José Jasán Nieves

José Jasán Nieves

Awaiting an opening in the “further notice”

"I have a friend who sent the passport on Friday and is going crazy. His mother is sick and he will have to ask a humanitarian process. " That’s the story of Alain, a Cuban resident in Miami waiting for a prompt solution to the new episode of diplomatic tension between Cuba and the United States. As he and his friend, many Cubans share a desire for a solution without delay to a situation in which they are involved without anyone asking them. In Cuba, asking at a bus stop or in the usual coterie of neighborhood generates almost always the same face “that’s not good, but I do not know what it means." “It has all the characteristics of a countermeasure to financial pressure from the Americans," Lazaro, retired geologist with a child out of the country and another inside, says. “Sometimes things must get worse before they get any better and if now bottomed out, the solution may be much better than it was before," he considers. "This is temporary, I guess," Victor, a boat carpenter South Florida who travels frequently to his native village in the province of Cienfuegos answered. “The American government is taking steps to...

No one can stop the congas

Thanks to popular pressure, the direction of Cuban baseball announced on Friday 22nd the correction of an inconsistent measure: limiting congas at the stadiums to innings breaks and pitcher substitutions. In recent days, since it was announced the "circular number 4 of the National Baseball Commission", astonishment and annoyance aroused in thousands of followers of national sport of this country, typically musical. The attempt to control, in the interest of concentration and "discipline", the sonorous complement in many games, recalled to most of the fans the scenes of Victor Mesa, Matanzas manager, claiming for the effect of music on one of matches he lost in last championship semifinals. Such nonsense, now suited by shifting the recital of drums and trumpets to the ends of the sidebands, far from the benches of every team, was answered by public opinion also appealing to a Cuban action before wrong authority, "the mockery ", which was well explained by Jorge Mañach in his " Indagación" (Inquiry) in the first half of last century. Alleged acceptances of the National Symphony to liven up games, the transmission of Radio Encyclopedia in ballparks and the presumed conversion of baseball in tennis matches were some of the proposals...

The world’s largest shrimp arrived in Cuba

The presence of a new species of shrimp in the Cuban insular shelf triggers expectations of scientists, fishermen and ... cooks. This is the giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon or) of which several specimens have been captured in the Bay of Cienfuegos and the Jardines del Rey, south of Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey provinces. The news aroused adrenaline among researchers of the Environmental Studies Center (CEAC) of the Cuban province of Cienfuegos, who last June received several shrimps caught by local fishermen. Since then, they support the hypothesis that it is the so-called jumbo shrimp, and preserved in formalin a specimen of 27 cm length and 135 grams of weight. Such size far exceeds the records obtained by the pink shrimp (typical of the south) or grown in industrial farms. According to Elizabeth Alvarez, ECAC communication specialist, the appearance of the giant tiger shrimp (one marine crustacean widely bred for food and originally from the Indian and Pacific oceans) adds to the growing influx of exotic species into the waters of Cuba. Specifically in the Bay of Cienfuegos since 2005 they recorded the introduction of Green Mussel (Perna viridis) as causing serious problems since they obstructed the entrance channel...

The fever to learn economics grows

The transformation that began in Cuba is, so far, essentially an economic change, and its consequences can also be seen in the growing interest in the teaching of subjects related to accounting and finance from the most diverse sectors of society. The announcement of the opening of registration for the second edition of free basic course in the country, supported by the Ministry of Education and the National Association of Economists and Accountants, got the response of thousands of Cubans, who on September 28 return to the classroom to "deal with the numbers." "Until March speakers on topics will teach fixed assets, payroll, taxation, safety, inventory, fuel planning and management, among other issues,"   Leomar Castillo, a specialist in the provincial Education in Cienfuegos told OnCuba. "We enrolled 1,456 people across the province (the third smallest of Cuba) although we believe that the figure will go down a bit, because some came thinking that we were to grant a technical degree or so, and this course really only provides curriculum” Leomar said. The interest in Cienfuegos was found elsewhere in Cuba, according to reports from local news agencies. For example, in Villa Clara most of the 1,500 students will be self-employed...

The surprises of José Dariel

After spending several weeks to surprise his fans and stay incognito, baseball player José Dariel Abreu comes up with a new official residence: Haiti. In the Caribbean nation, known for a lot less for his baseball stories, José Dariel sits documents to become a free agent in the Dominican baseball and finally realize an agreement with an American major league organization. Speculations speaks of multimillion figures to be offered by different MLB organizations, in what could become another surprise by Pito, exceeding in several million the figure of 42 achieved by his compatriot Yasiel Puig. Perhaps, as suggested by The New York Times, José Dariel becomes the next Major Leagues star from Cuba or just gets the benefits of a market excited by the actions of other Cuban players as Puig himself or Yoenis Cespedes. The waiting begins, because after obtaining residency in Haiti, the Cienfuegos player waits for the "unlocking" of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), attached to the Treasury Department of the United States. To get it, he must certify that the contract will not benefit the Cuban government, even through marriage of José Dariel, technically sound as Pito left without signing a divorce on the...

