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Cuba in the News

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 On Cuba: "...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 On Cuba: "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."

Cuba: the urgent dialogue with its diaspora  3/19/2015 On Cuba: "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."

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 On Cuba: "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."

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."

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 Read more about Inaugurarán nuevas salas de acceso público a Internet en Santiago de Cuba | Periodico Sierra Maestra by Jose Roberto  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."

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."

Cuba-USA Try to Skirt Dead Ends  2/12/2015 On Cuba: "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 On Cuba: "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 On Cuba: "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 On Cuba: "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."

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 On Cuba: "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."

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 On Cuba: "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 On Cuba: "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

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."

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"

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."

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."

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 

Asaltan con armas de fuego dos cafeterías habaneras  12/31/2014 CubaNet: "Un dependiente de El Rápido, que pidió declarar bajo anonimato, dijo: “Se llevaron todo el dinero de la caja. Se lo llevaron todo, aquí nadie quiere decir nada, porque ahora todos estamos sujetos a investigación. Nos estudiaron y dieron el golpe. Lo jodido, es que no descartan que después del robo, los que estuvieron en el turno hayan cogido algo también, ahora hay mucha desconfianza”."

The Seeing Eye is the Organ of Tradition  12/31/2014 EthnoCuba: "This simple exchange highlighted an overlooked if obvious point: all of this U.S. themed clothing is imported not in official state shops (duh!), but is hand-delivered by close family or friends abroad. In other words, wearing it also marks one as having familia en exterior, family abroad. As I have argued elsewhere, beyond symbolizing the United States, since the 1990s wearing Stars and Stripes apparel in Cuba is a marker par excellence of one’s privileged access to increasingly important transnational remittance circuits."

Cuba Invests More in Education than Any Other Country: Survey  12/31/2014 Periodico 26: "The report, which looked at public expenditures in education as percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2009-2013, found that the Caribbean island allocates the highest share of its GDP to education, with 13 percent. Cuba was followed by the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) with an 11.3 percent, then Denmark with 8.7 percent and Ghana with 8.1 percent."

Cuba Reports 3 Million Foreign Tourists in 2014  12/31/2014 Radio Havana: "Cuba´s Tourism Ministry announced that the total figure of foreign tourists to Cuba reached 3 million on December 30, standing for a 5.3 percent growth when compared to last year. A news release by the ministry explains that despite 2014 has been a year marked by crises in several major tourist markets and the limitations imposed by the US blockade on the island, which bans American citizens from freely traveling to Cuba as tourists, the expected figure was reached, also thanks to the work of travel agencies, hotel chains, airlines and tour-operators."

United States Cuba Relations: A Transformative 2014 and the Promise of 2015  12/31/2014 US Cuba Politics: "For this end of year posting we interviewed Antonio C. Martinez II., Attorney, Political Consultant, and Editor of to discuss the historical moments of December 2014 and what bodes next for Cuba policy in the U.S. Congress, the Obama Administration, and the 2016 elections on the horizon:"

A New Thesis about Cuba’s Weekly Package (Part II)  12/29/2014 Havana Times: "The Cuban State has more than enough qualified personnel, trained at the country’s well-stocked technical and military academies and the University of Information Sciences (UCI), to develop a project as wide-encompassing and complex as the “weekly package.”"

Everyone in Cuba is Talking About the Same Thing  12/29/2014 Havana Times: "Everyone is talking about the same thing: the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Though some are optimistic and others skeptical, the truth is that the news has stirred everybody up."

The Forgotten History of U.S.-Cuba Friendship  12/29/2014 Huff Post: "Black Americans have demonstrated a special interest, extending all the way back to Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., forcing the Eisenhower Administration to embargo arms shipments to Batista in 1958. Throughout the 1960s, many leaders in the civil rights and Black Power movements visited Cuba, to see for themselves how it overcame widespread poverty and discrimination, followed later by leading black Members of Congress. Even in the 1990s, Fidel Castro packed out Harlem's most famous church, Abyssinian Baptist. African Americans knew well what Mandela had said: that the 1988 defeat of white South Africa's vaunted army by Cuban troops backing the revolutionary Angolan government was a decisive blow against apartheid."

Will it be the end of USAID´s spells?  12/29/2014 On Cuba: "Curiously Los Aldeanos didn’t need be “bought” to be critical. For years their songs questioned the Cuban reality without mincing words, making their messages to have enough weight in certain sectors of youth. But USAID polluted them with their money and although they did not know where it came from, that shadow will inevitably create doubts about the integrity of Los Aldeanos and the honesty of their criticisms, reducing the influence of their messages."

¿El año de la informatización?  12/29/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Pero desde este presente pedregoso se hace imperativo mirar hacia el futuro: la alta escolarización y capacidad intelectual acumulada por los cubanos se puede ver afectada de un modo drástico si no se impone una voluntad económica y política de superar las actuales condiciones con que debemos lidiar. Del mismo modo, la transformación y modernización económica del país no puede hacerse sin los recursos de la informática, o con un deficiente y limitado uso de ellos."

The year of computerisation?  12/29/2014 Progreso Weekly: "But from this present full of obstacles it is imperative to look toward the future: the high education and intellectual capacity accumulated by the Cubans can be affected drastically if an economic and political will is not imposed to overcome the current conditions we have to deal with. In the same way, the country’s transformation and modernisation cannot be carried out without the resources of computer science, or using them in a deficient and limited way."

Blacks Should Support Normalizing Relations with Cuba  12/29/2014 The Skanner: Written by Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., NNPA Columnist

Barack Obama busca apoyos de la derecha  12/28/2014 Progreso Semanal: "De ahí que dos de los lobbies más activos en favor del deshielo sean la Cámara de Comercio de EE UU y la Federación de Oficinas Agrícolas Americanas. La primera es el principal lobby empresarial, enfrentado a Obama en cuestiones como la reducción de las emisiones contaminantes y la reforma sanitaria. La segunda es el lobby rural, y su aplauso al presidente refleja la esperanza de que la nueva etapa permita aumentar las exportaciones de productos agrícolas. No es casualidad que sea en el Medio Oeste, el granero de EE UU, donde la iniciativa del presidente cuente con mayores complicidades."

Denuncian en Cuba el envío de mensajes subversivos a celulares  12/28/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Desde el pasado 21 de diciembre se han detectado mensajesque llaman a la población a concentrarse en plazas del país y “apoyar una provocación” convocada para este 30 de diciembre, aseguran altos cargos de la empresa, según el blog ‘Cambios en Cuba’. ETECSA sospecha que los mensajes provienen de una plataforma ubicada fuera de la isla que funciona de manera similar a proyectos financiados por la agencia norteamericana USAID, como ZunZuneo y Martí Noticias."

Why travel to Cuba?  12/28/2014 Progreso Weekly: "Forget about rum and cigars. The art and music is what makes Cuba such a fascinating place, she says. “I think a lot of the mystique and excitement of going there is the art and music,” she says. “When you hear the music, your foot starts to tap.” There’s no one type of Cuban music. The music and instruments are influenced by Cuba’s African and European traditions. Walk into a bar or club and you may hear salsa, merengue, rumba, jazz, or any other number of genres."

Where to go in 2015  12/27/2014 Boston Globe: "At the moment, no one is sure how or when the current travel restrictions to Cuba will change, which require that visitors (without family ties to Cuba) travel for professional, religious, or educational purposes. Major tour operators, such as Grand Circle, Globus, Tauck, and Abercrombie and Kent, offer highly-structured people-to-people tours, under special licenses."

The US-Cuba agreement in five major economic issues  12/27/2014 On Cuba: "Part of Obama´s reforms will allow US telecommunications firms to start working with Cuba to expand its communications infrastructure, which will help Cuban economy and will set the basis for financial transactions more sophisticated in the future."

Big changes coming to Cuba tourism with us opening  12/27/2014 Progreso Weekly: "The new Treasury Department rules have not yet been released, but a White House statement suggests that educational travel to Cuba will now be covered by a “general license,” which means tour operators – and perhaps individuals, depending on how the regulations are written – will be able to head to Cuba and simply give the U.S. government their word that they’re not engaging in ordinary tourism."

Americans are eager to visit Cuba, but changes to U.S. rules may come slowly  12/27/2014 WaPo 

Cuba Will Not Renounce Its Ideas  12/26/2014 Counterpunch: by Raul Castro

What Are Young Cubans Saying about US-Cuba Relations?  12/26/2014 Havana Times: "Though opinions on this differ, the truth is that the vast majority of young people in Cuba are optimistic. The first thing many friends and acquaintances thought was: “the island is going to fill up with gringos!” Evidently, young people in Cuba do not feel any particular resentment towards the people or culture of the United States. The relief that this will mean for our depressed economy is, without a doubt, something people anxiously await. The possibility of US investors settling in Cuba and offering a broader scope of jobs and higher wages is something most hope for."

Cuba’s Reforms Fail to Reduce Growing Inequality  12/26/2014 IPS: "To ease the recession in the 1990s, the government of Fidel Castro (1959-2008) opened the doors to foreign investment, fomented tourism, legalised the dollar, and created the “foreign currency recovery stores”, among other measures whose economic benefits also came accompanied by greater social inequality."

Why real change in Cuba won't come easy or fast  12/26/2014 LA Times: "Republicans are also threatening to block Obama's policy by attaching Cuba amendments to must-pass appropriations bills. That strategy won't become available for almost a year, however, when the next appropriations bills come up. By then, the new relationship with Cuba may be so well established that even Republicans would be loath to turn back the clock."

Cuba returns properties to the Church  12/26/2014 On Cuba 

‘Offended,’ Israel won’t publicly support Obama’s initiative  12/26/2014 Progreso Weekly: "Although some observers blame the recent deterioration in relations between the U.S. and Israel as a reason behind Benjamin Netanyahu’s government withholding its Cuban endorsement, Israeli media point to Tel Aviv’s wariness of alienating Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, who are opposed to Obama’s diplomatic overtures with the communist-ruled country. Those opposed to the pro-Cuban stance in Congress – primarily in the Republican Party – are viewed as “being closer to Israel than are the supporters of Obama’s opening to the communist island near Florida,” Haaretz observed."

Marco, Ted and Bob: Fishes out of water  12/26/2014 Progreso Weekly: "History has passed judgment on them and has tossed them overboard. Like fishes out of water, Rubio, Cruz, Menéndez and others like them can do nothing but gasp desperately for breath to keep from dying."

$11 million in Cuba grants up for grabs  12/25/2014 Along the Malecon: "The State Department on Wednesday announced that it is looking for U.S.- or foreign-based organizations interested in running programs aimed at boosting civil, political and labor rights in Cuba. The department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor expects to award up to $11 million in grants, ranging from $500,000 to $2 million each. Statements of interest from organizations hoping to receive funds are due Feb. 5, 2015. The bureau's announcement says it will give priority to proposals that "emphasize the role of Cuban partners in developing and achieving programmatic objectives.""

How travel to Cuba might change  12/24/2014 Boston Globe: "What is the hotel room/accommodation situation in Cuba now? “There is a lot, but at the high end, there are only a couple of good properties,” Diaz said. “People don’t go to Cuba for the luxury — they go for the music, culture, and arts scene.” But if Cuba opens up to US tourists and their penchant for luxury accommodations, “you’re going to see American hoteliers doing their best to find potential properties in Cuba,” Loucks said."

Reflections from Former Chief of U.S. Interests Section  12/23/2014 CIP Americas: by Wayne S Smith - "As the announcement of restored relations came through Wednesday morning, there was utter joy and elation among the Cuban people in the streets, there were cheers and applause – this is what they have been waiting for, too. This change came at a critical moment. The Obama administration had to come to it or risk a further deterioration of relations with the rest of the hemisphere. There were questions in Latin America about our relations with Cuba and what that said about our policy in the hemisphere. Now those questions have been set aside and we can move forward to focus on improved relations with all."

Rosita: Una mujer con el emprendimiento en los genes  12/23/2014 Negra Cubana: "Si las circunstancias históricas, políticas e ideológicas (la revolución marxista-leninista, la caída del campo socialista), si la situación económica (mejoramiento durante épocas, empeoramiento en otras), o el nivel de instrucción (que se mantiene elevado desde 1959) no consiguen justificar completamente la persistencia de desigualdades raciales en Cuba, ¿dónde hallar explicaciones a este fenómeno? "

New poll: Majority U.S. support for change in Cuba policy  12/23/2014 Progreso Weekly: "Even republicans, who not long ago were against the measures, now support allowing trade and travel. “In 2009, 36 percent of Republicans said the United States should end the trade embargo and 40 percent favored an end to travel restrictions,” reported Clement. But those numbers have skyrocketed in favor with 57 percent now supporting trade with Cuba and 64 percent supporting travel between the countries. “Republicans continue to split on establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba overall, with 49 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing the idea — a similar split to 2009,” said Clement."

Seoul provides Cuba with Ebola protective suits worth US$1 mln  12/23/2014 Yonhap: "South Korea has provided protective suits worth US$1 million to Cuba in a bid to help doctors of the Latin American country do humanitarian work in Ebola-hit West Africa, a Seoul official said Tuesday. Via the World Health Organization, Seoul has offered the Ebola protective suits to Cuba, which has sent hundreds of medical workers to Ebola-hit West Africa, said the official at Seoul's foreign ministry."

Historic Turn on Cuba. Professors Ruth Behar and María Isabel Alfonso in Radio Bilingüe.  12/22/2014 Café por Cuba 

America's Cuba  12/22/2014 Counterpunch: "In the United States, events like the Bay of Pigs invasion are typically portrayed as reactions to Cuban instigation, but the chronology belies this framing. In fact, the causality runs in almost exactly the opposite direction: US hostility wasn’t a response to Cuba’s Communist ties; Cuba’s Communist ties were a response to US hostility."

Who Was Alan Gross Working For?  12/22/2014 Counterpunch: "According to DAI CEO Jim Boomgard, Gross was in Cuba running a US government program called “Cuba Democracy and Contingency Planning Program”. In an August 2008 meeting, officials from this program told DAI representatives that “USAID is not telling Cubans how or why they need a democratic transition, but rather, the Agency wants to provide the technology and means for communicating the spark which could benefit the population.” The program, the officials said, intended to “provide a base from which Cubans can ‘develop alternative visions of the future.'”"

TV Martí Blew Its Coverage of Historic U.S.-Cuba Moment  12/22/2014 Miami New Times: "Yet when the biggest Cuban-American story in a half-century broke -- Barack Obama and Raúl Castro's announcement that they'd move to normalize diplomatic relations -- the Miami-based network was caught in utter disarray, employees tell New Times, exposing the systemic disorganization and poor leadership that have blighted the network for years."

A la espera de otra invasión gringa  12/22/2014 Progreso Semanal: "La ciudad capital, más otros sitios dispersos por la geografía insular en la que algunos cubanos rentan sus viviendas a extranjeros, se encuentran todos desde ya en sus máximas capacidades de alojamiento. Hoy mismo hay muy pocas posibilidades para esos visitantes que, como electrones libres, buscan un techo criollo y no el de una instalación turística donde pasar Navidades y Año Nuevo con un agradable clima y un entorno social como para recordar."

Editorial del New York Times: La evolución del movimiento gay en Cuba  12/21/2014 Afromodernidades: " En Cuba, históricamente las marchas han sido eventos orquestados por el gobierno o protestas de disidentes, que las autoridades suelen suprimir con rapidez. Así que llamó mucho la atención cuando, en mayo de 2007, la sobrina de Fidel Castro salió a la calle con un pequeño ejército de travestis, armado con banderas de orgullo gay."

What the Cuba embargo teaches us about economic sanctions  12/21/2014 News, Australia: "There are cases when sanctions are effective, but circumstances are important. Sanctions like the Cuba embargo, which aimed to foment a revolution or topple a regime, aren’t successful very often. “When they do have a better track record is when you’re asking for more tangible concessions,” Daniel Drezner, a political scientist at Tufts, prolific foreign-policy blogger, and author of The Sanctions Paradox, told me. He points to the US sanctions on Iran, which have clearly played a role in pushing Tehran to the nuclear negotiating table, and are likely more effective because it’s “clear [the Obama administration] isn’t looking for regime change.”"

How Barbara Lee’s 30-year Cuba campaign paid off  12/21/2014 SF Chronicle: "Lee and her delegation met that day for five hours with President Raul Castro in the first face-to-face session between U.S. lawmakers and Cuban leaders in at least five years. Both brothers, Lee recalled, expressed hope that the newly elected President Obama would change history and restore ties between the two countries. Last week, as she touched down on U.S. soil from another trip to Cuba — her 21st — the Oakland Democrat got the call: Obama was announcing a thawing of relations, an exchange of prisoners and the freeing of American Alan Gross, whom Lee had visited several times during his five-year Cuban captivity."

How Barbara Lee’s 30-year Cuba campaign paid off  12/21/2014 SFGate: "She developed a connection to the island’s Afro-Hispanic culture and the people whose economic struggles were intensified by the U.S. trade embargo, she said. The trips and her introductions to many average Afro-Cubans — “who looked just like me, who acted just like me” — cemented her belief that the embargo was an unjust burden on the people of the island nation."

A Chance to Breach Divide for Young in Cuba and US  12/20/2014 ABC: "For Cubans like Martinez, it may mean that becoming a doctor won't limit her to a meager state salary. For others, there is the hope of Internet access and an end to the desperation that leads thousands to migrate each year. Cuban-Americans, meanwhile, see the possibility of starting businesses in their homeland, connecting with their roots and putting aside the bitterness of parents and grandparents who were arrested, exiled or had property seized in the revolution."

Cuban Tourism in the Age of Détente  12/20/2014 New Yorker: "Under the new rules, people will still have to travel for one of twelve pre-approved purposes, but these, including educational trips, will all be covered by general licenses. It’s unclear exactly what this will mean for travellers—the Obama Administration has said that it will be weeks before the details become available—but Popper and others expect that, at the very least, it will open up travel to Cuba to more Americans."

Advice over Plans to Visit Cuba for the First Time  12/20/2014 Radio Havana: "Words of advice for our listeners who may be planning a trip to Cuba for the first time. The high seasons for Cuba tourism are from mid-November to mid-March and in July and August. Prices for hotels, flights, and other expenses are higher during peak times."

Castro insists Cuba won’t abandon communism despite deal with U.S.  12/20/2014 WaPo: "“This makes it so much easier for the U.S. to relate to its allies and friends in the region,” said Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas."

The “Pure Evil” Hypocrisy - Marco Rubio’s Rabid Campaign Against Cuba  12/19/2014 Counterpunch: "Rubio called these developments “another concession to a tyranny” rather than “a defense of every universal and inalienable right that our country was founded on and stands for.” But, how exactly does continuing the embargo and maintaining a supercilious, egotistically aloof distance from Cuba sound an “American” defense of its values abroad? Rubio averred, in sum, that “these changes…will significantly set back the hopes of freedom and democracy for the Cuban people.” To dismiss the revolutionary successes, though, to outright deny the bravery, the endurance, the incredible struggle, and epic human perseverance of the Cuban people in the face of one of history’s greatest instances of adversity reeks of disrespect and unawareness. Ultimately, it gives voice to the pure evil of Rubio’s anti-Cuban hypocrisy."

The US and Cuba: What Really Happened, What Will Change?  12/19/2014 Counterpunch: "It isn’t full normalization. It isn’t completely free travel to Cuba that is promised to all US citizens by our constitution. It isn’t the lifting of a policy of economic strangulation decried universally every year at the UN. It doesn’t allow unlimited investment in Cuba’s nascent private sector or completely remove limits on remittances sent to family and loved ones on the island. At least, not yet."

Pope Benedict Helped Free American From Cuba  12/18/2014 AP: "Pope Francis rightly got credit for helping bring the U.S. and Cuba together and free U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross. But it was Francis' predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who made the first high-level Vatican manoeuver to release Gross, spurred in part by an unlikely group of papal lobbyists."

This Is What Cuba Really Looks Like These Days  12/18/2014 Mother Jones: photos

Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on re-establishing U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

DeWayne Wickham: Obama action on Cuba burnishes legacy  12/17/2014 Baxter Bulletin: ""We think the best way to bring Cuba into the 21st century is through openness, not isolation," National Security Adviser Susan Rice told me moments after Obama announced his decision to gut the embargo, which can only be formally ended by a vote of Congress."

President Obama's new Cuba policy: What we heard, and what we didn't  12/17/2014 The Havana Note: "What’s interesting about today’s announcement is what we didn’t hear. We didn’t hear a president constrained by political calculations. President Obama said he looks forward to an “honest and serious” debate with Congress about lifting the embargo – a not so subtle hint about what the debate has largely lacked so far. And while he acknowledged the contribution to our country and the “passion” of Cuban exiles who might not like his policy changes, the wide-ranging – and long-awaited - moves announced today were clearly decided without a fear of political retribution."

My Take on Cuba’s “Weekly Package” (Part I)  12/16/2014 Havana Times:  I buy Cuba’s weekly TV series, music and software package on a regular basis. In my opinion, some of its contents are valuable in more than one sense. That said, there are a series of factors behind this phenomenon that have truly piqued my curiosity."

GRADUAL AVANCE DE LA TELEVISIÓN DIGITAL EN CUBA  12/16/2014 UNEAC: "La Televisión Digital en la Isla avanza con paso firme hacia el objetivo final de lograr que, para e 2021, se produzca el Apagón Analógico. De esta manera el Instituto de Investigaciones y Desarrollo de Telecomunicaciones (LACETEL) dio a conocer los planes y proyectos que para 2015 se prevén implementar en aras de lograr una mejor optimización de esa señal en todo el país."

Obama's Historic Move  12/15/2014 "Some, to be sure, have felt that such delicate means are not enough, for example, Nixon cabinet member Alexander Haig, who asked the president to "just give me the word and I'll turn that f--- island into a parking lot." His eloquence captured vividly the long-standing frustration of US leaders about "That infernal little Cuban republic," Theodore Roosevelt's phrase as he ranted in fury over Cuban unwillingness to accept graciously the US invasion of 1898 to block their liberation from Spain and turn them into a virtual colony. Surely his courageous ride up San Juan Hill had been in a noble cause (overlooked, commonly, is that African-American battalions were largely responsible for conquering the hill)."

Cuban Interest Section Extends Provision of Consular services in Washington  12/10/2014 On Cuba 

EU-Cuba talks delayed by dispute over cultural event  12/9/2014 Reuters: ""It seems like a pretext because Cuba feels it is not ready for the next round of talks," said one person who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. "It would see both sides enter more delicate issues like cooperation in the area of human rights, democracy and human rights."

Why Are Cuba Embargo Lobbyists So “Obsessed” With The New York Times? - See more at:  12/6/2014 Capitol Hill Cubanos: "Is it just me or is getting a little weird that Cuba embargo lobbyists keep using the word “obsessed” when talking about the New York Times and Cuba? The criticism is that it’s somehow strange for the most influential paper in the world to care at all about US-Cuba policy. With that logic, are they basically saying Cuba isn’t important and shouldn’t be discussed by such an influential publication?"

At home and cured of Ebola, Cuban doctor vows return to Africa  12/6/2014 Reuters: "A Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was cured after experimental treatment in a Swiss hospital vowed on Saturday to return to West Africa and continue treating patients. "I will finish what I started. I am returning to Sierra Leone," Felix Baez, 43, told reporters at Havana's Jose Marti airport shortly after landing, the official website Cubadebate reported."

This petition will be delivered to: Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  12/5/2014 Progreso Weekly: "This is why we are again calling attention to the report by the Tampa Bay Times that Sally Canfield, Deputy Chief of Staff to Rubio, and Arthur Estopinan, Chief of Staff to Ros-Lehtinen, visited China on a Congressional staff trip run by the U.S.-Asia Institute, but funded by China’s government. Senator Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are two of the biggest opponents in Congress to lifting the travel ban and changing U.S. policy."

Cuba’s extraordinary global medical record shames the US blockade  12/3/2014 the Guardian: "Four months into the internationally declared Ebola emergency that has devastated west Africa, Cuba leads the world in direct medical support to fight the epidemic. The US and Britain have sent thousands of troops and, along with other countries, promised aid – most of which has yet to materialise. But, as the World Health Organisation has insisted, what’s most urgently needed are health workers. The Caribbean island, with a population of just 11m and official per capita income of $6,000 (£3,824), answered that call before it was made. It was first on the Ebola frontline and has sent the largest contingent of doctors and nurses – 256 are already in the field, with another 200 volunteers on their way."

Leaving Cuba Alone a Sound Policy  11/27/2014 Havana Times: "During a recent meeting at OnCuba magazine in Havana, Ernesto Londoño, member of The New York Times editorial staff, asked young Cuban journalists what the United States could do to hasten changes on the island. They answered that the best help consisted precisely in doing nothing."

The sad story of Cuban transportation  11/24/2014 On Cuba: "There are few sectors in Cuba that have accumulated so much inefficiency for many years as the public transportation. Things didn’t work well even in the time of plenty, when Soviet aid was counted by billions and oil was paid with sugar. Even the humor reflects this. Before Cuba entered the crisis of the 90s already a banner showed the painting of a Cuban bus packed with scenes of Guernica, Pablo Picasso´s painting representing chaos in a Basque village after the bombing of Nazi aviation."

Cuban doctor in Sierra Leone tests positive for Ebola  11/19/2014 Reuters: "A Cuban doctor treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the disease and was being sent to Geneva for treatment, officials said, the first Cuban known to have contracted the potentially deadly hemorrhagic fever."

Académicas feministas se reúnen en Cuba  11/17/2014 Semlac: "La obra de artistas y escritoras de habla hispana de todos los tiempos fue tema de análisis para más de 160 profesionales de la academia provenientes de una decena de países, durante el XXIV Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (AILCFH), celebrado del 10 al 14 de noviembre en el Hotel Nacional de esta capital."

Comienza en Cuba primer curso internacional sobre el ébola  11/10/2014 Sierra Maestra: "El primer Curso Internacional para la prevención y el enfrentamiento al virus del Ébola en la región de las Américas, comienza hoy en el Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí, en La Habana. La iniciativa es resultado de la Reunión Técnica de especialistas y directivos para la prevención de esa epidemia, que sesionó en Cuba los días 29 y 30 de octubre últimos con la participación de 278 especialistas y directivos de 34 países del área geográfica. El encuentro, contó además con la participación de representantes de las organizaciones Mundial y Panamericana de la Salud, y otras instituciones internacionales y regionales."

OnCuba presented its communication platform in FIHAV2014  11/8/2014 On Cuba: "The richness of Cuban culture, events that mark the history of the country, the economic, the daily life and traditions, are topics of interest for OnCuba that continues to put its eyes on Cubans. More than just magazines, OnCuba is a communication platform that functions as a sort of bridge between the so-called two shores. During the afternoon yesterday in FIHAV 2014, in the Business Round Room at Expocuba Fairground, the presentation of the communication platform and exhibition of projects and updated statistics from its president Hugo Cancio, took place."

Cuba unveils foreign-investment portfolio  11/7/2014 Progreso Weekly: "The big news at the 2014 Havana International Fair was the launching of the Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign Investment. During the process of approval of Law 118 [on Foreign Investment], the authorities stressed the pertinence of that document, explaining that in the past any foreign businessman could come and tell us what he wanted, without a well-defined counterproposal. The principal benefit of the Portfolio is that it indicates a truly proactive stance on the part of Cuba, indicating clearly where and how investments should be directed."

Corruption and its Weeding Out  11/6/2014 On Cuba: "The Comptroller’s Office is making a huge effort, but it is pitted against a silent army of corrupt and/or inept officials united by common financial interests. They protect and rescue one another as they are “busted.” This is why the Comptroller’s Office complains that some of the inept officials who are dismissed reappear six months later as managers in just another company. Their mutual aid network reaches far back in history, having emerged as a means of skirting regulations against nepotism. Official X cannot give his son or wife a good job where they work, so official Y gives them a good position in his place of work. In exchange, X repays Y by hooking up his relatives and friends with jobs where one can get one’s hand on hard currency, trips and gasoline."

