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Cuba in the News

Hellfire Missile Shipped to Cuba Targets U.S./Cuban Relations  1/12/2016 Counterpunch: "The problem is that the Hellfire has a laser targeting system that is highly vulnerable when smoke or dust are present, something quite common on the battlefield. In addition, the aircraft carrying the missile must keep the objective in sight, as opposed to launching and swiftly leaving the area. The new JAGM has a dual targeting system which adds highly precise “fire-and-forget” millimeter wave radar (MWM) to a semi-active laser guidance system, making it more effective under real combat conditions."

Cuban negotiator says US presidential election may endanger thaw in relations  1/12/2016 Guardian: "Vidal said she had read many opinions by academics, intellectuals and even members of the US Congress saying that the detente is “irreversible” but she insisted that “it isn’t that absolute”. Among things Obama could do before he leaves the presidency, she said, would be to allow the use of the American dollar in bilateral business and permit direct financial transactions between banks in the United States and Cuba. Vidal said Obama could also eliminate policies that he has power over as chief executive, such the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allows Cubans who step on American soil to stay in the US and apply for permanent residency."

Cuba to attend security conference with U.S. for first time  1/12/2016 Miami Herald: "The Cuban government’s decision to accept an invitation to the Caribbean Nations Security Conference in Jamaica this month follows other relatively small but symbolic forms of military engagement between countries that normalized relations in December 2015, said Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of Southern Command. “We’ve normalized now and, regardless of how we think of each other in terms of politics, we have very, very common challenges,” Kelly said in an interview two days before he ends his tenure as commander of U.S. military operations in the Southern Hemisphere."

Stranded Cubans Ready for First Flights Out of Costa Rica  1/12/2016 NBC: "The shelters, housing approximately 8,000 Cubans, are scattered across the country."

A new Cuban revolution and the stark divide between rich and poor  1/9/2016 Globe & Mail: "Stephanie Nolen reports from a country in transition: ‘I didn’t go to Cuba planning to report on inequality. But it kept coming up, a source of comment and concern. Not many people study inequality in a place where, in theory, the political system has eradicated it’ "

Exclusive: U.S. considers ending program that lures Cuban doctors to defect  1/8/2016 Reuters: "The program grants U.S. officials discretionary authority to allow Cuban medical professionals into the United States, providing assistance at U.S. embassies in the countries where the doctors are posted. It is open to more than 50,000 Cuban medical professionals in more than 60 countries."

Puerto de Virginia se conecta con Cuba  1/7/2016 Progreso Semanal: "La Autoridad Portuaria de Virginia se convertirá en el primer operador portuario de Estados Unidos en firmar un acuerdo de cooperación con su homóloga cubana, en un esfuerzo por aumentar el comercio y establecer un servicio directo con Cuba, dijo el gobernador de Virginia el lunes."

Missing U.S. Missile Shows Up in Cuba  1/7/2016 WSJ: "An inert U.S. Hellfire missile sent to Europe for training purposes was wrongly shipped from there to Cuba in 2014, said people familiar with the matter, a loss of sensitive military technology that ranks among the worst-known incidents of its kind. The unintended delivery of the missile to Cuba has confounded investigators and experts who work in a regulatory system designed to prevent precisely such equipment from falling into the wrong hands, said those familiar with the matter. For more than a year, amid a historic thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, American authorities have tried to get the Cuban government to return the missile, said people familiar with the matter. At the same time, federal investigators have been tracing the paper trail of the wayward Hellfire to determine if its arrival in Cuba was the work of criminals or spies, or the result of a series of blunders, these people said."

Intelectuales imaginan Cuba dentro de una década  1/2/2016 IPS: "Investigadores de la realidad nacional vislumbran a Cuba dentro de una década como un país plural, participativo, inclusivo, interconectado con el mundo, respetuoso del medio ambiente y con espacios de realización para que los jóvenes profesionales no emigren."

Japan to forgive ¥120 billion in claims against Cuba  12/28/2015 Japan Times: "Cuba’s debt repayments to Japan are expected to begin in fiscal 2016, which starts in April. While monitoring the progress, the government will decide when to restart soft loans to the resource-rich nation, whose economy is forecast to grow."

Ministro Comunicacion ratifica acceso a Internet  12/28/2015 TV Santiago 

Cuban migrant crisis in C.America may 'spin out of control': Red Cross  12/24/2015 AFP: "If Costa Rica doesn't give visas to the Cubans stranded in (the border town of) Paso Canoas, we should be prepared," Victor Hall, of the Panamanian Red Cross, told AFP in a telephone interview. He said the number of Cubans stuck in the isolated town, prevented from traveling on to Costa Rica, had swollen to 602 by Thursday."

Trinidad-Tobago Receives Cuban Doctors Services  12/22/2015 Periodico 26: "We 'usually find patients from other regions, who come looking for the Cuban doctor. Sometimes we see them in the registration area, ask first by the presence of a doctor of Cuba before entering the hospital. That makes us proud. "

Nuevo espacio público para el acceso al servicio de conexión wifi  12/22/2015 TV Santiago: "La velocidad de conexión en los espacios públicos es de un megabyte por usuario y pueden permanecer conectados entre cincuenta y cien clientes, simultáneamente, según las capacidades de las áreas."

CompactShare | FacebookGoogle BookmarkTwitter Septeto Nacional & Orquesta Broadway Honoring "Chocolate"  12/20/2015 Jazz Corner News: "Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present the legendary champion of Cuban son SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA IGNACIO PIÑEIRO and the longest running charanga band outside of Cuba ORQUESTA BROADWAY on Saturday, January 16th, 2016 at 8pm for a special concert to honor the legacy of the great Cuban trumpeter Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros."

Cuba, One Year Later: What Has Changed?  12/18/2015 Counterpunch: "When he inaugurated the US embassy in Havana, Secretary of State Kerry noted “Having normal relations makes it easier for us to talk…” The trouble is that “normal” relations are a long way in the future—particularly from Havana’s perspective, since there are still several difficult challenges remaining."

¡INDIGNANTE! Policía golpea a vendedora ambulante cubana  12/18/2015 Yusnaby Post: "La cuentapropista y miembro de la opositora Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) explicó que “la agente de la PNR me ordenó que tenía que retirarme de mi lugar de venta porque yo estaba vendiendo productos no autorizados. Le demostré que mi licencia respaldaba la venta de todos los artículos que yo ofertaba; pero ella me dijo que no discutiera y que cumpliera la orden”. Fernández Guzmán refiere que “apenas Rebeca comenzó su protesta, la agente de la PNR arremetió contra ella con una violencia absolutamente injustificada, donde se apreciaba un odio inconcebible contra una mujer respetuosa y pacífica, que escasamente pesa 39 kilogramos y tiene casi 50 años de edad. ¡Es una vergüenza!”."

Prevention better than cure in Cuban healthcare system  12/13/2015 BBC: "Despite spending a fraction of what the United States spends on healthcare (the World Bank reports Cuba spends $431 per head per year compared with $8,553 in the US) Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the US and a similar life expectancy."

Family of late U.S. gangster wants compensation for Cuba hotel  12/13/2015 Florida Politics: "The family of the late gangster Meyer Lansky is hoping to be compensated for a Havana casino hotel seized after Cuba’s 1959 revolution, now that the countries have begun trying to resolve billions in dollars in claims for the confiscation of American properties by the island’s socialist government."

Budget for Cuba programs: As clear as mud  12/12/2015 Along the Malecon: "The short version of the story is that it doesn't appear that lawmakers have decided how much to spend on democracy promotion programs in fiscal 2016, which began on Oct. 1. At least I couldn't find any public documents spelling it out. Senate and House appropriations bills have proposed spending from $15 million to $30 million on Cuba programs in fiscal 2016, but none of the proposals have been put into law. In June, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would had the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, the State Department and the Agency for International Development sharing $30 million in Cuba democracy funds."

Cuba reaches debt deal with its creditors: French finance minister  12/12/2015 Reuters: "One diplomat said that Cuba had agreed to pay the principal of around $5 billion owed since its 1986 default in exchange for forgiving $11 billion in service charges, interest and penalties, with talks focused on how long Cuba would take to repay and how much of the money would be reinvested in Cuba."

First Charter Flight From LAX to Cuba Departs  12/11/2015 NBC: "The inaugural charter flight between Los Angeles International Airport and Havana, Cuba, departed Saturday, creating the first West Coast link between the cities in light of improved U.S.-Cuban political relations."

U.S., Cuba to re-establish direct mail service in latest sign of normalizing relations  12/11/2015 WaPo: "The United States and Cuba said Friday that they will re-establish direct mail service between the two countries for the first time in more than a half century, the latest sign of thawing relations between the long-time adversaries. In separate statements, the State Department and the Cuban embassy in Washington said the agreement was reached Thursday during discussions in Miami. It calls for a pilot program to provide mail flights between the United States and Cuba, rather than routing mail through a third country as has been done for decades."

Clandestina: A way of creating “99% Cuban design”  12/1/2015 On Cuba: "In February of 2015, when the store and design studio Clandestina opened its doors a few blocks from the Capitolio, Idania del Río and Leire Fernández had set out to create a design boutique right in the middle of Old Havana, with San Sebastian, New York and Paris as references."

Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes  11/30/2015 Counterpunch: "On Dec. 17, 2014, the negotiated solution that freed Gross was the exact same deal the Cuban government had proposed three years earlier. It bears repeating that this offer was on the table all along and could have been agreed to by the Obama administration at any time."

Danny Glover back in Cuba  11/28/2015 Periodico 26: "The U.S. actor met with Gerardo Hernández, who he visited on many occasions while the decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba was unjustly imprisoned in a California penitentiary."

Olga Tañón cumple su promesa y se presenta en Santiago de Cuba la próxima semana  11/28/2015 Progreso Semanal: "Expectantes, los santiagueros esperan la presentación el sábado 5 de diciembre en la Plaza de la Revolución Antonio Maceo de la cantante puertorriqueña Olga Tañón, quien cumplirá así la promesa hecha a los cubanos."

Russian Activists Reiterate Commitment vs. Blockade to Cuba  11/27/2015 Periodico 26: "Moscow, The Russian social movement Venceremos ratified today here the commitment to redouble the fight against the U.S economic, commercial and financial blockade, during a meeting with Antonio Guerrero, Hero of the Republic of Cuba. Gathered with the Cuban fighter against terrorism who served more than 15 years in prison in the northern country, for trying to prevent violent actions against the island, the activists said they will also demand the closure of the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo."

At Gates of Guantanamo, Activists Counter Unjust Detention With 'Powerful Act of Compassion'  11/26/2015 Common Dreams: "Hours after President Barack Obama signed into law a defense bill that continues to thwart closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, a group of human rights activists is staging a vigil and fast at its gates to say "the whole prison must shut down." Under the banner "Forced-Feeding, Not Feasting at Guantanamo," the Thanksgiving Day action outside of the base in Cuba by 14 members of Witness Against Torture aims to put a spotlight on the men who continue to suffer unjust detention and the continued practice of force-feedings of hunger striking prisoners at "the site of one of our country’s greatest shames.""

Músicos cubanos que no debes dejar de oir  11/23/2015 Vistar: "La nuestra es una tierra musical. Eso no es un secreto. De esta Isla del Caribe han salido exitosos músicos. Chucho Valdés, Juan Formell y Los Van Van, la popular Celia Cruz y el Septeto Santiaguero son quizás, algunos de los de mayor renombre internacional. En esta ocasión, la revista digital PAPER destacó en su artículo “10 Cuban Musicians You Need to Hear” la obra de jóvenes exponentes de esta manifestación en el país. Contrario a lo que muchos pueden pensar, entre los nombres resalta Michael Sierra Miranda, más conocido como El Micha. Un reggaetonero al que califican como figura prominente en la escena del “Cubatón”, cosecha propia de La Habana, y uno de los pocos exponentes que ha logrado trascender más allá de su barrio."

EL MAGNICIDIO DE DALLAS.  11/22/2015 Entre Tinajones: “A principios de noviembre el servicio secreto fue informado de dos señales de atentado contra Kennedy, una en Chicago y otra en Tampa, donde participarían exilados cubanos. Nada fue investigado."

Cuban Migrants Stuck in Central America  11/18/2015 On Cuba: "The images of the events are dramatic. The level of violence used by the Nicaraguan troops has shocked the relatives of the immigrants in Cuba, who fear for the fate of the loved ones."

Cuban Boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux Stripped of His Belt  11/3/2015 On Cuba: "According to ESPN columnist and editor Damian Lorenzo Delgado, the “WBO didn’t act with transparency. It’s true Rigo has only fought three times in 31 months, but the WBO knows he is willing to fight anyone willing to challenge him. It’s public knowledge that all boxers avoid him and the organization could have ordered a mandatory fight to deal with the problem. Other interests came into play there. The worst part of this story is that his future is looking bleaker and bleaker.”

