Friday, December 23, 2011

Bloody Christmas: days of horror in 1956

By Alfredo Hernadez Carralero

Rafael Orejón Forment would be the first in the list of the 23 youngsters that were murdered and massacred by the end of December 1956 on the north coast ofthe former province of Oriente, in an operation luanched by the Batista dictatorship under the code name “Christmas Gift” that passed into History as the Bloody Christmas.

Orejón was then Chief of the July 26 Movement in Nicaro, a municipality in the Holguin province and was killed that day in La Portada, a place near the industrial area of the current Mayarí municipality.

The spree continued until December 26th of that year, and eventually left 23 victims, all from different municipalities of the Cuban north-eastern region, from Las Tunas to what is now the province of Holguin.

In that region of the former territory of Oriente the July 26th Movement was very well organized since late 1955, the national leadership had primary cells in Sagua de Tanamo Mayari Nicaro, Antilla, Banes, Holguin, Gibara, Puerto Padre and Las Tunas.

To back up the arrival of the Granma yacht expedition had they had increased the number of sabotages, posters with revolutionary slogans were secretly displayed in public places, bursting of firecrackers, and distribution of leaflets that appeared in theaters, parks and streets.

The dictator Fulgencio Batista had alerted Colonel Fermin Cowley Gallegos, Chief of Military Regiment of Holguin, about the possibility of the occurrence of a landing in the area under its jurisdiction and urged him to prevent the occurrence there of supporting actions.

It was then organized the operation called Christmas Gift. The repression was brutal and the bodies of young revolutionaries appeared savagely tortured, hanged or shot, with the premeditated purpose of spreading terror and extinguish the rebel flame that stretched across the Sierra Maestra mountain range under the orders of the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.

Most of those killed were taken from their homes, tortured and their bodies were found dumped in different places, only because they opposed the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

With all the logistical support of forces and means, the bloodthirsty colonel Fermin Cowley Gallegos, blasted his actions against the revolutionary movement from the 23 until 26 of the last month of the year.

The massacres of that black December truncated life among others of the leader of the July 26 Movement in Holguin, Pedro Diaz Coello and figures of the Socialist Party, workers and union leaders.

The slain youth lived nights and days of horror in the east Cuba, as well as their families and people in general, without their criminals managing to put out the light of the triumph of their ideals, reached on January first, 1959.

Cowley Gallegos finally paid for his crimes when he was executed on November 23, 1957 in Holguin by members of the July 26 Movement of the eastern territory.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fidel included in the Guinness Records Book

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, and for sure the files of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, Fidel Castro is the person who most often has been attemped to murder.

According to data published on the blog of portal Yahoo, there were 638 assassination attempts against the leader of the Cuban Revolution until 2006, most of them promoted by the CIA.

All the failed methods planned to kill him included sharpshooter, explosives in his shoes, poison injected into a cigar and even a small explosive charge inside a baseball, among others.

From the moment Fidel led the triumphant Cuban Revolution in 1959, it was began planning his death. Among the most interested in killing the then Cuban prime minister were American intelligence agencies and subversion.

With information of Radio Havana Cuba

Covert CIA Agency Grants Medal to Laura Pollan

By M. H. Lagarde*

During a ceremony held at the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, the president of the National Endowment for Democracy (a covert CIA agency), Carl Gershman, posthumously honored Laura Pollan (1948-2011) the Service to Democracy Medal.

Yolanda Huerga Cedeño, a representative from the counterrevolutionary groups in the U.S., received the medal on behalf of Pollan's relatives. She said that Pollan’s death had "strengthened" the “Ladies in White,” a mercenary group that she founded.

During the ceremony, one of the representatives of the Cuban-American mafia, the Democratic senator from New Jersey, Bob Menendez, said that the Cuban government is a "threat" to the peaceful activities carried out by the "Ladies in White" for the "dignity" of the Cuban people.

The president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lower House and Republican leader in Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and her Democrat colleagues from New Jersey, Albio Sires, and, Howard Berman (California) also participated in the ceremony.

Pollan's widower, Hector Maceda; her daughter, Laura Labrada Pollan; and the current leader of the Ladies in White Berta Soler also took part in the event via videoconference from Havana.

Both the U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent statements that were read during the ceremony.

