Rui Ferreira

Rui Ferreira

Mi padre era actor y mi abuelo general. Una mezcla lo suficientemente explosiva como para generar un tipo que solo hace preguntas, no le gusta las respuestas a medias, y refleja todo eso en la mejor profesión del mundo. Por lo demás, me gusta viajar y fotografiar. A veces eso da plata, otras veces solo entretiene. Pero siempre vale la pena. Por lo que queda, dejémonos de pretensiones.

Photo: Juan Manuel Blanco/Quadratín Chiapas.

Some 700 Cubans traveling in caravan of migrants from Chiapas

The caravan of Central American immigrants that has formed on the border of Guatemala with Mexico includes people from different countries in the region and about 700 Cubans who have managed to reach Mexican territory. According to several local media, Cubans have concentrated in a plaza in the city of Tapachula, in southwest Mexico, where they have told the daily Excelsiór that the aim is to reach the northern border of the United States and from there try to enter that country. Apparently, the Cubans decided to join the caravan because they are in Mexican territory without a crossing permit given by the Mexican authorities, who have decided to make the passage difficult in the face of the avalanche of the island’s undocumented trying to reach the United States. The Cubans, says  Excélsior, have been stranded there for two weeks due to the impossibility of obtaining the transit document. The document is free but the border authorities, according to several testimonies, are demanding about 1,500 Mexican pesos (about 80 dollars) and the hiring of lawyers for the necessary procedures. The facilities of the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Tapachula are closed after a protest led by Cubans last week when...

Economist and academician Carmelo Mesa-Lago during the 12th Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz.

Carmelo Mesa-Lago: There is a sector that opposes reforms in Cuba

Before an audience of specialists, students and analysts during the second day of sessions of the 12th Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies of the Florida International University, economist Carmelo Mesa-Lago emphasized that the Cuban economy is at its worst moment since the 1990s. A setback in Venezuela would be a kind of sentence for the current Cuban economy. "If Maduro fails, the crisis in Cuba will worsen significantly," he said in Miami this Friday. One solution would be to search for a new "subsidizer." The reforms that President Raúl Castro tried to introduce in the country "have been very slow and are subject to many restrictions, taxes discourage investments and that prevents the advance of the private sector, conspiring against the need for economic growth," he said. During the questions session with the audience, Mesa-Lago explained that the Cuban leadership has not made much progress in the economic reforms because "in my opinion it’s obvious there’s a sector that opposes them." "Another country can assume the subsidies of the Cuban economy. It may be Russia or China, but Russia is the seventh trade partner and the agreements they have signed are under study. The oil that Russia exports is...

Photo: Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters.

What would happen if the U.S. applies Title III of the Helms-Burton Act?

The Donald Trump administration is still considering the possibility of allowing the prosecution in the United States of foreign companies that have invested in Cuba and use facilities that were nationalized after the 1959 Revolution. However, several experts have agreed in statements to OnCuba that it is a difficult, intricate process, not exempt of pitfalls but that, in the long run, it can be beneficial for the island. "The biggest headache will be with Europe, or any country investing in Cuba, because of the question of extraterritoriality," says political analyst Eduardo Gamarra, director of the Department of Politics and International Relations of the Florida International University. On the table is Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, enacted in 1996 by former President Bill Clinton. The application of this title has been suspended continuously for periods of six months since then, after a negotiation with the European Union. Title III allows U.S. citizens at the time of nationalization or foreigners ̶ including Cubans ̶ who have subsequently obtained that nationality, to claim compensation before a U.S. court from those foreign companies that have invested or use the nationalized facilities that belonged to them. Currently there are almost 6,000 claims worth 1.8...

Cuban-Americans in Miami divided in their views on Cuba

The so-called Guantánamo Generation has been the turning point in the reconfiguration of the Cuban-American community, diametrically altering its design since it settled in the south of Florida after 1995, according to a poll released last Thursday by the Florida International University on Cuban-Americans’ view on the Island. In almost all the polled categories, the new generations, particularly those who arrived in the United States after 1995, advocate a closer rapprochement with their native country or, at least, maintaining things as they are, although in electoral political terms they continue being inclined towards the conservative side. "The poll concluded that there are Cubans and Cubans," one of its authors, professor of sociology and president of the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies of the FIU, Guillermo Grenier, ironically said. The study, known as the "FIU Cuba poll," is titled "How Cuban-Americans in Miami view U.S. policies toward Cuba" and was carried out between last November 14 and December 1. One thousand and one Miami-Dade County residents were contacted by phone. The margin of error of the results is more or less 3.1%. Dr. Guillermo Grenier, during the presentation of the poll on Cuba at FIU last Thursday, January 10, 2018....

Multimillionaire philanthropist George Soros in an event in Paris, May 2018. Photo: François Mori / AP.

The Radio and TV Martí scandal

The government-financed Radio and TV Martí, created to broadcast propaganda to Cuba, is under a federal government investigation for apparently having violated the ethics of journalistic content by broadcasting a program where businessman and philanthropist George Soros is referred to as “a multimillionaire Jew of Hungarian origin whose fortune is estimated at eight billion dollars” and, in addition, presented him as “a non-believer Jew” and “having a flexible morality.” The program, which was aired in May, sustains that the businessman has devoted himself to influencing several democratic countries through the Open Society Foundation. In recent weeks, 88-year-old Soros has been accused without proof by conservative commentators and analysists of financing the caravan of immigrants and refugees headed for the southern U.S. border through Central America. The also financier is generally presented by the extreme right as being responsible for the financial crises in the western world, especially the 2008 crisis. Last week the Hungarian conservative government canceled the operations permit of the Central European University founded by Soros after the fall of the Berlin Wall to promote the transition from socialism to capitalism in Eastern Europe. Although Soros has become a Nemesis of conservative and extreme right movements, he was...

Photo by Rui Ferreira

Cuba Nostalgia, where the past was always better

An exile always generates nostalgia. And nostalgia can become an industry, when the exile has been pining for the land left behind for over fifty years, without the certainty of seeing it again. It is when recovering the past becomes a necessity before dying. Every year in Miami, the Cuba Nostalgia show opens its doors, and meets precisely this need of the Cuban exile - especially those of the older members of the community – who are losing from the back of a memory that fades slowly, all landmarks of a past life that, they say, 'was always better'. "The Cubans always criticize us because we think that life in Cuba was better than anywhere else. And the truth is that it was. The Cuba of abundance only exists in our memories," said Mariano Lopez, a naturalized Cuban, who left his country in 1960 at one of the fair’s editions. At the bottom of it all, Cubans flock every year to Cuba Nostalgia to face their past and if the budget allows, to buy it. Because the show is big business, you can buy everything there. Be it coins and banknotes that have been out of circulation for decades, rare...

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