Obama’s Half-Hearted Cuba Détente  11/1/2015 Consortium News: "President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with Cuba have been more tell than show, with much of the half-century U.S. embargo left in place and some “relaxations” designed to coerce Cuba into “privatizing” its economy, as Art Heitzer and Marjorie Cohn describe."

Cuban foreign investment portfolio: more than 200 projects and nearly nine billion dollars  10/28/2015 Cuba Contemporanea: "It includes projects linked with the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, agricultural food, construction and renewable energy, among others, which are found in all provinces and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, said the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo Jorge, in the meeting, in which President Raúl Castro participated."

Minrex se pronuncia sobre cubanos emigrantes en frontera de Nicaragua y Costa Rica  10/17/2015 La Esquina de Lilith: "En los últimos días, se ha creado una compleja situación, a raíz de que más de mil ciudadanos cubanos han estado arribando a Costa Rica desde otros países de la región con la intención de viajar hacia los Estados Unidos."

Mis cubanos: mi opinión sobre los migrantes varados en centroamérica.  10/17/2015 La Esquina de Lilith: "En Cuba no se les persigue. En Cuba no hay una crisis humanitaria, como en Siria. En Cuba no hay guerra. No son desplazados. Son, sencillamente, emigrantes, gente que quiere vivir mejor y hacerlo en otra parte. Los que conozco y han hecho ese viaje, incluso, son personas que, por lo general, “vivía bastante bien” en la isla y pudo pagarse los más de 2 mil dólares necesarios -50 mil pesos cubanos- para hacer el viaje hasta Ecuador, y tenía otros más en los bolsillos para emprender el viaje a Los Estados Unidos."

Periodismo de Barrio #yasalió #yeshermoso  10/17/2015 Negra Cubana: "Periodismo de Barrio me devuelve las vivencias que acumulé durante las visitas a casa de mi abuela Niña en Santa Cruz del Norte. Recuerdo con piel de gallina que, cuando llegaba la temporada ciclónica al país, le pedía a nosequién que mi abuela quedara a salvo y un huracán no desapareciera su casa, situada en el Harlem santacruceño y donde pasé todas las vacaciones de infancia."

N.J. cop killer Chesimard living as a ‘ghost’ in Havana  10/4/2015 Cubaverdad: "Soandry Del Rio, a popular Cuban hip-hop artist who was featured in the documentary “East of Havana,” said he met Chesimard three times, usually in small groups of other hip-hop artists and Afro-Cuban activists. But he quickly noticed that she often seemed skittish and fearful of coming to any meeting in which she was not familiar with everyone who attended."

Viajeros de Estados Unidos impulsan turismo en Cuba  9/13/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "Ni los cálculos más optimistas luego del restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas entre Washington y La Habana, anunciado el 17 de diciembre pasado por los presidentes Barack Obama y Raúl Castro, permitían pensar en tan voraz apetito de viajeros norteamericanos por la Isla. Sorprendente es poco. Según cifras confiables facilitadas a Excelencias News Cuba por el profesor de la Facultad de Turismo de la Universidad de La Habana, José Luis Perelló-Cabrera, del 1 de enero al 2 de septiembre llegaron a Cuba 100 703 ciudadanos de Estados Unidos."

Cuba pardons thousands ahead of Pope´s visit  9/11/2015 Cuba Si: "The article on Granma newspaper explains that with very few exceptions, those punished for murder, homicide, rape, corruption of minors, theft and sacrifice of herd, drug traffic, robbery on violence and intimidation were not included nor those imprisoned for crimes against the security of the state."

The 0.0012 Grams of Marihuana Found at Odalis’ Home in Santiago de Cuba  9/9/2015 Havana Times: "That is to say, the amount of marihuana found was so insignificant that it was “used up” during the laboratory weighing and analysis."

“Pink to Pink”, tendiendo un puente a la vida  9/9/2015 Negra Cubana: "La pareja Jones se propone además explorar y fomentar la creación de micro- empresas para las sobrevivientes y sus familiares, teniendo en cuenta que en muchos casos las mujeres están enfrentan la enfermedad sin los recursos económicos necesarios."

El 31% de los jóvenes en Cuba trabaja en el sector no estatal  9/8/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "El 31 por ciento de los jóvenes empleados en Cuba, más de 1.5 millones, trabajaba en el sector no estatal y el resto, un 76 por ciento, desempeñaba ocupaciones laborales estatales al cierre de 2014, según datos oficiales."

Cuba: Avalancha de turistas no se detiene  9/6/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "La avalancha de turistas no para. Al cierre del pasado mes, el crecimiento en la llegada de visitantes internacionales registraba un 17 por ciento por encima de enero-julio de 2014. Dicho de otra manera, en los pasados siete meses estuvieron por aquí 318 423 personas más que en iguales días del año anterior."

Otorgarán créditos a trabajadores por cuenta propia sin pedir garantías  9/6/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "Sin necesidad de presentar garantía, los cuentapropistas podrán solicitar hasta 10 000 pesos en crédito, nuevo producto aprobado por el Banco Popular de Aho­rro (BPA) para incentivar el uso del financiamiento externo en el creciente sector económico."

Influyente compañía de lobby estadounidense pone los ojos en Cuba  9/4/2015 Cuba Contemporanea: "Akin Gump, la mayor firma de lobby en Washington en términos de ingresos, está lanzando un nuevo servicio dedicado a asesorar a sus clientes en torno a las nuevas políticas y regulaciones relacionadas con el reciente mejoramiento de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba."

Looking for where to advertise or buy something in Cuba?  9/4/2015 Havana Times: "Over the last decade, classified ads have been the pioneers in the rebirth of publicity in Cuba. The increasing number of websites dedicated to classifieds or “Lists” of offers and demands in dozens of service and product categories is advertising’s most popular appearance. For now we’re going to have a look at the most popular sites, describing each one of them and their establishment, in the cases where dates are given, objectives and other details."

American harbored by Cuba fears winds of change  8/13/2015 CBS: "New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez recently wrote Secretary of State John Kerry a letter calling Hill a "terrorist" and saying this was a chance to "finally be able to bring a cop killer to justice." A number of members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, have joined the call. Hill refuted those charges and said it is proof that he cannot get a fair trial in the United States. "If I felt I could get a fair trial, I would go back to the United States of America because I am not a terrorist nor am I a cop killer.""

La vulnerabilidad de los dispositivos móviles ante los 'hackers'  8/8/2015 Granma 

Algunas observaciones al Informe de Stratfor “Cuba, un potencial de prosperidad"  8/6/2015 Misceláneas de Cuba: "La importancia de Cuba para Estados Unidos es básicamente la que tiene para los dos millones de ciudadanos de Estados Unidos de origen cubano. Poco más."

In Cuba, a Potential for Prosperity  8/5/2015 Stratfor: "Thanks to the diplomatic thaw, the Cuban tourism sector is on the rise. Tourist traffic to the island is up 15 percent compared with the same period last year, with around 1.7 million people visiting in the first five months of 2015. Moreover, each of the first five months has seen a double-digit increase in visitors — many of whom are coming from the United States. For May that number jumped 21 percent. Perhaps not coincidentally, Cuba's economic performance in the first half of 2015 registered a growth of 4.7 percent, which shows a reversal of the downward trend between 2013 and 2014. Now Cuba's economy is projected to grow 4 percent this year, largely driven by the construction and agriculture sectors. That is almost four times its growth rate in 2014, the fastest climb Cuba has seen since 2008."

VIOLENCIA POLICIAL CONTRA JOVEN CUBANO (+VIDEO)  8/2/2015 Cibercuba: "Violencia policial contra joven cubano ¿Te pareció necesaria?" [Esa publicacion en Florida nunca habla de la matanza de los jovenes Afro lo cual ocurre con regularidad allá.]

Hillary Clinton Remarks At Florida International University  8/1/2015 #CubaNow: “Unfortunately, most of the Republican candidates for President would play right into the hard-liners’ hands. They would reverse the progress we have made and cut the Cuban people off from direct contact with the Cuban-American community and the free-market capitalism and democracy that you embody. That would be a strategic error for the United States and a tragedy for the millions of Cubans who yearn for closer ties. “They have it backwards: Engagement is not a gift to the Castros – it’s a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession – it’s a beacon. Lifting the embargo doesn’t set back the advance of freedom – it advances freedom where it is most desperately needed."

Florida and the end of the embargo  8/1/2015 OnCuba: "In any case, some sectors of Florida’s economy would benefit immediately if the embargo were lifted—the transport industry, for example. Just imagine if Cuba were to enter the dynamic of the international market, based on Florida ports and interaction with the Mariel Development Zone. Three major maritime ports exist in Florida: Miami, the most important point for commerce between Latin America and the United States; Tampa, the Gulf of Mexico port closest to western Cuba; and Jacksonville, one of Europe’s ports of entry to the United States. Most analysts agree that Cuban tobacco and rum could occupy a fundamental place in U.S. consumption; we could also suppose that Florida companies would distribute those products. Recently there was talk of ferries operating between Florida and Cuba, and in conditions of normal relations, they would be a very effective mode of transport between the two coasts."

Relaunching Direct Foreign Investment in Cuba  8/1/2015 OnCuba: One promising initiative has been the Mariel Special Development Zone, for generating exports and replacing imports; transferring cutting-edge technology, know-how, and abilities related to business management; creating jobs and developing infrastructure for contributing to economic progress; creating a logistics system that will facilitate high levels of efficiency in the import, export and production processes; stimulating the formation of national and foreign companies; and, logically, articulating these companies with the rest of the economy."

Muerte de Omar Torrijos aún es un enigma para los panameños  7/31/2015 Cuba Debate: "A 34 años de su desaparición física, persiste el misterio de si fue asesinato o muerte accidental, todavía hoy los panameños no logran develar todas las circunstancias en torno al fallecimiento misterioso y trágico del general Omar Torrijos."

The Rising Wave of GOP Support For Ending the Embargo  7/30/2015 #CubaNow: "In another sign of the rapidly changing landscape of U.S.-Cuba policy this week, House Republican Tom Emmer of Minnesota introduced the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, legislation that would lift the embargo on Cuba. “I understand there's a lot of pain on both sides of this issue that goes back many decades,” Emmer told USA Today. “But I believe this is in the best interests of the Cuban people. This isn't about the Cuban government — it's about people on the street looking for more opportunity and to improve their quality of life.”"

Wi-Fi technology with big acceptance in Camagüey  7/30/2015 Adelante: "The opening of two points for Internet navigation by means of Wi-Fi in this city, and the reduction of the quota per hour of 4.50 cuc to 2.00 cuc, has had big success among the Camagüeyans."

IMO in Cuba: Shortening Distances Between Relatives  7/30/2015 OnCuba: "According to Antonio Aja, researcher at the University of Havana’s Center for Demographic Studies (CEDEM), one out of every three Cubans has a relative living abroad. The installation of Wi-Fi areas across Cuba (35 in total so far) therefore becomes doubly important. Photo: Eric Yanes On the one hand, it broadens Internet access on the island, even though the cost is still too high: two CUC ($2.25 USD) for an hour, charged a population whose average monthly salary is a little over 20 CUC."

Stonegate Bank-Cuba Agreement will reduce transaction costs  7/25/2015 OnCuba: "In the difficult art of coming to an understanding with Cuban institutions, a couple of elements have worked in Stonegate Banks’s favour. The most important is probably the bank’s step forward in responding to a request of the Department of State in early 2015, when they were looking for a bank willing to provide services to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, at a time when that diplomatic mission was sort of “untouchable”, financially speaking, in U.S. territory."

Cuban Embassy Inaugurated in Washington  7/20/2015 OnCuba: “Most of the people were saying they wanted to see the flag,” reported OnCuba’s special correspondent in Washington, Tahimi Arboleya. “They think that this will mean better living conditions for Cubans who reside on the island, which according to them is the most important.”

United States Reopens Embassy in Havana  7/20/2015 OnCuba: "The Embassy will continue its diplomatic operations from the Embassy building on the Malecón. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the most senior official at the embassy, will act as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. According to a press release issued today, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cuba later this summer to celebrate the re-opening of U.S. Embassy Havana and raise the U.S. flag."

La Gloria: An American corner in Cuba  7/19/2015 BBC: "On 4th January 1900, not even two years after Cuba had finally wrested itself from Spain's colonial grip, the steamer Yarmouth came over the horizon off the coast of Nuevitas, on Cuba's northern shore. On board were 200 men and women from the United States intent on building a colony on the Caribbean island. They hoped that if enough of their fellow nationals followed their lead, eventually Cuba would be annexed by the US."

