Edmundo García in Havana: «What’s Bad is to be Afraid of Fear»

After living almost twenty years in Miami, where he defended Cuba and its Revolution, Cuban journalist Edmundo García decided that Havana should be the core of his life and work.

«I returned to reside here as a cornerstone of my life and work in Cuba, but my goal is to transmit the issues of immigration, which the great majority is in Miami, from anywhere, from Cuba, from Spain... that doesn’t mean that I will go into exile from Miami. I will keep travelling to Miami when they invite me to participate in any debate», he said in conversation with CubaSí which we transcribe here below:

MHL: Let’s speak of the news. The New Herald has just given you a full column. I don't recall they mention you before...

Edmundo García: The New Herald mentioned me and Diario de Cuba, Cibercuba and a group of similar media follow suit, they all wanted to mention me. I posted in my Facebook that: who understands the media of Miami, because when I was there the only one who dared to invite me over, with all the wrongs and grief of sharing a TV studio with María Elvira, because she always assumed the position against my opinions, I must acknowledge that she was the only one who dared. The other ones didn't dare to debate neither to invite me. And now they want to publish my laundry receipts. They are willing to do everything or anything with me. There is even a newspaper of Miami offering money for an exclusive interview, but come to think of it, I give you the exclusive interview for free. Do you here in CubaSí pay?

MHL: No, we don't pay...

Edmundo García: I don't get it. What it does prove is that they listened to me; it’s that although they didn't invite me, they were indeed aware of my existence, of my opinions, because they have referred to them and, therefore, they listened to me...

MHL: Could it be considered the publication of a photo where you appear next to the Five Heroes as an act of intimidation?

Edmundo García: On my side?

MHL: On their side...

Edmundo García: I don't know that... Well, later I published one with Raúl Castro. Look I am not afraid of fear. What’s bad is to be afraid of fear. I am a transparent man and, supposedly, they should understand that I move among the standards of journalism and the life of a free man. I don't know why all the fuss. Although, in the end of the bottle, as Lezama Lima would say, it does create some intimidation.

MHL: You are a very peculiar émigré. You were first an economic émigré who was later politicized. You are the opposite of the old émigrés of Miami who are political émigrés. You were politicized in Miami taking Cuba’s side.

Edmundo García: Firstly, it’s good to clarify that I was always an economic émigré. I never had any problem with my ideas around the Revolution, around the history of Cuba, and I ended up in Miami for personal reasons. Now, there is no doubt that Miami gets into you. Even people who don’t have it in them the public attitude because they are not journalists, because they don't have media, I believe they are awakening. I get many messages telling me that, what it meant for them to hear and see the attitude that somehow I kept, unwavering, without hesitations. Miami is a Ñico López. Here there is a school for the Communist Party named Ñico López. Because when you hear the extreme right of Miami refers to Cuba... we must remember that they began hating Fidel and Raúl... and ended up hating the people of Cuba. If you have a shred of patriotism, ideologies aside, you don't have to be communist neither socialist, you can be more capitalist than Wall Street itself, but if you have a shred of patriotism, you will reject the extreme right of Miami. They hate the Cuban people. Let’s not forget the attitude of the Cuban–American congressmen, their celebration and boasting, when the measures against the Cuban families were passed when George W. Bush was in office that limited the travel of Cubans to once every three years and limited migrant remittances and so on; let’s not forget the celebrations those sectors had.

I remember he was very confused Lincoln Díaz-Balart, because I was working for Univision—everybody knows what’s channel 23—, and at a press conference he asked me if I wasn’t going to ask any questions. It seems that I had caught Lincoln’s eye, a bit of my irreverence already showed. And I told him: Look, congressman, when I hear you speak I feel a strong desire to return to Cuba and become a militiaman. That left him very confused.

MHL: And speaking of measures: the fabricated story about the acoustic attacks and the closing of embassies, consulates, employees... How does the ordinary Cuban of Miami see all that?

Edmundo García: Look, I believe is common knowledge that all that is a hoax. What’s the gain for Cuba in doing that? Do they want to raise enmity with the United States? It has never been in Cuba’s will to have enmity. Cuba is indeed a sovereign country. It’s mutual respect. Cuba doesn't have a budget for that or Task force whatsoever to undermine the North American politics. That topic is really to please... This is Trump’s commitment with Brigade 2506, with Marco Rubio, and the followers of people like Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez Castellón, Armando Pérez Roura, those oral clowns of Miami. The scientific community has disproved that. Cuba has always been very respectful. In Cuba there was always a concept of integrity, and still is, respect to the Vienna Agreements regarding diplomatic relationships. In Cuba there has always been a strict ethics in the treatment to diplomatic offices, and this comes since Fidel Castro until the President Díaz-Canel. The rumor that there is a sector of far left in the Cuban services is really an attempt to fool people...