Cuban Medical Services presents seven lines of business at FIHAV  11/6/2014 On Cuba: "The Distributor of Cuban Medical Services Company (SMC by its Spanish acronym) gave an updated account of its operations during the past year during FIHAV 2014 event where it is participating for the fourth consecutive year. The seven lines of business that give prestige to the company responsible for the promotion of health services in Cuba in the world were exposed by Dr. Exposito Lliliam Jimenez, president of the organization. The doctor explained that the business portfolio is based on sustained success for decades of the Cuban health system as a result of principles and values of humanity, solidarity and a fundamental concern for having the highest ethical and scientific standards for workers, who constitute the fundamental bulwark of Cuban medicine."

Cuba: Emprendedoras rurales intercambian saberes  11/5/2014 Semlac: "Desde cómo organizar un negocio hasta trucos para la artesanía, la siembra de hortalizas, cría de animales y cultivo de plantas exóticas compartieron mujeres emprendedoras durante la "Jornada Internacional de Economía Rural y Derechos Económicos de las Mujeres", celebrada en el hotel Panorama, en La Habana, del 27 al 29 de octubre."

CAFE's Communiqué about Cuban-American Congressmen and the Ebola Crisis  11/3/2014 CAFÉ: "The position of these politicians in this issue against Secretary John Kerry's goodwill gestures demonstrates their lack of understanding of the challenges United States face in the world and their subordination of American national interests and values to an agenda of resentment and hate."

U.S. and Cuba Come Together Over Ebola, Infuriating Republicans  10/31/2014 NYT: "After some initial hedging, the United States seems to have embraced the idea of working closely with Cuba on the global response to the Ebola epidemic. A mid-level official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attended a regional summit in Havana on Wednesday hosted by an association of left-leaning Latin American nations."

Diaz-Balart: Disgraceful that U.S. Sent CDC Official to ALBA Meeting in Havana and Condoned Exploitation of Cuban Doctors  10/30/2014 Diaz-Balart: ""It is a disgrace that the United States sent a representative to an ALBA meeting in Havana and praised the Cuban dictatorship for sending forced medical labor to Western Africa. “ALBA, the brainchild of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, was created solely to oppose U.S. interests in our hemisphere. It enjoys the support of other anti-American regimes such as Syria and Iran. That the U.S. would send a representative to such a meeting is by itself ludicrous."

The New York Times Examines Impact of Cuba in US Elections  10/26/2014 Periodico26: "The editorial published today, and signed by the Editorial Committee, headed by Andrew Rosenthal stresses that the policy has dramatically changed in recent years, as Cuban immigrants in South Florida have spoken in favor of fostering close ties with their country of origin. "Cuba continues being an important political issue in Florida and even nationally extended. But the issue has become much more complex," emphasizes the newspaper."

The Shifting Politics of Cuba Policy  10/25/2014 NYT: "For generations, among Cuban-Americans, once a largely monolithic voting bloc, the embargo was a symbol of defiance in exile — more gospel than policy. That has changed dramatically in recent years as younger members of the diaspora have staked out views that are increasingly in favor of deepening engagement with the island. Cuba still looms large in Florida politics, and to an extent nationally. But it is far from the clear-cut issue it once was."

Recorren miembros de televisora Panárabe Almayadeen sitios de interés de Santiago de Cuba  10/24/2014 TV Santiago: "Con la finalidad de favorecer y aumentar los nexos de comunicación y fraternidad entre los países árabes y el continente latinoamericano, integrantes de la televisora Panárabe Almayadeen, con sede en el Líbano, visitaron varias provincias del país. En su recorrido por Santiago de Cuba, el Telecentro Provincial Tele Turquino estuvo entre los destinos escogidos, pues conocer las producciones televisivas que se realizan en nuestro país, fuera de su capital, es también uno de los objetivos de esta visita."

Principios generales del plan para Cuba de prevención y enfrentamiento al virus del Ébola  10/22/2014 IPS 

The U.S. Will Collaborate With Cuba … on Ebola  10/22/2014 NYT: "After wrestling for days with the diplomatically awkward reality that Cuba could turn out to be America’s best ally on the effort to stem the Ebola epidemic, the Obama Administration has belatedly come around to a sensible conclusion: It’s willing to coordinate with the Cuban medics dispatched to treat patients in West Africa."

Colombia lidera nómina de delitos informáticos en América Latina  10/21/2014 Radio Cadena Agramonte 

Respuesta solidaria de Cuba en la lucha contra el ébola asombra a Estados Unidos  10/20/2014 La Jornada: "Desde la semana pasada, el gobierno de Obama expresó su admiración por la contribución cubana. El secretario de Estado, John Kerry, comentó el viernes ante diplomáticos extranjeros que "ya estamos viendo a naciones grandes y pequeñas presentándose de maneras impresionantes para hacer una contribución en las primeras líneas. Cuba, un país de sólo 11 millones de personas, ha enviado 165 profesionales de salud y tiene planes para enviar casi 300 más". Fue una de las contadas veces que Washington ha ofrecido palabras positivas en público hacia Cuba en más de medio siglo desde que Estados Unidos ha intentando aislar y cambiar el régimen político de la isla."

Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola  10/19/2014 NYT: "In a column published over the weekend in Cuba’s state-run newspaper, Granma, Fidel Castro argued that the United States and Cuba must put aside their differences, if only temporarily, to combat a deadly scourge. He’s absolutely right."

Raul Confers Antonio Maceo Order on Granma Naval Academy  10/17/2014 Adelante 

Obama’s Cynical, Stilted Response to Ebola vs. Cuba’s Magnificent Mobilization  10/15/2014 Black Agenda Report: "Billionaire Bill Gates and other rich NGOists deploy their capital to push the public health sector to the barest margins of existence. As Professor Pollock explained, “conditions are being set by large, global NGOs such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” that are not rooted in public health systems, but in corporate health services for profit. “They drain off indigenous doctors into for-profit health care, while corporate global institutions force less-developed nations to strip away what public health services they have.”"

Getting closer to Nicolás Guillén  10/14/2014 Adelante: "Camagüey.- Tomorrow kicks off in this province the IVth Symposium in homage to our National Poet, that with biannual character organizes the Camagüeyan subsidiary of the Center of Studies Nicolás Guillén with the target of socializing the researches that on the writer are realized in the whole country."

Los cubanos queremos jugar un béisbol libre  10/14/2014 Nuevo Herald: "Orlando “El Duque’’ Hernández no parece haberse retirado hace unos años. Por el contrario, tal parece listo para comenzar a lanzar con los Yankees o los Industriales, porque se mantiene físicamente mejor que muchos jóvenes."

Obama Should End the Embargo on Cuba  10/11/2014 NYT: by the New York Times Editorial Board - "Given the many crises around the world, the White House may want to avoid a major shift in Cuba policy. Yet engaging with Cuba and starting to unlock the potential of its citizens could end up being among the administration’s most consequential foreign-policy legacies. Normalizing relations with Havana would improve Washington’s relationships with governments in Latin America, and resolve an irritant that has stymied initiatives in the hemisphere. The Obama administration is leery of Cuba’s presence at the meeting and Mr. Obama has not committed to attending. He must — and he should see it as an opportunity to make history."

Tiempo de Acabar el Embargo de Cuba  10/11/2014 NYT: Por EL COMITÉ EDITORIAL - "Dada la cantidad de crisis a nivel mundial, es posible que la Casa Blanca considere que darle un giro sustancial a su política respecto a Cuba no es una prioridad. Sin embargo, un acercamiento con la isla más poblada del Caribe que incentive el desbloqueo del potencial de los ciudadanos de una de las sociedades más educadas del hemisferio, podría representar un importante legado para la administración. También ayudaría a mejorar las relaciones de Estados Unidos con varios países de América Latina y a impulsar iniciativas regionales que han sufrido como consecuencia del antagonismo entre Washington y La Habana."

Trabajo comunitario cubano se abre al enfoque de derechos  10/7/2014 IPS: "Los llamados "llega y pon", observados al menos en Holguín, Santiago de Cuba y Matanzas, son la expresión más dura de la persistencia y crecimiento de la pobreza en Cuba, que califica de "con amparo" porque el gobierno socialista garantiza acceso gratuito a la salud y educación junto a otras asistencias sociales."

World Bank: Cuba Has the Best Education System in Latin America and the Caribbean  10/4/2014 Repeating Islands: "According to the international organization, Cuba is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean to have a high quality education system. Here are excerpts from the article by Salim Lamrani, a lecturer at the University of La Réunion, and a journalist specializing in relations between Cuba and the United States. [Article translated from the French by Larry R. Oberg.] Lamrani is author of The Economic War against Cuba (2013)."

World Bank: Cuba Has the Best Education System in Latin America and the Caribbean  10/3/2014 Huff Post 

Great Teachers = How to Raise Student Learning in Latin America and the Caribbean  10/3/2014 World Bank 

Cooperative Farm in Camagüey, the First in Cuba to Deliver 1 m. Liters of Milk in 2014  10/2/2014 Radio Cadena Agramonte: "Small farmers at the “Niceto Pérez” Credit and Service Cooperative (CCS) farm near the village of Camalote, in northern Camagüey, were the first in Cuba who delivered one million liters of raw milk to the industry in 2014, a figure that they have reached for eight consecutive years."

KISSINGER CONSIDERED ATTACK ON CUBA FOLLOWING ANGOLA INCURSION  10/1/2014 National Security Archives: "In the March 24 meeting with an elite national security team known as the Washington Special Actions Group, Kissinger expanded on the domino scenario. "If the Cubans destroy Rhodesia then Namibia is next and then there is South Africa," Kissinger argued. To permit the "Cubans as the shock troops of the revolution" in Africa, he argued, was unacceptable and could cause racial tensions in the "Caribbean with the Cubans appealing to disaffected minorities and could then spillover into South America and even into our own country."

Kissinger was planning attack on Cuba in 1976  10/1/2014 Progreso Weekly 

SECRET DIPLOMACY TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS WITH CUBA - Clandestine U.S. Back-Channel History with Fidel and Raul Castro Revealed in New Book  9/30/2014 National Security Archives 

Cuba sends doctors to combat Ebola in Africa  9/29/2014 The Militant: "When the Ebola epidemic broke out, Cuba kept all of its medical workers in Africa. At the same time, the U.S. government’s Peace Corps evacuated all 340 of its personnel in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including all health education workers. The Connecticut-based Heartt Foundation pulled out its four U.S. doctors from Liberia after the epidemic began. Boston-based Wellbody Alliance did the same. The Pentagon announced Sept. 8 that it is sending a 25-bed field hospital for treatment of local medical workers in Liberia, not the general population. No U.S. doctors will staff it."

Modern cruise terminal will be built in Cienfuegos  9/28/2014 OnCuba: "The Ministry of Transportation will invest in a modern cruise terminal at the port of Cienfuegos, which is thought of as “something big, something at world level,” announced José Enrique Gonzalez, an officer at the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) in the Pearl of the South. In August, more than 30 luxury ships had called at the ports of the center and south of Cuba, which means the largest number of cruise ship arrivals since the start of this type of tourism on the island in 1996."

USINT will implement new appointment system for visitor visas  9/28/2014 OnCuba: "According to a press release issued by USINT, Type B-1, B-2, J, F and P, fiancé (e) (K-1 and K-2) visa applicants may make appointments through site in English:, and in Spanish: or by phone in the United States through the number ( 786) 408-5995."

Cuba Sharply Expands Ebola Medical Mission  9/27/2014 AP: "Cuba is greatly expanding the medical mission it's sending to Africa to fight Ebola. The Health Ministry earlier said it would send 165 health workers to Liberia. Now it's saying the mission will include 461 health workers, and some will be sent to Liberia and Guinea. The announcement came during a public affairs program on state television Thursday night. The health workers will be trained in biosecurity by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization."

Cuba sends 300 more doctors to fight Ebola  9/26/2014 Al Jazeera: "Cuba says it will send nearly 300 more doctors and nurses to West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic. The Cubans will work in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, Regla Angulo, head of the Cuban medical relief agency, said in a statement on Friday. The announcement means that up to 461 Cuban medical personnel would have been sent to help address the epidemic spreading across West Africa. Angulo said the staff were currently undergoing intense training ahead of their deployment, working in a mock field hospital of the kind they expected to find in the region."

¡Llegó la Kwanza! Desenvolvimiento económico en Angola  9/24/2014 Negra Cubana: "Creo que no es difícil para un cubano insertarse en la sociedad angolana; aquí quieren mucho a los cubanos, por los antecedentes de la guerra y por los años de cooperación mutua. Ellos nos identifican como nada y al hablar de nosotros dicen: “ese no es ladrón, no trafica droga, trabaja mucho y sabe mucho”. Ellos tienen un concepto muy alto de los cubanos. Aquí viven muchooooooooos cubanos. Yo ni me imaginaba que existía tantos en Angola y hay personas que llevan viviendo aquí más de 40 años. Ahora lo que dificulta la plena inserción en esta sociedad es el idioma portugués, porque la mayoría de los cubanos solo quieren hablar español o una mezcla de español con portugués que le dicen portiñol."

Cuba approves 498 non-agricultural cooperatives in the last year  9/20/2014 Fox News Latino: "The Cuban government approved 498 non-agricultural cooperatives since the first 124 were created a year ago as a new model of economic enterprise, Cabinet secretary Homero Acosta said. Of the 498 approved, 283 are now in business, chiefly in the sectors of restaurants and related services, Acosta said Friday in the closing speech of an international congress of attorneys held in Havana, according to a report by the official AIN news agency."

Cuentapropistas Refuse to be Deterred  9/17/2014 #CubaNow: "On Monday, an EFE article told the story of how gyms, bars, mobile phone repair shops, real estate, gift stores, photo studios and party organizers are sprouting up as independent small family businesses throughout the island. The article explains that the entrepreneurs behind these businesses are refusing to be deterred by the constraints and arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Cuban regime on ‘cuentapropistas.’ Not only that, but niche businesses like promotions, mobile phone apps, and IT support are all growing to provide services to this sector. As I argued in my op-ed for Diario De Cuba last week, while Castro’s government continues to find ways to tighten its own embargo over the Cuban people, we should be doing everything we can to expand the flow of contacts and resources from the American private sector to all driven and hard-working entrepreneurs, not just those with family abroad."

Cuba to send doctors to Ebola areas  9/12/2014 BBC: "And many consider this medical help to be a central part of Cuba's international relations. One of Cuba's most extensive efforts is an eye surgery programme in Venezuela where thousands of cataract operations have been performed. Hundreds of Cuban medical workers were sent to Haiti during the earthquake in 2010. The country also trains thousands of overseas medical students, many of whom return to their home nations to work."

Cuba commits health workers for Ebola response  9/12/2014 CIDRAP: "If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we need the resources to fight," Chan said in a statement from the WHO today. "I am extremely grateful for the generosity of the Cuban government and these health professionals for doing their part to help us contain the worst Ebola outbreak ever known." Chan added that the donation will make a significant difference in Sierra Leone."

Cuba Responds To Ebola Crisis As Black Market For Convalescent Serum Emerges  9/12/2014 Forbes: "Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said that the Cuban response was the first since her United Nations visit last week and “international rescue call” by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a scale-up of aid and personnel to combat Ebola in west Africa. Chan said today, “The thing we need most of all is people: health care workers.”"

Cuba to commit large health corps to Ebola fight  9/12/2014 Science AAAS: "It is the biggest contribution of health care staff by any single country so far to help control the epidemic, noted WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “This will make a significant difference in Sierra Leone,” Chan said."

Statement on President Obama Renewing Half-Century-Old Embargo on Cuba  9/5/2014 #CubaNow: “Contrary to the President’s directive characterizing this extension as being ‘in the national interest of the United States,’ it has been clear for some time that the U.S. embargo, as codified under the Helms-Burton Act, is anything but. It continues to limit America’s full diplomatic arsenal in responding to developments in Cuba while working against our strategic interests in the rest of the hemisphere. America’s head-in-the-sand approach has created an opening for countries like China and Russia to increase their foothold in this small country just 90 miles off our shores. Short of accomplishing any of its stated objectives, this policy continues to provide the Castro government with its favorite propaganda tool to justify its mismanagement of the country's economy and its violations of human rights. Instead of helping the Cuban people move forward toward a more open and democratic society, it makes it harder for everyday Americans to support them, and has severely hindered our diplomatic efforts to pressure the Cuban regime to release Alan Gross."

FBI: Cuban Intelligence Aggressively Recruiting Leftist American Academics as Spies, Influence Agents  9/5/2014 Free Beacon: "Others are offered lucrative business deals in Cuba in a future post-U.S. embargo environment, and are treated to extravagant, all-expense paid visits to the island." [Sure ;)]

Liberals talk Cuba  9/4/2014 Quotha: "The second panel, on Cuba, predictably began about 10 minutes late, because that's how long it took for all the people to get out of the room and come back in. Ted Piccone from Brookings was the moderator. He gave some opening remarks (I hope this will all be online on video later as a corrective to my transcribed scribbles) asking "Why is Cuba the first panel?" in a conference on US-Latin American relations. Cuba's economy is a small part of the story, he answered, but politically it's bigger. The upcoming Summit of the Americas brings to the fore the tensions—he noted. Also, Calderón's slides said something about Cuba's state of democracy and rule of law (presumably both bad). Piccone began by asking Juan Triana, an economist from the University of Havana, how the reforms were going. Triana responded by saying they have only been in place for 2 1/2 years, and now there are a half million people with private property in Cuba, but it hasn't really made a positive difference. "Se necesita una visión de país," he said, "del socialismo sostenible." (this was subsequently indirectly mocked by almost all present)"

Cuban Intelligence Targeting of Academia  9/2/2014 FBI: "The many individuals, including academics, businesspeople, religious leaders, political leaders, journalists, and students, who are exposed to Cuban officials or are invited to Cuba to participate in events, conferences, and tourism can be presented a crafted image of Cuba that may ultimately be disseminated to the United States by the visitors. Many of these visitors may even be passing on this positive image of Cuba unwittingly based on their one visit. At the same time, recruited Cuban agents will also actively propagate disinformation developed by the Government of Cuba and the CuIS. For instance, the CuIS have also been known to use agents, possibly academics or journalists, to write books or articles that present the GOC in a favorable light."

Cuba's Women Entrepreneurs Are On The Rise  8/29/2014 #CubaNow: "Cuba’s private entrepreneurs, or “cuentapropistas”, are focused on solving everyday problems. An impressive 29% of small businesses in the Island are run or operated by women who are transforming their own lives and their local communities. When compared to the 37% of businesses run by women worldwide, this emerging sector shows how entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly important part of the Cuban reality today--one President Obama and Congress should allow all Americans to support."

Statement on News That Sen. Rubio and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Sent Senior Staff to Communist China  8/29/2014 #CubaNow: “If there was any doubt that there has been a huge shift in the political landscape in South Florida, this trip clearly puts an end to it. America’s foreign policy should not be driven by a head-in-the-sand approach, and we need our leaders in Washington to directly engage with both allies and enemies alike in order to advance our best interests. Despite their responses to the Tampa Bay Times article, Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen’s senior staff trip to China shows that deep down they recognize the value in people to people travel, even when it involves regimes with whom we don’t agree, to promote better relations. We can’t effect positive change if we continue to bench ourselves and stay on Cuba's sidelines. "We particularly welcome the response from Senator Rubio’s office that travel and engagement is ‘necessary in helping advance our advocacy on a host of foreign policy issues.’"

In Cuba, entrepreneurial spirits sparkle  8/28/2014 USA Today 

A Castro breaks tradition with 'no' vote in Cuba  8/19/2014 AP: "Yet another revolutionary tradition has been broken in Cuba: A lawmaker voted "no" in parliament. And it wasn't just any lawmaker. Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro, gave the thumbs-down to a workers' rights bill that she felt didn't go far enough to prevent discrimination against people with HIV or with unconventional gender identities."

Top Florida Republicans Are Nastier And More Vindictive Than You Thought, Tell-All By Ex-State GOP Chair Says  8/18/2014 Altnernet: "Greer says U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is little better than an extortionist, taking fellow Republicans to strip clubs and taking photos to subsequently bribe them. Is it true? Greer wants us to believe him, and recent Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) actions bolster his claims of skullduggery and high-flying Republicans."

The Latest USAID Plot - Will They Ever Leave Cuba Alone? No.  8/13/2014 Counterpunch: "As part of the preparation of these individuals, USAID informed them: “Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.” It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies, who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force."

With HIV regime-change ruse in Cuba, another black eye for USAID  8/5/2014 CSM: "“I think they are shooting themselves in the foot,” says Geoff Thale, a program director at the Washington Office on Latin America, referring to USAID. The agency runs solid programs focused on health, democracy, and education, he says. “But all of this in Cuba really undercuts that good work.”

5 findings about USAID travelers’ program in Cuba  8/5/2014 WaPo: "The young spies from Costa Rica created an HIV-prevention workshop that they called “the perfect excuse” to recruit political activists, a ruse that could undermine USAID’s credibility in critical health work around the world."

U.S. Government Caught Using Humanitarian HIV Program As Front To Foster Cuban Dissent  8/5/2014 Zero Hedge 

Cuba califica de subversivo plan de EE.UU. de enviar jóvenes a promover cambios políticos en la isla  8/4/2014 BBC: "El grupo #CubaNow -que busca mejorar las relacciones entre Estados Unidos y La Habana- rechazó el programa por estar "plagado de incompetencia y riesgo". "El gobierno de EE.UU. continuó impulsando programas mal concebidos como el revelado este lunes y como ZunZuneo, que sólo reproducen la desconfianza en lo que de otro modo deberían ser iniciativas bien acogidas como la prevención y el acceso a las herramientas de comunicaciones sobre el VIH", dijo su director ejecutivo, Ric Herrero."

Obama Administration Program Secretly Sent Young Latin Americans To Cuba To Gin Up Rebellion  8/4/2014 CBS: "Beginning as early as October 2009, a project overseen by the U.S. Agency for International Development sent Venezuelan, Costa Rican and Peruvian young people to Cuba in hopes of ginning up rebellion. The travelers worked undercover, often posing as tourists, and traveled around the island scouting for people they could turn into political activists. In one case, the workers formed an HIV-prevention workshop that memos called “the perfect excuse” for the program’s political goals — a gambit that could undermine America’s efforts to improve health globally."

US Defends Covert Cuba Programs  8/4/2014 Havana Times: “Congress has funded pro-democracy programs in Cuba to enhance access of Cubans to more information and the strengthening of civil society,” said agency spokesperson Matt Herrick in a statement issued. He said that all programs conducted by USAID in Cuba are publicly available on the web “This work is not secret, it is not hidden and is not illegal,” said the spokesman, after the Associated Press revealed a program of the Obama administration starting in 2009 to send Latin American youth to Cuba to provoke political change using as a cover there participation in health and civic programs."

Rabbis urge U.S. action to free American jailed in Cuba  8/4/2014 Reuters 

Institutional Changes of Cuba’s Economic Social Reforms  8/1/2014 Brookings: "Overall, Mesa-Lago concludes that institutional reforms in Cuba are advancing in a positive direction, albeit slowly. The most important of these so far has been the establishment of microcredit, bank accounts and wholesale markets for the non-state sector, and the sale of homes and establishment of inheritance rights for usufructuaries and home owners. However, key structural changes and components are still missing: integral price reform, elimination of monetary duality, a realistic exchange rate and bank system restructuring."

Che Guevara’s daughter urges peoples of Russia, Cuba to unite for struggle  7/30/2014 Itar Tass: "Aleida Guevara meetings with Latin American diplomats, Cuban students, teachers of the Latin America University, and representatives of Russian public associations."

Llama Aleida Guevara en Rusia a unidad por objetivos comunes  7/30/2014 PL: "Aleida Guevara, hija del Guerrillero Heroico, llamó hoy aquí a la unidad de los pueblos por objetivos comunes y para enfrentar las amenazas que representan los intentos de Estados Unidos por el dominio mundial."

Can Cuba save Russia from US missiles?  7/23/2014 Pravda: ""Let's go back to Latin America. Is Putin's visit justified?" "Of course, this military-technical cooperation is extremely important, such as the restoration of the army base in Lourdes. Restoring the old system, in my opinion, makes no sense. We spend enormous amounts of money on creating, maintaining, establishing strategic nuclear weapons. This is one of the important factors that affect safety. What is now happening in Ukraine and the fact that the Americans want to build the missile defense system as close as possible to the Russian border means that they have failed to create a long-range system. The speed of a ballistic missile is high enough to be intercepted. The U.S. has successfully tested several medium-range systems. If interceptor missiles, for example, are located in Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, then they will be able to neutralize Russian nuclear forces. We invest in maintaining our nuclear shield, because this is a guarantee of our security. But we are vulnerable, and we need to obtain more information on the American region - we need to collect data. If the situation develops negatively, but several Latin American countries remain our allies, then it would be possible to deploy elements of the Russian missile defense system there. But I hope that economic cooperation will be the driving force."

Documental: "ANÉCDOTAS DE ANGOLA" de la Periodista Magalys Rodríguez Varona.  7/20/2014 YouTube: "Personalidades y combatientes cubanos que participaron en la lucha por la independencia de Angola narran algunos sucesos de la vida en campaña y experiencias inolvidables de la etapa en que cubanos y angolanos luchaban contra sudafricanos y zairotas por la independencia de Angola. Entre los entrevistados destacan Jorge Risquet Valdés miembro del Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba y el excelentísimo señor José César Augusto "Kiluanji" embajador de Angola en Cuba. Es un documental realizado por Magalys Rodríguez Varona, Periodista del Sistema Informativo de la Televisión Cubana, con la colaboración de la embajada de Angola en Cuba. email:"

Social media program in Cuba under investigation  7/18/2014 AP 

Resoluciones de la Aduana - Las medidas no quieren decir que las personas no puedan importar  7/18/2014 Granma: "Incomprensivas; alejadas de la realidad cubana; injustas, porque abarcan a infractores y a quienes no lo son; demasiado administrativas, por lo cual favorecerían al germen de la corrupción; incluso no acordes con algunas de las medidas implementadas en la actualización del modelo económico, como por ejemplo, el desarrollo de los trabajadores por cuenta propia."

"Maximum Mike" brings down the hammer  7/17/2014 Along the Malecon: "A Florida judge today slapped William Potts with 20 years in prison for hijacking a plane to Cuba in 1984. Potts had asked the court for leniency, saying he already spent 13 1/2 years in prison in Cuba for the hijacking. Prosecutors requested 20 years, but recommended Potts be allowed to go free in as little as seven years given his Cuba jail time. The Miami Herald reported that U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore heard "an emotional plea for mercy from Potts" and then "sided with the prosecution’s recommended sentence, which would allow Potts to seek parole in about seven years." Potts left Cuba and returned to Florida to face justice in November. He said he wanted to spend time with two daughters now living in Georgia."

Inspector probing US 'Cuban Twitter' plan  7/17/2014 AP: "The Obama administration has said ZunZuneo was not covert but "discreet," and that it served an important, non-political purpose by helping information flow more freely to Cubans. But the AP found instances in which organizers drafted or sent politically charged messages, which the State Department said would be "troubling" if confirmed."

Cuba hails Russia's economic support  7/13/2014 Zambia Post: "Receiving his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for official talks at the Palace of the Revolution on Friday evening, President Castro said before Cuba ended up contracting the now cancelled US$35.2 billion debt, the communist island nation survived on financial support from the Soviet Union. He said the US$35.2 billion debt was an accumulation of loans from Moscow during the first 40 years after the triumph of the Revolution "without which the Cuban Revolution could not have survived."

Putin hails Cuba's "strategic" importance for Russia  7/12/2014 EFE: "Castro and Putin also presided over the signing of a package of 10 agreements and memoranda to expand bilateral cooperation, including accords on oil exploration signed by Russian state oil company Rosneft and Cuban counterpart Cupet. Putin later traveled Friday to Nicaragua for a previously unannounced visit, meeting in that Central American country with President Daniel Ortega."