U.S.-Cuba medical partnership may bring lung cancer vaccine to local pharmacies  7/17/2015 Fox News: "Dr. Kelvin Lee, Chairman of Immunology at Roswell Park, says that the really exciting thing about this vaccine is in prevention, "We are not talking about immunizing 5-year-old kids to prevent them from getting lung cancer. We're really talking about immunizing people that don't have lung cancer but are at a very high risk to get it."

Bloqueo entorpece reincorporación de Cuba a instituciones financieras internacionales, asegura exsecretario de comercio  7/16/2015 Cubadebate: "El exsecretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Carlos Gutiérrez, reconoció que el bloqueo a Cuba entorpece el apoyo que la Casa Blanca pudiera dar a su reincorporación a organismos crediticios internacionales. En declaraciones citadas hoy por Progreso semanal y otras publicaciones, el exfuncionario señala que la isla deberá iniciar un proceso de reinserción en los principales organismos económicos multilaterales como el Banco Mundial (BM), el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) o el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)."

Compañías turísticas estadounidenses aceleran planes para Cuba  7/16/2015 Cubadebate: "Por ejemplo, Travel Pulse informa: Apple Vacations Cuba Programs Go On Sale (Comienza venta de programas de Apple Vacations) y otro apunta que la propia compañía se propone ofertar “excursiones a Cuba más cortas y asequibles” (Apple Vacations To Offer Shorter, More Affordable Cuba Tours). En la más reciente de las notas de esta empresa se avisaba el pasado 9 de julio que “las ventas comienzan ya” (Apple Vacations new Cuba vacation package product goes on sale today, July 9, at 11 a.m. EST) Según el calificado periódico, “viajar a Cuba ingresa en una nueva era con la entrada en el mercado cubano de Apple Vacations, una de las mayores vendedoras de paquetes de viajes masivos.” Cuba –añade- está más cerca, aunque no de inmediato, debido a que “todavía no es legal para los norteamericanos ir a Cuba a tirarse en la arena de una playa y hacer lo que quieran”."

Why the U.S. should be wary of Cuba  7/14/2015 Stratfor: "Havana will also likely plant listening devices in hotel rooms, taxis and rental cars to monitor on the U.S. diplomatic mission. Operatives will take photographs of the embassy staff as they come and go, locate employees’ homes and even plan honeypots and male raven operations, during which an undercover agent acts like a love interest to collect intelligence. In short, with a reopening embassy, the Cubans will have ample opportunity to undermine U.S. national security."

Una iniciativa plástica  7/12/2015 Granma: "Llueva, truene o relampaguee, los socios de la cooperativa no agropecuaria La Esperanza necesitan disponer cada mes de ocho toneladas de dese­chos plásticos en sus almacenes, una ecuación muy simple que han venido aquilatando de manera metódica a lo largo de un año de vida como asociación."

Suspendidas las reválidas para médicos cubanos en EEUU  7/10/2015 Café Fuerte: "La Comisión Educacional para Médicos Graduados Extranjeros (ECFMG), el organismo facultado para certificar las licencias de egresados en el exterior, anunció que no podrá continuar procesando solicitudes para profesionales de Cuba, Crimea y Sudan a causa de restricciones del Departamento del Tesoro."

Western Union Breaks U.S. TV Ads Filmed in Cuba  7/9/2015 Ad Age: "Western Union is pushing money transfers to Cuba in a new series of TV spots produced on the island, which was recently opened to U.S. travel and business. The two Spanish-language ads are among the first to be filmed in Cuba by an American-based company since the 1962 U.S. embargo."

¿La última fiesta para el terrorista Posada Carriles en Miami?  7/9/2015 Contrainjerencia: "El texto aborda en detalle los vínculos de la CIA con “individuos supuestamente involucrados” con el sabotaje al avión—y citan directamente a Hernán Ricardo Lozano, Freddy Lugo, Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Frank Castro, Orlando García, Ricardo Morales Navarrete y Félix Martínez Suárez—aunque concluyen que la CIA solo había establecido contacto en el pasado con Posada Carriles, Bosch y Martínez Suárez, en distintas circunstancias y roles."

Turismo de cruceros se dispara en Cuba tras deshielo con EEUU  7/9/2015 El Universal: "El turismo de cruceros registró un fuerte repunte en 2015 en Cuba, tras el anuncio del deshielo diplomático con Estados Unidos, llegando a 174 visitas de buques y más de 62.000 pasajeros entre enero y mayo, informó este jueves el Ministerio de Transporte… En todo 2014, un buen año en comparación con los anteriores, se registraron 139 escalas con 37.519 pasajeros, según el Ministerio, que destacó que cruceros de una naviera italiana comenzarán a llegar a Cuba."

Commodity leaders explore Cuba grain market  7/9/2015 Iowa Farmer Today: "Nine farmer leaders and staff members from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the North Dakota Barley Council (NDBC) traveled to Cuba this past month to see opportunities for expanding U.S. coarse grain exports if trade is fully normalized with the island nation."

Is Repression Really Escalating In Cuba? Let’s Look At The Numbers  7/8/2015 Cuba Now: "So far detentions seem to have peaked last year, since the year-to-date numbers for 2015 are 2,822 detentions, a significant 52% drop from the same period in 2014, and 5% lower than the immediately-preceding, six-month period."

« “Al Che lo mataron con las manos atadas », cuenta descubridor de los restos  7/7/2015 Contrainjerencia: "El rector de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana (Cuba), Jorge González, descubridor de los restos mortales de Ernesto Guevara (Che Guevara) en Bolivia, ha explicado este martes en los Cursos de Verano de la Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU) en San Sebastián, que “lo más difícil” no fue identificarlos sino encontrarlos, debido a que tanto él como sus guerrilleros estaban enterrados en lugares “apartados” a “unos 300 kilómetros” de distancia entre ellos, en “una geografía muy difícil”."

Expertos rusos en política desconfían de las intenciones de EEUU en Cuba  7/7/2015 Contrainjerencia: "Según Shmelev, Cuba se encuentra en una difícil situación económica, “así que podemos suponer que Estados Unidos está considerando la posibilidad de organizar una ‘revolución de colores’ en la Isla a fin de llevar al poder a fuerzas que estén orientadas hacia Estados Unidos –una aparente alusión a disidentes dentro del gobierno."

US Caravan to Cuba Carries on History of Solidarity Across the Black Diaspora  7/5/2015 Truth Out: "IFCO has always been an organization concerned about the plight of Black people in the diaspora, whether that is in the US or globally. People of color are often victims of social inequity/social injustice and that is something that IFCO has been historically concerned about. It’s the first national organization that was led by people of color that organized to fight against social injustice so this has always been a part of IFCO’s mission – its reason for being. It’s very much at the center of much of the work that we do."

"A New Chapter": After Half a Century, U.S. and Cuba Unveil Reopening of Embassies & Restored Ties  7/2/2015 Democracy Now: "Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He is co-author of the book, Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana."

The Potential of Diplomatic Normalization  7/1/2015 Havana Note: "President Obama has a lot of potential power to bring us closer to the full normalization of relations."

Convocatoria: VI Jornada de la Cultura Cubana en Medios Digitales  6/27/2015 Todo d' Arte: del 10 al 13 de noviembre, 2015

Cuba is the second tourist destination in the Caribbean after DR  6/20/2015 Dominican Today: "The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) said Cuba was the second most relevant tourist destination in the start of 2015, behind the Dominican Republic, Cuba's official newspaper Granma reported this week. According to the report, the difference between Cuba and the Dominican Republic is getting shorter, since the first registered 3.1 million visitors in 2014, while the latter had a record 5.14 million."

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/18/2015 Negra Cubana: "Nos interesa estimular el emprendimiento en las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, para promover la creación de pequeñas empresas y la realización de trabajo por cuenta propia, dentro del marco legal existente en el país, teniendo en cuenta la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera. Intentaremos gestionar recursos motivando a personas y entidades afines, interesados en efectuar préstamos a bajos intereses para estas actividades económicas y/o en forma de donaciones."

“Ave Fenix”: supporting entrepreneurship in Cuba  6/18/2015 OnCuba: "We want to encourage entrepreneurship in the black and mixed blood people in Cuba to promote small business creation and implementation of self-employment within the existing legal framework in the country, taking into account the new Foreign Investment Law. We are trying to manage resources to motivate people and related entities interested in making low-interest loans to these economic activities and / or in the form of grants."

¿Quién está detrás de Engage Cuba?  6/17/2015 El Mundo: "Se presenta como un grupo de presión sin partido que promueve el fin del embargo económico a la isla comunista. Pero detrás de 'Engage Cuba' se encuentran poderosos intereses económico y financieros cuyo único objetivo es ampliar sus negocios. Al grupo lo respaldan empresas gigantes, como la agroindustrial Cargill, la distribuidora de productos para el hogar Procter&Gamble y la constructora de maquinaria pesada Caterpillar, y al frente está el abogado y cabildero James Williams, quien, al mismo tiempo, es director del 'súper' Comité de Acción Política 'New Cuba'."

Major U.S. companies support new group that will lobby to lift sanctions against Cuba  6/16/2015 Miami Herald: "Cargill, Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, and other major U.S. companies have thrown their support behind Engage Cuba, a bipartisan coalition that formally began operating out of the nation’s capital this week and will focus on lobbying Congress to lift restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba."

Google testing the waters in Cuba  6/13/2015 Politico: "The visit coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of a thaw in relations with Cuba, including the loosening of sanctions that, said Obama, “have denied Cubans access to technology.” Those who have paid close attention to Cuba since the thaw describe an exuberance over the quick flowering of technology tempered in short order by the realization that the island of 11 million lacks the networks, both land-based and wireless, needed to support modern devices. Without those networks, many technologies are little more than paperweights."

US and Cuba to reopen embassies and restore full ties in early July, reports say US and Cuba to reopen embassies and restore full ties in early July, reports say  6/12/2015 Guardian: "The Obama administration is expected to announce an agreement with Cuba in early July to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations severed more than five decades ago, US sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. The two sides hope to conclude the deal by the first week of next month, clearing the way for secretary of state John Kerry to visit Havana soon afterwards for a flag-raising ceremony to upgrade the US interests section to a full-scale embassy, the sources said."

Cuba Likely Focus of US Firm’s 7-Figure Anti-Censorship Contract  6/7/2015 Havana Times: "BBG’s contract records available online do not mention Cuba or disclose what countries the agency is targeting. However, Cuba has been a focus of the agency’s Internet Anti-Censorship Division, or IAC. A 2013 BBG fact sheet on Internet censorship says the agency has provided Ultrareach’s “anti-censorship, pro-privacy software to users worldwide who are subject to foreign government sponsored Internet censorship.”"

Cuba.- EU.- El gobierno de Cuba salva la vida de Reagan  6/7/2015 Tercera Informacion: del Dr. Néstor García Iturbe

Afirman que Cuba debe aumentar rápidamente su capacidad turística ante próximo incremento de visitantes norteamericanos  6/4/2015 Radio Habana: ""A Cuba se le presentan varios desafíos, tras el restablecimiento de relaciones con Estados Unidos, el primero de ellos es que la capacidad turística se incremente", expresó a Telesur el analista y politólogo cubano Esteban Morales. En entrevista para telemisora, Morales explicó que el acercamiento Cuba-EEUU, luego de 50 años de haber interrumpido sus nexos diplomáticos, causó un desaceleramiento del sector turístico en la isla, por lo que actualmente se hace imperioso reactivar la actividad, tomando en cuenta las categorías migratorias a las que pueden optar ciudadanos norteamericanos, lo que se traducirá en un repunte turístico."

How will financial ties with Cuba change now that it’s off the terrorism list?  5/30/2015 PBS: "CARLA ROBBINS: It means more than anything else, that U.S. banks can have relations with Cuban banks, which will make it much easier to follow through on the easing of financial relations that Obama is promoting, and the Cubans said it was the biggest precondition for reestablishing direct diplomatic relations and opening the embassies."

Cuba-U.S. Expect to Announce Embassy Openings Next Week  5/29/2015 Adelante: "The announcement is expected to come from their respective capitals, following Friday's anticipated announcement of Cuba's removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba will be formally removed from the list 45 days after President Barack Obama announced his intention to remove the Caribbean state, which came in mid-April."

Disidentes invitan a Lech Walesa a La Habana para debatir sobre democracia  5/29/2015 Diario de Cuba: "En este camino, Walesa, quien es un símbolo vivo del gran cambio histórico, para muchos decidió el destino político de lo que hoy llamamos Europa, representa un mito internacional", señaló la Plataforma de Integración Cubana, que organiza el evento."