MHL: And do people let themselves be fooled?

Edmundo García: I think that people know that it’s not true. Who benefits from what you do? When you do something, somebody obtains a benefit...

MHL: There must be a motive...

Edmundo García: And which is the motive? I think that is horseplay. I am sure that within the very FBI know that that is horseplay. My personal opinion, I can’t prove it—if I had how to prove it, I were Superman—, but in my personal opinion, this is a CIA operation. Let’s not forget who was the former CIA director, the person who now works as Secretary of State. Let’s not forget his relationship with senator Marco Rubio and let’s not forget the triangle with Donald Trump’s presidency. You can’t be deceived. You can be anti-Castro all you want, you can be also anticommunist, and now if you wish you can leave this part out, but from there to be an asshole, there’s a long stretch.

MHL: Did you participate, being there, in the summoning made to Cubans to participate on the debate of the Constitution Draft?

Edmundo García: I was aware of the debate on the Constitution Draft. I was aware through internet of the participation of Cubans. I think is very interesting and useful that Cubans participate. And I connect that with the topic of repatriation again. I believe that Cuban emigration should have greater presence inside Cuba. More sense of normalization, better communication. The repatriation doesn't force you to return to live in Cuba. You can live where you wish, however, you start having certain rights, including the right to vote. And also, it’s to settle the belonging to the roots, to strengthen the trunk to the roots.

MHL: While you have been here, did you see the debates on television...

Edmundo García: I don't know any process in the world, in the so-called democracies, and in the championships of «democracy», I don't know any referendum as the one Cuba is making in the topic of the Constitution. Summoned by Cuban authorities beginning with the first secretary of the Communist Party, the Army General Raúl Castro, to the common citizen. If anyone knows, I would like, if there has been a similar process since the Greece of the democracy until today please tell me, because in my illiteracy I don't know it.

MHL: And The Afternoon...

Edmundo García: The Afternoon Moves (La tarde se mueve) is the project I want to continue developing. Me, as presenter, my expertise is Cuban emigration. And that can be broadcasted from Cuba, from Miami, from Madrid. What I want is for my headquarters to be in Havana, but I can also spend time in Miami. Go to Miami and shoot programs, and participate in debates. I am a free electron; I am not bound to a specific geographical location. Ah, that Cuba is the natural scenario to address the emigration, of course is the best, because what I want is to magnetize the emigration with its origin. And we’ll see how we can guide again The Afternoon Moves, but my main topic is emigration. And, of course, that city that I won't say that it’s an illegitimate province, because I believe there are a lot of good people in Miami, most people are good, but with the attention in particular to that city, because I know it and because it really has a specific weight in the politics of the United States towards Cuba.

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Fish in Miami Hand Net: Duke, the Darner

Ivan Duque has expressed again on his taking command that he seeks to be the president who united Colombia, and to this purpose he will repair the wrongs of the previous magistracy, as if a real change of power had occurred. As if the true interests that prevail sympathize with the large number of beggars almost naked and children half dead sleeping outside the gates of millionaires, owners of the true power.

Although he has had to soften the style of his speech, his intention of changing what could had been a historical peace agreement between the former government and the Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia, to please military bosses who were opposed to some of its terms has not wavered. I don't know why so much anger, when the event actually disarmed a guerrilla of more-than-half-century old, limit it to areas where military forces don't obstruct and collaborate with paramilitary forces that commit atrocities and kill former guerillas fighters and social leaders with impunity.

He says he will amend mistakes of the previous administration, but the truth is that in the way he seeks to govern in today’s Colombia is like darning or poorly patching the holes that will survive and will get even bigger over time.

Remember, the gathering of right-wing forces, including the supposed presidential enemy, Juan Manuel Santos, rendered unnecessary the usual stealing of votes to give him a historical voting of more than ten millions for a second round, although it was also suggestive that the left-wing supported Gustavo Petro with eight millions. Petro is at present concentrated on a national march to keep alive the peace agreement half-torn by the extreme right.

