Latino USA

Posts Tagged ‘Cuba’

Yoani Sánchez: Blogging For Free Speech In Cuba

More and more, our global society is measuring a country’s degree of freedom by its treatment of the Internet, and Cuba has some of the most restrictive Internet access in the world. There is only one internet provider, the cost is prohibitive for most citizens, and most anti-government content is blocked. So for Cuban technophile Yoani Sanchez to continue to publish her now infamous blog Generación Y, which is fiercely critical of her government’s censorship and authoritarianism, is to continue to face risk.

Host Maria Hinojosa sat down with Yoani Sanchez where they talked about her passion for technology, the motivation behind her work, and the deep love she has for her country.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

YASUYOSHI CHIBA:AFP:Getty Images

Yoani Sanchez graduated from the University of Havana. She returned to Cuba from a stay in Switzerland, where she began blogging on Generation Y. Her blog is widely translated around the world.

Baseball’s International Neighbors

Despite Cuba’s track record of culling baseball talent, players on the island still make about as much money as an average construction worker. So it’s not surprising that one of their best players, 26-year-old center fielder Rusney Castillo, has defected from his home country in the hopes of signing with a Major League team in the U.S. This comes just months after Cuba’s recent change in policy allowing its players to sign with foreign leagues. But with the U.S. embargo on Cuba still on the books, Cuba will have to do much more to keep its star sluggers from leaving home and heading to the fame and fortune of the American dugout.

 

Photo by Wikimedia user Ramon.Rovirosa

 

 

RACISM IN CUBA

Since 1959, the Cuban government has combatted racial discrimination. Officially all Cubans had the same opportunities.  But since the harsh economic times in the 1990s, black Cubans complain of increasing racial discrimination. Reese Erlich reports from Havana on this controversial issue.


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Reese Erlich is a best-selling book author and freelance journalist who writes regularly for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, Marketplace Radio and National Public Radio.

LESBIANS IN CUBA

After the 1959 revolution, being gay in Cuba was considered counter-revolutionary. LGBT Cubans were jailed and harassed because of their sexual identity. Hear from two lesbians talk about their life on the island since the Revolution.


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Von Diaz is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. Her reporting focuses on immigration, Cuba, and LGBT issues. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA. She is a Feet in Two Worlds fellow, and has published her work on PRI’s The World, WNYC, and New American Media.

CUBAN HIP HOP

While the hip hop movement in Cuba has been developing for many years, women rappers have struggled to make inroads. One of the few to break through has been Telmary Diaz. Though she now lives outside of the island, her music focuses on her experiences as a Cuban woman.


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Telmary Diaz, better known as Telmary, is an award-winning Toronto-based Cuban rapper, musician, and spoken-word artist. In 2007 she released her first solo album A Diario to rave reviews. She made her film debut in “Todas las noches terminan en el Malecon” by Cecilia Araujo (Brazil 2001), and her feature debut in “Musica Cubana” by German Krall (2004). She has also worked to the 2005 Spanish film “Habana Blues” by Benito Zambrano, and contributed the soundtrack of the 2002 Italian film “MalaHabana” by Guido Giansoldatti.

NOTICIANDO: VOCES

Mexican American women train to compete in Mexico’s Charro contest, raw poetry emerges from the Brooklyn projects, modernist architecture in Cuba, and an inside look at the masked men of Mexico’s Lucha Libre. These are documentary subjects on VOCES, a Latino arts and documentary showcase on public television. We speak to Sandie Pedlow, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting.


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Sandie Viquez Pedlow is the Executive Director of Latino Public broadcasting overseeing the development, production, and distribution of public media content that is representative of Latino people or address issues concerning Latino Americans. She brings to this position over 20 years experience in program development, production, and the development of international public media initiatives. Most recently she was Director, Station Relations for PBS Education where she led the implementation and marketing of PBS online and digital media products and services. Prior to PBS, Pedlow was Director of Programming Strategies, Associate Director of Cultural, Drama and Arts Programming, and Senior Program Officer with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for 10 years. She managed the development and funding of national public broadcasting programs which addressed social and diversity issues, history, the arts and many aspects of American culture. Pedlow was a key member of the CPB team that managed the founding of LPB. Prior to this work, Pedlow developed and produced documentaries, cultural/arts television programs for SCETV and was the U.S. National Coordinator for INPUT, an international public television conference with more than 35 participating

Ted Cruz Brings His Conservative Message to the Republican National Convention

The Republicans kicked off their national convention in Tampa on Tuesday with a program starring a line-up of GOP all-stars. They also carted out many of their Latino headliners. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and First Lady of Puerto Rico Luce Fortuño had their chance to speak before what looked on TV to be a blindingly white audience. But the real Latino standout was Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz.