U.S. Officially Removes Cuba From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism  5/29/2015 Radio Havana 

U.S. drops Cuba from list of state sponsors of terrorism  5/29/2015 Reuters: "The United States formally dropped Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism on Friday, an important step toward restoring diplomatic ties but one that will have limited effect on removing U.S. sanctions on the Communist-ruled island."

What we know about Cuba’s economy  5/28/2015 Pew Research: "According to a survey conducted in March and published in The Washington Post, 79% of Cubans said they were dissatisfied with the country’s economic system; 70% said they wanted to start their own business. Nearly two-thirds of Cubans (64%) said normalizing relations with the U.S. would change the economic system, though only 37% thought the political system would change. With so much change in the air, we decided to work our way as best we could through the data difficulties to put together a primer on what we know, and don’t know, about the Cuban economy."

Prosiguen redadas policiales contra los homosexuales en Cárdenas y Matanzas  5/27/2015 Marti Noticias: por Alberto Abreu - "Según me contó un travesti, a su regreso de la estación de la P.N. R, a los detenidos se les impuso multas de treinta pesos y una profilaxis en medio chistes y burlas de los policías sobre su condición homosexual. Él se negó a firmarla y el policía le dijo que no importaba, que él mismo la firmaba en su nombre y así lo hizo arrebatándoles el comprobante de la multa de entre las manos."

Cuba - Figuring Out Pieces Of The Puzzle  5/27/2015 ZeroHedge: "One way that the standard of living of Cubans is being reduced because of Cuba’s financial problems is by cutbacks in the types of goods being subsidized. Also the quantities and prices are being affected, but the average wage of $20 month remains unchanged."

Abre congreso de LASA con polémicos temas sobre Cuba  5/26/2015 Marti Noticias: "Jorge L. Duany, Alejandro de la Fuente, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Arturo López-Levy, Eliades Acosta, William Leogrande, Esteban Morales, Rafael Rojas, Elier Ramírez, Peter Kornbluh, Juan P. Triana Cordivi, Desiderio Navarro, son varios de los expertos que debatirán el tema cubano."

My Son Was Murdered in Camaguey, Cuba  5/25/2015 Havana Times: "Mandy was a jovial rocker who was always smiling. He had no enemies. He was adored by the prettiest girls in town. He was coming home from a rock festival, where he was scheduled to perform, as a guitarist, with his band the following night. Minutes before his murder, he talked with friends about his projects, the success he’d already enjoyed and his hopes of improving his skills more and more every day, as he was already a professional musician."

Irish Vote for Same Sex Marriage Blacked Out in Cuba  5/24/2015 Havana Times: "Thus far, Cuba’s official media such as Cubadebate, Granma and Juventud Rebelde have not mentioned the vote. Despite efforts by Mariela Castro daughter of President Raul Castro, in favor of gay unions, Cuba’s leaders have always been against equal legal rights for all Cubans."

Cuban First Vice President Says Use of Modern Technologies is Crucial for the Country  5/23/2015 Adelante: "He referred to the urgent automation of production processes to achieve the rational use of available labor, bearing in mind the progressive aging of the Cuban population."

¿Esto no es un crimen?  5/22/2015 Afromodernidades: "A Yosvani lo mató el odio, la intolerancia; a Yosvani lo mató una pedrada que le destrozó el bazo, pero también el silencio. Muy pronto terminará mayo y hasta ahora nadie hizo saber la noticia. Yo que no estoy suscrito a ningún periódico me puse a indagar esperando una sorpresa, creyendo que finalmente alguien daría la noticia a los cubanos, pero nada. Ya estaba muerta la Eterna cuando dedicaron una mesa redonda a las jornadas contra la homofobia que se celebran en la isla. Este año comparecieron tres cubanos, un uruguayo y una argentina, quienes respondieron a las preguntas de la moderadora. Nadie preguntó por los sucesos de Pinar del Rio, nadie se refirió a ellos. A ninguno se le ocurrió mencionar la interrumpida eternidad de Yosvani. No hubo espacio que hablara del dolor de la madre y de los amigos. No hubo un periódico, estación de radio ni espacio televisivo que aludiera al muerto."

Why Do These Two Senators Want To Help The Cuban Government Restrict Telecom Access?  5/20/2015 #CubaNow: "Bob Menendez similarly defended ZunZuneo for helping a Cuban people “severely limited in their ability to communicate among themselves, much less with the outside world.” But fast-forward to Wednesday and surprisingly enough those same two senators find breaking the “information blockade” to be a naïve endeavor at best and a concession to the Castros at worst. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the new U.S. policy, Menendez and Rubio decided to forego ideas on how to expand Cubans’ access to information in favor of the same canned attacks they’ve been making for months."

Directorio pays thousands of Cubans  5/20/2015 Along the Malecón: "Now based in Hialeah, Fla., the organization gives direct aid to Cuban dissidents and carries out radio broadcasts to the island. Its co-founder and national secretary is Orlando Gutierrez Boronat, who made headlines in April after getting into a fistfight in Panama City where the Summit of the Americas took place. His foe that day was Alexis Frutos Weeden, identified as a Cuban intelligence chief. Gutierrez' wife, Janisset Rivero-Gutierrez, is adjunct national secretary of Directorio Democrático. Board member Lorenzo L. de Toro is her brother-in-law. The executive director and co-founder is Javier de Céspedes. U.S. taxpayers provide most of the funding for the Directorio, which received $6,272,110 in government grants from 2009 to 2013, tax records show."

Cuban trans advocate: Government seeks to ‘destroy us’  5/20/2015 Washington Blade: "Leodan Suárez Quiñones, who lives in the town of San Juan y Martínez in Pinar del Río, told the Washington Blade on Monday night as she sat along Havana’s oceanfront promenade known as the Malecón that local authorities have concluded the murder of Yosvani Muñoz Robaina, a trans sex worker known as La Eterna, on April 25 was a “crime of passion.” She said they reached that conclusion in spite of reports from local LGBT advocates that indicate six teenagers stoned her to death. “Everyone thinks that it was not a crime of passion, it was a homophobic crime,” said Suárez."

Cuba's Ongoing Inspiration: an Eyewitness Account  5/17/2015 teleSUR: "The power cuts and water shortages we experienced are evidence of the problems that the blockade still causes in daily life. In camp we were without water for showers for three days. Luckily the Brazilian delegation had brought the plumbing parts to fix the water tank! This reminds us of the importance of solidarity, as without their efforts it would have been extremely difficult for the camp to obtain the necessary working parts for repair."

Asesinatos a homosexuales prenden la alerta en Cuba  5/16/2015 IPS: "Mientras se realizaba la VIII Jornada Cubana contra la Homofobia y la Transfobia, se supo del asesinato de un joven transexual en la ciudad de Pinar del Río, la más occidental de este país caribeño. Son las dos caras de la moneda, donde los esfuerzos contra la discriminación a lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transexuales e intersexuales (LGBTI) chocan con la vulnerabilidad de este colectivo, con expresiones de violencia que pueden llegar a la muerte. El homicidio de Yosvani Muñoz, de 24 años, sucedido el 26 de abril y en proceso de investigación, según confirmó a IPS la Consejería Jurídica del estatal Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (Cenesex), pone el dedo sobre un asunto tan sensible como poco conocido en Cuba: los crímenes de odio."

Cuba’s 12 Most Absurd Prohibitions That Tourists May Never Notice  5/15/2015 Daily Beast 

El `realismo capitalista´ de Hollywood y una película de intriga sobre Los Cinco héroes cubanos  5/15/2015 YouTube - Cubainformación TV: "Basado en un texto de Iroel Sánchez – Blog “La pupila insomne”.- Mucho se criticó en su tiempo el llamado “realismo socialista” soviético. Curiosamente Wikileaks revelaba, hace unos días, cómo el Gobierno de EEUU sigue encargando a Hollywood la producción del cine que necesita su política exterior. En los medios no leeremos nada, por supuesto, acerca de este “realismo capitalista”. "

South Africa and Cuba during Nelson Mandela´s government  5/14/2015 AfroCubaWeb: "The present work constitutes a brief historical review of the Southfrican reality and the Cuban medical collaboration during Nelson Mandela government. It seeks as objective to analyze the influence of Mandela's government politicians in the transformation of the society with the Cuban medical collaboration. When the African National Congress through Mandela it assumes the presidency of the country, finds a society with big social and economic contrasts standing out that the quantity of doctors for inhabitants didn't solve the black population's real necessities. The government's political will to improve the existence material conditions of their people and it was materialized in many of the measures taken during the years in that it exercised his government. Established diplomatic relationships and agreements were signed for the Cuban medical collaboration in that country. The existed an integration of the collaborators with the workers of health centers. That´s why we conclude that the Cuban experience in Southáfrica have positive results mainly in the native population."

Sudáfrica y Cuba durante el gobierno de Nelson Mandela  5/14/2015 AfroCubaWeb: "El presente constituye una breve reseña histórica de la realidad sudafricana y la colaboración médica cubana durante el gobierno de Nelson Mandela. Con objetivo analizar la influencia de las políticas del gobierno de Mandela en las transformaciones sociales con el concurso de la colaboración médica-cubana. Desarrollándose el Congreso Nacional Africano, Mandela asume la dirección del país, se encuentra grandes contrastes sociales y económicos destacándose que la cantidad de médicos por habitantes. El gobierno comienza a mejorar las condiciones materiales del pueblo. En ese contexto se estableció relaciones diplomáticas y se firmaron acuerdos para la colaboración médica cubana en ese país. Existió una integración de los colaboradores con la masa de trabajadores de los centros de salud. La experiencia cubana en Sudáfrica dio resultados positivos sobre todo en la población nativa ya que gracias al gobierno de Mandela y al trabajo de los médicos cubanos se garantizó durante este período la salud del pueblo."

For Travelers: List of Relaxed Travel Restrictions to Cuba  5/14/2015 Black and Brown News: "The White House published the types of travel to Cuba under newly relaxed restrictions:"

The History of Cuba and the United States  5/14/2015 Black and Brown News 

Lo que acordaron los franceses y cubanos  5/14/2015 Havana Times: "Francia quiere intensificar sus intercambios comerciales con la isla, que en 2014 se cifraron en 180 millones de euros, algo inferior a la del año anterior y alejada de los flujos que mantiene con otros socios europeos como España, Holanda o Italia. Jean-Francois Lepy, director comercial de Soufflet, corporación líder francesa en la exportación de granos, dijo que su empresa ha estado 30 años establecida en Cuba. Los principales ejecutivos del grupo Pernod-Ricard, comercializador de los rones Havana Club con ventas que aumentan cada año y son del orden de cuatro millones de cajas, también dieron cuenta de sus éxitos en este mercado. Por otra parte, el grupo Accor anunció la construcción de un nuevo hotel de lujo en la Isla y la aerolínea Air France dijo tener la intención de aumentar sus actuales 14 vuelos semanales."

Cuba: Lapidan a mujer trans  5/11/2015 Sin Etiquitas: "Es parte de la cruda realidad de casi todas las mujeres trans latinoamericanas, debemos seguir en nuestra lucha sin desmayar."

Diplomats, business people flood Cuba amid warmer US ties  5/10/2015 AP: "Top diplomats from Japan, the European Union, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia have visited the island in recent months in bids to stake out or maintain ties with an island that suddenly looks like a brighter economic prospect amid warming U.S.-Cuba relations. On Sunday night, Francois Hollande becomes the first French president to ever visit communist Cuba, bringing along five ministers and two dozen business people, including the heads of Pernod-Ricard, Cuba's partner in exporting Havana Club rum, and grain exporter Soufflet."

“Gay Pride” Celebrated in Cuba with Symbolic “Wedding”  5/10/2015 Havana Times: "Cuban activists held a symbolic “religious marriage” at “Gay Pride” day in Havana on Saturday, after a colorful parade led by sexologist Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro, reported dpa. More than a thousand people participated in this year’s march, held for the eighth time this year, demanding work spaces “without homophobia or transphobia”."

The Above-Board Way to Travel to Cuba  5/8/2015 WSJ: "Cuba is still off-limits for American tourists, but many special-interest trips are OK with Uncle Sam. Here’s one with a musical twist"

Esteban Lazo Receives President of Russian State Duma  5/6/2015 CAN 

Cubanos exiliados quedarían desplazados por avalancha de turistas americanos  5/6/2015 CubaNet: "Millones de turistas norteamericanos adinerados se aprestan a viajar a Cuba. ¿Ante la falta de infraestructura, y el alza de precios que se avecina, podrán los cubanos exiliados que regularmente visitan Cuba, en su mayoría recién llegados al exilio y de bajos ingresos, competir con ellos por recursos limitados y continuar viajando a la isla para ver a sus familiares?"

