Reparaciones inconclusas afectan importante centro quirúrgico de La Habana
Posted on Café Fuerte, 11 marzo, 2014 by Manuel Guerra Pérez in Cuba, Destacadas, Sociedad
Por Manuel Guerra Pérez
LA HABANA.- El Centro Nacional de Cirugía de Mínimo Acceso (CNCMA) Luís de la Puente, la institución insignia de los procedimientos médicos más avanzados en el país, continúa en reparaciones que parecen para nunca acabar.
Luego de siete meses de comenzadas las obras en el interior del recinto, el proceso constructivo no ha podido concluirse y el CNCMA tiene que funcionar con muchos servicios paralizados, a pesar de tratarse de un centro de referencia nacional sobre la terapéutica endoscópica y la cirugía no invasiva.
La institución fue cerrada por un mes, el 2 de agosto del 2013, ante la urgencia de realizar reparaciones de su infraestructura por filtraciones -incluyendo aguas albañales en el interior del inmueble- y también por dificultades en el abastecimiento de agua potable. Sin embargo, tuvo que reanudar sus consultas el pasado septiembre sin que culminaran las labores constructivas, que se extendieron más de lo previsto, incumpliendo el plan trazado de un inicio por su director, el doctor Coronel Julián Luis Torres.
Las obras construcción están en manos de obreros pertenecientes al contingente Blas Roca, y en la actualidad no se conoce a ciencia cierta cuándo se culminaran.
El quinto piso del CNCMA, que estará reservado exclusivamente para extranjeros, se encuentra a un 90% de terminación.
Filtraciones en salón de cirugías
La sala de cirugías enclavada en el cuarto piso se había dado por terminada, pero actualmente presenta filtraciones en su techo. En estos momentos las labores de reparación están centradas en el sexto y segundo pisos.
La lavandería será cerrada para ser reparada completamente, lo que hará que el servicio de lavado tenga que realizarse en otro hospital aun sin definir.
“Es muy difícil trabajar con enfermos y médicos a tu alrededor”, comento Raúl un obrero de la obra.
El edificio del CNCMA -de seis pisos- se ubica la Víbora, minicipio Diez de Octubre, y fue reinaugurado en el 2009 como sede del centro. Es la única instalación de su tipo en el país y está equipada con tecnología de punta para la realización de cirugías de mínimo acceso.
Funge como centro de educación de postgrado del Instituto Superior de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana, dedicado a la capacitación y entrenamiento de médicos especialistas nacionales y extranjeros en el dominio de las técnicas básicas y avanzadas de la cirugía de mínimo acceso. Se encarga además de la confección y ejecución de proyectos de investigación y estudios controlados para la evaluación de tecnologías y patentes en el campo de la cirugía endoscópica.
El centro ofrece consultas internas y externas y a pesar de las reparaciones se mantiene realizando cirugías.
eduardodelllano.wordpress.com ,11 de marzo de 2014
El trabajador aquí no tiene salario, ni vacaciones, ni retiro, me dijo hace poco un taxista, un tipo de unos sesenta años con aspecto de haber bregado toda su vida. El salario no alcanza, con lo que pagan por vacaciones no se puede ir a ningún sitio, con el retiro no se vive, añadió, para concluir luego: esta gente no me ha enseñado nada.
Hace un par de días un grupo de amigos se quejaba del ostracismo de la papa, el huidizo tubérculo que hace meses no se ve en los mercados, y cuando se encuentra es a precios feroces. Coño, es que lo anuncian con una tranquilidad, es así y ya, y a joderse, gruñía uno, adiós a las papitas fritas. Pero de qué te sorprendes, replicaba otro con humor amargo, no has aprendido nada en tantos años, acabaron con la industria azucarera, cómo no van a desaparecer la papa…
Lo que dice la gente en la calle no es tan alarmante como lo que se da por sentado: que esto se jodió hace rato, que es un infierno tibio, que a los dirigentes no les interesa lo que el pueblo piensa, que la única solución es largarse, que hay que luchar el día y olvidar los proyectos de vida en territorio nacional. Hacemos este tipo de comentarios para que nos escuche cualquiera, no ya los allegados, asumiendo que todo el mundo piensa igual, lo que resulta cada vez más cierto, como en el viejo chiste de “caballeros, si van a hablar bien del gobierno háganlo bajito, que por aquí hay una pila de gusanos y se van a buscar un problema”.
