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Twitter blocks accounts of Raul Castro and Cuban state-run media

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    • By admin
      Twitter has posted a draft deepfake policy. For now, its plan is to place a notice next to tweetfakes, warn users before sharing, or add information explaining “why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated.” Twitter’s asking the public to provide feedback. 
    • By admin
      Forums, like email, is one of those "killer applications" that made the Internet so powerful. Social media came along and it appeared that forums would be pushed aside as "old technology" like IRC chat etc...
      Using the more modern forums though, such as this one, is a different experience than the forums 1.0 of the past.
      Videos can now easily be embedded with just a click (just like Facebook and Twitter) and there are even more options for editing text than possible on FB currently.
      Images are very easily shareable now on forums compared to previous years.
      I will posit that social media made forum 1.0 technology to innovate and keep up. 
      Going forward people may soon remember how refreshing categories and topics can be versus the firehose of information people typically get on a FB newsfeed which their algorithims select what you see. (think big brother 2.0)
      There is also the possibility of allowing people to talk about things they don't want thier real names attached to. The USA was started in part due to "anonymous free speech". At times it is necessary. Granted, Twitter offers this already but forums had this 25 years ago and still do.
      Forums like this one are also innovating with ideas on how to learn more from social media's success with such things as status updates etc...
      Will we someday see the resurgence of massive forums where information is exchanged without a nauseating newsfeed?
      Enjoy!
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Si algo conoce Marilín Jiménez Bouchereau, y de cerca, es dejar el pellejo para salir adelante: es mujer, negra, oriental, no tiene una carrera universitaria y tampoco suficiente dinero como para guardar en el banco. Por si fuera poco, ha sufrido el rechazo y la discriminación por ser Testigo de Jehová, una combinación no apta para personas que teman meterle el pecho a la vida.
      Ella es una verdadera «Mariana». En Cuba se le dice así a esa mujer heredera del espíritu de Mariana Grajales, esposa de Marcos Maceo, progenitora de una estirpe gloriosa de la historia nacional y patriota cuyo valor y fuerza de carácter le hizo ganar el epíteto de «Madre de todos los cubanos».
      Generalmente se les llama así a las féminas obrera, campesina, Heroína del Trabajo, investigadora, científica, dirigente, todas vinculadas de alguna manera al sector estatal… y aunque Marilín nunca saldrá en la televisión o en el periódico, y su conmovedora historia jamás será convertida en ondas radiofónicas, ella tiene de sobra para considerarse una verdadera Mariana.
      Leer más: https://www.cibercuba.com/noticias/2018-08-18-u135253-e20037-s27061-vida-marilin-cubana-testigo-jehova-ha-hecho-todo