Honestly, there’s a part of Colombia where social issues are minors, there are huge profits from commercial resources that range from emeralds to flowers, passing through millionaire incomes from the seven bases granted to the United States and the growing drug trafficking that enriches large state owners and provides private armies mainly ran by gangsters who operate within North American territory.

Perhaps we still have on sight that wonderful Colombia seen at the Games of Barranquilla, with its hospitality and good treatment, with an excellent performance exhibit by the host country, only overcome by the final effort of Cubans and the surprising performance of Mexicans.

Duque, whom I believed, I confess, poor speaker, knows how to address the people who he convinces regrettably in many aspects, like when he said that he will govern without the Uribe’s shadow – as he is accused with justice - and will adopt an independent style.

But where he first celebrated his victory, next to Uribe, he was in Miami, next to Cuban and Venezuelan opposition, he promised them that he won't tolerate "a dictatorship in Venezuela", before that the now former leader Santos announced that Maduro’s days were numbered, apparently knowing the killing attempt on the Venezuelan President, where drones and organized mercenaries were used in Colombian territory.

From darner Duque there will more to write about, and let’s not find it weird that despite the cares of the Empire, he falls through one of those holes impossible to stitch.

End of U.S Blockade Against Cuba is Demanded in Streets of Miami

Washington, July 9 (Prensa Latina) The Martiana Alliance coalition, which gathers various organizations of Cuban emigrants in the U.S. city of Miami, Florida, called today for a new protest against the U.S. blockade imposed on the island.

It also called for a full normalization of relations between the two peoples and governments, and an end to restrictions on Americans traveling freely to Cuba.

With these purposes in mind, the Martiana Alliance plans to hold a caravan of cars next Saturday along important avenues in Miami.

We cannot sit idly while our families and the rest of the Cuban people suffer the consequences of these cruel and arbitrary policies by the administration of President Donald Trump,' said Andres Gomez, national coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, a member of that entity.

He also criticized the position of the Cuban extreme right wing allied with the government in the city.

On March 10, a caravan similar to the one planned became a way of protesting against Washington's decision, days before, on its embassy in the Caribbean.

The initiative was then valued as very good and timely by Damien Diaz, president of the Martiana Alliance.

There were no provocations by right-wing and anti-Cuban groups against our cars, and we felt the positive support of many people during the tour, Diaz told Prensa Latina.

We even heard shouts of Long Live Cuba! and Long Live the Revolution! as we travel down busy avenues in Southwest and near the University of Miami, he added.

As they have done on other occasions, the participants in the two-hour caravan also expressed their rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba more than 55 years ago.

The U.S. State Department announced on March 2 that it will continue indefinitely to reduce staff at its embassy in Havana, despite calls from various groups to allow the return of diplomats and officials.

The number of people in the legation is similar to the level of emergency maintained after the September 29 departure order when Washington withdrew more than half of its officials citing health incidents reported by them.

A few days after such a move, the United States expelled 17 diplomats from the island's embassy in Washington.

  • Published in Cuba

Some in Miami, Gente de Zona, Laura Pausini and the "Dictatorship" of La Gozadera

Italian singer Laura Pausini next to the Cuban music group Gente de Zona, at a concert with venue in the Sport City, Havana, Cuba, on June 26th, 2018.

Many times culture in Miami has only served to encourage politics that keep alive that business best known as the "Anti-Cuban industry."

That the extreme right of Miami has always been divorced of culture is no secret. What else to expect from the descendants of the criminals of a dictatorship that fled - after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1st, 1959 -, an Island with 57% of illiteracy. No government of the misnamed "cup of gold" was never in charge of neither alphabetizing the people, neither of encouraging culture massively.

Therefore Batista’s sergeants and murderers didn't reach Miami to found schools neither favor arts. The first wave of defeated and their descendants who at present, in one way or another, are key personalities in that city of South Florida, have taken as their primary goal since then to profit from their fight against communism: the U.S. enemy during the Cold War.

Speaking about relationships with Cuba it was Miami’s culture, which for a long time, only served to encourage politics that keep alive that business best known as "Anti-Cuban industry". Hence traditionally in Miami have been burnt portraits of Cuban artists, bombs have been planted in stages, artists censored in the radio, musicians stoned and records smashed on the streets with steamrollers.

Such fascist positions were not completely absent in the last years when, under the most tolerant government of Obama the program of cultural exchange was established. The owners of the hatred business have never stopped politicizing "culture" especially in the media which dictate what can or cannot be said in that city.