Dear Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  5/4/2015 Twitter @giralmedia: 

@RosLehtinen Dear Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: It's an honor announcing you my campaign in Indiegogo http://t.co/GNih99vvWa

— sergio (@giralmedia) May 4, 2015

Cuba gears up for tourist influx as US relations improve  5/3/2015 BBC: "As a Cuban-American who left the country as a child, Ms Crespo says people like her are uniquely placed to take advantage of the expansion in Cuban tourism. "My generation doesn't have the same anger [towards the Castro government] as our parents did. I want to be able to help Cuba, to be part of the solution."

Going Way Back With Cubans, Tampa Leads Push Forward  5/2/2015 NYT: "Now Tampa officials are even pushing to open a Cuban Consulate here — something Miami leaders view with antipathy. In April, the Tampa City Council approved the idea of a consulate, as has the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, a longtime advocate of strengthening ties between Cuba and Tampa. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story The Council also voted to offer Tampa as the place where the United States and Cuba would sign any official accord. While some of Tampa’s 80,000 Cuban-Americans disagree with rapprochement on Cuba, most do not, officials said."

Desastre en La Habana: Tres muertos, 1,200 evacuados y 47 derrumbes  5/1/2015 CaféFuerte: "La ciudad continúa tratando de recuperarse de la embestida de las tormentas eléctricas y las inundaciones que afectaron al terrotorio el pasado miércoles, con una estela de muertes, derrumbes y múltiples afectaciones en el servicio eléctrico y el abasto de agua a la población."

Sequía afecta a más de 400 mil cubanos  4/30/2015 CaféFuerte: "La escasez de precipitaciones en Cuba afecta a poco más de 400 mil cubanos, de los cuales 52 mil 800 reciben el liquido en carros cisternas, según datos oficiales. Las cifras revelan que durante los últimos 12 meses el 43 por ciento del área geográfica de la Isla tuvo problemas debido a la falta de lluvias."

State higher ed board blocks opening for university research trips to Cuba  4/29/2015 Miami Herald: "The Florida Board of Governors recently advised FIU that the state’s educational travel ban won't be completely lifted until the United States renews diplomatic relations with Cuba — which is still up in the air. “In addition to being removed from the list, the United States also has to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba before faculty or students can engage in scholarly activities in Cuba,” the board’s communications director wrote to her counterpart at FIU in a recent email."

Engage Cuba Advocates Normal U.S.-Cuba Relations  4/27/2015 OnCuba: "James Williams will be president of Engage Cuba, an advocacy group that will be launched in May to get as many votes as possible in Congress in favour of normalizing relations with Cuba. The organization has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “a group of heavy-hitting political operatives” who are “setting up a new campaign to press Congress to repeal the long-standing trade and travel embargo with Cuba.”"

Ana Belén Montes: ¿la gran olvidada en las negociaciones Cuba-EEUU?  4/25/2015 CaféFuerte: "Sin embargo, los funcionarios estadounidenses aseguran que los cubanos nunca mencionaron a Montes ni una sola vez durante los más de 18 meses de negociaciones y contactos para el intercambio de prisioneros. Ahora con 57 años, Montes ha terminado así como la gran olvidada en este capítulo tardío de la Guerra Fría. Su caso ni siquiera tuvo una regular exposición en los medios oficiales cubanos o en las campañas internacionales que grupos de solidaridad lanzaron desde el 2002 por la liberación de los cinco agentes cubanos."

Cuba holds first vote with a twist: Dissent  4/23/2015 South Florida Times: "Chaviano, 65, and Lopez, 26, said they think the government simply was caught off guard by their candidacies. Lopez is an unemployed member of a dissident political party and Chavez is a government attorney-turned-independent journalist."

Fifty years later; tracing revolutionary Che Guevara's 'failure' in DR Congo  4/22/2015 Mail & Guardian, Africa: "“I was a simple soldier” in 1965, General Lwendema Dunia, now in his 80s, says in a hut in South Kivu’s capital Bukavu, recalling how Che “taught us how to make a revolution. He gave us military training and taught us politics.” But “once we started to take from the people and trample on revolutionary ideals… they left,” he said."

Five Things That Went Under-Reported at the Summit of the Americas  4/20/2015 Cuba Si: "Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Meets with Cuban President Raul Castro – Canadian Media Not Advised"

La experiencia de una cumbre  4/20/2015 Esteban Morales: "Por tanto, no se trataba en la cumbre de conversar con gentes de ideas diferentes a las nuestras, eso se hizo con creces en todos los foros en que la delegación salida de Cuba participo; sino de ocupar el mismo techo con criminales o gente que no tiene el menor pudor en fotografiarse junto a criminales y hacerse acompañar por ellos."

Esteban Lazo: Dentro de nuestro sistema político el delegado es un eslabón principal  4/19/2015 Granma: "Esteban Lazo Hernández, Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular de Cuba (ANPP), afirmó esta mañana que el acto de votar no puede verse “como algo formal, es votar por la Patria, es un derecho ciudadano pero también es un deber civil que debemos cumplir”.

Cubans to open talks about US fugitives as ties warm  4/15/2015 AP: [Cuba has long been open to returning criminals and have done so on a number of occasions. She will not return Assata or Morales, depsite what Mssrs Weissenstein and Lee might daydream about.]

Cuba’s Removal From Terrorism List  4/15/2015 Counterpunch: by Code Pink - "It was President Ronald Reagan who put Cuba on the terrorism list. He sought to blacklist Cuba’s support for leftist movements in Central and South America, movements that challenged US hegemony in the region. And after denouncing Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism, Reagan pursued his own campaign in Central and South America—funding the extreme right, conducting covert military actions, brokering illegal arms deals, and attempting coup d’etats."

Cuban Jewish Kindness: What I Hope Won’t Change  4/14/2015 3200 stories: "There is so much that is broken in Cuba. Massive changes are in store as “los americanos” finally return to Cuba, perhaps a little too eagerly, to fix it all. The loving sense of community among the island’s Jews, and among those fellow Cubans who cherish their presence, is one thing that I hope doesn’t change."

Cuba’s Coming Out Party at the Summit of the Americas  4/13/2015 Counterpunch: by Medea Benjamin - "“Half our delegation got here only to find that they couldn’t get the credentials they were promised, and were shut out of the meetings,” said Gretchen Gomez Gonzalez of the Cuban Federation of University Students, “while dissident Cubans who don’t represent anyone but themselves were given credentials to represent Cuban civil society.” Pro-government Cubans confronted the dissidents in the streets and at the meetings, calling them mercenaries for taking US money and carrying photos showing some of them embracing convicted terrorist Jose Posada Carriles. They also say that former CIA operative Felix Rodriguez, blamed for killing revolutionary hero Che Guevara, was at the Summit working with the dissidents."

Barack Obama says his first meeting with Cuban president Raul Castro is a 'turning point'  4/13/2015 Independent: "In his speech to summit leaders, Mr Castro recalled the slights against his nation and the revolution begun by his brother, Fidel, but admitted admiration for Mr Obama, saying he had read both his memoirs. “I have told President Obama that I get very emotional talking about the revolution and the sanctions that followed,” he said. “I apologise to him because President Obama had no responsibility for this.”

The Americans are coming: Cuba prepares for an invasion of art dealers  4/13/2015 Independent: “Most of us are expecting that for the Biennial there will be an explosion of American collectors coming to buy,” explains Mario González. “It should be a stampede.”

Esteban Morales: El pueblo cubano aún desconfía de Estados Unidos  4/11/2015 teleSUR: "En entrevista para teleSUR, el analista cubano Esteban Morales, expresó que en el pueblo cubano hay muchos años acumulados de prejuicios, desconfianza y a los ciudadanos les cuesta trabajo pensar que Estados Unidos puede cambiar su posición con Cuba."

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances  4/10/2015 Congressional Research Services 

Solidarity-with-Cuba Groups Thwart Provocation of Terrorists in Panama  4/10/2015 Cuba Now: "Solidarity-with-Cuba groups of Panama City, thwarted a provocation organized by Félix Rodríguez, known for his involvement in the assassination of Che Guevara in Bolivia, who would turn up in front of a park near the Cuban Embassy, ??supposedly to place some flowers by a bust of José Martí. As soon as the news was known, Panamanian union members and members of social networks, participants in the People's Summit that began on April 9 in Panama City, showed up at the Belisario Porras Park, in front of the Cuban diplomatic mission, where there is a bust of José Martí and another one Antonio Maceo, the Cuban News Agency reported."

Can I independently enroll in classes at the University of Havana?  4/10/2015 Havana Times: "After some looking around it seems the best bet will be starting with UniversiTUR SA, a state company that coordinates independent study for foreign students. Phone in Havana is (53 from outside Cuba) 7261-4939, agencia@universitur.com. Calle 30 No. 786 between Calle 41 y Ave Kohly. Other options would be to look for programs at individual Cuban Universities. The CUJAE (a comp. science and engineering univ.) and Santa Clara University Marta Abreu are good places to start."

Ministerio de Salud cubano desesperado por éxodo de profesionales  4/10/2015 Havana Times: "Actualmente, los ingresos generados por los servicios médicos constituyen la fuente de divisas más importantes para el presupuesto cubano. Este renglón sufre una amenaza severa, en la forma del éxodo de los profesionales responsables de generar tales servicios."

The Price of State Classifieds in Cuba  4/10/2015 Havana Times: "We could conclude that a normal ad could easily cost between 10 and 20 CUC, that is to say, the monthly wages of a regular Cuban worker. That is the offer made by AIN, which, in addition to operating this juicy business, will also sell a printed version of the magazine at 3 Cuban pesos."

Hartas del acoso sexual  4/10/2015 Negra Cubana: "Recientemente la reconocida periodista y feminista cubana Marta María Ramírez relataba en su muro de Facebook su última experiencia con el acoso en las calles de La Habana: “‘No te hagas la seria, que eres tremenda puta’, me lanzó hoy en medio de La Habana y en tono violento un desconocido…"

Experto califica como cínico discurso de Obama sobre Cuba en Cumbre panameña  4/10/2015 Venezolana de Television: ""Y como refiere, además, al foro de la sociedad civil, la expresión es más cínica todavía…", espetó Esteban Morales, sobre Obama quien dijo estar satisfecho por presencia de Cuba en el encuentro continental"

Oficialistas y opositores cubanos se enfrentan a golpes en Panamá (video)  4/9/2015 El Diario: "A través de un comunicado, el Directorio Democrático Cubano señaló que un grupo de opositores, entre ellos Jorge Luis García Pérez 'Antúnez', fueron golpeados por parte de partidarios castristas en Panamá, cuando se disponían a hacer un homenaje al busto de José Martí que se encuentra en el parque Porras."

Some Telesur appearances about Cuba  4/8/2015 Quotha: "...focused on Obama's mega misstep in thinking that he'd be received as a hero at the Summit of the Americas because of his role in updating the US regime change strategy for Cuba, after blatantly lying about Venezuela's being a threat to national security (and admitting as much) in order to impose sanctions on the latter. My argument (by no means original): Latin Americans aren't as gullible as you think, Mr. President."

Some Telesur appearances about Cuba  4/8/2015 Quotha: "The second wasn't posted (just got a screenshot), but focused on Obama's mega misstep in thinking that he'd be received as a hero at the Summit of the Americas because of his role in updating the US regime change strategy for Cuba, after blatantly lying about Venezuela's being a threat to national security (and admitting as much) in order to impose sanctions on the latter. My argument (by no means original): Latin Americans aren't as gullible as you think, Mr. President."

Israel’s Unsavory New ‘Allies’  4/7/2015 Consortium News: "Indeed, in 2013 Michael Oren, then Israeli ambassador to the United States (actually he grew up in West Orange, New Jersey), told the Jerusalem Post, “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” A year later, Oren was at an Aspen Institute Conference and declared that Israel would prefer the victory of ISIS to the continuation of an Iranian-backed Assad. Nor have the Israelis been shy about acting on this preference. They have established a non-aggression pact with an al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate called the al-Nusra Front, cared for al-Nusra wounded in Israeli hospitals, and mounted attacks on the Lebanese and Iranian forces opposing al-Nusra."

Opositores cubanos denunciarán el continuismo de los Castro en la cumbre de Panamá  4/7/2015 Minuto 30: "“El régimen (castrista) está apostando por un continuismo y quizás piense o albergue la esperanza de que Panamá sea un escenario propicio donde pueda legitimarse moralmente en el área internacional”, dijo a Efe el disidente Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” tras una conferencia de prensa en el aeropuerto de Miami. “Antúnez”, secretario general del Frente de Resistencia Cívica Orlando Zapata, señaló que los miembros de la delegación, convocada por la Asamblea de la Resistencia Cubana, ejercerán de “representantes del pueblo de Cuba” en Panamá, donde organizarán un simposio para analizar la situación en la isla."

