News and Facts about Cuba

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Cuba’s private sector braces for US tourism boom

Cuba’s private sector braces for US tourism boom
By Rigoberto Diaz

Havana (AFP) – Cuba’s nascent private sector is bracing for an influx of
visitors should the US embargo ease, but many businesses in the
communist country appear unprepared for a torrent of tourists.

Currently, most hotels, guest houses and restaurants in Cuba are
state-owned, though the number of private… Continue reading

How a Cuban Spy and His Wife Came to Be Expectant Parents

How a Cuban Spy and His Wife Came to Be Expectant Parents
DEC. 22, 2014

It was no easy feat to get a vial of frozen sperm from Gerardo
Hernández, a Cuban spy serving two life sentences in California, to
Panama, where his wife, desperate to have a baby, was artificially
inseminated.

Yet the matter became an urgent priority over… Continue reading

Cuba harbors one of America’s most wanted fugitives, JoAnne Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur

Cuba harbors one of America’s most wanted fugitives, JoAnne Chesimard,
a.k.a. Assata Shakur
BY TINA GRIEGOTHE WASHINGTON POST
12/22/2014 1:00 AM 12/21/2014 9:34 PM

Last week’s announced shift in relations between Washington and Havana
has renewed the call for Cuba to turn over one of the United States’
most controversial fugitives — a woman U.S. law enforcement officials
call a… Continue reading

Cuba says U.S. must respect its communist system

Cuba says U.S. must respect its communist system
By Daniel Trotta

HAVANA (Reuters) – President Raul Castro demanded on Saturday that the
United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as the two countries work to
restore diplomatic ties, and warned that Cuban-American exiles might try
to sabotage the rapprochement.

U.S. President Barack Obama this week reset Washington’s Cold War-era
policy on… Continue reading

The beginning of the end of ‘Castroism’

The beginning of the end of ‘Castroism’
JOSÉ GABRIEL BARRENECHEA, Havana | Diciembre 20, 2014

Cubans continue to be as impressionable as ever. In the Island, the
masses have been only able to see the release of the three spies who
were released from American prison, and nothing else. Many members of
the opposition and exiles, in the meanwhile, only… Continue reading

One Big Risk for Cuba-U.S. Relations: Moving Too Fast

One Big Risk for Cuba-U.S. Relations: Moving Too Fast
DEC. 17, 2014 Neil Irwin

A normal economic relationship between the United States and Cuba has
been a long time coming; the strict trade embargo with the island nation
has been in place longer than the current president of the United States
has been alive.

But if Cuba and the United… Continue reading

Castros the beneficiaries of perilous policy shift

Castros the beneficiaries of perilous policy shift
BY HELEN AGUIRRE FERRÉ
12/20/2014 2:00 PM 12/20/2014 7:00 PM

President Obama just blew oxygen into the moribund Cuban economy — and
its governing elite — by announcing the reestablishment of full
diplomatic relations and economic concessions, a dramatic shift in
diplomatic relations between the two countries. The change is huge, but… Continue reading

Cuba’s Coke and Hollywood among embargo’s paradoxes

Cuba’s Coke and Hollywood among embargo’s paradoxes
By Francisco Jara

Havana (AFP) – Despite Cuba’s reputation as an island cut off from all
things American, it is possible to drink Coca-Cola and watch Hollywood
movies here, one of the paradoxes of the five-decade embargo.

Cuba’s postcard image of pre-embargo American cars rolling down Havana
streets that are so close yet… Continue reading

U.S.-Cuba’s complex political puzzle

U.S.-Cuba’s complex political puzzle
BY MARC CAPUTO
12/18/2014 8:53 PM 12/18/2014 10:37 PM

Talking about U.S. policy toward Cuba used to be relatively easy for
politicians in Florida: say “Cuba libre” or “Cuba sí, Castro no.”

Support for sanctions and the embargo was a given.

But no longer.

The reaction to President Barack Obama’s historic announcement Wednesday
to try… Continue reading

TOP 10 LIES IN OBAMA’S CUBA SPEECH

TOP 10 LIES IN OBAMA’S CUBA SPEECH
by JOEL B. POLLAK 18 Dec 2014

President Barack Obama unveiled a new U.S. policy toward Cuba on
Wednesday as part of a deal that brought American Alan Gross home in
exchange for three convicted Cuban spies. As he has done so often in the
past, Obama tried to channel the perspective of… Continue reading

Family – We’ve heard nothing of man hailed as superspy for U.S. in Cuba

Family: We’ve heard nothing of man hailed as superspy for U.S. in Cuba
BY NORA GAMEZ TORRESAND GLENN GARVIN
12/18/2014 10:04 PM 12/18/2014 10:36 PM