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      3. Jehovah's Witness  in Cuba, for decades, were stigmatized, persecuted, criticized and taboo, even Catholic. But in recent years there has been some other flexibilization. However, Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, continue to suffer discrimination. Pedro and María Isabel are a couple from Las Tunas. Both are Jehovah's Witnesses. On one occasion, Pedro applied for a vacant post in a company. Among the inquiries that are normally made in the CDR that detail was known, that even though it did not officially prevent him from opting for the position, he knew from comments from a friend that it was what tipped the scale unfavorably. But María Isabel has also suffered discrimination because she is a Jehovah's Witness. The first was when, after being affected by a cyclone, she was denied the temporary facilities she required when she lost the roof of her house. Officially she was told that it was because of being a Jehovah's Witness. The second one "happened to me in a hospital. I said I was a Jehovah's Witness when I required blood and I requested to them to  use a blood substitute. The doctors disrespected me and did what they pleased. I felt bad, more than religious they treated me like an insane person, "she says.
      https://www.cibercuba.com/noticias/2018-07-09-u1-e42839-s27061-siete-historias-reales-discriminacion-cuba
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      3. Testigo de Jehová
      La práctica religiosa en Cuba, por décadas, fue estigmatizada, perseguida, criticada y tabú, incluso, la católica. Pero en los últimos años ha habido alguna que otra flexibilización. No obstante, los testigos de Jehová, por ejemplo, siguen sufriendo discriminaciones.
      Pedro y María Isabel son una pareja de Las Tunas. Ambos son testigos de Jehová. En una ocasión Pedro optó por una plaza en una empresa. Entre las averiguaciones que normalmente se hacen en el CDR se supo ese detalle, que si bien oficialmente no le impidió optar por el puesto, supo por comentarios de un amigo que fue lo que inclinó la balanza de forma desfavorable.
      Pero María Isabel también ha sufrido las discriminaciones por ser testigo de Jehová. La primera fue cuando, tras resultar afectada de un ciclón, le negaron las facilidades temporales que requería al perder el techo de su casa. Oficialmente se le dijo que era por ser eso, una testigo de Jehová.
      La segunda “me pasó en un hospital. Dije que era testigo de Jehová cuando requería sangre y solicité que usaran un sustituto de sangre. Los médicos me irrespetaron e hicieron lo que le dio la gana. Me sentí mal, más que religiosa me trataron como una demente”, señala.
      https://www.cibercuba.com/noticias/2018-07-09-u1-e42839-s27061-siete-historias-reales-discriminacion-cuba
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Pero más en el presente, existen casos donde la libertad religiosa sigue siendo nula, para Berta Núñez, practicante testigo de Jehová, la vida en Cuba se le hace difícil, ella me da su nombre completo, pues “estoy acostumbrada a las represalias, como de costumbre fui abucheada por no usar pañoleta cuando niña, no se me permitió entrada a la universidad y ahora a mis hijos, que decidieron abrazar este camino, les pasa lo mismo. Las relaciones con el Estado son pésimas, puesto que nos tratan como una secta malévola”. La prohibición de hacer templos pesa sobre los Testigos de Jehová, grupo que casualmente ha sido igual de perseguido por otros regímenes totalitarios como la Alemania Nazi o la Rusia de Stalin.
      Leer más: https://www.havanatimes.org/sp/?p=133783
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      HAVANA -- A Cuban-operated airliner with at least 110 people on board crashed into a cassava field just after takeoff from Havana's international airport on Friday. There appeared to be mass casualties as Cuban officials said three people had survived, but had yet to give an official toll.
      Authorities said there were 104 passengers and nine foreign crew members on the flight that was headed to the eastern city of Holguin. Witnesses said they saw a thick column of smoke near the airport.
      Witnesses said they saw a thick column of smoke near the airport.
      "A column of black smoke rose up in the sky," resident Ana Gonzalez told the Reuters news agency.
      The screams of high school kids could be heard inside a nearby school as they ran to safety, CBS News' Manuel Bojorquez reports.   
      The plane lay in a field of yuca-root plants and appeared heavily damaged and burnt. Firefighters were trying to extinguish its smoldering remains. Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers. Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.
      Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/plane-crash-havana-cuba-today-2018-05-18/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      SOCIAL NETWORKS WALK a fine line between being a useful tool and a crippling addiction. Whether you want your free time back or don’t like your information scattered about on the internet, you may be considering deactivating some accounts. Wanting to delete your account is one thing, but actually being able to hit the delete button is another story. Social media outlets make money off of you and your information, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t want to let you go. Because of this, the biggest networks have made it overly complicated to delete your account. But if you are set on getting rid of them, here’s what you’ll have to do.
      Facebook
      You’ve had your Facebook account for about a decade, and in that time you’ve posted a little too much personal information. Maybe you’re just sick of all the baby pictures and slightly offensive status updates your friends are sharing. You’ve had enough.
      If you’ve ever deactivated your account, you may have noticed that everything goes back to normal the next time you log in, as if nothing has happened. That’s because deactivating your Facebook account is not the same as deleting it. When you deactivate your account, you are just hiding your information from searches and your Facebook friends. Although nothing is visible on the site, your account information remains intact on Facebook’s servers, eagerly awaiting your return.
      Even so, deactivating your account is still a complex process. Go into your settings and click General. At the bottom, you'll find Manage your Account. From there, click on "Deactivate your account" and type in your password. Before you're completely off the hook, Facebook shows you photos of all the "friends" you'll miss ("Callie will miss you", "Phoebe will miss you", "Ben will miss you") followed by a survey asking you to detail your reasons for leaving. Get through that, click Deactivate, and you're good to go.
      Now, to permanently delete your account, you'll need to learn where the delete option resides. The easiest way to find it is by clicking the "Quick Help" icon in the top-right corner, then the "Search" icon. When you see the search field, type “delete account.” You'll see a list of search results. Click on "How do I permanently delete my account?" and Facebook will give you the obscure instructions to “log into your account and let us know.” In this case, “let us know” is code for “delete my account,” so click on that link. From here, the final steps are clear: Enter your password and solve the security captcha, and your request to permanently delete your account is underway.