Under the new "contract", the alleged defenders "freedom" and "democracy" even allowed that Cuban artists could come and go. They could even reside in that city provided they respected the "hurting" of a mythology of repressions, extermination camps and mass killings that only exist in their feverish heads.

The same "tolerance" reached a point that the top authorities of Miami could hand the City Keys to Gente de Zona "for their successes" and then just take it back because somebody, with different ideas to the prevailing approval, appeared enjoying in a video the music of that same group.

The last example on how "culture" works in Miami is the impact of the recent gig of Gente de Zona and Laura Pausini held over a week ago in Havana. The far-right wing of Miami is outraged because both the singer of Gente de Zona, Alexander Delgado, and the Italian singer Laura Pausini, thanked the presence of the Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in the concert.

According to El Nuevo Herald, Alexander Delgado, said at some point of his presentation in the Sport City of Havana: "I’d like to tell you something and I’d like to greet somebody special, I think it’s something very beautiful and I want you to know that we have here the presence, and I’d like to thank him for coming and share this moment with us, and especially with you, the people which is what we represent, a round of applause for our President Díaz-Canel who is here with us now. Thank you for being now in front of the people, next to the people, sharing with Gente de Zona."

I believe that Alexander’s last words were what hurt the most to the headstrong far-right of Miami, the thanking "for being at this time in front of the people, next to the people, sharing with Gente de Zona". And it must have hurt even more that the people - more 250 thousand people – who awaited stoically under the heavy rain that day for the concert to begin, the huge Gozadera (Joy) for more than two hours of Pausini and Gente de Zona, nothing less than next to their President.

Don’t be too surprised if at some point Alexander is accused in Miami for the hundreds of people who followed Díaz-Canel through the streets during his recent visit to Granma province.

The far-right wing is sick of failure. Hatred and rage are their only fuels. Hatred causes weariness and that doesn't stand happiness.

The anti-Cuban mafia of Miami is the first responsible for the blockade against the people that it presumably defend. They want a people burdened with needs, sad and bitter for that reason they cannot bear, on this side of the sea, the minimum spark of enjoyment, or what’s the same, any manifestation of the "dictatorship" of La Gozadera.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

United States: Only for «Whites»?

Thus insinuates the migratory project driven by Donald Trump.

Amid a country where racist groups thrive, its president pleads for an initiative that encourages that evil.

The perspective was commented last Monday, among others, by a New Herald columnist, Fabiola Santiago.

She wrote, Trump’s migratory project seeks “to make the United States white again” and that they only speak English.

Also, if approved, our current city of Miami would not exist.

In fact, she adds, the idea of the president's reformation closes the doors to people like Cuban- Americans who voted for him.

The same happens with his Latin and Haitian supporters, too stubborn on their support to a president “whose white-supremacy, and anti-immigrants agenda” is a slap on the face of a diverse country and an insult to the values with which it was founded.

Fabiola Santiago stops to wonder:

What can be expected from an administration that separates North American children from their parents and launches an initiative whose target is minorities?

The Raise Law would reduce legal immigration by 50% in the next 10 years, and would give priority to skills over family reunification, abandoning the sacrosanct migratory politics of the United States.

With sarcastic tone Fabiola Santiago says: The president could also dismantle the Statue of Liberty, and return it to France.

She warns in her article what Trump’s plan pursues is to change our racial and ethnic face, as well as to write a new speech on who we are and what we defend.

Later she says, “Trump wants that, once again, the United States to be white” and monolingual.

Besides she adds, after a long road, it he wants to pass a supremacy politics in only eight months of government.

There is a small detail that strays from that attempt, the North American people, as a whole has never favored extreme positions.

Even less the intellectual and artistic sectors that bump into the Golden Ox that wanders the White House are well-known.

United States: Tragedy of its Drug Addicts

Doubt grows even more regarding the prospect of stopping the huge narcotic consumption that dominates that country.

Last Saturday the column Trasfondo in the New Herald newspaper, published an article in Miami that helps to better understand the situation.

Under the title: "The Big Business of Pain: how and why North Americans die with Drugs."          

The writer was the well-known specialist Jorge Dávila Miguel.

It begins by telling that the drug consumption incrementally grows, although the alarmed is not going off.

Even President Donald Trump, he says, mentioned the fact when he recently spoke "of the deadly outbreak of drugs that lashes the country"

Dávila Miguel remembered that in 2016 more than 59 000 people died of drug overdose, a figure far higher than the total of fallen soldiers in the aggression against Vietnam.