The family of a Cuban man believed to be Washington’s superspy in Havana
says he has disappeared from prison without a trace — and if he was
really flown to the United States as… Continue reading

Everything is Sold-Out

Everything is Sold-Out / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila
Posted on December 17, 2014

14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, 16 December 2014 — The end-of-year all over the
world presents a challenge for many enterprises and businesses,
especially for those in the transportation sector. Nobody wants to miss
the opportunity to considerably increase the profits to be made from an
extraordinary rise in demand… Continue reading

U.S.-Cuba rapprochement exposes Venezuela’s Maduro

U.S.-Cuba rapprochement exposes Venezuela’s Maduro
By Andrew Cawthorne

CARACAS (Reuters) – Even as Cuba and the United States try to bury 50
years of enmity, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has seemed to be going
in the other direction, vilifying “insolent Yankees” at rallies and
threatening to cut ties completely.

Fellow leftists Cuba and Venezuela are arguably the most unconditional
allies… Continue reading

Cuba reforms – Who are the biggest winners?

Cuba reforms: Who are the biggest winners?
By Kim Gittleson
BBC business reporter, New York

The 53-year-old Cuban embargo is the US’s longest-running trade sanction.

Although US President Barack Obama cannot fully lift that sanction
without approval from Congress, his executive action eases several
provisions.

This has everyone from Cuban-Americans looking to send money home to big
investors eyeing the… Continue reading

Probably too soon to call Cuba policy change ‘historic’

Andres Oppenheimer: Probably too soon to call Cuba policy change ‘historic’
BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
12/17/2014 7:44 PM 12/18/2014 12:06 AM

While President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he will
normalize relations with Cuba is the biggest diplomatic breakthrough
with the island after six decades of hostilities, his speech may have
been less “historic” than he portrayed it, according to… Continue reading

Cuba sets new policies for wages paid by foreign investors

Cuba sets new policies for wages paid by foreign investors
Dec 17,2014

HAVANA, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — Cuba’s government has approved new wage
guidelines for nationals working for foreign firms in the country, state
daily Granma reported Tuesday.

The new rules, covering wages and social security payments, were
published in a government gazette.

Cuba’s state-run employment agencies will be responsible… Continue reading

Cuba’s Reforms Fail to Reduce Growing Inequality

Cuba’s Reforms Fail to Reduce Growing Inequality
By Patricia Grogg

HAVANA, Dec 16 2014 (IPS) – One of the major challenges assumed by
President Raúl Castro when he launched a series of reforms in Cuba is
improving living standards in a country still suffering from a recession
that began over 20 years ago and has undermined the aim of achieving… Continue reading

The Fall of an Untouchable

The Fall of an Untouchable / 14ymedio
Posted on December 15, 2014

Labiofam relieves José Antonio Fraga Castro, Fidel Castro’s nephew, from his post as president

14ymedio, Havana, 8 December 2014 — The company Labiofam will replace José Antonio Fraga Castro as president of the group. Last Thursday, during a meeting with the directors of the business group, included on… Continue reading

Cuba plans to open nursing homes for people with Alzheimer’s

Cuba plans to open nursing homes for people with Alzheimer’s
Published December 15, 2014 EFE

Cuba, a country affected by an aging population, is planning to open nursing homes for people with Alzheimer’s starting in 2015, according to officials in the Public Health Ministry, or MINSAP, as cited by local media.

One in every 10 Cubans 65 or older develops… Continue reading

Cuba – From Beacon to Firefly, But the Clock Is Ticking

Cuba: From Beacon to Firefly, But the Clock Is Ticking / Juan Juan Almeida
Posted on December 15, 2014

Back when I had hair and could comb it, someone from a certain group of
commentators coined a popular phrase: If Moscow were Hollywood, the
world would be communist and Cuba would be its Humphrey Bogart.

This did not make sense… Continue reading

Aging population is top challenge to Cuba’s future; by 2030 almost a third will be over 60

Aging population is top challenge to Cuba’s future; by 2030 almost a
third will be over 60
Published December 14, 2014 EFE

HAVANA – Cuba must deal with the challenges posed by a rapidly aging
population, a trend that poses a threat to its future comparable to an
economic crisis or climate change.

The demographic figures have been around for… Continue reading

Cuba’s Economy at a Crossroads

Cuba’s Economy at a Crossroads
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDDEC. 14, 2014

In July 2007, while serving as acting president as his brother underwent
medical treatment, Raúl Castro delivered a startling indictment of the
Cuban economy when he railed about the inefficiencies of the dairy
industry. His description of the onerous and expensive mechanism to get
milk from cows to dinner… Continue reading

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