Russia: Hoping Cuba Can Help Spur Trade with Latin America  7/10/2014 EurasiaNet 

Cuba Develops Four Cancer Vaccines, Ignored by the Media  7/7/2014 Tony Seed: "Last but not least, it is important to note that the US economic blockade of Cuba hinders the marketing of Cuban pharmaceuticals in the United States, thus affecting the US people. For instance, a total of 80 thousand diabetic people who undergo toe amputation every year in the United States every year cannot access the Cuban vaccine known as Heberprot-P, which precisely avoids such amputations."

Nigeria, Jamaica set for direct air link - FG  7/6/2014 Nigerian Tribune: "NIGERIA and the Caribbean island of Jamaica are to finalise Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) in order to establish direct flights between Lagos/Abuja and Kingston, Jamaica within the the shortest possible time. The Minister of State (1) for Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri, who disclosed this to the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, said the agreement will be finalised at the forthcoming third session of the Nigeria-Jamaica Joint Commission. She explained that in view of the almost zero trade and investment statistics existing between the two countries, it is believed that a direct flight from Nigeria to Jamaica will connect the Caribbean region to Africa and unbundle the existing opportunities at both sides."

The new realities of running a business in Cuba  7/2/2014 CSM: "“The Cuban government is afraid of losing subsidies from Venezuela and they are … turning to cooperatives to help fill the gap the state can’t provide,” says Christopher Sabatini, the senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas. “Decentralizing the economy will allow the government to earn money from taxes [from cooperatives], inject productivity into the lumbering, inefficient government, and sop up some of the thousands of employees that were recently let go by the state,” Mr. Sabatini says."

Google's Eric Schmidt: U.S.-Cuba Policies "Defy Reason"  6/30/2014 #CubaNow: "Schmidt goes on to note that poor infrastructure on the island, where only a small minority have access to cell phones or Internet, is counterproductive to U.S. interests: "The 'blockade' makes absolutely no sense to US interests: if you wish the country to modernize the best way to do this is to empower the citizens with smart phones (there are almost none today) and encourage freedom of expression and put information tools into the hands of Cubans directly. The result of the 'blockade' is that Asian infrastructure will become much harder to displace."

Aseguran que secretario de Alarcón era agente de la CIA  6/29/2014 Marti Noticias: "Hay que recordar que el jefe de despacho del presidente de la Asamblea Nacional Ricardo Alarcón era agente CIA”, afirmó Roberto González Peralo, Licenciado en Contabilidad y Finanzas y uno de los admnistradores del blog."

US-Cuba policies are wasted on the old  6/26/2014 Al Jazeera: "A slight majority of the United States as a whole considers the embargo a failed policy: 56 percent, according to a February Atlantic Council poll, favors dropping it entirely. For the first time Cuban-Americans agree, as a new FIU Cuba Poll, the longest-running survey of South Florida’s Cuban-American population, shows. Fifty-two percent of respondents, in contrast with 44 percent in 2011, said the U.S. should end the embargo. The only group that disagrees, the numbers reveal, is the oldest age group polled. Where 68 percent of total Cuban-Americans favor re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, numbers drop to 41 percent among respondents 65 and up. In contrast, the two youngest segments, 18–29 and 30–45, support engagement at 88 and 78 percent, respectively. The same trend follows for economic liberalization and freedom of travel: overwhelming support among the young, a slight majority among the 45–65 demographic, skepticism among the over-65."

Lift embargo to protect our shores  6/26/2014 Sun Sentinel: "Imagine Fort Lauderdale's beach awash with tar balls from an oil slick. Picture our coral reefs damaged by chemicals used to disperse oil. Consider the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf, and what would have happened afterward without American ingenuity. If a major spill were to occur near the Florida Straits, the embargo would hamstring our nation's ability to work with the Cuban government in capping the well and preventing an ecological disaster. The embargo bars items made with more than 10 percent of American content from being sold to Cuba, and that includes oil drilling rigs, blowout preventers and other devices that could help prevent a spill."

Cuba authorizes Internet access for emerging private companies  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "The Cuban government has authorized the state telecom company to provide Internet access to the country’s budding private cooperatives, the Cuban News Agency reported Friday. Communications Minister Maimir Mesa Ramos instructed Etecsa to start the service on June 29, according to the news agency. Internet access will be provided via modems and only to the cooperative’s location, to avoid service being transferred to third parties."

Cuba Strongly Rejects Groundless and Unilateral US Accusation  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "The United States has no moral to certify Cuba or to suggest any kind of plans when, according to estimates, nearly 200 thousand US citizens are victims of trafficking inside the US territory, where labor exploitation is the most expanded modality of trafficking in persons with 85 percent of legal processes on the issue are related to sexual exploitation and with over 300 thousand children, out of one million who leave their homes, are subject to some kind of exploitation, the statements notes."

Entrepreneurs at World Oil Congress Interested in Cuban Opportunities  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "Cuban deputy minister of Energy and Mining, Ruben Cid, said in Moscow that many Russian companies, which attended the 21st World Oil Congress, are interested in doing business with Cuba."

Crece interés de inversionistas extranjeros por sector turístico de Cuba  6/22/2014 Caribbean News Digital: "Tras la aprobación de la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera en Cuba se ha registrado un gran interés del empresariado internacional en las posibilidades de negociar con la Isla, y se han reportado numerosas solicitudes desde casi todas las geografías del mundo, informó el director de Negocios del Ministerio de Turismo (Mintur), José Reinaldo Daniel."

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/22/2014 On Cuba: "La situación actual de una parte importante de las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, precisa concebir e implementar medidas económicas capaces de empoderar a las familias, como vía para la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas. El apoyo a la creación de fuentes de empleo podría ser una medida efectiva para estimular tales procesos. En el contexto de la consolidación del trabajo por cuenta propia en Cuba, y teniendo en cuenta la reciente aprobación de la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera, la creación de proyectos de financiación figura como una vía concreta de ayuda al emprendimiento."

Joe Garcia: Cubans want to live in Cuba  6/20/2014 On Cuba: "Before Obama came to power 80 thousand Cubans traveled to the island, this year we will reach 630,000. There are 11 flights from Miami International Airport, plus 7 from Tampa. It has been loosened, it has opened, and opportunities have been given. Before there were restrictions on remittances, now you can send any amount. From pizzerias, paladares, restaurants, sandwich places that exist in Cuba, most of the money invested in these facilities comes from Hialiah, Doral, Coral Gables, Little Havana. That is being flexible and fulfills what has been my goal: helping the people of Cuba and its civil society. The last five years of this administration and its policy towards Cuba, more has been achieved than in the previous fifty, and it’s because we promote an open and flexible policy, dedicated to promoting civil society, to promote the values ??we have in common but the same time we must understand that there are limits to this policy” Limits as the inability of Americans to travel and invest in Cuba, or that it does not exist, as with the case of travel, a license for Cuban Americans to invest in Cuba… Practically we have a travel policy open to Cubans. That space has been won, and I´m telling that today, if flights are canceled here or in Cuba, there will be revolt in Cuba, and in Miami."

Cuba building seven more solar parks  6/19/2014 Cuba Standard 

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/18/2014 On Cuba: "La situación actual de una parte importante de las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, precisa concebir e implementar medidas económicas capaces de empoderar a las familias, como vía para la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas. El apoyo a la creación de fuentes de empleo podría ser una medida efectiva para estimular tales procesos."

Cuba’s Largest Overseas Diaspora is the Least Known  6/17/2014 Havana Times: "According to the census, 1,444 Cubans residing on the island were born in Spain. This does not exactly constitute a diaspora. Cuba, quite naturally, has historical migratory links to what people here sometimes refer to as the “motherland” and Spaniards emigrated to Cuba in a sustained fashion from the early 16th century until 1961. There are a significant number of Spanish associations in Cuba, organized on the basis of ethnic or regional criteria, or as autonomous communities, which gather immigrants and their descendants. My Cuban grandfather, for instance, was from Leon, Spain and acquired Cuban citizenship years after moving to the island. He never returned to his country of origin. Many of his former compatriots did the same thing. The second largest group of people who live in Cuba but were born overseas (some 794 individuals) came to the island from the Russian Federation."

Bacardi chairman: Family split about embargo  6/16/2014 Cuba Standard: "Hinting that yet another Cuban American business dynasty may be softening its approach to Cuba, Bacardi Ltd. leader Facundo Bacardi told Cigar Aficionado magazine in an interview that his family has differences over U.S. embargo policies."

11 were involved in deadly plot, ministry says  6/14/2014 Progresso Weekly: "On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 10, the bodies of four persons killed in a violent manner were found in the Niña Bonita estate of Playa Baracoa [Baracoa Beach], city of Bauta, province of Artemisa. According to the preliminary results of the investigative process being carried out by a multidisciplinal team, the crime is associated with a presumptive plan to leave the country illegally with support from abroad."

Executive of French Bank Forced to Retirement due to US's Anti-Cuba Policy  6/13/2014 ACN: "A top executive of France's BNP Paribas Bank has seen himself forced into retirement amidst a dispute involving a 10 billion dollar fine that Washington intends to impose on the financial institution in an extraterritorial action for having violated US sanctions against Cuba, Sudan and Iran. The French bank announced that Operations Chief Georges Chodron de Courcel will retire in September. "

US Geologists Visit Eastern Santiago de Cuba  6/12/2014 ACN 

Cuba Food Industry Cooperatives Feel Betrayed  6/6/2014 Havana Times 

In loving memory of Elombe Brath, our ambassador to the African world  6/5/2014 New York Amsterdam News: "Reggie Mabry, Pan-African strategist and Sons of Africa associate, said, “Of all the transitions that occurred recently, Elombe’s is the biggest and most significant because he was our direct connection to the revolutionary movements that were happening around the world. He stood alone as our ambassador to Africa, especially in understanding and engaging the worldwide Pan-African revolutionary movement. Thus, his understanding and involvement must be duplicated by every African at home and abroad.” Accordingly, letters of tributes and reflections were shared by representatives of Cuban revolutionary great Fidel Castro, President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba of Namibia, former President of South Africa Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki and Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam."

We wish to support this vital and growing private sector in Cuba  5/30/2014 On Cuba: "Mr. Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, is visiting Cuba for the second time. The organization that runs entirely autonomous and independent of the U.S. government represents 3 million businesses of the most diverse sectors."

And the Camagüeyan Indo-Cubans, how was their language?  5/29/2014 Adelante 

What is the U.S. plotting in Bolivia?  5/29/2014 Granma: "Brennan has served as second in command at U.S. embassies in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, playing a hard-line interventionist role, as revealed in cables publicized by Wikileaks and other news sources. In 2007, Brennan pressured the Costa Rican government of Oscar Arias to send the country’s police to train "discreetly" at the U.S. Southern Command Academy – given the absence of military forces there."

Rusia en la búsqueda de petróleo cubano  5/28/2014 On Cuba 

Declaration in support of Manuel Cuesta Morúa, spokesperson of Arco Progresista in Cuba  5/28/2014 Puente Democratico: "In a clear set-back in its migrations policy and demonstrating the closed features of its one party political regime, the government of Cuba is blocking the progressive referent Manuel Cuesta Morúa from attending to the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) taking place between May 21 and 24 in Chicago, United States. This is a retaliation of the Cuban regime to the attempt of Cuesta Morúa to organize an Alternative Forum to the II Summit of CELAC, for which he was detained last January 26th for four days in a cell where he was interrogated and then released with a precautionary measure that forces him to attend every Tuesday to a police station to certify his presence until the day of his trial. Cuesta Morúa is being accused of the Orwellian crime of “Spreading false news against international peace”, according to Article 115 of the Cuban Criminal Code."

Celebran en Cuba Día de África  5/27/2014 Granma: "Seguiremos honrando la memoria de los cientos de miles de combatientes internacionalistas que desinteresadamente pelearon por la dignidad y la libertad del hombre africano, afirmó este martes en La Habana el embajador de la República del Congo y decano del cuerpo diplomático del continente en Cuba, Pascal Onguemby."

Cuba plans tentatively for life after a socialist Venezuela  5/27/2014 Guardian 

South Africa, Cuba to Strengthen Ties  5/27/2014 Periodico 26: "Cuba and South Africa are looking today toward a new stage of strengthening political-economic relations, as shown in the conclusions of the visit to this country of Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa. The top government leader arrived in Johannesburg on May 23 to participate in the inauguration of the second government of President Jacob Zuma, who was elected by the National Assembly, for the 2014-2019 period."

Elombe Brath dead  5/26/2014 Black Agenda Report: "Rodolfo Reyes, the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, also honored Brath in 2013. “Cuba remembers with high esteem his tireless struggle for the freedom of the Cuban 5, unjustly imprisoned in United States jails,” said Reyes. “By following the example of Elombe Brath, we can turn into reality the goal of our leader, Fidel Castro, that a better world is possible, where justice, human dignity and solidarity prevail."

Festival deportivo promueve respeto a la diversidad  5/26/2014 IPS Cuba: "Activistas contra la homofobia y la transfobia defienden el deporte como espacio para la equidad y la lucha contra la discriminación."

Cuba to Repel All US Subversion Plans  5/24/2014 Periodico 26: "Cuba will repel all US subversive plans, including those using communication technologies, noted Granma newspaper. The official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba stated in an article that Washington justifies its programs against the island under the pretext of providing "free flow of information to the Cuban people." In this respect recalled that the policy of economic, commercial and financial embargo prohibits exports of technology and telecommunications equipment to Havana."

Cuba’s Cooperatives “Without Papers”  5/20/2014 Havana Times 

Cuba hardliners suppress free exchange of ideas  5/19/2014 #CubaNow: also published in the Miami Herald where it was deleted - "In Washington, you have a small group of hardliners almost entirely dedicated to smearing and intimidating anyone who expresses an opinion different from their own on U.S. policy. To date they’ve been far more efficient in turning off well-meaning Americans from participating in the Cuba conversation than in actually helping to bring democracy to Cuba. Today there’s an alternative."

Hundreds of Cooperative Make their Way in Cuban Economy  5/19/2014 CAN 

Prejuicios limitan acceso de mujeres lesbianas y bisexuales a la salud  5/19/2014 SEMlac 

Aclaración: No es necesario pagar 200 CUC por entrar a Cuba  5/17/2014 On Cuba 

Intelectuales irrespetan la libertad de expresión, pensamiento y creación  5/13/2014 Cuba Encuentro: "El poeta y profesor de literatura, Guillermo Rodríguez Rivera, dice: “En una entrevista concedida a La Nación , de Buenos Aires, Leonardo Padura discurre ahora sobre lo que llama “jugar a hacer política desde el arte” lo que, a su juicio no se debe hacer, porque “los artistas comprometidos de una manera militante con un partido, estado, filosofía o poder, terminan siendo siempre –o casi– marionetas de ese poder”. El profesor Rivera se está refiriendo a una entrevista de Hinde Pomeraniec al escritor Leonardo Padura del 14 de julio del 2012, en el periódico La Nación. No sé por qué el profesor Rodríguez Rivera se refiere a esta entrevista como “ahora” y por qué no le ha hecho la crítica antes y la hace casi dos años después."

U.S. academics say Cuban reforms not going well  5/10/2014 Miami Herald: "But while up to 485,000 Cubans are reported to be licensed to work in low value-added jobs such as tailors and seamstresses, there are many constraints, Gonzalez-Corzo told the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS). An “onerous tax system” piles “taxes upon taxes upon taxes” that make it difficult for the new micro-enterprises and “confiscate the limited prosperity that people are generating,” he said. There’s a shortage of appropriate retail space needed for the new businesses, property rights remain largely unclear and government inspectors often look for bribes, the professor added. The cooperative sector is not doing as well as projected by the government, Gonzalez-Corzo said. And the average bank loan approved under a micro-credit program designed to help the private sector stands at about $55."

Mientras Washington lo piensa, Bruselas negocia con Cuba  5/5/2014 IPS Cuba: "España encabeza el intercambio comercial europeo con La Habana, con más de 1.156 millones de dólares en 2012. Sin embargo, fue justamente un gobierno conservador español, el de José María Aznar (1996-2004), el artífice de la llamada Posición Común que la UE adoptó en 1996 y que constituye para Cuba una injerencia en sus asuntos internos. Este tema no estuvo sobre la mesa en esta primera ronda de pláticas. A una pregunta de IPS, Leffler, de nacionalidad sueca, también aclaró que la UE no trajo condicionamientos políticos. “Si queremos negociar un acuerdo, no es muy constructivo venir con un punto inicial de condiciones e imposiciones”, afirmó."

Mi cuerpo me pertenece. Reflexiones en torno al tratamiento mediático de la baja natalidad en Cuba  5/5/2014 SEMlac: "Estoy harta de escuchar por los medios cubanos, en boca de periodistas, especialistas y hasta de altos dirigentes de la nación, que las mujeres somos responsables por la baja fecundidad del país."

Leonardo Padura: "La realidad cubana es demasiado peculiar para explicarla con prejuicios a favor o en contra"  5/4/2014 La Nacion, Argentina: "En vísperas de su llegada al país, el escritor y periodista cubano matiza las miradas elogiosas y críticas sobre su país, y afirma que la apertura está cambiando la vida social en la isla"

Invertir en Cuba  5/1/2014 On Cuba: por Hugo Cancio

More Heberprot-P, less amputations  4/27/2014 Adelante: "Under the criterion of that the perfect thing would be to reach an ideal promotion and education for the health and that the diabetics do not go so far as to use the anti-diabetic drug Heberprot-P, the need does not always escape from applying the product of Cuban manufacture, only one of its type in the world to treat with effectiveness the diabetic foot ulcers. There are 20 countries that have assumed it."

Cuba will Host 7th Campaign against Homophobia  4/24/2014 Adelante: "The 7th Cuban Campaign against homophobia will include a regional conference with the participation of the International Association of Gays, Lesbian, Bisexuals, Trans and Intersexual people from Latin America and the Caribbean. This event takes place in Cuba for the first time."

Habanos S.A. Marketing Director Leaves  4/23/2014 Cigar Aficionado: "[Afrodescendent] Ana López Garcia, the director of marketing operations for Cuba's tobacco monopoly, Habanos S.A., has left the company. In a short message, she told Cigar Aficionado she was leaving for "personal reasons." Her departure was confirmed by sources at Habanos. Lopez had spent nearly 40 years working in the Cuban cigar industry. She reported that she remembered dealing with Alejandro Robaina, the famous Cuban tobacco grower, and was the person who introduced him to the cigar that bore his name."

Especialistas investigan cómo empoderar a mujeres cuentapropistas  4/14/2014 SEMlac Cuba: "La división sexual del trabajo por cuenta propia en Cuba motiva una investigación en curso para caracterizar el emprendimiento de las mujeres en el municipio capitalino Habana Vieja, uno de los más hacinados y con mayor índice de desigualdad económica de la capital cubana."

Expertas crean red sobre gestión, conocimiento e innovación con equidad de género  4/14/2014 SEMlac Cuba: "La Red cubana sobre gestión, conocimiento e innovación con equidad de género fue presentada el 10 de abril en la capital cubana, durante la celebración del taller "Construyendo equidad: estrategias para el cambio", convocado por la Empresa Gestión del Conocimiento y la Tecnología (Gecyt)."

On Social Media, Cubans Speak Up for Feminism and Racial Justice  4/8/2014 Bitch Media 

Revelan que programador de ZunZuneo es empleado de la Embajada de EEUU en Nicaragua  4/6/2014 Cubadebate 

ZunZuneo  4/6/2014 Cubadebate: Los articulos en Cubadebate sobre ZunZuneo, el red de comunicación social creado por la USAID

Nicaragüense creó “Twitter cubano” anticastrista  4/5/2014 La Prensa, Nicaragua 

Experto comenta las revelaciones de AP sobre el “Twitter cubano”  4/5/2014 RIA Novosti: "Se mostró convencido de que se trata de una serie de programas clandestinos, poco transparentes, acciones encubiertas, con un objetivo claro que es crear una situación en la cual en un determinado momento se pueda usar las redes sociales para crear un estado de rebelión, un estado de desorganización y caos."

Is USAID the New CIA? Agency Secretly Built Cuban Twitter Program To Fuel Anti-Castro Protests  4/4/2014 Havana Times: Democracy Now - "We speak to Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. He recently wrote an article in Foreign Policy called, “Our Man in Havana: Was USAID planning to overthrow Castro?”"

Struggling to Film in America’s Chokehold - Cuban Moviemakers Feeling Burden of U.S. Embargo  4/4/2014 NYT: "What hasn’t changed, however, are the financial and legal restrictions that make transferring money to Cuba illegal without a special license from the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control." [Absolutely false, as all information products can be sold by Cubans to the US market without any license or government oversight whatsoever. See our Berman Amendment page.]

US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest and undermine government  4/3/2014 Guardian/AP: "At its peak, the project drew in more than 40,000 Cubans to share news and exchange opinions. But its subscribers were never aware it was created by the US government, or that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes."

Primavera en Miami con una esquina rota  3/30/2014 En 2310 y 8225: "Se sabe, o se supone, que Miami es la base de operaciones de la parte más conservadora y rica de la comunidad cubana en Estados Unidos. Está documentado que aquí cocinó la CIA muchas operaciones encubiertas contra Cuba. También que hay gente que vive, literalmente, del Bloqueo y la Ley de Ajuste Cubano –gracias al contrabando de productos o personas–, y de los fondos del gobierno federal para “promover la democracia” en Cuba. Sobre todo, Miami es un lugar cuya intolerancia política muchas personas comparan con La Habana, con el Miami Herald en lugar del Granma, Ileana Ros por Fidel y Vigilia Martiana como los CDR."

Lesbofobia en Cuba: Denuncian caso de acoso laboral  3/28/2014 Negra Cubana Tenia que Ser 

Lesbofobia en Cuba: Denuncian caso de acoso laboral  3/28/2014 Proyecto Arco Iris: "El trabajo en cuestión hace referencia a la situación de Liana, mujer negra de 43 de años de edad, quien se desempeñaba como Subdirectora Comercial de dicha empresa desde hacia 7 años y quien fuera sancionada, en proceso sospechosamente expedito, a democión definitiva del cargo a otro de inferior categoría, por llamarle la atención a un trabajador que estaba consintiendo el maltrato de la propiedad social al permitir que un cliente permaneciera sentado sobre una de las mesas del Cibecorreo. Ahora la dirección de la Empresa reclama “considerando que esto carece de fundamentos” en una carta otra vez plagada de mentiras con las que intentan justificar su proceder, sus argumentos."

Cuba plans big tax breaks to lure foreign investors: official media  3/26/2014 Reuters 

In Cuba,U.S.embargo elicits a shrug  3/24/2014 Al Jazeera: "An economy in which the state was once the sole employer now includes a growing gray zone of private enterprises operating with the consent of the authorities. That reflects an effort by the communist leadership to stimulate an economy stunted by low growth, despite its relatively high human development index and bountiful government benefits. Only a small number of citizens have seen their living standards improve over the past two decades."

Cubans with money revel in booming social circuit  3/24/2014 AP 

President Jimmy Carter visits Drapetomania at The 8th Floor  3/23/2014 The 8th Floor: "The 8th Floor was proud to host a social event On Sunday, March 23rd, attended by President Jimmy Carter and by his grandson, Georgia State Senator Jason Carter. President Jimmy Carter visited The 8th Floor, the art gallery supported by philanthropists and art collectors Shelley and Donald Rubin in New York City, where the art exhibit Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, curated by Harvard professor Alejandro de la Fuente, is currently on display. Organized by Rachel Weingeist, Director of The 8th Floor, the event allowed a group of supporters and friends of President Carter to mingle with the President and to experience a sample of Cuban contemporary art."

Uruguay President Conditions Gitmo Transfers on Releasing Cubans  3/21/2014 AntiWar: "Mujica said the talk on the Gitmo detainees was “far from over,” and added that the detentions of the Cuban prisoners was also “shameful” and should be resolved at the same time. The White House responded with a statement saying they consider Mujica a “valuable partner,” and insisted they are “not aware” of the request for the Cubans, even though it was made very publicly."

I really think this conference in Miami, without threats or police deployment, is a sign of change  3/20/2014 En 2310 y 8225: By Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez, interviewing Yasmin Silvia

“Realmente creo que esta conferencia en Miami, sin amenazas ni despliegue policial, es una señal de cambio”  3/19/2014 Negra Cubana: Por Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez, entrevisando a Yasmin Silvia

Dos de cada tres (Los Fanjul)  3/16/2014 Desde La Ceiba 

Cuban Americans hold rare meeting to discuss normalizing Cuba relations  3/15/2014 Reuters: "The one-day event was organized by four groups led by Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE), founded two years ago to counteract the influence of traditional Cuban exile organizations that support the embargo. Held at a hotel conference room it attracted about 125 attendees, including several invited speakers from Cuba. "This is a historic event that unites different organizations that are willing to sit down and discuss ways to stimulate the normalization of relations," said Hugo Cancio, publisher of OnCuba, a Miami-based magazine which opened an office in Cuba last year."

DISIDENCIAS: El socialismo no es suficiente  3/8/2014 Negra Cubana: "Y cuando Fidel nos dio una olla de presión, en pleno congreso de mujeres, ninguna de nosotras se paró a explicarle que la rapidez del artefacto, y por tanto la eficiencia en las labores domésticas, nada tiene que ver con una visión progresista de nuestra incorporación social. No necesitábamos cazuelas, necesitábamos menos patriarcado y más tiempo para nosotras mismas."

Tour bookers hopeful U.S. may ease rules on travel to Cuba  3/3/2014 CNBC: "I think there will be general licenses before the spring is over," said John McAuliff, the executive director of the U.S. not-for-profit Fund for Reconciliation and Development. "It means you can stay in bed and breakfasts, eat in private restaurants, take the public buses, rent a car and pick up Cuban hitchhikers. It becomes a totally different process of engagement." "

Prominent art dealer: Paintings stolen from Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts now in Miami  3/2/2014 Cuba Headlines 

President Dilma Rousseff Praises Work of Cuban Doctors in Brazil  2/28/2014 Radio Havana 

Socialist Cuba Exports Health Care, Gains Important Recognition  2/25/2014 Counterpunch: "Operation Miracle reportedly has improved or restored vision for 3.4 million individuals. That measure of the project’s reach takes on additional meaning through World Health Organization data showing that 39 million people in the world are blind. These figures are within reach of one another, especially because most visual impairment – 80 percent – is preventable or curable."

Cojeando... ¿hasta el éxito?  2/13/2014 Diario de Cuba: "Alfredo me muestra emails impresos de hoteles (Melia Cayo Santa María, Sandals Royal Hicacos, Sol Cayo Largo) que han solicitado su producto para comercializarlo. Ha logrado formulaciones para champú color y acondicionador color. Además, puede impartir clases de peluquería para la aplicación del producto. La representante de Alfredo ha enviado cartas a Marino Murillo y otros funcionarios para que se agilice el otorgamiento de la personalidad jurídica. Ha recibido respuestas y hay todo un cartapacio de cartas, según él, pero todo sigue igual. Muchas personas están a la espera de que empiece a producirse la línea de productos Núñez Elías, y sobre todo él, que ve en ello la posibilidad de prosperar."

Griffey Jr. y Barry Larkin en La Habana  2/8/2014 Cubadebate: "La muchedumbre de la Peña del Parque Central habanero no se lo podía creer, y algunos incluso llegaron a enjugarse los ojos, como en las películas: inesperadamente, delante de ellos se aparecieron Ken Griffey Jr. y Barry Larkin, dos monstruos sagrados de la historia reciente de las Grandes Ligas estadounidenses."

Jóvenes sudafricanos viajarán a Cuba para estudiar medicina  2/7/2014 Cubadebate 

The Fanjul flak: Typical Miami schizophrenia  2/7/2014 Progreso 

Directo al bolsillo de Fanjul  2/6/2014 Cartas desde Cuba: "El conocido anticastrista Mauricio Claver-Carone amenazó al magnate azucarero Alfonso Fanjul con hacer campaña para que le retiren las subvenciones."