La desigualdad social y la desconfianza de la gente en quienes gobiernan son hoy en Cuba no sólo mayores que en cualquier otro momento de su historia reciente, sino más profundas que en muchos países democráticos, pues en esos siquiera persiste la ilusión de que todo puede cambiar en unos años. En lo que va de 2014, con los absurdos precios de los automóviles, la franciscana escasez en las tiendas, la indigencia informática, el paulatino deterioro del sistema de salud pública, los impuestos y la espada de Dámocles de la unificación monetaria, la impopularidad del gobierno no ha hecho sino aumentar. Demasiado tarde, demasiada desesperanza. Cada vez son menos los que aceptan acrítica e incondicionalmente el discurso oficial, que sigue empleando los tiempos verbales incorrectos: mucho pasado, mucho futuro y turbias gotas de presente; mirados de cerca, esos creyentes resultan ser gente rara, masoquista, robótica… u octogenaria. Se puede y debe defender la izquierda, pero ya es prácticamente imposible romper una lanza por Esto.
Si el gobierno aún tiene una buena carta bajo la manga para hacernos felices de pronto -poniendo Internet barato en todos los hogares, vendiendo Peugeots a precios con tres ceros menos, centuplicando los salarios, eliminando restricciones, dejando en paz a los opositores, inundando los mercados con carne de res a cinco pesos la libra- que lo haga ya, que nos sorprenda ahora, y todavía puede ser que se gane un aplauso. Y que empiece a nevar.
HAVANA TIMES — Finding a good job in Cuba is no easy task. On many occasions, having been “vouched for” (that is to say, recommended) by an important person, a member of the Communist Party (the “vanguard” of Cuban society, as the government describes it) is far more important than being able to demonstrate one is qualified for a certain type of work or position.
This type of selection process has consolidated a kind of caste system over the years. The process, designed to encourage mediocrity, has undermined all of the country’s structures. It has allowed people devoid of talent and knowledge to end up in the higher echelons of society and to wield power over those who, having real talent, did not make it into the club of the chosen few – that is to say, those who were never “vouched for.”
Many of the demented policies that have bled out the economy, that have turned Cuba into an unburied corpse, were put into practice because of the headstrong philosophy and whims of those who were entrusted leadership duties, because such people were selected on the basis of their political loyalty and not their ability to confront problems intelligently and on the basis of consensus-building.
Knowing that an intransigent posture will guarantee the preservation of their status and privileges, they stand in the way of any initiative that could damage their reliability in the eyes of the government, which seeks to keep the country afloat without shaking up those mechanisms that ensure decision-making prerogatives remain in the hands of a caste whose reproduction is encouraged by the system itself.
It is no accident all important positions in the more profitable companies have been assigned to high-ranking military officers, by the relatives of people who wield political power and by so called “leadership cadres”, trained in special schools where the main course isn’t the development of decision-making skills but ideological indoctrination of the most twisted kind.
This is truly nonsensical in a country where most citizens care little whether the economic model that is to prevail is socialism, feudalism or a throwback to the Stone Age, because they are simply concerned with making ends meet, earning money and living decorously, tired as they are of useless sacrifices.
If the person has no important friends or relatives, the chances of being accepted or admitted plummet and the path becomes increasingly winding, almost infernal.
If you manage to avoid the system’s pitfalls, you will confirm how much easier things are for those who, as we Cubans say, “have a godfather and get baptized.” It doesn’t matter how stupid the person vouched for is. The endorsement and some acting skills will get them a helicopter (and emergency parachute) for the steep climb.
The poor person without friends in high places will always end up the assistant or advisor, an indispensable employee who will never be allowed to reach the top. That said, if something goes wrong during the ascent of the protégé, his or her head will be sliced off by the blades of the helicopter that spins out of control.
Recently, I went into a hard-currency store. In order to get an answer to a complaint, I asked to speak with the manager. To my huge surprise, the manager of the store was a former military officer who had been my superior during military service. A former lieutenant colonel, he had been sanctioned in a serious corruption case. Nearly twenty years had gone by, and now this man was the one answering customer complaints and, in the meantime, vouching for the honesty of the establishment.
