Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

$4 million-plus in Cuba grants up for grabs

U.S. Interests Section, Havana
The State Department is seeking proposals for $4.35 million in projects aimed at boosting independent journalism, labor rights, Internet activism, racial equality and research on advocacy and social change.
Grant applications for the projects - known as funding opportunity DRLA-DRLAQM-13-047 - are due July 15.
The State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor says prefers applicants who speak fluent Spanish and have prior Cuba experience. It says Americans taking part in the projects should limit their travel to the island whenever possible. The U.S. government began adding such language to requests for proposals after Cuban authorities arrested American development worker Alan Gross in 2009. See below for additional details on the June 11 announcement:

Department of State
Public Notice

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba.

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals for projects that promote democracy and human rights in Cuba.

PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov as soon as possible in order to obtain a username and password to submit your application. For more information, please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), updated in November 2012, available at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

DRL invites organizations to submit proposals targeting the following issues in Cuba:

Independent Journalism (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $1,500,000):
DRL seeks proposals to improve the professional capacity of independent journalists in Cuba as well as their domestic and international exposure. The program should also mitigate the effects of the psychological concerns and security needs of Cuban independent journalists operating in a hostile environment as a result of government oppression. If appropriate and feasible, the project may facilitate external travel by Cubans and/or include a small grants component.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Targeting disenchanted Cuban youth

Freedom House youth program
The State Department this month released some details - and withheld others - in response to a Freedom of Information Act request concerning a Freedom House youth program in Cuba.
The State Department's Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor financed the program. On June 5, the State Department released Freedom House's Jan. 18, 2008, project proposal in response to an October 2011 FOIA request. (See proposal).
The proposal, marked "confidential," said Cuban youth were not politically apathetic, but needed assurances that neither they nor their families would be harmed if they joined the political opposition.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Daredevil and a truck

Screenshots of Cuban daredevil
Without a bike or even a skateboard, a Cuban wearing tennis shoes hitches a ride behind a truck, gliding along the wet, rain-soaked pavement. He reminds me a barefoot water skier.
Watch him in action in this YouTube video.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cuban hunger striker rushed to hospital

Screenshots show hunger striker in weakened condition
A Cuban man who stopped eating to protest his eviction from his home was rushed to the hospital on Friday.
"We don't know if he's alive or is dead," dissident leader Jorge Luis Garcia, also known as "Antunez," said on Twitter.
Luis Enrique Santos Caballero started the hunger strike on May 24 after he and his wife, Ramona Maday García Ruiz, were evicted from their home in the town of Placetas in Villa Clara province in central Cuba.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Castro in neon

A Fidel Castro poster on display in the lobby of the Hotel Nacional

Antonio Maceo

Havana statue of Antonio Maceo
José Antonio Maceo y Grajales was the son of an Afro-Cuban mother and a Venezuelan father. He was born on June 14, 1845, in a town outside Santiago de Cuba. He rose to be one of Cuba's great military leaders before he was killed in battle at age 51.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eyes over Havana

3000x1822 screensaver
I shot this photo at a rally in Havana more than a decade ago. This appears to be a Russian Mi-8 Hip helicopter. Some 12,000 of the helicopters have been produced and more than 2,800 exported, according to army-technology.com.

Pigeons as photo props

 Pigeons surround a Cuban girl during a photo session marking her quinceañera at the Plaza de San Francisco in Havana.