      Yes, you read that right—it's just a request. Facebook delays the deletion process for a few days after you submit your request, and will cancel your request if you log into your account during that time period. You know, just in case you change your mind. It's crucial that you don't visit Facebook during this waiting period. Delete the app from your phone.
      If you want to delete your account but don't want to lose all your account information, download all your crucial data first. The information you can download includes everything from the photos and statuses you post, to the ads you’ve clicked and the IP addresses you’ve used. The list of what’s included is extensive, but you can view it in its entirety here. Also, due to the nature of this data, you’ll want to keep it in a safe place.
      To download your account, go into Settings> General Account Settings > Download a copy of your Facebook dataand then click “Start My Archive.” When your download is ready, Facebook will send you an email with a link to download. For added security, this link will expire after a few days, so download it quickly.
      Instagram
      Even though it’s such a mobile-first service, Instagram doesn’t let you delete your account through the app. Instead, you’ll have to log into your Instagram account via the web in order to delete it.
      Like Facebook, navigating through Instagram’s settings will only give you the option to temporarily disable your account. Disabling your account will hide your profile, photos, likes, and comments from the platform. Find the disable option by clicking the person icon in the top right corner and selecting Edit Profile. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the option to temporarily disable your account.
      If you want to get rid of it for good, you’ll have to enter “https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent/” into your browser's address bar. Once you’re on that page, enter in your password and click “Permanently delete my account.”
      In the past, Instagram users have reported that they are prompted to enter their phone number when deleting their account. Luckily, it seems like this is no longer necessary.
      Twitter
      It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a well-curated Twitter account, but the good news is that deleting your account doesn’t require as much work.
      Before you delete your Twitter account, you may want to download your archive. This will include all your tweets in a chronological order, which is great if you want to relive your first tweet, or see all those unanswered tweets you sent to celebrities. To download your archive, click your profile icon, go to Settings, then click on “Request your archive.” It’ll take some time for Twitter to get your archive ready, but when it is, you’ll be sent an email with a download link that will give you a .zip file.
      Once you have your downloaded copy, you can proceed with deleting your account. Log in to your Twitter, go into your account settings, then scroll to the bottom and click “Deactivate my account.” After that, you’ll be prompted to enter your password, and once you do so your account will be deactivated.
      Keep in mind that your data isn’t actually deleted for another 30 days. This window gives you the opportunity to revive your account if you choose. Once the 30 day period is up, Twitter will begin deleting your account. According to the company's Privacy Policy, this could take a few weeks.
      Snapchat
      Maybe you’re sick of seeing who’s besties with who according to the app’s Friend Emoji guide. Maybe you’re one of many Snapchat users converting to Instagram, despite Snapchat’s radically different function. In any case, if you decide to delete your Snapchat account, here’s how.
      Open the app and click on your profile icon in the top left corner. From there, go to Settings in the top-right corner. Go down to Support, which is found under More Information, and you’ll be lead to a search engine. Enter “Delete my account” and you'll see the instructions as a search result. It’s pretty straightforward from there. Like Twitter, Snapchat allows you 30 days to reactivate your account before it’s deleted forever.
      The Rest
      While there are a lot of social media sites out there, few are as sticky as the ones mentioned above. If you are looking to delete any of your numerous accounts, the best places to start are in your user settings, or on the company’s support/FAQ page. From there you’ll be able to find the necessary path to deleting your account. Shortcuts for these web forms can be found here for LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
      https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-delete-your-facebook-instagram-twitter-snapchat/
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      La organización Solidaridad Cristiana Mundial (CSW, sus siglas en inglés) denunció el jueves en un nuevo informe un incremento de las violaciones de los derechos religiosos y de culto en la Isla durante el 2017.
      De enero a diciembre de 2017, CSW documentó 325 violaciones a los derechos religiosos y de culto.
      Para Kiri Kankhwende, vocera de la organización citada por Martí Noticias, ello evidencia la tendencia del Gobierno cubano y la Oficina de Asuntos Religiosos de hostigar a líderes de la iglesia de todas las denominaciones.
      El reporte recoge detalles sobre la restricción severa a eventos religiosos públicos, incluida la interrupción y la detención de un evento de culto interconfesional en el oriente de Cuba, que había recibido permiso anticipado de las autoridades locales.
      http://www.thecubanhistory.com/2018/01/in-cuba-jehovahs-witnesses-and-other-religious-organizations-cult-rights-are-violated-en-cuba-testigos-de-jehova-y-otras-organizaciones-religiosas-son-violados-sus-derechos-de-culto/
    • By The Librarian
      Testigos de Jehová de Cuba Asamblea en La Polivalente Documental
    • By The Librarian
      Twitter staff have been caught on camera revealing that the company has direct access to - and monetises - some of its users most private information. Hidden-camera conversations with Twitter engineers were conducted by the undercover journalism group 'Project Veritas'.
    • Guest
      By Guest
      Cuba Embassy Attacks on U.S Diplomats State Department officials testified about the attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba before a Foreign Relations subcommittee chaired by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Several questions to the witnesses focused on the timeliness of the State Department’s response to the attacks, the health and medical treatment of personnel affected, the possibility of the involvement of a third party, and future relations with the Cuban government. Several committee members determined that a future classified briefing would be needed to address more sensitive questions about the attacks. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues
    • By admin
      A Twitter employee and other reliable sources have confirmed that the social media giant is quietly censoring accounts using what's called Shadow Banning, (also called Ghost Banning, Stealth Banning, or Hell Banning) which is a method to prevent users' posts from showing up on others' timelines, all the while the person being censored usually doesn't notice. It's the Memory Hole from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is why many are tweeting the hashtag
    • By Bible Speaks
      Mysterious sonic weapons reportedly caused brain injuries in US diplomats in Cuba — here's what we know
       
      Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
      Mysterious "sonic weapons" have been blamed for symptoms affecting American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba. Victims reported hearing loss, mild traumatic brain injury, nervous system damage, and balance issues. Sound-based weapons exist, but experts aren't sure whether any were actually used in this case. More than 10 US diplomats and their family members in Cuba have experienced strange symptoms including hearing loss, mild traumatic brain injury, and central nervous system damage after being exposed to some kind of mysterious sonic weapon, according to a review of medical records by CBS News.
      The Associated Press reported: "After months of investigation, U.S. officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences. It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose."
      But a number of experts aren't sure whether such a device exists.
      "There isn't an acoustic phenomenon in the world that would cause those type of symptoms," Seth Horowitz, a neuroscientist and author of the book "The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind," told Business Insider via email.
      Horowitz explained that no known inaudible - and seemingly undetectable - device could have the properties attributed to these strange sonic weapons.
      Would someone target diplomats with mysterious devices?
      Starting in late 2016, a number of diplomats and their family members sought medical attention for mysterious nausea, hearing problems, and balance issues. At least five Canadians have experienced similar symptoms, according to CNN.
      The attacks - if that's what they were - appear to have stopped. But it remains unknown what sort of device could have caused these medical issues and who was behind these attacks.

      Thomson Reuters
      Diplomats have experienced other forms of harassment, like break-ins and surveillance, since the US formally restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015. But a physical attack is unprecedented, and many experts say Cuba has no interest in damaging relations with the US. Some experts have said that the fact Canadians experienced similar symptoms make the possibility of an intentional "attack" even less likely, since Cuba and Canada have a strong relationship.
      Because of these factors, experts wonder whether the symptoms could be the result of a third party (potentially from another government) trying to sabotage US-Cuban relations. Others have mused that this could be some sort of eavesdropping device gone haywire.
      It "sounds like a science experiment," James Carson, former head of the US Interests Section in Havana, told The New York Times.
      For the most part, it seems victims didn't hear anything, which implies the device operates outside the audible range of sound. But CNN's report said two officials also described "a deafeningly loud sound similar to the buzzing created by insects or metal scraping across a floor," though no one knew where that sound came from.
      Toby Heys, the leader of Manchester Metropolitan University's Future Technology research center told New Scientist that it's possible for something emitting infrasound - vibrations at a frequency below what humans can hear - to cause hearing loss. But Heys said that would require large subwoofers, making covert deployment unlikely.
      Ultrasound devices, which operate above the range of human hearing, exist and could damage the ears, Heys said. But these would need to be directly targeted into the ear.
      "Overall, I would be pretty circumspect about the claims to be honest - it is all very Philip K. Dick territory," Heys said. "That said, we are living in a fairly surreal world right now."
      Horowitz said via email that without more evidence of these weapons, this incident should be considered a non-story, and that other possible explanations for these medical problems should be considered.