" Taking to the streets in peaceful protest to draw attention to the plight of those unjustly held in Cuba’s prisons, Taking the streets in peaceful protest to attract attention on the difficulties of people unjustly detained in Cuban prisons, Laura Pollán and the Ladies in White have stood bravely against Cuban authorities" read Obama’s statement.

Obama also criticized "the campaign of repression unleashed this weekend" against the Ladies in White in a street in Havana, during a ceremony in memory of Pollan.

The president referred to an incident that took place on December 11, when a group of 50 women members of the "Ladies in White" was harassed by dozens of pro-government militants after concluding a peaceful march after a mass.

Obama reiterated the U.S. support for the Cuban people "to freely determine their future and to enjoy the rights and freedoms that define the Americas, and that should be universal to all human beings.”

What the president did not say in his statement was that the provocation orchestrated last weekend by the Ladies in White was oriented during another tribute to Pollan held in the house of the head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana on December 7.

Obama should know that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana is dedicated to organizing and funding subversion in Cuba and may respond to the interests of electoral politics of the current U.S. government, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the determination of the Cuban people to defend their sovereignty.

M. H. Lagarde, a Cuban journalist, is the director of the Cubasí portal. Cambios en Cuba is his blog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hutcherson in Havana

“I think that the general view that my colleagues have of Cuba is changing and is now more open”, said U.S. actor Josh Hutcherson in his recent visit to Havana to attend the International Film Festival.

Hutcherson traveled to Havana to star El Yuma, one of the seven stories making up the film 7 Days in Havana. He’ll be portraying a young American actor named Teddy Atkins, who comes to Cuba to visit an acting school. Later he is taken on an non-traditional tour of the city.

7 Days in Havana is a film set in Cuba made up of seven stories led by seven different directors. The directors include Laurent Cantet, Gaspar Noe, Elia Suleiman, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Juan Carlos Tabio, and Benicio Del Toro, who’s directing El Yuma.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gibara's speleologists find flooded cavern

A unique freshwater cave filled with water 10 meters deep with several galleries, was discovered Tuesday by local speleologists in La Gegira, in the municipality of Gibara.

Researchers said the cave represents an important find because of the verticality of the entrance and the presence of multiple corridors with different shapes and angles.

The head of the researcher team, Arturo Rojas, said that during the exploration they found a cave gallery estimated at some 100 meters long by 70 meters wide, with numerous secondary formations such as stalactites and thick rock columns, which lead them to new galleries, some horizontal and others with steep inclinations.

"These are the largest galleries we have found in flooded caverns”, said the specialist. He also noted the existence here of blind fish and shrimps.

The president of the Speleological Committee in Holguin, Juan Jose Guarch, said that this finding provides new opportunities to explore areas far from the coast, as they can find deeper caverns with greater underground conduits like the Tanque Azul cave, also in Gibara. / AIN

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some of the pictures that made history in 2011

A girl isolated to pass the tests of radiation detection looks her dog through a window in Nihonmatsu, Japan, on March 14. (Reuters / Yuriko Nakao)

Puyehue Volcano erupts in Chile, causing cancellations of air traffic in South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing more than 3,000 people to seek refuge.

The city of Joplin, Missouri, before and after the devastating tornado on May 22.

This sightseeing boat, Hama Yuri, was pulled 1300 feet from the coast and somehow balanced itself on a two story house during the tsunami in Japan.

Tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, dust storms, pepper sprays, the death of Amy Winehouse, hunger in Kenya, the Libyan invasion that ended with the lynching of the head of state ... A spectacular apocalyptic world featured in the 2011 pictures, a year that has not yet finished... fortunatly it ends soon. Let's hope that 2012 opens the way to better times. / With information of Cubadebate

Friday, December 2, 2011


Kiss: love professed through lips.
Scarlett Bene

Kisses, whether stolen, passionate, of affection, rituals or formals, are the most important expression in human relations.

Many interpretations seek its origin in the baby's sucking impulse, cannibalistic tendencies (the love bite), or the primitive tribes habits of smell.

It is also said that its birth can be traced back to the Cro-Magnon man, when Cro-Magnon woman fed their babies chewing food to pureeing, then it went to her son's mouth.

But whatever its origins, kissing evolved into a way of expressing feelings, passion and affection to loved ones or anyone who want to care and love in any way.

They serve as a powerful weapon to make a heart surrender, to silent words when they become unnecessary, to relieve pain or simply to ask for forgiveness. But kisses are better if they are spontaneous and genuine.