Fernando Ravsberg

Fernando Ravsberg

Paquete Semanal en Cuba

The Cuban YouTube

The Weekly Package emerged in 2008 as an idea of a visionary, YoePC, who laid the foundation for a business that now provides income to thousands of Cubans, worth tens of millions of dollars a year and has become a social-cultural phenomenon, penetrating hundreds of thousands of homes. The compendium of movies, series, reality shows, magazines, soap operas, music videos and websites is downloaded in state entities with good access to the network, such as the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI) or in those with satellite dishes as well as from Cuban television. Cuban musicals come out of local music producers who provide for artists who cannot find a broadcast on state media. The "Yonky" for example, is a musician who very few people knew until he began to appear on the package. Dozens of advertisers sell their services to the self-employed. Advertising is well positioned within the package, along with related subjects, such as hairdressers ads inserted in the "American Beauty" show Editing of the package is public and resellers include their phone numbers in advertisements. Section From the Web allows to read the covers of some informative pages. In contrast, buy-sell sites, as Revolico, are downloaded completely, allowing...

La Contraloría General de la República ha dirigido sus esfuerzos a luchar contra la corrupción de cuello blanco / Foto: Raquel Pérez.

Five years fighting corruption

The Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) turns 5 years and the anniversary is celebrated with the most important graft trial, where heavy prison sentences were asked for prominent foreign businessmen and top Cuban officials. The appointment of Gladys Bejerano at the head of the CGR told little to most Cubans but raised alarms of many politicians who tried to influence President Raul Castro to prevent her from becoming the anti-corruption "czarina". Bejerano sent to prison ministers, deputy ministers, managers, directors, administrators, foreign businessmen and many "daddy´s kids" / Photo: Raquel Perez. After five years of activity we all others begin to understand the resentment of the civil service. Ms. Bejerano has sent to prison ministers, deputy ministers, managers, directors, administrators, foreign businessmen and many "daddy´s kids" The signs were there; even President Raul Castro said in a public speech that no Cuban should believe that he was above the law, carrying a message to the ruling class and their families. The CGR was essential to combat internal corruption, a cancer that had metastasized throughout the body of the nation, to the point that Fidel Castro himself felt the need to warn that the revolution could destroy itself. Despite the...

Televisión cubana

“Vivir del cuento”

Last week on the island began a campaign to lower Internet prices and immediately Marti Radio and TV, U.S. government media that broadcast propaganda toward Cuba- announced that they would use networks to send their message. They say that the ends touch and feedback each other. The news must have made very glad those that within the island are seeking arguments to halt the opening of the Internet. Now they can refuse it appealing self-defense. Martí Radio and TV say more than 3 million people see their programs within the island, without blushing they still claim that 1 in 4 Cubans follow them. Their calculations resemble those of Vivir del Cuento, I mean the most popular national comedy program. I must have really bad luck because I know no one who sees TV Marti. Even those who have confessed to me that they are consumers of other publications of anti-Castro exiles, say they have never had access to the television programs. Even a member of the opposition, Amador Blanco, in the province of Las Villas, told the newspaper El Nuevo Herald of Miami that "we have never seen the Martí TV. If someone tells you that is it is false....

Béisbol cubano

Equality and social justice

Baseball players abroad with millionaire contracts are not the only ones making such profits. There are also some other sectors that are making profits within current legislation and there is no need to migrate for good. This is good news; it was one of people’s demands during previous debates to the Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. Even though, the people’s proposals were rejected in one of the assemblies I participated. Sports players are not the only ones to earn a lot of money, so did musicians, painters and actors. There is no need to be afraid.There will be no greater social differences than those already existing between common Cubans citizens and musicians from popular bands, renowned painters or some representatives of foreign enterprises. Opening up this door for athletes is a good way of preventing them from jumping the fence. More than 50 years trying to keep them in has turned Cuban teams into free entertainment centers for the Major Leagues in the US. Now, Washington is denying them the right to play in the US, they are only allowed as long as they leave Cuba for good. It is also implementing this policy extraterritorially by pushing the Mexican...

Basurero en La Habana

Smothered or recycled??