What was this corrupt officer doing there, taking in hard currency for his pocket, sorry, I meant for the State? The endorsement is the answer, as is belonging to the caste system that provides shelter for the mediocre and dishonest. Make no mistake: in time, these same chosen ones will spawn a blood-thirsty and unstoppable monster that will devour us all, the chosen ones and simple mortals, with one bite.
U.N. report: Cuba violated the arms embargo on North Korea
Armamento oculto entre sacos de azúcar en la bodega del buque. Reuters
By Juan O. Tamayo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami Herald, Posted on Tue, Mar. 11, 2014
Arnulfo Franco / AP
A police officer walks past containers carrying a Russian-made fighter engine which were taken off the North Korean-flagged freighter ship Chong Chon Gang, during a press tour at the Manzanillo International container terminal in the port city of Colon, Panama, Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Panamanian officials said U.N. investigators were expected in Panama on Aug. 12. to investigate the seized ship carrying weapons system parts buried under sacks of sugar. Cuba has said they were aging defensive weaponry including surface-to-air missile systems, fighter jets and engines that were being sent to North Korea for repairs. Cuba violated the U.N. arms embargo on North Korea, refused to identify the Cuban entities involved in the violation and clearly intended that at least some of the weapons intercepted in Panama would be sold to the Asian country, said a United Nations report made public Tuesday.
Some of the “obsolete” Cuban weapons were still in their packing crates or had been calibrated just before they were put aboard the North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang last summer, according to the report, and Cuban insignias on two MiG21s had been painted over.
Cuba also may have violated the arms embargo twice more in 2012 — once when North Korean military officers visited to assess Cuban armed forces equipment, and again when another North Korean freighter made the same suspicious stops in Cuba as the Chong Chon Gang.
The public part of the 127-page report makes no recommendations on sanctions for Cuban or North Korean entities involved in the 2013 shipment. But it includes mention of a secret annex submitted to the U.N. Security Council committee in charge of enforcing the sanctions.
UN: Cuba would not ID those responsible for North Korea arms shipment
By Juan O. Tamayo
Miami Herald, Posted on Tue, Mar. 11, 2014
Cuba’s government refused to identify the people or entities involved in a weapons shipment to North Korea last year that violated a U.N. arms embargo, and might have violated the embargo twice more in 2012, according to a U.N. report made public Tuesday.
Some of the weapons and equipment that Cuba described as “obsolete” had been calibrated just before they were put aboard the freighter Chong Chon Gang, the document added, and Cuban insignias on two MiG21 warplanes were painted over.
The report also declared that the shipment intercepted in Panama violated the U.N. embargo on the Asian nation, and that despite Havana’s denials there were indications Cuba intended to turn over the weapons to the Pyongyang government.
Cuba’s 240-ton shipment was “the largest amount of arms and related materiel” interdicted going to or from North Korea since the Asian nation was hit with an arms embargo in 2006 because of its nuclear weapons program, the document added.
The public part of the 127-page report makes no recommendations on sanctions for Cuban or North Korean entities involved in the violations. But it mentions a secret annex submitted to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) committee in charge of banking and travel sanctions on violators.
The U.S. State Department said it will “pursue appropriate action” based on the report but added, “We do not view this as a bilateral issue between the United States and Cuba. This is about a potential violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea.”
Anti-Castro activist Mauricio Claver Carone urged the Obama administration to adopt “tangible repercussions that would make it unequivocally clear to the Castro regime that such behavior isn't inconsequential. Otherwise, it will continue to feel emboldened.”
Cuba declared in July that it sent the weapons to North Korea to be repaired and returned. It later argued to U.N. investigators who visited Havana that they did not violate the U.N. ban on the “supply, sale or transfer” of weapons to Pyongyang because Cuba retained ownership and the embargo covers “maintenance” but not “repairs.”
Those arguments were rejected in the document Tuesday, the annual report by the panel of U.N. experts that investigates all violations of the North Korea sanctions. It was submitted last month to the UNSC committee that enforces the embargo, and parts of it had leaked to the news media.
“The Panel is unconvinced by Cuba’s rationale to distinguish ‘maintenance’ and ‘repair,’” the report said, adding flatly that the shipment “violated the sanctions.”