Opportunity Knocks at Cuba's Door  4/3/2015 #CubaNow: "Following last month’s news that direct calls between the U.S. and Cuba would resume for the first time in years, another entry into the Cuban marketplace stands to boost Cuban entrepreneurs in a major way. Airbnb, a U.S.-based website that allows people to rent their homes, announced this week that they would be expanding into Cuba. As we write in today’s blog post, this move is bigger than you might think: “One of the other more positive effects is the increased demand this will create for expanding Internet service in Cuba. While some might have initially scoffed at the idea of a streaming service like Netflix expanding to the Island, services like these will better allow Americans to engage with the Cuban people while building pressure for the kinds of investments that will bring Cuba into the 21st century."

Kean University Cancels Common’s Appearance As Their Graduation Speaker  4/1/2015 All Hip Hop: "State Police union president Chris Burgos said that having the Chicago rapper as a speaker is a “slap in the face” because Shakur, born Joanne Chesimard. is portrayed as the victim when she was in fact the killer. “What is troubling here is that a state university that is subsidized with state taxpayer funds, is once again being questioned on their decision-making at the highest levels,” Burgos said in an emailed statement to NorthJersey.com"

Fox News Latino: How a Hashtag Helped Thaw U.S.-Cuba Relations  3/25/2015 #CubaNow: "At LabMiami, a technology business incubator located in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood, Ric Herrero wages a national campaign using traditional and social media that has played a significant role in thawing frosty relations between the United States and Cuba. As executive director of #CubaNow, Herrero is the public face of an organization backed by prominent Cuban-American businessmen in Miami who want to end the embargo…"

¿Conoces a otros blogs LGBT cubanos?  3/24/2015 En 2310 y 8225: "En nombre de la objetividad, Sheila me ha obligado a responder a mi también, y me sorprende ¡cuántos blogs LGBT tengo indexados! Hace tiempo que solo busco, catalogo y hago crecer el blogroll de Proyecto Arcoiris en Cubava, pero no los contaba. Son blogs personales y colectivos, de activistas y gente fuera del armario... ¡La mitad no radica en La Habana! WOW."

Regresan a Cuba médicos que combatieron el Ébola en Liberia y Sierra Leona  3/23/2015 Radio Angulo: "Unos días antes, las autoridades y los responsables de la OMS de los dos países africanos, habían homenajeado a los brigadistas. El ministro de relaciones exteriores de Liberia, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, en entrevista exclusiva para el equipo de prensa de Cuba que reporta el hecho, enfatizaba: "A los médicos cubanos no les importó el riesgo, decían que eran hermanos del otro lado del océano y vinieron a ayudarnos como hermanos"."

Cuba: Pink to Pink | Led by Alberto Jones - October 10, 2015 - October 17, 2015  3/22/2015 Holbrook Travel: "Advances in knowledge have increased the number of cancer survivors, many of whom need our moral, psychological, and material support to improve their quality of life. Our group will be visiting healthcare facilities and meeting with survivors in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, which will give us an opportunity to learn how the Cuban healthcare system works and is able to serve its people with limited resources. We can bond, share experiences and mitigate the suffering."

5 Things Cuba Can Do to Speed the Normalization of Relations With the United States  3/21/2015 OnCuba: "...there a number of things Cuba can do to move the normalization process forward without compromising its sovereignty. The steps below flow directly out of the 18 months of secret talks between Washington and Havana. Except for the last, they are things to which Cuba has already agreed in principle but has not yet done."

The Americans Are Coming!  3/21/2015 OnCuba: "Cuba faces the imminent challenge of increased tourism from the United States, one of its closest and most profitable markets. It is estimated the inflow of US tourists that are to visit Cuba in the coming years could double the total number of tourists currently traveling to the island. These are demanding people who must be handled with “silk gloves”, if the country wishes to see them return. Failing this, this market will have been ruined in a few years and the country will lose a historic opportunity to make a leap forward in the industry."

Black Students at UC Berkeley Want a Hall Renamed After Assata Shakur  3/20/2015 The Root: "The Black Student Union at Berkeley would like Barrows Hall to be renamed “Shakur Hall.” “We want the renaming for someone—Assata Shakur—who we feel … represents us as black students,” Cori McGowens, spokesman for the school’s black student union, said. “We’re at a crisis on campus.” McGowens says that black students at Berkeley are isolated and marginalized."

Peloteros que desaparecen: ¿Qué pasa con ellos?  3/19/2015 Deportivas sin Censura: "De Malas explica, al respecto, que los peloteros cubanos que abandonan el país de manera ilegal recalan mayormente en República Dominicana, y agrega que: Una vez allí, esos muchachos, en dependencia de su pedigrí, edad, salud, relaciones y hasta suerte, son “adoptados” por empresas (llamémosle representantes) que se ocupan de cuidarlos, alimentarlos, darles techo y conseguirle los famosos show cases. Y es precisamente allí donde radica el problema, pues de Malas añade que: Sin embargo, estos representantes tienen un control enorme sobre sus pupilos, a tal extremo que no pueden conceder entrevistas a NADIE y mucho menos dar su paradero."

It's A New Era For Afro-Cubans  3/19/2015 Essence: "Leslie Aldama, 44, a Realtor associate who grew up in Guantánamo Bay and came to Miami in the late 1980’s, says her Black Cuban parents voted Republican for decades because they believed in the GOP’s position: that the embargo would take down the notorious Castro. But now, Aldama says, even some members of the older exile commu- nity are changing their stance: “My parents voted Democrat in the past two elections. They’re starting to understand that the embargo hasn’t changed anything.”"

Cuba: the urgent dialogue with its diaspora  3/19/2015 OnCuba: "And Martí speaks to me, to my brother, speaks to us all and said that Cuba, this enormous entity that contains us and that is above governments, policy, left and right, will call us again. It will build with all hands that urgent bridge has to take us back. All, all, because they set the numbers, it imposes this time, and as Martí predicted, are new or newest pines with which our country, because it needs and wants, will count on."

Denuncian gays acosos y redadas policiales contra ellos en Varadero y Matanzas  3/18/2015 Proyecto Arcoiris: "9 de marzo No puedo entrar a Varadero sin que la policía me pida el carnet de identidad, me tire por la planta, y aunque la comprobación de negativa, me montan en la patrulla y me detengan durante horas. Me dice Alberto González Alfonso quien trabaja como auxiliar de enfermería en el policlínico José Antonio Echevarría, de Cárdenas."

Sociedad civil cubana aborda retos de gobernabilidad y participación ciudadana  3/17/2015 Granma: "Los retos para el perfeccionamiento del sistema político y económico cubano, así como las garantías en el ejercicio integral de los derechos humanos, centran este martes los debates de un variado grupo de representantes de organismos, instituciones y proyectos no gubernamentales de todo el país."

USA prioritizes opening embassy in Cuba  3/17/2015 OnCuba: "The State Department wants to give its Interests Section in Havana the title of embassy ASAP. Preferably it wants it done before the Summit of the Americas in Panama. A senior official of the State Department expressed it in a conference call where he answered questions from the press, prior to the third meeting in Havana between a Cuban delegation and the one headed by Roberta Jacobson."

It's time to be realistic about Cuba  3/16/2015 Caribbean Intelligence: "For the most part there is little realism, understanding, or any appreciation of the extent to which Cuba will continue to manage and control the process, seeking balanced relationships that also recognise those nations or organisations that been supportive when times were difficult. For this reason, some of the concerns being expressed in the Caribbean in recent weeks about the possible economic threat posed by a changed Cuba-US relationship seem ill founded; saying more about the fragility of most of the economies of Caricom and their dependence on tourism."

Cubans hopeful U.S. embargo will end, pastor finds  3/11/2015 Winston-Salem Chronicle: "Williams, pastor of Diggs Memorial Church, went on a trip to the Cuban capital of Havana with pastors from around the nation. It was sponsored by the Progressive National Baptist Convention, whose general secretary, Rev. Dr. Tyrone Pitts, helped organize and participated in the trip. The trip, which lasted from Jan. 30-Feb. 9, was part of the 25th anniversary celebration of a Cuban Baptist church organization, La Fraternidad de Iglesias Bautistas de Cuba. During that time, the pastors worshipped, preached and took communion with Cuban congregations."

NED's new list of Cuba grantees  3/10/2015 Along the Malecón: "The National Endowment for Democracy has published a new list of grant recipients for its Cuba programs. The information is taken from the non-profit organization's 2014 annual report."

Everglades To Be Killed This October by Florida's Own Koch Brothers  3/4/2015 Alternet: "Time magazine has called them the "First Family of Corporate Welfare" John Ellis Bush (JEB), Rick Scott, and other GOP politicians kowtow to this family like no other. They were a top donor for W. And they are almost singlehandedly destroying our Everglades. Welcome to Keeping up with the Fanjul family of Palm Beach. The Fanjul family is synonymous with the term "Big Sugar" here in Florida. They control 1/3 of our nation's raw sugar. "

Americans Can Go to Cuba  3/4/2015 CounterPunch: "On a recent CODEPINK trip to Cuba with a 150-person delegation, we found the island crawling with Americans taking advantage of the relaxation of US travel restrictions and the historic thawing of US-Cuban relations."

Chomsky on Cuba: After Decades of U.S. Meddling & "Terrorism," Restoring Ties is Least We Could Do  3/4/2015 Cuba Si: Amy Goodman interviews Noam Chomsky.

How to Beggar One’s Neighbor: Cuba in 2015  3/3/2015 CounterPunch 

Conan O'Brien in Cuba: 'All I want to do is try and make these people laugh'  3/3/2015 KPCC: "When you first floated this idea to the bosses at TBS, what did they say? We didn't actually tell them. We sort of kept it on the down low. Then we told one guy, pretty much, that we were thinking about doing it and he said that sounds cool. We decided if we told too many people, either A) it'll get out, or B) someone will give us a really good reason why we can't or a legal reason why we can’t. So we decided better to beg forgiveness than ask permission."

Cuban Delegation on Round Two of Talks with the USA  2/28/2015 Havana Times: "While many other issues will be on the table in future talks (extradition treaty, Cuban Adjustment Act, the US embargo, the Guantanamo Naval Base, human rights, property expropriations, etc.) there seems to be agreement that the official restoring of relations and the opening of embassies is the first order of business. This with an eye to making considerable progress before the Summit of the Americas on April 10-11 in Panama, when presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama will be on the same venue. Parralel to that, Cuba continues to press that it be taken off the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism and the US State Department says it is reviewing the designation to make a recommendation to Congress. The following is the press release issued by the Cuban Delegation following the talks on Friday."

Inaugurarán nuevas salas de acceso público a Internet en Santiago de Cuba  2/28/2015 Sierra Maestra: "Cinco salas para el acceso al servicio público a Internet y la creación de cuentas de correo electrónico internacional (nauta), serán puestas a disposición de la población santiaguera a partir de hoy por la Dirección Provincial de los Joven Club de Computación y Electrónica, de conjunto con la División Territorial de ETECSA. Según información ofrecida por directivos de la empresa de Telecomunicaciones, las nuevas salas se ubican en los municipios de San Luis, Contramaestre, Mella, Guamá y II Frente."

Communism is an Aspiration - The Future of Cuba  2/27/2015 CounterPunch: by ALEJANDRO CASTRO ESPIN and LASONAS PIPINIS VELASCO

Cuba: the Weight of a Long History  2/27/2015 CounterPunch: "During the 1930’s and 40’s, the ambition to control Cuba’s destiny continued—if somewhat more subtly and without troops. The U.S. sent Sumner Welles as a special envoy to Cuba in the 1930’s to ensure that the outcome of a populist insurrection against Gerardo Machado, then Cuba’s dictator, did not steer the island away from U.S. tutelage. This intervention gave rise to the U.S. support for Fulgencio Batista, which lasted until his overthrow in 1959 by the Revolution. As our ambassador to Cuba at the time, Earl T. Smith, asserted during a Senate hearing in 1960: “Until Castro, the U.S. was so overwhelmingly influential in Cuba that the American ambassador was the second most important man, sometimes even more important than the Cuban president.”"