Ros-Lehtinen intercedió en favor de banqueros fugitivos de Ecuador  2/6/2014 Cubadebate: "La congresista republicana Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, representante por Florida, también intercedió en favor de dos banqueros ecuatorianos que están fugitivos de su país por malversación de fondos, reportó hoy la prensa de Estados Unidos."

Diaz-Balart to sugar baron: Hey, Alfy, try crying for democracy in Cuba instead of lost mansion  2/6/2014 Naked Politics: "Outraged by a Washington Post report about Florida Crystals' Alfonso Fanjul appearing to sidle up to Cuba's regime, Republican Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Sen. Marco Rubio are hammering away at him. Meantime, Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia has held his fire."

Embajador de Haití reconoce solidaridad de Cuba  2/5/2014 Cubadebate 

Florida Rep Helped Fugitive Embezzlers  2/4/2014 Daily Beast: "Sen. Robert Menendez is under federal investigation for his advocacy on behalf of two Ecuadorian bankers convicted of embezzlement. Turns out he wasn’t the only prominent lawmaker accepting donations and doing favors for the brothers. Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, while she was Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to federal agencies on behalf of two Ecuadorian bankers convicted of embezzlement who were seeking U.S. residency. She also advocated for their family members, who donated over $20,000 to her campaign."

Magnate azucarero Alfonso Fanjul dispuesto ahora a invertir en Cuba bajo “circunstancias adecuadas”  2/2/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Pero el cambio de Fanjul es mucho más significativo. No solo él y su familia controlan una de las mayores operaciones de azúcar en el mundo, sino que también han estado entre los mayores donantes a grupos de activistas como la Fundación Nacional Cubano-Americana y el U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, que han sido defensores activos de las sanciones comerciales."

Sugar tycoon Fanjul open to investing in Cuba under ‘right circumstances’  2/2/2014 WaPo: "But the shift by Fanjul is far more significant. Not only do he and his family control one of the largest sugar operations in the world, but they also have been major donors to activist groups, such as the Cuban American National Foundation and the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, that have been vocal advocates for trade sanctions."

Asesinan a Tony Díaz  2/1/2014 Proyecto Arco Iris: "El asesinato de Tony Díaz sucedió en circunstancias que aún están por esclarecer por parte de la policía. Todo parece indicar que será un nuevo crimen de odio hacia la comunidad LGTB en Cuba, la cual ha visto un aumento de este tipo de flagelo en los últimos tres años. El homicidio es uno más en una lista de crímenes de odio hacia la comunidad LGTB en Cuba que en el 2013 reportó más de cuarenta asesinatos a homosexuales en iguales circunstancias. Figuras públicas como el bailarín y coreógrafo guantanamero Alfredo Velázquez y el economista Eduardo Pérez de Corcho, fueron parte de una amplia lista de muertes, algunas aún no aclaradas."

Richmond’s people to people delegation: How beautiful is Cuba!  1/29/2014 SF Bay View: "“Cuba is neither the hell that our enemies like to pretend it is nor the paradise that our friends wish it to be, but a country which struggles just like many others.” This is the assessment of our Cuban tour guide during the last day of our 10-day, 10-person people to people visit to Cuba in December 2013, led by the mayor of Richmond, California, Gayle McLaughlin."

Operación Peter Pan, cerrando el círculo en Cuba  1/25/2014 Jiribilla: "¿Estaba la CIA detrás de toda la Operación, financiando las acciones?" [Si, asi lo reconocio el proprio hijo del agente responsible.]

Detenido en Cuba Maxim Martsinkevich líder del grupo antigay extremista  1/20/2014 Proyecto Arco Iris: "Maxim Martsinkevich, el líder neonazi ruso que durante mucho tiempo ha torturado a gays de Rusia y otros países de Europa del Este, ha sido detenido en Cuba acusado de un cargo de extremismo. Los días en libertad del conocido como ‘Tesak’, ‘Machete’, han llegado a su fin gracias a una orden dictaminada por un tribunal ruso en el mes de diciembre de 2013 y a la colaboración de la policía cubana. En RAGAP llevamos mucho tiempo siguiendo los pasos de este peligroso delincuente, denunciando sus crímenes con la esperanza de verle entre rejas. Y por fin, parece que ese día ha llegado."

Ordenanzas de la ciudad, otro “amarre” para los cuentapropistas?  1/17/2014 La Esquina de Lilith: "Significa, además, que posiblemente cientos de familias que apuntalaban la economía familiar con el alquiler de espacios de sus viviendas podrían quedarse sin esa entrada, sin contar con lo que significa para los propios cuentapropistas que, con la nueva ley para esa actividad, invirtieron en toldos, mesetas… Lo peor, no obstante, es la sensación de inestabilidad que, ahora mismo, ronda a quienes ejercen esa actividad que, cada año hasta ahora, se incrementado sus aportes al presupuesto nacional."


Haitian Official Stresses Cuba's Regional Integration Role  1/3/2014 Periodico 26: "Under Cuba's presidency, the Community established relations with the BRICS group of countries, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Cuba is the door to this region and the bridge between the Caribbean and Latin America, said the Haitian official, who explained that the island has been the chair of the organization as part of a troika that also includes Chile and Costa Rica."

Prison Visits Banned for One of Cuban Five  12/28/2013 Periodico 26 

Cuban TV Industry Takes Another Step towards Digital Switchover  12/26/2013 Havana Reporter: "Cuban specialists recently presented the first working prototype of an integrated digital television set manufactured in Cuba, using liquid crystal display (LCD) and light emitting diodes (LEDs)."

Barack Obama y Raúl Castro: ¿Más que un saludo?  12/10/2013 Huff Post: "El problema es que en el caso cubano, la política estadounidense no promueve el derecho a disentir sino selecciona a opositores favoritos, promoviendo un cambio de régimen impuesto desde Washington que hiere las fuertes sensibilidades nacionalistas en la isla. La política estadounidense no promueve un mayor espacio para una oposición leal en Cuba. Al contrario, es un obstáculo y una distracción al desprestigiar las demandas democráticas con acciones intervencionistas. De hecho, una política de distensión e intercambio tendría más credibilidad en la promoción de los derechos humanos pues enfatizaría en procesos, no en resultados a imponer."

Raul Castro’s Speech at Mandela’s Memorial  12/10/2013 Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba 

Obama Reaches Out to Cuba’s Leader, but the Meaning May Elude Grasp  12/10/2013 NYT 

The Need to Speed up Changes in Oriente  12/7/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "No one can accept that a lack of attractions is the culprit for Oriente underdevelopment. The area holds the home site of the Rough Riders landing in Daiquiri and Siboney, San Juan Hills, the Morro Castle and the sunken wreckage of the Spanish fleet. General Antonio Maceo’s home and Square, the Bacardi Museum, Jose Marti Mausoleum, Santa Efigenia cemetery, the Gran Piedra Coffee ruins, the Moncada Garrison, the Basilica of the Virgin of Charity, the site of the Protest of Baragua and Loma del Gato, where General Jose Maceo fell in combat are all close at hand. We also have the English Speaking Caribbean and Haitian community in Goat Hill in Guantanamo, Caimanera overlooking the Guantanamo Naval Base, the Alexander Humbolt Biophere reserve and Baracoa. The sites of the beginning of Cuba’s two Wars of Independence, the city where the national anthem was written, the home of the Father of the Cuban Nation, the site where slaves were freed, the Granma landing and the Sierra Maestra are all there. One of Cuba’s best beaches in Guardalavaca, Christopher Columbus' landing site in Bariay and Cuba’s largest arqueological dig in Banes suffice to attract an additional million tourists to Cuba."

Mandela: Cuba’s Solidarity is Unparalleled in African History  12/7/2013 Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba 

Mandela: Cuba had a Place in the Heart of Africa  12/6/2013 Periodico 26: "From the beginning, the Cuban Revolution was a source of inspiration for all freedom-loving peoples. I admired the sacrifice of the Cuban people in preserving their Independence and sovereignty in the face of imperialist campaigns aimed at destroying the impressive achievements of the Cuban Revolution. Madiba, as his people also call him, went on to address the essential difference between the presence of Cuban internationalists in Africa and nationals of other countries, who were there to exploit its natural resources. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1993. South Africa and Cuba have enjoyed stable bilateral cooperation in many fields since Mandela was elected president in 1994, cooperating that is ongoing. The relationship between the South African leader and Fidel Castro was one of the most emotional chapters during the visits by the Cuban leader to South Africa. Fidel is my Friend, Mandela used to say whenever they two men met. Fidel first visited South Africa in May 1994 to attend Mandela's swearing-in ceremony, he went again in 1998 and then in 2001. During his stay in 1998 Fidel gave a speech in which he said that Nelson Mandela would not fade into history because in 27 years in prison he did not renounce his ideas. Fidel said that Mandela he will be remembered in history because what he did renounce was any hard feelings that such unjust punishment could have sown in his heart."

Arcoiris: Un proyecto cubano que lucha contra la discriminación de la comunidad LGBT  12/3/2013 Global Voices: Escrito por Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez

Ending the Cuba Travel Crisis  12/3/2013 The Nation: "Ricardo Alarcón, former foreign minister and retired president of the National Assembly said, in relation: In terms of changing Cuban society, the most effective ambassadors are the Cubans coming back, somebody living on the corner bringing gadgets from Miami. When they are in their dining rooms they probably are not pretending to mislead. They will say work is harder in the US. They can bring some different element here, maybe in fashion or music. So you will get a mutual influence. I don’t really see a problem with that. They have been coming back for years. So?"

U.S. Promises To Help Cuba Find New Bank For Diplomatic Mission  11/28/2013 Fox 

Cuba suspends consular services in US over lack of banking  11/26/2013 BBC 

La Zona de Desarrollo del Mariel. Potencialidad y Riesgos.  11/25/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Escépticos, fatalistas y enemigos, presagian el fracaso del ZED debido a la severa falta de vías de comunicación en el país, deficiente abasto de agua, alcantarillado, electricidad, lentitud cibernética, deplorable comercio minorista, transporte, construcción, servicios de apoyo, correos, viviendas y la mentalidad de algunos en el siglo XX. Ignoran o subvaloran los cientos de miles de profesionales, técnicos y científicos que Cuba ha formado, lo que le permite calificarlos y recalificarlos para asumir cualquier responsabilidad, a diferencia de muchos países vecinos que partirían de cero."

El acto final de Kennedy: acercarse a Cuba  11/22/2013 Cubadebate 

Will Cuban Reforms Create More Inequality? - James Early  11/20/2013 Reality Asserts Itself/YouTube: "On Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, James Early who has visited Cuba more than thirty times says what's needed is more citizen participation and less centralization but Cuba is not headed towards the Chinese capitalist model."

Princeton University Confronts Meningitis Epidemic Preventable in Cuba  11/18/2013 Counterpunch: "Princeton University students have a problem, one not of their own making. Since March, seven of them have contracted bacterial meningitis due to the type B form of the meningococcal microorganism. Vaccines that work against microbes causing the vast majority of cases of bacterial meningitis are readily available in the United States but not a vaccine capable of preventing type B meningococcal meningitis. As a result, Princeton students are at risk. Yet 55 million doses of a type B vaccine have been administered in 15 other countries, mostly in Latin America. The vaccine’s name is VA-MENGOC-BC, and it comes from Cuba. Under the anti-Cuban U.S. economic blockade, Cuban exports to the United States are forbidden."

Obama habla de Cuba entre gusanos  11/9/2013 CubaDebate: "El “aquí” era la casa del presidente de la Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana, Jorge Mas Santos, donde Obama asistió durante una hora a un evento de recaudación de fondos del Partido Demócrata, durante su estancia de medio día en Miami. “La gente como la que vemos hoy aquí” eran el mercenario Guillermo Fariñas y la jefa de las Damas de Blanco, Bertha Soler."

Cuban Government Agency Investigates Incident of Homophobic Violence First Reported Online  11/7/2013 Global Voices: "The Cuban intellectual Alberto Abreu Arcia reported in his blog Afromodernidades about an incident of physical violence against a group of homosexual men in the city of Cardenas, in the western province of Matanzas, on October 4. The National State Center for Sex Education (CENESEX in Spanish) then started an investigation."

Denuncia en la redes de violencia homofóbica en Cuba es investigada por centro estatal  11/5/2013 Global Voices: "Este es otro ejemplo de cómo acontecimientos en la sociedad cubana que primero están presentes en la redes sociales y espacios digitales, a través de denuncias de blogueros, blogueras y activistas, tienen finalmente repercusión en las instituciones oficiales."

Exjueza de EE.UU. pide a Obama liberar a los Cinco  11/4/2013 CubaDebate: "Morcom envió una carta al mandatario y recordó que Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González y Ramón Labañino solo defendieron a su tierra natal contra ataques injustificados, informó el Comité Internacional por la liberación de Los Cinco, como se les conoce a esos hombres a nivel mundial…. Morcom fue la primera mujer afroamericana en trabajar en un bufete integral de abogados y es una destacada defensora de los derechos humanos."

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: Only One Writer Interviewed the Key Government Investigators. Edward Jay Epstein. He Was a Senior in College.  11/4/2013 Huff Post 

Soft Landing in Cuba? Emerging Entrepreneurs and Middle Classes  11/1/2013 Brookings Institution 

Continúan llegando correos de solidaridad por el texto Cocheros homofóbicos  10/22/2013 Afromodernidades: "La calle es de todos."

Cuba: Beginning of the End of Dual Currency  10/22/2013 Havana Times: 'Many economists believe that the dual currency distorts accounting and hampers economic productivity on the island. Monetary unification “is not a measure that will resolve all the current economic problems, but its implementation is essential to ensure the restoration of the value of the Cuban peso,” noted the official Granma newspaper on Tuesday."

More Americans are traveling to Cuba  10/21/2013 Progreso Weekly: "Some 98,050 Americans visited Cuba in 2012, according to recently released Cuban government statistics (site in Spanish). That’s up from 73,566 in 2011. In fact, the Cuban charts show U.S. arrivals have been rising steadily since 2006,when 36,808 American arrivals were reported. A recent Reuters report noted that the Cuban count excludes visits paid by an estimated 350,000 Cuban Americans, whom Cuban officials view as Cuban nationals."

Díaz-Canel: “Hace falta un pensamiento más fresco y revolucionario en la promoción cultural”  10/20/2013 Cubarte: "Después de estos días de debate, parece que queda poco por decir, comentaba Miguel Díaz-Canel, Primer Vicepresidente cubano, antes de leer las palabras que cerraron el Segundo Congreso de la AHS [Associacion Hermanos Saiz].

¿Por qué está en prisión la disidente cubana Sonia Garro?  10/18/2013 Global Voices 

50 YEARS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION OF KENNEDY The frustrated CIA and Chiefs of Staff coup  10/17/2013 Granma: by Gabriel Molina Franchossi - "It is not by chance that the most public defenders of the group of Cuban gangsters suspected of conspiring in the plot, are supported in eluding justice by Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Mario Díaz-Balart and a group of Congress members financed with resources that the government grants them in the name of freedom. Obama would seem to have forgotten that, right after his election, these ultra-conservatives refused to meet with him. Ileana Ros went so far as to refuse a telephone conversation with him. This group, which has the backing of the pro-Israeli lobby and the military-industrial complex, has hijacked U.S. Cuba policy, despite the fact that both civil and economic actors in U.S. society has stated that the normalization of relations is as important for the United States as it is for Cuba."

Trabajo por cuenta propia revela tensiones de género en Cuba  10/14/2013 Global Voices: por Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez

Why is Cuban Dissident Sonia Garro in Prison?  10/12/2013 Global Voices 

Cocheros homofóbicos agreden a grupos gays en Cárdenas.  10/4/2013 Afromodernidades: "Y allí pienso estar, al lado de ellos, porque lo cierto es que a pesar del machete, los planazos, los fustazos, el coche, los cocheros y otros atributos de un entorno pre, uno se cansa. Si las leyes y las instituciones llamadas a ampararnos llegan: perfecto, sino ya da igual. Los maricones tan bien tenemos sangre en las venas, y vamos descubriendo otras formas de empoderarnos, quizás no tan civilizadas (contenidas, disciplinadas), pero son las armas, el otro saber: el saber de gente, que vamos encontrando noche a noche, para el vivir, pensar y enfrentar la calle."

En La Habana, la Keiderling enseño su verdadera cara de agente CIA  10/1/2013 Kaos en la red: "Keiderling tenía presupuesto ilimitado; fue hasta sugerir llevarse a su ahijada a Estados Unidos a “estudiar con una beca” y propuso a “Daniel” crear una “agencia literaria”, siempre con el propósito de influir en los círculos artísticos cubanos. "Se crea la pagina web Agencia Literaria Cubana Online, desde la cual se difundían los autores y se vendían obras, pero la idea empieza a convertirse en otra cosa, dicen que quiere que agrupe no solo a escritores sino también a artistas, músicos, que se coordinara con otras embajadas, como la alemana, etc... Para todo ello iba a recibir financiación”, recordó Raúl Capote al describir el trabajo de inteligencia de la Keiderling."

Crean cooperativas en la Oficina del Historiador  9/27/2013 Opus Havana: "Hoy viernes fueron constituidas oficialmente dos cooperativas no agropecuarias de primer grado de la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad: la de vidriería Vidria y la de metales Calflat. En el acto, efectuado en la Casa Pedroso, y en el que intervino Eusebio Leal Spengler para saludar la iniciativa y desear éxitos a los cooperativistas, se conoció que estas se crearon con el objetivo de diversificar el trabajo en la institución en una nueva modalidad, utilizando en este caso específico la experiencia de graduados y profesores de la Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos."

Cuba expands list of allowed private sector jobs  9/26/2013 AFP: "The Communist Party daily Granma reported that among the 18 newly authorized private sector occupations is that of real estate agent, in keeping with an earlier decision to legalize private real estate transactions. Vendors of agricultural produce and telecommunications salespeople also have been added to the list."

Clay Shaw, Big Sugar and the Everglades  9/18/2013 Counterpunch: Big sugar = Domino Sugar, owned by the Fanjul brothers, central pilars of the exiled plantocracy.

U.S. ordered to disclose payments to reporters covering the Cuban Five case  9/18/2013 Granma 

Abrirá en Cuba oficina de televisora iraní en español  9/14/2013 Jiribilla: "La televisora iraní Hispantv, primera cadena de información y entretenimiento en español de Oriente Medio, abrirá próximamente una oficina en Cuba, anunció este jueves en La Habana, Omar Olazábal, Vicepresidente del Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión."

Obama should return Guantanamo to Cuba, former U.S. envoy says  9/2/2013 Reuters: "Obama, by negotiating a deal with Cuban leader Raul Castro about the base on the communist island, could build a long-term relationship with its people, said Michael Parmly, head of the U.S. interests section in Havana from 2005-2008."

Cuban Cinema at a Crossroads: Independent Productions on the Island  8/30/2013 Havana Times: "Calviño believes that “the first step would be to create a legal platform for independent productions. Today, we can’t even sign a contract or open our own bank account,” she explains, adding that the important thing “is to be allowed to work without the stress of thinking one is doing something illegal.”"

Havana, destination Cuba  8/30/2013 On Cuba: "During the first decade of the century, 15% of the total population living in Cuba lived in a province different from their birth. The figure has risen but Havana was and still is, the most popular migration destination on the Island."

"Black-Budget": Cuba Remains Priority for U.S. Counter-Intelligence  8/29/2013 Capitol Hill Cubans: "One of the things revealed in the "black budget" is the following: U.S. intelligence officials take an active interest in foes as well as friends. Pakistan is described in detail as an “intractable target,” and counterintelligence operations “are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel.” The latter is a U.S. ally but has a history of espionage attempts against the United States."

Eusebio Leal: Everything can be rectified  8/29/2013 Granma: "Perhaps this is the moment when we have more and more complex works," affirmed City Historian Eusebio Leal, leader of the rehabilitation of Old Havana, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO."

A business-friendly Cuba gets a hand from Canada  8/29/2013 Toronto Globe & Mail: “The irony is those that will save the Revolution are the emerging small- and medium-sized private businesses,” he says. “And those that could destroy it are those elements in the bureaucracy that resist these changes.”

Cuba’s “All-Terrain” Doctors Arrive in Brazil  8/28/2013 Havana Times: "This past weekend, Brazil welcomed the first 400 of a contingent of 4,000 Cuban medical doctors, hired to provide health services to populations living in the remotest and poorest areas of the Latin American giant. Brazil’s doctors association opposes the measure, but the administration of Dilma Rouseff considers it a matter of public interest and a social issue of the highest priority."

Fidel Castro labels libellous report Cuba blocked Snowden travel  8/28/2013 Reuters: "Castro, in his column, blasted Kommersant as a well known "counter-revolutionary" and "mercenary" newspaper. "I admire the courageous and just declarations of Snowden," Castro wrote."

The Privatization of Education in Cuba: Kissing the Right Frog  8/27/2013 Havana Times: "In this connection, Zulema’s day care center is one case among many others, which include private schools maintained by international organizations, to which the children of Cuba’s nouveaux riches flock in a mad, happy rush. As such, Cuban society is slowly becoming exposed to two visibly different ways of accessing education. At the top, we have the children of those who have come out victorious in the process of capitalist restoration, comfortable in their private institutions and nurseries. At the very broad base, we have the heirs of poverty, in an educational system that is in shambles, with badly-paid teachers and ramshackle facilities. Some go up while others plunge further down."

Russian media report: How Snowden missed his flight to Cuba  8/26/2013 CS Monitor: "A Kommersant source who is close to the US State Department confirmed that Cuba was one of the countries whose authorities had been warned by the US that any assistance provided to Snowden will lead to 'adverse consequences.' Later Vladimir Putin said that the United States 'in fact, blocked [Snowden's] further flight' to Latin America," leaving him stuck in Russia."

A Glimpse into the Cuban Demographic Sphere  8/24/2013 Periodico 26: "Grisel Rodríguez Gómez, who is a PhD. and professor of the Demographic Studies Center from the University of Havana city, explained that since 1978 the Cuban population is below its level of generation replacement , which means that each woman does not have a daughter who could replace her in the reproductive role and that it is the main cause of the local population aging."

New details on USAID's Cuba programs  8/23/2013 Along the Malecon 

Indiegogo refusing to release funds donated for legal Cuba travel  8/22/2013 Cuba News: "U.S. citizens collecting funds for legal Cuba tours and other legal Cuba projects should be warned not to use online fundraising sites such as Indiegogo. Recently there have been incidents in which legal participants on legal Cuba research tours attempted to raise funds for their Cuba travel on the site In one case, Indiegogo is refusing to release the $1400 raised by a legal Cuba traveler, claiming their bank didn't have approval from OFAC. In the second case, Indiegogo shut down a legal Cuba traveler's Indiegogo webpage when he had raised $400."

Illegal Dental Work on the Rise in Cuba  8/22/2013 Havana Times: "Generally speaking, dentists with private clinics are specialists or technicians from the field who continue to work for the State or quit their day jobs in search of financial improvement. They have clinics with basic conditions at home and no license to operate. In fact, no one is authorized by the government to offer health services privately, as a self-employed professional. Another practice consists of offering dental appointments and diagnostic procedures outside State clinics, in private residences, and conducting the actual surgery in the government institution, using the equipment and supplies there illegally."

Lalita también era bloguera #Cuba  8/19/2013 Cayo Hueso: "Como yo, Lalita también era bloguera, quizás un pasaje algo desconocido de su vida. Y digo como yo, porque sé que sembré en ella el bichito de publicar en internet nuestras ideas sin censores ni cortapisas. Si algo distinguía su proceder era abrirle las puertas de sus libros y sus reflexiones a los y las jóvenes que la buscaban para escuchar una historia no oficial de varios acontecimientos socio-culturales. Pero también aprendía de hip hop, de nuevas tecnologías. Por eso pudo acoger con humildad y entusiasmo la idea de tener un blog."

A Tourist’s Look at the Cuban Tourism Industry  8/17/2013 Havana Times: "Whatever stresses are placed on Cuba now could be multiplied if Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba in greater numbers. A television documentary here quoted a high ranking Cuban official to the effect that Cuba would need many more golf courses to accommodate an expanded tourist industry. Who could have predicted that more than 50 years after the Cuban Revolution, Cuba would be dependent on tourists from wealthy countries? Marx, Engels, Lenin, Marti, etc. did not write anything on how to deal with such a challenge. The Cubans will be obliged to figure it out for themselves."

Celebran Aniversario 26 de los Joven Club de Computación  8/16/2013 CubaDebate 

Cuba’s Journey on the Internet: There’s a Long March Ahead  8/14/2013 Time: "only 25% of the population is online" [This figure comes from official sources.]

Bloqueo de Estados Unidos irrumpe en la vida íntima de los cubanos  8/7/2013 La Polemica Digital 

Internet access now a reality for some Cubans, but not cheap at $4.50 an hour  8/6/2013 CNN 

CUBITA LA BELLA: Claro que si, el bloqueo existe'  8/6/2013 Negra Cubana: "Mire, solo le podemos efectuar el pago si el dinero viene a nombre de una persona que no sea cubana, o sea si Ud. conoce a alguien que pudiera cobrarle el dinero… Western Union es una empresa americana y por el embargo su país no consta aquí, su pasaporte no puede ser usado para extraer ese dinero aunque esté a su nombre."

ONLY IN AMERIKKA, THE LAND OF THE IMPRISONED  8/5/2013 Afrocubalicious: published 2009, still topical - "A group of Japanese lawyers and institutions are among the growing number of people and organizations to sign 12 Amicus Curiae presented on March 6 by the defence lawyers of Gerardo Hernández, René González, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and Ramón Labañino —known as the Cuban Five. Japanese lawyer and former legislator Osamu Yatabe explained to JR how in a short period of time several Japanese legal and human rights organizations got together to sign the Amicus Curiae."

Excerpt: Gangsterismo: The United States, Cuba, and the Mafia, 1933-1966  8/4/2013 CubaNews: "When Masferrer went into exile in the United States, Park Wollam, U.S. consul general in Santiago de Cuba, sounded a warning: Masferrer could become a political embarrassment for the Eisenhower Administration. A CIA memorandum reported that Masferrer was infamous for the use of his private army, known as the “Tigers,” to terrorize Batista’s civilian opponents. “Masferrer is considered here to typify the worst of the former [Batista] regime,” Wollam wrote from Foggy Bottom in January 1959. “The name ‘Masferrista’ connotes assassination, torture, and extortion, and many local people have been subject to shakedowns by alleged members of his private army.” A report for the Special Research Office at the American University in Washington, D. C., called Masferrer “one of the most hated men in Cuba.” Norman LaCharite writes, “In Oriente, Batista’s close friend and ally, Senator Rolando Masferrer, had a personal army of 2,000 men who wore army uniforms and rode in khaki-colored short-wave radio cars. . . . [T]his vigilante force known as the Socialist Revolutionary Movement, worked hand-in-hand with the [Cuban] army in suppressing disorders and eliminating revolutionaries.”

Convertida la UNEAC en un velorio  8/2/2013 CubaNet: "Todos esos espacios de vida sociocultural han sido silenciados, dicen que por las quejas de un vecino. Es conocido que las quejas de este vecino empezaron a manifestarse desde hace tres años. Por la UNEAC pasó la Comisión de Contaminación Ambiental, la cual dictaminó que los 65 decibeles que allí se emiten no dañan la salud auditiva de nadie y que el audio está estructurado en la forma correcta. Sin embargo, El Hurón Azul ha permanecido cerrado durante casi tres meses, desde mayo hasta julio."

Violencia contra las mujeres busca espacio en la prensa  7/29/2013 SEMlac: "Desconocimiento y poca sensibilidad por parte de periodistas y profesionales de la comunicación, junto a dificultades para obtener testimonios y escasez de estadísticas conspiran contra el posicionamiento de la violencia contra las mujeres en las agendas editoriales de la prensa cubana."

