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The survey was fielded on the island June 30 – July 13, 2011.  A total of 572 Cuban adults were asked questions ranging from perspectives on the economy, to the performance of the current Castro government and expectations for change.

“Overall the findings of the survey suggest that while Cubans desire economic opportunity and private property ownership, they closely tie these economic changes to political change in the form of free elections, free expression, access to information and the right to dissent,” said Lorne W. Craner, President of IRI.

While international news media continue to report on promised reforms by the Cuban regime – including the highly publicized pledge to permit home sales – IRI’s survey shows that 52 percent of Cubans have yet to see any tangible examples of implemented changes.

“There are a lot of headlines here in the U.S. about changes coming to Cuba, but IRI’s survey shows that the Cuban people themselves are not necessarily seeing it so far.  They remain skeptical that the Cuban government can improve their lives,” said Craner.

The survey was conducted in 14 Cuban provinces and  has a margin of error of +/- four percent, and a 95 percent level of confidence.  This survey was the sixth of its kind conducted by IRI on the island since 2007.

Read the survey in English
Read the survey in Spanish 

Cuba Libre!

February 2nd, 2012   Uncategorized

Cuba, the former Spanish colony, gained its independence from Spain in connection to the Spanish-American war in 1898. In the Treaty of Paris, Cuba’s independence was determined in relation to the United States of America. The first years of independence were characterized by instability and corrupt regimes. In 1959, Fidel Castro staged a rebellion and managed to reach power. Thenceforth he ruled the country with a rod of iron for fifty years.

Cuba had a socialistic profile from the very beginning, and received major support – politically as well as economic – from the Soviet Union. This allowed Cuba to establish a comprehensive education system at an early stage, and Cuba is still the country that spends biggest part of its GDP on education in the world. (more…)

Happy Holidays!

December 19th, 2011   Uncategorized

The anthology was discussed following a presentation of the book made by MP Walburga Habsburg Douglas.

The authors in Balkan Blend, a new anthology published by the Hjalmarson Foundation, all describe – from their different views – the advantages of an EU membership for the Balkan countries. The book does not give any final answers and the views sometimes go apart, for instance in regards to the Kossovar independence.

An audience of about 40 people attended the release of the book <i>Balkan Blend – The Road to Renewal/i> on May 12. After a few words of welcome from the Chairman of the Foundation, Göran Lennmarker, Walburga Habsburg Douglas, MP and a Hjalmarson Foundation board member, gave a brief introduction to the eight texts in the book. “The anthology does not present any consensus opinion and the views sometimes differ,” Walburga Habsburg Douglas noted. She explained that all the writers, from their different views, describe the advantages of an EU membership for the Balkan countries. “I hope this presentation will encourage you to delve further into this book,” Walburga Habsburg Douglas summarized. (more…)

The Swedish academy has granted the Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 to Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian-Spanish writer (born March 28, 1936), politician, journalist and essayist. This is the first Nobel prize given to a Spanish speaking  writer since 1990, when Octavio Paz won it.

 The prize has been given on the basis of “his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat”

Vargas Llosa has been a classic candidate to the Nobel from many years. But it seemed that his candidacy had lost force. First of all they argued that Gabriel García Marquez already covered all writers of his generation, the generation of the Latin American “boom”.  Then they argued that his political tendency, liberal, and critical against the social democracy was not in the line of the Swedish Academy. (more…)

Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has joined the microblogging site Twitter. Twitter has become a phenomenon in Venezuela, where the rate of internet users and profiles in social sites is the highest of all Latin America. Chavez first Twitter message was short as it has to be (maximum 140 characters): “How’s it going? I am appearing as I said: at midnight. Going to Brasil. And very happy to work for Venezuela. We shall overcome!!” Knowing how devoted Chavez is to give long speeches (of several hours), the question is how he is going to master the world of Twitter. (more…)


Göran Lennmarker, to the left, and Gunnar Hökmark.

April 16-17, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation attended the national conference for local politicians from the Moderate Party.

As part of a larger exhibition area the Hjalmarson Foundation had a booth and also hosted a seminar.At the seminar the developments in regards to democracy was discussed by Gunnar Hökmark, MEP and Göran Lennmarker, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committée in the Swedish Parliament and chairman of the Foundation. Invited Croatian guests could not attend due to restricted flight schedules. (more…)

The Master of Ideology

December 30th, 2009   Uncategorized

”I love to speak to young people. Older politicians are often already fixed in their ways. Young people are much more open-minded and ready to change their opinions, when faced with good arguments.” says Nigel Ashford, the author of “Principles for a Free Society”, a study guide on ideology.

Nigel Ashford passionately tells about all the young participants in the JHF courses on his book “Principles for a Free Society”, a study guide to twelve principles needed to build a free and democratic society. Translated from English into several languages including Spanish, Russian, Serbian, Azeri, Lithuanian, Turkish and, soon, Albanian, the book is frequently used as study material for the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s seminars on ideology and political principles. Several times a year, Nigel Ashford himself crosses the Atlantic Ocean to chair seminars in Sweden. While the participants in the Swedish seminars primarily come from the Balkans or the former Soviet Union, the book is also used in Turkey, Latin America and Africa. Over the years, around 2500 young people have participated in this JHF programme. (more…)

On September 24-27, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation participated in the Gothenburg Book Fair, with a showcase. In addition, the foundation arranged three seminars. Keeping in mind the over all focus of the fair, the foundation also presented two newly issued books. While the first one “The triumph of Democracy – 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall” describes how democracy conquering communism, the other “Red Tornado” covers the increasing dominance of Hugo Chavéz in Latin America. Both books may be downloaded in Swedish at this site.

The celebration of the 20’th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall was also the main focus for one of the foundation’s seminars. Three of the authors of the book participated and gave their view on communism and the reasons for it being abandoned. Walburga Habsburg Douglas was one of those who cut the iron curtain between Hungary and Austria. Richard Swartz for a long time held the position as correspondent for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in Central- and Eastern Europe, whereas Cecilia Stegö-Chiló traveled and wrote frequently on Eastern Europe during the year of 1989. (more…)

A number of best practices – submitted by member organizations – are presented at the home page of the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP). The work of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation is presented by a story about ideology education based on the study guide “Principles for a Free Society”. A book written by Dr. Nigel Ashford for the Hjalmarson Foundation.

Read more about the practices at the ENoP website