Ornithological cooperatives take flight

Canaries, parakeets, pigeons and rosacolis are several species of ornamental birds bred in captivity in Cuba that from October the first will be marketed by cooperatives. The news of the formation of two companies for that purpose in the provinces of Cienfuegos, Villa Clara and Las Tunas confirms a perspective enunciated months ago by the Council of Ministers as part of a second group of authorized non-agricultural cooperatives, among which include 22 of trade, food and services, small industries 16, 12, construction, food production 2, 2 for transport and 17 ornithology ones. In the creation ceremonies (held just a school graduation, accompanied by family and a final toast) members elect the board first and then sign a notarized charter. There is stated, for example, that "the Cuban Ornithological Cooperative Cienfuegos, is an autonomous economic entity dedicated to the breeding of ornamental birds in captivity, as well as the acquisition, production and sale of poultry feed, cages, supplies, medications , literature and accessories needed for the activity. "We assume now as company the marketing function of the Ornithological Association of Cuba (ANOC)," Juan José Socorro, president-elect at the constituent meeting of the cooperative Cienfuegos, told OnCuba. "The Association will now be...

Living out of Art

Economic liberalization in Cuba has made attractive for some artists the ability to set up a space where they can work and sell their work at the same time. It is the combination of a duet usually separated (creator / seller) but in the daily national, charged with onerous intermediaries, it is a source of income and motivation to exponents of various manifestations. Here are some stories. Vladimir Regular participant in events and competitions, Vladimir Rodriguez has managed to legitimize his visual discourse as one of the leading exponents of the "province" art (that at times ignored by their outside Havana quality). "Years ago to sell your work yourself amounted to almost consider yourself an outcast," he says now he decided to set up a studio-workshop and begin to appreciate the result of bypassing intermediaries. "Here I establish a more direct link that what I can achieve through an institution that represents 500 people. I talked with people from Australia to Europe, America and Africa and the exchange with them is already in itself an important step in the promotion of my career, "he says. "Good morning," interrupted a young woman who holds the hand of a small child, already...

Microscopic beings which means big profits

Building or repairing a home is one the most common concerns in Cuba today. A Cuban needs at least 80 000 pesos (about 3,700 USD) to build a house with basic facilities, according to the Ministry of Construction. Much of that amount is used to buy cement, a product available in two types in the retail network: the PP 250 and P 350. The first is cheaper, but it needs more water to cure and is usually less resistant, therefore people avoid using it on plates, columns and other structural elements. A recent announcement could change that. "Wetting cement better with less water has been the purpose of scientists from several decades and for that they developed chemical additives that give fluidity to the mix without needing more liquid," Doctor of Science OnCuba José Fernando Martirena , Center for Research and Development of Structures and Materials (CIDEM by its Spanish acronym), in Villa Clara, explains. "But the chemical additives are very expensive and we are developing a technology that achieves similar properties at a much lower cost. It is by using Efficient Microorganisms (or EM) as a kind of diluents "he reveals. The EMs are mixtures of bacteria, fungi and...

A cooperative that wants to contribute

Non-agricultural cooperatives in Cuba begin to slowly spread across the country. Some are encouraged by profits that they can make by joining this new production form. Others, though it might look incredibly, in addition to income, see this option as the best form of administration and economic organization for their common interests. These days, in Cienfuegos, a lean and lanky man walks from one stretch to the next of the longest in Latin America Paseo del Prado. His black skin is tanned by salt and sun for many years he spent as a fisherman, but several weeks ago he changed pots and reels for brushes and mason spoons. His name is Manuel Truman Molina and his job is to paint the benches and metal structures that adorn the path. As it often happens in Cuba when someone intervenes in a public work, he gets no shortage of proposals to purchase “on the side” the paint or any supplies necessary for construction, as it is assumed that these items belong to a state organization and therefore "the owner will not feel their decline.” But it comes to Manuel the potential "business" is frustrated, for reasons as powerful as ethical impediments. The...

Is Pito Abreu gone?

A cloak of astonishment covers the minds of baseball fans in Cienfuegos, 240 miles southeast of Havana, after knowing the news of the desertion of their most admired hitter, first baseman Jose Dariel (Pito) Abreu. Abreu would be in Dominican Republic after circumventing coastal surveillance of Imías in the province of Guantanamo, from where he left Cuba accompanied by his closest family, except his wife and infant son. The slugger’s departure (120 homers in the last four national championships) caught by surprise to Cuban baseball officials and fans, because there was no evidence suggesting the possibility that Pito was to leave Cuba until last week. Even in recent days he had expressed the intention of joining the training of his team, after concluding the recovery from intercostal pains that prevented him from being called to the matches against U.S. university players. Weeks ago, Pito’s father stated in La Peña, a program of the provincial radio station Radio Ciudad del Mar, that some negotiations to allow the recruitment of his son in South Korean professional baseball had begun. Abreu´s abrupt decision adds to Cuban baseball talented players who decide to leave the country’s official tournaments and go in search of higher...

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