      Sonic weapons have been used to repel Somali pirates.
      AP
      The use of sonic weaponry
      Sonic weapons do exist, but for the most part they are "highly visible and easy to avoid," according to Horowitz.
      Such weapons include long range acoustic devices, or LRADs, which emit a shill, loud, disabling sound that can damage the hearing of people more than 900 feet away. These devices have been used by US troops in Iraq, for crowd control in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and by cruise ships to repel Somali pirates. Similar "sound cannons" were also used by police against protestors at the G-20 meetings in Pittsburgh in 2009.
      But those devices are large and emit obvious sounds. A mystery machine that emits harmful, silent waves defies any immediate explanation.
      Business Insider has reached out to other experts on non-lethal weaponry and will update this post if a plausible explanation emerges.
       
      http://nordic.businessinsider.com/sonic-weapons-cuba-diplomats-hearing-loss-2017-8/

    • By The Librarian
      Visiting Bethel in Cuba
      Via
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      LUTZ — In a way, credit for the opening of one of the Tampa area's newest Cuban restaurants belongs to Fidel Castro.
      If not for the late Cuban president, Jose "Pepe" Diaz said, he might never have become a chef or opened La Yuma Cuban Cuisine in Lutz.
      "He's being ironic," said his daughter and restaurant co-owner Thania Clevenger.
      Diaz, 76, learned his trade as a prison cook in Cuba after he was jailed for speaking out against communism.
      Calling what he did "cooking" may be a stretch, though.
      The fare was usually bland Russian meat from a can and all Diaz had for seasoning was paprika, which he overused.
      "They called me Paprika Pepe," Diaz said, with his daughter translating.
      Still, he said, when he eventually was released from prison and moved to Madrid, Spain, he landed a job as a chef at a five-star restaurant — based on his claim he had years of cooking experience.
      On his first day, he was given a filet to prepare. The head chef quickly realized he had embellished his culinary experience.
      "The chef said you have a lot of courage," said family friend and La Yuma employee Juvenal Alfonso, 33, conveying Diaz's recollections. "So, he taught him to be a chef."
      A year later Diaz made his way to Miami. There, he met his wife Tania, 61, who fled Cuba in 1970.
      Together, they would go on to operate restaurants in Miami and Key West before moving to Lutz this year to partner with their daughter on La Yuma, a name Cubans use for the United States. The business at 16411 N Florida Ave. opened in early March.
      "This restaurant is the representation of the American dream," said daughter Clevenger, 33, a Tampa attorney. "That's what we are."
      Diaz, born and raised in the town of Yaguajay in central Cuba, originally fought for Castro against Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, who ruled the island through fear and the military.
      Among those he met in battle, Diaz said, were Camilo Cienfuegos and Ernesto "Che" Guevara, two of the Cuban Revolution's top leaders.
      "I hated Batista," Diaz said. "I hated his exploitation of the villages, his robbery, his theft, the murder."
      Castro, he explained, portrayed himself as anti-Batista, someone who cared about bringing freedom to Cuba.
      But within a year after revolutionary leaders declared victory Jan. 1, 1959, he realized Cuba was not the country he fought to create. He began publicly denouncing the new government.
      In 1963, Diaz, then a civil engineering student, was arrested.
      "They said he was a danger to the government," Clevenger said.
      He spent a year in a prison in Sancti Spiritus before he was transferred to an agricultural labor camp in Camaguey.
      He joined others deemed anti-revolutionary or considered by the government to be socially abnormal. Most cut sugarcane for 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. They had no showers, bathrooms or clean drinking water.
      Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals were treated the worst, Diaz said.
      He was given the option of kitchen duty or the fields. The choice saved his life.
      "There were a lot of things I saw at those camps that are hard to talk about," Diaz said. "A lot of people died."
      He was released after four years and told to leave Cuba. But as he waited for a visa, he had to work in the fields under government supervision to be sure he did not support the dissident movement.
      Five years later, in 1972, he moved to Spain.
      Now working in suburban Lutz, he finds the culture much dfferent from the hustle and bustle of South Florida. But he is happy to be here, working with his daughter, and hopes his restaurant brings a Cuban flare to the area.
      "This is a good place," he said. "I respect it and everyone treats me with respect."
      http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/lutz-chef-got-start-as-fidel-castros-prisoner-with-paprika-and-russian-meat/2318390
    • By Kurt
      February 15, 2017
      HAVANA TIMES — Organoponicos or urban organic farms in Cuba are a style of farming that can be used to produce vegetables, condiments, various crops and fruits. Tania Reyes Ferro, a 45 year old Cuban lady, is one of the few women who is in charge of an organoponico in the municipality of Candelaria. Her dedication and passion for her work give her the strength to continue on as a farmer.
      HT: Having an organoponico is good for your financial and food situation. What disadvantages are there to working the land?
      Tania Reyes: I studied agriculture but I never practiced it. I never thought that after all these years I would have a piece of land to cultivate. Working the land is hard. I’ve had problems with my cervix, backbone, waist, lower abdomen. I’ve been diagnosed with generalized osteoarthritis; when I suffer an attack and I can’t go to the fields, my children help me cook and do other chores. Whatever I collect is enough for us to eat at home. We use the money we get from selling extras to buy rakes, hoes, we don’t have the farm implements we need to do more work.
      HT: How much do you have to give to the State for farming?
      TR: We don’t produce very much on my plot, it’s just a hectare which I’ve divided into the garden and fruit trees.  As the plot is very small, the only thing I have to do is give fresh condiments, vegetables and fruit to the maternity center and the Jose Luis Tacende primary school for disabled children. I pay a social contribution to the cooperative I belong to.