Cuba’s Economic Performance in 2012  7/24/2013 Counterpunch 

El Asesinato de negros a mansalva en los Estados Unidos,  7/19/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Más de 2 millones de profesionales Afroamericanos en todas las ramas del saber, 110 Universidades negras, 200,000 iglesias negras y el mayor conglomerado de negros en el mundo de las artes y deportes y millones de hombres ordinarios sin tabúes, jubilados o activos, constituyen la fuente donde se podrían atraer a más de un millón de familias preocupados por la seguridad personal de su familia, donde jamas ocurrirá un Emmet Till o Trayvon Martin, para residir en la antigua provincia de Oriente, con lo que Cuba podría duplicar de su producto nacional bruto, abonar salarios justo, abastecer el mercado e iniciar la recuperación de la decrepita infraestructura nacional."

Press Release of CAFE's denouncement of Mario Diaz-Balart's attempt to dismantle advancements in U.S. Cuba policy  7/19/2013 CAFE por Cuba: "Section 124 would effectively dismantle the "people-to-people" licensing program, allowing American citizens to travel to Cuba for educational purposes, by defunding the program. These licenses have allowed U.S. citizens to legally visit Cuba and experience the island first-hand, ending their reliance on the skewed portrayals of Cuban reality by either the U.S. government or the corporate-controlled media."

Cuban-American Group Opposes Bill to Stymie US-Cuba Exchange  7/19/2013 Havana Times: " A group of Cuban Americans supporting engagement between the US and Cuba to improve relations and settle differences is alarmed by a bill attached to a House appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2014 that would turn the clock back to the George W. Bush years. The annexed legislation, submitted by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fl), was passed by a full house committee on Wednesday."

Cuba Sent “Obsolete Weapons” on North Korean Ship  7/16/2013 Havana Times: "American conservatives demanded that the Obama administration put an “immediate” stop to the meeting with Cuba on immigration policies. This should not take place “until (Havana) gives clear and consistent answers about this incident,” said Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a leading Cuban-born opponent of any rapproachment between the two governments."

El periodismo que necesita Cuba  7/14/2013 CubaDebate: "El IX Congreso de la Unión de Periodistas de Cuba vivió este sábado una jornada de debate franco, cuestionador, autocrítico sobre las exigencias y urgencias del periodismo que requiere el socialismo cubano en el escenario mediático actual."

Cuba: Censorship on Government Websites  7/13/2013 Havana Times: "In short, I don’t see how the technical and financial limitations alluded to by Cuban authorities in connection with the full use of Internet’s potential could have anything to do with this restriction in the use of available technological resources."

Rectores de universidades cubanas visitan centros educacionales en Angola  7/12/2013 CubaDebate 

“Proyecto de ley Jay-Z y Beyoncé”: Otro capítulo oscuro  7/11/2013 CubaDebate: "Un proyecto de ley que acaba de ver la luz en un Subcomité de Apropiaciones limitaría el uso de fondos del Departamento del Tesoro estadounidenses “relacionados con los viajes u otras operaciones de intercambios no académicos” descritos en las restricciones legales estadounidenses de los viajes a Cuba."

Cuba: The Gloves are Off  7/11/2013 Havana Times: "Making Cuba’s official discourse reflect more and more aspects of everyday reality may well be one of the most important political processes undertaken on the island today. President Raul Castro’s pronouncements Sunday to the parliament were a clear expression of this process. He began by saying his criticisms would help the international press disparage Cuba, but went on to suggest that restricting the public debate of economic, political and social problems simply to deprive the enemy of potential weapons is misguided."

Raul Castro, hablando a calzón quitado  7/11/2013 Havana Times: "La aproximación entre el discurso y la realidad es uno de los procesos más importantes que se gestan en la política cubana actual. Y las palabras del Presidente Raúl Castro en la última reunión del parlamento fue una descarnada expresión de este cambio. Empezó afirmando que sus criticas servirían a la prensa internacional para denigrar a Cuba pero a renglón seguido descalificó la mentalidad que limita la difusión de los problemas económicos, políticos y sociales para no dar armas al enemigo."

Speech by President Raul Castro Ruz to the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the Havana Convention Center on July 7, 2013  7/10/2013 Havana Times: "I am abiding by the conviction that the first step in effectively overcoming the problem is to recognize its existence, in all its dimensions, and investigate the causes and conditions which have propitiated this phenomenon over many years."

Gallery owner seeks Cuba-Key West art swap  7/10/2013 Miami Herald 

The loss of ethical values and disrespect for good manners can be reversed by concerted action on the part of all social actors  7/8/2013 Granma: Speech by Raúl Castro Ruz - "This issue is not a pleasant one for anybody, but I am abiding by the conviction that the first step in effectively overcoming the problem is to recognize its existence, in all its dimensions, and investigate the causes and conditions which have propitiated this phenomenon over many years."

Senador socio de terrorista CIA amenaza a “cualquier” país que otorga asilo a Snowden  7/8/2013 Kaos en la Red: "Menéndez es este miembro del Senado quién se reunió el 17 de mayo de 2011 con Luis Posada Carriles, en un restaurante de West New York, para felicitar el viejo asesino para su indulto por un tribunal tejano, una operación dirigida por nada menos que Roger Noriega, el ex alto funcionario del Departamento de Estado. El senador famoso por sus lazos con la mafia, tanto italiana que cubanoamericana, es un aliado fiel de la Representante por Miami Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, la también Presidente del “Fondo de defensa” de Posada."

Disputa por el legado de Alfredo Guevara  7/7/2013 Marti Noticias: "Pero los Guevara reaccionaron con indignación y críticas. "Me encantaría que alguien se comunicara y me dijera qué hemos hecho mi hermano y yo que somos los propietarios y herederos legítimos junto a mis padres, para que saquen todas nuestras pertenencias y nos cambien hasta las cerraduras de las puertas", expresó Guevara."

Revista cultural cubana justifica ‘inventario’ al patrimonio del fallecido cineasta Alfredo Guevara  7/7/2013 Nuevo Herald: "La revista cultural estatal “La Jiribilla” justificó el inventario que realizaron las autoridades cubanas del patrimonio del fallecido cineasta Alfredo Guevara, en ausencia de sus herederos, y señaló la falta de tres importantes cuadros, cuya salida del país se había denegado."

Operación Alfredo Guevara o la "dolce vita" de un viejo comisario  7/5/2013 Café Fuerte: "A la semana del deceso, el Ministerio de Cultura declaraba su papelería patrimonio nacional y a los dos meses irrumpía en la vivienda en busca de documentos, memorias y obras de arte. Medió la denuncia oportuna de un vecino anónimo, realizada el jueves 27 de junio. Y mientras tanto, una funcionaria nos aclara que faltan solo "tres obras de maestros de la vanguardia cubana", sin especificar qué obras y de qué maestros, elementos claves para seguir el rastro de todo bien patrimonial expoliado o robado."

Ricardo Alarcón, expulsado del Buró Político del Partido  7/3/2013 CubaNet: "Pero también por la torpeza de los argumentos que, en enero de 2008, dio al joven estudiante de informática, Eliecer Ávila, para explicar durante un acto público por qué los cubanos tenían prohibido viajar fuera de la isla, por qué no tenían pleno acceso a Internet y por qué las promesas de prosperidad de la revolución no terminaban de cumplirse. “Si todos los cubanos pudieran viajar, el cielo se llenaría de aviones”, fue una de respuestas aquel día. Para algunos, de allí data el comienzo de su fin."

Reciben libros de Alfredo Guevara en la Universidad de Oriente  7/3/2013 Granma 

Che Guevara's 'betrayer' tells his side of the story after 40 years  7/3/2013 Guardian: "A few months later, on the day he and Debray were sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Bolivian military tribunal, Bustos learned that Guevara had been captured and executed. Hearing the news, he felt "as though the bullets that killed him had hit me, too … it was like losing a leader, a brother and a friend all at the same time"."

Hospitales cubanos se caen a pedazos y si los reparan, es con pacientes dentro  7/2/2013 CubaNet: "El doctor me mira sorprendido cuando le pregunto si considera que no se puede transportar a un paciente grave en un ascensor donde van otras personas. Al preguntarle me acuerdo de los ingresos hospitalarios con mi padre y la cantidad de veces que subí con él acostado en una camilla, luchando por protegerlo del hombre que sacaba un contenedor de basura, en presencia de médicos conversando que me obligaban a ver aquella situación como “normal”."

Guantánamo en nosotros  6/30/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "El Centro Medico del Caribe en que quedaría transformado el Hospital Agostinho Neto y su Escuela de Medicina para unos 10,000 alumnos nacionales e internacionales, pudiera contar con un equipo facultativo-docente internacional, solidario, progresista, que contribuyera a conferirle el más alto nivel científico-investigativo de la región, graduando con el máximo nivel y rigor científico a unos 500 médicos, 1000 enfermeras y 500 tecnólogos anuales, procedentes de todo el mundo."

Guantánamo in us  6/30/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "The devastation caused by Hurricane Georges in Guantanamo in 1998 led the Caribbean American Children Foundation, other solidarity groups, humanists and peace loving people across Florida, to collect health, educational, handicap, sports and cultural goods which were placed on the first four engine cargo airplane to depart from Miami to Guantanamo since 1959. These solidarity efforts have continued with that region to this day."

Policía allana vivienda y ocupa bienes de Alfredo Guevara  6/29/2013 Café Fuerte: "En verdad, estamos ante un asunto de corrupción de proporciones mayúsculas, pues Alfredo Guevara era uno de los mayores coleccionistas privados de pintura cubana, patrimonio con el que traficó durante décadas y era tolerado por la oficialidad por su defensa del régimen”, agregó el cineasta. “Esa tolerancia ha llegado a su fin”. El realizador dijo a CaféFuerte que “hay constancia de que ese tráfico con obras de arte ha proporcionado cientos de miles de dólares a los herederos, quienes han invertido en varias propiedades en Miami”.

Policía allana vivienda y ocupa bienes de Alfredo Guevara  6/29/2013 CubaNet: "En verdad, estamos ante un asunto de corrupción de proporciones mayúsculas, pues Alfredo Guevara era uno de los mayores coleccionistas privados de pintura cubana, patrimonio con el que traficó durante décadas y era tolerado por la oficialidad por su defensa del régimen”, agregó el cineasta. “Esa tolerancia ha llegado a su fin”. El realizador dijo a CaféFuerte que “hay constancia de que ese tráfico con obras de arte ha proporcionado cientos de miles de dólares a los herederos, quienes han invertido en varias propiedades en Miami”. Guevara murió de un ataque cardíaco el pasado 19 de abril, a los 87 años. Sus cenizas fueron esparcidas días después en la escalinata de la Universidad de La Habana, el lugar donde forjó su carrera como líder estudiantil comunista y conoció a Fidel Castro."

Shakur, Snowden, and the State Department: Is Cuba a State Sponsor of Terrorism?  6/28/2013 COHA: "Snowden’s absence on the flight to Havana indicates that he had a reasonable fear of detainment—even extradition to the United States—were he to set foot in Cuba. [9] The State Department’s “Country Reports on Terrorism 2006” cites the Cuban government’s assurance that “it will no longer provide safe haven to new U.S. fugitives who may enter Cuba” [emphasis added]. [10] By not facilitating Snowden’s bid for asylum—as of this article’s publication—Cuba is following through with this mandate. Since no new fugitives have entered Cuba in recent years, Washington’s highly publicized reclassification of Shakur as an international terrorist undermines Cuba’s efforts to comply with new U.S. extradition requests."

COMISIÓN JOSÉ A. APONTE - Defender lo conquistado  6/28/2013 Granma: "Como este es un tema que debe estar presente en la labor sistemática de control y verificación de las comisiones permanentes de la Asamblea Nacional, las provinciales y municipales, la Comisión Aponte instrumentó con el órgano legislativo un sistema de debates con todos los sectores de la sociedad y hasta el momento se han desarrollado en cinco provincias, tratando de identificar dónde están los problemas y cómo solucionarlos. El debate es importante sin lugar a dudas, no debe faltar pues no hacerlo nos debilita. En las brechas que abre el silencio se introducen las artimañas que pueden fomentar la división."

JOSE A. APONTE COMMISSION - Defending what has been achieved  6/28/2013 Granma: "Given that this is an issue which must be present in the systematic work of control and verification undertaken by the permanent commissions of the National Assembly and provincial and municipal assemblies, the Aponte Commission organized with the National Assembly a system of discussions within all sectors of society and, to date, these have taken place in five provinces, in an attempt to identify where the problems lie and how to find solutions to them. Without a doubt, debate is important; it must take place because not having it debilitates us. Underhanded acts which can foment division are introduced into the breaches which silence leaves open."

Operación a gran escala de guerra en red contra Cuba  6/24/2013 La Haine: "Según los sitios web empleados por Washington para la subversión contra la Isla, numerosos mensajes de texto se están enviando al ciberespacio cubano a través de un sistema computarizado, desarrollado por especialistas de marketing en masa, para llegar a grandes cantidades de personas desde diferentes números de teléfono, tanto en Estados Unidos como en España."

Cuba demanda un nuevo Baragua  6/20/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Proponer la formación de una Empresa Mixta de 100,000 acres cada uno, con las Arroceras del Delta del Mississippi, los Citricultores, Ganaderos, Cultivadores de Papa, Fresa, Repollo y Vegetales del Estado de la Florida. Proponer la formación de Empresas Mixta al 50/50% con pequeños y medianos empresarios minoritarios del Caribe, América Latina y los Estados Unidos, para la construcción y restauración de 400 hoteles de 2** y 3***, 100 Cines, 30,000 comercios de víveres, ropa, construcción, restaurantes, farmacias etc."

Cuba demands another Baragua  6/20/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Propose a 50/50% Joint Venture of 50,000 acres with the Mississippi Delta rice growers, 100,000 acres each with Florida citrus, cattle ranchers, potato, strawberry, vegetable and cabbage growers. Propose a 50/50% Joint Venture with 20,000 mid-size and small Caribbean, Latin American and US Minority entrepreneurs, to refurbish/build and operate 400 2** and 3*** Hotel, 100 movie theaters, 30,000 grocery, garment, home improvement stores, restaurants, pharmacy etc."

English versions of Essays in El Caribe: Dependencia, Integración y Soberanía by Norman Girvan  6/18/2013 Norman Girvan: (Santiago de Cuba: Casa del Caribe/Editorial Oriente, 2012)

Cuban Blogger Who Reveres Castro Pushes for Reform  6/11/2013 NYT: By NATALIE KITROEFF - "A professor of journalism at the University of Havana, a public institution, Ms. Díaz is an employee of the state. That has not stopped her from writing publicly and with disarming directness about the challenges of daily life in Cuba on her blog, La Polémica Digital, for the last five years. She is young, progressive and fiercely loyal to the Cuban government. But she says she is also determined to reform a socialist system that no longer works as well as it used to for the common man. The delicacy of that relationship is not lost on Ms. Díaz. “I’ve been scared that maybe I’d write something that would be interpreted the wrong way,” she said, “and that I would be punished, or lose my job.”"

Assata Shakur, FBI's white whale?  6/11/2013 Progreso Weekly 

A British NGO is the victim of economic sanctions by the United States against Cuba  6/9/2013 Cuba News: "An entire chapter deals with the extraterritorial nature of these economic sanctions, something that clearly violates international law. Indeed, the national legislation of one country cannot be applied to another. For example, French law cannot be applied in Germany and Brazilian law cannot be applied in Argentina. But the U.S. law on economic sanctions applies to all countries in the world and a special office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Office Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is charged with overseeing its implementation. In April 2013, the British NGO, Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC), decided to buy 100 copies of the book, The Economic War against Cuba, and asked their English bank, the Co-operative, to pay the invoice by bank transfer to the Monthly Review Press account at the Chase Bank in the United States. However, the transaction did not take place. Indeed, the OFAC decided to block the fund transfer and demanded that the British NGO explain in detail its relations with Cuba."

Ataca Sección Cuba de LASA a académico por interesarse en economista sancionado  6/9/2013 Marti Noticias: "El bloguero relató que el profesor de Baruch College en Nueva York, e investigador de la blogósfera cubana, Ted Henken, quien es miembro de la sección, provocó la reacción de una verdadera “brigada de respuesta rápida intelectual” cuando preguntó por qué el economista Omar Everleny Pérez, quien tiene una ponencia en el Congreso y ha asistido a otras ediciones, no asiste al evento. Junto con Pavel Vidal, actualmente en la filial de Cali, Colombia, de la Universidad Javeriana, Pérez ha sido uno de los críticos más agudos e impacientes desde el oficialismo de las reformas de Raúl Castro en la isla. Se ha sabido que hace poco perdió su puesto en el Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana, fue degradado a una posición más oscura y se decidió que no asistiera al Congreso de LASA. Pardo Lazo relata que cuatro de los académicos enviados por La Habana –con Carlos Alzugaray a la cabeza-- protagonizaron el acto de repudio a Henken, echándole en cara a grito pelado que ningún norteamericano estaba autorizado a interesarse por la suerte de ningún cubano."

Cuba’s Other Revolution  6/7/2013 Counterpunch: "But observers should not romanticize or idealize Cuba’s reality. Agroecology in Cuba faces serious challenges and contradictions (8). The government does not intend to do away with conventional industrial farming, and it is pushing ahead with the development of genetically modified crops (9), something that Funes and other Cuban agroecologists have vocally opposed (10). Some in the top levels of the Communist Party view agroecology as no more than a temporary band aid, to be discarded once the Special Period ends. But Funes, Vásquez and many other Cuban farmers are convinced that agroecology is the way to go today and will also be the way to go tomorrow. In the words of Funes, “Let’s do organic farming now, not out of necessity but rather with the conviction that it really is the path to take”."

In Cuba: “You Will Learn, but not Too Much”  6/3/2013 Havana Times: "How else could we explain the creation of new cybercafés, which will offer Internet services in several municipalities across the country at the “affordable” price of US $5 the hour? Never before have we seen such clear proof that the Cuban government isn’t interested in providing its citizens with Internet access."

Cuba’s New Cybercafés: A Piecemeal Strategy  5/30/2013 Havana Times: "With a total of 334 computer consoles around the country, the cybercafés will be open 11 hours a day. If every user were to navigate for only an hour, a mere 3,700 people would be able to access the Internet a day. If we maintain our initial figure of 8 million potential Internet users, people would get to connect once every 5 years. Even if we assume I am exaggerating and that only 10 % of this hypothetical population wants to use the Internet, each person would have access to the web only once every six months. And Cuba’s phone company, ETECSA, needed all of two years to take this bold step, from the date in which the installation of an underwater fiber-optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela was completed."

Howard Dodson Jr. has returned to work, trying to make Howard research center great again  5/26/2013 WaPo: "As part of his fundraising for Moorland-Spingarn’s centennial next year, Dodson plans to put together heritage package tours to places such as Brazil and Cuba, which will feature black scholars and artists. “Folks will want to pay for that,” he said confidently."

CUBA: Los desafíos del cooperativismo  5/24/2013 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Las cooperativas se vislumbran como una de las formas empresariales no estatales que tendrán mayor protagonismo en el nuevo modelo económico cubano. Si hasta ahora solo eran de carácter agropecuario, comienzan los experimentos en otros sectores."

Cuba/Africa: An Old Slave Trading Place  5/22/2013 Havana Times: "During the filming of ‘They Are We’ —a documentary about the return of four Afro-Cubans to their place of origin in Sierra Leone— along with several of the crew, I travelled down to the remote Gallinas region in the far southeast of Sierra Leone, the place where the Cuban’s ancestor and the famous Amistad slaves once departed from Africa. Standing in this inaccessible spot on a sandbar looking out into the Atlantic Ocean, I realized that I was possibly the first Cuban to be there in about 150 years. The Amistad captives—who later rebelled and took their ship to the USA, leading to a celebrated court case—were sold by slave trader Pedro Blanco who once had a mighty empire at the mouth of the Kerefe River in the Gallinas region."

Fiber Optic Cable Between Cuba and Jamaica Now Operative  5/22/2013 Havana Times: "Doug Madory, the top analyst for Renesys, said adding Jamaica gives Cuba a backup in case of an interruption in the branch of the ALBA-1 to Venezuela."

US Envoy In Cuba Engages Critics On And Offline  5/21/2013 AP: "Dozens of young bloggers and tweeters gathered to talk about their place in a socialist society whose leaders have referred to the Internet as "a wild colt" to be tamed and make access difficult for all but a few. Among them were some of the staunchest defenders of Fidel and Raul Castro's communist system. And there, too, stood what many consider their chief foe, in the guise of an affable, silver-haired stranger clad in sandals, khakis and a Hawaiian shirt. Since arriving at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana nine months ago, Conrad Tribble has become perhaps its tweeter-in-chief, while reaching out to some of Washington's most vocal critics."

Eusebio Leal: “No es posible entender la Revolución sin la República”  5/21/2013 Kaos en la Red: "Creo que república, y que, además, es una república que nace bajo las circunstancias de no ser la hija legítima de la Revolución, sino su aborto. Quiero decir: se había fundado una república en Guáimaro, ahí está nuestra tradición revolucionaria, democrática. Los principios fundamentales de nuestras esperanzas futuras se sentaron en Guáimaro, en abril de 1869. Si observamos el proceso que vino después, vamos a ver cómo a partir de la creación de ese territorio libre del colonialismo español —el que el Ejército Libertador pudo sostener y donde, querramos o no, estuvo el gobierno revolucionario con todas sus luces y sombras—, nace ese proceso."

¿Coincidencia o Conspiración?  5/14/2013 Cuba Encuentro: "Treinta años después parece un poco tarde la decisión de incluir a Joanne Chessimard en la lista del FBI de terroristas más buscados."

Target Assata: How the FBI and Cuba Bashers Are Going After a Black Liberation Activist  5/9/2013 Alternet: by Bill Fletcher Jr - "In the aftermath of the reelection of President Obama whispers started to be heard suggesting that there might be efforts to take Cuba off the list of countries that support terrorism. There were other whispers that further suggested that there may be efforts aimed at normalizing relations with Cuba. The frenzy in connection with Assata Shakur is precisely the sort of step that those who wish to derail such efforts could either implement or celebrate."

TONIGHT 5/7 10 PM Pacific Time: Internet radio discussion of Assata  5/8/2013 CubaNews: HANDS OFF ASSATA!

¿Se graban todas las llamadas telefónicas y son accesibles al gobierno de EE.UU.?  5/8/2013 Progreso: “No, bienvenido a Estados Unidos. Todo ese material es capturado mientras hablamos, lo sepamos o no”. “Todo ese material” –lo que quiere decir todas las conversaciones telefónicas que los norteamericanos tienen entre sí en suelo norteamericano, con o sin una orden judicial– “es capturado mientras hablamos”.

Peddlers of smoke  5/8/2013 Progreso: "I don't see in Rodiles' group [Estado de Sats] the signs of a political opposition to the Cuban government. Rather, I see the subversive style of the movements created to dismantle state structures. Estado de Sats apparently does not seek to form a parallel government but rather a parallel state, and maybe that is why it tries to create unofficial mini-institutions for the arts, philosophy, intellectual debate and, of course, mini-concerts. The lack of patriotism of Estado de Sats coincides with its leader's support for the economic embargo against the Cuban people, which Rodiles apparently considers effective as equating philosophical discussions with the strangling of a state he attempts to subvert."

Beyonce discusses Cuba trip on 'GMA,' says she wants more kids  5/6/2013 LA Times: "You know, it was such a beautiful trip," the singer said. "I met some incredible children. I visited some incredible entrepreneurs. And it was really, it was really educational for me. I learned so much about so many people and the country, and it was actually quite shocking."

¿Un futuro petrolero para Cuba?  5/6/2013 Progreso: "Ahora, los casos de Cuba y de Brasil son totalmente diferentes, porque estás hablando de una materia prima que es la caña de azúcar. En Cuba ya podemos recuperar un millón de hectáreas de tierra que históricamente siempre han sido tierras azucareras, así que no estamos hablando de deforestación. Los estudios que hemos hecho nos demuestran que una industria azucarera cubana recapitalizada totalmente puede contribuir alrededor de 3500 millones de dólares al año a la economía cubana. Porque tienes el etanol hoy en día a dos dólares el galón y tienes el azúcar a 18-20 centavos."

A future in oil for Cuba?  5/6/2013 Progreso: "Now, the cases of Cuba and Brazil are totally different, because you're talking about a raw material that's sugar cane. In Cuba, you can regain one million hectares of land that historically was always sugar land, so we're not talking about deforestation. The studies we've done show that a totally recapitalized sugar industry can contribute about $3.5 billion a year to the Cuban economy. That's because ethanol is priced at $2 per gallon and sugar is priced at 18 to 20 cents."

Assata Shakur 40 Years On  5/5/2013 Huff Post: Video interviews.

Académicos de Cuba y EEUU publicarán recomendaciones para normalizar relación  5/4/2013 Cuba Independiente 

La viuda del Hijo de José Martí… nunca abandonó Cuba  5/4/2013 Cuba Nuestra: "En la casa vivían, varias personas, una servidumbre de años e incluso un negro esclavo de cerca de 100 años, nacido en el seno de la familia y que en la práctica se había convertido en un pariente más."

Un caribeño solidario  5/4/2013 Jiribilla: Entrevista con Keith Ellis.

Assata Shakur: Understanding the politics behind the FBI's new attack  5/4/2013 Liberation: "Assata had been, following police instructions, standing with her hands in the air, when she was shot by Trooper Harper more than once, including a bullet to the back. Trooper Harper lied and said he had seen Shakur reach for a gun, a claim he later recanted. He also claimed she had been in a firing position, something a surgeon who examined her said was “anatomically impossible." The same surgeon said it was “anatomically necessary” for her arms to have been raised for her to receive the bullet wounds she did. Tests done by the police found that Shakur had not fired a gun, and no physical or medical evidence was presented by the prosecution to back up their claim that she had fired a gun at Trooper Harper."

Reforma, reacción y nueva generación en Cuba  5/3/2013 80 Grados: "También están los que desde la oposición y el exilio se empeñan en desconocer que una nueva generación crítica ha surgido en la isla, no necesariamente desligada de las instituciones del Estado y en mejores condiciones que cualquier líder exiliado o cualquier político cubanoamericano de impulsar, pacífica y legítimamente, una ampliación de las libertades públicas en Cuba. De hecho, las políticas tradicionales de la oposición, el exilio, Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea —embargo, sanciones, aislamiento, “programas de transición”, catalogación de Cuba como “Estado terrorista”…— no sólo contribuyen al endurecimiento del régimen sino que restan capital moral a los nuevos sujetos del cambio."

Reforma, reacción y nueva generación en Cuba  5/3/2013 80 grados: "Los únicos reaccionarios cubanos que existen no son, desde luego, esos albañiles y aduaneros del poder insular. También están los que desde la oposición y el exilio se empeñan en desconocer que una nueva generación crítica ha surgido en la isla, no necesariamente desligada de las instituciones del Estado y en mejores condiciones que cualquier líder exiliado o cualquier político cubanoamericano de impulsar, pacífica y legítimamente, una ampliación de las libertades públicas en Cuba. De hecho, las políticas tradicionales de la oposición, el exilio, Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea —embargo, sanciones, aislamiento, “programas de transición”, catalogación de Cuba como “Estado terrorista”…— no sólo contribuyen al endurecimiento del régimen sino que restan capital moral a los nuevos sujetos del cambio."

FBI Billboards not about Assata Shakur, it is about politically repressing the Black community  5/3/2013 Black Talk Radio: "Is Assata Shakur in New Jersey? No, she is not and the FBI and the Obama administration know exactly where she is, in Cuba where she has lived since being granted political asylum by its government in 1979 after escaping from prison. This is not about Assata Shakur, it is about sending a message to the Black community and those that live within it who stand up to police violence, oppression and murder of residents, one of the very reasons for the formation of the Black Panthers. It is about the political repression of those who advocate on the behalf of the many political prisons being held by the United States government often in torturous conditions. It is about sending a message to anyone who would take up arms in defense of life, liberty and true freedom in a country that is home to the largest prison population in the world which the federal government and various corporations use as slave labor."