Although Cuba told the U.N. investigators that the state-run Cubazucar had shipped the 200,018 sacks of sugar that covered and hid the weapons on the Chong Chon Gang, it refused to identify the Cubans involved in the weapons shipment and contract with Pyongyang.
The report said the weapons were loaded aboard the freighter at the port of Mariel west of Havana that’s being expanded by a consortium of Almacenes Universal S.A., run by the Cuban military and Brazilian enterprises.
Packed in 25 metal shipping containers and six trailers were two anti-aircraft missile systems, two MiG-21UM jet trainers, 15 engines and afterburners for the MiG21s, artillery shells and other munitions and materiel – most of it from the Soviet era.
While Cuba claims the weaponry was to be returned to the island, the report said it was the “panel’s view that examining individually the items and their (packaging) … suggest that some, if not all, of the consignment was not expected to be returned to Cuba.”
And although Cuba claims the weapons were “obsolete,” the report added, “records accompanying a great deal of the equipment indicated or certified the equipment functioned in accordance with specification or had been calibrated just prior to packing. Further, some of the equipment was unused or still in its original packaging.”
What’s more, the report said, Cuba had confirmed that North Korean military officers visited the island in 2012 to assess the weapons that were shipped in 2013. If the visit was “to provide services or assistance … they would also have been a violation.”
The report added that another North Korean freighter docked in April 2012 at some of the same Cuban ports as the Chong Chon Gang. Havana claimed it made only one weapons shipment last summer, but the experts could not confirm that claim.
The report also detailed the efforts to hide the Cuban weapons under the sugar and the freighter’s failure to report its true cargo as it prepared to cross the Panama Canal westbound to North Korea. Panama intercepted the ship on a tip it was carrying drugs.
The document included the text of a message, marked “secret,” notifying the captain of the freighter that he would be taking on some unscheduled cargo in Cuba and telling him to inform only his deputy captain and the political and security commissars aboard.
“After unloading in Havana … load the containers first and load the 10,000 tons of sugar (at the next Port) over them so that the containers cannot be seen,” added the message, found aboard the ship.
“The extraordinary and extensive efforts to conceal the cargo of arms” and the freighter’s failure to include the weapons in its cargo manifest “point to a clear and conscious intention to circumvent” the arms embargo, the report said.
Missing Cuban artworks valued at close to $1.5 million
By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
updated 8:00 PM EDT, Tue March 11, 2014
UNESCO lists at least 70 artworks that are believed to have been stolen
Dealer who first reported the thefts places artworks' value at close to $1.5 million
Ramon Cernuda: Art heists are difficult in Cuba -- museums are tightly guarded
Cuban authorities say investigation showed the pieces were crudely cut from frames
Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- Law enforcement officials in Cuba and the United States are investigating a theft of at least 70 works of art from the island nation with a value totaling more than $1 million, says the Miami art dealer who first reported the heist to U.S. authorities.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) circulated a list of the missing artworks, which art dealer Ramon Cernuda examined and said would likely be valued at close to $1.5 million.
Cernuda first alerted law enforcement officials to the theft in February after buying a painting by a 20th-century Cuban artist for $15,000.
After researching the painting, Cernuda said he discovered the work was registered to Havana's National Museum of Fine Arts. He said he contacted officials there who, upon searching their archives, confirmed the painting and others were missing.
While no major works were stolen, Cernuda said the case was notable because art theft is relatively rare in Cuba. Museums are tightly guarded and artwork is usually inspected before it leaves the country.
"The theft is so much more complicated than the smuggling out of Cuba," Cernuda said. "To just get the art out of the museum is very complicated."
Cuban authorities have not said whether any arrests have been made, but a statement issued by the Cuban National Council of Cultural Heritage said an investigation showed the artworks were removed from their frames while in storage.
Cernuda said the same dealer in Miami who sold him the painting he purchased had another 10 Cuban artworks for sale that appeared to have been crudely cut from their frames.
"It's an obvious tell that something is going on," he said.
Cernuda said he has turned over the painting he purchased to the FBI, and he said the agency is investigating.
Despite chilly relations between the United States and Cuba, Cernuda said he expected any art that is recovered would be returned to the island.
"I am about certain it will go back," he said. "Stolen property is stolen property."