      HT: Do you use any chemicals on your crops?
      TR: No, there are many alternatives to getting rid of pests. For example, we collect seeds and leaves from the Neem Tree, which is a pesticide, we mash them up and let it set so we can fumigate the next day. We also use ashes of a fire, none of these products are harmful to our health, plants grow better and pests are kept under control using natural products.  I have planted Mexican Marigolds because of their different colors and its unpleasant smell which keeps bad insects away so they don’t attack the plants; sunflowers, basil, millet and rosemary are all natural repellents, I also use blue, yellow and white traps.
      HT: I imagine it’s hard to get a hold of seeds.
      TR: There is a store that sells them here but they don’t have them a lot of the time or they are bad quality. I’m trying to leave some of my plants which give me seeds like lettuce and runner beans for example. I have 17 crops, six which are currently in production: moringa, tomatoes, lettuce, parsley, oregano, leeks. Sweet potato, corn, cassava, caimito and citrus fruits are growing at the moment.

      HT: How long do you work in the fields?
      TR: I work from very early in the morning until 9 AM; and then from 5 PM until it gets dark. My father, brother and children all help me out regularly although I’m the one who does most of the work. I have a lot of love for the earth, plants are living beings and we need to water and care for them. It’s a habit and necessity for me.
      HT: Does the cooperative help you create optimum working conditions?
      TR: There aren’t decent conditions for working the land. When my husband left for the United States, I had to face the cruel and hard reality of my situation: I was alone. Everything went downhill from there. My brother spoke to me and told me that we couldn’t lose this piece of land, marabu plants were beginning to take over it. I fell into a severe depression which lasted several months; I wasn’t interested in what had been planted or the future of this land. Between all of us, we began to fix the fence because this was at the time that Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit and we were left with nothing. We fixed the planting beds, we weeded. Two of my children decided to work with me but they didn’t see any short-term results, you need a lot of patience to harvest. It doesn’t give us enough to get by, just to eat. If you don’t work this land they can take it away from you, it’s in usufruct, it used to be idle land before.
      HT: You had studied agricuture, but there are some things which you forget, where do you get your information from?
      TR: I like talking to old people a lot, they haven’t studied very much but they have a lot of experience in farming. They plant using the moon phases, they know when to cut sweet potatoes, how far you need to sow one plant from another. I am also looking for courses, I like to know why you have to sow chicory 90 cm away from the other plant and am not satisfied with a: that’s how all of them are planted.

      HT: There is an agro-market not far from your house which sells the same products you harvest. Does it harm your business?
      TR: I try to sell for a little less than agro-market prices. Customers like organic crops, what comes directly out of the earth and doesn’t have chemicals. People know me and know that I am very helpful and that I’m not expensive. Everything I sow has grown under the sun. The organoponico used to have a semi-protected cover* which used to regulate the sun’s rays, but when we were hit by the hurricanes, we lost everything. Our crops all grow directly under the sun and that’s why they need a lot of watering.
      HT: What do you do in your spare time?
      TR: I go to the church twice a week; I’m a Jehovah’s Witness. This faith and trust I have in God is what has helped me to persevere. I go to the fields a lot of the time and ask him to give me strength to finish off this work because it doesn’t only depend on me, there’s a lot of work to do and when I get home I have to keep on doing chores here and there. Thank god for my children who help me out a lot. My sons are 27, 23 and 19 years old and my daughter is 16. But I do everything; I don’t believe there is anything that a woman can’t do.
      source
       
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