And among those victims drugs killed 17 536 human beings.

Two months ago the governor for Florida, Rick Scott, proclaimed an alert and gave 27 million dollars in favor of those who are cornered by the epidemic.

What’s new?

The enemy, highlights Dávila Miguel, doesn’t come from the Coca plantations of South America, or from poppy fields in Afghanistan, and has nothing to do with drug dealers.

Then, who is the enemy? "The U.S. pharmaceutical industry", asserts the author of the article.

He adds, as well as white neck executives in the states of Connecticut or Manhattan.

Then Dávila Miguel tells shortly of his records:

They began in 1996, when the Firm Perdue Pharma launched to the market OxyContin, an opioid which profited in the first four years 1,100 million dollars.

Before this success, other corporations launched to the market similar products.

In 2016, nearly 300 million prescriptions were already distributed, enough to offer a bottle of sedatives to each American, including newly born children.

What’s the outcome? A thriving market of 24 000 million dollars a year.

That is a seemingly harmless sedative had already become an addiction.

The New Herald assured this Saturday in its section Trasfondo:

"Big Pharma had attained the dream of any drug enterprise owner, to distribute the drugs legally and even with a prescription."

Everything on an ideal scenario for their gigantic and trivial business, the American society is very sick with an uncertain prognosis.

End of U.S. Blockade against Cuba demanded in Streets of Miami

A caravan made up of around 50 cars traveled 15 miles through major avenues in the city of Miami, where most of the members of the Cuban community live.

The coalition Alianza Martiana organized this event against the blockade for second time this year. According to a statement broadcasted by Radio Miami, the cars had their lights on with Cuban and American flags being waved, and people carried posters denouncing the economical siege suffered by Cuba.

The participants in the caravan demanded the continuation of the thawing of relations with Cuba, the immediate end of the economic, commercial, and financial war that for more than fifty years Washington has imposed to the Cuban people and the total travel freedom for American citizens.

Some of the participants commented to the local media that they witnessed the support of other people who backed them in their own cars.

Again in Miami, a caravan of cars turns to be a categorical rejection to the U.S. ambitions to undermine Cuba with the tightening of the blockade.

This time there was a strong denounce of the Cuban community to the U.S. policy towards Cuba announced by U.S. President Donald Trump in recent days.

The head of state should listen to the claims of thousand Cubans living in Miami and other U.S. cities. These people call for the normalization of the bilateral relations, which certainly favors both countries.

Donald Trump’s change in the policy towards Cuba is, no doubt, a setback between the two countries. However, let me make it clear, Trump is being exclusively advised by a small group of people who do not represent the vast majority of the American public opinion.

In such scenario, we hope this caravan demanding the end of the blockade in Miami may pave the way for other actions taken in South Florida to show solidarity and support to the Cuban sovereignty.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Cuba

Trump: Sharp Thorns on the Way to Abyss

Another devastating news article on the health care reform championed by the current U.S. President was released on Monday in Miami.

El Nuevo Herald published it under the authorship of Fabiola Santiago, columnist of the newspaper.

She began her article: in a weird moment where Trump said the truth, he labeled as “despicable” its approval by the House of Representatives.

She added, after having studied for months this “untrustworthy and conceited President.”

When he gained conscious, based on experts, of how his health project would affect 23 million people, he tried to hurry ahead of things.

On one side, Santiago wrote, this “Twitter in Chief” urged the Senate to get closer and improve the Obamacare.

However, it has not happened. In fact, the Senatorial laws are bad jokes for Americans.

Any motive? He promised better and cheaper health care and not making another round of cuts to the Medicare.

As we know, Medicare is a program aimed at softening tragedies that cause damage to the poorest people in society.

But nothing new has come up. And yet, Trump is still requesting the Senate a swift adoption.

Observers believe the so-called Trumpcare has never been so close, but they warn it is not what he promised.

Fabiola Santiago recalls that Florida is the state in the U.S. with higher number of Obamacare’s subscribers (1,300 000).

While explaining her “despite everything”, she points out some of the setbacks suffered by the Obamacare in this Southern state.

For instance, having a Governor and a Legislative where Republicans prevail.

Around three million people could be affected if the plot fabricated by the Senate succeeds.

A new and uncomfortable setback for a head of state already spotted with strong thorns paving his way to abyss.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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