Angela Davis and Assata Shakur’s Lawyer Denounce FBI’s Adding of Exiled Activist to Terrorists List  5/3/2013 Democracy Now: "Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the subject of the recent film, "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners." She argues that the FBI’s latest move, much like its initial targeting of Shakur and other Black Panthers four decades ago, is politically motivated. "It seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism," Davis says. "I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today. Forty years ago seems like it was a long time ago. In the beginning of the 21st century, we’re still fighting around the very same issues — police violence, healthcare, education, people in prison."

Assata Shakur in Her Own Words: Rare Recording of Activist Named to FBI Most Wanted Terrorists List  5/3/2013 Democracy Now: "As a result of being targeted by [the FBI program] COINTELPRO, I was faced with the threat of prison, underground, exile or death," Shakur said at the time. "I am not the first, nor the last, person to be victimized by the New Jersey system of 'justice.' The New Jersey State Police are infamous for their racism and brutality." Hear Shakur read the letter in full on SoundCloud."

Why Is ‘Assata Shakur’ On The FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List?  5/3/2013 Roland Martin Reports: "Roland Martin talks with journalist Dream Hampton about ‘Assata Shakur’ being placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List."

The FBI’s Political Decision to Put Assata Shakur on Its List of ‘Most Wanted Terrorists’  5/3/2013 The Dissenter: "If we look at the trial, we’ll find that she was victimized, she was shot. She was shot in the back. The bullet exited and broke the clavicle in her shoulder. She could not raise a gun. She could not raise her hand to shoot. And she was shot while her hands were in the air. Now, that is the forensic evidence. There is not one scintilla of evidence placing a gun in her hand. No arsenic residue was found on her clothing or on her hands. So, the allegation by the state police that she took an officer’s gun and shot him, executed him in cold blood, is not only false, but it is designed to inflame."

Supporters Say 'Hands Off Assata' Shakur  5/3/2013 The Root: "Many prominent blacks, from Angela Davis to Roland Martin, are speaking out in support of Shakur, and many folks on Twitter are expressing displeasure at the FBI as well. The hashtag #HandsOffAssata is being used to show support for Shakur online. Some of the tweets from the hashtag are below."

Why Assata? Why now?  5/2/2013 Al Jazeera 

40-year fugitive is first woman on FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list  5/2/2013 All Voices 

Obama bogged down in his Cuba policy  5/2/2013 Cuba Now: by Esteban Morales - "Allan Gross is an error of the United States, which even the latter and his family recognize. That is why they blame Obama for his departure from Cuba. The Five are also a mistake of the United States, not of Obama but of American Justice. When Obama assumed office others had already created the problem. He created Gross’ problem for himself, maintaining in this way a double error, the one he inherited and the one he brought on himself. But he can’t see the difference and cloisters himself away in the false appraisal that give freedom to the 5 would be a weakness that would affect U.S. national security."

Cuba antes de la revolución y La tacita de oro  5/2/2013 Havana Times: "Berta Soler, líder de las Damas de Blanco, ha dicho en Madrid que la Cuba anterior a la Revolución, es decir, la del dictador Fulgencio Batista, fue una “joya de oro”. Escuchar esto de alguien que proclama por todas partes que su grupo tiene interés en los derechos humanos, me parece aberrante, teniendo en cuenta todo el dolor que produjo ese sangriento régimen en nuestra Patria."

Woman Makes Most-Wanted List 40 Years After Murder  5/2/2013 Newser: "The reward for the former member of the Black Liberation Army has been doubled to $2 million, reports the Record, which spoke with the State Police superintendent, who reveals he still has two detectives on the case. What officials know: She enjoys "rock star status" in Cuba, complete with a free place to live, thanks to her willingness to be an anti-American "propaganda specialist" for the Castro regime; she has even been invited to greet foreign delegations that arrive in the country."

Mujer entra a la lista de terroristas más buscados  5/2/2013 Nuevo Dia: "El Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) incluyó por primera vez a una mujer en la lista de los terroristas más buscados. Se trata de Joanne Chesimard, acusada y convicta en ausencia por el asesinato de un policía de Nueva Jersey exactamente hace 40 años, informó el FBI en un comunicado."

State Department says Cuba won’t be removed from its list of state sponsors of terrorism  5/1/2013 AP 

U.S. officials: Cuba will be kept on list of nations that sponsor terrorism  5/1/2013 Miami Herald: "Opponents of U.S. sanctions on the island’s communist government have been lobbying hard for months to remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism as a gesture toward improved bilateral relations. The Boston Globe reported in February that U.S. diplomats had concluded Cuba should be taken off the list. Another news report a month later said Cuba’s removal might be announced when the Country Report on Terrorism, also managed by the State Department, is issued."

Ladies in White denounce their leader Berta Soler and qualify as “violent”, “dictator” and “monster”  4/30/2013 Cuba Inside the World: "In the video the seven people complain that the personal allowance for every protest march before 30 convertible pesos (dollars), was reduced sharply to 15, without explanation, following the appointment of Berta Soler as head of the group, replacing the late Laura Pollan. The scandal coincides with the Sakharov Prize award to the direction of the Ladies in White, on Tuesday April 23, at the European Parliament."

Más de $200 millones destinó EEUU a la subversión contra Cuba, denuncian en Ginebra (+ Video)  4/30/2013 El blog de La Polilla Cubana: "La periodista cubana Rosa Miriam Elizalde denunció hoy en el Palacio de las Naciones, de Ginebra, las agresiones perpetradas por Estados Unidos contra su país y los fondos millonarios destinados por el gobierno norteamericano a los grupos contrarrevolucionarios. Sólo entre 1997 y 2012 Washington destinó más de 200 millones de dólares para programas subversivos contra Cuba…"

Berta Soler visita la Junta Editorial del Miami Herald (Primera Parte)  4/30/2013 Nuevo Herald: "Berta Soler, lider del grupo disidente cubano, Damas de Blanco, pidio el lunes que se mantengan el embargo comercial y los li¬mites para viajar a la isla hasta que el gobierno de Raul Castro reconozca los derechos humanos."

Diluting the terror watch lists  4/29/2013 Boston Globe: "The Boston Globe’s Bryan Bender reported this year that Secretary of State John Kerry was reviewing the policy, hoping to thaw relations with Cuba and make the terrorist state sponsor list be about terrorism. It’s not clear if Kerry’s views will prevail."

Who Did Cuba’s Ladies in White Speak For?  4/29/2013 Havana Times 

Nueva luz sobre el caso Muñiz Varela  4/29/2013 Progreso: "También se hace evidente la falta de confianza del FBI en la Policía de Puerto Rico - antes de que se conociera la grave corrupción generada por gangas como la del coronel Alejo Maldonado -, como establece un documento de noviembre de 1974 en el que la oficina federal pide evitar compartir información sobre las actividades del Frente de Liberación Nacional de Cuba (FNLC) con policías de la Isla."

Cuba's Young See Bleak Future, Many Want to Leave  4/28/2013 Reuters: "An elderly Communist Party member said the difference from the past is that the desire to leave is so widespread among the young. "Unfortunately, if you talk to 10 young people today, nine of them will tell you they want to leave Cuba. They don't see a future," she said, not wanting to be identified."

Cuban-American lawmakers press White House to keep Cuba on terror list  4/28/2013 The Hill: [Where is the mention of the known killers being protected by Ileana Ros - Posada, Bosch, and the rest?]

Berta Soler en la Casa Bacardi  4/27/2013 Nuevo Herald: "La disidente cubana, Bertha Soler, líder de las Damas en Blanco, habló durante conferencia de prensa en la Casa Bacardi de la Universidad de Miami en Coral Gables el sábado, 27 de abril del 2013." [en el corazon de la Plantocracia!]

In Cuba, Hurricane Sandy Destruction Still Leaves Mark  4/25/2013 Hiff Post 

Segunda edición del #Twitthab. Razones para un (re)encuentro  4/24/2013 Negra Cubana: "Desde nuestra modesto pero intrépido acceso a Internet, varios usuarias y usuarios cubanos de la redes sociales hemos vislumbrado una nueva oportunidad para (re)encontrarnos y compartir más allá del mundo digital. La segunda emisión de #Twitthab se propone promover además encuentros habituales reales fuera de la virtualidad y se realizará el viernes 10 de mayo, a las 4:00 pm, en el Parque Villalón, sito en Calzada entre C y D, Vedado, La Habana."

A Cuban Spring?  4/23/2013 Counterpunch: "There are, however, different schools of thought on how to move the economy forward. Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, in an essay titled “Visions of the Socialism That Guide Present-Day Changes in Cuba,” describes three different visions: (a) a statist position, largely reflecting the old guard, (b) a market socialist perspective, advanced by many economists, and (c) an autogestionario, or self-management, stance that calls for democratic and sustainable development primarily through the promotion of cooperatives."

E-book: de la tecnología a la mentalidad, y viceversa  4/22/2013 Cubaliteraria: "No hay tradición que sobreviva si no es capaz de convivir, y utilizar, los adelantos tecnológicos. Esa es la esencia que no debe perderse de vista ante los nuevos escenarios del e-book, que es aún un sucedáneo del libro de papel y, por lo pronto, un producto que, teniendo múltiples posibles receptores, carece de demanda y, sobre todo, de la existencia de autores que puedan sostenerla."

Visita de Yoani a México: Un mito mediático que se deshace.  4/18/2013 Rebelion 

Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are, you haven’t heard of her.  4/18/2013 Washington Post 

Help end the travel ban on Cuba.  4/17/2013 Black World Events: "You can help move the White House in the direction of improved relations. Sign our petition asking the President to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism."

Beyonce and Jay Z Are Race Traitors for Going to Cuba !?!?  4/15/2013 Huffington Post: by Mark Sawyer, UCLA - "In the early 2000's the Cuban members of Congress funded projects located at HBCU's for scholars under to contract to produce articles on racism in Cuba. Scholars visited Cuba but did no original research and largely summarized the works of scholars like myself without any of the necessary context and caveats. We were then invited to a conference at Howard University hosted by Ileana Ross-Lehtinen so they could report their "findings" on racism in Cuba and have the validation of top scholars in the field. As the conservative Miami Cubans have struggled to connect with blacks on the island they have seen talking about racism on the island as a possible entrée to Afro-Cubans."

DALE McFEATTERS: Time to lift pointless Cuban travel ban  4/14/2013 Courrier, Evansville, IL: "The more heated members of the Cuban-American delegation in Congress wanted the couple met at the airport and frog-marched off to custody for violating U.S. laws on trade and travel to Cuba — those are the aforementioned laws with a half-century of proven failure — laws apparently drawn up by Franz Kafka and George Orwell after a heavy night of drinking Cuba Libres."

Memories of Crossing Borders: Alberto Jones and Guantanamo, Cuba  4/13/2013 Vimeo, Guantanamo Public Memory Project: "Alberto Jones was born in Cuba to a Jamaican family like many of his peers. He grew up in Guantanamo, which means that during his childhood and early adult years, he traversed (sometimes daily) the borders of Guantanamo, Cuba and the US Guantanamo naval and airforce base. This 5 minute clip is the beginning of a full documentary on his life story that illustrates the entanglements of nations, languages, and ideologies across a 20 kilometer zone that will highlight issues of race, gender, and personal fortitude through representing his life journey."

An Open Letter To Jay-Z And Beyonce About That Cuba Trip... from Michael Skolnik  4/11/2013 Global Grind: "After a long day shoot on New Year's Eve day, one of the only hip-hop DJ's on the island invited me to his house for dinner. I happily accepted and in just a few hours I found myself around his family dining room table, with his mom, dad, sister and elderly grandmother. When the New Year's Eve dinner came out of the oven, I spotted just five pieces of pork. I was the sixth. My man never told his parents that I was coming over. As they put the pork chop on my plate, I looked over at grandma and her plate was empty. Nada. Just some beans and rice and some sweet plantains. Not really sure what to do, I kept offering my piece of pork to grandma relentlessly, but she would not have it. In maybe the few words she knew of English, she looked at me and said, "my casa is your casa."

Jay Carney Denies Jay-Z's 'White House Clearance' Claim For Cuba Trip (VIDEO)  4/11/2013 Huff Post: "Boy from the hood but got White House clearance," quoted the reporter. "Obama said chill you're going to get me impeached."

Jay-Z Responds To Cuban Trip Controversy With New ‘Open Letter’ Song  4/11/2013 Mediaite: "“I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans / This communist talk is so confusing / When it’s from China, the very mic that I’m using.”

Cuban American National Foundation on Jay Z and Beyonce Visiting Cuba Cuban American National Foundation on Jay Z and Beyonce Visiting Cuba  4/11/2013 South Florida Caribbean News: "Unfortunately, the opportunities we are given as Americans do not hold true for people on the island they are visiting. The sad fact is that if Jay Z and Beyonce lived in Cuba, they could not have become Jay Z and Beyonce - not just because of the regime's oppressive laws, but also because of the reality of their racial bigotry against Afro-Cubans and people of color. Ask Roberto Zurbano, an Afro-Cuban who was recently removed from his job by Cuban government officials for his March 23rd op-ed in the New York Times titled "For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun." Though different in political ideology and historic timing, one wonders if Jay Z and Beyonce would have visited Nelson Mandela in apartheid South Africa? If so, why not visit the dozens of Mandelas in Cuba being discriminated for the color of their skin?"

Jay-Z Mocks Republicans’ Fury Over Cuba Trip In New Track  4/11/2013 ThinkProgress: "“I done turned Havana into Atlanta,” Jay-Z raps in “Open Letter,” which he released Thursday. “[…] Boy from the hood, I got White House clearance… Politicians never did s—- for me except lie to me, distort history… They wanna give me jail time and a fine. Fine, let me commit a real crime.”"

Three takeaways from Jay-Z and Beyoncé's Cuba trip  4/11/2013 WBEZ: By: Achy Obejas

Bloqueo norteamericano obstaculiza comercio electrónico de Cuba  4/10/2013 CubaDebate: "Cuba denunció aquí que el bloqueo impuesto por Estados Unidos obstaculiza su acceso a las tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones y, por consiguiente, limita el uso y desarrollo de las aplicaciones del comercio electrónico. El viceministro cubano de Comunicaciones, Wilfredo González, evidenció el carácter discriminatorio de las medidas unilaterales de Washington y su dimensión extraterritorial, que van en contra de las directrices del programa de trabajo de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC)."

Preocupa vulnerabilidad de Cuba a aumento del nivel del mar  4/10/2013 CubaDebate: "“Este fenómeno afectará los ecosistemas, la productividad de los suelos agrícolas, incrementará la vulnerabilidad de los asentamientos costeros, reducirá las áreas forestales y de cultivos, y la calidad y disponibilidad del agua”, explicó Escobar. “Cuba ha establecido prioridades en función de reducir esas vulnerabilidades, identificadas en estudios de prevención y riesgo de desastres realizados por científicos del país”, agregó. Entre las actividades priorizadas para reducir los impactos del ascenso del nivel del mar, el experto señaló la conservación y rehabilitación de los ecosistemas protectores de la línea de costa: arrecifes de coral, manglares y playas de arena."

Cuba: US Gov. Prevents My Attendance at LASA Conference  4/10/2013 Havana Times: "It has thus thwarted the possibility of me — in my capacity as a Cuban blogger and activist— participating in this important conclave intellectual and sharing the experience of seven years of work with the Observatorio Critico (OC), which is part of the emergence and diversification of a new independent forum for debate about the current Cuban landscape."

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Cuba trip licensed by US Treasury, say sources  4/9/2013 Guardian: "Beyoncé and Jay-Z's recent visit to Havana was fully licensed and authorised by the US Treasury department, sources said on Monday. Officials are reportedly preparing a statement on the musicians' Cuban holiday, after complaints by Republican lawmakers. The stars' controversial trip was legal, a source confirmed to Reuters. Beyoncé and Jay-Z were apparently carrying licences provided by the Treasury's office of foreign assets control, which oversees US citizens' visits to Cuba. The terms of these permits are not clear: Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, called it "a Treasury matter", while the Treasury's spokesman, John Sullivan, told the Associated Press he could not comment on particular licences."

Beyond Beyonce, Jay-Z and Yoani: The Overshadowed Story of Law Enforcement Cooperation  4/9/2013 Havana Note: "The story that is most likely to go largely unnoticed, however, is the case of the Hakken family, which has been located in Cuba and will be returned to the U.S. thanks to the immediate cooperation of the Cuban government. Apparently, Joshua and Sharyn Hakken, who had previously lost custody of their two children (who were living with their grandparents), kidnapped the two boys and sailed off for Cuba, where presumably they imagined they’d be free from U.S. law enforcement. But the Cuban Foreign Ministry has already confirmed that the family has been located in Cuba and will be returned to the U.S."

Cuba: Executions & Accomplices in April  4/9/2013 Havana Times: "Although the Black Spring is remembered especially for the imprisonment of 75 opposition activists without due process, I’m focusing my attention on another event: the executions of three black youths for the failed hijacking of the Havana Bay ferry."

Prominent Cubans are defending Zurbano's right to talk about racism  4/7/2013 AfroCubaWeb 

Prevén en Cuba incremento de producción de cemento ecológico  4/7/2013 CubaDebate: "Expertos cubanos prevén para 2014 un incremento de la producción de cemento ecológico, material que por su menor contenido de clínquer reduce la emisión de dióxido de carbono a la atmósfera, refleja hoy la prensa."

The New York Times y Cuba  4/6/2013 Jiribilla: de Alfredo Prieto

Beyoncé y Jay-Z visitaron a Cuba  4/6/2013 Juventud Rebelde: "Aunque la estancia de ambos músicos en la Isla tuvo un carácter privado, el suceso tampoco escapó a la mirada de los capitalinos, quienes acompañaron a la pareja en sus paseos por La Habana Vieja, en su contacto con estudiantes y trabajadores de la Universidad de las Artes, en la presentación que La Colmenita les hiciera de La Cenicienta según los Beatles, o en sus encuentros con la cantante Haila María Mompié y con Danza Contemporánea de Cuba."

Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba trip questioned  4/6/2013 Politico: "Two members of Congress from Florida are looking into how hip hop royals Beyonce and Jay-Z ended in Cuba this week. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart sent a letter to Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department, on Friday asking for more information about the celebrity couple’s trip, which coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary." Two charter members of the exiled plantocracy imposing their views again.

Beyoncé y los fans bajo la lluvia  4/5/2013 CubaNet: "La pareja, ante el reclamo de un público todavía incrédulo que permanecía a pie de calle, salió dos veces al balcón a saludar, en el segundo piso. Un rato más tarde, todo estaba dispuesto -fuertes cercos de seguridad- para que Beyoncé y su marido cenaran en la paladar San Cristóbal, en las calles San Rafael entre Lealtad y Campanario, en esa misma zona."

Comments on "For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun"  4/4/2013 AfroCubaWeb 

Los comentarios sobre "Para los negros en Cuba, la Revolución no ha comenzado"  4/4/2013 AfroCubaWeb 

Yoani en Miami  4/1/2013 Progreso: "What she failed to mention at this city’s so-called Freedom Tower was how pleased she was to see Cuban Miami embrace someone who in the past has expressed herself against the embargo and the hegemonic U.S. possession of Guantanamo. She has also spoken of the right of all Americans to travel to Cuba. And at times, even, Yoani has advocated for the release of the Cuban Five – although this seems to have changed."

Otro robo descarado amparado en el bloqueo  3/31/2013 Cuba Debate: "El robo descarado de marcas cubanas en Estados Unidos sigue siendo amparado por autoridades federales en ese país, quienes se escudan en las espurias regulaciones del bloqueo económico, financiero y comercial que Washington practica contra Cuba. Esta semana, una comisión federal norteamericana juzgó que la empresa General Cigar Co. Inc. puede seguir utilizando el nombre de la marca registrada Cohiba para sus puros en Estados Unidos."

Cuba: Producción porcina se ha incrementado  3/29/2013 CubaDebate: "El presidente de la Sociedad Cubana de Porcicultores (SCP), Francisco Diéguez, dijo hoy en La Habana que la implementación de una estrategia especial en esa esfera en el país permitió un crecimiento de esa masa animal. La disminución de la importación de alimentos y su sustitución por otros cultivos producidos en esta isla y la aplicación de medidas rigurosas para el control de las enfermedades que afectan a los cerdos influyó positivamente, explicó."

Assata Shakur: Terrorist or victim of terrorism?  3/27/2013 Mumia Abu Jamal on YouTube 

'We weren't allowed to flush'  3/25/2013 IA Africa: "A South African student who quit the government's medical programme in Cuba recounted the 'poor conditions' she endured. Shanice Moodley was among 20 South African students who quit the programme and returned home last month. The students, along with 180 other South Africans, had protested earlier this month over their poor living conditions at the Cuban university. They were demanding a 300 percent increase in their R1600 stipend."

Minister to meet Cuba students  3/25/2013 New Age, South Africa: "The South African government spends about R500000 per student over six years for a language course, medical training and living expenses in Cuba."

Cuba remains trapped between isolation and revival  3/25/2013 Repeating Islands 

Debating Cuba-Caribbean, Esteban Morales, Norman Girvan  3/24/2013 Norman Girvan: "Do Cubans see themselves as part of a Caribbean family? Are there historical, social and cultural reasons for a ‘Caribbean Cuba’ and how does the Caribbean appear in the Cuban imaginary? How is this conditioned by attitudes to race in Cuban society? A conversation taking place within Cuba and between Cuban and Anglo-Caribbean scholars…"

The secret files of Alan Gross  3/22/2013 Along the Malecon: Documents the larger dimensions of Alan Goss' plot targeting Cuban Jews, Masons, and Afrocubans.

Interview With Cuban Blogger Yoani Sánchez  3/22/2013 NYT: "Mr. Rodríguez also claimed that Ms. Sánchez, “receives instructions from U.S. authorities, as well as material, technological and financial support out of U.S. federal funds,” and contended that United Nations sponsorship of her visit would violate the organization’s charter."

The Curious Case of Yoani Sanchez  3/20/2013 Counterpunch: "When asked about the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Yoani stated unequivocally that it was an interventionist policy and was a justification for the failings of the Cuban government. Most importantly she emphasized that this policy of economic strangulation was a “relic of the Cold War” and needed to be abandoned as soon as possible (“Ya!”). She also called upon the closing of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Not the detention center that has brought so much infamy to the United States government and has challenged our notion of due process, but the actual base which is a violation of Cuban sovereignty. Lastly, she called for the release of the Cuban operatives known as the Cuban Five arguing that the Cuban government has spent an unnecessary portion of its budget to campaign for their release. When confronted by Miami Cubans who were incensed by such commentary Yoani began to backpedal by saying that her comments about the Cuban Five were “ironic” and that she believes that they are not innocent. This rationalization poses a problem for the legitimacy of her position."

Yoani Sánchez destaca papel de tecnología en lucha interna en Cuba  3/16/2013 Nuevo Herald 

Raúl Castro nombra a Eusebio Leal como zar del patrimonio cultural de Cuba  3/12/2013 Café Fuerte 

The Cuban Revolution Gets A Video Game Based On 1950s Battles  2/28/2013 Repeating Islands: "Island programmers have unveiled a brand new 3-D shoot-’em-up video game that puts a distinctly Cuban twist on gaming, letting players recreate decisive clashes from the 1959 revolution and giving youngsters a taste of the uprising in which many of their grandparents fought."

The Internet, Broadband and Foreign Policy - Cyber Cuba  2/26/2013 Cuba-L 

Cuba: Una estrategia energética nunca está desvinculada del modelo económico  2/25/2013 Rebelion: por Manuel David Orrio

Raúl Castro Says His New 5-Year Term as Cuba’s President Will Be His Last  2/24/2013 NYT: "The race to succeed Mr. Castro, who is 81, now has a front-runner: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, 52, an electrical engineer and former minister of higher education, whom Mr. Castro selected as his top vice president on Sunday, making him first in the line of succession. “It represents a definitive step in the configuration of the future leadership of the nation,” Mr. Castro told lawmakers at a conference of legislative leaders in Havana on Sunday. He added that Cuba is at a moment of “historic transcendence.” "

Rosewood’s story still lives in South Florida  2/22/2013 South Florida Times: by Jose Perez

Cmlk dona materiales a las bibliotecas públicas  2/19/2013 IPS Cuba: "El reverendo Raúl Suárez, director del no gubernamental Centro Memorial Martin Luther King Jr. (Cmlk), entregó a la Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba “José Martí” (Bncjm) una donación de libros que enriquecerán los fondos de la red de bibliotecas públicas del país."

What should Obama do? The view from Cuba  2/18/2013 International Institute for the Study of Cuba: By Dr. Néstor García Iturbe

La bloguera cubana Yoani Sánchez viaja a Brasil  2/17/2013 BBC Mundo 

La inversión extranjera en Cuba  2/16/2013 OnCuba: "En su momento fue la noticia del día; luego, nada más se supo: Cuba trabajaba en la modificación de la Ley 77 sobre la inversión extranjera, y la nueva legislación debía promulgarse antes de que finalizara diciembre del 2012, según declaró a mediados del pasado año la directora de Finanzas del Ministerio de Comercio Exterior e Inversión Extranjera, Yamila Fernández."

¿Por qué el iraní no le respondió a Paquito?  2/13/2013 Negra Cubana: "Pero el señor hizo mutis. No respondió ni pío. Una lástima. Nos perdimos la oportunidad de tener una explicación de primera mano acerca de una sociedad altamente homofóbica y misógina. Pero como se dice en psicología: ¨El silencio también es respuesta¨."

Let’s All Watch Marco Rubio’s Panicked Drink Of Water In Extreme Slow Motion  2/12/2013 Deadspin: Includes a strong dog-like lip-licking moment.

Farcical Cuba policy  2/9/2013 Progreso Weekly: "There is another version of the report, "sensitive but unclassified," that GAO won't allow U.S. taxpayers to see. Even worse, Tracey Eaton, an investigative reporter with whom our organization is working, discovered that USAID hired an outside contractor to review the programs, which found "questionable charges and weaknesses in partners' financial management, procurement standards, and internal controls." But when Mr. Eaton filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of the outside audit, USAID fought him and then provided only ten pages of material that "omit most findings, recommendations and other key information, including the identity of the aid recipients named in the audit."

General elections in Cuba  2/6/2013 OnCuba: "This Sunday, when Cubans voted for its representatives to the national and provincial parliaments, they were casting one of the most important votes in recent decades. After the Sixth Congress and the First Conference of the Cuban Communist Party in April 2011 and January 2012 respectively, and after starting the process of "updating" of the national economy, which has reached all areas and sectors of society and policy, the next five years will be crucial for the country."

LOS SERVICIOS DE MICROFINANZAS EN CUBA: UNA NECESIDAD URGENTE  2/1/2013 Revista Caribeña de Ciencias Sociales: Universidad de la Habana

U.S. bottleneck snags Florida Orchestra's Cuba exchange  1/30/2013 Cuba Headlines: "The Florida Orchestra has run into the first real glitch in its cultural exchange with Cuba. On Friday, the orchestra learned it had to postpone plans to send concertmaster Jeffrey Multer to perform on Feb. 10 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba in Havana. The reason: The Office of Foreign Asset Control, part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, was unable to process the orchestra's application for a license to spend money in Cuba in time for the trip, scheduled to begin Feb. 4."

CUBA: realidad y perspectivas del cooperativismo  1/29/2013 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: Entrevista a Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, investigadora del Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana

The Economics of the Cuban Embargo  1/29/2013 Counterpunch: "This growing international trade, disguised as sending goods to needy family members in Cuba, now includes filling the hulls on 10 or more daily charter flights from US cities to Cuba. Cuban Americans send goods, often with “mules,” to provide family members in Cuba, needing supplies for their businesses. The “mules” return with cash, derived from sales of these goods. Some of the new Cuban stores and restaurants supplied by Miami-based Cubans make substantial profits, some of which get spent in Cuba, and ends up in Cuba’s central bank. Miami, the United States’ poorest large city, derives income because it provides jobs involved in buying and selling the goods sent to Cuba. Jobs also arise from routine tasks created around the daily charter flights to and from Cuba, and the fees collected from take offs and landings. Add to this, the work for accountants, book-keepers and others."

