Police try to stop sellers of bread

SANTA CLARA, Cuba, January 11(Yoel Espinosa / – Since the beginning of the New Year, police in Santa Clara have been pursuing private sellers of bread, which is considered a crime.

Police in cruisers and on foot have been seen chasing the vendors, who usually use bicycles. Those who are caught are fined 1,500 pesos, the equivalent of three months’ salary for the average Cuban. Police also confiscate their bicycles.

“Each new measure they take is to hurt people who are no longer able to buy bread in the street,” said resident Julia Salterio. “The breadmen on their bikes are the ones who let us each bread at breakfast.”

Anti-government sign appears in Santa Clara SANTA CLARA, Cuba, January 11 (José Guillén / – An anti-government sign was painted on an electric light post next to a bus stop in the town of Caguagua in Villa Clara state last week.

The sign read: “51 years without freedom! Down with the Castros!”

Political police and members of the National Police with sniffer dogs took photos and fingerprints and tried to find a trail of the sign maker.

Dissident’s telephone tapped

HAVANA, Cuba, January 11 (Ana Aguililla / – Independent librarian Luz María Barceló says she was insulted by someone who tapped into a telephone conversations she was having with the mother of a political prisoner.

She said a man who identified himself by the initials KT came on line as she was talking with Gregoria, the mother of Luis Campos on January 3.

“The gentleman greatly offended us,” she said. “This isn’t the first time this has happened. On other occasions he let it be understood that he was acting on orders.”

Pharmacies in Santa Clara don’t have aspirins SANTA CLARA, Cuba, January 11 (Yoel Espinosa / –A health worker says common aspirins are unavailable in local pharmacies because of a demand for them in hospitals.

“We hope the situation will be normalized next month,” said the worker.

Said Juan Agramonte as he left the Arnaldo Milián provincial hospital, “They say we’re a medical power but we don’t have any aspirins.”