Josefina Vidal: El respeto fue la clave del éxito que condujo a los anuncios del 17D  2/27/2015 CubaDebate: "La Directora General de Estados Unidos de la Cancillería cubana trae la sonrisa fresca, la calma con la que ha hablado unos minutos antes en el Departamento de Estado. De pie, en el salón de la Oficina de Intereses de Cuba acondicionada como sala de prensa -la primera vez que ocurre en muchísimos años-, contesta ahora todas las preguntas que nos hacíamos en esta jornada, y aquellas que surgieron al calor de la conversación con la que cierra nuestra presencia en Washington."

Cien Damas de Blanco piden cambios en la organización  2/26/2015 Cuba Encuentro: "Exigen la reincorporación de varias activistas separadas del grupo, y que le permitan la participación en la toma de decisiones a quienes se encuentran en el exilio"

Comienza en FIU conferencia de estudios cubanos  2/26/2015 Marti Noticias: "En la Universidad Internacional de la Florida, la décima conferencia de estudios cubanos abordó el tema de las implicaciones que tiene el futuro de Cuba" [ningun mencion de lo afro]

End the US Blockade of Cuba and Military Occupation of Guantanamo Bay! An Interview with Manolo De Los Santos  2/25/2015 Black Agenda Report: "I’m here in Cuba, first of all studying. I’m a student of theology at the Evangelical Seminary in Matanzas. I am also here as a staff person for IFCO (Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization) Pastors for Peace working as a liaison between IFCO and the US medical students studying at the Latin American School of Medicine, which has been an amazing opportunity for hundreds of young people from the US, from communities of color, poor communities, to actually be able to study medicine for free here in Cuba."

Cuban Ballplayers Still Punished by the Embargo  2/25/2015 CounterPunch 

The Cuba Diaries: the Last Days of the Caribbean Derek Jeter, Carlos Tabares  2/25/2015 VICE: "Despite all the excitement I sense for impending changes in Cuba, I begin to also realize an entire generation exists that will miss out on the progress. For the most part, these people, aged approximately 40-50 years old, are entrenched in their lives, and there's little that can happen now to drastically alter whatever future they have left. There may be improvements—perhaps they will get to leave the country for the first time on vacation—but realistically, these people will remain in Cuba living a similar version of the life they've always led. This group could be called the in-between generation, too young to have experienced the glory years of the revolution, but also now too old to fully appreciate the changes that are undoubtedly coming."

CUBAN ENTREPRENEURS CAN SELL EVERYTHING FROM SHOES TO SOAP IN THE UNITED STATES  2/23/2015 The Cuban Economy: "The State Department says its new rules will encourage private Cuban entrepreneurs to develop products for export. While all live animals and animal products are prohibited, raw hides, skins, leather, furs, saddlery and harnesses, handbags, and travel goods are allowed. So are paper products, plastics and rubber articles, ceramics, glass and glassware, articles of stone, plaster and cement; footwear, hats, umbrellas, toys and games, artificial flowers and feathers. Independent entrepreneurs who make soap, cosmetics, candles, waxes and polishes, perfume or photographic or cinematographic goods are also in the clear. Jewelry makers, including those who work with pearls and precious and semiprecious stones, also got a green light as did producers of cutlery and tools."

Lebanon FM signs 'historic agreement' with Cuba  2/21/2015 Daily Star: "Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla highlighted his country’s solidarity with Lebanon, and its keenness to see an end to Israel's efforts to destabilize the country. “We express our support to the Lebanese and Arab causes, especially to the Palestinian cause,” Parilla said after meeting with Bassil… He hoped that the Lebanese community in Cuba, which is estimated to be comprised of about 30,000 people, will help the bonding process between the two countries and their citizens, especially in terms of economic and cultural relations."

NAFDAC partners Cuban company on new technology for malaria eradication  2/19/2015 Premium Times, Nigeria: "The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has said it is set to partner with Labiofam, a Cuban-based pharmaceutical company, to promote the adoption of biotechnology for malaria eradication in Nigeria. NAFDAC’s Director-General, Paul Orhii, made the disclosure when he received a delegation from the company in Abuja on Monday. He said the adoption of biotechnology, which used biolarvicides in the eradication of malaria, could boost Federal Government’s planned malaria eradication programme."

Discuten en Cuba política de Internet  2/17/2015 Observatorio Critico: "Distintos medios de prensa informan de la próxima celebración en Cuba del el 1er Taller Nacional de Informatización y Ciberseguridad donde, especialistas del sector participarán en la definición colectiva de la política que adoptará el país al respecto."

Democracy Programs in Cuba: the NED report  2/17/2015 Progresso Weekly: published in its 2013 annual report - "The National Endowment for Democracy is a major recipient of US government funds for channeling to democracy programs in Cuba. The NED, based in Washington, D.C., does a better job than most organizations in disclosing to the public how it spends its money."

Conan O'Brien Films Episode of Conan in Cuba  2/16/2015 Miami New Times: "First comes Netflix; then comes Late Night. In the latest example of the loosening travel restrictions with Cuba, longtime comedian and TV host Conan O'Brien is filming an episode of his TBS show in Havana. Deadline reports O'Brien's show flew to Havana last Thursday, taking advantage of the time off for Presidents' Day to film an upcoming episode of Conan on location. Though news crews have made their way to the island over the past two months to report on the normalizing of relations between the United States and Cuba, Conan is the first American late-night show to film on the island since the U.S. embargo began in 1962."

Democracy Programs in Cuba: the NED Report  2/14/2015 Havana Times: "The following is the list of US Gov. funded grants through NED, published in its 2013 annual report"

Cuba-USA Try to Skirt Dead Ends  2/12/2015 OnCuba: "Some politicians from the Cuban émigré community demand that Havana hand over fugitives from US justice like Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, an African-American woman who was a Black Panther leader and is sought by US authorities for the murder of a police officer in the 1970s. They seem to be unaware of the fact that an extradition agreement is reciprocal and would force the United States to deport many Cuban exiles accused of crimes, including Luis Posada Carriles, sought for the bombing of a Cuban commercial airliner that killed 73 people."

The Cuban economy and Obama’s new policy  2/12/2015 OnCuba: "Even without eliminating the embargo, the announced measures could begin to gradually benefit the Cuban economy. Some effects will be more direct and tangible and will be appreciable in tendencies of tourism, remittances and goods and services that arrive in Cuba from the United States, while other effects will be more indirect, depending on what kind of signal is sent to the international economic and financial community and the restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations."

Video Showing Arrest of Cuban Reggaeton Musician Leaked  2/10/2015 Havana Times: "Though the announced re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States opens the possibility for the US to demand the extradition of fugitives from justice, it seems unlikely Martinez will be handed over to US authorities. The cases of the dozens of fugitives from US justice living in Cuba after committing acts of million-dollar Medicare and car insurance fraud have been brought to the discussion table and constitute issues to be addressed during bilateral negotiations, but no short-term solution is yet in sight. Some charged with Medicare fraud have voluntarily returned to the United States to settle their debts with justice."

Cuba and USA Today: Miscellaneous  2/10/2015 OnCuba: "In short lines, we present some news about the path that is taking the process of restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States"

Cuba demands return of relatives of Cuban doctors in Brazil  2/10/2015 OnCuba: "Doctors describe as absurd to have allowed “having sex with a Brazilian inclusive wedding him or her, (but) living here with my lawful wife of 20 years for over a month is a fault to discipline according to the Minister of Health of Cuba”. They explain “Bringing our family is not illegal nor by Cuban law nor by the Brazilian, is only illegal for our public health minister that imposes on us this without giving a reason, because if we don’t send our family before next Sunday February 1st we will be withdraw from the mission “."

Conexion Miami / Florida farming fears Cuba  2/10/2015 Progreso Weekly: "“Forty-nine state farm bureaus support the lifting of the embargo, but Florida does not,” William Messina, University of Florida agricultural economist, told The Palm Beach Post. The explanation: Florida has a lot to lose if Cuba begins sending fruits, vegetables and sugar here where the same crops are grown. Cuba and Florida have similar subtropical climates and both produce sugar cane, fruit and winter vegetables. Goes to show you… We’re of the belief that a little competition is good."

Will there be despair in Cuba by end of USAID funding?.  2/10/2015 The Cuban Handshake: "After several scandals of corruption and diversion of these funds the U.S. Congress decided not to give more budget to USAID, by allocating $ 17.5 million to promote subversion against Cuba at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which will receive $ 7.5 million to the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, both of the Department of State, which will receive the other 10 million. They are responsible for promoting the grants for which opt for various contractors who run various anti-Cuban projects."

Castro: End US embargo, normalize Cuba relations  2/10/2015 The Militant: "“Our U.S. counterparts should not plan on developing relations with Cuban society as if there were no sovereign government,” he continued to applause."

Nat Turner’s fraught economic rebellion in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward  2/8/2015 Al Jazeera: "Almost home and still empty-handed, Thomas stops at an urban garden launched in 2006 by Nat Turner, named for the legendary leader of an 1831 slave uprising in Virginia. This Nat Turner taught social studies and debate at New York’s Beacon High School and drew media attention after a row with school authorities following a trip with his students to Cuba. The trip nearly cost him his job, were in not for what he says was the support of the teacher’s union and his attorneys."

US, Cuba Relations 2015: End of Cuba Embargo May Bring Lawsuits, Competition to Miami's Tobacco Industry  2/8/2015 Latin Post 

Russian diplomat in Cuba for talks on investment projects  2/8/2015 Progreso Weekly: "Among the projects discussed were the construction of four power plants with a total output of 800 megawatts, improvements to the José Martí iron-and-steel works in Havana, and the participation of the Russian oil giant Zarubezhneft in the offshore exploration for crude. The commission will meet again in April in Kazan, Tatarstan, to discuss those projects further, the Russian visitor said."

Obama’s Policy Reforms: The Congressional Counteract Begins  2/6/2015 Cuba Central: "Ms. Soler’s answer — no, it didn’t happen that way — was not the response Senator Rubio was looking for. But the advice that followed would be well-taken for someone considering a run for the presidency. At another juncture, Mr. Rubio asked the panel if they all supported a continuation of the Helms-Burton program that gives financial assistance to dissidents in Cuba, some of whom benefit from U.S. support and still denounce the Obama policy. To his apparent surprise, two of the witnesses — Miriam Leiva and Rosa María Paya — didn’t agree with him on that question either."

Cuba cancela visita de congresistas de EEUU a la isla  2/5/2015 Café Fuerte: "Según la información, los viajes de los congresistas fueron pospuestos hasta al menos mediados de abril. Obama y Raúl Castro deben encontrarse a mediados de abril en Panamá durante la Cumbre de las Américas a la que ambos han confirmado ya su asistencia. Un portavoz de la Oficina de Intereses de Cuba en Washington DC negó la versión de AP, y dijo que está prevista la visita de algunas delegaciones en los próximos días. Pero eso no es lo que creen Morán y Flake. Moran dijo que la delegación estaba compuesta por senadores republicanos que “tienen la mente abierta sobre cambiar la relación con Cuba” y quieren entender mejor los asuntos que afectan al país. El senador cree posible reprogramar su visita a la isla."

EEUU preocupado por aumento de balseros; 890 cubanos se lanzaron al mar desde octubre  2/5/2015 Café Fuerte 

La nueva política hacia Cuba revitaliza a donantes anticastristas de la Florida  2/5/2015 Café Fuerte: "Pero los nuevos documentos presentados ante la Comisión Federal de Elecciones (FEC, la agencia independiente que regula el financiamiento de las elecciones a nivel nacional), que cubren el período en el que Obama anunció su nueva política, muestra que el US-Cuba Democracy PAC, el más prominente comité de cabildeo que representa a la comunidad anticastrista, vio un salto significativo en donaciones."

Cuba-US in time of changes: criteria on the Cuban side  2/5/2015 OnCuba: "Nearly a week after Cuba and the United States began to officially dialogue in Havana, entrepreneurs, bloggers, filmmakers and Cuban intellectuals gathered in Washington for two days (January 27 and 28) to exchange with US and Cuban American politicians, diplomats, journalists , businessmen and academics, in a meeting organized by the Possible Cuba Project and the Cuba Research Center."

New Cuba Policy Reinvigorates Anti-Castro Donors  2/4/2015 Open Secrets: "The group’s one other major expense, made on Dec. 9, was a $10,000 donation to Robert Menendez Legal Defense Fund, a fund set up to help defray the legal expenses of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a Cuban-American and one of the most combative opponents of Obama’s new policy."

The heroism of America's black troops  2/4/2015 Republican American: "When the Spanish-American War began, these "Buffalo soldiers" were sent to Cuba. Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders never would have survived their reckless charge up San Juan Hill if the black soldiers of the 10th Calvary and 24th Infantry Regiment had not come to their rescue."