Is Cuba The Next Emerging Market?  1/29/2013 Forbes: "Small changes allowing some private enterprise in Cuba are coinciding with the U.S.’s own policy shifts: As a result, the economic embargo, which prevents most business and travel in Cuba for U.S. firms and citizens, is becoming more porous. In 2009 President Obama relaxed travel restrictions and remittances for Cuban-Americans, enabling them to invest in small private businesses. U.S. citizens can now legally travel to Cuba. But is it time to look at Cuba as a viable emerging market? U.S. public opinion is shifting in favor of normalizing ties, and the American business lobby in particular wants to take advantage of the untapped market, which it believes is worth $1 billion a year."

Cuba first high-speed internet connection activated  1/24/2013 BBC: "The $70m (£44m) fibre-optic cable arrived from Venezuela in February 2011, but tests on the line are said to have begun only this month."

Cuba is Testing Underwater Internet Cable  1/24/2013 OnCuba: "Quality tests on internet traffic through the cable began on January 10, with real traffic from and to Cuba in order to normalize this communication system. The connection has initially been used for international telephone traffic, the company explained. Once the experimental stage concludes, the operations of the underwater cable would not imply yet the multiplication of possibilities to access the internet, since investment would have to be done in the internal telecommunication infrastructure and increase hard currency resources to pay for the Internet traffic."

Cuba’s Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States and the Micro-Republic of Miami  1/22/2013 Machetera: "The Cuban measures are so disconcerting that Miami’s Cuban American rightwing has been completely disoriented by them. So disoriented in fact that you can see it in Alfonso Chardy’s recent report at El Nuevo Herald about a meeting on U.S. immigration reform that took place in the offices of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart in Doral. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen also attended the meeting. The Cubans were not the main objective but the subject of Cuba’s updated migration policy came up and after both threatened to change or eliminate the Cuban Adjustment Act, Diaz-Balart played stupid, saying that these were proposals made by other congressional representatives, other colleagues; while Ileana later swore up and down that she had no plans or intentions regarding eliminating or changing the Cuban Adjustment Act. That’s how confused they are; they can’t even get their story straight."

Is the Venezuelan undersea cable operational?  1/22/2013 OnCuba: "The news came out of a report posted Sunday on the website of Renesys (USA), a company considered an “internet intelligence authority”. In the report author Doug Madory wrote routing data showed significantly faster traffic to Cuba. According to this analysis the ALBA-1 cable is allowing data transmission faster than before, when outgoing and ingoing data was travelling via satellite. Though Cubans haven’t still seen a real improvement in speed, the news fills them with hope. The subsea data cable will increase internet speed exponentially in Cuba. It will multiply by 3000 data, images and voice transmission with a bandwidth of 640 gigabytes and capacity to handle 10 million phone calls simultaneously, according to"

ALAN GROSS CASE SPOTLIGHTS U.S. DEMOCRACY PROGRAMS IN CUBA  1/18/2013 National Security Archives: "The U.S. government has “between five to seven different transition plans” for Cuba, and the USAID-sponsored “Democracy” program aimed at the Castro government is “an operational activity” that demands “continuous discretion,” according to documents filed in court this week, and posted today by the National Security Archive. The records were filed by Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), one of USAID’s largest contractors, in response to a lawsuit filed by the family of Alan Gross, who was arrested in Cuba in December 2009 for attempting to set up satellite communications networks on the island, as part of the USAID program."

Secrecy, politics at heart of Cuba project  1/17/2013 Along the Malecon: "I agree Gross, with experience in 50 countries, knew what he was getting into... but I wonder if he really expected to be abandoned in the way he has been... "

U.S. claims immunity in Alan Gross lawsuit  1/15/2013 Along the Malecon: "The U.S. government today declared itself immune from the $60 million lawsuit filed in November by American development worker Alan Gross and his wife Judy in connection with his 2009 jailing in Cuba."

Cuba Critics Look to Test Government on Travel Law  1/15/2013 Cuba Confidential: "It’s a calculated risk that potentially enables the dissidents to become high-profile ambassadors for change in the communist-run country, traveling abroad to accept awards and slamming the government back home in speeches to foreign parliaments. At the same time, it blunts one of their main criticisms of Cuba’s human rights record, that it effectively held them and others hostage by restricting their movement. “Previously the policy was just to get them out of the country, which really, really did work for the maintenance of the Castro government,” said Ann Louise Bardach, a longtime Cuba analyst and author of “Cuba Confidential.” “But if they are allowing them to come back, we are looking at a game-changer of sorts because that could usher in the first embryonic state of some democratic process,” Bardach said. “If people can go abroad, criticize the government and return, that’s a new day in Cuba.”

Cuba Travel Law Tested By Dissidents  1/15/2013 Huff Post 

As Hugo Chavez fights for his life, Cuba fears for its future  1/12/2013 Telegraph: "But there is also danger for the Castro brothers within the Chavista camp if a more nationalist-minded faction was to prevail. The Cubans are particularly wary of Diosdado Cabello, a former army comrade of Mr Chavez who is now the head of Venezuela's National Assembly, who is thought to be rather cooler about the bilateral relationship."

Report: John Kerry Held Secret Talks with Cuba to Free Alan Gross  1/6/2013 Miami Herald: "But Sen. Bob Menendez, a powerful Cuban American Democrat from New Jersey, stepped in to defend the programs in the spring of 2011 and persuaded the White House to roll back most of the changes, Schneiderman wrote. Havana grew chary at the same time, he added, as Raúl Castro faced domestic opposition to his economic reforms and a U.S. jury acquitted Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile blamed for several Havana bombings, of lying to U.S. immigration officials. “Mired in mistrust and miscalculation, each side seemed to be waiting for the other to blink,” he wrote. “Eventually, however, the United States appeared to step back from an opportunity to free Gross from jail and strike a blow against the antiquated politics of the Cold War … The Cuban-American lobby had won.”

Kerry’s Cuba Sanity  1/5/2013 CAFÉ: "This evidence has informed the future secretary of state’s position against the ban on travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens. Based on the experience of tourists from other countries and the return of Cuban-Americans who “have already had a significant impact on increasing the flow of information and hard currency to ordinary Cubans,” Kerry understands that unrestricted U.S. travel to Cuba would be “a catalyst for change.”

The Real Cuban Missile Crisis  1/1/2013 Atlantic: "Yet, although the missiles’ military significance was negligible, the Kennedy administration advanced on a perilous course to force their removal. The president issued an ultimatum to a nuclear power—an astonishingly provocative move, which immediately created a crisis that could have led to catastrophe. He ordered a blockade on Cuba, an act of war that we now know brought the superpowers within a hair’s breadth of nuclear confrontation. The beleaguered Cubans willingly accepted their ally’s weapons, so the Soviet’s deployment of the missiles was fully in accord with international law. But the blockade, even if the administration euphemistically called it a “quarantine,” was, the ExComm members acknowledged, illegal. As the State Department’s legal adviser recalled, “Our legal problem was that their action wasn’t illegal.” Kennedy and his lieutenants intently contemplated an invasion of Cuba and an aerial assault on the Soviet missiles there—acts extremely likely to have provoked a nuclear war."

Cuba town battles to preserve British West Indian ways  12/27/2012 BBC: "The English-speakers have applied for registration as an official association, hoping that will help in their fight to protect their traditions. But four years on they have had no answer."

Cosméticos para la mujer negra  12/23/2012 Trbajadores: "Por atinado y certero me sorprendió gratamente el criterio de la diputada Olivia Teresa González, de Centro Habana, en la más reciente reunión de la Comisión de Industrias y Construcción, de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular: “No hay una perspectiva o proyección en la producción nacional de cosméticos y otros productos de belleza para la mujer negra”, dijo."

Cuba Recalls 138 Years of the First Official Baseball Game  12/22/2012 Repeating Islands 

Our Man in Havana  12/21/2012 Foreign Affairs 

Cuba Denounces New US Treasury Fines  12/20/2012 Havana Times: "A statement posted on the front page of the Granma newspaper discussed the December 11 imposition of a $375 million fine against London-based HSBC Holdings for violating US sanctions against several countries, including Cuba. A day after, OFAC announced the implementation of an another fine of $8.5 million against the Japanese bank Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, also for processing financial transactions involving a group of countries that included Cuba. The Cuban Foreign Ministry considers this to involve “new acts in the extraterritorial application of the provisions of the US blockade against Cuba and also against entities in third countries."

LA CORRUPTA ALDEA DEL CACIQUE EUSEBIO LEAL  12/20/2012 Lagarto Verde: "Llama la atención que en el mes de octubre, cuando la Contraloría General de la Republica aplicaba la comprobación del control interno a más de 200 empresas en todo el país, estallara el escándalo de corrupción en la empresa Habaguanex, que fue precedido por hechos de similar naturaleza ocurridos en la Empresa Puerto Carenas. Ambas empresas están subordinadas a la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad dirigida por Eusebio Leal Spengler."


PIERO GLEIJESES: THE HIP DEEP ESSENTIAL INTERVIEW  12/19/2012 Afropop Worldwide: "When you’re dealing with the Cuban archives, which are closed, you always have ups and downs. Every time you go to Havana, you are again fighting for your access. And you may think you’ve arrived, and then you have to start again from the beginning, and so it’s very, very time-consuming. With this other book I’ve just finished now, working in the Cuban archives was easier because they already knew me, they were willing to give me access for the second book, and the additional advantage I had was that by the time I was working on the second book, in late 2002, 2003, the South African archives were open. So this new book is really based on a triptych: South African archives, US archives, Cuban archives. "

Obama 2.0, Cuba and CANF  12/19/2012 Progreso Weekly: "As the FIU study demonstrates, Cuban Americans should continue to be the largest voting group in Miami for years to come. They comprise 35% of the population, while other Latinos together make up 31%. But it’s in other parts of the state where the giant will dominate. And in the Miami area, other Latino groups are learning to form alliances with other groups and (why not?) even moderate and progressive Cuban Americans to achieve political standing in South Florida. An example of a growing and powerful Hispanic group in Florida is the Puerto Ricans. There are currently more than 800,000 in Florida. The brunt of their numbers found in the middle of the state, an area referred to as the I-4 Corridor, a highway that connects Orlando and Tampa and cuts Florida in half. Their numbers are politically staggering there. And not faced with the problems of citizenship, in Orlando alone, for example, there are currently more than 160,000 young Puerto Ricans who have yet to turn 18… when they will be able to vote. Statisticians are telling us that by 2016, the next presidential election, there will be more registered Puerto Rican voters in Florida than Cuban Americans…"

Firm steps taken in the updating of Cuba’s economic model  12/18/2012 Granma: "The objectives of this process are the re-capitalization of enterprises; increased earnings to make possible the financing of increased wages for workers; the creation of a wholesale market and the reconciliation of costs which the Cuban economy can sustain with their value on the international market."

Telephone Fraud, Corruption and One-Party Democracy in Cuba  12/17/2012 Havana Times: "As for democracy and party systems, the general trend of representative democracy is predominantly toward bipartisanship while communist systems were founded on the concept of a single party. One thing to consider is the set of traditions of the countries where socialist revolutions triumphed. In ancient Russia, these traditions were shaped by the absolutism implanted for centuries by the tsarist autocracy. China, Vietnam and North Korea can be described as eastern monarchies that are equally despotic and overly centralized. In Latin America, Cuba follows the tradition inherited from Spain, where kings once prevailed, followed by caudillos."

Medical Internationalism in Cuba  12/15/2012 Counterpunch: "This article, based upon seven years of research and some 70 interviews with Cuban medical personnel, both in Cuba and abroad, seeks to provide a broad overview of the importance of Cuban medical internationalism."

U.S. Cuba Relations - the Alan Gross Hurdles  12/15/2012 Progreso Weekly: "Rep Wasserman-Schultz, the DNC Chair and a Jewish American, is included in this list because of her longstanding political alliance with the Diaz-Balart family and hardliner campaign financial support. Remember, its only about votes and money. Always."

Al Historiador de La Habana lo castigarán por corrupción  12/14/2012 Hablemos Press: "El Gobierno lo desposeyó del rentable negocio que creó en torno a la restauración de La Habana Vieja, le dio un Honoris Causa y está considerando enviarlo como embajador de la UNESCO a cualquier país. Por razones de imagen gubernamental y de tratarse de una figura cultural no desea implicarlo en el escándalo de corrupción. Todavía no se ha hablado en los medios oficiales sobre el caso."

Community and religious leaders demand more effective government aid for Sandy victims  12/13/2012 Granma: [This is about NY, but it could be useful to survey the problems in Oriente as well.]

Cuba abre la puerta a las cooperativas privadas  12/11/2012 El Pais: "Un resquicio de autonomía se abrió ayer al entrar en vigor un decreto ley que ampliará de forma gradual el cooperativismo en Cuba. En una etapa preliminar se prevé que este contribuya a la creación de más de 200 asociaciones de ese tipo en todo el país. Desde la pasada sesión de la Asamblea Nacional, en julio de este año, se aguardaba la entrada en vigor de una medida que se espera dinamice la deteriorada economía de la Isla. Hasta ahora esta forma de gestión solo estaba permitida en el sector agropecuario. Pero desde hoy incluirá también los sectores gastronómico, de transporte, servicios personales y domésticos, la recuperación de materias primas y los servicios de la construcción, entre otros."

El Consejo Supremo de la Asociación Abacuá de Cuba - Buro Abakuá  12/1/2012 AfroCubaWeb: "… the Buro was originally a creation of the authentic Abakuá potentias. In 1960 as Cuba was nationalizing all property, some Abakuá leaders drew a line and said: "We need separation between state and religion. Abakuá is a religion. We are more Cuban than the palm tree. Leave us alone." They created a "Buro Abakuá" to confront the excesses of the Revolution. That didn't work: in 1967 the state prohibited any Abakuá initiation. This lasted until 1977. From 1960 to 1991, the state trained Abakuá initiates to infiltrate the lodges and spy, and they sought the complete integration of Abakuá into the state. Possibly some of the comrades were reacting to the presence of former Batistianos in the lodges, but there are former Batistianos across most aspects of Cuban life! This is a case of over-reaching, excessive state control. There were also a number of comrades in the lodges, it is a religion, not a political organization."

Will Haitian President Michel Martelly's visit become another missed opportunity?  12/1/2012 AfroCubaWeb: "Cuba on the other hand, cannot in good conscience or with moral convictions hold on to millions of acres of fallow, untilled land, knowing its use can improve the lives of tens of thousands of Haitians, stabilize Cuba food security and restore the viability of our sugar, coffee and cocoa industry, presently on life support. Cuba can erase its debt of gratitude with Haiti and other Caribbean islands, by implementing an orderly migrant workers law, by which tens of thousands of families could enter and work in the country under clear cut regulations, which forbids all unsocial behavior. Prioritizing the purchase of products and produce from our neighboring islands through the development of coastline shipping lines and an increase in human interactions is a past due imperative."

La corrupción salpica el imperio de Eusebio Leal  12/1/2012 Cubanet: "Como consecuencia de esa larga cadena de corrupción, se conoce que una alta funcionaria de Habaguanex, fue separada de su cargo y enviada a casita, en Plan Pijama, a la espera de las sanciones correspondientes, o del impune olvido. Para ocupar su puesto, se nombró al que fungía como gerente de la agencia de turistaxis Fénix. La funcionaria, que llevaba más de 20 años trabajando con Eusebio Leal, además de riquezas, ganó fama por su proceder despótico y autoritario, y por la manera implacable en que trataba a sus subordinados. Cuando Doña Bárbara, como era conocida, visitaba algún establecimiento, muchos de sus empleados temblaban."

CLOSE TO 50 YEARS AFTER HIS ASSASSINATION Kennedy’s dream  11/29/2012 Granma: "In February 1996, Robert Kennedy Jr. and his brother, Michael, traveled to Havana to meet with Fidel Castro. As a gesture of goodwill, they brought a file of formerly top secret U.S. documents on the Kennedy administration's covert exploration of an accommodation with Cuba…Castro thanked them for the file and shared his impression that it was [President Kennedy's] intention after the missile crisis to change the framework of relations between the United States and Cuba. ‘It's unfortunate,’ said Castro, ‘that things happened as they did, and he could not do what he wanted to do."

In Communist Cuba, the Tax Man Cometh  11/28/2012 MSNBC: "A sliding scale income tax - from 15 percent for earnings of more than 10,000 pesos (about $400) annually, to 50 percent for earnings of over 50,000 pesos, (about $2,000) - adopted in 1994, remains in the new code for the self-employed, small businesses and farms, but it also includes a series of new deductions to stimulate their work."

The Fertile Crescent: Haiti, Cuba and Louisiana  11/25/2012 Afropop Worldwide 

Program: Hip Deep Angola 4: The Cuban Intervention in Angola  11/24/2012 Afropop Worldwide: "In 1978 you have a South African massacre at a Namibian refugee camp in southern Angola, Cassinga. The South Africans killed about 600 Namibians – children, women, men. There were Cuban soldiers at some distance, and they rushed to Cassinga, and basically the South Africans were forced to withdraw. And the Cubans took to Cuba quite a few of the children survivors of Cassinga, so that they would grow up and study in Cuba. And for instance, one of them, I met in Namibia — Sophia Ndetongo [SP?], A survivor of Cassinga. She arrived in Cuba in 1978 when she was 12 to study at school. She left Cuba in 1994 as a medical doctor. She was completely trained in Cuba."

Experts say more Cubans arriving in U.S.  11/24/2012 Breitbart: "The influx of Cubans into the U.S. is increasing," said Ernesto Cuesta, who runs programs for Haitian and Cuban refugees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Miami. The young people we are seeing are desperate."

Cuba — Travelling off the radar  11/17/2012 Cuba Absolutely 

SIP appoints Cuban mercenary  11/15/2012 Granma: "The Inter-American Press Society (SIP-IAPA) – the CIA commercial press cartel whose Miami headquarters bears the name of agent Jules Dubois, has appointed cyber-mercenary Yoani Sánchez its representative in Cuba… The United States was represented by three men at the 1949 SIP meeting in Quito, Ecuador. Two were senior U.S. intelligence officers: Jules Dubois and Joshua Powers. The third, Tom Wallace, was a high-ranking official from the State Department. The only one who could pretend to be a journalist was Dubois. This authentic U.S. military intelligence colonel – as he is described in a biographical note published after his death – in the 1940’s morphed into a reporter with the influential Chicago Tribune."

Sandy’s Tracks through Santiago de Cuba  11/15/2012 Havana Times: Scroll down for numerous photos of the destruction.

World condemns U.S. Cuba policy once again  11/15/2012 People's World: "The three countries that voted against the Cuban resolution were the United States, Israel (population 8 million), and Palau (population 21,000). Abstaining were the Marshall Islands (population 68,000) and the Federated States of Micronesia (population 111,000). The three Pacific Island nations do not have full control over their own foreign policies, not only because they are dependent on US aid, but because of specific arrangements which put their defense wholly in the hands of the United States through the "Compact of Free Association." All the countries comprising the rest of the world, or about six billion, eight hundred thousand people, voted to condemn the US policy. These included all of our country's trading partners, neighbors, and NATO allies."

Estados Unidos y sus cibersoldados en Cuba  11/14/2012 CubaDebate: "Aunque en el folleto adjunto se dice que sólo se ofertan dieciséis plazas, los convocantes no parecen muy seguros de poderlas cubrir. En un país con un millón de graduados universitarios, exigen sólo nivel de Secundaria Básica, y presionan con que el curso es un prerrequisito para acceder a posteriores convocatorias. En este caso, la vieja amenaza publicitaria al estilo de “no dejes escapar esta oportunidad”, no es funcional. En Cuba existen 610 instalaciones gratuitas para la enseñanza de la informática, conocidas como Joven Club. El año pasado 228 000 personas recibieron cursos presenciales en ellas."

The civil society ploy  11/14/2012 Progreso Weekly: "Miami shone as an example of civil society. The democracy for Cuba project does not say that Miami has 163 crimes per square mile, a figure that would clearly inspire Cubans on the island. Other winning Miami data includes: a violent Crime Rate three times higher than the national average, including a startlingly towering murder index that should certainly make Havana residents envious. Miami boasts a three times more than the national average robbery rate as well. 7.36 out of 1000 residents in Miami Dade get assaulted, compared to the U.S. average of 2.52."

Black Cubans Still Suffering from Hurricane Sandy  11/13/2012 Black Voice News 

¿Qué hará Premio Nobel de la Paz tras condena bloqueo EEUU contra Cuba?  11/13/2012 CubaDebate: "Según analistas políticos, Obama tiene todas las condiciones a su favor para levantar de una vez por todas el cerco económico, financiero y comercial que Washington mantiene contra la mayor de las Antillas, a pesar del rechazo mundial y del fracaso de esa política agresiva. Los expertos coinciden que en su segundo y último mandato, el actual inquilino de la Casa Blanca tiene “menos atadas las manos” para poner fin al bloqueo, al igual que para liberar a los cinco cubanos antiterroristas presos injustamente en Estados Unidos."

Damnificados de “Sandy” adquieren materiales de construcción  11/13/2012 CubaDebate 

Brazil-Cuba: Full steam ahead  11/13/2012 Progreso Weekly: "With little hoopla, Brazil has become Cuba’s second trade partner in Latin America. The trend is rising, according to basic data: In 2011, the bilateral trade exchange rose by 45 percent, compared with 2010, when it totaled US$501.4 million. This year, it is expected to close at $1 billion."

My Nephew’s Dreams  11/9/2012 Havana Times: "My nephew has had his life goals well-defined ever since he was around 20. He aimed to have a job that would bring him in enough money to help and support his family, practice Rastafarianism and belong to an environmental organization."

Una semana después de Sandy  11/3/2012 Juventud Rebelde: "Ya en San Antonio del Sur se recuperaron más de mil latas de café —aun cuando son miles los árboles que cayeron encima de los cafetales—, mientras que en los secaderos se encuentran alrededor de 150 toneladas del grano. «Este es un momento para aprovechar todo lo que se pueda. Debemos recuperar el material forestal que fue derribado; ahí hay desde madera preciosa hasta la que se utiliza para hacer carbón. Todo se debe usar en beneficio de nuestra economía», comentó Torres Iríbar."

EEUU se declara 'culpable' de facilitar acceso a internet de los cubanos  11/2/2012 Miami Herald: [el obstaculo maior es el embargo que limita el servicio a la isla…]

Romney's Fla. Ads Tie Obama to Chavez, Castro  11/1/2012 AP: "There's a similar clip featuring Castro's niece, Mariela, who has no official link to the Cuban government. She's a noted advocate of gay rights and has praised Obama's stand in support of same sex marriage."

Pintor Agustín Bejarano se declara culpable; cumplirá 42 meses de cárcel  10/30/2012 Miami Herald: [Agustín Bejarano's supporters in Cuba, and there are many, are convinced he was framed by gusanos. He accepted guilt in order to plea bargain for a lighter sentence in what passes for the US justice system, always fllawed in Miami.]

Santiago de Cuba se levanta  10/27/2012 Cuba Debate: "El pueblo de Santiago de Cuba, aún en medio del pesar por las pérdidas humanas y materiales que le dejó Sandy, se levanta con absoluta fe en la recuperación de su terruño y hace a favor de ello con el apoyo que llega de otras provincias del país. En consonancia, brigadas de linieros y operarios de las empresas eléctrica y telefónica ya trabajan para restaurar el suministro de energía, afectado en casi un 85 por ciento, así como dar vitalidad a los más de 17 mil teléfonos interrumpidos."

Venezuela envia ayuda humanitaria a Cuba y Haití  10/27/2012 Cuba Debate 

Rinden homenaje en Argentina a mártires cubanos desaparecidos durante la dictadura  10/26/2012 Cuba Debate: "El Secretario de Derechos Humanos de Argentina, Martín Fresneda, participó este jueves en la Embajada de Cuba en Buenos Aires del homenaje al mártir Crescencio Galañena Hernández, quien cumplía tareas como funcionario diplomático en el país andino cuando fue secuestrado junto con su compañero Jesús Cejas Arias por la dictadura cívico militar el 9 de agosto de 1976."

MIRIAM LEIVA: Devastación en el oriente de Cuba  10/26/2012 Miami Herald 

In Cuba, the Teachers Are Leaving  10/25/2012 Havana Times: "Last year, 14,000 teachers left the classroom with medical leave certificates or requesting self-employment licenses, while this summer another 4,000 gave up teaching without excuses. Meanwhile, 80 percent of the slots to study teaching careers are vacant."

Cubanos son propietarios de casi 85 por ciento de viviendas del país  10/22/2012 Cuba Debate: "Las familias cubanas son propietarias de casi el 85 por ciento de las viviendas existentes en el país y solo el seis por ciento están vinculadas o son medios básicos de organismos de la administración central del Estado. El resto de ellas está considerado en régimen de arrendamiento y en cuartos, habitaciones, bohíos y otros tipos, según el más reciente informe hasta 2011 de especialistas del sistema de la vivienda en la nación, al que la AIN tuvo acceso."

Asociación de Cubanos Residentes en Jamaica presente en acto público de solidaridad con nuestros Cinco Héroes y contra el injusto bloqueo norteamericano  10/16/2012 Cuba vs Bloqueo: "Uno de los cubanos residentes que intervino fue Osvaldo Cardenas, presidente interino de la Asociación, quien recordó las importantes efemérides que se conmemoran en octubre precisando que estas reflejan batallas libradas por el pueblo cubano a través de los años. Cardenas también se pronunció a favor de la liberación de los Cinco y exigió el cese del injusto bloqueo impuesto a Cuba por EE.UU hace cinco décadas."

Información útil sobre trámites migratorios  10/16/2012 CubaDebate 

En apoyo a la Campaña Por Otra Cuba por la ratificación de los Pactos de la ONU. Concierto y presentación del disco Gente sin Dinero del grupo Estudiantes sin Semilla  10/16/2012 Estado de SATS 

Pentagon Estimated 18,500 U.S. Casualties in Cuba Invasion 1962, But If Nukes Launched, "Heavy Losses" Expected  10/16/2012 National Security Archives 

Government to let Cubans travel freely  10/16/2012 Newsday: "The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it will eliminate a half-century-old restriction that requires citizens to get an exit visa to leave the country. The decree, which takes effect Jan. 14, will eliminate a much-loathed bureaucratic procedure that has kept many Cubans from traveling or moving abroad."

Sex Tourism: The Largest Free-market in Cuba  10/15/2012 Havana Times: "When the Cuban government began promoting the tourism industry in the 1990s, it was sex tourism that jump-started that initiative. Twelve years into the 21st century, they have managed to transition to other more conventional forms of tourism. Eco tourism, family tourism and luxury tourism are gradually coming to occupy prominent places in the industry."

The Week the World Stood Still: The Cuban Missile Crisis and Ownership of the World  10/15/2012 Tom Dispatch: "In a review of recently released documents on Kennedy-era terror, Harvard University Latin Americanist Jorge Domínguez observes, "Only once in these nearly thousand pages of documentation did a U.S. official raise something that resembled a faint moral objection to U.S.-government sponsored terrorism [against Cuba]": a member of the National Security Council staff suggested that raids that are "haphazard and kill innocents… might mean a bad press in some friendly countries." The same attitudes prevailed throughout the internal discussions during the missile crisis, as when Robert Kennedy warned that a full-scale invasion of Cuba would "kill an awful lot of people, and we're going to take an awful lot of heat on it." And they prevail to the present, with only the rarest of exceptions, as easily documented."

Cuba, Uruguay y Brasil: intercambio para crecer  10/10/2012 Microcredito: "Una delegación de referentes cubanos visitó las experiencias cooperativas del Uruguay y Brasil, con el propósito de relevar las experiencias que tienen ambos países en torno a la Economía Social y Solidaria (ESS), sector sobre el cual Cuba quiere impulsar en el marco de su proceso de actualización socioeconómica."