The Texas delegates, dressed in bar-b-que outfits- Texas flag shirts and cowboy hats – cheered him on. The audience repeatedly jumped to their feet to applaud Cruz during his 12-minute speech. As I watched it I kept thinking, “Why do they keep applauding? He’s not saying anything and what he does say makes no sense!”

I’ve written before about the many things that Cruz, a fellow Cuban-Texan from a conservative family, and I have in common. Our backgrounds aside, I can honestly say that Cruz and I agree on almost nothing. Cruz is a tea party favorite for his extreme rhetoric that includes abolishing the IRS and the education, commerce, and energy departments. But he didn’t come right out and say all of that crazy stuff in his speech. That would have alienated the less extreme members of the GOP. Now is a time to watch what you say.

Speakers at the convention kept repeating the same information:  “Obama put us 16 trillion dollars in debt, 23 million people unemployed,” and keywords like “We Built It”, “freedom, liberty, free market, grass roots,” and “We the People”. Cruz hit all of the talking points and quoted famous lines like, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!” and Martin Luther King Jr’s line that men should be judged, “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It’s the equivalent of a band that only plays their greatest hits, only Cruz is playing other people’s songs. Of course the delegates cheered: Reagan’s Berlin Wall quote is the Freebird of Republican rhetoric.

Cruz even spoke in Spanish. He told the story of his father’s immigration to the United States after being imprisoned under the Batista regime in Cuba. He said of his father, “No tenia nada, pero tenia Corazon (he had nothing, but he had heart)” in the thickest gringo accent you ever heard to limited applause. This was a calculated move to prove his Latino cred, and what good is a token Latino if he isn’t “Latino enough”?

Through the haze of tired rhetoric and familiar quotes, he said something that caught my attention, “Unfortunately, President Obama’s campaign is trying to divide America. To separate us into groups. Telling seniors that Medicare will be taken away. Telling Hispanics that we’re not welcome here.”

¿Que?

Let’s put aside for a second that the Republican party platform calls for overhauling Medicare so that seniors would have to buy private insurance with some government assistance. But Obama is telling Hispanics that we aren’t welcome?

Wasn’t it vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan who described arresting and deporting undocumented workers with the fishing term “catch and release”? Cruz supports Ryan even though he is in favor of throwing out so-called “anchor babies”? Cruz repeatedly talked about how much he loves the Constitution, but I guess he forgot that the 14th Amendment provides equal protection under the law to all citizens. Since “anchor babies” are born here, they too are citizens, Ted.

Or perhaps it slipped his mind that he opposes any form of amnesty, including the DREAM Act or the president’s immigration reprieve. Cruz also favors the building of a border wall as well as the terrifying phrase “boots on the ground” along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mitt Romney is hoping that during the fall campaign Latinos will forget all of the anti-immigration rhetoric he used during the primaries and concentrate on how badly the economy has hurt Latinos. Cruz touched on this when he said that there were 2.3 million Latino small business owners being hurt because Obama had “declared war on small business”. He didn’t go into how exactly the president was doing this. Latinos count the economy as their top concern, which isn’t to say that immigration isn’t a close second for most of them.

Latinos won’t soon forget that Cruz, a son of immigrants that grew up in a state with a huge Latino population, has sided with a party whose platform opposes their very presence in this country. How can you trust a man who turns his back on his own people? Cruz repeatedly talks about how his father achieved the American dream by coming to the U.S. and going to school in order to make something of himself. Why then does he oppose today’s Latino youth from doing the same?

Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund. Image courtesy of flickr.  

Jack Tomas is a writer, filmmaker, and editor working in New York. He’s originally from Houston, TX where he earned a BA in Theater and Communication from The University of St. Thomas. Later, he received an MA in Media Studies at The New School. Jack has worked several years as a professional filmmaker and his films have appeared in several film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, The LA Comedy Shorts Festival, and The New York Independent Film Festival. He has also worked as a professional blogger since 2009 writing for Guanabee.com, Tuvez.com, Egotastic.com, and Directorslive.com. He lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with his wife Marybec and two cats.

Revisiting Damian Lopez Alfonso, Cuban Cyclist

Cycling is not only Damian Lopez Alfonso’s life but also his passion. Despite being injured as a child in Cuba, Damian has ridden his way to the top, recently qualifying for the 2012 Paralympics in London. We revisit his story this week.


Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Fuji Bikes.

Lesbian in Cuba after the revolution

After the 1959 revolution, being gay in Cuba was considered counter-revolutionary. LGBT Cubans were jailed and harassed because of their sexual identity. Hear from two lesbians talk about their life on the island since the Revolution.

Click here to download this week’s show.


 

Von Diaz is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. Her reporting focuses on immigration, Cuba, and LGBT issues. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA. She is a Feet in Two Worlds fellow, and has published her work on PRI’s The World, WNYC, and New American Media.

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