Sen. Marco Rubio Pushes Against Obama's Cuba Changes In Hearing  2/3/2015 NBC 

Cuba–US Talks and the Fate of Assata Shakur and Nehanda Abiodun  2/2/2015 Havana Times: "Unlike Assata (whose whereabouts are unknown and is believed to be at a secret location, owing to the US police effort to capture her), since the 90s Nehanda has organized a series of campaigns in her home to encourage the creation of a black and Afro-Cuban awareness movement. Her home has become a center for cultural and socio-political projects and the venue of Cuba’s first hip hop gatherings. She has also organized debates on contemporary issues and African history which have seen the participation of activists and artists, such as the Cuban rap band Anonimo Consejo."

Goodbye to Radio and TV Martí?  2/2/2015 OnCuba: "In presenting her proposal to the Capitol, the lawmaker said that in the last three decades stations have spent over 770 million dollars. Each year, the US government provides thirty two million and in 2014, its activities were covered with nearly 27 million. However, contrary to the intention of cutting costs and budgets for Radio and TV Martí, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) the US government signed over 100 contracts worth almost a million dollars for their transmissions to Island since last December 17, when the government announced that both sides begin to renew diplomatic ties."

U.S. Editorial Says Law Favoring Cuban Arrivals Is Challenged  2/2/2015 Radio Havana 

US Lawmakers proposed a Freedom to travel to Cuba Act  1/31/2015 OnCuba: "Eight Democratic and Republican senators introduced this week to Congress a bill to lift the restrictions imposed in a 2000 and 1996 on travel to Cuba by US citizens and residents, as reported by AFP. The project, known as the Law of Freedom to travel to Cuba, would alleviate the effects of the US blockade against Cuba from 1962 to also allow banking transactions related to these movements."

Free trade with Cuba  1/29/2015 Amsterdam News: by Rep Charles Rangel - "The United States Chamber of Commerce is one of the strongest supporters of ending the embargo, which estimates it could create 6,000 American jobs and restore $1.2 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The economic embargo stifles an extra $250 million in potential annual exports of fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides and tractors. Ultimately, ending the embargo will, in addition to creating an estimated 6,000 American jobs, generate billions of dollars in revenue."

Take Cuba off the Terrorist List  1/29/2015 CounterPunch: by MEDEA BENJAMIN

Cuban doctors take leading role in fighting Ebola  1/29/2015 The Telegraph: "Either way, it is a change from the dark days of the Cold War, when Cuba sent military advisors to prop up the dictatorship of Sierra Leone’s President Siaka Stevens after a coup attempt in 1971. A Cuban mission trained what was known as Internal Security Unit Two, a feared militia of 500 elite guards. Since the Cold War's end, the two countries have sustained their relationship, boosted by a shared history around the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Last year, in a real life version of Alex Haley's 1976 slave saga book Roots, an academic study into an African community in Cuba known as the Ganga-Longoba traced their origins to a remote Sierra Leonean village."

Cuba Détente  1/28/2015 CounterPunch: by ROBERT SANDELS and NELSON P. VALDÉS - "Until now only agricultural and some medical and educational materials could be sold to Cuba. The new regulations allow for an increase in the kinds of goods that Cuba can import from the United States such as construction and agricultural tools and machinery. However, these can only be sold to non-state sectors such as co-ops and private entrepreneurs. Thus, certain sectors of the U.S. corporate world will be given preferential treatment. OFAC is also giving Cuban entrepreneurs in the private sector an advantage over the state, but the Obama administration also wants U.S. information technology corporations to invest in Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure, which means selling services, software and equipment to the Cuban government."

Leave a Little Light On for Me  1/27/2015 CounterPunch: by Fidel Castro - "Well, setting aside these perplexing problems, it is astonishing to recall that the University of Havana, during the days when I entered this beloved, prestigious institution almost three fourths of a century ago, was the only one in Cuba. Of course, fellow students and professors, we must remember that it is not just one now, but rather more than 50 institutions of higher learning distributed across the entire country."

AmEx plans to begin activities in Cuba  1/27/2015 Progreso Weekly: "Last week MasterCard announced that it would allow its cardholders to use the credit card in Cuba. This as a result of President Obama’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with the island after more than 50 years of animosity. The latest economic giant to jump into the fray is American Express which said it could begin operations in Cuba. No specifics as to dates, etc. were offered."

Fidel Castro chimes in on shift in Cuba-U.S. relations  1/27/2015 USA Today: ""I don't trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts," he wrote in a letter directed at a student federation at the University of Havana that was also published in Spanish in the Communist Party newspaper Granma. "We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the people of the world, including with our political adversaries."

South Florida Democrats walk fine line on Cuba  1/26/2015 Sun Sentinel: "South Florida's Democratic members of Congress are caught between a rock (President Barack Obama) and a hard place (their Cuban-American congressional colleagues) when it comes to rapidly changing U.S. policy toward the island nation."

Republican senators want Tupac Shakur's aunt back from Cuba  1/23/2015 Local 10, Miami: "During the two days of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic talks in Havana this week, the issue of human rights was a cause for friction. "They [U.S. diplomats] have views about the exercise of human rights in Cuba," said high-ranking Cuban diplomat Josefina Vidal, who was leading the Cuban delegation. She added that the U.S. doesn't have the authority on human rights problems, as the country is currently dealing with a wave of police brutality. And that she said is "something you never see in Cuba."

What is the Real Reason Behind Obama’s New Cuba Policy?  1/21/2015 Black Agenda Report: "Obama is reacting to occurrences that pose a significant geopolitical challenge to American hegemony in the Western hemisphere. The Russians and the Chinese have come knocking on America’s back door. From July 11 to 17, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled through a multi nation Latin American tour ending with a summit of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in Fortaleza, Brazil. These nations are among the fastest developing economies in the world, and their combined efforts have been posing significant geopolitical challenge to America and its European allies all over the globe. This is particularly the case since the 2008 economic crash."

Cuba-U.S.: Between candy and salty water  1/19/2015 Cuba Now: "This group of aged enemies of Cuba is led by doubly small Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Marco Rubio and Mario Díaz-Balart. Once again, they represent the outmoded promoters of bitter hatred against independent Havana. But they are confronted by those who dismiss such behavior and prefer to achieve their goal without aggressiveness."

An Incomplete Reform of Travel  1/19/2015 Havana Note: "Instead, by the time the regulations came from OFAC on January 15th, the bold promise had shrunk to a general license only for the organizations that send travelers -- not for the travelers themselves."

Rep. Barbara Lee Is Angling To Be Ambassador To Cuba  1/18/2015 SFIST: "Alameda County Congresswoman and hero to Bay Area liberals Barbara Lee is said to have a "gentlewoman's agreement" with President Obama to become our new ambassador to Cuba, should that actually become an open position before Obama's term ends next year. As the Chron's mustache twins Matier & Ross report, Lee has been a frequent traveler to the island nation, making at least 21 trips to Cuba over the last 20 years despite the federal ban on travel."

Travel to Cuba E ases, but Airlines Will Miss Initial Rush  1/16/2015 NYT: "But before airlines can schedule direct flights to Havana and other airports, the two countries must still negotiate a new air service agreement. Until that happens, travelers will have to rely on charter flights booked through specialized travel agencies, and that is not expected to change for the next 12 to 18 months, according to travel experts and industry officials. The timeline could be further complicated by opposition in Congress as well as the presidential election next year, which could delay matters in unpredictable ways."

THE DISSIDENT MOVEMENTS AND THE RESOURCES TO THE METHOD.  1/16/2015 THE BROKEN IMAGE/ LA IMAGEN ROTA: by Serio Giral - "For more than a lustrum the Castro regime has generated a consistent opponent dissident movement, many of its members have been killed in front of the firing squad and their names have remained anonymous; others have suffered imprisonment and abuse for decades. Each new opposition voice has been stifled and repressed behind the bars of a jail or beating, spitted and dragged through the streets of the cities. These men and women who have paid the price of rebellion have a name and a story."

New measures of the United States to Cuba become effective  1/15/2015 OnCuba: "The Obama administration made known last Thursday the entry into force of several of the measures announced on December 17, 2014, for the easing of relations with Cuba. Jacob Lew, US Treasury Secretary, said “these regulations, along with those issued by the Department of Commerce, will implement policies for relaxation of sanctions related to travel, remittances, trade and banking.”"

United States Cuba Relations: The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle  1/15/2015 US Cuba Politics: "FACT SHEET: Treasury and Commerce Announce Regulatory Amendments to the Cuba Sanctions"

9 Key Questions about New Cuba Regulations What Do They Mean for Trade, Travel, Americans, and Cubans?  1/15/2015 WOLA 

Namibia: Ngurare Urges African Youth to Support Cuba  1/13/2015 All Africa: "The Swapo Youth League (SPYL) secretary, Dr Elijah Ngurare, has called on African youth movements to stand in solidarity with Cuba until the 50-year US embargo is fully lifted."

How Obama Could End The Cuban Embargo  1/12/2015 CounterPunch: "So to undo the embargo Congress would seemingly have to repeal the Helms-Burton Act, otherwise the President’s hands would be tied. Except in reality the regulations the President is ordered to enforce are not valid, and should not be legally binding on him. This is because there is no legal merit for the regulations against Cuba, which are written based on the application of enemy status to Cuba. But Cuba does not meet the definition of an enemy. According to the TWEA, an “enemy” is defined as “any individual” or “the government of any nation with which the United States is at war.” The act specifies that the “beginning of the war” is “midnight ending the day on which Congress has declared or shall declare war or the existence of a state of war.”"

Beyond the Rhetoric: What the U.S. Can Learn from Ole Cuba  1/12/2015 Thy Black Man: "Cuba has some of the best civil engineers and construction managers in the world. I have witnessed some of their projects being built on every continent of the world. Their work is excellent, affordable and reliable. It would be great if many of our Black businesses would joint venture with them and take on projects around the world as they do. There is nothing we could not build. As our new relationship builds, such activity can become a reality. This would build Black business capacity in this nation and create jobs by the millions. Yes, Cuba could greatly help us to get around the racial adversity that we face in this current economy."

No Internet in Cuba? For some, offline link to world arrives weekly  1/9/2015 McClatchy: "The vast majority of Cubans have no access to the Internet or cable television, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of touch with the wider world. Many stay connected through an offline system that operates in the legal shadows. It’s called the “weekly packet,” and it’s an alternative to broadband Internet that provides tens of thousands of Cubans, and perhaps many more, with foreign movies, TV shows, digital copies of magazines, websites and even local advertising. Cubans obtain the packet by toting empty portable computer hard drives to clandestine distributors who load them with an array of the latest movies, television episodes and music videos. Then the hard drives are taken home, where they’re viewed on computers over the next week."

The culture, the history, the hospitality: Remembering 2000 trip to Cuba  1/8/2015 Daytona Times: by Alberto Jones - "“I felt love,” said Robert A. Brooks, chairman of Black Studies at the African American Cultural Society. “The people were nice, generous, and giving – and had a real concern for others.” What amounted to a Brooklyn-Queens block party took a stance in miles of agricultural plains with goats along the countryside of thatched-roofed houses and quaint horse-drawn buggies."

The Return of the Cuban Five - The Hour of Triumph  1/7/2015 CounterPunch: by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, who has served as Cuba’s UN ambassador, Foreign Minister and president of the National Assembly.

McCaskill to travel to Cuba, says lifting embargo would benefit Missouri agriculture  1/7/2015 KC Star: "Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri announced on Wednesday that she will take a trip to Cuba next month to explore how farmers and other businesses in her state might benefit from opening Cuban markets to U.S. agriculture products."

Defeating the Tyranny of Failed Ideas - How to Break the Embargo on Cuba  1/6/2015 CounterPunch: "The normalization of relations with Cuba – a long-delayed measure – offers the opportunity to lift the embargo on the island that so many negative consequences has had for the Cuban people. An initial measure could be to open the medical communication channels between American and Cuban doctors."

NESTOR GARCIA ITURBE / ¿Qué es lo que quiere Obama?  1/3/2015 Contringerencia: "Considero que este párrafo, el primero de su discurso tiene dos aspectos a resaltar. Se plantea que “están cambiando sus relaciones con el pueblo de Cuba”, cuando el cambio es con el Gobierno de Cuba, que es el representante del pueblo. Debemos observar si en el resto del discurso se habla del Gobierno de Cuba. Plantea que van a poner fin a un enfoque anticuado que durante décadas no ha podido promover los intereses de Estados Unidos. De esto se desprende que todo lo que harán será para promover sus intereses. ¿De qué intereses está hablando Obama?"

Letra del Año para el 2015 de la Asociación Yoruba de Cuba  1/1/2015 CubaDebate 

Spy wars: a wilderness of mirrors in U.S.-Cuba swap  1/1/2015 Miami Herald 



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