—-c’mon, is there a story, or isn’t there?  While no pacifist should be denied a job (Cuba or elsewhere), again, this is nothing new.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on November 12, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    First of all, none of this made it to any media resource in Cuba. There are no political prisoners, protests, dissidents or even crime in Cuba if you read the Cuban state media.

    Second, I agree, these are not major news stories but it does offer a truthful view of news from Cuba that is not reported anywhere else.

    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on November 12, 2008 by MiamiCuban

    Yes, I know this comes from media outside of Cuba.  That’s precisely the point….when these things happen anywhere else in the world, they would never make the news.  A story about youth breaking windows at a dormitory is really not that significant in the grand scheme of things.  But if it happens in Cuba, the world watches very closely.  I just thought that was interesting, that’s all.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on November 12, 2008 by Anatasio

    Well, you state that you don’t usually pay much attention to Cubanet because the majority of the news is negative. There really aren’t too many positive stories to come out of a nation being “governed” in the way Cuba is so, why is that surprising or off-putting?

  5. Follow up post #5 added on November 12, 2008 by MiamiCuban

    Everything can’t be as bleak as Cubanet would like us to believe.  In Cuba people go to school, attend sports events, vacation at the beach, marry, have children, write poetry and literature, and produce music—and wonderful music at that——and they survive raging storms in spite of their lack of material things…....surely, there are happy, inspiring stories to be found across the island, as can be found anywhere else.  I’d rather know ALL the facts—bad or good—-I’ll come to my own conclusions about whether or not there is any “good” in Cuba.  I don’t trust Cubanet to provide unbiased reporting; it is not a credible source for people who prefer facts and facts alone, without them being filtered through someone else’s mind.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on November 12, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Problem is Granma and the like won’t give you the truth either. You know that right?

    Even foreign news bureaus have to bite their tongue on news stories otherwise they will get kicked out of the country.

    Cuba consulting services

  7. Follow up post #7 added on November 13, 2008 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    The point is that if Cuba had a normal democratic government with freedom of the press and of discussion there would be no need for websites such as Cubanet because occurances such as the examples quoted by the Publisher would either not occur or be reported in the national or local media. If you want to read how wonderful life is in Cuba read Granma or visit the numerous Cuban government media websites.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on November 13, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    or the new Cuban propaganda site HavanaTimes.org .

    Go ahead and type it in, I refuse to give them a link from our site.

    They pretend to be “open minded” but they all work for the Cuban government. They even had their press release published in PrensaLatina.

    Circles Robinson is regularly published in many Cuba website .cu pages.

    Circles Robinson and HavanaTimes.org are agents of the Cuban government. I have pressed him on this issue and he won’t deny it. He only attacks me personally and US Cuba policy which is what communists do when you back them into a corner.

    Cuba consulting services

  9. Follow up post #9 added on November 13, 2008 by MiamiCuban

    It’s clear that both sides of the aisle are deficient in terms of honest and open reporting.  We’ll never get the full story in Granma, obviously, but neither will we get an honest story in the Miami Herald with respect to the reality in Cuba.  Reporters at The Herald know what it’s like if they try to write about Cuba in a more honest fashion—-they end up at the unemployment line.  Publisher:  spend some time in Miami and you’ll quickly see that a good number of Cubans on this site of the Straits really DO NOT believe in democracy even though they constantly use words like “freedom” and “democracy” in every sentence.  They’re parrots and they repeat these things like a mantra but have no idea what they’re saying.  Luckily, their numbers are dwindling.  I want to see in Miami REAL reporting, both the good and the bad.  If we want to see REAL freedom of speech, I say let’s start right here at home and stop pointing the finger at Cuba.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on November 13, 2008 by Anatasio

    As a working journalist with the MSM who covers Latin America, personally, I’ve always felt rather embarrassed and ashamed by the coverage Cuba receives. There are very few journos in the world willing to cover the island in a truthful manner, willing to get the stories that have been covered up by the regime for decades out into the open. Those media outlets which have bureaus or staff members on the island have entered into a Faustian bargain with the government. Hell, a colleague of mine at the Associated Press once admitted to me as much over a beer one night - “we can’t report the entire truth for fear of losing the bureau and then not being able to cover the ‘big’ story” (meaning Fidel’s death and the transition to democracy.

    While I of course see your point on Cubanet. The overall situation on the island is bleak and dire. And Cubana is correct when she states that “The point is that if Cuba had a normal democratic government with freedom of the press and of discussion there would be no need for websites such as Cubanet”

    How long will Cubans have to wait in order to recover the remains of loved ones killed by machine gun death squads in the early years? How long will it take for the mass graves (granted we’re not talking about mass graves on the scale of some European nations) to be exhumed? How long before Cubans will be able to tell their stories freely, without fear of reprisals? These are the stories that need to be told in order to allow the necessary catharsis to begin.

  11. Follow up post #11 added on November 13, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “we can’t report the entire truth for fear of losing the bureau and then not being able to cover the ‘big’ story” (meaning Fidel’s death and the transition to democracy.”

    Right. That’s how the Cuban government controls EVERYONE in Cuba, EVERYONE.

    Journalists “behave” so they can stay.

    Tourists “behave” so they can come back.

    Citizens “behave” so they can live.

    VERY sad on many levels.

    I have always tried to position the Havana Journal in the middle by criticizing stories from the right and left but also looking for the positives from either side. Unfortunately there haven’t been many “positives” from the right or left.

    Cuba consulting services

  12. Follow up post #12 added on November 14, 2008 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    If you think we get the real news in Canada and the U.S. I suggest you look at news from around the world in different languages before it gets rejected or filtered and the proper spin put on it for our consumption.

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