Feb. 19 2009

Shoe repairers form independent union

HAVANA, Cuba, February 19 (Víctor Manuel Domínguez, Sindical Press / – An independent union of shoe repairers was constituted on Monday, according to Carmelo Díaz Fernández, president of the Confederation of Independent Workers of Cuba.

Forty-five union activities and members of the Cuban People’s Party and the National Commission of Cuba participated in the organizational meeting in the capital.

Founding members of the Independent Union of Shoe Repairers were identified as Eduardo Bravo, secretary-general; Orlando Castillo, organizer; Secretary-General, Alain Cairo, social and labor affairs; and Daraisi Pérez González, vocal.

Pedicab driver sentenced to 22 months in jail

HAVANA, Cuba, February 19 de febrero (Víctor Manuel Domínguez, Sindical Press / - Richard Brown was sentenced last week to 22 months imprisonment for driving a pedicab without a license.

According to Minaldo Ramos of the Confederation of Independent Workers Brown had gone many times to the National Tributary Office and requested a license but was always turned down.

“Citizens have the right to work and if the government denies them this right, they’re forced to work outside the law,” said Ramos.

Brown was sentenced by the El Cristo Popular Municipal Court in Old Havana February 8.

Police break up illegal dog fight

HAVANA, Cuba, February 19 (Aini Martín, ALAS / -Havana police on Tuesday raided a home where an illegal dog fight was taking place and arrested the owner and those who were betting.

Scene of the fight was the home of Reinaldo Beltrán in the Valle Oculto neighborhood of the municipality of Regla in Havana.

Dog fights are illegal in Cuba, but are said to take place regularly in the capital and the interior.

Government denies exit visas to more than 1,000

CAIBARIEN, Cuba, February 19 (María de la Caridad Noa González / – The opposition Human Rights and Family Reunification Commission says more than 1,000 Cubans have visas to travel to the United States but are being denied exit visas by the government.

Commission president Margarito Broche Espinosa said at a meeting February 16 that the government was denying the exit visas to penalize the commission for its work.

She said there were hundreds of Cubans living in the United States who want to visit Cuba but were being denied visas by the Cuban government.