In 1855 the Indian Chief Seattle, from the Washington Territory, warned us: "After several days, the dying does not feel the stench of his own body. You continue polluting your bed, and one night you will die suffocated in your own waste. " Surely in those times such prophecy seemed like madness, but nearly two centuries later is of alarming news. Our waste has become a problem, even in little consumerist countries as in the case of Cuba. Overflowing dumpsters surrounded by garbage adorn many Havana streets. Sometimes the accumulation is such that comes to hinder the passage of vehicles, making it a haven for rats, ferrets and mosquitoes. "This is so complicated that nobody fixes it," says one of the garbage collectors in Havana and we understand his disappointment when he explains that all the capital, with 2 million people, has only 10 trucks for the job. There are hardly any dumpsters too. Besides being scarce, they disappear at night to be recycled by self-employed that use the wheels to make carts and plastic sticks for hanging clothes, jugs or hangers. We could not verify these data and others we asked about because the Department of Communal Services never...

Las jubilaciones han perdido casi todo su poder adquisitivo por lo que muchos ancianos se ven obligados a trabajar para sobrevivir.

The elderly and the bells

During the Summit of CELAC, in Old Havana I heard when they announced to a police officer on his radio delegations were coming his way and he was ordered to "ensure that in the Cuba Street there wouldn’t be any person meeting the description of scavengers or beggars ". Obviously when you have visitors you try to show the best of your home but hiding poverty under the carpet does not seem the best option, especially since most of them are elderly looking to offset their meager pensions. Many jobs that could give more income to the elderly are occupied by young people able to work in any other sector / Photo: Raquel Perez Paradoxically, the agent and I were a few feet from the statue of the Knight of Paris, a drifter who became famous for being the only one in Havana. It was an achievement that Cuba kept for decades but now is gradually losing. You don’t need to walk far to see how dramatically the number of old people begging, selling newspapers in the streets, collecting cans of soda or rummaging through garbage collectors looking for something of value has increased. I know many do not like...

El desarrollo de las comunicaciones en Cuba es escaso, existen pocos teléfonos y menos conexiones a Internet

Once upon a time there was a nice little wolf (II)

Who are the owners and who are the employees? In the beginningsof the industrial era some workers destroyed machines in order to stop the increasing unemployment. They thought they could put a stop to the technological development and go back to the past. I recalled that story when I read a public communiqué by the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A (ETECSA by its acronym in Spanish), complaining about the supposedly fraudulent competition the new communication technologies are subjected tothrough the Internet, such as Skype. Of course there is a huge difference between these stories. While workers defended their children’s beans, the Cuban company was defending its monopoly, which assures it to set high prices in exchange for deficient services. Cuba is an island but its people are not isolated as to not know that these are among the highest communication prices in the world. We could say these are the highest considering the average national salaries. A ten-minute call to Europe costs a Cuban a whole month work and one hour internet connection costs him a whole week work. Then, it is understandable such dislike for the communications. However, Cubans are practical people and, instead of wasting their time...

Deep down

OnCuba opens a new space for reasearch journalism which will delve into the issues that interest Cubans the most. The journalists of our section ¨Deep down¨ will dissert the reality from different angles, using a language where the internet user will have the final word. Our works will include within the stories reports, infographics, interviews, videos and pictures but accessing one , several or all of these files will be your choice. Nor do we intend to deliver finished materials, but setting the stage for a debate in which your comments are another piece of the puzzle. The first deliveries come, of course, out of our own ideas but hopefully in your comments new proposals will appear to nurture this space. Interactivity gives us journalists the opportunity to receive directly the interests of the public and thus be more effective in our role of providers of a public service. Starting in June, the first and third Monday of each month, we will present a new issue of the complex national reality. In "Deep down" we are already working to meet the expectations of the Internet users on the island and also from other parts of the world interested in the...

Las autoridades cubanas denuncian que aun hoy llegan desde Miami infiltrados a realizar actos violentos

The excluded ones

The capture of 4 anti-Castro militants that had infiltrated Cuba from Miami to allegedly attack military units brings to the spotlight the situation of twenty Cubans that on leaving prison in Cuba are considered by Washington persona non-grata. One is Thomas Ramos, old anti-Castro militant, whose history includes several infiltrations in Cuba and long prison sentences. "I came to rouse military units and promote a coup. In Miami I was assured that they had contact with officials from Cuba willing to rebel. " Ramos wants his case reviewed because he says he did not kill anyone or carried out terrorist acts He worked in coordination with a CIA officer who promised him the U.S. citizenship. However, he was arrested and when he came out -18 years later, things had changed so much that the U.S. embassy denied him a visa on the grounds that he has a violent past. "The woman that heard my case was a young woman who knows nothing of the history of the Cubans, stupid. I explained her that before we were all action people and that I had been sent here by Colonel Frank Sturgis of the CIA, "Tomas said. OnCuba consulted with the Washington...

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