Cuba Can Learn from Chavez and Venezuela  10/9/2012 Havana Times: "Cubans mustn’t respond to the process that has just taken place in Venezuela only with our solidarity. We need to also draw from those experiences and use them to continue radicalizing our own relatively stagnant revolutionary process. The Cuban Revolution began the second stage of the independence of “Our America”; but today it is our responsibility to learn the way independence is being best guaranteed by the Bolivarian peoples of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. These countries have democratic processes, referenda, freedom of the press and association, free access to social networking websites, respect for different ways of thinking, recognition of the role of peaceful and democratic opposition, the direct election of their presidents, new forms of participation, community powers, the development of social enterprises and cooperatives, and programs of direct assistance for the most needy."

U.S. prevents Los Van Van from playing in Puerto Rico  10/8/2012 Granma: "The Cuban band Los Van Van were unable to play two concerts programmed for San Juan and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, scheduled for October 11 and 12, respectively, because their legendary bass player Samuel Formell was refused a visa by the U.S. Department of State."

Cooperativismo cubano: modificaciones en las Unidades Básicas de Producción Cooperativa  10/5/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: video

Prices and Taxes in Cuba  10/4/2012 Havana Times: "To really achieve the redistribution of wealth, taxes should be applied only on luxury goods, those products that aren’t necessary for life. Applying them on milk, cooking oil, soap and meat ends up being punishment against the poor. Kiosks have been opened in all the districts selling products in convertible hard-currency. One needs only to stand around one of those to witness how many of the people who shop there are clearly poor people who have to save every penny to buy the most indispensible items. A few days ago people were complaining that detergent was scarce in the hard-currency stores. The problem was actually that only large packages were being sold, while the fact is that many Cubans can barely manage to scrape together the 50 cents (USD) for the smallest packets."

Efficacy of scorpion venom is confirmed in Cuba  10/3/2012 Progreso Weekly: "For the first time in public, Cuba presented two cases that showed a reduction in cancerous tumors and an improvement in the quality of life of patients who, during a period of treatment, received only a natural medication extracted from the venom of scorpions. “The use of a natural solution of the venom from the [I]Rhopalurus junceus [/I]scorpion improves the quality of life of patients with brain tumors, reduces the lesions and is safe,” said Dr. Niudis Cruz Zamora in a research report to the Second Congress of the Entreprenurial Group of Biopharmaceutical and Chemical Products (Labiofam), held here this week."

The reemergence of the Cuban Catholic Church  10/3/2012 Progreso Weekly: "A nominally Catholic country, Cuba has historically been religiously diverse with low levels of practice and high levels of syncretism. From the 15th century up until the 1959 revolution, the Catholic Church in Cuba was predominantly staffed by Spaniards. Priests and religious were concentrated in educational institutions in urban areas. Wide swaths of the island were relatively un-churched. A 1957 survey of 400 rural families by Agrupación Católica revealed that only 52.10 percent identified themselves as Catholic and 53.51 percent had never laid eyes on a priest. A very high percentage (41.41 percent) claimed to have no religion, while 3.26 percent identified themselves as Protestants. Both Catholics and Protestants traditionally had low levels of practice ranging from 3 to 4 percent for the former and 5 to 6 percent for the latter, ratios that still hold true today. However, surveys in the 1990s revealed that over 80 percent of Cubans believed in the divine, not necessarily in Jesus, Yahweh or Shango. In short, Cuba is a nation of believers, if not of churchgoers."

Supressing a Public Pilgrimage: Day of the 5 Abakwá - 27th of November  10/2/2012 AfroCubaWeb: "The Abakwá parade parallels another parade from the University of Havana to the same monument at La Punta, a traditional parade that has been held for many years and was held again this year to honor the fallen students and a Spanish army captain who broke his sword over his knee to protest the executions, thereby ending his career. This parade would never mention the 5 Abakwá. They may be doing that now, although the official press articles about them tend not to. However, this year various sources in Havana confirm that the Abakwá parade going down the Paseo del Prado to La Punta was forbidden and an impressive contingent of police as well as a Rapid Response Brigade was on hand to enforce the prohibition."

New investment fund aims to catch wave of interest in Cuba  9/27/2012 International Institute for the Study of Cuba: "Romar group, which is active in equipment sales, development, trading, finance and logistics in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, has kept a low profile during the almost 20 years it has done business in Cuba, but the family-owned company is now emerging as an important link with the island for investors. Romar’s development arm, Q Hospitality, is negotiating construction of four hotels, one each in Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and Santa Lucía. Plans also include construction of a 80-mw wind farm in Cuba. However, its most ambitious project is a marina and real estate development at Tarará, just east of Havana."

U.S. blocks passengers traveling from Spanish airports  9/26/2012 Granma: "However, a European Commission (CE) spokesperson, Michele Cercone, told EFE that the issue is not within the CE’s authority since the U.S. does not have access to information about Spanish passengers or those of other nationalities who travel to third countries, as stipulated in an agreement between Brussels and Washington about passenger lists. The agreement apparently did not apply to Colombian journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina, a Le Monde Diplomatique collaborator and 25-year resident of Paris, El País emphasized. This past May 6, the journalist was left stranded at Barajas airport, because a functionary from the U.S. embassy in Madrid blocked his departure to a third country, in this case, Cuba, on a direct nonstop flight."

CUBA: Las cooperativas en el nuevo modelo económico  9/21/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Los Lineamientos de la Política Económica y Social del Partido y la Revolución aprobados por el VI Congreso del Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) mencionan a las cooperativas como una de las formas empresariales no estatales[3] que tendrán cabida en el nuevo modelo económico a instaurar en los próximos años en nuestro país."

La NED sigue apostado al duro en la subversión contra Cuba  9/21/2012 Rebelion 

Cuba’s Post-Castro Future  9/19/2012 Consortium News: "Now that’s changing. Hispanics from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and other Latin American countries are growing faster in numbers than those from Cuba. And while Cuban-Americans are mostly Republicans, others in Florida are heavily Democratic. Moreover, Cuban-Americans themselves are changing their mind about the embargo. According to a recent study by the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University (FIU), most Cuban-Americans in Miami would agree with Zamora that the embargo hasn’t worked well. In fact, 47 percent would like to see the embargo lifted. “This is probably the first presidential election in which Cuba is not a top issue for the Cuban-American community,” says Andy Gomez, senior fellow at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. A member of Mitt Romney’s staff phoned Gomez last year to get his advice on the topics that Romney should address when he visits Miami. Gomez’s answer wasn’t Cuba but jobs and the economy."

Campañas electorales reciben menos dinero sobre el tema Cuba  9/16/2012 Nuevo Herald 

¡Sirvan la sopita de pollo que esto se jodió!  9/16/2012 Yohandry's Blog: "Nunca fue un secreto, pero ahora se confirma: la Sección de Intereses Norteamericanos en La Habana (SINA) está detrás la huelga-circo que encabeza Marta Beatriz Roque. Un texto publicado por este blog, y fuentes consultadas posteriormente, confirmaron que John Patrick Caufield , actual jefe SINA, sostuvo un almuerzo de trabajo con Marta Beatriz Roque, nada menos que el 5 de septiembre, 5 días antes de que se anunciara por los medios de Miami el inicio del ayuno."

Comenzó en Cuba el Censo Nacional de Población y Viviendas 2012  9/15/2012 CubaDebate: [En el ultimo censo de 2002, hubo autodeterminacion de raza, con el resulto que muchos se pusieron blanco.]

Ros-Lehtinen se pone histérica con imagen del “Che”  9/15/2012 CubaDebate: "La Agencia Federal de Protección Ambiental (EPA) de EEUU envió un correo electrónico interno con una imagen del Che Guevara para celebrar el Mes de la Cultura Hispana, lo que generó una crisis de histeria de la congresista del sur de la Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen."

Censo homofóbico Cuba 2012: CENESEX declara que no hará declaración  9/15/2012 Negra Cubana 

Peligros e incertidumbre tras las nuevas regulaciones aduanales  9/14/2012 AfroCubaWeb: de Alberto Jones

Cómplice de Posada Carriles reitera apoyo a candidato opositor venezolano  9/14/2012 CubaDebate: de Jean Guy Allard - "Ricardo Koesling, el directivo del partido político Piedra que declaró a “los chavistas los vamos a sacar a plomo, a golpes, a patadas o a lo que sea” al proclamar que sigue apoyando al candidato derechista Henrique Capriles Radonski, a pesar de los titulares, es el capo de la mafia cubanoamericana de Miami en Caracas, y el representante en Venezuela de la red terrorista de Luis Posada Carriles."

New report by 2 US senators details strategies to prevent "security crisis" in the Caribbean  9/13/2012 AP: "A pair of American senators released a new report Thursday detailing their recommendations to prevent a future security crisis in the Caribbean, where numerous unpoliced islets and barely monitored coasts remain near-perfect conduits for drug shipments. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley argue that Washington must be prepared to counter an uptick in drug trafficking in the Caribbean when, not if, the pendulum swings back a bit from Central American countries and Mexico."

Juicio contra los Cinco carece de sustento, afirma prestigioso juez chileno  9/13/2012 CubaDebate 

Cuban Gov. Reports on Alan Gross  9/13/2012 Havana Times: "The note reiterates Cuba’s willingness to “dialogue with the US Government to find a solution to the case of Mr. Gross” and that it is “still awaiting a response.”"

The conventions and the future of U.S. policy toward Cuba  9/12/2012 Progreso Weekly: "Add to this the fact that, as the “historic exiles” die out, the interest in recovering properties left in Cuba (a determining factor in the far right’s program) declines. Simultaneously, there’s an increase in the number of Cuban-Americans interested in trading with the island or taking economic advantage of any possible contacts with the island. Such contacts could dovetail with U.S. interests, particularly those of Republican conservatives who for years have been questioning the convenience of maintaining the economic blockade. All of which tends to weaken the specific weight of the far right in the design of U.S. policy toward Cuba, as well as the more aggressive tendencies of that policy."

Cuba ensaya nuevos usos de las tarjetas de débito  9/10/2012 KokaCub@: "Personas en Cuba que disponen de una tarjeta de débito en pesos cubanos (CUP) pueden adquirir productos –por un precio equivalente- en tiendas estatales donde se compra solo en pesos convertibles (CUC), como parte de un experimento que se desarrolla al menos en la capital."

Mercado cubano se abre a los productos brasileños  9/7/2012 CubaDebate 

Nueva herramienta de subversión contra Cuba: Videojuegos  9/7/2012 CubaDebate: "Uno de estos programas exige la creación de videojuegos que fomenten el consenso en torno a Washington, en particular entre los jóvenes. Como en otras partidas del gobierno norteamericano para operaciones ilegales en Cuba, esta se concentra en inversiones destinadas a fomentar el uso de nuevas tecnologías solo en aquellos que obedezcan al cambio de régimen que EEUU promueve en la Isla."

La Verdad sobre las reformas arancelarias en Cuba  9/6/2012 Martianos: "En verdad los cambios en los aranceles de importación a pagar en Cuba hace tiempo que tenían que haber sido ajustados al resto de los cambios que han venido teniendo lugar en la economía del país. Muchos han sido los que se aprovechaban de las viejas regulaciones aduanales que establecían que aquellos que residen permanentemente en Cuba pagaban los aranceles de importación en moneda nacional no convertible, cuando en la inmensa mayoría de los casos de esas personas que viajan con frecuencia al extranjero éstas se dedican a importar mercancías en Cuba con fines comerciales y no con fines personales. A la vez que la inmensa mayoría de esa mercancía se vende en el país en CUC --moneda nacional convertible-- o en su equivalente en moneda nacional no convertible. Sabemos que es así."

A Challenge to Journalism - The Cuban Five and the Garbus Memo  9/5/2012 Counterpunch: by RICARDO ALARCÓN de QUESADA - "The US Government seriously violated the Constitution and the Law to guarantee the unfair sentences of the Five Cuban patriots who will soon arrive at 14 years of arbitrary and illegal punishment. This was not an isolated event, but rather a systematic effort during the whole process against the Five that cost millions of tax payers’ money. There is only very limited information available on the duration, resources used, people involved, and other important aspects of the operation. Disclosing this behavior would force the authorities – both the Court and the Executive- to arrange for the immediate release of our five compañeros and, consequently, Washington has also conspired to hide what it did thus committing an additional crime: cover up."

A subtle form of corruption  9/5/2012 Progreso Weekly: by Esteban Morales - "Our highest Political Directorate, being consistent with what it had said ever since it assumed command, condensed its pronouncements: Corruption is the equivalent of counterrevolution. All of us revolutionaries breathed a sigh of relief. Taking up criticism was a reality and nobody had to right to silence it."

New tax in Cuba threatens consumption in a hungry nation  9/4/2012 AFP: "Cuba has slapped a new customs tax on everyday goods shipped from overseas in a drive that experts say could weaken the economy and sap consumption. The levy took effect Monday and is payable in foreign currency. It targets goods imported by private citizens, often self-employed people who have started up businesses as part of timid reforms undertaken by the communist government in 2011."

Cuba Targeted at Democratic Convention  9/4/2012 Havana Times: "It is the only American nation that gets its very own paragraph and more. Only four other countries get such attention: Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China."

Desde hoy, en vigor nueva Resolución de la Aduana en Cuba  9/3/2012 CubaDebate: "A partir de este lunes tres de septiembre entra en vigor la Resolución No. 122 de la Aduana General de la República de Cuba referente a los envíos hacia el país por vía aérea, marítima, postal o de mensajería."

Muere investigador norteamericano que vinculó a Posada Carriles con asesinato de JFK  9/3/2012 CubaDebate: "Pero algo más que ese complot interesaba al investigador del asesinato de Kennedy: “No era el plan principal, pero un subcomplot que Veciana identificó como urdido por el cerebro de Posada”. “Al igual que Oswald fue utilizado para ser el chivo expiatorio en la conspiración para asesinar a Kennedy, Posada concibió un plan donde un insospechado co- conspirador era creado para ser el ‘chivo’ del complot a fin de asesinar a Fidel Castro. “El experto de contrainteligencia, David Phillips, aseguraría luego, por supuesto, que esas fotos tendrían una distribución mundial después del asesinato de Castro. El plan completo se derrumbó cuando los pistoleros se congelaron en el último momento.”

Call to Count Gays in Cuba Census  9/2/2012 Havana Times: "How many homosexuals are there in Cuba? How many same-sex couples are living together? How many transsexuals does the island have? And how many bisexual and lesbian households exist in Cuba? Answers to these kinds of questions are being sought by Cuban journalist and blogger Francisco Rodriguez*, a well-known government sympathizer and gay activist on the island."

Cuban Artwork Still Sidelined by US Blockade  9/1/2012 Juventud Rebelde: «Frequently,» Miret commented, «these people are harassed by the US Department of the Treasure, which sends them a letter requesting copies of all invoices and support documentation on the acquired work.» «Evidently this creates a kind of pressure that many are not are willing to face. I’m talking about important collectors who live in the United States and that when questioned say they quite acquiring the work of Cuban residents on the island because they don’t want to be in the American government’s spyglass.»"

Import tax deadline has Cuba entrepreneurs on edge  9/1/2012 Miami Herald: "A sudden jump in import taxes on Monday threatens to make life tougher for some of Cuba's new entrepreneurs and will mean higher prices for many of their customers by raising the cost of goods ranging from jungle-print blouses to jewelry. The new measures steeply hike duties on cargo shipments, as well as on many bulk goods brought in by airline passengers, a crucial supply line for many of the small businesses the government has been trying to encourage as it cuts a bloated workforce in the socialist economy."

¿El principio del fin de la doble moneda en Cuba? (I)  8/31/2012 Havana Times: "El cartel en cuestión anunciaba que los portadores de tarjetas magnéticas del sistema RED podían usarlas para pagar sus compras en esa chopin con moneda nacional, claro, al tipo de cambio oficial establecido. El sistema RED opera en tres bancos cubanos (Banco Popular de Ahorro, Banco de Crédito y Comercio y Banco Metropolitano) y emite tarjetas de débito en las cuales a algunos sectores de los trabajadores cubanos se les deposita su salario. El salario en moneda nacional, claro."

U.S. Treasury Department continues to obstruct travel to Cuba  8/29/2012 Granma: "U.S. authorities have implemented a series of bureaucratic measures restricting ‘People to People’ travel to Cuba. This particular program was reinitiated by the Obama administration in 2011, although it did not entail any substantive change in U.S. policy toward Cuba and left the blockade intact. The new measures have complicated trips between the United States and Cuba. Now, according to Department of Treasury regulations, paperwork required to request a license to organize trips to Cuba has been expanded from six to hundreds of pages."

Dissidents report a crackdown in Cuba  8/25/2012 Miami Herald 

¿Abrazará Cuba la economía solidaria?  8/21/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El 25 de julio, en una de las más concurridas sesiones de la reunión semestral de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (especie de poder legislativo) de Cuba, fue la estrella Murillo Marino. Jefe de la comisión del Comité Central del Partido Comunista para la reforma económica, él detalló, durante más de dos horas, los planes para los próximos años. Gran parte de las empresas estatales dejan de ser mero apéndice de los ministerios y tendrán autonomía financiera y operativa. Más importante aún, 222 pequeñas y medianas empresas, hoy pertenecientes al Estado, serán transformadas en cooperativas, en teoría, 100% autónomas. Una amplia gama de servicios - incluido el transporte público, mercados de frutas, restaurantes y centros de crías de camarones - se llevará a cabo por la nueva gestión de las líneas de la “economía solidaria”."

Romney Does Florida  8/18/2012 Counterpunch: "Romney, without Ryan, did not mention “Cuba”, once. It was a check-the-box visit to a key constituency in a swing state. That the venue was owned by a federally convicted coke smuggler (reported by Miami New Times) serves to remind that when considering Florida politics, Miami is ground zero. It is where the 2000 presidential election was stolen. It is where the housing boom materialized. It is the mortgage fraud capital of the United States. It is where backstories deserve attention."

"End the Embargo!" Will Romney Take Ryan’s Advice on Cuba?  8/13/2012 Counterpunch: "The embargo is a legacy litmus test only in Miami, increasingly to an aged and elderly segment of the vote. In truth, the embargo is being broken every single day to benefit Cuban American families and their relatives on both sides of the Florida Straits. The better place for Romney’s press conference tomorrow is not a Cuban restaurant, Palacios de los Jugos, but the long lines for the morning flights to Havana inside Miami International Airport."

Mitt Romney Is Stumping in Miami at Eatery Owned by Convicted Coke Smuggler  8/13/2012 Miami New Times: "Today, Mitt Romney is forgoing a Miami political campaign tradition by skipping over Versailles restaurant in Little Havana. Instead, Mittens will hobnob with a convicted cocaine smuggler. The Republican presidential candidate is holding an afternoon rally at Palacio de los Jugos (7085 Coral Way), which is owned by Reinaldo Bermudez, who served three years in federal prison after pleading guilty in 1999 to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine."

Cuban exile firework show lights up Havana horizon  8/11/2012 AP: "Sanchez said a second message behind the display was to demand greater Internet access on the island, which lags the rest of the world despite the completion of an undersea fiber-optic cable last year. “The Cuban government has just installed the cable from Venezuela that allows 3,000 times more technical capability of connection, and yet it has not translated into benefits for the Cuban people in terms of access,” he said."

Cuba: Breaking The Fiber Optic Monopoly  8/10/2012 Havana Times: "Capote discusses how he was involved in a US project to generate Wi-Fi reception in Havana by planting a small number of devices in key points all across the Cuban capital. Could it be possible to do that without the help of the CIA? Surely the Chinese sell such gadgets. Who knows, maybe even the Wi-Fi system that “Paul”/“Daniel” was going to install could be built with components “MADE IN CHINA.”"

EEUU prestó sus sicarios a Pinochet - ¿Será “patrocinador del terrorismo”?  8/7/2012 Rebelion: "Mientras Estados Unidos promociona a través de su red mediática su lista anual de países “patrocinadores del terrorismo”, en Chile se desclasifican los archivos de la DINA, la gestapo de Pinochet, donde se confirma la presencia en Chile, en los años del Plan Condor, de sicarios y terroristas cubanoamericanos formados por la CIA y “facilitados” a la dictadura chilena para sus operaciones más sucias. Los nuevos elementos que documentan esta colaboración mortífera surgen con la publicación de un intercambio de comunicaciones entre la fiscalía norteamericana, el FBI y altos cargos de la dictadura de Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) durante el año 1977."

EDITORIAL - Truth and reason  8/1/2012 Granma: "For overtly subversive objectives, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana facilitates thousands of hours of illicit International connections and gives hundreds of hours’ worth of courses in conspiracy, openly violating Cuban legislation and that of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. There is a large body of evidence that the U.S. government is continuing its policy of regime change in Cuba, through the economic, political, and media blockade and incitement to subversion."

Pavel Vidal Alejandro: “Microfinance in Cuba”  7/31/2012 The Cuban Economy 

El Tesoro estadounidense refuerza el control sobre viajes y remesas a Cuba  7/29/2012 CubaEncuentro: "El Departamento del Tesoro estadounidense ha divulgado la Circular 2012 de la Oficina de Control de Bienes Extranjeros (OFAC, por sus siglas en ingles), que refuerza el control sobre viajes y remesas a Cuba con nuevas disposiciones que regulan las operaciones de agencias y compañías de vuelos chárter que negocian con la Isla, informó este viernes el sitio CaféFuerte. La nueva normativa, señala la nota de la periodista y editora del sitio web Ivette Leyva Martínez, establece regulaciones más estrictas para la gestión de la documentación y equipaje de pasajeros, así como para la venta de pasajes aéreos."

Max Marambio gana caso contra Cuba y reclama $153 millones  7/28/2012 Café Fuerte: "El empresario chileno Max Marambio logró un fallo favorable ante la Corte Internacional de Arbitraje (ICC) en el litigio que sostiene por la compañía mixta Alimentos Río Zaza y reclamará una indemnización de $153 millones de dólares al gobierno cubano. El tribunal de París decretó esta semana, por mayoría, la disolución de la sociedad y la liquidación de los bienes compartidos con el Estado cubano, reportó el diario chileno."

Cuban president Raúl Castro willing to hold no-limits talks with America  7/26/2012 Guardian: "Cuban president Raúl Castro said on Thursday that his government was willing to mend fences with its bitter cold war foe, the United States. At the end of a Revolution Day ceremony marking the 59th anniversary of an uprising against dictator Fulgencio Batista's regime, Castro grabbed the microphone and made apparently impromptu remarks. He said no topic was off limits, including US concerns about democracy, freedom of the press and human rights on the island, as long as it was a conversation between equals."

Falleció dirigente revolucionario cubano Rafael Francia Mestre  7/25/2012 CubaDebate: "En 1939 inició su labor revolucionaria en el Partido Socialista Popular (PSP). Participó en la campaña de promoción de los candidatos comunistas a la Asamblea Constituyente de 1940 y perteneció a las organizaciones juveniles Jóvenes del Pueblo y Juventud Revolucionaria."

¿Quién mató al disidente cubano Oswaldo Payá?  7/25/2012 Penultimos Dias: "Pero la hija de Payá, Rosa María Payá, cuestionó inmediatamente esa versión, afirmando que la familia había recibido información de los sobrevivientes en el sentido de que el auto fue embestido varias veces por otro vehículo. “Así que creemos que no fue un accidente”, dijo, de acuerdo con CNN en Español. “Le querían hacer daño y terminaron matándolo.” La familia también reveló que Oswaldo Payá fue atacado en un incidente similar hace dos semanas en La Habana. En retrospectiva, ahora ven ese incidente como una advertencia del régimen."

Promueven en Cuba la creación de cooperativas fuera de sector agropecuario  7/24/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Cuba promueve la creación de cooperativas fuera del sector agropecuario, como parte del proceso de actualización del modelo económico del país, informó hoy Marino Murillo, vicepresidente del Consejo de Ministros. De acuerdo con el funcionario, es más conveniente para la nación esa forma de producción no estatal, pues con ella se privilegian grupos y no individuos, de acuerdo con el concepto de desarrollo que se implementa."

Cuba: El Cooperativismo y sus perspectivas en la actualización del modelo económico  7/23/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento 

Romney Joins Call for Transparent Investigation into Oswaldo Paya's Death  7/23/2012 Fox News: "Paya died Sunday afternoon along with another dissident, Harold Cepero Escalante, in the crash in La Gavina, 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of the capital. Authorities said the driver of the rental car carrying Paya and Cepero lost control and struck a tree. Fellow passengers Jens Aron Modig, a Swedish citizen, and Angel Carromero, a Spaniard, were hospitalized with minor injuries and later released."

Entrega la banca cubana más de 250 millones de pesos en créditos  7/19/2012 CubaDebate 

Cuba's non-farm co-ops debut this week  7/17/2012 Reuters: "One hundred state-run produce markets and 26 other establishments were scheduled to become private cooperatives on Monday as Communist-run Cuba continues to shed secondary economic activity in favour of individual initiative and markets."

Cuba proyecta cooperativas en sectores de servicios  7/12/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El gobierno cubano estudia la posibilidad de aplicar el sistema de cooperativas a sectores de servicios como transporte y gastronomía, en medio de los cambios que lleva adelante para “actualizar” el modelo socialista de la isla. Un grupo de especialistas elabora en la actualidad una metodología aplicable a cualquier tipo de unión, un manual de cooperativismo y un sistema de contabilidad y las políticas tributarias, de precios y de seguridad social. La intención gubernamental es implantar las cooperativas en los servicios, la gastronomía, el transporte y otros rubros de la economía."

African Awareness Association Demands Cuban Five Release  7/12/2012 Juventud Rebelde: "Banboshé Shangó, one of the representatives of the Solidarity Network with Cuba in the United States said that they knew little of the Cuban Five’s cause due to the wall of silence in the US press, and that they now have more and better information, so that they can spread it throughout the US once they are back."

U.S. African Awareness Association Joins Campaign for the Cuban Five  7/12/2012 RHC: "Members of the U.S. African Awareness Association (AAA), based in Richmond, Virginia, expressed in Havana their determination to spread the truth of the Cuban Five case in the United States and called on U.S. President Barack Obama to release the five heroes."

Danny Glover protagoniza nuevo video de solidaridad con Los Cinco  7/11/2012 CubaDebate 

Graduados en Cuba 11 mil médicos de 60 países  7/11/2012 CubaDebate: "Unos 11 mil estudiantes recibirán en el presente mes de julio sus títulos de Doctor en Medicina, de los cuales 5 315 son cubanos y 5 694 jóvenes proceden de 59 países, en lo que constituye la mayor graduación médica en toda la historia de nuestra nación y una muestra elocuente de solidaridad internacionalista. Los alumnos cursaron sus estudios gratuitamente en las Universidades de Ciencias Médicas, reconocidas por su alto nivel científico y una indeclinable proyección social al lado de los más pobres del mundo."

Medvédev aboga por consultas regulares entre Rusia y Cuba  7/11/2012 CubaDebate 

New Politics: Still Searching For Representation - Graciela Chailloux  7/10/2012 YouTube: "Dr Graciela Chailloux, University of Havana, Cuba speaking with Gregory McGuire, Energy Economist, Director, Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies speaking at the Common Sense Convois, about the subject of "New Politics: Still Searching For Representation". The discussion took place on Saturday March 24, 2012 in Tobago."

Promoting Citizen Journalism: Opportunities for Change in Cuba  7/1/2012 NED: "En el 2010 los agraciados con los fondos de la NED fueron Afro-Cuban Alliance, Inc. ($110 000), Asociación Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana ($91 000), Center for a Free Cuba ($55 000), Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina ($60 000), People in Need ($103 875), Committee for Free Trade Unionism ($90 000), Directorio Democrático Cubano ($175 000), CubaNet News Inc. ($239 434), Disidente Universal de Puerto Rico ($50 000), Evangelical Christian Humanitarian Outreach for Cuba ($60 064), elGrupo Internacional para la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa en Cuba ($200,000), Instituto Político para la Libertad Perú ($49 967), el Instituto Republicano Internacional ($800 000), el Instituto Nacional Demócrata ($325 000) y People in Peril Association ($40 000)."

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